Benin, Africa

Benin, Africa

Friday, September 2, 2016

September 2, 2016 1 week down!

So this week was quite the roller Coaster.. It started off really fun! And i was loving my companion, and my district. and then around day 3, this mtc really hit me.. i couldnt speak the language to save my life. I did not like being around my Companion. and it seemed like everybody else was having such an amazing time! I was by far the worst french speaker in my class.. we had 5 hours of french class every day, and i had no idea what was going on! it was pretty depressing.. i was crying a lot at night, and sadly i comprehended talking to my branch president about coming home.. 

And then on sunday, we had choir practice for the devotional on tuesday, and we had sacrament, and both of those were amazing! But the best part about sunday, was our temple walk! our whole zone, walked up to the provo temple, and just looked at it for about an hour. And it was so so amazing the spirit that somebody can feel, just because they are near a building! The spirit was so strong as we just sat there and listened.. after we got back from the temple, we watched a devotional by David A Bednar, called "The characters of Christ" and this 2 hour video, completely changed my whole mission! He talked about having a hard time in the mtc, and if you are ever having a really hard time with something, you need to "turn out" and serve. Simply serve. Your companion, or your district, or literally anybody who needs help at all! And after listening to that talk, it really changed my whole perspective on everything.. i was thinking way to much about myself, and not the people i will be teaching in africa! So its a real thing when people say "Just make it to sunday!" 

So, a little about my week, every day we basically do the same thing! We get up at 6:30, and work out, sometimes we play 4 square with our district! (im the 4 square king). And then we eat breakfast, and then we have personal, companion, and language study for an hour each! After that, we have lunch. And then from around 1-5ish, we teach our 'investigators'. (100 % in french!) then after that we have about another hour of just personal study. After that we have dinner! The food here is actually really dang good!! They have BYU creamrey come every week, and they always have free ice cream laid out for us! after dinner, for almost 4 hours, we have french class which is actually really fun now! 

I cant say much though.. i can bare my testimony, i can say a prayer, i can generally talk to someone and get to know them! But theres soooo much more to learn and i cant wait to learn it! My teacher, 'Frere Ritchie' (brother Ritchie) is one of my favorite humans on planet earth. He served In Benin too! He is just so nice, and so loving, and all around just the best teacher i could ask for! 

I love my whole district! Elder Dorsey is from south Carolina, and hes African American. But he rapped for us yesterday! He rapped about the gospel and his testimony! It was straight fire!!! our whole district went crazy after!!! But then we got yelled at for being too loud.. But it was crazy!! 

I love my branch president with all my heart! He is a convert to the church, he played for BYU basketball, and then played for the lakers, and then went over seas and played in some other country! But he is the nicest, oldest, cutest big guy ive ever met! 

To end my email, i would like to share one of my spiritual moments this week! 

So like i said, we have been teaching an investigator, her name is Alice, and she is actually one of the other french teachers. But my companion and i were having a really hard time teaching her, and knowing what to say in the lessons! We taught her 5 times in the past week, and we asked her to be baptized a few times but she just kept telling us no.. And yesterday we went into our lesson, and we didnt have a topic or anything! We went in and said "Alice, ask any questions you want, and we will answer anything you have to say." we expected her to ask about baptism, or repentance, or the priesthood. But all she said was "elder harris, why are you serving a mission?" ... and i basically just told her how much i love the lord, and how much i love my family back at home. I told her how truly happy this gospel has made me in every aspect of my life! And after i said that, she said "Okay i would love to be baptized!"

Even though this was all fake, with a fake investigator, and with a fake house.. the spirit was not fake. and this 10 minute lesson was one of the most spiritual moments of my entire life! 

So, we were both so happy! We ended up setting a date for her baptism, and telling her how much we loved her, and we left! 

This mission is one of the hardest things i have ever done.. and it will just get harder. But I love the lord, I love everything about this gospel and i cant wait to teach it to the people of Africa! 

Thank you all so much for your prayers, and i love you! 

Elder Harris 

P.S. Mom, im so sorry i didnt write you last week! I still love you i promise!!