Sunday, April 12, 2015

Almost Done!

April 6, 2015
To be honest I'm quite worried as well. I don't have any plans to go apostate when I get home haha but I know that the world can so easily distracted you. I just want to maintain my studies, I think if I can do that then I'll be alright.
Sounds good for the homecoming thing! I want to go to an authentic Mexican restaurant!!
I was able to sign up for all my classes. I think we can do the housing when I get back. YOU NEED TO TELL ME NOW IF THERE IS ANYTHING YOU WANT ME TO GET! Next Monday is the last chance to tell me anything.
Not a whole lot happened this week. Just a bunch of finding and a lot of appointments falling through. Ben is still solid, he actually called us this week to tell us that he is telling all of his family and friends that he's Mormon! He said he was afraid to at first, but decided that if they didn't accept him then they must not really love him. They were all fine with it though :) I love Ben! He is like the sickest investigator I've ever had. We've taught him everything, he just needs to get married before he can be baptized. I'm really looking forward to seeing you guys again! 2 more weeks! Sorry for the short letter, but there's not much to talk about. Just make sure you let me know if you want me to get you anything. I think that's it! I love you guys and I'll talk to you next week!
Elder Sorensen

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Life in Cannock

March 23, 2015> Things in Cannock are awesome right now. We saw so many miracles last week!!! :) So the main two people that we found and have been working with are Monique and Ben.
The other person that we've been working with is Monique. Monique is the mother of a part member family in the ward. Ingrid is a single mother of 6 kids and Monique is her mom, she has been visiting here for the past month or so to help Ivy out with the kids. The whole family is French. When we got into the ward everyone was telling us about this French family (because Elder Gros is French) and they were actually the first people we stopped while GQing in city center!! Crazy right? So long story short we went over to their home and were talking to Monique (Elder Gros translated for me because she doesn't speak any English) and asked her if she wanted to learn about the church that her daughter belongs to. She said yes and we started teaching her. We taught her every day last week and on last Thursday she committed to be baptized on March 28th!! SO WE'RE HAVING A BAPTISM ON SATURDAY!!!! It's just been insane to see her faith and watch her conversion happened. She’s made Elder Gros and I cry more than once. haha on that Friday we decided that we needed to find out if she was serious about her date as we had only taught the first three lessons. Sso we taught tithing, Law of Chastity, Word of Wisdom, and fasting all in one lesson, and she bore testimony of each of them and committed to live them until she dies. She said that she knows that we were sent to her from God and that anything we tell her is of God, because she can feel the spirit when we are there and when we speak. Needless to say we were weeping like little babies hahah She is so amazing. I adopted her as my third grandma. Elder Gros will be baptizing her and I'll be giving her the Holy Ghost while Elder Gros translates. :) It has been so crazy to see so much happen so fast since we got here. This week is looking like we will have even more happening as well. I'm stoked!!
That's about it for this week I think. I've been doing really well with video journals here so We'll be able to watch them together when I get back!
Love you guys so much!!
See you in 3 weeks and 6 days!!
Elder Sorensen
March 30, 2015
GQing stands for Golden questioning. it's asking people the golden question that makes them want to know more. it's really more street contacting that we do, but GQing has just become the term for it in this mission. Ha that would be so cool to see dad on the stand. Things with elder Gros are really good! It's hard to have issues right now because I know that I've only got 3 weeks left! It's really starting to freak me out haha. A couple days ago I started crying in the shower thinking about it. it's the strangest mix of feelings I've ever had.... Our area is doing well! I just want to get it going and really productive before I leave.
Yup! I confirmed Monique a member of the church yesterday and Elder Gros knelt next to her and translated while I gave the blessing. It was so cool. it's definitely been the most solid and most spiritual baptism of my mission. Let's see what's worth mentioning this week. We taught Ben. He had some questions about tithing, so we taught him that and we taught about the 10 commandments and Sabbath day. I love teaching Ben. He's so awesome and humble. He's really just a genuinely great guy. We keep talking about when he is going to come visit Washington. He wants to come in August, but there is plenty of time to organize all of that later. You can always feel the spirit really strong in our lessons with Ben. I think it'll be cool when I'm home I can join in the lessons via skype. Paul is a Polish less active member who has a lot of issues with anti. We've met with him a couple of times now and finally gotten his real concern figured out. pray for us that we'll be able to explain the anti in a way that makes sense to him.
We had an exchange from Thursday to Friday which was really fun. I went with Elder Huff (he's been out for 6 months) and Elder Gros stayed here with the grandson of Boyd K. Packer... Elder Packer. It was pretty cool. Nothing really exciting happened other than me getting sick. haha I've been sick for about 3 days now. I think I'm nearly over it now though. Then of course we had the baptism. it was like I say definitely the best baptism I've been to on my mission. I'll send you pictures via Dropbox. It pretty much went off without a hitch! Ben came to it as well and he really wants to be baptized, but of course there is the issue of him needing to get married to Elly (his fiancée) who he is living with right now. I can't wait to see his baptism. I'm definitely going to fly over here for it next year :)
After the baptism, we needed to go to the mission office to pick up some supplies for the Because He Lives initiative, and Ben actually drove us 40 minutes there and 40 minutes back! Can you believe that? if that's not a solid guy then I don't know what is.
That's Pretty much everything for this week!
Love you guys!!
Elder Sorensen

Monday, March 23, 2015

New Companion, New Area, and Last Transfer!

March 16, 2015
My new companion is Elder Gros. He's a tall stereotypical French guy and he is awesome. I love him so much, he is crazy!
The chapel here in Cannock is really posh and modern because the area it's in is a bunch of millionaire’s houses and the only way the neighbors agreed for it to be built is if it was visually "appealing"
So! Cannock. Long story short, Elder Gros and I both transferred here on Wednesday to whitewash. Elder Wiser and I spent the last Tuesday in Harbourne just saying our last goodbyes and went out to dinner with a bunch of people. Elder Gros and I been spending the past few days just Gqing anyone who looked our age in the town center and in one day we got 2 potentials, the next we got 3 and the next we got two more. By Saturday, we had a new investigator (who is amazing I'll tell you about him in a second) and the same day we set another lesson for today! I love this area already, we have a DA every day this week and some really promising potentials. It just shows that the Lord has been preparing this area. We've gone from nothing to loads of work in 3 days! it's insane. Our new investigators name is Seth and he is elect beyond belief. We stopped him in the shopping center and he mentioned that he is going to be baptized into another church down the road because he wants to be a full Christian before he gets married, so we shared with him a 1 min version of the restoration and asked for his details. the next day we came to his house and shared the restoration with him. He was buzzin for it! He just drank in the doctrine. He's been looking for the truth and I honestly just think he didn't know where or how to find it. He told us a few stories of his life about how he was homeless and his now fiancée saved his life and the house he lives in now is really nice. He has a job and his own car. There’s just so much information. I'm sorry if I use terrible punctuation and grammar and spelling. We are seeing him again today at 230. He is 23 and just a really normal awesome guy! At the end of the first lesson, he was asking us about our chapel and where it was, and then he just said " can we go see it now?" and we were just like "HECK YEAH WE CAN!" so he drove us to the chapel, we gave him a chapel tour, and he was just awesome. Asking questions, he loved the chapel, loved the baptismal font, (he even mentioned that it was more legit than what the other baptism was going to be) and he said he might want to get baptized here! We left him with a bible(he didn't have one), a book of Mormon with Moroni 10, the restoration dvd, restoration pamphlet, and a Plan of Salvation pamphlet haha I think we loaded him down a little too much because we were excited, but there are great things happening here!!!
Love you guys soo much!!
Elder Sorensen

Still Loving the Work!

March 2, 2015
This past week was AMAZING!! The week before was really disappointing as we had 9 investigators drop us. but we pushed through and this week we got 13 new investigators. It was so awesome. Yesterday was probably the best day. We had a really good fast and testimony meeting with a lot of really inspiring testimonies, followed up by an awesome lesson with our investigator Seth. Seth is awesome, he is a really cool guy we found this week from Turkey and he has truly been prepared to receive us. He came to church yesterday after only meeting with us once! really an awesome guy, we'll be seeing him again on Thursday this week. And we also had a crazy lesson with a guy called Nate. He is amazing with the bible, the cool part is that everything that he has been sharing with us has been our doctrine. It's been really really cool. I really can't remember anything well enough to describe it in great detail, we have had so much going on. Honestly though, I think it's really interesting. When I feel really happy and successful like this week, I feel a lot less inspired in the sense of learning life lessons. It feels like I have nothing to share with you guys as far as life changing experiences go. And it seems as though when things suck is when I’m making the most progress and growing the most. Not that that's a shock to anyone, I think that's a fairly basic principle of the gospel. It's the answer to why there is evil in the world. anyways.. I have one cool experience to share with you. A few weeks ago the ZL's in our district baptized a guy called Jaime. He is really cool and a really nice kid. He is really close with the ZL's as well. About a week after he was baptized we were waiting for the ZL's to bring us something on the side of the road and we decided not to waste time(Elder Wiser decided not to waste time) and GQ while we wait. The guy who stopped and talked to us was Timothy. Timothy was pretty cool and said that we could meet up with him sometime. This week we finally met up with him and had a lesson. it went really well and he wants to meet up again, but(here's the cool part) we found out that he lives in the ZL's area so we are going to hand him off to them on exchange right? At church on Sunday we're talking to Jaime because we thought that he would be a really good fit to go teaching with Timothy... turns out, Timothy is Jaime’s brother!!! I know right??
That's about it.
I love you guys. I'm probably going to buy some luggage today if I get the chance.
Elder Sorensen
March 9, 2015
I think something I've learned recently is to not dwell on peoples bad qualities. Everyone has thousands of things that we could look at and hate them for, but every person has equally as many things that you could love about them. Sometimes the negative things might be more apparent to you, but you just need to let those things fall and forgive them and then start focusing on the good things. It's one of the hardest things to accomplish, forgiving someone while they are wronging you or doing something wrong, but when we can accomplish that we will no longer be burdened with the painful stabbing in our heart that grudges bring. If you can ask God to help you forgive them and ask Him to help you to focus on the positive things that they do, eventually you would see them as god sees them. I'm really trying to work on this right now.
Our week has been pretty good. Just a whole bunch of finding and teaching. It's annoying now because if I told you everything in an email It would take me all day to write. Hmmmmm I'm trying to think of what to tell you about. The problem is that all of the really cool experiences are really long and not ones that I think should go up on the blog, but I guess I can just say how much I've been growing lately. I think that one of the coolest things and most annoying things about the Holy Ghost is how much he teaches you about yourself. It seems that every day of my mission there has been at least one moment where I I realize something that I need to change. And every time it happens I always think "How did I never see that before??". I firmly believe that self-realization is the key to success in this life. You can have everyone else in the world tell you that you are this or you need to work on that, but until you have a true realization for yourself that that thing is wrong and that you're guilty of it, you're not going to do anything about it.
We taught quite a few lessons this week, We have a couple of people who I think will definitely be baptized in the next two weeks as long as they have enough faith. One of them has a huge problem to overcome, but if he does, he'll be faithful for his whole life.
Love you guys!
Elder Sorensen

Loving the Work!

February 16, 2015
When teaching someone this week I used this quote. It took until today to figure out where it came from. It's from a talk by Thomas S Monson. She had a concern about tea and why we aren't allowed to drink it when there is health benefits and yadda yadda yadda same stuff that everyone always asks. the fact is that it doesn't matter what god asks us to do. Most of the time we won't know why he wants us to do it, but if we follow his will it will always be for our benefit. He is our loving heavenly father and will never lead us astray.
“Ofttimes the wisdom of God appears as foolishness to men, but the greatest single lesson we can learn in mortality is that, when God speaks and a man obeys, man will always be right.” -Thomas Spencer Monson
I'm spiritually pumped for this week. Elder Wiser and I have set some really high (but attainable) goals for this week and I really believe in them. The thing about this area is that it really has an unlimited potential. During my personal study the other day I came across the scripture acts 18:9-10 and I flipping love it. It felt like it was really talking to me. In this city, we walk by literally thousands of people every day from all walks of life and I know that many of them are prepared to receive the restored gospel. I just need to get better at using my time effectively and talking to more of them! On Monday we had a pretty hectic Pday. Loads of stuff to do running around. Tuesday was good – a lot of GQing, taught Z and had a DA at Alex’s with a bunch of our recent converts. That was super fun. You'll probably be getting a lot of pictures and videos from Alex haha you can use those on the blog. Then we had coordination. Coordination here is amazing, I finally feel like our ward mission leader understands his role and cares enough about it to hold his calling every day of the week. I love it. if every ward mission leader were like this, the church membership would double. On Wednesday, we taught 4 back to back lessons and had a DA at our ward mission leaders house (Brother Cartwright(he's American)) and during it he actually asked what we like about coordination, what he could do better and what he could do better as a ward mission leader......AMAZING!! I love him and his family. They are awesome. Thursday was district meeting some gqing and some teaching!! Friday was pretty crazy, elder wiser went to district leader training and I was on exchange with Elder Hanare from New Zealand in our area. We just pretty much taught lessons all day in the ICC and then exchanged back. Saturday and Sunday were both letdowns because all of our lessons except one or two fell through, but it gave us enough time to contact all of the AUF's that we needed to and finish weekly planning, so it worked out.
Even though we're teaching so much, I do find that I'm still stressed a lot of the time, just for different reasons than before. I think that's how it goes in the work of the lord though. It's almost as though there is more pressure now because We have so many people's salvation in our hands. I love it though it's so rewarding. I love you guys and can't wait to see you in 8 weeks!!
Love you,
Elder Sorensen
February 23, 2015
This past week was a bit disappointing. As far as all the areas in this mission goes, we had an insane week, 7 lessons, but as far as this area goes that was terrible. We could easily teach 15-20 lessons a week here, in fact one of the other teams in our ward taught 28 lessons this week. (Extremely abnormal for England , But I think possible in any area with the help of Heavenly Father. We had 8 investigators drop this week and our most solid investigator Z basically dropped us as well. She is still willing to meet, but says that she doesn't think religion is for her anymore. It was quite devastating because she was on date for baptism this weekend.... Looking back through the key indicators for this area we noticed a trend of teaching a baptizing a lot and then the work would slow down, and the next week it would pick back up again it would be 14 lessons one week 10 the next week and then down to 7 or 8, then it would jump back up to 14 or 15 lessons again. The conclusion we came to is that when the missionaries here are teaching around 15 lessons, they/we get comfortable with it and start putting a little less effort into finding new investigators because we feel like we are doing fine and don't really need new ones right now. because of that, when some investigators drop, there aren't enough new investigators to make up for the ones who are dropping us. it's at that point when the work slows way down that we start to freak out and put all of our heart, might mind and strength into finding because we get desperate. We've made a commitment to break the desperation cycle and we are going to magnify the time between lessons with all of our heart, finding like we have no one to teach and teaching like there is no one else in the world that we are working with(completely personalized). I'll tell you how we did in my letter next week. I really think this lesson can extend beyond just missionary life though. I think that this principle can be applied in all parts of life. I think too often we get complacent with how things are. We say things like " I'm a good enough person" or " I'm not hurting anyone, so I think I'm doing fine", but I think that that is dangerous thinking and prevents us from attaining a higher level of happiness. The Savior is our perfect example, and he never became complacent with how much good he did in the world, he never said " well I've healed 200 people now, I think that's good enough." he kept moving forward and eventually he reached the goal that we all seek after, exaltation. I know that If we can stay motivated to improve in in times of success and great comfort, we will one day attain celestial glory just like he did.
I love you guys so much and I'll be forwarding you a couple pictures. There was a big festival against badger culling here a few days ago and we took a picture of us protesting :) haha and I think a couple of other pictures.
Love you guys!!
Elder Sorensen

Sunday, March 8, 2015


Just and FYI, I (Casey's mom) got behind with all that has happened in our lives so please excuse the next two long posts.
February 2, 2015
SO. The big news is that I got transferred. I'm now serving in the city center of Birmingham!!! I freaking LOVE IT!!! It’s so amazing. We average about 20 lessons a week and my companion is amazing. His name is elder wiser and he is from pleasant view Utah. I have a feeling that we'll be together for the rest of my mission. I love it so much here. Everyone that we are teaching is right around our age so I feel like I can really connect with all of our investigators. It feels like I'm just hanging out with friends all day! I'm still in a bit of shell shock because I'm just not used to being this busy, but it is truly amazing. Having city center to GQ in is awesome. We could be there all day every day for the next two weeks and not meet the same person twice. It's a bit of culture shock as well living in a big city. I've never in my life lived in a place like this. It's so cool, although I still think Washington tops it ;) Today we're going over to one of our Chinese recent convert's house and she is teaching us how to make sushi! I am just on cloud nine. I feel kind of bad as well because I know how hard of a time Andy is going through right now and I don't want him to resent me for talking about how great my life is right now, so if you could keep this all of the down low for now that would be good. We have 4 sets of missionaries in this ward and an average of about 200 that make it out every Sunday. My companion is the district leader which make me the DLC (district leader companion.) The most sought after position in the mission. All of the perks of being a district leader without all the annoying things! haha I am really on cloud nine right now. It's been a long hard road to get to this point, but it looks like the last 10 weeks of my mission are going to be pretty flipping awesome. Elder Wiser and I have set some goals for this transfer, which are really going to stretch us, but I know we can do it.
This last week started really slow and ended at a pace that I've never before experienced. Tuesday I spent a lot of the day packing and got a few cards from the ward and a lot of really nice heart felt goodbyes. Wednesday was transfers and as soon as elder wiser and I had dropped off the luggage we headed out and had three lessons..... I know, three lessons, on transfer day. Since then it's been all GQing and teaching and giving people baptismal interviews. Something really funny happened while gqing as well haha we were talking to people outside the library and we saw this guy getting kicked out of the library by security, he came over to us and gave us a hug. haha he smelt really bad of alcohol and wasn't really making any sense, but he told that his name was Al and that he was a drunkard! I basically said that's cool I guess we all have our own callings in life or something to that effect. He took me by the arm and started marching down the street with me. He sees this really old couple and shouts at them “JUST MARRIED??" hahaha the old man laughed and asked him if he knew what the building just to the left of them was called. He shouted"PISSWATER!!" and walked away leaving them speechless. haha we madeit over near a statue and I asked him who the statue was of and he shouted at me " IT'S OBVIOUS!" I said well I don't know who it is! and he says, I'll give you a hint. and just started peeing in a drain.. haha I said pisswater? and he goes OF COURSE!!
I don't have much time right now mom, so I'll let you do the editing of all that. I love you guys so much and I'm, praying for Yulia and Andy right now!!
Love you guys!
Elder Sorensen
February 9, 2015
YES I am still loving. My new problem seems to be time effectiveness, planning so that we have enough time to get to appointments and accomplish everything that we needs to, but that's definitely not the worst problem to have. I'm planning on doing a video journal today with just a complete rundown of all the investigators we are working with. I can't believe that week 1 in Harbourne is already over.. so crazy. Time is moving so fast right now! can you believe it's 9 weeks until i come home!! that's insane. On Monday we had a pretty chillaxed day. just roamed around the bullring with the zone leaders after planning. Our zone leaders are Elder Unice and Elder Kerr and they are flipping amazing. I love them so much. I'll try to send you a picture with them. On Tuesday we taught 4 lessons and a recent convert lesson and then had missionary coordination. On Wednesday we taught 3 more lessons and went to institute with one of our investigators. that was quite fun. On Thursday We had zone meeting which was really really good. The sister training leaders gave some awesome training about specific accountability and specifically fallowing up with investigators who aren't receiving answers to their prayers. then the zone leaders gave an awesome training about priorities. we don't usually ever focus on t hings that are unimportant and not urgent, and we don't usually waste our time on things that are urgent and unimportant, we spend most of our time doing things that are urgent and important, but real effective use of your time comes when you can figure out how to accomplish those things which are not urgent, but very important. after zone meeting I went on exchange with Elder Higham. he is probably one of the best missionaries I've ever met. It's like his personality was tailored for missionary work. haha It might sound fake with how positive I'm being but this is all 100% legit from Elder Sorensen himself. I love my life right now. On Friday we exchanged back and taught 3 more lessons. and did a bit of weekly planning. Saturday we had sports morning and elder wiser had to do 3 baptismal interviews. that night I had probably the dodgiest dinner I've ever had hahahaha It's a long story but I'll tell you about it when i get back. Got to save the best ones for later;) On Sunday we had all three of our appointments fall through so we finished weekly planning. that's about it! I'll try to take some pictures this week and send them to you! Love you guys!!!! Elder Sorensen

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Life's Challenges

January 27, 2015
Heavenly Father does things in our lives to help us learn and to become better people. Sometimes we have to be brought to a really low place to realize things about ourselves that we wouldn't have otherwise. You can't let other people control who you are. True happiness comes from becoming who we really are instead of what we think everyone else would like us to be. And who we really are is what Heavenly Father sees in us, our true selves and our true potential.
"However late you think you are, however many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made or talents you think you don’t have, or distance from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have *not* traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines." Jeffrey R Holland
I wish I could be there to help. By the time I get home the worst of it will be over. When I get back Andy and I can work on ways to make some money, I know that I need to make ALOT of money this summer if I want my plans to work out.
Well on my end, my week was pretty boring and normal. On Monday we had district Pday, we went bowling in Lincoln which was actually really fun and then we came back and had a meal with a member. On Tuesday we did my last service day in Sally's garden (her family is taking us out for a meal today to say goodbye) then we had a dinner appointment, PEC as YM's president and Young men's. On Wednesday we went out teaching less actives with a member of the bishopric, worked on our English program and did finding. Thursday was district meeting and an exchange with the district leader. That was quite good. I always like exchanges because it makes the day go so much faster haha Friday we exchanged back, had weekly planning and cleaned for our cleaning inspection and went to the ward activity. It was really cool it was all about the universe and different planets and stuff, I loved it. Saturday we did service for a member who just moved into the ward and laid down/cut to size some carpet for her. Had the daily dose class (no one showed up) had our bible study class and YSA. It was a triumphant last Sunday though! We had one investigator and 2 les actives show up to church, it was awesome! Then we had to go to bishops house so Elder Limb could call home because his grandpa died. Today we will find out the transfer information and we'll see where I'm going for my last 2.5 months!!
I'll let you guys know tomorrow what happens. Send my love to grandma and Grandpa. 10 weeks left!
Love you all
Elder Sorensen