Monday, December 15, 2014

10 Nov -16 Nov: SNOW.

This week I froze! But it was so good because it got us in to a lot more doors!
Example, we finally got to see Darshelle again! It was such a tender mercy! We taught her the Restoration, even though she has already heard it and it was wonderful. The Spirit was there. It was cool to see the light that came into her eyes. She is an amazing person. We will be seeing her tonight and we are so excited! She has accepted baptism! Woot woot!
Remember Dave? Well, he is STILL reading and he kind of gets frustrated because he doesn't really understand what he reads. But, he is praying and on Tuesday when we saw him, we were teaching him all about the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End). Well, we talked about repentance and baptism. As we began talking about baptism, he chirped up and said, "I have a question. Can a person be baptized into a different church?"
In my head, I'm thinking, "HALLELUJAH!"
We answer him by explaining how we only need baptism once IF it's performed by the Priesthood authority. He nods and we see a light turn on in his head and we know that's our cue. We then invite him to be baptized and he tells us that he has been thinking about it and wants to know what he needs to do to get baptized! At this point, my spirit is dancing.
AND! He came to church. Awww yeah.
We had a neat experience this week. We were teaching a recent convert. She has had some very negative feedback from some of her family after joining and it has been causing her to doubt her testimony. She is not even sure if God exists. I've never talked about it in my emails, but at the very beginning of my mission, I questioned my testimony--BIG TIME. I even doubted that God existed. I was struggling hard core. I had to do some soul searching and I finally received my answer to which I know with more of a surety that I have ever known that God is real and that He truly is our Heavenly Father. How would I have been able to help this poor girl unless I had been there myself? Truly the Lord loves His children. He allows certain people to come into our lives to help us and also for us to help.
I love you all! The church is true! Jesus Christ is truly our Savior. These things I know.
Love you! Sister Hardy

AND THEN THERE WAS SNOW. Saturday afternoon. We got stuck going up this hill. We have this TINY car. We had to turn around and go another way because we couldn't make it!

I forgot how easily I freeze! 

My last zone conference. WEIRD!

PUPPIES! "My favorite animal is puppies." 

3 Nov - 9 Nov 2014: DAVE!

As always, this past week was wonderful. We always enjoy our weeks as missionaries! Some are more rough than others, but this week was great!
On Tuesday, I met Angelica! She is in her early twenties and she is the bees knees. She told us that she is seeking to have a relationship with God because she knows that is what will help her. She has so much faith! She expressed that she had gone down a bad road and that now she wants to straighten up her life and live her life with God. We shared the Restoration with her and we asked her what her thoughts were and she said that it is possible that it could be true. I think she said something along the lines of "With God anything is possible." Holler. Anyways, we are SO excited about teaching her!
Then we saw Dave! Remember Dave? Guess what? He smiled like four times while we saw him this past week! He's been reading from the Book of Mormon and of course, like all missionaries, we were STOKED about that! He told us that he still doesn't understand it and we have reassured him that he will come to understand. ALSO. He came to the Ward Chili Cook-off which was delicious and I seriously wish we could have one of those every week. Anyways, he wasn't able to come to church because he absolutely had to sign some paper work for his grave. I didn't realize that people buy their graves and such before they die. I can dig it :). Like my pun?
Wednesday, we had the chance to help with a missionary activity with the youth. We taught the youth how to teach the first lesson in Preach My Gospel. We had to teach them in 15 minutes how to teach it. It was a lot of fun. Then they practiced teaching the elders after we taught them what to teach. We told them that they needed to start with a prayer, teach the doctrine, leave a commitment, and end with a prayer. We also encouraged them to invite those they taught to be baptized. Apparently only a few actually did it! Hahaha! I wish I had more of an idea of what missionary work was like before I came out. I was always so dumbfounded when I went out with the sisters!
Later in the week, one of the women we are teaching texted us and asked if we could come over that night. Luckily, we were able to arrange something so we could make it to Marissa's. She expressed her concern about life and we shared with her the importance of reading from the Book of Mormon and why and how it will help her. We will be seeing her tonight and I have faith that she read!
I love this gospel. There were some verses in the Doctrine and Covenants that I read this week that really resonated with me.
Doctrine and Covenants 101 :35-36
 35 And all they who suffer persecution‍ for my name, and endure in faith, though they are called to lay down their lives for my sake‍ yet shall they partake of all this glory. 36 Wherefore, fear not‍ even unto death; for in this world your joy is not full, but in me your joy‍ is full.
In this life our joy will not be full, but in the next, with Jesus Christ, we will have a fullness of joy if we endure in faith!
Love you all!
Sister Hardy

Enjoying a lovely evening at a restaurant! We had a gift card. 

Week of 27 October - 2 November 2014: Work! Work! Work!

Oh my goodness! This week has been a week full of fun and craziness! So many miracles have happened.
For example, Sister Harker and I were driving down the road and we see this man waiting for the bus on Sable Ave.  We pull over and run up and go talk to him. His name is Rommy. He told us that he had only been in Aurora for a couple of days and that he was very spiritual. He rejected us, but it wasn't too bad. We went back to the car and went to the place where we were going to contact people that missionaries had met in the past. We go there and about an hour later, we realize that the phone is gone. Said a prayer. We knew exactly where to go--the bus stop where we met Rommy. We get there and it's not on the ground and no one is around us and so just as we were about to leave, this man comes out of one of the apartments and asks if we lost a phone. We told him that we had and he said that he had called the bishop to pick it up and that he was on his way! How did he know to call him? Miracle.
Also, after several visits, Dave finally read from the Book of Mormon! Hallelujah! Also, another person that we are teaching, Jodon, has been reading from the Book of Mormon nearly everyday and praying everyday! AND. We are also teaching Jodon's brother, Patrick, and he is still excited and ready to be baptized! When we have taught him the commandments, like tithing, we invite him to keep those specific commandments, and he has hesitated, but every time he has accepted. He understands that the decision he is making to be baptized isn't of small significance, but rather of great importance.
Something else that happened this week was we met Vanessa. I was on exchanges in a different area (which was a bummer because this incredible thing happened!) with Sister Bird. Anyways. We knock on this door and meet this young girl, Vanessa. We talk with her for a little bit and Sister Bird really needs to use the restroom (missionary problems), so she asks if she can use Vanessa's and she invites us into her home. Well, turns out that Vanessa had company, a family from Ghana was visiting her family. When Sister Bird comes out of the bathroom, a man calls for us to come to him, Steven. He asks us to sit and we pray with him. He then asks us what message we have to share with him. We begin to share the starting points of the Restoration of the gospel. Steven then asks if he can share something with us and opens to John 14. He reads most of the chapter and puts emphasis on verses twenty six and twenty seven:
26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
 27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
He tells us that he recognized us as servants of the Lord because of the name that we bear on our nametags. He says that we were sent to him and his family from God. He knew that because of the name that we bear! How incredible is that!!
As missionaries, we really represent Jesus Christ. Just as if He were on the Earth, we are doing what He would be doing--teaching, ministering, bring peace.
Truly the Lord loves us! He allowed us to have such an amazing experience with Steven and his wife, Chosen. Miracles.
The Gospel is true. I know this.
I love you all!
Sister Hardy

Look at that beautiful Colorado sky! 

Getting gas at a really really old gas station in the heart of Aurora! 

20 October - 26 October 2014: Sable.

We have had so much fun this week! Missionary work is so much fun. A lot of missionaries forget that helping other to come unto Christ is actually fun! I love it! As President Mendenhall says, "If you aren't smilin', then you don't have the gospel!" Great words to live by.
I met a lot of amazing people this week! On Monday night, we met with Marissa (Ma-ree-suh). Turns out we came at the perfect time. She was super stressed and having family issues and she just broke down.
However, I think the greatest miracle came when we met Darshelle. She had been given a copy of the Book of Mormon a couple months ago and Sister Harker went to follow-up before I got there. Turns out Darshelle has been reading bits and pieces of the Book of Mormon since she was given it. She is in 2 Nephi right now! How amazing is that? She told us that she knows she needs to come closer to God.  We asked her why she invited us in and she told us that she needs what we have. We invited her to be baptized and to that she said, "Well, I've been baptized _____ and ______, so why not Mormon?!" We didn't have time to explain the priesthood authority, but we will be doing that this week!
We also met with this young woman, Ley-lonni. She is incredible! She is 15 and she just was baptized! She has such a strong testimony of the gospel. We invited her to read from a chapter in Alma about the Savior's Atonement. Later that night, while Sister Harker and I were preparing for bed, she texted us and told us that she had read the chapter and that she loved it! No recent convert I have every taught in the time I have been here in Colorado has done that! Holy macaroni. She is the bees knees, I'm telling you! She is going to be an amazing missionary--if she decides to serve!
We met this really cool guy this week, Adee. He is in the medical field of and very intelligent and very religious. He kind of wanted to bash with us, but it was so cool because we didn't bash! At the beginning of my mission, I totally would have wanted to bash, but I didn't have any desire to bash. We explained to him that if he wants to learn about what we believe that we will gladly share with him, but when contention comes into the picture, we will need to withdraw ourselves. Discussions are good. Arguments are bad. He was very accepting of our response. I was so happy. Also, he was a pretty cool guy--he speaks French!
This week so many other amazing things happened: we took a picture with this guy and this woman walking her dogs, we invited someone to stop smoking after knowing him for 30 seconds, and we able to see a man begin to understand why our message is so important (Dave). I'll talk more about him later.
If I had to choose one thing my mission has taught me it would be that God's love truly is real. Yesterday during sacrament meeting, we sang "Reverently and Meekly Now" (hymn 185). Some of the words read, "Think of me, thou ransomed one; think what I for thee have done. With my blood that dripped like rain, sweat in agony of pain, with my body on the tree I have ransomed even thee."
The Savior has paid the ultimate price for us. Sin is our captor and Christ has paid the ransom for us to be released.
In the last verse of the hymn it reads, "At the throne I intercede; For thee ever do I plead. I have loved thee as thy friend, with a love that cannot end."
The Savior lives and loves us so much. He pleads our cause before the Father. He makes salvation possible. His love cannot end. The Savior lives!
I love you all!
Sister Hardy

Alex and Ramona!