Monday, October 27, 2014

Welcome Lincoln!

Dearest Family and Friends, 

I am the proudest aunt in the entire world! Lincoln Albert Hardcastle is such a cutie. Congrats Landon and Hannah! Can't wait to meet the little guy in a few short weeks. 

This week was fantastic, just like the rest. 

I love sharing my testimony. There are a few tender experiences that I wanted to share with you. :)

We had the best dinner appointment with Brother and Sister Zehr. They are an older couple that are recently returning to activity in the church. We felt so inspired to talk with them about the Sacrament and it was perfect. It was one of those times that the Spirit is so thick that you can almost touch it. I felt the Spirit so strongly testify through me to this dear couple about the Atonement. It's remarkable to see people come back to church and partake of the blessings. 

We found a new investigator last week, Christopher. We brought a member with us, but Christopher wanted to sit outside. It was SOOOO cold. I sat on this freezing concrete floor, and everyone else sat on a bench. My hands were numb, and I couldn't feel my legs either. We got to the part of the First Vision, and I held the picture in my cold hands and said a silent prayer for help reciting it with clarity and power. When I started saying "I saw a pillar of light..." I felt the greatest warmth come over me. My hands were not cold anymore and I wasn't shivering. In fact, I felt warm and so much peace. I was able to recite it with such conviction and it was another testimony to me that our message is 100% true. Tender experience. 

We have been working with this less-active member, Julie. She's been struggling so much lately, that it makes me just so sad for her. We felt inspired to watch a Mormon message with her about the Atonement. As the video finished, we turned the lights on and with tears in her eyes she said, "You girls always know exactly what I need. That was perfect." I love the Spirit! So powerful. 

I got a letter from Jaclyn this week that had a picture enclosed of me hugging Eli with tears. On the back she wrote that that was the day I said "See you later" to him. Can you all remember May 8th, 2013, when we all said "See you later"? That was such a hard thing to do. However, I've been thinking a lot about our "Heavenly Home" when we all said "See you later" to our Heavenly Parents. I wonder if it was hard to leave. The reunion will be so joyous. The purpose of our mortal life is to have experiences that will prepare us for the eternities. One of the purposes or blessings of a mission is to prepare us for the rest of our lives through the experiences we're given. So because of that letter that Jaclyn sent me, I was able to better understand the plan of our Heavenly Father. 

Inge Funk is another new investigator. She knows a sister in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir which is how she knows about the church! She is a sweetheart. 

We dropped our investigator Joseph. It was a hard lesson. The Spirit was so strong, but he just wasn't feeling it. He's been investigating for 18 months and has no testimony, so we told him that we couldn't keep teaching him if he wasn't willing to keep commitments. Dropping investigators is worse than breaking up with someone. I had tears in my eyes! It's difficult when those you love so much won't accept the gospel, but his time will come. 

We were able to help in the community at a Halloween Festival! We helped hundreds of kids play mini golf for 2 hours. Sister Womack and I were so TIRED afterwards. It was lots of fun though. 

Brother Paul Borg is my favorite less active ever! We taught him on Saturday night. As we were leaving his house I noticed a huge pile of leaves, so naturally I jumped in them. Haha, I'll send pictures. Then we looked at his house, and he is looking through the window laughing at us. Being a missionary is the best. 

Madison Tenny! She is the granddaughter of one of the members. She's progressing so well. Her dad won't let her get baptized until she is 12, so she's getting baptized on November 30th. She was sad that I wouldn't be there, but it's okay. :) She is progressing so much. Kids just get it.

We had dinner again with the Lipop family, which are just like Jac and Matt. And their little boy Sam is Eli's age. I love it. 

As you can see, things are going so well. We are busy and happy and most of the time warm, but sometimes cold. I have absolutely no complaints. :) I am grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and I know that it is true. I know that our family is eternal, and what joy that brings to me. I can't wait to see all of you, but until then....3 weeks to work, work, WORK!

I love you all!


Sister Hardcastle

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

This is a picture of when we went to Applebee's like forever ago....
Look who we found.
Tea time with Amanda! 
Mini Golf....
Pretty accurate. 
Haha, happy fall!
We were SO tired.
Love you all! 
Yours truly.
Silly companionship :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Priesthood Power is Real!

Dear Family and Friends, 

Doctrine and Covenants 101:16 - "Therefore, let your hearts be comforted concerning Zion; for all flesh is in mine hands; be still and know that I am God."

This scripture is what got me through this week. It was an overall amazing week, but it involved a minor setback. It was Thursday, and we were encompassed in our weekly planning session. Our phone must have been on silent because when I checked it, we had a missed call and a voicemail from a "withheld" number. When I listened to the voicemail my heart completely stopped, and I'm pretty sure I turned completely white. It was someone from the Napanee Police Department asking for me to call them back. I already had tears streaming down my face before I called them back because I knew what it was about. I hesitantly called them back, and they wanted all of the information that I knew about that beautiful family that I taught in Napanee, that had that tragedy. I'm not going to go into much detail. My voice was shaking as I was going through these memories in my head trying to express to this lady everything I knew. The sisters in Napanee must have given the Police Department my number for this area because one of the sisters in Napanee right now used to serve here, so she knew the number. It was an awful phone call, and it brought back horrible memories and feelings. About 10 minutes after the phone call was over, we had to leave to go teach a lesson. It was so hard. So I called our district leader and asked for a blessing. It was hands down one of the most beautiful blessings I have ever received. Elder Wilson didn't even really know what was going on, and the blessing was so exact to what I was feeling. The Priesthood it SO real. In the blessing he said, "Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning."  I know that God is aware of each of our challenges. He brought peace back into my heart, and I am so grateful for Him. All flesh is truly in His hands. 

Other than that.....this week was awesome!! The weather is getting colder. Time to pull out the leggings and gloves! 

Greg got the Priesthood yesterday! He is doing so well. We're trying to work it out so that I can go to the temple with him to do baptisms before I leave. Keeping my fingers crossed. 

Last week in my email I mentioned a couple that had been coming to church. They came again yesterday!! But they still haven't agreed to meet with us. They have so many fellowshippers already though, so when they decide to meet with us, I have a feeling they'll progress really quickly. They are incredible. Their names are Fred and Brenda. The other day I was talking about them to Sister Womack and I said - Bred and Frenda. So that's what their name is now. :)

The Jacobs family from Sudan is doing great! They haven't come to church yet though.....Sometimes it's really hard to get people to come to church. 

Yesterday after church there was a "linger longer," which is basically a pot luck and all of the members stay after to eat and socialize. It was awesome. The members in this ward make me feel at home. The Rowden family especially. They remind me so much of Mom and Dad! We had dinner with them last night. 

So we dropped by a few members on Saturday afternoon. We dropped by Brother and Sister Clifton, who are currently serving in the YSA branch. Well, Brother Clifton is a lawyer and Sister Clifton is from Korea!! Such a small world. Sooo basically I bragged about my dad for 20 minutes. Then they invited us over for dinner. :) Hopefully they have some Kimchee!

"Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yeah, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen." - Alma 26:37

I love you all. Stay strong. I'll see you all SOON!


Sister Corinne Hardcastle

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

I love fall!! 
I saw a member from Woodstock! 
Sister Rowden!
Close up!
"Everyday is Saturday...." haha, this is a joke.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Canadian Thanksgiving :)

Dear Family and Friends, 

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving yesterday! It was a beautiful day full of tiny miracles and tender mercies along the way. :) I will add more later on. 

Good Luck to Elder Elder tomorrow as he enters the MTC! You will do great things Russy. Love you lots. 

Jaclyn pointed this one out - we are now down to 5 weeks, which means it can be counted on ONE hand! 

Just in case Lincoln is born this week - Welcome to the family Lincoln! I love you already. :)

So I was asked to speak in Sacrament on Sunday which went really well. This was the main gist of my talk - 

G - The Gospel of Jesus Christ
R - Restoration of the Gospel
A - Atonement
T - Trials
I - Individual Revelation
T - Temples
U - Unity
D - Discipleship
- Eternal Families

I went through each point and talked about how we can show our gratitude for those things. The one that I got choked up on was unity for some reason. I was talking about how the church is the same all over the world and from the second I arrived in Canada I felt united with the members here. I have met some of the most amazing and inspiring people in this wonderful land that have truly touched my life. 

Greg was confirmed yesterday!! He will be ordained this coming week and is working on going to the temple for baptisms for the dead! So proud of him. He even got a suit and wore it to church. 

An investigator couple came to church yesterday with one of the members. They are SO solid. We are super excited to start working with them closely. Miracles all around.

We had dinner with the members that are from Londrina, Brazil again! Brother DaSilva doesn't speak much English, so it's always a challenge to communicate with each other, but it works out. :) He wrote a letter for Landon that I will get in the mail very shortly.

We walked out of that dinner appointment to a flat tire. :( We ran over a nail. Ughh, perfect timing. We had appointments all night. We made sure it was okay to drive and called the Emergency Roadside Assistance people the next morning. Let's just say, we now have two new tires and a lot of new friends at the car shop! Always an adventure. 

So I'll get back to Thanksgiving - 

We started out the morning teaching Greg one of the new member lessons with Sister Muir - coolest member ever. Then we went to lunch with Crystal-Lynn Smith from Hamilton!!! She goes to school at the University of Waterloo. As we were about to leave the place we had lunch at, we got a text from the couple that was feeding us dinner. The text went something like this - "Sisters! Can you come for dinner at 4 instead of 6? We put the turkey in earlier than we should have." Meanwhile, we had just finished lunch and it was 2:30. Sister Womack and I looked at each other in terror. We texted back a hesitant - "Sure!" Hahaha, what were we thinking. So we went there at 4 and ate a HUGE turkey dinner. It was with the Contreras, which are just like Dallin and Jess, so it was lots of fun. :) Lots of food and laughs. I've seldom been so full. Worth it though!! Oh I can't forget, we had a huge Thanksgiving on Sunday night, too. :) Turkey overload!

I love Thanksgiving.....but in reality, we should be living in thanksgiving daily. We all have so much to be thankful for. I am thankful that I get two Thanksgivings this year! How exciting it that. I am thankful for this time I've had in Canada. I am thankful for all of the companions that I've had, investigators that I've taught, members that I've connected with. I am thankful for the Spirit that guides and directs Heavenly Father's work. I am thankful that I was raised in a loving home where true principles were taught and practiced. I am thankful for goodly parents and loving siblings. I am grateful for a loving Savior that died for each and every one of us and a Father in Heaven who shows so much mercy to His imperfect children. I am thankful for the scriptures and words of the modern prophets and for all of their counsel. I am thankful most especially for the knowledge that I have of the Plan of Salvation. I am so blessed!

"To express gratitude is gracious and honorable, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live with gratitude ever in our hearts is to touch heaven." - President Monson

Thank you so much to everyone who wrote little comments in that canister that Bishop Pockett brought back! It has been so fun to read a few of them each day. :) I always paste them in my journal so that I will never forget them.

Heavenly Father is blessing us here in this area so much. In every lesson that we have the Spirit is just burning, and it's the greatest feeling. I love testifying of the Savior and helping others feel His love. It is because of Him that I am out here away from my family, and I've never felt forsaken. I love you all dearly. And I'll see you soon. 


Sister Corinne Hardcastle

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

My Italian Sista :)
Helping the Contreras paint!
I love Sister Allred!!!
Yummmy frozen trout!
I <3 you
Gobble Gobble!
We literally saw this wild turkey on funny!
Lunch with Crystal!
Hahah, Happy Thanksgiving!
Matching Canadian Scarves!

Monday, October 6, 2014

"Trust Me. I'm Canadian."

Dear Family and Friends, 

Love you papa. See you soon.  :)

Also.....Happy Birthday to my mission Momma - Sister Stats (Callie). Love you!

Quick fun fact - My preparation day will be next Tuesday (October 14th) because Monday is Canadian Thanksgiving!

What an amazing and rewarding week!! I am pretty sure I say that every week though. I can't help it -- God is SO good! The title of my email today is "Trust Me. I'm Canadian" because I got told multiple times this week that I sound Canadian. I will explain.....

I met one of the members from the neighboring ward before General Conference, and she asked me where I was from. I just pointed to the screen and told her that I lived near Salt Lake City. Her jaw dropped, and she would not believe me. She kept saying, "But you don't have a Utah accent!" She told me that I sound like I've lived in Canada my whole life.....oops......

The next one was one of the Hermanas. I asked her to hand me my bag. She looked at me all concerned, so I thought she just didn't hear me. So I asked her again. She then said, "I'll hand you your BAG, but not your BEG!" Hahah, me.....I'm Canadian.

So I now own a shirt that says "Trust Me. I'm Canadian." I'll attach pictures. 

No one is allowed to make fun of me when I get home. I'll snap out of it quickly. I promise.

Sister Womack and I were blessed to find some amazing new investigators this week. Carlo and Roda are husband and wife from Sudan. They are former investigators from about 3 years ago. They have four beautiful children and are the most humble and loving family. Last night when we went over to teach them Carlo said the closing prayer and he thanked Heavenly Father for sending his "family" (us) into his home. Sister Womack and I both had tears. He committed to bringing his ENTIRE family to church next week. Keep them in your prayers!

Dan and Toni-Lyn are the best. Dan is from England and has the thickest accent ever!! They have a son who is about 9 months old, named Jake. They are curious and really nice people. Hoping to see them progress soon!

I love teaching families!

Greg got BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!! He was so happy. The service went so well, and lots of members came out to show support. He got baptized in between the morning and afternoon sessions yesterday. He had to get dunked twice because the first time his knuckle didn't go under the water. He is a good sport though. When I asked him how he felt afterwards, all he could say was "Excellent" with two thumbs up! I don't know if I ever mentioned this - he is from Budapest Hungary and has a very thick accent. It is so sweet! It is a joyous experience to witness one that you have taught enter into the waters of baptism and accept the Gospel. There is nothing that brings me more joy. I don't want it to ever end. Good thing that there is no end to this glorious thing called missionary work.

We had a meeting in Brampton on Friday for all of the new missionaries and their trainers. It was super short and kinda weird, haha. It is apparently something new that President Clayton is trying. It was mainly a question and answer thing for the new missionaries, but the only people that asked questions were the trainers. Haha, oh well. It was fun.

One of the members asked us to help her get ready for New Beginnings for the Young Women by making cupcakes. Man, I didn't realize how much work went into it! Thank goodness for all of the amazing Young Women leaders I had! We made some dang good cupcakes though, and it was so fun! I love being able to do service and help others out. I even painted her kids nails, even her son Eli. He kept asking me if I would, but I told him he had to ask his mom first. She finally gave in and his nails are now orange.  :) Such a fun time.

General Conference! So INSPIRING.

I loved every single talk. One of my favorites was by Jorg Klebingat. He was so bold. These are the 6 points he made - (not word for word)

1. Take responsibility for own actions.
2. Take responsibility for physical well-being.
3. Embrace whole-hearted obedience - Don't be selective.
4. Become really really good at repenting - apply daily.
5. Become really really good at forgiving - forgive everyone.
6. Accept trials as part of mortal experiences.

With all of these principles applied - our spiritual confidence will increase. 

I am also so thankful for Richard G. Scott's talk about how we KNEW before coming here to this mortal existence that we would be tried, tested, and stretched. The tools he pointed out were -

1. Pray - OFTEN. Tell Him everything. Share all of your feelings. Make family prayer a priority. 
2. Study the words of God in scripture and modern day - choose to TAKE time to do so. 
3. Weekly Family Home Evening - Do not let anything hinder FHE. It is precious time. 
4. Go to the temple - Schedule times to go. Ponder, pray, seek to understand the ordinances.

I felt like those tools were exactly what I needed to hear! I am going to need some consistent temple buddies to go with me every week when I get home!

I am sure all of us left Conference with a renewed sense to be a little better today than we were yesterday. God truly spoke to us through His chosen servants. We need to sustain and support them and heed their counsel. We have a lot of amazing talks to study!

This week will mark my 17 months as a missionary. I also am starting my very last transfer today. Six weeks. Mom said it best - the homestretch. Thank you so much for the prayers, love, and support. I can feel it. Hang in there fam. :) I'll be home soon enough. Oh, I will be staying here in KW with Sister Womack, so no changes.

Jesus Christ is our Savior and He stands on the right hand of God. Joseph Smith saw Them in the year of 1820, and the world has been changed forever because of that humble prayer. We have the Priesthood power on the earth and the possibility of having eternal families. I am so grateful for my eternal family and the plan that God has for each of His children. I've come to learn and understand that trials are opportunities to grow and receive more blessings. Embrace every trial and seek to understand what God wants you to learn. 

Have an amazing week. Love you ALL!! xoxox


Sister Corinne Hardcastle

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

Just trust me. 
Wilsonite District! 
Some serious nail painting.
Cupcake wars. 
Lunch with the Hermanas!
Sis. Womack, Norm, Greg, and I!
We're silly.  :)