April 21, 2014

April 21, 2014

Wow, lot has happened it sounds like and I am in shock! Ha ha..  Congrats Mark, Sabrina, Vanessa, Owen, and Sariah.  Can't wait to meet Chad!!!!  Thanks for the picture.  Hope he is a strong healthy baby.  Can't wait to hear about Dameon.  Hopefully next week I will.  Good luck Amanda, Solomon, and Gideon.  So fun!  Well all your changes has brought a few changes here.  Transfer calls were this weekend.  I will be staying here in Hanford for the remainder of my mission.  Sister Allred is going to Merced.  My new companion is Sister Bee.  She is in my zone, so I've seen her around the last couple weeks and she flew out to Fresno with us.  I don't know her super well, but it should be good.  She's a little different, but I think we'll get a long more than Sister Allred and I did.  So I'm glad.  Also just knowing it's for 6 weeks makes it more bearable too.  I believe she's from Georgia if I remember correctly.  So I've had a fellow Utahn (Crandall), one from all over (Miller), New York (Clawson), Texas (Hammer), Maryland (Wilhelm), Aruba (Odor), Tennessee (Allred), now Georgia (Bee).  Pretty good selection I'd say.  Guess when I go back east or south, I got hook ups!  Ha ha..
When will Matt be there?!  That will be nice for him to stay with us to save money and just have fun hanging out.  Laura, make up your mind on which room you want. ;) Ha ha jk.  You still liking your yellow room?  I'm sure Matt will like that more than a pink room.  Kimberly still living at home?  Awesome eggs by the way Kimberly!!!  Hard boiled?!  How much did you sell them for?  I'm sad I didn't get to decorate any this year.  Can't wait to play with all of you though.  Hopefully you're feeling better mom too so you can be ready to help the Nairs.

This week was good.  We had a Zone Conference here in Hanford.  We talked a lot about how to be a successful missionary.  The whole time I just kept thinking about how I can be a successful missionary when I get home.  How I can keep sharing the gospel with others.  I know it's going to be hard to keep up with stuff when life comes in the way, but hopefully I'll make time.  I think that's the dumbest excuse I've heard on my mission: "I just don't have time."  I keep my mouth closed most of the time especially when I feel like being sarcastic and rude to them by saying something like "It's a good thing God doesn't have time for you either then or else you'd be wasting his time."  Again, very harsh and I'd never say that, but I sure feel it and wish they'd realize what they are saying.  They won't or can't make any time for Heavenly Father or Jesus?  And when they can't make the time, they still expect Heavenly Father and Jesus to make time for them.  That's sad.  
Okay so quick updates this week:
- might be in the Los Angeles newspaper.  Was teaching a family and the press came to interview and shadow this family.  So they snapped a bunch of pictures of all of us.  
- met a black gentleman that told us Jesus is black and that we all evolved from black people because black is dominant where as white is recessive.  He asked for a BOM and had us autograph it.  I'm a superstar!
- met Elder Auna (Quorum of the Seventy) from Hawaii at our Stake Conference Saturday and Sunday.
-  found a bunch of Easter Eggs!!! (he he he.. I'll send the picture next week.)

Yesterday was the outgoing missionary farewell.  Sister Crandall and Sister Odor are headed home tomorrow.  :( So sad they are leaving.  It was an awesome farewell.  I saw LOTS of familiar faces from Los Banos there: Horan's, Hixson's, Forman's, Hernandez's, Branvold's, etc.  The Hixson's asked how you were doing. :)  We went with the Sheltons (Scott, Ivy, and Brian).  We talked Ivy into getting baptized sooner.  We set a date for May 31st.  Still hesitant for some reason, but I know she can do it!  So the farewell was good for her I think.  We went to the temple afterwards so they could get pictures of it.  They've never seen it, so that was exciting for them.  On the way home Ivy opened up a lot and so again I hope she's more receptive then previously to baptism and being a member.

I can't think of anything else big that happened this week.  Easter was good.  We had Stake Conference.  The temple president and his wife was there, Pres and Sis Gelwix were there, and then Elder Auna.  He was really cool.  Very laid back personality but good speaker.  After Conference, we went to our Ward Mission Leaders house (Bro Brasil) for Lunch.  Then went and said goodbye to a couple families Sister Allred wanted to.  Had dinner with the Kerr family.  It was a nice meal and they sure spoiled us with a yummy filled Easter basket, but the whole time it was sort of awkward.  The boys were not very respectful.  The parents were trying to have a nice fancy meal, but the kids were not picking up on the hints of using their silverware rather than hands, table manners, and social manners, etc. (the kids are from 8, 12, 15, 17).  I felt bad, but again it was very nice of them to have us over.  It was fun.  Then we broke into one of the Elders apartment and hid Easter Eggs and candy everywhere.  Couldn't break into the other Elders apartment, so we decorated their door.  Hopefully they liked that. :) Ha ha..  The rest of the night we spent in Fresno at the fireside.  Next farewell fireside is mine!  So weird.  Last transfer of my mission begins tomorrow.  44 more days.  

I love you all so much.  Thank you for all you do and for the courage and strength you've given me while I've been here.  Good luck this week.  Can't wait to hear from all of you and especially hear from all of you in a few weeks when I call home.  My church is from 11:30-2:30.  But we will figure a time out when it gets closer.  Take care!!!!  xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo
- Hermana Sorensen

April 14, 2004

Hello everyone!

I feel so rushed during emailing in that I feel there is so much to be said and read.  A lot of things went on this week and it sounds like you all had a busy one too.  That is crazy to hear you got my flight plans.  Around 3:00 then?!  Ahhhh.. It really is weird to think 7 more emailing days, 7 more weeks of being here.  I've mentioned it before, but I'm getting super scared to come home.  I keep having night mares.  Not bad or scary dreams, but just a lot where I wake up exhausted and more drained than anything and where I just want to cry because I don't want it to be like that when I get back.  I understand life goes on for both sides, and I can see now how RM's feel when they get back and how they feel depressed because they don't fit in.  But I know every missionary goes through that and I will get the hang of things.  Probably won't even have a problem with it and am worrying to much I will.  Just keep me busy and going when I get home with fun activities!!!  

This last week we had a lot of days inside.  Sister Allred has been having stomach problems.  We went to the doctors on Friday and they gave her medicine which helps at times.  So it's been nice to have catch up time on studies and getting things more organized.  It's also been nice to get out and teach.  The biggest stresser this week was getting everything set for Jessica's baptism.  Recap of her situation, the missionaries have been teaching her since October.  She has been wanting to get baptized since, but her dad kept saying no.  Well we came along and told her if her mom says yes, then she can get baptized since her mom has custody over her.  We told her of coarse she still needs to tell her dad and get his permission.  Well we got that a couple weeks ago at the BBQ.  He told her she needs to talk to her grandpa though and get his permission.  Thursday night we got everything finalized program wise and gave her the baptism form for her mom to sign when she got home.  Friday the mom still hadn't signed it and wouldn't sign it until Jessica talked to her grandpa.  That whole night the mom wouldn't give Jessica the grandpa's number or let her use the phone.  So it was frustrating Jessica.  Saturday we went over to see if she called him, but she still hadn't but was going to call him before the interview in a couple hours.  When we came over later for the baptism interview, Jessica looked beyond distraught and said her mom won't sign the paper and doesn't want her to get baptized this weekend.  Jessica went and talked to her privately, and all we could hear was the mom going anti on us and trying to persuade her from doing this.  Jessica stood her ground and a few minutes later came out angry but showed us that the paper was signed.  She started doubting everything herself and was confused why all this stuff was happening.  She wondered why if something was so true and good like this church, why does everyone degrade it and talk bad about it and not want me to be apart of it.  We told her that is all Satan.  He knows it's true and wants to keep you and everyone out of it.  The spirit was not there with us in all of our frustration.  She still went through with the interview, and afterwards was beaming and had that spirit back in her countenance.  We pointed that out to her, and she told us she knew this was true and would continue to fight to be baptized.

So that was all Saturday.  We were very nervous the rest of the day in the fear that the mom was super mad at us and would tell her not to do it.  Sunday morning we went over and woke Jessica up and to make sure she was ready for church.  She seemed ready and like nothing was wrong and things were still on.  The talks during Sacrament could not have been any better for Jessica.  I was just so happy and knew these were the talks meant to help her as she becomes a member.  It was the YM's presidency that spoke.  Thomas Clelland (baptized in Jan) talked about his baptism and his journey getting there.  The other speaker talked about the Atonement using an analogy of seminary students and donuts. (you'll have to look the story up.  It's about a seminary boy having to do 10 push ups for his class mates to receive a donut).  The other speaker talked about his baptism at age 16 and how he was the only member in his entire school and family (Pretty much like Jessica!) and how he had to defend his beliefs and rely on Heavenly Father.  It was great!  4:00 finally came and Jessica was baptized!!!!  I talked on the Holy Ghost.  She was baptized and confirmed since we have Stake Conference next week.  The Relief Society room was packed.  I've never seen such a turn out for a baptism like that.  During "half time" when they were changing, we let people bear their testimonies.  Bro Martin got up just balling and told Jessica he sees a lot of himself in her in that he was just like her where his family didn't approve.  Everyone was crying.  So powerful.  Jessica went up and bore her testimony.  And if everyone wasn't crying before, they sure were by the time she was done.  She really is such an incredible girl.  I have learned SO much from her in fighting for what you love.  I don't know how her family is going to accept her now, but to see that she knows that this gospel is true and will do everything in her power to live it, is inspirational.  Everyone kept coming up to me afterwards telling me how blown away they are with how strong she is.  She's a fighter and is going to make an awesome member. :)  So proud of her and so glad everything worked out to where she was finally able to be baptized!!!!  YAY!!!!!!
That of coarse was the highlight of the week.  Oh and guess what?!  Sister Allred and I found out that we're related.  We were watching "Mountain of the Lord" and they showed a guy plowing.  Allred said, "My great great great...grandpa was the first man to plow in Salt Lake".  I looked at her like "You can't lie to me like that.  That's my grandpa.  You can't fool me with that story."  So I said "William Carter?"  And she was shocked I knew.  I told her he's MY great great great...grandpa!  We were both just confused and in awww.  How weird is that?!  All because of Polygamy, we're related.  Ha ha.. jk  She comes from Sophronia and William.  Very interesting.

 Also this week we had a competition with the Zone on how many people we could invite to be baptized.  Our district lost, but it was kind of fun making that our main focus on every contact we made.  I found it very awkward in being so blunt, especially when people were NOT interested in our contact.  But it was still a learning experience for me to remember our purpose as missionaries.

So your one brief recap of this week is:
- We prayed with a Muslim.  Allred gave her a BOM.  The lady was scared to touch it in fear it was the Bible.

Hopefully you all enjoyed the story of Jessica and her journey in her baptism.  It was a great weekend.  Transfers are next week and I'll will be starting my last transfer.  It seems unreal that all the time of wishing for the end, that it's a lot sooner than I'd like now.  I hope I can keep being a missionary in all that I do when I get home.  I hope I don't forget or lose the things I've learned here.  I'm so glad I chose to come out.  If I knew it would be this hard I wouldn't have, so it's a good thing I didn't really understand! Ha ha..  I have loved the things I've learned through all the pain.  Thank you for pushing me with love and keeping me out here.  I can't wait to see you all in 51 days.  I LOVE YOU ALL SO SO SO SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox
- Hermana Sorensen

April 7, 2014

April 7, 2014

What a great Conference huh?!  I was just blown away at how similar but different all the talks were on.  We watched it at the church.  Yes I was the one with you dad that watched it at Winter Quarters.  That was fun.  I think watching it at the church is nice, but not as nice as it is watching it with family and being in your pj's.  Ha ha..  Did you go for a car ride during sessions or do anything fun?!  I'm sure the trees are just blossoming (from what I saw of temple square).  All the trees here have blossomed and are now sprouting the leaves.  We had a cold front this past week.  Really windy, but I'm sure it was still in the 70's or something.  Last night we went knocking doors and everyone was out walking, skating, playing, etc.  Really nice evening weather.  I can't wait for the summer.  

My favorite talks at conference (don't have my notebook for names) were Ballard's for sure.  I was shocked to see for once, that I have seen, an apostle follow-up like that.  I sure wish we were followed up more like that.  I think we all learn a lot and try to apply what we've learned but through time we forget.  I don't know if I liked it all just because I am a missionary and am trying to work with the members right now, or if I'd still like it if I was off my mission.  But the whole idea of following up and seeing if the members are really doing what they are suppose to do from what they've been told is genius.  Good call to repentance I guess.  I also liked the Olympic one with our "4 seconds".  And then the truck load one by Bednar.  Which were your favorites?

Well this week was kind of chaotic.  We were suppose to have a baptism yesterday for Tionna and Daneea.  Everything was set and planned for.  They passed the interview and everything.  Saturday night when we were headed to bed, Tionna called us and said they don't want to get baptized tomorrow.  We talked to Dion the mom and she said the girls don't know enough and especially Daneea since she's to young.  I don't know why all of a sudden Dion has a problem with the girls being baptized other than Satan got to her.  Dion hasn't been home the last week to talk to her about things.  I'm sad that she is more wrapped up in her life then she is in her kids lives.  They live on their own pretty much.  We went to be distressed but knew we couldn't do anything at that moment.  We called them in the morning to talk more about things.  Tionna was suppose to go to Conference with Thomas (her older brother who was baptized in Jan), but she wouldn't wake up.  After the morning conference, we drove over there and talked to Daneea and Dasha about things.  Tionna still wouldn't come out or get up for us.  Daneea really wanted to get baptized.  She had all her clothes out and everything for it.  She cried when we were there.  We told her to stand up for her self and tell her mom that she does know enough and tell her why she wants to be baptized.  We went briefly through all the lessons and told her "see!" you know it all!  Tionna finally came out and just kept telling us she doesn't know enough and wants to be baptized but not today.  So we cancelled it and are leaving it up to them to tell us when they want to be baptized.  It's frustrating and sad to see Satan get them like that and especially Dion.  A lot of stress, but we made the rest of our conference day great.

We still have our date for Jessica Saliee to be baptized this Sunday though and are hoping it's not a flop too.  But we all feel more at ease with this one.  I guess the only thing that could stand in our way is if the Dad changes his mind back to not letting her.  But she really wants to.  She came to church last week and mutual in which she just loved it.  We were happy about that.  Last night we saw her and she is inviting all her friends to her baptism.  So that's exciting.  Please pray for her that things will run smoothly this week and that she will be baptized Sunday.  Thanks!

I can't explaining everything that went on this week, so a few moments briefly are:
- had my 1st Walking Taco here in California.  Ate it with Doritos though and not Frito's.  Still yummy and reminded me of home! :) 
- was told by a less-active family in our ward that Koala Bears can rip your face off.  Yikes!
- woke up with really "low blood sugar" and was out for a day. Not sure what exactly it was, the mission doctor kept telling me something different every call.  Ha ha..
- one of our lessons with an investigator turned into a lesson about ghosts and haunted houses.
- Hit one of the Elders with our car when he was on his bike. (not really) We were going to race each other at a stop light.  When it turned green, we all went, but all of a sudden we see Elder Smith fall of his bike.  Not sure what happened but they keep teasing us we hit him.  I'm a horrible driver!  Ohh I don't think I've even told you, but we drive a truck.  Everyone laughs when they see 2 tiny sister missionaries hop out of it.  We feel pretty powerful in it.

Not sure what else happened this week worth reporting on.  I guess it's good though so I can have some stories to tell when I get back.  58 more days.  I love you all and hope you are all doing good.  Get feeling better Mom.  Hope you had a good Birthday Laura!!!!  We will celebrate again when I get home. ;)  Tell everyone hi and that I love them. 

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