Saturday, March 12, 2016

Dodging Buses

March 12, 2016
Another week has come and gone super fast here in the flower village (Villa Floresta) and I really can't believe its p-day again!
This week I hit my 5 month mark - wahoo!!!  Gosh where has the time gone?! Super crazy!
This week I also had a near death experience... haha not really, well okay, kinda.  So Hermana Baird and I were walking the streets of our area casually on a Monday afternoon when all of a sudden one of the freaking colectivos (public buses) snuck up behind us to pull up to its stop, but instead of stopping before it hit us, it just kept going!  No worries, luckily we reacted in time and managed to awkwardly jump out of its way before getting hit for the viewing pleasure of all the passengers. :\  Oh gosh, thanks bus driver man!
Now as crazy as that experience sounds, something good actually came out of it.  The lady that got off at the bus stop started walking in the same direction as us, just a couple feet behind.  As we kept going, we were looking for a certain house, but of course, not all the streets have their names posted, so you kind of have to either have the order of the streets memorized or walk down it for a bit and check the house numbers. 
Anyway, let’s just say that after nearly 4 months of being in Villa Floresta, I've got the streets down right?  But right after this near death experience, I was still a little pumped up with adrenaline and confused about what had just happened and didn't know which street we were on.  So, I just decided to ask this woman that got off the bus if she knew where the street "Zapiola" was.  She told us it was still a couple blocks away.
We then just started talking to her about the bus incident and she just started laughing because she had seen it and thought the bus driver was crazy.  Anyway, long story short, her name is Juana and she is from the northern part of Argentina.  She is currently living here in Bahía Blanca with her uncle and working to provide for her family who are all still up north.  We were able to bond with her over being far away from family and also laugh about the whole bus thing.  It turned out to be a great contact.  We gave her a pamphlet about Christ and invited her to come to church this coming Sunday and she said she'll think about it. :)  All because we almost got hit by a bus... :)
We also had a lesson with Jessica this week.  She's still really awesome and there's no doubt in my mind that one day she'll make it to baptism.  But for right now, she just doesn't want to leave her comfort zone.  Ugh - a little frustrating, but we're going to keep working with her and I'm going to try to have more patience and trust in the Lord's timing.  :) 
This week for Missionary Master Chef, we made some super yummy chicken salad sandwiches and let’s just say the recipe was for like 6 people, not 2... so we may or may not have had to eat it like all week long. ;)  We also made some snickerdoodles for our neighbors and cute Hermana Ortiz... and we may have eaten a couple ourselves too. ;)  Haha you guys, my sweet tooth is getting the best of me...gotta do more ejercicios [exercises] in the mornings. ;)
Snickerdoodles for Servicio :)

Last but not least, we had zone conference this week.  Presidente Cifuentes talked a lot about obedience and agency.  He told us that the truth is, that as baptized members of the church who have CHOSEN to follow Jesus Christ and have made covenants with our Heavenly Father, we don't have agency.  Once we made that choice to follow Christ, all our other decisions are already made for us.  If we really desire to follow our Savior, we won't want to break the commandments or standards of God.  Now, that doesn't mean that we are forced to choose the right and that we aren't allowed to mess up... it’s going to happen.  But the important thing is that as covenant keepers, we are always striving to repent, improve, and follow Him.   If we don't, if we willingly submit to temptation and sin, we also lose our agency.  In many cases, things like addictions can take over, and Satan then has power over us and makes us think we have no hope or chance to change.

Now that sounds pretty harsh, but it’s the truth.  Lucky for us we have a loving Heavenly Father who has given us all the tools and help we need for us to stay on the path and make the right choices.   I was reading in Moroni Chapter 7 this week and read verses 12-19.  These verses are a guide of sorts to help us use our agency. 

12 Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually.

 13 But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God.

 14 Wherefore, take heed, my beloved brethren, that ye do not judge that which is evil to be of God, or that which is good and of God to be of the devil.

 15 For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night.

 16 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.

17 But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.

 18 And now, my brethren, seeing that ye know the light by which ye may judge, which light is the light of Christ, see that ye do not judge wrongfully; for with that same judgment which ye judge ye shall also be judged.

 19 Wherefore, I beseech of you, brethren, that ye should search diligently in the light of Christ that ye may know good from evil; and if ye will lay hold upon every good thing, and condemn it not, ye certainly will be a child of Christ.

I really like how verse 19 urges us to "seek diligently for the light of Christ."  I know that with His light in our lives, our daily choices and use of agency become so much easier.

I hope you all have a great week! 

Con muchisimo amor,

Hermana Bartholomew 

Pictures from this week:

At Zone Conference with Hermana Cifuentes - our Mission Mom!
She didn't get the funny face memo!

With some of our favorite ward members!
Feliz Cumpleanos Valentina

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