Monday, October 2, 2017

Super Pumped! (a Call, an Anniversary, and a Great Mission!)

I'm super pumped about Bub's Mission call*. A little bummed that it's not Portuguese-speaking, but I'll live. His mission is huge! It will be way different from mine. I've been telling everyone that will listen that he's going there. Super proud of him. Duolingo is valuable! I fully support Duolingo.
*Central Eurasian Mission speaking Turkish. He reports to the Provo MTC on December 20th.

All right, getting right to your questions*.
*She wrote to Leroy that I had "a Billion questions." Such an over-stater!

On whether the area has a high baptizing rep:
No, the area isn't a high baptizing area. Well kinda, but just a high child-baptizing area. Meaning: only children get baptized here. The branch got super pumped when we baptized 3 non-children in one weekend. I've been chatting with Sister Braga who has been in this area for 4.5 months now. She says she's never taught as many people or marked as many baptismal dates. Super awesome. We have a lot of potential baptizees. We have one this weekend and it's looking like we'll have about 4 this month of October!! (1 Year!!* Crazy!)
*October 4th is her 1 year mark. Woot!

On who they're currently teaching:
We're teaching some Jehovah's Witnesses; they made lunch for us today. I'm pretty sure they're going to get baptized soon! They love the Book of Mormon, have gone to church a few times and know a lot of the members.

On how she's managing all those people:
I have no idea how we're managing our time with them all. It just happens? We're really trying to let the Lord lead our planning sessions. I'm amazed at how things work out every day. This week, we ended up teaching 44* people and having 35 baptismal dates. We met so many incredible people this week. I'm psyched!! Last week of the transfer too.
*Abnormally high numbers, even for Brazil. They usually average 1 baptism a month.

On how she's managing the stress:
I don't know how I'm relieving my stress. To be honest, I don't feel very stressed out. The members tell me I am super faceira*. Just super happy always. My resting face is happier. I looked into a mirror and I was happy and smiling except I didn't know it. I think I'm learning to trust in the Lord and feel the peace that a Christ-centered life brings. It's real Joy, you know?
*Dictionary definition: Happy, cheerful, charming, handsome, content.

On the other things she's learned:
I've learned how to play the accordion a little. I don't know. I feel like I'm learning a lot. Exercises, etc. I learned, kind of, how to knit, but I really do not have the talent for it. I'm fantastic at cleaning and keeping the house organized and everyone tells me I should be a veterinarian because I'm obsessed with animals. President BANNED Me from touching animals for the rest of my mission because my rash is still bad and probably caused by touching the dogs in the street. I cried.

On how she and her comp are together:
I help clean up and I taught my companion some card games. She buys me chocolate. We get along well. :-) Not a single problem so far!

On who feeds them and who their 'people' are:
We eat with members every day. The special people in my life are the members! They're all related and I feel part of the family already. Seriously, they're all so incredible, faithful, helpful and awesome. If I could marry into this family, I would!

On what we should send her for Christmas:
I don't think I need anything for Christmas. I think I'll end up buying a ton of food and some new shoes*, I don't know. But I would like to give BYU shirts to my companions and American food- they all think it's awesome!
*Shoes are a constant issue cuz they walk so much and it's often unpaved.

On her comp's family:
My companion is from Fortaleza. Her sister will be starting her Mission papers soon. Sister Braga was super excited for Bubba with me. :-). She's a great example of Charity and Service to me. They write her, she gets stuff every once in awhile (she's new on the mish; she got here with sister Lins, whom I trained.)

On receiving packages:
Mom, being in Arroio Grande means we get packages never. I just got a package that you sent in July. There was no stamp so I don't know when it arrived. But it was opened by Customs. We never go to the mission office or the temple because only the people in the Northern Division of the mission go. I have spent the whole mission in the southern Division and currently live closer to the Uruguay Mission home than our mission home. But, I'll be able to get the shade shirts* to Gotuzo, no problem. It'll just take a little while. I'll send it via missionaries, AKA for free. Don't worry!
*One member wanted shade shirts. Another wanted garments. That's usually what's been filling our packages to her. Plus a few little treats for her and her comp.

On her health:
Don't worry. My feet are fine. The rash* is still there but more on my arms than my legs now. I'm in general just fine. Sometimes my ankle hurts but it happened at home sometimes, too, so nothing abnormal.
*She's allergic to Brazil. JK. She's had it all over her legs for months, which has spread to her arms.

On why her hair is so long:
 I want to sell my hair and make Bank.

On what inspires her:
The thing that inspires me is the faith of the members. It's not easy being part of a tiny Branch. It's what motivates me to work extra hard. This Branch deserves more converts.

On the weather conditions:
The weather has been fine. Just a lot of rain which is bad because it means our investigators don't go to church: no one has a car here. Sometimes it gets really hot or kind of cold I don't know. It's spring, luckily.

On travel:
We're planning a lot better so we don't walk as much. Probably only 10K* at maximum. We are totally in the middle of nowhere.
* About 6.2 miles

On coming home:
I should be getting a call soon with details about my return flight. It'll probably be mid-March. But, I was thinking about staying one more transfer, so I don't know yet.

The Miracles continue to come. Bub will love the mission. I pray for you guys. I don't think about you guys much during the day because we teach so much but you guys live in my heart! Keep living a Christ-centered life! It's what will make us happy and protect us from difficulty that could come. I love you all! I love my future Eternal Family!

Until next week.

Sister Hartman

Monday, September 4, 2017

11 Months, whaaattt!

Well, this computer is awful and I can't upload any pictures, so the letters will have to wait for next week. But this week was so awesome and we saw so many miraclesssss!!! 

I'm so excited to be here. I love love love the members here so much. Yesterday, I felt the spirit so strong at church because the members here SING. Man, it was glorious. We had a road trip to Pedro Osório, that was fun, and we went caroling, but with hymns. Good fun. Sister Braga is awesome and really easy going. Just say a little prayer for her mom, who found something on her ovary and needs some divine help. And also for our Branch President, who has a serious heart condition and the earliest he can get talk to a specialist to schedule a surgery is the 11th. Norma Cristina Braga and Vagner Moraes.

Mom, there's a member here that wants american garments so bad. Do you think you could send some? (ASAP because we're so far away from the mission office that we get packages about once per transfer. So if I miss it, I have to wait for a long time to get stuff.) She is a little shorter than me and a little gordinha*. She says a medium would be good but idk** how the sizing works. Lemme know. She's so sweet and is willing to pay anything. 
**I don't know

-Sister Hartman

Monday, August 7, 2017

Yo, Dad!

The picture was in front of the pig pens at my Bishops House. He's got a little bit of everything at his house - chickens, cows, sheep, horses, cats, dogs, pigs, flies, etcetera.

Poor Andy. Sorry to hear he is sick. Hope he and his 'nose holes' are getting better. I feel like I'm in the Andy-stage of the Portuguese language. The other day, I didn't know how to say eyelids so I said "eye caps". Language is hard. Haha

I can't believe you guys are actually going to Korea without me. :-(.

I did have a really good week I went to porto Alegre this week because D. Todd christofferson was visiting and wanted to talk to us. One of the things he said was to write in our journals. But I definitely needed your reminder to write about spiritual experiences. I mostly write about food. Lol. Definitely will write more about the awesome experiences I'm having. The mission is super awesome. Today marks the first day officially of my fourth transfer and sister Pereira and I are super excited. Looks like it's going to be a good one. Stories to come. Miss you, love you, hope everyone stays safe and happy!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Semanaaaaa brings Ex-pastors & the Elect our way

So this week was interesting. We picked up some new investigators... they're ex-pastors of the Igreja Mundial*. Haha! So that's awesome. He really really knows the bible. And they're loving the Book of Mormon! They are recognizing the concurrence of the bible and the book of mormon. It's so cool! The only thing that stops them from being baptized.... is living in our area. They are trying to buy a house here but money is tight. If you could pray for them with me, that would be so great!!
* World Church

We are helping some people get married. They went to the cártorio* this week and they'll be married and baptized in 40 days! Unfortunately, I probably won't be in this area anymore when they get married, but yay!!!!!
We found some really awesome people on Sunday. At the beginning of the transfer, we had about 8 people that could get baptized this transfer. By Saturday, we had cut that number in half. We got kinda bummed about it, but we found a ton of awesome eleitos** on Sunday "on accident" aka the Lord put them in our path!!! I love when this happens. They are so great. They already have gone to church and everything and have testimonies of the book of mormon but didn't know there was a chapel closer to their house! They just have to stop smoking and drinking but I no longer see that as a difficult obstacle because Antonio and Angelica stopped smoking after 2 weeks. So yay for the book of Mormon!!
Sister Lins and I are getting along really well. Even though I still get moody sometimes (both of us this week because hormones), we laugh together so much. We had some crazy experiences at home this week. I will upload pictures. Hehehehe 

I love you guys so much! Hope everything is well at home!!! I want all deets always!!


-Sister Hartman

Monday, March 27, 2017

I'm channeling my Inner Mr. Taylor this week....

Well, no personal letters, or any photos, this week because the stupid, free computers here in the library don't have an SD card slot. But just know that I love you guys and that you'll have lots to read next week! Also, I'm gonna try to buy a USB converter. Haha

Well. This week was good. 

This week, we went door-knocking for the first time in forever and found a woman named Regina. After the lesson, she said that normally she doesn't like to let people in, like she did with us, but that she felt like she needed to let us in and listen. WHHAAATTTTT? Well, yeah, it happened. And we haven't been able to find her at home since, it's pretty normal, but we will visit again this next week.

We have been teaching this woman, Zazá (Glenir) for 4 weeks now, since the first week of the transfer. She has cancer and lives with her 17 yr old daughter, Samuely, who has Down Syndrome. It's been a battle with her, a little. She always reads and understands really well, but she was raised very catholic so she has a hard time accepting and usually can never go to church because Samuely is afraid of church and never lets Zazá go. Well, this week, we were fasting and praying that we would get someone to church this week, and when I called Saturday night to ask if she needed a ride, Samuely said that she would go. And they went. And it was the best. Fast and Testimony meeting ever because all the youth went to FSY* a week ago AND everyone went to the temple with the caravan recently so there was a lot about receiving answers to prayers and eternal families. Good stuff. (Also, the great thing about Brasil is that Fast and Testimony meetings are always super full. Everyone races to share their testimonies. My ward has an attendance of about 60 people and we never had that awkward time where no one is speaking, and we went over so everyone on the stand could speak. And it was like that in Jardim do Sol too. BOMB!!!) *FSY (For the Strength of Youth) conferences are multi-stake youth activities held under the direction of Area Presidencies.  

I am the new Mr. Taylor* in my ward. I somehow turned into the ward choir director and, TBH** it's SUPER FUN. I love it and them so so much. We have some pretty awesome songs that we're practicing for Stake Conference. They are improving so so much too. It's awesome to see. It's my favorite thing that happens during the week. **Internet slang meaning "To be honest." *He was the Choir director at Mountain View HS.

Chris and Eduardo, SA's favorite members which we visit every day, have a daughter, Gabi, who loves me. I am her human-sized doll. She generally begs to brush my hair and put makeup on me. Lol. This week, I let her put purple lipstick on me. And... I actually really liked it. I'm down to try out the purple again! Haha, she's great.

Also, mom, don't freak out, I eat dark chocolate and tomatoes* by myself now. Hahahaha it's weird. Also, I ate potato salad that had raisins and bananas and it was actually pretty good. *She's always hated them. Yay for newfound maturity and new taste buds! (I hear every 7 years you have a whole new set of taste buds, not all at once, mind you.)

Ok, that's it now. Just know that the Lord answers prayers in big and little ways and that we're blessed for doing our part. Man, so much good stuff, so little time. This week, I finished up the book of Alma (in português, woot!). Alma 56 is great. It talks about the 2000 jovens* and it's super inspiring for me. Hope it is for you too! *2000 stripling warriors (jovens translates to 'youth'.)

Love you guys so so so much and hope you have a great week! Miss you guys like crazy!!!!! 

-Sister Hartman

Sunday, March 19, 2017

No water, no worries and a Happy Birthday!

The Adventures continue here in Dom Pedrito. It's really calm but still really exciting. As a missionary it's perfect. I think I would get really bored here if I wanted to do fun things because it's a very low-key, chill life. Very Gaucho! It should start getting cold at the end of the month; March is like our September. I'm in the third week of my third transfer on the mission. Just nine more to go! I'll have been a missionary for 6 months in April! Woohoo!

Answering questions:
We're on the 4th floor of our apartment so we have a fantastic view. I get to see every sunrise and lots of sunsets from here. I take a lot of pictures of the sky- it's always amazing but it doesn't turn out right in pictures. We lost our water here, so no showers. This will be interesting. Our apartment isn't too bad. And we don't have to worry about surprise visits; we're at least seven hours from the mission office and an hour away from any other missionaries! It's funny that you guys washed dishes in the tub. I find the tub / shower is the most useful place ever. I do laundry there!

The church building is pretty small and doesn't have a big ugly wall around it (just a gate) or an alarm system. Just goes to show how much safer it is here. The  baptismal font is Tiny, like hit-your-head-on-the-wall-hazard tiny. At one point there were four sets of missionaries here and two Wards. Now there's just one ward and one set of missionaries (us!) and a whole lot of reactivation. It's pretty funny because almost everyone in the world is related. There's a family with 14 kids, which is TV-show-rare here, and all their families are who we're working with. Some of our current investigators are relatives of them too. Haha.

This town is cleaner, has fewer dogs, same amount of horses or more, plus more trees and flowers.
There are different churches on almost every street corner. There's a supermarket a few blocks away and we will go there to make purchases during Pday, but there's a little corner market in front of her house if we need a *bolacha or something. *Translation: cracker, but really a Brazilian cookie.

My companion has been out for a year and 3 months and is really excited to go home. She's the first companion that wanted to run in the mornings (we ran 1 block because of time), which I'm pretty sure we'll never do again, but hey we tried. The only food she buys is corn kernels and fruit. So dinner is usually popcorn and fruit except we already ate all the fruit so now it's just popcorn. She has a fantastic testimony. She got baptized when she was 10, left the church, and was reactivated by the missionaries three years ago. She is motivated to baptize people but not just because of the number. We teach really well together and we work hard every day.

Sister Johansson, our Sister Training Leader, called. Today we will have a split with them and we're going to Bagé (birthday miracle! President cut our monthly travel budget so we wouldn't be going to Bagé this week without this split.) I'm spending the rest of my birthday with Sister Ampuero (so far the only word I have for her is "fancy".) I like her!

🍰   🍨  My birthday was THE best day of my life! The zone presented me with a cake and the birthday Jong (Portuguese and English). I'm the bus I zoned out thinking about it and sister Bagatoli asked me if Dom Pedrito was making me crazy because I was smiling to myself. I said I was thinking about my blessings and promptly burst into tears. Sister Bagatoli and sister Ampuero got me presents. We just had a fantastic weekend! When we switched back, SA bought me ice cream.

I've been spending a lot of time on my knees and in my scriptures. I am really liking the character of Christ self evaluation thing. I actually did it today. I was surprised to find that *patience is my weakest  also (I was expecting humility). I think it's valuable tool for everyone.
*I told her about my own evaluation. Patience is my Achilles heel apparently.

I firmly believe that missionary work extends beyond the area where a missionary serves. Lots of people let us in simply because they have a friend or met someone once that was Mormon. I think that's way cool! The Lord knows what he's doing, to put it simply- lots of lives change for the better (or worse, if they are deciding to leave the church.)

I am so blessed! There are so many people in my zone that are really helping me out and so many great things happened this week. I listened to elder Holland's talk about missionary work and I'm just moving all the music you sent with me. I'm loving the work and I'm learning A LOT!

Love you guys so much! Thanks for all the support you give. I pray for you every single day.

Até próxima semana!

Happy 2-0 to me!

Com carinho,
 Sister Hartman

(How cool that there's a missionary with your last name, Dad! I won't let you down!)

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

I don't know what I did, but there's a cat on my lap...and it really loves me

Ice cream even in the countryside
So I'm in Don Pedrito now and I love my area. The 'city' is Tiny, super safe, super clean, super pretty, and super *Gaucho. Uruguay is 30 minutes away. We're far away from everything. On the map, our ward boundaries are larger than my whole other Zone at Rio Grande. I'm giving my shoes another week. The ground is rocky and I'll be showing holes by the end of the transfer. Maybe by next p-day! But, the weather isn't too terrible. *Cowboy

We've got a fantastic ward. It's pretty strong - about 60 people every week. And people actually show up on time! What a blessing. There's such a good feeling in this ward. Sacrament meeting is a spiritual experience. I play the piano. The Lord is really blessing this ward because he sent to piano players here back-to-back. Also, I've never played better in sacrament meeting and I know it's the Lord.

The people are more humble here. Everyone works on the farms. Cars are horrible here. (Think *Jetta in age and functionality.) I'm always afraid that the cars will explode. The people are great. I'm loving the work here and I'm so happy. Our apartment has a few issues- no washing machine, the toilet has issues, sometimes we don't have water, we have roaches, etcetera- but it has the best view ever! I love it so much. Sunrises and sunsets are so awesome here. *Her car that cost $5, Thanks, Emily! It wasn't a looker and it had some issues, but it got her everywhere she needed to go. Until one day when it blew up. Clearly, no need to fear since she's alive and well, but exciting nonetheless.

My companion is Sister Yesenia Agurto from Santiago, Chile. She was reactivated three years ago and has a fantastic testimony and lots of experiences that connect with investigators. She's super beautiful and really cares about people. We have some differences but we still find and teach people well.

Feeling the love for this cat!
The language is going super well. The food... we got nothing at home and no money til Wednesday so we'll see. What's going on up there in Utah. (This computer doesn't have a *question mark.)  I don't know what I did, but there's a cat on my lap right now. In the lan house. And it really loves me. LOL #TenderMercies *There are a lot of keys either missing or that don't work properly and there isn't a key, period, for the question mark, LOL. This is pretty normal for Brazil.

Lots of great experiences this week: Lots of new investigators, 14, in fact. Which is super bomb. The power of *Jejum!!!!! We fasted Saturday so that we can have a lot of people at sacrament meeting: we had 4 people come! (I've never had 4 in 1 meeting before so that's super exciting.) Our pesquisador, Alice, is super great. She brought her sister and a friend and we're going to visit them on Wednesday. Fabio could be baptized today if he wanted, he's super ready. Just waiting on a little thing called 'an answer to prayer' about the Book of Mormon. *Fasting

I read Alma 34 and that has helped me. I'm doing really well.  The thing that makes me happy is the work, so I've been working very diligently and we're seeing some great fruits. Maybe some converts coming soon!  Also, I gave a talk in sacrament meeting and it went 1000% better this time.  I still cry when I  bear my testimony. Haha.  ( I think the tears alarmed Alice, our pesquisador, because usually I'm super happy when we teach her. LOL)

I know that we're being seriously guided by the Holy Ghost and marking a lot of baptisms. And walking a ton. The work is really progressing and I'm super excited about all the *changes to our schedule and stuff. The church is true and God is good! Keep up the prayers! Miss you guys and love you guys like crazy. *The church made some changes to the missionaries daily schedules, allowing more flexibility. You can read about it here:

Miss and love you guys. hope you all have a great week!

- sister Hartman

It's country!
Searching for golden contacts
I think I found some
Brazilian fashion suits me, don't ya think?
Excuse me, we're having a moment here

Monday, March 6, 2017

Heavenly Father has really been helping me out. Even though we're supposed to only have 3 trips to Bage this transfer, it's looking like we're going to have all 6. It's crazy awesome. They're feeding us pretty well in our area.
The grossest thing I've eaten... I don't know. Probably the xis coracao (it's xis with chicken hearts) . I don't super love the flavor of chicken hearts, but I'm trying so hard to! Best thing I've eaten was hands down my birthday cake. It was bomb. I also ate a gourmet churro - the dough was pressed and fried in front of me and it was filled with dulce de leche and chocolate and was covered with other chocolatey things. Also we are a pretty dang good lasagna recently.

My piano playing is getting much better, especially my sight reading. I learned a new hymn the other week. I usually practice during the week when we have nothing planned. Choir practice is getting better. Honestly, it's generally a fiasco because I have no idea what I'm doing, but I take a lot of joy out of it.

Happy Presidents Day! Dinner at Tucanos! Man. True Brazilian food. The chicken hearts are authentic. And pao de qeijo. Everything else is better here. (Here the only seasoning that's used for churrasco is a butt load of salt.)

You asked about approaches. A typical approach is "hi! Good afternoon. How are you? Pleased to meet you. Just to introduce ourselves, we're representatives of Jesus Christ and we have a message centralized on him. Could we share this message with you and your family today?"  (Wow, it's weird to write that in English.)  All of our approaches are more or less that.

What are our hurdles? Everyone is an Evangelist. Their pastors have more power on them then they do over themselves. People don't like change. People don't like to go to church Sunday mornings, etcetera, etcetera. When we have no one to visit, we stop by houses of the people we know or door knock. We have lunch every day with members and my comp likes the members a lot so we spend a good amount of time with them. The rest of our time is more focused on finding and teaching then less actives, but it's relatively balanced. There are a ton of less actives here. There used to be two wards here but now there's just one.

Thanks for the birthday wishes! I actually ate a lot of Cake. The Zone sang to me and got me a cake and I bought a cake to eat at fhe with some members and a couple of other missionaries got me gifts! Seriously, I'm so blessed. I'm so glad I was born in our family. Sorry I wasn't there to celebrate my birthday with you guys. My celebration was just the cakes, but President and Sister Cruz called and sang to me during the day so that was great.

I saw that you sent this email at 2 a.m. ish. I was probably waking up that day around that time. Haha. If I'm learning anything, it's the importance of sleep. You've got to sleep before 2 a.m., mom! Sure miss you. You know I love you right? Because I super do. Thanks for the support. All those prayers are paying off! Having lots of good times. The church is true!

Until next week,

Sister Hartman

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

We got the power, literally

This week, we had lunch in Cassino and the member was telling us all about Cassino and how one time Adolf Hitler came here to watch the Russian Ballet. So there.

Yes, we got our power back. We only had a week of no power. It was actually kinda fun. Bucket showers and candle lit nights. Glad it was only a week though. We haven't had many other issues. It would be nice to have air conditioning I think, but that's more of an American problem. 

Funny that you're being asked to pay more fast offerings. We're trying to get people to pay tithing! I'm recognizing the power of sacred funds. Not only do they help me out, they also make possible more chapels and church activities, which are essential for the growth of the church. 

So, lots has happened. I was transferred! I've heard a lot about this place, mixed things- I am now in *Dom Pedrito, which, among the sisters, is the END OF THE WORLD. We are the furthest area from the mission office in Porto Alegre and we took two buses to get here. One was 4 hours and the other was another hour. We receive an extra 100 reais per two weeks now because the expenses for our travel to our district conferences is so much. Our zone is Bagé and is known for being The Hole of the mission and that there is no water. It's a lot hotter and dryer and there's less wind.  I'm super pumped for this transfer. My companion is Sister Agurto, from Chile! (Please pray for me, I do not understand her portuguese. Yikes!) Our apartment is on the fourth floor but we have the best view ever. Woooo! *It is located in the area of Bage.

(Written on the day of transfer)
I'm gonna miss SG a lot. She's going to die in Porto Alegre (this has two meanings: 1. there's a lot of hills and it's crazy hot there 2. she's ending her mission there) so  I won't see her again for at least a year and 2 months. I'll try to send her your way. She wants to meet y'all when she starts school again at BYU. She's a lot like you, Mom. Maybe that's why I like her so much, haha!

Looking out the window on the bus, I get a very The-hills-are-alive-with-the-sound-of-music vibe. Maybe if I have time with my new comp we can run on the hills. Also it feels very like girls camp. Could be the bus. It's definitely not the random dude sitting next to me. Oh, I just saw a couple palm trees. Vibe lost. Last night we tried to make a cake as our last thing together. But we only had one egg instead of 3 and a little less milk than needed. And only a tiny bit of leite condensado to put on top. It was horribly dry, so we ate the top and left the rest in the fridge for the next sisters!
Dom Pedrito aka the End of the World

(Back to present day)
This past week, we met a young couple. They are having problems in their relationship but they want to stay together because they have a kid together now (who is actually the cutest child in the world). They fight a lot and they wanted to know how they could get over each other's weaknesses and have a good relationship with each other. So. I don't exactly have much experience with overcoming marital-esque problems but I know the Spirit guided that lesson. We read Moroni 7:44-48. We talked about how charity is the pure love of Christ and, if they wanted to find things like love, kindness, patience, all of the good stuff in verses 44-48 that everyone wants in a marriage, they would find it by coming unto Christ. They agreed to read every day together and to pray when they needed help. It was super awesome. 

The scriptures are really cool. One of my favorite things to do to help people read the Book of Mormon is to offer a list of questions. I have a chapter marked for each one of the questions and I mark them for people and they have to find their own answers. The other day, we left a Book of Mormon and one of these questions (Why does God let there be so much evil and suffering in the world? 2 Nephi 2) with a new investigator. AND It's not every day that you find your new investigators in the street a few days later that say that they read that chapter, marked the answers in the book, and invited her friend to read it and join her for our return appointment the next day. Oh, and prayed about it. Whattttttt!!!!! It was super awesome. We taught her again on my last day of the transfer. All I gotta say is that people that put in the effort find the answers they're looking for.

Well, I can't wait to tell y'all about all of my wonderful adventures here in Dom Pedrito. Miss you all muito. Tchau for now. BOA SEMANA!!!! Beijinhos!

-Sister Hartman

I love the sunsets here!

Shout out to SG- I'm gonna miss her!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

That moment when someone eats your Xis during church out of the church refrigerator..

I have 8 minutes.

So this week, we were studying as normal and we heard a knock on the door. Surprise, it was Presidente Cruz, who lives a mere 5 hours away from us. So we were trying to clean the other rooms really fast and discreetly as he was entering with his wife. They did cleaning checks. We failed, but not too badly!!!! We got a new oven/stove out of it, so that was nice. 

 We have been working really hard here but people still have their free agency so not many came to church. This next week is the last week of the transfer! Woah! And I will spend it with Sister de Souza, my first trainer, in Sao Jose do Norte. 

An old picture with Sister de Souza and Xis!
So we haven't had power this week, ya know? So we received *xis, the best **lanche que existe, from Wilson this week because he has the kindest soul ever but we couldn't eat it all of it and we didn't have a fridge. I ate mine the morning after because só vai but SG didn't want to so she took it with her to church to eat after the meetings. After church, we went to snag it before going to our next appointment, and ONLY THE BAG WAS LEFT. Sister Grubbs was HORRIFIED and it was so funny. Like, someone literally ate her xis and left the bag, the evidence, during church. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA man. So funny. *Pronounced like "Cheese", but somewhat cut off. It's basically the brazilian version of a cheeseburger!  **Best lunch that exists!

From another email:

In other news, we had a miracle! 
A family way way inactive, like 20 years inactive, came to church! It was just like a movie. We were walking to pick them up and walk with them and we turned the corner and they were were walking together, smiling. All that was lacking was tear-jerking music and it could've been the end of a movie about reactivating members. Haha it was super awesome.

Not much else to report. Still no baptisms coming up but we're working hard. The members are awesome. 

Maybe some advice? I think it's super easy for people to forget why we have church but when we remember how special it is that we have a day per week to rest from our labors and dedicate it to the Lord, we treat our meetings differently. And, in the States, no one has an excuse to not go. Some of our members travelled from other cities by foot, bike, or bus, just to take the sacrament weekly. And now they have a chapel closer to home. What a blessing that we don't have to make such a sacrifice to receive the same blessings. And there are a LOT of blessings that come from going to church every week! 

This gospel is so true and I love this work (usually, haha ;) ). Hope y'all have a fantastic week. That's about all I have time for, haha. Love you all, thanks for all of the support. Means a lot! Still seeing milagres every day! Muitos beijos!!!! xoxo, boa semana!

-Sister Hartman

Mosias 2:41
E ainda mais, quisera que considerásseis o estado abençoado e feliz daqueles que guardam os mandamentos de Deus. Pois eis que sãabençoados em todas as coisas, tanto materiais como espirituais; e se eles se conservarem fiéis até o fim, serão recebidos no céu, para que assim possam habitar com Deus em um estado de felicidade sem fim. Oh! Lembrai-vos, lembrai-vos de que estas coisas são verdadeiras, porque o Senhor Deus as disse.

Making friends
District meetings, all work, no play

Loving new friends everywhere

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Contatos de Ouro (or Lessons in Physics)

I hope the title translates to Contacts of Gold. It makes more sense in português. Anyway. 

I had a lot planned to write and I forgot it all so I'll write really fast about the power of FASTING and PRAYER. First of all, we dropped a lot of pesquisadores this week because none of them were progressing. So frustrating, but it happens. Like, I know you have free-agency and the ability to NOT CHOOSE BLESSINGS, but WHY. It's so simple! All you have to do is read a particle of the Book of Mormon, think about it, and then ask God. He knows which church is true, and He loves you and is super ready to give you an answer. The only thing you have to do is ask. And have a desire to know. For real. And so I get kinda sad because these people are lacking the joy that comes from the gospel but they don't want to ACT on their FAITH and FIND it. But this is the work. Planting seeds, ya know? 

Anyway. Jejum. This week, we were fasting to have lots of our investigators at church because no one is going. We went to pick up some of them, none of them were awake or coming to the door, or whatever people do to avoid the missionaries. Anyway. But we showed up to Sacrament meeting and there was a STREET CONTACT there, like we literally talked to him on Saturday, we only know his NAME, and as he was riding his bike away, we shouted COME TO CHURCH TOMORROW!! And he said "If I wake up, I will!" Usually that's a "never in a million years", but I guess he woke up on time because he was there. Also, we had Fernando, and this is his second time so he can be baptized as soon as he's converted, and Vanessa and Carlos, who we kind of dropped because they never pray about the BoM and thus are never really progressing. But I guess they're progressing now so that is SUPER AWESOME because I really love their family. Anyway, *milagres são reais. *Miracles are real
Other *coisa. This week I had lots of difficulties with **idk, being angry and sad that no one is choosing blessings? But I learned a lot. Sister Grubbs shared an analogy that is super great (and I will butcher it because I am not super eloquent like her, seriously, ask to hear her poems. They're bomb). It's about physics. Imagine a particle. It is always moving because there are always forces acting upon the particle. The particle is us. We get to choose which forces will act upon us- the forces of God or the forces of the world, but we are ALWAYS moving. If the forces of God are not acting upon us, the forces of the world are. And so we have to choose which forces will act upon us. And by which forces come feelings of despair, sadness, and incapability? The world. The devil. And so I decided, on Thursday, which was particularly distressing for me, to open the scriptures with a prayer in my heart and immediately found and answer. It was Alma 32:13, but verses 1-16 is the whole story. Anyway. Moral of the story: let the forces of God act upon you. Moroni 10:6 (I think??) says that everything good comes of God. If you want the blessings, put in a tiny bit of effort!
*things  **short for "I don't know".

Last thing: milestone in portuguese. We are going to have an awesome ward activity and I came up with the name. Feveresta. (*Festa de Fevereiro). I though it was kinda lame but everyone liked it so that's cool. Woo! I made a new word in portuguese! **FLUENTE. DOM DE LINGUAS!!!!! * Feast of February   **Fluent. Gift of Tongues!

I'm loving this work. I love this people.

Anyway, this was a bomb week in general. The church is true, God is good.

xoxoxox, hope y'all have a bomb week!

-Sister Hartman

Answers to questions:

-Do you have tablets or phones? It seems like missionaries here do. 
Yes we have a phone: the Nokia. We cannot text but every once in awhile receive one from Pres Cruz. We have unlimited minutes with other missionaries/people of the mission but only 100 minutes for other people. No tablets. If I serve in a city like Pelotas or Porto Alegre, the question isn't "will I get mugged?" it's "how many times will I get mugged?" Every missionary has a mugging story here.

-How do you get around?
We mostly walk. It would be nice to have a bike- our area is huge; 3  neighborhoods and the city of Cassino- but like tablets, bikes would be a little hard to keep here. We take the bus to Cassino and Bolaxa and to zone/district mtgs. Basically, we take the bus if we leave our neighborhood. 

-What's the most beautiful thing you've seen lately?
Muita Coisas! (Many things!) First, the sky. Every day it's different and breathtaking- it's the kind of beauty that cat be captured via machine, so no pictures. Sorry. Other things: When we walk into sacrament mtg and everyone is hugging and chatting with our investigators (Simone finally went to church after 8 weeks of us begging hands and knees...AND brought her whole fam. WHAT?! MILAGRE!!) Man. Best Sunday Ever!

-How's the culture there different?
It's way different. Lots of hugs. No one keeps their promises. : ) Everyone believes in every religion. We have many baptisms, but few converts. The culture is so laid back. Like, "Oh, yeah. Church IS important! I'll for sure go!" This means: "Maybe in my lifetime. " But people are super generous. Sometimes random people from when knocking doors feed us. We don't carry water bottles because we literally can ask for water from anyone. Life is a lot simpler here. Kids actually play with toys, children are REALLY well behaved (unless they're rich), people sit in front of their houses with family/friends/neighbors and drink *chimarrao, there's always kids playing soccer, and here in Rio Grande, there's usually someone riding a horse down the middle of the street. Kids of 7 to adults of 80 ride horses. Alone. It's something else. Houses are small, but everyone has tv. Which is on. Probably like literally 24 hours a day. People seem very educated- feels like everyone has a "Congrats on your graduation" banner in front of their house. I think it's difficult to get a job tho. Pretty much everyone lives humbly. *Mate also known as yerba mate, chimarrão or cimarrón is a traditional South American caffeine-rich infused drink
A Missionary tan

Guess who won??