Monday, June 15, 2015

Still Rejoicing Evermore!

June 15, 2015

Hola Familia,

PO!  I just love, love, love, my compi and I together!  Everyone says that we are TRUE sisters, which is a compliment for me because she is perfect!  As you all know, I love CHILENAS.  The stress is there from working as lideresas and covering 2 wards, BUT we LOVE all the work.  It makes us feel ALIVE! ;) 

An update on some of our investigators…

Out of ALL the couples that we have helped marry...NOT ONE of them were as happy as HILDA y ANDRES!  They were smiling...and when I say smiling I mean SMILING! :D Teeth and all...but not in the pictures, not sure why? HAHA!  Hilda kept saying "Hermanas, I just feel SO good, there is something in my heart telling me that I KNOW I am doing the right thing!" We are SO happy for them and even happier that a year from now they will be able to seal their love in the temple for an eternal friendship! 

Jose Quinteros was working in the mountains all week, and is now having spinal problems, so we haven’t seen him ALL week...SATAN.  It never ceases to amaze me at HOW much Satan works on those who are about to get baptized.  BUT, with faith and love and a little pixie dust (that could be referred to as the Spirit) Satan will never win!

Talking about Satan messing around with our investigatores...Fernando´s girlfriend told him that he shouldn’t get baptized so quickly and that we just want him to get baptized for his money.  LIE.  We are hoping to talk with him this week and explain about tithing and help him remember WHY he should be baptized.  

The story about Virginia is SUPER long, but here is the short version.  About 2 months ago, Hna Blacutt and I witnessed a motorcycle accident where a man was thrown off his motorcycle and into a wall.  I won’t go into much detail, but let me say it broke my heart...and even more when I saw his dear wife CRYING uncontrollably asking for help.  I remember her desperate cries and her eyes fixed on the heavens begging that her dear husband would be ok. 

Now fast forward to a few weeks ago on Mother’s Day.  As we were out walking, talking to any MOM that we could find on the street and giving them all a big hug to let her know she is loved (since we couldn’t hug our own moms, we hugged everyone else’s), we formally met Virginia.  She invited us to come back the next day, which we so cheerfully did.  That day she began to explain how her husband had passed away just a few weeks before, only 2 blocks from their house in a motorcycle accident.  My companion and I just looked at each other and I felt a strong impression "you were there..."  DING!  It finally clicked in my head who she was...she was the dear wife of the wounded man on the street calling for help.  We testified to her of the Plan of Salvation and that families can be together after this life.  She begged US to help her and while looking at the heavens once more, asked God to make it possible to see her husband again.  SHE is un AMOR [a sweetheart]!  Virginia didn’t attend Church yesterday because her mom was sick and she needed to take care of her, but we hope she comes next week! 

OK now for THE greatest story ever.  GOLDEN INVESTIGATOR alert!  His name is Manuel.  His daughter, Dianna, is the young women’s president of one of the wards here in Buena Fe.  She was baptized when she was 15, she is an adorable orthodontist, AND 28, and single.  (I told her to come and live in Utah and she would get married just like THAT!)  Over the past 13 years since his daughter was baptized, Manuel had never attended church until yesterday!  So how did that happen?

Dianna and I are really close.  She is always telling me about her dad and I ALWAYS felt that one day we should meet him, but that would happen when the time was right.  A week ago on Sunday night Dianna called us with a reference for us to teach her sister-in-law.  We set up an appointment for this past Wednesday BUT when we showed up, we found out that her sister- in-law had gotten sick from a mosquito disease here called Chiconguya so we couldn’t go and visit her.  BUT guess who was there?  HER DAD! 

Manuel invited us into their home and was incredibly kind.  As we sat down, right off he just started to share all of his experiences of how he KNOWS that God is real and that He hears his prayers.  HE taught more in the lesson than we did.  ;)  He accepted our invitation to go to church on Sunday and he came…all handsome in a WHITE SHIRT.  And since Heavenly Father has a perfect plan for everything, in the Sunday School gospel principles class the teacher taught about the Plan of Salvation, which was inspired because Manuel’s son passed away about 4 months ago.  After the class was over Manuel said, “Hermanas I am never going to stop coming to church. NEVER!  For the first time, someone explained to me where my son is and I want for him to receive the missionaries in the spirit world and be baptized as well.”  AWWE! 

Oh wait it gets even better.  We stopped by his house after church on Sunday and as soon as we entered Manuel greeted us with the question, “Can you ladies help me be baptized?”  UMM YEAH!  He is beyond anxious for his baptism which is set for JULY 4th.  Looks like I will be celebrating the 4th this year with a big water splash and fireworks of the spirit!  ;) 

Finally, Familia Bone (the huge family of 15) are still great, but because we were in Guayaquil and the dad is constantly working we haven’t met with them much.  BUT 2 of the family came to church on Sunday!

OK!  I almost forgot.  Remember Mabel Bermeo (we started teaching her here in Buena Fe and then she moved to another town)?!?!  Well the elders told me that she is getting BAPTIZED next weekend!  WAHOO!  I am beyond happy for her and I hope I can attend her baptism if it isn’t too far for me to travel.

Also last night we had a Family Home Evening with ALL the young couples in the ward, and I made lasagna and garlic bread!  Thanks for teaching me mom. ;)  Everyone loved it! 

Let’s just say it was a REJOICING EVERMORE kind of week! 

Love you all,

Hermana Bartholomew   

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