Monday, April 20, 2015

April 20, 2015 Coihueco, a small, little town near the Andes

Hey guys, so yeah... winter is for sure arriving in my little small town near the Andes Mountains!

Its absolutely gorgeous here. seriously I love the feel of a small town. the city part of Coihueco isn't that small. it reminds me a little of like Heber, or Kamas or something like that. there are a couple little restaurants, and a bank, and stuff like that. its super nice and tranquillo (chill).

The mornings here are FREEZING. And our little house has zero insulation I think...  and we have one little electric heater, that works... but you cant have it turned on while your companion is in the shower. because we have an electric shower and I think the power cant handle the both of them running together, because it happened to both me and my comp. on different days that we were in the shower, when the the breaker tripped... because of the apparently too high voltage use of power.  and being in the freezing shower waiting for your comp. to put shoes on and run outside around the house to flip the breaker isn't very pleasant. But I still thank my heavenly father every morning that we have a hot shower that works. the water pressure is almost non existent, because you have to have it turned on so low for it to be hot, and the light flickers in the bathroom when its on.  I think the house just lacks electricity capability. But no things are good here, I stay warm at night because of all our blankets.

and one really nice thing is that we have a washing machine in the house. and so we don't have to wait for a lady in the ward to wash our clothes according to her time table. The only bad thing is that in chile... no one has dryers, and so we have to hang out clothes to dry outside. and in the winter, that doesn't really work. I hung my clothes out a couple of days ago and it rained really hard for about 30 minutes... and my clothes have stayed wet for a couple days because the sun hasn't come out. but its all good, we bought stuff to put a clothes wire in the house.

and yes mom my rain gear still does fit me, and its really nice! THANK YOU! and I am super bummed I cant send pics yet, still trying to find a safe virus free computer. sorry... be patient! ha.

The Rama (branch) here is super great. there were 52 people in church which was actually a ton for them. And we brought 5 investigators to church. 4 with a baptismal date. its a family of 4 and they are seriously so prepared its amazing. I ask that everyone please keep Sara Aguilera and her family in your prayers this week. she is trying to quit smoking and her date is may 9th for baptism. her and her 4 kids are all super awesome, and I know that the Lord has prepared them... because my comp found them last week, and we are just starting to get to know them... but it would be such a blessing to see this whole family be baptized! we will be fasting tomorrow for her, but pray for them please !! :)

and the branch pres. is super cool here. he is 28, and joined the church when he was 24. left on the mission at 25, and got home over 2.5 years ago, and has a family with 2 kids. (one he adopted that his wife already had) and he works during the day. studies at night. and has tons of church responsibilities. teaches early morning seminary and a million other things too. Its so cool to see how faithful some of these people can be!!

also we made pancakes for the seminary kids for breakfast this week, and they loved it! and there are only 3 kids that go,  but it was fun!

Also, we had a whole mission conference on Sat. where Elder Dallin H. Oaks came to Santiago, and we watched the broadcast. he spoke to 4 different missions here, us, Conce south, Santiago north, Antofagasta. and it was so powerful. he talked mostly about the power of the sacrament. and also mentioned that the first presidency and the 12 would be talking a lot more about the sacrament and sabbath day observance this year, a lot more than they have in the past. also he mentioned that in his 70 years of being a teacher, the number 1 mistake teachers make.... is : assuming the students know something that they actually don't. and he stressed that we have to teach the basics to everyone. teach everyone how to pray. because if they don't know how to pray, they CANNOT receive a testimony through the power of the holy ghost, and without that they can never become converted. anyways it was a powerful conference, and fun to see everyone in the mission, like Elder Garcia before he goes home in 2 weeks.

I think thats all for now guys, it was a super busy week in which we did a ton of things... but thats when its the most rewarding right? :)

Elder Hartvigsen

Sunday, April 19, 2015

April 13, 2015 A quick transfer to Coihueco

Hey guys. okay so, before I even say anything... let me just tell you that you aren't going to believe what happened this week.  Let me start out by telling you that I am not in Chiguayante anymore.

The mission President called me friday night to tell me that there was an emergency transfer, and I was going to be transfered to Coihueco. A tiny little town about an hour past chillan. And so that`s where I am right now! haha I know its crazy. He told me over the phone, "Elder Hartvigsen, hows it going? umm... so we are going to change your life up a little bit right now. Its needed that you go serve in Coihueco right now." but turns out that I actually didn`t leave until this morning.

He was calling me and trying to get everything figured out about the transfer and they couldn't make it happen sooner. But its sad because, the missionary that was here in this sector is going home after a year and a half in the mission. Apparently it is for health, and its a problem he has been dealing with for the whole mission, but I dont know the details... nor does it really matter. But its sad for him, but now I am here with elder Sellers. He is from Orlando Florida! (crazy right? that you guys just barely went there for vacation...or are still there Im not sure) Also, he`s my first gringo companion! Should be good :) and we live in a house with us 2. I went from 5 elders, to 2.

anyways... Coihueco (you should look on the map) its a little town right up next towards the mountain! its actually really really pretty there, and we have bicycles and our sector is huge. Its apparently a tiny branch with about 30 or 40 people going to church, and a lot of the members live anywhere up to 15 kilometers away, and so its a whole lot different than Talcahuano, and Chiguayante! But I really am excited, it should be awesome! It was crazy when he called me... because I was only in Chiguayante for 3 WEEKS... and got transfered! But its all good, because I was in a trio, and im sure it made it easier to take me out of that, and I hope I can make a difference and really help the branch grow here! 

Also... the assistants came and picked me up this morning in their white Ford Ranger truck! Its so sick!!  and so we were driving on the freeway in a brand new ford truck, listening to music (efy) on the stereo with 3 gringos for like 2 hours... It definately felt like a piece of home!  I enjoyed it though! And then we droped the stuff off, and were able to make it to Chillan to buy groceries, and meet the zone for a BBQ. 

Also one fun thing, is that Elder Ospina got transfered the same time as me 3 weeks ago to San Carlos, which is in my same zone, and I got to see him today... he was so surprised! haha but its fun to be there with people I know!

Anyways, its been a little bit of a crazy week, and I dont have much to say other than the fact that I will be getting adjusted to another sector right now. Also I had some pictures to send, but my companion told me ALL the computers here are severely infected with viruses ... and so I am not even going to risk putting my pendrive in. Youll have to wait a bit on the fotos. Anyways have a great week, and I hope everyone is doing well!!

Love Elder Hartvigsen

Monday, April 6, 2015

April 6, 2015 General Conference

Hey guys, so some details about conference weekend if you`re interested... We all went to the Stake center to watch every session, and there were about 300 people at the most. But the good thing was that the Gringo missionaries got our own personal classroom, with a TV and we got to watch it all in English! It was awesome because there were only 4 of us there!  we had the whole place to ourselves. Also this one returned missionary from the stake who served his mission in Canada wanted to watch it with us, because obviously it would be better in English! I don`t think I could watch Elder Holland speak with a translator...

And what was cool is that we had the remote, and when the 2 people gave talks in Spanish, we just changed it to the spanish channel so that we could hear them give their own talks. And it was great because I understood everything. thats a miracle in itself, that in such a short time... I can understand spanish without a problem! :) Anyways Elder Zeballos is from Northern Chile, and served a mission in Concepcion, and was mission president here also. It was also cool to be able to see the difference in the spanish of Elder Zeballos and Elder Pino ( who is from Venezuela)

I learned so many things in the conference, and I was on such a spiritual high, I NEVER WANTED IT TO END!  Its the greatest thing ever for missionaries.
But seriously I don't even feel like I could begin expressing my feelings about it. Because I frankly don't even remember all the things I learned this weekend, I just remember how I felt! If that makes any sense. I just remember that the feelings I had were that of Love, gratitude, desire to learn and understand more, and motivation to be better! If those aren't the fruits of the spirit... I don't know what are! ha

 But one of the things that I loved, was in the talk of Elder Kevin W. Pearson who gave us 6 steps on Enduring to the End. He mentioned that Enduring to the End doesn't just mean "Hang in There". Or as I sometimes say... "You just gotta BOAR through it!" anyways...step number 4 is that the Book of Mormon is the key to spiritual survival. Thats so true! Whether its trying to armor yourself with power to resist satan's temptations, or strengthen your own testimony to push out the possible doubts that satan puts into our minds, or whatever else may be our purpose, The Book of Mormon is key!

He stated that those who may have strayed from the path a little (at some point in our lives, that applies to EVERYONE of us) and desire to return, there is a guaranteed road map back to safety. Its Prayerfully Study the Book of Mormon and LIVE its principles. Its as simple as that! I loved that talk, thats one of the many things that stood out to me in Conference this weekend! That the Book of Mormon was given to us for many reasons... and we know that its all for "a wise purpose in the Lord".

Well, I hope you guys take advantage of studying the talks more in depth. Because one of the apostles has said... that we get more out of conference AFTER it has finished!

Things are great here, and our investigators are progressing and I love the sector! Have a great week. Love you guys tons!

Elder Hartvigsen