Elder Harris, Portia and Gordella

Monday, March 29, 2010


indeed iam with much pleasure and gratitud to email you this week, how are you and your ? i hop all is well, iam so excited to be with your son ,Elder Harris is a nice missionary i love staying with him as a companionship, realy when i received my transfer from my formar area i was thinking about the next companion that am going to have, i have a chance again to have a good companion, he is very kindly to me, he love me and i also love him too, he can teach very well and i learn alot from him.Well i will like to introduce myself to you , l will like to start with my name, my name is NTIENSE NTIENSE EKAETTE but now i use my surname which is ELDER EKAETTE iam from Nigeria, Akwa Ibom State, Iam the inborn of the church. also i am 20years old boy. iam very happy for this opportunity that i have to be one of the full time missionary in cape coast mission , i know that sacrifice always bring forth the blessing i know we will be blessed for this work. i wish you happy easter and your family thank you , please give my regard to your family and Elder harris Friends see you next week monday buy. yours faithfully ELDER EKAETTE


Dear Family,

So we've had a pretty good week as far as Asokwa goes. Yesterday we had a man by the name of Acheampong come to church with three of his sons. His brother was a member who just passed away. Its pretty awesome because if he joins the church then there will be a very good chance his wife will too and our part of the goal will be finished. It was just cool to have investigators at church though.

We are planning to have a monster baptism on May 16th for at least twelve people. Elder Lehr and Clements have been working with a bunch of people who are really starting to progress. Add Brother Acheampong's family and that will just be an awesome day. Pray for us in Asokwa cause this sort of thing just DOESN'T happen here.

This week Elder Ekaette and I returned from a hard day's work to find Elder Lehr and Clements huddled over the carcass of a dead chicken. I asked what the heck was going on and they said they had killed the chicken earlier in the afternoon. I had to see the video before I believed it. It took Elder Lehr six smacks with a crappy knife to finally get the chicken's head off! I couldn't believe they did that just on a whim. The chicken is delicious though!

So theres not much going on here besides the baptisms. We had a guy give it to me for how the white man has treated Africa. He was talking about how we came to take all the people as slaves and how the USA still holds Ghana as a slave nation. I was somewhere between laughing and smacking him in the face. He really doesn't know anything. At the end of this rant we asked him how he felt about the message and he said he really likes it and will join the church. My first thought: FORGET IT. Of course he didn't come to church the next day.

We had a pretty fun day in Bantama today for PDAY. Elder Lewis is the new AP and is a super cool guy. I guess Pday at Bantama really died after he left so he's trying to fix it. We played Volleypong, Volleyball, and Football. I even took the opportunity to run a work out. I feel pretty awesome right now. I really haven't had enough excersice over the past few months. So now were here in the Cafe with the Aps looking over our shoulders, how fun!

My big 6 MONTHS is coming up on Friday! Holy SMOKES! There is no time here on mission. It really feels just like one long day where weeks fly by like nothing. If I'm not carefull, next thing I know I'll be 31 with 4 kids and a mini van. Thats a scary thought.

All I'll say for you Mom is I feel sorry for your situation. I really was the MOST humble one in the house! Don't worry I'll come home soon and we'll tone down the awesomeness!

Well I'm glad you think I'm growing cause this would be one major waste of time if I wasn't! I really know it isn't though and I love being here. I will share with you what I wrote in a letter last night: When I get off the plane at LAX I'm going to get down and kiss the ground!

So I'm really short on time today. Elder Ekaette has a ton of laundry to do and so do I. I HATE IT SO MUCH....

I really love you guys a lot. Don't worry next week I'll have more time for you all. Hopefully I'll have more interesting stuff to talk about with you!:)


Elder Harris

Monday, March 22, 2010


Dear Family,

So everything is going just fine here in Kumasi. Our zone met in town today to get all culturefied at the Asanti Cultural Center. It was all right but I think its just a tourist trap. I did buy a pretty cool painting of an African warrior man. We all went to get Fufu afterwards. I'm starting to really like the stuff. If I ever bring my children here I'm not taking them to a lame cultural center; instead I'll make them pound fufu with me with some naked woman in the Village. That's real Ghana!

So after reading some of my friends emails who are in other missions, I started thinking whether or not I'm growing as much as they seem to be. I sure hope I am, but It really doesn't feel like it. I think in a way every mission has its own way of changing the missionaries serving there. I'm sure I'm being molded (or rather I'm molding myself) in far different ways then the missionaries of North or South America. Luckily I'm in the best mission for me and thats what counts:)

Last Thursday we had the opportunity to meet and talk with Elder Dickson of the First Quorum of the Seventy. He is a really cool and powerfull man who has been serving for 21 years, all over the world. He gave us a great instruction on how to take the extra step to becoming a better missionary. It was pretty sweet.

It gets dark at about 6 every night and we get home at around 8 to 8:30. Yep, that means mosquitos every night for about two hours. Don't worry I pretty much never get bit (I guess I inherited my father's awesomeness). The only time I can remember getting a bite was when I got malaria... I guess one is enough.

I got the shirts this week and I sat smelling them for a long time.... Thank you very much.

My companion and I are starting to get along better as we start to understand each other better. The first step was just understanding each other's accents. Living with only one African for 2 transfers has basically taken away any african accent I had and Elder Ekaette has his crazy Nigerian way of saying things. He really is a funny guy though and we will get on together just fine. I think its pretty funny that he thinks he will be leaving after this transfer when the average missionary stays in Kumasi for at least 8 or 9 months. Sorry for him...

So I don't know if I wrote about the bats. If not let me know:)

We are still teaching a few families. I think there is only one that is actually serious though. Brother Acheapong is the brother of a late member who came to church following his funeral. He is very intellegent and has a great attitude about investigating the church. He doesn't know where the true church is so he is willing to keep the commitments we ask him to. I know that if he keeps those commitments, he will know that this is the true church. Almost everybody here wants us to come "preach them" but none of them ever come to church. They don't read what we ask them to read and they don't pray about it either. The worst part is that they will never tell us to not come back. I really like people that just tell us no. Brother Acheapong asks us great questions and is willing to bring his whole family to church. Thats pretty awesome:)

I'm glad Elder Woodhouse is doing well. I can tell you I've never seen someone look as nervous as he did the day he was leaving. I'm sure he'll be all right:)

I envy all of you in Southern Califronia right now. Rain and Cold is awesome. We get plenty of rain but it is always hot and humid and I SWEAT ALL THE TIME. Its not fun at allllll. Oh well, I'm gonna suffer when I come home cause I'm getting used to the weather here.

We get paid 110 Ghana Cedis every months in cash. We don't get our own credit card cause it wouldn't work in very many places.

So my room is going to be pretty awesome huh? I just want to feel like i'm living with Sherlock Holmes.

I'm out of time already:( Thanks for the packages, especially the camera. I know he will love it.

I love you all and miss you!

Elder Harris

Monday, March 15, 2010


Dear Family,

Elder Akoki is gone like I said. He misses Asokwa a lot (I'm willing to bet its mostly about his sheepfold). We always talked about how President Sabey was just gonna give us a bunch of money to go North and establish the church like the sons of Mosiah. We would buy a tro tro to make money while some of us would look for a new apartment to live in. One day the scattered Asokwa apartement will be reunited and we will all journey into the North for a seven year mission!

I've recovered from the malaria again. Let's just hope it doesn't come back again. Sometimes even the meds they give us don't work the first time and the bacteria just hides in you for a couple weeks before coming back. How fun! I tried to send Dad my sick bed picture. Now I'm back to work but I still feel week from time to time. Just keep praying for me.

So these past couple weeks have been kind of hard. My companion is a wonderfull guy but we are so different. We are just trying to work things out. Its hard for him coming from such a great area to a place where there were 26 people in sacrament meeting, 400 less actives, no home teaching program, and zero investigators coming to church. I know we'll be able to work through it though. I learned the hard way that when you get in an argument with your companion, you CAN'T teach. So I'm trying to learn patience, a trait i've always struggled with.

I can't express how much I appreciate the opportunity to be here in Ghana. Going on a mission isn't about having 'success' as a missionary; rather it is about learning to be more like my Heavenly Father and His son, Jesus Christ. Its about learning how to be a good leader, husband, and father. I could really care less about how many baptisms I get the privelege to be a part of. Elder Holland said something that really hit me at our mission conference. He said that EVERY good thing that has ever happened to him came because of his decision to serve a mission. So even though mission can be hard sometimes, I'm going to enjoy myself as I work for the Lord. I love being a missionary.

We are having another special Zone Conference with a general authority this week. His name is Elder Dickson. I think he is one of Elder Cardon's counselors. It should be pretty sweet though! If its not, well at least we get fed...jk

I can't believe this is the sixth month of my mission either. Its so weird how fast time is going. I just hope it slows down a bit when I get back. I don't want the good times in life to go by too fast. Even though I know they will no matter what I do.

We are starting to work on the new goal hard core. President Sabey told us that he already knows what the new goal is going to be and its gonna come before the end of this currant goal so we need to hurry. The Lord really knows how to get us working. We are teaching four or five families which is really sweet. During my whole mission we haven't taught a full family and it has been a great experience. I don't think I've ever felt the spirit at strong as when I answer the surprizingly deep questions of an eleven year old. Its going to be sweet to see some of these families embrace the gospel. The importance of the family is probably the greatest thing I am learning on my mission and everything I do is for the benefit of my own future family. It think thats why this goal feels so important to me.

I'm glad my room is coming around. I'm really learning to love the color red so don't worry about that. However you decide to do my room will be cool for me. It will be heaven for me when I come home. Are you getting rid of my mattress? I've only had it almost my entire life:)

I will never eat pizza again in Ghana.

So Enid is moving to Bountiful huh? Well send her my love. I'm not sure if she got the email I sent to Dad but if not just tell her I'm thinking about her. Salut everyone in the ward for me. I love and miss everyone there.

Thank you so much trying to send that camera. My companion loves pictures (in fact all Africans do). But he also doesn't have any money and he can't get one from home. His family doesn't even write to him.

I can't wait to hear about this amazing story you are talking about. It better be good if I have to wait for the mail to get here. I hope its quick:) I'm still waiting for the shirts and stuff.

Ok I've got to run! I love you BYE!:)

Monday, March 8, 2010


Dear Family,

So I didn't get an email today... I'm not sure if that's on purpose or you don't have my new email which is arharris@myldsmail.net

Nothing much going on here in Kumasi. I've had malaria since Thursday and I'm still recovering. I've been in bed since then. The entire mission completed the last goal a week early! I'm not sure if I even realise just how amazing that really is for Everyone to bring back a less active then baptise their friend. I'm very gratefull to the Lord for helping us accomplish the impossible.

We now have a new goal: Everyone in the mission will baptize a family. I think President Sabey wants those of us who weren't here for the original goals to have the experience of completing them so he's starting over. What I didn't know about the first goal was that as the goal was coming to an end with only three weeks left, only 6 out of 40 companionships had baptized a family. They knew they weren't going to finish the goal, but the Lord has a funny way of teaching us lessons. All 36 companionships completed the goal in just three weeks. I know we'll be able to finish this goal and the Lord will help us as we try our hardest.

So I wrote you all letters that are coming, I hope to hear from you next week:)

Love Elder Harris

Monday, March 1, 2010


Good Afternoon,

So this week has been pretty crazy and full of change. Change sucks, but its part of growing so I guess I should just DEAL WITH IT.

Last Tuesday I had the opportunity to shake hands and look into the eyes of an Apostle of Jesus Christ. It felt kind of like I was being turned inside out and examined, but it was still pretty awesome. It was funny though cause when my hand started to leave Elder Hollands I automatically tried to do that African snap thing I'm so used to doing all the time. I walked away thinking: Man, I'm such an IDIOT!

All right it wasn't that bad. Last tuesday we had an extremely rare mission conference with President Cardon of our area presidency and his counselor (I forget his name). President Snow of the Presidency of the Seventy also spoke and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Twelve apostles.

All of these men bore powerful testimony and gave uplifting words of advice and comfort all without notes. Elder Holland himself spoke for an hour and twenty minutes. I can't describe the feeling that man can bring to a room full of missionaries. My favorite thing he said was: "If you don't think a mission matters, just look at me. Every good thing that has happened to me has come because of my decision to be a missionary." He also told us that unless you want to be hog tied with a boot in your throat don't come to him saying you want to come home. He was pretty funny. I've never been more ready to die in the service of my God then after Elder Holland finished speaking and he blew a kiss to the missionaries as he left. Both Elder Pinnell and I caught it in the air at the exact same time (We are so freaking weird)! I'm extremely gratefull for the opportunity to meet him and listen to him speak. Not many missionaries will get that opportunity!

So my trainer Elder Akoki has been transfered to Takaradi near the coast. It was hard to say goodbye to him but I'm making it through. My new companion is named Elder Ekaette from Nigeria. He is a small guy with a lot of faith. I'm gaining a whole new perspective on missionary work now that I'm the one who has to schedule everything and keep us working. I'm stressed out but I'll be ok. At least I'm not training. I figure we will both grow a lot since we both had different trainers and we can now share our experience. I'm not gonna lie, my patience is being put to the test. I'm trying, I promise!

So I'm healthy and well now. We all met up today in the same restuarant we ate at a couple weeks ago and I felt sick to see the pizza's come out. I don't think I will eat one in Ghana again.:(

So I've got a ton of pictures coming; around 700 or so. I just need to get them on a DVD and mail them. Hopefully by next Monday they will be on the way. As for the pills you gave me, I'm trying to remember to take them lol. I'll try harder. Don't worry I still have a lot! I do really need my patriarchal blessing. If you can get another copy that would be great. I think if you call the partriarch, he may still have a copy. Thank you much.

The rain is starting to come more often so THAT'S EXCITING! Nothing else thats really new is going on. Elder Holland gave us a warning saying that our mission is not too difficult, it is too easy. That's not the case here in Asokwa and its gonna be a huge transition for Elder Ekaette. Sorry for him, we're used to it. The ward is starting to get into a better shape. Theres still no home teaching in ALL of Kumasi but we are working on it.

I'm sorry If I'm falling behind in my letters home. I've just been SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO BUSY... All right maybe thats not the full truth, I've just been getting lazy. We all have the time but its the energy thats hard to find. I'll try harder:)

SO thats all for now! Hope you're all having a wonderfull day in Beautifull Sunny California (or dreary UTAH, Sorry...). I'm still having a blast here in Kumasi. Just pray I'll be able to get along with my new companion!

Buh Bye for now!
Love, Elder Harris