Monday, November 17, 2014

November 17, 2014 My first baptism coming up

Hey everyone!!
So we were just barely in the office, because its transfer day, and my comp has a ton of friends going home, and so we had to go say good bye to all of them. I finished my first cambio (or transfer) and I only have like 16 left!!! ... But one of the Elders from Draper had his whole family there at the office, because they came to pick him up, like we did for Brady. Man that reminded me of going to Peru to get  brady... that was sure fun! 

So I am half way done with the time I have with Elder Catròn. He leaves next cambio which is like December 30th. Which is actually pretty crazy, I will get a new companion then... obviously, and Im not sure if I will stay here in Talcahuano, or get transfered? No one knows yet. But I did have a good week here. We had the conference for new missionaries in Concepcion Wednesday and Thursday. We had classes in the morning on like "The role of the Book of Mormon in Conversion", Finding people, asking inspired questions... stuff like that. And we had Papa Johns pizza the first day, and subway the next day! Those lunches were GREAT! But after the classes we had a mini cambio, so I went to Tomè with Elder Hancock from Mesa AZ. It was cool, he is a zone leader there. And his comp is Elder Noe (cornerback for BYU) We spent the afternoon teaching his investigators, and everything in his area. He has been out 21 months,  It gave me a lot of confidence in how much my spanish has improved, also being with all the other NEW missionaries like me, helped me see my progress. Im not comparing myself to them, but just stepping away from my latino companion, and being with other newbies like me was fun! 

And then literally the minute I got home from that mini cambio, I left on another one! Just to another part of Talcahuano, with this guy Elder (Mitch) Hollandsworth! He is a living breathing bore, just like Cordner! haha no... he is HUGE though! anyways, that was fun too. It was good to get back to my apartment though, after those 3 days!

so... we had 97 at church yesterday!!! We should be in the 100`s pretty soon ;) The ward is making awesome progress. It is seriously so rewarding rescuing less actives, and slowly but surely bringing them back to church! I can already see a change in so many of them. Especially those that are overcoming addictions, and starting to live the commandments again... I can see the light of Christ and the spirit shining brighter in them! its AWESOME! This one guy mauricio, is smoking a little bit less every single day, (which is the goal for now obviously before he quits forever) but after we had a lesson with him in the afternoon a couple days ago. We talked about how reading the scriptures will help him, and I think he just got a lot of hope from that visit. He shared super personal feelings and experiences, as well as my companion did with him. It was pretty intense, and after the visit (like 30 minutes later, the sun had almost gone down and it had gotten a little darker outside) but after the prayer he was like... "Is it brighter outside? Literally everything looks lighter?" I knew exactly what he was feeling! no it wasnt literally brigher outside... the sun was almost down, but I have felt those EXACT feelings, when I have made changes in my life, and started to turn (or repent) and come back to the Savior. EVERYTHING looks and feels just brighter! Its the best feeling ever. Its great to be able to help people feel this, especially since I have experienced it before, and know the joy of it!

so... im still struggling with the language, and especially teaching! One thing that I want to be able to do (just like how my companion does it so well) is know the doctrine SO WELL, that I will be able to apply it to any need anyone has! Thats the goal of missionary work I think, is to find how the gospel of Jesus Christ solves EVERY problem. Because it truly does! anyways... we read in the scriptures how Alma, and the sons of Mosiah 1. Searched the Scriptures DILIGENTLY and 2. gave themselves to much PRAYER and FASTING. So I fasted on saturday, and I am going to make a greater effort to fast and pray more earnestly, and more frequently along with a deeper study of the gospel, to ultimatley be able to teach with the power and authority that these stellar missionaries of the Book of Mormon did! Thats my goal for the next little while... 

oh, and I`m pretty excited... because I get to baptize Michael this Saturday!!! :) 

Love Elder Hartvigsen

November 10, 2014 Keeping up with my companion

Hey guys, so another week, with not much more new news... The biggest news is that you know that guy Michael that we are teaching, he is so humble and has read every single pamphlet and reading assignment we gave him. He is really interested, and always has super genuine and great questions for us. He is preparing to be baptized on the 22 of Nov. Please pray for him, that he keeps progressing and is ready then! He is super interested in family history too. We taught about the temple, and that after he gets baptized he can go to Santiago immediately to the temple, and be baptized for his ancesters. He was like "Are you serious?? I Want to do that!!!" :) anyways... he is super cool. 

And we have this other guy Abram who has the same baptismal date. He knows tons of doctrine of the gospel already, and is pretty prepared...  He doesn't have a cell phone, and is almost never home... but comes to church and I just hope he wants to go through with the baptism. Obviously he needs to develop a testimony... thats the most important part! He is Evangelical, and you can definately tell when he prays! haha Evangelicals are so emotional and like hopped up during their prayers. We taught this one old lady a couple of days ago... that I was literally scared during her prayer. It was frightening... and unlike anything I had ever heard. I was saying the closing prayer right???? And half way through she starts like under her breath saying things like "hmmm amen! Praise the Lord, Thank you God!"  haha yeah like this.... But then she began to raise her voice, and start shouting a prayer, and my companion and I looked at eachother and I finished the prayer. She kept going and going and she was kind of wailing, and crying at the same time... and like praising God and shouting it was super weird. We felt so uncomfortable. haha anyways.... This isnt utah anymore ;)

So one thing that stunk this week, was Thursday. I got SUPER sick thursday, I have no idea why... but the whole morning I was feeling super crappy, and after lunch we came home and I threw up and we stayed home Thursday afternoon. And I was just throwing up the whole time, with bad diarreah too. And all of Thursday night I was up sick with a super upset stomache, and stuff... But it was only one really bad day. I feel fine now! ha, I think it may have been these empanadas that this lady gave us? They were just empanadas with cheese in them... But it was like9:30 at night and I had a whole bunch of them. My comp thinks it was these, because I just wasn't used to that type of food? Who knows...?

umm, I have a new missionary conference in Concepcion on Wednesday. I am actually super excited for this! because I get to see all the missionaries in my district from the CCM that are in different parts of the mission, I havent seen these guys in over a month... and it should be fun to reunite and have a 2 day conference in Conce. I am trying to think of things that happened this week, that I can share. Oh yeah, one funny thing is just this guy in our ward. He is pretty old, and really short, and super funny! I literally can`t understand anything he says... and he is missing most of his teeth, and the teeth he does have are kind of sharp and pointing in all sorts of directions. Also he is SUPER SUPER wrinkly, but always has the biggest smile on his face. I dont even know his name... but he reminds me of the Old guy on Emperors New Groove... you know the guy that walks with the cane, and the hunchback, that gets thrown out of Cuscos palace, because he threw off the emporers groove? hahaha yes this guy! Anyways, he is just funny because is always telling me things, and I have no idea what he is saying. He gave me this opened bag of mints too last week, haha. I just love seeing how different people are, and how many children god has! Its incredible! I am really appreciating meeting all sorts of people, and finding the good in them too! Because "el valor de las almas es gran a la vista de Dios". (The worth of souls is great in the sight of god.) D&C 18:10.

Not much happened this week, just trying to keep up with my companion like normal ;) Well I love you guys... pray for the people here! And keep praying both Individually and as Families. This is something we tell EVERYONE!! especially the less actives. Because its the devil that teaches a man he shouldnt pray. The spirit teaches us to pray! Pray always!!! :) haha seriously... I fully belive that the power of prayer, is incredible, and infinite! Pray always, and read the scriptures continually! :) Love you guys!

Elder Hartvigsen

Monday, November 3, 2014

November 3, 2014 One month here! A P-day in Tumbes

Hey guys! so the reason Im writing this late, is because we went to Tumbes for P-day, and just got back to Talcahuano. We went and took tons of pictures and walked all along the coast! I will send some pics, but I seriously took a bunch of awesome ones! I am going to love having these when I get back :)

Some awesome things happened this week. First one was last monday evening. We had an appointment up on this way high hill far away that we normally would have taken the bus to get there, but for some reason decided to walk... after walking the whole way we were close to the top of the hill, and walking on a dirt path along the road we saw 10 feet or so off in the bushes this guy crouched down in the bushes and in the dirt just bawling. He was crying and had his face in his hands. My first reaction, was surprised and a little hesitant, but we walked off the path over into the bushes where he was and started talking to him. Like saying Are you okay man? And trying to find out what was wrong. While he was crying he started to tell us that his 2 days before that, his wife (who was 7 months pregnant with twins) both the babies had died. This guys name is Juan Pablo. He is only 24 years old, and his wife about to have their first 2 children... they both died. He was clearly in the lowest of lows. My heart just broke for this man, I wanted to just sit down next to him and cry with him. It was heartbreaking. He is just this poor young college kid whose world I imagine seems to have just come crashing down. 

Well, we told him who we are, and that God had put us in his path, because there were NOT MANY reasons that we would be walking this way at this time. We gave him a pamflet of the Plan of Salvation, and told him to read this, because it would tell him how he would be able to see his twin babies, and life with them again. That they were not lost. We just testified, and got his address so we could meet with him a couple days later. WHAT A MIRACLE! I had complete compassion for this man, but in a way... there was part of me that rejoiced a little, because I knew or at least hoped that this man would be sufficiently humble to accept this message that I know HE NEEDS. Well turns out we wrote down the wrong address and could not find him the next day. After a few days we saw him walking down the street he said he lived on. We just wrote the wrong house number. He said he read the pamflet and really wanted us to come back and teach him. Everytime we go back, he is either busy or we are on our way to another appointment, we have not been able to meet with him yet, but I hope that when we do, everything goes well! :) This was a way cool experience though.

We find people every once and a while that are in the lowest points of their lives, and I do rejoice because I know that our message is what they need. Chist is ALWAYS the answer. We have found a few more people to teach and its awesome when we do. This guy Michael is 20 years old and really seems interested in our message, and has the 22 of Nov as his baptismal date. He even came to church yesterday with his less active mom :)  but for now we are still hoping he progresses and will be prepared to be baptized.

Church yesterday was great. We had 90 people in sacrament meeting!! That is more than double normal! The bishop, and everyone else were stunned how many people were there, and they were so pleased :) I am really starting to see huge growth in this ward. We had 2 investigators, and 10 less actives come. (all in addition to the other less actives we found last week.) With 4 missionaries working in this ward, I think its going to really benefit the members here. Our goal is to keep finding less actives and investigators and get the ward attendance into the 100`s. I totally think we can do it!!!

Well I hope you guys had a good Halloween weekend. On halloween it was apparently some huge Evangelical holiday here too. So most of the stores were closed, and there was hardly ANYONE home or in the streets. P.S. mom I hope you had a GREAT birthday!!! In honor of you we had a pancake party ;) haha we really did make pancakes that night! :)

Those are the highlights of the week! I will answer everyone`s individual emails back too... dont worry! Pray for the members here, and that we can keep finding less actives and strengthen the church here! :) Love you guys!!

Elder Hartvigsen