Week 3- ¡Solamente Español!

Howdy Everyone! All is muy bien at the CCM. My spanish is really starting to take off here. I’m still far from fluent but I am definitely learning quickly. I was the only person in my district with absolutely no experience with Spanish, and yet people are starting to ask me grammar questions. However, going to the Mexican Consulate was a truly humbling experience as I thought “Yeah, I can do all this in Español” until the lady behind the desk started rapid firing questions to me in full speed spanish. I got “How are you doing” one second and in the next second she had already asked me where I was going in Mexico and what my business there was, and some other words that I assume were less important in between those ones. Thankfully, she gave me the stamp of approval and I should be able to enter the country when the time comes.
An interesting experience I had there was that I did try to talk to people a little bit as they were coming inside until I was speaking to one Hispanic guy and came to realize that he actually didn’t speak any Spanish. That kind of made me feel dumb.
It’s been a good week though, it has just flown by. On Tuesday we had Elder Renlund come and speak to us and we actually got the opportunity to shake his hand and that was pretty cool. We had our first “real’ investigator this week and as usual I spoke the entire time because my companion has yet to apply himself to learning the language. It is honestly very frustrating to see him over there doodling when he should be studying the language. It was still an awesome experience though, she’s actually from Mexico and she is the nicest lady I have ever met. I know not everyone down there is like that, but gosh I gotta love her and she makes me so excited to get to Mexico!
We got a new companion this week and wow was that an adjustment. Just as Elder Wilson and I had started to get along we got a new companion, Elder Johnson. He has not been the easiest person to get along with. He has plenty of complaints and he has plenty to say about what everyone is doing wrong. We had to have a talk with him about that, and since then it has been a little better. But it is still an adjustment.
Anyway! Things around here don’t change all that much. It’s mostly just studying and destroying the new elders and sisters in kickball. That’s always a blast! So yeah, hope everyone is doing well, I know I am. Love you all!
Elder Harris

Elder Wilson, myself, and elder Johnson at the temple

My selfie game is slowly but surely improving, I have still yet to learn how to smile though

This is me and Elder Burnett. He is seriously one of the funniest guys I’ve ever met. I love this kid. He’s gonna be awesome

Temple picture

Someone on the missionary mommas page posted this picture so I thought I’d share. Love seeing random pictures of this boy! Everyone walking from top left to bottom right: Elder Forsberg, Elder Konold, Elder Burnett, Elder Shawkey, Sister Johnson, Sister Peter, Sister Walker, Sister Hadley, Elder Abel, Elder Beynon, Elder Harris,Elder Wilson, Elder Pickering, Elder Lawrence. 

Week 2

Well honestly the MTC isn’t as bad as everybody had lead me to believe. It’s a weird feeling being here, the days seem kind of long but the weeks seem to go pretty quickly. I still love my district and despite the fact that me and my companion are constantly butting heads, I still like him too for the most part.
This week has been kind of interesting though. Things started out alright, our lessons are going awfully though. Honestly my companion has almost no interest in paying attention in class so basically I’m the only one who teaches anything in any lessons. Every once in a while my companion will read from his notebook some spanish that he’s written down… Sometimes its actually relevant to the topic, usually it is not. Honestly my spanish is progressing fairly quickly, I’m no where near fluent but I definitely am passing some people in my district.
As I said though, my companion frustrates me at times. Like this morning I was in the shower, minding my own business as you do, when suddenly I hear my companion “Elder Harris? Did you happen to bring your key out with you?”
Now, I don’t know about all of you, but I don’t really have pockets when I don’t have any clothes, so naturally I did not. But as it happened he had locked us out of our room on accident. Or as he claimed “The door shut on its own” 
I’m no expert on doors, but I’m not sure if that’s how it works. Later he admitted he was just trying to close it a little bit and instead he closed it all the way. So I had to sit outside my room for about 20 minutes in nothing but a towel. What a wonderful start to my day, eh? Haha anyway. Things are still good nonetheless
Also, for the biggest news of my day which I am super pumped about, me and my companion are getting a new companion to add on to our companionship. Better yet? He’s headed to my mission, Mexico City west. It’s super cool! 
Anyway, that’s really all the new things that happened this week, but there was also the usual. You know, learning, studying spanish, eating, sleeping. Not much else happens honestly. 

I love you guys!
Love, Elder Harris

Basically this is what I see all day every day. We sit and study. And study. And study. It’s a little tedious at times, but it keeps me busy

Me and my companion Elder Wilson

Like I said, we spend a lot of time here 

Mother’s Day (post from mom)

When we realized that Matthais would be leaving the week of Mother’s Day, we joked about the Mother’s Day phone call. It seemed so silly that his semi-annual phone call would be just days after he left. The funny thing is, for all of us it has felt much more than just five days and I for one really appreciated the call. 

No Skype, just a 30 minute phone call that we all gathered in our bedroom for. It was so good to hear his voice. 

He is doing good, staying busy and trying hard to learn Spanish. He went to the temple yesterday (Saturday is his P day) and on Friday he taught his first lesson in Spanish. He said it was a struggle, he understood what was being said but had no idea what to say back. He knows it will come and isn’t frustrated yet. He says he is having fun and enjoying himself. We also got a fun surprise 

This is our good friends the Warners who are serving at the MTC on Sundays. They ran into Matthais in the lunchroom and sent us this picture. Jeff was also able to give him a hug. It made me super happy! They have been great role models to Matthais so I am happy he got to see them. 

I miss him, and I have worried and prayed that he will at least be ok. Talking to him and knowing that he is makes me feel so much better. 

Week 1- ¡Hola!

Well that’s really about all the Spanish I know right there, but I’msupposed to teach a lesson in full Spanish today. That’s gonna be a blast! My companion is named Elder Wilson, he’s a pretty cool guy, used to play football and all that. He’s got a big heart though and for that I love him.

Anyway! The first day was kinda crazy! They had me run through almost the entirety of the MTC in the course of about an hour before they had me sit down for my first lesson. From day one, the lessons have been almost entirely in Spanish. This was fine for almost everyone else as I’ve found out almost everybody else (besides my companion of course) had taken 3 years of Spanish prior to entering the MTC. The two of us are totally clueless as of right now though, but I’m working hard on it.
Honestly for the most part I like it here. My zone is full of a lot of cool elders who know that sometimes it’s necessary to have a little bit of fun to stay sane. Sadly, more than half of them leave in a little under a week so we’re gonna be down to half of our numbers then.
Fun fact, my district is pretty cool. It’s a group of 6 elders who basically dwarf the rest of the districts in our zone. We played kickball yesterday and I overheard one of the other elders say “Kickball was fun until the district full of olympians showed up” Anyway, so far I’m having fun. I only thought about running away once so far. Yesterday we had the worst lesson I have ever had to sit through, especially when I’m stressing that I would much rather be learning Spanish than how to teach people for the millionth time. I’m currently on the IPad they gave me, so I can’t exactly hook up my camera, but I’m going to try to get to a computer to send some pictures later today!

Anyway! I love you guys, I’ll write more next week!
Elder Harris

Here’s my district. From the left it’s Elder Burnett, Elder Forsburg, me, in front of me is My companion Elder Wilson, then Elder Beynon, and finally Elder Lawrence

Me and my companion after studying 

My first awkward attempt at a selfie, didn’t turn out so well. Don’t worry, I’ll sort it out before I get out of here.

Day 1- MTC (post from mom)

Today was the true definition of bittersweet. We all knew what was coming but none of us really wanted to think too much about it. We spent the morning tying up last minute details and just passing time. We decided to go grab lunch and Matthais chose one of his favorites, Chik-fil-a. Matthais also gaveMillie and Owen CTR rings that matched his. 

We still had lots of time so we decide to walk around the temple and take some pictures. 

There were several other missionaries there and I think we all felt the same dread of what was coming. When it was time to go we climbed in the car and Matthais offered the last family prayer he would with us for two years. It was a beautiful touching prayer and I think we all felt the power of his words and felt the sadness of knowing it would be a long time before we all prayed together again. 

The MTC was everything you would think it was. Missionaries everywhere, and cars lines up dropping new missionaries off. Several missionaries called out to Matthais saying “welcome!” And “you’ll love it here!” It was so great seeing their bright shining faces! Then it was time to say goodbye. 

That’s when the tears came! We were saying goodbye. Matthais was strong and looked so happy. That made it so much easier. 

We got his first email telling us his companion is Elder Wilson but that was really all he said. We still don’t know his P day or any mailing address. I’ll update the blog with it as soon as I know. 

The love I felt from my friends today was overwhelming. So many reached out with texts, gifts and treats. Nothing compared to the love I felt from my Heavenly Father though. I got a little glimpse of how it must have felt when we left him and our Heavenly Mother for our earthly mission. I can find comfort in the fact that Elder Harris will be instrumental in reuniting our brothers and sisters in Mexico with our Heavenly Parents. That makes it worth it all. 

Introducing Elder Harris (post from mom)

Yesterday was a busy chaotic day. Getting Matthais packed and ready, last minute shopping, a soccer game, the pinewood derby, and youth activities but nothing was quite as important or nearly as special as Matthais being set apart as a missionary. We had all been anxiously awaiting this day but none more so than Matthais. President Osgothorpe gave Matthais a beautiful blessings with many promises with the condition of obdience. He also gave some great advice about having fun! Elder Harris, Adam and I were then invited to bear our testimony. It was such a sweet and special night and so humbling to take one of God’s army to our home for one last night. We spent the rest of the night savoring each moment together as a family.

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