Tuesday, April 29, 2014

REMINDS me of the MANY TIMES my bro RILEY has TIED and TAPED me to POSTS...

HEY IT'S ME Elder Harper......Familllllly and other peeps...

Well this week I just have felt so happy and blessed to be missionary in God's army. This week I just realized that I have made so many friends from so many different countries. We had an interchange for a day this week and I went with Elder Alvarez from Honduras to his area, the Cria. I got Hommies from Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico, Honduras, Argentina, Chile and many more. It's pretty sweet and it's gonna be sad never seeing these mission peeps after 2 years. But the day I spent with Elder Alvarez was pretty cool. We spent the day trying to contact and find new investigators but it's pretty hard cuz every door you knock in this area is the house of a less active haha. This area has about 140 active members but almost 500 members in total, which is pretty scary. 

Chongoyape has been scaring me a bit as well. There are about 60 members here but only about 15 active ones, and active here is like less active in the states. Yesterday in the church we only had attendance of 15 people, including me, my comp, two teens that came to help us from the Cria, 4 investigators  and 7 members. My comp and I are super worried and this week we are gonna spend more time teaching and strengthening the members. My comp and I have been working super hard lately and it's gonna be a good month of success but the area is not gonna strengthen unless the families here get active and spread the gospel with their family and friends as well. 

Finally the sister Isabel came this week! After almost 4 months, she has a testimony but is scared to go to church for what the others might think but this week she conquered her fear!! The brother Marcos, Isabel and their kids are really gonna help the church here grow if they get baptized. Marcos potentially could be Branch President a few years down the road.  Well we also have been teaching Bryan and his sister Emily who has been sending the vids. They both are super stoked and want to be baptized but the prob is that Emily is studying in Chiclayo now and only comes once every few weeks and Bryan may move to live with his dad. They are stellar youth and I hope they go to church and can get baptized where they are at. 

Well I honestly have a brain block and don't remember much or have much more to say. Ohhh we had a sick seminary class that my comp and I taught this Saturday. Olenka and Ricardo brought their friend Rudy who we have never taught before. We taught chapter 7 and 9? I don't know where you guys are at Pops but it was a sweet lesson. My favorite story is when Nephi is traveling back to the desert with his brothers after picking up Ishmael and the fam but Lemuel y Lamon flip a lid and decide to tie their younger brother up (reminds me of the many times Riley has tied and taped me to posts). Well Nephi prays with great faith so he can be free from the bands, but if we look closely, he prays for the strength to be able to brake the bands and not just that God might do it for him. Even though we are all familiar with this story, maybe some of us sometimes lack to apply it in our lives. We pray and pray hard that we might be able to overcome something or that our situation will change but we get off our knees and keep living the same. Well even though this might define the old Baylor, this aint how the faith works. We need to pray for the strength and courage  to overcome our situations or trials and through the atonement of Jesus Christ and with our faith and our actions, we can change and progress and overcome anything. Well I hope the lesson got to Rudy. Rudy also went to church. We are gonna have to visit him reallly soon. Well I love you all much more than you know and I miss you but I shall see you soon. 

!besitos, abrazitos, quisitos y pollitos! les quiero mucho

Elder Harper

Monday, April 21, 2014


!Hola Familia!
Well this week has been pretty crazy. As you can see in the photos, the family group put on a little surprise party for me. My comp and I went to the chapel to do some spring cleaning and when I turned on the lights a bunch of members and investigators were sitting there singing to me. The Hermana Isabel (who still isn't a member) made me a cake and the little niƱos shoved my face in it haha. I went to go wash my face and when I walked back into the chapel, they literally bathed me in eggs jaja. It was funny, gross and the chapel still smells like Eggs. But it was super awsesome. Sometimes it's really hard being away from you guys, especially holidays or birthdays but MY little family here made me feel loved and I thank my Father in Heaven for that.

Well as far as the work is going we are trying hard to find new people to teach and to reactivate the less actives cuz surprisingly there are a lot here, enough to have a branch or a ward if there was priesthood. This week also was the Semana Santa (Holy Week). I was kind of confused at first why they had this random holiday until I realized that Easter was Sunday. So they don't celebrate Easter but they remember the death and resurrection of Christ with the Semana Santa. It was pretty sweet. 

This week we focused on teaching with the Book of Mormon and teaching of Christ's Atonement. In almost every lesson we taught from a chapter or story in the Book of Mormon. My testimony of my Savior definitely has increased and strengthened as I've strived to apply the atonement in my life. I know a lot of the time I'm hard on myself for my imperfections and weakness but I know through the atonement I can feel peace and I can overcome my weaknesses. I've never felt the Savior's love in my life so strongly and every day I'm trying to give back to Him a little bit more. 

Well we found 3 jovenes this week that we taught a lot and have already started to develop a strong testimony through prayer and reading the scriptures. We have been teaching Emily, Bryan and their mom Gladys. Gladys is hard to teach cuz she has her own store and works every day all day but Emily and Bryan are super excited. They have attended every activity we have had this week and have read a lot of the Book of Mormon already as well. They both already want to be baptized but they need to attend church. Emily left to study in Chiclayo but she wants to attend there and hear the missionaries and later come back here to be baptized with her brother. They are both stellar youth and have already been living the standards that average teen of Peru neglects. They definitely have been prepared to hear the gospel. 

Well I got to go again but I love you all so very much. Thanks for all the love and support you give me. Can't wait to talk to you mMom ...and others in just a few short weeks.

Besitos,  Elder Harper

Monday, April 14, 2014


Family!!!!!!!!!!!!...and Friends. 
Thanks for all the email that I received today. I can't believe I'm already 19.  I still feel like I'm 16 but I'm having a great bday hear in Chongoyape. I wish I could say I will write you all back to thank all of you pero seria mentirles jovenes (but it would mean lying to you). But don't worry, you will receive an email from me verrry soon. Thanks Mommmy and Dadddy for the package. I love all the treats and spiritual pictures and quotes, especially the 17 points of a true church. My comp and I are going to burn the peeps with that. I have a bunch of cool pics from the baptism also but this computer doesn't look like its gonna let me send them but we shall see. 

Well it has been a pretty crazy week. On Tuesday we had cambios; it was pretty sad to see Elder Macias go. We got along like brothers but sadly we only had one cambio together. The good news is my new comp is pretty legit as well. His name is Elder Prado from Bolivia. He's probably the complete opposite of Elder Macias but he has many good qualities that are helping me to improve. Right now we only have about 22 members coming to church every week. There are a lot of menos activos and the baptisms have slowed. Elder Prado and I had the chance to sit down with some of the youth with the book of all the members, investigators and menos activos and we made plans to visit and reactivate the world here. The youth here are pretty awesome. Olenka and Ricardo will go proselyting, visit their friends, teach lessons and take out appointments for us. 

Saturday we had the baptism of Paul in the River Chanquay. It was a first experience for me and pretty adventurous. We had to cross some streams and climb to find a spot secluded and deep enough to baptize. The water was super warm compared to the freezing baptismal fonts haha. I felt like John the Baptist as I baptized Paul and all the people congregated on the shore. We also did all the program just standing on the shore. I was hesitant to ask Paul to give a testimony cuz usually the youth are nervous little suckers but he did it and it was pretty powerful. He said that one night he spent praying for a long time to see if this was the true church and if getting baptized was the right decision and he said he received his answer as all his worries left replaced by peace. I can't  imagine the pain he felt when his mom died but I know that he understands the beauty of the plan of salvation and that brings him happiness and peace. 

We are working hard with the Family Guerrero: Salazar, Marcos, Isabel and Reina. With Elder Macias we put a goal for the 3 de Mayo that they could be baptized. They came to the ward activity but didn't come to church so we will see how it goes. We also just met an interesting fam Friday. We invited them to come to the activity. The 2 kids Emily and Bryan came. They came to the baptism and came to church on Sunday. They both already want to get baptized but we are gonna work with them and prepare them right so they understand it all. 

Well my time is running out and I'm nervous cuz the youth have been acting pretty suspicious around me and I think they are gonna attack me with eggs tonight..pray for me.. Well I Love you all and thanks again. I've never been happier in my life. I know that this is the true church, God lives and Loves us and Christ gave his life for us not only to save us from our sins but from our weaknesses, our sickness and our hard times in general. We can always find strength, comfort and happiness if we use the atonement of Jesus Christ in every aspect of our lives..love youalllll

besitos,  Elder Harper

Monday, April 7, 2014


Fam bam!
 Well how goes it family? Sounds like you had a fun time in San Diego this weekend! I loved the pictures and all.  I hope you have all repented and watched all the sessions of General Conference haha just kiddin, but seriously.

Well this week was another great one! General Conference weekend is always the best! I loved it except for the fact that I was only able to watch 2 sessions. Saturday morning we had to take a bus to the Cria to watch Conference which is 40 minutes away. The chapel was all set up with a projector and big screen and everything but the internet was suppper dupper slow. The conference would play for 30 seconds and then pause for a minute, it was awful and sadly we got nothing out of it. The same thing happened in the afternoon sesh but we returned back to Chongoyape before priesthood and got permission to watch conference in a cyber. The internet was super clear and I got to watch it in English. It definitely was a tender mercy from the Lord and the spirit was super strong. 

Sunday morning we had to take the whole ward and investigators to the Cria to watch conference. It was super stressful cuz we had to rent a bus and make sure that everybody was going to come and we had to trust that the internet was going to let our members and investigators watch the conference and feel the spirit. We ended up having 22 members come with us, which is super awesome and the internet never even paused during the morning session, which was another miracle. The spirit was super strong and the members loved it and were grateful for the opportunity that they had to hear a prophet. We returned to Chongoyape with everyone and after we dropped them off we went back to the Cria to watch the afternoon sesh and the internet was back to how it was Saturday. So overall I am happy and feel so blessed that the Lord allowed that the conference could be perfect for that one session and that the members and investigators from Chongoyape could go. We spent the whole week testifying of prophets and apostles and in the end everything worked out and the members were able to strengthen their testimonies. 
Well we got word that my comp has cambio and I will be getting a new comp tomorrow. It's gonna be super hard if I'm senior companion and in charge of everything that happens in this ward but I know that the Lord will train me and help me overcome my weaknesses. There is a lot of potential in this group and I hope that I can be a positive force in this area. 

We haaave  a baptism this Saturday! We have been teaching a kid named Paul for a few weeks. He's 11 years old  and his mom passed away 1 month ago at the age of 30. It has been super hard for him but he has really understood the plan of salvation and knows that he will be able to see his mother again one day. He lives with his uncles, who are members, so he has a strong support system. We are also teaching a joven that has 17 years, named Jostyn. We have taught him 3 or 4 times and he is super stoked. I forget who gave the talk but there was a powerful talk about personal revelation and how if we have a sincere heart and ask in faith we can always rely on the promise in Moroni and the Lord will reveal us the truth of all things. We teach so many people this but it seems like rarely they do it.  Jostyn did it after the second lesson and said that he felt the spirit strongly and knows the things we have taught him are true. It is so simple but so powerful. We already put a baptism date for him for May 3!  Well this is all I have to say this week but I love you all and I will be praying for you guys.  Thanks for the love and support!!

besitos,  Elder Harper