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

December 26, 2011

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!


I am so Happy I talked to you guys Sábado!!! (Saturday) It made me so happy. I am so grateful to have such a beautiful family and an eternal one too.


Our Christmas was great. We ate and ate and ate a lot. It was great. We loved the Christmas package too! The song in Sacrament Meeting went really well. We even did a dramatic ending. I think I will be the Ward Choir Director when I get back ha ha.


The very wealthy family of doctors who own the house where we live invited us to eat. And it was SUPER nice. The first time I have eaten Pavo in 2 years. (Turkey). We got to talk to them about our beliefs too (like why we would not drink the "punch" they offered us.) And about families. We shared The Family Proclamation with them.


Rob asked if I have started dreaming in Spanish? Ha ha ha YES! Yes Rob, for sure I have noted that I have dreamt in Spanish. I was quite happy the morning that I realized that. I even dream about contacting with my companion. Thanks for the question.


 Ah, I have no time!

I am sorry, I wrote Annette an email and I took too long writing President. But I read the whole Email. WOW, sounds like a super fun Christmas this year.

I am so proud of Hannah. Too bad I wasn’t there to see it. (Her singing) I’m sure it was beautiful.

The pictures are awesome! And it seems like the presents weren’t too bad either. ha ha. (Fachentos! Spoiled!) Sounds like Uncle Rob is still pretty funny too with the shark blimp.

But most of all... ZELDA THE SKYWARD SWORD?!?!?! AH no way! Come on you can wait 8 more months to play it can’t you? Ha ha

Hey, say Merry Christmas to Grandpa Weiler for me and tell him I love him. I hope he does better. He has to stay in there till I get to hug him one more time.

I love you all so much and MERRY CHRISTMAS!


Elder Hardy

P.S. I love you

December 19, 2011

MERRY CHRISTMAS FAMILY!!!
¡¡¡FELIZ NAVIDAD FAMILIA!!!


Sounds like this week has been a hard week.

Please tell Aunt Annette that I am here for her too, even though I am in Nicaragua. Tell her that we are praying for her. And with that strong testimony that she has in Jesus Christ and in God´s plan of happiness for us, she can have an anchor of hope for her soul (Ether 12:14) and a firm hope of a better world at the right hand of God, where families can be Eternal and can live in eternal life.

Hey I got Married!!!


Ha ha no, not really. A member and the daughter of one of my recent converts just got married and they asked to pass by really fast and support them. Ha ha the guy she married is Evangelico so that is why it looks like we are in another church.


We are planning on talking to him. We gave them a wedding gift... a Book of Mormon wrapped up in wrapping paper and a video about Jesus Christ.


Elder Gaytan has been out on the mission the same amount of time as me. So he came here to Nicaragua one change earlier but we are going to leave together.

Before the mission he was studying in Mexico. He was studying Engineering in Refrigeration. And he was already working in that at the same time. I think he was repairing air conditioning and central air systems. Apparently, it pays pretty good too.

This season is a great opportunity for us to talk to people about Jesus Christ and why the world celebrates Christmas. I like to share a passage in The Book of Mormon in
Alma 7:10-15.

It is one of my favorite passages in the scriptures. It talks about the birth of Jesus Christ from María the Virgen (it’s even great to share with Catholics) and that He will come to this world to suffer the pains, afflictions and temptations of all of us.

It talks about how He would take upon Him the pains and sicknesses of His people. And how He would take upon Him Death that He may break the bands of death that we might live again. And He suffered everything for us so that He could succor us and take upon Him our sins.

We should all reflect more about what our Saviour Jesus Christ has done for us, and how we can repent and "be born of nuevo" and come unto Him. So read chapter 7 and reflect what we need to do to come unto Christ.

Hey I will try and make sure that Christmas Eve at 4:00 pm here I call you guys. For the Last Christmas Call! Ah!

Hey! You guys still haven’t put up the downstairs Christmas tree!?!?!... or has that always waited until the last week anyway. Did you put up the Nutcrackers? I hope so, I think Grandma told me in her letter that she was still going to get me one.

That would be neat if you could send a photo of them and the house all decorated for Christmas along with photos from Christmas day of you guys. Just to make me a little bit more trunky.

NOOO, I did not receive the Christmas package but Wednesday is the MultiZona and hopefully they bring it there.

Hey Dad, proud of you for helping out with Annette and the funeral. That is what I like to see, Uncle Bruce doing missionary work, not only before his death but after too. Love you Dad, good luck with Christmas.

Hey Mom, it is great to know we have the truth and we have hope not despair. I Love you and can’t wait to talk to you in a couple days.

Hey tell Alexis I want to know what this Concert was like, I forgot to ask in her email.

Ha ha ha woo! Good work Emily. Hannah is still alive and the house is still there. Ha ha sounds like you did your part this week too. I luh you.

Hannah Banana. Thanks for putting up my stocking! Good work with school and good luck with shopping. Ps I love you.

Love,

Elder Hardy

Ps I love you

December 12, 2011

Oh no,

Uncle Bruce had a heart attack. Oh it makes me so sad to hear that. That’s good that Dad could go with Grandma and Grandpa to be with Aunt Annette and help comfort her. I hope she is doing ok. We will pray for her and the family here too.

The thing that actually makes me really happy is to have read their testimonies that they sent me. I still have them and I know that with their testimonies in our Lord Jesus Christ and in the Plan of Salvation everything will be ok. Please give Aunt Annette a hug and a kiss from me too Dad.

Oh, that’s too bad that they changed out President Fuhriman and the Stake Presidency before I got back. But hey, it will be ok still because President Newbold is Stake President now. You know he did my missionary interview before the mission anyway.

Tell Grandma and Grandpa Hardy Muchas Gracias por el regalo de Navidad! I will be sure to do something fun with my companion.

Hey I don’t know if I have the package yet. I image que sí. But they will give it to my zone leaders in changes Wednesday.

We get an hour to write now. Including 15 minutes writing to the Presidente. So... 45 minutes.

For the Christmas call, if you want to do it Christmas Eve that’s ok too. Tell me the best time for you guys next email and I will make sure it’s ok. Ahh! It is already the Last Christmas Call!

Our week was great!! Me and my comp are getting along great. We are finding chosen families and teaching the gospel. We had three investigadores in church yesterday.

One was a guy that tracked me down outside the church and asked me for money for a "fresco" and I told him that I didn’t have and fresco to offer him. But that if he drank a fresco he would thirst again. But if he came inside and learned about Jesus Christ and the gospel he would never thirst again. He came inside and sat down for sacrament meeting! ha ha.

My shoes are doing ok. I say they will last the mission. My backpack is a little torn at the shoulder, but that is easy to fix in the market. My glasses have nice battle scars, and I would like a new pair just to mix things up. But they have glasses stores here in Jinotepe, and I am starting to use contacts again every once in a while because President said I could.

Hey! Well I don’t know how much stuff Elder Sessions has bought already. But you know what recommendation I would give for shoes? The Eccos will last, and they are nice. But it seems like the RockPorts are lasting longer here in Nicaragua. But something that I wish I brought to Nicaragua...

Miracles? Oh come on Mom that is not a fair question. There are way too many to pick from. But the best are the miracles that have happened in peoples lives.

Like a really neat family in Bluefields that got baptized the week after I left. Before, he was living a reckless life and he and his wife had problems. After the first time we visited them in their house you could see the change that started. He still fell a couple times before getting baptized but in the end he and his wife are happy and have a goal to be sealed in a temple this next year with their little boy.

There are also more physical miracles, like one time praying about the weather and having it instantly change ha ha. But the best are about the people.

I love you all very much and am very grateful to be part of an eternal family,

Elder Hardy

ps I love you.

December 5, 2011

Hey Familia!!!


¡¡¡FELIZ CUMPLEAÑOS¡¡¡
!!!ALEXIS!!!

No, I did not forget, I just forgot that last Monday would be the last time I could write it to you before it was your actual birthday.

I am sorry to hear that Cousin Gary Burt passed away. I hope his son copes with it alright in the mission. It is good to have a strong testimony of the plan of salvation. Let´s all pray for the family.

Ah! Crown Burger is buying pricey athletic shoes at our expense! That won’t do.

Hey! That is so neat that you attached a clip of Hannah in her mouse suit dancing. I don’t know how you guys do it with those big mouse heads on! Congratulations on your performances, by the looks of it I’m sure they were great.

Sounds like the Ward Christmas Party was neat. You know, I’m not really sure what a posada is... But the favorite dessert here in Nicaragua would be a great helado or Eskimo ha ha. Helado is like a natural frozen popsicle made from whatever type of fruit here. And Eskimo is ice cream you all eat when the ice cream truck passes by ha ha.

HEY!!! Don’t have to worry about bothering Mamá Monestel anymore! I got my Package! WAHOO! Ha ha last Monday I bugged the office missionaries until they went to go talk to Pedro and get the package Thursday.



And it was Awesome!!! Thank you so much for the Ipod touch and the speakers! Now we have spiritually edifying music playing in the house as we plan. Ha ha and the other stuff was awesome too! The letters from the family, even from the GV1 Young Women!

Oh, the jungle bookmark and the New York pens were awesome. My comp can go around now telling everyone, look, I’ve been to NY. The cool brain teaser puzzles were great... for 10 minutes when I finished them all! Haha then I shared the two hardest with the sister missionaries and told them to give them back to me when they solved them. Ha ha they haven’t mentioned them to me yet so I imagine they are having a hard time.

I can’t believe it... you sent me MASHED POTATOES! Ha ha that is great. Everything was excellent my comp was very happy too. I shared everything but the ipod and letters ha ha. The ties are really nice, and thanks for the shirts. My comp decided that they were too nice and put the shirt and tie in a zip lock bag and put it in his suit case and said he was going to wear them the last day when he goes home. I am still trying to convince him to wear them now.

Wow there are a bunch of missionaries coming home aren’t there? Ahh!

Our apartment? Ah! I forgot to take photos today! I wanted to show you. Well our room is pretty pretty small. But it is nice, and the house where we live is very rich. Our room is separated by a courtyard from the rest of the house. Well it is actually a doctor’s office. The Husband and Wife are both doctors and do their consultations there.

They are very nice and there is even a nice maid that comes into our house and cleans sometimes even though we told her not to. They are not members and I haven’t ever talked to them much because they are always busy. But I will send you photos next time.

Our daily schedule? Well, on a normal day. Wake up a little before 6:30. (I would like to say I get up at 6 but I can’t. That is just when the alarm goes off and usually takes about 20 minutes to wake me up ha ha). I take a shower and then change.

At 7:30 we go to Eddy´s to eat and at 8 we are in the house starting Personal Study. At 9 Comp. Study and at 10 to 10:30 is language study and then we are out the door. Lunch at Eddy´s is at 12. We visit all day and in between our appointments we have our eye peeled for any families that we pass, because we are always searching for familias escogidas (chosen families).

Dinner is right before we enter the house for the night. We plan from 9 to 9:30 and then everyone from the District calls me to report for the day and give me their numbers. I call the zone leaders and give them the numbers and lights out at 10:30.

To be completely honest, I don’t think very many leaders in the mission get to bed on time because they are reporting. We are working at it as a District to get the numbers in on time so everyone can go to bed on time.

Our weekly goals? Well, one of our weekly goals was to get 2 of our families to come to church... and they ALMOST came. The Dad of one family came and brought a grandson and said sorry but that next week for sure his wife is coming. And the other family even had it planned to borrow a friend’s truck to bring all the family but things happened and they couldn’t come. So pray that next week they can!

Hey I am sorry but I have to go. We got late to write and now the whole district is waiting for me to go the church because we are doing "mini changes" in the zone to build unity.

I love you!

Elder Hardy

ps I love you

November 28, 2011

Gobble Gobble!


Looks like Thanksgiving dinner was delicious! And how was Mom´s Birthday?

I think that is great that Grandma and Grandpa Weiler were able to come too. I am so grateful for my Grandparents (from both sides) and for their examples and their love. I hope Grandpa Weiler is doing good. I could never be able to repay the blessing that I had to spend I little bit of time with him before going on the mission. It really helped me out, and I enjoyed the company of him more than anyone knows.

I am really hoping and praying for his health, and that he can make it around for a bit more so I can give him a hug and tell him how grateful I am for him. He has fought a good fight if you ask me and his legacy will live on through me, he has left a lasting impression on my life.

My new comps name is Elder Axel Antonio Gaytan Real. He is Nicaraguan! Ha ha well, by birth only I think. He told me he left Nicaragua when he was very little and grew up in El Salvador. He is a big guy, and we are getting along great. He also eats a lot. He is a convert, and is sealed in the temple with his adopted family. And has a great testimony.

Being District Leader is fine. I don’t think I am doing all that great. But I think that is one of the problems, I should have more confidence. So I am going to work on that this week.

The missionaries are good, but we haven’t had any families come to church for the last couple weeks. So that would be great if you guys could pray for us here. (I know you already do). There are 10 missionaries (2 sisters) in my District, including me. And yeah, actually Elder Valenzuela and Elder Muzo are in my District ha ha. So that is great.

Well, I actually haven’t made any plans for Christmas. That might be tough to work out with the converts and investigators. We will probably have to go to various houses Christmas night.

What am I thankful for? Well, I was waiting for that question because it is Thanksgiving. But it is tough, because I don’t actually have enough time to type all the blessings that I am most thankful for. But thanks to your spiritual thought from President Uchtdorf I think I found a way.

First and foremost and forever I am thankful for my God. For my Heavenly Father and the relationship I have with him. This blessing obviously involves my Savior Jesus Christ as well, and the infinite love they have for me that I can still not comprehend.

After God, the blessing most grand and marvelous in my life is my Family. And what is even better is that this family is not a temporal blessing, it is an eternal one. And the eternal blessings and exaltation that we will receive together is a blessing that is too great to describe.

I am also grateful for the opportunity I have to serve mi Prójimo (my fellowman). The opportunity I have as a missionary right now to serve God and my Fellowman is something that I will always be grateful for.

Ya que (As) I am serving my God with all my heart might and strength, representing my family, bringing more families to the fullness and blessings of the gospel and at the same time, it is changing me to be ready to be faithful to God for the rest of my life. Really there are very many blessings temporal and spiritual that I have in my life and above all I have to thank my Heavenly Father for his love.

Love,

Elder Hardy

P.s. I love you!

P.p.s. Yes I still have the sincere tree!

November 21, 2011

Happy gobble gobble day!!!



And more importantly:

¡¡¡FELIZ CUMPLEAÑOS MAMÁ!!!



Hey! Why are you concerned? Sorry if I didn’t answer all the questions last time. I certainly did not have a bad week, we have been baptizing!


Well this Sunday was the Stake Conference here in Jinotepe. I actually wasn’t in my own area, (I was on divisions with the Zone Leaders) But only two investigators from our area could come. We were hoping for a couple families but the next time we will get them there.

For PDay we invited the other zone next door, Zona Carazo to come play fútbol with ours here in Jinotepe. So there was a bunch of missionaries here today. We played for a little bit, but me and my comp had to go early for a reason that I will tell later.

Is it safe in Jinotepe? Jinotepe is great. Very safe, (you can be sure of that if there are Sister Missionaries there). Our area hardly doesn’t have any dangerous spots. And besides that I really doubt anything exciting like that is going to happen on my mission, I have a Mom that prays too much for my safety. What stories am I going to have to tell to the girls when I get back Mom?

Animals? ha ha well that depends, wild animals or not wild. For not wild animals it would be dogs, no competition. For wild animals... it would be dogs too, no competition ha ha.

There are lots of horses too. We always pass a field here with billy goats. Little birdies like chaquoyos are common. There are lots of birds, you can listen and not be able to count how many different calls there are. I think Grandpa Weiler would like that.

Hannah, we had Thanksgiving last night! So we could celebrate the Birthday of the wife where we eat too. It was fun. But no turkey, I tried to talk everyone into a turkey, I was even willing to pay a large portion of it. But no. For the 24 maybe I will take my Comp out to dinner.

Awesome that Hannah found the infamous lost CTR ring!!! Ha ha now there is only one more lost CTR ring that I never found (also a spinner) ha ha ha. Yes you can consider it a milagro (miracle) and a blessing of mercy that I still have the same spinny CTR/HLJ ring that you gave me before the mission. Seems like the prayer was answered, but maybe a little was lost in translation (I pray in Spanish) so you guys found my CTR ring but not Dad´s ring ha ha.

Ha ha that reminds me, you need to send the message from me to Grandma Weiler about her letters. First of all you have to give her a big big hug and kiss and tell her thank you and that I love her. She is the most faithful writer a missionary could ever have ha ha. I love getting her letters every week.

So the other thing is if you could remind her for me to put "South" after the mission in the address. One time they put a sticker on the letter to tell me to tell her to put that so that they don’t get confused. But I forgot. It hasn’t been a problem though because now they write it in every time with a red pen. (I think it is already a habit now, when they see grandma’s letters they already know what to do).

Good work dad, with Priest Quorum and with Twilight... Ha ha love you.

Hey Mom, I will try and send the photos cards today. We are pretty busy but I will send them! Love you.

Love you Alexis! Don’t be a duck!

Good luck Emily! I am so proud of you! I Luh you.

I love you Hannah! Turkey turkey! Ha ha keep it up in math and dance.

I love you all, talk to you soon,

Elder Hardy

Ps. I love you.

Oh!!! ya and the thing I needed to say is that my comp already has changes. Oh no!!! And we have started getting along really well too! :( It was going to be great this change. But President called us today and told us that they need emergency changes for some people in Managua.

So next time I will have to send a foto of my new comp. But it would be neat if you guys could stay in contact with Elder Peña. He is a really neat guy.

November 14, 2011

HEY FAMILIA!!!

Before leaving Bluefields

So, yes I know I have been taking out a lot of money lately. No, nobody has stolen the card but I have bought some things that stayed in Bluefields. I usually like to be pinche with my dinero, but sometimes it’s good not to be too.

You will have to tell the ward thank you and Merry Christmas from me.

Well, sounds like the gremlins have had a grudge on the Hardy Boys this week. I have had some similar problems as well. But the great thing is that all things, lost, broken etc have returned and been taking care of!!! And yes, all have been answers to prayers ha ha. I am convinced that I have always had a problem with stuff like this to humble me and make me remember who I depend on. So don’t worry Dad, it will be ok.

The full name of my comp is Elder Welver Steven Peña Reyes

NO! We do not get to drive a car. And President still hasn’t given in to giving me a Bicycle. Driving would be Crazy. Yes ha ha technically yes there are laws here.

Jinotepe is Nice and Fresco. A lot flatter this area than the ones before. People are nice, we need more Families. It is more like a city. But a Nicaraguan City. Our area goes into the "suburbs" too. I don’t think they have monkeys here, too cold.

We have about 6 investigators with Baptismal dates. They are good, but we are going to have to work hard to help them come to church this Sunday.

Hannah asked if there are Turkeys in Nicaragua? Ha ha ha YES! There is one that is my friend. His name is Felipe! The first time I met him he puffed up all big and chased me to the street. He is the pet of a family we are teaching. We want to have Pavo for dia de accion de gracias (turkey for Thanksgiving). But it is kind of expensive. I think I am going to pitch in a little bit to help the family where we eat buy one for the District.

Ha ha thanks for the updates, they are great.

I have to go, but I love you!!!

Elder Hardy

ps I LOVE YOU

November 7, 2011

Where in the world is Elder Hardy?.....

JINOTEPE!!! WHAAHOOO!

Ha ha yeah they sacked me out of Bluefields earlier, I was pretty bummed to find out I wasn’t going to be spending Christmas there. But now I am going to spend Christmas in a place where it even feels a little colder!!! I am in the area Las Villas 2 in the Zone Jinotepe. What happened was they took me out of Bluefields to come to Jinotepe and be... the District Leader! (oh no) haha.

Ok, my new area like I said is in Las Villas II in Jinotepe (near the pacific coast of Nicaragua). It is nice and cool here, I think it is a little bit higher up than the Caribbean coast. My new companion is Elder Peña. He is from Guatemala and is a really good teacher. He has the confidence of all our investigators and this change is going to be great with him. Just pray to help us find and teach lots of great new families here ok?

How was Día de Todos los Santos and Día de los Muerto? Ha ha normal. I knew there were a couple of celebrations. But well, they seem to have ALOT of days that they are off work and school for little holidays. I am jealous of all their school breaks.

The craziest thing that happened was last night (6 of November = elections) All of the missionaries in my district had to call in to report to me about how was their area and if there were a lot of fights and stuff. Here in Jinotepe it was tranquilo. When everyone found out who won here, they got a little excited and we could hear everyone out on the streets honking horns and yelling and stuff. But we didn’t have any problems.

Our door approach? Aha, well I think the biggest point is that I am really trying not to have to same routine. Because you might fall into a little bit of robot style. Each time should be a little different depending on the person/family.

But it usually starts with "Buenas" and ends with "¿cuando podemos pasar ésta semana para placticar más acerca de (nuestro mensaje)? (When can we come more this week to talk about our message?) Ha ha what works best is to talk about them, and get to know them, then you can share the message of the Restoration, applying it to the specific spiritual needs of the person.

Well, Testimony Meeting this last Sunday was good, my first time in Church here. But I will be honest it was a little quiet. After the counselor conducting bore his testimony and sat down there was a big pause, long enough that I went up and gave the first testimony. (I usually try to give all the time I can to the members to bear their testimonies and wait until there is a big pause) But after that they started going up.

One that really touched my heart was when a less active Dad went up and confessed that he and his family have been inactive for a while but they finally came to church again and he talked about his testimony in Jesus Christ and in the Restoration and how now they are going to strive to always stay active etc. It might have been the one that others didn’t take for much, he did it kind of weird and forgot how to end and ended up saying "thank you, good night" (sacrament meeting is a 10:30 am) But I made sure to say thank you to him after so he didn’t feel dumb.

Hannah's Question: Can you bring me home a green poison tree frog?

Ha ha ha I will see what I can do. But if it is poisonous how am I going to catch it?

Wow that is great to hear that Kepu is going on the mission to Tonga ha ha tell him congratulations from me.

And that is great to hear that Marsh Poulson the fourth is going on the mish. And to Alaska brrr... I’m guessing that is pretty much the complete opposite climate of mission. Good Luck!

Hey! That is great that you guys could see Jesse Theurer and the familia again! That would be sooo cool if I could train this December and maybe get his missionary from his ward.

Thank you for making the pumpkin Emily!!!

Hey I got to go ok, but thank you for the updates. I will send more photos next time.

Love,

Elder Hardy

Ps I Love you

October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!!! I hope it is fun tonight!


Wow, over 100 candy bars, that’s a house you have to mark on the map to go back to next year!

The Jack ´O Lanterns are awesome!!! Thank you for doing one for me, it looks great. And I have to guess who did the other ones. But it is going to be hard. I was going to say that Emily of course did the Ballerina, but I looked at the pumpkins and now I’m not sure. Because I was looking at the actual pumpkins and it would seem to me that Emily would be more likely to pick the second pumpkin with the Witch and Hannah the first. So I say that Hannah´s is the Ballerina, Emily did the Witch and Dad did the Owl. How did I do? And who helped with my Pumpkin?

Sue's note: Owl: Alexis, Witch: Hannah,
Ballerina & Elder Hardy: Emily

Sounds like an Awesome Ward Halloween Party. I’m jealous we didn’t do anything here. Great work Dad, of course I still remember when we did that in elementary school. I think Rob made a recording if I remember and Zach was in cahoots with me so he went first and made a huge act when he got to the ¨right hand.¨ And nobody believed him until they did it. I am pretty sure there was a girl crying in the corner and Taylor Gunst was trying to make up explanations like, "Oh its one of those mechanical hands that grabs you when you touch it."

Right now outside? OK! It´s raining. There are people walking by with umbrellas and some no (it´s not raining that hard). Also taxis pass by every few seconds. It’s kind of dark for it to be 3:00 PM but that’s to be obvious because it is raining. The store in front is green... and there is a guy standing in the door leaning on the door frame with a bag in his hand, oh he walked away.

I don’t have to worry about anyone outside seeing me looking at them because I am actually quite far away from the door (the door is glass and is the only "window" I can look out of). But I think the person working at the front desk might think I am crazy because I keep standing up to see above the division walls in between the computers like a prairie dog...

Do the members and investigators have a hard time pronouncing Elder Hardy? No, not really, once they get it. But at first lots of people always say "Elmer Harvey" and then I explain another time and they say oh, "Elder Harvey" Ha ha. Sometimes to help people remember I use the example of Hardy is like Jardín, (Garden in Spanish) and that you just have to take off the N.

The big majority religions in Bluefields are Catholic, Moravian and lots of different Evangelical Churches. Ha ha, well I haven’t seen any Voodoo people but an old investigator one time was telling us that his mom does voodoo and that she has a black book. Never got to get to know her.

The aspect of the Gospel that brings the most peace to me? Mercy. Really the most important aspect of the Gospel is the Atonement. And that is what I want to say when I say Mercy. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, I can repent and be clean and worthy to enter into the Celestial Kingdom one day. Through the Mercy and Love of Heavenly Father and his Son Jesus Christ I can make it, even though I know I can’t be perfect and make it on my own. That is why it gives me so much peace.

It would be like taking a really hard physics test. God the Father is the Professor. Jesus Christ is the Professors assistant (in this case his son too) and is like God the Professor too because he helped make the test and is going to grade my test in the end. So I am taking the test and even though I studied my best and am trying my best, I make a mistake. (And you have to get 100% on the test to pass the class).

And I realize it only after I make it and it is too late. Mercy is like the Assistant telling us as we take the test that he knows we are going to get wrong answers but he is going to give us the second chance and is going to help us correct our tests and if we have (faith) in him he will help us get 100 if we really try our best. I can imagine the relief and (peace) that would give me during a college Physics test to really know that was true.

Well, I think that maybe you can make a little sense of the example. I would definitely refine it, explain it better and make sure there isn’t any apostasy before I would give it in a ward talk.

A McDonald’s in Bluefields? Ha ha, no Hannah, not here. The only big franchise restaurant they have here is Tip Top (aka KFC) ha ha. Well we usually eat the normal Nicaragua food in our food appointment. But one time we went to eat tortoise (still feel guilty) and we went to eat pizza today. Sometimes we have gotten to eat really good fresh sea food soups of like shrimp, fish, crab, and squidys.

Hey, but you didn’t ask me about changes!!! Yes changes are this Wednesday, and... I have changes!!!!

NO!!!!! Ahh, I thought it would be impossible for me to have changes this time. I wanted to stay here until at least after Christmas. But that’s how it is, the Lord has called me to serve in another place and I know that it will be where I should be. And that there are people waiting for me there. I will just have to wait very anxiously for the email from Elder Lopez that says that the families we are teaching right now got baptized. I will probably head out in airplane tomorrow afternoon. Ha ha adios Bluefields!

Thanks Dad, I will try and write Blake, that would be nice. Hey, you all better keep practicing while you have the chance, Because the UNO Champ will be back to claim his seat in no time. (But not soon, maybe Mom will have the chance to catch up :-) ) Ha ha love you Dad.

The activities sound awesome Mom. Good luck with Thanksgiving and the mashed potatoes. I love you sooo much awesome Mom!

Emily! You have a friend crayon who is named Emily too! No way what a coincidence! I luh you.

Oh no Hannah! Wait, was this MY phone!?.... ha ha just kidding. Well I am sorry Hannah, I hope it shows up, but I pray for you every night too! Ps I love you!

Happy Halloween everyone!

Love,

Elder Hardy

October 24, 2011

Hey Familia!


Well I hope you all had a good "Staycation"! Sounds like it was fun. Tell Grandma & Grandpa Weiler, Rob and "Big Bertha" I love them too.

The Tropical Storm? Ha ha ha oh boy, well I´m thinking I would run to the hills if I have to evacuate. Nothing bad has come this way at all so far. But the last time they had a hurricane hit Bluefields (20 years ago) it wasn’t pretty. We will see how it goes.

Saturday we had a super super good lesson with our most positive family. I took the Branch President there to get to know them and to share about his family and how they have been blessed. The President has a very young family and they are preparing to go to the temple this December to be sealed. So he talked about that and his experience as an investigator and marrying his wife.

It was great because this family needs to get married too. Then we shared Una Familia: una proclamacion para el mundo with them and watched Juntos para Siempre. And the end of the lesson the Husband asked what they had to do so that his family could be sealed for forever. It was very spiritual and awesome.

My toughest challenge in Bluefields has been time. We never seem to have enough time to get everything done that we need to. Ha ha we are always a little behind schedule, so I would say my challenge is to manage my time better. But hey, when everyone wants to talk to you what can you do?

Argh, I wrote a very nice spiritual thought but the Internet errored when I tried to send the email and the last draft didn’t save it. But here it is again:

From Elder Maxwell's talk "Remember How Merciful the Lord Hath Been":

"Brethren, as you submit your wills to God, you are giving Him the only thing you can actually give Him that is really yours to give. Don’t wait too long to find the altar or to begin to place the gift of your will upon it! No need to wait for a receipt; the Lord has His own special ways of acknowledging.

"I testify to you that God has known you individually, brethren, for a long, long time (see D&C 93:23). He has loved you for a long, long time. He not only knows the names of all the stars (see Ps. 147:4; Isa. 40:26); He knows your names and all your heartaches and your joys!"

And from Elder Maxwell's talk "Consecrate Thy Performance":

"In pondering and pursuing consecration, understandably we tremble inwardly at what may be required. Yet the Lord has said consolingly, 'My grace is sufficient for you' (D&C 17:8). Do we really believe Him? He has also promised to make weak things strong (see Ether 12:27). Are we really willing to submit to that process? Yet if we desire fullness, we cannot hold back part!

"Having our wills increasingly swallowed up by the will of the Father actually means an enhanced individuality, stretched and more capable of receiving “all that [God] hath” (D&C 84:38). Besides, how could we be entrusted with His “all” until our wills are much more like His? Nor could His 'all' be fully appreciated by the partially committed.

"Frankly, it is our prospective selves we betray by holding back whatever the 'part.' No need therefore to ask, “Lord, is it I?” (Matt. 26:22). Rather, let us inquire about our individual stumbling blocks, 'Lord, is it this?' We may have known the answer for a long time and may need resolve more than His response.

"The greatest happiness in God’s generous plan is finally reserved for those who are willing to stretch and to pay the costs of journeying to His regal realm. Brothers and sisters, 'come, let us anew [this] journey pursue.'"

Ha ha yes these quotes come from the spiritual thought Anna sent me. But I can’t look up quotes to send so I am borrowing hers.

The point is that God has blessed us with a lot. And there really is only one thing that we can give back in return. Our will. I have to make my will His will here in the mission so that I can be an instrument in his hands, and I have to do it when I get back from the mission too, just like you guys have to.

It isn’t easy, it requires a lot of faith, confidence (in Him), humility and obedience. But it is the only way we will ever have everlasting happiness. Our Savior did it, now we have to too. Not our will be done, but His.

Hey! Oh no! Well I hope the Bentleys trip went well, but there is a big problem. The office doesn’t have the package! I called them this morning and they said that they never got anything.

They also reminded me that the office is closed Saturdays!!! AHH!!!! I hope it wasn’t too big of a pain for the Bentley´s to drive there and find it and find it closed. I feel bad, I hope they have a fun trip. I don’t know if you have their number or anything to call them and find out what happened.

No! I haven’t sent the SD cards. The office has not sent the bag in a couple of weeks. And I am not too happy about it. But I am going to send them this week in the mail. I already have them all on backup on the hard drive. And I think they will get there safe in a couple of weeks... or months. Maybe they will be a good Christmas present.

Well if the Office gets the package, the best would be that they send it with the new missionaries that will come to Bluefields this next change. (Changes are next Wednesday).

Ha ha ha mom, I wish I could see the face of the Insurance agent that receives your case. Ha ha Duck Assault. Keep up the good bowling Mom, Love you.

Sounds like everything has been going good Dad. I will write in my journal today. Love you. Good work on the Duck House.

Good luck with Dance Emily. And School! I Luh You too.

Hannah, ahh! A Vampire! Oh nooooo. Well I love what was your favorite part about the playcation. We will study the scriptures as a family when I get home too right? ps I love you!

Happy Halloween,

I love you.



Elder Hardy

October 17, 2011

Buenas!!!

Eating Tortoise

Wait... is it already almost Halloween!?!?! Oh boy, it feels like last week was Halloween 2010 en Boaco.

Hey that is a great goal, to read the Book of Mormon in the year. But you should also make it your goal to read it every day. That way you get the blessings every day! Even if it is only a little bit that you read. I also like the Disney World goal! Harry Potter Theme Park sounds good to me!!!

Hey that is neat that Aubrey is going to serve a mission. Tell her congratulations from me.

Arrrrr! Well the office didn’t send the bag this last week. So I have not shipped the SD Cards, they send the bag Tuesdays, so maybe it gets here Wednesday or Thursday and then I send it back the same day... I don’t know if it will get there on time but I will try.

For Sunday dinner we almost had Corn Flakes. But we ended up eating... Arroz, Frijoles, (not mixed) platanos fritos, rice, and lemonade. I can’t remember if there was a meat.

Ha ha well we’ve only been to the port were we get on the panga. And really I don’t think that it counts as the ocean. It is technically a bay. But it is really big and looks like the ocean! I don’t think I have taken any photos like that I will look. (The photo I sent is from on top of our house)


Oh we had some great lessons this week. Last night we taught a great lesson to our family most positive. In the closing prayer we kneeled with them and the Dad asked in his prayer for help so that they could get baptized. It was really sweet. So we have a couple baptisms coming up. The branch has been doing great here. We have had 12 investigators in Church for the last three weeks.


My comp says my shirt says 16 1/2. I don’t know I have lost a little bit of weight. Maybe a more fitted shirt would be good too ha ha. As far as clothes go I don’t need anything. But my shirts might be a little yellow.

Hannah, I don’t know if they celebrate in Halloween in Bluefields! Everyone has told me that Navidad is really neat but nobody has mentioned Halloween. I will have to ask today.

Good luck with deadlines Dad!

I am glad to hear your shoulder is doing better mom, you should stretch more.

Ha ha! Alexis already ran back to home base.

Mom, if I can’t send the cards to the office I am just going to send them in the mail. I am sure they will get there. For the pumpkin, you can surprise me! I think a cool idea would be a missionary name tag. But I don’t know how you could do that. Or the Nicaraguan flag or a map of Nicaragua or the Book of Mormon... ha ha etc. Love you mom.

Good luck in Spanish!!! ha ha and the PSAT Emily. Those kinds of tests are super important. I wish I would have taken the SAT but I didn’t. Love you.

AHH!! No bad grades in science Hannah! Haha I am sure you will be fine. And good luck with Molly Mouse and the busy life!
Ps I love you.

Gracias, I love you,


Elder Hardy

October 10, 2011

Gracias por el correo!


Wow, that is awesome that the Woodruffs came over for lunch on Sunday! You guys got to get to know them before I did! That would be neat if Elder Woodruff went to BYU. That reminds me that I have to go to school when I get home... Nah I don’t want to think about that right now.

Something funny that happened with me and my companion this week was when we were in Juigalpa. We were walking around a little bit lost looking for a place to eat and we passed this old museum. We looked in from outside the gate curiously for a sec. There was an old guard sitting by the gate and he told us to come in. He said there was a bunch of cool and freaky stuff in the museum and that we could go check it out. We said sure and went in.


Finally, I thought that we were doing something culturally edifying on Pday... well, we walked in and the receptionist looked up surprised as if we were the first visitors they had received in a couple months. We look around and it had a bunch of animals on display... deformed animals. There was like a three legged, two headed goat, a dog with like three eyes and two mouths, a cyclops hamster, a devil looking fish and well stuff like that. Ha ha the point is it creeped me out.

Luckily, I found some cool stuff like ancient bowls and corn mills the Lamanites had used. And some stuff like swords from the Spanish. Well the point in why it was funny is because I tried to do something edifying on Pday with my comp and I ended up being all freaked out the rest of the night.

(I sent some pictures of the cool stone carvings outside that caught (and tricked) my attention, I didn’t take any photos of the stuff inside...) (But my comp did if you want to see them tell me)


So my companion is a convert to the church. He and a few of his siblings joined the church when he was 15 (he is 21 now.) A great story about his family that he told me is that while he has been in the mission, his mom finally got baptized. I always like to ask him, after we go to write, how his family is doing. He tells me that they are doing great and his mom now has a very strong testimony in the Gospel.

I cleaned the FRIDGE!!! Ha ha yes, who knows how many years that fridge has passed in the house of the Elders in Bluefields without being cleaned. But it smelled bad so I finally did it today. And I did it good too.

Well this week was full of a lot of lessons macheteing families about the Law of Chastity. And some of them were pretty good. Lots of lessons about the Word of Wisdom too ha ha. But a lesson that I liked a lot was one that in the beginning didn’t seem like it was going to go well at all.

We were teaching a family of young adults. Brothers, sisters and a girlfriend that lives with them. So it is a little harder to keep them all focused and keep the spirit there (plus I was on divisions with a Priest in the ward). But even though I didn’t think the lesson went all that well, the young girlfriend proved me wrong. I managed to encourage her to say the closing prayer and it was great. She did it perfectly and asked Heavenly Father for help so that they could get married, and get baptized. She was very sincere and managed to change my entire attitude about them. I walked out of the house very pleased.

Ha ha oh Mom, the Ducks made you get a cortisone shot. Well at least it isn’t torn. I imagine that after looking at your joint and tendons they told you to stretch more right? You should reactivate your Wii Fitness account. Or is that totally out of date by now?... Well, I hope you feel better.

So the ducks aren´t going to fly the coop for winter? Hey, do you guys cut their wings so they can´t fly? Would they fly away or would they stay home?

Well, sounds like everyone is doing good. Keep praying that mom´s arm gets better. Hey our friends are coming to Managua soon right? I will try to send the chips this week in the bag.

Love,


Elder Hardy

ps. I love you

October 3, 2011

Oh no!!! Mom fell down! I would do the "did you fall down again" joke, but this sounds serious. Oh, I am so sorry Mom. We will pray for you here. You should eat Perry the duck for this!


Yes! They receive the conference transmission in Bluefields! I really liked a lot of the talks. And as well for a lot of talks I was busy regulating the Branch. A lot of investigators came, it was great.

I really liked a talk from Elder Kazuhiko Yamashita of the Seventy. He talked directly to the missionaries. And I liked what he said. He said he didn’t understand very much of the doctrine that his missionary taught him. What he remembers and never will forget is the smile he always had. The attitude and actions of his Elder is what helped him feel the spirit and taught him to be like Christ.

The Love, through my attitude, actions and service is what really matters. I am trying really hard to teach well, but I know in the end that it is the Love of Christ that emulates from us his representatives that counts.

Well last night we had a very spiritual experience. With the most positive family we have right now. The Dad is doing really great. He came to 3 of the 5 sessions this weekend. He is reading the Book of Mormon, always has questions and is praying.

Last night we watched "Together Forever" with them and talked about the family. They got a little emotional and set some goals to be a better family. The most important thing I emphasized was that they kneel and pray every night as a family. Even the Mom who has been a little harder promised to do it.

SO, I would like to challenge each of you to have a family prayer (kneeling if possible) EVERY night. Because I told them that family prayer has really helped me and my family, it has helped us to have more unity, more Love and to invite the Lord to help us be better. So, you better be doing it...

How many people come to Sacrament Meeting? Well, on average it has been about 60 people. But our goal this month is to have 70. Each branch meets in the same building. We meet at 8 am and they come at 10 am.

Something funny that happened this week was Friday, I think. They have a celebration here for the Feast of San Jeronimo. All the men dress up as women with masks and everything and walk around the street with fans... spanking people.


Well, I think in Bluefields it can get out of hand and dangerous, so we avoided it. But earlier in the day we passed two that were dressed up and they started hitting me with their fans. We got them to stop by promising them cold water (it’s hot in their costumes), and then we took pictures with them.


Hannah asked if I have eaten any strange fruits? Um yes! Fruta de pan, or Bread Fruit. No not fruit bread, but bread fruit. It is big and green and spiky. But they cut it up and fry it like french fries. It is pretty good.

Fruta de Pan

Good luck Golfing Dad!!!

Ha ha ha I am sorry the Ducks bullied you Mom. I hope your shoulder is ok. But Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming up... we will see who gets the last quack. Ha ha love you mom!

Well, Good luck with Homecoming Emily. (Be sure to be ready with the porch light for the drop off Dad). Luh you.

Hey Hannah! Keep working hard and good luck. Good work with Lego Star Wars. You will have to teach me how to play video games when I get back ok?

Thanks for the spiritual thoughts!

got to go,

Love you all,


Elder Hardy

Ps I love you.

September 26, 2011

Más Querida Familia,


Sounds like everyone had a good week! Dad told me you guys ate chicken heart! ha ha. Congratulations to Alexis for her try-out. And I wish Emily and Hannah could be here to teach me more piano. I am thinking about buying a toy piano so I can practice in the house.

My new Companion? Ha ha ha well I have a funny story about that. So Elder Gaitán left Tuesday afternoon in a plane to Managua. And Wednesday our new companion came in a plane at about 2 o’clock. His name is Elder Nybo!!! A chele from Logan.

What is even awesomer is that he came with me on the plane to Nicaragua. He sat right next to me! He was my airplane buddy. So I was astonished that President sent me a gringo. I was actually a little worried too because Elder Nybo is pilas (strong) and maybe President lost his confidence in me or something so he sent a pilas elder to be my comp.

So this end of the week has been one of the best weeks every. Elder Nybo is a great Elder and was willing to do everything we had to do to work as hard as we could in our area. The past couple of days have been some of the best we have had in Bluefields. And we put a baptismal date with an awesome family and they came to church yesterday! ha ha almost too good to be true right? ha ha well yeah.

Saturday, I called Elder Heward our AP to ask him a question about our phone. Well, he asked me how was my new comp. and I said "Awesome, Elder Nybo and I are working really hard." And he said, "Oh... Elder Hardy, I have to tell you something..." Ha ha and I knew what he was going to say.

Well it turns out due to the communication block here in Bluefields, we never found out that Elder Nybo was supposed to be Elder Jimenez´s comp and Elder Lopez was supposed to switch over to my area and be my comp ha ha.

Well, I thought us two together was a weird companionship, too powerful ha ha. No, but I am glad to have Elder Lopez as my companion and we are going to work just as hard. And Elder Nybo is going to help a lot in the other Branch I am sure.

So my REAL companions name is Elder Hans Bladimir López Garcia he is from Guatemala and has 9 months in the mission I think. Oh and a big coincidence. He is my Brother! Ha ha of the mission. Elder Coj trained him right after our two changes together.

The work is going great. Like I said, we have a very positive progressing family and a couple more on the way. Yes there are a couple of really cool members that like to help us. One is named Francisco. He has about 3 months as a member and is already the honorary secretary of the branch. I say honorary because technically he can’t be it because he only has 16 years!

An awesome experience happened yesterday. Well, it started Friday when we contacted one more family before going home for the night. We passed by a green house with the door open, I saw inside as we passed by on our way home (missionaries are very nosy). I saw a man inside and I felt like we should go back and try to talk to them.

So we did, and ended up getting to know and teach a little lesson to the family. The man I saw was the dad and he actually kind of ran away from us, but we got the chance to invite him along with his family to church Sunday. The weird thing was that even though he was least positive of the family, he came to church.

I was impressed because we only even talked to him once and left a pamphlet. We went back to his house later Sunday and he came out set up some chairs and a table and asked us, "Would you like to eat before or after the lesson?" Ha ha so he gave us a little dinner and then we taught him. He had read the entire pamphlet and opened it up to the first vision part pointed to it and said, “I liked this part most...”.

Wow, so in the end we challenged him to prepare to be baptized and he willingly accepted. The only objection he said was that he didn’t know when his work would be and if it fell on the day of the baptismal service if he could do it the day before. Ha ha so that was a good lesson.

Last Pday or the Pday before that we built a house. Ha ha. Well we helped put the roof on. (I helped pass up the tin laminas, no I did not climb up the roof to nail them in.)

What do members do for a living here? Fish. No, that’s not true. That’s what most people do, or the work on cruise ships every couple of months. Presidente Blass has a fruit and vegetable store. Presidente Martinez works for the government like a supervisor of the traffic control or something. Stuff like that.

A bike? NEVER, will I get to ride a bike. And I am bummed. "This is not a bike mission." That’s what president told me when I asked him for one ha ha. The place in my last photo is in the Alcaldia de Bluefields. The City Hall or something like that. But no, it’s not my bike in my photo. We are not allowed to touch bikes.

Hannah asked how far we walk every day. Ha ha lots and lots Hannah. But it is fun. And good exercise. I think that is what is keeping me from getting fat. But I think we walk less here than in Monte Fresco. But there are still lots of hills.

Thanks for the Journal entries Dad.

Thanks Mom. It sounds like bowling and everything is going good. Say hi to Grandma and Grandpa for me, they still have to hold on a long time for me. Hey I want a pumpkin if there is an extra!!! You could carve a missionary name tag in it!

Hmm, Emily, why is school just "alright I guess" huh? Ha ha and even more questionable that he is a Canadian boy. Is he a member? Ha ha that is funny you have to do another float!!! ha ha I luh ya. Good luck with the piano recital and dance.

Wow, riding your bike to school Hannah? Lucky. I am jealous. I wish I had a bike. Keep up the good work in school. P.s. I love you!



Love,

Elder Hardy