Monday, November 28, 2016

We Moved

Howdy ya'll

So this week perhaps wasn't the most missionary-work heavy, because we had to spend more than two days moving all of our stuff over to the new house (NOT apartment, haha), and then Saturday was loco crazy with a huge storm in the morning and there was pretty much nobody in the street in the afternoon getting wet. menos nosotros. But now everything is settled and we are ready to have a great week this week! 

We had a good experience with Abrir la Boca (open your mouth) Friday. We got a message from the zone leaders that one of the companionships of hermanas had given away seven Libros de Mormón the day before by simply opening their mouth with everyone. At first I was like ''wow that's a lot'' and then I got thinking, ''we can do that.'' Contacting is probably one of my biggest challenges in the mission that I am working through because I really, really, hate it when people don't want to read a book about our Savior, or when they're comfortable where they are, etc. and I start to lose faith in finding people. But I decided I would put forth my best effort and try to contact all the people that replied to me nicely when I said hello.  My companion caught on as well and the Lord blessed us with a TON of people willing to accept this other testament of Jesus Christ! It showed me that if we try our best to act on the impressions of the Spirit, he will not fail us, we just need to open our mouths! 

Just some fun news: 
It hailed on Saturday. And it was huge!! I'll show you in the pictures.
There are toads by our new pensión. I like them.
Sunday I caught a toad at a members house=) it was some good clean fun.
This morning there was a swarm of dragonflies outside the pensión. Not a very dense swarm, but a swarm nonetheless. 
This week we have been testing our culinary expertise and made blueberry and peach syrups. 

That's it for this week. Espero que todos tengan una semana buenísima y que puedan pensar un poco más en nuestro Salvador, ya que estamos llegando a la época navideña=) See you all soon enough!

Elder Hardcastle

Monday, November 21, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Greetings from Baradero!

First off, this place is sooooo beautiful. I love it But there are no buses in the city, so we are walking EVERYWHERE. I love the zone, too. There are a lot of good missionaries here and I really admire the leaders here in Zárate. We did divisiones with the Zone leaders Tuesday and it was really good. Elder Zambrano doesn't leave a single stone unturned. We were talking the whole day to people! and Right before the day ended we were able to give out the last of our six Books of Mormon. I wasn't sure if we would do it! but we did. 

I am thoroughly enjoying my time here with elder Martinez. HE IS KELSEY HALL BUT LATINO. We are very similar and are constantly cracking up. I think what differences we do have are very complementary and together we are seeing some great things. 

The work is work, as always. I'm going to try and be extra jolly when I say hello to the people. Like they say, give a little to get a little! We did have a really good experience this week that I would like to share with you. We were out proselyting and there was a lady outside her house watering the outside of her house, and I decided to go and talk to her. After the first few moments she told us that she was part of another religion and yada yada yada, so I told her, ''Great! because we want to share the word of Christ with you!'' to which she kept on trying to give us the hint that she was not interested. Well, we had come from a day that had been less than eventful, and I wasn't quite ready to give in yet, thank you very much. So I told her, ''Look, we're not here to bug you. We are here because we know that this book is true and will be a blessing in your life.''

The lady then replied, ''Well, I'm not maleducada (sorry , don't know the translation... impolite/rude?). You want me to read the book?'' and we said ''YESSSSS! And then we'll meet with you again.''
...And she accepted! By the time she finished talking to us, she had warmed up quite a bit, enough to try and kiss us (Don't worry guys, we didn't let her)! She said it was a big coincidence that we were even there talking to her, because if she had been in her house, she would have just told us to leave (which we had done previously to my companion). It helped me with my testimony that I need to be bold. This week I am going to try and find way to better answer the common excuses, to see if I can find a spark of interest to feed on. 

That's about it for now. I love you guys! Have a great Thanksgiving! I am grateful for this Gospel. It has been so great to see my testimony and conversion strengthening and changing these last 17 months. Sometimes I'm like. ''Am I saying that?'' This is truly the true church with the fullness of the everlasting Gospel. 

See you all soon enough!

Elder Hardcastle

The cat in the neighbor's yard that was looking at me.  
Isn't it lovely?

Taking bus/airplane to Zarate.

The siesta is REAL.

Plaza Mitre

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Good Morning Ba...radero!

The eagle has flown. That's right, Eldersito Hardcastle has left his loving Villa Soldati and has headed to the other side of the mission. But we'll get to that later.
So, ¿Cómo están? This week was super great. Like SUPER great. POR FIN we had interviews and capacitación from Presidente Smith an the other leaders in the mission. It was pretty good. We talked a lot about our goal of sharing 30 Libros de Mormón every week and what is holding us back from doing it and how we can do it better. What I got out of it is that I needed to be more bold by talking to more people and being more direct when talking. And then the next day we did multidivisiones in the Zone, where all the elders do a division with another group of elders from a different area. And guess where I went? Barrio Rivadavia, which happens to be the most dangerous in the mission. So that was jazzy. I was there with Elder Castro from El Salvador, and we put in some serious work. The assistants told us we need to double our efforts in this work, and so the zone leaders told us that instead of trying to give away four LDM that day, they wanted us to give out eight. ¿¿Quééééé?? I've never done that. Luckily that Lord blessed us, and we were able to give away not only eight, but ten books! And then again on Sunday we busted our daily goal and gave out seven! And it helped me strengthen my testimony that when we are more bold and direct, the people will be more touched.
One of the things we were encouraged to try is help the people see how the Book of Mormon answers the questions of our soul. So in my primer contact I've started asking the people what problems or question they have in their lives, and I will find a part in the Book of Mormon to answer it. I'm pretty sure if someone told me to open up like that- in the street, encima- I wouldn't. But guys, you would not believe how many people DO! It's really one of the most beautiful things I have seen in my mission. After talking to a person for a few minutes, these people open up to the very core, telling us how they are angry at God because He allowed their children to die, or how some people don't want to try to be good anymore because when they do everything seems to go worse, etc. And then the best part is that we get to testify that they are children of a Heavenly Father who loves them and knows what they are going through, and then we find a scripture based on their need. It makes me feel like I am really fulfilling my purpose!
So yeah Sunday was a day of miracles in Soldati. We left that day with the desire to find a family of four. Well it was about six in the afternoon and we still hadn't found one. So we decided to pray. We were on our way to a member family's house so I pretty much said, ''Heavenly Father, we really want to find a family of four today preferably before we make it to the Olmedo's house. Please help us to find them and be bold enough to contact them.'' We serious just turned the corner and BOOM. There was a family of four! And they accepted the Book of Mormon! and then a few minutes later BOOM! Another family. God really does answer our prayers when they are in line with His will. And then later on in the day we met with a lady we had given a LDM to the day before, and it was amazing. She had told us she was getting tired of trying to be good because everything was going downhill even through all her efforts. We Shared Alma 38 with her and than talked about how it is that we have the Libro de Mormón and the Restoration of the Gospel. She and two of her kids are sooo ready.
And then yesterday we got transfer calls, and me tocó ser trasladado. I am now in LA GRAN ZONA ZARATE! In the area Baradero. And I love it so far. And I am here with a ton of my friends! I basically went from one side of the mission to the other. And it's pretty much the castaway zona, because it is close to nothing, just a looooooooot of fields. It reminds me of a mixture of Arizona and Idaho, without the mountains. My companion is Elder Martinez from California, who I will be killing this transfer. I have been wanting to come to Zarate since pretty much the beginning of my mission, so I am as happy as I could be! Stay tuned for some great adventures here!
That's about all I got for you all this week, folks. Keep on keeping on, AND PRAY. It works. I relearned that this week. He WILL answer your prayers!
See you all sooon enough!
Elder Hardcastle
1. Elder Martinez and I
2. Outside our apartment. ¡QUÉ TRANQUILO!

Monday, November 7, 2016

camarero desencamaronamelo

(Enjoy that tragalenguas that has been floating around the ward this week.)

... And hello from a steamy Buenos Aires, Wowzers was it hot Saturday and Sunday!

So this week we did service! And all on martes ... I mean Tuesday. oops. We started off the day carry a refridgerator down the stairs of an apartment building and then carrying it up another side, because the elevator doesn't work... so yeah. My companion´s shirt got SUPER  dirty, so we went to a member´s house to go and borrow another. Just to let you know, latinos are not the biggest of persons. My companions is built kind of like and ox, and while he fit into the shirts, his unusually large neck was not close to letting him do up the top button. So I had to wear this member´s shirt which barely tucked in and then wear a jacket over it because it was a little too tight... yep. and I wore that to our next service! which was helping a lady in our ward with English homework. And that took us a long while. But It gave us opportunities to serve, and it was good to help the ward out a little bit.
Sunday was a good day. Out of nowhere an former investigator came to church! He told us that he just felt like going, and so he did! We are going to go and visit him this week to see if now he is more ready to learn and keep committments! And then later that afternoon we decided to go and visit a family that we have been working with that has run into a couple of problems. So remember when I went and knocked that door of the less active and found a house FULL of people? yeah, them. Well, a less active has gone rougue and she is causing a couple of problems for the ward. She is loca crazy, to put it shortly. But she happens to be a friend of this family and told them a whole bunch of lies (like that we worship Jospeh Smith, etc.) and this family got a little bit confused from what she told them and what others had said. Anywho, I knew we had to have a sit down with them and talk it all out. So I we prayed with them and actually ended up having a really good lesson! I reminded them that when we want to make an important spiritual decision, Satan is going to try attacking us so that we don't follow through. I was like LOOK WHAT IS HAPPENNING TO YOU GUYS! HE IS ATTACKING YOU. And then they were like Yeah, but why won't God just tell us that this is the right church? So I explained to them... again... that he won't answer us unless we have faith. It's like wanting to eat a cake, but not being willing to make it. I asked them how they had been doing with their reading from the Book of Mormon and praying, and they admitted they hadn't been putting forth a very good effort. So this week they are going to work on it! So please pray from them! And then to finish off the day we waited for the bus for like ever and got home after 9:45... oops.
So yeah that was my week! It's going by a little slow, but I am glad for the oppoutunities I have to share the Gospel and to help others, and I am growing so much personally! I hope you all have a great week, and I'll see you all soon enough!
Elder Hardcastle