Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Week of September 8th and Week of 15 Following the Spirit‏

This week has been incredible!!! Sister Packer and I with our zone and our mission fasted this week---over 200 missionaries with our mission president and his wife! I received so much strength! We fasted because Elder Larry R Lawrence of the second quorum of the seventy came to our mission! It was intense. He called me to repentance! (Not me specifically, but I definitely have a different mindset about things--look for the picture! Ain't he cute?!) We talked about the necessary things we must do to hasten the work AND his wife even spoke to us about the elect--those who are prepared and ready for the Gospel. ANDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD guess what Sister Packer and I fasted about? THOSE EXACT THINGS. Crazy, eh? President Mendenhall always says, "God does not do random." There is not a doubt in my mind that Heavenly Father touched our hearts because of the desires we have to hasten the work! I have LEARNED SOOOOO MUCH! It is awesome. Oh and Elder Lawrence interviewed me and Sister Packer. CRAZYYYYYYYY.

Well. On to the rest of my week. We were able to have interviews this week with President and Sister Mendenhall. The Mendenhalls do things a little differently. We are interviewed by BOTH of them as opposed to just the president and it's really cool! It's super cool. President Mendenhall challenged me to pray with just gratitude prayers. I tried it out and man I stumbled and stumbled. There would be SO many times, embarrassingly enough, where I would ask for a certain blessing and have to go back and say, "Wait! No! I mean..." Note: ASKING FOR BLESSINGS FROM HEAVENLY FATHER IS NOT A BAD THING. President Mendenhall was not saying that. He didn't even insinuate it, but it helped me realize something that I already knew: I cannot do this by myself. For example, I didn't just say, "I am thankful for our ability to teach Wendy," but instead, "I am thankful for the blessings that you have brought to Wendy and to the Spirit that I know she will feel as she reads for the Book of Mormon." I seriously was mind boggled at how much I need help. I didn't realize how much I really truly ask for until I accepted President's challenge and followed through on it. Man. I love this Gospel.

Something Sister Packer and I did this week was make applesauce for a couple in the ward! They needed a few extra hands (they have two apple trees in their yard and a pear tree and a plum tree and so we were greatly needed to help!) and so we gladly volunteered and we had a blast! Sister Packer and I went home with three containers full of homemade applesauce, a dozen apples, kale chips, and later, they made apple cake for us. Service really brings a happy heart.

So. About Wendy. We saw her twice this week and invited her to come to church, and she didn't. We were so sad! Especially since it was the primary program and the spirit was super strong--WE HAD SOOOOOO MANY PEOPLE THERE (I felt like I was back home in Canandaigua ward). Anyways, we were uber sad and we stopped by her place and talked to her and taught her once again--differently than we have, Elder Lawrence Corbridge from the seventy teaches that investigators need to hear things seven different times, seven different ways until they REALLY get it. Something that was really amazing was that we could see the wheels turning in Wendy's mind as we explained the importance of church, prayer, and reading from the Book of Mormon. Note: we the missionaries DO NOT CONVERT PEOPLE. The Spirit does. Anyways, we felt that we needed to again invite her to prepare for baptism and we invited her for the first Sunday in October and she said, "Yeah, I'll be ready by then!" Boom shot. Follow the Spirit, kids. Oh and stay in school.

To end off our week, we had dinner with this family from Mexico--they are INCREDIBLE. Brother M is incredible. He always teases us and he looks like Gavino! Gavino from my first area! He is so awesome! Anyways, while we were there we asked about their missionary work and the three M girls talked about their experiences and it was so wonderful to see their testimonies of the gospel and how they have influenced their friends. Side note: Kenia has a friend named Alma Younger. YES. It's true. And Alma isn't a member of the church. Super cool. We then asked them who of their neighbors could we go and say a prayer with and they gave us a family to go see in their neighborhood! It was awesome. Their neighbors weren't interested, but that doesn't matter. It's the invitation that does.

This gospel is true. It's incredible. No matter the difficulties in the mission my testimony remains strong and becomes stronger and stronger each day. I love this work! I love the Lord! I love you all!

Love, Sister Hardy
View larry-r-lawrence-large.jpg in slide show

 Elder Larry R Lawrence
Somebody sent us flowers! Hahahha! Kidding. We were tracting and we saw these and took a picture
 with them :D

I got to see Sister Holiday!!!

And, Sister Reynold, oh I miss her accent!
Week of 15 Sept through 21 Sept 2014: Following the Spirit            

Firstly. Can you believe it is almost October? We were in Safeway (a grocery store here) and I was amazed that there is Halloween candy out already! I didn't buy any though :)

This week has been an incredible week of following the Spirit. There were so many times this week where Sister Packer and I had made plans and the Spirit told us otherwise.

Example one. On Tuesday around 7:30pm, we were tracting (knocking doors) and trying to find some people to teach. Well, no one answered the door who was the least bit interested. We get a phone call and it's our 8pm appointment cancelling--which is probably the worst time for someone to cancel, but it happens. Well, me being me and my companion being Sister Packer, we REALLY need to use the restroom--See, mom! I am drinking enough water :). Anyways, because no one is letting us in, we need to find somewhere. We get in the car and start driving to a recent convert's home, but then, a thought comes for us to go see a sister in the ward who is much closer. We call her and she's home and says we can come over. We get there and she is distraught. She had just had a fight with her daughter and is so upset. Talk about a miracle! We saw a prayer with her and end up teaching a lesson. The spirit was so STRONG.

Example two: We had an appointment with a potential, Jose' that we had met contacting at this one apartment complex. Anyways, he wasn't home. So we wanted to see a former that lives in that same area. Well. We go over there and we meet this woman, Betsy. She tells us that Maranda (the former investigator) doesn't live there anymore. Betsy begins to tell us all of these horrible things that are going on in her life: bed bugs (she had to trash her mattresses), landlord lost her rent check, she has an infection, and her dad just passed away. Shoot dang. She begins to cry and we invite her to learn more about what we share with people and she accepts. We set up a time to come back and when we do, Sister Packer asks Betsy if she is ready to change. Betsy, without hesitation, says "Yes." Thank you, Heavenly Father!

Example three: Last night it was raining, cold, and it was dark outside. We were going to try to contact a couple of potential investigators, but it was way too dark and it wasn't right. Anyways, we try this former investigator, Ryan. AND HE'S HOME and like SUPER happy to see us! He invites us in (there was a less active sister there!) and we set up a time to come back and it was lovely. SO HAPPY.

I love you all! The gospel has been restored and I know that Jesus lives!

Love you!
Sister Hardy


Monday, September 8, 2014

Week of 2 September - 7 Sept 2014‏

Welllllllll! I have a new companion! Her name is SISTER PACKER! Yes, she is related to the hilarious Packer family back in Thornton. Love her to pieces. Sister Hanshaw is now in Brighton and I am still in Bible Park. Going on 6 months--woot woot! This place is amazing! And I am so loving it :D.

My last week with Sister Hanshaw went by SO FAST. We had a LOT of fun (and some crazy) things happen. We went to a museum on P-day and there were some members of the Littleton stake there! And then we got free cookies from another member when we went out for lunch. For example, we went on exchanges with some Sisters in the stake and we were meeting up to exchange back--I was in Greenwood village for the night with Sister Wily. Anywho, Sister Hanshaw and I got locked out of the car after 9pm. IT WAS HORRIBLE. Luckily, the Greenwood village sisters were still there and we sat in their car and waited for the magic door unlocker to come save us! YAY!

We met this amazing woman from England, Betty, and she has the coolest accent--she made me miss my dear Sister Reynolds! Well Betty hasn't been to church in years and so we began teaching her the missionary lessons. It was very interesting to see how necessary this gospel is in order to find TRUE happiness. Side note, she has a dog named Hillary and that dog does NOT like me. She growled at me like the entire lesson. I'd reach for my scriptures and she would bark and bark. Is it bad that I thought it was so comical?

OH! And Bruce got baptized! He is such a sweet man. He really has such a big heart and he calls us his family. SO PRECIOUS. Bruce has been a breeze to teach. He gave up coffee like it was __________. He is so amazing! He really was so prepared--such a beautiful soul.

Honestly, I can't remember the rest of the week, so I will give you a rundown about what happened last night after transfers. SO. S Packer and I were driving down the street and we feel this prompting to stop this guy (blue shirt) who was walking on the sidewalk, so we find a place to park in a nearby plaza and walk really quickly to try and catch up with him. Well, he is walking WAY too fast. The only way Sister Packer and I are going to catch up with him is to run. And we see this other guy (black shirt) and we try to start talking to him, but he's not interested, so we ask each other, "Should we chase that man(blue shirt)?" Immediately, I think, "No, that would be creepy." And then the Atonement pops into my head and I say, "You know what?! He needs this!" And then we chased the guy down the street. Yep. His name is Ben and his best friend is a member of the church and he said that he doesn't have any intentions on changing his religion, BUT we got his number and he said we could meet up. Isn't that awesome!?

AND THEN. Right after, we had down on our plans to go see a recent convert (we didn't have a set appointment) and it just didn't feel right. We felt that we needed to go see a woman, T, who hasn't been coming to church consistently. So we go over there and it wasn't a good time, but we set up another time. Anyways, Sister Packer suggests that we try to find out where this other woman lives that we saw before we saw T. So we try to see where she could have gone into with no luck, but then we see a man changing a tire! We go and introduce ourselves and he tells us his name is Silver and he is from Honduras. Anyways, we start teaching him about the Restoration and he asks us a whole bunch of super awesome questions AND we have an appointment with him later this week!

Follow promptings. They know the way.

I love this gospel more and more everyday! I love my mission! I love being a missionary! I love seeing the change that happens in others, but I have loved seeing the change that my mission has brought about in me!

I love you all!
Sister Hardy

We had a sisters meeting for the missionaries in the stake! I love them so much!

One HUGE thing I have learned in the last 14 months is that the older I get, the more the time flies. Seriously, I feel like summer just started yesterday, and now it is September! Holy cannoli! Note to reader: enjoy EVERY day.

Now for my weekly report. Alright. SO. Sister Packer and I were trying to find people to teach and we were at this apartment complex trying to see this woman, but she wasn't home. Well, we knocked on this other door because I had seen an investigator there some months earlier. There was an answer and the woman was actually someone that the sisters taught once before very briefly, so that turned into just casual conversation. We decided to leave, but when we were on our way to the car we heard some voices coming from an apartment on the third floor of the building and so we made our way up there, thinking it was a prompting, and miracle! A family from the Middle East answered the door and let us say a prayer of peace over their home. The daughter who let us in told us that they believe in Christ as more than a prophet--well, at least that's what we gathered from the conversation. She had a pretty awesome and thick accent. (Seriously. I LOVE being a missionary. You meet so many people from different walks of life!) She told us that we were welcome to come back and you know we jumped on that offer. The problem is that she works 2 jobs, so it might be a bit crazy to get a time to stop by. But if it's meant to be, it will be!

We also had an amazing miracle on Tuesday. We stopped by a referral and taught this potential investigator from Ethiopia, Sonia. She had some awesome questions about the Book of Mormon. She was really confused as to why we have the Book of Mormon and so we shared with her the reasons behind another volume of scripture and we were horrible missionaries and didn't have a copy on us, so we had to bring her a copy the next day. Well, we knocked on Sonia's door with the Book of Mormon and her face just lit up and she was SO excited. She was so thankful for it. Sonia made it seem like we were giving her gold! When she reads it, she will come to know that we are giving her something far beyond the price of gold.

On Sunday, we had the opportunity to visit with an older couple in the ward. The wife has had her cancer come back FOUR times and this past week she found out it came back again! (There is a word for that, but I can't think of it). Anyways, we went over to comfort and to invite the spirit into their homes. The husband said that she would enjoy it. Well, as we talked with her I was touched at the faith that both she and her husband have. Although cancer has been at the door for the past several years, we were all reminded of what the Savior has done for each of us. He has suffered, bled, and died. He has lived out lives. He knows our circumstances and the reality of our trials--because He has lived them. I know that He lives. I know that Jesus is the Christ. This knowledge has changed me more than I can say!

I love you all! Remember to brush your teeth and say your prayers!
Alma 7:11-13
Sister Hardy