Thursday, April 19, 2007

So You're On/Going On a Mission

Dear Family and Friends,

Yes today was that long anticipated day of reckoning: transfers. The result? I'm in Palo Cedro for another six weeks. There are good things about this and there are definitely some hard things about this news. The most important thing, however, is that you can all start writing to me again. Promptly. Hopefully.

That said, I long ago ran out of interesting things to say about Palo Cedro, so what can/will I write for the next six weeks? This will be an exercise of my ingenuity. As for this week I thought I'd write some advice for all those who are about to embark in the service.

Last Minute Mission Advice (from a greenie on her last day as a greenie):

- Learn to make a bed (from the mattress up, particularly fun with MTC sheets that don't really fit the bed).
- arrive at your MTC room as early as possible so you can have your choice of bunks (the Elders in my MTC district said they didn't have ladders to get onto the top bunks)
- wear a shirt on your first day which allows you to roll up your sleeves far enough to get any shots they feel you really do need to have.
- Make sure you know some simple cooking and how to shop on a budget.
- we really only have to buy stuff for lunches which is pretty easy, but I have heard several Elders complain that they run out early in the month while the sisters always seem to have surplus.
- Be wary of the condiment dispensers at the MTC as I witnessed rancid ketchup exploding out of them all over missionaries' suits on several occassions.
- Also, the ice cream in the back corner freezers is really old.
- When anyone flushes the toilet while you're in the shower at the MTC, the showers run really hot (pretty near scalding) for a minute--often this is desirable because all the showers get cold quite quickly).
- if you get to the laundry room by 6:00 am on you Pday you should be able to get in and out pretty fast (you can take a nap later in the day) or go to like an 8:00 am temple session and do laundry at around 1:00-2:00 when everyone else is waiting in line at the temple.
- practice your 4 square skills as it is a very popular game during gym time.
- Be able to clean according to the "Mom Standard".
- get into regular sleeping habits before you go to the MTC so that you don't annoy all your companions by staying up reading until 1:00 (plus that's against mission rules and breaking mission rules is not cool.)
- ask your teachers if you can watch Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's "Miracle of a Mission" (or as the teachers know it "Don't ever go home") at the MTC because that is the only place you can see it.

Also, would someone please put this in front of Eric as I don't flatter myself that he actually reads my mission blog? Thank you.

Sister Sorensen

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

If You Give a Goat a Pass Along Card . . .

If you Give A Goat a Pass Along Card, chances are he's going to want the DVD to go with it . . . .

Dear Family and Friends,

I'm too pressed for time to come up with a story, plus I can't remember exactly how those books go. But, here are two little baby goats whom we met last Thursday while we were tracting. They were adorable and they really, really wanted to go with us. In fact it took us at least 3 attempts to leave before they would stop following us down the road! We finally had to ditch them and not look back. After that it was actually quite a slow week. We had lots of lessons with members, one very long wait in a car place waiting to get the tires inspected, and lots of people who just didn't want to visit with us!

Another note, the missionary handbook says that holidays are great days to go tracting and find people at home. While I agree with the latter, I have to disagree with the former. Nobody wants us to knock on their door when they are in the middle of a big family dinner! That said it was really hard to fill our day yesterday. After our dinner appointment--which luckily for us was all the way up in Round Mountain which meant we spent about an hour and a half commuting during the day we tried to call a whole bunch of people to see if we could come by and they were all busy with big family things. So in the end we crashed a few people's houses, gave them candy, and shared a message before we went home and finished off the night with study. But the poor Elders in Balls Ferry (our District Leader and his companion) nobody even signed up to feed them on Easter! Their Ward Mission Leader took pity on them and invited them home.

All is well here, even if we did have 90 weather this week. I hope it is the same with all of you!

Sister Sorensen

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Tales from Toy Story

Dear Family and Friends,

Here I have been in California for 10 weeks and I am sad to report that learning Californian by immersion simply does not seem to be working. In fact, I think I have only learned one Californian word but, English major that I am, I am too disdainful to actually use it. The progress is so lamentable that I have been forced to use my Danish. One of the members in Palo Cedro served his mission in Denmark--actually there is a whole story with intertwined Danish elements that led him to join the church in the first place--and so we enjoy snakker dansk med hinanden. I also taught Sister Rowlands a fair bit of Danish whilst we were tracting. I am sure that it is very handy for where she is now in Orangevale.

Well, if my Californian is languishing, then what am I getting out of this mission? So far quite tan forearms. Yes, I was sad to note at the end of last week that I already have quite a nice watch tan, which means that a farmers tan is beginning in full force. I can just imagine what a picture we sister missionaries are going to make this summer with varying levels of farmers tans showing when we moved from suit coats to 3/4 length sleeves, to short sleeves, and then when we don't have to wear knee hi's anymore and all have pasty legs.

There isn't really too much more to say about Palo Cedro. Just that as the city of London faintly reminded me of Hiyao Miyazaki's "Spirited Away", Palo Cedro reminds me of Toy Story. What from the Disney streets up in Shasta Forest Village, to the people "hiding" in the trees, Planet Burger, and finally Edna Nesbitt an older lady whom we visit (for those of you without memories like mine, Sally--Sid's sister--renames Buzz Lightyear Mrs. Nesbitt when she takes him one-armed into her tea party). I'm surprised that everybody doesn't see it. Oh, and I actually got all the way up to Shingletown proper last week. Not that there is all that much there to see. We may make it clear out to Viola this week. Something to look forward to in next week's "episode."

I greatly enjoyed Conference this weekend. It seemed that just about every talk was on a subject that one of the people we are teaching needed to hear, or that I myself needed to hear. Also a Happy Belated Birthday to Bonnie and Christopher. I really did remember you both on those days, I just keep forgetting to write you! Also, all of you who are clamoring to write me letters. This is just a friendly reminder that there are two weeks left in this transfer, so time your post accordingly.

Sister Sorensen