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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

"Oh it's my sisters!!"

Sister Jones(My Mission Twin) LOVE her.
This week has been full of miracles here in Texarkana. Sister Meek and I set out to tract with one goal in mind: find the elect. Well we went to are "focus area" said a prayer and started knocking. The third door we knocked on we were let in by a woman named Virgina. She is elect. The spirit was strong. When we left Sister Meek and I looked at each other and let out a little, "yippee!." I'm learning the Lord has quite the sense of humor!  

Out tracting with Sister Meek

This week has been full of member missionary work and I love it. I love the members here. I love them!!!! They are amazing!! Here's what occurred this past Friday. In the morning Sister Meek and I went on splits with two relief society sisters, afterwards one of them took us out for pizza. In the afternoon Sister Meek and I were out walking, following up with potentials, and trying to meet returning members. It was hot and humid and no one was answering, we were walking along the street and this car pulls beside us, rolls down the window, and it's Sister Shirley (she's a spitting image of Shelly Spencer!) she was very excited to see us and says, "Oh it's my sisters!!, Girls you look a little hot, come to my house to powder your nose and get some lemonade!" Well who can say no to that, so we walked over to her house for a few minutes, it was fun to get to know her a bit better. She sure is a good woman. That night we went out on splits yet again with two more relief society sisters! It was wonderful! I enjoy splitting off with the relief society sisters. After the split we all went out for ice cream. The relief society is very mission minded and Sister Meek and I are getting spoiled! 
Shyanne is our amazing convert.

The STLs came this weekend and Sister Giddins (my trainer) is a STL so it was fun to go out with her. She sure is a great missionary, I'm very lucky to have such good trainers. Sister Giddins trained me my first 6 weeks, then Sister Bender finished the other 6 weeks. I'm very grateful for them both. I'm excited to hear Melissa is training! I knew she would! She'll be a great trainer! That's one lucky new missionary!! 

It was zone conference yesterday so we were in Shreveport. Since the Texarkana zone is so small we combine with the Shreveport zone. We were up at 4 and in Shreveport by 7 for car inspection. When we got home we went to the Potts for a Memorial day BBQ. It was a long day, but very rewarding and inspirational. The Potts family are great. Zone conference was great as well. Sister Meek had to bear her testimony because it was her last zone conference. She did a beautiful job, she is a great missionary and I'm very spoiled to be her companion. President McDonough, the APs, and ZLs all gave great council and I was definitely inspired for are area. Sister Meek and I have said it before, but we'll say it again, we are so blessed to be serving in the Texarkana zone. Are zone leaders are powerful leaders. Here's a quote from zone conference. 
With my mission momma, Sistaer Giddins

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance. Chaos into order. Confusion into clarity. It turns problems into gifts. Failures into success. The unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates vision for tomorrow."

Love yall.
Sister Hartley 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Such good people here in Texarkana.

Hello family! 

Sounds like yall had a good week. Glad to see the green grass.

Yesterday was awesome! There's a recent convert that has recently moved to Texarkana. The sisters were teaching her two kids before I got here. Sister Meek and I haven't been able to teach them since I've been here because they live with their dad. Well guess what?!?!??! They were at church yesterday!!! I finally got to meet them, I wanted to cry at the sight of them! I think they're the cutest kids I have ever seen!!!! Such an awesome family! It made the week!! 

We have had much success with visiting returning members this past week. Such good people here in Texarkana. 

Last night we were invited to dinner with the ward mission leader's family and they invited some friends over and we were able to teach them! It was the best! 

This past month Sister Meek and I have really focused on are key indicators. We've really made them visible at are apartment and talk of them often and it has been really rewarding to see the difference it makes. Each month we set district goals and then we break it down into companionship goals so we all know what we are accountable for. It has been a great blessing to look back and see how we have accomplished certain goals and what needs improvement. 

 My testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon continue to strengthen each week, as well as my testimony in my Savior's love, grace, and peace. I know that inner peace comes when we focus on only pleasing Him. I'm so grateful for the experiences the Lord has given me while serving. 
A day of tracting in the rain.

Monday, May 12, 2014

How ya'll doin?

Woah, what I week we have had! We traveled to Shreveport Thursday afternoon for the Gladys Knight concert. There was a bunch of missionaries there helping out, we handed out programs and chatted a bit while people waited in line. There was a huge crowd so it was awesome. There was two showings, we went to the earlier one and it was packed. It was at the stake center and it was filled back to the stage with people! The spirit was so strong as the choir sang and as Gladys Knight bore her testimony. It was amazing/humbling, to be in a such a diverse crowd, with people of all backgrounds. (And let me just say...Southern folks know how to dress for Gladys Knight..just like the movies I tell ya!) It was so fun, Gladys Knight was cracking jokes and made everyone feel like family. Loved it! It was a great missionary opportunity. Afterward the congregation could fill out a card to have a cd and Book of Mormon, and Dvd brought to them (by the missionaries! Shreveport got a ton of referrals from it. We stayed the night at the Shreveport Sister's apartment and then Friday morning we had interviews with President McDonough, and then we headed home. I love President and Sister McDonough! They are such inspiring people. They are a testimony to me of what and who you can become when you consistently and faithfully live Christ's gospel. 

We had quite the experience tracting on Tuesday. We knock on the front door of this house and no one answers, just when we're about to leave, the lady comes out behind us from her garage and explains that she doesn't open her door to strangers. She looks at are name tags and looks me dead in the eye and says, "Hold on, I am going to go open the door." So she comes around, opens the door and let's us in. We sit in her living room, and she looks at us really seriously, and I'm thinking, "Oh no, what have we got ourselves into." She goes on to explain that years okay the Jehovah's Witnesses knocked on her door with a young child on a hot day and she wouldn't let them in her home. She said she had regretted not giving the child a bottle of water to this day and that she wasn't going to make that mistake again. She then says, "So ladies, I have peach juice and Dr. Pepper, would you like something to drink?" I just looked at her and said, "I love Dr. Pepper." She was a really sweet lady, and she knew her bible really good.
 The Texarkana district this past week at interviews

Sister Meek, Myself, Elder Paul, Elder Crump, Elder Brown, and Elder White. (Elder Benge, and Elder Hinds in the back (APs)). 

Yesterday we were out tracting and we tracted into a preacher from the biggest Baptist church here (like 4000 members I'm told). Well, he had a thing or two to say to Sister Meek and I. We did the only thing we could do, we bore powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith and President Monson. Afterwards it got me thinking of discipleship, of how we are called to bear are testimonies in any circumstance, such as a few hours earlier I bore my testimony in Sacrament meeting, and then on a doorstep of opposition. 

Anyways, that is all for now. The girl I told yall about last week, Ashley, is out of town so I keep praying she will return are calls and texts. I so badly want to teach her. This pday has been good. There's a big Western store that I want to check out later if we have time so I'm excited about that. I have to give a talk next Sunday, I think it's pretty cool that Travis and I will both get to talk on our wonderful Mother. Love you mom! 

Love yall! 
Easter Sunday

Friday, May 9, 2014

I got transferd to Texas

I'm in Texas

I got my transfer call last Friday. I was pretty sure I was getting transfered, so I was pretty nervous/excited to see where I would be going. When President called he says to me, "Sister Hartley you're going to Wake Village!" I was like, "Um...President where is that?" He then says, "It's in Texas!" Then I may have screamed into the phone...."ARE YOU SERIOUS!!!?!? AHHHH!!! President I have been dreaming of Texas my whole life!!!!!...Then I started crying and laughing. It was great! Anyways now I am in Wake Village Texas. It is a suburb of Texarkana. Texarkana is a neat place, half of the city is in Arkansas and the other half in Texas.

I've only been in Texarkana for a few days, but I love it! I hope I stay here a long time. It's pretty different from Ruston, but there's still a church on every corner. There's a huge Baptist church right by are building. It's pretty crazy. I feel so spoiled to be here. Everything is soooooooo good! The ward is awesome and soooo good to us and missionary minded! Every Thursday they play volleyball at the church and lots of are investigators come and it is a great missionary opportunity. There are six missionaries in the ward. There's us, the Spanish elders, and the zone leaders. I love are district, it's pretty much a mormon movie let me tell ya. Sister Meek and I are already planning it out, it's so funny. I am so blessed to serve with all of them. Texarkana is a long ways away from the mission home, but the missionaries here work sooo hard and have so much faith. And they're so happy! I love serving with Sister Meek. She goes home in July. She is so good and I know God placed us together. 

I am so excited to be here!! I've only been here a few days, but Sister Meek and I keep having experiences that scream "yall are supposed to be here." Like today for example, a member, Sister Hanson came to unlock the church so we could email and she asked me where I was from so I said, "Alberta" and she asks where so I say Cardston. And she says "do you know the Burrows in Aetna?" My jaw drops and I say "yes I do!" Come to find out she's Kristy's mother in law. She's Dorenan and Hyrum's grandmother! I was like, "Are you serious, I have babysat your grandkids!" It was the best! We phoned Kristy and told her and she says, "I remember when you were born!" 

Another amazing thing happened this week....we were out tracting and we knock on a door to Ashley! She is young and recently married. She said she has been to all the churches around here (except ares of course) and hadn't found the truth. We taught her the Restoration and she loved it! She couldn't come to church yesterday, but she says, "I'll be there the week after!" We are seeing her this week and I am so excited!!! We have met some really elect people in the past few days and I am so excited to teach them!! 

Oh and want to know another awesome thing happening this week?!?! Gladys Knight is coming to Shreveport!!! It is a huge missionary opportunity and we are all super pumped to go! We go Thursday and then Friday is interviews in Shreveport with President so we will stay the night there with the Shreveport sisters. I'm stoked!! We're going to get so many referrals after it will be sweet!!! 

Love ya! 
Sister Hartley 

ps, Melissa that is so funny about the superduties. Pretty sure every other vehicle down here is a superduty, and I see more cowboy boots then sneakers. haha it was funny, the ward had a potluck yesterday and I was talking to one of the members and he asked what my family did and when I said we were ranchers, he says, "Oh ya, I thought so, I can see it." I was like,  "well good, my dad would be proud!" 

Saying good bye to Sister Love

Brother Anderson from Ruston served in the Calgary Canada mission.  He had a picture of Karli's family, the dental assistant with the curly hair in his mission book.  It is such a small world.