Monday, October 31, 2016

A Halloween Miracle!

Hello my friends! HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

We were blessed this last week with the baptism of Marta (the sassy golden investigator from a few weeks ago) and her two kids! It all seemed to go by pretty quick, but I am happy and they were ready. Her kids have been coming to church now for about a month, and Marta came twice with us and had attended before, and so it was a quick miracle that's come to us, and I'm really thankful. The bishop is also pretty dang happy (Marta is his sister) and keeps saying that this baptism was truly a miracle. He also told me that he thinks that that was the reason I stayed here, and that now I will go to another area, haha. It has been five and a half months since I've had a baptism in this area, and even though four baptisms are not very many 'fruits' for what will almost be nine months in this area, I am happy because these are some of the best people I have ever met, and I am so confident in them and know there are great things in store for them. 

This was actually a pretty good week for Barrio Villa Soldati, because the other elders in the ward also baptized a family Saturday. Both of the families are killer, have good connections with the members, and have both made us asado, so you could say that the work is definitely progressing in this part of the vineyard=) 

Also, yesterday in the asado with the other elders, I tried intestine and liver. Intestine tastes better than liver grilled, if you were curious. 

On another note, I have started reading Elder J. Devin Cornish's talk from this last conference, and it has become one of my all time favorites! Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with all the stuff we have to do as missionaries and as members of the Church. The talk helps me remember that we can only do our best effort and as long as we really try and repent often, it will all be okay. AND IT'S TRUE. I know I am far from being the perfect missionary (or a perfect human for that matter), but if I look back from when I first started my mission to now, I can easily say that I have improved and have become a more dedicated follower of Christ. I wan't 'bad' before I left on my mission. In fact, I really tried to be 'good'. But in these last 16 months or so God has really blessed me and strengthened me as I've gone through this path harder by far than all the other ones I've taken. It's hard, and I'm not perfect, but it is so good. 

That's what I've got for right now folk. Have fun begging for candy tonight, and I'll see you all soon enough!

Elder Hardcastle=)


 The bishop doing his thing

 Me almost being burned on the rear end


We got on the roof and snapped some photos. The building in the back is an abandoned hospital (actually tons of people live there, but as far as being a hospital, it's abandoned)

Monday, October 24, 2016

Families are the best thing.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Fat and Feliz

Well hello there!

Well we were in a little bit of a slump at the beginning of the week, and then Sunday came, and everything got better! I feel like that happens a lot in the mission, like we are working so hard with not very many results and then we get to the last day and we see small miracles! We see the fruits of our labors after the trail of our faith!

So let's talk about the stuff that happened yesterday.

Felicia has a church calling! Whooooot!  I have been waiting for this for a long time, and she is now the ward Liahona magazine coordinator. I don't really know what that means, but it is cool.  =)

The second things is that WE FOUND A FAMILY. yesssss. Oh my goodness, I was so happy yesterday because we basically struck gold. I have actually known this lady since my first transfer here in Soldati (if I remember correctly... so much time...), and I think now is her moment. She is a bishop's sister, and last transfer her husband died, leaving her with her two sons. SHE IS SO GREAT. When I first met her she told us that she was pretty into her religion, but now she admits that there are some things in it that don't correlate with the doctrine of the Bible. She also likes the doctrine of our Church because it answers her questions (duhh, it's teaches the RESTORED GOSPEL). Anywho, we went to her house yesterday and watched the Joseph Smith video with her and her kids and the bishop, and her kids and the bishop had to tell her to stop and sit down because she was too busy mom-ing us, preparing us food and making chipa and talking about how she bought cheese for really cheap, haha. But eventually she sat down and we had a good lesson. They are so loving and have desires to learn more and to act (¡aceptaron fecha!), and we see great things for them in the future! 

Now the third miracle was with this lady we met Saturday. We were walking (welcome to missionary life) and we decided to talk with this lady outside her house. She is super porteña grandma (¿viste?) but really sweet, and we began to talk with her about the Book of Mormon and she showed some interest! She also told us that she has been in her church for many years, but we continued talking with her and she accepted the book but said she would schedule another visit some other day, which usually means never. But Sunday night we saw her again as we passed her house, and after saying hi her to her she told us, ''yeah, I think I am going to go to your Church. Mine keeps asking me for too much money. I believe in tithing and offerings, but this is too much!'' SCORE. She also said she had been reading and so far had like it. So we scheduled a follow-up visit. Hope for the best!

So yeah. Those are the miracles of the week! I love being a servant of the Lord and sharing the Book of Mormon with the people in Soldati. I didn't know how much I loved the Book of Mormon or the Gospel until I saw how sad life is without it! They truly have to be the key to our happiness, not just the happiness of right now but for forever. So READ THE BOOK! And GO TO CHURCH! And SAY YOUR PRAYERS!
See you all soon enough!
¡Les Quiero!
Elder Hardcastle

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

E iba guiado por el Espíritu...

Good afternoon mis queridos! ¿Cómo andan?

So this week was pretty special. Transfers came, transers left, and it looks like I'll be staying in Soldati yet another transfer! But I'm not even complaining right now because I love the members here and get to finish Elder Justice's training. The other missionaries call me 'Eterno Hardcastle' y bueno, soy capo. The best thing was that I think one family thought I was going and they made us a small mountain of churros FILLED with dulce de leche and COVERED in chocolate. Mhmm. I hope we see a repeat at the end of this next transfer. =)

So Let's talk about our good friend, el Espíritu Santo for a little bit. He is going to be the main focus of my week because I truly felt like I was blessed a ton with knowing where to go and what to do. And that is a great feeling, and an assurance to me that I am doing what God wants me to do.

So my companion is great. He has been having a bit of a health problem and it has left him pretty beat. The other day we were out in the calle and were thinking that it was probably time for him to head back to the apartment because he was pretty whooped, but he is a trooper wanted to hand out Libros de Mormón first. So as we were wrapping up and walking to the bus stop, I felt to stop by the house of an old lady who was outside drinking mate with her son. This lady made it pretty apparent that she was well invested in her religion, but I decided to let her say her piece so I could share a bit as well and maybe talk to her son who seems a little more open. But then a less active lady came over that I have been trying to communicate with since forever, and we were able to talk to her! And it was definitely the needed moment, and I am pretty sure that is the reason why the impression to talk! We were then able to share with her a few promised from the Libro de Mormon on how to build up happiness. Now she just has to act and will be able to see the miracles that the restored Gospel makes in our lives!

And then Spirit was poured out in General Conference! I hope you all prepared your questions before it started, because it was really just a fiesta espiritual. Like really. Especially the Saturday morning sesión! I really loved Sister McConkie's talk about calling upon God through prayer, and aligning our will with His. Also Elder Cornish really outdid himself with his talk about putting forth our best work and even though it will never be enough, WE CAN MAKE IT! They are both definitely print-worthy. I just love conference. I received so many answers to my questions, and understood more about how to receive and recognize revelation.

And then... yesterday! So in correlation with our 12 semanas training (an extra hour of study for new missionaries) and the visión of our mission, we spent some time yesterday studying and talking about the Libro de Mormón, and how reading it and asking our Heavenly Father if it is true can answer any doubt or objection that a person has about it. Later on in the day, we were able to put that knowledge into action! We decided to contact almost every single door in the pasillo (don't know that Word in English... alley?) of a few members (the ones that made us churros). As we were nearing to the end, a was talking with a man who said he was Christian. As I was testifying about the Libro de Mormón, he interrupted me and was like 'this is all great but only the Bible is the word of God'. He was being a bit persistent, and I was not willing to give in, thank you very much, and so I told him that only if he read it and asked God if it was true would he know of the truthfulness. But I said it a lot cooler and in Castellano and my companion and I both agreed that it was a righteous spiritual 'whopping'. All in all, he didn't want a copy, but I sure left that door feeling pretty spiritually pumped up!

So that was the week I had! I hope you all know that the Gospel is so true, and all we need to is experiment with it to see the wonderously miraculous results that WILL come. '' es que guardáis mis mandamientos, seréis conducidos hacia la tierra prometida, y sabréis que yo soy el que os conduce'' (1 Nefi 17:13). I love the Gospel, and I love being a missionary! I love enjoying the guidance and direction of the Holy Ghost in my life, and I invite YOU ALL to pay more attention to His voice this week. His words of those of the Lord!

Have a safe week you guys. See you all soon enough!

Con amor,
Elder Hardcastle =)

1 ''Truth is the fragrance of the soul''
2 and 3 Worldwide Day of Service!

Also, Megan Weston please note that Elder Duffin and I are in the same district!
Okay bye