Monday, December 28, 2015

Week 72

Hi Everyone,
I feel like I just talked to you guys! haha
But yeah so right now I am in Curasao and it’s weird because I am back with my old companion and my old area and it’s fun to be back and to see some of the people! I got to go to church and see all the members too, so that was nice because I got to surprise them and a lot of them wanted to have us over for dinner! So that’s gonna be nice for this week. I will be here until Friday because when the new year hits I am legal again in Aruba. They keep changing the immigration policy because of all the illegal Venezuelans and it makes it tough for the missionaries! We have to fly out about every 30 days until we figure something else out, but Pres. Yuyez is working on it.
 We spent Christmas Eve spending time with some different people who didn’t have plans or family to be with and it was actually really nice to spend time with some people. There was this dutch guy who has major family problems and he is a less active, and we went to his house and just listened to him complain for over 2 hours. We then shared a scripture and talked about the atonement and then we had to leave but he gave us a book as a gift and later he sent us a text that said Thanks for coming and listening, for the first time in 4 years he actually felt good and loved on Christmas. It really struck me hard because sometimes we take all the good for granted. Even out here as a missionary I was more focused on talking to you guys the next day than the work,  but the Lord was still able to use me and help out this lonely guy. I was very humbled by that and learned that we need to be grateful for what we  have and share the happiness we enjoy. And that is pretty much missionary work in a nutshell.
 Anyways in other news, I am here with Elder Walker and it’s so fun to be together with him again! We also sat down and had a war council on how we are going to get the work in these islands booming. I am really excited for these next few months! Also next week we go to Trinidad together for a ZL meeting with President Cornish of the seventy. Pretty excited about that! I hope you all had a merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year! Bon aña nobo!!

Elder Harsh

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Week 71

Hi Everyone!
Well this week is finally over! Being a zone leader in the islands not only means that you have all the normal ZL responsibilities but also you have to do all the senior couple responsibilities for the island as well! It’s a lot of work and on top of that it was transfer week and so we had missionaries flying in and out and I had to get the car from the sisters which they don't like to share even for missionary stuff like that and all in all it was a tough week!
But we were able to get some normal missionary work done as well and we had a great lesson with the Chacon family! The husband was working late so we didn't get to start the lesson until like 8:50 because they wanted to wait for him and he had read the chapter out of the Book of Mormon and he said that he got his answer as well! It was a super great lesson and also super quick because we had a long bike ride home and they had a Christmas party that Saturday so we will hopefully get to meet with them this week!
Also this week we had the absolute strangest branch Christmas party I have ever been to.....It was a dinner but they made us sing like 5 songs with the sisters and then they had a weird skit by some of the members and then a guy who looks like a 1970 casino performer shows up and starts singing these crazy Spanish songs while we go and serve the people their food, all in the chapel! It was pretty strange but the food was delicious so it’s all good.
As for Christmas, my packages are in Curacao but E walker and I have a ZL meeting in Trinidad on Jan 8 so he is going to bring them to the meeting so I will have a late Christmas! Also Aruba is becoming really strict on immigration and so long story short after Dec 27th I am either going to Curacao or Trinidad until Jan 1st, so that will be exciting! Lots of flying! As for the most important thing, We are planning on skyping at 3 or 3:30ish ARUBA TIME. Wooo.
I almost forgot to tell you, I gave my first blessing in Papiamento yesterday!!!!!!!  mi ta prepara semper :)
See you on Friday!!

Elder Harsh

Monday, December 14, 2015

Week 70

Hi Everyone,
Welp-first things first we got transfer calls!! We had president come to Aruba and give us our transfer calls in person! Drum roll please......I am staying here in Aruba and training a brand new greenie again in an area I have known for a week, AND I got called as Zone Leader over the three islands!
Every transfer seems to be getting more and more difficult but somehow God always seems to work everything out! I am kind of excited to be a zone leader and E Walker is FINALLY coming back to the islands this transfer! He will be in Curacao but we will be working together so I am pretty excited for that!
We don't really fish anymore because Aruba has bad fishing but we have lots of fun like today we got together as a district and ate pizza at these rock formations. It was kinda sad because E Carrillo is leaving to Trinidad tomorrow. I am really gonna miss that guy. We have been doing tons of finding trying to get this area back into shape but the saving grace is the Chacon family. We brought the Yuyez family with us and talked about the Book of Mormon. Only the mom had read it but she could feel the truthfulness of it as she read and we had a long talk about the spirit and how to recognize it and the spirit was so strong. It was really one of those times where you can see the spirit working miracles in people’s lives. When we left sister Yuyez looked at us and said "Elders, they are ready" They connected right off the bat like they were old friends and they invited them to the Christmas dinner this week and they all committed to read and pray and come to church next week (not yesterday cause he had to work) and I am so excited to see what the Lord has in store for this family!
It’s a really special feeling to be serving the Savior and I feel like sometimes I don't express that very much in the emails because there is so much going on in this mission but it’s the times like that where you see the people changing and getting closer to the Savior that you realize that this is where I need to be to help these families and people. Things happen all the time that I wouldn't trade for the world, and it all comes from letting the spirit guide and developing a love for the people and language(s).
It’s still blazing hot and it doesn't feel like Christmas time, also in Papiamento, the word for Christmas is the word for Easter in Spanish, so I get really confused when people tell me merry Christmas.

Love, Elder Harsh

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Week 69

Hi Everyone,
Well this was kinda a crazy week! We were contacting a ton to build up the area again and we had our zone leader from Bonaire fly in to do exchanges and then for the rest of the week we had an elder from San Nicolas because his comp had to go to Curacao for imigration reasons. But we had a good time with everyone and me and Elder Hunt are having so much fun together! I hope we get more than just these two weeks together! We get transfer calls this Saturday and I am really anxious to find out where I am going. I REALLY hope I get to stay here in Aruba for a while. I absolutely love this island.
Also I have been doing tons of repair work because Elder Hunt's last companion was Elder Atkinson (yeah my old comp from Bonaire) and literally all the members hated him and the leadership now wants nothing to do with missionaries. He is an awful missionary. But I had an interview with the Branch President and now he likes us. Also slowly I have been gaining back the trust of the members but even the sisters have said that members have asked if I am like Elder Atkinson. Luckily I'm not so they all say no and members are becoming a lot more friendly. Some of the stuff he has done is legit ridiculous. Just be a good missionary and don’t mess up the lives of other people! That’s all. 
We found a really great family and we taught the entire family the restauracion(restoration) and the Book of Mormon. It is a mom dad and two daughters, 17 and 4 years old, and they are great! We had a really great lesson with them and the spirit was so strong! They all agreed to read the book of Mormon (including the 4 year old) and we are going back this Saturday with President Yuyez! Also I am kinda trying to get back into the loop of Aruba Papiamento, cause sometimes out of habit I start speaking papiamentU, and people laugh at me. The difference isn't that big but it’s just big enough that people notice! But we are loving our time here and have really been working on finding and building up this area, and for one week we have done a pretty good job!
Also the branch president took us on a hike in the national park today. It was maybe two miles and one of the sisters almost died from exhaustion. I know understand why it’s important to excersize every day. It was kinda pathetic.......haha But the members here are so great and are so ready to help I am loving it here and can't wait to see what this week has in store for us!!

Elder Harsh
ABC Island Zone December 2015