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Wednesday, February 27, 2013



Week 3! We're halfway to Deutschland!

Well, it is currently 6 am on the dot: because we woke up at 4:45 to get to the laundry room to do our laundry today! Lucky, our efforts paid off this week, and we walked straight into all the washers we needed! It could have something to do with the fact that 900 missionaries left yesterday... Thats why Monday/Tuesday are the best! Food lines are short, hallways aren't crowded, and laundry is available! It makes this place feel like a ghost town!
Speaking of the food. Don't let anyone deceive you, it is awful. The first week it was great: second week... less great. Third week... its getting harder and harder everyday. Its like a full stuffing every meal, every day, of absolutely not real good food. Plus they only have like, 8 meal plans, so its pretty easy to guess what day its gonna be, and its not hard to remember the last time you ate the exact same thing!
But food is of little importance in the Lords work! I guess the first note of interest... Elder Vitel and I received a new assignment on Sunday. We're now the Branch 25 Zone Leaders! We were shocked when the Branch President asked us (we knew someone was getting the call because they switch everything up halfway) but we didn't think it could be us! We had an meeting on Sunday to help us with our responsibilities (which mainly include welcoming new missionaries, which ironically, we will never do! New German missionaries come on the 20th of March, and we fly out the 19th!) and then we coordinate Sacrament and Priesthood meeting talks and assignments, interview District Leaders, and just look out for the general welfare of the Missionaries. It is amazing the new insight and responsibility I feel for my elders now. Elder Vitel and I have already met with and attempted to sort out several problems with missionary conduct, homesickness, companionship disputes, etc. I am grateful for the call, because I has strengthened our desires to be better missionaries. We need to set the example, and we can never let our guard down, because our struggling elders really are always watching. But I have a testimony that the lord strengthens his servants, and as I tried to follow the spirit and counsel the elders, I felt words coming to my mouth that weren't my own, and didn't originate in my thoughts. The Lord has a hand in this work, and keeping the other elders strong is also part of the work!
This weeks other spiritually important event has been going on all week. Tuesday, at the Temple, I had a personal question in my mind. I wanted the answer almost more than I have wanted anything- ever. I studied the scriptures all day, and at the Temple, I prayed fervently for my answer. And as the session came to a close, I sat quietly and awaited my answer. I waited and waited, and to my frustration, nothing came. I sat in utter discouragement as I pleaded with my Heavenly Father, why? where is my answer? Why didn't it come when I wanted? As my frustration escalated, I changed my prayer to a prayer of peace. And the sense of immediate warmth and peace that everything would be alright DID come. Right when I needed it. Somehow I knew all would be ok. Tuesday night devotional, coincidentally, was about Prayer! the speaker (Craig Christiansen of the 70) said two things that hit me powerfully. 1) We need to exercise patience and wait upon the Lord. part of the faith is waiting in absolute trust, and its HARD. sheesh its hard. 2) Sometimes the Lord doesn't answer, because he trusts us to make the right decisions and follow the correct path. Then its up to us to trust HIM to not let us go astray. Somehow I feel my situation falls in both categories. But whether I receive my answer sometime in the future, or whether I simply arrive where I want to be and realize the Lord was guiding me all along, I know everything will be ok.
Other than that, the MTC is just the same old, same old. I see everyone I know around here... I couldn't possibly fit the name of all the Elders I've ran into! Elder Vitel and I are getting better at teaching everyday. We've worked out a pretty good system of lesson prep, and our German gets better every day! I love the MTC lessons every day. The teachers are truly inspired, and their lessons are hard, but SOO helpful. My teachers are Brother Wright, who went to my mission in 2008, and Brother McCann, who went to Berlin in 2010. We also have two other teachers that hang around alot, a different Brother Wright, and Brother Hill. They are amazing teachers, and great German speakers too! I learn so much, and they really push us to speak German ALL the time. I think sometime in the next week we are going to try as a district to speak ONLY german. yikes.
Well my time has come. I love you all and I miss you very much! Thanks for all the mail, it seriously is the best time of the day when I get mail! Feel free to send me some news from the outside world... I feel so shut off! I know nothing!
Love you tons!
Adventure is out there!
Elder Bartholomew

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Great Memories :)

                                    One Day More from Les Mis-Singing around around the piano
                                                   Elder Bartholomew with Noah Felt

                                                      Elder Nate with Julie and Kylie
                                                                Elder Nate and Kylie :)

                                                                   Excited Elder!!!!!!!!!!!
                                             Emily hugging Soon to be Elder outside the MTC

                                                                one last goodbye

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

2nd Week

Guten Tag!
Its that time of the week again... P-Day! Today we woke up at 5:30 in an attempt to beat everyone to the washing machines to do our laundry... It seems everyone else in the MTC had the exact same idea because it was crowded as ever! So we didn't get back to the residence till 9 o' clock anyways! But after a nice long nap, we're writting letters, eating lunch, and then heading to the Temple!
In response to Papi's questions:
1) Elder Vitel's parents are Vasile Vitel and Maria Vitel and he is the youngest of 5 (2 brothers, and 2 sisters) and he is the first to serve a mission. He is from Constanta, Romania, he lives on the 10th floor of an apartment building, and is a 2 minute walk to the Black Sea.
2) My Branch President is President Dunn, and he has been a branch president for 4 years. He is awesome! He served in Grandpa's mission (a few years later though)
3) On sunday, we have Priesthood meeting from 9:40-10:30, District Meeting (sunday school) is 1:00-2:00, and Sacrament Meeting is 3:15-4:30. And the rest of the day is for personal study, temple walks, and devotionals! I love sundays!
4) We have Gym for an hour everyday of the week, usually in the mornings from 8:30-9:30, and it is so nice to just work off some steam after sitting around learning all the time!
This week we taught Andreas Muller every night until Friday. We progressed all the way through the 3rd lesson (in German!) and even committed him to Baptism! On Friday, we found out he is going to be our other teacher besides Brother Wright. Brother McCann (andreas) teaches nights, and Brother Wright teaches in the morning. Andreas was a real investigator Brother McCann baptized in Berlin, so it was a neat experience! We now have two new investigators (Michael and Alex) who we teach on alternating days. It is a really good experience learning how to balance our study time, and preparing two lessons, centered on two very different people. It is a special challenge doing it in German!
Last Tuesday, I had the opportunity to be Elder Vitel's Escort through the Temple. It was PHENOMENAL. The spirit was so powerful as I watched the light come into Elder Vitel's eyes as we progressed through the Temple. When we entered the Celestial Room, I really felt like I was representing Elder Vitel's family since they obviously weren't able to attend. I felt there spirits present as he joined our district. So awesome!!!
Sunday, we had a devotional from Brother Littlefield (Dad, you will know who that is) and it was SO GOOD! He spoke about having faith to perform miracles in the mission field... and he shared some amazing examples from his mission. He told us that we need to believe that God is still a God of miracles, and that he is preparing people right now to be recipients through our faith! He also spoke of the inspired nature of every mission call. It was pretty emotional! On the subject of miracles, I am a firm believer! After two weeks in the MTC, witnessed so many miracles! The very fact that we are teaching full lessons, through the spirit, completely in German is a miracle all by itself! But the other night, during a class session, we didn't even realize it, but we had a full conversation, completely in German, as a class, for over 30 minutes! No english! That's how powerful the spirit of the MTC is.
Sunday night, we watched the Joseph Smith movie in German, and I understood what they were saying! and it was awesome! The spirit testified to me that this was the story that would convert many souls in Germany/Austria/Switzerland to the gospel.
I have seen OODLES of people I know. Pretty much 5-6 times a day I see people from high school, college, or from somewhere else. I need to be better at carrying my camera around so I can get some pictures! Somedays it feels like Im back in high school! For all you cherry season fans (and you know who you are), guess who came in last wednesday?? MARK! and he's going to the Phillipines, so he is in the basement of my residence! It was hilarious to see him here.
Well, the time has come to bring this letter to a close.
Love you all, and miss you so much!
Send letters, cause.... they rock.
Love, Elder Bartholomew
Adventure is out there!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Week 1-Success!

Well, its Tuesday, and that means.... Vorbereiten Tag! (P Day) This last week has been insane to say the least... I only have half an hour, so I will try to type as much as I can, so sorry if my thoughts seemed scattered! Lets start with my companion... Elder Vitel. Hes from ROMANIA. He speaks English decently well, so communication isn't a problem, but our conversations consist mainly of "uh..." and "what?" and "how do you say...?"! He has very righteous desires... His family converted when he was four, and he is the first member of his family to ever serve a mission. Also, he didn't have the opportunity to attend the temple in Romania, so I actually get to be his escort through the Provo Temple later today! I am way excited! He is struggling with the language... so please keep him in his prayers, because he gets frustrated sometimes. Speaking of the language... did I mention our teacher ONLY SPEAKS IN GERMAN. All the time. I guess thats a good thing so I can pick up on the language sooner! I have a firm testimony of the Gift of Tongues... it can only be God's help that has taught me so much German in one week- I've learned at least 4 times as much in one week as I did in all of my Jr. High classes. My mind is all confused now, because I find myself constantly trying to translate into German, so if my english grammar is poor, I apologize. Im all mixed up! My district has 3 companionships of elders, and 2 sister couples. Elder Thomas (yes, its Andrew, from Timpanogos) and Elder Marshall, Elder Martin and Elder Pugh (my roommates), Sister Smith and Sister Holman, Sister Woods and Sister Clark. Our district is AMAZING! I feel the spirit so strong when we are together. Elder Pugh, Martin, and Marshall are all from England, So needless to say, I feel like an outsider in my room, because Im the only American! We started teaching the second day- and we've already taught our Untersucher Andreas (inverstigator) 3 lessons, 100% in German! Its a miracle. I thought I would hate sitting in class for 10 hours a day, but I LOVE it. I absolutely love the German language... Heavenly Father knew what he was doing when he called me German speaking.  I love reading your letters. Oh yeah, it really is like Christmas morning every time you get a letter. So... feel free to send some! sends them for free, next day! So utilize that. I absolutely love the MTC, the spirit, and my mission so far! Other interesting points... Our room is a german room on a floor full of Spanish Elders, and my next door neighbors are Elder Brunst and Elder Crockett!!! It is a party!
My time is out so I love you all, and I can wait to hear from you all!

~Adventure is out there!!!
-Elder Bartholomew

Monday, February 11, 2013

 Elder Bartholomew with siblings
Elder Bartholomew

 His last J-Dawg for 2 years!!

Just a few pictures :)

First Letter home!!!

Dear Family:
Everything is great! The Spirit, the food, the language, the elders, my first day...everything!  My companion is Elder Vital, he is from ROMANIA!  He is a convert to the church, and knows some English, as a second language. The other elders in my room are Martin and  Pugh, and they are both from England. I feel a little like an outsider.  I think we will get along fine when we get more comfortable around each other.

The class we had was super fun...and 100% auf deutsch!!  Hopefully I catch on soon.  The branch President asked us to write you this first night and tell you how excited I am!  I am already loving this, and it has only been 5 hours.

I love you all very much, my P-Day is Tuesday. I look forward to emailing you with more details.  Miss ya!

 -Elder Bartholomew

~Adventure is out there!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Well, here we go!

Well folks, looks like this is it! I'll be heading into the MTC this wednesday, Feb. 6th, to prepare to preach the gospel to the people of Germany/Austria/Switzerland! My wonderful little sister will be posting my weekly emails to this blog, along with pictures of my adventures out in the mission field! Thanks for all the love and support you have offered me, and for the many prayers on my behalf! We'll see ya in two!

I will be in the MTC until March 20th. If you would like to send me mail, here is my MTC address:

Elder Nathan Ronald Bartholomew
MTC Mailbox # 89
ALP-GER 0320
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

Love you all!
(soon to be) Elder Bartholomew