Thursday, March 17, 2016

Close Your Eyes Then, So You Don’t See Us

March 17, 2016
Buenos Días Familia y Amigos!
Well another week has come and gone here in Floresta and Bahía decided to heat up again... Yay...
Hermana Baird says I can officially get married now because I can make bread...
Hahaha...NO THANKS!! :)
Blessed.  When you and your companion both receive packages on the same day.

This week we had a really great lesson with Jessica.  We have been inviting her to come to church since we first started teaching her a couple months ago but she's never really showed any interest in coming.  This time we had a member come with us and we got talking about how Easter Sunday is coming up soon and also General Conference (which by the way I'm SOOOO excited for) and how they are both perfect opportunities to come to church for the first time.  So yeah, we're really praying hard that she will have the desire to come and feel the Spirit and the need for the gospel in her life.  If you all could keep her in your prayers too, that would be much appreciated. :)
Speaking of Jessica, she has a grandma named Estela that has been a member of the Church for 11 years but has been less active until recently.  Estela is the only member in her family and has a friend in the ward that brings her to church every week because she can't come on her own.  Why you ask?  Well, it’s because...she's blind. :)   One day, when Estela was in her early twenties, she woke up one morning and just out of the blue couldn't see.  The doctors had no explanation for her.  So crazy right?!  But she's amazing and has come to many of our lessons with Jessica. Oh my goodness you guys, I really just wish you could meet her because she is the funniest old lady ever!
For example, Estela didn't come to church this last week because Saturday night they had a birthday for Jessica's little baby and it went super late.  She slept in until 11am and missed church. :)  Then in the lesson, when we were talking about el día de reposo (day of rest - aka the Sabbath day), Estela says, "Yo tuvo mi reposo Domingo"-  I had my rest on Sunday!   Hahaha… too good!

Another time, we were in the Gospel Principles Sunday School class with Estela, our ward mission leader, Hermano Masillailla and Hermana Ortiz who I’ve told you about before.   Well, Hermano Mansilla asked Estela to give the prayer at the end of the class, but she got all embarrassed and was trying to get out of it.  So Hna. Ortiz says, "Bueno, cierra tus ojos para que no nos veas" – Well, close your eyes then, so you don't see us....Hahahaha!  Those two together, they just crack me up!
Anyway, our weekly music class is still going strong. This week, the youth decided to teach us how to play guitar and harmonica a bit and it was super fun to switch roles of students and teachers.  But, for right now I think I'm going to stick with piano...the other two are HARD! :)
Now we are the students!

Last, but not least, I want to tell you guys about Tila.  Another cute little old lady that is the mother of one of the members in our ward.  She had a stroke a while back and is now paralyzed on her right side.  As a result, she can't do much on her own and so she has people that come and look after her.  A while back, Tila was investigating the church, but now she can’t attend on Sunday because of her condition.  We have been passing by her house frequently to visit and see how she is.  A couple weeks ago we were visiting her and decided to sing her a hymn.  Ever since then, each time we go over she insists that we sing her at least 3 songs. :)  Oh, she's just too cute!
Singing to Tila
I really am so happy that I'm able to use my talents to help other people feel joy, and also that I can teach people to develop their own talents.  Even though I can't speak perfect Spanish, what I can do is share my other talents with everyone here.  In Matthew 25:14-30 we read about the parable of the talents that Jesus taught. 
Down here on my mission I have really become so much more grateful for the talents I have.  There are a lot of things I still lack and sometimes I let it get me down.  But when I look at all the talents and blessings my Heavenly Father has given me, and as I strive to further develop them and show him how much I appreciate them, He blesses me even more. 
I challenge you all to pay more attention to the talents the Lord has given you and strive to develop them and share them with others.
Love and miss you all lots! 
Espero que tengan una buena semana!!
Chao chao!

Hermana Bartholomew 

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