Monday, August 10, 2015

Standards of EXCELLENT






Dear Familia,

Sister Erekson and I are really seeing the blessings of obedience and persistence in our area.  Our mission standard is that we have 3 people on baptism date, 3 people progressing, and 1 member referral weekly.  We had 6, 6, and 1 last week!!  We are scared to get too proud of it though because the Lord chastens the prideful :)  But we are so excited for these people and we know that this area has been prepared by the Lord.

Marie was our biggest concern this week, but she is a gem. We met with her on Wednesday and had a nice long chat. We talked about temples and showed her pictures of a baptismal font and a sealing room. She feels
comforted to know that even though Russ is gone, he is still progressing with her in the gospel. Just on the other side of the veil.  Our proudest moment was when Marie said to us with a look of concern on her face...."So, do I have to wait a year to get baptized now too??" She was relieved to hear that she can still be baptized in
September!

Her LDS co-workers have really been reaching out to her and even though she has only been to church twice, the ward is jumping on opportunities to serve her. The young men are going to help her with her yard work next week, the Relief Society is providing a luncheon for the funeral services this week, and the Bishop continues to call
and check up on her.  We have to admit that we were really concerned that because no one in the ward knew her, no one would care.  But we have been amazed by their support and love. She said yesterday in
church that she feels like she has a giant family now.  We know this was perfect planning on God's part. He took away her husband, but only after he had given her a family of 200 :)

Alexis is a new mother living with her future in-laws, he being our ward mission leader.  She expressed interest to him in being baptized so of course we jumped on her!!  The first lesson, the Restoration, went awesome.  She has ZERO knowledge of religious subjects so we struggled to be simple, but to our surprise her eyes stayed wide and she kept saying "this makes so much sense!" After we left the ward mission leader texted and said that Alexis was already reading the Book of Mormon.  We are working on getting her on a wedding date, so we can get her on a baptism date!

Paul had an awesome visit with President Sweeney this week. To our shock and "utter delight" (haha) President said Paul will probably be able to be baptized in January instead of April!! He and his wife Amanda are really doing awesome.  They are so devoted to changing their lives and fighting the good fight. Amanda got a calling as the chorister for Relief Society and she just bawled. She said "I know its a small calling, but the Lord called ME, and that means so much to me."  It was priceless :)

Mary is our investigator with 14 chickens and a garden that she is super proud of.  Before every lesson we have to go in the backyard and get a tour on how everything has grown and changed. This woman teaches me patience, but we love her :)  She not only accepted a baptism date, but she went as far as to schedule a time with us and put it in her calendar! Then she scheduled us to come visit her every Tuesday and Thursday to teach her all of the lessons.  We are super excited for her, but hoping she stays this solid.  Everyone loves the first 3
lessons....and then we teach the Word of Wisdom and people start to realize the life commitment they are making.  They want religion, but some struggle with change.

Emily is really starting to concern us.  Her friends reported to us that a teacher at school is discouraging her from joining the church, and we can tell by Emily's new attitude in lessons, that its really getting to her.  She's not very open with us about it, but she did admit that she is feeling overwhelmed.  Tonight we have an FHE with her
and the member family she lives with.  We plan on talking about how Satan will tempt her most when she's doing the most good.  We want her to be open with the concerns people are planting in her head, and then we are going to watch Meet the Mormons and help her understand that the world may say things, but we are normal and good!!

Thursday we drove with 3 other sisters for 3 hours to the Valley. My heart raced as we saw the city lights....I didn't realize how much I had missed it :)  On the way there we stopped in Payson for McFlurries.  Sister Erekson orders 5, one for each of us and the lady responds. "5 McFlurries?! Why do you need 5 McFlurries." Sis Erekson says nervously "Umm we like ice cream?"  Lady responds "I have to make them and it sucks!" Sister Erekson was good and just said "Sorrrry!"  We pull up to the window and she gives us a little more beef calling
us the "Infamous 5 McFlurries." Then we hear her whine to someone else through her drive through headset!"  She comes back and dropped my McFlurry on the ground.  After barely avoiding a swear word, she picks it up and comes back 5 seconds later telling me she fixed it. Hahaha worst customer service ever, but funniest drive-through story yet! We finally got the mission office after 10 and President Sweeney was waiting up for us. He offered to order a pizza and had snacks waiting on the counter :)  The next morning Sister Sweeney made the 5 of us a delicious breakfast and then we drove to our meeting.

Mission Leadership Council was great. I learned that to be a good leader its important to "lend the lead" and not insist on always doing everything myself :)  I don't have that with Sister Erekson, but I have in the past, and it's a great concept to teach the Sisters we are over. After MLC, Sister Erekson and I drove into Phoenix to visit Xochitl. That woman was bursting with excitement. She told me she had gotten her temple recommend recently and was doing baptisms for the first time this week!  She told a neat story of how she started paying
a full tithe 2 months ago, and since then, has been selling more kitchen-ware than ever before.  Her family keeps offering her coffee and tea, but she says its not even hard to say no anymore. The Branch gifted her a giant picture of Christ, but she didn't want contention with her husband so she didn't hang it up.  She was shocked one day when she came home from church and he had put it up in the family room for her. The oldest son has agreed to come to church, and even went to young mens one night.  This family is seriously my pride and joy :)

Xochitl told me a hilarious story.  She was sitting in church in front of Lupita, Lorenzo's wife.  While the sacrament was being passed, Lupita starts speaking very loudly and says "Where is Short?? Is she in Show Low now?" Sister Pierson tried to quiet her down and then Lupita says out loud "She's getting married, did you know?"  Xochitl said she whipped around and could not believe I would tell Lupita that but not her.  Hopefully Xochitl can now dispel any rumors. Oh Lupita, what a great story teller you are :)

I only got to see Valeria for a few minutes, but it was so good to see her :)  Driving down the streets of Phoenix was really hard for me....I wanted to take each right and left and see everybody I know and miss.  The worst is that Xochitl told everyone I was in town and President Alvarado tried to come visit, but he couldn't leave work in time. I just want to go to my branch!!!!!


Valeria



Cafe Rio with Sister Ereckson


Facebook post from Valeria

At the same time, I don't want to leave this area either :)  The members spoil us rotten and the work is on fire.  We were proud of one member this week who was having us over for dinner. She really really wanted to invite a non member and so she tried some of her friends and none could come.  So 5 minutes before dinner she sees one of her kids' friends parents on the street, and not knowing anything about them besides their name, asked them to come over for dinner with us!!  To her shock as well as ours, the person said yes!!  Our member panicked a little, but we were proud of her faith and diligence :)  The family came over and were super nice to us. He is a very inactive member it turns out,and his wife is not. They didn't show interest, but they didn't not show interest.......so we will let that member keep working with them.  I love member missionary work :)

All right family :)  I hope that gives you an idea of our exciting week :)  I love the good weeks!!!
I miss you all and love you so much!!

I love you, I Love You, I LOVE YOU

Love,
Hermana Short


Sent from my iPad

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