Sunday, December 29, 2013

"I'm a Trainer!"

Dear family and friends,
   It was so good to hear from you on Christmas family. It was so good to see all of you as well. Wow what a great blessing it is to have such wonderful technology that we are able to see and talk to eachother even all the way across the world! How blessed are we!
    I'm sure many of you have already heard but I'm a trainer now! President Lew called a few weeks ago and told us that there were a few sisters coming from the New Zealand MTC and he called me to be a trainer. Since it was the week before Christmas we just kept our same companions but we added another sister to our companionship. Sister Fuatimau is my new companion (daughter) and of course I still have my companion Sister Fa'agase. I love Sister Fuatimau she is from the island of Samoa and she is the sweetest girl. At first she told me that she didn't know how to speak english very well so I didn't know how to communicate at first. But the more I talked the more I realized that she understood more than I realized and more than she gives herself credit. She said that she never knew english until right before she came on her mission. She said that she just read the Book of Mormon in english right before she came and that is how she learned english. She is amazing she truly has the gift of tongues. And it has been so much fun having 3 of us in our companionship. We have really come together as companions so I know that it was meant to be. Its kind of funny because I'm Sister Fuatimau's trainer but Sister Fa'agase is still my trainer. But it ends up that we are both kind of training her. She is a lucky girl.
  It has been a great couple weeks here in Australia! It didn't really feel like Christmas here though because it was super hot but the feeling was still there. On the 23rd of December we had a Christmas Conference where the entire mission got together and we had a devotional and a performance. That was where all of the zones had an opportunity to perform something. My zone was the best! I know I'm a little bias but seriously we smashed it. Our zone leaders wrote a song that we sang for the mission. It was so fun! Then all the sisters in my zone and I did a dance. So mind you I'm the only palangi (white) person in our zone and the rest are samoan. Well except for a few tongan sisters. But anyways the sisters taught me a samoan dance. It was so cool to be apart of it. I was so nervous but it turned out to be pretty good. They made me wear this white dress that was different from what everyone else wore because I was the only palangi. It was such a fun day. That night we also went to the temple lights at the Sydney Australia Temple. It was so beautiful!
I could write so much more but I have no time now. But know that I love you all. Thanks for all your love and support I appreciate it so much!
    Sister Heidi Sorensen
Samoan Dance

Christmas lights with my companions

Christmas Day Rugby

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Heidi got transferred!

 19 December 2013
 Sister Heidi Sorensen Australia Sydney South MissionP.O. Box 456Mortdale, 2223NSW, Australia

Dear Sister Sorensen:
Thank you for accepting the call to serve as a Trainer. You are a dedicated and loving person and an excellent example to other missionaries. Your great leadership skills are very much appreciated here in the mission.
 The responsibility of training a new missionary is one of the greatest opportunities of leadership a missionary can have and certainly the most trusted. It is a very special assignment and will have far reaching effects on the new missionary and the Australian Sydney South Mission. Only the most stable and able missionaries are called to train. Your companions are Sister Fuatimau from Samoa and Sister Fa'agase from Queensland, Australia.  You will be serving in the Liverpool Zone.
You are a wonderful example of the teachings of the gospel, and a wonderful representative of your home. Thank you for serving with us in the Australia Sydney South Mission.

 Love you,

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Kristal's Baptism

Hello friends and family,
  Wow I can't believe its already p-day again. The weeks are flying by now. And I can't believe that Christmas is already next week. It doesn't really feel like Christmas much, that is only because there is no snow and its like 30 degrees celcius. Which they have told me is close to 100 degrees back home. But its a good thing we have AC! Thank goodness we have a car, it really helps us so much so that we can see more people throughout the week.
   This week we have been very busy getting Kristal ready for her baptism. She got baptized on Friday december 13. Oh it was such a great baptism. It was great to witness her baptism. She was so happy! She even wanted to share her testimony at her baptism. The day before we went over with her what a testimony was and what were some of the things that she could say. She did such a wonderful job sharing her testimony. She didn't even have to write it down, she just said what was in her heart and that is exactly what a testimony is. My companion and I talked about how incredible of an experience her baptism was. She was one example of someone who was truly prepared to receive the gospel. Many of the ward members came up and told us good job on the work we did with Kristal. But we simply expressed that it really wasn't us that did much. It was the Lord that had prepared her and we were simply just his instruments in helping to express his truths to her. The Green Valley ward is so great! We had a lot of support from the ward members and Kristal said it truly was a special day for her. She expressed that she felt like a new woman. haha. It is such a great feeling to be able to take part in bringing others into the gospel. I think of the scripture found in D&C 18:10 "the worth of souls is great in the sight of god." This is truly the work of the Lord. Christ stands at the head of this church. He has a plan for each and every one of us. I know that my companion and I were meant to be here at this time to help Kristal. God helped us to find Kristal and now look where she is.
    Other than the baptism we didn't really have much luck with our appointments this week. Because of the busy time of the year we had many cancellations. So it was a hard week and we had to pray a lot so that we could know where we needed to go and who we needed to visit. Every single time that that happened we always were able to see at least one person that we felt we needed to see. It has been a testimony builder for sure and has really tested our faith and patience as well. We have also been struggling with finding new investigators and new people to teach. But we pray each and every day for opportunites to find people that are prepared and willing to hear the gospel. But we have been focusing a lot on less actives lately which has been so good. And ever since we have been reaching out more to the less actives we have seen that there are a lot more in church. It has been wonderful to see lots more coming to church. One thing that I have learned is that missionary work is not only for non members, its also for the less actives and strengthening the members as well. We are all sons and daughters of God and we all all here to help one another on our journey back to our Heavenly Father. So reach out to your fellow men and help to uplift them. Because we all face challenges and we all need help in our lives.
  I wish you all a very Merry Christmas! I hope that you will all take the time to focus on our Savior, Jesus Christ this christmas season. Because he is the only one that makes it possible for us to return with our Father in Heaven again. And also allows us to live with our families for eternity. I'm so grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. He is our ultimate example and has shown us the way back to our Heavenly Father. Now it is our turn to stay on the straight and narrow path and to do our part in this life.
I love you all very much! And family I look forward to seeing you and talking with you on Christmas. Love you so much and miss you dearly!
    Sister Heidi Sorensen

I finally got to play some bball with two of my favorite sisters! Sister Prete and Sister Schwab.

 Me and some sisters last p-day playing some sports

Me and my soa were twinners one day. And it wasn't on purpose at all but neither one of us wanted to change. We have a lot of fun together now. I love my soa!

Anikka and her friend Ranae. We love those girls and we love to visit them every week.

Me and a bunch of sister went and sang Christmas Carols at this community center. It was so fun!

 Me and Sister Tito! I love her. We were opposites one day so we thought we would take a pic. I don't know what I would do without her, we have so much fun together.

Kristal's Baptism. And that is her son Craig. Kristal hates her picture taken so she doesn't look very happy but I promise she was so happy that day.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

12-8-13 "Strengthening the Members"

Hello Friends and Family!
   This week has been a wonderful week here in Australia. I have seen so many miracles this week. It helps me to realize that this is exactly where I need to be at this time in my life. Having a car now has been such a great blessing. We have been able to visit so many more people that we haven't ever been able to see before. But we have gotten lost so many times this week. But that all comes with learning I guess. The more I get lost, the more I learn what is the right way to go and I get to know the area even more. That may sound funny but everything is a learning experience thats for sure.
    This week we have visited a lot of members. We usually try not to spend too much time in the active members homes but this week we had several experiences with the members. There was one experience in particular where every one of our appointments were falling through. We then decided we would go visit an older man named Brother Mcguire. He is in his 70's and he suffers from alzheimers. We felt the need to go see him and we were so glad that we did. We visited with him and he expressed how much he needed our visit that day. He burst into tears as he told us that he had been crying all morning. He said how he was having a rough day and how we had answered his prayer. I felt the need to share with him a scripture found in D&C 121:7-8 which talks about "thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment." And then of course I burst into tears. There wasn't a dry eye in the room. Sister Fa'agase and I expressed our love to him and how much the Lord loves him. We talked about the atonement of Jesus Christ and how much our Savior understands what we're going through. That was truly a great experience we had with Brother Mcguire. That was a testimony builder of following the spirit and how the Lord will send you to who you need to go to at just the right time as long as you are faithful and obedient.
   We had another great experience with being in the right place at the right time just yesterday. We wanted to go drive out to this area where we had never been but for some reason we just weren't finding our way. I felt the need to turn around and head back towards Liverpool area. I then felt the need to go to the Hunter's house. They are a family that was a referral from our zone leaders. We have stopped by several times before but no one has ever been home or even answered the door when we knew they were home. But this time they were there. We didn't know if they were going to let us in but I felt like we needed to get inside somehow. Well it was a good thing that I needed to use the bathroom right then. So I asked them if I could use their toilet, they were a little hessitant but let me in. I must say using the toilet sometimes works miracles! haha But anways we were able to start up a conversation with them. They were a little quiet at first but we just got to know them a little bit and were very kind to them. Soon the woman started to open up more and more and then she let it all out. We found out that she was also having a  rough day. We found out that she grew up in the church but has been inactive for about 15 years ever since her dad passed away. She started to cry and then I started to cry as she started to talking about her dad and how she knows that he is watching over her. And that he sent us to her that day. We shared with her the plan of Salvation and focused on the atonement of Jesus Christ and how we can be with our families forever. We were all crying together as we all talked of our families. It was a great experience and she expressed how thankful she was for our visit and how much she needed our visit. We even got a return appointment with them. That was a wonderful miracle.
   This next week we have a baptism for our investigator, Kristal. She is getting baptized on Friday. We are so excited for her! She is such a wonderful girl and has a great desire to follow Jesus Christ. I will keep you updated next week on how the baptism goes.
  There is so much more I could write but not enough time. But thanks for all the love and support you all give to me. I'm so grateful to be a missionary at this time in my life. I know this is the work of the Lord and that this is exactly where I need to be at this time in my life.
Love always,
     Sister Heidi Sorensen


Decorating the Manousso's Tree. The manousso's are a wonderful family in our ward who invites us over once a week for dinner. They are wonderful!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

"This is the Lord's time, not my own"

Dear friends and family,
   This week has been such a great week! So much has happened this week that I'm not quite sure where to start. Just this last week the AP's ( Assistants to the President) came by and dropped off our car! It was the best early Christmas present ever! The mission has gotten 25 brand new cars for us to use, we are so blessed. It has been great this week working with the car because we were able to get to those families that we aren't normally able to see as often because of how far away they live from our flat. It has been a little hard adjusting to the traffic rules and I'm sure many people have laughed and said something like, "oh stupid americans!" but I'm getting the hang of it now. It has also been hard becaue normallly I'm the guide because I can actually read the map but now I can't look at the map so lets just say we've gotten lost quite of few times this week. But now we are getting more familiar with the area.
   Here is Australia they don't celebrate thanksgiving so it was a little odd this year not having thanksgiving. But one fun thing we had was we had a Turkey Bowl early in the morning. Oh there were heaps of Elders there and then there was only a few sisters. The elders were a little crazy so we didn't play too much but we had a lot fun being there. And here in Australia they play Rugby a lot so it started out as a game of football and then it turned into a game of Rugby. I didn't really like rugby before but now I'm learning to really like touch rugby. It is really fun! That night the city of Liverpool was having a tree lighting ceremony and the youth from our stake sand christmas carols there. The youth also did a flash mob in the middle of Liverpool to get people to gather and come towards the Christmas tree. All of the missionaries in our Zone handed out fliers to get people there. They handed out free lds DVD's and other handouts to introduce people to our church. There were also heaps of missionaries there so it was a great missionary opportunity.
   That night for our thanksgiving feast we had...McDonalds! Yay! It was a little weird not celebrating thanksgiving this year much but it was still a great day.
   Another cool experience we had this week was with the Lam family that I mentioned last week in my email. One day we felt like we needed to go see them because they are usually working during the week but it was Saturday so we knew they would most likely be home. They don't speak much english so we had to find someone that could speak vietnamese. We called up a member of our ward and she was available. We went to picked her up and headed over to their house. It wasn't a scheduled appointment so we weren't sure they would be there but we were able to find them home. We taught them about the restoration of the gospel and how the fulness of the gospel is restored upon the earth today. This lesson was a lot different than any other lesson though because we would teach and then Sister Tran would translate to them. Many times Sister Tran and the Lam's would go off talking and we didn't understand much of what was happening. But we could still feel the spirit. The spirit was so strong there and I could feel the great desire the Lam's had to learn more. We taught them so much and it was such an incredible experience. They even committed to baptism. They said that they have a desire to learn more about the gospel and we are so eager to help them to understand the truthfulness of this wonderful gospel. Everything truly happens for a reason and this happened EXACTLY how it was supposed to happen. It was a great miracle to see that day. I know that God leads us to where we need to be at the right time.
  Another thing that happened this week was transfers. Me and my soa are staying in the same place and staying together. We are so glad we are staying here because we are loving the ward and the people we are working with. I know this is where me and my soa need to be at this time. Unfortunately our wonderful District Leader was transferred. He is a great missionary and really helped our ward and district but he was called as a Zone Leader and will be wonderful! We had the opportunity to take him and his companion to the transfers meeting at the mission office. We were able to stay and listen to the testimonies of those newly called leaders and as well as those missionaries that are going home. That was the best testimony meeting I have ever been to. The spirit was so strong there and I don't think there was a dry eye in the room. It was so good to hear especially from those missionaries that are now going home. What powerful testimonies they had to share. One great thing I learned from them is that this is the Lord's time. I have been called as a representative of Jesus Christ at this time and I am his servant. I have been called to this particular area at this time. I know this is exactly where I need to be at this time. One goal I have is to strive to forget myself and get to work. One thing I noticed with all of those missionaries is that they truly gave it there all. That is something that I want to strive to do as well. My time here is so short and I'm realizing that now. This is truly the work of the Lord!
   I LOVE being a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. What a great blessing it is to know the truth. I love you all very much! Thanks for all that you do for me.
     Sister Sorensen

Sunday, November 24, 2013

11/24/13 - The Work Continues

Hello Everyone!
    This week has been a great week! It was a little slower this week than last week when it comes to lessons and such but regardless the work continues to move forward. One thing that I learned this week is that even though you may not see very many people or teach very many lessons every little bit counts. No work goes wasted because you never know what small act of kindness can do for someone. Or maybe even that one person that we were able to teach was affected greatly.
    Tuesday we had a big Zone Conference it was sooooooo good! I love my President and Sister Lew they are so amazing! During Zone Conference we sat on the front row and I was so engaged in the conversation. I swear I was talking the whole time! Not really but I did have so much to say I couldn't help but share. Afterwards President came up to me and thanked me for all my comments and he could really tell that I wanted to learn. One topic that we talked a lot about was the Importance of working side by side with the members. While I have been on my mission I have gained a testimony of how important it is to work with the members. The work becomes so much lighter when we are working with the members. We wouldn't be as successful if it wasn't for our ward. We know that we can call anyone and they would be willing to come out and join in a lesson or give us a ride. Or we know we could stop by anyone's house and they would be helpful in leading us to a friend or someone who may benefit from the message we share. I also learned about the role that the Book of Mormon plays in conversion. The Book of Mormon is evidence that Joseph Smith was a true prophet and that the gospel has been restored on the earth today! What a wonderful blessing we have to have that knowledge.
  This week we met with this girl named Kristal who is one of our new investigators. She is truly amazing! I spoke a little bit about her last week and how she came to our Christmas party and to church. This week we visited her a few times and every single time she had questions for us either about the last lesson or about something she read in the Book of Mormon or the pamphlets. She has truly been prepared at this time to receive the gospel of Jesus Chist. Just like it reads in Alma 13 I know that Heavenly Father is preparing the hearts of His children to receive the gospel at this time. We just need to rely on Him to find those individuals. Kristal is one of those people. This week we invited her to be baptized and she said yes! She has a strong desire to follow the example of Jesus Christ and she said that she has been waiting for something like this to come along in her life. The date we have set for her is on December 14th so I will have to keep you updated on that.
   Also another miracle I saw this week was with the Lam family. One day we were visiting a part member family but they weren't home so we were trying to figure out what to do next and where we needed to go. We walked past this Vietnamese lady that was sitting on her porch with her little boy and she smiled at us. Sister Fa'agase and I looked at eachother and said, "no one ever smiles at us like that." We kept walking but I knew we were both still thinking about her. So we finally just turned around and went back to that lady. We found out she didn't speak much english but she ran inside to get her husband. He could speak just a little better english and we told them a little bit about us and what we do as missionaries. We then invited them to church and they said they wanted to try it out. They said they are buddist but also have been interested in the Christian Church but aren't sure which way to go. We promised them that this gospel will bless their life so much. We got their information. Just yesterday we called them and they said they were coming. So we quickly called some members in our ward that could speak vietnamese and asked if they could fellowship them at church. They came and greeted them at the door and pretty much took them under their wing. They are an amazing family and said they would like to come back next week. We are going to also visit them a few times this next week as well. Wow it is so amazing how the Lord works.
  I forgot to share a funny story last week. Last week we were tracting and we found this old man that is blind and lives alone. We spoke with him about the gospel and he was so happy to find someone that is kind to him and wanting to talk to him. I could tell that he is really lonely. Anyways when we went to leave he just put out his arms and wanted to give me a hug. I honestly didn't know what to do...he's a blind man and a lonely man so of course I gave him a hug. Next thing I know he was trying to give me a little kiss on the cheek. Well you can imagine a blind man trying to give you a kiss on the cheek yeah he had a hard time finding my cheek. But I just quickly had to move and get out of the way. haha but me and my companion had a good laugh. It was so funnny! Oh the experiences on a mission.
Anyways better go but I love you all very much and thank you so much for all you do for me. This is the Lord's work. Have a wonderful week!
    Sister Sorensen
P.S. Moroni 8:3

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Letter from 11/17/13

Dear Family and Friends,
   This week has been good! The work here in the Green Valley ward is going great! This week we got 2 new investigators and have heaps of new potential investigators. We have been praying for weeks to find new people to teach and this week we have been blessed with my new individuals to teach. The Lord truly does bless us and answers our prayers! 
   Many were asking how the baptism was. It was great! It was on Thursday night and it went so well! It was a great experience to witness Anikka's baptism. It was such a different experience at a baptism then ever before because I have seen her progression and I know her individually. The gospel of Jesus Christ does truly change lives. Anikka is so happy now and I have seen the difference in her. We had a lot of support from the ward as well. It was great to see everyone come out and be there for Anikka. We had to sing in the baptism. Lets just say that I sing more than I've ever sang in my life! But its good and I think I'm getting a little better, I think I can carry a tune now. haha but who knows!
     We also had the ward Christmas party on Friday night. Wow do these fobs (islanders) know how to party! There were heaps of people there. And they had HEAPS of food. I have found here that you have to get up and get some food right away or else it will all be gone. Like I said they are mostly Samoan so they like to eat. haha There was also  a DJ playing some fun music all night. They had a dance floor in the middle and the kids were going crazy. Many members brought non member friends and also lots of less-actives so we had a lot of people to meet. My companion and I were split up the whole night just talking with different people. One cool experience. I saw this man sitting by himself at the Christmas Party and so I just stopped and simply said hello and introduced myself. He was a very nice man and I found out that he was not a member. And as a missionary if you find out someone is not a member you get this feeling like...yes! So I got to know him more and found out that he is very strong in the catholic church and he has even been a minister. But Brother Fiu ( a member of the bishopric) has been fellowshipping him him and invited him to come. He mentioned that he seems like something is missing and he enjoyed being around kind people that accept everyone and his family as well. I started teaching him about the restoration of the gospel right in the middle of this party that was happening. Maybe not a good time to start but I was so excited to talk to him. But we got a return appointment and he expressed how grateful he was for me coming and talking to him. It was such an amazing experience!
    Another miracle we had this week was with this girl named Kristal. She was a lady that we met at the library one day when we were emailing home...imagine that! Well we got her information a few weeks ago and a return appointment. But she had a death in the family and our appointment with her fell through. The other day we were in a suburb called Miller and we had another appointment fall through and Kristal's name popped into our head and we decided we would try to find her house and visit her. We found that her and her little boy were home. We actually had our ward Christmas Party that night so we invited her to come. She accepted our offer and so we quickly called some members and arranged a ride for her. She came to the Christmas party and they loved it! So she wanted to come to church on Sunday as well. Last night we were around her house and needed a bathroom so we stopped by. We weren't planning on teaching her a lesson but she said that she had already read the restoration pamphlet that we gave her. My companion and I looked at each other in shock! I was thinking wow! Who is this girl? So we started going over the pamphlet and answering all the questions that she had. She is seriously another GOLDEN INVESTIGATOR! We are so excited!
   Oh and this week I went back to drivers ed again. I had to go to a driving test on Saturday. I had to go to the mission office to sit and watch a video on safety and I went out with one of the AP's for my test. It was so weird driving on the left side of the road! I really had to focus on everything more than ever. But I must say I think I was a lot better than some of the other sisters doing their test. I seriously thought I was going to die at some points. Haha not really but we ran over a few curbs and such. But we are going to be getting a car soon so that will be really good! I passed my driving test!
  Anyways I better go. Australia is great and I'm really starting to love the people here, especially in my ward. I know that this is truly the Lord's work! I love you all so much and thanks for all the prayers in my behalf.
   Sister Sorensen

Anikka and I at the Christmas Party
Anikka's Baptism

 Dinner with the Halahola family. They have the cutest kids, I had so much fun with them!
We decided to go Hawaiian one day while we were tracting.
My driving test was a success.
This is the Saipele family. They feed us every Sunday. They are the best! 

Sister Sorensen's Letter from 11/10/13

Hey Family and Friends!
    This week has been great! I love being a missionary! This is truly the work of the Lord and I'm reminded of that daily. This week we had our Sister Training Leaders come and do exchanges with them. The last pictures that I sent were the other sister's that we share a flat with so we got to spend time with them a lot. But it was great to have the sisters come and help us. I learned so much from them, they are wonderful! It was great to see some of the things I could improve on so that I can continue to progress and improve as a missionary. I find so many weaknesses of mine as I'm serving but as it says in Ether 12:27, God shows us our weaknesses so that we can make them strengths. And I know that we can't do that on our own, we need to rely on the Lord in striving to make our weaknesses our strengths.
  I have seen many miracles this week. In fact I see a miracle almost every day and I know that as you look for miracles that you will see them. One miracle that I saw this week was when I was on exchanges and I was with Sister Davis. Sister Davis had the car so we went to go visit a less active but there was no where to park on the road so we had to go and find a place to park a little ways down the road. So we parked and walked. We visited with this sister and testified of the importance of keeping the faith. On the way back to our car we passed by this man who was watering his lawn. And as a missionary we talk to EVERYONE. So I said hi to him and kept walking but Sister Davis started to talk to him and ask about his day. She then said "do you mind if we give you a card?" (pass-along card) He then came over to us and we started to introduce ourselves and let him know who we are, representatives of Jesus Christ. He was a very kind gentleman and we invited him to church. He said that he woud be interested in coming one time. But he didn't want to commit to a specific day and he didn't want to commit to a return appointment either. But if we wouldn't have parked where we did that day we would have never talked to Frank. And one thing I have really learned is no work or lesson that we teach goes to waste. Even though we didn't get a return appointment we still planted that seed and helped him to feel of the spirit a little bit. He also said we could stop by again sometime so we will definitely do so when we go back to his area. But it is just amazing how EVERTHING happens for a reason. We are placed in certain places at certain times for a reason. We may not know at the time why we are there but God does have a plan for each of us. Look for the small miracles or tender mercies in your daily lives. I promise that when you look for them, you will find them.
   Yesterday Sister Fa'agase and I had the opportunity to teach Relief Society in our ward. We taught on missionary work...imagine that. Missionaries teaching on missionary work...haha. It was great! One thing that we taught the sisters is that we are all missionaries as members of the church. Just as the apostles have taught us, every member a missionary. It is so true! Since we all have the fulness of the gospel and we have that knowledge it is now our responsiblity to share that with others so that we can save their lives. So that we can help them to feel the happiness and joy that we feel. We shared with them our purpose as missionaries it is:  "To invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the end." Even though this might be a purpose for missionaries we taught that it is also the purpose for ALL members. I challenge you all this week to think about this purpose and and think about how it can help you in your life. How can this knowledge help you to be better and help to lift others up that may be falling away.
   Another great lesson I have learned is that our purpose is not only to help those that don't know the truth but to also help those individuals who have fallen away from the truth. We need to help one another in this life. That is why we are all here, to help one another.
  Remember that we are all sons and daughters of God and this is the Lord's work. He has restored this Gospel on the earth today so that we could have the fulness of the gospel on the earth again. Like it says in D&C 88:73 The work of the Lord is hastening. That is why it is so important to take action now in spreading the word of God to everyone.
I love you all so very much and appreciate your love and support. I thank you also for all the prayers in my behalf, I have definitely felt them. I hope you all have a great week.
Love ya!
    Sister Sorensen
 We went to a relief society service project this week
We had zone p-day last week and we had a huge tug-a-war. It was so much fun!
Us and the Sister Training Leaders. Sister Penumaka from India and Sister Davis from New Mexico
 Me and Sister Fa'agase made breakfast for the other sisters.
We got slurpees one day when it was so hot!
Me and sister Bretzing had some banafi pie last night. So good!
Anikka and me and my soa

Monday, November 4, 2013

Tender Mercies of the Lord

Dear Family and Friends,

   I would be lying if I said that this week was great. It has been a rough week. I think the first week I didn't even have time to think about everything and just jumped into everything. But this week I have had a hard time adjusting to the culture and life here in Australia. Its all part of missionary work though and I know it will get better. I have learned how to rely on the Lord more fully in helping me in the work. I have shed many tears but I have also had so many great experiences this week as well. I have spent a lot of time on my knees this week asking for strength to help me through and I have seen countless tender mercies from the Lord as I have done so. I know that God is there for each and every one of us. He hears our prayers and He cares about us so much more than we can comprehend. That is why this gospel is so wonderful and helps me to keep pushing forward in the work of the Lord. I'm so grateful for the Atonement of Christ. My testimony has been strengthened greatly of the Atonement. I know that Christ not only suffered for our sins but also for our pain and sorrows. He understands us more than we understand ourselves and He will help us through every trial that we are given. So I would ask you all to get on your knees and pray if you are wondering where to go or are struggling at all. He will be there for you and the Holy Ghost will help you to feel peace and know that you are not alone. As we turn to our Heavenly Father in prayer he will poor blessing upon us and as you pay attention and slow down a little bit to listen and observe, you will see the hand of the Lord in everything that you do.

   I want you to know that even though this week has been rough I also wouldn't have it any other way because I have also learned so much. I have been strengthened and my testimony of Jesus Christ and this gospel has grown tremendously. For without trial we cannot learn and grow. This life on earth is a time to learn and grow and become more like our Savior Jesus Christ. We can become like him as we learn of Him and study His teachings in the scriptures and also develop a strong relationship with Him through prayer.

  I know that I'm here for a reason. I love it here in Australia, the people are so wonderful. They are so willing to do anything especially for the missionaries. This week was hard with my companion. We had several disagreements but we talked about them and worked them out. Now I'm learning to really love her more and more and as that love grows our lessons become better and we have seen so much more success.

   This week we had several lessons with Anikka (pictured below) again and we invited her to be baptized. She said YES! Me being the new missionary I had to extend the invitation, I was so nervous because I haven't ever done that before but it turned out great. The spirit was so strong, we taught her about the Plan of Salvation and many tears were shed from all of us during that lesson. Then as I started to ask her if she would be baptized she said yes before I even finished asking. That is how amazing Anikka is she is so willing to learn. So we have set the date for November 16th so that is so soon! But I know she will be ready but we will be meeting with her several times this week and we pray daily for her so that we can know how to make sure she is ready. She comes to everything. She comes to mutual, church, firesides, FHE...everything! Yesterday we went to the recent convert fireside with her. That is a fireside for all missionaries in the mission to bring any investigators or recent coverts. That was such an amazing fireside. They had about 6 recent converts speak about their conversion story. It was so powerful to hear their simple but powerful testimonies of this gospel. Something that really stuck out to me was that anyone can teach and we can all learn from one another. We are all sons and daughters of God and we are all here to learn and help one another return to our Father in Heaven. I challenge all of you to reach out to everyone because we are all God's servants here on earth. We are ALL missionaries on the earth today and we ALL have a responsibility to spread the gospel to everyone.

  They celebrate Halloween here but its definitely not as big as it is in the U.S. But we had so much fun on Halloween. We went to a baptism that night and we took Anikka and Ari (a member who is fellowshipping anikka). This was an amazing baptism because this lady has been investigating the church for about 8 years and FINALLY is baptized. It was such a spiritual experience and there were so many people there, mostly missionaries but still heaps of people. Its because she has had so many different missionaries that have helped her in her conversion and have taught her. It was such an exciting night for many of us and also an uplifting time. Even though I didn't know her we went and I learned so much because the spirit was there. The spirit is the ultimate teacher for sure. After the baptism President Manusso took us to KFC for dinner. It was so much fun we went there with heaps of sister missionaries and had a fun night together. It was also so good because we also got to know Anikka at a different level. We got to know her personally and now we have a better relationship with her.

I know I have super long emails but there is always so much to tell you because there are countless experiences daily. I love being on a mission! I want you all to know that I love you all very much! This gospel is so true, spread the gospel to everyone that you can.

  Sister Sorensen

These were all of us after the baptism on Halloween

This is Anikka Welsh

This is my zone. They are all so fun we had zone training on Friday

These are the sisters we share our flat with. Sister Bretzing is my "twin" and Sister Tito. We have so much fun with them. We are in totally different zones and districts but we have the opportunity to live with them. I love these sisters!
The Sister Training Leaders came to visit us. We had a blast with them. Sister Paki and Sister Nunez. Sister Nunez is the short one and Sister Paki is the tall Kiwi.

Monday, October 28, 2013

First week in Australia!

New companion - Sister Fa'agasa
Hello Family and friends!
I'm officially in Australia and it is incredible! I have so much to tell you that I don't even know where to start. First of all that plane ride here was the longest plane ride of my life but its all good now, I made it so thats all that matters. I only slept about 3 hours or so because I was stuck in the middle row between two people and the flight was completely packed! there were only 4 open seats and that was only because those 4 missed the flight. But it was ok because I was able to get up and walk around and I went to visit sister Prete a lot which helped me to enjoy it more. And we had a group of 33 missionaries traveling with us on that flight so I had a lot of missionaries to talk to. But we got in Australia on Wednesday morning at 7:00 so I never experienced October 22, 2013 which was really weird but then when I come back I guess I will experience the same day twice, kinda crazy!
     When we got there we met the Mission President. Boy was I glad to see him after a long flight. President Lew and Sister Lew are such incredible people and so happy. I love them already. We made our way to the mission office and there we had to do heaps of paper work and we got to email. Then we fed us some lunch as they told us the rules of the mission. We then all met in the chapel and all of us new missionaries (33 of us) each bore our testimony. Then we heard from President Lew. Later on we were then assigned our trainers. My new companion is Sister Fa'agasa. You probably won't be able to say that correctly but the "g" sounds like an "n" sound. She's awesome! She is from Brisbane but she is Samoan and I love her! She has been teaching me how to speak Samoan so when I come home I will know how to speak it. She actually is just learning samoan because her last ward was a samoan ward. She also teaches me about all of the words that they say here and what everything means. So Talofa! Ou mai oe? (That means, hello! how are you?)
 It is so crazy how many different words they have for things and how they speak. They don't speak anything like we think they do. Well at least the normal people don't speak like we think they do, the australian accent is great! I think maybe the outback people speak like that but not all people. And they don't say good 'a mate as much as you think. But they say "a" a lot at the end of their sentences. So we all thought that Canadians talk like that but actually Australians say that so much more than Canadians do. And they call McDonald's "Maccas." My Soa (which means companion in samoan) (we call eachother that) asked me if I liked Maccas one of the first day's but I had no idea what she meant. That happens so much I have learned a lot about their culture and she's learned a lot about ours. We always ask eachother how we say things from where we're from. They also say Heaps instead of "a lot." It is so much fun to to talk to them and experience this wonderful culture. I love it! Oh and instead of calling our home an apartment we call it a "flat." We have a new flat and it is sooooooooooooo nice! Really it is like top notch! I will try to send some pics. *pics below*
    Australia is so much different than I ever thought it would be and I mean that in a good way. There are so many different people from all over the world that gather here in Sydney. It is so great because then you get to experience so many different cultures and people all at once. There are heaps of Islanders here. A lot are from New Zealand and from Samoa. In my ward, the Green Valley ward is about 95% Samoan or other islanders. I love their culture! I live in a little Suburb called Green Valley. And like I mentioned before I'm assigned to work in the Green Valley ward which is an english ward. But they have all kinds of wards in this stake. They have a spanish, samoan, tongan, and several english wards. Mom, you should ask Maoha if she knows anyone in my area that I can visit. In the green valley ward there are now 6 missionaries assigned to their ward. 4 are Elders and then their is me and my soa. The members of the ward are incredible! We are the first missionaries they have ever had in their ward so everyone has welcomed us with welcome arms. They all want to come up and meet us because they love sister missionaries. So its great to be able to serve in this ward, it makes me want to work harder and make a good impression for the sisters.
   I'm doing wonderful though. I had a rough time the first few days adjusting to everything and also because of the jet lag but now I'm good! I'm loving the work! I'm not going to lie though its a lot harder than I thought it would be. We have been struggling to find people to teach only because we are new to the area and we don't know anyone yet. So the last couple days have been spent walking all over and getting to know all the members of the ward and also getting familiar with our area. We haven't talked to a lot that aren't members yet but we have talked to several that are less active. But as the days go by we are able to find more potential investigators. So it is getting a lot better but it has been a rough start with the work. But the members are so wonderful and so helpful here, they help us so much! We had a wonderful opportunity to eat dinner with a great family called the saipele's. They fed us heaps of food! It was so delicious though! We got to know them really well, what great people they are! We now know who to call when we need food or even a ride. We depend on the members a lot to help us with so much but they are so willing I love it. 
   Oh and the elders have given us all of the female investigators for our area so we do have a few that we have started to work with. The 2nd day we were here we had a lesson with a girl named Anikka she's palagi which means she's white and she's an Aussie. She has met with the elders a few times and she has attended church once before we taught her. But she was able to come yesterday with us. It was so great to have her with us there. We are also now teaching a little 12 year old girl named Alyssa. She is great as well and has such a fire about her, she is so willing to learn and really has a desire to be a member of the church. She has a baptism date for december but in the mean time we are working with her to help her understand more about our church. She was also able to come to church with us yesterday too.
   The members here all have about 10 kids its crazy! You thought that all Utah families had large families but here they all have huge families! I think they all try to compete I swear. So its really easy to tell if a family is mormon just by seeing if they are a lot of kids or even by looking to see if they have a big passanger van.
I have so much more I could talk about to you all but just know that all is well for me here in the great land of Australia! The work is good and we are working hard to help spread the gospel. My P-day is on Monday's probably around 11 or so or after we clean our flat. Just so you know the address for the mission office is:
For letters: PO Box 456
                  Mortdale, NSW 2223
For Parcel (packages) : 2 Breakwell St., Mortdale, NSW 2223
I love you all very much and miss you heaps! Peace and blessings, peace and blessings!
   Sister Sorensen
Ps. Mom I was so happy to hear that Grandma Sorensen was finally able to be sealed to her parents. I wish I could have been there but what a great experience! I know I feel of her love and strength while I'm here, she's my guardian angel for sure. I also hope that the Halloween party's went well, I'm sure they were so fun!

The new "flat"

Saying goodbye to Sister Prete :(

Sister Prete and her new companion Sister Pea, and me and Sister Fa'agasa

The elders minus Elder Carter. They are serving in the Green Valley ward. We work with them on a daily basis, what great Elders!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Friday, October 18, 2013 (plus pictures!!!)

Hey Family!

    Wow I don't even know where to start because so much has happened in just a week. I got your package yesterday! I was so excited to get it, thank you so much it made me smile.  I have also received all your letters. Thanks so much I love mail! Life at the MTC has been great but a little crazy. I'm going all the time and trying to study and learn as much as I possibly can while I'm here so that when I go out to the field I can be the best missionary I can and know a little bit of what I'm doing. I never realized how hard it would be to actually teach the gospel to someone who has no idea. It has definitely been a challenge, I definitely understand all the doctrine myself but putting it in a form that they understand is a challenge. But we practice roll playing all the time here so I finally feel more confident and ready to teach. Sister Prete and I have had 2 investigators that we have been working with while we've been here. One of them is Mariana Martinez (she is really our teacher Sister Poulsen acting as an investigator) but she is so good and she is definitely challenging us. I have definitely learned to rely on the spirit and teach through the spirit. I have also learned it is so important to learn more about the spiritual needs of the individual before you can begin teaching an investigator. That way we can teach to their needs and "teach people, not lessons." We also had another investigator that we had never met. They have volunteers come in and act as investigators. This girl's name is Sarah and honestly she wasn't very good at acting. She was probably the easiest person to teach, we committed her to baptism the 2nd lesson but she would have said yes the first visit as well but we got scared to ask. haha its a little nerve racking. I'm loving my teacher and I have learned so much more in one week then I ever thought possible. I feel like I have been here so much longer just because I feel like I have learned and changed so much in one week plus a few days. I'm so close to my district and my companion as well so I feel like I have known them for so much longer. 
    I got a new travel itinerary yesterday and instead of leaving on Sunday we now are all leaving on Monday. My flight leaves at 6:10 p.m. so I will be calling you sometime during the day. We are leaving here at 12:30 so I'm sure I will be waiting in the airport forever so I will call for sure. I'm loving my calling as a STL although it can be a little stressful at times. We have had some interesting problems that have arouse with the sisters that Sister Prete and I have had to handle. But it has been good and our Branch President is awesome and so helpful in assisting us with the issues. I have had to call the Branch President several times already. But I love the sisters they are all amazing! I feel like I have a greater love for them in this calling as I have been striving to really get to know them and attend to their needs. Just so you know I probably didn't make it clear in my last email but as a Sister Training Leader it is like a Zone Leader for the sisters. We got a new district that came in on wednesday and Sister Prete and I along with the zone leaders had to prepare a little orientation to tell the new missionaries some of the rules and what to expect here at the MTC. Sister Prete and I were so excited to meet them we could barely handle ourselves all day. We just wanted to see them and get to know them. Those sisters are all so amazing and we have a lot of fun with the new sisters. I almost feel like I'm there mom or something because they always come up with questions and need help with different things, but I'm glad they know they can come to me when they need something. I have definitely had some stressful days but I get through them quickly and get back to work. I'm learning so much about relying on the Lord in guiding me in the work.

  Oh mom for devotional Tuesday night we had a great opportunity of hearing from Elder Oaks! It was so amazing! They never tell you who is coming, you just go in and then see who walks in and it was a wonderful feeling when he walked through the door. He shared with us a great message on what sets us apart from other churches. Mom tell him he did a great job and I loved his talk!

I'm learning so much and I'm loving every minute! I can't wait to leave on Monday and finally be able to get to Australia! I love you all and thanks so much for all your letters. Enjoy your week and I'm not sure when I will be writing to you next but I will definitely let you know as soon as I get there. I love being a missionary! Love ya!


Sister Heidi Sorensen

P.S. I will be sending you some pictures I just have to figure out how to send it on these computers. They aren't working very well.

My companion, Sister Prete
Roommates! Sister Prete (companion), Sister Faber, and Sister Brewer
My district and Branch President, President Born
Sister Ellis is going to Thailand!
 (Former roommate Brooke Ellis's sister from BYU-Idaho)
These were the STL's before we became them.  Sister Perkes, Hurst, and Blatter.
They are now in the Florida, Tallahassee Mission