Monday, March 31, 2014

Birthday = Success!

Dear Family and Friends, 

FIRST THINGS FIRST - Congrats to my dear friend Ashlie on her wedding. :) I saw some pictures and you looked BEAUTIFUL. So happy for you. I'm glad I could have my birthday on your wedding day....don't worry - I will never forget your anniversary. Love you!

Another thing - there were lots of emails this week, so I'm sorry that I won't respond to everyone individually. Love you all though!

Sooo my birthday was top notch. Honestly....I could not have asked for a better day. Where to start....We went to Denny's for breakfast because you get a free meal if it is your birthday! Remember that everyone....go to Denny's! We then traveled to District Meeting. Sister Hadley is another sister missionary in our district, and it was her birthday too! Sooo our District Leader brought cookies, and they sang us Happy Birthday. We had planned to go bowling today with them, but we had to reschedule because we didn't have enough k's. So that was great! Then we went to lunch at this place called Shoeless Joes. You get free dessert was so yummy. I was so full though....oh well, it was my birthday. From there we went to Kristie, John, and George's. Kristi made me a homemade cheesecake! They also bought me a sweet card and a cute blue rocking horse miniature thing....hard to explain. But they are so sweet! Not sure if I've mentioned much about them. Kristi isn't a member, John is her husband and George is John's brother. John and George are both recent converts. From there we went to teach Steve (also a recent convert) at Tim Horton's. Tim Horton's is always a hopping place....and everyone there knows us. Usually Sister Sears will say hi to almost every single person in there....I'm getting there though....I'm starting to remember people's names. While we were there a former, named Hope, came in and she ended up sitting with us and we taught her. It was awesome. Everyone here is so friendly. Next, we skipped dinner because we were SO full from breakfast and lunch so we went to see Lynda and Sandy (recent converts yet again). We taught them and then Lynda had all of these extra Christmas Crackers that we opened. They are just things that you pull and you get a toy of some sort, a crown, and a joke. Funniest joke of the night - 

"What do you call four bullfighters in quicksand?"
"CUATRO SINKO" hahahah, so awesome. 

From there we went home, I put the candle in my cheesecake and blew it out. Then President and Sister Scott called to wish my a Happy Birthday, which obviously left me grinning from ear to ear! They have been such amazing mission parents. I can't believe they are going to be leaving soon. 

So yes indeed, it was a magical birthday. And thank you so much for all of the gifts and cards. I felt so loved! Don't worry - I'll be home next year for the big 2 - 1. Crazy. 

Other exciting things that happened this week....our investigator David is doing so well! Such a miracle. So he is 58 and his girlfriend just joined the church in another stake somewhere in Ontario (not sure where), so he's been quite interested with the whole thing. He set a date to quit smoking, as well as a date for baptism on May 8th (who knows what is significant about that date?) Well, it gets better. He came to church yesterday and even bore his testimony! What in the world. I'm not going to lie....I was a tad nervous when I saw him walking up there, but he went up there and expressed his gratitude for the Lord in being there for him throughout his life. It was awesome. Then after church there was a potluck, and he stayed for that as well. He is doing awesome. Such a tender mercy!

Katelynn and Michaela were supposed to come to church yesterday with their mom, but they insisted that they would walk, and it just so turns out that yesterday it snowed. A lot. Mother nature......

It was also Steve's birthday this week. He was sustained yesterday to be the Young Men's President, and he even blessed the Sacrament. He is doing really well. We bought him a candle and a muffin from Tim Horton's and sang him Happy Birthday. It was great. 

I was able to do visiting teaching this week!! Apparently we get assigned to be visiting teachers here in Napanee. It was terrifying, but fun. I'm an amateur with this kind of stuff. One of the members I visit teach made me a chocolate cake, and they all sang me Happy Birthday (see pictures). It was so awesome and soooo delicious. 

So this week, also with Steve, we buried some his mom's back yard. Let me explain. We had talked to him about burying weapons of rebellion, so we had him write down some things on a paper sword and we decided to do it with him. Then we literally took a shovel, and buried them. It was really hard though because the ground is still so the swords didn't go too deep, but hey! It's the thought that counts. 

Things in Napanee are picking up. It is starting to warm up, despite the random snow storms. I didn't even have to wear tights on Saturday! Oh! The Women's Conference! Wasn't it awesome?! I loved it. When the primary kids started singing "Teach me to Walk in the Light," I totally started crying. The Spirit was so strong. How incredible it is to be a member of the true church. 

I can't think of much else to update you on. I hope that everyone enjoys General Conference this week!! Have a prayer in your heart and listen to the Spirit. We all have something to learn and something to take away.

Things truly are going well for me. I realize more and more that my time is winding down wayyyy quicker than I would like. It's scary to think about, so I try not to think about it. So, I don't know why I'm writing about it, haha. I love you all. Thank you for all of the support. I am so grateful for all of the prayers. I know that God is aware of each of His children. I know that He wants us all to be happy. I KNOW that there are people who are starving for their souls to be filled....and I am so pumped to find all that I can. 

I love you all!


Sister Corinne Jean Hardcastle

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

My first birthday cake - so cute!
Canada is so beautiful!!!
One of the member's houses...favorite place.
Last day of being 19.....
My birthday gifts!
Best Birthday Ever!
Sister Hadley - also the birthday girl!!
Shoeless Joes lunch! 
My cheesecake from Kristi!
Tim Horton's with Steve!
It was such a beautiful sunset...not sure if you can tell!
Lynda and Sandy. Such great people!
The crowns from our Christmas Crackers!
Making a wish... 
Talking to President and Sister Scott! 
So happy! And I love my new jacket! 
All in a day's happy

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Big 20!!

Dear Family and Friends, 

Thank you so much for all of the birthday wishes this week! You are all the best. I would just like to wish Daniel a Happy Birthday! Pretty cool that we share a birthday eh?

As I approach my birthday this year, it really makes me think back to what I was doing a year ago. I had a mission call, I was only 18, and I was terrified and excited to depart to Canada. Holy moly. This has been an amazing year. I haven't spent a whole year in Canada yet, but in some ways I feel like this is my home. Most of you do not know the culture of Canada, but let me tell you - it is very different than the states, in particular to Utah. It didn't take me long to adjust though. It also didn't take me long to fall in love with the people, places, and the beauty of Canada. I just love it. 

Where to start with this past week....

JACKIE CUSHNIE WAS BAPTIZED YESTERDAY! I was very sad that I wasn't there, but I am just so grateful that she was baptized. I miss them very much, but I know I am in the right place. Apparently the baptism went really well, and Iain even played the bagpipes at it. So cool! Their plan is to get sealed as a family in a year....hopefully in the Salt Lake Temple. And I will be there. 

We found a pretty sweet new investigator this week. I started talking to him on the street, and he knows the "sisters" pretty well. He asked when we were going to go see him, so we made an appointment and were able to teach him a bit. His girlfriend who lives forever away just joined the Mormon church so he is very open. We're excited to work with him. 

The young girls that we are working with set a date to be baptized on April 17th, but their mom didn't allow them to come to church this week. It could be difficult. Pray for Katelynn and Michaela!

We saw a lot of recent converts and less-actives this week. We are really focusing on finding through members, as we know it is what the branch needs to grow right now. The recent converts here are amazing, and I know I've said that a lot now....but I just love them. One of them, Steve, just got called to be the Young Men's President! Tonight we are going to have a FHE with some recent converts, Lynda and Sandy Thompson. Sandy is Lynda's son, and they are just the best. 

Napanee rocks. 

Funny story. We were lying in bed the other night sooo exhausted and we were talking about how long Sister Sears has been in Napanee (over 9 months), and I told her that she is probably going to name her first child Napanee....Then it got me thinking....why don't I just name my first child Ajax? Then the next one Woodstock?? Then Hamilton? Then Napanee? Can you imagine? Okay, maybe it isn't that funny. But I thought it was. :)

Guess who got to hear from Elder Bednar this past week? This girl!! We drove to Brampton on Friday night and stayed with some spanish Sisters because the meeting with Elder Bednar on Saturday morning started early. Every single missionary in the Canada Toronto Mission was there. Do you realize how insane that is? President Scott had to get special permission. Some missionaries way up north had to drive over 8 hours to get there. It was so worth it though. The meeting was opened with us all singing Redeemer of Israel....the Spirit was so strong. We're talking 300+ missionaries, with our mission president, an apostle, several members of the seventy, a member of the presiding bishopric, etc. So crazy cool. Then Elder Bednar addressed us for 3 hours or so. It was incredible. A very special experience happened there that I want to try to relate to you all - 

There was a segment of the meeting that was a question and answer type thing. Many missionaries would ask questions and Elder Bednar would answer beautifully of course. Well, a Filipino Elder raised his hand, and stood to speak. I was just a few rows behind him, but I had a hard time figuring out what he was saying. He started to cry and Elder Bednar looked like he was going to cry, too. All I heard the Elder say was "I need someone to tell me that I can do this." Elder Bednar came down from the stand and went down to the Elder and gave him the biggest hug. He then grabbed the Elder's shoulders, looked him straight in the eye and said - "Elder, I came to Toronto today to tell you that you can do this." At this point, everyone is crying. Elder Bednar then gave him another big hug. It was priceless. 

I learned so much at the meeting, but I will just share something that stood out to me the most. Elder Bednar pointed out how the most faithless prayer involves something like this "Please bless all those who are not here this week, that they will come next week." We need to ACT AND GO GET THEM that are not here this week. He said that he has never sat in a meeting when someone has said an action filled prayer about helping to get people back to church. It was a huge eye opener to me. All of you who have been missionaries know that as missionaries we pray. All the time. I have noticed that sometimes my prayers are not action based prayers. Something to think we ask for something from Heavenly Father and just expect to get it?? Or are we going to show Him how much we want it by acting?

Well family. You are all amazing. I love hearing from you so so much. Thank you for all of your support and prayers. I feel them, I truly do. I know that the Lord is with me, walking beside me and strengthening me everyday. I could not do this without Him, for it is His work and I am simply His agent. I love it more and more each day. 

I love you all!!


Sister Hardcastle

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

My new glasses! I love them!

Happy St. Patrick's Day Outfit!!! 
Napanee is so beautiful! 
Sister Sears and I. She's like my big sista :)
The earrings that Jackie Cushnie gave me - I wore them on her special day :)
Elder and Sister Rock <3 so funny
The cereal that keeps me going... 
Jackie and Tim at Jackie's baptism!!

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 :)

Monday, March 10, 2014

New Adventures!

Dear Family and Friends,  
I'll just cut to the chase....I will be leaving Hamilton Mountain West. All good things must come to an end I guess. When we got a call last night at 9:04 pm, I wasn't too shocked. I knew that is was going to happen. My new companion is Sister Sears. I will be headed to Napanee. Apparently it is near Kingston, Ontario. So just about as far east as you can go in our mission.  
This area has changed my life, and I will be eternally thankful for the people I have been blessed to meet and teach. The members in this ward have been my angels. I felt so at home. I know that God puts us exactly where we need to be, at the right time. As a result, I feel peace.  
We had a very good week. I went on an exchange with Sister Sorenson this week! She is from Pleasant Grove, Utah and knows of Jason Elder! Her family also adopted two little kids. We had a great day together. Full of success and laughs.  
This week was Sister Woolf's birthday!! We had so much fun. Well, the first part of the day we weekly planned, but then we were able to see the Cushnie's! We taught Iain and Jackie then went to Lonestar for dinner. Yummy!  
We mentioned to Mary and Michael on Saturday night that one if not both of us could be leaving, and she was so sad. She said, "I'll probably never see you again." So then I started crying. I just knew from that point that I was leaving. I assured her that I would see her again. The bonds you make on a mission are eternal. <3

I'm kinda at a loss for words right now about what to write about. Pray for me, enough said. :)

Love you all! 


Sister Hardcastle

"Have Faith, Have Hope, Live Like His Son, Help Other's On Their Way"
P.S. This will be my address until at least Easter! xoxox WRITE ME please! :)  
151 Industrial Blvd #17 
Napanee, ON  

On the way to Niagara :) 
This one is for you Dad...Wizard of Oz!
For you Nans... 
On the Skywheel :)
The crew :)
Hahaha, Iain and I
You call this a sport?
Puzzlin' with our fancy hats :)
Sister cook EVER! 
Canadian Tie...Sweet eh?!
Happy Birthday to Sister Woolf :) 
Our birthday cake <3 
Best District Ever. 
Michael. Love that boy! 
<3 Mary and Michael 
Gravis :)
10 MONTHS - ignore the red eyes...this was taken after I found out I was leaving.
Sister Sorenson and I :)