Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011; Week 37

Fort Wayne~
    Everyone sounds like they are doing good.  I'm really excited for Jon and everyone else too.  things seem to be going good for the family. i just hope your not making everything sound better then they really are so i dont get worried.        so you want to know in detail how my thanksgiving went!!!  it was super super good.  we shared the car with the English missionaries here so we went to a dinner with someone from their ward and then to a dinner with someone from our branch.  it was so incredible to finally get a good American meal for the first time in my mission. they smoked their turkey and ham and oh my goodness it was good. you need to tell dad to learn how to smoke stuff. its probably the best turkey/ ham I've ever had..... besides yours and dads i mean :).  and then the people from my branch we had what they called "a multi cutural Thanksgiving"  in my branch we have people from 11 different countries or something so the ones who were invited to the dinner brought meals from their countries. it was super super good. someone made the best flan i have ever tasted in my life. it was like heaven.  i cant wait till mine is that good. I'm getting better at making it tho.  before all the dinners tho we woke up and played football for 4 hours straight.  it was 37 degrees out and i was freezing.  but it was so fun. i miss playing football a lot.  there was some people that got pretty rough there so it was fun.  some people ended up getting hurt, but none of the missionaries did so that was good.  Thanksgiving was really good tho. it didnt really feel like Thanksgiving tho without the fam.
    Julio is so stinkin solid.  we taught him  the day before Thanksgiving and he told us that the last couple days he had just been super irritated at work becasue he hasnt been able to smoke and everyone he worked with just tried to get him to smoke and he told everyone no. then when he is at home and feels an urge to smoke he just reads the BOM instead and it takes the temptation away. we didnt even tell him to read the BOM in place of smoking. he has really been converted by the book of mormon.  its so amazing being able to see the power of it.  we saw him Saturday and he said that his boss told him that he needed to work on Sunday and Julio told him he couldnt because he was going to church.  it takes a lot of faith to tell that to a boss in these times i think because he could have very easily been fired.  i love this guy a lot.  we have started teaching his wife so i hope that things will get better with their marraige. him and his wife and kids came to church as well as another guy and another family. so total investigators we had at church was 7. That's the most I've ever had on my mission.  this area is just doing really good right now.
    On Saturday night we had a branch dinner another mutli cutural thing. man ill tell you, everyone who just thinks mexican food is the way to go, there is way more out there that is even more deliscious.  but we had a lot of investigators come to that too so it was good. after, me, my comp, our mission leader, a member of the branch council, an ivestigator and another guy from the ward played basketball.  we got whipped for a while, but dont worry, your boy ended up winning in the end. i even made the game winning shot. haha i only made like 3 points the whole game tho. the things missionaries will do for their investigators. we played in our church clothes. it was different but it worked out just fine.
       So did i tell you that this branch hasnt had a baptism in almost 4 years? well for that, everyone is really really baptism hungry. so we get really really good fellowshipping and all but at times i think they are doing it for the wrong reasons. haha we have been told so many times to just teach them the lessons super fast and not worry about what they need in their lives. just teach them and baptise them.  but we tell them we cant do that. so pray that we have success or we might have some mad members at us.  things are going really good tho. we have been blessed so much here. 
    We have this guy, well this family who needs lots of extra prayers.  ive talked a little about his wife before. they are meeting with the j dubs and she is very well a j dub.  but he has a super super strong desire to know the truth.  he reads and prayes and is super open to the spirit. but we feel like she is holding him back from being fully converted.  we have been over there and talked to him and she will just flat out yell at him and tell him he cant meet with us and if he does he is going against everything they believe in and what she wants for the family. but he still meets with us and thats just a big slap in the face to her so she doesnt like it one bit.  but just pray that she will have her heart softened and that he will recieve the witness he is waiting for please.  its the familia Paniagua.( panyagua means bread and water hahahatruely appreciate the prayers and love that i recieve from my family. i will get permisison to call Beth and Harm.
    I love this service more then anything in the world and I'm eternally greatful for a Father in heaven who allows second chances. i know that this was all possible because of the atonment of Christ.  i know that god is watching over my family while I'm here.  i know that the BOM is super super true.  i love reading it every day. I've almost finished it 3 times on my mission.  i love it.  i love you and the family and pray always that things will go well.
con amor
tu hijo

Elder Hardman

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011; Week 36

Fort Wayne~

What a week.... its been really good and i feel very blessed. first, my studies have been slacking a lot just because I've been so tired lately so i wasnt able to get a lot out of my studies but this week it all changed and i feel like a brand new missionary. i have learned so much this week and i love it. all i ever want to do now is read the scriptures.  so wanna hear something sad? we didnt get an invite to Thanksgiving :( but i was super happy to get your package today. my comp has been waiting on one for a couple weeks so when we opened the mail box and saw the package slip he was super excited only to have his spirits crushed to find out that my momma loves me more :) hahaha it was so funny. super sad tho. Thank you for the mission call. i read it again and the spirit of God told me that it came from him and i really am where i need to be. it was nice to read it again.  and thanks for the bread and tie (i really like that) and the letters. i wonder if the other return missionaries get jealous for how many letters i get from the fam :) thanks mom. but all is well here. we found out that this area has not had a baptism in almost 4 years so all the members tell us that they are counting on us. the branch here really wants new members so they are all doing really good at fellowshipping and coming to lessons and stuff. something in my last area the branch really stuggled with. 
    Earlier this week we had a lesson with Julio.  we went and sat with him at his table and we were talking to him and he told us that his wife told him she doesnt love him anymore and wants him to leave.  it was just tearing him up super bad. i felt so sad for him.  so we talked to him a little about it and tried to help him feel better and then we talked about the book of mormon and asked if he had prayed about it and he said he has and that he knows its true.  he said that even tho things are going wrong with his family he isnt going to stop moving forward with this because he knows the book of mormon is true and he cant lie to himself. then he told us that to him the B of M is like good food. once you eat a little you just want more and more.  he said that he cant just read a vs or a page. he just reads and reads. its so amazing to see the power of the book of mormon change peoples lives. fast forward a few days. yesterday at church... our ride was late picking us up so we didnt get to church untill 9:15.  but we walked in and guess who we saw? Julio and his WIFE and their two kids.  it was so amazing :) i dont think i had a happier moment. well thats up there with happy moments on my mission.  after church we had a lesson with Julio again and we taught the word of wisdom. we asked him if he had problems with any of it and he said just with smoking so we had him give us all his cigarets and then we gave him just one back and told him to break it and think of it as breaking the habit. so he broke it and threw it on the ground and stepped on it and said that he did that to show god he his going to change his life and keep his commandment.  another of my favorite moments.  then that night we had Why i Believe (i was asked to bare my testimony)  and guess who Julio brought again? his wife and kids. at the end i was talking to his wife and she asked if we could bring her a book of mormon. so now she is intrested :)  the gospel blesses families.
    So remember last week i told you about the people that i really dont like? well last night i learned a very valuable lesson. there is this lady who just does not fall well with us at all and she has been studying with the j dubs and they give her anti.  and she uses it a lot. well we were over there last night and she told us that she treats us the way that she does to see if we are true disciples of Christ. if we got mad at her it would prove to her that we are not she is testing us in every way possible.  it really opened my eyes. i really need to just love her and be patient like Christ would. i repented so dont worry.  God teaches us lessons in ways that we would never expect. i love it.
     Things are going really good here.  oh i should tell you... at the lst minute yesterday someone invited us to dinner. but it was more of like we were fishing for an invite so they were forced to invite us. haha but at least we are going somewhere.  i love spanish so much. last night at Why i Believe i bore my testimony in spanish in front of heaps of white people to show them that the spirit is the same and lots of people came up to me and told me they hadnt felt the spirit that strong in a long time. i think i have it stronger with me when i speak spanishspanish. well there is so much i want to tell you but I'm out of time so i will end with my simple testimony. i love the church. i know its true and that god prepared the way for all of us from the beginning to recieve it.  the book of mormon is the word of god and it was written for us in our day. Mormon saw us and our trials and put the things that would help us in this time. Christ is my best friend and he has never failed me. and he will never fail anyone who needs help.  i love you and i love this work. in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

Elder Hardman

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011; Week 35

Fort Wayne~

     Things this week have been going good. in this area  there arent as many hispanics so its harder to find them and we end up traveling a long way to find them but we are being diligent with it and god is blessing us. we are the only spanish elders in this zone so we cover a giant part of Indiana but we usually just stay around here.  its hard but I'm learning a lot and I'm being pushed to the very limits in every aspect and i love it.  I've never been so tired and hurt so bad in my life but I'm finally feeling like a missionary.  oh and before i forget, would you send me a copy of my mission call? maybe get it shrunk and lamenated? if thats too big of a hassel dont worry about it but i think its something i would like so that i could remember those feelings i had when i read it for the first time.
   So... me and my comp are working good together. we share something together that strengthens us greatly. our dislike for a certain religion who seems to be behind us or one step ahead of us everyday.  we've lost so many investigators to them.  one night we were talking to an investigator who has been studying with them and she told us that she cant meet with us anymore because they have been telling her stuff that we do in our church and she cant be part of that. and she wouldnt let us talk at all and she kept on bringing up Emma Smith and how she didnt follow Joseph so therefor he cant be a prophet and i was just getting soooooo mad and i couldnt listen to it any more so i just told her that she doesnt know Emma and she doesnt know anything about our church and if she did she would know that it was true but instead she is blinded and have no desire to find the truth and then we left. and the whole way home i was soooo mad and i was thinking about why our church is true and what happened was just another testament of the truthfullness of this church. every church talks bad about us to try and bring us down and we never talk bad about other churches. we openly say how much we love our BROTHERS and SISTERS of other religions and everyone else doesnt even consider us brothers.  then i felt bad about getting so angry becuase i really need to be a representative of Jesus Christ and an disciple of him and a true disciple of Christ would not let stuff like that get the best of them. its hard but I'm trying.  what gives them the right to talk crap on our church? hahaha sorry I'll get off my soapbox now.
   So we had a nice run in to a vet from vietnam.  oh my gosh it wasnt good. he was telling us some not good stuff that they had to do over there and was just swearing so bad and we asked him to stop swearing and he got angry and then started swearing more and then we talked about the atonement and how he can be forgiving and then he started crying because i didnt know if the stuff he did was wrong. he just did what the government told him to do. it was sad but then he started swearing again so we just left. now we see him everywhere hahaha he is a scary guy. I've met so many weirdos here. more here then in Indianapolis.
     At a training president gave he compared the sun and the moon to missionaries and said that we need to be suns and give off light and energy and not moons that only reflect light and there is a lot more into it but i dont have time to go into it.  but i realized that i am a moon. actually a black hole at times. but i really want to be better and so I prayed and asked how i can be a sun and i recieved about 30 things that i could be doing better.  it was just a testimony to me that no matter how good we think we are doing there is always room to improve and better yourself to be an instrument in gods hands.  it might sound dumb, but that is really what i want. i know every missionary says that but there are only a handful that actually get to that point. I'm far from it but I'm trying. i know my weaknesses and i rely on god to help me.  well I'm out of time. and I'm rambling about stuff so I'll go. the investigators here are solid and I'm happy to be here. hope all continues to go good back home. love you.

Elder Hardman

Monday, November 7, 2011; Week 34

Fort Wayne~

Oh man what a week i just had.  well, like i told you last week, i was transfered and i am now in a city called Fort Wayne.  its super different. its still a good sized city but i was in culture shock for the first couple days of being here. not near as many black people and hispanics so its different. (just read your email. you already knew where i was going :P tell the family my address please)  But the hardest thing for my to get used to was not hearing sirens about 50 times a day. haha it makes me feel like the cops are doing thier jobs when i hear them. other then that i didnt have to adjust, i knew what needed to be done and i went to work.  i was doubled transfered into this area. the hardest thing i have ever done on my mission.  me and my comp dont know where anything is, we dont know the members or the investigators. every single night we have had to stay up till almost midnight trying to plan. its just so incredibly hard. but we have been given the opportunity to really rely on the spirit with everything that we have done and we have been so blessed for it.  being in an area for 6 months you just start relying on your own knowledge and just go to people who are close by or just work in areas that you know. well this time we have been going to people who the spirit told us to.  in turn, we have riding over 80 miles since Wednesday. been lost probably a dozen times had a few flat tires.  but got 5 new investigators. one guy we set a baptismal date with for the 10 of Dec. and he is working on that. we have just been so blessed. i cant even describe to you this experience I'm having.  its simply incredible.
   So Iindiana has the worst roads and side walks in the world.  last night i was riding on a side walk and looked behind me to talk to my comp (Elder Vellinga, he is a super solid missionary and we get along great. we have both grown so much this last week) and when i looked back forward my face ran right into a tree branch and cut it up and it hurt super bad. then not 2 minutes later and hit a pot hole and flipped right over my handle bars. for those of you who are wondering.... god does have a sense of humor. sometimes even at others expense. all is well tho. I'll give it to him for how much he has blessed us this week.  so we ate with these members a couple days ago. they are hispanic. and they have a million dollar home. oh my heck it was nice. haha who would have thought that the nicest home i would go to on my mission would be hispanic. something just came to me. for everyone who doesnt know missionaries, it would be so weird seeing 2 young men wearing nice suits riding down the street on bikes. hahaha funny.
     We had church yesterday.  to tell you the truth, the last couple days i was super worried about this area and having member support and what not because our second night we had a meeting with our branch mission leader and he told us not to expect much from the branch because they are getting sick of double tranfers (this area hasn't had one in a super long time so i have no idea what he was talking about)  and just said stuff like that. he doesnt like us.  but yesterday at church, it was amazing. everyone is soooo nice and welcomed us and just loved us.  i have never had so many nice people talk to me on my mission.  but after yesterday i feel so good about this branch/area.  yesterday we ate with some members who are guatamalens.  oh my goodness. i didnt know what i have been missing only eating mexican food my whole life. food from guatamala is sooooooo amazing.
    My time is up. sorry. just know everything is going amazing and I'm doing good. i finally figured out why it was so important for me to fight and serve a mission. deep down inside me i think i always knew that the salvation of many people would depend on my decision to serve a mission or not and i didnt want to do that to people.  it was really important to me to be able to help the people that i was supposed to help. and i feel like i am doing that. this gospel is true and the spirit is amazing. i love being here and i would never change it for anything.  can you send me my blanket please :) i miss it and i cant sleep at all here.

love you momma
Elder Hardman

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011; Week 33


     So its official, I'm leaving my birthing place. i got the call this morning that told me to pack up all my things.  so now ill be doing the same thing somewhere else. trying to fulfill my purpose and help others come unto Christ.  I'm excited to see what the lord has in store for me.  the family seems to be doing good.  Beth's baby and Harm's and Summer's babys are so big and look so different. they are super cute tho. its going to be weird having them be two when i get home and have probably 10 new babies (the way this family reproduces) when i get home. thats one thing i hate being about being out here is not being with the babies.  worth it tho!!!! so Christmas is coming up.... remind the kids and everyone that I'm in Indiana and not Mongolia and everything here isnt supper cheap so dont be expecting anything super cool. oh and you never told me who i have for Christmas?
   So pretty much ever cool thing that happens, happens on Monday night after preperation day and then i have to wait a whole week to tell you.  so last Monday. we had another run  in with some pretty satanic stuff that scared me to death. in fact i was so scared that i cried a little.  i have never been so scared in my entire life.  this story will have to be one that i share after my mission.  with this experience and the first one, it just goes to show how much power satan and his followers have ever people and how real his power is.  but, the priesthood is the power of god and nothing beats that. thank goodness for that.  i said a lot of prayers when i got back to the apartment that night. i didnt even sleep good for about 3 nights because of it. but all is well now.
    So i dont know if i told you, but we had a wedding this last Friday (few days ago) so that our investigator could get baptized.  well me and my comp decided to make them a wedding cake. so we took pretty much all of our break times to plan the 3 layer wedding cake.  we ended up making it out of ricecrispies with i nice chocolate glaze on top.  then we fancied some pillars out of..... well youll see the picture when i send it to you.  but pretty much it was the coolest thing in the world. No one believed that we did it without outside help from a women.  we were tryig to find a dora and diego toy to put on top but we couldnt find one so we found instead a mexican wrestler and some other brown girl toy and put it on top. hahahahaha i cant wait for you to see the pictures. youll be impressed i think. it was super racist of us kinda so i feel bad but the memory was worth it and they loved it.
    So going along with the wedding so that that guy could get baptised thing.  this guy was super super super catholic and his whole family is sooooo catholic.   and.... welll..... when he told him he was going to get married and baptised in our church everyone just flipped and it wasnt very pretty.  so one Friday, the wedding day, one 2 members of his family came and guess who wasnt there? his mother.  He ended up being an hour late because he was fighting trying to get her to come and she wouldnt so he finally just gave up on her.  well that made me so mad that she wouldnt support him.  it made me love my family more, because ALWAYS!!! no matter what happens, we support eachother. thats what families do for one another.  thank you mom for always being there for us even when you didnt agree with what we were doing. it means the world to me and I'm sure it means a lot to everyone else as well.
    This guy who got married is named Enelio. I've mentioned him a couple times i think. his testimony is the most solid thing in the entire world. yesterday at church they had him bare his testimony and he blew everyone away with how strong it was. then he called up his new bride and put his arm around her and said that he cant wait to follow the commandents of god with her.  then kissed her right on the mouth and said amen. haha it was so solid.  we went and taught him one last time this moring and he just made me so mad at him.  he said every answer that was perfect and then he even had the nerve to make us a deliscious omlet for breakfast.  haha he has only been a member of the church for one day and is already more solid then i am.
    I'm out of time... but someone this morning told me that i was gong to hell and that he hopes god will bless me. nice huh? haha got to love members of different churches.  oh and someone also told me that i sound like a mexican and kept asking me who taught me spanish because i sound like a mexican.  she didnt belive I've been teaching myself. well. time is up. i love you and the family and i am so happy with this opportunity i have to be on a mission. I'm gratefull for what I'm learning and the people I'm helping and for the people who are helping me. the church is true and the book of mormon is awesome.

Elder Hardman

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011; Week 32

     As always, this week was good and i learned a lot. first i am going to answer your questions.  i got a letter from Beth and she told me she will be getting her big discount soon.  since i have to have winter stuff this is what i need.  a couple scarfs and hats (beanies) and long johns (just the bottoms)  i have that jacket that we bought before i left and those sweaters you sent me are super good.  i will buy gloves here so that i can pick some out that will be good for here and missionary work.  i dont believe i need anything else. just tell her to pick some stuff out that will make me look super fresh but will also make people know I'm a missionary :)   thank you.  and the package you sent me was a really good one. the bread was sooooo good.  everything was good. i loved the pictures, except they made me feel bad because now I'm just fat and not as good looking as i was way back then.  haha so i went running this morning and my legs hurt super bad.  but i feel good.  so for the package you want to send me. just send it to the mission office because transfers are next week and I'm pretty sure I'm being transfered. so you can just wait a little longer to send it and send it there and ill pick it up at transfer meeting.  thank you.
     So there is this kid that i baptised a while ago and he is 9. but he has the most sincere prayers I've ever heard in my life. actually it rebukes me everytime i hear him because i know my prayers need to be like that.  well his dad is in mexico and his mom is here and she is getting married to one of our investigators that shes been living with so that he can be baptised and she told us that he was having such a hard time with it and that he would always tell her that she cant marry him and stuff like that so she asked us to talk about it with him so we did and then we had him pray about it and ask god if everything is going to be ok so he did.  the most amazing prayer i have ever heard in my entire life. well after the prayer he was super happy and he told us that god told him that everything is going to be ok and that his dad in mexico will still always be his dad.  it was just such an amazing experience and strengthened my testimony on prayer.  God is so aware and listens to everything. I LOVE IT!!!!!
      So do you know how I've been telling people that I'm mexican? well now everyone is just giving me super hot food.  this one family made a salsa made from habaneros which was super hot.  there were a few people who couldnt even eat it but i took it like a man and represented for my family.  and then this other family made a hot sause that was so hot that i started crying but i still ate it like a man....well a crying man.  so i was building up my street cred with eating this super hot stuff and people were acknoweldging me as a 1/4 mexican.  but then when i couldnt eat that stomach that i told you about last week it brought me back down to regular old white man status.  so i was super sad about that.  i have a long road ahead of me to bring myself back up to where i was before. 
    Do you all even like my stories? because you dont ever comment on them so i dont know if you just think they are lame and not worth talking about them or what.  if you dont like them ill try and think of better ones. I'm trying to keep the super cool ones till after my mission so that people still wanna talk to me about my mission haha.
    Yesterday in church the 6 missionaries sang a song in sacrament.  we did super super good. even mixed it up a little to allow the spirit to really be there.  the spirit was so strong and almost everyone was crying.  well just the ones who arent hardened criminals were crying. so about half :) but we did really good and the spirit was really strong...       this week has been super super cold and i was just super torqued at my comp because he wont ride bikes when its really cold so we walked everywhere and just wasted so much time doing that. we missed a lot of citas and i just feel like we didnt hardly get anything done.  but oh well i guess. this week we should have better weather.  and this week will go by super fast i think.  lots of good things are happening here. thank you for your prayers on my behalf and my investigators. it really does help so much. I'm glad all is well with the fam.  oh, the pictures turned out so good. my favorite one is the one with the whole family just hugging each other.  i love my family super a lot.  i know that the book of mormon is true and that it was written for us in this day so that we can become better and be prepared to live with god again.  i know that Christ is our savior and that him and god really appeared to Joseph Smith. I'm thankful for this gospel and I'm grateful that we have an eternal family.

Elder Hardman

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011; Week 31

   What a good good good week.  i dont even know where to start.  it sounds like things are going super good for the family.    i love my mission more then ever.
   I dont know if i told you before but we set a date with hmo Figaroa finally and everyone here is just so excited.  its really cool that he did it. just the simple fact that he would set a date says a lot about what we did. he has been taught for 7 years and his wife has been less active for longer then that. so we worked with her like crazy and she is finally getting solid again.  this work is just awesome.  he has a son who is 6 years old and weighs about 130lbs.  while we were setting the date he was in the room trying to jump rope. hahahahahahaha oh my goodness. just picture a little fat kid that has no athletic ability at all trying to jump rope in the middle of a lesson. i could not stop laughing for the life of me. hahaha
    Me and my companion are seeing a lot of success in our area.  we are doing our best to change ourselves and be the missionaries god needs us to be and i think god is starting to trust us more with his children. we were able to get 5 more solid investigators this week which is really super cool because we have really been struggling finding new people.  but we are starting to get better at not letting them run away from us.  we have been told by at least two of the new ones that every one sees us and runs inside. super cool that everyone knows who we are.
    So this week we had a member who came and told us that she is having troubles with her son. he doesnt want anything to do with the church and stuff like that so she asked us to come over one night and talk to him.  so we did and he just reminded me of my self when i was young and dumb and didnt really like the church and didnt realize what my parents were doing for my.  so we just started talking and asked him if he's been reading and praying and he said he never has before and then we talked about a lot of other stuff.  the spirit is just so amazing because through the spirit i was able to discern what his real problem was with the church. he wouldnt tell us because his mom was right there. so then i just asked him " do you not want to be part of it because you feel like your parents are forcing you"  he said yes so then i just bore down on pure testimony and personal experience.  this kid really hit home with me.  since Ive matured a bit i have realized how dumb i was at home and how disrespectful i was to you and dad. but untill then, untill i was talking to this kid i never really realized why you did the things you did and why you always pushed us to be better. its because you LLOOVVEE us. thank you so much for what you do for me.  sorry for not realizing things while i was still at home. i talked to him again yesterday and he told me he has been reading. cool huh?
     So one day we were tracting and we walked into this apt building and we were there for about 5 minutes and in that time there was about 7 people who knocked on this one door and for an exchange of money this little old mexican lady would give the underage kids cigerets or beer.  it was super funny but supper bad at the same time.  i wanted to knock on the door to make her feel like a horrible person when we talked about Jesus Christ but my comp wouldnt let me.   oh another thing. we were doing service for a guy who is getting married/baptised next week and he brought out some soup for us and usually they make really good soup so i was excited to eat it. but it ended up being stomach of some animal.  it smelt like something died and it tasted even worse.  i took one bite and swallowed it and then i waited till he left. then i threw up and put all i could in a napkin and ran to the bathroom to flush it down the toilet.  haha easily the most horrible thing i have ever had in my life.  everytime i think about it i just get sick.  so he walks back out a little later and sees that we both look sick and he just starts laughing and said that he knew we werent going to like it.  haha rude huh?
    Well momma i have got to go. i love you and i hope all goes well for you and the family this week. please tell Kenny happy birthday for me.  and happy late birthday to you and dad as well. love you. the church is true. my testimony grows more and more everyday.

Elder Hardman

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011; Week 30


     As i pondered the things that i could tell you to help you feel at peace with your brothers death my mind kept going to the scripture D&C 18:10 "remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God.  i have been thinking a lot about this scripture and a lot about Kirk and a lot about the tender mercies that god gives us when we are in need.  i think that this, as sad as it is for the family and how he died \, was a tender mercy for him.  he needed to get away from this life and his addiction so that he would be able to accept the gosple on the other side.  another thing i was thinking about a lot in respects to you and trying to help you feel better was the tender mercy of the lord that was given to me when Elder Evans came.  god knew that i was in need of something and he knew that the only person that was going to be able to help me was elder Evans and the things that he  was inspired to say to me that day.  if god is so aware of one missionary serving in Indiana. one missionary out of over 55000 that are serving in the world.  if he was aware of me and my struggles how much more aware is he  of that missionaries family and the things they are going through.  momma, kirks soul was worth something to god. he was worth something to Jesus Christ because Christ suffered for him and for his addictions and for his pains.  my soul is worth something and thats why he comforts me when i need it and your soul is great in the sight of god.  he isnt going to leave you and your family alone right now. he is with you and aware of you. sorry this is a week late. i hope you feel good tho.
     And Bryn,  oh my heck. what is going on with her. I'm sure this is the reason why i havent gotten an email from you. its ok i understand.  but whats gong on with her. i thought the medication was working for her?  please let me know whats going on with her. she is in my prayers and Summer and James are as well.  if something takes a bad turn will you please let me know?
      This week has been a good one for me.   we have a date with Figaroa.  it is in December. we set it so far a way because he wants to make sure that his wife keeps coming to church., she has been pretty good about it so we will see what happens in December. unless i stay in this area another transfer i wont be here for it.  i think I'm leaving tho.  i dont think anyone has ever stayed in their first area for 5 transfers. vamos a ver.  we are still working super hard with Hermana Marcos.  she told us that she wants to learn more about the bible and how it works with the Book of Mormon so that she can be more confident in talking to her husband because at this time he still wont give us the time of day.  Hermano Martinez or Enelio i think i called him the first time i talked about him is moving along super good. he is even starting to talk to his mom who is suppppppperrrr catholic and she is interested a little so we'll be teaching her pretty soon. 
     The lady that we gave a blessing to last Sunday is all good now. she doesnt have cancer and she is no longer sick. she had been sick for 2 years and 4 of her siblings have died from the cancer that the doctors thought she had.  oh my heck the priesthood is so amazing. what a blessing it is to be able to be worthy of the priesthood.  and just to make it clear and giving all the glory to god. but just like Ammon, i have joy for the miracles that god is able to perform through me and my comp.  everything else is still going good with our area. we are struggling super bad with finding people who are interested and actually want to learn and not just want to listen to the word of god for one day.  but we are working as hard as we can.
     We teach a lot of super super weird people. really funny. i wont tell you what faith they are of but this week almost every new people we taught were of a faith that repeat the prayers that are said. it shocked me the first couple times it happened because they just started repeating everything super loud.  ehhh i guess you would have to be there.  well I'm out of time.    love you momma and i hope that everything is going good with Bryn and with the family
i know that our lives are being watched over and that everything that happens has gods hand in it. this church is true.

Elder Hardman

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday, October 3, 2011; Week 29


   Things this week have been good. I was only in my area for 1 day tho because of exchanges with the district leader and conference.  me and my comp are starting to get a long a lot better.  after our first transfer together i decided that our relationship wasnt going to change unless i changed.  so i changed. i feel like I'm a lot better of a person. I'm still learning everyday to rely on the lord and to change to be the missionary i need to be.  I'm learning to rely on prayer the most.  i have grown such a strong testimony of prayer and how it helps a person change and become what god needs them to be. i love seeing investigators pray. its so amazing to hear someone pray for the first time. its so humbling. Ive taken prayer for granted my whole life. no more tho :)
    Oh my goodness conference was amazing. priesthood was my favorite tho.  I've always taken conference for granted too.. I'm super glad that now i understand the importance of it. i took 13 pages of notes and got rebuked by every talk on things that i need to do better.  i love things that make me want to change and be better.
   So over the weekend i talked to a mexican nun :) it was super cool.  we had some members take us to a tacoria ( a store with a taco shop conected to it) so we walked in and she was just starring and so i talked to her.  she was really nice. i even got her to laugh a little bit :) are nuns allowed to laugh?  the people that we ate with are the less active family that I've helped reactivate and are going to the temple soon to be sealed, but after dinner she told us that she has been really sick and has had lots and lots of tests done and the doctors had told her that the only thing that it could be is cancer. so she is going in today to get checked for stomach cancer.  4 other of her siblings have had stomach cancer and died from it so the chances are pretty slim for her. 
     Me and my comp decided to fast with the other missionaries (oh there is also another lady in our branch with cancer)  but we fasted Saturday.  it was probably the most meaningful fast i have ever done in my life. i also have a great testimony of fasting as well. always took that for granted too. this family has really helped me so much on my mission. they told me Friday night that they consider me family. i consider them family as well.  we went over to thier house last night to give them a blessing.  first we shared some scriptures on trusting in god and bore testimony to bring the spirit super strong. then we gave her a blessing. i did it. it was the first one i have giving in Spanish.  I'm so glad that i am able to be a priesthood holder that god can work through to have people feel peace.  it was one of my best memories so far on my mission.
    Things are going really good here.  we are seeing a lot of success and not a lot of succes at the same time.  oh, i talked to Sister Collins and she told me that i was in her top 4 favorite missionaries. nah,,, she really didnt say that, but she did say that when ever she is with me she feels something different that she has never felt with a missionary. i told her that she reminds me of you because of how loving she is and just other stuff she does and she told me that she wished she was my mother and that you are very lucky.
    Have you talked to Sister Everton yet?  well, funny story about her son real fast. i was trying to teach him how to do a trick on a bike and he gets on and tries to do it and his whole body ends up coming off the bike and he came down and racked himself on the frame. i was rolling on the road because it was so funny.  the last exchange i had with him we were riding and he was talking on the phone. oh real quick. its a rule in the mission that you cant ride over train tracks, you have to get off the bike and walk. well he was talking on the phone and not paying attention and then sees the train track and slams on the brake with one hand and his bike stops and he keeps going and racks himself on the part where the handle bars connect to the frame. hahahahha he has super bad luck with me.
   Well I've got to get going. love you and hope all it well.  still waiting for the package you've been promising for 5 weeks. its getting super cold here.
i love you.

Elder Hardman

what is kade and meg having?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tuesday, Sept 27, 2011; Week 28


   Sorry about yesterday and not writing. We had an emergency training about mormon.org yesterday. I didnt find out about the training untill Sunday and i heard that a 70 was coming. and i thought to myself "how sweet would it be if it was Elder Evans" (the guy i met before i came out on my mission)  then Monday morning we get to the meeting and I was sitting waiting and guess who walks in? ??????????? Elder Evans!!!!!!!!!!!!  oh my goodness i felt like i was going to die. I always have wanted to express my gratitude for what he did for me.  He told the president that he wanted to meet everyone so we all lined up and started shaking hands. he asked everyone where they were from and said good job. you know, the usual. well it gets to my turn and he looks at my tag and says "Elder Hardman, where are you from"  I just looked at him straight in the eyes and said " i know you dont remember me, but thank you so much for the things that you have done for me" He looked at me for a little while and just hugged me and told me that he remembered me and told me how proud he is of me and told me that he remembers the day he met me and the kind of man i am and thats the reason I'm on a mission"  what are the chances that the executive director of the mission department who is over every single thing that has to do with missionary work came to my mission?  i cant even explain to you what i was thinking and feeling.  after a few hours  of training we had a break and he came and talked to me and he told me some things that i really really really needed to hear. it helped me so much.
      So I'm pretty sure i broke my ankle.  the last week of my first transfer i hurt my ankle really bad. do you remember that?  well that was also the first time on my mission i didnt where my garments to play sports. so that was probably God telling me i was stupid.  then yesterday i was playing soccer after the training in the parking lot. not on preperation day and i did the exact same thing.  God has a funny way of telling me things that i shouldnt be doing. i wish he did it a little nicer tho haha.
     Earlier this week i had my first experience with casting out demons. it was super sketchy and scary and super awesome.  we went over to this less active ladies house and she told us that her daughter has woken up in the middle of the night and felt like someone was on top of her and she couldnt move or scream or anything and she thinks its demons. so she asked us if we could do an excorsism. hahahaha no hermana. we dont believe in the kind of stuff but we will come and bless your home and get rid of the demons that way.  so we made a lesson plan and felt like if they started praying as a family that nothing like that would happen. so we go over there and walked into the house and it just felt super bad. something was in there. we start are lesson and bring in the spirit. then we have the girl that this was all happening to read a scripture about family prayer. she gets half way done and the power  to the whole apt complex turns off.  right when that happened i just felt super dark and dirty and you could tell that something was right there with us.  well we get a flashlight and finish our lesson and we start talking about the power that satan has and stuff like that and the power turns on. we talked about good stuff and the power turns off we talk about satan and the power turns on. not a coincidence.
    I'm not in a trio anymore. but i am with my old companion.  things are good. we are seeing so much success right now. We both feel like the spirit is telling us that something big is going to happen in this area this transfer. I'm super excited for it.
     Well i have lots to do and i dont have time to write anymore.  But i want to end with my testimony. I know this church is true and that prayer works.  i know that when you pray and you have a pure desire to know, God is going to bless you with that answer. i know that God watches over missionaries families. and i know without a doubt in my mind that i am here in Indiana at this time because its where God wants me.  I know the book of mormon is the word of God and every single word is true.  I know that because i feel the spirit with every single word. i know that Jesus is the Christ who suffered for us because of the love he has for us.  i know families are foreordained of God. I know Joseph Smith was and is a prophet of God.
    I love you so much and i thank God everyday for my family. Thank you so much Jessica and Jonathan.

Elder Hardman

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Monday, Sept 19, 2011; Week 27

Mi madre amado

  Primero yo quiero empezar con un bien chiste.  ?por que seis tiene miedo de siete?  porque siete ocho nueve!!!! hahahahahaha we had a little girl tell us that in English so i decided to translate it and start telling the hispanic people it in Spanish. its so funny to see their reaction from it because it doesnt make any sense in Spanish. its now my favorite joke to tell them.  things are going good. it was a good week. oh and first, I'm staying in this area.  So this week, one of the companionships in our district had somebody go home for illness issues so my companionship was put into a trio which was super awesome. I had so much fun and it made me get along with my comp a lot more.  we had super super good lessons this week as well.  We have 2 people that we will baptize this transfer. if we dont I'm going to feel like a failure.  So I've been praying super hard trying to find out what i need to change in my self to make this possible.  I  have a lot of things to change.
    Hermana Marcos.  oh my goodness we are running out of ideas to help her. we go over and we follow the spirit and have such spiritual lessons and every time she tells us she will come to church and will do all these things but then she never does them. its so hard because she knows everything is true and she loves the book of mormon and praying and doing all these things but she wont come to church anymore because she goes with her husband. i think she is afraid to talk to him and to come to our church. we have a lesson Tuesday so we will see what happens.
    We have another guy who is called Hermano Martinez.  I've been working with him for like 2 transfers and he wasnt picking anything up and just couldnt remember anything and then all the sudden he just changed and now he is one of the most solid people we teach. he reads he comes to church he understands what we talk about and then he even tells us the things that he learned in the lessons.  he is super solid. he came to church yesterday in a white shirt and tie with a part in his hair. super super funny but really cool.  I'm excited I'm staying here because we are seeing a lot of good things happen with our investigators.  i cant wait to see what the lord has in store.
     We have been seeing a lot more succes as well. this week we got 4 more investigators.  Might not seem like a lot but it is.  The way I do it is I dont count them as new untill we have two lessons with them and they show like they want to learn more.  Most Spanish missionaries here if they have lessons they will count them as new the first time they meet them but what I've noticed is that hispanics just like to listen to the word of God once and then you will never get in contact with them again.      about my winter stuff.  it would be better to just get my gloves and small stuff like that out here so I'll just buy it when i need it.  but if you could just get me those sweaters that would be cool.  I'll take care of everything else if you could do that. and about my memory card. i would send it to you, but i dont want to be without it if something cool happens.  so if you could send me another one that holds like 50 pictures or something i would gladly send you my card :)  its been raining a lot lately so thats not too fun but thats alright. It makes me feel more like a missionaary.
    So there is a little girl who is 8 in our branch and for some reason she just loves me.  But she has cancer and its just super super sad. well she has been in the hospital for the last 2 weeks and she came to church yesterday with just a big smile the whole day and she just looked not good. But just seeing her with that smile just made me think how often i have let my head hang low from having a bad lesson or not doing a good enough job at something and just getting down on my self for different reasons and then i thought that if she could be dying but still have something to smile about then I'm just being dumb over my dumb little things. she really helped me a lot:)  Oh and she thought i was getting transfered so after church she ran up to me and gave me a hug and it freaked me out so i pushed her off and she got super sad and walked away. it made me sad.
    Super funny about byu. super sad but super funny.  What else is going out there in the real world? its kinda funny that I'm right in the middle of the world but i have know idea what is even going on.  That's sweet about Payden and Thomas. I believe Daniel is in the mtc now as well.  Things sound like they are picking up for the family.  thats good and im happy about that :)  things here are good. good working hard and changing a lot.  This week I studied the atonement and blew my mind with stuff. i studied moroni 10:3-5 to try and improve my prayers and again my mind was blown. Something i realized with it......  when it says ponder "IT"  it is talking about "mercy" and mercy is the atonement.  So in our prayers, to make it a communication we need to go through the steps in moroni 10 and then ponder the atonement.
  Well my time is up. Love you and I hope you liked the letter.

Elder Hardman

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday, Sept 12, 2011; Week 26


     Sorry its a little later getting on today some lady wanted  to feed the missionaries in her mexican restruant so that took a lot of time. oh and it wasnt just some lady. haha it was hma Lara. me and Elder Torgeson reactivated her and she is just doing so good now and always tells me thanks for what i do and how much she respects and looks up to the missionaries. she is a really good lady. nothing to much has really happened this week tho because i commented on most the stuff that happened and its only been like four days or something since i wrote last so....
     The family all sounds really good.  oh a funny story real quick before i forget. At church yesterday the members were taking a lot of pictures for some reason and they wanted to take one of the missionaries so they did and one lady came up to me and told me i was just covered in light because i have the spirit with me so much so she showed us the picture and guess what?  The light was just reflecting off my good looking bald head. It was super funny.  Everyone laughed a lot.
    I'm getting a little sick of mexican food.  We get fed every day because people love me and my comp. Thats how you know if you are well liked or not, if people feed you a lot.  and we get feed every single day. Its really good but sometimes i just wish that people would not feed us so that i can make some good less fat food for myself.  but we are able  to get a lot of people who want to help us in the work and a lot of less active families are starting to feed us so we are doing a lot of less active work. Thats probably what we've done most of this transfer, just less active work.
     Transfers are just next week. We will be getting calls on Monday morning so when i write next youll know if I'm being transfered.  I'm pretty sure I'm getting transfered. Usually missionaries dont stay in their first area for more then two transfers and since I've been here for three i think I'll for sure leave.      
     To answer your question on if i get scared in some of the places we go into!!!! I've only ever been scared once. i have know idea why tho. it was in the middle of the day and it was in a little nicer neiborhood and we walked into there because we were going to try by a less active and there was some black guys that were just starring us down and it just rubbed me the wrong way and i was just scared for some reason.  But other then that nothing really. I've heard billions of gun shots I've gone into areas where cops stopped and told us that there was just someone that got shot and have been harrassed a little by people but I've never been scared.
       Oh and Daniel Reed is going to Ohio or somewhere. Its a bordering state of Indiana and his mission actually comes into the state a little so thats pretty cool that we are going to be so close.  my friend Skyler Peacock is doing supper good in Portugal and everyone else I've heard from are doing good.  i just have a good group of friends that have really helped me.
   So this last Saturday was probably my hardest day.  we had no planned lessons at all and no one we could go see so we tracted the entire day and I've never done an entire tracting day before so i was a little nervous on how it would turn out and it started out bad and got worse and worse and worse. i had no idea there were so many j dubs in Indiana.  We got rejected by every single person that we talked to that day and it was really hard on me and kinda hard on my faith in contacting people. but thats ok. I prayed a lot and i realize that stuff like that just happens at times. Even missionaries need to be tested a little to see how commited they are to this work.
    Well my time is up. Sorry this letter wasnt as cool as others but nothing really happened this week. We taught good people and tried to find new people. but i love this work a lot and I'm learning more and more how to rely on the lord. I'm really working on being open with my comps because when I'm not stuff just eats at me and then i end up not being able to wait to leave him. haha but I'm trying. i love you and I'm glad that things are going good. oh and i did get the letter from Beth with the post cards.

Elder Hardman

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wednesday, Sept 7, 2011; Week 25


This week was cool. first i want to share an experience that happened yesterday with hermana marcos.  it was probably the most spiritual lessons i have had on my mission.  Monday night i felt like we needed to talk to her about trusting in god and the prophet and the then both of us sharing spiritual experiences that we have had while reading the book of Mormon.  when we got to that part of the lesson that we were sharing the personal experiences i still didnt know what i was going to share. so my comp went first and then when he ended i offered my testimony to what he said and opened to my scriptures to my favorite scripture. ether 12:27. i told her why this scripture was important to me and she is only the second person i have told. i told dad probably half the story so ill tell you now because i know you would want to know and I'm working on being more open.  i started off telling her that i was denied the opportunity to serve a mission a few times before i finally got to come. now this next part was really hard to explain in spanish is now that its in English ill be able to share it better.
      Everyone always tells me how great of an example i am and how proud they are of me for how much i fought and stayed strong and never gave up.always just moving forward with my desire to serve a mission.  what people dont know is how often i wanted to give up. how many times i was so fed up with the church that i didnt care if i served a mission or not.  the last time that i really felt like that was the saddest point of that trail. i remember just praying to God and telling him that i cant go anymore. this is to hard on me, please help me. i need help. please help me. after that i opened my scriptures and the first thing i saw was ether 12:27 when i prayed to God i came to him in the deepest humillity that i could muster and i begged for help. i showed him my weaknesses. i cried to him.  and then when i read that, the lord told me that his grace is sufficient for ME!!! and that the things i struggle with and my weaknesses will pass if i just have faith in him. the lord gave me my weaknesses he knew what i was going to struggle with most. he knew how to make me humble (and I'm not trying to say that I'm humble right now or anything. just that I'm a little more humble)  he knew what was gong to make me grow the most. i didnt notice this at the time, but now i know that i was at my lowest point and it was then when Jesus Christ lifted me up. sometimes it takes untill we are at our lowest point before our savior will save us. because sometimes it takes till then to learn what we need to learn.  that scripture is why I'm on a mission. its the reason i have a testimony of the book of Mormon. that scripture did for me what James 1:5 did for Joseph Smith. it changed my life and this is why i know the church is true and the book of mormon is true.
   Anyways, she was just blown away from the spirit and now I'm pretty sure she'll be baptised soon haha.  after that lesson tho we were riding back home and this black guy calls us over and asks me who Jesus Christ is and so i tell him and i guess he didnt like my answer because he told me i have the spirit of the devil in me. i laughed pretty good. then he goes in a 45 min discription of who Jesus Christ is and it blew my mind. but the difference between what he said and what i said is he knew that stuff becuase he studied it. i know who Jesus Christ is because i have felt it. he didnt like when i said that either because i just walked away.
     So on Sunday or Saturday, i forget the day. it was 98 degrees. on Monday it dropped to to 60 as the high. haha it sucked. so you know how we didnt get any winter stuff?  well can you send me a couple sweaters i can wear with my suits? my black suit i wear for tracting so if you could send me one or two for that it would be great and also maybe one for my blue suit. i probably need an extra large. i wont need them for a few weeks tho.
   Last Monday we were walking through a dark ally and 3 black guys run up to us and are swearing and what not and were getting pretty sketch with us and almosst take our bikes and bags but then i just tell them we are missionaries haha and they just left us alone. they told us we were lucky we are church people because we wouldnt have left with our stuff. the guy i was with was 6'4 and pretty big and he almost peed his pants.; it was super funny.
    Real quick before i go. hma figaroa!!!! she came to church on Sunday!!!! wooohoooo!!!!!! I'm pretty sure she is still blind tho. God wont heal her untill she is active. but something interesting happened. We set our mission baptismal goal at 46 baptisms and we only have 45 who have dates. so i prayed and i felt like hermano figaroa
   My time is up. i hope you liked the email. i love you much and i hope things keep going well.

Elder Hardman

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Monday, August 22, 2011; Week 23


  Good email this week. super long tho so it took me a long time to read and think about the things i want to say so if i dont get to write very much I'm sorry. sounds like the whole family is doing really good. good thing too because fasting for you guys is making me lose a lot of energy. glad to here dad got a lot of work.   oh i miss the temple so much.  i really hope they finish the temple here soon. have you heard anything about that?  oh, have you heard about the I'm Mormon website or whatever its called. well they are doing a great big thing with it here in indy so that means there are gonna be lots of billboards everywhere that say I'm a Mormon. its going to be exciting i feel.
   Things this week have been good. starting to pick up again and we are starting to find new people. i was struggling really bad with having faith in tracting and finding people but we had a training on it and i just started looking at it a completly different way and i feel like my faith in it has really growen. we were able to find a few cool people this week so hopefully we can hold on to them.  oh ya. something super crazy happened Monday night last week.  i was on exchanges with the district leader and we were in his area and we were teaching a guy that has a baptismal date and all the sudden some big giant black lady bangs on the door and starts yelling at the guy and getting up in his face and saying super super naughty words and was yelling for like 5 minutes and the whole time i was like. he doesnt speak english. and then she would yell at me and then start at the guy again and me and the district leader were kinda freaking out a little. well finally her daughter got her out and got her settled down. come to find out she was super high. but i said we need to say a prayer to invite the spirit and while we were prayig we both felt like we need to teach the word of wisdom. so we did and it was a super spiritual lesson  and it was just amazing. we werent planning on teaching that at all yet so its super cool how the lord works.
   Hermana Marcos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! well we hit a little snag with her. ever since we talked about about how she needs to get married she has been acting super weird. canceled our last cita and didnt come to church so we are a little worried about her. we have a cita tomorrow with her so we will get to the bottom of it.  oh. this week we have a GA coming for our zone conference. guess who it is??!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! the PROPHET !!!!!! wooohooooo!!!!!!! just kidding. its Elder Robbins from the presidency of the 70. he gave the talk on being instead of doing or something like that. I'm super excited for it.
    Not much else happened this week. we have just been tracting a lot trying to find new people to teach. there was a few people who let us in right then and had really good lessons with them. we'll see if they are there for the next cita.  latinos just love listening to the word of God. but they only like it once are twice so hopefully we blasted them with the spirit so hard that they will be there on our next cita. 
   This week we had interviews with the president and his wife. they both just love me so much. i dont know if i told you how the first night went but we go to the mission home and have a training and then have a testimony meeting. well when i was with Sister Collins she told me that she has been here for 14 months and she has never had a testimony change her as much as mine did. so that was pretty cool.  this week I'm studying humility :) haha they just always tell me how much they love me and how they cant wait to see what i do here so its a little stressfull because i dont want to let them down.
   well Ive got to end this here i only got 20 minutes left and i need to write dad and the president so I'm sorry. i hope all continues to go good with the family this week. ill make sure to read fast next week. i love you. oh and ps. look up MARY ANN EVERTON on face book and be friends with her and talk with her all the time.

your son Elder Hardman

Hey dad. i have only 6 minutes to write. I'm sorry I'm always running so low on time when i write, sounds like everything is going good for you and for the family. mom said that you recieved a lot of work from sun river. I'm so happy about that. how is your health. i feel so bad that i can be there working in your place and i pray every day that god is giving you strength and that your not killing yourself. hows glens baby doing?  how is glen doing?
thats something that i never realized or noticed before the mission. God really does love his children and he is going to all he can to help. even if its just sending a missionary to help you feel the spirit.
  well I'm out of time again. i love you so much dad. thank you for all you do for me. i hope that someday i can be the man that you are. i look up to you so much

elder hardman

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011; Week 22


First before i forget, that story about Jacob was such a good one. god must love him so much for how much he helps and cares about the missionaries. Everything happens for a reason thats for sure. That's one thing I'm learning more and more of as i am out here. The Lord truely does know what every single person in the world is going through and it doesnt matter what it is, if your doing the best you can in life he is going to find someway to bless you.  Second, hahahahahahahahaha so you remember how i recieved that calling last week? well this week i got released :( hahahahaha half way through a song the piano had a malfunction and started playing a christmas song. so my cover got blowen and now i dont have a calling. it was so incredibly funny tho. everyone gave me crap for it at church. 
    Sounds like the family is really doing good and you all are enjoying yourself.  That makes me happy to hear and it makes me not have to lose sleep from worrying about whats going on. ( oh and before i forget, one of our investigators told me to tell you and dad thank you for raising me.)  as much as i love being here and wouldnt trade it for the world i worry about you guys a lot and sometimes i wish i could be there to make sure everything is going alright. but i know God is watching over you and is taking care of you.
    I have a new comp. he is named Elder Lyman and he is 23 and from Delta Utah. he served in the mariens before this so thats why he is older and he seems pretty cool but a little different. haha i guess what person isnt different.  but i think we will get a long well enough.  he has been out for 9 months but his spanish is not at all better then mine so i think I'm going to learn a lot this transfer because i am having to talk a lot more and explain a lot more. but i like speaking spanish so thats all good.  oh!!! so Hermana Marcos. i love her so much just a good good lady. we gave her the baptismal interview ?'s to look over and then next time she had some ?'s like... stuff about the homosexual question. so that was interesting trying to explain that in spanish. but she was just wondering if our church kinda turns our back on people like that.  then we taught her tithing and the word of wisdom.  she said that she has no problem paying tithing and then we asked if she had problems with the wow and she got a sad look on her face and said yes. then we said well we are here to help you so what is it? haha she only drinks coffee twice a week at most and she just felt like a horrible person for it. i kinda couldnt help but chuckle. but she is so ready to be baptised. all she needs it to get married and we are probably going to set a date this week so pray for that please.
      Other then that me and my comp are just trying to find more people to teach so if you could pray for that that would be awesome.  oh and one last thing i wanted to share. the second week of every month we have a meeting called why i believe and its when recent converts share their testimonies about why they believe. its so amazingly spiritual and some of the people who talk just lived the worst lives that you could possibly think of and they just changed and its so amazing for me to be able to hear these testimonies they have about how the gospel saved their lives. well after those meetings i always make it a point to go and tell the people thank you for their testimonies (because they have all touched my life and strengthened my testimony) so i went and told them thanks and every single one of them said "thank you for letting me be apart of you"  or something a long those lines. how incredible is that? " thank you for letting me be apart of you" this is just one big family and i have a testimony of that. you are never alone in this church no matter what you are going through someone is always there to help you. i know this church to be the only true church in the world. i know that the book of Mormon is truely a gift form god and i know that Joseph Smith saw God our Father and our brother Jesus Christ and i give thanks to god every day for the opportunity i have to testify that to people as a representative of Jesucristo. i love you so much and i love the family. thank you for everything.  oh and congrats to uncle glen

your son
Elder Hardman

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Monday, August 8, 2011; Week 21


  Transfer calls came first thing this morning and................................................................ I'm staying here so i am so happy about that. we have had some heart felt moments with some of our investigators this week and it made me not want to leave yet. i will tell you about some of them.  first,  Hermana Reyes. she is an excommunicated member. but we have been teaching her for about a month and a half.   our last lesson with her we were talking about what we needed to do to get her baptized again and it was going really good and the spirit was really strong.  and then she just started bawling and she told us that she doesnt think she can get baptized again because she thinks her "husband" is still married to a woman in mexico.  it was so sad. then on top of that we had to tell her that we were having transfers this week and might be leaving and then she started crying again and told us how much she loves us and how she knows god loves her because he sent her two angels into her life right when she needed it most.  then she said a lot of other things that was nice.
    Then we had a lesson with hermana Lara who is a less active lady. we baptized her son Arturo. we told her that we might be leaving and she started crying too and told us that she considers us part of her family and she says that we saved her family and saved her life.  it was really really sweet of her.
    Then,,,,, almost a month ago we met this family and we taught them and they seemed really really sweet, but after that first time they just didnt seem at all interested so we dropped them. fast forward a couple weeks. we met a guy who just barley got over the border from mexico and set a return appointment for the next week. fast forward to this last Friday.  we went to teach him and he wasnt home so we were like, lets go knock on those peoples door that we dropped.  they answered and let us in. had a super spiritual lesson and at the end of it the mom of the house told us that that morning she prayed to god and said sorry to him for not praying in so long and that if he was really there and really cared to send her a sign to help her know what to do with her life and how to help her family. then guessed who showed up that day. the MISSIONARIES.  i love how god works sometimes.
        Me and the other elder from St. George, the one that me and him kissed the same girl! well me and him went on exchanges this week and taught hermana Marcos and was able to answer her questions about the church and clear up her doubts. we were able to make her feel at peace with it. so she came to church yesterday and loved it so much.  i think that if she comes a couple more times then we can set a baptismal date with her because she will like it so much. well thats the plan anyways. you never know whats going to happen with this branch.  oh speaking of this branch. guess who got a calling? me!!! guess what my calling is? i now have to play the piano in sacrament meeting!!!! haha i wish i was joking but I'm not. well I'm kinda not. they have an electric piano that plays all the hymns so they just told me i have to sit up there and act like I'm playing it so that no one knows its fake. i got so many compliments after sacrament tho:)
 I'm out of time. i have to write dad. as for my package that you want to send. whatever is fine. and for pictures,,, i will try and send some soon. and i think thats all.
  I love you and i hope all is well.  i love this work and i love the things I'm learning. love you
con amor

tu hijo
Elder Hardman

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Monday, August 1, 2011; Week 20


   First of all you need to know how bad i feel for getting upset last week at you. after i left the library and was driving home i was just rebuking myself the whole time because i was just thinking about how much you and the family do for me and and how selfish i was to be getting upset about an email. i was just having a tuff week because a lot of stuff had been going on. a lot of our investigators are deciding that this gospel is to hard for them to live so they have been dropping us and we have been trying our hardest to find new people and no one seems to be interested and it was just hard on me so i was looking forward to read some uplifting things that you always write and i didnt get anything so i just felt super bad. so i am sorry.
   I'm very glad to hear that every thing went good with the trip.  it would have been fun to go with you but this work is more important for us right now.  i am recieving mail now so all seems to be better with the post office.  are you going to start going up there every year or are you changing the place every year now?  well things are here like i said are a little bit harder but thats ok. its helping me rely on the lord more and grow more personally.  we were able to do a big service project in the ghetto where we clean up a home for troubled kids. it was really cool.  some 15 year old black kid thought he could beat me in curb ball ( kids in the ghetto play curb ball where they stand on opposite sides of the street and try to hit the curb with a ball, they do this because not very many people can afford basketball hoops)  but i represented for the church and for my family and i beat him pretty good. but then he asked to play again for money and i figured he was just hussling me so i thought it would be bad to play again.  but the service project was good. it was super super hot and hard work but it made me feel good. i love serving people.
     I went on exchanges with the zone leader again who doesnt speak spanish and i felt really good about how much i could do. my spanish does seem like it is coming along so I'm happy about that.  this is the last week of the transfer so we made a lot of goals to find new people so that next transfer we will have some new solid investigators.  Hermana Marcos like i said come to church last week and said that she had a lot of questions about it and we have to keep canceling our apt. because lots of other things come up. we have a lesson with her tomorrow so i hope it works out to where we can meet with her and answer the questions and remove and concerns.  she is a really good lady and she has told us that she wants to be baptized but wont do it without her husband. but her husband still wants nothing to do with us. how do we change his mind?
    Hermana Figaroa is still being stubburn but last night we found out what exactly happened to make her so offended so now we are meeting with her on Wednesday so hopefully we will be able to help her. i was talking to Hermano Figaroa on Saturday night and he says that he wants to be baptized so bad but he just cant untill his wife is reactivated.  i used to think that he was just scared that he would go inactive to but now i really feel like he is just not getting baptized because he wants to help her re activate. maybe he is trying to guilt trip her into it kinda. well whatever it is we will get to the bottom of it this week. 
    Not much else have happened this week. oh we had one lady make us some chicken tacos with homemade tortillas. it was probably my favorite meal that i have had out here.  she is one of our investigators too and she seems to be progressing too. she is having a lot of problems with her husband though so we dont know how soon she will be able to get baptized.  i heard that Daniel Reed got his mission call. i was so happy about that. i think he is probably my last friend to get it. when does Payden leave again?
     Well that is going to have to be it today. but i want you to know how much i love you and how grateful i am to be your son and to be in this family. i know this church is true and i know that god answers prayers. prayer is so powerful and i love being able to bare my testimony to our investigators.  i know that god is blessing my family right now and i know that he is watching over you.  i pray for you everynight and hope all will continue to go well.

your son
Elder Hardman

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011; Week 19


   Summer is almost over!! are the kids ready to go back to school. wooh i just remembered that you are only going to have 3 kids in school this year. super super crazy. things are starting to seem small in our family.  the last 2 weeks have been absolutly killer. its been 94 and higher pretty much everyday. one day it got up to 101. the news said that with the humidity and that heat it was like 120. i dont think i have ever sweated so much in my life.  i drink like a gallon and a half of water every day and my pee is still not clear haha. its pretty bad. but the work is still going good. yesterday guess who came to church? Hermana Marcos. i was so excited to see her walk in. to bad it was branch conference and all they talked about were things that needed to happen to make the branch a ward. she said that is a different and had lots a questions. so we have a apt. with her tomorrow. well me and the zone leader does. more exchanges. hate them. but the zone leader doesnt speak spanish so i will be solo again. I'm excited to see how much spanish i know right now.
   Oh and speaking of church yesterday.  since it was conference the choir had been preparing a musical number and the bass didn't show up so guess who had to sing? yup, me. haha dont worry, i did darn good. it was pretty cool actually.  so last week i was only in my area for 3 days because of exchanges again. first i went with Elder Everton who is just a super solid missionary and i have a really strong respect for him. i learned a lot and he helped me a lot with my spanish. I'm starting to understand more and more and speak more and more so I'm excited about that. then this weekend i went to Cumberland again. that place is so sketchy. the elders there are supper not obedient so i left there not being liked very much.  but i think they learned a lot so that was good. that area is just super hard to be in with those elders.
     Hermana Figaroa decided that she still doesn't want to have anything to do with the church. she is another that me and the zone leader are teaching tomorrow so please pray that she will be there. I've been thinking a lot about the lesson that we are going to share so also please pray that she will be open to what i have to say. we have lots of people we are teaching and all of them seem to be progressing nicely.  we picked up another investigator this week called Hermano Hernandez. he is like 23 and he is just the nicest man in the world. just smiling all the time and just loves that we are teaching him. i think he will progress fast then the rest, the best thing about him is that he isn't living with anyone so we don't have to worry about that. it is so hard to get ilegals married. harder then it should be i think.
    I had some more lengua over the weekend. i actually really like it now. and i had a pickled habanero. when things are pickled it makes them more hot so lets just say that i about died. I'm sure it was entertaining to those who were with me tho.  and i found out how to get any meal i want out of the members.  i just walk up to them and say. "will you teach me how to make....." haha this Friday i will be learning how to make tamales. I'm so excited. oh and i learned how to make horchata so I'm happy about that.
    Anyways I've got to get going but i hope all is will and i hope you all stay safe whille you are in yellow stone. oh and  thank you so much for the package. that makes me a little less mad that i didnt get an email. the bread and cookies are super good and the calender Kenny made me is sweet and the thing Jeremy gave me is also way awesome, everyone is jealous of it. haha i show it off alot. you definitely give really good packages.
   I know that what i am doing right now is what i am supposed to be doing with my life. I'm glad that we went through the things we did to get here because i have already felt blessings from it. I'm so grateful for this opportunity i have to help the latinos in Indiana.  this really is the best work in the world.  its going by fast and I'm trying to do all i can to not have regrets.  the thing i love the most is learning something knew and then praying about it and feeling the spirit confirm the truthfullness of it to me. i love being able to use the priesthood as much as i do here. that power is amazing. i love you momma and i love the family. love you.

Elder Hardman

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011; Week 18


   Well, no letter again. It's always hard to write when I haven't recieved a letter because I cant talk about how my family is doing for the first half of my letter. So I guess i will just start right into how things went this morning. Oh and i hope you have a good excuse on why i didnt get a letter this week. just kidding. I know you are busy. It's just sad when I open my email and see that my biggest fan didnt write me.
    This week has been pretty rough for me.  I had to go to Cumberland on Monday and Tuesday. Cumberland is the most ghetto and nasty part of Indy. Super hard for spanish elders.  There are 4 strip clubs within a mile of the apartment.  But I was there for exchanges and then there was a leadership conference on Wednesday and Thursday so after Cumberland i had to go on splits with other elders till Friday so I was out of my area from Monday to Friday and that just sucks. But on Friday me and my comp set a babtismal date with a guy called Hermano Cortez and it was so awesome. After he accepted he told us that he used to see us on our bikes all the time and he would hide from us because he just hates when missionaries would talk to him because he would always say he wasnt interested.  So anyways he would always hide and then one day he said that he was unlucky and he couldnt get away from us and it just so happened that that was the day that he really felt the truthfulness of our message.  Then he says that he thanks God every night for his unluckyness.  We set his date for August 13. We talked about the law of chastity because i felt like we needed to and come to find out he has a wife in Mexico and has a girlfriend here. But he hasnt talked to his wife in Mexico for like ten years because she kinda disowened him. But he cant get married untill he gets divorced so help us pray that he can get divorced please.  His girlfriend told us the first time we went over there that she has her religion but it wont hurt to listen. But she was pretty sure that she would not at all change. haha guess what? She is changing:)  She has truely felt the spirit and she is not at all denying it. This gospel is so amazing. 
       Not very much happened this week because i was gone for so long.  oh haha in the other area they have an investigator that is mexican who doesnt speak a lick of English and he has a wife who is white who doesnt speak a lick of spanish. hahahahahahaha how the heck does that work?  I laughed so hard after that lesson. She tried to pray in spanish so that her husband could understand and all she did was say english words in a spanish accent.  Super funny. But the guy, the elders were going to drop him that day but he asked for a blessing and now he is a super solid investigator. its amazing how that happens. After every blessing we have givin to investigators they just become super solid because they feel the spirit so strong.
    I've been studying faith a lot. Well last week i did. This week I'm studying hope. I'm trying to take a Christ like attribute a week and study it. But i learned so much about faith but the more i learned about faith the more i realized how little faith i have. It's so hard not to lose faith in this work because of how many people we talk to that arent interested. But its so easy to gain faith as well because of how God speaks through you to the investigators.  That is the greatest feeling in the world. Feeling God speak through you and feeling the love he has for the people you teach. Thats probably the greatest thing about missionary work. Along with the personal growth and friendships and what not.
    The family seems really good from what i hear. Jordan is impressing me so much with the things he writes me. He is such an exammple to me. I wish i could be more like him.  He will be such and amazing missionary if he can keep this up.  How is Jess liking work?  Whats Baylee and Jaron up to?  oh and when do i get the family pitures?
   Well my time is up because I stilll have to write dad back. Hope all is well and just know that I'm praying for my family everynight. I feel so blessed to be here and i know i couldnt have made it without my family. Oh and James told me today that my spanish must be doing super super good. I think he was meaning because my english sucks.  im sorry. im really trying. its just dificult. love you all.

Elder Hardman

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Monday, July 11, 2011; Week 17

  Where does time go? It feels like i was just here emailing.  So many amazing things have happened this week.  I wish i had more time to write but i dont so I'll just write what i can.  First, thanks for the package. It was a good one. I really enjoy those peanut butter bars and as for my favorite cookies, i really like the ones Baylee made and also i really like snikerdoodles. But I'm not picky.  Thanks for everything. Those study journals are awesome. I'm recieving lots of revelation that i can now have for the rest of my life.   I was so sad about brother Sadliers passing. so  so so sad. But i can promise you that he is in a better place. That's one of the perks of being a representative of Jesus Christ. Being able to feel the truthfullness of the plan of salvation when you teach it. Please please please give his family my best and tell them they are in my prayers.
    First I want to tell you about my joy this week. I dont think i have ever realized the joy this gospel brings untill this week. We have been doing a lot of work with non active families and we have helped 7 families find their way back to church and i was just thinking about it this week and thinking about how happy they are now and how much their lives have changed in this short amount of time and i just had an overwhelming feeling of joy and the spirit testified to me again of the truthfulness of this gospel.
    As you know, Hermana Figaroa is a non active member of the church and because of that her husband will not get babtised. We have been trying so hard to meet with her so we could figure out whats going on and she wont meet with us. So one day we felt like we needed to stop by and she answered the door and told us she was sick and asked for a blessing. So we gave her a blessing and the spirit was so amazing and so strong and so beautiful that she invited us back the next day to talk to her and her husband. So we went back and talked to them and half way through the lesson i was prompted to ask the hermano why he wants to be babtised and he said because he knows the church is true and knows he needs to be babtised into this church to be saved. Then i felt prompted to ask the hermana if she wanted her husband to be babtised. "yes". Why do you want him to be. She said for the same reasons he wants to be.  Then i felt prompted to say something else that I wasnt completly expecting so I had to wait for a second to make sure that its really what needed to be said. yup haha... so I looked Hermana Figaroa straight in the face and said.... your husband will not be babtised because he is afraid that he will go less active like you. This is your husbands salvation that you are messing with. This is your salvation and your kids salvation. This is the only church that makes it possible for families to be together forever. If for no other reason you need to come back to church for your family.... the spirit was very strong and they were both crying and she told us that she couldnt come to church this week (yesterday) because she already said she would work but she is for sure going to be there with her family next week. So when she comes a couple times Hermano Figaroa will get babtized.
    We also set a babtismal date with a lady called Leticia for the 6th of August so pray that everything will good good with that.  Her son is 16 and already has a 1 and a half year old son and is just super addicted to drugs so we are trying to meet with him to help him.  We have another investigator named Alejaundro H who is progressing really good. We have this thing once a month in the chapel called Why I Believe. It's where new members go and bare their testimonies. Super good missionary tool. The spirit is so strong there. Alejaundro and his family came and he cried a little bit and at the end he said it was beautiful.
   Last night I also ate another habanero. Not a good idea this one was hotter then the last one. Burnt my face off again.  Well I hope all is well. I need to write dad a quick note now.