Wednesday, April 27, 2011

4 Months Out

Hello again everyone!
Wow, it is crazy to think that it has already been almost 4 months since I have been out! Time flies right on by without you knowing!!! Thanks again to everyone for sending the packages, I always love them and appreciate them so much, they are awesome!!! Thank you so much again! Thanks Terra for that book you sent me to! I signed it on the front, sorry I did not really ask your permission before I did and I do not know if Jeremy wants just his name on the front to keep up his reputation or something :) haha
So we went to the temple today! That was so awesome, the spirit that you feel right when you walk in is nothing short of amazing, I cannot get enough of it!! I try to soak in as much as I can and just enjoy the spirit. I was thinking, when I get back, we should go to the temple before I am released as a missionary so I can go with my family while I am still a missionary. Good idea? Bad? I think it would be fun, but only if it works for you :)
Well the closer Elder Ashby's operation comes, the harder Satan works on us. His eyes have been TERRIBLE this last week. President Dance told us at interviews that we should put forth our best effort until his operation so we can say we worked hard and almost earned the rest. His operation is tomorrow, we are not sure what time yet. All I know is that I am going to be having huge leaps in my reading! Hopefully everything will go smooth and it will be a successful operation. I am going to be going on some exchanges while Ashby recovers, I am looking forward to that, getting to see how other companionships work and what they do to be successful.
The weather is staying around a solid 45-50! It has been so nice! We are walking around without our suitcoats on, it is heaven. I start to sweat really easily when is above 50, I know that is way messed up but it is all I know! We are probably going to be baptising Nina next week so that is really exciting, she is really excited and looking forward to it. We are just really hoping that Dori (her gothic mother) does not show up dressed in all black and making a scene, fingers crossed! That is awesome about Gentry getting his call to Alabama! I don't know why, but I can easily picture him going there. Exciting news about Jared and Ryan too! Can't wait to hear where they will be called!
Well everyone, thank you again so much for everything you do and continue to do. I know that this is where Heavenly Father wants me and is right where I should be, even though at times I really question it. One really important thing I have learned out here though is that, our Heavenly Father loves us enough to break us down so when we rebuild we are stronger and wiser. It is through our mistakes that we are made stronger. It is from our mistakes that we learn better and better ourselves. I would never endure through something like this unless I knew with every ounce of conviction in my body that it is true! I love this church and nothing will ever change that! I love you!
Elder Hartman UNO! ;)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Why He's the Golden Child

Hey mom,

I just wanted to thank you for always doing things for me even when I didn't thank you. I could never thank you enough for everything you have done for me. You would always clean up after me, wash my clothes, just take care of me and I would hardly ever thank you and I never could make up for all of those times. I just wanted you to know that I really love you and you are the best mom in the world! I will always love you. You are the best mother I could have ever asked for!!! I love you!

Elder Hartman1
Hey Elder Hartman2

I just wanted to thank you for coming up with such an awesome and incredibly theory-the Color Code. It has helped me so much already in my mission. I have learned myself so much better and more in depth than I could ever imagine! Thank you for working hard and coming up with this awesome theory. Thank you for disciplining yourself and working hard in order to make our family happy. Thank you for setting a positive example for me and showing me what I should do in life and how I can be happy. Thank you for being such an amazing father. Thank you for being yourself and putting on a mask. I know that you are yourself around everyone and I love how you never change for anyone. I hope that I can be half of the man you are. I love you dad. Thank you for everything you do and just being a positive example even when you are not trying to be. Your the best!

Elder Hartman1
Hello family!

Well, just another week here in Chester Valley. Still trying to wrap my mind around the new transfer. Oh well, it is where the Lord needs me right now and I will gladly stay.

So we are in the process of scheduling Nina's baptism now! The Bishop told us a while back that if we want to go ahead with Nina's baptism we can, even though it was not his choice in the first place but he just said whenever we want to. Elder Ashby and I have been praying about it for the last while now, trying to decide on a date. She is still doing strong. Sister Carol's health is still going down hill gradually. I tell you, she is the foundation of that family! She is the glue that holds them all together. She came to church yesterday! We were both really excited about that!
I love reading all of your testimonies and hearing about how all of your blessings you can relate back to your missions! It is funny how each one of your testimonies stand out at different times. I notice different parts during different periods of the transfer. Some speak out to me more than others and they always seem just right. Thank you so much for sharing all of your testimonies with me so I can help strengthen mine. It is exactly like mom and dad said; it is like building legos, you have to start one piece at a time and slowly put it together, at first, it is week and can break easily, but the more patience you have, the more you build it, the stronger it gets and before you know it, you got a foundation that will not break! Thank you so much for everything you do and continue to do! Seriously, you have no idea how much it helps me!

Oh, and I found a house that I can skype at on Mother's Day to! So you will get to see my beautiful face, not my body though because I am at 168 now!! I have almost gained 15 pounds, I am turning into a chub chub!! But thank goodness for this BEAUTIFUL weather because now we can start walking everywhere!!

I love you all, thanks again for all of your support, both friends and family!!

Elder Hartman1

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Staying in Chester Valley

Hello everybody!

Thank you so much for the packages, I got Summer's, Mikelles, and mom and dads, thank you so much, really appreciate it!!! Well transfers were yesterday. I am staying in Chester Valley with Elder Ashby.
Elder Carlson, me, Elder Thompson. Elders serving in the Tongan ward.
So an Elder we got to know really well, Elder Offley, is going home tomorrow. It was really sad to see him leave. We got really close. During his last testimony, he talked about how a mantle is placed on your shoulders when you start the mission. Near the end, the mantle is slowly taken off. Elder Offley was saying how he didn't want the mantle to be taken off, he could feel it slowly being lifted and he was trying to get it back on. It made me very nervous for that day, although it is still a short while away, I am soooooooo nervous for it! It is awesome to feel your testimony grow as you continue your mission and the spiritual high you are on is nothing short of amazing too!!
That is so crazy, Brad is already in the MTC for almost a whole week now and Olex goes in tomorrow!! I'll bet he's way nervous, even tho you could never tell. Trev is goin to Pisa for his first area? Sweeeeeeet! So kool to hear about everyone going to these awesome foreign countries and things they get to experience! I am glad that I was one of the first to go, I would hate to linger behind.
I have gone thro a ton of personal growth in this area. Although I have not had much success, I have experience so much personal growth that I could never have experienced anywhere else in my life! I guess I just needed to learn a few things about myself. Elder Ashby and I were talking the other day, and he said that either your first year of your mission is really easy and the next year is really hard or vice versa. I am thinking that my first year is going to be hard, if what this statement says is true, and my next is going to be easy, not that I am not going to try, but I think I just need to learn more before I can actually succeed in my mission. Elder Ashby was saying that his first year of his mission was really fun and easy. I was pretty surprised, cuz I am used to having very little success, but maybe that is a good thing cuz then when more success comes my way, I will be ecstatic!!!
Well I hope everyone is doing good at home. Know that I love each and everyone of you dearly and pray for you every night. Hope you are having fun!!! Keep me updated on everything that happens!!! Love you!

Elder Hartman #1 ;)
Me and Elder Robertson (he's from Compton that's why he always looks mad ;))
My Zone

Me, Elder Offley, Elder Ashby

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Future Is As Bright As Your Faith

Hello family!!!

Once again, I absolutely love all of the support you give me. Whether it is receiving letters, packages, or reading your wonderful e-mails. It helps me so much and I love it!
Man, transfers are already around the corner. I, personally, do not really have a preference where I want to go. I would like to go somewhere different, but it is wherever the Lord wants me!
This week was actually not as bad, maybe because it was General Conference, which was awesome!!! It is weird how your perception of it changes while you are on a mission hahaha!
Good to hear that you enjoyed my Samoan testimony :). I had a Samoan companionship translate it into Samoan then I read it. I cannot speak it that well, but I love trying it out, it's a very unique language.
Me, Elder Ashby, Elder Robertson, and Elder Offley.
This is what we look like on P-Day while doing laundry.
We are slowly having a little more success in our area. Our numbers were not as bad this week, not that they were that good either, but considering what they have been in the past, they were not half bad! It is amazing how you can have a whole day of no success, and then near the end someone calls you and says they want you to come visit! BOOST!!!! It was so kool, so Elder Ashby and I were driving around, trying to contact people, and of course no one was home. Nobody is ever home in the day, you have to try and catch them by night, that is another thing that is hard here, everyone is working straight through the day. After we tried visiting 6 people, none of which were home, we were driving away from the last house, about to give up, then suddenly I heard a voice say "Mike", who is someone we have been trying to contact for the last 4 weeks (I was driving because it was too bright for Elder Ashby again). I thought that it was Elder Ashby who said it, I heard it so loud. I turned to him and said "what?" because I thought it was him who said it. "Nothing" he replied. A little perplexed I kept driving, then about 5 seconds later, I heard it again! "I think we should go see Mike" I said. Elder Ashby agreed. When we got to his houz, he was walking out of the door about to get into his car! Talk about perfect timing! We talked to him and we are meeting with him tomorrow at 4, it was a little hard to agree cuz it is P-Day, but its the Lords work and we were happy to do it! Just a little miracle that really gave us a needed boost! 
Elder Thompson and I playing guitar together.
I loved what Jeffrey R. Holland said in his talk on conference, how every talk can relate to everyone. It is so true. I loved how he said "one way or another, the Lord's voice will be heard!" so true! One talk that stood out to me was Kent F. Richards when he was talking about afflictions and trials, mainly because of what I am going through in my mission right now. I loved it when he quoted "ye are little children, ye cannot bear all things" that was really comforting to hear. Another thing I loved was when he said "after being refined through our trials, we shall come forth as gold". I know that, even though this is a really difficult time in my mission right now, it will be for my benefit and will help make me stronger. It only took me 6 weeks to realize that! ;) as Russel M. Nelson said "fear not, be of good cheer, the future is as bright as your faith". So true!
My study desk right now, a little messy, but I thought it looked good cuz it reminded me that we should put the scriptures before everything else first.
I'll write out my testimony in Samoan so you can read it what it said. I'll write one sentence in Samoan, then the next in English.
Ou te iloa o tatou Tama i le lagi ose Tama alofa
I know that God is our loving Heavenly Father
Ou te iloa o tatou Fa'aola o Iesu Keriso
I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior
Ou te iloa o Iosefa Samita o se Perofeta moni ona sa faaliliu le Tusi a Mamona
I know that Joesph Smith translated the Book of Mormon and was a true Prophet
Ou te iloa o Thomas S. Monson o le perofeta Seifua luga lenei fuga eleele ona e maua na ia miti ma faaliga e taitai tatou
I know that Thomas S. Monson is a living prophet on the earth today and receives revelation from Heavenly Father
Ou te iloa e moni le tala lelei ma sa toifutai me ala i le perofeta tosefa samita
I know that this church is the true church established by Joseph Smith in the last dispensation
Ou te fai lenei molimau i le Suafa o Ieso Keriso Amene
I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen
A little note, G in Samoan is pronounced "ng", like in the back of your throat, like how you pronounce ring. So "lagi" is pronounced la"gn"i. And "I" in Samoan is pronounced more like a "y", so "Iesu" is pronounced "yesu". There's your Samoan lesson for the day! :)
Elder Ashby, me, Elder Robertson, and Elder Winterrose before the Sunday General Conference session.