Monday, March 31, 2014


Ricardo's Baptism - last week
Hola Familia! 

Well how goes it everyone!! This week was just another average week in the mission; it was a very good week. Thursday was a pretty epic day.  Thursday our whole zone did a Mormon Batallion. What we did is we all went to an area called Santur, where there is only one member and we knocked doors for 2 hours to help the Elders there get more investigators.  Santur is about an hour and a half away from our area so we had to take a sketch van again, which always scares me a bit haha. We were going to go alone but at the last minute, we called some youth from the Group. We called Angel, a teacher who has been a member for 4 years, and we called Ricardo, who is a priest and was just baptized. We invited them to come with us so we could do splits and so they could have an opportunity to learn how to be missionaries. I didn't think they would say yes cuz we called last minute and the event was going to take all day but they got super stoked and decided to come with us. We gave Ricardo a shirt and tie and all. 

These youth really impress me because there is no way I would have had enough courage to knock doors with missionaries before the mission. But we all head out and when we got to Santur, I went with Ricardo and my comp went With Angel. We started to knock doors and we didn't have too much success but I was impressed that even though Ricardo is a recent convert and doesn't have much experience or knowledge, he wasn't afraid to talk to people and share his simple testimony of our Savior and the restored Gospel. The last door we knocked, we were able to get into a house and we taught the restoration right off the bat. It was cool cuz I had to take the lead on everything and I had to basically teach it all.  It helped me realize what it would be like if I had to train a newbie in a week cuz transfers are next week. I know it will be super hard but it will help me grow and it will help me come out of my shell even more. But anyways, Ricardo loved it and wants to do splits with us more often now and is giving us references and all. 

Well this Sunday was a little stressful.  Stake President came to see how things were going in Chongoyape and came to our sacrament meeting. The attendance has been lowering; we only had 20 people at church this week.  I blessed the sacrament for the first time in Spanish and the hermano that was going to teach priesthood didn't show up so I had to teach the priesthood class. Something that I've been learning in this area is that you always have to be ready to teach a class or give a talk, which has been helping me a lot. That night we went to the Cria to do training with their ward council. I had to stand in front of 20 leaders of the church with the other elders and teach them how ward councils need to work. I was pretty nervous considering they all know more than me but it turned out pretty well I think. Well I don't have much more to write, we are teaching a joven (youth) that is super sweet. We have only taught him twice and he accepted the baptism challenge without a date so were are gonna be working hard with him this week. Well that is all for now. Love you guys.

besitos,     Elder Harper

Monday, March 24, 2014


Hola Familia!!!

Well this week has been a pretty good one. I was a little ill but I have managed to conquer my sickness. I've been taking photos but the internet here is sketch. The first time it erased all my photos but my comp was able to recover them. I just gave my  adaptor to my comp to upload the photos of the baptism but he said it just erased all his photos, soo I have photos but I'm scared to try to send them sooo I'm soorrry and I'll try to find a solution cuz I know it's almost been a month without photos.

Well Friday was the baptism and everything went pretty well. Usually in this area we baptize in the nearest river but Ricardo wanted to be baptized in the font of the Cria, which is the ward that is 30 minutes away. SO the missionaries of the Cria prepared everything and we went to the Cria with some of the youth of Chongoyape. I baptized Ricardo and later we had a program with talks and us four elders sang a musical number. And it wasn't a hymn, it was an EFY song. I don't think it sounded very good but Ricardo loved it soo all is well. We didn't have the opportunity to teach Ricardo very much before his baptism but I'm already super impressed with his character. The kid knows a ton about the gospel and already wants to go teach with us. He's been a huge help getting the youth here excited to go to seminary and all the activities. It's a little rough for him cuz his family doesn't accept what he's doing and recently his house burned but he's a super happy person and has a very strong testimony. This kid definitely is an example to me.

Earlier this week we did some splits and I spent a day with my district leader in Chongoyape. In this day we had a lesson with the family I told you about. It probably was one of the most spiritual lessons I've had for many reasons. This family we have visited for a long time. They love what we teach and sometimes they come to church but the mother Isabel never has attended an activity or church. In this lesson, only Isabel and Reina, her daughter, were there cuz her husband Marcos was sick in bed. We watched a short video with her called ´´Together Forever´´. We explained about eternal families and a little about temples cuz they have received all the lessons. During the video and everything she looked a little distracted but after we taught a little my comp asked a classic question, he asked ´´How do you feel about all the things the elders have taught you´´. There was a little pause and she said ´´Do you want me to tell you the truth?´´ I was a little scared when she said that but she told us that every time the elders come, she feels something special and she feels happy and peaceful and she forgets all her worries. We reminded her about the spirit and how it testifies that the things we teach are true but as we explained she stopped and said that she already knows that what we teach is true. She believes the Church is true and she began to list a bunch of reasons why she believes it is true, including miracles she's seen from blessings of health (we gave a blessing to Reina one day when she was super ill and when the mom returned from work she was already better) and how we were saved in the accident. Honestly, she just opened up and poured out all her thoughts and her fears. She told us she doesn't come cuz she's afraid her friends will make fun and stuff, but after teaching her of faith and action, she promised us she would attend church. She also told us that she felt super sick before the lesson but during it she only felt peace. To be honest, I also felt terrible before but the spirit was soo strong during this lesson. We were really guided by the spirit and hopefully very soon this family will be baptized.

Well not much else has happened. We need to find some new investigators cuz there's a lot that just don't progress. Thanks for all the love and support and I'll see you guys really soon. Love you all.

Elder Harper

Monday, March 17, 2014

I WAS DEMOTED from Young Women's President to Primary President...

Mommy and Friends, 

Well this week was a little weird cuz I spent more time out of my area then in my area. Tuesday morning we woke up at 5 in the morning and drove to the airport to leave for Lima, all the missionaries from Ecuador went and me and a couple other Americans. Not gonna lie, a felt a little trunky being on an airplane again, like I was already ending my mission or something haha. Well we arrived in lima at 9 or 10 in the morning and with the rest of the gringos we went straight to this immigration center. There I had to wait in line for hours. I saw some interesting people from Spain, France, Italy and America. I also met two other missionaries, one from Mexico and one from Washington who started his mission two weeks ago. Not gonna lie, it felt good seeing a newbie trying to speak Spanish. It made me realize that I have progressed un pocito. So I was in this building basically all day. Finally i got my ID license thing and a worker from the church took us to eat. I ate I nice fat Lomo Saltado and we headed directly back to the airport. I was sooo close to the temple but yet sooo far away. 

Wednesday I was in the area of my district leader cuz he and my comp had a meeting to go to for leaders, which means I might get a new comp next change and it's probable that I'll be compañero mayor, which scares me cuz there is a lot of hard work to do in this area and more than just normal missionary work.

Well honestly, not much happened this week. Sunday I directed Sacrament meeting again, a speaker didn't show up so I had to give a talk on the spot, but it wasn't that bad cuz there was only like 15 people there sadly. I was demoted from Young Women's president to Primary President this week, which taught me a lot of patience. Every week 2 jóvenes from the nearest barrio come to do splits and to help us out in the church. Honestly, the youth of this barrio have been such an example to me. The kids have so much energy and excitement to share the gospel and are already so prepared to go on missions. They remind me of the 2000 Stripling warriors. Consejo de barrio is just filled with teens and when the bishop asks for a favor to visit a member or less active they stand up and practically fight over who gets to go, in church they give classes and talks on the spot. I feel like they are more prepared to serve then I am haha. 

This Saturday we are going to have a baptism. His name is Ricardo. The truth is we haven't even taught him yet cuz 2 sets of Elders ago taught him. He wanted to be baptized but his dad didn't give him permission.  Later he moved to Lima with his mom and continued going to church and he just recently moved back and his dad is gonna let him be baptized now. It's exciting! we are gonna prepare him real good this week so he knows everything and has no doubts. Well I'm gonna make my week more interesting.  I'm not too great at contacting but I've been trying harder to do it more and better so I'll let you know how it goes next week. Hopefully a few doors get slammed in my face. Well I love you all but I gots to go ......

Elder Harper 

Monday, March 10, 2014

I think I'm...the President of the Young Women…

The Combi Bus accident Baylor was in (found pic in an online news article)
What up peeps of the Harper Household!!! 

Well thank you all for the emails and for your loving, it definitely means a lot. This week was another Great week in Chongoyape. Being the priesthood leaders of our family group is some pretty hard work. We basically have to do everything like plan and direct the activities, direct Sacrament meeting and teach the classes. One of the first days I asked my comp if there are home teachers here, he just laughed and said ´´Yes, we are the home teachers´´. I think I'm the official teacher of the youth class on Sunday, which basically means I'm the President of the Young Women cuz there are only 2 youth males and they stay with the men. Already this area has been stretching me but it is difintely a blessing cuz I know I'll be able to progress much faster and hopefully be able to play a role in changing the lives of the People here. 

As far as the teaching and investigators go, it's been a little hard. I've noticed that there are a bunch of people we teach that the Elders have known for a while and just dont progress and go to church. We also work a lot with teaching the members and less actives so that the group will stay strong because the people here don't have a lot of knowledge or experience in the church. 

We are working really hard with a family that has a lot of potential, a couple and their 12 year old daughter. They always let us teach them and they come to church most of the time as well.  They are super grateful for what we have taught them and we also have done lots of service for them. They believe the Book of Mormon is true and what we teach is true but they don't feel prepared to be baptized. The father has really good desires.  I taught him the other day when we went on splits with some youth and he asked if it is possible if he could become like us one day and have the ability to teach the word of God. He asked what the preperation is like spiritually and written (not sure what he meant to say here). It made me think and kind of shocked me cuz I'm just a litte gringo that can barley speak Spanish and am not the best speaker, but we were able to explain to him that it all starts with desires. If we have the desires to serve God and our fellowman no matter what our wekanesses may be, God will strengthen us and mold us to fit this calling. If we keep the commandmetns, love the Lord and strive forward humbly we can do all.

Well thank you all for your concerns. I'm glad to be alive and loving life and the mish. I hope to speak to you all next week.

Elder Harper

To Dad:
Hey thanks for the concern and for the email Pops. I was sleeping before the whole thing happened and it happened so fast. Honestly I'm concerned that my adrenalin never kicked in. I was pretty calm the whole time, like that video of Elder Nelson and the plane crash ;) So I still have everything and Hermana Risso sent me new suitcases and a pillow. I hope everything  is going well Pops. I love you and miss you. Oh and I'm going to Lima tomorrow to work out my Visa stuff, pray that the plane doesn't crash hahaa. yeah love yuuuuuh

Here is the link to the Elder Nelson - plane crash video Baylor was referring to:

Pics of Baylor's  new area, Chongoyape

Monday, March 3, 2014


Hello Family!

Well a lot has happened since I last wrote you guys and I just want to let you know I'm safe and sound in Chongoyape, which is my new area. Last week we had cambios and for that I'm no longer in Jaen and I didn't have time to write cuz I had to travel 8 hours to Chiclayo on Monday. Well it was pretty weird and sad saying goodbye to everyone in Jaen. There are a lot of members, conversos and investigators I'm gonna miss, a lot of people that I wanted to baptize that were so close but all is well. My last Sunday in Jaen I had to give a talk; I was pretty dang nervous but all turned out well.

I arrived in Chiclayo Monday night and stayed with Elder Oswald (CCM comp) in a room with some other elders and Tuesday in the morning was the meeting of cambios. I got to see Elder Jarmon and a bunch of people from my old district; it was pretty sweet. I was assigned to the zone Polmaca, area Chongoyape. It's about 2 hours away from Chiclayo. Well something crazy happened on the way to Chongoyape and before I tell the story I just want to reassure you guys that I am safe and happy. 

Well right after the meeting Tuesday I met my new comp and we got in a convi or a van were there's a bunch of people and it's super hot and uncomfortable. Well I was basically sleeping the whole ride but when we were 20 minutes away from my new area the back tire of the convi exploded, everyone started screaming and the driver lost control. It looked like we were gonna go over a drop off so the driver cranked the wheel hard and we started to roll.  I swear we rolled at least 3 or 4 times in this van.  My comp and I were in the very back row and we were able to escape out the back hatch. It was an ugly scene, everyone was screaming and crying, there were some people that were pretty badly messed up, lots of blood. We had to lift the van off of a woman. I gave her my pillow cuz she was badly bleeding in the head; it turns out that this woman died later that day in the hospital.

Well it was a little scary but literally nothing happened to me and my companion. We escaped from this horrific accident without a scratch and we probably could have died. I feel so blessed and protected and I know that I'm still needed in the mission and in this life and there is still work for me to do. Well we called the ZLs and they brought us to the hospital in Chiclayo to check us out just in case something had happened to us. Oh and by the way Elder Latin, Chandler's bro, is my new zone leader. The doctors said we were all good and gave us a shot in the butt for the road just in case. We met up with President Risso to explain the situation and afterward we spent the night with the ZLs. My suitcases were destroyed cuz they were on top of the van but Sister Risso already bought me some new ones along with a new pillow. Well we are famous in this city cuz the accident was in the news and everyone tells us that we are alive cuz God is with us and protects us.  It has been a great spiritual experience and a great way to get into houses. 

Well the cool thing about this area is that it is a little family branch. Our church is a small house and there are about 20 or 25 members here that attend church. The members have already been so nice to me and the investigators are great as well. The only leaders here are us, so we have to do everything. My first Sunday, I directed sacrament meeting and gave the class for the youth, Hahah. I already love it here and because of the situation it has been pushing me and helping me to grow as a missionary. My comp is Elder Macias from Ecuador and he only has a year. It's been a pretty sweet week and I think I'm gonna love this area. Good things are gonna go down here and I thinks that's why Satan tried to stop us from making it. Well don't freak out Mommy. I'm a missionary and we're basically immortal; we are a pretty big deal. Well I feel so blessed and I'm so grateful to be serving in this time in my life.  I love the mission and I'm thankful for all your support. Until the next monday my fam.

Elder Harper