Monday, November 25, 2013

Can't believe I am at 9 months, could've had a baby in that amount of time!

So once again it is Pday, time to write home again! The past couple weeks have just been getting better and better and this week was no different! At this rate I have no idea how I am going to be able to go back to Jamaica and serve there cuz this place is dope! But I kinda do miss Jamaica a little still, just being able to ride your bike down the same street 5 times a day for 6 months straight and seeing something different that you haven't ever seen in your life before every time you ride that road... that is the miracle of Jamaica, and that doesn't happen here as much.  Anyways today is Pday, and we had zone conference today!! YAY that is what I wanted to do all day!! I don't have a clue why they decided to do it today but our whole Pday was shot! Elder A. (our area president) is on a mission tour with Pres B. and so they held a zone conference for our zone today from Nassau, which we weren't invited to again :( So zone conference just barely was pretty good. Since we don't have a lot of time I have to be quick.  We had a branch pool party this weekend and it was really really good! So many people were there and and about 20 non-members! Boo Yah!  We had a bounce house and a cotton candy machine and snow cones.  We had BBQ chicken, steak, ribs, hamburgers, and hot dogs, and an unlimited supply!! It was so awesome!! It is so awesome! It seems like everything I have done here so far is prepare for parties and baptisms. Ok jk that was a joke but the branch has so many activities that they go all out on, and especially in this upcoming month!!

We also had a baptism on Saturday! R. got baptized! It was at the church this time, we thought about doing it in the pool but the more we thought about it we decided that it wouldn't be good to tie a party and baptism together, but that was Saturday night and it was great!

I am scared for Thanksgiving, we have so many meal appointments planned, this is going to be bad! We had one Thanksgiving dinner yesterday and I was hurting after it, plus she sent us home with so many leftovers! I’m going to be eating turkey for weeks and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet! This meal was after a branch luncheon, oh yeah another activity yesterday hosted by the relief society after a visiting teaching seminar or something. Anyways it has been really good! Can't believe I am at 9 months, could've had a baby in that amount of time! Well have a good week! Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Love Ya

Love Elder Harris
Six cruise ship day!

Sign that should be on Jay Leno!

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Most Beautiful Ocean Ever!

Well last week I said was a really good week, and this week was even better! To start off we had another baptism this week!! R. got baptized!! He is awesome!! He is so solid and he isn't just a spectator, ever since he first started coming he knew why he was there, to learn and contribute, and that is exactly what he has done! He is going to be such a great addition to this branch. Pres J. at his baptism told him that they already have a calling for him so to be prepared for that soon! Speaking of baptism, he got baptized at S. Cove as well!  That place is so beautiful, oh and by the way he picked me to baptize him!! What I am saying is that I got to go in the most beautiful ocean ever while I am on my mission!! Man it was so nice! The water was so warm and calm and I did not want to get out!! R. walked out pretty deep so that meant I had to follow him out there too! It was an unforgettable experience! I am so glad he chose me!
Well Ro. passed his interview yesterday too so he will be getting baptized next Saturday. He is going to have his uncle baptize him.  Next Saturday we are also having a branch pool party at a members house here, well one of their houses here, they are super loaded so they have a couple.  But it is a very very (Millions of dollars) nice house and they wanted to host this party.  So we were talking to Bro V. last night, he is in the branch presidency and he was like, "Why don't we just baptize him in the pool after the branch party, members would be there already, and it would be fun and unique." So that isn't official but it has a high possibility of happening! That would be so sick!!! Man I love this branch.
BTW my immigration paperwork is all figured out. They just ended up buying me local health insurance since the government was kinda being, well kind of being how any government is I guess.  They only bought me that because they had to, they can't keep doing it because it would just be so much money to do that for every missionary out here especially since they want to add more missionaries out here.  But I am good now!! I hope!! State side missionaries are so lucky they don't have to deal with visa stuff!!
Anyways back to my week.  We went and visited a former investigator on Tuesday, his name is H. J. We have met with him before he is a funny guy. Well we got there and there was a Jehovah Witness there. Apparently Harry is joining that church.  We were nice for a while, then he started to try and "prove" how he is right, we let him go for a couple minutes cuz he thought he was awesome, then we totally threw down on everything he said, used the bible to cross reference and show that Jehovah is Jesus> He still wasn't backing down so then I just threw out the big question for Jehovah Witness's, "Who is Taze Russel?" If you ever want a JW to walk away ask that question.  Works like a charm every time! I guess you could google him if you want to know about him. Anyways we don't like to bible bash so me and my comp resolved to never bible bash again.  Anyways Wednesday rolls around and a member of the branch calls us and says that she met this guy on the plane and how she was talking to him and he wants to talk to us. We were like wow, a member doing missionary work that's great! We were wrong. We call her to confirm the appointment on Thursday with her and she tells us that he is 7th day, and that we need to come prepared.  We were like we talk to 7th days all the time, there's nothin that we can't handle. Well we got to the church cuz that is where we agreed to meet. We look out side and then not 1, not 2, but 3 cars show up. We were like, woah, we weren't expecting that!  Well we watch 3 big dudes get out of the cars, in their blinging apparel and whatnot.  To make it short, they were the 3 top leaders of the 7th day church in Cayman.  All they did was try to prove how they were right, we would counter it.  Anyways we were able to answered every single one of their questions/ concerns with correct LDS doctrine, even though they didn't agree with it at all.  They came to fight though, and would barely let Elder Runyan and I talk.  They wanted to meet with us again, but we said basically that as missionaries we are here to teach, not to try and be taught. If you want to sincerely listen to and learn about our beliefs we would love to meet with you guys again, but if those aren't your intentions we won't meet with you.  They said well in that case we don't need to keep meeting.  We bore testimony, invited them to pray and ask if what we taught them was true, gave them a Book of Mormon, and left.  We for real this time aren't going to bible bash again, Thursday we were just put between a rock and a hard spot not knowing that there would be 3 pastors there!! The member knew that the one was high up in the church, but she didn't know that he would bring 2 others with him. Anyways it was fun and it was definitely a learning experience.  The biggest thing I got out of it was a stronger testimony of what I already believe.
Well that's our week in a nutshell. We taught zone meeting this week and it went really well. Transfers were also this week again, our zone is staying the same. The off islands, zone leaders, and AP's all stayed the same so kind of a boring transfers this week. We also broke the record for baptisms in our zone this week, and also doubled the previous mission record for baptisms in a week this past week, the work is hastening!! I am glad to be apart of it! Peace!
Love Elder Colton Harris


Monday, November 11, 2013

Making this Blog Private...

Within the next week or two, I will be making Colton's blog private which means it will only be viewable to those who are invited.  If you would like to be able to continue to view his blog, please send me an email and I will make sure to include you!  Thanks for all your support of Colton!

Cayman Gets Better and Better!

Dear everyone!
Well just when you think that your area can't get any better, Cayman goes and proves ya wrong and you end up having a week like we had!! Thursday we had Mission Leader Council and it was really good!! We talked about a lot of awesome stuff that is coming up, at least for everyone in Jamaica.  The mission is organizing a huge Christmas celebration, i don't even know really , but they are expecting a combined amount of people, missionaries, members, less actives, and investigators of almost 1,000 people to attend this. It is going to be a huge production, meant for families to bring their less active and non member friends to.  it sounds really fun.  We were sad we were going to miss it so Sis Brown brought up the idea to broadcast it to all the off island areas, so we get to watch it now, same idea out here is to get a lot of people to come and watch it.  Pres Brown also brought up the idea of flash mobbing some malls in Kingston with missionaries singing hymns and handing out flyers for it.  Flash mobbing isn't in preach my gospel about ways to find people but hey whatever gets the job done.  I love having a young mission president.
This week was Pirates Week here and man so many people come for this! We went to the fireworks out over the ocean on Friday with some members, that was really fun, they were really good.  On Saturday I probably ate more food then I ever have in my life.  We went to a brunch party thing for a senior missionary couple that used to serve here, some people in the branch did that for them. Then we went to lunch at the R's house. That's always good on Saturdays.  We then went to the Pirates Week parade. Wow that was an experience.  It was not a 24th of July parade in Beaver, and I will tell you I like the 24th parade better. There was only 8 floats, but the parade took and hour and a half cuz they would drive for ten seconds, park for 15 minutes.  Every single float was who could put the biggest speaker system on a semi trailer and put one or two logos of your company on it somewhere, and just have a lot of people dressed up as pirates.  Anyways, we had a baptism on Saturday!! E. got baptized by her dad. The baptism was in the ocean and it was beautiful!! There was a rainbow directly out over the ocean the whole time!! E. loved that! I loved having it at the ocean, it was so pretty and peaceful! We have another baptism there this Saturday, R. already passed his interview! Yay! 
Have a good week. Love you all.
Love Elder Colton Harris
Rainbow where the baptism was held

Colton's caption for this picture was
"I told you all I'd be famous in Cayman!"
Some of the speakers on a float

Monday, November 4, 2013

Mormon Helping Hands and Iguana Hunting!

Hello once again.  Well it looks like everything is going really good at home and that you had a good week! So this week has been a freaking good week here.  It has also been a really busy week.  So this week we have been focusing a lot on R., R., and E.  We have had some really awesome lessons with them.  We just realized that we haven't been putting a focus on finding a lot of other people to teach tho so our teaching pool is a little low which isn't good, but we will find people. The members got a big boost to do missionary work last week while pres was here so that will be good for us.  We have already seen a huge difference in them, the key is to keep fanning that flame so it doesn't die out like it usually does.  We'll try, easier said then done. But we should have 2 baptisms for sure this week granted that they pass their interviews, but most likely 3 baptisms for us. The work is progressing here and it is fun to be apart of!
Anyways, this weekend was super busy for us.  We trick-or-treated one house on Halloween (our landlord's family who lives right below us who are also members). That was fun, so I didn't go totally candyless this Halloween!  Elder Runyan and I bought these masks a couple weeks ago and were going to use them to scare people but we never did so we thought that using them to trick or treat in was a good idea.
On Friday night our branch had a 50's theme branch party/dance.  It was really fun. This branch knows how to have fun, and they like to do it as often as they can so it's good for us.  We also had 4 investigators show up to that so it was good all around.
On Saturday we had a big service project in the branch.  It was an area wide day of service, so Hatti, Cuba, Jamaica, etc all did service that day. It was a 'Mormon Helping Hands' service project so we got the T-shirts and everything.  We basically went Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on this old guy in a wheel chairs' house! It was really neat.  His little old home got completely flooded to the ceiling with about 10 feet of water 10 years ago by a hurricane and hasn't been good since.  He was able to get it livable by some government grants but it still needed a lot of help!! There were bout 50 members from the branch show up, which is outstanding!! We put in new light fixtures, painted inside and out, fixed electrical wiring problem, cleaned everything, cleared a huge pile of stacked up trees and stuff, and so much more. It was an awesome day.  We got a lot of publicity too because it was right on a pretty busy road.  There was this couple from Idaho that was stopped on the cruise ship and rented a scooter to drive around the island, and when they saw the Tshirts they stopped to talk to us. They were members and they stopped and helped paint for like 2 hours.  Some recent converts were like, in what other religion would someone that is stopped in Cayman on a cruise for only a couple hours, stop and do service for someone they don't even know.  It touched them a lot, they know now that these members of this church really are different than most of the other world. It was cool.  So the local newspaper was there and did a story on it and took pictures, so what I am saying is that I will be famous in Cayman soon.  I know I'm a big deal. And the house was across the street from a 7th day church, and after their service the pastor came over and just thanked us so much.  He knows the guy pretty well and was just blown away. He said he has always wanted to come visit our church and so we told him the times.  He also said that he would like to team up with his congregation and ours for a service project in the future. This was an amazing missionary tool!!
Yesterday at church was good as well!
This morning we went iguana hunting with a member! It was so fun! We only caught a baby one, (Still about 2 and a half feet long) so we let it go cuz it wouldn't have fed all of us. Oh yeah we were going to cook it up and eat it too!  We are going hunting again so we will get some to eat next time.  Iguanas are EVERYWHERE here.  They are honestly like jack rabbits in Utah, if not more.  They are dead on the streets all over.
Well have a good week guys, enjoy the snow!!! Love ya!
Love, Elder Colton Harris