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