Monday, June 24, 2013

Week 6 Ajax

Hello my beautiful family and friends, 

Just a few things -



HAPPY GOLDEN BIRTHDAY TO MY HOMEBOY MATT! Hope you have a great 27th birthday on the 27th bro. Love you lots!

Also, Happy Birthday to Tiffany today! Lots of Woolstenhulme birthdays lately! Hope you have an amazing day Tiffany!

Thank you so so much to Jaclyn and Grandma Ida for the letters! I got them last Monday night and they made my day! 

This past week was pretty amazing. We had a Zone Conference last Tuesday. It was so inspired and got everyone so excited. Remember that goal that the mission has for 60 baptisms in the month of June? Well folks, as of yesterday - we had 52! So we just need 8 more next week to reach our goal. We've all been praying and working SO hard for it. It's truly a miracle. I learned a lot from the Zone Conference though, and I can't wait for the next one. The biggest thing that I learned is that, Yes our biggest message is the Restoration. But it's the Restoration of what?? The Gospel of Jesus Christ. That needs to become more of the emphasis. So that's something that we've really been working on. It makes the first lesson not seem like a history lesson. I've come to absolutely love the Doctrines in Preach my Gospel. That manual is so inspired and it's amazing. Everything about being a missionary is amazing! Everything. 

Sister Stat's got strep this week. :( Let me tell you something about Canada. Their Healthcare system is unbelievably terrible. So, every resident of Canada gets free healthcare. Which is why sales tax is 13%. Gah it's so expensive here. Anyways, we sat at the doctors office for over 3 hours. And when they finally called her back, she was in the room for 3 minutes tops. It was a joke. But now she has medicine and she's been slowly starting to feel better. As a result of all of this, this week has been quite slow. I've had so much personal study time it's insane. I'm almost done reading the Book of Mormon and I've watched The District probably 5 times this week. Haha, it's pretty lonely to be in the apartment all day while your companion sleeps. It made it go by pretty slow. But by the weekend everything picked up. 

We were able to teach a few of our investigators this week. Angela - she's so close to setting a baptismal date. We're fasting with her tomorrow that she will have the strength to quit smoking. Also, our neighbors are our newest investigators. We usually go over there and talk to them while they sit in their garage and smoke. We actually were able to teach them a lesson though and they want us to come back, so that's exciting! They're great neighbors and they take good care of us! Also, we met with this guy, I can't spell his name, and he was convinced that he was already a God. It was very interesting. He's very nice though and is going to have us over for dinner with his family soon. Hopefully his heart will be softened. 

I was able to go on my first exchange with Sister Williams. Apparently, in the past, she's made Sister's cry on the exchanges. Needless to say, I was terrified. When in fact, I learned so much and had such a good time. I had nothing to be afraid of at all. She is a very hardworking missionary and she told me that she had no concerns with me, which was comforting. The exchange was Friday night to Saturday night.

Saturday night, I realized that I was asked to speak last minute on Sunday. It was so hilarious because I honestly had nothing written down when I went up there to speak. Since they asked me last minute, I don't have to speak on the 30th anymore. The talk went well though, and I was able to simply bear my testimony about how much I love this church. I have it recorded, so I'll send it to the family :) I realized that it's not so scary to go up and speak in front of other people anymore. 

Quick story before I get into the best part of this week - We got a member referral last week and Sister Stats was able to teach her while I was on an exchange. She is a lady in her 50's named Lynn. She apparently is the coolest person ever, so I can't wait to meet her. She has a baptismal date for July 21st. 

Yesterday, miracles happened. Remember Katrina? Sister Stats and I knocked on her door, taught her the first lesson, then passed her onto YSA. Well, yesterday she was baptized. We were able to have one of our investigators, Eric and his family, come to the baptism with us yesterday. It truly was the most beautiful experience so far on my mission. I hold yesterday so near and dear to my heart. The Spirit was so strong. To simply know that I was just a little part to Katrina's conversion brings me SO much joy. This work is incredible. All of the hard days, the tears, the disappointments were made worth it to see Katrina yesterday. She was glowing with the Spirit and was so happy. She kept thanking us for finding her, and all I could say, was that is was the Lord, not us. She kept saying how happy she was and how much she loves this church. She is amazing and I was so grateful to be apart of her special day yesterday. Being a missionary rocks!

I hope ya'll watched the Missionary Meeting thingy last night. It was such an amazing meeting and the Spirit was so strong. Looks like they'll be making some changes with regards to internet use and missionaries, so we'll have to see what comes of that here in the Toronto Mission. Wasn't it so cool when President Monson talked about this mission? I love hearing his stories about when he was a mission president here. I love this mission, it truly is the best mission in the world. Let us all remember that we can all be missionaries. If that meeting last night didn't get you all excited to go share the gospel, then something is wrong with you, haha. Seriously though, find opportunities to share the gospel. Pray for those chances to share your testimony. There truly is a difference when you have the members working with the missionaries. We've seen that with the members here. Let's go out and baptize those souls who are waiting to be rescued. Let us love all of those around us enough to share this amazing truth that we have. Don't be scared to do it, but ask for the help from our Heavenly Father. He will help you and He will be so proud of you. More joy is awaiting all of you as you go out of your way to serve His children. 

I love being a missionary so much. I've never been so happy in my entire life. I simply cannot wipe this stupid smile off my face. Even when hard things happen, somehow, I laugh about it. I've been truly blessed and comforted from my Heavenly Father. Thank you so much for the prayers, emails and letters. Keep em coming! Know that I am praying for all of you daily. I hope we all realize how short of life here on earth is. Let us not waste a second of that time. "We cannot take for granted a single day. I pray that we will not wait until we are ready to die before we truly learn to live." - Pres. Uchtdorf. Make the most of every single day. Make it a great week!

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

All my love, 

Sister Hardcastle

P.S. Next Sunday is the dreaded transfer call. So next week I'll let you all know if I'm staying or going. In one week I'll no longer be a greenie :) Time flies eh? Love you all!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Week 5 Ajax

Dearest Family and Friends,

Another week come and gone already? Time goes by so fast. Next thing I know I'll be home. Let's not get ahead of ourselves though eh? Haha :)

This week was pretty good. Disappointments of course, but still the most amazing tender mercies. I can't believe how many little miracles you can find throughout the day if you stop to think about it. My advice - SLOW DOWN. Find joy in the little things. 

3 Nephi 13:34 - "Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient is the day unto the evil thereof."

Just worry about today, because tomorrow hasn't even happened yet. That's a lesson that I'm slowly starting to learn. Heavenly Father is really good at teaching lessons while on a mission.. He's a smarty :)

I don't think we've ever had so many appointments fall through like we had this week. It was pretty tough. I'll just start with last Monday

Monday - Everything was great because it was P-Day! Which is always great, except when it is pouring rain. We had two appointments that night and they both bombed on us. So what did we do? Tracted. In the POURING rain. How many times am I going to tract in the pouring rain? Probably a lot more, because we did it twice more this week. Hahah being a missionary is so hilarious. When we came home I noticed that they tried to drop the package off. They left that thing for my to sign on the door, and it turns out I would have to pay to receive it. It had to be a check, and of course, I don't have any checks. Well looong story short - I called UPS, payed over the phone, and got the package on Thursday. Quite the ordeal. 

Tuesday - Our shower decided to stop working. I literally took a shower in dripping freezing cold water. Great way to start the day eh? We had our first appointment with a man named Brian. He had requested something through, but anyways he was super mean. All he wanted to do was Bible Bash with us. He didn't even think that we were credible because we had grown up in the church. He thought that this is something that our parents forced upon us. It just wasn't a fun time, and I realized it wasn't fun because the Spirit wasn't there. Then we tracted. A lot. I was complaining (woops) about how thirsty I was. I said a little prayer that we would be able to go get a drink soon. Low and behold.. the next door we knocked on.. she let us in. God is good eh! Her name is Julie and she is in her 60's. The first thing she offered was cranberry juice and her washroom. Prayers answered! We talked for about an hour and had a really good conversation about the Restoration. Her husband came home towards the end, and we set up a time to come back and teach both of them.. I'll get to that story a little later. Every Tuesday we have dinner with the Tunney's. They're the best. We had BBQ spare ribs, and lets just say - I felt at home. Oh man, funny story. Whenever we talk to people and they aren't interested, we always ask if we can give them a card. So I said, "Well, can we at least give you a card?" This grumpy old man looks at me with the evil eye and says, "No, save a dang tree." (Except he didn't say dang) hahaha I couldn't help but laugh as we walked away. People are too funny. 

Wednesday - Wednesdays are always pretty good days because we have District Meeting. I love my District, they're like family. After District meeting we all went to a Greek place for lunch. Dal, you'll like this story. I really wanted a Gyro (Pronounced Hero) But I still said Gyro when I ordered it. I felt so dumb. It reminded me when Jess, You and I went to that place in Provo and I made you order because I was scared to say it. Haha, but the Gyro was quite amazing. We went up to Uxbridge again and met with Eric and Alecia. I don't remember if I ever explained their situation. So they're both still married to other people, working on their divorces. Alecia is a member, Eric is the one we are teaching. But, here's the catch.. They live together WITH Alecia's ex-boyfriend Ryan. So let's just say, the Law of Chastity isn't a priority in their lives. However, Eric quite smoking all on his own. You can already see his life changing. We love meeting with him and he loves meeting with us. It's amazing how much people change when they simply realize that God loves them. He honestly didn't think that God cared about him. When we left that night, Alecia sent us a text telling us how she knew that we were sent here by God to help Eric. Needless to say, my heart melted. This work is so amazing. So worth it. 

Thursday - Boring. Car fast day. Weekly planning. Enough said. BUT I GOT A PACKAGE! It seriously couldn't have come at a better time. I have some pictures that I will attach. I was crying before I had even opened the package because I was so excited. Thank you so much family! I loved reading all of those letters and those pictures were the best. Also, thank you for all the treats, mints, drinks, etc. They are definitely a great blessing:) I am so excited to try those Key Lime cookies. I also can't wait to make the Pistachio pudding!

Friday - Was probably the most exhausting day to date. We taught a Muslim named Hina again. She brought along her friend Sara. Basically, it was a 2.5 hour lesson. They kept telling us they didn't want to hear about our beliefs, but all they wanted to know were the do's and don'ts of our religion. It was interesting. They are very kind people, but are pretty stuck in their own religion. So we'll see. Here's the funny part about this day... we went to an Imperial Buffet for lunch. It was tons of different Asian dishes. So they had KIMCHI! I got some on a plate, along with like 12 Macaroons. I sat in the Restaurant and shed a few tears. How ridiculous is that? I was just thinking about you, Dad, as I stared at the Kimchi. I didn't eat it. And Mom, I was thinking about you with the Macaroons. Those I ate :) I'm sure I've mentioned Syed before.. we taught him again. He has a baptismal date for July 7th. :) We just have to be really careful with Muslims because if they ever go back to their home, they'll get killed for becoming Christians. So I don't really know the process there. It'll be interesting eh?? But we're so excited for him. He came to church yesterday and everything. He texted us after church and said thank you for us finding him. Heart melted again! We taught Jasani again tonight. He is progresing really well. He won't set a baptism date yet because he wants to be 100% sure. Also, we did stop by Angela, and we found out that she has stopped smoking! We're so proud of her. We are meeting with her again tonight. Here is the funny line of today... Me - "Hey how are you?" Man on the street - "You Mormon's can't get me, I'm Jewish!" Ahh man being a missionary rocks!

Satuday - Lots of teaching today. We taught Charles again. He is supposed to be baptized on June 30th, but since he missed church yesterday, the soonest he can be baptized is July 7th. Remember Julie from earlier? The one that let us in and was so nice to us? Well we met with her and her husband, Gavin. He is very religious and very into theology and things like that. We brought along our ward mission leader, Brother Heman's. Thank goodness, he was a life saver! This was about a 3 hour "lesson". Except it was more like an interrogation/discussion than a lesson. We had a notepad and pen out and asked us questions the whole time. He then started bashing Joseph Smith and how he made up the Book of Mormon. He completely tried to tear us apart. When he started doing that, I sat back and started singing hymns in my head. Brother Heman's, Sister Stats, and him were having quite the discussion. I occasionally looked at Julie, and I saw that she felt so bad that her husband was being so rude to us. By the end of it, Sister Stats was in tears and I was sick to my stomach. We left on good terms though, and they gave us a bouquet of flowers. It was actually really discouraging. I felt like I was being ripped apart from the seams and thrown on the floor. I realized that I am going to have times when I feel like that. And you know what? That's okay. I need to experience the smallest ounce of my Savior went through. Yes, I felt rejected, yes I felt disappointed, but I still know what I know. No one can take away from the Testimony that I do have of this restored Gospel. 

Sunday - Church. Church rocks. Father's Day was tough. I was a little bit emotional, but that's just because I've been blessed with the most amazing Father. Love you Dad:) We had two investigators come to church - Syed and Eric. Guess who else showed up to church? President and Sister Scott! Yes I'm serious. It was quite the surprise. It was actually really comforting to see my mission Mom and Dad on Father's day :) We then got invited over last minute for Dinner with a family in the ward. We were so happy! We had fajitas. Yumm. Sister Stats then started feeling really sick so we went home, she slept and I watched The District and cleaned. It was a relaxing day, just like today will be. 

About the Baptisms coming up.. Do you guys remember Katrina? The golden investigator that we found in the area next to ours? Well her baptism is next week, and we aren't allowed to go to it because it's out of our area. It's quite the bummer, but at least she is getting baptized! As far as Xania goes, she is so busy and never makes it to church. So we continue to push her baptism date back. Just keep praying!

Tomorrow we have a Zone Conference and I also am going on my first exchange! Exciting!

I've had a lot of time these past few days to think back on my life. Reflect on all of the things that have led me to this point. All of the events that took place that were preparing me for a mission, even when I didn't know it. I'm so humbled and grateful for the knowledge that Heavenly Father has a unique, special and perfect plan for each of His children. It's definitely a beautiful and tough journey. It reminds me of something that I heard in the MTC - "Every single thing that you go through is preparing you to have joy". That brings me a lot of comfort. I think back to the first two weeks here in Canada. Man, those times were so hard. Times are still so hard. Yet now, I know my purpose. I had to get knocked down so that I could stand up even stronger. I had to be at my lowest so I couldn't know what it feels like to be at my highest. This mission that I've been on for a month and a half has taught me SO much. I don't think I understood the importance of this Gospel. This Gospel is pure. It is precious. It is perfect. It changes lives, including our own. Being a missionary is indeed the greatest calling in the world. Have a great week!

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

All my love, 

Sister Hardcastle
Not the best quality picture ... sorry  :)
Loved the poem  :)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Week 4 Ajax

Hello Family and Friends, 

Wow. Week 4. I've been gone over a month. Time is such a strange phenomenon here on a mission. There are times when I feel like I'm never coming home. Then I look at my planner and I realize that I'm almost done with my first transfer. It's definitely going by faster and faster as I adjust more. I didn't think that being a missionary would become such a part of me so quickly. But man, it has. Sometimes I just look down at my name tag and smile. "How great is my calling". 

I don't have many complaints. But I have a few.....

1. It's still cold here. Currently.. it's pouring rain. 
2. I'm already sounding like a Canadian. I'm worried for what it's going to be like in 17 months from now
3. So, they call bathrooms, washrooms. It took me awhile to catch onto that. But it bother's me, because I will ask, "Could I use your bathroom?" And they look at me like I'm from another planet. Then they say, "You mean washroom?" And I nod, very embarrassed. Canadians are weird. 

Enough with complaints, here's something funny - Since Ajax has so many Jamaicans, we have renamed it "Jamajax" :) haha it cracks me up. Also, Tim Horton's is probably the great thing ever. It has 95 cent donuts! Score!

This week was a fantastic week. The Lord has given my companion and I so many tender mercies. We had 9 member present lessons this week. 9!! The standards is 4. We are being so blessed. The ward members here love us. I really do feel so warmed and welcomed. Although this is still so hard, and I have to fight every single day, I'm getting happier and happier. Whoever said, "Forget yourself and go to work" was so so right ;) 

Last Tuesday, I got a lot out of personal study. I was studying the will of God. I thought I would share some things with all of you. It really helped me remember that we need to dedicate our lives to God. 

John 5:30 - "I can of my own self do nothing..because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me."
Hebrews 10:36 - "For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise."
Moses 4:2 - "....Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever."

Those are just a few of the scriptures that stuck out to me and reminded me that we always need to do God's will. 

Onto the fun part, investigators....

I don't remember how much I've told you about certain investigators so bear with me. 

Syed - We thought that he fell off the face of the earth because we couldn't get ahold of him, and was never home when we stopped by. Well, we felt prompted to go to his house, and there he was. Turns out-we had the wrong number! Gah so frustrating. But we met with him again this week. He loves meeting with us. He says that we are the two most beautiful girls. It's kinda creepy/funny/nice. But he's a great guy. He didn't come to church yesterday though because he had to work. He also doesn't want to commit to being baptized until he knows for sure (well duh!). 

Jasani - I think I've mentioned him. He's the great family man, who has lost a child. We taught him the Plan of Salvation this past week. Holy cow, it was so powerful. I could barely hold back the tears. When I invited him to be baptized he said yes, but he's thinking really hard about what date to pick. AND to top it all off he came to church yesterday. Sister Stats was giving a talk to I sat by him. He LOVED it. Funny story though. Get ready because you're all going to laugh your heads off. When the second speaker got up, she started with "Good morning Brothers and Sisters" and Jasani said, "Good Morning" back. Hahahah I'm laughing so hard just typing it. It was too funny. He was so embarrassed. He didn't say it loud, but loud enough for the people around us to hear. Poor guy, he was laughing about it afterwards though. Anyways, we have really good feelings about him. We really want to teach his wife too. They're a beautiful family. 

Angela - She hasn't quite smoking yet, because she hasn't finished her current pack that she's on. She says once she's done, she going to quit.We showed her the restoration video just this past Saturday. She cried the whole time and told us how good she felt. Then she starting dancing and singing. It was so funny. She is almost there and I just love her. She told me that she's going to be really sad when I leave. Ahhh man being a missionary rocks. 

Katrina - remember her? The golden one from Pickering? Well turns out we couldn't teach her, so the YSA elders are teaching her. She is still set for baptism on June 23rd! Ahh man I can't wait. Fun story about her-our whole district was a part of finding her. The Whitby Elders decided to do the Blitz on that date that we found her. The Pickering Elders chose which streets to do. Sister Stats and I knocked on her door. The Oshawa Elders are now teaching her. So our whole district was involved. Such a miracle. 

Riley - She's new. She is Sister Pay's granddaughter. Sister Pay is a single lady who looks just like Janine Patch. It's freaky how much they look and act alike! I just adore her. Anyways, her 12 year old granddaughter has been coming to church with her for awhile now, and just loves it. We were able to go meet with her and Sister Pay yesterday. We taught her the restoration in a very simple way, which I loved. She has already been reading in the Book of Mormon and knows that it's true. We were reading the second to last paragraph in the introduction to the Book of Mormon and she read about halfway and started crying. She couldn't finish, so she handed the book to Sister Pay, who was also crying. The Spirit was so strong. I asked her how she felt and the only word she could get out of her mouth was "Good". My heart melted. This is the joy that has been spoken of. Things like this make all the hard times worth it. She wants to be baptized so badly, but she needs to get permission from her parents. She is really scared to talk to her parents about it, she's only 12! But I know that through prayer, her parent's hearts can be softened, and she will be baptized. She reminds me a lot of Ashlyn. 

We are teaching other people, but nothing too crazy has happened with them yet. All I know is I love finding people on the street and simply starting a conversation about God. It is interesting how many people open up to us and tell her their live story. 

We had zone training this past week, it was quite fun. Also, I tried Poutine. I had the whole restaurant watching as I tried it... and I LOVED it! I'll attach a picture. 

We went to a city called Uxbridge this past week, look it up, it's beautiful. We went to visit some less actives. One in particular, the Brazier's. They live in the most beautiful area in the woods. The whole drive reminded me of the cabin. When we got there, she started a fire for us and we sat by the fire and drank orange juice. It was the most adorable thing! I felt so at home. I'll attach a picture of that too. 

Well everyone, the church is true. The church is SO true. I see little miracles every single day. This is the hardest yet best thing I could be doing. I love waking up each morning, not even tired, ready to take on the day. I love getting into bed each night, so exhausted, knowing that I gave the Lord everything that I had that day. I've been truly so blessed with health and comfort here. 

I challenge all of you to read the Book of Mormon daily. This book has saved my life in the past several weeks. I love diving into it and learning something new every single day. God is good. God is so so good. I love you all and miss you every single day. Thank you for the prayers on my behalf. They are felt. Make it a good week!

Happy Father's Day on Sunday to all my Father figures out there. Especially to you Daddio! You're the greatest and I love you so much!

Happy Blessing Day to my sweet Eli on Sunday as well. Your aunt Rinney wishes she could be there, but she's there in spirit! 

Happy Birthday to Riley Woolstenhulme tomorrow! 

All my love, 

Sister Hardcastle

To all my returned missionaries who are reading this - shoot me an email with a few words of advice! I love getting advice and I would really appreciate it. 

Also, on June 30th I'm speaking in Sacrament about "Standing as a Witness of Christ" so ideas/talks/quotes/etc would be much appreciated. 

French Fries + Gravy + Cheese = Crazy Canadians
Most relaxing thing ever.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Week 3 Ajax

Hello my beautiful friends and family,

I'm almost at my one month mark.. whoa. I can't exactly say that it's gone by fast... but I have learned so much. I hardly recognize myself to be honest. This really is all about love :)

I'm glad that everything went well with Ciera getting to the MTC. I was constantly thinking about her Tuesday and Wednesday. I am glad that she is there and loving it so much. I love you Ciera!! 

Next, Happy 1 month to my sweet Eli. Happy 5 months to my favorite twin boys. Time goes by so fast! Before we all know it, I'll be home and it'll be like I never even left:) Katie and Jaclyn.. don't let your kids forget about their Aunt Rinney!

Last Tuesday I was really sick in bed all morning. It must be a Canadian thing, but heartburn is pretty much my third companion (Next to the Lord and Sister Stats, of course). We had to call the mission nurse and everything. By some miracle, I took a nap, woke up and was feeling so much better. Which was really great because we had about 6 appointments that day that we couldn't miss. 

Which leads me to my next point.. We teach SO MUCH. This area is incredible. It's just blooming with opportunities and I feel so blessed to be apart of this:) I'm going to tell you about a few of the people we are teaching in just a second. Sorry, this email is so scattered.. just like my brain. I didn't think I could hold in so much information, haha. 

Sister Scott called me on Wednesday. She was so sweet. She wanted to make sure I was doing okay. She knew that I was struggling a bit with being away from family. She said something that was so profound, I just have to share it. "You've had amazing blessings from your family. Now, go give others those blessings. Then, watch your family receive even more". That really hit me pretty hard. If I can help ONE person receive half of the blessings that I've received in my life, then I'm going to be one happy person. Also, if being away from you all means you are being more blessed, then by all means will I serve. 

I'll tell you about the whole teaching thing now. I thought that teaching would be really scary. Turns out... I love it. It's really made me reconsider what I want to do with my life. I honestly have thought about being a teacher:) Can you imagine.. Ms. Hardcastle the teacher :) 

Xania- I am sure that I have mentioned her in last weeks emails. She is GOLDEN. We found her while teaching a bunch of drunk teenagers on the street. She reads the bible every single morning and has really been trying to dedicate her life to God. I have already learned so much from her. In the past week, we've taught her three times. Every single time I come to love her more and more. We watched The Restoration video with her, and I watched her as she sat there in astonishment. After the movie was over, she could barely talk. She went on to say that she felt just like Joseph Smith. She has been searching for something that is right for her, and then we came into the picture. She calls us her "Utah Sisters". She just adores us and we just adore her. Her baptism is set for June 23rd. I have a feeling that June 23rd is going to be one of the best days of my life. 

Katrina- So they do these things in the mission field called a Blitz. It's where a bunch of missionaries from your district go to another area and try to help them find people. Hopefully that wasn't too confusing. Anywho, this past week we went to the area called Pickering. It is right next to Ajax, and it is part of our ward. The Elders in Pickering needed some help finding new people to teach. Sister Stats and I were knocking on doors and no one wanted anything to do with us. (Just a side note-we have yet to be let inside from knocking doors). We were about to go back to the car, but we tried one more door. And we found Katrina. She wanted to know more, so we sat on her porch and started teaching her the restoration. Next thing we know, she stands up and asks us if we will go on a walk with her. She completely opened up and told us about a really troubled past that she has been having. She is 18 and just finished her first year at college. We were walking and as she was talking to us I was just bawling. I realized that I don't have many problems compared to some people. We talked to her about the Atonement and Temple Marriage. When we showed her a picture of the temple, she lit up. She is incredible. One problem though, she isn't in our area. Long story short, we didn't get permission to teach her. However, she still came to church and so we got to see her:) She is going to get taught by the Elders, but we will still see her every single Sunday. She is set for baptism on June 23rd. Now do you see why June 23rd is going to be the best day ever? SO MANY MIRACLES!

Jasani (Hasani)- He was an investigator that the missionaries before us found. He is an amazing family man. He is from Jamaica and has a beautiful wife and three kids. He really opened up to us and told us about a child that they had pass away four years ago. He said that it really hit their marriage and they were just barely starting to recover. He wanted to find some peace in his life. We taught him about The Book of Mormon and how he will see his son, Malachi, again. When he told us about his son that passed away, I immediately got tears in my eyes again. So many people need to hear the message that I have. We are all so blessed to have the knowledge of eternal families. He said that he would be baptised if he came to find out that this was true. We are hopefully going to teach his wife too. I have a really great feeling about all of them. We are going to continue teaching him, so I'll let you all know. Pray for him though eh? And his whole family. 

Angela- She has been being taught by missionaries for years. Apparently she's been really cold to most of the Elders. However, she just loves Sister Stat's and I. What can I say, Sister missionaries have this touch :) Anywho, we are teaching her again tonight. She is going to stop smoking today! She has the most amazing faith in Jesus Christ. She has been a real example to me. Her son is still in Jamaica, and she hasn't seen him in 8 years... I think I can go 18 months without seeing you all, if she can go 8 years. 

Those are the four main ones that are worth talking about. However, a very interesting teaching appointment  happened this week, but we ended up dropping her. Her name is Ruth, and she apparently loves meeting with missionaries. Apparently, she felt like setting us up. She had a missionary from her church come to the appointment. All it was was pure bible bashing. The Spirit was not there, it didn't last long. They were saying that Satan isn't real. They think that we are just all born evil. We are only considered children of God if we are good. It was just really awkward. They were trying to convert us.. which was Satan! Satan is so real. 

Yesterday was fast Sunday, and I learned that there are interesting people in every ward. No one sang their testimony, but there were a few bangs on the pulpit.. It was interesting:) but I do love fasting. It takes on a whole new meaning here on the mission. Something that I'm learning is that everything that I do is for other people, not myself. Selfishly, it's something that I need to get more used to. I love it though. We had dinner at the Heman's last night (The amazing black family). She made some Jamaican food and when I told them that I have black sisters, they all freaked out and I'm pretty much their favorite person now. 

Random- I saw a dog just like Maizie and I started crying. These emotions are getting the worst of me! Haha! 

Last night we were dropping by member's houses and we went to a single sister's house. Her name is Sister Pay, and she told us that she calls sister missionaries "Missionettes". So that's what we go by now. We're the Missionettes:)

I have a few goals that I would like to share- you guys can do it with me if you want:)

1. Read the BOM once each transfer. That book is my lifeline. 
2. Study 1 Christlike Attribute per transfer. I'm working on faith right now. Then hope, then charity, and so on:) Do it with me!
3. Journal every single day! I feel like I'm writing my own adventure book, and I love it. 

Those are the three main goals that I have right now. I have probably mentioned this before, but the mission is trying to get 60 baptisms in June. We have been praying for this so hard, so please pray for it too! It's going to happen, and I can't wait to be apart of it!

Here are some of the things that I've learned on my mission so far
-This isn't about me, and it never was
-God is teaching my patience-success doesn't come overnight
-I'm in Ajax for a reason
-I'm supposed to be here... 
-This is the Lord's work-which means His timing
-This is the most important work that I could be doing right now
-God knows us. He hears our prayers
-This Gospel brings so much peace
-The Atonement is for everyone and has the most amazing enabling power
-God needs more missionaries, so many people need help

Although this is the hardest thing in the world, I can happily say that I would rather be on my mission than be home:) sorry family. This is the best thing that I could be doing right now. It is really going to be worth all of the rejection and sorrow. I can already tell. Meeting people like Katrina makes me realize why I'm doing this. 

2 Nephi 1:15 - "The Lord hath redeemed my soul from hell; I have beheld his glory, and I am encircled about eternally in the arms of His love."

I'm going to do what missionaries do best, and leave you all with a commitment- find someone who needs this gospel and SHARE it with them. I regret being so timid before I was out on my mission to share it with people. It shouldn't be something that is scary.. It's all about salvation! 

It's an honor to represent Jesus Christ full time. I love you all so much. Thank you for the many prayers. I can feel them stronger than you all will ever know. Make it a great week. 

Sister Hardcastle

Sister Stats and me emailing  :)
This picture is for you Dad  :)