Hello Family and Friends!!
A MUCH better week!!! Such a better week than last. (I guess in light of what last week contained that is not a hard concept haha). I am so glad to hear that everyone at home is doing so well too! Thank you for all your continued support and letters.
I went to Atwater on exchanges again this past week. I am still learning sooooo much! Wow. Sister Jensen and I were out and about teaching and finding and it was a wonderful day. She is an English speaking sister, so for once I got to use my Spanish as we contacted. I think I probably gave 2 or 3 Harvest Blessings in Spanish while we were over in Winton for the afternoon. My favorite was when talking to Ismael, about 3 minutes into a conversation and mid-sentence he stops and looks at me and (in Spanish) asks if I understand Spanish hahaha. I don't know why it was so amusing to me other than in my head I was like, "yes I am ultra white and yes I am speaking in Spanish".
The other experience while on exchanges was a very strong reminder to me of something that happened back around Mother's day on a different exchange down in Fresno. We went over to a very nice family’s home for dinner. They were lovely people and although they’re an older couple they had a newborn baby daughter. I thought to myself oh they must have waited till later to have children because they wanted to be secure in their careers, or wait till they could by a house, or something of the sort. Then as we chatted over dinner I found out that they had suffered from infertility and their child was adopted. Instantly I thought back to Mother's day and that 15 year old girl who I had so harshly judged on her doorstep, who then had broke down in tears as she told us of her mother's death. I was so humbled to again realize my major shortcomings. Who am I to judge? I do not know what I think I know more times than not and obviously I know NOTHING about the trials that other people face, or how the Lord is preparing them. I had to remind myself to just STOP judging people!! Don't do it! I have such a long way to go. I need to develop so much more love for people, to truly love them unconditionally as the Savior did and does. But I am so grateful for these experiences and the things that I am learning as I serve.
This week we also had a few run-ins with some nasty illnesses. A spouse of one of our investigator's had shingles. (From what I remember of getting them in middle school, that is so painful!! I hope to never get it again.) Then we went over with some priesthood to a friend of a member's to give her a blessing. While there we learn that she has scabies! Eeek. That is like lice of your skin! lech. She shook everyone else's hand but mine, and at first I was a little offended but then as we talked with her and we learned that she had scabies I counted it as a blessing that she hadn't shaken my hand. (Sister Sorensen didn't know what scabies was, so that caused a minor panic attack for her as I told her it was NOT eczema.) But all in all luckily so far we seem to be disease free and building our immune systems haha.
Other good news for this week is that we won 3rd place in our quarterly car inspection this week?! Hahaha we so did NOT expect that one. Our poor malibu is covered in so many hard water stains from the sprinkler we were worrying about losing miles, but instead we won 50! I guess all that scrubbing we did last week was worth it. Then also this week a door to door pest control salesman called and gave us a referal, so that was different. Plus we have a new investigator who wants to be baptized, but 1st we will have to help her and her "husband" to get married, so it looks like we get to plan a wedding!
Brother Tauheluhelu was called as our new ward mission leader in the Mercy Springs ward! We are so excited for that. We were able to have dinner with his family this week and thus I was blessed to try TONGAN FOOD! YUMMMMM! It was so good!! Huge steaks for each of us, plantas (bananas) covered and cooked in coconut milk (they taste kinda like potatoes), potato salad, and shrimp curry! After not having dinners for almost a week due to cancellations and holes in our calendar it was so awesome to have such a wonderful meal. And they are SOOO excited to share the gospel! They have met all of their neighbors (they moved in a month ago) and have given them all food. They also have talked to some of their friends from San Jose and now they are moving into the ward!! (Who would have thought that was the way to increase ward size? haha)
So all is well for us here in Los Banos. We are working and learning together.
Alma 37:45 "... the words of Christ if we follow their course, carry us beyond this vale of sorrow into a far better land of promise"