Thursday, August 29, 2013


Hola Familia!

I thinnnnnk I'm guuuna be siiick.  I was cocky and arrogant.  I thought I was better than illness.  I thought I was invincible.  I was so proud that I had not gotten sick but it all happened so fast haha. Yesterday morning I woke up feeling a little funny.  I went into the bathroom after breakfast and there was a kid in there throwing up and I was like, Poor kid, I'm glad that's not me, and then literally 15 minutes later, that was me. It hit me like a brick wall, blind-sided me reallll good, haha. Everyone in the CCM is sick though. I think it was from the hamburgers they made for dinner the night before. The cafeteria hermanas are so nice and considerate by making us American food when all the Latinos are gone, but they caused and epidemic. After an hour or two after I barfed, I felt pretty good. But when I was in the temple today, it hit me again.  However,  I was able to withstand the session, unlike one of my roommates, who ran out in the middle of the session to puke and we never saw him again. Yeah, but I thought I was literally dying until like now. Sooo, I'm gonna live and  hopefully serve the rest of this mish.

Well this week was real NEAT. Some highlights were on Saturday. A boatload of Primary ninos from the Lima East Stake came to visit the CCM! Field Trip! They were all so cute dressed in their suits and what not wearing their futuro missionary name tags. They would come up to us and I would ask them for their name and who their favorite Book of Mormon prophet was. We sang Called To Serve for them in English; it was legit. That's when I realized that I am a real missionary haha. Seeing how the little kids looked up to us made me think of my primary days and wanting to be like the missionaries! Well it made me realize I need to be that missionary a primary kid should look up to. We have a lot of weight on our shoulders and the church expects a lot from us. So I'm gonna work my hardest to be the best missionary I can be and make those little Latinos proud and hopefully one day they will go on missions!

Another highlight was Sunday! Our afternoon devotional was loaded with general authorities. We had the whole area presidency of the 70 and Elder Wadell and most importantly, Elder Cook! I love me some Elder Cook! He's the only apostle I've heard live; I got to shake his hand! If he got me sick, I'm grateful. But seriously, the spirit was soo strong in that meeting. They opened it up to questions from the Elders and Hermanas and Elder Cook and the others would respond and testify with conviction. Elder Cook left us with an apostolic blessing! He said that as we serve, our families will be blessed and will be ok according to our faithfulness and diligence. So don't worry. I'll work hard for you folks. My testimony of modern day apostles and prophets shot through the roof. I know that Elder Cook is an apostle of the Lord and receives revelation for this church.

We didn't get to proselyte ( but we got to practice teaching. I feel like I'm progressing but it's hilarious though cuz I can teach a lesson very slowly in broken Spanish and get by but my Latino roommates will ask me a simple question not pertaining to the gospel and it will go right over my head. Well all the oldest generation left and now we are the kings of the campus. The CCM is like high school in 6 weeks. 

My running buddy left, haha. We did a 5k and were stupid and didn't stretch or warm up but I'll give my splits for Dad. First mile was 7:06 than we went 6:06 and 6:06 again. I've never felt fatter in my life. But it's ok. So I only have 2 weeks left; it's crazy! I'm scared out of my mind for the field but excited too. I'm anxious to go to work. I know studying is important but I'd rather tract and teach. 

My district got the Christmas tree! Our generation has 5 districts so were chosen out of the 5 districts to have it! So it's Christmas from now until our last pday, which is Christmas day. My teacher is getting me a calling card. We fly out on Tuesday morning, the 10th, but I think it's gonna be super early but I'll call anyways just in case someone picks up. Well I love all of you! and I miss you so much: I get so home sick on pdays but I'm fine the rest. It's hard not to have that comfort, especially when your dying, haha. But I love it here. I know this church is true! and this is where I'm supposed to be right now.  Heavenly Father is watching over me. I can see it every day and I know he's taking care of you guys.  Well until next week!

Lolzz from Lima

Elder Harper

Baylor and Tanner Valerio

Thursday, August 22, 2013


Hola familia! 

So nothing too exciting this week. It's so weird that I'm already half way done with the CCM. It goes by fast even though we do the same thing every day haa. We wake up at 6:30, get ready, then go to breakfast at 7. Breakfast is usually eggs yogurt and juice, and of course, herbal tea for me. We get an hour for personal study after breakfast. My district is awesome but they can be distracting so my companero and I get creative in finding places to study where it's quiet cuz our district room can be a party sometimes. We then usually have companionship study or teach an investigator. We have a couple language classes or a doctrine class before lunch. We also use the tall program a lot, where you do Spanish lessons on the computer. After lunch, we usually have a couple hours for additional study and language study, lots of studying!

Every day I try harder and harder to be more focused in my studies. We get an hour of exercise every day! My district usually plays ultimate frisbee but last week I found an Elder to run with. He's super intense. We will run a few miles a day and he will talk about stats and races to me the whole time. It kinda makes me wanna race again. He even makes me do 5Ks with him haha. Friday is one of his last days so we've been training all week for a 5k on Friday. I'm so out of shape but running is good for me cuz I eat so much here, like I never experience the feeling of hunger. It's real weird and kinda gross. They load up so much rice on your plate and it's rude not to eat it so, oh well. It's not all that Peruvian either. It's supposed to be international. 

Sorry this letter is boring but all we do is sit in classes every day. No proselyting this week ;(  After lunch we have a couple more classes and another opportunity to teach before the night. Teaching can either be frustrating or super uplifting. It's hard to teach the gospel in a way where you are listening and trying to apply it to them personally when it's all in Spanish. But I can see myself progressing and I don't give myself permission to  be really frustrated cuz I know I can always study much harder. But I have learned that when I have focused on the doctrine and the scriptures and focus on having the spirit present instead of worrying about my spanish, it always works out. 

So every night they have fruta, where we eat all the left over fruit. My comp and I rarely go but we went a couple of times this week and we were blessed with ice cream and ....I saw a double banana! 2 bananas, one peel, cray stuff. We got new latino roommates. One is from Argentina, Elder Martinez and he's 23! Elder Castro is 18 and he's from Lima.
They are funny guys. I told them I'm from California and that I like to surf, so now every time they see me, they throw me the showkaw. I love all the Latinos!

My favorite part of the week though was today in the temple! Our session was in English because Elder Cook is in town and his session was at 9:30 with Elder Waddel and some other general authorities. So the cool thing is all their wives were in our session. Including Sister Cook and Sister Wadell. I was in the temple at the same time as an apostle of the Lord! I love the temple. The spirit is always so strong there; it is a home away from home. On our way back, we got some tasty churros with caramel inside, best churros ever. We ran into some real Elders. He was saying the we will be training three months into our mission. I'm scared. 

The buses are insane! They pack as many people as they can in there times 100. It's always super awkward and they drive around, insanely swerving and starting and stopping. Well it's been a great week and it's been awesome hearing from you guys. Abs got bit? Can't wait to read about that. I hope she's ok. I still haven't bought a calling card yet cuz the store didin't have it but I'll find one. Well, I'm gonna keep on keeping on! Don't be afraid to send letters or packages cuz we get them here. I love you all and I miss you so much!

Lollz from Lima,

Elder Harper

Thursday, August 15, 2013


Hola Familia! 

I am still safe and sound in the CCM.  Besides a little cold I HAD, I have yet to get sick. I think I'm one of the only ones who hasn't. The food is pretty darn great. The rice can get old but they usually switch up the meats from chicken to beef to pork. My favorite meal is probably a chicken leg with some sweet peruvian sauce, rice and a strawberry agua frescas. The desserts can be a little sketch sometimes. 

I met all Ab's teachers! They all rave about her and say she is an amazing missionary! One of the ones I met was Hermano Gonzalez. He is my latino homey.  He always shows me pictures of her when she was here and it makes me really happy! All my maestros are saints! I love them like my family. It's funny how little Spanish we know and how little English they know, but yet we can still get very close with each other and joke around. And when it's time to teach, they always deliver an amazing lesson. It's starting to get a little easier to understand them but it's pretty hard. It's awesome though how the spirit speaks through any language! and I can feel it even when I have no idea what they are saying.  My Spanish is absolutely terrible but I have seen the gift of tongues working, ¨poco a poco¨ is what all the teachers tell us when we get frustrated.

So I didn't really feel like a missionary until last Saturday.  Last Sat we got to proselyte!  Usually when we proselyte every gringo gets paired up with a latino companion but unfortunately the CCM isn't like it was in Zach and Abs day. There are way more gringos than latinos here. It's so sad cuz I love all the Latinos.  So my comp for proselyting was my gringo, Elder Oswald!  He is a stud and helps keep me focused and productive.  So we took a bus and met at a chapel where the local missionaries gave us directions for our area. Locally we got paired up with a Latino teacher. So we hit the streets of Peru very nervous.  The streets are a lot different than the luxurious CCM, let me tell you.  So we started walking and our teacher told us to knock on a door whenever we felt inspired to.  But I was thinking, "the only thing I can feel is my heart trying to leap out of my chest". I was shaking in my boots. But I Eldered up and knocked on a random door.  I gave the intro shpeel and waited for a response. It was an old old Peruvian woman and I didn't understand a word she said, but our teacher talked to her and she invited us in and she ended up being a member. She fed us platinos and asked us if we could give her husband a blessing. From the other room we could hear him crying and moaning. We went to the room and he was in rags and in bed.  I think he had dementia or something. Our teacher gave him the blessing but she wanted one too.  So me and my comp got to do that. It was quite the experience. She told my teacher that before we came her hubby was crying more than ever and in great pain and she was praying, wondering where God was and pleading for help. Than I guess we came knocking on the door moments later!!! We were moved. She gave us the rest of her platinos and said we were the answer to her prayers.

Well I get frustrated a lot because I can't speak or understand anything because it's all in Spanish but then I quickly cheer myself up because I remember the Lord calls us to succeed, not to fail. (Elder Scott)  The spirit is so intense here, I never wanna leave.  I'm happy and safe here and working hard so one day I can be an effective missionary! My district is like my fam for now but I miss and love you all.

lolllzzzzz from Lima,

Elder Harper

Thursday, August 8, 2013


 Hola familia!
I've been stressing about this moment all week haha. Well I love it here in the CCM! I'M having the the time of my life. There are lots of good times and some hard times. But the good times happen way more often than the hard ones. It's hard sometimes because I already miss my family and friends but hard work and humor overcome that. My Spanish it's awful but I realize it has only been a week. The hardest part is having effective study that will progress my Spanish and not just overwhelm or confuse me. 

Well my companion is awesome! He's from Cash Valley Utah? He's a pretty cool kid.  We don't have much in common but we both have a strong desire to learn the language and work hard. My district is awesome as well. I love all the Elders and Hermanas. They are all hilarious, so at times it's hard to stay focused. So th
at's probably one of the biggest struggles, trying not to have too much fun haha. The food here is amazing! My companion and I love everything we eat, even though it's usually just rice , chicken, soup and juice. Our district makes fun of us cuz they don't like the food that much. 

Well everyday we have classes and our maestros are Latinos who speak little English. It was very frustrating at first but I'm slowly getting better at understanding them. They are all pretty funny too and have such strong testimonies. I really look up to them. Every night we teach our investigator Francisco!  It's hard because we can understand a lot of what he says cuz he talks slowly and simply but it's so hard to express the gospel in Espanol. I want to help him and I know how to but not in Spanish. 

All of the Latino elders here are awesome. We have a couple in our room. They are so loving and friendly. They always laugh when we try to speak Spanish to them but we probably laugh harder when they attempt English. In our exercise time we will play soccer or volley ball with them. I love them all. Yesterday we had a devotional with Elder Waddell and his wife! Even though we had to listen with head phones the spirit was very strong. It was awesome being able to shake hands with a general authority! 

Well today is my first p day so we got to go out on the town. The temple is closed this week but we were able to go shopping at the temple store and some markets. We all crammed into a crowded bus.  It was only one sole for me and my companero. 

Well like I said, I truly do love it here and am having a great time. I miss all of you and the thought of not being able to see you guys for 2 years is insane! But I got work to do and even when I'm lonely, I have Jesus as my best friend. I want to be able to speak Spanish so badly but I know it will come eventually. Well I'll talk to you all next week! I hope I answered all your questions and feel free to reprimand me if this isn't quality. I'm still learning haha.
Lolzzzzz From Lima,
Elder Harper

Thursday, August 1, 2013


Hola Familia!

So everything went well with my travels! I am safe and sound in the CCM. On my flight from OC to Dallas there was this man sitting next to me who was chatting me up and he helped me get to where I needed to go! He walked me to the Sky Link and gave me directions and when I got to my gate there was a group of 20 Elders and Sisters who greeted me. On the plane, I sat next to this young girl who was from Lima; she spoke pretty good English and was a talker. She tried to teach me some Spanish but it didn't go over so well haha. But she was very curious about what I was doing. I got to tell her about missionary work, the Book of Mormon, the nature of God and a little about the temple. It was pretty cool but it was all in English. We got into the Lima airport about 1:00 am and took a long bus ride to the CCM. I don't think I got to bed till 4 but we got to sleep in. 

Today I had some warm juice, cereal and yogurt, yum. I also received like 30 pounds of books and stuff so that will be very interesting to get to Chiclayo. Well, it feels very good to be here! I'm happy and I'm excited to learn the language so I can help bring the people of Peru to the gospel. I think the CCM is gonna be a different experience for me than for Abs cuz there are a lot of gringos here. My district seems pretty chill and my companion seems like a good guy. It just feels like EFY or something cuz everyone is so young. 

Well thanks everyone for your love and support! It made it easy for me to get out here. I know it's gonna be hard but I know I'm gonna love it. Everyone says the first two weeks are really tough but after that it's pure bliss ;) We shall see about that. I keep trying to close this letter cuz I have nothing left to say but then I look up and see more time on the screen. Lolllz. I saw lots of stray dogs on the way to the CCM but no Lamas which was very disappointing for us all, and no ducks. So how about them Bears? Well I gots to go but feel free to critique this letter for future reference cuz I fee like this stinks. I love all yall. I know this Church is true, I know this is where I need to be and I'm excited to get to work. Make sure to forward Abs emails to me. Well Hoorah for Israel!

Lollz From Lima,

Elder Harper