Thursday, March 03, 2005

Brian Email 3-3-05

Hey family,
This week was a lot better than last week, we already have accomplished
a ton, and our four busiest days are still coming up. We found a ride
for one of our investigating family's (Miguel y Jessica) sons, Miguelito
(11) to go to scouts this week at the church. He LOVED it. When we
called that night to see how it went, he was still wearing the scout
shirt they gave him and he had his new book and pamphlets and had earned
a merit badge! He was so excited to go and meet people there, partly
because both his parents work until 9ish every night so he's a little
bored sometimes, but he's a great kid and he really gets things done
when he wants to. Also at church on Sunday, they gave him his own
Triple, and he begged his mom to read it with him. They both loved it
and are reading the Book of Mormon every night now. Their whole family
went to church last week, and they really felt good about it.
But the best part about their story is this: We found them because we
had a list of about 200 people that had ordered media materials throuhg
the mail. We chose them by the direction of the Spirit. We later found
out that Miguel, the husband has a sister that is also taking the
discussions from us by means of a member referral! Their names are
Walter y Elka. We are teaching their whole family, and now both Elka
and Miguel's parents are investigating the church in Peru, and also
Walter's parents. And the member that referred Walter y Elka is
amazing, he comes with us to teach them, and he is really supportive
during the week and answers a lot of their questions, and brings them to
church. So these two families, which are one family, are very excited
and they have a lot of support and they each other's support too. It's
a really good situation!

And tracting yesterday was really good too. We found a former
investigator that has been reading the Book of Mormon with her sister,
and she remembers pretty much everything the missionaries taught her
before. And then we found a lady that told us that she had been trying
lots of different churches and wanted to know which one was the right
one. She asked us to tell her, so we did :) We gave her a Book of
Mormon and we'll go back and see if she's really interested still.

I'm really liking Charlotte. We have one Spanish branch in our stake,
with about 200 members, so they're almost ready to be a ward, but they
lack a few more members, and we also have a TON of completely inactive
members, so that is a little hard. In the last 5 weeks, we have
reactivated two families, it really wasn't hard, they just need a little
kick in the pants is all. Hopefully they stay. One of our less active
women just got a calling in the relief society presidency, so that will
help a ton, and her son gave a good talk in church last week.

Everything is progressing for the most part. We always have
appointments, so we don't tract much, and we get lots of referrals from
members, which is good. Our investigators are all progressing, and
things are going well. The only problem is that our branch is kind of
falling apart. There are huge divisions and constant bickering. A lot
of members (especially new members) hate going to church because of the
yelling during relief society or something or other. The sister
missionaries in our branch and district have brought about 6
investigators to church that don't want to come back because of the
contention in the branch. It's pretty sad, and no one knows how to fix
problem. The branch president has had no training at all, so he's
just kinda winging it. The church is true here just like it is in
Idaho, and we get the same lessons, but it is not organized half as
well. That's something that is hard right now, and some of our
"backbone" members are moving soon, so we will have to work really hard
with the members.

So that's what's going on here, it's really fun, and we're accomplishing
a lot. It's really nice hearing from y'all. Hopefully everyone gets
better soon, everyone is sick here too, so that helps us find people
home :) Go ahead and send my emails to anyone and everyone, it's all
right with me. If anyone asks how I'm doing, tell them I'm loving every
minute! Y'all have a bles't day now, y'hear? Hee hee, that's my new
favorite Southern phrase.

Elder Harris


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