Monday, February 27, 2017

Letter #46

It’s official! We are part of a record-breaking moisture year in Nevada. You will never be able to convince us that Nevada is a dry state. We are starting to grow webbed feet. Their drought is broken and Lake Tahoe has enough water in it right now to sustain the area for several years. I heard a rumor that officials in Carson City sent a letter to the church asking them to rescind “The Mormon Curse” so there would be no more flooding here. I cannot confirm or deny that rumor. I have a feeling that it is a Mormon Legend in the making. Regardless, it has been wet!

We survived our first “two a days”. We made lunch for the incoming missionaries in the morning. Elder Hardman dropped off the out-going missionaries at the Temple and then came to the Mission Home to help me prepare the dinner in the evening. It wasn’t too bad. April is the only month we will have Transfer Day and MLC in the same week so that will be our next test. We only have 5 Transfer Days left! (7 MLCs, but who’s counting)

Our upstairs neighbors moved. They did come to church a few times but now their records are getting more lost, we never did get them to transfer them here. Sad.

We had a fun evening with the Harding family. The wife is a member and the husband is investigating. We were asked by the Zone leaders a few weeks ago if we would go to a lesson with them. We walked in and they have a dollhouse being built in the front room. Who would have thought years ago when Elder Hardman started learning how to wire lights for a dollhouse that it would lead to a missionary opportunity? God works in mysterious ways. We had such a fun night with them. Elder Hardman visited with the husband for a while giving him tips but then they sat down and asked us several gospel questions. It just felt really good. I hope they will invite us over again.

We were invited to go to a lesson with the Sisters. We drove up and knew exactly where we were going. We had gone to this man during the summertime. The Sisters (different Sisters) were helping a lady pull weeds when the neighbor man came over and told them he was a member but hadn’t been in years.

The ward didn’t have his membership record. When we went in the summer he still had a girlfriend that would stay over sometimes and he had drinking stuff all over his home. Our hearts were full this time as we could see the change in this man. I had taught him how to listen to the scriptures on his ipad in the summer, but he is now reading them. He is looking forward to working on Family History and preparing to go to the Temple. The brand new Sister missionary bore such a sweet testimony about how she and her grandfather went through the Temple on the same day to get their endowments, she for herself and her Dad for her grandfather. We felt so blessed to go to this lesson and see the “fruits” of the Gospel. This was sweet.

We topped all of this off with a special baptism on Saturday. There is a man that has been a “dry Mormon” for years. He holds church callings, goes to church every week, supports his wife and children in the church, he just had never been baptized. When Elder Christofferson came “Brother” Buell was asked to be his security guard for the weekend. After that weekend he knew he wanted to be baptized. He told the Elders he couldn’t remember anything that Elder Christofferson had said but that he knew what he had felt like when he talked and he knew he needed to be baptized. Their son performed the baptism for his father. It was a special moment.

It was a great week. We are now planning for MLC this week. I have never thought about food so much!

The Gospel’s true and we love you!

Elder and Sister Hardman

Monday, February 20, 2017

Letter #45

Wow what a week!

Monday- We now know how it feels to be “dumped”. Monday while shopping we received a call from Liam’s Grandma telling us that he no longer wants to take the lessons. We have been going along with the Elders and visiting with the Great-grandma and Grandma while the Elders teach Liam. The Grandma isn’t a member and has custody of the grandson. He is on a baseball team and goes to cubscouts with some members and decided he wanted to take the lessons, he is 10. We have loved getting to know these good women. She called to tell me that she felt bad but that it is Liam’s decision. I told her that we would still check on them because they are our friends. I was heart-sick, I don’t like being dumped! We had a Senior Couples Family Home Evening at the Mission Home. Elder Hardman gave the lesson and I did the activity. It isn’t hard to entertain senior couples. It was a lovely evening because even the Southams (in Fallon) and the Thurgoods (Chester, CA) were able to come. The Southams will be leaving in May and then we will be the oldest senior couple, how did that happen?

Tuesday- We were able to spend Valentine’s Day with our zone at the Temple. It was a beautiful day and they are always so excited to be able to attend. We went with our Elders to visit Brother Gregor and Brian to plan Brian’s baptism. They were SO excited! Brian chose the hymn “The Happy Day at Last Has Come” (pg. 32) He doesn’t know the hymns but loved the words. They are great. I was asked to be the chorister so I kept listening to the hymn all week so I’d be able to sing it. Elder Hardman was asked to give the talk on Baptism. I, of course, was asked to bring refreshments. We splurged and had Blizzards to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Wednesday- We had District meeting on Wednesday this week. It was the pre-transfer kind of meeting. We didn’t have many changes last transfer so the nervous excitement was apparent. This has been a great zone. We have had some of the Elders here for a long time! We will be sad to have them leave us. We always have to take pictures, missionaries love to be in pictures! We had been asked to take our blind lady to the store on Wednesday so she could buy a cake and ice cream for her son’s birthday. We were kind of dreading it but it was fine. It is frustrating to try to describe every cake in the case to someone when none of them were really decorated for a man. She kept wanting me to ask the girl behind the counter to do this or that. That poor girl barely spoke English. Finally, I wrote exactly what she wanted on the cake and we left with the yellow flower cake. She was happy to have a surprise for her son. Our friends, the McClures invited us to dinner on Wednesday night. These great people have been so kind and supportive of us from the beginning. Every few months they invite us to dinner.

Thursday- We had a Mobile Harvest in the morning and it was a soggy day. We have learned to just go and then come home and get ready for the day. We were getting dressed when Sister Wilson called and asked us to meet at the Bishop’s Storehouse. When Elder Christofferson was here they presented the Food Bank with a $25,000.00 credit from the Storehouse, this was the meeting where they were going to work out the details. Sister Wilson wanted the missionaries to be represented. We hurried to the meeting. It was fun to see this side of the gift. The Missionary couple over the Storehouse led a tour and told a little about the storehouse and the church to the Food Bank representatives. The “main” lady told how she had had a tour of welfare square once in Salt Lake. There was a lovely exchange of ideas, especially about the importance of teaching self-reliance. The Food Bank people asked to be invited back when the new Self-Reliance program gets up and going in Nevada. We have been priviledged to know many of the Food Bank people so it felt like meeting with old friends. It was fun to be invited. Thursday night at 11:10pm Katie texted to say her water broke and that Clay was in New Mexico. That was the beginning of an anxious night! We were so grateful to hear of little Tori’s birth and that her daddy made it back in time to be there. It was fun to Facetime on Friday and see her brand new, holding her would have been even better. We are grateful she is here!

Friday- Starting to plan for Transfer Day. We decided to renew our Sam’s Club membership. There are so many things the Costco doesn’t have here.

Saturday- Made treats for the baptism, knocked doors. The Baptism was great! Elder Hardman gave the best talk on Baptism. Brian flew F-15s fighter jets. Elder Hardman related that to the trust Heavenly Father puts in us. It was a happy day that at last had come!

Sunday- Brian’s confirmation was also a happy day. We had the “Why I believe” fireside tonight. We now feel a connection to so many people as we are asked to go teach with the missionaries. We feel so happy to see them at things like this. I kind of wanted to stand up and say how much I didn’t like being dumped, so they all need to be baptized!

We will do our first Transfer Day with two meals this Tuesday! I will probably need a week to recover. If you have a chance to hug little Tori, hold her a minute longer, just for me!

The gospel’s true and we love you!

Elder and Sister Hardman

Monday, February 13, 2017

Letter #44

It’s going to be short and sweet this week. We left for church this morning at 8am and just arrived home at 9pm. It’s been a full day. It was our week to take our blind friend and we fed the Elders dinner. I like busy days the best but I think today wins. They had a fun fireside in Sparks where President Abraham Lincoln and Willard Richards were portrayed. It was well done with beautiful music but we were pretty tired of sitting after 6 hours of church.

We had a busy week too. We cleaned the temple two nights, fed the multitude for MLC and sorted blankets and wrapped them for the homeless at Catholic Charities. We had a great group of Elders come for two days (six each day) to fulfill a last minute Just Serve assignment. We have learned that we don’t like being on the texting list when these assignments are passed down. There are many frantic texts back and forth. The missionaries are the minute-men to cover these requests. We had to tell the people in charge that they couldn’t use the missionaries this Tuesday to pass out the coats and even tonight they are frantically trying to get members to fill the assignment. I’m glad that’s not my responsibility. Our Elders were great, they worked fast and efficiently and had fun doing it. They tried on purple and pink coats and any other weird coat and posed for pictures. They were asked to pack the blankets a little tighter in the box so they all jumped into the box to accomplish this task. They are fun to be with and all sorts of goofy. One Elder was SO excited when he was allowed to run the compacting machine. They are willing to help in any way they can.

Our friend Brian (that came to our apartment on Christmas Eve) is being baptized this Saturday. This has been a long time coming. We hope he is able to stay healthy this week so that it can happen. He has asked Elder Bell to do the baptism. Elder Bell is healing well but he has a gnarly incision and it looks like Frankenstein with the stitches. It will be interesting to see if he is able to perform the baptism.

We are doing well, the weather has been beautiful for most of the week and it’s getting lighter in the evenings.

You are all our Valentine’s! We love you and miss you and hope you have a fun busy week!

The gospel’s true and we love you!


Elder and Sister Hardman

Monday, February 6, 2017

Letter #43

Have you ever noticed that while you are worried about something “BIG” something “little” is happening at the same time and without realizing it the “little” becomes “BIG”? We have had that this week. We have been worried about Elder Johnson and praying for him, that the headaches would go away and that he would be able to stay on his mission. During this same time Elder Bell has had a pinkie that he hurt on P-day that no longer would stay straight. No one has paid much attention because after all, it’s just a pinkie. He finally was sent to a doctor and they determined that he had torn some tendons in the pinkie, if he had gone right away they would have done surgery and fixed his finger. It has been injured for several months. There have been lots of discussions of whether to have surgery here and send him home for rehab or to have surgery at home. They finally decided to have the surgery here and see how it turned out. They repaired the tendon to his middle joint but they couldn’t attach the tendon to the upper part of his finger. That would probably not be a big deal, unless you play the cello. Elder Bell plays the cello. We have gratefully watched Elder Johnson get better. The zone leaders even had to call the office this past P-day and ask if it was ok if Elder Johnson was playing sports. (the answer was “no”!) We were distracted from realizing how important a pinkie can be in our lives. Elder Bell and his parents decided they would have the surgery now, let him continue his mission and he will have reconstructive surgery to look forward to when he returns home. It has reminded me how often something we might think is small and insignificant can quickly become a great stumbling block in our lives if we choose to ignore it or treat it as “not a big deal”. Elder Bell is on the mend and we became Elder Waite’s companion for an evening. It’s a good thing Elder Waite thinks we’re awesome! It’s fun for us to meet some of the new investigators they are working with. We have a couple of them that have agreed to let us take them to church next week. (fingers and pinkies crossed!)

We had District meeting and Zone Conference this past week. That makes for a great week! We found out two things that affect us. #1. The missionaries will no longer report their service hours. That means Elder Hardman will no longer have to call to get the hours and break it all down into a report of hours/zone. This has been a big job for him. They are still expected to do the same amount a service in a week, it just isn’t reported. #2. MLC will go back to being monthly instead of once a transfer (6 weeks). We had it figured out that we wouldn’t have to make any meals in March or July, now we will be preparing a monthly MLC luncheon and two meals on Transfer days. Nothing is as certain as change.

We also were Sister Hull’s (STL) companion last week to attend the first “Just Serve” committee meeting in the Reno Stake. We are getting to know more and more people attached to the “Just Serve” program in Reno. They are faithfully trying to get the program into the lives of the members. We found out that “Just Serve” is the official service website in New York (all managed by the Church), pretty cool! It is not that well known here, even by members. We are only supposed to be involved in the missionary end of it but it has opened doors to meet others through the “Just Serve” opportunities.

We are still knocking on doors. I feel grateful seeing it stay lighter and lighter in the evenings. It’s much easier to find people at home in the evenings but they don’t like it when you knock their door after dark.

That is our report.

Our thoughts and prayers with you all at home. I don’t think I’ve had a day yet where I didn’t think about home. I want to tell you all to sit quietly on a couch so we don’t have to worry about you but I know that isn’t going to happen. Don’t try to slam-dunk a basketball if you’re only 5’8” and don’t bang heads with anyone else, there’s enough of that going on here!

We love you!

The gospel’s true and we love you.

Elder and Sister Hardman