Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas!

Hello everyone, I hope you all had a great Christmas. We had a good one over here in Resurgimientos. We honestly didn´t have a ton of work that we did this week, but it was a very spiritual one nonetheless. There is something in the air around Christmas, and it´s great!


So the week started pretty normally, we had a lesson with our investigator Javier which was a good one. He´s very receptive, and he likes to talk with us about the gospel of Jesus Christ. We just got to get him coming to church more often! That Tuesday night we went with the other Elders and bought two kilos of Tacos Arabes and ate a ton. It was a fun little Christmas celebration. 

The next day, we ate so much as well. We had a really good district meeting and after we made cookies and had desert that the hermanas brought. After that we went to la comida and ate some pretty good sopa de broccoli, after that we went with that Fam. Andrade, that fed us Chiles en Nogada, cake, and fish. It was very good food as well. 
Christmas Greetings - 2014
That night for Christmas eve we were invited to another house where we had a family home evening and then ate another full meal. All the food was great, but we ate so much it was ridiculous.

 For Christmas we were invited by Javier and Jokabeth to have breakfast which was a chicken dish with bacon. I think that was the first time I´ve eaten bacon in Mexico, it was super good. After that we went to try and find a few investigators to see if they were home and search out a few contacts that we had. We couldn´t find anyone and there was hardly anybody in the street so we made our way to la comida that day. So then we ate again. 
Elder Hartvigsen on Skype Christmas Day
 That afternoon talked with our families with skype! It was great to see my family and be able to talk with them, a little weird as well. It doesn't feel like it, but it had been about 6 months. Kind of strange. They were doing great, and I´m very thankful for the opportunity I had to talk with them. So the day after Christmas that Friday my comp, Elder Garrido got pretty sick so we didnt leave the house all day. It was alright though, I did my wash, cleaned the kitchen and watched The Testaments. Alright day, but its the worst to be stuck in the house! 

The Saturday and Sunday after were pretty normal, we had some lessons with members and less actives and on with one of our investigators who is 9 years old. She´s great, and wants to be baptized pretty bad, but her mother doesn´t want her to. Its pretty rough, but we´ve been trying to work with her mother and teach her as well. Yup, pretty good P-day as well, we played futból, did some wash. 

I also turned 20 today which is kind of strange. Weird to think I´ve been alive for 2 decades. No longer a teenager, more of an adult. Cool stuff. Anyways, this week should be good, we're going to find out who has changes this Saturday, should be exciting. Well, everyone have a good new year, and enjoy the last week or so of your winter break! 

Con amor -Elder Hartvigsen

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Almost Christmas

Hello everyone, Merry Christmas! Well, in a few days anyway. 


We had a pretty good week, we didn't have a ton of stuff though. We only had a few appointments with Investigators and a fair amount of lessons with members and less active members. We also had intercambios with the other elders, and a ward Christmas party.


Christmas Carols
So on Wednesday we had exchanges with the Zone Leaders. Elder Burgess and I worked in my area and Elder Garrido went with Elder Mendoza to work in their area. We had a really good day. We had a really good lesson with a partial member family, I might have already mentioned them but the Hermana is a member of many years but is inactive and her husband (not actually married though) is our investigator. We taught a lesson to them about the Santa Cena (sacrament) and later he started asking us a bunch of questions about things he´s heard when he´s gone to church. Such as what are the Gold Plates, who's Joseph Smith, things about the Restoration. Its was pretty awesome, and we left a pamphlet for him to read and write down his questions, and we are going to teach the Restoration next time. He was pretty excited to read it and write down his questions.



That day we also went to visit a less active member, and when we went we found that part of her family from Canada is visiting them. It was pretty cool to meet that family, the parents are both from Puebla and thier kids can speak fluent spanish and english. They attend a spanish branch up in Calgary. It was pretty sweet, they fed us tacos arabes, we taugh part of the restauration to the other daughter that isn´t a member. Oh also they gave us a bunch of cookies and milk and gave us a ride home. Pretty sweet. We have another appointment with them tonight as well.



So on Friday we had the Christmas party of the Ward which was good. Us 4 sang a little arrangement of Cantan Santos Angeles and En la Judea en Tierra de Dios. We sang pretty well, or at least as well as 4 Elders who don't have much experience singing can. Elder Burgess has a video of it, I´ll try and get a copy of it. The rest of the party was good. We had a bunch of less actives show up, a few of our investigators which was great. We ate a ton of food as well. It was a good night, but we had to go home before santa came :(.

Yup, that was my week. Well, every have Merry Christmas. Its a great time of year to remember the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. If you haven´t already seen it, I invite you to watch the short video at christmas.mormon.org. We've been sharing this video a lot with everyone and its a great video. 

Well, Merry Christmas!
-Elder Hartvigsen

Monday, December 15, 2014

It's Beginning to Feel a Bit like Christmaaaaas

Buenas tardes a todos. How´s it going? I hope you all had a good week, we had a pretty good one here. 
Elder Hartvigsen's District, decked out in their Christmas ties
We honestly didn't have a ton of lessons with investigators, but we did have a ton of lessons with less actives. That seems to have been the case in all of my areas a think. There were good lessons however, and I remember one time someone told me that it is just as important to activate less active members as baptizing is. There are also some really good finding opportunities through less active members. For example we have started teaching a woman from Oaxaca, Mexico who hasn't been to church in a few years and her husband is a non-member. So we've started to teach them and the husband is very accepting. We´re going to try and put a baptismal date with him, but the only thing is that they aren't married. We also seem to get more references from less actives than active members which is a little weird if you think about it.
Creativity at the Missionary Christmas Party
This past week on Tuesday we also had the Christmas Zone Conference. It was great! It was really fun, all of missionaries from the states Fuertes and Amalucan were there. We did a lot of things. We had a sort of reading of some scriptures from the Bible and Book of Mormon about the birth of Jesus, and sang hymns. The president talked (led a disscussion) about how to recieve revalation trough the Holy Ghost, and we played a game called Bunko, and ate a ton of food! I learned a ton, ate a lot, and had some fun. The food was great as always. Hermana Christensen always buys from Costco so it was pretty familiar to me. It will probably be the closest thing I´ll have to an American holiday dinner this year haha, but that's alright. I really like the food here, too.
"Please take only one dessert"
Other than that we had a pretty normal week. It went by really fast to be honest. This week we are going to have a ward Christmas activity which will be fun, and us four elders are going to sing, too. Well, I hope you all have a good week this week. Still no snow here, but I´m hoping! :P
Love you guys!

-Elder Hartvigsen

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Gospel can change hearts

Hello everyone. Well one week down in December. It was a pretty good week, it was fairly normal one. We did have a few things that were out of the ordinary, we had a meeting with the President, Assistants and all the District Leaders in the Mission and then we also had the opportunity to watch the First Presidency Christmas Devotional. Other than that we had a District meeting and worked all week.


A missionary's tools
As with every meeting I have had with the President I learned a lot and felt the spirit very strongly. It was a great meeting. It also surprised me to see how many District Leaders there are that are new. There are about 20 or so District Leaders that are new from this transfer or the last. It´s great to know that even when we don´t know a ton, or if we don´t have a lot of experience we can still magnify our callings with the help of the Lord. It was also good to see people I don´t see very often at that meeting. I saw some Elders from my generation and also both of my old companions. Our district meeting was also pretty good, we practiced a lot how to contact with Él es la Dádiva [He is the Gift] and also how to teach with it. We have actually had some really good experiences with this initiative. We've had some really good contacts and received a couple referrals from it too. We hope to continue working with it and finding more people!

Around the neighborhood
So in terms of Investigators we don´t really have any that are progressing. As always we are having trouble getting people to attend church. We do have one nine year old girl that has been attending church but her mother doesn´t want her to be baptized. Its been a little rough to not see people progress, but we´ve been working with a lot of less actives. There is actually one less active named Roberto who has been coming to church and changing a lot. We worked with him a lot but he moved to the other side of the ward where the other Elders worked. He bore his testimony yesterday and it was really powerful. He recently retired from the Army and we´ve seen a great change in him. He told us that now he just has a desire to attend church and be with his family more. Its great and has been a testimony to me of how this gospel can work a great change in our hearts if we let it.

Service opportunities
I also had the opportunity to watch the Devotional last night (in English!) and it was awesome! My favorite talk was probably by either President Eyring or Elder Christoferson. They were all great though and I hope you all had a change to watch it, but if not its online!

Yup, pretty good week. I´m looking forward to this one too, to work more with Él es la Dádiva and we are also going to have a Zone Conference tomorow too. Pretty stoked. Anyways, everyone enjoy your week and if you haven´t seen it watch the video He is the Gift! (link)

Love you guys!
-Elder Hartvigsen

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving - Él es la Dádiva (He is the Gift)

Hey all. I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving and didn't eat too much. It is crazy that it is already December. It has started to get a little colder, but today it was warm again so it doesn't really feel too much like December. There have been a few mornings and evenings where it has been pretty chilly in a short sleeve camisa blanca, but once I throw on a jacket it feels nice.

This week was pretty good, we didn't do a ton in terms of lessons or finding a bunch of people. We did have a zone conference with an area Seventy (I think), Elder Toris, President Christensen and their wives. It was really good, and the spirit was also very strong. I learned a lot, even though it seemed a little scattered at times. It was also really good to see some of the new missionaries in the zone and other zones that attended. There is also a new missionary that is 6 foot 7 in. That might not be super super tall in the US, but that's huge for Mexico. I can't imagine how he crams himself into the combis (public transit vans). I also saw a Hermana that I knew from my first ward and area which was pretty neat. Every time we have a meeting with missionaries, and especially with the President or other leaders its great! I always learn a lot and the spirit is also there.

Some rides near the missionary apartment
The work has been a little slow with the Investigators. We really don´t have anyone progressing which is pretty frustrating. Also it seems like every Sunday we have a ton of people committed to come to church and then no one shows up! It doesn't help that our church starts at 8 am either... Oh well, we can´t take away peoples agency. We have been working with a lot of Less Actives and our Recent Convert of about two weeks, Emma. It has been good to see them progress and attend meetings. We also had a good-interesting lesson with Emma and her family. So her son is the returned missionary and he´s great. He´s a work horse and he´s pretty bold. We finally got the spouse of Emma to sit down with us, and his son grilled him pretty hard. It was pretty interesting. Also there is cool story that Hna. Emma told us. When she was baptized when she came up out of the water she came up really fast and pretty hard then started crying. She told us this week that when she was baptized and came up out of the water she felt like a weight just fell off of her, and was just overwhelmed. Pretty cool. Baptism really is the start of a new life.





So today we also had a little Thanksgiving activity in our district. We played fútbol this morning and then we all brought food and watched the movie Forever Strong. It was a good thanksgiving little meal, we had chicken, mashed potatos, vegetables, rolls, soda. It was a good little Mexican thanksgiving. It was pretty fun and kind of weird to watch Forever Strong in Spanish but good. I can now understand about everything which is good. Oh, we also have a new sister in our district, named Hermana Meek. She just finished her training and is with Hna. Ramirez.

So we are also starting this initiative called Él es la Dádiva (He is the gift). There is a really good video up about it.


The greatest gift that we can ever receive is the gift of Christ. The joy that he can give is immeasurable. I´m so thankful for everything that he has given me and continuous to give me. This is a time of the year to remember him and to give thanks to him. It is also a really great time to share this with people we care about. We are going to be working with this throughout December and I´m really excited to start contacting and teaching with it.

So good week. Good Thanksgiving. Hard to believe Christmas is just around the corner. It will be strange not to have any snow this Christmas, but that's alright. Well, everyone enjoy your week!

-Elder Hartvigsen

Monday, November 24, 2014

End of the Third Change (Holidays here we come)

Hello once again everyone. So today is technically the first day of my fourth cambio which is pretty crazy. It doesn't feel like I've been here in Mexico that long but its been about 4 months. Times goes by pretty fast.

So we had a good week. We had the baptism of Hna. Emma which was awesome. So her son, Kevin, who was serving a mission in Argentina, Buenos Aires Norte and he came home Saturday morning. That evening just after he was released by the Stake President as a missionary he baptized his mother. It was a really spiritual service, and it was so great to see her make that covenant with God. It was about time too, she had been having visits from the missionaries for over a year, and had been attending church for that time too. I think she was just waiting for her son.

New returned missionary able to baptize his mother
With baptisms there is also always something that seems to go wrong. We went to the church that morning to check the font, and clean it and when we got there, there was about a foot of dirty water in the font. So we then checked to see if there was water (because sometimes there isn't) and some more dirty water left the tap. I guess a while ago the sewers backed up or something. Anyway, we couldn't drain it because the water tank outside that holds the water is placed to high so the water wouldn't drain (bad engineering). So we had to empty the font with buckets, mop out all the bad water, wipe everything down with bleach then fill it back up. Literally all we did Saturday was prepare for the service, have the service and have the homecoming of Kevin. It was a good day.

Other then that it was a pretty normal week. Oh, we did have another Zone Meeting with our zone and the other zone Fuertes (our stake). It was a good spiritual meeting. It was good to see everyone in both zones and we had some good instruction. Oh, we also found out about changes this week and no one in the district has changes except for Hna. Velazco who is finishing her mission this transfer. So we will have one new hermana in the district and that is the only change.

Yup, that was our week. It was a pretty good one. Well, everyone enjoy your Thanksgivings and turkey bowls. We aren't going to do anything, I actually thought Thanksgiving was last week until I read the emails. Bye!
-Elder Hartvigsen


El Popo smoking!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Another Week in Mexico

Hello everyone. 

I´m writing with the worst keyboard I've ever used so please excuse any errors, but things are well here. 

I´m told that it is getting pretty cold over there in Utah, and in the US in general. Things are still great here, in the 70s almost every day. Its kind of funny, it gets a little colder in the mornings, like in the 60s, maybe 50s and people here have coats and complain about how cold it gets. Maybe next year I´ll sympathize with them a little more if I become acclimated to the weather.


It was honestly a really normal week. We had lessons with a lot of less actives and a few with investigators. We might have a baptism this week if our investigator got married over the weekend. We´re going to find out if she did tomorrow so we are hoping for that. We also had interviews with the president which was really good. Whenever we have something with the President it is always great! Also Hermana Christensen always brings Costco muffins to the interviews! Don´t eat those a lot down here. I also saw Elder Pluma at the interviews which was fun too. Definitely miss that guy but he´s having a good time in his new area, he likes it a lot over there even though its pretty far away.

So this week we find out who has changes, and who is going to train. The President sent us an email saying that 19 new missionaries are coming for this change and that he is going to have to close a lot of areas to have areas in order to train the new missionaries. The Zone Leaders tell me that they think that at least one area in the zone is going to be closed and that at least one of us is going to train. I think it might be Hna. Ramirez in my district because her companion Hna. Velazco is going home this change. We´ll see. Also I don´t thing that I or Elder Garrido will have changes because he just got here and so did I, but who knows really. President might have to move a lot of people around this change. 

Oh, its also Elder Garrido´s birthday today, his last in the mission and he turned 21. Hermana Velazco also had a birthday on Saturday too. We ate cake and played futbol all morning today. It was pretty fun. So today in Mexico its some holiday or something so all the members came and played futbol. It was fun, also the two american Hermanas, Dapper and Jensen came and played too. Oh yeah, they changed a rule here too. For the past 6 months there has been a rule for all of Mexico that only 4 missionaries can gather together at any given time except for zone conferences and other official meetings, but the President asked the area 70 and changed the rule since this is the safest mission in Mexico. So now we can have district and zone activities. So we´ll be having more of those in the future I imagine.

Yup, pretty normal week, not a ton happened. 
Disfruten su frio! [Translation "enjoy your cold!]

-Elder Hartvigsen

Monday, November 10, 2014

New Week, New Companion

Hello once again everyone. How is it going? Things are doing good here in Mexico. 

So this week we had irregular changes and now my companion is Elder Garrido. He was serving in an area named Grajales which is about an hour an a half away. Elder Pluma is over there right now with Elder Slighting. Yup, Elder Garrido has about 15 or 16 months in the mission, is from Panama (one of the three Panamanians in this mission), works hard and is really good at futbol. He's a good guy and we've been working hard together. We've actually had a good week together, we've had a good amount of lessons and we have a few new people we're starting to teach.





So after our changes Tuesday we came back here and just kind of worked like normal week. We had a few really good lessons this week, and we found two old investigators that really have a lot of potential. The problem that we always seem to run into is that the really good investigators never have time. We met a part member family that the wife is a member and her husband isn't a member. He seems really interested, and we have a lot of hope for him, but the thing is that he is a Soldier that lives here and is only here Sunday mornings. Which is good because he can attend church, but we can only meet with him once a week at most. Yeah, there is a lot of military people here, there is actually a guy sitting next to me right now in the little internet tienda all decked out in his camo. We have also been working with a less active member who is also part of the army. He is really good and he says that he thinks it´s about time that he started reading the scriptures and starting to come back. So we've been working with him and we're going to try and get him active because his wife who is one of the seminary teachers wants to go to the temple with him. He actually invited us to go running with him next week on the base so that will be pretty cool, its like a forest over there, it would be nice to get out of the city for a bit.
`
Uh oh!
Yup, district meeting was a little strange this week. The Zone Leaders had exchanges over in Grajales and Libres (1.5 and 3 hours away) so there weren't there and two of the other sisters went to the hospital with one of their less actives so it was just Elder Garrido and I, and the two other sisters. Also a member was there but it was a little sparse. It was still good though. So today we played soccer again which is always fun. I'm definitely getting better but I´m still not as great as the elders that have been playing soccer for their whole lives. I´m also really out of shape, we ran to the church this morning from our house which is maybe three quarters of a mile and it was rough! I think its all the tortillas.

Yup, things are still going well here, we're improving little by little. Still looking forward to the baptism that we hope we're going to have with Emma. It might not happen on that date we put because there is a wait to be married here. Its tough to get people married here! It costs usually like 1500 pesos (more than 100 dollars which is a lot for many people here) and they have to take blood samples and need a bunch of papers. Its rough, because it seems like half of the couples in Mexico aren't married! Yeah, so she might get baptized on the 22 or we might have to wait, but in any case she's going to make it.

Anyways, love you all, have a good week!

-Elder Hartvigsen

Monday, November 3, 2014

Mas cambios

Buenas tardes a todos. Or good night or morning depending on when you read it. 


This week was pretty good, we're slowly improving in our area and so are the other companionships in our district. We are still working with a lot of less actives and really only have 3 or 4 investigators that we regularly teach. We have more but it seems like a few of them have dropped off the face of the earth or are never around or don´t have time when we drop by. That's been pretty rough but we do have one new investigator and we are working hard to find other ones.

Things have been good as a District Leader too. I taught another District meeting this time about asking for references with members. The meeting went well, they really aren´t too hard to put together because it really is just kind of a discussion and a practice. I have actually learned a ton when I have been preparing these meetings and a ton from the people in my district during the meetings. I always see something new, usually during the practices and its great! Its also cool to see that perspective of other areas and talk with the missionaries about how they are doing and the work is going in their areas. It was also pretty humbling when a missionary that has about 17 months asked me for advice on something.
Local street art


We had more lessons that last week too which was good. We also set a date with one of our investigators which is awesome! I might have mentioned her before, but she is going to be baptized by her son who right now is a missionary serving in Argentina. We are thinking that he can baptize her before he is released as a missionary so that his last baptism as a full-time missionary will be his mother. We are pretty excited for it. We also had a few rough lessons with some less active members who are pretty tough. We are
working really hard to get them to come back to church and start participating, one of them is even the Elders Quorum President. That is a tough situation, he works with the military and he really doesn't choose his schedule and if he doesn't show up he would be thrown in jail or whatever the army has. And when he does have time, he says that his wife tells him it is either her or the church. So we are working pretty hard with this family, they have some kids that also like to attend, but say they don´t like to go alone. So we are going to be pretty direct with them next lesson.

Oh, that's another thing. I don't know if I have mentioned this before, but in our area there is a military base and a lot of soldiers. There is a fair amount of people that work with the military in this ward. So we always see trucks driving around with soldiers with their guns and machine guns mounted on the roofs. Its pretty interesting.

So today has been a little weird as well. This morning we were playing fútbol and we received a call from one of the assistants. We have emergency changes and Elder Pluma is leaving me and going to another area in our zone that is about an hour or an hour and a half away. I am receiving another companion and we will have the change tomorrow. We´ve been pretty sad today because we really get along well and have been working very well together. It will be alright though. I look forward to getting this new elder and working hard with him. We definitely have a lot of work to do in this area. So yeah, really sad to see Elder Pluma go, but excited for new opportunities and experiences.

Goodbye  Elder Pluma
Yup, that was my week. Really hard to believe that it is already November! It is definitely getting colder here, at least in the mornings. But it shouldn´t get that cold. Have fun in Utah with all that snow and inversion! Vayan bien!

-Elder Hartvigsen

Monday, October 27, 2014

A Less Active Week

Hello once again everyone. Crazy that next week is November, but it really doesn't feel like it here since the weather has been the same since I arrived here. 

We had an alright week, just kind of getting into a groove here, getting to know the members better as well as the investigators. We really don´t have a lot of investigators here, I think we have about 7 but there are a few that I haven´t seen so we are only teaching like 3 or 4 regularly. They are alright, we´ll see what happens with the majority of them but we do have one woman who as been attending the church for about a year and has a son that is serving a mission in Argentina. I´m almost 100% sure she is going to be baptized but she is just waiting for her son to return home at the end of November. We actually are trying to have her be baptized the same day her son comes home by her son as his last baptism as a missionary. That would be pretty cool. She does have to get married with her husband first though, so we are working on that. A lot of investigators here have that problem, since it is kind of expensive to get married here so they either have a unofficial Catholic marriage or just don´t bother. It makes it tough to get couples baptized. This week we didn't really do a whole lot other than contact people and have lessons with less active members. We had a bunch of contactos y lecciones con menos activos. Which was alright, but it is really hard to plan when you don´t have a bunch of places that you could go. It is also a bummer since we haven´t found any new investigators from our contacts even though we've had a ton.



Now that's a burger!
So I also led my first District meeting this week. It was alright, a little rough in places but overall I feel that it went well for my first district meeting. They should get easier as I learn more Spanish and get more experience with them. It was good, we talked about and practiced challenging people to baptism. Something that one of the Zone Leaders told me that turned out to be true was that I definitely learned a lot too in the meeting. I hope the Hermanas and zone leaders learned something too.

Things have been pretty normal here though. We played soccer this morning with just us and the ZL´s and that was fun. I´m actually getting pretty good. We also wrestled a little bit on the lawn since Elder Mendoza likes to wrestle even though he hasn´t before the mission. Oh, we also wrestled a little bit while we we waiting for people to show up for the mission correlation meeting which was fun. I threw Elder Mendoza around a bit and actually bled on my shirt when he really tugged on my ear. Its alright though, I got the blood to come out haha. Other than that it has been pretty normal. Getting to know the area, eating with members and the other Elders, contacting, same old same old. Its fun though, I really like this area and this district. Its fun seeing the Zone Leaders every day and being around them. 

Elder Hartvigsen's Missionary credentials
Well, I hope you all have a good Halloween, I´m not sure if they do much here for that or the day of the dead. I did see a few people in costumes last night. Pues, hasta luego.

-Elder Hartvigsen

Monday, October 20, 2014

Resurgimientos

Well, it has been quite the week. A lot has happened and a lot has changed. 


The new DL
So last Monday we finished saying goodbye, packing and finished cleaning the house and all of the other things we had to do before we left. On Tuesday we said goodbye to Hno. Ricardo who helped us out a lot while we were working in Forjadores. Then later Elder Delgado, Santizo and Lochmiller and I all went to changes. So in this mission when we have changes all of the people that have changes gather in a chapel and the President speaks for a little, they show a video of pictures throughout the mission of the last change, all of the baptisms, and then they have everyone stand up on the sides of the room and they reveal who is with who, and where they are going. 


A street in new Puebla area
So that was fun to have that meeting, and Elder Delgado and I are not together anymore. I was very suprised when this happened, but I was actually made District Leader of District Fuertes 1. Elder Delgado kept telling me I was going to be a District leader, but I didn´t believe him. It was actually really suprising, but a lot of the missionaries from my generation recieved callings. Hermana Larsen is training right now as well as Elder De´Querois (but he already knows Spanish) and Elder Page is also a District Leader. It is definitely really humbling to come right out of training and really not know that much especially in Spanish and become a senior companion and District Leader. So my companion is named Elder Pluma (pen in spanish) and he is a great guy. He has 17 months in the mission and is actually kind of my trainer as a DL. He has helped me out a lot so far and I´m definitely grateful to him. He is from Cancun Mexico, and he´s pretty goofy. He can also speak English very well which has been fun.


Neighbor "Bobby" and Elder Pluma


So right now I am in the East side of Puebla in La Estaca (Stake) Fuertes. We are in the Zone Fuertes South in the Ward Resurgimientos. We are more in the city that we were in Forjadores and much more than Atempan. It´s really cool though, I like it a lot. Our area is fairly big but it isn´t huge. We share the ward with the Zone Leaders, Elder Burgess and Elder Mendoza. We actually see them a lot because we share the ward, and the members feed us 4 together. They are great Elders and fun to be around. So my district consists of two wards. One of the wards has 4 Hermanas and one of them is Hna. Jensen from the district in the MTC. So our district has 8 missionaries in it right now. We had Zone Meeting this past week as well which was really good. Our zone isn´t huge, it only has two districts. It was good, we talked a lot about how to teach with power and really focus on the needs of the people that we are teaching rather then just teach lessons.

I also had a meeting with all of the District Leaders in the mission, and President Christensen and his asistants. That was also a great meeting where I learned a lot more about how to really be an effective DL and how to help the missionaries in your district. I also got to see actually all of my old companions for a second too because they are all companions of district leaders. That was good. I need to teach the next District Meeting this Wednesday which will be good. I´m a little nervous but it honestly won´t be that hard. District meetings are really a time to just come together and talk about how we can improve and practice things with each other.

Front of new apartment building
This week we've been running around a lot. There was also a talk that the president gave in the stake about the Book of Mormon. Not a lot of people showed up but the spirit was still really strong. Every time I´m in a meeting with Pres. Christensen I´m always impressed by the spirit and the knowlegde he has. He truly is a great man, or rather a great instrument in the hands of God. 

So with all of the places we´ve been going we´ve been taking a lot of buses around Puebla, and the buses are crazy! Literally all of the bus drivers think that they are race car drivers. They weave in and out of traffic, they stop just long enough to let people on and off. It is honestly like riding a rollercoaster. It's actually pretty fun.

But yeah, that has been my week. Learning this new area, my new responsibilities, meeting our investigators and members. It has honestly been a really good week. Pues, hasta proxima semana.

-Elder Hartvigsen

Monday, October 13, 2014

Changes...

Hello everyone. I hope that you are doing well. I´ve heard that it is getting colder, at least in Salt Lake City. The weather here is still pretty consistent in the mid seventies every day, so it's still feeling pretty good here! We still are getting rain too, usually at least a little every day. I have no idea when the rainy season is supposed to end, but I´m pretty sure it is pretty soon.
Still raining every day
So the biggest thing that happened this week that we found out is that Elder Delgado and I both have changes. and we have been closing the área which means that we are getting everything ready for the next missionaries that are going to come and serve here. So that has been a little more work than usual. We don´t know where either of us are going, but we will find out tommorrow in the big changes meeting. So in this misión, when people have changes and they are close enough they all gather at a church in Puebla where President Christensen reveals where everyone is going and who are the new Leaders. It is pretty fun, but it also means that we have no idea where we are going, and who with. So that will be good to find out tomorrow. It is very likely that Elder Delgado and I will not be companions in this next change since he has been my trainer and my training is now technically over. That will be a large change too.


This week was pretty good. We had interchanges again this last Wednesday and I went with Elder Santizo to his área this time. It was fun, we taught some lessons and actually played soccer a little with one of their 9 year old investigators before he would let us teach him. It was good, and you always get more perspective when you teach and spend the day with a different missionary.

New haircut
Other than the intercambios and the notice that we have changes things have been pretty normal, pretty slow around here. We did have some pretty good lessons and we have one investigator that is progressing well, actually attending church haha. But the lessons we have had, while good, have been few and far between. We also contacted a lot more this week, but we still have the majority of our appointments fall through. That is never fun, but there really isn´t much you can do about it. It has also been little weird just knowing that it is our last few days here too. It has been a little sad saying goodbye to some of the members, but we honestly haven't become really established here since we've only been here for 3 weeks.

P-day Soccer 
So yeah, that was my week. Who knows where I´ll be next week, and who I´ll be with. However, I know that everything will be fine as long as I trust in the Lord! Have a good week all!
-Elder Hartvigsen

Monday, October 6, 2014

Last Week of My Training

Crazy that it is almost the end of another change, and even crazier that in one more week I will be out of training and technically a full blown missionary! Not that anything will really change dramatically except for a new companion. At least I think so. Elder Delgado keeps telling me that I´m either going to train someone, or be made a District Leader, but we´ll see haha.
P-Day Fun
Things were good and pretty normal here in Puebla, the area is still pretty tough but our efforts this last week weren't that great either. This week we are planning on working a lot harder. We did have some really good lessons this week with our few Investigators.

We also had interchanges with the District leader and his companion. That was actually really interesting because Elder Santizo (the district leader) came to our area with Elder Delgado and I went with Elder Lochmiller to their area. It was really interesting because Elder Lochmiller only has one more change than I do in the mission, so we were two Americans wandering around Puebla with our less than superb Spanish haha. It was good though, we actually taught about 3 lessons that day and we also had a member with us to help us out. It was good, and it was also a testament to me that the Lord really does help us out with the language, and that honestly the really important thing is to speak with the Spirit. There have definitely been times here, and in my old area where I´ve come out of lessons and realized that I couldn´t have said the things I said on my own. The church is true!
Church building in new area
So that was fun, and we also had General Conference! It was awesome! I actually had the oppertunity to watch the conference in English because our Mission President told us to watch it in whichever language we feel more comfortable with. We did watch the first couple talks in Spanish however, while they were setting up the TV for us. It honestly really is better to hear the actually voices of the speakers, however the messages are just as powerful in every language. 
At the back of the church
I never thought that I would ever look forward and enjoy general conference this much, but here I am. It was really good and there were a lot of really powerful, emotional talks given. I hope you all got to at least watch a session or two, but if you didn´t, thats OK, you can still repent! Seriously though, all of the talks that were given are up on LDS.org to watch, read or listen to. One of my favorites that I would definitely recommend would be Elder Holland's talk on caring for the poor and needy (Here). It is a masterfully given talk with much emotion. Or, another great one by President Uchtdorf about how we can know truth for ourselves (Here). Or, if you happen not to be member of our church and want to know why we keep bothering you about our beliefs, watch Elder Bednar's talk (Here). There is much wisdom to be had from these great talks, and I would encourage you to study them in the months to come until the next conference.

So another thing that actually happened last night, is that we had a great lesson with a new family. There were a reference from a member and it is a father and mother, with two daughters that are older and study in a Catholic seminary class type place. The spirit was very strong, and the two daughters especially seem prepared. We were actually talking about thier beliefs, and how they don´t really like everything the Catholic church does, especially with the worship of Saints and the Virgin Mary/Guadalupe. They said how they don´t it sort of puts something else above God and Jesus Christ. They also said how they believe that we can pray to God everywhere, and how the sacrament is important to remember Jesus. We were smiling so much. The Lord really is preparing people to receive this gospel, especially when those people are seeking to find the truth. If it wasn't for this referral from that Hermano in the ward, we probably never would have found them, or gotten inside their home. So don´t be afraid to share the gospel with your friends!

Yup, that was my week. It was a pretty good one when you lood at it. Conference was great, we had a lessons that were good too. It´s crazy that it is October already, before you know it, it will be November and December with Thanksgiving and Christmas. ¡Hasta próxima semana!

-Elder Hartvigsen

Monday, September 29, 2014

Forjadores

Hello once again everyone. So we now have I guess just over a week been here in the Bario (Ward) Forjadores, and things are going all right. We honestly haven't had a ton of things going on this week. Before we arrived the Hermanas that were here had to open the area as well (which means there both came at the same time to the area and both didn't know it) so they hadn't become really established and therefore didn't leave us many investigators. Things have been good, just a little slow and frustrating at times. We do however have one really solid investigator named America who has been receiving lessons from the missionaries for about 3 months now. Honestly she just needs to start coming to church regularly (which she has) and she is ready to become baptized. We have a few other investigators that we have taught but we´ll see what happens with them.
New study companion!
So we got to know the two other elders in our District (and ward) better. Their names are Elder Lochmiller and Elder Santizo and they are both great elders. Elder Lochmiller is from Idaho and Santizo is from Guatemala, and they´re some pretty funny elders. So our District is just us four right now, so District meeting was pretty small but it was good. I always like district meeting, because it gives a chance to analyze our contacting and teaching skills, and really gives us an opportunity to recieve feedback. You can´t really ask your investigators what you could have done better to teach them a principal haha. 


Evidence that the sisters lived here first!
("I am Mormon; I know it; I live it; I love it")
 Last night we also had the program I mentioned in my last email and it was pretty good. They invited the whole stake and a lot of people showed up, they filled up almost every seat and they had a ton of seats! They showed off that diary thing I mentioned that is basically a diary of a persons conversion that a member can fill out while their friend is investigating the Gospel and give to them after (or if) they become a member. It is a good thing, and it has the potential to really get the members involved in the missionary work, and really invite their friends to come and see. We have hopes but we´ll see how well it is implemented. All the Missionaries in the Estaca La Libertad also sang a rendition of Praise to the Man, and it was pretty powerful. All in all it was a good meeting. 


At the Great Pyramid of Cholula
Steps of the Pyramid of Cholula
That was pretty much our week, just getting to know the people that are in our area, getting to know the area. We also went to Cholula today, which is a ancient pyramid with a Catholic church on top. It was pretty sweet, and the Cathedral is pretty bueautiful. I think it is actually the largest pyramid in the new world. Pretty cool stuff. It is really interesting to learn the history of Mexico, and the people here. There is also a really cool story about the Volcano Popocateptl and the mountain next. It is really Romeo and Juliet-esque, I´m sure you can find it on wikipedia or somewhere.
Church at Cholula
Popocatépetl and Izaccíhuatl
 Anyways, con amor -Elder Hartvigsen


Elder Hartvigsen - Overlooking Puebla from Cholula

Forjadores District