Monday, November 17, 2014

"Faith In Every Footstep"

Dear Family and Friends, 

My heart is so full right now. Full of gratitude and love.

First of all, before I get into my thoughts - JIM LEAVENS FROM NAPANEE WAS BAPTIZED!!! I can't even tell you all how excited and happy I am. The Gospel is TRUE!

This week was INCREDIBLE. I felt so much spirit, peace, and power within me. Miracles were all around us, and I am so happy.

I'll give you a break down of my last week. :)

Monday - Received a wonderful epistle from my daddy and it warmed my heart so much. We then had dinner with the Petillot family (I will mention them later on). They have SUCH a spirit in their home. Then we taught Mehdi and Sadena. Mehdi, out of the blue, told us he's been cutting back on tea. AH!! Such a miracle. 

Tuesday - Remembrance Day. That morning we taught one of our investigators, Cryssy, at the gas station. Gotta love it! She is so cool. The Contrera's (FAVORITE PEOPLE) fed us Papusas (spelling?), and it was SOO good.  We concluded the day with the Jacobs family. We focused on the Holy Ghost, and we asked him to tell us of an experience when he was led by the Spirit. Carlo went on to tell us about when he was escaping Sudan to go to Ethiopia and the danger he was in. He explained that when he finally arrived safely, he know it was the Spirit of God that kept him safe. The Spirit was so strong, and I have no doubt that angels were in the room. 

Wednesday - Inge Funk, an amazing lady, had us come over so I could pick something up to take to her friend in Sandy, Utah! Yay! The Lipop family (more like Jac, Matt, and Eli) fed us dinner, and it was Sister Lipop's birthday so we sang to her. :) Brother Borg.....It was hard to say goodbye to him. He has such a spirit about him, and I've loved teaching him. So we went to teach him and brought Brother and Sister McBride. It was such a great lesson. Greg went to the temple!!! He loved it so much and can't wait to go back. 

Thursday - My testimony was really strengthened on this day. One of the members mentioned a name of another member that they hadn't seen in awhile. So we dropped by that member and oh boy. It was an experience that pierced my heart to the very center. This family used to be very active in the church, and now they are all in the process of removing their names from the records. We stood on their front doorstep while they told us awful things. Finally, I couldn't take it anymore. I wanted so badly just to leave, but the Spirit prompted me to just listen to what they were saying. So I did. I listened, and I felt so dark and empty as they were trashing everything I believe in. The wife went on to tell me that all of the work I have done on my mission was in vain. It hurt, and I've seldom felt so much sorrow for another human being. I know that the work I have done here is not in vain. This is God's work, and it will continue to move forward. My testimony was confirmed though because I know that everything she was saying wasn't true. 

Friday - Lots of snow today! Brother and Sister Ince let us come visit, just like we do every Friday! We sang "God Be With You 'Til We Meet Again." Brother Petillot gave me a blessing this day as well, and it was beautiful. I felt empowered after the blessing!

Saturday - I experienced a big slice of heaven. We had dinner with the Bird family, and I love them so much!! Can't wait to see them when they come to Utah/Idaho for Christmas. Then we had the Jacobs come over to the Bird's house, and we watched "The Testaments." The Spirit was so strong that the room was burning. I never wanted it to end. I felt so calm, and my mind was completely clear. I could feel of the love that God had for everyone in the room. Surreal experience. 

Sunday - It was hard to say goodbye to all of the members. They've treated me so well!! But it was a wonderful Sunday. The Despain Family made us cookies. :) The Rowden's fed us dinner, then we said goodbye to the Jacobs. Get this!! They have family that lives in UTAH!!! Missionary work will continue with that beautiful family. Sister Womack will be staying in KW with her MTC companion Sister Urie! So she's pretty excited. It's been a joy training her. She is ready for this!

There is so much more detail I could give you, but you'll have to wait until I'm home!

I've been pondering for awhile about what I would say in my last email home to all of you. As I look back over the past 18 months of my life, I am overcome with gratitude to my Father in Heaven. I thought back to when I first came to this wonderful land and how much of an adjustment it has been. I felt so homesick, inadequate, and overwhelmed with everything I needed to learn. What a humbling experience it was to learn how to rely on my Savior to make it through. As a result, I have come to have a rooted testimony in the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The interesting thing is, my circumstances never changed, and things never got easier - but things got so much better. Why? Because I learned to rely on the Savior. The Atonement is redemptive and enabling. Some of the events that I experienced brought me to my knees and allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of the Plan of Salvation and the purpose of coming to earth. I know that there is life after death, and that we will be together forever as a family. 

"You leave a girl and come back a woman." I always had a testimony of the restored Gospel. I have never doubted God's love for me - but most of it was rooted in my parents.....and I thank them so much for raising all of us in such a loving home. That testimony has now sprouted to a deep and abiding conversion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I've come to know my Savior like never before. I have never felt God's love more in my entire life. I've received revelation in ways that I didn't even know were possible, and I am so thankful for the Spirit. 

I know that I was called of God to come to the Canada Toronto Mission. God makes no mistakes, and He has placed me in the lives of those I needed to find. I feel as though I have completed my work here, and it is time to continue it at home. I have put FAITH IN EVERY FOOTSTEP. My sole purpose has been to invite others to come unto Christ, and I've been so blessed to witness people accept that invitation. Hearts that were once broken were put back together. Families that were torn apart were healed. Souls that were burdened felt relief. People who were lonely felt purpose. I've witnessed God pour out His love to His amazing children in Canada. I love this country, and I will always treasure the incredible people. 

I don't really know how to put my feelings into words. I am humbled and full of joy. I know that God is our loving Heavenly Father. I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and the Redeemer of the world. I know Joseph Smith was called as a Prophet and that he did in reality translate the Book of Mormon. I know that the Priesthood has once again been restored to the earth and that we can seal our families for eternity. 

I wanted to finish off with a scripture that sums up everything - 

"And this is the account of Sister Hardcastle and her brethren and sisters, their journeying in the land of Toronto, their sufferings in the land, their sorrows, and their afflictions, and their incomprehensible joy... And now may the Lord, the Redeemer of all men, bless their souls forever." - Alma 28:8

I want to thank you all for the support and love that you have shown to me. I will be forever grateful for all of you. Most of all, I want all of my fellow Canadian Saints to know of my love for them. I will come back and visit. I PROMISE!



Sister Hardcastle

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

Canada Toronto Mission!!!
They were on sale. Be proud, Dad! 
Wilsonite District!
Inge! Wonderful woman.
I love the Lipop's!
Brother Borg!
Goodbye Greg!
I love Julie Cassidy!
Mehdi, Sadena, and Ratin!
Snow anyone?
Faith In Every Footstep.
Lunch with the Smith's from Hamilton.
The Ince's!
Theresa and Sarah! 
Moeller fam!
I love the Bird's!
Kels and Mao!
The Wonderful Despain fam!
Brother and Sister Rowden!
The Jacobs!

No comments:

Post a Comment