Sunday, September 10, 2017

Touch of the Master's Hand


November 21, 2016

Dear Familia,

Over this past few weeks I have been able to think about these past months, and what keeps coming to mind is what my stake president told me as I was interviewed to prepare for my mission. He shared with me Alma 17:9: "And it came to pass that they journeyed many days in the wilderness, and they fasted much and prayed much that the Lord would grant unto them a portion of his Spirit to go with them, and abide with them, that they might be an instrument in the hands of God to bring, if it were possible, their brethren, the Lamanites, to the knowledge of the truth, to the knowledge of the baseness of the traditions of their fathers, which were not correct."
He brought to my attention that he used the word "instrument". And why is that important you may ask? It is because in order to make a string instrument in tune you have to stretch the strings. And the worth of instruments all depend on the skills of the musician. The greatest thing is that we all are in the hands of the perfect musician. He loves us perfectly and for that reason He stretches us to become better. I have seen that in my own life and I have seen it in the lives of those I have met here in Mesa. I would like to share this poem, "The Touch of The Master's Hand"

’Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
But held it up with a smile:
“What am I bidden, good folks,” he cried,
“Who’ll start the bidding for me?”
“A dollar, a dollar”; then, “Two!” “Only two?
Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?
Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice;
Going for three--” But no,
From the room, far back, a gray-haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow;
Then, wiping the dust from the old violin,
And tightening the loose strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet
As a caroling angel sings.

The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said, “What am I bid for the old violin?”
And he held it up with the bow.
“A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two?
Two thousand! And who’ll make it three?
Three thousand, once, three thousand, twice,
And going, and gone!” said he.
The people cheered, but some of them cried,
“We do not quite understand
What changed its worth.” Swift came the reply:
“The touch of a master’s hand.”

And many a man with life out of tune,
And battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd,
Much like the old violin.
A “mess of pottage,” a glass of wine,
A game--and he travels on.
He’s “going” once, and “going” twice,
He’s “going” and almost “gone.
But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd
Never can quite understand
The worth of a soul and the change that’s wrought
By the touch of the Master’s hand.

I know the church of Jesus Christ is on the earth again today, which was restored through a modern prophet, Joseph Smith. I know that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ, and as we read it we come to know Christ and His doctrine! I love the Gospel! I love being a missionary! 

Love,
Hermana Hart


One last temple attendance opportunity before she comes home.
Hermana Alarcon and Hermana Hart


A sneek peek at the Christmas lights at the Visitor's Center



All Sorts of Crazy! :)

November 14, 2016

Dear Familia,

What a crazy week! In all sorts of ways!

Tuesday night we only had about 15 minutes before we had to be back in
our apartment and we wanted to invite one of our young women's age
investigators, Carmen, to the Young Women's in Excellence Night. We
knocked on the door and her aunt, Emma, answered the door! Emma is a
less active member that I have tried to find the whole time I have
been in this ward, and that is over half of my mission! But, I finally
met her and as we left the house, I told hermana that my mission could
now be complete because I met Emma! :) Crazy enough we saw her
Sunday night when we stopped by again! :)

On Wednesday we had an amazing sisters conference where a local
therapist came to talk to us about managing stress, and she also talked
about perfectionism! For those who know me, I felt like she was
talking to me! :) But something she said made me think change + hard =
growth. Overall the most important thing we can focus on is to glorify
Christ and rely on His help to become more like Him! Check out
"Perfect Lie" on mormonchannel.org, it is amazing!

We have had some interesting, to say the least, people come into the
visitors center recently, but we also have had an increase in the
amount of prepared people come, too! I was on exchanges with Hermana
Gonzalez, our sister from Chile, and there was a young man who came
into the visitors center, Duke, and he mentioned that he wanted to take a
look around. He said he was visiting from Alaska with a friend who has
family members who are members of the church and had brought them by.
As we talked with him, he was talking about things the prophets have
taught about without even knowing it! We invited him to learn more and
he said "of course!" The only difficult thing is that he doesn't have
a permanent address for another 2-3 months until he gets to Texas. So
I am very grateful we are a Facebook mission because that is the only
way we have to continue to teach him! :)

One of the best lessons happened this week as we stopped by to help
one of our investigators, Mireya, prepare to go to Mexico.  That is what we
thought, but it turns out she found a job and that she is going to
stay a little longer! :) We haven't been able to have lessons with her
these past few weeks but we have dropped off the pamphlets. She told
us that she has read them all and just openly expressed her concerns.
And then proceeded to tell us that she has been still reading in the
Book of Mormon! And she even came to church and stayed for all three
hours! Crazy! It was so great to see her again!

I just know that the Lord is truly preparing His children and that He
always takes care of them! I love being a missionary and sharing the
message of the gospel and of Jesus Christ!

I love you all so much! I hope you all have a fantastic week!

Love,
Hermana Hart




Hermana Hart with her companion, Hermana Alarcon

Sunday, August 6, 2017

A Helping Hand

November 7, 2016

Dear Familia,

I don't even know where to begin! Sometimes we have an idea of how our
week is going to turn out and sometimes those things happen and
sometimes they don't.  This week was a don't, but in a miracle filled
way! :)

For a fun side of the week, for Halloween the mission split into 3
groups and we spent our three hours last Monday, playing games,
finding ancestors and watched the new Meet the Mormons which was so
much! And the next day at MLC, Sister Townsend talked about the
importance of cheering on the other missionaries in their missionary
work, like we did in the activities!

On Wednesday night we were in our area and all of our set lessons fell
through, but it all worked out because we were able to meet with
several of the people we had met earlier in the transfer! :) And as
our last lesson, we stopped by Magdalena and she recently moved from
Guatemala, but not as part of the group of our friends at the
Halloween party. We had a set lesson with her on Friday night but
Hermana Alarcon felt that we should stop by earlier. So we went and
she even gathered her two sons to listen to the lesson! :) They all
were super excited to read the Book of Mormon! This great lesson was
definitely inspired because Friday just before our lesson, she called
us to cancel because someone was going to take her grocery shopping!
The Lord definitely always provides a way! :)

Friday we had an awesome preparation meeting in the visitors center in
the morning, where Sister Farr, who is in charge of the Christmas
lights, came to talk with us to help us be excited! Which I already am
so excited! Now I am super excited for all the miracles to come! And
it was amazing to hear all of the tender little mercies and miracles
that happen during Christmas lights! A big part is how nonmembers feel
when they come to the grounds, the peace and the uplifting spirit they
feel always brings them back, not even knowing why! :)

Yesterday we were out reminding people about church and we stopped by
the family who recently moved from Phoenix. Jairo, the youngest son,
was home by himself with his cousin, but we invited them to come to
church and they came! It is so awesome to have members who are so
willing to help out and support us in any aspect, as some nearby
members stopped by to give them a ride! :)

I think it is amazing to see how everyone can be a part of missionary
work! Sometimes it just looks a little different for each person! And
I know that as we seek out help and inspiration from Heavenly Father,
He will guide us to how we can be a part of His great work! I just
want to invite you to read Elder Anderson's talk and pray to know how
you can help put one more piece into the puzzle!

I love you all! Hope you have a fantastic week!

Love,
Hermana Hart



Some sisters took the keys to the van, but left it unlocked, so we had a
planning party, until they came back with the keys.



















Hieroglyphics hike with some sisters

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Blast From the Past!

October 31, 2016

Dear Familia,

This week was really amazing and we worked in our area and at the visitors center! It is so great to be a missionary! :)

On Tuesday we had the chance to meet a family that recently moved into our area from Phoenix! The 2 teenage boys, Jairo and Anthony, were baptized earlier in the year and so the previous missionaries were working with the parents! It was so amazing because when we asked the parents when they have seen the hand of the Lord in their lives, they replied by sharing the conversion stories of their sons! We are so excited to continue to work with the whole family!

Wednesday night in the visitors center was crazy busy, like it usually is for a mutual night, but this time it was full of other missionaries bringing their investigators! There was a point that all the sisters, including the senior sister on shift was on a tour! Which was fantastic! :)

Thursday night we were teaching an investigator that I had met when I was in this area 2 transfers ago, who hadn't been taught since I had met him the first time. (So like 3 months) And while we were teaching Juan, his friends knocked on his door and he invited them to listen too! Little did we know that one of them was a potential in our area book! We were able to teach them all about the restoration! The crazy thing was that they all already had a Book of Mormon, so some member or another missionary already started planting the seed!

Friday morning we had our last storytime until next year! That is when we act out the stories from the scriptures and sing primary songs with little kids in the visitors center! It is always so much fun to see the faces of the little kids light up as we share the stories they know and as they participate! This week I was Jonah from Jonah and the whale! :)

We are teaching an apartment of dads with a few kids who have recently moved from Guatemala! They are so amazing! This Friday was our ward party for Halloween and because they have only recently moved to the states, they had no idea what that was! So we called a few members and we found the kids costumes to borrow and a member to give them a ride! Everything worked out, and I don't think those kids have ever been so happy as they were with other kids and eating candy! It was so precious to see how content their dads were to see their kids happy. :) I don't think they have ever eaten a cupcake before because they ate like 5 each, including their dads! :) I just hope they didn't have a stomach ache the next day. :)

I love being a missionary and I think one of the many reasons why is because as a missionary I have been able to become more converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ! This week I read an awesome talk called "When Thou Art Converted" from April 2004 by Elder Christofferson! It is so amazing and I invite you all to read it and also apply it!

I hope you are all safe and sound tonight and that you can become a little more converted to the gospel and the Lord this week! Love you all so much!

Love,
Hermana Hart




Our cute friends from Guatemala :)


Dinner with our member who is 97 years old ❤️

\

Storytime with Sister Ashton























Sunday, October 30, 2016

Families are Forever

October 24, 2016

Dear Familia,

This week we have continued a finding frenzy! Everyone needs the gospel and we are just trying to find those who are ready to accept the gospel in their lives!

Sadly I have been moved out of the area with Joel and Berenice but it is okay because there are more people to teach in my area now who need the gospel as well! :)

Monday night we had some time to go finding and we stopped by a recent convert's, ElĂ­as, apartment and we found his girlfriend, Mireya. She let us come in and share the message about the restoration, and she
just nodded all throughout the lesson and told us that she has read to 1 Nephi 8! We then were able to teach her the gospel of Jesus Christ in the same lesson! She has been so prepared by the Lord throughout
her life! And she is now preparing for baptism!

The funniest thing that happened this week was when we asked Hermana Gilgen to come help us teach a lesson and we received a call from her saying that her car was trapped. She wasn't in the parking lot we were in so we went to go find her in the neighboring one. As we approach her, she is standing outside of her car, but her car was being moved so we just assumed it was her husband.  When the car was freed from its spot a stranger hopped out of the car! The best part of the story is that Hermana's primary songs were blasting in the car
when, Jose opened the door! She then explained who we are and invited him to meet with us! We are going to go by later this week! :)

All during the week we have had the opportunity to meet and teach these amazingly prepared fathers and a few of their children, who all recently moved from Guatemala! They are so enthusiastic for all things about Christ and it is so amazing to see how much they light up as they share their testimonies with us! And their kids are just 
adorable, if I must say! :)

Friday I had the chance to be companions with my first trainee, Sister Weight, for exchanges because she is my sister training leader! It was so great to be companions again because it was really awesome to see how much she has grown in the mission since we were companions almost a year ago! We spent most of our night trying to find investigators in her area, and after several people were not home, we found a family that was
taught by missionaries a few months back! They wanted to continue to learn more! :)

Yesterday we were in the visitors center and a family with smaller children wanted to watch Gods Plan for His Family which is a display about the eternal families, one of my favorite parts of the visitors center. At the end we were talking about the things that we can do to help our family. The dad spoke up and mentioned how they have a goal to not whine or complain during the week. As he shared with us this goal they have as a family it made me think of how blessed we are to have families to help lift and encourage us in our course of life!

I really know that the gospel is for families! That we have the teachings of Jesus Christ to help us to become more like our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ! I am so grateful for them! I would invite you to read the Family: A Proclamation to the World because it so simply teaches us what needs to be a part of our lives individually and as a family! :)

Love,
Hermana Hart



Our roommates, Sister Kennedy and Sister Wong


Sunday, October 23, 2016

A Little Here, a Little There

October 17, 2016

Dear Familia,

Can I just say I love being a missionary! In the words of Chris Cook from the "A Book of Mormon Story" Mormon message,"it is a little experience here on this [day], little experience on that [day]!" And if you haven't seen that video I invite you to watch it!

Earlier this week we had a fantastic lesson with Francisco who is preparing for baptism at the beginning of November! We were talking about the word of wisdom and he mentioned all of the changes he has
been making in his life with the help of his member girlfriend! :) and we invited him to live the word of wisdom and he said "of course, they are part of the laws of life!" :) it was so sweet! :)

On Wednesday we got to be a part of one of the best service projects of my mission! We planted flowers on the temple and visitors center grounds! It was so much fun and now every day when we go to the visitors center for our shift we see the flowers we got to help plant! :) It was so much fun to serve with the sisters in the visitors center in a different way! :)

I am so grateful for Google! On Friday this couple visiting from England came into the visitors center and at first they seemed a little lost and as we approached them they asked if they could have a tour! We said "of course!" They were really interested in who missionaries are, so we headed over towards an exhibit we have about
missionaries! We asked them how they found the visitors center and they said they just googled things to do in Mesa! What!?! After watching a video about a missionary, we invited them to meet with missionaries in England when they return home and they said yes! We then got to share with them a Book of Mormon! Komiko, the woman, mentioned that she hoped to make it up to Salt Lake to the visit the temple! The Lord is guiding his people from all over and sometimes Google can help!

Yesterday I had the opportunity to talk in sacrament meeting about tools that the Lord has given members in order to do missionary work! And let me just say that there are lots! :) But all of us 7 missionaries (2 sisters and 5 elders) in the ward had the opportunity to share our testimonies, just some of us were able to be a little
more prepared because we were asked last week! :) I invite you all to review Elder Anderson's talk, A Witness of God, from General Conference! It is so amazing about member missionary work!

I feel so blessed and grateful that I have been able to serve pretty much in two areas in my mission! And as I was able to share my testimony from yesterday it made me reflect on how much it has grown since the first time I ever bore my testimony on my mission! I am so grateful for all of the little and big experiences I have had on the
mission and how much I have learned! It is always so amazing to see what each day has in store!

I love you all so much! And hope you have an exciting week full of fun activities! :)

Love,
Hermana Hart




At a zone dinner last Monday I caught two bees using cups, 
a new found talent? I think so! :)




I made little German Pancakes in pie tins because you 
do with what you have sometimes! :)



Planting at the temple

The Unexpected :)

October 10, 2016

Dear Familia,

It is so great to hear that things are going smoothly at home! And I know that time will get faster as we get closer to the holidays! So keep working hard now! :)

This week has been a whirlwind! So many amazing events and miracles took place and it just flew by!

This week is transfers and I will be staying with Hermana Alarcon in Liahona 1st! We now have enough missionaries that Spanish missionaries are being taken out of English wards! So no more Solomon Ward. :/ But
we are really excited to see what this transfer has in store! :)

This week our time in our area was limited by some events later on in the week, and so at the beginning of our week every hour was so precious! We were hoping to reach our goals of having members present at
our lessons, especially on Wednesday because it was our last night in the area until tomorrow! So we called all of the members we could think of and had several confirmed that they would be able to join us! We were going to be able to reach our goal! Then the unexpected happened Wednesday night for the better! We showed up for a lesson we were supposed to have with a recent convert who is 9, Olga, and when we knocked on the door, her nonmember cousins were over hanging out! It was so sweet to watch Olga help her younger cousin, Camila, read her parts of the Book of Mormon and even helped her say the closing prayer! At the end Camila's older brother,
Sebastian, asked if he could have a Book of Mormon because it talks about Christ! How amazing and he is only 10 years old!

Later on in the evening we had just a few minutes before an appointment so we decided to stop by one of our investigators we never had a chance to visit. As we walked up her driveway, there were two men standing outside talking. We began talking with them and Joel mentioned that his wife was meeting with missionaries previously but asked that they come back after the summer because they go to Mexico frequently. He said that they were ready to meet with missionaries again and then proceeded to ask us how he could know which church was
true?!! :) That was such a tender mercy from the Lord as we have been praying to find a family to teach! :)

The big event that took place at the end of the week was..... Gladys Knight and the Saints Unified Voices came to perform and Hermana Alarcon and I helped with it, along with 10 other missionaries! It was so amazing to hear the choir perform and to hear the testimonies of Gladys and her husband, William! It was definitely not something you expect to hear in a chapel but it was a great opportunity for members to invite their neighbors and friends to an exciting, Spirit filled event! Hearing nonmembers talk in line as they were preparing to listen to the fireside, was so awesome because they were so excited to hear from Gladys Knight! But I think what happened was a little unexpected for them, but all of them enjoyed it!

I am so grateful that Heavenly Father is so aware of all of His children! And their needs and their talents and knows exactly how to bless them! I know that sometimes we can't always see the bigger picture but as we trust Him and be willing to do our part, miracles will be apart of our lives daily! 1 Nephi 1:20 Ether 12:6

I love you all so much and hope you all have a fantastic week!

Con amor,
Hermana Hart



Us with our Gladys Knight pamphlets to hand out



Pablo and Leti were taught by the elders in our ward,
 but Leti loves the sisters! :)