Monday, 24 November 2014

My new companion is Sister Sanchez from Texas

The first thing I want to say is O MY! (Yes Sister Steg that was for you I still say it... your legacy lives on)... Katelyn you and Sister Jones are a twin companionship to Sister Steg and I. You look exactly like us! It is crazy...  all Sister Jones needs is crazy curly hair. haha Congrats on your baptism. Travis congrats on training again and being DL. You will love it. I have had many amazing district leaders that have changed me. Be bold. Be loving...and be nice to the STLs! haha it makes our job so much easier when we have cooperative DLs. :D Let them help you as much as possible with the Sisters in your District.
My new companion is Sister Sanchez  from Texas. Her family is from Mexico and speaks perfect Spanish and English. She is short...possibly shorter then sister price...but very very sweet. We make a good team. I keep in contact with Sister Montoya and she is healing well from her surgery. I pray she is all better soon. I will send pictures of Sister Sanchez and I next week.
We had a neat experience yesterday. President Richardson encouraged us to ask our Branch President for priesthood blessings. I love President Robinson. I don't know if it is because  he is from Magrath or what but we sure do get along great. He gave both Sister Sanchez and I beautiful blessings. It felt more "fatherly" which we were grateful for. The Elders are great but it was nice to feel like in a way I was recieving a fatherly blessing. Yesterday in the branch a high council gave his talk in Spanish. I had to where a headset for translation. haha our entire stake is bilingual. Everyone in the branch speaks both english and spanish except for a few. Miami is so diverse. It is great to look over the congragation and see so much culture. The Gospel is true. No language, nor culture can separate us from our divinity as children of God. Sister Sanchez is really good at helping me use my spanish. The other day she told me that I would take the lead at every door approach. We knocked  on one and when they opened it I approached them in Spanish. The  man listened and then looked confused and mumbled.. sorry I don't understand do you know english? haha the one time I get the courage to do it and they speak english. :D I am continually working on it.
Another miracle in the Branch is that we have a meal appointment everyday this  week! When I first got here no one would ever feed us. We have gained a great realationship and trust within the branch and I am thankful. I love them all.
We had a speicialized training this past week and we finally got to see Meet the Mormons. It was really good. I encourage all to watch it and share it if you haven't already. We also were told about the Christmas initiative that the church is doing. It is going to be amazing and I am so excited. What an exciting time to be  a missionary. It will be coming out in the December ensign and will soon appear on I encourage all to check it out and us this great intitative! Sariah I bet it will be really exciting for you  in New York with the billboard they have!! You will have to tell us about it.
This week I was studying in 2 Nephi 31... I have read and used this chapter so much. It is amazing. Vs 20-21 really stood out to me this time. We must pressforward, with steadfastness,  having a perfect brightness hope, loving God and all man, feasting on the word of Christ and endure to the end. That is a lot of strong language!! I defined some of these words... steadfastness is not changing in your attitude or aims, endure is to experience and survive pain and hardship...etc. Thus, eternal life is no small task. It takes work. It takes continuous commitment. It takes dedication. It takes sincere repentance. It is  an everyday thing. God recqurie our whole heart. While it may be hard and frustrating at time I know that it is worth it. Life is all about being outside of our comfort zone. I never dreamed I would be serving in Miami and be one of the Sisters in all of the south zones that doesn't speak spanish. All of our Sister in our sisterhood speak spanish. It is so humbling to go to an area on exchange in effort to help the sisters but not being able to contribute much because of the barrier. The majority of the people we meet speak only Spanish. I am definitely outside my comfort zone. I have to have more faith and courage then ever before. I have trust that if I open my mouth God will fill it even if I don't know what to say. I am learning and growing and I am grateful. Examine your lives and ask yourself if you feel comfortable with where you are at. Being comfortable is "Wasting the days of our probation".  We cannot be complacent... if we are we are not repenting. Always be ready and willing to change for this is the greatest blessing of mortality and the atonement.
Te quiero,
Sister Hartley

Monday, 17 November 2014

I am going to miss this girl!

I am going to miss this girl!

Sister Montoya is still not 100% better. In fact, she needs surgery. She will be having it on Wednesday. Tomorrow they are doing an emergency transfer. This means that I will be getting a new companion tomorrow afternoon. They haven't told me who yet, but I will find out tonight. She will have her surgery on wednesday and then hopefully she will be good to go in a week and she will finish her mission in another area. I know it is the Lord's will, but we are both in shock about it. We are sad not to say together. It is crazy to think that today will be our last day together. :( I will sure miss my favorite Costa Rican. I will get to train a new STL so that will be fun.

We still didn't have much time to work this week with the sickness and all. We were able to go on splits with members a few nights and then I was able to go on exchange with Sister Simmons and her companion stayed with Sister Montoya. We had an amazing miracle filled day together. Our District Leader wanted me to focus on having faith filled words and actions. We did and we saw miracles because of it. We knocked on a door and at first the lady kept refusing and refusing but we were so full of faith that she just couldn't say no. She let us in to a chaotic home. Multiple TVs were blaring and kids were screaming. Because we were full of faith we got all the TVs turned off, and all the kids quieted down. We all knelt down together and we prayed and the spirit was strong. Afterwards all the kids sat without saying a word and the Mother was in tears. We testified of families and they all accepted our invitation of baptism. Another miracle happened as we were teaching a lady struggling to live the word of wisdom. We read some scriptures with her. The first time we read it normally. We then taught and discussed the principles the scripture taught. We then had her read it again to us but told her to change the wording to apply it to herself and her situation. She made it about halfway through the scripture and then the tears came. The spirit was strong. I am so grateful for the doctrine and princples contained in the scriptures. They truly show and tell us all things that we must do. The scriptures are our greatest tools to teach.

 Sister Simmons was so happy for the miracles. (She is a new missionary and is still adjusting.) I asked her after, "Sister why were we able to see that miracle?" She responded "Because of our faith." It was the best moment ever. All we need is faith and exact obedience and we will do miracles for the Lord. We had a great exchange and both learned a lot. I love going on exchanges with new missionaries. They are so humble and eager to learn. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to go on exchanges with Sisters. I learn so much from them.

Sister Price asked me to share a little something about Charity so here it is.

Before my mission I thought of charity as service. You do your Visiting teaching, you make a plate of cookies and deliver it to someone, you write a nice note, you make your siblings bed... stuff like that. But Charity is so much more. It is the pure love of Christ. When we have charity we are concerned for the eternal welfare of all those around us. Not there temporal needs or something that will put a smile on there face. But truly there ETERNAL needs. When we have true charity we will do all we can to share the Gospel with others because this is what will meet there eternal needs. I think of our time together Sister Price and truly it was because of Charity that we were able to teach Angie. Had she not felt the love we had for her she would have kept not wanting to listen to us. Anyways there is a few things hopefully that helps you a little bit.

I love this great work.

Have a great week.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

I have also really learned the power of example

Sister Montoya and I have had a while week to say the least. She has been sick all week. We proselyted for probably only 9 hours this week. Most of our time was spent in the apartment. I tried my best to stay diligent. I went through old area books and called formers, called less actives, and even began to call each member name by name on the ward directory. haha I found out all sorts of stuff. I texted members to try to arrange splits and thankfully we were able to do it multiple times. One member would come and stay with her and another would come with me to work. At the end of the week I was pretty happy with all we accomplished. She still isn't better...we went to a doctor and will go to another one in an hour or so...I pray we get it all figured out.

We are both staying together for another transfer. I am grateful. Thanksgiving in YSA should be an adventure. I am so grateful for this transfer. It has sent me to my knees. It seems as though all my weaknesses have come apparent and I have learned to greater rely on my Savior Jesus Christ and trust in him. I have learned to ask "Is it I?" and not blame others for what may be happening. I have learned to give everything and receive little in return. Lessons for life and I am grateful.

I have also really learned the power of example... I am so grateful Mom for your wonderful example. This past week as I have taken care of Sister Montoya I have greater realized all that you have taught me. You should of seen me taking care of her... Both Sister Richardson and our mission nurse commented on how surprised they were because they would tell us what to do and I would tell them that I already had or was doing that. They were both impressed that I knew just what to do. I just smiled and said well I have a wonderful Mom and she taught me well. They both said that they knew that was yet another reason why we are together because no one would be able to take care of her like I can. Thank you Mom for everything. I see more and more of you in myself everyday. Dad thank you so much also for your example. You have taught me how to work hard and get a job done right the first time. If I got a dollar for every time someone commented on how hard I work I would have enough money to pay for your mission. I am so grateful to the Lord for 2 amazing parents. I love you both.

I am so grateful this week for my family. I miss you all but don't worry I am not homesick...just grateful.

I agree with what Travis said about idleness... I was actually studying that this week as well. Something I love about the Book of Mormon is that they never sit still for very long. They are moving "further" into the wilderness, crossing seas, pitching there tents and so on. Just like them we must never be content with where we are at. We must constantly change. We can never be comfortable. Pre. Uchtdorf said, "I have learned that the difference between happiness and misery in individuals, in marriages, and families often comes down to an error of only a few degrees." Never be complacent. Elder Godoy also said "Just because things are going well does not mean that we should not from time to time consider whether there might be something better." 

I love you all. Have a great week. Please pray for my companion that she gets better soon. 

With Love,

Sister Hartley  
My old companion, Sister Price, and her boyfriend.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Many learning experiences this week.

Happy Halloween and happy birthday to my companion

It has been another week filled with learning. I can't believe the snow. It has been a bit chilly here the last few days as well.. ok well not that cold but for here it was.

Halloween was good, we didn't knock doors after 5 and had to be home by 7. We mostly wrote in journals...haha we are always behind. We had fun though. We had MLC earlier so by the time we got back to or area we didn't have much time to work which we were sad about but we made the most of it.
It is transfers next week and I am curious as to what it will hold. Resident has a hard time keeping things secret so we have a bit of an idea but still aren't sure. I will let you know next week.

Many learning experiences this week. When I was on exchanges with a Sister we taught one of there investigators who suffered from severe Word of Wisdom problems. I have never seen anything like it. It broke my heart. I am so grateful for the commandments. They are there for or safety and protection. I am grateful that through the atonement we can be healed 

Love Sister Hartley

My Favorite Costa Rican and I at MLC this last week.

All the STL's at MLC.