Dear family and friends,
Boy I have a lot to tell yall this week! It’s been so much fun. I’m always on my toes that’s for sure.
So I guess I’ll just tell all of the fun things (and scary things) that happened this week. So when I first got here, I quickly learned that even the people that speak English don’t really speak English. Oh also, I’ve started saying yall. It’s just a habit now and I’ve only been here for one week. But anyways, people here have weird phrases and expressions. Instead of saying Norfolk, they say Nah-Fick. So that took a little while for me to get used to.
We arrived and in the first church building we went to we found a bunch of cockroaches crawling around. Needless to say I was thrilled. But then we got assigned to our companions, and I am assigned with Elder Berry. He is super nice and a really good trainer. He keeps us busy for sure, and he is teaching me everything I need to know.
So the first night we got here, we went to go knock on doors. Well, since we are Spanish speaking Elders, that means we go to trailer parks. Since most of the Spanish speakers are illegal, they don’t have much money and live there. We actually got to teach someone a lesson the second door we knocked on! Which was a miracle to me. So we did that and went home.
Well I was sleeping that night, and I woke up because something was touching my face. I swatted it off, shined my flashlight, and saw a cockroach crawl into a hole in the wall. And it’s happened to me two nights since then. So that’s pretty annoying and a little scary.
Also I would say over half of the people we have taught were drunk. There is a lot of beer and drugs in the neighborhoods we go to. And the police are constantly there. And they like their beer for sure. So going along with the drug part.
I have a really interesting story I’m sure yall would love to hear! So me and my companion were teaching this man, we had knocked on his door and he let us in. Well halfway through the lesson, the door gets kicked in and police run in the room. Our investigator pulls out a gun, fires at the police (he missed luckily) and ran into a room and locked the door behind him. I’m not quite sure how but the police took him into custody and off to jail. Well the police wanted to know what we were doing there, so we told them, and it turns out he was a drug lord! They had been tracking him down for a long time and had just found him. It’s a shame, because he seemed really receptive. Oh well. Maybe he’ll get the chance to hear the Gospel there!
And while we were leaving to return to our car after this appointment, me and Elder Berry both had the feeling that we needed to run. So we started running and didn’t know why. Well it turns out some people (friends of the drug lord) thought we set him up. So they started chasing us and they had metal bats! It was so scary. Luckily we made it to the car and drove off. They managed to get one swing in but it hit the back of the car, and left a nice little dent. So we had to talk to our mission president about this, and we are no longer allowed in that area. But it’s fun to look back on now. That sure got my blood pumping!
Another thing about these neighborhoods. Lots of big dogs, with very long leashes. One dog actually ran us down and tried to bite me, it only got my pant leg, and it left a little rip. But I was totally fine. The dogs here aren’t that bad, but yall have to watch out for the cats! I didn’t think cats were super mean. Well the cats here are ferocious. On two occasions I’ve had to kick a cat just so it would stop attacking me! They come out from under trailers swinging their paws. Usually they can’t get you through your pants, but the first time I saw a cat (and before my companion could warn me) I went to go pet it. And it clawed up my hand pretty good.
Sorry this letter is all over the place, it might be a little hard for yall to make sense of it.
Final crazy story. The other day, when it was dark, we met this man. He was totally insane! He started talking to us, and we were just kind of joking around, and then he said “I knew yall were Mormons.” And we said “how?” Then he said it was because of the M in our palms. He then showed us his palms and said that he had the number “7″ on them. Then he said that it was because he was the seventh seal in the Bible. He said that crash sight around area 51 was him coming to Earth. And that he came from the planet Andromida. But he kept saying all of this weird stuff about how God chose him and how he was better than everyone else, and how he had seen God. And then he told us that he was created both male and female…and through other people he would be reborn? Then he said that he could unleash the seal whenever he wanted to, and that it would end the world. And he was totally genuine and serious this whole time.
Well okay I’ve told enough wacko stories, and I’m sure yall want to hear about the good ones! So we taught a boy named Browler, he was only 18 and lived on his own, but he was super receptive. He happily invited us to come back again and it was awesome. Also, we’ve now made friends with almost everyone, so when we are walking around in the dark this man named Don Rafa (who isn’t interested in our message) follows us around to make sure we are safe.
The people here are really nice and friendly. We only had the chance to eat at one member’s house this week, The Martinez’s. But they were from Panama, and they fed us the best food I have ever had in my life. I don’t remember what it was called. It was some chicken dish, but it was delicious. The Spanish here is hard, mostly because people all talk differently. We’ve taught people from Peru, Panema, Argentina, Chile, Cuba, Dom. Republic, Mexico, Guatemala, and a few other places as well. The worst are the ones from the Dom. Republic, because they cut their words in half so I never know what they are saying. For example “para que” they say “pa que” so it’s really hard to follow. But it’s all okay, I just need to work harder!
So yesterday was my first Sunday here, and we have a nice little Spanish branch. There were maybe thirty people there, if that. And because I was new, and they had very little people, I had to say the opening prayer, bless the sacrament, share my testimony, then give a talk on the Holy Ghost. And during the meeting when I wasn’t doing something, I had to translate Spanish to English so everyone who spoke only English could understand. It was hard and I didn’t do it perfect, but I sure tried! Then we went to our Gospel Principles class, which we found out we were teaching. So we just had to wing it in a language that I don’t even know. But it actually turned out okay!
Well those are the events that really took place this week. I hope yall are doing okay, and I’d love to hear from you! I’ll include my mailing address below so yall can have it!
Elder Harrison Adams
148 Yeardley Dr.
Newport News, VA 23601