Monday, June 29, 2015

Tenting It

Missionaries at Girls Camp!

Buenas Tardes!

This was probably the most different, but most fun weeks of my mission so far.  Going to girls camp as a missionary was so fun!!  The leaders thought it was the coolest thing ever allowed, and the girls got a
kick out of seeing our goofy sides :). And thanks to girls camp we will have 3 new investigators this week! Or more......

Tuesday was the most exhausting day of my mission.  We had spent a long time packing the night before and we had to be to the church by 6:30 a.m.  We made it to camp and one of the nice leaders had already set up our tent, and provided us with cots and sleeping bags.  We became the messengers and had to rope everyone into the main pavilion to check in.  After everyone checked in, we then went on a 5 mile hike
with girls.  Well of our less actives only made it half a mile so we walked back with her :). But we were going to do the 5 miles!!  We had a good chat with her on the way back down though and were able to discover that she's attending a Catholic Church.  That was news to us!  She talked to us more than she ever has before and it was good to see her open up.

Wednesday was a wet day.  It was sunny for a bit in the morning and then those dark clouds rolled in.  First it poured sheets of rain, then giant hail balls fell with the sheets of rain.  We made sure our tent and the girls in Rainbow Lakes tents were okay and then it dawned on me...  Our other Ward had driven to the lake that day and their circus tent that everyone slept in had holes in the roof!  We booked it through the rain to their tent and had to pull all of their cots and sleeping bags away from the walls and doors.  We shoved all their outside stuff under an Easy up and we only got a bit soaked in the process :).  When they got back they treated us like superheroes!  Hahaha we were just glad we remembered they were gone or those poor girls would have had wet everything!  

Destiny and Sadie Contreras , Jade, Olivia

Wednesday we started to notice that one of our girls was sitting alone a lot and looked pretty upset.
She finally opened up and told us some of the mean things another girl was saying.  We talked to her for a bit and kept an eye on her throughout camp.  The last day she wrote us both a note thanking us.  None of her leaders tried to help her, and none of the girls reached out to her.  That was one of our miracles for the week was being able to be a friend to her.

Wednesday night the Wagon Wheel Ward had us speak as part of their nightly devotional.  We talked about prayer and the importance of using questions in prayer.  We left a commitment to all the girls to use their quiet time the next day to ask a question in prayer and then study out an answer.  The girl we had helped earlier prayed about how to love her enemies and showed us a list of scripture she found that had helped her.  Many of the other girls also received answers that day and were able to have good experiences during their personal spiritual hour.

What's neat about when we taught is how well the girls paid attention.  Put one of their leaders or a laurel in front of them and there's quite a bit of jabbering or messing around.  But as missionaries, they listened and acted on what we taught!  We showed them our goofy sides, let hem know we are real people, and then when we spoke by the Spirit they really trusted us.

Thursday we taught an awesome improv lesson!  A leader asked us to give a devotional on Paul and we just happened to know some great verses on Paul and Missionary work. Which was good because the only
preparation time we had was the walk there.... We read 1 Corinthians 3:6-9 and then had them practice inviting their friends to young women's activities and to listen to the missionaries. They all did the practice, although some were reluctant :). I love love love young women's and camp and so getting to teach those girls and
help them be excited about being missionaries was paradise for me!

We spent most of our time with the Rainbow Lake Ward.  We had 2 non members, one recent convert, and two less actives there.  The girls were very welcoming and after a bit of teasing and some unit games we
got them all to trust us and each other.  Testimony meeting Thursday night was like seeing the fruits of our labors.  Skylar, the recent convert going less active, offered to bear her testimony first.  She was the one worried about making friends at camp, and on Sunday she named off 5 of her closest friends she made at camp :). Destiny and Sadie are less active sisters and both bore testimony on things they learned at camp.  Jade and Brooklyn are the non members and they're both pretty shy.  Neither one shared testimony, but Jade felt
something because she had to use a tissue or two :). Savannah recently moved into our Ward and we got to know her better at camp.  She's been attending her old Ward, but has now decided to switch.  Last night she
invited us to teach her friend Jonathan at her home tomorrow.

Now the blessings of camp.  Yesterday Skylar came to church for the first time in 4 weeks!!  We went to Jade and Brooklyn's house and for the first time they looked excited, not nervous to see us.  Jade wants to take the missionary lessons and she set up an appointment for us to meet with her, Brooklyn ,and their brother Drake on Tuesday :).  Zoey from Wagon Wheel Ward also bore her testimony at camp as a non member
about how the church is starting to feel right to her.  She also agreed to take the missionary lessons and meet with us this week!  Some Laurels that only came up for a day brought two non members.  We are now teaching one of them, and the other one is on standby.  Her friends agreed to ask her to meet with us :).

We are so glad we were able to go and gain the love and trust of these girls.  We have a waiting list of Laurels who want to go on mini missions with us. It was a long week....and we were excited to get our regular schedule back, but it was definitely worth our time.  One bishop thanked us yesterday and I liked what he said.  He said "You may have felt like one of the girls, but to them you are on a way higher level and they really look up to you."  I hope they were able to feel the love of the Savior that we saw he has for them.

Now fun moments :) Sister Erekson and I had a grape eating contest for the girls.  I got 15 in my mouth!  Winner winner :).  I lost my badge one day in the dirt and they made me sing "I'm a little teapot" in front of everyone to get it back.

I'm the winner with 15 grapes in my mouth!
Besides girls camp we had 7 awesome lessons this week. Last night we taught Tyler the 10 commandments, but we were going to wait until the 10 members at his lesson left before we set s return appointment.  We
were walking out the door when Tyler comes running down the stairs "Wait!!  We didn't set the day for our next meeting!!"  Turns out the kid really does enjoy meeting :). He doesn't ask many questions or make many comments, but he sure is soaking everything in.  He came to church, reads the Book of Mormon, and didn't even hesitate to kneel and pray in front of everyone at his lesson.  He is golden!!

Emily was a member referral and one of the Laurels friends they brought to camp.  She just moved in with a member family and is reading the scriptures and attending church with them.  She had a lot of questions!  But she's all ready progressing and so stinking excited to learn.

The Yeomans were a miracle lesson this week :). Brother Joe prayed for the first time in front of us!!!  He was so nervous, but he did great :). They have an appointment to receive their patriarchal blessings this week :)

Jeremy is our 9 year old recent convert.  His grandma recently moved in with them and has brought Jeremy to church twice!  Yesterday they walked two miles to get to church.  And she's not even a member!!!  She told us last night that she feels comfortable at our church and after teaching the restoration she told us that of course she would pray to know if it's true :).  Her name is Sharolena.

The Cortez family is a less active Spanish family and we taught them the Restoration in a Spanish family home evening on Monday.  The husband barely talks and the wife talks a lot so it keeps us on our toes :)

Nuri is a Spanish investigator and her husband Tom is an English investigator.  We don't know how they communicate, but they make it work :).  Both are little people and both are very interested in learning about the gospel.  Tom read the whole Restoration pamphlet before we got there and now he's working on reading the Book of Mormon and praying.  Nuri wants to be a member of two churches because her Peruvian friend goes to a different church and she wants to go with her.  Baby steps :).

This week our schedule is filling up fast with lessons and we still have a lot more potential investigators we need to contact and get working with.  Being busy is the greatest blessing I could ask for :)

Well family, that is my adventures for this week.  It was an incredible week for missionary work.....and we thought it'd be a slow work week :). Jokes on us!

Monsoon season has begun!

I love you all so much!!!!! Happy 4th of July!!!

Hermana Short

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