Monday, March 31, 2014

god provides a way...

god provides a way...  life throws us curves.  sometimes out of no where we are hit with a trial...something we were not expecting.  i have learned this past year that we must keep going in faith.  we must have faith in our heavenly father and know without a doubt that he knows us and loves us.  we learn and we grow and we push on.

tate's message...

The one thing I learned this week I think was that GOD PROVIDES A WAY. It doesn’t matter what kind of trial or how hard it may seem….he provides… this week I felt like I had way too much to do and I wasn’t going to be able to do it but somehow someway it just got done. And everything turned out fine. So trust in god. Don’t worry about the little things. And just go through life knowing that god will provide for your needs. And if you don’t get what you think you need….then obviously god knew you could go without it or it wasn’t that necessary…sometimes we like to think we know what is best for us but in reality we just need to realize that god is the one who knows what is best for us.

 Sunday started off really chill. We were practically in the office all day and then we had a meeting with president….and then we were back in the office getting everything ready for all the other missionaries who had pday. They always come by the office and stuff so we just have to prepare a little.

 Monday was a crazy day. We started by going to the dentist to fixed my chipped tooth ha! I took some pictures with this guy… he actually did a really good job and my tooth looks brand new so no worries there…we got back…ate some sushi for lunch and then we had to go to the mission home and start getting ready to take some people to the airport for them to go home. That night I sent two former companions home… as if that wasn’t a weird thought. Elder Dixon and elder Chagoyan. It was pretty crazy to think that when I was with them they had like 5 or 6 months left….time truly flies. And now I am in their position. 

We practically didn’t sleep from that point on. We got home, picked up like 10 suitcases of some latin elders and sisters who were leaving later that night. And then we filled the cars with gas, set up the mission home for the new missionaries that would be getting there. By that time it was about 130 and it was time to go to bed…  bright and early at 530 we were up to go pick up missionaries. Kinda got lost up in Santiago but we made it to the mtc finally and picked up all the new missionaries…we rode with 6 of the new sister missionaries ha! It was weird to think they are about to start the journey I started such a long time ago. We had a good meeting with them explaining what the mission is about but I had to translate for practically everyone and I had to do the whole thing in English. I haven’t thought in English like that in a really long time. I could barely get through it haha… im not excited to get home and have to talk English all the time…it will be hard. Afterwards we had to take some of the new missionaries to their houses and me and elder mcgee did divisions to take elder dougher to his new sector…I could tell he was pretty sad to leave the office. But excited to work for the last six weeks as well. Our companions went to the house to get some long needed rest and I thought that’s what we were going to be able to do as well but there was some other things that I had to do to get ready for the next couple days so I didn’t get to sleep much those two days.

 But Wednesday we were in the office practically the whole day and at a meeting with president about the meeting we had the next day. So it was a lot of studying and practicing and planning.

 And then Thursday we got up and president picked us up to go to Curico to have a meeting with all the zone leaders down there about how we can be better leaders. I learned something that really struck me. Leaders need to be able to help the ones they are leading become the person that replaces them. I feel like that is a cool principle in life. parents need to teach kids how to be parents some day. Coaches need to teach players how to be coaches of their own some day. It was a good meeting and it is cool to see how inspired president warne is. 

 Friday we woke up, went for a run through the foggy streets of rancagua and then got some good study time in before heading to the office for the day. The first week of the change is always crazy so we don’t get out much…we spent the rest of the day doing the little office stuff that we use for the rest of the change. Phone number lists and pictures and all that stuff to make presidents life way easier. We left at about 9 to go see our family we are teaching but only the daughter was there so we couldn’t go in. and that was the end of the week.

 Saturday we had the other meeting with the zone leaders from the north and it was amazing. It is so cool to meet up with all the leaders and see how much effort really goes into the work. Well that’s it for this week! 

Love you guys
Elder harding   all is well.

the story within us...

the story within us...

i have never been much of a journal writer in the past but keeping this blog for tate has given me a chance to keep a record of tate's life as a missionary.  as i look back on it and read old posts i can see and feel what has happened to him and our family over time.  this is tate's story...his life as a missionary...his thoughts and feelings...his teachings.  i tell him often that his letters home have taught me...his mom.  so many times he writes just what i need to hear. what a treasure this will be for his future family to have...the story within him...

tate's message...

. He talked about a book called “the story within us”. He told us about how important it is to write down the story of our lives for the generations to come. He went on to say that all of us have stories and things that happen in our lives that can help someone else in the future. Made me really think what I am doing to leave MY STORY behind in this world so that I can help some future generation. It’s so easy with the technology we have today also. Digital journals, blogs, Facebook. So that’s my invitation this week…is to think about what you're doing to leave YOUR STORY behind for someone else to learn from

 Sunday was church in the morning and then it is the one day of the week where we eat with members so that is always fun. Then we had a meeting with president and talked about the changes that will happen this Tuesday. He also told us he wants to start meeting a little earlier in the days to be able to work in our sector. I am excited for that. We just headed back to the office and worked on some busy work. Updated the mission we page and then just headed home.

 Monday we had our normal Monday office meeting and it was everyone else's Pday so it is pretty crazy with so many missionaries stopping by. But we ate sushi for lunch so that made the day ten times better. And finally we got out to our sector in the night time. We actually talked with some great people and were able to set up a couple lessons for Tuesday.

 Then Tuesday was an office day in the morning. Sushi for lunch again. But then we went to our lesson and found a family!!!! They were awesome and said they are going to come to church!!! We are stoked. God gave us a miracle on that one. The one night we work we find a family ha. It was awesome.

 Wednesday we started in the office and then went to district meeting. It was good to see elder Loar and elder chagoyan. Some good mission friends. As well as a new couple missionary got here. They are way cool and it will be fun to serve along with them. Then we headed to San Vicente to do some divisions. It was such a pretty ride over there ha…i wish i could just video the whole drive. But we had a really good division. One thing I learned about was listening and how we can listen to learn. I read a talk called that this week. “listen to learn”. And it was interesting to learn that really we learn more sometimes when we just listen instead of being the ones talking. Also general conference is coming up and I was thinking about how easy it is just for us to learn so much in one weekend JUST BY LISTENING.

 Thursday we had a morning meeting with president and we talked some more about changes and then we ate in the house and from there it was a two hour drive down to Talca to do divisions…but come to find out that my comp for the day was sick…so I sat around the house all day while he slept…I took a nap…studied…and actually had a good little while to think about some stuff. Wasn’t too bad…sometimes we just need some time to sit back and think about life. Late one the way home we picked up my new comp! Elder Ralda from Guatemala. He came in a few days early to learn a little but he has already been in the office before as comisario so he already knows the system and all. He is a funny little kid and it should be a good time. We didn’t get home til late.

 Friday we slept in a little more and then we headed to presidents house for lunch… FAJITAS. So good. 

 I love you guys and am grateful for you all!! Also dad…..i heard duke lost….im sure you are pretty happy haha… oh and if dad and Tyson haven’t already told you…

my return date changed… now it is the 13th of august. To give me a little more time to get on my feet after getting back instead of just two days.! Love ya!

Elder harding

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

driving and singing with elder archuleta...

driving and singing with elder archuleta...

when tate first got his mission call he had a plan.  he had heard that elder david archuletta was also serving a mission in rancagua chile.  tate's plan was somehow to become companions with him and then video both of them singing happy birthday.  tate then thought it would be oh so cool to send this video to girls back home on their birthdays.  he thought this would somehow be better than just tate singing to them.  well obviously this plan never materialized. i asked tate if he sang in the car with elder archuletta and tate said, "you bet i did!"

tate's message...

Thursday was a driving day. We woke up and headed straight to pick up elder archuletta and his companion to take them to curico so they can rehearse for a devotional we are going to have. Driving wears me out but my comp cant drive so I just have to suck it up. But it went pretty well. He sings really good by the way if you didn’t know.

 Sunday was an amazing day. We had a really good church meeting and I learned a ton. We had a really good class on faith and the atonement… it was cool to learn that as we ask for forgiveness we also need to ask for strength to help us not do it again. It’s amazing how we can just ask for help and we get it. It’s that easy. 

Then we stayed after church and 3 people got baptized and practically the whole ward stayed so it was way fun and spiritual. After we all stayed even longer and ate together. It was a pretty long day in the church but we headed out after that to go to president’s house to have a meeting with him. It was a really long meeting and we left really tired and worn out. Got home. Elder godoy made us all rice, chicken and tortilla. It was good to just hang out and relax after a long day.

 Monday was a really really long day in the office. We had to do divisions because my comp had to go to the dentist again. So I stayed with elder mcgee and peñuñuri in the office. It was all the other missionaries’ pday so we just had to stay in the office all day helping them with all their problems. And then when my comp got back we had to go straight to a meeting with president. It was another long meeting but we made it through with the help of Hermana warnes chocolate chip cookies. Then we got home. And headed to bed. 

Tuesday we started the day with special changes in the morning… we had to move 4 hermanas from the north of the mission to the south of the mission with all their suitcases. Girls have a lot of stuff by the way. It took a while but then we ate the most amazing empanadas I have ever had. It was practically a roast beef empanada… but it was seasoned amazingly! They call them empanadas de carne machada. (you should look those up and try them). Unreal.

 Wednesday was a long day ha! We did divisions and we were practically in the street all day long. I went with elder hill (cousin to the pearsons prom poky). It was a good time but man we had a rough day. We had this one guy who came to a lesson with us tho and he was like 90 years old but was the coolest old guy I have ever met and his testimony was rock solid. He goes out with the missionaries almost every day.

 So that shows that if a 90 year old man can leave with the missionaries and help them out and give them references….THAN ANYONE CAN!!! help them out. They really do need it…I promise you that. Also that night I tried a butt sandwich… haha they sell them here in the streets and practically it is a sandwich of meat made from big butt…. Hahaha. Weird but not too bad actually. Wouldn’t do it again that’s for sure. 

 Thursday was a driving day. We got home and went straight to eat a really late lunch. And then it was an office day to finish it out. Doing a bunch of little busy work. drove elder archuletta to his practice.

 Friday was a traveling day as well and and we had to pick up tons of missionaries to go to the devotional. I drove for like 8 hours total and I was pretty beat…but the devotional was incredible. It was themed on the life of Christ and ever song was based on a part of his life….his birth…his life…the atonement…etc… it really was amazing and made me think of the importance of Christ in our lives.

 This week I just wanted to challenge you guys to do something…. I want to challenge you to think about WHO CHRIST IS FOR YOU… I challenge you to write it down and save it somewhere where you can read it and add to it frequently… I know that Christ is the living son of god…that not only did he die for us…but he lives for us… these past two weeks have been all about Christ for some reason. Everything I have learned has been about him and it has been an awesome week. “Each of us is an innkeeper who decides if there is room for Jesus!”. We need to let him into our lives more and more. That is 
my goal.

 Saturday we ran by the beach again and then we had to do a special change for a sister that is going home so not much happned!! Love you guys!! Chao! 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

in a YEARS time...

***yes this is tate's mission blog but i asked him if i could do an entry on his uncle travis and he said yes.***

in a YEARS time...

so many things can happen in a year.  it seems like it was yesterday but yet it feels like its been forever.  there are so many things that i want to say.  i hope i will be able to say what is in my heart today.

spring break is just around the corner and will mark a year that travis has been gone.  i miss him every day.  i think of him every day.  sometimes i laugh...sometimes i cry...sometimes i smile but mostly i just miss him.  i miss his phone calls...his big bear hugs...his sense of humor...his knowledge...his testimony...his example.  one of the things i miss the most is watching him be a daddy...that hurts the most.

i know he is in a better place.  i know that it was his time.  i know that he is happy.  i know that i will see him again. i know that heavenly father had a plan for travis and that he has one for all of us.  with all of this knowledge it still does not take away the part of me that wishes he was still here.

i have watched my parents be knocked to their knees.  i have seen the hurt in their eyes.  i have seen the pain on their faces.  i have also seen them get back up off of their knees and press on.  i have seen them stay close to each other supporting one another through the unimaginable pain.  they are amazing and such an example to me.  i admire their willingness to keep trying no matter what.  i admire their  ability to get back up after being knocked down again and again and not give up.  i love them and the example that they are to our family.

tawna, troy and i have stuck together through all of this and have supported our parents throughout this sad time for our family.  we miss that little brother of ours...the baby of the family.  the spoiled one...the stubborn one...the determined one...the example that he was to us.  we talk to each other often and love one another.

i have a picture collage framed in my house on my wall of travis and each one of his children.  i walk by it many times a day.  i see it...i glance at it...i often find myself standing in front of it just staring at it.  i love his facial expression in each picture as he looks at each child.  this is the way i want to remember him.

as a family we enjoy revisiting stories of travis.  we mostly laugh at the memories we have about him.  the vision of him chasing an umbrella on the beach of bear lake...him wearing his crocs...the time he put a poopy diaper in someones car only to be found later...his relentless sense of humor. there are so many times we have just laugh about something he did. we will always talk about him. we have those memories and we want to share them with his children,  his many nieces and nephews and each other.

our family has learned so much this past year.  we have discovered just how strong and brave that we all are.  we have had to deal with things that we never though that we would have to.  we are close and strong and united as a family.  we love our family.  we will continue to try harder to be better because that is what travis would want from us.

the following is an excerpt from a letter to tate from travis.  through all of this our family have relied on prayer to get us through.  we are thankful for the plan of salvation and for the knowledge that we will all be together again.

" learn to love to pray.  Prayer is the way we communicate w/ our Heavenly Father. You know that. But it will be, at times, all you have. Prayer has helped me in my life and I am grateful for the knowledge that we have – that HE is real and He knows us personally. He knows what we go through at all times."  Travis John Kunz.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

HE knows us PERFECTLY...

HE knows us PERFECTLY...

  1.  I know that my Redeemer lives.
    What comfort this sweet sentence gives!
    He lives, he lives, who once was dead.
    He lives, my ever-living Head.
    He lives to bless me with his love.
    He lives to plead for me above.
    He lives my hungry soul to feed.
    He lives to bless in time of need.
  2. He lives to grant me rich supply.
    He lives to guide me with his eye.
    He lives to comfort me when faint.
    He lives to hear my soul's complaint.
    He lives to silence all my fears.
    He lives to wipe away my tears.
    He lives to calm my troubled heart.
    He lives all blessings to impart.
  3.  He lives, my kind, wise heav'nly Friend.
    He lives and loves me to the end.
    He lives, and while he lives, I'll sing.
    He lives, my Prophet, Priest, and King.
    He lives and grants me daily breath.
    He lives, and I shall conquer death.
    He lives my mansion to prepare.
    He lives to bring me safely there.
  4.  He lives! All glory to his name!
    He lives, my Savior, still the same.
    Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:
    "I know that my Redeemer lives!"
    He lives! All glory to his name!
    He lives, my Savior, still the same.
    Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:
    "I know that my Redeemer lives!"
  5. Text: Samuel Medley, 1738-1799. Included in the first LDS hymnbook, 1835.
    Music: Lewis D. Edwards, 1858-192

Tate's message...

 I think that’s what I learned this week. Is that Christ can help us no matter who we are, no matter what we have done, no matter what we are doing at this moment, he can help us because he knows us PERFECTLY… I know that Christ is perfect and he knows us personally because he suffered for us personally….anyone who is willing to leave behind their old life and start anew… he can help you do that… all you have to do is look for him. Christ is everything…

Sunday not much happened… we just had a meeting with president and Hermana Warne about some things going on in the mission and she made us pumpkin chocolate chip cookies which were heavenly… you have no idea how long it has been since I had one of those. Down here pumpkin doesn’t come in a can  so you have to buy it. Cook it. Scrape it out. And then make the cookies. So I give her some mad props for making those for us. I'm sure it was not easy..

TATE SEES ELDER PECK!!!!!  (tate's and bradford have been friends for years.  they have played against each other in baseball and together on the same teams.  a year ago bradford was baptized a member of the church and just recently arrived at the mtc in chile.)

 Monday we headed straight up to Santiago for my comps dentist appointment…but first the secretaries had to do some things and just so happened they had to stop at the MTC….. we spent about 20 minutes trying to find elder peck but could not find the kid. Everyone said he was on his pday or was in another room or building…so after looking for a while I just kinda started to give up. And as we were leaving and saying bye to some of the other elders who we were talking to, good old ferd walked out of one of the rooms right where we were standing. Literally we were seconds away from leaving and he walked out.  we gave each other a brohug for a good while. It was so amazing to see him as a missionary. He is an example to me of faith and courage. It’s not easy to be a member for such a short time and decide to serve the lord. He has either gotten taller or maybe I am just so used to being giant here. Either way it was a way cool experience and I am excited to hear about how his mission goes for him. Chile is an amazing place with an amazing people.  

Tuesday……………………….Wednesday we started with some good old district meeting in the morning. Half way through the meeting my comp got some information about him receiving a ticket for speeding….it was a 260 dollar ticket…. It was a while back when him and his other comp were running late for a conference or something. but after that he was pretty dang bummed. we had a bbq for lunch with some cool members and then after he called president to be able to talk to him about the ticket….we got to the house and elder dougher just went in alone to explain what had happened. When he came out president told me that I will either have to learn how to drive stick or we will be walking a whole lot…….so that’s what we did for the next hour ha. I learned how to drive stick. Good skill to have. That’s how we ended the night. Stalling and starting again. Stalling and starting again. But at the end I got the hang of it. Well actually the night wasn’t over cuz we had to take an elder to the airport to go home at like midnight. So we didn’t even really go to bed. We took him up to santiago, sent him off, got home at like 4 in the morning and slept till 11… sleep is precious out here. 

Thursday me and elder dougher were supposed to go to santiago for his other dentist appointment but it ended up not happening. I stayed with elder mcgee and elder Archibald went with my comp. me and elder mcgee just did some office work and had a pretty relaxed day…sometimes it is needed. Friday we woke up and ran 5 miles… joke. It was good stuff. We are really trying to watch what we eat and exercise so we don’t get fat … its going well so far… and I feel healthier. 

We did divisions on Friday and it was a good chance to get back to one of my old sectors and to get out during the week and teach. I loved just talking to the Chilean people and telling them how Christ can help them.

love elder harding!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

the way we treat people shows a big part of who we really are

the way we treat people shows a big part of who we really are... 

 in our little town recently there have been two deaths  due to bullying.  a friend of mine who is a  mom of a high school student told me that just this week in a p.e. class at a local high school the following incident happened.  the p.e. class was playing dodge ball and teams were picked.  one team had a chubby boy on their team.  some boys on the other team decided that that boy would be their target.  they bombarded him with ball  throwing it  at him...yelling hit the fat kid!  the boy was hit so hard that he started to cry.  my friend's son was so upset with what had just took place that he went over to the hurt boy and helped him up.  he told him not to worry about what those other boys had said and done.  he then decided that every time he saw this boy in the hall or class that he would talk to him and be his friend.  i hope that more kids are BRAVE enough to stand up for these kids like Will me he is a hero!

tate's message...

 one of the things trav wrote in my journal that he gave me is " a true test of the person you really are, is how you treat those who can be of no possible service to you". i realized a lot of the time we don't realize that we are treating someone badly or that we could be treating someone better. i think about christ and how he treated everyone equally. no matter who they were, where they were from, or what they were like. so i hope we can be a little bit nicer and serve a little bit more to those around us. i think that is a thing i learned this week. is the way we treat people shows a big part of who we really are.

this week went by really really fast. sunday was a really good day and we actually had a meeting with president as usual and planned some things out for the week. sundays are usually pretty chill days spent in the office doing a lot of busy work getting ready for the week and stuff.

monday was a computer day for me. we had to do some special changes (move some missionaries to other sectors) but we didn't have a lot done on the power point and some other stuff so we did divisions and i stayed here in the office and practically spent the day glued to the computer. it wasn't that great of a time ... and we ended up getting pretty bored towards the end of the night and it started getting late. so we called the other elders who were out driving around and told them to go get some pizza cuz it was going to be a late night in the office... we finished up around 1 o clock and enjoyed some papa johns.

the next morning we woke up bright and early for the monthly meeting with the zone leaders in the mission home. it went really well and we learned a ton! 4 hours of tons of information and then a huge lunch....  but after that we just went to the house and took a nice two hour nap to get some energy back. then ended the night in the office.

wednesday was just another office day.

 thursday was a really cool day. we woke up and took a gorgeous ride to santa cruz to do divisions with elder rasband and elder hernandez. it turned out to be a really cool experience and we ended up teaching a less active member about reading the scriptures and how important it is. i really do love the scriptures. READ THEM DAILY! 

friday we were on the road again!! and we headed to the city furthest south in our mission...that was a long drive....and if you guys wanted to know i drove stick for the first time...starting on the interstate...pretty cool......until we got to a stop and pay thing and i killed it and my comp had to take over hahahhaha but hey at least i'm learning... the divisions down there were fun as well.. i went with elder cardona from bolivia...he is an amazing kid and treats all the people so well. friday night was one of the coolest nights in a while... my trainer (Elder) brother lowrey was in chile visiting some people and stopped by to say whats up. it was way cool to see him. by the way i really really want to come back to chile and visit asap after i get home.. . that would be the coolest thing ever. but i was happy to see him and think that he was my comp over a year and a half ago...crazy... 

 saturday, we woke up and headed straight to the farmers market to buy fresh fruit and veggies for the week. that is one thing i will miss like crazy!! and then we just went shopping at the grocery store, made lunch, took a nap, and then came to write you guys!! it was a good week! thanks for everything you do! love you all!! 

elder harding.