Merced is an interesting town. It's more like Visalia than Modesto. It only has a population of roughly 80,000, so it's quite a bit smaller than either of the other cities I've been in, yet too large for my taste. Merced, along with the usual abundance of English and Spanish work, has a very large Hmong population. There is a branch here with two sets of elders. My companion, Elder Nelson, it turns out is the same one that Elder Dickson trained a few transfers ago. Merced's streets are weird because, like a lot of cities out here, they formed around the railroad, and the railroad goes in a kind of NW/SE direction. A good chunk of the roads are diagonal, which makes it less easy to ever know which way is north, to find my way. The ward seems really good. I'll be able to tell how everything is better as I go along, but I've met a lot of really nice members. We have evening teamups and dinners most nights. Those things are definitely pluses. The apartment isn't quite as bad as my last one was when I came to it, but it's a close second. It really hasn't ever been cleaned, either. That'll really start, today. No preparation has really been done, either, with the area book and other things. It has made it very difficult to figure out just who all we're teaching and information about everyone. I'm getting it all worked out, though. It'll be organized and comprehensive when I'm done. The apartment's cleaning will also take off, today.
They had made plans before I came here that today we were going to go to Yosemite. The guy who was going to take us, it turns out, wasn't able to do it today. I want to make sure I got this transfer, though. The waterfalls are still running, and I want to see it all. Merced is much closer than Modesto, so we'll have more time and all. It's for the best, anyway. There's a lot I needed to do today and going would have made it very difficult. We have our next temple trip in a month, on July 6th. It'll be a good transfer. I hope everything is well with everyone.