Monday, October 19, 2015

Sharing the Gospel in Kenya!

October, 19, 2015

Hola familia,
Thank you so much for the package! I already ate all of the peanut butter trail mix it was so good! And the service clothes will come in handy for these next few weeks of full field time. I don't know quite how I feel about 100*+ in October. It is almost Halloween and it feels like the 4th of July. But I truly love it here! 

This week we ate s'mores when we had dinner at the Bishops's house. I never thought that I would eat s'mores on my mission, but apparently it is a tradition for them every fast Sunday (and this past Wednesday). Which I thought was pretty cool! 

On Tuesday was exchanges and Hermana Anderson is my new STL, and she had Hermana Gaskell go to her area so I spent my day with Hermana Greene my old STL. I can honestly say I haven't knocked on so many doors in one day in my mission than this last Tuesday. But by having days like that I have learned that if I am doing what I am supposed to and being where I'm supposed to be then everything works out. After 2 hours of knocking and no one answering, I saw someone walking towards us so I told Hermana Greene that we were going to go talk to him. As he came up to us, he willingly took out his headphones and we talked with him  and we got his information to give to the English elders. It was a tender blessing to have  the opportunity to share our testimonies. 

On Thursday we had Zone Conference, which was so amazing! I learned how to better prepare lessons for those who I am going to teach.  Also, how to overcome trials here on my mission, as well as after. What it truly comes down to is relying on Jesus Christ and His Atonement. He has already paid the price and we just need to give it (the trial) to him. 

Saturday we called a lady who lives in Kenya! Her name is Dodoh and she is a referral from the Teaching Center from Kate who lives in Netherlands! She is so great and is willing to meet with the local missionaries. We looked up the city where she lives and she happens to live in one of the only 3 stakes in Kenya! What a blessing! 

Yesterday was the Primary Program and it was so cute. All of the kids wore red, white, and black. The Primary may have been half the size of the one back home, but they sang their little hearts out! We had invited so many people to church and they said that they were going to come, and we were so excited! By the time church started no one we had invited had come. Halfway through I glanced back and saw a less active sister with her husband on the back row. We hadn't seen her all week, and so I almost started to cry as soon as I saw her. 

As for ponderizing,  I pick a scripture from my daily scripture study that I had during the week that I really liked. But I didn't do a very good job this week and I really liked Mosiah 23:10, so I am going to do it again. The Visitors' Center is at least on schedule but it might actually be ahead of schedule. Its projected finish date is Thanksgiving so we are not quite sure where they are at. But I did mail in my name tag so it can be part of the new missionary exhibit. I think it would be so cool to have my name tag as a part of the Visitors Center I served in. :)

I am so excited for the work that is going on in my area especially working with the members and helping them endure to the end! And enter the temple.

How has the Book of Mormon study as a family been going? What have you recently learned? 
I love you all so much! And thank you for your prayers! Don't be afraid to let your light shine!

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Hart

Sunday, October 18, 2015

What you do just to talk with someone :)

October 12, 2015

Dear Familia,
It is amazing how quickly the weeks go by because it was just a few
days ago that I wrote home. I know that the weeks go by because we
have so much to do. This week we started working with several less
active members in the ward. It is really interesting to hear their
conversion stories and how the Lord prepared them to receive the
gospel. We met Hermana Sierra and she has such an amazing testimony of
the Book of Mormon. We also visited the Familia Martinez, and they are
the sweetest people I have ever met. The two girls play the violin and
viola, and after having a lesson with them on Wednesday we saw them at
dinner when we went to Denny's. And the younger girl came over and
gave me a hug and it was just the greatest! 

On Friday we were supposed to have a lesson with some men that we 
had met a few days earlier, but they weren't home. :( We have been cleaning 
up our area book and putting in addresses for all of the investigators I had found
with Hermana Gonzalez. And so we decided to go through the apartment
complex to put the right number with each investigator. As we were
headed over to our new investigator, Jesus's apartment (different from
the previous Jesus, who we are teaching with his wife Maria) he opened
the door before we got there because he heard knocking. When he saw us
he invited us over to tell us what he had read in the Book of Mormon,
which was the introduction and the testimonies. The best was that he
described them to us in detail! He went to Mexico this weekend but he
said that he was going to go to church with his friend down there. We
were so excited! 

On Saturday we volunteered at the triathlon, and our
shift started at 5:30 am and so we got up at 4:30 and it was like I
had just closed my eyes when the alarm went off. But the Lord truly
blesses His missionaries with the strength and energy that we need
because at home I wouldn't have made it through the day without a nap. :) 

Yesterday at like 7:30 we stopped by one of our new investigators',
Juan and Yolanda, house but they didn't answer, but as we walked away
we passed a lady pushing a stroller and we said hi but continued to
walk in the opposite direction.  A few seconds later we realized we
needed to go talk to her so we turned around and tried to catch up
with her. As we were just behind her I didn't really know what to do
or say to get her attention with out being awkward.  Well, long story
short, we pretty much gave her a heart attack. And so that gave us an
excuse to apologize and then continued to talk and walk with her. By
the time we had finished talking to her we had made it all the way to
the store with her, but she said that we could come by her house and
talk to her some more! :) So she didn't think we were too crazy. 

This week we had a great lesson with Ana, and she is so amazing and she
just continues to absorb the gospel! We were so excited to set a
baptism date with her, but at the beginning of our lesson she told us
that she has moved out to Chandler. :( We still set a baptism date,
and she is so sincere and told us that she wants to pray about it to
know that this is what she should do. We are just so sad that we have
to pass her on to the Gilbert missionaries, but we know that they will
take care of her.

A typical day in the field is getting up and working out, either
running or going to the gym, then studies. This transfer we are
focusing more on Preach My Gospel, and President Jenkins invited all
of us to read 6 pages every day. I decided to read it in Spanish
because I know it will help me be able to teach better and express
myself better. And I read in the Book of Mormon for 30 minutes as
well. I read the Book of Mormon in Spanish during language study out
loud for at least 20 minutes to help with understanding and
pronunciation. During the afternoon there are often service projects
or we even have several investigators who can only meet in the early
afternoon. After dinner, we teach most of our set lessons with our
progressing investigators and do a lot of street contacting as we are
walking to our appointments. 

As for our area it is about 3 miles away from the temple at some parts 
and others more like 10. But we have several apartment complexes as well
as a few square miles of houses.

My ponderizing scripture is Mosiah 23:10. My last one was Mosiah 2:22.
And I just have to say that Mosiah 2 is probably one of my most
favorite chapters because there are so many promised blessings that we
can find in it. My favorite part of this scripture is when it says the
Lord never goes back on what He has said. I love scriptures that
include always and/or never because we know that it they are constant
consequences good or bad.

Have you changed/ adjusted anything since General Conference and what
you learned? By the way I received a call from President saying I have
a choice to either come home with the transfer that ends on November
14 or December 27. He was going to check with church headquarters to
find out if they are going to send any missionaries home in between
Christmas and New Years, but it would be around that time. I would
like your thoughts and opinions about it.

Thank you so much for all the love and support that you send my way!
It means so much to me! Keep up the great work, and some of the best
missionary work can be done by just being a good example because
people will recognize the difference. I love you all so much!

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Hart





5 am selfie!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Just Embrace the Awkward

October 5, 2015

Hola familia,

This week has been filled with so many awkward moments. To be honest,
when you have two pretty new missionaries together makes first
contacting so much fun! We usually start with the basics: their name,
how they have been, and their family. We don't know a whole lot more
and so we jump right into teaching the gospel. Which is great but
sometimes very awkward!
This week we were sent a referral for a part member family and we
stopped by at the beginning of the week. The mother's name is Juanita
and she has 6 kids, and she is so great. She is not a member and has
been to church with her in-laws and really likes it. I can't wait to
continue to work with her! We also taught Ana, who has an adorable
little boy, and she is so amazing! I am so grateful for the
opportunity to teach and work with her. 

As for General Conference, it was so inspiring! I went with 5 questions and 
all 5 were answered in the first session! I know the promise of going prepared 
with a desire to learn and receive answers is so true. We watched it at the stake
center so we would say hi to the members in the Spanish room before
and then go to the chapel to watch in English and we would go back to
the Spanish room at the end. As a missionary it is so much more
amazing because not only was I able to receive personal revelation ,
but also revelation for my investigators. I loved all of the talks so
much, but I think one of my favorites was from Sunday morning when the
speaker talked about the influence of covenant keeping women. I can't
remember his name right now, but I just really liked it because this
transfer we are trying to work more with the members because we have
more time. As for a theme, they really focused on the basics of the
Gospel and strengthening our faith in the true doctrines of the
Gospel. 

That has been one great blessing with being full field because
I actually feel like I know the members. We have the opportunity to
eat in their homes every night rather than every other night. Also, we
are blessed to do more service. It is amazing how much service
softens the heart of others. 

The other day we met a woman and invited her to General Conference and
she invited us to her son's birthday party. It turns out she was a former investigator!


I have started my ponderizing with Mosiah 2:22. What are your
ponderizing scriptures for this week? I just absolutely love this
idea. Usually my brain is going 100 mph thinking of all the things we
need to do or teach our investigators, and so many other things but I
have enjoyed taking a few moments to think about the scripture and
have a feeling of peace.


I am so grateful for General Conference and I know that the leaders of
the church are really inspired for what we need to learn and do these
next few months before the next conference. And I am already excited
to read and study a talk every week!


I love you all so much! I love hearing that your sports are going
great! I know that as a family improving the Sabbath day observance
will make the rest of the week so much better! Keep up the great work
and say hi to Elder Mahlundt for me! I love you!


Con mucho amor,
Hermana Hart



(She sent this picture with no caption.  I'm not sure why she sent it, but her
companion doesn't eat gluten so Abby decided to go gluten-free as well.  I am
guessing this their attempt at gluten-free cookies.)



Abby's Zone


Hermana Hart & Hermana Gaskell

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Half + Half = A whole

September 28, 2015

Dear Familia,

So great to hear that everything is going well, and everyone is
improving! There has been a lot of improvement here in Mesa as well!
The storm wasn't as bad as they prepared for because there wasn't as
much flooding as they expected but there was a good hour where it just
poured down so hard. But the desert will take whatever water it can
get. 

As I said last week that this week was transfers, and I had to
say good bye to my trainer this week. That was really hard because her
teaching style was all I really knew, and I started again with a new
companion. But Hermana Gaskell is great! She is from Oregon and has
been out on her mission one transfer longer than me. She likes to
sing, dance, and she laughs at everything. Which makes me feel good
about my jokes. She is gluten intolerant and so this transfer I am
going to be gluten free with her. She didn't learn Spanish before her
mission and so if you add our abilities together we equal a fluent
Spanish speaker. :) Because of the condition of our companionship and
leading the area my Spanish had to improve and I really have to try to
discern their needs and concerns. But that is one of the greatest
blessings for me this week: the gift of tongues. I don't know
everything they say but the Lord blesses us to know and pick out
certain phrases and words that will help us know how to help and teach
them.

We had a really amazing lesson with one of new investigators, Ana. She
has come to church twice on her own, and she has a desire to attend
church! We were teaching the Restoration and as we began talking about
Joseph Smith. She began talking about how he established the church on
the earth. And it was just so amazing to see how prepared by the Lord
she was. Another tender mercy from the Lord was when our investigator
Jesus came to church yesterday. I almost started jumping up and down
when I saw him in the chapel! I can't wait to continue to see their
progress these next few weeks with more time in our area.

Not being the VC feels like a part of my mission is missing honestly,
but at the same time we have had more opportunities to find and do
service. Which I really love! My favorite member meal was shrimp and
fish tacos with coleslaw and pico de gallo. As for the health
challenge, I did pretty good except for the last few days before it
ended. But now we are preparing for the 5k in November and Hermana
Gaskell is really into it so that makes me so happy and excited! I
loved General Conference! I want to be Great Aunt Rose! And as I serve
as a missionary I want to help others be more happy! And I loved in
one of the first talks that talked about how our trials are preparing
us for eternal life.

This next transfer is going to be really great as I learn to rely more
on the Spirit and the Lord to be able to communicate with the people
we come into contact with.

I loved seeing Ashley's pictures! Feel free to send me more of things
that take place!

A challenge I want to give all of you is write down 3-5 questions or
concerns you would like answers for, and then watch General
Conference. I know that you will receive an answer to every single one
if you allow the Spirit to teach you. So pay attention to your
thoughts and feelings as you watch.

What are some of the best ways that have helped you prepare for
General Conference? Also what are some ways that you prepare for the
Sabbath day?

I love you all so much, and I know that the Lord never calls us to do
things He knows we can't handle. And that He is always there to help
and is cheering us on! Keep up the great work! Remember to "live after
the manner of happiness"!
Con amor,
Hermana Hart