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. :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Finding My Purpose

Hello everyone,

This week was great, a little stressful at times setting up for the
fireside, but overall it went really well and was a great success. I
already sent mom and Summer the link for the fireside, but if you want
to watch it, here it is: I am on the far,
top right of the group. My two companions are the two polys, just so
you have a visual. The spirit was so strong during it, especially when
Pres. Duval finished it off. I love it when Pres. Beesley talks, he is
so solid!

We had some good lessons this week. Taught one of our investigators
about obedience using the swords that mom sent (thank you mom!), they
were a huge help. We showed them how the swords are always pointing
up, towards Heavenly Father, when you hold them. We then related it to
the scriptures when it says to take upon 'the sword of the spirit,
which is the word of God.' We told them how it is important to read
the scriptures and as we are obedient in doing so, we will be
protected from harm and danger. It was a lot better in person than
trying to describe it over an e-mail I promise, but it was fun

A lot of times on the mission, I feel like I am not a success at all
and I am not serving Heavenly Father in a pleasing way. It has taken
me a while to realize what my purpose is as a missionary, which I
thought was kind of weird. I think there are a lot of lessons you
learn on a mission that just come over time. I think really realizing
what your purpose is is one of them. As missionaries we invite others
to come unto Christ. The word that stands out to me is 'others', I
never realized who that was, I always thought it was investigators and
less actives when I first came out. The other day, I was talking to E.
Adams, my MTC companion who just went AP actually, and he was saying
how he is just starting to get it; he is just starting to get
missionary work. The word 'others' in that statement includes everyone
except you. A mission is two years of service to the Lord. It is cool
to me how you lose yourself in the work and yet you find yourself in
it. As we lose ourselves in the service to others, although we are not
thinking about ourselves, we are the ones who are learning the most
from it. I still am doing my best to learn to put other people before
myself and truly serving them in a loving, charitable way. I read some
scriptures the other day about charity that have turned into some of
my favorite verses in the scriptures, in my favorite chapter in the
Book of Mormon, Ether 12:32-34. I cannot tell you how much I love
those verses, that whole chapter even. I have a long way to go and a
lot to learn. Thank you everyone for showing me what charity is and
making life about others, not myself. I love you!

Elder Hartman 1

1.  How was your missionary fireside?  What aw it about?  Who spoke?
How many we're ther?  Tell us about it.

It was a great success, a lot of people showed up and the talks were
just phenomenal! You can watch it on  I am
on the far top right, hopefully I do not look like an idiot ;) The
whole chapel was full. Two recent converts spoke, then Pres. Beesley,
then Pres. Duval, the Stake President. We sang a few musicals, which
you can watch. It was so spiritual overall, I love it when Pres.
Beesley talks, he is the best mission Pres. ever!!

2.  Did you find out anything about transfer yet - when the president came?

Ya, I will be staying in Fairbanks for another transfer with the same
companions. There was a few changes in the zone, but not too much.
Next transfer there will be a ton of changes.

3.  You didn't tell us one reason you are in a threesome aws because
one of your comp. didn't speak much English!  How is that going?   Did
you find out when you will be spitting up?  How is the companionship
going now?

It is going pretty good, I am learning bits and pieces of Samoan, so
he can feel more comfortable with me. His English is doing great tho,
much better than when he first came out. We will probably be for sure
splitting up next transfer. Our companionship now is doing great, I
love it.

4.  We heard you had to cancel your dinner plans with Jill. Did you
reschedule yet?  If so when?

No we did not reschedule yet, we have been super busy to take time to
see when we can next. Our day is crazy right now; E. Na'a headed down
to Anchorage for transfers, to pick up some new missionaries while I
stay behind and manage things here.

5.  Tell the often have you been skipping pills?  Will
you promise me you will pick up a refill today!?

For a few days, I literally realized I was out on Saturday and was
going to e-mail you and tell you today. I will get a refill today,
yes. I just need the ones I told you about, I am good on the other
ones for a while still.

6.  The train ride sounded like lots of fun. Aaything else fun planned?

Not at the moment no. Just sports for today probably.

7.  What was the best thing that happened this past week?

The missionary fireside. It was awesome :)

8.  Have you talked to your president at all yet about coming home?
Will you or would you like us to call the mission home ad ask?  Ant
more thoughts on classes you want us to sign you up for?  We could
probably sell your housing contract. Do you want us to try and do

I think the release date he has for us is around December 17th if I
remember correctly, he is planning on sending us home before Christmas
for sure this year. He is so awesome. If you want to talk to him about
a release date, I gave his cell # to dad in a e-mail. I really have no
idea on classes I want to take to be honest, just generals really. I
am still trying to make sure that I want to major in Exercise Science
and if Physical Therapy is something I want to pursue. What do you
mean by selling my housing contract?

9.  What would you say is  your biggest struggle in Fairbanks?  what
is your favorite thing about this area?

Getting good relationships with the members. Helping them be more
missionary minded. I love the less actives here, they are so great. A
lot of them tell us what they need help with, we just need the active
members to support us.

10.  Did you get your packages yet?  How did you like them?  The capt.
Moroni one?  Did you use any of them with kids there?  If so tell us
about it.

I got the capt. Moroni one, yes. I loved it. I used the swords for a
lesson we taught to one of our young investigators. It was a very
successful lesson, they loved it. Thank you! I related the swords to
obedience. I showed the kids how the swords are always pointing up
when they hold them, meaning they are pointing to God because He is
above us. We are supposed to hold to the word of God, which at one
point in the scriptures is related to as a sword. I told them as we
are obedient to Heavenly Father, we will be protected by reading our
scriptures. It was fun :) Hopefully this all makes sense...

Be sure to tell me how the trip to Africa went! Hopefully y'all made
it there safe and sound :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Traveling by Train

Hello friends and family!

I am sorry for not writing a good letter last week, I did not have a
whole lot of time to write a decent one. Reason why I am writing an
e-mail today is because yesterday we went on a train ride for p-day.
It was from eight in the morning 'till eight at night. It was from
Fairbanks to the Denali national park. You ride on the train four
hours, there and back, which is why it takes so long. It normally
costs 100$ per person one way, but we were able to get a deal to go
for free! A member in one of the wards here blessed us with that :)
Everyone in our zone except for one companionship went. We took tons
of pictures, it was beautiful. The problem with taking pictures in
Alaska is that they never do it justice, Alaska is an experience, a
place you have to see with your own eyes. On the way down we just
enjoyed the ride, took pics, and ate breakfast - we brought our own.
Once we got there, we went on a hike. It was a really easy hike, we
just went to a small lake and took more pictures there. We hiked back,
walked around the park for a little bit, and then went on the train
ride back. We played some songs for all of the people who were on the
train, sang a lot of hymns (got to do your missionary work!) and at
the end of the ride, we all sang 'God be with you 'till we meet
again.' It was so sweet.

Fairbanks is doing awesome. We are having a missionary fireside this
Sunday for all of Fairbanks. We are going to have four musicals and
three speakers: Pres. Beesley (our mission president), Pres. DuVal
(our stake president) and a recent convert of about four months. It is
going to be so awesome, hopefully it helps spark the missionary work
here! President will be coming up Thursday night with the APs so we
will probably find out what is going on with transfers Friday if not
that night. We will also be most likely driving down to Anchorage next
Monday or Tuesday for transfers, so if I do not e-mail on Monday, that
is why.

My studies have been going awesome these last few weeks. I have been
learning so much and always love studying out of the scriptures. There
are tons of things I want to share with y'all, some of it is so cool!
I found tho, that my most edifying studies are the ones I do out of
Preach My Gospel, probably because that is one that is the most
applicable right now. It is always a solid study when I base it off

Know that I love each and everyone of you! Sorry to the people whom I
have not written back yet, I have not had the most time on the p-days
to write a decent letter back! Sorry!

Elder Hartman

1.  What was the best thing that happened to you this week?

Probably the train ride we did yesterday for p-day, it was a blast! I
took tons of videos and pictures. It was just what I needed. The
scenery was breath taking along with the gorgeous weather on top of
it. The thing with Alaska is that it is an experience, pictures will
never do it justice.

2.  When are your next transfers?

Next week. We are having a missionary fireside on Sunday, however, to
help spark the work here in Fairbanks. Pres. and the APs are coming up
on Thursday, so we will know where we are going by then most likely. I
am always so anxious to find out.

3.  You had a ZLC last week. What was the theme?  What did you learn?
When is your next zone conference?  Do you decide the topic?  What is
it going to be on?

I would not say there was a 'theme' really, just discussed how the
zones are doing and the mission overall. It was Zone Leader Council,
not Zone Conference, just in case you got them mixed up ;) our next
Zone Conference is probably going to be late August or early
September, not quite sure yet.

4.  You said you really like your zone right now. Why?  Do you have
sisters in it?  What do you do as a zone?

We do have sisters in our zone, just one companionship; Sis. Chan, who
is from Hong Kong, China, total Yellow; and Sis. Burbank, who is from
Bountiful, Utah.

5.  what did you end up doing on the 4th of July?

Going to a BBQ and a family house party. It was delicious :) got a
good taste of some quality southern grillin'.

6.  Are you teaching anyone right now?

Yes, a lot of kids actually, which can be a little tricky at times. It
is incredibly hard to teach really simple - on a level that a child
can understand. We have about...five investigators in our teaching
pool right now I want to say.

7.  Did you do anything fun this week?  Tell us about it.

The train ride on p-day. I wrote you a letter actually, I sent it
yesterday, not quite sure when it will get to you, but I elaborated on
it a little bit in that :)

8.  What are you doing for pday?

The train ride haha :)

9.  How are you doing with your companions this week?  ( i love your
attitude and how you work on yoursellf)

Doing really well, we are getting along and things are going well. I
still have a lot of things I need to work on, so still being refined I
guess is how you could put it :)

10. How are you on meds?

Great :) do not need a refill yet.

11.  Please send your address so we can google you.

624 Cushmen, I believe...

12.  Did you get your packages?  Which protein bars did you like?  How
did you like the other little packages?

I got one package that I can recall, the one with all of the protein
bars. I really liked the jay bar and the vega sport ones, they were so
good, thank you so much!!! I am not sure if I have already gotten the
'other packages' yet tho...
 -Elder Hartman1

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Letter to Dad & Questions from Mom


1.  Tell us about Fairbanks now that you have been there a while.
What do you like?  Dislike?

It is still way too hot. I love the zone and how much our unity is
building. We are still trying to build good relationships the ward
right now, that may take some time. I love the scenery of Fairbanks,
some of the drives are just gorgeous! A place that you definitely have
to visit in the Summer.

2. Tells us about your companions. What color are they?  How ,long
have they been out?  Were they companions before you got there?  I
always hear a threesome is hard. Do you agree?  Why or why not.

I am not 100% sure on their personalities yet, but I think that E.
Na'a is a Blue with Red or Red with Blue. E. Leota is a Yellow with
Blue I believe. E. Na'a has been out for twenty months and E. Leota
has been out for eleven months. They were companions before they got
here, yes. It always depends on your companion, whether or not a trio
is hard. It is tricky with certain things, like having member presents
at lessons or tracting. It is fun tho, an interesting dynamic that is
for sure.

3. Did you move since you got there?  What is your place like?  Do you
know the address yet?

I do not know the address yet, sorry. Yes, we did move, the new place
is so hot, we often sleep without the sheets on at night to stay cool
and have two fans going.

4.  What do you think about Rands idea to shadow someone?

I think it is a great idea, one that I will definitely do when I get
back; I need to decide on what I want to do for a career and I really
think that will help.

5.  What are you doing for the 4th of July?  Anything special?

Not that we know of yet. Probably going to some big activities and
events to get our image out there.

6.  How are the members in your ward? Is it an older or younger ward?
Do they feed you most of the time?

Seems more older. They feed us on and off, more on the off side I
would say. Like I said earlier: we are still building our
relationships with them.

7. How is it going for you with no nights  - mostly all sunshine?  It
was 102 here today!  Are you adjusting to the hot weather there?

Trying to adjust to the hot weather still, I have no idea how I will
survive in the desert of Utah, but we will cross that bridge when we
come to it. It is not problem sleeping at night, I usually go to bed
really tired anyways :)

8.  What was the funniest thing you did this week?

It usually takes too long to write out some of the funny things that
happen during the weeks. I will have to tell you all of the funny
stories when I get back - plus I cannot think of anything right now :)

9.  Do you have any questions for us?

It is hard for me to focus right now because I am e-mailing at the
mission home and other missionaries are talking, so I do not have any
questions at the moment.

10.  Did you get the packages we sent?  The one with the protein bars
- be sure and tell us which ones you like if you want more of them.

They were sent up to Fairbanks last week, but we are in Anchorage
right now for ZLC, so I will get them when we go back :)
Dear Dad -

This transfer has been an interesting one, it was very challenging at
first due to cultural differences, but now, after studying the Christ
Like attribute of Charity and love, it has been so much better.

The biggest lesson that I have learned from you - and hands down the
most important in my opinion - is to not make life about yourself, but
to make life about others. After doing my best to embrace that (still
much room for improvement) it has made the biggest difference in the

I am always praying for you and for a speedy recovery for you, it is
always so nice to hear about your health returning rapidly, I hope you
get to go back to Africa soon and get back to work, they need you out

A cool experience I had the other night while praying; during my
personal prayer before I retired to bed, I was thanking Heavenly
Father for all of the blessings in my life and doing my best to
recognize His hand in this work. As I kept on praying, a little vision
went thro my mind. You and I were up at our cabin in Sundance -
probably my most favorite place in the world - just out walking
enjoying the weather. It was a clear blue sky day and we were out at
the park down the street where the kids often to play. You and I
walked there and sat down and just started talking about our missions
and the things we learned. I have a big regret: not having those
conversations with you and not being nearly as considerate to you in
times past as I should have been. I have learned from my mistakes now
tho and could never thank you enough for the invaluable lessons you
have taught me in my life. I look forward to having those awesome
conversations with you and just talking about anything and everything
with you - the best dad in the world. I look forward to those days
where just you and I are kicking it, it will be such a blast :) I love
you dad!