Tuesday, December 29, 2015

I was dreaming of a white Christmas. . .

Hello everyone. I hope that everyone had a Merry Christmas. I enjoyed mine, even if it was one without snow. It´s pretty warm here. It would have felt more like Christmas if it had been colder. On Monday we had a good day. We visited some investigators, had some good lessons. 
Zone Christmas Party
Tuesday was also a good day. We had exchanges with our District Leader Elder Lopez and my companion went with Elder Dansie to Huamantla. We had a bunch of lessons but almost all of them were with members. We had a good lesson with a couple of investigators as well. They are a couple and the husband, Edgar lived in Jackson Hole for a while a few months back. I enjoyed working with Elder Lopez as well.

On Wednesday we did our weekly planning and in the afternoon we had the ward Christmas party. We got there at four when they said it was going to start but it actually got started at about 5:30. I know there is a stereotype about Mormons being late but sometimes it´s too much here. It was alright because we didn't have any fixed appointments and we were able to help set up. We ate some pretty good tacos that the bishop made. They also rented some inflatable slides for the kids. There was also a projector set up for a movie, we didn't stay though haha. 

On Thursday the 24th we had a Christmas zone conference! It was really fun. It was different from last years. Last year it was mostly spiritual except for the end when we played a game with dice. This year it was almost all games and group activities until the end when we had a spiritual part. It was a good conference however. The food was also very good. Mashed Potatoes and pumpkin pie for desert! I miss pumpkin pie! That night we got back to the area and visited three families and shared a short spiritual Christmas thought. It was a good evening and I was glad that we could share something with somebody instead of just losing the night.

Calling Home on Christmas Day
Christmas was a good day. So in the morning we had to do service so we went with Hno. Serrano, a member of the ward to his little field and helped him collect his corn. We went pretty early in the morning and my companion was upset because they mission gave us permission to sleep in until 7 but we left the house at 6:30 haha. I enjoyed working in the field however. It´s really simple and you can just kind of turn off your brain. After that we ate breakfast with the Serrano family, went home and showered then went to eat lunch with the Landeros family. There we also talked with our families. I really enjoyed being able to talk to my family, and especially for Skype. Technology is pretty cool. My companion also really enjoyed talking with his family. After that we visited an investigator that had called us who was devastated because his girlfriend left him haha. He was a mess, but it was a cool experience to teach him. He had found our number from other Elders that had visited him. He disappeared the day after, but we also started teaching his parents and brothers who are solid. In the evening we ate dinner with the Hernandez Rodriguez family that had invited us to eat. I ate way too much on Christmas.

On Saturday we had a good day. We visited some recent converts, found some new investigators and prowled around. It got a little cooler that day but I´m realizing that I´ve gotten used to the weather here. I´m going to die in Utah haha. On Sunday we didn´t have many people in church because everyone is on vacation. Yup. Today we´ve had a uneventful P-day. We´ve just done the basics. Buying food, cleaning the house, washing clothes. Well, everyone have a great new year!

-Elder Hartvigsen

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Feliz Navidad!

Hello everyone, and Merry Christmas this week. I honestly don't really feel like it is that close to Christmas but it's this Friday. Kind of strange honestly. I think it is also because it really isn't that cold here. Last year it was colder. Also there is no snow.

So this week was good, I liked it a lot better than last week. So we aren't getting lost as often which is a step in the right direction, On Monday in the evening we taught some investigators that were new to us Miguel and Alicia. They're pretty open to the gospel, but at the same time not super excited. We'll see if we can get them to church. We also taught that night Noemi and Steve. They're doing great. They are one of the few people I've seen in my mission that actually have family prayer every night and we've seen how that has blessed them and their two little girls. 

On Tuesday we had a tougher day. Just a couple of lessons, but we met a really cool member. She is an elderly lady an one of the pioneers here in Apizaco. She has about 45 years as a member. She is also really funny and chatty. We also taught our other investigator Jesus, who was supposed to be baptized this week. He told us that we were going to have to postpone his baptism because he wasn't going to be able to get out of working every night this past week. We were a little bummed, but it's alright. The thing is, is that we lost communication with him until today which has concerned us. He didn't go to church either. We're going to see how he's doing in the evening. 

Wednesday we had a cool experience. We contacted a woman in the street in a farther away part of the area, and when we asked her if she thought God had a plan for her she started crying and said she didn't know. So we put an appointment to visit her on Saturday and when we visited her she told us that she had been feeling really bad that week with her work, and her family and that morning prayed and asked God for guidance. She told us that she thinks that we're that guidance that God sent her. Prayer is powerful. She´s named Carmen and has an adult daughter named Guadalupe and a 11 year old son named Angel. They're awesome and went to church with us yesterday! Also we visited her after Church and said that she made a goal to go to church every week because of the peace and spirit she felt. However they are going on vacation to a city called Huachinango for a couple of weeks so we'll see them when they get back.

On Thursday we had a zone meeting. Our zone here is super small compared to the other zone I was in, it was kind of strange. We also taught Melissa, the deaf recient convert we have. On Friday we taught a baker investigator that we have that makes the best bread I've ever tasted. Saturday we had a few lessons and went to an activity with an investigator named Felipe. The activity was called "Trip to Hawaii" and was awesome! So it's basically like you go sit in a room in the chapel that looks like and airplane and there are flight attendants and the captain talks to you. They the plain crashes and everyone dies. Then appears an angel and we went to different rooms that represented the different Kingdoms of Glory. It was a super cool activity and the celestial kindom was sweet. It made me want to go to the temple haha.

Church on Sunday was good, it was the first time we attended with the ward. It was so nice to bring investigators. Yup, that was our week. It was a good one. Well, everyone have a great Christmas and look past the trivial things and remember the things that matter like family and the Savior! Merry Christmas! Love you all!

John 3:16-17

-Elder Hartvigsen

  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Xicotencatl 1

Hello everyone. I hope that you are all well and enjoying the lead up to Christmas. I realized today that at the end of next week it will be Christmas. Super crazy that it is almost here. It feels a little bit like it, but honestly it isn't the same without snow and really cold weather. Alright.
New companions
So on Tuesday we had the changes and I was assigned to a ward named Xicotencatl, which is in the city of Apizaco in Tlaxcala. Its a fairly big city. Our area is also pretty big, with a fair part of the city and neighborhoods that are farther out amidst the fields. It seems like a cool area. We've been getting lost which always happens when you open an area. My companion is named Elder Cornejo and is from El Salvador. He´s a cool guy. He has just over a year of being a member and is excited to be a missionary. He is also a Chef, plays guitar, and speaks English almost fluently. He has a lot of talents. So Tuesday we had the changes meeting and then came to the area and had an appointment. A Hno. named Hno. Serrano (you will remember him as the Hno. that cut my tie in Zacatlan) took us to the appointment. We taught an investigator whose name is Jesus who has a baptismal date for this week. He´s a good guy, and was a little stiff in the first lesson but loosened up in the second one on Thursday.

On Wednesday we had a fair amount of appointments and had a district meeting with the new district. So our district are the four Elders from our ward, and two other Elders that are in a town called Huamantla. They´re good guys, but now I´m the old man in the District. It isn't a feeling that I like honestly. Thursday we got to know a bunch of members that live pretty far away in our area and taught Jesus and Geraldine again. Friday we had Weekly Planning (Elder Cornejo´s first weekly planning! Whoo!) and visited a really Catholic guy in his panaderia. Oh, we also are teaching a recent convert who is deaf and doesn't talk. We have to write the lesson out. Her name is Melissa and it is so cool that she found the church in spite of the obstacles. On Saturday we also taught another couple, Steve and Noemi. Steve is a less active guy coming back to the church and Noemi has a baptismal date for the next week. It was great to get to know them. 

Tijuana Mexico Temple
And on Sunday we went to the Tijuana temple dedication in the stake center. It was a really cool experience. Pres. Uchdorf dedicated it. Also his Spanglish was really funny. When he wanted to say border he said bordo (in Spanish it's frontera). And in the evening we visited some members.

Yup, Things are going well here, but we also have out work cut out for us. Everyone have a great week!
-Elder Hartvigsen

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Translado (Transferred)

Hello to all. This week was a good one. We had some ups, we had some downs and at the end of the week we had two baptisms! It was so awesome! I'll get to that right now. If I don't write my email chronologically I'll get lost. Alright. 

So Monday was cool, we had a few lessons in the evening. Tuesday was also good. We visited many of our investigators, like Xicotencalt and his son who is also named Xicotencalt. His son is really cool. He started coming to mutual a few weeks ago and made friends with the two young men so he's been going to church and Mutual. It's kind of funny, he gives a ride to another young man on his motorcycle and he's 15. I'm not sure if that's legal but whatever. He's solid and he'll probably get baptized even if his dad doesn't.

Wednesday we had the last district meeting of Elder Hammer! It was pretty normal. Afterwards we took pictures with the sombreros we bought. Afterwards we had exchanges so that Elder Hammer could do the baptismal interview so I went with Elder Pantoja. I like the area of the other Elders, it reminds me of the city of Puebla. Our area is more towns-like. We had a good night. Also on Wednesday the assistants called me to tell me I
'm going to train again! I'm really excited to train again! It's a blast even though it can be kind of hard some times. 
Final days in Zacatlan (de las Mananas)
Thursday was a tough day. We had a lot of appointments but they all fell through until 6:30 at night. Also it was super cold that day. Oh yeah, I didn't mention it but this week it got cold. It started on Wednesday I think. I honestly don't know how cold it got but it was cold enough that I bought ear warmers haha. However that night we had a cool lesson with an investigator named Yazmin and her kids. She has two daughters that are 9 and 11 and they're always really into it w hen we teach. They're really excited to be baptized. The only things it that this week they wont be able to attend church because they're going to do their first communion :(. Oh well. They're doing more out of commitment.

On Friday we had a ton of appointments. It was awesome. On Saturday we went to Puebla for the trainers meeting and my companio was super sick. He was just miserable all day and for the 5 hours in total that we were in a bus. It was a good trip to Puebla. Also that night was the baptism. It was great. We were so happy for Pablo and Karina. They were so prepared. It was a really spiritually strong service. 

Also that night they let us know about changes and it turns out that I`m going to leave Zacatlàn. I was pretty sad. I really like Zacatlàn. That also means that I`m going to open area again which is kind of tough but also an adventure. I'll probably be lost for about a week again. It`ll be fun. Sunday was also awesome. I had the opportunity to confirm Karina and my companio confirmed Pablo. That was cool, and the first time I've confirmed someone. Very cool experience. Yup, so today we came to Puebla so that we can stay the night with other Elders. So we'll see where I go tomorrow. Have a great week!

-Elder Hartvigsen