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, November 30, 2015

The Cure


How are you's?! (The people out here totally say that ...I don't
really, but I think it's funny) This week was slower, but still a
good one!

Before I go on though, thank you thank you THANK YOU for the package
and all of the letters!!! I absolutely LOVED ALL of it!!! And that
blanket--oh my goodness it is so soft, it's like sleeping on a cloud!
Honestly, that is all I need for Christmas. Nothing else!! I am so
happy with it and it is absolutely beautiful!! Thank you SOOO much!!!
I'm sure that was a big sacrifice, so thank you over and over again!!
I already set up the little tree, and will start the (adorable) advent
calendars tomorrow! Can you believe it's December?!

So this week. It didn't start out started out rough...Monday
night, Sister Talbot and I just came home and cried. She has been
struggling with things, and I have too--especially facing a major
holiday away from home. But on top of that, I have felt so lonely, so
burdened down with the weight of the world on my shoulders and not a
friend in the world. Missionary work is exhausting. I had no idea that
this is what I was signing up for. I hate to say it, but it's true.
I'm trying to do my best, but man, it's so hard. She's been feeling
similar things, so we just cried together. We called Elder Hansen and
Elder Stallings seeking comfort and counsel. They helped somewhat, but
I fell asleep that night still with a heavy heart.

The next day, we went to the old folk's home to help with their
Thanksgiving lunch. All we did was help serve food. But it put a
smile on my face. Later that night, we met Danielle at Dunkin' Donuts
with the stake addiction recovery missionaries. We talked to her and
helped her see that God hasn't given up on her, that here is hope from
the Atonement. If she is willing to change. And she is. She expressed
it over and over again. Even the senior missionaries with us knew her
before and said she is different--they can tell she's changed. As we
said goodbye to her and walked away, the Spirit washed over me and I
realized the cure. The cure for this sadness and despair I had been
feeling--it's simple. The cure for all of that is to help people.
Serve them. Go to work. It isn't anything huge--but it is the cure.

"One of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work. If a
missionary works, she will get the Spirit; if he gets the Spirit, she
will teach by the Spirit; if she teaches by the Spirit, she will touch
the hearts of the people, and she will be happy. … Work, work,
work--there is no satisfactory substitute, especially in missionary
work." (Ezra Taft Benson) . . . It's SOO true!! Remembering it is the

That night we also went and saw Tim and his son Tristen. We hadn't
seen them for two weeks, but after our visit with them, we could tell
things had improved on their situation, so we are going to start
seeing them again.

THANKSGIVING. Thursday morning, Sister Talbot and I got up, got
ready, studied, and went to Bishop Snowden's house. We watched a bunch
of people play in a turkey bowl, and then we went inside to help
Sister Snowden in the kitchen. We helped her bake pies--it was great!!
They have a big family (6 kids) and some of heir extended family was
over too. We cooked and then we all ate a delicious Thanksgiving meal.
It was so good!! Had some good 'old favorites like green bean
casserole, homemade stuffing, and of course all the other good stuff.
I also had the best apple pie I've ever had, and I tried Pecan pie for
the first time. So so yummy!! The best part was being surrounded by
their family--they got to be my family for the day. :-)

Ponderizing this week has opened my eyes and changed my perspective
about my mission. I chose Ether 12:27 and have thought a lot about

"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give
unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient
for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble
themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak
things become strong unto them."

Weakness. A word that almost always comes with a negative connotation.
But in the Lord's eyes, weaknesses are purposeful. He doesn't give us
weaknesses as a punishment or because we aren't good enough. He gives
us weaknesses to give us an opportunity to turn to Him for strength.
He gives us weakness to humble ourselves and rely on Him.

Elder Robert D. Hales said this perfectly, relating to missionaries:

"The Lord doesn’t promise to remove our handicaps when we become
missionaries; but by making the extra effort it will take, we develop
more ability to cope with individual shortcomings, and that coping
ability will be needed throughout our lives in our relationship with
others, in our employment, and in our families. Everyone has something
they must learn to master. Some are just more obvious than others."

"While Satan is eager to use our weakness to entice us to sin, God can
use human weakness to teach, strengthen, and bless us. Contrary to
what we might expect or hope, however, God does not always "make weak
things become strong" unto us by eliminating our weakness. When the
Apostle Paul prayed  repeatedly for God to remove a "thorn in the
flesh" Satan used to buffet him, God told Paul, "My grace is
sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness" (2
Corinthians 12:7, 9)." (Wendy Ulrich, April 2015 Ensign)

Our weaknesses won't leave us in this life--instead, we are afflicted
by them to humble us. My weaknesses drive me to my knees, but in that
act I cry out for help, for strength to endure that can only come from
above. I believe the cure for our weakness lies in praying DAILY for
strength, for grace--that enabling power that can only come from the
Savior's Atonement. That is the only way we can learn to cope with our
mortal infirmities.

Wow, that was a lot of quotes and a lot of thought, but I hope it all
made sense. ;-)

I do have to tell you something really sad--our district leader, Elder
Stallings, has been really sick off and on for the past several months
because of a food-borne illness. It hasn't been getting
better, so they are sending him home to give him time to heal and get
better, and then he plans on coming back out (he's been on his mission
about a year). But please, please pray for him!! He really needs it.

Also, please keep praying for our investigators--we didn't get to see
many of them this week, but they need your prayers!!

Well, I love you all sooo much and I hope you have a wonderful week!!!

Lots of love,
Sister Bartlett

                                        District Christmas Party


                               Bri with yappy Savvy (Savannah)


Monday, November 23, 2015

He always provides + GRATEFUL

Dad + Mom + Cameron + Brenden (and Zoey ;D),

I can't believe it's already Monday again! The week's seem to go by
slowly, but then fast at the same time. I don't know how that works,
but it does. :-) And you're so right--it's my second click day today!!
Two months--can you believe it?!

So many miracles happened this week. You know how we had to drop a few
investigators last week? Well, the Lord blessed us tremendously and we
picked up 5 new investigators (some of them have previously been
investigators with other missionaries). This was an absolute miracle.
It is an amazing thing to be able to see the Lord's hand so evident in
the work here.

Remember Ashley who we called last week? Well, on Tuesday we met with
her and taught her the Restoration. Let me tell you, she is SO
PREPARED. She is thirsting and hungering for truth--what is amazing is
I know without a doubt that we have the truth she is seeking. She is
looking into a few differently churches, so we are praying that as we
meet with her she will be able to feel the truth of what we are
teaching her. Please pray for her--she really needs it. Her husband is
against it, so she will receive lots of opposition for these steps she
is taking, but I know she can do it.

When we went to see Frank this past week, he asked us if we would go
see his wife Danielle. They have been separated for a long time, but
he wanted us to go see her. So on Friday, we felt really impressed to
go see her instead of waiting to the next week. We met her and she was
so nice! She told us she had met with the missionaries a long time
ago, but couldn't get baptized. So so sad!! She knows a
lot about the gospel, and we are going to teach her again tonight. We
want to share a message about enduring to the end and if she will do
that, and come to church and study her scriptures, the day she can be
baptized will be a glorious day indeed.

We taught Robert again this past week, and his wife sat in on the
lesson, which she's never done before. She was taught by the
missionaries a while ago, but had word of wisdom issues, so she wasn't
baptized (same with Robert). We told them we can help with that! We
taught them the Plan of Salvation--I just have to tell ya--Robert is
so awesome!! He was reading in True to the Faith about the kingdoms of
glory before we even taught him about them! He has word of wisdom
issues too--please keep him and his wife Teresa in your prayers.

This is kind of a side note, but one morning, Sister Talbot and I were
talking about how we wanted a Krispy Kreme donut. It sounded so good,
but we knew we couldn't get one. After we taught Frank's son Frank (we
call him Frank Jr. ... He was baptized, but knows next to nothing
about the gospel...we have lots of ground to cover...), he asked us if
we wanted a donut. Lo and behold, they were KRISPY KREME donuts!! Oh,
it was a pure tender mercy from the Lord. Only He knew we wanted
one...and He made a way. It was such a small and simple thing, but a
powerful reminder that He is fully aware of me.

You've asked about Thanksgiving, so I'll tell you! We have been
invited to have dinner at the Bishop's house--their family is
wonderful, so I'm really excited! For the first half of the day, we
are going to just stay inside and study, spend time on and and things like that. We would go out and proselyte, but no
one wants us in their house on Thanksgiving. Ha ha :)

In light of Thanksgiving, I am indeed grateful for many things.
I am grateful for my sacred and precious calling as a missionary.
I am grateful the Lord has called me to labor in this part of His
vineyard for the salvation of souls.
I am grateful for the powerful experiences I have had that strengthen
my testimony.
I am grateful for the matchless and miraculous gift of the Atonement
given to me by my Savior.
I am grateful for the strength that only can come through the
Atonement that enables me to press forward and endure.
I am grateful for His patience with me and all of my flaws and weaknesses.
I am grateful for His Spirit and how it teaches me in quiet and subtle
but powerful ways.
I am grateful for the moments when I feel encompassed about in the
arms of His love.
I am grateful for the power of prayer and the time spent on my knees.
I am grateful for this gospel and the rock and anchor it is in my life.

I am also grateful to know I am making progress as a missionary--it
feels wonderful to look back and see all of the good you did during a
day or during a week. :-)

Thank you so much for all your prayers and love and support!! Please
pray for our investigators by name--I know there is a very real power
that comes from prayer, especially as you pray for them by name. (The
list is: Danielle, Ashley, Sam, Roger, Teresa, William, Ted)

I hope you have a wonderful week and a fantastic Thanksgiving!!

I love you with all my heart!!! <3

All my love,
Sister Bartlett
Romans 8:39

Payton, Sister Bartlett, and Patience
(Frank's kids)

Lewisburg District

"When you are having a hard day--get ice cream!!"

Monday, November 16, 2015

Dropped + Found

Oh family,

THANK YOU FOR THE PACKAGE!! I am sooo grateful for the things you sent
to keep me warm and I loved all of your letters. And all those Emoji
stickers? I LOVED THEM!!! THANK YOU!!!! Also. It's so good to hear
from you. :D Thank you so much for your emails--I love reading them.
They give me a boost for this week that I definitely need. Anywho, a
lot happened this week I want to tell you about!

Monday for P-Day we played Human Hungry Hungry Hippo (with boards we
rolled on and colored balloons ;)). IT WAS SO FUN!! BEST P-DAY YET. We
also played Frisbee. Monday/Tuesday Sister Talbot and I participated
in exchanges. But since we are so far away from our STL's, they came
to us and we "blitzed" the areas close by. Starting Monday night,
Sister Landa was my companion. I'll be honest--I was terrified. I
wouldn't have Sister Talbot with me, and the thought of going out and
really taking the lead in the teaching terrified me. I prayed so hard
that night and the next day to receive help from on high. And you know
what? I did and it was amazing! I feel like I was able to teach like I
never have before. My teaching capabilities ARE better than I had
supposed, and I had true confidence in myself for one of the first
times. As Sister Landa and I taught one man named Marcus, she felt
impressed to show him a Mormon message--"Will of God". There was
something so special about that moment--I was overcome with the Spirit
as I watched him watch the video. It was another one of those moments
I live for as a missionary. I knew that moment was Sister Bartlett
experiencing her purpose as a missionary firsthand. I can't really
describe it, but it was beautiful.

So, I have to tell you about this crazy thing that happened this week.
Sister Talbot and I took two sisters from our ward down to Shamokin (a
sub-area in Sunbury) to go on splits and see people. I went with
Melissa--she is so sweet!! As we were driving, I was asking her
questions. She served a mission in Tucson, but spent most of her time
in El Paso, TX. When she told me that, I said, "Oh, I have family who
has lived down there." She said, "Really? What are their names?" "Dan
and Amy Bartlett." Immediately she said she knew who they were and
said she served in their ward for 10 months. She said she is terrible
with names, but as soon as I said it she knew exactly who I was
talking about. She remembers Amy's cooking and the kids--got to catch
her up on what they are all doing because they were smaller when she
served there. So, we need to find out if Dan and Amy remember her!!
Her name was Sister Keller, or Hermana Keller because she was a
Spanish-speaking missionary. :-) I attached a picture to this email of
the two of us--maybe the name and the face will help them. SMALL WORLD
THOUGH. I couldn't believe it!! So fun to find connections even out
here in PA. :D

So, I've told you about a few of our investigators--mainly Tim and
Dave (who I haven't mentioned for a while...). We have been wondering
if we should drop these two--Tim claims he wants to be baptized, but
he won't keep any commitments we extend. I had high hopes for Dave,
but one day he just dropped off the face of the earth. Stood us up for
a lesson at a member's house, stopped answering phone calls and get the idea. Can't do much for him when we can't even get
in touch with him. Unfortunately, it felt best that we drop both of
them this week. It was hard, let me tell you. It feels like we are
giving up on them, but I know we're not. They need their space, and
maybe 6 months from now they will be more ready. Sister Tablot's
wisdom still stands--"It takes faith to drop someone, because you have
to trust that the Lord will place other people in your path." And I am
ecstatic to say that indeed He has done just that--in miraculous ways.

Thursday morning, we got a call from a gentleman in our ward. His name
is Ray. He called us because he wants his daughter-in-law to be taught
the lessons. We got her contact information from him, and after we
hung up, we didn't know whether or not to call her, so we knelt in
prayer. As Sister Talbot prayed, I had the though, "Call her." Soon
after the prayer finished, she picked up the phone and dialed her
number. Her name is Ashley, and she sounds so prepared. She said she
is searching for the truth, and wants peace in her life. She wants a
church she can raise her son in, and she wants something to believe
in. I just listened to the conversation as Sister Talbot spoke with
her, but the Spirit I felt was absolutely incredible. Tears filled my
eyes and rolled down my cheeks as I listened to Ashley tell us about
her yearning for knowledge and truth. Though I have never met her, I
yearned for her to know the truth that our gospel contains. I
desperately want her to feel the peace in her life knowing she is
headed in the right direction. I want her to have the gospel in her
life--I know she needs it. Everyone needs it, but she sounds
especially prepared to partake of it. We set up a lunch appointment
with her and her dad this Tuesday. I am so excited to meet her and to
begin teaching her!! I'll let you know next week how it goes. :-)

Our Bishop and his wife have also given us names of people to
contact--we should be picking them up as investigators in the next
week or two. As Sister Talbot and I have put our trust in the Lord as
we've dropped our other investigators, others have been placed in our
path. I am so grateful for these miracles I have seen through evidence
of His hand. God is so good. :D

This week I re-read a Doctrine & Covenants scripture mastery we are
all familiar with (Doctrine and Covenants 18:15-16):

15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying
repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me,
how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!

16 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have
brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your
joy if you should bring many souls unto me!

I thought about this scripture in terms of my mission, and I had some
amazing thoughts come into my mind. The one soul it talks about in
verse 15--I could be and should be that one soul. As I spread the
gospel and invite people to come unto Christ, I must become firmly and
unwaveringly rooted in and converted to the gospel. As PMG states,
"You cannot convert people beyond your own conversion." I need to be
my first convert, if I hope to help anyone else become converted. And
if at the end of my mission, I have only brought myself to Christ,
"how great shall be [my] joy". I will have many opportunities to bring
others to Christ, but as long as I am bringing myself to Christ, my
joy will be great in this life and in the life to come.

On a few secular notes:

A few of you have been asking how the food is. So far, so good!
Haven't tried anything super weird yet...I had mac 'n' cheese with
tomato sauce the other night...sounds weird, but tasted pretty good.
Other than that, not anything crazy. Members feed us just about every
single night--it is amazing! I love the members, though. Their
families are so fun and I love getting to know each of them!

The weather. (I hear it snowed there!!) I have not seen one snowflake
so far. It is SO WEIRD. Some evenings have been colder--it's that
humidity; you can feel it in the air--I have a feeling it is going to
get bitter cold. When, is the question. ;-)

This week was definitely better than the last, and I have high hopes
for the coming week--I have a feeling it's going to be a good one!!

I hope you all have a wonderful week!! I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!!!

With all the love in my heart,
Sister Bartlett



                                           Sister Bartlett and Melissa


                                                    "In the Zone"


Monday, November 9, 2015

Called to SERVE!!

Family!!! :D

I'll be honest, it was a rough week. Not a lot of success, and we just didn't get done what we wanted to. But it's okay. There are bound to be days and weeks like this in the mission--you just gotta hold on because better days are ahead. :)

Something positive I'm trying pull from this week is the service we were able to render. On Tuesday (we do this every Tuesday), we went to a nursing home to help the old folks play Bingo. It is always an adventure...some of them get so worked up about not winning to the point of swearing over and over...I just have to laugh. :D Some of them can't see their cards, so we help them move their pieces. Elder Stallings and Elder Hansen came with us which was great to have the extra help. I do enjoy it and it is easy service to give.

Another service opportunity we had: Along with the Elders, we went to a Baptist church and helped with the food bank there. I helped put boxes and cans into bags. It was neat and I was grateful I could help out. After that, Sister Talbot and I went to visit a sister in the ward because we felt like we needed to. We were able to help her eat bread and cinnamon rolls--something she had been telling her family she would do, but hasn't been feeling good so she hadn't gotten to it. It really felt good--I love being able to serve people like that.

Sister Talbot and I have also made an effort to tie in music to the messages we share. We have sung hymns a few times for people we go to visit, and it really is beautiful. Being able to use music and the gifts the Lord has blessed me with--it is wonderful!

This week I have been thinking more about my call as a missionary. What is interesting and something to note is that I wasn't called to teach, I was called to serve. And that is what my mission is about. Serving people. Yes, I am also here to teach and preach the gospel, but I am first and foremost here to serve.

That brings me to the next thing. We had a good district meeting this week--we watched Johnny Lingo (not gonna lie--it was awkward watching it with the Elders...)...but what Elder Stallings pulled from it to teach us was good. He said that we each need to see ourselves as "8-cow missionaries". ;D That is something I'm trying to work on. Trying to see myself in a better light and be patient with myself. That has been so hard for me. I know I am too hard on myself and beat myself up over the smallest things. I definitely need to overcome that so I can work towards improving. It's just hard. So, I'm trying to see myself as God sees me. And deep down, I know He loves me. He loves me, and because He loves me I am here. I am perfectly imperfect, but God doesn't make mistakes. I am His daughter. He sees me for who I can become, not for who I stumble to be each and every day. I will never reach perfection in this life. And that's okay. I don't need to be perfect now--just perfecting. Each and every day, doing my best. Be perfecting and be patient in the process. I invite all of you to do the same!!

That brings me to my next invitation: gratitude. A sister in the ward gave a talk about gratitude today and it really touched me. I realized I need to be much more grateful for what I have and what I get to do right now. Each night I am going to write down 10 things I am grateful for. Something to think about: God has given you 86,400 seconds in this day. Have you used one of them to say thank you? So, I invite you to express your gratitude!! On paper, verbally, in your prayers, the way you live you life--live it in a spirit of gratitude and you will see God's hand in your life. You will. And I promise you that blessings will be poured out upon you. I will be striving for this right along with you.

Pondering this week: Mosiah 2:21-22. :-)

So, keep your chin up! "Don't you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead. Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don't come until heaven. But for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come. It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come." (Elder Holland)

Have a wonderful week!!! I LOVE YOU!!!!


Monday, November 2, 2015

No Such Thing

Family dearest,

I hope you have had a wonderful week! I had some incredible

experiences this week, and I can't wait to share them with you!

But first. I'm sure you're wondering what I did for Halloween. So I'll
tell you! Sister Talbot and I cleaned our house, ordered and ate
Chinese food, painted our nails, did facials (courtesy of Sister
Krissy Greening ;)), watched Meet the Mormons, and pulled our
mattresses down the stairs to sleep in the living room. It was a
blast!! :D So that was Halloween night when we were stuck inside
starting at 6:00. But on Friday we went to a Halloween party put on by
the ward! We ate lots of good food and Sister Talbot and I were in a
donut eating contest! So fun to see the little kiddies dressed
up...and I was dressed up as a missionary!! Surprise surprise ;D

So on Monday night, we were teaching Miah. We finished her lesson, and
agreed to help her with some homework, so we stayed and talked to her
mom, Stella, while Miah got ready for bed. I have to tell you, their
family has been through SO much these past two months. Their house
burnt down and they have lost everything. Not to mention countless
trials and adversities that have come their way recently. As we sat
there with her and her family friend Karen, she opened up to us about
how she has been feeling and a glimpse into the heartache she has been
experiencing. As I sat there listening to her (it truly was a miracle
she told us all that she did--I know it has been building for a long
time), I just cried. My heart broke listening to her tell us about the
trials she has faced and continues to face. The incredible thing was
in that moment, I know I felt empathy for her. I have never
experienced what she has, but it felt that I had. It was unlike
anything I have ever felt--I know in that moment I was truly mourning
with those who were mourning.

It was through this experience I have begun to more fully understand
the significance and sacredness of my calling. I am coming to know
that I am truly a representative of Him, standing in His place. I do
not doubt that what I felt that night was a sliver, and I mean the
smallest part of what the Savior felt in our behalf and continues to
feel along with us. I felt closer to my Savior then than just about
any other time. Sister Talbot told me on the way home that "those are
the moments we live for." And I don't doubt it one bit.

The highlight of my mission thus far:

Yesterday was Miah's baptism!! It was such a beautiful day. Sister
Talbot and I sang a musical number called "Love Enough" (by Penelope
M. Allen and Michael F. Moody)--I found it in a copy of the Friend fro
last year (I think). The lyrics are so powerful! So I wanted to share
them with you:

Wise enough to seek the Light,
Strong enough to stand for right,
Meek enough to be advised,
Brave enough to be baptized,
Born again a child of God,
Cleansed in Christ’s atoning blood.

Christ has love enough for me,
Love enough eternally

Changed enough to choose the Lord,
Staunch enough to keep my word,
Full of faith from what I’ve learned,
Clean enough to be confirmed
And receive the Holy Ghost,
Gift of God I need the most.

Christ has love enough for me,
Love enough eternally

Blessed enough to bear Christ’s name,
Loved enough to feel the shame
When I slip and break my word.
I’ll repent, by sorrow stirred,
Then renew my covenant
As I take the sacrament.

Christ has love enough for me,
Love enough eternally

I truly cannot begin to describe the depth of the Spirit I felt as I
watched Miah be baptized and confirmed. One of my favorite things was
seeing Miah's face as she came up out of the water--it was absolutely
priceless. Just in knowing the significance of these covenants and how
they are placing her on the path to return to her Father in Heaven
make me so happy. My heart was so full yesterday--it was overflowing
with joy and with the Spirit.

With these two events this week, I am coming to the conclusion that
there is no such thing as explaining how it really feels to be on a
mission, to stand in for the Savior. There really isn't. I could write
about it all day, but words can only take me so far. It is moments
like this that I am living for, and they are indescribable.

Know that I love you so so so much, and am praying for you!!

All the love in my heart,
Sister Bartlett

Danville District

  Mom and Daughter Selfie

  Miah's Baptism

"There's No Such Thing as a homesick missionary in a Baptismal Font"