Monday, 30 December 2013

Another miracle week, Merry Christmas I'm in Florida!

It was so good to see all of your beautiful faces on Christmas day. I loved talking to you all! It sounds like everyone is doing well and I am so grateful. God is so good. I am so grateful for all of the blessings he grants us each and everyday. 

This week has been challenging. Halfway through the week most of our teaching pool had dropped us and we were struggling to find. However, despite the set backs, it has been a miracle filled Christmas week. Upon beginning our harvesting on Christmas day we OYM'd a lady and she led us to her house so we could bless her. Little did we know it would be a beautiful family of 7 very elect and undoubtedly prepared by God. All have such a strong desire to change and are seeking for peace and forgiveness. 5 of the 7 came to church on Sundayand loved it. They are preparing to be baptized this coming week. God is so good. Even though we had hard days we never once lowered our faith. We kept going and God blessed us with miracles. 

 On Friday we had a comp study with our district leader and his companion. He started out with a scripture that was clearly all about pride then he turned to me and said, "Sister Hartley have you ever read President Benson's talk "Beware of Pride?" haha finally someone had the courage to do it and hit the nail on the head. haha man I died laughing inside. It is true though. Pride is a very sneaky thing. It is so much more than being puffed up, but rather it manifests itself in many small not so evident ways. I have seen much success on my mission and I am most grateful and I know that it is through God and his mercy that we have had so much success. However, I feel that that is not where my pride is rooted. Rather it is more in the quiet details that aren't so easily noticed. It is trusting in God more than in yourself. It is having expectations for yourself and letting the pressure of others get to you. It is comparing your talents and abilities to those of others. It is being comfortable and content with where you are. It is failure to take correction. Mom and Dad you'll love that last one. I have been praying so hard for God to forgive me of all of my pride. Pride is so sneaky! President Benson explains it perfectly. I challenge you all to go and read his talk. It will change your life. It has changed mine. I am so grateful for Jesus Christ and the atonement. I have done a lot of repenting. Everyday I put my trust in him more and my faith increases. True confidence comes only as we put our faith and trust in Christ. Trusting in any other resource is pride and this truly profits you nothing. While it may bring initial happiness and contentment it is not long lasting. God is humbling me and I am so grateful. 

Neftali and Antonio received the Priesthood yesterday! So amazing to see Neftali receive it and then stand in the circle for his son! So tender. In the 5th sunday lesson Bishop asked Neftali to share his conversion story with everyone. It was so amazing. I am so grateful that God led us to him and his beautiful family. They are such miracles.

I love you all so much! Thank you for everything. 


 Sister Hartley

Miracle week!

Love bike riding.
Wow what a week. I don't even know where to start! Let me start by saying this one simple thing: God is so good. This past week we really took President Anderson's words of council to heart and we saw many countless miracles as a result. We applied this beautiful little formula-- Faith + obedience = tremendous miracles. God gave us many opportunities to exercise our faith and we are so grateful. 

I had such a good Birthday! It was really hard to not be with Katelyn but I know we are both where we are supposed to be. We saw many amazing birthday miracles and I am so grateful! It all started with ward council.... the Elders put my name on the Progress Record that it was my birthday so the entire ward council sang happy birthday! haha it was pretty great. The Happy Birthday song was sung to me at least 8 times! There are so many amazing people here I am truly well taken care of.The Bishops son made me a cheese cake and we went to the Papenfusses for dinner and she made me a cake as well that I got to blow the candles out.  I am so blessed to spend the next year of my life on my mission serving the Lord. 20 is going to be an amazing year. 

We were visiting a less active member. We knew she was home but we couldn't get her to come to the door so I sneeked in through the gate to unlock it for Sister Stegelmeier

We had a miracle on Saturday. We harvested this family that is so amazing! Not only are they married, but the Dad actually works and understands his role as a father and provider. They are amazing and have everything going for them except the fact that they aren't Mormon, well not yet anyways. They are struggling right now though financially in the last few years they have had many unexpected situations and literally have no furniture in there house at all. Anyways on with the story. We were teaching them saturday night and we were solidifying them for church the next day and The Mom said they really wanted to go but just couldn't. We asked what was holding them back. She just put her head down and whispered that with everything going they didn't have money to spare for the laundry mat she hadn't done laundry since OCTOBER! (shd washes the neccesaities by hand) We felt so bad. We told them we had a washer and a dryer and we could wash outfits for church tomorrow.She wasn' t going to let us do it but I jumped up and told her that we would entertain the kids while she went and picked out outfits for them all. I surprised myself with how bold I was but it worked. She didn't ask any questions and went to finding the clothes. We sang songs with the kids. It was so wonderful. The spirit in the home was so strong. By the time we left we had the kids singing I am a child of God and families can be together forever almost perfectly. It was wonderful. They came to church and LOVED IT! You should have seen the kids in primary. They were naturals. I can't wait to continue teaching them and see them get baptized just in time for the new year! Wadline (the mom) felt so bad for us doing her laundry she wanted to give us something in return, so she gave us some of there dinner. It was one of my first experiences with haitian food. It was SPICY!  It was okra with beef and rice. It was interesting but I ate it all and it was pretty good. 

Sister Stegelmeier and I still get along really good. I am learning so much from her. She is such a good missionary. I am so blessed to have her as my trainer. Everyday I learn more and more. Looking back I can see how much I have grown and I am so grateful. I am becoming more confident in teaching. I still have a long way to go but I am happy to see progress. I am even finally enjoying role playing. Role playing is truly an eternal principle and I am going to do it for life. haha Role playing is awesome.  I love contacting people on the street. Especially when we are on our bikes. It is always a good time. 

Thank you for all the love and support from home. Countless emails and letters and I am so grateful! Thank you everyone for all the love and prayers. Here is a special shout out for  CARLEY TAYLOR! I can't believe you are married. I may have shed a tear or to when I saw the picture. You look beautiful and I am so happy for you two! 

Ho Ho Ho

I love The Sommerfeldts

Celebrating my 20th birthday at the Papenfussses

Decorating our Christmas tree in our apartment

Friday, 13 December 2013

I can't believe how crazy the weather is at home! A member checked the weather for me and he said it was -23! Crazy. It was 28 in Boynton at the time. ha ha Please be careful with driving and everything. 

Tuesday was my first day biking. Let me sumt up this way I LOVE BIKING! Contacting people on bikes is the best. We meet so many more people this way. Not only that but it feels so good to bike rather then sit in the car. I love it. The weather is perfect for it now--not to hot. Sister Stegelmeier bikes fast but I hold my own as well. We will be biking a lot this month because we have to go to Fort Laud multiple times for conferences and that really hurts our miles. 

On Wednesday we had exchanges. I went west to Wellington with Sister Aloi. She is amazing. Truly an example of quite dignity and keeping calm and carrying on! She is from Samoa. She doesn't have a drivers licence so I got to drive! YES! First time driving in Florida. We have this thing called TIWI and he tells us when we are speeding, or if we turn a corner to sharp or anything like that... pretty much a tattle tale. I was feeling pretty good because TIWI hadn't told on me at all but right after I said that to Sister Aloi he said "Check your speed!" haha it was a good laugh. I liked driving it is crazy but I like it. 

Guess what?! GLADYS AND KESHAWN GOT BAPTIZED yesterday! It was so amazing. It is so rewarding to find someone, teach them, and then baptize them! They have changed so much since the first day we met them. It has been a roller coaster with them being kicked out of there house and finding a new place, yet we have kept in contact the entire time. God's hand was truly in it. Keshawn even bore his testimony at the baptism yesterday. After he got baptized he said, "I am staying in the church for the rest of my life." It was so touching. He sat beside me and during the closing song I am a child of God he sang so loud and so cute!  Man it was special I had tears in my eyes the entire time. The Gospel changes people. Gladys is pretty funny as well. On Saturday night we were at her Aunts house finalizing everything for her baptism and she was telling her aunt about the sacrament, "You know at your church you have bread and wine but at there church they have bread and water. And I don't know what it is but they put something in the water and it just tastes so good. You feel so warm and so clean. It makes me cry." ha ha we laughed first and then explained that we don't put anything in the water but rather it is blessed first. She is a character. 

I am so grateful that I am on a mission. Everyone should go! You learn so much. I have learned more in the past 5 weeks then I have in my entire life! God is so good. I have especially learned so much about the atonement and not only how it blesses others life but how it blesses me as well. I need it. It really hit me this week in the D&C 84 where it talks about that in the ordinances the power of god (or the atonement) is manifest. In other words, in order for individuals to feel of the complete cleansing and motivating power of the atonement they MUST be 
baptized and receive the Holy Ghost. Christ has suffered for everyone, yet so many people do not have access to this great gift of the Saviors peace. I am so grateful to be a missionary and carry the message of the Saviors peace to all of God's children. Peace and healing can be found no other way. I love my Savior so much! I am so grateful that God is merciful. For if he were only just well lets just say that would be a sad tale because I wouldn't stand a chance. The Gospel is beautifully simple and simply beautiful! 

Lets just take a moment to dwell on the fact that I turn 20 this week! I don't know how I feel about this.... It is ok though because it is on Sunday and Jednar is set to get baptized so that will be the best birthday present ever. 

I love you all so much thank you so much for the letters, emails, and prayers! 

 Aunt Ginny sent me a birthday card. It made me cry! haha I love her so much. Guess what else? There is Tennis courts at our apartment so Sister Steg and I are practicing our skills... haha we are getting better! It is fun.
Gladys and Keshawn's baptism! This picture shows their personalities perfectly... We couldn't get Keshawn to stand normal. 

I love Mondays! It is so good to hear from everyone and especially know what is going on at home. Time is going by so fast, for I can't believe that December is already here. We are already planning for week 5 of the transfer! It is so unreal. 

This week has been so good. Thanksgiving was quite the day. We were only allowed to go to 2 dinner appointments. We went to a Haitian family in the morning. They are so nice. I guess they don't have Thanksgiving in Haiti so she made as a mixture of Haitian food and American. We had turkey, collard greens (good but I would never make them for myself! They have a really weird flavor), rice with beans and avocado, and mac and cheese bake. People here have mac and cheese with there thanksgiving dinner? Weird right? But it was really good. I enjoyed it. That afternoon we went to the Yorke's for dinner. The Yorke's are amazing. They take such good care of us. They give people rides to church on sunday, come out with us, give us food, and they even drove us to Stuart for our Zone Conference so we could save miles! They are amazing. They love missionary work. We have many awesome members like this. We already have 5 invites for Christmas! I don't know what we will do. I was so full after the second dinner. I tried to not eat a lot at both places but I was still so full. That night we went out hoping to find families home together, we met a few awesome people but for the most part people were not home or just to busy to talk to us. It was frustrating but we made the most of it. 

Remember the pictures of Gladys I sent last week? Well she was all set to get baptized on Sunday but she didn't and I am super sad about it! Dad it is so true what we watch on O'Reilly every night!!! Long story made short Gladys is getting kicked out of her house because she can't afford rent anymore yet she has cable, a smartphone and a smartphone for her 12 year old grandson who she is raising!!! Yet she has no money to pay for rent or food or anything. It is so sad. We meet so many people like this. People who have cable and phones and Xboxes but yet can't pay rent? man it is so frustrating. Anyways that is my rant for the week now back to Gladys. She didn't come to church with all of this craziness going on. It is a bummer because we had taught her everything and she loves God so much and really wants to be baptized yet she just couldn't put all of the worldly things aside. It is super sad because even though she knows the Gospel that won't change or help her until she is baptized and receives the Holy Ghost! She is still on square 1. Man it is frustrating. We are praying hard for her. 

Well I am getting so excited for the Christmas season! Mom I got the other package and I love it! Especially the Nativity fridge thing and the little game! haha I just laughed when I saw that. Thank you so much! 

I love you all so much! Thanks for all that you do for me! I love you! 

Sister Hartley 
The Elders ride bikes LOTS! We are going to start this month because we have to go to Fort Laud for lots of things and will need the miles. I am excited to start biking. It will be a good way to contact people. 

The Elders and I with Sister Carleen. 

The last one is with the Yorke's. 

Haitian Dinner for Thanksgiving

Some of our Thanksgiving Pictures for you. I love all of the Palm Trees here. It doesn't feel like I am in the city because there is so much vegetation everywhere. I love it. Avocado trees, mango trees, and all sorts of things.

My dearest family and friends, 

O how I enjoyed all of your emails this week! Thank you so much! They brought me so much joy. 

This week has been so amazing! I have learned so much. So many amazing things have happened. We had zone conference on Friday in Stuart and it was so amazing. It pretty much changed my life! I love President and Sister Anderson! I feel like I was being taught by an apostle! President knows the doctrine so well and can teach it in such a simple powerful way. We talked a lot about repentance and more specifically, "Baptism unto Repentance". I learned so much. We also talked a lot about talking with people versus talking at people or to people. Sister Stegelmeier and I are realizing that this is something we struggle with. One of my newest  favorite quotes is from Elder Holland, "If we listen with love we won't have to wonder what to say." This is what I am working on doing. President talked about how Christmas is coming and how for us who are used to snow the only way we can have a white christmas is to BAPTIZE! I thought this was such a good way to look at it. So that is what we are going to do. We are going to have a white Christmas! I can't believe December is almost here and that I have been out for a month! It is crazy.... Time is going by to fast. I have learned so much from mission already. It truly is a role play for my entire life. It is truly the best 18 months FOR my life. I am learning so much about myself. It seems as though all my weaknesses are presenting themselves everyday... but what is amazing to me is that as I forget myself and concentrate on my love for the Lord and his children and go to work he truly does make weak things become strong. As I rely on him and put my trust in him I truly become an instrument in his hands. There is no greater joy than following the promptings of the spirit and relying on the Lord and seeing the miracles that come from it. It is amazing. 

Sister Stegelmeier and I are really trying to expand our teaching pool. We were harvesting the other day and we found a family of 6!!! They are so amazing. The Dad went to the church when he was young in Haiti. When we gave him the book of Mormon he just smiled and said O I just know this is true already... I just have to convince my wife! haha it was funny and so powerful! The spirit was so strong. They are such an amazing family and will be such a strong family. I am praying so hard that his wife's heart will be softened because she is pretty content and stubborn. 

We had our Thanksgiving party on Saturday. We had 3 investigators come! The same 3 came to church yesterday as well! YES!!! I love it so much. Gladys is the ladies name. We asked her what her favorite part about church and this is what she said, "The bread and the water because when I drank the water I just felt so good. I felt so clean. I couldn't help but cry!" The spirit was so strong. I love her so much. She is such a funny lady. We just need to get her to stop her coffee and then she can get baptized... anyways the ward party was so fun! We made our derby car and guess what? We got 4th place!!! It was so fun. We couldn't believe it because we made it so fast and with little thought but everyone was so impressed with our car. I guess 4th is the best the missionaries have ever done and the sisters have never made their own car it is usually the elders. So we made history! haha We lost to the bishops car by barely anything.. everyone was so impressed because the bishop is an engineer and wins every year and our car almost beat him! haha people are so funny... It was a good time. It was so fun to just relax and get to know the members better. 

I love you all. Thank you for all your prayers! 

P.S. No I haven't rode my bike yet. We took them twice this past week to start but both days it rained and it rained hard! I have never seen rain like that before. It comes down in sheets out of no where! I have never been so grateful for an umbrella and raincoat! 

Sister Archie.  She helps us out so much.
Our beautiful champion car. Couldn't weight more than 5 ounces.
Elders were so jealous of us.
Zone Conference, "When he hath tried me, I shall come forth as Gold"

Monday, 11 November 2013

Florida Here I Am!

HELLO!!! I have so much to tell you I don't even know where to start! First off thank you so much for all the emails and prayers. They bring so much strength and motivation, for I couldn't do it without all of you! I am in the Palm Beach zone and my first area is Boynton Beach south. It is crazy to see all the snow at home because it is so nice here! The humidity hasn't bothered me. Everyone says that I came at the perfect time because I can gradually lead into it. There are so many Haitians here! I have yet to have taught anyone white! I didn't see very many white people until church on Sunday! I love the Haitian people. They are so nice and welcoming and super prepared for the Gospel! Sorry I have so much to say I hope this all makes sense. I will start with my trainer. Her name is Sister Stegelmeier. I love her so much! She is tall, she is from Morgan Utah and has been out for 15 months so I will be her last companion. She is such an amazing missionary and I am so blessed to have her. She is an amazing missionary. I mean it 100% when I say she is the best sister missionary in the mission. She just finished being a sister training leader and even president told me how blessed I was to get her as my trainer. I love her and know if I follow her example I will be a successful missionary. 

I am so excited to be a Florida Fort Lauderdale missionary. This is an amazing mission. Gods work is moving fast in this area. With the Temple coming everyone is so prepared. We are a baptizing mission. It has been number one in North America on and off for the past year. We even had a baptism yesterday! Her name was Patricia. The sisters before us taught her almost everything but we taught her the commandments and committed her to the Word of Wisdom. She accepted and was baptized yesterday! I had a baptism on my first sunday! I am so blessed to have played a part in conversion. It was so amazing. I want to baptize every sunday because it is awesome! We have an amazing finding tool called harvesting. We knock on the persons door and tell them we are representatives of Jesus Christ and he has sent has to there door to leave a powerful blessing on there home and family. They let us in or we say it on the front porch. The elders bless them with the priesthood but us sisters say "Our Heavenly Father, in virtue of our calling as missionaries and representatives of Jesus Christ we ask for the Saviors peace and blessing to be upon ___________. We then proceed to bless them as the spirit directs. The spirit is always so strong as we finish. We then talk about the Holy Ghost and commit them to baptism right then! At first I was worried that no one would accept but the spirit is so strong and people are so prepared that we almost always have people accept right away! It is so awesome! Harvesting is such an amazing finding tool! I love it. We have seen so many miracles already from it. I want to share one quick story. We had one hour left on saturday night before we had to be back. We are commanded to harvest for one hour. We had a family we wanted to go see but we hadn't harvested yet so we decided to do that. We knocked on a door that we felt prompted to and were immedieatly let in. His name was Jean and his family was there. They recently came from Haiti. We blessed them and the spirit was SO STRONG! He told us how he was a Jehovah's Witness and had been to many churches and was comfortable with them but that he had never felt the way he was. He told us that he wasn't planning on being home that night and he is always super hard to catch but he felt he needed to stay home that night. He said that he knew God sent us to him! It was so amazing. I have been praying hard for Charity and in that moment God answered my prayer. I all of a sudden felt such a love for this man and his family. I wanted them so bad to get baptized right then and there so they could go to the temple! It brought tears to my eyes as I shared with him how much I loved him and that he was my brother and that he needed to be a member of the church of Jesus Christ. The spirit was so strong it was amazing! I want every teaching experience to be like that. I felt prompted to give him a Book of Mormon which he readily accepted and said he would start reading it right away. Man I just love being a missionary! I really want to teach them but they would do better in Creole so we will pass them onto the Elders. 

There is our companionship and two sets of Elders that cover this particular area... we are all over the same ward. The ward is awesome. We have so many willing members that will come teach with us. We have only been here since Wednesday and already have had 9 member present lessons! That is such a miracle. This area has so much potential between the members and people being prepared we are going to see so many miracles! Missionary work is so awesome. I have so much I want to say but I don't have a ton of time so please just know that this is God's work and I am but an instrument in it. I love all my brothers and sisters and want them so bad to enter the waters of baptism that they might begin that path back to there loving father in heaven. We see so many miracles each day. So many that I honestly couldn't count them all. Thank you for all the prayers. It is the reason we see so much success. 
Snow at the MTC

Our district with our teacher Bro. Carter

The ASL missionaries in our Zone at the MTC

Zone in the MTC

Sister and Elder Singleton

Baptism with the Lindseys

Sunday, 3 November 2013

MTC is the best.

Last Sunday was our first day as Sister Training Leaders. We had meetings literally all day! It was long but good. We get lots of talks about modesty and flirting with the Elders but you know me and that isn't a problem. haha Our branch presidency got released on Sunday so President Nally was there! He is the MTC president. I got to meet him and shake his hand! It was cool. Wednesday the new district came in. Sister Pittman and I had to welcome them along with the Zone Leaders and give them a tour of the MTC and answer any questions that they had. It is crazy that we have only been here a week and already showing others around. We have a deaf sister in our zone. Luckily Sister Pittman knows how to sign! It was all so inspired. The deaf sister is so sweet and humble. Truly a special spirit. At lunch that day one of the Elders said that he knew a little bit of sign language. I asked where he learned it and Mom you will never guess what he said?! "I watched this show called SUE THOMAS  F.B.EYE"!!!! Haha It was the best moment ever. We had a good conversation about that. haha One of the Elders from the new district is also a twin. His brother came the same day as well. I asked if he was having a hard time and he got all sad in the face and said that he was having a hard time. I told him he would be ok and that he would see his twin a lot. I feel bad for him but I know he will be ok. I see Katelyn a lot!!! Lots of people come up to me thinking I am her. It is really funny. I wrote her a card and gave it to as Sister to give to her. At lunch the next day I saw the same sister and she came rushing up to me saying that she had a card for me from my twin. Imagine my surprise when she handed me the same card I had given her the day before! haha it was a good laugh. 

I am learning so much here it is crazy. We do a lot of role playing. Our teachers play the role as investigators and we teach them everyday. It is really hard and sometimes I don't think I am getting any better but it is coming. Sister Pittman and I are still getting along really well. We are getting closer as a district and we have a hard time getting to bed on time just because we are always talking. 

We got to go the Temple this morning!!! I loved it! The Provo Temple is HUGE! They have 12 sealing rooms and 8 ordinance rooms!!! It is beautiful inside. It was so good to get out of the MTC and go there! I loved it. We did laundry this afternoon and can now email until dinner time. I am doing well with the food but am getting tired of it. I am happy I am only here 12 days! I met a sister who has been here for 10 weeks! Crazy eh?! 

Yesterday we had In Field Orientation. It has gotten me so excited to go to the field! We talked a lot about talking to everybody we see. We practiced giving very brief statements of testimony and truth and then a pass along card to I am going to talk to everyone I see! They are very big on internet proselyting right now. Pass along cards to and facebook and what not. I am loving it here and am so glad that I am on a mission. My love for Jesus Christ and his Gospel has grown so much. I know without a shadow of a doubt that it is true. It can bless anyone's life no matter what they are going through. Baptism is so important! We read a scripture the other day... I think it was D&C 84:20-22 or something like that and we talked about how baptism is so much more than a commandment. We practice a lot of inviting people to be baptized in the first lesson! At first I was very surprised by this but now I definitely see the importance of it. The Gospel is so amazing and I am so blessed to be apart of it.

Sister Hartley's

My companion, me and Katelyn

Us & our companions. We went on our temple walk together.

Our Zone

Sunday, 27 October 2013

My MTC Experience

The plane ride was good. It was a small plane. The flight attendant got talking to me and asked if I was going on a mission and it turns out she is related to Shelia Hall. Small world. Sister Hartley and I shed a few tears on the plane but we pulled through. We didnt have to push our luggage around a lot at the airport. We picked it up and then the shuttle was literally right there so that was a blessing. I guess international missionaries come early on Tuesday but this doesnt include Canadians. But since we came early to they just put us with them. It was crazy there was elders and sisters from all over the world. Most couldnt even speak English! It was interesting. Lots of them sacrificed so much to be here. Sister Hartley and I were together all tuesday and wednesday morning but when all the new missionaries came in the afternoon we had to part! IT WAS SO HARD! We talked about it before and said we werent going to cry but we did. Not long though and we were distracted with being so busy. We are both fine now. We see each other occasionally. Our residence is close together but we have completely different schedules so we never see each other. The other night she wrote me a cute note and slipped it under my door for me to find it! It made me so HAPPY. I met a sister who aprenatly sees her all the time so I wrote a note and gave it to her to give to Katelyn. I had such a hard time calling her sister hartley at first but we finally stopped calling each other by our first names. It was funny our first day everyone could easily see we were related because we were always together and had the same name tag and that we were canadian because we had our lanyards. haha everyone wanted to see and talk to the the Canadian Twins. It was funny.

I will tell you a bit about my district. My companion is Sister Pittman. I love her to pieces! She is so nice and easy going. She is 22 and mature so we get along well. She has had a rough life. Her Mom is kind of crazy it sounds like. Married a lot of times and everything and just wasnt a good example. Her family was inactive but she had grandparents that started bringing her to church in her teenage years and she ate the gospel up and just loved it. She never thought she would go on a mission but when the Lord asked she responded. She is such a strength. Despite all her family trials and other things she is so strong and I admire her. She also has beautiful red hair which I love and is also pretty tall. Our district is Sister Pittman and myself, Sister Fletcher and Sister Smock. Sister Fletcher is from Alaska so we have some good conversations. SIster Smock is from New York and you can tell. She is always in a hurry and has a big personality. She is such a city girl. One time I was talking about branding with an elder and I thought she was going to cry! haha Definitely a city girl! Our district also has a trio of Elders. Elder Rice, Elder Morgan, and Elder Favalaoki. The Elders and me are all going to my mission and the sisters are going to Denver Colorado South. We all get along well. Our zone is awesome to. Elder Thomas is one of the Zone Leaders. He is 6 6. Sister Smock asked if he was polensian ya cant spell that and he confidently responded nope I am black. haha he reminds me of Travis. Our Zone has amazing Elders in it. Almost everyone is the first in their family to go even though most are the youngest in there family. They are awesome. 

One thing I have learned is that God truly puts people in our lives to help us along. I have made so many connections with people here that make me not be homesick and give me motivation. Katelyn and I met a teacher that is Dr. Larsons grand daughter and I also have seen Ben Mennis Kikis husband. It was so good to see him. 

Sister Pittman and I were called to serve as Sister Training Leaders in our zone. It will be hard because I already feel like I have so much to do but I know I can do it all with the Lords help. It seems teachers are always committing us to do something and I just dont know how I will have time to do it all but it all has worked out. God is blessing me. 

I love our class time. The Gospel is amazing and I cant wait to get out and share it with others! We get to teach two different people as investigators five times each while here so I will get lots of practice. It is definitely hard but I know I can do it. I am so glad Katelyn and I went to the Temple so much. I feel that was such good preparation. 

The food is better than I thought. There is lots of variety and the salads and wraps are amazing. The oatmeal in the morning actually is edible to so that made me happy. Overall I feel good. We had PE time today for the first time and that felt SO GOOD because we really do just sit all day long. We went on the stair climber and lifted some weights. It felt so good. 
The other night at supper I got talking with Elder Anderson in our zone. He reminds me of Travis as well. He lives in Wyoming and his family runs a big cattle ranch. I asked if it was hard to leave the cowboy boots and wranglers behind. He just laughed and said you have no idea! haha it was priceless. We were both so excited to talk about home and the ranch life because no one else seems to understand. 

Anyways this is getting kind of long so I will wrap it up. I smiled so big when I read Dad got a dish for the black cat! haha He secretly loves them even though he doesnt realize it yet. SO glad to know that you made it home safe. I love you all so much! Thank you for all the love and prayers and support! 

Sister Hartley 

Bunk Beds at the MTC- Just like home

Sisters in my Mission at the MTC

Sister Hartley with Sister Hartley
My first name tag

My first package from home at the MTC

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Adventure Starts. Week 1, October 22, 2013

Well the adventure is about to begin! I will enter the MTC on October 23, 2013.  I am very excited to begin my service to the Lord. The nerves are starting to come, but I am trying to replace them with faith. It was very hard to say goodbye to my grandparents. I am so glad we took the time to get pictures with them! I know that the next 18 months will be hard. However, I know I will be in the Lord's hands and that he will watch over my family and I. I love Jesus Christ and his gospel so much and can't wait to share it with others. I wanted to share my mission scripture. It is Ether 12:41

"And now, I would commend you to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written, that the grace of God the Father, and also the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of them, may be and abide in you forever. Amen."

I absolutely love this scripture! I can't wait to teach people about Jesus Christ and his atonement and share the difference this knowledge has made in my life and see the difference it makes in theirs. 

That past few week has been a good one as we prepare to go. We went to Waterton with a good friend--Natalie Bevans. Katelyn went to A&W one last time before she goes and we got to spend time with family. I am so blessed to have such great family and friends. 

                                                    Grandpa and Grandma Hartley Farewell

                                                 Grandpa and Grandma Neilson last visit

                                        Nate, Katelyn, and me visiting Waterton Park

                                                Last visit to A & W, Katelyn and Nat