Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Safely in Mexico!

Hello Everyone! This is Jessica's sister Megan.  She's put me in charge of the blog and I thought I'd post to let you all know that she has made it safely to the MTC in Mexico! 

Here's part of her email:
¡Hola familia!  I have made it to the CCM!!  Woot! Woot!  I was able to sleep on both airplane rides.  Also in Salt Lake I ran into Anndrea Glendhill, she went to school with me at Alta and we ended up sitting next to each other, so it was great to see her.  Well I don´t have much time, but I love and miss you all already, but I am so excited for what is ahead for me.  My P-day is not for another 8 days so I will talk to you then.  
Love you lots and lots!

Con amor
Hermana Bartholomew 

P.S. The roads are crazy here, almost died multiple times, but I´m still alive so that is good. :)  

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Favorite Purchases for my Mission

I have been frequently asked where I purchased Ecuador themed gifts and mission specific suggested clothing.  So here they are:

1. Ecuador ring with heart over Guayaquil
I am obsessed with this ring.  I got it on Etsy, here.  It came very quickly and for a very affordable price (only $35! Woot! Woot! Others are $75+).  The item description says that they only make Stateside rings, but they can do any foreign country as well.  Specify which country/state and city of where you want the heart to be over in the comment section during checkout. 

2. Ecuador Flag Pin
I love my Ecuador pin, which is basically the girl version of the flag tie pins that are made for Elders.  I got this here, also on Etsy.  Meg, the lady who owns this shop, was adorable and very helpful and sent a cute note with my order.  

3. Missionary Necklace

I purchased this and it has not arrived yet, but I can't wait to have my family send this to me in Ecuador!!! AHH I'm going to Ecuador, so crazy.  Anyway, so you have the choice of a wood country or silver and also a circle pendant with the mission scripture or name or whatever you want (the circle pendant can be replaced with a pearl).  

4. One Line a Day- 5 year Memory Book

I saw this at Barnes and Noble and thought it would be perfect for a missionary.  Each page has 5 entry spaces for 5 years.  So in 2019 it will be a wonderful way to reminisce on previous years and see what you did each year on April 25th (hopefully it wasn't too hot and not too cold and all you needed was a light jacket ;) 

5. Arvo watch 

Oh Arvo!  What else is there to say.  I happen to know the owners and love them to pieces.  This is the PERFECT watch, which you can purchase here.  Classy and simple.  Bring on the tan line. 

6. Hunter Rain Boots 

Hunter boots are perfect for rain and snow.  They are a little pricy but are very high quality and will LAST 18 months and then some! Plus they are super cute.  I got these at Nordstrom.

7. Cap Sleeve Shirts
These are not the same as the ones from DownEast, they are lighter fabric and sweat-wicking so better for humid environments. The boutique, Sugar Pop, does not have a website, but they are located in the Fashion Place Mall by Dillard's.   

If you have any questions, comment and hopefully my sister will know! 

I'm going on a mission start the countdown...5, 4, 3, 2, 1!

   Just like the "Little Einsteins" theme song, I am going on a mission with equal enthusiasm as the 4 cartoon heroes of the beloved children's show.  
   On November 15, 2013, I received my call to serve as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I am assigned to labor in the Ecuador Guayaquil North Mission.  I will take off on my "rocket ship" (haha, Little Einstein humor ;) on February 26, 2014, for the Mexico MTC, where I will learn Spanish and prepare to teach the gospel to those in Ecuador.  I am so beyond excited and anxious to go and serve.  
Ecuador is located right on the Equator, hence the name Ecuador.  The seasons in Ecuador include: hot, HOT, VERY HOT, and Extremely HOT and a rainy season which results in water up to your calf (on a normal sized person, so it will probably approach my knee #shortpeopleproblems, haha) and then the sun comes out and you guessed it, you are now HOT and wet.    
The houses are very colorful, especially in the city of Guayaquil.  But really how cute are these?! The world would be a much happier place if we all had colorful houses. 
All I have to say is I hope I find both of these adorable kids while I'm there and pray they will fit in my suitcase to come back home with me.   

I have been asked on multiple occasions why I am serving a mission.  Well, why wouldn't I?  Jesus Christ gave his life for each of us, I can give 18 months of my life specifically dedicated to bringing souls unto Christ.  The imfamous definition of a missionary is someone who leaves their family for a short time so that others may be with their families for Eternity.   I hope to bring the blessings of the temple to families in Ecuador so they can be with their loved ones for eternity.  I love to see the temple, I went inside (a few months ago).  Our Heavenly Father loves us all, always strive to go inside someday.  

God is the Father of our spirits.  We are literally His children, and He loves us.  We lived as spirit children of our Father in Heaven before we were born. We were not, however like our Heavenly Father, nor could we ever become like Him and enjoy all the blessings that He enjoys without the experience of living in mortality with a physical body.  God's whole purpose-His work and His glory-is to enable each of us to enjoy all his blessings.  He loves us.  He wants us to become like him.  God's plan is a merciful plan.  The plan of happiness.  Even as the Son of God was born, it has been universally bestowed on each of us.  Our divine privilege to depart our heavenly home to tabernacle in the flesh and to demonstrate by our lives our worthiness and qualifications to one day return to Him, precious loved ones, and experience true joy.  Our Heavenly Father's plan contains the ultimate expressions of true love.  Among the most cherished thoughts and writings in this world is the divine statement of truth: "For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."  Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love each and every one of us immensely.  Because of this ultimate example of love we can, by His grace, repent and be baptized and endure to the end, and one day return to live with our Heavenly Father.  I am going to Ecuador to bring my brothers and sisters to know they are loved, that their Father in Heaven wants them to return to him.  "He is waiting for YOU, with arms open wide. Come unto Him." 
  Al Fox said, "Christ really is there. He IS - in reality - there for us.
Every day.
All day long.
In everything that we do. If we just listen to what He’s been urging us to do this whole time, which is Come, Come unto Him. If we trust Him and turn to Him, we will know that everything is okay, and we CAN be happy.
That He loves you SO much - individually and personally. He IS there, and CAN help you, comfort and direct you.
Do NOT be afraid, or discouraged, or sad, because He is there!
Because you are never alone.
Because you are NEVER forgotten. And you NEVER were. He is very aware of you -- He IS!
He will not leave you. He will not fail thee.”

I am humbled and honored for the opportunity to share this wonderful plan of happiness with those in Ecuador.  I already love the people of Ecuador so much and it will break my heart when I have to leave them.  These next 18 months will go by so quickly and I can't wait to see you all once I return. 

"My mission belongs to the Lord.  With all my heart, I give my energy and my time to the Master because I love him.  I am going to look at every day not as mine, but as His."