Thursday, March 31, 2016

La Semana Santa and President Obama

Hey Everyone!

I wore a sweater this week one day, just so you are aware.

Well, It was a week! Haha not to much to report. Sorry to have been a little off the radar, I have been wanting to answer back some of the personal emails I have been getting from other people. Lot's of things are happening in the world! Speaking of the world, us folk in Argentina received a visit from the one and only President Obama! I think they like him here. I thought it was a little paradoxical, because I was closer to him this week here in a foreign country than I ever was in the USA. Isn't that fancy?

This week was a bit of a downer. Elder Juzga and I have decided to work with finding elegidos, which means elect. They are people that pass the filters (married, don't work Sundays, have desires to learn more) and accept a baptismal date in the first contact. Woah, that is a lot, right? And this week it was tough and we didn't find anyone who fit this idea. But we did have the chance to get to know some good people, and I think we planted some good seeds for future missionaries.

Fun fact: Holy week is a biggish deal here, and some members got confused about the differences between catholism and, we had to clear up that no, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, It is not a commandment that you have to eat fish like Friday or something. =) 

I am running out of time (like ALWAYS), But I hope this satisfies you until next week. 

See you all soon enough!
Elder Hardcastle =)

No photos because no.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A Man of Many Nations

Greeting greetings, one and all!

Would you like a little explanation of the title of this email? Well, being an extranjero (that means foreigner) and not having the perfect porteño accent (one day...), I get asked a lot, ''¿De dónde sos?'' Well I got bored of just saying ''Yo soy de los Estados Unidos'' and, since I am not the type-A super white Yankee and have been told I that I done have a very yankee accent, I have decided to throw the question right back at them and ask, ''¿De dónde piensa?'' I have received French, British, Chilean, and Mexican within the last two weeks, so you can say I am pretty dang fancy, if I say so myself. 

Nothing to extraordinary happened this last week. Jokes, something did We have one investigator that is progressing quite well, AND HE WENT TO CHURCH! Which is a requirement here for investigators to progress, and it is SOOOO HAAAARD sometimes. He is around 35 years old and is separated from his wife and they have two kids. But anyways we invited him to church and he said yes and we asked if we could stop by his house before church to make sure he got there okay. He was like ''No, I want to go by myself'' which lot's of people say, and means that 'No, I do not want to go to church thank you very much.'' But we did what we could. Sunday came around and he didn't show up for the first class. But while we were in Gospel Principles he came! And it was a really good lesson on the Restoration and the teacher bore strong testimony about his conversion. So all is well in Soldati. I'll just testify once again about the importance of members. I am so glad I got called to this mission! We try to do everything with the members. Finding with members, finding through members, appointments with members. And if plans fall through with members, we find other members! Some days it is less than easy, we may not always have a ton of investigators through this method of finding and teaching, but it is the direction of our mission and helps us to find the people that are more likely to progress and be baptized, more likely to flourish in the gospel. It's so great!

Speaking of members, this last week we had a lesson with a less active family. The mom started telling us about how they don't go to the church any more because they don't know what church is true. Okayyyyy. We spent quite a bit of time with this woman and her daughters about the importance of the Book of Mormon in our conversion to the Gospel, but they kept coming up with silly excuses for leaving and staying away from the church, so we left them with an invitation to return to the church and to start reading the Book of Mormon again, and we testified with power.  I don't know if they felt the Spirit because they were so set on their points of view, but I did. I have such a testimony that we don't get a testimony by sitting down and complaining about it. We need to act. 

Also I forgot to say this last week, but two Sundays ago we were walking to church with a family in our ward and as we were walking in the street there was this doll thing made from woven grass. I thought it was pretty cool, so I investigated it for a second. The others noticed and told me it was a doll thing from a macumba, which is like a ritual or something like that from satan worshippers. So that's neat.

Also I am the official mom of the pension. I cook, I clean the bidet (I LOVE BIDETS), I cut Elder McBride's hair. So yeah. I just keep finding all sorts of fun things to do!. (Jokes they do have their limits, in soccer, I am still one of the worst players for all of you who were concerned)

Well, that's all, folks! Love you all and see you soon enough!

Elder Hardcastle

Pics--- later. we are having issues here

Monday, March 7, 2016

Two weeks in, six weeks more

Buenos días from Buenos Aires (third time using this is the charm)!

Hey so guess what. I totally spaced it this last week and didn't even tell you that Elder Bednar came to visit us this last week. He came to give a televised conference to the whole South America South Area and it was transmitted from the Chapel in Caballito, in Buenos Aires North Mission boundaries! So it was doubly cool because I saw Elder Bednar in person and we didn't even have to travel that far! All the missions in Buenos Aires came over for the occasion, and I even saw someone from school that's in Bs.As. Este and I totally didn't even recognize him! I had to play the whole act-excited-until-you-see-the-nametag game. haha oops. But hey! It's all good. Elder Bednar asked us to read three of his talks before the broadcast to prepare, and they were about faith and conversion, and also about being agents that act rather then being acted upon, and they were sooooo good, the talks and the conference. I love the whole ''go and do'' motto of the church. JUST GO AND DO PEOPLE HAVE FAITH IN GOD AND FORGET THE REST.

And now, back to this week. I kept a pretty current journal this week (my struggle of a lifetime) because we had quite a few pleasant occurrences throughout the week. Let me explain. 

So Tuesday we were talking with a less active at her kiosco (it's like a little store people make in their houses to sell food or general commodities) and as we were talking, another woman came up to us and started talking! Neither I nor my companion knew who she was, but she told us she was a less active! So we talked with her and she basically thought that we were the cream cheese, and she was holding a bag which had muffins and cupcakes and she like gave us a few cupcakes and a TON of muffins in this little Winnie the Pooh plastic bag. They tasted pretty good, but I didn't want to carry the bag or the muffins the whole day, so we ate some and gave the rest out to members=) 

Wednesday was a sad day. So last Monday I took my laundry to the lavandería to get washed. Well we went to go reclaim our clothes the next day but I didn't need anything from the bag so I just sort of put it on a desk and left it there. I opened it up the next day and LIKE ALL MY WHITES HAD BLACK STAINS. Little black and yellow marks. I'm not sure exactly how it happened , but I think it had something to do with a pair of pants I have that had a pen explode in the pocket (just so you all know, that it is the second time pens have destroyed  my pants here and I am not amused). I separated the white clothes from the colored ones before we went but I think the lady must have just thrown everything in together. Ughhh. I could not concentrate at all that day during my personal study time. But I am all okay now=)

Saturday we had a member accompanying us for visits that is super funny. She reminds me of Sister VANessa Pixton, so just a quick shout out for that. But we were going around looking for people, and there was a small army of Jehovah's Witnesses taking their turns around the area. Like literally they lined the whole street! So we started talking about them with our member and she told us that she doesn't have a problem when they come past her house, that we have the same God and the only difference is that they don't have all the truth. This wasn't anything new I had heard but it struck me. I am so happy to be in the fullness of the Gospel, and I am also glad that other people act with what truth they might have to try and make the world a better place. Now we just have to help everyone have an opportunity to experience the whole truth and we'd just be perfect!

That's about all from this side of the world. Hope your week is fun and spiritually uplifting! Now go use your agency to ACT!

See you all soon enough!
Elder Hardcastle

Oops I never explained the topic line. This transfer is weird, the church changed this transfer to eight weeks instead of six. So yeah.