Monday, July 14, 2014

One month.......Struggles and Miracles!

Eating out on P-Day!

Burgers and Shakes....we felt like we were on vacation!

Querida Familia,

This week went by like an Arizona Dust storm!  I feel like I was on the computer yesterday!

Dust storm moving in!!
First I'd like to give updates on my favorite investigator, Daniel.  We met with Daniel and his mom on....I can't remember :)  But!  We took Hermana Orozco (the Relief Society President) with us.  The lesson went so well!  We taught the gospel of Jesus Christ which focuses on Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Holy Ghost and Enduring to the end.  She listened very attentively and seemed genuinely interested!  She asked us why Jesus was baptized in his 30's, but we baptize children when they are eight.  We talked about being able to choose right from wrong, and being old enough to know which is which.  She told us she was coming to church with Daniel this week!  Her youngest ended up in the hospital with an ear infection though so they didn't come :/  But we visited her last night and set up an appointment to teach her, so we are very excited!  She still hasn't given permission for Daniel, she wants to learn more.  The best part was when she said something along the lines of, "I have been to some other churches; including the Jehovah Witnesses, and I go there wanting to feel that it is right, but I don't feel it."  Ding-ding-ding!  We are so excited for her to come to church and find that feeling she has been looking for!

On Thursday...I think it was Thursday.  We taught Daniel the Word of Wisdom.  He's only 10, but the one thing he has to give up is coffee.  He didn't hesitate though :)  He knows this church is true, so he does anything we ask to show Heavenly Father he'll follow him!  He told us, "I forgot to pray last night and then bad things happened!  My dog almost ran away!"  His testimony of prayer grew so fast!  We showed him a picture of Joseph Smith and before we told him who it was he said "That's Joseph Smith!"  I said, "Yeah who is he?" "A prophet!"  Sometimes we worry he isn't paying attention cause he will go off on random tangents about video games or start playing with one of his 6 dogs, but we ask a question and he knows the answer perfectly!  I love teaching him!  And now that his mom is interested and hinted at maybe bringing her other 3 kids to church we are so excited!!

Yesterday, I had a super neat experience.  I was kind of having a rough afternoon.  We had been at church meetings from 7 am to almost 4 pm.  No investigators came to church, and hardly any members because of the dang World Cup soccer game.  It was sad when the sister missionaries made up half of the relief society!  Finally at 7 that night after studies and dinner, and finding Sister Baros a bike to ride since her tire is flat, we actually got to go out and do work!  We had an appointment that is about a 15 minute bike ride away and I prayed the entire way!  I was praying for patience mostly...

 I prayed for forgiveness and patience, and that I could teach our appointment with the Spirit.  It was quite a long prayer :)  Well last night we were blessed with 2 amazing experiences and I felt so much better riding home that night!

Our appointment was with Laticia.  She lives by Daniel and we taught her once last week.  She said she was leaving, but we asked if we could read the intro to the Book of Mormon with her real fast since she hadn't been able to do it yet.  She agreed and after we read she expressed to us that she felt like there had been something missing in her life for a long time.  Material things weren't filling it for her, and she wanted to know what was missing.  Ding-ding-ding!  We bore testimony of the Book of Mormon and the power it has to fill that hole.  She wants to continue learning and we are so excited to teach her the Plan of Salvation this week.  So now we have 2 progressing investigators!! 

After we met with Laticia, there is a 14 year old boy Fortino who we met a couple weeks ago.  He said he wanted to learn more when we met him, but every time we go to his house he's not there.  So we decided to drop him this week.  Well last night I had a feeling to try him while we were by his house.  So we knock on his door and he comes outside!!  I have never had a lesson so full of promptings before!  I asked him if he had any questions about life for us.  He said he had one, why weren't his prayers being answered? I asked him if there was something specific he was praying for.  He said about his sins.  I said, "Well you believe in Jesus Christ right?"  He said no.  I felt hurt for him!!  I was glad it was dark, because that was the first time someone told me they didn't believe in Jesus Christ, and I probably looked shocked :)  My companion felt prompted to have him bring up the Mormon message "Because  of Him," on his phone.  We watched it with him and the Spirit was so strong!  We sat in silence for a few seconds afterwards and I asked him, "How did that make you feel?"  He says "I want to learn more about him, and the miracles he did."   A wave of relief flew over me.  THIS is why I'm on a mission.  To bring others unto Christ.  I have never felt so happy as I did right then, knowing that with the help of the Spirit and my companion, we had helped one of God's children find hope in Christ :)  Aghhh me and Sister Baros were so happy last night!

I committed someone to baptism this week!!  I was with Sister Grooms in her area and we were at a first appointment with this lady Janette.  She had been meeting with missionaries and attending church and trying to make changes for 2 years!  But every time she got close to baptism she'd fall into temptation.  I had the impression to set a baptism date for her to work for.  I felt like it was a little bold, and I didn't want to freak her out, but I did it and she accepted!  She told Sister Grooms and I that she could feel the Spirit super strong, and she wants to have that all the time.  I love when I meet people who's hearts have been prepared :)

Another thing we have learned as a companionship is that when we show up to an appointment and they cancel, there is someone nearby waiting to be found.  This happened earlier this week, with Patty.  She didn't answer her door, so we decided to knock on doors in her complex til we found someone.  After 3 doors we found 16 year old Juan Carlos, and 14 year old Marlene.  They invited us in and we taught the restoration on the spot!   Marlene seemed really interested and we are hoping she continues to progress.

Food this week has been good and bad.  I got 2 days of Mexican food!  It's a record!  Empanadas and Enchiladas :)  But I also got 2 days of pasta :(  The first time I tried a piece of the pasta and was pretty sure I was going to die.  Thank Heavens for Sister Mortensen!  When the lady turned around to stir the pasta, Sister Mortensen scraped all of my pasta onto her plate and ate it for me :)  I was so grateful!  The next night though, apparently Sister Mortensen was too full!  So I ate maybe 5 bites, then stuffed myself with bread and watermelon so the lady could see I was eating, then left the rest of my pasta.  This is why I'm in the states!  People don't get offended when I don't eat their pasta!

My comfy bed
My Study area
This week President Alvarado (Branch President) is taking us out to eat at a Mexican restaurant with the other 6 missionaries!  I'm soooo excited!!  He is a great branch president, he has been one for 10 years total.  5 years in this branch and he does everything a ward mission leader is supposed to do.  Sister Orozco is my favorite sister in the ward.  She is the Relief Society President and the closest thing I can find to a mom out here.  She always gives us big hugs, feeds us, and is willing to go with us and help us teach whenever we ask.  She is from Chile and has one 17 month old Draven :)

On a more temporal note, I ran a mile in 8:30 seconds this week!  I was so proud :)  We've started using our apartment gym and I actually like it!  I also get injured a lot out here.  I don't know when I started getting so clumsy!  I hit my head at least once a day on something.  The other day....this is embarrassing, but I ran into a fire hydrant!  I was biking and I don't know if I didn't see it or just didn't turn wide enough, but my foot got stuck in between my pedal and the fire hydrant.  It hurt SO bad!  It left a gnarly bruise on the top of my foot for a few days!  I also cut my arm on a tree...and found a huge bruise on my calf where my bike pedal hits it when I walk :)  I'm a klutz :)  One of the Zone leaders said "Sister Short your right calf is dirty,"  "No elder, that's a giant bruise!"  It was funny :)

Arizona is hot, but gorgeous at night!  The sun sets and the sky goes bright blue, but the clouds go pink!  There are so many cool cloud formations!  We had 2 dust storms this week, but they were at night.  We woke up one morning sweating cause the power had gone out in the middle of the night.  Luckily in went on within 30 minutes of us getting up.  And last night there was a storm with rain, that was exciting!  But our power stayed on this time :)
Arizona  at sunset!

I love you family!  Thanks for your letters!  They are the best parts of my week :)  

Have a great week!  
I love you!!!

Hermana Short

Sisters in my District
Happy 4th of July

Hermana Short & Hermana Baros at park for 4th of July

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