Monday, November 28, 2016

Never be Weary of Good Works

November 28, 2016

Hola!!! 

Sorry we are writing a bit later today.  Today was a national holiday and we ran all over from cyber to cyber but nothing was open in our area, so we had to take a taxi to the Elder’s area to write.  I’m a bit upset and really hot.  (Why do bad things happen to good people?) :)   On the bright side, we celebrated Thanksgiving today by having a big meal together with our zone.

Thanksgiving with Zona Olavarria
Look what I ate today...it almost felt like the 24th of November ;)

When all the cybers are closed and you get bored...
Hermana Niz...love this chic


Well, I can tell when it's getting close to Christmas because things start to heat up down here in the southern hemisphere... Please pray for me, this is going to be a long summer, and in PANTS. :{  

So this week was good.  We had zone conference and stake conference this weekend and it was super great to hear from both our mission leaders and church leaders here in Olavarria.  

Zone Conference


I'm really learning so much on the mission about life and the plan that God has for us.  Our knowledge of His plan is truly priceless.  It’s really incredible how as we lose ourselves in the service of God by helping others, we really are the ones that benefit the most.  

As we are coming to the end of our month of 100 contacts, let’s just say that I’m tired. ;) Haha

Best idea ever...My comp thought I was listening to her practice teaching a lesson, but I was really getting a few more minutes of sleep in there...;)
Truly it hasn’t been easy, and at first I was a bit disappointed because we haven't received many new investigators from our efforts.  But as we know, the Lord works in mysterious ways and blesses us in ways we don't think he will sometimes.  The great miracle that he gave us this week was in the progress of Claudia and her family.  After working very diligently with them these last few months, we were finally able to help them set a baptismal date!!!!!  WAHOOO!!!! Claudia, Yael and Francisco are getting baptized on December 18!!! :)  YAY!!!! 

The only down side, is that this coming Sunday we will receive transfer calls.... and after spending half of my mission here in Olavarria, I have a strong feeling that my time here is coming to an end.  (Also, President told me this week that I’m getting transferred, I just don’t know where yet.)  So, I ask you all to please pray for Claudia and her family that they can stay strong in their decision even if (when) I have to go.  I know that they have received answers to their prayers, and I want nothing more than their happiness.  I am so grateful that my Heavenly Father gave me the marvelous chance to help them start their journey back to Him.  

This month the Church has a fantastic program coming to celebrate CHRISTMAS!!!  Oh boy I am so so excited for Christmas!!!!  I want to invite you all to go online and watch the video called Light the World on lds.org and really participate in every act of service you can this Christmas season.  If you don’t know what to do, the website has a countdown calendar with ideas of service for every day in December!

In Alma 37:33-34 it says, “Preach unto them repentance, and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ; teach them to humble themselves and to be meek and lowly in heart; teach them to withstand every temptation of the devil, with their faith on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Teach them to never be weary of good works, but to be meek and lowly in heart; for such shall find rest to their souls.

I just love that.  “NO CANSARSE DE HACER BUENAS OBRAS!!!” [Never be weary of good works!!!]  I promise that as you find simple ways to serve others during this Christmas season, you will find true joy in your holiday celebrations. 

Les amo mucho y espero que tengan una linda semana!!!  [I love you all very much and hope you have a beautiful week!!!]

Con amor y calor, 
(hey that rhymed) ;) 

Hermana Bartholomew 

Someone turned 3 months old in the mission...geez they grow up so fast...;)
Our cute friendship bracelets

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Azul

November 21, 2016

Buenos Dias and Happy Thanksgiving Week!!!  Guess what??  I cheated and took out my Christmas tree and decorated it today...hahaha.  I couldn't wait any longer. ;)  I'll send the pics of it next week....because I'm going to buy a star to put on top. YAY! 

Well, like always, we had another crazy week!  But not in Olavarria.....in Azul!!  As part of my lideresa duties I did divisions this week; so Hermana Niz came to Olavarria to work with Hermana Quenta, and I went to Azul to work with Hermana Gonzalez.  I’ll be honest, it was nice to contact in an area where I don't feel like I’ve already knocked every door. ;)   But at the same time.... I REALLY MISSED Olavarria.  After spending half my mission here, I really don’t know what I’m going to do the day I actually have to leave!! ;) 

So yeah, I spent the week exploring "Blue" with Hermana Gonzalez and walked A TON.  The city is smaller than Olavarria but they are the only missionaries there, and for two people the area is pretty darn big!  But I had lots of fun with Hermana Gonzi. :)   Guys, you just have to meet her, she talks and talks…all day every day and just cracks me up!!!   

With Hermana Gonzalez in Azul

Argentine gaucho statue made from junkyard scraps :)

More junkyard art...
Do you see a resemblance? :)

It's like an Argentine flag that someone is holding...just in case you couldn't tell :)
Surprises around every corner in Azul...


It was a pretty normal week, except Hermana Gonzalez accidentally left their phone in the bus terminal and we called from a member's house in Azul to see if Hermanas Quenta y Niz could find it, but our luck was running low that day and it was lost.  So we had a week without a phone...and to be honest, it was quite peaceful, but a little hard to do missionary work without a phone.  Dad, how did you do it back in the olden days?? ;) 

Our contacting goal is going great.... it’s taking a lot of work and effort but I'm so excited that we are so close!!  I’ve already decided that I'm going to buy ice cream and pizza to celebrate when we hit 100!! :) 
Getting closer everyday...we are at 75, only 25 to go and we reach our goal!!!  YAY!
Check out this Argentina sweatband that Hermana Gonzalez gave me :)  LOVE IT!!
#workout motivation
This weekend, we helped out in another chapel open house here in Olavarria (the chapel in the area where the Elders here are working).  Claudia, Yael and Francisco came - because they weren't able to make it to ours a couple weeks ago - and they loved it!!  Right after, we headed over to our ward talent show with them where we died laughing!  
At the ward talent show with Yael and Francisco
Full house for the ward talent show
Cute Alberto sang a couple of folksongs de Argentina for his talent :)

I seriously love barrio Mariano Moreno so much!!  The members here are the BEST!  There were lots of musical numbers, dances and my companion and I told jokes!!!   Hahaha, I hope you can see the pics and video and just, well, enjoy! :) 



video


The best news from the week is Claudia, Yael y Francisco also came to church on Sunday!!!! YAY!!! I sat by Fran during sacrament meeting and he whispered to me, "Me encanta venir acà" (I love coming here), "Bartolome, una pregunta, donde venden corbatas?" (Bartholomew, question, where do they sell ties?), and "ya me quiero bautizar!" (I want to get baptized!)  This family is so ready and we are just hoping and praying that Claudia can feel the peace and receive her answer about the truthfulness of our message.  Please keep them in your prayers!!!

This week...is THANKSGIVING!!!!  Oh how I miss American holidays....so close but yet so far ;).   In the spirit of thanksgiving... i hope you all eat lots of turkey and pie and also read these scriptures about gratitude:

“That ye…take upon you the name of Christ; that ye humble yourselves even to the dust, and worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you.”  Alma 34:38

Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.”  Alma 37:37

“But ye are commanded in all things to ask of God, who giveth liberally; and that which the Spirit testifies unto you even so I would that ye should do in all holiness of heart, walking uprightly before me, considering the end of your salvation, doing all things with prayer and thanksgiving…”  DyC 46:7

“And inasmuch as ye do these things with thanksgiving, with cheerful hearts and countenances…

Verily I say, that inasmuch as ye do this, the fulness of the earth is yours, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which climbeth upon the trees and walketh upon the earth;

Yea, and the herb, and the good things which come of the earth, whether for food or for raiment, or for houses, or for barns, or for orchards, or for gardens, or for vineyards;

Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart;

Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul.

And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion.

And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments.”  DyC 59:15-21 

I am so grateful for all that my Heavenly Father has given me…for my family (in Utah and Olavarria) ;) and friends that love and support me.  For the opportunity to serve HIM in Argentina and to be able to serve my brothers and sisters here.  I'm so grateful for the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.  I know it’s true with my whole soul and wouldn't trade this experience for a plate full of delicious American food to celebrate! ;) 

Love you all and hope you have a great(ful) thanksgiving!!! 

Con amor y pavo, 


Hermana Bartholomew 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Peluquera Bartolome

November 14, 2016
Hola Familia y Amigos!!

¿Cómo están?  You know what is still so weird for me to think?  You are entering into winter up there in the U.S. and it’s like almost thanksgiving and Christmas and everything; and here...it’s just warming up more and more every day.  Ugh. I hate the heat!  :)
Well, this week was super crazy like always.  My companion had to go to Bahia Blanca to do her tramites (paperwork for her visa), so I got to travel over and be in a trio with the Hermanas in Azul!  
Our Trio in Azul
It was super fun, but I totally missed Olavarria and my hija. ;)  I really don't know what I'm going to do when have to leave this place for real.  Let's just not talk about it, I'm in denial.  Soy Olavarrience ahora. :)
Okay so when we were in Azul, I found a street named Olavarria and of course had to take a pic.  I love my city! :)  
In Azul the street named Olavarria!
We also ate with a member in Azul that is from Ecuador.  
My instant friend from Ecuador
She is from a town that I think was in Jessica’s same mission called Milagro.  Haha small world!  It was fun to hear her cute Ecuadorian accent (which is lots different from these Argentines) and to eat food from Ecuador too!  She fed us fried plantains and chicken served over rice – so good!
As you know, in the mission I've experienced a lot of "firsts" that have to do with hair... first time dying someone's hair, first time getting my hair died, and this week I added the first time CUTTING someone's hair to my list!!! ;)  Haha poor Hna. Niz.... I really don't know how the idea came up, but we decided to give her a little makeover and it looks SO GOOD.  
Hermana Niz Before

Hermana Niz After
I can't believe I just cut her hair!
I'm like shocked.  I was super nervous.  You'll have to wait to see the video of it after the mission. :) But even with all this hair experience, I don't want to be a real hairstylist... it’s just fun to play. :)
Well on to more important things.  So my companion and I weren't in our area for more than half of the week, which meant that we really had to step it up this last weekend when we were home to meet our goal for contacts.  Saturday morning we were out for a little over an hour in the street knocking doors and we had already done 7 contacts (our daily goal was 8), so we only needed one more before heading to lunch. 
We knocked a door and started talking with a middle-aged man about his day and life a little.  He was a talker and initially we saw lots of potential, but as he kept talking he started saying a bunch of bad things about us and what we were doing.  The Spirit immediately left, and I felt terrible.  I wanted nothing else but to leave his doorstep but he just kept talking about how we were born in one place and we shouldn't leave and try to help people in other parts of the world when there is so much we could do in our own family and town.  He finished by telling us to rethink why we are here and straight up said that God didn't send us here. 
Now, I don't tell you this story to feel bad for me, but it was a pretty hard moment. Before we walked away the tears started to stream and I felt a bit heartbroken.  In the Book of Mormon, we read the stories of many prophets and servants of the Lord who were rejected, and on Saturday I could relate with all of them!  As I was thinking about our conversation with the man, a verse of scripture came into my mind found in 3 Nefi 5:13 where Mormon says,
Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.
Thankfully, I have a strong testimony and I know why I'm here.  I know that my Heavenly Father has called me to serve his children here in Olavarria, and even though there are people that don't want to listen to what I have to say, I'm going to keep knocking on every new door I see (which aren't that many now considering I've been here for like 8 months ;) ) until I find those that are ready to listen and accept the blessing of the restored gospel in their life. 
I love being a missionary and don't want my time here to end.  EVER.  Haha just kidding I'll come home someday.  If not, you will all miss me too much. ;)
Hoping you all have a great week and stay warm!  (You know I will) ;)
Con amor y tijeras,

Hermana Bartholomew 

Some pictures from our last P-day and trip to the park:

A perfect Spring day to play in the park





Nothing like Pizza in the Park

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

100 Contacts

November 7, 2016

Hola Familia y Amigos!! 

Well, I had another crazy week with another trip to Bahia... yay :/   I'm so sick of bus rides J.   But this time was really fun and so worth it!!  This is the first time I’ve traveled to Bahia when it was light outside and I’m not asleep... Little did we know there is a pretty part of Argentina in the middle of nowhere that has little hills that are the closest thing to mountains I have seen in a year!   

Enjoying another long bus ride - I should be earning frequent rider miles :)
Beautiful Argentine countryside and mountains
The closest thing I've got to mountains here...I miss Utah :)

So the reason for going to Bahia was I had my first big leadership meeting with Presidente Cifuentes, all the zone leaders, district leaders and sister training leaders.  We had the meeting in president's house and it happened to be on the hottest day we have had this "spring." So with like 50 + missionaries crammed into the basement, we were all dying of heat.  President and the assistants talked to us about a lot of things but focused on the goal that we have as a mission for the month of November.  President wants every companionship to do 100 contacts (knocking doors or talking to people in the street) this month.  But like I mentioned before, we only count the contacts that we can set up an appointment with to go back and teach them.  So as we talked, we estimated that we have to talk to about 5 people to get one to set up an appointment with us.  And we have seen the pattern in the mission that from every 10 contacts, we get 1 progressing investigator and from every 10 progressing investigators, 1 gets baptized.  SO, basically what that means is that of the 500 people I'm going to talk to this month, 499 are going to reject the gospel or progress a little, but only one will be baptized. 

A little daunting and intimidating right?  RIGHT.  But, I'm so grateful for President Cifuentes and all that he teaches us to help us progress and work more efficiently and not just wander around every day.   I feel like I have a purpose and I'm dedicated to the goal he has given us and ready to find some new people to teach!! 

There's a quote in Preach My Gospel that we read in the meeting that helped me understand the importance of reporting our work to our leaders as missionaries and more important than that, to the LORD. 

“When performance is measured, performance improves.  When performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates.”

As leaders, we have to check up on our missionaries to help them progress, know that they have our support and help to reach their goals; but at the same time, we aren't going to pressure them into doing anything.   As we lead with love and by example, we can all progress together.  Also, it’s so important that we report to our Heavenly Father what we did every day.  Not only as a missionary, but in real life too.  He loves us so much and has blessed us with every new day of life.  To thank Him, we should use all that He has given us in the way that He wants.  I invite you all to talk to God every night and tell Him what you have accomplished that day and ask for guidance and help to do better tomorrow.  

OK, sorry I'm going to stop my little rant now.  I just love being a missionary.  Also, it was super fun to see some long lost friends from the mission in the meeting - Elder Lee, Elder Holmes and Hna Darrington.  

After being in Olavarria for such a LONG time...I had lost contact with the rest of the mission.
It was fun to see Elder Lee (from Draper)...

...Elder Holmes (from my group in the MTC)...

...and Hermana Darrington :)
There were seemingly a million more other missionaries there too, but I don't know any of them because I've been here in Olavarria for half my mission. ;) hahaha. 

Well, I hope you all have a great week!!  I love and miss you all!  Thanks for all of your support and love, I feel it every day on the flip side of the equator. :) 

Con amor y muchos contactos, 

Hermana Bartholomew

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Las Elderas

October 31, 2016
Hola Familia y Amigos!!!
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!! I hope you are enjoying my (least) favorite holiday without me.  Let’s be honest, I only support Halloween for the candy and pumpkin flavored stuff.  :)  But even though it’s not my favorite holiday (like at all), I do kind of miss it... The Argentines haven't got on the Halloween train yet, but give it a couple years and I'm sure they'll start baking everything with pumpkin this time of year and actually wear the very few costumes that they are selling in their stores. ;)   
That being said, I hope you enjoy the photos of the genius costumes my companion and I threw together today.  
We decided to real creative and be ELDERAS for Halloween.
Oh wait...those are our real pants that we have to wear now that warmer weather (and mosquitoes) are here.
AWKWARD!
Showing our muscles from lifting all those "Books of Mormon" ;)
jaja - I want to watch The Best Two Years!!!!

I'm a man!
Just know that we didn't have to try that hard because those pants in the pictures are what we have to wear everyday now to go out proselyting. Yay for mosquitos and having to die of heat during summer to protect yourself!!  Luckily, it hasn’t been too hot here yet, in fact it has just rained all week.  So you can now refer to my companion and me as "elderas" instead of hermanas if you feel so obliged. 
Well this week was a bit crazy because we had two road trips and I got sick AGAIN.  I seriously have the worst luck. :)  I had my first big kid meeting in Bahia Blanca with the other Hermana Entrenadoras in President’s house on Friday. 
At the mission home in Bahia Blanca with the other Hermana Training Leaders

We left Thursday evening and returned on Friday evening.  After getting home to Olavarria way past our bed time, we had to wake up the next morning and get ready to head to Azul for the entire day to be with the missionaries in that town for the chapel open house there.  
With the Hermanas from Azul and the Hermanas in charge of the capillas abiertas [Open Houses]

Explaining the gospel to people in Azul with Hermana Quenta

With my favorite Hermanas
With the 6 hour bus rides to and from Bahia and the hour to and from Azul, I slept probably a total of 3 hours and was just bored out of my mind the rest of the time.  
The bus ride to Bahia

On the way back home

The bus ride to Azul

The Argentine countryside between Olavarria and Azul
You can clearly see that my child wasn't paying much attention to me on this bus ride...
...and I was pretty bored. :)
To add to it, I wasn’t feeling well, so I just drank Sprite and had lots of random conversations with myself in my head.... super fun right?? J Whatchu gonna do?
With all that craziness I don't have a ton of updates on the investigators.  Although, Alberto y Angelica have their wedding date set!!!!  They are tying the knot on December 26th!!!!!  Which means, in December Angelica will getting baptized too!! :)  I'm so beyond happy and excited for them! 
Claudia and her family haven't made it back to church and really aren't seeing the urgency and importance of the gospel in their lives right now.  We aren't giving up though!!  We have another lesson with them tonight and one of the members will be with us, so we'll see what we can do.  Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. 
Well, sorry to overwhelm you with so many photos.  Hope you all have a great week!! Keep on keeping on and trick-or-treat your hearts out tonight for me. ;)
So blessed to have a Walmart here in Olavarria to pull through for me with (one of)
my favorite candy on Halloween

Con amor y dulces,
Hermana Bartholomew