As far as winter goes... it has only rained a couple days, and the temperatures have actually gone up a little bit in the mornings. But we ended up getting our shower fixed, and we got a SWEET gas heater for the house! We are living in the lap of luxury here now :) Its a WHOLE lot better than little dinky electric ones we had. And I think its cheaper?
Sonight we had a really fun branch activity. It was a talent night. And a ton of people showed up, which is super awesome. Because whenever you can get members uniting together and having a good time... thats a success! My comp (who is super musically talented... who reminds me a lot of Brady actually ) played a couple songs on the guitar, while this kid (who isn't a member... but is the son of a member) played the violin. We have been desperately trying to get that kid Yeison (jason) involved with the members. Because the mom isn't a member either... but they are an awesome family. Anyways, they played Hey soul sister, rolling in the deep, and counting stars. Haha a little worldly I know ;) But it turned out awesome and the kid got really involved and enjoyed the activity. And the worst part is that they were calling for me from the stage because they wanted me to get up and sing with them... because it would have just been my comp singing in english... and they were like "Elder Hartvigsen, vamos vamos vamos" And then everyone was like yeah go on up dude... and I was thinking, oh my heavens... I am not about to sing this song in public with them. I Figured it was just better to be a good sport and go on up there. So I sang the One Republic song with my comp. I felt like such a BAFOON! But it turned out alright :)
And so... whether this lady needed forgiveness, comfort, counsel, or reassurance... Im not sure. But I felt overwhelming joy for her, and especially just to see how her burdens had been lifted! We testified about the healing power of the Atonement, and what an incredibly MARVELOUS thing it is. And I just wanted to give her a hug right there, because I know exactly how she was feeling. There are some burdens in this life... that can only be lifted by having a conversation with a Priesthood Leader. And I`ve had my share of those... and The Atonement of Jesus Christ ALWAYS heals us. What a cool experience!
Also something I would like to share that I read from the scriptures... that REALLY stuck out to me! And I first want to bare my testimony of the power of starting personal scripture study with a prayer :) I have really come to appreciate my 1 hour of personal study in the mornings... and ask my father in heaven as I am starting that he will consecrate that hour for me, to learn by the power of the spirit something that will strengthen my personal testimony and faith about him and his gospel. So that later (maybe even that day) I will be able to help someone feel that same spirit, and be a better teacher than before! (First seek to obtain my word, and then seek to declare it. Doctrine and Covenants)
So looking at the very well known scripture in Helamanwe read:
12 And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty stormshall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.
Okay we learn that by building our foundation on "the rock of christ" we will not fall right? But what does that look like? "building our foundation on the rock of christ?" Well all the primary answers work... by adding up to the desired result. (reading scriptures, go to church, pray, go to temple) But a really cool connection I made to this is found in 3rd Nephi 18. (verses 1-9) demonstrate how the Lord instituted the sacrament with his Apostles in the Americas shortly after his resurrection. And verses 10 and 11 are great also. But verse 12 is the BEST, because it says at the end... that by always doing these things (or in other words PARTAKING OF THE SACRAMENT WEEKLY) you are edifying yourself on the rock of christ. And then making the connection back to Helaman... thats a foundation that if men build on, THEY CANNOT FALL. It doesn't even say the WONT fall. Its that they cannot. Its impossible.
Because its IMPOSSIBLE for someone to go inactive if they are going to church every week. And Its a promise from the Lord that if we will just go to church weekly and partake of his sacrament, we are building ourselves on the most sure of foundations! I testify that the sacrament is one of the greatest and most sure "guarantees" of spiritual safety that we have. I love the scriptures. I love the power of prayer, and know that we can learn and find so many hidden treasures in the scriptures through the power of the spirit.
I love you guys all! And encourage you to start your personal study with a prayer... and a sincere desire to learn, and see what the Lord can teach you :)
Love Elder Hartvigsen