Thursday, May 28, 2009


I'm currently home on medical release. I've had a headache for 8 weeks now and we are going to get to the bottom of it. I hope to get back out quickly. We're doing tests and such to begin appropriate treatment asap. Thank you for your continued love and support.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Fever in the mornin', fever all through the night.

That's right! I had a fever this week! It began on Tuesday afternoon and broke some time between when I went to bed Thursday and when I got up Friday morning. It was miserable and completely knocked me out.

Sister Wilcox had to have Carly 'babysit' me while she went with Krissie to a lesson with Amber, which apparently went really well. I hated not being able to work. It was miserable, even worse than the fever itself. But Friday and Saturday I was headache free for once. It was beautiful! We talked to people (all 5 of them that were on campus during the break) and were able to testify of the Restoration. It was wonderful. Sunday I got to call home! It was great to get to talk to everyone (except Chase, sorry I missed you!). A much needed boost of love and support.

Sister Wilcox and I are still serving together in Tallahassee, which means we'll be here for both of our birthdays (hers is the 8th, mine the 17th) and will get to have lots of fun and lots of cake :)

I love being a missionary and I am so thankful for the chance that I have to serve, even if it is feebly. The Lord makes up the difference. I love you all. Don't get too hot, and it you think it is bad in Arizona, (if you think it is bad in Utah you are just a pansy) imagine it being humid too...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Mom always said to empty my pockets...

So this week Sister Wilcox decided to wash her bag. It was needed and a good idea. The execution was the problem. She emptied out the main pockets, but forgot the one on the side where she keeps the phone. About 9:45 I wondered why the Elders hadn't called and asked where the phone was. Her automatic response was her bag, when I gave her a raised eyebrow she said it was on the chair with the rest of her bag contents. When I looked, and looked, she realized that it was in fact in her bag. We ended up walking over to the Elders to let them know that we are in fact safe and to request that they pass along a request for a new phone. It was hilarious! We dried out the phone and put it in the freezer (which really does work) and were able to get through the next day with 5 buttons not working. It really was, and still is, quite funny. So always remember to check ALL your pockets :) The AP's brought us the phone and said that this is the 3rd or 4th phone that has been washed in the last month or so, but they couldn't figure out how a sister washed her phone without pant pockets. Oh, we found a way :)

I forgot to mention last week that I had a run in with someone from good old Gilbert. Dusty Niu! He is in Alabama for flight school and the closest group of more than 10 YSA's is 5th ward. He misses Pioneer ward...

As for this week's highlights...

Monday - we played volley ball as a district and with some ward members (Krissie, Carly, Madison McDoneley, Lacey Tindall, David Graham, and a newly return missionary Dan Smith) and then ate lunch at the institute. They had lunch there Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday for finals week and we got to eat too!

Tuesday - we had district meeting, lunch again, had a lesson ditch us and found a new investigator.

Wednesday - we went to the doctor to have my neck looked at - the beast of a sebaceous cyst will be removed tomorrow! I hope to have pictures :)

Thursday - lessons canceled... head hurt... I came up with a brilliant idea for the member book (which I can work on inside, in the dark, with an ice pack on my head...)

Friday - helped the FSU elders move into an apartment that is nicer than ours... their new address is 1854 Ivy Lane #8 Tallahassee, FL 32304 (we still don't have a lock on our mail box...) then we went to the Ronald McDonald house, bought FSU fabric to make quilts next week, and helped a member get ready to move home. We also got a phone that works!

Saturday - we spent time with some struggling members, Sister Wilcox practiced the piano for a musical number.

Sunday - I managed to make it through church and then we stayed down there for the CES Broadcast. President Summerhays had all the missionaries watch it. It was wonderful and helped me to appreciate my body, even with my headache.

I also talked to the area doctor got a prescription for my headache. Hopefully it does the trick once and for all.Thank you all for your love, support, letters, prayers, etc...

Thanks mom, for always reminding me to check my pockets :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Two Birds With One Stone

We were talking about unity and service in Relief Society and we talked about President Eyring's talk on adversity and how when we serve others and help them with what we need our needs are met as well. One of the girls said its like hitting to birds with one stone, but less violent.

This email will be two weeks in one :)

The week of April 13th to 19th: Had an amazing lesson with Erin and talked about happiness. Zone Conference was amazing as always, especially meeting with President Summerhays. Received lots promptings and got to see the results of acting on them. Worked a lot with less actives and other ward members. Had a girl we tracked into come up to us at TCC and asked why we never came back. Set up an appointment with her :) Played with an investigators cute new puppy - almost as satsifying as holding kids, but only because I'm a missionary and that is my only option. Helped with 1st ward's primary activity and talked with them about being "fishers of men". Have several new boyfriends from said activity, Joshua, William & Justin. 4 year olds are much better than 24 year olds, hopefully my view will change after my mission...Worked more with recent converts and less actives. Planned. Went to church and partook of the Sacrament. Invited Amber to be baptized and she accepted! Oh, and continued to have a headache of course, but did get a letter with chocolate from someone in Sister Wilcox's ward.

April 20th - 26th:Helped girl scouts clean the Ronald McDonald House (and ate an entire box of samoas...) Wandered around trying to find an investigator only to realize we were at Osecola Village not Ridge... Feeling really smart... Making party hats for district meeting - the best way to build district unity :) Talked with Larry again at the TCC Booth. He is very kind and has real desire to learn. Chalked the Plan of Salvation on FSU campus and talked to people. Helped Kendal clean and kitty proof her house for the summer. Played ultimate frisbee with members & investigators (at the invitation of the members! hooray!) Drove really far to try and visit a less active who wasn't home, but had really cute kittens that we played with once her scary dog decided we were nice. Went to church and partook of the Sacrament. Still have a headache, but I'm in the process of trying different things to alleviate it. I'm loving the work, when I get to work at least. My head never hurts when I teach and usually isn't bad while contacting either, so that is a blessing.

I love studying each day and espeically love the Book of Mormon. There is power in reading the Book of Mormon. I've seen it in my life and in the lives of those I teach. The Church is true. Joseph Smith is the prophet of the Restoration. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. Obedience is the key to happiness.

You should all write me more letters. :) Love ya'l!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It's Like a Mullet for Glasses

One of the members, Amanda Wright, commented on my purple glasses. I said that my lovely mother who only wants the best for me thought they were a little unprofessional (but because she is the best mom in the world still bought them for me). She said that if you looked at them straight on you couldn't really tell, but when they were tilted and the light hit them they were purple. Hence the mullet comment, business in the front, party in the back. Amanda is full of great such statements that bring joy to my day.

Monday we went bowling and I got two strikes in a row!! (we just won't talk about the rest of the game...) We also went over to Melissa Mae's with Jacqueline, the RS Pres, and had another break through. We also found out she is moving and set up a time to help her pack and then to move.

Tuesday we had a great district meeting. It was different than Elder Rasmussen did it, but Elder Mahan is a great district leader in his own way. We had three lessons set up and all of them weren't home. We tracted instead and were able to find Shawna. She was so excited and so thankful that we would give her a Book of Mormon and invite her to church.

Wednesday we were going to go to FAMU but I was sick. I was so sick to the point of being incapacitated all day. It was miserable! Through lots of prayer and determination, I did make it out the door for a lesson in the evening, but I knew I wouldn't make it the twenty minute walk there. I went out with trust and a member, Samantha Thompson, drove by and picked us up because she left class early. It was an answer to prayer! The lesson wasn't there, but Sam was able to take us to the church where we helped Sister Campbell with another quilt.

Thursday I felt fantastic! It was great! We got to go down to TCC and talked to several people, a few of which stopped and talked to us because they knew members. You are always setting an example and being watched. Living your life according to the teachings of the gospel is missionary work in and of itself (that doesn't mean you don't have to talk to people though...) Afterward we went to Melissa's with Krissie & Carly to help pack. We got it all done pretty quickly and then watched Legacy. It was a great chance to talk about Priesthood Blessings when Eliza was healed. Melissa didn't realize all the persecution the early saints went through. It helped her put her trials in perspective.

Friday I had a migraine. This migraine is still my friend. I asked for a blessing and it was powerful, but I was told that I had something to learn from this and that this trial would take time. Heavenly Father let me know that He loves me and is proud of me. He appreciates my faith and calling on the Priesthood, but I have something to learn. I wish I knew what that something was. I did get a lovely Easter package that helped to brighten my day :) Thanks Mom!

Saturday morning we helped Melissa move. It was a great chance to help soften her heart and her mother's as well. She was so thankful that so many people showed up to help. (us, Krissie, Carly, TCC & FSU Elders, David Graham and Jason Roberts) I guess I've always taken it for granted growing up in the church that people help each other move. That evening Carly invited us over to dye Easter eggs. I think that is the first time missionaries have been in her home and it was good to meet her mom & dad. Plus, it was a lot of fun.

Easter Sunday! It was wonderful! Fast & Testimony Meeting was powerful. We had several members bear testimony of the help that we as missionaries have given them. It was great to see Madison so strong, to see France recognize that she knows the truth and that she is reading from the Book of Mormon, to see those that have always been active are uplifted by coming to lessons with us. It was a great boost and reminded me that I am doing good out here despite all my weaknesses. The Lord is able to use someone as weak as me to do His work. After church Elizabeth Keller & Dave Polk fed us Easter dinner. It was delicious! Dave also had us take a lot of food from his pantry, which was yet another answer to prayer as our food supply is getting scarce. It is a little rough on the budget when you are fed by members very often, but the Lord provides a way.

I love you all and hope you had a wonderful Easter. I love the chance to reflect on the knowledge that HE LIVES! Because He lives we will all live again (with perfected bodies too! Cold & migraine free!). I love the chance I have to dedicate all of my time and energy to sharing this with people.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Saturday April 11, 2009

Dear Readers,

I am Alissa's mom, Jill. I have to apologize for neglecting this blog for the past two weeks. It seems that I didn't even have time to point and click to publish her emails to her blog. I am sorry and will try to do better in the future. Thanks for your understanding, Jill Clonts (Alissa' Mom)

Conference In A Skirt

This was a new experience for me. I was not only dressed for all of General Conference, but I was in a skirt and sitting in a pew. I was able to stay awake through all of them, but I think that had more to do with the fact that the sessions were at 12 and 4 rather than 9 and 1 :) It was wonderful!

Monday we had a farewell dinner for Elder Rasmussen at Chili's. It was us, FSU, Krissie, Carly (who was baptized a few weeks ago), Alex (who was baptized last week), and Whitney. It was nice to get to spend some time laughing and having fun. Krissie & Carly put a goodbye package together for Elder Rasmussen. Post-its, plastic sheets for binders, Razzles (first its a candy, then its a gum!), sheriff badges (he is going to be a zone leader in Pace, FL), and other such items.

Tuesday we had a great district meeting. Sister Wilcox & I wore black. We were in mourning for loosing Elder Rasmussen. Then we went to Stevie B's pizza for the ultimate eat off. I lost. But I put up a good fight. Elder Rasmussen ate 19 while Elder Eden and I could only eat 18. I really could not eat anymore. I could barely swallow the 18th piece. I've never eaten so much in my life! Madisen fed us dinner that night & I was a little scared it would be pizza. Instead it was coos-coos (sp?) that stuff that is like rice but in balls instead of grains... It was delicious.

Wednesday we had Sister Palmer, a new missionary, with us for the day while her trainer came in from elsewhere. It was fun to see someone fresh from the MTC and laugh a little when her hair frizzed and she wasn't sure what to do. We contacted on campus and talked to a lot of great people. Then we helped Sister Campbell with quilts for the stake. The Campbells also bought us dinner :) That is the most we've been fed in a week in a long time.

Thursday it was pouring rain, which would be fine, except there was lightening as well. We have been counseled not to go out in lightening, so we made lots of phone calls, update the area book and cleaned our apartment.

Friday I was not feeling well, but refused to spend another day inside! I called the Elders for a blessing and, as always, felt better immediately. It is amazing! I love the Priesthood! We were able to go to Friday Forum, the Ronald McDonald House and then we were able to go and visit Farah. That girl has such amazing faith! I want to be like her when I grow up.

Saturday we planned in the morning and then had Conference! It was wonderful! Between sessions we were able to contact an investigator and get her new phone number, which was a huge blessing. After we were able to go tracting and find 2 new investigators, Charlie & Robert, and were able to clean for a member, who fed us pancakes. I don't know what to do with all this food!

Sunday we finished planning and headed down for music & the spoken word. It had been years!

Conference was wonderful! I forgot my notes, but I know that I love President Eyrings talk on adversity, Elder Holland's words on the Atonement and Elder Bednar's talk on the Temple. I can't wait for the conference Ensign!

I love you all!Happy Birthday Waybne, you're old!

Rain !!!

The first half of last week was amazing! The last half was... wet.

Monday we met with Melissa Mae and had an enjoyable and rejuvenating P-Day

Tuesday we had a great district meeting followed by chalking the Plan of Salvation on the sidewalk on FSU. It was mostly the Elders, but we helped and donated the chalk, so we'll take credit too. Later we had a lesson that fell through, so we got to do some tracting. We did have a great lesson with Kiley & Cory. We talked about fasting & prayer & taught them the promised blessing/ required action way of reading the Book of Mormon. They both loved it and ate it up. It was amazing! We also ran into a girl on campus that investigated the church two years ago. We gave her another Book of Mormon and she said she'd love to have us call her after the semester is over.

Wednesday we spent time on FAMU and found two new investigators, Angela and Earnest. It was great to open my mouth and for people to actually want to listen. I found a new favorite question for talking to people on campus 'would you like to learn more about Jesus Christ?' It is hard to say no to that, and then I'm able to testify, they feel the Spirit, and a seed is planted! I love being a missionary!

Thursday is when it started to rain. We made it down to TCC, but had to leave early and we just barely beat the really heavy rain, though we were both still soaked! We did have a dinner appointment that night with the Roberts family and a girl Briana that came to church randomly last week. It was an amazing lesson and the spirit was so strong! I love it when I'm teaching and the words I'm saying aren't my own. It is an experience I can't even describe, but it is powerful.

Friday we tried to venture out, but after only an hour they announced a thunderstorm warning over the intercom on campus and told us to seek shelter immediately. We were at the church parking lot when it started coming down in sheets so we didn't quite make it. We were still wet most of the day.

Saturday morning we ventured out again. I need to go to CVS to get an ace bandage and a heating pad because my knee was killing me. On the way back it started to pour again. We forced ourselves out in the pouring rain later for Alex's baptism. It was wonderful. The FSU Elders have been teaching him for quite some time. He is a powerhouse and is going to do great things in the church.

Sunday the sun was back!!! Alex was confirmed and the blessing was as powerful as he is. The Stake had an Easter Musical that was beautiful. Later in the evening we stopped by a few investigators' homes that don't have phones or we have the wrong phone number, but no one was home. Somehow we managed to get work done, most of it was in the first half of the week, but even the time we were stuck inside was good because we were able to update the area book and call former and potential investigators, something we've been wanting to do for a while.

Caralina!!!! Thank you for the letter! I'd love to hear details about everything. Pictures are great too! You can email me if that is easier...! I'll try to get your letter in the mail tomorrow. I love you!I'd love to hear from all of you!Love,the finally dry, Sister Short

Monday, March 23, 2009


We have new friends at 105 Fifield Lane. Squirrels. We first heard them in December, but they visit us daily now. They have chewed holes in one of the screens and love to hang out in our attic. We had the Elders come and check it out (mostly to make sure we weren't hearing things) and they have definitely been up there. Hopefully our friends will have to move on soon.
Monday- Our district played Broom Hockey! We only broke two brooms and only one Elder started to bleed. It was a great success! Tanya, Krissie & Carly fed all of us and Sister Wilcox taught Carly how to do the "Utah bump" to her hair. She was looking on Facebook and noticed that a lot of members have that hair, so she associates it with being a member and wanted to learn how. She is so much fun!
Tuesday- We had a great green dinner with Kristin Hill and had a Bible/Book of Mormon study with her and her roommate Rachel.
Wednesday- Zone Conference! I love getting to meet with President Summerhays. Zone Conference is always exactly what I need to give me a boost and some added direction. We had a lesson with France after and it was amazing as we read the Tree of Life with her in 1 Nephi 8 and she saw what she needed to change in her life. I love the Book of Mormon!
Thursday- We went to the TCC Booth and were able to talk to several different people. We also got to meet with Farah and feel of her strength. Erica Sewell also fed us all dinner, which is always nice :)
Friday- We got to go to the Ronald McDonald house, always a favorite, and then we had an amazing lesson with Kiley & Cory. Cory is doing so well as he prepares for baptism.
Saturday- We planned in the morning. I love planning because we receive so much inspiration and direction for everyone we are working with in such a condensed period of time. Then we went tracting and were able to meet up with Caroline. We found her before Spring Break, but she was moving and her phone was turned off. Then the Zone Leaders found her one day and she mentioned meeting us. They gave us her address and we went and taught her a first lesson. It was a miracle!
Sunday- We had a lesson with Amber, girlfriend of Cory Zauche, a member of 5th ward, after church and she has such a sweet countenance and the spirit was very strong in the lesson. Afterwards we went tracting and were able to welcome rejection! It really was great! We testified with faith and not fear and as a result we found a new investigator, Jade, and a few potentials. It was a great experience!
Lina- Thanks for the letter, I haven't had the chance to read it because we haven't gotten our mail from the Elders, but I'm excited!
I love you all!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

What Not To Wear??

That's right. We were walking to a lesson when someone yelled out their window that we should be on what not to wear! We just about died laughing. We both commented on how we are rather shapeless in our clothing and it isn't even flattering. We felt validated and enjoyed the comment! We had a really good week, especially considering that it was Spring Break. We are excited to work hard this week too. I don't have much time, so here are some fragmented thoughts.

Monday- I had an amazing blessing in which I literally felt the healing power of the Priesthood flood my body. I also was given great counsel and promised great blessings. I love the Priesthood!

Tuesday- We talked more about being a family at District Meeting and planned a great broom hockey activity for today (I broke the broom within 10 minutes...)

Wednesday- We had 3 lessons with less-actives and had a break through with one. I was able to share my experiences in dealing with depression. It was nice to be able to have someone else benefit from that as well (plus she was at church on Sunday!)

Thursday- I can't currently remember, and don't have time to think...

Friday- we did service at a high school 'Brain Bowl' and ran into a former investigator who only stopped progressing because her dad was against it. She said she turns 18 soon and will give us a call.

Saturday- Carly was baptized! I'll send pictures next week, but she is the best! She has Cerebral Palsy and so she has to use a walker, so she comes up with lots of things that she will do in the Celestial Kingdom, the current favorite is riding sea turtles :)

Sunday- Farah shared her conversion story in Sacrament meeting and it was very powerful.

I love you all! Have a great week!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Mail Thief

This past week was yet another amazing one (which is good because this week is Spring Break and most everyone is gone) Here are some daily highlights.

Monday we had a great lesson with Erin and she committed to fast for guidance on Sunday. Unfortunately she didn't come to church and had to work late last night, so we don't know how that went. She has an amazing spirit and knows the Book of Mormon is true, but something seems to be holding her back.

Tuesday we had another amazing district meeting. We had a lesson later that day with Kristen Hill & Rachel again. I love getting to help people see that the Book of Mormon and the Bible go hand in hand!

Wednesday we spent time down by FAMU. Everyone their is so friendly! We had some great opportunities to testify to people as we were tracting. I really feel like my tracting ability has improved- I may not be getting more investigators, but I testify with the Spirit for those brief moments & hopefully plant a seed.

Thursday Sister Wilcox & I held the booth on TCC & we talked to multiple people. We were able to teach a formal lesson with Stephanie and met several of her friends.We had a lesson with Cameron & Joe again as well as some friends of theirs that were in town. They love learning more, but still don't have a desire to make any changes. We also watched video surveillance of our mail thief! Sister Wilcox had a gift/credit card sent to her for Christmas & they tracked the purchase and we got to watch a video of the guy! They also took the letter from Grandma & Grandpa Erekson that we found on the side of the house to dust for fingerprints. It was pretty cool, plus we got to tell them a bit about the church. We'll be sure to keep you updated on the case of the missionary mail thief. :)

Friday we went back to Cameron & Joe's to help them clean up their apartment for the puppy they are getting after Spring Break. We then went to the Ronald McDonald House and cleaned there. I love cleaning, but even more than that, I love wearing pants! Later in the evening we met with a woman named Kelly in the 2nd ward who requested the Sister Missionaries. She is less-active but her 8 year old son goes with her dad and she wants to become active again and put her life in order. I love getting to help people that want to help themselves! It is amazing to watch the Lord work in their lives to help them return to Him.

Saturday we went to the Family History Fair they had at the Stake Center- it was a pretty good turn out with a lot of non-members. We then had a lesson with a girl named Meaghan. Meaghan was adopted by a less-active member and was visited a few weeks ago by diligent home teachers. She has expressed an interest in learning more and seemed to really feel the spirit in the lesson. She didn't come to church, but we're pretty sure that she was scared because she doesn't like to meet new people. We meet with her again next week & we are going to offer to come get her so she doesn't have to go in alone. Hopefully that will help. We had another great lesson with Kiley & Cory. We taught the Word of Wisdom & not only did Cory commit to live it, but seemed to really understand it as more than just a list of do's and don'ts.

Sunday was a wonderful Fast Sunday. Testimony meeting was powerful and I love the opportunity to have a meaningful fast. Sunday night we finally had time to plan for this week. Last week was so busy and this week, well, isn't. We'll see what happens.

I love you all!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Member Referrals

I love that each week has so much happen that I have to pull out my planner to remember it all...

Monday we had a wonderful, Spirit filled lesson with Erin. We watched the Restoration and talked about the Book of Mormon. The Spirit was so strong and we were able to discover and help relieve some of her concerns. I love being a missionary!

Tuesday we had a great district meeting where we ended up all sharing what we've been struggling with and helping each other overcome it. We really worked together to build each other up and we are working together to accomplish our goals. Nothing we had originally planned for the rest of the day worked, but we had a lot of great things happen. I love being a missionary!

Wednesday we had a lesson with a less-active member and it was amazing to see her desire to do and be better. It was inspiring to see someone overcome so much and continue to strive to improve. We had a lesson with another less-active that lived far away, a member took us there, but she was a no-show. We went to leave and her car wouldn't start. It was quite comical, but ended up being for the best because her dad was already coming up this weekend and was able to help her and to see just how poor condition the car is in. Tender mercy in a small way and strange way :) We spent some time on campus and I cast out fear and opened my mouth more than ever before. I'd like to say miracles happened, and in a way it did, but not how I expected. I got more rejection on campus than ever before- even at hello. I even had a dog reject me! But then we went to go tracting before a lesson and we found a new investigator, tracted into a friend of a member that we'd met previously, received two referrals, and found a few other potentials. It was an amazing hour! Then we had a fantastic lesson with Cameron & Joe (Referrals from a family in 3rd ward). They aren't ready to make changes yet, but they have a desire to know more and to believe. They are excited to get to meet with us each week. I love being a missionary!

Thursday we spent time at TCC and were able to talk with a girl, Stephanie, that we'd met before and set up a time to meet and got her phone number. We had an amazing lesson with Kiley & Cory (Kiley is a recently active member and Cory is a friend/boyfriend since they were 13) about the Plan of Salvation. At the end Cory was a little emotional and expressed that he wanted to go to the Celestial Kingdom. It was exciting! I love being a missionary!

Friday we had fun at Friday Forum and the Ronald McDonald House. Afterward Kacie Bunch (who went to RMH with us) took us to get milk. She loves coffee, but she opted for a Dr. Pepper instead of Starbucks! Small miracles happen all the time! She is doing really well. Later we helped Kristen Hill clean her room again. It was wonderful! Her roommate Rachel was appreciative to and we were able to talk with her about the scriptures. We are going back tomorrow too! I love being a missionary! (especially when you do service and get to spend most of the day in pants!)

Saturday we spent time planning and other normal things, but then we spent time eating with investigators, eating with the Elders for Elder Clasby's birthday, and eating with members. Lots of food! I love being a missionary!

Sunday was Stake Conference and it was wonderful! Kacie was there and loved it. Kiley & Cory came, Kiley also brought her mom. Cory got there before Kiley and instead of waiting for her just came in and sat down by us with a big smile on his face. Elder Glen Pace was the visiting General Authority and he was wonderful! It was also fun to get to see President & Sister Summerhays. I remember now that the mission president was usually at Stake Conference, but I didn't put it together. We had an amazing lesson after with Kiley & Cory and a few other members & investigators & Elders Clasby & Rasmussen joined us. It was wonderful! We talked about the tree of life, but then it ventured into giving up things of the world for the Lord, then it went into baptism and Cory set a baptism date for the 11th of April! It was a powerful lesson and Cory just shines! I'm so happy for him! I love being a missionary!

Sister Wilcox and I were reflecting on the work in the 5th ward and from the time that we got here to April 11th (Cory's BCD) there will have been 10 baptisms in the 5th ward, and 8 of them were/are from member referrals!! That really is the 'better way' that President Hinckley describes.

I love you all!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Required Action -- Promised Blessing

President Summerhays gave us an assignment just over a month ago. We read the Book of Mormon and marked in one color the required action and in another color the promised blessing. For example1 Ne 1:12 And it came to pass that as he read, he was filled with the spirit of the Lord. 'he read' would be one color and 'he was filled with the spirit of the Lord' would be the other.It was an amazing experience. He challenged us to finish it by Feb 20th (Zone Conference) which meant at least 20 pages a day. It took a lot of work and time, but through the enabling power of the Atonement I was able to finish. It was powerful. I came to see how much the prophets of the Book of Mormon cried repentance. I saw how the miracles were all according to the faith of the individuals. I saw things I've never noticed before. It was an amazing experience. I invite all of you to do the same.

Transfers were this week and Sister Wilcox and I are still here. At Zone Conference on Friday President Summerhays said that there were two new sisters coming out next transfer but that he thinks campus will remain the same (we'll both still be here). It is possible that will change, but Sister Wilcox and I like the idea of serving together longer. We are so very different, but we get along so well. Between the two of us, there isn't a person we can't relate to in some way or another. We work hard and we have fun. It has been great!

The highlight of the week for me was Zone Conference. We talked about diligence. I left with a resolve to do and be better. I re-dedicated myself to the work. I will not just wake up at 6:30, but get out of bed and exercise. I will work all day, even when it is cold and/or rainy. I will show the Savior my love for Him through my actions and my continued diligence. It was a call to repentance, but it felt amazing. I love the chance we have to partake of the Sacrament each week to start over clean and pure. We also talked about the Book of Mormon reading we had been doing and we all committed to read the Book of Mormon every day for the rest of our lives. I'm excited about that. That is something I know I can be diligent about and unlike getting up on time in the morning, it is something that I can make sure happens at some point in the day, so I know that every day for the rest of my life I will read from the Book of Mormon and partake of the power that it holds.

In Zone Conference we also had the chance to talk about the District Meeting we held in the beginning of February where we finally became unified. We shared with what we did to get there, which was we committed to work together as a team or family to accomplish our goals as a district. We dissected what President had guided us to do and so Elder Rasmussen asked me to write on the board what I had written on the board at the District Meeting. As I did so, he continued to explain that we all committed to work together, but then I 'said ok, now HOW?!'... The entire Zone burst into laughter as he did a pretty good impression of my frustrated 'how'. President Summerhays laughed and said something about always needing the counsel of a woman and then handed me his name tag. I was thoroughly embarrassed for my boldness, but later when I talked with Sister Summerhays she said that I had gained the respect of the Zone, so it was a good thing. Then later another Elder needed to write on the board but was very hesitant to erase what I had written. President Summerhays commented that it was nice of him to not want to erase what I had written without my permission and the jokingly added 'especially since she might kill you'. Again laughter. President Summerhays knows me better than I ever realized :) **Note - I would never kill anyone, especially not an Elder, but the Elders in my district are well aware that I do fight for what I feel is right and, as already demonstrated, I'm not afraid to speak my mind... **Anyways, I found it all highly amusing and it was nice to laugh at myself a bit.

The work is going well. We have four progressing investigators and are working with a few less-active members. We are excited to have time to go tracting this week and find those that are prepared to hear the gospel.

I love you all! Read the Book of Mormon!

Monday, February 16, 2009


Farah Lamore Lester was baptized on Friday the 13th of February 2009!

That's really all I have to say, but I'll provide more details because they are amazing!First, the other things of the week.

Tuesday we had district meeting and it was the last one for the Zabriskies, a senior couple that went home on Friday. They serve two years in Quincy and accomplished miracles. We will miss the wisdom and insight as well as the fun they bring to district meetings. We then hiked up much farther than necessary (we couldn't find it at first) to contact a referral from last week. We had dinner with Kristen Hill - she always feed us very well :). And she has non-member roommates and friends that we get to spend time talking with. One of them even holds a bible study with Kristen each night and they use the Book of Mormon too! She is an excellent missionary :)

Wednesday we spent literally hours making phone calls an updating the area book. We taught a couple less-active lessons and they are all doing so well! One has said that she decided to quit smoking and drinking because she is reading the Book of Mormon and no longer has a desire to do those things. Hooray!

Thursday we spent most of the day at the TCC booth and had a lesson fall through and an unexpected lesson pop-up. It was fantastic! I love getting to talk to people about the Book of Mormon and all the ways it blesses my life. We helped Kristen Hill clean her room and were able to sit on her bible study with her roommate Rachel. It was a great chance to serve and to teach. :)

Thursday night we were on our way to a lesson with Farah when she called and told us not to come because they were leaving to follow the ambulance with her grandma to the hospital. We didn't hear from her that night and so in the morning we took cookies over (what else do we do) to make sure her grandma was okay (honestly, I was afraid she'd die or be really sick and Farah would want to postpone or something). Her grandma answered the door! Whew! We talked to Farah and everything was good to go. Talk about over reacting :)

Friday we had service for a bit at the Ronald McDonald House and then we were off to get ready for Farah's baptism. It was amazing! Eddie Wester, the friend that introduced her to the church, was able to baptize her. He was baptized the week we met Farah and was able to receive the Aaronic Priesthood and perform the ordinance. He did a great job too. It was amazing! The Spirit was so strong. When we met Farah in the bathroom after all she could do was cry (but she cries pretty, not sobbing) and we cried with her and hugged before we let her get dressed. The Spirit is so strong whenever we are with Farah. Several people commented that it was the most spiritual baptism they have attended, even recently returned missionaries. I am so thankful that I've had such a cherished opportunity to get to know her. That I'll be able to continue to spend time learning and growing with her. I am thankful that she will be able to uplift the members of 5th ward with her sweet and gentle spirit. She is an amazing woman that has overcome numerous obstacles. She is so happy and feels so good that you can't help but feel the same way. It is truly amazing.

Saturday was tricky since it was Valentines Day, so we planned, let someone into the institute, made phone calls, updated the area and member books (the member book helps us to know who all the members are and a little about them- I'd be lost without it! but it is NOT a gossip book as some missionaries call them. We treat the information we have with the respect it deserves so that we can best help the members of the ward- sorry, I'm a little sensitive on the issue...)

Sunday was wonderful! Farah was confirmed by Brother Dennis Prescott, a member of the 4th ward that she works with at Publix (a local grocery store- possibly the best ever). It was a beautiful blessing and reflected who Farah is. Her countenance has changed since we met her about 2 months ago. It was always sweet, but now it is even brighter! She has also made numerous friends in the ward and is growing more and more each time we see her. We had other miracles Sunday. We had a goal of 4 new investigators this week, but we didn't really have time to tract. A member brought someone to church that we are going to teach, and when we went to contact a referral, we were able to teach her and her boyfriend as well as tract around her complex really briefly and find another new investigator. 4 in a matter of hours! It was a huge blessing and an amazing miracle to witness. When we went to church we had 2 appointments set up for the week. By the end of last night we had 8. The work is amazing!

So Katie Hawkes shared a bit of a talk by Elder Bednar with me, one that I've been studying for months and I realized that I should share some of the great talks I've found and had shared with me.
Pray Always & Ask in Faith by Elder Bednar
The Good Samaritan: Forgotten Symbols by John W. Welch
In the Strength of the Lord by Elder Bednar (this is the one Katie found too) It has also been a theme for our mission. I love it!
We also read the Ensign each month and there are always things that relate directly to our own lives and/or the lives of our investigators. I encourage all of you to get a subscription! Enjoy! I'll try and remember to send more later.
Katie Hawkes- I did get your letter and will reply asap. Thanks so much! Happy 22nd!
Katie Lewis- I have to find out you are dating someone from Katie Hawkes? Consider your self rebuked. I want to hear about it! You can email me!
Caraline- Katie says you aren't in the circus yet, there are circus classes at FSU, you should come down here.
Katie Lee- how goes student teaching? What would it take to get your last From The Heart cd from you?
Erek - congrats on BYU Hawaii!! Way to go!

The rest of you- I'd love to hear from you :)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Address Update

Dear Family and Friends,

Alissa and her companion have had several thefts from their mailbox in the past few months. Alissa is missing a few cards with some cash that were sent and her companion is missing a Visa gift card that her grandmother sent, among other things. They are trying to track the purchases to find the culprit, but that could take time. Alissa and her companion, Sister Wilcox are currently seeking a locking mailbox, but as of yet have been unable to get one. So, if you plan to send her a box or even a card in the near future, please send it to the office address below and ask them on the outside of the envelope to keep it until zone conference or send it to the following address for her district leaders. Thank you for understanding and for your continued support for our girl.
Jill (proud missionary mom)

1701 W Pensacola St #113 Tallahassee, FL 32304

Key Indicators

We have started approaching goals in a new way. Each week we report our numbers on Sunday, but then Monday we report our goals for the current week. We also track our key indicator numbers each day on a little white board. All of this is at the request of President Summerhays. Whenever we talk about goals we say 'people represented by key indicators' and we apply that to make our goals more meaningful each day. We have our key indicators color coordinated and each time we have a lesson with a member present we write that person's name in green, or when we find a new investigator - they go on the board in orange. It makes each day exciting as we get to rejoice that we met Kaley or that we had a lesson with Erin. It has added a better understanding as to the purpose of goals. It may not be exciting to ya'll, but Sister Wilcox and I love it!

Monday all our plans fell through, but we did have time to make lots of phone calls and contact some hard to reach people.

Tuesday we had an amazing district meeting! Our district has been struggling with unity since I got here, well even before that, but we got down to the root of it and each committed to make the changes necessary within ourselves. It was great to realize what I contributed to the problem, how I needed to change, and to accept responsibility for it. I was no longer blaming other people, but changing the one person I could, myself. What made it even more exciting is that everyone did it together (that also made it easier).

Wednesday we got another referral (we got the first one on Monday). Hooray for meaningful fasts! We also got to teach two lessons to less-actives and were able to help encourage one to ask for a blessing for an upcoming root canal. (Which went perfectly and she came to church!)

Thursday we spent most of the day at TCC and were able to teach an amazing lesson to James (it was amazing because of him and the Spirit, not us by any stretch of the imagination). He is a very spiritual person and excited to learn more. We meet with him again this Thursday.

Friday morning we got yet another referral! We went to the Ronald McDonald House with Amanda and Dan and were able to talk to them about what they believed and share a first lesson with them. They are great people with a lot of love. Both agreed to read the Book of Mormon and they liked the doctrines we shared with them.

Saturday we had a great lesson with Farah and were able to plan her baptism. She is so excited! I think Sister Wilcox and I are equally excited! This is the first person that we started teaching that we also get to see enter the waters of baptism. I can hardly wait for this Friday.

Sunday we had an amazing time at church. Farah really seems to feel at home there and is looking forward to Friday more each day. We met a friend of Kacie Bunch's, Kaley, who is interested in learning more. We also received a referral for a girlfriend of someone in the ward.

We are super busy, but we wouldn't have it any other way.Today we had a lesson with Farah and she also had her baptismal interview. We also had another lesson with Erin and she is coming to church on Sunday. I'm excited to write both their names one the whiteboard tonight as they represent the key indicators!

I love you all! Tallahassee is beautiful, the people are wonderful, and the work is going forth at a pace I can only keep up with through the strength of the Lord.

Dallas- you still owe me cookies. I think interest is beginning to develop...

Erek- you win the email game this week, I'm not sure what that entails, but congratulations. (besides mom, who wins every week)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Sparkles and Bubbles

This was a very busy week! Here is a day by day play by play. (Everything is amusing when you are a missionary!)

Monday - We went grocery shopping at Walmart and were able to stock up on some of the necessities like make-up and deodorant. It is the simple things in life, like new mascara, that bring me daily joy. We had an amazing lesson in which she said she is leaning toward believing the Book of Mormon to be true! We invited her to church on Sunday - she said she couldn't come this week because of the Super Bowl, but that she'll be there next Sunday. We have another lesson with her tonight! We then had a quick lesson with Farah about the Priesthood and Priesthood blessings. It worked quite perfectly because I had asked the Elders for a blessing for a migraine that had been bothering me for a week now (and thus bothering Sister Wilcox) so we asked them to come at the end of the lesson so that Farah could experience one and hopefully she'd ask to have one herself. (She eventually did) It was an amazing blessing and my head stopped hurting immediately. This seems to be a monthly occurrence for me on my mission. I am so thankful for the power of the Priesthood to heal and to give comfort. Farah then got to stay for FHE. She is doing so well!Tuesday we talked more about faith in District Meeting. We also talked about an area wide fast on Sunday. All the missions and stakes in the North America South East Area fasted on Sunday for missionary work - our mission specifically fasted for faith and to become the prepared missionaries that the Lord will lead the prepared people to. I became even more excited about it.

Tuesday we had two lessons fall through so we went to campus and ended up having an amazing experience! There was a traveling preacher, Brother Micah, on campus yelling at everyone. He was telling them that they are all going to Hell and that they all hate God. He said that he was no longer a sinner, that football is a sin because it is violent. He even said that Bobby Bowden was going to Hell. I thought they were going to kill him when he attacked their beloved football coach. It really is sad that he thinks this way, but it led to some great teaching opportunities for us. A girl named Amanda asked us if we were Christians and if we were with him. We responded yes and NO respectively. We explained that we're missionaries, sometimes called 'Mormons' and we got to tell her and her friends Megan and Josh that God loves them and that while He doesn't want them to sin, they can repent. We talked about the Book of Mormon and the Atonement. Brother Micah especially hates homosexuals and Jews. We had the chance to talk to several people and explain that while we don't support homosexual marriage or actions, they have agency and the inclinations alone doesn't make it a sin. It is the actions, just like it is for heterosexuals, that make it a sin. We even have a new investigator, Dan - or Sparkles, who is interested in what we believe. It was a completely unexpected day and much better than we could have hoped for. We had to leave campus to teach a lesson to a less active that another set of Elders found, Madisen. She hasn't really gone to church since she was 8, but she is reading and praying and knows the Book of Mormon is true. She understands what we teach her and desires to learn more. It is really great to get to teach her.

Wednesday it was raining so Brother Micah didn't show - we were there though. We did some research on so that we'd know exactly what the church teaches about homosexuality so that we can better teach. It was really helpful and very uplifting. It eventually stopped raining and we contacted people on campus. I had an interesting conversation with Frank, a man from China that is here for six months doing research in finance. He asked me about debt and my experience in it and I told him about the counsel of the Church to stay out of debt and the blessing that has brought. When I had answered all of his questions he allowed me to talk to him more about the church and the Book of Mormon. I was able to teach him a full first lesson :) We had a lesson with Kiley, a girl whose New Year's resolution is to come back to Church. She knows just enough to be dangerous, so it is really good that we are teaching her and that she is able to feel the Spirit testify of the truthfulness. We were spending the last bit of the day on campus when we ran into the Elders at a fountain that had been bubbled. It was a much needed lift for all of us as we've been struggling in some areas of the work. The Lord answers prayers in many different ways.

Thursday we spent more time on campus with Brother Micah. We taught nearly two dozen people! Sparkles (Dan) was contending with Brother Micah and when we greeted him Brother Micah said that it was interesting how well the Mormons get along with the gays. We responded that we like to get along with all of God's children. He didn't hear us, but several of the people around us did. After we left for a dinner appointment the Elders said they overheard Dan telling people that they should talk to Sister Wilcox and Sister Short, who isn't very short, because we knew about love. I love the gospel! It really is a message of love, hope, and happiness. I can't imagine a message of anything else.

Friday morning we had a lesson with Farah and we talked about several of the commandments. She said she is going to miss sweet tea, but she committed to live by all the commandments! She even said the closing prayer- she hasn't ever prayed in a lesson before. It was powerful and she really was speaking to her Heavenly Father. I loved it! She also asked if she could receive a blessing on Sunday! She is growing so much and so quickly! It is only a month ago that she even heard of the Book of Mormon, two weeks ago that she started to really pray to her Father in Heaven, and next Friday she is going to be baptized. I am so thankful to have the chance to see her progress from start to baptism. It is such a blessing!

Saturday we had 3 lessons at 10, 11 & 12! Jacqueline came with us to all of them. At 10 we had one with Kalee, Jerika & Cora. Kalee was sick and Jerika was sleepy, but Cora was really excited. She expressed that she didn't want to be baptized or something like that until she was ready to be faithful. She didn't want to do planned repentance or anything like that. She may take some time to gain a testimony, but when she does she will be a powerhouse! Jerika was really sweet and poor Kalee was sick as a dog, but they all agreed to read from the Book of Mormon. We had a lesson with France, but she wasn't home, so we talked to her non-member cousin briefly. We had another lesson with Madisen and then we talked with Jacqueline for an hour or so about less actives (she is the Relief Society President). We began our fast as a mission through a conference call and then attended Jon's baptism. He came to our Christmas Eve Celebration and didn't really talk and wasn't very happy, but now he is well groomed, stands with good posture, and talks with people. It is amazing to see the change the gospel makes in people's lives.

Sunday was amazing as usual. Farah asked some great questions about the Sacrament and about testimony meeting. Her blessing was powerful because her faith is so strong. She loves and trusts in Heavenly Father. We broke our fast via conference call again - it was amazing to be so unified as a mission. This morning we received our first media referral. A meaningful fast is powerful!
I love you all!

Missionary Prep by Sister Short :)

Monday we played football for P-Day with some of the Elders, some members, and a few investigators. It was great to be able to run and play! (Even if everyone was sore the next day) We had another great lesson with Erin that night. She said that she was praying again and that she wanted to go back to church (she mentioned the Catholic Church, but hopefully she'll come to ours as well). She said she likes how she feels when she reads the Book of Mormon and she even made sure that we'd meet the same time next week. I'm excited for her as she continues to progress.

Tuesday was Zone Conference! I love getting to spend time with the Zone and especially with President and Sister Summerhays. We talked a lot about faith and not having even a seed of doubt or fear in us as we tract, contact, teach, extend commitments, etc... I came to realize that I accept that I choose to be offended, why can't other people make that same choice. I don't need to be afraid of offending when I speak with faith and love. It was a very powerful and uplifting day. I loved meeting with President Summerhays. It was brief but powerful. Our District has been struggling with unity and President called it exactly like it is and was rather blunt about it. He asked me to be patient with a few of the Elders, which was much easier to agree to because he clearly knows exactly what is going on. It probably helps that he has the Spirit to help him discern ;) He told me that the Lord loves me, is proud of me, and that I should be growing in my confidence. I was a little taken back by that - my confidence should be growing. I feel fairly confident, at least with the help of the Lord, but as I have thought about this more and more I think it has more to do with faith and trust in Him growing, and my confidence growing as a result of that. I am so thankful to have the chance to meet with President Summerhays monthly! Some of the Elders think he will be an apostle or even the prophet someday, but he does so much good on an individual basis that I think he'll continue to be a mission or stake president, where he can help to change individual lives. He is an amazing man of God that radiates the Spirit within him.

Wednesday we had 3 lessons scheduled, all of which fell through at the last minute. We were able to contact a member referral and set up an appointment, so that was good. It really is according to the Lord's time.

Thursday we had our only lesson fall through, but we did contact several potential investigators at the booth on TCC.

Friday we had an amazing lesson with Farah. Her countenance has changed so much in the past few weeks. She is so excited to be baptized and to grow closer to her Savior. You can't help but to be happy around her. We also got to serve at the Ronald McDonald House as we do every Friday. That night we had a lesson scheduled with Jerika, but the last several have either been rescheduled, canceled, or no-shows, so we were afraid we'd have to drop her. By a miracle she was there and ready! We had Melanie, a recent convert, come with us and she powerfully shared her own gradual conversion story and how she had to continue to read and pray to know. We watched The Restoration with Jerika and then her cousin Kalee came over with friend, so Jerika wanted to watch it again. It was powerful! When Melanie shared that she would read the chapters assigned by the Sisters Kalee said she wanted assigned scriptures to read! It was wonderful! Both Kalee and Jerika committed to read 3 Nephi 27 and/or Alma 32 and to pray to know if it is true! It was such a powerful lesson and the exact opposite of what we thought it would be.

Saturday we planned most of the day and tried to contact a few less actives, but with no success, at least not any success that we saw immediately. Sunday we were supposed to have 4 lessons and 4 investigators at Sacrament Meeting, none of which happened. We did have a few less actives come and they were really excited to be there. Again, it is all according to the Lord's time and in His way. We set goals, work to achieve those goals and pray, but ultimately it is up to Him. Any good that happens here is because of Him. I am merely an instrument in His hands, but how thankful I am to be that! This past week as I read Silvia H. Allred talk from conference she listed ways that each of us can be missionaries:Then, be more specific in your missionary efforts. Let me suggest some ideas. You might find two or three that work for you:
If you have children at home, help prepare them for missionary service. Prepare yourself for missionary service.
-Invite family and friends to listen to the missionaries or to attend our Church meetings and activities.
-Accompany the missionaries to investigators’ homes, or invite the missionaries to teach nonmembers in your home.
-Invite people to a family home evening in your home.
-Invite people to a family history center, or help them do family history research.
-Give referrals to the missionaries. Members can be the greatest and best source of referrals.
-Share your beliefs and testimony with nonmember friends and family.
-Seek for opportunities to reach out to others.
-Extend friendship to investigators and new converts.
-Give your best efforts to finding those who are seeking the truth.
-If you have family members or friends on missions, send them letters of love and encouragement, and pray for them. The last one was my favorite ;)

Now for a few personal responses:

Ashley Hathcock - I can't find your address anywhere! I don't know what I did with it, but I can't find it. Please email it to me or something so I can send you a letter! I loved the package in the MTC! Sorry I'm so slow on responding, I was hoping to find your address. Gilbert Girls - while I can't email you, you can email me and then read my blog. I'd love to know what on earth is going on in your lives, for example pregnant, for all I know Katie Hawkes is engaged, Caraline has joined the circus as a high flying acrobat, Brooke is playing the piano at a jazz lounge, etc...Dallas- I'm still here. I was not transferred and President Summerhays does not anticipate transferring me anytime soon. Please send the cookies as soon as possible :)Danny- One of the Elders reminds me so much of you! I miss you Danny Boy!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Milk Day

My testimony in so many things has been strengthened in so many ways this week. Visiting teaching is amazing. Monday night we got a call from Freya, a sister who visit teaches France Charles. She had been dropping off cookies and notes to her without much success, but Monday Freya got a call from France saying that she needed help, she needed to return to God, she needed to get her life back in order, and that she'd like to meet with the sister missionaries. We've had the chance to meet with her twice and the Elders had a chance to administer a blessing. Freya brought France to church on Sunday and her countenance is already so much brighter! We are going to continue to work with her, with her visiting & home teachers as well, so that she can develop her own strength.

I've been strengthened as I've had the opportunity to teach by the Spirit, not just with the Spirit. Two of our lessons this week (one with Erin another with Farah) were different directions than we had planned on going. I shared my experiences with prayer and the gospel and how they have helped me in my life in both instances, but shared different aspects that met the needs of the investigator. It was a wonderful and uplifting experience. We also had the opportunity to set a baptismal date with Farah. She hasn't ever had a relationship with her Heavenly Father (at least not on this earth) and is struggling to, but dedicated to developing that relationship. We talked about goals in Enrichment the night before and how it takes 28 days to develop a habit. We invited her to take the next 28 days to develop that relationship with her Heavenly Father and then show her love for Him by making the covenant of baptism. She is really excited and is blossoming before our eyes.I am so thankful to get to have the opportunity to start to teach her and then to see her enter the waters of baptism. It really is amazing.I also love fellowship! The Tallahassee 5th Ward Relief Society is the best! We had two investigators at church yesterday and they invited and signed up both to play in the stake women's basketball tournament. They take time to talk and get to know anyone and everyone that we bring to church. It is so nice to know that those we bring will be well cared for and loved. It makes the work so much easier :)

I've had a migraine the past few days, but I have been very blessed at the same time because they have been cloudy and quiet days with lots of lessons so that I didn't do too much tracting. Plus, I got a letter from Waybne, Grandpa Alma, and Grandma Lou all in one day! It was great! Thanks for the email from Katie Lee and Mindi- who I had only a slight idea might be pregnant due to the small bump evident when she came to visit me before I left. Congrats!!! I think you should name him Al. Happy Birthday Chase! Too bad I'm not there to help your brothers embarrass you ;) Thank you for all of your love and support.

Oh, and Martin Luther King, Jr Day is now one of my favorites because you can also call it MLK day, or Milk day! Hooray Milk!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Be Clean!!

I love cleaning! Cleaning out the Area Book, the ward lists, the cupboards full of stuff from missionaries we've never even heard of, the vacuum cleaner (I'm pretty sure that had never been done -- GROSS!) Today I cleaned our apartment. It is nice to get it all back in order again and to have clean floors. It is nice to have clean dishes, clean sheets, clean clothes - everything :) I am so thankful to my mom who taught me how to clean, and how to keep things clean and orderly - even if my room was rarely clean - I was paying attention. I used the tool kit I got for Christmas (the Elders were all jealous and have borrowed it) and took the vacuum apart and cleaned it. I was even able to put it back together again. I am my mother's daughter.

In other news,This week was wonderful! This is truly the Lord's work. Farah came to the institute game night on Friday and to Church on Sunday. We have another appointment with her on Thursday. She is so happy and excited to be learning and making new friends. The Tallahassee 5th ward is the best! They do such a great job welcoming all our investigators and making them feel right at home! We had an amazing lesson with a girl named Erin. The previous sisters found her tracting last fall, we called her & she was really excited to meet with us. She expressed that she doesn't want to commit to anything just yet, but she said she would read the Book of Mormon and we are meeting with her again tonight. She lives in an apartment complex right next to the church and it is also the one the Relief Society Pres, Jacqueline, lives in. It is so cool! We've seen her twice since we taught her on Thursday. We'll have to go a little slower with her, but she is very prepared by the Lord. His time, not mine.

We also had an amazing experience tracting down by FAMU. We found 3 new investigators, several potentials, and we taught over 20 other lessons! It was amazing! We were exhausted because we walked for 5 1/2 hours and Tallahassee means 'hills', but it was worth that and so much more!Friday we had a less-active come with us to Friday Forum and she got to know a few of the other members of the ward. Sunday was raining in less-actives! There were girls there that were on the records, but no one knew who they were. One of the girls wants to take the lessons again and her new years resolution was to come back to church. There were miracles all over the place!Saturday Sarah Altee was baptized. The FSU Sisters started teaching her and passed her off to the TCC Elders before they were transferred. She is such a sweet girl (not to be confused with a 'sweet spirit' -- she is really cute too) and is going to do great things. She has a strong desire to learn and grow and will continue to do so. I think one of my favorite things about being a missionary is that you get to watch people change their lives. Some it is a physical change - hair cuts, clean clothes, a general neat appearance, others it is a personality change - happier, friendlier, more outgoing, but for all it is a spiritual change or growth. The Gospel of Jesus Christ blesses the lives of all that live it. I am so thankful for the opportunity I have to get to witness the Holy Ghost work with others as they come unto Christ. I am so thankful that I get to bear testimony and feel the Holy Ghost bring thoughts and words to my mind. It is an amazing experience. The Elders often talk of how amazing it is to give a blessing because it is like you are reading something, the words aren't your own. Sometimes, when I'm teaching I experience the same thing. Often I have a train of thought enter my mind, but on special occasions, specific words come to me. I am so thankful for the desire to be obedient that has been instilled in me because it is through obedience that I am worthy to have the Holy Ghost with me. Living righteously is the only way to be happy!

I love you all! Thanks Ted & Meg for the great package! The muffins were delicious and the little toys have kept me very entertained when I can't really think anymore. Thanks Waybne for the letter on such excellent paper. Mom I love your emails! Thanks Grandma Lou for faithfully writing each week. As for the rest of you.... I'd appreciate it if you followed the example of Jarom, Omni, Amaron, Chemish, Abinadom & Amaleki and at least write some words. I'd love to hear from you!

Love always,Sister Alissa Marie Short (There is an Alissa in the 5th ward who spells her name right!)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Monday Jan. 5, 2009

This week has been full of blessings, even though I was even less worthy of them than normal. I felt like I didn't put in nearly enough work this week, let alone to be able to have such amazing things happen.Monday night we got a referral! My first out here :) There is an investigator, Eddie, in Crawfordville that worked with a girl, Farah, here in Tallahassee. She is really sweet and totally prepared. We got to have a lesson with both of them as well as the Crawfordville Elders before district meeting on Tuesday. It was such a spiritual lesson and Farah was really excited. Eddie bore a very powerful testimony at the end. He is 21, so he may start coming to 5th ward- I'd love it if he did. We had set up an appointment to meet with Farah again Wednesday, but she called to reschedule because she couldn't get a ride. She wasn't there on Friday though. When we called she said she was sorry and still wanted to meet with us, but her family wasn't very supportive. Sister Wilcox and I worried and prayed all day about how to handle this- Farah is so ready! We called Friday night to talk to Farah about going to Eddie's baptism on Saturday, but she wasn't home. We ended up talking with her mom and she apologized for Farah not making the appointment. She said that Farah has never been so excited or interested in something before and now that she realizes how important it is to Farah, she is going to do all she can to support her. She also invited us over to the house to meet her and to teach Farah. It went from a potential problem to a potential investigator!

We got another referral on Thursday for a girl, Jerika, whose parents are being taught in Gainsville. We met with her on Saturday and were surprised by her 3 cousins also being there for the lesson and they were all interested in learning more. We had set a goal for 5 new investigators - though we usually try for 3 - and it was because the Lord knew that Farah, Jerika, Cora, Allison & Kaylee were ready to hear the gospel. It strengthened my testimony of setting goals and the importance of key indicators. We didn't set a goal of 5, but we set a goal to find those girls, we just didn't know their names yet. It was an amazing experience.

I also received an amazing Priesthood blessing this Saturday. Since about Tuesday I haven't been feeling well. Thursday I lost my appetite. Friday I couldn't eat much without my stomach hurting, and by the time I woke up Saturday morning it just hurt - fetal position hurt. I got a blessing from the Elders (E. Clasby anointed and E. Rasmussen sealed) and it was amazing. I've also been having nightmares since I got into the field. They have been progressively more frequent and more vivid. It was messing with mine (and since I yell, Sister Wilcox's) sleep. I told the Elders about that when I asked for the blessing as well. It was very powerful and I was commanded to be healed and to be at peace. My stomach instantly felt better and I wanted food (right before fast Sunday of course). I also felt at peace. I was promised that as I continued to be obedient I would have the Holy Ghost to watch over and be with me while I sleep. I've slept perfectly since then. There were several other promises and words of counsel that I needed as well. I am so thankful for the Priesthood. I am thankful for the faithfulness and worthiness of the Elders. I am thankful for the blessing I received from President Hall as I was set apart. When he said that I would have the best health of my life while I was on my mission I thought it meant I would never get sick, instead it meant that I would always be healed. It has been an amazing and testimony building experience.

The Church of Jesus Christ is on the earth. The authority and power to act in God's name has been restored to bless our lives. I'm in Tallahassee sharing that great news with all who will listen. I love being a missionary! I love all of you and pray that you are well.