Saturday, January 2, 2016

Shout Out to Moms

Hello Family Friends and Moms, 

This week was GREAT! Seriously so good. Missions are the bomb and i absolutely love Taiwan. Everything about this place is perfect for me. The Lord wasn't messing around when he called me to serve here. In DTM a few weeks ago we made an "I love Taiwan" list and it was crazy how many things there ware to love here. I am going to be so sad to leave this country in about a year... yes thats right, a year from now i will be preparing to go home.. but that's still like a century away so we will save that conversation for a year from now haha! 

Update on Li JM! She is still going strong. Not drinking any tea at all :) She has her baptismal interview set for this Wednesday! We went over the baptismal interview questions this last week and it all went really well, she just still doesn't have a very personal testimony of Joseph Smith. She doesn't not believe in him, just having a hard time personally connecting with his story. We invited her to really pray about it and we are seeing her again tonight so we will see how it went! I love her so much! 

So anyways after she left that lesson me and Sister Slater were in the church talking about how it all went and what we can do to help her more and such. We feel like she is ready for a Baptismal Interview but we worry that the man interviewing her wont see it, maybe or i don't know, we were just getting sorta worried. Sister Slater said something along the lines of "If only we good go in the interview with her, plead her cause, cause we know she is ready" It suddenly got really spiritual though and a light bulb went off it my head. We are acting as Jesus Christ would. He is our advocate, he will plead for all of our causes. He will stand and say "I know she isn't perfect, i know she can still improve, but look at her testimony, look at all the good she has done."

And then another light bulb went off and i immediately thought of my mom... Isn't that exactly what moms are like?! They plead our cause all the time. They want whats best for us. They see the good in us despite our imperfections. They love us so much, we cant even imagine it. But for just a moment there when my heart was turned completely towards Li JM i felt a little bit of what it would feel like to be a mom. I mean i just think back to the many times in my life when i was worried i wouldn't make it, or wouldn't get a good grade, and get into the school i wanted. I was so focused on myself and how worried i was that it never even crossed my mind (until this last week) how my MOM must have felt. I mean if she could i know she would have loved to go and talk to everyone and say how great i was and that if they just gave me a chance they would see it. Thats how much i love Li JM. It was quite the spiritual experience for me and i felt like i learned two things: 1. Moms and Jesus Christ are pretty darn similar 2. My mom is the best and i love her so much (and even more now) <3 (this explains the subject of this email haha)

Okay something fun that happened this week. We were at FHE last night and we were playing sardines i the church (which is awesome cause our church is HUGE, 3 stories tall, tons of class rooms). It was blast and then Sister Slater and I volunteered to go hide. We hid under these chairs in a room and NO ONE FOUND US. We literally laid flat like a board under them and multiple people came in and still no one saw us. We were dying haha it was so funny! We eventually had to call it at like 8:50 so that we could get home. All of the Elders were so surprised that no one found us. Anyways we are now worshiped in the YSA as the Sardine Queens so thats great haha i love our YSA!! 

We had Zone Conference this week. It was so great to see president :) Hes the best and i can just feel the love that he has for all of his missionaries. We talked a lot about teaching and how we can sometimes overfill our investigators minds to the point where they have no ideaaa whats happening. He had missionaries pour huge jugs of water into little cups sitting on other missionaries heads haha it was so funny, some of them got wet. He was just trying to show how we may have a lot to share but sometimes we can only share what an investigator has the capacity to take in. Always trying to improve my teaching skills, its hard stuff. 

Well today we are going to Lotus Pond! There are like these cool temples there and stuff so that should be fun, look it up if you are really curious LOL Pics are yet to come in next weeks email.. 

Cockroach update in our house: THEY ARE EVERYWHERE we even bought these things that we put all around the house but they are still there ahhh every night we just go into kill mode right when we get back into the house and put shoes on our hands so we can kill them. Its pretty funny actually. Sister Slater will be like "Ive got the kitchen, you get the bathroom" haha adds some spice to our mission life. PS i just killed like 3 cockroaches on this computer desk.. they are EVERYWHERE ahh

Oh also we went to La Salsa this week - YES a Mexican place in Taiwan. Its soooo yummy. Pics included of us indulging our burritos.

Well thats all for this week folks, hope that you have a fab week! 

Sister Hardy 

ps: i don't really proof read these.. so if there are grammar errors i am so sorry haha but can you blame me? Chinese is the exact opposite of english

PICS: burritos and me just roaming the streets of taiwan (s/o to sister slater for that one)

聖誕節快樂!

December 28, 2015

Hello everyone! This week has been so great. I am so happy! Being a missionary is a great life. I hit my 8th month mark this next month... which kinda makes me nauseous because there is no way i have been serving for that long #FREAKY. 


We have movecalls this week and thank goodness i am staying in Dong Ying with Lin JM! She is literally my best friend. She kills me with her sassy humor and we have such a good time together!

Christmas as a missionary was actually great. I didn't have to worry about gifts or all the christmasy stuff that i thought i would miss. Ya its hard to not be around family but being away for one Christmas isn't the end of the world. And i was actually so happy all day, preaching the good word and giving away candy canes at stop lights. Lin JM and I decided to make it a very merry Christmas by giving away candy canes when we contacted- it was great and seeing the smile on their face when they got one was priceless. I think that service is the key to having a happier life. When we serve and stop worrying about our-self, we somehow magically get sooo much happier- its the weirdest thing. But its also amazing. GO SERVE SOMEONE!

Skyping the fam was definitely a highlight of this week. I really have the great family out there, they are perfect just for me. I really saw how terrible my English has gotten so that was funny. And the boys were all pretty much the same just bigger and taller #notsurprised LOL gotta love them <3

We have a new investigator! Her name is Rita. She is really cool and has more desire than anyone i have ever seen! She asks so many questions about what we are teaching in lessons its awesome. She will ask a question, we will try and do our best to answer, and then she will sit there for a minute with this pondering look on her face and then usually ask another question. She wants to understand so bad. We have only meet with her twice and when we gave her a goal she said she needs to pray later and find for herself! Were planning on following up with her tonight! I know that if she feels for herself that this is true she will be baptized in no time. Miracles man, every single day. #missionarylife

We got to go on a zone hike this morning for getting 12 baptisms this move call as a zone! Wahoo. It was way fun and lead up to this abandoned temple type spot! I have tons of pics so sorry for the overload of pictures this week! But Taiwan is just such an epic place, i love it here. 

Mmm i feel like my emails are getting shorter because i am running out of stuff to say/ i just forget haha i will try and write down something from everyday this week that i can share next week. But know that i am still doing so well!

I appreciate all of the mail and letters i have gotten lately! I have such great friends and family :)

Much much love from the island of Taiwan, 
Sister Jessica Hardy!







A White Christmas :)

December 14, 2015

HELLLOOOO!!! So i dont have much time today- our email time has been cut up a little and split into today and Wednesday because on Wednesday we get to go to the temple!!!! YAY. I am so excited about it!! I havent been since the MTC so i am pumped.  

Zhang JM got baptized! and so did FOUR other precious souls! All four wards that meet in our chapel had baptisms! It was awesome, slightly crazy, but definitely a "white Christmas" to remember! (because of the baptismal clothing, get it? haha i miss snow to much right now) She is amazing. She was found through her mom who was a Less-Active member, but is now active :) and then her brother who also use to be less active but has been coming back got to baptize her! It was a wonderful time and i just loved seeing their family so happy! Families are such a blessing. 

We had our Christmas activity this week!!! It was so awesome and so great to see all the missionaries- i sure do love my mission. There are lots of pics attached! 

On a sad note- Cao JM left!! We got a call that she was leaving and i honestly was so sad. This week had been such a good week for us and we finally got the hang of things and then she leaves. So sad. But my new companion is Lin JM! She is also a bendi ren! Shes so cute and i cant wait to chuan the jiao with her. She actually already served in Dong Ying in like the Spring- so super weird that she is coming back. But im not mad- she seems great!! 

Sorry i wish i could say more but no time!! Here are some pics of this epic week!! 

-Sister Hardy

Another Missionaries Email in your Inbox

December 6, 2015

Hello Everyone!!!

This week has been good, sorta hard, but really good.
Having a bendi comp has been difficult at times but i am learning so much; about myself, and relying on the Lord, oh and a lot of chinese (duh haha)! 

Some weird things happened this week:

First one is really sad, but was definitely a "Well okay i have never done this before" moment. There was a lady in our ward who passed away this week of breast cancer- super young and has two little girls. So we get a call about it and they want us missionaries to come to the hospital. So we do and when we get there they take us down to this area and we go in the room and there she is, laying on a gerny, with a white sheet covering her body up until her neck. I almost like passed out when we walked in, out of shock. We just walked in and then walked to the side and then they looked at us like okay what do you want to do?? We were just like "uhhh.." and then luckily pan DX this dad who is a total bro in our ward came in and led us in singing Christmas songs. It was quite the experience and we all walked out a little speechless. Haha us missionaries get asked to do some of the weirdest things sometimes- but we just do them anyway, cause we love the people.

We got chased by dogs. YUP. I biked like a mad women and didnt look back. Luckily me and sister cao made it out without any scratches but it was definitely scary. 

So everyone here calls me "Wa Wa" and for the longest time i had noooo idea what it meant. But, now having a bendi comp, i figured it out. It means BARBIE! they are all calling me Barbie. :/ so thats great haha i literally get comments on my hair maybe atleast 7 times a day. WAHOO for white hair.

Sooooo Zhan JM passed her baptism interview and is getting baptized this Saturday!! So exciting. She is such a prepared soul. She has a very real testimony of this gospel and i can just see the devotion in her eyes!

This week we have our mission Christmas celebration and we all get to go to Puli (like the most beautiful place in Taiwan). Its an all day thing and i cant wait. Its been great being able to share the gospel around the Christmas season. We go to this mall that has a huge Christmas tree and contact. I ask them if they know why Americans celebrate Christmas, and they usually dont, so then we get to share about Jesus Christ. Its great. I LOVE CHRISTMAS. 

Well thats about all for this week, but i want to end my email with a scripture. Moroni 7:33:   33 And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.
Faith is so important! 有信心有辦法!

Bye Bye,
洪翠曦

Dong Ying

November 29, 2015

Hello everyone :) 

What a week!! It felt like maybe the longest week of my mission yet but it wasn't a bad one at all! 
I figured there would be a lot of questions regarding me moving and thanksgiving and having a native companion so i thought i would just respond to your "questions."

Whats dong ying like?
 AWESOME! its a lot more rural than Sanmin and supppper hilly. AKA my legs feel like i am back in training again haha but its very pretty here and there is a huge river that is in our area and all these really cool bridges. The ward is awesome. There aren't as many people here so contacting is a little more difficult but no worries i just talk to everyone ahaha Dong Ying is still a fairly new area, it used to be with Tai Ping and then it split so i sorta feel like we are white washing a little bit. My companion had a bit of a hard time with her last companion in terms of finding so shes not very familiar with the area and good places to contact and stuff so were figuring it all out together!! We don't have too many investigators (but that will change) but we have one who is getting baptized on the 12th! She is awesome and was found through her mom who is (or was now) a Less-Active member! Super cool to see them both come to church! Its also a lotttt colder here aha one day it was actually like super cold and i was like ha... remember when i was complaining about the heat?? ya now im freezing. I am out on the search to buy tights and sweaters today. 

How is it to have a Taiwanese companion? (wow thats terrible english haha thats what its like! MY ENGLISH IS SO BAD RIGHT NOW AHH)
Mmm its good. Its pretty difficult at times in terms of trying to communicate but we arent letting it hold us back. She really hardly knows any english so i told her i would help her english is she helped my chinese! I have learned SO much in a week its insane. There has been a lot of charades and having to describe things. Its hard because i will know how to say alot but i dont know that one word that actually makes the sentence important haha but no worries JIAO YOU! Sister Cao is sorta in a little bit of funk right now but i am determined to help her love missionary work! She tells me i am "funny sister" Its the best day ever when i get her laughing pretty hard. I have really learned to have patience and to lead but more so ive learned to be a follower, give others the opportunity to lead. 

How was Thanksgiving? 
Sister Cao made me fired rice for breakfast, i looked down at the bowl of rice, said "Happy Thanksgiving" and ate up. hahahaha forrealz though thanks giving it not a thing here. The only thing that was kinda thanksgivingish was my english class. I taught all the little kids thanksgiving words and had them draw the hand turkey things and such- it was great! 

OHHHHH we also had am Apostle come this last week (no biggie haha). Elder Stevenson (one of the new apostles) came to pick up his son who was serving here! So obviously we did a big conference and all the missionaries got together to come hear him speak. It was so great. He truly is an Apostle of the Lord. He shared a lot of cool stories from his time as a mission president in Japan (S/O to edie). I think the thing that he said that stroke me the most (ironically because we here it all the time) was when he talked about obedience. He said Obedience bring Blessings and Blessings bring Happiness AKA Obedience>Blessings>Happy. I mean duhh but it just hit me really hard. We are happy when we are obedient because we get blessed! He called the Missionary White Handbook the "Book of Blessings" and its so true! Being obedient brings us so many miracles.

Have a great week everyone!!!! 
-Sister Hardy!!! 

Pics: My district is a blast!! Our Dong Ying elders: Elder Parker was in the MTC with me and then Elder Young was down south with my in GaoXiong so i knew him pretty well. and then the TaiPing Elders: Elder Swanson who was in my last district and then Elder Chan our DL! 




A Baptism and a Move Call!

November 23, 2015

Hello!!
I don't have a lot of time! This week was move calls! BUTTTT Li JM got baptized! It was such a great service! But before that it was quiet a wonderful week full of miracles!
So we met with Li JM on wed and then we wanted to meet with her again on Friday but we forgot to set up after we met. So we call her Thursday and no answer... and we called her again.. no answer. Its okay we will call Friday, STILL NO ANSWER. It gets close to the end of night and i am freaking out a little bit. So we decide to go and find her! We had never been to her house before but we were determined to find her. So we grabbed her baptism record and went looking. It was a miracle that we ended up finding it super quick because it was already 8pm and we had nooo timeee. So we get to her apartment and are ringing her bell and there is no answer.. than out of no where this little lady in a yellow poncho pulls up on her motor scooter! ITS HER!!! Ahhhh it was a miracle. We figured out her phone was just having problems so she couldn't talk to us. She was so cute and felt so bad that we had to come all the way to her house to find her haha i love her!
So then the baptism on Saturday.. It was great. She was so happy and excited before it and was so cute putting on the baptismal clothing, she put it on backwards at first haha it was so funny. SO many people in the ward came to support her and the spirit was way strong. She started to cry really hard during one of the talks (which i have never seen her get emotional before) and she just looked at me and smiled. She bore a beautiful testimony about Jesus Christ and his atonement. I definitely teared up a bit. She continued to be emotional throughout the whole thing and you could see the light that was in her eyes. Im sure the Lord is very very pleased with her.
Well i left Sanmin... sooo sad :( But i am now in Taichung! Dong Ying! Seems to be a great ward. I have a new companion also! Sister Cao! She is a native Taiwan ren from Taibei. She is super cute and speaks veryyyy little english. Not going to lie it has already been a little hard to communicate but i told her that i will help her English if she will help my Chinese so it will be great :) I cant wait to get to know her better and get to know this new ward! I also have now become the English leader and might be a Facebook missionary now ba? Oh well- change is good!
By the way, HAPPY THANKSGIVING. I have to be honest in saying that i kinda forgot until i read some emails haha they definitely dont do thanksgiving here but thats okay. Eat some turkey for me and ill eat some rice for you.

Like i said i don't have a ton of time! But i love you all and love hearing about your lives! Shoot me an email ohhh and send me your Christmas cards!!!
Taiwan Taichung Mission
#498-11 Wu Chuan Rd
Taichung 404-46
Taiwan
Love,
Sister Hardy
Pics: Li JM :) also i hope you can see them.. i had to send them a different way, computer is being weird





This was another great week!

November 15, 2015

Hello everyone! This was another great week! 

Li JM update: Ahhh LI JM PASSED HER BAPTISMAL INTERVIEW!!!! You should have seen my and Sister Slater waiting for her to come out of the interview, i was a wreak haha just trying to keep my mind focused on other things so i wouldn't die. The leader finally motioned us over and said congratulations!! Yay it was such a happy moment and Li JM had such a big smile on her face. Shes getting baptized this Saturday :) She was so cute yesterday at church. She was particularly happy and i asked her why and she was like "Everyday is a happy day when i can see you guys and come to church!! I love her so much. Everyone in the ward was asking her about her Baptism coming up and are so supportive of her. She is an amazing women and i feel so lucky to see her come closer to Christ. The church is true folks, so so so true. 

Miracle: So we were just bike contacting on this crazy busy road one night when a lady started flagging us to pull over. At first i thought she was just motioning a bus to come over but then i realized she was talking to us! So i pull over and she is with her husband and daughter. She asks us if we are the church that has the free English class! I explained it to her and gave her an English tract! It was way cool. We started to bike away and we were like DANG what are the odds that we were right there when she was looking for us. Also its super cool here how many people know who we are. Everyone has usually at least seen us missionaries biking around. Bike contacting is so great. You always get some great stories out of it- lots of crazy people yelling at you haha I LOVE TAIWAN. 

Oh i hit my 6 months as a missionary this last week... so thats really freaky and not real life. 

Language: So some how this week i have seen how much my language has improved. I called this member to set up and she didn't believe that it was me because my Chinese was so good.. HAHA i think she was just being nice but i will take it. This language is killer (i think i say that every email) but it really is! Its not an easy thing to learn. But i am seeing the progress and sometimes have to take a step back and realize that i have only been here for about 4 months.. i am learning patience with myself.

Ahh so our English leader got Jungle Fever (that's a real thing yes) so hes been out for a little while and since our English party is this week he put me in charge hahaha.. so i have been running around like a mad women trying to make sure everything will be ready for Wednesday! Its a pirate party though and sure to be great. Despite the stress i am pumped, i LOVE English and have a super strong testimony of it (we get a lot of baptisms in our mission from people hearing about the gospel through English class) Honestly i feel sorta in my element planning and stuff (S/O to Student Council in high school, Allie and Kayla i hope you are reading this ahaha:))

Its still hot and sometimes i stop and think "Wow, its November.." It still feels like summer! 

Spiritual stuff: Okay this is the scripture that i ponderized this week and i LOVE IT! Psalm 118:24 "This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." The Lord has given me everyday and here on the mission are days are limited! But if we rejoice and be glad in it everyday can be a good one! I am a strong believer that despite the situation we are in we can be happy! We just have to step back and think about what in life is making us happy? Once we evaluate that we sometimes realize that the things that make us "happy" really don't bring real happiness. Real happiness comes from Heavenly Father (im sure you all saw that one coming haha) and obeying his commandments and following Jesus Christ and using the atonement daily and reading the BOM and praying and so on and so forth. We have SO many things that can make us happy! So use them!!! 

This week will be crazy with the English party and a baptism but i figure might as well go out with a bang! Next week in move-calls and the odds of me leaving Sanmin are really high... so sad. But its okay. I am coming back one day (right mom and dad? ;)) 

Love you all!!! 
Sister Hardy <3

Pics: Last pday at Lotus Pond! So Asian and so cool.


















NOVEMBER (so weird)

DA JIA HAO! 

First things first S/O to my best friend/sister/cousin/love SARAH !!! she turned 19 this last week and i think everyone should go sing her happy birthday, because she is amazing and i love her wayyy toooo muchhh.

Also its November... so that is REALLY WEIRD. 

Anyways! I hope that everyone is doing fantastic this week, and if not its okay, because this week was a little rougher for me as well! Sometimes we just have those kind of weeks. But all is well because its a new week! 

I cant really put my finger on what made this week hard, it was just rough. Even though we taught a ton still and Li JM is still doing awesome! Last night it all sorta came crashing down as we stepped out of our Ward Correlation meeting (that i didn't understand at all). We were in there and i was trying to bring up Li JM and her baptism date and everything and i guess i wasn't supposed to talk just yet.. and it was just embarrassing. I am pretty used to not understanding most of what is happening in meetings but now that my trainer is gone and i cant rely on her it has put a lot more pressure on my Chinese. This language is KILLER. I mean like most definitely the hardest thing i have ever had to study. I cant read anything, i really cant understand much either. BUT i can testify. And i can do that real well. There is a special spirit that feels my heart when i am really testifying, and i forget that i am even speaking in Chinese. Those are the moments that help me to keep going! We have to latch on the good moments in order to keep moving forward. 

Update on Li JM! She is doing awesome :) and totally not drinking tea!!!!! It literally makes me the happiest person EVER when we ask her how she is doing and she says in her funny little ama (grandma) voice that she hasn't drank tea today! She is so cute telling us about how she is trying out these other teas that are herbal and all natural. She also likes to speak Taiyu (Taiwan's native language) and so she teaches us words sometimes haha I love her so much! The ward has been so helpful in welcoming her in and making sure that she feels comfortable. I am already starting to go into denial that one day i will have to leave Sanmin... But that's not for a little while so for now i am making the most of it and soaking it all up. Anyways seeing her progress in coming closer to Christ is a beautiful thing and it fills me with a joy i have never had before.

Its cooled down! I mean like its still hott but i am not dripping sweat every minute of the day! So WAHOOO for that! 

Mmm im trying to think of something funny that happened this week... well we were walking around this park with this lady, just talking about life and stuff when this girl on her scooter on the road pulls over and points at us smiling (like she is SO excited) and runs over. I was like "Uhhh shoot who is she, think sis hardy think!" (we meet so many people sometimes its hard to remember everyone) Turns out we had never meet her before but she LOVES english class. Like she is obsessed with English (there are a lot of people like that here). Anyways she was trying to find our class and she said that she always saw us biking but she could never get a hold of us. She is superrr cute though and i think that we may be able to get her obsessed with the gospel also ;) haha English is the bomb.com. I teach Xiao Peng You Ban, which is little kids and i love it. They are adorable and we get to play fun games and laugh and just be kids! And when they pray my heart just melts and i realize all is good in the world. 

This week i was studying a lot about addictions (in trying to help Li JM) and i just thought it was interesting to how it all goes back to faith in Jesus Christ. Faith in him is and always will be the first step in anything. We are helping all of our investigators to have faith in Christ because without that there is really no desire in wanting to change and become a new creature in him. Faith is soooo important. That is definitely something that i have learned on my mission. We all need to first have FAITH and then everything else will follow. Strength that faith through scripture study, prayer, repentance, service, going to church, and the list goes on and on. Just do your best and the Lord will help make your faith unbreakable. 

This week, although rough, had its tender mercies and i am grateful to see the hand of god in my life everyday! He loves me and you and every single person that ever walked on earth (and has yet to walk). He loves us despite our imperfections and he will NEVER stop loving us. We can always reach out to him. He will cleanse our souls and make us whole again. I know it with all my heart because he has healed me. 

I love this gospel and love all of you!!

Sister Hardy

Pictures: I was a nerd for Halloween (or more like just for this picture haha),
Drawing silly dragons in Xiao Peng You (we were discussing parts of the body!) and then Sister Slaters dong gua cha that broke into her bag HAHA her face kills me every time (of course she still drank it also, cant waste dong gua man)





Rain Rain Go Away Come Again NEVER

Well it has pretty much rained every day this week. Its either poring or a constant mist. My hair is just loving it *notice the sarcasm* haha but that doesn't stop us missionaries! (even though it stops like everyone else here- really though the people here hate the rain). Despite the rain though it has been an EPIC week. Filled with lots of teaching, getting creeped on, finding prepared souls and almost getting eaten alive by a small dog. 

We taught a lot this week! I loved it. We met with a lot of new investigators so it was a lot of the first lesson. There is so much power in testifying of the restoration though. Especially in saying Joseph Smiths first vision. SO MUCH SPIRIT. The spirit is always present when the first vision is being said. It was one of the first things i had memorized in Chinese and i hold it dear to my heart. I will never forget those words or that story! Go watch the Restoration video (lds.org) and soak in the spirit- its amazing. 

We had yet again another creepy man story- haha Sister Slater thinks it is hilarious but this is like the millionth time that this has happened so i don't find it so amusing any more haha This time we were sitting in a 7 trying to get calls done and a man comes up to us and starts talking to us and English ans such. Eventually he is writing down his address so we can come "eat ice cream with him and his friends" and he preceded to tell us that he was going to die his hair black so that he would look younger...? He followed us out of the 7 and wanted to know when we would have free time to go on a walk. I looked him straight in the eye and said "Mei Ban Fa" (which means like no way, no time, cant be done) in a very harsh I AM NOT INTERESTED tone. He left. Sister Slater was dying laughing because i like totally scared him away. Haha gotta be harsh and upfront with stalkers man, usually they will leave you alone when they know that you are aware of them being creepy and weird. I wonder if this will ever come in handy in the future.. i hope not..?

Like i said early we had a lot of first lessons this week and we found this amazing girl Guo Jie Mei! She is awesome and so ready. I contacted her at a park a few weeks ago and we were finally able to meet this week! I really hope that we can continue to help her come closer to Christ. She has the desire too- and the desire is always the first step.

Update on Li Jie Mei! She is still doing great. She wore a skirt to church this last Sunday and it was adorable it made me heart melt :) we taught her about the Word of Wisdom and she was little hesitant but i know that if she prays about it and fasts that she can gain the strengthen to stop drinking tea. Its hard to live the Word of Wisdom in country that so heavily drinks tea, but when there is a commandment there is a way! And the Lord will help her overcome this.

Okay so the dog story which is actually was a blessing (just keep reading haha). We were out contacting and doing calls when i suddenly hit maybe the biggest wall thus far on my mission. My body was exhausted and the last thing i wanted to do was go back into the heat and hop and my bike and talk to everyone. But i said a prayer, pleading with Heavenly Father to give me the energy i needed to be able to keep going. We hopped on our bikes and i still felt tired. We approached a light and i biked up to a couple with a cute poodle. I preceded to tell them that there dog was cute when the dog LUNGED at me and was caught mid air by his owner. I half screamed and almost fell off my bike. Needless to say it woke me. Sister Slater and I were laughing so hard and i had the energy that i needed to be awake and alert the rest of the day. The Lord works in the weirdest of ways to help his missionaries- i love it. 

Well this week has been yet another great one. I am eternally grateful every day for this blessing to be serving along side the Lord!! 

Until next week my friends
Sister Hardy

pics: random selfies with some funny stuff laying around our place haha



Days are Weeks and Weeks are Days

DA JIA HAO

The subject of this email pretty much describes the mission. Time is flyinggg and i am already in denial about having to go home in about a year from now... How is October almost coming to an end? Its not even cold yet... it is starting to cool down and by cool down i mean it actually feels like summer in Minnesota now haha.

This week has been great! I got a new companion- Sister Slater! We are both pretty different but we got along great and i am so happy to have her as my companion! She is going to teach me so much i can already tell. 

We had a good first week and even set a baptismal date for a new investigator we have! Her name is Li Jie Mei. She is an older lady who has a Christian background! She attends another christian church but really likes ours also. She is so funny and always says "ganxie zhu" after like everything, which is sorta like saying "god bless". She said she wants to find a church where she can best "renshi yesu jidu" - get to know Jesus Christ. Well she has found it! We talked a lot about the Book of Mormon really being the way to get to know Jesus Christ ans she has committed to read and pray. So i really hope that we can keep progressing with her and that she can be baptized Nov 21st! 

Here is a little miracle that we had this week that also shows how incredibly kind taiwanese people are. So we having been doing a lottt of finding lately and we decided to go looking for some Less-Actives in our area. We get to one house and we figure out that the Less-Active doesnt live there any more but that it is this other lady, Zheng Jie Mei. We talked to her for a little while and then figure out that she is a former! She had meet with the missionaries before! Next thing you know we are in her house sharing family photos and being fed lots of yummy fruit. This is a complete stranger that let us into her house and fed us! People here are crazy nice. Makes me want to have more charity towards all men. She was really cool though and we said we would back by sometime this week! I love how the Lord works in such weird ways. We were trying to find a Less-Active and then ended up meeting a Former. Miracles man, every single day. 

This week in personal study i was reading the 4th Missionary and Becoming a Preach My Gospel Missionary. Which are both amazing talks. After reading them i was thinking about how there are all these things i want to be and become on my mission and getting a little overwhelmed thinking about it. But then it sorta just hit me how if the Lord is helping me i can do anything. Yes, i am right, there is nooo way i can become all these things and be a consecrated missionary BY MYSELF. But with the LORD i can do it all and more. It made me think of the scripture in 2 Nephi 4 (which for the record is a great chapter to read when you are feeling down), verse 19 which says "And when I desire to rejoice my hearty groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless I KNOW IN WHOM I HAVE TRUSTED" Sometimes my heart groans because of all my imperfections and shortcomings but i know whom i trust, and that is my savior Jesus Christ. Because of my trust in him i know i can truly become who our Heavenly Father wants to me to. The enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ is real and can change all of us if we let it. I am so grateful that i can change and always be improving. 

Well i thought i would end with this quote that my companion shared with me.. 
"...Any effort is pleasing to God, even if he and I both know its not my all or my best. It may be far from an acceptable offering, but God accepts in nonetheless because ultimately He is more concerned with the offerer than the offering."

Keep on going. Don't give up just because you think that you wont be able to give god a "perfect offering", because guess what you're right! You cant give him a perfect offering. But HE DOESN'T CARE. He will take what we can give him and turn it into something amazing. Trust in Him. Believe in Him. Become a new person through Him.

WO AI NIMEN

Sister Hardy 

Pics: Me and Sister Slater. All of our district biking up to Da Liao to help them find new investigators! It was pretty funny to see us all (12) biking down the streets of Taiwan!




Another Typhoon, Baptismal goal (kind of), Babysitting & Cockroach

Hello!!! 

This week has been yet another awesome one. Being a mission is hard, but also AWESOME. Like i am not lying when i say that we have so much fun, and are the happiest people alive. I have never been happier, and by happy i mean pure, everlasting joy, not just temporary happiness. Really its because being a disciple of Jesus Christ is the best thing in the world. I get to wear his name over my heart every day (aren't you jealous? ;)). But you don't need a badge to be a missionary! I wish i would have been a better missionary before i came out on a mission, i think it would have brought me a lot more joy. SO invite for this week is to be a member missionary and go out with the missionaries. They need your help! Trust me i know. 

Well that felt like an intense pep talk! Now for this weeks updates... 

So we met with this amazing girl this week for the first time and at the end i invited her to be baptized and she accepted and it was just such an great lesson and the spirit there and it was awesome. And then at church yesterday we figured out that she doesn't live in our area... This is the second time this same exact situation has happened to us. It was pretty hard. But i came to the conclusion that it doesn't matter who gets to teach and baptize her, it just matters that she comes unto Christ by being taught and being baptized. The lord works in weird ways and teaches us lessons without us even knowing. 

We watched the womens session of general conference but haven't been able to watch the general session (we will this upcoming weekend). The womens session was AWESOME. So powerful and bold i loved it. I cant wait to watch general conference! 

Okay random miracle. So we have this crazy investigator who really doesn't like her son... its kind of sad actually. Any ways we invited her to church and instead she showed up with her kid and then just left. He is a 10 year old boy. We stood there like uhh what uhh umm as she walked out and he stayed (poor kid). We didn't really know what to do so he just came with us to sacrament meeting. He sat by a family that said they would take him (because missionary's really aren't aloud to baby sit, and that's what it felt like) anyways though we look back a few min into it and hes gone. We are freaking out. I mean where would he go?!?! So we run all around the church building (our building has 3 floors) looking for him. Eventually were like lets say a prayer so we stop and say a prayer and then when we opened our eyes he was just standing there. No idea where he came from but we found him. Anyways i would say that that was a tender miracle that happened to us this week.

There was a cockroach in my retainer case last night. Yup, you read that right. Open it up to put on my retainer like the good little girl i am and there is a COCKROACH. I screamed and chucked it on the floor. We usually find like from 5-10 every night when we get home. I have become a master killer. 

So there was another typhoon this last week- it wasn't very bad but we got a text (once we were really far away from the house) that we weren't aloud to bike because missionaries were getting blown over haha. So we had to walk our bikes all the way home that night. It was quite the adventure though and i love a good adventure/ switch in the normal schedule so i was fine with it. We just sang and biked. Sister Tapia is teaching me how to harmonize HAHA its killer but jia you! 

Thats pretty much all i can think of for this week! The church is still true and i am still alive! See yall next week. 

-Hong Jie Mei

ps: someone confirm that it is actually Fall because it is still about 100 degrees here LOL i miss the cool brisk air, someone breathe it in for me when you walk outside tomorrow, and drink some hot apple cider :) 

pics: typhoon - having to walk out bikes because the winds were so strong, yu ling the cutest recent convert in all the land, and our english class!! we teach the little kid class and it is the cutest thing ever.






Week 19

Well hello friends and family!!! I have been a missionary for over 4 months now! Time flies its crazy. 

It has been a solid week here in sanmin! We got some new investigators and we had some solid lessons! I love being a missionary so much. And it really hit me how happy i am this week! There is nothing else i would want to be doing in my life than this. The lords work is the best work - by far! 

Well we met with the dad of our investigator Sharon (her parents fandui (wont let her get baptized)). It was quiet the experience. He is very very bai bai (Buddhist), in fact he is a priest in his church... lol yaaa so the moment we got in there it was very clear that he was not going to let her get baptized. After about an hour of being in there and him trying to teach us Buddhist stuff Sharon started to cry.  He was slightly yelling at her and kept telling her that she is a Buddhist, not our church. Then i look over and sister tapia is crying (i don't really know what is going on at this point because i don't totally understand). She said that he said we aren't aloud to meet with Sharon anymore. It was bad. I felt like we had just made it all worse. We walked out and pulled over on the side of the road to decompress what just happened. It was probably one the saddest moments on my mission thus far- i thought we were never going to see Sharon again. Later that night we got a call from her and she said that she wanted to meet. We told her that if her parents don't allow it then we shouldn't but then she explained that after we left she talked to him and he finally said its okay if we meet we just cant talk about baptism at all. When we met up with her the next day she was AWESOME. She was way more serious about being baptized and there was a new strength that she didn't have before. I think that she was finally able to stand up to her dad and really tell him how much she wants to be baptized. To me its a miracle that it didn't scare her away into giving up but it made her stronger. 

Overall the whole experience has really made grow to have patience. Two of our investigators would get baptized now if they could but there parents wont allow it- and it is so hard. Its really sad too. I just have to rely on the lord and his timing and trust that he knows whats best for all of his children. 

Other than that i cant think of anything to crazy this week.. i ate stinky tofu for the first time haha and squid! The stinky tofu wasn't too bad it just STINKS! and the squid was actually really good lol (hopefully my mom will send some of the pics of me eating it? lol there were so many pics i just sent them a ton) 

The weather is kind of starting to cool down (but not really haha) Its funny to be wearing summer clothes in September! I heard it never really gets cold here down in Gao Xiong. 

The language is coming along. Chinese is reallllllyyyyy hard but i can see myself improving and all of the members say that my Chinese is getting better too so that helps. I just never hesitate to use my Chinese and try every day to not let it hold me back. I will get this language down one day- with the help of the lord of course. One thing that has really helped me is to think about why i am learning Chinese? and it always goes back to the Lord. I am learning for him. So that i can help his children here in Taiwan! 

Gotta love this work man! Have a killer week everyone. 

Sister Hardy 

Week 18

Sorry i don't have too much time today to send a lengthy email (i know you are all crying inside about it lol) we are going down to the bottom of taiwan and taking a ferry over to an island and i am so PUMPED. but ya that means not a lot of email time. I will be sure to have pics next week!

This week has been really good!! We have found so many new potential investigators its amazing what the lord will do to put people in your path. I hope that we will be able to really help them all come closer to christ. We found these two Vietnamese girls and they are so cute! They speak some Chinese and some english (they came to english class- thats how we found them) so we will see how it goes. But they wanted a BOM after english class and i can really see their desire to want to know more. 

So we have an awesome investigator Sharon (we absolutely lover her) but her parents wont allow her to get baptized (which is a realllly common thing around here, and super hard to work with) Anyways we are meeting with her dad this week who is supppper buddhist (yes i am freaking out inside). So some prayers our way wouldnt hurt haha really though. I know that if we trust the lord he will help us out. Sister Tapia always says "The lord works with where you are at and what youve got" and i think that is so true and such a comfort. Anyways last night during FHE we had these two guys that are from an another ward came and after talking with them (there English was really good haha) we figured out about their story and it was pretty much exactly the same as Sharon (their parents fan dui). So we sat down with them and had a quick lesson and it was amazing!! They handled it perfectly and were totally able to relate to her and help her. They gave her ideas and invites and the spirit was so strong. It was definitely a miracle. So i am really praying that all goes well in meeting with her dad! She want to be baptized so bad. 

Well ya cha bu duo thats how this week was! I know this gospel is true and that the lord loves ya all so very much :) have a great week!! 

Here are some random pics, sorry we didnt take to many this week! 

ALSO S/O to my cousin sarah for getting her mission call to SCOTLAND IRELAND !!!! so freaking cool. shes going to kill it.