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

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Rains came down......

My dearest family,

Wow, what an adventurous week! Being in a trio and covering two areas
was no piece of cake, BUT WE DID IT!! And honestly, having Sister
Crisp in our trio was so fantastic. I love her to death.

Also, transfer news. I'm staying in Beaver with Sister Morgan!! Haha,
surprise surprise! 😉 Elder Pennington is leaving to head to York to
be a zone leader, and we are getting Elder Cook. GUYS. This is the
same Elder Cook from Vernal, Utah, the one who was in Robert and
Joanne's ward!! Can you say SMALL WORLD? It's so crazy.

So we had an awesome lesson with Erin this week! Surprise, surprise 😉
but really. She is doing so well!! We taught her the Restoration and
she said it gave her so much hope. It also answered her question why
there are so many churches when we all believe in the same God. She
hasn't really been reading the Book of Mormon, so Sister Morgan felt
inspired to promise her that she would have the energy to do
everything she needs to. She agreed that she could do that! Then,
Sister Morgan and I had prayed about a baptismal date for her, and we
got to extend it when we saw her. We asked her if she would prepare
herself to be baptized on July 23rd, and she accepted!!!! She was just
beaming, it was amazing. One of the happiest moments of my mission, by
far. She is incredible and so prepared. I can't wait to see her take
these steps to follow her Savior into the waters of baptism and then
progress towards the temple. I literally can't wait.

On Thursday, we were in the Pitt 4th area (Bellevue/Avalon aka
Pittsburgh-ish). And then down came the rain. Wow, it was quite a
downpour. Still warm and humid, but a downpour nonetheless. Needless
to say, we got pretty wet (see picture below). But Sister Crisp
reassured Sister Morgan and I that the more raindrops on our nametags,
the more attractive our future husbands are going to be...😉😂
#sistermissionarymyths #blessourhearts

Kay, and when we were in their area on Saturday, MIRACLES. So a little
bit of background, their bishop is Bishop Chris Hoke who used to play
for the Steeler's (UH, SO COOL). He gives the missionaries names of
people each week to go and find and visit. We were trying to find a
less-active and ended up meeting a potential investigator, and gave
him a copy of the Book of Mormon. He was really excited about Moroni's
promise (we were committed by the AP's to use Moroni's promise when we
hand out copies of the Book of Mormon, so we've been striving to do
that) and agreed to let the sisters come back. Later we met Judy, a
referral from a less-active member, and she was so cute and so excited
about the Book of Mormon! Oh man, it was so amazing. Testifying of the
Book of Mormon to complete strangers is like one of the coolest
feelings in the world. The exhilaration!

Thursday evening we got to take part in a relief society activity
putting together kits for the refugees as part of the "I was a
stranger" initiative. It was really neat! They talked about how we are
His hands...I firmly believe that. I'm coming to see it and know it as
I am serving my mission. I know that He places us where we are to meet
certain people to help them, to serve them, and bring them closer to
Him. What a privilege it is to be His hands.

I absolutely love being a missionary. It is the most amazing
experience I have ever been blessed with and I truly never want it to
stop. Despite all the heartaches, the hard days, the magnified
weaknesses in myself, the tested patience again and again...somehow,
in some miraculous way, it is all worth it. The joy I get to feel as I
help these people is indescribable.

I know without a doubt this is Christ's church. No doubt about it. He
stands at the head and leads and guides us through our living prophet,
Thomas S. Monson. I know the Book of Mormon is the very word of God,
and studying it daily is absolutely necessary for an enduring
conversion. It all must be true, otherwise they wouldn't let a bunch
of 18-20-something young men and women go around to world to share it
with people. 😉 I'm amazed how much trust is placed in us as
missionaries. I know this message is true!! I also know it is a
message of light, happiness, healing, and hope. It has the power to
change your life if you let it.

"Keep loving. Keep trying. Keep trusting. Keep believing. Keep
growing. Heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow, and forever."
(Elder Jeffrey R. Holland)

I love yinz so much and I hope you have a happy week!!!

Thanks for listening to this sister's ramble. 😉

Ramble on,
Sister Bartlett



                         The Bishop's kids with their "Missionary Parking" sign.....
                                        ADORABLE!!



District lunch at Chick-fil-A



Saying goodbye to Sister O'Reilly--she is going back to Temple Square!



WET--Got caught in the Downpour!!






Monday, June 13, 2016

Miracles in Midland!

Family!!

🎵 What time is it?! Summertime! It's our vacation 🎵 ...except no
vacations for missionaries. 😉 Haha! I hope you're enjoying yours
though!!

So, this week. 'Twas such a good one!!! Man, I love mission life and
being a missionary. Can I just do this forever? Kay, thanks. ☺️

One thing we did this week was lots of service. It was fantastic!! I
mean, part of it included cleaning a house that hadn't been lived in
for three years (it was pretty nasty...), but hey! Service softens
people's hearts, and we have been called to serve, so we take
advantage of every opportunity that comes our way.

Oh my zone conference. BEST ONE I'VE BEEN TO. Seriously. It was
incredible.  And one of the best parts was I got to sing with Sister
Schofield again!!!!! We sang "Savior, Redeemer of My Soul" and it was
such a beautiful experience. I miss that sister so much, so it was SOO
good to see her again and sing with her. TENDER MERCIES. ❤️ Aside from
that, the Spirit was so strong, especially as two elders gave their
departing testimonies. Elder Masina (one of my zone leaders, also in
my district) and Elder Miller...wow. So powerful. They gave their
testimonies right before we sang (at the very end of the meeting) and
there were so many tears. It is just amazing to see the transformation
that can take place in someone as they dedicate 2 years to
serve the Lord. The training we received was so insightful, and I was
just so grateful for a day I felt so spiritually fed.

My goodness. Tuesday, we were in Midland, and it was a couple of hours
full of miracles. We taught an investigator Gary on his porch...we had
found him a few weeks ago, and that day we taught him the Restoration
and about the Book of Mormon. We even invited him to be baptized and
he accepted!! Since this was the second time we had taught him, we
picked him up as a new investigator. Miracles. But wait, there's more!

We met Mike and Judy a few weeks ago, but hadn't been able to catch
them yet. We finally did on Tuesday and taught them about the Plan of
Salvation. It was one of the most interesting lessons I've been in,
and one of the hardest ones too. He has some very interesting and
strong opinions about things, so that made it tricky. We did our best
to teach with the Spirit, but it still was hard. But they want us to
come back and they want to learn more, so that's awesome! Three new
investigators this week in Midland! WHAT?! Miracles, I tell
ya.

Then, prolly one of the top highlight miracles of my week was teaching
Erin again. My goodness, I love her so much. We had an amazing lesson
with her about the Plan of Salvation. Especially when we taught her
about the Spirit World, she was so happy and excited that she had
found people that believe the same thing she has come to believe on
her own. We taught her about eternal families, and she was just
radiating with happiness. We asked her what it would mean to her that
she could be bound to her, her husband and children for eternity...she said
it would be amazing. At the end of the lesson, we invited her to be
baptized, and she accepted!!! She said she's never been baptized
before, and she really wants to be. She also wants her two kids at
home to be baptized as well. More miracles. God is working some
amazing things in the town of Midland, but also in the general Beaver
area.

Speaking of other miracles in Beaver, Milly (a less-active we're
working with) came to church again this week!! Her third time since
I've been here...truly a miracle.

Also, since Sister O'Reilly (in our district) is from the Temple
Square mission, she is going back this week, which would leave her
companion, Sister Crisp companionless. That would be no bueno. So, at
zone conference, President Johnson pulled me aside, and said, "Sister
Bartlett, how would you feel about being in a trio for 6 days?" He
proceeded to tell me that Sister Crisp would be coming to be in a trio
with us for the last week of the transfer. But there's a catch. We
have to cover BOTH areas (the other area is about 40 minutes/25 miles
away)...planning this week was an adventure. And it will be even more
of an adventure this week! Wish us luck!! 😉

Please pray for:
- Cathy: we saw her again this week (MIRACLE), but she still hasn't
recognized her answer that this church is true, even though we know
she's received her answer...please pray she will recognize it.
- Brianna: she is a recent convert who isn't very interested in coming
to church at all...not to mention she cancels just about every meeting
we set up with her. We are struggling with knowing what to do for her.
Please include her in your prayers.

A highlight from my studies this week was reading an amazing article
that really touched me. I've been trying to apply it, and I can
already feel my heart changing. I invite you to read this and apply it
in your prayers as well:
https://www.lds.org/blog/how-to-pray-in-a-way-god-can-answer?lang=eng

I hope you're all doing well, and sharing the gospel with those around
you! (Even if you're in Utah 😉) Keep on keepin' on, and have an
amazing week!!! I LOVE YOU!!!

"Keep loving. Keep trying. Keep trusting. Keep believing. Keep
growing. Heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow, and forever."
(Elder Jeffrey R. Holland)

With love from Pennsylvania,
Sister Bartlett



                                               Pitt North plus Jamestown Zones



Sunbury Sisters REUNITED :)



Me and Sister Morgan with Carol



This is Sister Smego--She is the BEST!  Since she is homebound,
                               we go with the Elders every Sunday to give her the Sacrament.
She does so much for the missionaries and I love her!



Sisters at Zone Conference including 2 photobombing Elders--
                                                                   Masina and Coburn!


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

God is in every single detail....


My dear family,

Hope you're enjoying your summer! I can't believe yinz are outa
school! Lucky ducks 😉

So last Monday, we had a super awesome Memorial Day Picnic at a park
with the ward...it was a blast! Oh! Cam Bam and lil' B--you'd be so
proud of me! I played Ultimate Frisbee for the first time in forever.
😂 It was a blast! Except for the fact that I was sore from head to
toe for the next two days...ha ha! I looked like an old lady hobbling
around...but by the third day I felt okay again.

Oh boy, let me tell you about the highlight miracle of my week.
Remember Erin from the first week I was in Beaver? WE MET WITH HER
THIS WEEK. IT WAS THE HAPPIEST OF DAYS. We drove down to Midland where
she lives, prepared to spend several hours there (it takes so many
miles to get down there, so we try and spend a long time there when we
go). We decided to try her first, and she was sitting out on her front
porch!!! That was the first time I had seen her in two months. We saw
she was with someone, so we walked up and said hi, and asked her if we
could come back in a little bit, and she said to come back in about an
hour. So we went to go teach another person, and then Sister Harn from
the ward (she reminds me so much of Grandma Winder, it's so great!)
met up with us for a team-up. We went and saw Erin, and had an amazing
meeting with her. She told us about more of the trials she had been
facing her whole life, and I was just astounded. She has been through
SO much. She said that one of the reasons why she hasn't been to
church in a while is because she's had several questions that no one
has been able to answer. One was, "Why aren't the dinosaurs mentioned
in the Bible?" I had never thought about that before, so I was super
grateful when Sister Morgan was able to answer her question. 😅 Erin
was so excited that a question she had been wondering about for years
was finally answered. She rattled off some others, and we told her we
had answers to her questions. That transitioned super smoothly into
the Book of Mormon. As we talked to her about it, and testified of it,
her eyes just lit up. She was so excited when I handed her the copy I
was holding in my hands. We showed her how the cross references
reference the Bible, and she said she was going to pull out her Bible
that night and start reading. It was incredible, I wish yinz could've
been there. A light went off in her that I haven't seen in a long time
with anyone else. It was incredible. And the member present was
perfect--they just clicked! We are meeting with her this week and I
couldn't be more excited.

On a side note, while we were teaching her, she saw a hummingbird for
the first time in her life. She was so excited, haha! And she also saw
a Cardinal, which I guess is a sign that a loved one who has passed on
is trying to get your attention...or something like that. I was like,
wow. GOD IS IN THE DETAILS.

Later that afternoon, we stopped at a gas station there in Midland to
get a drink and a snack. As I was checking out, the cashier was
reading my nametag, and he was like, "Oh, I was wondering what you
were dressed up for." I said, "Yeah! We're missionaries for The Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, have you heard of it before?" He
said, "Yeah, I was actually baptized several years ago, but I haven't
been in a long time. Where's the church at?" I told him it was in
Monaca, and I gave him one of our cards with our number on it and the
address to the church. He said he would try and make it if he could
get work off. It was such a small and simple thing, but definitely a
tender mercy!

MIRACLES. So, Milly is a less-active we've been working with, and she
has only come to church once since I've been here in Beaver. After
having a really wonderful lesson with her last week and promising her
blessings for making church a priority, she came to church yesterday!!
I was oh so happy, happy, happy. What was even more amazing, was she
got up and bore her testimony!! My eyes filled with tears...I never
thought I'd see the day. It was absolutely amazing.

Speaking of church, since the church has undergone some remodeling,
the hallways were super messy, so we only had sacrament
meeting, and then they released us all to go home. It was so short!
Between last week and this week, it's been super interesting!

The biggest thing I was reminded of this week is: God is in EVERY
SINGLE detail. Each and every one. No matter how small and seemingly
insignificant they seem...He's there. And when it matters that much to
you, it matters that much to Him. Please don't every forget that! You
are His child and He loves you with an incomprehensible and perfect
love.

"Keep loving. Keep trying. Keep trusting. Keep believing. Keep
growing. Heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow, and forever."
(Elder Jeffrey R. Holland)

Have an amazing week, and remember that a sister missionary in
Pennsylvania loves you sooo much!!!!!

(SYDNEE HILL IS COMING HERE!!!!!! I'M SO EXCITED!!!!!)

All my love,
Sister Bartlett xoxo

                                   
                                                    Oh so green here is PA!!

video



The District



PA Pride :)




















Wednesday, June 1, 2016

No teeth, No problem!

Hello my wonderful family!!

Just a fun fact about PA: a lot of the people out here don't have any
teeth...or only have some of their teeth. 😂 I could probably name 10
people we are teaching that only have some of their teeth or none of
them. But I guess it's not too much of a problem...they deal with it but
it is kinda sad!

This cute sister in our ward just got back this last week from
serving her mission in California. We took her on a team-up to see
Cathy, and she is awesome. Team-ups for days!! So excited!! She spoke
yesterday in sacrament meeting, and she shared a poem about mission
life that I LOVE. I also think it is PERFECT, so I thought I'd share
it with you. Hopefully it can give you the smallest glimpse into what
it's like to serve a mission. 😉

Highs and Lows

A mission is a strange experience, it is a trial and a test. A mission
throws you at your worst, yet teaches you the best. I've never been so
happy, I've never been so depressed. I've never felt so forsaken, I've
never felt so blessed. I've never been so confused, things have never
been so clear. I've never felt my Heavenly Father so distant, He's
never been so near. I've never been so discouraged, I've never felt so
much hope. I feel like I could go on forever, I think I'm at the end
of my rope. I've never had it quite so easy, I've never had it quite
so tough. Things have never been so smooth, things have never been so
rough. I've never traveled through more valleys, I've never ascended
so many peaks. I've never had so many ups. I've never had so many
downs. I've never worn so many smiles. I've never worn so many frowns.
I've never been so lonely, I've never had so many friends. Boy, I hope
this is over soon, gosh, I hope it never ends. (Author Unknown)

So, after a few things that happened last Sunday, Sister Morgan and I
were feeling really uneasy about Cathy's baptismal date for June
4th...and didn't know why. We felt so unsettled, so we prayed about
it. And prayed and pleaded and prayed and pleaded...I even sought out
an answer partly on my own because I felt so desperate. I would study
the scriptures, seeking for an answer, and nothing would happen. This
went on for about 48 hours, until we went to see Cathy on Tuesday...we
were about to find out why we felt the way we did. Before we sit down,
Cathy says, "Yinz are gonna be mad at me." Jokingly, I said, "What?
Cathy, no we're not." She got really serious, and said, "Yeah, you
are." My heart dropped. "...Can I move my baptism date?" We got
talking to her, and she said she feels really nervous and not ready to
be baptized. But she doesn't know why she's feeling that way. The more
we talked to her, the more I felt relieved. We reassured her we
weren't mad at her (though we are sad to move it back--we know there's
a reason behind it), and got a better idea about how she's feeling.
The adversary is definitely working on her. Will you pray for her that
she will overcome these feelings? Also that she will have the faith to
take this leap? Thank you so much. Something Heavenly Father taught me
yet again through this is that prayers are answered. ALWAYS. Even if
it is in a way I don't fully understand. I should never worry or fret
that the answer isn't coming when I want it to, because it will come
when and how He knows it needs to. I am so grateful for prayer. It has become
my lifeline more than ever before.

Speaking of prayer, I am so grateful we pray to an all-knowing Father
in Heaven. (This was one of the funniest moments of the week.) We were
parked in front of a less-active's house, and Sister Morgan was
offering the prayer before we went in to see her. All of the sudden,
there was a knock on our car window. Mid-prayer Sister Morgan stops, I
open my eyes and look up to see this lady outside our car. She started
talking, but I couldn't understand what she was saying so I opened my
car door. "...I, uh, have my cart and I will be walking behind your
car so do not back up. Okay I just wanted to tell you I will be behind
you so you don't back up..." She had an accent, I couldn't tell you
which kind...but she was pushing this shopping cart full of stuff.
We assured her we wouldn't back up, she walked away, and I closed
the door. Sister Morgan and I just sat there and busted up laughing.
"Did that really just happen?" We couldn't believe it. We laughed for
a few minutes, and then Sister Morgan picked up where she left off in
her prayer and finished. So grateful Heavenly Father knew what was
happening, otherwise that would have been a super silly prayer.

David + Edgar situation
Miracles, truly. So on Tuesday, we went to go see Edgar which we were
really excited about...but he wasn't home...and neither was David. Sad
day. We left a note for both of them, and our card with our number on
it. Later that night, David texted us!! It was a miracle!! We talked
to him for a few minutes, and he said that he knows a little bit about
the Book of Mormon and the Prophet Joseph Smith. Hallelujah!! It was
amazing. We set up an appointment for him on Tuesday, and we are
really excited to meet him! But wait, it gets better. On Wednesday
during the afternoon, we got a bajillion texts on our phone. They were
all about David...the official referral came through for him from a
sister missionary in Texas. It mentioned in the referral that "he
gained a testimony of the Book of Mormon and received an answer from
God that this is the true Church of Jesus Christ"...he had to move
here for work, and that's why this sister referred him to us. He
sounds super prepared and we are just so excited to meet him and start
teaching him. God is so good!! (Side note: Edgar is out of town this
week and next for a business trip, but we are going to meet with him
when he gets back! Happy day!!)

Yesterday I had a more personal experience with the Sacrament than I
have in a long time. It was beautiful. One of the thoughts that came
to my mind is that the white sheet placed over the bread and water
could be a reminder of the fresh blank page we are given every Sunday
when we partake of the Sacrament with a broken heart and a contrite
spirit. I am so grateful for that blank page each week. Heaven knows
how much I need it. I am also so grateful for the second and third and
fourth and fiftieth chances He gives me. And the opportunity we have
to partake of the beautifully sacred Sacrament each week to renew our
covenants with Him.

One of the hymns sung during the meeting had a line in it that I loved:

"Dear Lord, prepare my heart to stand with thee on Zion's mount and
never more to part" (Hymn 41, "Let Zion in Her Beauty Rise"). It
reminded me of "Come Thou Fount": "...bind my wandering heart to
thee...here's my heart, oh, take and seal it. Seal it for Thy courts
above." I think this is one of the hardest tests of this life. To
reign in the natural man, to give Him all our wants, desires, and
will...leave it all at His feet and let Him change us into new
creatures through the Atonement of Christ. It can be so hard! We have
to fight like lions to overcome the natural man...but through the
Savior's grace, He enables us to do what we couldn't on our own. This
is something I am striving to do every day, and will strive to do the
rest of my life.

LOVE YINZ SO MUCH!! Have a blessed week!!

"Keep loving. Keep trying. Keep trusting. Keep believing. Keep
growing. Heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow, and forever."
(Elder Jeffrey R. Holland)

All my love,
Sister Bartlett


                           Slower day called for some Bruester's ice cream-YUM!




President Johnson and the Pitt North Zone



The trees, flower, and plants are BEAUTIFUL out here!



Sister Talbot's Posterity!



Sister Nelson is One Month old-Waffles to Celebrate!