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

January 31, 2011

Hello my Family!

Look who tried to snuggle up!

I think it is great that you tried some pupusas! Yeah, we always eat them with the orange sauce and cabbage. I have a great idea to make American pupusas but I can’t tell you or someone will steal my idea.

Say hi to the Grandparents for me. And tell Grandpa Weiler thanks for the update on Highland Basketball.

About time Emily gets her license. I don´t actually have any form of identification on me right now. No, never mind, I still have my Utah driver license in my white book with my manual misional.

And yes, they have traffic lights. Here in Boaco they actually only have two. I haven’t ever seen the lights working on one and the other if there is a taxi waiting at a red light but there aren’t any other cars they usually just ignore it.

I think that is awesome Alexis and Hannah got on the JumboTron and won the coca cola challenge. They must have pretty good dance skills. We can’t drink coke here :( not that I was ever really big into coke.

This week was great. We are working hard and we actually brought the most investigators and recent converts to church this week than in a while.

Unfortunately, we still have several weeks to go before we can help anyone be baptized because they haven’t come to church enough. So that is the lucha (struggle) right now, help our families understand the importance of the Día de Reposo (Sabbath Day) and to go to Iglesia (church). Hopefully next week two more of our families will be able to come to church and progress.

We are always talking to people. We try to spend most of our time contacting families. You always start with a Buenas Dias and walk up to them and introduce yourself. Ha ha and if you are ever in doubt you can always just act lost and ask where you are ha ha.

No, but we always tell them that we have a message we would like to share with them about el Evangelio de Jesucristo and we tell them about how the family is central and the blessings the Gospel brings to families.

Ha ha I noticed too that I look really thin in all my photos. It’s too bad but it’s not because I’m sick or anything. I guess I just need to do more exercise every morning. We found a scale in a farmacia once and weighed ourselves. I still weigh about 185... I guess the weight has just shifted a little.

Right now the family (we live with) is in El Salvador. Only the Doña (Hermana Elsa) is here right now to keep the restaurant going with the help of Ramon (nice guy, 18 yrs old, leader of the Evangelica Youth) and Katya (21 yrs old, faithful member of the branch).

So I don’t have any photos of them right now I am sorry I forgot to do that the first change ha ha. And with my new comp I am not sure if I have a nice photo right now of the two of us. I will make sure and get one if no.

Hannah asked if they have root beer in Nicaragua. No!!! The first package you sent with the little root beers in it Elder Coj was amazed because they don’t have root beer here. They have Coke, Orange Fanta, Red Fanta, Rojita, Sprite, occasionally Grape Fanta more coke and alcohol. Not the biggest selection but I have always liked orange soda.

Thanks for the journal entries and the “share your missionary” in Primary, Dad. Ice fishing sounds fun, I remember when we did that it was great... not sure if we caught anything either.

I am sorry you feel sick mom, hope you get better. You can get pretty much any medicine here, I think. They have a farmacia (pharmacy) on every street. And even more pulperias (little stores). But I haven’t had to buy any medicine yet. Just some Alka-AD once.

Hannah, I still have your silly band. It is safe in my closet. But guess what, they have silly bands here too. But they aren’t as cool.

Spiritual Thought:

Alma 48:17  Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.

"Men and women who turn their lives over to God will discover that he can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, raise up friends, and pour out peace." - Ezra Taft Benson

If we turn our lives over to God and trust in Him, He will help us become like Him. It is amazing to see the change, and have the opportunity to be on a mission and see the change in others.

I love you all,

Elder Hardy

January 24, 2011


Buenas familia, ¡hoy hicimos papusas con la Doña! (today we did pupusas with the Lady of the House!) Ha ha it was fun. So you said you are going to an El Salvadorian restaurant today. You will have to tell me how were the pupusas. I bet mine were better. Haha son bromas (Haha just kidding).

Thanks for thinking about me! Why did you guys write essays? What do they say?

The Conference with Elder Christofferson was Awesome. I even got to shake his hand before the meeting! (Well, everybody did) It was really spiritual, and all he did was answer our questions the whole time. I got a bit of personal revelation from him too.

Unfortunately, I was not part of any special choir. Elder Tonga and a couple others did a special musical number of A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief with a flute and violin. It was great, but Elder Tonga is always stealing the show with his singing haha.

My new compañero’s full name is Nery Josue Leiva Rivas. Hard Worker. Obedient.

So I guess the biggest challenge right now is taking control in the lessons. I am trying really hard to talk, teach, testify and not be timid but at times it is difficult when I have a compañero who´s native tongue is Spanish and can talk really well in lessons.

But I am overcoming this, because I know that I know the Gospel pretty well too and a little Spanish, and have the spirit to tell me what the Lord wants to say to His children through me.

Hannah, about Llamas... I am sure they do have them. But unfortunately I have not seen one yet. I will look, and maybe I will find a "¡Talking Llama!"

Yeah! Last night we left a great lesson with the wife of Luis Gonzales and we started walking back to the house when we saw a woman taking down her laundry. I said hi and asked if we could help with something. Her husband walked out and we had barely introduced ourselves when they invited us into the house.

They don’t have electricity so they lighted a candle and we taught a little bit, but they basically taught themselves and the husband said, "We need to get married first to get baptized don’t we?" Ha ha so we said, yes. Those kinds of lessons are the best. Because "El campo blanco está ya para la siega." (The field is white already to harvest). They don’t even work on Sundays... It was very spiritual and the Lord trusted us with some of the elect.

I’m out of time. I did send some photos that must not have downloaded. I will send some today but it is being slow.

I love you all,

Elder Hardy

January 17, 2011

¡Buenas Americanos!

I think that would be really neat if you sent a Jesus El Cristo to Elder Coj. I think that would mean a lot to him, especially with a photo of the family and testimony. I´m sure he will be really grateful and all the Latinos will want to have me as their companion because my family sends the best packages.

Yes, changes were Wednesday! I am still in Boaco! And my podraste (father in law) se llama Elder Leiva. He is super nice and a hard worker, which is most important. He is from Guatemala too and guess what... He speaks English!!! Almost perfectly. He doesn’t think so but he worked in a call center for Verizon answering the tonto (silly) questions we call to ask from the States.

I already have lots of funny stories about that. First of all, their office is in "Miami" haha. Outsourcing... So they have memorized streets and stuff like that in Miami when people ask. One of the calls he has received fairly often is someone calls and says their phone isn’t working. So he starts to go through the procedure which starts with holding the red phone button for three seconds. And “Oh hey! It’s working, Thanks!” ha ha.

Ha ha I still haven’t heard about the choir plans for Mission Conference. I hope I get to do it. The conference is on Thursday I think, so we will see. I can’t wait! I didn’t know Elder Christofferson could speak Spanish.

Yes!!! I got Aunt Jenny’s package. One of the best packages ever!!! I picked it up during changes so I will be sure to share a little of the spoils with Elder Leiva. The picture and cards were the best of course. I can’t tell you how happy I was to get a photo of them. The contact solution came perfectly on time, I am just about to run out of the one I have.

The other treats are the best of the best. My favorite kind of cereal, Frosted Mini Wheats. I don’t know how they knew that. Licorice, Snickers, oh the Twixes! And a big pack of Beef Jerky. It tastes so good. A pack of beef jerky is a big deal to missionaries. The Goldfish are as good as it gets for snacking during studying. I need to write a nice email to them saying thanks. They are the Best.

Families we are teaching. Well, I don’t know where to start. We have been finding a lot of new families to teach. The familia Gonzales are a really new family of ours. The husband works in Palí (the grocery store) and he has a wife and a really cute little girl. We taught the first lesson to them and it was really great, I gave the first vision lesson and the spirit was there.

At the end of our first lesson we asked them if they would be baptized on the 12th of Feb. They said yes. We look forward to teaching them again. The only problem is he works all day in Palí on Sunday. But we bore our testimonies about the importance of the Sabbath day and going to church and I told him to talk to his chief and tell him he wants to switch his day off to Sunday.

My biggest surprise about the mission so far is how much help I have been given to communicate with the people. I guess it isn’t really a surprise that the Lord has helped me so he can bring people to Him. But it has been a really amazing experience to watch the miracles in my life and then the miracles in the lives of the people here in Nicaragua.

No, Hannah, I haven’t seen any jungle snakes. But lots and lots of spiders. We went to this really cool waterfall today for Pday and guess what... Monkeys! Real live wild ones right above our heads in the big trees. The best part is when I started making monkey sounds at them and they went Crazy! It got so loud because they were all hooting.

Ah, I need to go now. Today the email was really short. We had to leave the waterfall early because we got a call from the ZLs that said we need to go to Juigalpa because tomorrow Elder Leiva (the new DL in Boaco) needs to go to Managua for a DL conference.

I love you all, thanks for the updates and spiritual thought,

Elder Hardy

January 10, 2011

iHola Familia!

It’s funny that you say you wouldn’t mind some Nicaragua warmth & sunshine, because today it is all cloudy and has been raining. But it’s still really humid!

Hmm my favorite food... gallo pinto ha ha (just kidding). But I really don’t think it is that bad when it’s not too dry. When I change to somewhere like Managua is when I am going to get sick of it. (Gallo pinto is their rice and bean dish).

No, my favorite food might have to be the fried plantains. They are pretty good when they get a little caramelized on the outside. That and a fresh banana con leche shake, Beto puts cinnamon and caramel syrup in it too.

And of course the pupusas (corn torillas filled with cheese, meat, beans & spices). You guys should try doing an El Salvador Day and make pupusas for dinner along with the plantains, banana con leche and gallo pinto!

I’m afraid have not received Jenny´s package yet. Either the ZL´s have it or hopefully I will get it Wednesday when we go to Managua for changes. I am pretty excited though. Tell them thanks for me.

Changes are this Wednesday. But I really shouldn’t say "when we go to changes" because we haven’t found out who is changing yet. But we are going to find out tonight! Not that I am excited to change.

Nicaraguan toys, Hannah? Excellent question. Well, a really cheap toy that you always see the kids on the street playing with are called Clackers. Ha ha and that is about all they do. They are these two balls connected together with a string. And you put the middle of the string in between your fingers and move your hand up and down until the balls hit above and below your hand and make this really loud clacking noise. Ha ha its actually harder than it looks.

What else... they like playing with cheap fireworks. Oh and we see them playing street baseball all the time. I have seen them play with all kinds of balls too. Including bottle caps. And of course fútbol.

Today we played fútbol in the little park on a cement basketball court. It was really fun and all the chebalos flocked to watch and we even let some of them play. Ha ha there was this gordito on my team (little chubby kid) and he was actually pretty good.

Oh and hey, in this server (internet café) they have a Wii and an Xbox 360, which you never see. And they are some guys my age playing on them and they are terrible! Hannah, you could probably beat all the kids in Nicaragua at Mario Kart. Or any other game for that matter!

I can’t wait to get the special package. I think it is really nice of everyone who helped out. But oh boy, something I would really like in it. I don’t know, I have forgotten about the things I don’t have. You all know better than me now. Anything from the states is really nice.

I know it sounds typical but corbatas (ties) are always good. They are like currency down here with the other missionaries.

Oh! Which reminds me. Ha ha to Jenny, Jim and my Cousins. The tie you guys gave me the day of my farewell (The really awesome vibrant violet/purple one with stripes and paisley)… all the other missionaries want it. They keep trying to convince me to trade them for it (for two or even three of theirs). But I keep saying no, I can’t trade it. Elder Bailey even stole it once. But Elder Mejia gifted it back to me in a present for Christmas ha ha.

Something else that I could use is tricks to show to all the kids. The kids in families love a good magic trick. But I still don’t know/have too many. Treats and snacks that are different from the States always taste really good.

Something Elder Coj really wants is a Jesus the Christ in Spanish. He has been begging me for mine but I really like it. I guess changes are Wednesday but he wants me to give him one the next change when we see each other. Really anything you put in a package is really special and appreciated.

To Stevie: congratulations on the mission in Uruguay. Ahora que ha ayudado las personas en Uruguay obtener la salvación, necesita encontrar su propio Exaltación. Jaja. ¡Buena Suerte!

This week I would like to share a message for all of the families. And it is about having Noches de Hogar (Family Home Evening). I am afraid I may have taken for granted Family Home Evening at times before the mission. But my testimony about the blessing of Family Home Evening, Family Scripture Study and Family Prayers has become very strong in the short time I have had here in the mission (well it feels short. It has been going by so fast).

I am not going to write any stories or anything but I have seen the wonderful effect on families and the blessings that have come from doing these things. And how not sharing the gospel in your own family every Monday and every day, and sharing your love with your family everyday gives room for disastrous effects to take place. I’m not sure if that makes sense. But please make sure to always have family home evening with the whole family.

And I am sure it seems hard at times but reading the scriptures daily as a family (even if it means waking up early (they do it here in Nicaragua, trust me you can do it) will give countless blessings to the family and your day is just going to be better.

And there is not an easier way to show your love to God and to your family than kneeling down every night before bed and giving thanks to your Heavenly Father for your family and the wonderful blessings in your lives.

Please try your hardest to always do these things. Because God doesn´t ask us to do something without making sure there is a way to do it. So if we try our hardest to do His Will, it is always going to work out.

I can testify of that, and write these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

I love you and thank you so much for your support and love. It blesses me every day here in the mission.

Elder Hardy

January 3, 2011

¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

Hey, my New Year’s was awesome. One of the coolest. Yes, we blew up a Muñeco (burning dummy). And it is officially my new, New Year’s Eve Tradition now. I am going to do it every year when I get back and hopefully next year too. It might be a little harder to find those kinds of fireworks ha ha... But don’t worry, I didn’t light any. I am sending a photo of the Muñecos, well, minus the head on the baby ha ha.

My week was OK. We are teaching the Mendez Jarquin family. They are pretty Catholic. Their Dad died a couple years ago which is pretty sad but I bore my testimony to them about the Plan of Salvation and how they can be with him again. We are going to teach them more about the Plan of Salvation next time.

We are running low on positive investigator families. We are focusing on trying to strengthen the ward. We need their help with references too.

The Rama (Branch) changed the Presidency this week. President Dias is now Hermano Dias. He has been serving hard for 10 years as the President of the Rama of Boaco. Sunday, the new President was called. President Moreno, previously known by me as Hermano Pio. He is a really great man. He is a hard worker, has a really powerful testimony and is incredibly humble. He will be great and will help the Rama grow and strengthen a lot.

Still don’t know who is getting transferred. They are supposed to tell us the night before which will be the 11th. That means Cambios (changes) are on the 12th. It is very likely that I will get a new companion whether I leave or stay. I think it is very rare to have your Dad (the missionary that trains you) for three changes.

I am really hoping that I get to stay. Elder Coj will have been here for 4 1/2 months which is pretty long. I love it here in little Boaco and want to stay for as long as I can to see it grow. And yes, Elder Coj has been an awesome compañero. I think we have helped each other out a lot. There is always a reason that you have each companion I am sure of that.

A great story this week was when we went with our new President to teach our new converts, Hermanos Roberto y Yamileth and announce our new President (I’m sure it seems like I talk about them a lot). Well, we have been worried about them because it has been hard for them to come to church.

But when we announced President Moreno to them they got really excited and started giving him all sorts of suggestions and advice and things we need to do better (Hermana Yamileth has a pretty strong personality).

Well in the end, they started saying how they are going to help out and support him and come to church. After the lesson, President Moreno shared his testimony too and it was really humble and powerful. That’s why I am so excited about him and know he is going to be a great aid to this area to get it going again.

Hannah, you asked about dogs? Well, first there are dogs everywhere. It’s crazy but every street has a couple. And yes, they have gotten mad at me a couple times. I don’t know why, maybe I smell different or something. Oh but Elder Coj is convinced it is because they can sense fear and then they get all excited and defensive. It’s not my fault I don’t want rabies.

I have only really been chased once. Ha ha and it’s not a very good story, because of a little punk Chihuahua whiner dog... When I turned around it stopped, looked up at me and ran away. Ha ha and every time I would turn my back to it, it would start chasing me again. Little chicken.

But a better story is with this big black dog that we were walking past. He was acting normal and calm but for some reason I was like, "watch out Elder Coj" and scooted us to the side a little more. And right then he freaked out. I slid my back pack off and started swinging it at him until we got past him. But his teeth were scary looking. That is the day I decided to buy a sling shot.

That was really awesome of the Woodruff family to send a Christmas package to you guys. They are really nice and their son is great.

I am missing the week break after Christmas to play games and goof off all day. Too bad it is already over! Hey, tell Rob I want a personalized golf ball for when I get back too. Oh! and I was looking forward to Tron Legacy so much ha ha.

That is so awesome that Kylie, Bryanna, Carly and Jamo stopped by. If they ever read this I say thanks! That is pretty cool of them to still remember me. I wish Carly luck with London!

Love you all,

Elder Hardy

Oh P.S. Emily! I attached a picture of this
cute little girl named Emily too!