Monday, January 2, 2017

Feliz Año Nuevo!!

 January 2, 2017

Hola Familia y amigos, 

Happy 2017!!!!! WOW, is it just me or did 2016 pass by WAYYYY too fast??  Was I really in Argentina all of last year??  Weird.  I'm really excited for this new year of life and the adventures that await, but at the same time I wasn't ready for it to come.  Do I really have to finish my mission in a short 3½ months??  :(   Not let’s just not talk about that. 

The last week of 2016 was great!  We had a yummy New Year’s eve dinner with our ward mission leader and his family and got to watch the fireworks out our window again but this time with visitors. :)  

Sorry for the really blurry picture...we ate way good though ;)
Sleepover watching New Year's Fireworks!
Hermana Estrada and Hna Croft - the Hermanas that have traveled around the mission for the capillas abierta [chapel open houses] were with us.  That`s right...I get to be a part of another chapel open house…but this time in Mar del Plata in Barrio Puerto!! Yay!! Haha those poor hermanas are probably so sick of me. ;)  This will be the 5th time that I’ve been a part of one.  The open houses really are so great, and I'm excited to do it again.  I really hope it can help our ward out here. 

Our investigators are doing great. They've been a bit busy during these holiday weeks but little by little we are seeing lots of progress.  Please keep Claudio y Flavia, Gloria, Irma and Sofi in your prayers.  Also, I received the happy news from Hermana Quenta in Olavarria that our golden investigator family – Claudia, Yael, and Francisco are getting baptized on January 21st!!!!!!!!!  YAY!  She promised to send me pictures, and I’ll keep you updated.

Guys, I just have to say that I love Mar del Plata!!  There is so much to do here and it’s so pretty!  Every P-day I totally feel like I’m a tourist on vacation - and even more now that seemingly everyone and their dog from everywhere here in Argentina has come these last few weeks for summer break.  MDP is heating up and everyone is on the beach.  Haha I’m a bit jealous but it’s all good, being a sister missionary with pants is much more fun! ;)   

Look how pretty Mar del Plata I on vacation??

My comp and I were able to explore Puerto (the port) a little this morning and it was so fun!  

El Puerto!
There's like this road that goes into out into the middle of the ocean with what must be the world's longest mural and some sea lions along the way that leads to a Jesus statue, plus lots of fish and boats.  It was really pretty and also fun to look like cheesy tourists in our new Mar del Plata matching t-shirts. :) 

The colors and mascot of the Puerto futbol team...
the entire city is painted green and yellow

Where in the world is Hermana Bartholomew?

My personal favorite part of the mural...HELADO!!
Haha - I promise I'm not obsessed!!

I LOVE MUSIC!  Biggest Piano I've ever played.  :)

Look FISH!  oh, and the painting is cool too ;)
Pescado - because we are in Puerto
These are my buddies the LOBOS MARINOS (sea lions)

I wanted so much to join him so bad!
We made it!
Super Cool...its a little like I'm in Rio, no?

I welcomed in the New Year by giving a talk in sacrament meeting yesterday.  Oh joy! :)  I haven’t been asked to speak in sacrament meeting since I was in Villa Floresta way back in February of last year. ;) I talked about the power of the Book of Mormon.  It just so happens that as an entire mission, we started reading it back at the beginning of October and had the goal to finish it before the end of the year.  You all know me though, I’m a bit of a procrastinator sometimes, so I finished reading the last 3 chapters that morning…only an hour or two before my talk.  I really want you all to know that I have a testimony of the power and divinity and truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.  It is true and changes lives.  It has changed my life.  That's why I was able to spend the entire year last year walking all day, everyday through the heat, the rain and the cold Argentine tundra.  All because I know that everyone needs to read this book. 

In Alma chapter 26, the last two verses say something like, “for this is my life and my light, my joy and my salvation”…to let everyone know that God hasn't forgotten about the house of Israel...(haha something like that, sorry I didn’t write it down.)  I know that God never has, and never will forget about us.  He has given us this precious book as a companion to the Bible to help lead and guide us and tell us everything we need to know; and how to follow Him to be happy in this life and return to live in His presence in the life to come.  I want to invite you all to read it every day during this next year because I know that when you read it, you will feel of God’s love for you; and if you let it, it can change your life. 

I LOVE THE MISSION.  I’m kinda freaking out about how fast it’s going by...but I’m doing the best I can and enjoying every minute.  Until next week… 

Con amor y calor, 

Hermana Bartholomew 

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