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

March 28, 2011

Querida Familia,

Hey, I am doing great!

This Friday we baptized Jorge. While we only baptized him, his family are already members so we completed a family and now they can prepare to be sealed in the temple. The family is great.

We had a surprise for his baptism. He is old friends with the Second Counselor of the Stake so we arranged for him to come and perform the baptism. What was great is the Second Counselor has a truck ha ha so we went with him to pick up Jorge. He was great, him and his family were all ready, waiting on the curb and they didn’t even know we were coming to pick them up in a truck.

My new ward is great. I am friends with the Bishopric and the Ward leaders. They called a new Ward Mission Leader yesterday and we are super excited to get working with him, he is poderoso (powerful).

The food is great. We make our own breakfast, Jamón and Queso (Ham and Cheese) Sandwich for me. And we eat Lunch and Dinner in the house we live in. The familia cooks well, usually a meat with Rice and Beans on the side.

Well, today we ate something interesting. I would tell you what it is but I don’t know. She asked us this morning if we wanted to try a different part of a chicken. I said sure! It wasn’t too bad, I asked the familia what it was called and they told me some name I can’t remember. Then I asked what part of the chicken it is... and they told me they weren’t sure either.

Last night we taught a new family of ours. We actually found them because a couple of weeks ago we passed a gordito (chubby) kid and said hi to him and were nice to him. Then this week, we found him at a friend’s house one night. He asked us if we wanted to meet his Mom. So he took us to her and we contacted her in the park outside their house.

Then as we finished talking to her, her partner came out and called to us, ¨Alright, come in Elders!¨ Turns out he is an inactive member who was baptized 7 years ago in Puerto Cabezas (other side of Nicaragua). We talked to them, and he taught his wife the first lesson. Ha ha we mostly listened.

At the end, he gave a very powerful testimony that he knows this is the True Church, that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and José Smith was a true prophet. He told us that he has been wanting to come back to church and fix his life for about 6 years now.

The most Faith Promoting part for me is how powerful his testimony is, even though he has messed up a lot in his life the past few years, he can still fix it. He can change, repent, and help his family be eternal. He knows it, and is coming to Church this week to start.

That’s one of the best parts about the Mission. Sure, baptizing is all fun and good (and crucial for someone’s salvation), but it´s the changes you get to see happen to people and their families, preparing for and being baptized. As well as with people who are already members and are wrestling to get back on track. That’s what I like, the following the example of Jesus Christ part.

Hannah, I haven’t bought a baseball mitt yet. The thing is everyone plays Baseball on Sundays. It’s kind of an Arch Enemy really.

My favorite PDay game, hmmm well in Boaco we would always play Fútbol. But here we haven’t really played too many games. I washed my clothes, cleaned the house, showered with a 3 liter bottle of water, writing my family, eating,... really it is all fun to me.

You are right, I should think of something special to do with my comp. next PDay. It will be the second to last PDay of the Change. Ahh.

Ha ha, Alexis, Ward Missionary?! That´s great! But I don’t know why you should be nervous. Listen, all the people you are going to be assigned to visit are less active members that are your age. The most important thing you can do is listen, you should be able to relate to them and put yourself in their shoes easy. Listen, figure out what they need, how the Gospel answers it, and tell them.

And when you get nervous, or don’t know what to say, that is the easiest part. Just bear your testimony, about what you are talking about, about the Book of Mormon, the Prophet José Smith and your Savior Jesucristo.

And since you don’t have full time mission rules, if you have to flirt a little with their brother to get them both to come to church... ha ha just kidding.

Good to hear the Duck is content, Emily. I’m glad to hear he is growing fast (fattening up) he should be ready just in time for Thanksgiving :) Great with Dance. Math = Greater Light and Knowledge you will have to learn one day to get to the Top.

Ha ha good look with the Robin role, Hannah, that is so great. Love you too Oompa Lumpa.

Love you all, say hi to the Duck.

Elder Hardy

March 21, 2011

¡Feliz Primavera! (Happy Spring!)

The Motmot 
National Bird of Nicaragua

Ha ha ha Perry the Duck!!! About as close as we will get to a platypus. I think that is so awesome Emily was answered with a live duckling. I wish I would have done that for a dance. Well done, Alex Diamond.

There are lots of ducks here. A family we contacted yesterday had this big old duck who tried to take a bath in a pan I was standing by and shook it all over me. Ha ha, they eat them here...

No! No package this week. I’m convinced there is a conspiracy in the office. I dunno, it must just be really slow.

We will go to the Stake Center to watch General Conference coming up. And I think all the cheles get to watch it in English too. I mean it would be neat to watch it in Spanish.

Yesterday after Stake Conference, we went to a barrio (neighborhood) that I don’t know at all. We passed a house that I felt we should contact. So we did. At first, the guy ran inside and left his wife to talk to us (ha ha not too uncommon) but we talked to her for a while and eventually worked our way to the porch and he came out and we taught him too.

After teaching them we asked if they had any family or friends that we could talk to that were in the area. They said yes, their next door neighbors are family. So after sharing a message and pamphlet about the Restoration with them and setting up a return visit, we walked around the barb wired fence and contacted the family.

After sharing the same message with them, we asked the same question for references. Turns out the next house down was a family that is family too. So we contacted them. We commented how it was neat that the three families lived right next to each other. And they said yeah it’s because their mom owns the land. And it turns out she lived a little further down the terreno (field) with her husband. Ha ha so we went and talked to her. Tomorrow we are going back to teach each of the families.

Special blessings in serving a mission. Oh boy. That is a terribly big question. Well, hopefully it will help me get a wife a little further down the road. Ha ha but first is how the mission has helped me be more compassionate, patient and understanding of people.

Ha ha sometimes people are really mean, but instead of getting mad or offended or fighting back, I think of maybe why they are that way and how I can help them through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Because everyone needs it, the trick is figuring out how and helping them figure it out too.

Being a representative of Jesus Christ everyday really helps you have more charity. It has helped me mature a lot as well (of course it has). Before the mission lots of little things people would do used to bother me like crazy. Something I actually just noticed yesterday was that my comp was doing just about all of them. But I wasn’t even bothered, I wasn’t even phased. I was just like huh, that used to bother me.

Really there are countless little things that I can’t possibly think of let alone tell, but the biggest blessing I have felt in serving a mission is the opportunity to serve my Lord, invite and help people come to Him and be more like Jesus Christ myself. And really in the end, we are all representatives of our master Jesus Christ whether we have a plaque on or not. So shouldn’t we all be all little more like Him?

Yes Hannah, they have cool birds in Nicaragua. The most common bird is like the tropical version of a crow or something. And they make lots of noise in the mornings. There are these really pretty birds that I see all the time here that have a really bright yellow belly. I was about to take a picture of one on Friday but it saw me open the window and flew away.

I think I saw the national bird of Nicaragua (called a motmot) the other day but I’m not sure. It had two big funky looking tail feathers. I took a bad picture of it but I didn’t bring my camera cord today. The people here always have a pet chequollo. (Ha ha I don´t know how to spell it.) Just like a mini cockatiel with orange cheeks.

Sometimes they have pet Parrots too. One last week only knew how to bark like the dog. Ha ha no Hannah, I am afraid I can´t keep a pet. But the family we live with do have two pet dogs named Tonky and Spike.

I hope you all have a good week this week!

Love you all very much, (and Perry the duck)

Elder Hardy

March 14, 2011


Volcán Momotombo - Leon, Nicaragua.
It is 1297 meters high and 4500 years old.

Last night I saw the Volcano in Leon! We visited a family about the furthest you can walk in the Cañon (canyon) and they live on top of the valley. It is pretty big, but I’m not sure if I saw any smoke coming out.

Is it already leprechaun time? I don’t have a green tie.

My compañero’s full name is Gustavo David Valenzuela Martinez. He has a great story he tells to people who try to make the excuse that they can´t come to church because they have to stay home to watch the house because it’s not secure.

He tells them at his house, when they go to church, if they even want to lock the front door they have to lock it from the inside by putting the dresser in front of it. And then they leave out the back door that they can´t lock anyway. And he lives in a fairly dangerous part of San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

Ha ha that takes away a few excuses from some people. He also worked in a hotel there before coming to the mission. And he would always get back from working Saturday at 2 in the morning Sunday.

He tells people it took a lot to get up and get to church every Sunday early before 9 with his Mom and Brother who are members. But he bears his testimony about the blessings of going to Church and sanctifying the Sabbath Day and how with sacrifice comes blessings.

We have another companionship in the ward but they live in a nice big 6 room house by themselves. Ha ha I should have taken photos but our room is a little smaller. But the family we live with is awesome.

The living conditions are just fine, our bathroom is great. And I even think the water is a little less cold here in the morning.

Right now our most progressing family is the family of Edwardo and Ana. They are great and have already been to church two times and are preparing to be baptized the 26th. Really the only thing that makes them not ready to be baptized is the word of wisdom. But they have a great desire to change and follow the example of Jesucristo and that is what´s important.

Yesterday, we taught a lesson with Edwardo and Ana and we brought a really great member named Humbert, (he is the Elders Quorum President) who has a testimony that helped them with their desafios (challenges).

So during the lesson it was really powerful and the hermano shared a very spiritual testimony. Then testifying to them was great, and bearing my testimony about the Savior and how he suffered the Atonement so he could help us overcome all the desafios in our lives and that they could overcome theirs and be born again through the covenant of Baptism by someone possessing the authority of God.

Hey, it is great to hear that Elder Gardner is alright in Japón. We heard about it Friday night when we visited a family watching the Nicaraguan News. That is terrible, but nothing happened here in Nicaragua. Then the next day we got a bunch of questions about if it meant the end of the world was here.

Thanks for the maps of Monte Fresco! And yeah, I figured the Restaurante Casa Mía Pizzeria was pretty good. Every night when we walk back to our house the parking lot is packed with fachenta cars and there are a bunch of gringos eating. I am planning on taking my comp there for something special. After we baptize a family or after his 1st year mark or both.

I bet it was a great talk Dad. I bore my testimony in Fast and Testimony meeting last week. And at the end I said everyone needs to have a Sonrisa Mormona (Mormon smile). They liked that. Thanks for the spiritual thought. It’s funny how all of it applies to the mission too ha ha.

Good luck with the float Mom. Remember, to be a good engineer you build it safe and reliable. To be a great engineer you build it the simplest and cheapest too. Ha ha

Thanks for telling me about how your dating is going Alexis... Love you too.

Good luck with the Dance Concert Emily!!! I Love You.

Hannah, what does a chase down mean? I want a photo and detailed explanation of the feasibility of your leprechaun trap Hannah. P.s I love you.

Love You,

Elder Hardy

P.S. You may ask why I sent the photo of my thumb and a peculiar dime. Well, I am going to start sending a money a week for Hannah to see the money of Nicaragua.

This week’s specimen is the Diez Centavos (10 cents) and is totally and utterly useless. Poor guy. He gets thrown on the ground after you walk out of a super market (because they are the only ones that use them). It’s not even metallic like the other coins. Which I will talk about next time on... What’s that money!?!?

March 7, 2011

Hey Everybody!

First, Congrats to the Highland Sports Teams. They are doing great. Nice that they win State in everything after I left to Nicaragua!

I will tell la Familia Escalante that you think their baby is cute. I sent those last time because they asked me to send them to their son who is in the Mish. He already replied back and loved them too.

No, the package didn’t come!!! I hope it’s going to make it. I got mad at Elder Geddes today (he is my ZL again) because he didn’t have it haha. But I am much much closer to the office now so letters and packages are easier to get to me.

So, I am in Monte Fresco, about km 14 in the Carretera sur de Managua. You ride the bus until you hear them say, ¨¡El Puente, el puente!,¨ (“The Bridge, the Bridge!”). You get off the bus and walk up a street to the restaurante Casa Mía Pizzeria and turn right, and walk until you get to our house which is across the street from a Catholic Seminary. But I don’t think it is the one equivalent to Harvard Business School of Central America.

But there are a monton of fachenta casa here. A lot of really rich houses. But they all have really big concrete fences with barb wire and electric fences at the tops. So they are kind of hard to contact.

This week we had a baptism!!! Hurray! Her name is Saira. She lives here with her Mom (who is a member) every other week until she and her husband finish building their house here. Her husband works in Boaco ha ha and when they finish the house he will live here too and we are hoping to complete the family.

Oh, and guess what!!! I washed my own clothes today! Ha ha and yes that means more than it used to (having to carry the clothes up the stairs.) This time I did it by hand! And I don’t think I will let the Barrio (neighborhood) rest this week until I find someone to wash them next week!

Ha ha but it was actually pretty peaceful, until everyone in the house came out to watch and give the chele (white guy) pointers. But it was fun and you know what, washing by hand gets them cleaner too, I think.

The Spanish is going good... I hope. I understand everything with exception to a weird word or two that I haven’t learned. Everyone usually understands me... but every once in a while someone will give me a stinky face that means they didn’t understand a word I just said.

Ha ha I really think I need to work on my accent, get the grammar down and open up my vocabulary, so pretty much everything ha ha.

Hannah, yes, the kids go to school in Nicaragua. And yes, they have a fourth grade, but the grades are a little different. The little kids can go to preschool but the real school starts in Colegio, which is the equivalent to High School. And they just use numbers like, I’m in 1st Año (1st year) or 4th. And if you don’t pass your classes you stay at the same number, so there are lots of different age groups. I hope that’s right, I wish I could explain better.

Super sad news that Scott Sherratt and family are moving. They are an awesome family and I was hoping they would be there when I got back. Scott was a great leader and home teacher. And they were good friends, but wish them luck from me.

Thanks for the family updates. I love you all.

Elder Hardy

P.S. The advice of an Apostle to me of a Misionero de Exito (Successful Missionary):

1. Es Obediente (is obedient)
2. Está enfocado (is focused)
3. Trabaja Duro (works hard)

Same thing applies to you!