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