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, October 31, 2016

Me + Christ = MORE

My dearest family,
Hey hey hey!! Happy Halloween!! Hope yinz enjoy your taco soup tonight and handing out candy to all the little kiddo's ☺ (we get to spend our evening cleaning our apartment! Yippee! Ha ha #cleaningfordays) 

Before I go any further, the Apostle that is coming is....drum roll, please....
ELDER GARY E. STEVENSON!!! And the other members of the Seventy that are coming are: Elder Donald L. Hallstrom and Elder Milan F. Kunz. I am super super excited!! #tminus12days 🙌 It is such an incredible opportunity to learn at the feet of an apostle and these general authorities. I feel so very blessed.

As far as this week goes, it felt very off. We gave up a lot of what we had originally planned to do to help people out last minute. That was the theme of this week it seemed. But I realized something: my mission is giving me opportunity after opportunity to turn outward, to look outside myself. To put aside my pride and my selfish desires and serve others (thank goodness, because I definitely need it!). That is what the Savior would do, right? I'll be honest, at the beginning of my mission, I saw service opportunities, at times, as inconveniences and burdens. But now, even though at times they are slightly inconvenient, it doesn't matter. I can put everything aside to serve, to help someone like He would if He were here. And you know, it feels great! On top of that, hearts are being softened as we reach out and serve them.

We had the trunk-or-treat Saturday night and got to hand out candy. (Lo and behold, guess who dressed up as a sister missionary?! Yours truly!! 😂 ha ha.) Twas super fun! A downside was that I started feeling sick on Saturday, and it's kind of gone downhill from there, but I'll be alright. 

I would say the most profound part of this week came when plans quickly and unexpectedly changed. Once upon a time, we took Anne with us (a member who recently returned to full activity) to go see some people. We stopped at the hospital to visit a member there, and we sang to her. Her IV was really messed up and a nurse came in to change it. I didn't watch because I've never been a fan of these things, but Sister Simpson did and it made her lightheaded and queasy. She sat down and was pretty pale. We finished our visit and walked out arm in arm and she made it to the car but since she wasn't feeling well at all, we decided to cancel our lesson and go home.

But most likely one of the reasons why this all happened was so Anne could show us a video on Mormon channel. I say that because it touched me (and Sister Simpson) so much. It was called "The Perfect Lie". And oh my heavens, it changed my life. No joke. Yinz definitely need to look it up and watch it! It was sooo good. The lady who spoke talked about how Satan wants you to believe that "me + more = Christlike"...but with Christ clearly on the wrong side of the equation. We can't do it by ourselves. We NEED Christ. So the true and accurate equation is "me + Christ = more". More kind, more charitable, more loving, more humble, more spiritual, more righteous, etc. We HAVE to let Christ help us become more, otherwise we won't get anywhere. This is changing my entire outlook and is an answer to so many prayers. I have made it a goal to invite Christ in more as I strive every day to be a little bit more like Him. I know it's a lifelong pursuit, but I also know that although He wants and expects us to *eventually* be like Him, He doesn't expect or want us to do it on our own. 

We also planned for exchanges this week and the theme we want to focus on. We chose the theme of "being instruments in God's hands". We especially loved this quote by Mother Theresa:

“I’m a little pencil in the hands of God. He does the thinking. He does the writing. He does everything--and it’s really hard--sometimes it’s a broken pencil. He has to sharpen it a little more. But be a little instrument in His hands so that He can use you anytime, anywhere. … We have only to say Yes to Him.”

I am excited to discover this transfer how I can be more of an effective instrument in His hands. I invite you to do the same--be someone He can work through, be someone He can count on!!

Hope yinz 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 xoxo

                        Found out a house we heart attacked, they are gone
                                          until Christmas - oops!

With Sister Snow-the Bishop's wife

Best costume at the Trunk or Treat!

Gotta love the Gumball machine though!

Here is our set up, passing out Books of Mormon!

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