Monday, January 26, 2015

Busy Week

Hola, como están? Tuvimos una semana loca! It was a crazy week here. We had a ton of things to do. So I can`t find my agenda right now, but I`m pretty sure that my companion has it but I`ll try to remember as best as I can. So last Monday after we wrote we ate a ton of food with three families. We ate with the family of the counselor of President Christensen, Los Perez and it was really good but the Hermana made us eat way too much haha. Later we had another appointment and they invited us to eat as well, and its pretty hard to say no, especially in Mexico where its kind of a cultural thing. Oh well, better to be too full than too hungry.

On Tuesday we had interviews with the president in the offices. It was good to get to talk to President Christensen and Hermana Christensen as always, they're awesome! Later we accompanied an investigator that lives in our area to have a interview as well with President Christensen to see if she could be baptized. So she had been attending church for about 3 years every sunday and has a strong desire to be baptized but her husband (not actually married) won`t marry her but she still lives with him. So the president gave her permission to be baptized so that was some really good news. Later we had a meeting with President Christensen and the Stake Presidency with other leaders from La Libertad. It was a really good meeting, but I couldn't really participate much because I'd only been in the Zone for about a day haha. A big emphasis in the stake right now is to strengthen the relationship between the members and the missionaries and to retain recent converts.

"Elder Sid"
On Wednesday we went to a couple district meetings and had exchanges with Elder Espinoza and Elder Breceda. It was kind of strange because I was back in Forjadores, a ward where I served for a few weeks. It was good, we saw a few members that remembered me and has some lessions. Pretty normal calm day with Elder Espinoza. The next day we met back up and my companion was drained because he was fasting for a procedure in the hospital. So we chilled for a bit in the house and later went to the hospital. So we went to the Hospital and he had the procedure. I had to wait outside alone and run some papers around for him alone. It was the weirdest thing ever, to be alone as a missionary without my companion. Also they put him completely to sleep and when he woke up he was speaking almost 100% English saying really funny stuff. It was really funny, I sent a few videos.

The next few days we worked a little in the area, took it a little easy because Elder Arias was pretty wiped out. I interviewed a 12 kid to be baptized by Elder Medrano, a District Leader in our zone. He was super prepared. On Sunday I went to church the first time in Aquiles Serdan. It was really good, the ward is a lot bigger than Resurgimiento. There is actually an Elders Quorum and we fill up the chapel. We actually met in another meetinghouse because they are remodeling ours but we are going to return this Sunday.

Alright, so we also did exchanges again starting yesterday because there is an elder in our zone that has to go to Mexico City every Monday to visit a doctor. So to give his companion a break we are going to take turns going with him to Mexico City. Right now Elder Arias is in Mexico City and I`m here with Elder Breceda. And Elder Arias has my agenda. So next week I will get to go to Mexico City so that will be pretty sweet.

Yup, we did a ton of stuff this week. We honestly haven't had a lot of time to proselyte in the area, but we did have a little time. That's just the way it is sometimes. It was a really fun week too. Elder Arias is a great Elder, really funny and nice. Well, everyone have a good week!

-Elder Hartvigsen

Monday, January 19, 2015

Cambios otra vez?! (Transfers Again?!)

Hello everyone, I hope you are all doing well. 

Been a pretty good week, one that's been pretty extraordinary. So right now I am writing from the other side of Puebla, in the stake of La Libertad. So we had emergency changes again, from what I've heard there was a lot of irregular changes today. I guess there were some problems in some places and the President had to shuffle everyone around. So we received a call from the President on Friday night, and he told me that we were going to have changes, and that I was going to be a Zone Leader. So here I am, in the ward Alquiles Serdan en la estaca la Libertad. I actually just got here a few hours ago with my companion Elder Arias. Its kind of funny, he was one of the secretaries when I arrived in the mission in July and now were Zone Leaders together. Kind of crazy.

Goodbye to the neighborhood dog
So our week in Resurgimiento was actually really good again. We had a Zone Meeting and a special Zone Conference with the President. Elder Bartschi and Villa taught a way to teach new investigators baptism and the restoration and we practiced it. It was good, then later the President spoke to us for a little more than an hour about some things of the mission. Since he is going to leave the mission in about 6 months he is really focusing on how we can all improve, and raise the level of the mission even higher. He always talks about how when he arrived in the mission that there were a lot of bad things that he had to change, and that how he doesn't want the mission to start going that way again. So he talked about some issues that there had been with obedience, and a few other topics. It was honestly a really great meeting, we talked about change, repentance and how we can improve. I always learn a ton from the President.

On Saturday I also had a meeting with the President and all of the District Leaders. We also talked about some of the things that he menioned in the Zone Conference and how we can help our distircts improve. We also talked about how as district leaders sometimes we need to correct things we see in our districts, and how we should do so with love, and how we really can´t oblige anyone to change. I also learned a lot from that meeting as well. In my last week we also found some new invistigators, and a few really solid ones too. One of them told us that he is looking for the true church and was really excited to read the Book of Mormon. I´m kind of sad I won´t be there to see how they progress, but oh well. 

So it was a pretty strange Sunday, having to say goodbye to the ward and all the people that I've come to know and love. It is always tough to say goodbye, especially to the people with whom you've have spiritual experiences with. I also feel kind of bad for the Elders in Resurgimientos because all of them only have 2 weeks or less, so I have know idea how they are going to find thier way around or how they are going to figure out where they´re going to eat! Haha. They´ll be fine.

The food in Resurgimientos
So its been a wierd P-day as well. All I´ve done is pack, traveled to my new area, and eaten with some members. It also feels kind of weird to be a Zone Leader, I have to worry about a lot more people now since there are 3 districts in our zone. My companion is awesome though! We get along very well, he's a really nice guy and I look forward to get to know him better and work with him. It will be interesting to learn all of the new responsibilities I have as well.

Yup, pretty crazy week, but it was a good one. Everyone have a great week!

-Elder Hartvigsen

Monday, January 12, 2015

Resurgence in Resurgimiento

Hello everyone, we had a good week here in Resurgimiento. 

Before transfers with the old District
So I now have a new companion named Elder Pastor. He`s a really good Elder who is from the State of Mexico (only about 2 or 3 hours away) and has been out in the mission for about 4.5 months. We get along well, and we teach well together too. He also really knows his scriptures. So on Tuesday, we had changes, and Elder Mendoza, Burgess, and Garrido all went out of Puebla to Tlaxcala. Elder Mendoza right now is a district leader and training a new American, Elder Burgess is a Zone Leader somewhere is Tlaxcala, and Elder Garrido is actually with my trainer Elder Delgado. The three new elders that came here to the ward are my comp, Elder Pastor, and two Zone Leaders who are Elder Villa and Bartschi. I haven`t gotten to know them really well, but they`re good Elders as well.

So we had a pretty normal week after the transfers, the next day we had a District Meeting and I met the two new Hermanas in the District. They`re named Hermanas Guadarrama and Cherrez. La Hermana Meek is actually training Guadarrama and Cherrez is a sister training leader with Hna. Dapper. So the district is basically completly new, with five new people, but we`re still a strong district! I expect to see a lot of progress in these two wards here in this next transfer.

Selfie (1)
So after the district meeting we worked like normal. Not a lot with investigators but a lot with less active members. We`ve been having a hard time finding new investigators but that changed on Sunday! So on Sunday we found 7 new investigators. After church we had a lesson with a guy who lives on the same street as us a few houses down from us. So we had always talked with him in the street because he`s known other Elders in the past. When we had the lesson he told us that he had already read the Book of Mormon. It caught us off guard a little, and we asked him if he prayed to know if the book is true. He told us that when he read it, he prayed and didn`t feel anything right after, but that night he had a dream, in which the prophet Nephi came to him dressed in a tunic. So that was a pretty good lesson. He accepted baptism but he wanted to come to church first to learn more as well.

Selfie (2) with Elder Burgess
Later that day we had an appointment with a woman who contacted us in the street. We were knocking on a door on Friday and she came to us and asked us if we visited people and if we could help her with family problems. We were pretty excited when she told us that. So it turns out that she has family in the US who are members, and they have told her what a change the gospel has made in their lives, and in their families. So she and her three children were really receptive, and also accepted baptism. We also taught one of her neighbors. Pretty good lesson as well.

Selfie (3)
That day we also had a lesson with one of our investigators who is named Valeria, who is nine and has been attending church for months now. We finally ran into her mother and the boyfriend of her mother. They told us that they don`t want Valeria attending church anymore because she always comes home angry. We think its because she wants to be baptized but her mother won`t let her. So we talked with them about the church, and how the gospel can bless families. The lesson went alright, but it changed at the end when we asked the mother to pray. She told us she didn`t know how, so we taught her the formula and then asked her to pray. When she prayed, the spirit was there very strong, and she and her boyfriend were crying. It was a pretty awesome experience.

Yup, pretty average tough week until yesterday. We hope to continue to find new investigators and to be able to help the ones we`ve found progress. Finding all of these people really strengthened my testimony that Heavenly Father is either guiding us into the path of people that are being prepared, or guiding them into our path. We`ve seen a lot of miracles this week, and are hoping to see them continue into these coming weeks. 

Well, see you all later!

-Elder Hartvigsen

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A Lot of Changes

Hello everyone, I hope you all had a happy new year. Kind of weird that it is 2015. Didn't really feel much like a new year here, being pretty warm and we also didn't stay up until midnight on new years. Ha ha, slept through it, but that's fine with me. 

Dominos in Mexico!
We've had a pretty interesting week, we found out who has transfers and who is going to stay. So in my district it seems like everyone has changes. My companion Elder Garrido, and the two other Elders Mendoza and Burgess have changes. So I`m the only one that's staying of the Elders in this District and in the ward as well. I`m going to get a new companion and we`re going to have two new Zone Leaders. Also two of the Hermanas are leaving too. Hna. Jensen and Ramirez are leaving, and Hna. Meek is going to be training a new misionera. Ramirez and Mendoza are also going to train but are going to different areas. So we basically have a completely new district, but it will be good. I`ll be here in Resurgimientos for at least one more transfer which is fine by me. It will be interesting to see how things work our with so many new missionaries here.

Elder Garrido and Elder Hartvigsen
So this week was alright in terms of work. We are still struggling to find new investigators and get the ones we have progressing. We found out a few days ago that Javier, our investigator that actually has real potential is going on vacation with his family for about a month. So it`ll be a while until we see him again. 

We had a good New Years, ate a ton of food again, but really good food. Posole, Chiles en Nogada, a really good chicken dish, and one member gave us Doctor Pepper! Doctor Pepper almost doesn't exist in Mexico, so that was a treat. A break from Coke haha.

The rest of the week was pretty normal, except for yesterday with the three other Elders saying goodbye to everyone. A lot of people were kind of sad, we had a visit with a member that we`ve been working with a lot that was less active and now is preparing to enter the temple with his wife that was very good. He started crying a little when he thanked us for working with him and not giving up on him. He`s such a boss, we've seen such a great change in him, at first he would accept our visits but wasn't really involved, but he started to read again and go with his wife when she taught early morning seminary. He started coming to church again, and he has such a strong testimony now. One Sunday he said he just woke up with a desire to attend church. He`s experienced a great change of heart, and it has been amazing to see. I can`t wait for him to get sealed to his wife in the temple.

So yeah, tomorrow we go to cambios to see who goes where, and who will be the new people in the district. It`ll be fun. Well, I hope you all have a good week, and enjoy getting back to school and work and stuff. Hasta próxima semana!

-Elder Hartvigsen