Monday, April 13, 2015

Secrets and Smiles

Dear Family,

This week seemed to be a slower week if you look at our numbers.  We taught 6 member present lessons, and 2 less-active lessons, and nothing else.  Yikes!  Usually we have like 17-19 lessons a week!  However I'm not  dismayed because the miracles we saw this week HEAVILY outweigh the dropped numbers.  

Ernie still said that getting Sundays off wasn't in the near future.  We called him Saturday night and asked him if by some miracle he had gotten Sunday off.  No.  :(  He agreed to go to a Fireside in Scottsdale with us Sunday night though and actually seemed excited!  Sunday at church we are standing in the hall talking to someone when I got a glimpse of Ernie's head in the crowd!  What?!  We ran to the Gospel Principles classroom and saw him innocently sitting there with Jairo!  I asked him if he quit his job, if he got let off early, or what happened and he responded, "I lied to you."  Grr "What?"  If only I could do back-flips.....he said, "I lied to you on the phone last week!  Starting last Sunday I have all Sundays off!"  WAHOO ERNIE!!!!!!!!!!!  Sister Pierson just stood there with her mouth wide open!  He should have his interview this week, and then to our shock and pleasure, Ernie's most likely getting baptized next Saturday.  We were only a little mad that he lied to us...I'm sure the shock on our faces was worth the wait for him though.  The neat thing about him getting Sundays off is that it's kind of a sacrifice for him.  He has to work Tuesdays now which he really didn't want to have to do because of the time and the jobs he has to do in the restaurant, but he did it because he knows it's important to go to church :)  We are so proud of him!

President Sweeney met him last night at a fireside and after feeling his muscles (haha that was awkward!)  President encouraged Ernie and told him how great his missionaries are :)  We know ;) Just kidding, but we have worked hard for this one!

Jairo.  Jairo received the priesthood after Sacrament meeting yesterday!!!  I'm super excited for him, and I was glad Ernie was there to see him ordained.  Presidente Alvarado encouraged Ernie to have Jairo baptism, but he's afraid he will drown him.  We'll see what we can do...I so badly want to see Jairo perform his baptism!  

Xochitl.  Yesterday during correlation, Presidente Alvarado asked if he could go visit Xochitl with us after church.  Of course!  Within that lesson last night, Xochitl put herself back on a baptism date!   We are now looking, praying, and working hard for May 9th as the big day :)  Xochitl really respects President and he was able to help us encourage her yesterday.  The neatest part was when he asked her if we could kneel to pray before he left.  He prayed for her and her family, and specific blessings that she needs in order for this baptism to happen.  The Spirit was so strong, and we really appreciated his help.  She and Daniel also made it to 3 hours of church this week which is a miracle!  Even before the opening prayer in Relief Society!   Daniel stood to be recognized as the newest member of the branch and it was adorable :)  I hope in 7 years, I'll get to attend his Farewell talk as he serves his own mission!

The Villa/Selinas family.  We were finally able to have another lesson with them this week and it was a roller coaster!  We took Hermana Toledo with us and of course she's a huge help, but the 3 year old in the family was screaming almost the entire time!  I tried so hard to get her to stop, but she just wailed and wailed.  The mom was obviously flustered and I felt bad staying much longer, but the dad was acting as if nothing was going on and listening and learning intently.  We were teaching about tithing and fasting.  Finally Mareli calmed down, and we invited the couple to fast with us on Sunday. Jose was all for it, but his wife thought she was going to die if she didn't eat :)  It was almost humorous how worried about fasting she was.  Her husband said I'll do it, and she will try!  They said they would think of a purpose together.  Well come Sunday, only Jose is at church!  I said "Your wife couldn't come?"  He said "No, she is at home fasting.  I decided to wait until next month to fast so I can prepare myself,  but since she's fasting I told her to stay home and rest."  Hahaha ay ay ay, I guess we'll explain fasting again before May 3rd :)  At least Oralia did it!  We are going to call her today and find out how it went :)  

Lorena. Has anyone seen her?  Or been able to get a hold of her?  Hm.  Us either.  It's hard to help someone quit smoking if they are never home!  It's also hard to get someone to come to church if you can never find them....oh wait we did catch her once.  She opened the door, but kept the screen locked.  She said she was on the phone with Crisis control because her schizophrenic son was having an attack.  Gulp.  The son was outside with us!  We had just talked to him!  She heard him say something and started yelling at him to go back in the backyard.  He seemed harmless to us, it kind of reminded me of that guy in the dungeon on Goonies :(  Poor Sergio... the time after that we passed by and for the first time we met Lorena's husband!  He opened the door holding a hand gun.  Granted he was dressed like a cowboy, it was a total cowboy gun, and he was cleaning it so it wasn't loaded, but still a little odd.  We were told Lorena wasn't home though, and since then we still haven't been able to come in contact with her.  Needless to say she's not getting baptized for a while longer, and we will probably take a break from going over there.  Oh the life of a missionary :)  

Lupita.  We dropped her a couple weeks ago, but the girls told us at church on Sunday that she was in the hospital for something that happened to her foot, and that she might  have to get surgery.  We went straight to the hospital after church and she was really happy to see us :)  The Elders came and gave her a blessing, and she said that she hopefully gets to leave on Wednesday.  I'm not quite sure what happened, but I know she had some sort of blister on her foot, and it popped or something, so she saw a hole in her foot and went to the doctor.  Because of something to do with diabetes, she had to be put on an IV, wait for the thing to heal, and possibly have surgery on her foot.  If you don't get it it's ok....neither do I :)  She really wants to come to church though....we need to find a way to work around Lorenzo.  Hmmm

March of Dimes Service Project
Saturday was my favorite day of the week :)  We got up super early and were in downtown Phoenix by 6 am.  Saturday was the March of Dimes; March of Babies event and we the missionaries of the Phoenix East stake made up a good portion of the volunteers!  For the next 5 hours we all had different jobs, some passed out waters or stickers, or took care of garbage's, guided walkers and runners, etc.  Sister Pierson and I for the first 2 hours were assigned to a registration booth for 5k runners, then for the next 2 hours we passed out probably 500 hot dogs!  It was incredibly neat to see so many families supporting the cause.  Lots of families are walking for their babies who didn't make it, or preemie babies that miraculously lived.  Tons of extended family, friends, Pediatricians, nurses, and local businesses were there.  And the best part was all the cute babies :)  The people are all so humble because they've all been through quite a lot with their kids, and it was neat to be a part of that service project!  There were about 20 missionaries or more that stayed after the event to help them clean up and they thanked us profusely.  The volunteers that signed up to do clean up never showed, and they had never met a more focused and dedicated group like us.  We made a really good impression on the directors of the event, and hopefully those who saw our badges will let us in their doors when they see us next :)   And of course, I always enjoy a free t-shirt!

Phoenix Zone Service Project

Sunday was what I'm calling Miracle Sunday!  Not only did Xochitl, Daniel, Ernie, Jairo, and Jose Selinas come, but Rocio made a comeback, Octavio and Nereyda were there, Hermana Covarubia, Silvestre, and Rocios dad who has been inactive for over a year!   It was so neat to see them there, I don't know what got them all there, but I don't question miracles :)  

Well family, that is our exciting week all wrapped up like a bean burrito!  It's gettin' warm, which is softening hard hearts :)  Hmmm maybe the heat is a good thing!  Pray for Ernie and Xochitl especially this week....they need a couple more miracles :)  Especially Xochitl.

I love you so much!    I love love love love love letters :)  You all make me crack up!  Have an incredible week!

Hermana Short  

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