We've been getting a bunch of oranges, cantaloupe, and melons here from all the harvesting. I'm excited for the Almonds though. I will have to send you all some fresh California Almonds if I get some. The trucks have been going in and out of town loaded with all the tomatoes and onions from here. Brother Betham texted us the other day telling us to watch out for the tomato trucks. I guess they can be pretty crazy drivers. Ha ha.. It's fun being in an area full of agriculture. Lots of corn, tomatoes, almonds, and a bunch of other fruit trees I haven't been able to figure out what they are.
Well this week has been a silly and crazy one. We have had our days full! Wednesday it was just lesson after lesson. I don't know if I told you already about the Alvarado-Calixtro family. I love them. We found them about 2 weeks ago on exchanges. They let us in their home instantly and has welcomed us since then. There are 5 individuals; the dad Carlos, the mom Betty, Lupita (16), Hannah (11), and then Jesus (5). The parents laugh because Jesus is all over me. I'd much rather have a 5 year old crush on me than creepy 40+ old men. But we have been teaching them and this last week Carlos asked us what happens if he dies, will he still be a father and married to Betty? You can tell he was very troubled by what others have said. We told him that yes he will be their father and yes he will always be Betty's husband as long as they are married and sealed in God's temple. He was very relieved and excited to hear that. They are just the sweetest family ever. They are at Disneyland right now but will be back tomorrow for our lesson. I told Jesus to take me with him and he said he would, but sadly he left without. Sniff sniff.. ;)
My ears have really been bothering me lately and so we got some ear candles. I had hermana Miller helping me and guess what? She caught my hair on fire!!!!!! Ha ha ha.. She and I just laughed and laughed. I still have my hair, but a good few strands were burnt off. Luckily you can't even tell with all the layer's already in my hair. Hermana Miller is just not good with fire. She was playing with hand sanitizer and fire the other day and burned her hand and a hole in her skirt. So everyone laughed when they heard she burned my hair because it's so typical of her to do something like that.
At District Meeting Tuesday we played Hide-n-Seek. Us sisters won!!! When Elder Burdick (our District Leader) said we were playing, we were all a little like "uhh are you sure we are allowed to? You do remember we can't leave our companions?" We have a senior couple in our district and so Sister Mahlum, Miller, and I hid together while Elder Mahlum, and Elder Rader (Zone Leader) hid, and Elder Burdick and Elder Bone hid together. The 3 of us girls hid in the High Council room under the table. The Elders came in but saw it was empty and left. We couldn't stop laughing. They probably thought 3 dainty ladies would never get down and hide under tables. We got out and sat on the chairs for a while. We were about to give up our hiding when the Elders came back and found us sitting. It was so fun. We of coarse had this tied into finding Investigators. Some are easy and not hard, others you have to look in all the nooks and crannies. Once we find someone, they help in the efforts. We need to get our ward members involved and get referrals. We can't give up finding. There are people there waiting for us to find them.
Next story. The sisters before were teaching a man named Jerry. He dropped of the earth but his son started coming to church. So this last week we had a lesson with him at Bro Tauheluhelu's house. It was frustrating because we didn't know we were teaching him. We thought we were going over for MCM. Well we got talking and he just is very set to his New Testament and crazy thinkings. We taught him again Friday night which turned out to be ridiculous. We tried to teach him Plan of Salvation, but he was not listening at all and just wanted to argue and debate. He said women will not be saved unless they marry and have kids. We told him men are not saved too until they marry because they can't make it to the Celestial kingdom without a wife. He said we were lying. Hermana Miller gets set off really easily and so she was starting to get angry and bite back. I tried to keep us on track of making it through the lesson. I asked him where he thinks we go when we die. He said that we become the earth and our spirits roam around from object to object. We become trees and clouds. I couldn't help but think he's been watching to much Pocahontas. Ha ha.. So we dropped him but our Ward Mission Leader thinks he's gonna get baptized. We politely told him he very well could but that we can not teach him right now until he softens his heart in sincerely listening to what we have to say and not degrade us. Now we just can't look at trees the same without waving to Jerry Jr.
Lots of silly stuff again this week. The work in the Mercy Springs ward is really growing, but the Los Banos ward is still really struggling. We realized this Sunday why the wards are having a hard time. When someone is released from their calling, they turn everything in. They won't help train the new person called or go over anything. They don't get any support from the previous person because its "not their responsibility anymore." It's really sad. One ward they released everyone and changed the Relief Society and Primary presidencies and we already can see that their is no help in the transitions. I'm learning a lot of leadership skills here that's for sure.
This Sunday we have a baptism for Howie!!! It just popped up on us but he is ready! We've been teaching him very slowly because he has work all the time and lives over in Dos Palos. So we've been teaching him at church and getting through the lessons there. Well we had dinner over at his girlfriends house (the members in the ward) and taught him again and he asked when he can be baptized. We thought more like next weekend etc., but we asked him when he would like and he said as soon as he can! Sunday's work best for him and his family, so this Sunday we are putting one together just after church! The other ward will be going, but I guess you do what you have to for baptisms. We are excited! :)
Thank you all for everything!
ps: Matthew Lagunas (Anthony's brother that got in trouble this last weekend) got out of jail and want's to get involved in church! So we are teaching him now!!!!!
pss: I had to play the piano in church for the Los Banos ward AND for Primary! Needless to say, I enjoyed playing in primary over sacrament.