To the best family in all the land:
Oh boy oh boy do I have stuff to tell yinz! Ha ha, 'twas a good week. Where to begin...
It was another sick week. Sister Simpson and I have just been ping-pong-ing back and forth with this cold stuff. But all will be well. She's now the one that's sick right--please pray that she'll get better soon!
Despite being sick, we did more service this week! Some of which was super last minute. My new motto has become: "Plan with precision and execute with flexibility." Ha ha that is pretty much Pitt 3rd in a nutshell.
On Friday, we drove to Altoona for our MLC meeting. It was really good!! President introduced the new Christmas initiative...#LighttheWorld ...needless to say I am SO EXCITED!! This time of year is literally *the best* time to be a missionary. I love it so much!! He also announced some big changes to the mission. We are now going to have zone conferences and interviews every 6 weeks versus having them alternating every 12 weeks. This is huge! I am super excited about it, because it means I get to see President and Sister Johnson more often!! #tendermercies (Also. Very very excited that Elder Stevenson is coming in 5 days!! And then to our stake conference the next day. Feeling so very blessed.)
So yesterday...TONYA CAME TO CHURCH!!!! Can I get a 'woot woot'?!?! It was soooo fantastic!! Kay, you have to know how nervous missionaries get when an investigator is coming to church on a fast and testimony meeting Sunday. You *never* know what is going to be said or preached. False doctrine, song lyrics, 20 minute-long rambles...it's always a hold-your-breath sort of thing. But God is SO merciful. Yesterday was one of the best testimony meetings I've ever been to in Pennsylvania. #hallelujah #tendermercies We also had an *AMAZING* lesson with her on Wednesday. We went in there and taught to her needs--we took it at her pace and testified of God's love for her as His daughter. She told us of some hard things she went through a few years ago and started to cry. Through her tears, she said, "I wish I would have known about this years ago." The Spirit was so strong, it was beautiful. I love her so much, and I feel so blessed to be able to witness her journey coming to Christ.
I titled this email "perfection is pending" because I read a talk about perfection this week that changed my life. But first, a little background. Yinz know me--I'm a perfectionist...have been from day one. Wanting to do everything right, everything perfect. And being so frustrated with myself when my "plan to live perfectly" goes wrong. I beat myself up endlessly...trying to be perfect. Which doesn't even make sense. But what I learned this week (in addition to last week watching "The Perfect Lie") has changed my whole outlook. The talk is titled "Perfection Pending" by Russell M. Nelson from the October 1995 General Conference. A few things I learned:
Matthew 5:48 says, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." After Christ's resurrection, He says to the Nephites in America, "Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect" (3 Nephi 12:48). "This time he listed himself along with his Father as a perfected personage. Previously he had not."
** I was floored that Christ had not achieve full and complete perfection until after He was resurrected. It blew my mind. **
"We need not be dismayed if our earnest efforts toward perfection now seem so arduous and endless. Perfection is pending. It can come only in full after the Resurrection and only through the Lord. It awaits all who love him and keep his commandments. It includes thrones, kingdoms, principalities, powers, and dominions. It is the end for which we are to endure. It is the eternal perfection that God has in store for each of us."
Wow. I can't even tell you what reading this talk did for me. It brought me so much peace and clarity and comfort and reassurance...I won't be "perfect" or "complete" until after this life is through, until after I am resurrected. So I can stop trying to be perfect and instead rely on the Savior to make me a little bit better each and every day. It's a lesson that has taken me 20 years to learn and continue to learn, but better late than never, right? Will you read it this week? (You could even do it as a family! ) I promise it will change your outlook and help you come to know the Savior better.
Mom, Dad, Brenden, and Cameron: Heavenly Father loves each of you SO much. And His love is always there. He doesn't love you for anything you did, or didn't do...He loves you because you are *His*. He loves you so much that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer, bleed, and die for you. If you were the only one who needed saving, the only one who needed a Savior...He still would have gone through it just for *you*. He understands it all perfectly. All the mistakes, the guilt, the shame, the heartache, the disappointment, the frustration, the discouragement, the anxiety, the brokenness...He knows it all. And He is always there for you--right by your side, holding your hand, and walking you through it. Always remember that, and always remember to turn to Him.
I love you so very much, and hope you have a beautiful + thankful week.
"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 and a huge hug from Pennsylvania,Sister Bartlett xoxo
Buddies from Sunbury ;)
Driving back from MLC
Coasting in the "The Bruiser" with all the Elders!!
With Tonya at Church :)
Apostle visit countdown! SO EXCITED!