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, November 23, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Happy Birthday Mama!!

I will be sending a letter today! I hope you get it in time!!

So for Thanksgiving we have a couple appointments with the members. Everyone wanted us over so we went with the two that invited us first and everyone else put themselves down for other days in the week!

Some interesting experiences this week....

Well we found a couple people with lots of interest! One man that we contacted and taught once this week came to church!!! Another one that we met really needs the Gospel and our testimony of Christ really touched his heart and he wants to hear more.

This saturday we had the visiting teaching convention and it was wonderful. Our investigator Nilsa came and everything was really beautiful. It made me excited to be a visiting teacher again!

The other sisters had a baptism this weekend and it was really beautiful! I got to play the piano. Our inv. also came and she loved it.

The sad news is that our investigator Nilsa was supposed to be baptized this weekend but she called us yesterday saying that she doesn't want to and she isn't ready. We are praying to see what she needs and when she will be ready to be baptized. 

We had zone conference this week. It was alright! We are starting the new initiative: A Savior Is Born. I loved the video- it's coming out next week. I love contacting at Christmas time. It is so much more special.

So this week we weren't able to do splits because of zone conference and everything was crazy this weekend but we are planning on doing two this week and two the next. So technically we should be able to do one a week but things get crazy with conferences and some of the sisters have been sick and we had to cancel exchanges. So we will be doing two this week and two the next. If one falls through we still have another week to do them!

I hope Mama starts feeling better this week- especially for her birthday and Thanksgiving!

Also- Hannah- don't be stressed or worried! Enjoy every moment of Molly Mouse! Send me pictures! You will do wonderful like always!!!

Well I had lots of other spiritual experiences too but I have run out of time! I am really grateful for my companion Hna. Palacios- she is the best! Also, her niece was born this week!

I am grateful for all of you and I hope you have a wonderful week. Please take care! 

Love you! 

xoxo Hermana Hardy

Monday, November 16, 2015

Tastes Like Sofrito


Last week we contacted and contacted and contacted to find new investigators. Also, we went back to contacts from the week before and we have a new family to teach! Yay! 

What does and doesn't work: well, it's hard to teach someone you contact at night, but making appointments for the next couple days worked pretty well. But contacting at night is often difficult but it's hard to find other things to do at 8:00 because people are starting to close up house earlier because the electricity here in PR is got more expensive about 2 weeks ago. We prefer finding people by members and references but it's not like we can have one of those EVERY day so we have to work to find inv. 

But the members here are amazing and they feel bad that we are always walking around and they want to help us find people to teach- but it's also hard for them to find their friends or family who are actually interested or who haven't already listened and didn't accept the Gospel. 

But we do have a neat family that we're teaching who were a reference from some members! We also have 4 new investigators from last week that all came from contacting. One of them we can only teach in English so that was interesting for me!

Church yesterday was great! The Bishop's talk was pretty good- he talked about how we have a physical nutrition guide called myplate right? and he turned it into a spiritual metaphor of how our vegetables, etc are things such as faith and prayer, repentance, etc. I really liked it!

Speaking of nutrition! So the week BEFORE this past week we had a nutrition activity for RS. A nutritionist came and explained to everyone myplate and she also weighed all of us and gave us our BMI. 

She also gave us a long list of all the common Puerto Rican foods that we should avoid.... I laughed because I've eaten every single thing on that list in the past month and I usually eat two or more of those foods every day. But I'm not complaining because the members love us and they feed us and I only have a given amount of time to be here in Puerto Rico to eat all of these delicious foods.

The bad news is that I have gained almost 10 lbs (The scale showed 9 lbs more but she weighed us and didn't subtract for my clothes and my heavy walking shoes... which is all pretty heavy) but the good news is that my BMI is still very healthy! So my answer to how my health is.... I've been doing pretty well because I'm exercising every day and I try to eat healthy at home. 

Sometimes I feel like I have a bit of a cold but it comes and goes. It turns out that I am particularly allergic to garlic and it gives me really bad headaches but only if they feed me a lot of garlic. So that hasn't happened to me in a couple of weeks, and at least it's not a migraine! So in the end I am doing alright and I might be a little round in the face when I come home. :D

The differences in the food from different areas... Well here there are a couple of members who cook different things than just rice and beans! I forgot to tell you last week that I ate what was basically lasagna but instead of pasta it was layered eggplant with cheese and marinara sauce. That was interesting! I also had some fish last week but it's not very common to eat fish here because it's expensive even though we're on an island. But pretty much the food is the same as my other areas. 

All Puerto Rican food tastes almost the same because everyone uses the same GOYA seasoning and sofrito (which are things like peppers, onions, garlic, etc, all grinded up together) they use sofrito as a base for pretty much everything- rice, beans, meat, anything. 

Last week we ate a REALLY tasty sancocho- which is pretty much like a stew that had meat (it also had pigs feet but I didn't serve that to myself... I've tried it before and it's all fat and weird texture) and it had potato, platanos verdes, dumplings made of flour, corn on the cob chunks, and things like that. You serve it over a bowl of rice with lots of broth and it's quite tasty!

Also- The other day I realized that I totally eat like the Puerto Ricans. It's really uncommon to use a table knife to eat. They usually just put out forks. At the beginning I was really careful how I ate using only a fork and sometimes a knife if they gave me one. 

But the truth is that when they eat meat they use their left hand to hold the meat in place and a fork to rip it apart. or they pick up the meat with their left hand and bite out of it. It took me awhile to get used to that- but without a knife there is no other way to cut the meat because it's too difficult to do it with just a fork, so everyone uses their left hand- not all the fingers, just the thumb and pointer finger. 

I mean, not everywhere is like that, but just about! so I learned to just watch the host and copy how they eat. And almost everyone eats with two fingers on their left hand depending on the food they serve. With the sancocho stew you pick up the corn on the cob and you eat it with your hands. because there is no other way! Here we eat a lot of fried chicken... every now and then chuletas- which are essentially pork chops (I think...) but they're different from the ones mom makes because they are thinner and look a bit like a T-bone steak, and they usually cook them in a frying pan on the stove with different ingredients with sofrito. 

Also, we eat a ton of tostones which are 2 fried platanos verdes, or made out of pana- a funny round looking thing that comes from a tree and is pretty starchy. Also, there are amarillos which are fried platanos maduros. But yeah.

OH! in a couple weeks I will be cooking for a member family a typical dish from home... I am not sure what to make them. What do you think? I am thinking Mama's poppy seed chicken or something like that. Can you send me a recipe and other ideas? I will probably have to double or triple it...

Also we have Zone Conference this week and we'll be teaching, wish me luck.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!! Good luck to the new Bishopric and send my love to Bishop Miner and his counselors! I'm really grateful for everything they have done to help me and our family and ward.

Good luck this week with everything, I hope you feel better Mama!!

xoxo Hermana Hardy

Monday, November 9, 2015

When It Rains... It Pours!!!

Hello Family!

My email will be relatively short because I took more time on sending lots of photos! I hope you like them!

So Hna. Palacios will be finishing her mission on December 15 and I will have a new companion for Christmas. I'm not sure who it will be!

But our lessons this week although they were few were pretty good! I love teaching with Hna. Palacios. This week was super busy during the first part and in the second part we spent contacting contacting contacting. Not too many people who wanted to listen to us though. That's okay!

Funny Story... I am trying to think. Well it rained a WHOLE lot this week. We had a lesson in a really far away place and when we came back to the house it was pouring rain and we wanted to change into our plastic flats and everything. But I had left the keys inside and we were locked out!! 

At that moment the rain got 100x worse and we were getting soaked so we ran to our car and waited inside, studying, until the rain let up enough for us to start walking. so we went to work like normal and our feet and shoes were soaked the rest of the day. that was crazy. It rained a bunch yesterday too! All week really. It's good though- PR needs the water right now.

Another funny story is how I contacted a house. literally. I thought someone had called out to us from the window so I started introducing our names and who we represent.... it turns out that the person had gone back inside the house and was avoiding us and I was talking to a house. Hna. Palacios died laughing!

So our Mission Conference with Elder Cornish and Elder Christensen was awesome! Very spiritual and uplifting. I loved it. Elder Christensen spoke mainly about recognizing and following the Spirit and that helped me a lot. We also had a special MLC with them before the conference and they just asked us about the mission and what we as leaders think we need to improve on and what the missionaries needed to hear in the conference. That was really neat. 

I really like your theme for RS mom!! It's awesome!

Good luck Hannah with Dance!! Send me pictures of Molly Mouse?

This past week was crazy crazy crazy. Remember how last week you wrote and said that you felt that I needed hugs and felt like I had had a rough week? Well it turns out my week before you wrote wasn't that rough but this past week was and I really appreciated all of your words and thoughts and dream hugs! You truly did receive revelation and knew that my week would be difficult before it even happened. All of your love helped me through and now all is well! I love you all!

Hope you all have a great week! Love you!!

xoxo Hermana Hardy

Monday, November 2, 2015

A New Compañera!

Hello my beautiful family!!

I don't have much time this week, please excuse me!

But first off: BIG NEWS!!!!

Well as you all know Hna. Gallardo will be returning home this week and we got transfer calls last night. 

You will never believe who my new companion is!

Hermana Palacios!!!!

I am so excited and I'm sure she is too!

So tomorrow we have transfers and we have lots of changes again with the sisters in our zone. We will have Hna. Palacios. Then Wednesday we drop Hna. Gallardo off in the office.

Are you sure that the girl in aunt Debbie's ward leaves in November?? does she already know Spanish? the transfers are this week and then in the middle of December... So she probably already know Spanish and will only be in the MTC 2 weeks to arrive in the PR December 15.

Anyways. My advice would be for her to bring everything the call packet says. Ha.

But really, and then if there are things she doesn't want she can leave them behind or send to the office. Bring more clothes than it suggests. If there is anything she didn't bring it's usually easy to find things here.

My release date is January 28 (that's the day I'll be flying home). Sister Lee from the office already asked me for your email address so she'll be sending the information about my flight in a few weeks.

I've been helping my companion pack. Not to be prideful but I think I have a talent! 

I don't have a lot of time. Saturday we had a mission conference with elder Cornish and Elder Christensen! It was wonderful, super powerful- remind me to tell you what it was about next time.

I love you all!! Sorry for the short email. Lots to do today. Today Hna. Gallardo took her english test and we just got back from the office.... crazy day.

love you!

xoxo Hermana Hardy