Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Here it is the last email...

Welland let me tell you.. it is going to be the best one yet. It has been a week full of many miraculous miracles. Here are a few weeks highlights for you:

The Seminary teacher has been out of town so the Elders and us have been teaching. We needed to teach five days so we had a contest with the Elders to see who had to do 3... unfortunately we just BARELY lost! So we had to get up at 5:20 3 days in a row to teach early morning seminary! Let me tell you I respect those kids so much for doing that every single day. Sister Montague and I were so tired from it!!! It was incredible though to spend that time with the youth. It really helped me to see how much I have grown and matured on my mission especially in teaching the Gospel. It was a lot of fun. 

On Thursday we had dinner at the Bishop's house with the Elders. Together, we talked about how we could really magnify our faith with the Day of Service Activity to get people to teach from it. We all decided to fast together the next day. So on Friday Bishop, his wife, the Elders, and us all fasted. It was an incredible experience of missionaries uniting with the members. Bishop's wife texted us and told of the tender mercies they were seeing and we texted them back ours as well. It was such a unifying effort it was great. I have grown to love Bishop so much. I am so grateful for the trust that we have developed with him. The ward really needed that.

Saturday was the annual Indian River County Day of Service. Our church hosts it every year. Different organizations and congregations all get together and do different service activities. The kick off is at the church. It was great!!! So many non members everywhere... It was so great to see church vans pull up and get out at our church.. haha Sister Montague and I were put with the Bishop, Stake President, and a  Rabbi and his congregation for our project which was a highway clean up. It was amazing to work along side these wonderful jewish people. You can imagine our conversations. We were able to give one of them a Book of Mormon so we were thrilled about that. It was great to see the community come together and serve along side each other regardless of what religion we are. They are amazing individuals in this community with sincere desires to help others and serve the Lord... now if they would only read the Book of Mormon... 

We had an incredible island miracle this week! There is so much that went into it but I will give the short version... Lets just say we biked over 6 miles on the island until we found a street we could actually knock... we knocked the whole street and no one would even open the door and the people we contacted on the street quickly shewed us away... Both Sister Montague and I were doing all we could to keep our faith high. We just kept saying, "God's prepared people on the island. God's prepared people on the island." and guess what on the LAST door when we were about to stop we found them! An amazing couple that accepted all of our invitations. Miracle and I know they will be baptized. Island miracles are the best. We work hard for them so when they come it is a sweet sweet experience. 

We continue to bike everyday. The other day a UPS guy stopped us and said wow you are everywhere.. we asked "O you have seen missionaries before?" He quickly responded "No you TWO are literally everywhere on those bikes. What are you doing?" He said he has seen us all over as he does his various routes everyday. I KNOW that biking brings blessings. Physical and Spiritual. haha 

My heart is truly so full. I can't believe that it has been 18 months. Words cannot express how I feel. I know that this is the Lord's work and I will never stop doing it. 

I will see you all soon! 


Sister Hartley 

Monday, 20 April 2015

We really are so blessed to live in Southern Alberta

It has been a wonderful week!! On Friday I had a sweet experience that I will cherish forever. You may recall the story of Gwen. She is a less active Sister that Sister Price and I met in Delray. She hadn't been active for over 35 years and hadn't heard from the church in over 11. Sister Andrew and I taught her the lessons and helped her get member friends and make her way back to full activity. Well guess what?! She went to the Temple on Friday to recieve her endowment! President gave Sister Andrew and I permission to go!!!!! It was incredible. The spirit was so strong the entire time and Gwen literally glowed as you can tell by the picture. She has had the Temple as her goal for quite sometime but something always got in the way. She shared with me that just over a week ago she had a dream. Her father came to her and boldly said, "Gwen, it is time. Quit putting it off and GO!" And GO she did! After the session we got to watch her be sealed to her parents which was another very spiritual experience. I am so grateful that we could be there. She has come so far and progressed so much. She is on fire with family history and her conversion continues Christ and his gospel continues to deepen. This is what missionary work is all about. Baptizing and confirming is just the beginning. The church and Kingdom of God is established as families are sealed and completed in the Temple. This is the work of Salvation.

In the other picture you can see that we had a Pinewood Derby! I got to bring out the old car that Sister Stegelmeier and I made and race again. It brought back some good memories.

Yesterday we had ward conference. Our Stake President is President Litchfield from Medicine Hat. Small world eh? We were in a meeting with our WML, Bishop, and him and when I told him I was from Cardston he went on a total Southern Alberta rant. It was the greatest.
We really are so blessed to live in Southern Alberta. Elder Cook himself, when he came here a year ago, said that there is such a special spirit among the Canadian Saints. President Litchfield talked about how it produces strong families, missionaries, and individuals. We really are so blessed to call it our home.

I hope you all have a great week and that we can continue to show the Lord gratitude for all the blessings he has given us by our whole hearted obedience.


Sister Hartley

We had a Pinewood Derby! I got to bring out the old car that Sister Stegelmeier and I made and race again. It brought back some good memories.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

I saw the Lord's hand manifested so many times

This is the most country area that I have been in. 

Thought you might all want to see our beautiful biking helmet hair. 

It has been a great week for the Vero Beach Ward. The ward has made a complete turn around these past 2 transfers. The Elders and us have been working extremely hard with the ward council to get things rolling. The Elders have been working with a part member couple since the beginning of last transfer and they were baptized on Saturday! It was incredible. The ward has waited for this for so long and put so much effort to it. This couple literally was loved back into the church. It was amazing to see how the ward all pulled together for this great miracle. 

This week Sister Montague and I saw the Lord's hand manifested so many times. I know that this is his work and that he knows his children. I want to share 3 experiences that illustrate this: 

1. We had a lesson with an investigator planned but we weren't sure which member we should bring. That night, I prayed and explained the type of member we needed and asked for inspiration as to who we should bring. After my prayer I waited but didn't get any immediate impressions so I retired to bed. In the morning after the alarm went off literally the first thing that came to my mind was a name. "Sister Jones". I, at first, was confused about why she was coming to my mind so early in the morning and then I remembered it was an answer to my previous nights prayer. We called her later that day to invite her to the lesson but had an unexpected twist. When talking with the member she related she had had a really bad fall and was left in much pain. She was feeling hopeless because she needed help doing some cleaning. It has been over a week and no one had checked on this dear Sister. After talking to her, I immediately called the Relief Society President and relayed the information to her and she was very grateful. It was amazing that even though this Sister couldn't come with us to the lesson, she was a Sister in need and the Spirit had brought her to our mind. 

2. A few weeks ago in Ward Council the Bishop asked us to contact an inactive member that hadn't been to the ward before. We tried many times but were unsuccessful. We are biking to an appointment when we noticed a lady with a stroller walking her dog. We stopped to contact her. As we initiated conversation the spirit whispered "This is Sister Walker" (the inactive sister Bishop told us about). I quickly realized that we were indeed in her area. I smiled and said, "Mam you are Sister Walker aren't you?" She slowly nodded her head. This dear sister had been avoiding contact with the church and missionaries for so long. It was a miracle that God placed us in her path and told us who she was.

3. Last night we tried to see a less active family. Unfortunately, they have no interest in the church and believe it or not they were just baptized Jehovah's Witness. Sister Montague and I left there house feeling pretty sorrowful. We decided to knock the street. At one door a man answered and agreed to pray with us. When we asked to involve his whole family he quickly shrugged the idea away saying they would not accept it. The wife heard our conversation and came to see what was going on. She assured us they were fine and didn't need anything. She asked what our purpose was for being there to which we responded "We are representatives of Jesus Christ and he has sent us here to pray with your family for the things you are in need of." Her countenance immediately shifted from closed and hard, to eyes filling up with tears as she began to cry. "How did you know?" She asked. We ended up being led inside and praying with them and there daughter. The wife cried the whole time as they explained there current situation. They are open and ready for the Gospel. It was amazing. 

I know that Heavenly Father knows each of his children individually and perfectly. He knows exactly what we need. 

I hope that you all have a great week. 


Sister Hartley 

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

101 new members of the church!

Well Conference was just great wasn't it! I loved everything about it except that we didn't get to hear from Richard G. Scott that made me really sad. I hope he is ok. It was great to here about Karl Tillman! That made me happy as well. I hope we can each change in the way the Lord wants us to because of the great truth we were taught. I am excited to study the messages for the next 6 months. I always learn more when I greater search and ponder them. 

March was a wonderful month for the mission. The phrase "Miracle March" was the theme. We set a goal for 100 baptisms as a mission... and guess what? We got 101!! 101 new members of the church! That is a good sized branch. The unity we all felt as a mission was great. We reached new heights together. It really was great. We have amazing leadership in the mission. We plan to continue on a steady upward course. 

We had a great miracle while waiting for Conference. We were eating lunch in the church kitchen when we noticed a family out in the parking lot riding there bikes. We headed out to contact them. They have twin boys that are three years old. We quickly related that I was a twin as well and this gave us an instant connection. From there it was easy to transition into talking about the family, and since we were in the church parking lot that made it even easier to transfer it into a gospel conversation. It all flowed so well God organized it all beautifully. It turns out they live just down the road from the church. The Mom is Catholic and the Dad is Baptist and they want to be unified. They are alternating churches right now and are confused as to why they are both so different. They want to be taught and committed to church. It was an amazing miracle. They are a wonderful, young, and kingdom building family. The twins will have the blessing of growing up in the Gospel. We are so excited to begin teaching them.