Thursday, May 22, 2014

Hello From Colorado :)

Week of 28 April through 4 May: Bible Park, AKA the Promised Land         

Hi all!! This week was absolutely amazing! Bible Park ward is phenomenal. I LOVE IT HERE. There are twenty-six apartment complexes and soooo many people from other countries! It is sooo cool! Just in this week, we have taught people from Iraq, West Africa, and several people from Liberia!! Isn't that amazing?!
We met this woman named Soe this week. She is from Liberia and she is a very strong Christian. That woman is also very passionate and can quote scripture like no other! She is amazing! We had Evelyn, a recent convert, come with us to her lesson and it was the more miraculous thing! Soe was not understanding the purpose of the Book of Mormon and due to her HEAVY accent, which is beautiful by the way, we were missing something. We could explain clearly enough to understand her concern. Well because Evelyn is from Liberia and could understand her, Evelyn was a huge help in aiding Soe and her understanding! Not only that but Soe and Evelyn were so loud in that lesson, it was hilarious! It was amazing! The Spirit was there.
We also met this woman, Veronita, who is from Liberia (whom Evelyn knows--everyone from Liberia here knows each other! It is amazing!). She feels that the message that we share with her is true, but she doesn't feel that she needs to be baptized again because she has already been baptized. We tried to help her understand the importance of the priesthood, but she wasn't understanding. It was very hard, but what we should have done was open the Book of Mormon and we didn't! SO next time that is what we are going to do!!
Also something that I have recently discovered that doesn't have anything to deal with missionary work is that I cannot stay still. REALLY bad. Something also completely unrelated to missionary work is that I had African food this week for the first time in my life and it was super spicy! But it was soooo good!!
Back to business. We met with Cisse (whom I have met before when I was on exchanges with Sister Hand last transfer) three times before he was baptized on Saturday! It was amazing! We had a few commandments left to teach him--like the law of tithing, the law of fasting, keeping the Sabbath day holy, etc. And he committed to keep them all! Without even second guessing! It was amazing! He was pretty excited to be made clean at his baptism!! It was amazing!!!!!!!!!!!
We also had a mission leadership council meeting. It was fantastic! Basically what happens is the leaders of the mission get together and hear trainings by our mission president and his assistants, and his wife. It was amazing. My testimony of this gospel was strengthened tremendously. I LOVE THIS GOSPEL. Something that President Toombs talked about while we were there was that if we don't experience trails, how will we ever grow? How can we grow if we never experience hard times. The answer? We can't. We cannot grow unless we have hard times. Jesus lives! I know it!
Love you all!
Sister Hardy
Week of 5 May to Mothers Day!            
First off, Happy belated Mothers day to all the mothers out there! Secondly, it was so wonderful to talk to my family! It's crazy. It doesn't even seem like I've been gone! I'm grateful to know that families can be together forever!
This week was pretty busy. We had two zone meetings this week---since Sister Mata'itusi and I are over two zones of sisters, we needed to go to both. It was really good. We also got to go on our first exchange of the transfer with Sister B and Sister F. It was great! I stayed in Bible Park with Sister B.
But on to the more important details of missionary work. We met with a young woman, Princess, who is from Liberia three times this week and it was very much needed. We met with her on Monday and we needed to teach the first lesson again to help her understand the authority. However, things still weren't clicking for Princess so we drew it out and it worked!! We drew a little stick figure that represented Jesus Christ and drew out 12 more stick figures to show that Christ gave His authority to the 12 apostles. And then we continued to draw out how Christ established one church, but how after his death and then the death of his apostles the authority--the priesthood--was gone. And now we have all these different churches! Well, she really understood then! It was amazing! (Sorry for my horrible story telling and grammar).
On Tuesday, we saw Fanta and her family! Her mother, Annie, made dinner for us which was DELICIOUS and super spicy! In Liberia, they eat everything with this tiny little, VERY HOT peppers. Anyone who knows me knows that I love spicy food and that it doesn't bother me. Well, this spicy food made me drink about 2 liters of water. It was SO HOT. But it was soooo good. Sister Mata'itusi had one of the peppers on her plate and put it in her mouth, but luckily, Annie stopped her before she died!!! All of us were relieved and the kids, Fanta's children, were hilarious! Fanta is still set for her baptism on the 30th of May and two nights ago she set up her baptismal program! We are soooo excited!
On Wednesday and Thursday, we had our zone meetings and that was a great spiritual boost for all of us. We heard trainings on discouragement, conversion, gaining member trust, and how to help those we teach keep their commitments. I learned a lot. After one of the meetings, we went on exchanges and that went really well. Sister B is from Hawaii and she is an amazing young woman! She is just incredible. She has a strong conviction of her need to be out here on a mission! I love her strength!
While on exchanges, we went to see a man named Isaac, whose wife joined the church back in August. The missionaries have been teaching Isaac for quite some time, but we can't seem to find what Isaac is having troubles with. We brought a man from the ward, Brother K. It was just what Isaac needed. We talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ--faith, repentance, baptism, confirmation, and enduring to the end. The spirit was in that lesson and I believe that we are another step closer to helping Isaac come closer to Christ!
We met with Zoe again this week (in last week's email I wrote "Soe," but it's actually Zoe). We asked her how her reading has been and she responded with a synopsis of the first few chapters of the Book of Mormon. It was extremely impressive! She has such a strong understand of God and Jesus Christ, but not only that she understands the role of the Holy Ghost--as a bearer of the truth. He testifies to us and he can teach us! She has a very strong understanding of the Godhead! Amazing!!
There was so much more that happened this week, but these are the highlights and the miracles!
I love you all!!!
Sister Hardy


Week of 12 May to 18 May:            
We had some really good days this week. What am I saying? Everyday is an amazing day on the mission! We had zone conference, exchanges, and a baptism! This zone conference was President Toombs's last zone conference, as well as many other missionaries. It's so interesting to see the change that comes from spending our time in the service of the Lord. It is amazing.
Here is some highlights from the week.
--We met with Fanta this week and she is still set for baptism on the 30th of May. It is amazing to see how ready she is for the gospel! I absolutely love her! She is just an amazing example to me of what faith means! She hasn't even been baptized but she KEEPS all the commandments--the word of wisdom, the law of tithing, you name it! She is absolutely amazing. We are so excited to see her get baptized. We asked her children if they could do the stanky leg and Fanta's daughter could and they all made me do it! It was terrible. And then they laughed at me. (If you are reading this and wondering what the stanky leg is, google it.)
--We met with Zoe this week again and it was amazing! I absolutely love her! She came to our ward Barbeque and it was so much fun with her being there. We were teaching her about the Plan of Salvation and she knew SO MUCH ABOUT IT! IT was absolutely amazing! The spirit was so strong in the lesson. She feels that the Book of Mormon is true. She is still very apprehensive about coming to church, but we are trying to resolve her concerns! She has an amazing new friend named Evelyn, who like Zoe is also from Liberia! Evelyn has such a strong testimony of this gospel it's just extraordinary!
--THEN. On Saturday, Michelle's mother--do you remember Michelle? all the way back from August? Well her mother got baptized on Saturday and it was amazing! Since August, she, her father, her sister, and now her mother have all joined the church! I think of the scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants, "Mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts!" It is so true!
That is all the time I have for this week, but remember that Jesus loves you!
Sister Hardy

Saturday, May 3, 2014

A Few Weeks of Posts :)

Week of 7 April-13 April: Sunburn and snow  
This week was absolutely GORGEOUS! Sister Reynolds and I were outside a lot this week and I got really bad sunburn, which hopefully will turn into a tan. Let's cross our fingers! AND. You will never believe where I went on Monday?!?! PANERA. Yes. Reunited and it feels so good! We have a Panera in our area!!! #tendermercies. And Sister Reynolds experienced her first ever meal from Chick-fil-a! (There used to only be one in the other mission and now there is one in our district boundaries!!) Sister Reynolds also had her first 7-Eleven Slurpee! It was pretty great, but not as wonderful as the miracles that happened this week!
First thing is first. We met with Pascal--who is AMAZING. He has been very prepared by the Lord, but his wife isn't interested. She is trying to be more religious, but Pascal said that she is very far from her church and that he has come a long way. He told us that really wants to make this journey with her. Family is so important to him, as it is in our church. Missionaries will find him one day when he and his wife are both ready. I am sure of it!
This week we also met Joe and Simon. We were out walking on Wednesday and we saw a young guy taking a break from mowing, so we decided to talk to him! It was a miracle. He was so receptive. We introduced ourselves and he told us that his name was Simon and we just really tried to get to know him. He told us that he used to go to church regularly, but that he got out of the habit. He said that he is interested in getting more actively involved in church. Unfortunately, he doesn't live in our area! He lives in downtown Denver. It was a blessing to meet him though!
That same day, we were trying to contact a former investigator, Gene, and the address that was written didn't exist, so we decided to knock the doors closest to that house number. That is when we met Joe! AND HE IS A HIPPIE. HE EVEN HAS A HIPPIE VAN. Joe is pretty cool. He has a cool van and a ponytail and a sweet name. Anyways, Joe said that he very open to hearing what others believe. He talked about his belief in God and it was awesome. We are going to see him in 2 weeks! Holla. --SIDE NOTE: One of the coolest things about being a missionary is that you meet so many different people. I also figured that I wouldn't meet any hippies since I am so FAR from Boulder, CO.
On Thursday, we had an interesting visit with a woman, Pearl, and her son, Ron. They were in our area book and they totally wanted to bash with us, BUT it didn't work. We stayed strong and it was awesome!!
I love this work so much. I love missionary work. I truly have found myself by losing myself in this work. One of the many paradoxes of this gospel.
I love you all!
Sister Hardy
Funny quote of the week:
"Before I date, I want to court my future spouse." ---Hope (8 year old in the ward)
 This is me and Hope! She loves Duck dynasty just like me!! We have a special bond.

TRANSFERS! Bye, Willow Creek! Hello, Bible Park! ‏           
I was only in the willow creek ward for 6 short weeks! As opposed to my last area (Thornton--where I served for SIX months)! I have a new companion now, Sister Mata'itusi! Remember her from the MTC? Oh yeah. We are in Bible Park and this place is SO DIVERSE!!! I LOVEEEEEE it. (Remember when I went on exchanges with Sister Hand two weeks ago? Well, that place is where I am serving now!!!)
During our last week together, Sister Reynolds and I had a LOT of fun doing missionary work. We met with this one woman, Natalie, who hasn't been to church is quite sometime. However, she is so much more open to everything now! She is softening and she has been strongly fellowshipped by the women in the Willow Creek ward. SHE IS PROGRESSING!!! Can I get a "Hallelujah!"?
Then, Sister Reynolds and I went by a potential investigator, Sujai (who is from India); however, he wasn't home! But just a couple apartment buildings down, there is a less active woman, Debbie. So we tried her! And she let us in and we just really got to know her and set up a time to come back. AND THEN. She surprised us by coming to church on Sunday!!! AW yeah!!
Also, we went to a member's home looking for their son and daughter-in-law who live with them (however, they were both sick :( ), so we talked to the member, Brother S and he is a BOSS. He told us to go see 6 of the neighbors on his street! And he took us over to three of them!!! IT WAS AMAZING. Miracles happened. We met one of his neighbors, Peter. We set up a time to meet with Peter on Sunday and we met with him yesterday and it was a miracle!!!! I loved it!
Well, that is all for now!
I love this gospel. I know that Jesus is the Christ and that He leads and directs the church today! I love you all!
Love, Sister Hardy

First off, Happy Easter!!
Secondly, Joyce got baptized!! Do you all remember Michelle? I taught her back in July when I was in Malley ward! Well, her little sister, Joyce, got baptized! Isn't that exciting! During the baptismal service, Michelle bore her testimony about the gospel and it was so powerful! She has completely changed. Remember Alma's words in Alma 5? "Have ye been spiritually born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?" WELL. Michelle TOTALLY has. She has a brighter countenance. I wish I could have you all see a before and after picture! It's incredible!! And her father, Mike, has completely changed, too!! It's incredible!! They are both SO HAPPY. This gospel brings a fullness of joy that no worldly thing can fabricate.
Third, I want to let ALL of you know how thankful I am for the Easter season. What a beautiful thing to celebrate! The Savior's Atonement!
Again in Alma, seventh chapter, we read:
11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
Because of the Savior's Atonement, death has no sting, the grave no victory, and ALL of our sorrows can be swallowed up in the hope of Christ!! Of this I know. I have a stronger testimony of this since being out here on a mission!! I love the Savior, Jesus Christ. But more importantly, he loves us! If you haven't seen the "Because of Him" video, watch it now! --you will not regret it!
Alright. So this week, Sister Reynolds and I came up with a goal. And so far, miracles have happened!! Let me preface it with, every time we park to go visit someone, we say a prayer. Well, our goal is that after every prayer we say, we have to talk to three people we weren't planning on talking to if the appointment falls through. It may not seem like much, but by the end of the day, we sometimes have met SEVERAL people who are interested............
For example, one day this week, we were trying to contact a woman, Charity, whom we have met before. WELL, not to our surprise, she wasn't home, so we still had to talk to three people before we got back in the car. So we walked for a bit and met a man named, Kyle, who happens to be a leader in one of the local churches here. Then we tracted into an active member family in the ward--I am embarrassed to say that that is not the first time. But, we still needed one more person, so we knocked on the door across the street from the family's house, and we met Adam! Adam is a tattoo artist and musician, whose mother just recently passed away, and he is interested in learning more about the gospel. We set up a time to meet with him on Sunday, but he forgot that it was Easter and called us back and told us that he really wants to talk to us about what we believe but that Easter Sunday wasn't a good day. Things didn't work out exactly as we had planned, BUT we are going to see him sometime this week!!!
We also met some other potentials! Evan, Sujai, Neha, Dalva, Gabbie, and Mitzi!! I mean we met a lot of other people, but these are the ones who are quite promising! I shall
We visited with a less active couple that the Spirit totally led us to--Olivia and Jim. It was incredible. We didn't even have their records. #miracles. Even though neither of them have been at church in quite sometime, they both have such an amazing testimony of the love of our Heavenly Father. They are amazing people!!
I am just about out of time. I love you all and I love this gospel! Jesus lives! And because he lives, we, too, will live again!
Love, Sister Hardy
AT JOYCE'S baptism! I have such a derp face on, but I don't care! Joyce got baptized!!! (Sister Knowlton and I were reunited once again!) o come later!
This week we gave a dog a bath for service! Pretty fun, eh? This dog's name is Major Paine, and you can see he is part bear.
Also! We had a visitor from back home! Kevin! When we pulled up to our ward mission leader's house, I saw a pick up truck with a New York license plate and I about died!!