Thursday, March 26, 2015

"This whole town was flooded!"

March 23, 2015

This week was another weird and crazy week! We also had a couple close calls with dogs.... really close calls!
Monday my companion and I cleaned the bathroom and holy crap, that thing has literally never been cleaned, it was disgusting! 

But it was Tuesday was when things got crazy. We were doing service and I got a call that I had an hour to be ready to catch a flight to Santa Cruz!  So we hopped on motos and ran to the house to get my things, ran to the airport and luckily I made my flight. I flew from Riberalta which is an hour away. then flew to Trinidad and then to Santa Cruz it was crazy! I had to go for immigration and got no heads up! So on Wednesday I saw guys from my ccm group in Santa Cruz which was so awesome! It was sweet talking to them in Spanish. We spent the whole morning in a office doing finger printing and paperwork and at about noon we were finished so we were all able to chill out in the mission offices which is always fun. Then at 3:00 Presidente showed up and asked if we could have a meeting with him. I was the last to have a meeting and it was good I did because in my area we have little to no one to teach and it’s super difficult and frustrating so Presidente helped me out and gave me a list to work with its so cool! And then he told Elder Buma to take me and the guys out side to Burger King!! Oh man, it was awesome! I didn't realize how we literally have nothing in my area and Santa Cruz has everything!! Thursday I was traveling back to my area and I landed in Trinidad and didn't have a ticket to my area and so I had to go fix the problem and find a way to get a ticket!

 Friday was back to work! We have a new investigator! He has a super mean dog though, and it hates us. They have to tie it up because it tried to attack us... but Saturday was absolutely crazy!!!! It was raining like normal and we left the house to go to a service project and there were motos everywhere and we were like, “what the heck?” “Another fight?” And then ambulances came! So we start walking and found that all of our area was flooded!!!! The canal that goes through the middle of town got backed up and this whole town was flooded!! So we started going to our families houses to see if they were okay and the whole town was waist deep!! It was nuts! We found that everyone was okay and the water ended up draining into the giant river after about 4 hours. 

Sunday was a good day, we taught a new familia and they are full of questions. Well, the daughter is.. she has very sincere questions and the dad had attacking questions, so it’s difficult at times, but we answer them the best we can. 


Elder Harding

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

"I had an encounter with cows.."

March 16, 2015
Hola everyone!

This has been a great week! I'm now able to understand so much Spanish is crazy! I am able to talk a lot more and connect with people and even joke around! Everyone has been telling me how great my Spanish is now, so that’s awesome. The only trouble I have is understanding my pention. Haha! She loves to take advantage this and make fun of me... but its okay I guess, I probably deserve it. Haha! She says after I can understand more and after my mission she is going on facebook and is going to tell me all the funny stuff I said wrong and stuff like that so that will be fun. 

This is a good week. Monday we went to Riberalta zone and played them in soccer. Later that night we met with a contact we had and this guy loves missionaries! His name is Miguel. He said he has taken the lessons before with elders and he is super excited for us to teach him! Tuesday we were having a great day we got in 5 lessons. 

We had lunch with Hermano Osman who is a investigator with a baptism date. It was funny because Elder Zuniga is from Chile and Bolivia hates Chile so he always gets crap from people. Osman was showing us his military papers and Elder Zuniga read a part and shakes his head and hands it to me and told me to read it. It was talking about how Chile stole their sea when Chile’s story is that it was free land and they won the war. Haha! 

Wednesday, we taught Miguel the restoration and we were bearing testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and he stops us and says guys I know its we were thinking, “why aren't you baptized?” We then invited him to get baptized and he said he wants to but only if his whole family does. So it looks like we have to work with his wife now. 

Thursday, we taught the guy with the addictions and he hasn't had any progress so we taught about how strengthening your spiritual strength will give him the power to over come the addictions and he showed up to church and participated in the lessons, it was great! That day we were walking and a soccer ball came over a wall and hit a wasp nest! As soon as I saw all the wasps come out, I started running and my companions didn't see it and they were saying, “What is Elder Harding doing now?” Soon the wasps were swarming and they were right behind me! Haha! Luckily, no one got stung! 

Friday I had an encounter with cows, so I had to take pictures with them. They had a rope on them and lets just say I came away with a bad rope burn, but thats alright. 
We taught a hermano who is suspended and we talked about the priesthood and have a date for him to be ready to get the priesthood again and all he has to do is have a couple meetings. I’m excited for him. 

Saturday I got a phone call that my new companion is finally here! His name is Elder Gallardo and he's from Argentina! He is super cool! He finishes his mission in a month and a half so I'm with another elder finishing up his mission. Sunday was a good day we had a noche de hogar with a family who invited a ton of friends and we had 28 people there! That is more than half the people in church! Haha! We taught about the Armor of God!

Elder Harding
 Elder Harding or Bolivian Vaquero?

Sunday, March 15, 2015

"I found a goat nice enough to take a picture with!"

March 9, 2015

I spent the week with my two companions getting used to two areas. Monday, we taught  an hermano and he's a great investigator. His wife is a member but he isn't. We are so happy we have a baptism date for him! This is great news, now we just have to get him to get up in the morning and make it to church! Tuesday was inter cambios so our district leader Elder Sira spent the day with Elder Zuniga and I. Elder Sira is an awesome missionary. I learned so much from him! Also we had a guy come with us because he's leaving on a mission in a week. It was a good experience because had the opportunity to give his first priesthood blessing! it was really cool because the baby was sick and wouldn't stop crying and the second after the blessing, the baby stopped and was looking up at us and was smiling and laughing and was happy!! Wednesday we taught the word of wisdom to a menos activo because we saw him drinking one day... He tells us he doesn't drink at all so we will just have to keep teaching... We also had a noche de hogar with familia and we shared experiences about how the gospel blessed our lives and we asked the hermana to share and she started crying and said how she has been angry with God but after hearing to us she realized how God has been here all along and she needs to change her views. It was a great experience. Thursday was another word of wisdom lesson because one hermano looked hung over. During the lesson his wife mentioned his dad had an alcohol problem and coca problem hinting to us that the husband had problems. So at the end of the lesson I asked if he had problems with any of these things and he wasn't going to say anything but his wife just through him under the bus and said, “Yeah, he drinks coffee, tea, alcohol, he does coca and he smokes. So we were just like, “dang”… I think we will  be working with him on one thing at a time. Friday was a good day because I finally found a goat nice enough to take a picture with! The whole day was a lot of contacting. Saturday we taught a police officer who is menos activo. At first he was so serious but we got him trust us and now he's super nice and is actually really funny. He has a lot of crazy stories too! Sunday I taught all of the 3rd hour to the men in the branch. I was pretty nervous but it turned out fine. And, we found a huge iguana and I got a picture with that too! 
Today we went to Riberalta and had a zone on zone soccer game it was a lot of fun. I got two goals! haha!


Elder Harding
friendly goats are hard to come by

Sunday, March 8, 2015

"It felt so good to sit on couches!"

March 2, 2015

Haha, yeah, I've heard about the river overflowing. The river in my area is super high it gets higher every day but we are fine right now. If  it gets too high they will just move us to a different area. but dang max thats some crazy stuff with the toenail but awesome! Did he save it? 

This week was kind of crazy.. 
Monday was a good day, we taught a less active family and shared a video called together forever and it went really well. They ended up coming to church this week!
Tuesday we taught one of our contacts, he wasn't listening but his wife was super interested and was listening really well. We are trying to go back to visit but its hard I’ll explain a little later. That night we had a noche de lugar with Presidente Cali and he has an amazing family! And he has couches!!!! It felt so good to sit on couches!!! I felt like I was in the states! Wednesday was the crazy day. My companion got a call that they had messed up his date for going home and he found out he might be leaving the next day. I was like, “What the crap am I supposed to do!” So that day was nuts with a lot of time on the phone. Thursday he found out he was going to Santa Cruz Friday then home the next day. So we spent the day visiting families he wanted to say “goodbye” to. On Friday I saw him off and I am now in a trio with Elder Wertz and Elder Zuniga the other elders in my house. It’s so hard now because we have my area and theirs to cover. That is a lot of ground to cover but we are doing out best! I have to say, It’s been awesome teaching with them. We all work really well together! Saturday we had an activity for the young men and they got together to play soccer. Their leader never does anything and of course didn't show up so we bought them drinks and stuff. It turned out to be a good activity. Sunday we taught priesthood and were teaching about priesthood blessings and one guy asked for a blessing so he could have the strength to be more obedient and be more worthy. He asked me to give it, so that was really cool. That night we taught a guy who had read a little of the Book of Mormon and had questions so we taught him and answered all his questions. Overall, it was a really good week!


Elder Harding
 Goodbye to Elder Valle
 Elder Valle and I with my new companions, Elder Zuniga and Elder Wertz
Breaking the fast

Sunday, March 1, 2015

"I couldn't help myself"

February 23, 2015

So, lock down was so boring!!! After the first day I was thinking, “How on earth am I going to survive this!!!” I read a bit out of the Book of Mormon but I can’t read all day! So Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday were carnival! To keep myself entertained I bought water balloons and I had tricked every elder into getting them alone one by one and then attacked them with water balloons!!! It was awesome! Haha! Our house is a two story house and we sat on the balcony and watched everyone attack each other on the street with water balloons, paint, and eggs. It was so funny to watch! I can see why we couldn't go out because walking around in white shirts and ties… we would get destroyed! There was this huge gang of motos and we counted literally 123 motos in the group! They would ride around and destroy people with stuff! The last day they finally saw us up high on our balcony and we were just sitting there and all of a sudden Elder Cardnas gets hit with poop!! Literally poop!! Oh man, I was laughing so hard and then I get hit with paint! And then came all the eggs! We hid out in the house the rest of the time, haha. On the last day I couldn't help myself… so our pention came to give us food. We took the food and from above then I started chucking water balloons at her and her husband! Haha! They are really cool and laughed about it! But she said, “Just wait until you’re in your white shirt Elder Harding! 

So finally on Wednesday we got to go teach again! We were super excited to get out of the house thinking everyone would be worn out from carnival and they would be home but we didn't get in one lesson, no one was home... it was a long day of contacting. Thursday we taught a menos activo familia and it was great because the whole family was there and usually its only half and everyone was super happy! It was great. That night we all went  to our favorite chicken place (the place we go to celebrate things) and celebrated my three months! Friday we had a couple lessons with contacts. We taught this guy about the plan of salvation and he wasn't really listening so we had to cut it short. Saturday, we taught this guy who used to take the lessons from missionaries, his name is Alexi and he was super interested and didn’t want the lesson to end. He had a lot of questions and it was awesome so we are meeting with him again this week. That night I had a dream I got to play for centennial again against BHS and it was so cool! I miss football. Sunday we taught familia Camachu, a menos activo and talked about being examples to your family and kids and at the end of the lesson we asked her to pray because she never wants to. And she said, “umm me?” Then looked at her kids and paused and said, “yeah I would like it!” And it was a great prayer! We also had a noche de lugar con a familia and they invited all their non member friends. There were so many people it was super cool.


Elder Harding!