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


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