Oh my heavens. As of Friday, September 23, 2016, I have been on my
mission ONE WHOLE YEAR. Can you believe it?!?! I honestly can't. (See
flashback picture from a year ago--thanks Dad ;)) The day itself here was
pretty mellow. We spent most of the day at the church for a funeral
because an older man in the ward passed away. We helped with the
luncheon and washed all the dishes (there's a dishwasher in the
kitchen so all is well ;)), had dinner with a member, and met with our
ward mission leader. Still crazy it's been a whole year though.
I heard this quote this week that I find truer than true: "Your
mission is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer you get to the end,
the faster it goes." Ha ha. Too good.
This week we had zone conference which was an amazing experience. It
was so so needed. When is it not? But still. Sister Simpson and I sang
an arrangement of Beautiful Savior and I was called upon to give a
"three-minute talk" about being a full-time servant of Jesus
Christ...luckily I had prepared some thoughts beforehand. ;) It was
wonderful. I always come away so spiritually fed and filled. It was
wonderful. Such a tender mercy. Particularly Sister Johnson's training
about "the parable of the cracked pot"...we were taught that we are
all cracked pots...not a crack pot or a pot-head...very different ;)
ha ha. I am a cracked pot. And I should rejoice in the weaknesses God
has given me because they allow me to turn to Him and learn and grow.
He also can and will use them to bless other's lives.
Kay so I have to tell you about this week which was kind of crazy
because we didn't have much time to plan for it in advance. But God
knows exactly what He's doing. Our week was loosely scheduled for a
reason. One of the days we called this lady named Pat, and she
reminded us that her daughter Pam was in the hospital. We had
forgotten that even though the relief society president had told us.
Something fell through in our schedule and so we went to visit her. We
visited with Pam and shared scriptures with her and sang hymns for
her. She really appreciated it. One of the student nurses, Tom, shared
with us that he was Christian and he asked us "what sets you apart
from other Christian faiths?" We told him about the Book of Mormon and
he was floored that Christ visited people here in America. We told him
we could give him a copy if he wanted it. We left the hospital room
and realized neither of us had a copy on us (which is super rare,
because we almost always have a copy in our bags)...but we were able
to get his contact information and we are going to get in touch with
him so we can come give him a copy of the Book of Mormon. It was such
a miracle to be in the right place at the right time.
Yesterday, right after church, we drove to the mission home in Upper
St. Clair. Then we got to drive with President and Sister Johnson (and
two other sisters we picked up along the way) all the way up to Erie
for a Why I Believe fireside. It was amazing--the whole entire thing.
Sister Simpson and I sang "Beautiful Savior" again and we also sang
the octet version of "Savior, Redeemer of my Soul". The Spirit was so
strong, it was beautiful. We didn't get back to the mission home until
about 10 PM, and since we were still about an hour drive from our
house, President and Sister Johnson decided it would be best if we
stayed the night in the mission home. My stars, dreams really do come
true!! ;D So we did! It was marvelous. Sister Johnson made us pancakes
the next morning and we got to spend some time talking with each of
them. It was absolutely wonderful and the biggest blessing ever. God
is SO GOOD.
So conference is coming up...who's excited?!? I AM!!!! CONFERENCE IS
LITERALLY BETTER THAN CHRISTMAS!!!!! Seriously. I can't even wait. The
women's session was absolutely wonderful. President Uchtdorf's talk
spoke to me like nothing else. "Fourth floor, last door." That is
seriously going to be my new motto...it gave me a new perspective and
a renewed motivation and determination.
In our mission lately (especially since Elder Perkins came), we've
been talking about making meetings revelatory experiences. And we do
that by asking questions. We become an agent rather than an object. I
am seeing it time and time again. I am a firm believer that when we
come to a meeting, or our scripture studies with questions, ready to
be taught, the Lord teaches us and answers our questions. So my
invitation for you for conference is to make it a revelatory
experience. Come to conference with questions, and the faith that they
will be answered and I KNOW they will.
Since I have now been on my mission a year, here are a few thoughts on
A year ago I never could have comprehended. The struggle, the pain,
and the heartache I would walk through...but also the joy and the
growth and the heights I have been lifted to. I never could have
foreseen how my mission would change me forever. How could I have
survived? How could I have lived my entire life without this time
spent in Pennsylvania serving the Lord? How could I have gone on
without this special and sacred time on this hallowed ground? How
could I have learned without suffering the pain and heartache only to
be make whole in the hands of the Great Healer? How could I have come
to know my Savior in this special and sacred way? I know without a
doubt. I couldn't have...without my mission. My life would have been
so far from what it will be because I have served the Lord during this
time. And I still have time left, that is the beautiful thing. I am
such a different person than I was a year ago. I have come so far. My
knowledge of the gospel, my testimony of the Book of Mormon, my
relationship with my Savior...all have grown so much *deeper* . It
goes beyond words, beyond comprehension, beyond understanding. I am
being transformed by my mission, through the power of the Spirit and
the power of the Atonement. Missions are a miracle. And I am right in
the middle of my own mission miracle. Forever changed, forever
Have a wonderful week and enjoy listening to conference!! I love each
of you so much!! You are in my prayers!! ❤️❤️
"Keep loving. Keep trying. Keep trusting. Keep believing. Keep
growing. Heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow, and forever."
(Elder Jeffrey R. Holland)
Sending love from the beautiful state of Pennsylvania,
Sister Bartlett xoxo
Zone Conference with Pitt and Pitt West Zones
Exchanges with the Monangahela Sisters - Love them!
Me and my Sis in front of the Mission Home :)
THE BEST Mission Presidents in the Whole Wide World!!!
On our way to Erie....
Flashback to a year ago Sept 23, 2015