Monday, November 17, 2014

"Faith In Every Footstep"

Dear Family and Friends, 

My heart is so full right now. Full of gratitude and love.

First of all, before I get into my thoughts - JIM LEAVENS FROM NAPANEE WAS BAPTIZED!!! I can't even tell you all how excited and happy I am. The Gospel is TRUE!

This week was INCREDIBLE. I felt so much spirit, peace, and power within me. Miracles were all around us, and I am so happy.

I'll give you a break down of my last week. :)

Monday - Received a wonderful epistle from my daddy and it warmed my heart so much. We then had dinner with the Petillot family (I will mention them later on). They have SUCH a spirit in their home. Then we taught Mehdi and Sadena. Mehdi, out of the blue, told us he's been cutting back on tea. AH!! Such a miracle. 

Tuesday - Remembrance Day. That morning we taught one of our investigators, Cryssy, at the gas station. Gotta love it! She is so cool. The Contrera's (FAVORITE PEOPLE) fed us Papusas (spelling?), and it was SOO good.  We concluded the day with the Jacobs family. We focused on the Holy Ghost, and we asked him to tell us of an experience when he was led by the Spirit. Carlo went on to tell us about when he was escaping Sudan to go to Ethiopia and the danger he was in. He explained that when he finally arrived safely, he know it was the Spirit of God that kept him safe. The Spirit was so strong, and I have no doubt that angels were in the room. 

Wednesday - Inge Funk, an amazing lady, had us come over so I could pick something up to take to her friend in Sandy, Utah! Yay! The Lipop family (more like Jac, Matt, and Eli) fed us dinner, and it was Sister Lipop's birthday so we sang to her. :) Brother Borg.....It was hard to say goodbye to him. He has such a spirit about him, and I've loved teaching him. So we went to teach him and brought Brother and Sister McBride. It was such a great lesson. Greg went to the temple!!! He loved it so much and can't wait to go back. 

Thursday - My testimony was really strengthened on this day. One of the members mentioned a name of another member that they hadn't seen in awhile. So we dropped by that member and oh boy. It was an experience that pierced my heart to the very center. This family used to be very active in the church, and now they are all in the process of removing their names from the records. We stood on their front doorstep while they told us awful things. Finally, I couldn't take it anymore. I wanted so badly just to leave, but the Spirit prompted me to just listen to what they were saying. So I did. I listened, and I felt so dark and empty as they were trashing everything I believe in. The wife went on to tell me that all of the work I have done on my mission was in vain. It hurt, and I've seldom felt so much sorrow for another human being. I know that the work I have done here is not in vain. This is God's work, and it will continue to move forward. My testimony was confirmed though because I know that everything she was saying wasn't true. 

Friday - Lots of snow today! Brother and Sister Ince let us come visit, just like we do every Friday! We sang "God Be With You 'Til We Meet Again." Brother Petillot gave me a blessing this day as well, and it was beautiful. I felt empowered after the blessing!

Saturday - I experienced a big slice of heaven. We had dinner with the Bird family, and I love them so much!! Can't wait to see them when they come to Utah/Idaho for Christmas. Then we had the Jacobs come over to the Bird's house, and we watched "The Testaments." The Spirit was so strong that the room was burning. I never wanted it to end. I felt so calm, and my mind was completely clear. I could feel of the love that God had for everyone in the room. Surreal experience. 

Sunday - It was hard to say goodbye to all of the members. They've treated me so well!! But it was a wonderful Sunday. The Despain Family made us cookies. :) The Rowden's fed us dinner, then we said goodbye to the Jacobs. Get this!! They have family that lives in UTAH!!! Missionary work will continue with that beautiful family. Sister Womack will be staying in KW with her MTC companion Sister Urie! So she's pretty excited. It's been a joy training her. She is ready for this!

There is so much more detail I could give you, but you'll have to wait until I'm home!

I've been pondering for awhile about what I would say in my last email home to all of you. As I look back over the past 18 months of my life, I am overcome with gratitude to my Father in Heaven. I thought back to when I first came to this wonderful land and how much of an adjustment it has been. I felt so homesick, inadequate, and overwhelmed with everything I needed to learn. What a humbling experience it was to learn how to rely on my Savior to make it through. As a result, I have come to have a rooted testimony in the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The interesting thing is, my circumstances never changed, and things never got easier - but things got so much better. Why? Because I learned to rely on the Savior. The Atonement is redemptive and enabling. Some of the events that I experienced brought me to my knees and allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of the Plan of Salvation and the purpose of coming to earth. I know that there is life after death, and that we will be together forever as a family. 

"You leave a girl and come back a woman." I always had a testimony of the restored Gospel. I have never doubted God's love for me - but most of it was rooted in my parents.....and I thank them so much for raising all of us in such a loving home. That testimony has now sprouted to a deep and abiding conversion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I've come to know my Savior like never before. I have never felt God's love more in my entire life. I've received revelation in ways that I didn't even know were possible, and I am so thankful for the Spirit. 

I know that I was called of God to come to the Canada Toronto Mission. God makes no mistakes, and He has placed me in the lives of those I needed to find. I feel as though I have completed my work here, and it is time to continue it at home. I have put FAITH IN EVERY FOOTSTEP. My sole purpose has been to invite others to come unto Christ, and I've been so blessed to witness people accept that invitation. Hearts that were once broken were put back together. Families that were torn apart were healed. Souls that were burdened felt relief. People who were lonely felt purpose. I've witnessed God pour out His love to His amazing children in Canada. I love this country, and I will always treasure the incredible people. 

I don't really know how to put my feelings into words. I am humbled and full of joy. I know that God is our loving Heavenly Father. I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and the Redeemer of the world. I know Joseph Smith was called as a Prophet and that he did in reality translate the Book of Mormon. I know that the Priesthood has once again been restored to the earth and that we can seal our families for eternity. 

I wanted to finish off with a scripture that sums up everything - 

"And this is the account of Sister Hardcastle and her brethren and sisters, their journeying in the land of Toronto, their sufferings in the land, their sorrows, and their afflictions, and their incomprehensible joy... And now may the Lord, the Redeemer of all men, bless their souls forever." - Alma 28:8

I want to thank you all for the support and love that you have shown to me. I will be forever grateful for all of you. Most of all, I want all of my fellow Canadian Saints to know of my love for them. I will come back and visit. I PROMISE!



Sister Hardcastle

"Have Faith, Have Hope, Live Like His Son, Help Others On Their Way"

Canada Toronto Mission!!!
They were on sale. Be proud, Dad! 
Wilsonite District!
Inge! Wonderful woman.
I love the Lipop's!
Brother Borg!
Goodbye Greg!
I love Julie Cassidy!
Mehdi, Sadena, and Ratin!
Snow anyone?
Faith In Every Footstep.
Lunch with the Smith's from Hamilton.
The Ince's!
Theresa and Sarah! 
Moeller fam!
I love the Bird's!
Kels and Mao!
The Wonderful Despain fam!
Brother and Sister Rowden!
The Jacobs!

Monday, November 10, 2014

"Behold, her mission is given unto her, and it shall not be given again." D&C 58:16

Dear Family and Friends, 

My heart is full, as you can probably imagine. I can't believe I hit my 18 month mark last week. It kinda feels like I just got here. But, it has been a good chunk of time, and I've learned so much about my purpose as a daughter of God. As I have served His children with all of my heart, I have come to feel a greater love for my brothers and sisters. I have truly come to understand that every person is a child of loving Heavenly Parents. 

"I Believe In Christ" was stuck in my head all week.....
Particularly the part that says - "He is the source of truth and light...."

I had such a tender experience while contacting on the street. We saw a man walking out of his house and toward his car. It would have been easy to just keep walking because he was definitely in a hurry. I called out to him and asked if we could just give him a card before he got in his car. We ended up talking to him for quite awhile. His name is Chris, and he has had some rough experiences in his past that have led him to not believe in God. He said - "I've never had any sign that God is there, so why should I believe?" That question just pierced my heart. There are signs all around us of the reality of a Creator. We got onto the topic of the Plan of Salvation, and I felt prompted to pull out a pamphlet. Maybe I should back up a bit before I finish the story..... The clouds were thick and the sky was just a dismal gray. In fact, there were little snow flakes coming down, and it was really cold. Okay, so as I pulled out the Plan of Salvation pamphlet, I bore my testimony that he is a child of God and that he has a purpose for being here on earth. The sun then broke through the clouds and landed right on us. The warmth was undeniable. Everything got brighter. He then pointed to the sky and said "Maybe that is my sign." God is so good. He is so aware. As Chris got in his car, he said, "I know I'll have a good day today now." Heavenly Father's plan is so perfect. It was such a testimony to me that we need to share the Gospel with everyone. We never know who the Lord is preparing. 

Every month we get our apartment inspected by Brother Diebel, who is a nice old man. He came to inspect it on Wednesday, then he offered to take us to lunch with his wife. My goodness, God loves us so much, because we almost died multiple times. We were honked at probably 10 times in 5 seconds. I just closed my eyes and prayed that we wouldn't get in an accident. After they dropped us off, Sister Womack and I just burst out laughing to the point of almost having tears. But! We survived.....and lunch was awesome. We had Taco Bell, which is sooo much better in the States. 

The leaves are beautiful. I love walking around and talking with people and soaking up the beauties of the earth. We decided to tract a bit this week and met some funny people. We knocked on a particular door, and when the man answered, he had the biggest smile on his face. He said, "It's the Mormons!" Then he went on to tell us he wasn't interested and shut the door. Hahah, but it was nice to see such a a big smile!

We dropped by an amazing part-member family. Brother and Sister Humphrey are both returned missionaries. In fact, they met in the MTC. One of their two children is baptized, and the other one is not. They are super nice, but don't feel like they need church right now. However - lots of potential with them!

We had dinner with two Brazilian families this week! Love it. Also, we found a man from Thailand and taught him!! His name is Synfaph (probably not spelled right....) and he is so cool! I thought it was such a tender mercy because Dal and Jess are in Thailand right this second! It definitely softened his heart. We even had a Thai Book of Mormon, so now he is reading that!

So I was kinda having a bummer day, and I wasn't feeling all that great. We went into a lesson with Mehdi and Sadena (couple from Iran), and I was saying a silent prayer in my heart that I would be able to be an effective instrument in the Lord's hands. It was one of the most powerful lessons I've ever been in. I wasn't even in the equation, but I felt like I was speaking for the Lord. It is the best feeling in the world. I totally believe in the gift of tongues, even if you're speaking your native language. 

I had my last Zone Council Meeting last week, and I got two boxes of Cookie Crisp from the Cushnie's in Hamilton!! They don't sell that in Canada, so everyone was super jealous. :)

The Jacobs family are doing well, but they still haven't come to church. :( Carlo is getting closer and closer to receiving his answer though. He is beginning to understand the apostasy and restoration. The Spirit is really working with him. 

As we were teaching Madison, we asked her to describe how the Holy Ghost feels.....she said, "It feels like you are on top of the biggest roller coaster and you get a warm fuzzy feeling!" Best answer from an 11 year old ever. 

Maxine Elliott came to see me yesterday, and she brought Hawaiian Haystacks!!! Best lunch ever.  Haven't had those in 18 months. 

The whole Sacrament Meeting was devoted to Remembrance Day which is this Tuesday. One of the speakers was Brother Frank Smith, who served in the army and he is now in his 90's. At the end of his talk he said, "I am no hero.. I just spent time where I was needed." Such a humble statement. I feel like I can relate. I am no hero, but I did the Lord's will where He needed me. 

The church is doing this new project called "The Billion Graves Project." Basically what you do is take pictures of headstones, and then they're put online making it easier for people to find their ancestors. We went yesterday to a cemetery with some other members to take pictures. It was such a cool thing. I felt so good while I was doing it, knowing that I was helping others. Sister Womack and I had "family history" cards with us, and we met the most awesome lady, Melanie. See - you can even find people in a cemetery! Doing the work for the living as well as the dead!!

That pretty much sums up my week. It was a very good one indeed. I am one happy camper. I love my Savior Jesus Christ. I love this work. It has turned into my passion, and I will never stop being a missionary. I hope you all have an amazing week!

I'll conclude with the topic for my email - 

"Behold, her mission is given unto her, and it shall not be given again." D&C 58:16

So time to CHERISH the last week of my mission!



Sister Corinne Hardcastle

"Have Faith, Have Hope, Live Like His Son, Help Others On Their Way"

A big pile of leaves....
The Bird Fam!!! 
18 months anyone?? 
Oh my goodness!
Maxine!! She is the best!! 
Taste of home! 
Cleaning off headstones. 
I found my DAD!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Happy November!

Dear Family and Friends, 

I want to wish Dallin and Jess a wonderful trip to Thailand!! Don't have too much fun. :)

What a marvelous week. I can't get this smile off of my face. So many wonderful moments to share with you all!

On Saturday, November 1st, we woke up to SNOW! I was so happy. I really wanted to see it snow at least one more time before I left. It didn't last too long, but still! The coldest I saw this week was -3 C. So not too bad. There are leaves absolutely everywhere. There is this one road that we drive all the time, and it was all covered with leaves on Sunday. You could barely see the road. Beautiful sight, let me tell ya. 

Last Tuesday we dropped by one of my favorite less-actives, and she let me try on some of her wigs, and as a result....I got front bangs today! I'll send pictures. For Halloween I was Velma from Scooby Doo. I didn't take a very good picture of the whole outfit, but I'll send one of the wig. It was awesome!! We had a trick or trunk activity, and the members didn't recognize me at first. Priceless.

I went on my last exchange to the blessed land of Brantford with Sister Felix! I love her so much. We had a great day together and met some of the most amazingly prepared people. It is such a surreal feeling to know that you are exactly where God needs you at a precise moment. 

Skills and Interviews was on Thursday. President and Sister Clayton are such great people. I love being with them one on one. They truly take the role of mom and dad while you're away. President Clayton is so inspired, and I can tell how much he loves the Lord and this mission. After all, it's the best mission in the world, right? Perhaps I'm biased. :)

We had to be in by 6:00 p.m. on Halloween, so that was when we did our weekly planning. It was fun to look out our window and see some kids going trick-or-treating. We didn't see too many though because it was raining and dark. 

I told you all about the Jacobs family from Africa, right? They are doing so well. We had trouble getting in touch with them over the past few weeks, but they came for a church tour and definitely felt the Spirit. I love this family!! They told me that I could come back and stay with them any time. :)

Madison Tenny is so ready for her baptism! November 30th is the day!

The Gravis family, from the Hamilton Mountain Ward that I spent Christmas with, came to visit me yesterday! When I saw them walk into Sacrament Meeting, my heart dropped!! It was soo good to see them. When I skyped you all for Christmas it was at their house. They are my Canadian family!

Well family, life is beautiful. It really is. We have the Gospel of Jesus Christ, so nothing can bring us down for too long. In chapter 5 of Preach my Gospel it talks about how the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion. Without the Book of Mormon, we have no religion. I was thinking about what the keystone of my life is. My testimony of my Savior Jesus Christ and my Father in Heaven is the answer. There is no testimony without a trial. My testimony was cultivated and rooted because of my mission. Without my mission, I'm sure my life wouldn't be as joyous as it is now. I can't really put into words how I am feeling right now, but suffice it to say - I love this church. It is true, and we are an eternal family. I love all of you so much. 

Take care of yourself. I'll see you all soon. I LOVE YOU!


Sister Corinne Jean Hardcastle

"Have Faith, Have Hope, Live Like His Son, Help Others On Their Way"

Such a fun time!
This is from our nature walk last week.
Sister Hardcastle 
Super bright, but this was a super dead squirrel!  
I love nature.
Like my wig?
My "Velma" wig! 
I love Sister Felix!
My favorite Brazilian family!!!!
My travel plans came in the mail.... 
Found this on the sidewalk! I love you all!
My pumpkin hat 
Who said you can't carve half a pumpkin in 10 minutes? 
SNOW! And Velma....Happy Halloween! 
Sister Gravis!
Brother Gravis. Haha, silly guy.
Madison Tenny <3
This is not a wig. This is real!