Monday, June 27, 2011

6 Months

Hello once again everyone.

So just an update, HOPEFULLY the strike ends today. That is what we were told on Friday, so we are going to go check after e-mails. Believe me, a lot of praying has gone towards the Canadian Post Office and we are striving to forgive them for their transgression towards the innocent missionaries, but I digress (which means: to leave the main subject temporarily in speech or writing, for those who do not know smart :)) I have not received any packages from anyone, neither Summer's, nor Mom's, I will let you know when I do tho!

Also, shout out to Summer and Travis for 13th Anniversary!!! WAHOO! Hard to think its only been 13 years huh? ;) I was 6 when you got married?? Ya that is a crazy thought wow...And mom and dad eating ox tongues, I think it was? Man, that is crazy! I know that people up here all parts of the moose, literally. I have eaten moose hoof, not all that bad, the jaw, which doesn't taste bad until you get to the bone marrow, and the eye, which feels like a huge loogie in your mouth the whole time, appetizing huh? :)

Well, as you have probably observed from the subject of the e-mail, I hit 6 months in two days...yikes!! It is so crazy to think that 1/4 of my mission is already pretty much gone. They really do not lie when they say that time flies on a mission, almost too fast actually! I don't like it! I love how in tune you are with the spirit and how everyone treats you! They are so inviting into their homes, they are just nice to the missionaries. I still recall how dad told me a while ago about how Austin Nebeker was saying that his mission was passing by too fast and it was scaring him. I remember how I wanted to feel that way about my mission, but never thought I was going to. Well, I do now! I am still very glad that I am in the beginning of my mission still, well kind of, I do not really know how to measure it. But I love it, with all of my heart. If I could take the state of Alaska and shrink it down to like a pillow size (I don't know how else to measure it or make a connection) I would embrace it and never let go! I love reading all of your testimonies from that book that Terra put together for me (thank you again Terra!!). It helps strengthen my testimony so much! I still remember when Travis and I were talking before I left and he HAMMERED into my head, "follow EVERY rule!". He was nice enough to include it in his testimony too ;). I still remember the time he told me that "the more obedient you are, the more freedom you will have". It is so true! The rules and commandments are not to restrictive, but protective! I am so glad I learned that early on in life and can apply it to myself out here. I know that they have a lot of mission rules, not to be taskmasters, but to protect us and the church and I am happy to obey them :). Jeremy also said how being obedient blesses you in his testimony too! That just backed it up for me and helped clarify it for me. I want to share with you something, word for word, that I wrote in my spiritual thought journal that I wrote the other day after doing personal study. I will say the date at the beginning too, so you know when I wrote it. Hopefully it will have as much significance towards you as it did to me.

June 25th, 2011
Family is the single most important unit here on this earth-this life! It has been said that the most important work we do will be "within the walls of our own homes". How great a joy and knowledge that families can be together forever! How blessed are we to know that after our time here on this earth is up that it is not the end! How fortunate are we to know that we have a Father in Heaven who loves us so immensely that he gave his only begotten son to make it possible for us to return and live with him again. How great reason we have to rejoice, to know that families are forever. How fortunate are we to be apart of something that draws us closer to each other every day. We feel more love towards once another, more joy in the journey, closer to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. We have to recognize what matters most in this life. Once we do, we are blessed beyond comprehension. If we follow our Father in Haven's plan, how pleased he will be. What is more rewarding to a parent than a happy, cheerful, obedient child? Our Father in Heaven loves each and every one of us individually. He wants nothing but the best for us! Heavenly Father, I love you. 

I love you all, thank you again for your support.
Shout out to my buddies who are still in the MTC, Aaron and Cache, stay strong! Enjoy it! And to all of my other friends around the world! Trevor in Milan, Italy. Landon in Argentina, Rosario. Stephen in Zimbabwe. Brad in Madagascar. Olex in St. Louis, Missouri. Brayden in Rome, Italy. Love you guys!! Cannot wait to see you all again!!

Elder Hartman1

(Note from Terra - TJ sent some great pictures that I can't resize and add to the blog yet. 
Please check back, I'll figure it out tonight.)

Monday, June 20, 2011

"You have a good heart..."

Hello everyone yet again.
So, just a heads up, the Canada postal service is on full strike now and has been for the last week and a half about, so if you sent any letters within the last 2 weeks, I have not gotten them and hopefully will within the next week, if they go back to work that is. Yes, I am VERY upset about that right now. You take away a missionarys mail, you take away his heart..... :'( just kidding, I will live, just really irritating right now.
Man, this past week was so awesome, but at the same time, it sucked way bad too!!! As a lot of you know, President and Sister Dance are leaving soon, so they are going around to all of the zones and having their last Zone Conference with eveyrone. I will be honest, it was harder seeing them leave then it was leaving home. I am sure some of you will be a little dissapointed with me saying that, but it is the truth. I think the other missionarys in our family can realte tho :). Honestly tho, I could not believe how hard it was. With every ounce of conviction in me, I wish they could stay, but I know that their time is up and they are needed elsewhere. I do not like change all that much right now I can honestly say, but is a good thing. That is the process of repentance anyway right?? Change? Haha, just trying to be a little optimistic right now.
This is a picture from our flight out of Skagway.
Bearing my last testimony to them was hard enough, but when President Dance started walking around the room and saying all of his personal goodbyes, that was the worst, and who did he have to start with?? Ya, me.....I finally pulled myself together cuz I was bawling like a baby, but when he hugged me again, I just broke down again. He whispered "you have grown so much already, you have such a good heart, I am so proud of you". Can you say bitter sweet!?!? That is one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. The first thing was trying to tell dad that he is ALMOST comparable to handsomeness as me ;). We have our last weekly with President Dance today. I am putting off writing it as long as I can cuz I am in denial right now haha. It was really kool tho, so for my last testimony, I basically was thanking President and Sister Dance and saying how much I love them. I felt bad cuz after I sat down, I was thinking to myself "that wasn't really a testimony, that was just me thanking them and saying I love them". I told Elder Meteer my thoughts about it and he said "it was a testimony of your love for them". I liked that, it was really good insight and gave me comfort. You can bare a testimony about your love for someone. We pretty much do it for the Savior all the time!
We watched the movie, "The Testaments" today with our investigator, such a good movie! The spirit was so strong as we were watching it. I always love seeing how Christ did acts of random kindess, I like to call them "ARK's", from the movie Evan Almighty. Just seeing how much love and compassion he had on everyone is nothing short of amazing. I recently saw a painting that showed someone entering into Heaven and Christ giving him a hug and welcoming him. I love thinking about that. About being reunited with our Heavenly Father and Christ and everyone down here on earth. It is really comforting to know that we are all stuck with each other for eternity, even tho at times that does not sound all too pleasant ;). I love this gospel. I truly have felt the Saviors love out here while laboring in his service. We, missionarys, are really spoiled I think. We have everything taken care of, food, car, housing, everything. All we have to do is spread his gospel among his children. It is the best and I love every minute of it!! Congratz mom and dad for making it Africa safely! One thing to watch out for, always be sure to lock your car and keep an eye on it. A member in my last area went to South Africa for his mission and said that he went thro I think 4 cars himself, and during his time on his mission they went thro 10! They like cars I guess haha. Congratz to Trav and Easton for making all stars!! And good luck Terra and Jeremy on preparation for Hawaii!! Thank you all for your support! I know, this letter is a LONG one, even I am impressed!
Elder Hartman1

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Manhart (like Bravehart)

Hello again friends and family!

As always, thank you so much for the letters and support. I got 2 letters this week, one from Becky and the other from Shai, thank you very much! Sorry, I will not be able to send pictures this time because I forgot my cable to connect the camera with the comp and we are leaving for Skagway after we e-mail.

This last week has been a little slow. The hockey finals have been on over the last few days and when hockey is on, no one really wants to talk to you haha. We just finished teaching our new investigator another lesson today, that was really kool! It was funny, we planned out what we were going to talk about and teach him, but when we got there he had some quesitons about what he read and we just focused on answering those the whole time! I always like it when lessons don't go according to plan like that. It is better to focus on their quesitons when they have them spur the moment then ignore them and just teach what you have to. We are told to teach people, not lessons and that is what we followed and I am really glad we did to!

So funny thing, something happened with our Mission President, the new one coming in, and I guess he won't be our mission President anymore. The new mission President that is coming in is President and sister Beesley. They were going to go to Russia, St. Petersburg mission, but I guess something happend, probably realted to visa issues, and now the Clarks are going there and they are coming here! He used to be a pilot and knows TONS about jets and aircraft and all of that stuff. Hopefully we will like them, I am really nervous to meet them, hopefully I will like them. We are going to Juneau today, for the next 3 days for specialized training and zone conference. It will be the last time I see President and Sister Dance. That is going to be so sad, it will be very hard to seem them leave. We will fly back later this month to Juneau to meet the new mission President tho, so hopefully that will be good!

I was asked to give a talk this last Sunday on procrastination. What a perfect talk for me! I had Elder Meteer record it, when I get a chance, I will send it to you so you can listen :) I am sure mom knows a lot about me and procrastination ;) haha! It went really good tho, I started with Alma chpt 34:31-34 I believe. It really stood out to me tho, cuz our life here on earth, compared to eternity, is incredibly short! It made me realize that we literally cannot procrastinate on repenting, attending church, going to the temple and many other things. This is our chance to prove ourselves to Heavenly Father! I am really grateful I have the opportunity to prove myself here on earth and able to experience sorrow so I know joy and endure thro afflictions so I am made stronger. The thing that I am most grateful for tho, is how blessesd I am with such a wonderful family and friends. I have had nothing but positive and good influence in my life. I was just thinking about it the other day, almost ALL of my good buddies I would hang out with at home are on, or waiting for, their missions! That, and now mom and dad are even on theirs pretty much now! So crazy! I have been so immensly blessed with everyone in my life and I cannot thank all of you enough for that. I am so glad that all of my buddies and I are united in the same cause, bringing souls unto Christ and serving the Lord! I love all of you, and thank you again for being a positive influence in my life! I recently read in D&C 121:9 thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands. That could not explain my friends any more clearly. I love you all! Thank you again for your support!

Elder Hartman1

Monday, June 6, 2011

Fruit Loops and Farts

Hello again everyone!

Man, every time I have no idea where to start for my e-mails, something I struggle with a lot. I got mom and dads package this week. Thank you so much for that. I got a letter from Aaron too!! I was super stoked on that one. I am just going to start saying who I get mail from so whoever wrote me will know when I got it. As I said last time, mail is very slow up here and can take anywhere from 1-2 weeks to get here. PLUS, the post offices are going on strike too....wonderful...but they are switching up areas every time they strike so the post office in our area won't be going on strike the whole time.

This week was really good! We had some pretty good numbers! We picked up a new investigator! We were super happy about that. We tried to visit less actives on Saturday, but there was a hockey game, it is pretty much like Soccer in South America, people DO NOT want to talk to you. We found that out the fun way :) The weather has been overcast the last few know me, I DISLIKE overcast! (I am trying not to use the word hate anymore cuz its such a strong 4 letter word you know what I mean?) I was really upset about that. I have so many stories to tell, but not enough time to share them!! I almost face planted the other day, that made us giggle a little bit.One member was talking about how he is comfortable enough with us to fart in front of us casually, that was funny.
. Elder Meteer and I were bored one night, so we had a contest to see who could throw
the most froot loops into the cup. I won :)
We got into a bit of a fight and the result was Elder Meteer ripping my pocket...

This last Sunday was fast Sunday, so we had fast and testimony meeting. I realized I have not given my testimony in church yet on my mission! So I got up and bore my testimony. I talked a lot about the tender mercies Heavenly Father bestows upon us everyday and so many times we overlook them. I read out of Isaiah 41:10,13. read those scriptures when you get a chance, I absolutely LOVE them! When I read them, I picture Heavenly Father being very tender and merciful in these spiritual verses. They really impacted me and reassured me that His hand is ALWAYS outstretched to us. I think that our problem a lot of the time is that, we do not doubt that Heavenly Father can help us and will help us, its that we think of ourselves too unworthy a lot of the time. I know that is my biggest problem and something that I am trying to work on. I am trying to look for Heavenly Father's tender mercies everyday and try and find at least one. It really helps strengthen your faith when you actually try and look for how Heavenly Father is involved in your life!

I love you. Thanks again for taking the time to read the letters and write me, even tho it is pretty expensive. Good luck to Aaron who is going into the MTC next week!! And Brad who is leaving soon as well! I am sure he cannot wait to get out of there! I was only in 3 weeks and I was bored of it after the first week! Love you all, thanks again!

Elder Hartman1


That story about you two teaching the investigator made me laugh SO hard!!! The thing was, I could picture it so easily too!! That is a huge compliment to mom tho, when they said they wish she could bare her testimony to everyone in the church, I totally agree. Mom has such a strong testimony. I cannot believe you are getting ready to head out! And mom said she wants to go on another one?? That would be awesome, you two will be spiritual GIANTS by the time you are ready for the Celestial Kingdom!! haha.

I am so jealous you got to see some of my buddies in the MTC, but I do love the thought that we are all going to be out serving the Lord, united under one purpose. I cannot wait till we are all back and share stories that we had with each other. I can't imagine what this must me like for you dad. Just like the good ol' days in Denmark eh?? Except with a little more leniency of course :) Congratulations again for your call to labor in Africa for the Lord. I am so excited for you. The spiritual high you are on is nothing short of amazing! I love both of you so much and appreciate everything you have done for me over the years. I was not nearly as appreciative as I should have been. I love you!! Thanks again!!

Elder Hartman1