Monday, March 26, 2012

Back To Work

Hello everyone!
First off: Happy birthday to Easton and Jeremy and Happy Anniversary to mom and dad!!!! 37 years, that is crazy - that is almost two of my lifetimes.....oh what a blessing I am to you ;) haha anyways.
Well, now that Zone conference is over, we have been able to focus a lot more on our area. Things are going great as far as the work goes. We found a new investigator this week while meeting with a less active. They had this little dog that started barking super loud as I was saying the opening prayer for the lesson, it is amazing how things like that always happen right when the lesson starts. We are really starting to get the snowball rolling, the biggest thing that I think every missionary has to do is just keep on trying, that is something I learned this last week. We were working hard, thro the dead time of the day - the afternoon - and were having no success. We were visiting people, knocking doors, calling people, doing everything we can to try and have some form of success. We had 2 lessons fall thro one day, and after the second one did I decided we should spoil ourselves and buy ourselves a treat - on me. We went and got some hamburgers and ice cream cones and rewarded ourselves for our hard labors, it was nice :) Heavenly Father did see that we wanted to work and were trying our best, therefore He blessed us and now we are teaching a good amount of people! Things are looking really up for us now!
That is crazy to think about Brees wedding and how it is already here. It is a bummer that I will not be there, but the cardboard cutout of me should suffice, just do not harm the face too much, that is the real money maker ;)
Here is a look at my meals in Alaska.
The first one is me enjoying some roadkill moose.
Second is the legs from it obviously.
Third is pretty self explanatory :)
Plans for this p day is just some serious R&R. The last little while I have been wearing myself out with playing basketball and doing a million things at once on p day. I am going to sit down and wrie a lot of letters and just kick back and relax - do what I do best ;) We are going to go eat lunch at the mission home, then go to an elders apartment in our zone and play pool and chill, it is going to be great :)
It has been a solid 30 degrees F lately. It is really warm, I have been wearing short sleeved shirts under my sweaters and rolling up the arms because I am getting to hot. I cannot imagine what 60 is going to feel like, let alone 80; that just sounds like death :)
Thank you again everybody for your support. I am truly grateful for the emails I get consistently and hearing how things are going with ya'll back home. I am so spoiled to have 4 older sisters who have taken awesome care of me as I have been out. I love each and every one of you and with all sincerity am grateful for you. Thank you again. I love you!
Elder Hartman1
The first one is me enjoying some roadkill moose.
second is the legs from it obviously
Third is pretty self explanatory :)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A text!

A cute couple, Brother & Sister Brown, sent us the best text ever! A picture of them having dinner with Teej!! He Looks so good! It made our day!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Questions from Mom

Note from editor: Each week my Mom asks TJ some questions so we can get answers to things he seems to leave out in his letters. TJ's answers are my favorite part of the week. But here is what you have to do to really enjoy them...Read each question as if you are a very blue mother, stranded in Africa and wanting nothing more than to connect with her golden child who is continents away in Alaska. Then read TJ's responses in his voice (monotone with a hint of sarcasm and respect) and know that he is being so patient with his answers and doing his best to elaborate on his desire to give one word responses. His answer to #6 is my favorite this week.

1.  Tell us all about your new comp. and area. (you  may have done this in the main letter all ready - so if you did you can just add any details you forgot)
The area we are in is Sand Lake, my new comp is E. Butler, he is from Kimberly, ID (near Twin Falls), the members in the area are awesome.

2.  How do you like being zone leader?  What do you like the best and the least about it?
It is good, stressful right now because we are wrapping up Zone Conference and all of that planning.

3.  Tell us about your zone.
There are 14 missionaries total (counting us). A lot of changes happened this transfer. We get along pretty well with each other for the most part, everyone likes everyone.

4.  What is your new address so I can check it out on google map.
In all honesty, I do not know yet, I will have it for you next week - DO NOT send any mail directly to it tho! For some odd reason it does not work.

5.  What do you like the best about this new ward and area?
It is just an overrall fun ward, we have had a very warm welcome from them and are getting along great!

6.  I can't believe you didn't tell Elder Great hello from the Padavich's in Zambia!! (mission pres.)  Tell him now if he is still in your area.
I do not see how that is a question...

7.  What was the funnest thing you did this week?
Probably when we were sharing a mini lesson with a active family in the ward after dinner and their dog started peeing in the middle of it. The spirit quietly withdrew ;)

8.  What has been the hardest adjustment since moving?
Getting the rhythm down, finding out where people live, using time wisely.

9.  Tell us about your new apartment.
It is known as 'the dungeon'. Pretty much underground, pretty nice tho.

10. What made you the happiest this week?
Not quite sure, it has been pretty stressful, but I would say just having an overall change was really nice.

Monday, March 19, 2012

New Zone

Ola! Well, the new area is doing great, we have had a very warm welcome from the ward and are really earning their trust. We met with all of the ward council before Sunday, something that Pres. is really pushing right now, you can really see how it does build trust with them to. You show them you are here to work and it is a great way to earn referrals.
  My new comp is E. Butler, he is from Kimberly, ID (near Twin Falls). He has been out for 16 months, so one transfer ahead of me. He recently came down from Fairbanks, this is his first time in Anchorage, he is lucky. I just realized: I have spent most of my mission in Anchorage now, yikes. If you want to know anything else about him, let me know, I am probably missing some stuff. We get along great with each other, nothing to worry about us as a companionship.
We helped out with the Road Show last week. We got wrapped into doing it, but that is fine because we had a lot of fun and got to know a lot of the ward thro it. We mainly just stood there, sang, and made the ward look good. Their play was an Alaskan theme of Johnny Lingo, I am sure ya'll know what that is, if not, watch it; it is awesome!
This week has been a little stressful, mainly due to both of us being new Zone Leaders, whitewashing an area, and planning for zone conference for a whole new zone pretty much. This zone, last transfer, had a lot of changes done to it, almost every companionship changed, thus making it hard to determine what the current needs of our zone are. We have made good progress on what planning we have done tho - zone conference is tomorrow (the 20th) by the way - we met with Pres. last night and planned for 2 hours with him and talked about some things. We have it pretty set and stone now tho, which is great! Takes a huge load off us. Once we get the rhythm of things, it will go a lot smoother, both for our area and just getting more experience overall being a zone leader too.
  I have to say, feeling the sun warmth the other day was one of the greatest feelings I have ever experienced - I totally forgot what that felt like! After we had district meeting, we were getting into the truck and I literally stopped in place, with my hand about to open the door, and just stood there basking in the sun; what a marvelous feeling!
Other than that, things are going good. Loving the mission, trying to better myself each and every day. Hopefully ya'll will be able to see a different me come back from when I departed. I just hope that I am becoming the person Heavenly Father wants me to become. Thank you again for your support, I love each and every one of you dearly!
Elder Hartman1

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Heading To Sand Lake

I love Unicorns,
Just wanted to start off my letter like that this week; change never hurts ;) haha
I got the package from mom and dad, thank you so much, it was awesome! And I also got the medicine as well, thank you very much for that I appreciate it.
As news from the mission: I am getting transferred to the Sand Lake ward in Anchorage as Zone Leader. I am really excited but really nervous at the same time. Holtz and Clark will be staying in Klatt, Holtz will be Senior comp. He will do awesome, I am really excited and happy for him. I was pretty sure I was leaving Anchorage, but I was wrong on that! I am excited tho. My new comp will be E. Butler. I know nothing about him yet, never met him or served around him, but from the little I have heard of him, he is a really easygoing, pleasant missionary. It will be a weird transition from being with 2 new missionaries, to one who has been out longer than me. We will be whitewashing the area and neither of us have been ZLs before, so this is going to be really fun! Plus, I will be next door to Klatt too.
This is a picture of an activity we did for district meeting. Basically we hit each other with those stick pole things and related it to comp inventory.
I saw the pictures of Easton getting his stitches, that was so awesome! I also loved Jeremys explanation on his bros wedding, that was hilarious! I always love the updates from home :)
I spent some time packing last night and will spend a lot of today packing as well. It will be easy tho; the area is super close so I can just leave stuff at the Klatt apartment and get it later; it is always the little things that I have to pack away that set me over the edge, they get so irritating! I can never find a good enough spot for them hahaha. The Sand Lake ward, I hear, is really good. Missionaries in there lately have baptized a lot. That is something to look forward too, since I have not had any yet haha, but that is not how you measure success on a mission.
This is our district at the end of the transfer.
My last comp. E. Merrill, is going to Bethel with E. Bowes, who I served with in Whitehorse. They are going to be a riot with each other :) I am excited tho because I get to take Merrill to the airport tomorrow at 5. It will be great to talk to him and see how he has been, I miss him. I have loved all of my companions tho, very much. Even the ones I have not gotten along with as well as others, a few days after transfers happen I miss them, it always happens too, it is weird. I have all of my comps and other missionaries I know really well sign a journal of mine. E. Holtz entry was hilarious, it was only a few sentences long and scatterbrained, made me laugh, totally him :)
This is E. Williams who has a glass eye! pretty kool pic, great conversation starter :)
The sun is out shining bright today, as it has been the last few days! It is -1 right now, so a little chilly, only cuz there are no clouds over head tho. I love the sunshine, I forgot how much I miss it until now. I miss feeling the warmth of it and seeing it everyday for a good period of time, rather then up here where in the winter you pretty much never see it to a point.
I have been studying the Christlike attribute patience a lot lately; I feel it is something I really need. It was so nice, it gave me things to ponder on and reflect over. I studied how the sons of Mosiah went to the Lamanites to spread the gospel and how, at first they were reviled and spit upon, but afterwards they looked at the fruits of their labors and they were many. That was a fun study, I really enjoyed it.
That is all I have to update on for now, thank you everyone for your support, I love you!
Elder Hartman1

Monday, March 5, 2012

Life Is Like A Game Of Chess

Hi again everybody!
Sounds like things with the family is going great! Mom and dad still going a million miles an hour. I have a lot of respect for you, I can see that you are truly getting lost in the mission, that is so great to hear about. Africa is a beautiful country.
Thank you everyone else for your updates on how things are going back home. Summer, do not worry about the package, you are just fine, I still have a while thankfully so you can take your time. Be sure to send some meds; I talked to the pharmacist the other day and he said that I had to call to get them. It is easier if you send them, but if it is too hard for you let me know and I can work it out.
The weather is awesome. It is 9 degrees right now, a little chilly, but definitely could be worse. I am so into wearing the sweater and scarf now, it is so comfortable, plus it looks pretty dang good :)
I am sending 2 more pics with this email, not sure if I have already sent the vegetable food one or not. 
The other one is us at the Iditarod. We did service there by helping people on and off buses. It was kool to see all the sled dogs eagerly tugging at the ropes ready to start the race. There was over 1,000 dogs there! Crazy!
Holtz was Senior comp this week. He did really good, we saw a lot of less actives, which is where probably 95% of our work is, got a lot of work done. I could tell he was relieved when the week came to an end, but I was sure to give him a pat on the back; it is good to get your feet wet and have a rough idea to see what it is like to be senior comp. They are both doing good. We are getting along great as a companionship. It is crazy to think we are in the last week of the transfer already. It is even more crazy to think that I have been here for 3 transfers. We are hoping to finish off this week strong and end with a bang. We plan to do a lot of OYM-ing (open your mouth) during the afternoons, around the down time when no one is home this week. We cam up with 'OYM bingo', which basically is a bingo card but instead of numbers, you have different ways to contact people or different situations to contact someone, like someone reading a book, or a couple holding hands; little basic things like that that help give you motivation to go and talk to the person. It should be a lot of fun, I will let you know how that goes.
Since it was fast Sunday yesterday, I bore my testimony in the Cook Inlet YSA ward. I did an analogy using the game of chess. In Whitehorse, I played a lot of that game, mainly because there was a part member family who really liked to play chess. I noticed that while you are playing the game, you get so focused and so easily frustrated sometimes because you have an awesome plan ready and they move one piece and it is all downhill after that. Well, when you are merely spectating it, you see a whole different game. You see moves that the players look right over. Then I related it to Heavenly Father and how he watches us. Sometimes we get so caught up in life and go at a pace that is too fast, then when a sudden curveball is thrown at us, we get easily frustrated. Heavenly Father lays out instances in our lives; whether it be a certain scripture, words from a friend, comfort, whatever it may be, he places those things in our paths to help try and keep us on the straight and narrow path back home to live with Him and ultimately inherit a fullness of joy. That is what he wants for us. That is His plan, His only desire, for us to have nothing but the absolute best. We have to be the ones to recognize His hand in our lives. Let us not get too focused on one door closing that we do not notice another one opening.
I love you! Thank you everybody for the support! I sure hope my emails are getting better with details, that is something I am going to be working on for the next while. I cannot tell you how much I miss you, but I do know this is where I am supposed to be right now and there is no other place I would rather be than serving the Lord. Your prayers are what help keep me going thro the long days where we have no success.  I have to keep reminding myself that Faith is always pointed towards the future! Thank you again!
Elder Hartman1
P.S. I think this might be my longest e-mail yet....pretty impressive for me I must say ;)