Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Making Weak Things Strong

July 27, 2015

Hola Familia,

I just want to cry because this week went by WAY, WAY, WAY too fast!  And as a gift for completing 17 months in the mish, I got LICE.  Lovely.  Haha that’s what you get for lending someone your comb. 

I am also sad because one of my best friends from the mission, Hermana Te’o is going home this week. :(  BUT she is coming to visit Utah in December, so really it’s just a see you soon!  I hope I can take these last few weeks to become a missionary like HERMANA TE’O!  She is just the greatest, if I write more about her I will cry, so we will just leave it at that! 

Hermana Te'o

Mi compi has now hit the big 20 and also completed 9 months in the mission, I woke her up the morning of her birthday singing, “WOOO, YOU’RE HALF-WAY THERE, WOOOH LIVIN’ ON A PRAYER!”  However we forgot to take the infamous “BABY BELLY” picture, which obviously comes compliments of RICE, rice and MORE rice. Can you imagine how big mine is after 17 months? YIKES! 

HAPPY happy birthday compi, here's a chicken's foot for lunch!!! ;) 

Thinking...pose with a chicken's foot ;) 
After 17 months in the mission I STILL don't understand how to eat these things. 
(Side Note - there was blood on my hand after taking this picture.  
Only the best when freshly CHOPPED off the Chicken!)

THIS on the other hand was the GREATEST lunch we could have.  Lobster and crab, yum yum! 

Now for the best news of the week - ROBISON Romero was baptized!  I was SO proud watching Jairon baptize his baby brother.  When Robinson asked his brother to baptize him, Jairon BEAMED and said YES!  Then Robinson looked at us and said, “I better not get on his nerves or he might just leave me under the water.” :)  HAHA! They were both SO nervous but afterwards I had never seen them both so happy.

Jairon & Robinson Romero

Rejoicing Evermore with Robinson Romero

Robinson with his family.  His sisters came to support his decision - they were all SO proud!

I’m short on time this week, so I’ll leave you with this thought.  Our plea this week with all our investigators was...“if you feel small and weak, please simply come unto Christ who makes weak things strong.” 

Christ truly loves us and has made ME strong.  So I KNOW He can make you strong too! 

I Love you all.  Until next week! 

Hermana Bartholomew 

Note from Jessica's Dad:

Our family was in Hawaii this past week, and while there had yet another experience that strengthened our faith that God knows each of us individually and His love and tender mercies for us can be manifest in unexpected ways.  

To start, on Monday we received Jessica’s weekly e-mail, with the comment about Hermana Te’o finishing her mission.  Jessica met Hermana Te’o in her very first area of Babahoyo, where they lived together and became good friends as I’m sure they helped each other get through the challenges of being a new missionary in a foreign country.

On Tuesday, we took the family to a zipline activity on the north shore of Oahu.  During the activity, one of the guides there asked about our family and we told him that our oldest daughter was in Ecuador on an LDS church mission.  He said, “one of my best friends is just returning to Hawaii today from her mission in Ecuador.”  Having just read Jessica’s e-mail, and remembering that Hermana Te’o was from Hawaii, I said, “does her last name happen to be Te’o?”  He said, “YES!” 

Long story short, the guide made a couple of phone calls and connected with Hermana Te’o’s family.  They were at the airport in Honolulu picking her up.  After our zip line activity, we drove a short distance to the town of Laie, where we had the awesome experience of meeting Hermana Te’o and her family just as they were arriving back into town.  (They hadn’t even been to their home yet.)  We enjoyed a short visit and she expressed her love and appreciation for Jessica in helping her get through a tough time on her mission. 

Homecoming in Hawaii with Hermana Te'o

There is no way that our meeting Hermana Te’o was just a coincidence.  God knows us, and watches over us, wherever we are – including when we thousands of miles from home.  We have repeatedly seen His hand in Jessica’s mission and rejoice evermore with her in His infinite goodness and mercy!  

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