Howdy everybody! Hope everything is going well at home. Today marks my one week point. I am picking up the language pretty quickly. Very quickly in fact. I finally had a chance to somewhat meet the mission president apart from when he picked me up at the airport and we exchanged names and that was about all the conversation we had. But when he finally talked to me on friday he asked me “So where did you learn your spanish?” And when I told him that it was just the MTC he was very surprised haha. The same whenever we meet with anyone new. Every day we eat with a different member, and every time I tell them that I’m brand new to the mission they are really surprised. That’s honestly the best compliment I could get about my spanish haha. They also tell me I speak really well and without an accent really. What can I say, haha. The Gift of tongues is real.
Anyway, What else? This place is really cool, I love the area I’m in. It’s so different from the states and honestly I feel bad saying ther I’m from there because I know that they know how much more we have there. It’s a truly humbling experience. But the members are so kind! Every month they pass around a calendar and literally every day is filled with a member who is willing to feed us! And It’s always so much food that I can’t believe it.
Not much happened this week, mostly we’ve been spending time trying to reactivate a lot of the members in the area. We have a ton of inactive members in our area. We have enough members to probably make 2 or 3 wards, but we only have 1 ward of active members. A lot of them have moved, usually what happens is we make an appointment to meet with one of them and I’m pretty sure they always schedule us when they know they won’t be home and they wont have to talk to us.
But it’s all good! My companion and I get along great! He is from Guatamala and doesn’t really speak English, but it’s good. Like I said, my spanish has progressed really quickly. They other day, I made a bet with him that I could greet everyone on the street and have them greet me back. It was going really well, until we reached a couple just totally making out on the street and I thought to myself that I was done for. Well, lo and behold, I greeted them with a “Good afternoon!” and no joke, they stopped kissing for a brief moment to greet me with a good afternoon of their own.
Wow, The people here are always surprisiing me haha. Anyway, I love you all! Things are going well, and I miss y’all but I know this is where I’m supposed to be right now!
Love, Elder Harris
Here’s a picture of how different the houses look. Just look at that one that’s like a castle haha. Isn’t that awesome??
Haha, my hair is getting a little long, I need a haircut! But this is the first time I ate tacos in Mexico! Everyone told me I needed to get a picture haha
Anyway! love you all! have a great week!
Wow. What a strange start. ¡Buenos días! This place is absolutely insane and incredible. I am constantly blown away by how different things are here. Before I got here I joked that basically I was going stateside since I figured everything would be pretty similar here, since it was one of the biggest cities in the world. But boy, I could not have been more wrong. This place is so drastically different from the good old USA, especially the area which I am in. It’s called “la torres” which means the pines. It’s a bit far into the mountains and honestly it is so quiet and tranquil here and I love it.
Well, quiet and tranquil by Mexico City standards. Compared to Pleasant Grove Utah it’s still massive and loud and there are so many people here. But I love it because I just go around and say ¡Buenos días! And ¡Buenos Tardes! and just about every person will respond. What nice people! And sincerely, every meal besides breakfast is provided by a member. Always. The members are always asking if they can feed us. The food is pretty good too. And there is just so much of it! Yesterday we went to a member’s house and they gave me a huge bowl of soup, so I finished it and figured that was it. Well, lo and behold, 2 minutes later she brings out a huge platter with steak, fréjoles, and rice on it. I was already full. I finished it though, and jeez. I haven’t eaten anything since and I’m still not hungry nearly 24 hours later.
The people here are great. They’re just lovely people and honestly I love it here. Even just walking through dirt streets in parts of town where I’m sure any American would be afraid to walk in it’s just so beautiful. No two houses are alike, and even if they look scary they really aren’t. There are all sorts of people walking around. It almost makes it a little hard to get pictures because I’m trying to not appear like a tourist since I am the only white guy for miles. Which is funny, because literally every one of the women of our members has commented on “How beautiful” I am. I think It’s the blue eyes haha. It’s just a different culture and I love it so much. I am doing well and I’ll be sure to add more pictures next week since I honestly don’t have too many today! I love you all and I hope you are doing well.
PS: sorry for any spelling errors, the keyboard here is different and Basically every word comes up as incorrrect in spell check haha!
Sorry! This one is a little blurry because I was trying to take it while walking, but just believe me, it’s beautiful
I’ve got a couple photo’s with my new district. One of the Hermanas is leaving though, so we took a goofy photo with her.
Oh wow! What a week this has been. Days seem to be getting shorter and shorter, and it’s starting to just be a blur. It’s a weird feeling honestly, knowing that within the next 48 hours I will be done with my MTC experience. It’s been quite fun honestly but I am definitely done with my time here. As enjoyable as this place is, and as much as it probably is the country club of the mission I am just wishing that I was all done here. Yesterday we had “In-field orientation” which is basically just the MTC’s way of trying to get you acquainted with missionary work, but I feel like our amazing teacher Hermano Erickson did a much better job of teaching that than they could’ve possibly done so It felt like a waste of time. But it’s alright haha.
Speaking of which, Hermano Erickson. What a champion. That man has taught me more about the mission than I think anyone before my mission or while I’ve been here has. He and another teacher, Hermano Horsley have just been the saving grace of the MTC and I’m not gonna lie, when I had to say goodbye to them on Thursday I had to shed a small, manly tear. Great guys. I’m gonna miss them.
Also my district, seriously what a group of studs. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be here with them and I think that it was definitely orchestrated by someone else because we all went through some crazy circumstances to be here together at this same time. They have honestly very quickly become some of my best friends and I love each and every one of them. I will miss each and every one of them and I wish them the best on their missions.
One last major thing, I had the opportunity to shake the hands of President Uchtdorf and to get a picture taken with him. That was cool! I’m barely peaking over someone else’s shoulder, but it’s all good haha! Anyway, this has been a great week and I am so looking forward to entering the field! Elder Johnson is being transferred to Atlanta Georgia for a little bit, I’m super pumped for Mexico City, but also a little nervous. Odds are, my next companion won’t speak English. Odds are, I won’t be speaking English for a couple years starting on this Monday. What a scary thing to think about haha, but I’m also not worried. The gift of tongues is real and I am learning spanish very quickly and I don’t plan on slowing down. I know that I’ll be fine. I love you all and wish you a great week and a happy fathers day.
Big news! I got my travel plans and I am scheduled to leave the MTC for Mexico in 9 days exactly! Even bigger news, I’m the travel leader which is a ton of responsibility, basically I have to get everyone in my group safely to Mexico City. I’ve got a pretty big group comprising a whole one person, that person being myself. So honestly this might be the biggest responsibility that has ever been put onto my shoulders. Not sure how to handle this, but I’ll keep working on my leadership skills.
Those of you that pay a lot of attention to my emails will know that I’m actually supposed to have a companion who is headed to Mexico city too, sadly it seems that he has not obtained a visa so I will indeed be flying out to Mexico City alone.
Anyway, speaking of flying out I am so ready to get out of this place. Spanish is going awesome for me, yesterday I used the past subjunctive tense in a lesson (almost) correctly, which is a huge step, let me tell you. It’s basically the hardest form of conjugation in Spanish as far as I’m aware, and honestly let me tell y’all how real the gift of tongues is.
I came in with no knowledge of Spanish, Thursday I was teaching someone in my district who had 3 years of Spanish knowledge along with the same time in the MTC a concept in Spanish that he didn’t understand. El don de lenguas es real. Like seriously it’s all about faith in here. We talk a lot about how you don’t receive blessings until after the trial of your faith.
“Dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.”—Ether 12:6
This scripture basically sums up my MTC experience. I just want y’all to know that. We are promised many things when we are faithful. For me, I’m promised the gift of tongues. But that doesn’t mean that I can just sit around waiting for the language to come. I have to study, I have to ask for it, and I need to have the faith to open my mouth and know that it will be filled with what I am meant to say, but it is really important that I both prepare and that I have faith and open my mouth. The same goes for everything, be willing to take the first step without knowing that you’re being helped, and you will receive that witness, but not before the trial of your faith.
Anyway, Hope everything is good for everyone! Things here have been good, but I’m excited to leave. Anyway, love you all!!
All of us posing in our brand new classroom
A totally candid shot of me looking over the sunset, appreciating its beauty.
Just another day at the residencies
The second picture of us posing. Aren’t we just handsome?
Our new view from our new classroom!
Wow! What a week this has been. A lot of crazy things have been going on at the MTC. The zone is starting to go a little crazy, sometimes blatantly disobedient, sometimes it’s just breaking an unwritten rule, and sometimes they do the sorts of things that are probably the reason rules get made in the MTC.
We started off this week by learning how to break into other rooms on our floor. An elder decided to use nothing more than a notecard, some dental floss, and a vacuum cleaner and managed to break into several rooms. Yeah. I wasn’t sure how that was gonna work either, but the details aren’t important, what is important is that they somehow made it work. However, one time I had to dismantle the vacuum cleaner in order to save them from having to call a custodian… Does that make me an accomplice? I don’t know. It’s not important anyway.
This week we’ve been playing a ton of soccer. Sadly, It’s been discovered that I am the best goalkeeper, so I doubt they’ll let me play anything else any time soon. I still love that we get to play every day though!
The new building for the MTC is finally finished! I’m super excited to move in there! Seriously, the classrooms are so dull and sad I totally understand why people hate it here. In the words of one of my teachers, Hermano Horsley “Just because Joseph Smith had some of his most powerful spiritual moments in Carthage jail doesn’t mean we should design classrooms like it” As a district we got our pictures taken there and they are possibly going to be used in the website or in the presentation to the quorum of the twelve, so that’s awesome! We also got a private tour of the building so we are some of the very very few missionaries that have seen the inside! It is such a beautiful building you just wouldn’t believe it. It’s full of these incredible backlit murals and some of the most incredible design I’ve seen in a classroom. We have a beautiful view of Provo from our new class which is on the 5th floor. I’m so excited!!
We held a graduation ceremony for our youngest elder in our zone, Elder Dunshee. He graduated early and came on a mission, and last night would’ve been his graduation, so we gave him the ceremony he deserved.
Anyway, I’m so grateful for all your letters! I love you all! The spanish is going so incredibly well you wouldn’t believe it. Thank you for your prayers and thoughts!
Myself and the man of the hour, Elder Dunshee. The only graduating member of the class of 2017 on our floor. What a guy!Part of the celebration
My Favorite Mural in the new building! Moses parting the red sea, what a beautiful picture! (Sorry if the format is a little weird, it’s a panorama photo)
If you’re wondering who the best models in the MTC are then look no further.
During our tour of the new building we had to snap ourselves a bathroom selfie. I think I look pretty good