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 that....my 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 mormon.org 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 :)