Monday, December 30, 2013

Week 24: Pies, ripped skirts, and broken plates‏

This week was pretty fun. Sister Marshall and I had the chance to get into the Christmas spirit. We got to help a woman in the ward make Christmas candies and we had the chance to be deliverers of an anonymous gift to a family. We got pie-d in the face at a mission meeting, and Sister Marshall broke a Corelle plate. Yes. She shattered one of the Corelle plates at a member's home. It was hilarious, but then I got payback for laughing when I tripped up the stairs and ripped my skirt. Needless to say, I will be mending that very soon.

We met this amazing couple, Tonia (Toni) and Jason. They have three children and are a really strong Christian family. Toni answered some really awesome questions and it was wonderful to see her expression of understanding. We have an appointment with them this week and I am really excited. Toni and Jason have some LDS friends, so they know a little about the church. But, they agree with a lot of things that we believe!

We had a mission Christmas devotional and that's where we got pie-d in the face. But there was this man named, Keith Handy, who is an archaeologist and he spoke to us about evidences of the Book of Mormon in Meso-America!! How sweet is that?! He talked about symbolism--on the ancient temples and on how the ancient peoples there believed in a descending God who visited them in the Americas. They also have these stories that they have passed down for centuries about these three brothers who lived for hundreds of years and lived among the people there in the Americas!!! Three Nephites anyone? Wowza. It was amazing--the Spirit was so strong.

We were able to meet with Maryanne this week and Linda. Linda came to church and we were able to help her clean out her basement. It was enjoyable. It is so much fun doing stuff for other people! I'd much rather clean someone else's house than my own.

Then there was Kenna. Kenna is a chef and he is a member of a non-denominational church here in the Denver area. He is the kindest man! We met his girlfriend, Liz, too. We had the chance to pray with them and it was amazing. Kenna told us about how he has a strong testimony of prayer. Thirteen years ago, his dad was suffering from lung cancer. He said that his dad was really struggling and in really bad shape, so he prayed and asked God to take his father. That afternoon, his dad passed away. Holy cow! How incredible is that?

Well, I hope all of you enjoy the last bit of your Christmas season. Remember what the Savior has done for you. He loves you and His arms are extended towards all of us. I know that. I know that He was born in Bethlehem more than two thousand years ago. I know that he came to atone for our sins because he loves us.

I love you all! Merry Christmas!

Love,
Sister Hardy

 
The first  picture is of our zone after we went bowling a few weeks back!
The second one is of one one morning we woke up and the trees were all covered in frost!
 
 

 

 

Week 23: Training. Take two.

Yes! I am training a new missionary again. I think the Lord is trying to teach me something, but I don't quite know what it is yet! But, I am still serving in Thornton and Sister Holladay got transferred to Woodglenn ward down the street.
My new companion is straight from the MTC! Yeah! And her name is Sister Marshall and she is from West Valley, Utah. She is twenty-two and enjoys long walks on the beach and "hates medium walks" (as one of the elders here would say). Just kidding about the long walks. BUT, she does love sign language! She is fluent, so she's going to teach me some!

This past week was pretty eventful. I was sure I was getting transferred, so I wanted to see everyone, but I didn't get transferred! Yay!

The most eventful thing that happened this week (other than finding a mouse in our room--Sister Holladay insisted that we name him Harold) was that we met Jason and Toni. They have three children and they were referred to us by some members in the ward. They were so kind to us and showed so much love! It was awesome!
AND! I almost forgot! On Friday, after we planned, Sister Holladay went out and tried to contact some people and EVERY SINGLE PERSON WE TALKED TO WAS NICE. It was the weirdest thing! But it was amazing! We met this one woman who told us that she would love for us to stop by and share a message with her! How neat is that!?

I have to go, but I will write more next week. I love you all and I know that this gospel is true. It is the only way to happiness and all of you can find peace in your lives by coming unto the Savior!

Love,
Sister Hardy
 

 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Week 22: The weather outside is frightful.

Remember when I used to say that winter was my favorite season? Well, I have had a change of heart. This past week we have gotten a fair amount of snow--like a snowfall we get back home--but no one plows the roads!! The main roads are decent now, but the side streets are still covered in snow and ice. Oh, and Mom, remember how you wouldn't let me drive in the snow? and how I never really learned how to drive in the snow? Well, I had to take a "crash course" (maybe that was a bad choice of words) this week. It was eye opening.
Our furnace also broke, too, so that was interesting. Luckily, our bishop and his wife let us use their space heaters. Those were lifesavers! It was so cold in our house and the house has mostly hardwood floors and we have to go up two floors to get to our shower, so it was brutal in the morning. But the furnace is working now and we are nice and toasty!
Sister Holladay and I had to get some fleece lined tights and I am not disappointed.

On Tuesday, we were wrapping trees for service to protect the trees. Essentially what we were told is that the sun shines on the snow and the snow reflects the light on the trees and the water moves to where the sun reflects and the water freezes, which kills the tree. Well, so we were wrapping the trees and I was wearing jeans and a hoodie (we can wear jeans for service). I thought I was going to be warm in my sweater, well I was wrong. The temperature dropped thirty degrees in two hours! From 11 to 1. That's when we were doing service outside. We were so cold and so the people that we serve warmed up their truck and let us take turns in the warm truck. They tried to send us home, but we protested and so they let us finish.

Linda, an investigator, came with us to the ward Relief Society Christmas party and it was good for her. She met so many people from the ward and then a woman, Sister E., invited her to come to dinner with us on Thursday. That was SO kind of her. Linda appreciated it so much that she gave us a copy of the book that she wrote to give to Sister E. It was a good experience for all of us.

We also met with Glenn again and he is just such a cute old man. He continues to repeat his stories, but it's so funny. Lee wasn't there, but Glenn told us that Lee wants to get baptized! How wonderful is that?! We didn't get a chance to see him this week, but we are going to try this week.

We met with Lisa and Richard--Richard is a less active man who is a butcher. We invited them to church and had an amazing lesson with them Friday night. Lisa was so engrossed in the lesson-it was wonderful! And she really asked so many questions so that she could understand! It was wonderful! We talked about the tree of life with her and so that was confusing, but she really wanted to understand. It's incredible to see people grow while meeting with them! They weren't at church, unfortunately, but hopefully we will be able to find out why they didn't come.

Sister Holladay and I were contacting some referrals on Friday and we met Steve and Sharla. They are devout Catholics and incredibly wonderful people. They let us in to share a message with them about Christmas and it was great. We talked about families and about how in this world, Satan is really attacking the family. So what did we do? We gave them "The Family: A Proclamation to the World." I am interested to see how they like it!

Well, I miss you all and am so thankful for all the emails and letters and packages that you have sent to me! Thank you! Remember what Christ has done for you and remember why he was born--to save all men and women from sin.

Love,
Sister Hardy

 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Week 21: "Lady Elders"

This week was incredible!
On Tuesday, we met Glenn, an eighty-four year old less active man, who is a Korean War veteran...I think, who also takes in homeless young kids. He is the cutest old man, EVER! Oh my gosh, he is so adorable! We met him and found out that he was robbed and that he now only has twenty six cents left to his name. BUT. Because the ward here is AMAZING, we were able to gather food from different families in the ward to give Glenn and the people in his home. It was wonderful. Glenn called us his angels--it was ADORABLE and he cried when we brought over food for him. And! Drum roll please! Lee, his "grandson," has been looking for a church to go to for some time and now we are teaching him!
Oh, and the best part is that they BOTH came to church yesterday! I prayed so hard that they would and they did!! Glenn even got up and bore his testimony during church. It was cute.

We also tried to go see Randy with a young woman in the ward and I think one of Randy's neighbors thought we were casing the neighborhood. They pulled up to our car and I think they wrote down our license plate number because they were behind our car for a good 30 seconds. Anyways, luckily the police weren't called. I mean what would they say? "There are some young girls going around dressed as Mormon missionaries casing the neighborhood."

On Wednesday, we had a lesson with a family in our ward and Brother F called our mission president to get permission for us to hold his little girl Madeline. IT WAS AWESOME. President Toombs said yes and I just wanted to hold that little girl forever! She is so adorable! Not getting to hold babies is really difficult--probably the hardest rule to follow.

Thanksgiving was great! We got to have lunch with a family in the ward and we also had appointments lined up throughout the day so that we wouldn't have to worry about trying to tract or find less actives. We went and visited the ward mission leader and his family Thanksgiving night, and that was fun. Their extended family was there and before we left, we left with a prayer and our ward mission leader's father said, "Make sure to bless the Sisters in the prayer." I'll admit, I got teary eyed--it means so much to me when people extend loving arms to us. It makes missionary work so much more meaningful when I know that someone appreciates our service. That may sound completely selfish, but it helps me work that much harder knowing someone is relying on me.

On Saturday night, we had a zone meeting to start our fasts together. We fasted for everyone in our zone and their missionary concerns. I think that was one of the hardest fasts I've ever had. The adversary really didn't want us to fast for all of the other work that is going on in this area. But, Sister Holladay and I held strong! It was incredible the strength that I felt after the fast.

The icing on the cake was that we had two investigators as church--Lee and then Linda, as well!! AND we had Glenn! AND the Elders had Raul there. Remember Raul? Oh yes. There is strength in fasting. Anyways, church was bliss to say the least.
My thoughts, when we sat with Linda, Lee, and Glenn, were "MIRACLES DO HAPPEN!" I was on Cloud 9 for the rest of the day. It was amazing.

Sister Holladay and I ended our week with a quality gospel conversation with a family in our ward. For our spiritual thought at dinner, we shared Doctrine and Covenants 122: 7-8. Read it--you won't regret it! And, the father was talking about how if adversity is for our benefit, then is it really all that bad? The answer is no. As I look at the hard times in my life, I remember when I leaned to the Savior and I can see the growth that I had. It's incredible! Those hard times turn into times where we can grow closer to the Lord and to our Heavenly Father.

I love you all so much. Remember what the Savior has done for you. He went through pain, suffering, and death, so that you might live. He lives!

Love,
Sister Hardy





Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Week 20: Snow!

This week we experienced our first snowfall! Well, the first snow that actually stuck. It was fun to tract in the snow--people were a lot more willing to listen! It was awesome! and really nice on our part because we have been able to talk to a lot more people. We have a mission challenge this week. It's called the Book of Mormon Blast! Basically, you talk to as many people as you can and give out as many copies of the Book of Mormon as possible. It sounds scary, but it is actually so much fun!
It was a bit rough this week, but it totally turned around! It was fantastic! On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, most of our appointments cancelled. It was awful! I was so disappointed. Well, anyways. Obviously, we were sent where we needed to go.
On Wednesday, we had a wonderful time at the temple and our first appointment cancelled, which was a bummer, because it was with Maryanne. We just love Maryanne! Then our appointment with Randy cancelled! Then Joel cancelled our appointment that night. It was a rough day. (I can't remember if I have written about Joel. He's a less active returned missionary.) BUT. Amid all of this craziness, we said a prayer to know where to go and who to see. Well, during the prayer, we had the impression to go see a less active woman, named Sherri. Sherri is an amazing woman. I LOVE HER. Anyways, we talked to her about her concerns with coming to church. She mentioned that she was afraid people would ask her questions she wouldn't know how to answer and also, she didn't want to leave her family at home while she came to church. All Sister Holladay and I asked her to do was to pray to know what she should do about church. Well, turns out her visiting teachers, Lisa and Teresa, talked to her the next day. Lisa was messaging her on facebook about coming to church, while Teresa was on the phone talking to her about coming to church. Needless to say, she got the hint from God that she needed to come to church. It was a wonderful surprise to see her in the chapel on Sunday morning!
Remember Chris? The less active returned missionary who doesn't know if God is there? Well. We felt like we should go see the couple that he lives with and when we pulled up we saw him outside smoking. We went and talked to him and he said that he thought we were the cops when we pulled up. It was hilarious. Anyways, we challenged him to pray and ask God if he is really there and he said he will do that. So, we are going to follow up with him on Tuesday.
We went on exchanges again this week! Woot! Sister Knowlton and I were together this time in my area. We were tracting and we met this man named Dwayne. He was such a nice old man! He was so adorable! He let us in out of the cold and he told us that he is atheist, but that he still follows the commandments found in the Bible. We gave him a Book of Mormon and challenged him to read and pray about it. It was great!
Also, so while we were trying to go see a potential named Ploy, we saw a man from the ward talking to his neighbor. So Sister Knowlton and I walked briskly to go introduce ourselves. The man's name is DJ and he is a state patrol officer for Colorado. Yes, yes. I was scared. Anyways, Sister Knowlton threw the brother from the ward under the bus by asking DJ, "Has this guy ever invited you to church?" However, he had been invited and let us know that he has several copies of the Book of Mormon in his house. YEAH!
One of the funnest and stressful times of the week was when we didn't have a pianist for our Saturday service at the retirement homes--so I played for an hour. Can I just say that that was so hard? After not playing for more than 15 minutes in like two years? However, it was fun.

I love you all so much! Remember that Jesus loves you more!
Love,
Sister Hardy
Here are a few pictures I took recently before my camera broke!
1. Keep calm and go to the temple! Which we did this week!
2. Rocky mountain high! This picture was before the snow!
3. There is a huge house on a hill in our ward and we really really want to go over there!






Thursday, November 21, 2013

Week 19 Dunk City

This week was fantastic. First, GAVINO FINALLY GOT BAPTIZED. HALLELUJAH. And second, Monique got baptized. So this week's email is titled "Dunk City" because we saw two people that I taught get "dunked" or baptized this week! It was emotional and spiritual and wonderful to see two people change their lives to follow Jesus Christ.

The Thornton ward now has two sets of missionaries. Sister Holladay and myself and Elders Rampton and Hansen. They are both from California and Sister Holladay is from Oregon, so this winter will be interesting for them in the snow. Well, I guess it will be interesting for all of us. However! The work is hastening here in the Thornton ward. Slowly, but surely. I'm interested to see how the work is in 6 weeks.

This past Monday, we went and visited a family and they let us HELP them. It was awesome. We were able to wash their dishes and it was fun. Love it. Advice from Sister Hardy: let the missionaries serve you.

We had a Zone conference this week and it was incredible. Around sixty missionaries came together to be trained by our mission president, his wife, and the assistants to the president. At the beginning of the meeting, I had two questions that I wanted answers to. And then I had two other questions that I needed answers to. ALL FOUR OF MY QUESTIONS were answered. It was wonderful to have my testimony of prayer strengthened. God really does love us and he wants us to be happy. It continues to amaze me how aware God is of our desires.

Then later in the week, Gavino was baptized. That was phenomenal. The baptismal service was all in Spanish, but the Spirit was definitely there. Gavino bore his testimony at the end of the service and Hermana Giron (a spanish speaking sister) translated for me and Sister Knowlton. It was wonderful. Gavino talked about his angels--the first two were me and Sister Knowlton, then Hermanas Trujillo and Espinosa, then Hermana Giron. His five angels. He finally entered the waters of baptism and it meant so much to me that after 5 months of the missionaries teaching him, I finally got to see him in white. And yes, I cried like a baby. When the Bishop stood up and welcomed Gavino into the ward, I had Hermana Giron again translate for me. The bishop said, I am excited for the day when you will be in white once more entering the temple. And I cried even more at that part.

On Saturday, there was a stake activity days workshop for the older girls in primary. President Toombs wanted the sisters in the area to teach the classes and that was so much fun. Sister Holladay and I had the privilege of teaching about service. We talked about how serving others is serving God. So many of the girls talked about how their families had been served and how they, too, served others in their community. It was awesome. At the very end of the day, we asked the girls, "How many of you want to serve missions?" and without a second thought, ALL of the girls in the room raised their hands. Holy cow. That meant so much to me. We were able to do service for their friends. We put trail mix into cute little baggies so that they could give away. It was cute.

Well, then Monique got baptized on Sunday and it was incredible. Monique was so prepared for the Gospel. I had the opportunity of giving a talk on baptism and Sister Knowlton sang "Savior, Redeemer of my soul." The Spirit was in that meeting. Unfortunately, the font only filled like two feet high. So Elder McGrath (the Elder that baptized her) had to baptize her on his knees, while Monique was on her knees. Nevertheless, she was still baptized and it was wonderful! When, she bore her testimony at the end of the service, she told us about how she had been searching for the truth for 19 years and how she wouldn't have been able to find it if we hadn't stopped and talked to her. Sister Knowlton and I didn't do anything. The Spirit did. We need to open our mouths so that those who have ears to hear can hear the message that we share!

Then on Sunday, we met with this woman Jen and her twelve year old daughter, Ashley. We shared the message of the Restoration and we asked Jen how she felt about what we taught and she said, "I believe it. Everything else that I was told doesn't make sense, but this does." Wowza. Talk about amazing. We have an appointment with them on Sunday and I am so stoked. Yes, stoked.


I want you all to know that Jesus loves you and that you can conquer all through leaning on His arm.

God speed.
Love,
Sister Hardy
 

 


Baptisms! and more baptisms! And yes, Gavino hugged me.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

This past week was the end of my first transfer in Thornton and it was awesome! We reached our goals with lessons and we had an amazing Stake Conference with Elder Teh, from the Quorum of the Seventy, and Elder Stanfill, from the second quorum of the Seventy, I think. Anyways, it was great! The Denver North stake was split into two stakes--Denver North and Brighton. The work is hastening--you can read more about that later in this letter.

We have had a great week of blessings. On Monday, a woman in theward gave me her daughter's mission coat (her daughter served in ice cold Russia)! So I didn't have to buy a winter coat! YESSS. It was a huge blessing!
Then on Tuesday, these two people that we volunteer for (Lynn and Nancy) took the six of us missionaries to this pizza place in town! It was so kind of them to buy us lunch! We then went and saw several people that day. We met with this one family in the ward and the little boy, Nathan, always talks about how he is going to be a missionary some day! So cute!

On Wednesday, we went and saw Maryanne and it was awesome! A sister in our ward came with us and we taught the Restoration and gave her a Book of Mormon to read. It was awesome!
Later in the week, we called to see how she was doing and she told us about how some people from her church stopped by. She said that she told those women about all the things that the sisters in the Relief Society did for her. The ward here really came together to help Maryanne and her family.

Then we went and saw a former investigator, Steve, and talked to him. Yep. He was a Bible basher, so that was interesting. Bible bashing isn't as scary as everyone makes it out to be. I really hope I don't eat my words later. But anyways, he was very cordial and asked some good questions. Needless to say, we are meeting with him in a couple weeks :-).

On Friday, we were sure it was Gavino's baptism and I was so excited to see him get baptized! Well, when we got there, he wasn't there and we found out that his baptism was cancelled. I was heart broken! But then!!! I saw Gavino at Stake Conference on Saturday night and he sat right next to me!!! It was amazing! When he saw me, he said, "My angel!" He has always called Sister Knowlton and I his angels! So cute! We asked when he was going to be getting baptized and he said, "Soon! Very soon!" He had missed his baptism interview, so that's why his baptism was cancelled. We are hoping for this week though to see him enter the waters of baptism!
OH! And then on Sunday, Michelle's dad (who has been very Anti-Mormon at times) was at Stake Conference! In a suit and tie! He looked great! Mike even sang in the stake choir, so he sat up on the stand the entire time! How awesome is that?! When we talked to the Elders in his ward, one of the missionaries said, "He is going to just fall in the font one of these days!" He really is!! He has been taking the discussions now, so we will see what happens. (Back story, Mike has always been super sweet to me and Sister Knowlton whenever we see him. He has always told us to make ourselves at home, but he hasn't been so open to hearing the discussions! But that has changed! :-))

Going back to Stake Conference. So one of the Elders in our Zone was sick, so we were standing outside of the mens room waiting for him because we were going to see if we could give him some Tylenol. Well, as we are waiting, Elder Teh comes out of the bathroom. I shake his hand--a little bit bewildered--and I introduce myself and my companion. Later, he says in his cute Filipino accent, "Be prepared to participate in our discussion." And so I said, "Okay. I'll prepare Sister Holladay."
At the very end of the conference, Elder Teh gets up and says, "This stake conference wouldn't be complete without hearing a testimony from one of the Sister missionaries." Then he looks down at me from the pulpit and smiles. "Sister Hardy, right?" Yep. Very nerve-wrecking.

I want you all to know that I love you and more importantly Jesus loves you.
With love,
Sister Hardy

Week 18 Tylenol leads to testimony

This past week was the end of my first transfer in Thornton and it was awesome! We reached our goals with lessons and we had an amazing Stake Conference with Elder Teh, from the Quorum of the Seventy, and Elder Stanfill, from the second quorum of the Seventy, I think. Anyways, it was great! The Denver North stake was split into two stakes--Denver North and Brighton. The work is hastening--you can read more about that later in this letter.

We have had a great week of blessings. On Monday, a woman in the ward gave me her daughter's mission coat (her daughter served in ice cold Russia)! So I didn't have to buy a winter coat! YESSS. It was a huge blessing!
Then on Tuesday, these two people that we volunteer for (Lynn and Nancy) took the six of us missionaries to this pizza place in town! It was so kind of them to buy us lunch! We then went and saw several people that day. We met with this one family in the ward and the little boy, Nathan, always talks about how he is going to be a missionary some day! So cute!

On Wednesday, we went and saw Maryanne and it was awesome! A sister in our ward came with us and we taught the Restoration and gave her a Book of Mormon to read. It was awesome!
Later in the week, we called to see how she was doing and she told us about how some people from her church stopped by. She said that she told those women about all the things that the sisters in the Relief Society did for her. The ward here really came together to help Maryanne and her family.

Then we went and saw a former investigator, Steve, and talked to him. Yep. He was a Bible basher, so that was interesting. Bible bashing isn't as scary as everyone makes it out to be. I really hope I don't eat my words later. But anyways, he was very cordial and asked some good questions. Needless to say, we are meeting with him in a couple weeks :-).

On Friday, we were sure it was Gavino's baptism and I was so excited to see him get baptized! Well, when we got there, he wasn't there and we found out that his baptism was cancelled. I was heart broken! But then!!! I saw Gavino at Stake Conference on Saturday night and he sat right next to me!!! It was amazing! When he saw me, he said, "My angel!" He has always called Sister Knowlton and I his angels! So cute! We asked when he was going to be getting baptized and he said, "Soon! Very soon!" He had missed his baptism interview, so that's why his baptism was cancelled. We are hoping for this week though to see him enter the waters of baptism!
OH! And then on Sunday, Michelle's dad (who has been very Anti-Mormon at times) was at Stake Conference! In a suit and tie! He looked great! Mike even sang in the stake choir, so he sat up on the stand the entire time! How awesome is that?! When we talked to the Elders in his ward, one of the missionaries said, "He is going to just fall in the font one of these days!" He really is!! He has been taking the discussions now, so we will see what happens. (Back story, Mike has always been super sweet to me and Sister Knowlton whenever we see him. He has always told us to make ourselves at home, but he hasn't been so open to hearing the discussions! But that has changed! :-))

Going back to Stake Conference. So one of the Elders in our Zone was sick, so we were standing outside of the mens room waiting for him because we were going to see if we could give him some Tylenol. Well, as we are waiting, Elder Teh comes out of the bathroom. I shake his hand--a little bit bewildered--and I introduce myself and my companion. Later, he says in his cute Filipino accent, "Be prepared to participate in our discussion." And so I said, "Okay. I'll prepare Sister Holladay."
At the very end of the conference, Elder Teh gets up and says, "This stake conference wouldn't be complete without hearing a testimony from one of the Sister missionaries." Then he looks down at me from the pulpit and smiles. "Sister Hardy, right?" Yep. Very nerve-wrecking.

I want you all to know that I love you and more importantly Jesus loves you.
With love,
Sister Hardy
The first picture is of the gorgeous Colorado sky at sunset! Wowzers!
The second picture is our district after we celebrated Elder Burton's and Elder Mahina's birthdays. Yep. Of course, Sister Holladay and I were the only ones trying to be serious.
The third picture is a little blurry and not everyone is looking. This is a common thing with the Elders in our zone:-)





Thursday, November 7, 2013

Week 17: Miracles and Malley‏

This week was great--much better than last week. However, this week was filled with its own challenges. For example, Sister Holladay had a stomach bug, then I thought I had it---hypochondria kills---and Raul dropped us. Yes, Raul--the same Raul who was scheduled to get baptized on Saturday dropped us on Monday. It was sad. He still has somethings he needs to work out and we are still planning on checking up on him to see how he is doing every now and then.

Back to happier things. On Tuesday, we had interviews with President Toombs (our mission president) and he expressed his gratitude for the work we've been doing--which meant A LOT to me, especially after not having the best week last week.
Tuesday morning was just wonderful because of our interviews and then we went to the Thornton recreation center to do service and it was great. We work with a man named Lynn (who is this cute old guy) and a woman, Nancy, and they are amazing people. Lynn is a complainer, but he does it to be funny. They work right along side us in the dirt, which makes it fun. It was pretty chilly, but Lynn let me wear his coat so I didn't freeze. Everyone thinks that because I am from NY, I don't get cold--which is not true! Lynn and Nancy went and bought hot chocolate for the six of us missionaries. How sweet is that!
It was after service that Sister Holladay got sick, but now she is in tip-top shape.

Wednesday night, we stopped by Maryanne's to drop off food that members had given us to bring over. Maryanne's brother-in-law passed away last week, so the funeral was on Halloween. So many of our ward members dropped off meals to them. Jesse--her husband--has been really standoffish towards the church, but now his heart has been softened tremendously! It's incredible! It is tremendous to see the ward come together to fellowship Maryanne and her family. She tried to come to church on Sunday, but she got lost! Sad day I tell ya! But on a good note, Betty (her mother) received a General Conference edition of the Ensign and read the ENTIRE THING. WOWZA.

On Halloween, we met with Linda--I can't remember if I've talked about Linda before. Linda is an older woman who is moving out of her house, slowly, but surely. We went to her house to help clean and another time to rake leaves. On Thursday, we finally got to share a message with her about the Atonement--which we've mentioned in times past, too. We will have to go quite slow with her because she likes to talk--like most women I know :-).
We also had to be in right after dinner that night, and President let us all watch 17 Miracles! Did I cry? Yes. A lot? Yes, yes I did. That movie is so much better on a mission, let me tell you!

On Saturday, Sister Holladay and I went on exchanges and it was amazing! I went back to Malley! We met with Michelle (I taught her and she got baptized while I was in Malley). That was wonderful to meet with her again! She told us that her brother, Joseph (who joined the church a year ago), went through the temple and was sealed to his wife last month! Isn't that incredible? I cannot wait for the day when Sister Knowlton and I can go through the temple in a year with Michelle!
I also found out that Gavino (remember him from my second week out?) is getting baptized this Friday! I am soo excited!!!
Monique (the woman we helped move in August) is getting baptized on the 16th of November! I am so excited for Gavino and Monique and for their decisions to follow the Savior!! I know it will change their lives for eternity, like it has mine.

Yesterday, we met with Randy and he forgot that it was Daylight Savings, so he thought we were an hour late! Poor guy! We sat and we read from the Introduction to the Book of Mormon. We asked him if he would be baptized and he said, "You know, I probably will. But it's going to take me a little bit." WOW. My heart soared when I heard him say that. His son, Dorian, also joined us, so that was really exciting!

I want you all to know that I love you so much and Jesus Christ loves you much more than you could ever imagine. Remember Him in all that you do and He will help you.

Love,
Sister Hardy


1. The sky here is absolutely beautiful! I am going to miss it after winter gets here!
2. We found this metal rod in the middle of the road, so of course we pulled over and picked it up! Now we can say, "hold to the rod!"
3. When we stopped by Maryanne's house this week, she let us hold her puppies!!! They are soooo cute! This puppy has eyebrows!!
 


 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Week 16: Candy, desserts, and other delicious things I can't avoid‏

This week was uphill climb. However, we had so much food to keep me happy it's not even funny. It doesn't help that when we went grocery shopping last week, Sister Holladay and I were starving so we ended up buying cake mix, frosting, hot chocolate, and thin mint (yes, like the girl scout cookies!) creamer!!! Holla.
Going along with the food theme, we had two dinners one night this week and that was agonizing. The second appointment was with a less active family and the father said to us, "I'm not letting my food get cold and I'm not going to eat in front of you, so you'll have to eat something." Luckily, we had fasted that day so we could stuff our faces a wee bit more than we normally could. However, the excessive amount of food helps when we have some rough moments. For example, Jeremiah and Melissa (see Week 14: Zero to Hero) dropped us this week and that hurt. Really hurt. We felt like we would see them enter the waters of baptism and I guess it just isn't their time yet. Also, Raul who was scheduled to get baptized this Saturday is ignoring us/avoiding us. So those things were HUGE bummers.

But now for the miracles!
Our first week here we were trying to visit a less active woman, but she wasn't home when we stopped by, but there was this man outside bringing groceries into his house--Randy. Well, we prayed with him and it was awesome. He gave us his number and it was great. Earlier this week, we felt like we should go check up on him and see how he's doing. Well, we knocked on his door and he invited us in! We helped him with his dishes and taught him the first lesson! It was awesome! He was so kind to us and he told us that we could stop by anytime! Oh yeah!
We also had this impression to go visit this family in our ward but I pushed it aside, thinking, "I don't want to bother them." However, the prompting came again and so we went to their home. They were home and invited us in--like always. While we were there, their daughter, Cassidy, found out that a good friend of hers died. Later, her mother told us that if we hadn't have visited things would have been much worse. We learned our lesson: always follow the promptings from the Spirit.
Then we went by a less active member's house, Richard, and we were welcomed into his home. His wife, Lisa, who isn't a member gave us water and offered to feed us this coming week and it was wonderful! They were both so wonderful to us and kind and so we are looking forward to meeting them--oh and they also take care of their two grandsons, kind of like you, Mom and Dad--well and don't forget Zoey.

On an entirely different note, some really funny things happened this week. For example, Elder Mahina, an elder from Tonga, was talking to my companion while we were at a service project and said, "Sister Holladay, you are a hard worker...and your companion, she is a hard-talker." Apparently, I talk a lot. Who knew?
Also, we visited a woman, who has fake teeth that clip on to her real ones...which are stubs, anyways, one of her teeth kept popping out when she talked. She went down the hall to put the dog in her kennel and we hear, "My tooth!! My tooth! I lost my tooth!!" So Sister Holladay found her tooth while I was trying hard not to die laughing.
And Sister Holladay and I were driving and we made it to the end of the world...well, the end of the populated world here in Thornton.

I want you all to know that I love you and I know that serving the Lord as a missionary is the best thing anyone can do! I love this gospel and I know it has been restored in these last days! Christ lives. We can all receive forgiveness from our sins because of His suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane, as well as His suffering and death on the cross. It's through Jesus Christ that we can live with God again!

I love you!
Sister Hardy

 


 
 


The first picture needs no explanation. The second picture is when Sister Holladay and I reached the end of the world! Both pictures are of me in the darling new scarf Mom sent me. The third picture is of Jackson--our dog. He stinks, but we love him. He runs around the backyard all the time like a lapdog! It's hilarious! But, when he gets tired he'll lay down by us when we study in the morning.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Week 15: Spider Wars: Return of the Arachnid‏

A few nights ago, Sister Holladay and I returned home to a gigantic spider on the garage. It was huge! It was too high for me to reach to kill it with my shoe, so I picked up some rocks and began throwing them at it. Well, I missed...badly. When I played softball, I was so good that I sat the bench the whole season. Remember that, Mom and Dad? Anyways, to make a short story long, I couldn't kill it. Well, when we prayed at night together, we prayed that the spider wouldn't come into the house. That spider may have not come in the house, but it's WIFEY must have. I got out of the shower the next morning and came down to see Sister Holladay sitting on the stairs to the basement. She looked at me and said, "Bad news....the spider must have gotten in last night." Well, obviously it wasn't the spider, it was his wife. I think God was trying to remind us that spiders are His creations, too. Anywho, Sister Kumar--still in her pajamas--came down and killed the huge thing (which was right next to my bed!!). Needless to say, I moved my mattress.

We met with this less active woman, Amy, this week who told us that she wanted to come into listening to the discussions with an open mind--she told us that she wanted to hear the lessons with adult ears, which made me so happy! We taught the first discussion and the spirit was there. It was wonderful! I was so excited for her! However, she has some views that are different than ours and later texted us and dropped us. Yes, we got dropped again.
The wonderful thing I love about this gospel is that we have the chance to learn about what God's ways are. We can pray and ask Him what is His will. People don't have to take what we say and follow blindly--they can pray and ask God. Everything stems on if the Book of Mormon is true or if it's not. If the Book of Mormon is true, then Joseph Smith was a prophet and if he was a prophet then Jesus Christ's church has been restored and we have it today! What I am trying to get at is that if Amy has concerns she can read and pray about the Book of Mormon and God will answer her. Simple as that.

This week we sang at the nursing homes once again and Miss Lillian was quite funny. At one point while we were singing, she lifted up her arms (as if she were raising the roof). She also went up to our District leader, Elder Burton, and shook his hand and said, "Your hands are cold! Your hands are cold, but you have a warm heart! Yes, you have a warm heart! You're with Jesus!" It was adorable and hilarious.

Then we went to ARC (the thrift store) to volunteer so that we could get enough hours of service in this week. Well, I was walking with a broom in my hand, and this one little boy sees me and says, "Dad! It's a sister missionary!" Be still my soul! It was adorable! Our ward mission leader's girls (Ashlyn, Audrey, Lillian, and Elise) love us, too! And it makes my day so much brighter seeing how excited people get when they see us!

We also had a district blitz this week--where the entire district (3 companionships + zone leaders) went and tracted out an area in our ward. It was great! We didn't talk to many people, but it's good practice. Tracting these days just isn't the best way to use our time. It's better spent through the members!

We met Chris this week--a return missionary who went astray. It was so sad to see how hard life has been to him. He said that he loved his mission and that he wouldn't take back going for anything. But, he was so sad. We asked him why he left the church and he said it has to deal with faith--not faith in the Book of Mormon or that Joseph Smith was a prophet, but he doesn't have faith in God. He doesn't believe God is there. He also told us that he just has no desire to know if God is there. My heart breaks thinking of him. Things will be harder for him to overcome without that faith that there is more after this life.

I love this gospel so much and I know that coming unto the Savior is the only way that we can find true happiness! I love you all! I miss you, but I know that the Lord needs me here to help those who are searching! This gospel is true.

Yesterday, I was able to see a woman that I taught in Malley ward enter the waters of baptism. It filled my heart with so much happiness seeing the joy that was on her face as she came out of the water clean and pure. The picture is of Sister Knowlton, Lori, and me before she was baptized! The gospel changes lives forever.
 
 

Love,
Sister Hardy

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Week 14: Zero to Hero‏

First, let me explain the title. So. The past two weeks have been a bit tough because we didn't know anyone. We had been trying to find people and I felt a bit discouraged, but then we showed up to church on Sunday and we received a hero's welcome! For reals. We got to church and there were so many who told us how excited they are because they have sisters! Apparently, they haven't had sisters in the ward in years---we're talking decades! Crazy, right?
I'll admit that I was really bummed to be leaving the Malley ward, but I'm still at home in Thornton! It's wonderful! The members here really take care of us!

This week we met with some more families! So we know more people now!
We met with this less active family who really have testimonies. We asked their daughter why she prays and she told us that she prays when she is taking math tests. We then asked her what she prays for during math tests, and she said that she prays that it'll be okay even if she doesn't answer correctly. Wow. What faith does that eleven year old have! We taught them the Restoration and when we taught the First Vision (when Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ), he had tears in his eyes!

We had an uplifting week with several meetings--a Sisters' conference (a meeting where all of the sisters received training from President and Sister Toombs), a zone meeting, and a trainers meeting (a meeting designed for the new missionaries in the field and their trainers--like me and Sister Holladay). Sister Toombs stressed the importance of remembering who we are. We must remember that we are children of God. If we remember that, then everything else falls into place--as long as we are doing what chilldren of God should do. In our zone meeting, we learned that we need to teach people about the Atonement--it's through the Atonement that we can be forgiven of our sins and receive eternal life.

We also met this woman in our ward who served her mission in Japan. Her name is Heidi--not like the other Heidi from last week's entry. She is an incredible member missionary--she knows EVERYONE on her street and has invited them to hear more about the gospel, too! She is incredible! She is so wonderful and she began to cry when SHE prayed for US. Seriously. That woman is a saint.

We then called this woman, Maryanne, that used to be investigating (we saw her our first week here) and she was telling us about her daughter in law who got hit by a car and is now in the hospital. When we first asked if we could have someone bring over meals, she cried! She felt so loved--well, when we talked to her on the phone, she said that she was touched by our kindness. She kept saying, "There is something different about the Mormon church." It was incredible! We have an appointment with her tomorrow and I am excited to see how that goes!

Also, one man that we have been teaching is getting baptized! His name is Raul and he has a lot of deep doctrinal questions. But Sister Holladay committed him to baptism on the second of November! He wants to find happiness, but he still doesn't have the full desire to change completely. We'll be praying for help!

We also went and did service--we sang at the nursing homes! At one of the homes, I went to say hi to some of the older ladies and they were so adorable! They all kissed me on my cheek and hugged me! It was so sweet! I LOVE OLD PEOPLE.

"Then, a miracle happened!" as Coalhouse from Ragtime would say. We contacted a member referral and met this wonderful family, Jeremiah, Melissa, and two of their three children. We asked if we could offer a prayer of peace over their home and they said yes! Well, we went back the next day to pray over their house and we ended up teaching about Joseph Smith and his vision. It was incredible! They had so many questions and we answered them the best that we could. I am so excited to see them again! It is such a blessing to be able to see lives change.

I want you all to know that I know that Christ lives. I know that the only way to peace and happiness in this life is through following Him.

Know that you are loved!
Love,
Sister Hardy

p.s. A picture is worth a thousand words :)
 
 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Week 13:

This past week in our new area has been great! A little slow, but wonderful. I think that the ward has a plot to make us both gain weight because we've left every other house with food in our hands: cinnamon rolls, chocolate chip cookies, a pizza, Vietnamese leftovers, homemade rosemary bread. Seriously, I am going to get so FAT, but at least I'll be fat and happy!

This week has been great, but it didn't start out that way. I was pretty nervous about going to a new area--I was freaking out. I was so nervous that I actually got sick five minutes after meeting my new missionary. Yep. I got sick. I was so embarrassed! Luckily, I made it to the bathroom. But it actually comical thinking about it now. I have no idea why I was so scared!
We got settled into our place. We live with a single woman, Sister Kumar, and she is awesome! She has two cute dogs, Jackson and Bella. She is a nurse and her home is full of Indian art and such! We have a brass Vishnu in the basement along with pictures made from tree trunks. How neat is that?! I also have a pretty awesome mattress, so no sleep deprivation here.

We met with a lot of families this week to try and get to know people. We met this one woman in her eighties, Geraldine, who is a mix between Sophia Petrillo (from Golden Girls) and ________. She is hilarious and she sang in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir when she was younger! How cool is that?! She about keeled over when she heard I was from New York...well, that is a bit of an exaggeration, but she was excited.

There are also so many converts in our ward! We met this sister in the ward, Heidi, who joined the church seven years ago and is just an amazing missionary! She shares her beliefs with everyone she meets and she just loves everyone she knows! She told us about how she prayed everyday for two years to meet a righteous priesthood holder and she did! I mean, she didn't give up! Then we met a young woman, Katie, who lives with her, who joined the church a year ago. Katie has been through a lot. The church that she attended as a child preached against our church and when her parents found out she was looking into the church, they threatened to kick her out. Then when she got baptized she ended up moving into some one else's house. How strong she is to have gone through all of that and still remained faithful. She truly is an example to me!

So many families that we have met with have told us that they have a tender spot for sister missionaries for so many reasons. One sister in the church told us that it was sister missionaries found her. Another sister told us that is was sister missionaries that helped her husband come to know the truth, and then another sister told us sisters taught her before she got baptized. We are well taken care of in this ward. A brother in our ward told us that it was an honor to have the opportunity to feed us. He also said that we are on the Lord's errand and that it was an honor to have the Lord's servants in his home. We are so humbled to be able to serve in such a wonderful area.

We met Don this week--a Book of Mormon basher. Oh yes. That was interesting. He said some choice things, but I appreciated his concern for our salvation. We asked him if he prayed about the Book of Mormon and he said he didn't need to pray about it. That was sad more than anything. The hardest part about the mission isn't that we work all day, or that we have to know all of these things, or that all we do is find, teach, and baptize. No. The hardest part is knowing that I have happiness in my hands, eternal happiness, and watching people turn away from it. That is the hardest part about being out here. However, this time I have here is worth so much. Elder Ballard said this weekend in his talk, "It is impossible to fail when we do our best and when we are on the Lord's errand." We are doing our best.

I love this Gospel. I have been able to find true happiness because of the message that I share everyday. I can promise each of you that you can find true happiness, too. Know that god loves you and is watching out for you.
 


 

I love you all!
Sister Hardy

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Week Twelve: I AM A MOM‏

When I say "I AM A MOM," that means I am training a new missionary! Crazy, right?! I am so excited! And I am being transferred to Thornton ward--a ward that closed last transfer (for the past six weeks). So both my new missionary and I are unfamiliar with the area and will be thrown into the pool of Thornton. Yes, I'm a little apprehensive, but I know that's where the Lord needs me right now.
So my baby girl is Sister Holladay! She is from Portland. She graduated from BYU in December with her B.A. in communication disorders! Yeah. So she is pretty smart and I am pretty clueless.

So my last week in Malley was bitter sweet. I was sure that Sister Knowlton was going to be transferred, so when I found out I was being transferred it was a shocker. However, I started my last week in Malley with a marriage proposal. His name is Barrett and it was adorable. He has Down Syndrome and it was so cute! He gave me a note that had his proposal.

On another note, we met with this woman named Katrina, who left the church after her daughter (who was six years old when she hanged herself). It was horrible to hear her speak about her daughter and especially the sadness that she has experienced. She feels that God doesn't hear her or that He is listening. We also met with a woman, Vera, whose daughter was killed in her home 5 years ago. Such horrible tragedies have happened here! However, it was wonderful to tell them (Katrina and Vera) that God knows how they feel and what they went through. Because of Jesus Christ's Atonement, He knows everything that we have gone through and will go through! We truly have a loving Savior and friend who walks with us.

A miracle happened this week! We went to dinner with some members from the Singles Ward. We went to this awesome place called Qdoba (it's like Cafe Rio and Chipotle mixed). Anyways, I had my scriptures on the table and this man walks up to us and says, "Are you having a Bible study?" We gave him our phone number and he called us! It was so cool! He told us about how he prayed and asked God to help him go to college for free and it happened! Wowza! He also asked us about how to handle his situation with his math teacher. It was adorable! I think he thinks that we are priests (priestesses?). Anyways, he wanted us to give him counsel, so that was a bit awkward, but he was so sincere!
Some comical moments that Sister Knowlton and I experienced this week involved an older man in our ward, Brother Brink. Sister K asked them what they liked to do and Sister Brink said that she liked to read books and some other cute grandma things to do. Well, it was a mistake to ask Brother Brink what he liked to do. He said, " I like to go to the dumps and pour gasoline all over the piles and light it on fire and watch the rats come out and hit 'em with a baseball bat." (Brother Brink is in his 80s).

I want you all to know that I love this Gospel. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ, and I know that He lives. I know that it is through following Him that we can find true happiness and peace!

Know that you are loved!

Love,
Sister Hardy

p.s. sorry my last two entries have been short. I will write more next week!
 
 
 


 

We had a barbecue for our last preparation day for the transfer!

This next picture is of Sister Knowlton and me with Elijah--the cutest little boy! He's the one that talks like a surfer.

The third picture is of Brooke and her grandmother. Brooke is 10 and we have been teaching her for the past three months. Her other grandparents that she lives with won't let her get baptized

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Week 11: "Oh, no! Don't turn into unicorns!"

This week was filled with a great deal of humor and spiritual moments.

On Monday, Sister Knowlton and I went to a family's home in the ward. Before we had gotten there, Addie (their 3 year-old) had fallen into the sharp corner of the side table in their family room. She was crying because it hurt and because she was afraid she was going to turn into a unicorn because she started to bruise right between her eyes. Well, it was getting late and we needed to head home and so I said, "We better get going or we're going to turn into pumpkins." Then when we left, Addie's mother said, "If the Sisters don't go home now, they are going to turn into unicorns!" Addie got a scared look on her face and said, "Oh no! Don't turn into unicorns!" It was so cute! (After we shared a message, they gave us dessert and while we were eating, Sister Knowlton and I were talking about how weird and awkward we will be when we get home from our missions. Well, I then said, "I was already weird when I left on my mission!" And without skipping a beat, Addie said, "Yep!" It's sad when a three year old thinks you're weird.

Sister Knowlton and I had the chance to go to the temple on Wednesday and it was great! It was wonderful to see all the missionaries together inside and outside of the temple. The temple is truly the House of the Lord. How amazing will it be after this life when we can all live with our families together because of the temple!
We met with this family later in the day on Wednesday and the mother (Ashley) is the only member of the church. Well, as we taught them (Ashley and Matthew, and their children: Maddie, Nate, and Savannah), it was wonderful to see Jesus Christ bringing the family together--especially when they don't ever talk about Him or our Heavenly Father. This gospel brings families together. Later, we met with just Matthew and he was really receptive to our message. He really does want peace in his life. Sister Knowlton and I are praying that he will continue meeting with us.

Highlights of this week (both good and bad)
1) Sister Knowlton and I jumped a creek while doing service. I safely got to the other side and Sister Knowlton didn't. She fell in the mud and it was hilarious.
2) Sister Knowlton had a horrible cold. I ended up just giving her a bunch of medication (mostly vitamins--when I would give her something and say,"Take this" she'd respond by saying, "What did I just take?" Talk about companion trust!) and we are both healthy! Sister Knowlton is recovering--still a little sniffly, but she is much better!
3) When I asked Sister Knowlton if she needed any medicine before we went to bed one night she responded with, "I'm like an Indian in the woods...the spirits of nature heal me." I think fatigue and sickness messed with her mind.
4) TWO PEOPLE ACCEPTED BAPTISM

So who are those two people who are getting baptized?? Monique!!!! and Gavino!!! (We finally got a hold of Gavino again and he is getting baptized on October 12th! woot!) With Monique, we still need to set her with a date, but she is solid. When we met with her this week, she just cried. I felt the Spirit so strongly confirm to me that what we were teaching was true. We have an appointment with her tonight and I am so excited to see how things go with her! She truly has been prepared by the Lord!

This week we also met with Maddie and Cassie (their mother and father are less active and really not interested in coming back to church). Maddie and Cassie read from the Book of Mormon and they had a hard time understanding it. In response to this, their mother said, "Reading the Book of Mormon stinks." It broke my heart to hear her say that! Sister Knowlton and I were speechless. Anyone who reads from the Book of Mormon knows that it will bring him/her closer to Jesus Christ!

Something wonderful that happened this week was that I was able to receive a blessing from the Elders in my Zone. How wonderful is it that we have the Priesthood authority? We have that ability to receive blessings from righteous men who honor their Priesthood. I truly have a testimony of the Priesthood and I am so thankful for it.

We also had the chance to sing at one of the ward's here in the Denver North Stake. We missionaries sang the EFY medley and I felt the spirit so strongly as we sang together, "We will be the Lord's missionaries to bring the world His truth." I know that sharing this gospel will bring us so much happiness because the Lord loves us! I know that He wants what is best for us and wants all of His children back with Him. This Gospel that I am teaching people about is the way that we can get back to Him. It truly is the way to never ending happiness and peace.

I love you all! I know that Jesus is the Christ. I know that He lives! I know that He suffered for us so that we might live! I love this gospel.

Love,
Sister Hardy
 
The first picture is of Karlene. She feeds us a lot and always lets us use her bathroom. (Being a missionary isn't tough because you are out all day talking to people about Jesus. It's tough because you can't always find a bathroom.)

Sister Knowlton and I took some pictures because this week is most likely our last week together!

The third  picture is of our pancake breakfast! Sister Knowlton's best friend sent her pancake mix and I made the pancakes!
 
The last picture is of my darling trainer, Sister Knowlton. She took my camera and had a "selfie" photo shoot.



 
 
 
 

 
 


 


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Week Ten: The rains came down and the floods came up‏

This week was a bit depressing because of all the rain, but alas! We still had a blast! And yes, I am fine! There were just a bunch of flooded basements here in Northglenn. The woman we live with, Sister Peel, had the news on and the floods that were on the TV aren't close to us at all! However, something wonderful has come because of all the flooding--people serving each other. We were able to help three families this week and our ward really came together.--It was fun to do service in our dresses!--Yesterday, we went and visited a less active woman and her basement had started flooding and within a few short hours we had our ward mission leader and our Elders Quorum president over there with shop-vacs doing all kinds of service. It was great! (For the Colorado Denver North mission, we do ten hours of service in the community each week and seriously, hearts are being softened towards us and maybe even one day the service that we missionaries do will lead them to the waters of baptism).

Something exciting that also happened was that we had Elder Corbridge from the Seventy come and train the missionaries in our mission! It was AMAZING. He and his wife were so adorable and I felt special when he said "Sister Hardy"--but then I realize that I have a nametag and it's not so special anymore. He spoke about how the most important thing for us to teach people about is the Savior's Atonement---meaning the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, how he suffered and died for the sins of the world. He said something really profound--he said that if people don't accept our message, it's because they don't understand it. If people really understood the message that we share--which is a message of happiness--they wouldn't reject it! They'd welcome this message and hold onto it! This helped me so much when Sister Knowlton and I had a rough day this week. Every door that we knocked just got slammed in our faces. It was discouraging, but Elder Corbridge's message helped me so much, as well as a quote from Elder Holland. "When you struggle, when you are rejected, when you are spit upon and cast out and made a hiss and a byword, you are standing with the best life this world has ever known, the only pure and perfect life ever lived." And of course, that best life is Jesus Christ. Why would it be easy for us missionaries if it wasn't easy for Him? It wouldn't be.
The mission is hard but it is so rewarding.

On Monday this week, we met with a woman who once was a member of the church and has been making progress towards get rebaptized. It has been a really hard journey for her. Every time we meet with her she cries. But when we met with her this week, she told us that she was going to talk with the Bishop and set a baptismal date! Yeahhh! I really hope I'm still in this area when she gets baptized again. Seeing the happiness this gospel brings to all those who accept it and live it brings me so much happiness!

Another small miracle that happened this week was when we met with Mary and Essiah. We talked about how we chose to come to Earth before this life. We also taught them about how they were spirits before they came here. When we talked about this, Essiah stood up and said that he remembers talking to God and telling Him that he was going to come to Earth. Essiah also said that he didn't have a body and that he was a ghost. How wonderful is that!!! It was incredible!

On Tuesday, we went over to our ward mission leader's home and shared a message with him and his wife. Well some time during the lesson, his sweet, little girl Chloe (who has adorable curly hair I might add), came into the family room and brought us "letters" which has scribbly lines on them. When I asked her to read the letter to me, she said "It's not a letter. It's a song." She then sat up on the couch with us and sang her song called, "The men who died." Apparently, around Memorial Day, her dad was trying to explain the reason why we celebrate and she came up with a little song about the men who died. It was a bit morbid, but adorable. That family just kills me! They are such a cute young family!
Later in the week, I asked our ward mission leader "Do you cry a lot when you come home?" Meaning, when you get home from your mission, are you sad? However he didn't understand that I meant when you get back. But in response, he said, "...sometimes." Sister Knowlton then said, "No, Sister Hardy means like when you get home from your mission!" We all had a good laugh about that.

This week, Sister Knowlton found a new family of investigators (Floyd, Michael, and Kody). However, sadly, most of them are atheists, which is silly business. We committed them to pray and Floyd was the only who prayed reasonably. He simply asked God, "Are you there?" When Kody asked for God to send him 2 billion dollars to prove that He was real and then Michael asked God to send him a text message. However, we are getting somewhere with them! Kody prayed in our second lesson with them! It was great! We have an appointment to meet with them this week and I'm excited to see how their prayers went!

AND last night we taught a man named Peter who is solid! He told us that when he was in Rangely, Colorado (I have no idea how to spell that), he was five seconds away from being baptized by some Elders up there. We asked him what caused him to take a step back and he said that he had some concerns. Well, we had a stellar lesson with him and I think the spirit may have resolved some of his concerns because at the end he agreed to be baptized. However, then he said he wanted to get baptized in his river in Rangely...which is not even in our mission. Still we were stoked! Until he said that he wanted to be baptized by the "Mormons" and the non-denominational" church. So obviously we did something wrong when we taught him, but hey! He wants to get baptized! YES!

I want you all to know that I love you so much! I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior and the Redeemer of the world. I know that He loves ALL of you so much.

Love,
Sister Hardy
 
The first picture is of Sister Knowlton and I after we got caught in a downpour! Luckily we we at home when we got drenched!

The second picture is when we were at the Police station because we got into some trouble. We ate lunch there and then paid Sister Knowlton's speeding ticket. It was great!

The third is of my Zone with Elder and Sister Corbridge, as well as President and Sister Toombs!

The fourth picture is proof that we are safe!
 



 


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Week Nine: Miracles do happen!‏

This week was probably the best week in my entire mission thus far--and that is the honest to goodness truth. Yes, we had challenges...bible bashers, faith lackers, and one hundred degree weather. BUT. We witnessed miracles.

Sister Knowlton and I have THIRTEEN new investigators this week. THIRTEEN. Holy cow. The highest number of investigators that we have received in the last nine weeks is 4. We tripled our best week's number. Shoot dang. The Lord is good and there is no doubt about that. Sister Knowlton and I have been working so hard and now it's time to work even harder. The Lord has prepared people to receive His gospel and now we need to get down to the nitty gritty. 

Some of our investigators is a woman named Mary and her grandson, Essiah--like Messiah. Mary was open to the message of the Restoration (the message about Joseph Smith restoring Christ's church upon the Earth) and when we left Mary told us that she enjoyed herself while we were there. It was a good lesson and the spirit was there.
Remember the wedding we sang at two weeks ago? Well, the bride and groom are two of our thirteen new investigators. We knocked on their door and when Kent (the groom) opened the door, I said, "Hi! We sang at your wedding!'" And he was more than happy to let us in. He and his wife were so sweet to us. We asked Kent if he would read the Introduction to the Book of Mormon (which is a page long) before we came back. He agreed and we asked if we could come back the next day and he said, "Come back in a week." Well, we found out later in the conversation that he thought we wanted him to read a lot of it and that's why he wanted us to give him a week. What a cutie! He was drinking it all up and it was awesome! 
Then there was Monique. Okay. This woman is a beast--(Mom, beast is slang for amazing). To give you some background, she was the woman who we helped move last week. While we were talking to her about the Restoration, she excused herself for a minute and came back with four HUGE books that have helped her in her studies of the Bible. That kind of intimidated me, but she and her father (Bruce) told us about their concerns with the Bible. They told us about how there are missing parts of the Bible, and because of the continual translating of the Bible, parts were taken from the scriptures. Sister Knowlton and I were just glowing as we spoke to the family--because Monique and Bruce were exactly right. Precious truths have been taken from the Bible. I think she was rather surprised that we agreed with her. Well, so as we continued with our message, she left the room again and came back with a notepad and a pen. YES. She took notes while we described the First Vision of Joseph Smith (the experience that he had when he saw God and Jesus Christ). We gave her a Book of Mormon and we asked her that if she would  read a chapter from it. She then said, "Oh! I'll read the whole thing!" Holy cow. What a woman! We then gave her the chapter (3 Nephi 11--when Christ comes to the Americas), and as she opened the book to find it, she opened up right to the chapter. She told us that she had "tingles"--chills, whatever you want to call them. Sister Knowlton and I then testified to her of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. The Spirit was so strong. 

Sister Knowlton and I truly experienced miracles this week. However, there were some not so fun parts--well not fun at the moment. For example, we were going around offering prayers on people's homes (an appointment had cancelled) with Michelle (the woman that was baptized in August) and this dog comes running to us and the dog was gorgeous. Well, so we pet the dog and his owner comes over and Sister Knowlton knows him! I was thinking, "Sweet! We have an in!" So I proceed to ask him if we could come in and offer a prayer on his home...Well as he went to go leash up his dog, Sister Knowlton whispers, "That's the bible basher!" (Sister Knowlton had told me about the one time she cried on her mission was when she met this bible basher. Yes, so I was scared silly). My eyes widened and all I want to do is run. Well, I can't exactly do that. But he tells us that Joseph Smith is a false prophet and that we are wrong and that if we were to pray over his home it would be like praying with a Muslim--Wait. How did Islam get into this? And, Muslims believe in the same God we do--this guy. He then told us that not all people are children of God. How sad is that! I told him to pray and ask God if Joseph Smith was a prophet and he informed us that he had prayed and I said, "Pray again." I was so upset. I just wanted to...I don't even know, but I was angry. After we left, I said that I would NEVER ever go back there....well, Sister Knowlton and I are in fact going back. Yep. (Tune in for more stories about the Missionary Slayer Keith next week). 

We also met with a less active woman and her stalwart husband--I can't remember if I have mentioned them. Anyways, Ruth and Jim. Jim is this amazing scriptorian scholar man, who is in his eighties and the most adorable old man I ever saw and his wife is a very sweet woman, but she doesn't think that God can help her. Well, we told her that she needs to come to church and that was hard to call her to do that. Her reasoning is that she works on Sunday and if she doesn't work, she will go without. We discussed that obedience brings miracles and blessings. But she still doubts the power of God. 

BUT. On a happier note! I had Chinese food for the first time in FOREVER--(back story--I got food poisoning from Chinese food my junior year in high school and haven't been able to eat it since). The food was delicious and I am sad that it took me so long to finally eat it. 
We also saw Joe again! The guy who dropped us! It was good to see him. He was surprised that it took us so long to stop by again.  We let him know that we stopped by several times but no one was home. He is still so confused and it's hard when those you love won't help themselves--especially as a missionary. 

I also held a chicken for the first time! IT WAS AWESOME. We were at a less active family's house and they have tons of chickens!  I was trying to catch one in my dress and I can just imagine how funny I looked. It was great! We also had this amazing dinner there--the mother is half Mexican and a phenomenal cook. Seriously, best dinner on my mission thus far. Their little boy, Ethan also called something green when it was red and Sister Knowlton asked, "Ethan, are you colorblind?" Ethan responded, "No! I'm white!" It was hilarious! What a cutie! I also quoted Nacho Libre several times during dinner and apparently, I'm really good at impersonating Jack Black because I had their fourteen year old son dying of laughter. Oh! and all of them came to church on Sunday! It was awesome! 

Sister Knowlton also mentioned to me this week that I have crazy expressive eyebrows when I talk. Why has no one told me this?!

I love you all! Jesus loves you, too! 
Sister Hardy

The first picture is of me and the chicken! Yeah! 
The second picture is of me and Sister Knowlton before church. We sang at church on Sunday. It looks like I plastered on the make-up in this picture, but I wasn't even wearing that much! 


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Week Eight: The Adventures of Rubber Duckie and Jnugget‏

For some reason, I picked up the name "Nugget" from Sister Knowlton and she insists on calling me that. In retaliation, I in turn call her "Rubber Duckie"--which is a much cooler nickname than I have (I put the J before nugget to make it sound more gangster...yeah. Didn't work).

Every week in the mission is amazing. I always want to start off my entries by saying, "This week was the best week EVER!" But, alas, it wouldn't be the best week is every week was the best week. However, this past week we sang at a wedding! And I played the piano....which was a mistake. The wedding was really last minute--last minute as in the couple played to get married on Monday and got married Monday night. No joke. How sweet is that?! The couple that got married aren't actually members of the Church, but it was adorable to see them get married (they are an older couple in their sixties or seventies).

On another note, here are some funny things that happened this week:
1. We went over to a less active's home on Tuesday--and she has been trying to quit smoking and she has committed and re-committed a lot. She even gave us her lighter before Tuesday and told us that she was quitting. Well when we knocked on the door, she yelled, "Come in!" Sister Knowlton and I went in and she was sitting on her couch smoking a cigarette. We could see the look of panic in her eyes.

2. On Thursday, I was in Aurora on exchanges and I was a minority. IT WAS GREAT. I was again with Sister Mailau (the Tongan Sister Training leader). We went over to this one Tongan family's house and they have a little boy named Monson (yes, like President Monson), who is a little over a year old. Monson was running around and every time I would look at him, he'd smile really big. It was so adorable! Well, in response to his smiles, his father said, "He really likes the Palongi girls." Sister Mailau laughed and I was thinking, "The what girls?" Turns out "Palongi" means white, so in essence he was saying, "He really likes white girls." It was hilarious!
(Before this Sister Mailau expressed her desire to learn how to hot-wire a car. And my little white girl self was shocked and then I remembered that we were in Aurora).

3. We have an Asian sister (Sister Lee) from Korea in our district and she says some funny things. Because it's football season, everyone is hyped up about the Broncos and it's crazy. Anyways, Sister Lee said, "Football is really important to the mens. Especially when it's a Bronco." Oh I love her.

Another funny thing was when I apologized to Sister Knowlton for backseat driving.
Me: "I'm sorry that I backseat drive!"
Sister Knowlton: "You backseat everything..."
It was comical because it's so true. I do backseat everything...

I have so much fun out here! We are constantly being uplifted by the influence we feel from God. We are so blessed and we have been able to see so many miracles. I love this work.

On Saturday morning, we had a breakfast with our stake president and that was intense. Well, President Johnson informed us that 80% of our lessons are to be with active members present. Yeah....want to know how many lessons we had with active members this past week 4, out of the 23 lessons we taught. It's hard! But we can do it. (Advice: go out and teach with the missionaries! They will love you!)

Our zone of missionaries also sang again at the nursing homes, like we always do. There is this woman, Lillian, who raises her arms up in the air praising Jesus when we sing and it is adorable. We we went to thank her for coming to listen she held on really tightly to my hand and exclaimed, "Jesus is here!" and she pulled me really close, and said, "I see him!" One of the assistants to President Toombs (our mission president) said something like, "Of course she sees Jesus! We [missionaries] are all representatives of Jesus Christ." Good point, Elder Gwilliam.

Sister Knowlton and I also went tracting this past week and offered prayers on people's homes. Well, we now have two new investigators and a potential. Hopefully we can find those whom the Lord has prepared. We met this woman Veronica, and she is a single mother with two children and she has PUPPIES! Her puppies are cute little pit bulls and there are so sweet, as was she! When we finished the prayer, she thanked us and told us that she was happy that we stopped by and offered a prayer on her home. She totally felt it. She felt the Spirit. SO EXCITED TO TEACH HER THIS WEEK!

We also were late to an appointment and the family didn't answer the door, so that was unfortunate. BUT. We got the chance to meet the family's neighbors! They were moving out and the mother was so distraught. At first, they wouldn't except help, but we were persistent and continued to offer help, and finally they let us. It was awesome. Maybe soon we will have four new investigators! (I really hope it be a part of a family baptism while I am out here. If not while I'm on my mission, perhaps when I come home).
We had SO many happy moments this week, but we did have a couple discouraging moments. Donna, the woman who prayed about the Book of Mormon and found out that it was true, dropped us. So that was stinky. BUT. We are going to find those who have been prepared.

The woman we live with sent me a letter because Sister Knowlton gets like ten letters a week and I didn't get any. So that was nice--cough cough, MOM and DAD, cough cough.

I love you all and pray for you! Jesus loves you, too!

Love,
Sister Hardy

Pictures:
The first picture is some new born kittens that we got to play with yesterday! One of them squeezes himself through the cage's wall because he is still so little.

The car belongs to a member in my ward and it is AWESOME! He is pretty cool and so is his wife. They give us ice cream and candy and peanut butter m&ms. We love them!

The third is of me and some really squinty eyes and one of the pit bull puppies! They were so adorable!!