Wednesday, October 22, 2014

So long Bible Park~ Hello Aurora

 My beloved Sister P! She always comes out with us. SO FUNNY.

 This pretty much sums up my Denver South zone family. Goofy

A LOT of really bizarre, crazy, random things happened this week that have given Sister Packer and I a good laugh (most of the time).

So many miracles have happened his week. First off. Sister Packer and I were dropping off thank you notes to families in the ward for dinner, participating in Wendy's baptism, etc. Well, our new idea for finding was to knock the apartments or houses around those that we dropped notes off to. Tuesday began it all. We dropped off a note and began to knock on the apartments around. We knocked two floors and only one person answered. Not interested. We decided to knock another floor and the first door we knock in, we are welcomed in like royalty. They (a couple and their daughter--Mo and Hodam, their daughter Fatima--sit us down and give us these cute little croissant things and then they bring out drinks for us and chocolates. NO ONE has ever done that for us, granted they don't need to, but it was incredible. We began teaching this family and they really wanted to compare their beliefs with ours, but we began to teach them the first discussion as best as we could and they were fascinated by the Book of Mormon. They were especially fascinated by the fact that we have a copy in their native language. Holler to the gospel for being universal.

Another miracle that happened was while we were on exchanges! I was with dear Sister Francis (who actually served back in Thornton--there's no place like Thornton!) in Bible Park and we were trying to contact some people, which wasn't working out. We talked to this one woman who was super not interested in what we had to say, super nice cute old lady (too many adjectives). We knocked on a few doors--nothing. We saw this woman who was wearing a "I'd rather be in Utah" shirt and so of course, Sister Francis and I start wondering if she has seen missionaries before. Well, we approach her and begin chatting with her, Kelly. Turns out the elders up in Aurora were teaching her about three months ago, but then she moved to Florida for three months and came back and is staying in our area for the time being. MIRACLES HAPPEN (I think I should just title every weekly entry that). Anyways, we got her number and set up a time to see her. I'll let you know how that goes!

Then! This woman that Sister McKenzie (like 4 transfers ago) and I found on exchanges got baptized! Imagine that. That was so cool to see her enter the waters of baptism. She was so ready. Really quickly; here's how we found her. We were looking through former investigator teaching records and found Shelia. WELL. We decide to go see her (I'm just following Sister McKenzie around downtown at the time). We get to the building and it's one of those where you need to get buzzed in--well, we are first trying to figure out which one is her's because there were only first initials and last names on the mailboxes and they said which apartment number--I hope you are following. Anyways, we are trying to figure it out when this woman comes through with her dog and sees us and our name badges and says, "I think you're looking for me." To which we respond, "Are you Shelia?" It was her and she was elect at first sight. AMAZING.

Now here is some humor. We had a bug problem in our apartment this past week--so we have spent the past three days cleaning, bagging clothes, washing clothes, drying EVERYTHING (pillows, blankets, jackets, etc.). Well, we washed our bedding and I threw it all in the dryer. Okay, so I stuffed it full. I didn't want to take so much time doing laundry. Anyways, the dryer got way to hot and burnt a whole through Sister Packer's comforter--whether it caught on fire, whether it just melted the material, we don't know. But I patched it up (it was a softball sized hole). I felt so silly. It looks silly, but at least she can still use it.

And. This next week will be my last in Mount Denver. On Monday the twentieth, I will be heading to the Sable ward in Mighty Aurora. I am excited and sad to leave this place.

I love you all so much. Something that Heavenly Father keeps reminding me about is just how much He really loves His children. He knows each person's struggles and pains--but more than that He loved us enough to let His son suffer, bleed, and die for us. This gospel is true. I know it. I love all of you so so much. Remember that our Father in Heaven will not forsake us. One of our zone leaders this week talked about how we are created to be champions--over sin, over sorrow, over mortality. Remember the champion within.

MOUNT DENVER. There are only five sisters in the zone. When all the missionaries try to get a picture, it's pandemonium. Imagine 20 cameras on self timers all going at different times. Yes. That's it.
I love you!
Sister Hardy

Week of 13 October -19 October 2014: Mighty AURORA            

MY NEW COMPANION. Sister Harker! Yes, Sister Harker and Sister Hardy. It's been making me stumble a wee bit.

My adventures in Aurora actually started Saturday! We exchanged prior to Monday because we could! Also I was a wee bit anxious to get here. Long goodbyes are painful. IT WAS SO HARD TO SAY GOODBYE to Bible Park! Really really hard. I totally cried. However, I am happy and ready to hit the ground running here in Aurora. Note: I have been wanting to serve in Aurora sense I the first three months on my mission. I came here for exchanges with one of the craziest sisters and fell in LOVE with this place. Again, miracles happen. Now I am here to stay! Also, my companion is Sister Harker. She is from Canadia. Oh, sorry Canada, eh? She is pretty cool.
Reasons why Sister Harker is cool:
1. She likes to have a fan on at night for NOISE. We are totally kindred spirits.
2. She loves MUSIC--even the corny EFY music we can listen to out here.
3. She loves the Lord. (She came out on a mission because the Lord told her to! and she followed through!)
As you can see, we are going to get along great this transfer. But, really I love her enthusiasm for the work. She is a hard worker and she truly is so humble. I am so excited that I have the chance to be her companion!
OH! AND. I am no longer a Sister Training Leader. So you know what that means?! MORE TIME. We have some awesome things planned this week!
This past week was amazing. We were able to see a lot of people and do amazing things. One of which was to invite, invite, INVITE people to enter the waters of baptism. We were trained on the importance of baptism in one of our meetings and we were challenged to invite as many people to be baptized as we could. So Sister Packer and I did. The miracles that happened because of that invitation were astronomical. Okay, not really, but they are THAT amazing.
First, we had an appointment with a friend of Bernard's (he was baptized back in July), Aminah. Aminah is 21--my age, which is crazy! She also has the sweetest little baby boy, EJ. Well, we began to teach Aminah and she didn't seem to be listening. But we taught her about how God loves her so much and how she truly can make a change in her life because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We BOTH felt like we needed to invite her to be baptized. My thoughts: "We can't invite her to be baptized! She doesn't even know why it's important!" However, I pushed those thoughts aside and followed my heart and we invited her to be baptized! Her response, "I've been wanting to be baptized for a long time now. I think that's exactly what I need right now in my life." What the what?! Seriously. I thought my jaw was going to hit the floor I was so stunned.
Second, we were late for dinner, but we saw this woman outside playing with her dog. I thought to myself, "Should we go talk to her?" Sister Packer said a prayer when we parked and in her prayer she said, "Heavenly Father, please help us to know if we need to go talk to that woman." So we went and talked to her. Obviously we needed to do that. We introduce ourselves and she tells us that she served as a missionary for her church in Kenya years ago to help with the humanitarian effort. Super cool. We talked to her for a little bit about that and we asked if we could come back and talk with her more. We got her number and yes, we then invited her to be baptized! She told us that she has already been baptized, but that she is willing to talk to us about what baptism means for us. WOWZA.
That night we invited someone else and he was kind of like "Eh. Whatever." which was better than a slammed door, but then a couple days later, we met with this woman, Kelly. We invited her to be baptized, too! And you know what she said? "I would LOVE to get baptized." Have I told you all about how much I love being a missionary?
This week during my studies, I was pondering, I guess, and I was really worried about what the new transfer would hold. I was pretty nervous because I was in Bible Park for 6 months (roughly) and I was SUPER comfortable there. But I saw a quote that I had totally forgotten about and it had been a long time since I read it.
"When is situations of stress we wonder if there is any more of us to give. We can be comforted to know that God, who knows us perfectly, placed us here to succeed. No one was ever foreordained to fail." - Elder Neal A Maxwell
I may have been a bit scared or nervous, but I am not here in Aurora to fail, but to succeed. I am so excited to be here and to watch the Lord continue to hasten His work. This gospel is so true. I know it. I love it. Everyone here in Aurora is thirsting for something--some of those people are knowingly thirsting for the gospel and others don't know what their lives are lacking. I am so excited for all the miracles that will happen here in the Sable ward.
I love you all so very much!!! Heavenly Father lives and loves you!
Love, Sister Hardy

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

"...My joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God."

  Butter beer. Harry Potter :)
Love this family!

Wowza. This week went by SUPER fast.

We had some super cool miracles. First. Sister Packer and I were trying to see a former investigator for our appointment, Ryan. Well, we knock on his door and he isn't home. BUMMED. I was super excited to see him! Anyways, Sister Packer and I have this feeling that we need to go see his friend, Rani--who just so happens to be a member of the church. Well, so we go see Rani because we feel like we need to (and I really didn't want to because I felt that we would be spending our time better else where). Anyways, Rani and her mother are home and we ask them if we can help them in any way. They decline our offer, but Irene (Rani's mom) says, "There is a woman in apt 307. Her name is Brianna and she is looking for a church to go to." WHOA. At this point I'm feeling like David after the dentist, "Is this real life?" We leave and quickly go to see Brianna and talk to her (thankfully she was home! ) AND set up an appointment. We see her on Friday AND she is asking all the right questions and SO OPEN. Miracles. Miracles. Miracles. We couldn't even teach all of the first lesson because she had SO many things to say and questions to ask. IT WAS AMAZING.
Another experience: we were leaving our dinner appointment and we were walking back to the car when we passed a less active member's door. We kept walking and finally, we turned around submitting to the prompting that we were given--we felt that we needed to go back and knock on her door. We go back and knock on her door. While we are waiting for someone to answer, Sister Packer turns to me and tells me that we have knocked on this door before and that Maya, the woman we were looking for, doesn't live there. Sure enough this older woman answers the door and we apologize but offer to say a prayer with her. She accepts and INVITES US IN. Oh yes. We say a prayer with her and we were super STOKED.

Then later in the week, we went on exchanges. I was with Sister Grossman in the YSA ward in the stake. Our eight o'clock appointment cancelled and we were bummed because that is the all time hardest appointment to fill. Anyways, we being trying to find some former investigators and NO ONE is home and/or they don't live there anymore. We are about to go knock on another door when we see this young family in the parking lot running around and having some fun. We approach them and learn that they are from Egypt and just recently moved here. We talk to the wife, Hanaa, while the husband runs around with their little boy. Well, we basically explain why our message is so different from other churches. We talk about prophets and the Restoration a wee bit. We ask if we can come back and talk to her more and she accepts! We will be seeing her family tomorrow night. Miracles happen!

Also. Side note. Sister Packer and I have been listening to this amazing talk! From Mafia to Mormon or something like that. IT IS INCREDIBLE.

The Gospel is true. Jesus lives! He loves us and He is the light of the world. He is the reason we have and find happiness every day.
Love you all! Sister Hardy


 Guess who I got to see!!! SISTER HANSHAW

1. WENDY GOT BAPTIZED! The two little boys are Brian and CP.
2. You know how I love children!

Hi all!
This week was great! We had an AMAZING week. We had the chance to see the movie--yes, A MOVIE--"Meet the Mormons." It was SO GOOD. If any of you have questions about members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you should totally watch this movie. It goes through the lives of six families and they share how our unique message has shaped their lives and why they keep with it. INCREDIBLE.
If you haven't seen the pictures yet, you should look really quickly because WENDY GOT BAPTIZED! Isn't that awesome? She was so ready! When we saw her on Saturday, she told us that when she went to starbucks she didn't get coffee! Aw yeah. We were so proud. Wendy was just GLOWING when she got out of the font. It was incredible. Wendy really understands why her baptism was so important. She understood that her baptism meant she was making a covenant (a two-way, binding promise with God). She was SO ready.
I think the best thing about seeing someone enter the waters of baptism is seeing the change that has taken place. They have a greater light. It's incredible.
Seeing people enter into the waters of baptism helps me remember the missionaries who taught me, my baptism, and my conversion. It helps me remember the happiness that was brought to my family.  We made room for the Lord to bless us and we have been filled time and time again with the blessings that the gospel has brought to our lives. My life has forever been changed. "And whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he" (Proverbs 16:20).
If you have any questions why we pursue sharing our message so strongly, you should listen to this talk give yesterday by one of the apostles of the Lord, Jesus Christ.
Elder David A. Bednar shared with the world yesterday as to why we as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints feel so inclined to share our message with the world. He tells a story of two of his sons. They were outside playing and the younger was scratched up for a little one and needed some tender love and care. The older took the younger inside and washed his brother's arm, put some soothing cream on it, and placed bandages all up and down the boy's arm. The younger brother, when his elder brother was finished, took the bandages and the creme outside with him to help all his friends. I totally butchered the story, but watch it, read it, listen to it, whatever! It all makes sense as to why we freely share our message with those around us. (As you can tell, I loved General Conference! If you haven't watched it, no time is better than now!).
This gospel is true. It has changed me. It can change you!
I love you all!
Sister Hardy

"...My joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God.
"Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things..." (Alma 26:11-12)