Monday, September 26, 2016

Ik hou van Nederlands maar nu moet ik in het engels spreken - I love Dutch, but now I have to speak in English

Goede middag iedereen!

I made it to Guyana safely and I'm currently serving in Bushlot, Berbice! It's certainly a lot different teaching in English, I got so used to doing everything in Dutch that even my subconscious got used to it. The transition has had some hiccups but it's getting better.

On Tuesday morning I drove down to Zanderij at around 3 o'clock in the morning. Sister Parker, Sister Vernes, Elder Christianson and I were all flying out of the country. Their flights left at around 5:00 but mine wasn't until 10:00 so I had to wait a while. I think it was the longest I've been somewhere, not working, luckily I was able to make some new friends in the airport haha.

This week has been pretty crazy with trying to figure out working permits and finding time to actually work in our area. My new companion is Elder Guzman (this is my third companion this transfer) his parents are from El Salvador and he's from Virginia. He's pretty cool, he has a lot of funny stories about when he was home.

We also had Zone Meeting this week with President Egbert; after having so many crazy things happen, I was pretty relieved to see him! During our interview we spoke Dutch a bit and it was nice to hear it! The other missionaries here in Guyana are pretty new, I never thought I would be considered a "Senior" missionary, even though I've grown a lot on my mission, I still feel very young. Also, people in Guyana love white people from America, it's a little scary how much!

We also had Multi-branch conference in Conje, we got there a bit late because of the bus we were in but we got there in time to listen to most of the speakers and also to sing in the choir. They talked a lot about family traditions and how important it is to show your love for your family. If you haven't told your: mom, dad, brother, sister or anyone else you love, "I love you", I invite you to do so!

Elder Hardy

Chilling at the airport reading in Het Boek van Mormon and The Crew.

Just some random pigs roaming the streets in Guyana.

1st P-Day in Guyana; Bushlot, Berbice

Monday, September 19, 2016

Ik moet naar Guyana gaan? Nog een andere bos!

Fawaka iedereen! This has been quite the week so I'll try to sum it up as best as I can!

Because of visa problems I'm being transferred to Guyana. We learned that my current visa isn't good enough to proselyte on so I'm leaving early Tuesday morning. It's been pretty crazy trying to get everything all figured out. It's been a lot of packing, saying goodbye and headaches!

Why do I have so much stuff?!
I'm going to miss Suriname but I'm currently unsure as too how long I'm going to be away. I think at least until October 18th but I don't know the whole story yet.

But this week was really good, we taught about 8 Haitians at once! I couldn't communicate with them too well but our new investigator, "Jupiter" was able to. We basically told him what to talk about and he said exactly what need to be said, he was explaining verses to his friends even! It was very cool.

This week we also got to have most of the Cabenda village to go to church! It was really cool to see. I'm sad about saying bye to everyone but it just makes me more excited about other people I'll get to meet on the rest of my mission! Steve and Jolanda also made me this really cool Suriname sash thing, it's sweet! (I attached a picture) I'm sad I won't be here for her baptism but in the end it's not about if I'm there or not but the most important part is that she's doing it with the intention of following the example of Christ.

Well, next time I speak to you all, I'll be in Guyana.

Elder Hardy

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Eveneens een email!

How's it going everyone? This week has been another fantastic time here in Uitkijk! This week has been really good, Steve and Jolanda finally got married! It was a little surreal sitting during the service, I remember setting the wedding date with them but I didn't think I'd still be here to see it!

We also met some really cool guys from Haiti, the first time they met us they said, "I want to become Mormon, how can I do that?" he spoke pretty good English. They came to church as well! During sacrament meeting I translated for Jupiter (the Haitian guy) and he translated for his friend Doby. It was a pretty fun day. A couple days later we ran into them again and they said they have a bunch of other friends from Haiti who also want to become Mormon. He also wants to join the U.S. Army and kill terrorists. Imagine hearing that in a French accent, they became some of my favorite people ever! 
I also tried to chase down an Iguana I saw on the side of the road, it jumped in the river before I could get it. 
These next couple of days are going to be interesting because of the Tourist Visa I'm on. Unfortunately it's going to hinder my missionary service a bit but I hope that it'll get fixed soon. 

Have a good week, Lobi!
Elder Hardy

Monday, September 5, 2016

"Een Fiets versus een Bromfiets = een lastige situatie" = " A Bike versus a Moped = an awkward situation "

Fawaka everyone, it's time for yet another update from good ole' Uitkijk! This week was very interesting! (So it'll skip to the best parts) On Thursday night Elder Lunceford flew in from Trinidad, I'm going to be his new trainer or as we like to call it in the mission field, his "Father".

It's been interesting working with someone straight from America, I didn't realize how much I actually knew of Dutch until I had to start translating it for someone. Elder Lunceford is really cool though; he actually can understand Dutch and speak it more than I would've expected! He teaches very well, we've been having some wonderful lessons recently.

Something funny; on Elder Lunceford's first day here in Suriname, we were biking around when all of a sudden Elder Lunceford gets hit by a guy on a scooter (bromfiets) and it wrecks his front tire. Miraculously enough, he was unharmed, he didn't even get knocked off his bike! The guy drove away and all of a sudden basically everyone in the neighborhood gathered around us and were telling us what we should do, it went something like, "Go to the police!" "I know where he lives, break his bike!" "If you don't want it, can I have your bike?" and things like these. We called some people and we headed back to the apartment, luckily it wasn't too far so we were able to switch to a spare bike and we went on our merry way.

This week I also had this weird guy telling me about vampires, evil spirits and voo-doo...

A really cool part though was we were sitting with this one guy who was a less-active; he was baptized when he was younger but fell away a couple years later. So last night we were able to sit with him and we read the introduction out of the Book of Mormon with him. It was very cool! Mostly because he wasn't the most intelligent but as he read and as we talked, I could see the wheels turning and even though he had to read a few times, the greatest part after was when he said, "I understand it now, Elder."

It reminded me of a verse in Alma chapter 32, verse 28,

 Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.

He promised to read everyday and pray about it, I'm excited to sit with him again!

One last story I forgot to mention; we were contacting one day and Elder Lunceford was in front, we were biking when this guy- in what seemed like a small party with his family- called us over. So we turned around and he basically sat us down in the midst of about 9 people. We started talking with him and laughing with him and at one point he asked me,"You're American? I've been looking for some medicine to restore my grandma, do you have anything like that?" Doing my best to keep my poker face, I said, "I don't have medicine but I do have something like that" and then I pulled out a pamplet that talks about The Restoration and I gave it to him. He started dying with laughter. "Ahaha! You got me, that was a good one!" Everyone else agreed. We had a good time talking with them, we had some fun talking with them and they were impressed that we could actually communicate. They also kept telling us how we need to find wives in Suriname so we could become neighbors! We got the guy's info and told him we would come back sometime, he actually seemed excited and loved the pamphlet! #PartyHindus  

Thanks for your time and have a wonderful day!

Elder Hardy

Attached are pictures of Elder Lunceford and I, his bike and my tan line versus his sunburn

Here is a little excerpt from my letter from my dear boy: 

Wan fu jahri ti dai, wan fu jahri ti dai, wan fu jahri wan fu jahri wan fu jahri ti di! (sing to the tune of Happy Birthday) This is how we sing it in Sranan Tongo!

I miss you a ton! It's crazy to think that I have 9 months left, being with a brand new missionary puts things into perspective! haha I miss you tons and I hope you are doing well!

Elder Hardy