March 31, 2014

March 31, 2014

Thank you all for the Birthday wishes and presents!  It was a good day.  I've definitely had better, but considering the circumstances, it was good.  I'm glad you got the email from Sister Dillon.  I had dinner planned with them back in February.  Such a cute couple.  They made us some yummy chicken!  And then we had Apple pie.  Yes the maplenut ice cream here is really good!  The Dillon's stock up on it I guess because it sells out quickly.  So I felt bad eating their stash, but Mmmmmm.. hopefully you will get to try some of it one day.  It's a seasonal one though so it will be tricky.  I have pictures of my Birthday but I forgot my cord.  Did you get the pictures last week?  Hopefully they worked that time.  If not I guess I will just have to wait.  Thank you for the presents!  I especially liked the Sherlock T-shirt!!!!!!!!!! :) Ha ha.. You all are the best!!!  We also just got back from the Sequoia's.  The awesome Horan's drove down to take us with our Zone.  It was pretty chilly up there.  There was snow and ice on the paths.  But it was fun being with them.  What troopers to drive 3+ hours just to take me and Sister Allred there.  They woke up at They woke up at 3:30am to be here at 6:30 this morning to leave.  I love them so much!  Look for the postcard in the mail! :)  And yeah Ida Ormsby's sister is just like her.  They are a cute family.

That is funny you found the green poster.  Yeah I remember making it, but thought we threw it away.  No never did I think I would be speaking Spanish later on in my life.  Wish I was better with it, but I know enough I guess to do what the Lord wants me to do.
Things here are good.  Jessica is still set to be baptized the 13th.  Dion didn't come to church so we have to postpone hers.  But Tionna and her little sister Daneea are planned for this Sunday after Conference.  Fingers crossed things stay solid.  They are such a floppy family.  They always cancel things and/or it is super complicated to teach them.  James Eason, we sadly dropped.  His mother is not happy we are coming over, so to not push the mom, we have to stop.  It's sad that parents won't let their kids chose for themselves.  I know being a parent isn't easy though and they just want what is best for them, but it's still hard and sad that even though the kids want to learn, we have to stop because of the parents.  And one of our other investigators we dropped yesterday.  He is our neighbor Armando.  He was drinking when we were talking to him.  Sister Allred told him to dump it, but he said it's not beer, God just turned it into tea, and that God wants him to drink.  Hummmm.... yeah I don't think so.  We asked him if he wants to change and he said no.  Ha ha..

I enjoyed the General Women's Broadcast too.  I ached to be with all of you though.  It made me sad thinking you all were together having a fun girls night out.  Next time!  But I loved all the songs and the incredible spirit that it brought to the meeting.  Every one of them I just felt peaceful.  It was good.  This week we also had Sister's Conference.  The topic was "The Time That's Left" and of coarse we talked a lot about how we can use what time we have left to the fullest.  This was the first sisters conference where I felt inspired and motivated to change.  Probably because I only have 2 more months left...but it was just excited, always is, when we learn more about who we are and what we are here to be.  We now have 61 sisters here in the mission!  When we got home, I opened the card I got from Grandpa.  Well, before that, earlier that morning (so Thursday morning), as Sister Miller and I were driving up to the conference (we were on exchanges) I sat there and realized I would never get handmade holiday cards from Grandma again.  I was hurt, got upset and was confused on why God didn't allow me to say goodbye to her.  I stayed composed though and tried to think eternally and to stay focused at the conference and like I said it was great.  Well I opened the card from Grandpa and broke down in tears to see that my prayers were heard in that I was sent a handmade birthday card with all the hugs and loves he had for me.  It crushed me to not see grandma's signature as well, but how sweet it was to know that Grandpa is still there and loves me and is trying to carry on Grandma's love and traditions.  Thank you Grandpa in remembering me and doing that for me.  You have no idea how much that meant.  I sure love you and can't wait to see you soon.

It has been a touchy week, but I've realized I need to turn more to the Lord in my struggles and to get strength from him.  He knows how to succor me and pull me through this time.  (Alma 7:11-12).  I sure wish I could throw my hands up and quit, but I know I have all of you cheering me on and are seeing that I finish what I've started.  So thank you.  2 more months.  Can't give up now!

I love you all so much.  I'm so anxious to get home, but beyond terrified too.  I'm starting to realize things won't be the same when I get back.  Life moved on for all of us and it's going to be a lot of adjustment getting back into things.  I don't want to see the sad that's happened (deaths, sicknesses, aging, even government stuff, etc.)  So bare with me and love me for the awkward person I'm going to return as.  Hopefully it won't be too bad.  Ha ha..

Hope this week is a good one for all of you and you feel of my love for you guys.  I sure feel yours, or else I wouldn't still be out here.  I love being a missionary and am learning to love the different trials and obstacles that God puts into our lives.  I know all of these things are for my good and ours.  You all are the best!

LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!
- Sister Sorensen

March 24, 2014

I can't believe my Birthday is here again.  I thought I had one last year! ;)  Ha ha jk.  It sounds like you all had a fun.....and long trip to Illinois.  That makes me happy you got grandpa to go for part of it.  Did grandpa have fun?  What all did you do there?!  I can't wait to go out there and explore!  How was Kaylor's homecoming though from what you heard?  I'm sure it was good.
Well lately I've been thinking back on my mission and I feel like I don't have any exciting moments or stories.  But this week was one of those weeks when you do!  I'm a bad story teller, so hopefully all this will make sense in an email and I have time to write everything.  But the biggest exciting story is with an investigator named Jessica.  The missionaries have been teaching her for awhile but her dad is against her getting baptized.  Well we found out she doesn't need his permission since he doesn't have full custody of her, she only needs her moms.  So we sent a call out to the mission to pray for her and that her dad's heart will be softened in accepting her being baptized.  We kept asking her if she talked to him but she kept saying no, that she's scared, but thinks she'll talk to him at her sister's Birthday party.  So yesterday was the party.  She invited us to it so that we could meet him and hopefully help soften his heart in that he sees and knows us.  It was nerve wracking to watch her keep approaching her dad trying to figure out when to bring it up.  I felt very awkward being there and especially if it would go bad to be there.  Few minutes past by and she came up to us and said that if there is anything that he has learned from her these past 16 years, is that when she sets her mind on something, she never backs down, and that he can see she really wants this.  So he gave her the approval!!!!!!!!!!!!! Saturday night we actually went over and talked to her and actually asked her when she wants to be baptized.  She had the date for next week (30th) but we knew we had to move it back since she hasn't been to church twice.  We talked about it and she said April 13th.  When she said that, we all felt so excited and good about it.  But we knelt down and asked Heavenly Father if that is when He wants.  When Jessica said Amen, all of us just looked at each other smiling.  We knew that was right, but now just had to get the approval from dad.  And now having the approval, the 13th is set in stone for her to be baptized!!!!!!!!!!  We are just SO excited!!!!!

The other story was with Tionna.  She's having a word of wisdom hold back, so we asked her when she thinks she will be ready.  She said April 19th.  Sister Allred and I were kind of bummed to hear that because we feel she could do earlier, but again, we knelt down and prayed.  When she said Amen, she said "We need to do it sooner, like the 6th."  So, we prayed again and asked about the 6th.  The feeling we felt the 2nd time compared to the 1st was an answer there that the Lord knows when these people need to be baptized.

Also this week, this Saturday we had a Stake Women's Conference.  I'm running out of time, but it was a really good conference.  Its theme was "Keepers of His Light" and centered on having Christs light within us.
Sister Vicki Marshall and me
The main speaker Sister Vicki Marshall from Las Vegas grew up in the Convent.  So she told of her experience as a nun and her run ins with Mormons growing up.  She converted to this church because of a neighbor who listened to the promptings of the holy ghost in making a cherry pie for her.  Why not apple, berry, peach, etc pie?  Cherry?  Hummm...  Cherry however was Vicki's all time favorite and she would "sale her soul" for that pie. :)  This neighbor then invited her to the Relief Society activity and there the Holy Ghost blew off all the negative things she heard and saw in this church.  She was later baptized and now goes around sharing her story.  She was so awesome to listen to.  I could sit there all day.  Sister Crandall and I got a picture with her.  She was so happy to see us sacrificing our time and helping find stubborn people like her to bring the gospel to.  It was nice.

Well my time is up.  Thank you for everything and all the Birthday wishes.  It should be a good day I hope.  I love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Sister Sorensen

March 17, 2014

Sisters Allred, Crandall and me with Shamrock shakes.
Thank you so much for your thoughtful letter.  Made me teary eyed knowing you all love me and are here for me.  I'm glad to hear you made it to Illinois safely!  How long are you going to be there?  What's your stops on the way back?  Any fun stops there in Alton?  There is a gentleman in the ward that served in Illinois a while back.  (like 25+ years) when it was all one mission.  I couldn't think of the place Amanda and Solomon lived but I knew it started with an A.  He said Aurora, and I recognized that and said yes, but then realized later that that is where Solomon's parents live.  So you'll have to let me know what ward or area they live in and see if they were around at the same time.  Probably not, but oh well.  Hanford I feel like there are tons of connections back home.  For bishops wife (Shirley Sopp) is Ida Ormsby's sister!  Awhile back she asked if I knew Thurgoods, but Saturday at a ward activity she came up to me and said she thinks her family knows ours.  She asked me if dad was a dentist in Clearfield.  I said yes.  I asked her the name again and she said Don and Ida Ormsby.  My mouth dropped with excitement.  I told her yeah I know them and can't help but associate them with Scouts and seeing them on the 4th of July and getting food at their booths.  She said yeah they are big into that.  Ha ha..  Cool huh?!?!
Well it's been a good week....only in that Sister Crandall has been here with us the past few days!!!!  Wednesday President Gelwix called and said she will be coming to stay with us for a couple days.  It was been so great being back with her and getting to work together.  This is her last transfer and so she's a traveling trainer.  I'm scared for her to leave.  It's been nice having someone love me.  But tomorrow we have a Zone Conference, so she will probably be leaving then.  Sigh..

That's sad to hear about the Brown's.  What a crazy couple months and year they have been having.  Let them know I love them.  I'm sure they wouldn't really want that news going around, but thanks for letting me know.  Just tell them I've been thinking about them and can't wait to see them all soon.  Have we gotten any word back on their house in Montana then for this summer?

Not a whole lot of new reports to report on.  Dion and Tionna have been slacking.  I feel Tionna can get baptized, but Dion is just taking her sweet time.  But they both didn't keep their appointments this past week and didn't come to church.  But we met a couple other people that have dates.  We saw James Eason yesterday and talked to him about the Strength of Youth pamphlet and how to be better individuals.  He opened up a lot on his addictions to drugs and his time in jail.  He really just wants to be forgiven and leave the past behind.  He said just the other day he bought some weed but seconds later felt to give it back.  He did and just said the person could keep the money.  He's been through a lot and I hope he can feel and see how the Gospel can literally change his life.  We set a date for April 12th.  We hope he continues to have this drive to change and be better.

I want to thank you like always for your thoughts and prayers.

I love you all!!!!!!!!!!!! 79 more days!!!!!!!!
- Sister Sorensen

March 10, 2014

Banana Split at Superior Dairy

I finally went to the famous Superior Dairy here!!!  A gentleman in the Elders ward took us out for Hot Dogs and ice cream.  We got a banana split to share.  It was big.  I don't understand all the talk about the place, but it was still fun.  I'll have to take you all there too.  And yes, I finally got the package.  The blame isn't on the mission office this time, it goes on my zone leaders!  I guess they had it in their trunk and just kept forgetting to give it to me.  But I got it last Monday and have been loving it every night!  Thank you for doing that!  

Guess who I met this week?! A distant relative of ours I'm sure.  Like I said, there are a lot of Sorensen's here in Hanford and everyone asks me if we're related.  There is a Kathy Sorensen in the ward that we've been trying to stop by and see.  Last Tuesday after Zone Meeting, we went to Panda Express and there was a lady standing in front of me talking to me asking if we just had a meeting.  I figured she was a member in the other ward because she knew all the missionary/church terms: zone leaders, district meeting, conference, etc.  I asked her what ward she's in and she said 2nd.  I told her that's the one we're in and inroduced myself.  She then said her name is Kathy...Kathy Sorensen!  AHHHH!!!  She then looked at my badge and smiled.  We got talking and she asked me..."are you from Manti?"  I said my grandparents and cousins live there.  She then asked me if I know the Blackhams!  I told her I went to school with one of the kids: Jordan.  It was just fun talking about people we know and finding connections.  As she was leaving she told me I have to come over and we can talk more to see where we're related.  So that's exciting.  I'm sure there are a lot of Sorensen's in Manti too, but it was a mini blessing from God to help me smile.

This week we set a baptism date for Dion and Tianna.  Dion is the mom, Tianna is 18.  I feel bad, I don't know what all I've told about our investigators and area, but we have a recent convert Thomas who was baptized earlier this year.  We've been teaching his family now.  I feel Tianna is pretty solid for the date (March 22nd).  She's been coming to YW's, church, etc and loves it.  Dion won't come to church because she doesn't have a dress.  Sad that that's what is keeping her back.  I personally think it's an excuse, but hopefully I'm wrong.  At Hannah's House I've been helping them sew pillow cases!  You should be proud of me mom! :) Ha ha..  I think today we're making scrapbooks.  I love going over there and doing crafts like that.  Gets my mind off of things.  
Well I hope your week is good.  Good luck Dad with your choice for work.  Be safe on your travels coming up.  I will look for the letters in the mail.  Hopefully I can figure out how to do the passport thing.  I love you all am looking so forward to our reuniting in 13 more weeks!  And I know it's super in advance, but can you start questioning bishop what he wants my topic to be when I get back?  You know me and the need for advance notice!  Ha ha..  Thanks!!!!!
I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Sister Sorensen

March 3, 2014

March 3, 2014

Thank you for the loving letter.  I don't even know how you do it, but every time I read your letters I literally feel all your love for me and just smile.  I have never known true love until being here.  I hope you all really know how grateful I am for each and every one of you.  Thank you for the letters, emails, packages, kisses, smiles, hugs, and just concern and love for me.  I appreciate it so much!!!
Things this week went good.  Honestly can't think of anything new or exciting.  We met a couple new people and are teaching this family (the Eason's).  I don't know if I mentioned James a while back, but we met him outside his house smoking and asked if we could come back and talk more of Christ.  We did and his mom and sisters sat in on the lesson too and just really loved us being there.  They knew we couldn't stay long and so they said, "go outside, and then come right back in, so that way you can be here another hour!"  Smart kids!  Ha ha..  But we had a return appointment last night but they cancelled.  So we are really hoping tomorrow they don't.

Yes we have been getting some rain the last few days luckily!!!  It's been nice.  Now the fog is here though too.  The mornings are weird in running in it.  You just are drenched in water by the end of your run only because of all the moisture you are running in.  Ha ha..  

That's so exciting Kaylor is coming home soon!!!!!! Can't wait to hear all his stories.  Hope you all have fun on your trip to see Amanda, Solomon, and Gideon.  Yes I would love to go out there and see them when I get back!   And also, no I have not received the package yet.  Again, that is my mission.  You literally have to send stuff forever in advance in order for me to get it on time.  We only get packages when the Zone Leaders go to Fresno for meetings.  So not sure when the next time they are headed there especially with Transfers coming up.  No meetings.  Sorry!  Thank you though for it and I will love it when I get it!  It's weird to think I'll be 23.  I remember turning 21 and freaking out because that was the age to go on a mission.  Yet here I am now, 2 years later on a mission still, and getting older.  Yikes!  Jim and Amie Horan said they are coming to visit me that Monday the 24th to celebrate early with me.  I am super excited for that!  I miss them so much!  I miss everyone in Los Banos so much!  I can't wait to take you there!  I sure hope I haven't missed any ones Birthdays.  I've tried to send a card out around then, so sorry if it comes too early or too late.  And if I've forgotten all around, I apologize.  It's hard to keep track of everyone being away!

I'm happy to hear you all are studying together about Paul. I don't know much about him either but it sounds like you all are learning a lot and applying the things you learn to yourselves.  I've been reading a lot in True to the Faith.  I love reading in the scriptures a principle and then reading more about it in True to the Faith.  I have learned I can't just sit and read and try to find something in my studies, but to read something and go off of that.  Research it.  So like background, history, definitions, etc.  That's where I've found a lot of my understanding has come from the last little bit.  I miss being able to pull up or the mormon channel and looking up topics there or listening to them.  Can't wait to do that regularly! :)  

Well I love you all!!!! Hope this week is a good one for all of you.  Don't forget about me!!!!  Good luck dad with hiring someone new.  If you need any help there when I get back, I'd love to.  Take care!!!!

- Sister Sorensen