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


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


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 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