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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Member Missionary Work Is Where It's at!!!

Hello Family! Well so much has happened here I don't no where to start. Oh wait, sister Davis just checked her email and her sister got her Visa!! That most likely means her Visa should be coming!!!! Ya, we all about had a crying session here in the library!
This morning we went over to Sister Breelands and she showed us how to make her famous cheesecake, she's been making it since 1977! It is fantastic! Sister Breeland is awesome! Her kitchen was pretty small for four people, I collied with her once and said sorry, and she stops dead in her tracks and says, "Honey, we are all sisters here so don't worry about a thing." After that we had a tour at the blind center and it was soooo cool!!! I loved it!
Learned how to make Sister Breelands famous Cheesecake. 

This week we have seen so many miracles I don't even know where to start.
I don't have a lot of time today so I'll try to get them all in.
Miracle #1 Back in January we tracted into a lady named Donna. I've never had a more amazing Restoration lesson then with Donna. The spirit was so strong. Well long story short, crazy life gets in the way and we haven't been able to see Donna (bout breaks my heart). She works at the University in Monroe. The zone leaders call us the other day and say that they ran into her and she told them that she ran into other missionaries in Ruston. She went on to explain how impressed she was by us and that they were welcome to do missionary work on campus! Such a blessing and now they can meet so many other people! Sister Bender and I wanted to cry! (You do that a lot as a missionary).
Tracting in the country

Miracle #2 Janice was needing are help getting a Relief Society activity together. I had to call the ward list to invite people to it. Well one name I didn't recognize, but felt to call it anyway. Turns out it's a gal named Brittany, she's 20, less active and just moved back to Ruston. She wasn't able to come to the activity. We were sad. A few days later one of are plans fell through so we did are backup plan. We went to visit the lady and she had a friend over. IT'S BRITTANY! Talk about a small world! We were able to meet her and set up a time to see her! We saw her Sunday and she's awesome!

Louisiana Country Side

Dad here are some cows, just for you!

A Temple of the Baptist Church.

Miracle #3 The following member missionary work occurred yesterday in the Ruston ward
1.) A sweet sweet sister sang in church yesterday and she invited 3 non member friends!
2.) Sister Hogg had her neighbor to the Relief Society party on Thursday, had us over for dinner Friday, and she came to church Sunday!!
3.) Sister Pardue has become good friends with a returning member, she came to the Relief Society activity Thursday and then to churchon Sunday!!
Member Missionary work is where it's at!!!!
Hogg's Bunnies

Well that's all for now! I best be going. The STLs from Monroe are doing exchanges tonight then we have a big District meeting Wednesday so I'm making cupcakes! I'm excited.

 I'm doing well and missing y'all. Keep the faith!
Sister Hartley

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I've been in Ruston 'since I was knee high to a grasshopper."

This week has been pretty great! We are busy finding/following up with those we have tracted into.
Because of interviews President and Sister McDonough came to the Ruston ward on Sunday. It was really fun to have them there! They are so great! We are teaching an investigator that is a senior at La Tech. We met her at a bible study. We invited her to church on Saturday and she said she is dealing with some family struggles, but that she would try to come to church. SHE CAME! It has been weeks since we have seen an investigator at church! I wanted to cry! She looked beautiful. She said she woke up and just new that if she didn't come she would feel guilty so she opened her closet and an outfit just jumped out to her. She was only able to stay for sacrament meeting, but she said she enjoyed it and said that all the speakers spoke of struggles she is going through. After she left a ton of members came up to us all excited to see who she was they said, "she just had a glow about her." She really does. She is studying the Book of Mormon and praying about the lessons. It's amazing.
Jimillah, the lady I told y'all about last week, we saw her yesterday. Her uncle has just passed away. We hadn't given her a copy of the Book of Mormon yet so we explained it to her and then read from Alma 40 and taught her where her uncle is. It brought her a lot of comfort and the spirit was very strong.
Anyways, that's all for this week. We're working hard to find the elect here in Ruston, Louisiana. May God ever guide are steps.
Love, Sister Hartley
Scripture: James 1:27
Southernism: I've been in Ruston 'since I was knee high to a grasshopper."

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

I don't know enough about football

Well today marks the start of a new transfer! I will be staying in Ruston with Sister Davis and Sister Bender.
 So many trees here and ground squirrels. There's trees here, not sure what they're called but they have beautiful white blossoms and they are beautiful! The weather yesterday and today is soooo nice. Yesterday was a service day before transfers. We deep cleaned are apartment and then we went to some members' homes and did service. The sun feels so nice! I've missed it!
On Thursday we were out tracting and we knock on a door to this young mother and she was busy, but said we could come back tomorrow. We went back on Friday and she wasn't there, but her husband assured us she would be home soon and to come check back. We did and they were busy with friends, but we told them that we wanted to do a harvest prayer for them and they really wanted it so we sceduled for Sunday. We went back Sunday night and they were waiting for us! They have recently moved to Ruston and when we asked what they wanted mentioned in the prayer the mother says, "a small church family." Well if any church has a small family in Ruston it would be us! We are seeing them again this week and I am so excited!
We had a powerful experience this past Saturday. Before we started tracting we said a prayer that we would be able to get into a home and set someone with a baptism date (we've really been pushing this lately...can't triple the baptisms if we don't triple the number of people we invite). We get out of the car and knock on the door and we get invited in right away! First door!  Deondra and Jamillah. We taught them the Restoration and they were a little distant but as soon as Sister Bender recited Joseph Smith's vision they both looked right at her and felt the spirit! We invited them to be baptized on Mar. 29 and Jamillah practically screamed and says, "That's my birthday and I've been praying for a church!" Wow! Miracle miracle!
We are going to a state park here in a little bit. I've been wanting to go forever but the weather and timing has been off. We're going today though and I'm super happy!
Bishop Huckaby is big into football. We're talking 6'5 BYU Alumni. Anyways he was asking me what standards Canadian colleges and highschools use. Like size of field and stuff. Trying to get his trust so could you please help me with that?! Thanks.
Love y'all!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Sweet, Sweet, Sister Love

Saw Sister Giddins

Tracting In The Rain

Elder Larson (AP) He Is Going Home

Elder Thomas (ZL) He Is Going Home

Zone  Conference

This past week flew right on by. We had so much going on. FridaySaturday, and Sunday we were in Monroe for Zone Conference and then stake conference. Sister Davis's Visa has not come yet; however, three other missionaries in the MJM got theirs. The closing hymn at zone conference was "I'll go where you want me to go." and while we sang it Sister Davis wept and by the end of the song all three of us were crying. I have faith that she will receive it shortly. She needs to. She works so hard.
We had a miracle this week. The Elders gave us a referral for someone in are area. Her name is Jenette and she is blind (there is blind school here in Ruston, it is super neat!) Anyways we taught her a little bit and gave her the Book of Mormon on cd. She is so sweet. When we invited her to be baptized she spoke of how she had never been baptized before (a rare thing for the south). She said that if she knew it was true she would be baptized! Ya!
Many of those whom we are teaching are not progressing. I have so much faith and I see so much potential in all of them, but I can't use their agency for them, though it's tempting. We have been diligent in our tracting, but we have not found the elect here quite yet. After we did numbers last night I just looked at all the low numbers and began to cry. We talked about it as a companionship and I spoke of how I felt we needed more faith and diligence in our finding. We have committed to be diligent at talking to all those whom we come in contact with. There's someone prepared here in Ruston, we just need to faithfully find them.
The members down here are so sweet to us. Sweet sweet Sister Love gave us a ride and after we all get in the car she starts handing out chicken salad sandwiches and a Dr. Pepper :) ! She's so sweet. I look around and find that all the cars left in the parking lot are members who drove missionaries and we are all eating from coolers and such. It was just a sweet tender moment! It sounds simple, but it was so sweet to see.
Zone Conference was really good. It was good to see President and Sister McDonough for three days in a row. President says, "Sister Hartley I see you don't have as many layers on today." I just laughed and said, "President I hung my coat out in the foyer because I'm trying to be tough today!" Then I checked my email from him and this is what he wrote, "It was also wonderful to be with you at the Monroe Stake Conference. Finally, a meeting without gloves on." :) I have the best mission president!
Well that's all for this week. Time is going by fast. Transfers are next Tuesday so I wont be emailing until then. I'm pretty sure I'll be staying put in Ruston. That is what I want. There's still someone I need to teach here.
Sister Hartley
Ruston Missionaries