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

August 20, 2012

Dear Family,

This was the last and very best week of the mission (As every week of the mission should be). One of the most beautiful families that I was able to teach here in the mission entered the waters of Baptism Saturday and yesterday they received the Holy Ghost and were confirmed members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Several Miracles occurred in order for that to happen and Heavenly Father was very merciful and loving to allow all the miracles to occur before I had to leave from this land.

The family Alvarez Tiffer (Rodolfo, Tania, Rodolfo and Marcelo) was the family and I will try to send photos but it looks like this computer does not recognize my camera card. But I guess you will be able to see them soon anyway.

The Baptismal Service was Awesome. Half the ward showed up and some had to sit in the hall because they didn’t fit. Everyone was soo excited to hear that the family was going to be baptized. Even the Mission President and his family came and participated in the service. (We arrived a little late with the family for a few reasons)

But once we got there and the family put on white clothes everything went great. They decided that they wanted my companion Elder Gomez to baptize Tania and Rodolfo jr., and that I would baptize Rodolfo sr. and Marcelo.

Sunday in the morning they arrived early to have an interview as a family with the bishop and were the first ones sitting in church. For the confirmation the Second Councilor confirmed Rodolfo, the Bishop confirmed Tania, Elder Gomez confirmed Rodolfo jr. and I had the opportunity to perform the confirmation ordinance for Marcelo. It was an amazing feeling I felt as I did it.

The Bishop after the baptismal service came up to me and said that the last speaker for the next day had flaked and asked if I could take his place. I was very pleased to be able to address the members of the San Marcos Ward (old and very new members) about the Blessings of making and keeping Covenants. I also had the opportunity to share my testimony in front of the whole ward.

Well, I still have a few more lessons to teach... But the last one yesterday was to the family of Omar and Juana and their son Oscar. They are a very special family to me but have not been able to be baptized because of some paper issues for their marriage. Poor little Oscar was crying when we sang "God be with you till we meet again". The brother Omar calls me "El Padrino" ("The Godfather" in English) ha ha because we have been able to help and council them in the trials they have had. He made me a key chain out of a cool old Nicaraguan Coin with Sandino on it. It is pretty sweet.

Today we will have the last lesson with the Family Alvarez Tiffer :( in their Family Home Evening.

Pretty much the most important thing to me now is to bear my testimony as many times as a can while I am still a set apart representative of Jesus Christ and his Church.

I have really missed Mom's Sunday Pot Roast. I have missed mashed potatoes too. But if it is going to be way too late Thursday night, I don’t know. I don’t know what time we are actually going to be in the house. So you guys can decide if we should eat the first dinner late Thursday night or Friday.

You know what I have searched endlessly for here and never found...? (You will think it is weird): A bagel. I’m not even sure how to spell it any more. But it is bread that has a hole like a donut but is for breakfast and you eat it with cream cheese. (I remember it being especially delicious if you heat it up in the microwave). Other classics snacks are great!

Well, I don’t know how much you have all changed... My comp. was telling me that when his brothers came back from the mission EVERYTHING was way different. He said that lots of important things that happened (like his dog died) they didn’t tell him so he wouldn’t get unfocused in the mission. Nothing crazy has happened right? Nobody has lost any limbs or anything like that right? I know Emily and Hannah have probably grown up a ton. Ha ha it might help to make a sign saying "The Hardy Family".

I love you so much Family.

It is sad to have to leave the new members of the family here,

But they will always be in my heart.

And it´s time to give you guys a hug again.


Elder Hardy

ps. I love you!!!!!

pps. By special request (and by right) Mom gets the first hug. Then everyone else has to come in on the hug at the SAME time to be fair.

ppps. Good luck in College MOM!!!!!

August 13, 2012

Dear Family,

Hey! I don’t have too much time today!

I went to Jinotepe (with permission) to buy a camera. Ha ha and guess what?! It was 1,500 cordobas! (About $65) Half of what I was hoping for. It’s a GE 12.2 megapixel A1250. I think it was a pretty good deal. You can find anything cheap in the market.

Ha ha and you won’t believe what my comp bought! A pair of ECCO shoes, exactly the same as mine. We were looking at piles of used shoes in the paca today and I saw a familiar bottom of the shoe pattern. I pulled them out and they are identical except it’s the version without shoe laces. Wanna know how much they cost... 100. But not 100 dollars like mine did. 100 cordobas. I was so jealous.

So I will have to take a bunch of pictures this week.

Ahh man, we need to keep praying! Felix and Mayra need more time. And Omar and Juana couldn’t get married because the divorce case had a few hold ups :(

Ha ha ha the Minister, well he is still in the process. We had interviews with the President with all our Zone Tuesday. And after all the missionaries had finished, we asked the President and his Wife if they wanted to come with us to visit a few families. They said they would love to. So we took them to Felix and they talked.

The thing is they are worried about being baptized before they get everything taken care of with the other commitment. President told us afterward that it is a good thing that they take it so seriously and want to do things right, that means they will be very committed when they get baptized too. The only problem is that the meeting with the "Apostole" is in the first weeks of September...

Yes, I imagine that in his calling you might receive "un ayuda." He is also in charge of collecting the tithes of the congregation.

Ahh, we have had some very good lessons this week. There are two families, who are the most awesome families of all time that we are teaching now. The only thing that makes me sad is that we got to know them late the last 2 weeks of my mission.

The family of Rodolfo, Tania and their sons Rodolfo (15) and Marcelo (10) are so wonderful. We are pretty much trying to pass by with them everyday. Because they have a goal to be baptized as a family this Saturday. And they need to receive the answers to their prayers RIGHT NOW.

Ha ha they are ready and prepared, we are just praying with them (and they have decided to fast tomorrow) that they may receive an answer to their prayers through the Holy Ghost. I pray as well that it is God´s will that they receive an answer this week, because I know that they will know the Truth, be baptized and be an eternal family.

I am already sure. It’s just a question of if the Lord wants it to be this week that they enter the door. Well, I just don’t see why not. It’s a commandment to be baptized, and we must repent Today, not tomorrow. So if they are ready, I will be able to see them enter into the waters of baptism before coming home. That is the Most important thing on my mind right now.

There is another family, Cesar and his wife Kenia. And two little kids, William (most awesome kid I have known in mission (5 years old)) and Kenia (2 years old). So happy, we found them last week and Kenia came with William to church. Cesar stayed at home with Kenia jr. Because she got really sick. They will be baptized next month.

So to answer the question. With these two families and others we have had some really great, spiritual lessons.

Yes, Rodolfo and Tania came to church with Marcelo. And Kenia came with William. The best part was when the Primary entered the class (with Marcelo and William) and sang "If you’re happy and you know it" And the parents were soo happy. After they finished William yelled, "Mama! I like this song!" Ha ha she was going to have to leave early. But as she entered the Primary to take out William, he clamped on to the table and wouldn’t let go. And said he wanted to stay. Ha ha so she stayed for Relief Society too.

I love you,

See you Soon!

Elder Hardy

ps I love you.

(Requests for souvenirs in the next email please ha ha)

August 7, 2012

Ok, family, real fast.

Yesterday I couldn’t write because I had to take an Elder from the Zone to the hospital. Elder Climer (a newer Elder that is here in San Marcos 1) has been sick for the last few days and they decided that the symptoms where very similar to Appendicitis.

Sister Monestel called me and told me to take him to the hospital. So I got to sit there with him all day as they did the tests and an ultrasound. But it was a rare and neat experience and I had fun. We could also talk about the church to the doctor as she was taking the ultrasonido ha ha.

So the Assistant, Elder Cabrera, gave us permission really fast today to write the President our weekly letter and explain to the family real fast what happened.

Ha ha yes, I have had to baptize more than once but only a few times. I am known for dunking pretty hard to make sure they get all the way under and don’t have to do it two times ha ha.

Teaching has gone Great! We have a super Awesome family from Costa Rica that came to Church this week. They are so special and I think they felt good in Church. They have two boys, one who is 15 and one who is 10. I pray so much that they can progress fast enough to be baptized before I go. But in the Lord`s time.

Yes, of course we still proselytize on Pday! Last night the Super familia from Costa Rica went to the Bishop’s house for a Family Home Evening (I got back as they were preparing the refreshments). President drove us back to San Marcos from Managua.

Spiritual thought: D&C 45:35 -- "Be not troubled, for, when all these things shall come to pass, ye may know that the promises which have been made unto you shall be fulfilled." 

Ha ha it’s almost fulfilled, I hope to have the bestest hardest working two weeks of my mission right now.

Love you,

Elder Hardy

ps I luh you.

July 30, 2012

Hola Familia Olimpiada,

¡¡¡FELIZ CUMPLEAÑOS Grandma Hardy!!!

Last one that I won’t be there for to give you a hug! I love you.

Sounds like your Olympics watching technique is Awesome! I am so jealous! I just barely heard yesterday that the Olympics have started. I´m pretty sure they are over by the time I get home right? Keep up the scripture studying, we will have a Book of Mormon Scriptures Olympic competition when I get back ha ha.

Nicaragua is in the Olympics?!?! Awesome, in what competitions do they have athletes?

Oh I am sorry to hear that Aunt Jean has passed away. I hope Grandma is ok. Tell her to hold on, and tell her that I am so grateful for all the letters she sends! I think I am the most blessed missionary in the world because I receive a letter from my Grandma every week. Tell her I have all 86 (I think that was the last one) saved so far. I will have to send them home in a box so I have room in my suitcases for souvenirs!!!

Good luck Alexis in India!!! There you will be accepted with your own kind... (There the cows are holy). Ha ha. Don´t eat pork! I am worried I have a pork worm in my brain now...

Ahh! Keep praying! What happened is that the hermano Felix is a pastor. And he feels like he needs to talk to his "apostol" to renounce his calling before getting baptized. Supposedly this week the apostol is coming from Switzerland or something like that and he is going to resign. But I imagine that the apostol will try and say something so we need to prepare our friend.

Church was great. The Bishop asked me to give a talk about Fasting to invite the members to repent and practice the law of the fast better. So I gave it to them a little bit.

Ha ha. I started with a story about a boy one Sunday morning many years ago. Who woke up early and headed to the kitchen still with sleepy eyes to pour himself a nice bowl of cereal. He got out the bowl, a spoon, and his favorite box of cereal. After pouring in the milk, he scooped a spoonful of joy and began to open his mouth to eat it... when suddenly his mom came around the corner from nowhere and yelled, "Don’t forget that today is fast Sunday son!!!!" Ha ha and with disappointment, the boy tossed the spoon into the bowl and returned to his room drooping his head.

Ha ha I explained to them that that boy was me, years ago when I did not understand the true principle of fasting, and explained to them how much regret I felt thinking about all the blessing I have missed because of it. Then I explained to them how to fast appropriately, and with what purpose, and why we go to Fast and Testimony meeting and the importance of fast offerings and how to do it etc. Most of all, I told them about the blessings that are waiting for them if they do it.

Ha ha well today we did our weekly planning for this week because we couldn’t do it the normal time last week. Then I sent the... Hammock!!! (They said it would get there in like 15 days...) I hope it gets there before I do.

Well this week the mission had training meetings with Sister Payne. (She is a really famous returned missionary because she was in the missionary training videos call "the district") Ha ha and her brother is Assistant to the President here. So she came to teach the mission how to plan... But I wasn’t invited!!! Ahh! And I wanted a photo with her! But President said that me and the others that came with me in my group to Nicaragua didn’t need to go because... well... I don’t know why.

But we had a great day yesterday rounding up a small community to see a video about Jesus Christ in the house of members in a community where we have never gone before. So hopefully they have a good attitude about us before the pastors of the local churches start saying stuff.

I got to go!

Sounds like everyone is doing great! Good Luck with all the things you have to do this week!


Elder Hardy

Ps I love you.

July 23, 2012

Querido Familia,

Feliz Día de los Pioneros!!! Ha ha most Nicaraguenses don't know about Pioneer Day. Or the Days of 47´. But it was fun last year when we did a Pioneer Trek down the main roads of the biggest city in Nicaragua. Mormones locos. 

I think that if the floats of the next year aren’t better, they should ask the winner from the last year to ride their float again ha ha. Hey by the way, whatever happened to the float??? There’s not going to be a giant head of President Woodruff in my room is there? 

I guess I will try and find another camera before ending. Even though I kind of feel dumb buying another one now. 

Yes, my comp has a camera! And we took it today when we went to hunt Garrobos in the Jungla. 

(Sue's note: a Garrobo is an iguana) 

But my comp took one picture ha ha and it was of him posing with his onda ha ha ha. 

That’s right we went with some members to hunt savage beasts in the Jungle today with slingshots we made. It was pretty fun, and it was very beautiful. But we couldn’t find the Garrobos because it was too cold and not enough sun so the beasts were hidden in their caves. We almost got a squirrel (yes we were going to eat it) but he jumped trees and got away... 

We are on a 40 day fast of things that are holding us back from being the Best Missionaries ever! Not of food. And besides, you aren’t supposed to talk about how you are fasting. 

Yes, we have seen many fruits come to "fruition" from copying the secrets of the successful missionaries of the scriptures (for example Alma 17:2). Of many important things, my testimony of the power of fasting and prayer has increased dramatically. 

For example, one "fruition" is the miracle we have been able to witness with one brother and his wife. 

He is (was) a pastor in la Iglesia Nueva Apostolica, and despite the fact that he has come to church 3 times, we were very concerned that he might not complete his goal of being baptized this Saturday the 28th with his wife. 

The thing is, he loves the Church and he believes it is true and we have the Priesthood and everything. The only detail is that he has already been baptized and even received the gift of the Holy Ghost through imposition of hands... by an "apostol". 

We have taught him many times of the apostasy and the restoration, but it has been difficult. Thanks to the examples of the ancient missionaries, everything changed this last week and the spirit testified to him the truth. 

Yesterday, it was very hard for him to have the faith that he would be able to be baptized. He took out a card, signed by an apostle authorizing him to preach the gospel and explained that being baptized and joining the Church of Jesus Christ would mean that he would have to resign from his office in the other Church and make many changes in his life. 

It had never even occurred to me that by making the decision to be baptized would mean calling his “apostle” and explaining that he would be resigning from his calling and office because he was going to be baptized in the Mormon Church. It is a difficult thing. 

Time is running out. 

But in short, after a very spiritual message with our Presidente of Quorum of Elders, 

Felix decided to call and resign and be baptized with his wife this Saturday. 


Elder Hardy 

ps I love you

July 16, 2012

Hola Familia!!!

Wow sounds like you had fun at the Llama Festival!!! Ha ha well to answer Hannah´s question, I'm not actually sure if I have seen a Llama here in Nicaragua.  I asked my comp. if he has seen one and he asked me, "Que es una lama?" The word "llama" in Spanish means "flame". I don´t know how to say llama in Spanish. 

No! I did not have Changes! I´m going to die in San Marcos!!! With Elder Gomez still! Which is great, but at the same time it means I am going to have to import Souvenirs. 

Ha ha oh no! Elder Viehweg already had his homecoming!

My Plan for my last area: Invite others to come unto Christ, by helping them receive the Restored Gospel, through Faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and Enduring to the End.

In the Changes, we received 3 new District Leaders so we are going to have to train them and get them up to snuff for this change. Also, if anyone is going to be baptized this change they need to come to church... This Sunday. So pray very hard, we are too. 

We have also been planning to copy the missionaries of old like Ammon and his brothers... with lots of fasting.

We have several beautiful Families we are teaching, like the families of Erick and Sandra, Luis and Cristina, Daniel and Ivania, Felix and Mayra, Felix and Eda, Reinaldo and Magdalí, and Ramón and Aidalina. 

These are very special families to me and would be a miracle if we could be of some help in bringing them to the light and truth of the restored gospel and the waters of baptism (even better if it’s before I leave). 

Many are waiting for answers to their prayers about the Book of Mormon and all need the additional faith to come to Church and continue progressing spiritually.

Sounds like everything is going awesome!


Elder Hardy

ps I love you.

July 9, 2012

Querida Familia,

To Grandma Weiler and Rob!!!

I hope you guys had good Birthdays, the next one I guess I will be there to make it even more fun.

This week has been good. My Comp. and I have been making progress. We went to a place a little hidden in our area where the missionaries haven't been for 10 years and found a lot of new families to teach!

Hey, Sounds like you guys had a great Fourth of July! I am so jealous that you don´t have to go to Wyoming anymore to get Fireworks. I bet they went crazy with a bunch of Firework stands there. Just be careful not to set grandma´s hair on fire again.

Wow, the Humphries boys are already home, that’s great. Alex too. Ha ha send me a picture of Alex at his homecoming!

Things are Great! I put some personal goals down for the Attributes of Christ that I need to be better in before the end of the Mission. My Comp and I are starting a fast so that we can purify ourselves and be more in tune with the spirit and teach with more power. I think I already said that we (well actually my comp. with another missionary in divisions) found a new neighborhood in our area. So there have been lots of new families.

We’ve had some great teaching experiences, Yes! We taught a man that lives to the side of the Church. (I think I might have mentioned him before). He has been searching for a church and a few months ago joined the church of the Adventistas del Septimo Día.

As we taught him the message of the restoration, he began to open up and we were able to explain to him the importance of the restoration and how he could know for himself. He really understood the message and accepted the commitment to pray and find out for himself. He was very interested in knowing how he could receive his answer through the Holy Ghost and how he would feel.

He told us that a long time ago he had talked with the missionaries, but that they weren´t able to answer all of his questions. He started saying that it was because we were trained better but we told him that it was the spirit and that maybe this time he is finally ready to hear and believe in the Restored Gospel.

A funny story to tell, well, Friday night we left from the new neighborhood I said that my Comp had found. We had gone a little late in the last lesson and it was already like 7:30 pm. And it got really dark... (This neighborhood is in the jungle where there is nothing else and no lights for about 15 minutes on the dirt jungle trail).

So as we were talking, my companion started joking about how the Coyote was going to come eat us. And as we were walking the wind blew a big dark bag from the bushes on the side of the road towards us and I yelled and grabbed my comp. (as a joke) and scared him. Ha ha. I think I did really scare him bad. He was pretty silent for the next couple of minutes.

There have been Mighty Miracles. So, I have a really good friend named Leo. He is family of the family where we live, and he works in the Fritanga there in the nights. So we always say hi to him before ending for the night. Well he is a member. But was baptized when he was a kid and has been inactive for quite a while. He is 23 now. But he is a great guy and is really intelligent and talented too.

Ok, so the Mighty Miracle is that yesterday as the Sacrament meeting was starting, suddenly he came and sat next to me!!! I was so surprised and happy because we have been inviting him to church every week since I came here and he finally came! He even brought his cousin who is less active too.

We have never been able to teach him much doctrine, but I think he really just needs a friend more than anything. The bigger Miracle and Mercy of the Lord would be if he would come next week and begin getting ready to go on a mission. There´s still time!

Sounds like everything is going great with you guys!

Be careful with fire Dad!

I hope your ankle gets better fast Mom. And I hope the Llama festival is... fun.

Wow! Congratulations Emily on nailing the Cafe Río Job! Good Luck! Be confident and take initiative!

Congratulations on winning Cuckoo Hannah!!!

I Love you all,

Elder Hardy

ps I love you

July 2, 2012

¡¡¡Feliz Día de la Liberación!!! 

Happy Independence Day!!!

Things are going great Here in San Marcos!!! That is awesome that we have had cooler weather here. I think that a few days ago I was actually COLD! Ha ha oh no, it will be entering Fall when I get back won't it? 

No! Still no. I didn’t get my Visa Card. But if someone else happens to find a Book of Mormon, maybe they will read it and send a thank you letter to the return address some day. My card says it lasted till the last day of June! Ha ha. Oh no, I’m gringoless!

WOOO HOOO!!! Abby got Baptized! Say congratulations to her and her Dad from me! Can you send me a Photo?! 

Oh no, I am so sorry to hear about Coach Mike Gallegos. He was always really fun and patience with me. I always played around with him and he would always give me a hard time. If you are ever in contact with his family tell them that Coach Mike was a great mentor and had a good influence on me. 

I will bring home machetes!!! Who wants machetes!?!?! 

About Photos... I may not have a camera at my disposal right now. But don’t worry, I think I am going to try and buy Elder Leiva´s camera, he is going home next week anyway. 

Of course, I will send a postcard.

Well, this Saturday we finally had the Ward Missionary Activity. It was good. I told you that President gave us permission to make a video right? It was the best part of the activity. It was pretty easy to do too. I wish I could send it to you guys. 

Pretty much it was of members saying "Apoyamos a la Obra Misional!!!" (“We Support the Missionary Work!!!”) To get everyone excited about helping out. And we put a video together with messages from missionaries that have been in the Ward in the past two years.

The best part is that we made a big act making it seem like they were talking to us live on web cam. Ha ha it was pretty great! Everyone was waving saying hi to them when they would say Hola and stuff. 

Sounds like the fam is doin good. Except for Mom´s foot and Emily´s back. Keep in there Family, you got to be in one piece when I get back. 


Elder Hardy 

ps. I love you

pps. Oh and yes about the camera. What happened is somebody got into the house the other week and nabbed my camera and 20 bucks from my comp. We already caught the culpable (culprit) but we didn’t want to have to make any official police statements or things like that so we told the police to let him go. I´ll tell you more about it when I get back! ha ha

June 25, 2012

Hola Familia!

Oh no Mom!!! You broke your ankle!!! I am so sorry to hear that, but good work toughing it out in the youth conference! I bet all the kids are impressed. Just be more careful... did you fall down then fall down again?... ha ha

Ok, this Sunday the attendance was a little bit low. 110. But in San Marcos they have a SIMI of about 300 members maybe. The average every Sunday is about 120-130 it was going up but I think the rain discouraged them. The youth group is cool, but there aren’t enough worthy young men to do the sacrament alone. But there are lots of adult priesthood holders here.

No, we don’t usually go to youth activities, Mom. We are working on getting the ward more excited to help out in the mission work.

What do we do when we don’t have appointments? Well, the night before we always plan what we are going to do for the next day. And for all the hours that we do not have a fixed appointment, we put someone we are going to pass by and teach.

There is always an investigating family to pass by. And we always put a back up plan in case they aren’t there. It can also be a recent convert, or a less active family, or a member family we want to teach and invite them to help in the mission work with their neighbors and family.

If all else fails we go tracting. But references are ALWAYS more effective. But for example last night we had some time before the last appointment and we had previously decided we needed to contact all the houses that are on the same block as the chapel... you’d think we would have thought of that before... ha ha and it seemed to have results with a few new families. Ha ha especially the family of 7 that lives literally touching the fence of the Church.

Last week we went on 2 splits. Tuesday we went and worked with a younger companionship that needed some help. It went great. Those were divisions of 24 hrs. Then Thursday we went to work with the Sister Missionaries of Masatepe. Mainly to go to a Rescue 911 with two families they are teaching.

We were able to interview the two families and it was Awesome. We felt the spirit very strongly in the interviews and they are prepared to be baptized in the first weeks of July. We are thinking we like doing divisions Tuesday and Thursday with our Zone. Mainly we need to do divisions with the District Leaders.

When you say splits, do you mean with the other missionaries or with members? If it is with members, we have been having a little bit harder of a time being able to do lots of splits with members. The pilas Ricky who always left with us already went on the mission ha ha to Mexico. And we have another future missionary named Julio who always helps us.

Well, Saturday we had a lesson with a new family. They are awesome and super chosen. I think I might have commented once to you guys when we first contacted them sitting on their porch and he told us about how he was talking to his pastor and his pastor told him that all scripture stopped with the Bible. He didn’t like that and told us he thought it would be nice if God kept reveling to us today too.

Well, we followed that prompting of the spirit and shared with him a Book of Mormon. But that was a week or two ago. Saturday we had a great lesson with them, he expressed to us that he really felt good about what we have been talking about and had a desire to learn more and that he felt like he wanted to get baptized when he was ready (before we even asked him).

The problem is that he has worked every Sunday for like a year in his current job. And he already tried to convince his boss to let him off Sundays. But after the lesson Saturday and  after reading 1 Nefi 3:7 he said, "I’m going to Church next week, I don’t know how but I’m going" It was really nice to see someone with that kind of faith.

Well, it sounds like you guys are all doing good. Except for Mom´s ankle. But when you have the Harmon´s electric shopping cart chairs who needs ankles? Ha ha

I love you,

Elder Hardy

ps. I love you

And yes, Hannah, I still have the green silly band, that still appears to form the shape of a Seal I think.

June 18, 2012

Hola Familial!

This is the Nicaragua #86: The Case of the Lost Email. You know what is really crazy about it...? I had a dream last week that it was going to happen. I really did! But it is ok.

This week has been good. We got to go to a Multi-Mission Conference Friday! With Elder Maynes from the Seventy Presidency. It was really Good.

Also, earlier in the week, we had a meeting with the Stake President and Mission President. But they only need one Zone Leader in the meeting so I tricked my comp into going and I went with Elder Leiva (now Zone Leader in Jinotepe) to go show him where the Bishop lives and get him motivated to start working better with the new missionaries.

Bishop Alvaro is new, he started when I was in Jinotepe and we were good friends so it helped him a lot to meet again and encourage him, there have been some difficulties in the ward with the members.

Well, our one family had to postpone their baptismal date because they couldn´t come to church Sunday. The biggest family in the Ward had a wedding Saturday night so there weren´t too many people in Church yesterday.

But a really positive new family came! And they really liked it! We met them Thursday and he told us that he didn’t like to go to Church, (for a few social reasons) but we persuaded him to come to the Church of Jesus Christ to see how he felt. They came and they left asking us when we were going to pass by the house this week.

Another new family we found this week lives close to our recent convert’s house. We contacted them as they were sitting outside their house one day last week and they invited us to sit down. The husband started talking about how he was talking to his pastor and his pastor told him that everything finished with the Bible.

But he didn’t like that and said that he thought that God should always talk to his children and that he is not limited to a book. So with smiles on our faces we presented them a Book of Mormon and began to explain the Restoration and how the Heavens have been opened once again.

I love you all,

Elder Hardy

June 11, 2012

Dear Family,

It has been a busy week here too!!! But not because it’s summer. But sounds like the first week of summer break has been great. What swim party is Hannah having?

Ha ha ha that’s awesome that you went to dinner with the Woodruff family! Geez seems like you guys are getting along great!

It´s too bad Elder Woodruff and I have never been in the same District. Not even in the same Zone! Maybe President will move him over here for his last change ha ha ha.

Oh it’s going Awesome with Elder Gomez! He is super pilas. Ha ha he has a great sense of humor too and therefore puts up with me great. He is going to be a great leader in this mission.

Our families are Great! Our one family came to church Sunday! They still need to gain a stronger testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, so let’s keep praying that they get it! Their baptismal goal now is the 23 of June and I know that they can be ready in time.

Ah ha, thanks for the suggestions! San Marcos doesn’t have very much touristy stuff, but we will figure something out. That would be cool to get a signed jersey from Denis ha ha.

Oh ha ha the puppies were from recent converts from a few months ago. But there are lots of animals like that here. We should have taken a photo yesterday when I was running around trying to catch a baby bunny that got out at the house of a family that got baptized a couple of weeks ago. Ha ha.

Well... everyday a missionary should have an awesome story or two if you ask me. Maybe not every day you heal a crippled man or baptize somebody but if you are diligent the Lord will always work through you to bring about His work.

But you can tell if you were a good missionary today if you can look back in the night as you pray and ask, "Father, are you pleased with my work today?" And if He is, you should usually be able to see how He helped someone that day through you.

So today, we organized a Zone PDay and we played soccer and basketball together. Afterwards, we decided to go eat. My comp. and I were tempted to just go eat in our pday clothes and then after go change, but for one reason or another we decided to go change before leaving to lunch.

When we got to the restaurant the others had already finished eating and were leaving as we walked up to the lady to order. She asked who we were and how come we were here in Nicaragua (because of the ties and name tags.)

We explained to her that we are missionaries from the Church and started to explain to her why we are here. She acted surprised when we told her that the other Elders that just left were missionaries too, she said she thought they were just tourists because they were dressed in clothes to play soccer.

As we sat down she kept talking to us about her life and her family. Her name is Aura, she has two kids and lives in Miami Florida and works as a hair stylist for the television news channels. She is visiting her family and her restaurant here in San Marcos.

As we ate lunch, she kept talking to us until finally as we were finishing, she sat down at the table. She wanted to know about things like why we don’t drink coffee and why they call us Mormons. We presented her a Book of Mormon and I was amazed at how receptive she was as we talked to her about the Church and answered her questions.

We taught her the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ including the first vision and invited her to read and pray and come to church Sunday. She said she would, and that she would try to come to Church but she is leaving Monday for Miami again. But she said she would look for the missionaries there.

I am going to be honest, I was tempted more than one time not to do my job. I was tired, burnt and hungry and I will probably never see Aura again, but I know that we were instruments in the hands of the Lord today to help one of his daughters come closer to Him.

If we are loving, obedient and diligent every day we should have an awesome story. So tonight before you go to bed, ask the question, "Father, are you pleased with my work today?"

Hannah, yes they eat watermelon! The favorite summer fruit is... I don’t know there are a lot. But for a nice ice cold natural fruit drink, la calala is a great one. I always like a good mango with salt.

But in Bluefields, definitely a big coco (of the green kind). freshly cut with machete is Awesome! Before the mission I don’t know if you remember, but I didn’t like Coconut. Ha ha but that all changed. You will all be amazed to see the other fruit/vegetable things that I can now eat without throwing up. You might not even believe it is me.

Sounds like everything is going great!

Good luck with youth conference Dad! And for your talk... HAPPY FATHER´S DAY!!!

Good work with the mission work, Mom. Just remember to keep opening your mouth. I remember reading that one day in the beginning of the mish. That I had the responsibility to open mouth and share the truth that I have been blessed to know.

But it is hard sometimes and looking for help, I read the scripture that if I open my mouth it will be filled. One time sitting down on the bus next to someone I was nervous and didn’t know how to start the conversation and I remembered the scripture and took it too literally and opened my mouth... I think the person sitting next to me thought I was a fish opening and closing my mouth so much. Ha ha ha but just be happy and talk.

Wow sounds like Girls State was neat, Emily. I hope you weren’t too corrupt as City Auditor ha ha. I luh you. Have a good summer.

Hannah, sounds like a very important spiritual experience. You should write it down in your journal so that you don’t forget it.

I love you,

Elder Hardy

ps I love you

June 4, 2012

The hills are alive, with the sound of Cambios! (Changes!)

Ha ha that’s right, Changes! Well, Elder Leiva went super far away now, in Jinotepe.... ja ja. Not in my old area but the one right next to it. And my new companion is...

Elder Erick Emerson Gomez Bamaca!!

He is so PILAS! (Strong!) He actually only has 4 months in the mission. And he is eighteen. But he is already a Zone Leader and is a really good guy. I am so grateful to have him in these last changes. Maybe Presidente was worried I was going to get trunky or something. Ha ha.

Hey and guess what?! I’m a Grandpa! That’s right, my son Elder Batz is training this change! I am so happy. He is also a District leader.

So my comp is from Guatemala City, really close to the temple. His Dad is from El Salvador and is a Beauty Salon technician. And apparently, very successful at it too. His mom owns a beauty salon in their house. He has 7 brothers and sisters and his 3 older brothers have served missions. One was in the MTC with him as a teacher ha ha.

Awesome! Summer is already here! But I thought you always had to watch Sound of Music in the Spring Mom? Sounds cool that you are going to have dinner with the Woodruffs on Thursday.

Good luck Emily with Girls State! You ought to try to be President and then put a bunch of ridiculous rules and make everyone buy you a soda every day or something. Ha ha.

Wow! Austin is married and Hayden is getting back from the Mish! Hey can you send me next time a list of all the get home dates and emails of all the guys?

The week was Excellent! Yes we had several investigadores in Church on Sunday. 2 families and an older man (his wife couldn’t come this week).

Well Saturday was awesome. We had a lesson with a Super Beautiful family. I think I have already mentioned them. But this time we put a baptismal goal with them for the 16th!!! I know they can do it. Pray for them too! They couldn’t come yesterday but they are still really positive, just need to keep it up with not drinking coffee and keep reading and praying about the book of Mormon to receive an answer.

The Zone is doing GREAT! We had Zone Conference on Friday. We taught and had an activity about Unity. We talked about our achievements from the last month, our goals for this month and how we are going to do it.

For PDay today, we did not do much. But the office asked me to fix up a program for them in excel for the weekly and monthly numbers we have to report and it has taken a lot of time.

Sounds great that you have some more time to golf and work in the yard this year, Dad.

Mom, patience and diligence are part of the work. But you should invite a familia over to the house so you can be a Familia Amulek. Ha ha. Be bold and follow the direction of the Spirit.

Well Alexis, if you sell cookies. Buy me a few boxes for me. Ha ha I hope everything goes well.

Good Luck Emily!

Ah! You are already running the city Mayor Hannah! Will you let me live there when I get back?

Feliz Verano!!! (Happy Summer!!!)

I love you all,

Elder Hardy

ps I love you

May 28, 2012

Hey Family,

I hope you have had a good Memorial Day. We had the baptism of a sister and her three children!

Sounds like you have had a really cool week. How did you guys get in touch with a foreign exchange student from China? I hope Bingo Bango Bongo was fun today. Who won? Hannah again? I’m thinking she is a little big now for the bonus points. When I get back, you guys are going to have to give the bonus points to me! Ha ha. 

Sounds like you guys had a great Hardy Family Reunion! They turned great great great grandpa's house into a Walgreens?!!! Ha ha. 

You asked about Zone meetings? At least one time a month we have a Zone Conference. Those are always fun and it gives me a chance to teach all our new missionaries and get everyone excited and motivated to keep working hard. Sometimes we do activities as a Zone on our PDays. 

My comp. and I have just started doing new meetings called "Zone Council Meeting." We talk with our District Leaders, help them on things (like how to do a good baptismal interview… nobody ever taught me, I had to learn the hard way) and help them make their own goals and plans for the month for their District. We need to travel a lot more to our Districts to work at least with the District Leaders and maybe a couple companionships that need help. The next change we plan on doing divisions at least once a week. 

Oh boy, we have been busy this week. We are working with 9 families. Even though a couple we still need to give more follow up. But some of the best lessons have been with a good family. They have been around the missionaries for Many Years. Almost all of the family are members, but some have not been able to progress with the missionaries. But now things are different in San Marcos ha ha. 

Saturday in the night we had our first "real" lesson with them. It was Great! We taught to them the Restoration, (even though I’m sure they have heard it lots of times) and we watched the short film of the Restoration. 

After we bore our testimonies to them, we answered their very good questions and taught them how to know (prayer). We then invited them to be baptized and they accepted (on the condition of receiving and answer to their prayers). Then we presented them the Book of Mormon. And we taught them how it would help them receive the answer to their prayers. 

It was cool because the mom got all excited because that same day her sister who is a member shared her testimony too. Perfect timing (or inspired timing). The dad was sick and in the house for a couple of days and loves to read. Yesterday, in the night we had an appointment with them too. We taught them the principle of the Word of Wisdom and had a great time getting the whole family to commit themselves to follow the commandment. 

We also taught the son a little bit better the lesson from the day before because he wasn’t there and he goes to an Evangelica church. But he was really positive. He is going to be such a great missionary. 

We plan every night and morning what we are going to do for the day. But I don’t think in the whole mission I have had a day were my plans were completed "perfectly." That doesn't take away anything from the importance of planning every day. It just means that we do our best to plan the time of the Lord our best and then during the day if there is something that He decides that we should do, well I guess you just got to do it. 

So: Do your best to plan it out asking for inspiration from the Lord. Then do your best to prepare everything needed asking for help from the Lord. Then do your best to get it done asking for strength from the Lord. Then do your best to handle changes asking for guidance from the Lord. 

Ha ha ha hmm. The most useful thing I brought me on the mission? CTR rings. Ha ha ha they are great! For baptisms, marriages, even for a surprise gift when you show up to the house of a member and they say, "Elders! Thank you for coming to my son’s birthday party!" (even though you had no idea) ha ha. 

But there are lots of things. Grandma Weiler´s medicine kit WAS great. Not so much for me but for all of my comps. I think I probably used like two bandages ha ha but it was well used throughout the mission healing sick comps. The sewing kit, even better. I have great news. I have repaired various shirts and pants, it was a little rough at first figuring out how to do it but the latest rips and tears have come out good as new! 

You know what I wish I would have brought? A good pillow. I found and bought a pillow in my first area but I left it there thinking of the next missionary that would come. But even though last year the mission provided new pillows to every missionary’s house. It seems that I go to my new area always stuffing sweatshirts and stuff into my pillow bag to sleep... who knows what happens to all of the pillows. 

The best buy I have made in the mission? Ha ha an awesome alarm clock with the bells on top that rings in the morning. Ha ha it is probably the cheapest thing a missionary has bought in Nicaragua but I love it. 

So I am running out of time. But Dad for your talk, I would like to help but I’m not too sure what to say. 

Say hi to everyone in the ward for me. Thank them for the love and the support they have given me. For the things you can see and the things you can’t. Even every time they have thought and prayed for me or for all the missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ has helped me so much. I have no doubt of that. 

The mission has been the most wonderful experience of my life, with the Holy Ghost and the message of the restored Gospel, I have had the privilege of being an instrument in the hands of the Lord to bring many of his sons and daughters to Christ and the truth. The joy that sharing the gospel has brought to me has been amazing and everyone there in the ward who has helped influence my life for good or helped someone else come closer to Christ should feel that joy too. 

I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer. My testimony in the Son of God and in the restored Gospel has been greatly strengthened in the service of the Lord. And my faith and trust in the Love of my Heavenly Father has become unbreakable. I truly do know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that the importance of sharing this message with the rest of our brothers and sisters is the most important work in which we can be engaged. 

I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 

Love you, 

Elder Hardy 

ps I love you