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

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