Alma 29:9

"I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yeah, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy."
Alma 29:9

Monday, October 26, 2015

Open Your Mouth

Dear family,
THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR EMAILS!!! They absolutely make my day. So THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!

This week was really good. It's so fulfilling to look back at this week and know that you did  lot of good. :-) I have especially tried this week to have more courage to open my mouth. It hasn't been easy, and it has been and still is an obstacle I am trying to overcome. But. This week was better than the past two, and I'm making improvements.

I just have been so hesitant to jump in and help Sister Talbot teach...I have been so afraid to open my mouth...but this week I made the goal to act on every good thought I had and open my mouth to share and testify of the gospel. And it is getting easier as I do it more often. I am far from perfect in it, but I know that as I do it more and pray for strength, He will help me. I know He will. I can't do this work alone. He is the One helping me through it all. As I have made the effort to more willingly jump in and teach and open my mouth, I have seen His hand. He has placed words and thoughts into my head and heart and has given me the courage to speak up and speak out. I am learning that I need to put forth my effort if He is going to help me. I have to have faith and actually work at it if I want His help.

And these scriptures have helped a ton:

"And thou must open thy mouth at all times, declaring my gospel with the sound of rejoicing. Amen." (Doctrine & Covenants 28:16)

Other references: Doctrine & Covenants 33:8-11; 60:2-3; 100:5-8

PS the acronym for open your mouth is OYM -- just letting you know because I might use it in the future ;-)

On Saturday, President and Sister Johnson came to our district meeting to interview us and share some thoughts with us. I met with President Johnson, and wow. Just wow. He is absolutely INCREDIBLE. He is so genuine and kind and I feel like a better person just having been in his presence. About opening my mouth, he said, "It will come, Sister Bartlett. It will come. It will take a lot of practice, and it won't come all at once, but it will come." He also told me that I have such a unique and special spirit about me. "You have a spirit about you that is warm, approachable, and unlike anything else. Maybe it's the experiences you've gone through, or may it's just the person you are, but it sure is something special." (along those lines) Oh. It was amazing to hear him say that. I beat myself up over the littlest things, but things like that help me to see myself more as my Father in Heaven sees me. And what a blessing it is.

Remember Jeanie? Well, we went to go see her this week, and didn't get a word in. It's so sad, but she's so hardened and I'm pretty sure she's experienced anti material, and we just aren't getting anywhere with her. So we decided to drop her. Sad day indeed. But, as Sister Talbot says, "It takes faith to drop someone." . . . so that's what I'm hanging on to.

Speaking of Sister Talbot, can I just say. She is just incredible! She is a fantastic missionary and I look up to her SO much. I just feel so blessed to have her as my companion. She is patient with me and is teaching me so much. If I ever train while I'm on my mission, I hope I can train my trainee as well as she is training me. :-)

Because she is such an amazing missionary, I have struggled with comparing myself. There have been times that I have focused on my weaknesses and shortcomings, instead of my strengths. But I know that is an awful thing to do, because "comparison is the thief of joy." It truly is. The Lord sees us all as equal, and He doesn't compare our weaknesses to other people's strengths, so why should we?? We each have been blessed with unique spirits and testimonies and strengths and gifts to give. Not one of us is exactly the same (how boring would that be?!). I know it can be so hard sometimes, but focus on your strengths! And your gifts and all that the Lord has blessed you with! You are a child of the Most High God--you are divine. You are. He loves you perfectly and infinitely and unconditionally. His love is there constantly, whether you feel you deserve it or not. We just need to have faith and trust in that love. And if we do, we will see it manifested in our everyday lives.

One of the highlights of this week. We taught Tim, and though the lesson was completely different than what we thought it would be, it was amazing, and I'm sure he needed it. He has felt really down lately, and we were trying to help him in any way that we could. Sister Talbot asked him if he'd like to hear a hymn. He said he would, so we sang "Be Still My Soul" for him. You know, music is just amazing and powerful. It can bring the Spirit unlike anything else. After we sang, she testified of the peace and stregth that comes from the gospel, but more importantly from the Savior. As she was talking, I was reminded of the scripture that contains the phrase, "with his stripes we are healed..." I did a quick search on my iPad, and found the scripture (Mosiah 14:3-5). I spoke up and read to him the scripture, and testified that "with his stripes, [I have been] healed". And that with His stripes, he can be healed, and he can stop smoking. But only through the strength of the Savior. In that moment, I felt the Spirit SO strong. I felt it even in that room that smelled so heavily of smoke. It was REAL, it was there, and I felt it. I don't know if Tim felt it--I hope he did--but I know I did, and I needed it. I felt my Savior near, and came to know Him better in that moment. It was truly beautiful. It was a moment that through the strength of the Lord, I had the courage to open my mouth and I felt the power that came because of it.

So, I invite each of you to more willingly open your mouths. Whether it's at school, at work, or at home, OYM. :D Have the courage to speak up and speak out! I promise you that blessings will come as you do so.

Oh my goodness!! Exciting news!!! We are having a baptism THIS SUNDAY!!!! WOOHOO!!!! Her name is Miah, and she is the cutest. She is just making the transition into young women's, and is so excited to be baptized. I have loved taking part in teaching her these past few weeks, and I honestly can't wait for Sunday. I know that the covenants she is making with her Father in Heaven and the companionship of the Holy Ghost will bless her life more than anything else!! I will tell you ALL about it next Monday!!

I hope you have a wonderful week!!!!! LOVE YOU ALL SOOOOO MUCH!!!!

With all the love in my heart,
Sister Bartlett xoxo

PS: you want to know something interesting?? Since being out here, there are people I meet, especially in the ward that remind me of people back home. Like I've met people who remind me of Natalie Winder, Mark Jensen, and Brenda Armstrong. Ha ha It's so crazy! Sister Talbot says that will keep happening the rest of my mission. Ha ha! Well, that's all! Love you lots!!!

Monday, October 19, 2015

The good + the bad + the in-between


Hi family!!

Hope you're all doing well!! Sooooo excited Cam Bam got his
patriarchal blessing yesterday!!! SO happy. :D Oh my goodness and
guess what?!? Friday is my "click day", which means I will have been
on my mission for one month!! Can you believe it?? I can't. It's
crazy. :)

Oh! And our family ponderize scripture: 1 Timothy 4:12..."Let no man
despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word,
in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity."

My thoughts:
Be an example of Christ in all that you do.
Word: speak the words of Christ
Conversation: hear the words of Christ
Charity: love and serve as Christ would
Spirit: have the Spirit of Christ with you always
Faith: demonstrate your faith in Christ through your works
Purity: Be pure like Christ was

It's a good one! Let me know what this week's scripture is!!

Okay. So. Like the title of this email, this week consisted of the
good, the bad, and the in between of missionary work. :-) So here we
go!!

First. There is a MAJOR struggle teaching people here in Pennsylvania.
It's called "the PA ramble". IT'S A REAL THING. And it makes it hard
to keep people focused while we are teaching them! I probably
experience it like 10 times a day. It's a struggle. (But I've been
known to ramble too...haha) We're working on it though. :)

This week we met Kelly, and she's less active. The Bishop asked us to
go see her, so we did. It took several days for us to get over to see
her, but when we did, she was so grateful. She receives lots of
opposition for her faith, and it's hard for her. She's recently gone
through some challenges that have made things harder. But she has the
best attitude and definitely inspires me. We shared the video "Because
He Lives" video and she just cried. She told us that the night before
she had been praying for us to come. Then Sister Talbot and I started
crying. The spirit there was beautiful and so powerful. It was
incredible to know that we were truly an answer to her prayers and we
came at the right time. I KNOW that our Father hears and answers each
and every prayer. And He is SO aware of each and every detail of our
lives.

The not so good part of the week...I experienced my first Anti
material on the mission this week...we were driving in the car and
answered a phone call (it's all hooked up in the car, so it was on
speaker). Sister Talbot did all the talking, but the man on the phone
was SO rude. He went on about this and that about Joseph Smith and how
he thinks we don't believe in the Bible...he was so disrespectful too.
I could feel the Spirit leave, and I felt so icky afterwards. We were
both pretty shaken up about it...our faith wasn't shaken, but we were.
It was the worst Anti Sister Talbot has come across so far in her
mission. It was bad. But it's out there. And I have to be prepared for
it. We also had a really hard lesson with a less-active, and it was
rough. We think she's been "anti-ed" too, so that made it hard. But
it's okay! These moments help me appreciate even more the good ones.

But! There were many good moments throughout the week! For instance.
We are teaching a man named Tim. He's trying to stop smoking, and he
really wants to change. His son Tristen has been in and out of
lessons, but the other night we taught Tim the Plan of Salvation, and
Tristen came and sat in on the lesson. Tristen's friend Greg came and
sat in on the lesson too. They both had really good questions, and
were sincere about learning more. It was wonderful! The spirit was
there, and I'm really looking forward to teaching them more this next
week. On another note, we totally walked out of there smelling like
smoke...but the running joke in the mission is that if by the end of
the day you don't have animal hair on you, or smell like smoke, you
haven't done your job. Ha ha :) so I guess we did our job!! :D

We taught a man named Dave and he is great! He's met with the
missionaries off and on, but had some questions for us. We were able
to answer them, and we can tell he has a willing heart and wants to do
good and follow the commandments. Sister Talbot felt prompted to, so
she asked him if he would be baptized on December 19th. He said yes!
Ahhh so excited!!! He has a lot to learn, but we are here to help and
teach him. It's a great goal to work towards and I'm so excited for
him!!

Oh my. I have to tell you about a story Sister Talbot told me during a
companionship study this week. I'm just paraphrasing here, but it's a
powerful story about the Refiner's Fire. These Christian ladies were
studying in the Bible together, and they came across the verses that
talk about Jesus Christ being the Refiner. They wondered what it meant
to purify silver, as it mentions in the Bible. So, one of the ladies
went to go watch a blacksmith purify silver. She observed the
following: he would shape the silver, and then he would place the
silver right in the center of the fire, where it is the hottest. But
as he holds it in the flame, he never walks away from it. She noticed
this, and asked, "Why couldn't you walk away from the silver while it
was in the fire?" He said, "I can't walk away, because if I do, the
silver will be completely destroyed. I keep it in the fire just long
enough so that when I pull it out, I can see my reflection in it."
Wow. I didn't word that very well, but hopefully it made sense. It
gave me a new perspective on the refiner's fire and trials in general.
I know that He places us in the furnace of affliction, but He never
leaves our side. He helps us endure so that when we come out on the
other side, He will be able to see His reflection within us. (If you
haven't watched the Mormon message about the Refiner's Fire, go do
it!!)

We have shown the video "Because He Lives" many times this week, and I
love it so much. I know it's message is true. During the good, the
bad, and the in between, HE IS HERE. I know He is because I can feel
Him, and see His hand. In each of our lives...He is here.

I am praying for you and I hope you have a wonderful week!!!

LOVE YOU SOOO MUCH!!!!!!!

Romans 8:31 <3

Love,
Sister Bartlett

PS: I'll be ponderizing 2 Nephi 31:20 this week :) + the family scripture!!


"The Refiner's Fire"  -  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DIIgm6xABQ



                                                             More Fall Colors



                                                     
                                        Carving pumpkins at a Zone training activity




                                   My pumpkin!! #PPM (Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Mission)                                                              



                     During a Zone Training, the sisters went to lunch...yes, sadly, at McDonalds ;)
                                                               



Missionary Work "stinks" sometimes ;) 


video



Monday, October 12, 2015

Carried

I have made it to Pennsylvania!! I travelled with Sister Noorlander
and three other Elders. I slept basically the whole way to Detroit and
then from there to Pittsburgh it was seriously like 35 minutes.
Shortest flight of my life. We met President and Sister Johnson at the
airport and they are the sweetest. We went to a lookout over the city
and it was just beautiful. Pictures don't even do it justice. But I'll
get some to you anyway. :) We spent the night at the mission home
which is in Upper St. Clair and it is a wonderful home. We got our
iPads that night and set those up. To answer your question Dad, they
are iPad minis. We were all connected to the mission home wifi, so I
just had to type it out on the iPad (I'm planning on buying a keyboard
so I can type better for future P-days ;)). We had a wonderful dinner,
got out iPads, received some training, then went to bed. The next
morning we headed to a chapel near Pittsburgh where transfers would
take place. I won't bore you with all the small details, but before I
knew it, I was assigned a trainer--Sister Talbot, and in a car driving
to Harrisburg to meet up with other missionaries. It took us over 5
1/2 hours to get there. It was CRAZY!! Did you know that the PPM is
the mission that covers the most land in the US? Well now you know! It
really is huge. I honestly had no idea. Well, it was late when we got
to Harrisburg, so we drove a little further to spend the night
in...wait for it...Hershey!!! It was great. Several other sisters had
to crash in the same place because they had farther to drive the next
morning. Definitely something that won't happen too often. ;) We got
up the next morning and drove to the Sunbury area, and Danville
specifically because that's where we are living. We live in s duplex
(out here they call it "half a double"--too funny) and its 4 stories!!
I think it's one of the biggest in the mission, if not the biggest. We
have a washer and dryer and some exercise equipment too. It's
wonderful!! Sister Talbot was here for three weeks before I got here.
Her companion was new in the field but had to go home because of pains
in her head--she needed to get treated at home. Poor thing. I got to
meet her and she seems incredible. She will be missed. :'( But it
means this is Sister Talbot's third time training! So she is basically
a pro ;) I'm in very good hands :D

Oh my goodness!! I forgot to tell you when I was talking to you on the
phone--the night before leaving the MTC, we had a devotional, and
guess who it was?!?! VOCAL POINT!!!!!!!!! Needless to say, it was
AMAZING. They sang several beautiful arrangements of hymns, and each
shared a testimony of missionary work (they are all returned
missionaries). The spirit was undeniably strong, and was the most
incredible spiritual boost after conference. I JUST LOVE MUSIC SOOOO
MUCH!!!!!!!

Another random thing. We were driving to Harrisburg and we stopped at
a gas station and met Eric Dowdle!!!!! Remember that Christmas puzzle
of the wisemen we have?? Yep, that's him!!!! He is super nice and it
was so fun to talk to him!! He has a son serving in McAllen, TX,
speaking Spanish. I wonder if Elder Hickman has run into him...I'll
have to ask. It was really cool!!!

I titled this email "carried" for a special reason. A little bit of
background first though. The first night here in PA, I was SO
homesick. I just cried and cried. I felt like I had the weight of the
world on my shoulders and though, "what have I done coming on a
mission??" Luckily I was able to sleep (definitely took a Melatonin
;)), and got up the first morning and just went because I had to. The
night in Hershey I crashed because I was so exhausted. The first night
in the apartment I was again very very homesick. Sister Talbot was
wonderful though and helped me talk through it. I realized nights can
be hard, because you can be busy all day but the nights are slower,
which gives you more time to think about it. The next morning we met
two Elders at the church--Elder Stallings (my district leader) and his
comp Elder Hansen. They gave me a priesthood blessing of comfort and
counsel and it has made such a big difference. In retrospect and
looking back at this week, I know without a doubt I have been carried
through it. Even through the MTC. Watching two companions go home was
traumatic and so hard to go through. But I really do know I have been
carried. That is the only way I have made it this far. I know it is
because of so many prayers (thank you a million times over!!), and a
strength that can only come from the grace of Jesus Christ through His
Atonement. And I am infinitely grateful. I know that grace is REAL. It
is the only reason I am able to get up and do His work each and every
day. What a tremendous blessing this has been. I am so grateful to
know the Lord is with me--walking with me each day.

It's been interesting. I've had moments that I can't believe I'm
actually on a mission. I have moments where I look down at my name tag
and think, "What?! How long has that been there?!" Ha ha ha :D and I'm
realizing that missionaries can be normal!! And I'm actually having
fun. Who knew?! :) But in all seriousness it has been pretty amazing.
I can feel this sacred mantel and I know the Lord is the One helping
me carry it. Yesterday I was sitting in church listening to a returned
sister missionary speak, and I had this overwhelming feeling come over
me and this thought entered my head and it said: "You are in the best
possible place you could be right now." This brought tears to my eyes
because it was an answer to an unspoken prayer. God truly knows us
perfectly and loves us infinitely and knows exactly what we need and
when we need it.

This week we were able to go and visit and talk to a lot of people. As
we did so, and I watched Sister Talbot take the lead, I realized that
missionary work is so much more simple than I thought it was. Don't
get me wrong, there's a lot that goes into it, but going about doing
good, and talking to and serving people--it's what Christ would do if
He were here, and it's so simple. Reminded me of Elder Uchtdorf's talk
about simplifying our discipleship. It doesn't have to be complicated.

We visited several people and I can only mention a few! Let's see.
Jeanie is one of our investigators and she has lots of questions. We
talked to her on her front porch--most of which was just friendly
conversation between us--she is a spunky lady and I just love her! One
of the questions she has is: why did God give His Son to die for the
rest of us? Coming from her parental perspective, she knows she never
could do that and she never would do that. She doesn't understand why
God would do it. As we were talking, I jumped in and testified of the
unconditional, all consuming and all encompassing love our Father has
for us. It is so beyond our mortal comprehension to even try to
understand why God would sent His Son, but His love is what we trust
in and have faith in. She wants to find the truth, I know she does.
She just doesn't know where to find it. She's skeptical about other
things, but we are trying to help her understand the gospel more to
know that this is where the truth can be found. We'll keep working on
her. :)

Another lady we went to see is Doris, and she's less active--has been
for a long time. She's in her 70's, and has been living with her
boyfriend for the past twenty years. That's such a long time! Ha ha :)
Sister Talbot straight out asked her why she doesn't come to church,
and she said it's because she can't take the sacrament. We told her we
can help her fix that--she just has to talk to the bishop (and he'll
tell her what she needs to do). Sister Talbot testified of them power
of the Atonement, and Doris was so amazed that there is a way she can
take the sacrament again. Granted, she'll need to separate from or
marry her boyfriend, but she'll figure out what to do I'm sure. So
good news!! She came to church yesterday!!! So so happy. She had
agreed to stay and talk to the bishop, but she didn't realize she
would need to stay for the whole block. So she left. Sad day. But she
really enjoyed it and wants to come back next week. :)

We met Marlene and she's less active too. Pretty much the coolest lady
I've ever met. I think she's going to be my "Sunbury mission grandma".
Ha ha :D Her husband is not a member, but we hope we can help them
around their house and start teaching him soon. We are going over to
help them and have dinner with them next Friday. They seriously are so
cool. They find these really rare minerals and shape and polish them
and work on them and make them into jewelry. She talked to us about
the process and it's so cool!! We found out she wants to make it back
to the temple and we told her we can help her do that!! I invited her
to start reading the Book of Mormon each day, and read her Moroni
10:32-33. It was a powerful moment that I could testify of God's love
for her, and how progressing towards the temple will help her to come
unto Christ. She was so appreciative and kind and I could feel that
the Lord loves her a great deal.

Out here, there are so many less actives, so that's where most of our
work will be focused. With a few investigators along the way. I guess
a less active coming back to church is just as important as a baptism,
so I'm willing to jump right in and help them come back into the fold.
:D

I'll be honest, there have been moments I have felt so overwhelmed
with all there is to learn and do. Also I've felt frustrated with
myself that I don't know more, but I am striving to be kind to myself
and patient with myself, knowing that just like the principles of the
gospel, missionary work can't be learned all at once. Another piece of
evidence I am being carried. :)

Oh! Mom, I invited you to view my shared iCloud photo album for my
mission. Just go on to your iPhone, and in your pictures app at the
bottom it will say photos, shared, and albums. Click on shared and at
the top right click on invitations and reply to the one I sent you.
Then you can view all my mission pictures I put on there!! 'Twill be
great :D (you might need to use this for blog pictures...hopefully
it's not too hard--you can always email yourself the pictures and use
them that way)

Quick note on emails. I can read emails at any point in the week, but
I can only respond to them on Mondays between 10 AM and 6 PM. Ha ha :D
so send away!! And I'll respond to them when I can. :)

I love you so much and am praying for you lots!!!!!! Love you soooo much!!!!!!

All my love,
Sister Bartlett

Looks like they found Big Foot !




Sis. B and Sis. T by the Bishops house.




Amazing fall colors in PA !!!


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Love from the Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Mission

We are so happy to welcome Sister Bartlett into the Pennsylvania Pittsburgh mission.   We loved getting to know her while she stayed here in the Mission home on Monday night.  What a delightful young woman!  On Tuesday she spent the day in training and transfer meeting.  She met her new companion Sister Talbot and they are getting settled and out to work today!  She is in an outstanding area for medical resources and we will be happy to work with her to find a doctor when the time comes for the scans and tests that she might need to do.  Feel free to be in touch with us through email or phone if you ever have any concerns.

Thank you for all you have done to help prepare your daughter to be an outstanding missionary.  We look forward to serving with her as the Lord hastens His work here in Pennsylvania!

You can follow our mission blog at ppmmemories.blogspot.com

Blessings to you and your family,
President and Sister Johnson

Brianna with President and Sister Johnson



Brianna with her first companion and trainer Sister Talbot



President and Sister Johnson and AP's with the travel group from the MTC





First transfer group





Coming to you live from PA!

FAMILY!!

Sorry I didn't email yesterday--it's been a whirlwind to say the
least. :-) I met my trainer!! Her name is Sister Talbot from Vernal
Utah!!! :D She is wonderful and I've had countless people tell me she
is one of the best sisters in the mission...plus I'm the third sister
she's trained!! She is so fantastic. She loves Disney music, Christian
music, all things music, but beyond our similarities, I know I will be
able to learn a lot from her. :-)

FYI, my new address is:
208 Ferry Street
Danville, PA 17821

If you send letters, PLEASE send them here. The mission home is
probably 4 hours from here, so I won't get it for a while if you send
it to that address (you probably should change it on the blog :)). Oh
and our mission is HUGE!! I had no idea. It's crazy.

The area I am in is called Sunbury (usually pronounced "sun berry" --
how cute is that?! I love it). So, in mission lingo, I was born here.
Ha ha :D and Sister Talbot is my mother and I am her daughter. :-) fun
fun!!

Hope you're all doing well and had s wonderful conference weekend!!
Talk to you soon!!

LOVE YOU!!!!

All my love,

Sister Bartlett

Monday, October 5, 2015

And so it begins!

Family!!

Soooo good to talk to you earlier today!! :D (very much earlier
today...ha ha ha :)) I just wanted to let you know I made it safely to
the mission!! President and Sister Johnson are wonderful and
Pennsylvania is beautiful. I'm exhausted and though I slept on the
plane, I can't wait to get more sleep tonight--ha ha!!

I'll email you tomorrow with my new address--so stay tuned!! :D

I LOVE YOU!!!!!!

Sister Bartlett

(The iPads are AWESOME!!!!! :D :D :D)

Sent from my iPad

Friday, October 2, 2015

12-Day Miracle

Dearest family,

As I sit down to write (err, uh, type) this letter, I feel like that prophet in the Book of Mormon (I forget who it is) who says that he can only write a hundreth part of the events which have occurred. True story. The end. :) My time is close at hand, so let's get started, shall we? :) (On a side note--the MTC really is a time warp, so I'm not sure when everything exactly happened. Just bear with me. :))

Before I get to much further, I have to explain the title of this email. When the new missionaries arrived last Wednesday (myself included), Sister Burgess (the MTC President's wife), called us "12 day miracles". I didn't really know what she meant by that, but I am beginning to see more clearly. I have been part of an incredible miracle taking place these last 10 days or so. A miracle inside of me. I am being changed from the inside out. I'm still me with the same personality, but my view and perspective on things and sensitivity to the Spirit have improved immensely. It is absolutely beautiful. Don't get me wrong, there have definitely been ups and downs, but my relationship with my Father in Heaven and my Savior Jesus Christ are what keeps me going. And prayer. Prayer is my anchor, my rock. (I'll talk more about prayer later.)

Sunday evening, we watched the recording of a devotional given by Elder Bednar a few years ago. He gave it here in the MTC on Christmas morning, and it is titled "Character of Christ". Let me tell you, it was INCREDIBLE. Wow. I can't even put into words the feelings I felt as I watched it. It provided so many incredible insights and the Spirit taught me sooooo much. In simple terms, Elder Bednar described the character of Christ: Christ turned outward in love and compassion, when we would have turned inward in selfishness and self-absorption. Not the exact wording, but I hope it made a little bit of sense. He quoted a previous apostle who said "The Atonement was only possible through the character of Christ". I wish I could convey to you all I learned that night, but it was truly beautiful and I'll never see the Savior or His Atonement the same way again. I have been forever changed. :)

Speaking of the Atonement, the other night we had an opportunity study it for our personal study. It was beautiful and again, the Spirit taught me soo much. One of the things I wanted to share--I came to realize that Jesus Christ is a miracle. Let me explain. :) From His virgin birth to His sinless life, to the miracles He wrought every single day. To Him laying down His life and bearing the sins of the world, to rising again on the third day. He is MIRACULOUS. And His miracles have not ceased. He continues to perform them every single day. How honored I feel to have witnessed a miracle so sacred in my own life, as well as the miracles I see Him perform every day. How infinitely grateful I am for my Savior. And I love Him SOO much.

As promised, I'd love to talk about prayer for a minute. Prayer is a missionary's anchor, as I said before. Just because I was curious, the other day I tallied how many prayers I said or was involved in, and it was about 30. Not to mention the constant prayer in my heart I am striving to have. :) Prayer is SO powerful. I have never prayed so fervently, so intensely, so pleadingly before. It is an incredible gift. Time and time again, I have felt there is no one I can turn to and no one I can talk to. And that is when I turn to my Heavenly Father. And He hears and answers and comforts and guides. I can't convey the testimony I have in my heart about prayer, this direct communication to God. It is the most wonderful thing.

Oh! I have to tell you about a few more random things...
I auditioned to sing/play my musical number!! And I did it on the second day I was here. Crazy, right? Well, they assigned me two times to play/sing it. One of them was this past Monday, for the Senior Missionary welcome (yes, the senior missionaries--love them :)). I felt it went well, and I felt privileged to be an instrument in His hands to help invite the Spirit into that meeting. I also will be playing/singing tomorrow night, right before we watch the General Women's Meeting. :) But Dad! This is what I wanted to tell you--the next day, President Burgess was walking in the direction my companion and I were walking, and he turned around, so I said, "Hi President Burgess!" He told me hello, shook my hand, and said, "Thank you so much for that musical number yesterday. It was beautiful! All those hymns you put together--you put all of those old people to sleep!" Ha ha ha ha I thought it was hilarious. But then I mentioned you work with Andrea and he said, "Oh yes! I've been meaning to call her--it's just been so busy here." We then talked for a few minutes, and he told me again his special experience about the prompting he had to ask her to serve a mission. SO COOL. He is such a kind and dear man. 

Oh my goodness. Can I tell you--I have seen SOO many people I know here in the MTC that I didn't even know would be here! Here's the list so far:

Sister Melanie Rugg (High School)
Elder Cameron Blume (High School/Chamber)
Elder Ryan Brown (High School/Chamber)
Sister Hayley Bushman (High School)
Elder Alec Davey (only from a distance though...)
Elder Cardon Merrill (High School/Chamber...again, only from a distance...)
Elder Spencer Smith (the one I saw at Kneader's before--turns out he totally went to AF!)
Audrey Halverson (BYU ward)
Wyatt Moore (BYU ward)

Speaking of people! You HAVE to pass this along to Jeff and Natalie. I got put in as one of the Sister Training Leaders for a handful of days, and we are in charge of helping two new districts here. One of the sisters is SISTER BARNEY! She said she was from Herriman, I said I have family who live there, and told her who, and she said THEY'RE IN MY WARD!!! Crazy crazy crazy!! So yeah! She's rooming right next door and is DARLING. Soooo fun I got to bump into her and get to spend some time with her. :)

Another thing I have been learning LOTS about is love. One of my teachers (I have LOVED my teachers--they are INCREDIBLE!!) said something I absolutely adore:

"You are taking 18 or 24 months out of your life for LOVE. Why try to hide it?"

Ahhhhh it's sooooo good. And I'm coming to know it is soooo true. God loves us SOOO much, and I firmly believe that is the reason He puts so much trust in young missionaries to go out and proclaim that love to everyone they meet. What a privilege this opportunity is. :) :)

Okay. I had the chance to teach a few investigators this week and it has been incredible. The main one is Ivy, and she is Buddhist, which definitely brings a new dynamic to the table. Sister Swindlehurst and I have been trying to teach her the very basics and invite her to pray to know if she does have a Father in Heaven and Savior. The first lesson we taught her was really rough to be honest. Teaching is hard. It was all over the place and she was so confused by the end. But. I said the closing prayer, and as I prayed as simply as I could, I was overcome with this love for this girl that I hadn't even met until that night. It was all I could do to hold back the tears. It was so beautiful and so powerful, and I will always remember it. The next time we taught, we decided to answer questions she had and just go off of the Spirit. We didn't have hardly anything prepared, but I saw a miracle take place. The Spirit was able to work through us and we were so much more in tune. It was incredible. There was such a wonderful spirit there, and I can only prayer she felt it too.

I do have to tell you some of the harder things that have happened this week. My companion, Sister Swindlehurst has been in and out of doctor appointments all week. After several doctors appointments, it was concluded that she needed to go in for surgery today. The decision was made that she would go home for the surgery. It all happened so fast, but by 5:30 yesterday, I was companion-less. I'll be honest: it has been SOO hard. Man it really has. And in addition to, another sister in our district (one I've been rooming with) is also going home tomorrow to figure out some health issues. I have felt like the weight of the world has been on my shoulders. It has been such an emotional roller coaster, and I can only pray it gets easier. My new companion will be Sister Noorlander, and she is headed to Pittsburgh as well. SOO grateful I have someone to travel with. I know they both needed to go to figure things out, but I have had moments when I have thought about how much easier it would be to go home now. But I know that is straight from the adversary and the Lord really needs me here. It just is super hard right now.

Sorry--that was a lot. Just please keep me in your prayers that I can be strong with the Lord's help through all of this!! Thank you for all the love and support you've already shown!!!!

I LOVE YOU SOOO MUCH!!!!

With all the love in my heart,
Sister Bartlett