Monday, December 22, 2014

Dec. 22, 2014 Feliz Navidadeery!

Hey guys!! So some things that happened last week are as follow: ... first off, last monday felt awfully weird shopping in the electronics department. Because my companion had to buy a laptop for college because he goes home next week. And its crazy all the electronic stuff (laptops, tablets, etc.) are WAYYYY cheaper here than in the US, and apparently in Argentina too! And I did finally end up buying some pants that fit me mom... and I didn't realize it, but I bought 2 pairs of dry clean only pants...  what a burden!  so who knows how thats gonna work, I just gotta freaking lose weight ;)

Yesterday at church, there is this really cute 12 year old boy with down syndrome in the ward named Alisandro. He got to pass the sacrament the first time with the help of my companion. Of course his mom and sister were crying because they were really happy for him to have the opportunity to do it! And while passing he kept looking back at his mom with the biggest smile you can imagine... and giving her thumbs up every couple of minutes! :)  it was so sweet! Also my comp and I went to the hospital to give our Bishop the sacrament. He has like a rock in his intestine or something...  thats what everyone has explained to me, I really don't know but he is actually pretty sick. So we went to visit him, and this is like the 4th time we have been to this hospital either giving blessings to people, or administering the sacrament. Of course I love being able to go serve people there... but not gonna lie, the hospital here creeps me out! Its definitely not like one in the US, there are 8 people to each room, and every so often this lady comes into the room with a cart and like gives shots to everyone, and changes their little IV bags, and I don't know why... it just kind of creeps me out being there.  maybe because it brings my memories back to all my awful procedures this past summer :/

And something funny was yesterday hitchiking back from an appointment... My companion always sticks his thumb out to catch a ride from people, its nice because we don't have to wait for the bus or pay either...  but it works!! But yesterday this one pretty small car stopped to pick us up, and there were already 2 rather large individuals in the back seat and I was thinking to myself there is no way we are fitting back there! haha but low and behold, all 4 of us SQUEEZED in! I ended up with half my bum on my companions lap, and the other half on this strange, very large, old mans lap! And with my head crammed up against the roof of the car. hahah I couldnt help but just chuckle to myself this whole event that was transpiring :)

We had a Christmas program this week, where us 4 missionaries sang 2 primary songs, and My comp played the guitar, Elder Ospina the Ukulele, and Elder Jensen the piano... and I sang! haha not kidding! Elder Ospina and I sang, (I still don't know how they got me to do it) no it wasn't too bad actually... we just didn't have microphones and no one could really hear us, but it was a good activity there were quite a few non members there too :)

Dad... you asked me a while back "What missionary work smells like"?  well let me tell you, If you`re in Tumbes... it can only smell like a couple things. Seaweed, fish, or crab. haha literally everyone has huge tarps of seaweed laying out in the street! I think they are drying it to use later, and it just reeks! I do not like the smell of sea food of any kind! Also we taught one lesson to a couple ladies who were working to crack crab legs and pull the meat out for their restaurant. They had little hammers smashing the crabs, and removing the meat while we talked. Every so often I would get a squirt of crab juice in my eye, or on my shirt! hahaha

And now something cool I learned from the scriptures :)
I encourage EVERYONE to read in Preach My Gospel page 105 the box that gives all the scriptures that the Book of Mormon prophets give their reasons for writing their records. Seriously its so interesting!!! Nephi talks about how he doesn't really know why he was commanded to keep this record, he just obeys! And Mormon, Alma, and Nephi all talk about how its being written "For a Wise purpose in the Lord" and its so cool to think about the Lord preparing all these people so many years ago to keep this record all for the purpose that it could benefit those of future generations and give convinving evidence of the Savior Jesus Christ! Seriously guys these passages are worth studying! I testify of the Book of Mormon as well. It truly is the word of God! I hope we are not taking for granted this incredible gift that our father in Heaven has given us!

FEAST upon the words of Christ! For they truly will tell you ALL THINGS that you should do! I absolutely love the Book of Mormon! And I am studying all the conference talks which are so incredible! STUDY THOSE TOO!!!!

The wisdom and knowledge we attain here in earth is really only one of the few things we take with us into the next life! Dont miss out on opportunities to learn from the scriptures :) Love you guys! have a great week!

yrreM samtsirhC :)
Elder Hartvigsen

Dec. 15 I don't think I will be having a white Christmas

Hey guys!! How goes it? ;) Things are good here. The weather is great, and If I`m lucky... I might even be sunburned this Christmas :)  Its fun to have 2 summers in a row, and weird at the same time to see Christmas decorations when its blazing hot out. We had to go get my visa taken care of this morning, because the police have been hunting me down for the last 2 months... because I don't want to be an illegal alien here... but now I`m finally LEGAL! So I can relax a little bit :) 

 I hope you guys had a good week! Mom... since you said I usually say "nothing new happened this week", I have begun writing down little things during the week that I think are funny or that I think you guys would want to here... and so here are those from this past week :)
Yeah, remember the Woman we are teaching with 4 (3 or 4 year old) girls at the house... (2 of her daughers, and 2 of her nieces) yeah... they are still CRAZY during the lessons.  They take our agendas every time, and draw all over them, and we kind of just let it happen to try to keep them quite and have a LITTLE bit of the spirit here... also they have this dog named Pancho. Poor little thing...  because there is this one little girl that is so naughty, that literally abuses Pancho :(  This little girl grabs pancho by the tail and pulls him around the floor, while he is kind of nipping at her. And she backs him into the corner and kicks him too! its bewildering!!! 

Oh, and its super common for the houses to be blasting music too! Some people can't afford a TV... but they always have MASSIVE speakers, and they blare music! But one house we talked by was playing Rascall Flatts...  which is super uncommon to here country music here. Oh, my heart ached for some good country music though! Rascall Flatts "What hurts the most" just made me think of Me, Mitch, and Trev, jamming out to country tunes :) ahh... good times!

For those of you that are unfamiliar with Public Transportation in South America... let me try to paint you a picture of what the city buses are like. Every time I ride in them, I feel like I am in Harry Potter 3 in that magical double decker bus, that the crazy old guy drives at night through the muggle streets. He is traveling basically at "Light Speed" while the people are all just calm sleeping on the bus, and stuff and he zooms in and out of lanes, and around cars, pedestrians, and other obstacles in the road. And constantly slamming on the brakes to stop and pick people up, and usually doesn't even fully stop for people to get off. Its not uncommon for him, to just keep rolling slowly and you just kind of jump out at your stop!  seriously, its a fun experience :)

I think here in Chile, you get to just choose whatever number you want your house to be too... seriously, NONE of the house numbers make sense. You will be walking down a street that the numbers are like 56, 58, and then jump to 263, 265, and then back to the 100`s or something.  They never make sense. I just laugh most of the time, but we can never find what number the house is we are looking for.... and I think people give us fake numbers a lot of the time too. They don't want to say no to you, so they just give you a fake number. Its a problem here...

And last but not least, remember Hermana Berta (the lady who gives us MOUNTAINS of food)??? yeah, she is really sweet and all... and reminds me of Grandma Jessie actually. 1 because she looks a lot like her, and 2 because whenever we go to visit her and her less active family... we walk in and sit down, and then she leaves the room without saying anything... and comes back with Juice and cookies, or soda and crackers, she is like Grandma always having sweets around the house, and INSISTS on us eating them :)  well those are some thoughts from this week, Hope you guys enjoy your last week of school before the break! Everyone here has finished up school, and is on summer break!

Love you guys!
Elder Hartvigsen :) 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Dec 8, 2014 I'm getting fat!

Movie day with Elder Robertson on P-day

My favorite member here! She made us a cake!

The movie: Finding Faith in Christ

Hey guys!!
So... I have an addiction. And its called "Chilean bread"!  Im not even kidding... the bread here is amazing! But I am gaining tons of weight. All my pants are too small mom, its a dilemma! But I am going on weight watchers this week, and working to slim down my figure :)  I think I am growing too... because the pants are shorter than I think they were when they left, and all this walking all day every day, up and down massive hills is making my thighs 
bigger too!  no worries... I`ll figure things out ;)

So... what just over 2 weeks until Christmas right? I bet you guys are excited!!! Me too. Especially to skype you guys! Should be great! I hope all is well with you guys, do you guys have much snow there yet? Its really really nice weather here. Super hot somedays, but for the most part really nice!

So apparently today is some Catholic holiday (it seems like they happen pretty frequently down here) And so we had to go to Concepcion to do my visa stuff, but didnt realize that ABSOLUTELY EVERY business is closed! It was weird because there was literally NO ONE in the city, it was so quiet, so we had to come back here to Talcahuano. So this week... Things are pretty normal,  And all our investigators seem to be progressing, but end up either not coming to church (which means they cant progress, because the baptismal date gets set back every week they don't come) or have some major obstacle to overcome before they can be baptized. Like for example Katy and Fernando are like 20 and 23 ish... and He is a member, but she isnt. And is really progressing, and wants to get baptized, and his super excited and everything... but they are living together. And they want to get married and all, but are just a little unsure. So nothings gonna happen until that happens first! 

For Elder CatrĂ²ns birthday a member lady in Tumbes had us over for lunch, and bought a big cake and everything! It was great! I will send pictures :) Also, we are having a big conference December 23 with the whole mission!!! We are having it in Chillan. Which is a couple hours away, and Im super excited for that!

So... even though things are pretty tough here, and nothing is guaranteed, and I can't see the blessings of my work, and don't really feel like I am of any use yet here... there are 2 things that I CAN CONTROL. And that is my OBEDIENCE, and my TRUST IN THE LORD. I am trying my hardest to be exactly obedient, and trust in the Lord with ALL MY HEART. Pray to him with all my being, during the good times and the bad times... He will bless me, and ultimately magnify me, because I can't do any of this by myself! I am learning to accept his timing, and his ways as well.

To quote Isaiah:
¶For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your waysmy wayssaith the Lord.
 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are myways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts
 Anyways, I love you guys, and enjoy your last week or two of school before the vacation!!!
Chao :) Elder Hartvigsen

Dad, thanks so much! I LOVED this letter. I am going to print it off right now, so I can re read it later. Those lessons you learned are super powerful! I love your ability to relate situations of life to things in the gospel. That actually have a correlation too!   know that I really appreciate your letters, and your prayers as well! I love the part of the Book of Mormon where Alma is struct dumb, after being visited by the angel. The angel directly tells hims that he came to convince him of the Power of God, and to get him to stop destroying the church SO THAT THE PRAYERS OF THE FAITHFUL WOULD BE ANSWERED!! (his father especially) I love thinking of that. The prayers of the faithful can truly work miracles! No matter what the circumstances are. Thanks for you support dad, I thank my Father in Heaven every day with all my love I can muster up from my heart, that I have such a great family! And all the countless blessings I have because of his hand :)

Love, Elder Hartvigsen (Son of Darren and Amy, and also of the Most High God)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Dec. 1, 2014 Its already December?

Hey guys, I cant believe its already December! Christmas is just a few short weeks away :) Not like its going to be any different for me, than any other day ;)  But this week, we did a service project where we replaced the Bishop's roof! I was exhausted at the end of the day, because we worked for 4 hours stripping off the old metal roof, and putting the new one on. Then we went out and worked like normal until 9:30pm

Oh and I had an interview with President Arrington on Tuesday. During Christmas time, he has an interview with every missionary, and so we went to his house in Concepcion. Literally... he lives in the nicest place ever!! Easily the nicest building I have entered in my entire time being in the mission. haha. Their apartment is super duper nice, and they have an awesome view too, anyway it was fun to go there. I had to teach him (during the interview) the Atonement for 5 minutes. Just like he were an investigator, so we did it in Spanish obviously. He said I did great, even though I didn't feel too good about it afterward!  He said my spanish was very good, but I just didn't feel like I taught very well. I mean, its easy to get carried away and just "teach lessons, not people" which in reality, it needs to be the opposite! so I kind of felt like I just taught a leson, rather than find his need and help him!

Yeah, it was just a role play, but I need LOTS of practice before I am going to be good at really asking the person questions, to find their need and apply the gospel to them! Because if they don't see how this certain principle of the gospel applies to them specifically... they really aren't going to care! But its ok. I know I'm not a good teacher yet, I need LOTS more practice! :)

 Not much happened this week, Thanksgiving... doesn't exist here, but I bet you guys had a great time! Oh one funny, yet rather absurd thing that happened yesterday was this: We were outside of the church waiting for 
the meeting to start, and while people were arriving. There were these 2 stray dogs that started mating right there on the church steps, and remember the old guy in the ward that looks like the guy from Emperors new Groove, (that threw off the Emperors Groove)? haha yeah he was bewildered by this sight, and ran over and kicked the dogs, and chased them down off of the church property. And was throwing rocks at them until they left. He was yelling at them like saying "You bad examples!!! Not here you stupid dogs!!" hahaha it was rather absurd... yet kind of hilarious!

Anyways... thats what happened this week, I am enjoying this P day with Elder Robertson here in Talcahuano, because our companions went to Tumbes to do the same hike we already did. We didn't want to go , so we stayed here. Its actually really nice to get a break, having a nice relaxed day without being pressured and rushed from place to place :) 

Love you guys, nos vemos
Un Abrazo,
Elder Hartvigsen

Nov. 24, 2014 Happy Thanksgiving!

Really... this week was awfully slow, and uneventful.... We were supposed to have a baptism on Saturday for Michael, but after his Baptismal interview friday afternoon with the District Leader. It became apparent that he clearly couldn't be baptized.  It was a bummer... because first my companion and I had taught all the lessons and commandments clearly, and asked him if he had any problems and he said no. And so really we did all that we could do. But it turns out that he can't accept and live ALL of God´s commandments. Its sad because he believes everything we told him is true. And he says he wants to keep coming to church and participate, and read the scriptures and everything, just without being baptized. So... I guess we will just have to see with him!  

Church attendance was super poor (I think mostly because it was raining and lots of people have to walk a long way to get to church) None of our Investigators or less actives came... so it was a little disappointing. But all I can say, is we are ready to get back to work this week. My companion seems super stressed. I think its because he goes home in 5 weeks... and wants to feel like has made a difference in this ward before he leaves! But if we try our absolute hardest and are obedient. Then we are being successful... numbers dont matter a bit. And I know that :)

On saturday we had a karaoke night with the ward.  Only like 20 people came but it was pretty fun. All the songs were spanish, except they had "Happy" by Pharrel Williams... which they had me sing because yeah, I speak English! haha it was actually a fun activity to just enjoy being with some ward members and have some fun. As much as I HATE singing... and in public! it was actually pretty fun!

Like I said... not much happened this week, Love you guys! Have a good Thanksgiving! 
Chao Chao

Elder Hartvigsen

Thanks for your words dad! Yeah there really isn't a better way to be spending Thanksgiving than on the mission is there? I feel that since I have been out here I have just felt so much more grateful for everything in my life that Heavenly Father has given me. My prayers are far more sincere, and heartfelt, and longer here! My relationship with my Father in Heaven is really improving, and we are becoming closer and closer every day! That is one of the biggest blessings I have seen thus far out here :)