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

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