Sunday, July 18, 2010

July 14, 2010

Thank you for the package! It was great. I love the shirt you sent, it is pretty funny. I got the package on Monday, perfect timing. I had a really good birthday. Elder Kowallis bought me Sizzler, and my buddy, Elder Francis, and Elder Bishesar (They are in our district) meet us there. So it was a fun lunch. Then in the night time, Jose and Ivelisse threw a party for me and Elder Kowallis, his birthday was last Monday. They invited over some members and some of their family. There was like 20 people there. They made one of my favorite foods. It is called Lechon (lay-chone). It is pretty much smoked pork. I love it. Then they bought a huge cake that had our names on it. They are extremely nice people. They do too much. It was really good because we were able to talk to Ivelisse's family a lot. they are also really nice. Her sister in law is going to become a pentecostal pastor, so we talked about our churches a little. It was good, just asking questions about each others churches. So it at least broke the ice, and maybe will open a door. They live in another Pueblo.
So lastSsunday wasnt a huge conference for everyone, so I didnt see my family. But they did announce that Fajardo district is a part of the San Juan stake now. I feel that will be good. President Alvarado asked the stake president when is the most important thing to do right now, and he told him to make Fajardo a ward. President told us we have to make it happen in 60 days. We need to have 15 worthy melchizedek priesthood holders who pay tithing, and 100 hundred active members. Getting the priesthood wont be too hard. We have about 12 active right now. But we only have about 50 active members in church right now. We have to double attendance. No time to mess around, we have got to work hard. One of the biggest things is home teaching. We got to talk to president Ocasio to see what we can do to get people to do their home teaching, it is pretty weak sauce. We are also going to try and have a bunch of activities to try and get less actives to come and get reactivated. It is going to be hard but we are going to work hard.
When we go to the beach we cant get in the water. Duh. But we can play volleyball, or football or whatever we want. Last week we played horse shoes playing with coconuts. It was way fun. its called "Coco Loco", pretty catchy I know. Look for that in the stores in a couple of years.
President Alvarado served a mission in the states, he speaks perfect English. He is a very upbeat guy, and seems like a hard worker that is going to get things done in Puerto Rico. I think he is perfect for Puerto Rico, and is going to get a lot of progress done here.
Transfers hasnt happened yet, so I am still with Elder Kowallis. Nothing has been said yet, but I would imagine that everyone is "mixed" next transfer. In the conference a few weeks ago, president said there is no East or West only North, that is the direction we are heading as a mission.
One cool story. Ivelisse has a bunch of illnesses, and is always feeling bad. She had a really pain in her stomach for a long time, and the doctors couldnt figure it out. All of the medicine wasnt doing anything. She asked for a blessing, and ever since that blessing she has not felt anymore pain. She also gets really, really, really bad migraines, and she has to take strong medicine for it. Last week she was getting a really bad one, but she didnt have her medicine. So she asked for another blessing, right once we gave her the blessing it went away, and she was able to make it through the day until she could get her medicine the next day.
It is a testimony to me that God really does exist, and most importantly, loves his children. He hates to see us in pain and sorrow. If we have the faith, he will bless us. It also reaffirmed the power that we have with the priesthood. When we see the power of it, our faith and confidence grows stronger. It is like Nephi and Lehi, how when they saw they were encircled in fire,and the lamanites couldnt touch them, they gained courage. (Helaman 5)
Well I got to get going. But I love you so much. My appreciation for what you do and how much you love me keeps growing. Have a safe week, and pray for missionary opportunities every day.
Love Elder Jared Hardy
p.s.- Briley looks so cute in the pictures, I cant wait to meet her. Jake also looks really different. Hailey looks super skinny, you got to feed that girl yuh check. I didnt even recognize Daniel at first. It has been a while since I ahve seen him with long hair. Dad, i got to say it, your hair is so grey! Haha, but you still look classy.

June 30, 2010

My week has gone good. President Alvarado became the president on Monday. I think president Dewsnup leaves today. I have heard a lot of good about President Alvarado. He is only 40 years old with a young family, and very energetic. I cant wait to meet him. Which will probably be July 11. There is going to be a big conference for the whole east side of Puerto Rico. The new area general authority is going to speak, and I would assume president Alvarado. I am excited for the conference, because I am going to see my family from Puerto Rico, Edwin, Patricia, Alexander, Edylis, and Ninoshka. They got my phone number a couple of weeks ago and called to tell me that Edwin baptized Ninoshka, and they are planning on going to the temple in Florida in July or August. I was so happy to talk to them. And I am going to see them exactly one year after I baptized them, July 11, at the conference.
We didnt teach Ray and Nick because the ferry broke down, so they couldnt get over. And there was some kind of youth camp thing going on over there with the youth from our branch and another one from puerto rico. So they got to be apart of history, they had the first sacrament meeting ever held in Culebra. I heard it was really special. They did it right on the beach. But we are goin over to culebra on thursday, and we are goin to teach ray's grandmother as well.
Well i already bought myself a birthday present. I couldnt help it when i saw wiffel ball (dont know spelling) at the store the other day. I also need some new basketball shoes, mine are falling apart pretty badly. I have had those shoes for 4 years, and they have served me well. The only thing i need from home would be a box of home made caramel popcorn. I never got it when you sent it when I was in Antigua. It might be a wierd time for you to eat it, but there is no change in weather over here, so it doesnt make a difference if it is Christmas time. I would love some home made caramel popcorn please.
Know that your son is doing better than ever, and that I love you, and I lvoe the Savior with all my heart.
Love Elder Hardy

June 23, 2010

It sounds like a lot of fun is being had over there. Vacation after vacation huh? Thats nice. The bus floating out in the bay sounds really cool. I would like to get me one of those some day.
On Sunday we taught Nicholas and Ray after church, it is so fun to teach them. We taught the plan of salvation, and it just blew them away. THEY UNDERSTAND! A couple time Nicholas would just, and "say wait wait wait, I get it, it is just like..." Haha, and when we talked about eternity it was great. I totally saw it just sink into them. Yesterday we went to Culebra to teach them. Leaving the ferry from here was funny, some members come up to us, "Hey you guys heading to the beach?" They probably thought we were disobedient missionaries, because Culebra is a huge tourist Island. They thought it was so cool that we were able to go to different islands in our mission. The ferry ride was a little intense. Some really rough water. There was 5 people throwing up in little barf bags in our room. When we got to Culebra Brother Dickson (member on the island) picked us up and he already had Nick and Ray. So we headed over to a really beautiful spot next to the beach. We taught them there at a wooden picnic table underneath a tree with the sound of the waves crashing. It was so cool talking about the gospel and just being surrounded by Gods beautiful creations. Then after the lesson they took us on a tour of the Island, not very big, but extremely beautiful. I love it there. Not a lot of houses or stores, really hilly and green. And there are a bunch of little islands surrounding Culebra. I am jealous of nick and ray because they go kayak to the other islands, or take a small fishing boat over and just explore them. Culebra is on of my most favorite islands. We definitely have to head out there one day.
Nicholas is still a little worried about what his parents are going to say when he tells them he is going to get baptized, so I shared with them how you were young when you got baptized with patty, and how your parents were talking with the missionaries for a couple of years, until one day you were just crying on your bed and your mom asked why you were crying, and you told her that you wanted them to join the church so badly. And how now they are super strong members in the church. That really hit them deep. And I explained how them joining is going to be a huge example and influence on their parents. So thank you for your example mom, you not only blessed your parents and family, but are now an example for my investigators and giving them comfort.
Elder Seuvaái is getting transfered. I am going to miss him a lot. It was a really fun transfer, the funnest transfer I have had in the mission. Today we heading heading up to El Yunque (the rainforrest) to go have some fun. Elder Seuvaái and Elder Kowallis have never been.
Hope you have a good rest of the trip, I am sure all the people in Boston are pretty bummed about the Championship. Be safe and enjoy it to the fullest.
Love Elder Hardy

June 16, 2010

A lot is going on over there. A lot is about to go on over here. Yesterday we had our last Zone Conference and interviews with president Dewsnup. He went out with a big impression teaching some really interesting stuff about dispensations. It wouldnt surprise me if he will be a generaly authority. He already told Elder Losee that he will be transfered next week, which is a bummer. I was hoping to end the mission with Elder Losee in my district. I really don't know what is going to happen next week. President Alvarado comes in the 28. I hope they dont send any of us to the west the first transfer of the new mission. It is hard to think about another president other than president Dewsnup, I really am going to miss him.
One funny story I forgot to tell you about was that Elder Kowallis got bit by ants, fire ants, and his arm swelled all HUGE. It looked really gross. So he took a bunch of benedryl, more than he should of, and was all LOOPY in the night time when we went over to the branch presidnts house, Presidente Ocasio. It was like Elder Kowallis was drunk, and president and his wife were just meeing with him the whole time. They would yell "Earth Quake", and start shaking him. Then he would just freak out. Poor kid, I kept trying to leave, but they jsut kept talking and wouldnt let us go. It was good stuff.
Nicholas and Ray went to church, but they had to go to the Guaynabo chapel, because the family that takes them had to go there for something. But we are going over tomorrow to teach them the plan of salvation. We talked to them on the phone the other day and they said, "Hey we already finished that chapter you gave us, do you have another good one you want us to read."
Got a new senior couple on Vieques, the Buttons from Mesa, Arizona. They are really nice people. Young too. We have spent some time with them yesterday and the day before. and while they were waiting for the ferry they bought us dinner. I have got to take you to this place in Fajardo that we go to. Best shrimp ever!
Oh and I think we should go to Vieques, maybe, but not stay there. It would be cool for a day, but there is a lot more to do on Puerto Rico. and it would suck having to take the Ferry over, 1 and a half hours in the morning and back in the night. But the buttons stayed at the Fajardo inn the other day and it didnt seem bad. Check it out.
Well I love you, you are in my prayers.

Love Elder Hardy

June 9, 2010

Me safe. I am doing really good. Last week I went on a tradeoff with my best bud in the mission Elder Losee, we were in the same district when I was in arroyo. It was really fun, he is in my district again here. He serves over in Vieques, a small island off the coast, but comes in every week for district meeting. So I took the ferry over there on thrusday morning. It was a really fun day. Last sunday we taught one of the sweetest lessons. The sunday before we talked to some kids that came to church with a member family from Culebra (Super small island off the coast). They are both 15, they would seriously be my best friends before the mission. I love the kids. But it was a great lesson, they have been coming to church on and off for almost a year. They really participated. At the end I asked them if they would read and pray to know if it was true, and Nicholas tells us, "yeah, I've gone to seminary for almost a year and a couple of times some verses would just hit me really hard, and I would feel the spirit so strong, I know it is true." Then the other one, Ray said, "I started reading the Book of Mormon a couple of weeks ago, and then I prayed to know which church is true and I jsut had this crazy tingly feeling about this church, I know its true. Haha, then Nicholas says, "I would get baptized right now, but I am just afraid to talk to my parents." So we talked a little bit about that and how he can talk to his parents. They are so golden it isnt funny. I wish I could find people like this every week. We are going to teach them every Sunday after church,and starting next week we are going to take the ferry over to Culebra once a week to teach them.
Haha, that is so funny about the super activity. Papa Bear is always doing crazy stuff that kills everyone. Like the time he told us not to bring water to Mount Graham and we almost died. it was fine while we were still on the mountain, there was a little stream to drink water, but once we got down they had piped the water and every was just complaining about thirst. Or the time he told us not to bring a jacket when we did some stake campout in the mountains and every froze. Me and Zack dees still talk about those times, funny stuff.
I hope you have a great Fathers Day, I will be thinking about you. Have a great week.

Elder Hardy

June 1, 2010

I dont have a lot of time this week. The threesome is really fun. I am really enjoying it, we are all good buddies. It will at least go till the end of this transfer, 2 or 3 more weeks, whatever it is. Jose and Ivelisse are doing good. They came to church last week. it was District Conference. it was really good. I loved President Dewsnups talk. Great stuff, he just talked about how we have to live the celestial law if we want to go to the celestial glory, and if we dont want to live it in this life, then we wouldnt want to live it after this life, we wouldnt be happy where we would be because it is the same rules. Elder Galindo emailed me and he said that he has already been called as the ward mission leader in his ward. how cool is that? I would love to be ward mission leader after. I miss that kid.
Well I want to let you know how much I love you and appreciate everything you do for me. Try to find a moment everyday to think about the savior. Also try to laugh every day. Those are two very important things.

Love Elder Hardy

May 26, 2010

So I got a call on Saturday from President Dewsnup, he told me that me and Elder Kowallis were going to Ceiba, just a town over, to form a threesome with Elder Seuvaái. There was an emergency transfer and his companion went to Salinas (Another City). Elder Seuvaái (Say-oo-va I) is way cool. He is from our group too. He is from American Samoa. I am way happy and excited. It is really fun being in a three some, especially since we are already friends. We work in Ceiba and Fajardo. Ceiba is a small, small town, and they go to the Fajardo Chapel. The reason we moved there is the apartment is bigger, A LOT BIGGER! It is the coolest apartment I have had so far.
Jose and Ivelisse went to church, they are way cool.

May 19, 2010

I am doing really good. I love Fajardo already. It is a cool town, a lot bigger than Rio Grande (Population wise). The city has a bunch of cool statues and water fountains. It is just a pretty town. Elder Kowallis is really nice. he is from my group, he is 6ft 5in and 240 pounds. I dont think too many people are going to mess with us. I did know about the water that glows. it isnt far from my apartment. Speaking of our apartment, it is really nice. They spoil the sisters. We have a real water heater, we ahve a dryer in our apartment complex, and we have air conditioning.
The branch is really strong here, there are usually 70 to 80 members in church, a lot of priesthood, and a lot of people who love the missionaries. This is my first area where they have made a list to feed the missionaries. The priesthood is also really excited to come out with us, because there were sisters here before,a nd they mostly used the reliefs society.
Last week we taught a really cool lady named Nexida (Blue). She found a pamphlet in her apartment because a member used to live there and had interest. She asks a lot of really good questions, and is really interested. She came to church the week before we got here without talking to missionaries. Her neighbor is a member and talked to her and told her where the church was at. She also came this past week with us. She has two twin girls that are 2 and CRAZY! They were too much for the primary and the teachers gave them to her, so she couldnt pay attention in gospel principles class, i wasnt happy about that. And during sacrament they ran around the whole time up on the stand. Blue was crying the whole time. But we are going to work something out this week.
We have two other investigators named Jose and Ivelisse. They have been taught everything and are just waiting for some papers so they can get married and baptized. This is the first time i have walked into a baptism. Feels great.
It has been a little stressful whitewashing, just not knowing where all the members live, but not too bad. Some members have gone out with us and shown us around.
Well everything is safe with me. I am loving Fajardo. Stay safe now.

Love Elder Hardy