Monday, August 21, 2017

Letter #71

Since we are already experiencing “the last time” things I thought I would give an accounting of the meals we have prepared on our mission. I won’t talk about the meals we helped Sister Beutler with, just the ones we were in charge of ourselves. Here goes……

MLC (Mission Leadership council) This is once a month and we feed about 40 people.
Breakfast Casserole
Chicken Burrito Bowls
Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Soup- White chicken Chili and Taco soup
Ham and funeral potatoes
Breakfast Casserole (yes, we did this twice, it is the favorite meal)
Sloppy Joes
Breakfast Burritos
Sweet Pork Salads
The second breakfast casserole meal was when they also invited the District Leaders for the meeting and we fed 60 people that day.

Transfer Day Lunch this comes every six weeks and is for the incoming missionaries. The number we feed are variable! We usually have a group that arrives around lunch time from the Provo MTC and a group comes from the Mexico MTC but we never know when they will arrive until right beforehand.

Soup- Broccoli Cheese and Chicken Noodle- 20 people
Hawaiian Haystacks -27 people
Baked Potato Bar- 22 people
Croissant Sandwiches- 15 people
Taco Salad- 17 people
Croissant Sandwiches- 40 people

Transfer Day Dinner This is the last supper for the outgoing missionaries. They go to the Temple and then come to the Mission Home for a nice dinner, program and testimony meeting. It is almost worth feeding everyone to be a part of the opportunity to hear their “final” testimony. I’m pretty sure Heaven will feel like this, where you share spirit to spirit. It is a sweet thing to be a part of.

Parmesan Chicken and funeral potatoes- 20 people
Ham and funeral potatoes- 21 people
Marinara Ziti and Chicken Alfredo Ziti- 14 people (gosh! They ate a lot of pasta for 14 people!)
Roast beef dinner and baked potatoes- 16 people
Marinated chicken BBQ -24 people
BBQ ribs and potato salad…- 27 people

When I put it on paper it doesn’t look like that much but it has felt like a lot! We have fed General Authorities. We have fed new converts. They all like to be fed! Every meal includes a big fruit bowl, salad, rolls, vegetables…. All the trimmings! And dessert. I used to think that they didn’t eat much dessert, I don’t know if it’s because a certain healthy eating Elder went home or what but they finish off the desserts now too! For the Mission Christmas party we ordered Costco pizzas but still prepared a big fruit salad. What all of this is leading up to is this……What do we fix for our last MLC and Transfer Day meals (that’s 3 more meals)? Your vote can come from this list or you can vote for something else, not on the list! We would love to have your input!

We attended our last zone conference this week. It is bittersweet to start putting “our last” before things now. We also helped in the office on Friday for the last time. We loved spending a lot of the week with Clay’s family at Lake Tahoe. It is a little easier to say good-bye when we know we will see them in a few weeks (6- that’s a transfer!)

We aren’t done yet though. There are new zone leaders to train in JUSTSERVE, there is a never-ending supply of “new move-in” names to knock doors, there are people to check on, there are golden opportunities to attend a lesson with the young missionaries, there are 6 more district meetings to enjoy, AND one more MLC and Transfer Day!

The Gospel’s true and we love you!

Love,
Elder and Sister Hardman

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Letter #70

What did we do this week? We planned, we shopped, we prepared, we cooked, we served, we cleaned up and then we did it again and again! It is not my favorite thing to have Transfer day and MLC all in the same week. We fed 40 people for lunch, 30 for dinner on Transfer Day. When we have these big groups of incoming missionaries it always looks like Christmas morning with bikes and packages all over the Cultural Hall. All of a sudden these new missionaries look so young! The Vaia’vakas and Thurgoods came to help us with the lunch. The Thurgoods went with the outgoing missionaries to the Temple. The Vaia’vakas came to help with dinner. We barbecued 6 racks of ribs. I have never done that many ribs before! Elder Hardman and Elder Vaia’vaka were grill masters! The ribs were beautiful and delicious. We had a sweet testimony meeting with the outgoing missionaries.  We realize that the missionaries we know best are the ones going home and the new ones coming in we will not have the chance to get to know. That is a strange feeling.

Wednesday was a special day. Do you remember when we were going to a young boy named Liam and we would visit with the grandma while the missionaries taught Liam?  Then Liam decided to not take the lessons anymore? I was SO sad! We have stopped by a few times to see the grandma (Terry) and her mom, to check on them and just keep in contact. Well, Liam decided he wanted to take the lessons again. I told the Elders that we needed to find a way to have Terry listen to the lessons. Wednesday night was an answer to many prayers. The “new” Elders asked if we could all sit together for the lesson, Terry said “Yes”! It was such a good lesson. Our new Elders did an amazing job including both Liam and Terry. The spirit was so strong. I think it was the best lesson we have been a part of. I just love the missionaries. They answered questions, they bore testimony,they promised them blessings if they would read the Book of Mormon together. Terry told how Liam had wondered why he gets teary-eyed when he thinks about God. It was a wonderful opportunity for the Elder White and Elder Werner to tell them how the Holy Ghost was communicating with him. It was such a wonderful evening. I am grateful that we had this opportunity.

Late Wednesday night we had another meal surprise! President Chesnut called to tell us that we wouldn’t be doing MLC at our usual church, there was a conflict. We found out that we would be at the Institute. This meant that we had to take all of our supplies, cooking stuff, food, paper products to the Institute. Ugh, it always works out but I would rather not have some of these experiences!  We are now down to ones! One more MLC and one more Transfer Day. It won’t be in the same week either!

Right now we are at in cute cabin in Tahoe with Clay, Katie, Lila, Lewis and our sweet Victoria. We are having so much fun with these three. Lila and Lewis have changed so much and Victoria is as cute as they come! Tomorrow we will celebrate the twins 3rd birthday.  It was such a busy week last week, we will certainly enjoy these few days with the kids.

The Gospel’s true and we love you!

Love,

Elder and Sister Hardman

Monday, August 7, 2017

Letter #69

We just returned from a “Why I Believe” fireside. This is where recent converts share their conversion story and testimony. We so enjoy these firesides. We have heard the testimony of one sister three times but her personal growth and spiritual development always impresses us. She even talked about how she has seen the growth in herself and knows that the change is because of the Holy Ghost in her life. Each story is sweet and they share such personal things with everyone. I will miss hearing these firesides.

The rest of our week was good. We were asked to go to two lessons. Each were with an older lady. They ask us because they think the lady will “relate” to us better. When we go and the lady is in her 70-80s, we smile. I guess to an eighteen year old we are all the same age. They are both amazing women who willingly accept what the missionaries teach. I wonder at the humble acceptance. I ask myself if I would so willingly believe the message of the missionaries. The one lesson was about the Word of Wisdom. The lady has a friend who is a member but she had never heard that we believe in no tea, coffee, drinking or tobacco. She wondered why her friend has never mentioned it. She is a smoker but when the Elders asked if she’d give up smoking she said “Okay”! We asked how she was doing and they said that she was doing great and keeping that commitment. The next challenge is getting work off so she can come to church.

We had a pretty good door slam this week. The guy opened the door, said they had already given at the blood bank and slammed the door. I want to say, “We don’t want your blood, just your soul!” They never let me have any fun.

The Sienna Vista ward had a fun BBQ on Saturday. It was held at a home in the ward. Their yard is like a beautiful park. The children all ran around and had a wonderful time. Brother Forsythe (the owner) barbecued steaks for everyone. We had the usual afternoon thunderstorm but it just dropped a few drops and cooled everything off nicely. We went early to shuck corn and help set up. Today at church there were so many members that were really touched by the BBQ. It’s hard to imagine not growing up with the social aspect of the church and it is such a new thing to a recent convert that they really are drawn in by the feeling of a ward family.

We took Rocio to a baptism on Friday night. She is trying to be ready for her baptism on August 26th. Rocio is in her early 20s. The Elders have done a great job of inviting a young couple to her lessons. This young wife is now thinking of ways to invite Rocio to things. THEN…. No Rocio at church today. We were sad and disappointed. The Elders called the house and found out that she is in the hospital. She has epilepsy and has seizures. She keeps losing jobs because she misses work because of the seizures. Will you remember her in your prayers?

This week has been the calm before the storm. This next week has me stressed out. You would think that I would get used to Transfer Day. As it gets closer I get more uptight. We will get this big transfer over with and then feed missionaries again on Friday for MLC. I am looking forward to the weekend! We had a big powwow with President and Sister Chesnut to plan for Tuesday. We have 19 coming in at 11:30 am from Salt Lake and then 4 more in the afternoon from the Mexico MTC. I will leave sack lunches in the fridge for those missionaries but I will be at the Mission home preparing for dinner by then. We were told this week that they are looking at two different couples to replace us, one for JustServe and one to do the meals.

We had Temple Day as a zone this week. We realized it was our last one with the missionaries. Most senior couples go to the Temple with the missionaries on their last Transfer Day but we will be cooking so this was our last chance. We took the YSA Sisters with us to a Mobile Harvest assignment this week so a different zone could go to the Temple. It was a fun, hot day!

It was a good week. The Gospel’s true and we love you!

Love,
Elder and Sister Hardman