Elder Harris, Portia and Gordella

Monday, February 22, 2010


Greetings to you all! Today, my heart is drawn out to the people I left behind in the US. I miss you all very much.

So the Olympics started hmm? Its kind of funny that no one here really cares all that much. I guess they don't really enjoy the snow very often. All I heard is that Ghana has its first Winter Olympics competitor this year. I think he is in some skiing event.

Anyway, this has just been a wonderfull weekend for Elder Lehr and I. Elder Lehr has been sick since Wednesday, but we still went to this restuarant to celebrate his 6 months in Ghana. I ate a Ton of this crappy pizza and I was completely full. Bad Luck for me....

The mosquiters finally got me! At about 10 o clock on friday night I just started puking my guts out. Theres nothing worse then tasting a nasty pizza twice and seeing the pepperoni you swallowed an hour ago, all over the toilet seat. YUMMY! I had to suffer all night long before I could call Sister Sabey in the morning. The next day I wasn't puking anymore but all my muscles felt like jellow and I was stuck in bed all day. It was the same for Sunday. Oh yeah it was awesome. Take your DOXY.

Today, I'm feeling better but I'm still weak. It was a pain walking to the cafe from the apartment. I should be fine by tomorrow. At least I'm able to eat.

All right what else went down this week? I'm having a hard time remembering anything before Friday.

The Asokwa Elders were assigned the task of finding a community service project big enough for 16 missionaries. While we were looking around Elder Akoki and I visited this school compound not far from Ahinsan. We walked in and talked to the manager and he told us to come back the next day. When we came back, we were shown to the head of the school and we asked him if we could help clean up the compound on Saturday. After thinking for a minute the man looked at me and told us that our idea was absurd. If we really wanted to help the school, the church should provide the tools and the leadership and the students would provide the labor. Why does the US want to send people to clean up Ghana? What, is their country so clean that they have to try cleaning the whole world?

Some people are just ridiculous. They have their point of view and when you try to explain yours they just talk right over you. The problem for us is that Elder Akoki doesn't know the secret to leaving such a converstation (the secret is just to leave). After the man explained the same thing like four times we finally got out of there. To keep a long story short we were never able to find a service project and we all got sick anyway.

Elder Akoki and I finally have a bunch of people to teach. A couple of them seem like they really care too, but you never know. They all live pretty far away so we have to walk every single day. It really beats contacting.

We have been teaching this school manager who is married to a member in Dichemso. He is pretty stubborn and I don't think we would go back if he wasn't a referal. He always has this friend with him. The first day he was there he was completely quiet. He didn't say a word. The second day near the end of the lesson he sort of exploded. He has these crazy facial expressions as he tells us hallejuja and you are my friend! He will even get down on his knees and shake our hands everytime he agrees with something.

Any way were were teaching both of these guys last week when Samuel leans back and says to me, "Harris! You're my friend."

This is the point where I thought, "Awe crap, here it comes."

I said, "Yes?"

"We want you come with us somewhere."

"Oh really? Where is that?"

Samuel looked at his crazy partner and told us that he wants to use me to advertise his schools. What parent wouldn't love to send his or her children to a school endorsed by an American white man? The commercial would be played all over Ghana and not only would they get more students, we would be able to teach thousands of youth the gospel.

Like I said, some people are just ridiculous. I politely told him that as a missionary I can't involve myself with such a project. Sorry.

So there's nothing else going on here. Tomorow we are going down to Cape Coast to meet Elder Holland. We are all pretty excited. We won't get our transfer news till tuesday night and tranfers are on wednesday:( Who knows, I could be training...

I'm coming up on five months a week from tomorrow! How EXCITING! I can't believe how fast time has gone. It all feels like one long day. I'm finally feeling a little bit confident at what I do. A change of scenery wouldn't be bad though.

I'm sorry Dad got his butt whooped by such a quiet show like House. Oh well, theres always next year;)

Keep on enjoying the olympics! Wouldn't it be sweet to go to the 2012 olympics in London? Yeah it would:)

I love you and miss you all!
Elder Harris

Ps. Don't worry about me;) I'm already feeling fine!

I wont back down
No I won't back down
You can stand me up at the gates up hell but I
Won't back down

Well I know whats right
I got just one life
In a world that keeps on draggin me down
Gonna, stand my ground
And I won't back down

Hey baby
There aint no easy way out
Hey I will stand my ground
And I won't back down

Tom Petty


I was so happy when I receive the package for the valentine day. Thank you so much for all you have done for me. I sometimes feel that its a little to much. I really felt that I was loved. Its really helps in this work. Thank you again and May God bless you and your family. This Tuesday is going to be transfer so I dont know if I will still be around because Ive been here now for 9 months, but I really dont want to leave, and the main reason is because of the Wonderful companion that I have. Even though its not easy the good times that we ve together make me not want to leave. I really love him. You have a wonderful son I know hE will be a real blessing for your family.
May God bless your family. Enjoy the pict (apartment unity picture)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Hello family!

This week has been pretty typical for me. Nothing is really happening here in Kumasi that isn't in the norm. I was able to send letters for both Mom and Dad on thursday, so be excited.

Rain hasn't really started here yet but we have gotten some clouds and 'cold' wind. This just makes it feel way hotter when the wind goes away which stinks. I can't wait for the rainy season.

I was able to go on splits for the first time with Elder Adjei on tuesday night. I switched places with Elder Holmes for a night and a day and roamed the streets of UST. I really like to talk to the older missionaries who are going home soon. I like to hear there experiences and they usually teach me a lot. Elder Adjei is our District Leader and he is a really cool guy. He is from Ghana so many of our lessons that day were in Twi but it wasn't so bad being able to take a rest from talking. It was also the first time in a few months being away from the Asokwa Elders which was kind of wierd. It gave me some confidence about leaving Asokwa one day. I know I'll be all right wherever I go. I just pray that my companions are as cool as Elder Akoki or Elder Adjei.

We had Interviews with President this week and it was awesome as usuall. President has a way of picking up our spirits and giving us the motivation we need to get through our missions. President Sabey is probably one of the most powerfull men I have ever met. What he has done in this mission is beyond different and amazing. I would not be surprised if he becomes a general authority one day. I can't describe the feeling that comes as I sit and listen to his advice or counsel every time we have an Interview. I really wonder how I will cope with a new mission president when he leaves three months before I do.

Elder Akoki and Elder Lehr both gave talks in Sacrament Meeting this weekend. It was Elder Akoki's first talk ever in the English language and he did a really good job. I was lucky cause I've been suffering from a cold and I was really exhausted on Saturday morning so Elder Lehr got stuck with the talk. Sorry for him... I'm probably the one who missed out the most though.

Only one more week till we get transfer news. Next tuesday we are all taking a bus down to Cape Coast for our mission conference with Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. Whoever is being transfered there won't come back. Once again Elder Akoki thinks that he is leaving, but in our interviews President didn't give any hints. He did ask Elder Akoki how long he had been in Asokwa. Elder Akoki replied almost 9 months. President laughed and said thats not a long time at all, just look at Elder Kemokai. Kemokai is now in his second area of his entire mission and he is going home in two transfers. Not only is it his second area, he has always been in Kumasi. We don't know if President is playing some joke on Akoki or if he's seriously going to be here for a while. I wouldn't be much surprized either way.

We finally were able to get a hold of our crazy golden contact Jerry. I really feel like we can help him get through whatever it is he is going through. If he keeps reading the Book of Mormon and he comes to church again I know for sure that he will come to know its all true.

I dreamt I was done with my mission again. This time I was happily married and had four children. How wonderfull! I wish I could dream of other things from time to time.

Phoebe the Dog seems to be growing up nicely. Its going to be nice coming home to a new dog with the hard work of training her over. I'll just be able to enjoy the benefits. Who knows though she might hate me. I pet the first dog I was willing to touch in Africa this week. This one actually came up to me in on a rich man's porch and sniffed my hand. I couldn't resist.

Don't worry about telling me you miss me. You can tell me anything you wan't really. You are my parents:)

So I'm running out time:( We have to clean the apartment for the Kiffer's Inspection tomorrow.

Thanks for the shirts:) Theres nothing really else that I NEED. lol, just feel free to send me anything you think I would need:)

I love you guys!
Elder Harris

Monday, February 8, 2010

Dear Family,

Plenty of things have happened to Elder Akoki and I this week. First of all we had the opportunity to go on splits with Elder Woodhouse and Elder Npanaukau (the currant Aps) on tuesday. Instead of doing the regular, boring contacting we've been doing for two weeks now, we decided we wanted to do some service. We all carried water in big pales for the bishop's wife Sister Nicol but we needed a lot more to fill the time. After driving around for a little while, Elder Lehr decided to call a recent convert named Grace to see if she had anything big enough for six elders. She said sure and we drove out to Atonsu. We didn't realise that her eldest brother is actually an Ashanti Chief who works under King Osei Tutu II. After talking with him for a half hour or so, we got to work mowing the lawn and weeding with machetes. It was nice to have a change in pace.

Elder Woodhouse goes home on the 23rd of this month and the thing I admire most about him is that he DOES NOT WANT TO COME HOME. He's sprinting toward the finish line of a long hard race and refuses to slow down even when the win seems secure. I hope that one day I might be able be as dedicated as he is. He is a fine missionary and we are going to miss him a lot.

Lately we have been teaching a stubborn French woman who seems to think we are there to argue doctrinal points and discuss the bible, when really we are just there to deliver a message from Christ. We were discussing about the Great Apostacy and she just woudln't let us talk. Half way through I zipped up my scriptures because she knows the Bible so well and has a crazy view of everything we try to teach. In the end she told us in french that we have devils and that we are anti-Christs. You have no idea how much patience it takes to sit through this kind of lesson. I asked to to just pray about our message and she said that we should pray hard because we need Redemption. We still need to go back and finish The Restoration and then it's up to her. We did our part.

I'm still holding up well. We are slowly finding more people to teach and we aren't walking quite as much as last week. I am learning that there is sort of a pattern to missionary work. First you need people to teach so you go out contacting and looking for referals. Once you get a bunch of people you spend your time teaching them until they either progress or get dropped. Then all of a sudden you have nobody to teach and you have to start finding all over again. The sad part is that many of the people we teach have other reasons than finding the one true church in mind. Many just want to come to America while others think that the church will help them financially. Its a pain in the butt cause we can't tell who is who. Ghanains are experts at hiding their true feelings. To us they always look very nice and interested in the church, but often times they don't really care at all.

Our golden contact turned into kind of a funny story. Jerry disapeared after coming to church for two weeks. Every night we would stop bye to see if he was around with no success. Finally this past Saturday we stopped by in the afternoon and found him out side with a girlfriend. He was turned away from us facing his girlfriend. When he realised we were there he chucked his phone which hit the girl and turned to face us slowly. He said quitely and with a very serious look on his face that this girl makes him so mad he could kill her. He had his shirt off and I realised for the first time that he has a huge 'Thug Life' Tatoo across his stomach. Elder Akoki told me later that he really felt like he could have killed her. Well we invited him to church the next day and he didn't show up, but we are still going to to back and teach him if we get a chance. Who knows? He may really need our help right now and the Gospel could really change his life. I not lying when I say that I'm a little bit scared. lol

I'm sorry you've been missing me this week. I'm always missing home small small but I've come to get used to the feeling. I have so many dreams where I'm finished with my mission but for some reason I can only remember my first three transfers here. Everytime I wake up and before I open my eyes I ask myself if I am still in Africa. I always am.

Its funny that a Police CD made you think of me. I haven't been able to listen to the police at ALL and it drives me a little bit crazy. The songs still pop in my head from time to time though and it amazed me how I can still remember entire songs. I'm getting better at guitar but I'm always breaking the strings and they are so expensive for me. Oh well. Five strings is ok I guess:)

As for T-shirts I wouldn't mind if you just sent me some of my old ones. The only shirt I wear now is my Burbank Track shirt. You can send me my Eagles of Death Metal shirt and maybe some other darker shirts. They are just easier to clean:)

So I love you lots. I can't tell you how much I miss Santa Barbara and the Ocean. Hopefully we will get to walk down when we are in Cape Coast but I don't think we will have time. We are only going to be there one day and its about a 3 hours bus ride.

Well anyways! Bye Bye Brunis!

Elder Harris

Monday, February 1, 2010

I'm so glad!

Good Afternoon! Don't worry, I have been getting your emails. Sorry if I haven't been very good at replying, I just tend to forget after writing the emails. I've been getting pretty tired too (seems kind of early for that) so i've been a bit lazy with my letters. I'll try to do better:)

The Weather here has been pretty hot (figures). The only differece is that it has been more dry so the white men have been loving it. In the mornings it actually get pretty cool and Elder Akoki acts like he's freezing his butt off. I told him he would die in the U.S. Rain would be nice. I'm getting pretty sick of the weather here. At least I'm not sweating as much:)

So my companion and I have been really busy this past week. Its been a really annoying sort of work too. Ever since our splits with our zone leader Elder Kemokai, none of our appointments have been working out. Instead of teaching lessons, we have been walking back and forth all day every day. Oh well, I don't mind. I'm just freaking tired every single day.

We had some awesome news from Cape Coast on Friday. On February 23rd, we will be having the mission's 2nd Mission Coference ever. Everyone in the Kumasi area will be shipped down to Cape Coast on a bus. This will be my first time seeing most of the missionaries in the mission. We are all very excited because we found out that Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Twelve will be coming to Cape Coast for a visit!

We had a big funeral at the Asokwa church building for the late patriarch of the Kumasi Stake. They like funerals way too much here in Ghana but I didn't expect that they would do the same in the Church. The service was good and pretty normal but they also dedicated the Sunday service to talking about the late patriarch

I think I forgot to mention that last week we got to see the Ashanti King near his palace. We had gone to the museum there and they were having some weekly meeting. The King was getting carried around underneath huge, colorful umbrellas.

So nothing else is really going on right now. I'm still doing fine. Tomorrow is my four month anniversary here in Ghana. These months have gone by pretty fast.

I love you and Miss you. I don't really need anything I don't think. I'll let you know if I need money for something. I think theres plenty still in the bank. Theres nothing really worth buying here though. We'll see I guess. I wear my boots everyday except when I'm in a meeting. They are the best shoes I've ever walked in. I'm pretty sure they will last me for the whole two years:) You could send me some t-shirts though:)

All right so have a great week!

I'm so glad!
I'm so Glad!