Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Something GREAT to Something BETTER!!!

October 13, 2014

Hola Familia Bartholomew (I was told many times this week how BEAUTIFUL our last name is),  

This week was full of examples of changing from something GREAT - to something BETTER!!!  (Even though the best decisions are hardly ever the easiest.)  I have some news that will bring joy to your hearts…Joao (JO) was Baptized!!!!!!!!  On Friday the 10th of Oct he became an even BETTER son of God and example to his children.  Joao was just glowing with the Spirit and with happiness after he was baptized. 

We were so blessed with the privilege to witness the changes he made in his life to become a Better Husband, Better Father, Better Friend, Better Doctor, and obtained a Better relationship with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  He came to church on Sunday just exhausted from a 24 hour shift at the hospital - with his puffy, tired eyes, rockin’ his SCRUBS as he received the gift of the Holy Ghost.  Joao is the perfect example of setting aside worldly pleasures and keeping his eyes single to the glory of God – with his beautiful family. 

Joao and family on his baptism day

At Joao’s baptism service, I had the opportunity to play the powerfully simple hymn, “Nearer my God to Thee” on the violin.  (I used the ward mission leader’s wife’s violin which did not want to tune on the D & G string so we took it up an octave. :))  The Spirit there was undeniably strong.  Sister Perez and I were so humbled to be one of the missionaries (he had about 5 different sets) that helped him become nearer to our Heavenly Father.  The new found glow and smile on Joao’s face, and that all new converts seem to have, will always help me fulfill one of my favorite scriptures, “Rejoice Evermore!” 

Now, before I tell you about the rest of my rejoicing from this last week – I have to tell you a funny story about Joao.  Unfortunately there were some occasions when we first began teaching Joao, where his face showed that he was very familiar with the lessons we teach as missionaries.  (As I told you before - many missionaries have passed through his door.)  Well his unfocused/blanking out face – with his eyes SUPER BIG, es igualito de [is the same as] the character Sid from the movie “Ice Age”, like igualito [the same].  And the best part is Joao knows it, and quickly recites a quote from the movie and he even SOUNDS like Sid.  Oh we had a good laugh.

Anywho – have I expressed how much I LOVE the Jara Family?!?  They don’t even need to change something good to something better because they truly are the BEST!  HAHA  But really, they are the greatest family there is.  Here is their story…..

Gregorio Jara is the father and head of the household.  His mother, Adela, is a member of the church and has been praying for years that her son’s family would allow missionaries to teach them or even just allow them to participate in a Family Home Evening.  Six months ago the Jara family politely turned down the request from Adela and the missionaries to teach them.
Then 5 months ago, Gregorio was placed in jail.  It’s a complicated story, but basically, Gregorio and his family own and rent out a bunch of houses.  One home in particular was being rented out to a man who was doing some very illegal things.  When the government (police) came to arrest this man, they couldn’t find him.  Because they couldn’t find the renter, they arrested the owner Papa Gregorio instead.

One day as Gregorio was sitting on the bottom bunk in his jail cell, hunched over eating a banana and a stale piece of bread, he opened the Bible his mother had given to him and read one particular verse over and over.  Psalms 37:5 says, “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.”

Having been humbled by his circumstances, Gregorio began to put his trust in God and prayed for the day he would be united with his family again.  During the time he was in jail, the family sold many of their worldly possessions in order to have the money needed to speed up the process of finding the guilty man.  Gregorio always expresses to us how grateful he is that he did not lose his family while he was in jail – nor does he ever want to lose them.  As a result, he is more than thrilled to now listen to our message and work towards having an eternal family. 

So we had another incredible Family Home Evening with the Jara Family this last week.  We discussed the true nature of God and helped them understand the through making and keeping covenants with Him (like we do at baptism), we can come to know our Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ.  To close our discussion, Esdrina (Adela’s daughter/sister of Gregorio who is also listening to the lessons) prayed with all her heart to Heavenly Father that she could come to know the truthfulness of our message.  She begged Him to help their family progress and come to know that this was the true church. 

The Spirit there was SO strong!!!!  After the prayer was over, it was so powerful to open my eyes and see the tears in her eyes and in the eyes of every member of the family.   No one wanted to break the silence in the room.  Sadly, they had a family emergency on Sunday so they couldn’t attend church – but we are so excited for their baptism which is scheduled for November 1st.   

We are also continuing to teach many other “Mormones Secos”.  Hopefully we can teach them with power and the Spirit, and they can become “Mormones Mojados” or Wet Mormons.  In other words, baptized members of our church!

Funny story of this week:  So have you seen the speed limit signs on the side of the road that are hooked up to a radar and will flash how fast you are going?!  Well my companion decided to run as fast as she could so she could see how fast she is!!!  Hahaha – yeah that’s my companion.  As Sister missionaries the worst thing ever is when your backpack or bag makes your skirt hike up....in her case the back of her skirt was slowly going higher and higher.  Good thing we have white shorts on underneath ;) Plus, no one was around so it was just a funny moment we shared between the two of us!  HAHA love my comp!
Con Mucho Amor,

Hermana Bartholomew

Celebrating 1 Year Mark for Hermana Yurt

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