Benin, Africa

Benin, Africa

Thursday, March 9, 2017

March 6, 2017 Best weekend activity: Being in a baptismal font!

Well this week was so dang full of ups, with a dash of downs. A pinch of tiredness, added with a couple bags of happiness! 

First of all, Happy Birthday to my beautiful sister Sydney this week!!!! I am going to be honest, i dont even know exactly how old you are, but youre getting old!! You have 2 beautiful childern, and a little less beautiful husband (; I love you so so much Syd!! 

Well, like i said, this week was more or less crazy! Lots of great things hapened, and thats all i really want to focous on! Benin is a very different place.. I very very rarely teach a lesson inside of a house, with a couch, and a tv. Most little houses that we go in, are 2 rooms. The front room is like a jail cell. No windown, no lights, and almost nothing.. Ususlly a few fold up chairs, and a coffee table is it! Not to mention, it feels a hundred times hotter in the houses because there is no wind! So, i would say, 97 percent of lessons are taught outside, sitting under some shade, sitting on some buckets or rocks. Well, this week i had a very spritual moment. Inside a one room house, we were teaching a lady named sophie. We taught for a long time, and as we were getting close to the end, i realized that i couldnt even read my scriptures because it was so dark! But we kept teaching. And we talked, until the inly light was from the moon! At the end of the lesson, we both bore our testimonies, and we invited her to be baptised. Even though i couldnt see her face, i could tell she was so excited! That pitch black room with us, a few members, and this poor lost Sister sophie, was absoutley filled with the Spirit. With no sight, it is so much easier to focus on the Spirit, and it was amazing!! Sophie came to church, and is planned to be baptised in 3 weeks

Speaking of Baptisms, Elder Kola and I got to baptise 4 people this weekend!! A man named Fabrise, his wife Vanessa, and we baptised a little boy (not their son) james, and a little girl (not their daughter) named Gracie! My companion didnt want to for some reason, so i was able to help them enter the waters! 

Words cant explain the happiness that was felt on saturday afternoon as all of these amazing people made this covenant! 

I hope everybody has a great week, i hope that you all know that God is watching over us. No matter what might happen in life, weather we want it or not, God has a plan. All we have to do is have faith in him, and our lifes will be filled with happiness! 

Je vous aime de tout mon coeur! 

Elder Harris 

February 27, 2017 6 MONTHS!!

Well mom, and anyone else who reads these, it has offically been 6 months since i have left, and it has been life changing!! in these past 6 months, i have been in the MTC, the CalaviĆ© sector and the Menotin Zogbo sector. i am on my 4th companion (counting the mtc) and i have loved all of them! A lot of things have been thrown my way, and i am sure the throwing wont stop. And neither will i! Just like all of the other missionaries in the world, i will always continue to push forward and put my trust in the Lord! 

Not a whole bunch to report on for this week, but it was a great one! We had a baptism set up for this sunday, but it was our ward conference so we had to push it back..but what a ward conference it was!! I cant even begin to explain how much i love my new ward! There are not a ton of people, but they are all so nice. We have this group of like 6 old ladies, and they are so funny! they have their own 'click' in the ward! they sit in the exact same spots every week, and people basically line up to say hi to them! This week, we were super busy before church, and i didnt get a chance to say hi to them. Well, as soon as sacrament ended, they all got up out of theyre chairs and got 'mad' at me because i didnt say hi to them! i felt bad, so i gave them all hugs! (dont tell president!) 

One other thing i love about my ward is the kids!! This week they definately made themselves known by all going crazy during sacrament! They all just randomly started howling in the middle of the meeting! (it was like on zootopia! "dude, youre going to start a howl!") So that was hilarious. Plus they are attracted to me because im white. But i dont even care why they love me, as long as they do! 

Not too much actually happened this week though. Lots of extra responsibilities because of the new calling, but i dont mind!

I read in D&C 84 this week. I loved the part where it is talking about the Oath and Covenant of the priesthood. Do you want to feel the spirit?? Read D&C!!! 

Thank you all for you Love and support over the past 6 months! I cant wait to see what these next 18 have in store! 

Elder Harris 

February 20, 2017 PICS

11-14) this is one of the houses on the water that we got to teach at!  

My awesome new Lava Lamp
Elder and Sister vincent with the Benin Missionaries
Me and Elder Kanda (from the Congo)
Me and Elder Ravyvo (from madagascar)
The Zone larders and our companions with Elder and Sister Vincent
Elder and Sister Vincent with me! 
My companion Elder Kola with us
random, but this is our taxi! Its like a 3 Motorcycly with 3 wheels and a cover
Elder Jayne and Alexander are some of my best friends! 
Elder Jayne and Alexander are some of my best friends! 
this is one of the houses on the water that we got to teach at! 
this is one of the houses on the water that we got to teach at! 
this is one of the houses on the water that we got to teach at! 
this is one of the houses on the water that we got to teach at! 

February 20, 2017 Spritual Overload!

Twas a week that the spirit of the Lord was Proufoundly spoken! 

First off, me and my companion were in this market one night, and there was a booth that was selling the most random stuff. I started looking through it, and i found a Lava lamp!! I kinda freaked out cause i was so excited! So i bought it as quick as i could, and that it my newest ammusement! 

Okay, this might have been one of the most spritualy uplifting weeks of my whole mission! Elder Vincent, is a member of the 70, and he came and visited the mission for a few days! He was in togo for 3 days, and spend 3 here too. On wednesday, we got to the church at 12:30, and didnt leave until almost 9:00!! He came and spoke to everybody, starting at around 3:00 and he ended at around 6:30 pm.. very long meeting. But the craziest part, is he doesnt even speaks french. Well, he does a little, but he has only been learning for the past few months, and he just basically talked for almost 3 hours straight!! Before he talked, i was given the oportunity to also give a talk. I talked about Faith in Jesus Christ through obedience. It went very very well! I got to talk to him after for a very long time, and we talked for a long time on how much the savior loves us. Life changing day that day!! 

The next day, i got a call from my president. So i had a meeting with him, and Elder Vincent sat in too! They told me that they needed a new Zone Leader in the mission, so he asked me to do it! I was so happy, yet so worried.. Zone leaders have a lot more things to do, and a lot more missionaries to deal with sometimes, but i am so grateful to be able to serve as a ZL! My work started about 10 minutes after i revieved the calling, we had a meeting with all of the zone leaders, the assistants, My President, and Elder and Sister Vincent! They gave us some amazing advice on how we can improve our Zones. So once again, i have been so blessed to work very closely with some amazing people!! 

Well, that was probably the best part of this week! Also these past few days we have been looking for some new investigators to teach. Part of our sector is the shore line of a huge lake, so we walked down there, and taught many lessons in houses that were on stilts! some of the houses we had to walk down a little pier kinda thing, and 3 or 4 of them we took a small boat out to them! Sadly, we had to have someone translate because they dont speak any french! But the spirit taught them, even though we dont speak "Faun". I will add some pictures that we took because it is so cool! 

I cant explain how much Love that i have for my Heavenly Father. He is my Best friend.

I love you all!! 

Elder Harris 

February 16, 2017 Your Missionary

Dear parents of Elder Harris,

We thought you might like to know that your missionary son is doing great in Benin. My husband, ElderTerence M. Vinson of the Seventy and I have spent the past 3 days touring the Benin Cotonou Mission. Today we held a Mission Leadership Council meeting where your son, was in attendance. During the meeting, as the needs and successes of each Zone were discussed we could feel of your son's commitment to the Lord and to his mission. We were impressed and grateful to be there with these very fine Elders and Sisters.

Our youngest son is currently serving in Jackson, Mississippi, so we know how you feel as you wait each week for news of your son, and thought you might enjoy this brief report and photo.

We pray that the Lord will bless your family and your missionary son as he continues his faithful service in Benin.

With love,

Sister Kay Vinson

I would just like to add that I really enjoyed the interaction I had during the Zone Conference with ElderHarris. He expressed some tender feelings in a comment that he made.

February 13, 2017 SO Blessed!

What an insane week it has been for so many great reasons! 

Lets just get the bad stuff over with real quick. Had Malaria, and with doctors and meds, i can finally say its GONE!! Well, at least i feel better! i hope its gone for good this time! But it started feeling bettter saturday, but i had a doctors appointment that day so i went anyways. The doctor was still a little bit worried, so he made me get a few x-rays. Good thing, cause ironically, because i have been taking so much medication, guess who has a few stomach ulcers?? well, better than malaria! So, they hurt, but its not too bad. Im supposed to eat foods that are easy on my stomach, like bananas, so i aint mad! 

okay this week ended off being so great! i LOVE my new sector! my last sector was more of a village, and now im a little more in the city. So within 5 minutes i can walk to almost everything i want! Our apartment is nice too, it shares a little courtyard with a family, and their kids are so cute and fun. They always just stand in our doorway and wait for us to come and play with them! There is a little boy, and two little girls. The youngest girl, lily, loves me and Elder Argien (from the reunion island). Shes probably 2 1/2 maybe 3. 

My new companion, Elder Kola from the Congo, is great too! we didnt get to teach much this week, but when we did, he is amazing! He is very spritual, and teaches very clearly. We met with multiple investigators, and famlies of members on sunday, and it was so much fun! So that brings me to the best part of this sector, is the new ward. There are probably 50ish people who come, and all were so welcoming and loving. Plus, our building is the stake center (the only one in the whole country) and its fairly big. We had 5 random people just walk in and asked for the lessons! Of course we were more then happy to talk to them, and we have already filled up our schedule for this next week! 

Already, i can see the lord blessing me in this new city, with everything i could ask for and more! I can not wait to finally be able to teach fully! 

Lastly, this sunday was a missionay sunday in our ward. All 4 of us gave talks in sacrament, we even taught a lot of the classes too. My talk was on faith in Jesus Christ, and it went great. Our mission President randomly showed up, and got to watch all of our talks, so that was stressful! But it went so well, my french seemed so much easier, and i could feel the spirit so strong. I also got to teach the primary, so that might have been the funnest hour of my whole life. We talked about baptism, and i dont think i have ever smiled so much! 

Well, twas a great week. I love this gospel more than i ever have! Thank you to everybody who has been fasting and praying for me and my health. I can promise the Lord will bless you for your faith. 

Elder AIRis (french doesnt believe in H)

February 13, 2017 PICS

Elder Nubert came to visit me on his way out to Togo.. really going to miss him!
Elder Argien and I teaching some lessons late sunday night
Elder Argien and I teaching some lessons late sunday night

The rest) People i had to say goodbye to in my last sector.. Love them SO much!