Monday, December 9, 2013

a cup of sprite...

a cup of is the season of giving...i love this time of year when everyone is more in tune with other peoples needs rather than their own.  today i went shopping for a little girl from my school named maggie. i was so excited to get off work to head out to find her a few gifts with the budget that i had.  for some reason i love shopping for others more than for myself.   i had so much fun trying to imagine what maggie would like and want.  this is a tradition in our family to pick a family or someone and do christmas for them.  this year we are trying to touch as many lives as we can.  we are each doing secret santa for different people.  tate has mentioned in his letters that this is one of his favorite memories we do as a family.  i wish i could be a fly on the wall as maggie opens her presents...i hope they bring her as much joy as this experience brought me...

tate's message...

We did have one experience that changed my week and possibly my life. We visited a convert named Samuel and he comes from a really humble home. They don't have a lot but he loves talking to us about the Book of Mormon and his love for it inspires me. But during the lesson I noticed his parents talking and I noticed they were deciding whether to buy a big bottle of sprite to share with us. Finally the dad talked the mom into pulling together the little money they had to buy us a bottle of sprite. It made me think of the Christmas they will have and the little things such as a cup of soda and how much it will mean to them.

I will be forever grateful for the cup of sprite that changed my view of Christmas gifts forever. It's not what we give or get. But the meaning behind it. Amazing what one cup of sprite can do right?

Hey. It was a gooood week! Monday started off pretty cool. For Pday we just had a bunch of elders over to our house to make some tacos and to eat a lot of meat and rice haha. It was good and it even got a little nap in. Then our day kinda got crappy haha. We had a lot of lessons planned but we just didn't have time. Things came up and we practically had to so other things and it just didn't happen. One thing we did do was have a family home evening. We talked about service. I remember that I read a talk this last week by president monson and it said "if we aren't committed to serving those around us, we have little purpose in this life." So I made a goal to write something down every day that I was going to do to serve other people. Harder than you'd think. But that was Monday in a nutshell for ya.

 Tuesday started pretty good. We took a nice run in the morning and then met a few of the missionaries in our zone at the church to get to know them better. It's good stuff to know a little bit more about everyone and try to help them. After we ate lunch in the house and then took a little nap again. So nice ha. The day went pretty well after lunch. We had a lesson with Alicia who will get baptized Saturday and a good lesson with the three who got baptized this last weekend. All is well over here in centinela San Fernando. We are seeing miracles daily and actually found a really nice family to start working with so that was cool as well. We ended the night with meeting with our ward mission leader and our branch president and it was good to talk about some things they can do to help us and what we can do to help them.  I really love the people down here and it will be a good Christmas here. 

Wednesday was a torched. So hot ha We started with district meeting in the morning and then me and elder chagoyan headed to a German sandwich place for lunch cuz we didn't have lunch haha. It was really good! Then we made it back to the house to relax for a while. And then the day started. We started by visiting a girl named Deniss. She is eleven but has the attitude of a 25 year old haha. She yells at us sometimes. She got baptized like 4 months ago but man is she a fireball. Then we had a really sad lesson. We visited a girl named Nazareth. She was going to get baptized but something happened and she decided not to and we don't know how to help her. She told us she doesn't really want anything anymore so it was sad to see someone get so close to blessings and then not choose it. But after we found an awesome family. They are really nice and excited to learn about Christ. So it will be cool to teach them. We ended the night with a family home evening with Alicia and her member neighbors. She had her interview tomorrow so she is nervous. I think she will do fine. We got back to the house and planned. By the way I hate planning while sweating :) but I'll get over it someday. After all it just gots hotter from here.

Thursday went really well for us. We started again by getting to know a few of the missionaries in the zone a little bit better and then we went to our lunch but they weren't home so we went home and cooked spaghetti and hamburgers. Afterwards we had the baptismal interview with Alicia and she passed. So she will get baptized Saturday. She is awesome and really excited. Afterwards we went and had a lesson with one of the recent converts named scarlet. She is 9 but is way awesome. Ha she teaches us the lessons. Plus we are helping her mom come back to church. Afterwards we had to run to the church again because my comp was doing an interview with someone and so I just hung out in the church for like an hour doing nothing but reading my scriptures. Then we went and found a lady named Ana. Who told us she was going to be like our mom and that she wanted to learn about the gospel. Haha she was way nice and I hope we can help her. Also she is a chef so also excited for food. We ended the night with a lesson with Maria. A girl who is 17 that is hoping to get baptized this month also. She is awesome. We taught her the word of wisdom and she accepted it so it went well. That was how we ended our day. Another day another dollar.

Friday was a day full of so many things to do and not a lot of time. We didn't even get to study cu we left the house at 9 to go rent a soccer field to use for a big activity we are doing as a mission. And then we went to a little pueblo called chimbarongo to talk with the missionaries there and get to know them better. Lunch was really good and we ate with one of my favorite families down here. She always gives us mashed potatoes so I'm happy with that. After lunch we had our last lesson with Alicia before her baptism. We got everything ready and it was cool to see how excited she was to start her life over and be a new person. No greater feeling than being forgiven for the things we have done wrong in this life. Afterwards we had a lesson with two kids who got baptized together as best friends. They were funny but it was the same little girl who yells at us. Haha she is a punk. But then we had to go get ready for soccer. I was goalie again :( haha. I guess I didn't perform to there standards last time. 3 goals wasn't good enough

 Saturday was an interesting day. We started off with some really good studies and then had some service for a member in the ward (video I sent home). She is one of the strongest people I know. She has cancer but is always happy and always willing to help whenever. Even if she had chemo that same day she would do anything for us. We stained her garage and planted some plants for her and then she asked us of we were going to eat Chinese food with her and her family....the problem was that we already had lunch planned with another member. But me and my comp came up with an amazing idea to eat lunch twice. :) hahah. So we ate Chinese food...a lot. And then we headed to the other lunch and here is where the other video comes in. We ate either kidney or liver. Not sure which one and I'm not sure if I really ever want to know. But let's just say it wasn't good. 

Definitely. Good experience tho. Then came the baptism and when we got to the chapel the font was like an inch deep so we had to wait a whole hour to start but it ended up being a good baptismal service other than my comp throwing up and all. Afterwards we just went home. He slept. I tried but couldn't so I read like 50 pages in the Book of Mormon and 5 hours later it was time for bed. No more two lunch days for us. Ha but it was still cool. 

Sunday was a good day but we didn't get much accomplished haha. We went to church. Alicia got confirmed a member and then we ate lunch and then planned for 2 hours. And then we had to go do computer stuff for the zone so that took quite a bit of time. And that was about it

Well that's it for this week. Love you guys.   Elder Harding

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