Monday, August 23, 2010

Your Denmark Missionary 08-23-10

Hello all my family and Friends!

I cant believe another week has gone by! Is time just flying or what? This might freak you out but I just looked at the calendar and I hit my year mark is less then a month! Is that just amazing or what! Time goes incredible fast. I am happy to report I have had a great week! However I got a little sick on friday. I believe its the cold, so I am taking some cold medicine and its making me a little loopy. So if this email is a little crazier then others, you know why.

To begin we met with our investigator Tobias again! He is doing awesome! We watched the Joseph Smith movie with him last time and he really enjoyed it! He could see why we believe in him so much. He also made us dinner and we had a fun night with him. Hes around 23, and I am 20, so its quite a fun appointment. However when we do talk spiritually, we do get serious and of course invite the spirit! Hes planning on coming to church soon, and we will see how it goes after that! Hes such a great guy and I am just having a great time teaching him.

We also have our other very positive investigator named Sam! So we just found out that Sam is planning on returning to China sooner then we thought. He told us he wants to get baptized but doesn't think its going to happen before he leaves. Hes also a little hesitant on baptism as he feels he has to know everything about the church before he can join. However he loves the church and really likes what we teach. We will see how things play out.

We also this week have a brand new investigator named Marianne. Shes not from Denmark, but basically is a Dane. Shes lived here for a long time and speaks beautiful danish. Shes in her middle 20's and is just a nice, nice girl. Shes a little quirky but shes fun and most of all believing! When we gave her the Book of Mormon, she had a smile the couldn't fit her face! She didn't know there was another book about Jesus Christ! We told her about the promise, that if she reads and prays about it, she can find out its true. She loved that, as that what she told us she believes in that. she told us she knows God answerer's prayers. So we told her to read, and also committed her to come to church. The only problem we have is she is very active in her other church. She goes every week and sings in the choir there. So it might be tough to get her to come to our church on sunday. However if she finds out its true, that might change things! I may have to start a choir in Århus, as they dont have one! :) I feel really positive about her! She ward will really love and accept her wonderfully!

We havent had a chance to meet with that member from randers and her friend Rikke, yet. I think I mentioned her last week. We fill find out today when we have an appointment with her! I am so excited to meet and teach her, especially with a member present! Things always go smoother with a member! :)

Wow, lots of people I am talking about! Its so good! Other than meeting with those people we have spent most of our type on the street contacting. We have also had many referrels we visited and delievred some Mormons books and Restoration DVDs. For the most part we did a lot of teaching and managed to stay really busy. We actually werent on the street contacting too much, now that I think about it! :) So yea!

To be honest I dont have much of a spiritual message for today. I am feeling sick so my spirituality is struggling a little. haha. My advice for message for you today is dont get sick! haha. In all seriousness, I am happy to be a missionary and I guess my message for you is remember to be happy to be a member. It can be difficult, but dont take the church for granted. Trust me. I know its true!

Have a great week everyone! I hope all of you have success in all you do! Sure love you all!

Med Kærlig Hilsen,
Ældste Skyler Hardy.

Your Danmark Missionary 08-16-10

Hello Everyone!

I want to begin today and tell you how amazing our Heavenly Father is. Our new mission president has changed some more rules and one of his rules is, we have to wear our normal missionary clothes on our P-day. I was a little bummed out, but I knew I should follow his new rules. One thing that I struggle with is wearing my missionary clothes and shopping. I just feel that because I am in missionary clothes I should be working not shopping or other things. So yesterday Sunday, I prayed and hoped that today (Monday) it would rain, that way I could have my jacket on to hide the missionary attire while I shop! haha. Guess what..!?!?!? ITS RAINING! I don't know about you but that's our Heavenly Father showing his mercy and love! So its raining today and I am very grateful. Its not that I am ashamed to wear missionary clothes, its just awkward while you shop. Its hard to explain so your just going to have to trust me! :)

It has been quite the eventful week here in Århus for me. There has been nothing extremely exciting but it was been busy and we have had our good moments. The yelling and being flipped off has died down a little and for once we were built up while we contacted. I know, weird right? On Monday or Tuesday we were out contacting and we contacted lady. It was raining and she had an umbrella over her head, and she used the umbrella to avoid eye contact with us! haha. Danes do that a lot! However, I contacted her anyways and she unhappily began to talk to us. After a little bit of talking and my amazing good looks and charm *Grin* we managed to explain the Book of Mormon to her and our purpose as missionaries. She was amazed at what we did and said word for word, "There needs to be more people like you in the world." I smiled and said thanks and we talked for a few more minutes. Then I asked if she would like to hear more another day.... well she changed the subject and said she had to leave. haha. Oh danish people...for one brief moment you see hope, then the next... crash and burn. haha. However I gave her a pass-along-card and told her she could go to our website and order a Book of Mormon. So we will see, who knows. :)

Then last Monday we were out doing some shopping for groceries and random things in the city center. We weren't contacting or anything when in the midst of the crowd I hear, "Are you from Utah." I turn around and there is this man coming up to me speaking English. I was like, "Yea, I am." Then he looks at me again, "Are you sure? You are from Utah." I kind of laughed and said, "Yea I have a license to prove it." Then the man laughs at me too and says, "So your Mormon!" I was like, "Yes I am." He smiles and and starts talking to us. He was a great guy, way nice and wanted a Book of Mormon. Normally I don't give them out right away, usually I wait and make an appointment with them another day. However I had one with me that day and felt that I should give him one. So I did and he tried to pay me. He said basically that to him the Mormon church is the only church he can see that actually lives what it preaches. He said hes fascinated by that and wanted to read the "Mormon Bible" as he called it! haha. So I gave him one and asked if we could come by another day and talk with him. He said hes really busy with school and basically said no! haha. Its like one brief shining moment then again, another crash and burn! haha. However he was really nice and complimented us on what we did. Once again, he knows we are nice and the image of the church was improved. :) You never know what might happen in the future.

So we have had many moments like that during the week where people have complimented us and in short have just been nice. I have come to the conclusion that there are many people who do in fact have respect for us and know we are good people. However the problem is the nice people don't open their mouths as much as the mean people. So of course we here more negative as Normal nice people wouldn't bother saying anything. If that makes sense?

For Example, it was Friday evening and we were on our way home. We were at cross walk waiting for the light to say walk, when this lady from behind walks in front of me and stares at my name badge. Oh know I thought, shes going to say something stupid or mean... oh yuck. However she looks at me and says, "Er du Jevohas Vidne? or Are you Jevohas Witnesses?" I look at her and say, "Det er vi helt Ikke! Vi er Mormoner! or That are we completely not! We are Mormons!" She looks at me and says, "Oh OK, much better. I do not like Jehovah's witnesses." I said, "Yea, I can understand that." Then she quickly says, "You mormons are nice people, but I have my faith and you don't need to teach me" I laugh and say, "Det er godt du tro på noget, Vi er stolt af dig or That is good you believe in something so we are proud of you." haha. I say in a joking manner. She laughs and got a good kick out of it! Then she turns the other way and says, "You boys have a fantastic afternoon!" So in short, people are nice and are not always rude. We weren't able to teach her anything, but she knows we are nice people and again the image of the church was improved. She now knows white shirts and black name badges are Mormons, and maybe next time will give a friendly smile and maybe listen. You never know.

So its been a much better week then it has been. People have been a little more nice and that definitely helps. However I ha vent just been contacting all week, I have also been teaching! Yes, we have had appointments with investigators and for the most part things are going very good with them!

One of our most positive investigators is this danish guy named Tobias. I cant remember if I have mentioned him, but hes in his middle 20s and lived with a member family in Idaho when he went for foreign exchange. So the previous missionaries met him on the street here and got his contact info. When I arrived we gave him a call and made an appointment with him and things are going great! This week we taught him about the Plan of Salvation and I think he really enjoyed it. He even got comfortable with us and share some personal experiences, and it helped him as this plan gave him answers. He even asked us, "Do you believe in this." I said to him, "Yes I do. I know its true" He looked at me and said, "Really?" I again in a very serious way, said "Yes." He kind of looked at me and for the rest of the lesson took it a little more serious." He invited us over again this week and we plan on showing him the Joseph Smith film. He is also making dinner for us, Yea! You know a Dane is grateful for you when they want to fill your stomach up with food! :) So yes, things are going great with him.

Another man we are teaching is named Sam. He comes from China, so actually is real name is something completely weird... so he told us just to call him Sam. haha. In Århus we actually teach English and Danish lessons every Tuesday night at 4 and 5. So the previous missionaries invited SAM to come get free lessons. He came and for a while he came only to learn about the language's. Well over time he got curious and began to learn more about the church. Sam has been taught a lot and seems very interested in the church as he has begun to consider baptism. He knows there is something special about our church. We tried to set a date with him and hes considering it. So I don't know about you but that's pretty exciting. However the only concern is, is he is planning on moving back to China in a year. So he wont remain in Denmark. However that's OK... Maybe his purpose for coming here is to be baptized. I don't know. We told him that there are members in China and they can now legally meet together. We told him if he does decided to join we would get him the contact info he would need to meet up with those members.

Wow, OK sorry this email is getting a little long. However I have one more experience out of the many I have had this week. We recently received a referral from a member in Randers. Her name is Irene. She sent me a beautifully wrapped package in a letter instructing me to deliver it to a friend of hers named Rikke that lives in Århus. So my companion and I headed out and knocked on her door. I asked her if she knew Irene. She said yes, and I said, she sent us here to give you this gift, and I think inside is a letter.She got a huge smile and said, really! Then she was way friendly with us and we just talked and were nice. I gave her a pass-along-card and then walked away. After I left I realized how stupid I was and didn't get her number or asked her if we could come back and share our message with her. I just felt stupid and I couldn't believe I forgot.

Well this is my spiritual message for the week. I had this referral and did my best to contact her and be friendly. However for some reason I didn't do the normal mission thing and ask for her contact info. I have no idea why I was so careless and stupid. I felt bad about it for the next few days. Then on Saturday morning I get a phone call from Irene. She told me that Rikke called her and wants to me with the missionaries! I was immediately relieved and excited and just leaped for joy! :) She told me that Rikke was impressed with our kind manner and how normal we were. She said to Irene, "It was such a surprise to have 2 handsome young men come to the door" so in short she was grateful and wants to be taught. Irene even said shes going to drive down from Randers to meet with us and Rikke. Irene even got emotional on the phone and says, shes tried for years to get her to learn about the church and nothings worked. She attributed this success with me and my companion and said whatever you did, you did it perfectly.

So my spiritual message for this weeks is when we do our best, in the end perfection can be reached. I did my best and for me I thought I made a mistake by not getting her contact info. Well in the end the Lord took care of the rest and manged to turn my little mess up into a situation that was perfect for Rikke. so in short, me doing my best (Though I didn't think it was, haha) ended up being perfect. The lord works in mysterious ways, and I am happy to look back and said, I did my best. :)

Well I sure appreciate all of you and your time for reading my emails. I sometimes feel all I do is ramble on. haha. On other news, real quick, I have officially reached my 11 month mark as a missionary! Has time flown or what! haha. I sure love all of you and hope you all have a fantastic week!

Med Kærlig Hilsen,
Ældste Skyler Hardy

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Your Denmark Missionary 08-09-10

Hello Everyone!

Its good to be at the computer again this week to write to all of you! I hope all of you are all doing well and are all having a great week! My p-day is now officially on Monday. Our new mission president has changed the day. My new mission president is named President Andersen. He has now been my president for 1 month and hes doing an amazing job. I have been very impressed and it just feels right to have him as president at this time. So new president, new changes. Exciting stuff.

To begin I have a Danish culture Moment... so in Århus, I have been told, has one of the best bakeries in all of Denmark. I have heard that from previous and current missionaries. In fact there have also been a few members too that have told me that. This bakery is called "Langenæs Bageriet" so Langenæs Bakery. I haven't had the time yet to eat there but I have been told its the best. So every morning as me and my companion head out the door I see many runners. Its good to see people trying to exercise a take care of themselves. As my companion and I continue we see more and more runners and we also see many with a bag in there hands. Sometimes we see them with a very large bag. haha. So one day, as I was walking a runner threw the bag on the sidewalk. I walked by the bag to find out its a bag from Langenæs Bakery! lol! Once I knew what the bag was I realized what was going on. haha. Every morning many runners, run to the bakery, purchase there unhealthy pastry and then run back to their apartment. haha. I don't know about you, but I love the way danish people here in Århus like to exercise! haha. A little job, a *Couch* light snack, and another light run. Life doesn't get any better right? haha. So now every morning I laugh as I see so many danish people, with their bags of pastries, running to and fro from that bakery. I thought that was funny and worth sharing! :)

As for me and the missionary work, not much has happened since the last time I wrote. I last wrote on Thursday, so its only been 3 or 4 days. haha. So I unfortunately don't have much to write about. However the work is going well. We have been made fun of and yelled at and flipped off at, a lot this week. That's been very tough and has definitely effected my desire to want to go out. However, I force myself out and do my best. I am by no means a perfect missionary, and occasionally get a little scared to speak to certain people. But I try my best and of course some days are better than others, but in all I feel the lord is proud of me and continues to bless me here in Århus.

I think I mentioned last week we have received a lot of referral's from temple visitor's centers in the untied states for people living in Denmark. Well this week we plan of visiting all of them and hopefully find some new people to teach. I am crossing my fingers and praying that something will come out of these referral's. Its so tough to contact and bonk on doors, I am just hoping for 1 free bee. haha. I will keep you informed as to the status of these fun referral's. I can just tell you now, there is bound to be a few good stories out of these. haha.

My spiritual message for the day goes with my message about the bakery and the runners. Life obviously has its up and of course its downs. Some people take life more seriously and others more jokingly. So my message is this... be a danish runner in Århus! haha. The danish runners, run hard to the bakery, take a little break and eat, then run again back home. The concept applies to life. Begin working hard with any goals you have, then once you reach them remember to take a break, enjoy that small victory, eat a pastry, then chug on and work hard again. Life is supposed to be enjoyed, and if we do it in the way the lord as layed out for us, all is possible and true happiness can be reached!

So yea, cheesy message but I was low on ideas this week! haha! Thanks again for all your love and support and for reading my cheesy spiritual message! I sure love you all and pray for success and happiness in your future! Love ya!

Med Kærlig Hilsen,
Ældste Skyler Hardy

Your Denmark Missionary 08-5-10

Hello Everyone!

Great to be here at the library today to write to all of you! I hope all of you are having a fantastic summer! In Denmark there summer vacation is starting to come to an end and the the rainy season is about to begin. It has rained just about every day this week so far! Its been crazy and a little tough to do missionary work, but I love it! I really love the rain, so its been nice. We will see if I feel that way in the next month! haha.

Where to begin! Well to be honest there is not a lot going on here in Århus. I am once again in a dead area. Oh joy! I don't know why but the lord likes picking on me and putting me in areas where nothing is going. However I see much potential in this area!

So to begin I am serving in Århus, obviously! haha. The ward has about 60 active members. So its kind of small, unfortunately. However the ward is actually supposed to have over 200 people. I looked on the member list and there is about 121 less active members! Its so sad, and when I read that number my stomach just dropped. Thoughts of what happened? Why? etc etc. entered my mind. So we talked to our mission leader and Bishop and even our Mission president about this situation. We have decided and felt directed by the spirit to work on the less active members. Our Mission president feels that if you can reactive people the odds of giving you referrals and things are much higher. So for now a major focus on the work in Århus will be trying to help people rediscover their testimonies! Its sad, but man how amazing would this ward be if they all came back! How impressed would our investigators be and how much more lively the ward would become! Exciting stuff!

However that doesn't mean I am still not trying to find new people to teach and share the gospel with. In fact I feel I have already been blessed tremendously the first week here in Århus. The first day i arrived I told my companion, every time we pray we are going to ask the lord to help Århus ward to grow. I didn't say anything specific but I told him that's what we are going to do. And guess what, i feel my prayers have been answered. This last week we have received a ton of referrals. On Friday we received 2 referrals from Salt Lake City for 2 people who want a Book of Mormon. Cool! Then on Tuesday we received 2 more referrals from the St.George Visitors center for 2 people who want the Restoration film. Cool! Then yesterday at Zone Conference a missionary came up to me and gave me a record of an investigator he was teaching that just moved to Århus. Cool. Then also at Zone Conference a member in Randers asked the Randers Missionaries to give the Århus Elders (me!) a gift and a card to a lady she wants us to teach. Cool! Like wow! I mean in the last week we just received many, many new people to meet and contact. Isn't that amazing? I am glad the lords helping me out because I don't know how much more street contacting and door knocking I can do. This last week Hebbert and I, that's all we have been doing. YIKES! Lets just say we have blisters on our feet.... not fun! haha.

However we are teaching a few people and one of them is named Tobias. He is a 20 year old danish guy who, believe it or not, went a year of high school in USA and stayed with a Mormon family.... wow! What are the odds we find this danish guy who lived with Mormon's... haha. He told us he thinks our church is way nice and he has huge respect for it and he told us he thinks most Dane's could learn a thing or two from our church. (Wow, most Danes never ciritize their own people, haha!). He told us when he was in the USA he went to church with the family a lot and thought it was great. He said we teach really good things. Then to top it all off Tobias doesn't smoke and said he drinks very, very little. So we kind a very positive new investigator. I feel things would go good with him... however you just never know. We taught him about JSH and the Book of Mormon and he seems very interested and way curious. I look forward to teaching him again.

Well other then that... that's all that's really happening right now. I have been doing a lot of street contacting and yea... its not too exciting to write about. In the times I have been street contacting I get flipped off at least once or twice a day, yelled at a least once by a drunk guy, and people in general yelling at me to make fun of me.... Oh I did have a girl whistle at me while I was walking, I winked back.... I take that one as a compliment.... haha! The joys of a big city! Gotta love missionary life. Oh and I forgot to mention I get contacted by the Jehovah's witnesses church at least once a week! They always want to bible bash.... oh joy! haha.

So my spiritual message! Are you ready for it? It goes with the paragraph above. When people do those or say those mean things, it can make being a missionary really difficult. In fact sometimes it makes me so mad, I have to walk in a store and buy a diet Coke, haha. However even with those horrible moments I remember the moments like I had with Christina. How amazing was that baptism and how happy she is! I mean Christina is thrilled to be a Mormon and so are thousands of converts each year. The same concept can be applied to us a normal members of this church. There will be times where people will make fun of you for being a member. It will be hard and might make us question our decision. Trust me, sometimes when i get flipped off or yelled at a little thought comes in my head, "Why on earth am I a missionary?" Its human to think that. However how quick we sometimes are to forget how good we have had it being a member or for me a missionary. When that thought entered my head how fast did i forget about Christina and her baptism... pretty fast! haha. However lately I have tried to remember the good times and just ignore those stupid comments. I know the church is true and no stupid guy flipping me off or yelling at me is going to change that. So remember that... though people might say stupid things and do stupid things you know deep down what is right and you also know how blessed you have been. I am trying to do that myself as it gets hard getting yelled at. But really, deep down I wouldn't give up my church, my faith for nothing. Its guided and blessed my life more than a stupid man flipping me off ever will.

So yea... that's been my week. Gotta love people! haha. Well I hope all of you have an amazing week! I think about all of you often and always appreciate your love and support! Take care, y'all!

Med Kærlig Hilsen,
Ældste Skyler Hardy

P.S. I posted some new pictures! so If you would like to take a look here is public link to my pictures. You do not have to have a facebook account to look at them. Enjoy!