Monday, June 3, 2013

Week 3 Ajax

Hello my beautiful friends and family,

I'm almost at my one month mark.. whoa. I can't exactly say that it's gone by fast... but I have learned so much. I hardly recognize myself to be honest. This really is all about love :)

I'm glad that everything went well with Ciera getting to the MTC. I was constantly thinking about her Tuesday and Wednesday. I am glad that she is there and loving it so much. I love you Ciera!! 

Next, Happy 1 month to my sweet Eli. Happy 5 months to my favorite twin boys. Time goes by so fast! Before we all know it, I'll be home and it'll be like I never even left:) Katie and Jaclyn.. don't let your kids forget about their Aunt Rinney!

Last Tuesday I was really sick in bed all morning. It must be a Canadian thing, but heartburn is pretty much my third companion (Next to the Lord and Sister Stats, of course). We had to call the mission nurse and everything. By some miracle, I took a nap, woke up and was feeling so much better. Which was really great because we had about 6 appointments that day that we couldn't miss. 

Which leads me to my next point.. We teach SO MUCH. This area is incredible. It's just blooming with opportunities and I feel so blessed to be apart of this:) I'm going to tell you about a few of the people we are teaching in just a second. Sorry, this email is so scattered.. just like my brain. I didn't think I could hold in so much information, haha. 

Sister Scott called me on Wednesday. She was so sweet. She wanted to make sure I was doing okay. She knew that I was struggling a bit with being away from family. She said something that was so profound, I just have to share it. "You've had amazing blessings from your family. Now, go give others those blessings. Then, watch your family receive even more". That really hit me pretty hard. If I can help ONE person receive half of the blessings that I've received in my life, then I'm going to be one happy person. Also, if being away from you all means you are being more blessed, then by all means will I serve. 

I'll tell you about the whole teaching thing now. I thought that teaching would be really scary. Turns out... I love it. It's really made me reconsider what I want to do with my life. I honestly have thought about being a teacher:) Can you imagine.. Ms. Hardcastle the teacher :) 

Xania- I am sure that I have mentioned her in last weeks emails. She is GOLDEN. We found her while teaching a bunch of drunk teenagers on the street. She reads the bible every single morning and has really been trying to dedicate her life to God. I have already learned so much from her. In the past week, we've taught her three times. Every single time I come to love her more and more. We watched The Restoration video with her, and I watched her as she sat there in astonishment. After the movie was over, she could barely talk. She went on to say that she felt just like Joseph Smith. She has been searching for something that is right for her, and then we came into the picture. She calls us her "Utah Sisters". She just adores us and we just adore her. Her baptism is set for June 23rd. I have a feeling that June 23rd is going to be one of the best days of my life. 

Katrina- So they do these things in the mission field called a Blitz. It's where a bunch of missionaries from your district go to another area and try to help them find people. Hopefully that wasn't too confusing. Anywho, this past week we went to the area called Pickering. It is right next to Ajax, and it is part of our ward. The Elders in Pickering needed some help finding new people to teach. Sister Stats and I were knocking on doors and no one wanted anything to do with us. (Just a side note-we have yet to be let inside from knocking doors). We were about to go back to the car, but we tried one more door. And we found Katrina. She wanted to know more, so we sat on her porch and started teaching her the restoration. Next thing we know, she stands up and asks us if we will go on a walk with her. She completely opened up and told us about a really troubled past that she has been having. She is 18 and just finished her first year at college. We were walking and as she was talking to us I was just bawling. I realized that I don't have many problems compared to some people. We talked to her about the Atonement and Temple Marriage. When we showed her a picture of the temple, she lit up. She is incredible. One problem though, she isn't in our area. Long story short, we didn't get permission to teach her. However, she still came to church and so we got to see her:) She is going to get taught by the Elders, but we will still see her every single Sunday. She is set for baptism on June 23rd. Now do you see why June 23rd is going to be the best day ever? SO MANY MIRACLES!

Jasani (Hasani)- He was an investigator that the missionaries before us found. He is an amazing family man. He is from Jamaica and has a beautiful wife and three kids. He really opened up to us and told us about a child that they had pass away four years ago. He said that it really hit their marriage and they were just barely starting to recover. He wanted to find some peace in his life. We taught him about The Book of Mormon and how he will see his son, Malachi, again. When he told us about his son that passed away, I immediately got tears in my eyes again. So many people need to hear the message that I have. We are all so blessed to have the knowledge of eternal families. He said that he would be baptised if he came to find out that this was true. We are hopefully going to teach his wife too. I have a really great feeling about all of them. We are going to continue teaching him, so I'll let you all know. Pray for him though eh? And his whole family. 

Angela- She has been being taught by missionaries for years. Apparently she's been really cold to most of the Elders. However, she just loves Sister Stat's and I. What can I say, Sister missionaries have this touch :) Anywho, we are teaching her again tonight. She is going to stop smoking today! She has the most amazing faith in Jesus Christ. She has been a real example to me. Her son is still in Jamaica, and she hasn't seen him in 8 years... I think I can go 18 months without seeing you all, if she can go 8 years. 

Those are the four main ones that are worth talking about. However, a very interesting teaching appointment  happened this week, but we ended up dropping her. Her name is Ruth, and she apparently loves meeting with missionaries. Apparently, she felt like setting us up. She had a missionary from her church come to the appointment. All it was was pure bible bashing. The Spirit was not there, it didn't last long. They were saying that Satan isn't real. They think that we are just all born evil. We are only considered children of God if we are good. It was just really awkward. They were trying to convert us.. which was Satan! Satan is so real. 

Yesterday was fast Sunday, and I learned that there are interesting people in every ward. No one sang their testimony, but there were a few bangs on the pulpit.. It was interesting:) but I do love fasting. It takes on a whole new meaning here on the mission. Something that I'm learning is that everything that I do is for other people, not myself. Selfishly, it's something that I need to get more used to. I love it though. We had dinner at the Heman's last night (The amazing black family). She made some Jamaican food and when I told them that I have black sisters, they all freaked out and I'm pretty much their favorite person now. 

Random- I saw a dog just like Maizie and I started crying. These emotions are getting the worst of me! Haha! 

Last night we were dropping by member's houses and we went to a single sister's house. Her name is Sister Pay, and she told us that she calls sister missionaries "Missionettes". So that's what we go by now. We're the Missionettes:)

I have a few goals that I would like to share- you guys can do it with me if you want:)

1. Read the BOM once each transfer. That book is my lifeline. 
2. Study 1 Christlike Attribute per transfer. I'm working on faith right now. Then hope, then charity, and so on:) Do it with me!
3. Journal every single day! I feel like I'm writing my own adventure book, and I love it. 

Those are the three main goals that I have right now. I have probably mentioned this before, but the mission is trying to get 60 baptisms in June. We have been praying for this so hard, so please pray for it too! It's going to happen, and I can't wait to be apart of it!

Here are some of the things that I've learned on my mission so far
-This isn't about me, and it never was
-God is teaching my patience-success doesn't come overnight
-I'm in Ajax for a reason
-I'm supposed to be here... 
-This is the Lord's work-which means His timing
-This is the most important work that I could be doing right now
-God knows us. He hears our prayers
-This Gospel brings so much peace
-The Atonement is for everyone and has the most amazing enabling power
-God needs more missionaries, so many people need help

Although this is the hardest thing in the world, I can happily say that I would rather be on my mission than be home:) sorry family. This is the best thing that I could be doing right now. It is really going to be worth all of the rejection and sorrow. I can already tell. Meeting people like Katrina makes me realize why I'm doing this. 

2 Nephi 1:15 - "The Lord hath redeemed my soul from hell; I have beheld his glory, and I am encircled about eternally in the arms of His love."

I'm going to do what missionaries do best, and leave you all with a commitment- find someone who needs this gospel and SHARE it with them. I regret being so timid before I was out on my mission to share it with people. It shouldn't be something that is scary.. It's all about salvation! 

It's an honor to represent Jesus Christ full time. I love you all so much. Thank you for the many prayers. I can feel them stronger than you all will ever know. Make it a great week. 

Sister Hardcastle

Sister Stats and me emailing  :)
This picture is for you Dad  :)

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