Monday, May 4, 2015

There is a rainbow!

Dear Family,

Remember last week how I told you that thunderstorms bring rainbows?  This week brought a HUGE rainbow!  Are you ready for this?? 

Thursday I was on exchanges with Sister Noorda in my area and I was only starting to stress a tiny bit about Xochitl because her interview was the next day and she couldn't be interviewed without a wedding date set.  She called us at about 3 pm and asked us when her interview was.  I told her,  "tomorrow Hermana! At 3 pm!" She said "Ok!" and tried to hang up.  I quickly stopped her, "Wait! Hermana remember you have to be married or have a wedding date set!" She says "I know!  Tomorrow right?" "Yes?" "Ok, adios!" Ay ay ay I shrugged it off and moved on.  I wasn't getting my hopes up for that date to come through.  Then we got a text from her 6 hours later on our way home from the night.  Translated it said "Hermana, I'm happy and I couldn't wait til tomorrow to tell you that I have a date for the 6th of May! You can't imagine how we came to agree I only know that God puts the means and uses the people we least expect."  It was probably not safe that I was driving when my companion read that to me because I freaked out!  I honestly don't know if I've ever been happier on my mission than in that moment! :)  She was interviewed the next day, passed, we set up her marriage affairs for this Wednesday and BAM she will be a member by Sunday!  I am so incredibly proud of the faith she has had, and it is ONLY because of her faith that this is happening.  Let me tell you why... 

Xochiltl at Baptism interview

Xochitl's mother-in-law does not like her.  She tells Eduardo he should leave her and find a better wife, she says mean things about her kids, and she never comes to Xochitl's house to visit the family, they always have to go to her.  On Thursday Eduardo announced that his mother was coming over and Xochitl thought that was weird, and obviously didn't really want her to, but she cleaned the house anyway and let her come.  As Xochitl was resting in the family room, she heard Eduardo and his mom talking, and his mother told him that if Xochitl was going to be a church-going-woman, then she needed to be married or it just wasn't right.  Xochitl said that she perked up and listened intensely.  The mom continued to talk about it, and Xochitl stepped in to give her two cents.  She said things started to get contentious so she stepped back out and let them handle it.  After the mom left Xochitl asked Eduardo what he thought and he said he would marry her on the 6th of May!!!!  Xochitl just kept telling us how her mother-in-law was on an errand of God because normally she would have never said that, but God knew that the mom was the only person Eduardo would listen to.  I'm amazed at God's ability to soften hearts this week!  

In other news....we are getting iPads on May 19th!!  Let me tell you...excitement is thick in the mission :)  Also!!!  We are getting music back tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  The music purge is over and we're being allowed to follow the white handbook standards again :)  I'm ecstatic for that one.  Could you please send me back my 2014 EFY CD?  I miss it so much.....

I got some sad news this week.   I'm leaving the valley completely :(  On May 26th I'm headed to Show Low, Arizona which is about 3 hours north from where I am at!  Every time I tell a member, I have to change the subject really fast because I choke up.  Sister Orozco is not taking it well :(  I will be 2nd half training a missionary that came in last transfer.  We will be over 3 English wards and we will translate for the Spanish people.  It will be a completely new challenge and I'm up for it, but I won't lie.....I'm devastated.  I found this out on Friday when I was at the mission office for Mission Leadership Council.  I poked my head into President's office and he pulled me in to show me the news.  It was all I could not to cry....but I knew it was coming.  The Lord knows best and I will trust in his hand. :)

Mission Leadership Council was good.  That is where we, under the direction of President Sweeney, decided that our mission is living the law of Moses rather than the Higher Law as taught by Jesus Christ.  So we changed our mission culture and we are going back to just the white handbook.  We will be agents unto ourselves :)  It will be harder from a leadership perspective to correct and guide missionaries to live a higher standard, but I'm not going to lie....Mormon Tabernacle Choir is getting super old.  It will be nice to listen to other spiritual music!

As of today we have 8 people on date for baptism.  Xochitl, Ernie, and the Villa couple.  Then this week we added 3 people from the Hernandez family, and Lupita (Lorenzo's wife) again.  

Ernie got the Word of Wisdom lesson again this week, and he took notes :)  He can't wrap his head around the "why not coffee or tea?"  He's really struggling with it.  We've approached it from every angle I can think of, Sister Clark has called and explained it to him, he's read talks, but he just can't accept it.  Also....he got a 3rd job and dropped the one he was working on Sundays.  But now both his other jobs have him working Sundays.  He's kind of like Xochitl right now in that we are just waiting for him to make a act on what we've taught.  It takes patience and trust in the Lord's timing, but I do have faith he'll make it there :)

We decided to surprise visit the Villa/Selinas family this week and only the wife Oralia was available to talk to us, but it was a really good lesson :)  She talked about how what we teach feels right, but that her other family members are trying to pull her into their religion and she just feels torn.  We taught about prayer and using specific questions to get specific answers.  She then asked us how to know she's getting an answer. We read Galatians 5 with her and explained the fruits of the Spirit.  She pondered it for a minute and then committed to pray again this week.  We can't move on until she begins to get answers from heaven :)

The Hernandez family is a former family we were teaching after they randomly walked into church one day.  The mom was pregnant and exhausted so we gave them a break for about a month and now we are back and they are more prepared.  We taught them the gospel of Jesus Christ lesson and then focused on their need to come to church.  Immediately after the lesson a member drove the oldest daughter to young womens and we went with her.  She had a lot of good fellow-shipping going on and though the activity was boring, she was able to make new friends.  Then on Sunday we were extremely excited to see them waiting for us in the foyer!  The oldest 4 kids went to their classes and then the mom Maria and her mom, and the new baby came to Relief Society.  By the time sacrament rolled around the kids were a bit rowdy, but only one had to be taken out.  Hopefully they saw that it was manageable and they will come again next week!

We went to visit Lupita this week and she has a yearning desire to learn.  We taught her and Yasury the law of chastity this week and luckily there were no problems.  Lupita promised us Lorenzo was going to take her to church...but none of them came this week.  President Alvarado even tried to pick them up and they said they weren't dressed yet.  Patience...patience...
We will keep trying with her, and hopefully we can outsmart Lorenzo :)

Octavio's sister Juanita is our next closest investigator to being on baptism date.  She is going through a hard time in her life right now, and as we've taught her the Plan of Salvation, her purpose in life, and that she has a loving Heavenly Father, she's really opened up to us.  She said the longest prayer I've ever heard on my mission the other day!  She just laid everything out to God in front of us.  It was really neat :)  

This week is going to be pretty stressful. Coordinating a wedding and baptism for one, then Sister Lakin and I have to give a 75 minute training with the zone leaders in 2 different zones tomorrow, and we have other meetings and exchanges to plan out.  I like being busy helps me forget that I'm leaving Camelback.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY ON THURSDAY MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'll tell you Happy Mothers Day in person :) :)  

I love you family!  I can't wait to talk to you on Sunday!!!!!  

I love you, I Love You, I LOVE YOU

Hermana Short

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