Monday, July 27, 2015

Week 50

Hi Everyone!
This was a great week and a lot happened!
Juan David is this 19 year old kid in our branch who is way chill. Like after the first day here in Aruba we were already best friends. He has been waiting for his mission call for 8 MONTHS. haha mine came in 6 days. Anyways he finally got it so we surprised him with it Sunday morning at church and he was so excited. He is going to Paris, France Spanish speaking! He always makes fun of my Papiamento so I told him to just wait until he gets to France and can't understand anyone!! haha. My companion Elder Foote is a bit trunky, but between me and Juan David, we are keeping him going!
         And we just got a reference from that less active family but aside from that everybody is pretty busy. But we are trying to fill up our mornings with service for the members because that really helped the members in Bonaire get to know us and help us so that’s what we are going to do this week. We also are going to go contact some other areas because our investigator pool is kind of struggling. But we are doing great working with less-actives, and we got two to come to church!
We did a big service project for a member up in Oranjestad where we were unloading and sorting frozen fish in a giant freezer. It was the first time I had been cold in a year and it was AWESOME. But I am going through ski fever in July. Anyways the guy was really nice and gave us a ton of frozen fish to eat, so we went and gave some to some of the widows in the branch, one being the less active lady. It’s funny how a little kindness can go such a long way.
After church we decided to go try and visit this less active family that we had never met before and they said that they were just reading the scriptures together and thinking about how they need to come back to church when we knocked on the door! We had a really spiritual lesson with them and they told us to save them a seat at church next week. Our church is in a house which means that I am going to hit my year mark without ever going to church in an actual church. Because my mission is awesome! :)
The branch is awesome with mostly new members and like 2 or 3 that have been members for a little over 10 years. One guy is named Brother Buckley and he reminds me of JJ a lot!! We are already really good friends. 
Oh yeah, and I can truthfully say I haven't been sick since I was in the DR. The DR gave me lots of belly aches, a great Spanish vocabulary, and a celestialized immune system. I don't think I will ever get sick ever again.
Also today I CAUGHT A FISH WITH MY BARE HANDS....Again! First the carp at Bear lake and now a bokachika in Aruba. Man I am so cool.

Love you all!

Elder Harsh

Monday, July 20, 2015

Week 49

Hey Everyone,
I flew here to Aruba from Bonaire and I am still waiting to hear back from the Dominican mission office to see about my stuff.  Transfers were tough!! This was definitely the hardest yet!! Vaquero cried when I said goodbye to him and I have called the sisters in Bonaire like 3 times this week just to see how he is doing. He is doing great :) I always thought saying goodbye to you guys would be the hardest, but that was the easiest because I know that in 2 years (oh, excuse me, 1 year haha) I am gonna see you again. But with some of these goodbyes you have no idea if you are ever going to see them again. But Vaquero is Dominican so he wants to go to the US, so I told him he has to come live in Utah. He agreed. Also the district president/ ex first councilor to the mission president is coming to Utah this fall for conference. I wanted you to meet them and told them you would take them out to dinner or something haha. I am going to give them mom's phone number next time I see them. Consider this your heads up. They are from Peru but speak English so no worries!
Aruba is way cool! It’s so different from Bonaire! There are tons of people here and it’s more developed than Bonaire. There are 4 Elders here in Aruba, The other Elders are in the big city and have a gigantic branch with a building and over 100 members. We are down on the southern tip of the island in San Nicolas where we have 25-35 people in church every week and meet in a house. But the house is bigger than the one in Bonaire and IT HAS AC!!!!! Best Sunday of my mission! But the members are really nice I haven't gotten to know too many of them but the ones I have known are pretty cool.
The only weird thing is it’s an English branch! Super weird to be speaking English but I am really working on learning Papiamento better. Papiamento is different on every island so I have to learn new stuff AGAIN. I am kinda sick of learning new languages!  haha.
They just switched the Branch Presidency when we became a district so we have been helping the new president with a lot of things. My new companion is named Elder Foote from Kaysville, Utah and has 3 weeks left in his mission! This transfer is a short transfer to catch us up with the Trinidad mission's transfers and he heads home real soon!
The Caribbean Islands go to the Dominican Republic Temple.
 I still have no idea about a mailing address so I will try and figure that out. We have all just kind of accepted that we are out in the Boonies and probably won’t get mail until/if we go to Trinidad. But this week we just got to know people and the area a little bit.
 This morning a member up in the other branch hooked us up so that we could go to one of the resorts for free and play racquetball. It was tons of fun! Why have I never played that before?? Anyways that’s the update of life here on Aruba. We contacted this older couple who are very devout Catholics but they were the nicest people in the world! I contacted them in my broken half Aruba half Bonaire Papiamento and they let us in and luckily they knew Spanish as well. They were super nice and kept telling us what a good work we are doing and we talked about the importance of the Gospel in our lives for almost an hour! Then she gave us chocolate milk and cookies so I absolutely love her (funny how food can make fall in love so easily) and she invited us back tomorrow for dinner! So now I have a grandma in Aruba and we also gave them a pamphlet about the restoration so that we could talk about that with them during dinner.
 At first when I came out to the islands I was kinda bummed because it went to from having 30-40 lessons a week to about 4 or 5 lessons a week, but the quality of lessons is so much better and it really helps you make that extra effort to keep the spirit with you during the day. Anyways sorry this is a novel but life here on Aruba is pretty nice :)
Serving in Paradise!

Elder Harsh

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Week 48

Hi Everyone!
So to clear things up, I am now in the Trinidad, Port of Spain mission.
My president's name is President Egbert from Sandy Utah. I was kinda bummed at first because he couldn't possibly fill in the shoes of President Corbitt. President Corbitt wrote the church's official standpoint for Blacks and the Priesthood and he was the international face for the church and represented the church for the United Nations.
And President Egbert is a dentist from sandy. BUT we talked with him and had interviews and I feel like he is so much better than President Corbitt for me and for what these islands need. He has a very clear vision and plan which is kind of surprising because he has only been in the mission for 10 days. But rest assured I am very satisfied with the new president, and he is planning on coming out to interview us every 6 weeks! That’s unheard of in the islands! Also since we are the only Spanish speaking elders in the mission, we are going to be staying here in the islands as long as possible and help newer missionaries learn Spanish and Papiamento, and when/if our visas expire, we will go to Trinidad as Spanish elders and try to organize a Spanish branch! So I know in 1 transfer E walker is going to Trinidad to be the first Spanish elder there, and depending on visas I could either spend my entire last year in the islands or spend some time in Trinidad or Guyana. Vamos a ver. But I am very happy I won't be losing my Spanish and I will be able to keep working on my Papiamento.
I just got transferred to Aruba! It is the small branch in the less populated area and it’s an English branch! It’s going to be weird but E walker was there and he said that it’s still a lot of Spanish and usually we have to translate a lot so no worries there! I forgot to ask president about our address so I will try and get that for next week, but that’s about all the updates I have for now! Can't wait!!
Elder Harsh

Monday, July 13, 2015

Week 47

Hi Everyone!
This week was great!! But some bad news, we found a hermit crab that was the size of a baseball and named it Steven, and kept it in this bucket, but we wanted him to be able to roam around a little so we put him up on the counter and HE FELL OFF. So no more Steven. But we now have an awesome parable of how the bucket is like the commandments. But I'm getting distracted.
We had Vaquero's baptism!! I kinda forgot to mention that last week because we were busy with the mission change but we baptized him!! He chose me to baptize him and I GOT TO DO IT IN THE OCEAN!! It was the coolest thing in the world! Also Vaquero means Cowboy in Spanish, but that’s his name! I kinda forgot to tell you that, because I forgot tu no hables espanol. I hope I don't lose my Spanish. I love Spanish!! Papiamentu is cool too but its freaking weird. Also when the Zone Leaders interviewed him they said he was the most prepared they had ever seen somebody before baptism! So I guess all the waiting and extra work really paid off!! It was great and we also baptized him on the 4th of July! Something great seems to happen on that day every year!
       As for the mission change, we still don't know very much. I am still on Bonaire with E Walker, which is good because he is easily my favorite comp! The new president is coming a week from today so next week I might have more information. I have no idea about the mailing address yet, and I have no idea how we are going to get our stuff from the DR... But hopefully president will clear some of that up when he comes. I am going to ask him to stay in these islands for as long as possible because here you still use Spanish sometimes because there are a lot of immigrants. 
      Also this past week I had a Triligual dream!! I dreamed  in English, Spanish, and Papiamentu!!! I woke up really confused haha but that’s basically what a day is like for me! English with E Walker, Spanish and Papiamentu with our investigators, and sometimes Dutch people say stuff to us in Dutch because we are white. Its nuts here.
Today we went to donkey sanctuary and I went around and doinked donkeys on the face. I got a dope video of that. Also I kept making them hit their head on the car. It was pretty much the funniest thing in the world. Best 7 bucks I ever spent. I love you so much!!
But that’s about everything from this week! I hope I will have more answers next week!

Elder Harsh