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! 

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, 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!

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!

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