Monday, March 17, 2014

Naps in Napanee

Dear Family and Friends, 

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I'm wearing a green sweater today, don't worry. :)

Hehe, okay the title of this email isn't the least bit true. There is no time to take naps in Napanee! This area is crazy....where to start - 

Saying goodbye to the wonderful Hamilton Mountain on Monday was seriously so hard. I felt like I was being taken away from my home again. All of the feelings that I felt when I left Utah were the feelings that I had last week. Saying goodbye to the Cushnie's was perhaps the hardest part. I feel like they have become my family away from my family. I have been so blessed to have met them. :)

I can't believe I am already in my 4th area. 

Sister Sears is so awesome. She has been in Napanee since last July! Can you believe that?? This is her 7th transfer in this let's just say....we'll be walking down the street and she'll say - "Oh, that's Bob, and his dog is Molly....he is a plumber...." etc. She knows honestly almost everyone. It's hilarious yet overwhelming because I know no one. Oh, and this is Sister Sears second area....and she's been out 3 months longer than me.

Our apartment is nice. It's a two bedroom, but it has carpet!! YAY! It gets really cold though. I always crank up the heat and Sister Sears turns it down, heheh. I decorated my desk really nicely, I'll attach a picture hopefully. 

Fun facts about Napanee - 

- Avril Lavine is from here. She even has a Pizza Shop that is dedicated to her. I haven't been there yet, but sometime I will.
- The Napanee River is one of only two inland rivers with a tide - the other is the Nile.

Okay that's about all that I know about this place so far. It's a terrifying town. But it's adorable. 

Alright here's the deal. Napanee has the most amazing recent converts ever. I don't even know where to start with them. There have been about 7 baptisms since Sister Sears has been here, and I've met all but one of them so far. John and George are brothers, both in their 60's. Mike and Steve are also brothers, both in their 40's. Lynda and Sandy are a mother and son. They are awesome!!! We see them a lot, to make sure they are doing what they are supposed to be doing. :) 

So, not going to lie. The work is slow here right now. Almost every door has been knocked on, and almost every person has been contacted on the street. Sister Sears and I feel VERY strongly that the best way to move the work forward in this area is to work with the members. Having the faith to find is so crucial. It would be super cool if the members would be the full-time finders and the missionaries the full-time teachers. Only in the perfect dream world....but seriously. Working with members is rough. That's why I love part-members!! That is how we found our two new investigators this week. Solid ones, too. The family is less active who joined in 2009 and has two daughters that haven't been baptized yet. They are 11 and 9 and remind me of Ashlyn and Brynn. :) They are adorable. We talked to them about baptism, but we haven't set a date yet. They really want to though, which is awesome. :) I am excited to work with them. 

Sister Sears and I are going to have a super sweet experience this week....ELDER AND SISTER BEDNAR ARE COMING TO TALK TO US!! We get to meet with them for 3 hours on Saturday. Can you believe it?! The whole mission is going to be there....which means, another long drive to Brampton (3 and a half hours or so) and back. That's okay with me though, because I get to see an apostle. :)

"If life and its rushed pace and many stresses have made it difficult for you to feel like rejoicing, then perhaps now is a good time to refocus on what matters most."
-President Uchtdorf

I know that there is always something crazy and exciting going on in the Hardcastle household, but let's always remember to focus on what matters most. I am so very happy for all of the amazing events that are coming up this year. I know that I won't physically be there for them, but I want you all to know that I will be there in Spirit. :) It is hard to be separated from you all, but the friends and experiences I am gaining here in Canada are eternal and priceless. 

I have such a love for my mission. Thinking about it honestly brings me to tears. It's humbling to think about the lives that I have been placed in, and the tender mercies I have seen from the Lord. I know that our Father in Heaven is aware of every single one of us. He answers prayers. He truly truly does. We can be led and guided day to day if we listen to the promptings we receive from the Spirit. 

Something that has been popping into my mind a lot is the relationship that we have with Heavenly Father. To make what is in my head make sense in this email I'm going to use a common analogy. I am thousands of miles away from home right now, in a different country, with different faces and experiences. My amazing Daddy is back in Utah, worried and concerned for his daughter in Canada. What do you think would happen if I never talked to you Dad? Never a letter/email/call/etc. How would you feel? From another point of view....We are all physically separated from our Heavenly Father. We are thousands of miles away from Him. He wants so badly to hear from us. He wants to know about the experiences we are having, the struggles, the good times, etc. Just like my Dad wants to hear about my experiences on my mission. So, if I never talked to you Dad while I was here, our relationship probably wouldn't be very strong when I return home. Same thing with our Heavenly Father....we need to communicate with Him, or our relationship will not be strong. Hope that made sense....

Before my mission I was pretty sure that God answered prayers. Now, I KNOW with all my heart that He does. Prayer works. Ahhh I love it. 

Well family, Sister Sears and I are going to go have an amazing fun filled P-day. Hehe, just kidding. We are going to deep clean our apartment, and I'll maybe take a nap. I love you all so very much. You are in my prayers. :)


Sister Hardcastle

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

Saying goodbye to Iain - our signature face :)
Goodbye Iain!
Bye Buddy!! The Cushnie's dog <3
Lydia Cushnie :) 
Goodbye to the best old man I know!
The Gallacher Family :)
Our Matching Pooh Bear Hats! Best Walmart Find EVER!
Jackie Cushnie <3 
My temporary Mommy :) LOVE YOU JACKIE!
Love these people. 
Saying goodbye to this wonderful apartment.... 
Goodbye to Sister Woolf :/
Above my desk
Sister Sears and I - not the best picture...but yeah :)

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