Monday, August 29, 2016

Tiza tiza ;)

August 29, 2016
Hola Familia!!
Well, this is the last time I will ever write home as a 19 year old little girl...because it’s BIRTHDAY WEEK!!! :)  Hehe I’m sooooo excited!!!  And the best news of all is that my birthday packages got here just in time - THANK YOU!!!!!!  It’s been killing me to have them just sitting under my bed this last week...but it has taught me a lot of patience – so thanks!!!
Well this week, it got cold again, and then warm again.... I seriously never thought that there existed a place with weather more bi-polar than Utah, but it does – here in Argentina.  It’s all good though, because soon enough you'll be hearing all my complaints about how hot it is. ;)
On Friday, a cute young women in our ward named Mariel turned 15, which is a huge deal here in South America, so our wonderful ward congregation all pitched in and worked together to throw her a quinceñera (a big coming of age party).  We were able to help them decorate a little and then we passed by the church for like 15 minutes to give our birthday wishes to cute Mariel.  It was just about the most adorable thing I've ever seen!

Sweet Mariel

Celebrating 15 years!!!

This week, we decided to get a little creative (stealing an idea from my mission bestie, Hermana Darrington) and we went to the plaza in el centro [the center of town] with the 4 other elders that are serving here in Olavarrìa.  After talking to the police and almost getting arrested (haha jk that part's a lie J), they gave us permission to draw the Plan of Salvation with tiza [chalk] right in the middle of the plaza.  As Hermana Ahlmer and I drew, the Elders talked with (and chased down) people to teach them about the Plan de Salvaciòn.  I think it went well, and above all, it was really fun!  Definitely nice to change things up a little and not have to rely on knocking door-to-door to contact people.
Artistas de tiza

The finished product - El Plan de Salvacion

Selfie with the crew
The Crew and our creation on the plaza
Pre-Earth Life & The Fall of Adam

Our Life on Earth & Death

The Spirit World: Paradise and Spirit Prison

The Resurrection & Final Judgement

The 3 Degrees/Kingdoms of Glory

Our investigators are progressing slowly but surely.  Last week I told you about a new investigator named Maleria.  My bad – her name is actually Valeria, which makes a lot more sense, right? ;)  She has continued to show interest, and we will see what happens when we teach her this week.  Of course, Juan didn’t make it to church again…ugh!
We did have a super cool experience though this week.  So there's a lady here in our area named Hilda that is the spunkiest and cutest 80 year old grandma ever.  She is a less-active member of the church that we have been visiting quite often.  Hilda lives with her granddaughter, Laura (non-member) who's in her late 30's.  Hilda has raised Laura since she was just a little girl because her daughter (Laura’s mom) had some mental health problems and couldn't take care of her. 
Well, this last week we went to visit Hilda like always, and when we walked in, we were given the sad news that Laura's mom had passed away.  In that moment I had no idea what to say or do and was just completely heartbroken for them.  As we sat and listened, my mind was going through different scriptures or things we could possibly share with them to bring some peace, but absolutely nothing was coming to my head.  As I opened up my Bible and started flipping through the pages, I came across 2 Corinthians chapter 4 and a verse that I had marked about faith, and something told me to just go with it.  As I helped Hilda find it in her Bible, the impression came to start reading a couple verses before those that I had marked.  We started reading in verse 8 and read through 18:
8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.
12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you.
13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;
14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.
15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.
16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
The peace and spirit were almost tangible in the room.  Laura has always listened to us when we share stuff with Hilda during our visits but has never listened to us as intently as she did that night.  We shared a few tears and Hilda mentioned that Laura told her that she wants to accompany her to church this week.  Even though losing family members is not easy, I feel like this might be the time for Laura to be open to receive the gospel.  We are so excited to help her find the happiness and peace that only exists by coming unto Jesus Christ and receiving the ordinances of salvation found in His church.   
Hope you all have a great week and eat lots of cake in my memory on Thursday! :)  I LOVE YOU ALLL!!!!
Con amor y tiza,

Hermana Bartholomew 

Missionary Master Chef creation of the week:
We made quiche! was delicious ;)

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