Monday, November 24, 2014

El lo hizo!!

Happy Thanksgiving Family!!

We are one happy companionship right now!  Lorenzo did it :)  He finally got baptized and is officially a member. I seriously can't describe my happiness level!!!

Me & Lorenzo
When an investigator is getting baptized, the  week prior we have to visit them on a daily basis to help them continue to progress and prepare.  Oh, did we have some good times this week with Lorenzo!   Thursday we brought a member (Hermano Guerrero) with us and he and Lorenzo talked excitedly about his upcoming baptism. Thursday night at 10pm I get the worst call ever.  Lorenzo is cancelling his baptism.  I  couldn't understand him very well, but I could hear him saying something about how he couldn't handle the obstacles Satan was throwing at him, and that he just wasn't prepared and didn't want to be baptized unworthily.  He said he'd call and explain more in the morning.  I had a panic attack.  I texted Hermano Tejada from the branch Presidency, whom Lorenzo adores, and who was planning on baptizing him.  He calls Lorenzo at 11 pm and we get a text at 11:30 saying he thinks he's all right and will call in the morning. TThe next morning I am freaking out, but I call Lorenzo prepared for the worst.  I said "Como esta?" "Bien".  I ask him how he feels. "Bien."  I ask him if we can still plan on his baptism. "Bueno."  I literally yelled hallelujah into the phone!  He cracked up laughing, but I did not think that scare was very funny!  Sounds like he got in a fight with his wife the night before and called us upset.  Friday night he came to our branch Thanksgiving party with his granddaughters and many members came and told him how excited they were for him.  All the investigators went on a church tour and at one point Lorenzo talked about how much he loves gospel principles and invited everyone to his baptism.  I was breathing so much easier Friday night!  Saturday I was just a great big ball of excitement :)  We went to the church two hours early with the elders to fill the font.  Then the elders left.  The font gets full so I check the water.....cold!!!  I was not very happy. I had to wade into the font and find a pole to try to lift the plug. 

Pulling the plug on cold water!

Hermana Ferre, Hermana Short, Loenzo, Hermano Tejada

 I told Hermana Ferre "Oh the things I will do for Lorenzo's baptism!!"  Lorenzo showed up in good timing, and got dressed in white :)  Agh I was so happy for him!  Usually baptisms are pretty well attended, but that day, the room was filled to capacity and they had to set up a few more chairs!  I could not believe my eyes when Lorenzo finally walked into the water :)  Then I start laughing.  Lorenzo was worried about bending backwards so he tried to squat underneath the water :)  Hermano Tejada is confused and tries to bend him backwards again, but this time Lorenzo tries to go forwards.  His granddaughters started laughing so hard!  Me and Hermana Ferre were trying relentlessly not to laugh :)  Finally Hermano Tejada just dunks him backwards :)  He comes back up smiling, but glaring at the little girls :)  It was so adorable and funny!  He got dressed and came  back into the room.  Then comes my next favorite part.  Julio, my other recent convert, gave the talk on the Holy Ghost.  Me and Sister Ferre tried to help him write it, but he wanted to just say what he felt.  And he gave a better talk than I could have!!  I was grinning from ear to ear, Hermana Tenney told me afterwards "You never stopped smiling!"  Julio's  testimony was so strong, and he invited all the people there to make the step of baptism if the hadn't, because he has felt so amazing since.  Me and Sister Ferre had been practicing the musical number with the 3 little girls, and they all wore matching dresses and sang :)  They stared at me the whole time, and I had to help them sing a bit, but the audience couldn't get enough of them, and Lorenzo loved it!  Lorenzo gave his testimony at the end.  Translated he said "I'm happy to be here with you Mormons,"  then he talked about how he knows its true.  It was really neat :)  
Hermana Baros got to come to Lorenzo's baptism!

I love this family!

       Thank you so much family for your prayers.  We had that one huge scare, but after our prayers, and our district's prayers, and the prayers I knew would be said at home, I knew he would eventually do it.  Lorenzo's a member, and a great one at that!  He all ready told us he'd come teach a lesson with us this week :)  Yesterday he brought the girls to church and was confirmed.  President Alvorado gave him a neat blessing and he was just so  happy :)  Miracles do happen!

       So now some of the funny Lorenzo stories from this week! One day he was complimenting us as usual, and I had to be strict with him and tell him to stop.  He says to me in Spanish "I know I know, or else (Imitating me) "I'll send the Elders to teach you!"  We got a good laugh out of that one :)  That same lesson I said "Lorenzo, has anyone told you that you have to shave your mustache to get baptized?"  He flipped! "Calmate!!! Calmate!!"  Which means "Calm yourself!"  I tried my hardest to be serious and he says "Show me a picture of Jesus, he has a moustache!"  We were laughing so hard, we showed him pictures of Joseph Smith and President Monson and said "Things have changed!"  He just kept yelling "Calmate!"  We finally told him we were kidding after laughing to the point of pain!

Love the mustache!

     His granddaughters adore us, and I am going to cry when I have to say goodbye to them one day.  They're mom didn't come to the Thanksgiving party, or church :(  So I got to play mom.  "Sit down!"  "Eat that!"  "Don't play on that!"  And I would hear, "Hermana Short can I go play?"  "Hermana Short can I go to the bathroom?"  It was exhausting.  But!! Me and Sister Ferre were able to keep them on the benches and entertained through all of sacrament meeting!  It took a lot of notebook paper, and everything I could find in my bag, but they did it!  Now I owe them treats and pencils...haha.  They always give us giant hugs now and color us pictures and ask when we're coming over.  The best was seeing them sing at the baptism :)

    We Valley spanish speaker sisters got a great Christmas present this week!  We found out we get to work at the Mesa Temple lights twice a week!  We went to a training this week and it sounds like we will just be roaming the grounds speaking Spanish for 3 hours.  We are super excited!  I will need some winter clothes though.....

     We weren't able to teach Daniel's family this week, but we did talk to Daniel outside for a bit.  He started telling me about his dog that died a few weeks ago and started to cry.   Oh it broke my heart!  I told him that pets go to heaven too, and that maybe Manny is playing catch with Jesus.  Playing fetch might not be doctrine, but he quit crying and started laughing so I did my job :)

      We taught Selene's family this week about the atonement to try and help them feel the spirit and a desire to take the sacrament.  Selene wasn't very receptive this week, and flat out told us they probably won't come to church.  We are going to try a couple more times, then say goodbye :(

     Ruben (the old one) learned about the Plan of Salvation this week.  He always reads what we tell him, and listens, and asks questions.  We still just need to find out if he's really a member or not!

     Ruben (the young one) and his boys learned about the Restoration this week.  We invited them to be baptized and Ruben said yes, then changed to maybe, but his boys can?  We are going to try to straighten that out this week with a church tour :)  We need to get them to church!  During their lesson we turned to the page in the pamphlet where it shows Isaiah writing on a scroll with two other old men (scribes?) watching him.  We said "what do you see here?"  Joseph says "Uhh God, Jesus....." and Ruben Jr says "And Santa?"  Bahaha no, not quite!
       We also taught Julio's roommates Ernie and Jairo the Restoration this week.  They were receptive, might take a little more push to keep commitments, but look at Lorenzo...we like challenges!  Julio leaves this week for his 2 month trip to Bolivia :(  He will be greatly missed!  

    This Thanksgiving we are eating with the Curay family.  The ones from Peru....I just hope they make a couple normal Thanksgiving foods.....ok, honestly I just want my normal plate of rolls and corn :)  We have to have appointments in order to visit people, we don't have any as of right I'm not exactly sure what else we'll do!  It will be a surprise  :)

    Well family that's all I have time for today, but I love you and will send a letter soon!  Happy Thanksgiving!!!   31
 days til Christmas!  

I love you, I Love You, I LOVE YOU

Hermana Short

Monday, November 17, 2014

6 more weeks of Summer!!

Dearest Family,

Whoever told me winters in Arizona would be very enjoyable, didn't have to ride a bike after 5 pm!  We have started to freeze!!  The afternoon hours are nice on some days, but lately it's been kind of windy and cold.  After 6 it's completely dark.  At least I'm not in the mountains though!  And President just told me today that I'll be here for the next transfer as well!!  Transfers aren't for 3 more weeks, but I all ready know my transfer news!  I'm soooo happy.  I get to finish training Sister Ferre, and I get to spend Christmas in this branch with the members that have become like family to me.  It will make the Christmas season a whole lot easier on me :)  Whew, I can't even tell you how relieved I was when I read that email from President!  As much as I love white Christmases, I'm thrilled to stay here in Phoenix through the next transfer.  That will make 7 1/2 months in the same area!  I have so many more miracles to see here :)

The first and greatest miracle I've yet to see on my mission.....Lorenzo is getting baptized in 5 days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Last week, I believe it was a Tuesday, we went to meet with Lorenzo about forgiveness so that he could progress to a date again.  We found out he had resolved his issues and had different concerns than we thought.  He told us he was worried about getting baptized and then sinning right afterwards and messing it all up.  I explained the purpose of the sacrament and he lit up :)  He said he didn't know that!  He then told us that he only feels happy when we are teaching and when we leave the feeling leaves.  He said he wants to feel happy like us all the time.  We then explained the Gift of the Holy Ghost and that he couldn't feel it until he received it....after baptism.  We told him we were going to set a new date....the very next Saturday.  He gave us his excuses, told us he'd set it the next day, and that he needed to think about it.  I said "Lorenzo, it's time.  You keep putting it off, but Heavenly Father is waiting.  You've got to make the firm commitment and then you'll be able to progress.  You need the Holy Ghost."   He said "Ok, what's the date next Saturday." I told him, and he said "Ok!" And then gave us high 5's :)  Now I was really excited for him, but knowing Lorenzo I was a little worried about everything going through.  We reminded him a billion times about his baptismal interview two days later and he told us "I wouldn't forget that!!"  Sure enough Lorenzo showed up grinning at the church for his interview :)  Actually he got there before us and was reading the Gospel Principles manual when we found him :) We waited outside the room in anticipation and when he came out, he looked at me wringing his hands and told me we had to put off the date a little longer so he could work on some things.  I was heartbroken but told him it was ok and we'd keep working.  Then Elder Tellez handed me the signed baptismal record.  I could have shot through the roof with excitement!!  I've waited 5 months for this!!!  Lorenzo couldn't stop grinning :)  Elder Tellez said the interview was really fun and that Lorenzo practically conducted it himself :)  Apparently when he asked about his belief of President Monson as a prophet, Lorenzo said "Yes!  I was just reading about prophets today!"  Oh how I love that man :)  

Last night we had an unexpected turn though.  We had a Spanish Fireside which is where all the Spanish missionaries invite their investigators to come listen to testimonies of recent converts.  We decided to take Lorenzo and found a ride to take us all there.  Well the Hermano that showed up, didn't bring his wife, so me and Sister Ferre couldn't ride in the car with them.  We told Lorenzo we were going to go beg his wife to come.  Lorenzo and his wife do NOT get along.  He was not too happy we had to take her, but we were excited when she agreed to come!  Sadly during the fireside she leaned over and said some mean stuff to Lorenzo that really hurt him and he got up and left the room.  I couldn't understand everything he told me because his accent's so thick, but he just kept saying "Satan is working so hard to keep me from baptism!!"  With the help of a couple members he calmed down, but we are worried about him backing out when things get hard.  Pray for Lorenzo!  His baptism should be this Saturday at 7 if everything goes as planned.  And it will!  We have the faith of Ammon :)

Monday evening we had a lesson with Yazury and her girls and it was great :)  We talked about the commandments, and I asked the girls which one they were going to work on that week.  I asked Yukey (7) and she was going to work on not saying bad words.  Yay!!  Then I asked Yza (6).  She told me "Not smoking!"  Me and Sister Ferre cracked up laughing.  Yazury asked us what was going on and then we were all laughing :)  When Lorenzo and Lupita walked in the door we asked them which commandments they would work on.  They told us and I said great!  Your granddaughters are doing this too.  Yukey's not going to cuss and Yza is going to stop smoking :)  Ohhhh I love that family!  We drove home from the fireside with them and the girls were yelling Primary songs we've taught them the whole way home.  They are going to sing "Hazme Andar en La Luz" (Teach me to Walk in the Light) at Lorenzo's baptism :)

We taught Xochitl and Daniel about prophets today, and cleared up some miscommunication.  President Monson does not read palms to tell the future :)  Xochitl told us she feels like she hasn't gone to church in a while, so she's for sure coming this week.  We are also starting an English class this week that she is really excited about. This class will help most of our investigators, and also gives them a chance to come to the church and get familiar with the building.  We are excited to see what miracles come of it!

Selene had to get some teeth removed this week and has been miserable, so we couldn't teach their family this week :/  We did discover however in trying to see her, that her husband is home on Sunday mornings and early afternoons :)  Next Sunday.....

We had a great lesson with Ruben Mada yesterday.  He's the one we are trying to find membership records for.  For now we decided to count him as an investigator because everything seems new to him.  We went over yesterday and asked if he'd prayed about the message of the Restoration.  He quietly said "Yeah, I did."  I asked him how he felt when he prayed and he told me "Relief!"  He said it's the same feeling he gets when he's in the mountains meditating. :)  We talked about the role of the Holy Ghost and left him with the commitment to read Alma 40 and pay attention to how he feels when he reads and prays.  We will be teaching him the Plan of Salvation this week!  He also speaks perfect English and Spanish and said he would help us teach our English classes!

We had a short visit with Julio this week, and he's doing great still.  He had to go to work last minute this Sunday so he couldn't attend the dedication :(  We were pretty bummed, but he said he would come to Lorenzo's baptism and church this week since he's quitting his job on Friday!  His roommates are our new targets :)  We feel like they might be golden!  We had an appointment with one of them this week, Ernie.  We asked him why he let us come teach us.  His first answer was, "Well you put me on the spot!  I couldn't say no!"  Then he said "Nah, sometimes I just get an itch, and I have to scratch it."  That's no itch  my friend :)  That is the Holy Ghost!  We talked to Julio and his two roommates Saturday night and they are all coming to our Thanksgiving feast on Friday so we are excited!

Victor is probably a no go from now on.  His family is Jehovah's witnesses, he's kind of flaky, and he never "has time" for a lesson.  Or he tells us he's been drinking so he doesn't want to talk about the word of God drunk.  Yikes.  He's such a friendly man though.  This week he told me he's going to give me his bike.  First he wanted to trade them again, and I told him no.  He kept asking and finally said he'd just give me his bike because he likes me.  Hahaha ok Victor.  That was the night we found him talking to our other potential investigator Elias.  And the two of them were talking to this guy named Jesus.  Jesus comes over, gives us his phone number and address, and told us to come teach him at his house.  Ok!!  We're going to go see him and his wife this week :)

This week on my 5 month mark, Sister Martinez and her comp came over to our apartment to celebrate for lunch with us :)  Sister Martinez came out the same day as me, but she was first assigned to English so I didn't know her in the MTC.  We ordered pizza and wings from a local hole in the wall.  The food was all right, but our 45 minute party was fun!  Today is Sister Ferre's 2 month mark, as well as Sister Martinez's companion so we are going to Chic-fil-A :)  Sister Ferre's family sent us gift cards!  Month marks are fun!  My next one is 6!  AGH

Yesterday we went to the Phoenix Temple dedication and it was really neat!  Saturday morning we went to help clean the Stake Center to make it a worthy extension of the temple.  It was neat to see members and missionaries working together to polish benches, wipe air vents, scrub fingerprints off walls etc, so that we could experience the dedication on Sunday together.  We went to the last session, and heard from President Uchtdorf and Elder Oaks.  President Monson spoke in the first session apparently!  It was so cool to think about all the Brethren that were in Arizona this weekend!

Our Mission tour this week was good.  We are all a little bummed about the "Mormon Tabernacle Choir" rule (We can't call them MoTab either :p), especially with Christmas around the corner, but I too think it's an obedience test, so I'm of course willing to follow it.  That and my bike radio is broken (ha) so it doesn't affect me too much :)    Elder Lawrence's wife was an INCREDIBLE speaker.  She talked for 2 hours at 85 miles an hour about the House of Israel, and everything that entails.  Reading the scriptures has been a whole new experience for me!  One thing she said that has stuck in my mind was that The House of Israel is a privileged people who were given that privilege because of premortal obedience.  Christ's earthly mission was the House of Israel, his first priority was to teach and bring back his friends, which are us!  The House of Israel!  I loved that :)  As a mission we got the challenge to read the Book of Mormon by the end of the year, circling every verse that references the savior.  We then write our testimony in the back and give it away.  I've loved it so far!  We have to read about 11 pages a day to do it.

I'm in the orange skirt on the right 

Thanks again for the package this week!  My companion thinks paper plates are a funny addition to my packages, but they are the best!  You know how I feel about washing dishes :)  My cold is disappearing slowly.  I just have a runny nose now :)  The cooling weather doesn't help, but it's WAY better than the heat :)

I love you so much family!  Thank you for the letters and the love, and mom, the selfie with the Acorn was the BEST!  Also I went to talk to this guy a couple nights ago and then I could hear mom in my head "Don't talk to slimy men at night!"  So I didn't :)  You're welcome ;)

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

Hermana Short

Monday, November 10, 2014

Another Week in the life!

Buenas Tardes Familia!

This has been a good week, but kind of discouraging at the same time.  We got a lot of bad news from investigators, but at least now we have things to work on with them!  I'll start by going through all of our lovely families :)

Daniel and his mom are doing great.  When Daniel prayed in our lesson this week with his mom he said, "Please bless that the Hermanas can come over every day and teach us new things."  He loves learning, and he LOVES helping us teach his mom.  We taught her the ten commandments this week and we have hand signals for each one for memorizing purposes.  Daniel remembered them really well and taught them to his mom.  The other lesson we had with Xochitl this week was a little shocking.  We had been putting of the law of chastity just because we didn't feel like there was anything Xochitl would have to change.  So we focused on Word of Wisdom and gaining a testimony sort of lessons instead.  Well we decided to get Chastity "out of the way" this week and I kept getting the prompting to ask if she was married to her "husband" but I ignored it.  Well as we're teaching her the blessings of Chastity I said something like "I think you're seeing all of these blessings in your home right now!"  She looked a little guilty and said "Well maybe not all of them, but we try!"  Finally I spit it out, "You and Eduardo are married right?"  "No."  Oh man it crushed me!!  They've been living together for 9 years and have 2 kids together, but never got married.  She was pretty nervous/uncomfortable throughout the rest of the lesson as we talked about why living the law of chastity was important.  She agreed, and she told us she knows what she's doing is wrong, so she will talk to Eduardo about getting married soon.  Other than that though, she's progressing well.  She will often bring up a concern with the statement, "Since I'm thinking about getting baptized, I noticed...."  This week she noticed immodestly dressed members at church and it bothered her.  Luckily once we explained that was NOT the standard of the church, she felt better.  Also, Xochitl sells products for this company called Princess House.  It's kind of like Pampered Chef.  She was super excited last night to tell us how much she made this week.  Then the best sentence ever: "And today I thought about tithing!  I said now I need to give [10%] to the hermanas!"  Obviously, we have to teach her how to donate tithing now, but we are so glad she wants to keep the commandments!  

Daniels dogs had puppies!

So adorable!

Rafael and Leticia have had to be dropped again.  They weren't keeping commitments, we could never find them at home, and their true interest level was blatantly low.  Maybe later :/

Lorenzo is the opposite.  His interest level is so high, we can't keep up with him!  His baptism has had to be moved again though.....that man is going to be the end of me.  He keeps telling me, "Don't get discouraged!  I'll do it!"  Yesterday when he told me that I said, "Lorenzo, I have faith to move mountains, and you're a pretty large mountain!"  He laughed and said "I know I am!"  He did come to church again though and found a really good friend in a recent convert named Silvestre.  They both wear cowboy boots to church :)  He asked Silvestre last night "How long did it take you to finally get baptized?"  Silvestre responds "3 years!" Sister Baros heard and said "No!"  and I said "Lorenzo if it takes you 3 years I will.....agh!"  He laughed and said it wouldn't be that long, maybe next month.  We still need to help him understand forgiveness, so we are going to take care of that this week.  Hopefully, with enough prayers and following the Spirit, we can finally get that "Cabeza dura" into the waters of baptism.  

Selene and her boys are still doing well, once again though, they didn't come to church.  We had a lesson about baptism and confirmation this week to try and figure out their needs and how we can help them progress to a specific date.  Selene's main concern is that she wants her husband to take that step with them, so they can do it as a family.  But her husband is never home!  She asked her boys individually if they want to be baptized.  Cristian said "Uh-huh" in a "why not?" sort of tone.  She asked Yahir and he nodded his head and then he too gave an "Uh-huh" but his was more of a "Please mom!!!" sort of tone.  We've got the kids on board, now we just need to strengthen our efforts to find their dad, and get the family to church!!  Sometimes I want to strap them to my handlebars and just take them myself!

Sister Ferre and I had a Street contacting extravaganza this week.  We talked to so many people!  We had conversations with maybe 30 of them.  3 of those 30 are possible investigators!  One of them is named Ruben, he just got out of 10 years worth of prison, but you wouldn't be able to tell!  He has 2 boys Ruben Jr (11) and Joseph (9).  Ruben told us the boys' grandma died a few months ago and the boys were really sad because she had raised them.  So yesterday we went and taught the Plan of Salvation.  They boys stayed really engaged and said they didn't know there was another world after we die.  Ruben just thanked us over and over.  We are excited to keep teaching them!  The hard thing is they speak perfect Spanish and English, so if they'd rather go to church in English, then we have to hand them over to other missionaries.  We'll find out this week.

Arizona sunset!
Our other Ruben that we teach is progressing!  He read what we asked him to, and this week we taught the Restoration.  I don't know if he's really a member.  That or he forgot almost everything.  He asks good questions though and is intrigued so hopefully he continues to want to learn!

Another TTI (street contact) was Victor.  We had talked to him a long while back (Remember the guy who wanted to trade his bike for mine?).  We found out he lives right across the street from Julio.  He sounded really excited to meet with us!  Then he dropped the bomb.  His family is Jehovah's Witnesses.  He's not, but his family is quite active!  We decided to try teaching him anyway.  So we go over to his house one night and his 11, that's right 11 year old daughter Bible bashes us for the next hour!  Except it wasn't even bible bashing because she was the only one talking.  It was almost humorous the stuff she would tell us, and finally we had to leave by telling her we respect her beliefs, we love her, but we don't like to argue about religion, we just teach it!  She said when we come back she'll have her mom teach us more.  HA!  We will go over there, ask for Victor, and teach him or leave.  We don't want to go through that again!  The sad thing was when she straight up told us she wanted her information to confuse us.  My companion and I talked afterwards and both agreed that her "information" only strengthened our testimonies and our resolve to teach people a much happier truth!

Oh the funniest TTI was this African American preacher lady.  She just kept telling us how awesome we were for what we were doing.  So if any of you are at the Abundance of Rain christian church this week, she said she will be using us as an example in her next sermon.  Ohhhhh yeah... :)  Planting seeds!!

Yesterday at church Julio received the Aaronic Priesthood!  He also got a temporary recommend to go to the Phoenix temple dedication with us next Sunday!  He's such a good egg :)  My favorite part of Julio's story is that ever since he made a firm resolve to get baptized, he hasn't had to work 1 Sunday.  Heavenly Father blesses us when we have real intent :)

We had quite the hilarious moment at Yazury's this week.  We show up Monday night to teach a Family Home Evening and she  makes us eat 2 quesadillas each.  Then she brings out the toast with Nutella.  I am a sucker for Nutella, but I was done after the first 2 pieces!  So was my companion :)  But you see, my companion can't understand Spanish all that well yet, and I'm I told Yazury that my companion was just embarrassed, she definitely wanted more Nutella toast!  Yazury jumps up and throws 2 more pieces in the toaster.  Sister Ferre in the meantime realizes what I've done and begins punching me from across the table.  My plan backfired though and Yazury made me 2 more too!!!  We were soooo stuffed so we tried to get the 3 little girls to eat it.  They of course agreed (because they love us) and took a piece of our toast.  Yazury sees them eating our toast and wigs out!  She thought they were stealing it!  SO she made us each 2 more pieces!  We attempted once more to get the girls to scarf down our toast, but again....we got caught!  We are crying Nutella as Yazury places another 4 pieces of toast in front of us.  We quit trying to feed the ninas, sucked it up, and choked down the last pieces of toast.  Lesson learned....don't prank your companion!!  We then taught an FHE about Lehi's dream using a matching game we made up.  It surprisingly worked pretty well!  Those little girls are adorable, and they are be more reverent when we teach. 

Our Nutella eating friends :)

On Tuesday, we went to go clean Patriarch Mortensen's house again.  It was worse then usual, but this time Hermana Curay was there, and she cleans houses for a living so she really whipped us into shape and gave us all specific chores.  I was put in charge of cleaning the fridge.  That thing had 2 bottles of Mayo from 2009 in there!  After we finished cleaning me and Sister Ferre were listening to some stories from Patriarch.  He is telling us about the prophets he's met and as he's talking all of a sudden he starts to slump forward and his speech begins to slur.  Then he stops moving/speaking all together!  Me and Sis Ferre look at each other wide eyed and I mouth, "Did he just die?!"  I'm about to yell for Hermana Curay when Patriarch pops back up and says "Pardon??"  It was so funny!  He did it once more while he was talking to us.  Sadly, that might be the last time I hear from dear sweet Patriarch Mortensen.  He was put in the hospital Saturday and now he's not talking.  They think it's only a matter of days :(  I will have the best memories of that man though!

One funny story for the week was during Sports night on Friday. We were playing volleyball and I didn't know which position I was so I said, "Hey!  Where do you want me?"  Sister Martinez yells back "On the bench!!"  Ahaha she thinks she's so funny!  We all got a good laugh out of it :)

Food update!  I tried pumpkin pie this week!! I've been missing out my entire life!!!!!!!  It was so good!  Also, I was craving Philly Cheese steaks last Monday, and on Friday a member made the best ones I've ever had!  Of course they just call it a meat sandwich, but it was totally a Cheese steak.  Mmmmm  

Holy cow that was a long letter this week.  I hope you didn't fall asleep while reading it :)  Luckily I keep a daily journal so I will never forget any of this stuff.  I read a couple of my entries from earlier in my missions are a learning adventure!!  I have a head cold right now which stinks :/  It just started yesterday so hopefully if I keep taking cold pills and Vitamin C I can slow it down before it gets worse!  They are miserable :p  Today after emails and shopping, we have to clean and write letters, then hopefully I can take a nap!  Nothing too exciting, but relaxing! :)

I love you family!!  Have a fantasmical week at school and work :)  Are you doing anything fun for veterans day?  Is that a school holiday in Utah?  I don't remember it, but its a day off here!

I love you, I Love You, I LOVE YOU 

Hermana Short 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Mustaches and Marriage

Hello Beloved Family!

First of all, let me just tell you.  I LOVE my companion.  It has been such a drastic change for me, instead of anxiety and stress, we are laughing ALL the time.  We are both giant goof balls and think we're pretty hilarious!   I have plenty of stories to tell from this week!  Besides that, we are also really working hard together.  She loves talking to strangers so she's good at stopping on her bike and initiating conversations, which is super helpful for me.  We are finding handfuls of new investigators to begin teaching!  She has great ideas and works hard.  Her Spanish is the only rough thing.  It makes her suuuper nervous.  It's hilarious because she gets sweaty hands every time she has to speak Spanish.  So now whenever she has to pray in companion study, or we start practicing she'll say, "Sweaty hands!!"  Yesterday we were reading in Preach My Gospel about this Elder that was learning a language and his companion refused to talk at certain points in the lesson to force the new Elder to practice speaking.  The Elder got super nervous, but progressed "rapidamente!"  We finished reading and I looked at Sister Ferre and I sat back and said "Wow, I am inspired!"  Sister Ferre looks at me with pure fear and says "I am not inspired AT ALL!!!"  We then commenced another of our laughing fits :)  Our investigators already love her even though she can't understand them, this is a great change for me and for our area!  

Sometimes Sister Ferre says really funny things.  One time she was trying to say Christ has a body of flesh and bone, but instead said "flesh and Thursdays."  Granted "jueves" and "huevos" are really close, but still...really funny.  She also got into this kick where she pronounces the "h" in "hijos."  So now we get a kick out of saying we are "hee-hos de Dios."  I felt bad teasing her at first, but she told me to tease her so bad she cries so she learns!  I don't know if I could make her cry, but teasing each other is all we do!  

This weeks email is going to have a lot of Lorenzo stories!  As of right now he is our only progressing investigator because he's the only one that reads in between our visits, comes to church weekly, and has a baptism date.  We had to move the date to the 15th because he had some necessary doctors appointments, but we are still pushing hard for this month!  This week we taught him about obedience and enduring to the end.  During that lesson I've laughed harder than I ever have in my mission.  Lorenzo LOVES talking. I really think he just enjoys the sound of his voice...anyway!  He is reading us the Book of Mormon during the lesson and then stops and says "Ok, you teach me.  You're the teacher and I'm doing all the talking!"  We said maybe 3 sentences, and he takes over again and begins reading :)  ThenYazury puts down sandwiches in front of me and Sister Ferre.  We begin happily eating while Lorenzo continues to read us this chapter.  Then Yazury pulls out these full Jalapenos and offers me one.  I tried to deny it, but then she accused me of not being Mexican!  So I took one.  Lorenzo just keeps reading.  I eat a few more bites of sandwich then decided to take a bite of this giant, super hot-looking jalapeno.  I barely bit off the end and dove for my water.  Sister Ferre was watching the whole thing and started cracking up!  I'm guzzling water, she's laughing uncontrollably, Yazury starts laughing at us, and Lorenzo just keeps reading!!  He chuckles a little bit and asks us why we're laughing, but before we respond tells us to listen and he keeps reading.  Now we are all laughing uncontrollably because the scene was hilarious!  We finally calmed down and finished the lesson, once we could get a word in with Lorenzo :)  My mouth was still burning when we left, but I almost finished the jalapeno!  Sister Ferre ate 3 though so I look like a wimp!

Saturday we taught Lorenzo a second time and he had just told us we needed to push the baptism back a week.  So when we sat down I said "Lorenzo!  What happened?"  He went into a 2 HOUR story that basically explained something he did in the past that he worried would make him unworthy for baptism.  Luckily it isn't!  But now I know why he's been putting of baptism so long, he's been scared of being unworthy of it!  He didn't want to tell us, but something changed this week and he told us he had enough trust in us to tell us what was going through his mind. We talked to him about repentance and how he can definitely still get baptized. He gave us a huge grin and high fives :)  During that lesson he also wanted to make sure we didn't get discouraged with him.  So he asked if he could share a poem with me.  I told him "It can't be a romantic one!"  He said "It's not!"  I let him tell it to me, but a little worried.  It was some poem about holding your head high or something.  Really nice.  Then he tells me "I'll tell you romantic poems later."  I rolled my eyes and asked him if he would come to my wedding in Utah, he said of course!  Then he told us "I have a factory of men for you!"  Me and Sister Ferre never cease to laugh with Lorenzo!  That lesson was also particularly hilarious because Sister Ferre had these stick on mustaches, so we decided to surprise Lorenzo.  We wore them and when he saw us he got these huge eyes and then started laughing really hard.  It was adorable!  Then he wanted us to kiss him, he kept saying "Give me a little kiss!"  And would pucker his lips.  I could not breathe I was laughing so hard!  Then he wanted a stick on mustache.  So he put it on top of his real one, and tried to wear it through the whole lesson.  Oh how I love that man.  He's so worried about being righteous and following Christ, I have no doubt that he was prepared to hear the gospel at this time.  I'm so grateful to be an instrument for the Spirit to teach him! We will show up to his house and find him at the table reading the Gospel Principles manual, or he'll pull out chapters about baptism from the Book of Mormon.

Lorenzo came to Stake Conference yesterday too!  Our only investigator that did!  It was a regional conference so we watched a broadcast from Salt Lake where President Uchtodorf and Elder Christoffersen spoke.  Lorenzo thought it was pretty great to listen to apostles.  

Something about Sister Ferre gets our investigators to open up. Last night we went to teach Selene, Cristian, and Yahir.  We were going to teach about baptism and set a new date with them, but we hadn't gotten five minutes into the lesson when Selene interrupted us and asked if we could help her with a problem she's having with Cristian.  Apparently he has a hard time loving one of his aunts and hates that his mom helps her so much, because she's done things in the past that Crisitan saw and doesn't think she deserves it.  The aunt is Liliana, and so we know and Selene knows that she needs help because she's not all there, but the boys don't get that.  We changed our lesson and talked about loving everybody even when they hurt us.  Cristian is 12 and he started to cry as he told us that he doesn't want to feel that way about his aunt, but he does, and he doesn't know what to do about it.  That's the first time I've cried in a lesson when I saw him cry!  

We told Cristian he has to serve Liliana, and then good feelings will come.  We also taught him to pray for himself, to have better feelings and that when he prays for Liliana, he'll grow to love her again.  He said he would try it, and his mom told him she'd pray for him too.  It was so neat to see that Selene trusts us and knows we're there to help her family.  Another really cool thing is Selene told Cristian "You don't want to go to the final judgement and...." Cristian interrupted and said "What's that?  Oh yeah the thing where I go to one of the 3 kingdoms!"  Selene continued by saying we want to know we did good things when it comes to judgement day.  But I was shocked as I realized this family not only believed the Plan of Salvation, it was now their basic knowledge of what happens after this life!  The rewards of missionary work are great :)

We  taught Leticia one night.  We didn't plan on teaching her that night, but we sat down and talked to her about overcoming her word of wisdom problem.  She told us she gets anxiety without it, and so one smoke really calms her down.  We were able to talk about prayer and how prayer can pull us through and God can take that anxiety away better than a smoke.  We'll see how she does this week.

A new investigator we've started teaching is Ruben.  Well, he told us he got baptized 40 years ago in Mexico, but we still need to find his records.  Last week we tried to talk to him about Alma 32 and the "faith is a little seed" analogy.  I asked him how he nourishes his seed of faith and he started talking about gardening and 20 minutes later ended with some comment about communism.  We've got another Lorenzo!  This one's in English though so Sister Ferre is able to understand how frustrating run-on investigators can be!  Ruben's super nice and open to learning again though, it's just a trick to find him at home.  He also told us that if there's ever service in the church that needs done, he'd love to help.  We're brainstorming an English class, and told him maybe he could help us teach!  We'll see....

We have had a couple of really funny TTI's this week!  That's what we call street contacting because we "teach, testify, and invite."  One group of 4 teenage girls stopped us on the street and immediately wanted to follow us on Instagram and Facebook.  It was hilarious!  They all want to come to Sports night with us and took a picture in mustaches with us.  We left them Finding Faith in Christ pass along cards and took their names and numbers with us to send missionaries to teach them :)  

  By the way don't worry about our safety.  We can definitely feel when we shouldn't be in certain areas and when it's ok.  The area we were in was right by Selene, Xochitl, Liliana, Leticia, and a complex with 2 member families and 3 other former investigators.  We have plenty of safe places on that road!

Halloween Temple trip

Halloween was super great. We weekly planned for 3.5 hours, studied for 3 hours, then went to the temple!  The Mesa temple invited all the missionaries within the boundaries of the temple district to come that night.  Sitting in the celestial room with 50-60 missionaries is pretty dang neat!  Also when the session is full of missionaries and then they pray for the missionaries, oh man, the Spirit was so strong!  A member who was a temple worker there that night spoke in Stake Conference and shared how strong the Spirit was throughout the entire temple that night.  After the temple we went to Cafe Rio to top off the night :)

Well that is my week in a nutshell, I hope you all can see through my words how hilarious, crazy, and unfathomably rewarding missionary work is.  Also, It's like 65 degrees so I'm enjoying my bike SO much!

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

Hermana Short