Sunday, December 15, 2013

November in the Field

November 11, 2013
This week was kind of crazy. we had a whole bunch of lessons with people, which is awesome, but having an emergency transfer Thursday morning made things kind of hectic, Elder H had to pack up to leave and Elder Nelson had to unpack when he got here. Elder Nelson is completely awesome. We hit it off right from the start and I really hope that we get to stay companions next transfer. We've decided that we're gonna get hunched together in the next two transfers, so we're on a diet and we've made a workout program. WE also made some pretty dodgey home workout equipment I'll put pictures and videos of it up on dropbox when I get the chance. We've got workouts written for the next few weeks, so hopefully I can continue that for the rest of my mission and come back absolutely jacked. On the spiritual side of things, you can look at dad's email for a more detailed version, but I think that Heavenly Father has been trying to teach me charity and love with these hard companions. It's okay though, Elder Nelson is really cool and this transfer should be awesome! It's strange, I think in the past two months I've been at both my highest and lowest levels of happiness. Hopefully I can keep it in the positive and not dip back to the negative again haha.
Words from the letter to his dad:
It's been really amazing to see how the gospel can change people's lives. Just in the time I've been here I've seen it give people a brighter happiness than they've ever had, heal families, and even pull people from the depths of misery. I'm starting to think that the Lord is trying to teach me that (learning to love anyone regardless of who they are and how they are). I think it might be working because I absolutely love Elder Nelson. He's a really awesome guy and we get on great! I think I did the most growing out of any of my companions yet with Elder H. Something I learned about prayer recently has helped me immensely.
The bible dictionary says:
As soon as we learn the true relationship in which we stand toward God (namely, God is our Father, and we are His children), then at once prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part Many of the so-called difficulties about prayer arise from forgetting this relationship. Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our sking for them.
Every time I was either depressed, annoyed, or ready to tear his head off, I hit my knees and had a conversation with Heavenly Father. As I did this, and truly tried to set my will in line with his, I felt the most intense feeling of pure love that I have ever felt. I forgot my anger toward Elder H, I forgot how annoyed or depressed I was and I just felt the pure love of Christ within me. I know that that is the love I need to have toward others and I am always striving to achieve that. That's partly why this last transfer was so stressful haha I was jumping from complete misery to complete happiness all over the place, and I just couldn't handle it. I'm with Elder Nelson now though and really enjoying my time. I'm hoping in the future I will be better at loving unconditionally because of the time I spent with Elder H.
November 18, 2013
Last week was pretty exciting
Monday was your average P-Day just emails shopping around and messing about. Tuesday, we worked on re-splitting the area because we seem to have all of the active parts of the area and Elder Stubbs and Lowry have the more dead part. We worked on a list of AUF's that the church posted to us, and then in the evening we went to mutual with the youth. For mutual we did something called the bleep test. It's really hard and I only made it to stage 6. On Wednesday we just worked through a list of less actives and former investigators, nothing too exciting. On Thursday we had zone conference, which was pretty cool. We had a member of the seventy, Elder Dyches come and speak to us. He shared a really good message about planning effectively and how we will use those skills for the rest of our lives. He also talked about the planning strategy of Vision Goal Plans and Accountability. Basically your vision is your ultimate goal and then you make more and more specific goals until you have something specific that you can accomplish right now and then you need a way to keep yourself accountable. That night we had a DA with the Wilkinsons what an awesome family. Pumped for missionary work, genuine, and just really nice people. Friday morning we bumped into Ehsan, our neighbor/investigator. It was really lucky because we haven't been able to get in contact with them for about a month. We set up a sign language lesson with him and Behnoosh. That night we had a lesson with Frank, who has been investigating for years, and we made some pretty good progress with him. He had read the talk that we left him to read and had also read the pamphlet on tithing. He says he feels a lot better about tithing, but he's still not ready to get baptized. I challenged him to pray every night for the next week and he accepted. Next week I'm going to challenge him to another two weeks. haha Saturday we had a lesson with Lawrence, who we found through the former investigators list. He's a really great guy, I think it might take him a while to accept everything, but he's really cool. We went by Donald after that and had a short lesson, and then we made our way to the Greens for a DA. Their granddaughter is the cutest little girl I've ever met. Her name is Poppy and she made me a little drawing during dinner. Sunday we had a sign language lesson with Ehsan and Behnoosh before church and then they attended sacrament with us. They said they enjoyed it and we've set up to see them again this Friday.
Not much else to talk about!
Love you tons!
See you in a few weeks!
Elder Sorensen
November 25, 2013
On Wednesday at 1:00PM Elder Nelson and I were caught out in a hailstorm while we were doing a lady's garden. It was pretty terrible, but we made do. I guess that's your motherly instincts kicking in haha. (side note from Casey’s mom: I had emailed him because I had woke up with an awful feeling about Casey. So I asked him what had happened at that time.)I'm good, Emotionally happy. Spiritually hungry. Physically tired. Always tired. The boots are awesome. they keep my feet dry and they're super easy to get on and off. No snow yet, just humidly bitingly cold. But apparently we're supposed to get like 100 days of snow or something. That would be crazy. Alright, well Monday we spent most of the day waiting to email and then made a trip to the mission office to get a polish Book of Mormon for one of our members and delivered it to him. Apparently the guy he gave it to wasn't interested, but the guy's daughter is now reading it, so that's cool! Probably won't come to anything for us because the guy lives more in the Harbourne area, but still good! This ward is actually really good about doing member missionary work. Tuesday morning we had an unexpected lesson with our investigator David. He rang us up at 1015 and asked us if we were still planning on coming at 1030, so we hustled over. haha Then we had a lesson with Donald and went to a carvery meal with him after. I love carvery meals, I can't wait to you guys come back with me and we go to eat at one. Wednesday we started the day off doing service for an old lady near one of our investigator's house. We were doing her front garden and ended up getting the crap beat out of us by hail. Then our investigator cooked us a full English breakfast, another thing you guys need to have. I'll cook one for you when I get back. Grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, bacon, eggs, fried bread, beans, sausages, and toast. Delicious. Thursday was pretty much just double decker busses, trains, and zone meeting. It was a good zone meeting though, a bunch of people gave their departing testimonies and it was really uplifting. I wonder what my departing testimony is going to be like. I can't wait to give my homecoming talk. Chelan ward and our new ward aren't going to know what hit them! That night we ate at the Corbishleys and they thought that it was Thanksgiving, so they made us a roast dinner. They wouldn't listen to us when we told them it was next week. Actually next week the Heaths, Cook's, Burton's and one other family are putting on a full thanksgiving feast for us and they've asked us to sing the American national anthem for it haha we're going to have a turkey bowl and everything! That should be exciting. Friday we had a lesson with Ehsan and Behnoosh, that went really well. We did half sign language and half gospel. They've committed to read the Book of Mormon. Saturday we had 3 flogged appointments and one flogged DA. That was about how the whole day went. Sunday was good, we ate with the cooks and Burton's after church and they are AWESOME families. Then we went and visited with the Robinson's, and they've been doing really well with missionary work. Another really awesome family. I definitely want to come back and visit Solihull. Loads of really cool people here That was about it this week. I'll work on putting some more pictures up. It would be good if you could make a decision on that camera ASAP so that I can have a camera to take pictures with again. Love you guys! Don't ever stop reading, praying and attending church! It invites the spirit and reaffirms you testimony each time you do. Keep progressing! Never be comfortable with your level of righteousness and always strive to be better.
Love you tons!
Elder Sorensen
Casey being Casey

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Life in Solihull England

September 30, 2013
This week has been way cool! Most of it was spent cleaning the flat and buying things we still need, but we managed to get 4 new investigators! We were cycling home for dinner one day and I saw three young girls in a window waving to us. So, of course, we stopped and talked to them. One of them was about 16, another was 25, and the other was around 40. The 25 year old had two kids and we ended up teaching her the next day. We're hoping to teach the other two soon. We took our stake 2nd counselor to the lesson with the 25 year old and he dropped us off at the flat after. We weren't in the flat for more than about 5 minutes when our doorbell rang. President Wilkinson was standing there with a man that he had just seen on the street and shared a message with. We taught him and his wife and wife's cousin on Friday and we'll be seeing them again this coming Friday! I've just heard word from my last district leader that whoever took my place in Worcester has been wasting out and had no lessons last week. I need to give them a ring and let them know that I'm not pleased. Mandy was very close to baptism and I don't want them to ruin it for her.
October 7, 2013
Everything has been good here. Had a bit of a quarrel with my companion last week, but we got over it and all is well again in the world. We had our second lesson with our Iranian neighbors and it went swimmingly! The only problem is that the wife is nearly deaf and doesn't speak very good English, so I don't know how much of the lesson she is understanding. The husband is loving it though, we've been able to answer a lot of the questions of the soul that he has had for a long time. The coolest part is that, because I served in Worcester with deaf members, I know British Sign Language and can teach her! We'll be going over tonight to teach her the alphabet and a few other simple words. I'm a little nervous, but it's obvious that heavenly father has led them here and us to them. Apparently they've only been in the country for a little while and they've only been Christian for a year, so they are still searching for the right church. Just goes to show that the lord isn't always super subtle with how he works.
October 14, 2013
I'm feeling good! This past week was pretty terrible, we didn't really get a chance to do missionary work, every day was spent either sick or in meetings. I'm really hoping this week will go better as far as missionary work.
October 21, 2013
This week has been really good actually, one of the missionaries from the Solihull ward just got back, so that made me super trunky. He's just been called as ward mission leader so that should be good. We're trying to do a lot of work with members lately. It's just not effective to do street contacting and tracting. I'm sure the missionaries in Washington can relate to that. It's really important for members to refer people to the missionaries. Not just giving them an address and telling them to chap by. We might as well be tracting that person. Members need to invite their friends to learn more. Just share a simple truth (how the church was restored, a 1 minute version of the plan of salvation, anything) and invite them to learn more, either coming to church or to an activity, something! I'd like you to look up pg.158 and study "teach when you find, find when you teach" and "short powerful statements". If you don't have preach my gospel, get one. It gives you the tools you need to share the gospel! Other than that it's been a pretty average week. We had 4 lessons.
October 28, 2013
What I wouldn't give for someone who would just accept the gospel without having to be beat across the face with the spirit! I'm honestly just really interested about it. (Casey is talking about his dad’s conversion story.) I never really paid attention to what was going on when dad was investigating, I was just messing about while the missionaries were over haha Just write what happened. I don't think dad realizes how amazing his conversion was, nor how many people it affected. Solihull is awesome; I hope I get to spend Christmas here. That's crazy you got to see Elder Ballard! Listen to his advice!!! This week has pretty much just been sitting around the flat because Elder Hoffmann has been poorly. Not much to report on, but loads to ask! Sorry this email is so short, the library was apparently on fire earlier so we're only just now able to get in and email. We have a DA at six so we have to rush! Love you tons!
Elder Sorensen

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


September 9, 2013
I'll be going to the doctor this week to sort out my sickness, so I should be fine. Yes I'm taking meds. I'll keep soldiering on no matter what! Elder Gardner has this song on his iPod called Nephi’s' Psalm, performed by the BYU men’s choir. It's given me a lot of encouragement and help lately in increasing my drive to go out and do missionary work. It's been quite tough lately, it seems that all of our investigators are moving to other parts of the country, or to another country entirely! And our finding efforts are less than effective as well. We can't seem to make a return appointment. Lots of people will talk to us; they just don't actually want us to come into their home or to see us ever again. It doesn't help either when you watch the work of salvation broadcast and the prophet and apostles say the exact same thing. Talking about how tracting and street contacting are no longer effective ways of finding, talking about how missionaries could knock doors and talk to people on the street for hours and get nowhere and I'm here like " I could have told you that ages ago!!". If you haven't watched the broadcast, you really should. It talks about how, without the members, our harvest will be meager. We need the members (including you guys) to share the gospel with their dear friends and family, and to refer them to the missionaries. It doesn't need to be anything big, just a simple invite to learn more about our church from the missionaries, or even giving them a pamphlet(which you can get from the missionaries) about the restoration or plan of salvation. It seems really scary and intimidating at first, what if they get offended or weirded out? What if they don't want to talk to me again? The prophet said in the broadcast that a heartfelt testimony and an invitation to learn more about the gospel will never be taken in offense. All you are trying to do is help them and bring more happiness to their life. This week was a little discouraging, we stayed in for a couple of days because I was sick, and the rest were mostly spent working the area, knocking doors and tracting. We had 4 lessons in total this week, which isn't too bad.
Bishop is giving the missionaries the 5th Sunday to talk about the work of salvation broadcast, so hopefully we can inspire the ward to do more missionary work and revive this area through member referrals and member involvement. I hope we get the ability to use Facebook soon, because I know how much England could use it. As soon as we have that, I have a feeling that our work is going to speed up faster than we thought it could. Not much else to talk about, we were on exchange with the district leader the other day and me and Elder Dryden, who is one transfer younger than me and English(from Leeds), have decided that after the mission we're going to get a flat together and attend BYU. And then we could stay at his place when we visit England and they could come up and enjoy beautiful Central Washington and Lake Chelan with us!
September 16, 2013
The suits you sent me with don't fit me anymore! ha ha I'm looking into having them tailored, but it may be cheaper to just buy a new one, for now I got a cheap one at ASDA which looks really nice and we don't wear them that often anyway, so I'll be fine with it for a while. Mom, with the things that I've experienced and with how I have felt, I will never fall away from the church. I have had my testimony tried about as much as it can be. This is not an easy mission. I have no doubt in my mind that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior and that this is his true church. It's good that you're starting to feel that missionary spirit! I know that as you stand as an example to the rest of the ward of the excitement
and happiness that sharing the gospel brings, others will follow suit. When you share the Gospel, it doesn't need to be a big scary thing that you have to gather yourself for. I recently watched the Leadership broadcast on hastening the work of salvation and it cleared up a lot of things for me. You don't need to be extravagant and overbearing in sharing the gospel. I've personally found, since I've been here, that the most meaningful and not-awkward way to share the gospel is to look for opportunities to lead a conversation to the topic of religion, and then from there you can share a short, powerful statement regarding a principle of the gospel. from there, you can gauge their level of interest and either tell them more, invite them to learn more from the missionaries, or wait for another time when you can comfortably lead a conversation to gospel related topics. Just follow the spirit and don't be afraid to take the conversation there. Be proud of Jesus Christ and what he did for us. Opportunities like this come more often than you think; you just have to look for them. This week was really good, Tuesday we had a really inspiring Zone meeting talking about the commitment pattern and ended the day with a sweet dinner.
September 23, 2013
My new area is awesome! Solihull is a very posh part of the country, so for at least a while I'm living pretty comfy. You'll never believe this, but there are 4 missionaries in Solihull ward and one of the other ones who came in this transfer is Elder Stubbs! My companion is Elder Hoffman. He's way cool and I'm excited to be serving with him. So in this ward it's me, Elder Hoffman, Elder Stubbs, and Elder Lowry (our district leader). I'm so jealous that you guys get to go to the temple! It's interesting; in a way you are doing a lot of what I'm doing with your kids. You have them for a year, to help them to grow and develop. I suppose in a way your helping to shape their attitude and outlook on life and in doing so shaping their future. Your helping people every day just as much as I am. When people recognize you as a member of the church, you are doing missionary work. If people can make that link between you trying to help those children and your religious beliefs, you could be the one to open the doorway of baptism for someone. Matthew 7:16 This week has been pretty standard for opening a new area. STRESSFUL. In getting here, we had my baggage (3 bags weighing about 8,000,000 pounds), Elder Hoffman's baggage (2 bags), and Elder Stubbs' baggage (3 bags).Plus two bikes between four people. It took us about 6 hours of travel and pretty much destroyed us. We spent the rest of the week building furniture and trying to install a washing machine, finding out it's broken and flooding the place, and now waiting for a new one. We’ve just finished all of the furniture yesterday and now we just have to clean all the cardboard, Styrofoam, and plastic off of the floor. Hopefully tomorrow we'll be able to do some actual missionary work. Fingers crossed.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Busy busy busy...and VERY tired!

August 20, 2013
As you read the Book of Mormon and you start to better comprehend the language, it becomes something entirely new. New insights and questions and answers arise every time you read it. Try not to just read the words, but strive to really understand and gain insights from what you're reading. When you are set apart as a missionary you become a tool in the Lord's hands. Letters home are one of the many ways that he uses us, but it’s important to remember that we are only a wrench and the Lord is the one who does the turning. This week was pretty exciting actually, now that I'm thinking of it. On Thursday I was trying to fix my ukulele with some super glue, and I wasn't doing very well. I kept getting it stuck on, and as soon as I put it down it would break again! So I was getting really frustrated and finally just emptied the entire container of glue onto it and finally got it to stick. So, I set the uke down and turned to pick something else up, but I couldn't. I looked down at my feet to try to figure out what was going on and I realized. I had glued my foot to the floor!! So after about 10 minutes of me and my roommate laughing our heads off about what I had done, I managed to pull my foot off of the floor. There is still a fairly large chunk of my skin on the laminate and my foot really hurts. We also ended up getting a pair of morph suits! Not sure what we'll be doing with them yet, but I'm sure they'll come in handy. This week our focus is going to be on finding by the spirit. You can knock doors and talk to people all day, but if you don't have the spirit with you, you, won't accomplish much.
August 27, 2013
I'm doing well! exhausted all the time, but I'm told that that's how it is for pretty much your whole mission. Elder Gardner is still awesome. Never a dull moment with this kid. Can you believe how fast this is flying by? I've already been here for 4 months?? That's just straight cray cray. This last week was good! Monday we had a Zone P-day, so we went down to Cheltenham and they had a big tug-of-war thing. Once we came back we had a service project/DA at Angie's, I'll put up some pictures of that. On Tuesday we did a TON of tracting and street contacting that didn't yield a ton of results. I personally think that it was because our conversation between houses and between places wasn't centered on Jesus Christ, it was more centered on random crap that didn't matter. That evening we traveled to Cheltenham to visit the doctor, just to have him tell me that I was fine. Although he did leave me with a little sample vial and he told me that If I was still feeling ill at the end of the week, to "poo in it and bring it back". Needless to say I'm feeling better. Most of Wednesday was spent in interviews with president and at district meeting, both of which went really well. I gave a short 5 minute discussion on obedience to the white handbook and it went really well. Thursday we helped the new set of Elders build their potential list in Malvern. While we were doing that a police officer stopped on the side of the road and asked us to help her find an old senile man who had escaped from a home. Of course we agreed and did our best to help find him, but we never actually did.. I hope they did.... Friday we had weekly planning and did some finding, had a DA and a couple of lessons. Saturday we a couple of lessons and then spent a lot of time cleaning the flat. I'm starting to appreciate all of the chores that you made me and Andy do as kids. It’s finally coming in handy! Sunday was very average. On Monday we did some light shopping with what money we had left and we also carried out a GENIUS plan. Apparently you can take a mars bar into a chippy and ask them to batter and deep fry it for you. We tried and they wouldn't so we did it ourselves. We had Mars bars and we had Batter mix. So we battered and deep fried mars bars ourselves!!! We failed the first time in the B team’s flat and ended up filling their flat with smoke. Then we finally got it right back at our flat.
September 2, 2013
My week has been about the same, nothing really exciting. Monday we didn't do a whole lot, napped around the flat. Tuesday we had to pick up my bike from the shop and spent the rest of the day finding. Wednesday we spent most of the day in Evesham for our district meeting. It was pretty cool, we had a presentation on how the book of Mormon is important to our missionary work. Today our District Leader, Elder Barker, and his companion are heading in to Worcester to spend P-day with us, so that should be fun! Right now I just feel really, really tired. I've never in my life been so tired for such a long time. But it's worth it!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

New Views and Changes

July 29, 2013
On Tuesday we went on exchange with the District leader and I went to Evesham with Elder Dryden. It was so much fun, but we didn't get a whole lot of work done. We did get one other lesson taught, but that was about it. On Wednesday we switched back and on Thursday we had a day out in Malvern. Elder Harris' bike is nearly dead and has gotten to the point where it's unsafe to ride so we've probably walked an average of about 8 or 9 miles a day for the latter end of the week. Other than that not a whole lot has happened! Today the Nolan's are taking us to Gadfield Elm Chapel, which is the oldest LDS chapel in the world and to Raglan castle. So I'll take lots of pictures and send them all to you tonight. For now though, I don't have a whole lot of time and I need to go. Love you guys more than you know!
Raglan Castle
Gadfield Elm Chapel
August 7, 2013
Not much happened this week because we've been spending most of our time setting up furniture and cleaning the new flat for our second team of missionaries! This is the first time Worcester ward has had a second team of missionaries in about 15 years. It just goes to show that the Lord blesses those who faithfully serve him. On Saturday we were teaching one of our investigators down by the river and a guy came up to us and starting throwing out a lot of anti-Mormon facts and bible scriptures. Now, I've never even read in the bible, but The Lord placed the words I should say into my heart and there wasn't a single falsehood that came out of that man's mouth that I didn't refute with a true principle of the gospel. After about 45 minutes of this guy doing all he could to tear us down, I shared with him the story of how the priesthood was lost and then restored through Joseph Smith, and he just sat there in silence for about 2 minutes straight, and left. The Lord qualifies us for the work! I'll know tonight whether or not I'm being transferred. I'll let you know. They take place on Wednesday. No new pictures this week, I'll send some more next week! Love you tons, Elder Sorensen

Monday, July 22, 2013

Busy in England!

It’s been a bit busy so I apologize for taking so long to update Casey’s blog.
July 1, 2013
So last week went really well. On Monday we went all over the city trying to find pedals in the right size for the loaner bike I got from one of the members while my bike is in the shop. no luck. so I biked all over the place last week with one pedal, no brakes and really just terrible gears. One of the bike shops said they could get the right size pedals in on Thursday, so I told them to order them. Tuesday was PACKED with appointments. well at least for England. we had 5 appointments scheduled and 4 of them were actually home when we got there! And all of them went really well. one of our investigators is praying about a baptismal date right now and we are planning to put two more on a date this week. On Wednesday we spent the whole morning doing finding and one of our less actives let us come in, visit with them, and share a spiritual thought. Then we had coordination with our Ward Mission Leader and ate dinner and retired to the flat. On Thursday we were in Malvern doing some finding, went to a deaf member’s home to learn some British sign language and had a DA. Friday we picked up my bike and it is way cooler than I expected. And way better than I expected. I had them change it to a single speed and put drops on it and he put really thin, light tires and wheels on it as well. It's really fast now. I love it with all my heart. Saturday we had an appointment with the Braces out at Brockhampton estate, which I will put pictures of on drop box soon. It's amazing, and then had a DA with the Stobbs'. and Sunday we had church and TWO, count them TWO, investigators showed up to sacrament meeting. so yeah. we're kind of a big deal. that was my week! love you tons and I'll talk to you next week! July 8, 2013
Last week went well. Monday was just your average P-day, shopping, email, and rest. Tuesday we had DA with the Stanley’s and two appointments. One with G in the morning and one with J in the evening. Both went well, not quite leaps and bounds of progress, but they both ended up showing up to church on Sunday, then we had PEC (Priesthood Executive Committee). Wednesday we were packed, we had district meeting, followed by an appointment with I, then S, then R, then M, and then we had football (soccer) with the young men. Thursday we met up with Bro Crook and visited quite a few people. We had a really good chat with a less-active family as well. then we had a service project/DA/British sign language lesson with one of our deaf members. And we ended the night with a DA with the Nolans! Friday we had weekly planning, Elder Harris got an emergency haircut (it really was an emergency. he looked nasty.) and we taught our recent convert Teresa and her son Krai. We then went over to Brother Robinsons house and had a Missionary coordination. Saturday started off with a huge service project at St Richards hospice (a place where terminal patients go to die) where we sanded down all of their outdoor benches and put a fresh coat of stain on them. It was a HUGE project and only about 5 ward members showed up, but we got it done eventually. Then we had an appointment with the * family and had to drop them. It was sad, but necessary. And we ended the night with a DA with the Castles. Wonderful people. Sunday we had 3 investigators show up to church! and that brings us to now. Love you guys!
July 15, 2013
I'm loving it here! I'm doing well. This week we got someone on a baptismal date! It was pretty intense, we had been trying to get her on a date for a long time, but she was very hesitant to do so. she kept saying that she wanted to have her life in order, have a good relationship with her family -- basically she wanted to be leading a perfect life before her baptism. We addressed her concerns several times and nothing helped. So we're over at the ** having a really spiritual lesson, when I get this prompting to ask her again. so I asked, and she said no. Then I felt a prompting to read the baptismal interview questions. So I explained what they were and I read them out loud. Then I explained to her that these things are all that the Lord requires of us to be ready for baptism and that after being baptized, the Lord can help you so much more through the power of the holy spirit in making family relationships better and stronger as well as guiding us through all of our other decisions in working toward a perfect life. Then she accepted. It was really great.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Work Continues...

June 17, 2013 Last week was pretty cool. Week 4 of this transfer! We went to the Cheltenham stake center for zone P-Day. The stakes are the zones, so Cheltenham stake is Cheltenham zone. It was pretty cool; we just played sports with all of the missionaries in our zone and had a big water balloon fight. oh, and elder Harris got a call from president saying to start getting his English license, which means either he's going to be transferred to one of the two areas in our entire mission that need a car, or he's going to be a zone leader. Tuesday we had zone meeting, which is basically a small-scale zone conference, had a DA (dinner appointment) with the Stanley’s, and taught Janos Jr. Janos is cool. He’s Hungarian and he's going to be baptized. Wednesday I was on exchange with Elder Webber (our district leader from New Zealand) and had an awesome time in evesham. Thursday was boring as usual. Friday we exchanged with the zone leaders like I told you and had an awesome birthday. And then there was Saturday. Saturday was very eventful! We started off by taking a train to Malvern where we did a service project for one of our deaf members (weeding) and then learned some more British sign language (which I'm learning by the way) and then ate and took a bus back to Worcester (pronounced "worster") once we got there we changed back into proselyting clothes a caught a bus to our appointment with Steve brace. Steve referred himself from and lives all the way out at Brockhampron estate in Bringsty.(52.195192,-2.470315)<-- if you put that into Google maps you can see how far out in the middle of nowhere that is. Right as we were getting onto the bus we found out that there were no busses coming back, but we couldn't cancel the appointment at that point so we just went anyway. We got off the bus at the entrance to Brockhampton estate, which is massive, and started walking. We had to walk through a field and a pasture full of sheep to get to his driveway. But we had an amazing lesson with them and I'm pretty sure that they're going to get baptized. When we finished we got all the way back to the highway and started hitch hiking.. but that didn't yield any results so we started walking. once we had walked for a couple of miles we decided that calling the ZL's and getting a ride would be safer, not to mention we would get home about 5 hours sooner than if we walked. Sunday was Sunday and now we're here!
June 24, 2013 Not much to be said about the past week, I'm having trouble remembering because I'm so excited about the missionary announcement! Have you heard?? We're now authorized to use Facebook and texting and everything. And we may be getting ipads soon! It’s so cool! We have to do a training thing for it first though. I don't know when that will be, but I need my login info. This past week was really good, we are working with about seven investigators right now that we have found through our own efforts. The one I’m most excited about is Mandy. We found Mandy (40 yr. old) through her Aunt Betty (70 yrs.). Betty is completely crazy and has pretty much her own religion. Last time we were over there we tried to get Mandy on a date, but we couldn't really do anything because Betty kept interjecting and ranting on about the apostles or about sometime when she said she was saved.. And then we shared a DVD of a talk that elder Holland gave and she thought we broke her T.V. because we changed the inputs to put it onto her DVD player. She went completely berserk ranting up and down her living room about something we didn't understand and talking about how she would never be able to get her TV. fixed again. It was actually quite frightening.. At some point we got her calmed down and put her TV right and she invited us back next week... we're hoping to teach Mandy somewhere else this Friday.

Monday, June 17, 2013

News from Worcester England

June 3, 2013
Yeah, last Monday was bank holiday, so the library was closed, so we couldn't email until Tuesday. No new pictures today, but I'll be sure to have a few more up next week.
Teresa is golden. She actually already has a calling and will be going visiting teaching two days before her baptism, so yeah.
Words he wrote to his cousin, but fitting for everyone.
No matter what you do or where you go, never give up. I've only been out here for about a month, but I've already seen how truly amazing that this gospel can be and what an incredible influence it can have on people. Be an example to your family. This is an extremely crucial time for you to follow the example of your savior and keep the commandments. As your family sees the light that you bring by doing this, they will remember what they are missing and they will want to be a part of it again. Don't ever let someone else stand in the way of you doing what's right for you. You know you always have us, your family, to support you. Stay strong!
~ Elder Casey Sorensen
This week wasn't overly exciting, Elder Harris and I stayed in with hay fever on Saturday and on Friday we were gone all day for the missionary choir. I had an awesome opportunity to sleep and recover from my illness though! Pretty much the only thing cool that happened last week was when I met Janos and Janos Derian. These guys are a Hungarian father and son. Janos Sr. is fat, loud, and loves to cuss, but he also says he knows the Book of Mormon is true. His only hang-up, or so he says, is that the people in the church are no-good two-faced jerks. Even though he's only been to half a sacrament meeting. Janos Jr. is more understandable, he says that he believes in the Book of Mormon, but he doesn't know if his faith is strong enough to change his life. We’ll be seeing and talking with them today.
Words he sent to the Toolson’s,
Kurt and Shannon, Thanks so much for the weekly Emails! I love having letters to read from home about what's going on, it keeps me connected to home. I just wanted to let you both know how large of a role you played in me staying in the church and making the decision to serve a mission. I think that had you guys not been there to set an example and uplift me, I may not have made very good decisions. well... I would have made WORSE decisions. I think Kurt would agree with me in saying that I was never perfect, but I still made it here somehow and I think that your family was a big part of that. Things are going really well here! We have one investigator on date for this Friday and we hope to have a few more on date by the end of this week. I have seen a giant difference in the productivity of our day when we are being obedient as opposed to being... less obedient. These first few weeks in the field have seriously flown by. I have no idea how I've already been out here for almost 3 weeks! I'm really not used to the lack of food here. We almost never get DA's so we're left to our own devices with food and we're too poor to afford a whole lot of anything. I've already dropped a waist size, but the pants here still don't fit me. I put on a pair of size 36 waist trousers last week and my thighs nearly exploded out of them! WHO HAS A SIZE 36 WAIST AND SIZE 28 THIGHS?? That is one oddly shaped man, but that's the English for you.
Lots of Love, Elder Sorensen
June 12, 2013
I've been super busy with zone P-day on Monday and zone meeting yesterday and exchanges with the district leader today. I'm in Evesham right now on exchange and I'm only just now able to email everyone.
Glad to hear things at home are still exciting and that the blog is doing well. It feels good to be popular worldwide. I love hearing all this stuff about home so keep sending it. My bike broke last week beyond repair (I'm on exchanges right now so I don't have my camera, but I'll put up pictures when I can.) It was pretty sweet, we were about 4 or 5 miles from home and I hit a pot hole. My back wheel came off of the bike and pretty much destroyed itself in a glorious blur of flying metal parts. I then had to hoist the bike onto my back and carry it all the way back home. It felt pretty great. The baptism went awesome! We had all kinds of non-members there so that was great. Everything went through without any major problems! I'm looking forward to the package as well! I haven't gotten any post since I've been here so that will be refreshing. Could you give people my address so that they know where to mail me at? England is so cool. I'm starting to call everything by their British names. It feels pretty cool. Although I still haven't gotten used to calling pants "trousers” which gets me into trouble because "pants" over here means panties. So that gets awkward. That’s pretty much it for now, like I said I should have pictures up in the next few days.
For those of you who are reading this, PLEASE leave comments. I am going to make a book for Casey and would love to have your comments to share with him. Also,please send him hand-written letters (he is begging for "post" to:
9 Sidbury House
3 College Street Worcester,
WR1 2LT United Kingdom

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Words From the Field

Casey got his wish of cooler weather!
Words from the field:
I feel like I'm stronger than I've ever been and also weaker than I've ever been. It's not easy. It's really tough, but at the same time it's amazingly rewarding. The church is true,the book is blue.
All of our hard work is paying off. This areas (AND MY)first baptism in years is on the 7th! I've taught her for about half of her lessons. She's an awesome lady by the name of Teresa and she is just great. I'll send pictures once I have them.
I have, however, really been appreciating dad in the past few days. I've never really told him how much I have appreciated him and the example that he's set for me in life of how to act and how to be a man. Whether he has realized it or not, I wouldn't be the man I am today if it weren't for the way I've seen him conduct himself around others as well as the lessons and other things that he's taught me as I've grown up. Being in the real world has shown me what can come of kids who don't have a strong father role in their life and I can really appreciate the fact that he's done that for me.
Profound words Casey wanted to share:
Mosiah 4: 16-24
16 And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.
17 Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just—
18 But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.
19 For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?
20 And behold, even at this time, ye have been calling on his name, and begging for a remission of your sins. And has he suffered that ye have begged in vain? Nay; he has poured out his Spirit upon you, and has caused that your hearts should be filled with joy, and has caused that your mouths should be stopped that ye could not find utterance, so exceedingly great was your joy.
21 And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have one to another.
22 And if ye judge the man who putteth up his petition to you for your substance that he perish not, and condemn him, how much more just will be your condemnation for withholding your substance, which doth not belong to you but to God, to whom also your life belongeth; and yet ye put up no petition, nor repent of the thing which thou hast done.
23 I say unto you, wo be unto that man, for his substance shall perish with him; and now, I say these things unto those who are rich as pertaining to the things of this world.
24 And again, I say unto the poor, ye who have not and yet have sufficient, that ye remain from day to day; I mean all you who deny the beggar, because ye have not; I would that ye say in your hearts that: I give not because I have not, but if I had I would give.
Words from his Mom
This week has been a tough one. For some reason, I have been more emotional about Casey being gone. Yet, I am so proud of him. I know that he is doing the Lord's work and this is where he needs to be at this time.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

News from the MTC and First Week in the Field!

May 8, 2013 so it's P-day, and that means I get to email!! The MTC is awesome. I've felt the spirit here stronger than I think I've ever felt it before. we had sacrament meeting last Sunday and it was easily the coolest one I've ever been to. we do these things called TRC's, where our teacher acts as an investigator in a fake living room they have set up downstairs, and we teach them as we would a new investigator. I've learned so much already in just the first week, but I'm seriously anxious to get out. I don't know how Marcus could stand 12 weeks of this! I mean, we're stuck in the same room for like 12 hours a day! it’s driving me nuts!!! today we're going to have the chance to go to the Preston temple, which is basically in the same parking lot as us. It's really big and very beautiful, I'll send pictures. we haven't really gotten to experience any of England yet as we've been in this building the whole time. we get out for exercise once a day for an hour, but it's not enough. our first TRC visit was a COMPLETE failure, instead of getting to know our investigator, my companion freaked and just jumped straight into the lesson. didn't ask her name, didn’t introduce ourselves, no prayer, nothing. just "SO OUR LESSON IS ON THE RESTORATION". it went downhill from there. our others have been considerably better. May 12, 2013 The temple was awesome! apparently at one point it was the most expensive temple in the world. I learned so much by going through again, but we won't have the opportunity to go again for the rest of the mission. Every day here is comprised of nothing but funny and spiritual moments. Last night one of the other elders, Elder Ferris, found that his shirt had a couple of ink spots on his white shirt pocket. So he takes it into the laundry room and pours water on it and irons it. He now has a white shirt with a purple and black burnt coat pocket! haha and then he picks it up, looks at me and says "does this look ok?" I died laughing. First Companion May 20, 2013 Hey mom, I've been out for about 5 days now and I'm dead tired. so for this story to make sense you have to know the term: potential investigator = someone who sets an appointment with us or gives us their phone number, The first day that we really did anything was Thursday. My companion told me that the guy I replaced was pretty apostate so they didn't get a whole lot of work done. So that day we had zero appointments and a whole lot of time. so we went over some of the goals and the standards of excellence (standards the mission president thinks we can achieve). These numbers are like the numbers of a dream day where everything goes perfectly right. The standard of excellence for potential investigators is 4 per day. Elder Harris told me that him and his last companion were lucky to get that in a week! So we set out and started street contacting and knocking doors. we did this for about 4 hours and we got 4 appointments with people. It was at about that point that I met Jim. Now Jim had talked with the missionaries before apparently and he obviously hadn't really listened to them. He ran into us on the street and started ranting and raving about how he needs proof that the book of Mormon is true, how the bible has plenty of proof of its truth, and how there were contradictions between the two. The most annoying part was that every time we tried to talk or explain something to him he would cut us off. I tried bearing my testimony and he stopped me at "I know" and told me that I didn't know anything and that I just believed. So I stopped there in the middle of the street and told him that there are people out there that are ready to hear our message and want to feel the spirit and that he obviously didn't want to. I told him that he wasn't listening to what we were saying, that all he wanted to do was to argue, and that he was wasting our time. He didn't like that. He left us with a terrible feeling and zero spirit. So we stopped, said a prayer and within the next hour we had two more potential investigators. That day we got 6 potential investigators!!! 4 appointments set and 2 phone numbers! one of them accepted a book of Mormon from us. we were really feeling awesome until the next couple of days when every single appointment fell through. It was really disappointing, but we kept at it and tracted for the time that we we’re going to be in the appointments, and then, here's the craziest part, at the end of the day, when we had given it everything we had and laid it all out on the field, we were up in our flat planning when we get this phone call from the executive secretary. Some guy from the university had just called him and said that he was interested in joining the church!! we have an appointment to teach him tomorrow! I know that the lord was rewarding us for our diligence. He works in truly mysterious ways. I love you guys and miss you tons! I can't wait to hear back from you!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

It’s Official!

As of approximately 7:30 pm on May 1, 2013, Casey Reed Sorensen is now Elder Sorensen! Mom didn’t cry to hard and Dad couldn’t be prouder. Look out England, here he comes! And he's off...

Pies, Ties, and a Farewell

Today (April 28, 2013), Casey gave his farewell talk in sacrament. Both him and McKenna Hawkins are leaving on their missions in May. (I wish I had been able to get a picture of Casey and McKenna together.) It was a packed house in Chelan with many members and non-members attending. Casey’s Grandpa Dan, Grandma Carol, Grandpa Dean, Sara Pritchard, Colby, and Dustin Jackson all came to support him. He also had his high school football/track coach come to hear him speak. He gave a great talk and touched many! We came home and had a quick lunch with Casey’s grandparents and rushed to get everything ready for the Pies and Ties! We had over 17 pies! Only five of them were homemade though. We enjoyed piƱa colada pie, brownie-whopper pie, cinamon roll pecan pie, salted-caramel brownie pie, and peanut butter and jelly pie just to name the homebaked ones. The turn out was amazing! We had over 70 friends and family show up to wish Casey well and to let him know they support him. We didn’t even count how many ties he received. THANK YOU to all of you who donated to his tie collection! Many provided him with ‘Words of Wisdom’ for him to read. Some humorous and others words of encouragement. He was truly overwhelmed by the love and support showed to him. He’s going to be an awesome missionary!

Saturday at the Temple

Saturday April 27, 2013 marked a special day in both Casey’s life as well as that of his parents. This is the day that Casey went through the temple for the first time. We were so fortunate to share this special day with Shannon, Kurt, and Bronte Toolson!