Monday, September 30, 2013


Hola Familia!

I'm writing from a place called Chumba?  It's 30 minutes away from our area.  It's mas arriba (higher) and it's more jungly here.  We ate lunch with a family who have palm trees everywhere so we cut open coconuts and drank the milk with our lunch.

This week was a good one.  We almost had a baptism but the father of the girl won't let her yet.  She's 11 and her name is Maria.  All of her sisters are members but her parents are not. She lives in the highest part of Jaen and every day this week we hiked up this hill to teach her and her family. Her house overlooks all over the city.  It's quite a sight. They don't have much but they are very happy.  There house is made of Adobe, a tin roof and a dirt floor. There bathroom is the river right next to their house and they have no electricity. Maria and all her little sisters are always so happy to see us.  They are fascinated by our white skin and colored eyes. Children have the hardest time understanding me. After I shared a message one time, a girl said, "I don't understand; I think he is speaking English". haha.  But Maria will probs be baptized next week. We just need to work on the dad.

My boy, Nino, is being baptized on the 12 of October. He's a stud and has been going to church and all of the activities.  We have a couple of other investigators that were at church who have potential. There are a lot of good humble people here in Jaen, especially in our area cuz we have the hills, which include the poorer part of the city.

As far as my ability goes, I've really felt blessed.  I've gotten a lot of good advice that I've taken into account.  Like  my bro Riley H told me, "Always pray that your investigators will be able to understand you and don't pray for yourself".  And Bishop Baker told me how when missionaries don't know the language, they are humbled and are more prone to rely on the spirit and on Jesus Christ. Fear and frustration are just a lack of faith so this week I tried to focus on the spirit, the people and our message and not my own ability.  And I've felt the Lord work through me in simple ways.  I've felt great joy as we have been able to help people and as they have accepted our message.  So the key is to have the spirit cuz when we have the spirit, we are calm, confident, happy and can be a tool in the hands of the Lord.

Friday night our pinchanista fed us way too much food I think or it was bad cuz Saturday morning I woke up at 5:00 am and threw up every 10 minutes til like 8:00 but I prayed for strength, slept for 2 hours and we hit the streets at 10:00!  I was pretty weak all day but I was able to do it.  Well, I'm having a hard time getting excited for General Conference cuz it's gonna be in Spanish. 10 hours of not understanding modern revelation from servants of the Lord : )

Thanks for all the letters and the support. I love you all and hope all is well.

Elder Harper

Elder Baylor Harper with his trainer, Elder Landon Hulet

Monday, September 23, 2013


Hola Familia and Amigos!!

Sorry I have no time.  I'm gonna have to come up with an efficient method to have time to write everyone and send pics.  This week was great! But nobody told me the mission would be hard? jk
Nobody told me it would be easy. It's hard but I am loving it. Sorry Mom, but the most stressful
part of the week is internet time.

But yeah, my speaking and understanding is coming slowly.  I try to not get frustrated and stay positive. I see that when I am positive and excited, I have the spirit with me and I'm more confident in my teaching.  I know through faith and study the language will come.

Well we've been teaching an average of 5 lessons a day and have lots of investigators but not many are progressing.  There's one 18 year old boy named Nino who wants to be baptized.  We have a date and all but he didn't show up to church so we have to postpone the baptism.  We might have a baptism this week from a reference we got.  We are gonna start teaching her today. She already has gone to church multiple times and has expressed that she wants to be baptized.

So Jaen is really hot.  We either walk or ride by motor taxi.  Sunday was fun.  They asked me and Hulet to bare our testimonies in Sacrament meeting.  I just broke the ice by saying, I can't speak Spanish, then attempted to speak and everyone laughs and it's all good!  Same with lessons too!

Yeah, it's definitely hard but I'm loving it.  Elder Hulet is a great trainer and a hard worker. Yesterday I ate Cuy or guinea pig for the first time.  I'm special cuz that was only Hulet's second time.  It's basically seasoned rubber. We have a really cool zone with lots of Gringos.  So I need to be careful not to slack with my espanol cuz I tend to do that.

Everyone, thanks for all the letters and emails!  I love you guys and keep you in my prayers every night! Especially you Papa!  You are a strong man and I love you so much.  Get better Fast!

Well many times I have wished I was in the states teaching in English, but I know this is where I need to be. I feel the hand of the Lord in my life every day and know as I lose myself in service, I'll be able to progress.  I love being a missionary; it's pretty dope.  I might never come home if that's ok with you guys, jaja.  Also, I've been called Jefecito, which means little boss or chief.

Jeffecito from Jaen,

Elder Harper

Monday, September 16, 2013


Hola Familia!
Thanks again for waking up to talk to me.  It was awesome hearing all your voices. So after I hung up with you,  I had an hour an a half flight to Chiclayo, where President and Sister Risso picked us up with a bunch of office Elders. They took us to a capilla (chapel) and fed us breakfast: fruit , cereal and muffins.  After, we had a cambio meeting where our new group had to sit up on the stand and later introduce ourselves to everyone. We then had a meeting where the office elders went over the mission rules and what not after we were introduced to our new companeros. jaja 

I have two of  the rarest things for a new missionary. My trainer is a Gringo! Elder Hulet from Payson Utah. He only has  2 and a half months left in the mission so it looks like I am going to kill my father. He barely speaks English to me so I get a little of the Latino experience. but he can understand everything I say in English obviously. Our area is JAEN, which is very rare because there are only two areas of jungle in the mission and Jaen is one of them. It is one of the most coveted areas in the mission. It's not like deep Gutamela jungle; it's like a city that's very green.  I'll try to send some pics. 

President  Risso is very nice and his English is pretty darn good. So we had to take an 8 hour bus ride from Chiclayo to Jaen. Oswald is in my zone, Jaen, too so that's exciting! Elder  Hulet and I are both new to Jaen so it's been intresting. We were basically white washed. For the first few days we had no area map, no phone and no area book, so we just knocked doors all day. This area is very receptive though. Not everyone is enthusiastic about our message but almost everone gives us time to teach them a lesson. In our first week we already picked up 27 investiagors but that only means we taught them at least one lesson and they committed  to another. 

Spanish is so hard. I feel like a hopless wanderer haha. I don't understand or speak anything haha. My comp does the majority of the talking cuz he's 100 percent fluent. Lessons are very scary and hard cuz it's difficult for me to follow along and my comp turns to me several times each lesson and i just stutter and try to slowly and simply teach. It's very difficult and whenever there are kids they laugh at me cuz my Spanish sucks. But my comp is really cool, nice and supportive. He's patient and helps me learn every day. Every day is a struggle but I know one day I'll be able to bring this message to the people. 

We have a pinchanista who cooks all three meals. It's usually chicken, rice, sometimes fish and a whole lot of yuca Which is a root type thing.

Sunday was a broadcast conference to all of Peru from Salt Sake.  Bednar and Chrsitopherson spoke but I couldn't understand them and the whole stake was there so I didn't  meet very many members, but everyone is nice and laughs at my Spanish.
So I'm always very frustrated at night but I was reading in Alma 29. When Alma desired to preach like an angel but knew he had to be content with what the Lord had alottted him. So for now I've gotta be happy with my ability and sit back and have fun progressing. 

Well sounds like everything is going good at home, except for Pops! Wow, that was unexpected and I was freaking out as I read it. It's very scary but I know he's a strong man and will get through it. Papa, you're in my prayers always!!  and Elder Cook left the CCM with an apostolic blessing that our fams will be blessed and protected as we are away, so I'm very worried but know everything will be all right . Well I love all of you . Unti next week .
Elder Harper 

Thursday, September 5, 2013


¡Feliz Navidad! 

Hola familia. It is Christmas today for district 105 in the CCM. We have been caroling for two days straight and I think everyone hates us now haha. This morning before we left for the temple we had a white elephant exchange! Last Pday we all bought  food or dumb trinkets and wrapped them up and put them safely under our Christmas tree. I have a picture of  it but the compuer is being funky so you might not get those til next week. Every district that has had the tree, leaves an ornament with all their names and I saw Abs!  It was pretty sweet. The Harpers will be a legend in the CCM.
So when I was telling you about my sickness last week I guess it was just the calm before the storm because the next two days I was in my bed and throwing up every thiry minutes haha. Whatever virus it was, just exploded and spread fast throught the CCM. I felt like the infected on I Am Legend.  We were quarantined to our rooms and all the other missionaries wore masks. But it gave me some good time to catch up on sleep and ponder and study.  I'm 100 percent better now, but I'm scared I'm gonna die again out in the field.
So I only have a few days left in the CCM, which is really weird. I have mixed emotions. I'll get pumped after teaching a lesson or after an inspirational devotional but I'm also super nervous and scared, especially since I'm almost guaranteed that my trainer will be a Latino who speaks no English.  I am excited to get out of here and serve although I'll miss my district dearly, especially those going to Bolivia. 

So nothing too eventful happened this week but I've been on a spiritual high. We had a couple of devotionals that just hit me deep. On Sunday we watched a dvd of Elder Bednar and he talked about the characteristics of the Savior. He talked about how Christ always turns out but the natural man's first reaction is to turn in. How he described it was powerful and made me really wanna change, so this week I've been working on trying to turn out. It's hard to do in the CCM but that's why I'm excited to leave so I can lose myself and serve others.
On Tuesday we had a devotional from Elder Uceda, who is the president of the area 70 over our area I think, but he described his conversion story to us in such a simple and powerful manner. He told of how he was taught by two gringo missionaries and one could not speak very good Spanish and he "wrestled to say the things he wanted to¨. And although he couldn't understand him very well, it was his testimony and the spirit that converted him. So even though I can't speak Spanish, I know I can make a difference if I have the spirit with me.
So I found out general things about my flight plan. I guess we leave the CCM at 2 am and our plane flies out at 6. So I'm guessing I'll be able to call around 4 or 5 my time?  A maestro that is basically my BFF is buying me a calling card so I'll have that for Tuesday. I'm still on the hunt for leather Jesus scripture cases so mine are naked and I had to pull money out of the atm in soles cuz I got a bunch of worthless American cash and I don't know where to exchange it.
Well I love all you guys and hopefully I'll be talking to you bright and early Tuesday morning and we can have a long convo! Well untill then, luego!

Oh, and I'm basically the little brother of the whole CCM. I'm the shortest gringo in here  and I'm also the speed walking champion of the CCM (speed hips move real fast), just thought you should know.
Lollz from lima ( for the last time)
Elder Harper