Tuesday, August 6, 2013

It's me again - Greetings from Ajax!

Hello family and friends,

Another week already? Transfers are in a week? TIME NEEDS TO SLOW DOWN. 

Happy 30 years yesterday to my beautiful parents! I love you both so much, and I hope you enjoy your time in Alaska! 

Just a quick side note, I wouldn't send any more letters to the Ajax address until I know if I'm staying there or leaving. I'll know by next Monday!

Hmmm... where to start. There is this less active couple, the Cramps, that we dropped by last week.. I don't know why we didn't stop by them earlier because they are AMAZING! Turns out, Allison, went to Adelaide Elementary and lived on Monarch Drive with her grandparents for a couple years! Do any of you know the Morrison's? Small world. They are a young couple, early 30's, and were married in the Temple. We are having dinner over there tomorrow, they are great people. Working with less actives is one of my favourite things.

Which leads to the other less active we dropped by this week. We went to Uxbridge yet again to visit Sister Brazier. She is the one from England, who lives with her non-member husband. They are both great people, and love having us over. One of the other members from the ward, Brother Bueler, was there. They both clog, and so does Sister Stats ... so they all clogged while I sat there and pretended to enjoy myself :) just kidding. It was so fun. I'll try to attach a video of them clogging to "Call me Maybe."  :)

While up in Uxbridge, we tried to stop by other less actives. There was this one on the list that we couldn't decide if we should drop by or not.. well we said a prayer and we both agreed that we should give it a go. His name was Brother Meredith, and he lived in the middle of no where. I'm not kidding, he didn't have neighbours for miles.. When we pulled up the driveway, I got this sick feeling in my stomach. I didn't have a good feeling about being there, but we figured since we were already there, we'd give it a try. He lives on this HUGE farm, and when no one came to the door, we started to walk around to see if he was outside. After a couple minutes our zone leaders called us, so Sister Stats was on the phone with them, and out walks Brother Meredith. He was SO mean. I didn't know what to do, Sister Stats was on the phone.. it was so scary. I told him that we were the new missionaries in the area just trying to get to know the members.. he went on to say that we had better get off his property right now and never come back.. I turned around, gave Sister Stats a look of terror, and booked it to the car. Naturally, I had to back Sister Stats up (I hate that rule) and my heart was beating so fast. After we got down his driveway, we pulled over just so I could regain myself. GAH he was mean. Lesson - Trust the Spirit.

We were feeling rather sorry for ourselves after this experience so we went to a Chinese place and ice cream. I got Pistachio just for you Dad.  :)  My fortune was - "You are deeply introspective, imaginative and sensitive."  hahahah

We were able to do a lot of service this week. We helped paint our neighbours garage.. I'll attach some pictures to that. We were also able to help some less actives move. It felt really good to be in normal clothes doing normal things.  :) 

One of the highlights of my week was Skills and Interviews with President and Sister Scott. It was so great to sit down one on one with both of them and just talk. I realized at the moment how far I've come in these short 3 months. I realize that life is full of learning, and that is what makes it so amazing. I just didn't expect to learn SO much in such a short amount of time. President Scott is such an inspired man, and his sweet wife said all of the things that I needed to hear. I love when things like that happen, and we get to be with other missionaries in our zone. Missions rock!

The lowlight of the week - Angela. Our eternal investigator. Everything was all lined up for her to come to church, and a member was going to pick her up. Well that member, Sister Buksa, showed up to church with tears in her eyes. Apparently, Angela's cousin told her that we can no longer come by, and that Angela wasn't interested in meeting with us any more. Talk about a knife to the heart! Well, interestingly enough, yesterday we felt prompted to go the Angela's. She wasn't home, but we helped her aunt wash and clean her car. Angela showed up while we were there, and looked so sad. We didn't really know what was going on, but she said she would call us. Something is definitely going on there, and we can't quite figure it out. It's tough, because I know that Angela knows that the church is true, but it's all about God's timing. 

Everything is going so well with Cassandra, Monique and Raquel. Monique and Raquel were able to make it to church on Sunday, but Cassandra had to work. It was a huge miracle though, because we couldn't get ahold of Cassandra to get her address to tell the members where to go to get her girls Sunday morning. We were a little stressed out, because it was Saturday night, and still no contact. Well, we said a little prayer, and about 20 minutes later, Monique texted us. Everything worked outperfectly :) They are all set for baptism in a week a half. I was showing Raquel the pictures of Ashlyn and Brynn again and she asks, "Are they Mormons too?" I just laughed and said yes, She then went on to tell me how she can't wait to be a Mormon. Ahh I love 9 year olds, haha. 

Trevor is beaming. He received the Gift of the Holy Ghost on Sunday and also... THE PRIESTHOOD.Sister Stats and I just looked at each other with our jaws dropped when Bishop announced it. I can't believe how far he has come. In a matter of 4 weeks, he went from complete and utter depression, to having the authority of God. Gives me chills. He is already going out teaching with the Elder missionaries and is so dang happy! I witnessed this! 

Oh, this week I got condemned to hell. We were driving, and we saw a man holding a sign that said, "Repent and Trust Jesus" so we turned around, to go talk to him. He was super mean, and told us that we have been brainwashed and that he feels bad for us. As we were walking away, he told us that he hopes we enjoy going to hell. Yeah, it wasn't Christlike at all, and I honestly had the just laugh and shrug it off. Why doesn't everyone just love everyone?

We found a couple new investigators this week. Norman, is a great family man from Costa Rica. He is so excited to bring his two little girls to church next week! Stanford is also a great family man from Jamaica. He has six kids, and he says he's been looking for something like this his whole life. At the end of the lesson, he said the most sincere prayer, about how he is really wanting to know this is true. We have been asked to go find those that will receive us, and when they do, it's the best feeling in the world. I love that I'm simply a guide in helping my brothers and sisters make it back home to our Heavenly Father. 

It's my last week of training, and I can't believe how quickly this transfer has gone by. I do have a strong feeling that I will be leaving.. but I simply put my trust in God and say to myself - "I'll go where you want me to go..." Every single trial and hardship that I have experienced here in Ajax has really made me grow stronger. I have a stronger and deeper testimony of the love that our Savior has for us. I have such a testimony that God has a beautiful plan for every single one of us - and hardships and part of that plan. I have witnessed miracles. I have witnessed lives changed. I have witnessed more love from my Heavenly Father than I thought possible. This journey that I am on is so tender to me, and I cherish every single day that I have to by a full time representative of Jesus Christ. 

I hope everyone has a beautiful week. :)  I love you all. 

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

Canada is beautiful!
Our Crazy Neighbors!
The Hadley's - less-actives that just moved.

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