Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Thank you for all the birthday and Christmas wishes!

Wow I look back on this week and I can't believe all that has happened. First off thank you everyone for the Birthday and Christmas wishes! I am grateful for all the cards and emails that have come! I am sorry if I don't write you each back individually but please no that I am very grateful. I had a great birthday... I received the best present ever! I am going to be a grandma! That means that Sister Andrew is training a new sister! I am so excited for her. She will do great. 

It is transfers this week and I will be getting transferred. I will find out tomorrow where I am going. I love the start of a new transfer. It is another beginning and chance to start fresh. This morning I took sometime to ponder all that has happened these past 2 transfers. I have learned and experienced so much. I don't even know how to put it into words but I am so grateful. 

On Wednesday we received a phone call from a pair of zone leaders. It came late at 10:27 just 3 minutes from when we are to be to bed. They told us that they were with a set of sisters and we needed to pack somethings and immiedately head over there to stay the night for the next couple of days. We were both confused. What? Why? We said Elders it is 10:30 why do we need to come now... they kept saying and being my usual prideful self I kept asking questions needing to know the details finally the Elder said here I will put President on the phone will you believe him? haha So next thing I know President is on the phone telling us the same thing... so we packed somethings and headed over to there apartment which was a good 30 minutes away. It was an adventure. The Sisters were having some issues at there place so we have been sleeping over there the past several nights... we haven't been getting much sleep... it feels good to be in my own bed again...haha I have learned to sleep anywhere. I love the Sisters whom we get to serve. 

I got to be on exchange with Sister Montoya this week. How I love that girl! We talked about so many things...we laughed, we cried, it was a tender time. I will miss her so much as she goes home this week. I have learned so much from her. We learned so much and experienced so much together. At times I still can't believe that we really were companions and all that we went through together but looking back we wouldn't have it any other way. The Lord knows what he is doing. I have been so blessed to have wonderful companions.. most of them international as well: New Zealand, Australia, and Costa Rica...

I can't believe how fast time goes.. this transfer there are a lot of missionaries going home... Most of the leadership of the mission is going home.. there will be lots of new Zone leaders and STL's... At times I still feel as though I am one of the young ones but the reality is that I am one of older ones now... I can't believe it. Time goes by. I love my mission. Every minute of it. I am so grateful to be here. 

I love you! 

Sister Hartley 

 Sister Richardson and I at our Christmas Conference. 

I was missing my twin on my Birthday so I had to recruit a new one! 

The branch brought a cake that we ate after church on Sunday

The girl on the left is a really special member that comes teaching with us quite a bit and the girl on the other side is our investigator! I love her. She will be baptized this coming sunday

Sister Price the bow one is for you!! I thought I would make you proud.

Monday, 8 December 2014

He is the Gift!! It is amazing.

It has been a wonderful week.

We saw an amazing miracle yesterday. We set a goal earlier in the week to contact daily for 30 min picking a location close to the college with a lot of bus stops. We met an amazing girl on Tuesday. Being busy with school and work she couldn't meet with us until Sunday morning. Sunday came and she told us that she could only have the lesson but not come to church because she had something for school she needed to do. However, half way through the lesson she looked at both of us and said she was going to drop everything and come to church with us! We finished the lesson and all walked to the church together. She LOVED it! Turns out she knows about half the branch from school! She kept saying "I feel right at home." In Relief Society she introduced herself and said, "Well, I am getting convinced...I think I am going to stay!" It was amazing! She is so elect and ready for the gospel. When we gave her the Book of Mormon she held it close in a warm embrace and exclaimed, "This...this is what I have been looking for." WE love her so much!!! We are going to go to the Temple tomorrow with her and walk around the outside. I just love being here in YSA. I never thought I would serve in YSA let alone Miami YSA but I love it. 

I hope that you all have watched He is the Gift!! It is amazing. We watch it on average 3 to 4 times daily. We use it in contacting and harvesting. Almost everyone has a smart phone so we just watch it right there on the street. It works miracles every time... I love it. It is inspired. We didn't watch the Christmas devotional last night, we chose to go work instead. That evening time is just too good of time to work. We will watch it in the morning sometime this week when it is less affective proselyting time. 

! I love you all have a great week! 

Sister Hartley

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Expect a White Christmas here in the South! #baptisms

Last week one of my friends from school asked me a question that I wanted to answer for her. It really hit me so I am going to share it with all of you. I hope it helps.
Her question: Have you ever felt like you have so much responsibility and assignments to complete but not enough direction to complete them? Like, the Lord trusts you a lot to get things done but you wish you had more specific directions in getting them done?
As always, the scriptures are the best place to turn to receive answers. When coupled with prayer, we will receive the revelation we need. I dedicated a personal study to this and this is what I learned.
I read 1 Nephi 17-18. It is the story of Nephi building a ship. In vs 8 we read Nephi is given an assignment from the Lord to build a ship. This assignment would not only affect him but generations of people, for if he didn't complete it they would not have made it to the promised land. The Lord promised to help him and show him what to do. However in chapter 18:1 we learn that the Lord only showed Nephi from "time to time" what he should do. In vs 3 we read of Nephi often going up to the mount to pray and recieve further guidance. We, as deciples of Jesus Christ, are a return and report people. In other words, we are given an assignment from the Lord and then we must account to him through prayer as to how we are fulfilling it. Once we do what he has  asked he will give us further knowledge. We cannot expect to know all at once what we should do. Imagine how Nephi was feeling? I am sure at times he was overwhelmed, discouraged, and didn't know what to do? But, the Lord trusted him and gave him enough guidance and direction to be able to do it. He did not give him every little detail for if he did Nephi wouldn't have learned anything! So it is with us. We can't expect all the details of what to do, or no growth would come and no knowledge would be developed. There are so many principles from this story that we can liken to  our selves!! I don't have time to point them all out...but please read it with the above question in mind and liken it to your selves.
I also read Ether 2 and 3 where many of the same and additional principles are taught. I challenge you all to read that as well and apply the principles. I love this one because the Lord solved 2 of the Brother of Jared's problems (air and steering) but left he last one up to him to solve (how to get light)... He did all that he could. He molted stones and carried them up the mountain but in the end it still was not enough... and this is where the most wonderful gift comes in--the atonement. The Lord touches the stones. Wow is that ever powerful. The same is true for us. We will do all that we can but in the end we trust in the Atonement to make up the difference!!!
I wish I had time to write and explain everything I learned, but I know that as read these stories with a prayer in your heart the Lord will help you understand the principles relevant for you. Liken them to yourself and apply them. The scriptures are our greatest gift.
We had a great Thanksgiving. Sorry I will try to send pictures next week. Sister Sanchez and I are loving our YSA branch. Each member is becoming so special to us. We love them. (In a missionary sort of way I promise! haha gotta love YSA)
If you haven't checked out He is the Gift yet on repent and go watch it right now. It will change your life.
 I love you all. Christmas time is the best time to be a missionary. Make the most of it! Expect a White Christmas here in the South! #baptisms
I love you!