Monday, July 10, 2017

Letter #65

When we came to Reno we said that we would probably attend a funeral while we were here for someone that was the “heart and strength” of the church. We have now attended three. Brother Moon passed away and we attended and helped with his funeral on Saturday. We have had the privilege of knowing some amazing people here. Brother Moon is one of those people. He and his wife joined the church in the 80’s. They came from a strong Baptist background. He was a deacon in the Baptist church. Brother Moon served in the Air Force. He was a Civil Rights Officer for the State of Reno. He was a lifetime member of the NAACP. He started a Boy Scout unit for Black and Underprivileged youth. He received many Community Service awards but what stands out the most to me was his amazing testimony of the Savior. Brother Moon had a hard time walking and he was stooped over but he would make his way to the stand and tell you about his friend, Jesus Christ. He always had a warm handshake and smile for everyone. Our blind friend Kathy had Brother Moon as her home teacher for many years. His family from Georgia came for the funeral. You could see that it would have been so easy for the Moons to stay in their comfort zone with their family and their religion but the light that makes them special led them to the Gospel. A representative for the NAACP spoke at the funeral, to show respect because he knew that Brother Moon had held a “rank” in the church he called him “Elder Moon”. We have new Elders in the ward and they were wonderful to come to the luncheon and talk to the family. They answered questions and were such thoughtful representatives. The talks that the Bishop and Stake President gave were done perfectly. Today in one of the Sacrament talks a man told how when he was asked as a councilman to vote for a “Martin Luther King” day he struggled with the thought so he went to talk to Brother Moon. After he spent some time with him and Brother Moon explained what it would mean to have a day to honor a black man in our country he voted for the proposition. We hope we don’t get to attend more funerals while we are here but we have felt the influence of righteous examples in this community. They have had to “stand for truth and righteousness” and they have stood out!

We enjoyed four extra-ordinary sacrament talks today. Each of our wards had a special “patriotic” meeting today. We have a woman from Mongolia who told about what it was like to be raised in country with no agency, where your choices are decided for you. It was a powerful testimony about the Plan of Salvation. Another man came from Denmark and he told of his family’s decision to immigrate during the war. I have felt especially grateful all day for living in this country and the blessings we enjoy because of that.

Last year we thought we would be able to see fireworks from our apartment, we couldn’t. This year we drove down the hill and could see across the valley. We enjoyed the fireworks from the Nugget casino. They have two tall buildings and they light fireworks from the top of the buildings. That was fun.

We had MLC on Friday. We made 72 breakfast burritos on Thursday. They ate all 72! They seem to love to eat breakfast at MLC. We also had yogurt parfaits. They always eat a lot on MLC. We are down to 2s. We have 2 MLCs and 2 Transfers Days left to prepare for. They will be two BIG Transfer Days! I wish I could say that we have this assignment all figured out but each time is a new experience and we do things “right” and we do things “wrong” every time!

Tondalaya has an abscessed tooth. She doesn’t have dental care. She has missed church for the last 2 weeks. We need to see what we can do this week. Cy is a man that joined the church a little while before we came. There were 12 baptisms around the time he was baptized in our area. Cy is the only one that has stayed active. He was so excited today because he received the priesthood. He was showing everyone his Priesthood Certificate. Cy is in his 70’s. When I get discouraged I think of Cy. The Atonement of Jesus Christ changes lives. “Let me tell you about my good friend, Jesus….”

The Gospel’s true and we love you!

Elder and Sister Hardman

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