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, February 28, 2011

Feb 28, 2011

Kia Ora!!

This week has been a pretty good week. Its been really nice being able to be in the car and not ride the bikes around. Yesterday I talked to the police officer again about my bike, and he brought a picture line up of kids that might be involved. I identified the kid who we confronted on the bike last week, and the police officer has identified a few kids that are probably involved. The kid he caught on the bike, when he brought it into the station, he said had been ''dealt with''. So they still have the bike in the station and I think they might have the kid who stole it replace the parts that were taken off of it. That would be really nice, but I'll keep you updated as things come up.

The work here is doing really good. We have three people set for baptism next month. Tiaroha is the most keen, and she's set for the 12th of March. She's really good, but she beats herself up for past mistakes. So we're working to show her that she can be forgiven and that she can let them go. The other 2 are going to take a lot more work. Michelle is 17 and her partner is 24, and they live together. They're pretty interested as well so we're working on getting them a testimony enough to make the changes necesarry to be baptized.

And the best part of all of this is, I'm finally feeling comfortable doing the work. Its taken me 6 months (tomorrow!!!), but I feel alright doing all aspects of the work. I'm happy, healthy, and loving this country. Zone conference is coming up on this thursday, but I don't think there'll be any changes so that I can't email. Hopefully today we're gong to go to Witomo/Aranui/and Ruakuri caves for free with a couple investigators that work there. It'll be a lot of fun.

My testimony just keeps on getting stronger as I learn to trust God more and more. I know that we do have to restored truth, and I'm so grateful for it. I love you all, and thank you all for your support!!

Elder Sorensen

Monday, February 21, 2011

Feb 21,2011

Kia Ora!

This week has been a bit cooler. Very nice cloud cover to cool things off. And the work continues as well. This week was pretty stressful for a few reasons. We were planning on having one trade-off this week with our District leader on Tuesday. That's all fine, but then the Zone leaders called us Wednesday morning and said they were going to do a surprise trade off. And then it took another trade off on Thursday to get everybody back into their own areas. Wednesday and Thursday I led the area here in Te Kuiti. Which was pretty stressful having your Zl's and Dl breathing down your neck and watching everything you do. It wouldn't have been so bad if it wasn't a surprise. I did get a lot out of it though. I learned what it would be like to be a senior companion for a couple of days. Gained a lot of expirience.

Then something else happened. Saturday night we got back and found out our bikes were stolen. We were in a real hurry to get back on time, and forgot to lock them. Completely my fault. Then Sunday after church we were driving to an appointment and saw a kid riding my bike. We pulled him over and started talking to him. He (15) had already taken off the gear shifter for the front gears, the lights and reflectors and my name sticker. I still knew it was mine because of a scratch mark that matched up exactly with the bike rack we had. And plus, when you ride a bike basically every day for almost 6 months, you know when its your bike. We got all the information out of him we could, but nothing we could hold as legit information. As we were talking with him, one of his mate's (friends) rode up and started being pretty mouthy with us. And started telling us gang threats like "get off my street" and "quit messing with my mates" and things like that. Then a car with a bunch of guys came up as we were leaving. And I recognized one of the guys who had a short temper. He had a moku all over his face. So we left without much, but we got the serial # from the bike there, and we're going to compare it to the # they have registered to me in Auckland.

When we got back to the flat straight after we called in the report to the police station. He got some detail off of us and came by and talked with us about it all. This morning we got a message on our phone from the officer saying that they had pulled some kids in for questioning and had one of our bikes in for evidence. So I'll get my bike back within the next couple of days. Sadly though, I need to by new parts for it. I'll let you know when I get it back. God definitely answers prayers. No luck with my companion's bike, but he says its okay because he goes home in 2 transfers.

I'll keep you updated with everything, and I'll definitely lock my bike up everytime from here on out. I love you all, and you're always in my prayers! Don't be afraid to send pictures to me.  I promise it doesn't make me home sick.  I actually love seeing pictures, and I haven't seen a pic of Andi since she was born, so don't be afraid to send pictures.  Tell Michelle and Jared good luck moving in when they do.  Make sure you get Jake to work moving furniture and stuff.  And tell him to work double hard for me.  You're just changing everything in the house.  I won't be able to recognize the house when I get home.
Love you so much Mum!!!  Thanks for everything!!

I almost forgot.  Last week I got to see the Rugby World Cup in person here in Te Kuiti!  Its pretty small, but way cool that I got to see it in person!

Aroha nui!
Elder Sorensen

Monday, February 14, 2011

Feb 14, 2011

Kia Ora Whanau!

This was a fun week last week. Elder Luckhardt and I left Friday afternoon to Taumarunui (toe-mah-roo-noo-ee), and stayed at a member's place till Sunday evening. It was sure nice to get out of Te Kuiti for a few days. And while we were down there we had a baptism on Saturday morning. It was a little stressful because the family actually lives in Auckland, but comes down every weekend. And Thomas (whom we baptized) doesn't like going to big wards, and he love's this branch, didn't come in until late Friday night. We were planning on seeing him Friday night, but we missed them by about 5 minutes. But the baptism went all good, and I'd sent pictures, but my companion's card reader isn't working. Cancel that. Got it.

I got some really amazing sunset pictures, but again the card reader isn't good, and I can't connect my camera because it's dead. We didn't find any success down in Taumarunui, so we probably won't go down for a while now. I'm going to miss the beautiful countryside down there. But here, Angel Puletaha is working with a couple youth who are really interested in joining the church. So we'll have some work here to do. Its cool to see how well the work moves forward when members do the finding and we do the teaching. Thats how its really supposed to go.

Glad to hear Mum's over her cold, now dad, get over it. Yeah, your daylight is getting longer, but my days are getting shorter. I'm starting to notice it more and more. I think the rain will be here when your spring starts to hit there. No, you didn't tell me about Jennie Joe's mum. Thats cool that President Monson is going to speak at it. If you get a chance, you should shake his hand.

Oh yeah, did you clean off my camera card onto the computer yet? If so, you could send it in your next package. And Happy Valentines day!

Elder Sorensen


Monday, February 7, 2011

Feb 7, 2011

Kia Ora!

This week's weather report: Super muggy and humid. Average 80% humidity, and average daytime temperature 80* F. I can't wait for winter time. I realized something here, I'm a cold weather person. So on Saturday we went to give service to this Mauri lady mowing her lawn across the street from the park. When we got there she didn't have a mower and it started to rain. So we stopped by this youth activity and taught them how to play ultimate frisbee. Because we were going to mow a lawn I wore my jeans. It was so humid and hot! It rained enough to get everything wet, and then the sun came out to make it pretty much unbearable. But anyways, when I put on my jeans they're feeling a bit tight. I guess I've gained enough weight to make a difference. Do you think it would be better to look for a pair here or send some to me? But I did learn how to tell Samoan's how to stop putting food on your plate when you're full. You say "maonga" (mah-o-nga). So hopefully that'll help me lose some weight. And I'm trying to get myself to exercise more in the mornings. Its just really hard when your companion basically sleeps on the floor for exercise.

So with the new month they reallocated K's for our car. But they made an even bigger mistake. They thought we were at 1200 last month and so they thought they'd be nice and give us 1500 for the month, when they really gave us 1800 +200 last month. I hope they can get it all sused out. But we were able to go to Otorohanga last Sat. and it felt really good to get out of Te Kuiti after about 2 weeks of working in the small area. Brother Stockman (1st councillor) gave a funny expirience at church. They took a few buses out for his work to Bennydale, and when they came back, I guess they saw us riding our bikes down the main street. And the bus driver said "there go those *bleeping* mormons." And then other people on the bus started saying "yeah, they came to my house too!" But the stake rep for the branch said to start looking for a bigger building to meet in because the chapel is pretty small. So the work is really going forward.

Thank you so much for the package! Its good to eat american lollies again. Its been a while. The one's here aren't quite as good. When you sent the tetris game, did you know that I'm not allowed to play electronic games? Its really cool, and I would love to play it, but I can't.

Thanks for all you guys are doing for me! I appreciate all the prayers, and packages, and emails! Love you all so much!

Elder Sorensen

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

February 1, 2011

Kia Ora!
     Its been a wet couple of days which has been really nice to cool things off for a while.  There was a cyclone that hit the islands, like Tonga, Samoa, and it slowed before it hit New Zealand.  And the main part of it hit Auckland.  We just got some good wind and then some rain.  Last Saturday we had a baptism.  Her name is Stacey Puletaha.  She's the branch mission leader's wife.  Everything worked out perfectly.  Friday night it started to rain, and the baptism was supposed to be outside at a pool of one of the members.  By answer to a few prayers, Saturday morning was a beautiful sunny day, with some wind, and then it rained Saturday night, and most of Sunday.  Yesterday was pretty wet as well.  For P-day we played basketball in the rain.  It was hard, but pretty fun.  Speaking of weather, it would be really cool if you could get me a 5 day forecast for NZ (central if you can).  That would be awesome and I'd appreciate it. 
     Transfers came and went without much change.  I'm still in Te Kuiti with Elder Luckhardt.  We were going to get a third elder, one from my in-take, but they changed they're minds at the last minute.  They decided to get him to train a new missionary instead.  We have one more baptism set for this month, Thomas.  He's pretty awesome, and now that its a new month (meaning more Kilometers) we can go back to Taumarunui and catch up with him and sus everything out for his program. 
     We've basically talked to everybody here in Te Kuiti both in tracting, and in talking on the streets.  Not much work is happening here.  So we're pushing our leaders to give us more K's.  Then we can do more work in Otorohanga and Taumarunui.  Things are getting stressful with the mission president's new vision of baptizing weekly.  They tell us to try to set all of our investigators with a baptismal date, and then when they're not prepared and they fall through, our leaders tell us to "stop the bleeding" meaning stop letting people fall through.  I like the idea of progressing and working harder, but I think weekly is a little too fast to get investigators to progress and get an adequate testimony.  I'm personally following preach my gospel and not baptizing anybody who's not ready. 
     Anyways, My time is pretty much up and have to get back to work, but I love hearing from you guys.  And I think I got your package.  Elder Mayer (DL) said he has a package for me and my companion or something like that.  So I'll pick it up tomorrow at district meeting.  Thank you so much!  I really appreciate everything, the prayers, the packages, the emails, and everything you all do for me!  I love you all so much!  You're in my prayers. 
Arohanui!  (love)
Elder Sorensen