Monday, May 11, 2015

Rockin' the Roller Coaster


Talking to family on Mothers Day!

Hello family!

 It was so good to see you all yesterday :)  It felt good to laugh with my family again!


I told you a lot about what happened this week with Xochitl, but I'm going to write it all out again so it's saved!

Wednesday was supposed to be Xochitl's wedding!  But! Her husbands ID was expired so they couldn't get the marriage license that day :/   Tears welled in Xochitl's eyes and for the first time she began to sob in front of us.  She said "Hermanas I just want to get baptized."  I felt torn apart inside.  Tears welled in my own eyes as I then listened to what she had done.  Never in my life have I seen the faith that it took for her to make that decision.  Tears continued to fall as she told us "I've done what I can, I want to be baptized!  We called President Sweeney for permission and he said yes before I could finish the sentence!  Xochitl was ecstatic, and we were very proud missionaries :)

Xochitl, Concepcion, Lisa, and Martha



Friday Xochitl came to the branch party all dressed up and had a great time with her friends in the branch.  Concepcion and Martha Zamora have really taker her under their wings and it makes our job so easy.  

Saturday was the big day and we ran around all morning making preparations for the service.  I don't know if she or I was more excited :)  At 3 o'clock she walked in the doors with Daniel, and her 2 youngest boys Junior and Brayan.  After changing into white and taking pictures she sat next to me antsy and with an irremovable smile.  Everything was going pretty smoothly until it was her turn to go to the font.  Her 6 and 3 year old both freaked out!  I think they thought we were going to drown their mom or something :(  They put their hands and face to the glass and wailed and howled as if someone was torturing them!  No matter who tried to calm them down...they wanted none of it!  Xochitl just blocked them out though and Presidente Alvarado said the prayer.  Xochitl came out of the font grinning with tears in her eyes :)  One of the sisters brought the two boys into the bathroom right after and they wailed for another 10 minutes.  I was worried the Xochitl would be super frustrated and irritated, but literally nothing could take the smile off her face! Once done changing she was asked to bear her testimony and did an incredible job!  She talked about how Daniel first accepted the missionaries, how she got roped in the first time, and how after 10 months she finally got her answer.  It was super neat.  Daniel closed the service with the most adorable prayer I've ever heard.  He stood up at the front and froze with eyes wide when he saw all the people, then closed his eyes and talked as if it were just him and God :)  The kid's prayers are cute in English, but after he said this prayer in Spanish everyone was just oohing and ahhing. It was obvious he didn't mind the attention though!  Xochitl texted us later that night and tried to describe how great she felt.  She said "I'm so happy to be in the Church of Latter Day Saints, my new family :)

Xochiltl.... an incredible woman of faith!


In Sacrament meeting she was confirmed and that was a super powerful moment for me. In the 11 months I've been here, I've seen 7 of my investigators baptized and confirmed, but no confirmation brought the amount of pride and joy that I felt during Xochitl's :)  Every part of her is committed to the covenants and promises she made, she is turning her life inside-out to keep God's commandments, and she's learning how to teach her family correct principles. I absolutely adore that women!  After her confirmation, Daniel gave his testimony during the mothers day program.  In Spanish he said "I got baptized because I want to do what's good.  Also, since it's Mother's day, I am grateful for my mom.  All her kids lover her, and she loves them, but especially she loves me!  I never want to be far away from her."  The branch was drooling over him.  He's such a sweet heart :) And it meant a lot to Xochitl.  Her younger two still scream at church so she left them home, but it will be exciting for those 3 boys to be raised in the gospel.  Hopefully next Christmas Junior won't tell me that we are celebrating Santa Clause ;)

Another miracle on Sunday was watching Ernie walk into the building!  He doesn't like us to make a big deal out of it.....but we do :)  He told us at church that he has 2 days off now.  Fridays (so he can come to sports night) and Sundays :)  I couldn't believe the miracles God has been working on this week!  If everything goes as planned and prayed for....Ernie will be interviewed this week and baptized next week :)  And I think Hermana Clark is flying down for it!!

Courtney sent me a big hug!!


Lupita was centimeters away from making it to church this week!  She was all dressed and ready to go, President Alvarado went to pick her up, and she told him her friend was bringing her in a couple minutes with Yasury and the girls.  President saw that Yasury and the girls were all dressed for church too so he trusted them and left.  Well they never came.  We visited Lupita last night and she said "I should have gone with Alvarado!!!! Juan was so late!!"  She promised to go with him next week even if she has to go alone.  

The Hernandez family couldn't meet with us this week and they didn't come to church because of Mothers Day events, but this week we'll get them back on track.  

The Villa/Selinas family also missed church :(  We did have a good lesson with the wife this week about why we have the Book of Mormon.  Sometimes I feel like we teach that to every investigator 5 times before they get it.  But so far they've always ended up getting it :)

We finally got back into Valeria's mom's house.  We were walking around her complex and caught Elvira outside so she invited us in :)  She basically tried to tell us to quit coming over because she has no desire to learn about the gospel. At this point I was constrained to be bold, and I felt like Elder Holland when he spoke about the Book of Mormon.  I may have shocked my companion, but Elvira needed to hear what the Spirit was trying to get past her.  I told her that if she doesn't try to learn and live the gospel of Jesus Christ, then one day she will have to stand before God's face and tell him that.  I told her that we as missionaries aren't here wasting our time, we come here for people like her who have forgotten what it feels like to have desires to be better.  I had to tell her there is no such thing as "normal" life.  You can't live day to day aimlessly wondering when it will end.  There must be purpose, and if Christ's not her purpose then she'll never progress, and that's not good.  She just stared at me and said "Ok."  We ended with a prayer and as I hugged her goodbye I said "We'll be back...you can't chase us off yet :)"  She smiled and said ok....but I know that won't be the end of her hesitations. Baby steps!


Elder Hernandez and I were not very good at flower arranging :)


Besides all of this we had some fun activities!  Our Branch had a Mothers Day party on Friday with double the people that come to church!  My companion and I sat at the single ladies' table with Concepcion, Xochitl, Lisa, and Martha Zamora :)  They're a fun little group....even when they make fun of my sugar addiction.  I didn't even eat that much ice cream!

 Today the 6 of us branch missionaries went golfing!  We did the driving range and I wasn't very good....I try to hit it like a softball, but apparently it's all about technique and not how hard you swing.  I missed the ball more than I hit it!  I knew dad and Grandpa would be ashamed ;)  We then had a putting competition and Sister Pierson and I were a team and tied 2 of the Elders for first place!  Mainly because Sister Pierson is a good shot, but I helped a couple of times :)



Camelback Branch missionaries


So there's our roller coaster week! We ended on a really high point, and I'm hoping we can coast there for awhile because transfers might be the hardest part of my mission so far.  Before I knew about transfers I had only cried 5 times on my mission.  Now tears in my eyes are a daily occurance.  I don't know how I'll say goodbye to these people....aghhhhh life isn't fair!  I'm excited for a new opportunity to serve, but man change is hard!  

I love you family!! Happy Mothers day again :)  Now it's my birthday month so Jensyn and Karsyn should work on writing weekly letters for my birthday month.  Maybe since I'm gone we can make it 2 months this year!!  Yeah!!!  hahaha

11 months today!!
I love you, I Love You, I LOVE YOU

Love,
Hermana Short

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