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, April 30, 2012

April 30th

Kia ora koutou!    

     This week was a good week.  We did a lot of work with our recent converts to make sure they're still excited about church and not just baptism.  With the help of our ward mission leader we're going to organize a trip to the temple for recent converts and maybe investigators.  One family is doing a really good job fellowshipping Pange.  They invite him over for family home evenings and also helping him with reading lessons.  Maa and her kids are doing well.  They're even hosting a cottage evening at their house this week on friday.  Pretty cool for only being baptized for a week.
     We're also looking forward working more with a couple of part memeber families this week.  There's Nathan Tufuga, and Tala Tuala.  Nathan has been taught in the past but when the missionaries shifted they lost him or he moved or something.  But we've picked him up again.  He told us in our last lesson that he believes its true, as in that Joseph Smith was a true prophet.  He just has a fear of baptism.  A fear of messing up.  So we're excited to teach him the gospel for our lesson tonight, and help him see that we're not going to be perfect, and the Savior asks us to repent when we do mess up.  
     Tala is really keen.  He's been to church a few times when his son invites him.  We had dinner and a lesson with him last tuesday which went really well.  He started asking good questions like "why do people in your church always say 'I know the church is true'?"  and he also made a statement about people misunderstanding things.  That you can't go and ask anybody else, but the people who share it.  Then he said that would really like to understand our church.  We're excited to meet with him on Tuesday.  His only concern is that he works a lot.  If overtime is available he takes it.  But he's keen.

Elder Sorensen

Monday, April 23, 2012

April 23rd

Kia ora koutou!

     This week felt so good!  Such a success.  The Pekepo family were all baptized and confirmed!  It was so good!  A bit more prepared so not as much running around.  It was such a spiritual baptism!  There was a bit of mis-communication, and so there ended up being 5 musical items, but it was timed good and didn't go too long.  I played the piano for the hymns (Sister Davidson in Whangarei gave me a simplified hymn book that I can play)  and then I also sang in one of the musical items with a group.  And the best part was that Alisha asked me to baptize her. Cheyeanne had Elder Lee baptize her, and when he did, he put her too far down and hit her head on the bottom of the font.  But don't worry she's fine.   
     When we first met Maa, she said that we were the first missionaries she let in her house.  She's been on a course for about 4 years or something, and so she's been too busy.  But I know it was God that convinced her to let us in this time, and now look what has happened.  Their family is on the way to eternal life.  
     And we finally did it.  We reached 200 PBTW for the week (street contacts).  We finally just had to stop judging in our minds who to talk to and who not to.  It made all the difference.  So as we apply that for this week, we're hoping to reach more.  Our other focus for this week is on reaching the standard for new investigators.  Elder Walker invited us to look over what made some potentials become new and others not.  So we'll be looking at that and seeing what we can do to change.
     We have a few potentials that we're looking forward to working with this week.  Including  a part member family that we're going to have dinner with on Tuesday.  Pretty excited!  

Elder Sorensen

Monday, April 16, 2012

April 16th

Kia ora koutou!

     This last week was one of the hardest, but also most rewarding of my mission so far.  Pange got baptized!!!  But it was the most stressful because nobody would help organize his baptism.  But he got baptized, and he even received the priesthood on sunday!  
     As you can see, through the blessings of Heavenly Father, we are succeeding!  As I think over the course of my time here in this area, I've seen God's hand in this area.  We've been able to save 3 in the last 3 weeks, and we have 4 set for this coming weekend.  Maa, Cheyeanne, Alisha, and now Bodie (a 10 year old boy who bore his testimony on fast sunday that he's not a member, but loves coming to church).  Sometimes its so hard to see God's hand while I'm going through trials and tests of my patience and faith, but the blessings that are coming out are great!  I finally understand how justice, mercy and Grace fit together.  
     I've known that the gospel requires perfection at the end, and to strive for it in this life.  I knew that mercy let me try again and again.  But I've been so tired of trying and feeling like I'm failing because "I could have done better."  But I read a talk that put my thoughts into words.  I knew that grace comes "after all we can do".  But I kept thinking "I can't even do my best all the time."  I can't sprint a whole race, and I feel like I'm expected to here in the mission.  I don't know, maybe I am.  But the talk explained that we are rewarded, and gives us strength as we 'progress'.  Then mercy comes in when we repent and are willing to try again.  
     The Sisters had a hard week with their set Viliami being admitted to the hospital over the weekend he was supposed to be baptized.  But they've told me that he's willing to be re-set for this Friday!  We're going to have miracles this weekend.

Elder Sorensen

Thursday, April 12, 2012

April 9th

Kia ora whanau!!

     General Conference last week was amazing wasn't it.  I think it was one of the best ones of my lifetime.  I got so many insights and things that I can work on.  I also found a lot of comfort in it as well.  
     I'm grateful for the work and the progress our investigators have made this week, but we didn't anticipate well enough for general conference and being able to still hit our goals.  I know I should have been more on top of it, but I've just felt so overwhelmed trying to do everything.  To be honest I'm getting pretty stressed out.  I feel like when we do the most work, the most 'real' progress with our investigators, and things are just going good, then numbers don't show it well, and so we get so many commitments that I cant keep track of them all and I get overwhelmed and am ready to break.  But when we do average work and some things just fall into place and make the numbers look good, then we get praised. 
     Pange is having some stress.  We taught him the word of wisdom, and he quite coffee and tea right away.  But when we taught him the word of wisdom and he went home and told his partner the two options she was pretty angry.  The soonest we can meet with them is Tuesday.  I don't know what I'm going to say, but we're going to meet with both of them and hopefully sus it all out.  Its getting a bit late too with his baptism on friday and all.  Ma'a and the twins are doing well though.  The twins are excited and ready for baptism on the 21st.  And we heard some great things from Ma'a.  Sadly on Saturday the fellowship (even from the stake YM presidency) decided to take Ma'a and the kids to the beach instead of conference.  The beach was low tide, so they just took the kids to the park.  When Ma'a told us about it she said "It was so boring sleeping in the car.  I should have come to conference instead."  When she finally came to the Sunday afternoon session she was so gutted that she missed the first 3.  So things are looking good for them.  
  Sister Funaki and Sister Vailea are doing well.  They know what its going to take to reach their goal for this month.  I just need to keep thinking of things to help motivate and encourage them.  

A flea that was trying to eat me, but I threw him in some hot water which did the trick.

Fijoa's taste so good!  I wish we had them in America.  You're really missing out. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

April 2nd!

This week was an average week I'd say.  We were able to maintain almost everything, which felt good, but I know we need to improve.  I think the best part of the week was that 6 of our investigators made it to church!  I think thats the first time that I've been able to reach the standard of excellence since its come out.  I've reached five a couple of times, but it felt amazing to be able to hit six!  That was the real highlight of our week.  
     We had bit of a concern with Ma'a one of our sets.  We heard from one of our members that she thought that we were only there to teach and baptize her children and not her.  So yesterday we were able to go by and made sure that she knew we were there to help prepare her for baptism as well.  Our other set is Pangeariki.  He's doing well.  Understands everything that he needs to, to be baptized.  He used to drink heaps of coffee, but since we taught him he's given that up.  The only thing left thats holding him up is the law of chastity.  He knows the options of getting married and moving out.  He wants to get married, but his partner wants him to resolve his anger issues first.  So we need to talk with her and then have Pange and Judy decide what they're going to do.  But his desire to be baptized is through the roof.  The sisters talked to him on the street and he told them he was already a member.  So we're doing our best.
     The sisters did an amazing job pulling together a baptism for this weekend.  I think they said that you went to it.  Its amazing to watch how quickly and powerfully the sisters can work.  We need all the effort we can muster to reach our goal for this month.  Our district goal for this month is 10.  So we've accomplished 2, and have 4 set.  We need to make sure we don't let anybody fall through.  
     Guess what else I got to try this week.  Dog!  I actually ate it.  No april fools either.  Just look at the picture.  Sister Funaki was jealous when we showed her the picture and when we told her we still have some in the fridge she said she wants to try it.