Monday, March 27, 2017

Letter #50

Letter from Larry:

Dear Family,

Mom is at Women's Conference right now so I thought I would be a good time to write a letter. It has been awhile. I'll begin by giving an update on Grandpa Hardman and Grandpa Bartlett. This might be repetitive for some of you but we're not sure what each of you have been told about them recently.

Grandpa Hardman - He had a bad urinary infection; hence, the doctor put him on an antibiotic. It cleared up the urinary infection but had a side effect, which set him back again. I guess the medication made his heels weak so that when he reached up to a cabinet for some medicine he tore his ACL. He has been in a boot for a couple of weeks and has been asked to refrain from walking during this time period. He seemed in pretty good spirits when I spoke with him a few days ago. He should now be able to start doing some walking but will probably be in the boot for six month.

Grandpa Bartlett - Had another heart attack a couple of weeks ago. He was in the hospital for a few days and is now in a rehab facility. Grandma wants him home soon but he is still pretty week, so there is no scheduled date as to when he might be able to go home yet. He does seem to be stabilized. We'll have been here for a year, in one more week. We have to laugh as we look at the rolling hills, as they are now beginning to turn green. They were green and beautiful when we arrived last April; however, when we said that to others in the area they would look at us like we didn't know what we were talking about. It only took a couple of weeks and those beautiful green hills were all brown. We are excited to see them green again. It is also much lighter in the evenings so we are able to knock doors, helping with the ward lists, at a much later time. Our rate of finding people home is much improved.

We drove to Fallon on Wednesday to do some JustServe training with the Zone Leaders there. The drive is a little more than an hour so Mom played two talks from a Brother Hank Smith. I hadn't heard of him but I guess he is a pretty popular speaker. The young missionaries here quote him quite often. These talks were good for me so I thought I would share some of the focal points.  I was going through a bit of a downer because I felt bad I wasn't there to help with Grandpa Hardman, and to help with Grandpa Bartlett, and to help with Clay/Katie's new baby, and to help with Jason/Xanna's move, and to be there to help with Garrett/Shalene's new baby, etc. Get the picture. We know each of you have situations in which we are not there to help with; and this weighs on us. Well, the first talk made reference to the time that the Anti-Nephi Lehites (Alma 24:16) buried their swords "deep in the earth". Brother Smith suggested that these Laminates were addicted to war and the shedding of blood. They had to bury them weapons deep so they wouldn't be tempted to use them again. He talked about how we all have our own "swords" which need to be buried deep. In the next talk, he referenced Mark. This is where Christ walked on the water towards the ship, which contained his disciples. He spoke to them, as he approached, "Be of Good Cheer." Brother Smith suggests that this is a commandment for all of us to "Be of Good Cheer". Don't dwell on the things we can't control but be happy as we proceed with the things we can control. These talks helped me. Maybe we'll have to order all of his talks. Most of them are towards the youth; however, that is probably at my learning level. We are looking forward to being home but I also realize I need to make the most of the six months I have left and to do what I can to help the missionaries, the members, help in our service opportunities and as we try to fellowship others.

I'll quote one more scripture and then I'll stop my preaching. Mom and I thought that it was clever when we used the "Oh Thank Heavens for 7-11" sign, after we had been here 7 months. Well, we had the missionaries use this same slogan when talking about Alma "And he shall come forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people". Very powerful, and hits right to the core of what the Savior has done for us. "Oh Thank Heavens for 7-11".

Well, I get to go help take down the tables and the chairs this evening (which were set out for the Women's Conference); so I better get changed.

Mom and I love you all so very much! We plead with Heavenly Father each night that you are safe, that you are happy, that you are keeping yourselves worthy and most importantly, that you are doing those things that are helping you to develop a closer relationship with the Savior and your Heavenly Father.


Letter from Denice:

Dear Family,

Larry wrote my letter this week. I realize that we do the same things so if Larry writes about it there is nothing else to tell! : )

So instead, I will share a story with you.
Did you pay attention? Can you answer these questions without looking at the story?

1. Where were Fingledope and Pribin?
2. What were they doing?
3. What happened to Fingledope?
4. What was the dutty strezzle doing?

I just thought I would share some of the clever training we receive at District meeting. Our District leader, Elder Hiatt wrote and illustrated this fun story and had Elder Hardman read it out loud to us and then we were to answer the questions. We, of course, didn’t have a clue what the story was about or what the answers to the questions were. Our training was on teaching for understanding. These young missionaries are amazing at teaching the gospel in simple terms without being too simple. They are fun and creative in their teaching. We had District meeting and then Zone Conference this week so we had a great week of learning.

We heard today that the Harding’s came to church today! This was happy news for us. We also were able to go teach Brother Jameson again with the Sisters. He was able to go to the Temple last week to do baptism for the dead. His Bishop is teaching and preparing him to receive the priesthood. Sister Meyer shared D&C 50:24 with him. “That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.” We feel so blessed to be able to see the light growing brighter and brighter in Brother Jameson.

The gospel’s true and we love you!

Elder and Sister Hardman

Ps. Funny story, I noticed on my phone that it said it would take longer to get to work because of heavy traffic. I wondered where “work” was, it is the address to the chapel! : ) That lets you know how often we drive to the church.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Letter #49

What do you call a place that is built with lumber and brick and has a cement foundation. Most of us would call it a house. We heard a term here that made us laugh. A man was telling us how they moved from a small farming community to Sparks and lived in their first “Stick house”. They had always lived in a mobile home. He said, “Stick house” with distain. I guess it is what you have grown up around that makes the difference. We still hear things that make us realize “we aren’t in Kansas anymore Dorothy”.

This week we had the day we were preparing for in December but thought would never happen. We were asked to help in the Mission Office for a day. The senior couple over health and the cars always participate in zone conferences, they provide training. The other office couple had never had the opportunity to attend a conference so we were asked if we would go to the Office so they could go to a Zone Conference. I’m sure it is much different when you have things you need to get done but we were basically there to answer the phone. It was a l-o- n-g day! We wore out the carpeting taking little walks around the office. Usually when we go to the office it is a bustling place, it was dead that day! We had the one homeless member that uses the office as his mailing address come and pick up a letter. We had three deliveries and about six phone calls. UGH! By the end of the day I was reciting “Horton Hatches an Egg” to Elder Hardman. “I’m tired and I’m bored and I’ve kinks in my leg, from sitting, just sitting here day after day…..” When they returned from their wonderful, uplifting day we told them to call us any time!

Our Sister Wilson is going to leave us. She accepted the call to be the missionary Just Serve specialist just before we came last April. The calling was for a year. She is preparing to be replaced. We are sad. She has been so easy to work with. We think she needs to stay until October but she thinks someone needs to be in place before we leave who knows what they are doing. She had a training with some Zone Leaders and they told her that service was the number one thing responsible for keeping missionaries in the field. It gives them a break in their schedule and they get to be more like themselves. We have spent 11 months creating a program that provides service opportunities in the community for the different areas of the mission. It is becoming part of the mission’s culture. We hate to lose ground on this and can’t imagine anyone else that will work as hard as Sister Wilson has. We will certainly miss her. She would like to have a service missionary couple called to replace her, that live in the Reno area. That would probably be a great idea. We will see what happens next.

The Sienna Vista ward has started to hold a monthly breakfast on Saturday to help the ward get to know each other. We had the first one this week. It was fun to get to know members of the ward. There is a “core” group of long-time members that are amazing in wanting to integrate everyone into the new ward. Elder Hardman was in charge of scrambled eggs. It was a nice morning.

We keep thinking we are going to get the Harding’s to come to church. We keep inviting them and they say they will come but haven’t shown up yet. I am told the success I should feel is in the invitation. I am not good at this! I don’t like to be dumped or stood up. I am not patient or long-suffering. I guess I have to stay longer so I can figure these qualities out.

We saved our St. Patrick’s dinner until today because we were feeding the Elders. We thought it would be a treat to serve something different. It seems they have had a lot of corned beef this week. I did get the award for the best cabbage though!

We had a Mobile Harvest, a Relief Society birthday dinner, two baptisms, a senior couples’ party for Sister Chesnut’s birthday, door knocking and beautiful weather this week. We had gone 11 whole days without a new move-in in the Keystone ward. That was a new record!

The gospel’s true and we love you!


Elder and Sister Hardman

Monday, March 13, 2017

Letter #48

We’ve been here 11 months and we have finally been asked to do something in the Ward. We have been asked to teach the Temple Preparation class in the Keystone ward. We don’t know any of the details yet but it is exciting to be asked! We taught the Temple Prep course right after we were married, forty years ago! I don’t think the lessons have changed in the last 40 years.

Speaking of which, we celebrated our 40 th wedding anniversary on Saturday. We would feel special but we have learned that three other senior couples will celebrate their 40 th anniversary this year. I guess the thing to do during this phase of life is to serve a mission! We went to Virginia City on Monday and I got a White Buffalo Turquoise pendant. It is from a mine in Nevada (Tonopah) where the only white turquoise is found. It is beautiful! Elder Hardman got barbed wire. It kind of sounds like Charlie Brown’s Halloween when all he got was a rock, but it’s very special barbed wire. There is an artist that does pictures with real barbed wire, labeled and mounted. Did you know that there are “rare” barbed wire specimens? Elder Hardman’s also has horseshoes and spurs on it. I would send a picture of his picture but we had it wrapped carefully so the barbed wire wouldn’t poke anything and it’s going to stay that way until it reaches its new home. It was a snowy day in Virginia City and most of the shops are closed but we were able to find things that will remind us of our mission, we are tickled about that. I did want the tacky cowboy nativity too but the Christmas shop was closed. Hopefully I can still buy a tacky nativity in the summertime.

We were invited to a lesson this week where the Elders challenged the investigator to quit smoking. This is a 34 year old man, who is a Veteran and lives in a Nursing Home. We took him to church last week. He is a kind man but there is something definitely wrong with him mentally. He accepted everything the Elders asked him to do. He tore up his brand new packs of cigarettes and threw them in the garbage. He promised to brush his teeth and gargle (if we could bring him toothpaste and mouthwash). He promised to not go anywhere where he usually goes to smoke. He was so willing to do whatever he was asked! We asked last night how he was doing and the Elders told us that his caseworker had called them and they are not to have any more contact with him. Ah, the fun of a mission…. You never know what will happen next!

We went to a couple of other lessons. They changed missionaries in the Keystone Ward. The Keystone Elders used to also serve in Sienna Vista. Now the Summit Ridge Elders have Summit Ridge and Keystone. Sienna Vista is alone. The new Keystone Elders are trying to get to know the investigators. We went to one of those lessons. We also went to the Harding’s. We sure like these people. We tried to take them to church this morning but Sister Harding has back issues and couldn’t go, maybe next week.

We have a new senior couple in the mission. Our “dining out” buddies, the Hemmerts are called as missionaries in the new Self-Reliance Initiative. They will live at home but are a part of the Reno Nevada Mission and will travel the mission to set up this new initiative. They will serve for 18 months. They served a mission before at Cove Fort. They invited us to come to their setting apart. They have already received training in Salt Lake and they had their name tags which they put on right after their setting apart. Their grandson was able to put his grandpa’s on him. That was sweet. They will do a great job in this pioneering effort.

We continue to train Zone Leaders in “Just Serve”. I think it’s a good excuse to invite them to go to lunch and visit with them. We are always impressed by these great missionaries. I’m sure every mission feels this way but we have amazing missionaries!

That was our week, how was yours? We sprung ahead today and are happy that it feels like spring!

The Gospel’s true and we love you!

Elder and Sister Hardman

Monday, March 6, 2017

Letter #47

Sometimes we have a lot to tell about and sometimes it all feels like the “same”. This was a “same” sort of week. We did a lot of things but it was all “same” sort of stuff. We were invited to lessons that fell through. We started working on the list for Sienna Vista, knocking new doors but still knocking doors. We attended a lovely baptism for a lady that the Lemmon Valley Elders tracted into and she told them right away that she had a desire to be baptized. Her daughter is a convert. That was a nice baptism. We helped clean the Temple. We planned, shopped, prepared, served and cleaned up another MLC. We went to a Mobile Pantry. We did attend a wedding this week. We received a message from the Spark Sisters that a couple was being married that night and they’d appreciate the support if we could come The wedding was over an hour and a half late. The bride didn’t show up for an hour and then her mom didn’t come for another while. The Bishop did a lovely ceremony and the Bride’s family is Brazilian so we had a yummy meal after the ceremony. The wedding singer was a great performer but he sang inappropriate songs, aren’t there still love songs out there? The music was extremely loud! We did visit with some nice people that were also trying to support the couple. They had planned for four times the amount of people that showed up, sad. This couple is supposed to be baptized this next weekend. It was a little strange, but not the oddest thing we’ve done here.

We found out that we will be feeding another General Authority in April. Elder Brent Nelson (a 70) is coming for the mission tour and wants MLC at night (with a dinner) while he is here. Can I put this on my resume? We no longer will have Transfer Day and MLC in the same week though. I keep thinking I am checking things off my list but there is always the possibility that those plans will change.

We woke up to another winter storm this morning and went to church where they decided they would only hold Sacrament meeting. It’s funny because people have already driven through the bad weather but you just turn around and go home after Sacrament meeting. One person’s testimony was that he had always dreamed of “one hour” church! We now have two sets of missionaries to work with. They have combined Keystone and Summit Ridge for the Elders (Benti and Crowther) and Sienna Vista is separate. (Waite and Sprague) That means I need to re-do the paper we pass out as we knock doors. Oh well. So everything is different but the same!

The Gospel’s true and we love you!

Elder and Sister Hardman

Joke of the week: Moses used a Tablet! Har har!