Thursday, August 21, 2014

Morning Prayer

Answers to everyone's questions:

1. The weather has been crazy here, we get rain almost everyday. Yesterday we had a severe storm that lasted all morning. It is very humid here, but sadly I just have frizzy hair not curly. The nicest time of day is when it is about to rain because we actually get some cold wind.


2. hahahah! Yes, Mama, there are cute missionaries here. (Not that I'm looking)


3. My scripture study is going fantastic! It is amazing how much more you can learn when you are reading the Book of Mormon verse by verse in Spanish and English. Along with that I would like my missionary plaque scripture to be 2 Nephi 25:26 - the scripture about how we do everything for Christ! (if that is not the exact verse sorry)


4. My missionary clothes are doing pretty well except I never grabbed the black pencil skirt of yours and mine officially broke. So my outfits are definitely limited, because I based a lot of it off of that skirt. Its all good though, I have others to wear. My feet have finally got used to wearing flats! I am finally past the blister phase and to the callus!


5.Every lunch served consists of two types of rice and two types of meat with a side salad and some fruit. For dinner we have normal food, for example, anything from tacos, hamburgers, pizza, and mac n cheese... they aren't exactly the american style but they are still way better than rice and beans!! Oh and for breakfast we have toast, eggs, pancakes, french toast, and BROWNIES!! hahah, Our cook says that brownies should never be eaten after dinner because we don't do enough physical activity to work it off. So we get brownies for breakfast two times a week!


6. So sorry. I really have no idea why you didn't get pictures last week. I definitely sent them!!


It was so exciting to see all the pictures of Jaren and Hannah's engagement!! I am so freaking excited to have an addition in our family! You two are adorable! Of course that was an amazing way to purpose. I definitely give Jaren and Aubrei props!!

So sad to think of dad by himself at home during spirit-a-thon! But hey I hope my baby kitty is keeping you company! I'm glad you guys had a blast at your sleepover at the high school! Sad though that the football team crashed your party!  

Just as an fyi, letters and packages take forever to get to the DR so it would be a way better idea to just send them all to the Puerto Rico Mission home.


I got a happy surprise this week! I received a letter from Grandma Harris! It hadn't been the greatest day and receiving that letter made the rest of the day go by a lot smoother. It made me cry in a good way to hear how she was doing and to reflect upon the last week that I was with you all! I love you guys!


Well as for my week, it has been an eye opener. At the beginning of this week I was in a very solemn mood. Don't ask me why. I was very quiet and kept to myself. I have to admit I got tons more studying and memorizing done, but I just didn't feel right. I kept trying to figure out why. I wasn't more homesick then normal, and I hadn't been doing anything outside of the normal. During our nightly family prayer and song, we sang did you think to pray. In the song it says when you left your bed this morning, Did you think to pray. For me in the past, I have never been much of a prayer person. Remembering to say prayers in the morning was difficult. I have made a extra effort this week to make sure that I remember to not only pray at night but in the morning as well. I truly gained a stronger testimony of prayer when every day since has been ten times better. My whole day, my attitude, and my relationship with my companions is ten times better! Well I learned my lesson! :)


This week is technically my third week time wise in the mission field, but in the CCM they count this as my 4th week. I will be leaving the CCM on the 9th to fly the hour flight to Puerto Rico. I cannot believe how fast time has flown! It felt like just yesterday I was saying bye in Montana! I love my companions and district. They are like a family away from home, but nothing will top the love I have for you guys! I love and miss you all, but the Lord's work is where I need to be right now! 

Con amor,
Hermana Harris

1. Happy Hermana Harris
2. Companions
3. District
4. All Going to San Juan Puerto Rico Mission

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Week 2 - Sort of.

Hey family!!

To answer some of mamas questions:

My Spanish is going along great. I know can understand the majority of what people say until they start speaking “Dominican Republican.” Dominican Republican is where they start slicing the words in half! Literally como estas turns into mo tas. I'm so glad I'm not serving here haha, shh. I do know the difference from Dominican Republican and Puerto Rican is the thick accent and a lot less slicing. My major problem at the moment is talking. I really struggle being able to pronounce the words right. Prayers in Spanish are definitely getting easier with the amount of vocab I memorize each day. More words to say and a lot of practice helps. I have noticed that even my personal prayers have started to become a little bit mixed between Spanish and English. I'm glad Heavenly Father is all knowing and can speak every language otherwise he would be super confused. :) 

This week I have definitely started feeling better! I have stopped eating the bread, and I ask for very small portions at lunch. The first time I asked for less the guy serving looks at me and goes, “You on a diieet.” Sadly I asked him again and the elder next to me says, “Hermana, he is asking if you are on a diet.” I just laughed.  I said, no way, I just am not a fan of mountains of rice. He now smiles and says chino every time I go to get food. I’m assuming that means small portions, Jaren, am I right?

They have the ac pumping so hard in the CCM. It is so great. Most of the time I am either wearing a camisole or a jacket. So, So, glad I packed them! My district is on a constant war of the temperature in the room. Hermana Bauyon is always cold and the guys are always hot so the temperature in the room never stays the same. The weird thing though is that the thermostat is in Celsius. I have no idea what the actually temperature is in here. Should paid more attention in science class, ha ha,  oh well.

As of this week: News flash, it was amazing!

On Monday we said goodbye to all of the Latinos and older missionaries. It was a sad and happy time. We are sad to see them go, but so happy to see that we are going to be at that level soon, ready to serve in country. It was hard to say goodbye to Hermana Cuevas.  She has become a great friend, but I know she will do amazing on her mission. At the same time they were leaving we were getting new missionaries. Also we all have upgraded to nicer classrooms. In my companionships case we have a new room all together. We used to be on the 3rd floor, have class on the 2nd and do all our computer work on the 4th. Now we live, work, and study all on the 4th floor.  It is so nice! Our room has 4 bunk beds, 3 sinks, and 2 showers!! For the first day and a half it was just the three of us. Now we have three new sister missionaries, Hermanas Curtis, Brufass, and Johnson (none of them are Utah Mormons!! lol) I left each of them little notes and some goodies on their beds as a surprise when they came. They got in at midnight and 3 am!! Okay, honestly I just didn't want to be up and hand it to them so I wrote notes! I did however wake up when the sister that arrived at 3 am came in and I helped her with her baggage! :)

Okay the best two things of this week were the temple and shopping!! Every single p-day we spend the morning in the temple! It was so amazing to be able to understand so much more this time being the third time going through! I love it. I also have had the opportunity to do sealings twice now. It is so amazing to feel the spirit in the room where you know a family has been sealed for time and all eternity!

Second best thing is on Tuesday we had the opportunity to leave the CCM for one hour!! We got to go shopping at what is basically a mini Wal-Mart. It is so weird to think in pesos not dollars. 43 pesos equals 1 dollar, so it seems like everything is super expensive!! Ha ha.  The best thing though is that in the mist of all this foreign food there is OREOS! To be honest it reminded me of home and made feel good! Also, so you know, gummy worms which Aubs and I love so much, come in huge bags and there is different troll's candy for super uper cheap!!

Best spiritual experiences this week. First was when we were teaching one of our investigators and I didn't use anything, no notes, no dictionary. I just was able to use the language I have learned to preach about the restored gospel! Second, we have a devotional every Tuesday. We listened to a devotional given at the Provo MTC. Elder Bednar gave a talk about when your natural man wants to turn into yourself you need to turn it out to others like the Savior did. It was incredible.

I am loving it here!!  

I'm so glad to hear you all are doing so good! I totally loved all the pictures you guys sent! Saydi is the cutest scarecrow I have ever seen! Glad to hear so many girls went to camp! I'm amazed all of the girls came! I'm so happy for Jaren and Hannah!! I totally want to see pictures of this grad proposal!!!!! I hope Jaren had a great birthday! I’m so proud of Aubrei. Moving to North Point was a hard decision but I know she is making the right choice! Love you and wish I could hear from all of you.

Hey well I love you guys and miss you so much!
Love always!

Hermana Harris

P.S. Sorry mom, my spelling and grammar are bad from switching back and forth from English to Spanish. It is hard!
Also letters take forever to get here so if anyone is sending me real letters it might be better to just send them to the Puerto Rico mission home.
I will need you to send me an outfit mama. I don't have any gray or pink. Also another side note, I forgot to notify 1st liberty that I would be in Puerto Rico.  Will my card still work there? And I forgot my patriarchal blessing.  Is there anyway you guys could send it to me or another way for me to get it?

Love you!!!!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Week 1

Well, I have to say this week has been absolutely amazing!

I have not only one but two companions that I love! Hermana Schwenkie and Hermana Bauyon.  Hermana Schwenkie is from Hawaii and Hermana Bauyon is from the Philippians and is a brand new member of a year and a half! It is so amazing the things that I have learned from both girls in the last couple of days!

First day:
I actually woke up on time today.  I know I would have made you proud daddy! Showered and got ready in the short amount of time I had. Going to breakfast I got to see how small the CCM here really is. For example the cafeteria is smaller then West, my Elementary School cafeteria! There is only about 72 missionaries here and about 35 of them leave this coming Tuesday. So I was honestly so nervous I could only eat half a pancake! Stupid mistake I learned from later when I was starving before lunch! They threw us straight into language studies. I got a huge, I mean huge, stack of books with my name on every single one! They instantly had us start working on saying our name, where we are from, and what mission we are going to. Wow I would never have said this before, but I totally understand Spanish better and feel the spirit the entire time during class. After lunch we basically had freshman-newbies orientation where they went over all the rules. They even had demonstration of an investigator meeting that we had the opportunity to watch! It was cool to see an example of what I really will be doing for the next 18 months.

Day Two:
This day was definitely an adventure!
We got our assigned districts. I am in the Moroni District in classroom 8! 
We start every day with breakfast, and then personal study followed by companion study. When our teacher arrives, who comes in at 9, we learn something new! On this day we got to watch District 2, which is a video showing missionaries in the field. It is a really inspiring and spiritual experience to watch their triumphs and downfalls. 

So even on the first full day I saw what Dad said over and over again about people that try their hardest to learn the language and apply it compared to the people that are not trying their hardest.

My companions are so awesome. Hermana Bauyon is 5'3" and not even a hundred pounds.  She is shy to anyone who doesn't know her, but is stinking hilarious when she opens up. Hermana Schwenkie is super-uper nice. She always says ya after everything; she says it as much as a Canadian! They are so helpful and we are always quizzing each other and trying to use as much Spanish as possible in our room!

In gym hour today we got to play volleyball! It was so much fun! We have gym in the parking lot because the CCM is a small and connected to the temple, we actually are considered to be studying everyday on dedicated ground.

Day Three:
Oh mi Madre, Hermana Schwenkie has the loudest most annoying alarm clock I have ever heard! It went off at 6 and I nearly almost fell off the top bunk.  It scared me so bad, but hey, I was definitely awake! So I have been having problems with pronouncing Hermana Bauyon’s name. So every time I say it right she giggles! ( baa-oo-yon) So we are already working on teaching lessons to pretend investigators, our teachers. This night we taught Jose Cuevas! It was a very fulfilling feeling to know that the time I spent preparing in personal and companion study paid off in being able teach.  My language part of the lesson was horrible, ha ha, but we were able to struggle along. I feel like in the MTC the spirit never leaves. It is an amazing feeling I have never had before. Even learning Spanish, which I used to hate, takes on a whole new meaning when I am teaching the gospel and using simple Spanish. In my district I have my companions, Elder Taylor and Elder Williams, and Elder Dickson and Elder Abplanalp and myself.  It is amazing how it feels like we are a mini family. We sing before every single lesson.  Every time we just flip to a song (we normally don't know what it is because it is in Spanish) and start singing. A prayer follows the song on our knees then reciting the missionary purpose in Spanish.

Day 4: Sunday
Today was incredible! Starting with personal study, which I find is always a relaxing and a good spiritual start of the day. We go to sacrament at 8:40 and it starts at 9. It was completely in Spanish! All the English speakers have headphones on to get the translated version. I listened to the announcement in English and then decided the rest I was going to try to get as much as I could out in all Spanish! It was testimony meeting.  All the new students were called up randomly to bear their testimonies and all the older students or ones that already speak Spanish well were asked to give three minute talks. Hermana Bauyon was the first one called; her face was so scared but she bore an incredible testimony!! We then had Sunday school as a district in English, which was taught by the district leader and his companion, their names are Elder Williams and Elder Taylor. They taught a great lesson on patience. In Relief Society one of the presidency talked on how to best use the scriptures to answer investigators problems. It was incredible the way they were able to make it seem so simple. We then had a doctrine class taught by the president, again, it was incredible! The depth that he went into on the apostasy and the things that we need to personally know was amazing! The rest of the day was dedicated to personal study. I learned so many new Spanish vocab and phrases to use in lessons.

Day 5:
I woke up pumped for the day! Did my hair all-cute punk rock straight like Saydi Style, thanks Saydi, I received so many complements on it all day!

I haven’t been feeling so good. My stomach is not too fond of eating lots and lots of rice every lunch and bread with every single meal. It hit me the hardest this day! But hey, I’m a trooper, and worked through the upset stomach. The best part of my day was when going through my suitcase that I still haven’t unpacked looking for gym clothes.  I found a little note from Mama! Oh Mama that was the best! It was a time where I wanted a hug from you to make me feel better; I got a little hug in word form! Thank you so, so much!

So we learned how to pray in Spanish! I’m horrible at it, but with time it will get better! So today during gym two Dominicans came up to us! They were talking to all five of us! It was awesome Haleigh moment when I could actually use the Spanish I used in high school and the Lord to talk. I was the only one in the group who could catch what they were saying at the speed they were talking! It was a great moment!

Write you about day 6 and p-day next week!

I love you guys so, so much!! It is been amazing here and I love you all!
Hermana Harris

1-My district.
2-My companions and basically are attitudes all the time.

3-A bunch of us on Sunday night in front of the temple.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Finally Arrived

Hey Family!!!!!!
I have finally arrived in the CCM! It is really different to see the city covered in trash and really scary looking. I am definitely in a third world country! It was a 45 min drive from the airport to the MTC. We sang church songs at the top of our lungs the entire time! It was incredible! There are about 20 or so of us that are new today but only three boys and three girls going to Puerto Rico! Hey, tell Jaren that I met Kim and she is awesome! We had so much fun on the last flight going over camp songs and going over our flights and where we went!
Love you so much! Hermana Harris
P.S. p-day is next thursday lots of pictures to come!