Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Peace Before the Storm

Dearest Family,

I told Sister Ferre this week that I feel like the first 4 months of my mission were kind of rough, then the Lord gave me a break and gave me the transfer with Sister Ferre.  Then he said, "Ok, you've had your run hard and fast!"  This transfer is going to be quite crazy!

Saying Goodbye to Hermana Ferre
President gave me and Sister Ferre a couple small hints this week to prepare us for the inevitable...we got separated!  We were both super sad, but I'm excited for her at the same time.  She is now serving in one of the mountain zones with Sister Wheelwright whom I adore!  It's Sister Wheelwright's last transfer so Sister Ferre will take over that area once she was sad to let her go...but I felt good knowing she was going with one of my mission idols. 

I got the call Saturday afternoon letting me know that I am now companions with Sister Clark from Washington,  we would be combining the areas in our branch, and that I'd be serving as a Sister Training Leader.   AGHHH!   I moved all my stuff to their apartment which is a different complex....about a mile down the street.  Now we are trying to figure out how to balance two completely different areas and merge them into one.  Right now we still have 2 area books, 2 cell phones, and probably 20 people from each area that we want to focus on.  Then add on exchanges with Sisters twice a week, Mesa Temple lights once a week, and extra leadership meetings.  I feel like my responsibilities keep going around my head like a carousel, and sometimes I stress out, other times I try to forget about it.  Nevertheless,  at least I won't have time to think about being homesick!  I won't have time for anything!  

Sister Clark is awesome....we all ready had to talk about unity in teaching, because she'll just take over the entire thing if I let her.  I'm excited to learn from her and she laughs with me all the time which makes it easy to be light-hearted and not let myself get down or too stressed out.   We'll see how time with her goes...I'm guessing it will only be one transfer.  She only has 2 left, and I doubt they'll keep me here that long!  We will see though.  Oh and Sister Clark is from Spokane, Washington, she's 21, she's an identical twin, and loves to chew ice.  Ha ha

My new companion... Hermana Clark

I think we are going to have to give Lorenzo to the Elders.   We need him to love the gospel and going to church because he knows it's right and he needs it, not because he loves the missionaries.  It's really hard for me to do this, but it's not about me and I'm just grateful for the opportunity I did have to teach him.  We were able to teach him about family history this week and we have a member that is going to work with him on it.  He seems excited about being able to find his ancestors....he says they are Jewish and Armanian?  We'll see.  :)  I'm pretty sure he's going to have a lot of Mexican ancestors in there!

We heard from Julio this week!  Sister Ferre and I were teaching his roommates Jairo and Ernie one night outside when Julio called Ernie.  He let me talk to him on his phone and I got the best news ever....Julio found and went to the church in his town in Bolivia!!!  Now that is a solid convert :)  I can't wait for him to come back!

Jairo and Ernie are hilarious characters.  They feed us every single time we go over.  Jairo loves music and when he found out I played piano, we showed up for our next lesson and he had a keyboard pulled outside so I would play!  We showed them the "He is the Gift" video that night and Jairo loved it.  Ernie was distracted by something else, but I could tell by the end that he was feeling the Spirit.  After the video we transitioned into the principles of the gospel and they both listened and accepted our message intently. As usual we were teaching with the pamphlets and asking them what they see in the picture.  There's pictures of Christ healing people with faith, Christ getting baptized, and then we turn to the picture of men confirming someone.  Before we can even say, "What do you see here?"  Jairo says in broken English."I don't see the Holy Ghost there!" Oh Jairo.... On Monday we taught them the Word of Wisdom and I challenged them to try going 3 days without coffee.  They said they would do it if I ate a salad every day for those 3 days.  Not cool!  The things I will do for investigators....That lesson ended on great note though.  They wanted Sister Ferre to say the closing prayer because she's leaving.  Sweet loving Sister Ferre was trying so hard to say this sincere, heartfelt prayer and was doing an amazing job!  Then I hear this, "Gracias padre por la tenedor de Navidad."  HAHAHAHAHA I started laughing so hard!  She was trying to say "Thank you for the Christmas season," but instead said, "Thank you Father, for the Christmas Fork."  Ernie's face was super confused....then he told me to stop laughing at her.  Sister Ferre gasps and says "Oh!  That's fork!"  Now I'm almost falling out of my chair laughing!  She quickly ends the prayer and I tried to start breathing again.  All 4 of us got a good laugh that night, and now Sister Ferre is expecting us to send her Christmas Fork's in the mail :)  

Biking at night
 I saw one of the biggest miracles and answers to prayers this week!  Rocio returned!!!!!!!!!  I was sitting at our Relief Society dinner on Saturday night, playing Christmas hymns on the piano when Sister Baros comes over and says, "Did you know Rocio is here?"  I left the piano in the middle of the song, ran into the kitchen and Rocio says "Hi!"  I practically tackled her :)  She doesn't like hugs, but I gave her a big one!  She patted my back and said "It's ok!"  She said she didn't want to talk about where she'd been, or what she'd been doing, but she broke up with her Boyfriend who is now in jail, and she's moved back in with her mom, and we can start teaching her again.  She also said she wants to get her tattooes removed :)  She stubbornly told me she was not going to church again though.  The next day, when she walked into Relief Society, I just grinned!  Heavenly Father doesn't always answer our prayers in the way we'd expect, but I feel strongly that this was the only way Rocio would get it through her head that her boyfriend was not right for her or her daughter.  I love that girl so much!

Kevin the peacock! (Someone needs to tell Adyson that Kevin is a she)

The Relief Society party was really fun.  I got to eat Honey Baked Ham!!!  And rolls!!  But that's not the best part....they played the Christmas radio station in the background :)  It may have been apostate, but all of us Hermanas just sat there and grinned for an hour while we listened to our beloved Christmas songs!  I may have even danced a little....dang...I need to repent.  :)

This week I finished the Book of Mormon in English and Spanish!! I've been reading them both at the same speed so I could understand everything and begin marking up my Spanish Scriptures.  By the end of this year I will have finished the Book of Mormon 3 times on my mission!  I'm in Alma 42 of English right now, when I finish I'll begin in Spanish again!

Serving on the grounds of the Mesa Temple is a neat experience.  I've been twice now, and basically I feel like we are there to take pictures for people, but sometimes they let us talk to them!  Usually...especially, if they're members....they say "hi" and walk away quickly because they're afraid we'll ask for referrals.  Don't do that if you go to Salt Lake!  Always talk to the missionaries....and if you can...try to give them serious referrals.  We live for member referrals!  When we first get there at 5pm it's my favorite time.  It's just dark enough to see the lights, but the crowd hasn't gotten there yet.  It's gorgeous and peaceful and I just want to sit there and absorb it :)  We will definitely have to go together after my mission!  

Mesa Temple lights
This week at church we had Xochitl and Daniel, Lorenzo and his granddaughters, Jairo, and Rocio.  Sister Curay bore her testimony about how the gospel changes people and how it changed her husband from an alcoholic to a ward mission leader.  Xochitl made a comment about how she'll keep coming so one day her husband will change too!  He's not an alcoholic, but she and I both know he could use a softer heart. 

The Dunn family sent me and Sister Ferre an amazing Christmas package this week!  We got socks, donuts, more treats, a Christmas blanket, and decorations!  It was so fun to unwrap presents :)  She said we could!  There's only one that we can't unwrap til Christmas!  Me and Sister Ferre are going to take pictures with our mystery present on Christmas and send it to each other :)  We wore our Christmas socks to play basketball on sports night...they were a hit!

Thank you Dunn Family!  DeAnn, Ben and kids!!
I also got a really nice letter from Stephanie and Phil with a gift card to Wal Mart!  That was really nice, and I loved reading their family updates :)  I LOVE FAMILY UPDATES.  Hint Hint :)

I've gotten to drive the soccer mom van all around town!  We had to go cold-weather shopping for Sister Ferre one day with special permission, I drove us to Mesa, and now I drive the van on P-days...I love it!  

Me and the Elders of our zone...or most of them. The whole zone was supposed to be in it, but the Sisters were all still fixing the timers, as you can see, the Elders thought it was hilarious!

 Well family I think that is it for this week, or at least those were my high lights!  
Have a great week!  I love you all so much, and thank you for praying for me....I'm going to need them this month!

I love you, I Love You, I LOVE YOU
Hermana Short

Sister Martinez, Sister Tenney eating lunch with Hermana Ferre and I at Salsitas

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