Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Missionaries Must Be Crazy!

Dear Family and Friends,

That's right we washed our car again this week. In the rain. We're pretty sure that our neighbors must just think we love this car because we are always out there washing it. Two members who live in our little "neighborhood" stopped by to talk to us--mind you it was still raining and we were still trying to finish washing the car--they keep wanting to have us over for dinner and stuff but they are outside of our zone and we would have to call the APs for permission. But mostly we just don't have time or remember to call them when we don't have dinner appointments. The guy cutting the grass really did think we were crazy, and asked us if we hadn't noticed that it was raining. But hey, we had a lot of run-ins with birds and cats this week and the car needed to be cleaned!

Otherwise it was a pretty good week. We had another Zone Conference which is always a spirit lifter. Plus we planned pretty well, kept our mileage down, and saw more people. I am really impressed by one of the people we are teaching. We met her tracting--I made some crack at the door because her mailbox was decorated with New Yorker clippings --and she agreed to read the Book of Mormon, but after the first lesson Sister Rowlands and I were pretty skeptical. But the last few times Sister Ah Puck and I have met with her she has changed a lot. In fact she was one of the very few real lessons we had last week. We taught her the Plan of Salvation sitting by Cow Creek and then took her to the Empty Nest activity at the church. We have another lesson tonight and we are pretty excited about it.

I guess there isn't too much more to report though. We're going to see if we can make it back up to Tinkerbell Ln this week. Hopefully our miles will last us through Saturday. Sister Burton is having us over for a "Conference Party" we're going to watch the Saturday sessions with her (that way we can save miles, and help explain them to her) and then she wants to get us lunch. She is really the cutest lady ever.

Sister Sorensen

Monday, March 19, 2007

A picture is worth a thousand words . . .

Tom is Dead

Dear Family and Friends,

Yes, the sad but inevitable has happened. Sister Burton's 22-year-old cat, Tom, died last week. We happened to decide to stop by just on the day he was diagnosed (as dying imminently) and then just after he actually died. Sister Burton is pretty heart broken--which is sad because she is just about the cutest and sweetest old lady ever--but I think she'll manage. After all, she still has at least 9 raccoons to feed every night. On a side note, Sister Ah Puck saw her very first raccoon last week at Sister Burton's and was quite thrilled.

In other news? I'm not really sure what other news there is. Most of our appointments last week fell through which is disappointing and consequently meant that our numbers were quite low. Even our Burro and Llama count has been down significantly. Alas. But we keep meeting more and more of the people off the ward list whom we didn't know and I suppose that is good.

The weather has continued in the upper 80s, which I frankly do not appreciate so early on in the year. It was supposed to rain today, but luckily it did not as we had to wash our car for Zone Conference Car Inspections on Wednesday. But I welcome the rain back at any time. Most locals still insist they think it will rain all April, but I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

The only other event of interest (I use the term loosely as I just gave you a weather report) is that Sister Ah Puck and I put on our very first fireside last night. I was pretty nervous about whether or not it would actually come out--particularly in the hour before hand. The fireside had been Sister Rowland's idea and she had written the first part of it before she was transferred and arranged for several musical numbers. Then I wrote the rest of it, delegated parts and invited everyone we met. The end result was that we probably had about 35-40 people tops and only three non-members but it turned out really nice. The people we asked to read the parts and to sing were just perfect and I was sad that more people hadn't come and brought their friends and neighbors.

Anyway that is it, things are pretty slow in Palo Cedro.

Sister Sorensen

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Senior Junior Companion

Dear Friends and Family,

Well it's been a weird week. I was totally caught off guard by transfers. I was just kind of in a state of shock that whole day and kind of wandered from room to room of our apartment offering to help as Sister Rowlands efficiently packed up all her stuff. Every once in a while I would say something like "Well what about Sister Burton, she'll be so sad" and Sister Rowlands would reassure me that she'd be fine. And then "What about the fireside?" and Sister Rowlands would remind me that it was pretty much already taken care of. Which was true. But yes I get to put on a fireside this Sunday. It should be good though.

Sister Ah Puck is really nice. She's very sweet, quiet, and soft spoken. Quite the change from Sister Rowlands who was a real fireball. I can already notice the change in myself as a missionary. I'm much bolder. In fact I think all but one of our OYMs last week were mine. That's quite the change. It is weird being the one who has to figure out and explain how to get everywhere. I just felt like I was the Senior Companion all last week because I had to plan every day and make most of the decisions, even today. And I'm still just a Greenie.

There isn't too much to report though. The work goes on. I'm kind of worried about one of our investigators, but I am doing all that I can do. Another one of our investigators has just about set a baptism date, but its not definite. We had interviews with President Perry last week and I found out that he is trying to open up more Sisters areas north of Roseville. He also said that he was trying to put all the sisters with cars, that will be nice for the summer. Yesterday it was 88, and its only March. I am not looking forward to August.

Anyway here are some pictures as promised. There is one of the Ostriches we met tracting, sadly they don't count as OYMs. And there are a few of our district from the MTC. I just haven't taken that many pictures. (Pictures will be posted as soon as Mom figures out how to do it--JHS)

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Llamas and Emus and Burros, Oh My!

Dear friends and family,

I am sorry to have distressed you all two weeks ago (President's Day). I did indeed write a lovely and long email--in fact you ought to assume that it was the most moving and beautifully composed email ever written, full of uplifting and encouraging stories and great personal insight--but apparently that got erased somewhere in cyberspace. Alas. In it I did answer Dad's questions about my bike, my area, and my companion. In short:
Bike-Got it, assembled it, rode it (and in a skirt too).
Area-Surrounded by 3 Volcanoes, very large (I haven't even seen half of it).
Companion- Sister Rowlands; from Salt Lake City; went to the U but I've forgiven her because she says she always wanted to go to the Y; very cheerful, bright, bold, and smiley; knows sign language; does all the driving (no Mom we don't need maps but thanks for offering).

Now for this week. Well we actually had snow this week. Yes snow--even in Palo Cedro (well it was more like slushy ice, but still). Then we went up to all the Disney streets in Shingletown to meet with our new Ward Mission Leader and got to tract in 6 inches of snow. I was going to take a picture to prove it, but I realized I didn't have my camera with me. Up in Round Mountain where we have two investigators there was at least a foot, in fact our usual exchange to take us up there was in Florida and most of the people in the ward we called to see if we could get a ride were far too scared to attempt it. But its been quite warm this weekend.

Llamas and Emus and Burros, oh my!
One of my favorite things about this area is that it is just so random. For instance there are a surprising number of llamas--Sister Rowlands loves llamas. And since we have to keep track of so many other numbers each day (ie # of lessons taught to investigators with members present, # of other lessons taught, # of referrals received, # of referrals contacted, # of new investigators, # of lessons taught to members, # of exchanges, # of OYMs or Open Your Mouths) it seemed only natural to take tallies of the number of llamas, burros, and others we see each day. A typical day is about 5 llamas, 2 burros, 1 emu, and 1 OYM. We see far more llamas than people. This week, however, we saw some truly special people in an hour or so of tracting on just one street we talked to: a bona fide cat lady (her house smelled awful), a gnome lady (she looked like one and her yard was full of gnome lawn ornaments), a random English lady who was polite but uninterested, a man who I guess thought we were Jehovah's Witnesses because we talked with him for a while and then he proceeded to tell us that those Mormons are essentially Communists, a creepy Christian Scientist who wanted to meet with us again, and more.

So today was the day we found out about transfers. Sister Rowlands was really quite sure that we would both be staying and we thought that if anyone would be leaving it would be me. Silly us. It turns out Sister Rowlands is going down to the Southern most area of the mission tomorrow and I am getting a new companion: Sister Ah Puck from Hawaii. I guess I just can't get away from those Polynesians. I'll definitely miss Sister Rowlands but I look forward to working with Sister Ah Puck. So my mission "Mom" is leaving and I meet my "Step-Mom" tomorrow. I feel very strange using these mission metaphors, but I'm getting used to them.

Sister Sorensen