Monday, September 28, 2015

Week 59

Hi Everyone,
Well this week was transfers so that meant a lot of running back and forth from the airport but we did get to have the car for two days! That was nice but I can now see why every Elder that goes to the Orajestad area gets fat! It’s literally sit, walk to the door, repeat. So as weird as it sounds, it’s kind of nice to be back on our bikes!
 But we noticed that at the end of the month everybody gets super busy and can't have their lessons and so we spent a lot of this week contacting as well as trying to track down people.
Juan David is still in Colombia until Wednesday so I am looking forward to hearing about his Temple experience! He leaves in November two weeks after transfers...So I probably won't be able to be at his farewell :( Since he had been gone that also means that Sis. Patricia has been gone which means no food for us. Can't wait to have them both back!
But the branch is doing really good and we have a few investigators that have committed to come to conference with us! I am super excited for that!
 Also yeah we did see the moon and it was so cool! We took our mattresses and put them out on our balcony and slept outside and watched the moon. But yeah, hopefully we will be able to have more lessons this week and keep helping our investigators receive blessings!

Elder Harsh

Monday, September 21, 2015

Week 58

Hi Everyone,
Well just like that another transfer is over! I will be staying here in San Nicholaas with E. Carrillo to finish his training and I will stay district leader.
 This week was kind of a blur but there was one day that was really weird! We went with the members to go clean up a beach and then after helped another member with a food thingy she was doing and then went and cleaned the church and then ran home to shower and try and make it to our lessons we had! We then had a great lesson with a less active family that is reactivating and on the way to the next lesson we stopped and talked about how we really need more members especially more priesthood in our branch, because we have like 10 Widows. But on the way home, a car waved and pulled over in front of us. Tourists sometimes do that and it’s fun to talk with them, but this time it was a new family! They joined the church about a month ago in Holland and moved back here! They were so happy to see us because they didn't know where the church was, so we told them where it was and they seem like a great family! They said they always have the Elders over for dinner too but we have to wait until they finish moving. So we offered to help and we are probably going to get fed pretty often by them!!
Also this week we had a contact that was very interesting. We sat down with him and he had TONS of questions about the plan of salvation. We were over there for over an hour explaining him things and he kept getting really excited and at the end he said "I am going to be very honest with you, I have studied with over 10 different religions, and you are the first guy that actually makes sense to me!" And that is the light that the Restored Gospel gives. He even came to church on Sunday and liked it. The only sad news is that Juan David and his mom Patricia are going to Colombia for the next 10 days. Sister Patricia is like our mom and so we are going to miss them a lot, but they are both going through the temple for their first time! It was so fun helping them get prepared and they are both super excited! But that’s pretty much this week in a nutshell.
I am so excited for General Conference! It’s kinda like Christmas here in the mission, and Christmas is that one day that you get to talk with your family...
As for getting my luggage, I got tired of emailing the DR office because they would just say "we are working on it" so I talked with Sis. Egbert and gave her a description of my stuff so if all goes well it will be sent to Trinidad where it’s at least in the boundaries of the mission, but I won't get it until I get transferred down there.
Oh yea!   Mommy- I went and bought a new memory card just to make you happy. Also Pres. Buckley is the old branch president and the coolest guy ever. He is the one that reminds me of JJ.
mi ta spera ku boso ta hopi bon.
Elder Harsh
My new address is:
Trinidad Port of Spain Mission
1 Morequito Ave Bldg. #10
Valpark Plaza

Trinidad & Tobago

Monday, September 14, 2015

Week 57

Hi Everyone!
Welp, another week has come and gone and I have really been focusing on my Papiamento and I am getting pretty good! I understand almost everything but I am in the "mountain man" phase (duck dynasty) where I can talk, but it’s just painfully slow.
E. Carrillo coming along with his English but this is a tough place to learn English because almost everyone knows Spanish. But I am sure he will get the hang of it soon.
This was a great week, up until Saturday and Sunday! We had Saturday and Sunday completely booked with lessons and EVERY SINGLE LESSON FELL THROUGH! Those days are tough. I am super sunburn from being outside for two complete days but we did have a few lessons off of contacts and we did an impromptu service and cut down this massive tree in this less active's yard. I got to play with a chainsaw for 3 hours and he came to church for the first time in 4 years! It was a win win situation. This is a tough area but we are making the best of it.
 Today we went with Pres. Buckley to eat pizza and after downing 12 slices, he took us to the biggest mountain (hill) in Aruba and said the view is great at the top, so we ran up all the stairs and I almost puked. But you could see the entire island from the top! It was so cool you could see ocean in every direction!
We also have an investigator who finally got her answer that she knows the Book of Mormon is true. It doesn't matter how many times that happens, every single time is special and I feel the spirit so strong! She has tons of questions but loves it when we come over and we always have super spiritual lessons with her!
We had a mission reunion with all the zone (the 3 islands) with Pres. Eggbert and Elder Martinez of the 70. It was great and I learned a lot. Also mom I only have 1 memory card and it doesn't work so that is my excuse for the next little while for why I haven't been taking pictures.
Have a good week!
Elder Harsh

Monday, September 7, 2015

Week 56

Hi Everyone
Well just like that another week went by! This week was a lot better, we were always super busy! I am really having troubles thinking about the details of this past week. We had a really good lesson with one of Juan David's friends. He is a 17 year old kid and is way nice. We had already talked about the Restoration with him and so we come with Juan David and we talk about the importance of the Book of Mormon in gaining a testimony. It was a super spiritual lesson and Juan David bore a very powerful testimony because he is a convert (like everyone on the island) and he is also preparing to go on a mission so it really helped his friend and afterwards Juan David said that now he knows why missionaries are always so happy, because we get to do that every day! And it’s true! I love sharing the Gospel!
Speaking of that, we were out contacting last night and it was getting late, but we decided to try one more house before going home. We offered a short prayer and then I kind of had the feeling we should go up to this one house, but it was completely dark and nobody was outside, so Instead we tried the house next door. The front door was open but nobody answered so as we were walking away, I heard a guy cough from the dark house. There weren't any lights, but there was a super dark Jamaican guy sitting there that I couldn't see! I thought I was talking with nobody so I quickly made him laugh and then I saw teeth, so I started talking with him and he said that he is recently married and he made a promise that if God would let him marry a beautiful girl, he would turn his life around and go to church. He said he had been looking and praying for help to have the courage to go to church! He is a very humble guy and we have a lesson with him later today! I can't wait! So I guess what we learn from that is even if you are a super black Jamaican trying to disappear in the dark, God still hears and answers your prayers. Have I mentioned how cool Jamaican accents are??
 I came to a very interesting realization this past week, and it’s that every good story on your mission comes from contacting! Or I think you guys call it tracting, but in Spanish it translates to contacting. But anyways the good, the bad, and the funny stories come from contacting and I love it! This week we had an afternoon with all three! We had a really good contact that we will visit again tomorrow, we had a really funny one where the daughter was trying to flirt with us and her Dad kept saying things to her in Papiamento to motivate her because he thought we didn't speak Papiamento,
We contacted this one house and this freaking GIANT came out! He was like 7 feet tall but not skinny! He was super muscular and had really broad shoulders and after I introduced myself he said I can't talk to you. I asked him why and he said "Porque tu eres de Jesucristo, y yo soy de SATANAS"(You are of Christ and I am of Satan) and his voice got all deep and creepy when he said that I said oh ok, bye and I freaking turned tail and ran! And my companion couldn't stop laughing. So apparently we had a run in with a devil worshiper.  Haha there is never a dull moment with us!
 I am really enjoying the mission but it seems like the more you enjoy it the faster it goes! I guess that’s just the way it is though.
Anyways until next week,

Elder Harsh

                                                       Blake on top of a cave in Aruba

                               Juan David just after he received his mission call to Paris France