Monday, April 7, 2014

General Conference, Miracles, and 11 Months!

Dear Family and Friends, 

What an incredible week!

First things first - Happy Birthday to Chelsey and Pauline this week! Love you both so very much!

What an amazing week it was in the blessed land of Napanee! I am loving this area more and more as each day goes by. Not going to was hard when I first got here, but things are picking up and miracles upon miracles were seen this week. begin....

Last preparation day, Sister Sears and I went to a church monument in Bath, Ontario! It is a plaque talking about the early Latter-day Saints in Upper Canada. Apparently President Monson dedicated it not too long ago. It was so awesome! It was right off the shores of Lake Ontario. So beautiful. Look at the pictures that I'll send. :)

Sooo, I mentioned awhile back about this family that we have been working with. The mom, Amanda, is a less active member. Her two daughters, Katelynn and Michaela, are not baptized. Well, recently we've really been struggling meeting with them and making much progress. Well - that changed this week. Drastically. We were able to set a date for baptism with the girls for May 1st. It gets better. They all came to the Branch Easter Party AND General Conference. The mom said that they will now be coming every Sunday, and the girls are SO excited to be baptized. We went to their house in between sessions yesterday and Michaela said the closing prayer. In the prayer she said, "Thank you that we can get baptized in May." Heart melted! I love teaching children. They are so innocent, pure, and incredible. SO much progress and so many miracles. God is so good!

It gets better. Remember David? We dropped by one night last week to confirm our appointment for the following day....Well come to find out - He has quit smoking!!! He set a date to quit on April 9th but he started a week early. He has had a lot of struggles with cravings and hasn't been feeling well because of it....but he is doing so great!! Sister Sears and I were in shock after we talked to him that night. He came to the Branch Easter Party and loved it! He was too sick to come to Conference, but he is still doing so great. His date is for May 8th, but we are talking about moving him up to some time in April!

So the Branch Easter Party was so much fun. I love this Branch. It doesn't take too long to get to know them.... because there are so few. So I already feel like some of these people were my best friends in the pre-existence. We had a yummy dinner....and so many people came! Several non members and 5 of our investigators!

Okay. We are working with another part member family, and they are basically as solid as ever. The mom is a less active member, and all of her kids and her husband are not members. We were finally able to see them this past week! And they came to the Easter Party! So we are teaching three of her boys - Shane, Sheldon, and Shaden. It's hard to keep them street. Shaden is still 7, but turns 8 on May 15th. Shane is almost 13 and Sheldon is almost 10. We are going to try to set them for May 15th to be baptized because then Shaden can be baptized with his brothers! As they were walking out of the church from the party Shaden says - "Mom, can you sign us back up for Church?" So cute!!! We are really hoping to see some progression with them. 

It's warming up!! Feels like spring. The river is no longer frozen over. I didn't even wear a coat when I left the apartment this morning! Spring is in the air and I LOVE IT!

Ohhh I almost forgot! We had Zone Training this past week in Kingston. It was sooo awesome. There was a little object lesson at the end of the meeting that left the whole room in tears. We walked into the room with a bunch of the treats on a table in the middle of the room. The Zone Leaders started asking different missionaries what treats they wanted. Once they picked a treat, the Zone Leaders would say, "Elder Eaton, will you do 10 pushups so Sister Hardcastle can have a donut?" Well one missionary after the next was called....And it didn't take long to figure out what the point of this whole thing was. It was hard to watch Elder Eaton (our District leader) struggle so bad so that we could have a treat. Some of the missionaries said that they didn't want anything, so then the zone leaders would say, "Elder Eaton, will you do 10 pushups so that Elder Orr cannot have a treat?" And thus Elder Eaton would do the pushups even though Elder Orr didn't take a treat. See where this is going? I'm going to let you all think about this one. :) Hint - it has to do with the Atonement. It was amazing. Tears were flowing. We are so blessed!

Sooo, before I finish with my thoughts from General Conference I have some not so good news. I popped my hip last week really bad (not even sure what I was doing), but it hurts so bad. I can't sit without it hurting, or walk or run or really do anything. So it's a slight problem. However, our mission nurse is the best and found a place in Napanee for me to go to. :) I will probably have to get physical therapy, which is scary, but if it makes it feel better, then I'm all for it. 

If I wrote down all of my thoughts from Conference we would be reading this for days. So the one I wanted to talk about was Elder Holland's talk in the Saturday morning session. As disciples of Christ we WORRYWARN, and WEEP. Holy cow. He could not have hit it more spot on. I feel like all I do as a missionary is worry, warn, and weep. AND I LOVE IT. "You may wonder if it is worth it." It is worth it. Everything is worth it. This mission has already been worth it. 

I love you all so very much. Thank you so much for the emails and prayers. I feel so loved. :) Not to mention the many letters I got this week. You are all the best!!!! 


Sister Hardcastle

"Have Faith, Have Hope, Live Like His Son, Help Other's On Their Way"

Love you all :)
Church Monument!
Lake home <3 
I love my comp :)
Not sure what this says....hahaha 
Canadian through and through :) jk
Conference - the missionary Superbowl!

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