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, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!!!

Kia ora!!
     Its Halloween here in Kiwi country and it doesn't even feel like it.  Last year when I was in Hamilton there were heaps on pakeha's and so it was still advertized a bit.  But here in Whangarei its not big at all.  I found out that Maori's don't believe in Halloween, and thats the majority of people here.  So its weird being Halloween and there's no decorations or any talk about it anywhere.  But anyways. 
     Things are starting to improve here in Whangarei.  We have 2 set right now, Norina and Ngahuia, and they're a bit shakey because they've been avoiding us this past week.  Ngahuia  is just a bit scared because she doesn't know what baptism is about, and we haven't seen her sister for a week now, and haven't had a lesson in just longer than that.
     But we have some other investigators who are starting to progress now.  We didn't think Tasia and Shayla would be able to come to church because their mum was busy, but the four of them showed up right as church started.  There's a recent convert family, the Rogers, and they're doing well too.  We have two families we're planning on setting this week too.  Each has about 3 in the family who haven't been baptized yet.  They've accepted the baptismal commitment, but we just needed to pray about a date to help them progress toward.  This last week we also contacted an investigator who we haven't seen for about 4/5 weeks, and we found out she's been going to the other ward every week!  She has lukemia and doesn't have the physical strength to make it to our ward.  We're talking to the AP's about it, but she said her decision to come to church was the best decision she's made in a while.  And she's read the whole Book of Mormon!
     I'm hoping and praying that these families get baptized.  They're great.  So things should start moving faster here.  Love you all, you're in my prayers!!
Elder Sorensen
P.S. enjoy the pictures
 Me and Elder Kitara on a bush walk

 NZ Koru tree

 Raumanga Waterfall

 Kevin pose

 Nice Waterfall

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday, October 24th

Kia ora whanau!
     Its been another week here in kiwi-country.  Crazy how fast time is going here.  Two months from tomorrow and I'll be calling home for the second to last time.  Pretty mean, eh?  But I still have a lot of work left to do.  And this weeks been pretty average for it.  Well for this area.  I'm still adjusting from the city to the slower paced country.  Getting used to everybody drinking and using marijuana too.  I forgot about that one.  But the weathers been more polite to us this week.  Plenty of sun, a touch of rain, and heaps of wind.  Its really frustrating biking up a big as hill and the wind is blowing straight at you.  But its keeping my legs in shape.  And I'm finally back down in weight to how I was at the end of the MTC, 170lbs, and I'm still dropping.  It seems like all my companions want to get heavy while I want to maintain my weight. 
     The Rugby World Cup ended last night with New Zealand vs. France!  The final score was 8-7 All Blacks!!  This was the first time New Zealand has won since the first world cup.  Everybody here hated france too, because they've kicked us out of the cup for the past two cups.  We beat them through all the pool games, but then in the quarter or semi-finals they kick us out.  But we won this time.  Last night it kick off was at 9pm.  There was heaps of cheering and yelling and party's going on all night.  About halfway through the game I could start hearing some fights and yelling.  We're pretty lucky that on Sunday's we get back to the flat at 7:30.  I can't imagine what the city'll be like for the final. 
     Its finally the end of school holiday's for our investigators too.  So back to school and we can start teaching them again.  Norina, Chris, and Ngahuia were doing really good this week.  Norina had had only one drink for the week and only one session of marijuana each day too.  Much better than before.  But when we went over on Saturday night they were all drunk again.  She had her brothers over too.  She asked us to come inside and pray for them.  So when we got inside a couple of them went out the back.  We said a prayer and when we finished her brother walked back in and started getting in our face saying what was all that about bro?  Lucky they respect Norina when she stepped between us again.  And so we had to leave.  I think we might have to make sure we go by their house in the day time from now on. 
     Well I hope you liked the pictures I sent.  We are in a beautiful area and so you can expect more and some better ones too.  Thanks for everything!!
Elder Sorensen

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday, October 17th 2011

Kia ora whanau!
     This past week felt all over the place.  Learning a new area.  A f.o.b. companion (fresh off the boat)  thats still learning obedience.  But worst of all  we didn't get to see 2 of our sets who are supposed to get baptized this weekend (the 22nd).  We saw them yesterday and found out that they're going to be gone all this week for kapahaka, maori performance group.  They're not going to be back until Sunday next week.  So that pushes them back until at least the next weekend.  But aside from all of that we still had fun this week. 
     On Monday we played touch right by our flat.  It was heaps of fun.  Then it started raining, and it got even better.  Because if you dive with the ball and you don't quit hit the try line, if you slide over it before you get touched, you still get the try.  I'm finally getting the hang of it too.  Like the skills and strategies.  But its still hard to out-step the other team when he has rugby cleats and the grass is wet as.  Still fun as though.  Then on Tuesday night we almost got into a fight.  We went to our appointment with Norina and her family, and there were a few drunk homeless guys there partying hard out.  Norina had had a couple of glasses of wine with her dinner (so thats why I think she even let them in in the first place.  But when we knocked they opened up the door and told us to f* off.  So we knocked again and asked for Norina.  She came out with her 1 yr old and started explaining what was going on, with loud as music pumping inside.  As we were talking one of the guys came out and started getting all in our face asking us what we were doing there.  Elder Kitara is a boxer for Samoa, and I could tell he was ready to knock this guy out, so I stepped in and said we'd come back tomorrow.  So we left and started walking up the street.  Then I thought of who we could go and see and realized it was the other way, past the flat we were just at.  As we passed (on the other side of the street of course) the guy came out again and started off again and we just kept walking, and he said yeah, you keep walking.  Elder Kitara was right about to cross the street, and so I grabbed his bag and told him to just keep walking and leave it. 
     So that was a pretty fun experience I had last week.  Thats what this next week looks like, except hopefully without the fight.  And mission life goes on.  I love you all and thank you for your prayers.  Until next time from Aotearoa!
Elder Sorensen
Our Flat

 I saw a pillar of light

 Port Whangarei

 Me and Elder Kitara

Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday, October 10th 2011

Kia ora!
     Well against my predictions I got transfered.  Surpising huh.  This is now my 6th area, 9th companion, and I've only been out for just over a year.  I can't believe its been that long already, but things just keep moving.  But yeah, I got shifted up to Whangarei (fah-ng-a-ray).  I cover the lower part of it.  I don't know any names yet, except I live on Ramaunga Heights or something like that.  My companion is Elder Kitara and this is his 3rd transfer.  He's from Samoa the same Island that Elder Fiu was from, but he says he didn't know him.  His english is understandable and surprising for only 3 week of MTC training and 3 months in the field.  But when he starts telling a story from Samoa and he gets going with his sound effects its really hard to hear what he's saying.  But he's a happy guy which will make it much more fun and easier to do the work than other companions I've had. 
     Its been a bit hard since Friday in this area.  The first part of the week Elder Kitara was working somewhere else in Whangarei, and so nothing counted for our stats.  Then Saturday and Sunday we had General Conference which took up heaps of time.  And right before I left Elder Fiu took the tube from my front tire of my bike.  So we have to walk everywhere and it takes ages.  So because of all of that our stats weren't very good at all, and I admit that.  But our new district leader didn't have much mercy.  I'm hoping thats because he's just new and that it'll wear off after a while. 
     Looking at teh hills, I'm not too excited to get on the bike and ride them.  Today we were hoping to go play some touch rugby, but it looks like it might rain.  We'll see what happens.  Other than that I haven't seen much of the area or know what its going to be like up here.  Its actually been colder here than Auckland, which is really weird.  Well, love you all, and keep praying for me, and I'll keep praying for you!
Elder Sorensen

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday, October 3rd

Kia ora!!

     The rain of spring/summer is here.  Its been pretty rainy with a few rays of sun here and there.  Saturday was the first day that we could go without suit coats...until 5pm.  It was a bit cold, but we had to do it because we could.  Then Sunday Pare and Aubrey were baptised and confirmed!!!  It was a close one, but it all came together at the last minute.  
     Pare's baptism was really good.  She was a bit nervous but happy.  A good support from the ward came, but not too many, which is just the way she wanted it.  The program was nice and they had some nice refreshments.  We didn't get to have much because our ward mission leader didn't have the programme ready for Aubrey's baptism which was in an hour.  So we went and did up his programme trying to figure out who could conduct and who was presiding.  We left a message with one of bishop's family that the baptism was on a few days prior, but he didn't get it until Saturday morning.  We tried calling him but no answer.  So we were all stressing about who of the bishopric could come and preside, or if it would have to be Elder Walk.  We couldn't print the programme until we knew.  Anyways, bishop showed up at the chapel and said it was all goods.  He was a bit skeptical of if Aubrey was really ready because of his reasons last time, and if he'd really be baptized.  But he allowed it and things went ahead.  The talks were good and we had a good pianist and a few ward members came to support.  So we were really happy that it all went through.  
     The confirmations cut it too close for my comfort though.  I didn't realize, but Elder Fiu said that sacrament meeting (for Pare) started at 10am.  So I tried to call at about quarter after 8 to make sure she was ready.  When Elder Fiu got out of the shower I told him I couldn't get a hold of Pare, and thats when he realized he said it was at 10.  Luckily brother Vuki (her ride) waited for her.  While we were waiting at the chapel they had already gone through the ward business and the song and prayer, and were just about to head into the sacrament when Pare showed up just in time.  It was a bit rushed but she felt the spirit come to her, and thats what she was really looking for.  
     I called Aubrey at about 11 and made sure he knew it was at 1, and he said yep.  I asked if he had a ride, and he said that Christine, his girlfriend would bring him.  So I felt good with that.  But when 1:00 came around and he wasn't there I was ready to smack him over the head.  But he came just in time, again.  When we went up to the stand we asked him who he'd like to do it.  He said Elder Fiu.  He said a nice blessing and I thought everything was all good.  When we sat down I saw Aubrey and Elder Fiu walk out of the chapel.  I had no idea what was happening.  Apparently he wanted Bishop Siomanu give him the Holy Ghost and that we didn't explain to him that thats what we were doing.  He felt angry and wasn't sure if he had really received the gift of the Holy Ghost.  So after sacrament meeting we had a talk with him and bishop.  We cleared everything up, and bishop was able to articulate and confirm to him that he did receive the Holy Ghost.  
     It was a really good, really stressful week, and I've learned a lot of lessons.  This week was really rewarding.  Thanks for all your prayers in my behalf, and as you can see, they work.  I really don't think Aubrey would have been baptized if it weren't for all the prayers for the missionaries around the world and in the temples.  I love you all! 
Aroha nui!  
Elder Sorensen