Monday, May 4, 2015

To The Rescue

May 4, 2015

HAPPY HAPPY Mother’s Day week!  I CAN NOT believe that it is already mother’s day and I get to see your beautiful faces this week!!  Shout out to DAD, and your new calling WOOT! WOOT! ;)  ALSO MEGS!!  I am BEYOND excited for you this week (or maybe the next) and getting your CALLLLLL!!!  The mission is truly the greatest thing on this EARTH! Where on EARTH will you go?!  I have a feeling you’re going to Europe, but it’s just a hunch. ;)  I’ll pray about it this week.  Lots of big changes for the fam bam, but I know that we will be blessed for WALKING WITH HIM and one day we WILL BECOME LIKE HIM.  

One day this week while walking down the rocky road and looking at my surroundings I was prompted to look to my left.  I saw 2 girls sitting on a log and one of them was crying inconsolably.  My heart ached for her and I wanted to comfort her.  I felt what Jesus would have felt for HER.  We gave her a smile and encouraged her that everything would be OK.  That moment probably wasn’t a big impact on this little girl, but it made an impact on me.  There is nothing I love more than to be here on the mission and teaching my brothers and sisters in Ecuador of my Savior and FEELING what HE feels for them.  There is nothing greater! 

TO THE RESCUE was our theme this week as we met about 21 less-active families! Yes, you read that right - 21 families!  Sadly, not all of them attended church yesterday, but 5 of them DID!  AND 2 of them got up and shared their testimonies in Fast & Testimony Meeting.  You could say that our faces were BEAMING! 

Ramiro Alcivar was one of them.  Ramiro would be found in the dictionary under the word SWAG.  He just has SWAG as he walks down the streets and jumps on buses selling pan de yuca (yuca bread with CHEESE filling; it is delicious and gluten free! ;) )  Ramiro was baptized over 10 years ago, but was only active for 4 before he quit going to church.  One day he saw us on the bus and asked, "ELDERAS do you want some bread?!"  We asked him why he called us “Elderas” when really we are “Hermanas”.  He replied, “Because I’m a Mormon too!” 

We instantly became friends with Ramiro and the next day we were able to hear about his life experience, which is too long to write in this letter, but it is INCREDIBLE.  We gave him a picture of the Savior and testified with ALL of our hearts that it is HIS time to repent and come unto Jesus.  Ramiro had an interview with the Bishop on Saturday and let’s just say he OVER participated in the Sunday School class yesterday!  He lives with his sister and her family so we hope to share the gospel with them as well!  

Last week we were out with the Relief Society President helping her visit of few of the less-active sisters in the ward when she told us about a woman named Fanny who has a 19 year old son named Eduardo who had been baptized over 2 years ago, but had quit going to church.  He was now involved in drugs and was also involved in a fight with the police just over a month ago.  She told us that Fanny just needed some hope.  So OF COURSE we went to the house to see if we could offer any help and Fanny slowly came to the door.  Wiping tears from her eyes, she asked us what we wanted.  When she saw our smiles and name tag, she let us in! 

Fanny expressed her solemn desire that her son would go back to church and that the family could be happy again.  Well, we don’t have the priesthood to give her a blessing...so we decided to say a prayer with her.  Kneeling on the cement floor of their humble home, we plead with our Heavenly Father to help soften her son’s heart and give him a desire to come back to church. 

Well, Eduardo worked all week, so we decided to come back on Saturday hoping to find both him and his mom there.  Turns out that Fanny was not there but, Eduardo was.  Our prayer from earlier in the week was answered as he said, “Hermana Bartholomew and Hermana Blacutt, I want to change my life and I will be there in church on Sunday.”  His heart appeared to be softened, but it also seemed too good to be true!! 

On Sunday morning, we stopped by Fanny and Eduardo’s home, thinking that we would need to drag him out of bed, but to our great surprise, when we arrived he came out of his room dressed up in a clean white shirt, wearing a tie with his hair slicked back.  WHAT?!?!  Fanny thanked us with a warm hug and teared filled eyes as she witnessed that her prayers had also been answered.  We watched the Mormon Message called “Stay within the Lines” featuring a talk by Elder Holland with Eduardo and IMMEDIATELY afterwards he took off his piercings for the last time.  The TOUCH of the Master’s hand can change ANYONE! 

Well, with all of these experiences this week, I had an important truth reemphasized.  On the mission, I have learned the importance of doing the small things.  It does not matter WHO you are or what calling you have in the church, there is a possibility that man may fall from grace and depart from the living God.

“Therefore let the church take heed and pray always, lest they fall into temptation; Yea, and even let those who are sanctified take heed also.” 

We are here to be sanctified, HOWEVER even when we are sanctified we MUST BE CAREFUL!  Does the prophet need to “take heed and pray always”?  YES!!! The stake president? YES!  DO I as a missionary?  OF COURSE.  If anyone of us stops doing those things we call the “primary answers” of reading the scriptures, praying, and going to church; and I’ll add if we quit doing them with a WILLING heart, we are in danger of falling into temptation.  All those who I have found here on my mission, that are labeled as “inactive” or “less active” in the church is because they stopped doing the small things.  Discover the scriptures, pray without ceasing, and attend church with a broken heart and contrite spirit.    

I LOVE you all and I can’t wait to see all your faces this week! 

Hermana Bartholomew 

1 comment:

  1. Dear Hermana Bartholomew: Greetings from Draper, Utah..!! Our daughter Melissa Dominguez just got called to serve in the best mission Ecuador Guayaquil North, we are very excited and happy for this opportunity to serve our Lord. Last night we were researching anything and everything about Guayaquil, we were anxious and scared because we know nada about Ecuador. We came across your blog and through your testimony, stories of conversion and your detailed written pictures many of our fears were calmed. Thanks so much for sharing your weekly experiences and your powerful and beautiful testimony. We feel like we already know you and your family.
    We will love to get in contact with your parents here in Draper, maybe you could forward them our emails, we will like to ask them many questions that only parents "se preocupan about".
    andres.j.dominguez@gmail.com and ndominguez21@gmail.com
    May the Lord continue to bless you as you labor within the beautiful gente del Ecuador, siga disfrutando tu mision y tocando el corazon de la gente bella de alla. Ojala nuestra hija pueda tenerte de entrenadora, o por lo menos alguien como tu..!!!
    Que Dios le Bendiga
    Hermano y Hermana Dominguez
    ps: We have a video in spanish made by "I am a mormon" in case you want to put a face with a name.
    Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWZlhCAMimU