Monday, July 7, 2014

14 Months. Since when?

Dear Family and Friends, 

So yes, it's true. I've been on my mission for 14 months tomorrow! Crazy. Wouldn't trade this experience for the entire world. 

Transfers are next week, so don't send any mail until I tell you the results.

Canada Day and the 4th of the July were a success! On Canada Day we did a lot of service, which was neat because Sister Puruganan and I both had Canada shirts on. :) Cortwright had us over for lunch, and it was a swell day. We also had lunch with Cortwright on the 4th of July. I was the only American there, so they called me "Miss America." 

What happened this week....We finally started teaching Brother Jim Leavens! He is so prepared and so amazing. He's the husband of the RS President that comes to church every week. In fact, yesterday in Sacrament Meeting he bore his testimony of the church. I don't think there was a dry eye in the room. He looked right at Sister Puruganan and I as he expressed how he is getting a 'refresher' on the lessons. It is so humbling to be teaching him. He even told Sister Puruganan and I that he prefers Senior Couple Missionaries because he gets along better with them, but he's fine with us. :) Seriously, he's one of the coolest people I've ever taught in my life. He told everyone in his testimony that he woke up one night with the thought "Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon are true." He then went on to say it was a nightmare, and everyone started laughing. Then it was followed up with him expressing that it was a good nightmare. :) We are planning on setting him for a date to be baptized later on in July. Keep Jim in your prayers!

So I met President and Sister Clayton! They are incredible people and so very nice! We met with them on Friday for several hours. They told us a lot about their lives, and then we were able to meet with President Clayton. President Clayton was set apart by Russel M. Nelson. Sweet eh! "Heavenly Father will continue to guide this mission." -President Clayton. Yes He will.

So I'm pretty sure Sister Puruganan and I have a friend staying with us in our apartment. Weird things have been happening, but we decided to name her Phoebe. As a result of that, we had a slumber party in our living room on Saturday night. We pulled our mattresses out of our room, and it was actually really fun! Sister Puruganan only wanted to do it for one night though, so everything is back to normal now.

We had a picnic with one of the members! It was on Thursday, so the day we aren't supposed to drive our car. So she came to pick us up, and she called us when she got there and told us she didn't have drinks, so we needed to bring our own. Well, the first thing I could find was a measuring cup and a Christmas cup - so that's what we used. It was so hilarious. Such a good day!

One of the less-actives we are working with, Darrelle Derush, had us over on Friday night. We taught her the Plan of Salvation while we made salads. It was really fun, but quite an interesting lesson. She expressed how she doesn't want to go to the celestial kingdom because her family won't be there. Her husband and son are both non-members. They've had really bad experiences with the church in the past, so we haven't been able to meet with them. Darrelle is so awesome though, she keeps me laughing non-stop. She's one of those people that I know I'll stay in contact with. 

James passed the Sacrament for the first time yesterday! Talk about another tear-jerker! He came in dress pants and a white shirt and tie. Ahh I can't handle this much happiness!

I was reading Alma 17 this week - 

And now it came to pass that as Alma was journeying from the land of Gideon southward, away to the land of Manti, behold to his astonishment, he met with the sons of Mosiah journeying towards the land of Zarahemla. 

Now these sons of Mosiah were with Alma at the time the angel first appeared unto him; therefore Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord; yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God. 

But this is not all; they had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God.

And they had been teaching the word of God for the space of fourteen years among the Lamanites, having had much success in bringing many to the knowledge of the truth; yea, by the power of their words many were brought before the altar of God, to call on his name and confess their sins before him. 

Now these are the circumstances which attended them in their journeying, for they had many afflictions; they did suffer much, both in body and in mind, such as hunger, thirst and fatigue, and also much labor in the spirit. 

And it came to pass that they journeyed many days in the wilderness, and they fasted much and prayed much that the Lord would grant unto them a portion of his Spirit to go with them, and abide with them, that they might be an instrument in the hands of God to bring, if it were possible, their brethren, the Lamanites, to the knowledge of the truth, to the knowledge of the baseness of the traditions of their fathers, which were not correct. 

And it came to pass that the Lord did visit them with his Spirit, and said unto them: Be comforted. And they were comforted.

And the Lord said unto them also, Go forth among the Lamanites, the brethren, and establish my word; yet ye shall be patient in long-suffering and afflictions, that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls.

And it came to pass that the hearts of the sons of Mosiah, and also those who were with them, took courage to go forth unto the Lamanites to declare unto them the word of God.

I love these scriptures so much. I see the hand of the Lord every single day here in Napanee, and it's so humbling. The experiences that I've had here have changed my perspective in life, and I am so grateful. If I happen to leave next week, then so be it. "I'll go where you want me to go, Dear Lord." I love you all. I love my Savior.


Sister Corinne Hardcastle

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

My caterpillar :)
Canada Day lunch with Cortwright!
Our cute hats :) 
Meet Marble!
We had a my cup?!
Sister Puruganan and me
Canadian and American at heart <3
Happy Independence Day! 
Squished in the back of a car....

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