Monday, July 29, 2013

Adventures in Ajax :)

Hello beautiful family and friends, 

First of all - 

I need to wish my favorite eldest brother a HAPPY GOLDEN BIRTHDAY! I love you so much Landon! I hope you enjoy my birthday song :) I also hope you have the most magical day today. I hope that the letter got to you in time.. your birthday present will be a trip to Sizzler in just a few months.. haha

Also, Happy Birthday to Aunt Lisa on Thursday! I hope you and your family are doing well! I'd love to hear from ya!

Safe travels to Russia for Schwab's! I hope everything is going well with you, and that you find so much joy serving in Russia. You will be great mission presidents!

Happy 30th Anniversary on August 5th to my favorite people in the world! I love you so much Mom and Dad! Best Parents EVER!!!! I hope you know that your love is such an example to me. Thank you for getting married and raising our family. We are so blessed. 

This week was full of adventures here in Ajax :) I have completely fallen in love with this city. I never want to leave! It's a tad bit scary that transfers are in two weeks... I don't want to leave, but I've had this feeling that God maybe needs me somewhere else. Ajax has treated me well though. I will always remember this place as the place where I truly have learned to come to know my Savior better. 

Before I talk about Trevor's baptism, I'll share some of the other amazing things that happened this week...

The Bishop's wife, Sister Hagan finished making Sister Stats and I some skirts! They are so cute. Mine was 4$ total :) I felt so frugal. 

We found two new investigators this week! Carl, who is a great family man and really wants to learn more. Tracy, is a young mom who lives with her boyfriend. It was amazing because we taught her the plan of salvation while she sat there and smoked.. when we finished the lesson she told us that she knew we were sent from God. She is now working on quitting smoking, but baptism will be an issue because she lives with her boyfriend. She is so amazing though, and loves learning more about the gospel. 

Cassandra and her two girls (Monique and Raquel) are preparing for baptism on August 18th. Earlier in the week we simply texted her and asked her how the reading of the Book of Mormon was going as a family.. her response - "Hello Sisters we love you both. My girls and I have been doing our readings as a family.. actually we're on the road right now and Raquel is in the back seat reading the Book of Mormons.. everything is going well. We can't wait to meet with you on Friday for another lesson and take a look at the font where eventually we will all be baptized. See u ladies on Friday and until then keep up the good work on spreading the gospel." So we met with them on Friday at the church so they could see the baptismal font. It was an amazing lesson. We taught the plan of salvation so that they could learn it as family. Raquel asked the most amazing questions, that I wouldn't think a 9 year old would ask. One of the questions she asked was, "So what happens to babies who are miscarried?" She soaked everything up. Ahh I love this family! Another miracle with them coming up soon...

This week we had our last district meeting of this transfer.. so we had a testimony meeting. Elder Fagundes has been my district leader for my whole mission so far, and he is an amazing missionary. He goes home in about two weeks to Brazil. He bore his testimony last, and it brought me to tears. He talked about his sister passing away, and his family almost falling apart. But that the gospel has kept them all together. The Spirit was so strong, and it was just another testimony to me of how powerful this gospel is. Because of this gospel, we truly can be together forever. 

Angela, our eternal investigator, is so frustrating! We keep bringing new members with us, so that she can feel more comfortable coming to church. She said she was 100% sure that she would come next Sunday.... we've heard that more than once. If she doesn't come next Sunday though, we're dropping her. No ifs ands or buts about it. She says that she's waiting for the wrath of God to come upon her... so that's what we'll give her. Agency is so frustrating! There is a time for everyone though, and we can't force people. She thinks that I'm really clever, because I know how to trick her and I know how she rationalizes things. I sure do love her though. 

So many funny stories this week - 

#1 - Elder Fagundes had his birthday this past week, and we wanted to buy him a cake. So we went and bought him one, then we went to get Frozen Yogurt. I put the cake on the seat as we went in, and then I sat on it when we got back in the car. We were laughing SO hard. So needless to say, we had to go buy another cake, and we kept the smashed cake for ourselves :)

#2 - We were eating at the LaFrance's this week, and they are the funniest family. They were asking about the people we were teaching and we mentioned Angela and how she is an eternal investigator. Sister Stats was saying how Angela likes to do things differently, and one of the boys in the family said - "Oh like a hipster?" It was so unbelievably funny. 

#3 - We went to look at how dirty the baptismal font was, and we found like 3 spiders. So we were like, "Oh no! There are spiders in the font!" Which is so funny, because President Scott says, "No Spiders in the font" at the end of each email. Ahh I thought it was so funny. 

Remember Katrina? From the first transfer? Well she has told us that she is planning on going on a mission after she is done with school. Pure joy. 

So back to Cassandra and her girls. She mentioned how she wouldn't be able to get work off on Sunday to come to church. We were pretty bummed, because we wanted them to see Trevor's baptism. We simply asked for them to pray as a family for a way to get to church on Sunday. Well Saturday night, we texted her and asked if anything had changed.... not expecting anything. Well she replied and said that her supervisor said she would take her shift. I read the text out loud and Sister Stats and I just started giggling. It was such a miracle. We had been praying SOhard for it, and so was Cassandra and her girls. When they walked into the church on Sunday they were all glowing.It was truly a miracle. They are solid for baptism on August 18th. I hope I don't get transferred so I can witness it!

Yesterday was an amazing day with Trevor's baptism. It went so well, and he was so happy. I cannot believe that we met him just over three weeks ago and he is now baptized. Three weeks ago he didn't know anything about God or Jesus Christ. He didn't have any hope or light in his eyes. He had planned to take his life the following week. His life has truly been saved because of this gospel. Witnessing his change has been the most incredible thing to be apart of. I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for calling me on a mission. It is truly the greatest opportunity in the world. I think back to the first couple weeks in the field when I was so sad and homesick, and now I never want my mission to end. When Trevor came out of the water, he had tears in his eyes, and I was filled with so much joy. The smile on his face said it all. Trevor plans to get the Holy Ghost next Sunday, then the Priesthood shortly after that. Also, he is planning on going to ward temple trip in two weeks. His life is completely changed and I witnessed it. The ward was so supportive, and the Bishop had tears in his eyes as he welcomed Trevor into the ward. I didn't want yesterday to end! Oh, Sister Stats, the Elders and I did a musical number... I recorded it but I'm still trying to decide if I'm going to send it.. I CAN'T SING! Sister Stats is an amazing singer though, so she always volunteers to do these things... hahahah 

We had dinner at the Russell's last night, and that was a miracle within itself. We love going there for dinner, because the Spirit in their home is so strong. Brother Russell is in a wheelchair, and has kidney failure. He has to go in for dialysis every other day for 4 hours! He has a really tough life physically and has the best attitude ever. We had an amazing dinner, then went to the family room to share a message. We were asking him how he has such a love for missionary work. He said the most amazing things, Sister Stats and I were both in tears yet again. He explained how he used to think that life was all about money, and material things. He said he had to come to a point in his life when he had to realize that the point of life is prepare to meet God. It simply does not matter how much money you have, what care you drive, etc. It's all about preparing the meet God. And how do we do that? We do that by serving others and helping others prepare to meet God as well. The Spirit was so strong, and Sister Stats read the scripture in D&C about having angels around us to bear us up. I was watching Brother Russell as Sister Stats was reading the scripture, and he has tears running down his face. He simply said - "That was perfect". There wasn't a dry eye in the room. I know that there were angels there with us. It was truly one of the most spiritual experiences I have ever had. 

I honestly never want my mission to end. I love you all very much, but Canada pretty much rocks. SO many amazing things and miracles are happening here. Sister Stats and I were able to finally reach the Standards of Excellence this week, we are being so blessed! This week we also get to meet with President Scott, and I'm really excited for that! I hope everyone has an amazing week :) stay safe and know that you're all in my prayers.

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

Sister Hardcastle

P.S. Next Monday is some sort of holiday - so pday will be next Tuesday!
P.P.S. I bought a new camera today! Life is good! It was on sale.  :)

No comments:

Post a Comment