Sunday, July 26, 2009

July 15, 2009

Dear Family,
I loved your conversion story mom, and dad I really liked hearing a little about your mission. I was kind of hoping to be able to be humbled by being in a poor country, but that hasn't happened yet. Maybe when I get shipped out to the Islands. Which everyone thinks will happen this transfer. But I really don't want to right now. Later on, I Love this area too much.
EDWIN, PATRICIA, AND ALEXANDER GOT BAPTIZED!!! I have never been so happy. I am thankful to be in a mission where we don't have ridiculous amounts of baptisms, because we really do appreciate the ones that we have. They are the coolest family ever! Before the baptism we had a dinner at the church. There was a lot of people at the church. And Patricia surprised me with a big birthday cake. I really was surprised. Then we had the program. Their two daughters sang "I am a child of God." It was really cool, because now this family will grow in the faith and Edwin and Patricia really can lead and guide those little girls, and become an eternal family. The baptisms went really well, everyone was all nervous with excitement. Patricia told us the next day that when she left the water she really had been born again, because she was just floating on air, doing ditsy stuff all night. All the members said that was the best baptism they have ever been to. Luckily I looked over the confirmation ordinance on the way to church, because when I got there, Patricia asked me to confirm her.
On Monday night was awesome too. We had a family night over at their house. We shared some story from the Liahona about making visitors feel welcome at church, and the kids really loved it, plus it was mostly Edwin and Patricia teaching most of it. That really made me happy to see them all laughing together, learning about the Gospel, and preparing to enter into to the Temple. We also played the "Peep" game after and they loved that.
Thank you so much for the Birthday package. I love the Mindy Gledhill CD! That is my favorite CD ever. The other Girl was also really good, and it is cool that a couple of songs are in Spanish, I really like that. Those shirts are also really nice, how did you know i needed some shirts? They make me look really classy, and that is what it is all about right? All the cards made me laugh, because they were just decked with glitter, one i couldnt even read because it was all glitter.
I cant believe grammy moved out. She is so independent. You got to get me her address. That is really cool what Bishop said, I really do believe it too.
WOW Chacho! En verdad, 114!? Me imagino que puede cocinar un huevo en la calle. Y cuando empezaron tener Zichini? Eso es chevere.
Golfing was super fun! Yes, I lived up to the family name, but luckily everyone sucked too. Well I should be heading out, going to eat some more Lechon today in Guavate, tu sabe!

Love Elder Hardy

July 8, 2009

Life is nice and tranquilo over here. Nothing too new and exciting this past week. But you guys had a big week huh? Yea i miss going to Durango, those were some really good memories. Thanks for remembering me on your trips, and slways sending me postcards, I really do have a family that loves me.
Yes, I really do believe that the sand comes from the Sahara, because I was here and I saw it. I have heard that from a bunch of different people. So dad, don't be like Thomas and just believe without seeing.
Haha, no we are not going to suck the Ward budget dry. For our activities, the church really doesn't have money, so we give everyone assignments. I really like being in Puerto Rico, because the church is a little weaker, and it is cool to really be involved in the church, and helping everything run. If I was in the states, I wouldnt be focused on trying to find a new branch president, or finding new Elders quorum teachers. Bishop actually asks our opinion on a lot of stuff.
I might have to wait till next week to get the watch, vamos a ver, because WE ARE GOING GOLFING TODAY! Haha, over in Salinas, there is a course that is $22 for 9 holes, glubs, and a cart. So we are gonna go kill it on the course today. I am pretty excited. It has been a while since I have played golf on a real course, Desert Golf doesn't count.
It has started to heat up around here. It only rained a couple times in the past two weeks, and it was HOT. There hadn't been clouds for a while, and it was like 95 I heard. But now the storms are coming. I think it going to start raining a lot, so it should cool down a little bit every once in a while.
We have been having success with the inactive members. A family has come two weeks in a row. And this girl, has come the past three weeks, except she only had come for sacrament, but we talk to her last week, and she said that she was reading the scriptures, and wants to serve a mission. How sweet is that!
Edwin, Patricia, and Alexander are still doing really good. They got their baptismal cloths all picked out and cleaned. We gave them a couple ties as gifts, and they are just really excited. Patricia is really excited about being able to get married in the temple.
Hey quick favors, mom could you write me your conversion story, maybe any problems that you faced as you were preparing for baptism? And Dad could you try to write me some letters about your mission. I dont really remember much about your mission. If you could try to send me a letter every once in a while, with a story from your mission, or something you learned on your mission that would be great.
Hey well I love you much, you guys are the best, God knew what he was doing when he put me with you. Read your scriptures every day, and pray for missionary oportunities, and for the strength and knowledge to talk when God gives you the oportunity.

Love you all so much, Love Elder Hardy

p.s.- Here is a family night from me: Talk about the army of God. You can read a little bit about it in Ephesians 6: 10-18 i believe. Talk about how there is a war going on right now, but not physically, but spiritually, and we need to prepare ourselves before we go out to war. Also about some of the other things we can do to protect us. Then read in Alma 43:19 through 21, about how the people of God, prepared themselves with the armor of god against the wicked people. and how the wicked feared the People of God because of their Armor. Also how it was moroni who prepared them, their leader, and how it is the responsability of the parents to prepare their kids. Then read 3 Nephi 4:7-8, talk about how Satan has been fighting this war for a long time, and has learned, now he has his own armor, and other ways to tempt us in these days. But we need to do as the people did and have faith in God, that he can protect us. I dont have my scriptures here with me, so check the verses and everyything, i could be wrong. Alright but thank you, bye.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

July 1, 2009

Wow California sounded fun. That will also be really cool to go on a nice little road trip to Colorado. Everything is really good here, the mission is the best! You can send that package to my house, we have a car and the post office is super close, so send it on over. Oh yea I really liked the Iguanas, it was pretty entertaining, and an "Education Experience" according to the package. I am going to give one to the daughters of Edwin and Alexander, and the other one to a less active we have been working with, she has a bunch of kids. The glasses are really nice, we drive around alot, so I am loving them, thank you. To answer about the 4th of July, yes they do celebrate the 4th of July, except they dont really have big fireworks. I hear they have a big show in San Juan. Pretty much Puerto Ricans will celebrate any holiday, because they just like excuses to get together and drink. They have these big calenders with all these wierd holidays on it.
We were planning a 4th of July ward party, it was going to be sick! We planned Carnival games, hot dogs, of course a big cooked pig, getting some of the members to bring their bands and play in the night time, then having President Dewsnup come down and speak, and then end it with a firework show. I dont think a ward party could get any better than that, and that's what you get when you have 6 Elders in a room for an hour, THE BEST PARTY EVER! Well Bishop decided we need more time to set things up, and that the bands would be too much. But we are doing it July 17 and still calling it a July 4th party.
Alexander is still excited to be baptized. He said that he wants to do it the day before because he wants his friends that he made from the stake activity to come. And Patricia is for sure for the 11th too. We passed by one day, because we contact our investigators with a baptismal date every day, and she was just like hey, im getting baptized with Alexander for the 11th. So we were all excited. I dont know if I told you before, but Edwin said that he wanted to wait until June of 2010 to be baptized, so he can be baptized with their youngest daughter. But last night when we passed by, again another daily contact, he was just chillin on the porch, and when we came up he said hey, I'm getting baptized with my family! Haha, I have never been so happy. Edwin is a really cool guy, he has said from day one that I have talked to him, that he wants to get baptized, but he just kept delaying it. He had work before, but now in August his schedule works out. They are a really cool family, and they will be great in the ward. They have been taking the discussions for about 11 or 13 years. Everyone has their moment, and you never know when someone could have a change of heart, and realize what they need in their lives. Alexander said that he wants me to baptized him, Patricia wants Elder Large, and Edwin wants a member from the ward to do it. So everything is really good with them.
One thing that was pretty cool this week, was that a bunch of sand from the Sahara Desert came. One day we couldnt even see the mountains that are 5 miles away. The sand carries in the wind and storms and stuff, all the way over to Puerto Rico. CAN YOU BELIVE THAT!? FROM AFRICA!!! I think it is crazy. I didnt notice it around me, but when you look at stuff from far away you can really see how much there is. At first i thought it was raining in the mountains, and that why I couldnt see them, but nope, it was sand from the Sahara.
I went on a really fun trade off with an elder in our district this week too, Elder Drollette. He is going to die (end his mission) at the end of the transfer, 4 weeks. So I learned a lot from him. He is a really good teacher, and a really cool guy, we talked for a long time in the night time, lets just say we didnt go to bed at 10:30. But Elder Drollette has been sick, and we finally figuerd out it was from all the sand in the air.
Last week we went to a little shack with palm trees on it that was right next to the ocean. It was beautiful, there was a bunch of palm trees,and we had a strong ocean breeze. The shack also had a spot for BBQ'n so we brought Bratwurst, and smores and stuff, and of course Malta. (You guys should buy some Malta from the store, I drank it in the states one time, but get malta India if you can, Polar is ok, but I like India, the first couple of bottles you will hate, but just keep drinkin it and you will start to like it) It was a really fun time. I was going to send some pics, but i forgot my camera in the car; next week. And then after we went over to this basketball court and played soccer, it was super fun. Just so you know, most of the basketball courst are shaded, they have these huge tin roofs, so it is nice and shady cool. (FYI-Malta is a non-alholic soft drink that is frequently drank in the Caribbean.)
But that is what we are doing this week too. Gonna BBQ and play soccer. Next Pday we are all buying Machetes and hiking up some crazy jungle mountain with some members. Machetes are suprisingly only 7 dollars, and they are big too. It will take a couple hours to get to the top, im pretty excited.
Well family I will let you go, you are in my prayers, and in my thoughts. "We have an important work to do, and we can not come down."

Love Elder Hardy

June 24, 2009

How is it all going? Happy fathers day! A little late, but you know I mean it. What did you get this year? A Tie? Really? Wow, that is really cool, oh whats that? Some socks too! Haha, just kidding, but really. In Puerto Rico they call Fathers day "El dia de los perros." (The day of the Dogs) I dont know if it is supposed to be negative or what. But Bishop got up and was like, "Hey its the of the dogs!" And everyone laughed, and then he explained that he calls it the day of the dogs because the Fathers are the watch dogs of the house, always looking out for the family. So I thought that was a lot better than just calling all fathers dogs.
That is a bummer that there are no sports on right now. And dont you even think about going to a Mercury game dad, I will never let that go that you went to a mercury game, because I know that you arent kidding, and are jsut desperate for sports.
Felix is just too stressed out and depressed, we tried working with him, but he is just not ready right now, we will pass by in a month or two.
But, awesome news! You know that husband and wife we were working with, Edwin and Patricia (Edwins got dredlocks), Their 15 year old son, Alexander, was never interested in listening because his uncle is a pastor and he went to church with him. Anyways, his grandma is a really faithful member, and she invited him to go to some stake young mens activity. Im guessing it is like our high adventure stuff because it was 4 days of camping, but they also did a lot of spiritual stuff. Anyways, Alexander came home after and the first thing he told his mom was that he wants to get baptized in the true church of God. Haha, that is AWESOME! So once we heard that, we went over and talked to him and set a date for the 12 of july. I dont think there can be better birthday gift than that. He was also asking a lot of questions about the mission, and says that he really wants to serve too. STUD!
Then on Monday we had a family night, and his grandma came over, and the whole family was present and listening; Usually that family never all sits together. And we had a really good lesson, the spirit was super strong. At the end Patricia told us that she kept waiting to be baptized because she was waiting for her calling from God. She told us that she kept praying that her son would accept this Church and be baptized. She was all emotional, and said that now she can get baptized. And then the grandma turned over to her son, Edwin, and asked when he is going to be baptized, and he said that he is going to be baptized, he just doesnt have his date yet, he is waiting for God to tell him when. He is a stubburn man, we have taught him so many times that God doesnt want you to wait, get baptized now. He knows the Book of Mormon is true, he knows this is the true church, but he jsut doesnt want to set a date. In August he doesnt have work on Sundays, so his baptism will be in August. So then the grandma says, well Alexander you should wait until August, so it can be a family baptism. Oh I HATE the word "wait". But luckily so does Alexander, and he said, "Wo, wo, wo, I already have my date!" I love Alexander, he is such a stud!
So that is really the highlight of the week. But you all are the best, I miss and love you much.

Love Elder Hardy

June 17, 2009

How is everything going? Mom you are still in california, and dad, im pretty sure you are still out of town, but it sounds like yall are doing amazing. Haha, that Jake cracks me up, I can just see him picking up the speaking and trying to talk to me. Just over a year and I will be there Jake, dont worry about it buddy. That is really cool that guy got bapttized again and is going to church. Invite him over for dinner, get to know his family, make him feel the love from the ward.
Hey I did get that letter from Alison, but that was when my email was dumb, so i couldt do it, and I totally forgot to write back. Alison I am going to write you a letter tonight.
Well we talked to Alberto yesterday, and he told us that he is going to go to his moms church, I knew she would be a problem. But what can you do you know. But we told him he is always invited, and that we are friends, he said of course and told us to stop by when we are in the area. So we will leave him in the area book for a couple of elders in 6 months.
We had a guy come to church last week, named Felix. He is a nice guy, in his 50's, going through a hard time right now because him and his wife are getting divorced. He came to church, knew alot of members, and loved it, he was talking to everyone. After Church we went over to his house and set a baptismal date for the 28 of June. We have only taught him one time, Saturday night, and he went to church, so he has desire, we just have to make sure he understands everything before the 28.
Last week was pretty cool in Guavate, AKA "The pig capitol of Puerto Rico." Pig is a big thing here, and if a place has the best pig on the island, then you know it is going to be BOMB! And it was. It was so tasty. The place we went to was recently on tv. So you can check it out on you tube. We talked to the owner of the place, and she told us the Bizzare foods came there. That Tv show travels around the world, and the guy eats wierd kinds of foods, like monkey brains, or things of that nature. Well apparently he ate some fruit there, that was pretty disgusting. I didnt try it, I just had the best pig ever. But check it out on you tube, "Bizzare foods- puerto rico." They smoke the pigs in the back, and then put these huge 5 foot pigs on a rotisierre in the front window, and hack off the meat with a machete. I have a picture taking a swing at it, you'll see.
One thing about Puerto Rico is they are a bunch of pretty boys. One member will take a shower before we go play basketball on p days. Anyways, back when I was with Elder Polanco, he asked me to trim his eye brows with a razor, and I thought he was kidding, because they trim their hair line up with a razor, but I thought he was kidding about the eye brows. But the other day when we passed by Alberto he was trimming these little kids eye brows with a RAZOR! Come on now, tweezers are like 3 bucks, throw me a bone. I just dont get it. p.s.- I was freaking out in the Dominican Republic when they cut my hair, and trimmed up my hair line with a razor. He busted out the Razor, and I was just like, "Wo, wo, tranquilo." And everyone laughed.
Hey there is something that I need, I am running out of space in my journal. So if you could send me another journal, that would be awesome.
Well that does it for me, we dont have too many investigators right now. Yesterday we were teaching this innactive lady, and at the end of the lesson she told us that she has been wanting to come back, and also that her boyfriend wants to take the discussions. So that is going to be sweet! I am pretty excited, get him baptized, and them married in the Temple.
I love you all so much, thank you for the support.

Love Elder Hardy