So we'll just get this first part out of the way. The previous week we picked up a new investigator. His name is Joe and he is George's roommate. We had a tough-beans lesson with him but we set up a time to come back and answer more of his questions. Well, last Monday we saw George and we asked if Joe had said anything after we left. George winced and said, "You probably don't want to know what he said." Then pointing to me he said, "Just know that you have a 50 year-old man who thinks you're *really* cute." AHHHHH ABORT ABORT ABORT. It was so awkward...but I'm so glad George told us. Yeah, we won't be going back there to teach him.
But, on a good note, we brought our recent convert Brother Flaus with his wife who is a less-active member to that lesson, and they were the PERFECT team-up! Woot woot! And they live super close to George so that's awesome. They brought him to church yesterday so things are going well there! George is awesome. He's definitely looking out for us and at one point over text he said, "You girls helped me when I was too far gone." My heart! Oh man and then he told us that he told Joe that he needed to get help for his addictions...when your investigator calls his roommate to repentance! Ha ha. Best thing ever.
It was a slower week, but we were able to offer service to a sister in the ward who had her gall bladder and appendix taken out. It just feels so good to be able to help others, ya know! We also volunteer at a place that provides jobs for mentally handicapped people...and it's so fun! We help them do really simple jobs, but I love it! I definitely want to volunteer at a place like that after the mission.
We met with Bishop last week and he gave us the names of some people to go visit. We did, and it was so neat to see things fall into place. One sister who had to come home from her mission early has been struggling with scripture study and we were able to share a message about that. Another sister we went to see because our other appointment fell through. But it turns out the sister we had on a team-up was this other sister's visiting teacher! Coincidence? I think not. We shared a message with her about having our burdens eased through the Atonement. We also sang "I know that my Redeemer Lives" and she loved it! I absolutely love singing for people! It's the greatest thing.
Oh this is kind of a side note, but I played a piano solo in Sacrament meeting yesterday! I did my classic "I love to see the temple" arrangement. And guess what. President and Sister Johnson came to our ward yesterday!! We walked out of ward council, and there they were! It was amazing! Best day ever. I could never say enough good about them--I absolutely love them. Well...President...sometimes he's a stinker.
"How are you Sister Bartlett?"
*shakes my hand*
"Good, how are you, President?"
"Well, I'm doing better than you because I don't have to go home in four weeks."
See?! I love him, but he'll never stop teasing me about that.
This week we met with a Brother in the ward who was baptized a couple of years ago. He's been having a hard time lately and his family situation isn't good at all. He requested a lesson on hope, so we reach most of the talk "The Infinite Power of Hope" by President Uchtdorf. It really resonated with him and it was just what he needed. Especially the following line (which is something I think we all need to remember):
"Never give in. Never surrender. Never allow despair to overcome your spirit."
Isn't that beautiful? Never allow despair to overcome your spirit. Despair is not from our Heavenly Father. Instead we have to find hope through our Savior, the Hope of Israel and act on that hope coupled with faith. (Yinz should go read that talk! I *invite* you to read it and I promise something in there will resonate with you.)
Also. I could never tell you how much I LOVE studying the gospel. I would be perfectly content if that's all I did every single day for the rest of my life. I know I need to do other things and not just hibernate and actually live life, but I just love the gospel so much. And I love studying it so much. Reading the Book of Mormon this time around is almost like I'm reading it for the first time, as I see phrases and words that I don't ever remember picking out before. Alma 33 is the bomb.com. I feel like it really gets overshadowed by Alma 32, but this week I saw how incredible it is (Alma 34 too...just the entire Book of Mormon!!).
My favorite scripture from my studies this week, Alma 33:23, which says,
"And now, my brethren, I desire that ye shall plant this word in your hearts, and as it beginneth to swell even so nourish it by your faith. And behold, it will become a tree, springing up in you unto everlasting life. And then may God grant unto you that your burdens may be light, through the joy of his Son. And even all this can ye do if ye will. Amen."
"May God grant unto you that your burdens may be light, through the joy of his Son." I loved this. It really is only through the Savior that our burdens can be made light. I have truly felt this over and over and have experienced true joy through His Atonement.
Another phrase stuck out as I read the following verses 4-11. "Because of thy Son."
11 And thou didst hear me because of mine afflictions and my sincerity; and it is because of thy Son that thou hast been thus merciful unto me, therefore I will cry unto thee in all mine afflictions, for in thee is my joy; for thou hast turned thy judgments away from me, because of thy Son.
Because of His Son. Because of His Son, we can repent. Because of His Son, we can be forgiven. Because of His Son, we can be healed. Because of His Son, we can receive strength. Because of His Son, we can have hope. Because of His Son, we will live again. Because of His Son, we will see our loved ones again and be with them forever. I love the Savior. I love Him for who He is to me and what He has done for me. I will forever cherish this time I have to literally wear his name next to mine and invite others to come unto Him.
I love you so so so so so so much!! I hope you have an incredible week!!! LOVE YOU TO HEAVEN AND BACK!!!!
"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 Brianna Bartlett
811 Frederick Court
Canonsburg, PA 15317
Sarris with Sister Ingram
Stepping into Candyland to have an Ice Cream Sundae!
Good thing we shared it!
It also could be the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory!
Gyros with Sister Robison - YUM!