Monday, July 21, 2014

Happy Pioneer Day

Querida Familia,

Can you believe that there is only 5 months til Christmas?  We listened to Christmas music in the car to the library....only a couple of us didn't complain :) 

This week has been a great big ball of crazy!  We had 3 days of exchanges and I can't keep track of what happened which days anymore!  The next thing I know we are sitting in church again :)


Hermana Short & Sister Grooms
So for two exchanges me and my half companion, Sister Grooms, were together.  Once in my area and once in hers.  The other exchange was actually for me, so I was with my Sister Training Leader Sister Doolhoff.  That day was such a blessing!  Sister Doolhoff is like a 24 year-old version of myself.  It was so nice to be with someone just like me for a day!  She is an English speaking sister so we'll never actually be companions, but she even told me that she had never felt so comfortable with a companion before on her mission til that day we were on exchanges. 

 The best part of that day was I GOT TO DRIVE!!!!!  Oh man I didn't realize how much I missed driving!  The mission sells cars after 50,000 miles too so we drive nice cars :)  This was a 2014 Chevy Cruz and I soaked in that steering wheel :)  I feel like I know sister Grooms and Sister Doolhoff's investigators as well as I know my own since I'm with them so much.  This week I met Carl who is a quadrapolegic.  We go to a rehab center to visit him.  He's a less active member and the most amazing artist I have ever met!  He can draw with his mouth a million times better than I can draw with my right hand.  We feel bad for him though, he's lonely, and thinks everyday about the drunk driver who took away his ability to move.  He was a neat guy, but visiting with him is heartbreaking!  

Their other investigators Jordan and Michelle were a crack up this week.  They seemed to be acting funny when we got to their house.  They listened quietly and at the end of the lesson we asked if they had questions.  Jordan asked us why heaven and hell both start with h.  I told him in Spanish they start with different letters so it's just a coincidence in English.  He also asked who Jesus's grandpa was.  We were wondering why he was asking such weird questions.  Then we asked him to pray to end the lesson.  Ha!  It was all I could do not to laugh.  He prayed for the fishes in the sea and asked God to create more fish since polution was killing them all.  After this never ending prayer we left, and Sister Doolhoff says "Well they were high as kites!"  Ohhhh everything made more sense :)  I'm not sure they're going to remember the lesson on the doctrine of Christ....but we will! :)  

Have I mentioned Arizona is a little warm?
Staying at Sister Grooms and Doolhoff's apartment is also fun because they have hilarious roommates!  Sister Jackson and Sister Heuea.  Sister Heuea is from Tahiti and is on her 3 month leave from Temple Square.  She speaks 8 languages!  Her assigned language is French though, but she can speak Spanish, Chinese, Tahitian, and German....I don't know what else.  It's crazy!  Sister Jackson is from Provo and she's a crack up.  

I was on exchanges when Sister Baros met with Daniel this week, so I don't really have an update.  His mom told us she was bringing him to church yesterday, but they didn't come :/  We have a lot to work on with her and hopefully we can rely on her more to bring Daniel to church and scouts.  We don't have very many ward members with cars and the cub scout leader isn't fond of giving rides to our investigators.  It's sad and frustrating that she wouldn't be willing to help, but there's not much we can do about it :/

Laticia is our investigator we are really happy about this week.  We weren't able to have a lesson with her because she's always gone, but I passed her house one night and she was outside smoking.  I asked her if she'd had a chance to pray about the restoration, she said yes and that she felt good about it!  Then without me asking she told me she'd been reading a bit in the Book of Mormon and that it's been bringing her peace.  I was so excited for her!  She's progressing!!

Rosio is our newest progressing investigator and we set a baptism date with her!  She's been hesitant for a while because her parents are members and she doesn't want to feel like she was forced to join, or rushed into it.  We explained that baptism is an act of faith, not of knowledge, and not of force.  If she believes these things are true, and if she wants to follow Jesus Christ she should get baptized.  The real clincher with her was when she told us she wants her baby to grow up in the church to learn how to make good choices.  So therefore, she'll be going to church and she might as well be a member :)  She's young, the baby's dad just got out of prison, and we're worried about what will happen there, but we meet with her twice a week so hopefully we can guide her through challenges while helping her stay on the right path.  We are working towards August 30 for her baptism.

Pink clouds!
 I speak PLENTY of Spanish.  Rosio, Daniel, and a teenager named Fortino we teach in English, but that's because they are young.  All the adults we speak to only in Spanish.  On the phone, on the streets, at church, everything requires Spanish.  And I've been getting some great compliments!  Yesterday a guy asked me "Where did you learn Spanish?!"  I told him in school and he told me he thought I learned in Venezuela or something because it was so good!  I asked him if I still had a gringo accent and he told me I just paused a lot so that's why he was thinking Venezuela because they have pauses in speech.  Mexican Spanish doesn't pause for commas or periods or anything.  I was flattered :)  At the beginning of my mission I told people I was from Chihuahua as a joke...but they believed me so I had to stop.  I can hear mistakes in my speech still, but it's definitely improved a ton.  Especially when I'm with Sister Grooms and I have no one but myself to rely on.

Tuesday I had to teach the Plan of Salvation to a family by myself in Spanish!  Fabiola and Francisco and their four kids.  It was hard not having someone to take over for me when I forgot a word, but I felt so good afterwards!  They wanted us to come back, and he had questions, and asked if we had a pamphlet about the Plan that he could have.  Sister Grooms said even though she couldn't understand she felt  the Spirit.  That was a great compliment for me :)

Even when I'm with the English sisters I speak Spanish.  There are Mexicans everywhere!  One of their investigators speaks both, and when we were over there Sister Doolhoff was trying to ask her a question and kept having to repeat herself.  So finally the lady looks at me and says "What is she trying to tell me?!"  So I played translator :)  Then she had me pray in Spanish at the end.  I love speaking to people in their native tongue....I've seen that it builds trust.  

So there's a magic trick with missionary work....when you are craving something...you get that food within 2 weeks!  I was told that a couple weeks ago and said "Well I'm craving restaurant food and that hasn't happened!"  This week members took us out twice :)  The Branch President bought us lunch at a Roberto's/Betto's type restaurant which was heavenly, and then the English Sisters had a member that took us out on Saturday during exchanges to that delicious Diner.  Blessings!  I've decided to crave a tostada now :)

My favorite... Mexican Food!


The funny thing about my picky eating now is that all the missionaries know it.  So when a plate gets set down in front of me with food, everyone looks at me for my reaction.  Some will offer to help me with the noodles, or apple pie, others just laugh.  I did have to eat more mashed potatoes though....I ate them with salt, pepper, and mixed it with my corn though so it wasn't too awful.  Otherwise it's been a pretty good food week.

Sister Baros got bit by a dog this week!  It was hilarious!  It was this little yappy dog and we were both ignoring it.  I turn around though and Sister Baros mouths, "it bit me!"  I laughed and said, "Wait, what?"  "That dog definitely just bit me!"  She had a black swelling bruise on her leg, so we called Sister Sweeney and she said we had to go to a doctor.  By the time we got to the doctor it looked totally fine and they all but rolled their eyes at us.  The worst part was Sister Baros put her home phone on the Animal Control paper so they called her house to ask about it and of course her mom freaked out and called the mission office.  We've learned to pay attention to even the small yappy dogs now :)

Last night we had a fireside and I played the piano for the opening and closing song.  Then our 8 ward missionaries had to sing a song.  I got assigned to pick musical numbers for next months fireside and I'm thinking I might play, "Come Thou Fount".  It's just super difficult to fit piano practice into a missionary schedule!  It stinks!

Well, that about sums up my week.  Today we are going bowling!! I'm so excited!!  I get to wear capris and a t-shirt and play a game!  Man it's been a while.  This is our zone activity for the transfer.  Next transfer we go to the temple, the next transfer a zone activity and so on.  I hope they have good french fries...bowling isn't bowling without french fries.  Right family? :)

I love you family!  I hope you have a happy pioneer day!  It will be weird here because people in Phoenix don't celebrate it.  In Snowflake they have a huge celebration, but that's because it's a Mormon colony up there.  

I love you, I Love You, I LOVE YOU  (A sister told me she hates "Elf" this week....so wrong!)

Love,
Hermana Short
Missionary tan
Thank you for one Peanut Butter Cup, one stick of Kit Kat, one stick of Twix, 1 chapstick, UNO cards, memory card and baby wipes (you think I sweat?) 

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