At age 19 I chose to leave my family in Providence Utah for 2 years, to spread the Gospel to the people of New Zealand, so they can be with their families for Eternity...

Save the date: 9-9-9:00

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sept 27, 2010

Hi Family!!


I don't remember if I told you but I've been assigned to the Hamilton area with Elder Eckery as my companion. Things are good here. The landscape is beautiful! Especially around the temple and the outskirts of town. Getting used to being on the left side of the street has been tough to get used to. Even with biking. I'm on a bike in a small area covering a ward called Dinsdale. The area is called the bow tie area because there is a round-a-bout in the middle of it and our coverage goes out in a bowtie shape. The people here are pretty nice...usually. We've had some pretty rude people already, but most people are nice, and turn us down kindly. Haha, on Saturday we met a girl at the bus stop who said she didn't have a name. We approached her and she sat with her head cocked to the side and wouldn't acknowledge us, so we stepped in front of her and introduced out names and asked her's. She said "I don't have one." I almost burst out laughing. So we started asking her if knowing how families can be together forever would interest her. And she finally had it. She said something like "Go away. Go tell somebody who gives a darn." So we told her to have a nice day and enjoy the little bit of sun and she said "what sun?" I thought that was pretty funny.

We've only taught one real lesson since I've been here to a guy whose name is Kat. He's an interesting fellow. He looked to be around his 50's. I guess Elder Eckery had taught him once already and had him read about the church on and When we visited him he said he did a lot of reading around "good and bad". We thought, uh oh. But we told him that if he wants to learn the truth of things to go to those who believe it and also to pray. So this time we taught him some of the plan of salvation. While we were talking about how we lived with God he started asking about Kolob. We just told him enough to satisfy him and moved on. He also said he really likes to read, and that he doesn't want the 'milk' but he wants 'meat'. So he likes to think which is really good, because people like him who convert really go whole heartedly and stay converted.

Elder Eckery says that we have a good pool of about 15 people, but I've only met a few of them. I guess tomorrow is going to be really busy and we'll be teaching a lot. I still feel really green right now, how I don't know where anything is, who anybody is in the ward, and being shy. But everything will come with time and expirience.

The weather here I guess has been worse that it usually is. My first night in Auckland it hailed for a couple minutes, and it rains off and on constantly. Yesterday and today have really been the first days with any considerable sunshine. I've been loving the rain, but the sun has been nice. I guess the first day of spring was Sept 1st and they had a beautiful day, and then it went back to rain ever since. Which I guess is really strange.

President said we're only alowed to eat at member's 4 times a week, otherwise we'd eat ever day. Yesterday we had a big meal at the Taylor's flat. I think they are Maori. And we had mince, potatos, and mixed vegetables. I think thats the most common meal here. And they have bread with about every meal. We had a dessert that was like a cross between yogurt and whipped cream.

Have to go. Love you all!
Elder Sorensen

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Wednesday 9/22 In-country!

(Email arrived on Tuesday 9/21 in Utah time, Kevin is A day ahead minus 4 hours)

I made it to New Zealand!!! It was a long flight and there was a baby that would not stop crying. It felt really weird for it to be dark for the 13 hours. I'm here at the mission office after making a brief stop at one tree hill. It was raining a bit when we landed, and it's cleared up now. Everything here is so green. There's grass and trees everywhere. Its so beautiful. I'll take some pitures and send one or two back. Sorry I have to go.

Love you all, You're in my prayers.
Elder Sorensen

In Country!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sept 15,2010

Everything is great! Still loving the MTC. It feels like the days go on forever, but the weeks fly by. Still plenty of food and its pretty good I guess. Classes are good, but they are a little long. A lot of times like halfway through they'll let us get up get a drink and go to the bathroom. After that I can focus again. The spirit is so strong here.

I got to listen to an amazing talk by Elder Bednar from last year in June. It was really good with a lot of good points. It was all about the most asked question to him, and one that I've thought about as well. "How do I know if it is the Holy Ghost or just me?" He paused for a moment................"the answer to your question is 'quit worrying about it.'" He then told a few stories that he wan't exactly sure if it was the Holy Ghost or just him, it just felt like a regular thought. The results; Pres Packer's wife didn't get kicked off the train in east Berlin, A man was able to watch his son play basketball one last time before his son died, and talks given in general conference all about the temple with no coordination. After each expirience he explained "Be a a good boy/girl, keep and honor your covenants, keep the commandments, press forward, get going and you'll be just fine." That hit me pretty hard. I've been worrying that because I'm not always on a spiritual high, that I might not have the Spirit with me. He then said something like "As you follow the inspiration and commandments given to you, and you become more like Christ, God is going to increasingly trust you and isn't going to 'smack' you with the Spirit every time He wants you to do something." That is exactly what I needed to hear. He then refered to D&C 80 where in vs 3 it says "wherefore go ye and preach my gospel, whether to the North or to the South, to the East or to the West, it mattereth not, for ye cannot go amiss." At the end Elder Bednar promised that our "steps will be guided, the Lord will give you utterence, for ye cannot go amiss." It was such an amazing talk.

Oh yeah, guess what!!! I got my travel plans last Friday!! I leave on Monday (20th)! I report to the travel services here at 11:30 am, and get to LA about 4pm with a 5 1/2 hour layover, then go straight to New Zealand and get there at like 5ish am their time (on the 22nd)! So my visa and everything worked out, just like I said it would! The feeling I got was like the one I get on Christmas haha. I'll either call at the SL airport or the LA airport. I'm encouraged to get a calling card here because its cheaper. I get a 20% discount on everything in the bookstore. I'm debating whether to get a domestic or an international card. If I get an international card I can use it in New Zealand. Which is what I'm leaning toward.

Next time you hear from me (except calling from the airport) I'll BE IN NEW ZEALAND!!!

With Jonathan Kwok

Sunday, September 12, 2010

First Letter -MTC

Hi Mom!!
Everything is going great!! I'm loving it here! Everything is awesome here. It’s been a lot to take in all at once. Like when I got here they just put me in lines to get my stuff, like name tag, binder, books, stuff like that. And it was just class after class after class. So much good stuff to take in.
Then we have gym and I've been learning a whole lot of stuff, so I've just been a little overwhelmed and tired, but a good tired. Sunday felt soo good. It is truly a day for rest. I've really been learning how to better apply the gospel to people's needs. Which means that we need to get to know who we teach.
I'm really grateful to be here! The spirit is constant and very strong. I feel like I'm constantly bearing testimony to contacts with other missionaries, in lessons, and everywhere.
In our district there are 10 missionaries. 6 are going to Portland, Oregon, and the other 4 are going to New Zealand. My companion is Elder Falepapalangi (fall-eh-papa-long-ee). He was born in Idaho and raised in South Jordan, and his parents are straight from Tonga. He played football and if I remember right he said he weighs about 280 lbs. He's a big guy. But he does have a strong testimony about the gospel and is out here for the right reason. I'm really learning a lot from him. He's a people person and can apply the gospel to people better than I can, but I'm more doctrinally smart.
In fact in class one day we were supposed to just get to know someone who was acting as a non-member, and teach them a little bit. But for some reason I just would ask a question, say cool, then ask another question and eventually it got awkward and I couldn't think of anything to say. When I told Elder Falepapalangi about this, he said we can fix this. We went outside and he had me sit down while he went and talked to an elder. The elder came and sat down and I was just supposed to talk. It went okay, and we talked for a few minutes, and I thought that would be it. But he brought over his companion...same thing. Okay, now I thought that I must be done. But as I was talking with this elder, I saw my companion go and talk to some sisters. I thought 'oh crap!' 'Get back here' but sure enough my companion wanted me to do the same thing. It turned out that they were very open and nice. I thought I must be done now, there's nobody else around. I asked my companion and he simply said 'nope'. and we spent the next 2 hours with me contacting and getting to know people. It has really helped a lot. I'm getting a lot better at learning about people and talking to them. Which I know will help me in the field.
I just can't believe that it's already been a week.
I've had some teaching experiences where I realized how important it is to get to know the investigators. Like this one sister was teaching us and she role-played one of the investigators on her mission. We were supposed to get to know her, then teach her. She had a boyfriend named Seth who talked a little about the church with her. The first question asked was "so what did Seth talk to you about?" The spirit was there while we taught her about the restoration and prayer, but no matter how strongly we testified she just sat there with a blank look on her face. Sister Hoops paused the lesson and gave us the key to get her to progress, which was to pray to Heavenly Father. It went well after that, but it was humbling and eye opening that it is important to get to know the people we teach.
Love you all, you're in my prayers, and there is no need to worry about me. The church is true, and I have a testimony of it.
Elder Kevin Sorensen

Wednesday, September 1, 2010