Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Well hello once again everybody. I hope everything is crackalakin' in your
humble abodes :)

I am so jealous of mom and dad seeing Brad in Madagascar and having a
vacation during their mission.....so lucky! But hey, in your defense, you
have both paid your dues, so I think you have both earned it, so I will just
put my foot where my mouth is! Hahaha ;)

So I figured out why my pants keep on ripping at the seam in between my
legs....I have stretch marks on my inner thighs! Chub chub here is either
gettin yolked a little too fast, or just putting on his winter coat early ;)
either way, I was very surprised when I discovered that. I took my 3 pairs
of pants (ya that is right, I ripped 3 pairs of pants) to a lady in our ward
who is a master seamstress and she gladly sewed them all up, bless her
heart. I am trying to exercise in the morning, I am on and off with that. I
just love the peace and quiet in the morning, I don't know why. I know, I am
a weird person, but I just like sitting there and pondering, it is a very
peaceful time of day :) but I will make an effort to get back into shape for

This week was a hard week. One thing I can assure you, is that we are
working hard. It is just a little disappointing right now, cuz our numbers,
if you were to see them, would show that we are not working hard. We have
had low numbers the last 2 weeks. We are focusing on finding. We did only
about 10 hours of tracting this last week, but I think we need to do more,
hopefully we will average about 2-3 hours a day. I do know that no effort is
ever wasted on a mission. I always try to remember that when we tract all
day and literally have no success. We do, however, leave pamphlets at almost
every door we stop at. A lot of the time, they just say "we are not
interested, but we will take the pamphlet", which is just a nicer way of
getting rid of us faster. I hope that if I do not see a lot of success
personally, that the next set of Elders will be fortunate to. I think that
we are just planting a lot of seeds right now. 

We got new phones the other day. Samsung Galaxies. Wow, these
phones are waaaaaaaaaay to nice for missionaries to have, at least in my
opinion. Touch screen and everything. I am sure all of my buddies who are
foreign are thinking that we are spoiled, which we are, living wise, I
cannot complain about that. We struggle with finding people, but are good
living wise, while a lot of other missionaries have vice versa. I think Brad
mentioned that to mom and dad. Do not worry, my hat is tipped to the Elders
who literally walk thro slums and are in major poverty, it is a big
affliction you have to face, but one that the Lord is aware of that you are
in :) I love my mission. I love all of the afflictions I go thro because
they are what make me a man. Last night as we got back, I looked at my right
hand, cuz that is the one I usually knock on doors with, and it is beat up
and has some scratches. I don't know why, but I was happy to have that scar.
It showed that I worked hard that day. "I earned my scar". That is what I
think us as missionaries have to do. We experience trials and afflictions
for our personal benefit. Jesus Christ earned his scars, in his hands and in
his feet, symbolizing all of the afflictions that he went thro. That is what
went thro my mind as I looked at my bruised hand. For that day, I had earned
my scar and I can show everyone that I worked :) It was interesting
comparing my situation to the new Elder who is out here. His suit is new and
all of his journals and planners look very nice. Although I have only been
out for 8 months, which is not all that long I know, I looked at some of my
stuff and it is starting to show some use and get some tears here and there.
I love "earning my scars" so I have proof of the work I did :) Thank you
again everyone for your support, the Lord is aware of your effort and I know
without a doubt that you will be blessed for it :)

Elder Hartman

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Hey hey hey hey once again evvvvvverybody :)
I got the package that Summer sent with the healthy snacks, thank you so much! They are all almost gone actually hahaha :) sorry, I am really hungry! About my medicine mom, I will be fine till the end of the month, I have a whole other bottle, so I will be good till the next one comes, don't worry :)
My new comp is way awesome! He is from Roxboro, North Carolina. Way sweet, we get along really well :) The other companionship is Elder Johnson, who is from Arizona, and Elder Record, who is from Spanish Fork Utah, he is being trained out here, I am so jealous of him for that reason....they live about 5-10 minutes away from us, we don't really see them that much while we are working cuz now we are more focused in our areas, which is way nice. This area is really special. To have 2 companionships in one branch says something about it. Elder Johnson was saying that we are in history in the making here, I agree. I hope this area just explodes!
Well, I found out one thing about myself. I love to tract and talk to people while tracting. We tracted everyday, for the last few days, and averaged about 2 1/2-3 hours of tracting, I plan on doing more. I absolutely love tracting and talking to people. Whenever we are tracting, I usually end up talking to the person at the door for about 10 minutes! Someone was passing thro Whitehorse, and he served in the California, Riverside mission and did a lot of tracting. I asked him if he had any advice to share about tracting, cuz I wanted to improve with it, he said "just be yourself. Don't be intimidated by the person you are talking to". I took that advice and I used it and it worked! It is funny, a few times we actually did not end up sharing the gospel, just talking to the person. We asked if we could come back another time or get a number, most said no. Was our effort wasted? Of course not, no effort on a mission is ever wasted! It is just so much fun talking to people and getting to know them. I kind of observe the person at the door to try and find something to talk about. At one house, the girl answered and we gave her the whole shbeal (I don't know how to spell it) and she said she did not have time to talk about that. I noticed she was wearing a belt buckle with a gymnist girl doing a pose, so I asked "are you a gymnist?" she said yes and from that, we had a wonderful 10 minute conversation. I know NOTHING about gymnastics, so how we managed to talk to her for that long was pretty impressive! We asked if we could come back when there was a better time, and she said she works a lot, so she can't really say, so just try and if she is home, great! We went from "I don't really have time for this" to "ya, if I am home, we can chat" even tho it was not all that promising, it was still progress eh?? So awesome :) I plan on tracting everyday for a long time, cuz President Beesley wants our areas tracted out! I noticed something about myself. I know this sounds weird, but I am a relaxed, hard worker. Does that make sense? I know it sounds weird, but I discovered that about me. If I run at my own pace, I love working, absolutely love it!! I do not like idling in the least, especially on a mission! I am so grateful this mission has taught me to value work. I think in the gospel principles booklet, it talks about work the best. It helped me alter my view towards it. I like working to earn something. I love to work, to earn rest :) I love this gospel. I love all of you very much. Thank you again for your support!
"The most effective way to preach the gospel is through example" - Dieter F. Uchtdorf
"Preach the gospel at all times and if necessary, use words" - Saint Francis of Assisi
Elder Hartman1

Monday, August 15, 2011

I Love Unicorns...and the Gospel

Hello everyone,

Things here are wonderful, everything is going swell :) I got a package from Dani that had a Charlie the Unicorn shirt in it. I am totally wearing that with pride around my new companion :)

This week was a really good week. I will start with missionary work then inform you on transfers :). We finally contacted this family we have been trying to contact for the last few weeks. We went there with Bro. Nunez, and taught them the first lesson. I think they are from Somalia? I could be way wrong, but now I understand how Africa is ready for the Gospel. At first, the wife was pretty quiet and the husband was the main one talking pretty much. At the end of the lesson, when we introduced the Book of Mormon, the wife was super enthusiastic, asking tons of questions about it and everything. It was such a great lesson! It was nice to get a taste of what mom and dad, Stephen, and Brad are experiencing, these people are most definitely ready for the Gospel! We also started to visit a member family and teach their kids. The parents are both members, the dad used to be less active, and the mom just recently got baptized. The dad wants us to help the kids realize how important the church is and try and make it their first priority. It was so much fun teaching them, we showed them the video, "Moments that Matter Most", on LDS.org (one of my favorite videos), President Uchtdorf gave a talk on it and it is an amazing video, love it! I told the kids a quote from Howard W. Hunter, I believe was who said it, that I got in a package a little bit ago from mom and dad I think (thank you!!) that says "if our lives are centered on Jesus Christ and his restored Gospel, nothing can ever go permanently wrong". Then we explained how, if we put the Lord first, everything else has a way of falling into place, and it really does!! We are faced with so many choices everyday and if we try our best to follow the Savior's example and do what he would do, we NEVER regret the choice we make. I came up with a little quote I love to say to missionarys, investigators, comps, whoever. "Do you want temporary satisfaction, or everlasting joy?" if we let Satan tempt us and if we give him power, then we make the choice of being temporarily satisfied, we are happy for a little bit, but after wards, we pay the price. It is also vice versa, if we allow the Savior to work in our lives, we may temporarily regret the choice, but when the blessings follow after wards, we receive a fullness of joy :). This Gospel ROCKS!!!!! I absolutely LOVE IT!!

As with transfers, my new comp that I am getting is Elder Bowes, his first name is Taylor, so I can already tell he is an outstanding missionary :) The other set of Elder's I do not really know, one of them is training out here! That is pretty crazy. Oh I am actually going to be the Senior companion now! I am anxious to be the one that plans out everything, I hope he likes to tract, cuz I really enjoy tracting and finding people and giving everyone a chance to hear the message we share :). They will arrive here on Wednesday night, Elder Meteer leaves that morning. I wish him safe travels, he is a fantastic missionary and helped me in so many ways. I was really blessed to serve with him and he is a invaluable asset to this mission :) Thank you all again for everything you do and all of your support. I love you all!

-Alma 37:6
It is the smallest things that make the biggest difference (my quote too, don't steal it!!)

Elder Hartman1 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Don't Eat the Cashews

Everyone, hello, this is your favorite Elder speaking :)

I keep on trying to come up with new, funny ways to start my letters, but I can never think of anything funny that I haven't already used. First off, congratulations Thai Thai on your baptism!! I loved the pictures!! That is so exciting what you just did. You are now a part of the biggest/coolest family in the world!! Also, happy birthday to: Matt, who was on the 22nd of last month, Thailee, who was on the 28th, and Berkley, who was on the 29th! Sorry, I was going to give a shout out in my last e-mail, but I forgot and got sidetracked, a thousand apologies for my inconsideration :'(. I cannot believe mom and dad get to go on a vacation during their mission.....that is SO not fair! Oh well, I am sure they have earned it anyways, so I will try my best not to be bitter ;)
Here is a place we went to eat with a family from the branch. This sandwich is HUGE and so good!
A lot has/will be happening this week. We still do not know for sure if we are getting another set of Elders up here due to housing issues (we are having trouble making sure the place we have selected for them is good to go). We know how we are going to split the area. Luckily, I will actually not be losing anyone we are teaching right now with the way we are splitting it, I was so relieved with that. Oh and yes Terra, it is a branch up here, we are trying to push to make it a ward, so hopefully the other set of Elders will be able to help with that :) Transfers are next week, we are going to get our call on Saturday nights now for transfers, so we can say goodbye to people we are teaching on Sunday, then prepare to leave on Monday, then Tuesday go to wherever we are getting transferred. I, personally, like that a lot and hope it goes over well. I am nervous to see who my next companion is, as I am sure you are all well aware of at this point :). I know he will be the one that I need at this point in time on my mission. I know that every companion we get, we get for a reason so we can learn lessons about ourselves from each other.
A picture of the view from a walk we took the other day.
So, I discovered that my body does NOT react well to cashews. The other night, one of our investigators moms is visiting from India, so we decided to stop by and introduce ourselves and get to know her better. Well, she brought some sweets from India, one of them was milk mixed with cashews and sugar. I figured no harm could come from it and I wanted to try it. Well, I ate it, and I got that tingly feeling in my mouth, the one where you eat something your body is not used to. Later that night, it got worse, and I had this pain right in the center of my stomach. I started to make frequent bathroom trips, and then started throwing up pretty good for about 2 hours. It was not a pleasant experience. I weighed myself after wards to see how much weight I lost. I lost 7 lbs!!! I should get sick more often! hahahaha kidding, ;)
I decided that my most favorite sound in the world is the sound of cracking my scriptures open. I absolutely LOVE that sound. I love marking my scriptures so much and learning new things from them. I love how personal this gospel is. We experience extremely personal trials, and also experience personal blessings as well. It is so weird how the scriptures can relate to us at our current circumstance in life. That is how I know that book is true, there is no other book on this earth that could do that, unless it was from God and true. I am grateful for this opportunity to be out here on a mission. I love it with all my heart, and will try to use the time I have in the best way I can. Thank you all again for your support and everything you do. I love you!

-Alma 41:14-15 (what goes around, comes around)
Elder Hartman1

Monday, August 1, 2011


Once again everyone, ola

It is so weird how the longer you are out on your mission, the faster time seems to go by, I cannot believe it is already August!! Yikes, depressing thought. I got, I believe, 2 letters this week, one from Bekah and the other from Kaitie, thank you ever so much for writing me, I really appreciate all of the support!

So, the mission President came up and visited the area with the AP's. I was a little nervous at first, not towards President Beesley coming, but the AP's, cuz they were going to be staying with us. It turned out to be really fun! You know those bouncy balls you sent me in the package last week? Well, we had a huge bouncy ball war and threw them at each other in the apartment, great fun, great fun indeed :). So, they are going to be splitting the area, a little depressing at first, but after some thought towards it, I realized that it was the best decision. It will be easier for us to focus on a more condensed area, and plus, we will be saving TONS of kilometers (hopefully). I am a little nervous for the new Elders they are going to be bringing up here (they will be bringing up a new set of Elders and my new companion as well, so 3 new missionaries total). I will give you a list of reasons why I am a little discouraged at the thought:

1. They do not know the area at all, therefore I will be getting a lot of calls on how to get what place, and I am not good with directions at all! (You know me with details...)
2. Obedience has been an issue here in the past and I hope that the other companionship will be obedient and not fall into apostasy, I hope not to chastise!!!
3. Hopefully my new companion is kool and relaxed and likes to tract, cuz I wanna do a lot of tracting these next 2 transfers.
4. My biggest worry is that my new comp will be a little more on the fluffy side (fat) and will not want to do p90x...

It was fun meeting with President and Sister Beesley tho, I really like them and enjoy being around them. I know he is the right Mission President for me. Serving a mission is, hands down, the best decision I have made at this point in my life! Now I know why Dad is so big on young men serving missions! Why would you NOT want to serve a mission?? You literally only gain from it, in no way do you lose anything at all. I absolutely love this mission and am so grateful the Lord provided me with this opportunity to come out and help spread the gospel and testify of Jesus the Christ. I love this gospel with all my heart and always strive to be more Christlike in my everyday life. I absolutely LOVE reading from the scriptures, oh my goodness is it great! I also really enjoy reading from "Mormon Doctrine" by Bruce R. McKonkie, such a great book, one that has helped me immensely in my studies and has answered so many questions I had. Hopefully the new Elders plan on being obedient! Gotta start praying and having hope! I love each and everyone of you. Thank you so much for your support.

The meaning of life is to discover your gift. The purpose of life is to give your gift away.
Love, Elder Hartman1