Saturday, August 9, 2014

the hardest thing i've ever loved to do

the hardest thing i 've ever loved to do...

this is tate's last letter home and it is the last entry on his mission blog.  i love him and his example that he is to our family.  i can't wait to get my first hug from him!  i can't wait to see what this life has in store for him.  look out world he is home and he is hitting the ground running!  please listen to the music video that goes with this post...

“I have passed through many homes in the mission and have come to find a love for this new home that I have. Chile is now my home and feels just as my home over two years ago felt. I love the people as if they were my blood brothers and sisters. Sweeping your dirt and broken water heaters are now a part of my daily routine. Colectivos and buses is my way of getting from point A to point B. The smell of bread in the streets is normal now. Porotos and palta are now considered an essential part of my personal diet. I have a pure love for the Chilean people. They have taught me many things and they will always have a piece of my heart. I could write for hours and hours about what I have learned on a mission. One thing people always ask about, are the miracles that happen to me out here.

I always tell them the real miracles are seeing someone pray for the first time and having a genuine conversation with their heavenly father, or read the book of Mormon for the first time and feeling the pages coming to life, or go to church with their family for the first time and feeling like they are in a familiar place. Those are the things I will miss most and those are the miracles that I saw daily. Nevertheless, the biggest miracle I have seen during this time in this new home of mine is the change inside of me. I feel like no one has ever been more changed by a mission than I have been. I’m not perfect, and so far from it. But I’m proud to say that the Atonement of Christ has changed who I was, who I am, and who I will be. I owe everything to my Savior and the sacrifice he made for me, for calling me at this time and to this place. Knowing what I know now and having seen what I have seen in the mission. I can never go back. I will forever be different. i will forever be better.

i will see you guys in 3 days. love you.

Elder Tate John Harding

Sunday, August 3, 2014

DEDICATION...only ten more days...

DEDICATION...only ten more days...till he walks off the plane!  to say that our family is excited is an understatement.  we are beyond  thrilled to get our hands on him again.  we are so proud of him and his example of service and diligence and leadership and sacrifice and courage and faith and obedience and so much more.  things are different and at the airport there will be a missing face.  tate's uncle travis won't be there in body but i know that he will be there in spirit.  i also know that he has been there for tate on his mission when things were tough or hard or discouraging.  as a family tate coming home means a little more.  it is another tender mercy for my family.   i like to think it is similiar to the reunion that we will have someday with travis.  this family of mine is strong and faithful and we too are dedicated to the gospel and to each other.  there probably won't be many dry eyes at the airport but this time they will be tears of happiness and joy!

tate's message...

i think the thing i learned most this week was about dedication. we can be dedicated to many things in this world. and really that is the only way we can get the best results, the most blessings, or exactly what we want. i have been blessed to devote two years of my life to serve other people and help them. and i have realized at the end of these two years i have gotten exactly what i wanted. but it isn't something temporal. i have realized that after giving everything i gave to others, i have found everything that i need in this life to succeed. i am so grateful for this time that i have had and am torn to leave this home in chile. thank you for all those people who have supported, sent letters, prayed, or whatever else you may have done. you made the difference to me!

wow this week was crazy. we started off with my “final lunch” in the mission home with all the missionaries who were leaving. i leave two weeks later but they just threw me in there with them as well. it was weird to do that. but it was also good because we got to have a testimony meeting about our feelings towards the mission. we then got back to the office and got everything ready for the next days training and got home at about midnight and went to bed. 

3:30 am came way too fast and we were on our way to the airport to drop off the missionaries that were going home and then to wait til the new missionaries got there from the mtc in mexico. it was so awesome to see them come through the doors. they looked so freaking tired!! i remember my first day i was sick and couldn't even keep my eyes open at the mission home. i bet president mcarthur and the assistants thought i was dead. we took them back to the mission home and then did the training! there were two other elders from idaho that were just getting to the mission !! IDAHO PRIDE. We got done with that and then i took elder mcgee all the way down to pichilemu (his new sector). it was like a two and a half hour drive there and the same back so i got back pretty late. we got back at about 12:30 in the morning. very long day but its also a good feeling.

wednesday we started with interviews down in san fernando. all day just talking to missionaries while president does the real interviews. it is awesome to get to know them and know their stories. we got back to the office and had stuff to get ready for leadership council friday. same schedule thursday. 

and then friday in the morning we headed to the mission home for the council. president and hermana warne made me share my last testimony with the leaders of the mission. it was cool to share my last testimony in the mission home and with a lot of people i served with the most.

elder harding!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

roots and wings...

roots and wings...  as a parent you hope the best for your children.  you teach them at a young age right from wrong.  you teach them to be show be a remember who they are.  as they become adults you sit back and hope that what you did as a parent was enough.  you see them as adults making their own choices and decisions.  being a parent is never over.  you can only hope that you gave them that they are strong enough to withstand what life throws at them.  you watch as they take flight and start to fly.  here is to the next phase of parenting...watching them use their wings.

tate's message...

So I was talking to elder ditlevsen the other day about my plans at college and things and how you guys were all way excited for me to get back and he told me that he remembered feeling a little nervous as a parent. He also told me that he knew that when his kids got older he would just have to learn to let them go. He taught them a phrase that goes “roots and wings”. “Roots” to always remember where they came from, what they stand for, and where home is. “And wings” to fly away and chase their dreams, start a family, and move on with their life. its amazing to think about our heavenly father. He taught us the same principle. He gave us roots and knowledge of where we came from, who we are, and why we are here. And he also gave us wings. Wings to be tested, to choose for ourselves, and to progress in this life. it is our decision whether we remember both of those. Do we remember our roots. Do we remember that we are literally gods sons and daughters, that we have a divine purpose here on earth? And do we remember that god has given us wings to learn, wings to chase what matters most to us, and most importantly, wings to fly and find our way home to him again. If we could only remember those things all the time, how different would our life be? How much better would we be? How much more focused on our families, temples, and Christ be? I will miss the ditlevsens like crazy. They will never know how much they have impacted my life.

Monday was a normal day but then Tuesday was incredible. I don’t think I have ever been that excited to go to the temple. It honestly felt like I was going home and when I got there it did feel like I was home already. I don’t remember the last time that I felt the spirit that strongly. To be able to forget all the worldly things and just focus on the savior for that 2 ½ hours was exactly what I needed. I hope you guys take advantage of going to the temple. Make a goal to go once a month at least.

Wednesday my comp wasn’t feeling very good so we just had a chill day and got some stuff ready for the zone conference the next day.

thursday was the last zone conference of the month and it went really well. crazy how fast that last month went by with all that traveling and stuff!

friday was the day we finalized the changes with president and then got everything ready for the nextcoming week. next week is the week where i won't sleep at all. pray for me ha!

saturday we had breakfast at presidents house to say bye to mcgee and i from the office and then we just went exploring as you can see in the pictures! good stuff! well thats it for this week! loove you guys! CHAO!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

macaroni and cheese

macaroni and cheese... i was driving down the road today and was thinking about my life.  i can't believe my youngest is an almost returned missionary.  where has the time gone?  wasn't it just yesterday i was taking kids to swim lessons...making macaroni and cheese for lunch...promising ice cream after naps...wiping tears and noses and bums?   it doesn't seem real that my children are now adults and are all grown up and having babies of their own.  my favorite thing in the world is being mom and now gramma.  i never wanted to be or do anything else. i miss those simpler times of bed time stories and messy hugs and kisses. this baby boy of mine is coming home in three short weeks then heading off to college.  i wonder if he will mind if we have macaroni and cheese for lunch?

tate's message:

Monday we started with the normal meeting in the office and then we had to go run a couple errands in town. After that we ran a missionary who was going home over to president’s house and set up the mission home so everything was ready for Tuesday. Went back to the office and got things ready and then it was home to get some rest before a long day Tuesday.

We were back at the mission home right in the morning to start the zone conference and it went well again. It’s pretty funny to listen to the same talk over and over again but you always can get something new out of it. One thing I caught this time was about the temple. How long has it been since you have gone to the temple? Sometimes we think our live is so hard sometimes. Sometimes it seems like it’s so hard to find some peace and quiet or to find time to just relax and know that everything is okay. I ran across a quote the other day from Gordon b Hinckley that just made things seem so simple. He said “I know your lives are busy. I know that you have much to do. But I make you a promise that if you will go to the house of the lord, you will be blessed; life will be better for you.” I’m coming up on my trip to the temple this next Tuesday and I have never been so excited. I know that there are blessings in that place that you cannot find anywhere else… and all we have to do is go. It’s sad that sometimes we think that staying home and relaxing is easier than going to the temple. Or that a weekend is our time off so we need to take advantage and clean the house or do other things. Sometimes we need to realize the things that matter most and realize that as we go to the temple, we take a little part of it home with us every time. And that’s exactly what we need at home to get us through. 

Wednesday was a good day as well. We took off to buin in the morning to teach a group of missionaries and then just came straight back and got everything ready for the second to last zone conference. 

thursday we headed to curico to do the last zone conference for the week. the computer died halfway through our power point part so we didn't even really get to finish but we did what we could and tried to make it til the end without just talking to much and boring them.

friday was a crazy day at the office. we brought back all the new missionaries that had arrived to the mission the last two changes so there was like 80 missionaries. it was one of my favorite meetings though because they had so much energy and were so stoked to see all their mtc companions. we had a really good conference and it was good to see so a lot of missionaries. it got stressful afterwards because as everyone was trying to take buses back to their cities they couldn't find a way back. there was a huge wreck on the highway and there was like no buses running so we had to figure out other ways to get them back to their sectors. we finally figured out that the train could take them back.

saturday morning we took some missionaries to the airport….that always sucks. ha. but its a part of the job… well love you guys. i'm going to the temple this next week so i'm really excited!!! chaoito!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

tell me a story...

tell me a story...this week my dad (roger kunz) has been working very hard to put together a book of memories of my brother travis.  he has gathered many entries from family and friends who knew and love my brother travis.  he has spent many hours finding pictures and putting this memory book together.  he will then get it printed and bound to share with all of us. i am sure this book will be full of all of our memories...remember the time he chased an umbrella on the beaches of bear lake...remember the time he sold a old hose at a garage sale...remember the time he would call and ask what was up?...remember the many memories. i am thankful for a father who sees the importance of keeping travis' memory alive and in a book form for many other generations to enjoy and learn about him.

tate's message...

 I invite you to all sit back and think about the family history that you have. Think of all the hardings, or kunzs, or whoever they may be that came before you and made it possible for you to be here. Think about all the good memories with your parents and grandparents. Talk to them about the memories they have of their parents. No matter  worldly things or hobbies that we all DON’T have in common, we will always have in common one thing. Our family names. BE TRUE TO WHO YOU ARE, AND THE FAMILY NAME YOU BEAR.

I am proud to be a harding/kunz. I would never choose to be anything different. I cant wait to figure out little stories and things that my ancestors have done in their lives. And the most important is that we do temple work for them. As we listen to their stories, we will be able to feel them telling us to help them from the other side. I have no doubt that the member family members we have are missionaries on the other side. Teaching the gospel to our other family members who aren’t members. And they are waiting for us to do the temple work for them. We are their only hope. I know family history work takes time and patience and in the world today those are two things hard to come by. But I promise peace and love sent from our father above as we do so.

Monday my comp and elder mcgees comps went to Santiago and we stayed here to have the normal meeting with president and the office staff. We actually did most of the meeting in English because the two latins ended up not being there at the end.  Haven’t had a meeting in English in a long time. When my comp got back we had a meeting with president to finalize the details for this weeks zone conferences and then it was back to the office until about 1:30 to finish everything. Things sometimes are crazy but I absolutely love it. 

Tuesday morning came really fast and we were off to buin to do the first zone conference! It went really well and I learned a lot. One of the things we have been talking about a lot is family history work.

Wednesday was a day in the mission home. We did another zone conference and then it was to the office to get things ready for a few days out of town.

 Thursday we woke up and picked up the Ditlevsens and the jetts (couple missionaries) to go to the zone conference in santa cruz. it was awesome to see elder hart and elder archibald. we will all go to the temple together on the 22nd. i'm pretty stoked. after that conference we took a really pretty drive through the hills to talca. it was cool to travel with the couple missionaries. they are all so different in their experiences and personalities. i have learned that in life we just gotta love people for who they are. i love them. they help us out a lot. we all went to dinner once we were in talca and then we just went to the hotel. the shower there was incredible. i think that night i took like a 45 minute shower just because it had been a while since i took a real american shower. makes me so grateful for all the little things we have back home. we went to bed at like 9. i also don't remember the last time when i got that much sleep so overall it was a good night.

  friday we woke up and did one zone conference in the morning. and then one in the afternoon.. it was a long week and we have one more week like that ahead of us.! i'm loving it though. i cant believe how fast time goes when you're working hard. well... love you guys! chao!!! 

Elder harding

Saturday, July 5, 2014

work a little harder...kaden's example

work a little harder...kaden's example

this past weekend i went down to my brother and sister in laws to help with their family while they took a little trip.  i couldn't pass up the offer for some baseball mixed with some shopping.  two of my favorite things!  i went to park city to watch by nephew play baseball in the firecracker tournament.  as i sat there watching the game in the mountains of utah i would not have chosen to be in a different place.

  the sun was shining there was a breeze and of course two great baseball games.  after the game kaden rode home with me.  it was a beautiful ride home through provo canyon and the conversation was just as good.  we talked about and just life.  i was so impressed with this kid. he told me how he gets up everyday and goes and lifts before school and now during the summer at 6:30 followed by summer football and then a workout with the baseball team.  he then heads home for a couple of hours before heading off to play both j.v. and varsity baseball as a freshman (sophomore in the fall).  he has a 4.0 grade point average and just earned his eagle in scouts.  this kid is a coaches dream.  he works hard and then works a little harder just because.  i told him that his work ethic will not only help him in sports but also as a missionary and in his future.  in tate's letter home today it talks about those who only do the minimum will only get the minimum in life but those who work harder than is asked will get the maximum result. tate would be proud to have this kid on his team. this kid is going places...just wait and see

tate's message...

Leadership council went really well and actually president said something that really touched  me. He said “those who do the minimum in life, will never get the maximum reward.” We can apply that to our lives in so many things and especially in the gospel. If we are only doing the minimum, we will never get to the celestial kingdom. All Christ ever asked us to do was trust him, give up everything else, and follow him. Not 50% or whenever it is convenient or easy. But always. Always follow him and try to be more like him daily. Sometimes we make it so difficult. But all he asks us to do it just follow his example and be better every day. I know that as we give it everything we have and even a little more, we receive blessings. Whether they come immediately, in a year, or in heaven. They come. I challenge all of you to give a little more of your time, pray a little more, read a little more, serve a little more, DO A LITTLE MORE SO YOU CAN GAIN A LOT MORE.

Monday started off pretty decent. We had a really good meeting with president. And then we literally spent all day and all night getting everything ready for the next day. it was leadership council the next day so we had tons to do. We got home at like 1 o clock. Went to bed.

  then we were right back up and headed to the mission home.  After leadership council we spent the rest of the day doing special changes and moving people around. A day full of driving. We got home at like 8 o clock and then it was just straight home and off to bed.

 In the morning we headed to San Fernando to do a training with the district leaders. The last one of the round and it went really well. Its so awesome to see a lot of different missionaries and learn about how we can all be better at what we have to do. Afterwards we headed to curico with president and just hung out while he did some interviews. We took advantage of the time in the car to talk about other plans and things happening. Its funny because my now the president  is one of my best friends out here. I love that guy and am grateful for him. We got home once again at like 8 o clock and then finished up some stuff and went home. We built a fort like we used to in our basement and just hung out in there. It was just like the good old times in the harding household on 1840 ardella. Haha funny stuff.

 We took off Thursday morning to do divisions in talca but it didn’t last long. We drove two hours there to sit there for an hour of district meeting and then had to leave for an emergency health problem in santa cruz. So that’s what we ended up doing all day Thursday. Everything turned out fine though.

 Friday we spent all day driving and doing more special changes. I remember a quote from general conference that was about every time we sustain our leaders in church, we take upon ourselves the responsibility to lighten their burden. I think that is one thing I have learned about lately. We should never have to wait til someone asks us to do every little thing. We should always be looking and asking for things to do to help them out. I will always remember that. 

Well Saturday we celebrated the fourth of july a little later but we had a HUGE bbq at presidents house and then just hung out with all the couple missionaries and president and his wife. It was a good time and a nice way to celebrate MERCA DAY!! well love you guys! light some fireworks and eat some MERICAN food for me! Another week gone. Cant believe it. love you guys!

Elder harding

Saturday, June 28, 2014

can we talk a little baseball...

can we talk a little baseball...

                                                                 "The Greatest"

Little boy in a baseball hat stands in the field with his ball and bat
Says, "I am the greatest player of them all"
Puts his bat in his shoulder and he tosses up his ball.
And the ball goes up and the ball comes down,
Swings his bat all the way around
The world so still you can hear the sound, the baseball falls to the ground.
Now the little boy doesn't say a word, picks up his ball he is undeterred.
Says, "I am the greatest that there has ever been"
And he grits his teeth and he tries again.
And the ball goes up and the ball comes down,
Swings his bat all the way around
The world so still you can hear the sound, the baseball falls to the ground.
He makes no excuses he shows no fear
He just closes his eyes and listens to the cheers.
Little boy he adjusts his hat, picks up his ball, stares at his bat
Says "I am the greatest when the game is on the line"
And he gives his all one last time.
And the ball goes up and the moon so bright
Swings his bat with all his might
The world's as still as still can be, the baseball falls
And that's strike three.
Now it's suppertime and his momma calls,
Little boy starts home with his bat and ball.
Says, "I am the greatest, that is a fact,
But even I didn't know I could pitch like that!"
Says, "I am the greatest, that is understood,
But even I didn't know I could pitch that good!"

tate's message...

“Baseball is like church. Many attend, but few understand.”

Baseball is my passion. I often tell people it is my life and that it is literally a part of me. And a lot of the time others don’t understand why. They think it’s boring. Or slow. Or too hard. Or a lazy sport. But the truth is they just don’t understand how “life is wrapped up in that three-inch universe of twine and leather” (in one baseball). Some people will never understand the game of baseball, until we show them why it is so great. The culture. The background. The rules. The unwritten rules. The mental preparation. The fact that what you do changes as the pitch selection changes. Many people don’t understand because they don’t know what baseball really consists of.

I remember getting asked a lot before I came out why I was even coming or why I didn't  just go play baseball right away or just go study right away and get a head start. Many people might not understand the “why?” behind the things we do. But we can help them understand. But first we have to actually know why we do them. Are we doing them just to follow what we have always done? Or are we doing them because we understand the real significance? Are we just going to church, or are we going because we actually understand why it is essential? Do we read the scriptures just to do it, or do we do it knowing the true reason why it’s important? Do we pray just to say we did our daily prayers, or do we pray knowing that god is listening and that he has a plan? Many people don’t understand why we do all of this, maybe because they don’t know the blessings that come from it it. But I know for a fact that by loving others and showing them what this life really consists of, we ourselves understand even more why we are here and we can help them see the blessings that come from this gospel. 


Well this week started off really good on Monday. We had a good meeting in the morning in the office and then we just went straight to lunch. It was a sad day in chile because the soccer team lost so everyone was way mad and in a bad mood. Very quiet day. we got back to the office and finished up some things and then went to a family home evening along with the new office couple. It was awesome to see how much love the members have for them even when there is a language barrier for now. They laughed. Spoke in broken English. And just had a good time. It was also good to see at least two families who didn’t really care that much about the game and were just focused on showing their love for others. It was cool for me to see how they really aren’t focused in the little details such as a game or worldly things, rather in whats really important.

Tuesday flew by and then Wednesday I got some of the best news ever. We went to district meeting and the elders from my last sector told me that one of the people I found my last week there who didn’t really want anything at that point is now getting baptized. We are going to go surprise her! Im excited. We helped her son get baptized and now a whole year later she is. I love how sometimes we never really see how much of an effect we have on people. We always want things now now now but sometimes it isn’t what god wants. I am really stoked to go watch her make such an important covenant with god. It will be a special day for me and especially her.

Thursday was spent in curico at a special training for the district leaders. It started at 930 AM and included lunch but didn’t get over til 4. Then we came back and got stuff ready for tomorrow and ended the night with a meeting with president. Next week will be pretty busy as well… we have leadership counsel and then we have one more special training. Should be a good week though. It will go by fast. And that already puts us at the end of week 3 of the change. That is crazy.

 Friday was spent here in Rancagua in the mission home for the whole morning and until about 6 o clock. We had a really good training with the district leaders and it’s always fun to be able to see some good friends. It’s weird to look around now and see how young everyone is. I am feeling old because look around and see a bunch of people in the room who got here when I had like a year in the mission. 

 I also found out I will be going to the temple the 22nd of July. We get to go one time during the mission and that is when I will go. I’m excited to get back there. I have missed that sacred feeling of being within temple walls. There is no other feeling better than that. I hope you all don’t take for granted the fact that we have a temple so close and it is so easy for us to go. There are people here who save for the whole year to go just once to the temple. I hope that inspires you to be more grateful and go to the temple more. We will never be lost of find ourselves not worthy if we are constantly going to the temple. That will always be my goal in life. Look towards the temple. It’s a true test of how you are doing in gods eyes. Well this week was good. I love you all so much! Have a good one! 

elder harding