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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

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