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, December 26, 2016

He is Real to me.....

Family dearest,

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! It was SOOO good to see and talk to yinz yesterday. 😉 It was surreal realizing that was my last call home. (What in the world?!)

Like I told you, our sacrament meeting yesterday was great. I loved the opportunity to sing praises to the Savior through my solo of "Away in a Manger". I also loved all of the other Christmas hymns others performed and we sang as a congregation.

For Christmas Eve dinner, we were at our Bishop's house, and we watched some of the Christmas Bible videos. Afterwards, we sang Silent Night together. As I reflected on that sacred night so long ago, it felt so real to me. It's hard to describe, but as I am coming to know my Savior in a much more real sense, that first Christmas feels tangible. He is so real to me. And the Spirit I felt that night was particularly beautiful.

We did some service this week, which was wonderful. We also went caroling a few times, which was a blast! One of the times was with our district and another district. We drove to Pleasant Hills and hopped on a trailer that was decorated with Christmas lights and was attached to a truck. We hopped in and drove to a few neighborhoods and went door to door. It was awesome!! Elf really said it best: "The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear." 😂

Earlier in the week, we went to McDonald, which is a small town in our area. We talked to a few people and showed the video a few times. It was great! I have loved seeing people's reactions to the video--they all love it! 

We also saw Ronald and Nancy. When we walked into their house, we could feel the tension. Satan is working so hard to have a hold on their house. For the majority of our visit, they were telling us about the trials they are being hit with left and right. It is incredible to me, because despite all of it, they still have the faith to keep praying, reading, and meeting with us. We showed them "Light the World" and they loved it. They said they could feel a different Spirit as soon as we walked through the door. I introduced the Plan of Salvation pamphlet to them and left them with a copy to read. We also downloaded the gospel library onto their phones, and Ronald especially was so excited about it. We showed him the videos he could watch when he was feeling down and out. He said he was going to be busy. 😉 We texted them later and they said they had read through more of the Book of Mormon. They are so ready to embrace the gospel--I am so excited to teach them more.

I really do know this gospel is the absolute truth. Jesus Christ stands at the head and leads and guides this Church. He is in reality our Savior. He was born in the most humble of circumstances and He lived for us, died for us, and He lives today. He is real. He lives. He is with us constantly, and what a beautiful gift that is. The more I come to know Who He is, the more I desire to be like Him. I love this gospel with all of my heart!!! ❤

I LOVE YOU!!!!! Have a beautiful week and enjoy the last bit of 2016 😉

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

                                                 Caroling! Missionary Style :)

The Famous Sarri's Chocolate Factory-YUM!

It was like stepping into Candyland.....

Celebrating Click Days with Ice Cream at Sarri's!

Our paper Christmas Tree!

Christmas PJ's- hip hip hooray!

Polaroid Selfie's

The afternmath....

Monday, December 19, 2016

Christmastime is the BEST time!!

Dearest family,

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! Wow, it's amazing we are approaching another Christmas. This past year has *flown* by.

All is well here in Washington, I am feeling TONS better. Sister Kelley has been a trooper throughout it all and I am so grateful. Speaking of Sister Kelley, I forgot to tell you more about her last time. She is from Idaho Falls, Idaho, and she grew up on a farm! She's super hardworking and diligent and she is awesome! I really need her right now. God is so mindful of us and He is in every single detail.

We did experience some pretty cold weather this week. Our car said the temperature got down to 11 degrees at one point....and then the humidity and the wind chill on top of felt like zero degrees or so cold. Another morning, we experienced freezing rain...we went outside and our car was covered in a sheet of ice. It was also raining this misty-like rain. It was the weirdest thing ever. On the bright side, it looks like Christmas now...except a lot of the snow is melting away because temperatures are rising...PA weather is the weirdest. But I still love PA. So much.

So I forgot to mention that last Sunday we ate with the Potts' family. Their young son was diagnosed with a tumor in his leg, which ended up being some sort of growth mass. He has to have surgery every 8 weeks, the poor guy. I ended up telling them my story and it was amazing to connect with them in that way.

Earlier this week, we met with a media referral they had gotten before I got there. Their names are Donald and Nancy and we had a great discussion with them. Donald said that before we came, the devil was in his house (his words, not mine ha ha), but ever since we came, he's felt a lot calmer and he can feel a difference in his life. He's been reading bits of the Book of Mormon which is amazing!! After the lesson, Sister Kelley told me that it was a 180 from when she was there last time. How amazing is that?? The church is true, people!!!

Friday, Bishop texted us and asked me to speak on Sunday (yesterday). I didn't have tons of time, but I was able to put some thought together about reflections on the true meaning of Christmas. (I was also asked to sing next Sunday for the Christmas program! They sure are throwing me right in, ha ha! But I'm excited ☺)

It was wonderful to do some reflecting on the true reason for the season, so I thought I would share a few thoughts that I gathered:

"Our celebration of Christmas should be a reflection of the love and selflessness taught by the Savior. Giving, not getting, brings to full bloom the Christmas spirit. We feel more kindly one to another. We reach out in love to help those less fortunate. Our hearts are softened. Enemies are forgiven, friends remembered, and God obeyed. The Spirit of Christmas illuminates the picture window of the soul, an we look out upon the world's busy life and and become more interested in people than in things. To catch the real meaning of the spirit of Christmas, we need only drop the last syllable, and it becomes the spirit of Christ." (President Thomas S. Monson)

"Christmas invites feelings of tenderness, joy, and love. And as any parent will attest, similar feelings typically attend the birth of each newborn child. Of course, Christ’s birth was unlike any other. The precious details--the journey to Bethlehem, an overcrowded inn, a lowly manger, a newfound star, and ministering angels--make His a birth story for the ages. Yet the story of the Savior’s birth represents only a part of why we feel the Spirit during the Christmas season. Christmas is not only a celebration of how Jesus came into the world but also of knowing who He is--our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ--and of why He came. President Thomas S. Monson has taught: 'Because He came to earth, … we [can] have joy and happiness in our lives and peace each day of the year. … Because He came, there is meaning to our mortal existence. This meaning becomes clearer when we consider the fulness of the Christmas story. As President Gordon B. Hinckley explained: 'There would be no Christmas if there had not been Easter. The babe Jesus of Bethlehem would be but another baby without the redeeming Christ of Gethsemane and Calvary, and the triumphant fact of the Resurrection.'" Elder Craig C. Christensen)

"May we give as the Savior gave. To give of oneself is a holy gift. We give as a remembrance of all the Savior has given. May we also give gifts that have eternal value, along with our gifts that eventually break or are forgotten. How much better the world would be if we all gave gifts of understanding and compassion, of service and friendship, of kindness and gentleness. As the Christmas season envelops us with all its glory, may we, as did the Wise Men, seek a bright, particular star to guide us in our celebration of the Savior's birth. May we all make the journey to Bethlehem on Spirit, taking with us a tender, caring heart as our gift to the Savior." (President Thomas S. Monson)

This season is about the Savior. It's not about anything else, besides Him and His birth. It's always been about the Savior and it always will be.

I know that "Christ the babe was born for you" and He was born for me. He was born in the humblest of circumstances, lived a sinless life, and died for us. Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without Easter. I am infinitely grateful for my dear Savior and His Atonement in my behalf. I am grateful that He took on Himself all my sins, mistakes, weaknesses, sorrows, heartaches--everything--and felt it before I ever did. He has been with me every moment of every day and has carried me when I haven't had the strength to walk on my own. He is my Lord, my Savior, my Redeemer, and my King. I adore Him.

Last night, we had one of the most amazing lessons I've had on my mission. I'll try to explain it over email, but I wish you could have experienced it. We went to see a less-active in our ward, Brother Southern. Right before we went in, we were recapping real quick what we wanted to teach him. We were planning on talking about the Book of Mormon, and I had the thought to read 3 Nephi 11 with him. We went in and as we were reading it I was blown away by how much it talked about baptism (I had forgotten...but the Spirit hadn't...). I had the thought to ask him about what his baptism day was like, and he described the relief from guilt and sin he felt. That transitioned into talking about the Sacrament. I told him that God doesn't want us to just feel those feeling one time when we're baptized. And that's why He has given us the Sacrament. So we can feel that same relief and renewal every single week. I don't remember exactly what I said, but something in the words pricked Brother Southern's heart, and he told us every since his wife passed away, he hasn't known where to go or what to do. But he said he knows he needs the Sacrament in his life, so he will be there on Sunday. I promised him he would be able to feel that same relief from his burdens he felt when he was baptized when he takes the Sacrament. At the end, I asked him if we could leave him with a hymn and he said that would be delightful, so we did. We sang "I Stand All Amazed" and the Spirit was so strong. It was incredible, there really aren't words. I feel like he is one of the people I came to Washington for. God is so good.

But my goodness, I LOVE being a missionary. It is literally the best thing ever. The best thing in the world, and I feel SO blessed. Also, Christmastime is the best time to be a missionary. Which makes me feel even more blessed. God's goodness is endless.

I know this gospel is true. I know it from the bottom of my heart. I will forever be grateful for this sacred time I have spent in Pennsylvania serving Him. This is hallowed ground, and this is where I have come to truly know Him. I love Him with my whole heart.

Have the merriest of Christmases!!!!! I LOVE YOU!!!!!

SOOO excited to talk to yinz on Sunday!!!!!!!! (Also, something I am stoked for: President gave us permission to sleep in. YES!!!!!)

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

Lots of love,
Sister Bartlett xoxo

PS: Judy got baptized!!!!! (Sister Morgan and I found her and started teaching her in Beaver and she just got baptized this weekend!!! So so happy!!!)

                                                            Winter Wonderland!!!

Dressing Warm!

                                            Sister, it's cold out there - 11 Degrees!!

Judy's Baptism-YAY!!!

Mission cars flooded - yikes!

O Christmas Tree--it's a humble one! An Elder's
                                    mom made the PPM Ornament for all the Missionaries!
                                                                     SO AWESOME!

Monday, December 12, 2016

"Good Morning!....You're about to call in sick"


Greetings from Washington!! (Well...Canonsburg if you want to be specific 😉) if you haven't watched "Hot Pockets" by Jim Gaffigan in a while...go watch of it and think of me 😂

We spent all of Monday in Pittsburgh with the Ritz's which was a blast!! (More pictures to come...eventually...) More goodbyes Monday night and Tuesday...some of the hardest I've ever had to say. Every time I leave an area, it's like leaving home and family all over again. I don't like it one bit! Good thing I'll probably be here for the last while and won't have to face another transfer move for a bit. (Since I've gotten to this area, everyone has been asking me how long I've been out. When I tell them 14 1/2 months, they're like, "oh, so this is probably you're last stop then!" Agh!! I don't like this at all. How in the world did this happen?!? Time is just flying at the speed of light and I can't even keep up. Not cool. At all. Anywhoosers...)

I got sick with a really nasty cold this week so we really didn't do much. I spent a lot of time sleeping/resting/taking it easy...which is the worst as a missionary because you feel like the laziest human on earth. But it needed to happen. I am slowly getting better though. Thank goodness for Priesthood blessings! (and Musinex and Ricola's and vitamin C 😉) I am also slowly meeting investigators, less-active members, and members of the ward, so that's good! I definitely miss Pitt 3rd and the people there more than I can even say, but this is gonna be good. I can feel it.  

Sister Kelley is super awesome!! She's got this greenie fire that I definitely need right now!! I love her so much. ❤ It definitely has been humbling to be with someone who's only been out 3 months and is leading out the area. The Lord is teaching me a lot. Some of which has been humbly complying to His will, and acknowledging Him constantly for my need of His divine help. Though I feel and know I am so weak, He is making me strong. I know that He really does give us what we need when we need it. I definitely need some humbling, and this is a great opportunity for Heavenly Father to help me in that area.

Well fam bam, I wish I had more to update you on, but I don', keep on keepin' on!! Remember who you are and that a sister missionary in Pennsylvania LOVES YOU TONS!!!!! ❤

"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

   With the Ritz's at Bupa's Italian
                                                                Restaurant - YUM!

                                                  Saying goodbye to the Greenway Family

                                                                        With Anne

                                           With Bishop Snow and his wife -LOVE THEM!

                                                                    Photo Booth :)

                                          Me and Sister Kelley with Rosie aka Sister Bartlett ;)

                                             Our Gingerbread Sister Missionaries for the
                                                              Ward Christmas Party!

Monday, December 5, 2016


Family dearest,

Well. The unexpected happened...I'm being transferred 😭😭😭 the Washington ward. My new companion is Sister Kelley and she's awesome (though I can't tell you how sad I am to be leaving Sister Simpson 😭). She's been on her mission for 3 months and I got to go on exchanges with her a few months ago.

My new address is:

811 Frederick Court
Canonsburg, PA 15317

So if you're sending any letters/packages in the near future, please send them to that address. Thanks bunches!!

It has been *so* hard saying goodbye to people. This place has such a huge part of my heart and it's so hard to leave it here. When I first got here, I never thought I would come to love this place so much. My first transfer here was the hardest of my mission, and I had no idea it would get better from then on out. But it did, I am so grateful. Now this place, this ward, has such a special place in my heart. It is so hard to leave these amazing people, especially right before Christmas. But apparently Washington needs me, otherwise I wouldn't be going there. Trying to trust in Heaven's timing right's just difficult at the moment...prayers would be greatly appreciated (:

On Thursday, was the big kick-off for the Christmas initiative. We spent the whole day doing service, and it was amazing!! We raked leaves, and caroled a ton. It was the most amazing feeling. Especially when we sang Christmas carols to the people in the nursing homes--that brought the sweetest joy to my heart. It was beautiful! Seeing their faces light up was absolutely priceless. (It's also been a super long time since I have sung that much in one day...but it was awesome!)

I'm skipping ahead, but on Saturday I was in Greentree on an exchange, and I got to see Sister Smego from the Beaver ward!! She is in a nursing home now in the Greentree area and it was SO good to see her. Her face just lit up when I walked into the room--as did mine. It was such a tender mercy to see her. Her health has declined so much since I left, but she just keeps pressing forward. She is amazing! I am so blessed to know her.

On Friday, we had our zone conference, and it was absolutely incredible. The Spirit there was so strong. We talked a lot about the initiative (it just gets better and better every time I watch it!) and how we can use it in our individual missionary work. As always, there was a lot of music and this time I was able to participate in two musical numbers--"O Little Town of Bethlehem" with Sister Morgan, Elder Foster (served with them in Beaver) and a few other missionaries, as well as singing "What Child is This" with Sister Simpson (video included). I feel the Spirit so strongly through music, but especially through Christmas music. The testimonies born of those returning home in the next month or two were so powerful. With each one, I am reminded over and over that I need to be doing all I can because this won't last forever. An end will come one day and I won't be here in Pennsylvania anymore. The thought kills me but I'm trying to let it be motivation to work harder. 

President talked about last Christmas how Sister Wells played "the perfect Mary" in the live nativity they had in Chambersburg, PA. He put some pictures on the screen and parts of her testimony she had sent to him in some of her weekly letters. I didn't know Sister Wells personally, but every single time President talks about her, I just cry. I'm sure she was there with us as we talked about her.

He told us that her dad is now bishop of their ward, and he is sending out a sister missionary that will be getting to this mission on February 8, 2017--one day shy of the year anniversary of the accident. How amazing is that? Definitely not a coincidence.

To end the meeting, he put up a picture of her in the nativity scene and we sang "Away in a Manger". I could barely choke out the notes because the tears were just streaming down my face. I can't really even describe it, but it was one of the most sacred and beautiful moments of my mission.

I know that our Savior lives. I know that He loves us each individually and so perfectly. He gave His life so that we could rise again, so that death would not be the end. I could never thank Him enough for that. I adore Him with my whole heart--He is my best friend, my Redeemer, my Lord, and my King. I am so grateful for this magnificent Christmas season in which we have the joy of celebrating His birth. Please do all you can to #LIGHTtheWORLD and reflect and spread His light this December. People need it desperately, and we have been called to share it.

Stay safe, stay warm. And make this week a beautiful one!! 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)

Sending love from PA,
Sister Bartlett xoxo

PS: no snow yet!! Can yinz believe it?! I am still hoping for a white Christmas this year...

                                                 Me with Sister Smego!

Sister Sadie Wells playing Mary in the Live Nativity - Christmas 2015

Went to Pittsburgh and rode the incline with Sister Simpson!

                               Sister Simpson and I at the lookout point - isn't this a                                                       Gorgeous view of the Pittsburgh at night!?!


Now in color - LOVE this city!!!!