Monday, February 27, 2017

Lessons from Ether

Dear family and friends,

Missionary work is a lot like fishing.  It´s no wonder Christ calls his disciples "fishers of men."  Cast after cast.  Person after person. Being patient in times of apparent "drought".  Getting really excited at a possible bite, but knowing when and how to "set the hook".  You can´t do it too early and lose them, but you can´t do it too late when they´re already done.  It´s a fun analogy I´ve been thinking about this week haha.

We´re teaching a man named Jorge, a referral from a member here in the ward.  We didn´t know this when she gave us the referral, but it seems that they´re wanting to become a couple.  Needless to say, the teaching enviornment is kinda awkward.  For example, we invited him to read the Book of Mormon and ask Heavenly Father if it´s His word.  He says, "I´ll definitely do that, and I´ll also ask Doris here to cut my hair this weekend!!"  Yeah, that was a real line from our lesson this week.  Awkward.  

We also had a fun conversation with a lady this week who worships the virgin mary.  She asked us if we also did, and we explained that while we have great respect and love for her, we don´t choose to worship her.  She gave us her point of view that "she is a chosen woman! Think about it: she comes all the way from Adam and Eve!! She has diving blood! She HAS to be worshipped!!"  We had big grins on our faces as we listened to that logic.   She does have a point though: everyone descended from Adam and Eve have divine blood!

For some reason, I just made the connection this week about how much time the Book of Ether really covers.  All the way from Abraham to like Jeramiah! That´s a ton of history in a tiny little book!! Never really realized it before.

I loved a phrase I read this week in Ether, when describing the Jaredites. "when they had done all these things they got aboard of their vessels or barges, and set forth into the sea, commending themselves unto the Lord their God." I just really like the image of a people completely trusting Heavenly Father and commending themselves unto the Lord their God.  Not knowing at all what would happen, but having faith and trusting in His perfect plan.  How many faithful children of Heavenly Father commend themselves unto Him every day in their own situations?? I hope we can all have the faith and trust to do so!

Love you all, have a super good week!!

Elder Hart

Monday, February 20, 2017

The fastest email of my life

Dear family and friends,

I have 4 minutes left.  I don´t know what has happened to the time, but it has flown today!

I am well. My health is well. I am a missionary.  Those are the most important things you could know in these four minutes. ;)

Mitzuka was baptized on Friday! She passed her interview with President Rios on Thursday and came out super emotional and happy.  We asked her when she wanted us to schedule her baptism and she said, "Tomorrow."  So we scrambled and got everything together and let people know and did it the next day! I felt so so good as she bore her testimony and expressed her desires to go to the temple and be sealed, and later raise her children and family in the gospel.  She said, "My life will never be the same." I just felt like THAT is the purpose of missionary work! It made me really excited to continue working!

Also, a member from the temple presidency spoke at stake conference yesterday and said, "The temple is like the college of life.  It requires lots of preparation, but as we go and receive a higher education, we´ll be prepared to receive greater blessings." I kinda liked the simplicity of the analogy!

Love you all tons! Have a great week! Thanks for the sports updates as well:)

Love, Elder Hart

Monday, February 13, 2017

Beat the Heat

Dear family and friends,

We closed the week with a bang yesterday! So, our church is at 2:00 which is a really strange schedule.  Before church we went to Mitzuka´s house.  She´s our investigator that´s getting baptized this week.  She´s been investigating a while and is familiar with all the commandments, so we just went up to quickly review the baptismal interview questions.  The interview was set for 5:00,  right after church.  As her interview was happening, I did an interchange with a 25 year old Argentinian who taught martial arts before the mission and is pretty intimidating.  That was fun;)  So I got back to the chapel and learned that Mitzuka is having an interview with President Rios on Thursday! It was pretty unexpected, but we´ll see how it goes! Her baptism, which was scheduled for Wednesday, will be postponed to Friday.  If she passes the interview of course!  

We had a multizone conference on Thursday, where I was able to see some past companions and be nourished spiritually.  It was on "How to Teach Repentance" and focused lots on commitments we extend and follow up we do.  Then we have interviews this Thursday as well.  With the multizone, we had 3 other elders from the office come and stay with us.  It was like a little party! We didn´t really do anything but talk, but hey, it´s different than the same-old same-old right?

What else might you be interested to know?...
--It´s still really hot here.  We really wanted it to be hot when President and Sister Rios were here this past week so they would experience it and buy us fridges or something.  As luck would have it, that day was as calm as can be, a nice breeze, completely fine! Then this week we´re back to feeling the heat and humidity.
--I don´t remember if I said this, but hats and sunglasses were authorized because of the heat! We bought hats awhile back and feel like a cross between the pioneers and Indiana Jones.
--It´s hard to help people who have felt the Holy Ghost act on it! We have multiple investigators who have felt the Holy Ghost and even recognized it! However, when we extend the invitation to act, they´re still hesitant.  I suppose we´re all like that to a degree, though, now that I think about it...

Again, sorry for the lack of quality in the past few emails! All the days and weeks just blend together and I have no idea what´s new and what´s not.  Love you lots though and have a great week!

Love, Elder Hart

Monday, February 6, 2017

The Ministry of Reconciliation

Dear family and friends,

Time is going faster.  Speaking long term of course, but also just talking about this hour of email time.  I swear the hour keeps getting shorter and shorter haha.  Let me blitz through some of my stuff for this week! was a pretty average week actually.  Which was really welcome after a crazy week last week.

I guess I would just say that I´m loving my time in Bellamar with Elder McMillan.  It´s really fun to just put 100% effort and focus into the work.  It´s almost like a bike, with your companionship as the chain.  When you have to keep stopping to fix the chain and get on the same page with your companion, you can´t pick up any momentum! It´s super nice to have a well working "chain" and pick up lots of momentum in the work.  If that analogy makes any sense...

I read this week in 2 Corinthians where it says, "And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation." The ministry of reconciliation!! I love it.  I´m so so thankful for the gospel and atonement of Jesus Christ, which reconciles us to God on terms of our faithfulness and repentance.  And I´m also grateful for the trust Heavenly Father has in us, imperfect children, to give to us the ministry of reconciliation! Helping others reconcile themselves to God through his Beloved Son´s gospel.  It´s been motivating me this week.

Sorry for the lack of material in this email! Thank you all so much for your emails, pictures, and prayers of support and love.  I love you all so much!!