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

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