November 11, 2013

October 28, 2013

James, Me, Jaci, Bishop Fairbanks
So lots of happenings have taken place this past week and will be taking place.  Transfer calls are this Saturday.  Never been so nervous for call outs then I am for this one.  But I think I've mentioned that before.  So keep your fingers crossed and pray hard that what ever happens is what is suppose to happen.  THEN, yesterday the stake presidency came and released Bishop Brett Lee and called.....Brother Michael Fairbanks!!!!!!!!!  No more will he be our Ward Mission Leader, but our Bishop.  It was the most powerful and bitter sweet sacrament I think I have ever attended.  Bishop Lee was not able to make it, but his wife stood in for his place and bore the most touching testimony.  There was not a single dry eye in the Chapel and even foyer. (a lot of the other ward stood out there listening in).  She shared how hard this cancer has been for Bishop and for the family.  She has struggled so much with her faith and love for this Gospel in seeing the Lord not answer her prayers.  She was mentioning how one night she got home from the hospital and was just so sick of hearing bad new after another.  She was texting her brother who happened to have gone through his fair share of challenges and asked him how he remains faithful and strong.  He asked her if she had fair weather faith; meaning, do we only believe if we get our way and the weather is fair?  Or do we believe no matter how hard the storms may be and whether things are lost and damaged.  She turned her prayers of healing into prayers of comfort in accepting whatever happens.  She said Bishop doesn't have much longer and knowing that doesn't take away the pain, but how much she has grown in understanding the Atonement has taken away some pain.  I am so grateful I had the chance of being in the area at this time and serving under Bishop Lee.  I've met him a few times, but have learned so much about love from him.  All he wanted to do for this ward is to help mend broken hearts and cheer up the weary.  He has shown us all how to do just that by letting us mend his broken heart and help cheer him and his family up.  It's was a beautiful meeting.  He will be missed.  I'm excited though for Bishop Fairbanks now.  He is very missionary focused with now having worked with us the past 8 months or so.  He is a new face to the ward and has a lot of love he wants to bring to help pick this ward back up.  Everyone was confused on why President Schofield kept Bishop Lee in for so long and not just call a new Bishop, but I now can't help but think not only was it not time for Bishop Lee to be released, but it wasn't time for Bro Fairbanks to be called.  We needed his strong focus and help in the missionary forces to get that going so that we can then be able to help him and the ward get going.  I'm excited to see this ward have a steady Bishop back in that is able to help its needs.

This last Saturday we had our ward Fall Harvest Night. (we all had to call it that since we are still dealing with the issue of "Halloween" not being appropriate as LDS individuals).  It was a lot of fun and we had a good turn out!  Michelle was our only investigator that showed, but a lot of the ward members brought friends to it so that is super great!  Michelle's grandson came with her (Eli, 3yrs) and he attached onto me the whole night.  He made my night even more by hugging me and saying he loved me.  Ha ha..  He didn't want to go home and was throwing a fit with Michelle, so I told him he had to go so he could show his mom all his candy.  He stopped crying and was like "YAY!" and Michelle just looked at me and was like "How do you do that?!" I was like "It's called... I have 7 nieces and nephews!"  Ha ha.. My proud "aunt tricking" moment.  

Visited with Donna and Manuel a few times (the ones that feed us a candle lit dinner).  We had dinner with them the other night and Manuel kept staring at us and was just so baffled at how put together we are for a 19 and 22 yr old.  He has 2 daughters and knows how they were at those ages and just doesn't get it. :)  He said he doesn't want to be baptized, but just that he wants to come to church so he can see if all Mormons are like that.  We laughed.  They don't get why we have all these rules as missionaries and just gasp and stare as we tell them.  They just adore us so much! Ha ha..  Good thing we adore them.  They don't want us to be transferred and said they will call our leader to petition.  They are gonna give us a big going away party if one of us does leave.  Ha ha..  We are nervous for that party!  They still don't understand we can't listen to music, watch TV, date (she keeps trying to hook us up with her sons), and drink alcohol/coffee. :)

The rest of this past week we did a lot of service.  Helped Sister Gois organize her room and help nurse her back to health.  She's the one that had her neck fused and has been on feeding tubes the last few months and will remain on it for a couple more.  She is in bad shape so we are so glad we can help her out in little things she's not able to do.  Visited Sis Stenberg and helped her with a puzzle.  We're calling that as service too. ;)   Hope you all have a fun Halloween!  We are now headed off to Merced for a Zone party where we will be carving pumpkins.  What is everyone being this year?!

I love you all!!!!!!!! Take care!!!!!!!!!
- hermana Sorensen
Montserrat and I

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