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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

In the South every house has at least one dog!!!

Well here we again, it's a crazy Monday morning here in Ruston. We were having companionship study and all the while the sky is getting darker and darker and then the thunder and lightening come, mix that with wind, and then boom, sheets of rain start to pour down. And wait for it....the tornado siren goes off! It has since cleared up though, no worries (I have gum boots!), just part of the adventure.
Sister Hogg, she has the best food storage.

Fun Memories:
1.) We see the Pearcy's every week. They are an older couple in the ward. They are such an inspiration to me. They are both blind and just the sweetest people you'll ever meet. They have a tandem bike that they ride. We had an appointment to see them Saturday night, but they forgot and weren't there. Their tandem bike happened to be by there door, and we all agreed we needed to try it out! We went and saw them last night and when we told Sister Pearcy we took her bike for a stroll around the block she got all excited and says, "Oh I'm so glad someone is enjoying it, y'all can come over and ride it whenever y'all want."
My companions on the tandem bike

2.) We have an hour for lunch each day. Sister Bender and I finished are lunch pretty fast yesterday so we had ourselves a little nap. (It was the best nap I've had!) Well oops, that night I may have had a Dr. Pepper around 9:00, so come 10:30 Sister Bender and I are laying in bed listening to the rain and I hear, "Sister Hartley are you tired." Me: "Nope, I'm wide awake, I forgot what a nap and pop do to ya!" Anyways it probably doesn't sound funny to y'all, but to us it was pretty funny. The things you forget when your a missionary, like having pop before bed! haha
3.) We were out tracting and lets just say in the South every house has at least one dog. Well we were knocking on a door and there was this huge dog barking at us from the backyard fence. He had his front legs up ready to jump and come after us! I was a little nervous, but tried not to let it show, keeping one eye on the door, and another on the dog. Well no ones home so we left a card and start walking away. The dog keeps barking and growling and then Sister Bender looks behind her and says, "Sister Hartley he jumped!" I then jump and bolt as fast as I can. (Only to hear roars of laughter from my lovely companions). Oh the tricks they play on me.
I just love all the different ways people in Ruston decorate there front doors.

The past few weeks we have struggled to find new people to teach. We have a certain number of tracting hours we are to meet each week, and we are ever diligent in seeing we reach it. We hadn't had any new investigators all week. Before we started tracting yesterday Sister Davis prayed a humble and sincere prayer that we would teach the restoration, and give a Book of Mormon. The third door we knock on, a car drives up in the driveway. We wait for them to get out of there car and it is a couple with a 10 year old daughter. The husband goes on to say that he has a sincere interest to here about are church. They invited us right in. The spirit was there as soon as we said the opening prayer and bore testimony of the restoration and the Book of Mormon. The daughter stayed the whole time and listened intently. It was amazing! After the lesson she comes up to me and says, "Ma'am can I ask you some questions, wait, do I have to call you ma'am, I mean you're not that old!" I just laughed and said, "You can call me Sister Hartley" She then asks me the sincerest questions I have ever heard, "What happens to the kids on my bus that curse and what about those kid who die young?" They are such an amazing family and I feel they are truly elect. We walked out of there home with beaming smiles and gratitude for being led to an elect family!

These past few months in Ruston have gone fast. I have changed so much since I became a missionary. The Gospel has come alive and my testimony has grown tenfold. I am so grateful I am able to serve my Savior. With Easter fast approaching my thoughts have been on the last week of Christ's mortal ministry. He truly is are exemplar. He molds and changes are hearts each day as we "put off the natural man" through the atonement and yielding to spiritual promptings.
Sister Hartley
Road kill.  Possums are just like gophers.

Pollin is everywhere until it rains.  Can't walk anywhere without getting it on your feet.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Thank you for all your letters, they help so much!

Well this week was super fast! Time is so fast! It truly "Flies on wings of lightening" Mom, thank-you so much for the package, you were so inspired to send it when you did. I received it Friday morning. The day before was a particularly hard day for me. (Are investigator cancelled a crucial appointment we had set up and I was feeling sad/frustrated). In my prayer Thursday night I asked the Lord if he could send/show me something to remind me that I'm cared for. I woke up Friday morning to your package and five letters (mom and dad, Grandma Hartley, Jessy, Nat, and Kristi). All I could think/say was, "Heavenly Father knows me."
Conference was great! I enjoyed all the sessions. It was neat to hear Elder Zwick talk (he came to our mission in December). We have had some crazy weather here these past few days. Southern rain storms are just like the movies. Lightening and booming thunder. We woke up one morning to wet carpet, apparently there is a hole in one of are base boards and water is coming in. Someone is fixing it today though.
My testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon continue to grow each week. We are so blessed to have the fullness of truth in are lives. I love Matthew 7:20. I love this gospel and I know this is the church of Jesus Christ.
Love Sister Hartley

Friday, April 4, 2014

The visa finally came

We are so happy that Sister Davis got her visa.  Now she is off to Brazil.

It was a good week here in Ruston. Sister Davis got her visa!!! She has been praying for it every night for over a year. It was a tender moment mixed with some screaming. She leaves April 23, the end of the transfer. There is a lot to do before then. I will miss her, she's a great sister missionary.
A lot of good things happened this week! The Lord's hand was in it. Remember how I told y'all about Brittany, well she came to church this Sunday, and Bill was there to!
We are still in the "finding" stages of the work here in Ruston. We know that we will be lead to the elect if we are faithful. We were out tracting on Saturday and it was so fun, we walked up to a home and a lady, Miss Betty, was out washing her windows. She about bent over backwards in excitement to see us. She loved Mitt Romney and wanted to know what we believed. She invited us right in and yelled for her husband to come in and listen to us. We could tell he wasn't impressed and wanted to bible bash so we kept the conversation towards her. Anyways long story short we have an appointment with them tonight and I'm excited!
I know this is short this week, but I'm not sure what else to write. We just keep working hard and preaching the gospel here in Ruston.

This ones for my dad.

This is real Southern Hospitality

Canadian Pride

Dinner before women's broadcast