Wednesday, 26 March 2014

"...Because thous hast done this with such unwearingness..."

It has undoubtedly been a week of learning experiences and I am so grateful. Sister Price and I have really been working on unity. We saw a great increase in love and trust for one another as we sought to serve and uplift one another. In essence, we were able to bridge the gap of differences and unite together in common cause of our purpose and goals. We have struggled to find the elect but we have full faith that these precious strong families are right there waiting for us and we need to find them. Constantly introspecting on our teaching skills, finding, faith, and obedience, we have full and complete trust that God will lead us to those prepared.
Sometimes I have to remind myself that my legs are twice as long as Sister Prices.  We finally learned that she just has to go in front.
Biking over the I-95

We had the wonderful opportunity of going on Fire Exchanges with Sister Dunford and Smith. I always enjoy my time with the Sister Training Leaders. I can feel there love and sense there continuous commitment to God. I went with Sister Dunford to Harvest a particular street while the other sisters were led by the spirit else where. We approached a door and gave a good determined knock. It didn't take long and a middle aged woman answered. She eagerly and openly accepted the prayer. Afterwards, she had tears in her eyes and expressed that we would not believe what she was about to tell us. She went on to explain that 2 minutes previous she was sitting at her computer when something told her to close her eyes and notice her guardian angels. The minute she closed her eyes she heard the knock at the door. Upon opening the door, she immediately knew that we were those guardian angels that a second previous had been referenced. The spirit was so strong as she related the experience. It was amazing to see how the spirit truly led us to her and her to us. That is faith in action. That is God exercising his power through us because of our faith. There is no greater feeling then seeing the evidence of the spirit working in our lives and the lives of others.
You know your Canadian when... Your mother sends you Canada socks.

Making a yummy super.

Dorie is progressing well. She continues to be patient until the day of her baptism. It is always humorous when ward members ask her when she is getting baptized. She gives her typical Dorie chuckle and says, "Well that just depends. I have to get permission from the head honcho himself all the way up there in Salt Lake." It is priceless. She is reading in the Book of Mormon and growing in faith each day. We had a lesson in a members home this past week. At the beginning we asked a follow up question about how reading the Book of Mormon and praying daily has helped her increase in faith. Her response really touched me. She said that she has noticed such a change in herself. When driving she likes to ponder and she said that while doing this she has realized that she no longer worries about tomorrow or the next day. Rather than fret about what she can't control, she accepts God's will and knows that everything will fall into place. It was amazing to see how before she met us she had faith as an evidence of things that happened in the past, but she did not fully understand the aspect of faith being an assurance of things to happen. She looks forward with hope knowing that God is in control. This is one of my favorite changes to see in people. In other words, I love to see individuals put there trust in God completely because they internalize the promise that Jesus Christ is there Savior and there is a plan laid before them to follow. This gives them a peace that they have never had before and I love to see people recognize that.

This past week in the Book of Mormon I was reading of the experiences of Nephi in Helaman. I love that while heading home he was introspecting with God of why he was not seeing success. I believe that he was doing his best to fight discouragement and keep the faith because it wasn't to long before that he saw much success in baptizing 8000 individuals do to his diligence with his Brother Lehi. I love that God commanded him to go back and preach to the people. If I were him I probably would have been like ok no worries I will go back tomorrow after a good meal and nights sleep. Tomorrow I will be ready. This wasn't his thought process though. He IMMEDIATELY went back and began preaching again. Can you say resolute missionary? He undoubtedly had his purpose internalized. He was blessed for his unwearingness and diligence. I have come to realize that diligence is the secret ingredient. It is what sets apart the resolute from the faithful. The determined from the committed. There are days where I am tired and struggle to keep going fighting fatigue and discouragement but I know that it is in these moments that my commitment to God is defined. Will I falter or will I finish? These words from President Monson echo in my mind during these situations. I know that as I go forth everyday determined to give it my all that God will shower us with miracles.
Happy St. Patricks Day-Fun with Sister Price

I am so excited for Tomorrow! Ready to hear all that is going to happen? We first have District Training, then a comp study with the Zone Leaders, we then get to go to the Temple for special training from Elder Walker! It is going to be a good day. Sadly we won't have to much time in our area but I know God will compensate the time that we do have so long as we are working our hardest. It is going to be a struggle to keep our area going strong and having a solid teaching pool being at the Temple so much in these coming weeks. President keeps repeatedly saying to "Plan well. Don't let your areas suffer!" I know that we must heed that council. 

Mom hear is a fun little story for you... On Saturday we went to a members house in the morning and she works at the dollar tree! She gets so excited about what she finds there. Whenever I would compliment her on something she would just smile and say. "O I got that from the dollar tree." ha ha she even fed us waffles and afterwards she told us they were from the Dollar tree. Both Sister Price and I acted as though we liked them. Honestly though you could tell they were from the Dollar tree if you know what I mean. I am grateful though. It was nice to see her so happy.
Getting our hair done.

It is going to be a good week and I am excited for it.  Sounds like all is well. Time goes by so fast.  I will send some sun because we have plenty to go around. The spring and summer is coming. It rains a lot more now. It is a nice break though.  Love you and hope you all have a great week! 


Sister Hartley 

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Are you ready for all of this exciting news? Brace yourself!

What an amazing week for our zone, district, and companionship! President Anderson has a famous quote that us FFLM missionaries are known for. We are resolute missionaries. He always says, "The Resolute missionary possess determination with a purpose. You have memorized your purpose, learned it, recited, experienced and internalized it. It is who you have become. It is who you have been called to be. The resolute missionary combines purpose and determination with obedience, faith, love, and testimony to achieve any and every worthy and righteous desire for God. She does what has never been done before. There is no stopping the resolute missionary. There is no preventing her success." I love this call from President to be resolute. It is something that Sister Stegelmeier and I strived to achieve and now Sister Price and I have heeded the same call. We are determined to be resolute forevermore. This week our zone did something that has never been done before... we had 10 baptisms in one weekend! Truly a miracle! 10 of our precious brothers and sisters now have entered the gate and are on the path to the celestial kingdom! So amazing. 9 of these came from our district alone! I am so grateful that God blessed us with these precious, prepared, elect people. With the Temple coming God is hastening his work here in South Florida. We had a specialized training on Thursday and President told us all about the Temple and how we will be involved! Are you ready for all of this exciting news? Brace yourself!

-we get to go to the open house as long as we have investigators with us
-we get to sing at the cultural celebration...front row... and President Monson and Uchtdorf are coming!
-the Sisters are helping out in the "tents" we will be there before the tour to introduce what is going to happen and watch a movie etc. and then we will most likely be in the receiving tents. Elder Walker is giving us a training on March 25 to let us know exactly what we will be doing! President said that we Sisters will be there all day 1 to 2 times a week!

To say that we are excited is undoubtedly an understatement!  I am so grateful for this amazing opportunity! It is such a tender mercy.
Natacha's beautiful family: Phetia (10), Stephan (8), Jean (12), Sabrina (11) and Britania (14)

Natacha's  beautiful family was baptized yesterday. There is so much joy in seeing families enter the waters of baptism together. To witness heaven getting a little bit bigger. They truly are an OYM miracle. One of the things that I loved most about this experience was seeing the ward unite together and catch the fire. We had asked several different ward members to be involved that previously hadn't been through giving talks, prayers, and even baptizing the children etc. It was amazing to see the excitement that each of the ward members had. The spirit truly touched them in a way that hadn't before as they saw the hastening the work in action. They instantly caught the spark. We had multiple people express interest in coming out with us and even offering there homes for us to teach in! The support that they gave to the baptism was wonderful. The ward truly united together and it was rewarding to see. The Delray Beach ward has much growing and strengthening to do, but with everyone on board we are rescuing those who have forgotten and finding those who are searching.

This past week we picked an area for harvesting but not a particular street. As we arrived to the area we began to drive around searching for the one that felt right. We asked each other questions and gave each other prompts like "left here" or "down one street" etc. We didn't feel any major prompting but did what felt good. Sister Price parked the car, and we headed out.  The first door found a comfortable lady with no interest whatsoever as she quickly shooed us away. The next door we knocked on a man answered. Once he saw our name tags and we approached him our excitement seemed to match his. He let us in immediately. Once in he went back to grab his girlfriend to join us, but not before laughing and saying, "O, and by the way I am Mormon!" haha we just laughed with him. He was just wanting to see what we would say to him. Turns out he is a less active who has just moved here from Orlando with his girlfriend. The spirit was so strong as we blessed them. When asking if the girlfriend had had the lessons they both responded that they love the missionaries and have had them over often but never had the lessons before because of past experiences with missionaries. However, they quickly agreed that now it felt right and that they would love for us to teach them the lessons! Miracle! The man also said that whenever he moves he seeks confirmation from God that he is in the right place and that he undoubtedly knew that this was God confirming that to him. This was an incredible testimony builder to me of heeding the spirit. It was no major prompting that led us to them. But we were doing what was right. We were doing all we could to have faith infused exact obedience. As a result, we are led by the spirit constantly even when we don't realize it. This is a special privilege that we as missionaries, if we are worthy of it, can enjoy. We need the spirit in this work constantly and consistently. I am more determined than ever before to always be worthy of the spirit's companionship.

Sister Anderson directed us to more fully internalize the atonement. I dedicated a personal study to it this past week and my love for the Savior and his gospel deepened. I focus to much on the cleansing power and not so much the enabling and strengthening power. I studied examples from the Book of Mormon paying particular attention to Alma the Younger in Alma 36. Not only did he experience unmatchable joy through being cleansed, but he then was strengthened and enabled to go and do what he could not have otherwise done on his own. So it is with me and each of us. We can be forgiven of our sins and mistakes and then do far more than we ever could by ourselves. I have learned that this takes faith. Incredible trust in our Savior and his promises. As Elder Bednar put it to go from bad to good an then from good to better. Through talking to individuals and teaching investigators, I have learned that this is a restored truth that the world has lost. Most people all seem to know and understand that through Christ they can be forgiven or to go from bad to good. Very few however realize the other part of mortality, to become better. In other words, to be strengthened and become something through Christ that we couldn't otherwise. How grateful I am to be able to be Gods messenger to his children that through Christ not only can they be forgiven, but they can also achieve a higher level of being through him.
Keith, our newest member of the church, always makes dinner for us.

I love being a missionary. I am so grateful to be here. Exciting things are happening. This is God's work. He is the master, the director. It is definitely true what it says in D&C 4 "For behold the field is white already to harvest and lo he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layth up in store that he perish not but bringeth salvation to his soul." We are helping others to come to Christ, but we in the process are becoming sanctified and are hearts are becoming pure. What a treasured time this is. It goes by to fast. I need to cherish every moment of it.

Hope you all have a good week!


Sister Hartley

Too bad our rule book says no pets!
We found some lost kittens.

Sabrina and Me

My stomach is learning to love Haitian food

Natacha's house for a lesson

Monday, 10 March 2014

Natasha and her family are getting baptized.

I am so full of gratitude this week. One night this past week, prior to saying my prayers, I looked back in my prayer journal of all the things I have asked God for. My heart was filled with such gratitude and appreciation as I realized that everything that I had been asking for God had granted. Most things I didn't even recognize until I took the time to reflect back on the week. God truly does grant every righteous desire of my heart and I am so grateful. Sister Price and I have been praying so hard for families to come and strengthen the Delray Beach ward. In essence, to find the future leaders of the ward. Through our obedience and diligence we were led to Natasha's family. They are so amazing. So elect and ready to be anxiously engaged in living the Gospel. Yesterday Natasha (the less active mother) expressed to us her sincere desire to get to the Temple with her kids. She is so excited for them to be baptized on Sunday as well as are all the kids. We sing I am a child of God almost every lesson and the kids all know it really well now. By Sunday they will have it memorized for there baptism. I love seeing the kids confidence in themselves grow as they begin to internalize their true identity and catch a glimpse of their eternal potential. This brings me such great joy. She always cooks for us when we go over as well. I am learning to love Haitian food. Especially plantines (not sure how to spell that?) It looks like a banana but definitely doesn't taste like one. It is more like a potato kind of a taste. Yesterday we had this really good stew. I loved it except that she put intestines in it! She dished me up a big chunk of one to and said that I would love it. All eyes were on me as I put the whole big chunk of it in my mouth because I swear it was impossible to cut. They all watched me chew with eyes watering. I tried to portray that I liked it but pretty sure my face showed it all. It was not good.  My stomach did not like me after. Anyways. I love Natasha's family. Tonight we are having an FHE with the Lieber family with them. We are going to teach tithing and use the playdo to do it. It will be fun and I am excited. 

This week we have a specialized training. I am pretty sure President is going to tell us about the Temple. I am so excited for it. Especially for Natasha's family because the three oldest kids are apart of the cultural celebration! They are so blessed to be a part of it. It is going to be an amazing month. President has challenged every companionship to baptize this weekend. It is going to be an amazing unifying week as a mission. We are going to see miracles and do what has never been done before. In the process we will learn and grow as we overcome obstacles and push ourselves above and beyond. Sanctification is a wonderful thing.

My talk in church went well. As I prepared it I definitely felt God's guidance. I know it was the message he wanted me to say. I recorded it with my recorder so that we could listen to ourselves afterwards. When listening to it again I realize how much I repeat myself! It is really bad. Definitely a weakness that I am working on because when I repeat myself my words lose power. It is hard for the spirit to communicate. Simplicity works wonders. The simpler I speak and teach the less opportunities for misunderstanding. 

In the Book of Mormon this past week my eyes have been opened and my heart deeply touched. Sister Price and I are still getting along better then ever but we still have a few instances when conflicts of interest arise. When reading in Helaman 3, I was reminded of the danger in dissensions. As I pondered this I recognized that dissensions always lead to contention. Definitely not of God. I began to think of what the opposite was and I came to the conclusion that the opposite of dissenting is compromising. Rather then disagreeing and causing contention we are to agree and council together and comprise. This is when learning and growth will happen. If we contend we will only remain frustrated and stagnant. It was definitely a lesson learned to me. As I have really sought to be open in communication with Sister Price and compromise I have noticed an immense difference and I am very grateful. I am so grateful to have a companion! I learn so much about how to deal with people. It is training me for marriage I guess. I am grateful. 

 People keep telling me to gear up for summer because the heat is on its way. Sister Anderson says we need to drink 6 water bottles a day in order to stay hydrated. I am going to need to by some lighter shirts. I am going to grow my hair out as well so that I can keep it in a pony tail. Sister Price says that it is a good idea to get a hanker chief to because we will need to constantly wipe the sweat from our faces as we are out knocking doors and what not. It will be wonderful. I can't wait. haha 

We have an amazing week ahead. I am most excited for it. God is so good to me.


Sister Hartley

Our beautiful Haitian Family. The Francois family. Left to right: Phtia, me Sabrina, Sis Price, Stephan (pronounced stefan), Jean, Natasha, and Britainia They have another daughter to. FeQuesha. She is 3 years old and has several severe developmental disorders. She is so special. Truly a light and joy to the family. She is so close to God. Whenever we sing I am a child of God she just kicks and laughs with delight. It is very spirit evoking to witness. 

Tuesday, 4 March 2014


I love everything about this picture! Dorie is the one one in the Blue dress. It describes her perfectly! She is straight up from the 80’s.

                          Our Zone...  Elder Mcmullin is still my District Leader for another transfer! Haha

Transfers this week... wait for it.... I AM STAYING IN BOYNTON! I am so excited. Amazing things are happening in our area. I know that this is exactly where I am supposed to be. Sister Price and are both staying together for at least another transfer. It is going to be filled with miracles and baptisms.

Sister Price and I have been working ever so diligent, striving to be exact obedient, and committed to applying the counsel from our leaders. We have made it a goal to contact EVERYONE in our path. God has blessed us with miracles as we have done so. Last Sunday we contacted a man outside of his house. Since he was running late, we gathered his information and set up a return appointment. Earlier this week we tried to follow up with him but he was not home. We noticed a man across the street so we went and contacted him. After blessing him we were running a little bit late for our next appointment. Prior to getting in the car we noticed some more people just down the street and headed down to contact them even though we were already late. We gave them a pass along card and set a return appointment for the next day. No surprise that we were running late the next day as well as we headed to meet the family. On our way to their apartment we spotted another family. We were already steps ahead of them but I remembered that we promised God that we would literally contact everyone in our path. We turned around and headed back to contact them. Here came the miracle. The people were so excited that we came back and talked to them! They recognized us immediately. She was baptized in 94 but none of her kids have been baptized. She has been less active for a long time. We set up a return appointment. When we went back the next day we walked in to see all 5 kids and the mother eagerly awaiting our arrival. They were so excited to talk about church and all are now preparing for baptism. I have never seen a more prepared family. OYM miracles! We had to OYM multiple people to be led to the elect. We have no idea who is prepared so we must talk. Likewise, we have no idea who is being prepared because of the people we talk to. It was a lesson to me of patience with God. It seemed as though we were contacting so many people and not finding the elect. However, as we diligently kept being consistent God led us to the family. Had we not contacted all of the prior people we never would have been led to this elect family.  God truly knows his sheep. He knows where they are and places them in our path. God always does his part. It is up to us to do ours--to open our mouth. 

We had a harvesting miracle this week. We had to drop Angelina and TJ because they were not progressing. It broke my heart because I love them so much. Since we dropped them, they have moved and we no longer had there address. On Sunday we were torn between being obedient and harvesting for an hour or being obedient to go and set people with dates. Both alternatives were good but obviously one was best. We chose to harvest for an hour knowing that God would consecrate our efforts. We felt very prompted to go and harvest on a particular street. The first few houses we knocked we found some pretty grumpy people. However imagine our surprise when the 3rd door we knocked on Angelina answered! We harvested into them AGAIN! She was so happy to see us! The first words out of her mouth were, "I don't believe it. God sent you to us again because he knows that we are ready now. We want to be baptized". MIRACLE! God knows his sheep! He knows where they are! He always does his part. It is up to us to do ours. To have faith and act on any and all promptings that we have! Not only that, but because we chose to be obedient and harvest for an hour God consecrated our efforts and blessed us with 2 additional dates!

God truly has taught me so much this week about patience, diligence, and obedience.I am so grateful for these eternal truths. Truly eternal principles that when exercised miracles are manifested. 

My Book of Mormon study this week taught me so much as I continue my learning from Alma. Something that stood out to me was the components of the strength it takes to overcome temptation and trials. It takes both our strength and God's strength. Sometimes our strength and abilities are high and we only need a little of God's aid to overcome. However more often then not we must rely wholly God's strength as our abilities and skills are low. Just like the the armies of Helamen as they earnestly waited for reinforcements. They were very, very weak and the Lammanites were strong. Rather then be discouraged they knew where there true strength lied--in God. They poured our there hearts to him and humble prayer and were able to beat the Lammanites despite there small numbers. While sometimes our own abilities are high and we need only a little aid, the real learning and progression comes as we learn to rely fully and completely on God. 

We also had exchanges this week. I was up in Wellington with Sister Smith. We had a miracle filled day with much learning. I was again reminded of the importance of OYMing. Our afternoon became very flexible as appointments fell through. While Sister Smith was on the phone I noticed a lady walking into her house. I went over to OYM her. Come to find out that she is a less active that is really wanting to come back. God literally placed someone in our path to fill our afternoon. Again he did his part, but it was up to us to do ours. To contact her! I love Sister Smith. She is truly such an amazing example to me of a resolute missionary. We got along and taught so well together. I love her! 

The Delray Ward is coming together slowly. Bishop has called a lot of people and we should be having ward council this Sunday. We are getting to know the ward members better. We are both talking in church this Sunday so that will be an amazing opportunity to really set a strong foundation and develop trust with the members. It is an amazing ward that is very, very missionary minded. 

I am so happy to here that all is well at home. I am so grateful for all the blessings God has given our family. He is so good to us. 


Sister Hartley