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, November 28, 2011

Monday, Nov. 28th, 2011

Kia ora!!

     This week was a good week.  Only one day with a bit of rain, and the rest as sunny and hot as last year was.  The sun here is so intense!  You can feel a noticable difference between shade and sun, like if you're in the shade and something moves and you're then in the sun, its so hot.  I have a feeling its going to get worse too.  I'm a bit short on time today so I thought I'd share the biggest experience of the week.  
     We had an experience that really softened my heart this week, a true miracle.  I had been praying to get some people to church on Sunday.  On Saturday night the prospects were still zero.  So when Elder Tucker, our district leader, made his daily calls I asked him to pray for us as well.  Today as I looked at my email from my mum, I noticed that she said she's been praying for us to have success and investigators to church.  So we went to sacrament meeting, and sadly there was no investigators.  But after sacrament meeting ended Sister Popham came up to us and told us there was a lady there to investigate our church, and that we should go talk to her.  We introduced ourselves and asked her what brought her to our church.  She said that she has only been a Christian for about a year, loves the Lord, and feels His love and really enjoys it.  But she was getting frustrated with  other churches that she's been going to having the attitude of "do what I say, not what I do," and that she was asked a number of times to stop asking questions.  We explained that what our purpose as missionaries is full time teachers and that we'd love to sit down and answer her questions and teach about what we believe.  She was grateful and accepted the invitation.  So during Sunday school we taught her the restoration of the gospel, and she was so happy about it.  In fact during one point in the discussion she said to her 12 year old son, "I think we're going to feel at home here."  Her name is Helen and her son's name is Ryan.  Apparently he's quite the committed christian as well.  His mum said that he gets in fights at school for standing up for what he believes in, and he's not afraid to ask questions.  Sadly the next available time to meet with her is going to be next Sunday, but they'll definitely be there.  A true undiluted miracle!  God has not ceased to work miracles!
     I love you all and appreciate all you do for me and your prayers, they truly work!  Sometimes you just need to keep waiting and praying.  
Elder Sorensen

Monday, November 21, 2011


Kia ora!!

     Wow, I realized I forgot to mention that last week was transfers.  It came so fast that I didn't realize it till Tuesday.  Elder Kitara and I are both staying for another transfer.  So that makes 2 companions for 2 transfers, and all the rest just one each.  And so we get to start again at week 1.    I forgot that Thanksgiving is coming up this week too.  And no, they don't celebrate it here at all.  Most people ask, what's that?  I usually say its an excuse to get off work, meet with family, and eat.  Most people here like that idea.  So we don't have any plans for thanksgiving.  Well that day falls on a day that the ward members feed us, and the family that signed up, Elder Kitara says they usually put on big feeds for the missionaries.  So I might get something haha.  
     And that means Christmas is just a month away.  I'm sure looking forward to the phone call home.  It'll be good to hear you guys again.  Christmas is on a Sunday, and so they're going to do a combined 2 ward, 1 hour Sacrament meeting.  Tomorrow is a Zone Conference, so I'm not sure if the mission is going to do a Christmas thing.  I sure hope its like last year.  It was pretty fun.  We had a variety show, islanders singing, a devotional and a big feed.  I've come to realize that something one missionary told me in the MTC is true.  He said "if you go hungry in NZ its your own fault."  The members feed us pretty good everywhere we go.  This is the best mission in the world.  
     Yesterday the speakers didn't show up for sacrament, and so over the pulpit the 1st counselor asked both of us to speak about service for 5-10 minutes each.  Its a good thing I've already started preparing my talk for next week, and so I used a bit about charity and selflessness from that talk.  So hopefully this ward doesn't get sick of me talking.  
    Other than that, not much is happening here in Kiwi-country.  Thanks for your prayers and I keep you in mine.  Love you all!!

Elder Sorensen
Service Project- Before

Service Project- After

I found a lizard...

 ...TO EAT!!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Kiwi mail 14/11/2011

Kia ora kotau katoa! (hello everyone)

     I can't believe yet another week has gone by.  Even with all the work and sweat and challenges time is still moving so fast.  Its getting a lot more humid up here in Whangarei because its been raining in the night and morning, and then sunny during the day.  Sure makes it hot and sticky sometimes.  But thats why I'm glad that they make spray deoderant (thanks for the idea Jake).  Its a miracle in a can.  I swear the hills change sizes depending on the temperature too. 
     Its been another trying week with investigators.  None area really progressing, and none came to church.  I've been thinking about something one of my past ward mission leaders said to me.  "Consistency is the key.  Once people get into the routine it will be a success."  That was in relation to a weekly trade off with the missionaries and for any ward member who wanted to do some visiting.  It started off a bit rocky at first, but he was right and consistency was the key, and it was a success.  
     I think I'm going to keep this in mind for the rest of my mission, and apply it to getting investigators to sacrament.  For some reason it has never been a huge push for any of my companions in the past, but I'm going to put a much bigger emphasis on it from now on.  
     I've also had a few thoughts on some statements President Kimball made about repentance.  He said trying isn't enough.  If we really could have done something, even if it was hard, and we didn't, we need to repent.  Its hard to explain the encouragement I got from it without writing everything I wrote in my study journal, but I have a new drive in mind that if I can remember and keep it in mind, it will give me the motivation and strength to push to my limits and to see miracles as God takes me farther.  
     Elder Kitara is doing better.  He's working harder now that I'm putting more responsibilities on him.  I'm not sure if he's noticed it consciously, but the result I've seen is that he is working harder.  We've had a couple instances of being separated while biking this week, and luckily we met back at the flat and nothing happened.  He doesn't seem to think its a big deal at all, but I'm trying to teach him that this is one of the bigger rules never to break.  We're still working, and I'm working with him.  I'm really grateful for the improvements he's making.  I just hope they stick with him.  Trials and experience are seldom easy, but I'm becoming more grateful for them (which is part of the new mindset I have).
     I still love New Zealand and all beauty, both of the scenic and personic.  I'm enjoying every minute of it.  I'm still working hard.  Thank you all for your prayers, and keep praying for me and all the missionaries.  I need all the miracle 'points' I can get.   
Elder Sorensen

Monday, November 7, 2011

7th November 2011

Kia ora kotau katoa!

     I can't believe its November already!  Time is moving so fast.  And transfers are a week from Thursday.  I can't believe it.  I'm not sure I can thoroughly enjoy my time here if it keeps accelerating like this.  Not that I'm not enjoying it, but it all seems to be slipping by.  But anyways, its been a mix of weather here in Kiwi-country last week.  I was pretty lucky though.  We had two trade-offs this week.  One with the district leader and one with the zone leaders.  I was lucky because I went to their areas and that meant being in a car!  So I didn't have to bike in the rain or anything, which I'm grateful for.  But sadly today for p-day its spitting (sprinkling).  So I'm not sure what we're going to do.
     But last Thursday I got to go on trade offs with Elder Tucker.  That meant I went to his area out in Dargaville, about an hour to the west.  And not only that, but we got to go to Bayley's beach (or whatever the name was) to have a lesson.  And they had a MEAN view of the beach.  A bit of a storm was on the way so during the lesson when I'd look out it would be sunny, but the waves were breaking hard out.  It was awesome!  We ran out of time and so we couldn't go get pictures but I did get a couple throughout the day (which I still have to copy off of him).  Do you remember those portable DVD players that we all got in August?  Whats cool is they copy from SD to USB and from cd to either.  So if someone else has a cool picture its really quick to copy it.  Pretty fun.  But anyways.
     We've been struggling a bit this week with our investigators.  None of them are really progressing and none of them are coming to church.  This week we're going to focus on getting our investigators to sacrament meeting.  For those investigators who constantly decline to sacrament, it shows that they're not willing to keep commitments or covenants, and that we should find new and other people who are.  I really think this focus will clean out the pipeline and keep it moving.
     Last week we had our first MCM since I've been in the area with a member of the bishopric.  The ward mission leader thinks he's been released and also has a stake calling, but hasn't officially been released.  So I'm happy Bro. Holtz of the bishopric is stepping up and taking them.  We also attended ward conference yesterday.  Just as the church handbook says, they were focused on people.  The whole meeting was about people of concern in each of the auxilaries of the church.  It was great.  Very fast moving and lots of good counseling.  We're bringing missionary work into it better as well.  So I'm excited to see things start picking up and moving here.
     I'm happy healthy and living the missionary life here in Kiwi-country, Aotearoa, and I love it.  Thank you all for all your prayers in my behalf.  

Elder Sorensen