Monday, May 30, 2016

Jesus es Mi Luz

May 30, 2016
Hola Familia!!!
This week I decided that I'm an adult and can make my own impulse decisions, so I chopped my hair again.  ;)  It was driving me crazy so we called the stake young women's president and got rid of half of my mop of hair this morning… :) I love it!!
Getting ready to be chopped!

Feels so good!

Also, even better than getting my hair cut - I’m so so sooooooo happy!!! I received your package from home this week!!!!  It got here so quick!!! Well it helped that our zone leaders had to go to Bahìa and were able to bring it back with them... but yeah.... THANK YOUUUUUUUU!!!
Nothing better than a package from home!
Pure Joy
New Sandals for Next Summer 
Out with the with the New
These are going to help out so much
But all of that is completely irrelavent (so sorry I don't know how to spell in English anymore), onto more important things like missionary work.
Sadly, none of our investigators made it to church this week but we're staying positive and doing our best to help them all see the importance of keeping the Sabbath day holy and showing God our willingness to obey his commandments. 
This week has been absolutely crazy to tell you the truth. First, we had a bit of a humidity problem in our house so the owners had to do a bit of home renovations this week.  As a result, we've been living in a layer of dust and breathing in the scent of new paint all week.  And second, on top of all the house craziness, we had an extra body living with us.  Hermana Robertson had to stay with us all week while her companion Hna Wilkinson traveled to Bahia to do tramites.  So yeah, it was a bit crazy to say the least but we had fun and survived and that's all you can ask right??  
Well, that's about it for this week.  Sorry to be so short.  Please keep Elvira in your prayers so that she can be able to be baptized this next month.  I thank my lucky stars and Heavenly Father everyday for all the love, prayers and support you all give me and just want to say THANK YOU and I LOVE YOU!!!!
President Monson said, "If you want to give a light to others, you have to glow yourself.”  Through this week of cold, rainy weather, my companion and I have decided to smile and share with others the most important thing in our lives with joy.  
Rainy day outside my favorite panaderia [bakery]
I absolutely LOVE Hna Cardenas

We need to remember to be happy ourselves in order to be an example to those around us and make them feel the desire to learn more and want the same happiness we have.  Like me favorite hymn in Spanish says, “Jesus es mi luz!!!” [Jesus is my light!!!]
I love and miss you all and hope you have a fantastic first week of summer!!  Just know that I'm freezing down here, but am happy for you all. ;) 
Hasta luego! 
Jesus es mi luz!!

Hermana Bartholomew

Missionary Master Chef for this week – Birthday cookies for our Zone Leader, Elder Jolley.  

Happy Birthday Elder Jolley

Monday, May 23, 2016

Important Lessons Learned

May 23, 2016

Hola Fam Bam!! Como están?! 

Autumn in beautiful Olavarria
It's getting cold on the other side of the equator!

Well this week, I learned a couple valuable lessons, 

1. If you have never made homemade peanut butter before, you shouldn't attempt to do it unless you have someone who knows what they’re doing there to help you.  

So last week an Elder in my zone gave me a bunch of his recipes so that Hermana Cardenas and I could continue mastering our master chef skills.  I was super excited when I saw he had a recipe for homemade peanut butter because it’s super expensive here.  We had recently received permission to buy a blender for our house because we didn’t have one; and so we bought all the ingredients and were super excited to actually have a blender.  So yeah, let's just cut the story short and say that basically, I burned out the engine on the blender and the PB didn't work.....:) I seriously spent like an hour trying to make pb and just ended up with some weird thick mush and a brand new, now broken blender.  LUCKILY, the blender came with a warranty so we just have to go and get it fixed now.  Aren't you all glad to know that I haven't changed? ;)  Haha, someone send help!! 

Preparing the mani
We are a bit "nutty" :)
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I think it's working...NOT!
Burning up the new blender's motor.

2. It is best to start filling the baptismal font, AT LEAST 4 hours beforehand.  

Okay so yesterday, Ryan Garcia (the oldest son of Sergio and Mayra) got baptized!!!  It was another beautiful day for this beautiful family and we really enjoyed being there.  

Happy Baptism Day Ryan!!
Familia Garcia
Ryan insisted in putting his arms around us...since he's only 8 it's all good, right? :)

So the bishop had asked Hermana Cardenas and me to be in charge of filling the baptismal font.   We thought we planned it out perfectly to start filling the font about 3 hours before because it didn't need to be as full for a little kid right?  Wrong!  With our luck, the hot water wasn't working super great.  It was trickling out super slow and we could tell that it was going to take a long time to fill up.  So we got creative and found some super big pots and starting heating water on the stove in the church kitchen and then dumping it into the font.  

When the hot water isn't working, you've got to get creative, right?
Good thing the church kitchen had these huge pots, right?

Let’s just say that even our best, heartfelt efforts weren't enough and we ended up having to turn the cold water on full blast at the end to fill the font.  Poor little Ryan had to be baptized in freezing cold water.  But hey, the most important thing is that he got baptized. :) 

3.  If you get sick one week, your companion is bound to get sick the next week. 

Yeah, my poor little Hermana Cardenas has had a pretty rough week, but we've been giving her lots of meds and soup to make her feel better, so don't you worry. ;) 

On the bright side, there was a worldwide food fair in Olavarría this week and it was super fun!!  They had booths from all over and we were able to eat food from France, Germany, Mexico, China, Cuba and of course, Argentina. ;)   

World Food Fair!

Via Mexico!

This week Elvira came home from vacation and we were able to teach her again.  She came to church with us yesterday too.  As we were talking to her about the gospel of Jesus Christ and how we need to follow His example and be baptized like Him, she realized and commented that her baptism in the Evangelica church wasn't valid because it wasn't done by someone with the authority of God.  We then invited her to be baptized by someone holding that authority once she has prayed and received an answer that this is the true church and SHE ACCEPTED!!  We are planning her baptism for mid-June and are super excited for her.  Please keep her in your prayers so that she can feel comfortable with her decision and receive a conformation that this is all true.  

To end, I want to share a quick experience that President Cifuentes shared with us last week. Once upon a time (back before he was our mission president), President had to travel to Sierra Leon for work.  As he was getting ready for his trip, he met someone from there that told him that he didn't need a visa to enter their country.  So he went on his merry way, not thinking twice about it.  Then, as he arrived and tried to enter Sierra Leon, he was stopped and asked for his visa.  He responded, "But I was told that I don’t need one."  The officer said, "It doesn't matter what you were told, you need a visa to enter, and without one, we are going to have to put you in jail."  

Poor President Cifuentes tried everything he could think of to solve his problem, including calling the U.S. Embassy, and he even tried to get on a return flight to the U.S. but there wasn't another plane leaving for another week.  So all alone in Sierra Leon, he had to spend a couple days in jail...all for not being prepared to enter the country with a visa.  

President Cifuentes compared this story to our lives.  He taught us that we too need to acquire our own “visa” to be able to enter into heaven again someday.  That visa for us is a temple recommend.  It doesn't matter what the world tries to tell us, we know that we need to be worthy to enter the temple in this life if we want to enter into God's presence again after this life.  My invitation to you all is to qualify for, and always keep your temple recommend current, even if your circumstances don't allow you to assist [attend] very often.  The standards to enter the temple require that we are living a certain way, and it may require a big effort on our part to stay worthy…but it’s so worth it! 

Wishing you all a wonderful week!   

Con mucho amor, 

Hermana Bartholomew

More pictures...

The Argentina version of the Statue of Liberty!

I just thought you would enjoy what I did with my hair this week ;)
May the Spirit be with you!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

We Bought a Zoo!

May 16, 2016

Haha not really, but I wanted too!  Who knew that the zoos in Argentina would be so pretty and fun?!  Not me!

HOLLLLAAAAA mi hermosa familia!!!!!! I seriously am so so happy and glad that I got to talk to you all yesterday!!  It may have been a week late but it was so good to see your happy faces and the have the chance to practice my English with you all. ;) 


We had another good week here in Olavarrìa!  It was a little rough with some of our investigators because we have a couple couples that don't want to get married at the moment, so thats been a challenge... but it’s all good!  Just gotta keep praying and teaching and having faith that they'll come around. 

So last p-day after writing home, our zone went to the zoo!!! Oh man it was so fun!  It's more of like a park with lots of trees and little dirt pathways with random animal cages along the way. :) But honestly, it was gorgeous!  As you'll see in the pictures, its autumn here so all the colorful leaves were falling and crunchy and it just made for a beautiful day!  We got to see lots of animals, the favorites of which were obviously the llamas and monkeys. :)  I seriously felt like a little kid again and have no shame whatsoever.  Hope you all enjoy the photos. ;) 

The world's prettiest ZOO!

Llama Selfie with our llama sweaters

A llama, a panda, and a monkey! :)

Just hanging out at the zoo

Monkey see...monkey do...climbing the trees at the zoo

Who knew we would find Rudolph in Argentina?

The world's biggest rodent...capibera
Zone empanada picnic at the zoo.

Crazy for empanadas!!!!

Well, I don’t have much more to report to ya'll... it was a pretty chill and chilly week! 
Haha my poor companion has to put up with me wanting to sing and listen to Christmas music because it’s getting cold outside and for me, the cold means that Christmas is coming.... it’s a rough life I live on the flip side of the Equator right now. ;) 

My cute companion - Hermana Cardenas

Before I go, I just want to share a cool experience we had with our Catholic investigator Raquel.  She was telling us how a friend had asked her what she does when the electricity goes out (I don’t remember how to phrase that in when the power is out? Haha, no sè).  And she said "Estoy mejor que nunca!"  "I'm better than ever! Because I can light a candle, recite my prayers and Jesus is with me."  Even though we have differences in religion at the moment, I really learned a lot from her example.  How often when things go wrong - whether in a temporal sense, like when have no power, or spiritual - during whatever trial we may have, how often do we look at the positive side that opportunity presents us to pray and give thanks for all that we have?  

I’m so grateful for the love and support you all give me and please know that you are always in my thoughts and prayers.  Love and miss you all and hope you have a great week!! 


Hermana Bartholomew

Monday, May 9, 2016

Sister Sister

May 9, 2016


SURPRISE!!!! P-Day got changed back to Monday, so here I am once again writing you all. :) Since its only been a couple days, this is going to be a bit short, but I want to tell you guys about the miracle investigator that we found this week!

Well... technically we didn't find her this week... 

SO remember the picture I sent from our ward talent show a few weeks ago, with Alicia and Raquel?? 

Raquel is the one next to Hna Cardenas with the necklace.

Okay so Raquel is just the funniest and cutest old lady ever and is SUPER catholic. She tells us everyday about how she sees the Virgin Mary whenever she looks into the sun and how she walks with Jesus all day every day.  She has a lot of faith to say the least.  So a couple weeks ago we went to visit Raquel and it happened to be the birthday of her husband and they had lots of family over.  One of the people there was Raquel's sister, Elvira. 

So we started talking to Elvira and getting to know her.  She shared with us that she attends the Evangelica church and has really been struggling these past few months with the recent passing of her brother.  She even started crying and asking us how we view death and how we handle it.  Long story short, we got her address and phone number and gave her a pamphlet on the Plan of Salvation to read.  

Throughout the week we had been calling Elvira trying to set up an appointment to go visit her but she was never home or never answered.  So this week we decided to just show up and hope she would be there.  Luckily she was and as we walked in her kitchen to sit down she got super excited and showed us a Book of Mormon that her friend had given her back in October.  :) Sweet!!  We were able to have an amazing lesson about the incredible plan that our Heavenly Father has for us.  She accepted our invitation to read in the Book of Mormon, pray about whether what we had taught her was true, and come to church with us on Sunday.  

On Sunday morning, at 9:28 am (church starts at 9:30), our hope was starting to dwindle as we waited patiently by the door....when Hna. Cardenas starts to smack my arm with excitement and say "VIENE!!!!" (She’s coming!!!)  AHHH!  Well, Elvira loved Sacrament Meeting and invited us to come back to her house tomorrow on Tuesday.  Sadly, she'll be going out of town for vacation later this next week, but she already promised us that the following week she'll come to church with us again.  

Hermana Cardenas and I are seriously so blessed to be able to witness these types of miracles.  We know that the Lord is preparing people for us to teach, and it’s so fun and crazy to see the ways in which we are led to find them.  Even though Raquel may be attached to the Virgin at the moment...her sister Elvira is ready. :) 

I love my comp

Somos locos [We are crazy]

Hope you all had a great Mother's Day and have a great week ahead of you!  

Sending all my love from Argentina, 

Hermana Bartholomew

P.S.  Sorry I don't have any funny stories about burning things in the oven for this week. ;)  I'll try harder next week! ;)  CHAO!

Pictures from this last week:

A shout out to my favorite brother - wishing I was home to see this with you!
(Don't worry, we didn't go see it) ;)
Hna Cardenas made me breakfast for my 7 month-a-versary :)

My comp showing off my cute cumplemes card

Missionary Master Chef continues in Olavarria...

Broccoli and Cheese Soup in a Bread yummy!!
Teaching Hermana Cardenas how to make chocolate chip cookies
So proud of my little chef Cardenas ;)

Friday, May 6, 2016

MY FIRST BAPTISM!!! ...and the Plague

May 5, 2016


Oh I'm just so happy!!  After over 6 long months of laboring in the Lord's vineyard of Misión Bahia Blanca, Argentina I finally got the opportunity and blessing to watch one of my sisters make her first covenant with our Heavenly Father.  And what a happy day it was!

Myra Garcia - April 30, 2016

Unfortunately, the day didn't start off so great.  Of course, I had to have a very special "Megan Moment" in the morning.  While Hna Cardenas was showering, I started up the oven and began making the dough for some little rolls we were going to make for ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch.  As I was kneading the dough, I smelled something burning and turned around to see a fire inside the oven!  Ahhh!  I had completely forgotten that we had left a little Tupperware container in the oven (because we don't have much counter space and normally store things in the oven when we aren't using it).  Well, needless to say, I had forgotten to check inside the oven and let’s just say we can't use that particular piece of tupperware anymore. :)  Don't worry - we got the fire put out, the oven all cleaned up, and my clothes that smelled like smoke cleaned too. :) Haha great way to start off the day right?

My Saturday Morning "Megan Moment"

But besides that everything went great!  We went over to the church super early to figure out the hot water and start filling up the font.

When the mirror in the baptismal font fogs up because the water is super calentita [hot] have to get creative, right?
Squeegy to Save the Day!

Then Hna Cardenas and I practiced the musical number we decided to do for the baptism.  I played piano as we sang the human "Oh My Father" to the tune of "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing."

Welcome Sign for Mayra

Everyone showed up on time (Argentina time that is, so like 20 minutes late at least), and everything went super well.  Hna. Cardenas and I couldn't wipe the smiles off our faces!  Sergio baptized his cute wife and gave a talk on Enduring to the End in which he just kept saying how happy he was and how excited he is to be able to go to the temple and be sealed together one year from now! :)  The spirit was so strong and we were just so HAPPY!

La Familia Garcia

The only downer to the day was that I started to not feel so good... and that brings me to today, I’m finally starting to get better from this awful cold I've had all week...Super Fun!  But hey, on the bright side, I've been in Argentina for a long time and this is the first time I've gotten sick so that's good right?

In the Book of Mormon, in Ether 12:6 we read "And now, I Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.

I have had many different "trials of faith" in my life as I'm sure all of you have too.  But the most recent one that I made it through ended on Saturday at 6pm as Mayra entered the waters of baptism. 

These past 7 months haven't been easy.  In fact, they've been very hard.  Why?  Because my Heavenly Father knows me and wanted to test my faith.  For me, this trial of faith consisted of me showing my Heavenly Father that I have the faith to keep going even when it seems like no one wanted to listen to me or to make a change in their life.  But because of the testimony, faith and hope I have, I kept going, kept working hard and doing my best, and finally on Saturday I was able to receive the best reward - to watch one of my Heavenly Sisters and friends choose to start her journey of faith that leads back to our Heavenly Home.  Oh how grateful I am! 

Hope you all have a great week and know how much I love and miss you!

Also, HAPPY early MOTHER'S day to all my favorite Aunts, Grandmother's, neighbors, friends and especially MY MOM!

I love you all!

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Bartholomew

My AWESOME llama wool sweater - the cold weather is coming!

Hermana Cardenas with our BIG area map :)