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!