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, January 30, 2012

Kia ora January 30th

    Its been another pretty good week here in Whangarei, Kiwi-country.  
   This week was a bit disappointing in regards to effort compared to results.  Despite a low PBTW (preach by the way) number we still were able to find 9 new investigators.  By Saturday night we had 7 possibly 8 investigators planning and committed to come to sacrament meeting, but even despite morning calls, only one showed up.  We also tried to show our faith by setting a new investigator for three weeks in advance, but she didn't come so she lost her date.  She was a miracle find and set.  One of our investigators referred us to her Auntie who just moved in and is going through a hard time.  We talked with her on her door step about how the gospel helps change lives, and promised her that she'd be able to quit smoking and make the changes in her life just like her sister (who had just come back to church a little bit ago).  We even set her for baptism for the 18th of February.  But since she didn't come to church that dropped her for that date.  
     This area is ready and we're doing our best.  We're getting lots of new investigators, but as you can see they're falling out through the pipeline somewhere.  On Sunday we were able to give a training on missionary work for the 5th Sunday combined lesson.  It went really good, so hopefully we'll be able to see the ward get on board with us even more.  The Elder's quorum is doing much better at coming out to fellowship with us, so that is a big relief.  So we're trying our best to get a ward mission leader, and also to coordinate with the ward better.
     Elder Clark is doing great.  He's not afraid to step up and take the lead.  My personality is a bit quieter and a bit slower with people, but I'm doing my best.  Sometimes while I take some time to think how to explain things clearly or simply, he just jumps right in and goes.  Its a bit frustrating at times, but I'm handling it pretty good I think.  So yeah, he's ready to take the lead. 
     Then on Saturday we had a scary experience.  We had a member referral to go see a guy named Cedric Tipene.  He told us that Cedric had a dog that barks, but's just a big teddy bear.  The directions were a bit dodgy, but we thought that we could find it good enough.  We we go down a long driveway up to the fence.  Up on the deck we see a rottweiler.  I thought 'oh great!  Well, Brother Pou said it was just a big teddy bear.'  So we decided to go in.  Elder Clark went first (I'm smart enough to never go first when dealing with strange dogs) and was right about to make friends with the dog, when I see another rottweiler come tearing around the corner.  My first thoughts were "brother Pou didn't say anything about 2 dogs!  Oh crap!"  Luckily the owner trained them to recognize to people's personalities, and luckily we had a good enough personality to make friends.  The guy in the house ended up letting us come in, and we're going back to teach him on Wednesday.  I hate dogs.  I don't think I'm ever going to get one.  
     Thank-goodness I'm still healthy, happy and having the time of my life here in Kiwi-country (still have yet to see one).  But things are going well and moving forward.  Love you all!

Elder Sorensen

Can you find me?

I'm on the right side

(From Sister Lekias) Dear Elders and Sisters,

Sorry I didn’t get this photo to you all earlier, but President and I have just returned from Niue Island.

What a wonderful sight you all are.  WE LOVE YOU, and are proud of the PMG Missionaries you are all becoming.

What a wonderful experience we have all had hearing from an Apostle of the Lord, I must admit I am still rereading the wonderful notes I took from that meeting and continue to feel uplifted and inspired.  I hope you all feel this way too.  We can all do better and qualify for the Lord’s blessings in our lives.

I know that this year is going to be amazing, but it is also going to stretch each one of us, if we want to accomplish our goal of 2012 baptisms in 2012.  We can do it, because we are NZAM Missionaries and we serve in the greatest mission in the world.

I hope you can feel the excitement and are ready to get on board and work harder than you have ever worked before!!!!

Hope you enjoy the photo,

Lots of love
Sister Lekias

Monday, January 23, 2012

Kia ora 23 January

Kia ora koutou kotoa!

     This week was amazing!  I got to shake hands with Elder Quentin L. Cook of the quorum of the 12 Apostles!  It was an amazing experience.  That was pretty much the first thing he did, was get up and say that he wanted to shake everybody's hand.  We sat near the back and we watched them go row by row.  A chapel filled with Elders and Sisters.  As I watched him shake their hands I noticed that he would look deep into everybody's eyes.  Kinda freaked me out when I first noticed it.  but I got to go up and shake hands with Elder and Sister Cook, Elder and Sister Collister, Bishop (?) and Sister McMullin (presiding bishopric), Elder and Sister Watson, and lastly Elder and Sister Hamula.  Pretty neat, eh?  The visit from Elder Cook and the other general authorities was truly a God-send.  I've thought of some ideas to keep myself happy and lots of things to do.  I'm so grateful I was able to be a part of that, unlike when I missed Elder Bednar because I was out in the country.  All their comments at the conference were golden.  I just wish I didn't have the head-ache, and that I had a perfect memory to record all their words.  There's no way to rewind and replay the past is there?  Just kidding.  I got heaps of notes out of it and I go through it often
     This week went pretty good with our investigators too.  Sadly Hetaraka (H) didn't accept the commitment to come to church, and didn't come to church so he is no longer set for baptism.  But we were able to set another investigator.  We found out that our most progressing investigator is moving just outside of our area!  Tasman and his wife Olipa are moving to second ward.  That was the investigator that we were able to set for baptism.  And they're moving to Elder Florence and Elder Wilson's area.  I'm sure they'll take care of them and bring them into the ward there.  Dos is moving forward with his testimony, but he's having a hard time kicking his desire to smoke.  And our last lesson with Hetaraka (H) was on the sabbath day, but we had to cut it short so we couldn't find out what his concern was.  With God's help we'll be able to provide the solutions for them to accept.  
     Things are still good with my companion Elder Clark.  We have things we're working on, but there's no problems in our companionship.  I'm happy healthy and having a good time!!

Crapes with NZ ice cream, jam, and chocolate

My companion got eaten by fleas.  Can you find the 11 bites in the picture?  
(he now has about 30 bites on the same arm)

Home made chilli-cheese chips!

Arohanui! (All my love)
Elder Sorensen

The owner of this internet cafe just came up and gave us a few pictures from Whangarei area that she took. Here they are.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Kia ora Jan 16th

Kia ora koutou kotoa!

     This week was pretty nice weather.  Friday and Saturday were beautiful!  You get to see the really high puffy white clouds, nice and cool, and best of all there was a nice breeze.  Made most people really happy, which I always appreciate.  This week's been nice and sunny, and the ground is drying up so we can go play in the fields for P-day today!
     I am still enjoying my time here with Elder Clark.  He's the man.  He is so good with our investigators.  Always has good questions to get them thinking, talking, and applying the gospel in their lives. 
     H is doing pretty good this week.  We've taught him the restoration and the gospel, and he just loves it.  We followed up this week on his prayer about Joseph Smith, and he said he's received his answer!  We also found out that he smokes drinks, and sadly we found a couple of bongs on his deck which means someone in the house does drugs.  But with his answer about Joseph Smith should make it much easier to help him quit.  We went over once and his nephew was there and sat in for the lesson, took a Book of Mormon, and committed to read it.  He's pretty quiet, hard to get to talk, but he reads quite a bit and says he likes it.  We also found some good fellowship for him that we'll be bringing over for this week and the next few.  We're pretty excited about him.  Then this morning we went over and played ping-pong with him for about an hour.  
     We also have a couple of others that are getting close, but our big focus is praying for and finding people who are ready and willing to keep commitments.  Praying works, its a righteous desire, and we're going to work hard and qualify, then watch the miracles flow in.  This week is going to be good.
     We're especially excited about the mission conference on Friday.  It'll be my first time to shake an apostle's hand.  It feels the same as waiting for Christmas.  But we've got lots of work to do to prepare to get there.
     Sorry its a bit short today, but we've got other things we've been reporting on as well.  I love you all and I keep you in my prayers!!

Elder Sorensen

Hi Mum,
    I don't want to put stress on you.  But I've realized that my shoes aren't going to hold up the rest of my mission.  Could you please send me some new shoes?  As you can see from the pictures, its just the soles that are worn out.  But remember "Every soul is precious in the site of God."  I've been wearing out my sole to save souls.  Let me know what you can do, please and thank you!  Love you so much Mum!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Moday 9th Jan, 2012

Kia ora koutou kotoa!!

     This last wee was so busy.  I felt like you Mum, the program was working and it was one of the busiest weeks I've ever worked.  And on top of that La Nina decided to come to New Zealand.  Its been a pretty weird summer compared to last year being so much cooler and wet.  I'm not complaining though.  Last year there was heaps of days that were just unbearable.  But this year there's only been like 2 or 3.  One of them last week too.  Muggy, death through the hole in the ozone, and you could feel the sweat drip down your face, chest, armpits, just unbelievably hot.  Then everything cooled down again.  Which I'm still excited about.
     This week was full of miracles too!!  Throughout the week we were able to find 3 people who accepted the baptismal invitation!  All three of them were on the first lesson too!  
     The first one was named Michael.  I was on trade off's with Elder Wilson in my area and we were trying to contact a semi-old potential investigator who we found out had moved.  As we walked back down the long driveway I heard some loud music pumping.  From past experiences I thought, "there's no way these people are going to listen"  but through lots of other thoughts I said why not.  We knocked on his door and a young teenager with blond/bleached hair and a rod piercing through his nipple answered the door.  That really took me off guard, but I told him about the message that we share and how it can really help him in his life.  To my surprise he agreed to let us come back the next day.  We went back and taught him the restoration.  When Elder Clark was teaching about the 1st vision he told Michael to pay attention to his feelings.  As my companion related Joseph Smith's experience to him, he started tearing up!  We told him how the spirit can work in people's hearts and feelings.  He loved the idea about the book of Mormon and accepted the invitation to be baptized.  
     The second one came as we were walking by this house with a couple taking things from their car inside.  We asked if we could help and he said nah.  But he told us to come inside from the rain.  We asked if we could share our message with him and how it could really bless him.  We taught him the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  He too agreed to be baptized.
     The third person came from a former investigator that we didn't know was a former.  We were trying to find another potential investigator but found out that they had previously met with Elders.  We taught about how to build and keep a testimony, which is prayer, scripture study, and church attendance.  We tied it to baptism and asked if she would prepare herself to be baptized and she agreed!  
     Amazing things are happening in this area.  Now the real hard work comes to guide them into the waters of baptism.  I'm so grateful for the gospel and how much it blesses families who listen and follow its precepts.
Elder Sorensen

Monday, January 2, 2012

Kia Ora 2012!!

Kia ora Whanau!!

     This week was quite an eventful and fun week.  Transfers were last week, and does anybody have any guesses?......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
I'm still here in Whangarei and........................
I have an awesome new companion.  His name is Elder Clark, and he's from Utah.  Down between Spanish Fork Payson, called Woodland hills.  We had a great few days already, and we're having heaps of success!  He is a miracle worker.  
     We had a miracle find on Thursday night.  We were biking along and a girl yelled out "hi Elders".  My first reaction was to wave and keep going, but I knew I should go talk to her.  Besides not many people call us 'Elders' besides members.  Most people call us 'brothers'.  So we talked and found out she's a less active member and has a non member partner.  She wants to come back to church this new year, so we set up a time for the next week and we left.  about 8:45 we were wondering who to see who wouldn't be too far away so that we could get back in the flat on time.  Then Elder Clark had an idea and said that we didn't even share a spiritual thought with them.  So we went back and asked them if we could share a message.  They said yes and we did the how to begin teaching bit where we set up expectations and share the blessings.  They're pretty excited.
     We also me another guy who is the person a member is working with to share the gospel with.  Previously Brother Holtz had invited him and we played touch rugby for one P-day.  We ran into him by chance and he agreed to have the lessons.  We knew the spirit was there as we talked and we believe that if we'd had a proper lesson then we could have set him for baptism.
     That, plus more, has all been just since Thursday, and so now that we have full weeks we're going to have heaps of miracles!  Elder Clark is awesome, he works hard, has the faith, he's not shy, and he's anxious to help our investigators learn about and understand the gospel.  

     We had a massive cyclone come through this week starting about Wednesday, and went through Saturday.  On Friday night there was heaps of lightning.  About 10:30 before I went to sleep I saw flashes from over the mountains, but didn't hear much thunder.  I stayed up about 10 minutes watching until I was so tired I basically passed out.  But then 4 o'clock in the morning I wake up to a huge boom!  It was right over the flat, so you could hear a couple of cracks, then the big bangs.  Pretty fun, and it woke up heaps of other people we've talked to too.
     So its been a fun week, and I think this transfer and this year is going to be awesome!

Elder Sorensen