Monday, 30 March 2015

We continue to heed President's council

I can't believe that the last week of March is here. The mission has worked so hard this month. We have really progressed and it is great to see. Elder Hartley I know exactly how you feel about getting a new mission President. It is definitely an adjustment. It took me a long time to get used to President Richardson when President Anderson left. They both are so different. They go about things in a different way. They have different visions. However, I know that both were called to hold the keys for the time frame that they did and are. Just follow the keys and you will be fine. You are very blessed to have half of your mission with one and the other half with the other. That was the same for me and I am grateful to have gotten to know both of them. 

Sister Montague and I worked very hard this week as we do every week. We continue to heed President's council and bike nearly everyday. I love being out my bike. It is great to be seen and contact everyone we can... especially when we are "storming the island". Our Ward mission leader wants us on the island as much as possible. There are a lot of kingdom builders over there. It is definitely a different kind of work but we are learning as we go. 

The Elders had a baptism on Saturday! She is a dear sweet lady. We are all so grateful because this ward has not seen anyone found, taught, and baptized by missionaries in a while.. so between Christa being baptized earlier in the month and now Donna the ward has really made a turn around. We are so grateful for the miracles God has given us and the Elders  as we work are very hardest. President is so happy with the progress that we have made here so I am very grateful for that. All things considered, all is well.

I am really looking forward to Conference this week. I pray that each of us will be able to hear the Lord's voice through his chosen servants. I hope that each of us will be quick to hearken and heed his counsel by making the small and necessary adjustments the spirit prompts us to make. 


Sister Hartley 

Monday, 23 March 2015

We found one of those "diamond's in the rough

The District 

We have had a great week here in Sebastian. We are continually sifting and in fact we found one of those "diamond's in the rough"!! Her name is Kathy. While biking on the island we stopped and talked to her as she was walking her dog. She has a friend who is a member and she has always been curious. Before we could offer, she asked us for a chapel tour! We gave her one on Saturday with a member and she really enjoyed it. She said it wasn't at all what she was expecting. She wants to know more about the church and has agreed for the lessons. She is a wonderful lady and a Relief Society President waiting to happen. We are excited about her. 

The following scriptures this morning really stood out to me they come from Helaman 10:

 4 Blessed art thou, Nephi, for those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments.

 5 And now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold, I will bless thee forever; and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works; yea, even that all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will.

Often times as I have read this I assume that Nephi was blessed because of his faithful service and obedience. However, vs. 5 makes it very clear why he received such great blessings "because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness". It was his dedication and diligence when things got hard. Anyone can be faithful and obedient but only a select few can remain so under sorrow, rejection, fatigue, and in his case physical abuse. It was his continued dedication and never quitting attitude that led to the blessings. He was a finisher. I know that it will be the same with us. 

I am glad to hear that all is well at home... The Lord continues to pour out his blessings as we are faithful. I hope you all have a great week. 
The sister that Bro. Sunderland taught on his mission and is our ward. She is just one of the MANY sweet old ladies in the ward. 

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Every day matters

It is transfers again so I am emailing today. I can't believe that another transfer has started... my last one. I can't believe it. Every day matters. Sister Montague and I had some things happen in our area this week:

We visited an inactive for the first time. He was baptized 4 years ago when he married his wife but has been inactive for 2 years; however, his wife faithfully comes, holds a calling, and attends the Temple regularly. He works at bass pro shop and is into all that so we used that to connect. It was funny he claimed how he didn't really care for Sister Missionaries but he said we were changing his mind. He talked very openly with us about why he wasn't coming to church. He had to leave the room for a second to get something and when he was gone the wife sincerely smiled and thanked us for all we were doing and that she had never seen her husband so open before. We were very bold with him about coming back to church and he responded well. We promised him that if he read the scriptures everyday he would have the faith to come to church. We texted him faithfully everyday reminding him to read and on Sunday both Sister Montague and I were all smiles as they walked into church together! They sat by us and held each others hands tightly the entire time. It was precious. "We're so glad your here." We whispered. He sincerely responded, "Me to." It was a spiritual moment. We are excited to see him return to full activity.

Another great experience that we had was last night having a member moment with the Young Mens President and his wife. He looked us straight in the eye and thanked us for our faithful service. They said that between the Elders and us they really feel like they got the cream of the crop. They trust us and would happily have their family and friends taught by us. They haven't felt this way from missionaries in a long time. The spirit was strong, for we all were almost in tears. We are a team. The Elders and us. Elders Anderson and Parry are the hardest working Elders I have ever seen. Both them and us have been biking every single day. We are working hard. We are all struggling to find solid "kingdom builders" but we know they will come because we are being diligent and exactly obedient. Something great is stirring. We are helping to change the spirit of missionary work in this ward. It is turning around and charging forward.

The weather here has been so nice and perfect for biking... Sister Steg you would be so proud... I have come a long way with the whole biking thing. You would be impressed. I love parking the car in the morning and not returning until the end of the night to drive home. It is great knowing that we have our "line in the water" all day. Don't worry Mom I promise I put sunscreen on.

 I love you all! I hope you have a great week.

Sister Hartley

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

The missionaries are always the last ones left at church.

It has been a great sun-burning week up north. Yesterday was one of the best Sunday's of my mission. All both the Elders and us talked as well as our Ward Mission Leader. We talked about catching the vision of missionary work in the ward and presented the Ward mission plan and made sure everyone had a copy. Christa was baptized after church as well. I am so happy for her! She has been through so much in her life and this is the happiest that she has ever been. It was such a wonderful baptism for her. 

Sister Montague and I are getting along great. She is a hard worker and a great teacher.. together we get things done. It is great. Here are a few of the miracles we've seen this week:

We set a goal to bike often and look for opportunities to serve. As we've been doing this we have met many wonderful people and been able to help them. We stopped to help an older man rake the leaves in his driveway. After we asked if we could share a prayer with him and his wife and he led us inside. After the prayer the wife mentioned that there daughter in law had met with the sister missionaries a few years ago. We asked for her information and she she gave it to us. We went and followed up with the daughter. "Wow"... she said, "I was shocked the first time the sister missionaries knocked on my door and even more shocked this time." She had been helping her in-laws all morning and all her Dad could talk about was the 2 girls on bikes that stopped to help him. It was an amazing miracle to see how the Lord put it all together. We never know the seeds we plant. I wish I knew the missionaries that taught her the first time so we could thank them for making such a good impression on her. No effort is ever wasted. 

Christa's Baptism

Another miracle happened on Friday night. After MLC we received texts from both our STL's and ZL's exciting us for miracle march and miracle texts. (Sister Steg I know how you must have felt now... it is so hard to not be at MLC!! haha) They texted us miracle texts through out the night. We wanted to have one of our own.  It was 8:30 when our appointment close to our house fell through. It was so tempting to go home but we knew we needed to be diligent and God would give us a miracle. We drove to the first place possible and began knocking doors. We knocked into a lady who was very very hesitant about letting us in with it being so late. We related the miracle that got us to her door and she was stunned... we were persistent and she went and got her husband out of the shower and they let us in. After the prayer she was in tears. We taught them the next day with our WML and they came to church on Sunday! It was a last door of the night miracle. I am so grateful for the Leaders in the mission. They are mighty men and women who inspire us through there faith and examples.

Things are going well. I love being out on my bike. I've missed it. We come home dead tired but it feels so rewarding knowing that we were able to talk to so many people. 

I am so grateful for all the wonderful things that are happening. I know this is right where I am supposed to be and wouldn't be anywhere else. 

I hope you all have a great week. 


Sister Hartley  

Monday, 2 March 2015

11 companions!

As you can tell, I am emailing much later today. It has been quite a day so far. Sister Allen and I drove to the mission home this morning. Unfortunately, her health has gotten worse and shown no sign of improvement so she is flying home today. It was so hard to see her go. I just held on to her and cried and cried... Yes that is what Sister missionaries do. haha I will miss her terribly. 

I have a new companion... her name is Sister Montague she is from California. She is hard working and obedient so combined together miracles are bound to manifest themselves. 

I still can't believe that I have another new companion. Everything seemed fine and set that I would stay with Sister Allen here until the end of my mission. I never dreamed that I would have at least 11 companions! I can't believe all that has happened. Ever since August the only thing that has been constant is change. But all things considered, I wouldn't change anything. Through it all I have learned to rely more on my Savior. My prayers have become so much more meaningful and I have learned to just patiently submit to whatever the Lord's will may be. There is just to much outside of my control to even begin to manage it all. I was reading in D&C this past week and the Lord's counsel to Joseph Smith really hit me. He simply said,"Hold on thy way." Keep calm and carry on in essence. Right now that is all I can do. I pray Sister Allen gets better and races back here soon and the same for Sister Coates.. I love these dear Sisters. To Sister Sanchez, Montoya, Aisa, Stegelmeier, and Price, I see what you mean now. I was with each of you when you neared the end of your missions. haha remember all the crazy emotions you had and I just looked at you like you were crazy and said that you needed to snap out if it.. .well now I am here and let me tell you... those emotions are so real! I can see now how much my young fire must have helped you to keep going.. Sister Montague is going to do the same for me. 

I love you all! Have a great week. Always turn to the Lord and trust in his will and timing. 


Sister Hartley