Sunday, September 27, 2015

Storm Preparation & Just Kidding

September 21, 2015


Hey family,
I'm giving you quick notice that we are preparing for a storm that
should be coming to Mesa soon by going and filling sand bags. I don't
have time to write out a whole email right now. But just in case we
aren't given another time to write. I am doing great! The VC will be
closed for 4-8 weeks for renovations so we are full field sisters for
this transfer. We got transfer news yesterday and Hermana Gonzalez is
going to another area. I am with a full field sister, Hermana Gaskell
in my current area of Liahona 1st. I am sad to leave my trainer, but
also excited to serve with Hermana Gaskell! I will hopefully be able
to write more about my week a little later. :) I love you all so much!
Con amor,
Hermana Hart

Dear familia,
Just kidding. They don't need us any more. But I included the most
essential things in my previous email. Except although the VC is
closed we will go to the tri-stake center to still call our
investigators. But so many great things happened this week. On Monday
night we met one of the cutest families in our ward. One of our
recently activated members, Juventina (I'll also mention her a little
later) said she hadn't seen them at church recently, so we stopped by
to visit them. They are so great and before we said the closing prayer
they asked if we could sing I am a Child of God. On Tuesday we taught
Ana and Dina, but they told us they are moving so they were looking
for new apartments which is really tough because we have grown to love
them so much! But hopefully they move within our area. 
Wednesday was a really great day! During our time in the VC we met Terry. 
She came into the VC expecting to go through like a museum to learn more 
about the gospel, but she said the Spirit touched her heart the moment we
started the Christus. We talked about how much hope and peace can be
found as we live the gospel. As she was leaving she said, "I'm all for
the Restoration!", which made Hermana Gonzalez and me smile. I also
don't think I have seen someone so grateful and excited to receive a
Book of Mormon. She is already being a great missionary for her less
active husband. But it is amazing to see how the Lord prepares people
in different ways. 
During personal study on Thursday I finished the Book of Mormon! My 
testimony of the Book of Mormon and the power of
conversion that it has has grown so much on my mission. I have truly
found a desire to study it, not just read it, every day. 
Friday was probably one of the best days on my mission because Juventina,
previously mentioned, went to the temple to do baptisms for the dead
for the first time! We were both so excited and happy neither of us
could stop smiling for the next hour after we dropped her off at the
temple. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have had to work with
Juventina because I don't think I have ever met any one with such
great faith and charity. 
Saturday was my last night in the VC for 4-8
weeks, but I am excited for the adventure that is to come! Sunday I
met a family who lives where Brian Stiles served, and they were really
close. Their daughter actually just received her mission call to the
Germanay Frankfurt mission, which is where Elder Connor Stiles is
serving right now. And the wife actually served in Idaho on her
mission. The world is so small and the church makes it smaller!
Last night was a Charla Fogonera (fireside) and our recent convert Jaime
bore his conversion story and testimony. And it was so amazing to hear
his side of it and how the Book of Mormon helped him. Because we were
able to see the difference and how the Book of Mormon helped him
understand and accept the gospel.
As for General Conference we would normally watch it at the VC but
because it will be closed we will watch it at the stake center. And we
are working on finding people in the ward that would be willing to
have our investigators over to watch in their homes together. As for
preparing for General Conference I think the best thing is to write
down questions that you would like answered because the more personal
you make General Conference the better. That is what has helped me.
Maybe invite the Malundts over for breakfast and to watch it with them
or Austin maybe or both!
I'm doing and feeling great and so excited for this new and
adventurous transfer! I am so grateful I will be staying in my area,
and we are going to have more time than before to work with
investigators and members! Also we are starting to train for a 5k! :)
I'm sad to hear that Josh's team lost, but I'm sure they will be
better next time. I'm cheering for him and Caleb here in Mesa. Ashley
congrats on going to the dance this next weekend. I definitely expect
some pictures! Which by the way in the VC we each have a little cubby
to put our stuff while we are on shift and we love to put pictures. So
throughout my mission you can send me pictures and I will print them
out to hang in my cubby. I only have a few right now, my cubby was a
little sad. And that is an invitation for everyone! Not just only
family members. Mom I know that you will get the hang of things,
including the technology. It will just have to come with time. Dad how
are things at work? How far along is the temple now? I always love
hearing from you all!
With more time in our area we will be doing more service, so are my
clothes in a place where you could send me a few more t shirts and
pairs of pants that would be great!
I know that the Book of Mormon is true. That we can find answers to
any question that we may have whether it be spiritual or not. I also
know that Heavenly Father hears and answers every single prayer. I am
so grateful for this opportunity to share this message of hope and
peace and love to the people here in Mesa.
Con amor,
Hermana Hart


Abby and Hermana Gonzalez at their "Other home away from home."





"My home away from home."


"Can you tell which side is mine?"



Monday, September 14, 2015

Exchanges!

September 14, 2015

"Next door neighbor and mission neighbor"
(Jordan Mahlandt lives two doors down from us.  He is
serving in the Arizona, Tempe mission)

Dear familia,

This week has gone by so fast! And I can't believe it is already p-day
again! This week on Wednesday I saw Jordan. It was crazy! Meet the
Mormons had ended and so there were a ridiculous amount of people
coming out of the theatre, but because he is so tall it was pretty
easy to see him. We definitely took a picture. Tuesday we met Efrian,
and taught him the Restoration and he said that he was in shock, but
the good kind. Thursday we had exchanges and Hermana Gonzalez was in
our area and she said that when they stopped by to visit him he had
stayed up until 2 am reading in the Book of Mormon! Which is amazing!
Also she met with Rosemary who we have been working with the whole
time I've been here, and she has been reading the Book of Mormon for
15 minutes every day! It brings me so much joy when our investigators
keep their commitments, which I know is helping them come closer unto
Christ. During our exchange we went to go do service and we thought we
were going to put together food boxes for the food bank but instead we
organized the clothes of the thrift store in the front. On Friday when
we were at Sassy's a missionary mom behind us asked to take a picture
to send it to mom because she had received her first one the other day
and it made her cry. Because I was home when we received some of them
from Taylor I had an idea of what it was like. To follow up on a few
of our investigators, Ana y Dina, they are making plans to get married
to their boyfriends! We know that they are truly sincere in trying to
live righteously. On Friday we received the official news that the VC
will be closing the 21st and so all of us sisters will be in our areas
the whole day, or full field. I'm excited to experience full field so
early on in my mission. And what is crazy is that transfers are on the
23rd so things could be way different! Yesterday we had a really great
lesson on the Sabbath day during the 2 hour block. I love the emphasis
that the leaders of the church are putting into the Sabbath day
because I know that we are performing renewing our promises with
Heavenly Father on that day, and so we should be prepared to do so.

As for giving the healthy living training I was asked to do it both
times, but it was great! I know that Mom you will soon figure out a
system and routine that will help you get everything done! I am so
happy to hear everything is going well at home! Keep up the hard work!
So this is so short but I don't have much time today.

What are some of our favorite family homing lesson ideas? I have
seemed to have forgotten them all.

I love you all so much, and so grateful to be a missionary and see how
the hope the Gospel brings change lives!

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Hart

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Wins all Around this Week!

September 7, 2014

Dear familia,
I heard that BSU won their first game, so I know there were some very
happy people back home! Also heard that USU won their game too! And
here in Arizona was very productive and filled with miracles. So I'd
say everyone won this week.
To answer your question, I write so late because usually we are out
doing things in the early afternoon like grocery shopping and washing
the car. We also share a car so we are doing a lot of car trading so
things get crazy until the middle of the afternoon. But today we went
grocery shopping and the other sisters dropped us back off by 12:30.
 The Christmas lights picture is from our service last Monday. They
have already started preparations for Christmas lights. We were
wrapping lights around wire that they put on top of the trees to
prevent damage to the trees. It was great and I can't wait for
Christmas time! Time is going by so fast! I can't believe that I will
have been gone for 3 months this Thursday! I'm loving every minute of
it here!
The health challenge started this week! And it has been pretty easy so
far, especially when I don't even buy any of the things we can't eat.
The hardest is when there is stuff at the VC to eat that we shouldn't.
Member dinners don't count, so when you feed the missionaries and you
don't have a treat don't feel guilty or feed them fruit instead. :) 

Earlier this week we had a lesson Ana and Dina and they are both making plans
to get married so they can continue to progress! We were just so
excited to hear that. As we walked away from their apartment we had a
little freak out moment! 

We started teaching a couple, Jesus and Maria, this week. He has been to church and loves priesthood meeting,and works with members, but his wife didn't know very much about the church before. It is amazing how quickly and strong the Spirit comes when we teach the Restoration. We are working with them to read the Book of Mormon, and gaining their own testimonies of it. 

On Thursday, I gave my second training on physical fitness in our Zone Training
Meeting. As I was preparing for this one I thought of all the valiant
men in the Book of Mormon and how they had to be physically fit to be
able to do all that was required of them, especially Nephi.  It is even
mentioned twice that he was of large stature. Once before he prays to
have his own witness of Lehi's dream, and another when he was with
Zoram. The most important thing I learned while I was preparing is
that our spirit is as limited as our body. If we want to be able to
act upon the promptings of the Spirit then we need to be in a
physical state where we can respond quickly and have the energy to do
it. 

On Friday morning in our preparation meeting in the VC we had a
psychologist come talk to us about being happy. She explained to us
that our thoughts determine our mood so if we think positive we will
be positive. She gave us a list of how our negative thoughts are
distorted, and that we need to change our thinking process. The things
she taught were so helpful! 

Yesterday we were in the VC at night and we had a great lesson with Jose Luis, who is 75 and lives inCalifornia. He has read all of the Gospel Principles manual because some how he got a copy several years ago, so he called into mormon.org a few weeks ago because he wants to be baptized! When we called him,he told us he had something from the Book of Mormon he wanted to
share. He read 2 Nephi 31 and pretty much taught us the Gospel of
Jesus Christ! His story helps remind me that everyone has their time,
so when all that happens is the person we talk to accepts a Book of
Mormon, in a few weeks, months, or even years, when they pick it up
and read it the Spirit will testify to them that it is true.

Wow Caleb you are pretty fast! :) Keep up the good work. I'm sure this
week will go great. One thing that I have learned while on my mission
is that there is a reason days come only one at a time so that is how
we should take them. Mom, I know more often than not, our prayers or
concerns are answered by other people, just like all the prophets and
apostles have taught.
Did you do anything fun on this long weekend? Did you ever go boating
this summer? Any fitness or healthy eating challenges happening at
home? :)
I know that the Book of Mormon is true. And that we can find answers
to any question if we read with an intention to act on the answer that
we receive. I know that this gospel is true and that there is nothing
else in the world that can bring us the happiness and peace that the
gospel brings into our lives when we live it. I know that much of this
joy comes through our families. 
Happy anniversary to both sets of my grandparents (Gram and Papa yesterday and Grandmother and Grandpa next Sunday)! I am so grateful for your example and that you were both married in the temple. And that our family will be able to be together forever! I love you all so much!

Con amor,

Hermana Hart

PS.  I forgot to answer a question.  
As for Spanish speaking, all of our investigators speak Spanish except
for Alek and Abri and they are younger girls which is common here. The
parents speak Spanish but the kids don't speak very much, but they can
understand it. If we find someone who only speaks English or would
prefer to go to an English ward we pass them on to the English
missionaries.


The sunsets are beautiful here and often are in blue and orange


The sisters quickly learned my favorite thing is to have my hair played with :)


Food Challenge!


"Saw these cute sisters at lunch today!  We had a quick visit talking about how gorgeous Boise is!  It was my first visit there and we really enjoyed it!  My nephew married Kourtney Nelson.  Your daughter seems healthy and very happy! " (We received the picture and message this week from a member in Abby's area .)

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Talking with Everyone

August 31, 2015

Dear familia,

This week has been a good kind of crazy! My testimony of talking with
everyone has grown so much this week as we were able to find several
new investigators this week by just talking to people whenever we
possibly could. At first it can be really awkward, but once the Spirit
is part of the conversation it goes away!

Like you saw, we had our interviews with President and Sister Jenkins
this week! It was so great! I learned so much from them even in our
short time together. I had a few minutes left with President and I
asked him what his advice would be for me so I can be a better
missionary, and he had the same advice; be patient with myself. I guess
I'm not very good at it, so I'm going to keep trying and I know that I
have the strength of the Lord to rely on.

 This week we met Stephanie and she was baptized when she was 9 with
her mom but she never really went to church or learned about the
gospel. She is so curious and has so many questions. It is great! Her
uncle or dad, we are not quite sure, was a referral given to the
English sisters but he can only speak Spanish so they gave us the
referral. We went later in the week and we met Stephanie! On Saturday
I had my first 24 hour exchange and I was so nervous the night before
because I was going to lead the area. But that night turned into a
miracle night. One of them was that there was a huge monsoon, and I
was on exchanges leading the area. All of our plans for the hour had
fallen through, and so I was looking at what we hadn't been able to get
to earlier in the day. We had some contacting in an apartment complex
or visiting a lady, Patricia, we have never been able to contact
because she was always sleeping. We talked about going and doing the
finding but when I looked at my iPad I saw Patricia's name.  I knew we
needed to go see her. When we pulled up to her house it started to
rain, and as we talked to her son it started to poor down rain so we
went inside while we wrote a note for his mom. Just then the power
went out and it was almost pitch black. I could barely see Patricia's
outline and I was starting to panic because I was in her house and we
had never even met! We got out the iPhone to use the flashlight so we could
introduce ourselves to her. She is so sweet and because of the storm
we were at her house for about an hour just getting to know her. She
even told us that her kids should wake her up when we come over! When
the storm calmed down enough that we could leave she asked if we could
leave with a prayer. The Lord does guide us through
the Spirit for safety and to work miracles.

I'm not quite sure what happened to the man on the steps sadly. But
that the police were able to get into contact with him. I feel safe in
our area.  We just see so many police cars because we drive by some
of the more questionable parts of Mesa, but we're safe. Don't worry.
We have interviews every other transfer. And we have an interview with
President and Sister Jenkins separately for 10 minutes each because
they focus on different subjects. This time we talked about Book of
Mormon study with President and prayer with Sister Jenkins. We didn't
eat anything strange this week, but we had some really good carne
asada yesterday and some delicious tacos earlier in the week. The
health challenge is supported by President and the mission nurse. And
it starts tomorrow! By the way this Friday I gave a training in
exercise at the VC and I'm going to give one this week at our Zone
meeting. So if you have any ideas I would sure love them! I'm good.
But are you using the black lunch bag? Because that would be all I
need.

What is your favorite subject to teach? How many students do you have?
When are the boys' first meet and game?

I love you all so much! Don't be scared to share your testimony!

Con amor,

Hermana Hart


Sister Kohler, my visitor center trainer


Monsoon!


Christmas Lights