Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday, June 27, 2011; Week 15


    First, yes, i will be emailing next Tuesday because of the holidays. as far as i know we dont get to participate in activities. but i dont think mexicans really celebrate the 4th of July seeing that it is an American independence day, but we will see.  this week i ate my first habanero, it about burnt my face off but it was good. and i also ate my first lengua.  it was pretty good. they made tacos out of it and the meat was really good and tender but i couldnt get over the fact that it was lengua. haha i dont know how Jeremy ate the things he did.  the weeks are just flying by. we had our first transfer calls this morning and I'm staying in this area with my trainer and I'm happy about that because we have a few people that are progressing well.  Arturo was babtized on Saturday. super spiritual and he is so happy.
    I wanted to share a couple experiences that i had while studying.  First, i was reading in the scriptures and i read a verse. i forgot where it was but i wrote this thought that i had down. " I have not chosen for myself to serve this mission, nor has anyone chosen to serve.  the Lord chooses us to serve and we never fully understand why. our job is to simply obey and do the things we are asked to the best of our abilities and then we still might not know the reasons we are asked to do things. but it is not important for us to know. the only thing that matters is we do them."  The second actually happened this morning. i was reading in John 19.  in verse 25 it talks about how Mary stood by the cross.  then i thought that in a lot of ways my mom (you) is like Mary.  she is always there for us no matter how ugly the circumstance, no matter how bad she wants to stop watching or how many times she feels like its to hard and she needs to give up.  you have always been there for me no matter what, just like Mary was always there for her son no matter how hard it was for her to watch what he had to go through.  i dont think i can ever thank you enough for everything. but i want you to know that i am grateful. i think i kinda got a glimps this morning of the pure love a mother has. i know i wont ever fully understand but I'm grateful for the little insight i had this morning.
    Any ways.  Hermana Marcos is still fighting her feelings right now. i get the feeling that she is deathly afraid to talk to her husband. and Hermano Espinosa. Her "husband" still wont make time for us. but i have faith that he will sometime. please pray for both of them. i feel that if we can even get him to start haaving lessons with us hermana Marcos will be batized.  There is a man called Miguel who i challenged to babtism last night and he says that he knows everything is true but doesnt know if he can keep the word of wisdom and a few other things. i promised him that if he prayed and asked for help god will help him and promised that if he prayed and asked if he needed to get babtized on the 30th of July that God will give him an answer. i know its supposed to be the 30th because thats the date that popped into my head when i felt like i should challenge him.
     Also,  there is a lady called hermana Diaz. we meet with her like 3 times a week and she is super solid but she believes that every church is true and no matter what church your in God will save you if your a pure person.  we have taught the atonement so many times and try to explain that only through the atonement can someone really be pure but she is just hung up and that one thought. when we get passed that she will be babtized.  so please pray that she might understand the need for the atonement and pray for my comp and i to be able to explain it in such a way that she will understand it. thank you.
    Other then that things are going really good. we are struggling to find more people. oh ya. we found this guy called Javier Garcia. he is an ex gang member who just wants a better life for his daughter who is super super cute. we have had one lesson with him and i have faith that he will see that through this gosple he will have a better life.  This work is amazing.  i have found that there is only 3 things in the world that make me cry. the love i have for my family the love i have for this gosple and the change and happieness i see in people because of the gosple. so like 2 and 1/2 because the last two are kinda the same.  i love being here.
    Before i go, some members want me to make dinner for them on Monday. so in my room i have two cook books from school somewhere. they are green and yellow i believe. will you have someone find those for me and also send some of your recipes and over night them to me please and thank you.
   Your missionary,

Elder Hardman

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011; Week 14


     So first, will you send me a couple nice study journals? i want to be able to keep my notes and thoughts for a long time and i fear if i continue putting them in a regular note book the pages will start getting ripped and tore out. so a few nice ones would be good. i bought one today and it was kind of a lot of money for a missionary so if you could i would like that a lot.
    There has been a lot that happened this week. First, on Tuesday i went one splits with elder ketch. he is a zone leader and he came to my area. he doesnt speak Spanish so it was me just flying solo for a day and a half.  it actually went really good and i know without a doubt in my mind that i had gods help.  we taught a woman called Hermana Marcos. she has been investigating for a little while and has been taught everything so i felt like we really needed to talk about babtism with her and find what her testimony was like.  i asked her if she knew Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and she said yes. then i asked if she knew this church was true and she said yes. then i felt prompted to ask if she knew that this was the only true church on the earth and yes said YESSS!!!!!  then i asked if she felt like she needed to be babtized. she said yes. haha then God rebuked me for not asking good enough questions and told me to ask another one. do you feel like you need to be babtized into this church?  she said yes again.  then we talked about why she wont be and she said that when she prays she feels like when she gets babtized she needs her husband to be there as well.  if you dont remember this lady, her husband is a big guy in the catholic church and has been a big guy in the catholic church for over 20 years and wont meet with us so its kinda hard to get her to progress to the next step right now. but any ways, after she said that i told her how important faith is and when we take giant leaps of faith like this ( because for her, being babtized is a giant leap of faith) God will bless us so much and provide miricales to happen. then i told her that maybe God is waiting for her to show her faith before he can provide a way to have her husband realize how important this gospel is.  anyways it was a really powerful lesson and the spirit was so strong. she cried a couple times in the lesson and then when she prayed at the end she cried the whole time.  now i say that i felt Gods help a lot during the time i was on the split becuase the next day i could barely understand Spanish again. but i prayed for help while i was on the split and God helped me.
     Something i have really been trying to work on this week is not being so worldly.  if i am to truely be a representative of Christ i need to deny myself of all worldly things. i never realized how hard serving a mission in the states was untill now.  its so incredibly hard to not listen to a song that is on or look at the tv or do anything like that.  i felt like i kinda couldnt help but do those things right when i first got here but I've been working on it a lot and i memorized my favorite scripture and now when ever i hear a song i say the scrpture instead. its helping a lot and i feel like I'm becoming a more effective teeacher and missionary.
     I have such a strong love for the scriptures now.  i dont know what happend, but this week i just started reading the bible and book of mormon and d&c and i am so in love with them.  every free moment i get i am reading and i am recieving so much revelation and my scriptures are just marked to heck now.  i dont know what happened,  i think i decided that if i was telling people that we believed in all these scriptures then i needed to really believe for myself. i have never really read the bible or anything else untill now and i just love it.
      The worst part of being comp to the district leader is that we are always on splits. i had 2 splits this last week and I'm on one today and tomorrow so i wont really be in my area from last Friday till Wednesday and i feel like i miss so much thats going on.
     One last thing before i go.  yesterday was the happiest that i have ever been on my mission.  Arturo had his babtism interview yesterday and after it was done he was walking down the hall with Elder Ketch and he ran up to me and gave me a hug and told me he passed and i just had so much joy that i had to really struggle to keep my tears in me. i am so happy for him. he has changed so much and his family has changed.  he is the son of a non active member and she is re activating and now has such a strong desire to go through the temple and she is doing everything she can to go.  this work it so amazing and everyday i am more and more grateful i am here.  i know that this church is true and i love it.  seeing it change the people that we are teaching is just so amazing. i love it and i love my family for helping me realize how important it really is.  love you all.

Elder Hardman

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011; Week 13

Sorry, no letter to post this week.  Thanks for checking in.  Prayers and letters are always appreciated.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Monday, June 6, 2011; Week 12



         So this week went by super fast.  This was probably the worst week I have had in regards to people canceling appointments but thats ok because we had a lot of opportunities to meet some very crazy people.  We tracted into this one house and they invited us in.  Right when I walked in I know that we couldnt be there. It was super super sketchy.  There was 3 really really drunk people and one of them started yelling at my companion then one was talking to me and crying and telling me how crazy the one that was yelling is and telling me that the guy was possessed by demons and just crazy stuff then the 3rd one was just sitting alone mumbling to himself.  I had such a bad feeling in that house and then when I finaly got my comp to leave that feeling stayed with me for the rest of the day. not good.
      So our drug dealing investigator decided to drop us. It was a sad day for me because Ireally liked him.  But we have some that are progressing really well.  Arturo is good. we only have a few things to teach him and then we will be babtized. His date is the 25th but we are thinking we might move it up a week.  Then Julio, he is doing so good. He came to church yesterday and he sat by me and he said that he really wanted to go bare his testimony but would feel dumb because he isnt babtized. I tried to explain to him that that doesnt matter but he said he will next month for sure. He is doing really good tho. In our gopel doctrines class he always answers questions and has comments and what not so thats really cool.  This man called Hermano Thresios is also really cool. He told us a couple days ago that he feels like he needs to be babtized and he knows this church is true and has a super strong testimony so me and Elder Torgesen are doing what we can to help him get married. Its kinda hard tho because he is a non documented citizen so he cant get a legal ID so we dont know what to do about that.  The lady called Hermana Marcos also has a strong desire to be babtized but said she cant unless her husband does and her husband is some big guy in the catholic church and he wont ever let us meet with him but he finnaly agreed on a meeting tonight so we'll see if we can blast him with the spirit.  Then we have a new investigator called Hermana Diaz. She is pretty cool. Almost all of her brothers and sisters are members and one of them actually works for the church so its only a matter of time untill she gets babtized. She actually keeps all of the commitments we give her so thats really cool.  I'm really enjoying this work.
    When we go and tract in this one area there is always a little getto black kid that talks to us.  He is the most polite kid I've ever met and he kinda has some gay tendencies so its pretty funny to talk  to him.  And there is a kid from my district from St. George that also went to pineview and last Tuesday we found out that me and him have a bond that I'm pretty sure no other missionary has ever had. !!!!! Are you ready for it? !!!!!! We kissed one of the same girls!! haha. Its pretty funny, so now we are good friends.  Yesterday at church me and that elder from stg were asked to give a kid a blessing and church.  I am so blessed to be able to have the priesthood and be worthy to do things like that when am asked.  My testimony of the priesthood and of the atonement and of the church is strengthened everyday and I love it.
    Well its time for me to leave and write my president but I hope all the family is doing good and I hope that everyone is happy.  I love you all and I love this church and I love my mission and I love the weird food I eat and I love the colts stadium ( I went there last p day, it was pretty crazy) I love learning Spanish. Pretty much I love everything. But mostly I love this church and my family.

Elder Hardman