Monday, August 31, 2015

Where Am I?

Sister Erekson & Sister Richards
(They played basketball in Boise together)

Hola Familia!!

This week we felt like chickens running around with our heads cut off.......  Moving was a pain!! Deep cleaning both apartments, packing, moving, unpacking, and then finding all these new things wrong with our new apartment. The worst is the fishy closet. The carpet in the closet smells like dead fish and when we step on it, its like it releases the fumes and then we are running out of there.  Plus our sliding bathroom door doesn't work so we have to announce to everyone when we are using the restroom!

We picked the apartment because of this staircase :)

We are finally all settled into our new apartment!  We had some great miracles this week :)

Marie is now getting baptized a week earlier than planned!!!!  We met with her on Wednesday and we were going to teach her about prophets, but she started asking questions about Tithing so we switched our plan and taught Tithing and Fasting.  She accepted both commandments and is willing to follow them.  In the middle of the lesson she stopped us and said, "I do have to tell you something." We listened carefully as she related to us one of the most spiritual experiences I heard from an investigator.  Tears rolled down her face as she told us that during the week she had been driving and praying for forgiveness of her past as she drove. She told God, "I hope you won't forget me because of all this...."  Then she heard a voice in her head that kind of surprised her. It said "Marie, I haven't forgotten you."  Tears filled my eyes as she bore testimony that she knew it was a message from Heavenly Father and that he indeed has not forgotten her.  She asked us afterwards if we were still planning on the 26th for her baptism.  We told her yes and jokingly pointed out that she could do it earlier if she'd like. She told us she doesn't feel that ready, plus the 26th is the day that she and Russ agreed on, so it meant something to her to do it on that day. We were fine with that and the subject changed - to tea. She told us...."I was cleaning out my fridge and found a bottle of sweet tea. I didn't want it to go to waste so I decided to just hurry and drink it."  I could all ready feel the disappointment inside of me building. Then Marie said, "but the bottle wouldn't open!!!! So I guess I will just wait for a tea drinker to come visit and they can open the bottle."  God works in mysterious ways doesn't he :)  My favorite is that she does not consider herself a "tea drinker" anymore. Haha

We went home after that lesson to start moving apartments and Sister Erekson came running into the room to show me a text from Marie.  She said that after our visit, she went to a work meeting and found out she has a mandatory event to go to on the 26th, so could we please move her baptism to the 19th at 11am.  WAHOO!!!!!!  She told us at church on Sunday...."It was funny how we had just finished talking about moving the date....I guess it was meant to be!!!" On Sunday she came to all 3 hours of church for the first time. Her knees were starting to hurt her really bad in the 3rd hour, but she pushed through and commented on how much you learn by staying all 3 hours.  Funny enough, the lesson in Sunday School was Tithing and Offerings.  And since she discovered the BYU channel this week, she had watched a program that morning on tithing.  The Spirit must have touched her because she had us show her where to get a tithing slip after church :)  Man that woman is a gem.  

She is also an incredible missionary. As a hospice nurse she sees all sorts of people.  She visits one sick less-active lady in snowflake. Marie told us that she told her whole conversion story so far to this lady and the woman told Marie that she wants to be at her baptism. Marie also invited a non-member family she works with. They promised her they would be there too :)  Marie told us "I hope that when they see my change, they will want this too."  Where is the fault in this woman???  A friend of hers encouraged her to start a journal to write down this story. Marie told us she started from the beginning when Russ told us no, and how our hair was covering our badges so he didn't realize who we were......all the way up to when she heard the Spirit speak to her in the car.  I'd love to read her side of the story one day :)

Paul and Amanda have an exciting week this week!  They are still on fire.  Amanda's boss told her she has to work Sundays now....there is no out. So Amanda told her, "my church is more important than my job, so I'm sorry, but I'm done."  The miracle of this was that one of Amanda's big reasons for quitting is that she has a responsibility at church (Relief Society Chorister) that she needs to fulfill each week. Was it not the Lord's plan to give her a calling 2 weeks prior to her having to make this huge decision?  In more big news....Paul got a calling this week!!!! So until he gets baptized, he is the Priesthood chorister :)  He's excited, we are excited, man it was a good Sunday!  Today Amanda called us as she was sitting with a friend of hers.  She called us to set up an appointment for us to come teach that friend the gospel!!! So we are meeting with the two of them tomorrow :)  

This Saturday, cute 8 year old Aiden is getting baptized.  In our lesson with Amanda, Paul, Paige, and Aiden we asked the two kids 5 things they are grateful for. Aiden's 2nd one was that he can get baptized. :)  A few hours after his baptism, we are heading into the woods for Amanda and Paul's wedding :) President Sweeney encouraged us to go to the wedding and help out, but that we can't be bridesmaids. Hahaha thank you President, we were totally wondering!! :)  

OH man, best part of this past week......

We are the first missionaries in a long time to have gathered some of the branch back together!!!! With the help of some of our Spanish members we pulled together a dinner activity Saturday night and it was a bigger success than we thought!!  We had 4 Spanish families there, plus 3 bilingual families that used to attend the branch. There were probably 30 people there!!  It was cute to see those members reunite again and we had delicious Nogales hotdogs.  A grilled hot dog with beans, guacamole and salsa on top :)  We played games with the kids and then shared a message with the group. We talked about the importance of keeping the commandments, praying, and fasting to see miracles.  We told them that we as missionaries are really going to work to get the branch back, but we need them to act as well.  So we decided to have 2 FHE's every month together, and everyone committed to come.  Progress :)  We are quite pleased :)  

Hermana Trujillo and Francisco

los ninos

We met with Kathy again this week and she told us she is praying, but hasn't received her answer yet. This week we are going to suggest the idea of attending both churches together. Sister Erekson and I will make a point of meeting her pastor and thanking him for teaching the people about Christ. 

Darlia is a new investigator that had a lot of questions for us about what the Book of Mormon is about.  She too attends "The Church," but didn't seem too fond of it.  She wants to meet with us regularly and has member friends in Snowflake that support her and have gotten her interested.

Cazzie is still Cazzie. We tried to teach her about Virtue and chasing out negative thoughts, but the key word there is tried. She kept getting distracted by telling us stories about how she passed out in the shower, all her attempts at stopping smoking, and how she forgot everything we taught her last time. Hahaha literally she tells us that.  We usually just walk out of her room chuckling and brainstorming how we can keep her on task the next time....

In funnier news this week, we are literally working til we are "drop dead exhausted."  The Sisters came upstairs one night (the night after our Fiesta) at 10:30 and didn't see me on the top bunk so they started to wonder where we were. Sister Arnold turned on the light and then apparently laughed because she found us both still in our skirts, passed out on the bottom bunk. The last thing we remember is that we were about to start planning and decided to rest for just a second.....after a couple seconds I said "Ok are you ready to plan?" She murmured "What's planning?" and then everything went black....needless to say we learned how fast we can pass out now :)

My new study area

Well we have a jam packed week ahead, but we are excited for all of the events coming up.  Stay tuned to hear about this weeks crazy experiences :)

I love you family! Have fun at work and school!!!

I love you, I Love You, I LOVE YOU

Hermana Short

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