Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Din Danske Missionær 10/26/2010

Kære Familie og Venner!

Det er dejligt at høre så mange sjove ting der sker derhjemme! Jeg har hørt at du måske skal modtage sne snart. Held og lykke med det, og jeg håber det bedste. For mig er det bare kolde regn. Jeg er ikke sikker på, der er bedre. Jeg vil også gerne sige til dig, HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Its so wonderful again to be at the computer! I was worried I would not have been able to write until the end of the week. I have a booked week and actually don't really even have a p-day this week! that's how crazy it is! haha. However I managed some time and am very happy to be here! My week was a good one so here it is! haha.

WOW, and wow! Halloween is this week! I cannot begin to tell you how fast this month went for me! I swear I just got to Århus and I am actually just finishing up month 3! Is that crazy or what! :) So Halloween is not an official Holiday in Denmark, but its becoming more popular every year. Most stores have Halloween decorations you can buy. A lot of people carve pumpkins and eat candy. However the concept of trick or treating has not taken off. Most people just have a little part in there homes and celebrate. The younger people will generally head down town and party. So its kind of fun as the holiday is getting bigger. It kind of reminds me of home a little bit! :) So for me and my companion we plan on just buying a pastry or something to celebrate Halloween. I think maybe we might buy a pumpkin. I will update you on my Halloween celebration next week. If any... haha.

So to begin we had the Zone leaders for splits on Tuesday! That was a lot of fun and we got a lot of work done. Its fun sometimes having other missionaries come to your area. You get to talk to other people besides your companion and also do a lot of work! The Zone leaders came and helped us out a lot.

Then on Wednesday we met with an investigator named Janet! I think I have mentioned her before. She is from Ghana, but has lived in Denmark for the past 18 years, or something. She is 21 or 22 years old. So she is basically danish.She speaks danish and English and we usually teach her in both. We taught her about Jesus Christ this week and showed this movie called "finding faith in Christ." she really enjoyed it. We then taught her about how faith, repentance, baptism, holy ghost all go together. She loved the lesson and told me, she "Hopes the book of Mormon is true!" YES! Hope, the beginning of faith! She has a baptism date for the end of November, but it might be moved one week. She is doing well and I enjoy teaching her!

We also met with another investigator named THU, from Vietnam. We are still teaching her English and she is improving a lot. We actually got invited over to there home and was fed authentic Vietnamese food! So that was exciting. However what was even more exciting was that we were able to teach her and her husband about the church and Joseph Smith. We learned real fast however, that they have no christian background. So that will take some time, but its a start. They are great people, and it will be a lot of fun teaching them the firsts, like prayer and Book of Mormon, etc. So I hope things keep going good with them. By they way, the food was great! :)

We also met with Nicole. She is progressing and is doing much better then she has done in the past. She is starting to enjoy church a little more and is on track for her baptism. We taught her last time about tithing and fasting. She agreed with it, and it made since to her. The ward is really starting to like her and shes also starting to like them. Slowly, Nicole is beginning to be integrated really well. That's good as I don't want her relying on missionaries, as we leave. Her testimony needs to be with the church. not the missionaries. So things are going well!

Then on Sunday we had 3 investigators show up to church. Whats even more impressive is the stayed all 3 hours! haha. We had Nicole, Marianne, and Janet! Let me tell you it was a crazy Sunday! However, they all together enjoyed church. Nicole has been coming every week since I began teaching her, so I am really proud of her. So she was coming anyways. I had no idea Marianne was coming. She just kind of randomly showed up! haha. I was so happy to see her and she said she just had the best day ever at church! She loves relief society! She told me she just finds that class, Brilliant! :) Janet loved sacrament meeting! She told me the church feels right when she enters that meeting. She didn't really like Sunday school or relief society. She told me she felt like she was being brain washed! haha. I told her its just because they probably went over stuff she didn't know about, she agreed. So I told her we should start meeting more, so we can teach you as much as possible! :) Other than that, it was a great Sunday and me and my companion were just all over the building, and talking our mouths off! It was one of the most busiest Sundays I have had in a long time! The ward was also just ex-tactic! I could tell they were impressed and happy to see people coming. That means a lot to the members! :) So I made the ward happy, so that was good! :) It was a good Sunday!

On a funnier slash cool note, we also helped a member this week move. This member lives in Randers but has a Son the lives in Århus. Well over the last 3 months I have talked and communicated with her as she has been trying to get some of her friends to meet with the missionaries. So shes doing a great job doing missionary member work. So I have talked to her quite a lot on the phone and through texting. The thing was I once served in Randers and didn't remember this women. Her name is Irene Clark. She called me last week and asked if we could help her son move move as he lives in Århus. I said absolutely! So on Friday I finally met Irene Clark and I just smiled.

I recognized who she was. She was the first member I met when I first came to Denmark.I remember being in Randers and out contacting the first day and I was super nervous and scared. Then I remember this women come up to me and greet me. She spoke English and told me, "It just warms my heart to see you guys out working." I don't know why but that had a great impact on me. She really made my day. Then I remember giving my first 15 minute talk in church. She came up to me again and talked to me and just complimented me like crazy. I remember her saying, "I think we are going to see great things from you!" Anyways, I remembered her! Now to come to find out, I have been working with her the last 3 months and didn't even know it. It was just a neat experience to meet her again.

So my spiritual message goes with my Irene Clark story. You never know what impact you can have on people. I just realized after meeting her, how those 2 comments she told me really made my experience that much better in Randers. I honestly believe those comments and a few other things are what got me through those 2 months. Those first months were tough. So my message is this, be an example and try to go out of your way to say or do something nice. Irene didn't have to say those things, but she did, and oh how much better my experience was. God also works in the same way. He continually blesses us, even when we don't deserve us. He just loves us that much and wants us to be happy. Let us be better and do a little more... you never know how much those little things can mean to people.

I hope all of you have a fantastic week! I heard you might be getting snow in Utah.... so watch out and good luck with it! haha. We don't have snow yet but its cold rain. Also not very fun! Love you all!

Din Danske Missionær,
Med Kærlig Hilsen,
Ældste Skyler Hardy

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Din Danske Missionær 10/18/10

Kære familie og venner,

Det er so vidunderlig at være på bibliotek at skriver til dig! Jeg håber du har haft den bedste uge, og er glade for den kommende hellidage. Jeg er meget spændt på det fordi det er min sidste hellidag sæson i Danmark.

haha, ok now I am done with danish! I hope all of you are having a wonderful week. It has been quite the adventure over here in good old Århus. Its been kind of an exciting week, but in all I would say it has just been busy. Something I am very, very grateful for. So let me recap my week!

So we began the week with a less active appointment with a man named Fareed. He was baptized many many years ago and hasn't been to church since. haha. However he still has a testimony and loves the missionaries, he is just a little lazy when it comes to coming to church. He even admits it.... all he needs now is a kick. haha. Well he invited us over and he made us some food from Iran. As Fareed comes from Iran. He also showed us some show in his Persian language about Joseph in Egypt. Apparently they made a TV show about it and how Potiphar's wife still has a thing for him, and I guess the entire TV show is about the hidden love relationship with Joseph and Potiphar's wife. That's what Fareed told me, haha. The show was in Persian translation so.... I didn't get much out of it. However that TV show that just so happened to come on sparked a spiritual conversation and we had a great talk with him about the scriptures and how important it is to continually follow Christ. I think it really helped him out and he got a lot out of it. I know as missionaries we are not allowed to watch TV, but in this instance I am grateful I didn't say anything and allowed this show to spark an Interest in Fareed. Pay attention to your surroundings you never know when our Heavenly father might put something in our path to teach you something! So that was a fun appointment.

Then on Tuesday we had splits with my district leader and his companion. That was a crazy day. I decided earlier in the week to go through the dropped piles of people who once investigated the church and for some reason stopped or the missionaries dropped them. Elder Warner and I thought it might be a good idea to visit some of these people and maybe give them another chance. You never know. So we went through the piles and piles of records and made lists of people and address and spent all day Tuesday visiting people. We managed to get 1 person interested in meeting again. So that was a success. We will be continuing this project over the next few weeks. That was a lot of work, but much more worth it. Its a lot easier to contact already contacted people. I thought it was much more effective then walking around the city randomly looking for people. As we were contacting these old investigators we also contacted while walking to these places and guess what, we got a few phone numbers and address of people that might be interested. So that was an exciting day. I am telling you, splits with other missionaries is always a great help.

We also met with THU this week and continued teaching her English. I saw a huge improvement with her this week. She has been studying really hard and I was very impressed. She just loves church stuff.... she wants to learn but she just cant understand it when we try. We are hoping her husband will want to come one day and maybe then we can teach... as he can translate for her. Lots could happen here, it just takes time and patience. This THU, though is a sweet women. We drew a board of a city and asked her in English to explain how I can get from point A to point B. So I asked her where she wants to go on the board. She said, Church... haha. If I didn't know any better I would say shes already Mormon. :) So that was a lot of fun teaching her this week.

We also have 2 new investigators this week. Its a Women and her brother named Charlotte and Johan's. They both come from Ghana, I think and are very interested in the church. We showed them the Book of Mormon and were just AMAZED! They said, wow... its just like the Bible. I was secretly saying in my head... but better... haha. We taught them about Joseph smith and they just gobbled it up. We have another appointment later this week with them. I look forward to seeing what happens with them. Fun stuff!

Then on Sunday we had a ward eat thing after church called Fællespisning in Danish. Basically every family in the ward brings a food, and we all eat and share and talk for a few hours after church. Well one thing that always helps getting investigators to church is if you tell them there is food! haha. Well I mentioned to Marianne about it and she showed up to church. Marianne is a young girl I believe I mentioned last week in my email. Well she came to church and even went to relief society and really enjoyed it. The ward was just eating her up. I mean, they loved her. She stayed at ate and had an amazing day at church! The only questionable thing was... Nicole another investigator came also... she is a little upset with missionaries and some members... I was shocked she came. She talked negative about the church and was very rude to Marianne. However I managed to sweep Marianne away and I had the bishop sweep Nicole away. I explained the situation to Marianne and she completely understood. She even told me she is planning on coming to church again next week. :) Exciting stuff.

So speaking of Nicole...well we have had a lot of problems with her. In fact the Mission President and the Bishop are now both involved with her teaching process. She is like the energizer bunny... she just never stops... She keeps going and going.... and then keeps going some more. I hope she can find a testimony... but this time its not only the missionaries helping her out. She had a good long talk with MP and Bishop and things seem to be back on track. Shes a roller-coaster and is now hitting the top of the hill. Its only a matter of time she heads back down. However this time we have other people on the ride... so that should help things out. Even though shes a tough person, I truly hope she can find what shes looking for in the restored gospel. I know it can bring her happiness... I just don't think she knows what she is looking for. Something I hope she can figure out. So yea...

So my spiritual message for the day is about 2 things or 2 sayings my Dad has taught me growing up... but I don't think it has really clicked until now for me. These last few months on my mission being with different companions and different people have really made these 2 things make sense. My dad told me....
#1. Let people simply be people.
#2. Beat people with kindness..

So one thing i am learning a lot is how different and weird people can be. I am also learning how mean and cruel they can be too. As a missionary we are not always placed with people we enjoy or even get to teach people we want to teach. However these last few weeks 2 things came into my mind and have helped me tremendously to have patience and keep me calm. haha.

#1"Let people simply be people" I cant even begin to tell you how much my dad told me this one. haha. He was like a broken record! haha. Well guess what, I finally got it! I realized that if I just accepted how people were, and just let them be them, with all their quirks and craziness... I enjoyed life a lot more. Instead of complaining to myself and creating anger to that person all in my head.. I would just relax and let them be themselves. I was less stressed more relaxed and could enjoy life. Something all of us want. Its funny but half the time that other person you are secretly mad at... doesn't even know he or she is doing anything to bug you. So the only person that gets effected by your hidden anger is you.Not cool.

#2"Beat people with kindness" Wow, I love this principle. Something that I also have started to grasp. People can be rude and cruel and all you want to do is say something back that's also rude or in some way or another have your revenge on them. One thing I have enjoyed this week is when you still are nice to those who are rude to you.... it actually makes them questions what they are saying...it puts you in a more innocent state-it makes you more Christlike. Sometimes it can make them angrier, but guess what if your doing your part to be nice and they are still rude... then they are the ones with the continued problem, not you. You then are able to move on with your life. The best way to get revenge on others is to simply Beat them with kindness. haha. :) LOVE IT!

I hope all of you have an amazing week. I hope you all know I love you and pray for you always. Enjoy the fall weather as I believe snow will be on the forecast soon. YIKES! haha. Ha det godt! :)

Med Kærlig Hilsen,
Din Danske Missionær,
Ældste Skyler Hardy!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Din Danske Missionær 10/11/2010

Hej alle min familie og venner!

I hope this letter finds you all well! I hope you are enjoying the fall weather as winter is just around the corner. Its officially cold enough now in Denmark where I need to wear a jacket every day. I don't know if its because it really is cold, or because I have some of the Florida blood from my Mom.... hehe. Either way, winter is coming and I am enjoying this weather as much as I can before it gets too cold! Its been quite a busy week this week for me, so let me re-cap to y'all.

So because we had General Conference last weekend we had some missionaries stay over for Monday for p-day as we had Zone Conference on Tuesday.So on Monday we have 4 additional missionaries in my apartment. That was kind of fun, a little a wild, but a lot of fun. We talked and simply enjoyed each others company. We had pizza (something we do not eat as often) and had fun! Then that night we found out there was an additional 2 missionaries coming to spend the the night as they live to far away to travel Tuesday morning. So we had 8 missionaries including myself in my apartment... wow, what an interesting night! haha.

Then on Tuesday we had Zone conference! Our mission president has decided to have a ZC every other month. So this last week I have been so busy, I actually didn't even think about that we had zone conference... so I didn't really prepare anything for it. Because every conference our mission president chooses 2 people randomly to give a talk... Well guess what... I got called on. YIKES! I didn't have anything prepared at all. The topic was on Goal setting... oh and did I mention this is also in Danish! haha. So wow that was a scary moment! So i grabbed my scriptures and Sister Andersen (Mission presidents wife) noticed I was nervous and gave me a thumbs up. haha. She new I was not entirely ready. So I made my way up and began to speak.......... TO BE CONTINUED. I will tell the rest in my spiritual message below! haha. Zone conference went well and it was a nice day to relax and catch up with all the other missionaries.

Then on Thursday I needed to take care of my Visa Information. I finished all my paper work and sent it into the mission office and they approved it all. Then they sent it back to me and said take it to the nearest Police station and they will finish it up for you. So I make my way to the police station and enter the doors and I was like, wow this is a nice station. It looked newly remodeled and it was very comfortable. Well I found out that was the wrong part of the station I was in. I needed to go to another part of the building. I followed the signs that said, "Immigration office." So I made my way over there and wow, was it a crazy experience. I enter the room and it was really small, plain white walls and a number take system. I was number 88 and the number was on 72 when I arrived. The room was stinky and small and was very uncomfortable. Quite the difference from the other part of the station I was at. Well I ended up waiting for 1 hour and a half for it to get to number 88. While I was waiting I was like the only white guy in that room. haha. The rest were from crazy parts of the world like Africa, or somewhere in the middle east. I kept getting strange looks from them, lol! Finally my number was called and I left the waiting room and entered the office where a nice danish lady helped me out. She was mean with me at first, until she asked, "Do you speak Danish?" I looked at her and said in Danish,"absolutely, I am in Denmark, arnt I?" She got a big smile on her face and we spoke danish to each other. She was so impressed I spoke and understood danish. Danes do not like foreigners that do not speak their language. So we got my visa stuff figured out and it took only a matter of 5 minutes. I asked her why it took forever with other people and she said its because nobody else had there paperwork finished, She said I was one of the first that had no problems that day. haha. So I made her happy, as I don't think she liked dealing with all the foreigners. I also was very kind and I mean who could resist the "Skyler Hardy Charm" haha. Just kidding! :) I just treated her how I would want to be treated... its amazing how well that principle works! :) It was still quite an experience as I was treated like a foreigner.... that was kind of a new concept for me. It kind of made me a little homesick. I cant wait to be back in my own country! :) So yea, this was a shocker of an experience for me.

We taught THU this week again. She is doing well with English. She always mentions God in our language lessons, which is awesome! But everything we want to teach her about Joseph Smith and Book of Mormon are still beyond her limit with english. So patience and time and I am sure the Lord will bless her and me and my companion so she can learn about the restored Gospel of Jesus christ! :) YEA BABY! I am excited to see where this will go!

We also met with Marianne this week! She is a sweet young lady and I was just glad she still wanted to meet. I tried setting a baptismal date with her last time and that kind of freaked her out. However she still wants to learn about the church, so given more time and more understanding, who knows what will happen. We taught her about the Book of Mormon and basically where it began and where it ended. We shared some scriptures with her and had a good lesson. She told me she is very interested in her family history... I said we have just the thing to help you out. So we are going to schedule her a day where she can do some family history work with a member who knows all that stuff to help Marianne out. :) So that exciting.

As for Nicole the other investigator I have. She is a human roller coaster and right now is on pause with the missionaries. She goes up and down and up and down with the church. It was stressing me out and stressing her out, so I decided to give her a pause. I hope the best for her. If its meant to be things will work out. So yea.

So my spiritual message for the day goes with the story I began about me giving a talk in Zone Conference. Normally I do prepare stuff but these last few weeks have been crazy and for once I was caught un-prepared. SO I get up there and was praying as hard as I can to say something meaningful. Well the Lord blessed me with inspiration and told me to share my favorite scriptures Helaman 5:12- Which says,
And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the arock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your bfoundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty cstorm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.

Ok, so your probably wondering what this has to do with the topic of Goal setting. Well I basically said that in all reality a Goal is only worth while if your intent and desire is aligned with that goal. I also said, Goal setting is not new and its something we do all the time as missionaries and human beings. So the thing I shared with them, is remember where your foundation lies. Remember that if our foundation is built upon Jesus Christ, WE CANNOT FALL. That the reason we are missionaries is because of Jesus Christ and to help others come unto him. So that is my spiritual message for the day. Always remember why we are members of this church and why we always strive to be betters, why we set goals in our lives... its because of Jesus Christ. He is the way and there is no other way except through him. So yea, it turned out well and I thought it was a good little message. :) You should of heard me say it in Danish! :) hehe.

Well everyone, that was my week. I hope all of you have an amazing next week, filled with joy and happiness and all types of good stuff. Take care and Ha det godt! :)

Med Kærlig Hilsen,
Din Dansk Missionær,
Ældste Skyler Hardy!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Your Danish Missionary 10-4-10

Hello Everyone!

I hope all of you have had an amazing week. This week was kind of a weird one as transfer occurred. So not much has really happened! haha. However it was a good week.

To begin the week started out with a wonderful p-day. My companion Elder Hebbert and I did some shopping and took pictures around the city. This was our last p-day as a companionship. So that was fun, and we managed to relax and take it easy.

Then on Tuesday we met with our baptismal date JANET! She is doing super well and we had a great time teaching her. We taught her the Holy Ghost or Spirit. We wanted her to know about the spirit to help her feel if the church is true, as the role of the spirit is to testify of truth. So we had a fun lesson with her and she asked a lot of questions. She seemed to enjoy it. In fact she made another appointment with us for Friday! However, She got really sick and was not able to keep that appointment or come to General Conference unfortunately. I am a little worried, but I have faith things will continue to work out. Shes a great person, and she is searching for truth. Exciting stuff.

We also taught our English class on Tuesday and we have a new student. I think I may have mentioned her before, but maybe not... In any case her Name is THU, and she is from Vietnam. He is in Denmark because her husband is studying here. She just tagged along for the ride and is trying to master her English. The unfortunate thing, is her English is really, really bad. Shes far from perfect, and has a hard time speaking it. However she can read and write really well, so that's how we are able to communicate with her. She told us last week she believes God will help her learn English and that she loves reading books about God. haha. So we thought, what the heck lets give her a Book of Mormon. So we gave her one in Vietnamese and one in English. We told her that if she will read one verse in English then read it in Vietnamese, it can help her! She was thrilled and told her husband about it! Now he wants one too. So we hope as these classes progress and she gets better at English, we can start teaching them about the church! :) Its just going to take time and patience as she has to be able to understand us, if we want to teach her gospel stuff! haha. Shes a sweet person and is enjoying the classes.

Sam, the Chinese man I have been teaching is officially in China for the next 2 months! He has a testimony and I just hope he remembers and keeps it when he gets back! I look forward to his return and pray that he will be watched over and protected so he can make it back to Denmark to join Gods church! He told me last week he is really looking forward to coming back. He is a good man, and will miss him!

The on Wednesday we have the dreaded day of Transfers! haha. Its so much work, but this time I got to relax and watch my companion pack and travel with his stuff. So at 7:00 elder Hebbert and I decided to get some yummy pastries at that famous bakery here in Århus as our last good buy celebration. Then around 9:00 we headed to the train station and boarded a train that would take my companion to Bornholm and I would get off at another station and switch companions with somebody until my new companion arrived later that evening from Copenhagen. My new companion is Elder Warner and he is from Utah. He grew up somewhere around Salt Lake... not 100% sure, I will have to ask him again. I think things will be OK. So yea, new companion, new adventures!

Then on Thursday we met with a less active member named Fareed. He is a awesome guy from Iran. He knows the church is true, he is just a little lazy with coming to church. However. he father recently died so we have tried to make him a weekly visit to help him. The home teaching program isn't really present in the Århus ward... the bishop is working on it. SO until then, we as missionaries kind of do a little bit of the home teaching. It was a fun appointment as we painted his restaurant! IT was a lot of fun, and Fareed really appreciated the help. He made an amazing lunch for us and we just had a great day with him. We told him to come to church this Sunday and watch 1 session of General Conference... but he didn't make it. I will find out what happened. People can be so unpredictable!

So as must of you read last week I told you that Nicole is no longer an Investigator, well that's not entirely true anymore! haha. She is a stubborn person and is back being an investigator again. I think she respects me more for standing up for myself and my companion as she has been very careful on what she says to me. We decided to only meet with her in the church. Things are going well with her again. I personally believe she already knows the church is true, but doesn't really know it herself. It's kind of confusing, but that's my impression. The thing that's wrong is she has a mountain of problems to climb over and its been quite the hike for her. Shes coming but its hard with you have such a large task ahead. I was talking to her and we decided that maybe its time for her to speak to our mission president and discuses these mountains with him- She is game and we have an appointment with our mission president tomorrow at 6. I pray and hope that she will receive the guidance and help she needs. She has a soft baptismal date for the end of December... and with what happens tomorrow will determine her baptismal date. She is a good person and deep down I really hope and care about her and want the best for her! I Will keep you posted! :)

General Conference was awesome! I really thought it was one of the best conferences I have seen in a long time. There were so many talks that just amazed me. One thing I liked is how the talks taught basic truths of our church! I just loved it as that's what I teach every day! So I am excited to use some of these talks with my investigators! I watched conference at the church, but because its so easy now days for members to watch it on the Internet, it was basically only other missionaries, and the few like 5 other members that showed up! haha. So it was like a lot of fun hanging out with the other missionaries and having the church building to ourselves! haha.It was a relaxing day and I just loved it! I never really appreciated General Conference until I came on my mission. Our Prophet and our apostles are amazing, intelligent, men and I could feel there testimonies as they spoke! It was just a great conference! :) So that's my spiritual message for the day! We have been blessed in our day with apostles and prophets! Lets listen to them and take their words and apply them!

I hope all of you have a great week! Thanks for all your love and support! Take care!

Your Danish Missionary,
Med Kærlig Hilsen,
Ældste Skyler Hardy