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, January 4, 2016

Stars, Not Sticks!

Family Dearest,

This week has been so good!! Lots of changes, but it's been good at the same time. Tender mercies have poured down from heaven every single day. Feeling very very blessed.

So on Tuesday, I got my new companion, Sister Schofield!!! She is AMAZING!!!! I love her so much already. And she's from Cedar Hills/American Fork and we went to high school together (took one class together--Vocal Techniques taught by Mrs. Warby). SMALL WORLD. Honestly, I was so terrified to be left without Sister Talbot. But the Lord in His infinite goodness and mercy gave me Sister Schofield as my "follow-up trainer". Something familiar to hang on to amidst lots of changes. And I am SOO grateful. We have so many things in common, she loves music (is so good at it too), and we are having the best time together. I have a really good feeling about this transfer. 😊

What's funny, is that she had heard about my brain tumor during senior year, and she thought, "I want to hear that story one day." So during the 2 hour drive home from Harrisburg (where we met for transfers), I told her the story. Who would have thought she was going to hear the whole story driving from Harrisburg to Danville, PA while we were mission companions?!? Crazy. 😂 haha.

For New Year's we had to be in by 5:30pm to deep clean our house. How fun is that?! Our house is SO HUGE though so we didn't get very far. But. We did carry on the Chinese food on New Year's Eve tradition, which was sooo good. So it sort of felt like a holiday. Emphasis on "sort of". 😉

I can't believe it's 2016. Like, when did that happen?! But. I'm feeling really good about this year. And what is so amazing, is that this year is going to be spent in complete service to the Lord. From January 1st to December 31st, I get to be a missionary for my Father in Heaven and Savior Jesus Christ. IT MAKES ME SO HAPPY!!!

So, I've been thinking about resolutions. These are a few I specifically want to work on:

- "Be where your feet are" (be in the moment, embrace it without being preoccupied with other things)
- Study Christlike attributes for 6 weeks at a time and work on implementing them into my life
- Ponderize a scripture every week
- Look for miracles and tender mercies every day

And President Monson gives four pledges for the new year: I will listen, I will learn, I will labor, I will love. I pledge to do these four things--will you's guys do the same? Will you pledge to listen, learn, labor, and love this year? I promise as you do these things, you will come to know Christ better and become more like Him throughout this year. 

With setting goals in mind, I heard a quote from Sister Schofield that I have fallen in love with. It was from the relief society president in her last area:

"Our goals are not sticks to beat ourselves up with, they are stars to steer our life by."

Isn't that THE BESTEST THING EVER?! Goals are not sticks, they are stars. Remember that, will you? Kay, good. ☺

I've been ponderizing John 14:27 this week:

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace. He is constantly extending the invitation for us to partake of His peace, which is true peace. Because we have knowledge of Him and the hope that comes through Him, we have no reason to let our hearts be troubled or afraid.

The miracle of the week has been realizing that I can do a lot more than I think I can. It has been so hard to "lead out" and take over the area, but the Lord has completely carried me through it. He has given me strength and confidence when I had none. I have been able to see a glimpse of my potential as a missionary, and it is greater than what I assumed it would be. I still feel very humbled to be leading out and with a companion who's been out 3 months longer than I have, but I have faith the Lord will help me to help Sister Schofield so we can accomplish great things in this area.

Two other tender mercies they happened this week:

We taught Doris and I felt like we needed to share a message about the Book of Mormon. I wanted to share a Mormon Message with her that gives Elder Holland's testimony of the Book of Mormon. But in the middle of the lesson, I realized I didn't have it downloaded. I asked Sister Schofield if she did, and SHE DID. Straight up tender mercy. So, we showed it to Doris and she loved it. It really brought the Spirit into the lesson, and it was perfect. Also, she's come to church two weeks in a row!! Another miracle. So so grateful.

Saturday night we had dinner with the Murray's. They are older and are the addiction recovery missionaries for the stake. They are INCREDIBLE. We shared "A Savior is Born" with them, and had a wonderful discussion with them. The Spirit we felt in their home was indescribable. Sister Murray kept saying things like "Thank you for what you're doing", and "Thanks for serving. Without people like you, we wouldn't be where we are today." As a missionary, you don't hear that as much as you'd like to or need to, so that was another huge tender mercy.

Man, I feel like there is sooooo much I want to tell you, but not enough time in the day or space in this email. But I want you to know that I love it here. Sure, there are hard moments, but the joy, the Spirit I feel, the tender mercies and miracles I see, it makes it ALL worth it.

I hope this week is an amazing one!!! LOVE YOU TO THE MOON AND BACK!!!!! ❤❤

All my love,
Sister Bartlett

                                  Saying goodbye to the twinner boys with Sister Talbot
                                  Sister B and Sister T are practically twins themselves!!
                                     We love you Sister Talbot-Brianna will miss you!

                                     New Companion :) Sister Schofield from AF, UT :)

                                               Chinese for New Years Eve!!!
                                                          It's Tradition :)

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