Wednesday, April 29, 2015

This 2nd week went quick! - April 27, 2015

Well this week really went by fast!

On Tuesday and Wednesday we deep cleaned our apartment for the end of the transfer. Wednesday we did service at a park in Islip, for earth day they had a big project going on cleaning it up. We were breaking up a bunch of hard old dirt and mixing in compost so that they could plant in it later that day, then we also raked a bunch of old leaves out of the forest edge, pulled out dead branches and logs, and picked up nasty trash hidden under the leaves. Throughout the week a LOT of people cancelled appointments, weren't home, never responded, and/or didn't have time to talk to us..but that's the life of a missionary!

Thursday felt like we were inside forever between studies and weekly planning. I had a mini exchange with the STL's for dinner that night, it was nice to have a change. That night we took a Book of Mormon to a lady that Jessica had met and talked to on the train. Aaanndd..she's Haitian!!! Definitely the highlight of my week. She is really nice and talked to me in creole, not crazy fast like the few I've met when contacting, but so I could understand, and I used creole with her the whole time once I knew. She lives close to us and is married with a little girl so I really hope she continues to be interested. Friday and Saturday we went knocking as a district in the same areas. Also on Friday we met a new girl, she is a foreign exchange student from China and has been working with the Chinese speaking sisters in Flushing from our area. She loves the church and is so ready and excited to be baptized. She is seriously so cool! We're helping her finish getting ready and she is coming to our ward now. Saturday there was a meeting for the new trainers so we drove out to the mission office in Queens and back (about an hour and a half each way). Sister Layton says it was really good and wishes they had told her all of it before I came.

Sunday was a multi stake conference broadcast from Salt Lake for the North-east corner section area of the U.S. Elder Anderson and Hales spoke as well as the 2nd counselor in the general relief society presidency. It was cool! We share a building with the Spanish ward so announcements were translated and we sang at the same time in 2 languages. We had dinner with a senior couple in our ward for the end of transfers and she made orange jello with mandarin oranges and carrots which reminded me of moms jello :) starting tomorrow it will be just me and Sis Layton and Sis Ewell will be out of Bayshore for the first time in her mission. Not sure what else to tell you about, sooo ask me questions and I'd be happy to answer!

Ohh!! We drove to a park nearby this morning and ran down the trail to the beach! If you look close, behind to the left of my head is a lighthouse, the light was even still on :) it is on what's called Fire Island. It was a gorgeous sky too!! Pplluuss it was a trail run, my favorite :)

Mwen renmen tou ou anpil!

Avèk lanmou,

Sè Hardman


First Week in Bayshore, NY -- April 20, 2015

I didn't email last week cause I was traveling, but it was mostly getting ready to leave the MTC, making sure I had done everything and then goodbyes. It was weird and hard not to be able to hug my teachers goodbye, they were like friends to me too cause it was just me and them in class forever each day. BYU men's chorus did our devotional last sunday. I loved hearing a beautiful choir sound again, and it reminded me of my semester at BYU.

When I got to New York my companions picked me up at the airport.

Their names are Sister Layton (my trainer, called ASL) and Sister Ewell (switching areas at transfers next week). We are in an area called Bayshore, it's on the island about halfway across on the very south end. Here they call any of the NYC boroughs the "city" (queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island) and everything else the "island". I am being trained English, but there are some Haitians in some of the town/cities in our area. There's us and two sets of elders in our area, district, and ward. My district leader is Haitian, and two of the other elders were called Creole speaking so I can practice with them. We all live in the same apartment building, as well as 2 Hermanas (Spanish ward but Bayshore area too).

My first day we went "fearlessing" or contacting on the streets of Jamaica, Queens with the 2 other Creole sisters then went to the President's house. We went out to dinner at a seafood place and they did a little intro to the mission for me. We've been really busy and it's made me feel overwhelmed and exhausted. I thought I had adjusted to life on a mission at the MTC but it's turns out there's a whole ton more I have to figure out, get used to, and learn.

There's about 50 members in the ward. There's a whole bunch of recent converts and less actives were trying to help. In the morning we run down to one of the piers and see the ocean. It is super crazy rainy today!! The power was going in and out this morning and it's really windy.

I have met sooo many people and done so much I don't even know what else to tell you about. We use our iPads all the time for our area book and planner, it's really helpful to have that with us. We're trying to clean up our area book because for awhile nobody was good at putting what they did in.

I will be here for the next 3 months aka 2 transfers for sure as I am trained. My address is

94 4th Ave #309
Bayshore, NY 11706

Sè Amanda Hardman


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Flying out on Monday!               
Amanda's Haitian Creole nametag with her companion's French nametag so you can compare the languages
Amanda’s Haitian Creole nametag with her companion’s French nametag so you can compare the languages
The companion and I
The companion and I
The sun was really bright so don't make fun of our closed eyes, but I have grown to love these sisters soo much in the short time I've known them
The sun was really bright so don’t make fun of our closed eyes, but I have grown to love these sisters soo much in the short time I’ve known them.
We may look and sound serious in most of the pictures and emails, but we sure have a bunch of fun together and I will miss all the wonderful sisters!
This is Hermana Zambito and I a few pdays ago. She is the only other missionary here going to New York New York South and she is learning Spanish. She is the cutest, sweetest and most fun sister. We have the same schedule so I see her everyday at gym and meals.
This is Hermana Zambito and I a few pdays ago. She is the only other missionary here going to New York New York South and she is learning Spanish. She is the cutest, sweetest and most fun sister. We have the same schedule so I see her everyday at gym and meals.

I have been pushed forward two weeks because I’m doing really well with the language, so I will be leaving for New York on this Monday the 13th!

Since the first week my teachers have been, what I thought was joking, about sending me out early because I was getting it really fast. On Wednesday last week I found out they were serious and they talked to their boss and boss’ boss that night. My mission president was then contacted and we got confirmation yesterday. 
I’m nervous but so excited!
Last week at the temple I had a great experience. My health had been really frustrating me, and I had been praying for help and strength. My companion was reading the scriptures and I looked over to see where/what she was reading, and my eye caught a scripture. Alma 34:41. “But that ye have patience, and bear with those afflictions, with a firm hope that ye shall one day rest from all your afflictions”. It was exactly what I needed to hear right then. My companion had been getting the impression to read that chapter over and over at the temple and had been on that page for quite a while. I’m so grateful she was listening to the spirit and acting on, because it was an answer to my prayers. Another important scripture to me this week was Alma 37:14. It was Thursday and I was thinking a lot about the real possibility of leaving early and it was freaking me out. I understood why my teachers though it would be good, but it was making me scared. Then I found this scripture while studying the Book of Mormon. “And now remember, my [daughter], that God has entrusted you with these things, which are sacred”. God trusts me enough to send me here to the MTC alone to learn Haitian Creole, and trusts me enough to send me out to New York two weeks early. Even if I don’t trust myself, he knows exactly what he’s doing and what I’m capable of. We truly can receive answers and help through other people and scriptures.
The church is building a temple in Port-au-Prince Haiti!!! I freaked out, I am so excited for them! It amazes me the love I have for these people that I don’t even know that well. They will in the next few years have the wonderful opportunity to attend the temple for themselves in their own country, in their own language.
Wednesday afternoon I taught at TRC, where volunteers come in and they are themselves while a share with them a message/lesson in Kreyol Ayisyen. I taught 2 returned missionaries that went to Haiti at the same time. One of them was the last sister to learn Haitian before they cut the program and just now opened it back up! She served 1990-91. I also met a sister whose brother was in the last group of non-native missionaries to be sent to Haiti. That was 10 years ago. Maybe with the temple coming in Haiti we will be able to send more missionaries there again. Who knows, but they are such faithful people. 
General Conference as a missionary was an amazing experience. I was able to pay better attention and get so much more out of it than ever before. Elder Bednar’s talk was probably my favorite :) It was about how to overcome fear.
1. Look to Christ
2. Build Foundation on Christ
3. Press Forward with Faith. and also about how Godly love & fear (aka correct knowledge, understanding, and awe of God’s eternal plan for us) dispels mortal fear.
A big question I had going into conference was about how to overcome my fears of a missionary and especially of leaving early. There was soo much throughout conference that calmed my heart and will continue to help me. Some other’s I really enjoyed include: Wilford Anderson on Sat afternoon. Gerald Causee and Elder Holland on Sunday morning. And then Elder Anderson’s on Sunday afternoon because he talked about Ayisyen yo. There was beautiful spring weather in between sessions on Saturday and we took a “nature walk” around the MTC campus as a zone. I was so happy and excited to see Lissa in the choir for the General Women’s session that I watched on Saturday! After I found her I started to recognize so many other people that I know from both the home and YSA stake in the choir. It made me happy to see so many great people :)
I love you all!!
Sè Hardman
“I’m no saint. Unless you think a saint is a sinner who keeps on trying.” -Nelson Mandela
“Fear not…Courage, for the Lord is on thy side. If we do what’s right we have no need to fear” -Let Us All Press On

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Week 2 Gone

Bonjou fanmi mwen!

The MTC is still just great. It definitely feels like I've been here for more than two weeks, we do so much all the time.
Aaron, I have a joke for you...who was the first prophet to go through the MTC? I'll answer it at the end.
Yes, I am supposed to be alone here, it's still crazy. The past 3 transfers has been one solo Haitian Creole speaking sister each. There's just my two teachers so we come together or 6 weeks apart. My investigators I teach here are not actually investigators. My first investigator is "Jean" in role play. We take it seriously but it's a safe way to learn and practice. I got another investigator yesterday, Pierre, who's actually my teacher. In role play he is a less active convert that is really frustrating and doesn't really care about anything, but I've just got to hope and work hard so maybe something will get through to him. Tomorrow I will do TRC for the first time. It's every wednesday we go to teach people who are being themselves, two 20 minute lessons. So it could be a member or investigator, not role play but not continued meetings.

OH! I didn't tell you last week. We were doing service in the temple laundry room after we finished our session, and an AYISYEN SISTER came up and talked to me! She was talking to me in Haitian, knew that I was learning her language, that I was going to New York. It was crazy and cool! But the even crazier part is that when I was asking my teachers neither of them know who she is...and I didn't have my name tag on because we were in the temple, so she couldn't have known from that. Fre Chandler thinks she might be a member they are having come to TRC for me. I guess I'll find out!

I'm really happy with my progress in Haitian Creole! and so are my teachers which is a good sign. It's not very hard of a language, and having french background helps me guess and get close enough while I'm still learning. I told you the wrong name for the songbook, it's actually Chan Pou Granmoun ak Timoun. It literally means Songs for big people and little people. It makes me happy :) It can also get confusing in the language because every word can mean at least like 5 other things! aahhh you really have to know the context in any sentence to understand what is being said. 

Once again, the spirit is just really strong here. I love how much I can feel it. I have had so many insights that I didn't realize before as I study for my investigators. Since this sunday was Fast sunday we had mission conference, which felt like an MTC session of general conference. One of the District Presidents and his wife, the 1st counselor in the MTC presidency and his wife, and the MTC president and his wife all spoke. I don't have much else to tell you about, so I'll just spend the rest of the time answering questions and responding.

Sister Calderon is from Sacramento, CA. Sister Welter is from Orlando, FL. Sister Deakin is from Treemonton, UT (right by ID). As Sister Training Leaders my companion and I interview the other sisters and report to the Branch presidency concerning how we are doing. We are the sisters voice at branch council. I don't get to watch Women's conference until Saturday, we're watching it when the elders have Priesthood session. I'm really excited and will definitely listen especially for those talks!
The first prophet to go through the MTC was... Moses! cause it was the empty sea ;)