Monday, January 27, 2014

Miracles Upon Miracles

My dearest family and friends,
    Wow I absolutely love missionary work. I know I may say that a lot but it is so true! Each and every day I'm reminded of the importance of this work and how this is truly the Lord's church upon the earth today. This week has been a great week! The work is really starting to pick up again in the Green Valley area. So here it is summer time and so everyone has been on holidays and gone for the time period while their kids are out of school. But as for missionary work it is not our favorite time of the year because the work slows down a lot. But luckly everyone is going back to school this week so we are able to find a lot more people at home and they aren't in the holiday mode anymore. Oh and just so you know the word Vacation doesn't really exist here, they say holiday instead so if you are a little confused with my lingo I'm sorry I guess I'm starting to turn into an aussie. haha
   This week we saw so many miracles it has been incredible. One really cool miracle we had was with the Funa family. They are a family in our ward but the father is the only member of the church but he has only been to church one his life. We have stopped by there several times but we never seem to find anyone at home or they just don't want to open the door for us. One day we felt like we needed to just stop by there house so we did. We didn't think much about it, we thought it would be the same old thing. But this time right away they came to the door and invited us in. Sister Woodford and I looked at each other and I think both of our jaws dropped to the floor. That was the first time we have ever been invited into their house. We finally got to meet the Funa family and we not only met the father but the mother and 3 of their girls. We got to know them more and found out that the father got baptized when we came to Utah one time for holiday to visit his daughter. His daughter is a member and convinced him to be baptized so obviously he didn't have the right reason to be baptized and I don't think he ever really came to understand the importance of the church and what it is all about. We also came to find out that he is the only one working in his house and he has 7 kids so he works around the clock. That is why he never comes to church. The funa family is such a nice Tongan family and none of the girls are baptized and we can see so much potential in them. The elders even said they have tried their house several times as well but haven't really had much success. But it was truly a miracle that we were able to be invited in that day and we are so excited to be able to work with them now. We are so excited!
   Something that I have been reminded of this week during my studies is the importance of the Atonement. My testimony has grown so much on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. One realization I came to one day during my personal study was that the Atonement is central to each lesson that we share. The Restoration, Plan of Salvation, Gospel of Jesus Christ, The commandments. Each of these are centered on the Atonement, every single thing that we have is made possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I'm so very thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. Just as is says in Helaman 5:12 he is my rock and my foundation. So I challenge each of you to reflect and think about Jesus Christ and all that He has done for all of us. Build your foundation upon Jesus Christ and you shall not fall.
   Thanks so much for all your love and support. Keep up the good work and remember our Savior, Jesus Christ this week as you go about your daily life. Think about all that He has done for us. I love you all.
     Sister Heidi Sorensen
    This week we got 4 new investigators! That is the first time ever we've gotten 4 new investigators in one week. But I know that the Lord's work is truly hastening upon the earth. As we are striving to be obedient the Lord is truly blessing us in so many ways. We have this little girl named Lilly. She is 10 years old and she was just bearly adopted from Samoa. Her mum came up to us at church last week and said that she would like us to start teaching her. The only problem was we didn't know how to speak Samoan. So the mum requested us and the Samoan sisters to come and teach her. So this last Saturday we were able to teach her. It was an incredible experience! The Samoan sisters did a lot of the talking but we were also able to share our testimony and have them translate to her. She is such an incredible little girl with so much faith. She is already growing so much even after just one lesson. On Sunday she ran up to us with a big grin on her face and gave us a huge hug. We are so excited to be able to teach her. So excited to me and Sister Woodford got Samaon Book of Mormons so that we can better teach her and help her.

I decided to make some Cocoa Lassa (Rice) this week. It is definitely not as good as the samoans but hey it was still pretty darn good. I'm now going to try to master it.

We decided to cook dinner for the elders this week. So we put our table out in our garage. It was so funny all the neighbors were coming out wondering what we were doing but it was a good time to get to know our neighbors more.

This is Lilly Toomata, our new investigator.

Kristal (our recent convert) had us over for dinner yesterday.

Monday, January 20, 2014

January 19, 2014

Dear family and friends,
   I got a new companion! Her name is Sister Woodford and she is Toronto, Canada. She was VISA waiting in Spokane Washington for 6 weeks and now has finally gotten to Australia. Its kind of weird not having an islander companion anymore and I sure miss my old companions but I'm really looking forward to this transfer with Sister Woodford. Its kind of crazy too, we both have the exact same food allergies so it makes it easier to eat healthy. But she is also Vegan, which is kind of impossible to be here in Australia because chicken is apart of every meal...well pretty much. So I'm slowly converting her over to eat meat. For the first time in a like 2 years she had some chicken. So looks like my plan is working. Now all she wants in chicken, haha it is so funny!
   This week has been a pretty good week though. The work of the Lord continues to move forward in this part of the Lord's vineyard. I'm striving to help Sister Woodford adjust to the way of life here in Australia which is a little bit of a challenge but I know over time she will be able to adjust and love it here in Australia as I have come to love it here. I feel like this transfer is going to be a good transfer because the ward is really starting to catch the wave of missionary work and are now assisting us more than ever in the work. We went to ward council yesterday and they are working on the ward mission plan. Each auxiliary had the opporunity to contribute to the ward mission plan and almost all of the activities is focused on missionary work. It is so cool to see that!
    The whole mission has taken the challenge to read the Book of Mormon in 6 months. It has been such a great experience so far. I love being able to read it slower and so that I can focus on the true meaning of each chapter and how I can apply it in my own life. I LOVE the Book of Mormon, it is truly the word of God. I'm learning so much each and every day from the Book of Mormon and my testimony continues to grow. Today I read in Jacob 5 about the olive tree, what a great chapter that is! I learned so much and I was really able to relate it to my life right now. It talks about some of the good fruit becoming wild as the wild fruit over powers the good fruit. I thought a lot about that. I thought about how important it is to be around good people and to fill our lives with things that are good. As we do so, then we are able to resist the temptations of Satan. But if we let Satan temp us than little by little we will fall into his grasp.
     So think about that in your own life. What kind of things are you filling your life with? Is your life full of good things, are you doing the small and simple things such as prayer, scripture reading, service to others. What kind of music are you listening to, what kind of friends do you have. What do you spend the most time doing? All of us make mistakes and we fall at times. But I can promise you that as you are striving to LIVE the gospel of Jesus Christ and not just have the faith then the Lord will bless you and help you to progress towards your Father in Heaven. I think of James chapter 2, "faith without works in dead." We need to act upon our faith in the Lord and the Lord will pour his blessing upon you.
   I hope that you are keeping in mind your purpose of why you are here upon the earth. We have a purpose here in this life. We are here to become like our Savior, Jesus Christ. As you remember that and keep that in mind as you live your day to day life, your perspective of life will change. The time is now to spread the gospel. Turn outward and look for those that are prepared at this time to hear the gospel.
   I love you all very much and appreciate all your prayers in my behalf. This is truly the Lord's church here upon the earth. I hope you all have a wonderful week!
    Sister Heidi Sorensen

 All of us that live in the same flat now. It is so weird we are all White now. But these sisters are so much fun!

We had some Vietnamese soup yesterday that was pretty interesting. But I still ate it!

After the Vietnamese soup we loaded up on lollies...bad idea to give us the lolly jar.
(Do you think she means candy jar?)  :)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Jan. 13, 2014

Dear family and friends,
   This week has been an incredible week! I don't even know where to start. But then again that is how it is every week because so much happens over a week. Well first off we were just told that Elder Russell M. Nelson is coming here on Febuary 19! We are all so excited! So mom you should talk to him. Although it will be combined with the North Mission as well so there are going to be close to 400 missionaries there, its going to be crazy but so good!
  So many are wondering what happened at transfers this last week. Well unfortunately I don't have my two lovely companions anymore but I'm training a new missionary! My new companion arrives tomorrow and I'm so excited/ nervous for this opportunity. I mean I trained Sister Fuatimau but I still had Sister Fa'agase so we were both kind of the trainers. But this time is totally different because its all up to me. But I'm honored for the opportunity to train again. I can't wait to meet my new companion. It has been so weird yesterday and today because I have a temporary companion. We are both trainers but I have my own phone, keys, area, everything...kind of weird haha. But I'm really lucky because Sister Hoeft (my temp companion) her zone went to the temple today. So I got to go to the temple today and I get to go with my zone in a few weeks! I was so excited to hear that because I miss going to the temple. It was an incredible experience to go today and take part in the ordinances of the temple again. We are so blessed to be able to have a temple near by that we can go to. So take advantage of all those temples we have super close in Utah. Not many have temples near by and have to travel far just to go to the temple.
   This week my companion Sister Fuatimau was sick for a few days so we had to stay home for a little bit longer than we wanted to. It was killing us! But luckily we have 3 in our companionship so one could stay with her and one could go with a member. Because I'm the only driver I had the wonderful opportunity to go out a few times with some members. It was an incredible opportunity! The members are starting to really help a lot more in the work and are starting to "catch the wave" of missionary work now that the holidays are over.
    One miracle that I had while I was out with one of our members was, well we didn't have any set appointments but we were just out visiting less actives and potential investigators. At first we couldn't find anyone at home but I knew we needed to keep going and try to find someone to visit. We said a little prayer and continued to go through possibilities of people we could go see. One name stuck out to me and so we decided to go there. She is an inactive lady that hasn't come for at least 10 years or so but she said she is still a believer. But we had a good visit with Sister Mauga there too (the member). Afterwards we looked at her record and realized she was endowed! We couldn't believe it. But Sister Mauga being the proactive woman she is took down her name and wanted to go visit her and make sure that visiting teachers went to her. We now are going to go visit her more regularly and help her to remember some of those important ordinances she has taken part in the temple and the importance of this gospel. We are now going to work and help the members with their visiting teaching. We have come to realize that not many do their visiting teaching anymore and that is not good. Visiting teaching and home teaching is so important especially in our world today. There are so many temptations in the world and without some visits of others and help in our lives it is so easy to forget the important things and fall. So go out and visit others! Even if they are active members, they still need help because we ALL face challenges and we all need help at times.
   I have so much more I could write but I don't have much time left. But I  would like to thank all of you that support me. I don't think you realize how much it helps me being out here on a mission. You are all amazing and I'm blessed to have such a wonderful family and friends. Love you all! And remember to open your mouth and spread the gospel to all those that you can. These are the latter days, NOW is the time to step up as members of the church and save those souls that are lost.
  Love you all heaps! Have a wonderful week!
Love always,
    Sister Heidi Sorensen

We had such a fun p-day last week! There were many missionaries that left for home this week so we had a big combined zone p-day. We went laser tagging! That was seriously the best laser tag ever! There were heaps of missionaries everywhere. It was funny because we were all freaking out because we don't do things like that very often. haha

 Sister Fuatimau had never had Krispy Kreme donuts before so I bought my companions some. She loved them!

We had a vietnamese family feed us an authentic dinner this week. It was really interesting food but not too bad. As you can see we all sat on the floor and ate with chop sticks.

 I'm going to miss this girl!

Elder Lapu'aho is from West Valley Utah and he left for home today. He is going to go play football for BYU! He was my zone leader and he is an amazing Elder. Look for him back home!

Today at the temple. It was such a fun morning! 5 am was so worth it to go to the temple

Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy New Year!

Dear family and friends,
   Wow I can't even believe that it's already 2014, where did this last year go? This week has been such a great week! Well I guess just the end of the week has been good. At the beginning of this week we were so discouraged because no one has been home because they are all on holidays and out of town. We had a few days this week that we literally only had one or two lessons on one day. But we had a great miracle this week. On New Years day we went to about 10 homes and no one was home. We were so discouraged and were dragging that day. But we decided to say a little prayer and ask for guidance on who we needed to visit. A name came to mind of a less active family called the Rai family. They haven't been to church in a while so we thought it would be great to go and visit them. It just so happened that their whole family was home! That was a miracle on its own. But we were able to have a good visit with them and then we shared a message with them about the restoration of the gospel and the importance of living the gospel. We then asked them if there was anyone that they knew that could benefit from the message that we share. Then they started to list about 4 names that we could go visit. We were so excited! That was one thing that we have been struggling with lately is getting referrals so we were focusing on that this week. Right after that visit we went to try to contact some of the referrals that we received. We were able to find one of them at home and we were able to get a return appointment. That was able to lift up our spirits and keep pushing on that day. That was such a testimony builder on trusting in the Lord and continue to push forward with faith and the Lord will bless you. It was such a great experience!
  This week our wonderful Sister Training Leaders got all us sisters together that are in my zone. We had a new years training. We had the opportunity to go around the circle and each one of us sisters shared our purpose on why we are on our mission. It was such a powerful experience and the spirit was so strong! We were all in tears as we shared personal experiences on why we are here. The sister training leaders then reminded us of our purpose as missionaries. They had a training with President Lew and President Lew has been really striving to push the rules. He has found that especially during the holidays we as missionaries have been a little lax. So the sisters were so good at helping us to refocus and to set goals for the new year. It was such a good wake up call. I have set new goals for this new year and I'm so ready and excited for all the things to come in this new year. This week I have pondered a lot about why I'm here. One thing that has really hit me is that time is very short. I'm only here to serve the Lord full time as a missionary for 18 months. There is no time to waste. It has been such a humbling experience as I've reflected on those things that I want to improve on. I don't want to come home the same person if I did then my mission would have been pointless. My goal is to give it all I have while I'm here and have no regrets. It is truly a blessing to be able to be a missionary at this particular time in my life. Just like it says in Alma 13:24 I know that the Lord is truly preparing the hearts of men to recieve this gospel. And as it says in D&C 88:73 the work of the Lord is truly hastening on the earth today. Now is the time to share it with others. Be examples of the believers in everything that you do. (1 Timothy 4:12).
   The work is now starting to pick up more and more. We are now able to get more member to come out with us and help us in the work. It has made such a big difference as the members are assisting us in the work. It really lightens the load because if not we would be going door to door striving to find those that are ready to recieve it. With the members help we skip that step and find those that are ready and help them right away. So I encourage all of you to be member missionaries. Help the missionaries find those that are ready to hear the gospel at this time.
   Oh man I love being a missionary but I feel like I'm going to come back to fat! haha Just yesterday we had 3 dinners right in a row. I don't know why we ever did that to ourselves because we thought we were going to die afterwards. But I'm grateful that the members feed us at least. It is so funny because this whole week we didn't have any dinner appointments but on one day we had 3 and in a row! Now I understand why people say that they gained weight on their mission but me and my companions have decided that we are going on a diet after yesterday. Well like thats going to happen but at least we are going to try. Anyways that was a big side note.
  I absolutely love my companions and we are getting along so well! This next week is the last week of the transfer and we are so sad that our 3-some is going to be split up but we will go wherever we are called to serve. Oh and just so you know mom next week our p-day is on Tuesday instead of monday because of transfers.
Just know that I love you all very much! Thanks for all the love and support. And thanks for all those that sent me christmas cards, I loved them! Happy new years to all of you!
   Sister Heidi Sorensen