Wednesday, August 19, 2015

And the rains kept tumblin' down


Goodbye Sister Lords (one of our roommates)

Hola Familia!

Unfortunately the rain on the mountain stopped, but there are some not so fun storms brewing in our area right now. Satan works real hard on the mountain people here.....and there is one church in specific that I have started calling "the great and abominable" in my head.  Oye this church pulls all our investigators, feeds them anti information, and then spits them back out.  They got 2 more this week!

Emily was our most solid investigator living with a member family.  However now she has started canceling meetings, and apparently is attending Bible Study at another church. She asked a couple questions this week that she wouldn't have known to ask unless someone told her to.


It's really frustrating and we just aren't sure what to do.  We have fasted for her, prayed for her, her friends at school are incredible member missionaries and supports for her, but she seems to slip farther out of our hands every week. We refuse to lose her completely.  With God's help and the Spirit we know we can win this tug-o-war she is in the middle of.  She has two groups of people pulling her between 2 churches. She has to decide, and she can't until she stops and really takes time to feel and learn for herself. We just hate watching
her struggle :/

Paul is still going strong though luckily. Although he didn't attend church this week. He dropped off his daughter, but she told us that her mom and dad are sick. We will give them the benefit of the doubt this time.  We have a lesson with them tonight. Last time we taught him about temples and family history.  Paige, the 9 year old, told us that Paul has family from Ireland. Then out of the blue she spits out "The rainbow ends at our house!!!!" From a missionary perspective, that family is definitely a pot of gold!

Marie is a gem. That is our favorite phrase to describe her :) "She's a gem!" we always say.  This past weekend, Sister Erekson and I kind of ran around with our heads cut off getting the funeral for Russ together.  I realized this week that a missionaries job description is practically endless. Event planning was something I didn't realize we
would do so much of!  We made programs, found speakers, set up the Relief Society room, found someone to coordinate a luncheon, and finally I felt like we were home free when the opening song started.  It was a really nice service. Quite a few members that don't know Marie came just to support her. Sister Erekson and I gave a talk together on our memories of Russ and where he is now. There were a lot of non-members there and they were all pretty impressed, so we were glad everything worked out. Russ' sister and father came up from the
valley for the service. His sister just cried as she hugged and thanked us. It felt good to know that we helped that family find closure and that they literally didn't have to worry about a thing.  They will be so receptive to missionaries next time they meet :)

This past week we went over to finalize funeral plans with Marie. We have been debating how we get her back into the lessons and when to start teaching her the discussions again rather than messages of peace
and comfort. When Marie brought up why we don't drink coffee last week, I knew it was the Lord telling us to get on with it, because she is ready to keep learning :) So we taught her the word of wisdom and she committed to live it :) Tonight the young men are going over to do her yard work and we can see how grateful she is!

Mary has become a very sad and difficult situation. She needs a new liver, and if she doesn't find one, doctors think she might live to the end of this year.  Obviously that is a really hard pill for her to swallow, and religion is getting really mixed up for her.  Her lifelong pastor told her that if she joins the church, she can't be
buried with her dad in the Episcopal cemetery. She says she is very confused and she isn't getting direct answers. We meet with her again tomorrow but we aren't quite sure what to do in this situation. Teach
correct principles and let her govern herself I guess....we really can't do more than provide opportunities for her to feel the Spirit.

Yesterday we found a family to teach! It was a member referral for a mom and 2 kids.  Kathy is the mom and Landen  and Katelyn are her two kids. They were very open upon our first contact with them so we sat down and taught the Restoration. Katelyn gets pretty sidetracked, but it was kind of amusing when she was getting the gospel confused with Thor. Poor kid needs some Primary in her life :)

Us: "Who is God?"
Katelyn: "He's the good King and he and the other Gods all fight in a battle in the sky and...."
Us: "Mmm I think that's Thor, but...."
Katelyn: "And then he sends this one guy to fight for him..." (Pulls up picture of man in greek robe from her video game)
Her mom: "Ummmm that's Hercules...."

Her brother Landen  was very attentive the entire time. He was laying on the couch sick when we came in, but by the end was sitting up and staring at us as we spoke. At the end we asked if anyone had questions and Landen said "How will I know if he answers me?" Awww it was so tender :)

Lunch with Brother Phil


Kathy let us in for another lesson this week! We re-explained the 3 kingdoms to her using the Bible this time, and she said she still doesn't get it. Oy.  She knows she has to pray for answers though so she promised us she would. The great and abominable church is still thwarting her progress though.  She continues to bring up the
anti-video she watched. Sister Suter was with us that day and she made a good point. She said "No one makes anti Catholic movies or anti Buddhist movies! Something must be right if we are the only ones Satan tries to bring down."  Kathy agreed that while she waits for answers to her prayer she will continue to learn from us.

Tyler was at church on Sunday! It was his best friends mission farewell so he came to support him. Tyler came right up to us and was super friendly. We asked him about school and work and there was no
awkwardness so we were relieved that the future Mormon is still inside of him :)  He looks and acts just like one! White shirt and tie, sings all they hymns, pays attention to the talks. It kiiillls us that he won't pick the lessons back up, but we are patient....all in due timing right? grr

Sister Erekson and I are really working on speaking more Spanish with each other. Sometimes we get a kick out of her vocabulary though :) This morning she prayed that we would know how to best teach Paul about "breakfast and fasting."  Ohhh I died :)  And then last night she told a Christian preacher that we would pray to him.  Bahaha she did fix that one pretty fast :)  We have a video of me teaching her to say characteristics. She has improved so much in 2 transfers though.....its just understanding native Spanish that still gets to her.

So the preacher story now. Oye!! Last Tuesday we were trying to find a former investigator and when we knocked we happenned upon 6 Mexicans doing a Bible study! Sweet! They invited us in and let us share a scripture and prayer :) We asked if we could come back the next week and they said yes! After that extravaganza, a Spanish member chuckled as she told us that 2 of those Mexicans are inactive members and the leader of the group is an anti.  I tired to be positive and pointed out that that was 4 years in the past!  So we went back yesterday and
who was there?? The woman preacher and her husband. The Spirit had prepared us though and prompted us to bring an RM from Paraguay.  Brother Goss helped us out a lot that lesson! The preachers husband shared a message about Christ and then they turned on me and asked me to share a scripture. Gulp. I pullled out John 10:16 "other sheep I have which are not of this fold...." and then I talked about our purpose as missionaries in bringing others to Christ.  Everything was still fine and dandy and then Brother Goss taught the group about the Book of Mormon. The preacher's husband started to ask typical anti questions and Brother Goss was awesome and reminding them that religions shouldn't fight, but he would answer their questions the
best he could and leave it to them to pray about it.  Things were feeling contentious until Sister Erekson followed the Spirit and interrupted to share another scripture about Christ.  Everyone said "Amen, Gloria a Dios!" and then they asked Brother Goss to say a closing prayer. Luckily we left on good terms, but we probably won't
return to Tuesday night Bible Study.  We will go talk to those formers on a different night :)

Sister Erekson and I are together for one more transfer!!!!! And we are still STL's, so we get to take a trip to the valley again in a couple of weeks. :)  I will also get to experience the Apache Reservation on exchanges this transfer! There is something new!!

I hope you have a great week family!  Enjoy camping without me Jens and Kars....you each get your own bed! :)  Til next summer..... :) 

I love you! I miss you!

Love,
Hermana Short

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