Things here are picking up. Starting to feel more better with the area. SUPER hot though. It's been in the 100's this past week. One day we were just so hot and exhausted that we had to go home to cool off. Spent that time making phone calls and going through Area Book. It's a really new town. Lots of flat open fields. I guess they started a bunch of neighborhoods back in 2000 but then with the housing crash, they never built the homes. So a lot of the streets are dead ends and empty. We live on a corner on Cardinal Street. We cover a lot here. We go down to Dos Palos all the way to Santa Nella. So everything in between is ours. It's about a 20 minute drive both ways, so 40 minutes from end to end. Thankfully we have a car! Ha ha.. But we only get 1200 miles each month and our Stake Center where we have Zone and District meetings each Tuesday is in Merced, which is about an hour. And we don't get to write off those miles. So we are super careful with where we drive and go.
This last weekend we had a baptism! Elayna (9) and her sister Audrina (8) were baptized! So fun and cute. Their cousin Angelina was suppose to get baptized with them too but we weren't able to give her all the lessons in time and I think there was a little family fued going on too so they backed out last minute. Angelina's mother says in 2 weeks she can get baptized. So fingers crossed!
We haven't been teaching a whole lot. A lot of cancelled appointments or people just not interested. We found a couple of great people this last week that we are hoping go somewhere. One is Lucy. We knocked on her door and she just opened up with us saying yes we can pray with her. She let us in and we got talking about family. Her family life is ridiculous lately. Her brother is in the Hospital getting psychiatric help. (I guess the night before he ran into the freeway trying to get hit but the other brothers and family members ran out and got him). With that one of his daughters panicked and started cutting herself. Another of Lucy's sisters recently was diagnosed with cancer. The mother is in remission of cancer. Another sister is sick....the list goes on. Lucy broke down and just wishes her family would be okay. She and her husband have 2 kids. We set a return appointment but she had to cancel because her brother was in the Hospital again. We are going to stop by tonight to see if she's home and see how things are going. Then last night we went and visited a referral we received from one of the YW in the ward. What an incredible family they turned out to be. He's actually a minister in his church, but they were so nice to us and so accepting. They said we are welcomed back and they'd love to talk more with us. They have many questions still and found the church they're going to had most of the answers but still want to know more. We are going in with love of building on top of their beliefs and church and not taking away or belittling their doctrine. We kept saying "they're Mormon, they just don't know it!". So pray for the Tapia family that they will continue to be accepting of our beliefs and see how this church can bring them to more answers.
I love the area though and the members are great. There is a popular store out here called Sorensen's, and so everyone is asking me if it's family. I've been asked so much here about my family. So keep up the geneology dad! I need to know if I'm related to all these people they're asking about!
Well I love you all and pray for you all the time. Thank you so much for all your words of encouragement and love. It really does make a difference and I am doing my best to take it all in and use it. I'm sad I don't have the time to sit down and write you all letters back, but I really do appreciate all the mail and letters received. I love you all and I wish you could see how much it means to hear from you. Thank you for everything! This mission has been such a blessing. I've learned so much these past 6 months and I know I will continue to learn lots this next year. God loves us all and has a plan for each and everyone. Stay close to him. Do the primary basics: read, pray, and go to church. Take care!!!!!