Elder Harris, Portia and Gordella

Monday, May 31, 2010


Dear Family,

I am enjoying Achiase a lot. I saw Elder Lehr this morning and he said I'm just looking fresh. Well no wonder! My area is awesome, my new companion is cool, and my apartment is sweet. By the way my apartment is directly behind the Ebenezar Methodist Church, circa 1922. It's pretty sweet looking but I hate it soooo much. Every morning at around 4 (even earlier on sundays) they ring this big bell 15 times. DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING! Yeah, just like that.

Today, we journeyed over to Takoradi to play football against both the Takoradi and Swedru zones. It was a lot of fun with President Sabey acting as referee. I really love football a lot, even though I suck at it. I really feel like I am part of the missions now that I've been getting to meet the other zones. Kumasi really is an Island.

So football brings me to last week's Zone Conference with Swedru Zone. When President announced the last goal, he mentioned that he already knew what the next goal would be and that it was coming before the end of the family goal. Really? So for the past couple of months we have been thinking about this new goal. My guess was that we would be doing the Family with a Future leader goal but I was wrong.

President has been really pondering on what do to about a little event in South Africa called the World Cup. He knew that we would want to watch it, and he also knew that members and investigators would invite us to come watch. Football is absolutely huge here in Ghana and that really presents a problem for missionaries who aren't supposed to watch Tv at all. At first, President was trying to think of constructive way that we could watch the matches. For example if there was an investigator in the home of a member who we could then teach. He felt immediatley prompted to not do that. He can't lower the standard for any reason. As he continued to ponder the Lord made it clear to him what he should do. President Sabey told us that he is more excited for this goal than any other the Lord has given us.

The new goal of the Ghana Cape Coast Mission:

1. Every missionary will enter into a covenant to NOT watch any football from June 11th to July 12th.

2. Every missionary will baptize someone found DURING the time a world cup match was on by September 26th.

What a goal! This goal turns what could have been a serious distraction and hinderance to the Lord's work into a wonderrful opportunity to find some really peculiar and powerfull people. This goal will put us to serious work during the entire month of June. We really need to be finding people because once the World Cup is over, that's it! After that we have to work with what we have.

My heart really goes out to those in Kumasi, in particular those in the Dichemso Zone. This is really going to be a hard goal for them. Luckily for us, this goal comes from the Lord and he always provides a way for his commandments to be accomplished as we are faithfull and obedient.

As for the currant goal, we still have about 55 missionaries who have to baptize a husband and wife family before July 4th. Speaking about it, President Sabey said, "I really don't know how we are going to do this." The fact is that we are in a very tight position. If you were to ask anyone who is familiar with missionary work if it were possible for 55 missionaries to baptize a family in a single transfer they would probably ask you if you were crazy! President then gave us a little comfort concerning this. President Packer said that we should approach the edge of the light and step into the darkness. As we do so with faith, we will find that the light will follow and go before us.

We don't know how this goal will be accomplished. But it WILL BE DONE, as we excercise faith and continue work our hardest.

As for me, we have a man who's wife is already a member. He came to church yesterday and he is very excited to be baptized on June 26th. His name is Nana Kojo and he doesn't speak a word of English :) It will be sweet to see him enter into the Kingdom of God.

Everything else is going just fine. We all had to sign a Ghana flag indicating that we had enterered into a covenant with the Lord that we would not watch football during the World Cup. This will be hard for some missionaries but President made it very clear that even though he doesn't send missionaries home for breaking the rules, he believes this is much more important and he doesn't want someone who can't keep this covenant in his mission. At the end of the World Cup, how many missions in the world will be able to honestly say that none of their missionaries watched a single match of the World Cup? I'm willing to bet it will be one.

The work is moving forward in Achiase. The branch needs a lot of work but that's ok. I don't eat a lot of different foods, but that's ok too. Oranges are pretty freaking good here. I eat oats, indomie, rice, and egg sandwhiches. Fruit is hard to find but I eat it when I find it:) I also started taking those vitamins you gave me, lol. Sorry it took so long.

That's all for now, I'll tell you more about my area when I email next week. All I can say is that I'm happier than I've been for a long time. I love you all very much!

Elder Harris

Monday, May 24, 2010


Dear Family,

I now feel like I'm really in Africa. I have been transferred to Assin Achiese in the Assin Fosu Zone. We are located about half way between Assin Fosu and Cape Coast. I am literally living in the Jungle now, which is was sweet. We have a nice apartment in the Little village. I'm pretty sure I am the only white man within twenty miles of where I live. Everybody here speaks Twi and there aren't too many people that can read but it has still been fun.

My new companion is named Elder Buah from Accra. There's only one way to describe him and that is: Cool. He's really soft spoken and quite but he is fun to be with at the same time. We teach pretty well together and that's a plus. It kind of sucks for him cause he has to translate everything I say for our investigators. It's been a real challenge with the Twi but at least it will give me an excuse to actually learn the language. The other Elders in my apartment/district are Elder Asiedu and Elder Agama, both from Ghana. That's right I'm the only white guy in the apartment. I am going to be colonized fast. What a turn around from being with nothing but Abrunies to nothing but Obibinis. They are way tight though. I couldn't ask for a cooler apartment.

I'm way excited to be here in Achiese. We have already taught more lessons in three days then we did in a week at Asokwa. Its awesome to be able to fill our day with meaningful work instead of B.S. appointments that end up failing. Sorry for Elder Harrison who switched spots with me. He loved it here. I'm sure he will love Asokwa, just not the work in Asokwa.

Anyways, all is well here in Ghana. Assin Fosu has an internet cafe now so I should be able to email every week. Just don't be surprised if you don't get one every once and a while because this internet cafe stinks really bad. I was pampered in Kumasi!

So I love you all! Hope you've had a good week. Let me know whats going on. Jeremy should get excited for the letter I just sent him;)

Elder Harris Aka Papa Harris (They actually call me that, lol)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Dear Mother,

I just want you to know that I'm going to Asin foso and Elder Lehr is going to Praso. My new companion is supposed to be a really cool Ghanaian. He's MTs with Elder Lehr. I'll be leaving tomorrow around twelve two days after finding out. We don't get to bear testimony in sacrament meeting before going and we barely get to say to goodbye to anybody. We visited Sister Yaa today and that was about it. Its a sad thing but awesome thing at the same time. I'm oft to a new adventure. Foso isn't as bad as praso but its worse than Kumasi by far. Its funny cause I was just beginning to feel at home. This transfer is just what I need to get jump started in the work. The goal should be a lot easier there and I'm a junior companion in a new area where no one speaks english which is sweet, lol.

Well you don't have to worry about me! Things are gonna be awesome there just like they are awesome here. Except this time the work will actually progress! Going with Elder Lehr is probably the best part of this. We will be in the same Zone and will see each other a lot. I'll also get to see Elder Pinnell and others too. By the way I just thought it was funny that Elder Adjeifio and Elder Akoki will now be zone leaders together! Thats a bizarre twist!

Well that's all for now! Don't talk to girls on your mission! You get sent bad places...jk;)

Love Elder Andrew

Monday, May 17, 2010


Second e-mail of the day

Hey mom, i just got transferred to the bush. Chifo Praso or something like that. You might not hear from me for a while cause we only get to email once every two weeks I think. :( I love you!

Love Elder Harris


Dear family,

Today is P-day. Translation: Party Day. Not only is it P-day, it is the beginning of P-Week, the sixth week of every transfer. We love P-day a lot a lot a lot.

Today at some point we will get transfer news. President hasn't called at all so that's a good thing. He only calls for leadership positions and training. Later tonight we'll get a call from the Zone Leaders letting us know who is going and who is staying. With this goal, I don't think too much will change for at least one more transfer. Elder Lehr, Clements, and I are all ripe for change since we've all been in this are for FOREVER. Lehr is at 9 months, I'm at 7 and a half, and Clemments is at 6. We like it here but I wouldn't mind a change:)

Not too much is happening. Things are moving seriously slow and I'm feeling pretty tired. Luckily I got a pretty good spiritual boost at church, which is funny since I couldn't understand anything during sacrament meeting and the other classes were super boring. Maybe it was all the white girls from Utah that somehow made their way to Asokwa this week. They can make any boring meeting worth going to, lol. The funny part is how none of us except Elder Clements had the guts to go talk to them. I guess its been a long time since I talked to a cute white girl. :) Hopefully I'm not weird when I come home!

Mr. Boeteng came home finally and I'm starting to see the same pattern that happened to William before he was baptized. Satan is taking a real stand against them with sickness and financial problems. We visited them on Saturday but we weren't able to teach much. We just set up another appointment and blessed Teresa, Mr. Boateng's wife. I guess that they are trying to send their daughter to the university and the money is a big problem. I'm still confident because their testimony still seems strong, they just need to get through this tough time. William did for our last goal and I'm sure A.A. Boeteng and his wife will too. This goal does tend to give me a headache sometimes.

SOOO, what else? Lol, I missed an opportunity to send mail out when the Aps came last week and because of a weird twist of events, we won't get another opportunity for about two weeks:/ Oops. Don't worry I have mail sitting on my desk. OH WAIT. If someone gets transferred I can send it down with them. So maybe its not so bad, lol.

Did you know that when you crack you knuckles, your releasing gas and not really cracking anything...

My companion has come down with some sort of skin fungus on his back and arms. I have once again taken on the responsibilities of apartment doctor/massage therapist and I get to rub cream and powder all over this back twice a day. Yeah it's a lot of fun i get to enjoy for the next two weeks!

All right, that's all for now. I'll tell you whats up next Monday. Maybe I'll be in a new area with a new companion with the goal finished! Or I'll still be here in Asokwa which would be just as awesome. I really don't care all that much:) I'M JUST PISSED I'M NOT AN AP YET!!!!...jk

Love Elder Harris

Monday, May 10, 2010


Dear Family,

So talking to you guys was pretty sweet last night. Don't worry about me getting enough sleep cause that was my main activity today. That and cleaning for apartment checks tomorrow. Yeah pretty boring day but it was nice.

This week has been pretty typical. The work is pretty slow except for two or three serious investigators. Mr Boeteng is still out of town but I'm sure I won't get transferred before the end of this goal in July. I'm not afraid anymore for his wife either. I'm convinced both will join the church, they just need to come back from this stupid funeral.

I only have one more transfer here in Asokwa before I've been here as long as Akoki was. That's 9 months in my first area if I don't get transferred in the next couple of weeks! I hope I don't get transferred either cause I want to be here when Brother Boeteng is baptized. It's not why I'm here but it's still pretty sweet to see your work actually bring forth fruit! Especially in this area.

Calling home has left me feeling pretty good. When I talked to you guys it felt like no time had passed at all. It was kind of weird but awesome. Now its only 7 months till Christmas!

Well I don't have that much to write. This internet is being stupid today, Sorry:( I love you all again! Hopefully next week will be better but if it isn't just remember where I am. TIA

I've got letters coming for all those that deserve them. For Kim Barlow: I sent a couple letters to your old address before I knew you moved so if they don't come sorry. Jordan Thomas: I got your letters, you have some coming:)

Love, Elder Harris

Monday, May 3, 2010


Hello Family!

This week has really flown by fast!

Last week, Pday was changed to Tuesday so our Interviews could take place on Monday. On Wednesday I had to instruct for District meeting. I talked about how taking upon ourselves the Yoke of Christ helps us to overcome challenges, temptations, weaknesses, and so on and so forth. I've taught this same type of instruction a few times now. I'm either bad at coming up with new ideas or this is just something I need help with.

Well Anyways, Friday we had splits with our new zone leader. He is really freaking cool and knows what being a good missionary means. He's also not afraid to give it to a stubborn investigator who likes to ask STUPID questions that lead us to stupid topics that JUST DON'T MATTER. Sometimes I forget how young our whole zone really is. When we get a chance to be with one of the older missionaries from time to time it feels like they know sooo much more than us. That reminds me of something somebody said to me once: Just as you really start to feel like you know what you're doing, your coming home. Just as long as I'm improving at a pretty good rate, I'll be fine.

The other nights we spent with the Kiffers watching conference. It was pretty awesome (as if you can't say that about every conference). I think my favorite favorite talk was given by President Eyring during Priesthood Session. My other favorites were President Uchtdorf, Dallin H Oaks, Jeffrey R Holland ( I shook his hand...be jealous), David A Bednar, and of course President Monson. I can't describe the spirit that I felt fill the room of the UST chapel as President Uchtdorf read off the names for a sustaining vote and as we all raised our hands, thousands of miles away, weeks too late. I really know that our leaders are wonderful men, called of God to lead and direct His children on the Earth today. It fills my heart with joy to know that I have the opportunity to live at a time where the Lord is performing so many miracles and it humbles me to know that I can sometimes be a part of those miracles. I have seen it happen.

This week we had the opportunity to visit and teach Brother AA Boeteng. He told us that because of his son in law's funeral he hasn't had much time to read the Book of Mormon so we asked if he could help us know what he was able to read. He sat up and thought for a second (I can say it looked like a light lit up in his eyes). Well I did learn something he said, Then he had us turn to CHAPTER SEVENTEEN of First Nephi!!!! For having no time to read, that is sweet. He then had us read until half way through the chapter where Nephi describes how they ate their food raw because the Lord prepared it and made it sweet to eat. As we read this verse he had us stop and he looked up at us. The week before his family was running into some very tough financial circumstances that have forced his wife to sell stuff on the road so they can have food to eat. He told us that because of his faith in Jesus Christ, the Lord has provided him with food that was prepared in the same way Nephi's food was prepared. Then he asked us if we knew what kind of food he ate. Well, we looked at each other, slightly amazed, and said we don't know. He wouldn't tell us because it's between him and the Lord. Now, I have no idea how Mr. Boeteng received his food, but I know that God is capable of working miracles. I also feel confident that AA Boeteng will be baptized with his wife in a few weeks and our part of the goal will be finished.

I feel refreshed. I feel ready to move on and past my own laziness following all my sickness. I feel ready to break free of my old self. I know it won't ever be easy but it will be worth it. Last week (stop me if i already mentioned this), I had a moment where I pictured myself as the new father of a beautiful baby girl. As I thought, I pictured her as she grew up and became a young women. Then I thought of myself and my self-perception changed completely. I now thought of myself as I think of my own father. I look up to him. I trust him. I love him. Can I be like that? Can I be the father that I need to be? I don't have much time left and I know I need to be better. That is my new focus for my mission. I'm ready to begin truly shaping myself for the future. Is it bad that these thoughts didn't come till 7 months on mission?

Well anyways, everything is going well. I'm just happy I didn't roll my ankle three times both ways and then snap my Achilles tendon! THAT WOULD NOT BE FUN...

Mail is coming for some. If you are having a hard time waiting I refer you to President Uchtdorf's talk in Priesthood session. Just kidding, but seriously it TAKES FOREVER...

I love you all! I miss you all! Thanks for everything!

Elder Harris