And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up. ~D&C 84:88

Monday, September 15, 2014

Feliz Cumpleaños Hermana Hardy!!!

Hello Everyone!!
Mom and Dad: Did you get the email from Hermana Boucher with the pictures? I hope so! [Sue: we didn't :( ]

There is so much to tell you, I cannot even think of where to start! Well, we left the MTC at 5:15 and got to the airport where I called you (I was so happy to hear your voices) and the flight to Puerto Rico was only an hour.
We met Pres. and Hermana Boucher outside and the first thing he said to me was "How's our favorite Titan". I totally fell for it too, he knows I'm a Ram.
But anyways. If you hold out your left hand in front of your face with your thumb held close that is a map of Puerto Rico. Cabo Rojo is at the heel of your hand :) other than that I have no idea where I am.
It was a 2-3 hour drive from San Juan to here. We didn't get in until 11:30 so I was exhausted. You will all be glad to know that my bag that I brought is water proof, tried and proven in the rain. I'm so glad that it is or else I would have found out the hard way :)

Also, when I arrived at the mission home someone said, "Hermana Hardy? Oh, you're the one with all the packages." So yeah, I have all of them :) I have not opened up my presents though! I am waiting for tomorrow! I opened the package from Jonny first because I had no idea what it would be. I almost started crying and I did start laughing when I realized they were his basketball shorts!! Thank you so much. Having these shorts brings me so much comfort and I am so grateful for you Jonny and surprised at how quick you sent them out! We also love the Greenie package!

My trainer is Hermana Gawrych and she is from Sandy Utah!! I will try to send a picture. She studied at UVU nursing before coming here. She has a twin brother who is serving in Mexico. She is very sweet and patient with me.

Why were mom and Geoff in emergency blankets?? Are you guys okay? I am so proud of you! Jonny, start running with Mom and Dad. [Sue: they gave us Mylar blankets to keep warm before the start of the half marathon. We looked like 2500 baked potatoes sitting on the ground jaja :) ]

As far as language: I don't understand what the Puerto Ricans are saying. I can speak Spanish at them all day long but when it comes to listening to them I have no idea. The only thing I can do is bear my testimony. So story...

We were contacting in the streets in between lessons. We started talking to a woman when a man came up and just went on and on and on. I didn't understand much but I did understand that he was a part of a different church and he has some pretty strong opinions about Joseph Smith and the like. He really did go on forever.
While he was talking I began to feel so sad that he would not pause and let us speak to him. I began to feel the Spirit so strongly and I knew that I needed to bear my testimony of Joseph Smith. I tried to when he finished talking but he didn't give me a chance. He shook our hands and ran off. So I bore my testimony to the woman that had been standing next to him. I think she felt the Spirit. I hope so.
It was very upsetting to me because how on earth am I going to be able to bear testimony and teach people if they won't even listen to me! However I have learned since then that it is my responsibility to talk and bear testimony to people and their responsibility to open their hearts. Since then there have been a few people who have listened to my testimony!

We had a lesson yesterday afternoon. It was to an older couple. All the lessons before that (besides one lesson about the Word of Wisdom) I hadn't been able to contribute much besides my testimony because I didn't understand what was going on. But this time I recited the First Vision and I KNOW that they felt the Spirit because they told us so. It was so wonderful.
Also, the WOW lesson I was able to help teach a lot! It was amazing because that morning this woman had run out of coffee and had a strong impression that she shouldn't drink it anymore. Then we taught her, and she was so receptive and accepting of it! Wahoo! That was amazing:)

Okay... I hate to gross you all out pero... Well, our living conditions are pretty good. We live on the second floor in an apartment. We have stairs that are pretty steep but not too bad. We clean and we are all clean people anyways. But there is a bit of a bug problem. I am used to all the little brown ants however and they don't bother me.
However, Sunday morning I was making my breakfast. I was really excited because it was my favorite flavor of oatmeal (apple cinnamon, in the instant oatmeal packs) and I opened it and poured it into a bowl. I don't want to underplay it and I am not exagerating. There was a SWARM of baby cockroaches all crawling about in my oatmeal. Now, before coming here I would have screamed.
Surprisingly, my first reaction to this was sadness because it was the last packet of apple cinnamon and it was a waste of food. We try to put most of the food in the fridge but now the fridge doesn't work so our milk (which is a whole six dollars a gallon oh mi madre) went bad so that is sad too. They have gone through 3 fridges in the past 2 weeks and now we have to call our dueno again. Fortunately he is really nice and helpful!

I am so proud of you Hannah!! Way to be a soldier! I am so excited :) Chikungungya comes from mosquitos. I am putting lots of repellant on. The only thing is that I sweat it all off. I have been eaten alive but it takes 12 days for chik symptoms to appear so I will let you know ;) I am feeling great.
I HAVE NEVER SWEAT SO MUCH IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. I cannot describe it. It does not bother me though. Beside mascara I have given up on makeup because there is no way. Makeup for church and pictures but that's it. My skin is fairly clear so I don't look too bad.
It is hard to find time to write in my journal. I am trying to do better because there is so much I want to write! Apparently this is a wait gaining mission. I will do those exercises and mark my words, I refuse to gain more than 10 pounds. I am keeping myself accountable for this by writing it in this email :) wish me luck.

Church was wonderful and a bit overwhelming. They made me introduce myself over the pulpit and all the old women (some just recently baptized) would follow me around and continually speak to me. !Linda linda linda! is what they usually say and they all think I am beautiful. I like it here. OH, the couple I was telling you about with the First Vision? She kept on staring at me and told my companion that I look really familiar. Then she said that she likes looking at my face too :) So that is nice.

I am out of time, I will try to send pictures really fast.

What is my pin for my mission card? I think I have it confused with my normal one. I haven't needed it yet though.

I love you! I am going to miss you on my birthday!!

Hermana Hardy

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