Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Striving to Harvest

Hello Family!!!!!!!

It has been an awesome week for missionary work!  Emily finally got back from 2 weeks of trips, Paul and Amanda are progressing like rockets, Nuri set a baptism date, and we got into multiple Spanish homes with successful lessons. We felt a lot better about this week than we did about last week :)

This week we taught Paul  the Plan of Salvation and he basically taught us the entire thing. While he was incarcerated he studied the church pretty heavily and there gained his testimony of the Book of Mormon.  So he had heard the Plan of Salvation before and was all ready a believer :)  He and Amanda brought up his future
baptism.  We told them that they have to fully live the gospel for 6 months before our mission president will write the letter necessary for Paul to be baptized.  Amanda said "Wow!  Well we quit smoking,but we occasionally chew. But knowing that 6 months rule, I'm done starting right now!!"  They have a wedding date set for September, the same weekend that their son Aiden who is 8 will be getting baptized. After Aiden and Paul are baptized, they have plans to work to be temple worthy and be sealed as a family.  They talk about it every time we meet.  It is the neatest thing!  They were all at church again Sunday and we talked about the Sabbath Day.  Paul wanted to fish on Sundays and Amanda told him no.  Hahaha they just keep each other in line and we love it :)  Later in Relief Society there were some chatty sisters.   Amanda raised her hand in front of the whole class and told them she couldn't concentrate, then glared. Hahahahaha I wanted to high five her so bad.  It was awesome!  Mom, you would like her at the movie theater :)

Emily just can't get enough from us.  We met for 45 minutes on Sunday and she said, "You're leaving?!  That was so short!!"    I wish she could get baptized sooner because she is so ready....but she has to be 18. At least she will have plenty of preparation.  We are planning to do a temple trip with her and her friends and talk about covenants and her end goals.  I think it will be a really neat experience for her.  

Nuri shocked us this week when she accepted an invitation to be baptized at the end of September.  She is still cautious because she is afraid her family won't accept her decision, but we knew she was serious when in her closing prayer she asked Heavenly Father to help her husband understand and be supportive if this is the path she chooses. Tom her husband is always in the woods logging so we haven't seen him yet, but we need to.  He needs to keep learning with his wife!  Their next door neighbor is the Relief Society president so they have awesome fellowship.  Nuri is going to help her coach her daughter's soccer team this year even!  She just needs to have spiritual experiences and begin attending church.

The Contreras are a less active family who have not let us in to teach since week one here.  Yesterday they let us in to teach again and it was incredible!!! We taught the Restoration explaining that we knew they knew it, but we wanted to help them strengthen their testimonies.  The 18 year old, Tony, we thought would be the least interested, but he was literally the 3rd missionary in that room.  He helped answer his mom's concerns, and bore his humble testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.  The daughter Sadie had her best friend there who we are now teaching as a new investigator.  If we can keep this up with will be a great strength to the ward.

We had our first exchanges of the transfer in Taylor this week.  I have been preparing and pondering a lot on how I could be the best Sister Training Leader this time around.  So Sister Erekson and I came up with a leadership training to give each of them, and talked about how to hold an effective exchange.  After my exchange that night, the Sister told me that it was the most effective exchange she had had in 10 months of being a missionary.  I realized then that as a leader we make the most difference when we go in with a purpose to help and encourage, rather than to "check-up" on and visit.  We have another one tonight and I hope it goes as well as the last one.

Sandra is our Spanish eternigator - or Eternal investigator.  She fed us a hearty Mexican lunch this week and then we talked about keeping the Sabbath Day holy with her.  She told us she would come to church "one day."  Realizing that would be as much as she committed to that day, we prepared to leave.  Sweet Sister Erekson said as we were leaving though "Bye Hermana! And I am excited for your 'one day'!" Sandra cracked up and said "Si hermana!"  We then visited with one of Sandra's best friends who is a member and invited her to invite Sandra
to church.  She committed and we shall follow up!  Sandra's other friend who visited Sandra during our lunch told us where she lived so we can go visit her too :)  Hoorah for more Spanish work!

More Ipad Selfies

The lesson with Hermana Trujillo (Sandra's member friend) was amazing!   She said she was about to take a nap, but she knew we had driven a long way so we could come in for a bit.  Her parents were there visiting from the border of Mexico and come to find out they are members of an Apostolic church there.  The father told us it was ok if we shared a message with them. We had planned to teach the Sabbath Day and since its a doctrine in the Bible we decided to go ahead with it.  After teaching the principle, her dad began to ask us questions about the Book of Mormon. We taught him about why we have it and offered him one.  To our surprise he accepted it and repeated several times, "I'm really going to read this!"  His daughter who is less active then bore the strongest testimony of the church.  I  had never felt the spirit so strong in her home.  She talked about the focus on families, the power of family prayer, FHE, priesthood blessings, youth activities, etc. I wanted to leave my jaw hanging open!  She told her dad "We aren't very active, but I know that if we were doing these things our family would be more united."  Her dad stayed quiet for a while and said "That's really good."  After that
visit I thought about it for a while and realized more fully that we are on the Lord's schedule.  We needed to be there that day at that time so we could meet Hermana Trujillo's parents and have her bear her testimony to them.

That's our excitement for this week :)  We are finding where the fruitful trees are and we are striving to harvest each ripe fruit :)  I think one of the hardest things as a missionary is that you live for teaching appointments.  So when people just leave and don't cancel with you or change times it just breaks your heart because you've
prepared so much!  So we are working around everyone's schedules every day and learning to be patient :)  But we love the people we are working with and we love seeing them succeed.  It's a great day to be a missionary :)

Yes, all four of us sleep with our beds squished together!

I spy Sister Ereckson!

Our study areas

I love you family! I miss you!!! Have a great week and enjoy Pioneer day :)  I think we get a Stake Barbecue this week...yes!!!!

I love you, I Love You, I LOVE YOU!!!

Hermana Short

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