Saturday, February 14, 2015

"I realized I love the mission"

February, 14, 2015
Happy Valentines Day!

So, I found out last night president wanted us to write today since we don't get to on Monday! I don't have too much to say this week it’s been hard to teach with everyone getting ready for the big party! 

Today we went to a family’s house because one of the elders needed his laundry washed (I just use the good ole wash board now) but we were there and I don't even know this family since it isn’t my area. This little boy wanted a blessing of comfort because he was always crying in school and is very nervous about school. We had six missionaries with us and this little boy looked and me and smiled and said, “you!” So I gave him a blessing of comfort. That was super cool. So the rest of the day today we are going to be buying stuff to get ready for our 4 day lock down!

Last Monday my zone got together and made a bunch of food! It was a lot of fun and it was honestly the best thing I’ve tasted since I’ve been here! That night I had a dream that my mission was over and I was at home and I hated it! Haha! But when I woke up I was so, so happy I was still on my mission! That’s when I realized I love the mission. I just didn’t realize how much I loved it until now! Friday we were supposed to have a service project to finish the fence but the Hermano never showed up so we just walked for an hour to our pentions for lunch . So everyday that I have given a blessing, I have been prompted to check my oil and make sure I have enough. I never know why and literally every time I've checked it, I've given a blessing that day. It’s super cool. I had to give a blessing to a menos activo porque her cuerpo was hurting. Later that day we walked by these little kids and they start chanting negro y blanco! Negro y blanco! because my comp is black and I'm white so now we are “equipo oreo!” Wednesday we had a service project crazy far out into the jungle and it was in another area and the elders told us it was only a 30 min walk. Bull crap! That was a thirty minute moto ride! Haha! Afterwards we had to walk back because there are no motos out there and it took 2 hours! Haha! It was a lot of fun to see all the jungle. The rest of the day we all were dead tired but we still have a job to do and so we got to work! Thursday we did nothing, we were contactando all day and only had tiny lessons but at least we had some. Friday we had dinner as usual and despues we had a noche de hogar (family home evening) and it was really good It was with a menos activo familia who has been coming to church every Sunday! After the lesson they brought out a HUGE plate of what we call mystery rice. It’s rice with whatever they have, they mix in. Haha! I was already full from dinner but we had to eat it all and I thought I was going to throw up because of all the food! That made us late for another noche de hogar and we had a 25 minute walk to the house. On the way, we passed this little boy just balling and crying and it was dark and I told my companion, “We need to go talk to him.” We asked what was wrong and he kept saying I cant go home, I cant go home. We asked why and he said it was because his fishing line was snagged. I tried to unsnag it but I couldn’t and it was a thick line so he couldn't break it. So i saved as much line as I could and cut it was my knife and the kid just smiled at us and started sprinting for home. I was a good feeling to help him. But its kind of funny because all the missionaries ask why I always have my knife on me and I tell them you never know when you will use it. It’s a tool, not a weapon. My companion finally said he now understands Haha!


Elder Harding

 Service project
Our favorite juice bar
Heading into the jungle
 We hitched a ride after service. We were burnt!
Our PDay cooking
 A failed service project
Found saltanas!!!

"I'm fine, really!"

My Machete!
February 9, 2015

So real quick mom, since your hounding me with the health questions, yes I'm all healed of the problem. Haha! Yeah, the presidents wife is our nurse and we call her if we have problems but the doctor we use is a 5 minute walk. I’m fine, really. Haha! And also, a thing of business… Just so you know, next week I won’t be writing. The reason is because it is Bolivia's big “Ole Carnival!” I hear people go absolutely nuts during carnival and we can’t leave the house for 4 days! So I can’t write next week. Our pention is super nice and said she would bring us food but only if we don’t throw water and stuff at her like the other elders did haha! They say people here go crazy and destroy everything and throw whatever they have at everyone. Water, juice, paint, chalk, you name it, and they just make a huge mess. So this should be interesting.

So, Monday I got my first haircut in the field and I was so nervous! Haha! There are just so many hair cut places you don’t know who is good or not. I guess it turned out alright. We had a family home evening that night at Hermana Elsa’s casa and we had pizza! I've missed pizza so much! Tuesday was a long day and no one was home so we just spent the day tracting and looking for menos activos on our list. Wednesday we did a huge service and cut the grass in this guys yard and it was a huge yard. We were all so tired but he owns a restaurant and he fed us after so it was awesome! It was also a slow day.Thursday was inter cambios and I was with Elder Estrada, one of my good friends here and we had a really good day! Our day was full of teaching and I had a little more responsibility that day because he came to my area so I had to lead everything and man, it felt good to have more responsibility. Friday we taught the family that helped us in the rain again and it was great! They are always so happy to see us. Saturday we had another service project and I got attacked by ants... it wasn't fun. Later that night we found a menos activo familia we have been looking for for so long!! They love missionaries and they have a picture book full of pictures of missionaries. Haha! We will definitely be working to reactivate them! Sunday I had to bless the sacrament. I was wondering why the kid next to me was laughing and when I went to bless the bread there was only half of the prayer there... so I was like, “crap, what do I do?” It was slow but I got it! And that day my companion had fat blisters so he couldn't walk so Hermana told us to stay home... that wasn't fun.. but it was a good week!

Love Elder Harding

Sunday, February 8, 2015

"I already have a parasite"

February 2, 2015

I'm so sorry to hear about Sister Smoot, I will be praying for her.

This morning we had an emergency service to do for a family. The lady with the sick son needed to take him to the hospital so Hermano Sosa picked us up in a moto taxi and we took off to their house. The poor little guy lays in his bed all day long and has not much muscle left. He can’t walk and can barely stand. We put him in the wheel chair put him into the three seater moto taxi and we took him to the hospital and unloaded him then the doctors took it from there.  

This week was a solid week. Monday we had luck with a menos activo we found that had served a mission when he was younger! He was so excited to talk to us! Tuesday, we visited the menos activo families who came to church and talked and visited with them. They are super cool families. Haha… So, um… Wednesday, I'm a little hesitant to write..... but don't worry mom, everything is perfectly fine now! Alright, so I've been a little sick the whole time I've been here in Bolivia, pretty much. So we went to the doctor to find out the problem. They did tests on me and I found out I already have a parasite! But, we caught it early so I just have to take pills for seven days. It’s all good! All the elders thought it was hilarious how I got parasites my first month in the field, haha! But, just so you know, I'm doing 100 percent better! So later that day we were in more of the wilderness part of our area and my companion and I heard this noise… We were like, “what the crap is that? rain? wind?” We were still walking and didn’t see anything and then, “bam”, there was this loud noise. Suddenly out of nowhere we see this wall of grey! We both looked at each other and said, “oh pucha!!!” and we just started booking it! The grey was a huge down pour! It started raining so much! We managed to make it to this shed thing and this lady next door saw us trapped and invited us in to get out of the rain. But since her esposo wasn't home we couldn't enter so we just sat in her door way. We were able to get her information and went back to teach them later in the week.  Friday us when er went back to teach them and they turned out to be the coolest and nicest people ever! And they were super interested! Her husband makes fishing nets and man, I've been missing fishing so much this week! I saw some kids fishing, and they were catching so many catfish!! Saturday we went with a member to a menos activos house and we asked why she had stopped coming to church and she yells because IM NOT MORMON IM NOT ANY RELIGION! We were just like whoa... alright.. and she starts saying she doesn't like the book of mormon because it says the word si too much haha.. so we just shared our testimony’s and got out of there. Sunday was a good day, we met with a menos activo whose wife was not a member and we taught about families. Afterwards the wife had so many questions about eternal families and the temple and baptism. It was so cool! We were so stoked after!!

Oh, I also saw fire flies for the first time! It was so cool! But it freaked me out because it was dark and one lit up right in my face. My companion thought that was sooo funny..


Elder Harding
 My zone leader, he's super cool!
 A centipede in my room!
 Missionary living
 The river is looking way too full!
This is what it looks like when we mob around!