Hey hey hey!
This week both flew by and moved as slow as molasses. Crazy how time can feel like both extremes. The more time passes, the more I believe that mortal time to our eternal souls isn't supposed to make sense. It's like living in a dream. It seems unreal, but that's because we are eternal beings--no wonder the passage of time just doesn't sit well with yours truly. Anywhoosers. Moving on...
** George **
Okay, sad day when you find out your investigator is on probation, and you have to postpone their baptismal date. *Sigh* But hey! It's still goodness because he's still on the right track and he's turning his life around. It's amazing to see! We taught him the law of chastity, word of wisdom, and tithing this week and he's committed to live all three! Yeahhhh buddy!
** Ron and Nancy **
I forgot to mention them last week, but they're doing a lot better! Ron had a lot of questions about the Holy Ghost, like who He is, and what He does. We were able to help him identify that what he is feeling now, what he hasn't felt in any other church, is the Spirit. It was SO cool to see the light go on and that click in his head.
They are trying to help Nancy get to a place where she can come to church (right now without much feeling in her legs it makes it really difficult). Please please pray for them that they will be able to reach that point when they can come to church!
** Brother Southern **
Monday night, we had an appointment to see a less-active brother in the ward. That fell through just two hours before, so instead we took our team-up to go pop in on Brother Southern. He is such a sweet man who lost his wife to cancer fairly recently. We shared a talk with him that has become one of my all-time favorites: "The First Great Commandment" by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. The Spirit was so strong. But it was even more strong as Sister Ingram spoke up and shared some difficult trials she has endured and a really special experience she had. As I sat there listening to her, tears ran down my cheeks. I needed to hear what she had to say, and Brother Southern did too. I will never forget it.
I have such a testimony of bringing members out to teach with us. They bring such a powerful spirit and just like in this case, Sister Ingram said exactly what Brother Southern needed to hear, better than we could have done it ourselves.
** Zone Conference **
So, zone conference was phenomenal...as usual. But this one, in many ways, made my heart ache. I watched 4 sisters (including Sister Simpson) that I have come to know and love go up to the pulpit and bear their "departing testimony". I just cried through them. Mostly Sister Simpson because she is literally a sister to me, but the tears were just flowing. Not to be trunky or anything, but it hit me like a ton of bricks that this is getting so real. That it is getting so close. That I will have one more zone conference in which I will bear my own departing testimony. Friends that I know and love so dearly are preparing to return home. Next transfer, I will be the "oldest" sister in the mission. Ahhh!!! When President shook my hand, he said, "Sister Bartlett, we're getting closer. What am I going to do without you singing at zone conference?" All I could do was shake my head, "I don't like this President, not at all."
It was also one of the most powerful zone conferences because of the music. We have some incredibly talented musicians in our mission, and many of them participated this time around. It was beautiful. Sister Robison and I sang "I Stand All Amazed" and can I just say, I am so proud of Sister Robison!! She hasn't had a lot of experience singing in front of people, so this was huge. In front of about 80 missionaries? Yeah, that's huge. (It was a tri-zone conference...our zones aren't that big ha ha.) But little by little she's gaining more confidence to share her gifts with people! And it's amazing to see. #proudmama We also have been singing TONS for teaching appointments and dinner thoughts which has been awesome! I absolutely love sharing music with people. It is my happy place. ️
But quite possibly the most memorable part of the conference was at the end when President showed us this video: <https://www.lds.org/media-
library/video/2016-03-0023-no- blessings-denied-the-faithful? lang=eng>
As I watched, the tears just streamed down my face. It was an answer to so many unspoken prayers and I just felt enveloped by the Spirit. There really are no words to describe it. I felt like God was speaking directly to me--in fact I know He was, because He is the only One who knew I would need to hear what was said. Two things Elder Stevenson said specifically stuck out to me:
>> It may be hard today, it may be hard tomorrow, or the next month. But it will get easier. ... You can do this. If you exercise faith in Jesus Christ. <<
And then I thought of this string of phrases that one of my favorite companions told me:
"You can do hard things. You can do this. You can do this every day, through Christ."
Trying to remember and really internalize this, especially on the hard days that come.
** Miracles at church **
It seriously was a miracle! Brother Southern and his son, Sean, and his girlfriend Becky and their kids and other members of a less active/recent convert family came to church!! We have been praying for this for so long!! Last Sunday, I was feeling pretty bad because it hit me that even though we were working hard to invite less-actives to church, none of them were coming. But then God poured out His blessings and blessed us with 2 investigators and 4 less-actives at church. This is a huge improvement since I've been here!! God is so good and He is so merciful!!
** Wesley's baptism **
Yesterday we got to witness Wesley's baptism (a man the elders have been teaching for a while) and it was such a powerful experience. The Spirit at baptismal services is unlike anything I've ever felt before. It is one of the most powerful, most beautiful things. I had the privilege of singing "Savior, Redeemer of My Soul" for the musical number, which has by far become my favorite hymn. The words will forever mean so much to me.
** The Spirit **
I have been learning lately in my studies more about the Holy Ghost. It has been said that "the Lord gives us His Holy Spirit in this life as a foretaste of the joy of eternal life. The Spirit is also the Lord’s surety that He will fulfill His promise to give eternal life to the faithful" (Bible Dictionary, "Earnest").
And from the New Testament Institute manual, I read the following:
"When we feel the Spirit of the Lord, we can know that we are accepted of the Lord and that His promises are in effect in our lives."
"We are the 'purchased possession' that is bought by the atoning blood of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:14; see also 1 Corinthians 6:20; 1 Peter 1:18–19). Just as someone buying a piece of property often makes a token payment (sometimes called earnest money in the financial world) to indicate that he or she is acting in good faith and intends to complete the purchase, God gives us the gift of the Holy Ghost and its attendant peace to assure us that He will ultimately reward us with redemption and exaltation as we live faithfully. Our obedience to God’s commandments and ordinances is the way we show God that we desire to receive the blessings of exaltation that He offers to us."
My goodness I am learning so much! Ultimately, I am seeing more and more how crucial it is to be worthy of the Spirit, because when we feel the Spirit, we know that we are on the track Heavenly Father wants us to be.
I hope this week you pay closer attention to the Spirit--His promptings and when He is present. I pray that we can always have Him to be with us to sanctify us, to cleanse us, and to bring us closer to Heaven.
Remember who you are and that a sister missionary in Pennsylvania LOVES YOU!! Have the most beautiful week!!
"Keep loving. Keep trying. Keep trusting. Keep believing. Keep growing. Heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow, and forever." (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland)
Sister Bartlett xoxo
Sista's R and B!!
Team Up with Becca = Missionary work!
When everything falls through and nobody lets us in, what do you do?
Get a frozen hot chocolate from Sheetz. Obviously.
Get a frozen hot chocolate from Sheetz. Obviously.
Me and Sister Wall
Zone Conference February 2017
Wesley's Baptism :)