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, July 27, 2015

Testify of Truth

Hello Family!

Good questions this week!

The longest walk I went on last week was at least four miles to get home one night (and that was just the walk home)... But we don't normally walk that route and we actually got lucky because on the way up someone gave us a ride just as it started to rain! We weren't so lucky on the way down. We did have the opportunity to do service and help someone so the walk was totally worth it.

So San Sebastian is split up into two areas. One area has the pueblo and the town center, our part is mostly a couple urbanizations and a lot of rural areas that we have to walk to. We want to branch out a bit and so we are contacting new areas the only problem is that these new parts are further away from us. I would say on an average we walk about 3 miles a day, sometimes more sometimes less. It is a half a mile walk to our chapel from our house.

The chapel was originally built for a branch so it is a bit smaller but it is nice nonetheless. It has a small chapel where we set up stairs, outside that are the offices and the Relief Society room that serves as a kitchen, baptismal font, and activity room, then there are the bathrooms right in front of the entrance to the chapel, then there are two primary rooms and three other Sunday school rooms. Sacrament Meeting, normal adult Sunday School, and Priesthood are all in the chapel.
It is the smallest chapel I have been in in Puerto Rico but it is also one of the nicest and newest. however, they did take out the fridge and microwave and everything in the kitchen and the piano is a keyboard that is so quiet that you can hardly hear but they appreciate me playing nonetheless. But it is very small. One hall, with the chapel, offices, classrooms, etc. The bathrooms are nice too!

So guess what?!?! Two of our investigators came to church yesterday!!!!!! Aida and Ismael. They are a couple we have been teaching. Ismael is pretty serious about praying and finding an answer and he is already in 2 Nephi and understands everything really well. We are really excited for them! We also have a couple of people reading the Book of Mormon and so many of them are very sincere and want to know. It's just the trick to get them to church.
The people we teach are so wonderful and they treat us with so much love and they take care of us. They are important to me because not only are the Heavenly Father's children but they are also my friends and they treat us like daughters. It's been so wonderful to get to know people and understand what's important to them. I love seeing them love the Book of Mormon how I love the Book of Mormon.
This last week one of our investigators Gueimi prayed with us and asked if Joseph Smith was a prophet and it was so powerful! We have another family who has a nine year old daughter and they wanted to understand Lehi's dream so we went through it with them and the daughter and I drew the dream together. They treat us like their daughters too. There are so many amazing people here and they are so loving and they need the Gospel!

This week we also prayed specifically to find someone who is looking for the truth while we were contacting and we totally found her! She is really awesome and when I asked her what she feels about prophets she word for word told us the definition of a prophet as we define prophets and how they need to be chosen by God and she said, "I'm sorry if that seems weird or wrong to you, but that's what I believe!" Haha, we told her that she believes the same as us. We have another appointment with her on Wednesday!

So those are some of the things that happened this week! I also had the opportunity to testify to a pastor of another church who told us that if we were going to bring him another Book and tell him that it is the Word of God that we had better be sure that we know it is true. I told him that I am VERY sure that the Book of Mormon is true, that I know it is true, that Heavenly Father told me so and therefore I cannot deny that the Book of Mormon is true. :) He couldn't say anything to deny my testimony. So apparently he is going to read it and we will see what happens! His wife seems more receptive that he is.

Well my beautiful family! I hope all goes well this week! I hope Mama's knee and calf feel better! I hope Hannah enjoys dance camp!

To Mama's question: Of course we get discouraged sometimes! But tomorrow is always a new day and there are always miracles that can be found. We just have to look around and recognize those miracles that are already happening. This week was a very up and down week. The past two transfers have been challenging but look! We had two investigators in church for the first time! They are progressing. There are people reading.
I have to say that whether they accept the Restored Gospel or not that I gave them a full opportunity to read, ponder, and pray and that is the most I can do. I was studying in the Liahona this morning and I realized that maybe I have been depending on myself a little too much in the work instead of including the Lord like I should. Which is crazy and backwards!
This is the Lord's work and obviously He knows best how to do it. So I am starting a new process of really giving the work to the Lord and trying to do what He would have to do. I read an article of a member who was doing all she could to share the Gospel but nothing really came to fruit until the Spirit told her that she needed to include the Lord more in her efforts. Very interesting, and food for thought!

Also this week there was a fireside and I played the piano and an awesome member from Cayey taught us about the family and it made me miss you all so much! The same day, earlier in the day, we were walking up the mountain to an appointment when suddenly a big white Ford Expedition came around the corner. I forgot that I was in Puerto Rico for a moment and I thought, "Good!!! Mom is here to pick us up and give us a ride!" and then I realized that it wasn't Mom! Haha, I felt so silly and then so grateful for all the times Mom has given us rides from and to school, to dance, to pretty much everything all my life!

Also, this week I taught my companion how to hitch hike... Don't worry, we wait to make sure we can tell that it is a woman driving before we put our thumbs out. So it takes a while, and it's only worked once but we were on time to our appointment!

Well I think that's it! Have a wonderful week! Take care, enjoy the summer, don't wear yourselves out by running too much! Haha:)
xoxo Hermana Hardy

Monday, July 20, 2015

Happy Pioneer Day!!!

Hello Family!!!

We went to the Waterfalls today!!! It was so beautiful. Lots of fun. I will definitely bring the family here when we come back to visit so we can go swimming! Make sure you show the pictures to Grandma!
I am not sure if they really celebrate the 24th but we do have an activity and an amazing speaker from another ward is coming to speak to us. As far as I understand he is the Puerto Rican John Bytheway!
A few weeks ago in Zone Meeting our STLs told us that we needed to start inviting contacts in the street to be baptized! At first I was slightly incredulous and I had a bad attitude about it for about 20 minutes but I decided that since our leaders are inviting us to do it then Heavenly Father wants us to do it! So we started and it isn't too bad. 

I thought it would be really awkward and that we wouldn't know what to say but the very first time I just went for it and the Spirit helped me start a conversation about baptism, the restoration, and the invitation. The first one said she would have to find out more. The rest are so so. One problem is that often our contacts have to be really quick and there is no time to invite them before they run off. But I am determined to continue!

So we found a new part of our area and contacted a lot of people there and found some families! Then we took out a map and figured out it's not our side of San Sebastian-- Whoops! But the other sisters are happy and I am excited for them! They got a lot of references that week. 

The music in this ward.. haha. Well I play the piano every week and their piano is actually a keyboard and it is so quiet that no one can hear it while they are singing except those who sit closer. So I will not be doing a solo here because there is not really a point if no one can hear it. 
THIS week. Haha, so the pedal to the keyboard got messed up and when I went to play the intermediate hymn the pedal wouldn't work while I pressed on it, but when I let go all the notes would stay together like a normal pedal. So I had to reverse the way I play with the pedal and it was very complicated but I got used to it very quick. When the phrase needed a break I would step on the pedal and off really quick so the notes wouldn't run together so. Very interesting. Then at the end it was okay.
Last week we had an FHE and dinner with the Stake President and his family. I tried to do the egg in the bottle thing that worked in a lesson the week before but it didn't work as well this time... haha, it took the egg ten minutes to be sucked in! SO we did the latas endure to the end lesson which I will explain when I get home so you don't know what it is when I give you the puzzle.
Why is running 17 miles so normal for you?! That's crazy! You run more than I walk! Transfers are the 11th of August.  I received the shoes! They are so wonderful, thank you so much!  I tried chicken liver this week. Never again! :D  I can't wait to get Jonny's and Hannah's letters this week. Make sure you write them! haha :)

Have a wonderful week! We watched 17 miracles for our missionary activity this last week. It is such a strong powerful movie! I love it so much and every time I think about our pioneers I feel the Spirit very strongly. I am so grateful for them!

xoxo Hermana Hardy