Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Two Patricias

September 27, 2016

Hollaaa Familia y Amigos!! Còmo estàn?! 

Hope you've had a great week!  Life is good in Olavarria.  Summer is coming in quick but this week it’s SPRING and the weather is perfect!!  Today we took advantage of the beautiful weather and took my child for a picnic in the park. :)

Spring is here!!!

Jamon y queso
Giant Pineapple Trees :)
Hna Quenta's first time down the slide - I'm such a proud mom! :)

So I’ve got a funny story for you this week (well I thought it was funny at least...) 

One morning, my companion and I were out contacting people and we had been talking about how we need to talk to the people we pass on the street more and knock doors less.  Sooo... as we were walking to one of our investigators houses, a lady was walking towards us and SHE stopped to say hi to us!! Haha okay...so her name was Patricia and the poor lady has a rough life and is going through some hard things right now. But she was so nice and genuine and happy to meet us and told us we were angels to her…awww :) 

After talking to Patricia and setting up an appointment to go teach her later, we kept contacting and talked to another lady outside her store with her two little girls and you'll never guess what her name was... yep, PATRICIA! :)  Super crazy coincidence (you guys should have just seen me sitting here trying to remember that word and then how to spell it.  Now with Hermana Quenta as my companion, I haven’t spoke English in SO LONG.). 

So yeah, it was crazy in the moment to talk to and meet two Patricias in one morning.  But, the best part was that night when I was writing in my journal, I remembered a part in one of my favorite movies, "Letters to Juliet" where Charlie says, "there are TWO Patricias" and I cracked myself up laughing.  Then I had to attempt to explain it all to my companion and she didn’t get it... and most of you probably won’t get it either!  :)  Sorry but just know that I found it hilarious and so will my little sis Hailey, :) who by the way is almost 16 years old!!! Ahhhh stop growing up!!! But have a Happy (early) birthday okay?! :) 

Well folks, I hope you are all as excited as I am for General Conference this next weekend!!  It’s a little crazy because last General Conference I was in Olavarría too!!! :) At this rate,  I’m going to finish my mission here!! 

I was reading one of my favorite talks this week by President Uchtdorf from last October’s conference and wanted to share two quotes with you all. 

"There is nothing good unless you do it." 

"As we increase in faith we must also increase in faithfulness." 

With that in mind, I hope you all are faithful this weekend and take advantage of every session of conference to listen to our leaders, especially our dear prophet.  I am so grateful for the knowledge that I have that we are led today by a living prophet that receives revelation from God.  


Con amor y calor, 

Hermana Bartholomew 

Sharing frosting from yankeelandia with my favorite Latinas 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Es Latina!

September 19, 2016

Hola familia y amigos!!  Como estan??!!
Well...I’m once again writing from good old Olavarrìa. :) All the members and investigators have started joking around with me that I should just become a citizen of Olavarrìa now since I’ve already been here for so long. ;)  We'll see...as tempting as it is, nah, I love Draper too much!!!
It's actually been a super long week though!!  I spent p-day last week in Bahia with a trio of missionaries and was actually able to meet up with my first child, Hna Ahlmer to go get some hot coco in el centro because the weather has decided to be cold and rainy again!  
Hot coco in our favorite Bahia cafe

Look who I ran into last p-day
It hadn't even been a whole day since I last saw her, but I missed her lots igual. ;)
Wednesday morning, I headed to the mission office and went through the same nerve racking process and orientation as last time (just 3 short months ago) to find out who my next hija is!  There were 4 new Hermanas that came to the mission - 3 Latinas - one each from Chile, Peru and Brazil, and 1 fellow Utahan.  
Well, long story short, my hija is Hna Quenta (it’s pronounced “kenta”) from PERU!!!!!  Ahhhh a Latina!!!!!  
Meet Hermana Quenta!
Hija #2
Wait...didn't I just take this same picture yesterday with Hna Ahlmer? :)
Super super crazy and exciting!!  She's from a small city called Tacna in the south of Peru, lives with her mom, and is 19 (so young ;) ) .  So far, she's doing really well with the language and is doing well teaching the Argentines. ;)  Haha, jk but let's be real, I’m grateful to not have to teach Spanish again...(the reality is that Hermana Ahlmer was learning super fast and I really didn’t do much anyway).
By the time we got back from Bahia, it was Thursday and we just went and visited all the people we could before Sunday.  We've got our hands more than full and are hoping and praying that the investigators we have can progress towards baptism!!  
I'm the lone Yankee Hermana in Olavarria
LtoR: Hna Quenta (Peru), Hermana Gonzalez (Panama), Hermana Niz (Argentina)

Sleepover with the Hermanas from Azul :)
In one of our missionary handbooks, there’s a quote that says, "You have a front row seat to the greatest miracle of all: the effect of Christ's Atonement on individuals and families."  I want nothing more than for these people that I have known and loved for the last 6 months to experience the joy and peace that can only be found through accepting Christ and His atonement in our lives.  I hope you all have a great week and remember the importance the gospel of Jesus Christ has in your life and that you can share that love with others!!
Con amor y mucho arroz (my comp eats nothing else),

Hermana Bartholomew  

My mission mom...;)

Hermana Quenta with President & Hna Cifuentes

Friday, September 16, 2016

I've still got work to do!

September 13, 2016

Hola Familia y amigos,

Well, this chilly and windy afternoon I’m writing you all from Bahia Blanca.  

Traveling solo to Bahia Blanca
BUT it’s not what you're thinking…I didn't get transferred here.  I'm still serving in Olavarría and I'M GOING TO TRAIN AGAIN!!!!! AHHH!!! HIJA #2!!! Say what?!?!  

I never thought I'd have to make another one of these so soon!

That being said, you've probably guessed that my primera hija nacida en el desierto se fue [my first daughter born in the desert has gone]!!! :( (Hna Ahlmer got transferred).  But wait, it gets crazier.  You'll never guess where she got transferred.... yep, VILLA FLORESTA!!! My first area in the mission!!!  So yeah, it’s been a crazy transfer weekend to say the least!! 

When your child is all grown up and leaves the nest...
Helping Hermana Ahlmer pack...NOT COOL!

...these aren't my clothes :(
Goodbyes at 2:30 AM aren't as fun as they look ;(

Before the transfers happened, this week was super great!  We really found and taught a lot of great new people and had two new investigators come to church on Sunday so that was awesome!! It was nuts because I was literally saying goodbye to everyone and writing thank you notes to the whole ward, preparing myself to be transferred but now I guess I’ll just be more prepared for when I really leave, IF I ever actually leave Olavarría! ;) 

Okay so here's a little info about some new investigators we have;

Karina- she's a friend of some members and is recently going through a divorce and life is a bit crazy.  She's been really open to what we have taught her so far and I'm excited to see where things go.  She came to church on Sunday and really liked it! 

Barbara – she's jovencita [very young]!!  She’s only 17.  We knocked on her door a couple weeks ago and when we returned, she had read the folleto [pamphlet] we left her about the restoration of Christ’s Church and had some questions so she went to the internet to find some answers... yikes!!  Let’s just say that she found lots of lies and misinformation, but luckily she didn't accept them as truth until after she had a chance to talk to us again. :)  We taught her lesson 1 and it all just made sense to her…she really liked it all.  At the end of our lesson, Hna Ahlmer said the prayer and afterward Barbara said that she likes how we pray as if we are really talking to our Heavenly Father.  ES DE ORO!!  [She is golden!!]  Barbara couldn’t make it to church on Sunday but next week we'll get her there! 

Laura (Hilda's granddaughter I told you about a couple weeks ago) came to church too on Sunday!!!!!  Poco a poco!!  [Little by little]  Laura has really opened up to us a lot over these last few weeks and I’m really hoping and praying that she'll keep coming and want to join the church!! 

Well, as I’m sitting here in Bahia waiting to meet my new companion, I'm excited but a bit nervous to train again!  Hopefully my child will be Latina this time so I can have una hija yankee y una latina [an American daughter and a Latin daughter]. :)   After that I'm calling it good ;)  Two kids is enough!!  Haha! 

Chillin in Bahia with my hermanas
We are were all trained by Hermana Palma -  haha so fun!
Once again...I'm a middle child ;)
I have such a strong testimony that our Heavenly Father puts us WHERE we need to be with WHO weed need be with. Not only in the mission but in life.  I'm excited to see what it is that I still need to learn from my new companion and all the people in Olavarría. :) 

Hope you are all doing well!  Never forget how much I love you all and that you are always in my thoughts and prayers!  

Con mucho amor y hijas, 

Hermana Bartholomew 

Here are some other pictures from this last week...

Hermana Laplace - a less-active member here that reminds me of Grandma Barbs :)

Last P-day we took a field trip with our zone to the zoo:
P-Day at the Zooooooo!
Some strange animals...oh, and some llamas ;)
Self-timer problems...
...good enough ;)
Reptile Girl
eww...I HATE snakes, but my hija dared me to do it ;)
Sad donkey...
Zona Olavarria (menos las otras hermanas)

Monday, September 5, 2016

A New Decade of Life

September 5, 2016


Birthday week has come and gone and I couldn’t be a happier 20 year old!!! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for all the birthday wishes and packages I received!  Most importantly I felt of all your love. I am the luckiest missionary in all of Argentina (and probably the world) 

Before I give you a recap of the big day, I want to tell you that we are famous here in Olavarrìa! Remember that story I told you about how we went to centro plaza last week and drew with chalk.... well there was a cute old man there that worked for the newspaper and he took our pic and put it in "El Popular" on Tuesday. :)  Nothing like some free publicity for the church!

When you become famous in Olavarria, Argentina...;)

OK let me tell you about my awesome birthday.  Things started off bright and early when I couldn’t wait a second longer to open the packages that had been sitting under my bed!!  

The B-Day stash

My new favorite piece in my wardrobe ;)

Handwritten letters from my aunts, uncles and cousins

Thank you Lacee & Rachel - you are the best!

After blowing up all my balloons and eating my favorite French toast breakfast we headed out to work.

Nothing better than b-day French Toast

Birthday signs and balloons make everything just happier :)

As awesome as the remainder of the day was, the real highlight happened as we were able to teach a new investigator we have named Graciela who was a reference from some members here in our stake.  She lost her son a couple years ago in an accident and we were able to teach her about the plan of salvation.  We felt the spirit as we helped her realize that she can be together again with her son after this life.  The lesson went well and we are excited to see her again this week.

Next we headed to buy empanadas for lunch and went home to make a cake. 

Birthday lunch...empanadas, OF COURSE!!

Mmmmmmmm, good!

After, we went and taught Valeria again.  The lesson went well, but she just feels like she's happy where she's at right now and doesn't feel the need to have a religion in her life.  We're not giving up on teaching her more though!  Then, we headed to the church to eat cake with the Elders.  

The Elders are always looking for a reason to celebrate with cake!

Happy Birthday, Sister Old Lady

After we ate more cake with our ward mission leader and his family too... haha whoops! 

To top of the night, we went to Lujan and Joaquin's house where I was met by endless surprises....  She had decorated the house all cute and made an American and Argentine flag cake which was just too adorable!  

The most original B-Day cake ever...Master Chef worthy!

Lujan bought me a sweater and bought us huge chocolate bars too cause she didn't want my comp to feel left out. ;) 

With Lujan - my new beautiful B-day sweater

I was so happy and grateful but that was only the beginning. 

Next we went into the living room where Lujan surprised me with a video of Hermana Cardenas wishing me a Happy Birthday!!!  THEN, she pulls up another video of Hermana Palma too!!  I was shocked, surprised and just amazed at how she had pulled it all off.  But wait, there’s more... Then Lujan says, "Well... I guess since we're already here, we can show you one more video...."  My companion covered my eyes and as she moved her hands I see and hear my two younger siblings singing Happy Birthday to me, and spent the next 15 mins dying laughing and crying a bit as I got to celebrate a little bit of my cumpleaños with the video you all put together for me back home!!  

My reaction to my crazy family!

THANK YOUUUU!!!!!!  I really had the best day and am so grateful for the love I received from everyone.  (Now there is no hiding how crazy our family really is from any of the people here :

To top off the best week ever... we had a new investigator come to church yesterday!!!!  His name is Luan (haha not Lujan...), he's 19 years old and we found him 2 weeks ago when we knocked on his door and just started talking to him.  He let us in and we taught him and his mom the message of the restoration.  Luan accepted our challenge to read in the Book of Mormon and we set up another cita [appointment] to go see them during the week.  When we passed by, he couldn’t meet with us right then, but said he would come to church.  We were disappointed that he didn’t end up making it that first week, but we passed by his home again during this last week and he apologized and told us that we would make it on the next Sunday for sure.  To our pleasant surprise, HE CAME!!  He really seemed to like Sacrament Meeting and the ward members made him feel super comfortable!  He stayed for all three hours too!  So that was pretty great!!!  I'll keep you updated on him. 

Elder Holland said, "You can have what you want, or you can have something better."  Our Heavenly Father always has something better in store for us but we have to use our agency to accept him and his will and look for the better things in life.  For that reason he sends missionaries into all the world, to bring not only something better, but the best thing ever to his children - the knowledge that He lives, His Son is our Savior and they have restored the gospel so that we can not only be happy in this life, but forever. 

Wishing you all a very happy week!!  I love you all lots!!

Con amor y velas y globos galore, 

Hermana Bart

P.S. Go Cougs!