Sister Rounds

Sister Rounds
California Arcadia

Friday, March 4, 2016

Onward and Upward...Another Year

The next mission year is off to a running start. As we compare this year's ward family photo with last year's, the numbers have increased significantly. And that number includes families with youth, children and babies, so the branch is feeling like a genuine ward. That's a very great thing, since it means that this little Chinese start-up branch that was born right before I came, will become a full-fledged ward in the not-too-distant-future. But that also means we will lose the wonderful leaders in this branch to their own stakes and wards, staffing this branch with local leadership. That will be a sad/happy day. I'm not sure if it will happen while I'm here, but I don't think so.

Branch President and Sister Lee, great spiritual giants and dedicated leaders
The Valley Branch (name of Chinese branch) celebrated Chinese New Year with a huge dinner and talent night. They go all out for these events. Not only was the cultural hall decorated beautifully in red and gold, but we enjoyed fine and authentic Chinese talent.

Elder Chui performed a traditional Chinese sword dance,

and a new 10-year-old convert, Angelina, played this really cool stringed instrument.

Chinese New Year's Eve, Lily, a new convert, invited all the missionaries over for a feast at her home. The foods are so unique, and the chopstick experience is always an adventure.

Other events that jump-started this next mission year were a fun p-day with the Mascaro's while Sister Martin was away. We went to Venice Beach, and the town of Venice, named for its canalways rather than roads, like in Venice, Italy. It was very beautiful. And there was lots of entertainment going on at the boardwalk on the beach, like break-dancers that were super cool to watch, and an area called Muscle Beach. Sister Mascaro had a fun photo taken with one of the participants at Muscle Beach.

What began this next mission year was receiving a fun Wallis package for Valentine's Day. It was a huge heart puzzle with a love message on one side of the pieces, and on the bottom side were individual love messages from each Wallis member. 



Talk about feeling loved!!

Also beginning this next mission year was dinner with Janessa and Sister Plumb, and not any too soon. Sister Plumb was transferred the next week. So the next time we get together, it will be Janessa and Sister Colson.

And at a ward council in one of the Los Angeles wards, there were my dear friends, Elder and Sister Allen from Hyde Park, Utah. How wonderful to see them again! They first found me in my first months in the mission, when I was still a wanderer in a strange land. They were a taste of home for me at that time. And here they were again, surprisingly at this ward council that we visited, and so good to see them!

Ever and always, photos on Sunday nights before missionaries are transferred. It's always sad to see them go, but we love welcoming new missionaries in too. Round and round it goes...

...rolling right into the next mission year.

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