Behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass. ~Alma 37:6

Behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass. ~Alma 37:6

September 28, 2010

Hola Familia!

That is awesome Dad and Grandpa were able to get tickets to the Priesthood Session! Hopefully they don't pan over the choir and the whole world sees me picking my nose or something. No, just kidding, I will be extra sure to be reverent. They have made a pretty big deal of the choir. The practices override everything else at the MTC. They even made a special haircut thing for everyone in the choir. I guess it's because they see us as representing all the Missionaries that have ever served, are serving, or will so we have to be good. I have all my music memorized and everything already so I don't look like I'm looking around at everyone else trying to remember the words. Hopefully you will see me.

I told Elder Woodruff that he wasn't a direct descendant of Wilford Woodruff and I think he was actually excited because now when people ask him if he is related (especially at the temple because all the nice old temple workers think they are the first to realize it) he can just say no.

I am so sorry to hear about the Lauti's Sister. I hope they are doing ok. Please pray for them.

I haven't been a Host Missionary yet. I think you do that mostly if it is your last week or something. I think you have to go sign up and everything so maybe if Elder Woodruff wants to do that we will see if we can sometime. But not yet.

I was released from DL (more like just switched, I don't think it qualifies as a release) last week. So it has been nice to have a little extra time and not quite so much stress. I hope I did a good job and had a positive influence on the missionaries in the District. They called new Zone Leaders this Sunday and everyone was saying it was going to be us so I was kind of nervous. But it wasn't. I am kind of glad because we would have had no time to study. But at the same time I am kind of disappointed that we didn't get the chance. But not that much.

We have not had any shots. Especially the Peanut Butter shot. Phew. But a while ago the 4 of us going to Nicaragua had to go in to the clinic and get our blood drawn for HIV. Apparently they need to know that to get us into Nicaragua. They said no news is good news so I think we are all going to get in.

I'm not sure if I am running low on anything. I think I will need new shampoo and soap/body wash before I leave. But they have it here. And maybe it would be cheaper to not take it on the plane if it makes my bags too heavy and just get some in Nicaragua. I don't know.

I am glad to hear how everyone is doing in the family. Dad is behind on his journal sending though. I haven't gotten very much mail this last week. I think it is awesome Dad is doing good in all these golf tournaments. It is definitely because he has a son on a mission and his score is being blessed because of it.

It is good to hear how Mom always does so good with the Activity Days girls, that is nice. I wish I could have had some of the Apple Oat Crisp. (Ha ha it's ok you don't have to send some). I got the get well package thank you. I don't feel sick at all anymore. I just have a sore throat. I am sure it will be better by Saturday. But yesterday I hurt my ankle pretty bad in gym. I'm ok. It's just sprained but I look funny hobbling around. I'm not going to go to the clinic though because they would give me crutches or something.

Awesome that Alexis danced again for the Utah game. I hope she had fun. Ha ha that is funny she and Jordan are the FHE people.

I hope Emily liked my present. I have limited options here but I think the shirts are cool! Good Work in school. I hope they don't give you too hard of a time because I am your brother.

Hannah. El Caza del Tesoro de Hannah was ASOMBROSO!!! It was soooo good it took us a while to figure it out but we finally did. SEAL! Thank you so much for the fun and taking the time to do that. And for the Treasure! They are cool and my roommates loved it.

I am sorry to hear about Rob's shoulder. That is too bad no more golf for a while. He better get better by the time I get back. I am praying for him.

I love the Grandparents letters Thank You (to Grandparents).

Ah 1 min.

La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias es verdadero!

Elder Hardy

September 21, 2010

Hola Familia!

Buenas! How is everything going? It sounds like it is going good and I hope it is. I got El Magnifico Caza del Tesoro de Hannah! It is sooo cool. I talked about it more in the letter but it is awesome. The weekend sounds like it was fun. I hope Mom enjoyed the spa! Congratulations on your golfing Dad that is awesome. I miss golfing with you and Rob. Congratulations with piano Hannah, keep it up. I'm glad the Utes are winning. And I hope Chuck is good, I look forward to a Chuck-a-thon.

My companion loved the letter, it was over the top. He is also super excited about finally knowing if he is related to Pres. Woodruff or not so he can answer everyone that asks him. He is sending his pedigree chart and his family's address today. He liked the cookies too. So, I will take a picture of the shoe, it looks like it was already kind of glued to keep the chunk before. I don't think it is a really big deal, it’s not like anyone will probably even notice. Say hi to Nick for me, he was a really cool guy. I like it when he worked with me.

Congratulations on the talk Emily! Oh and especially on the part in Molly Mouse that is great. I wish I could watch it, I think I can remember Alexis doing that part. Maybe I am wrong but I will just pretend you are doing that part and it will be like I was there. I am sending your birthday present today. I hope it fits. And good luck with Homecoming. I don't know if I know that kid, I think I have heard his name before. But he better be nice.

Hannah, thank you for the Treasure Hunt. I can't wait to figure out all the clues. And congratulations on getting Molly Mouse! That is awesome. I am proud of you. I talked more about your caza in the letter.

So I have not had a flu shot. I am afraid to go to the clinic. Me and Elder Woodruff are feeling a little sick but if I go in and I am super contagious, they are going to set off an alarm or something and take me and drag me to the Luther Corp. Lab or something. Sorry Babylonia. Yes, I think I have pretty much spent all my cash. I used my card today, it works. They have an ATM here so maybe that is where I should get my cash for the trip.

Elders: Woodruff, Hardy, Brough, & Tonga

I have three roommates. I thought I talked about them before. It is the other NICA's. Elder Tonga and Elder Brough. Tonga went to Granger and Brough is from St. George. They are nice. We haven't had culture night. I think they do that the week before you leave but I am looking forward to it.

The bad news you told me was really sad. I feel for their families. I wish I could talk to the Lauti's they are awesome and were so nice to me. I love them and if you ever get a chance tell them that for me. I don't have enough time to talk more about it but I am so grateful for the Plan God has made for us.

My spiritual thought is from a picture of the sacred grove the Woodruff family took and sent me. It was really nice of them.

Finding My Own "Sacred Grove"

1. Have a desire and seek for help.
    (1 Nephi 10:17; Matthew 7:7-8)

2. Have Faith.
    (James 1:5-7)

3. "Study it out" in our minds.
    (Doctrine & Covenants 9:8-9)

4. Counsel with the Lord.
    (Alma 37:37)

5. Be in tune and recognize the Spirit.
    (1 Nephi 17:45)

This was really inspiring to me and I encourage you to follow the steps. I wrote Rob and my Cousins today. I feel bad I hope it wasn't too long a wait. Rob sent me a nice letter and my Cousins sent me a really awesome package with some treats and notes and stuff. Tell Grandparents how much I appreciate them. They are so nice. I miss you all!


Elder Jonathan D. Hardy

September 14, 2010

Hola Familia!

Ha ha thanks for the quick notes of uplifting encouragement. Don't worry I'm having fun, being patient, staying positive and lovin it. It's great to hear the family updates. Hope everything is going well. Good luck with the Tax deadline, Dad. And good luck with YM too. When is Alexis' little D.C. trip? I know it is Emily's birthday on Thursday. Unfortunately, once again my MTC present is detained. They seem to be really slow at ordering stuff here. But Happy Birthday! I am writing you a card. Hope you like the other thing Mom helped get you from me. I hope Dance Company is going well. Hannah, that is Awesome you got the part of Marta in the Sound of Music Play. I am so proud of you. I hope you are feeling better from your flu. I can't wait to see what this treasure hunt thing is.

I almost got sick last week. My throat was really hurting and I was congested but I must have been blessed to get better. They have a really big problem with the flu starting now every year. If you get sick they put you in Quarantine. It's like solitary confinement. They lock you in a floor in this one building. Ha ha which I don't want to do.

To answer questions: No I don't think I need anything from home. Our residence room is like a meat locker at night. The AC goes none stop all day and night. But I bought an MTC hoody I wear to bed every night so it's fine. Plus, I figured out how to make a fridge in my room using a box and the AC. It really is just as good so I can keep drinks and the Queso sauce cold. I don't know what I am going to do when they switch to heat. My shoes are working great. I think the soles seem to be wearing fast but it will probably be fine. The shirts are good too. Only a couple spills but we invested in a spot stain remover.

Interesting stories. Ok well, on Sunday I had the Zone Meeting where we talk about our districts and issues and stuff. And they started talking about how there were bouncy balls going around. So they really pounded how we need to not use them. And it was my roommate Elder Brough who got the big shipment of bouncy balls that were out and about. And on top of that, while we were talking about it we started hearing what sounded like a bouncy ball bouncing against the wall in the next room...which happened to be my District's class room. Awkward. Plus we talked about how in the Residency Hall people were singing at night and people complained about how it was disruptive. Just so happened, it is my room everyone has been singing in. So during District Meeting we had a nice talk about that stuff. But I was really impressed with E. Brough. When we got back to the room, he threw away all his bouncy balls. Which I didn't even expect him to do.

Oh ha ha and about the sweet rolls and cookies that you got: A couple weeks before I left, Matt the kid my age from the Ward stopped by selling those for his girlfriend's team. I knew I would be gone by the time they got to you, so I went ahead and bought a bunch as a surprise. The timing was Perfect too.

My spiritual thought for this week has a pretty funny story too. We have been working on teaching prayer in Spanish. In 2 Nephi 32:8-9 it talks about prayer. I would like you to read it. I have been reading many scriptures about prayer and they have really helped me. Prayer is crucial and is the reason I have a testimony. The funny story was while I was explaining this scripture and prayer in Spanish. Well, you will get this once you read the scripture but I told my teacher that the Holy Ghost teacheth a man not to pray... I'll need to work on that before I get in the field.

I always run out of time. But I have received great letters from Grandparents and my little cousins. They even wrote me an email I was going to respond to but I will write letters.

I love you all,

Elder Hardy

Oh yeah! And last night we wrote letters to Señor English and committed never to speak English again! It's great. Mostly I just don't say very much so far. But pray for me to do better! I was going to write more about this. Oh well, love you.

September 7, 2010

Hola Familia,

How is everything going? Thank you so much for the Labor Day package and the awesome balloon fish thingy with the Swedish Fish. I loved it. Everyone was staring at me when I got it from the mail room so I decided I should take it back to my room before I went to class because it would have been really distracting. I also received the hard drive and SD cards. It is really nice and looks really expensive. I hope it didn't cost too much. I realized that if a 4 GB SD card can hold 1500 pictures or something and the hard drive has 160 GB, that is a lot of pictures. So I have been taking a ton of pictures. Hopefully not too many of them are worthless.

2 weeks later. It's having a hard time.

Thanks for the updates on everyone in the Email Letter. Hannah's birthday sounded great. I wish I was there. I hope Emily and Hannah do good and have fun with dance.

So my usual schedule is: We wake up a 6, take a shower, shave and get dressed for the day. We go to Desayuno at 7. Then usually we go to class at 7:30 and Hermano Salmon teaches us until Almuerzo at 11:30. Then at 12:15, we go back to class and have MDT (Missionary Directed Time). Sometime during the day we go to gym for about an hour (It is a different time everyday but same every week). Cena is at 4:30 and we go back to class at 5:15 where we have more MDT until we plan for the next day at 9. At 9:30 we are back at the residency hall. We write in journals and usually everyone kinda hangs out. 10:15 is quit time and 10:30 is lights out. I like the schedule, our meals are really early but I am used to it now. PDay we go to laundry at 6 to beat the crowd and eat a sack breakfast. Then we have to clean our room and shine shoes and put clothes away and write letters and email. We get to go to the Temple after lunch which has been great. We have a Devotional on Tuesday too which is awesome, especially when Elder Holland came. Elder Richard Hinckley came last week and I don't know who is today. I hope it is good. Sunday I have a bunch of meetings because I'm DL. We have Priesthood after I do those and Sacrament is a little after almuerzo. Time has been really weird. It feels like forever since I wasn't a missionary but the weeks have gone by super fast. It's the Twilight Zone. And it freaks me out because I feel like I don't know enough Spanish.

Hermano Salmon

Oh, but yesterday we finally got our official second teacher. It has been really frustrating because we have had subs and sometimes no subs and a lot of extra MDT which means it gets harder to keep everyone focused. But her name is Hermana Mejia. She is from Peru and I am SO excited because last night she pretty much retaught everything we have learned in the past 3 weeks. She is really going to help us and she doesn't speak English as well and said she is pretty much only going to talk to us in Spanish.

Hermana Mejia

So as far as Mission Lore. I knew about the orange dot on my name tag and I saved it. But I have not seen a Cream Soda Tree. I haven't even seen cream soda. The big thing that just started (and ended) was a spoon that someone in our zone took from the cafeteria and the game was to get it into someone else's pocket without them knowing. It was pretty funny but next thing you know, everyone had a spoon in their pocket. And no pranks so we banned it.

Trying to write really fast. But the food is great. It is free and it is all you can eat so no complaints.

I feel bad I don't have enough time to write in email to cousins or grandparents. They sent me nice letters so I will write them back on paper.

My spiritual thought is 2 Kings 6:15-17 and it is about how we always have help from both sides of the veil. The thought is really inspiring and I love it when Elisha says, "Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them." Fear is the opposite of Faith I have decided.

Love you all very much,

Elder Jonny Hardy