Monday, February 16, 2015

Another Week in Paradise!

Buenas!!!!  (That's what we yell through people's doors :)

This morning was quite an adventure.  My cold has peaked, so I'm congested, have a terrible cough, and the occasional headache.  We hiked Squaw Peak at 5 am, I twisted my foot somehow on the way down and it kills to walk.  THEN!  I fell in my apartment somehow and I have a nice gash on my back.  I think my weak knees from hiking just gave out.  I'm a walking klutz today and it's not even 1 o'clock!

 I'll try to push past my misery and remember all the juicy details from this week :)

First of all, Squaw Peak this morning was crazy because we had to hike in darkness!!  Luckily, I could hear my Scout Master dad telling me to take a flashlight, so I could see a little bit, but even when we got to the top we still had to wait 30 minutes before the sun finally came up.  It was really pretty to watch, but I don't know if it was worth the pain :)  I can just hear Grammy now, "Were you walking sideways down the mountain? Because that's the safest way!"  No, I wasn't :p  And I was going too fast :)

Our recent converts are doing amazing this week!  Concepcion is probably the most converted one right now and it still amazes me to see her.  She was confirmed last week in church and this week she gave a talk!  It was more like her testimony, but it was neat and she did a great job :)  Yesterday was her birthday so we took her a framed picture of her baptism, a new set of scriptures, and a card.  She loved it :)  Her sister was there when we went by, but she's not ready to listen to us yet :p  Concepcion did help teach a lesson to Octavio's parents though this week!  She bore a strong testimony and was a great source of help!  

Driving Hermana Toledo to a lesson

Jairo is also doing really well.  While I was on exchanges Tuesday, Sister Clark and Noorda had to go meet 4 Mexicans at a park that they didn't know.  The ASL Elders set it up.  Sister Clark was nervous so she called Jairo and Ernie and they went and played body guard.  Apparently the guys didn't show up, and they had a good lesson with Jairo and Ernie :)  Jairo came to church again yesterday, and we wanted him to have his priesthood interview, but he showed up late :/  Hopefully next week!  

Octavio has set his own goal to read 2 pages in the Book of Mormon each night and so far he is doing really well!  We went and saw them on Valentines night and they were getting along great!  It was nice for us because they are the one couple who would let us in on Valentines!  We wish they would go on a date with each other, but all things come slowly. However, they did come to the branch Valentines party Friday night and enjoyed themselves!  Octavio even tried to dress up :)   The best was earlier last week when he let us wash his baby :)  No, not the real baby, his car!  It's a vintage Crown Victoria and he hardly ever drives it.  It just sits there, but he likes to wash it.  After a little persistence he let us wash it this week and he was hilariously detailed.  When we thought we had it all dried he came to look at it and found all sorts of water!  After that we were very particular :)  

Friday's Valentines party was quite the ordeal.  You see, the members in charge of it could have their own Novela (Latino Soap Opera).  First they said no kids, then they said they'd provide a nursery, then they were going to charge for the nursery, then they said no kids and hung up a sign about it, then everyone had to wear a ball gown and suit, the missionaries couldn't bring investigators, then we could, but we had to tell him who...blah blah blah, we were not happy!!  So many people didn't come because they didn't have a babysitter or nice clothes.  The attendance was really poor.  We even got chewed out at one point because we didn't tell him who we were bringing.  (How are we supposed to know?  We invited all of Phoenix!)  The Branch President came and saved the day for us, but that wasn't the end.  Some member families brought their kids anyway.  Obviously this made the members in charge very unhappy and caused drama across the tables.....the worst part was the chocolate fountain wouldn't work :(  On a better note, Concepcion came all dressed up and more modest than some members and loved the party!!  

Elders in our Spanish Branch

Lesson learned.  We invite families to parties!  In this part of town, families are very poor, and church parties should not cost or cause them hassle.  Grrrr.. sometimes we have to humble ourselves and let the branch leaders handle thing, but the 6 of us want to make the calls most of the time :)

Yesterday was a good day at church :)  Xochitl came for 2 of the 3 hours even though she was sick, and she brought 2 kids!!  Daniel finally turned off the TV and came with her, and then he brought in his 6 year old brother by the hand :)  Junior doesn't speak very much English, but he sat right down in his primary class and waved goodbye to us!  Next time she's going to try her nursery age son too, but he's a handful so I don't have much hope for him!  I'm glad she's trying though :)  Xochitl's going through relationship problems right now, so a wedding isn't in the plans as of yet.  We'll find out this week if they're going to separate or stick together.  She does have a baptism date for March 21 though....hopefully everything can get sorted out before then!  This is one of those things we as missionaries can't control and it's so sad and frustrating, but everything happens in the Lord's time and the Lord's way so we'll keep waiting.

Hermana Wheelwright came back to visit!
We had a lesson with her this week and we invited a member that has a situation similar to hers.  The member is married, but her husband doesn't go to church, and I think this really helped Xochitl see that it's ok to do this without her "husband."  Two of the members kids are on missions, and her other 2 go to church with her this week, and all Xochitl wants is for her kids to grow up and be good people and to see the example of the member's children was really good for her.  In the lesson Xochitl told our member that when she met us she never ever thought she'd get baptized and her husband told her to quit wasting our time, but something intrigued Xochitl, and curiosity turned into faith, and faith has turned into action.  All it takes some time is some honest doubts and questions :)  

Last night we saw Octavio's parents again.  They really do listen to us, but they're going to take some work :)  When you're teaching older people who were raised catholic, it's like convincing them that 2+2=5.  They just think it's impossible to change.  They don't go to church, don't read the bible, don't do anything really!  They're just "catholic."  With the help of Octavio and Nereyda though, they can be taught :)  

This week we are getting the dreaded TIWI's in our cars.  They basically judge our driving :p  Sister Clark and I have two exchanges this week and on Wednesday we have to go to two different zone meetings and give 3 trainings.  Ay ay ay!

Our mission has set new "Standards of Excellence" which is basically what we should be achieving weekly.  Each companionship can and should have 3 progressing investigators, and 3 with baptismal dates.  Sister Clark and I have 2 and 2 right now and we're desperate to find more!  All of our super investigators are baptized and we are back looking for people who are prepared.  Luckily our members have been starting to give us referrals so hopefully those all work out!  Whoop whoop members!! 

Well that's all I can juice out of my brain right now :)  Time for some more Wal-Mart cold pills!  I love you so much!!  Thank you for the package, and letters!  Karsyn....don't make me come get you.  Jensyn, your sweethearts pictures were gorgeous!!  

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

Hermana Short
Thanks Dad for the silly string!! :)

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