Hola from Turlock. It's so real. I love it here. The latino people take such good care of us. Lets just say I'll never go without food. Beans, eggs, rice, arroz con leche, y bolillo is life.
Dad surprised me at the airport. Turned out he bought a plane ticket on the same plane so it was nice to see him and talk. I also saw the the Zabriskies. That was cool since he was the man who gave me my patriarchal blessing.
So when I came they have been having a drought. Well today and the last couple of days it's been pouringgggg. It's so good. The people love it and I do too. My new companion is Hermana Denisse Alcaraz. She has only been here 6 weeks and she is awesome! She is from the Bay area of California and speaks both spanish and english. She is a great help and she always knows what to say when I need help. We get along great. She is beautiful too. She popped out her Cuboid bone in her foot 4 weeks ago so she has a huge boot on for a brace. We have driven everywhere so it's different than I thought. We go to the Doctor's this Wednesday to check in. Hopefully then it'll all be well. It's been pouring a lot of rain so no complaints about having to use the car. We get it anyways but we have a limited amount of miles. So it's so helpful.
The first night I slept at the Mission Home, where Presidente Palmer lives. it is beautiful! It has a pool that we just look at and imagine ourselves in it. So it's hard but we can at least dream.
Our theme is "We are One with the Son Doing the Will of the Father." It is beautiful.
First day they threw us out in the streets of Modesto to talk with people. It was really difficult. I am not sure how I feel about street contacting yet. Knocking on doors is great.
My first lesson taught here was with a real investigator who this was her first lesson! So both of us were in for a treat. Her name is Daisy and she has 2 kids, 11 yr old girl, and 9 yr old son. She lives with her boyfriend (not the father of the kids) and is 3 months pregnant. She doesn't have a job so it's really sad. She is so prepared and we've returned multiple times. She told us she killed someone one of the lessons and we didn't ask too much about it so we are afraid to find out the details because then it has to go through the Mission president if she's ready to get baptized. Hope that talk goes good.
I got asked to give a talk on following the prophet in my branch and I'm so excited. The 22 of Novemenber! My branch is awesome. Presidente Hernandez does all he can to help out and goes way past the extra mile. He is thinks of the smartest things to do.
We are so well fed. Like I eat nearly 3 dinners every night. Members here are so passionate about God's work. I love it.
We have a baptism for the November 28. Her name is Rocio Vasquez and she is so prepared and has a family who we have begun teaching. We went to a baptism in Modesto to show her what a baptism was like. She was unsure but afterwards she knew that's what she wanted. We celebrated by going to Ihop with her and a couple of elders. it was a joy. The day she was promised for baptism the first lesson happens to also be the day that her husband doesn't have work for the first time all month. She couldn't believe it. the 28th is literally a blessing from God. Her son is so cute, Jorge, He told her if she was going to get baptized, so was he. He's 9 by the way.
We have been working a lot with the less active members. Hermana Ruth Paniagua is literally my second mom here. She cooks so well and is always inviting us over. She has such a passion for the gospel and for taking care of us. She recognizes that we don't have a mom here so she's taken on that role. We had really nummy street tacos she made. best food i've ever had. I ate 7. yes. I'm going to be rolling back to utah. She has a son who is 19 named Angel and when he introduced himself it was way awkward because he just shook my hand and said 'Angel' and I was like what... I thought he called me angel. but apparently not because then he said, 'oh my name is Angel, sorry....' Okay cool. lo siento.
Our Elders- Elder Emmett Guzman and Elder Steven Smith as well as Elder Jory Brower and Elder Jordan Brough- take such good care of us. They are always coming over to help with groceries, whatever we need. We make them Abuelita hot coco in exchange for their pancakes some mornings. They live nearby and that is a huge blessing. Sometimes they steal our car but for the most part they bike in all the rain and cold, no complaints. They are trying to teach me spanish so estoy muy agradecida por lo.
Alexa (18) is a girl who is an active member but her brother, Fransisco (20) is baptized but not active and her mom Ana is not a member. I love her. She tries so hard to bring her family all together and hold a lesson but it's been a struggle.
We had a Relief society activity- nearly 4 women were there and we knitted together and ate cake. It was good but as all the women were hard at work knitting away, all these scarves for the homeless, I was stumped. They would try to explain to me how to do it but I didn't understand them because it was all spanish. spoken quickly. So my scarf was 2 inches long but heyyyy I think they got the memo I needed one of them to finish it for me....
We really are all working together to gather God's family once more.
I am going to live here when I come home. Love this place and people. Missionaries have a good reputation and are respected here. So it's been really great. I feel so lucky to be here. Time is flying. Love you all. Hope it's well.
4300 Dale Road
Modesto, CA 95356