Sunday, December 20, 2015

A Surprise Visit

December 20, 2015

A family from our ward traveled to Phoenix this weekend for one of their daughter's to participate in a basketball tournament.  They were planning to visit the temple Visitor's Center while they were in Arizona.  They hoped to be attending during a time that Abby would be serving at the Visitor's Center.

I received this text message tonight.

"Look who we found.  We saw her sharing a message before the concert.  He Spanish is SO good.  Then we ran into her on our way out of the V. Center.  She looks so good and sounds so happy!
I'm glad we saw her in the thousands of people there.  What a fun mission!"

Aubrie Carrillo and Hermana Hart

The Lights are Shining Brightly

December 14, 2015

Dear Familia,

We are sadly half way through the Christmas Lights, but it is so
amazing what takes place every night. This past week on Friday night
there were 6500 people who came in! It is so amazing to be a part of
something like this every night! This week I met a family who are
looking for a religion because they are both from different religious
backgrounds and they want to find a happy medium. So I had the
opportunity to give them both a Book of Mormon, and share with them my
testimony of how it has blessed my life. I am so grateful for the Book
of Mormon and the opportunity I have to feel Heavenly Father's love
every time I read it. 

A big event this week is that we received transfer news, and I will be leaving 
my first area. And so now I will be heading to Arboleda, a Spanish ward, and 
will be white washing 2 English wards with Hermana Weight. She is from 
Salt Lake, and is a swimmer and has 2 brothers. That is all that I really 
know about her for right now. I will second half train her (because she came last
transfer and has another transfer of training) as we white wash
English wards. I am not quite sure how it will work, but I know that
everything will work out somehow! It will be a new adventure! :)

One of the greatest blessings from Christmas lights is all of the
referrals that come from the people who came and loved their time!
Tonight we have a lesson with a family who came and wrote on their
referral card that they are waiting for the missionaries! We are so
excited! Especially because we are in our area tonight instead of the
VC, after 10 days! It is weird to only teach in the afternoon, but we
do what we can and the Lord definitely works with the rest. We are
currently teaching a few moms and their children when they come from
school, as well as a few other women who are home in the early
afternoon because we have to be in the VC by 5 pm.  I am so excited to
work with the people in Arboleda and Hermosa Vista and Leanora wards!

I will be finishing the Book of Mormon this week and it amazes how
much I learn every time that I read it no matter if I just read it.
Focusing on prayer this time, and how the people pray and also the
answers they receive. I never realized before how many times an entire
chapter is an answer to a prayer. And because of that I have been able
to see how Heavenly Father answers my prayer from the morning through
out the day.

It is so great to hear that there is a Christmas puzzle being put
together! Thank you for the Christmas package I did get it! The
stocking is so cute! I'll hang it up once I move. :)

I love you all so much! And hope that you can enjoy this Christmas
season and don't forget why we truly celebrate Christmas! And think
about what you are going to give Christ for Christmas. I am still
narrowing it down so I will let you know next week! :) 

Again I love you so much!

Con amor,
Hermana Hart

Hermana Aguilar and Hermana Hart

Abby did not give me any explanations on the pictures 
she sent this week.  These may be Visitor's Center sisters.

A couple of sister missionaries and Herman Hart and Herman Aguilar

I asked for pictures of her and Hermana Aguilar with the Christmas lights.  She said
that will be difficult to arrange because the lights turn on after they have arrived 
at the visitor's center and turn off before they leave.
She said she would try to arrange something.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Stars Were Gleaming, and 6 Months Coming

December 7, 2015

Dear familia,
It is crazy how fast the weeks go by and I can't believe this week I
will have been out for 6 months! I still feel like I am brand new here
in Arizona, but I absolutely love it! Life with the Christmas lights
is crazy! We only average about 2 hours in our area every day, which
is really tough to be able to see all of our investigators. But I know
that Heavenly Father is taking care of them. And right now my
companion and I are still covering the whole stake, but next week there are
transfers so we should be having more elders come and join us. It
will be such a blessing! But it has been really fun serving in the
elders area! 

How much Spanish I use depends on how much time we are
spending in the area.  When we are able to spend a whole day in our area I
use Spanish for about half my day, but on average we use Spanish for
1/3 of our day when we are in the VC.

On Tuesday was our Christmas celebration and temple trip, which was
amazing! For the celebration part we just had lunch and practiced the
songs we will sing for our concert at the VC on Christmas. But I love
it every time I have the opportunity to go to the temple!

P-days are a little tough because we get up an hour later and then we
end an hour earlier for Christmas lights, and that is why my emails
are a little bit shorter and so scatter brained. But it is definitely
worth it because of the people we are able to meet and help start
their conversion process. Yesterday a man came up to me and told me
how much he loves how he feels every time he comes to the visitors
center, and I asked him if he wanted to learn more about how he could
have those feelings all the time. He was so excited. And it was such a
blessing to see someone so amazed to receive a Book of Mormon. :) It
was like it was Christmas for him. And miracles like that happen
frequently at the VC during the lights, and it is a gift and blessing
from Heavenly Father to be apart of them!

I don't remember any of the members from the stake coming and doing a
presentation, but they might have after I left. But I am sure that you
will be able to do a great job. 

A Savior is Born is a favorite here.
We actually show it at the VC so I see it at least 5 times every day,
but it is so powerful that I will watch it over and over any day. I
haven't seen the devotional so I will have to watch it sometime soon,
but I heard it was amazing! And I am sure it was!

I hope you can all make it through these next few weeks until
Christmas break, but don't lose focus on why we truly celebrate
Christmas. I know that Christ is our Savior and because of Him we have
the gift to be better everyday! I love you all so much! Have a great

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Hart

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Tis the Season

Dear familia,

It is official. Christmas lights started on Friday!  First of all, I
didn't forget Josh's birthday because I had a card for him, but I
forgot to put it in the mail box at the VC, so it will be here this
next week. Sorry Josh! But happy late birthday!

As for Thanksgiving, I ran the 10k in the morning and I can't believe
that I would run that on a daily basis!  But I love it so much!
Afterwards we came home and did our studies, and sisters we car share
with had the car so they could go to their dinners and so we did
things to prepare our area for Christmas lights. We went to the VC and
our members dropped off our dinner because all of our members were
eating after we had to be in the VC but I was perfectly okay with that
because then there wasn't over eating. :) We had chicken that was
really good, but to make it a true Thanksgiving we ate some of the
other sisters' leftover turkey with our dinner! I was amazed by how
many people came to the VC and most of them weren't missionaries. I
was so happy for that because it is always better when there are lots
of people to talk to. 

Friday was the first of Christmas lights, and there were so many people. 
During this time and the Easter Pageant we have zebra companionships, 
which means that one of us speaks Spanish and the other English.
This is so much fun because we get to know the English sisters and
serve with them! 

Friday morning a family came into the VC and they
were from Meridian! They told me that Rocky Mountain (where their kids
go to school) beat Mountain View in the football State championship,
but it was really cool to meet people who live just a few miles away
from our house! 

Yesterday in church the pianist texted us right before
sacrament meeting asking if I could play the piano for her, so I said
sure! But I wasn't thinking about how I hadn't even practiced. When
I went to go tell the bishop, he thankfully had picked songs that I
somewhat knew how to play. 

It is so weird because with Christmas lights.  We go to bed by 11:30 and 
so we don't get up until 7:30 so our days feel a little strange, but definitely 
worth it! Our whole mission performs on Christmas Day, but the VC sisters 
don't ever perform by ourselves. This week is our temple trip / Christmas party!
Which is so great! I love the temple so much!

It is always so much fun to hear about your missionary work at home!
Our stake president gave us a challenge to give to our members and I
want to give it to you. Throughout the course of the next year,
get to know our neighbors three houses out on both the left and right
side, because that is where our missionary work starts out!

Any plans for a Christmas puzzle this year? When is everyone's
Christmas concerts?
I love you all so much! Keep up the hard work!

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Hart

The Nativity Room at The Visitor's Center

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Returning to My Home Away from Home!

November 24, 2015

Dear Familia,

This week has been so crazy! On Tuesday we had our VC training for all
of the new exhibits and everything is so amazing! Wednesday night was
my first shift in the new VC! It is so amazing by how inspired each
exhibit is. One of the new exhibits is the 8 Stories about the
missionaries in the missionary training videos, and it is so popular
we sometimes have to kick people out of the room so others can
experience it too. :) 

I feel like I am back home in the VC again. I will have another full field experience 
later on in my mission. :) which I am excited about! This week we have 
dropped (stopped teaching) several of our investigators, but in return we 
have received several great referrals from other missionaries. 
We met Arturo and we knocked on his door pretty late and when he answered 
the door he told us he wants to learn!

As for Thanksgiving, we have the only shift of the VC from 5-9 and the
other missionaries are allowed to come to the VC and experience the
new exhibits to be able to use them with their investigators in the
future. We will probably be eating dinner in the VC that night, which means only one 
dinner which is perfectly fine with me! :) 
I will run my 10k in the morning and then we have a lesson with a referral in
the early afternoon. This morning was the 5k and I did alright but I
can't wait until Thursday and the 10k. 

Sorry this is so short but it was a little crazy with the 5k this morning! 

I love you all so much!

This Friday starts Christmas lights and that will be so exciting! I
will send a picture next week! 

Enjoy Thanksgiving on Thursday, don't eat too much turkey! :) 

I love you!

Con amor,
Hermana Hart

PS my ponderizing scripture is Alma 57:20-21

Reminder of Dad!

(A member gave them some Snapple drinks.  One was 
Mango Madness,which is one of Collin's favorite drinks.)

A little taste of Christmas lights

Abby at the Thanksgiving 10K that she ran.
(A member sent us this picture)

A Few Firsts This Week

November 16, 2015

Dear Familia,
Wow this week has gone by so quickly! There just isn't enough time in
a missionary day! This last Monday, we met a family from Chile and they
are gypsies. So now Hermana Aguilar and I are trying to figure out
what they believe and what they do all day. We went back over on
Tuesday and my companion tried to guess what the dad's name is, and
she tried to say Henry in a Spanish accent so it sounded like honey,
and he just stared cracking up. He thought it was the greatest thing,
and he told me if I called him Bunny, he could be Honey Bunny, but we
told him that we would just stick with his real name, Jose. They are
just so interesting! 

Also, this week we taught the Restoration to Laura
and her whole family sat in on the lesson! That was one of the first
times I have had a whole family sit in on a lesson! 

Another first for me was on Saturday I attended my first live sealing of a 
couple in our ward! I was so worried that I wasn't going to understand it, 
but the sealer was a native English speaker and so I was able to understand
everything, with the help of the gift of tongues. :) We were
able to sit in the temple for like 30 minutes before the sealing
actually happened, and I am so grateful for that time. I absolutely
love the temple! I know that they are the house of God, and that
Heavenly Father's desire is that all of His children be able to enjoy
all of the blessings He has for them. Temples make it possible to
gain access to some of the greatest blessings He has for us! Along
this theme there is another family in our ward that will soon be
getting sealed in December! After the father told us we were both so
excited.  We just talked about it all the way back after the fireside we
went to with him and his daughter! 

Yesterday I played the piano in Sacrament meeting, it was a little bit of a 
struggle for the sacrament hymn because I never had to play for Sacrament 
before, but that's alright. It went pretty well, considering I haven't practiced for
almost 5 months. :)

It has been cooling down here quite a bit. Not enough for snow, but
enough that you need a jacket in the morning and at night. It is so
weird because it has the feeling of an Idaho spring, but people are
putting up Christmas lights and decorations.  I love this time of
year so much! I am so grateful for this time I have to serve a
mission, and help others understand the blessings that come from
living the Gospel.

The VC opens this Tuesday at 5 pm, and so tomorrow we have training
from 9-3 and my first shift in the remodeled VC is on Wednesday at 3-9
pm!  Next Friday, Christmas lights start! 

As for today during our day we played chair soccer with our zone this morning, 
and then did studies and cleaned and then we were going to a lunch for another
sister's birthday but they never showed up so we went to the mission
office. And we are finishing up emails and prepping for the week.
Tonight we have a few FHEs with members and investigators.
That is so great to hear that Jordan is doing so well! It is still
crazy that I was able to see him before he left a while ago, but it
feels just like yesterday. Also on Halloween we went to the temple at
night, and on the way in there was a group of elders and we started
talking to them. When they said they were from Tempe, I asked if they
knew Jordan. One of the elders said that he was his companion for a
while, but all of them only had good things to say so I am sure he was
a great missionary

I am so grateful for my area and the members and my companion, Hermana Aguilar! My
ponderizing scripture for the week is Alma 53: 20-21 about the
stripling warriors. 

Keep up the great work family! I love all so much! Live in thanksgiving daily!

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Hart

A couple in Abby's ward that were sealed in the temple.  
Abby and her companion were able to attend.


Monday, November 9, 2015

Double the Area, Double the Love!

November 9, 2015

Dear Familia,

Transfers happened this week, so my companion and I are officially
over the whole stake! It is so crazy how big our area is, but as the
news has spread that we are the only companionship in the ward, the
members have told us that they are there to help us in any way. This
helps me relax a little bit. 

This week we found Laura and she lives in,
what used to be the elders area.  She was trying to help her
daughter, Danna, with her homework, but Laura doesn't speak very much
English so she was struggling. So we went over Saturday to help Danna
with more of her homework.  We read the Giving Tree with her. I love
that book so much! Laura said that she wanted us to come back when
her husband is home, too! We are so excited to work with them more! 

We also found Jesus, and he is only 18 years old, but he looks so much
older. We had such a great Restoration lesson with him and we had one
of our ward missionaries, she is a little older.  At the end of the
lesson, we invited him to say the closing prayer.  At first, he didn't
want to, but Hermana Lujan told him how her dad told her that we all
have to be brave and she helped him say the prayer! It was so amazing!

This Sunday we had a regional conference and we watched it in Spanish
so I struggled a little bit to understand everything. What I
understood the most was that I need to simplify everything and focus
on the things that are most important.

As for running, I run 6 miles every Wednesday and on Saturday we run
the 5k course. My shoe size is 8.5. I have been blessed to be serving
where I can run at the tracks of the local high schools. 

My companion, Hermana Aguilar started her mission here in Liahona 1st just like me!
We have not been companions before. Hermana Gaskell, who just was
my companion, is a full proselyting missionary. This last transfer,
with the VC closed, most of the VC sisters had full proselyting

Taking over the elders area has been so interesting. At the same time we have been 
able to find more people. We are still trying to get used to using 2 phones 
and 2 area books. White washing means that two new missionaries are put into 
an area. We have to rely on the area book and notes of the previous missionaries to know
what is taking place. We have the benefit that I have been a part of
correlation meetings, but we still have to meet all of their
investigators. It is definitely a challenge that I am learning a lot

In the teaching center we chatted with Paola from Mexico and she
has read part of the Book of Mormon and has recognized the difference
it makes in her life! We are going to call her tomorrow!
What are your plans for Thanksgiving? How are the Mahlundts doing?
What have you recently done for FHE?
I love you all so much! Keep pressing forward!

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Hart

Hermana Gaskell - This is pretty much how we feel when we come home every night.

Hermana Hart and Hermana Aguilar

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Big Plans Ahead

November 2, 2015

Dear Familia,
I am glad that you were able to visit Logan! It is so weird to think
that it is cold everywhere else. This morning it was 60* and I thought
I was going to die! :) 

As for funny this week, our recent convert,
Jaime, told us he had a card game and if we lost we had to eat these
little red chili peppers. If we won, he had to. We thought there
was no way that we would lose, so we said yes. But we lost! And so I
just swallowed the first three, so they made me eat three more and chew
them. At first they weren't hot, but after about a minute my eyes
started watering and I just couldn't stop. They took a video so I will
try to get it to send to you in the future. 

This goes along with my best lesson this week. We are teaching Jaime the 
new member lessons but we have him teach us the doctrinal points. This 
last week his cousin Fernando came to visit from Mexico, for like a month, and Jaime
had already talked to him about the Restoration before we came over.
Yesterday Jaime helped us teach the Plan of Salvation to Fernando, and
Fernando accepted the invitation to be baptized at the end of this
month. I was so excited I didn't even know what to say after he said

This Saturday we received transfer news and I am staying in Liahona
First! Hermana Gaskell is leaving me because the VC opens back up
November 17. My new companion, Hermana Aguilar, is coming back. She
previously served here, but we are going to need that because we are
keeping my area and white washing the elders area. So the 2 of us will
be covering the whole stake by ourselves. And with Christmas lights
starting on November 27 and so the last two weeks of the transfer we
will only have 3 nights in our area! I am interested to see what the
Lord has in plan for this area and me and how we can grow! I am a lot
of nervous, but the Lord and President Jenkins know what they are

As for Spanish, I think I grew the most this last transfer with Hermana
Gaskell because I had to learn as quickly as possible. I still have so
much to do to improve, but I think back to being in high school where
I was so scared to even say one sentence in Spanish and now I spend at
least 1/2 of my day speaking Spanish. It would be different in a
foreign country because I don't have to use Spanish everywhere I go,
so I'm learning it a little slower than others in foreign countries, but
it is definitely coming!

My ponderizing scripture is Alma 37:44-45. I am so excited to
ponderize this because it teaches about the blessings of following the
words of Christ!

I was asked if I wanted to run a 10k on Thanksgiving! The race is
sponsoring 10 missionaries to run and so I will get to run the mission
5k on Monday and the 10k on Thursday. I am so excited! That being said, for
Christmas all I really need are new running shoes because I will have
broken down my current ones. :( other than that my only other ideas
would be CDs for the car. But I am truly doing really great! Thank you
so much for your support! And keep working hard! Happy Birthday Dad!

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Hart