Wednesday, September 30, 2015


Good-bye Sister Erekson

Hola Familia!!!!

This week was transfers and my twin and I finally got separated. :(  It was really hard
for both of us. We both tried to be tough....and then we cried :(  We weren't excited about it at all, but change is part of missionary work and it will be good to be able to learn from another companion.

 I am with Sister Wesolek now (pronounced Wes-lock) and she is from San Francisco. She's been out 8 months and was in Snowflake that whole time. Her Spanish is pretty good for always being in the mountains!! She's a lot different than Sister Erekson and I've had a hard time adjusting so far, but I'll be fine. Its part of being a missionary!!! We are STL companions too, so we have 4-5 exchanges to do in October and 2 MLC's in the valley for this transfer. I like having the extra job though I decided :) A little bit of "normalcy" and I don't feel demoted. hahaha

new companion - Sister Wesolek

      None of our big investigators are progressing right now. Paul and Amanda are having a hard time living the Word of Wisdom :/ They had us over for dinner this week though!! Paul's parents rented them a cabin for 2 nights for a small family vacation. Since we can't eat in their 5th wheel trailer, they invited us to join them for dinner on their vacation! They had us go mini golfing with them, fed us pork-chops, and we had a lesson on baptism and confirmation. They were honest with us about the progress on their goals, and then they went fishing on Sunday and didn't come to church. Ay ay ay. Aidan made a hilarious comment at dinner though. He was trying to memorize where we are from and said "Ok, you're from Boise, and you're from......hairyboy?" Hahaha close "hairyman!"

      We did have a pretty good lesson with Nury though! She wanted to speak to a Mormon bishop, so we took our ward's old bishop that speaks Spanish. She told him about all her questions and concerns and he asked if he could invite his son over. His son served in Peru, which is where Nury is from, so they got along right off the bat!!  Bishop and Easton told her things that we have told her 5 times, but
it worked coming out of their mouths apparently :p Good thing we had them there! She committed to try living the Word of Wisdom (no tea) for 2 weeks, to test it out and see if it is a true principle. We were cracking up as she brought out box after box of tea.  She held up a picture of her deceased mother and swore on her mother that she wouldn't drink any. Hahaha we did not make her do that!!! She just wanted us to know she was serious I guess! 

Brother Phil

Maria Barilla was our miracle Spanish investigator that was so excited for us. But she has had to work two jobs these past two weeks and couldn't meet with us. We stopped by last night anyway and took her a large print Book of Mormon. Over the phone she told us she had been reading the Book of Mormon, but it gave her a headache from focusing on the tiny words. She was excited about her new book!
Marie is still doing awesome :) She got her visiting teaching assignment this week and Sister Erekson and I silently chuckled. Marie was assigned to visit good old Cazzie. We were worried about it for a
little bit, but now I think it will be a good thing. :) Cazzie loves converts and Marie has a lot of patience :)

      We saw a lot of our Spanish less-active families in the last week. We are trying to get everyone to commit to come to the next Spanish FHE. The Mora and Cortez family are awesome and come every
time, but we have to really work on the other ones :) Sister Mora even cried when we went to visit their family. Because of FHE and a visit from some ladies in their ward, they started saying family
prayers and she said they have all ready seen the changes in their family. Love them!!

Tonight we are seeing Marie and teaching another after baptism lesson, and hopefully we will get to watch part of conference at her house this week. We also have the after-camp YW activity that we have been trying to get Zoey to go to. 

The Gardner Family

Tomorrow we have studies, weekly planning, and then the drive to the valley.  Friday is MLC, but I don't think I'll get to visit Camelback this time. I am going to try to in November. So many things to do!! So little time!!!      

Oh how could I forget!!!!! We went to a wedding this week. In an Episcopal church!!! We went by so Sister Erekson could say bye to Mary Telstad and she invited us to her last-minute wedding two days later.  We went and we were glad we did because there were probably only 10 other people there! Half of them under the age of 10! It was very interesting.....the "Father" was very laid back and goofy. We talked to him afterwards and thanked him for what he does, then made the mistake of asking what makes Episcopalains different from other people. He gave us a 20 minute history lesson on how their church came about. Then he told us that he's a radical and believes a bit different then everyone else though. He thinks God is a loving God who wants us to come unto him. Hmmm sounds like a Mormon :) He told us he doesn't claim that their church is the only true one, but everyone has pieces of the truth. Haha we need to get this guy some missionaries!!!

At dinner one night they had an 8 year old autistic kid. I was sitting next to him and he wanted to read me 3 of his favorite books.  Then he wanted to build a puzzle with me. I got distracted talking to the family and I heard the kid say "Excuse me!" I turned around and said "Sorry! What can I do?" He said "I farted. So I said excuse me." hahahahaha we all died laughing :)

In service news this week, we helped a hoarder pack up a small section on her desk for an hour. She's trying to move, but at the rate that she is saving junk, it will take 2 semis to transfer everything in her tiny trailer! Yikes. Then another day we helped a member family stack up their winter wood. It was going great til one piece of wood had a herd of black widows came out of it!!! Ok maybe only 3, but thats enough to make me jump out of my skin!!   

The Yeoman's

 Well I'm running out of time, but I will email again in 5 days :) I can count p-days on two hands now mom! :) I have a lot of work to do before those fingers are gone though! Pray for me to adjust well this transfer :) haha I can do hard things!!!

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

Monday, September 21, 2015

Conference + Temple + Exchanges + Baptism = I'm exhausted

Hola familia!!!

This has been the most stressful, busy, crazy, and rewarding week I can remember!!  If transfers weren't next week I would say I can finally breathe, but there's always something new to stress about isn't there? :)  I'm not training....and I'm probably not leaving.....but what poor sister do I get to torture next? ;)

Monday night was our Sisters Conference.  I had been so stressed about it all day, and we took P-Day time to go set the room up cute and have everything ready to go.  We raced to Marie's baptism interview and realized the interviewer was long-winded and a story teller so we ran to pick up some chili from a couple members.  We got back just in time to hug Marie and race to Show Low for the conference.  We are about to start the meal with a prayer when I realize everyone looks nervous and panicked.  I asked what was going on and come to find out that 3 of the Sisters had they put on lavender essential oils.  One of the other sisters is allergic to Lavender and as the smell filled the room, her lungs started to burn and she rushed outside crying.  Are you kidding me?!  We had to pack everything into another room and our cute set-up was useless now.  The 3 sisters who put it on had to go in the bathroom and scrub their skin to try to get the scent out. Ha ha ha that would happen to us.  We ate, had training, and then cleaned up and shipped out.  It was fun to be with all the sisters,
and the training has already increased obedience and morale among mountain missionaries, so it was worth all the stress :)  But I am extremely glad its over!  The trainings were on "Being the Snow White in the 7 Dwarfs" which basically is not being afraid to correct the Elders. Ha ha was needed.  The best part was that Sister Erekson and I got the Elders in our zone to send us videos of them imitating one of the 7 dwarfs. We won for best laughs of the night ;)  Then we had one on covenant keeping, communication, and companionship with the Holy Ghost.  It was a good night :)

Sister missionaries in the Mountain area of Scottsdale Mission
Tuesday was our temple trip.  It is so nice to be able to sit in the temple and just focus on what you see and hear.  No stress, no one calling us, no to do lists....just focus. :)  The Senior couple in our area took 4 sisters to eat afterwards at Taco Bell too which is a plus ;)

Sister Arnold and Suter.....the roommates!

Sister Missionaries of Show Low Zone

Missionaries in Show Low zone
Wednesday, after a lesson with Marie we swapped companions and I went to the Apache Indian Reservation for 24 hours. That was enough :)  They have as many wild horses as people, dozens of filthy sick dogs, drunk people wandering everywhere, and run down houses filled with generations of families.  The nice thing about the Apache people though is that they are humble, kind, and very receptive to missionaries.  Its rare to get turned down. But no one has cars down there so the missionaries have a hard time getting investigators to church.  Their church is tiny and has maybe 10-12 benches in the chapel. The baptism font is underneath the stage.  You just move the floor and bam there is a font!  It was definitely interesting to see,  but the hard thing about that area is all of the sad stories everyone has. And they tell the missionaries everything!!

Wild horses in Ft. Apache
Thursday evening I got back to Pinetop/Lakeside and we worked in our area for the evening.  Friday we had an awesome lesson with Amanda and Paul at Bishop's house. They set goals for Amanda to receive a temple recommend!  

Saturday, we decided last minute to go to the church 30 minutes earlier and start filling the font. Good thing we did because it barely finished before everyone got there!!  Marie arrived excited....too excited to sit down :)  She stood by the door and greeted everyone that came in :)  She had 4 non-member friends show up, lots of her
member friends from work, and about a dozen people from the ward. It was an incredible turnout!  She bore her testimony after she was baptized and told everyone about "the girls" which are us :)  She told the story of driving and hearing the Holy Ghost, she talked about Russ and how she is going to do his work for him, and she told everyone that she knows this church is true :)  Now that is a tender moment for a missionary :)  The best part is that the next day was her birthday.  She told us "So that means I'm a new born 55 year old!"

Filling the font!

Members who started teaching Marie about the gospel

Saturday, we had almost an entire less-active Spanish family at church!!  In our second ward, Amanda gave a talk on living the gospel :)  She was suuuper nervous, but did a great job and it was obvious how much this gospel has changed her life around.  Our third meeting was when Marie got confirmed and to our shock, we looked across the room and saw Roberta Boon!!  She is the less-active with the southern accent and non-member Husband.  She just showed up!! She even stayed for all 3 hours and loved it.....miracles do happen :)  Mike was asleep, but we know we can get him to come next time :)  Everyone was so good to Marie and Roberta at church. They were both welcomed warmly and had smiles on their faces :)

Monsoon season is finally over!

Last night was pretty cool!! We hadn't been getting responses from Emily, but we figured she would be at the youth fireside Sunday night so we went to check it out.  Sure enough she was there and said her phone is broken and can only accept calls.  Amanda and Paul had also come to the fireside which was so good for them!!  The main speaker was one of the missionaries in the movie "Saratov Approach." He told the story of his kidnapping and related different parts to choosing to serve a mission, living worthy, and slowing down to enjoy the little moments in life.  It was really neat!

Funny story of the week, last night we were eating in a BYU fan home.  They had 3 young kids and Sister Erekson and I were trying to corrupt :)  Being a Boise state fan, Sister Erekson asked 8 year old Ella, "Do
you like horses or cougars better?"  She thought about it and I added "or birds!!!"  She continued thinking silently....her dad waiting anxiously for her answer.....and 4 year old sam piped up "or giraffes!!!"  We all cracked up and decided there needs to be a team with a giraffe for a mascot :)

15 Months!!
This week our goal is to see every single investigator and less-active that we have been working with. Sister Erekson needs to say good-byes and some people are long over due for a visit.  You would not believe
how hard some people are to contact!!

Its been a crazy week, but there were a lot of great rewards :)  Just another week in paradise they say ;)

I love you family!! Happy Birthday Friday Karsyn!!!

I love you, I Love You, I LOVE YOU

Hermana Short

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Meetings and Mexicans

Sister Training Leaders for the "Mountain" area of Scottsdale Mission

Aloha Ohana!!!

This week we had a lot of service opportunities, a lot of meetings, and a lot of fun :)  Here it goes!!

Monday evening we went to a barbecue with our ward mission leader.  Then we had our first Spanish family home evening.  Three families came, but one doesn't really count because they are active members in Taylor who come down to support the Hispanic members here. We are very glad they do too, because they help a ton.  The Cortez and Mora families came from our area though and we look forward to adding to our group as we continue this tradition.  Sister Erekson and I taught the Restoration using the cup stack so it kept their attention :)  We ended with a game which always makes them laugh, so we hope they enjoyed it!  We are really trying to strengthen these members!  Hermana Cortez invited us over for dinner later in the week so we know we did something good :)

Tuesday was exchanges and I was with Sister Suter for the day. She has been out for 9 weeks and is all ready a powerful missionary.  We helped an old Sister clean out her 3 freezers and reorganize them.  Taught a bilingual lesson to Nury in which she told us she's chosen the other church, tried to teach Cazzie about patience, but learned more about it ourselves in that lesson (haha) and then found a new Spanish investigator!!

Nury was a disappointment, but not really a shock.  Her husband is pulling her hard towards the Catholic church and she isn't quite strong enough to hold her own.  She did say we could still come teach her though and she wants to talk to a Mormon bishop. So we are bringing one to her this week. It was kind of a rough lesson because Sister Erekson wasn't there to help me teach. Sister Suter tried her darndest, but when you can't speak or understand a lick of Spanish its kind of hard :)

We found our less-active Cazzie outside the complex taking a smoke and so we pushed her in her wheel chair back to her room, but had to stop for 5 minutes while she collected bark and pebbles for her potted plant. We finally got inside, started a Mormon message about patience.  We finished talking about patience and left her to continue studying.  On the bright side she has finally made some progress. She went to a member who works at her assisted living home and asked her for more references to study the topics we had been teaching.  When we came Tuesday she had been studying verses in the Bible as well as the True to the Faith booklet.

Hermana Cortez had given us a referral for one of her friends, Maria Barilla, that lives in the trailer park next door to us.  Sister Suter and I decided to try and contact her while it was still light outside.  I remembered that this specific trailer we were going to had a dog. I hadn't seen the dog, but I had heard the bark and it was big and not
friendly!!  So we walk up to the door and the whole time I'm saying "The dog is going to get us..." "Sister! Don't get close to that fence!" "Oh man we are going to get eaten."  Sister Suter didn't care though and knocked on the trailer wall!  To my dismay this bear of a dog came barreling out of the door barking like mad. Sister Suter ran
back to me and we both hid behind a pole, trembling and whispering "Don't move!!"  The dog hadn't seen us yet and in my head I was praying he wouldn't smell us, hear us, or see us.  Too late. He got a whiff and ran to where we stood at the fence. If he wasn't an older dog he would have jumped that 3 foot fence and eaten us. I was afraid
he would get up the nerve and try it!!  We started yelling "HOLA!!!!"  at the top of our lungs and finally an old Mexican woman poked her head out.  Then she left us again with the dog!!! We stood terrorized for 5 minutes and she came back out, climbed over the fence and showed us a place to sit with her in her front yard.  With fear subsiding we talked to her about our purpose as missionaries and tears filled her eyes as she told us how much she wants us to share messages with her.  We set up an appointment to return and then I gave her a
hug. Big mistake!!! Protective dog went on high alert and we made a quick exit :)

We ended that day visiting Roberta and Mike Boon from Kentucky.  Mike is a lot like dad, but instead of having a song for everything....he has a story for everything.  Thanks to Sister Suter's stubborn persistence we made it through the Restoration.  About halfway through though they made us try a new food. Spicy Goat Milk
Pecan Fudge.  It had chilies in the chocolate and left an after burn in your mouth.  Weird.

Wednesday we met with Marie and went over the Baptism interview questions with her.  She is ready for her official interview tonight!! She is so precious :)  She told us yesterday at church that she made us goody bags for when we come over this week. She is such a prepared investigator. And I am so glad that Sister Erekson will get
to see her baptized before she leaves. There is no better way to end your time in an area than baptizing! Especially when it's your first baptism!! Goal accomplished :)

Wednesday, we also had a really neat service opportunity.  We were coming home to check one companionship's area book for correct entries and as we walked up to our door we noticed a neighbor in the next building with a moving truck.  We thought for sure they would refuse when they saw two blonde girls in skirts offering to help, but the woman was so grateful.  We went up her 3 flights of stairs to find the most packed apartment I have ever seen. With boxes and furniture everywhere!! Our poor muscles weren't going to make it so we called in reinforcements. 8 Elders showed up within the hour to help this lady, her boyfriend, and the old couple who had also offered to help. What would have taken them 4-5 hours took us all 1 hour!  She was catholic, but kept calling us her angels and telling us how grateful she was.  She bought us pizza and then made everyone hold hands for a prayer.  Her boyfriend asked the Elders a lot of questions about what they do, and it turned into a great missionary opportunity.  Ammon was right....service works :)

Thursday, we had a zone training meeting in Vernon and then we drove an hour to give a training to the Fort Apache zone. That evening we met with Maria Barilla again and taught her the Restoration.  She was so
excited to get her own Spanish Book of Mormon. She hugged it to her chest and said "Muchisisisimas gracias!!"  The gospel is all ready starting to mean the world to her :)

The Yeomans were a funny pair Thursday night again.  We were trying to set up a service project for them and she said "I figured out what my problem is!!!"  What?  "Pride!" she shouted :)  We laughed and she pointed at her husband, "That's why he calls me rock
head!" Sure enough 5 minutes later, Brother Joe told her to quit being a "stone-brain." :) She finally let us come wash their windows on Saturday :)

Friday we taught Amanda and Paul about following the prophet. They are very excited for conference coming up :)  We taught it in a member home, remember 3 year old Hyrum? His house :)  His parents told us again that he will not give up the Valentines ordeal! They said he came downstairs in his church clothes on Sunday and said he was ready for Valentines with the Missionaries! "The girl ones..." he told his mom. "NOT the boy ones."  hahaha such a crack up!

Saturday, we helped our apartment manager set up for a community barbecue. We went back home, did studies, then went to the Yeomans to wash windows. We came back home, ate at the community barbecue and met
a neighbor that said we could come visit, then we left again to plant flowers for Sister Gougler who is having surgery next week.  We then went to a Spanish lesson with Lucy who wants to come to church, get her son in Cub Scouts, and read the Book of Mormon.  At 5 we went to dinner in Wagon Wheel Ward, then at 6:30 had to eat dinner again with the Cortez family. I was so full it hurt that night!!  But it was good to have legitimate Mexican food again :)

Sunday was good as well :)  We had a lesson with Kathleen and set up a day to attend her church with her. It will depend on her work schedule, but possibly this week.  That should be a real adventure :)

Sister Jackson - one of the  STL's

Now we are to today and we have to run to set up for our Sisters Conference tonight.  Its for all of the mountain Sisters and since Sister Sweeney is running the one in the valley, we are in charge of ours.  Its been a lot of work, but it should be a great evening :)

Sorry I haven't been getting letters out, but hopefully this extra long email makes up for it!!!

I love you family!!!!! I miss you!!

Hermana Short

Monday, September 7, 2015

Wedding Bells and a Baptism

Buenos Dias Familia!!!

So many great and also hilarious things happened this week. I will
tell the funny stories first so I don't forget.

Saturday we went to Aidan's baptism and sat next to Brother Gardner, our ward mission leader.  As we are waiting for Aidan to change after the baptism this 8 year old named Quinn, who is probably 3 feet tall, walks right up to Brother Gardner's lap and with a thick lisp says, "Excuse me Brother Gardner, but could you please scoot over one chair so that I can sit by the Sheeshter Meeshionaries?"  Brother Gardner said "Umm...sure!" He scooted over and Quinn plopped himself down right next to me!  That evening at the wedding reception, Quinn
plopped himself at our table and said, "I told my mom I was going to sit with the Sheesters."  The next day at church Quinn asked his mom if he could sit with us, but she said he needed to sit with the family.  Five minutes later he walks up to us and says, "I just want you to know that you are welcome to sit with my family if you'd like!"  He is the cutest kid, and has a nice big crush on the sheesters!


Then there is 3 year old Hyrum.  We saw him and his mom at Home Depot last P-Day and his mom told us that Hyrum keeps trying to tell her something about the Sister Missionaries and Valentines day. We saw them at Aidan's baptism and I said, "Hi Hyrum!  What are we doing on Valentines day?"  He looked at us very seriously and said, "Well, it has to be in the dark." Ha ha ha we lost it!  Then he said something about Valentines and hearts. Man, Sister Erekson and I have got a good following here!  Plenty of dates to cash in on in a decade or two :)  A catholic lady at Walmart today could not believe that people never ask us out on dates.  We didn't tell her about our gaggle of little boys :)

The Brown/Prince/Phillips family had a big weekend this weekend!  Saturday morning 8 year old Aidan got baptized and the Primary litteraly provided everything. A baptism journal, towel, and the President was even sweet enough to take him out yesterday and do baptism pictures :) She had an album for his mom and a big framed one of him for the baptism. His active grandparents did the Baptism talk, baptism, and confirmation. Paul gave the talk on the Holy Ghost and did a great job!  He was super nervous and shaking, but I think it meant a lot to him and the family to be able to do that for Aidan.

Amanda, Paul & Aidan

That afternoon the Gardner's drove us up the canyon for Paul and Amanda's wedding. They had as much ward support as they did family support. We were super pleased with how much the ward did for them.  Some of the ladies took Amanda to get her nails done, bought her 9 wedding dresses to choose from, curled her hair and did her make-up.  For this woman who raises her kids in a 5th wheel trailer, her wedding was pretty extravagant. Paul whore a plaid shirt, bolo tie, and a giant gold belt buckle that said "PAUL".  ha ha ha  And the dog
was the ring bearer.  It took Paul a while to cut them off of his collar :p  Another member made a cute wedding cake, and members provided all of the food and decorating for a reception.  At the reception we got to meet Paul's anti-Mormon parents who disowned him when he started going to the LDS church.  They actually entered the building and conversed with members all night long!

Paul & Amanda

The neatest outcome of this weekend was in fast and testimony meeting on Sunday.  Paul stood up to bear his testimony and the first words out of his mouth were "I know this Church is true." He told everyone that he knows its true not just because of the scriptures and because the Holy Ghost told him, but because of the amount of service and fellowship he has seen.  I teared up a little bit.  His testimony was so simple and so sincere.  Amanda's parents gave Paul his own scripture quad with his name engraved and he was pretty proud of them.

I went to Luna, New Mexico on exchanges this past week. It was really pretty and foresty, but I would never want to serve in that area!  Those 3 sisters single handily cover 1/3 of the land area of our mission. They drive so. much.  They say Luna makes you loony because of how much travel you have to do.  Yikes I was ready to come back to Show Low!

While I was gone Sister Erekson met with Marie and she is still progressing well. This week will be her baptismal interview!!!  She told them this week that she has a testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. And even though she had family in town staying at her house, she took one hour to come to Sacrament meeting.  The gospel has become super important to her and her conversion is strong.

Emily has been too busy to meet with us this week. So we decided to be nice and go visit her at her work. She works at a coffee hut, but she told us and Bailey told us that we could get a frozen hot chocolate.  Well....lets just say Sister Erekson and I broke the word of wisdom today! That thing totally had coffee in it!  Luckily we got it for free and could chuck it :p  Bailey said that Emily must have gotten confused between the frozen hot chocolate and the frozen mocha.  Apparently its happened in the past.  At least we sinned  innocently......ay ay ay

Bailey - our chauffeur 

Tonight we have a big Spanish Family home evening at the church.  We are hoping to build up these family nights and show the Stake Leaders how willing members are to attend church if it is in their language!!
President Sweeney is backing us up so we feel confident that with hard work and the Spirit we will get our branch back. :)

Our trip to Scottsdale was good.  The main subjects of our training were the atonement of Christ and how we can improve as leaders in our teaching and in our use of time.  Now this week, Sister Erekson and I have to reciprocate half of those training's and give them in 2 different zones. One on the Apache Reservation and one to our own zone.  This job takes us out of our area a lot!  But President talked about that at MLC and reminded us how many miracles we will see when we are in the area because of the time we have taken out to serve our
fellow missionaries. When I look at Paul and Marie I can only testify of that :)

Sister Erekson and I begged President to give us another transfer together! We wore matching clothes and took "Refuse Transfer"  pictures....literally :)  He said it looks like she will be leaving though :/  We knew it would probably happen, but we are still pretty bummed.  

Matching clothes at MLC's to convince Pres. Sweeney
to leave us together :)

Hopefully I get another companion that I love to finish off my last two transfers.  It doesn't sound like there are many Spanish trainees coming in so I don't have to worry about that luckily!! Transfers stink :p

Well that's it for this week.....more exciting adventures ahead I think!!  I hope you all have a great week this week.  

I love you, I Love You, I Love You

Hermana Short

Brother Gardner our Ward mission Leader.  We are his favorites!
I told Brother Cochenour in the background that he was not allowed to
wear that hat, but he didn't listen :)