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, October 27, 2014

The Waving Campaign

Hello Family!!!
Transfers were last Tuesday. They tell us the Sunday night before. Next transfers are December 2 and I will probably stay here because Cabo Rojo is the furthest you can get from San Juan and people usually stay here for a long time. (random thought, if you haven't sent my one book of arrangements yet, can you also send the yellow christmas arrangement book as well?)

I played the piano for the Primary Program yesterday! It went very well. I learned a lot of new songs the past few weeks and it was great. Now the Primary President is a lot more willing to go out on visits with us :)

As far as toys or games I haven't seen anything different here than in Utah. Sports, video games, smart phones, etc. I played hopscotch with a little girl last week when her mom's car broke down (we were all on our way to a lesson) so we didn't have a lesson that night but we did draw with chalk in the plaza! I will try to send a picture. There is a hand sing song game that some girls taught us and is funny. It took me a while to pick up the words but they are pretty much nonsense anyways.

I think the best thing I have had was lasagna that a member made for us!! haha, it really was the best lasagna I have ever had. But lasagna is also a rarity here. Umm, I think I really love fried plantains. Any fried fruit like that is called a tostone, so yesterday I had tostone de pana, which is a pretty starchy fruit like everything else. I liked it just fine, but the elders had gone on about how good it is so when I actually tried it it wasn't as good as they had led me to believe haha. I LO VE aguacate though too. AND last night they gave us APPLEJUICE!!! wahoo! I was so excited, no one drinks apple juice here!

I do receive all of Grandma's letters! They make me so happy:) It only takes 3 days for letters to get to me! Pretty awesome!

An interesting event and a spiritual message! Yesterday NOTHING worked out. We ran all over town for all these lessons that were supposed to be member presents but all the member's cars broke down this week (seriously, a whole bunch of them) so we were going to have normal lessons but no one was home. The only thing that worked out was a half active family (husband active, wife not).
That lesson was pretty amazing and simple. If we had had all those other lessons we may not have been able to have that lesson. We think that everything fell through just so we could visit that family and give them the lesson they needed to get comfortable with us so we can help them get back to church and progress to the temple (people LOVE the picture of our family and of mom and dad on their wedding day outside the temple). They were the ones that had apple juice too! And doughnuts from Krispy Kremes! They have doughnuts here but they aren't the same as Krispy Kremes (which is in Mayaguez). So my message is that sometimes things fall apart because Heavenly Father really does have another, much bigger, purpose for us.

This weekend President and Hermana Boucher dropped off something for me! Haha, apparently Hermana Boucher ordered something from the LDS art store and aunt Joann saw the order and called Hermana to ask to send something to me with the package of art! So I received goldfish and the most beautiful bookmarks to give out! Tell Joann and Grant I say hello and thank you so much!
I am so grateful for all of you and your prayers for me! There are lots of ups and downs but I am loving it here! Waking up in the morning is pretty easy (most of the time) because it is so light outside early in the morning.

Did I already tell you guys about The Waving Campaign? Well, I realized a month ago that I tend to look at the ground while I walk around so I made it a goal to start waving at all of the cars that drive by us so that I don't look down. So we started to smile and wave at every car. Then we started counting how many people wave back at us and I reported the numbers to President just for fun and he loved it. He calls it the Waving Campaign and always asks about it now and thinks it's great. My original goal was just to meet someone one day that recognized us as the girls who waved at them. Well now about the whole town knows us and people start to honk and wave at us before we even start waving at them! People also honk and wave at the other sisters because they think they are us, hehehehe. So that's pretty cool. We have been bad at counting lately but I think our record one day was over 60- pretty awesome.

I hope you all have an awesome Halloween- send me pictures of the pumpkins!!

I can't believe Hannah has a triple turn on the left side- get out!! haha, that is awesome! Hannah, you should write me a letter and let me know what all your rehearsal schedules are like and what dance at school is like, and about your friends and EVERYTHING! write as much as you like please!

I have coconuts and the elders are going to tell me how to carve a ring out of a coconut! I am excited!

I don't know what else to say! There is so much and I am just so happy here and I still feel like it's July haha.

I want to give everyone a BIG hug and tell them that I love them. I am so grateful for everything that you have taught me.

I love you all!!
Hermana Hardy

Monday, October 20, 2014



Today for P-day we woke up, exercised (I just stretched and used a tennis ball on my muscles), cleaned, we're doing laundry, trying to find a ride to go grocery shopping and we are planning on making cookies for tonight to take to a lesson and help a girl pass them out to neighbors for a service thing. It's a pretty laid back day this week. Last week we did souvenir shopping so I might be sending a package to you guys for Christmas:)

They do Dia de los Muertes here but that's in Spring time. For Halloween I don't think it's as big as in the States but people use it for sketchy business like drinking and celebrating dark stuff. We have to go home early for Halloween. There is a cool house we passed by that keeps on adding decorations for halloween! Haha, it's hilarious. The first time we saw it there was just their big Christus on a fountain/waterfall thing, then the next time the pool at the bottom was red and there was a zombie laying in it. Every week we pass by the zombie moves further out of the pool and now their entire house is decorated and there is a haunted house in their yard. It's pretty sick.

I think the best use of a scripture this week was James 2:17-18 about how faith without works is dead with a woman who is less active. She totally understood it and accepted it and even continued on with her testimony about it. It was awesome because some people just don't get it when we teach them, or they just don't try. She did and she was very sweet about it. She didn't come to church but we will keep on visiting her.

To find new investigators we contact on the street, we ask for referrals (hard to get those), and we try to ask members (who are shy about it) and we try to talk to everyone we can.

Gospel Principle this week. Well, the importance of having the Spirit in conversion and in lessons to help teach. Our one inv. (we have to give him to the Elders but we will still see him sundays) even understands that now! Yesterday we had a short lesson with a 14 year old girl who was very sweet and we gave her a short overview about the Restoration pamphlet which we gave her to read. I could feel the spirit there as I told her that Heavenly Father loves her and she can pray about anything she needs help with and how there was a 14 year old boy that had lots of questions and God answered his prayers. That was pretty awesome. She even prayed at the end! Wahoo!!! I can't wait to see her next time.

Transfers are this Tuesday and we found out last night that our ENTIRE zone is staying the same, just an Elder in our district is getting a new companion to train (our elders have been in a trio this transfer). Next transfers are December 2, and they'll probably take Hna. Gawrych away from me then because she's been here a long time and my training will be finished. These past 6 weeks went by A LOT faster than they did in the MTC, which is insane because those 6 weeks went by pretty fast too. Í'm coming up on 3 months which is weird.

I am jealous of your hike! that looks BEAUTIFUL! Lexie go ahead and wear my dress! way to get all A's Hannah, remember that even though you are busy reading a chapter in the Book of Mormon EVERYDAY will help you so much. Make sure you make time to read it and make it a priority. Some chapters are long so you can split them in two. I am 1/3 through the BoM in Spanish! I love reading it, I notice different things in spanish, pretty cool. Make a goal and a calendar and it will be easier for you. I hope Jonny gets furniture soon :)

I am out of gummy vitamins and that's all I can think of! oh, and epiduo is almost gone. I am going to miss the ward party, we are just having a big service party the day after Halloween!

This email is short because I am sending pictures!!

Hermana Hardy

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Walked... And Walked... And walked...

Hola Familia!
It's been quite a week. I think the best thing that happened was that with a couple of investigators I have been able to see a change in them. Really, just a tiny tiny bit in each. If I wasn't paying attention, I wouldn't have known. One (the birthday party one with the 5 year old) was at first really difficult to teach because he has some pretty intense theories about churches in general. Slowly, however, he is starting to change. Another is a woman has changed a bit too. Honestly these two people are some of the most opinionated and firm (kinda stubborn) people but it is wonderful to see how the Spirit can change a heart little by little and they can't even see that change yet :)

Something funny... Well we walked about 8 miles one day... (around that much, I had a ruler and a map and I had to convert meters to feet to miles) That was crazy. For the last 2 miles that we would have walked a woman picked us up. She was a 7th day Adventist (They are very firm in their beliefs). She and her husband saw us and said "Those are either Mormons or Jehova Witnesses, because no one is crazy enough to walk along this long road at night." They also called us hardcore and apologized for thinking that we were Jehova Witnesses. She was very kind and had taught herself English and was very firm in telling us that whatever we need we can call her so we never walk so far again and on. A lot of people in Puerto Rico recognize us as people of God and respect us for that even if they won't listen to our message.

Let's just say that with that one day of walking I will need a hip replacement by time I'm thirty :)

Our schedule: I wake up at 6:30 and exercise. Prepare and eat 7:00, personal study 8:00, companionship at 9:00, idoma at 10:00, doce semanas (my training) at 11:00, 12:00 lunch, 1:00 out the door! We return by 9:00 pm to plan and bed at 10:30.

After my training is over we will go out earlier in the day. We are technically supposed to have a dinner hour later in the day which we usually don't take. On Wednesday nights for the past 2 weeks we do take that dinner hour at 8:00 and go to Taco maker because it is their half off night. Best burritos EVER!!!!

Send me a pic of the duck house? I don't believe Dad when he says its the size of a barn. I don't really have a preference for a color watch! Suprise me! My favorite colors are green (not light or lime) yellow pink and red. and purple. ha, yeah.

I am glad Hannah is having a good time dancing and making lots of friends! The best part about that is linking friend groups all together instead of staying in just one :) That isn't me holding the lizard. I tried and it jumped away! It's living somewhere in our apartment. I DID catch a coquí though! Haha! I don't have a picture with it though :( next time!

Last Tuesday was an interesting day. We had a lesson with a woman. We handed her the Book of Mormon and before we invited her to read it she started saying no puedo no puedo no puedo. She downright refused. Eventually, it got to a point where I knew that I needed to bear testimony to her but it was so hard to get her to stop freaking out about how she isn't ready to read it. Eventually my companion said ESCUCHALE!

I was able to bear my testimony and I can't explain how strong the Spirit was in those few moments. I KNOW she felt it too. She admitted that we had the power of God but still refused to read. I think that was both the highest point of my mission so far, to feel the Spirit bearing testimony to her through me, but also the lowest so far because she wouldn't hearken to it. So she handed the book back and said that she wasn't ready to read it at this time in her life. It was very disappointing and discouraging to see someone downright refuse to listen to the Spirit but I suppose she's right, she isn't ready yet. Hopefully in the future.

It feels like so much happened to all of you this week! Good luck with your new job Geoff! Congratulations! Also, right on Jonny for moving out. I am sorry you have cold showers at the moment haha. I know I said I would send pictures from the house and town... that will be next week :D Baptism wise the goal for the entire mission is to have at least one baptism every month and at least one reactivation. We have been working super hard and the pressure is on to have one before the end of October but right now it looks a little thin. We had planned for a lot of investigators to come last Sunday but only one came... but it was still great! the testimony meeting was very spiritual.

Oh! Lexie and Geoff thanks so much for your package!! I also received a package from Aunt Jenny and the Robert's family! I was so surprised :)

I need to go. Just so you know there are a LOT of federal holidays on Mondays in the PR so it is going to be perfectly normal for me to be writing on a Tuesday especially coming up on Christmas season. Apparently the library is closed all the time then so we will have to ask permission from President to use a member's or something. We will see! I love you ALL so much. I know you will all be blessed for your service.

I would like to ask EVERYONE who reads this to find a friend that is not LDS and invite them to church and to meet with the missionaries before Christmas (because the best gift you can give is the Gospel to another person:))

Buena Suerte!

xoxo Hermana Hardy

P.S. If Jonny's emails get any longer tell him to send me a letter :) actually, everyone is welcomed to send lots of letters haha:) I also want to answer everyone's questions as fully as a can. Love you all!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Tender Mercies

Hello Family!
I cannot describe how amazing Conference was! The sunday morning session was totally all about prophets and authority and that was amazing for our investigator to listen to that! I loved how they had so many speakers who were able to speak in their native languages. I think that is so special. I liked Jorg Klebingat's talk a LOT. I have lots of other favorites. A lot of talks reminded me of things in my patriarchal blessing. There was some cool revelation for after my mission as well as during it. I also liked all the ones that spoke about light and truth. Absolute truth is found in God. Also, Elder Martinez who spoke in Spanish? He is totally from Puerto Rico. AND, he came to speak to us in the MTC (he spoke about obedience and I have lots of notes about it) and I was able to meet him and his wife and shake their hands!
We live with the other sisters in our district 2 streets away from the Plaza. It is a pretty nice place and we like it. We all sleep in one room (2 regular beds and 1 bunkbed) then my closet and study room is in another room. I'll send pictures next week! There is a huge catholic church right in the middle of the plaza. There are lots of stores all around and parking is crazy. As we move out from there it is more like regular neighborhoods. Cabo Rojo is a mix of crazy busy and lazy roads upish a mountain.
I eat a lot of bananas and mangos and aguacate. I need to eat the aguacate with other foods or else my mouth will start to itch but it is so amazing here!
Right now we really only have 2 or 3 investigators that are progressing. One is the man I told you about before with the 5 year old daughter (we went to her b-day party). He's a tough one but we had an amazing lesson yesterday in between sessions of General Conference. He was able to listen to Elder Bednar's talk. Wahoo! I made BINGO for his daughter. She only ate 5 jelly beans and then threw up. She felt fine afterwards though. I think it needed to happen so that he could see all of the missionaries (our entire district watched in English with him) take care of his daughter (we all sprang into action to clean up and make sure she was okay) I think he appreciated that a lot. We are certain that the way to open up his heart to the message of the Gospel is through his daughter because he loves her so much!

We are teaching a woman named Glory who is very special. She doesn't want to commit to a church though. However she does think that it's amazing and beautiful that families can be sealed together so we are teaching her L2 next and then maybe we can get into baptism. Hopefully after we baptize her she will be able to get to her husband. They have a very good relationship, he just has his own way of practicing religion.

Another woman is very special and religious. She accepted the entire plan of salvation easy. She won't however accept that the person who baptized her before didn't have the authority and she refuses to be baptized again because there is ''önly one baptism''. I tried to explain that one baptism means baptism is only valid with the one authority. She still thinks that she only needs to be baptized once though. We will continue to teach her.

Another woman and her friend fell off the grid the past few weeks but they came to the afternoon session yesterday! Wahoo! Hopefully we can start teaching them again.

We have some more but that's about it. The majority of lessons we have is with less actives. which is good, but we are technically supposed to focus on finding and teaching and baptizing and we need to find a happy balance.

Tender mercy this week. Well I will tell you about my favorite one. Monday in the cave we were having our zone meeting. It was a bit hard to follow all in Spanish and I just started thinking about how much I really wanted to hug dad. I miss your hugs so much dad. As soon as I had that thought I could feel the Spirit place his hand on my left shoulder. It was so specific down to the timing and the placement and I knew that the Holy Ghost was reminding me that He was there. I would then pay attention to the meeting until I thought about dad again and I had the same impression on my shoulder. This happened a couple times and I am so grateful for the Holy Ghost and the comfort that He gave me. He reminded me that even though I don't have dad right here I have his prayers and my Heavenly Father here to watch over me as well. I love you so much dad, thank you so much for everything you have taught me and have done for me. Thank you so much for the strength your teachings give me every day here in Puerto Rico.

About my watch: It was crazy raining on us and there is water still in it (after 2 weeks) I will try to find another one or a new battery.

Be careful biking mama! Do you and dad have new bikes for your marathon stuff? Send my love to the McBrides and the Lloyd family. Thanks for serving everyone you come in contact with mama. You are such an amazing example.

Hannah, you make me laugh! Be careful not to hit your heels on the floor. I know it's how you walk as a soldier but don't be too rough! Who teaches your rehearsals? I am glad you aren't stressed. Keep up the good work! Remember it is ALWAYS best to do your homework as SOON as you get home from school. Even if something isn't due until the next week. This will solve lots of problems and you won't lose any sleep. I know you're tired when you get home but if you put your mind to it you will be able to rest after you finish:)

I love you all so much! Please stay safe and enjoy the changing of the leaves! Everything is green and hot here.
Hermana Hardy