Sunday, August 30, 2015

"WOW" is all I can say

August 24, 2015

Dear familia,

Thank you for delivering that letter to Austin! It is always great to
hear from you guys!

This week has been so amazing! Tuesday we had district meeting and
those are so great! I gave a training, or a mini lesson, on how the
Book of Mormon is able to change the lives of those who read it. This
is possible because as we read the Book of Mormon we are able to learn
more about Jesus Christ and his Atonement, and as we come to
understand the Atonement and his grace it becomes natural for us to
want to follow His example and be obedient. Wednesday in the morning
we were in the VC and there was a man just laying on the front steps.
Sister Ashton, who is one of the senior couples at the VC, went out to
talk to him but he only spoke Spanish so Hermana Gonzalez went out to
translate. While this was taking place it made me think how the Lord
works in mysterious ways because if he sat in front of Walmart he
wouldn't have received the same attention. 
Thursday morning was the temple and it was so amazing! It is such a great 
opportunity to be able to be in a place where you can feel the Spirit so strongly, 
as well as the love that Heavenly Father has for each of us. On Friday I
met my "twin" everyone in our ward, as well as other missionaries, say I
look like. She is a sister who went home in December. She came this week for a
wedding and visited the VC and our ward. I wasn't thinking and we
didn't take a picture. But we look similar, but it is how we act that
is the most similar. Saturday we volunteered at the opening of the
Mesa part of the Light Rail and it was crazy hot and we wore light
blue volunteer shirts. So it was a whole lot of awkward because
everyone could see how sweaty I was. We found so many new
investigators this week. It helped strengthen my testimony that the
Lord is always preparing people to accept the gospel and it is up to
us to find them by finding with faith. Last night we went to visit a
referral we received from church headquarters who said we could come
by another time earlier in the week. As we walked up her driveway
there was a couple who was just returning home, so we started talking
to them and the man said that they didn't have time but he asked if he
could give us his number so we could call him! And the lady we came to
visit told us that she wasn't interested in learning more. So we knew
that she said “yes” earlier so that way we could meet Herman and Blanca!
In the VC I met a man who is currently living in a men's shelter even
though he has a job and it is because he sends all of the money to his
wife and kids living in another city. He hasn't seen them for 3 months
but he wants to provide for them so he just lives in the shelter for
free food and housing. I was just amazed at how dedicated he is to his
family and fulfilling his role as a father! As he left he said “I
wasn't planning on finding anything today. I just road the light rail
until the end and I saw the Visitors' Center.” Another experience of
the Lord leading people to where they need to be whether they know it
or not. Overall this week was so great it is so hard to come up with a
title for my email. Another thing about yesterday is that we went to
go teach a potential investigator that my companion had taught once
before I got out here. She knew he was very religious and a member of
the 7th Day Adventist Church, but as we were teaching him yesterday he
told us that he is the leader of the church! So it was a little
intimidating you could say.

Dad forwarded the email from Jordan and if it was this last Saturday I
was in shift and could've seen him and he didn't come. But if it is
this week we are in our area Saturday night this week.

This week we have interviews with President and Sister Jenkins and so
they asked us to read some talks to prepare. So this week I read "Ask
in Faith" and "Pray Always" both by Elder Bednar in back to back
General Conferences. They helped me understand prayer better and how
we should be praying and how I can improve my prayers. You should read
them.

How did the first day of school go? When should Ashley hear back from
Farmstead? When does Josh's games start? Is Caleb still doing cross
country? Do you still get to go to yoga? Do you have any plans for
traveling anywhere for work?

This week has been such a blessing and after all of the different
people I have met this week and learning about their experiences I am
so grateful for the Gospel and the knowledge, hope, and peace it
brings. I am so grateful to have such an amazing family and know that
because of the restoration of the Gospel we are able to sealed in the
temple to be a family forever. I love you all so much!

Con amor,

Hermana Hart


Hermana Hart with Sister Jenkins


Our own "Candy Bomber"

It is not a very good picture but there is a cute old man that comes
by super often bringing granola bars. And he always tells us to write
our parents! He's the cutest!



Hermana Hart with her friend Elder Stiles. 
They were at the MTC together for a short time.  Elder Stiles
and Abby were originally scheduled to enter the MTC on the same
day until Abby's date changed.


I'm getting pulled over! But not really!
We see police with their lights on on a daily basis. It just makes the
nights so much more exciting!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

August 17, 2015


Dear familia,
Well it has been one hot week! It reached 117* on Wednesday but
thankfully I was in the VC that night so we were only out there for
like 2 hours. And on Tuesday was the crazy dust and thunderstorm! And
we were in our area, so we got to experience it not just look through
the VC windows. Wednesday was transfers but everything stayed the same
for us so we didn't go to transfer meeting The next two transfers
after this one we are focusing on health and doing a 21 day health
challenge and a 5k at the end and I'm so excited! Wednesday night we
were in the VC and Hermana Gonzalez and I started God's Plan for His
Family, but they needed a Spanish sister to help at the Christus, so
Hermana Gonzalez went to go help there. So I ended God's Plan on my
own. While the last little film was playing I was worrying about what
to say, which I know I shouldn't and I'm working on breaking that
habit, but the film ended and I needed to end the presentation. As I
moved to the front of the little room there was one more person there
than when we had started it for some missionaries and their less
active and recent convert and a small YW group. I felt prompted to ask
if anyone would like to share anything. The YW leader shared that she
had recently had a baby and was excited to see her grow up in the
gospel. This new person shared that they lost their baby that morning,
and shared their testimony of the plan of salvation. The Spirit was so
strong it felt like you could physically touch it. I was so shocked
that I had no idea what to do. I just froze there. One of the elders
started talking and the other went and hugged the man. It gave me
enough time to put myself together. I am so grateful for the Spirit
and that the Lord can put into our mind what we need to say during
times like this. I am so grateful for experiences like this. I know
that they are changing who I am. Thursday our car died as we were
trying to leave the gas station. And we asked people who were getting
gas as well if they could jump our car but none of them had jumper
cables so the elders in our ward came and helped us out. We called the
elder in the office in charge of cars to see what we needed to do and he told
us to drive on the freeway for a while. So we took a quick tour of
Mesa as we drove around. We visited one of our investigators before
correlation, and we had to have them jump our car again. I don't know
what I was thinking, but as I was getting ready to back out I turned
the car off and our investigator freaked out for a second but the car
started up on its own this time. Which was a tender mercy because I
don't want her to not like me. Friday we had Preparation Meeting (a
weekly meeting we have for the VC every Friday morning to receive
training and things we need to work and focus on) and Hermana Gonzalez
and I gave a training on starting and ending films. After Prep meeting
we went and fixed our car. It didn't help that neither of us knew what
we were doing beyond just getting to the dealership. But eventually we
got things figured out. While we were waiting to be picked up to go to
the mission office to study, we met Michael who works at the
dealership and we had an interesting conversation about his beliefs
and feelings towards the church. Then that afternoon we had an amazing
member present lesson with our investigator Ana about the law of
chastity. The members experiences and testimony could not have been
more helpful with the Spirit! Then that night in the VC we met
Anthony. He was waiting for his friend, who was in the temple, at the
Christus. He started talking to us and told us that he has had member
friends and neighbors most of his life. He went to mutual and
priesthood but he was never asked if he wanted to meet with the
missionaries. His exact words were "yea I've always wanted to convert
to your church". Sister Gonzalez and I were just freaking out! We gave
him a Book of Mormon and got his information so we can teach him on
TC. Friday was just extra good! On Saturday I learned to make salsa with a sister in the ward and all it is, is jalapeƱos and a little salt and I put
in most of them with seeds so it is SPICY! We set a baptism date for
our investigator, Jaime, for August 29. We are so excited to see him
progress and see the hand of the Lord in his life, as well as the lives
of our other investigators! I feel so blessed to be serving here on a
mission!
As for surviving the heat I drink A LOT of water and just accept the
sweatiness! There is no denying it here! I am so excited for Austin!
That is such AMAZING news! I made a commitment to be a better member
missionary when I go home! I am sending a letter for him to our house
so could someone please take it over to him?
I have an invitation for you all that you could ask the missionaries
if you could fellowship anyone they are teaching in our ward and go to
a lesson with them or have the lesson at our house. Or maybe if there
are people that you could have an FHE with. Because those are great
opportunities and ways as members you can help in missionary work.
I hope that everything will all come together for you mom as you get
ready to teach this week! I know that you will do an exceptional job
and the students will love you! Boys enjoy your last week of summer!
What are you most excited for this school year? Dad how are things
going at work?
I love you all so much and I thank Heavenly Father every day for you!
I know the church is true and that God has a plan for each one of us
and so as things happen in our lives that we don't understand we can
find peace that Heaven Father knows exactly what is happening and why
it is happening! I love you!
Con amor,

Hermana Hart


You could say I have a love for peanut butter!
I shared the fresh ground with the sisters when we went to Winco.

2 Months!

August 10, 2015

Dear Familia,
I can hardly believe that today marks 2 months! It feels like I (well
Mom) just packed and I came from the MTC. But I have reached the end
of my first transfer! It has been so amazing I have learned and
experienced so much and there isn't anything I would trade for this
time. We are fed every night by members, but because we are in the VC
every other night, the elders bring us the food from the members those
nights. But the members are really great in our ward! Which brings me
to our Visitors' Center Schedule. We don't have exactly the
same schedule every week but we switch every other night. So one day
we are there in the morning and the next at night then the next day in
the morning and so on, except Sunday’s. We keep the same schedule every
week so all the sisters can go to their wards, and Mondays we are in
the VC every other week from 6-9. This last transfer we had 20 sisters
in the VC with 5 companionships every shift with 5 sisters doing full
field work. But this coming transfer we only have 4 companionships on
each shift, and 8 sisters doing full field work. I am staying in my
area with Hermana Gonzalez.
As to surviving the heat, I am not doing too bad but I also think it
comes in handy that at least every day I spend 6 hours inside in
strong AC. But this week we had a day that was 121* F and we were
sweating just standing in one place for like a minute. But everyone is
sweaty so it's okay!
Wow we had a miracle with the Book of Mormon this week with a family.
We are teaching the grandma and little girls currently and working on
reactivating the mom. We went over Thursday to give the grandma a
large print copy of the Book of Mormon that she asked for. She has
been involved in the church for a large portion of her life but she
never read the Book of Mormon. And so we started from the beginning
and we read the 1 Nephi 1 with her, as well as the 7 year old girl,
who eagerly carries her Book of Mormon everywhere. We invited them to
read the Book of Mormon every day for 15 minutes. Then on Friday we
had a lesson with all of those we are teaching with the girls' Primary
teacher. The best part of the lesson was when the grandma told us that
she had read for her 15 minutes that day! Following that the mom and 2
girls went to church yesterday. I cried when I saw them in
the foyer waiting to come in I was so excited and grateful! I know
that as we continue to read with them and they read on their own the
Lord is going to work miracles.
Thank you so much for the food ideas and recipes! And we should be
getting a blender soon, so yay for smoothies! :) I am glad to hear
that Gram and Papa are doing well! How are Grandmother and Grandpa
doing? What are you most excited for this school year? I am excited
for you Mom, and I know you will be a teacher that every parent will
request to have their child in your class! It sounds like the usual
crazy fall sports life is about to begin. I hope everything goes well
while you are getting ready for school and sports.
One thing I have come to learn these past few weeks is the power the
Book of Mormon has to keep us spiritually fed throughout our crazy
weeks. I know that as you continue to read as a family you will be
able to be efficient in everything you need to get done. Because we
are putting God first when we take time to read the Book of Mormon
every day.
I admit at first it was hard to be into family history because it is
difficult but as we understand that we are helping our family members
obtain exaltation as we do their work for them then we understand the
why of what we are doing. That is why I'm here on a mission to help
others come unto Christ so they can obtain all of the blessings the
Lord has in store for them. But they can't progress without taking the
steps the Lord has already set out. When we do family history work we
are taking the physical steps for our family members who have passed
on, while they are taking the spiritual steps on the other side.
Indexing helps others do the work for their families!
I love you all so much!
Con amor,

Hermana Hart


We are so sweaty, but happy.


I've never seen this before!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Miracle Week

August 3, 2015

Dear familia,
This week was truly a week of miracles! It started off great with your
package coming on Tuesday! Thank you so much for everything! I love
the picture it is on my dresser. Then throughout the week we found 4
new investigators! After dropping with faith so many of our previous
investigators it was a little discouraging, but the Lord was just
waiting to bless us this week! We met Melinda who went to church with
her coworker a few weeks ago and is truly searching for a church that
can help her in her life, as well as her family but they aren't
interested right now. (I mean her family members because she wants to
meet with us) Then we met Delfino who is actually the dad of our
investigator who said he would go to church with us without having a
lesson. He is open to learning and he has a testimony of so many
principles of the gospel! And yesterday we met Jesus and Angel. Jesus
has been to church before and remembers some of the things. And Angel
is a neighbor of one of our referrals we have been trying to teach!
There were so many more miracles that happened too! But one of the
other largest was on Saturday we went to teach a referral that we had
tried to send to the elders because it is in their area but it kept
coming back to us. We decided we could be first contact and then pass
them on to the elders. Well there was a police standoff at the
apartment building we needed to get into so instead we decided to
visit a member who lives in a different building. Hermana Gonzalez
told me that the family lives in #41 and was so certain about it. We
knocked on the door and an African American man opened the door so we
definitely knew we hadn't knocked on the Garcia's door. We introduced
ourselves and were able to share a little about the gospel. He
recently moved in so we just acted like the Garcia's had just moved
out and he moved into their apartment. He said he would like for us
to come back! As we walked away Hermana Gonzalez checked the Garcia's
apartment number and it was not 41 in the records! The Lord works in
mysterious ways!
This Saturday was my first baptism! Her name is Vanessa and she is the
sweetest 9 year old and another 9 year old the elders taught was
baptized in the same service. It was so beautiful to see Vanessa set
such an amazing example to her younger siblings! I played the piano
and boy are my skills rusty and it is confusing because the Spanish
Hymnbook is not exactly the same as the English one. But we made it
through and I'm grateful for the opportunity you gave me to learn how
to play the piano. 
A tender mercy that happened today was I was checking out at Walmart 
and a lady came up behind me and I was having some trouble with the self 
checkout and there were some other checkouts opened but this lady was 
waiting for me to finish. She started calling the employee over to help me and 
I thanked her and thought she was going to take her things to the other checkout 
stand that was empty but she kept waiting for me. Then as I checked out she
payed for me! I am so grateful for such amazing members here!
Dad the VC here is referred to as the "miracle box" because so many
miracles take place! The other week I met Josh. He recently moved into
the area and was checking it out and found the VC. He was by the Book
of Mormon table looking at the different questions that it has that
are answered in the scriptures. I asked him if he had read the Book of
Mormon before and he said he hadn't, but that he wanted to buy one. I
was so amazed so I went and got him a copy and again he offered to pay
for it. We talked a little bit more about the Book of Mormon and what
he knew about the church. He said he had member friends but they never
talked about it so he didn't know much. He had enough time that I had
the opportunity to start the Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration
movie for him. And in the introduction of the film I taught him the
Restoration lesson in 5 minutes! I had to leave because my shift at
the VC was over but I was able to get his information so I could call
him when we had time to teach over the phone. Well this last Wednesday
we got the chance to talk to him and he has read the ENTIRE Book of
Mormon and remembers so much! He said that it makes sense that there
were prophets here in the Americas. So we invited him to pray about it to
know that it is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet. It was so
amazing. The Lord has definitely prepared him. As for teaching in
Spanish, in the VC we have the opportunity about once every 6 hour shift.
Some days more than others, but that is what it averages out to be.
This week I read Mosiah 24: 14-15 and I truly love these verses
because it teaches us that we have trials and challenges so the Lord
can help us learn and grow, which is something that is often taught.
Something that I think gets left out a little bit is that we have
trials and receive help from the Lord so we can be a witness of Him
and his enabling power. I definitely saw this the past few weeks and
this week that has been such a blessing.
P-days we have studies and go grocery shopping and these past few
weeks we have played games with our zone in the morning or afternoon.
We have gone shopping and also spent time relaxing in our apartment.
When it cools down there are lots of hikes to go on! So I can't wait
to do them! My language skills are coming along. I can teach simply
most of all the lessons which is good because I need to teach simply
anyways. I can understand some people better than others so sometimes
I feel like the Penguins from Madagascar where they just smile and
wave. Because I just have to smile and nod.
I'm glad you enjoyed your mini vacation before school starts this
month! Also that Ashley had a great birthday! How is Grandmother and
Grandpa and Gram and Papa doing? After I watched God's Plan for His
Family I just kept thinking about them. Mom do you have a classroom
theme? Dad have you been able to find people to fill the positions at
work? When do sports start this season?
I am so grateful that we have the blessings of temple marriage in our
family and that we will be together forever! It is so amazing to have
this blessing and the opportunity I have to share the gospel so others
can have it too!
Con amor,

Hermana Hart


Our "little" Visitor Center friend


Vanessa


A taste of home

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Christmas in July

July 27, 2015

Dear familia,

I had Christmas in July this week. I did receive my iPad without any
problems! It has been such a blessing because we are able to be more
effective as a companionship! This week has been so crazy but a good
kind of crazy! Tuesday was my VC exchange and it was helpful because
we talked about my goals for my time in the VC. My VC Trainer is
Sister Kohler. Wednesday night I had my first area exchange with our
Sister Training Leader Hermana Greene. It went pretty well but because
I'm still so new to our area and she was supposed to be in the VC that
night she just joined me and my companion in our area. Thursday we had
Zone Conference and its main focus was the Book of Mormon. It was
amazing to receive answers of how we can help our investigators
progress by helping them gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon
because it has answers for all questions and concerns. But it is not
exactly the words as to how we can receive answers, but really through the
power of the Spirit we are able to feel as we read with a desire to
know. It was just so amazing! President Jenkins's 10% (where he talks
about no mission related things) was about temple marriage. And as
we were heading to lunch he told me he has high expectations to see me
in the Boise temple, but I told him I still have 17 more months until
I have to worry about that and that it could possibly be the Meridian
temple. ;) Then Friday was the Pioneer activity at the VC. 1800 people
came in a three hour period! I have never tried to entertain and teach
so many people! Every hour we have a program of singing and stories of
the pioneers. It was CRAZY but really good! We dressed up as pioneers!
Then that afternoon we had 3 week training and I received my iPad!
Saturday at the VC seemed so slow compared to the day before! Then
Sunday we taught the 5 year old Primary and then we were in charge of
singing time in Primary. But it was a great day at church!
Well we don't have any new progressing investigators at this time. We
had one, Jessica, until she dropped us on Wednesday with Hermana
Greene. :( Then there is Froylan and he said he wanted to go to church
with us even without a lesson and he lifted our spirits on Monday but
then we went to go pick him up on Sunday and he didn't answer. But we
know that the Lord sees how hard we are working and we are going to
see progress in our area! As for experiences in the VC we actually had
a Spanish tour 2 weeks ago and one of the elders was someone I went to
EFY with. But that is a side note. This week, I can't remember off the
top of my head which day, I started talking to a couple and she told
me that her husband had just been baptized the week before and that
they were actually married the same day. And then she started telling
me how they got there and her life story. It is amazing how strong of
a bond you can make with someone so quickly through the Spirit. They
are now working to be sealed in the temple next year. I told them I
will still be here then and now they are going to send me an
invitation! It is so amazing how happy other people's success can give
someone else! I am so grateful everyday for my calling and the
opportunity I have to serve here in Mesa and in the VC even if there
are 1800 people there!
This week I read Mosiah 2:41 and it talks about if we will keep the
commandments we are promised everything we need here and never ending
happiness! Who doesn't want never ending happiness! And it comes
through doing simple things. Now they aren't always easy but they are
simple and they can be done! I have loved this focus on the Book of
Mormon and what a blessing it is in our lives!
At the zone conference there was something that an elder leaving at
the end of this transfer said in his testimony. "If you are struggling
be grateful because you are going to grow." Not that I'm struggling,
but our area is a little but that just means that its growth is
coming!
I have been studying more about the Sabbath too so we can help our
investigators understand the importance and have a desire to go to
church. I love the perspective that Sacrament is our hour with the
Savior, a time to focus on Him. I think we will use that this week to help
our investigators.
I am so excited for you Mom to be working this next year, but also you
will have time to do what you want. That's great news that Josh was
able to do so well in his swim meets. He is going to be a strong little
fish! I hope Caleb didn't smell too bad when he came home! Enjoy the
next few weeks. Before you know it it, it will be Christmas once school
starts! It sounds like you have just had a party all summer! I love
you all so much! I know this church is true and that Joseph Smith was
a prophet called of God. And that as we diligently search we can find
any answer as we read the Book of Mormon. I am so grateful for my
pioneer heritage and the sacrifices that they made so we can have the
gospel on the earth today. I love you!
Con amor,
Hermana Hart



                            
                                   I'm a Pioneer!                                                    My Christmas in July