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