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, June 27, 2011

27th June

Kia Ora!!

Day 7302 of my captivity on this strange planet. Its now been about 300 days since they've moved me to a strange land where the natives are completely hostile to the work I've been asked to carry out. I've worked hard to share this message with this people and few are willing to listen, but for those that are, much good is coming to them. One has even managed to move her initiation (baptism) to the 9th of the 7th as they call it here. (Or as back home July 9th). Everything is looking well for my time here in this land they call Aotearoa.

Things this week went really well. Its true that the harder you work, the faster the time goes, and the more blessings you recieve. The only thing is, is its hard work haha. But yeah, Paige has decided to more her baptism from the 23rd of July to the 9th. So that sounds good to me, and we agreed. She's still really liking church and young womens and is excited to get baptized. Elder Mayer is going to interview her tomorrow. We've gone over the questions twice with her so she's all ready.

Last week we taught 22 lessons and got 13 new investigators. Pretty significant eh? We've been praying hard, and working hard, and now we're seeing the blessings come. And then this morning we had a conference call with the whole district and Zone Leaders and they've asked us to look at the record (for the companion who's been in the area the longest, for preach by the way's, new investigators, and total lessons) and they want us to hit that by mid week. Quite the stretch they're asking us to do, but we'll do our best, have faith, and see what happens. Things are looking good though, we've got Tuesday, and Wednesday pretty much booked up. Which is new for this area.

Thanks everybody for the birthday wishes. It was an alright birthday. Didn't feel any different than any other day. Earlier Jack, and investigator, and his wife made me a cake, so that was really nice. And then that night President and Sister Porter called and sang happy birthday to me. Other than that and the happy birthdays from home, I just worked all day. I also felt something funny when I woke up on Saturday, it almost felt like brain cells were starting to come back. I felt more intelligent as I talked with our investigators, and really all around more intelligent. Is this how you feel all the time dad?

Thanks for all your support, your prayers, and your emails/letters. I love you all! I'm working hard, I'm happy, I'm healthy, and I'm loving New Zealand.!!

Aroha nui!
Elder Sorensen

Monday, June 20, 2011

June 20, 2011

Kia Ora Whanau!!

This last week was quite the spiritual/emotional roller coaster. Last Thursday was the temple trip and it was really amazing! Its been 9 months since I went last. When I was at home I don't think I appreciated the feeling that you get at the temple that I did this time, because of how often I went. I mean, I'm glad I went that much because I learned a lot. But a lot of faith growing experiences have happened since my last visit. The feelings I got as I walked into the celestial room and having President Porter give me a big hug was a very special, overwhelming experience. I love the temple. I understand more and more why President Porter says that above anything else, the most important thing in this life is to be right with the Lord.

 Where's Elder S? top right second one in
After the temple we went to the Higgins Rd Chapel (the one I went to in my first area). And he gave his farewell talk. He gave some time for question/answers about anything, whether it was about his jobs previously, his marraige, changing presidents. He bore his testimony and we all sang God Be With You Till We Meet Again. Between that and hugging him goodbye, there wasn't a single dry eye in that whole group. It'll be a lot different with a brand new mission president. But we're still all working for the Lord right? Just a different twist/style.

Then on Saturday we had a trade off with the Zone Leaders. Thats always stressful. This time I stayed in Tokoroa and was with Elder Edlefson. He's pretty cool, pretty chill. Still works hard, but not as full on as all the other ones I've been with. Elder Hussain has mellowed out too. We're at a really good pace.

Other than that, not too much is going on. 2 weeks till mission presidents change. 3 weeks till transfers. And thats about how far my calender goes. Oh yeah, one more thing. HAPPY FATHERS DAY DAD!!!! (its this weekend isn't it?) Thanks for all you've done for me Dad! Aroha nui!

Aroha nui!
Elder Sorensen

Monday, June 13, 2011

June 13. 2011

Kia Ora!!

I thought it would be done getting colder, but its still cooling off bit by bit. Friday was really the only day it rained, but it was cold and rainy. I got a little bit sick, but after my companion gave me a blessing I'm all better. Sadly thats not the same with my companion. His asthma 's been playing up and he's not feeling too well. So we've set up a doctors appointment after this.

On Friday when we were biking through the rain, man, I've never been so wet in my life. Squishy shoes, dripping clothes (super glad I put my scriptures and stuff in a plastic bag), and it felt like I just got out of a cold swimming pool. Experiences of mission life right?

A few updates on the people I'm teaching at the moment. Paige (~12) finally came to church and loved it. Hopefully everything goes good for her baptism on July 23rd. Last Tuesday we had another good lesson with Jack. He accepted the baptismal commitment, meaning he said yes he wants to get baptized, but he's pretty reluctant to set a date quite yet. He said he'll get baptized when he knows more and knows its true. But he'll for sure get baptized. We're going to keep working with him as best we can. Pania, the one who was really sincere about everything, a really good investigator dropped us on Friday night. She said it was personal reasons (probably because her ex husband is in the ward). She said that she's going to keep reading/praying, and talking to Brother Wright. Pretty hard to take when the investigators are that good. Other than that, nothing too big is happening. But we're always looking for more people to teach and more miracles to happen.

I'm going to try to upload some pictures since you asked so nicely.

                                                            Foggy day at the temple

                                       Our Tokoroa flat (the back half that you're looking at)

                                                            Church College NZ Statue

I'm happy, healthy again, and loving my missionary life. I always appreciate your love, support and prayers!

Elder Sorensen

Elder Steven Snow of the Seventy visited.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

June 7, 2011

Kia Ora!

Sorry I didn't email yesterday, it was the queens birthday weekend. But a lot has happened since last week. Its been rainy, windy, sunny, cold and warm. Luckily the past few nights have been pretty warm, makes it nicer biking around. Transfers came, Elder Ales left to go north to Kaikohe, and I'm here now with Elder Hussain. He's Fijian/Indian born in Fiji but raised in Sydney. He's pretty full on.

I'm not sure if I told you about an investigator we have named Jack, but it was his brother-in-law that just left for the MTC. But anyways, he brought us over some thin sheets of wood to use for kindling for our fire, and while he was dropping it off he saw that our wood in the garage was kinda wet, and so he brought over some dry wood for us last night. Today we had another really good lesson. We forgot to set him for baptism, but he's as ready as anybody I've taught this whole time on my mission. But we have another lesson on Thursday so we'll probably do it then.

So Tuesday night Elder Ales had to drive to Rotorua so that they wouldn't have to get up super early to get to Auckland by 8 am. So I spent the night and most of Thursday with Elder Johnson. I'm just glad he's not my companion. He's a good missionary, but he just has to top everything you say and do with something he's done. But my new companion came down from Dargaville by Whangerei (fawn-ger-'a'). And when we left man, did he get right to work. No time for dinner, just eat a piece of bread and lets go. The best way I can describe him is a gospel salesman. Pretty full on. But we had a miracle find. Apparently Elder Hussain was committed to find a family and set them for baptism that night by the A.P.'s So we went out with that attitude and started to work. We talked to everybody on the street, we knocked probably 20 houses, but not a single person was interested, so we thought we'd go to a member to see if they knew anybody we could talk to or teach. On the way I remembered a member referral for a family that we've been trying to contact for a while now. I felt like we should try them since we weren't too far away. They ended up letting us in and we taught them the restoration and they were pretty accepting. They accepted the baptismal commitment but because they missed church, we're trying to find another date for them. But it was a father named Strickland, his partner Bex (Rebecca), and their daughter Annaias.

So miracles do happen when you "pray your guts out" or in other words, pray with faith. So I've been working full on, not that I haven't before, but even more so now. This area is really blooming, we just need the members to keep up.

I'm excited to see what else is going to happen this transfer. Going on a mission has been more than I expeted it to be already, and I'm not even close to halfway. This is the truth, I know the gospel has been restored. We have all the pieces to the puzzel, and they all fit.

Thanks for everything you all are doing for me. Love you heaps!

Elder Sorensen