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.