Monday, February 21, 2011

God Delights in Blessing Us

Hello, hello family!
So I just got done reading an AMAZING book. It is called "Divine Signatures" by Gerald N. Lund. This book is just amazing. If you want to strengthen your testimony, or read about amazing stories then I highly recommend this book! It talks about how much of a role God plays in our life. He shares stories about how God blessed people and what a difference he made. It helped me realize how much of a difference our Heavenly Father makes for us. It is amazing, absoloutely loved it!
So the other day, we were walking out to the car to leave to go visit some LA's and RC's. As I got ready to back out my companion, I turn around and I see this huge figure out of the corner of my eye. I look. It is a big mama moose standing there staring at me. A little more than 10 feet away. I just sat there and looked at it, a little shocked because I have never been this close to a moose before. I got some pictures of it, I will try to figure out how to attatch them with another e-mail-we are at different computers cuz the library is closed today, hence President's Day. That was pretty kool to see! Startled me a lot! It's funny, instead of deer crossing signs, like we have in Utah, there is Moose crossing signs here. That always gives me a good laugh. I have seen a lot of moose here, it is just like seeing deer in Utah, it is not necessarily uncommon to see one, but it is not rare either.
People were not kidding when they said the average weight gain is 40 lbs! I am already up 10! I have only been out almost 2 months now and I am becoming a big papa! Last week, we ate with the Mahe's, a Samoan family. Let's see, they had, skinned potatoes, chicken, gallons of rice-literally, lamb, salad, corn beef, rolls, pizza, breadsticks, and a few other items that I cannot recall. I know that Samoans like it when people eat a lot, so I buckled down and went to town! I gained 5 lbs in that sitting and my comp only gained 1!! I was beside myself!! But I had the familys respect, mainly the fathers, who was a sasquatch. He liked that a little guy like me tried to eat a lot :)
We are teaching Nina right now and we set a baptism date! March 2nd, her mother's b-day! It was weird, so her mother is Gothic. When I first went over there, she recognized that I was a new missionary, so she walks right up to me and hisses in my face. I stand there and look at her with a puzzled look, "can I help you?" I reply. I had no idea how to respond. I guess she was a little upset that didn't affect me. Later as we were talking to the family, I hear Sister Carol-the grandma whom they are living with, give a little gasp and say "Dori get that thing out of your mouth!" I turn around and I see Dori (the goth) with a huge knife in her mouth. "This family has got some issues" I thought to myself, but I did not judge, I am sure she is a wonderful person once you get past the gothic stuff. It is a challenge to teach Nina, she has a very short attention span and gets distracted really easily. She does remember what we say tho and retains information really well. We are making progress and that is all that counts! :)
We got to help out with the world championships of junior sled dog racing! That was pretty exciting. This wasn't the Itidarod, it was actually more of a fast paced race. In this race, it is a 880 sprint, as one of the older sled dog racers told us. Time is the main factor in this. Like in 100 yard sprints how a few seconds is a huge gap, the exact same applies to this. If you are more than 4-5 seconds behind the leader, that is considered a very big gap! One thing I found out here was, people who are really into dog racing, it is not unusual for them to have 70-80 dogs! Wow!! I like dogs, but that is kind of a lot. In the Itidarod race, you start out with 16 dogs, and you have to finish with 5. I guess during the race, they usually "drop" dogs, meaning when the dog gets sick or injured, at the next checkpoint they drop them off there and they fly the dogs back to the city. Also another kool fact, if you are a certain amount of time behind the leader in the race, you get DQ'd (disqualified for those who are not gifted in grammar), because people are volunteering their time to stand next to the trail and make sure the riders are ok and if you are taking too long, they leave because it gets pretty cold!
Weather has been pretty nice, we are having a big of a cold break right now tho, and it has been around 10-15 degrees, yikes! I cannot wait till it gets up to at least 40. By then, we can wear our normal suit jackets! Which reminds me, Terra, I extend my greatest sympathy towards you for experiencing that aweful "getaway" to the cabin this weekend ;). Thank you so much for writing my companion too! That really means a lot, you are the best!! Thank you!! :)
I will leave you with a thought I had the other night. As I was reading "Divine Signatures" in one part it said "God DELIGHTS in blessing us". I was so happy when I read that, and could not believe it at first personally. He WANTS to bless us, he WANTS us to be happy! God blesses us everyday and we often do not recognize it. I, personally, have not recognized it a lot. All he asks for back with these blessings is 1/10 of what we earn. With everything that he has given us, we should give him our life!!! Give thanks to your Heavenly Father when you get a chance. Whenever I do, I feel a much greater peace and comfort and I know that Heavenly Father is very please with a simple thanks. I learned that Heavenly Father loves to smile. He is a very happy person. He wants the exact same for us! It always makes me happier when I think about it. I thank him for my amazing family and friends everyday now. I love him and I love all of you and I know he loves us too.
Elder Hartman

I never said this weekend was an "awful getaway".
I said "I feel your pain, it is 40 degrees in the cabin. And we don't have to go tracting!"

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