August 26, 2013

Aug 13, 2013

This week has been SUPER crazy!  I'm gonna have more ulcers for sure with all the stress and anxiety. Ha ha..  I don't even know where to begin.  Yes Angelina was finally baptized this Saturday.  It was a wreck getting there.  She has had 3 solid baptismal dates since Hermana Miller has been teaching her, 1 since I've been here, but always canceled it the day of.  The missionaries have been trying to get her baptized for over a year and a half now.  The family has been in and out of friends and families homes because they can't afford a home themselves.  Well they have been staying with the Grandma, but her landlord said if they don't leave, the Grandma would be kicked out as well.  Friday was the last day for the DeHerreras to be there.  The Dad has had troubles with the law, so the Grandma was scared the police would come and kept trying to get them out all day Friday.  They took their time and kept telling us the baptism will still be on.  Our Bishop kept telling us it will be canceled, but our ward mission leader and us would not give up.  That night as we were headed to our meeting with our mission leader (Bro Tauheluhelu) we got a text from the mom saying the have to cancel the baptism because they are all out on the streets.  Bro Tauheluhelu and us got in our cars and hunted them down and brought them back to his house to stay the night.  The Robles, another family in the ward opened their doors too and had 3 of the kids stay with them.  That next morning we got a call from Bro T. saying that we should still go through with the baptism.  Couple minutes later, we got a call from the mom (Joanna) saying they just can't do it today and to put it off till next week.  I told her to talk to Bro T.  She did and a few minutes later it was back on!  We got to the church, filled up the font, but no sign of Bishop to interview the 8 year old Daniel (Angelina's brother) who was also getting baptized.  We called him and he said it was canceled.  We laughed and said no, we are here with the family waiting!  30 minutes later he came and did the interviews.  What we scheduled for an 10:00 baptism turned into a 11:30 one.  Oh well.  The Elders were there to interview Angelina, and they went to the bathroom to check the font and they came back out saying it was draining.  SO we ran and started it back up again.  That's not all!  As we are running around, a gentleman from the other ward was there at the church and came up to us.  He had a black eye and dried blood all on his shirt.  He asked us if we could call bishop to help him out.  He was jumped and kicked out of his house as well.  We tried calling the bishopric but they were all out of town.  No one from the Los Banos ward helped or came over.  Brother Souza from the Mercy Springs ward who miraculously was at the church working in the clerks office said that he would let him stay with him.  So we have the DeHerrera's at the Tauheluhelu's, and Anthony Bagley with the Souza's.  I wished I could open my doors to them but seeing how I have no say and really no doors, I am so grateful there were people in the ward willing to help.  After a long LONG morning we finally got the 2 kids baptized.  It was a miracle.  We made a miracle call-out to the whole mission about it.  We all had pizza afterwards and Hermana Miller and I were out back in the craziness of other things not even getting a break.
Our Zone Leaders called us shortly after and said that they are on their way to Los Banos because they just got news that they are splitting the area and another set of missionaries will be coming and they need to find them a place.  So after the baptism, we went apartment searching.  We were excited to hear about the upcoming change, but nervous.  Transfer calls came later that night to which we found out Elders will be put in the Mercy Springs ward and the Sisters will be in the Los Banos ward.  Hermana Miller is headed to Hanford, while I stay here and get Hermana Hammer.  I've met her once, but I am beyond scared to run an area PLUS having it split and not knowing how that's going to be.  Both Hermana Miller and I were confused with the transfers though because we thought us spanish speaking would be in the Mercy Springs while the Elders would be in Los Banos.  Our Zone Leaders thought it was a mess up and Sunday told us it could be switched.  That put me into even more of a panic because I didn't know who to say goodbye to or tell someone something and then have it not that way.  It wasn't till yesterday that we got a text from them saying that they talk to the Assistants and they said that yes the Sisters will be in the Los Banos ward but cover all Spanish and will still need to attend the Mercy Springs ward to translate and be with the Spanish investigators.  So I pretty much am still in both wards, but will work majorly with the Los Banos ward.  I'm happy but sad.  This is the hard ward.  Bishop Lee is still really ill.  He's having radiation and chemo treatment.  Our dinner calender was sent around Sunday yet no one signed up.  The dinner calender for Bishop however was full.  It hurts that we don't get the attention or care that we should.  Don't get me wrong, I love the Bishop and am so happy the members are taking good care of him, but it's hard to really love the members when you know they don't love you back or just are willing to help in missionary work.  With the area splitting we will be having to share the car with the Elders which means yes, I will be out on my bike for once.  But we aren't allowed after 6 and if the Elders need the car then, I honestly don't think we'll be doing much because it will be hard for us to find member rides.  I can't help but feel sorry that I wasn't a very good member back home.  I'm so glad I was able to help the missionaries when I could with rides, because I know how hard it is to find people willing to go out.  I wish I could have gone out more with them.

Guess what Mark?  I finally met someone from Torreon!!!!  Not sure if you served in Coahuila, but I was talking to a family and asked where they are from.  I always tell people "my brothers served and lived in Mexico!  One lived in Torreon and the other in Mexico City."  They were shocked to hear Torreon and just gabbed away telling me about it!  I think I won them over to hearing more about the gospel because of that.  Ha ha..  You need to tell me what areas you served in.

Well again like I said this week was crazy and stressful.  Friday after hearing about the DeHerrera's, we got a text from Montserrat.  She told us we can't come over any more.  Her mother thinks she's being rebellious in listening to us.  They got in a big fight and she just said that it would be best we stopped coming for a while.  She said she'll keep reading though and praying.  Our hearts broke.  Our one good solid we had in the Los Banos ward dropped us.  She was just starting to get it.  I hope and pray the mothers heart will be softened and that we can get back and teach her.  Please pray for her that she can know what we have taught her is true and that it can change her life as well as her families for the better.

We taught the Alvarado-Calixtro's the restoration this week.  They were really intrigued by Joseph Smith and kept asking why they've never heard this before and why people didn't believe him.  We gave them some Book of Mormon's to read and asked them to pray.  They said they would and want us to come over again and teach them more about Joseph Smith.  I told them we would watch a movie about him (the 1 hour film about him) and they are all just so excited.  Now I just have to go find the movie!  Hopefully a member has it.  Ha ha..

Guess what?  I get to work in the Vineyard this Saturday!!!!!  I am so excited!!!!  I will take lots of pictures don't worry.  Hopefully it's not to rough and hot.  It sounds like we are cutting the fruits off and leaving them to dry. (so probably making raisins).  

Sunday Howie, Angelina, and Daniel were all confirmed during Sacrament.  It was so exciting.  Anthony Lagunas received the priesthood last night at the Bethams home.  We were really happy to see him finally receive that.  Brother Betham has been out of town so we have been waiting patiently for his return.  I am excited to see him pass the sacrament next Sunday.

Last night we went and said goodbye to the Tauheluhelu family.  Bro Tualou gave us giant Tiki's!  Sis Anna gave us shell necklaces.  They are such a sweet family.  I'm glad it's not my official goodbye and that I will see them around still, but it will be sad not having yummy meals with them and working with them one on one.  The Tiki they gave us represents love.  When the homes in Tonga have them, it brings good luck.

Well I think that sums up this week for now at least.  Oh and no we were not able to attend Bro Stenbergs funeral only because no one told us when it was.  I was really bothered by it and really wanted to go but I guess life goes on.  We will be stopping by to visit with Sis Stenberg later this week now that things have settled.  But I have lots of pictures so hopefully I can send some.  Thank you for all the love and prayers.  This week they were very much needed.  I know I will continue to need them as I begin a new transfer with a new companion, having the area split, leading the area, finding new investigators, working with the Los Banos ward, etc.
 Have a good week and know that I love you all so very much and just can't wait till we can be together again.

- hermana Sorensen

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