Monday, March 30, 2015

Surprise!

Family, Familia, Ohana,

You'll never believe what's happening this week.  I can hardly believe it!!!  It goes a long with a story though....

Last Tuesday, we were teaching Xochitl and Daniel about service and missionary work.  Before we got started though, I asked Xochitl if there was any progress with her "husband."  This is basically what she said, "No, not yet.  But I've decided Daniel shouldn't have to wait on me, I want him to get baptized!"  I'm sure you can imagine how fast my jaw dropped to the floor!!!  Sister Pierson, Daniel, and I just stared at her in shock!!  She said, "I wanted to do this together, but I've changed my mind and Daniel will go first, then me later."  She hadn't told Daniel yet, and he just kept staring at her smiling :)  I said "Ok, as soon as possible?"  She said "Sure!"  So 3 days later on Friday afternoon she brought Daniel to the church for his baptismal interview, he passed, and now he's getting baptized in 5 days!!!!!!  9 months ago, when I first taught Daniel, we wondered if his mom would ever let him get baptized, and here we are now, listening to her tell us that this is what she wants!  Elder Johnson interviewed Daniel for baptism and he said he just smiled the entire time, and tried not to laugh because of the adorable answers Daniel was giving :)  At one point Daniel told him "I've done a lot of bad things in my life, and I've repented for them!"  He told him that we follow the prophet because he will never lie to us, and he remembered what chastity, the word of wisdom, Sabbath day, and tithing all meant!  Elder Johnson was pretty impressed.  Then Daniel ended the interview with a long prayer in which he asked Heavenly Father, "Please help my brothers not trash the house more than they all ready have!"  I never get sick of Daniel's prayers :)  

I have been waiting 9 months for this boy to be baptized!


Saturday evening was the Spanish session of the Easter Pageant and Daniel and Xochitl were able to go with us!  They both loved it, Daniel especially loved the live sheep.  Xochitl had to go to work 2 hours late after the pageant and therefore got home really late, but she still made it to church on Sunday.  Although we were pretty disappointed when she walked in without Daniel!  She made him stay home and clean his room!  Luckily I think she felt bad about it later, and it won't happen again.  She also got to church during the second hour, rather than the first.  However, I think 3 different people spoke about the importance of all 3 hours of church and how the people who only come for 2 aren't being blessed as much as they could be.  I was glad to see her nodding her head :)  


Easter Pageant with our Camelback Branch


Lorenzo and his 3 granddaughters also came with us to the pageant.  Those 3 girls though....yikes.  They were running up and down the aisle, wrestling each other, chasing each other, tackling each other, etc.   At one point Yukey looked back at me, I gave her "the stare" and she got her sisters to calm down for 3 minutes....then they were off again.  I just gave up!  I think Lorenzo liked it though!  He came to church without bringing anybody this week!!!!  I can't be too mad though because he finally received the priesthood yesterday, and he needed to be there on time.  I called Lupita and she said a friend would bring her and Yasury, but they never showed up.  We are going to have to drop Lupita this week :/  When she starts coming to church, we can start teaching her again.  Maybe we can still do lunch at McDonald's though :)  This week was interesting.....

We show up at the McDonald's and there are 5 people sitting at this table with Lupita.  I think between the five of them, they had 20 teeth :)  That might be a small exaggeration, but this group was interesting to say the least!  One of the guys sells stolen electronics, one wore her Jesus on a cross necklace and had sunglasses on the entire time, one I think has a crush on us because Lupita kept telling us that he wants to invite us to lunch with him, and the other two were pretty quiet.  I don't know what Lupita was talking about, but no one was begging us to get baptized!  We didn't even get addresses for them!  One of the ladies said she would come with Lupita to church on Sunday, but by the way she said it, we weren't surprised when she didn't come.  Poor Lupita was just trying to help her friends, but since she's blind I don't think she can see the expressions on their faces :(  The one friend with only a few teeth was named Ana and she wouldn't speak Spanish with us.  She told us that God talked to her in her room and told her that all of the churches on the earth are his.  Hmmmm.... I didn't know how to correct that one, but I'm glad she at least tries to have a relationship with God :)  

The Easter pageant was the 2nd best thing this week, only being beat by Daniel's baptism announcement :)  We went on Thursday night with Valeria and though it was like pulling teeth to get her there, she loved it and cried twice :)  I on the other hand, was trying not to laugh.  I don't know what I was expecting, but I definitely wasn't expecting Mary to start dancing like a ballerina.  Or the choir of angels to start dancing....and the English recording was kind of monotone.  I think I was expecting a Disney level production, but it wasn't :)  Also there was this awkward couple right in front of us that were super distracting.  When we went on Saturday with the branch though, I knew what to expect and I loved it that time!  Especially because it was in Spanish, the recorded voices in Spanish are much more excited and enthusiastic.  When we go next year, you can all watch it in English and I will wear the Spanish headphones :)  Or!  We could go to the Spanish one with my branch and you all can wear English headphones!  

Easter Pageant with Valeria


Also, after 17 weeks I finally got to see Sister Ferre at the Easter Pageant!  She practically jumped on me :)  It was so good to see her.....I miss her so much!  President Sweeney is moving her to English work for at least a transfer though and I am not happy about that!  She wants her Spanish to progress so bad, but it won't until she returns to the valley.  I wasn't the only one excited to see her,  I thought Lorenzo was going to give himself a heart attack :)  

Sister Ferre!!!


We were only able to see the Selinas/Villa family once this week, but they had read the Book of Mormon chapter we left them!  I was so proud of them :)  They had another family thing Saturday night and the kids were "too tired" to get up for church, but he said they'd start coming to church again in April.  Hopefully they stick to that promise and come to a session of General Conference!  I am so stinking excited for conference!  Xochitl really wants to come too which will be so good :)   Unfortunately we had to miss the Women's conference because of the Easter Pageant, but I'll be able to read the talks :)

Octavio came to church by himself since Nereyda didn't wake up :)  It's the first time he's done that, and hopefully not the last!  We called Nereyda once he got there alone, and she had no clue where he was!  When we told her he came to church, she said she'd come for the last hour, and she did!  Hopefully he continues to set that example :)  

We found 6 new investigators this week....I think that's a record for us :)  We had a referral that turned out to be a family of 4 which is so great!  They are pretty devoted Catholics and attend their church twice a week, but they were more than willing to have us continue to come over, so we will see what the Spirit can do :)  They are going through marriage problems right now, and the gospel could really help them.  Another referral was for a grandma named Ana, she has a giant Virgen Guadalupe statue in her house with candles, but she too said she's ok with trying other churches and learning from us!  Then there is Valeria's mother's boyfriend Geronimo.  We taught her mom, Elvira, and the boyfriend the Restoration this week and were able to answer a lot of Elvira's questions and doubts.  Geronimo stayed pretty quiet, but listened and agreed to read a little of the Book of Mormon. 

Ernie is still working on reading the Book of Mormon, slowly, but surely.  He wants to go to the Pageant this week, and then we are hoping he will get off work in time to go to the Priesthood session on Saturday.  In Arizona it starts at 5 though, so it's hard to get to when you finish work at 5!  

Funny story for the week, our apartment is ROASTING.  And no, that's not funny.  We can't turn the thermostat lower than 78 and last night I was especially warm :/  So while we were all getting ready for bed I opened the back slider and the front door to create a wind tunnel :)  Well Sister Noorda has this ridiculous fear that drunk men are going to walk into our apartment at night if we don't lock our doors.  So of course she insisted on closing down my wind tunnel.  The front door I understand, but the back door would be fine, someone would have to crawl over our 5 beds to do anything!  So I waited for everyone to lay down and close their eyes, then I slowly crawled over to the back door on my hands on knees.  I crept my hand up to the lock and flipped it open.  I could just feel Sister Medrano and Sister Noorda tense up in fear!  I threw the back door open and they both flipped!  Apparently they thought the drunk man had showed up :) Hahahaha Sister Medrano said,
"I thought that if I just laid quiet, he wouldn't hurt me!"  Needless to say, they closed the door again and we all had to sleep on top of our sheets :p  I shouldn't complain, I know missionaries in South America are probably a lot hotter than us :)   

All right, well that is it for this week.  You'll hear from me again next WEDNESDAY.  President could surprise me and transfer me which would be sad because that would mean yesterday was my last Sunday :(  Or he could leave me here forever :)  We had to take a survey this week and the first question was "How long have you been out?"  My meter went halfway to the end!  The next question was "How many areas have you had?"  Haha my meter barely moved.  Everyone teased me about it :)  Oh also wish me luck, I have to give a training with Elder Johnson on Planning in front of all the Mission Leaders and 40 other invited missionaries in Scottsdale this week. I have no clue why me....

I love you family, enjoy Moab and conference this week!  Take lots of pictures for me :)  

I love you, I Love You, I LOVE YOU

Love,
Hermana Short 

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