Monday, November 17, 2014

God gave us Families!

"To help us become what he wants us to be! This is how he shares his love, for the family is of God."
Wow! That is so deep! God gave us families to help us become like him, to help us reach our divine potential.
Yesterday was the primary program. I wanted to cry! When the children sang this song at the top of their lungs. The little kids from the spanish branch have such hard home lives right now. There are part member families, abusive families, inactive families, but those kids love their families. It was super powerful for me to see...
I am so grateful for the knowledge we have that families are gifts from God. It took me 20 years to figure that out! I had to go on a mission! But now that I've shared that knowledge with so many other families, I love and miss my family that much more.
So thanks mom and dad for raising me in this gospel(:
Sorry that was kind of a random way to start haha I've had that song stuck in my head all morning! 
Yesterday was the Primary program, so our spanish branch was combined with the english ward. Elder Perry and I translated the whole thing, I translated for the girls and he translated for the boys. Luckily their vocabulary was really simple and all related to the gospel haha
It was super fun! I have never translated INTO spanish before, so I was super nervous. But it turned out pretty good. And it was really really fun! I wish I got to do that more! It was my first time attending sacrament meeting in english in almost an entire calendar year(:
I told Elder Perry "this time last year, I was a Primary teacher!"
He was like "No way!"
I was like "Yeah! Those kids were my LIFE!"
I LOVE them! I was missing them bunches yesterday! And by the time I get home they will all be baptized! Ahhh thats so cool!
Anyway, back up to the beginning of the week.
Tuesday, transfer day! I got to see some friends I haven't seen in a long time!
Like Elder Teran!
Then we had a lot of training. That night we got to go proselyte! In Santa Rosa! I got to see the Fonseca family!!
My family that got baptized in September! The girls, Lizbeth and Natalie answered the door. We were walking up to their apartment and I was like "Lizbeth! Don't you recognize me?"
And she read my name tag... "Hardy? ... HARDY!"
She jumped into my arms and hugged me! Hhahaha then we walked into the apartment. Carolina, the mom, saw me and she ran over to give me a hug and she started crying...
Aidan, the 9 year old boy, was super excited to see me too!
It was super cool cuz the last time i was in that house, I didn't speak or understand spanish! This time we had a super nice chat. 
Hermana Vianney showed up (from the branch) she gave up a huge hug. She was so excited that I was back in the branch. I had to tell her I was only visiting and she was super sad.
Then I got to see Jonathon, the 14 year old. He has grown up so much! His voice was wayyy deeper haha
And Carolina had a new baby! She is beautiful!!! She was a week old when i met her!!
They told me their door is always open to me. So I'll have to take you back to meet them some time.
Then Wednesday morning we got assigned our new greenies!!!
My new companion is named Hermana Bowler! She is from St. George, Utah. She actually went to high school with Hermana Hunt! She totally knows her! Crazy!
Heavenly Father has some high expectations for Hermana Bowler. She is amazing. Her spanish is wayyy better than mine when I started. She is fearless. She totally does whatever I ask of her. I'm like "Hey go contact that guy." and she does it!
Or "do you want to bear your testimony?" and then she does!
Wednesday night, our first night as a companionship, we had this super awesome spiritual experience. She gave the sweetest prayer, it was so sincere and so heartfelt and so powerful. We were both crying at the end of it. 
Her first day she was like "I could get used to this..."
She loves the missionary life already! She adjusted very quickly! 
When President Alba interviewed her she said "What can I do for you President?"
He said "I want you to be a leader. I want you to be a missionary I can trust with a struggling companion."
So she is always asking me for advice haha plus I am the STL so I'm kind of training her on that too, cuz she is a future STL and trainer. Oh man, she is just awesome mom. I love her so much.
She is so dang funny. 
This week there is this guy coming up that is like the president of the MTC language learning program. And of allllll the missions in the world, he picked this one. And of alllll the zones in the mission, he picked Napa. And of alllllllllllll the companionships and greenies in Napa, he picked us. So he is going to be shadowing us all day. Observing our interactions and how we proselyte and stuff. Its gonna be awesome. It is essentially a test for me, to see how I am doing as a trainer hhaha
My email to president last week was something like "I am super excited to train president, thank you!"
and he wrote me back this week... "be the best trainer in this mission, and in turn the best trainer in the world."
no pressure.
So we are doing great! Hermana Bowler is a baller! She is suuuuper awesome and we are having too much fun! 
Every day is so exciting because we do something new!
Her first door, her first pasole, her first pday, its all so exciting!
Yeah, one year next month.
Bibi and Aaron are engaged? I thought they broke up? Great for them!
Ohhh Delilah:(
Is Blitzen still kicking?
Crazy time! Yeah this time last year I was running around with you and it was freezing outside! And I was a primary teacher hahaha So funny...
Everything has changed so much.
Well, love you!
Hope you have a wonderful week!
Hermana Hardy

Trainer Hermana

I'm staying!!!!
A brand new missionary form the MTC! Ahhhhhh! I'm not super nervous,
just excited.
So Hermana Akre is going to Davis.
Hermana Whiteley is training AGAIN! So Hermana Hancock is whitewashing
into Novato(my last area)! I'm writing her a crash course survival
guide haha
Hermana Wickline emailed me today. She found out she has Chrone disease:(
Tomorrow is my 11 month mark! Ahhhh!
I didn't know Aunt Ann lived in Michigan? What part? Have I ever met her? Haha
Elder Perry (my DL) is from Detroit.
Yeah! Next week I can email all my compys!
Hermana Sommerfeld, used to be my companion. She is coming to our
zone! I'm gonna be her STL! Ahhhhh! Exciting!

Funny stories...
Our branch did a trunk or treat with the ward. Hermana Akre and I
bought some construction paper and decorated our car really quick. We
thought it was super lame. We drew eyes and teeth on him. Everybody
LOVED it. We had some moms tell us "I saw that on Pinterest" hahahhaha
Ours was one of the top 3 cars (all top three from the Spanish branch)
the white ward didn't even decorate their cars! Laaaame!
Box troll, do you know what that is? Like the new movie?
Christian Corro dressed up like a box troll for Halloween. He told me
I was oils from the movie, I don't know what that means haha
Also, the other day Hermana Akre and I were walking along and saw an
egg carton full of guavas with a sign that said "free guavas" and
instructions on how to eat them. SO funny! I wish I would have taken a
picture. He just took some guavas haha
Yesterday was Hermano Julian Arezates baptism! It was a beautiful
service! Almost the entire branch was in attendance. It was so great.
I love that man!
And that was our week.
Hermano Rico (Rich) Hamilton just got called to be the ward clerk.
He's a white guy. He is like our best friend haha he is always with
the missionaries. His wife is jealous. So we go over and visit her too
Love ya!
Crazy exciting busy week!
Yes! I LOVE this work!
Tomorrow I am going to be in Rosa! I'll see my family! Yay!
Hermana Hardy

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Emotional Roller Coaster

Its been just a crazy up and down and all around week.

We carved pumpkins for Pday! It was super fun.
Tuesday we had district meeting (I LOVE our District Leaders, they are so much fun!)
And then Tuesday night Hermana Akre was sick (she has Celiac and she ate some gluten on accident:(
Wednesday was good, normal work day.
Thursday was weekly planning because we had MLC on Friday!
So on Friday i was a mess...
We had MLC in Rosa, i was super excited about it, but when I got there Hermana Wickline was there.
I was super confused and I was like "Hey! What are you doing here?"
She gave me a hug and said "I love you, goodbye."
She is going home early. :( She left on Friday to the Airport.
She was in Peru for 41/2 months and then went home and then she was here for 4 months and got super sick and had to go home again. She is probably not coming back out :(
Then Hermana Bryant snuck into MLC to give me a goodbye hug and kiss on the forehead.
She goes home on November 11th.
So does Hermana Kaiser, so i had to say goodbye to her too!
It was just a super sad day...
At the end of MLC the good news is, Elder Fonseca is back in the mission. He went home when I had been in the field like 2 months. And he came back! So thats good....
then saturday Hermana Akre was feeling sick, plus i was super sad. But that night we went to this beautiful baptism for these two little girls that live in Sonoma. Their older brother had been inactive for 6 years. He is active again and got the priesthood and he got to baptize them! It was beautiful!
I cried it was just a gorgeous service!
We sat with Sister Alba the whole time(: She challenged us to set a baptismal date with the Familia Flores that we have been working with for like 3 weeks.
So we are gonna do it!
No I haven't talked to Packer since he left. We are not allowed to email the other missionaries in the mission and we are not allowed to write letters to the elders. so... yeah.
I cant wait for my companions to go home! I CAN EMAIL THEM NEXT MONDAY!
Thats crazy!
Yes still four of us in our apartment. The sisters we live with are like my sisters. the four of us are super close. Were really close.
So The Fonseca Family is a family that Hermana Bryant and I found and taught in January of this year and they got baptized in September. That was like the happiest day of my life.
When I saw Hermana Fernandez at MLC she showed me a video.
It was Carolina Fonseca with her new baby that she just had (cuz she was pregnant when we met her) and she said "Hi Hermana Hardy! We love and miss you!"
And Hermana Fernandez said they ask about me every time she goes over there.
They remember me! I am SO sad I didn't skype into their baptism! I love that family so much!
And then Miguel got baptized when i was in Novato.
And here in Napa we are finding SO many families!
The Flores, the Martinez, and the Torres families are all just so prepared.
Like I said we are gonna set a date with the Flores family for the end of this month so hopefully they will be baptized this month or beginning of December! 
Transfers are next tuesday, we find out where we go this friday!
Hopefully the four of us sisters are staying.
Im pretty sure Elder Sabin is leaving though... :(
Today we sign journals and stuff. Its Hermana Law and Hermana Tracy and Hermana Whitney's last Pday! ahhhhhhh!
Hey love you fam!
Sorry its kind of a scatter brained letter this week haha
I love all the halloween pics! Looks like so much fun!!!
Love always!
Hermana Hardy


Denise here:
Ok, October was a bit crazy around here. Here is catching up for the month!
Oct 6th, 2014
Wow! Sounds like a busy crazy week!!!
I can't believe it snowed this week!
Here it is still 80s and 90s. We had one day it got up to 98!
So Now i have Hermana Akre! She is from Canada! So she and I are on the same page when it comes to the heat. She is my 4th- yes FOURTH- transplant companion IN A ROW. 
That is crazy! That is like unheard of! I am literally the only Hermana in the Mission that can say that haha
I had Hermana Sommerfeld, then Hermana Wickline, then Hermana Grant, and now Hermana Akre (AYE-like Canada, aye- Kree)
It was a wonderful week. Really busy.
Last monday we did normal Pday stuff, Tuesday was transfers! I got to see a lot of missionaries I haven't seen in a long time! Like Elder Despain! And Elder Tooley! 
Elder Despain says to me "Hermana Hardy! You are almost at a year!"
I was like "Elder Despain, I hit a year, literally the same day you do."
He was like "But.. YOU'RE A GIRL! you are already half way done! When did that happen?"
It was funny.
It was so crazy to tell missionaries from my greenie area I was half way done now.
Then we had MLC on Wednesday, so instead of driving home, Hermana Law and I spent the night together in Santa Rosa. So guess where we went to dinner... SAZON! Jose's restaurant! My less active we used to teach when I was in Rosa! After dinner we had to go back to drop Hermana Jones off (she was hanging out with us because her followup trainer had never trained before) at the Badger building,. On the way out we helped Sister Alba carry some stuff to her car. We were like "Sister Alba is there anything we can do for you?" and she said "yes! please!"
so we went to the mission home to help her set up air mattresses for all the STL's that would be spending the night at her house. Then we spent the night with Elder and Sister Seeley (a senior couple that works in the office) Sister Seeley is so sweet. She made breakfast for us in the morning! Elder Seeley served his mission in Finland and loved that I knew something about Finland hahaha so we chatted for a while haha
Then we went to MLC is was wonderful!
I learned a lot!
Have you guys heard of the Movie Meet the Mormons?
It is coming out on October 10th! The church endorsed it and all of the proceeds are getting donated to charities.
Elder Holland asked all the state side mission presidents to have their Zone Conferences early on in the transfer, because we are all going to watch it!
So we watched the whole thing at MLC! And we will watch it again later this week with our zones.
It was so awesome.
It was really really good. It totally made me cry! I hope you guys get to see it too!
Then on thursday we had a normal day! It was my first day with my new companion. It was kind of crazy because all of our appointments we normally have on Wednesday we rescheduled for Thursday so we had like 8 appointments it was nuts haha 
and then on Friday morning we had Zone Meeting, where the zone leaders and STLs teach about what we learned at MLC. It was super good! We got the zone pumped for this transfer!
Our zone leaders are great. They are both really low energy quiet guys...
And we made a title of liberty with our Zone Vision on it, they asked us how they should present it to the zone and Sister Tracy and I both said they needed to come running in from the hallway with it. 
Elder Angilau and Elder Contla were both like "Sisters, if we do this. we have to go all the way or it will just be lame. And if we do this, you have to back us up. We are gonna be wayyy out of our comfort zone..."
We just smiled back at them.
So we were going around the room introducing ourselves and the zone leaders snuck out.
When everyone had said their name, Sister Tracy started a slow clap... and then the zone leaders came running it! They had their collar popped and their ties tied around their heads!
They were yelling "When I say Be, you say One! Be ONE! Be ONE!"
It was so great! hahahaa it was a great way to start the meeting. then everybody was all pumped and really actively engaged the rest of the time. I was so proud of those elders hhahaha
Then Saturday and sunday were conference so it was just like a really awesome crazy busy week.
I loved conference! It is like missionaries christmas! 
And there were so many miracles those days. 
We were only proselyting for like 2 hours each of those days, but they were miraculous hours!
Our Investigator, Brizza, prayed for us! She has never prayed in front of us before!
She was an atheist when we met her, but she had this back surgery last week, she was super scared, she said she prayed to god and said "Hey, it's in your hands now. Let this guys' hands be your hands, and make sure I turn out ok."
She said after that she wasn't nervous any more.
And the surgery was flawless! She is on the path to a quick recovery! Isn't that amazing? She totally has a belief in God now! Oh I love it!
And then the other miracle was Narciso! We haven't seen him for 3 weeks! We were teaching his family, but then his wife had alcholic issues and now they are getting a divorce:( so sad. But we visited him on friday night and sunday night and we are gonna go visit him again this week. We help his little girl, Alina, with her homework. Because he doesn't speak english, so he can't help her. That has got to be so hard!
But they have a beautiful family!
We are still trying to find his wife, Irma, so we can talk to her about addiction recovery. 
We'll see how it goes!
So yeah, that was our week! It was crazy!
But it was wonderful!
Also, our roommates are wonderful! 
Hermana Whiteley and Hermana Hancock (her new greenie!)
we have a lot of fun and get along really well!
I love my district! My mission! My life!
Right now everything is going really good!
Love you!
Hermana Hardy

Oct 13

So Tuesday,
So we had district meeting, that went really good. I am super excited
for Elders Perry and Sabin. They are amazing already. They are gonna
do really great things this transfer!(:
.At 2 we went and visited Brizza. She is amazing! She posted a picture
on facebook that said something about Faith is letting go of your
fears. Wow! She is amazing!!! She truly does have faith! I can't
believe she started out an atheist when we were teaching her. She is
awesome. Oh I love that woman so much!
Then we contacted for a little while- bad idea, it was so hot!- then
we went to Joses at 4. We taught Jose and Yoana and Yesenia. They are
so great. Oh man, I love that family so much!
Then we went to dinner with Jenny stoddard, she is a sweetheart of a lady.
We had an appointment with Hermana Brenda Lopez, but she flaked on us
again Haha we contacted this sweet adorable family in the elders area.
Then that night, we taught the FLORES FAMILY.
This is our family, I love them SO much. I could already see them
serving missions and getting sealed in the temple. Juan could be a
branch president some day.
He is amazing, they all are.When we came the girls ran and hugged us!
And Juan was excited to see us! The mom, Teresa, is also totally
interested.They have like no religious background at all, so we have
to go super slow to make sure they understand everything. But oh, my,
goodness. I LOVE them. I love them so so so so much! They are our
family.They are beautiful. Heidi (12), Esmerelda(11), and Melissa(6).
They are just drop dead gorgeous girls! Oh I love them so much. They
are so cute and so loving.I literally felt like their home was my
home, I could have stayed there all night.
Melissa, the six year old, gave us these little moose toys, and gum,
and water bottles, everything. They were so cute.They love horses!! I
love horses! Oh man, I just want to take them home with me.
So anyway. Tuesday was magical.
Then on Thursday we had zone conference! It was fun and I learned so much!
I got to see Elder Jeske!
This week we picked up 6 new investigators and taught 17 lessons! It
was the best week of my mission so far! Oh man it was so good.
Then we had fast Sunday and this super fun break the fast dinner with
all the missionaries in the zone. It was just a wonderful week(:
I'm sorry the fall festival was a bummer! Sounds like it was fun to
visit with a Brother Jenkins again!
And the frozen cast was a hit again! Haha
Love you all!
Hermana Hardy

Oct 21

Yeah I don't really really need anything, so don't worry about a package.
That was exciting!
Haven't been to a pumpkin patch next, we have that planned for next P-day.
This upcoming Wednesday we are having a fall carnival for the branch.
Last Wednesday we had a Guerra de Bombones or a Marshmellow War! It
was so awesome. The elders built some really intricate towers out of
paper cups. Oh man, it was really fun I'll send you pics In a sec.
Poor Kodi. Glad to hear he is ok haha
Zombie hay maze sounds like fun! 

Oct 27

Elder Packer Dean already got Emergency transferred away...
We have now officially served 2 weeks of our missions together.
Guess where he got ET'd to.... NOVATO!!
My home! Awww I love Novato so much!
I am so excited Jarett Got his License! That's so awesome.

Yes! I got your package! It is SO nice to have a camera again! Thank you thank you thank you!
And the treat tower was greatly appreciated as well!

 it was a WONDERFUL week!
We taught 20 lessons this week! That is the most lessons i have ever tuaght in one week!
We are finding new families to teach every week! I have never found so many families either!
Our area is exploding! We are seeing so many miracles and Hermana Akre is the best!