Monday, February 29, 2016

Interchanges!

Hey everyone! Man, the weeks are starting to really blend together! I hit day 100 in the field this past Wednesday so that´s cool! Haha 623 to go! But I´m pumped to keep learning and growing and serving during that time, I´m not going to waste a day! This past Tuesday, we had interchanges with the district leader.  Basically, an interchange is like a 24 hour sleepover.  I went to Elder Benitez´s (DL) zone on Tuesday after our District Meeting, and we had a normal proselyting day from 3-9.  It was so sweet to go proselyting with him, we killed it that day! We taught tons of people and found 6 new investigators and they all accepted the invitation to be baptized! Haha except now I´m back in my zone and he gets to keep working with them.  It was super cool to learn from him though and see how he does things.  Wednesday was cool too, we went on splits with the members which is always sweet (mainly cause they always offer to buy you snacks and soda haha). We also went to a baptism that the District Leader had this past Saturday which was way cool.  I can´t wait to have that same experience as a missionary, watching someone who I have gotten to know so well make a covenant with Heavenly Father and show him that they are converted and are willing to serve him!  
One thing I learned this week: it´s super interesting in the book of Mosiah.  There are two stories almost exactly the same in Chapters 21 and 23.  Two groups of people get taken into bondage and put in a situation that, as the scriptures say, is impossible for them to get out of themselves.  The first group, Limhi´s people, try to get themselves out three times, and just get destroyed.  Only then do they humble themselves "to the dust" and cry unto the Lord that HE will deliver them! With the second group, they do that immediately! Both groups are delivered eventually, but only after they learn to be humble and rely 100% on the Lord.  It´s impossible for an 18 year old kid to convert a 50 year old Spanish Catholic lady, especially when the 18 year old white kid doesn´t know Spanish;) I´ve tried a few times, more than three probably, and it doesn´t work! So I´m learning how to be humble and rely completely on the Lord and the Holy Ghost!
Anyway, that´s the week in Chimbote Central.  Thank you all for you emails and love and prayers and support!  I hope everyone has a super duper week and I´ll talk to you next Monday!
Elder Hart

Me and Elder Guerrero at a pizza restaurant on P-Day!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Being a Missionary

Hey everyone! Man it´s still so wild to me that I´m a real live missionary with a tag and everything! I can just barely believe it.  I still get chills when I walk past a window or something and see me with my tag on.  It feels so cool! This week as far as the work goes has been pretty normal! We´ve been working more with less actives this past week, and had 5 of them come to church so that was sweet! We´re still working hard with Sonia.  A couple problems arose this past week with the Law of Chastity and Sabbath Day with her, but we´re just gonna keep visiting her and working hard and trusting the Atonement! Honestly, she´s the only investigator that´s close to baptism right now.  I want so bad to just start knocking doors and talking to people! We work so deeply with refrences though that we hardly ever do that! It´s a little frustrating because the refrences are basically just a specific door to knock that a member gives us, so it´s not really any different that just tracting if that makes sense.  So I don´t know why we don´t just do more straight knocking, rather than ask members what door we should knock haha! But that´s alright.  I know that as my Spanish improves I´ll be more comfortable in making relationships and talking to people in the streets. 
I´ve been thinking lots more about covenants this week.  I love 1 Nephi 15:14.  Thanks to the Book of Mormon, we know HOW to come unto Christ and be saved! Lots of people know about Christ, but not too many know HOW to come unto Him! It´s a lie of Satan that we can worship God in any way we want, but a lie that absolutely runs rampant in the world! It doesn´t make sense! He gave the children of Israel the Law of Moses and 10 Commandments, especially the first 2, to tell them how to worship him! Thanks to the Book of Mormon, we have that knowledge again! Covenants and baptism! That principle is super talked about in 1 Nephi 13-15, and it´s something I´ve been thinking about a lot.  I´m so grateful to have that knowledge, restored through Joseph Smith! Love you guys a ton and I hope you all have stupendous weeks wherever you may be found!! :) Love, Elder Hart

Monday, February 15, 2016

February 15, 2016

What´s up everyone! I just wanted to say first of all thank you all so much for the emails that you send! I may not respond to all of them individualy (it´s super hard with the time and the sketchy internet!) but I promise I read them all, then take pictures so I can read them again in our room! I really appreciate all of the updates and love and support!  Now on to the week here in Chimbote! Actually the best thing that happened this week was that we got to go to Lima to pick up something for our visas! We bussed to Trujillo on Thursday night, flew to Lima on Friday, spent the day in Lima, then came back Saturday.  Literally the best part of the whole thing was that we got to eat Papa John´s for lunch! But Elder Chapman and I were craving Burger King and McDonald´s too...so we went there too, duh! Man it felt so good to eat American food. SO GOOD! It was a good little vacation haha.  The rest of the week has been solid! Just findin people to teach and teachin em! We picked up about 4 or 5 new investigators this week that we hope will be able to make it to baptism, so we´re praying for that!! The Spanish is still coming! I can´t notice my progress, but I look back to three or four weeks ago and realize that I´ve come a pretty long way in a month! So that´s always good to see. 
I learned something really cool in my personal study this week.  I was reading in Mosiah 3:15 and found an eternal principle: the state of the heart affects the level of understanding! As I learned that, I started noticing it other places in the scriptures.  There are so many verses that teach this principle! Mosiah 2:9, 2 Nephi 33:1, Alma 16:16, D6C 8:2, Alma 13:4, 1 Nephi 15:3, and tons more! I would encourage you to search for them in your personal study! Anyway, if we want investigators to understand and feel the holy ghost, their hearts need to be softened first! This is done through our own efforts as missionaries, but a really good way to do it too is through the members!! Preach My Gospel Chapter 9 teaches us that exact principle! I don´t remember what page, but under "Working with Members" haha:) I never knew how important the members were in missionary work! So yeah, everybody get to work softening the hearts of your neighbors and friends so they will be able to understand the gospel and feel the spirit! This is a principle of heaven! Anyway, that´s all I´ve got for this week I think.  Love you all so much and have a great week wherever you may be! 
Elder Hart
In Lima eating american food at a mall while getting our visas.

Monday, February 8, 2016

End of Transfer 1...

What´s up everyone?? I made it through my first transfer here! I´m staying in Chimbote Central with Elder Guerrero, which we know was going to happen.  I need to finish my training here! After this next transfer, I´ll probably stay here and get a new companion, Elder Guerrero has been here his whole mission, since October!  This week has been a pretty solid week as far as the work goes.  We had more of our appointments that didn´t fall through, which was nice, and picked up some new investigators that we´re really hoping are ready for baptism! We´ll see I suppose...we had the "Reunion de Nuevos" this past Friday in Trujillo.  Me and Elder Guerrero went back to the mission office and met up with all the people that came to this mission with me from the CCM.  So that was a fun time to see all them again! We had Papa John´s pizza and it was exactly the same as the Papa John´s 10 minutes from my house!! Haha it made me miss home actually, which was quite unexpected coming from a pizza.  I also learned my return date: November 6, 2017! Mark it down;) I can´t remember if I said this in an email already but we learned a few weeks ago that we´re going to be able to go to the Trujillo Temple once every three months as a zone, so I´m pumped for that! We don´t have our date as a zone yet.  The Spanish is still coming, slowely but surely! It´s the worst though, I want to talk to people so bad! For example, our pensionista´s name is Paulo.  He´s 28ish, he´s a recent convert and lives with his mom, who´s also our pensionista haha.  He has the Aaronic Priesthood but has a problem with drinking.  He always tries to escape it but just falls back into his habits.  This past month, since his last relapse, he´s been fasting three times a week! He also got a calling doing indexing for family history and he hit the ground running so hard with it! He´s at the church like 2 hours a day indexing and teaching members how to index.  He´s so dang humble and I love it! He always wears MLS soccer jerseys and watches Sportscenter and soccer and plays FIFA and I want so bad just to talk to him cause he´s so cool! So that´s the rough part of the Spanish, that I can´t really have a conversation with him.  I could teach him a lesson though, so progress haha! For the spiritual thought this week, I was reading in Jacob 5 and was impacted by the talk of covenants, or roots.  All the Lord´s efforts in bringing to pass our immortality and eternal life depends on covenants, so he does all he can to preserve these covenants! Prunes, digs, and nourishes.  Takes away anything in our lives that will hinder our growth and not bring forth fruit, maybe makes us a little uncomfortable as he digs around us and gains more access to our covenants, then nourishes them through his word, spirit, and our experiences! Lots of churches have good teachings, but what makes The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints so different is that we have COVENANTS and PRIESTHOOD to administer them! All this is possible through the ATONEMENT!  That´s been on my mind lots this week.  Our purpose is to baptize so people can make covenants, and reactivate so people can renew them! Then the ultimate goal is the temple, more covenants! So anyway, that´s been on my mind this week.  Our covenants keep us protected and preserved from the world, and I am so grateful for the covenants I have made and the protection that they give me! Anyway, I´m rambling here.  I love you all and have a super duper week! 

Elder Hart

Monday, February 1, 2016

Tanner's email from 2/1/16


Hey everyone! I´m back after a week of broken emails haha! These past two weeks have been...just normal I guess! I´m getting used to life here in the mission.  The Spanish is still hard, but I´m getting more and more used to not understanding, and picking it up a little bit too haha;) For some reason, all of our appointments have been falling through this week! Like, almost 100% of them! But we´re just pressing on, working as hard as we can trying to help these people to baptism! It´s hard to believe that I´m almost through my first transfer; in a lot of ways it flew by, and in a lot of ways I feel like it´s been about two years.  The opposition is so strong here! Man I can just feel Satan attacking me all the time, trying to hit my faith and discourage me.  But I can also feel the Holy Ghost preserving me, keeping me safe and comforting me! I like imagining all the primary kids singing "I hope they call me on a mission" when we´re walking.  It gets me pumped haha! I can´t really believe that I´m on a mission yet, it hasn´t really set in completely. I can´t remember if I´ve shared the story of Nephi and the boat in my group email, but if I have I´m going to share it again.  The Lord works miracles in two kinds of ways: he either drys up the land for us to walk across, or he helps us build a boat.  Both are miracles!! The first one is just a little more obvious.  But we grow more with the second one! We become the people Heavenly Father wants us to become! Could Nephi have built the temple in 2 Nephi 5 if he hadn´t had the experience of building the boat first? I don´t know, but I´m sure that experience at least prepared him for it! I´m seeing the second type of miracle in my life right now.  He´s showing me how to build a boat! It´s dang hard, but I´m being prepared for something greater! I have to do the work, I have to ask him where to go to find ore, I have to go to the mount of the Lord often to ask for His help, but I´m building this boat in His way! Not after the manner of men! I like that analogy:) Anyway, keep me in your thoughts and prayers, but more keep these people in your thoughts and prayers! Man they´re just lost, most of them.  "They draw near unto me with their mouths, but their hearts are far from me" is unbelievably prophetic here haha! Really all of 2 Nephi 27-29 just fits perfectly here.  They need the restored gospel of Jesus Christ! Pray for them that they will accept it! Last thing that I learned this week, I´ve wondered how our prayers for others work with their agency.  I found a really cool scripture about it in Ether 12:36.  We can pray that Heavenly Father will give them GRACE! The enabling power of the Atonement! We can´t change their agency, but we can pray that Heavenly Father gives them more power and strength! So maybe help me out in praying that these people will have that grace, that they might have the courage to accept this gospel.  Oh I love you all soooo much and am so grateful for your love and support!  

Love, Elder Hart



Me and Elder Guerrero at Cerro del la Paz

My District!