Monday, January 26, 2015

I'm a Changed Woman!

Familia Mia,

You will never believe what happened to me this week.  Sister Clark and I were having our companionship inventory and one of the points is to tell each other your strong points.  In all seriousness, I'm not even lying, Sister Clark told me my strong point was talking to people.  I laughed and told her she was crazy, but she was dead serious!  Me, the one who hates talking to the cashier at fast food restaurants, has developed the ability to talk to people.  Missions do bring miracles!

Saying goodbye to Hermana Jackson at Transfers

Did you love the pictures of me in my soccer mom van?  I'm quite proud of it...sometimes I let Sister Clark drive it, but I don't feel as cool in the passenger seat.  When we drive home from sports night we roll the windows down and play Mormon Tabernacle Choir loud....the people on the streets need the spirit too!  This week we filled up the van for 1.75 a gallon!!  That's half of what I used to pay for the Honda!  I'm going to store some gas in my suitcase and bring it home :)

This week has been a roller-coaster ride, hopefully I can remember all the good and challenging moments!

First Xochitl and Daniel.  We call Xochitl our Eternigator because she seems to be an eternal investigator, but I'm hoping things are going to speed up here soon because she really enjoys church and is making friends with the other Sisters in the branch so we are hoping they will help her progression.  She only got 3 hours of sleep Saturday night, but came to all 3 hours of church on Sunday!  She also was talking to Concepcion at church and they were asking each other if they've been baptized yet...hopefully we can get Xochitl to Concepcions baptism next Saturday the 7th!  I love those ladies :)

Concepcion is still progressing rapidly and perfectly.   We went in this week with the plan to teach her about keeping the Sabbath Day holy.  Before we even said anything, she told us she got a new job where she will work FridaySaturday, and Sunday nights.  We didn't say anything, we just went through the 10 commandments as part of our plan and then focused more on how to keep the Sabbath Day Holy.  She looked at us and said "Ok, I'm going to tell my boss I can't work Sundays."  She is so amazing...she doesn't even have to be asked or encouraged, she just hears a commandment and takes steps to follow it!  She broke up with her boyfriend right after the chastity lesson because she didn't like "ugly" things he would say to her.  It's been awesome for her family to be so supportive too.  First her daughter Didi, (who Concepcion now pushes to go to church in Mexico every week) then her mom Delfina.  Her mom leaves today or tomorrow and then Concepcion will be left with her inactive son, who might actually be showing signs of openness.  She invites him to church, and he says one more sentence to us each time we come over :)  He can probably see the happy change in his mom....

Concepcion and her mother, Delfina.

 Ernie and Jairo are getting there...well Jairo at least.  We taught him Wednesday night I believe and we decided to talk about his baptism date to see if it is still something he wants to work towards.  It's February 7 and we didn't know if he'd feel ready.  He was pretty gung-ho about it, but I personally don't think he's quite there.  He still doesn't know/believe this is the only true church, but he likes it!  He came again yesterday, but I'm almost positive he went to his Christian church the night before. I think he just goes because he likes Christian rock music and he plays the drums there.  We are going to talk to him tonight.  They are such good guys though...and not just because we are sisters!  I don't want another Lorenzo situation.  On Thursday our dinner appointment cancelled so there were going to be 7 starving missionaries that day.  (We have food at  home, but it's not as good.)  So Sister Clark and I got put in charge of finding someone to feed us, and we texted Ernie and Jairo.  They fed all 7 of us steaks, an Olive-garden-like salad, garlic bread, and then pie and ice cream for dessert.  It was delicious!  They came to sports night and then took the Elders home and bought them Panda on the way. Now if we could get their love for the doctrine as deep for their love of the church social life.  Ernie is progressing slower mainly because he can't get work off to come to church.  He's asked his boss so now we're all praying and trying to see what God can do.  His restaurant will be packed for the Super Bowl though so he's guaranteed another Sunday at work. day!

Oh, funny story about that dinner.  Sister Clark and I were sharing the message, and we were teaching out of  Luke 10 where Christ is talking to Mary and Martha.  Mary is listening to Christ, and Martha is worrying about getting the house clean.  The point is that we want to be more like Mary and worry more about what Christ has to say, then anything else we have to do.  Before explaining the story though we asked "Which one of you wants to be Mary, and which one Martha?"  Ernie responded "Well...I've had bad luck with Marthas."  The 6 of us were dying laughing.  That message ended up having a pretty big impact on them though.  They both sorrowfully admitted they are more like Martha, but they want to be like Mary.  Don't we all?

Octavio, Octavio, Octavio.  We texted him on Saturday morning and asked if we could pass by that night.  He responded in the negative and told us he and Nereyda had decided to get separated.  WHAT?!?!  Sick to our stomachs, Sister Clark and I started flipping out.  We decided to go visit Nereyda while Octavio was at work.  She didn't say anything about it for a while and then told us Octavio was mad and told her to leave but she just laughed.  We didn't push it further, and decided to call Octavio that night to see if he was still coming to church.  He told us yes, and that he talked to Nereyda and they calmed down.  We were so mad...don't text us scary things like that if you're not serious!!  Needless to say we took Hermana and Hermano Guerrero with us last night to see them and asked them to give some marriage advice since we can't.  They are the ones getting sealed on Saturday and they were so perfect in the lesson!  Octavio and Nereyda told them their problems very openly.  To our terrible amusement, Octavio's biggest problem is beans.  That's right-- I said beans.  He wants his wife to make him beans, but she says she doesn't have time to make him all natural beans the way he likes them.  What in the world?? Sometimes I could shake those two!  They felt better after an hour of counseling and we are having a family home evening in the Guerrero home this Tuesday.  Atleast they're progressing in the gospel.  They haven't missed a week of church in a while, Octavio received the priesthood yesterday, and they're going to start doing weekly family home evenings.  I'm determined to see them in the temple in a year!

Octavio, Nereyda & family

Oh also, a couple months ago the missionaries found out that Octavio's parents live nearby.  He gave Sister Clark and Sister Baros vague directions on how to get there.  I believe it was like "Cambridge street, 3 houses from the stop sign."  When Sister Clark and I asked for more specific directions so we could contact them, he told us not to go over because they are hard headed catholics.  Also he refused to tell them he was getting baptized.  Grr.  Well last week when he wasn't home, we got directions from Nereyda :)  We went to contact them on Saturday and kind of guessed on which house it was, but when the man opened the door we just stood there in shock.  His dad is the older clone of Octavio, and they have the same voice!  He and his wife let us in, talked to us for a while, asked us about our beliefs and invited us back whenever we wanted!  We have an appointment with them for Wednesday.  We called to tell Octavio and he was shocked, but seemed pretty excited :)  When asked on how we found them, we reminded him of the directions he gave us....haha we didn't bring in Nereyda's help :)

Speaking of the Guerrero's, we get to attend their sealing this Saturday!  We're super excited especially since we've been dying to see the Gilbert temple.  It's all anyone talks about.  They are an older couple...ok probably not that old to some of you...probably early 50's.  He has a few kids from a previous marriage, but they're all grown, and I believe the wife passed away.  They got married a couple years ago and are both super great tools in our branch.  We are incredibly excited to be there with them!

Yesterday a hermano shared an analogy in sacrament meeting that I thought was really neat.  I'm going to try to explain it in English :)  So there was a rancher in Mexico who lost one of his horses.  He looked all over, all day, for that horse.  When night came he was about to give up, but remembered a dried-up pond, with a hole nearby that the horse probably fell into.  He decided to see if the horse was there.  Sure enough, he found the horse in the hole, still alive, but impossible to rescue.  The next day he decided to call his neighbors to help him bury the horse and put it out of its misery.  But every shovelful of dirt they threw on the horse, the horse shook it off.  Pretty soon there was a good sized pile the horse was standing on.  They kept shoveling dirt, the horse kept standing on top of it, shaking off the dirt, till eventually the horse was high enough to climb out.  Sometimes personally we get stuck in a hole, and it feels like more and more tasks and expectations get piled on.  But it is these things that we think will kill us, that actually bring us up, and save us.  Ay it sounds better in Spanish, but I still love the point :)  

And on that note, I'll end my letter this week.  More exciting things to come I'm sure :)  I love you so so much and I miss you all.  

I love you, I Love You, I LOVE YOU

Missing these roomies!!
Hermana Short
No mom, I didn't wear this out in public... but I thought
about it. :)

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