Sunday, May 01, 2005

Brian Email 4-28-05

Hey family. I'm going to start with me this week, I feel like sometimes
I forget to add that part of my letters...

So yesterday we decided to go biking because we are running low on miles
for the month, we are limited to 1275 miles in the car every month, so
towards the end we have to ration them. Elder Frost left his bike when
he left so I used his. So we started biking and got about one or two
miles and my tire blew up and went flat instantly. It reminded me of
when Andy and I tried to do our 50 miler that day and my brakes broke
and my wheel came loose and my brake cable snapped all within 2 miles
from our house. I have bad luck with bikes. So we walked our bikes
another mile to Vicente and Maria's apartment and left them there and
walked the rest of the day. It was a long day and we didn't get to
teach as many lessons as we had planned. We had planned 9 lessons, but
we could only get to three. Our area is too big for walking, but we
really the only time I'll have on Sunday. Could you send me Julie's
number so I can call her too? I'm excited to talk to y'all, and see how
much deeper Andy and Michael's voices have gotten. :) Will Shannon be
around then too? I'd like to talk to my new brother too if he can make
it. Hee hee, that will be their last weekend in the singles ward!

I was thinking about croquet the other day, I was noticing that the
weather was perfect, but dad would hate the grass here. The grass is
awful, and there are always those really thick stalky looking ones mixed
in. And there is no flat ground, it's all hills everywhere. It's
funny. Croquet here doesn't exist as far as I know.

I'm hoping everyone is feeling better. I'm about to play basketball
here at the stake center. I'm still pretty sore from all the walking
yesterday, but I figure with all this excercise I can lose the extra
pounds. I feel really chunky, and my cheeks look a lot fatter, I'll
send you a picture sometime. I have a couple of good ones, but I keep
forgetting to develop the film. Well, that's it for today, I think.
Siguan adelante, oren mucho, confien en El Senor, y todo estara bien.
Have a great week!

Love, Brian Harris

Brian Email 4-21-05

Hey Dad and Family,
Sounds like everything is still going pretty well over there. It always
amazes me how busy the boys are, especially Michael. I don't know that
I've seen anyone enter more brainy competitions than him, except maybe
Austin. I'm glad Michael is so dedicated to everything. He has a lot
of guts!

I got a letter from Shannon and Andrew recently, I wrote back this
morning, and hopefully they will get that in a few days. And yah, Elder
Gordon did get the letter from Danizza. And the Elder Frost I know is
Shane Frost, if you could tell Amy that would be cool.

Is Andy in that dance festival? How is he doing? What dances are they
doing? What are the costumes like? I bet it's pretty stressful for the
leaders, trying to keep everyone's attention and everything, how is that
working out?

As of right now, I'm not exactly sure when I will be calling home. If
May 8 is Mother's Day, then that will be the day, but I don't know what
time, probably after my church and meetings, which would be... around 5
or 6 pm for y'all (possibly later). My church starts at 11 our time,
and we are usually busy in the mornings. For now, I'll say that it will
be in the evening, but I can't say how late. I'll figure it out for
next week.

Everything is going well here, we went tracting yesterday, our mission
has a new goal for every companionship to do 10 hours a week, which is
tons more than we had been doing. We usually have so many appointments
that we can't fit everyone in every week, but we're doing it anyway. We
are trying to find lots of new people anyway, because a lot of our
investigators aren't keeping commitments and we can't make them progress
anymore right now. Those two Peruvian families I told y'all about
keeping cancelling appointments or just aren't there when we go. It's
sad, but we don't know what else we can do for them besides call them
once in a while. At least the kid is going to scouts.

But yah, I'm fully healthy now, running in the morning helps a lot, and
it helps me feel less like I'm getting fat. I've got a lot of chub
around the middle now. Still haven't played disc golf yet. Oh, and
speaking of golf, there is a club in our area that is hosting one of the
PGA Masters Tournaments. A lot of people are excited about that, and a
lot of big names are going to be here, and the city is closing a few

Everything is fine here, I'm hoping that everybody is happy at home.
You're all awesome, keep it up. Talk to y'all later.

Love, Elder Harris

Brian Email 4-14-05

Hey y'all.

How are things? I'm still here, more or less healthy, and everything is
going really well. I'm with only one companion now, Elder Gordon. He's
finishing up here in 5 weeks, so it's my job to keep him from slacking.
He's doing better than Elder Frost did, it's pretty hard to stay focused
when you know you're about to leave. It looks like I'll be in Charlotte
for a while, I haven't heard anything really though. Is Venezuela still
struggling with floods and things? I heard that Hugo Chavez is accusing
Pres. Bush of planning an assasination of Fidel Castro, and I know that
something is going down between Venezuela Colombia and Brazil, but I
don't really know how much of that is affecting my visa. I'd be ok with
staying here, it's nice, and they need Spanish speaking missionaries
here anyway. We only have about 20 in the mission. Venezuela is
loaded, they can wait. :)

I have to say congratulations to both of the boys for their piano thing.
I wish you two could come play for our branch out here. It's a real
struggle trying to sing along to our pianist, but he's the best we've
got. He can only play the melody line (usually) and then he makes up a
left hand part, which is usually not in the same key. And when he
messes up he goes back to fix it, so the whole congregation gets
confused. He's a cool guy, but it's really hard to sing along to him.

It's good to hear that the yard is looking good. I did a lot of yard
work last week. On Friday we helped our relief society president do
some weeding in her garden, and then on Saturday we had a zone activity
of planting trees in Rock Hill, SC. A baptist church was building a
building, but according to city zoning they had to plant so many trees
in specific places. Down here, all the buildings are practically hidden
from the street by all the trees. It looks pretty nice, but it takes a
lot of time and money to put them all in and take care of them. So we
helped plant around 100 trees, and then they fed us after, it was a lot
of fun, but we were pretty beat afterward. A lot of the trees were
taller than me, and we had to dig all the holes by hand, so that took
from 8:00 am to 1:30 pm. It's kind of weird to think we were doing yard
work at the same time last week.

How is Bro. Hunt doing with his field? Does he have a lot of help this
year, or is he still out there alone every night?

We had a Noche de hogar (FHE) with an investigator on Monday. Usually
they are really quiet and we can't get many answers out of them when we
ask them things, but it turned out really well. We watched Finding
Faith In Christ with them and then we played a game, and everyone had a
good time. The mom has committed to be baptized but she hasn't picked a
date yet. She said she wants to do it in May, which is good, that will
give us time to teach the rest of the lessons. We're going to get a
firm date out of her next time we see her.

Another funky thing that happened, yesterday we tracted into a member.
He's from Honduras, and he said he was baptized there, and was active
for a year and then came here and hasn't looked for the church. A lot
of Honduranians (Catrachos) have had the lessons before. One of my MTC
teachers said that in her whole mission in Honduras she only taught
about 5 people that had never heard all the lessons before. Crazy isn't

Well, that's all I've got for now. I was going to go play disc golf
today, but it's been raining (just like every other time I've planned to
go so far). Maybe next week. Have a great day all!

Elder Harris

P.S. 1 month until Shannon's wedding!! and until I call home. :)

Brian Email 4-7-05

Subject: Buenos dias

Hi everyone.
What did y'all think of conference? I thought it was incredible. We
had 0 investigators there, their loss. They all totally said they'd be
there and everything. :(

So, transfers are today. I didn't go anywhere, and neither did Elder
Gordon, so we're still here and Elder Frost is in the process of
leaving. He's got all his bags packed and his mom and sister are coming
to get him at 2 today.

We've all been a little sick lately. Elder Frost caught the flu pretty
hard and it's been going around, but we're trying to take preventative
measures. The Alka-Seltzer Cold & Flu stuff works pretty well, and I've
gone through about 20 cough drops this week. Every time I eat one, I
think of dad sucking on them in church. The pollen here is awful, dad
would probably die here. Yesterday morning we walked outside and
everything was yellow. Our car (white) was completely yellow and we let
off a big cloud of pollen upon starting the car and running the
windshield wipers. It's pretty bad. I hear the cottonwood is pretty
bad here in a couple of weeks too.

As for good news, our baptism happened last Saturday, and she'll be
confirmed this Sunday in sacrament meeting. After the baptism, the plug
in the font got stuck, so her brother changed into a white jumpsuit, and
jumped in to pull it out. We would have baptized him right there but we
haven't taught him anything yet. :)

Well, that's all I've got for now, I'm excited to go take a nap and some
ibuprofin. Have a good week.