Monday, January 27, 2014

the HOUSE that built ME...

the HOUSE that built ME...  the little blue house.  it was the house that we built our first swingset...the house with the back yard for playing baseball...the drive way for playing a game of basketball...the street where tyson taryn and tate learned to ride bikes on.  the little blue house that seemed so big when we moved in and yet so small when we moved out.  the place that we started being a family...all together...the house where so many memories were made.  the house where tate threw apricots at the neighbor's house...the house where taryn got her first kiss...the house where tyson's girlfriend hit our van.  the house that was our first home...the house that built us....

tate's message... I feel like just yesterday we lived at 1840 ardella street and we were all so little. But it's crazy how time has flown by and now were all grown up. But I'm grateful for the journey and I'm grateful for you guys being there every step of the way. We had a good time. And will continue having good times. So I am grateful for that lesson and for you guys who make my life good. "Life's good". 

Monday started well with Pday and we played some good old soccer and volleyball at the church. Good to have some time to relax and play something else. Then we all went to eat together and then it was time to do our own thing so we went and bought groceries and then went and did internet. It was good to talk to all you guys. We had a decent day in the sector. Samuel came with us and we talked to one of his friends from work named Pedro. He is a good guy and I want to help him out. All the other lessons fell through but we ended with a family home evening with some converts and members. We talked about our families. We watched a video about families and how everyone has there role to fill and it made me remember a lot of things

Tuesday was a rough day to start for me. Not sure why but I couldn't focus or anything. Ha but it got better as the day went on. We had to do some computer stuff in the morning and then we had lunch with Samuel and his family. We had lentejas. It was actually really good. I think I will miss those. After lunch we had a lesson with the three young kids we are helping. We talked to them about repenting and how important it is. Then we spent the rest of the day talking to people. We actually spent all day looking for a lady named Maria. We asked everyone if they knew Maria. (The funny part is we just made it up to talk to people). But wait it gets better. After all day of looking for Maria and asking every person we met if they knew her. Right before heading home, we found a house with FOUR Marias. (Maria Jesus, Maria loreto, Maria katalina, and Maria eliana) Hahahahah I think god was teaching us a lesson that "ask and ye shall receive" :). Good stuff. That's how we ended Tuesday. 

Wednesday was a good day. We started with district meeting and it went pretty well. Then we had the best lunch. With Hermana Nancy. Her family is the bomb. Reminds me of home to its always nice to go there and eat and relax for a little. After we went straight to work. We were looking for less active members and stumbled upon a man named Antonio. He was a member who had fallen away and had passed through some pretty hard times but all he wants is to be a good father to his kids that he sees once a week. And help them to be good people. At this point I had a lot of memories go through my head of good old Gregory. And immediately came to my mind how grateful I was for my father and the example he was to me. We then shared alma 36 with him, about when alma is bearing testimony to his son. I was so grateful for a father who taught through his example in all things. Greg. You did a great job. And what I learned from you allowed me to help this man see that through his example in keeping the commandments of god, he can help his kids more than he could imagine. Thank you!!! We then had a lesson with Pedro. He told us he got an answer from god and that he wanted to follow the answer he got. I'm excited to help him. Then we had a really cool lesson with the Maria's again. It was a battle that's for sure but we had a really spiritual experience and they said they felt something weird that they had never felt before. Aka the spirit. Oh and yes we found the fourth Maria. She was there but then left. But yes there really is four Marias living in one house. That's how we ended the night. Good day.

Thursday was an interesting day to say the least. We started bright and early with interviews with president. Mine went really well. A few surprises towards the end but I will tell you guys about that in a different email haha. We practically had to stay there the whole day to watch over the zone and make sure they all got there and stuff. But for lunch and a little after we did divisions. I went with elder Valenzuela and we had a bomb lunch. Pastel de choclo. Carbonada. And homemade corn tortillas. (Elder Valenzuela is from Mexico). It was really good. Then we just went back to the chapel and finished up the interviews and met back up with our comps that went to go do a baptismal interview. The day just got kinda hard after that. We walked for like 3 hours straight. A lot of lessons fell through but in the process we talked to some really good people. Diligence brings blessings in some way or another. That's how we ended the day and I was grateful for it.

Friday was fun. It started with heading to centro to eat. And then we had a little bit of time after lunch to relax before heading to work. It was a good time ha. But then we had a decent day in the sector. A lot of the times we spend tons of time walking and doing contacts so it makes you feel like your not doing much but I know that I'm planting seeds so that's always a good thing to remember. Hopefully I am preparing these people for someone!! We ended the night with the usual Friday night soccer. Always a good two hours to hang out with some jovenes and talk to their friends about the gospel. On the way home a guy stopped us and just wanted to fight about doctrine. So we talked to him for a while but a lot of people just talk to fight so it's not worth it. But the night ended with a fresh watermelon and peaches in the house. Good day. 

Holy Saturday was a hard day. In the morning we did some service at Hermana Nancy's house and we helped her son put up some trimming in his bedroom and then they invited us to stay for lunch. So of course we did. Ha. They are a really good family and in grateful for them. But after lunch is when the day just got hard. We had one lesson the whole day that didn't fall through. With our convert Alicia. I really hope she starts getting back on the right track. After that ever single other lesson we had planned fell. We were literally in the street for like 5 hours trying to find someone to teach ha. I think that's one of the hardest things as a missionary. Giving it your all but not seeing very many results. But I know god is teaching us something so the only thing to do is just keep working hard.

We ended the week on a really good note. We went to church. Ate a really good lunch. And then had our weekly planning session. Then it was time to hit the sector and we immediately found someone to teach. His name is Mauricio and really wants our help to stop smoking. I know we can help him. Then we had a really touching lesson. We passed by a lady who lives alone and started talking to her. Her name is Marta. She at first came out and told us she didn't want anything to so with us. But we saw that she was doing some gardening and started talking her about it. She surprisingly let us in to see her greenhouse. She spent the next 20 mins explaining how she finds her happiness through tending her plants. As we thanked her for her time and told her that we were grateful for her teaching us, she broke down in tears. I'm sure she hadn't had someone interested in her life in a long time. amazing what effect it can have on people when we just show interest in the things they like. It doesn't even matter if we don't have interests in that same thing. We can show our love by showing interest in them and there hobbies. It was pretty cool. We had a good rest of the night and then went to a little ward celebration for a members bday. I'm grateful for the experiences I had this week. It was a hard week but a good week to learn diligence.

 I love you guys. Have a good week.
Elder Harding 

Monday, January 20, 2014

every day...

every day...

new years resolutions...i set new ones each year only to disappoint myself in a few months that i have not kept the goals that i had set for myself.  this year i decided that i would not make specific goals but that each day i would try harder to be better than i was the day before.  i would be more patient...more positive...more loving...more caring...more understanding...more giving.  i am thankful for the atonement that allows me to keep trying and when i mess up or fail that i can try again.  i am thankful for a father in heaven who loves me and wants me to be a better person.  i am thankful for a family who is working at the same goals that i am.  i am thankful for a missionary who reminds me weekly of what is important in life. i am thankful for the simple reminder from him to be thankful for each day.  i love how in his letter this week he is thankful for each day no matter what type of day it turned out to be.   i guess my new years resolution is to just be...more

tate's message...

Hey. What's up. Monday started well in the morning. We went and played soccer with the zone. Ate some junk food at the church and then went shopping. Ended the Pday with some emails home and then it was time to hit the sector. We headed out with Samuel to teach some people and had a pretty rough lesson with Alicia. She has made some pretty bad mistakes in these last three weeks and has  not gone to church but we had a spiritual lesson about the repentance process. She said she was ready to start on the right track again. I was grateful to have the spirit in the lesson. When we left i realized that it truly was a miracle how we calmed her down and in the end she realized what she had to do. The spirit works miracles. LISTEN TO IT! We ended with a family home evening with a ton of people. Less actives, converts, members, and investigators. It was a good way. And the member gave us chocolate from Argentina. Way good stuff. We are her favorites. Yes I am still getting spoiled  over here in chile. Haha. It was a good day. I'm grateful for Mondays. 

Tuesday   started in the morning with a training with president. Always a energy drainer cuz we just get bombarded with info and have to take it all in and then apply it. I also got some letters. One from aunt Gerry. One from the rice family. One from grandma and grandpa kunz. And one from kalani. Thanks to all of them for writing and supporting me!! I love them all.  After we had lunch. Good old Chilean porrotos. Gonna miss those. Then it was time to leave for the sector and man was it hot today. We started by teaching three young members about the importance of reading the Book of Mormon daily but not just reading it. Applying it daily in there lives. Anyone can read a book. But it takes a smart person to actually apply it in their life. That's the true power of it. Then we were in the street the whole rest of the day. contacts, contacts, contacts. Until about 830 and then we had a meeting with our branch. I hope we can keep seeing excitement in missionary work with them. I am grateful for Tuesdays. 

Wednesday was a walking day. We started by having district meeting in the morning and that went pretty well. And then we had lunch with a very humble family in our ward. Amazing how they were so willing to give us practically all they had because they knew if they were willing to give all then they would receive much more. That's also something I've learned. To give our time and efforts to others we end up receiving much more. Then like i said it was a day of walking. We had a lot off lessons fall through and we walked around talking to people forever in the Chilean heat. We definitely found some good people tho who said they would be willing to listen another day. So I'm excited for that. We got home and planned. And went to bed. Wednesday was a tiring day. But I'm grateful for Wednesdays.

 Thursday was a good day in general. We started by going to town to look for big whiteboards for the zone to use. Then we had lunch with Hermana nancy and her family. She is awesome. We ate practically chicken cordon blu but instead of chicken it was beef. And it had a breading on it as well. Really good. Also ate the first humita of the year. I'll put a pic up. It's like a tamale but without meat. After we had another hard day. All our lessons fell but it was also good because we talked with a ton of really good people and I am excited to talk to them again. Also the daughters of Hermana nancy took us to a lady who is really interested in learning. I love members who are working in missionary work. God works miracles through members who want to help in his work. Ain't that the truth. I am thankful for Thursdays.

 Friday we had a day that went by really fast. (Best way to describe it). In the morning we planned a lot of stuff for us and for the zone and then we planned even more. Lunch was served with a big old bowl, actually 2, of Chilean porrotos.  I'm getting used to them. I think I sent a picture home. After it was time to hit the sector. We first had a lesson with the three young kids we are helping come back to church. We taught them the Ten Commandments. It was a really fast lesson and then we ran  to do some computer stuff for the zone real fast. And then we had to visit a lot of people in a short period of time so we spent the next two hours visiting and having very short lessons with a lot of people. It's been a pretty sad week cuz a lot of our investigators have stopped wanting us to come by. But we will keep finding people. We ended the night with a lesson with some young converts in the church and then soccer. "Friday night soccer". I'm thinking about starting a television series. Things are getting pretty heated on the church soccer court. After all was said and done. I'm grateful for Fridays. 

Saturday was a fun day. We started with service at Hermana Nancy's house. We painted for like two hours and had a pretty good time. Then she invited us to stay for lunch and it was ridiculously good. We had   crab stuffed avocados. Then the biggest piece of fried fish I've ever seen with all sorts of salads and ice cream and honeydew to finish it off. Good way to start the day. Then we had a really good day in the sector. We found some really good people but during the afternoon it was looking like another hard weekend with no one being able to go to church. But we had a thought come to our mind and we called a man named Marcos. And him and his family said yes they would go to church with us. Talk about miracles. I'm grateful for Saturdays.

 Sunday was a good day. Marcos and his family came to church and told us they are already planning on coming the next Sunday. And then we ate some lunch. I ate chicken heart :(. Don't try it. We then planned for two hours and then hit the sector. It was an okay day. We started by visiting some people and doing contacts. We found some really nice people and set up lessons with them for other days. God blessed us to be in the right place at the right time. We ended the night teaching a less active family about judging one another. Amazing how easy it is to find errors and flaws in others, when we are so imperfect ourselves. I hope we can all look for the good in others instead of looking for the negative things. Life should be positive. Look for how people can become. Not as they are. We ended by teaching some members how to make brownies. We failed. The ingredients they bought weren't very good so we had to improvise. Haha it was a fail. But after all was said and done. I'm grateful for Sundays.

I AM GRATEFUL FOR LIFE. Have a good week. Love you all. 

Elder Harding

Monday, January 13, 2014



Saturday night in the highland high school gym coach don birch leans down to hug my mom, judy kunz and ask her how she is.  people watching may wonder what these two people have in common...what is the bond that they share...what connection do they have?  others that know both of them already know...they both lost sons tragically...way too soon...both leaving families behind who love and miss them.  one thing that both of these men, travis kunz and dan birch share is that they both served their heavenly father on missions.  travis in indiana and dan in Bolivia. 
imagine the lives that they both touched while on their missions.  imagine the gospel that was shared.  imagine the people who were changed by these two missionaries and their testimonies.  imagine the ripple effect that they have had on many lives.  imagine..

tate's message...

lunch was interesting. We ate with the family urzua. He served in Bolivia and so that was cool for me to hear some stuff about Bolivia and know that good old Gregory was there at some time in his life :). But he asked me where I was from and I told him pocatello. He then told me had some companions from there and one was named Armstrong. And then he said and the other passed away. His name was birch. Dan birch. It was crazy to see how small of a world it really was. Thinking about playing under the two birch coaches at highland and playing with his brother Kevin.  I still remember that hard week for practically the whole team as we remembered our coaches son. So if you talk to the birches. Tell them that their son touched a lot of people's lives and is still remembered by many. Crazy small world.

this week started off good. Pday was pretty relaxed. We woke up. Sent some info to the office and then went and ate with some other elders. Pork. Rice. Beats salad. Fruit cup and a cup of juice all for 4$. Legit deal. Then we did shopping and then headed to talk with you guys which was fun. The day in the sector went really well. We started with a lesson with one of the families we are teaching. (Mauricio and Pamela). They are awesome and I can see that they want what's best for their little family and know that they will find that it's the gospel. Then we practically walked around contacting people at houses and in the street. Pretty good time. We ended the night with a family who recently got sealed in the temple and then had a huge test of their faith when their daughter was in the hospital. We watched a Mormon message called good things to come. (I think). It was a spiritual lesson and it was good to help them see that sometimes blessings come now, some later, and some in heaven. But they come. 

Tuesday was a draining day. We had a meeting in the mission home and  were busy for 4 hours straight haha. Wow. But I learned a lot and it was fun to see elder page, elder Dixon, and elder Loar. Along with a bunch of other elders. Always a good time. We got back to the sector and had a hard day. No one remembered our lessons. Ended the day with a meeting with our ward mission leader. Good to have the wards support. I hope you guys are doing all you can to work with the missionaries and help them. If not, then start :). There are blessings found in missionary work.

 Wednesday was a really good day for us. We started with teaching the whole zone about the stuff we learned Tuesday at the mission home. It was pretty good and I always like helping the zone out an any way we can. Afterwards we had lunch with Boris and Bernadita (a young couple who always helps us in our branch, also gotta love the names) haha. We ate lentejas. They are like really little beans. Maybe Tyson or Troy could explain them to you. Or you could google it :). You can google anything these days. Then we had a really good day full of lessons. We actually were never in the street trying to find stuff to do. That was a blessing. We had a cool lesson with Boris and Bernadita later in the day about getting sealed and the blessings that come from it. I was glad to be able to testify of a family sealed in a temple for time and all eternity. That's one of the biggest blessings I have. Who wouldn't want to live with their family forever? I think if everyone realized that it is really possible, they would at least try to find out more information on how. We also had a really good lesson with one of our old investigators named Nazareth. If you remember her, when I first got here she almost got baptized but decided not to. We started teaching her again and hopefully she will follow through this time. We ended the night with another lesson with some pretty stubborn but really nice receptive people. Then to the house to plan, write in the journal. And sleep.

 Thursday was a day full of miracles. We started In the morning by going to the church to do a few things for the zone and to print a list of members that we can visit. Then lunch was served. We ate...............chicken. Surprise :). It was good though. Or maybe my body is just getting used to it after a year and 4 months. Afterwards we left to the sector and we first had a lesson with a new family we found doing contacts of people who had listened to the missionaries before. It was a nice little family. A mom. Dad. Son. And daughter. We will see how it goes. We didn't have a lot of time to teach them a lot but we are going to go back. We also found a kid that is like 14 who is really cool and he said he would go to church Sunday so we are excited for that.Then we had a really good lesson with the family I have already talked to you about. Mauricio and Pamela. We taught the sabbath day to Pamela. Mauricio was out of town. But she told is that she has received an answer from god that this is his gospel and his church. She is still nervous to go to church but we invited her to pray and see if it was the right thing to do. Pray for her!!! We ended the night by stopping by the president of the relief society's house to ask for some people we could visit or if she needed any help. We got home. Planned. And went to bed.

 Friday was a weird day and didn't get much done. In the morning we had to go to a few stores to buy some stuff for the zone and then ended up eating lunch in town as well. Then we took a. Bus to a town called chimbarongo. We had to do some quick last minute divisions and me and elder Mendoza from Mexico headed to our sector. We had a good lesson with Nazareth and then a good lesson with some young converts we have. Then we spent the rest of the night playing soccer. Pretty relaxed day ha.

 Saturday was a really HOT day. But it started by meeting back up with our comps in chimbarongo and then we went to the church to do some stuff for the zone. As well as while we were there a bunch of members from my second sector showed up for some leadership training so it was really cool to see them again. I will send pics when I get them from them. That made my day. I miss them. Lunch fell again so we just ate in town. Kinda a problem in our branch but whatever. Food is food. After lunch we had a decent day. Started with a really good lesson with Maria and margarita. Our converts. We taught them about prayer and how we can easily talk with god using the things from our mind and mouth. But a prayer is more than that. A prayer is expressing the thoughts of our heart. It was cool to teach them that and know that their prayers will forever change for the better. We next went to our convert Alicia and taught her about relief society and charity. Next on the agenda took us to Pamela and Mauricio(he's out of town tho). We taught them once again the importance of going to church but she still wants to wait a little longer until her husband gets home.  We will respect that but also invited her to pray about it and we would call her in the morning to make sure one more time. Then we headed to help a family husk corn. BIGGEST CORN EVER.  Pretty fun stuff. They are less active so hopefully we can gain some confidence and help them come back. That's how Saturday ended. Good day.

 Sunday  We had a rough day and none of our investigators went to church. But we will do what we can to help them get there next week. But president warne came to our branch today and he gave me time to bare my testimony before his talk. Not sure why but it was a cool experience. Lunch was interesting. 
Not much went our way but I was still grateful for another day out here to learn and grow.    We ended the night talking to our convert Samuel. He always inspires me with his live for the gospel and the Book of Mormon. We always get to his house and I can tell he is ready to learn and share. Maybe we can all learn a lesson from him. How many times are we caught with our Books of Mormon in hand ready to learn and share with others.? Ended my week on a good note. 

 Love you guys. Chenzgang . Looseboys. Chilean chillin. Nothin. Bye. 

Elder Harding. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

i am living with my cousin tanner...

i am living with my cousin tanner...

tate harding and tanner harding were cousins by birth but friends by choice.  since day one these two hung out.  tanner would get dropped off and eat breakfast with tate and then they would  get their morning bath... and then the mayhem began.  they would play all day until tanner would be picked up and then the next day it would start all over again.  anyone who knows these two will agree they are as different as day and night but this did not stop them from playing cowboys and indians, pirates or building forts.  i am sure this will not surprise anyone when i say that tate seemed to always be the bad guy while tanner followed all of the rules.  i would even go as far as to say that any trouble these two cousins got into i am sure tate did the talking and convinced tanner it was a great idea.  they both came to preschool together at apple dumpling gang preschool.  i remember one occasion everyone was drawing an apple tree with five little apples in it.  tanner's picture looked like a second or third grader had drawn it while tate's looked like a green blob with a bad case of the chicken pox.  hmmm somethings probably will never change.

tate's message...

 My comp is the spitting image of the personality of my cousin tanner . He is making me remember all those times we spent back in the good old days playing together and  at grandma and grandpa Hardings. I know tanner and i  will always be  friends even if though we are  so different and had different activities that interested us. Some of the best memories I have of my childhood are of me and tanner. I'm grateful for the example he always was to me and for the friend he has always been to me. So let's just say me and my comp get a long pretty well after all. 

 This week started good but stressful with changes again helping everyone get to there sectors and everything but finally at about 1 my comp got here and we went to the house and talked for a while about the zone and area. It was good and it will be a good change. After we wrote our families and went shopping and then just went back to the house. The night time we had some good lessons with some converts as well as talked with some good people in the street. We also stopped by a few members houses to introduce my companion. And then the day was over. I was really tired from changes and all that so I just went to bed. 

 Tuesday we started by going to the government offices to do something for my visa and then we bought a bunch of meat to do a BBQ here in the house at night. After our lunch fell through so we ate in the house. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for me. And then the day began. We started by meeting three young kids who got baptized but haven't been able to come to church in a long time. They are a really cool family and we helped them set some goals for this coming year. They were excited and I want to help them reach those goals as much as I can. Then we met a lady who was pretty interested and told us that the missionaries always arrive at her house when she needs it. So that was a cool lesson. And then we ended the night doing a few contacts. We had to be in the house at 7 because it was New Years. We did a pretty good BBQ with a lot of meat and rice so that was fun. I also got a call from some elders in my old sector in buin. One of the families I found up there is getting baptized this month. No cooler feeling than knowing you helped someone in some way. Even if you aren't there to see it. We went to bed early to get some extra sleep. Woo.

 Wednesday started well with district meeting and it was cool to see all the new faces excited to work in there new sectors and stuff. One elder did a class on what motivated us to come on a mission. What motivates us now. And what We wanted to get out of our missions. It was cool to think about how much I have grown and the things that motivate me now and how they are totally different than before. Crazy how focusing on other people for a while can help you find yourself better than you ever thought you could. After we ate lunch in the house again and then the teaching began. We started by finding a  old man who accepted us in his home with out even thinking twice and we taught him a little. He might not have got all the information we gave him but it was a good lesson and he was happy to have visitors. Later we had a family of four who are less active. We had an incredibly spiritual lesson about mosiah 2:41 and we related it to the New Years goals we have. We asked them to share all the things they wanted and hoped for this next year. After we told them that now we have to see HOW we can get all those things. We shared the scripture that teaches that all we have to do is keep the commandments and god will bless us in all things. Even a happiness that will never end if we persevere in doing what god wants. It's that easy. It was cool to see their desires to change. That is my favorite part. Seeing the people want to change for the better. That's what it's all about. 

Thursday went well for us. We started in the morning by doing some computer stuff. And then our lunch got cancelled again so we ate at a restaurant. After we had a really good day. We started with a lesson with Alicia our convert. She is passing through some hard times but it was good to share some scriptures with her about the atonement and how Christ knows exactly what she is going through and is there to help. She will be okay. Just a couple little tests in her life. One day we will all look back and thank god for those little tests we had that made us stronger. 

Then we found a family to teach and it was really cool! They are excited to learn and to listen to our message. They have some pretty cute little kids too. In excited to see them receive blessings from the gospel. And then we found another family who was really nice but very strong in their other beliefs. We shared our message and told them to ask god if it was true. They said they would. We will go back next week and see how it went. It feels good to start helping others again.
 Friday was a really long day. Not much happened. In the street all day talking to everyone and doing contacts But it is those days that I learn a lot and make me grateful for the better ones. We ended the night with soccer with some jovenes. It was a decent day. 

 Saturday was a really hard day for us. We were in the street the whole day and couldn't find anyone to teach at all. And we were fasting in the Chilean heat...........i dare you to try it..... We got to the house and we were dead so we planned and went to bed.

 Sunday was a decent day. We had church and then ended our fast so I was less grumpy after lunch haha. We planned for the week and then had a couple lessons. One with a convert who is struggling to make some decisions right now and we really need to help her. But god is blessing her life. We just need to help her see the little miracles god is working in her life daily.

 The next lesson we had was with some less actives and we talked about not looking back. We watched the Mormon message about New Years called don't look back I think. I love that video. I hope everyone put some goals for this next year. If you haven't. DO IT NOW!!!!  Man it is getting hotter and hotter here. But don't worry I come back in the winter time here so I will be my old white self again when you all see me. 

It was an interesting week to say the least. But I lived it and loved it. Just as always. Life's to be enjoyed....not just endured.  World peace. Chao. 

Elder Harding.