Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Buena Fe is about to EXPLODE!

June 8, 2015

"¡YA PO!" como dicen en CHILE!!! [as they say in Chile] [“Ya Po” is a common phrase used in Chile.  It basically means, “OK then”]  Dad, it looks like we will definitely need to go and visit your mission and while we are there make a few stops…One in Los Angeles to see Hermana Toledo, another in Santiago to see Hermana Latorre and finally...to see MY NEW COMPI HERMANA REBOLLEDO in Concepcion!!!  Let’s just say I LOVE Chilenas.  They are crazy, fun, and PODEROSAS [powerful] - just the way I like um. ;)  My new compi also has THE CUTEST accent when she speaks English.  President wants me to help her practice.

Hermana Rebolledo
I saw Hna Rebolledo when she first started her mission ...yup I’m an oldie now :( and I felt that maybe one day we would become companions.  Beyond those feelings, now it looks like President Riggin’s prophecy that Buena Fe is about to explode is coming true...

So quick run-down on what is truly exploding...

1.  My companion was called as one of the new lidersas, so she and I are basically zone leaders of all the Hermanas in QUEVEDO.  FULL intercambios!  Wahoo!  I adore all the Hermanas here in Quevedo, some I even call mis ñañas from another mother but we have the SAME heavenly father ;) haha.  We are so excited to help each one of them here in the mission and to teach them to REJOICE EVERMORE! 

2. So as you all may know, there are 2 wards (congregations) here in Buena Fe.  One is called Buenaventure and the other is called Buena Fe.  Prior to last week we had both a set of Hermanas (me and Hna Blacutt], as well as a set of Elders working here in Buena Fe.  Well, just like what happened in my last area of Primavera, Duran, the Elders who had been working here were transferred to other areas and were not replaced, so Hermana Rebolledo and I are now in charge of 2 wards! 

Hearing that, you may have just thought to yourself...“poor girls” or something along the lines of "that’s stressful" ahah. But the truth is that we are SO HAPPY and ready to roll up our sleeves and go to work!  Not that it is going to be easy.  Let’s be honest, yesterday the phrase “take a deep breath” was uttered a few times in my head.  But we have been trying to see everyone as the Savior would this week and we know that like President said, Buena Fe will EXPLODE with miracles. 

Have I told you all how much I LOVE teaching a lesson with the presence of the spirit SO strong that it has the effect of astonishing the people?  Yeah, well it is one of my favorite things on the mish!  I literally have SO many stories, and NO time to write them all!  We are off to Guayaquil again, yea!  Our lives are too busy but we love it!  I’ll share as much as I can before I have to leave.

So as we gained ALL the investigators that were working with the Elders here, believe it or not we are helping another family get married this week.  (I’m starting to think I should reconsider my career and become a wedding planner haha ;))  Andres and Hilda are their names and they are seriously the perfect couple and are beyond excited for their baptism this week.  We feel like we have known them months but it has only been a week!   We sold Queso de Leche [milk cheese] this week to have enough money for them to get married this coming Friday.  I will tell you more about them next week, along with sending all their beautiful pictures dressed in WHITE on their baptism day!  

Jose Quinteros is another investigator that we are teaching who LOVES the Book of Mormon.  He was attending church in Machala for about a year but never got baptized.  He knows SO much about the church and every time we teach him he just says..."Hermanas, I know what I need to do. Baptize me!" 

Jose told us yesterday of a dream that he had where there were two WHITE angels with long skirts and then said, “Guess who those angels are?  YOU TWO!  Look how white you two are with your long skirts." Haha.  When he woke up from his dream, he wanted to know who those angels were, so as he had been counseled by many missionaries before, he decided to say a prayer.  He said, “As I was praying, I heard a voice that said, they WILL come.  I thought someone was in the room, so I turned around in a circle a few times to make sure no one was there...and then I remembered, OH this is the spirit speaking to me.”  He then teared up and said, you two are here to fight for me, so that I can choose to follow Christ just as I did before I came to this earth.  Heavenly Father has big plans for Jose Quinteros and we are humbled to be HIS angels to bring about this important work. 

Another highlight of the week…we found a family of 15 people.  I am not kidding.  And 10 of them are old enough to be baptized.  Familia Bone se llaman [They are called the Bone Family]. My companion and I are so excited to continue to teach them and help this HUGE family enter the waters of baptism and one day become an eternal one!

Remind me next week to tell you about Neiva and Byron, and Virginia and Fernando! They are INCREDIBLE stories that 1 hour in the cyber café does not permit me to write! 

One thing about Ecuador that I LOVE, is that they are such a prayerful people.  So thanks dad for sending this quote to me...

“I know that you are a praying people.  That is a wonderful thing in this day and time when the practice of prayer has slipped from many lives.  To call upon the Lord for wisdom beyond our own, for strength to do what we ought to do, for comfort and consolation…and most importantly, for the expression of gratitude is a significant and wonderful thing.  Be prayerful.  You can’t do it alone.  You know that.  You can’t make it alone and do your best.  You need the help of the Lord.”  - Gordon B. Hinckley

With our new added responsibilities and bigger area now to cover, I KNOW that I cannot do it alone.  I need HIS help.  And I know and love that “the more we let God take over, the more truly ourselves we become, because he made us.”  I love being here in Ecuador, trusting in the Lord and becoming who he wants me to be! 

I love you all dearly!  REJOICE EVERMORE! 

Hermana Bartholomew 

More Pictures from Last Week - 

El Bombero filling the baptism font at the church for Genesis and Milton

Baptism Day for Milton and Genesis Lino

Genesis, Milton and their son
Tell me that they are not the cutest little family
20 References from Familia Romero

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