Monday, July 11, 2016

Week 100

Elder Harsh

Elder Harsh is returning on Thursday July 14th and he will be speaking Sunday July 17th at 1pm at the Vine street Chapel 363 East Vine street in Murray.

There will be a gathering at the house afterwards.

We are so excited to get our missionary home.  He has loved the DR and the Caribbean islands so much!

Thank you for all of your support these last 2 years!

~The Harsh's~

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Week 99

Well I guess this is it! My last full week as a full time missionary..... It feels really weird but I am LOVING Curacao. Back to the 4 language craziness that I love so much! Also the Islands made so much progress while I was gone! I want to tell you a story that I just barely heard the end of. It was back when I was in San Nicolaas almost a year ago, E. Carrillo and I were looking through our area book and noticed that there were no teaching records for this certain part of our area that is literally the bottom tip of Aruba. So we decided to take one afternoon and go contact the heck out of the area. It ended up being just a bunch of retired mean Dutch people but the Hansens live down there and saw us and told us to come back to their house when we were finished. So we went down the last few streets with very little success and we were about to head back towards the Hansen's house when we saw a shortcut through some bushes and we took it. We ended up walking by a house that was still being built and there was a guy working on it. (he was black so we figured he wasn't dutch :)) Anyways so we went up to him and he was a Jamaican so we contacted him and he gave us his address and told us to come by the next week. We then went to the Hansen's house and they gave us dinner because they knew that they lived in a tough area. So the next week we went searching for his house but couldn't find it. We figured it was a fake address, and while we were searching for it we accidentally knocked on the door of a different person who had heard a lot about the church and believed it was true, but didn't know it was on the Island. So we started teaching her and I kind of forgot about the Jamaican guy until the next time I was in Aruba, a few months later. I was in the other area, but right before I left to go to Guyana I called the Elders and told them to go try and find the address one more time, just to check, and they ended up finding it. When I came back I learned that not only him, but his entire family ended up taking the lessons and were baptized 3 weeks ago. There are so many things like that that happen while you are on a mission, and I have seen so many smaller miracles like that happen especially this week! It makes me never want to stop being a missionary. I know that everybody says you never have to stop being a missionary because member missionary work but that is not the same. Its such a great feeling to be so focused on others and the Savior for such an extended period of time and I can honestly say that this time I have spent out here really has been a blessing.

See yall soon!

Elder Harsh

Week 98

So let’s play a game called where in the world is Elder Harsh....Hint It’s not Guyana!!!! You got that right I am in Curacao!!!! I am the happiest elder in the world right now to be back in my beloved islands!  I swapped out an elder who ran out of time and I am so happy to be back here for the last few weeks! I feel like a greenie again because I am so excited to speak Papiamento I want to talk to everyone!!! I have been going since 3 am this morning so I am pretty tired, and I am not sure when I am going to unpack. I think I won’t, because I have to pack in like a week anyways haha . That was the best random phone call I have ever gotten is the call that I was coming back to the islands!! So the Elder that is serving in Curacao ran out of time for immigration and so Pres. decided to swap us out! The only sad thing is that I will be missing Zianni's baptism. I am going to miss all my new friends from Guyana but I can't explain how happy I am to be here! I am not sure how much of Papiamento and Spanish I have forgotten so that will be fun this week finding that one out. But I could not be happier right now to be finishing in the islands!!

 Elder Harsh 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Week 97

Hi Everyone,
Well another great week has flown by! But no worries, if I ever forget that my time is slowly dwindling down, EVERYBODY feels like they need to let me know that I am going home soon. AS IF I DON'T ALREADY KNOW IT. haha anyways it’s gonna be weird and sad to leave. E. Birch and I are having so much fun together. There is never a dull moment with us.
These last few weeks we have been focusing on less actives and strengthening the leadership of the branch. We got a relief society president called, and an elder's quorum president is on his way! Also we have been seeing the attendance slowly going up as more and more families start coming back and the branch is starting to get excited about the gospel again! It was really cool to see the difference these past few weeks, and we had a really really good branch council! It was the second one ever, but we had literally pounded the red handbook into our branch president's head and we had a very productive meeting!
Also we met a new family that we are teaching and one of the daughters looks like Nikki Manaj only with less....features...... Anyways fun fact Nikki Manaj is from Trinidad. Once you visit Trinidad all her craziness kind of starts to make sense haha. Well I have to wrap it up because I need to send in this big long speech thingy to the mission office and I am not looking forward to that. Have a good week!

Elder Harsh

Monday, June 13, 2016

Week 96

Hi Everyone!
So I was going to send some pictures because I need to send some to Trinidad but I forgot my sorry about that...
Buuuut this week was great! First of all apparently my paperwork for an extension didn't go through and so I became illegal so I got to head out to Trinidad this past Friday! That was a lot of fun! I spent some time in the office, saw E. Hunt, and ate a lot of free food because I am tight with the mission financial secretary :) So I had a good time in Trinidad this week, as well as helping out the Branch.
 Our branch is really struggling because the leadership is um...interesting. But our Branch president is at least willing to do something if we tell him exactly how to do it and he loves to delegate his responsibility onto us but hey, that’s why we are here haha so we finally got a Relief Society president so this week we are going to hopefully set up some sort of visiting teaching and not to far down the road they should call an Elders quorum president.
As for our investigators, it was a really rough week. Our two progressing investigators kinda stopped progressing. Derek relapsed and started drinking again after almost two months of being sober, and Zianni is having personal problems and says she can't focus on this until that kind of resolves. What she doesn't understand is that she is cutting herself off from the one thing that could solve her problems! So hopefully this week will be better.
Also this Sunday we are taking another road trip down to Berbice to teach the Spanish people again, so I am looking forward to that! Should be a good week this week!
Elder Harsh

Monday, June 6, 2016

Week 95

Hi Everyone,
Well this week was great! We had a lot of bike problems and other things that kinda made it tough to work but it was still a good week. I am staying with E. Birch and I think that President is coming to the country one more time before I leave.
This week we had a really cool suprise! Out of nowhere one night pres. Egbert called me and said that in the other zone, (about 2 hours away) the missionaries contacted a Spanish couple and he wanted me to call them and see if they are interested. So I called them and they were and so Pres. gave us permission to head way out to Berbice to go teach them. It was so much fun! E. Birch and I on a road trip was great, the lesson went phenomenal, and I got to speak Spanish! It was great the people were very prepared to hear about the Gospel and they were begging me to come back so we could explain more. I will be talking to Pres. to see if he will let me go. haha. But it was tons of fun! We ended up staying with the Elders down there and then came back up early this morning. It was a blast.
There is always something crazy like that going on and I love it so much! Mission life is pretty good :)

Elder Harsh

Monday, May 30, 2016

Week 94

Hi Everyone!
Well we got transfer calls and its official, I am dying here in Guyana! It is so weird to think this is my last transfer! It doesn't feel like it, except for the fact that EVERYBODY reminds me about it.
 But in other news, Arifa's sister named Zianni has been taking the lessons from us and came to church yesterday! She has seen a big change in Arifa since her baptism and that example has influenced her a lot. She has a baptismal date coming up about mid June, so we will see how that goes! So far so good with that! This past week was Guyana's 50th anniversary of Independence and they had a big celebration that kind of made it hard to work, but I guess it was cool. I wasn't sure what it was going to be like, and I told the members they should have a BBQ and talk about freedom but then I realized this isn't America so they  basically just sat in the streets and drank. I'm glad I'm American.
Also a member had a wedding on Saturday and we went to go help serve drinks and stuff, and we got TONS of free food and drinks. It was great. Also the theme of the wedding was Indian and African so everybody had on really cool dresses and stuff. The groom had a giant stuffed lion on his shoulder. It was weird haha but way cool. Nothing we won't do for free food :)

Elder Harsh

Monday, May 23, 2016

Week 93

Hi Everyone!
Well this past week we had a zone conference with Pres. Egbert and it was really good, BUT I was rudely awakened to the fact that it is my last zone conference by having to give my departing testimony. THAT was a wakeup call! It feels so weird to just have one transfer left! But not gonna let that time go to waste.
 Zone Conference was great! It was all about the temple and helping us understand what happens and everything. Two of the most repeated quotes were: "The temple is different, not weird" and "I didn't tell you that, the scriptures did" So it was very interesting. We read a lot from the Old Testament and DyC about temples and he made me really really excited to be able to go when I get home! It answered a lot of questions and gave me lots more! He had this big long discussion and said it was only about 20% of the whole thing, which he will give to us when we get home. So do your research because we are gonna have some learning to do! There was a few times where I was mad because we weren't in the temple, but when we get home, we can just head over to the temple and then have the discussion which will be nice.
He told us our priorities when we get home should be 1- hug your mom and 2 -run to the temple. I think under the circumstances step 1.5 will be take a hot shower and step 3 will be go to Cafe Rio. But this Saturday we get transfer calls but from the looks of it I am dying here in Guyana with good ol Elder Birch which I am happy about. Also he is happy because he wants a lot of my stuff when I leave haha. But we had a great conference and I am looking forward to finishing strong this transfer!

Elder Harsh

Monday, May 16, 2016

Week 92

Hi Everyone,
Well this was definitely an interesting week! My companion started a trend and all the missionaries were getting sick this week! There was only one companionship out of the whole zone that didn't have at least one of them sick, and a lot of them had both sick! Kinda weird, and two of them have the Zika virus so hopefully I don't get that haha don't worry I’ll be fine.
But this week we actually had a few days where the sun came out so that was a nice change, but it was HUMID because it had been raining so much. E. Birch was sick for half the week so I don't really have much to say, but next week is zone conference and Pres. Egbert is going to teach us about temples and I am really excited for that!
I kinda broke my permanent retainer on the left side, but I think I’ll just wait to get it fixed.  Apparently if you need work done on your teeth, they inject you with cocaine!  That would definitely make your face numb.  Haha! So maybe it would be better to have Dr. Andy fix it….  Third world countries are fun!
So that’s about it, sorry it’s short this week!

Elder Harsh         

Monday, May 9, 2016

Week 91

Hi Everyone,
Well it was great talking to you yesterday!! Today it’s gonna be quick because E. Birch is sick and so he needs to get home....BUT we still went down to the Rainforest!! We went down and hiked up a big sand dune to a really cool lake and took pictures but then it started to rain a lot so we put our electronics in the Car and explored the rainforest a bit!! It was lots of fun but it was too wet to take pictures....oh well. We were all soaking wet and had a great time! Even E. Birch liked it even though he was puking a bit! So I can now check off Explore the Amazon Rainforest off my bucket list! It was awesome.
 Have a good week!!

Elder Harsh

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Week 90

Hi Everyone,
Well this week was really busy! We kind of forgot about Mother’s day coming up, but we remembered this morning right in time to plan it out!  Hahaha!
We found this new area that I had never been to before so we took some time out of our week to go exploring/contacting and it was pretty good! We met a lot of nice people and a few of them are very interested in our message.
Also it’s the rainy season so it has literally rained EVERY DAY for the past two weeks. Usually it just rains early morning and cuts off around 10 or 11 but sometimes it hits us all day long! So that is good for all the plants but it just makes out for a couple of wet missionaries. Luckily the rain here doesn't make you sick like the rain in the DR. That’s nice. But something really good/really sad that happened this week was that we challenged a member couple to find a friend that they think would be ready for the gospel and invite them over for a family home evening with us. We did it just so that they would cook us dinner, but they ended up bringing a friend that was taught by missionaries 15 years ago. She already had a testimony and had actually been attending church in a different place! We told her about the church that is closer to her house and she also wanted to be baptized but then her husband came back into the country and he doesn't want anything to do with us and told her she can't do any of that stuff. So that was sad. It’s hard to see how sometimes ignorance can be so hard on people. Like even if this gospel wasn't true,(but it is) the church doesn't teach anything but things that bless your life. But lucky for us, we have teachings that bless our lives and also the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ as well as his authority. I am very thankful for the opportunity I have to not only have the gospel but to share it with everyone!
Also this week because of the rain, part of our area flooded, and we got to bike through knee high water. I love being a missionary!


Elder Harsh

Monday, April 25, 2016

Week 89

Hi Everyone,
Well this was a good week as usual! Guyana is nuts but I love it! The only problem is they only speak one language but whatever.
My new companion is a guy named E. Birch from Idaho and he is a way chill guy! He has 4 months in the mission and this is his first transfer in Guyana. He is a hard worker and likes to have fun so yeah, we get along great. It’s nice finally having a companion that wants to work as hard as I do! It’s been great. But on transfer day I got to stay in the senior couple apartment with another Elder and took my 5th hot shower in my entire mission! #Blessed  Then we took a road trip all over Guyana to drop and pick up random elders and then my comp flew in and we went home. We had our district conference this weekend so we all went up to the Chapel downtown to do it. On Sunday we had a pretty good turnout but on the Saturday adult session there were only like 25 people there, including the 8 missionaries...... But Pres. Egbert was there! He didn't have time to do interviews but we were able to talk with him a little which was nice.
We also finally were able to have a lesson with Arifa's sister! She is 24 and didn't seem too interested because she would always leave and take care of her baby whenever the lesson started but we "happened" to stop by when Arifa wasn't there and so we cornered her and had a really good lesson! She had some questions about the plan of salvation because her mom passed away a few years back so we talked about that and the spirit was so strong as she learned about everything. She had tons of questions and agreed to meet with us again on Wednesday.  Arifa will be so happy!
But the work is really starting to explode out here! It’s so different here than the islands because there are a bunch of prepared people!!  It’s a fun change and I can't wait for this next week!
Elder Harsh

Monday, April 18, 2016

Week 88

Hi Everyone,
Well this week lots happened! Probably the biggest news is that my paperwork for Trinidad didn't process yet so I have one more transfer here in Guyana! I am glad I can stay but I do miss speaking other languages.
Yesterday we had Arifa and Krystal's baptism!! It was such a neat experience! Krystal's whole family except for her dad are fully active now and very supportive and the dad came out to the baptism! Arifa was super ready and participates more than any of the other YW in church! It’s been really neat to see her progress these past few weeks. The funny thing was that the water in Guyana is really dirty so when we filled up the baptismal font the water was green! That is normal for the people here in Guyana because they know their water sucks but it kinda destroyed the whole"clean again"imagery......BUUUUUUUT it was still great and we had a lot of members from the branch come which was good because we had to do it in the chapel in town because we just meet in a house and we don't have a font.
 In other news I learned how to make Roti and Pumpkin which is my new favorite food and it’s really fun to make!! We eat a lot of Curry and Roti because there are a lot of Indian people here (like from India Indians not Lamanite Indians) But it’s a really neat culture! I like it here the only problem is E. Alatasi got transferred and that’s kind of a bummer and I have no idea who my new companion is but he flys in Wednesday. Also last week we took a boat ride across the river and saw an alligator! I didn't get a photo but it was cool and I ordered a sweet gator skin cover for my scriptures. All in all it was a great week!

Elder Harsh

Monday, April 11, 2016

Week 87

Hi Everyone,
It’s weird to think we are already on the last week of the Transfer! Crazy how time flies! But at the same time the fact that I haven't had to fly out in a few weeks makes me feel like I have been here for a while!! But this week was great!
We are preparing for the Baptism of Arifa and Crystal which should be nice! Arifa is doing great! She has such a strong testimony and is getting baptized next Sunday! It was going to be Saturday but she can only have work off one of those days so of course she chose to take off Sunday.
It’s a lot different here than in the Islands! The problem is that baptisms come easier so the missionaries feel like they don't need to be as obedient. I saw that back in the DR as well. In the islands I was able to watch the old (DR) missionaries leave and E. Walker and I Trained almost all the newbies, and it was incredible to see the difference it made with the obedience and the work out in the islands. But here there is definitely work to do, but I'm glad that at least I understand that obedience brings blessings, and exact obedience brings the miracles I have seen out in the islands.
We were talking with Arifa and she started talking about the way she received her testimony and how she feels so good about this decision and it was one of the most powerful moments of my mission. I kind of suck at describing that kind of stuff but it was a really neat moment and it has been so great to see the change that she has gone through. She is very ready to make that covenant with the Lord and I can't wait! Also we try as much as possible to get members to baptize investigators but when we talked to her about that she said that she wanted me to do it and once again it made me feel so lucky! Being a missionary really is the greatest.
 It’s kinda short this week because E. Alatasi had the flu AND an ear infection so I was really bored for a few days. But I did learn how to solve a rubiks cube. I guess that’s how this one is going to end.
Love, Elder Harsh

                                 This is from a few weeks ago, during festival.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Week 86

Hi Everyone!
Man conference was great wasn't it?? I have found that not only does conference have the message that I need to hear it also has messages that are perfect for our investigators!! We tried to have it at the church, but this is Guyana so we ended up going to the mission office to watch it with just us missionaries.
Arifa was talking to us Friday about how it is tough with her parents divorced and her mom passed away and her dad is a Muslim but she knows that this is true and has the support of her brother, but she was talking to us about how it was hard. I had never felt so blessed to be from the family that I am from! But when I heard the one talk that talked about keeping strong when you don't have the ideal family I knew they were talking about that for her! But yeah, great conference!
Also we had a really cool experience with an investigator named Derek. He had been taught the restoration but couldn't accept the fact that Joseph Smith was a prophet because it didn't talk about him in the bible. He said everything necessary for us to learn is found in the bible. So we were in that and we didn't really know how to go about it so we just went and decided to listen to him so we could get a better idea of where he was coming from. We sat down and we started analyzing different scriptures from the Bible, some of which he would show us and others we would show him and had a big lesson on prophets. The spirit was so strong and after about 30 mins of the spirit testifying to him his heart was softened and we ended up introducing the Book of Mormon and he not only accepted it, but was so excited to read it that when we were on our way out, we were talking with his wife on the porch and he left and sat down inside and started reading it! He also was really excited to watch conference so I can't wait to go back and see how it all went!
Thinking about Jos going through the temple, I thought I would share a few experiences I have had out here in the mission field.  I have spent the last year around very converted people who would give anything to go to the temple. I have seen people break down because they wanted to go to the temple but they could only afford to go once for their lifetime and their husband wasn't worthy to go yet. I have seen a member who cried like a baby because when we were with him somebody answered his prayer by giving him enough money for a plane ticket to go to the temple. I have sat next to people in the Chapel long after church ended because they said that because this is where they take the sacrament, and this is the most holy place they will ever sit in this life, because they simply weren't able to go to the temple because they couldn't afford it. I could go on and on, but bottom line is, don't take it for granted that you can go through the temple like I did. It’s a big deal and I will never know how those people feel because I am lucky enough to live in Utah.
 This area is starting to get moving and I'm really starting to like Guyana. We eat curry and rice and Roti mostly and it’s pretty good! But that’s about all I can remember for this week!


Elder Harsh

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Week 85

Hi Everyone,
What a crazy week it’s been! First of all it’s been a solid 3 weeks since I have been on an airplane and it feels weird!  haha also this week was full of a bunch of different traditions. There are Muslims, Hindus, and Christians here so this week we kinda got a little of all their cultures which was great!
 We got fed TONS of Curry! Duck curry, chicken curry and some other stuff that I have no idea what it was but it was good! Also last Wednesday was a holiday called Pawgwa. It is basically the hard core version of the festival of colors. The thing they do in Utah. It’s like that except they use that chalk stuff, paint, water, dyes, and basically everything else that ruins a white shirt, and the streets and just madness with everybody painting and soaking everybody. It was the funnest thing in the world! I'm white so I was obviously a big target and got COVERED in paint! So another white shirt bites the dust.....
So that was awesome and then Monday we had to change our P-day because everything was closed. It was the celebration for the Resurrection so the custom is to go out to the sea wall and fly a kite and have a bbq. So we went with some members and flew a kite and it was so fun! There was easily twice the population of Bonaire just around where we were and EVERYBODY was flying kites! There were literally thousands of kites in the air! I tried to take a picture but it didn't really work haha but it was way cool!
On top of that Arifah came to church and loved it! She likes to talk a lot and that night when we passed by all she could talk about was how much she loved it! Also we reactivated a family and their 9 year old daughter wants to get baptized so we are really starting to get the work moving along in this area!
Besides the fact that it is only one language I love it here!

Elder Harsh  

Monday, March 21, 2016

Week 84

Hi Everyone,
Well another week has gone by just like that!!
 To answer your questions its pronounced Guy-ann-a and they speak  English, if you could call it that. It’s like what you would picture Jamaican English but worse and with less grammar.  People here only speak English but a few days ago we had a tender mercy of the Lord and we contacted a guy from Cuba! E. Alatasi starts talking to him and to every question he kept saying "good" and then tried to walk away. I asked him if he spoke English and he said a little and from that accent I got really excited and started speaking Spanish to him and 30 Mins later we were best friends and E Alatasi was lost. haha It was so nice to talk Spanish again and it was cool to hear what a Cuban accent is like.
 Other than that this week was pretty normal for Guyana. E. Alatasi had a bad habit of not making appointments with people and just showing up so I have been trying to beat some sense into him so that we can actually have people to teach instead of just walking around aimlessly. At first he was kinda against it but after we tried it for a few days he was blown away by how well it worked. We have a really good investigator named Arifa. She is 18 and we recently started teaching her sister and sister's husband as well. She has a Muslim dad and a Chistian mom that died a few years ago and she is loving the gospel and is really studying it out. Like she literally writes reports on the chapters and stuff we assign her. Who does that?? It’s going very well with her and she has a lot of faith.
 Also tomorrow Pres. Egbert is coming with the Church Historian and we are going to have a conference so I am pretty excited about that! The only bummer is Pres. Egbert decided to have interviews today, which basically ruined our P-day....
But that’s about it for this week!

Elder Harsh

Monday, March 14, 2016

Week 83

Hi Everyone!
Greetings from South America!!! Man this place is cool! It is kinda like the DR but the culture is way different! I like it and there are TONS of people!!  Maybe it’s cause I am used to tiny rocks in the ocean but I feel overwhelmed when we go to the town center and I see the entire population of Bonaire walking about! Pretty weird!  
My companion is a big Somoan dude from Australia and he is way cool! I am a district leader because President says he needs my help down here but the zone leaders need to know the area to drive around and stuff so he told me he wasn't able to keep me as a zone leader, which I had NO problem with! Less responsibility :)  haha anyways I got to Guyana and the airline lost my bag with all my clothes and underwear and I just barely got that today so that was fun.
 On my first day somebody was burning trash on the other side of the house that we were teaching at and it lit this entire field on fire and we had to go and dump buckets of water on it to try and control it. It ended up getting way out of control but we were able to help enough so that the house didn't burn down and then the fire department came and did the rest. Pretty great first day! Also funny thing, Elder Atkinson (my companion from Bonaire) lives in the branch I am serving in! So that was cool to see him and everything. You can't drink the water but we always have running water and power so its better than the DR! The accents are hard and they speak broken english so just when I thought I could get transferred without having to learn another language/dialect I was wrong! But it’s pretty humble here and the people are nice.
To end I want to tell a story from my last Monday in Aruba. We had a family night planned with one of my favorite Venezuelan families and I was really excited! It was my birthday but they didn't say anything about it so I assumed they didn't know. They came out with a big cake and surprised me and sang happy birthday and I was really touched because they are really poor and to buy a cake must have been tough on them. So we cut it up and I thought it had sprinkles in the middle of it but AFTER I had finished my piece I noticed that the inside was MOLDY.  I thought meh, what is a little mold gonna do? So we said goodbye and as we were biking home my stomach exploded and I puked up all of the cake and dinner right there on the side of the road! Happy Birthday. The best part was E. Nance didn't want to be sick and so after seeing me puke he forced himself to puke so we were puking together on the side of the road! We bonded that night. Anyways,  hope you have a great week!
Elder Harsh

Monday, March 7, 2016

Week 82

Hi Everyone!
Well sorry about last week! I got flown off to Trinidad and that destroyed my P day! But SO much has happened I don't know where to start! First off we went to Bonaire and had such a good time there! We worked with the Dutch elders so it was kinda weird because I spoke Papiamento and Spanish and he spoke English and Dutch so between the two of us we talked to EVERYONE but he had no idea what I was saying and I had no idea what he was saying! haha but I learned a fair amount of Dutch! I can bear my testimony in 4 languages now!!!
 Also I got to see Vaquero and it was incredible! He has progressed so much! But is still the same ol’ Vaquero! haha We showed up and he was reading the Liahona! He is doing so well! He even remembered my birthday!! Then we went back to Aruba and on Monday I got a phone call that said I am flying off to Trinidad in 4 hours so that was a surprise! I had to go and get my fingerprints done to try and apply for my papers in Trinidad.
So I came back on Tuesday and here comes the biggest news of all! We received transfer calls this weekend, and no I am not going to Curasao like we thought, I am not going to Bonaire........Drum roll please.......I AM GOING TO GUYANA!!! SOUTH AMERICA HERE I COME!!!! Yeah that was the curveball of the century.  I am still in the paradise called Aruba but leave this week.  I am pretty excited but I am bummed because they speak English there and I am going to have to say goodbye to my beloved islands. But it’s all part of the adventure! Guyana is third world, kind of like the DR so I am pretty excited! I will let you know next week if it’s anything like the DR! But that's the huge news for this week! Next week I will be writing from South America!!  I officially have the coolest mission in the entire world, If I didn't already have that. :)

Elder Harsh

Week 81

No letter!
He was flying from Aruba to Bonaire, to Trinidad.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Week 80

Hi Everyone,
Welp, just like that another week down! This week was kinda crazy but I feel like I always say that so I guess I could say this week was normal? I was able to stay in the country this week but no worries, this Thursday I am flying out to Bonaire for 2 days to work with the Elders over there and I get to see Vaquero!! I am so excited to see him!
But this past week was great! Last P day I finally convinced the other Elders to bike the island with me! We went from the very south tip, dipped our hands in the water, and then went up to the north tip and dipped our hands in the water! It was way cool and I feel very accomplished! It honestly isn't that big of deal because this island is tiny but it’s still cool to say!
 Then this week was busy because our branch had 2 activities that we had to set up for, help run, and help clean up! The members always call us to help them with stuff like that but it’s ok because they are all so cool we love spending time with them! Also E. Nance got sick so that killed a day, so I was able to watch the restoration video in 12 different languages! That was kinda fun, but I was so bored!  Hahaha!
And Saturday morning we had a baptism of an 8 year old member in San Nicolaas, (my old Aruba area) and he wanted me to be a witness for his baptism! So that was SO nice to go into the Caribbean water! Also, plot twist, there is a tradition in San Nick that I didn't know about to always push the elder in the water so he can get wet too #thanks so the guy's dad pushed me in right before they took the picture after the ordinance! I wasn't even mad :)
Also I don't remember if I told you this or not but I am really pushing to get more Papiamento materials for the church down here and after months of pestering I finally convinced Pres. Egbert to get us Papiamento Nametags! He is still in the process of ordering them but it’s gonna happen! It doesn't sound like much, but stuff like that really means a lot to the members down here. When I told Sis. Odor that we were going to be getting Papiamento nametags she started to cry. It really does mean a lot to them. So that's about all that I can remember right now!

Elder Harsh

Monday, February 15, 2016

Week 79

This is the only thing I got from Elder Harsh this week.  I totally forgot to write him!  I have never done that! Ever!!! I felt so bad, but then I just laughed at his response.  So I had to draw from Keven’s and Josilyn’s letter for this week’s report!
My letter…
Hey remember you have a kid on a mission......out here.....lonely........with an empty inbox........missing you.........
Elder Harsh
 From Keven's letter:
The Chacon Family is doing good but we are adjusting their baptism date. We had it for this Saturday but they aren't ready yet, but they are progressing very well! They accepted the Word of Wisdom like it was nothing and threw out all the alcohol from their fridge and haven't drank any coffee since! The mom stopped taking care of children on Sundays so she will be able to come to church and the dad is looking for another guy to help him in his carpenter shop for the same reason! They aren't ready but they are preparing very well! Did mom forget about me? or is she just mad because I wrote on Tuesday a few weeks in a row. Haha!
Aruba is great! I told President I want to finish my mission in Aruba and he said probably not. Well he actually said "I am not in control of that" which means "no" so bummer so I am probs going to Curacao or something which I am alright with I guess, but Aruba is by far my favorite island.

Mom forgot about me this week so that’s cool. #StillFavoriteChild

This is from Belinda's letter:
Wow the one week that you write me my mom decides to forget about me! At least I still get to say hi mom this week. Hi mom!
 From Josilyn's letter:
Looking back on my mission is weird. Thinking back to when I was in the DR feels like forever and a half ago, but when I was in Bonaire (first area in the islands) feels like last week! I really feel like I have put my whole self into these Islands!! Like really every area I have been to, I have had to start at 0 either because I whitewashed, opened up a new area, or saved it from a bad missionary who wasn't working. It has been so tough starting new every transfer like that and not really seeing much success as far as baptisms go, but as a zone leader I see all the numbers of the missionaries and I see all the areas that I opened and saved and I see them flourishing and teaching tons of people and baptizing and it honestly makes me feel so good. Even if I can't be there to see the products I know that I was there to plow the ground and plant the seeds and it’s a really great thing to see. I love these islands.

So even if his Mother forgot to write- he sounds like he is doing great!
Thanks for everyone’s support!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Week 78

Hi Everyone!
Whew the weeks keep getting crazier and crazier out here in paradise! We have been scrambling like crazy to figure out the preparations for the zone conference this week! Oh, yeah, in other news we have a zone conference this week so all the missionaries are flying to Aruba for a conference with President. It has been quite a while since we have seen him so we are excited for that! But that puts a lot of stress on me to figure everything out for transportation and food and sleeping arrangements for 10 extra missionaries! 
And to put the cherry on top… the sisters crashed their car into a rock!!! So not only do we have 10 missionaries coming but we have no car to transport them!! Nice one sisters..... Also I am writing late again (sorry) hopefully for the last time! On top of all that happened I also have to head out to Curacao for a day to renew my tourist visa. So it’s been pretty hectic here! But besides that the work has been kinda slow because Carnival was going on but its all part of the adventure!
This week has been crazy and from the looks of it this week that is coming is going to be nuts too! I made the comment today to E Walker (the other Zone leader) that I wish I could just go back to being a junior companion so all I had to do was worry about working in my area and that’s it. I said it as more of a joke because of all the stuff we were trying to figure out but then it kinda made us both think about how much we have learned in the past little while being missionaries, Leaders, senior couples, and everything else for these islands. It really is incredible how the Lord qualifies you when you are called and how he strengthens you in your weakness and makes it for your benefit! I still think it would be nice to go back to junior companion, but I sure have learned a lot this past little while and really do enjoy my calling as a leader out here!
I am really looking forward to this Zone Conference! It is going to be about the Atonement kind of going more into what Pres. Cornish of the 70 taught us at the last zone leader meeting. It should be really good! But I don't really have too much time today because I have to be at the airport pretty soon for my flight so I will talk with you next week!!

Elder Harsh

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Week 77

Hi Everyone,
Hey uh so we are writing late again this week....I probably should have given you some heads up about that sorry mom. I think next week is the last week of carnival so after that everything should be back to normal!
But this week was great! We had tons of help from the members with our lessons and were able to follow up on some referrals and one of them is great! We had a great lesson with this girl named Malli. She is from the Dominican Republic and she lived 3 streets outside of my old area in the DR!!!! I thought that was a lot cooler than she did......BUT we had a good lesson with her and then the next lesson we brought a member couple with us and talked about the book of Mormon and it went great! The only problem is that because of her work we can only meet with her on Sundays, but she is coming to church next Sunday! The Chacon family is still doing well but the daughter has kinda lost interest but we are working with her, but the parents are doing great and have been coming to church and everything! Also we had our branch conference so I got to see Pres. Albus from Bonaire and that was a lot of fun to catch up with him! But we kinda have a lesson soon so we don't have much time today so see you next week!!

Elder Harsh

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Week 76

Hi Everyone!
Well sorry for writing a day late! Its Carnival season and this past weekend was a big parade/party for the entire island so Monday was a national holiday for people to sleep/get sober for work, and EVERYTHING was closed. Worst P day ever! But the library was closed so we weren't able to write yesterday.
So yes, this past week I stayed in Aruba the entire week! It was nice, but we still had to go to the airport to drop off Sis. Cuevas who finished her mission! It’s gonna be a lot more boring around here without her haha. But this branch is finally starting to get its fire back! It’s incredible how much missionaries affect the church out here because it is so small, and this poor branch has had a really rough few string of missionaries, but we have been working really hard with the branch and are finally starting to see the fruits of it!
 We watched the broadcast(the world-wide missionary training meeting) and it was really good! It had a lot of really good suggestions that we are going to implement into our zone including working more with less-actives. It was a good broadcast.
This past Sunday was absolutely crazy. Everybody wanted to feed us or for us to come over for family night or they had a reference for us or wanted a Book of Mormon to give away and 3 people brought friends to church! It was the most stressful three hours of the week! After church we went to get our bikes and had to sit there for a minute to take in what had just happened. Needless to say we are going to be ridiculously busy this week!
Also we had an incredible lesson with the Chacon Family. We talked about our purpose on earth and faith repentance and baptism and they agreed to be baptized on the 20th of February! I am so excited for them! Also it was transfers but Aruba stayed the same so we didn't have any problems there! See you guys next week!

Elder Harsh

Monday, January 18, 2016

Week 75

Hi Everyone
Well this week flew by! We had trouble having lessons this week so basically all we did was go contacting and we had so many funny things happen! Some of the highlights were finding a lady that was 104 years old, finding a crazy guy who loved to smile but had no teeth, and finding a super old guy who fell asleep mid-conversation while standing up!! I was impressed.
Anyways I thought I was finally going to have a full week to work in my area but E. Nance had to leave for immigration so we still haven't had a full we in my area yet! So much traveling! Also bad news, we have Elder Rasband coming to visit our mission but we are going to miss it... So that’s a bummer.
 Also Lina (the mom of the Chacon family) hurt her back and so she was down for the count this week and was unable to meet with us or come to church, but on Wednesday we are going to try and set a baptism date. 
On the bright side, we finally got a guy named Hector to come to church. Hector has a cool story he is Arubian and we had two lessons with him then he told us that he wasn't interested in having us come over anymore. He told us to come over and pick of the Book of Mormon we gave him but we told him to keep it. Then about a week ago, we were in the area, so we stopped by to see how he was doing and he told us he was reading a little from the book and he wants us to start coming again! Then he came to church! It was great so see the spirit take hold of him.
 Welp, that’s about all I can think of right now but I'm still loving it here! Aruba'riba!

Elder Harsh
This was sent to me from this couple from Boston- They were on vacation there.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Week 74

Hi Everyone!
Well I'm back in good ol Aruba and hopefully I am going to stay put for a while! It’s been awesome flying around to everywhere but I have really been wanting to get back to work in my area!
Trinidad was so much fun! It was kinda like the DR but not as cool. I flew out with sister Cuevas and so for Thursday and Saturday I had a girl companion!!! :) It was tight.
Also we had a really good conference at the mission home. It was cool being there because I had only seen it over Skype but it was weird because I didn't know anybody there! Everybody was from the other mission and so nobody knew who I was and I didn't know anyone! But it wasn't so bad and Sis. Egbert cooked good food.
We talked a lot about leadership and how to be Christ-like leaders and also we focused a lot on the Book of Mormon and how we can use that to help our investigators. Then Pres. Cornish of the Seventy talked to us about the Character of Christ and the Atonement and it blew everybody's mind. It was an incredible conference! Then on the way home we bumped into Pres. Cornish in the Airport and got to talk to him more! All in all it was a great time and we even got to go out and work in Trinidad! I got to go out with E. Carrillo and it was good to see him again.
Also we bumped into a Dominican member that lives in Bonaire and all she could do was show us pictures of her grandson and tell us how ugly he was! It was sooo funny. Dominicans are awesome.
Today we went with our Branch President to explore caves and it was way fun. We went with the sisters and that's always a good time. Our branch president is a super uptight intimidating guy in meetings and at church and stuff but when he gets with us on P-day he opens up and is hilarious and way fun to be around!
So I think I am going to stay put in Aruba for the next little while but who knows! haha Hope you all have a good week!

Elder Harsh

Monday, January 4, 2016

Week 73

Hi Everyone!
Yeah I got my Christmas!! It cost an arm and a leg to get out of customs but it was worth it for the Smarties, Seeds, and Chulula!!!! In two days worth of personal study I mowed through the 1 pound bag of sunflower seeds and loved every second of it!! But the New year in Curasao was great! Here in the islands its custom for everybody and their dog to shoot off tons of fireworks for the New year. We live up on a big hill there (the biggest on the island) and so we could see the ENTIRE island. It was the coolest thing ever!! Fireworks everywhere!! Also we saw like 3 fields on fire because these islands are really dry so that was funny. There is an Elder In Curasao from a rough city in Mexico and every time somebody shot off a firework from behind us he would cover his head and duck down and he finally couldn't take it anymore and had to go inside. It honestly seemed like he had PTSD and it was so sad. Something I have really learned on my mission is just how incredible it is to live in Utah.  Also  this week we had something freaky happen. I was in Curacao with two other elders and we were walking down the street and this guy pulls up in a truck and starts talking Papiamento to us. The other two elders were really new and didn't speak Papiamento but I was talking to him and in Papiamento the word for "bad" and "sick" is the same. So he told us his daughter was "malu" and I assumed that meant sick and he wanted to know if we could give her a blessing. We said of course but we get there and she was sprawled out on the floor. So we put her in the chair and everything started to go downhill.... she was possessed by 3 spirits and trying to deal with that was terrifying! It honestly scared the crap out of me but very long story short after a while we blessed her and commanded them to leave in the name of Jesus Christ and it all ended all right, but it really shook us all up, especially the two newbies that were with me. It really helped us learn that there really is an adversary against us and that we need to do everything we can to protect ourselves from that. I had kinda thought that that kind of stuff didn't really exist and maybe that’s why it freaked me out so much, but it all ended well.
Then we came back to Aruba and had a pretty successful week considering we only got to work 2 and a half days in Ostad. But this week Pres. Cornish of the 70 is coming to talk to all the Zone Leaders in Trinidad so yep you guessed it! I'm flying again and this time to Trinidad! Sometimes I feel like I fly more than I teach....But the airplane is a great place to contact!! On the way back here I met this really nice Venezuelan who is dating a U.S. Marine who has family that is Mormon. It was great to talk to her about it and I gave her a book of Mormon I just happened to have in my bag :)
Today we went with a member and played Beach tennis! It’s like Volleyball and tennis mixed and was tons of fun! We also had pizza and it was delicious. All in all, it was a pretty good week. Me and E. Walker had a war council while I was with him to set goals for our zone to try and get these Islands blooming!! Well that’s about it but I'm pumped to go to Trinidad to see what that is like!!

Elder Harsh