Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Another Week in Anchorage

Hello everybody!
Well we had some interesting events happen this week. Our number one investigator went back to prison...I could not believe how devestated I was over that! I loved him so much. It was hard to see his mom in sorrow as well. It was sudden, but it was due to old habits is why he went back. Our second top investigator is not interested in any lessons at all right now either, sheesh! It is just a bump in the road right now tho, I am actually surprised at how well I am handling all of it. The best part about myself (bye humble card) is that I cannot stay mad or stressed, I just can't, it is so great :) hahaha, anyways.
It has been interesting adjusting to that while still training 2 trainees at the same time, a lot of curveballs have been thrown, but it has all been worth it nonetheless. Elder Holtz is going to be the Senior companion this week, as part of the training program, so he will spearhead everything. He will do awesome, I know he will, he is a solid missionary. He has been trained well ;)
I am losing weight right now! Just a side note! I am working out pretty consistently every morning and am actually eating really healthy! I have not told you about what I eat or the new foods I like or anything. I think all of ya'll will be surprised. I make myself a shake every morning which consists of: milk, a banana, protein, mixed fruit, spinach, and oats. It is soooo good, I will have to introduce everyone to that, it is delectible! Then for lunch I eat steamed vegetables, they are way good I love them! I pretty much eat everything right now, I love food. One of my favorite scrips right now is 2 Ne. 9:51, at the very end of it it says to 'delight in fatness'! I love it, great scripture!
I am running short on time, I love library computers and I still have to write my weekly to Pres. Hope you like the pics I sent, the first one is Holtz and I during weekly planning, and the second one is the traditional Alaskan swing set :) I will do my very best to include more detials in the next letter. Be patient, ya'll know how I am with details ;)
Love you all!
Elder Hartman1
Questions from Mom:

You know how I feel about this question, it is so hard for me to answer!....I have no idea, doing missionary work! :)

I am sending some today.

It is going pretty good. I do not really know how to give examples to back up what I say, but it is really rewarding nonetheless. I just have to try and keep my cool and not get too stressed.

Every Wednesday we have sports night for the YSA ward that we cover. I played a Samoan - who weighs 240+ - in some one on one basketball, that was really interesting...

Stuff for the Iditarod, mainly putting hay into bags - what I did last year, I sent pictures of it last year. We also organized food.

That is not one question, but anyways ;) we have district meeting every tuesday at 10:30. We get along great, I love this district. The thing I have learned would probably be....boldness probably, there has been some times when the district meeting has gotten a little out of hand.

I have a tad bit more time to send a small letter.
Thank you everyone for the packages!!! They were awesome, I loved them!!
To answer some of Kennedy's questions; the first place I want to go to when I get home is Panda Express, there is no Panda up here and it is suffocating me!!!
My favorite companion.....I try not to have favorites in all honesty, everyone of them I would serve with again tho, they were all awesome!
I cannot remember the last question, I forgot to write it down sorry! Any other questions you have I would love to answer tho :)
Transfers are in 2 weeks, that is really exciting, the anticipation is the best part in my opinion. There will be a lot of changes around here, no doubt. A lot of missionaries I know are going home. It is always weird to see missionaries you have served around for a period of time suddenly leave, it goes by so much faster then we all anticipate!
The weather here has been really nice, consistently around 25-30+ degrees. It is during the break up part of the year, so our shoes and cars look great!
That is some of the minor details I missed, I love you all thank you again!
Elder Hartman1
Note from the Editor: The pictures he mentioned were never received. I'll post them if they come through later.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Curve Balls

Hi everybody,
This week has been really crazy. Lately, a lot of stuff has been thrown at us last minute, mainly other missionaries who are coming into our area for a day, a little curveball every now and then. I would say the biggest change tho has been getting another trainee, Elder Clark. He is from Lehi, Utah and will be with us for the rest of the transfer, so not too long, like half of it ish. I do have to say, it is really interesting having a trio now, you definitely have to work differently and take a different approach to lessons and tracting, things like that. We have been doing a lot of splits lately, mainly me going with members in the ward and Holtz and Clark going with each other, I figure it will be great comp. unity for them, they get along with each other really well. It is stressful at times, but is and will be a great experience, one that I will look back on and be grateful that I went thro it.
This year is going by really fast I will admit, it is hard to believe it is already almost March. I am grateful because I have a lot to look forward too when I get home, but also want to use this time as best as I can and make the most of it. I will always be grateful I made this choice to serve the Lord.
Everyone is suspecting that I will be transferred, but who knows! I have been in this area for 3 transfers now, almost 4 1/2 months, so we will see what happens! This email is shorter, I am out of time in the library now. I love you all, thank you for your support!
Elder Hartman1
1.  Why did you never tell Stephan that we were here? He said you email almost every week!
I do email him every week. The thought never crossed my mind to tell him you were going there hahaha :)

2.  Do you know Elder Great?  If so tell him we have spent the week with his friends the Padovich's.  they think he is serving in Anchourage also?  Do you know an Elder Wilson that served here and just returned to Alaska a couple of months ago?  If so tell him he has a very good reputaion here in Zambia and Malawai.
I do know him, he is way tight and a fantastic missionary! He is in my zone right now actually. I do not know any Elder Wilson, sorry.

3.  We heard the weather is some of the worst ever but you said it is fine - which one is true?
My statement of course, I have no idea how this weather right now is the worst, they were probably referring to the winter we just had, not the current weather right now. I speak in present tense - not past ;)

4.  What is the most interesting thing that you happened to you this week?
Getting another trainee, so now I am training 2 missionaries at the same time haha

5.  How is your district?  What did you teach this week?  We LOVED your example you used about the math problem!
They are awesome, I love them all dearly. We actually met with the mission vehicle coordinator and did a training with him.

6.  What are you doing for Pday this week?  Have you ever been fishing there?  We hear many elders there do that a lot and love it.

Not quite sure yet. I have not been fishing here, it is not really a priority of mine to go either.

7.  Mikelle was wondering if you got your Valentines package from her.  Please let us know each week what you get so we will know if you are getting our packages.
I did get her package and it was great. Thank you Mikelle!

8.  Have you heard any fun news from any of your friends lately?  It was so fun seeing Stephan - he looks like he is from Argentina!  we will probably  see Brad in a couple weeks.  Makes me miss you even more!
I know that Landon is training right now! Other than that, no not really haha

9.  Did you get your medicine last week?  did you just get a month or what?
No......things keep coming up last minute, but I still have a comfortable amount, but I will get some today.

10.  Tell us something you love about your ward or a specific person there.
The ward is awesome. The ward mission leader is way tight, he keeps us really busy and is great about scheduling lessons for us.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hello Family and friends,
First of all, happy Valentines Day! It is one of my favorite holidays - mainly because it is Johnny Bravos birthday :) hahaha. Hope ya'll are having fun! I am sending mom and dad valentines cards, hopefully they arrive speedily.
We had a good week this week as far as missionary work goes. We are steadily teaching more and more lessons and having more success. Still no new investigators unfortunately. The best thing we can do is just keep on doing the Father's will and they will come. It is taking a lot of diligence - which is something I really need to work on. I am glad I am learning this invaluable trait, it will definitely help me in the years to come.
I made it a priority this week to actually have a legitimate comp. inventory. Usually we discuss strengths, but nothing we need to work on. I keep asking if there is anything I need to work on, but my awesome comp. tells me there is nothing (which is not necessarily untrue ;)). I asked him "just tell me one thing I need to work on, one thing". It took a while, which I knew it would, but after pulling some teeth, a few things surfaced. Not big things, just some minor issues. It was really enriching, good progress was made. I learned some things that I was doing that I was totally oblivious to. And now, I know what I need to work on. It is really great to get someone elses perspective.
I am very grateful for everyones support throghout my mission. It can be hard to consistently send someone emails, letters, pictures, packages and not get any response in return. They really do mean the world to me. The packages always come at just the right time. After a long, hard day, there is no better feeling then seeing that package sitting in front of the door. Thank you everyone for your diligence and commitment for supporting me, not a day goes by that I do not thank my Heavenly Father for an amazing family. I love each and everyone of my 4 older sisters, their husbands and kids. I also love my two awesome parents, mom and dad, for blessing me with such a strong foundation in the gospel. I am grateful that dad had us do family prayer every night - even tho I pretty much said the exact same prayer everytime. I will always remember that. You are all great examples to me. I love you! You have put the icing on the cake for my mission! I absolutely love it and I promise all of you that I am doing my best. I try everyday to allow it to change me. Some days are better than others, but I do know with each and every step I take forward, I am becoming the man Heavenly Father wants me to become.
Elder Hartman1

Monday, February 6, 2012

Goals Help Us See Our Potential

Hello once again everybody,
Things are still going great here in Alaska, the weather has been very kind to us as of late. It has been staying around 20 now, so we can actually talk to people while tracting. We have had pretty good success in that area actually, we have found a lot of great potentials and met a lot of great people. You really do notice the difference when the sun is out for a legitimate period of time. The people are a lot happier, as are we. One of the things I like most about tracting is talking to people on the door step, just getting to know them and such. We have a bright future for our finding efforts, we have a lot more to work with now.
On the way to one of our dinner appointments, we got stuck 3 times - my comp was driving - NOT that I am critisizing him in anyway, he just has not had a whole lot of experience driving in Alaska. He was Senior comp for the day, which by the way is my plan for this transfer, to give him a lot more opportunity to take the lead and be the driving force; it is part of the training program, and he is also a big White personality, so he needs it too. We had a YSA member come with us that night, his name is Ezra, but you can call him Sampson or Samson, you know who I am talking about. I say that because he is incredibly strong, my goodness! He pushed our car out all three times! He can, after all, bench 500+ and squat 757, pretty impressive.
The ward is doing great, we are getting along really well with the members. We actually have a dinner tonight with the Klatt bishop, I am very excited for it! It was a bummer, in ward council the other day, we did not have a whole lot to report on. We had 7 cancelled lessons this week, so we did not have great results. It is always a downer when lessons fall thro, but there are also missionaries who have worse as well, so I will not complain. We actually got close to our goal of total lessons taught this week, our goal was 16 and we got 13. Not 20 lessons, but it is definitely something. Goals really do help us see what we are made of. I am the worst goal setter in the world, I can write it down and start off strong, but following thro is a whole other story. That is something that I have been striving to work on is goals. M. Russel Ballard said that goals will help us see our potential so when we look back in life, we will see accomplishment, not regret. It is important that we set goals that are attainable, but also make us stretch. That will be something that will take me a while to work on, but it will also help me drastically in the process.
Thank you again everybody for everything. I love you and think about you often!
Elder Hartman1