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

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