Monday, October 7, 2013

GREAT WEEK. 5 Months...

Dearest Family and Friends,

I have to start off by wishing my Daddio the GREATEST AND HAPPIEST 53rd BIRTHDAY on Saturday! I will be thinking of you. I hope that everyone is super nice and lets you watch Forest Gump or Cast Away or ELF. Haha, I love you Dad. Thanks for being my best friend.

I have so much to say this week - But let's start off with General Conference. 

General Conference takes a whole new spin when you're a missionary. Along with listening and taking notes, you're constantly praying that your investigators will feel the Spirit and gain a witness of the Restored Gospel. It was incredible. I can add my words to President Monson's that this past Conference was one of the most inspiring to date. I'll just highlight my favorite parts. :)

M Russell Ballard - "If EVERY member will reach out to ONE person from now until Christmas, MILLIONS will feel the love of God." Take this as a challenge my friends. DO IT. Reach out to at least one person from now until Christmas. Please.

Richard J. Maynes - "You must become the rock the river cannot wash away." I loved this talk, because it was all about endurance. One of my favorite things, which I stole from my sweet sister Jaclyn, is ETTE. Endure to the End. Spiritual endurance takes dedication, perverseness and self-disciple. RUN THIS RACE WITH ENDURANCE.

David M. McConkie - God Speaks. He spoke anciently, He spoke to Joseph, He will speak to YOU.

So what does this mean to us?

1. We are on the LORD'S errand. We are his agent, therefore entitled to HIS help.
2. We are called to Preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Whether or not you wear a name tag, that is your calling. 
3. We are commanded to teach the principles of the Gospel. Not only teach them, but LIVE them. 

In that case, where do we begin?

1. Live in a manner to have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.
2. Obtain the word before you declare the word. STUDY.
4. Stand as a Witness of the things you teach. 

We are all entitled to teach with the power and authority of God.

I loved this talk so much because he wasn't speaking to the missionaries. He was speaking to every single member of the church. I don't know about you all, but I think that the leaders of the church are trying to stress the importance of sharing the Gospel....

The last talk I'll highlight was given by Terence M. Vinson -

We need to love God the same way He loves us. When trials come our way, do we turn towards God or away?? We need to use ALL of our strength to endure trials. ALL of our strength includes the help of God. With His help, ALL things can be lifted. "The more I learn of Him, the less I want to leave Him." May we all return the love of our Savior to Him by giving Him our hearts.

General Conference was simply so inspiring and so motivating! Can you believe it was one year ago when President Monson announced the age change for missionaries. Look at me now, who would've thought that at 19 and a half, I'd be living in Hamilton Ontario. AH I love it.

There's another exciting event that took place this week - WE HIT THE STANDARDS OF EXCELLENCE. The area of Hamilton Mountain West is a fairly new area. It was opened in March, and has never reached Standards. Haha, not anymore! We were so blessed this week. Investigators are coming to church and progressing. Prayer works my friends. Also, hard work works too.

Let's talk about the investigators. Our teaching pool is small, but that's okay. We're working on that. Haha, but we had the most amazing lesson with Cleveland this past week. He has been taught by the missionaries for about 4 months now. He finally decided to quit smoking this week! However, he still wouldn't set a baptismal date. We went to see him on Saturday evening and I felt so prompted to read 2 Nephi 31 with him. We did, and my friends, Cleveland is being baptized on November 10. The Spirit was SO strong. Sister Puruganan bore the most amazing testimony and I just sat there in tears. It was one of those times when I truly felt the love that God has for me and all of His children. When Cleveland was saying the closing prayer, all I could things was "Wow, I'm never going home." It was one of the most memorable experiences that I've had so far on my mission. Cleveland also came to a session of General Conference and loved it. SOLID!

Sam, we've been having a hard time meeting with her. Unfortunately - she probably won't be able to be baptized next week, but miracles happen! She is so great, and hopefully we can start meeting with her soon. Brittany is dating a less active, Andrew. We do service for them a lot, but they keep every single commitment that we leave them. :) They're awesome and Brittany loves having us over.  We are teaching a sweet single mom named Rebecca. She also keeps every single commitment that we leave with her, but she refuses to be baptized... we'll see about that. :)

I had a very special experience this week. I don't think I mentioned this in my last email, but I pulled my lower back last weekend. It was so painful, to the point that I couldn't even stand up straight. Every single morning I felt like I had been hit by a bus, because my body wouldn't move. Last district meeting, I was able to receive a blessing. My friends, Priesthood Power is real. Within seconds of that blessing, the pain subsided. The next morning, my back didn't even hurt anymore. In that amazing blessing, I was promised that I would be able to physically handle every obstacle that came my way. Such a miracle. I am so thankful for the Priesthood and for worthy men who carry that Priesthood. I am so thankful that I was raised in a home with a Father who honors his Priesthood, with brothers as well. I am so blessed!

Canadians like to celebrate Thanksgiving in October. Weirdos. So next Mondayis Thanksgiving, therefore, the next time I email it will be the 16th (Wednesday).

Also, I mentioned the Relief Society President (Sister Gallacher) here that my top retainer has fallen off. That was last Monday, and the next day she had me in to the place that she works to get it fixed. The orthodontist fixed everything, and ordered me a nice retainer on a killer deal... blessings.... Also, Sister Gallacher had been emailing Mom and Dad and next time I saw her she came and gave me huge hug and said - "This is from your mom and dad." It was the best!

This coming week should be fantastic. I get to go on an exchange this evening in Brampton with Sister Tuia. Sister Tuia is perhaps my favorite sister missionary in this mission. We then have Zone Training Meeting. Hey, one of my ZL's, Elder Kenning is from Bountiful..... We will also be able to see Patrick and Serena this week (The best member referrals ever).

I hope that you all have an amazing week. I love you all more than you will ever know. I love my Savior and I pray that we can all strive to be more like Him every single day.


Sister Hardcastle

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

P.S. Here is my current address:
Sister Corinne Hardcastle
Canada Toronto Mission
11 Kendale Court #504
Hamilton, Ontario
L9C 2T7

The front of the apartment

Picture of a picture :)

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