Monday, October 27, 2014

Weekly Oct. 27

Hello my good people!

Last week of training for Elder Bartlett! I'm a big missionary now! Unfortunately that means my trainer Elder Sirrine is heading out to be district leader elsewhere. He got some asados lined up for us this week, though! Thanks companion! Familia Rodreguez made my mission on Tuesday... I had my first ice cream here! We also had an amazing zone conference this last Firday, and a seventy, Elder Spaunaus (I think) came down and talked to us. So many people came from Rio Grande to Ushuia, and we had some Elders sleep on our floor! Sadly I missed basically all of what the seventy said because of Spanish, plus the speaker system was terrible and screaming kids. Oh well...

Today we went to the Light House at the End of the World! Super tiny, but still cool. We also saw sea lions! I never realized this, but they literally look like they have the head of a lion! I'll try and get some pictures to ya'll, but my camera is still broken...
Light house at end of the world
Sea Lions

From Elder Sirrine's camera

It occurred to me that maybe some of you don't know what a missionary does, so I'd like to describe my average day. 6:30 I awake, pray, excercise, and put some hot water on the stove for tea. I shower, if I didn't shower the night before, and get dressed. I usually shower at night because our shwoer only lasts 8 minutes, and then it takes 30 minutes to heat back up. I drink tea and eat cereal and milk while I prepare for personal study for an hour. The milk here comes in bags or cardboard juice boxes, which are more expensive. We have personal study for an hour, then companionship study for 45 minutes, then language study for 30 minutes. Unfortunately on busy days, language study often gets cut out. We leave, usually to go contacting, in the morning and walk about 30 minutes to our area along a either dusty or muddy highway. We usually eat lunch with members around 1, so we leave our area for the long walk back. The members either have us over to their house, or we go pick it up from their house with tuppers. Lunch lasts 2 to 3 hours most of the time because there's not a rush to leave because of the siesta, most people won't answer doors. After eating a massive lunch, its the biggest meal here, we head back out to work! Long walk, no one has a schedule, so most of our plans fall through, and we usually end up with 1 or 2 lessons. We take a long walk back at the end of the day, and plan for the next day as soon as we get home. We may or may not eat dinner, depending on when we get home, then go to bed! It's taxing walking up and down the mountian and highway all day, and its hard to stay focused on the work. I am loving every day of it, though! Thanks for all the happy thoughts and prayers! Hope all is well back home!

Love, Elder Bartlett

Monday, October 20, 2014

Weekly Oct. 20th

Hola todos de mis amigos,

This week had it's highs and lows. I will stick with the highs, mostly. One low though, I erased all my pictures on my camera! So I only have some from today. Apparently it only takes two buttons on my camera to do that.  An elder said he might be able to get them back, but we'll see! Other things... All the buttons on the outer layer of my Mr. Mac's coat fell off (doesn't really effect usage, just annoying). My gray suit pants have a hole in them because of the dog that bit me. I also have a hole in my boots (I will probably just wear them though the next transfer because the whole in on top and everything is really expensive here). I took out some money from my personal card (Bought some gloves a couple weeks ago and took out money for tourism we might do). It should be only about 700-800 pesos (no idea how that translates into dollars). My top retainer fell out this week (I don't have any problems, there is just the "glue" left over on the back of my teeth).

Anyway, Friday was an amazing day. We went out in the morning to go check on a man we had previously contacted, and he said he had a couple seconds. We were there for an hour. His wife was able to join us, and we had an amazing discussion about his family and beliefs, then we taught and testified of the restoration of the gospel. I could feel the spirit so strongly as I bore my testimony of the scriptures and prayer. This man, Osmar, really is searching for the right path, and as he allowed us to show him the way, my heart truly opened up and I felt the joy I believe our Heavenly Father would feel as one of his lost children returns. We had three other similar lessons that day, and it was interesting to hear in each one, at one point or another, the testimony investigators bore about God's existence or love. We didn't say anything, they brought it up themselves.

Ffweeoo... I think everything is going okay. My head is kind of spinning with all the stuff that's going on,  but I am just fine physically and spiritually. I am learning so much! Thank you so much for all the support, and essentially for this opportunity to be here. It was Dia de Madre yesterday, so Happy Mothers Day in October, MOM!!
mother's day gifts?
Elders Bartlett & Sirrine

I have learned so much this week, I don't even think I can write it all down. I have had so many questions of my soul answered as I truly offered up the desires of my heart to God, then went and studied, meditated, and acted. I have had a change in my heart as I prayed about others. None of it was easy though. This week has been terribly difficult to stay focused, to work, to care about others. The growth I have experienced did not come without resistance.

I feel like I'm starting to ramble, the point is no one is ever past the point of progression. Get on your knees and pray to God with all of your heart. Talk to Him as if He was there because I know He is there. Then, listen.

Love, Elder Bartlett

NOT! We had investigators in church this week! And here are some pictures of the Playa Larga we went to today!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Weekly Oct. 13

Hola Everyone,

This week has been rough. We had a lot of snow, and most of our citas (lessons? It's hard to think of missionary words in English) fell through. Our two best investigator families are both moving, but hopefully they will continue taking lessons where ever they end up! I will have to try to stay in contact with them, and send their new information to church headquarters! Ha ha, good news is that another family that we've been waiting on papers for marriage are getting married next month! My companion won't be here, but I should and hopefully get to baptize them! I'm just worried about the father because his attitude appears to have changed over the long wait, and because of work, he can't come to church. I don't want to baptize him, only to have him fall away.

It has been amazing this week to study the testimonies at the beginning of the Book of Mormon. An angel really did appear to Joseph Smith. The Book of Mormon really is the word of God, written by a real people that lived anciently in the Americas. We can use this prized possession to come nearer to God, and learn about the beautiful plan He has prepared for us. A plan, made possible by our beloved Saviour, in which we can become more than we are. I love this gospel of hope and happiness, and hope that I am doing my best to be a worthy representative of our Lord extending his love to the people of Argentina.

Until next week.

Love, Elder Bartlett

Monday, October 6, 2014

Weekly Oct. 6

Argentine greetings to all!

This week was absolutely amazing! Mostly because of conference. Please, if you have not yet, watch conference! It will touch your heart and fill your soul with the spirit! My favorite talk was be Richard G. Scott. His love for all of us was nearly tangible. I didn't want conference to end!

I learned a lesson this week. Don't listen to gossip! Also don't start it, but that's for another time. My companion was recently made district leader, he was extremely stressed out but is now doing a great job leading Monte Olivia! Anyway, as district leader he is in charge of doing divisions, so on Friday I said good bye and got to work in my area with another elder. I had prayed mightily the night before because I had heard terrible things about this elder, and wanted to have a good, productive day. I learned so much on Friday. This elder showed me how to be more natural in contacts, and how to start teaching. I watched his amazing example of how to teach with power, testimony, and the scriptures. Forget what other people say, that elder is now one of my heroes! I don't want to start ranting, but seriously before you even think about thinking badly about someone else, remember your own nothingness. And watch Elder Uchtcdorf's talk.

Today was our most eventful P-day yet! Instead of just sitting around in the chapel all day, we hiked a mountain as a zone! Super fun, super muddy and yet, and super cold, but super worth it. Near the end, as we were coming down the mountain, I decided I wanted to run the rest of the way. I picked up speed pretty fast, and then I hit the mud patch. Hey mom, the really nice missionary bag you bought me also functions as a sled! Who would have known?!

Until next week, God be with you. I love you all, and I expect all of you to listen or read one of the conference talks before you write me, so I won't be too discouraged if you don't get to me. I know the words of the prophets will pull you right out of all your other thoughts and concerns. Listen carefully to their testimonies.

Love, Elder Bartlett

WAIT!! Pictures. 1) How I do general conference in Argentina. That's a bowl of noodles and a hunk of chicken. 2) Us hiking the mountain 3) Viva Argentina!! 4) Orange Crush, the official sponsor of slip 'n slides mountain sides united