Monday, February 7, 2011

"Your doin' the Lord's work, God bless." - random guy in a big truck

Hi Family -
This week was awesome! We baptized Juan Medina!! I'll attach his picture and a few others at the end of this e-mail so you can get a taste of what it is like up here. It was a really great baptism tho. Elder Unsworth baptized him, which I was so happy about. As they were stepping into the font, Unsworth says "wow that is really hot!" I feel it-not kidding, it was prolly about 140, it was burnning, literally a baptism by fire, but it was awesome because they started to run cold water into it, less than 2 minutes later it was perfect temp, the Lord was working it right there I know it!
The other day we went OYM-ing (open your mouth) for 3 hours. We prolly walked 5 miles, I loved it tho. I saw the sun outside as we were eating lunch and I said "Elder, let's just go walk outside, lets to OYM", "you sure? it's still a little chilly". "The Lord will provide" I said, and plus I just reeeeeeeeaaaaally wanted to get outside and walk around, I hate driving every where and being inside. It was so awesome walking around outside, just getting fresh air and feeling the sun, seeing it shine so brightly, made us so happy. We had no success, most people were not interested or just plain ignored us. As we were walking across an intersection a man from a big truck said "keep up the great work Elders!" "we will! thanks!" we replied with enthusiasm. "Your doin the Lord's work, God bless". All it takes is just a little more motivation to keep pressing on, even tho we had no success, that made me so happy just to get out and see people. A little comment like that can turn a whole day around. It made me think of a quote "it is praise worthy even to attempt great action". Not every day is going to be a perfect day and have a ton of success, but that is no reason to not go out and still give it every thing you have got.

This is the little patio area we have. You can see, it gets pretty cold at night.
We were visiting Less Actives last week and we went and met Sita & Nir. They have both been baptized, but are not going to church. We have been trying to contact them for about 2 weeks and we finally get a hold of Seta. We walk inside and start talking to her. It was weird because everytime we would try to talk about the gospel, she would quickly change the subject or just brush it off. The more we talk, the more worried we are getting. We get on the subject of life after death and she says "we don't live after we die, once you die, you die". We are both stunned. "What makes you believe this?" Elder Unsworth asks, and remember she is baptized so she should have a good understanding about life after death. "Because one of my friends died for 6 hours and then came back to life and when I asked her what it was like she replied 'nothing happened, it was just black and empty'". I wanted to reply "well she was obviously just knocked out, she wasn't dead" but I held my tongue, it was driving me crazy!! At one point she asked us if we believed in Heavenly Father, our jaws nearly dropped to the floor. I wanted to scream at the Elders who baptized her because they were just rushing to get a baptism. It is really sad to see someone who does not have a understanding of what happens to us after we pass away. Mistakes happen, some more serious then others, but then that is where the power of forgiveness comes into play. Later that night I was thinking about what had happened and then I thought about the hostile thoughts I had towards the other missionarys "they just made a mistake, yes they should have known better, but they made a mistake" so in my prayers, I apologized for the bad thoughts I had towards them even though it was incredibly hard. You should always think twice before making a judgement towards someone. Adam fell that men might be saved. Too often everyone thinks that what Adam did was wrong and they look at it as a negative event. Yes, Adam fell, but he got right back up, it was all part of the plan. Because he made a mistake, we can now experience sorrow so we can experience joy. You can't know happiness if you do not know sadness.
Said one bucket to the other; "Whenever I get filled, I am emptied out real soon"
The other bucket replied; "Whenever I am emptied, I am ready to be filled again!"
People often get a little impatient and sometimes angry with God because he does not answer prayers fast enough. We live in a age where consistency is everything. People get mad if their phone does not download something fast enough. Relax, your phone is going to space and back, it is going to take some time. Other times, people get mad when their flight is delayed. Your sitting down on a chair in the air, being served soft drinks and snacks, what more do you want!? If there is one thing I have learned from prayer, it is that, God may not answer your prayers the way that you think is best, but he ALWAYS answers them in the way that is best for you. Sometimes, we get a little discouraged because we are facing really difficult trials in our life and we tend to forget God, I am guilty of that for sure. What is so wonderful about Him tho, is that he knows how much we can handle, and he will NEVER give us more than we can carry. He knows us so well and loves us with the most pure love you can ever imagine mutliplied by infinity! He WANTS to give us blessings, whenever you give him a dollar, he gives back 10. He gives us more blessings than we can hold. Even saying "thank you" to him makes him so happy and that is the least you can do. Take the time to recognize what our Heavenly Father has done for you. He has given me the best friends I can ever ask for, the chance to serve a mission and repay whatever I can to him, and has given me the most loving and best family anyone could ask for. I love you all and think of every one of you every day. Even if you do not have a lot of time to pray, at least say "thank you" to him and that will suffice. I will step off my soap box now :)
Funny story, the little tangeant I went off on about Seta earlier and how I was mad at the missionaries who batpized her, but later forgave them? Well one of them is sitting right next to me e-mailing. Even the Lord has a sense of humor :)

Flashback to the MTC
Elder Hartman

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