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 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

just be...

just be... life is an adventure with many ups and downs. sometimes it surprises you with unexpected twists and turns.  life can change and before you know it you can be turned upside down just  barely hanging on.  when it rains in life it seems like it pours without any end and just when you think the rain will never end...the sun pokes out...the rainbow shows itself as if to say i told you so.  it is moments like these that one must look around and see the beauty in life...the little things that make life great...the tiny miracles that go unnoticed.  life is a blessing and we are just here for the ride. take time to just just be grateful because life is a blessing. martina mcbride...

                                I have been blessed
                         And I feel like I've found my way
                        I thank God for all I've been given
                             At the end of every day
                               I have been blessed
                          With so much more than I deserve
To be here with the ones
                                      That love me
                            To love them so much it hurts
                                I have been blessed

tate's message...

 Just be grateful. I'm so grateful for everything that I have and sometimes I feel like we just need to sit back and be grateful for a while. Say a prayer. Tell someone your grateful for them. Fast out of gratitude. Do what you need to do to show how grateful you are for this life. I'm grateful for every single one of you. 

Well Monday started off really good in the morning. We woke up. Got some good study time in and then went and did a few errands before heading over to the mission home for lunch. We always eat in the kitchen while the missionaries eat their last lunch in the real dining room.  it's awesome. Then we got them all packed up and took off to the airport. Sent them off. And then came straight back. Me and elder McGee went home to get some extra sleep. Slept from 10 til 3 and then woke up to take another elder to the airport to catch his flight early that morning. We went straight from there to the mtc to pick up the new missionaries. Then back to the mission home and did a 3 hour training. It was a good time. Yeah I was tired but it was worth it. I love giving it all I got even when it's hard. I love seeing the excitement from all the new missionaries. After lunch we took them all to their sectors and then finally got back to rancagua in the office at about 8 pm Tuesday night. Talk about a long 48 hours. I slept like a rock.

 Wednesday we were up bright and early getting ready to go to a district meeting and it actually went really well and I had a good time. I love being a missionary. Then the whole rest of the day I spent on a computer doing a bunch of little details that aren't hard but are so necessary. Did some stuff for president and some stuff for the upcoming weeks. We didn't get home until like 1:30. I don't think I'll ever catch up on the sleep I have lost. 

Thursday was actually a pretty normal day. We woke up. Got ready. Went to a meeting with president. Ate some lunch. And worked. Got home on time (first time the whole week) and then we just went to bed. It's a good feeling but also a horrible feeling to not sleep. you know deep down you're giving it all you have but your body just feels tortured . But I'll be fine. Doing well and I'm still breathing so no worries. 

Friday was just a flat out amazing day. In the morning we finished some things up in rancagua and then ate some lunch. After we took off to Santa Cruz. I did divisions with elder archibald (the old secretary) so that was really fun to work with him for a day. He is a good example to me and I'm thankful for him.

 Love you guys. 

Elder Harding. 


Sunday, June 15, 2014

keep aiming...

keep our driveway stands a well worn basketball hoop.  this hoop has entertained three harding kids on many a morning, afternoon and night.  all three of our children played basketball all the way through high school.  they would spend many hours our there practicing their shot.  greg would be out there with them at times giving advice and encouragement.  aim higher...aim more to the left...aim a little to the right.  some shots went in and some shots fell short but they kept shooting over and over again.  the hoop looks tired and worn and the chain net is broken in places but yet it stands if begging for someone to take a shot. summer is here and our little neighborhood is full of kids coming and going.  our basketball hoop that once was forgotten has gotten new life.  the neighborhood kids seem to congregate in our driveway to play a little game of basketball.  they aim...they shoot...sometimes they miss and sometimes they make a shot.  greg and i don't mind that the neighborhood kids are at our brings back memories and makes us smile.  so to them we say keep aiming...

tate's message...

 Well this week I heard a quote that I really liked. 

"Aim at heaven and you can get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither"

It really made me think about all my goals and what I am really striving for in this life. So many times I feel like we get caught up in aiming for the world.  God has given us this world and all the things in it. But this world and all the things in it are not the goal in mind. The end goal is to gain eternal life with our families. The goal is something heavenly. Not something worldly. Where do our hearts lie? Are we thinking more about the material rewards in this life than the heavenly rewards. Are we doing all the heavenly things right now to aim our life's at heaven. You can only point a gun in one direction. You're either pointing at the world, or pointing at heaven.

 Just like the quote says. If we aim at earth, we get nothing after this life. If we live by the worlds standards, we get nothing. If we pick our friends opinions over gods, we get nothing. God is willing to give us both. But only when we aim for heaven. How could we ever even think to live with god again in heaven if we never even bothered to think about him on earth. Or never even bothered to do what he wanted us to do on earth. It sounds ridiculous to me that we would think that. But often times we do without even knowing. I am grateful for a savior who forgives me when I mess up. Who forgives me when I aim at earth and fail. Over and over again I aim at earth and fall. And he picks me up and points the way to heaven again. But not only does he point. But he walks with me until I fall again and he can help me once more. I know that he lives. I'm so far from perfect but I know the more I can focus in heavenly treasures, the more I gain. And the more I focus in worldly things, the more I lose. But family. Where are you pointed!? 

 This week was a pretty busy one. Nothing way too exciting happened but we did have a lot of meetings with president. We finished changes finally and by that time the week had already passed by. I can't believe how fast time is passing. Monday we had a day full of meetings. It's usually like that though. A lot of planning. Planning for the future of the mission. And we also helped a new missionary couple find a new house.

 Tuesday we had another meeting with president and started really hitting the changes hard. The last little part of changes is always hard because you have to fine tune every little detail. But in the end it's all for the benefit of the mission and missionaries. 

Wednesday we headed  to buin in the morning to do a few quick little things and then we were just back in rancagua for the day. It has been dumping rain lately. Last winter it barely even rained compared to this winter. But I absolutely love the rain. I will miss it considering it barely even rains back in good old Idaho. 

Thursday was a finalization day with changes and then Friday was the first chile game in the World Cup so the whole mission had to enter their houses early. President decided it would be a better use of it time in the house studying and planning then out in the rain talking to people who are way too preoccupied with the game. Agreed. The world over here shuts down when there is a big soccer game. It was awesome whenever chile scored literally everyone in the country yelled at the top of their lungs. 

I also want to say something for father’s day. last night as made some pizza for dinner, the new office elder (elder hall from Idaho falls) had just gotten a package from his family and they sent him mountain dew. My first thoughts went straight to greg! So greg last night I sipped on some mountain dew just for you old guy! Thank you for everything you have ever done for me. And for everything you keep doing for me. You are my biggest example and my best friend. When I get back I will drink one more dew with you before I stop drinking soda again haha.. love you dad. Youre the best! 

Love you guys. This next week I probably won't sleep. So pray hard for me hahah. Chaoooooo 

Elder Harding. 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

raindrops keep falling...

raindrops keep falling...while on our girl's trip to oregon several times one of us would comment on how green things were.  everything was beautiful and colorful.  it seemed as if the color palate had been turned up to the highest volume.  we were in awe of the beauty of the rich colors that surrounded us.  one day as we were on one of our road trips the rain began to hit the windshield.  it started slowly but worked up to a very strong and powerful rainstorm.  our windshield wipers were working over time.  we kept driving and maneuvering the small country road that we were on...doing our best to stay our course.  when after what seemed quite awhile the rain stopped and the sun came out  and began shining on the green country side. i will never forget coming around the bend in the road and looking at the amazing colors of the land as the sun shone down after the rainstorm.  i have faith  that this is what it looks like after going through our earthly trials.  i know that what we learn while having our trials will make us stronger. trials makes us want to love and feel and hug and and squeeze and and live and hold onto each other more.  if we can just endure and  just wait till we get around the bend in our road of life  we have been promised that it will all be worth it.  here is to the rainstorms in our lives...

tate's message...

 It started a little rain cycle today so that's always fun. I literally love just walking around when it's dumping rain. I don't know why I have come to love it so much. I think I must be a real Chilean now or something. Speaking of rain tho. Life can kinda be like a rainstorm sometimes. I have felt like that a few times during my mission. When no matter how hard you try to get out of a storm, sometimes you just can't. And you just have to wait until it stops raining. And then everything is normal again. And everything is always prettier after as well. Sometimes we find ourselves in trials or hard times and all we want to do is just get out. But god knows that things are always prettier for us after our trials. We always learn. And things always get normal or better again.

This week for me went by so fast. I thought things were going to start calming down but I've learned that they never do. I don't know if that's how life is or if just being in the mission office is like that. Monday started off pretty slow though. We had our usual office meeting and then after lunch we had a meeting with president to start changes. It weird to think that once again we are starting changes. I feel like we just did them. But time seems to keep going faster even when we don't want it to. 

Anyways Tuesday was probably the most normal day. We worked in the office and then went out to a meeting with our elders quorum president but it was cut short by a call from president needing us to go pick up some sister missionaries that were standing outside his house in the rain waiting for him. But he wasn't getting home for a while because of the rain. So we did that and then went home.

 Wednesday was crazy. We got a random call from president at 10 in the morning saying we needed to take an elder to see a doctor in Santiago. And then right as we got back we headed to the other end of our mission to do special changes. It was a day in the car. A lot of time to relax and meditate which is always good. I have come to love the down time I have to meditate now. There is true power in just sitting back and thinking about life for a while. And trying to figure out what we need to stop doing. What we need to keep doing. And what we need to start doing. Three simple questions that can change our lives.We got home pretty late Wednesday and we just hit the sack.

 Oh hey I also got my flight plans. That was weird. But pretty cool as well. Looks like I will get home about noon on the 13th. WOAH... Mom sent me a message after she saw them that said "woo". But I know for a fact she was going crazy with excitement. hahahah love you mom. 

 Thursday and Friday were pretty chill days. We had some long meetings with president about changes. I love president and Hermana warne. I will miss them tons. They have truly changed my life. Well I hope you all have a good week.  Love you guys.!!! Chaooooo!!! 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

a missionary's badge...

a missionary's badge...  i have thought about this all week...what does the badge that a missionary wears mean?  what does it stand for?  i just returned from a full week spent with my mom, my sister, my sister in law, my daughter and daughter in law.  we went on a girls trip.  it was a chance for us to do things we had never done...a chance to spend time with other women who inspire us to be better.  this year has been a changing one for my family and we are learning how to be brave.  we had t-shirts printed with the brave on them.  we wore them on the plane going and on the plane coming home.  i guess to bystanders it was quite the sight to see 6 women wearing matching shirts that said be brave on them.  everywhere we went people asked about them.  they wanted to know what they stood for...what group we were representing...what we were doing...where we were going. this made me think of a missionary and his missionary badge that he wears everyday.  even though we don't always have a badge or a matching t shirt on that sets us a part from others i hope that we can still stand out in a crowd and be noticed for what we stand for and what we believe in and by our actions...

tate's message...

One thing that I would like to share with you guys this week is a principle that elder salas  taught us about missionaries. But it applies to real life as well. In this life people pass through 3 phases. The first is simple. Where we are totally focused in ourselves. We are figuring out who we are. We are finding out what we want and who we want to be. And it is fine to be in this phase for a while because if we don't figure these things our then we will never progress. The second phase is when we start to focus our lives in others. We start to really figure life out. We start to know who we are and what we can become. We don't have to focus so much on ourselves and we start to want to help others. We focus on them and serve them. This phase is where people do one of two things. They either hit a trial or find a problem or get tired and they eventually get back to the first phase when they were only focused in themselves. And they stop progressing and feel that life has no purpose. Or they take another route, keep progressing and find eternal happiness. They find a joy that makes them realize that even when they have problems or trials, that they weren't made for this world. That god had more than this life for them. And they do whatever they can to get there. They dedicate there lives to doing what he wants them to do. And most important they do whatever it takes to help others to find that same knowledge. Our purpose in life is to get to that third phase. Elder salas posed the question "what phase are you in?!"  I think that's a good question to ask ourselves. I know that the purpose of our life isn't to do what the world thinks or what our friends or family think. It's to do what god wants. And if we don't understand that then we don't understand why we are here on earth. I had an incredibly spiritual week and in grateful for every moment. I hope we can all 

come to know that god has much 

more planned for us than this 

imperfect world and all it contains. 

All we have to do is go find it.

Wow this week was incredibly busy. Monday started off really really chill. Just were getting stuff figured out for the end of the week. But Monday night we went over to president house and had meeting. Still just about prepping for elder salas.

 Tuesday was a weird day.   we were traveling with president from 6:00 AM and doing some special changes until 6:00 PM. That didn't really help with all the craziness of the week so it was a very late night.

  elder salas got there Wednesday morning. We headed over there and we got the opportunity to have meeting with him and also to eat lunch with him. What an incredible man. He took every opportunity he had to teach us something about life or about the mission. I could truly feel his Christlike love and I had only known him for a few hours. We headed out to do the conference in curico and it changed my life. Practically for the next three days we were instructed by elder salas and i learned so many things

Wow this week was incredibly busy. I love you guys. I love it out here and I know I will bawl like a baby when I have to leave. Have a good week. 

Elder Harding.