Monday, January 30, 2012

Treat Everyone As a Friend

Hello again everybody,
Just a quick update, I am staying in the Klatt area with Holtz for one more transfer, due to the training schedule. Another 6 weeks here, which I am not mad about at all, this ward rocks! :) Beginning of March is when next transfer are I believe...just look up 6 weeks from now and you will find out :)
In regards to how the work is going. Things are the same as ever right now. I will admit, I was a little irritated this last week because I would love to see some progression with our investigators, but nothing - yet. I love them all tho, I love everyone in this area and I do my best to treat everyone as a dear friend, as a brother or sister, because they are! One thing I am trying to work on is extending bold commitments. Being bold is something that I am struggling with at the moment, I am too nice is the problem. Being bold is a form of love. That was something very valuable for me to learn. When I invite less actives to come to church, I was really casual in the beginning. When they would say their reason why they could not come, I would usually reply "oh that is ok, no worries" or something along the lines of that. What I realized I should be doing is telling them the blessings that come from coming to church and not being too relaxed on it. If I am showing that it is not a big deal to come, then they are getting that exact message; they do not see the reason why they should. Slowly, but surely, I have been working on that. I will always be more relaxed then ridig, I could never have my string too tight, no sir.
We have been having a lot of fun tracting. A lot of people think that you cannot have fun when every door is slammed in your face. I felt like proving them wrong :) Holtz and I have been having a blast tracting this last week. I will admit, I have been doing some dance moves every now and then, which we are not supposed to do, but I do know that Heavenly Father loves a happy, cheerful attitude! I actually have gotten some "Thriller" dance moves down pretty good now. I also have been talking in a Scottish accent on some doors. It is a great conversation starter and catches a lot of persons interest. We are certainly met with more rejection then acceptance, but you know what, it is worth it. Every second of the mission is worth it. I do not know how I could have pulled through without the help from everyone back home too! I do know that I am doing the right thing when I am experiencing a trial that is from God, not from the world. When I have a trial like that, I know that I am at least on the right track :) My biggest stressor (or stresser, however you spell that) is whether or not I am serving God in a pleasing way. When we do not see anyone the whole day, I feel pretty down when coming in the door. I want to draw people closer to Christ, but we are just having difficulties finding those people to do that with. I may just need to put forth some more effort on my part as well. Nevertheless, I am grateful to be out here. I love it. I love this gospel and I know that it is true and I know that Christ lives! I love you!!
Elder Hartman1


1.  What did you do that was FUN this week?
Tracting with a Scottish accent :)

2.  How are feeling - physically - emotionally and spiritually?  One word for all 3 is not acceptable.  Answer each one with a different word!
Physically; fabulous, emotionally; a little tired and stressed at times, spiritually; facing a lot of opposition, but growing :)

3. What was your best experience that you had this week?
Being let into a door while tracting, that always feels great :)

4.  Did you remember to tell your ward hello from Bishop Osborn?  What did they say?
No I did not, which ward was it again? Sorry, things like that tend to slip my mind :p

5.  Seeking less actives is a HUGE thing here - the missionaries spend a lot of time doing that - do you also do that?  Do you have a good ward mission leader that helps you?
Oh yes, we do a TON of less active work, that is where majority of our work is. Our WML is awesome, love him!!!

6.  I think you just had a transfer recently - which I know wouldn't affect you while you are training - when is your next transfer?
It did not, I am staying with Holtz in the area. Next transfers are in 6 weeks, so beginning of March I believe.

7.  How are things going in your district?  Is there anything that has been difficult for you to handle in that capacity?  What?
Going grrrrrreat. Nothing too difficult, no disputes or anything.

8.  How are the sister missionaries in your mission?  Do you still have them in your district?  Are they easier or harder for you?
Fabulous, yes they are still in the district. They would be easier I would say, I get along with sister missionaries really well (due to 4 older sisters ;))

9.  What are you studying right now?  Any good books you have read lately?
Just finishing up Jesus the Christ, awesome book, I highly recommend it.

10. Is there anything you need or want? 
A compliment :) hahaha kidding, no I am good for now 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Why Would Anyone NOT Want To Serve?

Hello everyone,
I got Summers package the other day, and the one from mom and dad, thank you so much, they were awesome! I am at the point where a lot of people start forgetting about me and mail is becoming even more precious now :) haha
Our missionary work is going good. I do not know what it is about this area, but we cycle through names like no ones business! In one hour, we visited 10 people, but had no success, sheesh! But, things are looking up, we have picked up a lot of great potentials from tracting and are planning on following up with them this week. My favorite thing to do with people, during tracting when it is cold, is doing the typical door approach and if they are not interested I usually try to say "it is awfully cold out here, do you mind if we just step inside for 2 seconds and warm up?". That has been a pretty easy way to get in, although it is awkward when people say no, then we just stand there to try and guilt trip them into doing it anyways ;) haha.
Long story short; the investigator I mentioned last week, who was on paroll, but wants to be baptized. We met with him Saturday and talked about it and said that we feel that we should not worry about putting him on date anytime soon - I always come close to baptizing investigators, but always seem to fall short, it is so weird! He is doing great tho, really likes the lessons we teach, likes us, getting great fellowship from the ward. So long as we do our part and point him in the right direction and teach him things he does not net know, I have a good feeling that everything else will fall into place.
It sounds like things are going great back home. Again, thank you so much for the updates, I know that occasionally I will write to ya'll personally, but time is a valuable thing that us missionaries just do not seem to have. Mom and dad can attest to that I am sure, with the schedule they update me with every week, wow! Crazy! You are working harder than me!! I think on of the best lessons I have learned on my mission is that hard work ALWAYS pays off. It may not instantly or right when you want it to, but it always does. People who succeed in life, do it because they worked hard, and that is the most valuable lesson Heavenly Father has taught me. Although I still have a lot to work on, I have gained an appreciation for hard work. It gives me a purpose, and then, when the time comes to rest, I have a sense of accomplishment as I do - I have 'earned' my rest if you will :) I am glad dad stressed to go on a mission. I can most definitely see why he would too! I do not see why anyone would not WANT to go on one! I am also grateful for the examples I have with all my bro in-laws, who all served honorable missions. Their example definitely added to me going :) and then of course, when I tell people I have 4 older sisters, the most common response is "wow, I am sorry", but I follow up with, "actually, it is a huge blessing, I get more mail right now then most missionaries get at this point in their missions". And I do, I still get a lot of mail and have a strong support system from everyone, and I am eternally grateful for that :) Thank you again everyone. I love you!
Elder Hartman1
P.S. I told you the letter this week would be better :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Verbal Trespassing

Hello everyone,
Yesterday was a holiday, so that is why we are e-mailing today, you can just plan on that for future reference, because we use the public library here in Anchorage.
Things for our area are going great! We are gaining a lot of trust with the leadership of the ward and the members as well, which has been our focus the last little while. Training is going good, still got a lot of things to work on...Investigators are doing good, we pretty much have one on date, but he is on probation because he was let out of prison about 2 months ago, so we are talking with President to work this out. It is pretty stressful when everyone we are contacting keeps on saying they are not interested. One person even told us we were doing a verbal trespassing on his property, that caught us off guard.
It has been pretty chilly the last little while, which makes things a little tricky in regards to how we work. Have to do planning really carefully.
Sorry, short letter this week, things have been pretty stressful with our area and other things as well. I am grateful that a mission is hard tho, because it is only through resistance that we become stronger. Gotta press on and remember that faith is always pointed towards the future.
Thank you everyone for your support, the letter next week will be a lot better, I promise :)
Elder Hartman

Monday, January 9, 2012

Laughing Into Shape

Hello everyone,

This letter should be a little more formal than last weeks. I actually have time to write it now! My apologies, again, for the shortness of the last one, I will do my best to make up for it :)

This week was really good. We had one of our investigators come to church! We were so happy! I have learned, this past week, about the importance of teaching people, not lessons. During our meeting with one of our investigators, we were following up on his Book of Mormon reading. He said he had not read it. We focused our visit primarily on the importance of reading the Book of Mormon. By asking him questions, we found out why he had not read it, what he was expecting for an answer, and how we could best help him. We met with him again, 3 days later, he read the first six chapters. Just powered through it. It was interesting, we were planning a lesson for him that morning and I had no idea what we would teach him, I had a stupor of thought. I turned to E. Holtz and said, "I will be honest, I have no idea what to teach him or have the lesson be on, what do you think we should do?". Holtz thought for a second, "Faith" he answers, "ok, we will teach on Faith". I prepared some scripture references and a basic lesson outline plan and it ended up being a great lesson. At the end of it, our investigator asked "why did you choose this topic?", "it was all this guy right here" I said, turning to Holtz. He explained that he just felt he needed this and how to help strengthen his faith. "It was exactly what I needed" he replied. I am very grateful we spread the gospel two by two. Although Holtz is a trainee, he is still a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. So long as you do your part by being obedient and remaining worthy to recieve revelation through the spirit, everything else will fall into place. Heavenly Father is very aware of what is going on.

Mission is going great, absolutely loving it! At times, training can be a little stressful, but then I take a step back and remember where I was at that point in time and soon am humbled by that. We went on exchanges last week. E. Williams came into our area with me and Holtz went into the other companionships area. Williams is a total Yellow, so you can imagine how the exchange went. He talks all-the-time, not that I did not like or irriated me, I was just.....amazed. We had studies....well, TRIED to have studies, but he talked, literally, the whole time, even during personal study. I was trying to read Jesus the Christ, and I would stop reading and just watch him talk, thinking to myself, "how can he elaborate for so long on one thing?". It was such a fun exchange tho, I am not talking him down in anyway, I loved every second of it, we laughed so hard at times that our abs were killing us! We joked that, if we served together, by the end of the transfer, we would have six packs, cuz we laughed so hard. It was so much fun!

Thank you everyone for the letters and e-mails. I love you!!

Elder Hartman

Questions from Mom:

1.  What did u have an interview about last week with sister Beesley for?
It was just to see how E. Holtz is doing, they are doing it with all trainees this transfer.
2.  Anything new this week?
Ummmmmmm, I don't think so.....haha
3.  How do u like training?
It is good, kinda stressful at times, mainly because I keep forgetting he does not know/have the little habits that you develop as a missionary.
4.  what r u doing today for pday?
Running errands, having lunch with some other Elders, then playing basketball :)
5.  How is your branch doing?  Do u still go to both branches?  Which do u like better?  How big r they?
The wards are doing great. Yes, we go to both. I do not like one or the other better, I try not to play favorites :) YSA is pretty small, about 20 come every Sunday. Klatt is big, roughly 100 maybe come every Sunday?
6.  Tell us a little about elder holtzs.
He has a girlfriend waiting for him at home. He likes video games. He is a huge White.
7.  Did u clean up your desk yet?  :) :)
8.  How are you feeling physically?  Mentally?
Doing great, tired a lot, but that is a normal missionary thing. I still get headaches every day, but medicine is wonderful :)