Monday, June 30, 2014

The Harvest is OVER! Happy July.

Dear Family and Friends, 

It sounds like the wedding was a success which brings a smile to my face! 

Happy Birthday to Naomi this week! Remember that all of the fireworks are truly for you. :)

Today is the last day of June....which means the Harvest is now over. Our mission saw SO much success this's pretty amazing to be apart of it.

Canada is so hot. So so hot.

Zone Conference was incredible. It was pretty difficult to say goodbye to President and Sister Scott, but thank goodness they live in Utah! President Scott gave us all his "Last Lecture" which is what he would normally give to all of the departing missionaries. It was really neat and a lot of laughs. At the end of the Conference, everyone was able to give President and Sister Scott a hug. I don't think there was a single dry eye in the room. The whole day I kept feeling like I should ask President Scott for a blessing, but I kept ignoring it and saying to myself that he was too busy....well finally after Zone Conference was over the Spirit practically shouted to me to go ask him for a I did. And he was so happy that I asked him. The blessing was incredibly powerful and left me feeling so much peace. As you all probably know, it has been a VERY hard month for me, in fact a very hard transfer. Sister Puruganan and I were talking about that last night, just how hard this has been. How there were some days that I didn't know if I would be able to get out of bed and face reality. That's the beauty of the Atonement. The Priesthood is real. President Scott is a very inspired man, and I am so thankful that I finally followed the prompting. :) 

We were able to go strawberry picking with some of the Relief Society for the Strawberry Social at the church. It was so fun!! The Strawberry Social was combined with "Family Feud" and it was such a great activity. We had a few investigators there, and there were many laughs. The Branch is very close because it is so small. :)

We went on exchanges with a sister from Fiji, Sister Fisher. She is soooo legit, and it was a fun day. Since our area is so far away, they tend to do trio's, which is great because Sister P and I don't like to be away from each other! 

One of the families had us over for ribs....and I had 9! It was sooo delicious and made me think of the ribs we have at the cabin....yummy!

So I have a nasty cold. It's terrible. One of the members told me that it sounds like I smoked 15 packs of cigarettes. Nice, huh? She gave me some Buckley's....which is a crazy cough syrup. I don't think they have it in the States. I'll send pictures of what it was like. Just my luck, the normal Gospel Doctrine teacher got called into work so at the last minute she asked us to teach the class. So Sister P and I read the lesson during Sacrament meeting and taught it. Let's just throat is killing me and for once I didn't want to talk, haha. Right now the worst part would be the cough, but all is well. 

Tomorrow is Canada Day! Second one in Canada. 

We had dinner last night with Cortwright and some of his friends. They had a dog just like Maizie! It was such a tender mercy.

So yesterday James Berry received the Aaronic Priesthood! He is so happy. :) 

We experienced such an amazing miracle this week. We will be meeting with one of the part-member families this Wednesday. Brother Leavens isn't a member and attends church every single week. His dear wife is the RS President. Well, yesterday he expressed how he received an answer that the church is true and he wants to meet with us. Such a miracle! Good things come to those that wait!

Well family, the work continues to roll forward, and I am so grateful that I am here. Enjoy the celebrations of the 4th of July this week! Have fun at the cabin and be safe. I love you all so much. 


Sister Hardcastle

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

I love Rayne!!
World....Meet Zachary. Love him!
The dynamic trio?? haha
Sister Fisher!
Priceless picture....Kristi, John, and George!
Before taking Buckley's....
During taking Buckley's.... 
After taking Buckley's....NEVER AGAIN

Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer Days!

Dear Family and Friends, 

I just have to start by saying Happy Birthday to my favorite niece tomorrow. :) I love you Kals!! Enjoy your birthday party!

Happy Birthday also to Tiffany and Matt! Love you both!

To Lauren and Daniel - enjoy your wedding day. I'll be thinking of you both! Love you.

I have lots to say because a lot happened this week. I realized that I've been lacking on updating you all with investigators and all of the awesome people we have been finding lately, but that is going to change starting now!

Cleveland and Helen are an older couple. They were found tracting. We have taught them a few times and the last lesson that we had with them was just hilarious. We were teaching the Plan of Salvation and Cleveland will not accept the fact that there was a Pre-Earth Life. He was so shocked when we were teaching about it and didn't understand how that could be possible. After reading some scriptures and bearing our testimonies, we left it up to him to pray about it. So we only got through that while teaching the Plan of Salvation. Cleveland is from Jamaica and his wife is Canadian. They are great.

Angie is a new investigator this week, and she came to church! She is a former investigator of a couple of years and tells everyone that she is a Mormon. There are just a few things holding her back from being able to be baptized, but we are so excited to work with her. She lives 30 minutes north of Napanee, so we don't get to see her too often. But some recent converts live in her building, so we get a lot done when we head that way. 

Tina is also a new investigator that we found this week. We actually met her a few weeks back, but we haven't been able to meet with her. She was a back up plan that we had for one of our appointments that fell through, and right as we were walking to her door she was walking out to go sit outside. Timing is perfect! So we were able to talk with her about the Book of Mormon, and she is so solid. No baptism date yet, but soon. :) 

We decided to tract "Green Road" in the beautiful village of Tamworth. We had a dinner appointment up that way, so we decided to work around the area most of the day. We saw Green Road on the map the night before, so we picked that street. Hahah, well turns out Green Road doesn't have any houses!! It is a dirt road surrounded by green. Hence....Green Road. Sister Puruganan and I were laughing for so long. 

There are "Turtle Crossing" signs everywhere in the Greater Napanee area. Well, we finally saw a turtle in the middle of the road!! I have a picture. When we saw it, we pulled over and got out to get a closer look. I think we got too close though because it looked mad. Apparently there are some dangerous turtles, so we were told to be careful. haha

There is a man here named Will that told Sister Puruganan that he would convert for her. He also confessed his love for her. Lets just was a very interesting street conversation. Gotta love Napanee!

Miracle!!! I was able to use my sign language this week! It was so amazing. There was a lady sitting in the park, so I went up and started talking to her. She started signing to me and said "I'm deaf." So I signed back - "I know a little bit of sign language." Her face LIT up, and she smiled SO big. She made us meet some of her friends, too. Unfortunately, I don't know the religious signs, so all I could express is that we are missionaries and teach about Jesus Christ. We gave her and all of her friends cards and pamphlets. They kept signing "thank you" over and over again. I love being placed in the spot where I know I am supposed to be. It was such an incredible experience. 

Christl, who is the nicest lady ever, invited us over for a bon fire on Saturday night. I felt like I was at Girls Camp. It was awesome!

We had dinner last night with the members of the Multi-Cultural Festival committee! I was able to see Ilta again. I showed her pictures of Ashlyn and Brynn, and we both agreed that she looks just like Ashlyn. I am so grateful I met her!

We did yard work almost every single day this week. My allergies hate me! Haha, Sister Puruganan and I have been counting my sneezes and one day I did over 45. Man, spring time up north is a true test of my patience. All in all, I am doing well though. 

Zone Conference will be tomorrow, and it will be bitter-sweet to say goodbye to my mission parents. President and Sister Scott have been SO amazing to me and the rest of the missionaries in the best mission in the world. Sister Scott called us on Sunday morning to see if we were doing okay. They are so thoughtful, and I'm so thankful I met them. I am excited for President and Sister Clayton to get here and for us to get to meet them. :)

Well family, I know a busy week awaits you all, and I hope it is a good one. I love you all so much!! Take care. 


Sister Hardcastle

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

P.S. I do have more pictures this week, but the computer we are using won't allow me to attach them. Stay tuned for next week!

This totally reminded me of Katie!!
Kristi's cheesecake!
Picnic in the village of Roblin!
Christl picked me some flowers!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Happy Father's Day!!

Dear Family and Friends, 

How is everything going? I want to thank everyone for all the prayers that were in behalf of this sweet family. They were definitely felt.

I have to apologize to you Dad!! I didn't wish you a Happy Father's Day in my last email. Please forgive me. But I will make up for that right now. I can't believe it's already been a year since the last Father's Day that I was gone. I remember sitting in Sacrament meeting last year on Father's Day being soooo unbelievable homesick - wanting nothing more than to get a big hug from my Daddy. This was different. Of course, I still miss you, and always will until the day I return home, but I know that even though I am so far away, I am in the right place. You know that as well. Dad, thank you so much for raising me the way you did. Thank you for your sense of humor and for your adorable smile. I take pride in the qualities I obtain from you. You are such a stud and I love you!!!

This week I got called "Elder Hardcastle" sooo many times! We were asked to help at the Multi-Cultural Festival in Napanee this weekend, and so we went to one of the meetings last week. When they introduced us they said "Elder Hardcastle and Elder Puruganan." Hahah, we both looked at each other then down at our nametags then back at each other. It was priceless. I'll get to the festival more later on...

Soo the work is coming along, we'll say. We need to desperately find new investigators. Everything we did this week resulted in rejection. Sister Puruganan and I decided that we were just going to laugh instead of cry and keep going. With that said....miracles await. 

 1 Nephi 19:9 And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his lovinkindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men.

The funeral for Patsy was on Friday. We rushed from District Meeting to be able to make it in time. I'm not lying when I say there was probably 200 or more people there. It was PACKED. We still got some good seats though. The program was short, and the Spirit was strong. Sheldon and Shane read a poem about "Guardian Angels." Shawn also said a few words. They played a youtube video of Patsy singing. I didn't even know she could sing! It was very special. It was such a blessing to be able to see the boys though, and we both got to give Shayden a big hug. I know that those boys are young, and probably don't understand everything we taught them, but I have confidence in the power of the Spirit, and everything will work out. 

The Multi-Cultural festival was so great. Sister Puruganan was in charge of making yummy Philippino food and I just sold water. Haha, but I made an awesome new friend. Her name is Ilta, and she is from Africa (see pictures). She reminds me so much of Ashlyn and Brynn. She is 13 and so down to earth, and we are hopefully going to start teaching her and her family this week!

Okay - I finally had my first lesson with some Jehovah Witnesses. They let us right in and taught us everything they knew. I just sat there and listened, then testified to what I knew to be true. They were such a nice couple, but we couldn't get very far with them. I left their home SO grateful for the knowledge that I have. They mentioned how none of us are going to Heaven, and I can't quite fathom how they came to that conclusion. Folks, we have the truth....enough said. 

It's a humbling experience to feel the Atonement personally working inside you. I know that all of the wounds that we have, whether they be physical, spiritual, emotional, mental, etc., can be healed because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Certain experiences over the past 10 days or so have solidified that into my soul. I never could comprehend or understand the Atonement, and to be honest, I still don't. However, I can feel it, and I won't deny that. There is nothing like sharing that with my brothers and sisters. 

I love you all. Have an amazing week! Be safe. 


Sister Hardcastle

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

Avril is from Napanee...
To make our car smell yummy :) 
Rainy day in Canadaaaa
My tiny companion....I love her!!
My new BFF - Ilta!
That statue thing in front of the church, haha
"Napanee Ward" - hahaha

Monday, June 9, 2014

13 Months

Dear Family and Friends, 

13 months have come and gone! I can hardly believe it. Forgive me in advance, because this is going to be a short email. 

Happy Birthday to Riley Woolstenhulme on Wednesday

Where to be honest....this week has been a blur. I'm trying to keep my mind clear enough to write the things that happened. James was confirmed yesterday and that was a very special experience. When I asked him how he felt afterwards, he said the same thing he said after he was baptized - "different." He is doing so well. 

We had Zone Training again, which means I got to see Sister Woolf! Woot woot. It's fun serving in the same Zone as her. 

We have to really work on finding new investigators because we currently have like 4 or so. Lots of work to do here! The weather is warming up finally! It still rains quite a bit though, but it's still warm even if it's raining. I have a feeling it is going to be a very hot summer.

As a result of some members of a family we are teaching passing away, we have had a crazy couple of days. We found out on Saturday and things have been rather sour since then. We got blessings from our Zone Leaders on Sunday after church which was a big help. I won't go into much detail, but please keep them in your prayers. It's times like this that really make you grateful for the Plan of Salvation. I don't know what I would do without the knowledge that I have of the Savior and His Atonement. I know that Heavenly Father knows the situation of each of His children, and some things are completely out of our control. I have a strong testimony of the power of prayer, and that is what is pulling me through right now. Thank you in advance for the prayers on behalf of this amazing family.

Mosiah 24:13-14

"And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.

And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions."

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your week! For everyone that is up at the cabin - Be safe. I love you all!


Sister Hardcastle

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

Happy 13 months! 
The Wilson family gave me this! They bought it at a yard sale! I'm totally bringing this home. :) 
Flowers, flowers, flowers!
I wouldn't dare pick it up with my hands....haha
So pretty!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Napanee Round 3!

Dear Family and Friends,

What an absolutely incredible week it has been.  I will never forget the tender mercies and miracles I was blessed to witness. I guess I’ll spare you all the suspense and let you know that Sister Puruganan and I will be staying in Napanee for another transfer! We are both so excited. The celestial companionship is at it again! Woot woot.

Let’s start with James’ baptism. It was SO POWERFUL. He was baptized on Wednesday evening, and so many members were there to support him. The day itself was a little stressful just getting final preparations made, but the service went so smooth. James got to the church around 5:30 just to relax and take everything in. We took some pictures, and then the service started. It is hard to describe the feeling that is felt when you witness one of your brothers or sisters go under the water and come back up. It’s a feeling that I have tried my whole mission to describe….and I never do it justice. It’s indescribable. Suffice it to say that I have never felt so much peace in my entire life. Truly this is what pure joy feels like, and I never want it to end. After the service we had a nice birthday cake for James, because it was his birthday. James even bought Sister Puruganan and I a cake. Hahah, what a sweetheart. It was a very special day, and I will never forget it. 

We passed off Stephanie to the Kingston Sisters last Tuesday. It was a bittersweet thing, but it's what needs to happen. Now Stephanie's two kids are getting baptized, too! The Gospel is for Families after all. :) On our way back from the lesson, we dropped by a part member family that lives like 25 minutes from Napanee. Well they weren't home, but the less-active mom was. She let us right in, and we were able to visit her for a bit. Her name is Holly, and she was such an answer to prayers! She is a fitness instructor, and she showed us all of these intense exercises to do. I promised her that I would do them for the rest of my mission, if she would read the Book of Mormon everyday. She agreed....what did I get myself into?! I'm soooo sore, hahah. 

We moved Kristi, John, and George to Enterprise which is a town 30 minutes north of Napanee. It is in the middle of NO WHERE. I'm sad that they are moving so far away, but we'll try to go up there as often as k's permit. Their new place wasn't done, so Sister Puruganan and I ended up painting their entire bathroom. Mom - thank you for teaching me how to paint. :)

We had to drop a few investigators this week. It gives us more time to find the elect and those that are truly seeking for the truth. Something that has been really hard for me is completely putting myself out of the equation because you get emotional attachments to these people, and sometimes you just have to accept that it is not their time. That happened with our investigator, Hope. It was one of those "Do or Die Lessons" and the Spirit was so strong. I've become so close with her, but I knew we couldn't keep teaching her. This is the Lord's time....not mine. 

We had Interviews with President and Sister Scott. The last one with them. :(  Not sure how I feel about it. I truly feel like they have become my parents. The interviews went so well. I truly feel like I am in the best mission in the whole world! Luckily, we don't have to say goodbye to them yet because we have Zone Conference at the end of the month. Also, since President Scott presides over the Kingston District, we got to see him again for District Conference. The Saturday night session was in Kingston, but the Sunday session was a broadcast from Salt Lake City. We got to hear from Elder Holland and President Eyring with a few others. It was broadcast all across Canada. Sometimes I forget that I'm in Canada....haha.

Not sure what else to say this week. I'm so glad that everyone is doing so well! Sounds like summer has truly started. It's warming up here, don't worry. It's usually anywhere from 20 - 27 degrees (C), so it's perfect. Although, from my experience last summer, it's going to get A LOT hotter than that. I have a sweet watch tan line though. 

Sister Puruganan and I are so excited for the month of June. Our mission is going for at least 60 baptisms. Last June that was our goal, too....and we got 78. Chills. The mission is sooo unified right now, it's the best. 

Well, I love you all so very much. Be safe. Read the scriptures. Say your prayers. 

Remember - It's better to Look Up.


Sister Hardcastle

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

Lake Ontario!
So Happy :)
Best day.
His Birthday Cake!
I love Sister P!
The view from one of our investigator's backyard!
We went exploring in Bath again!
The Napanee Falls....not as cool as Niagara Falls!
Some of my favorite members!
Felisha! My BFF
I love Kristi French!
So glad I met her!
Holding James' chinchilla! Her name is Boaz.
Lynda and Sandy <3