Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Sure Foundation

Hello everyone,
So, the library was closed yesterday - not sure why, so that is why I am emailing today (don't worry, I got permission)
We had district meeting this morning - which went pretty good, and then we had a district lunch afterwards. Our district changed, due to some problems another companionship was having (don't worry, everything is fine) so we have a new companionship is ours. They really like video games, along with my companion, so they talk a lot about that when they are together - which is fine, it is just kinda weird in a way...just need to find some common ground! Humor is a great place to start! :)
In regards to updating about missionary work, things have not changed too much. We had a great lesson the other night. I almost cried at one point in it, but I refrained from doing so :) at one point in the lesson, the investigator said how he was envious of us having our Faith that we can fall back on in trying times. I asked him "so you are referring it to a foundation - in a sense", "yes, I guess that is how you could put it". I then shared with him Helaman 5:12 - which is a really well known scripture amongst missionarys. I then went on to tell him how much the foundation of the church has blessed me in my life. I recognized that he did not grow up in the church as I did, but I was quick to assure him that he can have the same foundation - the same faith - as we are so blessed to have. I told him that I know this church is true because of all of the opposition I have met while I have been out on my mission. I told him that it was the hardest year of my life thus far. I have been ridiculed, belittled, sworn at, and many other things, but to me, that is just a confirmation that the church is true. If it were not true - there would be no opposition - it would be too easy. It was never going to be easy, only worth it. That quote dad shared by C.S. Lewis was perfect, I loved it.
Thank you again everyone for your support. Things are going great up here and I am loving it! It was great to talk to all of you and I wish you the best!
Elder Hartman1

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Whats up everyone-friends and family,
Just an update on the Dr. apppointment, everything is fine, we are just waiting for the results-which I should get today, not sure what time though, Dr. Kutchera is on call, but the nurse told me right when she gets them she will call me. I will notify Pres. and then he will e-mail you, cuz he is so awesome!
Well, things are going great here in Alaska. I opened up the presents that grandma Judy sent with E. Merrill-who is getting transferred to Nome by the way. He has mixed emotions about it, people either tell him he will love it, or hate it. I have no updates on the new Elder yet, I will not find out who he is until Tuesday morning. The first words I am going to tell him are "I like Unicorns", or something ridiculous like that ;) which by the way, EVERYONE knows that I like Unicorns up here, but I stand by it! :)
This week was really hectic with transfers and meetings and everything, so we did not get too much of a chance to proselyte, but that is ok, we will make up for it this week :) I am gonna work those Mr. Macs right off the Elders feet ;) hahaha
We watched the movie "17 Miracles" the other day with an investigator family. That movie is so good, I love that movie! It really does open your eyes to what the pioneers went thro-their trials and afflictions over those long, both hold and cold plains. The central message in that movie-to me-was "Faith Precedes the Miracle". I am pretty sure that is a book, but when you watch that movie, you see that happen over and over. The person offers a fervent prayer-showing their faith in Heavenly Father by asking Him for help and turning to Him-and then having a miralce follow shortly thereafter, due to their Faith. That is where everything starts is Faith. Faith is the first principle of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it is where we must first begin, in order to start our foundation in Him. Faith is a huge word to tackle, but I do know that we must have Faith in order for such things as Miracles to happen. It was awesome, we gave a blessing to a part member family the other day-to their 2 year old son. He had a very high fever and was throwing up throughout the day. The husband (who is the member) asked us to give him a blessing. We did and promised a speedy recovery. We went over yesterday-the next day-and he was running around, being his happy-go-lucky self. The husband said to us "I think this is the result of your blessing". No doubt that it was. I know that through Heavenly Father-all things are possible. If we put our trust in Him, we will be ale to overcome anything.
Thank you again everybody for the wonderful support-especially during the holidays. I have been immensley blessed because of you. Thank you all! I love you!
Elder Hartman1

Monday, December 12, 2011

Walk With Me

Friends and family; Seasons Greetings! (I hope I used correct punctuation)
I got the packages, both for the birthday and Christmas. Thank you so much for those, I really appreciate it. I will be honest, when I opened them up and saw them filled with presents, I was so overjoyed, but at the same time, I felt so unworthy for such blessings. I have been loving them tho, they are awesome, thank you so much!!! Terra's letters are awesome!
We are still not sure what we are doing for Christmas yet, things are still up in the air for that, but like I keep saying, I will let you know when I find out. It will be interesting to call everyone, but a very exciting time too! I still remember when I called on Mother's day and at the end of the conversation, I said "see you in 7 months!" (I think that is the right number) and now it is here, crazy thought.
We are having more and more success in our area, things are picking up and we are getting busier. We have a lesson scheduled every night this week, which for our mission standards, is pretty good. Doing a lot of less active work and working with the members of the ward as well. Tracting is always a blast too, one of my favorite things to do as a missionary. You have nothing to lose, the worst that can happen is a person sayind "no", and you get great stories out of it. We were knocking doors the other day and this Vietnamese (I think) lady peeked out the window next to the door and just stared at us. Merrill was really taken off guard; literally for 3 mintues, she just stared at us. I pulled out a Gospel of Jesus Christ pamphlet and showed it to her, but she just kept up the stare. Finally she gestured she was not interested, but great experience none the less :)
We were eating dinner at a members house the other night, having a great conversation, enjoying each others company and such. At one point, the dad shared a really thought-provoking quote. There was a man by the sea of Galilee, who was fishing, I believe, and saw Christ walking by along the shore. "Walk with me". The man joined Christ and started talking with Him. At one point in the conversation, the man asked "will it always be this hard?"-he had suffered much trial and affliction due to trying to follow Christ. Jesus replied "and what if it is?" meaning: if it is always this hard, will you still follow me? In the time of real trial and real affliction, will you still remain faithful and follow me? I loved that quote, gets the gears in your head working for sure!
Again, everybody, thank you so much for the packages and support. It was such a great birthday, it really was. Although it was not a formal celebration, it was such a great day. I do not know how all of you do it, when you are thousands of miles away, and yet you still manage to send presents and bless me immensley. Thank you so much, everybody, it really means a lot. Ok, that is enough tenderness :) it is easier for me to say that over email then in person unfortunately hahaha :) I love you! Thank you again!
Elder Hartman1

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

O Christmas Tree

Hello everyone.

I got the package from Terra, the 25 days of Christmas, thank you so much for that, really appreciate it! I have not gotten anything else yet, but I am positive I will get it this week.

Cannot believe it is already December. Such a great time of year, I love the Christmas spirit. We watched a little bit of the devotional at a members house, but had a lesson to go to later that night too. We got out our Christmas decorations, mainly the tree :) I am sending the pics with this email so you can feast your eyes upon our wonderful masterpiece :) I remember how much I love having Christmas lights. Everyone up here pretty much has them on year round. They actually encourage everyone to leave them turned on as well, due to the long nights in winter. We are still not quite sure what we are doing on Christmas itself, but when I find out I will let you know. This ward is awesome and I have no doubt we will be very hospitalized that day :)
The work in our area is picking up. We found 2 new investigators the other week. One of them recently got out of prison and wants help to put his life back in order. He is receiving the message extremely well and very receptive to it. Another one was a daughter of a less active in our area who had a lot of questions regarding the Mayans and Incas, so historical stuff. I loved the conversation we had, it was very intellectual and got me thinking a lot. E. Merrill could care less for that stuff, but I loved it :) We have a lot of potentials we have to meet with again as well. Every time we go tracting, we find a great potential, I love it. Our companionship itself is doing great as well. Elder Merrill and I get along really great with each other. It is always such a blessing when you get along with your companion, seeing as how this is the person you are going to be around 24-7 for the next little while. I have been very blessed with companions on my mission. I have learned a very important lesson from everyone of them and they have all helped build my character and I am very grateful for that :)
I was thinking about the holidays we would spend together as a family. A mission really does bring to your mind the things that are really important and the things that never were as much of a priority as you thought them to be. Looking at pictures of the family is one of my favorite things to do, when I have time. My favorite thing about pictures and memories is that they last forever, they are always with you. Memories are the moments that you cherish most, the moments where you are truly experiencing joy and happiness. They are the moments that you unwrap every now and then and always bring a smile to your face. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father blessed us with memories so that we may have June flowers in the Decembers of our lives. Thank you so much for your support. I love you!!

Elder Hartman1