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, January 16, 2017

Sometimes I wonder about this whole agency thing.....

My dearest family!!

Boy, do I have a lot to tell you! So I'll be honest with yinz, Tuesday was terrible. We went to go see Mary again, and her husband came out on the porch instead and told us that he would never become a Mormon, and he only believes in the one and only God who died on the cross, etc...but he was wasn't very nice about it. He handed us the copy of the Book of Mormon with the pamphlet inside. I asked if Mary would like to hear more of our message, and he said she was "shaky" as he shook his head. He blessed us both with a cross symbol motion in the air and bid us farewell. Oh man. That was like a knife shoved right into my chest. It hurt so bad. We walked back to the car, got inside, and just cried.

What I didn't tell you about Mary was that she never felt like God was listening to her or that He loved her. And she felt that because of her past, He wanted to just toss her to the side. Boy did that break my heart. But it broke my heart even more that because of her husband's agency, we will never get to teach her that the opposite is true. My mission at times has caused me to think a lot about why we have the gift of agency. Wouldn't have Satan's Plan been so much make everyone do the right thing? 😈 ...I know exactly why we have agency and why it is such a gift, but boy it is frustrating when things like this happens. I guess we'll teach him the next life 😉 ...and there are other people who are prepared and ready to hear the gospel. We just have to find them.

Ronald and Nancy did not make it to church (Nancy is trying to get more strength back into her paralyzed legs). But we drove out there (after our team-up couldn't...our miles are shot for the month) and had an awesome discussion with them. We read 2 Nephi 2 and we're able to answer more of their questions. Hearing them describe how they feel the Spirit is the coolest thing ever. They really can feel that our message is true, it's amazing! Now we gotta get 'em to church. They'll get there though and I am so excited!!

Let's see. What else happened this week? Oh my heavens GUESS WHAT?? I got to go back to Pitt 3rd on exchanges with Sister Simpson!!!! It was literally the greatest thing EVER. Such a tender mercy. Teaching with her, singing with her, and just catching up on all the things was SO GOOD. (I included an audio video of us singing 🎶) I got to see the Eichenmiller's (recent converts), Sister Snodgrass, and have dinner with Mike and Chris Ritz!!! It was so wonderful!! A much-needed exchange. I love her to death and she is one of my favorite people in the whole entire world.

We also had interviews with President and it was a definite highlight. I ADORE President and Sister Johnson and am SO GRATEFUL I get both of them for the full 18 months. They both always know exactly what to say and I felt the Spirit so strong being with them. President is dumbfounded that here we are, almost 16 months into my mission, when we both remember the very first time I sat down with him in an interview. Ha ha! But he reminded me that I'm not the same person I was back then, and I really am not. I can't see all the changes in myself, but I know I've changed a lot. The power to change through the Savior and His Atonement is real. It's truly a beautiful thing. ❤

Oh, and I have some very big news...drumroll, please...I AM TRAINING!!!!!! Daughter #2 is on the way 👶Ha ha. I'm a little nervous, but peace has come when I have felt that this is exactly what is supposed to happen. I know it is going to help me tons on my last two transfers (*gasp*) of my mission to stay focused and work hard. I want to help this sister start out her mission in the best way possible. That is my motivation. Oh, and this is exciting too! Sister Morgan is also training again!! How wild is that?? I will now have two daughters and two granddaughters. My posterity is growing!! Ha ha 😉😂 She is white-washing/doubling-in an area, and I know she's gonna do great!

Sister Kelley is being transferred to Butler, which is in the Pitt North zone (I am in the Pitt West zone, and when I was in Beaver I was in that zone). It has been hard watching her say goodbye--I remember well how hard that first transfer was. But people in Butler sure need her and her beautiful testimony. She is going to do great things, I just know it!

Well fam bam, I think that's all I have for you. I'll find out tomorrow who I'll be training so I'm excited for that (maybe it will be Sister Hill from American Fork 🙊)! Stay tuned!

This really is God's work. And I know He is actively involved in it because I can see His hand each and every day. I know that no matter what, this work will move forward until this gospel fills the earth. It is the greatest privilege I have of serving as one of His servants, getting to play a part in taking it to the world. (Let's go save the world!!) I love being a missionary, despite the lowest of lows and a broken heart that at times come with it. The joy far outweighs the sorrows! I love this gospel and I know it's true. I love the Book of Mormon and I know it is the very word of God. I am coming to truly know my Savior as I study His character woven through the pages. I love my Heavenly Father and Savior and I am doing all I can to love Them more.

I hope yinz have an amazing week!! Be safe, and be happy! And wish me luck!! Remember who you are and that a sister missionary in Pennsylvania LOVES YOU!!!!
"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

                                          With Grant and Mary Lou

                                        Exchanges with Sister Faamaile and Sister Simpson!

With my favorite Sister Simpson :)

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