Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Duct Tape is a blessing e Deus responde nossas oracoes!

THANK YOU for sending me letters! 

I never realized that dad's name is actually Larry... I guess you learn something new every day. (It's not, in case you're wondering. He was just sustained in church under the name of Larry. Hehe.)

It is definitely a blessing to have gotten my visa so quickly. Sister Bateh got her visa a few days after me, and the Lord's hand was DEFINITELY evident in when she got hers. But more on that later. Things have been pretty busy lately. Also, I lost my fourth companion, *Irma Webster (my dictionary. I feel lost without her. SOS). 
* For those who don't know, "Irma" is portuguese for sister, "Irmao"= brother.

A day feels like a week and every hour is a day and so in that one hour I go through So. Many. Emotions. I'm not allowed to judge anyone for being emotional because I cry when I am happy, when I am sad, and when I'm feeling the Spirit. (AKA, pretty much all the time. I have stopped wearing makeup;I've been here for a week and a half.) Don't worry, my journal is plenty full of my testimony. I took President Horton's words to heart and I write about all the important parts of my day in my journal, mostly just how the Lord has helped and/or taught me that day. So many miracles. I'm still working on recognizing all of them. I wish I could use humor. Unfortunately, I think it is against mission policy to be funny or something because no one is funny here, not even me. Don't get me wrong, we laugh plenty, but a missionary friend wasn't far off when he told me that missionaries laugh at really weird, dumb stuff. 

Hahaha, but it's a blast. It's like a really emotional semester of college. Except I can't watch House instead of do homework. Even though some moments are super not fun, there's always something that makes up for it, whether it be kind words or a blueberry cake doughnut. There have been a few hard days this week but they have all answered prayers in some way or another. Maybe I should be more careful when I pray..... Haha, just kidding. Kinda.

So I have been doing well with the language, as I said last Pday. A friend emailed me and told me that I could only understood Portuguese because of the gift of tongues. At first, I was way peeved by that. I thought that it was all because of me and my hard work. And then on Friday, God decided to set the record straight. I received my visa that day and I was SO excited. We got to class right after and I couldn't. understand. anything. It was so hard and I felt so low. I also felt so ashamed that I had prayed every day for the gift of tongues, that God has given it to me, and that I took it for granted. Needless to say that I've learned my lesson and I express gratitude every day for it now. After that, I see the Lord's hand in my life waaaayyyy more. There is so much to be grateful for. 

Another answer to prayer was in regards to feeling love for minhas companheiras. I was praying so hard to understand where they were coming from and to truly love them. Things seemed to be going really well though so I didn't think we needed it. Then I learned about what they're going through. I testify that God knows how each of us feels and what all of us are going through. Seriously, it's such a blessing to know that God loves us and can help us through any trial if we ask.

I shaved my legs after shaving on Thursday and they wouldn't stop bleeding and I didn't want to hunt down my band-aids so I duct taped paper towels to my heels. #theducttapewasworthit

We walked into our evening class and turns out our **first investigator was going to be our second teacher! His name is actually Irmao (Daniel) Zarkou and he's a great guy. (And my other teacher is Irma (Courtney) Gunnerson, in case I forgot to mention it). WE WERE SO SHOCKED!! SB says she knew it the whole time. All I could say was that I'm glad that we didn't ruin the church for an investigator (yeah, some of our lessons weren't so hot). Since he's become our teacher, we've done a lot of great things. Like today we practiced visiting less actives. We weren't totally sure what was going on when he kept closing the door in our faces. And then we got it and had a decent lesson with him. It was interesting. It was good experience. He really likes to run and be outside. Yesterday, we were memorizing the baptismal invitation and he told us we could go outside and practice it with each other. It was so great because the majority of our 16 hour days are spent indoors. And today, he suggested we run to the mail room and back. Haha he's different from the other teachers in the best way. We tease him about dating this girl he likes all the time but he's only taken her out twice. Lol
**She wondered for a moment, that first week, if he was a 'real' investigator. Turns out he's just a good actor.

OH! Something that Sister Atkin said this week "I just realized that my literal hardest trial right now is to postpone certain blessings in order to get the blessings of the mission and look forward to the postponed blessings after the mission. I am not allowed to complain any more." 
(The mission is hard, but so so so so so worth it.)

The Lord lives and loves us. Romans 8:38-39. Also, I recommend studying Helaman 5. It's gold. There's so much to learn in the scriptures and sometimes I feel stressed out because there's so much I want to learn and not enough time in the day. The way to be happy is to have faith in the Lord! I love this gospel. I love being a missionary. I love and miss you all! Thanks for being such a supportive, unified family! Some people don't have the support I do so I'm just so grateful. Next time you hear from me, it will be on the phone, right before I go to Brasil!!!!!! I will be calling cell phones. Sorry I don't know more details. I love you all!

-Sister Hartman
Sisters storm the temple. Or attend. Either way they're awesome!
Their versions of Eve in the garden?

Grateful for letters. Please write me!

Comin' at ya, Brazil!!

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