April 29, 2013

April 29, 2013

We had dinner with the Villanueva family (he's from Honduras and she's from Ecuador).  They reminded me a lot of Grandpa and Grandma Sorensen with all their fruit trees and gardens.  They loaded us up with lemons and oranges.  Even tried "cumquat" (don't know how to spell it but that is how it sounds if you know what it is). Ha ha.. Such a good family.  All the families here are great. 
 We've started teaching Part-member families. We had a lesson with one of the inactive girls (Lupe Lucas) father.  We had originally stopped by to visit her but when she wasn't there we got talking to the dad and he was very curious about our church.  We talked about the Restoration and Book of Mormon.  He had lots of good questions and realized the only way to answer all of them is to read the Book of Mormon.  It was great visiting with him and we hope it will continue to progress. 
I think so far my mission has just been to plant seeds.  It's hard not seeing the results now and at the speed I want, but we are setting good examples and opening the doors.  We went to stop by and drop off a thank you note to a family in the ward.  We couldn't find the apartment number, so we stopped and asked a group of people outside.  Come to find out one of the gentlemen was baptized.  He is hard core NOT a member right now, but he broke down and cried talking to us.  He was born and raised in Utah and baptized at 8.  He felt the church was forced on him and he didn't like that.  He moved here and just became distant even more.  When his son was of age of baptism, he wanted to baptism him.  The Elders informed him he couldn't because he has not been living the proper life style to baptism him personally.  Well he took that harshly and has put a wall up with all Elders past, present, and future.  When Elders knock on his door he kicks them out.  So he was very open with us and said it's a good thing we were cute sisters and not them Elders or else we'd be long gone.  YIKES!! But it was good to talk to him and let him open up.  He said he'd love for us to come back.  He's not spanish speaking so we are afraid we'll have to give him to the Elders, but after hearing his experience with Elders, I hope we can get permission to work with him.
I sure hope all of you are taking the opportunity to help the missionaries out in what ever they need.  I wish I was better at it before my mission, but I know when I get back I'm going to do all I can to help them.  They help is so appreciated and needed.  The investigators need a steady friendship.  A lot of the people here connected with Missionaries, and of coarse when they are transferred, they fall away and stop coming.  So we are trying to build friendships and mend hurt feelings. 
Saturday we had Love Modesto.  We all met downtown as a community to start the day with free breakfast and to figure out our locations.  Our branch signed up for Airport clean up.  We headed over there and cleaned up all the garbage along the streets and open fields.  Lots of junk!  It was disgusting.  Hermana Crandall and I headed out early to help Bro and Sis Ruiz set up for the BBQ afterwards for our branch.  It was a fun day spent with the branch.  I didn't want to leave.  It was nice to just relax and get to know everyone.  :)  The day reminded me a lot of 4th of July with all the booths, activities, celebrating, gatherings, and BBQ's.

 I love you all!!!!

-hermana Sorensen

April 24, 2013

April 24, 2013 - Day 99

 Well Sunday was a frustrating day.  None of our investigators showed to church. The Elders in our Branch are struggling to with getting their investigators to follow through with commitments, so we did a fast last night/today.  We went to the temple this morning which worked out nicely to help us receive inspirations.  The Davila's came with us. (the ward mission leader).

This week Hna Crandall and I have been really focusing on the youth.  We visited Candy who sadly has been having a hard time with her family.  My heart just breaks for her and I just want to adopt her and bring her home.  Her mother is just very care free and....hate to say it, but she just is not the most caring and loving mother in the world.  I guess she's been very hard with Candy.  The mom takes all the kids to the park to play but won't let Candy come because she's "too old".  Candy loved going to the park with her siblings but now she's not allowed.  She has to stay home.  Then her older sister stopped talking to her and is just being rude.  So when we saw Candy, she just broke down in tears.  She is just so sweet to really say what's bothering her.  Even though she has a hard family, she always tells us how much she loves them and is grateful for them.  We asked her what we could do to help but she just replies "Nothing, everything is fine. It's okay."  I pray that she can find loving family/friends to help nuture and take care of her physical, social, mental and spiritual needs.

After that we headed to visit Daisy.  She's 12 also.  Her dad Jorge is a member but her mother is not.  The missionaries have tried converting her, but she showed no interest and so they stopped.  So we stopped by and talked to her and Jorge.  We asked her if she wanted to be baptized.  She said that she would like to but after she's been taught the lessons.  She attends church, YW's, and other church activities so we are excited and think that she'll pull through and get baptized shortly.  Her mom that night we visited actually just got back from having surgery.  She's been having kidney problems.  They went in and luckily didn't have to do much.  She now can not have Coffee or Alcohol (which was a huge set back for her to being converted).  So it's actually exciting because now there is a possibility that she'll join too!  This could be one of God's sneeky ways hopefully! Ha ha..

On the way to Daisy's, we were driving and up ahead there was a boy riding a bike and he flew off.  I yeld out "STOP!" to Hna Crandall (she didn't see it).  We stopped and helped him out.  His name was Jeffery.  He's 11-12 years old.  Such a cute boy.  He was cut up really bad so we were trying to keep him calm, get him water, bandages, while we got a hold of his mom.  She came and picked him up.  We helped her load the car and then gave her a pass along card.  I hope it was God's hand and that down the road this mom and Jeffery join! :)

- hermana Sorensen

April 15, 2013

April 15, 2013

I was bit by a dog this week! Funny but painful all at the same time. We had just knocked on a door at a trailer park, and the dog ran out the door and started jumping. There was a gate between us so I thought we were safe. But then I leaned in to talk to the lady (because the dogs were barking loud) and then the little dog got me on the elbow! So I just whipped out a card and we left. I then turned to Hermana Crandall and told her I just got bit. We looked and no blood thankfully, but it was just red. So we went and cleaned it off (just for safety). Luckily it just turned into a bruise. BUT!!!! 2 days later, we were at dinner with the Martinez family, and Hermana Crandall was headed to the bathroom. Their dogs were in the hallway jumping up and down as she was trying to make her way through. She comes to me after and says "I've been bit too!".  I didn't believe her but then she lifted up her sleeve and sure enough, on her elbow as well, she had been bit! HA ha ha... We both just get a kick out of it because it's the same elbow in the same place. So now it's a joke that when there's a dog, we cover our elbows. :)
This week with investigators like I said was more on the down side.  We did a lot of knocking on doors to get our pool of investigators back up after loosing almost all of them. But we've met some good hopefuls! One sister we met; Aleida; we went to do a blessing with her one day but she told us to come back.  So a couple days later we came back which she forgot about.  But she was amazed out our timing and knew God put us there at that moment.  She told us about her life and religion background.  There is so much to say about her but to be brief, she is ready!  She loves us already and told us she wants us to teach her! She is practically a member with how she is living, but has some corrections in certain areas. (like she said she baptized herself, blessed/anointed her home). I will keep you update more as we teach her this week.  Minerva and Antonio: sigh. Well we told them to pray for the 27th of April. They didn't come to church yesterday, so we were a little disappointed. But we have a great Member in the ward who has come with us for the lessons and has been a great fellowshipper. So they are in good hands.
So many interesting people here. Met an atheist to which they yeld at us, slammed the door, and then told us to never come back again! Met an interesting 60 year old guy named Ralph who kept hitting on us. It was awkward. But he was hilarious. He said church should be at 4:30 in the morning. He said he'd go around and ring a cow bell to wake everyone up for church. Sadly he didn't though since we didn't get anyone. Ha ha ha..jk
Well that was the sum of my week. I'm still alive and trudging on. :)  Know that I love you all and hope you have a good week! 
- hermana Sorensen

April 8, 2013

Well I made it through my first "transfer".  I however will stay in Modesto with Hermana Crandall till my training is done.  But our Zone is gonna change a lot.  Only a few of us are staying. 
This week was good.  The more we meet with Antonio and Minerva, the more I am touched.  Apparently the first time we met them (when did a Harvesting Blessing with them) Antonio was jobless and they were sitting out on their porch questioning what to do.  We showed up and prayed with them and got a return appointment.  Well this past week Antonio and Minerva opened up and said how after that prayer, jobs started opening up.  He now has 4 jobs.  They keep saying that we are their angels.  They love everything we have taught and really find something special with this church.  At our latest visit with them this week, we asked Antonio to say the closing prayer.  He was very uncomfortable with the invite, but after some time, he finally said it.  He broke down in tears as he prayed thanking God for us missionaries to come and teach him and his wife.  They have seen many miracles the last couple weeks with this new knowledge in their lives.  They are keeping commitments and just have a great attitude.  Hopefully we can get a baptism going for them this month.  But I love visiting them and seeing the love they have for each other.  Such a cute couple.  My fingers are crossed super tight for them. :)
Last night we visited Candy and her siblings.  Her little brother is hilarious.  We talked to them all about being kind to each other and loving others.  They live the "eye-for-an-eye, tooth-for-a-tooth" kind of life.  They love tattle-telling on eachother when we're there so it becomes more of confession time than anything.  Ha ha..  But I told Maiki (Candy's little brother) that whenever his sisters call him a name to just say "I love you!" and walk out of the room.  They all laughed at this idea, but I am holding them all to it! :)  Well during our visit, Maiki started sharing everything with us. He gave me his cookie, a strawberry, and a popsicle treasure box he made.  It was very cute to see him already take into place what our lesson was on.  As we were leaving, he came up to me, hugged me, and said "I love you!".  Ha ha.. such an adorable hilarious little kid.
Conference was good.  No one really showed up at the church to watch other than us missionaries.  So it was weird.  But I enjoyed all the talks.  The last session we watched it in Spanish in the Relief Society room because one of our investigators showed up.  I loved Neil A. Andersens talk of course.  Go missionaries!  :)  I loved the Sunday morning session the most.  It was all the people I've heard in person or met.  In the MTC M. Russell Ballard came the last night I was there (don't think I ever told you that), and Sister Wixom spoke in Relief Society there too.  We met L. Tom Perry in the Manti Pageant. etc.  The biggest thing I got from conference was Obedience.  We need to be 100% obedient.  Not 99% or 76%.
 I miss you all so much.  There are moments where time goes quickly; other times where the clock never moves.  15 more Fast Sundays or about 430 more days.  
- hermana Sorensen

April 1, 2013 Baptism!


 Candy Munoz was baptized Friday night and confirmed yesterday in Church.  It was such a powerful evening.  The spirit was DEFINITELY there.  We had a bit of trouble with the Bishop in Hughson where Candy has been going.  But he came up to us afterwards and thanked us and apologized for telling us to cancel it so they could do it in their ward.  He felt it was perfect and was so glad we went through with it.  It was very stressful trying to get things organized and straightened out, but with the Lord's help, we were able to get things done.  Those that bore their testimonies were wonderful.  There are amazing people here.  It was a great night and Hermana Crandall and I can now say we've had 1 baptism!
Dad and Mom Grimes are the best.  They always make me feel special.  They bought a giant Apple Pie for my Birthday.  Easter here was great too.  Our Sunday meetings were cancelled so we got to do lots of studying.  Brother Grimes made us breakfast.  Sister Grimes hid eggs in our study area and gave us lots of yummy chocolates.
We've met a lot of interesting people this week.  1 guy kept talking to us but thought we were crazy and kept asking us questions we couldn't answer.  Like if Christ created the Earth, why is there BC.  What does BC stand for?  Where was Christ?  We explained to him, but he kept bringing other questions and just trying to cause contention.  So we just left.  Then Saturday night we met Andrew, a Jehovah's Witness.  It was going good but then he started contending with us.  Hermana Crandall handled it SO well.  I had absolutely no clue what to say and was fearful of even saying anything.  But he pulled out his Bible and kept quoting scripture after scripture.  He didn't want us to pray with him because we didn't believe God is Jehovah.  GURRRR!!!  There are so many Jehovah Witnesses out here and it's so irritating.  One neighborhood was so hard because the Jehovah Witnesses had gone through earlier that morning and so they wanted nothing to do with us.  Sigh..

- hermana Sorensen

Mar 25, 2013

Today is my birthday!  I woke up to find the Grimes decorated the house with balloons and Happy Birthday signs.  Sister Grimes is making hot dogs and hamburgers tonight for my Birthday dinner.  Hermana Crandall made me "breakfast in bed".  It was more of when I got out of the shower, she brought the food up to our room and we ate on the floor.  She is the sweetest.  I'm happy my Birthday fell on Preparation day.  It's been pretty relaxed and nice so far.  We went and got our weekly annual frozen yogurt.  I got Cookies-n-Cream and Blackberry Cheesecake.  It was delicious.  Then just a few minutes ago here at the church (where we email home) all the Elders in the Zone sang to me.  They are great. Ha ha.. It's been a great day. 
Well news from this week.  Leo did not come to church yesterday, so we will have to push back her baptism.  Also she is headed to Mexico end of next week so it will be a while for her. :(  We are really concerned for this push back but can't do anything about it.  We do have Candy's baptism this Saturday though!  Not sure what all I have mentioned about her.  She was a referral from the Elders in Hughson.  Candy is 12 years old and goes to church with her 15 year old sister Jennifer in Hughson.  Jennifer lives there with some members.  Candy lives here in Modesto.  So we got special permission from President Gelwix that we can baptism Candy in our ward but she can attend the ward she's been going to with her sister in Hughson.  It's complex but either way we are excited for her and can't wait till Saturday!  Yesterday we had a hard time getting people to church.  1st: it's hard because a lot of the people here don't drive so we have to find rides for them.  2nd: with how big our area is, it's hard to find members who can make the trip and back.  3rd: the people just don't understand the importance of church attendance.  Well we stopped at one of our investigators homes yesterday morning to invite them.  They had family over so I figured it would be a no.  They said they would but I felt they were just saying that to get rid of us.  Church started and no sign of them.  I was sad.  But after the opening prayer, I looked out the door and there they were!  Minerva and Antonio stood there.  But it wasn't just them, it was the WHOLE FAMILY!!!!!  Ahhh it was just insane!  We went and found a bigger bench and sat with them.  I couldn't believe it.  They are such great people and I have my fingers crossed so tightly for them!  There is just something about the 2 of them that I love so much.  I pray the Lord can touch their hearts and let them know that what we have taught them is true.
This past week I met someone from Leon, Mexico and I told her my cousin is there!  She was excited!  Being here, I have met SO many people from all over the world.  Chile, Spain, Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay, Salvador, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, Guatamala, Mexico, and even Baghdad!  It's fun!
This past week I got to have interviews wtih President and Sister Gelwix.  They are just so great and so in tuned to the spirit.  I'm grateful for their service here and the hard work they put forward.  We had a trainer/trainee meeting Wednesday so we were in Fresno all day there.  That was great as well.  That evening I went on transfers with Hermana Organista and Hermana McArthur.  It was great learning from them and seeing how they do things there in Fresno.  Thursday as I went out with them, I realized how much I love Modesto.  Fresno is sure pretty with all the fruit trees and vineyards, but they have cockroaches!!!! :P  As we were sitting in on lessons, you'd see them crawling next to you.  EEEKKK!!!  I quickly set my bag on my lap and bunched up my skirt and kept my eyes peeled.  So gross!  One house we walked in and there were cob webs and spiders EVERYWHERE!!!  How could you NOT kill them when they are dangling right in front of you?!  They opened a cupboard and there were beetles crawling all over their stuff.  Gahh I get the heebee geebeez just thinking about it.  I haven't seen any of that here in Modesto thankfully. (yet atleast) 
Les quiero mucho!