Monday, December 1, 2014

Feliz dia de la accion de gracias!

Aloha Family!

I forgot my planner on my desk today so hopefully I can remember everything I need to write without looking at my notes!  

First, we will start with Thanksgiving!  In the morning we began our studies as usual and then got a call from Sister Baros and Clark to go do some service!  We went to a youth shelter and helped clean up the center after their Thanksgiving lunch.  It was really sad to see the kids that were there, but it was neat to be able to help the organization and have them ask us to come back. 

     After that service activity we went to a park and played football with a few members and a whole lot of missionaries!  It was supposed to be flag football I think, but the Elders took advantage of their chance to tackle each other.  It was really fun to go out and play in the sun and do a "normal people" thing!  After football we went to the Curay's home for dinner.  She wanted to serve all 8 of us missionaries, but for some reason the Elders chose not to come, so we sisters ate with her and 3 of her friend's families.  I LOVE the Curay's; however, I don't love their food.  They made cow soup (basically every part of a cow in a greasy soup), green beans, mashed potatoes, and sweet potatoes.  They also had some turkey and chicken.  I just ate 5 bites of chicken for Thanksgiving dinner :p  It was really sad, but it's my own fault for being so picky!!  After dinner they had fruit/cream salad....not even pie!  Needless to say I was feeling pretty homesick after dinner on Thursday :/  But then!  The six of us sisters in our branch went to a rehab center and Christmas caroled for an hour :)  My homesickness disappeared so fast when I realized how good I have it, and that this Thanksgiving is not about me, or my traditions.  It's about serving and lifting others!  A couple of the people we sang to cried, most of them wouldn't let us leave with just one song.  In fact, one lady named Grace made us sing 6 songs!  Every time we finished she'd come up with an excuse for why we had to sing another one!  Carl (my quadriplegic friend from my adventures with Sister Grooms) lives there and he followed us around in his wheelchair listening at every door :)  Some of the residents would stop us in the hallway and tell us their favorite song so we would sing it.  It felt so good to bring so many smiles to people's faces!  My Thanksgiving ended well :)  It really was a great day, it was just the dinner that I struggled with.  Next time I'm bringing my own rolls!

Because Heavenly Father loves me and he saw my sacrifice.....(ha ha) our dinner on Friday made up for our previous dinner 3-fold!  Hermano Guerra made us racks of ribs, vegetable stir-fry, ROLLS, and watermelon.  We all ate SO much!  I think I had 6 ribs, 2 helpings of delicious stir-fry, and 6 rolls :)  The bad thing, is I've been craving ribs ever since :)

We had our last lesson with Julio on Monday and now he's in Bolivia :(  He told us he wants to have Skye lessons though, and that he's super excited to go to church in Bolivia, so hopefully we can talk to him soon!  We just have to get permission first. 

We met with Lorenzo this week and talked about continuing to keep the commandments after baptism.  He was supposed to have his priesthood interview yesterday, but President Alvorado got busy after church and it didn't happen :/  He did bring his granddaughters to church though!  And they stayed entertained with my plan of salvation kit, and notebook paper through all of sacrament again!  They stress Lorenzo out and he doesn't want to bring them when they misbehave, so we have to be prepared weekly to keep them quiet!  I have no idea why Yazury doesn't come with her family, she promised she would!  We have to get to the bottom of that this week, it's just so hard when Lorenzo's always there and wants to dominate the conversation.  Lorenzo this week threatened to cry if I get transferred, we are worried about how attached he is to us....we may have to have some lessons with Elders and all other lessons with members so he can transition from missionaries to ward members.  The one thing we don't want to happen is that he becomes inactive like his daughter.  Members are going to be key in avoiding that!

Speaking of members we had a really great member present lesson last night.  Hermana Nelly Gallegos came with us to teach Selene and her boys.  At first it was really awkward and I could tell Selene didn't feel to great about us bringing in a stranger.  (Yes we told her we were bringing someone :)  However by the end of the lesson they were really good friends!  We set a family plan with Selene and the boys.  We set small reading and praying goals for the week, and a church attendance goal for December.  Then I made them sign their goal sheet!  Of course Selene brought up all her excuses to not attend church, but Hermana Nelly shut them down!  Hermana Nelly's husband is inactive and so she takes her kids to church by herself every week.  She talked about how she too went inactive for awhile, but how she came back because she knew she needed it, and more importantly she knew how much her kids needed it.  It was awesome for Selene to see a "real-world" example.  Now we have something to hold them too :)

We also set a family plan with Xochitl this week.  She is my favorite investigator :)  Don't tell the others!  She has such a huge desire to do what's right, she just takes a good push sometimes.  We checked up on her last night and she said she's prayed, read, and they tried to come to church!  Unfortunately they lost our number, and they were looking for the church on the wrong street :(  So after wandering around for a while and running out of gas they went back home.  Xochitl hadn't been to the new building yet, and Daniel said he knew.  Don't trust a 10 year old for your map!  One neat thing that Xochitl told us this week was that she keeps listening to us because it feels good.  She hasn't gotten an answer about baptism yet, but she feels good about the church.  In her words (translated into English) she said "I feel like that song you all sing in church "There is sunshine in my soul"  Aww it was so sweet :)  We asked her what her long term goal is for her family.  We were hoping for Celestial Kingdom.  Instead she said "I want us all to be able to go to church together."  That was huge!  She's told us over and over again that her husband wants nothing to do with it, but now we see that she wants him to be a part of it.  She knows this is what her family needs :)

We taught Julio's roommates Ernie and Jairo this week.  After a lesson on the plan of salvation and talking about being baptized by proper authority, they are both on date to be baptized February 7th!! :)  Ernie served a Christian mission in Mexico when he was younger, and Jairo went to Bible school, so we were a little worried telling them they needed to be baptized again, but they accepted it really well!  Jairo kept his commitment to read the intro to the Book of Mormon, and they both committed to come to church next week :)

Ruben Mada didn't do his reading for the first time this week, but he still loves learning about the gospel.  He says he's too busy this week to help with the English class, so we are going to bring members to him because he needs fellowship!

We got a new investigator named Jesus this week.  That looks weird when I type it :)  He contacted us on the street actually and asked us to come over.  I got his address mixed up though and sent him as a referral.  All week though I felt like that was wrong, and somehow he was in our area.  One day I realized I probably had been thinking the wrong direction so I tried a different address, and sure enough he opens the door and tells us to come back in an hour!  We taught him the restoration to which he responded really well :)  He told us he's a catholic, but he's not happy right now.  His wife just left him and he says he doesn't know why :(  He wanted to learn our points of views and doctrine.  Yay for new investigators!

I got 4 packages this week!!! It was so great!!  Thank you so much mom and dad!  Our apartment is now looking and smelling a lot like Christmas :)  I especially love our tiny Christmas tree :)  My winter clothes are much appreciated!  I didn't have to take anything back and I've worn half of them all ready :) 

 Andrea's little surprise caught me completely off guard!  Some random guy knocks on the door and says he has a package for me and he's not a delivery guy so I'm wondering how he knows me!  Then he showed me a picture of Andrea and I realized the guy looked a whole lot like Jeff!  I peeked out my window, and I think I saw Annie waving at me from the car.  It made me so happy though!  I'm really glad she didn't show up at my door, I probably would have just stood there and....I don't even know.  Thanks for following the rules :)  

Thank you Aunt Annie & family!!!

Saturday our branch had another baptism that we attended for Sister Martinez's investigator Oscar.  On the way to the baptism Sister Martinez announced that Sister Mortensen was back in town for the baptism!  I just about peed my pants I was so excited!  It was so good to see her again, I don't know who was more excited, the members or the missionaries.  She told me she's going to SUU and we are going to be roommates one day :)  

Sister Mortensen returns

This week we will be at the temple all night Wednesday and Sunday.  We are really excited, but kind of bummed because we will miss the Christmas devotional :/  I'm extra excited because I've been told I get to drive to Mesa :)  

Well I think that's all, or it's all I can remember :)  I'll include anything I forgot in my letter home :)  I love you family!  Happy December!

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

Hermana Short

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