Monday, February 20, 2017

Goede middag iedereen!

This was quite a busy week!

We had quite a lot of fun helping our neighbor, we were out trying to find people to talk with when we saw our neighbor digging for gold by the looks of it. Turns out he was trying to find this tiny little poles that had been covered by dirt that marked where his property was. We asked if we could help and he consented but he was surprised when I motioned for the shovel! We broke a lot of dirt trying to find it. The next day he rented a metal detector and we found it right where we had stopped digging!

As we were biking by the boardwalk to our next appointment, we passed a group of Americans who were surprised to see us. One of them said, "Wait, are you Mormons? They have Mormons on this island?" I felt kind of funny as I replied, "Yes!" as we continued biking.

We were able to sit with some people this week. One of my spiritual experiences this week was when we taught Marco. We sat down with Marco at this empty restaurant and he asked us quite a few questions. I felt that we answered him well, he asked about things like, "Why do babies drown in the ocean?" and "If a terrorist were to kill your family, how would that make you feel?" it was very interesting. We explained that in God's plan, everyone has different tests and trials but that death is only a natural part of it. We all have our agency and we have to use it wisely. He was a Catholic but had some Buddhist views. In the end, he felt like we weren't able to answer his questions but we left him a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and he said we could call him in a few weeks. As Elder Burr and I walked away, I remarked to him that 2 years ago I wouldn't have been able to share a testimony like that or even answer any of those questions. I'm really thankful for the knowledge I have of that plan.

My favorite moment this week though was when we went over to the De Palm's for dinner. As we sat down and ate, Martin came outside again! He asked if he could sit with us and of course we let him! We started to talk and he mostly just started asking us questions about why we went on missions, mostly if we were here because we wanted to or if we we're here for our parents. I talked more about how it had always been a desire of mine but ever since coming here, it's taken away every possible doubt I could have that this wasn't were I was supposed to be. I went on by stating that I knew the message we shared with people is very important. He talked about his school experience and it was interesting getting to learn more about it. We spoke more about it and he asked us about what we wanted to do after the mission and then he asked me, "What is the most important thing in this life?" I looked him in the eye and said, "To learn more about our relationship with our Heavenly Father" and I went on by explaining: that we are His spirit children inside these bodies of flesh and bone, how God loves us more than we can even imagine and I told him that knowing these things helps me know that everything we experience in life, good or bad, is for our benefit to help us to grow and become more like our Heavenly Father. I told him that I knew that God existed and was there for us. We looked each other in the eye a bit, it seemed as if he were waiting to see if I was sincere or not and then he asked Elder Burr what he thought. Elder Burr replied that he agreed completely. Martin asked, "Really?" "Mmhmm." He gave  a high-five to Elder Burr and then he talked about how he believes in angels and shared an experience about when we felt that he was protected by a "beschermengel" or guardian angel. It was an awesome night.

Well, that was my week and I hope you're having a fabulous one yourself!

Take it easy.

Elder Hardy

Title Translation:
Good afternoon, everyone!

Attached: Elder Burr and I when we took a wrong fork in the road and I decided to commemorate it with this cactus

Monday, February 13, 2017

"Ik ben koud!" "Hoe voelt u zich? Burr, toch?" "Ja-is dat een woordspeling?"

Good afternoon everyone!

My week was pretty interesting but I won't overboard you with details or at least I'll try not to.

This week I had my first bike crash on my mission! I'm actually very surprised, mostly because this is the longest I've gone in my life without crashing! It wasn't super bad, it was raining and we were going pretty fast when I accidentally took a turn too sharp and then, before I knew it, my bike was no longer under me! My hands got scraped up but since it was raining, it kind of washed it out. I ripped my pants and even my pocket but almost as soon as I hit the ground, I got backed up; I could've sworn I bounced off the ground and landed it! I feel like it was a bit of a miracle, especially when you consider how fast I was going!

I also accidentally made ice cream as well. Right after my crash, we continued heading home to do some planning and I was in a "I just crashed so I'm gonna make a smoothie to make myself feel better" kind of mood. I used Elder Lewis' frozen strawberries that he left (Elder Burr talked me into using all of them, good choice), vanilla, sugar and legit milk from America. So I mixed and the blender started to make a weird noise and I tasted it and it was ice cream. Pretty good though.

My new companion's name is Elder Burr! Him and I served around each other at the beginning of my mission when I was in Paramaribo so we can laugh about those times still! He's from Bay Area, California, he's like to run a lot and he kicks butt in basketball!

Well I hope you had a wonderful week!

Elder Hardy

Title Translation:
"I am cold!" "How are you feeling? Burr, right?" "Yes-that's a pun?"

attached: library pictures

Monday, February 6, 2017

"Toen er meer Americanen hier waren gekomen, dacht ik, "Ik heb meer comrades!" maar zij zeide nee, je ben American, geen comrades maar medewerkers. Jammer." -American Lady who worked at the Gooo Dive store

Hello everyone!

This has been an interesting week for sure! We've done a good amount of contacting but it's been cool because people have been home! Even if they aren't interested, we try to give them a picture of Jesus Christ after his resurrection with our names and name on the back. It's been kind of hard sometimes working in the area since it's easy to get down but then I just crack a joke, drink a Root Beer or something and then we get to it!

Although it's hard, it just makes the special moments all the better! For example, Elder Lewis and I headed to the De Palm's house for our lesson, and on our way out, I put my English scriptures in my bag and kept a Dutch Book of Mormon in there with the hope that I'd find a way to use it that night. As we were eating, the De Palm's neighbor, a Dutchman named Martin, came outside with his crutches. I saw him and asked him if he wanted a cookie, and he consented! He sat down and talked with us all and it was fun getting to know him, he told us how he got hit on his bike and broke his hip in 4 places! He was originally waiting on a ride but the ride canceled and he accepted the invitation to stay and hear more. We talked about the Atonement using Alma 7 and testified of the power of it. He wants to sit with us again but because of his busy schedule with treatment it's hard to make appointments but he has a lot of questions that he wants answered!

On Wednesday,Shelley took us and Sister Albus to lunch! I ordered what I thought was a sandwich but it was pretty much a bread stick with bacon on it! Still really good though. We wanted to share a lesson with her but we realized that in a busy restaurant, it wasn't very possible. As Shelley went to pay the check, we talked about it with Sister Albus and she offered to let us teach Shelley at her house when she's free!

Church has been fun, because there's a lot of languages there, we can either sing in Dutch, Spanish or English. I typically sing in Spanish though because it sounds better being in tune with everyone! It's also really fun, one of my favorites is Himno de batalla de la República or Battle Hymn of the Republic. I probably sound like a Gringo when I sing it but I'm getting better at pronouncing things!

We also got transfer calls this week, at first Elder Lewis and I were staying together in Bonaire but then we got a call this morning that he's actually heading back to Suriname, to Uitkijk! I'll be staying here with Elder Burr, luckily he's served here before so he knows the area pretty well.

Having a gezellig week!

Elder Hardy

Title Translation:
"As more Americanen came here, I thought," I have more comrades! "But she said no, you're American, not comrades but staff. Shame." -American Lady who worked at the store Gooo Dive

Attached: Sunset of Bonaire, Elder Lewis and I (I'm on the right btw) and a funny quote from Elder Gertsch (one of the senior couples in Trinidad)