Monday, September 16, 2013

"And it came to pass..."

Dear Family and Friends, 

Another week has come and gone and I can hardly believe it. Before I begin - 

Happy Birthday to my young and hip Grandma Ida! I sure do love you!!! Have the best day - and enjoy your travels to Canada this week! When you drive through Woodstock, be careful. It's a creepy and crazy little town. :) 

Today is my companions birthday as well, so this email may be a little shorter so that we can go do something fun! Except, there is absolutely nothing fun to do in Woodstock. We really wanted to go to an Art Museum, but of course it's closed on Mondays. So, instead we are going to go Thrift Store shopping! Woot woot! Sister Anderson is also an avid runner. So, she wants to go running for a couple hours. So, while she runs around at the park, I sleep on the grass. Some things never change.....

The best part about this week - Andrea. I have so much to say about her. Where to begin? We went over there on Monday night, to find her gone, so we taught her husband Levingston. When we teach him it is always on his porch. When I think back to Woodstock, all I'm going to remember is teaching Levingston and Andrea on their porch while getting eaten alive by bugs. Haha. We shared with him Ether 12:4 about hope and being on the right hand of God. When we asked him what he thought of it, he said "The right hand of God must be a really BIG hand". Hahah he is so funny. He always says, "You know what I mean?!" while laughing hysterically. You all would love him. So next to that verse in my scriptures I wrote that quote. I will never forget it. 

The next time we saw Andrea we taught her the Restoration. Another funny story with this lesson. We watched the Restoration video and she loved it. She loves reading the Book of Mormon and she always wants to say the opening AND closing prayers. Golden! We made this rainbow calendar for her, so that she can be ready for her baptism coming up. She loves everything rainbow, so we even brought her rainbow cookies, but her son ate them all. When we were talking to her about her baptism she got so nervous about going all the way under water. Haha, she is too funny. 

The next time we saw Andrea was at the Relief Society activity. So here is the story. She was really nervous about coming, so she wanted us to be waiting outside the church for her, so that we could go in together. Well, this was on a Thursday, and on Thursdays we don't have our car, so naturally we were late walking there. We walked into the church and she is already sitting with all the other women. She fit in perfectly! The activity was on getting to know, and all of the other church websites. When she got home, she immediately downloaded the APP and watched mormon messages about the temples all night. Not joking. Also that night we were talking to her about the Word of Wisdom. It was getting too late to teach her everything so we just gave her the pamphlet. She mentioned how she really wants to quite smoking but she would never give up wine.... haha little did she know...

The next time we saw her she had a completely different mind set. She didn't want tea, smoking or alcohol. She accepted the Word of Wisdom, and right now she is working on the 7 day stop smoking workshop. Such a miracle. She came to church yesterday and loved it. She shared experiences in both Gospel Principles and Relief Society. She completely fits in. She was very emotional during some parts of church because she was feeling the Spirit. It was an amazing Sunday with her. At the end of church I made the mistake of telling her that Sister Anderson or I may be leaving next week, and she broke down crying. So then I started crying. I honestly feel like I'm in Woodstock right now for Andrea. I better not leave! Did I mention how she worked all through the night so that she could come to church? She is incredible. Her husband and her son were supposed to come, but they slept in :( we'll get them soon enough. 

So that's the run down on Andrea. Mom and Dad - she really wants us to come back and visit her. I told her that we would no doubt:) also, I told her that we would all be there when she goes to the temple... soo hope that's okay!

We had one day this week when everything just went wrong. It was Tuesday after district meeting and it went something like this - 
1. 40 degrees Celsius plus humidity
2. Bombed appointment
3. REALLY mean Jehovah's Witness
4. Met a creepy man who made us take a picture of him on his motorcycle for a girl. 
5. We got 'disinvited' to Branch Council
6. Tried to stop by Lisa - she wasn't home
7. Another bombed appointment

It's days like that that make me grateful for days that go well. :)

I don't think I've talked too much about Suzanne and Jade. Jade is 10, and Suzanne is her mom, and they just got baptized back in June. We see them lots, and they are incredible. Suzanne has already read the Book of Mormon 3 times, and the Doctrine and Covenants. They also get so excited when they come teaching with us. They're my favorite!

We had quite the experience with Brother Turkington this week. You can listen to that on my little attachment. It's too hard/funny to write about. 

We stopped by Lisa and Lissy yesterday to find them home. They just had a really crazy couple of weeks, but they are still on board. It was such a relief. We should be seeing them soon.

All of the other investigators are going well. We really refined our teaching pool and are concentrating on getting our investigators to progress and come to church. It's pretty overwhelming to think that Sister Anderson and I have salvation on our shoulders! 

You're probably wondering why the subject of this email is "And it came to pass..." Well, yesterday in Gospel Principles we were talking about enduring to the end. A question was posed about what enduring to the end means to me. It makes me think about how in the Book of Mormon, is says "And it came to pass.." so many times. That phrase has so much meaning. Everything will come to pass. Hard times will pass. Trials will pass. Our lives here on earth will pass. To me, enduring to the end means striving to be able to stand blameless before God and Jesus Christ. It's something that I've really been thinking about recently. So, what does enduring to the end mean to you?

This email wasn't exactly as short as I thought it was going to be. I hope that everyone has an amazing week. I love you all very much. Transfer calls are coming up this Sunday, so maybe hold on the mail until next week just in case. It's weeks like this when I just have to keep telling myself - "I'll go where you want me to go, dear Lord."

Sister Hardcastle

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

Andrea :)

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