March 5, 2013

My First Week in the Vineyard - I made it!

California is muy bonita!!!!  Wednesday we got in and were welcomed by the returning missionaries here and then later met up with President Gelwix downstairs.  It was very weird hearing and seeing him in person! But we all loaded up in the vans and drove to the Mission office.  There we quickly grabbed a lunch to go and we were out the door to "Open Your Mouth".  I went out with Hermana Organista.  She is a native speaker so it was nice but hard to be with her for the day because I wanted to ask her if spanish get's easier, but she of coarse would not be able to answer that! Ha ha.. But we went out and did Harvesting Blessings.  That is where we go out and ask people if we can leave a blessing with them and their family of peace and health.  I was doing so good and was happy at first because it was all in English.  But then we started knocking on doors and I soon realized I don't know Spanish! Ha ha..  It was super hard not knowing what was being said and not being able to respond back.  I just sat there and questioned why I'm here.  All the Spanish Hermana's here think I'm so baby I'm sure by now because when we got back to the Mission office I was pretty much in tears.  The Hermana's were all so sweet giving me hugs and cheering me on.  There at the Mission office we then had to fill out forms and what not.  After that we headed over to the Mission home.  SO BEAUTIFUL!!!!!  I can't wait to show you the area and their home.  Orange trees, Lemon trees, Grapefruit trees, and PALM TREES!!!!  Ahhh I just love it here!!!! We had dinner all together and had a little devotional.  President & Sister Gelwix were going over rules and stuff when our Assistants to President Gelwix started wispering and arguing.  We had to stop everything and clear up what was going on.  SUPER awkward.  Apparently one of the Elders thought the tie of the other Elder was against the rules Pres & Sis Gelwix were just going over with.  They were disagreeing and it was just very intense.  President and Sister Gelwix got in and started yelling at them too.  I couldn't help but think "Not the MTC again!"  I wanted to leave and get out of the situation.  BUT......apparently it was a role play and was planned. THANK GOODNESS!!  Contention is of the Devil. Ha ha.. We then learned the proper way of handling situations with companions and stuff.  Sigh...  We then all headed to bed.  Us Sisters stayed at the mission home.
Thursday morning was hard again.  Had to hold back tears.  But we headed back to the mission home to be assigned our trainers.  I was so scared.  I didn't want to leave Hermana Miller.  We were the only 2 that knew each other.  Everyone was new and all the other English sisters were in a zone together in the MTC so they were very close and didn't talk much to us.  But I was first to be assigned.  President Gelwix said he felt really great with this companionship and knew we would work extremely well together and accomplish much good.  He then introduced me to.....Hermana Crandall!!!!!!   :D  Ahhh I just love her so much!  She is just so sweet and caring.  She just smiled and loved me all day.  We are assigned to MODESTO!!!!!!!!!!  I was so shocked to hear that!  :)  I wanted to serve there but didn't think it would be my first area.  I was excited.  Hna Miller even knew that so she thought that was awesome.  Well the rest of Thursday we had trainer and trainee meetings.  Then Hna Crandall and I drove to Modesto that night and got all settled in. :)  She is from Provo.  She just finished her 12 week training so she is still all new to this as well but she is just amazing.  I'm scared to think after I'm done training, I'll be a trainer. :(  Pray for me!!
Friday night we had a baptism!  2 cute girls in the branch were baptized.  I got to meet them Thursday night so that was nice knowing who they were. It was a beautiful service and I can't wait for those services to be of investigators. :)
Well I want to share with you about one of the Investigators we now have.  Friday night we went to visit an investigator named Paloma.  When we went back to her door, there was a group of people.  We talked to them and they told us Paloma wasn't in.  We stayed and talked with them though.  They were so nice to us and had fun talking to us.  They were shocked us white girls knew spanish!  Ha ha.. (I love getting that reaction.  People will come to the doors saying "no speak english" ((and just trying to get rid of us)), but then we surprise them and say "We speak spanish! Let us talk to you!" Ha ha..) Back to the story.  So we talked with these 3 individuals. Their names were Leo, Ephraim, and Paloma's husband Ramon.  Leo and I spoke english while the rest spoke spanish. Ha ha..  But Leo wanted us to come back and teach her about the Bible.  We agreed.  So Saturday we went back and taught her the Restoration.  She loved it!!  She cried and told us how she's been praying to God to send someone to her to bring her to God.  I invited her to be baptized on the 23rd and she just smiled and said "oh yes! I want to be baptized!"  AHHHHH!!!! Only 2 days in and I already got someone to committ to baptism!!! Such an amazing lesson!! We invited her to church and she said she'd be there.  However, yesterday, she did not show.  We taught her that evening and asked her what happened.  She has diabetes and I guess her blood sugar went crazy and she had to go to the doctors to get it checked.  But we taught her the Plan of Salvation last night and she just is amazing.  There is so much to say about her but I just can't even put words to describe her.  She is such a cute, talkative sister.  She's 66, been married to Ephraim for 10 years. Lives in the garage/shed of Paloma and Ramon's home.  It's not even a home.  We have to sit outside to teach her because her "house" is just a bedroom.  Their fridge is outside along with their couch.  It's just crazy to see the living situations here.  So humbling.
Things here are good though so far and I'm slowly getting the language piece by piece. 
I love you all and hope all is well.  Good luck with everything!
- hermana Sorensen

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