Monday, September 29, 2014

The Unimaginable.....I'm cold!

Querida Familia,

What a crazy week!!!  I'll try to go day by day.

Monday after emails we ran home to write a few letters and then we went to the Elders' apartment complex to watch Prince of Egypt.  We all brought snacks to share and it was fun to be in somewhat of a movie theatre doing somewhat of a normal thing!   We couldn't finish it because P-day ended at 6, but we have 4 more p-days to finish it this transfer so it's ok :)  Monday night Sister Penalba from Panama slept over and we went on exchanges all day Tuesday.  She is hilarious!  She has a thick accent and the way she says things cracks me up.  She always freaks out about how dark she is because of the sun here.  She says, "I so black!! Look at me!"  Finally, Monday night I said, "Sister Penalba, you are not black!  Have you ever seen a black person??"  She looks at me and says, "Yes sister!  Every day when I look in the mirror!" I lost it laughing!  Her face was priceless!
Sister Penalba
Tuesday the two of us had a blast :)  I haven't laughed that hard in a long time!  At one point we were standing outside of a door and we had knocked and were waiting for someone to answer.  I was staring at the cat outside the door when I heard Sister Penalba ask me, "Does she speak Spanish?"  I looked at the cat and said "Muevete!"  Which means move it!  The cat didn't move.  I turned to Sister Penalba and said, "Nope!"  She laughs and says, "the people who live here!!! Not the cat!"  Later that day...well first let me make a comment.  Sister Penalba had never ridden a bicycle until her mission here.  She learned the day she got to Arizona 2.5 months ago in the mission home parking lot.  Needless to say, she's not a pro.  We needed to cross this street to get to our apartment and I saw an opening in the cars so I strolled across the road.  I turn around and my companion is still on the other side gripping her handlebars in pure fear.  I laugh and we waited for the cars to have a break again.  We waited, and waited, and waited, but cars kept coming!  So the next thing I know, Sister Penalba bikes to the middle of the lane where traffic has paused and waits for the opposite direction of traffic to stop.  Well it didn't!  And now there were cars heading straight for her in her lane!  I'm a bad companion and I started laughing uncontrollably while she yelled, "Sister! Sister!!"  Probably 50 cars had to stop and wait for Sister Penalba to find a break in traffic and cross the street.  I waved sorry to the cars, but could not stop laughing.  After that incident, I was better at making sure she was right with me :)  Oh man....she's a crack up!  We had some cool miracles that day though!  We went to go contact a referral a member had given us and as we are walking through the lobby of this apartment complex the guy at the desk says, "Hey!  Are you LDS?"  We told him yes, and he said he was too, but hadn't gone to church since he moved here!  When we finished our appointment we went back and talked to him for probably 30 min. He had just moved here from the Bronx in NY and hadn't been to church in 4 months.  He said, "man you guys always seem to show up just when we need you most!"  We had to refer him to the English Speaking missionaries, but it just so happened that that was his first day at work, and we had been trying to contact that referral for a month with no success.  We were supposed to be there at that time so we could help Ralph go to church again :) 

Wednesday we had District Meeting and me and Sister Baros gave a training on effectively getting investigators to church.  I think it went well....I hope so at least!  That night Sister Wheelwright came over for exchanges.  She was a HUGE help for me.  One of the first questions she asked me was how our companionship unity was.  It was all I could do not to cry.  She was a super good listener and I was able to release all my companionship frustrations.  She had been through very similar situations and was able to give me some good advice.  

We worked hard together all day Thursday in the sun.  At one point we were both super dehydrated and exhausted so we called Yasury to see if we could come get some water.  We had been trying to give Lorenzo space this week, but I felt good about going over there if only to talk to Yasury and get water.  Lorenzo wanted to sit down and learn though!  We taught him about priesthood again, and he again asked why Christ didn't call female apostles.  So we had to study it this weekend and find a Liahona article to share with him this week.  He's praying about baptism in October.  He told us he didn't come to his baptism interview last week because WE didn't pray hard enough.  AGH I wanted to shake him!!  

Friday was weekly planning, but me and Sister Baros had to have another talk, and it ended up lasting 3 hours!!  We both got all our frustrations laid on the table though and we made goals to overcome them.  She asked me "Do you really think you're always right?"  Ouch!  That one hurt.  I tried to explain that my mind just moves a million miles an hour and that I have this issue with always having to do the best job.  (Unless I'm weeding :)  She asked me where that motivation comes from and how I can think so much all the time!  I told her that I could still remember the name of the kid in 3rd grade who got a better math score than me in timed tests and how I was determined to beat him.  I have competition issues I know!! So I had to take a step back and realize that maybe I'm being bossy again....hahaha what's new??  The bad thing is she's the opposite.  She told me her mind is usually blank, or completely unfocused, while mine is coming up with a billion new ideas for things.  So we are trying to work harder as a team while planning, I'm riding my bike slower (haha), she's trying to focus more, and we're both trying to talk more and become better friends.  Ay it was a long 3 hours!

Saturday we had to plan since we didn't have time Friday, then we watched a hurricane outside our window, then we went to the General Women's broadcast.  Rocio came and even though she kept checking the time and saying she was falling asleep, she told us afterwards that her favorite part was the first speaker!  She actually took something positive away from a church meeting and shared it with us!  She sat by us for the dinner afterwards and is really comfortable talking to us which is good.  We talked to her about a new baptism date this week and she said February 22nd.  We said fine!!  What we are teaching is affecting her even if she won't admit it.  For the first time she shared with us doubts about moving in with her boyfriend which is huge!  If she did that we'd lose her completely.  He's bad news!  She's obeyed the Word of Wisdom for a month now too so I'm super excited for her....even though it's excruciatingly slow progress.  Saturday night Sister Baros got chased by a dog and now we can laugh about it....ok maybe just me :)  We are biking in the dark and all of a sudden we hear growling and my companion starts screaming "Sister!!"  It was a dog like the Target mascot and it chased her down the street while I yelled "Go! go!"  All of a sudden her slow bike got turbo power and she was gone!!  When she darted out into a main street it was kind of scary, but luckily when she did the dog turned around.  It looked right at me and then walked away.  I swear she wears dog treat lotion or something....they like her!   That night she had a dream about saving a dog from escaped lions at the zoo.  I said "Sister that means you're meant to love dogs one day and you'll probably marry the dog whisperer."  She said "NO! This is a premonition of my future death!"  Hahaha I laughed a good one :)  That night we are just getting ready to bike home when it starts sprinkling.  We try a couple more people with no success and as we start our journey home, buckets of water started pouring from the sky.  We were soaked in seconds and had about a mile journey home.  The streets began to flood, Sister Baros couldn't see anything because her glasses were wet and blurry, and I'm freaking out that my scriptures are going to get soaked and ruined!  By the time we got home we were sopping wet, my make-up was everywhere, and Sister Baros made us take pictures :p  They turned out pretty funny though!  Good memories :)  I've never seen it rain like it rains in Arizona....sideways!   

Sunday was...different.  We showed up to church and this giant pine tree had fallen down in the "hurricane" and the church had no power.  We only had sacrament meeting with construction lights to light the stand and 2 little fans.  It was miserably warm, but hey church was only an hour!  Lorenzo came and brought his member friend from Mexico.  After the meeting Lorenzo got a priesthood blessing because his vision's getting worse and after we talked about blessings he really wanted one.  After Hermano Tejada finished the blessing Lorenzo jumped up and said, "Me siento feliz!!"  Or for you gringos...."I feel happy!!"  It was so cute :)  Sunday night we saw Selene, Christian, and Yahir and taught them Lehi's dream.  As we read the story we had the boys draw what they were imagining Lehi saw.  At the end of the lesson Selene told us that that morning their dad had been sick so Christian had the family say a prayer for him just like we taught them.  I love seeing the rewards of our teaching!  We are hoping to meet with the whole family for the first time this Friday.  Usually the dad works, but Selene thinks he'll be off that evening.  Sunday after church some members invited us over for lunch so we went and ate buffalo wings and chocolate chip muffins.  I ate so much!  Then we had to go to our real dinner and I had to eat 5 gross cheese enchiladas, rice and beans.  After words I wanted to puke, I felt so awful!  I learned my lesson though!  Actually, those wings were so good I'd do it again :)

Pine tree that fell over from a storm!

Oh another funny Sister Penalba moment.  Monday night I woke up quite startled.  I was having a dream I was a ballerina and I woke up with my legs dancing in the air.  I thought "what in the world am I doing??"  The next morning I'm telling this to my companion and Sister Penalba says "Oh!  That's why!  You freak me out cause I could see your sheets moving in the air!"  She had woken up while I was dreaming and all she could see was that....hahaha.  Me and my dreams!

Today after shopping and emails we are probably going to lunch with some money the branch president gave us.   It's this pizza and wings restaurant and it is quite the hole in the wall!  I've only seen the outside, but it looks fun!  If we do get to go I'll have to take pictures :)  I'm hoping after that we'll just go home so I can write letters and take a nap cause I have a headache, the Sister who drives us around is a crazy driver and makes me carsick.  Next Monday I think we're going hiking at 5 in the morning's chilly in the mornings now though so maybe it will be nice this time!!  As for the header of this's true I've been getting cold!  In my apartment usually, but the nights are getting crisp now and it's such a relief to feel a change in the weather!  3 o'clock is still too hot, but at least it's less than 100 degrees at 8 o'clock!

Have a super-cali-fragilistic-expi-ali-do-cious week family!!  I miss you tons, missing Karsyn's birthday was hard!  I think I told everyone we talked to that it was her birthday :)  

I love you, I Love You, I LOVE YOU!!!!

Hermana Short

Monday, September 22, 2014

Welcome to Fall! Would someone please tell Arizona it's Fall!

Dearest Familia,

What a fantastic 5 days it has been!!! 

My great week began on Wednesday when we went to the MLB (I got it right this time dad)  game. Our whole zone went and we sat in the nose bleeds, but had a lot of fun together!  The team lost to the Giants (no surprise there.)  The funniest part was when they were doing the dance cam and the Elders behind me stood up and started trying to get on the camera.  We aren't supposed to dance so they just started waving their arms and yelling.  Finally, the camera focuses on them and they wigged out!  Elder Linn starts flashing his picture of Jesus in a panic and the Elders all start pointing to themselves on the screen.  We were laughing so hard!   Later in the game they did a recap of the game.  Well the Elders were hoping their spaz attack would make it into the recap, and sure enough!  Someone texted President Sweeney if Elder Linn flashing his Jesus picture counted as contacting the entire stadium twice :)  President responded "Score!"  

Hermana Baros, me, Siser Martinez

me, Sister Martinez, Sister Mortensen

Friday night was our Tri-Branch Fiesta!  There were probably 300 people there!  If only we could get 1/3 of that to church :p  Here's the worst part of that night.  Friday morning my zone leader comes up to me in the gym and says, "Sister Short, we believe Elder Mecham is coming to visit at the Fiesta tonight.  If he does, just avoid him at all costs."  Oh great!  Sure enough the now RM, Brother Mecham, shows up to the party!  I waved once and then had to try to avoid him the rest of the was so uncomfortable!  Otherwise, the party was fun :)  Some of the Hermanas in our ward wore their traditional clothing from Mexico and El Salvador and Peru and did cultural dances.  They played Spanish music, we had tostadas and pozole, and 4 of our investigators came!  It stressed me out to have so many people to talk to and watch out for though...I can only be in so many places at once!

Sister Martinez and I at the Tri Branch Fiesta

Saturday morning was our first meeting with Elder Russell M. Nelson.  We had to drive to Mesa since the Scottsdale and Mesa missions were combined for the meeting.  There were about 480 full time missionaries in the room, and when Elder Nelson of 90 years came bouncing through the door, he stood at the front and shook every single person's hand.  It was so neat!  When it was my turn he looked me in the eyes and addressed me as Hermana Short.  I don't remember what else he said, but hearing an apostle say my name was amazing!  Elder Todd B. Hansen and Elder Foster who are both 70's also spoke, and all 3 were very engaging speakers!  Elder Nelson was hilarious!  At one point he was telling us that we should be grateful to be released after 18 months or 2 years.  In his exact words he said, "be grateful you can get an honorable release without having to die for it!"  Another time he asked Elder Hansen, "Elder Hansen do you know the names of your 8 great-grandparents?"  He was trying to make a point that we should do family history work to find out.  But Elder Hansen said "Yes!"  Elder Nelson said "Well that's because you're a Latter-Day-Saint and your mother or grandmother did all the work for you.  BUT!  If you were a hobo on the street!"  We were cracking up!!  My first thought was how mom told us not to say hobo....but mom, an Apostle said it!  So I can :)  The neatest part was at the end when he invoked an apostolic blessing upon us.  He blessed us with opportunities beyond our fondest imaginations, health, strength, safety, that we would be devoted disciples of Jesus Christ and be obedient, loving, and submissive to our mission President.  Then he told us that though us he blesses our families.  That was neat to know that he cares not only about us, but that our families will be watched over while we are gone. 

Sunday morning we got to the church really early to sit close to Elder Nelson once again for the Phoenix East Stake conference!  I felt so lucky to be one of 30 missionaries or so who got to hear from him twice!  His talk was directed towards parents and what to teach children.  He had all the Primary children stand and sing I'm a Child of God.  There was one little girl that belted that song louder than any kid I've ever heard!  Elder Nelson just watched her the entire time with a grin on his face :)  The rest of us were bent over trying not to explode laughing :)  He then asked all the full-time missionaries to stand.  It was so cool to stand and be recognized by an apostle!  He told parents to raise every child to be worthy of a mission call.  They may not serve, but they should be worthy of a call.  He also said that as of last week there are now 88,000 missionaries and we need more!  He said that parents should teach their children different languages when possible.  Some funny things he said was that he likes to say when we obey the word of wisdom not only can we run and not be weary, but we can ski with our grandchildren.    Imagining that 90 year old man on skis made me laugh. He also said that he's been working on his conference talk which will be about sustaining the prophet, and he told us when he's speaking and who's speaking before and after him.  He said, "and you all will know that my talk will have the stamp "Made in Phoenix, Arizona" on it. :)"  He left another apostolic blessing on the congregation including qualifying for temple blessings, healing of the sick, and that we will be attractive by obedience to the commandments.  He was such a neat man to sit in the presence of!

Today at 4 I'm going to the movies!  Ok, not really.  The Elder's Apartment complex has a movie theatre room in the lobby, so we are going to watch one of our "approved movies" Prince of Egypt at 4 with the other branch missionaries and Sister Mortensen and her new comp :)  I'm in charge of bringing Oreos since everyone knows I love them!  

I haven't been fed anything too strange lately...last night was shrimp pasta, but Elder Sessions was a good friend and helped me out :)  

me & Draven 

Lorenzo's baptism interview was Saturday night, but he didn't show up, he called and said he couldn't make it.  He told us he's going to be busy all week this week, but he'll call next week :(  So no baptism in September.....Julio couldn't make it to church this month so he's getting put off again too!  AGH.  We did go see Lorenzo earlier this week though and his wife was telling him to get baptized.  I said Lupita when are you going to get baptized??  She said Oh I don't know maybe in November.  WHAT?!  I didn't even know she was willing!  I was joking with her cause she kept getting after Lorenzo!  Hopefully we can teach her this next week when she's not hanging out at Wal-Mart all day!

Selene Charive's family is my new favorite family.  We taught her, Christian (12), and Yahir (8) the Word of Wisdom yesterday.  I remembered FHE's when mom used to put healthy and non healthy things in a bag and make us decided which category they fit in.  So Sister Baros and I made cut-outs of healthy and bad things for our bodies and did that activity with the boys!  I'm always excited to come up with new ways to teach the lessons to those boys in a way they'll understand :)  The boys get excited about saying the prayers for lessons now and yesterday Christian planned out who is praying for each prayer for our next two lessons.  Their family came to the party on Friday, but had to leave almost immediately because their dad got a work call.  We haven't had a lesson with the dad, but Selene tells us about what he says when she tells him what we talked about.  She plans on teaching him the Word of Wisdom since he's the only one in the family that smokes and drinks coffee.  We need to find a time when he's home so we can teach him ourselves though.  

We taught Daniel once this week.  He's just about had all the lessons, some two or three times with his family, so we asked him what he wanted to learn about.  He said, "How did God create the earth?"  So we pulled out Genesis and taught the creation.  He guessed what was created correctly on almost every day of the creation!  The funniest part was he decided he was going to sit on a box for the lesson.  Well his 5 year old brother Junior decides he wants to sit next to him!  They sit there and maybe 5 seconds later the box breaks from underneath them and they crash to the floor.  Both of their faces were pure shock and panic in that moment and it was the funniest thing I've ever seen!  It's imprinted in my mind!  Junior even said the opening prayer with my help for that lesson :)  Good family!

We taught Rafael and Leticia the Word of Wisdom as well this week.  Well last night we bike up to their house and their outside having a smoke! Grrr.  We sat down and talked to them and I told them very boldly that they were not keeping their commitment to Presidente, who told them he'd help them on condition that they do the things we ask them to to progress in the gospel.  I felt super bold, but I felt like I was being guided in what to say and how to say it with love.  They both recommitted to read, pray, and give up smoking, but we'll see.  Sister Baros told them not smoking was a requirement for baptism and it shocked them!  Duh!  Hopefully we helped them see the importance of keeping that commitment now.  After the lesson Sister Baros said "That was as bold as you could have gotten Sister!"  I worried I had been overbearing, but she said it was exactly what they needed to hear.  Phew!  

The mosquito bites continue :(

My family and close friends will appreciate the next story.  Last night I woke up with a terrible nightmare.  Any guesses?  Yup, a moose dream.  Hahaha I was at the cabin climbing a super tall tree, and it bent over so me and whoever was with me...I can't remember who crashed to the ground.  We stood up and there was a moose and a bear.  Well the moose starts chasing the bear and I'm thinking "Oh, poor bear, the moose is going to eat him!"  Then the bear escapes so the angry moose turns around and sees my friend with me and starts charging.  My friend escapes.  Now I can hear the moose's thoughts and it says "I'm going to get the one with the red shirt."  Sure enough I look down and what am I wearing?  Red!  The moose looks at me, and then I woke up in a panic.  Hahahaha only in Adyson's dreams is a moose scarier than a bear.  

Well family, I think that's everything for this week :)  I will get letters out today, and I can't wait to hear from you all!  I love you, I Love You, I LOVE YOU!!!!!

Hermana Short

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Week of Miracles!

Dear Family,

First of all transfers were this week and I'm in the same area with the same companion.  We have a lot of people to baptize though so it's ok.  Neither one of us wanted to leave the area so it worked out the way we wanted I guess.  Out of the 8 missionaries in our branch only Sister Mortensen got transferred.  It was so sad!  She served in her first area for 9 months, this area for 7.5 and got transferred for her last 6 weeks in the mission.  She cried when President called to tell her she was leaving our branch.  I really look up to her and cried a bit to see her go, but she's still in the Phoenix area so hopefully I'll see her a few more times before she goes home in October.  The other sad transfer news is that I had to give up Sister Grooms :( :(  Sister Doolhoff got transferred to New Mexico so Sister Baros is now STL (Sister Training Leader) companions with Sister Wheelwright.  That makes Sister Penalba my new exchange companion.  She's from Panama and is here from Temple Square, it will be nice since she speaks Spanish, but I'm going to miss Sister Grooms a ton!  She and I have become really good friends over the past 12 weeks!

Sister Mortensen

Even though I didn't get transferred, I still got to go to transfer meeting yesterday which was super neat!  Sister Baros was playing piano for some missionaries doing a musical number, and the 2 of us got roped into singing with a group.  It was the coolest song though!  We made President and Sister Sweeney cry!   Sister Doolhoff was asked to sing a solo at the meeting, but behind President's back she planned this whole musical number.  She went up and sang the first verse of her solo, then an Elder joined her on the chorus.  On the next chorus me, Sister Baros, and 2 other Elders walked up to the pulpit and sang with them the next verse.  Then at the end we sang the chorus again, but Sister Doolhoff's entire zone stood up where they were sitting in the chapel and sang with us.  The words are, "One, but not alone.  A thousand voices sing.  Praises at the throne, of our Master and Our King, with one voice."  I could barely sing it was so powerful!  

Sister Doolhoff & Sister Jackson

Thank you family for my package this week!!  I got it September 10th and was going to wait til my actual 3 month mark to open it, but I couldn't constrain myself :)  I've all ready eaten all the M&M's and cinnamon bears :)  I cracked up when I found more chapstick in there!  

Now for this week's miracles, because it seriously was the best week ever!

For 12 weeks we have been working with Lorenzo, Daniel's mom, and Leticia.  Two transfers!!  And all of them came to church on Sunday!!!!!!!  Here's how it happened.

Last Wednesday-ish we go to see Daniel and his brother and as I'm dismounting my bike I cut my leg on the gear shifter thing.   I've got blood running down my leg and I'm trying to hold it in the air to keep it from getting on my shoe.  Daniel's mom was outside so she runs inside and brings me back toilet paper and antibiotic ointment.  Ha.  Then she realizes I probably need to sit down so she invites us inside :)  Then I realized cutting my leg was part of the plan!  We go inside and she sits on the couch and tells Daniel to come sit with us so we can teach her a lesson.  What??  We weren't planning on teaching her!  Sister Baros looks at me and I said, "Word of Wisdom?"  So we taught her the Word of Wisdom.  We asked Daniel to name the things we shouldn't drink and the first thing he says is coffee.  Xochitl's eyes went huge and she whips her head around to look at us!  It was hilarious.  By the end of the lesson she decided she wasn't going to allow her kids to drink coffee anymore and she intended to stop herself.  She also said she'd come to church on Sunday, but we'd heard that before!  Sunday morning sure enough we call her and she's asleep.  We call her an hour later and she tells us Daniel will come to Primary and she'll come the last hour for sacrament.  When sacrament started Daniel was getting antsy and excited next to me waiting for his mom.  I turn around and here she comes in a dress and everything!  She sat next to me and tried to sing the hymns and paid attention really well!  When we were taking the water she put her cup back in it's hole instead of the garbage hole and so I told her, "Oh aqui!"  And showed her.  Daniel whispers to her in Spanish, "It's ok mom, it's your first time."  It was adorable!  He held her hand the whole time and would explain to her what they were doing.  After the meeting I asked her if she liked it and she turned to me with tears in her eyes and told me she remembered the feeling of coming to church with her parents when she was a kid, and I could tell she wanted that for her family.  I was grinning the entire meeting!!

Also, earlier last week we were biking past Leticia's house (whom we had dropped weeks ago) and we stopped to talk to her and her friend Rita.  They both told us they would come to church this week!  Again, me of little faith didn't know if I believed them.  During Sunday school we get a call from Leticia and they're outside the building!  Leticia and Rita had both come and Rita invited her husband who showed up for sacrament meeting!  We met with them the next night and set baptism dates with Leticia, Rita, and Leticia's two teenagers for November 1st.  It was magnifico!  In that lesson we were talking about what the Spirit feels like and Rita told us she felt it when we talked to her and Leticia that night the week before, she said because it was so strong, she quickly accepted the invitation to come to church.  We are so excited for them!  Rita -we have to hand over to the other Sisters, but she lives in our branch boundaries still so we'll see her often :)  I just got a call from Presidente Alvorado this morning saying he had met with Leticia, her husband, and Rita to discuss helping them with food and other provisions since they had told him their struggling right now.  He said he feels like Leticia and her husband are ready to be baptized sooner than November and asked us to work for an earlier date.  He's a great Branch President!

Lorenzo.....oh dear Lorenzo.  We are going to baptize him September 27th.  We hope.  He keeps telling us he's not ready, and that he needs to feel prepared, but we can hear it in his voice, and see through his actions that he is soooo prepared!  He reads the book of Mormon more than any of our other investigators, he believes Jose Smith was a prophet, he believes Thomas S. Monson is a prophet, he obeys the word of wisdom and law of chastity, and he begs us to get Yasury and the girls active in the church again.  He's a member missionary without the member part!  He asked us to give him a test to see if he's really ready.  So what'd we do?  We scheduled his baptismal interview for this Saturday :)  We told him an Elder has to administer the test and he said ok.  Hahaha I love that guy....we told him if the Elder who has the priesthood and power of discernment decides he's not prepared, then we will move his date back.  But we know he's ready :)  He came to church for all 3 hours this past Sunday which was a miracle!  He even sat by a member throughout all of Sacrament and made new friends :)

Sister Penalba, Sister Wheelwright, Sister Mortensen

Our other Sunday miracle was our 10 year old former investigator Emmanuel, the one with the Dad who slammed the door in our face.  Sister Baros saw his dad on exchanges and he was drunk, so they set an appointment with him for this week!  Haha, but we didn't end up having time and we figured he was drunk so he wouldn't remember.  Well, we went by on Sunday night and he was back to the scary, cold, angry man we knew.  He wouldn't look at us!  I asked about his 10 month old baby and it seemed to spark something so he responded "bien."  Sister Baros then apologized that we didn't make our last appointment.  He looks at us, and says "Ok" then waves his arm towards the door and invites us in!  We taught the restoration and he was talking and asking questions and leaving comments!  It was incredible!  We watched this guy that looked like he could take on an entire gang coddle a 10 month old baby, joke around with Emmanuel, and talk about Jesus Christ.  We even were able to set up another appointment for this week.  I'm telling you, it was the best Sunday ever!

This week is going to be the best week of our lives!  

Yesterday was transfer meeting, today is P-Day and we are going to a Diamondbacks baseball game!  A real MLB game!  Apparently they stink, but that's ok :)  It is taking up most of our P-day, so I don't think I'll be able to write hand-written letters, but I'll for sure write some on Monday!  Friday we are having a giant Fiesta with 3 Spanish branches.  There's going to be all sorts of delicious Mexican food, cultural dances, a church tour, and musica!!  We have been waiting months for this Friday as missionaries!  All of our investigators have said they want to come!

Saturday the Scottsdale and Mesa missions are coming together to hear from Elder Russell M. Nelson.  We've been told he wants to shake all of our hands, so that will be cool!  Sunday is Stake Conference and Russell M. Nelson just happened to choose our stake to speak at!  We get to hear from him twice in one weekend!  So cool!

I'm about halfway done so I'll give my food update now :)  I crack myself up that I do this every week!  Presidente Alvorado bought us Salsitas yesterday and so I got my Carne Asada fries which is pretty much all my favorite foods in one dish.  French fries covered in guacamole, salsa, and re-fried beans.  Last night a member made us lasagna :(  Luckily most of the other missionaries had been craving lasagna so they were fighting over who got to eat mine!   I did try one new food this week!  Tuna!  Not's the fruit that grows on top of a cactus :)  It was like a cucumber I thought.  

Carne Asada Fries

Oh we had one more fantastic lesson this week I have to write about.  Liliana we had to drop this week, because she doesn't read, doesn't pray, can't remember what we've taught her, and is adamant about not preparing for baptism.  Her sister Selene on the other hand and her two sons Christian (12) and Yahir (8) are fantastic!  We went over this Sunday to teach them the Plan of Salvation and decided to really direct it to the boys.  When we first got there Yahir was playing with his friends and took some begging to come inside, but finally did.   I took my Plan of Salvation kit and we explained the whole plan then had the boys scramble and reorganize the plan like we'd taught.  As they did Yahir got confused at parts so Christian would explain to him the different pieces of the Plan, and their mom would explain it to them with smaller words.  At the end of the lesson we asked Yahir to say the closing prayer and his mom told him he didn't have to, but this shy little 8 year-old decided he wanted to!  He said the cutest prayer including thanking Padre Celestial that his parents got him Legos :)  At the end of the prayer his mom was crying and thanked us for teaching her and her boys.  She later told us that when we left she asked Yahir if he was mad he didn't get to play with his friends and he said no, and that he liked it!  We invited them to be baptized October 25 and Christian jumped up to check the calendar!  We have to wait for Selene to pray about it and talk to her husband, but we are really excited for that family.  We just recently met the husband, and he was very kind and said we could come teach him another day :)  

Yikes this is a long email!!  And there's still so much more to tell!  Sorry family, keep reading :)

One cool thing that happened for me this week..... I was having a hard morning on Monday.  Sister Baros was in a mood, and we hadn't even gotten to 11 o'clock.  I was feeling like a little bug and didn't know what I could do.  So I said a long prayer and I asked Heavenly Father to help me feel the prayers of my family members.  The peace and comfort I felt after I said that was unmistakable :)  I have a testimony that sometimes Heavenly Father has blessings for us, and when we let the Spirit help us know what to ask for, we can immediately have those blessings he's been waiting to give us. 

We're still teaching Julio, and still waiting for him to get Sundays off :/  He said he's almost sure he has this Sunday off!  We'll see.... Yelitza is a new favorite of ours.  She's 15 and wants to come to church, get baptized, and go on a mission.  Once again we're dealing with a resistant father, but he just recently gave her permission to come to church!  He said she can hang out with us, but not join us :)  She reminded me of Kellee Burkinshaw because she said she can when she turns 18 :)  She came to sports night on Friday night and was surprised to see her friend Roberto from school.  She's like, "I had no idea he was a Mormon!"  She's amazing :)

All right, I think I've touched all the important stuff and then some :)  I get to email again in 5 days, so if I forgot 
anything I'll let you know then!  

I love you so much!  Thank you for your prayers, they are working :)  It took 12 weeks of prayers to get Daniel's mom to church, but Heavenly Father always comes through in his own timing! 

I love you, I Love You, I LOVE YOU!!!!!

Soaking wet after riding in the rain!
Hermana Short :)

Sister Grooms and I......just a little wet!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Transfer Week

P-Day is Wednesday this week.  Check back Wednesday evening or Thursday for Adyson's latest mission adventure!

Monday, September 8, 2014

3 Months Down.....3x5 to go!

Dearest Familia,

So our mission president gave us a spoiler alert and Sister Baros are staying here for another transfer!  I'm excited because I love the people here and would have been super bummed to have to leave, but at the same time I was ready for a change of some sort.  That will make 4.5 months with the same companion!  I've heard that things can still change and that President often changes his mind at last minute, but I'm comfortable here and am all right with transfers :)  I'm just SUPER happy I don't have to leave this area!  My zone is going to a MBA game at the Diamondback's stadium this transfer, all the Spanish branches in our zone are having a giant combined Fiesta, Elder Nelson is coming to our stake, we get to go to the Phoenix temple open house, and see the Meet the Mormons movie!  So much to look forward too!  I also want to see Lorenzo, Daniel, and Julio baptized before I leave!

Phoenix Zone

Last night was probably the craziest experience I had this week.  I wake up at 2 in the morning and it sounds like there is a tornado outside.  The wind and rain are smashing up against the window right by my head, the thunder is crashing, my room is lighting up with every flash of lightening and it was freaky!   I'm trying to fall back asleep and then I hear water.....and it wasn't coming from outside.  I jumped out of bed and felt the windowsill right by my pillow to find water puddling.  There was so much rain coming down the side of our building that it was seeping through the top of our bedroom window.   I quickly move my journal and planner out of the way, run to the bathroom to turn on the light, find towels and a cup in the kitchen and begin trying to keep the water from getting on the carpet.  Finally the noise wakes up Sister Baros and so we found a big tupperware to sit on the windowsill, move my bed away from the window so I don't get soaked, put a towel on the floor, then try to fall asleep again.  The sound of dripping water was so annoying though....and the thunder was super loud!   I probably didn't fall asleep til 3 am.  When we woke up at 6:30, it was still pouring rain, but the wind was blowing it the opposite way so finally the window stopped leaking.  While I may not have gotten the best sleep last night, I'm grateful the storm woke me up because my journal would have been ruined where it sat underneath the window.  Blessings!

Other mishaps with our bedroom this week included coming home to the sound of a cricket chirping in our closet.  We tried to find it, but couldn't and we're both little girls, so we were too scared to really look hard.  It wasn't chirping the next morning so we assume it died, the sound was coming from Sister Baros's side of the closet so I wasn't too concerned :)

This week we got to go to 2 hospitals!  Not for my hand...I still need to get that checked :p  Sister Baros says she's making me this week.  Rocio got put in the hospital for appendicitis, they took out her appendix, then realized that wasn't the problem and she had a bacteria in her stomach.  We went and visited her.  Sister Baros thought it was so cool because we had to wear gowns, gloves, and masks.  She said she felt like she was on Grey's Anatomy...she's funny.  Rocio seemed really glad for the company and said all she wanted was decorations for her hospital room.  I told her I would draw pictures for her wall, but then she got released before I could do it :/  The next day me and Sister Grooms were together for a few hours while Sister Baros and Doolhoff were in a meeting.  Sister Grooms needed to go to the children's hospital in Phoenix to visit a member and her baby, so we biked there.  That hospital was so cute and kid friendly, but it was so sad to see all those kids in there and all these worried parents :(  

I'm going to do my food update for the week now before I forget :)  This week I went to Panda with Sister Grooms, and a local burger place with Sister Baros.  Both delicious!  Also Sister Jackson got me addicted to a new phenomenon.  She melted cheese on a tortilla in a pan, then did a swirly of barbeque sause on the tortilla, topped it with another tortialla, flipped it over to warm the other side and wha-la.  Barbeque quesadillas.  I thought it looked disgusting, but it was delicious!  Also a member bought us Costco pizza yesterday....a little sac-religious since it was Sunday, but it is my favorite kind of pizza!  OH and Sweet Hermano and Hermana Orozco.  All 8 of us went to their house for dinner this week and she had made chicken with a side of pasta.  But they know I don't like pasta so Hermano Orozco made me a plate of Caeser Salad!  I haven't had that in 3 months!  I love that family!!

I did one full-day exchange in Sister Grooms' area today and it was quite fun!  We taught the restoration twice, once to a blind man named Darrin and once to a drunk man named Eddie.  We don't really know how drunk Eddie was, but I hope not too much because the lesson made him cry and want to make changes in his life so I hope he can at least remember it!  The best part of exchanges that day is when we happened upon a lady in the hallway of an apartment complex and I decided to talk to her.  I couldn't tell what race she was so I started in English.  She responded "I don't speak a za engish."  With a grin on my face I responded, "Esta bien!  Yo hablo espanol!"  She brightened up and told me her all about her family.  It happened again 5 minutes later with another lady.  This lady seemed to think that the fact that she couldn't speak English would get us to leave.  When I switched to Spanish I loved the surprise on her face!  Then she started telling me how she had diabetes and the doctors were going to cut off her toes.  I think my name tag says, "Hermana Short, please tell me your life story."  It's hilarious what people will tell complete strangers!  Our name tags with Iglesia de Jesucristo on them are magic!

Me and Sister Baros got to go to the Mesa Visitor's center this week again!  We took the Ramos family who is all members except for the mother.  We watched the hour long movie about Joseph Smith and the restoration and they all said they loved it!  We wanted to do the Christus and the God's Plan for Families presentations too, but right after the movie they ran out the door to leave.  Sister Ramos had to talk to her mom in Mexico I guess.  Mabye next time :p  
Mission apt.  kitchen
Our dining room table
Our study area

We took Liliana with us to a baptism this Saturday!  Sister Grooms' had her first baptism this week of someone she found, taught, and then baptized.  Her name is Irma and she's this gangster mom who rides her bike to church with a 2 year old in a seat on the back, and the 3 year old on the bar in front.  Saturday morning this fantastic Irma rode her bike to the church to help us clean it :)  We took Liliana to her baptism and Sister Penalba from Panama translated for her.  At one point Liliana cried!  We are having a hard time reaching Liliana's needs and concerns because of her mental challenges, but we  hope with the help of members and Liliana's sister we can help her with whatever she's going through.  The cutest thing about that baptism was when Irma came out from changing and I turned around and saw her 3 year old run up and say, "Mommy did you just get baptized?!"  Irma said to her, "Yeah!  And someday you will too!" :)  It was so adorable!  

This Saturday is another baptism for Sister Grooms' investigator Danny.  I want to go to this one so bad since it was on exchanges when I invited him to be baptized!  We want to take Julio or Lorenzo with us.

Julio still has not gotten Sundays off, and we can't move towards baptism without him coming to church :/  We are still praying for a miracle there.  As for Lorenzo, he told us he would tell us when he's going to get baptized.  We told him we had prayed about September 20 for him and felt it was perfect.  Even his wife who isn't a member keeps asking him why he isn't baptized yet!  Yasury too!  We hope he really prays about September 20 like we asked him too and that he'll accept it this week.  I have my doubts, but I'm going to try to have full faith in it!

We had a lesson with Daniel's mom on the Plan of Salvation this week.  We asked Daniel to explain the 3 kingdoms to her and it was the cutest explanation I've ever heard.  He said (in Spanish) "The terrestial is like the moon, and telestial is like the stars and they are good, but you can't do everything you want there.  But it doesn't really matter because everyone wants to go to the sun which is celestial because you can play all day!"  His mom Xochitl listens well and has good comments and a few questions, but she doesn't seem committed to learning.  I also think she is afraid of becoming committed because her husband doesn't want anything to do with us.  He doesn't mind if his family does, but Xochitl has said she doesn't even want to invite him to listen :/  We hope to find him at home soon so we can invite him ourselves.

Texting out a scripture of the day last week set up a miracle for us this week!  We sent one to Leticia who we dropped a while ago and she said to come meet with her this week!  So we did and we taught the Plan of Salvation.  She has a sincere desire to repent and be clean and said if she feels that this is right and learns more, that she will get baptized!  She wouldn't settle on a date to work towards though :p  She had lots of questions about reincarnation.... even after we explained the whole plan!  I guess we need to teach it a little better next time.

Always have to do the "funny face" picture!

Thanks for the letters from everybody at the cabin!  I hope I got them all :/  The envelope was opened when I got it, it looked like it just unsealed.  I got letters from Kellee, Kristin, Zach and Carter, Meg, Bumpa, and Blake.  I also got Jensyn's letter finally!  I'll try to write back today, but Sister Baros wants to go clothes shopping and take pictures outside, and Sister Jackson and Heuea want to go get ice cream :p  So I might just be able to send a family letter this week.  Tell Mattie and Sister Wintch I loved my letters though!  I was so excited!

I love you so much!!!  

I love you, I Love You, I LOVE YOU!!!

Hermana Short