Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Drought after the Storm

January 7, 2016


Is it really 2016?! Because it sure doesn't feel like it! Don't get me wrong, I love the mission and all, but holidays as a missionary seem just the same as any other normal day.  Honestly, it’s pretty sad and super weird to not celebrate in the way I'm used to.  It just doesn't feel real...for example, on New Year’s Eve, we had dinner with some members and then headed back to the apartment where we made our own "cocktails"- which consisted of water with some fruit on a matchstick. :\  Hna. Baird and I clinked our plastic cups and headed to bed at 10:30....What a celebration right?!  

CHEERS to a New Year!!

So yeah, hope you all had a little more fun during your New Year’s celebrations!  

I knew you all were going to be a bit shocked by the news of a new companion...but can you imagine how I was feeling?!  It was nuts!  I was super stressed out at first because I felt completely inadequate to show a new companion around this area that I hardly know myself.  But Hermana Baird came right in and took me under her wing.  She immediately took such a strong initiative to get to know the area, the members and all of our investigators.  We are so much more organized now and I really feel like I understand the work so much better.  I'm super glad that I had the chance to be with Hermana Palma.  There were things I definitely needed to learn from her.  But just know, I'm really happy for the chance to now work with Hna. Baird.  She has helped me be much more sure of myself.  It was definitely an answer to my prayers!!  I've learned that Heavenly Father answers our sincere prayers, not always in the way we think he will, but he will. 

This week was super great!  We had lots of great lessons and have lots of investigators with the potential to really progress in the next few weeks :)  It just took a little patience and perseverance.  This week was also WET. 

On Monday, as we left the apartment after dinner and were walking to our appointments, we saw some dark clouds off in the distance and knew it was going to rain later in the evening.  Well... let’s just say 20 minutes later, we were caught in a DOWNPOUR.  Of course we were in the middle of the dirt road sector of our area and as a result, we were linking arms, trying not to slip in all the mud, dying laughing and walking as quickly but as carefully as we could to the house of our adopted mission grandma, Hermana Ortiz, for refuge. 


By the time we arrived, we were soaked from head to toe and our saving angel quickly took us in.  Hna. Ortiz gave us towels, made us take off our muddy shoes and socks so she could wash them for us, and brought us a little tub of water and bar of soap.  

Hna Ortiz - our abuela y angel

She then told us to wash each other's feet like Jesus did to his apostles (insert audience "awwwww" here ;)).  

Washing Feet Like Jesus Did :)

Service with a SMILE :)

After drying our feet, she then gave us these very cute, puffy-sleeved shirts to wear so we wouldn't be so wet.  Haha - we were trying not to laugh at each other because honestly we looked like something straight out of the 80's or 90's.  But truly we were so grateful!  

The Puffy Sleeve Twins

That night was a sweet experience – being able to serve my companion by washing her feet; and then to in-turn receive the service of Hna Baird and Hna Ortiz. :) 

Why is it that the days after a rainstorm are always so hot??  Well, the rest of the week was really hot and dry, and on top of that, apparently some pipes broke and the whole city of Bahia Blanca didn't have any water yesterday!  Haha it was nuts.  Luckily, we had just gotten a new 10 gallon bottle of clean water in our house, so we were fine; but the rest of the city was in panic mode.  However, we had a huge pile of dirty dishes that we couldn't wash, and we couldn't shower... so let’s just say we smelled great yesterday. ;)  I've never been more grateful for running water in my life.... 

From all this, I have learned how important it is to be prepared in our lives…in things both temporal and spiritual.  This week I've been studying in Alma in the Book of Mormon and have been reading about all the wars and battles and how the people prepared themselves beforehand.  Yes, it was important to be prepared temporally with armor and weapons, but the people who always won the battles were those who were prepared spiritually as well.  My challenge to you all this week is to prepare yourselves spiritually everyday by doing the small and simple things- read the scriptures and pray every day.  I promise that by doing this, you can and will receive the strength and help you need from the Lord. 

I love you all and hope you have a great week! 

Hermana Bartholomew 

Funny story of the week:

So with all the rain this week, there was lots of mud right?  Yeah, so I unintentionally invented a new sport that Hna Baird and I have named "mud skiing".  You guys know those people that can't ice skate and that just try their hardest to stay up?  The ones that look like they are constantly falling, but somehow keep walking?  Yeah, so that was me with the mud this week... don't worry I never actually fell!  But I got super close and we had some good laughs out of it! 

Another amazing sunset ;)

Divisions with the other Hermanas in our area

One of the cute young women in Barrio Villa Floresta - she's my fav!!

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