#header-inner {background-position: center !important; width: 100% !important;}

Monday, December 30, 2013

New Compaion

Well this week has been another big learning curve, but I love it! We picked up Sister Bender on Tuesday. She has is from Mesa Arizona and has been out for 10 months. She is da bom! I've only been with her a week, but I've learned so much from her! She is such a good missionary, but not only that she is just so fun and outgoing! She is much like my MTC companion. She's always cracking jokes, singing, and just herself. Sister Dailey and I love her! Ruston has already seen many miracles because of her being placed here!
This week we tracted into three college girls. LA Tech is in Ruston so Ruston is pretty much a college town. Anyways all these girls were so beautiful! We had a good message with each of them. I just love sharing the gospel with younger folks. They are so much more receptive.
Yesterday we all felt impressed to go tract on a specific street and we got talking to a young father who was Baptist I think. Anyways it was the first time someone really questioned us. He kept trying to tell us that Mormons believed in works not faith and that it was by grace and faith that we are saved. We explained to him that we show are faith through are works but he wouldn't have it. I'm glad Sister Bender was there. Anyways needless to say, I'm going to study grace this coming week!
The members here are great and take good care of us. One member tried to give us her Christmas tree when she realized we didn't have one. We talked her out of that and instead ended up taking some of her garland instead. We have a standing lamp we never use so we are thinking to wrap the garland around that to make a tree. The countdown is looking long mom! Tomorrow we're going to a member's home for dinner and then we are going to set up our "lamp tree" and make Oreo milkshakes!
 Today is my two month mark! Crazy right?!?
I have loved these past two months. It is crazy how fast they have gone by. My mission will be over before I know it. I am so excited to serve the Lord this next year. It will be great! The Lord has blest are family so much! The Lord has blest us all greatly and in turn he expects much from us. I often think of the scripture "where much is given much is required." The Lord requires so much of us. I read a talk about missionaries the other day and it was saying how the only thing we can give the Lord that he hasn't already given us is our will. When we turn our own will over to his we have given him all we have. The talk went on to say that as missionaries we are to leave our wants, dreams, and desires at home in our closet with all our other stuff. For this next 16 months we are on the Lord's errand. How humbling is that.
I love ya'll so much and pray for ya everyday!
Sister Hartley

Scripture: Mosiah 2-5!!!
Southernism: In Gospel Principles yesterday we all went around and did introductions. We had to say one thing we wanted for Christmas. This RM was there and he was total redneck! He had on cowboy boots, and was sporting a wicked red beard! Anyways it gets to him and he says in a southern drawl, "For Christmas I want me a new duck boat!" haha it was the best!

I'm still a "Greenie"

I've officially completed my first transfer! Ya! I'm still considered a "greenie." Oh well, I'll take it!
I miss Cardston and all the people there. This week I got a Christmas card from Greg and Linda Quinton and then I just got a ton of emails from so many wonderful people. Soderstroms, Olsens, Kristi, Derek and Jessica, and so many friends. It is so nice and it makes me want to work harder to represent little ol' Cardston down south! Guess what? I tracted into someone that went to a soccer camp at Lethbridge College! I wanted to hug them!
This week has been great! So much has happened in a week it's hard to know what to write. I'll sum it up so you can get an idea.
Zone conference, baptism, parade, and tranfers. Sister Giddins got transferred to Winnisborrow, and Sister Dailey and I are staying in Ruston and getting a new "Momma" Her name is Sister Bender and she's been out 10 months I think. We'll miss Sister Giddins, but we are excited for Sister Bender. I'm excited because she's "seasoned" and president said she's very wise and knows her missionary stuff. I'm excited to learn from her. We pick her up this afternoon. Sister Dailey is are driver because she's been in the area the longest. Throughout this transfer and I'm pretty sure the rest of my mission I'll be known as the "Logical one." haha. I tell them I get it from my parents! They all say there grateful that I'm always thinking of the best/smartest way to do things effectively and efficentely.
Some cool experiences this week:
Last Saturday we taught a man named Bill. We had it in a members home and it was awesome. We've taught him all the lessons. He's in his late 50s I think and is very sharp. Anyways, we taught him about seeking truth through prayer and church attendance. We committed him to church and then the member invited him over for dinner after church. It was great! Ruston members are powerful tools here in Ruston! Bill was all excited to come to church and dinner after. Well Sunday came and no Bill. We called and texted him and no response, which is weird because he always responds. Well, time goes on and we haven't heard from him for a few days. I was freaking out and praying so hard for him! I thought for sure we'd lost him. Well on Saturday he texted us and said he's in the hospital. Saturday night he was walking down the street and got hit by a car! He's now in a rehap center and recovering. Isn't that crazy! Dang adversary! It was just crazy and I still can't quite believe it happened!
We are teaching a lady named Pat. I know one day she'll get baptized, but right now she has a lot of stress in her life and needs to get things straightened out. Anyways last time we met with her she started crying and told us that she had been praying for someone to come help her and then we tracted into her a few days later! God loves his children!
The baptism was really great! The ward was really supportive of Sharay. We couldn't confirm her this week because she was sick and had to go to the hospital. We are doing it this Sunday though. We need to get it done!
The parade was so fun! We had a bunch of missionaries come for it. We handed out 500 Joy to the World dvds! It was awesome! Parades are so fun!
My birthday was good! It was sad without Melissa, but my "sisters" made it all good. We went to Chili's Saturday night and that was good. I got "country fried steak." It was good, but not like home. My companions told the ward mission leader that it was my birthday so last night we went over to there house and his wife made me a cake. It was really thoughtful. People here are so nice!
Our neighbor has been really friendly to us as well. He's fried us cat fish and yesterday he made us beans and rice. It was real southern food and good. He has also made us sweet potato pie. You have not lived until you have sweet potato pie! So good!

Love Sister Hartley

PS. You should read Alma 34! It is sooooo goooooood!

Christmas Parade, we handed out 500 DVD'S
Aunt Ginny's famous turtles for dessert.

Had to go buy a warmer coat.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Elder Zwick

Well this week has been a good/hard one. On Friday us and the Elders drove to WEST MONROE to meet up with the transfer van to drive to Brandon Mississippi to hear Elder Zwick of the seventy (he's the assistant missionary director!). I was so excited to go to West Monroe, seriously I could hardly sleep the night before, I woke up and got ready so fast! We got to the church before the transfer van and Elder Bradshaw said if we had more time he would have totally taken us to Duck Commander. There's always next time.
The conference with Elder Zwick was awesome! I've never felt the spirit for that long before! It was fun to see missionaries from my MTC district, it was almost like seeing family! Before Elder Zwick spoke we all got to shake his hand and he chatted with each of us for a minute. When he shook my hand he looked right into my eyes and said, "Sister Hartley, you look like a missionary. You look pure." It was one of the best compliments I have ever received. His talk was amazing. In it he mentioned that it wont be long before we have tablets and are using social media, within the next 6 months-year I'd say. He talked a lot about the covenants we made in the temple and how we need to honor them and we are honoring them by serving a mission. He spoke a lot of the blessings we receive from being missionaries. He gave good advice of how to teach and testify simply as well. I'm not sure what else to write about it, I know that whatever I write wont do it justice. He is truly a man of God.
The next day Sister Giddins, Sister Dailey and I were anguish to put into practice his teachings. Well are day ended up being pretty crazy. I've never been so stressed in my entire life as I have been these past few days. I'm not sure how to explain it, basically I feel like I have to solve everyones problems and help everyone. Tranfers are on the 17 and everyone thinks Sister Giddins is getting transferred so her and the Elders want Sister Dailey and I to start taking more of "the lead." I get what they are saying and I believe we have been doing pretty good, but sometimes I get frustrated that they expect me to do all these things when I haven't really been taught how to do everything. Sister Giddins, Sister Dailey and I are all still pretty new. We've been out 4 months, 2 months, and then 1 month. We are young and have a lot of learning to do. It's frustrating because I'm so independent and prepared. I feel as though my biggest strength will become my biggest weakness if I don't learn how to control it. I always want to do things myself and I forget that we aren't supposed to do everything ourselves.  Our district leader phones us every Sunday to see how we are each doing and then he sets us with a goal for the coming week. This past week mine was to be diligent at role playing and this week my goal is to remember that I am doing the Lord's work. I shouldn't care what anyone thinks but the Lord because I am doing his work and I need to do it his way. The DL said that the sooner I learn to only worry about the things I can control the better. He said if I worry about the things I can't control I will struggle my whole mission. I'm glad I'm figuring all this out now. 
Let me just tell ya'll that we have the best members in the world here in Ruston Louisiana! Do you know what our Bishop did yesterday? In sacrament meeting he gets up and says that the fifth Sunday is today so all the teachers wont teach and that for the next two hours we are going to go out and get our less actives. He hands each family a paper with three less actives and tells them to go bare there testimony to them, invite them to the Christmas parade and then to church on Sunday. Isn't that unreal! He said that we've all heard the story of the good Shepard going out to find the one, he says, "We've heard that over and over again, well it's time we start doing it!" It was the best! Like a missionaries dream come true. We wanted to cry! We as sisters split up and we went with some older single ladies. It was awesome! We are meeting with the Bishop on Sunday to go over the updates. Ya!
People down here are so cool. We watched the devotional at a member's home last night and they are pretty much legit. Pretty much half the ward was there. I wish you could meet all the awesome members here!
Anyways, this coming week is crazy. Tomorrow we drive to Monroe for Zone Conference, then tomorrow night we have A BAPTISM!!! YA! Her name is Sharay and I love her! The sisters were teaching her when I came so it has been fun for me to get to know her. I love missionary work. On Thursday it is the Christmas Parade and our ward has a float so we as missionaries get to walk beside it and hand out DVDs and pass along cards. It's a big deal around here. Then on the weekend we are hoping to hit up a couple Baptist Christmas concerts. We can go if we get our tracting done. I love tracting! I didn't like it at first, but it is fun now. I told my companions that I want to tract all day on my Birthday! Their like, "Sister Hartley do you hear yourself right now? You just said you want to tract on your birthday!"
 I love mail!
 Stay warm!
Love Sister Hartley


 Merry Christmas to ya'll! This week has been full of ups and downs.
 Well Thanksgiving was really good here in Ruston. We racked leaves for a less active in the morning, and then we went to Janice's for dinner. It was so good, soooo good! Then right after that we went to Pat's for dinner and it was soo soo good! I ate everything on my plate except I couldn't finish a little piece of carrot cake. I was quite proud of myself. Janice is such a good, thoughtful person, I admire her so much. Pat's was fun, we helped her cook the whole meal so we were there longer then we should have been. I helped her make a spice cake. I will send the picture so you can see her and her friend Oberia. They are a hoot! I've never laughed so hard in my life!
Thanksgiving night was spent role playing with the Elders. I know that role playing helps me, but I still don't like doing it. Anyways, long story short Sister Dailey and I sorta had a little breakdown and told the Elders (One of them is our District Leader) how frustrated we were because there was so much to learn and remember. It probably looked so funny, us sisters breaking down and the Elders trying to help us. I felt like a silly sister missionary. But the Elders were good to us and told us that all sisters go through it. Anyways it felt good to get it all out. Sister Dailey and I made a goal to be more diligent at role playing so hopefully that helps.
Oh fun thing that happened this week. Wednesday night we figured Wal-Mart would be really busy so we went A. I. that stands for Additional Invite, no dad it doesn't stand for the other A.I we do. haha. Anyways it was a gong show. Missionary work is awkward, and I'm an awkward person so put the two together it is just plain awkward. I tried giving a Mormon.org card to one lady and I was freaking out inside! After I run up to Sister Giddins and said, "we need to role play this out!" so here we are in the shoe isle at Wal-Mart. Sister Giddins has this empty shopping cart and is playing a shoe customer and I have to go up to her and give her a Mormon.org card. ha just imagine that, it was so funny! We all had some good laughs in the shoe isle. Oh and along with that, I've never seen so much camo and rednecks in my life. They all shop at Wal-Mart! haha Oh and lots of people have super duties!
Yesterday we ate lunch with Miss Kay Knotts and her husband. She is a Methodist. She says, "I'm a Methodist with Mormon friends." She is the best and made us so much food and then she made us take so much home with us! She treats us so good. We are going back there next week to help her organize her books. She says to pass the kindness along. There are so many kind people here in Lousiana! I love love love the south!
Last night we tracted into a 60 yr old Budist/Pespertian we talked to him for a good hour. Southerns talk a lot. I'm trying to learn how to butt in and testify. Anyways, he had some questions about pologomy and why women can't hold the priesthood. I felt like we cleared them up pretty good. Once he heard I was from Canada he got asking me about Huttrites. It was awesome! I told him all about them and how awesome of people they are. He says, "ya'll know I have been thinking that that is a smart way to live by considering all the stuff going on in America today." I told him that if I weren't a Mormon I'd be a huttrite. My companions thought that was pretty good! haha
Did I mention that people here are so nice, because people here are so nice! On Friday we get this phone call from a Brother Williams. He is from Shreveport I think. Anyways he is a convert to the church. He and his family were traveling through Ruston on there way home from Thanksgiving traveling and he wanted to take us out to dinner. So we met him at a restaurant and ate lunch. Nicest, coolest guy ever. He fixes plane engines so he has a lot of cool stories. He treats the missionaries so good. We asked him for some advice because he has been around missionaries a lot. He told us to just have fun. We have nothing else to worry about right now besides serving the Lord so just have fun while doing it. We all needed to hear that, especially after our little breakdown with the Elders.
Lots of fun things are happening this month for our mission. This Friday Elder Zwick of the Seventy is coming to speak, and then the week after is zone conference, and then tranfers. Our ward has lots of Christmas activities coming up so I'm excited!
I love ya'll so much and thank-you for being so kind with your letters and emails! I love being a missionary!
Love Sister Hartley

Happy Thanksgiving

I'm excited to write ya'll this week! I have had a great week! It went by so fast!

It rained good on Friday and Saturday and it's been raining pretty good all morning. I'm so grateful I hauled my rain boots here. They are so nice.
We were tracting at a trailor park and these two black boys, around 13 and 9 were shooting some hoops. I felt like we should talk to them so we went over and asked if we could shoot some hoops with them. Sister Dailey and Sister Giddins wouldn't play, so I shot some hoops with them. It was awesome! I was guarding the little boy and he asks, "what church you from" and while I'm trying to steal the ball I say, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint!" haha I asked who there favorite team was and of course they say the Heat because they love Lebron!
The First Temple Baptist church put on a big Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday that we went to. After the pastor gave a short talk we went up and shook his hand and talked with him for a bit. Turns out he's Carl Malone's (he lives in Ruston) pastor. haha it was awesome!
Another time we were tracting and knocked on a Spanish family's door. Thank goodness Sister Giddins knows some Spanish. The dad invited us in and says, "it's my birthday and I was hoping someone would bring me a present" We handed him a Book of Mormon and wished him a happy birthday! We are teaching them again this week. Our ward mission leader is Spanish so he's coming with us. Bless his heart he's so good to us!
I had to give a talk in church on Sunday. On Elder Ballard's conference talk. It went good. Glad it's over. Guess I'll have to get used to it.
I tracted my first duck hunter yesterday. We're talking legit Duck Hunter. He said he's Baptist, so I asked him what he learned at church this week and says, "Actually this morning I was studyin with the ducks." I totally got the joke and was all, "Really? Did you get any?" But Sister Giddins and Dailey were so confused? They're like "You studied what at church?" haha it was pretty funny. He was nice to us.
Along with that we tracted into a different home that had an antler for the doorknob. They invited us in and they had at least 15 deer heads mounted on their wall. It was so neat. We taught them the restoration, but she couldn't come to terms with priesthood authority and wouldn't take a Book of Mormon. It was a good teaching lesson for all of us though. Just planting seeds.
Ruston is taking on the Christmas spirit. There was a holiday arts door this past weekend in the downtown shops. We went because some of the members had art in it. It was great! They were playing Amy Grant Christmas music and had Christmas trees up. Thanksgiving will be fun this week. We are going to Janice's house. She feeds us every week. We went over there on Thursday night to help make some center pieces. It felt good to get my craft on. Made me miss pinterest a little bit.
I am so thankful that ya'll have made it possible for me to be serving a mission. I am doing good. I love and miss ya'll so much. I am loving being a missionary though. The Elders look after us and so do the STLs.
Have a great week and stay safe!
Sister Hartley

Monday, November 11, 2013

First Week In The South

Well my first week down south has been, well interesting! I am slowly adjusting to everything. It is such a big change! I love it though. My companions are awesome, we already talk about getting together after our missions. They are so good and I'm learning a ton from them.
Lousiana is beautiful! Folks down here say, "ya'll" every other word, and we address those older then as "Miss Paula" or "Yes Ma'm" or "Yes Sir." It is really nice. In a week it has rained twice. I'm glad for my rain coat.
We have the wonderful opportunity of tracting for 7 hours each week. I'll be honest, I wasn't thrilled at first, but honestly it isn't so bad. Folks down here love to talk about religion so tracting gets pretty fun! I've said numerous "grace" holding hands on doorsteps! Once we were leaving a house while tracting, and we hear the lady shout, "Praise the Lord, Holy Jesus thank-you for those young ladies!" It was awesome. So many folks of other faiths tell us that they respect us for what we are doing.
We have a baptism date scheduled for the end of this month. I'm excited for it and hope they continue to progress. We went to go do service at a church and the minister inspired me! Her name is Cathy. She is so passionate about our Savior and serving him. I wish everyone had the passion she had for God. I just love her, she's so inspiring.
We were tracting the other day and got talking to some men on a porch (everyone here sits on there porches). Anyways we make small talk and then keep walking up the street. Then my two companions stop dead in there tracks, look at each other, and say, "I feel like we are supposed to go back." We turn around and sure enough the spirit was strong and I just know he's one of those prepared to here the gospel!
Another time we were tracting, and we got talking to this other guy standing on his porch. He had a beer in his hand and when we walked up and said we were missionaries he immedietly put his beer down and had a good converstation with us. We were def in the right place at the right time.
Another time tracting we knocked on a door and turns out this family had just had a death in the family. We were able to pray with them and they told us that, "we were in the right place at the right time" it was so neat. The lord truly works through the spirit.
Yes yet another time we were tracting and ended up in the 89 yr old ladies house. She pretty much told us her life story, it started with, "I was six when I started workin for the white folks." I could hardly understand her, but she was the sweetest lady. When we left she says, "you babies are so cute!" I was the last one to stand up and she looks right at me and says, "Oh Baby you are to cute!" It was awesome! She loved my boots, I told her she need to buy some of her own and take a night out on the town! haha
Last story, we tracted into an old Baptist named James. He wanted to tell us a thing or two about the bible. He said that the bible contained truth from God and we were to always listen to truth! He went on and on and finally cut him off (you have to do that in the south) told him about the restoration, bore my testimony, and shoved a Book of Mormon in his hand and told him he better read it! He looked at me and said, "Ya, I'm going to read this!" It was the best. His home was so oldschool and "Jazzy" He had a picture of himself on his shelf in his navy uniform. My was he a handsome fella.
Church is good here. I love all the members. They are so good to us. I love being a missionary. I have a lot of work to do and things to get right, but I know that the Lord will help me though them!
Love you all!
Sister Hartley
Scripture: 2 Nephi 29:8
Southernism: We saw this on a car yesterday: "Do you follow Jesus this close?" hahah

Friday, November 8, 2013

Mississippi Here I Am

Hi everyone! I'm writing to ya'll from Clinton, Mississippi! The flight yesterday was long, but fun. The Atlanta airport is CRAZY! When we got to the Brandon airport President and his wife were there along with all the STL and Assistants. They are all so nice! President is so soft spoken and friendly and his wife is awesome as well. Yesterday he gave us his four main things.

1. take one day at a time
2. keep BOTH feet in the mission field
3. gain a testimony that YOU are where you're supposed to be
4. gain a testimony that President is called to reside over the MJM mission

There are 3 Canadians in the mission. I don't know where one is from, but a STL I met is from Calgary. Sister Zemp is her name, her dad is brothers with Dal Zemp so she has been to Cardston a ton. 

Mississippi is so beautiful! Green Green Green. Forestry is so beautiful! The trees are so tall and are everywhere! Oh and there are churches everywhere! I think in a 15 minute drive I saw at least 5 different churches. They are all huge to! The homes here are straight from a country magazine! Most have big wrap around porches and some even have rocking chairs! Sister Rust, the lady we stayed with, says, "In Mississippi we don't hide our crazy folks, we just sit em' on the front porch in the rocking chair." 

Sister Brown and I stayed the night at a member's home in Madison.email! So sweet of her eh? She'd thought you'd like to know that we are safe! 

Funny story, sister Brown was in the Bathroom and comes running into the bedroom, "Sister Hartley come look at this spider!" Ya we're talking a spider the size of a toonie! It was hairy and gross. I think it was called a wolf spider. Anyways she killed it and we are all good!

I am at the church right now, it's transfer day. I am going to Ruston, Lousieanna! So excited! I will be in a trio. I'm told my companions are real hard workers and are always laughing so it sounds like it will be good! 

I'm real excited to be in Mississippi, all the STL and Assistants say, "Ya'll" all. the. time. They say they can't help it! I love it. I have already seen a lot of African Americans. When you are driving and see all the forestry and train tracks you can just feel the history here. I can't wait to learn all about it.

Oh and guess what mom?!? We got a cookbook! haha it's called "The MJM Missionaries CAN cook." All us sisters were pretty excited!
They all say this week will be long and hard, but I will get through it. I'm super excited to get out to Lousianna and work work work! 

Have fun talking to Melissa on the phone today!
Love, Sister Hartley 

Long time no see. I'm back emailing again. My companions hadn't emailed yet today so we are in the library in Ruston emailing home. It was a long drive from Mississippi to get here, just over three hours. But I'm hear and doing good. We went to the apartment to unpack a little then tonight we are having dinner at a member's home. My companions are Sister Daily (spelling?) and Sister Gibbin (spelling?). They are both from Utah. One has been out for 3 months and the other for 6 weeks. They are super nice and I can already tell that we will be good friends! One has younger twin brothers. Such a small world. Anyways I'm doing good, just adjusting to everything and remembering that I am officially a missionary. People I have talked to in Ruston all have the southern accent. About 24 000 people live in Ruston and there is one ward. About 34% of the ward is active. There is much missionary work to be done. The bishop has already called to officially welcome me to the ward. It was nice!
Oh funny story. So last night the AP Elder Bendell asked me if I took ballet because he said I looked like a dancer, and then today one of my companions asked me if I was a dancer. They all say I look like a ballerina. I just smile and say that my mom is a dancer. :)
My bike is here with me. I was excited to see it here. I'm glad we shipped it. It's nice not to worry about a bike like all the other sisters. My companions don't have bikes, they walk a lot. But they said that they have been wanting to bike so they are excited to go by bikes tonight so we can all bike.

Here are some statistics from our mission that I forget to tell earlier.
Elder Bendell said that when he came out, (about two years ago) that there was just over 100 missionaries and only 12 sisters. So crazy!
Love ya!
Sister Hartley

President and his wife

Sister Brown and me our first night in Madison MS at Sister Pamela Rust home

Our District

Mississippi River

All the new Brothers and Sisters

My bike was shipped to MS

My two new companions

Sister Monson from Cardston is serving a mission in MS, what a new surprise to see my teacher from school

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Last week of the MTC, time is going by fast.

So much has happened in a week it's crazy! I'll start with Sunday. Sundays at the MTC are neat and relaxing. All the sisters meet for Relief Society. I was looking for Melissa and I look down my row and see her sitting like fifteen people down from me! I showed my branch president's wife, "Hey that's my twin!" and she says, "Well you need to go sit by her!" So all the sisters play the whisper came until it comes to Melissa. She gets this big smile, looks down the row and sees me! We got to sit together with our companions! It was awesome. There's also another set of twins here that are going to California. Also, on Sunday we get to walk to the temple. The Lord must really love us because Melissa's district was timed to go at the same time as mine so we got to take pictures together! Yesterday I was in the bathroom and this investigator starts talking to me like she knows me and I'm just playing along and she says, "You don't know me do you?" and I say "No" and she points at my name tag and says, "But aren't you sister Hartley?" I just laugh and say "Oh you are talking about my twin!" haha it was pretty funny! We had a meeting with all the new sisters and they gave us the big spill about "How to act like a lady" Melissa and I just laughed, our momma taught us that stuff years ago!

It is awesome because I have had a couple spiritual experiences with investigators where I can talk about being a twin. One investigator, Linda, didn't believe that God loved her because of all the people in the world. I told her that I was a twin and how people always mixed us up and stuff, then I told her that I knew that God never mixed us up and always knew me by my name. It was really powerful. Yesterday Sister Brown and I invited her to be baptized and SHE SAID YES! We literally jumped for joy after! We were so excited!! 

I love my district. We are all close and excited to serve in Mississippi together. I seriously love my companion. She reminds me of Mary Poppins. She kinda looks and dresses like her, and she's got a big bag full of everything. You never quite know what she'll whip out next! She's so funny. She is always singing, and changing her voice. She keeps our entire district laughing. I am going to miss her. She is really talented. I sang in the choir with her, and in turn she came to the gym with me! 

Halloween was fun. Elder Odies was like "Halloween is my favorite hoilday, it's the only day candy is freely given!" haha

I love feeling the spirit. It is so amazing. We met this lady on campus, she's an investigator. She's orginally from Tennesse so she was telling us all about the south. We have grown to love her. We got a picture with her. We all know that the spirit guided us to her. I pray the Lord bless her! She was talking about having something and not being able to use it, likening it to chickens and how they have wings and can't use them. It made so much sense.

I love you all! I will be in Mississippi on Monday and I cannot wait to serve the people! 

Sister Hartley 

Sis. Hartley & Sis. Hartley Provo Temple Day

Melissa & her companion with me

Sister Hartley's and our companions

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Week Two: MTC Experience

Life at the Empty Sea (MTC) has been good. When Sister Melissa and I got here we were together the first night with all the international missionaries - from all over the world! It was crazy to hear all the countries represented in one room. The first night we were in a room with a sister from Hong Kong and a sister from some little Island that I can't remember. They were nice. The Island sister was awesome! She kept saying, "I told my momma not to cry because I'm hear to work." I slept good the first night, all things considered. The second day all the new missionaries arrived, there were 300 of us I think. There were six or seven Canadians - four being from Cardston, Alberta! Ya! We were all feeling pretty proud to represent Canada. Lots of people have connections with Cardston in general. I met one Elder who's dad was born in Stirling. 

About 1:00 pm on Wednesday I got my companion and moved to my new room. It was so hard to leave Melissa, we both cried, but we're trying to be tough. I told the host that I was sad because they just took my twin away from me and she says, "Well I would be sad to!" Anyways once I got my companion and got busy I was fine. I don't really see Melissa, we are on different schedules. Her room is just down the hall, but we aren't allowed to visit other rooms. I'm trying real hard to be Obedience so I can't go see her. However, last I just happened to be filling up my water bottle and she just was walking to the bathroom so we hugged and talked for a second. It was good. I run into sisters sometimes who act like they know me, and I just say, "I have a twin." Also lots of people get a kick out of us being twins and at the MTC together so we have fun. Oh and I love the gym time here. I run on the track. It's on the 3rd floor so I like to run on the stairs a little to. Feels real good. 

My district consists of 4 elders, and 5 sisters. We are all going to Mississippi Jackson so we are all pretty excited. I guess it's pretty rare for a whole district to be going to the same place. There's also another district that I met that has some Elders going to Mississippi. They all seem nice. My district is awesome. Most of them are from Utah, everyone here is from Utah! I'm getting pretty good - I can pick them out of a crowd pretty easily! haha My companion's name is Sister Brown. She looks, talks, and dresses exactly like Kalina! Sometimes I have to remind myself that she isn't Kalina! She also acts a lot like Katrina Sommerfeld so she keeps me laughing! She's 21 and has gone through a lot of trials. I love her. I am so blessed to have such an awesome companion! All my weaknesses are her strengths so I look up to her a lot. She's called to be our zone Sister Training Leader so she has a lot of responsibility. I help her when needed, but she's so good she doesn't need help! 

Thanks for the package and all the letters! Mom you are seriously the best! Everyone was jealous! The candy was so yummy. I was sitting on my bed last night eating a ton of it and each time I would unwrap another candy all the sisters kept would say, "Oh Sister Hartley, you and your candy!" haha I am already seeing many tender mercies from the Lord. I have had homesickness a little, but then I think of all the tender mercies and I am okay. Funny story for dad: Melissa and I were eating dinner and talking to some Elders, turns out these two sitting by us were each identical twins in the same stake, and guess what dad...they were from CALIFORNIA! haha, don't worry though, they weren't very tall. I love all my teachers here. One is named Brother Clancy, I think he's a twin to if I remember right. I always hum, "Clancy's Theme" whenever I say his name. 

The food is good. Last night we got pizza from "Papa Johns" I think they were trying to help us feel like an actual Friday night. It was fun. Yesterday was a fun day. I have this investigator named Angela, of course it's all role play. But I just love her. And I love teaching her. Oh I'm the music coordinator in my district so I have to play the piano and arrange musical numbers. If I'd known my piano playing skills would follow me everywhere I'd probably never learn how to play the dang thing! haha 

The spirit at the MTC is very strong. I feel it a lot. I'm not even missing country music because I love feeling the spirit. I am feeling very humbled. I always thought that I had a talent with teaching, but I'm quickly realizing that is not so when it comes to teaching by the spirit. I am trying really hard to improve on that. The Lord is helping me. One of my teachers is so good. She is so funny and enthustistic, but has the spirit with her. I want to be a teacher like her one day! We watched a clip from Elder Holland, "Everything that must happen to an investigator MUST happen to you first." I love that, I'm trying to become more converted while at the MTC. 

On the first night we had a group role play and one of the investigators was a guy who loved being out in the woods he said, "God is found in the woods. I think he's tickled by his handiwork. He's got good reason to be." I loved that! and wrote it down as soon as he said it! Another investigator that we saw with our group role play was a little cute spanish lady. I'm pretty sure she wasn't LDS. At the end she asked us so sincerely if we could pray for her daughter who is disabled. She said with tears, "I hear you represent Jesus Christ, can you please pray to him about my daughter?" She then knelt down and everyone in the room knelt down and an Elder offered a prayer. I think everyone was in tears after, even the teachers were touched. It was amazing! I love the spirit and the gospel! 

My teachers keep telling me to be more confident and firm in my sentences. They say I'm to casual, "Oh well prayer helps us communicate with God...." They say I need to be like, "YOU can talk with GOD and he CAN HELP YOU." They keep saying, remember sooo many people don't have a clue of the simple truths you have known you're entire life. 

Anyways I guess I'll end with that. I love the gospel and I love learning about how to be a good missionary. I can't wait to go to Mississippi and convert all the southerners! 

Love Sister Hartley

Scripture of the week: Words of Mormon 1:7-8
Southern talk: "Girl you can get glad in the same pants you got mad in."

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Katelyn's Mission Begins, October 22, 2013

I have known I wanted to serve a mission since I was sixteen. Back then serving a mission felt like years away - little did I know that 3 1/2 years later I would have my call and be out before I was twenty. It's so amazing to me to see God's hand in my life. 19 came a lot faster than 21. I remember thinking that I should make it a priority to study Preach My Gospel in high school, I never did though - looking back I realize that I should have followed that prompting, God knew how little my preparation time really was. I received my call in June 2013 to the Mississippi Jackson Mission and I report to the MTC on October 23. It has been hard for me to put my schooling on hold to serve a mission. I love school, it was really hard to see all my friends go back to school and I couldn't. I know that I am supposed to serve a mission. I am very nervous, and excited. It will be hard, but I'll be on the Lord's errand and he'll watch over me and my family.

Grandma and Grandpa Hartley

Sister Hartley and Sister Bevans, A & W for the last time!

Sister Hartley with Kalina, Lunch for the last time

Grandpa and Grandma Neilson

Waterton Visit, Nate, Katelyn, Melissa