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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I turned 21 this week and found an A&W to celebrate.

Went on Exchanges and found an A&W

Early December in Mississippi

Crunch Crunch Crunch
Tracting on a Sunday afternoon in Jackson Mississippi

Thank-you for all the birthday wishes! They mean a lot to me! It's a raining day here in Jackson. Y'all sure have a lot of snow there! Yesterday was so nice, no coat required, just a cardigan. 
 I had the craziest finding opportunity to date this past week. I was on exchanges with a brand new missionary. We were coming out of a lesson and walking to the car. I was really into the conversation that we were having, I didn't notice that there was a big pile of dog poop. Well I slide a good minute and got it all over my shoe. Meanwhile Sister Uffens runs to the car to get her water bottle and paper towel to whip my shoe off. As she's doing this we hear someone laughing and look up to see a girl walking home from school and she's laughing at us! Luckily the neighbor of the former investigator was out washing his truck so he yells at us to come use his hose. So we walk up to his driveway and hold out my shoe and he sprays it off and then gets his bottle of degreaser and starts spraying it! It was quite the site. Anyways when all the remains is washed off and my shoe smells somewhat human again I put it back on and then we start talking. Turns out a few months back some previous sisters tracted into him and left him a copy of the Book of Mormon. He goes and gets it and we talk for a good 30minutes. He asked us all sorts of questions and was very curious about it. At the end of are conversation he goes on to say that he's a preacher and at their church library they have a book which lists all the false churches and are church was one of them listed. I looked him straight in the eye and said boldly, "We'll sir, that is a false book, are church is true." Who knew that God would have me slip in dog feces in order to testify to a preacher. That's testimony right there that God has a sense of humor! 
I love y'all. 

Sister Hartley

Witnessing for Jesus

Monday, December 8, 2014

I love teaching people.


This week was wonderful. I love teaching people. I love being a missionary. We are so blessed here in Jackson, (I still can't believe I'm in Jackson!) Last night sister Jones and I were trying some people we have tracted into recently, on one door the guy we talked with wasn't there, but his friend was, we asked her if we could teach her and she starts saying that she is really busy and doesn't have time...I held up my hand and pleaded, "Just give us 5 minutes." She agreed and invited us in. We watched He is the Gift, and it brought the spirit of Christ into her home. We then read the start of Helaman 14 with her when Samuel prophecies of Christ's birth. It really interested her to hear of the signs in America. We asked her if she would like to keep the Book of Mormon and she said yes! 

Sister Jones and I got to help Sister McDonough decorate the mission home for Christmas. Being close to the mission home is such a blessing. It's only a 20 minute bike ride from are apartment. I have learned so much from being around President and Sister McDonough. 

I love y'all so much! 
Sister Hartley

Thursday, December 4, 2014

"What made y'all stop at our door?"

Oh sweet sweet family. Oh how I love y'all! You mean so much to me. The start of the holidays has got me somewhat homesick, but in a good way. :) The good Lord has been so good to the Hartley family. I love you all so much, and I miss y'all. BUT I am LOVING my mission. I just love it here. The Lord has shown miracles to Sister Jones and I this week. It has been amazing. As Elder Zwick says, "The Lord has his boots on the ground." He's hastening his work and we're doing everything we can to keep up. We saw so many miracles this week!

I was on exchanges on Saturday and we went to see a less active member in the Jackson branch. Her visiting teacher was so nice as to accompany us. Sister Eschler and I didn't know what to plan to share in companion study because neither of us knew her. We just followed the spirit and felt to share how the Book of Mormon and Bible work together to clarify and expound doctrine. When we went inside we noticed that she had her Book of Mormon laid out. (good sign!) The conversation went on and she kept saying that she always reads the bible, but hasn't read the Book of Mormon in a long time (I think years) because she couldn't find it. Well, she found it about two weeks ago. She also said she hasn't been to church in at least a year. Well the Lord is merciful because the message we had planned to share tailored perfectly to her! And guess what?!? She came to church yesterday! Oh it was a miracle! Oh the Lord is so good!

We've had so many tracting miracles this week! We were out in a nice neighborhood and a lot of the people weren't giving us the time of day. We knock on the last door and this young dad lets us in and goes to get his wife. We introduced the Book of Mormon and neither of them said much, until the end. The wife asked, "What made y'all stop at our door?" We explained that the spirit led us. Her husband then said that just before we knocked on the door they were having a talk about the scriptures, and then we knocked and are offering them another book of scripture. Oh isn't the Lord so mindful of us all!

We have found so many people to teach it's wonderful! I love it. Oh I love it I love it I love it. I need to go though, we have had a busy day. It's operation Christmas Prep P day. haha We've decorated are apartment and are getting things all ready! I love it! Love y'all!  We're so very blessed!

Love y'all
 Sister Hartley

Help cook Thanksgiving dinner in the mission home.


Monday, November 24, 2014

Study the book of John in the New Testament. It will change your life.

Handed out Halloween candy at the Presidents house

At the Zoo

Audry and A'tia
This week has been a miracle. Sister Jones and I have been struggling to teach people. Saturday morning while planning I was really frustrated. I said, "Sister Jones I can't remember the last time we taught the restoration together." She agreed, and we set out on bikes that day determined to break the streak. We talked with a lot of people and finally on the last door we knocked we taught a mini restoration lesson. It was wonderful. The Lord really does hear are prayers.

 If y'all ever want a good study, study the book of John in the New Testament. It will change your life. It's changing mine. President has encouraged us to read it once a transfer. It's pretty remarkable.

I love the people I serve. Yesterday we went to a member's home in the Jackson branch. She pretty much changed my life. Her name is Sister Ervin. Talk about a lady with Christ-like love.

This past Thursday we did a service project with the branch relief society. We put together Thanksgiving plates and then we went to the poorer part of Jackson and handed them out to people along with a pass along card. It pretty much changed my life.

Sounds like y'all have a busy week ahead. I hope all the animals sell well. I'll be praying for it. 

Love y'all! Happy Thanksgiving.
Jackson Zoo

That's A'tia, the branch president's daughter. Cutest member of the branch

Lovely Branch Ladies

Completed dinners to hand out to the needy in Jackson with a pass along card.

Winnsboro sisters

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Audry's Baptism Day

Hello from the MJM. It has been a busy and wonderful week. We had Audry's baptism on Saturday, which was awesome! Kierra, her sister, won't be baptized for a little while yet, we're still helping her develop a testimony. Audry's baptism was very well supported by her family, the spirit was very strong. One of the strongest I've been to. 

Audry's Baptism!
Audry's big day.

Monday and this morning we helped with the new arrivals. It was crazy that a year ago that was me and now I'm on the other end of receiving missionaries. It was very exciting! I felt like a mom waiting for her kid at the airport! We have been looking at the new missionaries pictures forever so it was great to finally meet them! This past transfer has been a huge learning curve for me. As Sister Jones puts it, "Every calling is a call to repentance." I've done much of that this transfer. I feel very, very humbled.

 Saw My Girl At Transfers!
My mission has taught me the importance of doing the basics. Sister Jones has taught me an analogy of the bicycle. Many think that the training wheels are the basics and once you've mastered them you're done. But in reality the basics are learning how to peddle, keep your balance and steer. Once you've mastered those you change your course, maybe it's a hill, or gravel, but you still have the basics and you have to adjust and learn a little different technique to keep upright. That's how the "seminary answers" are for us. We have to be deeply rooted in the gospel, and rely on them for every course we embark on.
Well I love y'all. I need to go, lots of missionaries that want to email to. Thank-you for the packages, and pictures, and letters. It means a lot!
Deep Cleaning Day

Biking in the Cold

Halloween at the McDough's

                                                      Jackson Zoo

Jackson Branch Missionaries

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Nothing like little children to teach straight to the heart.

 This week we were very busy, but it was great! We had many miracles. Wednesday night we had two amazing lessons with members! I love member missionary work. We taught Kevin and Jimmerick. They are scheduled to be baptized in December. We talked about the temple. It was so spiritual! We gave them a pass along card with a picture of the Salt Lake Temple. When Kevin saw it he said that he had seen it before! I guess when he was younger his grandma had a little tea cup she got traveling to Utah and it had the temple on it. Kevin was always fond of it. He loved hearing about baptisms for the dead. He said he has many family members he wants to get baptized for when he can. He came to church yesterday and it was the primary program, all about how families can be together forever. Nothing like little children to teach straight to the heart. It was incredible. Sister McDonough also came to the lesson with us. We are so spoiled to have the mission home in are area. Whenever President and Sister McDonough are home Sister McDonough wants to come out with us. It is the best when she comes, she brings such a sweet spirit with her. Sister Jones and I are so spoiled to have her with us.

Thursday-Friday was my first official MLC. The last one was with Elder Zwick so the set-up was different. It was very humbling. The elders and sisters in this mission are amazing. Spiritual giants I tell ya! I'm so blessed to be here. I have learned soooo much from being here.

We have a baptism scheduled for this Saturday. For 2 sisters Kiera and Audry. They are the great nieces of the Jackson branch president. Please pray for them and their families. They don't have the best home life.

I am so grateful to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, this truly is His work, and as Elder Zwick puts it, "He has His boots on the ground." Matthew 24:46 May we all be such servants.

Sister Hartley

Monday, November 3, 2014

A God who asks nothing of us is making nothing of us.

Sister Hartley and I with the Zwicks

We've been busy this week! We attended both the Madison ward Halloween party and the Jackson Branch party. We also handed out candy at President's home Halloween night. It was pretty fun! I love the members here! The Lord is so good! We have a great week ahead, are daily schedule is pretty much set (which I love!). We're doing an exchange until Wednesday, then Thursday-Friday we have MLC, mix that with some appointments, church, and tracting and that pretty much sums up are week! Gotta love it!

Quote of the week: A God who asks nothing of us is making nothing of us. 

Love Y'all! 

After eating at Cracker Barrel

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Meet the Mormons is SOOO GOOOOD!

Wow what a week. MLC with Elder Zwick (a humbling experience), Zone Conference with Elder Zwick, Meet the Mormons (if y'all haven't seen it I strongly suggest you do! SOOO GOOOOD!), and a whole lot of finding and teaching.

Sister Jones and I are working hard together. I sure am learning a lot from her. She's amazing, I'm so spoiled to be her companion. She's an angel of humility, faith, strength, knowledge, and testimony. We keep pretty busy between working with a branch and a ward and STL planning. We are pretty blessed.

I have to say the same thing as Travis, my emails have become shorter and shorter each week. Know that I am doing well. I'm going on my first exchange tonight, I'm nervous and excited. I pray I can be the missionary the Lord's need me to be. He definitely calls the weak, for that is very much how I feel, yet I know that as I put my trust in him all is well.

Love Sister Hartley


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

"Remember Lot's Wife" by Elder Holland.

I've been in Jackson about a week. It is very, very different than Texarkana. With all the changes that have taken place I have found myself a lot this past week living in the past, mainly Texarkana days. I saw my old Zone Leaders @ MLC and I about cried, when they reported about the Texarkana zone I yearned to claim it as my zone. I just miss the missionaries, the ward, Amy and Torie, and all those who mean so much to me there. Sister Bithell and I had a couple of talks that we would replay over and over again. One of them is called "Remember Lot's Wife" by Elder Holland. I've listened to it so many times I can about quote the entire thing. A quote from it hit me pretty hard when I was yearning for Texarkana days. Here it is:

"I plead with you not to dwell on days now gone, nor to yearn vainly for yesterdays, however good those yesterdays may have been. The past is to be learned from but not lived in."

It hit me pretty hard, I have some repenting to do. President gave me a blessing of counsel and guidance for being a Sister Training Leader and in the blessing he counseled me to gain my own testimony of where I'm serving and the call I have been given. I've pleaded with the Lord for this, to gain my own testimony of the Lord needing me in Jackson. I have had such beautiful experiences in Texarkana, and I know that they have prepared me to be in Jackson.

Sister Jones and I have a very busy area. We attend both the Madison Ward and the Jackson Branch. The Jackson Branch is a very special place. Sister Jones is very passionate about the Branch, and it is rubbing off on me as well. The roster is 15 pages, and about 30 members attend weekly. We are committed to the Jackson Branch.

MLC was last night and today. Elder Zwick of the seventy instructed us. My life is changed. I am so humbled to be a missionary. It was humbling being surrounded by amazing leaders. The MJM truly has my heart.

I have to go now, the library is closing. It has poured rain most of the afternoon. I love y'all.

Sister Hartley  

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Guess who my new companion is?!? Sister Jones!

Guess who my new companion is?!? Sister Jones!

Service at the Ethridges

 taught my girl how to drive the little tractor
 Hi Family! Can I just say that Friday morning until right now has felt like an eternity! Right now I'm running on three and a half hours of sleep. So many amazing things have happened!  Friday morning (7:15 am) we got transfer calls from President McDonough. Come to find that Sister Hartley is getting transferred! It was super hard to break the news to Amy and Torie. Torie (Amy's daughter) was scheduled to get baptized Saturday. Well Saturday morning  Amy calls us and says that Torie wants to get baptized Monday night before I leave! We called Bishop and the ward mission leader and they both approved it! Yah!! It was amazing! It was pretty short notice, but the ward support was incredible! Everyone loves Amy and Torie! They are both amazing! Ahh I love them!! It was so hard to say goodbye. 

Oh you're probably wondering where I got transferred...cue Johnny Cash, "I'm going to Jackson." Yes I got transferred to Jackson, MS. I guess I've been too rowdy up in Texarkana, President needs to keep a closer eye on me. Our apartment is about 7 minutes away from the mission home! haha. Funny story, it has been the goal of some Texarkana ward members to fatten me up, when I told a member (who is the spitting image of Shelly Spencer) that I was leaving she said, "Oh are they going to feed you there? Do we need to send you with a note?" it was pretty funny! 

I am companions with Sister Jones! I am sooo excited to serve with her. She is amazing! I am going to learn so much from her. President asked me to serve as a Sister Training Leader. We go on exchanges with the sisters in the Jackson zone and we also get to pick up the new missionaries from the airport each transfer. I am excited for this new adventure, I know I need to rely on the Lord. On Monday(Canadian Thanksgiving!) we have MLC (Mission Leader Council) Elder Zwick of the seventy will be there. Sister Jones says this next week is crazy so I don't know when I'll be emailing. 

I am so grateful that I was able to serve for 4 transfers in Texarkana. It was so hard to leave. Texarkana has my heart. I am so grateful to be serving the Lord. I love doing His work. 
Storm through Texarkana

District potluck between conferences

Saying Goodbye, so hard!

Torie's Baptism!

Transfer Point, are girls are all grown up!

most of our district at Transfer Point

This is Sister Quilty from Sterling! She knows Beth, and grew up with Wyatt! 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Quite the week here in this lovely vineyard of Texarkana.

Sweet sweet family, I have had quite the week here in this lovely vineyard of Texarkana. Exchanges with the STLs, getting caught in southern rainstorms, finding the elect, crazy tracting, and mighty opposition, baptism miracles, and specilized training. 

On Sunday Sister Bithell and I had quite a bit of tracting to do, we sought inspiration as we planned where to knock, we felt like we needed to go to a particular street so we did. We met a lady who couldn't talk with us right then, but assured us that we were welcome back to visit. We kept tracting down the street, when we were walking back up on the other side of the street she was out with her neighbor waiting for us. She offered us water and cookies and proceeded to invite us to a concert her church was having that night. Sister Bithell and I talked about it and felt like we should go. We went to the church and walked in a little late. Turns out we were set up for an anti-mormon devtional/concerrt. The lady that invited us saw us and came over to sit with us. We had only been sitting for 5 minutes before we realized what was happening. Up on the stage was a group of guys in there twenties. The speaker was from Salt Lake City, he was showing pictures of serving a mission and proceeds to tell his story of apostizing from the church while serving his mission and proceeds to say the most abursed things. My heart has never pounded so heavy in my entire life. I turned to the lady and said, "That is not true, this is not right, we are leaving." We got up and made quite a scene as we proceeded to leave the auditorim, the gal kept trying to get us to stay and listen and all the people around us got up to help her. We shook are heads and left, but not before I made eye contact with the man on stage and gave him a look I pray he remembers for the rest of his life. Once we got out of the auditorim and into the foyer, in an attempt to leave, the lady kept demanding for us to explain ourselves all while her friends are backing her up. I looked at her and with full confidence opened my mouth and the spirit filled it. She kept cutting me off and trying to block my path. She followed us all the way to the car. We got in the car and got out of there. I was pretty fired up. We called are district leader for a priesthood blessing and then we called President McDonough. President McDonough told us that we had just lived through a Book of Mormon story, we were the angel that came to Alma the Younger. We literally lived Mosiah 27, and Alma 26:28-30. President reminded us that in the last days even the very elect will be deceived (Matt 24:24). I know that there needs to be opposition in all things, I never realized that I would be thrown head first into it. I know that this is the price we pay to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, it is a price I am willing to pay. (Acts 5:39-42). In these days we have to be yoked with Christ (Matt 11:28-30). We are protected and able to withstand the adversary as we keep close to the scriptures (1Nephi15:24). In 1 Nephi 8 it talks of the 4 groups of people in Lehi's dream. One group only "clinged" to the rod, they did not make it, only those who "held fast" made it to the tree. We must keep with the teachings of the scriptures and latter-day prophets. 

The MJM is moving forward with the Lord's work, the adversary is also moving his work forward, especially in Texarkana. Are district has had quite the week. We recognize that this will happen, we know who will win in the end, our confidence is sure. 

The Schmidts, a less active couple in the ward, they take good care of us. 
We may get a lot of opposition, but the elect are out there. These two have had contact with missionaries on and off there entire lives, the timing was finally right when these two hard working missionaries knocked on their door.