Monday, July 27, 2015

There Can be Miracles...If you Believe!

Brother Phil and his "Little Angels"

Querida Familia,

I can't wait to tell you the best part of this week, so I'll just start by telling the whole story.

About 3 months ago, Sister Erekson and Sister Zavala got a referral for Russ and Marie, a couple in their mid 50's. They went to their door and Russ told them, "We are NOT interested!!!!" and shut the door in their faces.  About a month later Sister Erekson and I received a referral for the same two people.  She told me what happened the first time so we just automatically dropped them, thinking the church offices had made a mistake.  The next week, the same referral came back! So we decided to try again.  Russ answered the door and told us his wife was sleeping, so we should try the next week. Sister Erekson was kind of in shock because he had been so rude the last time!  The next week we went over and Marie answered the door.  She told us her
husband was sleeping, but she might call us to help them move some stuff in their house later.  We told her we would check back next week.  Knowing they probably just wanted service, we dropped them as potential investigators. For some reason though, our iPads would NOT take their name off of our list. It kept a red flag on them even though we did everything we were supposed to to get rid of it!  We thought we would try one more time. We  came back the next week, expecting them to give us some service to do, and Marie invites us

Now imagine this. We step over a dog gate to get in the door.  There is green carpet, 7 Shitzu dogs, 3 bird cages with 5 birds between them, 2 cats, and a fish in the back room.  Of course the dogs are all over us and licking me like I'm a lollipop, but we sit down on their couches and began to try to visit over the barking and squawking of
the birds.  They told us that Marie is a hospice nurse and takes care of a 95 year old couple who has been sharing the gospel with them. Within the last month they had been to stake conference, began the Book of Mormon, and now had pictures of the Living Christ, Articles of Faith, and Proclamation to the Family hanging on the wall.  The change in them was incredible!!!! We taught them the Restoration right there and they loved it.  They told us they are looking for a change in their lives, and they feel drawn to the gospel.  We left their house
in pure shock.

Three days later we went over for lesson number two with the 2nd counselor in the Bishopric. Our mouths hung open when Russ told us he started the Book of Mormon again. "Again?" He said "Yeah I finished it the first time in a week!"  WHAT?!?! The poor man can't sleep at night so he got up and read the Book of Mormon every night.  As we taught the plan of Salvation, Brother Brimhall was in tune with the Spirit and answered every one of their questions before they could ask them. We finished the lesson and invited them to be baptized.  Marie began to cry and they both nodded their heads with smiles on their faces.  The Spirit was strong in their home and Sister Erekson and I sat in the car amazed after their lesson.

Come Sunday, we were anxiously watching out the windows for about 15 minutes. Members joked about taking pictures of our anxious waiting! Then in pulls Russ and Marie :)  They both liked Sacrament meeting and
Russ told us "It feels different, I feel comfortable." His smile is priceless :) He is missing parts of his jaw, has a pony tail and has to be hooked to oxygen.  When he smiles....oh it melts us :)  Marie just adores him and its adorable! They couldn't stay for all 3 hours because he didn't have enough oxygen to last.

We have been praying for a family, our members have been praying for us to find one, and finally we have found the most prepared couple I have met yet!  All because two 95 year olds with hospice care opened their mouths to share the gospel :)

Brother Phil takes us out to eat every Friday!

We needed that miracle this week too, because I had the hardest lesson of my mission this week as well. The Butlers.

Axxxx has been telling us for a while that her mom is struggling with her testimony. We went over to try to help and instead we got a 45 minute lecture. Not one thing we said could console, comfort, help, or encourage in any way.  I finally broke and started crying as I told her how much we loved her and that nothing else in this world would bring her the happiness that the gospel brings.  She didn't give a hoot.  She then glared at me and re-ranted.  I was so sad for her and her girls.  I just sat on her couch and cried.  Sister Erekson was trying not to yell, and our poor mini missionary that was with us that day just sat there, none of us really knowing what to do.  After discussing it with the ward council, we know we need to leave her alone for a while, but it just kills me to know that nothing we could have said or done would change her mind.  We took Axxxx and Sxxx out to lunch today and their mom gives them a hard time about the church even at home. Our goal is to keep these 2 girls active and strengthen their testimonies.  Honestly, if anything, it just made me more grateful for the gospel, and the happiness that I have through enduring to the end...even when the path is rocky.

Exxx is doing awesome. She loves loves loves coffee, and even works at a coffee shop, but last night during our Word of Wisdom lesson she committed to let it go :)  She's asked the Seniors in our ward if she can start hanging out with them, and they all jump on the chance to support her.  Surrounded by good friends who live the standards of the gospel is going to be an incredible force for good in her life. Her faith amazes us every week.

Txxxx is done with the lessons :(  We still aren't sure exactly what flipped the switch in him, but his buddy told us he's started hanging out with his old friend group and gives excuses for not coming to church now.  We hope he'll come around again once he settles into his college classes and work schedule.

Paul and Amanda are still awesome.  They were all sick this week, but we still managed to get in a lesson, and they all showed up for sacrament meeting.  Members are surrounding them as well.  Every week a new member invites them to dinner or FHE and they eat up the support :)

I heard a great quote in Sacrament this week :)  "Truth is truth.  Grass is green, the sky is blue, spiders don't fly,
and Jesus loves us. Spiders don't fly because Jesus loves us. That's it! Truth is truth :)" -Bro. Masters

Eeeeewww ok so this new investigator, Silvia, speaks English and Spanish and she invited us over for Pozole. That is my absolute favorite Mexican dish so of course we went.  After one bowl she told me I could get more. So I went to the giant pot and stuck in the ladle.  I hit 5 giant hard things. I pulled up and saw giant bones!!!!!  There were also large squishy looking things and so I went back and sat down.  Lesson learned. Let them serve you, and don't look in the pot!!!

Sandra made us a "sopa." It was macaroni noodles, beans, and potatoes in a red sauce. Mmmm right?  Then she made us meat....but after a couple bites and hearing the fat/blood vessels pop in between my teeth I was done.  Luckily she always has ice cream to finish :)

Judy is a less-active that we were asked to find and visit. After a couple weeks of trying her house, we found her at home and she asked if we could meet in a members house because her boyfriend is anti.  So we met with her for the first time this week in the ward mission leader's house and had an incredible lesson.  She really opened up with us and asked to meet again. We invited us to church and she said maybe.  Low and behold, her visiting teacher was on top of it, texted her Sunday morning, and for the first time in years Judy came to church :)  That visiting teacher has been there for Judy the whole time she's been inactive and on Sunday all her friendship paid off. I have a testimony of visiting teachers :)

Well I better go get my mini-golf face on :) We are finally doing something fun for a p-day!!!!  I love you family!!! Happy end of July :) August monsoons here we come!!!

I love you, I Love You, I LOVE YOU
Hermana Short

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