Tuesday, June 6, 2017

See You All Soon Enough

Good afternoon from Good Aires (haha I changed it up a bit this time)!

So our miracle investigator got baptized yesterday! So that was the big news of the week! I am so happy to be working in El Talar and to see miracles as we work with the ward in the work of the Lord!

This week was super tranquila because my companion developed some back problems and hasn't been able to move very much. We were able to work maybe a few hours every day, but we spent the majority of the time in the apartment. But I was able to get a lot of things done like sewing to repair my pants, organizing and updating the area book, a few power naps, studying Spanish and calling (and recalling) lots and lots of old investigators. We can't slack off so close to the end! 

Buuuut, I guess that moment is getting pretty close. This will be my last letter as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints here in Argentina. It feels weird to write this, and it doesn't quite seem real yet. Has it really been two years?!

Just so you know, I love Argentina and treasure the moments I spent here. It's quite different from Cache Valley, but still pretty darn great. And there are some STRONG members of the church here, I really admire their dedication and efforts to live the Gospel. 

I can honestly say this is not how I thought the mission was going to be. Before heading out and in the beginning of my mission, I thought that being a missionary would be hard, but easy in its purpose: I would leave the apartment right on time every day talking to everyone. I would be so motivated and obedient and have my mind on the prize the whole time, and my companion as well. Oh, also I would learn to speak Spanish really quick. I would have lots of success for my righteous desires. 

Reality hit me pretty early on. Needless to say, I didn't experience the mission I thought I would. But maybe, maybe I experienced one just a little bit better. 

Through the heat, the walking, the rejection, the exhaustion, and the problems with Spanish, people, and many other things, I was faced with a fair share of difficulties and tripped up a few times. I was not the perfect missionary I thought I would be. But whom the Lord loves, he disciplines, and through the trials and the failures and the difficult moments, I learned some priceless lessons.

My testimony and conversion has grown and now reaches new dimensions. I remember leaving my home well aware that I did not know the answers to all of my soul's questions, but with great desires of obtaining a conviction of eternal truths I had been taught all my life. The lord truly qualifies who He calls, and through this marvelous experience, I have come to love my Savior, Jesus Christ. I treasure the words John V. Pearson wrote in the hymn 'I Testify of Jesus Christ':

I have not touched His wounded hands
Nor yet beheld His holy face
But I have felt His love for me
And heard His gentle voice.

I have learned the He truly is real. He knows us, and loves us, and knows what we need. He gave us His gospel so that we could become better. I know that grace is real, and that it is available to all those who chose to follow Jesus Christ. The scriptures are the instructions to a blessed and prosperous life and eternity. We are not perfect, not even close, but we can become perfected through Him as we follow His example. He tries our patience and our faith, but it is so we can be transformed into new creatures and reach altitudes otherwise impossible.

Thank you for your prayers and for your letters and for motivating me to be better! I am so blessed to have such an awesome crew backing me up. I love you all! 

See you all soon enough,

Elder Hardcastle=)

Pictures:

Miracle Maxi and our ward mission leader and us


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