Friday, February 26, 2016


February 25, 2016

Hola Familia y Amigos,

This week Hermana Baird and I went on a little bit of an adventure.  As I've mentioned in the past, our area is HUGE.  Our apartment is located at the edge of town, basically at one end of our area.  There are still parts in the far corners that we have no information about because we've never been there and to our knowledge, none of the missionaries before us had been there either.   

So one afternoon we decided to take a trek out to the other side of our area.  We packed a snack and lots of pamphlets, left our house a little earlier than normal, and headed out to explore.  In our minds we were super excited, expecting to find a new little place with lots of houses full of humble people out in the campo that we could talk to and invite to church.  We walked for about an hour along the side of the highway and got a cool distant view of Bahia Blanca from the outskirts of town.  

Heading out to the boonies!

Bahia Blanca Skyline

Unfortunately, when we got all the way out there, all we found was bunch of campo (fields) and quintas - which are basically really nice vacation or weekend homes owned by the rich people from Bahia.  We talked to a couple people but most everyone either wasn't home or wasn’t interested.  Bummer, right?  Oh well, at least now we know what’s out there and had a fun time exploring. :) 

El Campo de Villa Floresta

This week we also made cinnamon rolls...don't ask me how because we didn't have a recipe.  We just kind of went off of what we've seen other people do! :)  But hey, they turned out super yummy!!  If you guys can't tell, we're really enjoying this whole "cook for yourself" thing.  Missionary Master Chef is going to turn me into a professional by the time I get home. ;) 

Cinnamon roll success!

We just LOVE heart-shaped food.
Can you believe this perfectly heart-shaped potato?

However, speaking of cooking....the other day we were making milanesas – that classic argentine dish.  It’s a very thin chicken fillet that is breaded and fried (basically a giant chicken nugget).  Anyway, my companion wasn't smart and put me in charge of flipping the chicken over in the skillet of really hot oil.  Let's just say it wasn't the best day for us to decide to wear each other’s clothes because as I was flipping one of the milanesas, it slipped off the fork and splashed oil all over Hna Baird's dress and a little on my foot. :(  I'm the worst, I know.  Haha, luckily we were able to wash it out quickly.  No stain, no harm, no foul I say, :) and my foot is fine too!  Gotta love those classic, clumsy Megan moments. 

Now to talk about the real missionary work... 

Okay to be honest with you guys, the work has been really slow and really challenging since I got to this area, and we really haven't been able to see much progress.  We have tried to help lots of less active members come back to the church and have invited our investigators time and time again to COME to church (even just once).  But as you have probably been able to tell by the lack of information I've given you, nothing has really happened.  

I'll be the first to admit that it’s been hard and I've been down on myself for a while. But lucky for me, I have a Heavenly Father who understands my needs perfectly and just in the moments I need it most, He gives me the boost I need.  

My boost this week came yesterday when we watched the broadcast of a missionary conference being held in Buenos Aires where Elder Bednar from the Quorum of the 12 Apostles spoke to all of the missionaries in this area.  He talked about a lot of things, but what helped me the most was what he shared about Joseph Smith's experience when he offered his first prayer as a teenage boy in the sacred grove.  Joseph did not pray to God to ask which church was true, he prayed to ask which church he should join.  He prayed with the intention to ACT.  

Too often in our lives we ask our Heavenly Father to do things for us or help us accomplish or overcome something without the intentions to act and do all we can with His answer.  Elder Bednar said, "We have to prepare ourselves and then act so that God has something to work with."  When he said that, in my mind I was thinking that just means that I have to work even harder…and to be honest that thought stresses me out a bit.  But then in speaking specifically to the sisters, Elder Bednar went on to say, "DON'T WORRY SO MUCH!  You're doing good.  Keep the commandments, obey the mission rules, honor your covenants, and God will help you.  You just need to pray with the intention to act and then help your investigators and members in your area do the same."  

A scripture found in Doctrine & Covenants Section 64 also brings me comfort, 

“Wherefore, as ye are agents, ye are on the Lord’s errand; and whatever ye do according to the will of the Lord is the Lord’s business.

But all things must come to pass in their time.

Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work.  And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.”

As hard as it is sometimes to see the results of my labor here, I take comfort and peace in knowing that I'm doing what my Savior wants me and needs me to be doing.  I just need to trust in Him and be willing to act....and not worry so much. ;)  

I hope you all have a great week and know that I am praying for you every day.  Remember when things get hard to never give up.  Just keep going and trust that God will help you in your hour of need. 

Con mucho amor, 
Hermana Bartholomew 

Package HAPPY!!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Valentine's Day Pancakes

February 18, 2016

Hola Familia y Amigos!

Happy late Valentine's Day! I hope you all had a great day and week!  Mostly, I hope you all used it as an excuse to eat lots of sweets...uhh I mean tell everyone in your life how much you love them ;) ...and then give them some sweets!  I know Hermana Baird and I really took advantage of it!  We woke up on Sunday morning and made some heart shaped pancakes before church and topped them off with dulce de leche of course!  Muy rico!! [Very delicious!!]

Get ready for church, or make heart-shaped pancakes???

Valentine Pancakes

Speaking of food, on Missionary Master Chef this week, we decided to be real Argentines and make some Empanadas and Milanesas (a long thin chicken fillet that you bread and then fry- basically a giant chicken nugget :) ).  Just keeping it classic you know ;) 

Officially an Argentine...EMPANADAS!!!

Yesterday I had to go do my “trĂ mites” in El Centro (I have no idea what that means in English, but basically means that I ended up standing in a bunch of lines for like 8 hours signing paperwork and getting my fingerprints done in order to become legal in this country.)  Let’s just say that we had to wake up extra early to be there at 5:30am so we could be in front of the line.  Super fun right?!

So I know you have been wondering about the progress of our investigators.  Well, sadly this week Jessica went out of town with her family for summer vacation so we weren't able to teach her at all.  At this point we'll have to see what happens with her next week.  In spite of the challenges with most of our investigators being gone, right now we are working with lots of less active families in our ward to get them to come back to church and STAY active in church.

I'm so ready for summer break to end here so people will stop going on vacations and actually be home! haha :) #missionaryprobs 

The local Evangelico Church
Jesus Saves . Heals . Liberates
Welcome to the house of GOD

On Saturday, we got a call from the 1st Counselor in the Bishopric and someone that was supposed to talk in church canceled.  Whenever that happens here the missionaries are always a sure backup.  So yep, you guessed it, this week was my turn.... I HAD TO GIVE A SACRAMENT MEETING TALK IN SPANISH... WHAT?!  Let’s just say I was freaking out a bit, all the while Hermana Baird was laughing and enjoying herself.  I spoke about the power of prayer.  The truth is that I have no idea if anyone understood what I said but it’s over now so I'm happy. ;) 

As I was preparing the talk I thought about one of the most important and powerful prayers that has ever been offered - Joseph Smith's first vocal prayer he offered near his home on a spring morning in a grove of trees.  The reason that I am on the other side of the equator right now, preaching the gospel to the people of Argentina, is because of the humble prayer of that young boy of 14 years.  Just think about the millions of lives that have been blessed by the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and how many it continues to bless today...all because of a sincere prayer.  

Like I did in my talk on Sunday, I invite all of you to really think about the importance of praying sincerely and humbly to your Father in Heaven and strive to improve your prayers everyday.  It’s really such a blessing and gift that we can talk to our Heavenly Father everyday.  Now let’s take advantage of the opportunity we have and demonstrate the faith that we will receive answers, just like young Joseph did.
I want to add my testimony to Joseph's, that I know that prayer works.  The only way I was able to give that talk in church last Sunday was because of the gift of tongues and the help I know I received through prayer to my Heavenly Father. 

I hope you all have a great week!  Love and miss you all!  The Church is true my friends, so keep on keepin’ on. :)


Hermana Bartholomew 

Sunday, February 14, 2016


February 12, 2016

Hola Familia!!! 

Haha don't worry, I'm still alive!  We had a mission conference yesterday and so P-day got moved to today!  

First and most important, transfers have come and gone and I am a very happy missionary because I'm still in Villa Floresta with Hermana Baird :) Whew!  In other exciting news, I finished my 12 weeks of training and am officially no longer a newbie in the mission!  Wahoo!  

This week was as great and hot as ever!  I'm so ready for summer to end... just gotta hang in there for a month or so more. So close!!

We went to PARIS ;)  The best helado (ice cream) in all of Argentina!

This week we had a very interesting experience...a young couple in our ward called us while they were in Buenos Aires for the week and asked us to go over to their home and give their sick cat a vaccination.  Normal right? ;)  NO!  We were like what?!  Makes perfect sense right?  The first people I would think to call to give my cat a vaccine would be the two Yankee missionaries that have absolutely no experience giving shots to anyone, let alone a CAT!  Yeah, luckily I have Hermana Baird as my companion who was brave enough to do the dirty work.  I just had to hold the cat down and try not to get bit.  It was quite the experience to say the least.  Normal things we are supposed to learn in the mission right? ;)

Giving vaccines to cats...What?!?

Anyway, like I said, we had a conference yesterday with Elder Resek who is an Area Seventy in the Church.  He's from Buenos Aires and was a mission president in Chile.  It was really great to hear from him and his wife as well as Hermana y Presidente Cifuentes.  We learned a lot about how we can be better missionaries, and it was super fun to see some familiar faces again! 

It is so strange to be in a foreign country with one of your best friends speaking a different language to each other, right? :)  Let's just say that we are happy to no longer be babies in the mission.
Elder Lee!

Another great thing about the mission conference was eating our first food from los estados en mucho tiempo [from the States in a long time].
Big Macs for the Mission Conference?  What?!?! :)

During the conference I learned a very important principle from the experience of Nephi in the Book of Mormon found in 1 Nephi 16.  In this chapter, while Nefi is out hunting, he breaks his bow.  Most likely, Nephi brought this bow with him from his home in Jerusalem, and we can assume it was nice and strong.  But when Nephi and his family got out into the wilderness, the bow wasn't as good as he thought, it ended up breaking, and he had to make a new one.  

We related this story to our testimonies before the mission.  I had what I thought was a nice, strong testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ before my mission.  However, I have definitely hit my own "breaking points" during my time here in Argentina.  These experiences have forced me to humble myself like Nephi, and be willing to rely upon my Savior to build my testimony into something stronger than it was before.  We have been trying to teach this same principle to our investigators and with the less-active members in our area this week.  All of us will pass through trials that will seem to break us.  We all need to rely on the Lord to help us gain our own, strong testimonies and continue to strengthen them every day.  

Well, I’ve run out of time and have to go.  I hope you all have a wonderful week!! I love and miss you all!

Hermana Bart

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Struggle Bus...

February 4, 2016

Hola Familia y Amigos!

So to put it simply, this week was full of lots of "Megan moments" if you know what I mean. ;)  Let’s just say that Hermana Baird and I have been riding the struggle bus these past few days... 

It all started when we were just casually walking down the street to go visit some less active members in our ward.  All of the sudden, the ground that looked completely dry, turned into mud beneath my feet.  As you can see by the wonderful picture my companion took, of course while laughing at me, I was slipping and struggling for a while and got mud in lots of places before I got to the safety of the sidewalk. 

My mud skid marks on the side of the road
Mud baths are good for you, right? ;)

Then a few days later, we were crossing the street in front of this big delivery truck and when I made it to the other side, I realized my companion wasn't by my side.  I turned around to see that she had slipped right out of her shoe like Cinderella in the middle of the crosswalk... haha way to go!

Then, yesterday we had our zone meeting and Hermana Baird and I were asked to make the dessert.  We made a very delicious banana cake and planned to add a cream cheese frosting, but we couldn't find any powdered sugar in any store in our area.  So we had a missionary from another area, Elder Staples, bring it to the church so we could finish the frosting right before the meeting started.  We had melted some butter in a bowl and then my comp told me to put the little container of cream cheese in it.  Well, let’s just say it came out in one big clump and fell really fast, slashing the melted butter all over me. :\  GREAT…luckily I had my tide-to-go pen and got most of it to come out before the meeting started.  ;) 

And wait, just when you thought nothing else could go wrong, there’s more.  When we finished the meeting we went in the kitchen to start serving the cake, but everyone else was getting ready to take a zone picture and were yelling for us to come in the other room for the pic.  As we were quickly rounding the corner out of the kitchen, my feet slipped out from under me and I face planted in the hallway.  Hahaha - did you guys know that I'm a bit clumsy sometimes?  Luckily, only a couple of the missionaries saw it happen.  But everyone surely heard it and they were all super worried and confused, pero esta bien [but it’s all good], I didn't get a single bump or bruise. 

The Zone Picture
(after my face plant)

So yeah, this week was a bit rough for me.  I really am providing such great, free entertainment for the people of Argentina!  :)  It’s a good thing I can just laugh these fun experiences off, right?! ;) 

Anyway, we did actually manage to get a few lessons mixed in with our clumsy week.  We taught Jessica more in depth about the plan of salvation and really focused on the fact that with the blessing of the temples in our lives, we can have eternal families.  While Hna. Baird was bearing her testimony of the peace and happiness she has received from the knowledge that she can be with her family forever, she got chocked up and so did Jessica!  I quickly followed too (I know shocking, I'm a crier now).  I really felt the Spirit so strong testifying to me in that moment that families really can be together forever.  I'm so grateful for my family and the knowledge that one day I can have my own eternal family as well.  

Our Heavenly Father has so many blessings in store for us and really wants nothing more than our happiness.  If we want all that He has for us, we have to make the decision to follow His Son and do the things He has asked of us every day. 

I love you all and hope you have a great week!  Hopefully I gave you all a good laugh to get through the next week! 

All my love from the flip side of the equator, 

Hermana Bartholomew 

P.S.  Just a heads up...transfers are this weekend so if you could all pray extra hard that Hermana Baird and I can stay together in Villa Floresta, that would be great ;)  Thanks! Chao!

Thanks again to Dad for having a B-day and giving me a legit excuse to eat cake and ice cream.
Happy Birthday Dad!

Missionary Master Chef Photo of the Week:
All from one potato!