Monday, December 22, 2014

Oklahoma, Tulsa Mission Conference

Letter 12/22/14

Dear Blog,
It's been a week I can't even put into words. Miracles are so real. 
The one story I want to tell is about a recent convert named Xavier. He is 15 and so sweet. His whole family got baptized and are going in January to the temple to do temple baptisms. He was so excited. Watching him--seeing that he understands in a personal way what an important thing this is--made the experience special for me. In the temple we take names of deceased family and we perform proxy baptisms for them in order to bless them--to give those people the opportunity to accept what we have. There were two names from my family that were especially for him. Before we went in I gave him the names and told him how very special these people were. How they had been waiting for a long time for him to help them. I could see the awe and responsibility in his eyes. He was so proud to have those names. This experience--though it may sound simple--is very precious. This 15 year old boy knows by experience what he is giving. He LOVES the Gospel. I wonder what the world would be like if we each could see the world the way he did--I wonder how much more we would cherish the sacred. 
When this family goes to the temple in January, the two oldest boys are going to be baptized for their father. This is a holy and sacred thing. I am so proud of them.
With love,
Sister Short 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Letter 12/14/14

Dear Blog,
I'm going to start today with a quote from my mom's email to me (she's so cute :) )
     Quote for the day - "The Atonement is an enabling power.  As we turn to the Lord in prayer, He will make our weakness our strengths.  We can trust in the Lord.  You can trust the Lord with all your heart, and your faith will give you the power beyond your own."
I love that! We really don't realize how much we can go through and come out okay until we do. I look back on times in my life--and my mission--where I felt completely without the ability to even want to do more let alone the ability to do it. It's just SO hard. And it still is sometimes. But I've found that as I reach out to the Lord and ask for help he always answers me. Every single time. There has never been a cry so pained or helpless that he hasn't heard, Sometimes those answers are slow to come and experience makes them clear, but always I feel him close. Always when I ask for help I know he IS helping. This season we celebrate the birth of the Savior of the world--but also the Savior of YOU. Sometimes we forget that. Sometimes we don't comprehend that he saved us each INDIVIDUALLY. He not only saved us from being sinful, but he saved us FOR something. He helps us BE something. HE ENABLES US. He is there to keep us going when we don't know how we can possibly go any more. 
Now, if ANYONE out there doesn't know this for themselves yet, or wants to know more (whatever faith you are--including LDS) then ASK. Ask God. He WILL tell you. You need to know. 
I have an experience from this week about asking. There is a man we are teaching who I met for the first time this last week--he had dropped off the map and hadn't been taught for a long while. We ran into him at a community dinner. He started telling us about all the things that were going on in his life (very hard, overwhelming, painful things). He was really struggling. So we talked a bit and offered to help in the way that helps us. He agreed. So, we went and sat outside and talked. We were prompted to have him say a prayer telling God what was going on. Then we asked him to just open a Book of Mormon up and start reading. We got a few verses in and he wanted to show us the thing in the scriptures that had been on his mind--he went off talking about it. Throughout this all I just kept getting the prompting that he needed to keep reading--he had given up too early. So I asked him to keep reading in the Book of Mormon as I looked up the topic he had been talking about. As he read my companion and I both prayed in our minds that he would get that answer he was looking for. We could feel the still that came as he began to actually receive those answers he was looking for. It got very still, and then he started laughing! He told us how simple it was--that it was written right there! The joy we saw in his face as he received the answer to the questions of his heart was wonderful. I know that God will answer our prayers. I know that as we diligently seek those answers we gain a witness in our own heart. I know God will lead us. 
I hope each of you took up my challenge from last week. It is an opportunity to ask and receive that will strengthen your faith. Remember I want to hear about them! :)

Sister Short

Monday, December 8, 2014

Letter 12/7/14

Dear Everybody,
How's life? Hope it's good for you! You know what? It's pretty good for me. It's nearing Christmas here and the joy of the season is everywhere. Downtown is decked out it white lights, Christmas music cascades from mounted speakers, and cute old streetlights makes me feel like I stepped back into the 1930. It seems like everyone is soaking up the season--and loving every second of it!
As for us and our work, we have been working hard. We talk and talk and talk. We even go caroling! Well, sort of--since both my companion and I have a recovering winter cold and I myself am a bit tone deaf, we pop open a portable player and show everyone the He is the Gift video. Then, if someone doesn't have the time for our fantastic 3 minute video we give them a card with:
" Discover the Gift
Embrace the Gift
#SharetheGift "
and the link to to watch the video
This is a time in the world with a great need for ALL to draw a little closer to Christ. Some of us still need to spiritually meet him, some need to become reacquainted, and some need to give him more time. Whether it's time to discover His church, or time to simply pray more fervently--it really doesn't matter. If we will just do what we can to do what WE can--both in our own lives (which we CAN do) and for others (which we CAN help and encourage!)--then the world would be so much brighter. 
I would hope--and in fact INVITE--everyone who reads this to do SOMETHING (prayerfully identified) to both draw themselves nearer to Christ and to help another. If we each will take a leap of faith and not fear--just love Christ and our fellow man--we will know in our hearts we have given Christ a gift he truly desired.
Now is the time--"Tis the Season" after all ;)
Sister Short

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Letter 11/30/14

(Hand written letter from Desiree sent Dec. 5th)

Dear Blog,
     Anyone out there who hears from missionaries besides me has probably noticed a difference.  I don't tend to say how my whole week went.  I hope that isn't boring.
     I struggle so hard with words.  I am only eloquent when guided by the Spirit.  I struggle - even in these blog posts.  But I know I'm trying.  I know why I write you all and why I'm out here - because I love you all.  I love people.  I love seeing them happy.  I love seeing the Spirit touch them.
     I'm weak.  I'm imperfect.  I'm totally, completely, and terribly human.  But do you know what?  My soul is noble.  My future is bright.  My destiny is eternal.  SO IS YOURS!
     I know that if you'll pray and ask - truly and with intent - God will tell you this too.

    Sister Short

Monday, November 24, 2014

Letter 11/23/14

Dear Everybody,
Well here's the update on me--I'm in Pawhuska, OK! :) It's Osage Nation land (my memory failed me and I thought it was Creek...oops). This new area has a really slow feel to it--small town sleepy. BUT it has such great potential! The members are fantastic and there's just this feeling that there's been so much preparation done by the Lord here. I really REALLY want to see it get moving great! I'll have to send pics soon. Most the buildings here are falling apart and crumbly--I LOVE it! I could spend weeks here taking pictures of all the textures and be happy :) But no time for that now--missionary work is way more awesome!

My new companion is named Sister Booms and she is GREAT. She is super happy and bubbly and really sees the potential of this area. She's got WONDERFUL ideas and a lot of love for the area. The funny thing about Sister Booms and I? We are super similar personality wise! It's super funny to be able to be on almost the same wave-length! 

Funny story of the week--so when I got here there was no ride to take us back to Bartlesville so we could drive to Pawhuska. Luckily the Bartlesville 2nd Sisters were there and offered to fit us. The Problem? it was in a little 5 seater we got creative. We crammed 2 big suitcases in the back, a pillow, and 2 carry-ons. Problem numero two? We had 2 more suitcases, some purses, a box, and a guitar left. But lest you think this was a major problem let me assure you Emily (our driver who I know from when I was in Bartlesville) is a pack-master. So a few purses on the floor, 3 sisters in back, 2 heavier-than-we-anticipated suitcases over our laps, and, to top it off, a guitar on top of those suitcases (the box fitting nicely on the lap of the passenger-seat-Sister's lap) and off we went! I have never been so sardined in my life--it was completely awesome! I quickly learned how to keep the guitar away from my face. Ha ha it was SO fun! ADVENTURE!

To share my amazing Mom's thought:
Thought for the day is from the book called "Filled with Mercy"  (daily reflections on the atonement).  "Every attempt to reflect upon the Atonement, to study it, to embrace it, to express appreciation for it, however small or feeble it may be, will kindle the fires of faith and work its miracle towards a more Christlike life.  It is an inescapable consequence of so doing.  We become like those things we habitually love and admire.  And thus, as we study Christ's life and live his teachings, we become more like him." 

My mom picked a great one. I dearly hope that each of us will take some time to  reflect, study, embrace, and express our appreciation for the atonement. The atonement is the center of it all. 


Sister Short

Monday, November 17, 2014

Letter 11/16/14

Dear Everybody!
So here's the news from Bentonville--I'm heading out. It's hard. I really love it here. It was so sad to get the call, but I also know it's time to go. This area is picking up really well. We've been doing lot's of family history work with everyone and it's been WONDERFUL to get to know the members. Ultimately though, the Lord has blessed us. He really has. I'm going to miss it here, but I'm so glad Sister Powell is staying here--it's going to get AMAZING. She's a fantastic missionary. 

I'm heading to Pawhuska, OK. The cool thing? I've been there before! I was on exchanges a few times there when I was serving in Bartlesville! Also cool? It's on Creek Nation land! I'm literally on the reservation! I'm kind of excited for that :) So Thursday I head out!

Sister Short

PS: A thought.  Enos 1:16
"And I had faith, and I did cry unto God that he would preserve the records; and he covenanted with me that he would bring them forth..."
The Book of Mormon is the answer to millions of prayers of those gone past. That is a great gift. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Letter 11/9/14

Dear Blog,
Ok, so, I have some stories this week!

First, we were blessed with 3 new investigators! I am so excited! They know TONS of people in the ward and TONS more really want to meet them! I am so excited!

Second, we came home from our meeting on Tuesday really ready to do amazing things. We had lunch and as we were eating we heard a knock at the door (of the member's house). So Sister Powell feels like we should answer it and I feel like I should take my bag. Anyways, we end up talking to the man and giving him a Book of Mormon and a pass-along card! We totally would have taught him except he lived in Georgia. So, in other words, a lesson knocked on OUR door! The hastening is real!

Also this week I had to get a flu shot and my insurance wasn't working so I had to pay for it out of pocket--I didn't like that. I was actually really annoyed. But you know what? God is so kind! He knew I was upset. So, later in that week there was a member who was telling me about some boots she bought and I told her I needed some new ones (mine were sort of falling apart) and she offered to get me some. I said sure, let me just go see if I have enough cash in the car for some. But no. Our feet were the same size and so she GAVE me the brand-new ones she had just bought. It was SO kind! And this member wasn't even in my ward! It was just a kind tender mercy from God. All week these little things were tender mercies from God. 

Scripture for today;
3 Nephi 18:25   "And ye see that I have commanded that none of you should go away, but rather have commanded that ye should come unto me, that ye might feel and see; even so shall ye do unto the world;"

With love and hope,
Sister Short

Monday, November 3, 2014

Letter 11/2/14

Dear Blog,
So here's a thought that I hope I say right. When Elder Bednar came here he talked about the hastening of the work as not a call for more missionary work, but rather "a call for individual repentance". The Lord can hasten His work in His time, but "the question is really whether or not we will keep up".(I hope quoted that right!) 

Now, I don't think Elder Bednar was meaning that we can stop doing missionary work--rather I feel he was pointing out our own individual responsibility for our own individual life. Our job is to be ready and willing to the Lord's call. Our job is to become more Christlike. Our job is to align our wills with His. And if we do these things, then all things will flow which should. Will we not love our neighbor if the atonement has changed our hearts? Will we not listen to the Spirit if we love our Lord's commands? Will we not do all things that are in our power to give all people as much of Christ's love as we possibly can--even the love they can experience from covenants, specifically temple covenants, and even the sacraments renewal of baptismal covenants--if we have a Christlike heart?

 I hope that each of us takes the time to do all things we know we should, and most especially we pray to God that he will help us, strengthen us, and change us to become more like the Savior through the atonement of Jesus Christ. We don't have to get there alone. We have help--we have the ultimate act of love by our Savior. Through baptism with proper priesthood authority we have access to the atonement. And if you don't have it yet, then get it. It's a blessing that the Savior wants you to have and use.
Alma 7:11-13  "And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the band of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according tho the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities,

Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people that he might blot out their transgressions, according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me."

Sister Short

PS: you know what? It's awesome to be a missionary. You really get to see how God takes care of all his children in such tender little ways. Like on Sunday, a little girl got up and bore her testimony and I swear it was just for me. It was everything I needed to hear. I am so thankful for that--and for her for being so brave. God is so kind.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Letter 10/20/14

Dear Blog,
So, I was just thinking, my area here is just awesome. The members here are phenomenal! Like, for example, yesterday, in relief society one of the members here specifically prayed for Sister Powell and I and for the missionaries around the world. That's not all though. She prayed that we would have the opportunity to share the gospel and that "we as member's would bring those opportunities to them." It touched my heart so much! Do you all know what it means to us as missionaries to hear us prayed for AND for us to hear members asking for help helping us? It makes us feel so happy.

Another story; last week we had a dinner with some members of our ward. The Sister told us, as we chatted, about all the people she is working with and wanting to share the Gospel with. She expressed her love for President Keogh (our Stake President) for helping her see that missionary work was just inviting others to more fully feel the Saviors love. She told us how this changed her perspective of it, and now it was exciting and not something daunting and scary. She told us that her goal is to find someone for us to teach. I feel so blessed by her kindness, and I want to work so much harder because of it. 

So, I was really just thinking of how blessed I am. I am so impressed with the members here--they are simply AMAZING. I'm so grateful to be here as a missionary and to experience all of these things!
Also, one other thing; I feel so blessed to be companions with Sister Powell! I wish all of you could experience all the spunk that's packed into her! She's so sweet and awesome and just a powerhouse! 
Well, keep up the great work everyone! I'll talk to you all soon!

Sister Short

Monday, October 13, 2014

Letter 10/12/14

Dear Everyone,
I have a really cool story to tell! So we just had transfers this last Thursday and guess what?! I got a new companion--well sort of. See about four months ago in Clarksville my companion was the FANTASTIC Sister Powell--and now we are companions again!!!! I am so excited! I never expected this at ALL. Sister Powell is AWESOME!!! It was such a tender mercy!
Another cool story! We just found out on Sunday that we are not only covering the Sugar Creek ward, but also the newly created (as of like 2 or 3 weeks ago) Metfield branch! WE ARE COVERING TWO UNITS!!!! How fun is that?!

Last awesome news; we are having a tri-stake conference the end of this month in which ELDER BEDNAR is coming! I am SO excited! So basically--all this is awesome!

Sister Short

Monday, October 6, 2014

Letter 10/5/14

Dear Blog,
I've been thinking how funny it is how much we think we know. Sometimes we think we know. But as I watched conference I really got this feeling of how much God knows. I went with questions, and I can truly see that as I listened actively for those answers then God showed me what I needed to know.

 I am so thankful for our Prophet and his Councillors, the 12 Apostles, and the 70. I feel like I can feel the nearness of God's forever when I hear them speak His words. I don't know how I would make it without them. Without Prophets there would be no eternal views voiced to us as a flock--there would be no scripture. I am so thankful for all scripture--modern and ancient. Can we even begin to grasp the tenderness of God in this? Do we appreciate that the words we heard are our future--if followed we are heeding the words of God. If ignored or disregarded...we have chosen to walk on our own wisdom. It breaks my heart to think of this. It breaks my heart that so many don't know yet. It breaks my heart that so many that do know, don't care nearly as much as they should.

I pray that each of us took--and especially continues to take--full advantage of the word of God. Feel its peace; find your answers. Look and live. 
How tender God is.

Sister Short

 Thought for the day - 2 Nephi 10:16 "They who are not for me are against me, saith our God."  The cause of Christ does not need your doubts; it needs your strength and time and talents; and as you exercise these in service, your faith will grow and your debts will wane.  You need the Church, and the Church needs you.  The cause of Christ does not need critics; it needs workers. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Letter 9/28/14

Dear Blogger Peoples,
You know, those of you with my email can write me questions and I'll answer on the blog if you want. I feel like I never know what exactly to say so it would help me!

So, lets for one; CONFERENCE IS COMING UP!!!!! I AM SO EXCITED--AREN'T YOU?!?!?!?!?!? It's going to be this Saturday and Sunday from....well here in Arkansas its from 11-1 and 3-5 :) you can get local times from and watch it there live! 

So here's something I've learned really clearly about on my mission--every opportunity in the Gospel is what you make of it! So, if conference is less of a wonderful experience than you want it to be then lets MAKE something more of it on our end shall we? I mean, we are hearing from INSPIRED MEN, called of GOD, including the PROPHET OF THE LORD. That's AMAZING! That's like getting to hear from MOSES or NOAH or JOHN THE BELOVED! But in all seriousness it's even more than that. We know that Prophets are mouthpieces for the Lord. So, really, the things said will be the things that Jesus Christ would want us to know. Basically it's the things He would say.
So, here's a few questions for you to consider to yourself:
How do I prepare for this?
Some suggestions? :) How about getting plenty of sleep the night before? :) Having plenty of food/snacks? Taking a bathroom break beforehand? Making sure your viewing experience (TV, internet, the church building...) is all set up and your timing is right?

But more importantly, are we preparing spiritually for this experience will determine what you take from it. This question may be one to consider prayerfully over the next week:
If I were going to get to speak with God, and ask him anything I wanted, what would I ask?
The invitation is this--over the next week, write down questions you want answers to. These questions can be broad such as "how can I draw nearer to you?" or "what do you want me to know/do?", situation specific such as "what should my major be?" or "how can I help fix ________problem?", or specific to gospel concepts like "How can I improve my scripture study?" or "How can I understand the atonement more?".

 I would specifically invite you all to ask for confirmations on spiritual truths which you would like to know the truth of yourself. As YOU pray for help with questions (for answers and to ask for help on what to ask), diligently study the scriptures (looking for answers and help), and do all other things you feel you should (perhaps fast? read other conference talks?), you will receive a much more spiritual experience at conference. Conference will be a spiritual feast instead of pajama church. It will be a testimony strengthening experience. Please take this chance! It's beautiful!
Sister Short

 Thought for the Day comes from the Ensign. V.T. message on "The Divine Mission of Jesus Christ: Comforter."  Because Christ suffered the Atonement for each of us, He will not forget us.  "Our Savior has taken upon Himself..... our pains and our suffering and afflictions so that He can know what we feel and how to comfort us."  
     "In visiting teaching we reach out to each other.  Hands often speak as voices can't.  A warm embrace conveys volumes.  A laugh together unites us.  A moment of sharing refreshes our souls.  We cannot always lift the burden of one who is troubled, but we can lift her so she can bear it well."  By Sister Elaine L. Jack - 12th R.S. general president.  
     "Our knowledge of the gospel and our love of our Heavenly Father and of our Savior will comfort and sustain us and bring joy to our heart as we walk uprightly and keep the commandments.  There will be nothing in this world that can defeat us."  President Thomas S. Monson.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Letter 9/21/14

My mom sent me this thought this week:
      Thought for the day comes from Stand a Little Taller by President Gordon B. Hinckley.  D&C 6:10 "Behold thou hast a gift, and blessed art though because of thy gift.  Remember it is sacred and cometh from above."               You need never feel inferior.  You need never feel that you were born without talents or without opportunities to give them expression.  There is something of divinity in you.  You have such tremendous potential because of your inherited nature.  Every on of you was endowed by your Father in Heaven with a tremendous capacity to do good in the world.  Cultivate the art of being kind, of being thoughtful, of being helpful.  Refine within you the quality of mercy which comes as a part of the divine attributes you have inherited.
     So, I was thinking, God is really kind. God is so kind that he gives us exactly what we need when we need it. I so often feel weak, but I keep asking for help. I keep asking and trying, and I've found that the Lord gives me exactly what I need in exact second I do. Like yesterday; I have been studying the atonement so much! I'm trying to learn how to use it in my life more and understand it more. Yesterday I got my answer in a tender way. Also yesterday, we didn't know where to go at one point and we drove to like 2 places thinking they would be good. Finally, because we needed to finish planning, we drove to the Walmart parking lot. We were talking about how we can get members to participate more and things like that, and then I just decided that if I wanted everyone else to do hard things I needed to. So, I got out of the car and went and talked to a worker there. We got his number and everything and will be setting up an appointment soon. 
Sister Short

Monday, September 15, 2014

Letter 9/15/14

Dear Everybody,
You know what I've been thinking about? I've been thinking--isn't it cool that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Now this doesn't mean that everyone can't feel the Spirit--they definitely can and if you didn't think that you need to study up some--but to have the Gift of the Holy Ghost is a promise of His companionship as long as we are worthy. This is a promise that anyone can join in on--just ask the Missionaries how. Pray about it. Do you know why this Gift is wonderful? Because "the Spirit will tell you all things that ye should do"!!!!!!! So really, if we are ready and willing, we will do everything the Lord has asked!
Now, a question--do we keep our listening ears on? I know I don't always. It's something we have to work at. We have to consciously listen don't we? We have to seek out those words and feelings. 
Might I suggest that we each take some time--be it 5 minutes or 20 minutes--to rid oneself of all distractions and just listen? Pray and read the scriptures. Listen. Become accustomed to the feelings and nudging of the Spirit--that will do you much good in any situation and will affect all aspects of life. Know the voice of the Messenger of God--it will teach you of Him. This is how you'll know it's of God. 
With hope and love,
Sister Short

Thought for the Day - (from Stand a Little Taller) D&C 84:88  "And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will so before your face.  I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up."  Sometimes you pray to the Lord with great earnestness for help, for relief from your struggles.  You wonder why your prayers are not answered as you would like them to be.  We have all had that experience.  But we come to know as the years pass that our Father in Heaven does hear our prayers.  His wisdom is greater than ours, and we come to know that He answers our prayers even though the answers at times are difficult to discern.  (President Gordon B. Hinckley).

Monday, September 8, 2014

Letter 9/7/14

So this week we had Zone Training. It was a really tender experience as we all remembered the life of Sister Vea. I can't describe the Spirit that was there.
Our mission President told us that a young adult is 8 times more likely to pass away off a mission than on one. It's easy to worry when missionaries get hurt because we consider someone called by the Lord to be protected. I think we must be careful to remember that the Lord is in control, and the Lord understands. It's hard to comprehend why sometimes, but it's important to remember God's love for each of us and for us collectively. I'm trying to make this make sense, but I think the most important thing we need to do is simply honor those who sacrifice in the Lord's name--no matter what that sacrifice ends up being.
Sister Short

 Thought for the day comes from the PG East Stake Relief Society Newsletter.  Article written by Laura Bichon. " How willing am I to be taught by the Lord and His servants? How receptive am I to the inspiration I receive? Do I do the things, like consistent personal prayer and gospel study, that will help me to be more receptive to His counsel? How do I respond to correction? Do I ask questions when things aren't clear or do I just go on in my confusion? Do I express gratitude when the Lord helps me?
     These are some hard questions to ask, and they may be even harder to answer honestly. However, asking and answering these questions honestly can help us to open ourselves up more to the influence and counsel of the Lord. If you feel like these are some questions that you would like to examine in your own life, I would encourage you (and all of us) to take the time to seriously ask ourselves, and answer,
these questions."

Monday, September 1, 2014

Letter 9/1/14

I've been thinking so much that there are causes and effects to everything in life. Our perception of the world and therefore our actions are shaped by prior thoughts. Is it any wonder that Christ gave the higher law as a law of causes and thoughts--to not even think of sinning? Now, that sounds like a lot in many ways right? But have we ever considered the thoughts we have as being an effect of something deeper as well? What, at the deepest parts of our soul, define us? 

Helaman 5:12  "And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundations; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fail."

It is my hope and prayer that each of us will take the time to seek to understand--TRULY understand--our Savior and especially His Atonement. His Atonement is the power to be more than we are. It is literally the power to change. It is the power to become all that our Heavenly Father sees that we can become. 

It is my testimony that the more we learn of the Atonement, the more we begin to see all that we wish to understand about it. 

Please begin now to pray and ask God to help you recognize the power of the Atonement. It is the ultimate cause and it's effect is eternal joy. 

With love,
Sister Short

Thought for the day: (Comes from the book titled "Prayer")  Our personal prayers need not be long, but I think it appropriate to remind all that they should be more frequent.  We do need to thank God in all things and ask for his help in our keeping all of his commandments.  We have been commanded to pray under all conditions wherever we are.  Our spirits are heaven-drawn, anxious for constant communication with the source of all great strength.  The Savior set a beautiful pattern as shared in 3 Nephi 19:17-34.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Letter 8/24/14

This last few weeks I've been trying to really focus on the Atonement. The Atonement is pure love. I don't think we even begin to comprehend how big and strong it is until we really start consciously looking for it and using it. The Atonement is Christ becoming At-one with us. My invitation for you all is this (and please let me know how it goes through letters and email and such): learn more about the atonement. Pray and ask God in what way you should start, then listen and look, then do that one thing. Do this over and over and talk to God about it--it will change you. 

We lost one of our own. Sister Vea is wonderful--spunky and funny. She knows how to love God and how to have fun. It only took a few moments to know you could trust her. Please pray for her family.  Please also don't forget to pray for her companion and everyone else involved. They need your love. They need God close. 

These two ideas may not seem connected, but if you look close you'll see they are.

Sister Short

 Thought for the day comes from "Leading Like the Savior" by Ryan Carr (Ensign July 2014).  Christlike leaders seek to help others develop.  President Kimball taught: "Jesus trusts his followers enough to share his work with them so that they can grow.  That is one of the greatest lessons of his leadership.  If we brush other people aside in order to see a task done more quickly and effectively, the task may get done all right, but without the growth and development in followers that is so important.....  Jesus gave people truths and tasks that were matched to their capacity.  He did not overwhelm them with more than they could manage, but gave them enough to stretch their souls." 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Letter 8/10/14

Life lesson--stuff is expensive! I do NOT know how all you adults do it!  Note to self--be good at budgeting! Seriously, that's a great skill to have future missionaries learn. I feel like I'm sort of getting the hang of it so I'm excited. It's just funny what things one learns on a mission that one isn't necessarily considering....
Something has really hit me in the last few days--missions prepare us for life. The things I am learning here will shape my future in a way I can't even comprehend. I look at myself when I left...and then now...and then I imagine the future and I KNOW God wanted me here. I KNOW I will never be the same.

Story of the week! (sorry it's not detailed....)
So, I was on exchanges with Sister Jeppson. So we did a whole bunch of things, and then ran out of plans. So, we went and had dinner and I was talking to Sister Jeppson and I was feeling kind of stressed (I really don't like not having plans) and then Sister Jeppson suggested we go walking. So we went to OTM at the pond. We walked out there and nobody was there. 

So we just decided to walk to the nearest neighborhood. We walked onto that street and felt prompted to a house. We knocked and talked to a really sweet young lady and gave her a Book of Mormon. Then we were prompted across the street to a house. We talked to the lady there. We start telling here about our beliefs and a man walks out of the bedroom and goes "It was an angel named Moroni." So we are going "whaaaaaaat?" and saying "wait come back!" as he walks towards the kitchen. Turns out the man is SUPER nice and SUPER funny (he actually sort of reminds me of my brother Jon) and his grandparents are the ones who started the family history center in the area so he knows TONS about LDS people and our beliefs. It was amazing to talk with him and (fingers crossed) hopefully we will hear more news soon. 

Then we walked across the street and talked to a member and her daughter who  just moved in and wants to quite smoking. (FYI we have a GREAT stop smoking workshop--just saying.) THEN a man drove up on his motorcycle who knew Sister Lawrence and said "You aren't my Sisters." (I knew he was okay though because he was wearing a "Dads Against Daughters Dating" T-shirt). We explained about exchanges and he said to bring Sister Lawrence by. So then we start walking home to grab our car.

On the way Sister Jeppson waves at a cop car and I tease her with "Only waving at the cops huh?" She explains that no--actually they had been pulled over twice by that cop in like the last week. It was for silly things so they got off with warnings,  but she was hoping they'd get to talk to him again because she felt like he had been prepared.  We were about to get into our car when; "I thought I'd come and talk to you before I had to pull you over." That's right--the cop. We ended up talking to him a long time about our beliefs. We gave him a Book of Mormon. The Spirit was so strong. I am so excited for him to read the Book of Mormon! 

Well, I love you all! Keep up the great work and don't forget to read the Book of Mormon!
Sister Short

 Thought for the day - Jean A. Stevens, "Fear Not; I Am with Thee".  "Our Father knows us and hears the pleadings of our hearts.  He accomplishes His miracles one  prayer at a time, one person at a time.  We can trust that He will help us, not necessarily in the way we want but in the way that will best help us to grow.  Submitting our will to His may be difficult, but  it is essential to becoming like Him and finding the peace He offers us.  

Monday, July 28, 2014

Letter 7/28/14

This week has been a very interesting week! So, anyone that knows me knows I can't exactly sing....but guess what?! The Spirit totally makes that okay! Haha! Okay, let me explain: we were looking to get some referrals yes? So we went and asked members who they knew who could use an uplifting song/hymn. Then we went and sang to the people! It was so fun! The Spirit was so strong that it sounded actually good! And funny thing--it really worked! 

I have a really wonderful thing to say! So here in Bentonville there is this amazing art museum called Crystal Bridges! We went there today and looked at some of the BEAUTIFUL art. This is such a tender mercy to me--I get this sense of serenity looking at beautiful art that I hardly can describe. It's peaceful and gives me a calm and a constant little smile. I felt so happy! I am so grateful to God for that tender mercy.

Lastly, I wanted to tell everyone something really important to me. I wanted to talk about loving someone for who they can be. This requires us to look at someone through the eyes of God. This requires not limiting someone based on their current religious background or their appearance. This requires the heavenly attribute of UNDERSTANDING. I bring this up because here in my area my companion and I are meeting with a woman who is Wiccan. Literally she is a witch. Now some people would dismiss her for that. She's felt that before. She's experienced that in some of the worst possible ways. But still, she is kind. She has a wonderful heart. SHE IS A DAUGHTER OF GOD. I pray that each of us will take the time to pray to understand this a little more, to love a little easier, and to see people through the eyes of eternity. We need to do this if we are to bring souls to Christ. Truly God loves each and every one of us. We give because our love compels us to try to give everyone all that we enjoy.

Sister Short

Monday, July 21, 2014

Letter 7/20/14

Ok, so fun story! I just go transferred to Sugar Creek ward. It is in Arkansas still, but just barely. The Lord has been really very kind to me. Want to know why? Because I am a part of a Bentonville ward. Bentonville is nicknamed "mini Provo" because of the high (relatively) population of LDS people here. So basically, what happens is Walmart recruits students from BYU (accountants for example) and lots of them come to work here because Walmart headquarters is here. Literally when you go to church you feel like you're back in Utah. But the nice thing is that there are a lot of non-members around too so the ward is REALLY missionary-minded and awesome! I have felt very welcomed and loved
My new companion is named Sister Lavea. She is a really cool mix of Tongan, Samoan, and Caucasian. She actually speaks Tongan!!! She grew up in Utah too so she's like a sweet bilingual. So hopefully I'm going to see if I can pick some of that up too. I'm a sucker for a bit of language learning....

Since coming here I have gotten to have some really cool experiences. First, we are teaching a really nice Korean man and so I got to pick up some basic words in Korean. We are going to teach him more English and I'm so excited! 

I truly feel like God has given me a tender mercy to come here. I'm excited to see how hard I can work and how much we can get everything to move. 
Well, I think that's all for now!
Sister Short

  Thought for the day comes from a talk by Elder W. Craig Zwick titled, "What are you thinking?'  In Ephesians 4:29 it says, "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but (only) that which is good (and) edifying, that I may minister grace unto the hearers".  Solomon counsels in Proverbs 15:1 "A soft answer turneth away wrath; but grievous words stir up anger".  A "soft answer" consists of a reasoned response - disciplined words from a humble heart.  It does not mean we never speak directly or that we compromise doctrinal truth.  Words that may be firm in information can be soft in spirit.  The willingness to see through each other's eyes will transform "corrupt communication" into "ministering grace."  The Apostle Paul understood this, and on some level each of us can experience it too.  It may not change or solve the problem, but the more important possibility may be whether ministering grace could change us.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Letter 7/13/14

So sorry everyone for being so spotty the last few weeks! It's been hectic. I got a little sick (the kind that makes you  REALLY tired even though you're not really that sick) so I didn't do the best job being put together speed wise to write everyone.

You know, I've learned something the last few weeks here that I thought I knew but didn't. The Lord really speaks to us in really special ways-- if we are paying attention. Heavenly Father has blessed me greatly and tenderly so much in this area. He has led me to people who truly have an open love of God. Most of these people are open and ready to accept the Gospel. I have seen the joy of hearing the restored gospel so starkly here.

We have met some who, for whatever reason, are not ready to accept the Gospel yet, and yet I keep hoping that the right missionaries will come along to give it to them. I pray for it.
I have seen so much. This last week, one of the Karen people who has fantastic English, came to the ward for the first time since moving in. He has agreed to come and translate every week. This makes me so happy! I want them to have the restored Gospel so much!
The Lord has provided ways . The Lord is preparing the world for his words . I can"t wait for the day when Clarksville, AR has a Karen ward! I can't wait for every humble heart to have the words of God sink deep into their souls.

I love this living Gospel led by a living God through living prophet on the earth. I love how it makes so much sense and feels so good--and all this knowledge comes from exercising enough faith to search and know. "Ask and ye shall receive. Knock and it shall be opened unto you." We pray and then we act.  Over and over we do this until one day the answer comes. I hope and pray that everyone will seek out the truth--will study the Book of Mormon. That each person will ask some missionaries how that book came to be and then they will read and see the goodness of that book. I pray everyone will just ask God and see. Truth like that can only be obtained through the Spirit. So ask.

I hope everyone who knows me knows how much this Gospel means to me. Imperfect as I am, I never gave up asking until I knew one way or another. God told me. If you really want it, God will tell you too. 
Sister Short  

 Thought for the day - 2 Timothy 1:7 "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love and of a sound mind".  God hath not given you the spirit of fear.  That comes from the adversary.  The Lord has given you the power of love, and a sound mind; the power of the priesthood, the power of your call, love for the gospel which you teach, for the people you teach, and for the Lord.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Letter 6/29/14

This week has been mostly uneventful, except one thing stands out. We are teaching a lady named Desirae. We taught her about the temple (just a little) and she got SO excited! She said it looked like a Frozen castle! She asked, "Can I just take a peek inside? It sounds like heaven on earth!" Her reaction was so pure and beautiful. It really helped remind me what it's all about. We do everything so that we can be together in happiness with our families for eternity. That is the point.
Sister Short

Monday, June 9, 2014

Letter 6/8/14

So this week I've learned of God's tender mercies a lot.

First, there was that mix-up with transfer calls, I can only imagine what a nightmare it would have been had they not caught that before transfers.

Next, after feeling like I wasn't making near the difference I wanted to, God let me know that I was. A member in our ward here told Sister Powell and I that they had never felt like any missionaries that they had met had ever remembered (they didn't even remember the names of the missionaries that baptized them), but this member told Sister PoweIl and I that they would remember us. They said that we did missionary work the way that they thought missionary work was meant to be done (I give credit to Sister Powell’s unconquerable spirit and work ethic). But, really that meant so much to me.

Those are just two instances from this week. God is so kind.

Love, Sister Short

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Letter 5/25/14

An awesome thing just happened! I was here emailing at our community center, and I hear this man getting really mad in the background. He is really upset and swore and then like hung up. It was one of those you-could-feel-the-steam moments. Awkward. Then the Spirit says "Sister Short, you should go see if he is okay." Uhhh....well I'm wimpy so I squirmed a little. Then, I took a deep breath and prayed for bravery and walked over.
"Hi," I shook his hand, "I'm Sister Short. Are you okay?" From there we talked to him for a long time. We shared a scripture and prayed with him. But overall, we just listened. We gave him a chapter of the Book of Mormon to read and we will be meeting with him later this week. I am so glad I listened to the Spirit!
That brings up another subject. This week we had what's called Zone Training (a big long day of instruction). The huge thing President taught us during our interviews was about asking inspired questions and listening. Basically, the person we are teaching leads the discussion. We guide, but we allow that person to lead the lesson where THEY need it to go. It requires us giving up our own control quite a bit, and we have to listen really hard, but I LOVE IT! It's really a beautiful thing to let a lesson go exactly where the person needs it to be--to work hard not to hinder it. I love it!
Well, I keep learning and keep working on being better.
Sister Powell and I laugh all the time. We keep the joy in the work.
Sister Short

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Letter 05-18-14

Some weeks are just different. This last week was one I think. I feel my heart very apparently. We are working with some members who are Karen--they are refugees. They don't know a lot of English so we are trying to teach English to as many as we can. They work so much! It hurts to not to be able to communicate the simplicity of the Gospel the way I want to. It hurts to not be able to give them the beauty of the Book of Mormon as freely as I want. You see, there is no church material to order in Karen. No Book of Mormon, no Gospel Principles books. So, in order to share it, a Karen person must be bilingual. I am realizing more and more how much I love and rely on that book when I can't have it--I can't give that to everyone. Where would I be without the Book of Mormon?
Not here. My conversion is so bound to the Book of Mormon that I can't imagine going without. How would I have truly felt faith without Alma the Younger and his conversion of the Lamanites? How would I known of true conversion without the people of Ammon? How could I have known fearlessness without Moroni and his strength in the Lord? Alma, Abinadi, Nephi, Alma the Younger, Helaman....too many to name. How would I have understood the Spirit without that steady flow of spiritual input? How would I have known Joseph Smith was a Prophet without realizing that this couldn't come from a man--it was too good. And with all the claims (the First Vision, the angels,...) it would have to be true because "no good man would write this book, save it were true..." (Elder Holland said something along those lines, quoting his Grandfather I believe, in a talk a while back). How would I have known without "experimenting upon the word"? (Alma 32:27-29) Honestly, I don't know how I would have. I don't know if I would have. No, I wouldn't have. What a terribly sad thought.
But this I know--with God all things are possible. Early missionaries went to foreign lands with only the clothes on their backs and a Book of Mormon. We have Karen people with beautiful English here; people wanting and willing to learn; a reading program designed by very intelligent people to help speak, read, and comprehend scripture in English; we have a wonderfully willing and helpful ward; we have visuals and videos and other aids. We have all these things. Those men with only clothes and a Book were able to spread the Gospel into longing souls. With God there is a way--God's way. All we need to do is not hinder it.
So, we work slow and steady to teach them English and teach all we can (explaining scriptures, principles, prayer, etc.) and just praying so hard that we can help. We search for all who are ready; we seek to share this beautiful message. We pray we can help. We just want to help so much.
My last thought is this--we have so much going for us. We are educated. We have the Book of Mormon in our Native tongue--in it's pure first translation through a Prophet of God even! We have churches nearby, loving neighbors, and the technology to help (using such things as We have everything going for us. How can we justify not truly diving into the Book of Mormon? How can we justify not asking the Lord--not reading to see the goodness of it? Not knowing the story of Joseph Smith and understanding the repercussions of it? We can't. Please take this chance to look for yourself--it's more important than I can even express. I know it's true and I am so happy because of it. Please, I want you all to know too.
With love,
Sister Short

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Letter 04-20-14

So here's the big news of the week--transfer calls were this Saturday night and I am getting transferred! I am shotgunning (which, if you've forgotten, means that both missionaries in the companionship are new to the area) out Elders again (according to my sources) and my new companion is named Sister Powell! Right now I am so so SO thankful for the GPS my family sent me.
So I have been thinking about it and, for the record I have had all these companions and been all these places
Sister Torgersen (MTC)
Sister Pereira (MTC)
Sister Larsen (Springdale, AR)
Sister Smith (Springdale, AR)
Sister Andrew (Bartlesville, OK)
Sister Lowe (Henryette, OK)--Shotgunning
and now:
Sister Powell (Clarksville, AR)--Shotgunning
I have never had a companion for more than one transfer. The only place I've been in two transfers was where I was trained. I am taking that as a compliment to my ability to adjust.
Sidenote! In Henryetta we also cover a town called Okmulgee. (Yeah! Fun name!) But since we can't say "Okmulgee" right we usually settle for calling it "the Mug" or "Mugtown". Thank goodness for nicknames.
Stories! (the name of the investigator has been changed)
We had a miracle this week! We have this adorable member who is 19 and a recent convert. She LOVES to come out teaching with us, and, let's face it, both Sister Lowe and I adore her so it works out perfectly. Her testimony is awesome and she is willing to go and do anything--she doesn't shy away or panic. She steps us and goes, does, and laughs. Her name is Angel.
So we go pick up Angel. "We had four appointments but they all fell through," Sister Lowe informs her. We don't panic--this happens. We can always find work to do. So we start discussing who of those on our list of people to see we should go see first. We ask Angel if she has any preference.
"We need to go see Sister Mary." Angel pipes up clearly.
"We don't know a Sister Mary--who's Sister Mary?""
"I don't know," she laughs.
So we head off to some lessons, forgetting the silly conversation. We work all day and then, after dinner, we get a clear impression to go see a certain member of our ward. We had known she had family visiting, but we had thought they had left. So we get there and (tadaaa!) they hadn't! Well she hadn't--there was one woman visiting. So our member invites her in and introduces her daughter--an ADORABLE, softspoken, gentle woman--and proceeds to tell us that her daughter wants to get baptized. Her daughter asks her mom if she had set this up--apparently they had been talking during dinner and she had been talking about having the missionaries over. We reasurred her that, no, it hadn't been set up. We got talking again and it came up that we asked what she wanted to be called (she had a longer name and nickname shorter version and all that). She started explaining that she had a few names--first and middle or changed (I'm not sure).
"Well, my name has bad I think I'd like to go by Mary if that's okay."
"Sister Mary?" Angel, shocked, asked.
"Yes I think I like that."
Angel was so excited that night about her miracle that she called us and talked to us on the phone as we drove home.
Sister Mary came to church Easter Sunday (yesterday) and sat with us and her mom. She is a very gentle soul, and a great blessing to us.
The Lord pulls through in mysterious ways sometimes. This was a miracle--small, simple, and tender, but a miracle none the less. God is mindfull. We are so blessed. We are so glad we listened to that gentle tugging of the still, small voice.
Love you all!
~Sister Short

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Letter 03-10-14

Thank you for the Garmin! I will need it so I am so glad I asked because (drum roll please) I am getting transferred! I am going to a little town called Henrietta OK. We are shotgunning (it is a term that means both missionaries in the companionship are new to the area) Elders (now they get Sisters) and my companion is Sister Lowe!

Yes, pause for a second, think it through, wait for the penny to drop


Haha you can laugh now.
I am so excited!
I will have to write more in letter-format because I'm almost out of time.
So I'm leaving Thursday and packing all week.
Time for a new adventure!!!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Letter 03-03-14

The Book of Mormon

It really all comes down to the Book of Mormon. We want someone to accept the church? Start them reading the Book of Mormon. We want to reactivate someone? Get them reading the Book of Mormon.

The Book of Mormon is the strongest, most undeniable witness of the Church. Why do missionaries teach the Restoration first? So people can understand the importance of the Book of Mormon in their conversion. The Book of Mormon IS a miracle and people feel God in that book if they care enough to look. I have found that if I can convince someone to read and ponder the Book of Mormon daily then I don't even worry about them--THEY WILL COME BACK. If they keep reading then either they have to come back or they have to deny the Spirit and they stop reading. The book is too pure and good and full of the Spirit for it not to change the honest seeker of truth. It is our proof. The story of the Restoration of the Gospel through the Prophet Joseph Smith is too big a claim to be somewhat true. It must be true or false, and reading the Book of Mormon tells us that. The Book of Mormon is full of goodness and truth and light and Jesus Christ--why in the world would a wicked person write such a book? They couldn't. Therefore he is a Prophet of God. Everything is held up by that one little book. Want motivation? Just start. Want more happiness, purpose, peace, joy? Just start. Just pray often and start.

So, my question is this; after all God has done to give it to us, how are we going to answer God when he asks us about how much we loved His gift?

For those of you that may not be doing well with it, or those of you that haven't read it, I would say there's no better time to start than now. has free copies you can request. 

Letter 02-24-14

Dear Everybody!!
My mom sent me this in her email to me this week and I want to show it to all of you! (My comments are directed towards Latter-Day Saint Members specifically.)
Thought for the day - 1 Peter 2:9 "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people".  We are a covenant people and great are the obligations which go with that covenant.  We cannot be ordinary people.  We must rise above the crowd.  We must stand a little taller.  We must be a little better, a little kinder, a little more generous, a little more courteous, a little more thoughtful, a little more outreaching to others.
I love that! We are a peculiar people! Sometimes I think we fall into the trap of wanting the unique blessings the Gospel has to offer, while still wanting to be "normal". We don't want to stand out, we don't want to be weird, we don't want to disregard the social norm. Well guess what? We don't have that right. We are a "peculiar people". Now I'm not saying we need flaunt ourselves. Pride was never meant to be in the equation. I am asking everyone to think about themselves and to consider whether or not we, through our everyday actions, show that we are ashamed of the Lord our God. Do we remain firmly and lovingly loyal to the Jesus Christ who has gathered us as his own? Do we awkwardly mumble answers to those who ask us "Wait, you're Mormon?", do we feel we have to toe the modesty line to be attractive, do we feel we need to compromise to be acceptable? We do not have to. Standing up for what we believe--loyaly, RESPECTFULLY, gently, and WITH OUR TESTIMONY--is not wrong. Using pride, overbearing words, or in any way acting like we are better IS wrong however. We are blessed. Period. Everyone who wants to reach for it may be a member of our church and share in everything we have. We can show love. We can share our testimony, and we can show humble thanks to God for making us a peculiar people.
This is my personal testimony. (I wrote it fast so if I need to rephrase things, expect that next week please.)

Sister Short

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Letter 02-17-14

God can make things work out! Sometimes annoying thing happen, but God can make them used for good! Like my story for this week is that there was a man that tried to bash us--though I call it "softball bashing" because it isn't like yelling or anything; it's just being like confrontationally disagreeable and not listening. Anyways, it wasn't bad or anything it was just I suppose sad and annoying to me. But the thing was that I was thinking about what he was saying and I thought through the logic of it and came up with the answer. Of course, the man probably wouldn't be open to my answer, but I felt like I could explain it and I understood why this was important and whatnot. But anyways, so later (the next week) we went into this lesson with this amazing new investigator. She expressed a concern that was answered by the answer I had figured out based on this other man's comments! So the opposition of this man allowed me to think through this certain concept, and then God sent a person who was ready to hear the explanation! It was wonderful! And I believe that if we are willing, God can use our thoughts and experiences to His advantage, but only if we are willing.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Letter 02-02-14

Sorry I'm going to send you a letter later because I only have 1 hour on the computers in this area.
Sister Short

{Desi sent some pictures but she hasn't told us who is in the them yet}

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Letter 01-27-14

We had transfer calls this Saturday and Sister Short is moving! I am going to be in Oklahoma! (I will send the address when I get it--so if anyone wants to send me anything either wait for a tad or send them to the Mission Office please. Preferably the Mission Office because I will probably need the letters to cope better with this new situation--I've never moved before!) So the most amazing part of this this is that my new companion is the Sister that I replaced when I came! Her name is Sister Andrew and she is actually Marshallese! It was a shock because the trend for this area has been 6 months and I've only been here 3, but the Lord knows better! My new area is a walking area so I'm going to get nice and fit! (Yay!). I am so excited! I have only ever heard WONDERFUL things about
Sister Andrew (also, from the stories I've heard, she has a great sense of humor). I love the people here so much. I want to come back someday. I have made such friends. I love them all so much, but I know that God would not call me away unless it was right and I was needed elsewhere.  

So for this week I have some very exciting news! We had a baptism!!! The wonderful Young Woman's name is Gustina. We actually started teaching her the Sunday at the beginning of this transfer and I got to see her baptized! She is wonderful! Aww I love her and her family so much! They are just amazing! Every time we went over to teach Gustina something, she already knew it! She has been taught so well! Seriously most of the ward already thought she was a member--that's how amazing she is. We taught her at her aunt's home and the Spirit is so strong there! The first time I cried about leaving was when I realized that I wouldn't be able to go do Temple Baptisms with her. That made me very sad. She will do great though and I know Sister Smith will send me pictures.

Also, I am so excited! There's a wonderful couple here named Joe and Morita who just got callings this Sunday! They were so ready and so excited! Joey even spoke in sacrament! He did great and I don't know if I've ever been so proud of someone speaking (I think it was his first time, or one of his first). Morita taught the older primary children and she did wonderful as well! She taught them the 10 commandments using hand-signs and she told us she felt the Spirit. I am so proud of them both!

Off I go to Oklahoma; TIME FOR A NEW ADVENTURE!!!

Letter 1-20-14

This week on Saturday we have a baptism! Her name is Gustina and she is...aww she is just wonderful! We started teaching her the Sunday Sister Smith got here. She is the niece to a member. This member and her family (husband and children) are just so great! They bring Gustina to church weekly, they hold family prayer and scripture study, and they are just wonderfully active member missionaries. We can tell that their home is a place where the spirit resides every time we walk in. Basically, we thought Gustina was already baptized. She knows EVERYTHING. It's very rare for us to go teach her anything that she hasn't heard before--especially of the commandments. And there hasn't been a single thing that we have taught her that she isn't doing or isn't completely willing to do. I have no words to describe how wonderful she is. 

Also in that family, but on the father's side are 3 wonderful young women. Coleen is one of them. She wants to be baptized. We are trying to help her do so. She is also shining with the Spirit. We love them! Their whole family glows!

One cool thing I don't know if I've mentioned, but we have an investigator who still has her boyfriend back on the Marshall Islands and we sent him as a referral! Did you know that missionaries can submit referrals to anywhere in the world? We send them to our mission office and then they get sent off until they get to the correct place. ISN'T THAT AMAZING?!

Another thing: has anyone heard of Public Affairs Representatives? Let me just say that I hadn't and now I feel foolish. If I mentioned this before I'm sorry, but they are like the Superheroes of missionary work! Everyone--ESPECIALLY MISSIONARIES--should talk to their Public Affairs Representative. I seriously now consider the 3 first people a missionary should meet in an area are 1) the Bishop, 2) Ward Mission Leader, and 3) the Public Affairs Representative. They are amazing! They have the presentation "The Mormon Next Door" which explains the church in a more statistical way (great for people who want to know about the church itself), they have their ears out for public events that missionaries can participate in (and they make the publicity for the work missionaries do go to public good-will), they get missionaries in the paper (especially for doing service--service they can suggest I'd bet even), they get missionary work on good terms with political higher-ups and also other religions (our Public Affairs Representative said that we can organize like firesides with preachers of another faith on topics in which they and the church share similar views). The ideas are many and Public Affairs Representatives are the ones who make a large-scale goodwill attitude of the public to missionaries. They are the unsung precursor to missionary work. The idea to missionary work now is "We are One" and Public Affairs Representatives are a really big part of that. PS: the Public Affairs Representative that came to talk with us is names Sister Wheeler and she is amazing!

Well, I think that's all for today! 

Love you all!