Monday, April 27, 2015

And the rains came tumbling down.....

Good morning my dear Gringo Family!!!

Not only did it literally rain 3 days this week, but it was gloomy and overcast with our investigators this week too! Everyone decided to dump problems on us, and its been super frustrating.  Nonetheless, there are always rainbows after thunderstorms, so I'm expecting some great miracles this week!  

Yesterday was an awesome day for our little branch!   139 people were at church!!!!!!!!  Sadly the majority were visitors, but still, new record :)  President Alvarado and his awesome counselors were released yesterday after almost 6 years of serving together.  The new branch President is President Guerrero and we are so excited!!   He is the Hermano that invited us to his sealing a few months ago.   His counselors are both young and brand new to the branch.  One just moved here from Mexico, and the other one was in the English ward with his Brazilian wife, but they've been asked to help out in the branch now.  It's going to be fantastic :)  And only one person opposed!  It was really sad. The man who did it is drama....and I was watching him the whole time because I knew he was going to do that!  Oh well.  They had the old and new branch presidencies bear their testimonies and President Guerrero talked about me at the pulpit.  I was so red!  He was saying how all the missionaries ate at his house that week, but there is one sister who has done so much for our branch, and "you all probably know who I'm talking about!"    I felt bad for the other missionaries....that's two weeks in a row!!  And Hermana Guerrero full on kissed me on the cheek yesterday!  Usually they do the whole cheek to cheek thing and just make the lip smacking sound, but this time she grabbed my face, kissed me, then wiped off her lipstick mark.  Ay ay ay these women are hilarious. I looked at my planner this week and realized I only have 4 weeks left here.  AGHHH.  I'm going to cry for days and days.  Hermana Curiel told me she is going to cry too :)  

We had a branch party on Saturday at the park to celebrate the changes and it was super fun :)  This time we missionaries got put in charge of keeping everybody entertained so we came up with a lot of fun games!  We did a 3-legged race, a tug-of-war, water balloon toss, and another game with M&M's.  Somehow I got put in charge of directing all the activities and I felt like a chicken with my head cut off all night....but the kids had fun so it was worth the craziness!  The funniest activity was when we got 9 of the men in the branch to do a gummy worm eating contest.  They could only use their faces, and they had to find a gummy worm and eat it from a pie tin filled with whipped cream.  Lorenzo did it, and I was laughing so hard....but then he was embarrassed so I had to walk away :)

Sister Tenney

On Thursday I had an awesome exchange with Sister Tenney.  She came to my area and we got a lot done!  When we taught we flowed back and forth easily and she was always there to pick up where I left off.    We had a couple funny experiences together.  First we decided to go visit Lupita in the hospital because we heard she was still there.  When we got there, the front desk lady told us what room she was in, so we went upstairs, and her door said we needed to wear masks.  So we put on our masks and walk in.  Lupita was not there!  Some poor man was staring back at us in shock!  I said, "We're looking for someone, but you're not her!"  he just stared back at me so I said bye.  When we walked out I realized that DUH the man spoke Spanish.  So embarrassing! Turns out Lupita had left the hospital the day before and we interrupted some poor guy's rest for nothing.  Later that day we needed to contact some potentials and see if they still lived in the houses on our lists.  One lady was supposed to be an "Itzel" but she said that wasn't her name, so we responded "Ok, well we're missionaries, it's nice to meet you!"  She responded "Nice to meet you too!"  then slammed the door in our face.  Apparently it wasn't really a pleasure to meet us :)  Most of those potentials rejected us that day...but I was with Sister Tenney who I adore, so the rejections didn't even bother me :)  The two of us had a great lesson with the Hernandez family.  We taught the ten commandments and they all have things to work on.  The 15 year old is going to stop praying to the Virgin Mary (I don't know who taught her to do that), the 9 year old is going to stop saying bad words.  And the whole family is supposedly working on keeping the Sabbath day holy, but they didn't come on Sunday so that one is still a work in progress I guess.

Yesterday at church only Xochitl was there from our investigator pool :/  But I'm happy she was there because this is the 3rd week in a row that she has made it for all 3 hours!  She tried bringing her 3 year old yesterday too, but he got pulled out of nursery for continuous crying :/  Poor kid got dropped off with strangers!  It's like those awful days when mom would abandon me at preschool....oh the trauma ;)  Xochitl still isn't married.  She knows she has to have a wedding date or a wedding by Saturday in order to be interviewed for we are all praying and crossing our fingers!  

Ernie got 2 new jobs to get out of the bad environment of his old job.  However, one of these jobs requires him to work Sundays.  Grrrr....just when we think he's good and golden, another thing comes up!  Jairo and Julio both missed church this week too for no good reason.  Jairo slept in and Julio was working in the yard.  AND we went to their house once this week and everything had the aroma of coffee.  NOOOOO.  We were so upset.  Julio promised it wouldn't happen again, and Ernie admitted to it but said it doesn't happen often, and Jairo said he didn't drink any of it.  These 3 men are going to give me stress ulcers.  

I don't know what happened with the Selinas family this week. They cancelled our Friday lesson and didn't come to church again this week.  If we can't see sufficient progress by the end of this week we are probably going to have to drop them.  I know they'll be ready one day, but they might need a break for a time.  

Octavio and Nereyda gave us a scare this week!  Us 6 missionaries went to their house for dinner on Tuesday and Ashley the 7 year old throws open the door and says, "My parents are fighting and my mom is going to another house!"  We went out back to where Octavio was grilling and he said it was true!  We didn't push it further and decided to just have a good dinner conversation with him.  His food was DIVINE.  He grilled green onions, asparagus, zuchinni, steak, chicken, and then made homemade salsa right in front of us, homemade guacamole, and none of us could stop eating.  I ate so much of that asparagus.....
That night at almost 11pm our branch president texts us saying that Nereyda left the house.  Ay ay ay we called him the next morning and he said that her car was back. Then she texted us and apologized for not eating with us.  She said that things were better and they're in the same house again.  I can't keep up with their drama....I just want them to live the commandments and let living the gospel solve their problems.  They both made it to 3 hours of church today which was a plus. :)  

Oh good news, we now have a pet cat.  It's name is Jazz.  We think it is trying to protect us or something!  When we pull into the parking lot, it follows us to our door and then leaves!  It follows us to the gym, the mailbox, everywhere!  This week we were weekly planning on our back porch  and the stinking cat scaled the wall and sat at the table with us.  The other morning we left our door open to let some cool air in and all of a sudden I see Jazz shoot out from underneath one of the beds.   It took forever to get him out!  First Kevin the peacock, now Jazz the cat, next we better get a dog!

We found a new investigator this week! Her name is Carmen and she's friends with Xochitl :)  She's interested in listening and Xochitl told us she's going to invite her to church with her!  Hopefully she begins to progress soon!

Bowling with Jairo & Ernie last Monday!
On Saturday we participated in another Just Serve project.  This time we were cleaning up the grounds of a black history cultural center in the ghetto of Phoenix.  So. Many.  Weeds.  Sister Pierson and I alone filled 3 huge black garbage bags with giant weeds!  It's fun to see different places in the community and be able to help!

Well that about sums up our week!  A lot of stressful days this week because of people not keeping commitments, but it's ok, we'll try again this week :)  Today we are going bowling with our zone!  Hopefully it will be a good stress reliever :)  

I love you family!  Happy May Day this week!!!  I miss you!

Hermana Short

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