Monday, December 17, 2012

He's Coming Home

Hello my family and friends,

Life is still good up here in Alaska, serving the Lord is the best
full-time service anyone can ever do. I read a quote in a members home
the other day: "the pay for the Lord's work is not that great - but
the retirement plan is out of this world." How true that is :) I can
already see the blessings the Lord is bestowing upon me - it is almost
not fair, but I will accept with a grateful heart, otherwise it is

Said goodbye to a lot of the members the other day. I am glad to have
finished my mission here in the Meadow Creek ward, the members here
are so loving and I have had  the blessing of forming some good
friendships with them.

Kind of hard to express how I feel at the moment - a lot of mixture of
emotions that is for sure. Please do not be surprised if I seem
incredibly awkward at first, for I will be in the process of adjusting
back to reality.

I had my exiting interview with President on Saturday. At one point in
it, I just sat there in silence acting like I had a question when in
reality I was just prolonging the interview because I did not want it
to end. One thing he told me that gave me a lot of comfort was that he
will 'always' be my mission President. There are four people, whom I
look up to in life, here is the order: Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ,
dad, and Jon Beesley - my mission President. He is awesome, as is his
wife. I love them so much and am so grateful for their dedication to
serving the Lord with all of their heart, might, mind, and strength.

I have been studying a lot on the Atonement this last week. It is
interesting, to me, how that is the core doctrine of our faith, yet it
is the one we have the least amount of understanding. We really do not
know exactly how it works - but we know that it simply doesn. The
thing that has stood out to me is how it, not only covers our sins and
transgressions, but EVERYTHING, all of our shortcoming and
inadequacies - whatever our weakness may be - whether it be spelling,
school, relationiships, work - the Atoment covers all of that. Again,
I am not sure how it does, but after the experience of my mission, I
know that it does just that.

I will end my letter with a part of a song that I love:

"I will be home in a while, you don't have to say a word.
I can't wait to see you smile, wouldn't miss it for the world."

I cannot wait to see all of you again in person. I love you and I
thank you again for your support.....I do not really want to end this
letter, but I know that all good things must come to an end and that I
am needed elsewhere - the Lord has told me so and in the words of
Joseph Smith: "When the Lord commands - do it!"

Love, Elder Hartman

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

One Week Left

Hi everyone!

I have not read any of the inbox mail yet, so if this does not include
or answer any questions ya'll had for me, that is why.

This week was just awesome, we were so blessed with work and being
able to see some of the fruit of our labor. We taught more than double
the lessons this week than we did last. A lot of them were active
member lessons, a lot of good came from doing it, the members in this
ward really like us. My new nickname here is 'short timer' :) don't
worry, it still has not hit me yet actually, I feel like I am going to
always be out here in Alaska serving the Lord - but I do know that I
will soon be called to serve elsewhere. Bro. Herbert, our ward mission
leader, told me 'you are told, in your time growing up before the
mission, that you have to stay away from the ladies; now it is open
season.' Such an Alaskian term, I love it :)

My birthday was great, our district on Saturday had a surprise for me.
They shot confetti at me and had some cake before district tract
started, it was wonderful. I got another Unicorn pillow pet, some kit
kats and a card from everyone. This district is awesome, I am going to
miss it dearly.

We found three new investigators this week. We have return
appointments set up witih all of them this week and members coming
with us to help fellowship. One of them asked a lot of deep doctrine
questions, it was a little tricky to bring everything back to simple
principles and doctrine - the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I did better
learn how to take control of a situation from the lesson, it required
me to 'gently' interrupt the member who was present at the lesson
before he got off on too big of a tangent.

One thing that came to my realization this week was how blessed we are
to have the truth. With the Book of Mormon, one of the things it
clarifies is doctrine and gives us a clearer perspective on it -
especially with the Bible. There was one investigator who did not
believe that anyone has seen God because of a scripture in John 1 - I
cannot remember the exact verse. I asked him about the martyrdom of
Stephen and how he said he saw Christ standing on the right hand of
God. He said he did not know. It was a simple thing, but was a
testimony to me that we have the truthfulness of the gospel restored.

I am not sure if this is my last weekly letter or not, kind of a crazy
thought. If I do not e-mail next week, you know why, but I am pretty
sure I will get to one more time. Next week, this time, is my last day
in the mission. I can honestly testify to all of you that my mission
has changed me for the better. I love my mission.

Love, Elder Hartman

1.  When is the fireside we can watch?  I think you said the 13th -
what time?  Any more details we need to know?

It is at 7 pm here, I keep on forgetting the time difference, on
Thursday the 13th. I gave the link to ya'll in one of my last e-mails,
but if you need it again just call the mission secretary or someone
and they can help you out with it :)

2.  What are you doing this week? (You probably told us in the family
letter - so if you did you can skip this question.

Mainly just missionary work!! :)

3.  What did you do for your birthday?  Did you get your birthday
present on time?  Did you wait till the 9th to open it?

I did open it on time yes and THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! I LOVED it!! :)

4.  Any special requests for the day you get home?  Breakfast? Nap?
Let us know if you do.

Nope, nothing for me, just being with the family really and adjusting
back to reality...

5.  Are you going to write next week or will you be busy with lst
minute packing etc?

I should be able to write next week most likely :) just expect an
e-mail from me, but if not, you know why :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sick Week

 Hello everyone!

Basic summary of this week: we all got sick. It was so inconvenient.
Mainly E. Merrell got down with a bad sinus infection, I think it was,
and had many other problems, starting Thursday and still is having a
bit of a rough time - but he is improving. E. Merrill had a bad
stomach ache Friday morning, most of that day we stayed in and all day
Saturday we stayed in. I got, and still kind of do have, a sore
throat. It is so irritating, seeing as how that is the main way you
work as a missionary is by talking to people so when your voice is
messed up, it is really difficult to testify. I can definitely tell ya
it was a trial of patience for me, seeing as how I really want to
finish my mission off strong and made it a goal this last week to
testify of Christ more often. It was a trial of diligence as well,
reason being is because I had to figure out how to stay productive and
still get work done, even tho we were in the apartment. We used the
phone a lot and got a lot of appointments set up. It was a valuable
lesson learned, after much trial and affliction. We did go out on
Sunday, thank goodness, and taught three lessons and set up a lot of
appointments for this next week. I had several members tell me to take
it easy and that I should rest, but I did not want to at all so I just
tried to say as little as possible during the lessons and dinner
appointments. I ended up bearing testimony at one of them; my voice at
the end of the night was gone, it sounded awful - but it was worth

I did remember, while my companions were sick, how mom took such great
care of me whenever I was sick; she would bring me milk and cookies,
sometime bring me a new movie, and overall just kept on checking up on
me and showing me that she cared. Spur the moment, I did not really
notice, but looking back on it, I see what a blessing it was. I tried
my best to mirror that example and kept on checking on my comps and
trying to think of things to do for them. It was a little difficult at
times, but thro moms example, I was able to serve the Lord by serving
His children. That was probably the lesson I had to learn from all of

Thank you everyone! I love you very much and will talk to ya'll next week!
Love, Elder Hartman

1.  You said that last week was your last week proselyting - why is
that?  Why don't you do it these next couple of weeks?

This will actually be my last normal proselyting week, I was wrong
last week. I am going to finish strong, but with the missionary
fireside and everything, we are going to be busy with planning for
that, then we are going to the temple and some other things I think.

2.  I know you haven't had much time to think about it but what would
you like for Christmas?  A few little ideas would be greatly

I feel bad asking for them. The only wishful thing I want is just and
iPad, but if that is too expensive, don't bother please. I really have
no idea....a phone would be nice. Maybe some coupons to subway haha :)

3.  I thought you were having a Christmas party with everyone there -
when it that? What did you do?

The Christmas party is on the 21st here, I will be gone for it.

4.  What are you doing these last couple of weeks?

Working and spreading the gospel until I leave!

5.  How are your companions doing?  What has been the most challenging
with them?  What has been the most fun?

They are awesome, I love them to death! It has been a little tricky
teaching at times, but we have made that adjustment now. It is fun the
whole time, like I keep saying, there is never a dull moment with
them. They are not too big of fans with being Zone Leaders and doing
the little things that come with the calling: monthly goals, taking
stewardship, etc. But they are doing a great job with it :)

6.  Is there anything you want to especially do when you get home?

Just be with the family. Also, the new Lord of the Rings comes out
sometime this month, that would be AWESOME to see!

7.  What was the hardest thing you had to do this week?

Patiently wait for the sickness to pass and work thro the sore throat.
It made it hard to teach, epsecially when I wanted to say something
the people had a hard time understanding me sometimes, it was a little

8.  Please send me your exact address of your apt.

18607 #24 Park Pl. Eagle River, AK. I THINK that is it, but no
guarantees on it...

9.  Can you believe you will be 21 next week???  Do you feel it?

Not really to be honest, I actually forgot until one of my comps told me :)

10.  Did you gain or lose weight on your mission?  How much?

I have gained five pounds at the moment. At one point I was up
fifteen, almost twenty pounds, but lost it because I was not happy
with it. Now, I am floating around 160 - 165 :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Loving Alaska

Hello family and friends, my people folk,

(British Accent) Oh what joy fills my bosom with this wonderful
opportunity I am now granted to sit down upon a chair in front of a
computer screen to type the desires of my heart and the happenings of
this past week to my family and friends alike; it is a pleasure
indeed. :)

Sorry, just had to get that out :) This week was great! This transfer
is going to go by too fast, we are getting along great as a
companionship; we are working hard, but having fun throughout the day
as well. I will admit, it is easy to see the adversary working hard to
cause a weak finish to my mission - probably why the Lord gave me two
comps :)

Thanksgiving was great, we had a contest to see who could gain the
most weight that day, it ended up being a tie, we gained six pounds -
my goal was seven. We went to the church and ate with the Fullmers, a
huge, well known family here in Eagle River. The family is so big they
reserve the church every year and all of the family members come, it
ends up being around 50 - 60 people! This year there was only about
twenty tho. It was still a blast. We had a lot of desert that day as
we went around visiting other members and less actives.

This is my last legitimate proselyting week, I am going to do my best
to make the most of it. It is funny how some things are just a habit
now almost. Getting up at 6:30 is easier than it used to be, although
it was never easy. Exercising in the morning is a lot of fun and it is
hard for me not to now almost (probably because I do not want to come
home fat either). The schedule is just my daily routine now, hopefully
I carry a lot of these habits home.

I had another great experience while studying this week. I have found
that the greatest studies that I have had are while I am studying the
basic principles of the gospel, not immersing myself in deep doctrine,
I have always learned the most. The most important thing I am trying
to do is strengthen my faith in Jesus Christ and I have made it a goal
this week to testify of Him every day, whether it is at a dinner
appointment, a less active, whoever it is, I have found that I need to
testify of him more often.

We have zone conference on Wednesday. I am training on 'the Power and
Authority of Your Calling' out of Preach My Gospel, on page four if I
recall right. I am really excited for this, I have learned a lot from
it and am excited to help other missionaries realize how much power
they can or already do have. I really believe that missionaries do
realize how much more they can magnify their calling and the power
they are endowed with - if they are worthy. I will let ya'll know how
it goes next week!

I love you all so much! I got the package from Matt and Mikelle, thank
you! Hopefully you did not want me to wait until my birthday to open
it, because I may or may not have already... :) Thank you everyone
else for the continual support and prayers. I love you very much and
am grateful for each and everyone of you. I love you!

My study session I talked about in my weekly letter. It was great
because, basically my faith in Christ grew during that, that is the
best way I can describe it.


I have had fifteen total comps on my mission - almost one for every
transfer, due to all of the trios I have been in. It is unusual to
serve in as many trios as I have, but I love it, never a dull moment,
that is for sure.


We did not have a Christmas party friday night, or at least we did not
go to one, we just spread the gospel that night!


Awesome, we have zone conference on Wednesday, so it will be great to
see everyone :)


Mainly because of the members, they are so loving and nice to us. I am
for sure visiting some if I ever come back to Alaska!


I love them both, I do not love one more than the other. It is fun,
and really easy training them both, they are great missionaries and
know what they are doing :)


Spend time with the family, and then later, my friends.


The people and the missionaries. I will just miss Alaska, the state
itself, it is where I need to be right now and it is going to rip my
heart out to leave.

-Elder Hartman1

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Last Transfer

Hello family and friends,

Well, transfers were this week. Looks like I will be staying in this
area and getting two new companions, E. Merrill and E. Merrell, I am
going to tell everyone they are brothers ;) I already served with one
of them in Klatt actually, I am excited to serve with him again, I
love that kid. They are two new zone leaders so Pres. wants me to
train them on how to fulfill this role, should be fun. E. Dastrup is
going to be training in Wasilla, he is going to be a great trainer no

I have not read any of the e-mails yet, but it is so weird to think
that mom and dad are now home! I wrote last night in my journal that
it does not even seem like they served a mission, as weird as that
sounds. They were home when I left my mission and they will be home
when I get back.

It is really weird that my last transfer has started, and I can
already say that temptation is working too; as in not working
diligently or having a weak finish. I love this area tho, I am glad
that I will finish my mission here. We are going to the Turkey Bowl on
Thanksgiving, way excited for that. Then we have dinner with one of my
favorite families in the ward later that night, I guess it is a huge
family activity night they have where they all get together and have,
I guess you could call it, a talent show. I am looking forward to it!

The sun is out shining bright right now, it is a clear day, about a
solid 9F. I wish it would snow, it is a little weird that we are this
late into the month and have not been hit with snow yet.

In my experience in being a zone leader, one thing that I have really
strived to learn is (1) how to recognize peoples strengths and (2) how
to give constructive criticism. The latter has been really hard
because I am not good at giving contstructive criticism, especially
when it is needed, but there has been improvement. I have learned that
you always start out with something positive, that way you can get
them to listen because if they are not listening, then odds are they
are not really going to internalize anything you say. It is fun
telling others things they are good at tho, you cann really see that
it gives them more confidence and lights up there day. That is
something that I have learned from dad by the way, he ALWAYS was
building me up when he was helping me work on something - it was
always positive. Thro his example, I have learned a lot. Thank you

Well, I should get to the other e-mails I have in the inbox now. Thank
you everyone for your kind words and constant support! I promise that
I will finish my last transfer strong and work 'till the very last day
on my mission. It has not quite hit me yet, that I am leaving soon,
but that is just fine with me :) I love you all and thank you again!

-Elder Hartman1

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Becoming More Like Christ

Hello everyone,

This week went by way too fast. We had ZLC on Tuesday and Wednesday,
probably the best ZLC I have been to on my mission. It was mainly due
to the spiritual ending we had, the testimony meeting. We also did a
lot of activities, so we were able to get up and move around a lot
instead of doing a lot of sitting for the majority of the meeting. Our
zone did pretty good on their goals, we set some higher ones for this
next transfer so that everyone will strive for a higher plane.

I had a cool personal study the other day: I was reading in the New
Testament about when Christ is proclaiming He is the light and life of
the world. I started thinking about how much I want to be like Him,
how He had all of the perfect attributes and characteristics that made
him who he was. I started to think about how he had all of the perfect
characteristics from each color of the color code. His Red was
awesome, I love how straight forward he was with the pharisees and
saduces (however you spell that); He was not afraid to tell the world
at that time the things they were doing wrong. His Blue, when I think
of it, is best shown thro the Atonement, mainly in the scripture
Moroni 7:47, talking about charity. I also loved what President
Uchtdorf said in this last conference, about how he tried to picture
Christ running to and from appointments, trying to get a bunch of
things done. He could not see it. Instead, he saw the Savior spending
personal, quality time with those he was with; everyone around him
felt special. That is actually my desire now, is to help everyone see
themselves the way the Savior sees them. His White is shown thro His
meekness, His humility. I think it sums it up in Gethsemane when he
said 'if thou wilt, remove this cup from me, nevertheless not my will,
but thine be done.' For His Yellow, I like how he lived in the present
and taught others to live in the present as well. He told us to 'take
no thought for the morrow'. I think that is a great way to live life

It is weird that I am coming up on my last transfer, it is really sad
actually, I am pretty sure I am nowhere close to being ready for my
mission to end - but thank goodness it has not yet! Thank you
everyone! I love you all!

1.  How was zone council conference this week?  What was the focus?
Are you still a lone zone leader?

It was great, for sake of time, you can refer to the weekly letter I
sent. Yes, I am still a zone leader surprisingly, I really do not know
why I am, but it is fun :)

2.  Tell us about your new companion.  How do you get along?  Will you
stay together now for the next transfer?

We get along great, I love him. I do not think we will stay together
next transfer, just because I will be leaving in the middle of it OH
BY THE WAY NOTE: our group is doing a fireside and our mission pres.
wife said that family can tune into it, I do not have all of the info
yet, but it is going to be on the 13th of Dec. I will have more info
for you later :)

3.  How is the weather there now?  Did you get a chance to gather a
few little items for  me?

It is pretty chilly, around 20 F. It still has not snowed yet tho...I
have  not gotten the items yet, but I will get them soon!

4.  Did you have a zone conference this week also?

No, it is at the end of the month - hopefully I will not be a Zone
Leader by then! ;)

5.  Are you taking pictures?

Trying to! I have not taken a whole lot...

6.  What was the best experience you had this week?

Probably ZLC, like I talked about in the weekly letter or the personal
study I had. Just the super big spiritual experiences are always
golden moments in a mission.

7.  What was your favorite lesson you taught this week?  What was it
and who was it to? (Not names just descriptions)

Honestly, not sure, it is hard to recall at the moment. Active member
lessons are always fun because you get to go a little more in depth
into the doctrine and the spirit is always stronger in the homes.

8.  What is your apartment like?  Is it warm?

It is great :)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Crazy Week!

Hello everyone,

To say the least: this week has been one crazy week, it would take too
long to explain everything in full, but long story short: I have a new
companion and am pretty much a one man Zone Leader for the next little
bit, this should be interesting. This has been since last Wednesday.
Again, I will just have to explain everything to y'all when I get home
so you can get the full story so if you have questions, just wait
until then :)

My new comp is E. Dastrup, he has been out for about eleven months. He
is from St. George and is about 6 '2, and weighs about 260 lds - he is
a big boy :) We get along great with each other and are having a lot
of fun. Things in our area are going so great right now. We have a lot
of lessons set up this week and are already experiencing such great
blessings from the Lord. We have been working very diligently and are
seeing it pay off. We are doing a lot of Active Member Lessons. We
have been getting great responses from the members; they really seem
to enjoy them. We are working on getting referrals and just overall
teaching more lessons as a whole. I love working with Active Members,
it is so much fun, you build such great relationships and the spirit
is so strong in the home.

We have ZLC (Zone Leader Council) Tuesday and Wednesday this week, we
are going to be talking about how the zones are doing and also
planning for the upcoming zone conference. It is weird to think that I
am one of, if not the only, oldest Zone Leader in the mission now. I
have learned a lot from having this additional responsibility tho, and
it is not all that hard too, thank goodness.

Not sure if exchanges to Nome will work this transfer, sadly; we have
a really busy schedule and it is just not looking too probable.
Hopefully I will stay in this area for one more transfer, but at the
same time, it would be a lot of fun to go somewhere else for my last
four weeks of my mission. Weird to think about, but a lot to look
forward too as well!

Thank you everyone! I love you!

Elder Hartman 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Waiting for Snow

Hello everyone,

I write this epistle with gratitude in my heart for the wonderful
opportunity I have to converse with my family and friends all over the
world :)

The weather is starting to get colder little by little every day. It
is staying around a steady 20-30F, but still no snow yet! I am
actually waiting anxiously for it to come, I cannot wait to see snow

Life is going good, I am doing fine in the area, we are working hard
and doing our best to get things rolling. We have been having a lot of
success contacting less actives in the ward, going to also be doing
some more active member lessons to.

We were on exchanges from Sat to Sun with the Assistants. E. Na'a came
into our area and E. Poole went with E. Adams in Anchorage (I served
with both of the assistants, E. Adams was my first comp and I served
with E. Na'a in Fairbanks for those who do not know). It was fun to be
with Na'a again, I miss that guy and love being around him; he has
always been a great friend on my mission. During our comp study, we
were talking about how our missions have changed us and we started
talking about spiritual experiences we had. I shared with him the
dream I had, I am not sure if ya'll remember this, where I was with
dad up in Sundance and we were walking down the road to the old park
where I would play when I was little and where the kids play now. When
we got there we started talking about our missions and sharing stories
and experiences. I have no idea why, but at this point in the story I
started crying, it was really weird. It is just one of those 'golden
moments' you have on a mission that really impacts you. I am so
grateful for all of the wonderful experiences I have had on my mission
and I cannot hardly wait to share all of them with ya'll. I have
written down as many as I can recall in both my spiritual journal and
normal, day-to-day journal. Thank you everyone for helping me come on
a mission. And also thank you for your continual support. I keep
telling members that I think the two most common phrases I say in my
letter home are 'I'm sorry" and "I love you." I say I am sorry because
I realize how much mom and dad put up with me while growing up. I say
I love you because I can never say it enough to the people who matter
most to me. I LOVE YOU! Thank you!
 Questions from Mom:
1.  What are you doing on Halloween?  Do kids go trick or treating or
is it too cold?

Just a normal proselyting day until 7 pm, then we head into our
apartments for the night. Yes, kids go trick or treating still - wish
we could...

2.  Did you get to see Elder Holland in Alaska?  When did he come
there?  Did he talk to all the missionaries?

I barely missed him actually...he came up right before I got back in
Anchorage from Whitehorse, so last November I think it was...yes, he
did a fireside for all of the missionaries.

3.  You never told me you went to Jill's house for dinner a few
times!!!!  How was it - why did you never mention it???

That is really weird I never told you bad! It was good, her
laugh was just like yours actually, it was so weird! She is way nice
tho, it was fun to talk with her and get to know her a little bit.

4.  Tell us about your area.  How do you like it?  What is the ward like? etc.

It is the Meadow Creek ward. I love the members here, they are so
welcoming and loving, very nice ward. The work is a little slow at the
moment, but we are picking it up :)

5.  How is your companion?  Will you most likely be together till you leave?

He is awesome. No, I am almost certain we won't be together after this
transfer actually. He has been here for three transfers already and I
only have four weeks left after this transfer.

6.  Do you think your mission has changed you for ever?  How?

Oh yes, I most definitely think it has. The best way I can expound is
just by saying it has overrall made me a better person. I think the
best way will be for you to see me in person.

7. Did you get to go on splits to Nome?  How far is that from where
you are?  How big is your zone?  (people and area)

No, that is next week :) I don't know the exact mileage, but it is
really far away. Our zone is about 13 companionships, the area is big
due to the bush areas (Nome, Bethel and Kotzebue).

I loved your last paragraph in the letter mom - especially the part
when you said 'I am so glad I get to spend all of eternity with you.'
It really touched me and I am so grateful that we have that knowledge.
I too, am forever grateful that I will get to spend eternity with you.
It would not be heaven without you. I love you mom!!!


Elder Hartman 1

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Warm Welcome

Hi everyone, Well, my letters will probably be a little shorter now, seeing as that I am going to be doing my e-mails in Anchorage again so I am on a time limit. I have had a really warm welcome into the new ward that I will be serving in for at least the next five weeks now. The members are very nice, I have loved all of the families we have had dinner with already. We do a lot of tracting here for work; it has taken me a little getting used to again, since I am used to doing more teaching and contacting people via the ward roster, but it is like the good ol' days in Whitehorse again! Knockin' doors 'till you cannot remember if you already knocked some of them or not :) My new comp is way awesome, his name is E. Poole and he is from the San Fransisco bay area, if I remember right...He went to BYU for a year before his mission, so he is pretty familiar with Utah. He served with one of my companions for a little bit, E. Ashby, if y'all can remember him. He is way intellectual, very smart person, understands the doctrine really well, we have some good deiscussions about it :) Hopefully this transfer we will get to go out to Nome for exchanges, we will talk to Pres. probably a little later today and see what he says. This zone is really good, need some unity building, but that will come in time. Not sure if I will finish my mission here or not, probably. We spent a lot of the day today moving apartments, so stressful, but we got most of it done! Time is short, I apologize for not having a lot of good info yet, but I will have more next week. I love you! Thank you for everything! Love, -Elder Hartman1 Questions From Mom: 1. Did you find your camera charger? No, but E. Poole is letting me use his, bless his heart :) 2. Tell us bout your new area. How do you like it so far? We looked on google but could just find the National Forest - do you have an address? Will you most likely spend the rest of your mission there? How do you feel about that? I like it, a little rough getting the work going, but we are growing throughout the experience. I do not have an address yet, sorry. We live in Eagle River. If you look at Meadow Creek Rd, that is in the middle of our area pretty much. I am not sure if I will spend the rest of my mission here or not, I kind of just want to finish my mission just a Senior comp. missionary, not a Zone Leader, but whatever the Lord wants I will do. I would be fine with finishing my mission here, but I would also like to go somewhere else, so mixed feelings about it I guess :) 3. Tell us about your new companion. It is ok to omit his shoe size. E. Poole, from San Fransisco bay area, went to BYU Provo for a year. Very smart, highly intellectual. About 6'2, has three other siblings, second oldest. I think he wants to be a lawyer if I remember right, but he is still undecided - like me :) 4. How is your new zone? How many missionaries in it? Do you know most of them? Is it a good one like your last? It is pretty good. There are, I think, ten companionships? I cannot recall the exact number at the moment. I know a good amount of them, yes. We are working on the unity right now, but that is because it is pretty spread out is the problem, so unity has always been a challenge here. Fairbanks was just a whole other world in itself, that place was perfect :) 5. Are you mostly teaching natives (eskimos?) or is it regular people there? Is it a populated area? Mostly regular people actually, you teach more natives out in the bush areas for the most part, not in the city. It is a pretty populated area, I think it is the fourth biggest city in Alaska, about 32,000 people if I remember right.... Hopefully those answers suffice! I love you mom!

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Hello everyone! Well, the biggest news is that I am getting transferred from Fairbanks. I have been called to labor in the Meadow Cree ward in the Chugach zone with E. Poole. He is one transfer behind me in the mission and I think he is from Utah; I will let you know everything about him next week i.e. height, weight, eye color, hobbies, hair color, shoe size and what have you ;) This was a pretty bitter sweet moment, mainly because E. Boyer and I are getting separated into different zones (he is going back to Delta Jct. his old area) and we said goodbye to some families last night. I am really going to miss this zone, it was a blast being a zone leader up here, I loved every second of it. It was the easiest zone to be a zone leader for, any zone leader could come up here and instantly look amazing because the zone is doing so good. A really cool experience happened last night. I have to set up what happened the week prior for it to make sense. So the week prior, we were teaching this family lesson three, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We had an activity to go along with it. We brought balloons for everyone and had them write their goals on it; these goals could be whatever they wanted, whether they were spiritual or temporal, short term, long term, anything. After they wrote them down, they gave them all to me and we commenced to teach them the lesson. After a little bit, I popped one of the balloons, on purpose. We kept on teaching, then I popped another one; this continued throughout the whole lesson until they were all popped. After we taught them the lesson, we talked about how the gospel of Jesus Christ provides us comfort in our lives as we pursuit our goals. It gives us a chance, when we mess up, to start again and kind of gives us a fall back when times get hard and we are trying to pursue something. We had them blow up some other balloons and had them keep them with some goals written on them. It was a great lesson. So that was last week. This time, right when we walked inside, the first thing we see is a balloon next a picture of the temple. It hit me so hard because this couple has not been married in the temple yet and the lesson we had with them last week really had an impact on them. We saw another balloon on the other side of the room with some other goals written on them. It made me so happy to see how they are progressing in the gospel and how the lessons we have had with them have had an impact on them. The lesson we had was amazing, the spirit was so strong. We taught the commandments and 'why' it is important to keep them. It was the perfect ending to this transfer. This has been one of the best transfers of my mission, I have loved every second of it. I am really going to miss Fairbanks, but I realize that the Lord needs me elsewhere. Hopefully you can feel the spirit from this story as strong as I did while I typed it down. I hope ya'll are having a great day! I love you! Love, -Elder Hartman1

Monday, October 1, 2012

"I Know the Lord is Helping Us."

Hello again! This was yet another great week of missionary work, we have continually been blessed with people to teach and have had so much success it is unreal. Earlier this week we met with the family whom I told you a little bit about last week (the dad and his son who wanted their kids to take the missionary lessons). It was a great lesson, the grandpa sat in and gave great input, the only problem is the parents are not interested - which is a huge obstacle right now because if we were to baptize the kids, they would pretty much be baptized straight into inactivity. We really hope to set up a lesson later on this week and meet with just the parents and go over what we are teaching the kids. On a weather note: it snowed the other day! But quickly left a few hours later...the sun is out shining bright right now, but the temperature is dropping really fast - it is staying around a steady 25 - 30F. It is starting to get pretty chilly - I think winter is officially here! Another update: we are in a trio again - this is my fourth one! I honestly never thought I would be in a trio on my mission, let alone four of them. His name is E. Drake, he is from Danville, Ohio and has been out for about twenty months - one transfer behind me. He was actually serving in Sand Lake - the last area I was in in Anchorage. I miss that ward, I am grateful that I served there. We made a contact goal with our ward mission leader the other week. We did not have one before but we thought it would be really beneficial to make one and see the blessings come. The next morning, we made a contacting goal and prayed that, as we strived achieve it, we would have help from the Lord. That day, we were at a lesson and made a contact via the less active's friend who was not a member, which was great. After the lesson, we went to the elevator and started talking to the guy who was in there and made another contact right after the first one. After we got off, E. Boyer said 'it is so funny to see how the Lord literally puts people in our path to contact.' No sooner did the last word leave his lips that another lady down the hall says out loud to us 'I was baptized Mormon.' We talked to her, set up a lesson, and went on our way. Three great contacts in ten minutes, it was awesome. It just comes to show how when you really desire something - a goal - the Lord will help you accomplish it. It has been so fun talking to people and actually having an objective throughout the day to achieve. We have seen the blessings come from it and I know the Lord is helping us. Thank you, as always, everyone. I love you very much! Until next week, take care! Love, -Elder Hartman1 Questions From Mom: 1. Tell us about teaching this week - in particular the 9 grandkids of the biker in the church parking lot. It was a great lesson we had with them, we basically taught about Heavenly Father and His love for us and how He shows that to us by blessing us with families. We are currently working on trying to get the kids parents involved right now so the family will be more unified. The kids want to come to church, but the parents are not interested, it is sad and pretty hard; we have been doing a lot of praying for them. 2. Is it getting cold there now? Are you prepared for the cold? You still have your warm clothes right? A little chilly yes, around 20-35F. Ya, I am ready for the cold (I think). I have all of my warm clothes, yes, so I should be good :) 3. What stands out this week in your mind as being a great experieince? We were teaching an active member lesson on Friday and we were at the point where we talk about how the gospel blesses families. We started off the lesson with a video - you should watch it, it is the one about a man named Jarem who is an amputee. At one point in the video, he is on a ski lift and I recognized the scenery instantly - Sundance, my favorite place in the whole world. After we watched it, I commented on it and said how every year, my family and I usually go up to Sundance for the holidays. I told them how, looking back over those many years, I start to realize why I loved it so much: it was not so much the temporal gifts - although they were still awesome and I loved them - that I recalled, but it was just spending time with the family. Seeing the Christmas tree lit up, all of the decorations up around the house and the whole family just relaxing and enjoying each others company. It was the memories and being with the family that was the treasure and the thing I remember most and that to me was a testimony that Heavenly Father loves us; He blesses us with these wonderful treasured memories so that we can reflect on them and experience joy in the trials of our lives. I love the holidays, and I LOVE being with the family :) 4. Who are you currently teaching? A lot of people, some more actively than others. I do not think we can give out names, which is why I never mention anyone in specific. 5. What are you doing for pday today? Running a lot of errands, then playing basketball. We might be playing golf with a less active in the ward, but it might be too cold, but she is also taking us out to lunch to which will be nice :) 6. Do you think you will have any changes with transfers next week? In our companionship, sadly, yes I am sure there will be a change....I think I will be staying with E. Drake and E. Boyer will be leaving and going back to his old area...which is awesome, it is just bitter sweet :'( 7. We will be sending you your ballot to vote. Do you know who you will vote for? I have no idea who I will vote for...have dad give me basic info on both of the candidates so I can somewhat of a rational choice. 8. Mikelle will be registering you in the next couple weeks - any thing you would like her to do about classes - or should we just guess? What classes did you take last semester? Just guess, I will go to class when I have to, I am not sure if I want to overload right off the bat, but I whatever you want to me to do or think is best should be fine. Use your best judgement :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

So Immensely Blessed

Hello! I am starting off my e-mails with the weekly letter this week so I can write a little bit more - hopefully. As I said last week, we have been so immensely blessed with work in our area it is almost overwhelming at times. We were at the church the other day helping some other missionaries in our zone fill up the font for a baptism they were having. We were just leaving the church parking lot to invite some investigators to it (the baptism) and noticed two men talking to on of the Elders outside. Right when we were pulling out, the Elder called us and said they were interested in talking to us and they lived in our area. We pulled right around, got out of the car and started talking to them. It was a father and his son; they were both Harley Davidson riders, had the big beards, skull caps, and everything. After talking to them for a little bit, the dad said he wanted his five grand kids to meet with the missionaries and have us teach them the lessons. We have a lesson set up with them this Thursday. Another cool experience was earlier last week. We were contacting people on the ward roster who we did not know. We got in with a mexican family who we have tried a few times in the past to contact. They were super nice to us, one of the warmest welcomes we have gotten from a less active family. They were super nice, started telling us how they want to come back to church and their nine year old daughter was just talking about how she wants to be baptized. Talk about good timing ;) I have no idea why the blessings are being poured out to us, but they are. We have been sure to say a prayer of gratitude after all of these visits. We have been having awesome lessons lately, the members who have come with us to them have been extremely helpful as well. One question we have been getting asked a lot lately is about Cain going to the Canaanites. The concern is 'if Adam and Eve were the first people on the earth, where did these other people (the Canaanites) come from? It says nothing about them in the Bible.' It is funny, in the last three days, we have been asked that exact question three times. We researched it and found a pretty good answer we feel, hopefully the people like it. It is so much fun to teach people about the gospel - it is even better when they accept the things you are teaching them as well! Thank you everyone for your prayers offered on our behalf. I know that it is because of you and your support that we are having this success. The more I try to memorize Alma 26, the more I feel exactly like him. Throughout that passage, he talks about the goodness of God and praising Him for letting him (Ammon) be apart of His work. Indeed, it is very humbling to realize what a blessing it is that Heavenly Father is loving enough to allow us to help Him out. I will always be grateful I chose to serve a mission. Thank you again everyone for your support. Love, -Elder Hartman1 Questions from Mom: 1. What was your most spiritual experience this week? When I read some chapters out of the Book of Mormon that were focused solely on Jesus Christ. The ones I read were 1 Ne. 10-11 and 1 Ne. 19. Give it a shot, it works! :) 2. Is it starting to get cold there yet? When does the snow start? Yes it is actually, just this morning it was pretty chilly. I am not sure when the snow starts, probably by the first week in Oct. I am guessing? 3. Do you talk to Jill much at church? When I see her I say hi, but we are usually going somewhere so I do not have a whole lot of time to talk... 4. You have a transfer coming up in October - what do you think will happen? Will you stay with your current companion in Fairbanks do you think? I think I will stay up here in Fairbanks with E. Boyer, but nothing is certain. I hope I do. 5. What is your favorite discussion to teach? Did you get to teach it this week? Probably the Plan of Salvation I think. Yes we did actually, twice. One was an active member lesson and another was with two investigators. I just love testifying of the Atonement and how families can be together forever - my two favorite principles of the gospel :) 6. What are you doing today for pday? Going on a hike :) 7. Did you get your camera ok? How do you like it? Take lots of pictures - since you lost all your other ones. Can you get some pictures from past companions? Yes I got it and love it. I have been taking pictures, they are really good :) I got a few from my last comps, I have a pretty good amount :) 8. How is your companionship going? What do you struggle with? What makes it easy? It is going great. I really do not think we struggle with anything to be honest. We are both just easy going, obedient, and work hard, that is what makes it work. 9. What has been your favorite experience in Fairbanks so far? Teaching the gospel :) I know that is a typical missionary answer, but it was the first that came to mind and I am short on time on e-mailing. I love you!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Feeling Your Prayers

Hello everybody,

It is always so great to hear from everyone and how everybody is doing
back home; thank you for your e-mails and updates, it is greatly
appreciated :)

I got the packages and mail from mom, dad, and Summer, thank you for
your support.

Well, time is short for me, so I will not be able to write as much as
I had hoped, but I just had to send an e-mail of gratitude. We have
been so blessed with our work up here in Fairbanks. The whole zone is
still doing awesome, they are still over-achieving almost every goal
we set for them, it is so much fun to see. We found three new
investigators in our area this week - one of which we had a great
member present lesson with. The best feeling in the world is when you
can literally feel the spirit work thro you as an instrument in the
Lord's hands in this great and marvelous work. Nothing beats that! I
literally feel exactly like Ammon when he glories in the Lord in being
apart of this great work! (see Alma 26:1-12, like how I did that? :))
We have felt all of your prayers and are indeed grateful for them and
your support. Because of you and your faith, this work has been going
forward and we have been very blessed. Without the prayers of the
faithful, this world would probably be in utter calamity. We have been
sure to thank the Lord over and over again for Him allowing us to be a
part of this great and marvelous work. Sorry this e-mail is short this
week, we have to go and run a lot of errands, we did not go grocery
shopping last week! Thank you again. I love you!

1.  What was your best day this week and why?

Saturday. We found a new investigator and had a member present lesson.
It was just a great lesson all around, the member was awesome; short
and brief with his input; the spirit was there, we taught the doctrine
simply and clearly. The best part of it was how I could literally feel
the spirit work thro me (I will talk about this again in the weekly
letter home), I love being an instrument in the Lord's hands, it is
the best feeling in the world - that and eating some fresh apple pie
or brownies ;)

2.  Do you think you will finish your mission in Fairbanks?  Do you
hope so?  where would you like to go if not?

I think I might, but not for sure if I will or not. I think for the
last transfer, which will be about four weeks long I think, I will be
closer to President just to make it easy to travel to the airport and
such, which I would not mind, I love Anchorage.

3.  Which of your friends have you corresponded with lately?  Any news
from them?

Ya, a few. Talked with Broc recently and Kaitie. I e-mailed Trev a few
times, I need to write him a letter!! I e-mail Landon every week as
well. Nothing too big that I can recall at the moment, I e-mailed them
back a little bit ago.

4.  How are your meds holding out?  How are you feeling?

Doing just fine :)

5.  What is your most difficult trial currently?  How are you handling it?

To be honest, it is hard to think of one right now because we are
being so blessed. The work has been going great and we have a really
bright future ahead of us :) The hardest trial would probably be not
getting distracted with thinking about home too much and having that
get in the way of the work.
-Elder Hartman1

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Hi everyone,

Well, time is short right now (big surprise) so I will not be too
lengthy with this e-mail. I did not get the packages from mom yet, but
I am sure this week I will. Looking forward to them! :)

The missionary work in our area is going great, absolutely loving it.
Our zone is doing awesome as well, they beat every one of the zone
goals we set except for one - which is amazing. It was a bummer, we
invited two investigators to church and one of them told us that he
has seen too many hypocrites to go to church - it has put on a bad
image for him, which I can understand, it is just a shame when people
have these bad experiences when they are younger and it starts to put
an image that is very hard to alter. We will keep on working with him
and praying for him. It is great seeing people who do not come to
church often at Sacrament meeting tho, that is always such a reward,
especially when they are consistently coming too.

Cool news for today, we are going on a Apache flight simulator! I
guess it is a once in a lifetime opportunity or something like that. I
will let you know how it goes :)

One goal that I have been working on the last week is memorizing Alma
26 - the whole chapter. Since our training plan is centered on that
chapter, I thought to myself how I have never memorized a whole
chapter out of the scriptures; the longest scripture I have memorized
is D&C 121:34-46. I am currently up to verse eight right now and I
hope to have it all memorized by next Monday! Memorizing scriptures is
a really cool experience, the more you recite the scripture, the more
you learn about it and the message that it contains. It is really
edifying and a great recall in times of need or trial.

That is the updates for the most part. Hope everything is going well
back home. Miss y'all very much! Take care!

Elder Hartman 1

1.  Tell us more about your zone conf pulling the handcarts, etc.

The handcart pulling was pretty short for the most part, lasted about
an hour, but the activities we had the district leaders do along the
trail were a lot of fun tho. One of them did an activity where we had
to spin around a baseball bat seven times then run to a tree and it
was related to following the spirit. We did ours on being equally
yolked in the companionship. There is not much more to say other than
that about the handcarts other than it was a great experience.
Honestly the best part of zone conference was the testimony meeting,
just because it is always great to hear from everyone, whether it is
stories or lessons learned, whatever it is, my testimony is always
strengthened afterwards.

2.  How was your zone council?  What did you learn there?  Did you go
to Anchorage for that?

Unfortunately we did not go to Anchorage for that, which was a huge
bummer. It was pretty good, a lot of the discussion was geared towards
missionary disobedience, which almost all of it our zone was not
having a problem with, so we did not have a whole lot to say during
the discussions. We learned about our new training plan called 'Lord
of the Harvest', it will be really cool, it is focused on Alma 26.

3.  How often do members feed you there?  How does it work with Elder
B. being vegan?  Is he really strict vegan?  No eggs or milk? Are you
learning to cook at all?

We get fed pretty often, I would say on average every other day
probably. E. Boyer is vegetarian, not vegan - yet. He just does not
eat meat. He is really polite so he eats really little at members
homes when they feed us - I usually eat his leftovers, which I am just
fine with :) I sometimes cook vegetables for us, but that is the most
I do with cooking.

4.  What was your week like?  What did you do?

It was pretty busy and a lot of fun. We are getting a lot of work done
here and it feels great. We went on exchanges, saw a lot of less
actives and pretty much just did missionary work. Nothing too big
happened for the most part, just a lot of teaching and testifying of
Christ! :)

5.  How is your companionship going?  Has anything interesting happened?

It is going great, loving it. By means of something interesting
happening....not sure if I can recall anything that would fit into
that category...we did wrestle the other night, I won of course ;)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Hello everyone!

To sum up everything that happened within the last week: it was really
weird. I do not know how to describe it other than that, it just was.
It involved Russians, various instruments including Mandalyns and
Banjos, and really weird/interesting people. E. Boyer and I are having
a ton of fun together tho, we are working really hard and having a lot
of laughs. We were visiting a less active family the other night and
after the spiritual message, they noticed his name tag. Apparently
they also have family with the last name Boyer. After some
conversation, they started examining him for genetic similarities,
running their hands thro his hair saying how perfectly structured it
was (this was his first time meeting the family), comparing teeth,
noses, and hands, it was so entertaining to watch from my perspective
:) I guess he must be related to them somehow tho! Their hands did
have similarities as well as their teeth as well. One of the family
members just became a new investigator and she is actually someone who
we really want to focus on to be baptized before E. Boyer leaves. It
would be a really cool experience if he was actually related to her
and she was baptized before he leaves.

Almost half the zone changed for transfers, there are four trainers up
here so we got more exchanges this transfer - probably one every week.
We have ZLC tomorrow from about 8 - 3. We had zone conference this
weekend, it was a great experience. I fell in love with a turkey that
was at the members house we did it at. We had training in the morning,
then went and did activities, then had dinner, then closed with a
testimony meeting that was really spiritual. Our training plan for
this transfer is Zions Camp, so we pulled handcarts for part of the
conference and had activities along the trail around the members home.
E. Boyer and I trained on being 'equally yolked' as a companionship.
We talked about how the person you should be serving the most, next to
the Lord, is your companion. It is funny because a lot of the time, I
think we as missionaries forget to serve our companion because you are
with him/her all the time - I know I am guilty of that. I have been
making a greater effort to serve my companion tho and I have
definitely seen the difference. As you serve your companion, your
companion serves you back - it follows the adage 'what goes around
comes around.' Alma 41: 14-15 is a perfect scripture that talks about
that exact same thing. I am a firm believer of that saying as well. It
takes a lot of effort to serve your companion, whether it is a spouse,
brother, sister, or missionary companion, but it is definitely worth

Hope y'all enjoyed this letter! I will talk to you next week!

1.  Tell us about your new companion.  Do you think this will be an
easy or challenging companionship?  Why?

This companionship is going to be super easy, it already has been.
Elder Boyer is a Yellow with White, way easy to get along with, we
have had so much fun the last week. He is the oldest in his family,
has one younger brother and one younger sister. He plans on going to
school at UNLV, then transferring to either the U or BYU. He wears
glasses, likes a lot of the same stuff as Bree actually, reminds me of
her in a lot of ways - which is really nice :) not sure what else to
say about him, let me know what else you want to know!

2.  Did your zone change much?  Have you had much interaction with the
new missionaries called there this week?  Did you get your packages
this week?

Yes, nearly half of the zone changed actually. We are on exchanges
right now, I am with E. Parkin, from Virginia, who is a new
missionary. I have met all of the other ones and they seem solid, this
is going to be a really fun transfer :)

3.  I wrote to you about talking to your president and our homecoming
- does that sound good to you?

That sounds perfect to me :)

4.  Is it beginning to feel like fall there yet?  Do the leaves change
there or is it mostly evergreens?  How soon till the snow starts
falling there?

Yes it does actually. The leaves are changing colors now, it is going
to look so pretty. The snow probably will not come 'till around late
September - early October I think.

5.  What do you want us to remember to do this Christmas?  Anything
you especially want us to plan, food, activities, etc.?

Just go to the cabin, that is my biggest and only wish - at the moment
:) I am so excited...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Staying in Fairbanks

 Hello everyone,

Well, as y'all know, this week was transfers and to give you and
update, I will be staying here in Fairbanks. I am getting a new
companion, E. Boyer from Las Vegas. I have served around him a little
bit before and talked to him a few times. He is way tight, this should
be a lot of fun :) E. Na'a and E. Leota are both leaving to go serve
in Anchorage; this last week we said a lot of goodbyes to members in
the ward and other people. Last night we had dinner at an active
members home and they have this tradition where missionaries who are
leaving eat the dinner only using their mouths. It was really fun, we
ate spaghetti with a lot of sauce on it. It started into a food fight
at the end, it was so much fun. Another funny thing that happened
during the dinner, after all of the madness and everyone was cleaning
everything up, was when the lava lava I was wearing for my first time
(the families daughter is Samoan) and Polynesians usually wear that
attire and the pants I had on got sauce all over them, which in case
you do not know, it is pretty much a light skirt that both the men and
the women wear in the culture. I was bending down to pick up a pan
that just fell and the lava lava came undone! A good amount of people
got to see my hairy legs - do not worry, I was wearing my garments ;)
It was so embarrassing...but a great story.

Our baptism this weekend was great, the investigators whole family
came and the dad said the closing prayer. It was a touching
experience, it is so cool to see how the gospel brings families closer
together. It definitely does unite everyone and give us a purpose in
life. Now we just have to get the ward involved with the family so
they can stay strong and actively come every Sunday; there were
actually about seven less active families that we have been working
with that came to church yesterday, it was so wonderful to see.

Life is good, everything else is going great. I was not able to write
back to anyone for letters again today, I apologize to those who are
wondering what is taking me so long. I will make time for them -
hopefully ;) I love you all very much and I feel your love as well.
Have a great week and I will talk to you again next week!

Elder Hartman

It was so good. It went by way too fast. I loved it, I learned a lot
about myself - a lot of things I really need to work on and do better.


His name is E. Boyer. He is from Las Vegas and has been out for one
transfer longer than me, so 21 months. He plays the banjo a little
bit, so I will be more familiar with the banjo this upcoming transfer
:) I am not with him yet, I am getting him on Wednesday morning so I
will be able to tell you more about him next week :)


They are doing pretty good. We did have a baptism this weekend. It
went really well, the whole family came. It was a great experience,
hopefully this strengthens their family and they continue to be
nourished by the ward! We have to meet with some of our other
investigators, there are some that we have not met with for a while
now, hopefully they are still interested.


To not be selfish and desire only my own personal salvation.


Not yet, I really do not have a preference, so long as it can go in
the snow pretty well. I will take anything :)


No, not really, just sign me up and I will go :)


Would you write to him? That would be ever so nice :) I have not
talked to him about it yet no.


We are going to go ice skating! Yay! :) Then after that we are not sure yet :)


Wake up at six thirty, do a little bit of an exercise (that is
something where there is a lot of room for improvement), then shower,
eat breakfast, studies, then head out the door and proselyte. We
mainly do less active work here, so we drop by a lot of persons homes
throughout the day, since there are so many in the ward and our area
is pretty small. We usually are in around 9 - 9:30, plan for the next
day, then wind down and are usually in bed by around 10:30. I know it
is not in great detail, but I do not have a whole lot of time.


Great question....maybe finding an investigator family would be really
cool. There are a lot of part - members up here. I cannot think of
anything else specific at the moment, sorry!

I love you!

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Lesson Learned


Once again, starting out another letter is always difficult, I never
have any idea how to begin...

This week was another great week. We are still just working mainly
with less actives in the area, since there are so many. We are having
good success with them! We found a new investigator from one. We were
driving away and E. Na'a felt prompted to go back and give him
something. We grabbed a copy of the Book of Mormon and a Restoration
pamphlet and went back, bore our testimonies about its truthfulness
and how it brings us peace and happiness from reading it. He sounded
like he was sincere about it and said he would read from it. I love
testifying about the Book of Mormon, it is so fun :)

I learned a good lesson this week: never be afraid to talk and testify
about the gospel. We were at a members home, we were doing service and
they fed us afterwards. I was helping the mom clean and I wanted to
talk about the gospel but did not know what or how I would. I asked
her how long she had been a member for and that started a great
conversation we had. After talking to her for a little bit, I noticed
the other lady in the room was listening to us. I turned to her and
started talking to her. Eventually, she ended up bearing her testimony
to me about how the gospel really shows us and teaches us what is
important in life. The spirit was so strong in the room, it was
awesome. I read in Preach My Gospel earlier this week how a great way
to invite the spirit is to share spiritual experiences. I tell you
what, that really works, I followed that and it invited the spirit and
I know that everyone in that room could feel it. The lady thanked me
afterward for the great conversation and she was gung ho about
missionary work after that. It is so cool to see how the gospel bring
us so much joy into our lives and gives us such fulfillment too. I am
grateful for this gospel and the purpose it gives me in life. If I did
not have it, I would probably be wandering around aimlessly, doing
this and that, without any real purpose behind it. The gospel gives me
that foundation that I need and I know that it is true.

I love you! Have a great week!
 -Elder Hartman1


1.  You said to remember to ask you about your president interview
last week when you get home. Tell us at least one thing he said so we
don't forget.

He just showed me love, it was not so much what he said, but just what
he did and how he helped me.

2.  What is something you will miss about your companions when transfers come?

The spontaneous craziness. They know how to have a lot of fun :)

3.  Tell us about your hike last week  who did you go with, where etc

It actually was not all that epic. It was just a skiing trail that
went around in a circle. We just went and walked for about 1 1/2 hours
then went to the institute and stayed their for a little bit. The
p-day we have planned today tho is a spiritual p-day. We are meeting
at two at the Stake Center. Every companionship in the zone is doing a
team building activity that relates to a principle of the gospel. We
have about 7-10 minutes to do it. After that, we are going to have a
testimony meeting. It is going to be awesome :)

4. Have you thought about what kind of car you want when you get home?

Not really. The Jeep was just awesome, but it does not matter to me
all that much what I get, so long as I at least have something that
gets me from place to place :)

5.  Are you happy?  Why or why not.

Life is good. I am content right now :) Just trying times, lots of
trials, but lots of blessings as well :)

5. Did you get 3 months of your meds last month?  If not go get more.
How are you feeling?

The ones that Summer sent to me yes. I am feeling good, nothing wrong with me :)

7.  Any news about your camera?

Not yet, just continuous prayer for it and putting trust in Heavenly Father!

8. Tell us about your upcoming baptism.

It is this Saturday at 7 p.m. We are meeting with the family one more
time this week to talk about the baptism (I just realized I did not
talk about this in my weekly letter to y'all!), who she wants to talk,
the songs, go over the interview questions, etc. She wants the
missionaries to do a musical number for her, so we are in the process
of planning that out. It should be good tho! Everything is looking

9.  Do you know we talk about you every day. Several times a day. We
talk about how much we love you and can't wait to be with you again. I
am so happy families are forever!!

That is great to hear. I really appreciate that :) I think about y'all
a lot too and miss you very much. I still love and take pride in
talking about my family and how awesome everyone is. I too am forever
grateful that I know I am able to spend eternity with my family :)

10. Why are you up so early today emailing?  What are you doing today?

No reason, we just got here a little earlier. Next week is transfers,
so if I do not e-mail then you know why. Remember that ;) We are doing
the spiritual p-day, as I answered in question 3 :) I love you!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Life is Good


Well, yet another week in the missionary life here in Alaska!

Two of our investigators came to church yesterday. It was so great to
see them, and also a few less active families that we are working with
came as well! I love seeing people come back to church, such a great
feeling. One family that we are working with closely is doing really
well. We meet with  them often throughout the week, like 3 - 4 times.
We have a good relationship with them and have a good time when we are
over there. They are just a fun family and they know that we look to
them as our friends. The daughter was a little uneasy towards us at
first, and now, just the other day, she texted us and said we were
welcome there anytime! 
Sometimes it is not until you look back that
you see how much progress you have made with some people; the change
is so small and slow sometimes that you do no know that they are
actually changing right before your eyes. I really like how when we
visit some people that, although they drink alcohol or smoke - do
things that our standards do not necessarily agree with - we are there
and are casual with them. It is not like we have any right to judge
them on what they are doing. They are all great people too, just have
made some bad choices in life. It is really edifying when people
realize that, that you are there to see them and they know that you
love them.

We had a zone study this morning. It was pretty good, the
companionships who came seemed to really enjoy it! We studies on teach
when you find, find when you teach and did a lot of real plays. We
said how people are used to short, clear, simple messages and related
it to commercials. Usually commercials are no longer than 30 seconds
because that is how long your attention span lasts for. We are
encouraged to develop the habit of immediately testifying about our
message with those we come into contact with. We did real plays that
lasted for a minute, then 45 seconds, then 40, down until we had only
5 seconds to give a message. Sometimes that is all you have is just a
few seconds to change someones life. Sometimes it is those short, but
powerful statements that have a huge impact on you. I wrote about one
in the questions I answered to mom, you can read it there :)

Life is good. I feel your prayers and am continually grateful for your
support. Thank you everyone. I love you!

Elder Hartman

Tuesday, August 7, 2012



First thing is first: the Zip code for the mission is 99502, not
99512, just some info for ya :)

The Baptism was a success! Since we were teaching two kids, E. Leota
confirmed one and I confirmed the other the next day in sacrament
meeting. One was a child of record baptism and the other was an
investigators since she was nine. It was my first time confirming
someone. I was a little nervous beforehand, but it went really well
tho, got all of the wording right :)

We have interviews with Pres. on Friday, I think he is going to give
us some info on what is going to happen with transfers or at least
what he plans on doing. It is always fun to talk to Pres. he is so
awesome. Transfers are slowly sneaking up - still about two weeks
away, but it is just weird to think that this transfer is almost over.
Transfers are going to be on the 28th, so if on the 27th you do not
get an e-mail from me - I am driving down to Anchorage, just a heads

The work in the area is still moving. We are mainly doing less-active
work right now. We were unable to meet with our other investigators
last week - both were no-shows. Hopefully we will meet with them this
week tho!

For pday today we are probably just going to be hanging out at the
church - playing sports and writing letters mainly, maybe play some
board games too :)

We had a good lesson with a former investigator the other day. Had it
outside, near the river on a bench, kinda fun for a change of scenery.
He met with the missionaries a while back, about last year sometime,
and has Jehovah's witness beliefs, very firm in the trinity belief -
all one God, not individual. That is always one that is hard to help
people see a different perspective on, there is only so much you can
do on your part to help them see, but in the end it is always up to
them. Hopefully we meet with him again.

We watched 17 Miracles with a less-active family the other day. Every
time I watch it, I always feel guilty because the trials that I go
thro are nothing compared to what they went thro. I always have to
strive to be grateful for what they did for us, the sacrifice they
performed in order to bring later generations the greatest blessings.

Thank you everyone for your prayers and support. I love you very much
and always strive to remember you and the things you do for me! Take


Elder Hartman

1.  Tell us a little bit about your zone council conference you had last week.

It was good. We mainly just discussed how the work is going in the
zones, the new mission training plan and how to help disobedient
missionaries. Our zone is doing way good, everyone is working really
hard and a lot of people are going to be baptized this month :)

2.  Were all your pictures from your whole mission on your camera?
Did you ever download any of them?

Yes they were...I downloaded a few, but that was mainly the first six
months of my mission. I am so upset about that still, but will
continue to pray to find it!

3.  What was your favorite day of this week?  Why?

I am not sure....probably either Sunday or Saturday. Those were our
most productive days, we saw a lot of people and had good success.

4.  How do think you have changed since you left on your mission?

I like to think so - in a good way. I have learned so much and
continue to grow each and every day. The new challenges and trials
that come my way seem to get harder and harder, but every time
afterwards I am always grateful for them. I think I have matured a lot
these last 19 months, the Lord has broken me down and built me back up
to be the person He wants me to be.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Hello everyone,

Brief rundown on why you are getting this weekly letter today: We went
down to Anchorage for Zone Leader Council and were there until this
morning and drove back up and got back a few hours ago. That is why
you are just getting this :)

I got the package from Summer while I was there. I have not opened it
yet, I will probably wait until tonight to do that :) Thank you

The trip to Anchorage was way good. It was fun seeing some old
companions and missionary friends. I don't know if y'all remember
Elder Meteer; he was my first companion in Whitehorse, and he just
went home yesterday - went home early for school. He is so awesome, I
am missing him so much right now, but I will see him when I get back.
We were both actually wondering if he could maybe stay at our house
during the middle of Dec. when I get home possibly....If not it is
totally fine, but he would stay until my homecoming. If you want his
e-mail I can give it to ya and you can talk to him then :)

Update on last week: it was the first time on my mission I taught
twenty lessons! 19 months and I hit the missionary standard. We saw a
ton of less actives last week, it was a bomb week. We put another one
of our investigators on date for the 25th of Aug. We are very excited.
We rode bikes all day Saturday, I felt like a real missionary because
that is how everyone kind of pictures missionarys, with the helmet and
backpacks. It was a lot of fun, it was actually our most productive
day too, we taught seven lessons and picked up a new investigator who
wants to be baptized! He (the new investigator) literally called us
last Wednesday (last week) and said he met with the missionarys before
in Alaska but had to go to Colorado for eleven months and is now back
and wants to meet with us again; we wants to know what he has to do to
be baptized. It was a great lesson we had with him, he already has a
testimony of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith, there is nothing we
need to do other than just commit him :) Our are is definitely picking
up, it is way cool.

While we were in Anchorage, I worked in the Sand Lake ward a little
bit during the evenings with E. Kvavle (pronounced quively, nothing
like how it looks). Since it was my last area, the people we visited
still remembered me pretty well. It was so nice being back there
again, I miss that area, it was a blast. It is also great to hear
about some of the people you were teaching who got baptized or less
actives that you worked with started coming back to church. I have
really enjoyed all of the areas I have served in on my mission and my
companions too, I have been very blessed :)

On a sad note: I lost my camera!!!!!! You have no idea how incredibly
upset I am over that....It is going to bother me forever. I looked and
looked and looked and could not find it. I lost it while in Anchorage.
We looked all over the apartment we stayed at and everything. I am so
frustrated. I was so excited to show everyone the pictures I had and
tell the stories behind them....ugh. Hopefully it turns up sometime! I
have been praying really hard to find it. I will let you know if I

It is scary to see missionarys who have been out were out on their
mission just a little bit longer than me start going home. I have to
start thinking about school and life after the mission now. It does
scare me quite a lot - hopefully I am not awkward or anything. Next
time we go to the temple, I will probably start focusing and praying
on a career and school. I hope I have a smooth transition with it all!

That is all for this week! Thank you everyone for your consistent
prayers and support throughout my mission. You have no idea how much
it they have helped me endure thro it and make the most of it. I love
you all and thank you sincerely for it.

Elder Hartman 1
1.  What was your favorite thing that happened this week?

Going down to Anchorage for Zone Leader Council and seeing some old
companions and missionary friends :) we also visited the Sand Lake
ward - my last area - for a little bit, got to see some members, it
was way fun :)

2.  I'm so happy you finally got your meds.  How are you feeling overall?

Pretty good, a few pains in my side every now and then, but nothing
too big tho. Doing great :)

3.  What are you doing today for pday?

Well, it is Wednesday because we drove down to Anchorage early on
Monday morning and we were there until today - we just got back about
an hour and a half ago. Today tho, we are working in our area and
planning a baptism that we are going to have this weekend :)

4.  Did you meet Heather and her family yet?  I guess they are living
with Jill while they redo their house?

No I have not. I will let you know when I do.

6.  At his point in you mission what rule would you say is hardest for
you?  why?

Always staying within sight and sound of your companion. I like to
have some Peace every now and then ;) imagine that haha

7.  You said one of the issues you had in your current area was
getting the trust of your members - weren't your 2 companions in the
same area for the past 6 or so months?  Why is that still an issue?

I honestly am not sure. It is getting better tho, the bishop is really
taking a liking to us it seems like. We saw a ton of less actives last
week - twenty two to be exact - and some of them were ones that the
ward has not had contact with for almost a few years now :)

8.  Is their a gospel princiiple that is currently on your mind
lately?  If so what?

There are always a lot of them on my mind actually, but I would say
hope. That is still something I am trying to work on right now the
most. I try to find something to hope for in the future - especially
when times are hard.

9.  Any more thoughts on school when you get home?  What?  Where?
Living where?  Should we get Mikelle to get you registered - do you
want to pick your classes or should we get you signed up for some of
your basics?

I want to go back to UVU I am pretty sure. I am not sure where I will
live yet to be honest. If I can find some roommates then I will
probably live with them, but if not I hope it will be okay if I live
at home for a little bit. I am not sure about the classes yet. I think
I need some more time for that one - ask me again in the future tho
please :)

10. What kind of companion do you think you will be remembered as on
your mission?

I really have no idea. Probably the one who loves Unicorns :)
seriously, I have a ton of Unicorn stuff it is crazy, but I love it.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Happiness Lies Within...

Hi, hello,

Well, to be honest I am not quite sure what to write about. I always
do my weekly letter home after I answer everyone else on e-mails back.
I feels like I am repeating myself when I say some of the stories or
thoughts I have had throughout the week, but that is okay.

This week went swell, we got a lot of work done in our area. That
always feels good. Saw a lot of less actives. We are going to start
helping a family with going to the temple. We are going to set up some
goals for them and help get them started. I really hope they are able
to make it and put forth their effort so they can enjoy the richest
blessings that are in store for them. They have come a long way from
where they were. Throughout our time meeting with them, we have really
seen how the gospel has blessed their lives and as they have made an
effort to come to church, there is really a difference on the days
they are able to make it and the days they miss it. It is such a
blessing to see the fruits of your labor as a missionary.

On Saturday, it was E. Merrills birthday. For those who forgot, I
served with him in Klatt in Anchorage when I first got back from
Whitehorse last November. We went out, bought some ice cream for him
and a few little decorations and had a little surprise party for him.
We ended up sitting in their apartment for a half hour waiting for
them because they kept on getting calls from people who had stuff for
them. It was great to see his reaction tho, he was really surprised
and happy to see us. Making people smile always brings you those warm
fuzzies. I wrote him a letter, I figured that was the best thing I
could do for him. It made me realize, as I was writing it, that life
really is not about yourself at all, it is always about other people.
Thank you dad for hammering that into my head :) I read a talk by
Pres. Faust, a BYU devotional he gave I think in 1999; it is called
'Our Search for Happiness.' It was such a great talk, y'all should
definitely read that when you get a chance, it is so good. At one
point in it, he said 'the key to happiness lies within the dimension
of the heart.' When I read that, I remembered another quote: 'the mind
is enriched by what it receives, the heart by what it gives.' How true
that is. If we want to experience true happiness in this life, we must
recognize what we have to offer others, what talents we have that we
can recognize then use to bless the lives of those around us. When I
look at dad, I see someone who has recognized and utilized his talent
to the fullest. I always saw dad happy. That is what I wanted. I have
realized that I must give my heart to everyone if I want this
happiness for myself. In giving our self to others, we find ourselves.

There is my thoughts for the week! I love you all! Thank you!

 -Elder Hartman1
1.  Did you pick up your medicine?

I love how this is the first question, but that is because I expected
it to be :) and yes I did get my medicine, I am good for the next
while now :)

2.  How is Fairbanks?  How about the ward and people?  What do you
like about it best and least?

I honestly think you have asked me this question almost every week
that I have been in Fairbanks hahaha. I love it here, it is so great
:) we are still working the ward in getting their trust. We are going
to start teaching more Active Member Lessons, which we should have
been doing this whole time. I love the less actives. I am not sure
what I like least about it to be honest...

3.  How are your companions? You said you
really like your zone - why?

Doing great! I love them :) I love the zone because we are all pretty
close knit, we work close to each other and are kind of, in a way, in
our own little world up here :)

4.  Any investigators after the fireside last week?

Not yet, which is surprising. We were hoping that a lot of referrals
would come, but not yet. Everyone who came really enjoyed it tho! Even
if we only helped one person from that, it was worth it :)

5.  Utah was unbearable hot while we were there - is it still hot
there?  When does it start cooling down?

It has been overcast the last little while. It will start cooling down
here pretty soon I think, we are losing more and more light. It got to
75 ish the other day, it was pretty dang warm, mainly because the sun
was out. I think in September it will start cooling down pretty fast.

6.  You said last week there are some big changes coming next
transfer.  What did you mean by that?

I was thinking more in our companionship. Mainly because E. Na'a has
been here for six months and with Pres. Beesley, that is pretty rare
for someone to stay in an area for that long. He also said in our last
interviews that E. Leota will be leaving because he has been with E.
Na'a for 7 1/2 months now and he cannot be with him forever.

7.  Do you know why you are still in a threesome - is it numbers,
language, what?  Are there any other threesomes in your mission?

President does not like trios, there are not a whole lot in the
mission, I think just two others. We help him a lot with the language,
he has made a lot of progress :) mainly it is language I would say.

8.  what was the best thing that happened this week?

When we found our Zone Leader book :)

9.  What was the worst thing that happened this week?

When we first lost our Zone Leader book haha.

10. What new principal did you learn this week - or what was the most
spiritual experience you had.  Tell us about it.

Always having faith in the Lord, throughout the whole trial. We lost
our zone leader book, as I mentioned earlier, on Thursday and could
not find it! The last place we both KNEW we had it was at the
institute. We looked there over and over again. We called everyone and
kept on searching for it, literally the whole day. We were getting
irritated and could figure out how it disappeared. Later that night,
we prayed and asked the Lord for help. I got the assurance that we
will find it, more specifically before Monday morning we would find
it. I asked the Lord what I needed to do and I heard 'patience.' I
just needed to wait on the Lord and put my trust in him. The week went
on. Still no luck with finding the book. My faith was starting to
waver a little bit I will be honest, but we kept on going. Sunday
came, still not luck. Sunday night came and still no luck. The cool
thing was I was clam throughout this whole time. Around 10:25 last
night (Sunday) we were sitting there and told some Elders that are
staying with us for the day that we lost our Zone Leader book, just
casual conversation. 'It's in the back of our car.' E. Na'a and I
about lost it. It was the greatest night ever :) I learned from it
that the hardest part of trials is always the end, that is the part
where you are really tested to see if you have faith or not. There is
my story for the week! :)

11.  Did you get you package this week?  Now we are back here they
will slow down a bit - I do have your monthly pkgs. ready to mail at
home.  Is there anything you want or need me to have Summer put in

I did get it, just not from the post office yet, I have the slip and
everything. Just snacks to put in their, anything is fine :) maybe
like granola bars or something. :)