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, May 28, 2012

May 28th

Kia ora Whanau!! 
     This last week was pretty good weather-wise.  Only a couple of really cold mornings.  On Wednesday Elder Lee and I could see our breath in the flat.  Too bad NZ doesn't have central heating.  Stayed pretty dry this week for the most part too.  
     This past week was a really good week.  Full of faith and success to follow.  We had a commitment from the zone leaders to pray with faith before and after every lesson, even if it fell through.  Because we did that we had a miracle this week.  We also got some good news from an investigator named Ana.  And a second miracle is that the zone leaders had some spare parts, so I was able to fix my bike to preserve my safety.  
     On Wednesday  we had a miracle.  We were working on one of the lists we got from the clerk.  We were trying to find men who have not served missions.  We went by a house, and no one answered the door.  We were about to leave when we heard something from the garage, so we decided to knock.  He said he'd come to the door.  Found he's a members brother staying with them because he'd just lost his job in Wellington.  To cut a long story short, we found out that he was baptized in 1975, but his family wouldn't let him get confirmed.  So we set him for that weekend.  Sadly something came up where he had to go take care of a sick brother for the weekend, and we couldn't find a way to  have him come to be baptized, but he's still just as keen.  So we'll reset him for this weekend.
     We also had some good news from our investigator named Ana.  We asked inspired questions in a conversational way, and found out that her real concern isn't that she hasn't got an answer, but that she was scared to change religions.  So we committed her to pray and ask for the confidence to follow what the Lord wanted for her (or something to that effect).  And we stopped by Thursday to follow up, but she said she'll tell us what happened on Monday (today).  So we feel good that she got her answer and that we'll set her for baptism tonight.  
      A couple of funny stories.  One day we had a random german shepherd follow us around for like 2 hours.  Also fixed my bike so I have front brakes again.

Elder Sorensen

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Tamaki, Manurewa/Papakura, Panmure/Waterview Zone Conference Photo

Dear Elders and Sisters,

What a blessing it has been to attend Zone Conference with you and a General Authority.  Elder and Sister Hamula taught many great and important truths that, if acted upon, will bless each and every one of us and the great NZAM.  Among the many great insights was his illustration on the four aspects of Faith.  As we learn and understand the (1) Doctrine---really study and ponder the eternal truths of the great Plan of Salvation, our (2) Hope in the Saviour increases.  As our Hope develops we are more prone to (3) Act on those things that will strengthen and develop our(4) Personal Witness of the very Doctrine we are seeking to understand.  As we continue on this Faith cycle—our Hope changes to Confidence, then to Assurance and over time—line upon line----we no longer Hope but are Certain in that thing we were initially seeking answers to.

This Faith cycle is a ‘Pearl of Great Price’ and if understood will guide you throughout your mission and beyond.  There will be no desire to be disobedient, there will be no home sickness or lack of urgency for the work.  On the contrary, your eye will be single to the glory of God and His great work to bring to pass the Immortality and Eternal Life of Man.  Our prayer is that each of you will “ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, if these things are true”…but remember… “ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ”….

We were also taught from a wonderful role play that we are the Physicians (doctors) and our role is to find the concern of the soul and prescribe the right Medicine (doctrine).  To prescribe the right medicine, we need to know what is available.  In other words—we have a responsibility as servants of the Lord to know the will and mind of the Lord.  We find this out by daily study.  We cannot afford to sleep in, miss our personal and companionship study if those who are ‘sick’ are relying on us to deliver the ‘medicine’ to heal their souls.  Elders and Sisters, we invite each of you to study from PMG and the scriptures daily and then ACT (that means being up every morning at 6:30am, and being ready-dressed in your proselyting clothes—for your study commencing 8:00am).  Ask questions of your companion, role play together and if you have not been using time wisely—then repent and move forward—and commence studying the Gospel like you have never studied before—Will you do it?

We were also reminded about self motivation—How we can be the best missionary we can every day of the mission.  Elder Hamula used Hebrews chpt 11 and chpt 12: 1-3.  He then reminded us in all that we do—keep our eye fixed on Jesus Christ.  If we do that we will never lose our motivation.

We want to close this email by referring to Numbers 13:17-21 and 25-33, then Chpt 14:1-9,22-24.  You will remember Elder Hamula sharing this experience with us.  In verse 33 we read… “and there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight”. 
In other words—if we think we are grasshoppers then those we associate with will think we are grasshoppers—and eat us up!!.  How does that apply to us Elders and Sisters?  If we think we cannot achieve 167 souls saved each month---then we won’t.  If we think our investigators won’t commit to baptism or come to Church, then they won’t.  We need to BELIEVE!!!!------do you Believe Elders and Sisters…???  We can do this, we have the Lord on our side.

With all this in mind we reminder each of you how we can take this the great NZAM to the next level..It will be by doing the following:

1.      Focus on Finding in all that you do..Find more people to teach---use the members, Ward Clerks (MLS reports like:  prospective Elders, 9 year old or older unbaptised, part-member families);
2.      Commit more often and earlier.  In other words----Act, then allow the Spirit to do the rest.  The invitation is to commit our investigators to baptism in the 1st lesson and if not the first at least by the second.

---Remember what you all said to Elder Hamula?   It Shall Be Done!

Elders and Sisters, we know that as you commit to the two invitations above, the Lord will bless you with power and in a real way be even like Nephi of old who was made “mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works” (see Helaman 10:5).  We love you and want you to know how proud we are of all that you are doing.  Keep up the great work, love each other, serve each other.  Love the members and help ‘establish’ the great cause of Zion here in the land of New Zealand.  May the Lord bless you all and keep you safe, happy, obedient and busy doing His work, is our prayer.

President and Sister Lekias

Monday, May 21, 2012

May 21st

Kia ora whanau!

     This week was a great week.  We had a combined stake baptism on Saturday.  There are 10 full wards in our stake, and only 2 wards participated by way of baptism.  Ours and Hillary ward.  Then we had Stake Conference on Sunday.  So Fa'apoi didn't get confirmed.  Stake Conference was great, and to top it off we had a great miracle.
     Stake Conference with Elder Bednar was great.  I learned a lot from each of the speakers.  One big thing that hit me was the talk about mothers.  I learned I don't have to be perfect without mistakes right now to do what I need to do.  As I do my best, I can be the right person at the right time for somebody.  And Elder Bednar's talk is something I can take to all my investigators and converts.  Gain a testimony, and continue to develop and deepen our conversion.  
     The miracle we had this week came from a PBTW.  His name is David.  We had just called one of our appointments to confirm if they'd be there, and found out that they didn't want us to come by.  As I hung up the phone, a man was hurrying past.  Its so easy to let them go by, but I stopped him and started talking to him.  Found out he just moved into the area and is ready for a change in his life, and we showed up at the perfect time.  We even were able to set him for baptism on the street!  We set up a lesson and committed him to come to church.  He was honest and showed up to the lesson, and came early to church to have a chapel tour.  He's so awesome!
     This week our district is striving to find 1 more person to be baptized, 2 new sets, and 8 new investigators.  It will really help us bring our focus onto finding and committing, and stretching our faith.  

Pictures from Stake baptism

Elder Sorensen

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mothers Day Call

May 13
Sorry, I wasn't able to call to set up the time.  But I hope you get this.  This morning I was going to do it, but got caught up with responsibilities.  We had study at 8, then we had to go to Johnstone rd. to do a companion study with the sisters, and Elder Lee had to come email to confirm time that he'll call.  He'll call at 11 (in 15-20 min) and then I'll call after that 12ish.  So if this cell phone is right, then that will be 5pm home time...ish.    
Elder Sorensen

May 15
Dear District Leaders,

President and I just want to thank you for being such outstanding leaders of the spirit.  We truly love each of you and appreciate your love of the Saviour and desire to serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength.

We hope you learnt much that you can apply to your districts from Leadership Meeting, so that we can save 2012 souls this year, keep up the great work.

We are looking forward to Zone Conference this week and for the opportunity to come seeking answers to our questions.

President and Sister Lekias

Monday, May 7, 2012

April (May) 7th, 2012

Kia ora whanau!

     This was a pretty busy week.  With transfers and everything.  Found out that both Elder Lee and I are staying here in Otara.  This week was also a bit of a hard week.  As hard as we tried to make lessons solid, heaps of them were falling through this week.  But next week we've been able to set up heaps of lessons.  We already have like 7 set up.  Elder Read also mentioned something that I've never noticed before.  He said "you can talk to 200 people, and teach 100 not interested people, but sacrament and with a date are the people who are keeping commitments and repenting."  Putting it that was made me see these key indicators in a new perspective.  I see how important getting investigators to sacrament is.  Not just to qualify investigators for their 3 times for church, but its their 'fruits of repentance'.  I guess I knew that a bit before, but it was pretty shallow.  
     So this week we have a focus on a part of the white handbook.  The part that says, "coordinate your visits with members with the ward mission leader."  We feel that our ward mission leader needs to do a lot more to get involved and coordinate with the ward more.  So we're going to have him organize our friend shares this week.  
     We've also been given a commitment from the Zone Leaders to have us set 2 people for May by this Tuesday night.   Its going to be a huge stretch but we're going to reach for it.  
     A couple of fun things this last week.  We were rushing to a home to help the tongan sisters (now Sister Vailea and Sister Lakai) to let them use my cell phone to call and sus out one of their sets for baptism.  On our way Elder Lee was going a bit faster than me, and we were passing a house with a tall fence.  A car pulled out about 3 feet in front of Elder Lee.  I was looking down, and when I looked up I heard a bang and saw Elder Lee face plant the side of the car.  Luckily neither the car or the bike was damage, or Elder Lee.  So we were laughing hard out about it.  Especially when we met with the sisters and told them what happened.  And when I acted it out, the couldn't stop laughing!  The member they were with was about to fall on the ground laughing.  We also had probably the tastiest dinner I've had on my mission yet.  They had a big chicken, stuffed with corned beef, spinach, and cream cheese.  On the side was baked/seasoned potatoes and kumara (koo-ma-ra) (tongan-kumala), and the most succulent Ham I've ever tasted!  
     Elder Lee and I have decided that the hill Cumorah should be pronounced Koo-ma-ra, like the sweet potato.
I forgot to tell you.  The weather here changed in the blink of an eye.  the end of the last week I was still wearing short sleeves during the day and the suit coat at night.  In the last week I'm now wearing my scarf, sweater and gloves.  Gets pretty cold at nights.

Elder Sorensen