Monday, May 30, 2016

May 30, 2016

Dear family and friends,

The week has been good.  I´ll let you know about the highlights.  Off we go!

To start off, when we were in Trujillo last week we found some people that make sweet leather scripture cases with custom engravings.  I´m gonna get some, but I´m indecisive.  Any ideas for pictures or scriptures would be appreciated.  It will probably just add to my indecisiveness, but I don´t care, I want to consider all the options!

One thing that´s been sweet about the mission is just the experience gaining.  Before I went on a mission, I could whip out a few scriptures on humility or patience, give a five minute spiritual thought on them, and all was well.  But practice makes perfect! No one can ever truly gain an attribute of Christ without fervent prayer and pleading, and a whole lot of practice.  I´m getting lots of practice at developing those attributes, and it´s cool to see the "framework", if you will,
that I established before my mission being filled with substance!

This past Saturday was the final of the Champion´s League, and every person in PerĂº was tuned in! Real Madrid v. Atletico Madrid.  It was sweet, the atmosphere kind of reminded me of a college football saturday.  My companion and I caught about 15 minutes total, in different snippets in homes of investigators, and we saw both goals in regulation! We missed Read Madrid winning on penalities however.  Bummer; we were rooting for Atletico.  The USA plays on Friday, and Ecuador v. Brazil on Saturday! Everyone is informing us, especially me being white and all...I guess it´s easy to tell that I´m from the US haha.

Sometimes the leaders here in the branch get super discouraged with the progress of the members or of the branch as a whole.  As I was thinking about what we can do to help them, I realized that the church of Christ has always been like this! It´s almost funny! How many examples are there in the Book of Mormon of the church memebers growing prideful or wicked and stalling in their progress? Almost the whole New Testament is advice from church leaders to members of the church who are struggling in one aspect or another of their membership.  It´s super interesting, and something I look forward to studying more.

I´ve had two wild dreams this past week.  One of them was super realistic; I finished my mission with honor and went home and saw everyone and was super happy.  The other one, I finished my mission, but received the news that I would have to redo my two years for some reason.  The reason escaped me haha.  But I was so depressed! And everyone was there, telling me not to leave again! It was the worst. Luckily it wasn´t real haha.

People keep asking me to teach them how to play the piano.  Stuff like, "Hey, you really ought to teach me to play the piano like that! Do you give lessons?" They see me play in sacrament meeting and want to learn.  I´m definitely willing, but I don´t think they realize that they won´t be able to play the piano in a month...

I love you all tons and hope you have great weeks all of you! Talk to ya next week!

Love, Elder Hart

The 6 month burning of the tie tradition, a little late! Haha I didn´t want to burn one of my ties, so Elder Tuares gave me an old one that he didn´t want and I burned that one instead.  The dude with the weird glasses? That´s my companion haha. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Temple!

Dear Family and Friends,

It´s been a whole ten days since I last communicated with you! In a bit of a lack of planning, we were informed last Tuesday of a trip to the temple as a zone the upcoming  Which meant that PDay was switched from Monday to Wednesday.  However, as you may have noticed (and the first thought that came to my mind by the way) is that there is no opportunity to inform the family of the change between a Tuesday and the next Wednesday! With a little help from President Pionner (our branch president) and Elder Whitney, we were able to communicate the change, but it was a little hassle!

Now, as for the temple.  Super good as always!  Session number 8 in Spanish, which is definitely more than I did in English.  It´s pretty sweet to do a session now and compare how much I understand to the few times we went in the CCM.  Little by little, without noticing, I´ve improved!  It´s pretty weird actually.  I´ll see if I can send a few pics here.  

I was thinking this past week about the times before we came to earth.  It must have been a pretty tough decision to come to earth and accept Heavenly Father´s plan!  If one third of his children went with Lucifer, I bet his option looked awfully tempting.  We often glaze over that, just saying "we chose to come to earth," but if every single person that made that decision to keep their first estate gets a place in a kingdom of glory, the decision must have been a hard one to make.

I´ve begun a new exercise program in the mornings which consists of running up and down the stairs many times and doing pushups and situps and things like that.  Anything to get my heart rate up for 30 minutes now that Elder Ortiz doesn´t want to run in the mornings.  I´m having a more difficult time fitting into my pants! It´s a bad feeling haha.

For any friends reading this, my family´s farewell will be June 12 and 1:00 and 13768 (or 13786...I can´t remember) South and 6400 west.  Be there in my place:)  Hopefully it´s okay that I just made that invitation...

Keep on keepin on, love you tons and tons!! 

Elder Hart

(My companion is the one closest to me.  He´s fun)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Letter from the Whitney's

We feel very fortunate to have Elder Hart in our zone. He's always willing to step forward and go the extra mile as a disciple of Christ. For example just  this past Thursday without any notice, he helped out at a memorial funeral service for the district president's father. You should have seen him hunched over this little plastic keyboard, outside the president's house, in the dark, next to the highway, playing hymn after hymn for about an hour while our faithful congregation sang along. Wish we had taken a picture for you. Here's one of him playing Happy Birthday instead.
Los Abuelos

Monday, May 16, 2016

Talking Fast

Dear family and friends,

I met my new companion, Elder Ortiz, this past Tuesday.  He´s from Ecuador, he loves soccer, he was in the zone Huaraz in the mountains, and....he talks so dang fast that I barely understand a word he says.  Seriously, not even the other Latinos understand him! I´m always like, "What? What did you say?" It´s kinda embarassing, but you gotta do what you gotta do! My pride is being reduced even further, which is a good thing I think haha.  By the time I leave him though, if I can understand him, it will mean that I can also understand every other person in PerĂº.  Heavenly Father´s preparing me for something I suppose!

I´ve eaten so many exotic fruits here! Guanabana, ciruela, guayaba, granadilla, this past week I ate sugar cane, which isn´t exotic but it was still a first! It was kinda good I guess.  Super sweet...duh.

On Friday I hit my 180th day in the mission!  I get home on November 6 or 7, which is 720 days after I left. 180/720 = 1/4! Now officially more than 25% done.  It´s been the longest and shortest six months of my life.  

I love Elder Bednar´s talk about baptism, the holy ghost, and the sacrament.  Elder Whitney, the senior couple missionary that lives beneath us, printed one off and gave it to me to study.  It´s so good!!! One of my favorite talks ever given.  It gives me so much purpose and perspective with our day to day work.  We visit people and many times just go through the motions, but realizing the importance of those ordinances and their relation to the grace of Jesus Christ gives me lots of motivation as a missionary.

I was reading a little bit in Mosiah this past week, and love the story of the people of Alma.  There´s lots to learn there about covenants.  They made a covenant to bear one another´s burdens, then 6 chapters later had their own burdens born! Compare that to the people of Limhi, who hadn´t made covenants, and the Lord was slow to hear their cries.  It´s so interesting to think about the covenants we make and renew every week.  In the moment we make them, we recieve some sort of right/authority/privilege/knowledge.  However, the power and grace of Christ comes as we KEEP those covenants! The people of Alma weren´t delivered only because of the covenants they had made, but because of the covenants they were keeping! As we keep our own covenants, power, mercy, and delivering grace from Jesus Christ comes into our lives, and we are strengthened.

That´s the week! Hope you´re all well in wherever you are!

Love, Elder Hart

Monday, May 9, 2016


Hello everyone! 

A kinda quicker email this week! As far as transfer news, I´m staying here in Viru, but my companion Elder Anco is off to Chimbote to be a district leader! I get a new companion named Elder Ortiz, so I´ll meet him tomorrow and see what´s up there.  

We had a marraige and baptism this week! I´ll send some pics to my mom, hopefully the blog is still a thing and she puts pictures there for all to see...:)  But it was super good! My first baptism on the mish!

Something super funny happened this week.  SO there are these two twins in a family we teach that are crazy.  At one point in a lesson, one of them started going to the bathroom on the floor of the house.  The other twin started to attempt to step/leap over the jet, then cross back over.  It was so disgusting! But we were trying so hard not to start laughing!

Being Mother´s day and all, I of course have to give a little spot in the email to my mom! I, like everyone else, always think of the moms of the sons of Helaman.  In the chapters 56 and 57 of Alma, it´s interesting to see the roles their mothers played as teachers and examples, and the impact their mother´s testimonies had on them.  In their darkest, scariest moments, they thought of their moms´ testimonies, and were strengthened.  I can testify of the reality of that power! More than once, my beautiful mother´s face, words, or testimony have come into my mind and comforted me in times of trouble.  Like Mormon says, "perfect love casteth out all fear."  Is there any love on earth closer to perfect love than the love of a mother? 

Love you all tons and tons and tons and hope you have a great week! 

Elder Hart

Monday, May 2, 2016

Darn Mosquitos

Dear family and friends,

To start off...glad to hear that Golden State beat the Rockets.  Bummer that Curry´s out, that worries me.  The fact that the Blazers are in the playoffs is surprising to me after they lost Aldridge.  Go Warriors. Or I wouldn´t mind the Spurs of course.  

The mosquitos are out in full force!  My arms honestly make me look like I have chicken pox, there are so many red bumps. Quite bothersome!

So the months and seasons are backwards here, and we´re just heading into winter.  It´s really starting to get "cold."  As in, 65-70 degrees at 9:00 when we go back to the room.  It´s super funny though, EVERYONE breaks out their sweatshirts and blankets and huddles up like it´s below freezing! At night night, as we´re sleeping, it gets down to about 40-45 at the coldest.  When Elder Anco and I leave to run, it´s about 55 and cloudy and feels so good! But during the day it still gets up to 85ish without a cloud in the sky.

I bought a backpack this past week.  There is no better feeling than throwing that thing over my shoulder and feeling like I´m walking the halls of Herriman High haha. Also, I heard the song "Electric Love" by BURNS.  It´s wild how a song brings back so many memories to someone´s head.  No wonder missionaries can´t listen to worldy music, they would be filled with home memories all day!  TRUNKY! (That´s a mission slang word that means "thinking about home" basically.) 

So the Pereda family is getting married and baptized this Saturday.  First, the two kids, 10 and 11, were going to get baptized too.  Then, the parents got uncomfortable and said they wanted the kids to wait until they knew more.  We´ve been teaching the kids specifically this past week, simplifying the lessons and helping them understand things.  They may be back on for baptism now, we aren´t sure and the parents aren´t either haha.  We´re hoping and praying! I love teaching kids though! I feel like the past 18 years of my life, with the thousands of primary lessons and FHEs and object lessons and unplanned teaching moments have prepared me so much to teach kids! So that´s been neat to see that preparation in action and use some of the same lessons and object lessons that my dad used with us here in Peru, thousands of miles away.

I´ve been learing about prayer.  It´s so enlightening to see Nephi´s example.  If I were in his situation and had to build a boat, I probalby would have prayed, "Please help me to build this boat." His specific prayer to receive revelation was answered, and he acted! Alma prays in Alma 31:35 for "power and wisdom" to be able to act in the mission field! Not just praying halfheartedly for people, but praying for specific revalation and strength on how to help them, then acting! Look at every time the word "strength" is mentioned in the Book of Mormon, then how many times prayer is associated with that in being able to gain strength.  Something I´ve been learning lots about lately.

Love you tons and hope you all have great weeks! Can´t wait to skype on Sunday!!

Love, Elder Hart