Wednesday, 27 August 2014

I am very excited/humbled to be serving as an Sister Training Leader

my beautiful Aussi comp

A little taste of Palm Beach for ya... it is pretty humble.

Saying goodbye...hardest thing ever!!!
Well... what a week it has been. I am so excited/overwhelmed for this transfer. Transfer meeting was CRAZY! There were so many changes made. It feels like a completely new mission. President Richardson is making it his mission. He has been here for a while now and has things figured out as to how he wants to do it. I am excited. I about died when they read my name and said my new area and companion! I am now serving with Sister Aisa in an area called Palm Beach. The funny thing is I didn't even leave my zone! haha I have been in the same zone my entire mission so far... (Sister Steg why am I just like you?! haha) Sister Aisa is such a good companion. She is from Australia but not Travis's mission she lives in the Brisbane mission. It was funny she was my STL and we went on an exchange just under 2 weeks ago and had a great time and now I am her companion. I am very excited/humbled to be serving as an Sister Training Leader with her. We look after 7 companionships of Sisters. We go on one full exchange and 2 fire exchanges every week... in other words, we are very very busy. I have never been so tired. It is a good tired though. I figure I only get to serve the Lord in this way once and I need to embrace it and cherish every moment. I love our dear sisters so much. They are amazing. I went on my first exchange this past week and was very humbled. I learned a lot. Most Sisters think the STL's are there to be an example and learn from but in reality the opposite is true. We probably learn more from them then they do from us. As a leader you see lots of things that you don't as a regular missionary. So much goes on. Basically it has taught me that I literally have so much to be grateful for. I have no reason to ever ever complain!!!!! 
The Comp Study with our District leader

Heavenly Father has blessed me so much. I have a new appreciation for the Assistants to the President. Man are they ever amazing and work so so very hard! I enjoy getting to talk to them regularly I learn so much from them. Looking back I can see how God has been preparing me for this my entire mission... especially with Sister Stegelmeier being my trainer. I am so grateful. One thing I love about being a leader is having an awesome companion! You don't have to worry about dis obedient issues or anything like that because we both have to set the tone and be the example. It is nice. We get along really well together and both work very hard. Even though we have only been together for a week we are really unified. We teach very well together. I am so grateful.... I just love her to death. The new area and ward are awesome. The zone leaders serve in our ward to so we get to spend lots of time with them. It is really fun....I think I will stay. :D haha  Anyways I don't have much time.... to be honest letter writing is going to be hard. On PDay's all we want to do is sleep... haha I will do my best. If you don't get a letter just know it is not because I didn't want to, it is because I am losing myself in this great work. Now I not only get to work to bring our investigators closer to Christ, but other sisters as well. I am so excited. I love this work.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Pray for me and my new area and companion

I don't even know where to start it has been a wonderful week. We had transfer call last night. It was wild like always. The unexpected happened as usual...but I felt that I would be leaving. I am just starting to get to comfortable here and I need to get out and climb the next mountain. I love this area though and all of the people in it: members and recent converts especially. But they will be taken care of and will see them again. 

So this was my face when I found out I was being transferred!!! No just kidding... Sister Furner hid in the bathroom and when I opened the door she scarred me and took a picture of it! Best picture ever eh?

I am so very humbled to have spent the first 7 transfers of my mission in the Boynton area. I have seen many miracles and I can definitely see God's hand in me being here so long. I may have been in the same area but much has changed. I was able to be a part of the newly formed Delray Beach ward and play an integral ward in pioneering the missionary efforts as well as now seeing a newly formed Boynton Beach Stake. Same area but different ward and stake! God's work is surely hastening and I am so grateful to have been able to witness this first hand. 
Wahoo we are done 12 week!!! One of our miracle returning members. I just adore her. Classiest old lady ever...

 One of our miracle returning members. I just adore her. Classiest old lady ever...

We had Stake Conference this weekend and 2 general authorities came to reorganize the stake. It was such an exciting day. Great things are happening in this part of the vineyard. In Stake Conference the General authorities talked all about the work of salvation. We don't hasten the work by being hasty. What it really means is completion. Completing families...on both sides. Both missionary work and family history work. Part member families must be completed and non members baptized and then on to the was such a good conference. It was very motivating. I loved every minute of it. Our new Stake President himself is a convert of 14 years. He is a piano tuner and one day he went to a ladies home and while he was tuning her piano she shared the Gospel with him and gave him a Book of Mormon. He is so converted. He may have only been a member for 14 years but he said he has only sat with his wife for a year and a half because of his callings! He has been in a bishopric, bishop, high council, you name it he has done it! He is so awesome. There are prepared people. We must open our mouths and talk to them!!!!! 

Hope you all have a great week. Pray for me and my new area and companion please. Thanks for all the love and support! 
 The sandwiches we had for lunch were HUGE! 

I live with two crazy sisters

Zone Conference

 My STL's and me. I love these dear sisters. Exchanges with them are the best. 

FHE with my favorite family! We teach the new member lessons in Members homes for FHE' is always some of my favorite memories. We taught of the importance of prophets. Each paper had a different bible/book of mormon prophet and they had to ask yes or no questions to determine who they were. It was a lot of fun. They are all getting to no the Book of Mormon really well!

My foot continues to heal from the bike crash... It was starting to get infected and we just happened to be teaching a lesson at the mission nurses home she checked it out and told me what I needed to do. All my shoes would rub against it so she told me to go without a shoe. Made for a good conversation starter with people. 

Teaching one of our investigators... he was so excited when he found out I grew up on a ranch. I brought him all sorts of pictures and he just loved them and asked question after question. He was pretty disappointed though when he found out I didn't ride much and didn't even have my own horse.. haha He had a CAT hat on and I asked him if he ever wore John Deere hats and he said he did. The next lesson he brought each of us one!!! I was so happy. The other man is another one of our investigators...we had a combined lesson with them both. 

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Sister Andrew is amazing

Wow what a week! In the 12 week program it was for Sister Andrew to take the lead in EVERYTHING. I really had to keep telling myself to keep my mouth quiet. Sister Andrew did an amazing job!!! I was so so so proud of her. She has grown into an amazing missionary. We also went on exchanges this week which is always a great time with the sister training leaders. I went up north and Sister Andrew took over the area for the day. Again she did an amazing job!!! I am so proud of her. It is hard to believe that this could be our last week together. Transfers is next week so I won't be emailing until Tuesday. I am trying really really hard not to think about it. The thought of leaving Boynton honestly scares me to death! There are just to many precious people here and I know the area...anyways where ever the Lord calls I will go. For now I am just choosing not to think about it. haha I will worry about it next week. 

We had a zone activity last PDay and I learned a great lesson. We played smash face--missionary version of dodge ball. If you get hit you must go down and the only way to get up is to tag someone who is up or get a ball and hit someone else who is in. The other way to get up is if the person who got you out gets out you get back in. Anyways... so I was out and couldn't remember who had gotten me out.I was content watching everyone else play--the elders are very entertaining at it--and wasn't trying to hard to get back in. One of the Elders must have noticed that I hadn't gotten back in in a while. He came over and kneeling down beside me asked who had gotten me out? I told him that I couldn't remember. He responded that it was ok I could just get back in and play anyway. I told him  I was ok and was happy to just sit and watch. He kept trying to get me to play. Finally he stuck out his hand and said here just tag me and I will go down and you can play. You can take my spot. Again I resisted. Finally, refusing to be defeated, he said Sister Hartley don't let my atonement for you be in vain." That did it. I finally got up, tagged him, and went in to play. I didn't think to much of this experience at the time but as I have pondered it I have learned much from it. How many times is the Savior right there offering to tag us back in but we refuse because of pride? More specifically, being content with where and who we are. In Sister Steg's words... we are comfortable. I cannot let the Saviors Atonement for me ever be in  vain. It is always there. He is always there to tag us back in if we will but only let him. We must access it.
Our Zone

We had an amazing miracle yesterday. We had just finished dinner and began briefly planning when we got a phone call from a member. He said there was a guy in the parking lot that we had OYMed several weeks ago! We went to the chapel immediately and he was just smiling when he saw us. He said, "I promised I would come and I am a man of my promises." He is an older gentleman. We gave him a chapel tour and did some how to begin teaching. He is amazing. He knows the end is near for him and he wants to get his life in order. He knows there is so much more to life and he is so weighted down with guilt and shame. He accepted everything. He is a miracle. 

Anyways.. I love you all. Have a great week!


Sister Hartley 
Look what I found while tracting

Friday, 8 August 2014

I love my Companion!

Travis I love the pictures of the Tim Tam Slam! haha I showed Sister Andrew and she got so excited. I guess it is a New Zealand thing eh? Speaking of Sister Andrew and New Zealand... she has started driving so she can better learn the area. In New Zealand they drive on the other side of the road and the steering wheel is on the other side of the car. Basically everything is opposite. We haven't died yet though so that is a blessing. I sit very cautiously though in the passengers seat! haha I think the funniest thing is when she goes to signal and the wind shield wipers go. It is priceless. I love my companion! 

I am so proud of Sister Andrew she has come so far, I have as well. We have had many precious experiences together. However, I have been feeling bad that we have only had 1 baptism together and it was right when she first got here so she hasn't really been able to see anyone progress and be baptized. I have been trying not to let this bother me. I really want her to experience it. Before I been very blessed to baptize consistently and the fact that we hadn't been somehow made me feel like I was failing as trainer. I look back now and realize how prideful that is! (Don't worry I have repented...) Well Elder Harper, being the inspired District Leader that he is, gave us a revelatory comp study on what a successful missionary is. I know page 10 of PMG really well but until this point had not yet fully internalized it. We talked about the most important thing about our missions is that we come closer to Jesus Christ. We strive to acquire and emulate his attributes and character and then help others to do the same. As long as we are doing that we are successful. During this comp study I realized a very important lesson. That being, that both Sister Andrew and I are doing all that we can. We doing our best to be exactly obedient, we are diligent each and every day, and we are full of faith. Both feel like we are giving it our all. I realize better now that the best thing that I can do as a trainer is to help Sister Andrew see that a successful missionary is not a baptizing missionary. It is a Sister who has internalized both her purpose and the atonement. It is one who is constantly and consistently changing and becoming something better through Christ. This is where we find the greatest joy. What a trust and responsibility the Lord has given me to help teach this lesson to Sister Andrew, for it is a lesson that will benefit both of us eternally.

A quick miracle from this past week is that we were on our bikes contacting and harvesting. We had been going for an hour and not seen much of anything happen. We realized that we were running late for our next appointment so we started heading back to the car. On the way back we biked by a house and felt like we should knock. We knew were were going to be even more late but we turned around, parked the bikes and went to knock. We waited and waited and no one answered. Satisfied, we left a card on the door and headed back to our bikes. Just then a man rubbing his eyes stumbled out the door obviously just woken up. We were able to bless him and see him accept everything. It was a miracle. Biking is the best. Honestly...even in the Florida humidity--which I may add is the strangest thing! You literally walk outside and are immediately covered in sweat. When we get back from running in the morning we are really soaking. When it rains it is a blessing. 
Also guess what? Elder and Sister Sommerfeldt are coming home this week! I am so so so sad to see them go! 

I love you all! Have a great week. We are having a zone activity today so it will be really fun. Our zone is full of a lot of hard working, converted Elders and Sisters and I love them all to death. It will be a fun afternoon. 

Love you all! 
I got a flat tire on my bike this past week. The Elders gave me step by step as to how to do it over the phone. I got pretty far by myself but you all know how I am at these kind of things. Finally I got called our favorite part member family and he said he would take care of it. It was a win, win. He fixed my bike and we got to visit with his wife! 

I love the Delray Ward! One of my favorite members and the young woman! Love them all.