Saturday, November 29, 2008

FSU Go Noles!

The fun has arrived! I'm in Florida! I have a lot to update since i missed Monday, so hold on for a long ride...The last week in the MTC was amazing! Tuesday night Elder Holland came and spoke to us. I think you might be able to find it online- try because it is amazing! He is such a powerful and bold speaker. I have lots of favorite things he said but here are a few. We are God's investigators. The purpose of Preach My Gospel is to convert the missionary and then the investigator. He said that as missionaries, we are probably the most prayed for people in the world, right up there with President Monson! It is so true! I can't even begin to count all the times I've prayed for the missionaries, plus the First Presidency prays for us in the Temple every Thursday morning. Elder Holland also said that we have an obligation to all those that are praying for us. We have an obligation to the little old ladies, the parents of teens, the little decons who think missionaries are super heros (he then acted it out by spreading his arms and acted like he was flying. then he said 'I see evil, I will go down' and he pretended to fly down. It was the best!) That we have an obligation as missionaries and then when we have returned home to continue to be an example. It was such a powerful talk! I loved it!One of the sisters in my district, Sister Miller, got really sick and through the course of helping her get better they found that her diabetes was out of control, so she has to stay at the MTC and get it under control before she can come out. At least she isn't going home, that is what they had first told her. So hopefully she'll be out by next year and serving with us in the best mission on earth! It was suprisingly hard to say bye to my district. I hadn't really realized how close we had all grown until it was over. We did as much as we could together the last few days. One of the funniest was that we all watched Legacy Sunday night after the devotional. One of the Elders closed his eyes everytime someone kissed. One of the Elders was saying he hopes he can be as bold as David Walker when he gets home. There was a sister behind us commenting on the stunning good looks of the actor that played Joseph Smith (I'd have to agree with her on that one) It was great to laugh and cry together. After we all went back to our beloved classroom, tearfully sang Army of Heleman, and exchanged handshakes. One of the Elders jokingly came in for a hug and I backed away terrified. Everyone had a good laugh at my horror-struck face. It was a long walk back to the room - especially since the Elders spread themselves out so that we saw another one every 5 feet all the way back. I think they enjoyed seeing us cry or something. I got up way to early after going to bed way to late and loaded up to go. The Elders all came down to say goodbye again. It was super sweet and a great unexpected surprise. They were all so cold and tired, but it was great to see them one last time! The flights were uneventful, the missionaries all ended up sitting together. (There were 4 from our district and 6 from another) When we got off the plane Pres & Sis Summerhays were there to meet us. It was so wonderful! We went back to the mission home and had dinner and some orientation. I got to meet with Pres Summerhays briefly. He is such a great man! I could feel his love for me and my Saviors love for me through him. He said words that were exactly what I needed to hear. Sister Wright and I got to sleep in an adorable little room with an amazing view. Florida is so beautiful. We got up the next morning and transfers began. Because I stayed in Tallahassee and my trainer, Sister Wilcox, was coming in from somewhere else, I spent the day with Sister Summerhays. Her daughter was in town, so we spent a few hours with them at the Tallahassee Museum of History and Natural Science. It was really fun and I loved getting to spend time with kids - even if I couldn't hold them. About 6 I met Sister Wilcox and headed up to Florida State University! We ate dinner with some members and then went over the area book and unpacked. We are 'white washing' the area, but Sister Wilcox has been here before, so it is a little easier. There are three sets of missionaries in the ward - 2 sisters and 4 elders - and the ward is doing really well. We have a baptism this Saturday! I'm so excited to work here!We spent most of Wednesday walking around campus- I was so lost. We taught a lesson to Dan in the afternoon. He is a studio design major at FSU that the previous sisters had found tracting. It went really well and I loved actually teaching! We knew he was staying here for Thanksgiving, so we took him some leftovers Thursday night. Right after we knocked on his door I remembered he was a vegetarian! Oops! He said he appreiciated the guesture and he thanked us for the Book of Mormon and said he had started to read it. Best Thanksgiving ever! We did some tracting on Wednesday night and talked to 5-6 people. We had a return appointment for today, but she didn't answer the door - I think she was still asleep, so we'll try again later. We have another return appointment Monday and a few we'll check back on in a week or so. It was such a wonderful experience. I love sharing the gospel! Thanksgiving was great! We had district meeting in the morning, which was amazing. The Spirit was so strong and I learned so much. Elder Lewis talked about the 5 languages of love (one of my favorite things) and how the Spirit can let us know which language will touch the heart of an investigator. We also talked about working with the members and how it is a little different working on campus and with a singles ward. We had Thanksgiving dinner with the Ladles. Brother Ladle is in the Stake Presidency and two of the daughters are in the singles ward. (Tallahassee 5th ward) It was great to be in a family setting again. Friday we went to the mall to contact - we go where the people are :). It went really well. We talked to 4-5 people, gave some women a pass along card, located a former investigator, and on our way out a girl, Amanda, stopped us. She asked us about the singles ward and said she was inactive but thinking about coming back to church. We, well Sis. Wilcox, gave her the address, directions, and the time. I pray she'll be there tomorrow. After the mall we went and cleaned at the Ronald McDonald house. There was a father, Jim, and son, Tyler, there. Tyler had been in a car accident 6 months ago and they were getting ready to leave next week. Jim started talking to us as we were cleaning and we had a good half hour discussion with him. He talked about nearly all the doctrines in the 1st and 2nd lessons. I gave him a Book of Mormon and he was excited about it. He thanked us and told us that God puts people in your life at certian times and that we were those people for him then. I was so thankful to be apart of that. They go back to Arkansas next week, so I won't teach him or see him baptized, but I did get to see someone that the Lord has prepared and I got to play a small role. I love this work! Last night as I was telling the District Leader about Amanda, I said I'd pray that she'd come to church on Sunday. He told me 'way to use that greenie faith' and I responded that I hope to always use that 'greenie faith'. I don't ever want to think that someone won't come to church because the last 10 people didn't. I never want to knock on a door expecting it to be slammed in my face again because the last 20 were. I have faith that the Lord will touch the hearts of those that are ready and that I will knock on every door and extend invitations to church so that I will be sure to find the ones that are ready. I'm going to keep the 'greenie faith'! In district meeting we also talked about how prayer can affect the agency of others. Alma prayed for Alma the younger, and becuase of this an angel came and the heart of Alma the younger was softened and he repented. (See Mosiah 29ish) My prayers have the same capability when they are in accordance with the Lord's will. Today is the Florida State v. Florida game, so campus is crazy! It is energizing though. (at least until everyone is drunk) Our district leader strongly advised us to head in early and do our proseliting before. I'm excited to get to clean the apartment- I've already scrubed the stove top and it made me feel so much better :) The shower is next in my plan of attack. I love the Lord! I love His Gospel! I love His Work! I love all of you and would love to hear from you! My address is 105 Fifield Lane,Tallahassee, Flordia 32304

Friday, November 28, 2008

LIttle Update

Hi, this is Sister Short's mom. Alissa hasn't been able to write for a while since she flew into Florida on Monday, her usual preparation day. She is doing great, feels great and is excited to be in Florida. Her new area is in Florida State University in Tallahassee. She was ready to leave the MTC and excited to get to work. That's all I know and I'm sure we'll hear from Alissa soon. I did get to talk to her of a few minutes while she was waiting for her flight in the Salt Lake airport. She sounds just like Alissa, only better. She's the best, but I'm sure I am a bit biased. Until then, keep writing her and praying for her success and safety. Thanks for everything.
As always,
Alissa's Mom

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Week 2

I bet you'll never guess what happened this week... I got sick! Shocker, I know. It has turned out to be an amazing experience though. I felt a little sick on Monday, but ignored it. Tuesday I woke up with a sore throat and headache. I was determined to continue no matter what. About 4 I got a fever. I can't remember the last time I had a fever, but this one was blazing. I knew I couldn't go on like that, so I asked for a blessing. The sweet Elders (Richins & Zollinger) were so nervous and had to restart a few times because this was their first time. But first time or not, they hold the Priesthood & have the faith. The minute they began to seal the anointing my fever broke. I've never felt such a relief in my life! I still cry when I think what a huge blessing that was. President Hall blessed me, through the Priesthood, before I left that I wouldn't miss a day of work, and the Priesthood made that possible. I am still sick and I'm pretty sure it is a sinus infection now, but I don't have any pressure, so it is still a huge blessing. I am going to the health clinic this afternoon to hopefully get a z-pack :)

We went to the Temple again this morning and this time it was bright and beautiful outside. I love the outpouring of the Spirit here. Last night's fireside was amazing and then we got to watch the Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration video after. I cried through the whole thing. I was so touched by all the individual lives he touched while he was restoring Christ's Church to the earth. I have been joking lately that everyday someone tells us the whole point of missionary work is something different - the Book of Mormon, Baptisms, Testifying, etc.. - but I was ably to find my point to missionary work - PEOPLE! I won't be restoring the gospel, but just like Joseph I can touch individual lives, and that will make all the difference.

We've spent some time at the Referral Center & that is probably my favorite thing to do here. I don't talk to many people when I'm doing outbound calls, but when I get inbound calls it is the best! They are the people that the Lord has prepared to hear the gospel and they can hardly wait! My teaching skills are improving and I finally feel comfortable with the first lesson, but I only have a week and there are at least two more to go. I love when I am teaching with the Spirit and even though it is just for practice, the Spirit puts thoughts into my mind as to what I should say. It is an amazing experience and I'm excited to experience it more regularly.

I got my flight plans last Friday! I'm leaving for Florida so soon!! Eeek! I feel like my time here has been so short and I still have so much to learn. The foreign language missionaries all dread having to be here for so long, but it just doesn't seem like I've had enough time to be completely ready. Ready or not, here I go! Since I am leaving, please write or use to update me over the next two weeks. This way, any letters that you write can be easily forwarded to me wherever I am at that particular time. Anyone can email me, but I can only email back to my family, so others should include an address if they email me. So, any of you who are not my immediate family can use and I'll get the letters sooner than if you just mailed them.

I'm excited to get out and serve! I know this is the Lord's will for me! I know this is the right time and the right place.

Monday, November 10, 2008

November 10 2008 MTC

I am loving the MTC! I've never been so excited to do laundry in my life! I'm wearing sweat pants, a sweatshirt, and tennis shoes! Plus we got to go to the Temple this morning. It was raining all the way there but I didn't even care! Sunday was wonderful as well. I loved Relief Society and Music & The Spoken word. I found Hermana Erekson! I couldn't find her all week because we don't have the same meal times. But she was at Relief Society. I also got to see her at Choir and I'll see her again on Tuesday. She looks great and it was such a blessing to see her. I had all but given up hope. It was such a tender mercy too. I really need a bit of family and a really good hug. Classes are good. I'm not too overwhelmed, I just wish there was more time than there really is. I love my teachers, Brother Anderson and Brother Williams. Both have fun quarky personalities. My companion, Sister Miller, is great too. She is a little spacy (she said I could say that) so she keeps my life interesting. I love telling her which way to turn everyday :) I've had so many great new insights, but here is a brief one to share. As we were preparing the first lesson we had the chance to study the Ministry of Christ. I realized that Christ's Ministry was only for a few years, but that all of His life he was serving God. I know I'm not the same as Christ, but I hope that my mission can be something worth recording because of the good the Lord is able to do through me, and that I can continue to good after my mission, just as Christ did before. Now that I type it, it sounds a less amazaing, but in the moment it was a huge blessing. I love all the songs and prayers. I love all the meetings. I even love my district ;) The elders (8 of them) have only done a few stupid things, but really are great Elders. There are two other sisters in my district that will be going to Florida with me (Sis Wright & Sis Miller) but my comp is going to Louisiana. The Elders are split between the two as well.I've seen lots of people I know while I've been here too :) I saw Elder Foulger, Elder Malin Cruise, Elder Booher (remember the Boohers that I used to babysit for- I think it embarrassed him that he was talking to his former babysitter) and another kid form Mesquite. I love that everyone talks to everyone in line for dinner, the bathroom, trying to file in or out of large meetings. I love the sisters in my room as well, there is the 4 from my district plus another companionship. Every night at 10 ish we sing and pray together, then 10:15 is quiet time and 10:30 is lights out. It is great to get nearly 8 hours of sleep, even if it is on a twin bed with only one little pillow. The Lord has blessed me to always get enough sleep. I know this is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I know that I am supposed to be here, now. I love and miss you all!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Gettin' Ready

As part of getting ready for my mission, I had the wonderful opportunity to go to the Temple on September 24th. My grandparents came down for the special occassion and I loved having them here.
Since then I've been to the Temple often. President Hall challanged me to attend 20 times. In an effort to try and get them all in I've been able to attend a few times a week and I have loved having it in my mind all the time. I love the new insights I've had in things I've read and heard hundreds of times before. Family means so much more to me and I can't wait until I have the opportunity to have my own (well, I can wait a few years, but I'm excited).
I was set apart as a missionary on Wednesday October 29th. It was a beautiful, meaningful, and most importantly inspired blessing. It calmed my fears and excited my hopes. I am excited to report to the MTC next Wednesday and learn all I can before I head off to Tallahassee Florida!
My bags are packed, well they were, I have to re-pack them now. My things are purchased, my bike is ordered, I've said my goodbyes, and I'm ready to go!