Sunday, September 24, 2006

Brian Email 8-25-05

Hi family,

Thanks for the letter, as always. I had a ton of emails today, but not
very many were interesting. I have a lot of "business" stuff, we are
trying to contact organizations to do service for, and they like to
email us, and I also get a lot of real estate newsletters. One of our
members was looking at houses, and didn't have email, so we gave the
realtor my address, and now I get all that stuff. It's fun to look at
once in a while just to see the houses and prices. I think real estate
is fascinating, but at the same time, I can't do anything about it and
it's pretty boring in comparison to missionary work and studying the

Did Michael show y'all the mountain where we saw the big ol' mountain
goats? That big mountain on the back side of the far lake is really
something isn't it? I would love to climb it someday but I'd probably
die. I miss mountains so much. They just aren't the same here. When
folks refer to "the mountains", they mean the Appalachians (they
pronounce that word different too, I don't know how to explain it in
writing though) and the Appalachians are NOTHING. They are foothills.
They are a child's plaything. I'm looking forward to looking at real,
rugged cliffs and peaks again. Too bad I can't go hiking when I come
home, it will be winter.

That is so wild that Tyler and Jon and Tom and Joe are all home already.
That blows my mind. But then again, Brent and Stephen and Jason and
Austin and my other friends Ryan and Steve and Kelv have already hit
their first year mark too. I figured out last night that out of the 25
Spanish missionaries in the mission, 11 go home before me, and 11 go
home after me. I'm dead center, tied with 2 others that go home with
me. That was wierd to me. I have some questions for Jon Summers about
West Virginia. I've heard a lot about it. Could you get me Tyler's
address too?

I'm doing well here, more or less. We had zone conference yesterday,
and I really enjoyed it a lot. I'm pretty good friends with both our
zone leaders, we live close to them, and I talk to them every night.
They are good missionaries. We talked a lot about listening to people,
and about using the Book of Mormon better. I really love the Book of
Mormon more now than I ever have in my life. I could spend my whole
life just reading it over and over. The purpose of the Book of Mormon
is not to help me understand the storyline, or the history of America,
but to help me strengthen my testimony of and relationship with Jesus
Christ. That's really what it has done for me, in the last year
especially. I always thought I "knew" it pretty well, but there is
always something more, something I've missed time and again. There are
so many verses that are phrased so perfectly for what I need every day.
Every day I read something that I want to share with someone. If I
could share all of the scriptures, I would. That's why we give away
copies of the Book of Mormon, so they can find every verse for
themselves. Missionaries are always supposed to bear testimony of it,
but now I'm more excited to, because I have personal experiences with
it. Now it matters to me. Before my mission I always read it, but it
never mattered so much as it does now. That's how I know I'm growing.
I'm not making very good progress on the goal to read it before the end
of the year. I started it right away, and I read every day, but I can't
seem to keep up. It's roughly 5 pages a day I think, I've been
averaging 3.

We ran into Jose Luis last night, we had an appointment, but when we got
to his apartment he wasn't home, I was about to write a note and put it
on his door, but he pulled up and apologized for not being there. He
was pretty busy, but he told us that we could come back tomorrow
(tonight). He told us he had been reading the Book of Mormon, and that
he liked it. Hopefully he's sharing it with his wife too. If not,
we'll challenge him to. He's got a way cool family, but usually his
wife will take the kids into the bedroom when we come over. Spanish
people are always worried about their kids making noise and stuff, so
she hasn't really heard anything from us. We'll see how they're doing

We also have been getting some referrals. Our branch president ran into
a guy at the mechanic and started a conversation about the Gospel. He
gave us his name and phone number, but he wanted us to wait until he
could invite his new friend to a family home evening before we visit
with him. Then our first counselor called us and said he had a family
from Venezuela for us. We are going over there on Friday to eat with
them, and we'll have a good time and get to know each other. His excuse
for inviting the missionaries is that I have been wanting to meet some
Venezuelans my whole mission, because I wasn't able to go down there,
and haven't met any. It's a good excuse, and it's true. It should be
fun. Our branch rocks here. Their goal for baptisms this year was 12,
and they haven't had any yet, but everyone is pushing so hard to make it
happen. I love it, I've never been busier in my life. I think this
branch can do it, we have one lined up, a less active's 11 year old
daughter. Then we can work really hard with about three families we
have now, and we'll be pretty close then. We still have 5 months to go,
so we'll push as hard as we can until the end. I'm so excited to be
here during this phase of the branch's growth. It's so little still,
but everyone wants to do so much more. We pray every night, morning,
and every prayer in between to be led to a family who is ready for the
gospel. I think it's working. When we find our family, we'll look for
another one.

Thanks for everything, I love you all so much. I only have 2 minutes
left on the computer, I'm in the library. Have a great week, I'll talk
to you next week.

Love, Elder Harris


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