Monday, October 24, 2016

Unexpected Changes

October 24, 2016
Hola familia y amigos!!
Well, this week was NUTS.  We were so, soooo busy everyday getting everything ready for the chapel open house!!  I’m happy to report that it turned out so great!!!  Wahoo!!!  I sent a million fotos for your viewing pleasure.  We basically spent all week inviting everyone to the activity (on Saturday) and then spent the entire day Saturday setting things up in the church.
The big banner outside the church to invite the gente!
Come and See
Open Chapel
Saturday, October 22
All are invited to Come unto Christ
From 5 to 8 PM
Christus statue banner
Inside the chapel

Banners explaining different aspects of church doctrine set up in the cultural hall
God's Plan of Happiness
Jesus Christ
Our Savior
The Great Apostasy
Joseph Smith
A Prophet of God
The Book of Mormon
Modern-day Prophets
All the members came and set up little stands with info about every auxiliary organization (Young Men, Young Women, Primary, Relief Society) in their rooms and it was very impressive.  The entire activity required a LOT of work and prep from both the full-time missionaries and the members in the entire stake, but it turned out great and was so worth it!!  
We had the font filled and were ready to baptize anyone that wanted ;) hahaha
Our First Covenant
The Gift of the Holy Ghost
We ended up meeting lots of new people who are interested in investigating the church.  I'll keep you updated as we follow up and teach them this week. :)
Bueno, other than that nothing else super exciting happened this week. 
Oh wait, I forgot about TRANSFERS.  Well, Sunday night at 10pm we got the long anticipated call and were SHOCKED to find out that I'M STAYING IN OLAVARRIA 1 MORE TRANSFER!!!!  J  I honestly can't believe it.  I've already been here for 5 transfers (7 ½ months), and by the time I finally leave, I will have spent almost exactly HALF of my mission here.  
Oh, also, President has called me to be a Hermana Training Leader too.  Basically the Hermana version of a Zone or District Leader - but with lots less responsibility. ;)  I will just have to call and help the hermanas in my zone and go to the mission office in Bahia Blanca every other month for meetings.  Wahoo!  J
Not what you were expecting right??  Yeah, me either.  But, I know that there is a reason that I’m still here.  I'm excited to finish the training of Hermana Quenta, and do what I can to help the people here come closer to Jesus Christ.  :)

Another 6 weeks with my beautiful 2nd child Hna Quenta
She won't have a step-mom afterall!

Well, I hope you all have a great week and keep sharing His gospel every chance you get!!!
Con amor y manteca de maní,
Hermana Bartholomew 

Birthday package (a month or two late) ;)
I have the world's best mission step-mom :)

Obsessed with Peanut Butter
Thanks Hna (Jenny) Baird!!!!!
The ultimate selfie - from the mirror above the baptismal font

Monday, October 17, 2016

Happy (Argentine) Mother's Day!!

October 17, 2016

Hola Familia y amigos!! 

I hope you all had a great mother's day yesterday!!  Oh’s October and you guys are in the USA, so it wasn't Mother's Day. J  Well, fun fact for you all…Argentina likes to be different from the rest of the world and celebrates mother's day in October.  Weird right?!  I'm not complaining though because the men from our ward put on a dinner for women on Saturday night, and Claudia and Angelica went.  Since they are our investigators, we got to go too!! :) 

With Claudia and Francisco at Mother's Day dinner
Francisco said he came to help the men cook ;)
Really - I think he just wanted to eat ;)
With Sonia Paez - one of my favorite ladies here in the ward.
She helps us out sooo much and is so great!!!

Cute Alberto came to help the men cook and serve

Mother's Day Dinner

Decorations for the dinner

My companion and I made little Mother's Day cards for all of the women here in our ward.  I wrote a poem in Spanish on the back...are you proud of me? ;)  

Cards for the hnas in our ward

The Poem:

De nuestras mamas estamos lejos,
y a veces extrañamos sus consejos.
Por suerte hay muchas mamas en este barrio
que nos ayudan a diario.
Gracias por su apoyo y amor,
Le deseamos lo mejor!

Cute right?? ;)

This week has been a bit crazy....I got my first sunburn of the summer!!!  Wahoo!! Haha it wasn't that bad, just a little on my neck because it was SO hot...but then it rained buckets the rest of the week and got chilly again.  You’ve gotta love spring!!  As a result of the bipolar weather, I have decided to start listening to Christmas music already.  :) Haha sorry, not sorry!! I'm happy! :) 

So this week we've been working lots with Claudia and her family and preparing them to get baptized in November.  Yael came on Friday to help decorate with the Young Women for the dinner for the moms, and Claudia came the next day and LOVED IT!  The next morning, Sunday, she woke up super sick and called us to say she wouldn't be able to come to church.  Poor thing!! Hopefully she's better for next week!  But they are seriously the greatest!!!  So, so prepared!  They've already adopted us and we have adopted them too. ;)  This last week was Francisco’s birthday and this week is Claudia’s so we've got lots of baking to do! 

Our little brother turned 10!!!  YAY :)

Birthday surprises for Fransisco

3 Birthday cakes makes a happy 10 year old
(He said he liked our cake best)

Claudia, Yael, y Fransisco

Maximiliano hasn't been answering his phone and hasn't made it to church these last few weeks... so we'll see what happens there.  

Angelica and Alberto are planning their wedding for December and Angelica seriously can't wait to get baptized!!  She asks us every day if she can get baptized yet!!  LOVE THEM!!! 

This weekend is transfers....duh, duh, we'll see if I'll finally leave Olavarrìa or if I’ll spend half of my mission here. ;)  Either way is fine with me!  Plus, I’m not going to have much time to think about it because this weekend we are having a chapel open house.  It’s a new program the church is doing to let people come and tour the chapel!  I'm super excited to see how it goes!  We have about 100 invitations to give out this week, so we’ve got to get to work!!!! 

I love you all and hope you have a great week!! 

Con amor y oreos,

Hermana Bartholomew 

Check out these cute mini Oreos with faces

I think I'm funny :)

Copying the Oreos

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Referencias de ORO!!

October 11, 2016
Hola Familia!!!
Well another week has passed by here in Olavarrìa and I've completed another month in the mission... which makes my count 1 YEAR!!!!!!  I know I say this a lot, but I really don’t know where the time has gone.  IT'S FLYING BY!!  ;)  I don't want it to we're just not going to talk about it, okay?  Okay.  Just gonna keep having fun, working hard and eating ice cream. :)
The absolute best way to celebrate 1 year in the mission!!!!
Where has the time gone...I'm officially OLD!
A one year mission anniversary gift from my cute companion
(it's a hymn book case)
So remember the guy "Chavo" from last week?  Well, his real name is Maximiliano.  He's doing well.  Didn't make it to church this week though... :(   We're going to keep doing all we can to help him make it to his baptism date.
BUT, we also have a new family that might be getting baptized the 23rd too!!!  So it all started last Tuesday when a member from another ward in our stake called us to give us a referral.  She set up an appointment to go with us that night and we met the GOLDEN family of a single mom named Claudia who has three kids- Yael (pronounced shaiel) who is 17yrs old, Lumina who is 15 yrs old, and 10 year old Francisco.  The member, Hna Mussi has been a friend with Claudia and a great example to them for many years.  As a result, they are so prepared and ready to hear and accept the gospel of Jesus Christ!!
Claudia told us that she's been feeling like a big change was going to happen in their lives and loved everything we taught her.  We've been able to visit her many times this last week and got her to come to church with Yael and Francisco.  They really enjoyed it and the three of them have decided they want to get baptized!!  When we invited them to prepare for the 23rd, they were a little hesitant but said they would pray to know if they should get baptized that day.  We immediately made a strong connection with their family.  Claudia has basically already adopted us, and Francisco...oh he's just like my little Argentine brother! ;)
So yeah, we are pretty excited and happy little hermanas, and all because of these great REFERRALS that we are getting from members here in our ward. 
This week, I watched a new video the church has made about the Plan of Salvation with graphics.  IT’S SO GREAT and so cute!!  If you haven’t seen it, WATCH IT NOW. But don't only watch it.... SHARE IT!!!  I loved in Elder Oaks talk at conference when he talked about all the possibilities and tools we have with internet and social media to share the gospel and then asked if we are taking advantage of all the tool we have.  Let us all follow the counsel of an apostle of the Savior and SHARE this video!!
Love and miss you all and hope you have a great week!
Con amor y pantalones,
Hermana Bartholomew
P.S. Oh, because of the risk of Zika virus, we have to start wearing pants in 2 weeks... I’m going to die of heat this summer. #helpme

More pics from last week:

The crazy Hermanas of zona Olavarria
Sleepover for zone meetings last week
Someone was tired after all of our meetings

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Siempre Listo

October 4, 2016
Hola Familia y Amigos!!!
Did you not all just LOVE general conference?!  I don't know what it is but conference is just different as a missionary and I LOVE IT!!!  I love how so many people talked about how much JOY and happiness is found with the knowledge of the gospel and the plan that God has for us, and how we need to SHARE IT!!!  
Conferencia General!!
(you can tell that an Elder took this foto)
Hear me out.... coming from a missionary, I can't tell you guys enough how important you are as members in missionary work.  WE NEED YOU.  I hope you all take the counsel we were given and turn to the Lord in prayer to find his lost sheep that are all around you and introduce them to the missionaries.  I promise it will not only change the life of that person, but yours as well.  It's changed mine - that's why I've been able to stick out this last year of ups and downs here in Argentina preaching the very things that make me the happiest!  Oh yeah.... that reminds me, I hit my YEAR mark this week.... where has the time gone?!?!
Okay so this week we witnessed a miracle.  We have two investigators that we have been planning to teach and invite to get baptized this last week but it didn't matter how many times we went to their houses or called them, there were NEVER home and never answered.  So we were super disappointed.  But, we received a reference from a member in our stake and we had a lesson with him on Thursday.  From the second we met him, I could tell he was special and was ready to accept the gospel in his life.  His name (technically his nickname) is Chavo and he is from a small town outside of Bahia Blanca.  He's 27 and is an orphan.  His mom died when he was super little and his dad abandoned him. 
Needless to say, Chavo has such a good spirit and wants nothing more than to follow Christ.  I had the impression to teach him the lesson we had been planning to teach the other investigators and at the end invite him to be baptized…and HE ACCEPTED!!!!!  He's going to be baptized on October 22nd :)  I'm so happy for this guy!!  I learned a very important lesson this week - that we always have to be prepared, because even though sometimes our appointments fall through or investigators choose to stop investigating the church, there's always someone out there who is ready. :)
I hope you all have a great week and partied lots yesterday to celebrate Hailey's b-day. :) I love you sis!!!  Miss and love you all LOTS!!!
Con amor y fechas bautismales,

Hermana Bartholomew 

Cute Gabriela goes to a painting class every week and recently completed this masterpiece!! :)

We got together with our entire Zone to watch General Conference
Next week is Hermana Cifuentes' Birthday, so we made a giant card and took this picture for her!
Happy Birthday Hermana Cifuentes!  We Love you!  The Olavarria Zone