May 20, 2013

May 20, 2013 Goodbye Modesto!

Yep that's right.  So long Modesto, so long Hermana Crandall. :(  It's been a rough couple days.  But this Wednesday I am headed to Los Banos and will be in a trio.  Yep, I am headed to "The Bath" (Los Banos).  My companions are..... Sister Clauson (English) and then Hermana Miller (Spanish, also my MTC comp).  I don't know all the details, but I think I'm serving in 2 wards, one Spanish and one English ward.  This will be a unusual assignment for many reasons.  I've met Sister Clauson many times and......she's a character.  Then of coarse Hermana Miller and I struggled at times in the MTC.  I feel like those 2 are going to butt heads a lot and I'll get to be in the middle.   Could not sleep that night and all day Sunday I was in tears saying goodbyes and knowing yet not knowing what's ahead in this new area and companionship.  I'm terrified to leave Hermana Crandall.  She has been such a blessing and comfort to have.  I'm sad to leave the Grimes.  They have been so loving and sweet to me.  Don't worry mom and dad, you could never obviously be replaced, but they have become my parents here and it's day 1 all over again for me in having to leave parents.  Sister Grimes is the sweetest person ever.  She knows this has been hard for me and this morning she took us out to Breakfast/Lunch at a place I've been wanting to try called Huckleberry's.  Such a fun atmosphere.  It was all decorated and themed like New Orleans.  Reminded me of Princess and the Frog. :)  I had stuffed french toast with Huckleberries!!!  Mmmmmm...  We are definitely going there when we all come out next year.  And then as we were headed out the door to come email, Sister Grimes decorated the downstairs all with Flamingo stuff.  So we're having an early Flamingo Day here tonight with Hot dogs and chips! :)  Made me tear up and smile ear to ear to see her love for me and doing something like that.  I'll send pictures next week.
I have my bike but it's just out in the Grimes backyard.  Haven't ridden it yet, but I will be in Los Banos. :(  ughh.. right when it gets hot.  I'm gonna have to buy an electric fan to take with me to cool off!  It's been in the high 80's and 90's here.  July and August are going to be insane! Ha ha.. But I have a feeling it's just like Utah, but with more consecutive days being in the 100's.

Angie's Baptism
Angie's baptism was great!!!  She was just so excited and could not stop showing it with all the hugs and telling everyone she's getting baptized.  All her sister's came so that was great seeing them all here and her friend Stephanie.  The Elders were able to baptize Octavio Sen. and Octavio Jr. that night as well.  3 confirmations at church, which also happened to be our Branch Conference.  9 of the YW received their Personal Progress too.  So it was an amazing Sacrament meeting seeing all of these great successes.  All the lessons were great too.  A lot on how we have to do hard things as parents and leaders to show others our love.  They talked a lot about learning English and getting involved in their childrens school life.  Mark, Jeff, and Sabrina again can agree with this in that the Hispanic culture just doesn't view schooling as it should be viewed.  One of the families in the branch, all the kids have been held back in school a few grades, and the youngest failed Kindergarten and is in it again.  How do you fail Kindergarten?  It's just sad.  A lot of drop outs.  So the focus in church was to keep your kids in school and to get involved.  Talk with their teachers, help them with homework, etc.  Because the kids know English and the parents don't, the parents are the ones being trampled over.  The kids are the dominate ones leading the home.
Well things here are good but just hard in that I have to leave everyone.  It's been a great first area with great people.  I hope transfers get easier then what it has been this round.  I hope things are better then what I think they'll be.  Elder Blake and Elder Goettman gave us sisters blessings this Sunday which was very helpful and nice.  Los Banos will be good as long as I make it good.  Our trio will work as long as I do my part in making it work.

Thank you for all the prayers and support.  It's been a rough week of being sick, transfers, and leaving everyone.  I love you all though and pray and think of you all often.  Thank you for the letters and pictures.  I'm sorry I don't get back to them as soon as I'd like.  But I really do appreciate them and will try to write back ASAP.  

- hermana Arianne Sorensen

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