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, May 11, 2015

First Bautismo!!!

Hello Family!

Ana was baptized this past Saturday and confirmed on Sunday. We had a future missionary speak at the baptism, Hna. Pavon spoke, I played a special musical number, Ana was baptized by the Bishop. When she came up out of the water she was so happy and she thanked Heavenly Father out loud and said, "I did it!" then she cried and gave Bishop Busher a big hug. It was really sweet. I played piano and Hermana Pavon sang while we waited. Then Hna. Daniela welcomed her to the ward and bishop welcomed her and then Ana shared her testimony that she wrote down. It was very very sweet.

Then Sunday there was a problem with the car and she arrived late to the meeting but she arrived! And she was confirmed. During the blessing I thought to myself, "My friend Ana was baptized!!" and I was filled with so much happiness. She is amazing. I am so happy for her and proud of her. She is on fire with learning and sharing and is so excited to be a member and a part of this ward.

This week was a crazy one! But in the end everything worked out the way it was supposed to. What a miracle. This is definitely the Lord's baptism but I am so grateful for the opportunity that I had to be part of teaching her, answering her questions, and supporting her. She is a very special spirit and I have never been so happy in my life!

I have to tell you that all of your prayers helped. Do you remember that for the month of April we all prayed and fasted together for my investigators here? Well I know that the Lord answered our prayers and all of us have been blessed to see Ana enter into the waters of baptism! Thank you so much.

My testimony of prayer, fasting, and perseverance truly grew through this experience and I am so grateful for that. Thank you everyone for your faith and prayers and for always supporting me and my investigators. The people here in Puerto Rico are wonderful and they need the Gospel. They just need to listen with their hearts and I know we can help make a difference.

I am so grateful for Ana as well. She is truly converted and is a wonderful example to me and to all of us for a desire to follow Jesus Christ. From the beginning she never doubted that the Church is true. She wants to do all she can to serve the Lord and enter into the temple.
I am thankful to my Heavenly Father for giving me the opportunity to know her and see her progress. I know the Church is true and that this Work is the most important thing I can be doing right now! It'sa wonderful journey and I have learned so much already and I know that there is a lot more to learn. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Feliz Día de las Madres

Feliz Día de las Madres!!!
It was wonderful seeing all of you yesterday!
My companion's name is Citlali Pavon Ortiz.

I find out about transfers this Sunday night! This transfer went by really fast.

I did receive the Cinco de Mayo package you sent! Want to know something funny? According to my companion they don't actually celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Mexico. Everyone has that Monday off from school and everything but other than that they don't do anything. Their Independence Day September 16th is what they celebrate.
So she celebrated Cinco de Mayo for the first time with the package you sent! We are super excited! ESPECIALLY because it has Mexican hot chocolate. yum yum yum!!!!!
So! I hoped you liked my surprise for Mother's Day!! I am so happy! Ana is amazing and she is super excited and happy too. I wanted to wait to tell all of you over Skype!

I loved seeing all of you! You look great. I love the picture from Hannah's Thumbelina-- that poster is from inside CBT?? and Jonny's graduation. I am so proud of all of you!!!

I love you all SO MUCH!! Look out for my card for Mother's Day Mama!

xoxo Hermana Hardy

Monday, May 4, 2015

Gifts from the Sea

I will share an experience from today that has been developing for a couple of months:

So my reasons for serving a mission have changed several times since I have started my mission. To be honest I never really liked it when people ask me why I am serving a mission because I feel like there is no right way to explain what I really feel and because we are all in the process of answering that question...

Well, a couple months ago we were walking in an urbanization and I am not sure what I was thinking about (I wasn't discouraged... but we weren't see a lot of success with people) but the thought came to my mind that maybe my mission here in Puerto Rico is not the most important thing I will ever do in my life. It really took me off guard. It made me think A LOT and change my perspective and my reasons for why I am here in Puerto Rico. It also made me think of what is the most important thing I will do in my life. So I made a list of my purpose here as a missionary, why I am here.

Also a couple months ago President Boucher told us in a talk that while baptizing is very important, the most important thing is that we as missionaries develop to become more like Christ. That also caused me to think a lot.

Then today we had a zone activity (that went REALLY long, that's why I'm writing so late) and it was neat. We went to some cool caves in Arecibo, saw the ocean, gorgeous! They gave us some personal study time and invited us to focus in our purpose as missionaries and why each of us is here. So that gave me time to develop my thoughts even more and to write them out a bit more.

So... Now we come to Sister Hardy's Personal Reasons/ Personal Purpose as a Missionary:

1. To invite others to come unto Christ.
2. To become more like Christ.
3. To prepare myself for my role as a wife and mother (my true purpose in life).

To be honest I made this list a couple months ago and while I was looking at it again today, studying more, comparing with my Patriarchal Blessing, it came together even more. The thought came to my mind "This mission is preparation for my life's mission" and I had the wonderful experience of feeling the Holy Ghost testify to me that this was true.

Now how does being a missionary prepare me for the rest of my life? Lots of ways! I explored a few today.

In Preach My Gospel, chapter 1, there are a lot of quotes from prophets in the latter days about missionary work. I think none of them actually mentioned anything about full time missionary work... they were more on member missionaries, lifetime missionaries. One by Brigham Young spoke a lot about living the Gospel principles so I can teach the Gospel principles and help others. I think that living and teaching the Gospel are one of the most important things a mother can do for her children. (Like how my mama has lived and taught all of us)

Well, one of the ways that my mission is preparing me is to prepare me to understand the necessity of the Gospel, to live the Gospel and focus in the Gospel, and to prepare me to teach the Gospel (in the PR of course... but more importantly to my future children).

To be honest every missionary is different. And there are a lot more reasons and purposes and even sub reasons and sub purposes that we can't see or recognize. Everyone has their own reasons for coming on a mission (and everyone's reason changes while they are on the mission) and I realize that my purpose as a missionary may not be the same as others'. Furthermore I think it is more important to realize that Heavenly Father has His own reasons and purposes for each and every one of us.

But this is mine! And I will own it to the best of my ability.

Maybe there is more to Heavenly Father's purpose for me that I can't see. For now, I feel like I am on the right track.

So, that's my motivation. There are people here for me to serve and to teach. There are also more spirits that I will teach in the future. So for all of them present and future I will work my hardest to give them my best and prepare with all I can to do that.

Thank you so much for your wonderful example to me, Mama! I am so grateful for you and for everything you have taught me. You are the best and I owe everything to you and to Dad. I have been so blessed to have been able to be born in your home, with parents that would live and teach me the Gospel so that I would have the opportunity to develop my own testimony. To be honest I have never doubted that the church is true. I feel that is a gift of testimony that my Heavenly Father has given me and also the firm, strong testimonies of my parents that built that foundation for me. Our family is rare. The world doesn't have a lot of families like ours, where the parents are united. Even in the church it can be rare to see a family where all of the children are actively living the Gospel and not straying from the path. I've never realized how spoiled I've been to have this family and to have her for forever! So it's our purpose to stay strong and to help other families do the same.

There are a lot more ways that I can see (and can't see) the mission preparing me. I was only able to share a few but please know that I am so grateful for this opportunity and for the many blessings I have received and the many miracles I have seen.

So that is my testimony. That the Church is true. That our families will be together forever. That Heavenly Father has a plan for all of us. And I am so excited to learn more about what He has in plan for us. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

xoxo Hermana Hardy