Friday, March 31, 2017

To the Suburbs!

Hello family and friends. 

I'm sweating again :( so that's a little bit of a downer, but that's something of little importance because lots of great things happened this week!

I was transferred! I am now in El Talar, with Elder Oyola from Perú. We get along really well so far and I really enjoy the area.  I have had the chance to meet with some of the members and feel their desires to advance the missionary work in the area. I felt a lot of the missionary spirit in Church, I think in every hour there was some comment about how we need to share the Gospel with others! I love that! I have had some ideas and the counselor in the bishopric who is our mission leader shows lots of promise. I am really excited!

 And we also have a baptism this Saturday! Even though it is an older lady who will be attending in a different ward after with her daughter, I hope it will be another boost to their ánimo (how do you say that in English?).

This week we spent lots of time in the street trying not to get too lost and also spent some extra time cleaning. You can't feel the Spirit so strong in a dirty apartment! also the toilet was broken and water would get all over the floor, but it has been fixed, and after many trips to the garbage and a few bottles of bleach later, it's starting to look pretty good! 

Also, today we played fútbol for the first time in ages (I was dreading this moment). The good news is that I've gotten better! the bad news is that I'm still the worst. It's a good thing we aren't here to share soccer to the world, or I'd be a goner. 

Also, I hope you are all as excited for GENERAL CONFERENCE as I am! I looooooove reading the conference talks, our leaders are truly inspired by God! So preparense bien and write down a few of your questions, because it's going to be good.

Love you all and will see you all soon enough!

Elder Hardcastle

Monday, March 20, 2017

Where Can I Turn for Peace?


This letter will act as my summary for this week and last week, because I forgot to carry my journal and forgot to write about some of the excitement. 

Okay so first we will start out with the Great Mosquito Massacre, Last week a big storm passed through Baradero in the middle of the night, and our air conditioning stopped working and just started beeping. I got up and tried turning it off, but the remote couldn't turn it off, so I had to climb up a chair and turn off the thing (air conditioning is weird here, I'll explain another day if you have interest). But, in an effort to still have cool air circulating through the room, I opened the window and let some of the cool stormy breeze in. Later that night I heard buzzing around my head. and then again. and again. And I knew- it was mosquitos. I ran downstairs and grabbed the mosquito killer spray we had and started spraying it around the room. Unfortunately, it didn't work as well as hoped, or perhaps it was too late and the damage was already done, because when I woke up I had mosquito bites all over my arms and head and neck. It was horrible. I had like 74 bites. And the little nasties were hiding all over the room, so I kept the killer spray on hand (it worked really good for direct kills) and during our morning studies I would stop every so often to kill the filthy creatures. They were FILLED with blood. I have photo proof. The good news is that my companion didn't wake up and had few bites, if any;  I don't have dengue (yet); and I killed all the mosquitos. 

These two weeks we have tried just about everything possible, I called almost every person in the Area book, we called the people in our future investigator sheets, we contacted around the church, 
and we walked. Oh, did we walk. I want to see how much I have walked here in Baradero. But Thursday was an eventful day. For starters, we had six dogs follow us, and at one point five of them at the same time! And then I found a hidden alley I hadn't even seen before so we decided to enter and contact. I contacted a house and the man that answered played the ''Look over there!'' game with us. Well, he got me to look and closed the door when we weren't looking=) It was really classy. 

Then later in the day we knocked on a door and a lady came out. Our conversation went as follow:
Elder Hardcastle: ''Hi we are from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints...'' 
Lady: ''Okay, but I'm ''[other religion].''
Elder Hardcastle: ''So wouldn't you like to learn more about Jesus?''
Lady: ''No, I'm going to Church right now, that's how I'll learn.''

I had to hand it to her for answering well. I like to throw in the ''Wouldn't you like to learn about Jesus?'' question every so often, and you'd be surprised by how many people say no! It makes me sad. 

We also had a lesson with a man who couldn't accept that the Book of Mormon could have the same value as  the Bible. Even though we shared many things and testified, he kept talking in circles bringing up the same excuses, Oh well. I had prepared WELL for the lesson, so if nothing more I came out with a stronger testimony of the necessity of the Book of Mormon. Go read 2 Nephi 29 if you have any questions. 

Friday we had another nice testimony of the importance of our studies. We met with a less active family from Bolivia that stopped coming to church for a few problems in the branch. Just that afternoon in companionship study we had discussed the importance of going to church, so it was perfect. The Hermana also told us that she likes singing and music, so I asked if I could sing for them  Dónde hallo el solaz? (Where Can I Turn for Peace?) which we had sung that day as well! It was a nice visit and I hope they start coming to church because they are really great!

That is a wrap for this week. I love being a missionary! It is the greatest thing I have ever done. 

See you all soon enough,

Elder Hardcastle

Pictures1 and 2- Mosquito Massacre 
3- Amores family
4- Hugo and Daniela and Co.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

From Puddle to Popsicle

Well well well, Happy Monday! 

I hope you are all well! this week went by super duper fast. I forgot to bring my journal to the cyber so I am trying to remember all that has happened, hold up a second....

So Iet's start with Tuesday. Tuesay we did divisiones (exchanges) with the District. I was with my good friend Elder Valbuena. He is still just an acorn in his training, but he is super great. Also, he comes from the Canary Islands, so that's pretty exotic. Haha I love him a ton and he considers himself one of my children in the mission, so that makes him another one of my adopted elders here haha. Also he told me I can go visit him over there when he gets back so that's pretty much a done deal. 

ALSO! So do you all remember that I was working with a family that needed to get married but needed to start the husband´s divorce first? yeah, well they finished their papers and turned them in! So now they just have to wait! The wife has received her answer and they went to church again this week, and their kids were the most reverent ones in the meeting! haha. I probably won't be here for the wedding or the baptism of the wife, but I am just so happy with their progress I am so sure that everything will turn out great!

Also this last week I had to do some baptismal interviews in San Pedro and while I was there I forgot my planner somewhere, so it's been hard trying to remember the meetings that we were supposed to have. Oops! I think I am the person most prone to losing things on the planet... oh well. 

AND THEN! yesterday I had to put on a sweater because it was cold. This country has the strangest weather (hence the subject line). 

That's about it for this week! I can't believe how fast the time is flying! Read your scriptures and take a nap for me, but remember that I'll see you all soon enough! (13 weeks ayyy qué loco)


Elder Hardcastle =)

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Running Around

Howdy y'all!

Well, these last two weeks have been filled with running all around the mission! We had a mission tour with Elder Levrino from the Seventy, baptismal interviews, interviews with President Smith, and another meeting in San Isidro, But we kept a good attitude through it all and This last week we were able to find quite the quantity of investigators! OPEN YOUR MOUTH haha. 

So this Mission Tour was pretty cool. Elder Levrino and his wife spoke to us A LOT about obedience and repentance. Like a lot. Much was said about the difference between the mission rules and some mission 'traditions' that aren't in line with the rules. Many misunderstandings were cleared up. Pte Smith is really doing his best to make sure we are doing all that we can so that we receive lots and lots of blessings! Personally, my favorite part of the conference was when Hna Levrino gave an object lesson about repentance. She brought cake and I got to eat some of it served to me by a missionary tied up! Interesting and satisfying. 

Also, just so you know, last Monday it rained, and I saw a DOUBLE RAINBOW ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE SKY. Too bad I didn't have my camera!

We also had a wonderful miracle this week. Two weeks ago when I went to do a baptismal interview in Zárate, I managed to obtain a referral! So this last week we went to go looking for the man (it wasn't the most specific address... complete with a quick drawing in my planner haha). We managed to find the house, but the man that answered us said that the person we were looking for wasn't home. He was nice though so we decided to take advantage to the situation to invite him to learn more, but he wasn't to interested, and we left. Well fast forward to Friday. We were headed to the bus terminal which is like thirty blocks away from our house so we called a remis (taxi), and guess who was our driver? The same guy who talked to us at the door! When we got to the terminal he asked me for the book I has showed him (el Libro de Mormón, obvio), so we arranged to visit him. Now fast forward to the next day. We get to the house and the man really opens up to us. He admits that he is really the man we were looking for in the first place, and tells us that after he first met us, he saw us like the next day or so in town, and then again when we got in his car. He decided that it could not be a coincidence and wanted to figure out what we trying to teach him. HE told us as well that he lost his wife about 16 years ago and since then has felt like a part of him was empty, we testified that he will be able to see his wife again and gave him Alma 41 to read! We are going to pass by his house again this week, pray for the best!

...So that is some of the fun from the week! Thank you all for your prayers and support! I love you! Keep on the straight and narrow, and I'll see you all soon enough!


Élder Hardcastle