Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Loving Alaska

Hello family and friends, my people folk,

(British Accent) Oh what joy fills my bosom with this wonderful
opportunity I am now granted to sit down upon a chair in front of a
computer screen to type the desires of my heart and the happenings of
this past week to my family and friends alike; it is a pleasure
indeed. :)

Sorry, just had to get that out :) This week was great! This transfer
is going to go by too fast, we are getting along great as a
companionship; we are working hard, but having fun throughout the day
as well. I will admit, it is easy to see the adversary working hard to
cause a weak finish to my mission - probably why the Lord gave me two
comps :)

Thanksgiving was great, we had a contest to see who could gain the
most weight that day, it ended up being a tie, we gained six pounds -
my goal was seven. We went to the church and ate with the Fullmers, a
huge, well known family here in Eagle River. The family is so big they
reserve the church every year and all of the family members come, it
ends up being around 50 - 60 people! This year there was only about
twenty tho. It was still a blast. We had a lot of desert that day as
we went around visiting other members and less actives.

This is my last legitimate proselyting week, I am going to do my best
to make the most of it. It is funny how some things are just a habit
now almost. Getting up at 6:30 is easier than it used to be, although
it was never easy. Exercising in the morning is a lot of fun and it is
hard for me not to now almost (probably because I do not want to come
home fat either). The schedule is just my daily routine now, hopefully
I carry a lot of these habits home.

I had another great experience while studying this week. I have found
that the greatest studies that I have had are while I am studying the
basic principles of the gospel, not immersing myself in deep doctrine,
I have always learned the most. The most important thing I am trying
to do is strengthen my faith in Jesus Christ and I have made it a goal
this week to testify of Him every day, whether it is at a dinner
appointment, a less active, whoever it is, I have found that I need to
testify of him more often.

We have zone conference on Wednesday. I am training on 'the Power and
Authority of Your Calling' out of Preach My Gospel, on page four if I
recall right. I am really excited for this, I have learned a lot from
it and am excited to help other missionaries realize how much power
they can or already do have. I really believe that missionaries do
realize how much more they can magnify their calling and the power
they are endowed with - if they are worthy. I will let ya'll know how
it goes next week!

I love you all so much! I got the package from Matt and Mikelle, thank
you! Hopefully you did not want me to wait until my birthday to open
it, because I may or may not have already... :) Thank you everyone
else for the continual support and prayers. I love you very much and
am grateful for each and everyone of you. I love you!

My study session I talked about in my weekly letter. It was great
because, basically my faith in Christ grew during that, that is the
best way I can describe it.


I have had fifteen total comps on my mission - almost one for every
transfer, due to all of the trios I have been in. It is unusual to
serve in as many trios as I have, but I love it, never a dull moment,
that is for sure.


We did not have a Christmas party friday night, or at least we did not
go to one, we just spread the gospel that night!


Awesome, we have zone conference on Wednesday, so it will be great to
see everyone :)


Mainly because of the members, they are so loving and nice to us. I am
for sure visiting some if I ever come back to Alaska!


I love them both, I do not love one more than the other. It is fun,
and really easy training them both, they are great missionaries and
know what they are doing :)


Spend time with the family, and then later, my friends.


The people and the missionaries. I will just miss Alaska, the state
itself, it is where I need to be right now and it is going to rip my
heart out to leave.

-Elder Hartman1

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Last Transfer

Hello family and friends,

Well, transfers were this week. Looks like I will be staying in this
area and getting two new companions, E. Merrill and E. Merrell, I am
going to tell everyone they are brothers ;) I already served with one
of them in Klatt actually, I am excited to serve with him again, I
love that kid. They are two new zone leaders so Pres. wants me to
train them on how to fulfill this role, should be fun. E. Dastrup is
going to be training in Wasilla, he is going to be a great trainer no

I have not read any of the e-mails yet, but it is so weird to think
that mom and dad are now home! I wrote last night in my journal that
it does not even seem like they served a mission, as weird as that
sounds. They were home when I left my mission and they will be home
when I get back.

It is really weird that my last transfer has started, and I can
already say that temptation is working too; as in not working
diligently or having a weak finish. I love this area tho, I am glad
that I will finish my mission here. We are going to the Turkey Bowl on
Thanksgiving, way excited for that. Then we have dinner with one of my
favorite families in the ward later that night, I guess it is a huge
family activity night they have where they all get together and have,
I guess you could call it, a talent show. I am looking forward to it!

The sun is out shining bright right now, it is a clear day, about a
solid 9F. I wish it would snow, it is a little weird that we are this
late into the month and have not been hit with snow yet.

In my experience in being a zone leader, one thing that I have really
strived to learn is (1) how to recognize peoples strengths and (2) how
to give constructive criticism. The latter has been really hard
because I am not good at giving contstructive criticism, especially
when it is needed, but there has been improvement. I have learned that
you always start out with something positive, that way you can get
them to listen because if they are not listening, then odds are they
are not really going to internalize anything you say. It is fun
telling others things they are good at tho, you cann really see that
it gives them more confidence and lights up there day. That is
something that I have learned from dad by the way, he ALWAYS was
building me up when he was helping me work on something - it was
always positive. Thro his example, I have learned a lot. Thank you

Well, I should get to the other e-mails I have in the inbox now. Thank
you everyone for your kind words and constant support! I promise that
I will finish my last transfer strong and work 'till the very last day
on my mission. It has not quite hit me yet, that I am leaving soon,
but that is just fine with me :) I love you all and thank you again!

-Elder Hartman1

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Becoming More Like Christ

Hello everyone,

This week went by way too fast. We had ZLC on Tuesday and Wednesday,
probably the best ZLC I have been to on my mission. It was mainly due
to the spiritual ending we had, the testimony meeting. We also did a
lot of activities, so we were able to get up and move around a lot
instead of doing a lot of sitting for the majority of the meeting. Our
zone did pretty good on their goals, we set some higher ones for this
next transfer so that everyone will strive for a higher plane.

I had a cool personal study the other day: I was reading in the New
Testament about when Christ is proclaiming He is the light and life of
the world. I started thinking about how much I want to be like Him,
how He had all of the perfect attributes and characteristics that made
him who he was. I started to think about how he had all of the perfect
characteristics from each color of the color code. His Red was
awesome, I love how straight forward he was with the pharisees and
saduces (however you spell that); He was not afraid to tell the world
at that time the things they were doing wrong. His Blue, when I think
of it, is best shown thro the Atonement, mainly in the scripture
Moroni 7:47, talking about charity. I also loved what President
Uchtdorf said in this last conference, about how he tried to picture
Christ running to and from appointments, trying to get a bunch of
things done. He could not see it. Instead, he saw the Savior spending
personal, quality time with those he was with; everyone around him
felt special. That is actually my desire now, is to help everyone see
themselves the way the Savior sees them. His White is shown thro His
meekness, His humility. I think it sums it up in Gethsemane when he
said 'if thou wilt, remove this cup from me, nevertheless not my will,
but thine be done.' For His Yellow, I like how he lived in the present
and taught others to live in the present as well. He told us to 'take
no thought for the morrow'. I think that is a great way to live life

It is weird that I am coming up on my last transfer, it is really sad
actually, I am pretty sure I am nowhere close to being ready for my
mission to end - but thank goodness it has not yet! Thank you
everyone! I love you all!

1.  How was zone council conference this week?  What was the focus?
Are you still a lone zone leader?

It was great, for sake of time, you can refer to the weekly letter I
sent. Yes, I am still a zone leader surprisingly, I really do not know
why I am, but it is fun :)

2.  Tell us about your new companion.  How do you get along?  Will you
stay together now for the next transfer?

We get along great, I love him. I do not think we will stay together
next transfer, just because I will be leaving in the middle of it OH
BY THE WAY NOTE: our group is doing a fireside and our mission pres.
wife said that family can tune into it, I do not have all of the info
yet, but it is going to be on the 13th of Dec. I will have more info
for you later :)

3.  How is the weather there now?  Did you get a chance to gather a
few little items for  me?

It is pretty chilly, around 20 F. It still has not snowed yet tho...I
have  not gotten the items yet, but I will get them soon!

4.  Did you have a zone conference this week also?

No, it is at the end of the month - hopefully I will not be a Zone
Leader by then! ;)

5.  Are you taking pictures?

Trying to! I have not taken a whole lot...

6.  What was the best experience you had this week?

Probably ZLC, like I talked about in the weekly letter or the personal
study I had. Just the super big spiritual experiences are always
golden moments in a mission.

7.  What was your favorite lesson you taught this week?  What was it
and who was it to? (Not names just descriptions)

Honestly, not sure, it is hard to recall at the moment. Active member
lessons are always fun because you get to go a little more in depth
into the doctrine and the spirit is always stronger in the homes.

8.  What is your apartment like?  Is it warm?

It is great :)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Crazy Week!

Hello everyone,

To say the least: this week has been one crazy week, it would take too
long to explain everything in full, but long story short: I have a new
companion and am pretty much a one man Zone Leader for the next little
bit, this should be interesting. This has been since last Wednesday.
Again, I will just have to explain everything to y'all when I get home
so you can get the full story so if you have questions, just wait
until then :)

My new comp is E. Dastrup, he has been out for about eleven months. He
is from St. George and is about 6 '2, and weighs about 260 lds - he is
a big boy :) We get along great with each other and are having a lot
of fun. Things in our area are going so great right now. We have a lot
of lessons set up this week and are already experiencing such great
blessings from the Lord. We have been working very diligently and are
seeing it pay off. We are doing a lot of Active Member Lessons. We
have been getting great responses from the members; they really seem
to enjoy them. We are working on getting referrals and just overall
teaching more lessons as a whole. I love working with Active Members,
it is so much fun, you build such great relationships and the spirit
is so strong in the home.

We have ZLC (Zone Leader Council) Tuesday and Wednesday this week, we
are going to be talking about how the zones are doing and also
planning for the upcoming zone conference. It is weird to think that I
am one of, if not the only, oldest Zone Leader in the mission now. I
have learned a lot from having this additional responsibility tho, and
it is not all that hard too, thank goodness.

Not sure if exchanges to Nome will work this transfer, sadly; we have
a really busy schedule and it is just not looking too probable.
Hopefully I will stay in this area for one more transfer, but at the
same time, it would be a lot of fun to go somewhere else for my last
four weeks of my mission. Weird to think about, but a lot to look
forward too as well!

Thank you everyone! I love you!

Elder Hartman