Monday, June 9, 2014

Monsters and Missionary Work

June 9, 2014

¡Hola mi familia! 

Oh you all are just the greatest!  Know that I pray for you multiple times each day!  Thank you for all the love and prayers this week, I felt every one!!!  June?!  What?!  Time is just flying by, I can’t believe it!  Hopefully it is going by just as fast for you all as well!

So sad news...Yuri wasn’t able to be baptized this week because we didn’t have permission from her family and her godmother is super Evangelica, so of course that didn’t go over well.  But we are planning to work with her family this week and they are coming to the ward talent show this Saturday.  Hopefully their hearts will soften with the crazy, fun talents we have planned.  But Yuri really wants to be baptized so we have been praying continuously for her and her family, so I will keep you updated on her.

Jenny Barco did not attend church this week and her family does not want her to become "Mormon".  We planned a perfect lesson for her using Mateo [Matthew] 10:22, which says,

"And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.”  

We plan to tie this scripture into sharing the rejection of Joseph Smith so hopefully she will continue to listen.  She is AMAZING and loves El Libro de Mormon and adores our meetings on Sundays.  AHHH!  Families are sometimes the biggest problem, not the investigator.
Basically, all the rest of our investigators are no longer interested, having family problems, need to get married first, or just want us to visit so I can teach them English.  During a recent lesson, as we were repeatedly interrupted by a group of young boys who wanted me to tell them their names in English, Hermana Toledo asked me in frustration, "Why do you have to be American?!"  Haha, so great!  Anyways, so right now we are in the process of finding new investigators and contacting references of members.
Although we lack investigators at the moment, we still had an incredible week!  I have 2 spiritual thoughts for you all...

1.  Monsters Inc. can be related to missionary work!  Who would have thought?!  I never thought of the popular Disney movie in this way, until this week as I was talking with another Hermana in our mission. 

Bueno, during the movie, the monsters work to obtain energy or electricity to supply the city’s needs.  There is a dramatic moment early in the movie when the monsters walk into the workhouse in slow-motion with serious faces, and are intently waiting for their door. This exemplifies their grand desire at that point was to have better numbers than the monster next to them and indicates that they felt their success was all about the number of cans they filled. 

However, by the end of the movie, the monsters had realized that the work was more rewarding, in both numbers and the experience, when they focused on the children, making them laugh, and perfecting their comedian skills rather than the numbers. 

Talking with another Hermana in our mission this week, we compared this to missionary work.  It’s not all about the numbers!!!  This divine work is much more rewarding when we focus on those we are teaching, perfecting our teaching skills, and honestly having fun; not being consumed with how many baptisms we have or how many the other missionaries have. 

In reality when the monsters refocused their approach on the children and not the numbers, Mike Wazowski (the main character one-eyed green monster) couldn’t change the cans out fast enough to capture all the energy he received.  As missionaries we will receive blessings "that there will not be room enough to receive it” if we are focused on the right things.   

I loved this analogy that we found because many missionaries are consumed with how many baptisms they have and the others next to them.  Elder Jeffery R Holland of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles said that it doesn’t matter how many people we baptize on our mission, but at a minimum we better come home with at least one convert - and I know that it will be ME!!!!  I am a representative of Jesus Christ here on my mission and my mission is to become more like HIM.

2.  My second thought comes from a meeting we attended this last week with all of the missionaries from the missions in Guayaquil (North, South, and West).  We had a visiting General Authority from one of the Quorums of the 70 speak to us, an Elder Madel.  Elder Madel counseled us to picture our investigators dressed in WHITE in the TEMPLE of Guayaquil.  He said although our missions are the highest baptizing missions in the world, the number of those converts attending the temple are minimal.  He talked about how the ordinance of baptism is hollow without the added blessings and covenants made in the temple. 

Elder Madel told of a recent convert family, a couple and their 4 children, who had come to the temple to be sealed as a family for time and all eternity.  As the family was waiting in the sealing room, the temple sealer asked if everyone was present.  The family gave an affirmative nod and the sealer began to talk with the family prior to the ceremony.  After a couple of minutes, the sealer stopped and again asked if everyone was present.  The mother counted everyone and said, “Yes, we are all here.”  The sealer began talking again and then stopped and asked one more time if everyone was present.  The mother recited the names of each of her kids and again affirmed that all were present.  The sealer began talking again, but then stopped and said, "Sister, did you ever have a child pass away?" 
The mother then recounted the story of how she had lost her first son only a few months after birth.  The sealer smiled and said, "I knew someone was missing.  A little voice keeps saying ‘Mommy, Mommy don’t forget me!’"  The family was overcome with emotion.  They went back and did the necessary gospel ordinance work for their deceased son and were later sealed as a family with all members present. 
The ordinance of baptism is necessary to open the door to the path home to our Heavenly Father, but as missionaries we need to picture our investigators progressing further than just entering the door.  We need to picture them dressed in WHITE in the TEMPLE of Guayaquil. 
Family, the spirit in that room full of missionaries was incredibly strong as we were counseled how to become better missionaries.  Another happy thing is that I understood practically ALL that was said, minus a few words, AHH the gift of tongues is real.  Wow! 
Thank you again for all your prayers this week!  I felt of your love and most importantly the love of my Heavenly Father.

Have a fantastic week!!!

Lots of love from Ecuador,
Hermana Bartholomew

(Oh, a quick fun fact, I learned all the words to the Macarena song!! Wahoo!!  Before, I thought the words were just, dadada da da, macarena, dadañlksdfjñalskd susa buena, dadadañsldkjfñasdk AAAAAA MACARENA.  But now I know all the words, yup no big deal! ;)

Besides her regular e-mail, Jessica sent a separate note about a video she was attempting to send us:

I am trying to send you a video of all the banana trees but it is not working! :(  THERE ARE MILLIONS!!!!  And I got to see the whole process of how they package them and ship them off to America!  SO COOL!! 

A few minutes later she sent this note:

Sorry this computer sucks and I can’t send the video I have for you this week! I’ll try again next week!  Love you all family! ¡Chao!

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