Sister Rounds

Sister Rounds
California Arcadia

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Sunny Alhambra Days

These are beautiful, sunny days in Alhambra.  California weather IS wonderful.  Our early morning walks are fresh and green (and dark still!) Here are some fun friends we hop over each morning outside our apartment on our walk.
I think they are significantly sized creatures!

     The days working at the Employment Center this past week have been a bit slower.  That's good, in the sense that I can gather my thoughts together about everything I've learned thus far.  Sister Thurgood and I usually spend Monday in FHE at the church with a handful of Chinese investigators and new converts for some sort of lesson, usually completely not understood by her or I.  Tuesday night is our one night we don't normally have plans, Wed-Fri nights are spent again at the church helping teach English classes to Chinese speakers.  It is quite interesting!  You have to explain things in really simple terms!  But I'm learning a lot, and the Chinese people are eager to learn.  This week a couple from Hyde Park came into ERS looking for me.  They wanted to see someone from "home" and it was great to see these strangers from Cache Valley!  They are the Allen's and I plan on seeing them again.  Real soon!  We were all glad to see someone from home and I needed their enthusiasm.
Saturdays are p-days, but rarely enough time for cleaning bathrooms or doing laundry!  We have too many places to experience. Today's adventure took us to Huntington Library (and exotic gardens, museum, mansion...).  It was a beautiful oasis where you could get lost away from so many people.  Right here in LA.
This is the actual estate grounds

Part of the Japanese gardens

Pagoda outside the Chinese gardens

Back side of Huntington Mansion/Museum

It was a fun and beautiful day.  There is a ton to see and do.  An entire acre of rose garden, with hundreds of varieties of roses, arbors, gazebos everywhere. . .a nice change from usual LA.

One interesting experience this week was spent with Sister Gong, the sister missionary who doesn't speak any English hardly at all.  She is actually from China, and her opportunities have been limited.  She needs to learn to ride a bike, so her companion asked me to help her learn.  The problem is, no parking lot at the church, so we take the bike inside the gym which is super small.  It has carpet on the floor and the elders are shooting baskets in one end, so I am trying to hold a grown adult on a bike while we go around in circles inside a small gym, and this sweet little sister has absolutely no sense of balance or idea how to even use the pedals.  And can we speak any words to each other that we understand?  Can I just say, teaching kids to ride a bike was worlds easier!  We can't go outside because both roads and sidewalks are far too crowded and dangerous for her to even try out there.  BLAH!
I couldn't even try to let her know she was doing an all right job trying to ride.  But I think she appreciated my trying to help her.
Each week holds many new adventures.  I'm sure there are many more to come.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Those first hazardous weeks...

After lesson with Jasmine, our little Chinese investigator.

 Looking straight up Hidalgo Street, an area where we walk each morning at the unearthly hour of 6 am!
Balboa Island bench.  Wonderful p-day

Monday, March 23, 2015

Sunny SoCal!

For such an un-techy as me, we'll see how this goes!
After a superb MTC experience, I'm now in sunny Southern CA!  The air is NOT clean, the stars are NOT out, you only drink water from bottles.  But it is beautiful!  I'm living in Alhambra, the northern part of "Southern CA" closer to the mountains.  But I only really see them when we go to Stake Conf in Pasadena or the mission office in Arcadia.  The area here is predominately Chinese, so I don't understand much during lessons we attend with the sisters.  But we still like to be there in the evenings. The days are spent feeling overwhelmed in the Employment Center, and I miss all my dear ones like crazy.  Here's the thing:  I'm learning a lot about myself, my ability to adapt and learn, and a new way of living among those who are so different than me!  And it's all good!  Except the missing part.  We make dinners for others quite regularly.  Our last p-day was spent at the Newport Beach temple, then on Balboa Island, taking in the sites and a world-famous ice cream Balboa bar.  I gotta figure out how to post photos on these postings. . .
Only 97 weeks left of my mission!  Yahoo!!