Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Valley Blood

Hola Familia!

I am freezing all the time up here!!!  All the missionaries who were in the valley for a summer get "valley blood" and 70 degrees feels like 60 degrees. At night when it gets to the high 40's I literally feel like buying a snow suit and wearing a skirt over it. To my dismay I looked at the weather and we are stuck in the 50s and 40s this week.
I miss Phoenix!!

Thanks for the new jacket Grammy!
For all of you who are dying for an update on Goldy the chicken. Mary and David did consume her!! Then Mary threw up for 2 days because she was so upset about it.  I can't believe she actually ate it....

This week we had a lot of fun experiences.  My favorite was taking Marie to the temple for her first time :)  A member of the ward drove the three of us up to Snowflake on Wednesday. Marie seemed to just be soaking in her surroundings and didn't say much. Baptisms would be difficult for her so she watched Sister Wesolek and I do 15 baptisms each.  Then we changed and watched Marie be confirmed for the 30 names. After she was confirmed, one of the temple workers was telling her about how she can come here and be baptized for her own family members. I told the worker that in July, Marie would be able to do the work for her husband. Tears filled Marie's eyes and she nodded and said "Yep! He wanted to be baptized so bad....but he didn't make it."
When the 3 of us went back in the dressing room to change, Marie told me "You can really feel the Spirit here."  She loved the temple, and I was so grateful to be there with her.

Marie's fist Temple trip
Interviews with President went well.  We talked about a few investigators and then he gave a training on working with Bishops.  He told me that he isn't sure about transfers yet, but all the options he gave me included me staying. Who knows though.....that man can change his mind on the spot. I'll be in trouble with a lot of people up here if I leave though.....I've been telling everyone I'm staying!  It's called a step of faith...ha ha ha

Yesterday we had a miracle!! It was stake conference and we had a whole row almost filled of people we teach!!  There were members of our ward behind us and they sent us a text after church to tell us how impressed they were. Haha. It's not us! It's the spirit!  Even though it was stake conference, we had Marie there, Amanda, Paul, and kids, 3 members of our new less-active family the Martins, and then behind us was our new Amish investigator Bobby!  And it was stake conference!  We were pretty excited :)

Now I will explain Bobby :)  Bobby is a man who had religious differences with his family and recently moved up here to the mountains.  He was a normal business man and then something inside him changed I guess and now he wants to move to the mid-west and join the Menonites (similar to the Amish). So he has changed how he dresses, but still uses technology as of right now. Anyway! When he moved up here, he was looking for a church to attend and he met a member named Barry. I don't know how they met because Barry was visiting from Utah!
But Barry was a good member missionary and found which ward would be Bobby's and took him there one Sunday.  We met Bobby that day, but he told us he wasn't sure if he would return. Conference weekend, we saw
Bobby again, he had come to the church and was watching a session of conference by himself.  We lost him after the conference, but a couple days later, a referral for him appeared on our iPads with an address.  Hoorah!  We contacted him that week and set up a return appointment.  He told us that he feels our church is a pit-stop on his journey to Ohio, but that he feels good when he comes. We taught him twice this week.  He read the Book of Mormon in between appointments, made friends with a member of the ward, came to stake conference, and had dinner Sunday night with that member's family!  We invited him to be baptized and he is going to pray about it.  This may not be a "pit-stop" after all :)

Amanda hit 7 days of being smoke-free today!!!!!!!!!!!  We are having a party for her tonight and watching Meet the Mormons. Paul is only on day 4, but Amanda didn't want to wait for him to finish. She earned her party and she wants it now. Hahaha  it was so great this week though. We visited them almost every day and seeing the change and feeling the change in their little trailer was incredible!  Every time we walked in, usually by surprise, there were hymns playing on their stereo.  Amanda had been studying conference talks, reading, and praying hard to fight the temptations and she really seems to be done with that addiction. Paul is still working on it....Amanda's progress has motivated him a ton, and so they are both doing much better.  During the adult session of stake conference on Saturday, Paul and Amanda both shared comments during a discussion on the sacrament. In front of a couple hundred other adults!  Sunday after conference their family met with President Sweeney to check progress and they are still on track for Paul to be interviewed in December :)  I love that
family!!!  Even amidst their success this week, they still had trials.  Their brand new kitten was killed by a neighbor's dog :/  But once again, just like the car accident the week before, they do not let it affect their trust in God.  Their faith is definitely being proven.

Ciara and Darlia are both young moms we are working with.  They both did their reading assignments this week and are now progressing!  Darlia asked us a ton of questions and asked us to start meeting with her fiance as well so they can do this as a family. Um. Of course!!!  Ciara is working on saying daily prayers. Her son Gabriel is 5 and I had him help me say a prayer yesterday. He repeated everything I said and did really well. He was then CRAZY the entire lesson. Til Sister Wesolek started saying the closing prayer. He closed his eyes super tight, folded his arms, and tried to keep up with her and repeat everything she was saying. Haha she didn't realize what was going on, but I watched that cute, crazy little boy, stay calm for her entire, long, prayer :)

This Saturday for Halloween we get to go to the temple with the missionaries. We are probably just going to do baptisms though with Sister Suter and her companion (her mini missionary isn't endowed).  We need to make it home in time for a dinner appointment and our stake trunk or treat :)  Brother Phil is helping us decorate :) 

Oh embarrassing story for the week.  We were in our weekly meeting with the Bishopric and our ward mission-leader, and the senior missionary couple.  The Bishop started to talk about people we were visiting and I said "Bishop, do you want to start with a prayer first?"  Everybody looked at me like I was crazy and someone says "we just finished the prayer!"  The poor second counselor in his dry humor said "Yeah I just talked to God for like 2 minutes, but I guess it wasn't that powerful."  I was tomato red and just hid my face in my lap laughing.  I will never hear the end of that one.....

I love you family!!!!! Happy Halloween!!!!!!! And will someone pay the sun bill please? haha

I love you, I Love You, I LOVE YOU!!!!

Hermana Short

Monday, October 19, 2015

Fast Week

Supporting the Gardner's niece - Emilee's Warriors!!

Hola Familia!

This week is a complete blur in my head. We had two exchanges, service projects, and 20 lessons!!!  I can't remember the last time we had that many lessons, but there are a lot of less-active people who are letting us into their homes to teach right now, so we have been blessed!!

Tuesday, I made a reappearance in Fort Apache for exchanges. It was a lot less shocking to me the second time :)  We taught 6 lessons that day and some are less-actives with very little comprehension level, but some are investigators who are progressing really well!  Everyone was preparing for a funeral and wake that happened this last weekend.  When a Native American dies they hold a wake. Which is like a viewing, but for multiple days. A lot of people think that the longer the wake is, the more that person was loved. I believe the church has asked that members only have them for 1 or 2 days though. It's sad how many people die on the reservation every week. There is always a wake to go to!  We ate dinner with a member there and she cooked us pork and
tortillas over a charcoal pit. It wasn't too bad :)  I reenacted the story of Goldy the chicken for the Sisters in the trailer that night.....their faces were hilarious!

Wednesday we had another exchange, this time with the sisters in Luna, New Mexico.  Sister Jackson came to my area with me and I learned a lot from her.  She is one of the most obedient and successful sisters I know!  We have been friends since the beginning of my mission and it was sad for both of us to know that she was leaving 4 days later.  She broke down crying at one point because she was so sad that she wasn't going to be
a missionary anymore!  It was so sad....

We taught Marie that day and she showed us her shiny new temple recommend!!! :)  We are going to do baptisms with her this upcoming Wednesday and we are super excited :)

Dinner Marie made us....
Saturday, we had 2 big service projects. It was only 3 hours total, but my body felt like it was drained of 24 hours worth of energy!  The Rainbow Lake Ward had a wood splitting/stacking project at 8 in the morning.  So we stacked wood into trucks for an hour so they could be hauled to the members homes that needed it. Then we got sent by the Bishop with Brother Gardner and some young men to help a non-member move from Show Low to Lakeside. No problem! Then we saw the house. The whole basement was chuck full of junk. Bag after bag after bag of yarn, boxes of hundred year old clothes, broken knick knacks, and plenty of animal hair. The young men and Brother Gardner hauled out all the big furniture onto a trailer and drove it to the new house.  That left my companion and I, plus two other ladies, to haul the junk from downstairs to the upstairs. It looked like hoarder heaven in that living room!! We couldn't stay any longer because we had plans, but I definitely learned the importance of packing before moving!!

Paul and Amanda are doing pretty well with the 15-steps as of right now. They messed up a couple of times during the week, but now we believe they are 5 days clean. We had a lesson with them on Friday and
showed them the video called "Bearing our Burdens with Hope." It's from the conference talk about the guy who gets his truck stuck in the snow and not until he weighs down the truck with wood, can he get out. We
told them that following 1 or 2 of the 15 steps is like only putting in 1 or 2 logs. They have to follow all 15 steps to get the spiritual traction they need to escape this addiction. It must have hit them where it needed to because at the service project on Saturday, they stepped away to brush their teeth and use cinnamon mouthwash :)

Saturday night we went and saw the Trujillo family. Hermano Trujillo was even there and we took some time to talk with them and see how they are doing. During the conversation, he mentioned making us eat a chiltepin. It's a tiny red pepper that is super spicy.  All the Spanish missionaries have talked about someone making them eat one, and I had never done it! So I told him I wanted to.  I decided to be smart first though, and I made my companion try it first. She died a little bit, but then she was still alive so I decided to try it.  It was HOT.  I
guzzled mango juice and then Hermano gave me a quesadilla to eat.  I fulfilled the challenge though!   We talked to them about coming to our Spanish FHE tonight and asked them to bring the treat. Hopefully with an assignment they will for sure make it!!

Sister Lords returned for a visit!
Kendra is one of the less-active we have been working with and we had a cool experience this week.  We had planned to go by her house one evening without setting an appointment first. We knocked on her door and her son Drake answered. Kendra was sitting on the couch and just stared at us.  I couldn't tell if she was just tired or if she was annoyed that we had come over. It turns out that she was in a state of disbelief! She told us that she had to give another training to her addiction recover group and was super nervous. She said, "I JUST got done praying for help."  Then we knocked on the door :) I had always heard those stories about missionaries, but it was really neat to live it!  We helped her plan the training and even got to attend her group the next day to support her.  All the people in that group come from come crazy walks of life, but they are all trying to turn their lives around and it was neat to see how much support they give each other.  The group's director is LDS and he invited us to give our own training! So tomorrow, we get to speak on the Atonement at this addiction recovery center :) It has to be Christian based and not push the LDS religion, but that's fine....its an open door!  We are pretty excited :)

Besides that, this week we have interviews with President, 2 service projects, probably 10 already set lessons, and a temple trip with Marie!! It should be a great week :)

I love you family!!!!!! Good luck at school and work!

I love you, I Love You, I LOVE YOU

Hermana Short

Monday, October 12, 2015

Wedding, Smokers, and a Dead Chicken

Hola familia!!!

It has been a crazy busy week, but there is one event that takes the cake for funniest experience of the week.

Now, please. Let me tell you a story about Goldy the chicken.!

Saturday afternoon we had planned to go see Mary and David.  They are the couple whose wedding we attended at the Episcopalian church a couple weeks ago. We got to their house and peeked over the fence to yell "hello!"  Mary and David both start shaking there heads at us and saying things like, "Not a good time!" "We have a pet emergency!" "Come back later!" "Dog got the chicken!" We asked if everything was ok and David starts yelling, "One of the chickens got out of the coop and the dog got to it, and now we have to nurse it back to health." We asked if we could help with anything and Mary said "I will come let you in the  door." David yells at her "Mary, NO! We do not have time for them!" She starts to pout and says "I need them!!" David turns to us and says "Do you know how to nurse a chicken back to health?" I am thinking "There is no way in heck that I am touching a chicken." Then I hear my companion say "We can try!!" So Mary comes and lets us in. She is coddling this chicken in her arms and kissing its head while David is running through the house trying to set up a temporary shelter for this injured chicken. He told us to distract Mary!

We first were assigned to look through chicken books and try to find "how to nurse a chicken back to health."  I was glad to have something to do with my eyes and hands so I didn't look as weirded out as I felt.

While we are talking to Mary about how the chicken got loose, I suddenly I hear my companion say, "Um. It's head."  The chickens head had flopped to the side. Mary brings it back to her shoulder and is encouraging it...like this. "Come on baby, come to momma, its ok, stay with my baby."  Man I wish I had a video of my face this whole time.  The chicken relaxes for a minute and then it starts having a seizure or something.  It's head is flinging from side to side, and Mary is freaking out, "No baby! Don't leave me!!" She lays the chicken on the ground and it can't stand up. David runs over and starts yelling into his phone, "How to nurse a chicken back to health!!!"  Siri started to read him a chicken recipe. ha ha ha ha ha!   Mary looks at him and says, "David! This is not the time!!"  He tried again and it started playing a John Lennon song.  ba ha ha

David tries to tell Mary that he will get her two new chickens to add to her 10+ chickens, but she didn't want new ones. She wanted Goldy.  The chicken is not moving hardly at all now, so what is the practical solution? CPR. Yes, my friends, Mary and David put their mouths over that chickens beak and breathed into it --full on. The chickens chest raised and deflated again. Sister Wesolek, being the positive person she is says, "Um mouth to mouth won't do anything if there is no heartbeat." AGHH. So now they are frantically trying to find a pulse
on this chicken, Mary is still crying, and David tries his phone again. They called the tractor supply place to ask for help and they told them if there was internal bleeding, they couldn't save the chicken. While on the phone, it was determined that Goldy the chicken had officially passed through the veil.

I gave my condolences and other wise stayed quiet. My companion on the other hand pulls out her iPad and shares a quote about animal resurrection.  David and Mary are hugging on the ground while Mary holds this dead chicken and then David said a prayer that the chickens soul would be received into heaven. Oh my heck, at this point I am just dumbfounded.  But it gets better... Mary decided that the only way to keep Goldy with them would be to butcher her, and eat her!   Finally, I pipe up trying to save myself. "Ok, well should we come back
in a couple days?" Sister Wesolek, "No it needs to be now." Mary starts crying about how they got to cremate their other animals and David said absolutely not, they had already spent too much on that.  Sister Wesolek again, "Well maybe you could make your own crematory and do it yourself?" WHAT?!?!  Now I am coughing loudly trying to get her to shut up.  Mary and David tried to plan out how they could do that and then decided butchering would be better. "Do you know how to butcher?" they asked.  I volunteered my companion :) She had just told me that day that she had to watch someone do it on trek!  hahahaha

David sets up the backyard to butcher the kitchen and Sister Wesolek helps Mary pluck feathers from Goldy to create jewelry. Yes, that was my companions idea! I just sat dumbstruck on the couch and drank a soda that David gave me. I got put in charge of boiling water for the chicken to sit in.  And then I had to go outside with my
companion and David to butcher the chicken. I couldn't face them, so I helped Mary find ideas to keep the other chickens from escaping in the mean time.

To my absolute despair, we had to leave before Sister Wesolek could help fillet the chicken because we had a baptism to attend. On the way there, I replayed the entire scenario while shouting because I could not believe what had just happened.  So there you go. We witnessed the death of Goldy the chicken.  In the meantime I almost killed my companion for (1) suggesting that someone build their own crematory, (2) suggesting that they pluck chicken feathers for jewelry and tell them where to find the supplies, and (3) tell me in the car that she
had to pick up the chopped off chicken head with a garbage bag, and hadn't washed her hands after this whole ordeal!  I could not have been a pioneer. Or a cowgirl. Or a cave woman!

Melia got baptized in this area last December and she was going to get sealed to her fiance this December, but she ended up needing a place to live, so she moved in with Dillon and his parents, but his parents were wise and encouraged them to get married if that was the case. So they got married on Friday! It was super simple, but we were happy for them!  They will both receive their endowments this January. :)

Melia & Dillon
Last night we taught the 15-step stop smoking program to Amanda and Paul. Towards the beginning they have to sign a "Declaration of Independence," saying that they are making this promise to themselves, their families, friends, and God. Amanda started to cry and said "I just really hope this works."  It was the first time that I saw how controlling addiction really is. They really cannot just up and quit on their own, and they want to so bad!! As of today they have been following the 15 steps and are on track for success.  Brother and Sister Gardner were a huge help in this. They bought them healthy snacks, the mouthwash, grapefruit juice, and other supplies they
needed for the program. I don't know what we would have done without them!

Nury called us today to tell us that she didn't keep her commitment and has been drinking tea. She asked us to bring the tea we took from her back :p  We will take over her buddy Easton tomorrow and see where
we can help her from here.

Delbert Adams is doing so stinking well!!! We told him our goal is to get him to the temple and he laughed at us at first, but then we could see him start to get excited about the idea. So we gave him homework to read. We went over a few days later and he had read his homework several times and took notes :) He proudly showed them to us :)  We talked to him again about the temple and invited him to set up a meeting with the Bishop.   Tonight, we will see if he did it :)  He said that missionaries in the past have been so sweet, but ever since me and Sister Erekson came and started making him keep commitments, he's started to really be serious about doing the homework we leave him. Now he's reading, praying, he stopped drinking tea cold-turkey this week, and now he's really on his way to going to the temple. My goal is to go with him before I leave :)  He admitted to us this week that he dreams of being able to be a temple worker with his sister in Snowflake :)  Wahoo!!!!

Marie is still doing great :) She is hopefully meeting with Bishop tomorrow for her first temple recommend, depending on her work schedule I think.  She told us after sacrament meeting yesterday with
tears in her eyes, "You know, I look forward to this all week!"

Ciara is a new investigator we picked up. She's really interested in improving her life and a big part of it is for her sons sake. The hard thing with her is, once again, addictions, and the fact that everyone she lives around is a terrible influence!!!  She wants to come to church, but is afraid of being judged. So we need to bring members
with us to her lessons and show her that she will be fine :)

Those were definitely the highlights of this week, I hope everyone got a kick out of the chicken story.  It is definitely one of those unforgettable moments that you cannot believe you witnessed.

I love you family!! Happy 16 months :)  Thank you for the paquete!!!!

I love you, I Love You, I LOVE YOU

Hermana Short
Weekly lunch with Brother Phil

Monday, October 5, 2015

Embrace the Crazy

Visiting Xochitl

 Buenas Tardes Familia!!!

It's been a crazy 5 days, but a lot of good things have happened.  Mission Leadership Council, General Conference, and surprisingly, quite a few lessons!!

Thursday night we drove to Scottsdale and none of us were really hungry because we stuffed ourselves with Brother Phil for lunch. So we didn't stop for dinner and got to Scottsdale at 7:30pm instead of 8:30 like we were expecting. I couldn't avoid the temptation so I texted President Sweeney when we got there and asked if I could go visit people in Phoenix. He said "Yes. Go...." haha so we flew out of the mission home and headed to my little pueblo :) Before we left I called Ernie to get his new address and he told us that he wouldn't be home for another hour. So we ran to Xochitl's first and Daniel answered the door. He told us his mom is sleeping and I said, "Well tell her it's me!" He left and I could hear them in the backroom "It's Hermana Short!" "Seriously?" "Yes!" She came running out and gave me a huge hug and then we talked for 30 minutes :) Apparently she has become good friends with Lorenzo's wife Lupita who got baptized a couple months ago. Lupita is the one that told Xochitl I was getting married. This time she told Xochitl that I was a reserved person because when I was here, I never told Lupita my first name. Haha oh boy. It's cute that she still talks about me so much though :)


We went to Ernie and Jairo's house afterwards. They moved out of Julio's house and live a few streets down. They were both really excited to see me and wanted me to come back the next day to eat with
them. Ernie holds a temple recommend and is going to get his patriarchal blessing soon. Jairo is a slacker and plays drums at the Christian church in stead of going to Camelback 1st. He didn't seem
sorry at all about it, so I just left him alone and will pray for him to somehow learn the lessons that he needs to.

Jairo & Ernie

MLC on Friday went well and we drove straight home afterwards. We focused in the meeting on finding our "why" for serving a mission and helping other missionaries to create a vision for where they are going and who they are becoming. President is really focusing on teaching missionaries the doctrine so that they are obedient, rather than making them be obedient out of fear. Reminds me of the talk from conference about the little girl who wouldn't stay buckled :)

Saturday morning we watched conference with our less-active, Delbert Adams. That was my favorite session of conference and a lot of the messages were geared towards the excuses that Delbert gives us so it was perfect!

Saturday afternoon we watched the session with Marie at her house. She had some snacks ready for us and once again, the messages were for her. That was the session with the young adults talk and surprisingly that was one of the ones that Marie commented had really related to her. Specifically in staying out of debt. She told us a neat story of how this week she didn't have enough money to pay a bill that was going to start to create some problems. So she prayed about the situation and what to do. The next morning, she checked her bank account and had an extra $100 in there!! Someone had anonymously paid to Russ' funeral fund that night and the money was just enough to get her by. All because she paid her tithing the week before :)

After conference and dinner, we did quite a bit of Spanish work. We taught Joselin and Sandra about following the prophet by blindfolding Joselin and making her follow my voice around the house til she found the picture of Jesus :) We took her ice cream because she finished her scripture calendar and had read til 2 Nefi! So we made her a new calendar.

After that lesson, we were driving past some less-active hispanics in their area and saw the Gonzalez family outside doing yardwork. They were spreading rock in their driveway. We refused to leave until they let us help them. We had never met Hermano Gonzalez before, he always refused to come out of his room when we visited. He wasn't much friendlier this time, but he let us help and hopefully saw our desire to love and serve his family. Their daughter Jennifer is the only active member in their family right now. She is 15 and keeps holding on. Her seminary teacher has been a huge help for her, and she is an awesome example for her family. She watched conference all by herself at home!

We saw the familia Marquez that same night and taught them about prophets. They agreed to read the Liahona when it comes out with the conference addresses in Spanish. Hermana Marquez also told us about a recent convert, Edith, who was taught in this area by Sister Ferre.  She had moved to Snowflake about 6 months ago, but has recently moved back into our area! We saw Edith yesterday and I'm super excited to be able to teach her. Sister Ferre and Sister Erekson always talk about
her :)

Sisters Wesolek, Suter, Arnold & me

Sunday morning we watched the morning session with the Gardner family.  Not the Gardners dad met, but his brothers family. Their son Sam recently came home from the MTC for medical reasons and since he learned Spanish while he was there, we asked him to help us with our Spanish family home evening tonight. He's nervous, but excited, and we are glad we will be able to use him :) His mom made us baked french toast for breakfast!

Sunday afternoon we just went to the stake center. There was a non-member who came though, and a youth that needed a friend, so we are glad we went!! We then ate dinner with a family who has crazy
little boys. One of them invited us to his baptism and a Cafe Rio dinner afterwards. They had me sold when they said Cafe Rio!! They also have non member neighbors attending so we will have finding
opportunities as well :)

Paul, Amanda, and kids have been sick, so we haven't seen them in 2 weeks!!! It's killing us, but there's nothing we could really do :(  Hopefully they get better this week and quit passing the illness back and forth.

We have a lot of work to do to get our investigators progressing again. On the bright side it looks like a lot of our less-active are starting to progress!! If only this was a perfect world and everybody
progressed at the same time :) It would take the fun out of working for it though!

I hope you all enjoyed conference :) I saw you on TV!!!!  It was so fun to see you on the screen....I was watching it at Marie's house and all of a sudden I was like "HEY!!! That's my mom!!!!!" I ran to the TV and pointed at you and dad and barely saw the top of Jensyn's head when the screen changed :) It was awesome!  I told everyone all weekend that I saw my family on TV :)
I wish I had a picture of it!!! I love you so much!!!!

Have a great week family :)

I love you, I Love You, I LOVE YOU

Hermana Short