Wednesday, September 30, 2015

"He was Mr Bolivia!"

These are old planes that crashed in Trinidad. They just pull them out of the way and leave them here in this airplane graveyard. They are on air force property and we got permission to explore them from the mechanics who let us through. 

September 28, 2015

This week had its ups and downs but mostly ups. It was a good week. The downs were I got sick because someone gave us bad water. I went to the clinic and my tests came out clean but I took the medicine they gave me anyway and I'm all good now! I have to go back and take more tests to make sure I am still in the clear. Then, after I started feeling better, my companion fell ill, he had the same thing! Hahaha! It was a rough week but we are good now! 

I'm pretty stoked about a new investigator I have. We contacted him in this rich neighborhood and we got talking and this dude is freaking jacked!! He's huge!! Then, I found out he was Mr. Bolivia!!! Haha! So he and I got to talking about the gym and all that good stuff. Haha, it was awesome! I was so happy to talk about working out and all that with him. We passed by his house again and he was leaving with his family to go to the park. He is also always working and then spends time at the gym. But he was super happy to see us and talk with us more so we will be passing by every Sunday because it is his only day free. We also have another really good family and they are all ready for baptism! But..... we are waiting for the fetchin lawyers.... one dropped the family and the other one wants more money and the family doesn't have the money... The lady investigator needs to get a divorce from her old husband who she doesn’t have any connection with anymore and doesn’t have kids with him so it should be a quick divorce but we need to find a better lawyer for her. 

So this was my week. it was pretty solid. And outside of the teaching, we are always running around because we are doing stuff for the zone! Haha! It’s crazy to be zone leader!

Elder Harding
The difference between a city and a country missionary's badge.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

"I am now in Trinidad"

Leaving Guayaramerin on combios.
We are building sofas for service.
This is the first Ford F150 I've seen since I've been here!

September 14, 2015

So this week was interesting. Yes, I finally had combios after 9 months in my first area! I am now in Trinidad as the zone leader! I’m pretty nervous to be the zone leader... but oh well, I will just have to work hard! This week I haven’t worked too much because I have been running around doing things for the zone. I am so lost here in Trinidad, haha! I don’t know where anything is! I had the opportunity to meet my branch and I bore my testimony on Sunday. The branch is big and strong and we have good leaders who help us work so I’m excited to get to work with them more! My companion is Elder Velasquez. He is from Argentina! haha! He is a cool guy he is super goofy which is good because i don't like serious haha! 

Elder Harding

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

"Everything is coming along so perfect"

September 7, 2015

This week was a great week!!!! We have a new investigator and her name is Keila and she is progressing super fast. We have had 3 visits with her and we have finished lessons 1, 2 and 3! She has come to church 2 times!! She has a baptism date set for the 26th and is ready!! She wants to learn as much as possible so we are visiting her everyday! We are preparing her for the combios in case we are not here. Our goal is to finish everything for the next missionaries who come to this area after combios. They won’t need to do anything before her baptism, she is honestly ready!! She is super out going and loves to joke around and she already knows the Book of Mormon. When we ask her to open to a scripture, she opens right to it! It’s just amazing how everything is coming along so perfect. That scares us a little hahah. But she has been prepared and is ready!! Also, I've been with Elder Sanchez this past week who is finishing his mission tomorrow. He is from Costa Rica. He is super cool and super funny! I’ll miss him so much when he leaves.. I have learned so much from him!! 

Elder Harding

Saturday, September 5, 2015

"President Zambrano came to visit"

Elder Harding with President Zambrano

August 31, 2015
Elder Harding

Entonces this week was a different week but a good one! President Zambrano came to visit! We had a meeting and holy crap, I learned a ton from him!! It is always good when he comes because we don’t really ever get to talk to him face to face because we are way far away from Santa Cruz where our mission home is. We all were able to have interviews with him and lets just say I don't think ill be leaving my area anytime soon! haha! He asked everyone at lunch how much time they had here in Guayaramerin and everyone is saying 2 months, 3 months or 4 months. Then he came to me and asked, “And Elder Harding?” and I said, “Well I only have 8 months... hahaha” and then he laughed and said the record for the last 5 years is 10 months in 2 areas. He said I might break the record, haha! So I don't know what will happen on the next transfer…we will see!

We have a new super good investigator! She was a reference from a member. This woman is super interested and I'm super excited to teach her Wednesday! 

We also found out the hard way about a bug here that makes a loud noise that hurts your ears. It looks like a cross between a fly and a cockroach.  If you get near it, it pees on you... My companion got peed on like a good 6 times this week! We learned that when we hear it, to not stop and look but to RUN!!! haha! My companion HATES all types of bugs so it was pretty funny that he was to one to get it!

Elder Harding

Friday, September 4, 2015

"Fernando is finally Baptized!"

August 24, 2015

This week had its ups and downs for sure! To start off, we had some sick service projects this week! First we went out in los compos to work like all the local men do here.  We went to cut down trees with our machetes!! It was a lot of fun! we had to use long sleeves and long pants because of all the bugs and spiders. I think it is how my companion got dengue fever. It’s a disease you get from mosquitos and he is pretty sick. We've been to many, many hospitals and used a butt load of money of taxis... haha! He is alright now, doing much better. The other service project we did was harvesting yuca. Yuca is the root portion of a plant like a potato and I think I even like yuca more than potatoes! So this guy said he just wanted to cook for us and we went way out in the compos to eat haha! He has a sick little camp thing. It was like an outdoor house, like a dream camp to me! This turned out to be a good week. Fernando is finally baptized!!! He did it!!! It was a beautiful baptism with lots of support from the branch!!! it was a fun week!

Elder Harding

"My rat count is two"

August 17, 2015

This week was a pretty good week. We had so many family home evenings with members it was nuts! I kept getting calls from people wanting us to pass by and give lessons to their families for family home evening. It was good for us because we got feed really well! haha! 

This week my rat count is two. We have a huge rat problem. So we will be studying in our house and a rat will run by… so I grab my machete and I've killed two so far! The latinos are all scared to death of them! haha! 

For P day today we went to Riberalta and hour away and had a really cool activity with the zone. It was at this resort like place and it was really fun. We played volleyball, tennis, soccer, ping pong and a bunch of other games.

This week I've focused on helping Fernando read and some menos activos! This Saturday will be the baptism of Fernando!! he did it!!! I am so happy! Hopefully he shows up to this baptism... haha! I know he will. He is super excited and loves to read the Book of Mormon. I also showed him the app the church has and so now he listens to the book when he is busy! I am pretty excited for him! Other that that not much is going on. No other progress with people..I’m still working on that.

Elder Harding

"Day of Bolivia"

August 10, 2015

This week was a good week! It looks like Fernando is staying strong! I've been working with him a lot and we are continuing to read the Book of Mormon with him because that is the key of conversion and gaining strength. And it is working!! He keeps saying August 22nd is the day of his baptism and he will not fall for temptation! He is reading and studying the Book of Mormon and isn't going out on Saturdays so he can control his decisions! this week we have had the “6th of August” which is the “day of Bolivia". The zone leaders heard that nothing happens on this day and that we can work as usual... (but they were so far off!) So here we are working among the millions of parties that are happening in the plazas in the middle of my area..... and Holy Crap! I cant explain how nuts it was... all the Brazilians come over (from across the river) and get drunk, dance and fight.... We had to walk through like every single party just to hide in a house of Hermano Sosa a member. We stayed there and had a 3 hour lesson! hahaha! Later we had a video night in the church so the members would have somewhere to go because the members don’t leave their houses on this day. haha! It was a very interesting experience. This did turn out to be a good week and my convert Edwardo is doing so well. He hasn’t missed a Sunday! And most of the  time he comes alone without anyone and he is passing the sacrament! 

Elder Harding

"Elder Guayaramerin"

August 3, 2015

So you guys are waiting to hear about transfers... this is what happened… my companion, Elder Melo was transferred to Santa Cruz and my combio is......well..... uh still in my first area!!! haha! I didn't get transferred!! haha!! I’m now training another brand new missionary, Elder Bravo from Peru. So it looks as if i’ll be finishing this first 9 months of my mission in my first area here in Guayaramerin, haha!! I really don't mind because I really like it here and have a lot of friends. The people here are calling me “Elder Guayaramerin” hahaha, and are saying they need to change the name of my mission to Bolivia Guayaramerin. Everyone in my branch here all said how they are super happy and grateful I’m still here to work. There is usually a high turn over of missionaries and they enjoy seeing a familiar face. haha! So here I am training a new elder again and oh, I am also the new district leader too! For the work this week we started to read the Book of Mormon with Fernando and he showed up to church on Sunday! And, he brought his girlfriend which is crazy!!!!! S now I am hoping he can stay strong this month. If he does, we will baptize him at the end of the month!!! Other than that not much has happened. I've been really busy starting Elder Bravo’s training and after I got out of the trio this week I have had to find the people that I couldn't contact this week because we don’t have time to visit everyone in both areas when we are in a trio. I am really happy to have more time in my area and the opportunity to work with Fernando. haha! He is so close. 

Elder Harding