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.

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!
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!

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