Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Book of Mormon is True

TJ = Awesome
I tried to think of something funny to put as the subject for this letter, but had a brain fart so I just put a statement that I think everyone knows to be true :)
Wow, I am so happy for Guzy about his mission call!!! That is literally the "perfect" place for him to go! He loves soccer and he loves people from Brazil, I honestly am not surprised about that, he will love it and will make an outstanding missionary! Give him my love next time you see him :)
Gunn family, so I might have gotten the address wrong when I wrote your letter possibly, so today I will write another one and answer ALL of the kids questions. Sorry, I know I have been slacking off on that, I saved your address in our phone-yes we get phones out here. Thank you very much Trav for giving me your address again, much appreciation! I will also try to send letters out to everyone else answering questions you have, sorry it is really hard to find time to write and answer questions you have. I know, it can be a little irritating when you keep asking someone a question and they do not respond, I will do my very best.
When I heard the news about the jazz.....I almost died! I was devestated! That sucks!! I heard Karl Malone called them "a bunch of babies" or something like that, thought that was pretty funny :) but still sad tho.
Bree I loved/hated the pictures from the cruise. Loved them because they were hilarious, especially the ones with you and I think it was Chris posing in the room, that gave me a good laugh. Hated, obviously because you got to enjoy perfect weather. But that is ok because Spring is coming up!!!! I saw some pictures my companion took during the summer, it is the most green place I have ever seen! God knew that I loved really lush, green trees and fields and that is EXACTLY what Alaska looks like during the summer! Can't wait!!!
I got all of your packages the other day! Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!! SO much for all of them, I could not stop smiling!!! My companion has not gotten mail from his fam for about 4 months. His dad is a total Yellow and I am pretty sure he is figuring he is coming home soon so why bother?? He is a great sport about it tho, I offered to let him open one of the packages I got, but then later realized that that was kind of a bigger punch in the face! hahahaha, the joys of a mission :)
Anyways, back on to missionary business. Last week was a more slow week. Numbers were really low, not a lot of success. It is so hard to find work out here because 1: the areas are very small (It takes 4 Alaskas to fill up the entire US, but there is only 600,000 people in it) so people recognize you and what you are doing so they already have an answer ready. 2: It is pitch black after 7:30 to people do not want to be disturbed, as kids are sleeping and they are tired from work. 3: because Lucifer is workin nonstop and using all of these factors against us to the fullest! It is really hard, the hardest thing that I have ever done in my life! I was studying the other night and I was just feeling overwhelmed. I prayed a few nights ago asking if the Book of Mormon was really true. I know it is true, but I want to know WITHOUT A DOUBT that it is. I want to know that what I am showing people I believe in 110%-without a doubt in my mind. I put the BoM in from of me and was asking Heavenly Father "is this Book true Heavenly Father, I really need to know, not only in my mind, but in my heart. I want to believe it with all the sincerity I have. I every ounce of strength in me I want to believe it!! I know you can show me and I know you will." now I know that Heavenly Father is busy and we tend to expect answers really quickly so I said after all of that "take your time, I know that the way you answer will always be the best way for me. I will wait for it." The next night, after I was finishing up some quick planning, I realized that I haven't read all of your testimonies since the MTC! I was going thro the book that Terra was so kind to make for me. Thank you very much Terra, you have no idea how much of an impact that book has made on me already! All of your testimonies were amazing! All of the stories you had! I could feel each and everyone of you as if you were right next to me as I was reading it. But I got to tell ya, one of them really hit home to me. It was Easton's. I love hearing the testimony of a child. They are always so innocent, but they always speak the truth and, I can't quite explain it, but there is just something about them that really stand out to me. At the end of Easton's testimony he said "while your gone, I am going to write you because I love you" as I read that, I could feel his love. Now, I do not really cry a lot, I have not cried yet while I have been gone, I am not sure if that is a good or bad thing, sorry to dissapoint you if I haven't. But as I read that, I could feel some tears form in my eyes. Heavenly Father gave us the scriptures because he loves us. He gave us the knowledge to know that we can go back and live with him again because he loves us.
You can talk facts with anyone all day long. You can argue certain points about the scriptures and try to prove to them why it is true. "They are so focused on the things they can see; that their problem is in what they cannot yet see" -Henry B. Eyring. I may have messed that quote up a little bit, but it is from a book that I just finished reading called "To Draw Closer To God", I highly recommend getting it, a very short read, 191 pages, and so good! It is always the testimonies that convert. You have to have them FEEL that this is the true church. They may already know who Jesus Christ is, or that Joseph Smith was a prophet, but still are not yet persuaded. Once they experience the truth, the spirit, that is when they cannot deny that this is the true church. The spirit never lies. I would not be out here if this church was not true. I love it with all my heart. To think that someone died for all of us and suffered every single sin that we commited in our lives is the biggest act of love anyone could ever perform! In my prayers, I have found myself thanking, not only God, but Jesus Christ for suffering for us to that, one day, we can return and live with him again. That is love, and that is what I felt when I read Easton's testimony. Easton won some big points with me today, and I will never forget it and it was all because of his short, heartfelt testimony :)
I love each and everyone of you more than you know. Thank you for everything you have done for me. I think about you all the time and stil cannot believe I was blessed with such an amazing family, who is so strong in the church it blows me away! Thank you again for all of your support. I love you!
Elder Hartman

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