GUESS WHAT. ERIN AND HER KIDS CAME TO CHURCH. It was the happiest of
days!!!! YAY!! I seriously teared up and the tears almost
spilled over. It was amazing. Thank you for praying for that miracle
to happen--prayers are answered!!!!
On Saturday we helped Erin with some things around her house as she
gets ready to move in a few weeks. So, craziest thing. Backtrack a
little bit. We prayed about a date, and got July 23rd. Extended it to
her, and she told us she was planning on moving that day. Then we had
to move back her date. Prayed about it, and got August 13th. Then when
we saw her last week, and she said August 13th is the day she will be
moving. We committed her to be baptized that day. She said, "Wow.
Obviously Heavenly Father really wants me to be baptized before I
move." Ha ha. True that. Anywho, we taught her and her kids again on
Saturday. We had taught a story-version of the Plan of Salvation before,
but we decided to go over it again, this time with a cute little
diagram. We taught it to the kids and then mixed up the parts and had
them put it back together and walk us through it. They did so well!!
And they made friends at church!! It was so awesome. Happy happy
happy!!! Seriously this feels too good to be true. Like I'm in a
dream...and I never want it to end...
We saw Rose again this week. She is doing so well! We had a great
lesson with her on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She is reading and
praying and she feels like she is receiving her answer. She accepted a
baptismal date for August 27th. So happy!!!
We also saw our investigator Judy. She's so sweet!! She is super close
to the Spirit too--she was really emotional during the lesson and she
also committed to a baptismal date of August 27th. So happy!!!
One of the less-active's we have been working with is Barb. She is
doing so well!! It is amazing to see someone commit to come back to
activity in the church--she is so awesome. We saw her on Friday, and
not knowing how her day or week had gone, we walk in and she says,
"Oh, my two angels of mercy." Haha :-) She proceeded to tell us all
that she had been through during her rough week and all she was
feeling. I had the thought to read "Forget Me Not" by Elder Uchtdorf.
As she was talking to us, I realized once again that inspiration from the
Spirit is so real. I realized this talk was exactly what she needed. We read
it to her, and it was so amazing to be able to testify of God's love for her. I love
being a missionary!!
Oh man. I forgot to tell you about this guy who we met last week. So,
once upon a time, we got a referral from an investigator, but not an
exact address. "Yeah they're the big red house on 4th Avenue."
Okayyy...picked a red house and have been trying a handful of times
with no success. Finally last week when we tried again, this guy
answered the door. Told him who we were and he got talking...and
talking...and talking...(the PA ramble is still just as real). Found
out his name was Derek. He was a VERY passionate Christian. He
recently saw a movie called "Risen" and he loved it. Told us we needed
to watch it and even sort-of reenacted some of the parts....all the
while we have this cute 16 year old girl from the ward with us as a
team-up. Oh dear, We just stood on his porch while he talked at us for
a while. During a break in his speech, I jumped in and said, "Hey,
have you ever heard of the Book of Mormon?" And he was like, "Oh,
that's a bunch of Mitt Romney ---" (followed by some colorful
language). Then he kept talking about "Risen" and how much he loved
that movie...followed by inserts of more colorful language. I felt
like I needed to bring up the Book of Mormon again, and when I did, he
said, "I just don't get it!" So I explained what it was and offered
him a copy. He accepted it with a copy of a Restoration pamphlet. Then
we left. Not 15 minutes after, he called us (we had given him our
card). He thought he was calling the church and he wanted to give us a
recommendation...also to relay a message to our pastor from his that
we need to join with them in fighting for Israel. Oh boy. Then later,
a text from him with a YouTube link...can't watch it, but he said,
"You're very good-I love talking to Christians! Girls protect
yourselves amongst the wolves! He will protect you!" I was dying....
During district meeting, we talked about the magnitude of our calling
as missionaries. As a set apart representative of Jesus Christ, I have
such a heavy mantel placed on my shoulders. I regret to say that
sometimes I don't stop to think about it on a regular basis. But being
called to represent the Savior Himself here in Pennsylvania...it blows
me away. I really am understanding what it means instead of being
called to a place, being called to serve in place of the Savior. I
feel so humbled at that thought. Serving a mission is the hardest
thing I've ever done (yes, even harder than having brain surgery
...but it also is the most rewarding. I still am amazed at how I
can experience the lowest of lows and the highest of highs...all
within a short time of each other. But really, my calling is great,
and I am ever so grateful for it.
Family, I can't even tell you how much I love my mission. Like, I love
it more than almost anything else. This is where my heart is.
Pennsylvania/being a missionary has stolen my heart and I don't know
when or if I'll ever get it back. ;) With transfers coming up at the
beginning of August, and thinking that I will most likely be leaving,
it just makes me sad. Beaver has become my second home (next to
Sunbury) and I don't know how I could ever leave. This place, the
members, the people we are teaching...I just can't bear the thought of
it. Especially all these people that are so close to baptism...I feel
like I'll fall apart if I miss their baptisms...But. As much as the
natural man inside of me is fighting it, I trust God. I trust God that
this next transfer will be perfectly crafted for my growth. Wherever
He calls me to go, or if He asks me to stay. He has planned it
perfectly for my learning and helping me becoming the disciple that
He needs me to be. Whatever that entails. One thing my mission is
teaching me is how to really and fully and completely trust Him. And
it's so good. I know I've said I trusted Him before, but now I really
do. And it's amazing what a difference it is making in my life!
"Keep loving. Keep trying. Keep trusting. Keep believing. Keep
growing. Heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow, and forever."
(Elder Jeffrey R. Holland)
Remember who you are and that a Sister in PA loves you!!!
Love, love, love,
Sister Bartlett xoxo
Yes! Awesome License Plate :)
Beautiful Beaver Sunset right outside our apartment.Pictures don't do them justice!
Erin and her kids, Maddie and Eli, at Church-YAY!!!