}

Monday, December 15, 2014

It's a GIRL!!!

December 15, 2014

Oh my heavens family, this week was crazy and I can’t even remember all that we did...so we will see how this letter goes. ;) 

First off.....after 9 months in the mission...It’s a GIRL!!!!!!!  President Riggins called and said I will be expecting my "hijita" [little daughter] on WEDNESDAY!  AHH I am beyond excited and privileged to be training a new missionary here in Ecuador.  And also nervous, just like any new mommy right?!  Stay tuned for next week to find out more on Baby (insert last name here).    

The cutest lady in ALL the world, who has a major fear of swimming, baptismal fonts or anything that has to do with water...WAS BAPTIZED!!!!!!  Liliam really was so nervous that we took the time before the ordinance to say a quick prayer, and she finally was able to enter the water.  As she was telling her complete name to Elder Rojas, she said "Be careful, Elder, I am trusting you!"  To give her more consolation we explained to her that Elder Rojas (our zone leader) has the priesthood so he is obviously very strong, and will lift her back up.  And it worked! 

Hermana Perez and I were stationed at the top of the steps of the font, peaking around the corner of the door to the dressing room and we witnessed her PERFECT baptism.  She recounted afterwards that once Elder Rojas powerfully said her name...Liliam Joseline Baca Bustamante…she felt relieved of her fears and felt as though she was enveloped in warmth.  At that point she then fully trusted in the Elder and in her Heavenly Father that she truly had made the correct choice.  ALL day leading up to Liliam’s baptism, her daughter, Alejandra was beyond feliz [happy], as FINALLY her mom is also a member of the church.  Now all that is left is her dad Enrique.  

Liliam Baca with her daughter Vivana

Alejandra, Hermana B, Vivana, Liliam and Hermana Perez

Familia Leon are just the most perfect family in ALL the world.  One day this week we planned to teach the Law of Chasity which we were a little nervous about because they need to get married first before their scheduled baptism on December 20th.  But, I can truly testify that the Spirit filled the room when we asked timidly..."have you thought of getting married?"  Jessica and Victor looked at each other, and at the same time said, “YES!”  OH phew, that wasn’t hard at all! 

A year ago they had planned to finally get married, money and papers all ready to go, when she had a miscarriage and lost her baby boy.  After this heartbreaking experience they set aside getting married for the moment.  The cutest thing ever happened when Jessica said they were looking at rings this week, because after getting married civilly they thought they would be married in the temple the following day....AWWWE!!  Her face just dropped as we had to explain why she needed to wait for a year.  Let’s just say she is already anxiously waiting for next December to come around!!!

The cost of a marriage license in Ecuador is about 90 dollars.  As funds are tight right now for Jessica and Victor, we decided to use Jessica’s baking skills and make cupcakes and sell them to the members to raise the money so they can get married.  So far, we have a list of about 50 ladies in the ward that want to buy cupcakes.  Others also asked me for the apple pie I made for Thanksgiving (jaja).  We bought all the cooking ingredients today and are planning to make the cupcakes all morning long tomorrow. Keep praying for their dear family that they will raise enough money and that everything will run smoothly leading up to their baptism on Saturday. 

The Familia Jara’s friend Enrique was visiting his family again this week, so we are hoping he will be in town this next Sunday so he can attend church again. 

Last week we had a mission conference with one of the General Authorities – Elder Juan A. Uceda of the First Quorum of Seventy.  

Duran Zone with Presidente & Hermana Riggins (seated left) and Elder & Hermana Uceda (right)
He told us that one responsibility that we have as missionaries, and this comes directly from the prophet, is to share the new Church Christmas video, “√Čl es la Dadiva” [He is the Gift], with EVERYONE.  President Thomas S. Monson has a goal that EVERYONE will be able to see it, and FEEL of its power.  In English it is a little different at the last part, so because my mission is in Spanish, I will share the translation of the Spanish version.    

THE FIRST GIFT      
WAS NOT WRAPPED         
HAD NO BOW                      
WASN’T PURCHASED ONLINE, OR IN A STORE         
THE FIRST GIFT OF CHRISTMAS
WAS A SIMPLE GIFT
A SACRED GIFT      
IT WASN’T GOLD, FRANKINCENSE OR MYRRH         
IT WAS A GIFT OF LOVE, LIFE, OF PEACE, AND HOPE
GIVEN BY A FATHER TO ALL HIS CHILDREN 
FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD         
AND SO LOVED YOU, AND YOU, AND YOU     
AND EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US            
HE GAVE HIS SON              
HE IS THE CHRIST
HE IS CHRISTMAS              
HE IS THE BEST GIFT
THIS CHRISTMAS
DISCOVER THIS BEST GIFT
ACCEPT THE GREATEST GIFT    

I KNOW that Jesus Christ truly is the BEST and GREATEST gift we have ever been given.  I have never seen my Savior face-to-face, but I have come to know him though reading the scriptures, and sharing his gospel.  Discover this great gift for yourself and introduce Him to others.  Most importantly, accept the greatest gift.  Accept that HE can heal us and save us.   

Now Dad, you made me so proud when you sent me your high council Christmas talk.  You are seriously amazing, especially when you said..."Turn and look at the person next to you, or think about someone who is not here.  All around us, there are people that Heavenly Father loves and wants back home.  There are many among us today, and many more who are not here, who He can only help through you and me. 

One of the signs that we have received the Savior and his Atonement is through our sharing the joy of the gospel message with others.  The process of coming unto Christ, or receiving Him, seems to make us more sensitive, more gracious, and more willing to share what means so much to us.  This Christmas season is a perfect opportunity for us to discover, embrace and then share The Gift with others.”

I absolutely LOVE sharing this, THE GREATEST or BEST gift we have received.  May you all be able to share of this gift as well. 

LOVE YOU ALL!!!!  
AHHH I am going to have una HIJITA!!!!!! 
Hermana Bartholomew 

Funny story of the week:

So the other Hermanas in our area have found a taxi driver who charges us missionaries less than all the other taxi drivers here in good ol’ Primavera.  The first time that I rode with him a few days ago, he was so excited that I knew English that he turned on his English cd that is FULL of songs from the 80s - Come on Eileen and ALL.  Then he comes to the familiar Titanic theme song.  He BLASTS the music and then swiftly extends his arms with just as much passion as the actors do in the movie - almost clothes-lining Hermana Velasquez in the front seat!  Now every time we are in the car he repeatedly plays this song, with his arms stretched out (when the stop lights permit him to do so.)  HAHA...the funny things that happen in Ecuador's taxis! ;)


Missionaries of Duran Zone

Selfie with missionaries from Duran Zone



No comments:

Post a Comment