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. 

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