Monday, April 13, 2015


April 13, 2015

HOLA my dear FAMILY!!!!!  

I have some GREAT news for you all....as of right now I don’t have any parasites or squeamish stomach problems from the discolored water and rice that landed in my mouth last week.  It’s hard to keep my mouth shut though as we are walking down the street, when I need to open my mouth to share the gospel CON TODOS [with everyone]! 

OK, so ANOTHER funny story...the other day we were teaching a new family that we had met, Familia Mendoza.  Two of their daughters are members of the church and the other daughter says that she is "SUPER catholic" but never attends church, haha crazy girl.  So before the lesson started they complemented me on my Spanish and told me that I sound like I am from Ecuador.  Haha, it’s not true but it was a nice complement. 

THEN we started teaching them about the restoration and the Catholic daughter Eva asked us in what part of the Bible it talks about Joseph Smith...so we showed her.  But she wasn’t too impressed by the scripture we shared, so I decided to ask her “where in the bible does it talk about THE POPE?!”  PILAS.  Good question right?!  Because as far as I know, the bible doesn’t mention the word POPE. 

So in Spanish, the word for Pope is “El Papa” but if you put a “la” in front of “papa” or say “la papa,” it means “the potato” which happens to be something VERY different. :)  Well I guess I was just SO excited to use that question that I said "Where in the Bible does it talk about "LA PAPA"?  A few...well many...BAHAHA`s entered the room, until I finally realized, NO!!!  I meant EL PAPA!!  For a moment in my mind I said it correctly because it ends in A which usually means it is feminine and would be preceded by “la”...but nope, it’s a man so OBVIOUSLY it is EL PAPA.  JAJA it’s all good, just another reminder that I am not perfect! 

Well it took a while to calm the laughter so we could continue teaching, but Eva was able to see that it truly just makes sense that Joseph Smith was called as a prophet and that today there are prophets and apostles.  Let’s just say that she accepted our challenge to read the Book of Mormon and we left them laughing! ;)  

This past week was FULL of traveling for me.  Last Monday after writing you, we embarked on the 4 hour bus ride to Guayaquil at 5:30pm and I hadn’t eaten anything all day.  So for you mathematicians out there I was finally able to eat when we arrived in the terminal at 9:30pm and had a hamburger (of course without the bun #glutenprobs) and fries...very healthy huh!

The next day we got up at 4 AM so that we could be entering the temple at 6.  We had a special session with just the Zone Leaders and Lideresas of the mission!  There was a strong spirit in the temple that morning and afterward the Temple President told us that those people who had passed on, who we had done work for that day, were indeed PRESENT that day in the temple.  The temple is the best place on earth! 

Following the temple we had a spiritually filled Leaders Council with Presidente Riggins that lasted ALL DAY long until 5 PM.  The long meeting was worth it because they gave us ice cream sundaes at the end. ;)  Then we went to help the Hermanas in the sector next to the temple for that night (that is where Hermana Bowles is assigned - the new Sister that knows the White family), because at 8 the next morning I had to renew my VISA.  Then we embarked on the 4 hour journey back to BUENA FE once more, just in time for LUNCH!  We told the lady feeding us that we wanted less rice, so she gave us a smaller plate BUT with the same amount of rice, haha.  Then the next day I had an intercambio [exchange] with the Hermanas in Valencia on Thursday and Friday....needless to say it was a LONG week, but I LOVED it!  

Want to hear the greatest news?!  FAMILIA ROMERO ARE GETTING MARRIED!!  The wedding bells will ring THIS Friday at 11 AM!!  And the grand splash will sound twice as they are baptized the following day! They are BEYOND excited for this weekend, of course we are as well. 

The greatest lesson with Familia Romero this past week was when we shared with them again about the law of chastity and the word of wisdom.  After explaining these principles, Jairo thought that the law of chastity meant that they couldn’t have sexual relations until they were married in the TEMPLE (which can’t happen for them until 1 year after their baptism).  With a very concerned look on his face he said, “But Hermanas, that is a WHOLE YEAR!”  HAHAHA it was hilarious to see the look on his face, and then the relief when we explained that they only needed to wait until after they are married civilly. 

I have come to LOVE this family and can’t wait for this weekend! As President Packer said in this last General Conference (but I will add a little tweak), “Fulfilling the plan of happiness [as a missionary of the church] is to see that a man and a woman, with their children are happy at home, sealed together for time and for all eternity. 

Sadly we haven’t talked much with Mabel this week because she went on vacation with her future husband as he had work off for the week.  So hopefully she comes home soon! 

Maximo is still LO MAXIMO [the best]!  But wasn’t able to attend church this week. :(  

I learned so much this week that I don’t have time to write it all, but I will share one thing.  During my intercambio with Hermana Childs, as she expressed some of her concerns and struggles with missionary life, I was impressed give her a picture of our Savior and have “ONE DAY WITH THE SAVIOR” with her like I did in Babahoyo.  

During that day I was able to experience again, this time with her, that our Savior is ALWAYS THERE.  We saw HIM in every moment that day and everyone we talked with SAW HIM.  The truth is that He is always there, sometimes we just forget...but I KNOW that HE is with us and that I am here because I LOVE Him and my Heavenly Father.

[Click on this link to watch the original Al Fox video called ALWAYS THERE]

I invite you ALL to do the activity, and I promise it will be your best day YET! :) 

I love you ALL! 


Hermana Bartholomew 

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