Saturday, December 31, 2011

Honduras Here I Come!

My family!! This is my last e-mail to you guys ever!  because I'm probably going to crash on the airplane!  It's going to be a good experience.
Just kidding mom!!  I'm not gonna die don't worry. :)  So since we wear the same suit every day here, mine is getting a little dirty.  Every once in a while I'll spill gravy or a little milk on it or something.  So we've been waiting till the last week to get our suits cleaned.  Usually there are certain days that you can get them cleaned in just one day. Wednesday is one of those days.  So yesterday we went there to clean our suits.  We tried to turn them in, but then the guy said there was no way they'd be back by Thursday.  Well actually he said that there's like a 3 % chance they'd be here by Friday, and they're going to be closed on Saturday and Monday!  So we couldn't get our suits cleaned.  probably I  won't be able to clean it for 2 years!  Haha but I'm not worried about it because there's nothing bad on it, i was just hoping I could get it cleaned.  So that was funny.  The reason that they weren't going to be able to do it quickly is because all of the workers that clean stuff are BYU students, and nobody is here right now because they're all on vacation!  I feel bad for the people who have had to work on Christmas and New years and stuff.  That's some good service right there!
I don't fully remember if I sent you guys this quote from Bednar, but here it is again.  "Don't just not do bad stuff.  Do better good stuff."  Just a good reminder.  So since I emailed you guys on Sunday I don't feel like I have that much to say!  I'm getting nervous to go down to Honduras and not be able to do anything. For example print pictures, drink milk, take normal showers.  I'm more excited than nervous though.  It's not like i'm scared of anything that's going to happen down there, but I just hope that I don't take a long time to adjust.  I'm sure it will all be good.  I'm going to send you guys a package of the things that I only needed for the MTC, and also other things that i don't need.  Thanks for sending me pictures!! I'm pumped to get those!  I'm gonna love having them.  I got a sweet photo album at the store and there is some nice pictures in there! I printed a good one of you and me Dad, one that I took of us right before I entered this place.  Also I have pictures with my friends that I was sent for Christmas.  I love having those.  Oh man I have some sweet ties now too!  There's this one that someone just gave me that looks like drapes from the 80's.  It is very impressive.  Also I got the coolest orange one from Kelsey for Christmas! It's perfect cause I didn't have an orange one yet. I was actually looking for one to trade for, but I also didn't want to have to trade any of my good ones.  So everything worked out perfectly.  I also traded for this cool zebra one from my friend Jason Adams a little before he left here.  So yeah, my tie collection is going good.  I did however have to part with my black and yellow striped one, the one that I wore into the MTC.  But that's alright too, because I got three ties back for that one!  I totally swindled that asian elder.  He didn't even know what he was doing.
So I don't have much else to say.  mom thanks so much for you letter, it brought back some good memories, and gave more detail to ones that I'd forgotten.  wow 4 more days!  This is nuts.  I hope I'm ready, and i hope i can understand the people there.  Mostly I just hope that I can always work harder than the day before, and that i can be the best I can.  The Lord will help us in what we need.  I know that.  So I need to work harder so I can better feel that i deserve his help.  This is gonna be an awesome next 22 months!  I can't wait.  AAA I just always feel that i can prepare more right before I leave somewhere for a vacation or something, but I just wanna be calm.  Today we're going to pack a little.  That will be fun.  I love you all.  Also, I'm going to be calling you guys on monday.  It will probably from LA.  It might be from SLC during the day. We'll see. Just be ready.  Always ready.  if there's a certain better time, let me know somehow.  like email me, I might be able to check later. or dear elder me or something.  i love you all!  a lot. Oh yeah dad! Can you take my MTC address off of facebook and my mission blog?  And then replace it with my Honduras address?   Thanks you're a doll ;)
Love Elder Danny "Threw It On the Ground" Harding

Monday, December 26, 2011

Pride Bites Back...

Dude not cool!  This is totally what I get for being prideful.  Last week I told you guys thanks for giving us good immune systems so we don´´t get sick that often.  So either that wasn´´t true, or else I was being humbled because I did get sick!  But I didn´´t really miss anything, don´´t worry.  I just had a cough and a sore throat for a few days.  One day I couldn't really focus, and then the next day I slept in through breakfast and then skipped gym as well.  So I never missed much, but now I'm fighting it off! 
This week Elder Shields and I got something in our mail that said we got picked to do a "how to begin teaching" demonstration.  So on Monday we went in to this place and had a little how to begin teaching class which we learn about all the time so apparently it's important.  But we learned about it more.  How to begin teaching is more or less getting to know the person, building a trust relationship, and just friendshipping them.  A big part of it is LISTENING.  Listening is really important because really everyone loves to talk about themselves.  It makes a point in Preach my Gospel to say that we shouldn't be thinking about what we're going to be saying while someone else is talking, we should only be listening to what they're saying.  And it also says that in 'How to Win Friends and Influence People'.  So apparently it's important for getting people to like and trust you!  Anyways, we finished our "training" on Monday, and then on Wednesday all the new missionaries came in.  So at night all the new guys went in a room and an investigator came in and then we were the missionaries that knocked on the door and got to know them, and then the new ones did the rest of the lesson.  Haha we had to do it in English so I couldn't do it at all!  I wasn't as outgoing in english I think.  And I made a funny mistake, and it was in english!  haha so this was the second guy and we walked in and he told us that we looked really tired and we should take a nap.  So what I meant to say was "Ok, I'll remember your advice tonight and go to bed early."  But what I actually said was "Ok, I'll think of you when I go to bed tonight".  haha All the new missionaries were so confused probably!  They were probably like wow I didn't know you were supposed to say that...  haha But it's all good, cause that "investigator" was already a member.  A teacher said he's at the temple all the time.  But the first guy we talked to I'm pretty sure actually wasn't a member!  He moved here from Washington and is a catholic, and he's gonna be coming every week for a couple months I think, so maybe he'll learn something and be baptized!!  He's starting a new business right by FatCats in Provo. It's gonna be a pizza factory so you guys can go there and eat his pizza.  I think his name was Paul M. I believe that last name was Magurian or something close to that.  But that was a cool experience we had!

Thank you guys so much for everything!  You guys rock!  Keep up the good work!  I'm sure I'll have stuff to send you guys right before I leave this place, but thanks for always sending what I need!  You guys rock big time!  And so does the MTC!  I love this place.  I'm learning a lot!  But Curtis was right, I really am tired all the time!  It's loco, in a good way.Peace out, I love you guys.  Please send pics!  Cause I love em. :)   
Love, Elder Danny "Ash Katchem" Harding

What Child is this...

Hello family!!   So the time here is totally speeding up.  I thought yesterday was P-Day, but apparently it was a week ago.  It all happens so fast here!
Oh ok, I was thinking that I wouldn't really want anything for Christmas, but I did figure something out that I would like from you, my family.  I was thinking it would be nice to have one of those smaller diffusers and some wild orange!  I don't think I have very many citrus oils.  And one more thing which is the most important one is pictures!!  Just a LOTS of pictures.  And when I say lots I mean lots according to mom.  Yeah I said it.  I know it's a little risky, but I'm willing to deal with the consequences.  I want pictures of the family, pictures of memories maybe, just whatever!  And from everyone else, I want some pictures too!  I'm trying to make a photo album so I can actually remember what everyone looks like.
I'm learning the importance of the scriptures here.  After the first week or so I started looking forward to personal study time every day, which we have like 2 hours or more every day.  It's so awesome!  and the Book of Mormon is the most powerful!  They told us that everyone should be reading in the BOM for at least a half hour every day, and then for the rest of your studies just study whatever.  And no matter what, study time is always in the morning.  And there's a reason for that.  They don't give us an extra hour at night for personal study, they give it to us in the morning.  We need the power from the scriptures throughout our day!  I remember how hard it is to read in the morning at home, but I want to challenge ALL of you something.  I challenge you guys all to read the scriptures in the mornings, not the nights, for an hour each day.  Yeah I know, a whole hour!!  Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven.  We need to read the scriptures until we love to read them!  I learned from my friend that we need to be as quick to pray and read the scriptures as we are to text, check scores or the latest technology, or write on somebody's facebook wall.  We should want to study the scriptures as much, nay, more than we want to do these other things.
On Sunday we saw the BYU men's choir!  They were so good.  They sang Christmas songs and did really well.  And I'm pretty sure that Mckay from Vocal point was in the choir.  It was sweet.  And I also saw one of my friends named Tyler in the choir!  So that was cool.  They sang The Little Drummer Boy and one of them gave a little message about that song.  It says in that song "Baby Jesu, I am a poor boy too. I have no gift to bring that's fit to give a king.  So I'll play for you.  I'll play my best for you."  We are all poor little drummer boys and girls.  We have NOTHING that's fit to give a king, especially Jesus.  There is nothing good enough that someone imperfect like us could give.  But we can do our best.  We can try our hardest.  And miraculously, that's all He asks.  And the simple beat of our drums pleases him, just as much as gifts of Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh.  How awesome is His love!
So I heard about an iPad app called Life of Jesus Christ.  It has all of the new movies that they made about Jesus' life, the ones they showed during the christmas devotional.  So mom and dad you guys should get that app!  Cause those videos are ballin.  Mom I don't know how you did it, but I realized that my brothers and I all have amazing immune systems.  We totally wreck all germs that dare threaten us.  I can't even remember being sick enough that I had to stay home or in bed or something.  But this week I got a glimpse of rejection.  It wasn't related to the missionary work, but I related it in my head.  Because my companion started getting sick, so I tried to help him with the doTERRA oils.  I knew they could help him, and that he wouldn't need to be sick, but he didn't want to.  He just wouldn't take them and use them.  So he ended up being sick for like 5 or 6 days, and he's just now barely getting better.  But it's totally like the gospel.  I have something that will help everyone who uses it, the gospel, and I just want to share it with them.  I know how much it can improve their lives and how they won't be unhappy anymore.  But for whatever reason, they just don't want to partake.  Whether because it's too much of a hastle for them, or whether it's out of pride, they just won't do it.  And I saw what Elder Shields went through, being sick for so long, and I just thought how none of this would have happened to him if he had just used what I had.  It makes me think of the story when moses held up the snake but no one looked because of the easiness of the way.  I'm going to feel way bad for all the people who won't accept the gospel, because I know the blessings that they can receive from it.
We read a talk called tongue of angels!!  There were actually two, and we read both of them.  Those were the sweetest talks that I've read.  It talks about how we need to not be so mean and rude and sarcastic, which was a perfect talk for a 19 year old like me!  So you guys should all read them.  There was also a scripture I read in Romans that says something to the effect of Not the hearers of the word will be saved, but the doers of the word.  As Saints we are the hearers of the word.  But are we the doers of the word?  I promise you I could find plenty of people who are non members who are much better people than some members.  In the words of Ursula, It's sad, but true.  So don't be a bum member!  Be an all star!
On Tuesday we had Elaine S Dalton come speak to us.  She talked about the birth of Christ.  I don't remember why, something to do with Christmas or something.  But it was cool, she said that we were all probably at Christ's birth, and I totally believe her!  Such a big thing in the history of the world, why would we miss it when we were angels and could've seen it if we wanted?  How cool is it that we were the ones singing hallelujahs and such!  that's cool. 
I saw brother Oswald!  But it was a little embarrassing because that was a couple nights before Elder Ramos left, and I was saying bye to him, so I was late for quiet time that night, and that's why I saw him.  But that's ok, cause it was neat!  He said he was gonna try to bring the Allen kids here sometime soon, so that would be cool if I saw them.  Oh man and the craziest thing happened when we were going to teach!!  So Ronny got baptized on Saturday, and he was so happy, so we went to see him again on Wednesday and we got there and were like oh hey Ronny!  But then our teacher who pretends to be Ronny every time, was like who are you guys?  And so we said we're missionaries and whatever and he's like oh yeah, I remember!  My wife told you guys to come.  So he told us his name is Luis.  So instead of the lesson we had planned, we had to teach the first lesson!  It was so nuts.  So I don't know if we'll ever see Ronny again, or if Hermano Driggs is only going to be Luis from now on.  So we have a new investigator now!  Luis doesn't really believe in God because of all of the bad stuff in the world.  But I'm sure we'll be baptizing him any day now ;)  But yeah, when we knocked on the door we were so lost, and in the lesson we were a little lost, but Elder Shields and I are bosses so we pulled it off.  :) 
Anyways, Happy Christmas to everyone!  Try to remember the true meaning of Christmas, and don't get crazy!  I know you guys rock, so I'm not worried.  I love you all! 
Love, Elder "100% Juice" Harding

Monday, December 19, 2011

I am a Visionary Man...

So I had my whole email written but then I deleted it on accident.  So I'm gonna type it again.  I'm just glad elder shields isn't chapped at me for wasting his time.  He told me I could write it again.  So.

Thanks for that priesthood line of authority!  I needed that.  Now whenever a Catracho (Honduran) asks me how I have power, I'll just be like bam!  And give that sucker to them.  and then they'll be amazed.

I heard  a rumor that there's a Phineas and ferb episode coming out with Dwight Howard in it!! That would be an amazing thing if ever I saw one.

I realized this week that if you're building a time machine, it doesn't really matter how long it takes you.  Just saying.  I also realized that if you read Alma 46:12 (the title of liberty) in a very deep, spanish voice, it sounds REALLY cool.

I noticed everyone is a missionary here.  So I'm not really different.  But once we get to the field, I will be totally different, and it will be my comp and I against the world.  Everybody we see will be someone who needs the gospel.  That will be sweet.

I also never told you about our branch presidency here.  They are awesome.  One of them is called Hermano Monson, and his uncle is Big Tom!  How cool is that!?  He probably has Tommy Boy's number right in his cell phone!  He's a good man. 

Now my vision.  I guess it might be called a daydream, but I feel cooler if I say I had a vision.  Cause that way I just sound like a boss.  So I had a vision.  In it I was coming home from my mission and I was in the stake center with the stake president.  He was going to take off my missionary name tag, and that's the last thing I wanted.  I just knew I hadn't done everything I could on my mission.  I felt like I had been lazy and not worked nearly hard enough.  And it wasn't embarrassment or sadness that I felt;  it was fear.  I was scared when he came to me about to take my tag.  Scared because I knew I hadn't done the Lord's work the best I could when I was on the Lord's time.  I guess there was also a sense of urgency.  I felt like I had a lot more work to do, but I had to do it super fast.  A buncyh of Honduran people, houses, and streets flashed through my mind, and I wanted to help them.  I had so much to do for them.  I should have helped all of those people, but I couldn't and my time was gone.  I just wanted to make them happy, and I knew I had given up the chance.  The feelings of fear and urgency I felt were so strong that it abruptly ended my "vision".  Right then I was just like " woah, I had better work hard."  The last thing I want when I get home is to feel that fear that I felt when I saw that.  Simply knowing that once the Stake President came and took off my tag I would cease being a missionry, and I couldn't work the same anymore, gave me so much dread.  I can't even explain the force of the feeling, but I know I will be so upset with myself if I come home with that feeling.  I realized that what I want to feel is that it's ok if he takes my tag, I did my work.  Calmness, joy, fulfillment, and peace is what I want to feel when I give up my tag.  I CAN"T end thinking "I have more to do", I HAVE to end thinking "My work is done".  And I will.

Love, Elder Danny String Cheese Harding

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Thanksgiving in the MTC

Hello family!!!  So thanksgiving...  That was a party!!  We only had apple pie.  Dad maybe you should come down here and show all these people how pie making is done.  Teaching the incredible to the house elves here seems like it would be a good idea.  But on Thanksgiving we were able to hear from Elder Russell M. Nelson!  He was a man.  He pioneed open heart surgery.  Like it wasn't even around but then he just decided to cut open someones heart one day I guess.  So he's a life saver.  He also invented the heart lung machine so that's crazy too!  They showed us a picture of him when he was younger and in a doctors outift.  It was funny.  Then at night we watched 17 miracles.  I hadn't seen it yet but it was such a good movie!  This one sister in our zone at the end of it was like "I hate that movie" cause it made her cry.  But that movie was very good. the people from outside of Utah had never even heard of it, and it was in our theaters!! That's just funny.  But you guys can pretty much just call me Levi Savage now.  Cause he's basically me.
We also did a service project on Thanksgiving.  We made first aid kits, so we passed a bag around a long table and everyone had a job (i.e. put 1 band aid in the bag, put 2 q tips in the bag)  My job was to put 1, and only 1, tongue depresser in the bag.  I was the fastest tongue depresser placer around!  No one could stuff a bag with tongue depressers like I could.  You may have seen me on the top ten on sports center.  I could just see it now in slow motion and everything! Thanksgiving dinner was pretty much like our other meals except we had traditional thanksgiving food.  Did you guys go to the Allen's parents house on Thanksgiving?  And have the Allen kids come here yet?  I've been looking on Sundays in the cafeteria for them but haven't seen them.  my lunch is at 11:30 on Sunday, I don't know what Brother and Sister Allen's schedule is like on Sunday cause I haven't seen them here at all either.
Oh dear.  There's a problem.  They made me stop playing basketball in gym because I keep on hurting everyone's feelings too badly.  It's ridiculous what I do to the other Elders here.  There was this short kid guarding me once and he was trying to force me right by turning his body a little sideways, so I just crossed over through his legs and left him behind as I drove to make a lay up.  After I scored I looked around and he was just sitting on the ground looking down and smiling a little as if to say what am I even doing with my life?  I believe that he went home 3 days later.  And then another time this Elder that everyone calls Canada, I don't even know his real name, but everyone thinks he's way good.  I think he's pretty good, but nothing spectacular.  So I was guarding him and he tried to cross me over but instead I picked his pocket.  Then I went to the 3 point line and he was guarding me pretty tight cause you know how you're mad whenever the ball is stolen, so you play harder Defense?  Yeah that's what he was doing.  So I dribbled for a few seconds and sized him up a little then I just pulled up right in his face and drained it!  I made him rethink Einstein's theory of relativity!  It was sweet.
On Tuesday this week we had Tazuko Yamashita and Kazuhiko Yamashita come and talk to us.  How Japanese can those names get?  I'm surprised they didn't give their talks in Ninja costumes!  But it was so funny because Sister Yamashita couldn't say her L's so she told us all about her time in correge and we were laughing, but she had such a cute accent and it was funny.  I had to pull out my JK-47:  LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!  And then just to complete it, Brother Yamashita couldn't say his R's, so he was replacing all of those with L's!  It was funny, but it's crazy cause even through their broken english and poor grammar, the spirit was still able to testify and teach us.  So I decided that I don't even need to learn spanish!  As long as I speak with the spirit.  Therefore, I've stopped going to the spanish classes. 
Curtis can you get me that Nike quote that's in my old room?  I think Lebron was on the poster, and it says like ask me to shoot, i'll shoot. ask me to pass, i'll pass.  ask me to screen, block out, score, dominate, anything.  But it's not what you ask of me.  It's what I ask of myself. So can you get me that quote?  And thank you guys for sending me letters instead of emails.  It really helps save my 30 minutes.  But when I ask for quotes or anything like that, can you email it to me?  Because then I can print it off and those would just be better that way.  Thank you!! 
DAD:  the scriptures I want on my plaque at home is D&C 35:13-14.  It says the weak things of the world are going to be who God calls on to serve him.  And can you think of anyone weaker than 19 year old boys?  NO.   But He then says that we will thrash the nations by the power of his word or something, and that he will be with us.  That's sweet.  And I know that among all the weak things of the world, I'm probably one of the weakest.  But with God's help I can do it!
One last thing:  we heard that Elder Voorhees, one of the missionaries from our district who went to the Guatemala MTC is having a hard time there and was talking about going home, so if you guys want to pray for him and perhaps even include him in your fast this Sunday that would be nice.  I know he can do it, but it was probably jsut hard for him to leave us all.  Thanks for raising me you guys!  and thanks for feeding me sometimes too!  You guys rock.  Mom I'm learning good things and becoming a good missionary.  haha that reminds me of a quote:
Be the kind of missionary your Mom already thinks you are, and the kind of missionary your Dad wants you to become.  That's funny stuff.
And one more quote:
You have to wake up with determination in order to go to bed with satisfaction.  That's all folks!! 
Love, Elder Danny 'TALL lab king' Harding