Elder Harris, Portia and Gordella

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Today is Tuesday. That's right its Tuesday! My whole world was turned upside down this week because we had interviews yesterday with President Sabey. I guess he has some big huge Mission President Seminar in Accra in a few weeks. Sorry if you got worried or anything. I just forgot to mention it last week:/ Oops

Anyways, today was actually a pretty sweet Pday. As we were playing football in Bantama, the rain started to pound us. It was pretty awesome cause we don't get to be cold very often. We ended up playing for about 4 hours in the pouring rain, nobody wanted to leave. Now I'm paying for it cause I'm literally falling asleep at the computer. Not only did we play football for 4 hours, we walked to town, to the apartment, and then to the cafe. Then the Cafe in the stadium wasn't working so we had to walk all the way to the old cafe in Millennium plaza, a good twenty minute walk away:( Oh well, I'm here now. Back in the day I used to love walking. I even wrote a song here about the late night walks i used to take, after hanging out with friends. They would give it to me later for not telling them I didn't bring my car! That really seems like a long time ago now. I guess I never thought about the fact that if I had taken a ride, I would have been able to talk with my friends longer. Haha, another Oops;)

I can honestly say nothing is really moving here in Asokwa. I told President Sabey in my interview, that I've been struggling to get back on my feet after the whole sickness thing. Things are starting to get back to normal small small, but it really has been a struggle. Don't worry though, I'll be fine as the work starts to pick up. I'm sure that we will be able to complete our goal even though we are half way through and only 25% of the mission has completed it. I just hope that AA Boeteng comes home soon. Elder Ekaette still have our ups and downs but our relationship is improving little bit by little bit. I don't think we will ever be best friends though. We just don't understand each other at all, lol.

The rainy season has begun here in Kumasi. I really really really love it. It rains almost every night and occasionally during the day. Even though we get beaten by the rain every so often, it feels wonderful. Its funny to see how cold the Africans get while I'm enjoying myself. I guess its supposed to get really bad around June or July. That's a good thing because the World Cup is starting on June 6th (BE EXCITED) and proselyting is going to be a pain in the butt. You should try telling a Ghanain to turn his or her TV off when Chelsea or Manchester United is playing (those are football teams). Its not easy. By the way the USA is going to beat England. Sorry Rooney.

Your Stake Conference sounds pretty exciting. Before my mission I wouldn't have cared that much but now I wouldn't miss such a thing for the world. We don't get to here personally from general authorities very often. Especially as the church grows bigger and bigger. The fact that we got to listen to Elder Holland in such an intimate setting is extremely rare. So make sure you go. You don't want to miss out! Don't be scared, if anything were to be happening, now wouldn't be any different from later :)

Your wrap party sounded pretty fun. Did any of the people you shook hands with want to know where the bar was?

All right, I'm out of time and out of energy. I have to instruct District Meeting tomorrow so I have to work on that too. I hope everything is going just fine back home. I love you all and miss you lots!!!

Love Elder Harris
AKA MR Sick of being SICk

Ps. To sing the blues, You've got to pay the dues, AND Carry ON...

Monday, April 19, 2010


..just kidding.

This week I spent 5 hours standing in an even worse hospital than the one at Tech just to spend ten minutes being told to just drink water and don't worry about a cyst in your kidney. Well I hope he knows what he is talking about. Everything is fine now that I actually passed the stone. I even got to play some football and volleyball today with the zones. All I have to do now is drink like 5 liters of water everyday and I should be fine.

This week we finally got back to work and I realized something that I tend to forget again. That work is the answer to all your problems as a missionary. If we didn't work I would go crazy. I almost did last week as I laid in bed and slept every day with nothing to do but the stupid puzzle game the zone leaders gave me (it was actually kind of fun). I do have my guitar which has pretty much kept me sane but its not enough. Basically working helps with boredom and homesickness which are the two greatest enemies that any missionary has to face during his two years in the field.

We had to do a lot of fixing this week. The Lord has given us a spectacular way to begin teaching our investigators called The Commitment Training Pattern which helps us to teach our them how important making and keeping promises is in our daily struggle to come closer to God. At the end of every lesson, we ask the investigator to make a promise to read or pray or come to church and we in turn promise to teach them if they are faithful in keeping their commitment. It has worked wonders for us here in Asokwa but it doesn't work at all if we as the missionaries can't keep our promise because we are stuck in the hospital! So we've been walking around and calling a lot of people, telling them how sorry we are for not keeping our promise and making sure we can set up new appointments. Its been a whole lot of fun...

Mr. AA Boeteng disappeared for a week but luckily he gave us a call on Friday. He had traveled (a term that could me anything from a day trip to moving 300 miles away) for a funeral in some village and will be coming back soon. He told us that when they returned, he and his wife would be coming to church. YES, contacting can work! Who would have thought? Brother Acheampong however is getting harder and harder to see and I'm afraid that he is becoming less serious about his dead brother's church. We are still trying but most of the time we just spend time answering the freaking smart questions his children ask us. Keep praying for these people. We can't do this alone. President taught us at our last zone conference that we should pray as if everything depends on Him but work as if everything depends on us. If we do this, we can do anything the Lord has commanded us to do.

NUMERO UNO's is gone??? Well I know there was one in Glendale, but I don't know if its still there. I think it was on Brand BLVD. Wow, I'm pretty proud of myself for remembering the street!

I've decided that I will probably stay away from cheeseburgers and pizza's here. Chicken and rice is just fine for me. I will never ever go back to Queen's Gate again! Something bad happens to me every time we go there!

When I was in the hospital everyone had to leave me. President called Elder Lehr to make sure nothing bad could happen to me there. It wasn't really that bad; I got to watch CSI Miami!

All right so don't worry about me anyone. Everything checks out and I'll be just fine as long as I drink water constantly. I figure its all part of the experience. I'm glad Stephanie is doing fine! Let her know that I'm praying for her!

I Love you all! Sorry for the crazy letters. Malaria can have a weird effect on your brain and I'm pretty crazy anyway. Also, I don't really go back and reread them at all, lol. I just finish and send them off. I've got a bunch sitting on my table just waiting for a chance to leave Kumasi. Some are pretty old actually. Be patient though!


Monday, April 12, 2010


Dear Family,

Well, this was a week of firsts for sure. Remember how when I ate at Queens Gate last time I got Malaria and threw up ALL NIGHT LONG? Well I thought that if I ate a hamburger nothing bad would happen. WRONG. The next morning I was having some pains on the right side of my back but decided I would go to district meeting anyway. On the way the Tech Elders called and told us we should just have a district meeting at their apartment since the Kiffers were in Accra. By the time we were there I was having a hard core ache around my right kidney. For district meeting we just listened to a couple talks from conference by President Uchtdorf and President Eyring. Those guys are freaking studs! Anyways near the end of President Eyring's talk I decided the pain was too much and that using the bathroom was the obvious thing to do in order to alleviate the pain. Well it didn't work. I waited till the talk ended and stepped out of the bathroom. I looked at everyone for a minute and they looked back at me with strange looks in their faces ( i must have looked pretty bad). I said, "I need a blessing." Somebody then said, "Well lets call Sister Sabey." I said "NO, I need a blessing RIGHT NOW!" Elder Peterson then did the anointing and Elder Lehr sealed the anointing.

Well Sister Sabey didn't know what to do so she told us to go to the hospital. It was a "lucky" thing I had decided to go to district meeting because I wouldn't have known where to go in Asokwa. It was also a "lucky" thing we had decided to go to the apartment because they had plenty of money to pay the hospital bills (they weren't that expensive). So they did a bunch of tests and they thought it was kidney stones. HOW FUN!! Unfortunately the doctor left before they could tell me that and show me the ultrasound so I had to spend my first night in a hospital. AN AFRICAN HOSPITAL with AFRICAN NEEDLES. Don't worry it wasn't as bad as you might think. I was reasonably comfortable and everything was pretty clean. It was in a university.

So the next day about 24 hours after I had first gotten there my doctor finally came in and gave me the scoop. They couldn't find any stones on the ultrasound but the pain I was experiencing was classic for kidney stones. However they did find a 1.0cm x 1.0cm cyst on my right kidney. What that means I don't really know yet. They told me I need to go to another hospital to see a urologist . So we went to this other crazy hospital and found out I needed to wait till Friday. Then when we went on Friday they told me I need to come back on Wednesday!!! Freaking Africa!

I've been suffering for the past few days with pains from the kidney stones but I think I finally past one on Saturday night and the pain has been less since then. I think I'm gonna be all right just as long as this cyst thing isn't a big deal. Believe me the waiting sucks.

DON'T WORRY ABOUT ME. I know that will be hard for you Mom but I figured if i waited to tell you, you would be more mad. lol. It really isn't that big of a deal. I don't think this thing will turn out to be anything serious. Who knew I was so full of tumors and cysts and things!? I asked President if he should call you last week but he said he wanted to wait till he knew more about what was really wrong with me.

So that's my story for the week. I only taught one lesson this whole week. The rest of the time I have been stuck indoors doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. I can't tell just how hard that is for a missionary away from home. BUT that's all part of the experience. I thank the Lord I am OK and I pray that everything will be all right.

None of my investigators came to church yesterday. AA Boeteng was out of town at least but Acheampong just straight up lied to us. I really hope something just came up, but usually that's just not the case.

I got your package this week. It was pretty awesome. I absolutely love the picture of Murphy. His bottom lip always cracks me up. Pictures are the best In mail. So just take pictures of everything and everybody and send them to me. I've also decided that I could use some sandals. I don't need them right away so you can just wait till you need to send another big package. Everything in this one was great by the way. Elder Ekaette hasn't been able to put down his camera. He went through the batteries the first night:/
(He was way excited:)

Don't move to Texas. Utah is OK but I don't think I can handle Texas...;) (we are not moving anywhere anytime soon)

I can't describe just what Kenke is. Its like a light porridge that tastes like dirt. I had it before I got malaria and just the thought of it makes me gag.

Wow, Mike Hess is getting married?? Now that's feels freaking strange!! I can still remember the day he left for his mission. It feels just like yesterday! Send my congrats!

So that's all the time I have now! Don't worry about me again! I'll let you know next week whats going on:)

I love you,
Elder Harris

Monday, April 5, 2010


Good Afternoon!

So yesterday was Easter and I'm pretty sure we were some of the few missionaries in the world that partook of the Sacrament because WE DON'T GET CONFERENCE....:(

Oh well I guess I'm over it. I hope YOU all watched it and enjoyed every second of it! All I want is my own copy of the Ensign and maybe even the audio:)

So yesterday we just had our regular fast and testimony meeting. It was funny because when nobody got up, Bishop just started calling people at random. One or two people got up and ran out before they could be called on. I wasn't paying much attention to the Twi and Elder Lehr whispered in my ear that I had been called. Don't ever believe Elder Lehr right away cause half the time he is just messing with you. I waited and people just kept going up so I guess he never called me! Freaking guy.

I don't know if I mentioned Mr. A.A. Boeteng last week but he and his wife came to church yesterday and really enjoyed it. He called us over as we walked by his place a couple weeks ago and wanted to know what we are doing so we reluctantly started to teach him and his wife. Such contacts are rarely serious. Most of them just want a little some some from the white man with the money. After church yesterday we went to visit him and he said that he really loved church and that he really believes that Joseph Smith was a prophet who saw God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. Well surprises come even here in Asokwa. I felt the spirit prompt me to start talking about baptism so I did but I didn't commit him yet because he hasn't started to read the Book of Mormon. I know that he may believe Joseph Smith is a prophet but such a belief means nothing without the Holy Ghost and the Book of Mormon. I just hope he is serious:)

Brother Acheampong didn't come to church yesterday but when we met him afterwards he told us he wants to leave his church for ours and will come next week. I'm not sure how serious he really is, but I have great hopes for him and his family. Keep them all in your prayers please. I have faith that the Lord will complete His goal through us as we try our hardest.

So there was a 7.0 earthquake huh? If that happened here LOTS of people will die and EVERYONE would be freaking out except for me. Don't worry though cause we have no volcanoes that could potentially burn us all alive!

Don't tell me about your homemade Mac and Cheese. That's like a cuss word for me.

I did eat a hamburger today and I ate it with everything on it...and I liked it! Loved it actually. I'm confident that I will be able to eat anything when I come home except for Ice Kenke....

This week we got beaten by the rain twice. The first time I didn't have my nice boots on and I suffered for an hour in a crappy shelter. The wind was blowing and my shoes just filled with water. I'm gonna suffer when I come home because I was FREAKING COLD! The rainy season will be nice as long as I can keep out of the rain. Its funny cause everytime I say the rain is coming my companion says, "I don't think." It comes every single time.

So I've been pretty tired for the past week. I think the 5th week of transfers is a lot like the 2nd to last lap of the 3200 in track. It is the last lap you really have to work through before you just let it all go. We just got transfer news down stairs in the restaurant as we waited THREE hours for our food. Elder Adjei went home today and Elder Holmes his companion is being sent to Dichemso (sorry). Elder Jeppesen is training and his companion Elder Petterson is getting a new companion from down south. Our new District Leader doesn't want me to say who he is so all I'll say is that nobody in our apartment is changing (YES!!!!).

We didn't make any eggs yesterday. In fact it didn't feel like Easter at all...Funny how that works. I really can't believe how fast time is going. Ghana is actually starting to feel like home now. I just wish that it was not so freaking humid. I don't care about the heat, its just so WET. Its worse down south I'm told even though they get a breeze from the ocean.

So my companion loves to get your emails. Keep sending them cause he really doesn't have anybody to talk to. Even if your not my family, you can email him at: ntiense.ekaette@myldsmail.net

So I'm doing just fine! I hope your enjoying El NINO. It sounds pretty fun if you ask me. I'm still alive and I'll be home in no time.

I love you all,
Elder Harris