Monday, November 30, 2015

Another Spanish Angel dies in the Valley of the Sun


So pretty much I wanted to die Friday.  President Sweeney called and told me I am being emergency transferred to the valley. Something happened down there and he had to make a lot of switches.  A Spanish sister needed to come down to serve with Sister Ferre, and that person became me.  HOORAY to be with Sister Ferre again!!! That is the only reason I am not hiding in the woods right now and refusing to leave.  President was smart :)  However, I bawled about leaving the area and Sister Linford.  I couldn't even respond to President on the phone
because I was already crying.  I will be in a Spanish branch again, and then an English ward as well. Just on the other side of the street as my old area.  Hopefully that means I will get to see some of my Mexican families while I am there!  I don't know why this change couldn't wait for two weeks, but I will go where I am told.  The crazy thing is that next Monday, President wants me to come back up here for the Mountain Missionary conference with Elder Robbins, and probably the Mission Leadership Council as well.  I think it's crazy, but I'm
packed and ready to head out in about 80 minutes.  Grrrr

So basically I am going to die in the valley (die is missionary term for finishing our mission).  Funny. When I left the valley, that is what I prayed for. When I left Sister Ferre, I prayed that we would be companions again before I left.  BAD TIMING!!!!  ha ha ha - Be careful what you pray for :)

Despite the really hard weekend, we saw a ton of miracles this week.  Delbert came to church for the 4th time in 1 month!!!!!  He wrote me the sweetest goodbye card and promised me that he would make it to the temple. Another less-active miracle was Cazzie!!!! Marie is a sweetheart and she went and helped Cazzie get ready for church, loaded her wheel-chair in the car, and pushed her around to every class.  Cazzie stayed the whole 3 hours!!!!!  We went to say goodbye to Cazzie on Saturday and she cried when I told her. She said a really sweet
prayer for me, and agreed to come to church. The funniest part was that she brought her mostly hairless dog to church and probably grossed everyone out!  She participated in class though and kept her sass to a minimum ;)

The Hale family also made it to church for the 2nd time in a row, and biggest miracle of the week was that Amanda and Paul came out of their slump :)  We stopped by during the week, and they finally let us in.  Church music was playing on the CD player, and they had the Ensign opened.  The Spirit was noticeably back in their home. Amanda told us that it had been a rough day, but they had decided they needed to make changes. So they are getting rid of the X-box, and starting to climb back up their hill.  It was so good to see them positive again. We had a lesson with them last night, and we basically need to start over with teaching them to obey commandments, but at least they are ready to try again!!!! They even came to church as a family again :)

Amanda & Paul
Thanksgiving was incredible.  In the morning Sister Durrant invited us to their family breakfast. We had pumpkin pancakes with Rum Syrup. No, there was no alcohol ;)  We talked to them for a while, then went and
played football with the Stake President and his ward. I accidentally tripped the stake president, and he fell to the ground, but he probably deserved it. He made fun of my Utah sweatshirt!!!!  After football we did some studies and then Delbert had us over at 1 for Thanksgiving. It was really good food!!!  After dinner his grandsons gave us nerf guns and we played with them for a while. They nailed me good! Right between the eyes!  It was fun to be with their family :) After Delbert, we went over to the Brimhall's for their Thanksgiving.  The food wasn't ready, so we played basketball outside in our skirts with their 10 and 11 yr olds. It was hilarious!  After we ate there, we went and sang some Christmas carols to lonely people with the other sisters. They had to leave early, so Sister Linford and I went to visit a single lady that one of our Bishops had suggested to us. It was a very fulfilling day :)

Thanksgiving Breakfast at Sister Durrant's

Thanksgiving at Delbert's

Nerf gun war with Delbert's grandsons

 Thanksgiving dinner #2 with Brimhall's
Yesterday I tried something new!!! I translated Sacrament meetings into Spanish for two members that came. We met with President Shumway this week (Stake President) to discuss what he wants us to do with the Spanish people. Essentially he wants us to help them gather to one sacrament meeting that would be translated.  Then to add a Spanish Sunday school, then Spanish relief society and priesthood, but it all starts with sacrament meeting. So we found the devices yesterday, talked to the Bishop and he said we can translate whenever we want! I did it yesterday and a member will do it next week.  It was a lot harder than I thought, but I was glad I tried it :)  Trying to listen through one ear, and make words of a different language come out your mouth is not easy!!!

Here is a hilarious story for the week. I got attacked by a vicious wiener dog. Thats right, a dog that looks like a giant hot dog! And it was wearing a pink tutu!!!  So one of our less-active families has told us about their mean wiener dog and how they always have to lock it up when we come. I've asked to meet it before, but they all 3 would shout "No!!" Well the kids forgot this time, and let us into the family room. I was standing there and looked into the kitchen, then saw the wiener dog. It was out and my only thought was "Uh-oh." Literally as if it had heard my thought, it whipped around and in a movement so fast I didn't see it, was on me!!!! I jumped on the couch,
and it jumped right up there too!  It clung onto my knee so I kicked it off, it bit my other knee 2 or 3 times before I kicked it off that one, and then it jumped up and latched onto my arm!!! Luckily I had my canvas-type material coat on and so it protected me pretty well, but the kids could not pull him off of me! I could hear myself yelling
"Ow!!! Ow!!!!"  Finally the mom grabbed it and ripped it off of me!!  She was horrified.  The poor lady started crying :(  She made me show her my arm and it only had little welts at the time. (It later turned into giant bruises).  I felt bad for her, so I didn't tell her that when I checked my knees in the bathroom they didn't look so good.  Since it didn't really break skin I didn't worry about it.  Just giant bruises :)  The mom was so mad, she wants to put it down, but I told her no, and that I was fine.  It is a hilarious story for me to tell!  I got attacked by a wiener dog wearing a pink tutu :)  hahahahaha

Who knows what this week will bring! I will be emailing again Wednesday, December 9th due to a visiting general authority on Monday.  I have a feeling that these changes are going to make time FLY!!!!  But I think I'm a little bit excited to get to be in Phoenix again :)  It might be sketchy, dirty, and smelly, haha but to me its like
Disneyland....almost ;)

I love you family!!! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving!!!  Send mail to the mission office.....I am living at the Arioso apartments just like my first 4 transfers, but its a different apartment number and things will probably get lost if they just don't go to the mission home for the next 2 weeks.  Ay ay ay, just when you feel settled, the
world tips upside down :)

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

Hermana Short

Pictures below are beloved families of Show Low!!

Gardner Family
Mora Family
Janice - who thinks we're from Gideon

Martin Family


Hartman Family
The other Gardner family

Monday, November 23, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

It was a bit muddy this week!

¿QuĂ© pasa Mufasa?  :)

Can you believe it is Thanksgiving already???  Happy Turkey Day!! As you know, I'm not a huge fan of the holiday because it means a dinner of rolls, pickles, and peanut butter-filled celery for me, but since my food pallet has expanded in the past year, maybe I will enjoy it more :)  However I am pretty bummed about missing a 2nd Black Friday.  Seriously....Wal Mart today had all of their signs up and were doing preparations....I miss that crazy day!

We are spending Thanksgiving with the Brimhall family. We thought we would have 3 or 4 families invite us over, but almost every one we talk to is going to the valley for we are just lucky to have the Brimhall's still around!!! Plus we love that family so we are excited.  In the morning we are going to join the Young
Single Adult ward for a turkey bowl (since our normal wards don't even know what that is!), and after dinner we are going Christmas Caroling to some old folks homes :)  I'm excited!

This week was another good week, but we have started to get quite a few people who ask us to come back "After the holidays." Nevertheless, we just find new people to teach:)  For example, this week we met Mary and Eric.

Mary and Eric were referrals from the Elders. Eric is a member of the church, but Mary is not...yet :) They have a 7 month old daughter and live in a tiny cabin.  Mary really wants to get baptized. Eric introduced her to the church in the last place that they lived and she had attended one or two times and loved it. She told us she wants to get baptized asap! Ok!  She was sick with the flu on Sunday and couldn't come, but we hope to see their family progress.  We hope Eric will make some changes in his life as well and be able to baptize that would be neat!

The Gutierrez family is the new family that we picked up last week from Brother Miles. We taught them again and I thought the lesson was fantastic!!! The 8 year old and 7 year old were paying super good attention, and everything was was pretty great I thought!  Then at the end, the dad told us that this was great and all, but he is a Catholic, and if he ever goes back to church, it will be the Catholic church. Agh!  We committed them to read and pray and they said they would. When we tried to set up another appointment though, he told us he was busy Saturday and Sunday  was football, so maybe the next week.  Looks like we need to find a different way into their hearts :)

Cazzie was hilarious this week.  She had been awake for at least a few hours that day so she was more "with-it" than other times :) After we taught our lesson we asked if we could come sing to her on Thanksgiving. She then told us the funniest story about the Relief Society.  She told us about one of her favorite shows, "The Voice,"
and how on Tuesday nights, you have to wait til the very end of the show to see who gets eliminated.  She said that on Tuesday they were just about to announce who was leaving and the Relief Society President poked her head into the room and asked if Cazzie would accept a visitor. Cazzie told her yes, thinking to herself that she
could mute the TV and then still see who won.  Well, then in walked Sister Coons and 12 other women!  She was just appalled because they stood in front of her TV and insisted on singing folk songs.  In Cazzie's opinion, "they could not sing!!"  Sister Linford and I were laughing so hard when she told us that story.....Cazzie's facial
expressions were priceless.  She needs a DVR :)

After Cazzie, we saw Janice Peterson. She is 90!  We had to yell  for her to hear us and she kept telling me that she couldn't hear my companion. Hahahaha.  The best part was we were teaching her about God as our Heavenly Father and her phone rang. It was her son. She told him, "I'm just visiting with these nice girls who came to talk to me. They are from the...the....Gideons."  We could hear the son on the other line say "Who are they??"  She said "These girls!  They don't have very many Mormons in Wisconsin, but there are quite a few here, so I am learning."  ha ha ha So we are now the Mormons from Gideon :)

Alex and McKara's family is our newest and greatest find.   We got a referral from a girl saying she was Alex's sister, he is a member, and that he was ready for missionaries. So we drove by their house for a few nights and no one was home. Finally, we saw a family car home, so we knocked.  The wife, McKara invited us right in!  They have 2 sons, a 4 year old, Bannon, and an 18 month old, Chayden.  She told us they have lived there for a year, but have been inactive for 4 years.  The best news to hear though was that she and Alex had been talking about
coming back to church, and being able to be sealed to their sons!  We were so excited!  We set up a return appointment for Saturday, and met with them again. This time we got to meet Alex, and he really was as
willing to come back as his wife. She had made us dessert and they talked with us about prayer, scripture study, and coming to church.  They committed to do all 3 things.  Sure enough, 10 minutes  before sacrament meeting, in walks the family :)  They stayed for all 3 hours, Bannon loved his primary class, and McKara told me as they left that they would come next week too.  It was SO neat. Alex's sister that sent us the referral is on a mission in Pennsylvania, and I wish we could contact her to tell her what happened!  They are as grateful to come back, as we are to have a family to teach.  It is a neat feeling :)

I'm getting over my cold still, but the cough won't go away! It's so annoying! Yesterday I had to run out of Relief Society 3 times so I could go cough outside for 5 minutes.  You'd think I was quitting smoking or something.  Last night I think I coughed all night long.  One sister told me that in the middle of the night I sat up and yelled
"Seriously!!!" ha ha ha Brother Gardner tried to help and gave me some cough medicine, but we got home and saw that it had 10% Alcohol content in it! We thought that was a little excessive so I didn't take it. ha ha

It's bad enough that I have an endless cough....but everyone else is getting sick too!  Kendra and her kids were sick this week, so they cancelled a lesson. Amanda and Paul are STILL sick and we only got inside the door once this week. When we did, Amanda was rocking back and forth on the couch and almost completely zoned out. Apparently she had an abscessed tooth and was in a lot of pain. We asked if she wanted a blessing and she started to cry and tell us she wasn't worthy for one. We convinced her otherwise and had the Elders come over. She sobbed through the blessing and gave us a hug afterwards, but the rest of the week we couldn't get in again.  Patience, patience, patience....

Last night was a really fun night.  The Nashville Tribute band is a popular band among missionaries.  They have an album about missionaries, Joseph Smith, Trek, and the newest album is called Redeemer. They came and did a fireside for our stake last night and it was fantastic :)  Before the show they wanted all the missionaries to
meet them in the Young Women's room for a prayer.  They all shook our hands and asked where we were from, and then the lead guy gave a speech about how much he appreciates missionaries.  It was cool that they took that time out for us, we probably had 14 missionaries there!   One of our members in the Rainbow Lake ward invited an investigator to the concert and we are meeting with that same investigator this Sunday, so we are excited!
Due West & Nashville Tribute Band member

Due West & Nashville Tribute Band member

Dan Truman from Diamond Rio & Nashville Tribute Band

So those are probably the highlights of the week!  This week we have 4 hours of zone conference, Thanksgiving, and we are working at the local "Festival of the Trees," for a few days this week and next. A member is in charge of it, and wants us to serve there and it will help us be out in the public. Sounds fun to me! Hopefully it's not
outside though.....uh oh.

I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!  Have fun watching the Macy's Parade and eating cinnamon rolls :)

I love you, I Love You, I LOVE YOU

Hermana Short

Sister Linford found my monkey and my ipad!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas.....miracles!!!!

Buenos Dias Familia!!!

We have seen a billion and one miracles this week and we are excited for what is to come!!!!

Let it Snow!!
Yesterday we saw the most miracles in one day.  We have been asked to find out what our Bishop's vision is for missionary work and then to do it. Well the Rainbow Lake Ward bishop wanted every family to have a family mission plan. So we made one up in Ward Council and then I volunteered Sister Linford and I to speak about it in sacrament meeting. The plan has 3 steps....

1) Pray for missionary opportunities, for the missionaries serving in
your ward by name, and pray for the people they teach by name. 

2) Hold a weekly family council to discuss your family's missionary
work that week

3) Invite someone every month to an activity

Yesterday we both spoke about the new plan for 15 minutes each, and then the Bishop stood up and verified everything we said and asked his members to please do it.  That night we had just gotten home and we got a call from one of the families in that ward.  They were currently doing step 2 and having a family council about missionary work. They called to ask who we were teaching so that they could start fulfilling step 1. THEN! They said they were inviting a family to a Christmas FHE on December 7, so "would we like to come?".  I think my companion and I almost passed out.  They did all 3 steps the day they heard about the plan! That is how to take a commitment and do it! Good job Wengert family!!

That evening another family in that same ward had the 2 of us, and a less-active family over for dinner and FHE. Their fellowship was incredible...they even got them to go to ward choir after church.  It seems that the Rainbow Lake Ward is really getting excited about missionary work!

Another brother from that same ward approached us last Sunday and told us he had someone for us to visit. He told us that his barber lives in our ward boundaries and this guy's family is very important to him.  W

e stopped by a few times, and finally found Henry on Saturday. We told him that Bill had sent us to meet him. Henry invited us right in, had us sit on the couch and introduced us to his wife and 4 kids. An entire family!!!!!!!  The oldest is 8 and the youngest is 8 months.  They said they would definitely let us teach lessons to their family and that their kids would love to learn too. We feel we are basking in miracles!

Another miracle is that in our other ward, Brother Adams came to church for the 3rd week in a row. That is a huge record breaker according to Bishop!  He is meeting with Bishop on Wednesday and then is only a few steps more away from returning to the temple.  His smile is almost as big as ours :)

Also yesterday....yes it was a great day! We taught 3 kids of a less-active. None of the kids are members, and all really want to get baptized!!! They told us they were so close to getting baptized in the past, and then their parents got divorced and the baptism plans got lost in the process.  The oldest is 15 and she and her sister were two of the girls that came to girls camp this summer. The 15 year-old knew what a prophet was, who Joseph Smith was, and offered to say the closing prayer after the lesson. So now we have 3 more investigators
on date! The tricky thing will be them asking their dad to let them go to church on Sundays with their mom.  Split custody is not easy to work with for parents, let alone missionaries!!

Paul and Amanda had another rough week.  We just have to keep waiting and praying, hoping that something will get them back up on their feet.

This week we are very proud of our Rainbow Lake Youth.  We went to the opening exercises of their mutual night and they had invited and successfully gotten 2 less-actives there, and 4 non-members!!!  They are professionals!  One of the non-members who came was our old investigator Emily.  Bailey told us this later, but apparently Emily said that she wanted to cry when she saw us because she has missed the missionaries so much. Bailey said "Well, do you want to take the lessons again??" Emily told her that she does, but her dad has asked
her not to. NO! On the bright side, the Wengerts daughter and Bailey decided to invite Emily and take my companion and I out to dinner this week.  Seriously....they are better missionaries than I will ever be!
So this week we get to go to dinner with the 3 of them and hopefully a miracle happens with Emily :)

Well, it is very white and cold outside.....and now I have to go brave the outdoors.  I love you family!!!  Think warm thoughts for me!!!

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

Hermana Short

This sweet Hermana asked me to translate her
 Patriarchal blessing typed in English into Spanish!
What an honor!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Here Goes Everything!

Hola Familia!!!

Everyone is getting so excited in their emails!! It must be the Christmas season or something else :)  I did see a tree at Walmart today!
New companion - Sister Linford
This past week has been a blur....again.  But! Now I have Sister Linford and I feel a lot less stressed so that's a plus!  Although I should feel more stressed!! You see, we are now the ONLY two Spanish speaking missionaries from Snowflake to Fort Apache, so we have another Spanish group to take on now. Somehow one of us has to get to church in Taylor once a week, and we have to visit Spanish families out there regularly. I don't know how we are going to manage 2 English wards and 4 stakes worth of Spanish people, but the Lord will provide a way! We hope :)  We are not Sister Training Leaders anymore, and honestly I am relieved!!  I just want to work in my area all day every day!  Exchanges and extra meetings are exhausting.

Sister Linford is from Montana and went to school for a year at Montana State. She plays basketball and loves exercise :)  The mountains up here are a lot like where she is from so she's been pretty weirded out all day.   Since we lived together in Phoenix, we are already really good friends, so it/s fun to have so much to catch up on. Plus, she's an awesome missionary! She knows what she's doing, why she's out here, and we're going to push the plow hard in this area til the very end! I just hope she doesn't make me run outside in the mornings :)

Our investigators are doing well as of right now! Especially Darlia!  In the past she has been hard to set and keep appointments with, but these past couple weeks have been great! When we ask for another time to come over she asks if we can come back the next day!  This week we took one of our members with us that works with Darlia at the hospital. They were already friends and it made the lesson more enjoyable. Somehow we forgot to tell the member that Darlia is going to be baptized in December, but that's ok because Darlia told her herself!  When an investigator starts sharing their baptism date with other people, that's when you know they are committed :)

Bobby is still holding on to the Amish dream, but he is also a super progressing investigator. He reads, comes to church, comes to Tuesday night scripture class, and has great member fellowship. When a stranger asked him if he was LDS this week, Bobby told him, "Yes...I'm researching it." If we can help him have enough personal spiritual experiences, then the Spirit will change his Amish heart :)

Paul and Amanda are really struggling. I think we have hit the bottom-most point of the roller-coaster this week with them. Hopefully that means they will start the biggest uphill climb they've ever reached before!  They are one of those families that makes me wish that we as missionaries could just live with them for a week and remind them to live the gospel :)

MLC meeting - former roommate Sister Tenney.
No, I did not eat the turkey!
We had a Regional Stake Conference broadcast, and we had a row full of families we are working with again! The Martins, Browns, Bobby, and Marie were there. And this week we added Delbert to our flock!  It was neat and they all felt like the messages were for them :)

The Duke family had their 3rd lesson last night and the mom and 2 kids all said they would be baptized!  We have to teach very very simply there and bring the lesson back from a lot of distractions, but it's fun to teach a family who is so eager and willing to learn .

Horror story of the week. I ate deer for the first time! Bumpa would be so proud of me!!  The Rova's made it for us and I couldn't see a way out of it so I ate the deer pieces with forkfuls of rice and chewed quickly. They cooked it well, and it probably tasted good....but I was thinking of mommy deers the whole time I ate it.  Aghh. Yesterday one of Sister Suter's members fixed us pheasant.  I had already been traumatized within the last week so I politely declined.  Seriously. Where am I....the mountains?!

The Martins are the less-active family that recently moved into our area. When they moved they decided they would become active and so far, mom and the 12 year old twins are doing great!!!  Jaxson is getting the Aaronic priesthood on Sunday, Kenzie has her temple recommend now, and we are teaching them the missionary lessons to build their gospel knowledge and to help them establish good habits.  The dad still won't come in the room when we are there, but the aunt who lives there joined us for the lesson this week, so that was huge!
We love them and they spoil us with a weekly meal and Jaxsons drawings :)

Saturday, we had a neighborhood clean-up for one of our wards. Who showed up? My companion and I plus 7 other members. Sister Wesolek and I got to sit on the back of a trailer for an hour and drive through the morning wind, jumping off to pick up trash bags that people had set out.  It was freezing! The best part was we talked to one non-member. He asked the Bishopric member  if Sister Wesolek and I were "Daughters? Wife...s? Or..." Hahaha He replied quickly. "Sister Missionaries!!!" Man that was funny!! The ward mission leader said later that he should have just told him we were wives. Um. NO.

We were garbage men for a day and it was FREEZING!
This Sunday we are speaking in one of our wards. Hopefully I take more than 5 minutes this time :) haha We are speaking on family mission plans and how they affect eternal families. That should be a fun one!  We are excited to get everyone on the same family mission plan though.  That ward needs missionary work to take off like a rocket!!

Those are the exciting events of the week!!! I should have brought my journal with me so I could remember more :p  But hey, the winter wind is freezing my brain so I have a good excuse.  I just want it to snow again! Snow makes the cold weather worth it :) Although,

I am grateful that we haven't had to scrape our car windows very often.  Standing in the cold in a skirt is not my cup of tea!

I love you family!!!  Keep working hard and be good!  I miss you!

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

Hermana Short
This trailer is an hour from our apartment. Members drove us out
here.....the lady is a recent convert and her dog loved me!