Elder Harris, Portia and Gordella

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Last Email

My dear mother,

Dad's email came first and now the emotion is wearing off and I feel more normal now. First, I don't know why but the lyrics you left me got me so excited. I know its bad to say but Elder Buah loved that song in Achiese! Especially when they say is that you choking? or are you just joking and they make choking noises. He used to play along on my guitar. I miss him. He went home about five weeks ago.

Well this is it. Yesterday, Elder Haderlie came to do interviews in Kojokrom ward. It was his last day to see most of the members there. He will spend this week mostly in Sofokrom. Eric was sick so he couldn't come to church. You can imagine how anxious I was waiting for him during the entire Sacrament meeting before I could talk to Porchia. I kept saying to my self that he would have to wait to be baptized. I got really happy when I found out he was at home puking his guts out with malaria! I was like yes! He can be baptized. I sent the quorum president to his house to bless him and we went to interview him later. He looked tired last night but I ran into him today in town and he looked perfectly normal. The baptism is all set with the total number being four. Eric, Ebenezer, Belinda, and Veronica. Eric is the only one who is above the age of twelve. Two more young kids are preparing for the fifteenth if October. Others may be ready as they continue to progress as well. That would put the baptism number at seven and the goal for Kojokrom by the end of the year is fifteen. They are being taught by the mission president and the stake president about how ward mission plans are supposed to work. Their goals will only be accomplished as the member are willing to commit and bring referrals for us to teach. It's crazy that I will be on the other side of that now.

Last Monday we went to a family home evening with a certain member and he invited a local government guy to join us. Well, apparently he didn't have much time to prepare because he walked into the small room completely drunk. As you probably know, politicians like to talk and Ghanaian politicians are worse. Our brother tried to start a discussion on what we all learned at Stake Conference last Sunday and since he wasn't there the guy seemed somehow angry and kept saying that our brother wasn't serious. He ruined the whole night and I didn't know whether I should laugh or be angry. I just decided to be fairly entertained.

Next time we communicate I'll either be in LA or we will be in the Spirit World. I'm not too big on flying. Last time I kept thinking that we could blow up or crash in the ocean or something. The worst part was that woman with the food cart who would smash your shoulder if you happened to fall asleep. The guys on the other side got the sweet woman who had a son on a mission. We got the angry woman. I wrote this the other day:

Absence of feeling as the plane goes down
Everyone's screaming but you hear no sound
Miles away but your still around
How long till we all hit the ground?

Enter the light
There's millions of people
Everybody here knows your name

Calling you out
They crowd around you
They all want to welcome you home

Wearing all white
Everything's perfect
More perfect then you ever have known

Millions of people
Beautiful people

Sorry I'm just teasing. I know you'll probably be worried sick that day! Don't worry air travel is very safe and even though Elder Lehr's plane didn't blow up the odds are still very low. I hope this doesn't turn out to be a very bad joke, knock on wood.

Well you know how I feel about coming home if you read Dad's email. It's not easy. It's so hard to do but I know I have no choice and I must go where God would have me. I will meet many of my friends again someday. It is a good motivation to work hard and be a good boy. I'll be writing and emailing as well.

Well I don't have much more to say. I love you very much. My size for the G's is S for the shirt and SS for the pants. Yeah I'm a small boy. You can get the Drylux t-shirt one's just like the ones I have now. If I need differents, I can get them in the future. As for food, I don't care much, lol. I'm being forced to wear my suit home so don't laugh at the fact that my pants don't match it at all anymore. I hope my shoes make it to the end. If you don't want me to cut my hair I won't. I will be ridiculed since I already committed to shaving my hair but I don't really care that much. It just needs to be cut cause I look like an idiot.

All right this is the last time:

Love Elder Harris
Dagger Todd
Koffi Hope

Monday, September 12, 2011


Well I'm on my way out now and P-day has been killed. Now we can only have activities with the Zone every two weeks and we have to stay in our area during the other weeks. We can come to town if we want to pay the transportation fees. As I told my companion that I would like to go anyway even if I had to pay for him and me, he asked me why? You only have four weeks left. I thought for a second and agreed with him. If I had more time on my mission it would be worth it coming to Takoradi but I'm not going to force my companion to come with only some small small time left. Elder Haderlie is stubborn though so I had him come and do my dirty work. As for me I stayed in the apartment and super cleaned our kitchen and I've been on a crusade to keep it clean ever since. I went as far as scrubbing the walls with bleach. As long as I'm here the apartment will be a house of prayer, a house of learning, and a house of order. In short, a house of God. Hopefully it will be a habit I can keep for the rest of my life.

Today we played football with a bunch of member kids. We played full pitch with only 14 people total. Normally there's 22 so we had to do a lot of running but it was fun. It was my last football on mission. I'll never have the chance to see my son in Cape Coast, unless he comes to see me at the mission home. Not sure if that's possible but it would be sweet. I'm preparing myself for the end and I've bought a few things. Don't be too excited though because I have tried hard not to be a tourist and I haven't bought too much. Just some things I thought were pretty cool.

The weather has taken a turn. The skies are clearing up and the sun is shining. I spent a whole month putting on sun screen every day even though it was cloudy all the time and on the day I forgot to put it on the sun came out. I was terribly fried on Saturday, mostly on my poor nose. Ironic huh??

We had an investigator that we contacted come to church yesterday. The total number of investigators at church was five and we were excited. Our baptism will be held on the first of October and will include five people. Four are under 15 years old but that's still cool. Eric will be baptized as well. One by one we will bring Porcha's family into the church. We'll be working on one or two others who might be ready as well but it will be hard for them to come to church next week since it is Stake Conference in Takoradi. It will be a good way to wrap up the mission experience.

I bore my final testimony at zone conference a couple weeks ago. It felt really weird and I kept thinking about one Elder who left after my first transfer. He always told me to enjoy my mission. Hey time flies. They announced my leaving in priesthood meeting last Sunday and they also announced that I would teach all the priesthood on my last Sunday. Whoopie?

I thought of a birthday present if you really want to get me one. The best thing you can get for me will be a weeks worth of garments and some temple clothes. I'm going to burn all the ones I have except what I need for the plane ride. I hope you guys will come to the temple with me!

Well I don't know if I will be able to email next week but you should still email because Elder Haderlie will take pictures of them to bring to me. I got an email with pics from Elder Lehr and that guy is enjoying! I miss him a ton. Elder Pinnell is still down for January so that is still the plan. I can't wait to be at that Foo Fighters concert, lol.

I love you all!
Elder Harris
Dagger Todd

Don't look too closely
You know I might disappear
It's not that I don't mind
In fact I do it's a fear

I came in through the outdoor
Against the masses I enter the light

My mind is up in the clouds
Seasons come and go
Seasons come and go

My mind is up in the clouds
Seasons come and go
Seasons come and go

In the sun I come undone
Spinning circles we have fun
In the sun I come undone
Spinning circles we have fun

If I go wrong, please, please just give me time
(I might come back)
Ripples and shakes, Ripples and shakes
Blank Eyes, Overdrive

I came in through the outdoor
Against the masses I enter the light

My grey world
My grey world

My Grey World- Drew Harris

Monday, August 29, 2011

Dear Family,

Today we played football against some of the members from Takoradi and Sekondie. We played all right but they scored us three times at the end. Last week I was rocking the middle part and this week I came to the game with what I call the golden spike. I pushed all hair forward into a spike of golden hair at the front. Yeah I rocked it. It's fun having hair. Too bad I'm shaving it down to a one the week before I come.

Yesterday we had our ward conference and the theme was "The Eternal Blessings of Marriage." None of our investigators came and we have moved our September 10th baptism to October 1rst. They are all too sketchy right now. I need to know they will come and stay forever before I'll even consider baptizing them. I'm in on hurry and if they don't get in the water before I leave I'm fine with that. Some would think it needs to be as soon as possible. Not so when they aren't ready.

Lately its been raining a lot. It's a pain because it doesn't come down heavily then stop and you know it's done. Instead it sort of mists all the time and you never know when your going to get beat by the rain. None of my shoes are waterproof anymore but it hasn't stopped us. We still make the appointments we set despite the rain, horribly muddy roads, and sleeping investigators. Rain just puts everyone asleep here but they are afraid to death of it and won't go out so its a good time to catch people in their homes.

The conference was sweet. I was hoping they would try to motivate people to try and get married but instead they just scared the crap out of everyone by talking about how careful we need to be in choosing a partner because you know if you choose wrong you will be in eternal sorrow... I had my mouth open a little bit. Everything he said was true but the way he brought it will just discourage them even more. Yeah you have to choose wisely but you have to move forward with faith as well. Oh well I'm glad I live in America.

I have four more emails before I go home! I'm calm and relaxed about it now...on the outside. On the inside I'm terrified of leaving my friends behind. Some are those I helped bring into the church and the idea of leaving them to face life alone is not easy. I have faith though and as long as they have a firm testimony they will stay. I give them motivation by telling them the only way you will be able to meet me again is by enduring. Maybe I'll be able to come back again some day but who knows when that will be! By then everything may change especially since those I'm closest with are about my age. Oh well this is all part of the work. I have better, more important work ahead.

I like the walrus story! It's been a long time since I've seen a walrus.

I'm out of time! I love you though and I'm glad your anniversary was sweet. Pretty soon it will be 50 years...!!

Love Elder Harris

Monday, August 22, 2011

6 Weeks And Counting

Dear Family,

Today Elder Lehr went to the eternal RM grave along with many of my friends and most of the Obruni's in the mission. We will miss them but we are happy they are gone. Today everyone who was in the mission when I came is now dead and gone and we are the seniors. Exactly six weeks from today I will be on my way to the mission home.

As for the itinerary, I have no clue what's going on. I can give Sister Shulz a call tonight and see what's up. Maybe they're getting ready to extend my mission for six months on account of my exceeding spirituality and deep conviction for the work. Maybe they just forgot to send it. They are all very new in the office. Don't worry though I'm coming home and that's all that matters.

As for the malaria don't worry I'm on it. I'm in the net and I'm taking the doxy. My companion died of malaria but Elder Jeppesen's compa had some sickness that didn't kill him till after he was sent home. I'm doing everything I can not to get it again. Four times was enough.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM! As for mine it was uneventful. I was given one freaking sweet gift by Porcha but I can't tell you what it is cause it would give yours away. I'm sure it took forever though. I don't think more hard work has ever gone into a birthday present I've received. Other then that we ate twinky's and I scared the crap out of a few people with some party poppers Elder Baron left me. I'm passed it now though and I'm moving forward.

As for the work it is moving forward. Elder Rogers is coming down to Cape to be a zone leader and my grandson is now training. That means I have two sons, a grandson, and a great grandson. Impressive for a missionary who is still alive. Rogers told me that a guy named Michael that we started teaching just got baptized and that two of our recent converts are preparing for missions. We are experiencing some opposition now but I'm confident that everything will work out for the best even if I'm not here to see it. I intend to sprint to the finish and come home knowing I did my best.

Well my companion isn't doing anything so I'm going to go. I love you all and wish you the best.

Elder Harris


Monday, August 15, 2011

Dear Family,

I decided to send you some pictures today. Elder Haderlie's parents got his travel info and he'll be flying into Salt Lake then Idaho. He'll have a four hour layover in New York. Elder Lehr goes home next week. I feel so freaking weird all the time. I hate it a little bit.I just wish I could forget about it and go to work, but hey that's freaking hard. I can only imagine how my companion feels. He could train after I go home and I don't think he thinks he is ready. I know he is ready even though he's still learning. That would sure help him grow up fast. He's doing very well but I feel like he's doing what I did. That is just letting me pull him along. He's trying to be better especially after we talked about it but it's hard to shake that feeling with your trainer that he's the one in charge.

My mind is a little bit all over the place. I'm tired as well. Last Thursday we had a meeting with the Area doctor Elder Fife. He taught us all the dangers of getting malaria and that the medication used to kill it once you get it is becoming less affective as the bug gets stronger. He told us that an Elder who just had two months to go home died because the medication wasn't working. He said that he was from Accra and never took his Doxy. Well I didn't realize that the time he had left would make him my Mt and you could imagine my surprise when I found out it was my MTC companion Elder Nkrumah. There were four in my room at the MTC: Elder Jeppesen, me, Elder Nkrumah, and Elder Jeppesen's companion. Now both Elder Jeppesen's companion and my companion are dead. Well I'm trying really hard to make sure I don't get malaria because that room is CURSED! All I could do was sort of chuckle when I heard the news. I didn't know him too well but I feel sorry for his family who weren't members. He was a great guy to be sure. Now I guess I'll never have to send him those MTC pics he asked for.

We have been getting steady referrals every week for the past few weeks. Some of them are really good and prepared and I have great hope for some baptisms. Yesterday we taught one girl who stays in the house of a member family. She came to church last week and seems really interested. Eric is progressing as well. He came to church again yesterday and he has a date set for September. His only problem is I can see he is bored at church and really I can't blame him because the members here just read straight from the manuals for their talks. It drives me crazy but I don't really know how to address it. I just hope that he continues to build his faith on the Book of Mormon. Everything else will follow.

Well I wish I had more to report but I don't. We are working and I'm tired but still going. My companion will remember me for working till the end. I'm obedient and I'm taking my doxy and sleeping in my net. Porcha is teaching me to crochet now. It's a pain to learn but I'm getting better at it. Mom's present for her birthday will be better then anything I'll bring home for people. Just know that it was made with love and a lot of effort on the part of my recent convert. I don't even know what part of it is yet but you should be excited.

I love you all and wish you the best for the coming week. Let me know if you get my travel plans. I would like to know if we are all going to New York or not. If they separate us I'll be super pissed. Ta ta Mi Amigos!

Elder Harris

Look on the flip side
It could have gone real bad
The way I see this thing
It worked out all the better
The better best anyhow
And you know that you're so very precious to me
You know you're so high-class

Now I need to clear a few things up
I need to get my head clear
Need to clear the air

Should be clear I'm a cold, hard killer
Who's sophisticated with a touch of high-class
A heart-breaker bringing death by sexy
A lady-killing mama in a rock n' roll band

Even though I am a black-hearted devil, honey
I must admit you're really under my skin
But nothing's going on between us
If he thinks it is then I would feel so bad
But nothing's going on between us
If he thinks it is then I would feel so bad

Eagles Goth- Eagles of Death Metal

Monday, August 8, 2011

Dear Family,

I've got my B-day package sitting below the desk I'm at. I love getting them but man are they a pain to get to the apartment. I will open it when I get there even though my birthday isn't till next week. I can't just have it sitting there in the apartment!

Today, Cape Coast and Abura came to play football. I played for the first half but I was dead before the second. I said goodbye to those who are leaving in a couple weeks. They are the only group left before mine. There was Elder Keller, Elder Bahme, Elder Jackson, and Elder Mackay. Their group was huge. Elders Buah, Lehr, Tracy, Hancey, and many others will go also. I think the total was like 26 including the Sisters who left six months ago. Its weird to see them go. Today I filled out my travel information for the mission office. I believe you will get my plans before I do. On the paper it said I will leave Tuesday the fourth. It's not real yet.

I talked to Elder Tracy last night too and he said that he and Elder Pinnell want to drive down to Cali for new years and pick me up. I told he has to now and I was a little too excited for it last night. Going home is such a strange bittersweet experience. Wanting to go home and hating the fact you have to leave some of the best friends you've ever had, never to see them again, just conflicts in the mind. I've been trying not too but the date is hard to forget everyday. Luckily I have a freaking sweet companion and my apartment is cool as well. I'm also going to finish in the best area I ever served in. I have more friends here then anywhere else.

Enough about the future. Our days are becoming more routine again. We spend most of our time trying to find and teach those we contacted during Elder Eriabie's first week. They are dropping like flies but as we have strived to work and stay obedient to the new stuff President Shulz has brought, we have been blessed with some good referrals. One named Josephine came to church yesterday. We continue to search and search but contacting here is and always will be ineffective till the members help us out a little bit more. They are trying small small though and I am thankful for the way the Lord has blessed us. I'm hoping to have a baptism for two on September 3rd.

Elder Eriabie is getting much more comfortable as a missionary. It was hard for him at first and unlike my first son, I actually had to be the fire in the companionship. Part of that might have been the fact that Elder Rogers and I were both new to the area and we had to rely on each other more. I'm the king of Kojokrom now so I know the area very well and Elder Eriabie is still learning. I definitely don't feel any of the stupid pressure that I made up in my head while I was first training. The feeling that when something went wrong, like a failed appointment, was my fault and now I have to figure out what to do next. I usually have to figure out where we are going but there's no pressure. Maybe it's the fact that numbers just don't matter to me at the end of the day. They are good to work towards, as a guide, but if I did everything I could that day and we still didn't teach a certain number of lessons, well I did my best. Training is sweet and he's a cool guy so life is good and we are working hard. Not much else to report.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDMA!!!! I wrote you a letter that should have been sent to Cape Coast today with the assistants. You might get it before I come home! I hope you enjoy your very special day!

Yesterday six of us went out to Shama beach to meet a sweet member family there. We planned a service project but it didn't go through because of the constant rain in our area. We took two tro tro's, then walked for about twenty minutes to the beach and boarded a small canoe that took us out to a big peninsula where there is a small fishing village. The canoe had holes in it and we had to constantly pour water out with a small container. My companion doesn't know how to swim, and neither did more then half the passengers so if we sank they would have all died, but don't worry because we weren't being disobedient at all. We aren't supposed to use "private" boats and this was a commercial ferry canoe! My companion was really nervous though and almost capsized us one time so the boat man made him change positions. He was really scared but he was shaking, lol. We made it to the people's home and enjoyed with the family. We ate this really good banku with a light soup that was just full of little fishes and eel. We also got to help a whole bunch of people pull in a big fishing net full of the day's catch. I took some sweet pics that you will see one day. These people trek to church every Sunday for like two hours to make it by 9:00 am. They are wonderful people.

Well I've got to go home now. I want to open my package! Give my love to all who still remember me! ;)

Love Elder Harris
AKA Koffi Hope

Here it is again a little bit improved. I went to type the second verse and forgot the last three lines to I just wrote these here in the cafe. I'm still working on it though. Maybe next week it will be finished.

Hello, bloodshot eyes
Another day in the revelry
Under blue skies
Got to find some new friends
Walk around in your dirty shoes
It ain't the same but it ain't different
And you can't lose

We all went up and they shot us down
There is no use in running around

Hello Mr. Empty Space
Got to give you the benefit,
Of leaving no trace
Aren't we all on a roll?
We shoot up but I don't know
What makes takes it's toll
Who's in control?

We all went up and they shot us down
There is no use in running around

Monday, August 1, 2011

Dear Mother,

Yeah my shoes would have been toast without the boots. They are starting to fall apart but I'll make them live with glue! I'm glad I don't have to worry about the school stuff. The date's look right to me now. I can see where the mistake came from too. Oh well I'll deal with it then. I believe the deadline it December 1 or something.

I'm glad the wedding was sweet. I hope the best for Claire and her new husband. Where will they live? In Utah or what?

This week has been somehow busy compared to last week. We now have plenty of people to teach but many are dropping off because they aren't really interested. They are so full of smiles during the first visit! We have also run into some pretty crazy people too. You meet all sorts of people when you go house to house, hill to hill. I now know Kojokrom like the back of my hand. We go everywhere and explore just to see what we can find.

We have met some really good people. Brother Eric came to church this Sunday! The rain clouds were looming and he missed the Sacrament but at least he tried! Porcha gave a sweet talk and really gave it to people who show up late and miss the Sacrament. I feel like Eric is really doing what is necessary to know our message is true. If he continues he will gain a testimony and I hope to have a baptism during the first week of September. That would be really sweet. There are also a couple of others that may progress by then too.

Elder Eriabie is opening up a lot. Like I said, he's not shy, just a little bit quite. He's figuring out the local humor and what Ghanaian's like to talk about. His teaching is improving and we are doing well to prepare for each lesson. I kind of feel like I'm preparing the area for him to take over in October. I'm working harder then I ever have during my whole mission, including my first months with Elder Akoki. I also feel like it has been rather effective work, rather then pointless stuff. The Lord is already blessing us for our efforts. I plan to sprint so that I don't come home a lazy sack of trash like some I know and love. Haha, they would know I was talking about them too!

I'm glad your going to take a couple weeks off from work. I don't know what will be going on to tell you the truth. I guess I'll have to get some work, lol. I'll probably be all on fire to get life moving. I also know that Elder Vancherie has invited us all to come with him to Lake Powell on the twentieth. I would need about $150 plus gas money to get there. Let me know how you feel about that. It would only be for a couple days. It would be a lot of fun but I'm not really sure I even want to go. That's enough about home. That stuffs doesn't feel real anyway. As for Jeremy I need him to help me record a few songs I wrote out here. I'm hoping he's willing to work with me to write out what's floating around inside my head. I'm also hoping James will be around but I know he might be headed up North for school. Maybe he'll come back for the holidays. Some of the stuff can only be played by him. Nobody else could quite fit the part.

Well I'm running out of time. Sorry it was so short. Here's something I've been working on. The second verse still needs work but I'm on it:

Hello, bloodshot eyes
Another day in the revelry, under blue skies
Got to find some new friends
Run around in your dirty shoes
It aint the same but it aint different
And we can't lose

Hanah went up then I shot her down
There's no real sense in running around

Hello, good afternoon
A greater overused set of words
Has never been this used
Get a rush from the trends
Spin around n'with a whipcrack
Your staring at the sun from the ground
Where you found life had put you down

Hanah went up then I shot her down
There ain't no use in Running around

It's based on that crazy dream with the dogs and the balloons. The chorus is at least.

I love you!
Elder Harris

Monday, July 25, 2011

Dear Mother

There may be flooding in Accra but it hasn't rained here for about a week. That day it rained very heavy but it stopped and there was no flooding in Kojokrom. Nothing that isn't normal I guess. As for shoes I haven't been able to wear my boots so I've had to use my other echoes. The fringe around the edge is coming off but I think they will survive. If the rain lets up a little bit I'll be able to use the boots as well. So we are OK but the Internet was knocked out for some reason last week. My companion doesn't email so we just didn't come back till today.

This last week has been very busy as Elder Eriabie and I have started contacting heavily on a day to day basis. I have found that the only way I'll be able to teach him is to tract out people to teach. It's been nice because not only have we found a few very good investigators, they have all progressed at about the same rate allowing my son to teach each lesson over and over again in a given day. He is learning well and will be a good teacher. It's funny to see my own teaching "style" creep into how he teaches.

Elder Eriabie is from Nigeria and is pretty quiet and soft spoken. He isn't shy however and I can tell there is a jokester underneath his quiet exterior. One way I've been able to judge how one I am with my companions is by how we screw around with people. We don't have to say anything when we decide to alter the truth. We just go with each other. My compa also uses his quiet, shy, "I'm a new missionary!" look to help him mess with our member friends. He's a really cool guy. Even though we are pretty quiet together as we walk around, he is starting to open up and with a little time we will be the best of friends.

Training has allowed me to relearn the consecrate yourself to the Lord principle. I've been working harder to give my all to His work. The article in the July Liahona that Elder Holland wrote really hit me in the face. He said we all need a little more of what drove the Pioneers to leave everything they had to follow the Lord. In many ways there are a great inspiration in my life and I'm striving to be more like them.

OK I just started my application for LDS Business College. I did everything I could from here but your going to have to do me a favor. I need you to log on and complete everything I couldn't, mainly submitting my transcripts for Burbank High, Pasadena City College, and Glendale Community College. Also I need you to pay the application fee which is $35. I'm not really sure how to do all this but I don't think it is difficult. You'll probably have to go to the schools and get the information. If this seems too difficult just think of those weary pioneers crossing the plains with handcarts in the snow. Lol, also remember that I love you very much! ;)

We are planning to have a baptism at the end of August. It is my great hope to baptize Porcha's brother Eric. We started teaching him this week and have been able to teach him everyday. He is very open and has been keeping his promises. He says he will try to come to church this Sunday so I know that if he takes us seriously and is willing to keep his commitments, he will come to know our message is true. Then there won't be anything stopping him from being baptized...hopefully. I have faith that we are doing our part so the Lord will do His. There are also some other prospects who look very good and may even be ready by the end of August. We will keep praying then working.

It's been beautifully sunny and cool. There is always a cool breeze off the ocean and it even gets somehow cold at night. It feels like spring in California. The sun still beats me but I'm used to that. I'm enjoying myself again after that short dark period when I was sick and Elder Baron was going home. I'm healthier then I've been a long time and I've been really hungry every day. I think I'm even starting to gain some weight again. If only I had more MEAT! All I eat is bread, spaghetti and starch. Oh well, soon I'll be able to eat whatever I want and I'll have to be careful not to get fat. Hehe, I don't even know if that is possible!

Well I'm going to go now. I had to take some extra time for the application and my poor companion has just been sitting here. I love you all! Keep me in your prayers.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hello Harris Family, this is Elder Haderlie, Elder Harris's Former companion, the other day the internet everywhere was down so unfortunately no one was able to email. Today my companion and I came in but Elder Harris was unable to come in so he wanted me to tell you that he loves you a lot and that he will email on monday. Sincerely Elder Haderlie

Monday, July 11, 2011


Dear Family,

So there's not much to write about really. I was out most of the week with a bad cough/flu thing that destroyed me. I was the worst on Monday when I wrote you and I'm sure it showed up in the email. I felt terrible.

Today we killed Elder Baron who just left for the Mission Home. He came to be with Elder Agama for the last 6 weeks of his mission. He was a way cool guy and this whole week has been so slow because he was going home and I was sick. Now he's gone and I can start steamrolling the weeks. We are still waiting for the call. Elder Thompson just got sent to Kumasi to be with Elder Hernandez so we will get a new Zone Leader. Sorry for that guy. I'll let you know when it happens.

So we finally met President and Sister Shultz. They are a little bit different then I pictured thankfully. They have a quirkiness that I like and they are on FIRE! I would like to see them after three years though. The Sabey's were really ready to go. Especially Sister Sabey. I can't blame them. They had some interviews where we took turns being interviewed by both President and Sister Shultz separately. It was sweet.

Still waiting for the phone call. I guess Elder Thompson won't be with Elder Hernandez after all. Sorry for him. Hernandez is a freaking funny guy. I guess he'll still be in Kumasi with Elder Bunker. I've never met him.

That's sweet that Jeremy gave his first talk as the big boy. I remember his talk at my farewell being like 2 minutes long. It was pretty funny. My little bro is growing up!!

Wow, I don't know what else to talk about. I didn't do anything this week. It has still been raining a lot and it really is a drag. The worst part is the roads that get really muddy and you can't walk anywhere and your pants get filthy when you do. Lately its been this start stop start stop stuff that never ends so you don't know if you'll get beat by the rain or not.

Last night we celebrated with Elder Baron by making Burritos. I made this huge bean stew thing with beans, beef, and chicken and we made our own tortillas with our flour. With it we had delicious Koolaid which made it wonderful. Then I crashed at about 8:30 last night.

I'm nervous for the transfer. Elder Haderlie most likely will go again. I have a good chance of training one of the 16 new Elders. Elder Agama is getting a new companion too. My whole world could change and I'm just sitting in the

I'm training! And Supposedly Elder Haderlie is training in the same apartment. I don't know which area I'll be in. Wow! It's over! I won't know who he is until Wednesday which stinks but whatever. Whoopee! Change! I'm happy too because I'm going to have to work my butt off! Whoo. OK. Another Son. Yes! Now I'll have two lines of posterity. My name will never die! I hope he is either a white guy or a Ghanain that can speak Fanti.

Ok, my time is up and I'm staying in Kojokrom hopefully. I love you all!

Elder Harris

Monday, July 4, 2011

What Goes Up Must Come Down

What goes up must come down.

Don't ask me why but this weekend has been pretty challenging. I know this will drive you crazy but I'm not going to tell you why. Ill just say that I got something that has been floating around and I've been out.

I sure hope the the Shulz's are somewhat cool. Right now I'm really afraid because of the crazy dreams I've had. In one of them a bunch of us were seated around a large metallic table in a square room. In walked President and Sister Shulz but they were crazy looking. President Shulz was big and round and had pointy feat which he used to twirl around the table and sing in a loud booming voice. I don't remember Sister Shulz but I do know she was crazy too. I'm not nervous at all so I don't know what has given me these dreams.

OK I'm sick!! I said it. I can't keep it in, lol. I got this bug that includes a monster cough, loss of appetite and some small fever. My head is pounding right now but at least I feel warm. I wore my suit coat to P-Day and was freezing my butt off in the restaurant we went to to celebrate the Fourth. I'm having a hard time remembering anything else that happened during the week.

We meet the new mission president on Wednesday for our first interview. Transfers will happen next Monday.

I usually use Sunscreen everyday but it doesn't stay on very well. I can't carry it around but I try to use it.

I'm glad you got my letter!

I once tried to give stuff to kids in Achiese. They spread the news and the next I knew I had a lot of little kids at my apartment door asking me for stuff. The one kid I'd give something too would look at me, point to the thing I gave him, and then point to all the other kids. We did give the balloons to some kids though in the end. They popped them in about five minutes.

I'm ready to go home now. Sorry for the crappy email. I'm pretty tired and I need some rest. I'm glad your weekend was awesome! Mine was too despite the crud, lol.

Loves, xoxoxo
Elder Harris

I'm on a roll
I'm on a roll
This time
I feel my luck could change
Kill me Sarah, Kill me again
With love
It's gonna be a glorious day

Pull me out
Of the aircrash
Pull me out
Of the Lake
Cause I'm your superhero
And we are standing on the edge

The head of state
Has called for me
By name
But I don't have time for him
It's gonna be a glorious day
I feel my luck could change

Pull me out
Of the air crash
Pull me out
Of the Lake
Cause I'm you superhero
We are standing on the edge


You should look this song up in my behalf please!

I wuv you! Don't worry about me!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Infinite Potential, Infinite Worth

Dear Family,

Today we all traveled to Abura for a special Zone Conference to say goodbye to the Sabey's. No one knew the status of the goal which ended yesterday evening so we were antsy for news. President Sabey began the conference with some opening remarks. He said that many of us were anxious to know the status of the goal. Well, when we committed ourselves to take on this goal, Sister Sabey remarked that it was impossible for every missionary in the mission (more then 140 total) to baptize someone with a family member in the church and then help a family to go to the temple to be sealed for all time and eternity. In the end it really was impossible. But we have also learned that where many things are impossible for us, nothing is impossible to the Lord. He then showed us the completion sheet for the Ghana Cape Coast Mission and every companionship was checked off. The Lord completed a goal that just a week ago I thought was impossible to achieve.

Deep down I knew the Lord would do something for us though. I can honestly say we did everything we knew how to do. We fasted and prayed, then went out and tried everything. Last Sunday all of our candidates basically failed because their temple trips were canceled. I couldn't see anymore options so we continued working on Edward and Felicity who we helped to get married civilly but weren't sure they could get off work to go before Sunday the 26th. We succeeded in getting Edward's temple recommend activated and he is now ready to go to the temple but his wife's records are still in Kisi so they couldn't activate it at the Takoradi Stake Center. After facing all these problems, the Lord gave us the blessing of finding two families who were ready to go to the temple that Friday. It was a miracle. On Saturday we finished twice with two families we taught in different areas. The beautiful part is that Edward and Felicity are all ready to go get sealed in September. That is something that would have taken years if we did not pursue this goal.

What good were these goals? I think the best part of these goals was the training we received from them. This mission is now primed and ready to baptize many, many people. The number doesn't matter so much as the quality of the investigators. We have learned the importance of families. The only people who will enter the celestial kingdom will do so in families. We learned the importance of future leaders and member referrals. We learned the importance of serving and working closely with the members in missionary work. We now know how powerful it is to bring back a less active then focus on their referrals. Such strengthen each other and work together towards eternal happiness. We learned that baptism is not the end of our work! The end goal is fruit that remains. We learned how important it is to help a recent convert go to the temple as soon as possible. The spirit they feel there is unlike anyplace on earth. We learned that what we want for each family we baptize is to help them be sealed for all eternity. Without that they can not receive a fullness of joy. Without that our work is in vain.

So we now know how to work towards each of these goals. As we do so the "numbers" and the quality of those "numbers" will go up. With that our faith in the Savior and the fact that this is His work has gone up tremendously. We know He is very good at doing His work and we feel privileged to be a part of it. Serving a mission is simply awesome.

This was President Sabey's final Zone Conference. Sister Sabey spoke first and expressed her love and appreciation for us and the people of Ghana. Then President got up and told us how things will work in the transition process. Basically the new president will come and he will leave. Simple. It wouldn't work outside of the church. He told us that because he was curious he decided to think about which goal we would have pursued if he wasn't leaving. He said that after thinking he had no clue. Then he told us that as he thought about what to say to us as he was leaving, he couldn't think of anything. President Sabey is completely dependent on the Lord for guidance and his time as mission president has ended. He expressed his love for us and then invited us to ask he and Sister Sabey questions. After an hour or so he invited us to get up and bear testimonies. I felt that horrible beating in my heart that told me I was going to go up so I did. I told everyone that I could remember when President Hinkley had passed away some years ago. When he went I was a little bit weirded out by President Monson being the new Prophet. I had grown up with President Hinkley and it was all too strange. Well we all saw how the mantle of the Presidency shifted and rested upon President Monson and there was a feeling like everything was going to be OK. I felt a little of that shifting today in our conference. It might be wierd and even uncomfortable for some for some time but eventually everthing is going to be OK. I love President and Sister Sabey. The things that they have taught me are eternal and will bless my life forever. But I am excited for the future as well and I know that everything is going to be all right. I love this work and I know that it is the Lord's work. Change is just part of life.

Following the conference, we ate and I sat with Elder Pinnell, Holmes, and Jaggi. Brother Akoki walked in randomly and I got to embrace a true friend I thought I would never see again. I love all these guys and it was hard to see them go. I talked with Elder Pinnell and I'm ready to pull the trigger in moving to Utah. If the apartment thing fails then I have places where I can hang for a while. Then we all went out to a really cool football pitch and had a tournament. We got smoked but I looked freaking good in a complete Manchester United Jersey, short shorts, Man United socks and matching football boots. I played all right in our second game and even had a shot on goal but I didn't get enough ummph on the ball and it rolled into the keeper's hands. There went my chance for glory!!! Then when we all finished, we said a final farewell to the Sabey's before returning to Takoradi where I am now. I won't see them again in Ghana.

What a crazy day! What a crazy week! Thursday we will have a new Mission President and quite honestly, I don't know how he could be more powerful, humble, and gentle as President Sabey is. I do know that everything will be all right and we will adjust.

Today I love my mission. One thing that Sister Sabey taught us today really stuck with me. She told us to never live beneath our potential. Never do anything that will keep you from becoming like our Father in Heaven. Then the line that was cemented in my mind by Ben Flinders came to me: Infinite Potential, Infinite Worth. All of us are God's children how great is the worth of our souls in His site. How grateful I am that He really does know my name and will do all that He can to get me home.

I don't really have much else to say. The Lord has blessed us with more people to teach and a few referrals. As for the letter this was a different one that had nothing to do with how hard mission is. I suppose you haven't got it yet.

I love you all very much!
Elder Harris
Dagger Todd

Monday, June 20, 2011

Dear Family,

Freshly Returned Missionary Mind? Ridiculous! I will be going and if it wasn't awkward, I would get up and do a little heel click in the air right here in the Cafe. That will be so freaking sweet. I told Thomer to look for shows around the time I get back. Supposedly all my favorite bands are doing tours right now so October should be pretty sweet. Oh what wouldn't I do to see Radiohead again? Anyway, by that time just listening to the recordings will be freaking cool and going to the concert will feel like a dream. Well, anyways, back to Africa.

So at the end of yesterday all I wanted to do was scream WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY???!!!!! Saturday, we had three potential people ready to go to the temple with the Kwekuma and Sekondie temple trips on the 24th of July. Our couple in Kojokrom is ready to go but they aren't sure if he can get the days off work. They are looking really sketchy. Yesterday we got a call and both Kwekuma and Sekondie canceled their temple trips because some freaking people from Cote Devoir showed up at the temple. We worked on getting our woman in Sekondie to go by her self to seal to her dead parents and she promised she will go. However another phone call killed that because the Zone Leaders found out her parents were divorced before they died. Can they be sealed???!!!! Can she be sealed to one or both of them????!!!! I sure as heck don't know and President is figuring it out. It's doubtful that the woman in Kwekuma will go by herself and over all everything is in the shiz hole.

Yesterday we worked all day just to get Brother Akon and Sister Felicity their temple recommends. If the Stake Presidency knew how to do their job (not trying to be bitter or anything) they would have been ready to go last week. If it weren't for us it might have taken years to get them to the temple. No offense but I read the handbook on this subject and I don't understand why they were so hesitant. It outlines every single problem they could have faced. This is a lesson to learn for me if I ever have to serve as a leader in the church. Read the Handbook!

What are we going to do now? I don't know! Pray! Fast! Be obedient. I've done everything I know how to do. Now I just need to rely on the Lord and if anything needs to be done that I can do I will jump on it. Now were are just praying that Brother Akon can get the time off. I hope he realizes how serious this is. Somewhere around 150 missionaries are depending on him and his wife!

The beautiful thing is that a lot of good has come from the goal even if we don't accomplish it. All of our people will be sealed eventually even if they don't do it before the goal ends. However I don't believe that the Lord would give us a goal he wanted us to fail. So if we do everything we can possibly think of, God will do the rest. I'm a little bit tired.

We played some small pitch football today. It was pretty fun. Next week we will all travel to Cape Coast to have President Sabey's last Zone Conference. It's pretty lame though because we were supposed to have it this Wednesday but now they moved it to Monday so that we can all play a huge football tournament. I kind of feel like we will rush the zone conference just for P-Day! Lame! It will be pretty sweet though cause I'll be able to see all my buddies.

School sounds awesome but I might have had a reality check, lol. What if the whole living together doesn't work?? I really want to go to LDS business college but do I want to sign up and everything before I even know where I'll live? What do you think? I guess I'm just being realistic now, lol. What I need to do is talk to Tracy and then I'll see what's up. I so want to go though!

So the Goal ends this coming Sunday. Pray for us please! I think it would be a good idea to send my License. This one won't say turns 21 in 2010. Now I can get drinks and and gamble no problem! Where is the concert? What are the seats like? I doubt we will be moshing together but if we do I'm going to take Mom with an elbow. Just wait till my own concert cause that one will be nuts. There will be nobody but ladies allowed in and they will all be screaming for me. Did you get my letter yet?

I love you all!

There is a laser in your mouth
If you aren't careful
It will blow your teeth out...

Tell me what your thinking baby
Tell me what your thinking baby
Tell me what your thinking baby

Tell me what your thinking baby
Tell me what your thinking baby
Tell me what your thinking baby

Where there is an answer you can't find
If you're not careful
It will break your pride

Do we fly before we fall?
Somehow as I'm thinking
I don't think so

A paper man has a paper mind
A catchy tune has a catchy rhyme
A fishy boat goes by fishy time
Are we all losers?

Tell me what your thinking baby
Tell me what your thinking baby
Tell me what your thinking baby

Tell me what your thinking baby
Tell me what your thinking baby
Tell me what your thinking baby

"Tell me what your thinking"-Drew Harris, Written in an African Internet Cafe

PS. Did you ever get the fried kitty pictures?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Email dated 6/13/11

Today is an absolutely beautiful day here in Takoradi. After a heavy rain that lasted about three days, the sky is clear and it feels pretty dry. It actually feels a lot like home even though I don't think you would think so. I've been in a really good mood the past couple days and the weather makes it all the more sweet. I finished three songs I've been working on for a long freaking time. One of them is pretty dang stupid but in the end the song as a whole will be awesome. It's not a lyrical masterpiece or anything. It's called Worm Vision (It's Making Me Numb). Its all about getting sucked into a wormhole. Like I said, pretty stupid:)

If you liked my last letter your going to love my next one. As for the videos, they are my favorite too. I need to start taking more but they take a lot of room on the memory card. Maybe I'll just burn another DVD.

Now don't think your making me homesick with your emails but I really miss Utah. I also miss being on the top of the mountains with the crisp breeze and a view of everything. I never ever thought I would have a desire to live in Utah, but after being here it sounds like heaven. Elder Baron is from Atlanta and will be moving to Salt Lake during the summer to go to the LDS business college. He said they basically pay you to go there. You just apply and your accepted. I hope he's right! It sounds really sweet.

This week has been hard but surprisingly I've been in a good mood throughout. I'm still sick!! We're now trying to kill it with three different drugs; one of which cost a whomping 24 Ghana Cedis!!! It was working pretty well until today. There's still some more to take so hopefully it works. On top of that I got a pretty severe head cold and I haven't slept all week end. Last night I just got up and started cleaning our windows at four in the morning. They were really dusty. I would have done more but I didn't want to wake anybody. I was all hyped up to clean everything! Finally I was tired enough to at least lay in bed and I even dreamed a little bit. I was in the priesthood room of the Burbank Chapel and it was during early morning seminary I think. Ryan from Sparks street was there but I'm not sure she recognized me so I kept throwing out random comments about the good old days when I was ten years old and in love with her. It was a funny dream and proof I think that the mind never forgets anything. Anyways, I'm on the downside of the cold so hopefully I'll get some sleep this week. Don't worry about the sickness. They are working on it and the worse thing that could happen is just going home a bit early. That would only be a tragedy for me.

Oh the goal, the goal! We are now one of two companionship's that haven't finshed it yet. The ending is at the end of this month. Our couple doesn't seem likely to go in time but we are doing everything we can. The Stake Presidency doesn't seem to know that they can reinstate him without approval from the First Presidency. You only need approval for extreme cases like raping a child, incest, or murder. President Sabey tried to talk to them but they still sent for help from the area authorities. We went out to Sofokrom this week to visit with a family who should be going to the temple this Friday but we will see. The man is a freaking bum who makes the wife do everything including providing for their six children. He just started making excuses about going the minute we got there. He does seem to want to go and the wife is pushing them so it should work out. All the arrangements have been made. They just need to push him out the door, onto the Tro Tro, and into the doors of the Temple. I feel bad for the wife but I think that the sealing will be the best thing for the marriage. We have one other backup but they don't go till the 24th of June, two days before the end of the goal. That is cutting it close and temple trips fail a lot here. I pray we won't have to hang all our hope on that one. Pray for us please! This goal is impossible without the Lord's help and we can use all the prayers we can get. I'm getting a little anxious being one of the last to finish but the Lord has come through for us every time before so I have no doubt he work some miracles. I just don't want to be that last minute miracle!

I'm glad you enjoyed your vacation. Soon I'll be planning for my own wedding then all of sudden I'll be planning for my daughters wedding. I hope it doesn't come too fast. I love you all and hope we don't meet too soon! I pray that it will be at the appointed time. Then all the prophecies in my most recent letter will be fulfilled!

Elder Harris
AKA The Candy Man

Well I've been out walking
I don't do that much talking these Days
These Days
These days I seem to think a lot about the things
That I forgot to do for you
And all the times I had the chance to

Well I had a lover
But it's so hard to risk another these days
These days
Now if I seem to be afraid to live the life
That I have made in song
Well its just that I've been losing
For so long

I'll keep on moving
Things are bound to be improving these Days
One of these days
These days I'll sit on cornerstones and count the time
In quarter tones to ten, my friend
Don't confront me with my failures
I have not forgotten them

These Days-Jackson Browne

Email dated 6/6/11

Dear Family,

Greetings to you in Zion. I love you all and miss you very much.

Today we fried ourselves in the sun playing small pitch football at the Stake Center. I'm feeling pretty good but I'm tired since our power was out all night again. The transfer last week was a really big one. Elder Haderlie and I are amazingly still together but Elder Akwori and Elder Chime went home. Elder Akwori was replaced in our apartment by Elder Baron a cool cat from Atlanta and Elder Chime was replaced with Elder Stats a fly fellow from Utah. Elder Bassey was transferred to Mankesem and was replaced by Elder Bentum a Ghanaian. Elder Reid is training; Elder Nelson is training; Elder Buah is now with this cool French Guy. Elder Lehr got transferred back to Asokwa! AHAHAHAHAH! Sorry for him even though I kind of envy him. He went up to basically train the new couples to know Kumasi. There's no one better to do that except maybe myself. My son Elder Rogers is training and Elder Jaggi is too. I'm a grandfather! Elder Akoki died and went home to his war torn city. He emailed me today and said a lot of things are different and life is hard but he's still going to try returning to Ghana around August so I can see him one more time. I hope he is able to. They made Sunyani a Zone which now has 12 Elders plus the couples working there. Elder Vancherie is also training. Big transfer with 17 new missionaries that need to be trained. The next transfer will include 16 more new missionaries and I recieved a phone call from President Sabey basically telling me that I will either train or receive an assignment as a leader. Great!! Thank you? Anyways this will also be President Sabey's final six weeks and the next transfers will be conducted by the new mission president. This is the beginning of the end and we are still working hard.

I don't have much to report. On Saturday we recieved news that our sure backup for the goal failed and that Brother Akon probably won't be able to go to the temple this coming Friday. We spent all yesterday searching for other options and we found one in Sofokrom who will probably work out in the next couple of weeks. We also got President Sabey working on the Akon thing and in the end we learned that he will probably go to be sealed to his wife this Friday. We are praying very hard and I feel like we are doing the best we can so I know the Lord will help us through. Yesterday was a stressful day for us.

I want you to know that I ate pancakes this morning with Bacon Spam! Oh yeah! I got your package this week! Thank you so much. I loved the shampoo stuff you sent. I haven't felt so clean in so long! My skin felt so soft! The Proactive was sweet too and I've been using twice a day for a few days now.

I've included the picture of a cat's legs and feet with the tail also. I would have included the chopped off head but I don't have the picture. This is the cat that Elder Haderlie ate. I haven't eaten one yet but if the opportunity came along I wouldn't pass it up.

The most fun I had this week was when Elder Haderlie got a rubber snake. Africans are so afraid of snakes and we have had fun filming our members freak out when a random snake gets tossed at them. Helena screamed like four times and thought it was real for a few days after.

Well I'm finished now. I hope you like the pictures. Have fun in Utah! Don't forget about my school!

I love you all
Elder Harris

There's a gap in between
There's a gap in between
Where I end and you begin

I'm sorry for us
The dinosaurs roam the Earth
The sky grows green
Where I end and you begin

I am up in the clouds
I am up in the clouds
And I can't and I can't come down

I can't watch and not take part
Where you end and where I start
Where you left me alone
You left me alone

X'll mark the place
Like the parting of the waves
Like a house falling in the sea
In the sea

I will eat you alive
I will eat you alive
I will eat you alive
I will eat you alive

There'll be no more lies
There'll be no more lies
There'll be no more lies
There'll be no more lies

I will eat you alive
I will eat you alive
I will eat you alive

Monday, May 30, 2011

Hello Family,

I took this medication and I've been feeling a lot more healthy then I was before. I eat our pancakes now without difficulty and I'm hungry more often. No more just going to bed because I don't feel like dinner. I'm trying to vary my diet a little bit too but that is difficult here. Spaghetti, Rice, Kenke, pancakes and occasional fu fu.

Yesterday was a sweet Sunday for us. We got up and went to church at 8:00 am and Porcha gave her first talk in Sacrament meeting. We taught her this week and I told her she is not allowed to read from Gospel Principles like everybody else. We showed her all the references in the scriptures she could use and left her to write her talk. She did great even though she was nervous. She read her entire talk but didn't use Gospel Principles at all. It was about God the Father and she sort of gave it to people for hollow worshiping or basically just going through the motions. She said that we need to serve God because we love Him. Porcha is also making more friends since we kicked her out of the investigator's class and she now goes to Young Women. In the evening we stopped by the chapel and she and the other young men and women were preparing for a play they will perform at midweek. She could act very well and everyone was having a fun time. I'm happy because I felt for a while that she was too close to us and wasn't making friends. Now she is a part of the Ward family and I know they will keep her around.

We also went to eat Fu Fu at a member's place with Elder Chime, Elder Fawole, Elder Grant, and Elder Bassey. Elder Chime, my former Zone Leader (he's been released since then), is going home today along with Elder Akoki. I called Elder Akoki last night and he told me to guess where he was. He was in Asokwa, near the big Pentecost House, ten or so minutes from the Asokwa apartment. We walked there everyday and the final place he proselyted was where he walked on the first day of his mission. I'm going to miss that Chioa guy!

Today is Transfer day and there should be a lot of changes. 17 new Elders and Sisters are coming into the mission this week and they all need to be trained, plus Elder Chime and Elder Akwori are going home. That means that there will be at least two new missionaries in our district and Elder Haderlie and Elder Bassey have been in the area for a long time. Both of them could easily go. The sucky part is that we just don't know what's going to happen! Transfer day is all about waiting. Today we had a zone breakfast at Sekondie chapel and ate Pancakes and French toast. Then we just sat around for about an hour before Elder Newbold and I started looking for chalk. There wasn't any chalk so we headed downstairs and found a big white board on wheels. We carried it up the stairs and we played hangman for about 4 or 5 hours. And we're still waiting!!

I sent you a bunch of pictures and videos today. This will probably be the last one so enjoy it!

That is so weird that the Palilla kid is leaving on his mission. I still see him as the small boy I used to know. Well he is a small boy still but not for long. You do a lot of growing on you mission. Missions can take it out of you and if you don't grow up here I don't know where you will. Jeffrey R. Holland told us to never forget about what we give a lot of lip service too. That is that we have the potential to become like God and if we don't get a huge step towards that goal on our mission, he doesn't know where we will.

Well I'm running out of time. I love you very much! I still haven't received the package but maybe it will come this week. I also sent you a letter Mom!

Love Elder Harris

Monday, May 23, 2011

Dear Family,

Another day in Takoradi! We just played a long game of football against the Cape Coast Zones and I'm dead and a half. I'm not healthy. I can feel it and when I talked to Sister Sabey this morning she asked me if I've been losing weight. I told her that I feel skinnier but not too much. She noticed it at Zone Conference this week and if she says I'm losing weight, then I must be. I stopped the Antibiotics and she just told me to take a stronger parasite medication which I only take once. If this doesn't work we'll try something else. Don't worry, I'm mostly OK! I think the worst part about today was getting fried by the sun. I put sunscreen on but my head is killing me and the light is killing my eyes.

This week has been pretty typical. Visiting members and our investigator Lizzy. She is actually progressing which is not too surprising to me because I know that the Lord led us to her. There are a few times when I could see His hand in an investigators life but this was a good one. One night a few weeks ago we were out of things to do at about 7 in the evening. It was dark and heading back to the apartment sounded like a good idea. A thought popped in my head saying that we could see one person. I felt prompted to contact just one family that evening before we could head back home. Contacting sucks but I decided to follow the prompting and I silently asked Heavenly Father, "Well, Where?" I couldn't think of anywhere but the thought popped in my head saying, "Your companion knows, ask him." So I did and he immediately knew where we could go. He had been thinking of this one woman we walk by from time to time. He said that he had decided if we had to contact, that would be who.

So we went to her house in the dark and she was home. We taught her a small starting lesson about the Savior, His doctrine, and the importance of making and keeping promises. Then we left thinking well we did what God asked, we'll see if it goes anywhere.

We lost touch for about a week, then we went there after correlation with Mike Mensah and Sammy Sego, two ward missionaries. There were a bunch of people there talking in Fante and moving around her compound. Mike figured out what was going on and next thing I knew I was carrying sand in big basins on my head from one pile to another 15ft away. Elder Haderlie and I had to fight to get the locals to fill our basins because they didn't think we could do it. We worked for an hour and a half and managed to move the entire pile for them. We went home dirty but satisfied with our work.

Ever since then, Sister Lizzy opened up and we have been able to teach her more effectively. She doesn't go to church anymore because she could see the corruption in her former churches. When we taught her last, she had a friend there and she stood up for what we were teaching. We finished the Restoration last Saturday and gave her a Book of Mormon to read. Hopefully she will come to church this week too. She has been prepared so we'll see if this is her time. If she keeps her commitments and finds that our message is true, we will baptize her in June.

Our two boys who have been going to Sekondie, still haven't come to Kojokrom but hopefully next week. If they don't I'll just assign Elder Newbold to teach them there. If they want to go there,

We had a Zone Conference this week. I thought it would be our last with President Sabey but I learned we will be having another in June before they leave. It was a sweet conference and President Sabey taught about the Doctrine of Joy, the very meaning of our existence. In that he once again taught us the Doctrine of Oneness which he taught in my very first Zone Conference in 2009. He taught us the importance of oneness in: 1) The Godhead, 2)The Apostles and the Church, 3)Our Companions (including out eternal ones stating: I care far less about what kind of missionaries you are now then what kind of fathers and mothers you will become), and 4)With Christ. It was a sweet instruction that took up about 3 pages in my study journal. Joy is bedrock doctrine and nobody outside of the church knows anything about it. It's the why to our suffering! What peace can come from the knowledge that our suffering has a purpose and if we endure it well, we can learn and grow and become happier. This was also the last conference for the Lambs who are the couple missionaries in our area. They are wonderful people who we will miss. Next to go home is Elder Akoki, then the Sabeys, then Elder Lehr.

We are working hard despite our challenges. I love it here and I love my companion. I'm afraid that I might train again in a few weeks because there are 17 new missionaries coming to our mission. I guess they are gearing up for the summer and fall when there will be 28 leaving in August, 18 in October and 17 in December. This mission is an old mission and we are all going to die at once. Training would be sweet but at the same time sooo lame! If I do train I hope he's from Zimbabwe cause those people are cool!

I love you all! Keep on walking; it's good for you! Keep on eating that pizza and hotdog's and cheesecake and all the other good things you have there too! I'll stick with my spaghetti and pancakes. Pray for my poor tummy too. It has taken a beating but it will survive!

Love Elder Harris

Probably have done this one before but it's in my head:

After all, these implements
And texts designed by intellects
We vexed to find evidently there's still
So much that hides
And though, the saints dub us
Divine in ancient fading lines
There sentiment is just as hard
To pluck from the vine

I'll try hard not to give in
Batten down to fare the wind
As I step into the night

Now I don't have the time nor mind
To figure out the nursery rhymes
That helped us out in making sense of out lives
The cruel, uneventful state
Of Apathy releases me
I value them but I won't cry
Every time one wipes out

I'll try hard not give in
Batten down to fare the wind
Getting rid of my pretense
Stepping hard in my pretense
As I step into the night

Ladidada, Ladidada,

Mercy's eyes are blue
And when she places them in front of you
You can't hold a roman candle to
The solemn warmth you feel inside

Forgot the chorus but its close! Saint Simon-The Shins
You should look it up because it's sweet!
- Show quoted text -

Monday, May 16, 2011

Dear Mom,

I did get the letter and I filled it out and sent it a week or two ago. It will take time cause I sent it through the pouch. Sorry but I didn't know. I also told them that they would have to call you to get the addresses to my schools and a copy of the registration form for the Nissan Altima. Maybe the Lord will just smite them for us. Just kidding...

I've been sick all week. I've been able to get out and work everyday but eating has been difficult. Even when I get anywhere close to full I get nauseous. Sister Sabey had me take a worm medication and I'm on antibiotics for some other problems too. I just miss feeling normal! There's always something wrong with me.

On Saturday Elder Haderlie and I went down to the chapel to do some yard work. Mowing here is an experience. The mower is old and we don't use a bag and the grass is very thick in places. It doesn't have a gear to pull you along so you just have to push and pull with your might, trying not to go too fast or the mower will jam and shut off. We did the entire field around the chapel and by the end my hands were bruised but we enjoyed the extra work. It sure beats machetes. At one point Isaac Blanksten started yelling and swinging his machete around. There was a snake in the grass! He screamed and took it out with the machete. I came running over to see what scared him so bad and I saw a snake that was about 6 inches long and less then a centimeter thick. Ghanains are so afraid of snakes! They prefer big spiders to small snakes. I just laughed at him.

This week I had a dream where I actually took control of the dream. I layed back on my bed and fell asleep without knowing it. I still felt like I was looking at the ceiling when I heard dogs outside. I hoped up onto my bed and jumped over my fan just as a big dog broke into the room. I shot it from the air with a shot gun and ran out of the house as more dogs went after Elder Haderlie in the next room. I realised I was dreaming so I ditched Elder Haderlie and jumped into the air to fly away. It was hard to push my body up at first but then I started speeding up and before I knew it I was high in the atmosphere and I could see the curve of the earth. Then I started to level out and I lost control. I started to plummet face first toward the earth. I felt all the sensations of falling a long distance; the drop out and everything. I managed to get my feet under me though and I landed hard in a baseball field somewhere near some corn. I thought the landing would wake me up but it didn't. That's all I can remember!

Perry is going to Ohio? That's pretty sweet! You're right that it doesn't matter where you serve, the work is always difficult. I used to think that If I could just get to the right area, I would get a lot more people to join the church. I was wrong. It all has to do with how hard you work and the people's own agency. I could be the best missionary in the world and not baptize a single person. It happens all the time in Europe and other places. He will enjoy himself. I'm proud of that guy. Send him my greetings.

We watched Priesthood session on Saturday again. I'm just amazed at the power that the First Presidency has. If you can send me a copy of the ensign that would be sweet so that I can give the one we get from the mission away. I'm going to try avoiding the three dreaded W's: Worried, Worrying, and Whining. I also liked how President Monson pretty much told all the marriage age young men to just grow up and get married. I love all three of them and I pray that the Lord will lift them up in their callings.

We still have two investigators who have been going to church at Sekondie but can't get enough time to meet with us. They told Elder Newbold that starting next week they will come to Kojokrom and meet with us. We should be able to teach them and get them baptized pretty quick since they've been coming to church regularly. I wonder what got them going in the first place. Hopefully we'll find out this week. We also found out that our goal candidates have harder challenges to overcome then we expected. President Sabey is now helping us but we are going to start working on a back up in another area. We will try our hardest to send Edward and Felicity to the temple though. They are wonderful people and I wish the Stake would take their sealing a little bit more seriously but I also realize that the stake president has a lot of crud on this table to solve. It's not easy being a leader here in Ghana where the church is relatively new and there are so many mistakes to fix. We'll continue praying and doing all we can to help. God wants this goal to be accomplished and I've seen him work mighty miracle in our behalf. The thing that amazes me though is not the big things he does but the small, very tiny, minute things that He can do that change lives and eternities. Lately I've been more and more amazed by the sheer power of the atonement. That one Man could take upon Himself every single horrible thing that world of people have felt blows my mind. It is a wonderful thing.

That would be sweet if you could check out the college for me. I would just like to know what I would need to do to get in by January. Also, did you ever get any paperwork for renewing my driver's license? It expires in August and I would like to avoid taking another test. I'm not sure but I think the accident might effect that though.

Well I'm out of time. Pray for me! I love each of you and I hope that they get my letter. Please tell them it may take some time. I hope it didn't get lost. I love you all!

Love Elder Harris

Lord, please, don't forsake me
In my Mercedes Benz
All riches and the ruins
We all know how that story ends

Strange Apparition
Haunting my brain
Standing on the cross hairs
Of a dream that walked away

When you Lord, Rings my front Door
And asks me, what I've got to show
Besides the dust, In my pockets
And the things that just eat my soul

Strange Apparition
Haunting my brain
Standing on the last legs
Of a dream that got cremated

The Things I had to look on
Is the least I seem to care
If anything could make you happy
Then nothing could ever make you scared
We'll be on the shoreline
When that heavy ship goes down
Did you think you were lucky?
Well you should see yourself now

Strange Apparition- BECK

Ps. Pray for our water to come back on!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Dear Family,

This week has been pretty busy. A lot of ups and downs, power outs, and failed appointments. I'm enjoying myself though and time is ticking a little too fast for my comfort. This day marks my 19th month in the mission. What happened to the 18th? I'm not sure! We are working hard and setting goals to work harder. We don't care about numbers so much because we have faith that as we are working hard the blessings will come. President Sabey has told us he has no clue who baptizes the most people in the mission. He doesn't care! We all do care about the quality of those baptisms and we are working hard to insure that they are fruit that remain.

This week we did the normal thing everyday with the additional less active work. We actually had two of our less actives come to church yesterday which was a great blessing for us. They both used to be strong members who, due to certain circumstances, stopped coming and were both a little shy about coming back. I wish that I could shake them them into understanding that coming back will bring far greater blessings then they can even begin to imagine but the best thing for them is to have the local members do it for us. Brother Charles Mensah has been doing a great job and I hope it continues. We will continue to do the best we can.

We attended a wedding on Saturday for our goal candidates. Brother Edward and Sister Felicity were married civilly and should be sealed in the temple sometime this week or the next. They wanted a small wedding but nobody seemed to care what they wanted so the big wedding we attended felt very awkward for them. I could see that Sister Felicity really wasn't too happy the whole time. Normally we would not have stayed for most of the wedding but the Groom's camera man failed to come so we provided service by taking pictures of the ceremony and the reception after wards. There were a lot of stupid tradition things that I know they didn't really want but Ghanaians get so hurt about these things. God forbid they offend someone! I am glad that this experience will only make their sealing in the temple so much better. I wish that I could go with them to enjoy it but I can't.

Yesterday we got to watch two sessions of conference, the Saturday afternoon, and the Sunday morning. I love conference and I feel like they keep getting better as time goes by. My favorite story was the one about the little girl who had a long surgery and as she was slowly waking up, she could see members of her family who had passed away in the room with her. She said that all the children had angels surrounding them. I thought of my Grandma and others who have passed away and I felt a profound sense of peace in knowing they would do all they could to help me out. It's funny that I was so young when Grandma Kay died but I still feel close to her sometimes. I have no doubt that God loves us so much and I am grateful for the help He is willing to give.

I don't have too much else to report. I just listened to President Monson's talk in Priesthood session today. Both he and President Sabey are good at making us want to get married. I don't want to think about it too much but at the same time the Sealing ordinance is what all my work now is driving at. Everything I do should be in anticipation of the highest ordinance we take part in during this mortal life. Then everything we do after should be working to keep those sacred covenants we make. But enough of that! I still have five months where I don't have to think about it! ;)

I love you all! I'll call on Sunday later in the evening I think. I'll call and let you know. Can't wait to talk to you for the last time before I come home!

Love Elder Harris
AKA. Just Keep Swimming

Monday, April 25, 2011

Dear Family,

Poo is a completely ordinary part of life. You do it. I do it. Everybody does it. All I do is teach people what life is really about and Poo is part of it. Sometimes we just need to talk about the dirty things. I'm around Poo everyday! I'm used to it.

When I was in high school, I had a sign language teacher who was big and flamboyant. Besides his usual sign language teacher duties, he also helped with the cheer squad and was in charge of those girls who wave the flags around with the band. He often wore tight black shirts and it wasn't unusual to see one or both of his nipple rings. He was by far one of my favorite teachers. In sign language, facial expressions are very important in conveying mood and meaning, so Mr. Gallimore had a whole cheer made up so we could remember them all. In his big booming voice he would start ZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMLIOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now you can picture the Lion part in the most flamboyant way possible and that's how he did it. He wouldn't do it very often but we loved it. Now in Ghana the dudes who go around picking all the trash are part of a company called ZOOMLION. Back in my days with Elder Akoki, he took a picture of me with Elder Adjei's crappy film camera, which had a crazy long zoom on it and ever since he would call me ZOOMLION. I think it will be a sweet band name in the future but I'm not really sure how copywrite laws work here. We shall see!

You weren't late in sending me an Easter greeting. Today, in Ghana, is Easter Monday and is celebrated by many as a holiday. Our Easter was pretty boring since I didn't see a single rabbit anywhere and no painted eggs. What a drag! I spent my small free time on the weekend reading about the final week of Christ's mortal ministry in Jesus the Christ. I read about His triumphant entry into Jerusalem and His final public teachings in the temple. I thought it was interesting that He visited the temple the first day, looked around, and returned the next day fully prepared to drive the sellers and the money changers. Talmage says that no evil could withstand the righteous command of the Master as he drove them out of His holy house. I read about the betrayal, the final supper and the sacrament, the awful hell Christ faced in Gethsemane, the trial, crucifixion, and finally the glorious day of His resurrection. Nothing is more important to me then the words of the angel crying, "He is risen!" I know that He lives and knows my name and is willing to do everything he can to see me enter into the mansion he has prepared. I am grateful for that.

Church was boring yesterday and keeps getting more boring every week. The problem is not the spirit of the speakers but the delivery. I think they want to give a good talk but taking Gospel Principals and reading an entire section in front of the congregation is not a talk. Somebody needs to instruct the members! I just don't know what I can do about it. It's so common here for people to look at us and say, "Oh that's just the white man way of doing things."

I will say that this ward is the most effective ward I've been in. We don't have a lot of referrals to teach right now but we are taking steps in reactivation. This is the first ward I've been in that has actually taken steps past preaching about it. Brother Charles Mensah of the Kojokrom bishopric has been meeting with us and the ward missionaries every Thursday to coordinate visits to less actives every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. It has been sweet and we have already seen the spirit work in some of those who haven't been to church in a long time. They were able to visit Prince Peterson, Porcha's older brother, who came to church for his confirmation and hasn't come since. He actually came to church yesterday and despite the boring Sacrament Meeting (it wasn't boring to me since I don't hear the Fanti and it seemed the same as any other Sunday) he enjoyed the classes after wards. I hope it left a lasting impression on him and he will come every Sunday his work doesn't keep him away.

I know that you will be happy to hear I've been eating pancakes everyday for the past week. We bought a whole bunch of flour, eggs and other stuff so we can have it everyday for a long time. The first couple of days it was just too much food for my shrunken tummy to handle but it seems to be expanding small small. I don't know how healthy they are but at least I'm eating! I'm pretty much finished with Eba. I got sick of it after I ate nothing but Eba for like 4 days. Now I don't even like to think about it.

Did I ever tell you about Chioa Cat? It was the cat that would run up to me from across Sister Yaa's compound in Asokwa. I just got a letter from her and yeah, It's dead. They made light soup with it and ate it with Fu Fu. This is the quote:

"Dear Elder Harris...Do you still remember that Chioa Cat? Wow; well that's very nice of you but I'm sorry, you knew how I felt about that Chioa Cat, I could not take it anymore so I had to use it for my fufu, it's gone. The Chioa Cat is dead. I'm sorry to tell you that but there was nothing I could do."

Oh well, I guess that's the end of Mr. Chioa Cat. I thought the letter was pretty funny though. I miss Sister Yaa a lot and it's a pity I probably won't ever see her again.

That's about it for this week.

I love you all!
Love Elder Harris

Monday, April 18, 2011

Dear Family,

Which letter? My email or the one I sent to Dad? Haha, I hope he got that one cause it was heavy for me. We'll talk more about school later I think. LDS business college sounds really sweet to me and Elder Lehr says they have a return missionary scholarship. The only other thing would be to see if I need to take any tests or not. I've never taken an SAT or anything like that. To be honest the easiest thing would be to just go straight to UVU, but this would be less expensive and just the same. If worse comes to worse I could got up in January and work as much as I could and start a summer semester. Anyways I'm not thinking too much about it. But it does creep up on me from time to time.

I don't have much to report this week. I was sick with the flu! The flu part wasn't so bad but I did have the same problem as Jeremy and It's been all week. I'm on antibiotics now so it's going away and the cold/flu thing is completely gone. We spent a few days in the apartment rotting away. So I've sent you a few pics from the week. Gordella came to church by herself this week and was trying to be invisible so I decided to be invisible with her. She is such a funny little girl. She won't even talk to Elder Haderlie but I can get her to say a few words. I don't think she speaks much English. Every time we come now, she puts her hands over her eyes and becomes invisible.

I really hope to stay here for the rest of my mission. I've never been so close with the members of any of my former areas. The only drag would be if Elder Haderlie get's transfered. We get the news today but it hasn't come yet. I'm not sure if there will be many changes since we basically had transfers in the middle of the transfer. Everybody was scrambled around a little bit. We had a free p-day today so we just hung out with Elder Thompson.

President Sabey just called and wanted to talk with Elder Haderlie! Haha, Sucker! He's a big District Leader now! I talked to President really quick about a couple questions I had and he said to support Elder Haderlie so I'm pretty sure I'm not going anywhere! Sweet! I'm really happy!

Anyways, this computer is being stupid so the photo's aren't coming:(

I'm glad to hear about our boys in Accra. I was told that Elder Dallin H. Oaks visited the mission and offered a very powerful prayer in their behalf. I doubt very much that they will stay in the mission though. I'm sure they will go home. You know more then me though. We haven't heard the news yet. Let me know.

Well I'm running out of time. I want you to know that I love you all. Tell Jeremy you just get used to it after a while. I'll be calling for my last time very soon! I'm excited to watch Conference soon also. Oh yeah I forgot to mention we finished the Old Testament today! HURRAY FOR ME! I'll never read it all the way through again.

Love you,
Elder Harris
AKA Dr. Flagons

It's the cruelest joke to play
I'm so high, I'm running in place
Only between lines, we seperate

I keep on playing our favorite song
I turn it up while your gone
It's all I've got when you're in my head
And you're in my head so I need it

You're the only thing I've got
But I can't seem to get enough
We could laugh the morning rays

I keep on playing our favorite song
I turn it up while your gone
It's all I've got when your in my head
And your in my head so I need

Hurry up
And wait

I keep on playing our favorite song
I turn it up while your gone
It's all I've got when your in my head
And your in my head so I need
I need it
I need it
I need it now

In My Head- Queens of the Stone Age

Monday, April 11, 2011

Dear Family!

Today we actually got the chance to play Cape Coast and Abura Zones in a football match. We lost 6-5 but it was a good game. The outnumbered us by a lot and they actually have really good strikers. Today may be the last day I saw Elder Asiedu, Sister Awuna, and Sister Isidor. My sister Mt's are dying and it really feels like the beginning of the end. This is the fourth quarter! We're tied and at the end I need to shoot a saving three from half quart. I guess I just need to work hard.

This week I had my final interview with President Sabey. What a crazy thing that is! We talked a lot about my recent changes and how happy he is about Elder Haderlie and I. He says that the change in my from the beginning of my mission is apparent. He said that where I was shallow I have become deep. I don't feel like I've changed that much but I do know that there's still a lot of work to be done. That's why Elder Golden said that the key to humility is exact obedience. The reason being that we can never do it! We can never say there's no more I can do. There's no more work to be done. I told him that for the first time in my life I have hope for the future. I have hope of exaltation. At that he told me a story. He and Sister Sabey attended a Fireside years ago where Elder Bruce R. Mckonkie spoke. He had been invited to speak on some topic but when he got up to speak he thanked the people who invited him and said that he had prepared a talk on that subject but during the opening hymn the spirit commanded him to change the topic. Then he said, "So, if the spirit will guide, I will continue." He went on and spoke about Eternal Marriage and in the course of that, he said that we don't need to worry and fret over the fact that we are not perfect. God never intended us to be perfect! There will be an entire host of teachings and learning that will be done in the spirit world that we can't even comprehend right now. If we plant our feet now and decide to follow the Savior with full purpose of heart we will achieve exaltation, regardless of our weaknesses. President Sabey couldn't tell me how many people filled the Provo Mariot Center but there was a collective sight of relief. What a wonderful insight we have! What a wonderful knowledge to know that what we are doing is what God would have us do! What a relief and what hope that it brings. I am happy! Happy for real, in a way that I could never have ever imagined before I came on my mission. There is still a lot of work to be done, but I feel like I'm on my way. I expressed to President Sabey my love for him and how his teachings have changed my life and he took my hand and said I love you. Then it was over and I'll only get to see President Sabey a few more times before he leaves in July. I'll miss him a lot.

Eba is a wonderful dish. It's called the celestial food by most African's, especially Nigerians. I can't think of something with more protein then peanut butter soup with chicken in it! OK maybe I don't love it that much. It's all I've been eating for the past few day's. I run out of money so fast and it really scares me for when I plan to live in Utah. How the heck will I survive??? I thought that for the first time last night, but it's really what I want to do. If you want to look at another School you can look at the LDS Business college in Salt Lake. That sounds like the best plan to me since I could carpool with Elder Lehr from Provo twice a week and I could be working the rest of the time. To tell you the truth, I don't even know what to look for when researching schools. Haha, just look for me! Use the spirit. I'm looking for general eds. The Problem is the fact that UVU makes you pay out of state tuition and that's why LDS business college would be sweet since I have no money!;) I could go there for a year or I could get a degree or something and transfer to BYU or UVU or wherever I wanted. I don't know. I don't really think about this stuff too much. Now I'm rambling.

The Elders in your ward sound sweet. Are they in a threesome? Has he learned English yet? Those guys have it really tough. Maybe not food wise, or living wise, or anything like that, but the work there is hard! I am so freaking lucky to be in a mission where I can go months without being rejected. People aren't serious that's true but nobody will throw the door in your face. If they have a door that is. Send them my greetings and my love. Go with the flow my dear brothers! Enjoy your mission;)

Jeremy's been sick huh? Sorry for him! Give him a kiss on the forehead for me and run your hand through his beautiful locks.

We're into Isaiah now and I'm actually enjoying it a lot. I can't say I remember a lot of it but the language is powerful and direct. It's understandable most of the time. There's also sweet prophecies of the Savior that I didn't know about. I pay extra attention to the chapters quoted in the Book of Mormon. If Elder Haderlie and I are still together next transfer we are gonna read the New Testaments.

I bought the entire season of Band of Brothers for two cedis last week. Are there any other things I should look for?

Well nothing else is happening really. We started contacting small small but the experience isn't really enjoyable or effective. Pray for us please since the mission is having some troubles. We need a lot of help from the Lord if we are going to accomplish this goal. Prepare for my coming for behold, I come quickly.

Love Elder Harris