Monday, January 19, 2015

These steps are making my thighs HUGE!

A centipede we found while doing a service project at the bishop's house

The Bishop's sister who reminds me of the old woman on Brother
Bear who talks to spirits!

The Bishop's house is like George of the Jungle

January 19, 2015, "What manner of teachers ought we to be?"

Hey guys! another week wow!  They are actually starting to go by pretty fast now! I cant believe we are more than half way done with January... 

but really nothing happened this week, so I will just talk to you guys next monday, yeah?

hahah just kidding ;) 

Things are great here! My companion and I are getting along, and we are starting to slowly see more success in the sector. Little by little, for example we have been able to get more peoples address and phone numbers and set appointments for future days (thats about as far as our success goes here so far)  but its all good. We are working super hard, and its been WRETCHEDLY HOT this week! Every day I bring a little hand towel in my back pack, because I have to keep pulling it out to wipe the sweat off my face and neck! And my shirt collar is already brown after 1 day of using the shirt. but its all good! 

I read all the Ensigns here, because I have like half an hour to an hour of time in between exercise and study in the morning, and after planning at night... so I usually spend that time reading the Ensign. There was a talk I think in the December 2014 (if I'm not mistaken) that was called "What manner of Teachers ought we to be" It was super cool! Given by the Sunday  school general presidency. It talked all about the way the savior taught, and how we should emulate all of his traits, especially in teaching the gospel! Something that really stood out to me was how he would perceive the thoughts of the people! I know that this is done through spiritual gifts, because Ammon was able to do the same with King Lamoni. But what I loved was that it said, Jesus Christ ALWAYS uses questions to teach. He would ask what Preach My Gospel calls "Inspired questions" to then be able to discern the thoughts of the people. Yes Christ already knows everything and doesn't have to ask any questions, but I believe he taught in this way, to give US an example! I used to think that to be able to discern the thoughts of the people, it would just come as pure instantaneous knowledge. (I think It can happen this way also, but its more rare) We need to be actively in tune with the spirit, to ask the Inspired questions, that are going to help us to know exactly what we need to say! I don`t know if that makes much sense, but I was really impressed with what I learned :) 

I am going to spend a lot more time studying (NOT JUST READING) about the Savior. I am making it a goal to deeply internalize his perfect example. There is a scripture in Doctrine and Covenants that talks about the people (us) receiving their first lessons about the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the premortal life, and were being prepared to come to the earth and teach this to the people that don't have this in their lives already! We are all here for a purpose. We have been given the Gospel of Jesus Christ, with the burden of expectation, that we will share it with anyone and everyone we can, for our whole lives! Its a big responsibility! But with the scriptures as our textbook, and Christ as our teacher we can all become better missionaries! :)

Umm... something funny yesterday that happened was the Bishop came up to me just before sacrament meeting and handed me a letter, It was in English and he asked me If I would read it and translate it, because he figured it was important but he couldn't read it... so I put it in my pocket, and went into the meeting. My companion and I passed the sacrament like normal (because there is only really 2 active young men in the ward 1 is 18 years old and blesses the sacrament with his dad every week, and the other is 16 but is super sick and cant pass the sacrament) anyways... after the meeting I opened the letter. To my surprise I found that It was supposedly "revelation given by Christ to Warren Jeffs" the prophet of the Federalist Latter Day Saint Church....  its was complete garbage! I only read a little bit of it, because I didn't know what it was... but it was funny that this letter was sent to I don't know if all the bishops or whoever got it, but it was complete rubbish! I told the bishop that he didn't need me to translate it, it was of no value. But later I thought it was kind of funny... that I passed the sacrament with  pure Anti-Mormon literature in my pocket! oops! 

Well, hope you guys have a great week! 
Chao, Love
Elder Hartvigsen 

January 12, 2015, hardships

Buenos dìas queridos amigos y familia.
Well we just finished our multi zone dodgeball tournament this morning, which was pretty fun!! Its super hot here still, and actually been a really nice summer so far! Whats the weather like for you guys? umm.... so as far as the missionary work here in this sector, if I havent already mentioned it... its super hard! (sorry if I already said all this) With all the huge hills, and having to travel by bus pretty far to one part its really hard to bring members with us to the lessons. (We are supposed to bring members with us everyday if possible). Plus all the members here are OLD! Its a super old ward, and also we have had no success as far as people to teach. Because we have taught some people but it just never ends up working. Every one of our investigators kind of just ends up "dying" like they dont really progress. Its sad to see them missing out on the incredible blessings that the gospel of Christ has to offer.

 I am prepared that even if we try our very best in this sector, and are 100 percent obedient and everything... we may not have 1 baptism, or reactivate 1 less active, or see any "success" and I'm ok with that, because people have their agency, and us as missionaries can only do so much!

Also its difficult because I felt like I "knew the scriptures" so well before my mission. I could easily pull out a scripture to share with someone who had a question, or concern, or anything... but now I don't know why its so difficult to do that in Spanish! mostly because when I flip open to find a scripture where I kind of know where it is... its super difficult to scan and find the verse. Also because my english scriptures are so decking marked... but Im starting from scratch in blithering castellano (spanish) haha.... But nah its all good!

Hope you guys have a good week, and just know that I know that the  mission is the "university for the rest of my life!" despite all the hardships... its crucially important (the whole package: the hard, and the harder) to learn and grow, and become the person Heavenly Father wants me to become!

I love you all!
peace out from south america
Elder Hartvigsen <3

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Jan 5, 2015 A new Companion, Elder Cruz from Spain

Elder Cruz

DAD... you will appreciate this! there were like 5 or 6 dogs just sitting here perched on this sidewalk this morning, in front this meat market. They look like Skye, just sitting there with ninja like focus hoping someone gives them some meat!  I was laughing and had to take a picture :)

Hey guys! Well Its 2015 already... thats kind of cool! Although it feels no different of course. Well its been a little difficult this week, to train my new companion on the area. Like, I have to explain all the progress about the Investigators, members, less actives etc. Its a little overwhelming also... because Elder Catròn was so independent, and really didn't spend time to make sure I understood everything that happened. Also, the first day of the week, was SUPER RAINY and it everything is harder when its wet outside! ... But Elder Cruz is COMPLETELY different than Elder Catròn. Which is good, and also not good... because I am just not used to it!
Elder Cruz has this Spanish accent that I am so not used to! haha its funny... he is from "Barthelona" not Barcelona :) I think we need a little time to work out the wrinkles, and get to know each other. He also doesn't speak english at all... and its good for me to practice, but frustrating at times when I have a hard time trying to explain things, and I don't understand a lot of things he says! But hey, its all part of the mission experience right?? :)
We got to see fireworks from our apartment on New years eve, and that was fun! I will send pics... And also funny story: We had Octopus empanadas a couple of days ago! Yeah... that makes it sound way worse than they were, haha here is the story. We had lunch with this lady, (one of the rules in the mission is that we cannot eat seafood. fish is okay.... but any other seafood we cant eat!) After the main course of lunch, she brings out the empanadas, and we didnt know what were in them... and just starting eating them. And realized they were strait seafood! They had chopped up octopus, crab, and onions all cooked together, they were actually pretty good! but... we all kind of looked at eachother and realized we should probably just eat them, rather than tell her we cant eat this lunch she prepared for us! Also because she didnt know we were having lunch at her house until late the night before I called her just to make sure (which we usually dont even do) and she didnt know... so I already felt bad that she had such short notice, haha so we were not about to deny her octopus empanadas :)
But this week actually went by pretty quick, and we are trying to work hard with the members now... because they say thats the key to missionary work. But this ward is just super hard because its pure old people! Hardly any younger people. There is 2 young men, and 3 young women in the ward... its a really difficult sector (physically, and with the members and everything) But hopefully my sectors after this will be a little bit easier! but yeah, hope you guys enjoyed christmas break... and fight through this next semester :)
Love you guys!
Elder Hartvigsen