Sunday, December 7, 2014

Counting Down

November 24, 2014
It's good you've found why you're there. It's going to be weird to go home to a different ward though.
It's going to be really weird. Well you can start counting the weeks! I don't know if you realized, but it's only 20 weeks on Wednesday till I'll be home!! That is really starting to freak me out. It's only four weeks until we email! can you believe that? I don't have a lot to talk about this week. On Monday we had a member buy us a meal from a choppy. We had an order of chips and 2 wraps each. It was really nice. Then we had a service project on Tuesday where we finally got the stupid stump out of a family's back garden. We are about to take on a few more projects in their garden. I've gotten to be really good friends with them and we definitely need to visit them when we come back. That night we had joint YM/YW which was alright, the young men got bored and we just ended up playing capture the flag. Tomorrow we are going to play dodgeball! Wednesday was completely taken up by travelling to district meeting, district meeting, missing trains back from Lincoln and so on. haha not very eventful. Thursday I was feeling pretty sick, Which I haven't completely gotten over yet. We did make it out for a lot of the day, but I was feeling terrible. Friday we had a really dodgey meal for lunch which made my sickness worse followed by a DA that completely stuffed me to breaking point. That night I didn't sleep much. Saturday we found a new investigator and had weekly planning because we didn't have time on Friday. Sunday we had a DA at our ward mission leader's house. We had a flipping feast and I don't know what it was that I ate, but it made me really bloated and REALLY gassy. Honestly it was top ten most uncomfortable I've ever been in my life. I was proper farting like every five minutes until this morning punctuated by numerous trips to the toilet. oh and the burps..... *shudder* they tasted like death. I don't know what it was, but I never want it to happen again. Today I'm still feeling a bit ill from it all, but on the whole I'm doing alright. Time is moving so fast right now and to be honest I miss home a lot. I know why I'm here and I don't want to go early, but when April 15th arrives I'll be ready.
I love you guys!!
Talk to you next week.
Elder Sorensen
December 1, 2014
Yeah, we had Thanksgiving at bishop’s house. It was fun. I'll try to find some stuff to send to you guys, but it's not likely to get there by Christmas. Sorry! I know, it’s getting harder and harder as it draws closer. 19 weeks! I can't believe it, but the knowledge of how little I have left gives me motivation to do as much good as I can with what little time I have left. Yeah, Andy actually emailed me back this week. So that's pretty cool. This past week was pretty eventful as far as weeks go. On Tuesday we spent part of the day calling fromers and potentials to try and set up appointments. Had a DA and played dodgeball with the young men. That was pretty fun, I lost my voice from trying to reign in the deacons though. Was I that annoying when I was 12 years old? On Wednesday we did a bunch of finding and had dinner with the Challis’. On Thursday we had the second zone meeting this month. They taught us about the new He is the Gift Initiative. I don't know if you guys have heard of it, but it's awesome. I'm actually really excited for it. It's a new website, video, and pass- along cards and a few other things that the church has put out about Christmas. It's so awesome to have something new to use in missionary work. It's given me a lot of new motivation and has broken up some of the monotony of missionary work. If you haven't seen it yet its christmas.mormon.org and it's a really cool way to share the gospel! Watch it and think of who you could send a link to or share it on Facebook. On Friday we spent most of the day working with the christmas.mormon.org pass-along cards and got 4 appointments from it! And then we had weekly planning. On Saturday we had 4 appointments and 3 of them held through!! Miracles!! We had a pretty good bible study. Because of the He is the Gift initiative we've decided to focus our bible study for the next few weeks on the life of the savior and the true meaning of Christmas. We’re waiting for president to get us the daily dose program so that we can start teaching English classes as well. Sunday we went out with a member, Brother Lavender, he's awesome. One of the best members I know. And that brings us to today! That’s about it! Can’t wait to talk to you guys in 3 weeks.
Love you!
Elder Sorensen

Sunday, November 23, 2014

November 10, 2014
Things with my companion are going good! Elder Limb is a really nice guy. The area is moving slowly, but moving nonetheless. I might have some pictures up later, just depends on how the day goes. I know it's pretty crazy 6 weeks until Christmas and then at Christmas I'll have just under 4 months left! So crazy to think, I need to get a list together of things to talk about when we skype. We have a lot of things to discuss.
Our week was kind of exciting. Elder Burke and I spent Tuesday packing and saying goodbye to people. On Wednesday we woke up half an hour early to catch our train to Nottingham. I spent the day in a tripanionship which was really fun. I was with Elder Debeikes and Elder Holman and we had an awesome time. I would really like to be in a tripanionship. After that we spent the rest of the day travelling back to Boston with Elder Limb and unpacking. A bunch of finding between that and our Bible study. We had our biggest attendance yet at the bible study. We had a non-member there and we've got an appointment with her this week! Hopefully we'll be able to see that go somewhere :) then it was just church and loads of finding again yesterday! And that brings us to today. Today I'll be giving a guitar lesson to a non-member family’s kid. They are all Muslim and their probably one of my favorite families on my mission. They are seriously awesome. And later we have a dinner appointment. Sorry for the short boring email, but that’s really about it for this week!
Love you guys!
Elder Sorensen
November 17, 2014
This week has been pretty normal... honestly I have nothing to talk about. On Tuesday we went o exchange. We had youth and played capture the flag. That was awesome. Everyone really enjoyed it. Wednesday was really boring, just a whole bunch of finding. Elder Limb came back from exchange with a nasty old bike to replace mine that got stolen( don't remember If I told you my bike got stolen, life goes on) and we've spent every evening taking it apart and cleaning it. I'll do an update vide of that today. Thursday we spent all day going to and from zone meeting. The zone leaders had to drive out and pick us up because we had no money for the train. Haha they weren't very happy, but we have the coolest zone leaders ever, I love them. On Friday it was weekly planning and finding, and Saturday was the same with a surprise lesson. Sorry this email is so short; hopefully more interesting stuff will happen this week haha were hoping to start English classes soon if all goes well. We had to cancel our Bible study on Saturday because everyone was doing stuff, but that gave us time to have the surprise lesson.
Love you guys tons!!!
Elder Sorensen

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Life in Boston UK

November 3, 2014
It's good to hear that your testimony is growing I pray for you and dad every night, along with Andy. That's awesome about dad's new calling, I was just at the bishops house and he said dad is going to be bishop next haha I actually just got a calling as well! I'm now the young men’s president in Boston! Haha I'm really excited for it! It should be really fun. There are some young men here who really need a positive role model and someone who really cares about them, so I'm really grateful for the calling I really want to help them out. I've just been reading through handbook 2 for administering in the church and I thought it was quite interesting that the entire first chapter is just basically the restoration and plan of salvation. Then it goes into how the organization of the church is there to help strengthen families and individuals and to administer the ordinances by proper authority and are not an end in themselves. Basically the church is there to help the people in it and it always goes back to that. It’s not there to be a successful organization. I've been really good, feeling a spiritual high. I'll be seeing a doctor as soon as you can get me all of that paperwork. I'll check my email on Thursday then. We have dodge night tonight. Elder Burke is probably leaving so I'll probably have a new companion on Wednesday! I have really enjoyed my time with Elder Burke. He is a really good guy. Next week will be transfer 14/17 and companion number...... (Harris, Gardner, Hoffmann, nelson, Hyde, Johnson, Gull, Olivos, Moore, Allen, Burke.....) 12! Holy crap that's a lot of companions!!
Not a whole lot other than that has happened this past week. I got called to be young men’s president, we had an exchange and district meeting, had another bible study, which is going well! We should be getting a new investigator out of it soon if all goes well! Other than that it's just been a bunch of finding. That’s really all I've got to tell you this week, I should have some good pictures to send you next week.
I love you guys!!
Elder Sorensen

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Always Growing!

October 20, 2014
Mom. You did the best you could at being my mother as I grew up through childhood and adolescence and that's all that god expects of you. Yeah of course you made mistakes, Christ was the only perfect teacher to ever live, things that I do and mistakes that I make are mine alone to bear until I repent of them and take advantage of the atonement. In every situation no matter how big or small, no matter how much I'm influenced one way or another, it's still my decision as to what action I take. That's what makes me a free agent. The support that you and dad gave me is what got me through those hard times. I'm always going to be tempted. I have no confidence in myself, but I have full confidence in God and his ability to strengthen me against anything that I encounter.
ITL's are invitations to learn. I really wish I had been more open with you guys growing up, but it's time to look forward. I can't wait to get back and actually get to know you guys on a personal basis and learn more about your lives. I don't really have any new pictures or videos this week, although I am looking forward to seeing all of my pictures and videos from my mission with you guys, you guys only get like a... very small fraction of what all happens out here.
I know, It'll be our last skype call before I come home! This week was pretty uneventful. The whole week was pretty much service mixed with some finding and youth on Tuesday. On Saturday we had our first Bible study, we had a discussion about how the Bible came to be and what exactly it is. It was alright, only one person showed up, but they learned alot! haha Next week we're starting with Genesis chapters 1-5. Hopefully as we do it more regularly we'll be able to have more people show up. On Sunday we had a cottage evening with one of the members. None of the less-actives he invited showed up, but we had a good discussion. This week will be packed. On Wednesday we'll be going to Birmingham for a sleep specialist appointment for me. It'll take AGES to get there and back. Not looking forward to that. Oh and by the way I may have to buy the train ticket with the credit card which might be up to 50 dollars... I think that's about it.
I love you guys!!!
Elder Sorensen

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Life in Boston

October 7, 2014
That sounds like an eventful week. Tell Dan and Kelly I said hello! My mission really has changed me. I can't begin to describe how grateful I am to my heavenly father for what he has given me and what he has done for me. I really understand Ether 12:27 ( And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them: Ether 12:27) and if I had to put one scripture to describe my mission, that would be it.
I loved general conference. I can't wait to get the written version because I can pay attention to it easier and re read things that I miss the first time. All of the general authorities seemed to be pretty emotional this time. I love it. It reminds you that they're human. I really need to write people letters, but life is so busy at the moment. With missionary work and trying to fix/clean the flat in all of our down time, we haven't had any time for anything really.
I've got a really nice pair of Ecco boots off of another missionary for free, they're proper posh. Things with my companion are awesome. Today is his birthday, so we are hopefully going out somewhere nice to eat with a member family. The area is a really slow area, but we've got a lot of cool things in the works to get it going though, we are going to start a scripture study class on Saturdays if we can get it approved by bishop, and we're trying to get the YSA going with activities and stuff. We are focusing on ITL's right now for our personal finding efforts. Since we're starting from scratch we thought it would be easier to set goals for something that we can actually control, something that we can actually make happen.
On Tuesday we had a Dinner appointment and a flipping crazy night at youth. It started out as (kind of ) five aside football, but turned into an almost all -out brawl haha it was loads of fun. On Wednesday we traveled 2 hours up to Nottingham for interviews with president. That was awesome, president always knows exactly what you need to hear and how to make you feel awesome. Then we went 2 hours back and that was the whole day gone. Thursday was a complete day of finding. It’s kind of annoying because probably 4 out of 5 people will say they don't speak English even if you can tell that they do. Friday was the same plus a DA with a really nice old lady called Mary. She’s hilarious and awesome. Saturday we had a lesson with Kyle that went really well, loads of finding, and general conference the rest of the weekend. Bishop was sick on Sunday, so we had to stay at the chapel from 10am to 7pm for all the sessions :(. That was the week! Please don't send me any sweets or candy for Halloween. I'm trying to get into shape for my return home.
I love you guys more than you know
Elder Sorensen
October 14, 2014
It's a big thing over here as well (Meet the Mormons) but President Rasmussen hasn't said anything about it.
I love to see how you guys have grown spiritually, but there is always room to grow more. We should never stop trying to improve. It's awesome to stop and see how well we are doing and appreciate it, but it' equally important to look at the next step as well, what can we do next? I was listening to "For All Eternity" by John Lund yesterday for Pday eve and it was really making me think of you and dad and grandma and grandpa and how little time I spent getting to know you guys, I feel like I was such a little jerk before my mission. I seriously think of who I was before I came out and I can't believe I had any friends or people who actually liked me. I'm eternally grateful for how far I've come, but I'm even more grateful for who I have the potential to become, and it's all thanks to the atonement.
This week was pretty fun. On Tuesday it was Elder Burke's birthday so after long day of finding, I surprised him with a batman birthday cake (he's pretty into batman He liked that. I'll put the video of him finding it up. Umm the rest of the week was pretty dull, just lot of finding, we got a lot of potentials and appointments set up, but we haven't had any of them hold through yet, hopefully some of the ones we've made for this week will hold. Today I'm going to get myself a few pairs of trousers, I just ripped another pair and I'm down to 2 so it's time to get probably 3 or 4 more which should last me until the end of my mission. I don't think I have anything else.
I love you guys more than anything!!
Elder Sorensen

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Now in Boston!

(Sorry for the rather long post, but I wanted to get caught up)
September 22, 2014
Some of your responsibilities as a ward missionary are to be the example of missionary work in the ward (IE sharing the gospel with your friends and introducing them to the missionaries, as well as giving the missionaries referrals, and going teaching with the missionaries) the ward mission leader can also ask you to come to be a part of the missionary coordination meeting.
Can you believe we only have 3 months until our last Skype of my mission??? That is completely insane. It so completely ridiculous how fast time is going!!! This week was pretty awesome, on Monday we had a lesson with our new investigator that I think I already told you about last week. Yep, just checked, I definitely already told about it. Then, the very next day, we put one of our investigators on date for baptism!! It was a really good lesson, halfway through the lesson (gospel of Jesus Christ) she asks, “Why was Christ baptized? I've always wondered why Christ had to be baptized, because he was Holy, so why should he be?" Those were her exact words. I immediately replied, "Well actually this is one of the things that we learn from the book of Mormon which has been lost from the bible!" and then we read 2 Nephi 31 with her. I love that scripture. Other than that it was a lot of looking and not finding.
We had a lesson with Fred again and he kept coming to us with all of these reasons why the Book of Mormon couldn't be true and he even started pulling out some anti-literature. We pretty much rebuked all of that nonsense and then invited him to research reasons why the book of Mormon was true. We told him that he had spent all of this time and effort into finding out all of the reasons that it was wrong and talked to him about how a fair assessment weighs the Pros as well as the Cons of any given subject and that if he was going to have an unbiased stance on the book of Mormon that he needed to research all of the reasons that the Book of Mormon is true. So, we'll see how that goes if I'm still here in 4 days. IDK we'll probably drop him if he comes back with nothing.
Tonight we hear about transfer information... I'm kind of split, I've developed a really good relationship with the people in the ward here, but I'm ready for a change. I really just want to be thrown into the deep end of a new challenge. I also hate anticipating transfer information. It's killing me to have to wait another 10 hours to hear what's happening... anyway that was about everything!!
Love you!
Elder Sorensen
September 28, 2014
Boston is nice! I put up a few pictures and a video on Dropbox. My new companion is Elder Burke, He's from Australia. Yeah he's pretty cool, I don't really know him very well yet, but he seems like an alright enough guy. I totally forgot to get Sister Retallick flowers! oh well, they knew that I liked them.
Well now I'm going to tell you straight up that I invite you to bare you testimony next sacrament meeting! No excuses next time. Testimonies aren't meant to be super incredible and interesting; it's just a statement of truth that you've come to know. That's awesome that you guys are being consistent with your prayers and reading, I'm sure you're seeing the blessings from it. I got the Jesus the Christ book and the suspenders haha tell him thanks! And I love you.
Tell dad not to stress out too much, the Lord is happy with him trying his best at doing genealogy. Plus angels are going to correct the mistakes that we make during the millennium:
Gospel Principles Manual:
"Many people have died without receiving these ordinances. People on the earth must perform these ordinances for them. This work is now being done in the temples of the Lord. There is too much work to finish before the Millennium begins, so it will be completed during that time. Resurrected beings will help us correct the mistakes we have made in doing research concerning our dead ancestors. They will also help us find the information we need to complete our records." (See Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. [1954–56], 2:167, 251–52.)
This week has been pretty cool. Not very much has happened. It's just been a bit of finding and unpacking for the past few days. We live in a house that is apparently more than a hundred years old. It's pretty huge as far as missionary housing goes. It's a typical British house and we've got a fair size back garden as well. I'll send you the video tour I made of it. The town seems pretty cool, It's finally a change from the scenery of the midlands! It does seem like a coastal town even though it's about 45 minutes from the beach. Our ward boundary covers ALOT of the coast, so we've got some plans to go out to a lot of the coastal towns and beachy areas to keep things interesting. Hopefully next week I'll have some more exciting stuff to tell you guys! That's about all I have for now.
Love you!
Elder Sorensen

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Working in the Lord's Vinyard

September 15, 2014
This week has started off with the best lesson I've ever had on my mission :) It really showed me that perseverance and hard work pays off. There was a woman called Sara who we've been stopping by and trying to set appointments with lately. The first time we stopped by her and her son came to the door and seemed interested, so we explained briefly about the restoration. The son piped up that he believed in Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. So we gave the mother a restoration leaflet and the son a plan of salvation leaflet and set a time to come back. When we came back the Father (Scott) was the only one home. We chatted to him a bit and he mentioned that he loved Americans because of how happy we were. We eventually came to the subject of the Gospel and he told us about his late father and the confusion that stemmed from that. We taught him of the plan of salvation and set a time to come back. When we came back, no one was home, but we were about 5 minutes early so we decided to wait. When the time we had set up rolled around a car pulled up to the driveway and Sara stepped out. She rushed into her house and we had a brief conversation with her autistic son while we waited. When she came back out she said that she was in a rush and that she had no time to talk, but we set up a time for us to come back. The only time that we both had free was today (Monday) at 10:30 am. We decided that since we didn't have any investigators and since we really wanted to teach this family of four which all sounded like they had been prepared to receive the gospel, that we could sacrifice some Pday time to teach her. We went today to find them home and ready for our lesson! We went into their observatory and started talking a little bit about the family. We came to find out that the oldest son (nearly 17) had had some serious brain surgery when he was a newborn. Their other son (12 years old) was a pretty amazing kid. According to her, this son, Caleb, just simply radiated goodness. He was always looking out for others and could never stand to see others in pain or suffering. He would stand up for other kids at school, despite him not being the most impressive human being, and he would always help those in need. She said that he always seemed to have this feeling about him, whenever he was around she felt good and happy, a sort of warm feeling inside and that whenever he was in the room he seemed to emanate it. She also said he always came to his teachers with deep religious and philosophical questions about life and that he would think about these things a lot. She said that when we came to the door that day and left the materials that we did, they soaked up the information and that it answered a lot of questions and stirred a whole lot more questions within him. When he came to his teachers at school with these questions they had to eventually just say that they didn't have time to answer all of the questions he had and the teachers actually ended up talking to his mom (Sara) about it. We told her that we would love to come back when Caleb could be there and we could answer all of his questions. She committed to come to church with Caleb, to read and pray about the Book of Mormon and to a return appointment. The Spirit was present for the whole lesson and I can't wait to come back next Monday (again the only day she's free). I know that this family has been prepared to receive the gospel and I can't wait to teach Caleb as well.
ummm that's about the most exciting thing that happened. It's been cool to see this area pick up as I've worked in it. sadly I think I'll be leaving next week, but It's been cool to see it transform into a productive area. I think that's everything!! I love you guys tons and I'll let you know where I go when I find out next week!
Love
Elder Sorensen

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Obedience

September 8, 2014
Yesss!! Well hopefully the next time you finish the BOM I can be there for it. It would be cool to have scripture study over Skype when I go back to university.
YUP! haha I'm no longer afraid to bare my testimony, I do it every day to people who don't want to hear it, so doing it in sacrament meeting is a breeze.
The shoes fit perfectly and they're awesome!! Thank you so much! I was actually thinking about getting some new shoes, but now there's no need! We are in a branch, but President Retallick is a counsellor in the stake presidency.
This past week was pretty awesome. I had a bit of revelation about obedience. I've never been seriously disobedient and I've never done anything too crazy, but I've also never been one to be completely stressed over the rules either. If it came to it I would usually let a lot of things slide. I think a lot of that attitude has come from having so many companions who are so disobedient, but I can't use that as an excuse. I've always had my free agency and every mistake I've made has been of my own free will and choice. This past week though I was listening to a talk ( actually an audio book I think) by John Bytheway while riding the bus out to an area. The talk was called "how to be an extra-ordinary missionary". Something he said about obedience really struck me deep in my soul. He said ordinary missionaries obey because they ought to and extra ordinary missionaries obey because they want to. I realized that all of my obedience in the past had been out of duty and a lot of the time almost grudgingly. Needless to say I did a lot of thinking and reflecting on how I had been acting and treating my calling. I offered a prayer of repentance and I felt amazing. I felt so happy and light and just incredible! And the feeling has stayed since! It is so amazing how a simple change in perspective on things has changed my entire outlook on the mission rules and it has truly affected me in such a positive way. It shows as well in how Heavenly Father is blessing us with more lessons and appointments now than I've ever had before in Evesham it's pretty awesome. Our investigators right now are Mike and Jenna. Mike is very much an analytical investigator and isn't really in it with any real intent. We're thinking about dropping him soon. We'll have two more lessons with him, but if he is still showing zero signs of softening his heart we'll have to drop him. As of right now he's really just in it for the debate rather than for really wanting to find out if it's true. Which, I'll debate all day, but it'll get us nowhere. Jenna, on the other hand is a lot more promising, we are hopefully going by her on Thursday and we're going to clear some things up about the plan of salvation for her. Please pray that we will know what to do about Mike and that we'll be able to help Jenna progress.
I'm in the process of sorting through about 35 gigs of talks right now that I got from Elder Allen and deciding which one to put on my ipod haha I'm also converting some bible videos to put on there. I'm really annoyed with boots pharmacy right now. I took my sleep med prescription in there and they still haven't let me know if it's in yet. I went in a couple of days ago and they said they were having issues getting it. it's starting to freak me out that I've probably only got 2 weeks left here in Evesham....Half of me really wants to stay and Half of me is ready to move on. Idk. Whatever happens happens.
Love you guys!!!!!
Elder Sorensen

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Personal Growth - It Happens

August 26 – September 23
We’ve been sick for a few days now, all the prayers are welcomed. I've been really bored just sitting around the flat. I really really hate it. There's nothing worse than just sitting around all day. It also felt really wrong not being at church on Sunday. I'm going to be a lot happier when we can get back out of the flat again. Yeah, President Retallick gave me a blessing on Sunday, they also brought us some food and tissues, they are pretty awesome at taking care of us :)
We taught Fred on Thursday and had quite an interesting lesson with him. It was really annoying because he just basically kept refusing to feel the spirit. We're trying to decide whether or not to keep teaching him. He basically just see's our visits as philosophical discussions. We'll probably teach him a few more times and see how it goes. It's always difficult to know when to drop someone, especially because we don't have a whole lot else going on.
Things with my companion are good!
Rumors about me... It's just that I'm nasty in general. That I'm prideful and judgmental and rude and all this. Like I said it's just because the only things people hear about me come from past companions and since I haven't gotten along with them and quite frankly sometimes ended in big fights, they typically don't have anything nice to say about me. I can say though that it has taught me a lot of lessons in the effects spreading rumors and gossiping can have. Not to mention a lot of self-realizations and a lot of things I need to work on. I just wish that my companions would have told me all of these things instead of telling everyone else apart from me.
Yeah, I really loving singing and playing and all that jazz. It's really fun, but I get really critical of myself with it. I really want to take voice lessons when I get back.
We're feeling back to 100% now! ready to go out and work. Things are good with my companion, he is quite patient so that helps haha. YES I got the shoes and the Cheetos...... please don't ever spend 20 dollars on a bag of Cheetos again... ever. Thank you so much for the packages! you really don't need to buy me things to tell me you love me though. I know you guys do :)
I'm enjoying my time here, but I really am looking forward to a change in scenery. I don't have any more pictures right now, but I should have some soon enough. We're having a district Pday today and we're going BOWLING!!! YESSS! I love bowling. That's awesome that you are trying to be healthier. That's one of the big things that I've learned since being here. When you eat healthy and live healthy you have more energy and you're so much happier and confident. This week should be a good one. We've got a lot of stuff scheduled so we should be happy and back on our feet again starting tomorrow! There's not really much to say about last week, we were sick from Saturday 2 weeks ago until Friday last week. We made it out of the flat for a couple things that we needed from the store from time to time, but that was about it. We had a couple of members bring us food, which was really nice. This is definitely a ward that I'm going to want to come back and visit. Last week made me realize just how important studies really are. There were a couple of days when I just slept and sat around the whole day and completely forgot to study. I was feeling completely terrible and didn't have the heart to pick up anything to read, but when I finally did I noticed a HUGE difference in how I was feeling as well as my mindset. I really have grown to love my personal studies. I hope I can continue to study like this at home, but I'm afraid that life will get busy again and it'll move to the background of my priorities. I really don't want that to happen.
Well anyways I'm off to go bowling with the district!
Love you guys!!!!
Elder Sorensen

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Interesting Adventures

August 4 – 11
I don't have a whole lot of time today so I'm going to make it short and sweet!
This past week was an alright one. A. is still at a Christian camp, so we didn't get to meet with her. We met with N. again and had a pretty good lesson, I think he's more of a long term conversion, but I do see him someday joining the church. You never know though, God is a miraculous person. On Monday last week we went to Cheltenham so that Elder Moore could buy a suit before he goes home and today we're going to go and pick it up from being tailored.(I may get a couple of things while I'm there :) on Tuesday we got new couches for our flat so now we have three couches!! It's pretty legit. We enjoy having space to stretch out now. On Wednesday we went on exchange and taught N, we were supposed to have a bunch of other lessons, but they didn't work out. The exchange ended up lasting until Friday, which I still don't really know why. We had district meeting on Thursday, ate Ben and Jerry's on a hillside overlooking Evesham and we had some MSF left over at the end of the month so we had a really posh meal at a Cantonese restaurant!! I had an amazing coconut curry. Friday and Saturday were pretty boring and yesterday we had a munch and mingle with the ward! It was pretty cool. I love anything with free food. Today as I said we're going to Cheltenham to do some shopping, so I may end up getting a little something ;) Elder Moore is getting presents for his family before he goes home. This week is going to be rough for him, so I've spent a lot of time planning out things that will keep us busy this week. Hopefully we can finish out this week (and his mission) with zero regrets! That's the goal anyway. I'm feeling good today! I got a letter from Shannon which had some of what Elder McClellan had said to her... haha The area he's in right now sounds like pretty much my whole mission. It's just a different way of doing missionary work. You have to figure out what works for each area and learn to adapt. I've learned that if nothing else, If you can leave your area better than you left it (a better organized area book, a big list of potentials to go by, members strengthened, ward relationship strengthened) you can really feel like you've made a difference.
I'm not training, but president says he's giving me a companion that will work with me this transfer. I'll find out the info on transfers tonight. I'll send you an email tomorrow to tell you. This last week was pretty hard. Just watching Elder Moore pack and get stuff for his family before he goes home. Watching him prepare to go home is making me think of when I'll be doing it and what it will feel like. And then it makes me realize just how much time I have left. It's having a negative effect on my desire, but I'm sure I'll get pumped again when I get a new companion. I know now that I don't want to be a missionary who dies slowly, I want to work hard to the bitter end and give it all I've got. I got a letter from dad this week! that was nice :)
This week, like I said, was a lot of watching Elder Moore pack and get stuff for his family. We did go out when we could to do some finding and try to get some people for me and the next missionary to teach. It's also been nice and sunny this whole week, which means sweaty and gross haha we had a pretty cool adventure going out to try and stop by a guy whose address was '' Old shed in the woods at the end of peewit road''. We didn't find it, but we had a pretty cool adventure which involved strange bones and a horse we named Joseph! I'll put the videos on Dropbox. We've spent pretty much the whole day today just chilling at a member’s house. Not a whole lot else to say! I'll talk to you tomorrow!
LOVE YOU TONS!
Elder Sorensen

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Transfers and Changes

July 7-28, 2014
Hard missions like this tend to separate the men from the boys. You either stick it out and work hard, or you give up and die. My companions have been exactly what I needed to grow and to become what I am today, there is no doubt that God knows what he's doing with my companions. I have always learned and grew in exactly the way I needed. It has been hard, but it's equally down to me as it is to my companions. I've learned to understand that I'm half of the problem and every situation can be solved by me acting more Christ like.
We had a new investigator this week!! She's a super cool 19 year old university student! We taught her the restoration and are hopefully coming back this week to talk to her about the plan of salvation! We actually found her on the bus on our way to a service project in non-proselyting clothes! haha we have been doing loads and loads of service lately. I've been having a rough time because of how completely exhausted I've been lately. I'm hopefully going into the doctors soon to get a blood test to check my iron levels. I just feel completely shattered constantly, hopefully I can figure it out. Honestly though, I'm really enjoying my mission right now, one thing I've noticed about when I am helping Elder Moore is that I really do love him. I'm starting to see all of the good things about him instead of focusing on anything negative, and it's honestly the best feeling I've ever felt. It's a really cool step on my way to conversion to the gospel. If I can feel this way about everyone, I would be filled with love continually! I really love this feeling I have, it makes me happy.
I'm actually really scared about coming back to the real world. I love the focus I have here and the time I get to spend on heavenly father. I'm scared about what's going to happen when I go back to all of the worldly temptations. I don't want to waste my time like I used to before the mission.
I'm super jealous of panda!! all he is going to do is wake up, eat, teach, eat, teach, eat, plan, sleep, repeat. That's the exact same way I feel about my mission (talking about the joy of service), it just feels so good to help other people! It's even better when you see someone’s life truly change for the better. It's incredible. This week has been difficult for me. We just found out that Elder Moore's visa is ending early, so he'll have to go home in 2 weeks instead of 8 weeks. So now I'm with him while he does all of his shopping to go home with and getting stuff for his family and preparing to go home and it's making me super trunky!! haha It's really making me think about when I'm going to be in his position and at times making me a little depressed that I still have to wait 8 and a half more months. In a way it seems like such a short amount of time, but at the same time it feels like ages. I really don't want to have to think about it, but it's really hard not to. I'm really hoping and praying that I get the training call next Monday, I really need someone fresh to give me some motivation and push me.
We went on two exchanges last week! That was pretty cool. It's funny, Elder Moore is probably my favourite companion and people keeping asking us to go on exchange! haha I'm still feeling really really tired, I think the heat here isn't helping. The weather here is horrible. either it's hot and gross or cold and miserable haha.
We got a new investigator this week, his name is N. He's a cool enough guy hopefully it will go somewhere. Our other investigator is going to a Christian camp for two weeks, so Elder Moore probably won't see her again.
I think that's about it! I got your guys' packages! Thank you so much! Haha I don't think I have any questions... Thats about it!
Love you!!
Elder Sorensen

Sunday, July 13, 2014

June 16, 2014
No, I'm actually really enjoying my mission right now. It seems like every day I realize how much I really have to work on and how much improving I really need to do, but I've got a lot of time left for that. I still can't believe that I've nearly been out for 14 months now.
Thank you guys so much for everything I got for my birthday. You really made it a special day for me! This week was really uneventful; it was pretty stressful because of the lack of missionary work we were able to do. Our two main investigators have been dropped. One decided he wasn't interested and the other one moved away, so that really sucked. We did a lot of service this week and it's also been really hot this week, so I got REALLY sun burned haha I've got a really funny tan line now. It didn't peel, so it's starting to turn into a tan haha. We've started visiting the Chilean family in our ward and are hoping to make a connection with the Spanish speaking community as Elder Olivos is fluent in it. Hopefully that works out! Other than that it's all been moving in to the new flat!
I think that's about it! I love you guys so much!! Have a great week!!
Elder Sorensen
June 23, 2014
I still can't believe all of this is happening, the new baby, everyone from home getting married... life is just happening without me. Coming home is going to feel like I fell asleep and woke up 2 years later.
This week has been alright, our finding has been nearly completely ineffective so this coming week we are going to shake things up and see what we can get out of it. We've got such an amazing branch and I really want to see it grow and let the members experience some of the fruits of their labors. As of today we are 100% moved in to the new flat, everything is set up, all of the furniture is assembled and we no longer have to spend any extra time in the flat!!! I'm honestly struggling to think of things to tell you haha this week was really boring, just a lot of finding really. We've been doing a lot of service for members. One of the families we've been helping out a lot is the D. family. Their father was just in a really bad bike accident while on holiday in Spain. He's been in hospital for about 6 weeks now, so it would really help if you could pray for him. I'm really sorry that this letter is so short this week, but there's really not a lot to talk about. Did dad get his father’s day letter? I wrote one for grandpa as well. Today is district Pday! We’re playing games and stuff in the chapel and just hanging out. I'll try to take more pictures and videos. I honestly think that's about it!! 14 months out in a week! How crazy is that?
Love you guys so much!!
Elder Sorensen
June 30, 2014
Well, next harvest I'll be there to help! How is grandpa doing? I want to write him another letter. How is grandma doing? I'll keep Cindi in my prayers, how is she doing? how are the boys? Anything new in their lives? I suppose I should just email them myself.
I will take plenty of pictures and videos for you today :) they'll probably go up later though! I'm getting my glasses ordered tomorrow!!! is it weird to be excited for that? It's just so new and different haha I'm excited to see in high definition!! do you think I'm going to look totally different with glasses on? People aren't going to recognize me when I come home haha last week was pretty eventful; the whole week was basically a trial of faith. Finding day after finding day with a few service opportunities mixed in, but then right at the end of the week, we went finding out in a place called Badsey before a dinner appointment and made 4 or 5 appointments for the next week! That's not all that happened.... but the story of this week is one for another time and place. It's really too much for me to write down on paper, so just remind me when I'm back home to tell you the story of week number whatever I'm on. :) Spiritual thought for this week!!!!!
I am really loving my studies and lately I've been focusing on the gospel according to mark. JST mark 4:25 "for he that receiveth, to him shall be given; but he that continueth not to receive, from him shall be taken even that which he hath" It's fairly simple, when we receive things that heavenly father gives us, whether it be callings, challenges, gifts, blessing or otherwise, with a willing heart and an open mind, he can give us more blessings. When we continually choose not to receive the things he gives us, our blessings are going to be taken away. I like to relate this to mission life. Heavenly Father has given us a little white book of revelation on how to be the most effective missionaries we can be. If we don't follow that revelation that he has already given us, how can we expect to receive more revelation? We have to first receive what he has already given by being obedient if we want to receive specific revelation on how to best work in the areas where we are.
I love you guys so much!!!
Love you!
Elder Sorensen

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Another Year Older!

June 9, 2014
It’s so weird that life is going on without me back home! Can you believe that I'll be home in 10 months!! This will be my last birthday on my mission. And Christmas will be my last Skype! That’s super crazy. It was a really crap week this week. We didn't have any time to do missionary work. The whole week was spent cleaning and packing for our move.
President said that our flat had to be in pristine condition when we moved out so that the church could keep the deposit from when they got the flat. So the whole week was spent manicuring and scrubbing the flat down, repairing damages and trying to salvage what was left of it. Then to top it all off I was sick on Saturday and Sunday (Don't worry, I still made it to church and taught priesthood). I got the trousers, but I'm going to have to have them tailored haha they don't fit properly at all. Rob (a member in the branch) says that he knows a lady that will do it for cheap, so hopefully that will work out, I'll let you know! If you could, make people write me some letters! Hopefully we are making the move into the new flat today, but we're not sure. I'll let you know. At latest we'll be there on Wednesday.
That's about all I have to talk about! Love you guys!!
Elder Sorensen
June 16, 2014
I'm actually really enjoying my mission right now. It seems like every day I realize how much I really have to work on and how much improving I really need to do, but I've got a lot of time left for that. I still can't believe that I've nearly been out for 14 months now.
I've got a letter for dad for father’s day that I'm sending today. I'll write one to grandpa as well. That's so awesome about your studies!! Do you find yourself being more knowledgeable in church? I love my studies.
Thank you guys so much for everything I got for my birthday. You really made it a special day for me!
This week was really uneventful; it was pretty stressful because of the lack of missionary work we were able to do. Our two main investigators have been dropped. One decided he wasn't interested and the other one moved away, so that really sucked. We did a lot of service this week and it's also been really hot this week, so I got REALLY sun burned haha I've got a really funny tan line now. It didn't peel, so it's starting to turn into a tan haha we've started visiting the Chilean family in our ward and are hoping to make a connection with the Spanish speaking community as Elder Olivos is fluent in it. Hopefully that works out! Other than that it's all been moving in to the new flat!
I think that's about it! I love you guys so much!! Have a great week!!
Elder Sorensen

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Great Companion!

May 20, 2014
Hey sorry, we didn't have time to email yesterday, I don't have a whole lot more time today either haha I can tell you that Elder Gull has been transferred to Nuneaton and I'm getting Elder Olivos. I'm so excited because I know Elder Olivos and he is such an awesome and humble guy. He’s from Peru, but he grew up in London. I'm stoked. He’s only been out for 5 transfers so I'll be senior companion finally haha
I now weigh 195 pounds! It’s really weird this is the first time I've been under 200 in a looong time. I was thinking... I would like to have voice lessons when I get back. I don't know how much it costs though. I think BYU has them where you can take them as a course. It would be cool to do some in the summer that I'm back though. I really am trying to find time to write everyone, but it is difficult. I’m sure you'll be there for Cindi, I really don't have time to write her right now, but I'll try to next week.
This last week went really well. We had an experience while GQing in the park actually. We were talking to everyone and we stopped a guy in a blue jacket who seemed to be having some issues walking normally. After talking to him a bit we realized that he had some speech issues as well, but he seemed receptive enough and we made a return appointment with him. We really didn’t expect much to come of it, but when we met with him we found out that he has dementia and Parkinson’s and his wife is quite interested in the church! So that was pretty cool. We also had someone move into our area who was about to get baptized in Hereford so we should be able to baptize home within a couple of weeks!
I don’t have any more time, but I love you guys!!
Elder Sorensen
May 26, 2014
I'm with Elder Olivos now and he is completely awesome. We just clicked as soon as we met each other. I'm having an awesome time with him. I'll send you some videos and stuff tomorrow. The library is closed today because of bank holiday and we won't be able to do it today, but I'll get it done tomorrow.
Psalm 46:10 "be still and know that I am god"
If you are doing all you can to follow Heavenly Father’s guidance, repenting quickly and trying to follow the commandments to the best of your ability, then there should be no reason for you to stress about anything. God loves you more than you could ever imagine and if you are willing to follow his counsel you cannot fail. God is perfect and all-knowing, he can do anything. He is completely aware of your situation and the stress that you are going through. All you need to do is to remember him and remember that the only thing you can really control is your own actions. God is in control of everything else. When you have those moments of stress or anxiety I want you to say a silent prayer in your head and remember that you are doing your best to follow Him and that he will take care of everything else. Jesus Christ suffered for all of our pains and afflictions, even the one you are going through right now. Because of that, God can lift that burden from your shoulders as long as you put your trust in him and ask him to help you. I am really loving my mission right now! But I really can't wait to get the heck out of the flat that we're in right now. We just started teaching this totally awesome guy called T. He does some close up crazy magic, I'll try to video some next time we teach him.
Love you guys so Much!!!
Elder Sorensen
June 2, 2014
This week was pretty awesome! Elder Olivos and I get on really well! I'm really loving my mission right now. It makes it so much easier to go finding when you're doing with someone that you actually like. We've got a few really solid investigators right now and we'll hopefully have one of them on a date the next time we see him. So pray for T. that he will be ready to set a baptismal date next time we go see him. We've had some craziness as well because we are moving over to the new flat on the 6th of June. We’ve got to sort out the old flat, figure out which of the furniture in there is ours and tell the office what we need for the new flat, sort out the meter readings and loads of other annoying stuff. Not to mention the fact that we're going on exchanges tomorrow! haha I want everyone to know that right now, I am the happiest I've ever been in my entire life. I love my mission with all of my heart and the joy I receive for serving Heavenly Father is so much more than I could ever have asked for. I know that god lives and this is his church. We cannot fail unless we fail to act. I love you guys with all my heart!
Elder Sorensen

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Missionary Life

April 28, 2014
Yeah I'm in the same stake; I'm actually even in the same district, so I'll be able to go there on exchange. Again I'm sorry I had to use so much lately, we're just having to travel so much and reimbursements are taking ages! Just wait til you get to 3rd at 4th Nephi. Hands down best books in the book (The Book of Mormon). No temple trips and probably not. President tried to get permission for one during Christmas time but the first presidency said no. Harry potter stuff over here is way expensive just like everything else here. And I'm nowhere near the castle, but I'm right next to Gloucester chapel which is where they filmed all of the shots for the great hall! Okay, yeah I'm writing grandma and grandpa today so hopefully I can finish and send that soon.
This week was pretty cool, Monday was a bank holiday so the library was closed and we had to go to a member’s house to email. That took up most of our Pday. Nothing super exciting happened until Thursday. We used to have a set of sisters in this ward, but when I moved in they were demolished leaving there area unworked, so we took that over. Their area is a little village called Tewkesbury and so Thursday we went out there and worked the check out of their area book. We got 2 new investigators out of it! That was pretty awesome. And the on the weekend we had stake conference and that's where I saw the Nolan’s. Anyways. Keep reading your scriptures and saying prayers together every night!! I love you guys!! Also, I kind of want to get a guitar for my birthday... think about it?
Love you!
Elder Sorensen
May 5, 2014
I know what you mean about reading the scriptures! It is so crazy the difference that it really makes in your life! Don’t worry about me finding a wife mom haha I've got at least another year to think about that. Sorry about the short letters! There’s just not a whole lot to talk about anymore! I'm still on a mission, still just being a missionary! I haven't bought the suit yet, I'll probably get it either next week or the week after... Don't worry about the guitar haha umm I kind of already found one... don't get mad. It was just a good deal so... happy birthday to me? I know it's pretty crazy that I've been out for a year already. I go home in pretty much 11 months that is weirding me out right now. looks like I've got a few letters that I need to write... story of my life! haha I'm so bad about writing people I feel so bad that I still haven't written grandma and grandpa. Elder Gull is really cool. He's a good guy. Evesham is awesome I really like the branch and the area is nice. I'm feeling pretty good, I haven't got any new pictures this week because I forgot my camera cord, but I should have some next week. I haven't written most people lately, but it's because I haven't got loads of time and it takes ages to write people, I'll try to write them, Andy doesn't email me back so I've stopped emailing him. tell them all hello and I miss them loads!!
This week has been pretty good; we've had a lot of appointments and a lot of people flogging as well, so not a lot of actual lessons. We did have a chance to go and teach a couple of people out in Tewksbury, P and J. P went well and he was supposed to be coming to church yesterday, but didn't end up making it. and we actually got to teach J a bit in an old Baptist chapel from the 1500's or1700's or some crap like that. it was way old. She's awesome and genuinely interested. other than that it's been a lot of finding and having fun with elder gull. I'll try to take more pictures and videos for you guys. I've been doing a diet and workout program for a while now and I'm actually starting to get into pretty good shape! 12 months to sexy starts now! haha I need to be ready to find a wife when I get back haha I am really enjoying my mission right now. I hope I get to stay in this area for a while. I love you guys! hope you have an awesome week! so we'll be on at around 6pm my time so 10am your time for skyping! I'll check tomorrow to see if that’s okay with you, if not let me know. If it is, still let me know!
Love you!
Elder Sorensen

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Brighter Days!

April 21, 2014
That’s okay! I got loads of Easter stuff from my new ward! Haha and Elder Gull and I are starting a diet today anyway so pray for us with that! Yeah I got the new card and sent the old one with the suits back to you. Thank you for that stuff! Don’t bother sending me the conference ensign, I can get it for free from the mission office and it's not worth paying more for the shipping eight. If you send them by surface mail it should be much cheaper, don't worry about how long it takes to get to me.
I love hearing about your spiritual experiences haha I love especially hearing about how you were humbled in the temple that's been like everyday since I've been here haha Heavenly Father definitely knows how to humble people.
Elder Jackson is very serious about doing the pizza oven. I really want to do it, it's something that we could do small time and if it takes off we could take it bigger. And the starting cost is relatively low as far as businesses go. Plus we could make you guy’s delicious brick oven pizza whenever you want!
My new companion is awesome! Elder Gull and I get along really well. Today we'll take some pictures and hopefully post them on Dropbox tomorrow since today is a bank holiday and we can't. Easter was awesome! We had a dinner appointment at a member’s house and played some games with them. It was really fun. Hopefully I can get them to send me some of the videos they took and I'll forward them to you. Haha This week wasn't too eventful. We just spent all day Tuesday packing and all day Thursday unpacking and cleaning out the flat. We emptied six bin liners of rubbish out of that place. Our downstairs neighbor is a complete nightmare. He’s this old drunk guy who has nothing better to do than complain. He's told off missionaries for peeing directly into the toilet instead of on the side because it keeps him up at night. He’s yelled at us twice so far for speaking in regular voices instead of whispering and walking around the flat past 9 o clock. We've told president and he's looking for a new flat for us, I don't know how long it will take him to get us one though. We also taught and had to drop our crazy investigator called C. He really really likes us and wants us to keep seeing him, but we just can't get a point across to him when we go, he keeps interrupting us with the Lord’s Prayer and will literally stop us in the middle of a sentence to show us something on his Sky TV that he's recorded. He is a very interesting person, but he's just not willing to change.
Not really a whole lot else to talk about, I had my suit trousers for one of my suits completely split, so I'm going to need a new suit soon. I can probably get one for about £70 from Slaters. Possibly for a birthday present? I'm turning 20 in a month! Haha do you feel old??
Love you guys so much!! Elder Sorensen

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Move to Evesham!

April 15, 2014
I've been transferred to Evesham! that is in the same district as Worcester! I'll be serving with Elder Gull who is an awesome guy from my group it's going to be awesome! I'm sending back those suits today and I'm not sure how much it's going to cost. I'll also be buying some vacuum bags for packing just to let you know!
Love you!
Elder Sorensen
April 14, 2014
We are finding out what happens tonight. I know that at least one of us is leaving, president told me in the emergency interview we had with him. He talked to me about my parents and how awesome they are and about what I'm going through. He shared a story about how he bought his son a new lawn mower and had him mow the lawn as a lesson in life and he told me that next transfer he's getting me a "brand new john deer" for a companion. So It should be good! You should know that I'm in good hands with president Rasmussen, anytime I'm feeling stressed or overwhelmed, he never minds talking to me on the phone and he doesn't hesitate to tell me to come in to the mission office for an interview. He told me as well that he can't wait to meet you guys because you are obviously amazing parents to have raised me like this (his words).
This week has been very stressful, but luckily I had a couple of exchanges with the zone leaders and our district leader to break it up. These past twelve weeks have been a huge struggle for me and I'm assuming that I've grown a lot because of it. I'll share with you something that Marcus just sent to me. he said, "not gonna lie,that sounds rough. I think people here are a lot nicer. I love my mission, and I have loved every one of my companions, of course they have all been very different, but it definitely isn't stress free. It is interesting to see what the mission does to us. We are given so many opportunities to change and become better; truly trials and blessings become one in the same as we fix our eyes upon Christ and exercise faith in his atonement. Stress is a big part of missionary life. I told that to Aubryann a few weeks ago and I often explain it to fellow missionaries in trainings. Jacob the prophet said that because of faith and a great anxiety he was able to receive the spirit of prophecy and work mighty miracles among his people. I love the term "great anxiety". In French the term is "vif desir" which best translates to "quickened desire." So, we can know that when we feel stress as missionaries (if it is a stress for the work and not a panicked, worldly stress) then this stress simply comes from our quickened desire to spread the word of God. Ammon and his brothers could not bear the thought that one soul should perish in hell. It filled them with horror. It's like Papa Toolson always used to tell me, you should be a little nervous before a race, because its important. If you don't feel any nerves, that means you don’t care; if you feel too nervous, you are probably letting fear get a hold on you and you need to recheck your faith and confidence level. it is the same principle with stress. Above all, we can know that all or our afflictions can be followed up in Christ. Through the purifying and enabling powers of his atonement, we can be made clean and made strong, and become someone different."
It's true. It's sometimes not a horrible thing to be stressed as long as it is managed and not tooo stressed. I think stress is a sign of hard work. I need to figure something out for my trousers. I've gone through about 8 pairs of trousers now because the crotch keeps getting blown out for some reason. I think it's because of my big legs and they rub together when I walk. It's annoying. I need to find something like some Carhart trousers that will last me a while. The only problem is that I can't have them shipped here, so could I have them shipped to you and have you send them by surface mail(the cheapest slowest way, it never takes as long as they say it will) to me?
I think that's it for now! I'll work on sending the suits back with the card and hopefully you'll get it soon!
Love you guys!
Elder Sorensen
April 7, 2014
Yeah conference was pretty awesome. I thought it was cool what David A Bednar said about how Christ’s actual birthday was on April 6th. Hopefully I'll be able to get my hands on the conference ensign.
As far as going with this lady to ask for permission to be baptized. Make sure you have the spirit with you when you go. The holy ghost is the one who knows exactly what this guy needs to hear. Just do everything you can to love this woman and love the guy who she is asking. Just tell them how much you have loved being a member of this church and how much it has been a blessing to your family. as long as you fallow the spirit everything will be fine.
I am very tired. and I am very stressed out. I won't sugar coat it. Life kinda sucks right now haha, but sometimes life sucks! That doesn't mean that God loves us any less and that doesn't mean he's any less conscious of our sufferings. He wants us to go through hard times to prepare us for worse times, to make us stronger, and to make the good times taste much sweeter. Hopefully the interview with president will help me out, I'm going to ask him to give me a blessing as well. I prayed for about an hour and a half last night and that made me feel better. Just got a call from president and he says we'll be going to talk to him at 4. that should be good. I'm looking forward to it. unfortunately I don't have any pictures for you this week, but hopefully next week I'll have some for you! Today I'll take some pictures of district Pday. Heavenly Father loves us. Jesus Christ has never and will never give up on us so we can't give up on him.
I love you guys! haha George is huge! darn cat.
Elder Sorensen

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Short Note

March 24, 2014
Transfers are on the 16th of April. Don't you worry I'll be home to dirty up the house again soon. We watcha few of the general conference sessions live, but the rest we just watch at awkward times over the weekend. There's only a few hours difference between the sessions and we don't get to watch the Sunday afternoon session, so it would be nice if you told me anything important that happens during it haha it's so crazy that my year mark is so soon and it’s only a few weeks until the Mother’s Day Skype. It’s completely insane how fast time is going right now. Next Monday is the day we usually get called if we are training and then the next Monday is the day we find out where everyone is going. I'm starting to care less and less about what happens at transfers. It really doesn't matter who I'm with, missionary work is missionary work no matter who you're with. There's not really anything exciting that happened last week. I've got a picture for you! We were on our way to a DA and saw this awesome view so I stopped and took pictures! I'm just trying to stay motivated and keep pushing forward despite the seeming lack of progress. We only had one RCLA last week and that was it. The hardest part is that we ARE working, we're not just wasting out, but I guess the Lord is just trying our faith while he prepares people. We've got zone P-day today so I'll have to end this here.
Love you guys so much!
Elder Sorensen

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Finding, Confirmation, and Milkshakes

March 17, 2014
I've been a little stressed lately because I'm horrible at keeping a journal. Like, I really suck at it. Hopefully Heavenly Father will help me to remember to write down the really important things haha.
We are starting to have a bit more luck with our finding efforts. We’ve got a few people lately who saw the Book of Mormon musical and were interested in learning more because of that. Yes! I confirmed P. on Sunday, apparently I sounded Irish to a couple of people during the confirmation, but that's just because the English get the American and Irish accent mixed up for some reason. haha nothing too exciting yet, but I'm sure it'll happen at some point haha.
let’s see... this last week. we started Tuesday with a cleaning inspection and then had lunch and a lesson with P. then we went up and had a very posh DA with Edwards and they gave us loads of expensive food to take home with us, so that was cool! And then that night we had a workover with some stake leaders and did a LA reach out night. That was pretty fun. Wednesday we had Zone meeting and went on exchange with Elder Jackson. I went with Peek to his area and taught this super solid investigator they have called K. who is absolutely awesome and should be baptized in the next couple of weeks. The rest of the week was just a lot of finding. we are getting a bit more successful with it though. hopefully things will pick up soon. Sunday, of course, we confirmed P. and did some more finding.
Today the other elders are up here with us and we're going to make some milkshakes and do stuff with them, hopefully I can remember to take videos and pictures of that haha. I think that's about it, sorry for the short email, but there's not a whole lot more to say! We still don't have IPads. I'm starting to give up hope on getting them. They said we should have them by January and it's nearly April.... oh well!! Whatever happens happens. Well! I'm freaking hungry.
LOVE YOU GUYS!! :)
Elder Sorensen

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Press Forward in Faith

Thanks for your words of encouragement!
With sending me stuff, if you really are adamant on buying me stuff from amazon, I'd like to get some clothes, because that's what I tend to be in need of chino's, nice looking skinny ties, comfy lounging clothes, whatever. Just don't go crazy haha and don't buy super cheap stuff. Super cheap stuff on amazon IS too good to be true, it's always complete crap. Also don't spend loads, it makes me feel bad. also watches, colognes, nice socks, other such things.
I can get peanut butter here for cheap. no no no. I don't want any candy! haha I'm starting my 12 months to sexy soon. I need to get on a diet. Haha I get money from the church for groceries, I get everything I need from them :) I'm seeing alot of the country where I'm serving, the thing about England is that it all looks pretty much the same. Maybe a few more hills in some places than others. You have to understand that the whole United Kingdom is about the size of half of the state of Washington, if that. I suppose that this area is a lot less affluent, Solihull was very posh, and Worcester was kind of in between.
Don't worry about my mental health haha if I were just and average person without the calling that I have right now, I would have probably snapped and done something crazy by now, but I have my calling as a missionary. God is the one who has commanded me to go through the trials that I am right now and he'll keep me sane throughout them. I just have to keep praying and keep doing all I can. I think what I'm the most worried about is what all of this is supposed to be preparing me for haha.
This past week was pretty stressful, but I got through it! haha We had President Teixeira of the Europe area come to the mission and spoke to us at our zone conference. It was really cool. He talked a lot about how, although the church is focusing on member missionary work right now, we still need to be doing our own personal finding efforts as well. He also talked about how patience isn't just waiting for hard trials to pass. It's not just pressing the pause button on life and waiting for difficult things to go away, it's moving forward even though times are hard. It's continuing to grow and do what you need to even though things suck. It really helped me to realize that I've been kind of just pressing the pause button lately and not really pressing forward. That's pretty much the only exciting thing that happened! I've sent you some pictures of the baptism finally. I'll try to remember to take more pictures.
Love you guys!!!
Elder Sorensen

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Bringing Others Unto Christ

March 10, 2014
P. is hopefully going to be confirmed this coming Sunday so keep praying. This area is not too different from my other areas other than it has loads of hills. It's pretty hopeless on my single speed racer, but I'll definitely be in better shape when I leave haha.
Haha no I didn't get transferred. I'm staying here with Elder Johnson for another transfer. I went on exchange with Elder Jackson and WE MADE MIRACLES HAPPEN!! We both wanted to work and we both wanted to help people!! That exchange was the happiest part of my mission so far. I JUST WANT TO HELP PEOPLE!!!! I just want to help people come unto Christ. This week was interesting. On Monday we had a district Pday at a big shopping mall in Stourbridge, it was a big high ropes course. I've put the pictures of it up on Dropbox. That night I found out that I'm staying another six weeks with Elder Johnson. I asked my district leader for an exchange the next day. I'm praying for Christ like patience and charity, but more prayers wouldn't hurt. That exchange with Jackson was miraculous; I've never had so much comp unity with any other missionary. We just worked and taught so smoothly together it was incredible, we found 2 people that day that had investigated in the past and now felt that they were ready to hear the message and 3 or 4 other new potential investigators. I saw what could be accomplished if you just have the desire and you care about the people you're talking to. The rest of the week was pretty rough, my level of motivation was next to zero and accordingly we didn’t do much. I really do need your prayers, I'm going through a rough part of my mission right now and I need some help if I'm going to get through it. I'm not overly depressed or anything like that. It's more stress than anything.
Today the Woodsetton A Elders are coming over and we're going to make southern fried chicken in loads of different types of batter and breaded garlic mushrooms and onion rings (Jackson also happens to be a professional chef haha a man of many talents) btw if you happen to find a beautiful girl that would make a good wife for him, he says he is open to referrals. I'll get pictures and videos for you of that.
Love you guys!!
Elder Sorensen

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Interesting Experiences

February 24, 2014
I really hope that I can come home to the Chelan ward. I love that place. I've just put some videos up of Elder Jackson (my district leader) playing guitar at a members house when we were on exchange. He is AMAZING. Check them out.
I hope you guys realize how much difference consistent scripture study really makes in a person’s life. On Monday a member called Sharon took us all out bowling and that was SO MUCH FUN!! I miss bowling with all my heart. I got really into it when I was down at BYU and I really miss it. We went with the other team of elders in our ward (Jackson and Peek) and it was awesome. On Tuesday we had a steak dinner with a less active couple and talked to them about the priesthood and importance of the bible as that was one of their concerns. On Wednesday we had a district meeting that took all day because of travel and a baptismal interview that took place. And after that we went to J’s place and had a chat with him. Thursday we went round to a potential who we found out gave us a fake name (which doesn't make sense to me... we still know your address..), and we had a chat with another potential who told us about how the bible says that angels were coming down and having hybrid babies with all the women and that’s why they were commanded by god to never come to earth again................. On Friday we Had an exchange with the district leader (elder Jackson) and we went to J’s place again and I took videos of elder Jackson playing guitar. He is amazing. On Saturday we exchanged back and did weekly planning. Sunday was pretty average and today we have zone P-day! So I have to actually go now. Love you guys loads!
March 3, 2014
I don't know how much time I have on here so you may get the rest of this message later haha Haha what has he sent me? I'm sure I'll get it before you can tell me haha. Sounds like you had a pretty disgusting week haha wait until you hear about mine! haha
Well I don't have any videos right now, but if we can get back from district P-day in time I should have some more to put up.
So today is dodge Monday! The day we find out about moves. We'll probs find out around 10pm tonight. I'll let you know tomorrow what happens. The other team in our ward are some of the best friends I've had. We get on really well. Elder Jackson and Peek are awesome haha Elder Jackson is Northern Irish and they basically hate the southern Irish and anything traditional and Irish haha So he gets really angry when we call him a leprechaun or finian or anything like that. haha So I'm thinking about buying some lucky charms and cutting out a picture of his face to replace Lucky's face.
I would like pictures of our view from our house, pictures of changes in the house, maybe a picture of you guys with grandpa and grandma. More pictures of our orchard, mountains, whatever! My health is way good! I probably need stuff but I can't think of anything right now. haha
Umm this week! Monday we went to zone P-day and played some sports and stuff so that was pretty fun. On Tuesday we met with P to prepare for his baptism and Elder Jackson did his Baptismal interview. You should hear this guy talk about the Gospel, he's just dripping with sincerity! On Wednesday we had district meeting which went over as usual. When we got back we worked on P's baptismal program and prepared a few other things for it. On Thursday we met with P again and had a short lesson on how to donate tithes and offerings. After that we went to the doctors, I had to do an asthma assessment so that I could get my inhaler refilled again. That was annoying. I went to fill the prescription and the doctor had forgotten to write something on it, so we had to walk 30 minutes back to the doctor’s office to have him write down a few numbers!!! ARG!! On Friday we did weekly planning and watched a Prophet of the Resto with P, then we went on exchange with the Zone leaders! haha that was exciting. I went with Elder Albrechtson. On Saturday we had P’s baptism!! That was awesome! Had a talk by a member and then had a talk by Elder Jackson. Elder Johnson baptized him and I will be confirming him. Today we are going to a big shopping centre for Pday. We’re doing some sort of climbing obstacle course thing, should be fun.
I think thats it! Love you guys tons!!
Elder Sorensen

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Interesting People

February 17, 2014
YES!! LIKE A BOSS! I'm so proud of you guys. ( this is in response to Kelly and I reading the scriptures daily) Are you loving it yet? When you get into the habit of it it really starts to become something you want to do because of how much you're reading. I would suggest getting this book for yourself to use with your study:
http://store.lds.org/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product3_715839595_10557_3074457345616706194_-1__195629
It has little readings and interesting things about each important verse. It brings a whole new level to your studies and makes you want to study more. I'm getting a lot better at just loving my companions and holding back from judging them as much as I have in the past. I'M not sure I'll ever have a companion that I just really wish I could have been with for another transfer, maybe I don't know. I think I'm just not very good at living this close to someone. I bet that's why Heavenly Father has only given me companions for one transfer at a time haha.
This week kind of sucked because all we had to do was loads of finding. It's always discouraging when you look at a day and the only things you have planned are morning studies and nightly planning, but if you work hard on weeks like that, the next week won't be like that! So that's what we did and we've got quite a few appointments this week.
On Tuesday we went by a less active who we had been trying to contact for a long time and he ended up letting us in. we talked to him for a bit about the bible and he invited us back for dinner tomorrow evening! So that was cool, he said he was getting us some steaks. On Wednesday we taught P, he is the one who is on date for March 1st. Thursday was an exciting day of finding haha we weren't having much success, doing some finding in Wombourne, when we knocked on this one guys door. Just to give you an idea of this man, his name is wishbone. He yelled at us from the window to come in and when we came in he was sitting on his bed in the living room drunk and completely nude. So naturally we started talking to him about the gospel hahaha his house was disgusting as well. He wasn't really having any of it, saying that religions were just pyramid schemes to get money. After a while of talking to him he softened up, we gave him our phone number if he ever needs anything and he said he would call us haha we might go back by.
Our weather has absolutely sucked. Crazy wind and insane rain. It makes you really hate life as a missionary because that pretty much makes finding impossible. We did find quite a few people despite conditions. No one as exciting as wishbone though haha that was pretty much the most exciting bits of last week.
I love you guys and I'm sure I've forgotten some stuff so I'll probably email you again later.
Elder Sorensen

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A Week in the LIfe of a Missionary

February 10, 2014
I'm not going to lie; these past 9 months have easily been the hardest months of my life. I guess I just expected people to be a little more willing to listen to us. I know how great our Savior and his teachings are, and I know what they can do for people, but it just doesn't seem like anyone cares. I do know, however, that God would not waste his time in sending me to a place where nothing will be accomplished. I know that there is at least one person out there who needs me and needs me to share the gospel with them, because I'm the only one who can. This week I have been so grateful to my Heavenly Father for everything that's kept me on the eternal path. I've just started to realize how good I have really had it. I was born into the one and only true church of Jesus Christ, to parents who did everything they could to keep me on the straight and narrow (and did a pretty damn good job). And then he gave me strength enough to be worthy for a mission, which has made me realize all of this and made me see just how important all of it is. I understand now how small of a thing this life is and because it's so short every single little choice really does matter. We had an eternity before this life and we are going to have an eternity after this life. This life is the only finite time in our existence. The only period of time that can be counted and scrutinized for the next infinite. We are going to remember every tiny little moment that ever happened and we are going to know how well we acted. We need to make the most of this life while we still have it. That's awesome that you are reading daily!! I'm proud of you! Haha are you praying every day as well? Morning and night? My companion is a nice kid. This week seems to be picking up; I'm always positive mom :). That's good you've committed to improving! That's what this life is all about; if we're not progressing we're regressing. I know that it might be hard, but if you keep focusing on all the reasons that it's hard, it's only going to get worse. Try to focus on all the reasons that church in the new ward is nice.* remember Lots wife ;)* you can pray for us to find new investigators. This past week was alright, but I seem to have gotten a bit discouraged, which in itself has discouraged me a bit more. It's like I said to start with though, this life is too short to get discouraged. Two facts: God lives. God is God. There you go! That should be everything you need to not be discouraged. If God lives and if he IS God, then he's not just going to let his servant work hard and get nothing out of it! That doesn't make sense. That’s just about everything that happened last week; I haven’t had any pictures or videos because there’s not a lot to take videos or pictures of haha sorry! I'll try to take some more.
Love you guys!
Elder Sorensen

Sunday, February 9, 2014

New Area

February 3, 2014
I've got a lot of gloating to do in the mission since most of them were rooting against the Seahawks haha. The new area is nice.
Last week was pretty good. Let’s see Tuesday, not much happened, we just had mutual with the young men (learning football skills). On Wednesday we taught our golden investigator P. He's awesome. He is engaged to a girl from Utah who he met over the internet and that's how he was introduced to the church. Later that day, we had a referral from the sisters flog us and hasn't returned any of our calls. Thursday we had district meeting and a DA with the Jones'. They are an awesome family. Friday was mostly spent tracting and weekly planning. Saturday was a really disappointing day; all we did was wait for busses and get flogged all day. LAME. Sunday was pretty average. Yup. Boring week haha. I did learn something cool though. I've been reading in the Old Testament and I've just finished the book of Deuteronomy. In the last chapter Joshua says that Moses was killed by the lord and buried in a place that they know not, but the book of Mormon tells us that Moses was actually translated. The Israelites just saw Moses go up into the mountain after he had told them that god wasn't going to let him go into the Promised Land, so they thought the lord killed him and buried him. The reason this was important is because Moses needed his body to give the priesthood to peter James and John and since he had to do it before Christ was going to overcome death and unlock the resurrection; Moses had to keep his body intact and thus was translated. Pretty cool hey?
Love you guys so much!
Elder Sorensen

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Woodsetton

January 27, 2013
Casey and his last companion
This past week was mostly just saying goodbye to awesome members in Solihull and packing! I got pictures with a couple of families, the Burtons and the Skidmores. You might have to edit the pictures a bit in Photoshop, they came out really bright. And I got one with the young men and a small part of the Arnold family. I was really torn about leaving Solihull, I was glad to go because the work moved slower than molasses on a cold December night, but I was sad to leave because the people there were amazing. I completely loved them. We're going to have to go back and visit them, even though there isn't much to do in Solihull besides shop and look at really huge posh houses haha.
So far Woodsetton seems like a good place to work. The people I've talked to so far seem to be willing enough, I think with a lot of hard work we could definitely see baptisms here. Elder Johnson and I have set a goal of three baptisms, so we're going to do everything we can to reach that goal. If you can put videos on the blog, you should put the one of me showing you around the flat on there. I've been quite sick for the past few days, but I think I'm getting over it. Hopefully soon I will be back at 100%.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/1ansepvd2xopspu/P1250220.MOV
Spiritual thought today: I was reading in 2 Nephi Chapter 2 where Lehi is talking to his son Jacob about opposition in all things. The bit where he is talking about Adam and eve in the Garden of Eden particularly struck me this time. I realized that If Adam and Eve had never known evil and had not fallen, live would have been completely pointless for them. They never would have learned or grown at all. They would never have had hunger, thirst, cuts, bruises, pain, or sorrow. They would never have been too hot or too cold, they would have no reason to learn. They would have no purpose to accomplish anything because they were in a state of complete perfection, everything they ever needed or wanted was right in front of them. I suppose this is the state of innocence that Lehi talks about later. I just thought that was interesting.
Love you guys so much!
Elder Sorensen

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Interesting Exchanges and Interviews

January 20, 2013
It is so surreal that it is coming that quickly. already nearly a year out, I talked to president in interviews last week and he said that Elder Hyde and I won't be together next transfer(this Wednesday) but we don't find out who goes where until tonight, so I'll let you know.
This is Casey’s response to my question about Christ being considered our father:
This is what the priesthood manual for this year has to say on the subject:
Our Father in heaven is the Father of Jesus Christ, both in the spirit and in the flesh. Our Savior is the Firstborn in the spirit, the Only Begotten in the flesh. 10
He [Jesus Christ] is our Elder Brother and was honored by the Father with the fullness of authority and power as a member of the grand Presidency, of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost .11
Our scriptures teach that Jesus Christ is both the Father and the Son. The simple truth is that he is the Son of God by birth, both in the spirit and in the flesh. He is the Father because of the work that he has performed.12
The Savior becomes our Father, in the sense in which this term is used in the scriptures, because he offers us life, eternal life, through the atonement which he made for us. In the wonderful instruction given by King Benjamin we find this: “And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters.” [Mosiah 5:7; see also verses 8–11 http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/mosiah/5.8-11?lang=eng#7.]
So, we become the children, sons and daughters of Jesus Christ, through our covenants of obedience to him. Because of his divine authority and sacrifice on the cross, we become spiritually begotten sons and daughters, and he is our Father.13
“We become the children, sons and daughters of Jesus Christ, through our covenants of obedience to him.” Like the Nephites in King Benjamin’s day, we Latter-day Saints have likewise taken upon ourselves the name of Christ [see Mosiah 5:1–9 ; 6:1–2 ]. Each week at the sacrament service, as we are commanded to do, we take upon us his name always to remember him and that is what the Nephites covenanted to do.
The way that I understand it is that he is our father in the sense that he plays a fatherhood role in caring for us and in what he did for us, but he is our elder brother.
Interviews, companion exchange, the only really interesting things that happened last week were interviews and our exchange with the district leader. We had interviews with president on Thursday. It went pretty well, we just chatted at first and talked about how things are going. He told me that Elder Hyde and I won't be serving together next transfer. So one of us is definitely leaving, we'll know tonight who it is, I'll let you know as soon as I can. We also talked a little bit about one my friends in the mission who is having troubles right now, I asked if I could serve with him and president hinted that I could. He also hinted that I will be training next transfer, so fingers crossed! Our companion exchange was the next day (Friday) and lasted until Saturday. It was interesting because I went with Elder Ruka who barely knows English and has only been in the mission for about a week. He's from Kiribas (over by Fiji. I don't know the Sheldon area at all, so we spent most of it wandering around wondering where the heck we were haha. I did end up getting one of his friend's email though, she looks really pretty in the pictures he has so fingers crossed that she emails back! Haha
Love you guys so much!
Elder Sorensen