Elder Harris, Portia and Gordella

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