Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Birthday America (I miss you...)

July 4, 2016
Good day lovely fam and friends,
I hope you are all enjoying the warm weather, bbq's, and fireworks for us...because Hermana Ahlmer and I are pretty cold down here in Olavarría, and a bit sad we're missing out this year. :)  But it’s all good…we used your celebrating as an excuse to have our own little party today.  We made some good old fashioned hamburgers and completed our feast with some Argentine potato chips too.  
Our 4th of July BBQ...we did the best we could :)
You do what you can right??  Haha, let’s be honest, I can't believe it’s already July…mostly because the time is just flying by, but also because it is so cold and cloudy every day.  So yeah.
I am enjoying training Hermana Ahlmer, and introducing her to the best of Argentina…including the food (empanadas) and the city of Olavarría.  

One of the super cheesy and poetic murals of Olavarria...deep stuff!
[I don't want to return to see you
I want to see you return

She in turn has served me by dying my hair back to its natural color!  Turns out she went to hair school before her mission, and the Argentine sun and water have made me blond, which I wasn’t liking too much! :)

When your comp went to hair school...

Hoping she got the color right :)
I'm a new woman!
Back to being a brunette

This week, I had the lovely blessing of getting sick…again. :( It was pretty awful.  But at least this time it came on super fast and left fast too, so it wasn't too bad.  It’s just what happens when you’ve got to be out all day saving souls in this cold weather. ;)
We had a successful week igual [just the same] because Marcelo came to church!!!  Did I tell you about him?  I think so... anyway he came for the first time this week and we were super excited!!  He participated in all of the meetings and seemed to really enjoy it.  The members in our ward here are super great and took good care of him – making him feel important. :)  But yeah, it went super well and we are super happy!!
Next, we taught Juan and Alejandra this week.  In our lesson we were open and honest with them, and asked them to tell us what they are thinking.  They both said that they think listening to us is the right path for them to take in their lives.  When my cute comp invited them to be baptized, THEY ACCEPTED!!!  Now, the down side is they have a long way to go (they need to officially get divorced from prior spouses, get married, stop smoking, etc.) before they can actually be baptized, BUT we are more than happy to help them start preparing for that special day in the future.  Even though we might be transferred to another area and not be here to see them enter in the waters of baptism, we are going to have the privilege to help them get ready and couldn't be happier for them. They are both so great! 
As we left the other day, Juan asked us if we liked lemons and gave us a huge bag of like 15.  :)  THANKS!  Receiving the lemons immediately reminded me of a story that a member in my ward in Bahìa shared in church back at the beginning of my mission.  Hermana Turner said that her husband had a friend at work that had lots of lemon trees and gave their family boxes and boxes of lemons.  She was super grateful and excited to use them!  She started making anything and everything she could come up with to use all of them, and was in heaven because her house smelled like fresh lemons for weeks.  After a while, she started running out of things to do with the lemons and was worried they were going to go bad so she asked a friend for some more ideas so that she wouldn't have to waste them.  Hermana Turner said her friend’s response was so simple yet had a big impact on her.  She said, "Why don't you share them with your neighbors and friends? That way none of them will go bad."
Hermana Turner then related the lemons and her experience to our testimonies.  In order to keep them from going bad, we must SHARE THEM!  We are so blessed to have the knowledge of our Heavenly Father’s plan for our happiness and should want nothing more than to help others have this same knowledge.  That's why I’m sitting at this computer screen, on the other side of the world, freezing on the 4th of July. :)  I want nothing more than to share my testimony of my older brother and Savior Jesus Christ and help others know that HE LIVES and HE LOVES US.  I invite you all to reflect on the testimony you have this week and share it with those around you!
Wishing you a super happy and warm 4th of July, and a delightful week of summer!
Con mucho amor,

Hermana Bartholomew 

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