Monday, February 24, 2014

An experience I will NEVER forget!

Dear family and friends,
      This week has truly been an incredible week. This last Wednesday we had a mission conference with Elder Russell M. Nelson of the 12 apostles. We had this conference combined with the North Mission as well. So we got to go to the North Mission for the day! They had the chapel spit in half with tape running down the middle of it. They had the South Mission on one side...aka the best mission and they had the North Mission on the other side. Elder Nelson and his wife came to speak to us. Before we started the meeting we were all able to shake Elder Nelson's hand (all 400+ missionaries). He stood up at the front of the chapel and we all went in an orderly fashion row by row to shake his hand. I was pondering the whole time what I should say to him. When I got up to him I was about to say, "Please tell my mom that I love her the next time you see her in the temple." But before I could get a word out he said, "Are you Heidi? I don't think I even answered him I just smiled and he knew I was. He then turned around and gave me a plastic bag that he had brought in with him. He looked me in the eye and said, "I believe this is for you." By then I had tears running down my face as I knew who it was from. He then turned to his wife and said, "Give her a hug." She gave me the biggest hug ever. This was in front of the whole mission and north mission as well. That was one experience that I won't ever forget. I have the greatest family in the world! Mom you're incredible, thanks so much for doing that for me! That really helped me and it made me realize just how blessed I am.
     The mission conference was incredible! All the speakers were so good and spoke as if it was directly to me. I was striving the whole week before this conference to be prepared for this conference. The spirit was so strong and I learned so much! It was all exactly what I needed to help me to have strength to keep pushing forward. When Elder Nelson got up to give his talk he said he wanted some volunteers to help him. He called a few missionaries up and then he called "Sister Heidi Sorensen." All the other missionaries were from the other mission and he just called them randomly but he called me specifically to come up. He then asked us each a question. My heart was pumping out of my chest as I was awaiting my question as I was the first one that he asked. He asked me to share with everyone one thing that I have learned here that I didn't know or understand before. I then talked about the importance of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how much the Lord does provide for us. How far the Atonement can reach and how the atonement is for each one of us. He asked me to share an experience. I just talked about how life as a missionary is hard and we all have those times of discouragment but right after that low point the Lord always sends a blessing and a tender mercy that builds us up.
      I know that we all have hard times in our lives and we are all going through different things but as long as we are doing what's right and doing our best then the Lord's grace will come into play. God will pour his blessings upon us as we strive to continually be obedient and strive to do whats right. I have seen that countless times. I know that God loves each and every one of us and God knows who we can become. It is up to us to align our Will with God's and He will shape us into who He knows we can become. Rely on the Lord and we can do all things. Just as Elder Nelson spoke about in the conference he said, "The Lord uses the unlikely to do the impossible." One example he shared was Joseph Smith. He was a 14 year old boy that restored the church. There is no way that he could have done all that he did without the Lord. That is evidence that this is the Lord's church, He stands at the head of it. I know that we can do anything with the Lord on our Side. Trust in the Lord and he shall direct thy paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).
  Thanks again for all of your love and support. Keep up the good work and remember that EVERY MEMBER IS A MISSIONARY!
Much Love,
      Sister Heidi Sorensen

Sister Woodford and I found this beautiful dock that is our new favorite place! Green Valley is not the prettiest place in the world, but its the people that make it!

Thanks mom for the treat you gave me that Elder Nelson delivered to me. What a treat that is itself!

This is all the missionaries serving in the Green Valley Ward. We had two elders leave for home just today. As for me and my soa, we are staying put for another transfer.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

  This week has been a challenging week. But I'm so grateful for this week because I have learned so much. I was a little discouraged because we weren't able to see very many people this week and we didn't teach very much but that is because of Zone Conference, my companion being sick, and District Meeting. So we have had a lot of things that have happened this week. I have realized that I have been more worried about the numbers rather then the sole purpose of why I'm here. I'm here to bring others unto Christ and in order to bring others unto Christ I have to be prepared and trained. This week has been a lot of training and learning and it has helped me so much to be strengthened as a missionary. I have also realized that its not always just investigators that we bring closer to Christ. In our purpose it just says that we are to "Invite OTHERS to come unto Christ..." That even includes other missionaries that are around me. There are many missionaries that are struggling at this time and this week has been a week of renewal I think for many of us.
     We had Zone Conference this week and it was an incredible experience. Just what I needed to be uplifted and reminded of what is most important. One thing that I really took from the Conference was the power and authority of my calling. As missionaries we are called and set apart as representatives of Jesus Christ. Sometimes I forget about the importance of my calling how I'm truly the Lords servant in this part of his vineyard.
      Michelle is still progressing slowly but surely. The only struggle we are having with her is getting her to church. She is a single mother of 3 kids and VERY busy and she works every Sunday and Monday. So it has been hard to ask her to come to church but we know that the Lord will provide a way if she truly desires to learn. Right now she is the only investigator that is really progressing at all but we are keeping the faith that the Lord will put someone in our path that is prepared to hear this gospel. In the meantime we have been working with heaps of less actives and helping them to come back to church and remember of its importance.
      Just yesterday we had a tender mercy. We were having kind of a rough day but we knew we needed to go and visit someone. The person that came to mind was this old man named Kevin. He is an old man about in his 80's and he is blind and lives alone. He has very little support from anyone. The only person that he has is his mate down the street and his daughter that only comes once a week. But he needs a lot  more help then that. When we went there he was so happy to see us. He said that he was praying that someone would come to help him that day. We knew that we were exactly where we needed to be and that gave us strength. As he shared with us some of his struggles I was immediately humbled and realized that I was being very selfish. I was worried about my own trials and struggles and not thinking of others. Tears were rolling down Sister Woodford and my face and he was talking. We sang some songs with him and had such a good conversation with him. We were reminded of the importance of turning outward and helping others and realizing that there are others that are struggling as well. I'm so grateful for that lesson I learned yesterday from Kevin.
    I love you all very much and I'm so grateful for all your love and support. Keep up the good work! I hope all of you have a wonderful week!
        Sister Sorensen

It was Sister TeMaari's b-day and we had some fun that you can see.

Zone Conference!

 Last week we went and explored a buddhist temple, it was so cool!
My wonderful district. It is the last time for Elder Langi (from tonga).

Monday, February 10, 2014

"Missionary work....the hardest thing I've ever loved to do"

Dear family and friends,
    As the people in Australia would say, "How ya goin mate?" I hope all is well in the great land of the United States of America. Wow just being here I'm more and more grateful to live in America. I mean don't get me wrong, Australia is a great place but they are really behind in the times. We are so blessed for all that we have.
      This week has been a great week. I don't remember if I talked about our new investigator named Michelle. The work is slowly picking back up and I'm so excited for those things that are coming. Michelle is our newest investigator and she is progressing so well. She is a single mother of 3 kids and she is the sweetest lady. She already acts like a mormon mother. She is a very smart woman and so willing to learn more about the gospel. She unfortunately works a lot though so we aren't able to see her much, just once a week. But it is a work in progress and she also works on Sundays so she hasn't been able to come to church...yet that is. We are really going to strive to get her to come because we know that once she does she will have a stronger desire to learn more and get closer and closer towards baptism.
    This week in our Zone Meeting the Zone Leaders asked me to give a portion of the training. They also asked a few other missionaries. It was a great opportunity and I learned so much from the preparation of it. I wouldn't say I did as well as I wanted to but the spirit was present and very strong and that is all that matters. The Holy Ghost is the true teacher anyways, he is the only one that can carry the message into the hearts of men (2 Nephi 33:1-2).
   This week I read a talk given by Elder Bednar several years ago and it truly changed my perspective of the Tree of Life story. In his talk he focuses on the difference between clinging to the iron rod and continually holding fast to the iron rod. If you read in 1 Nephi 8 you realize that there are three groups. The first group doesn't hold or even use the iron rod as a guide and they strive to just stay on the path and they lose their way once they hit the mist of darkness. The second group clings to the iron rod but once the people at the great and spacious building see them partake of the fruit they feel ashamed and fall away. But the third group continually holds fast to the iron rod. They have hard times but they continually strive to hold fast and seek the word of God. That really strengthened my testimony of the importance of continually striving to keep the commandments and do the small and simple things each and every day. The things of the world can be so tempting at times but as we remind ourselves each day and read our scriptures and say our prayers. That is when we are more fully able to resist the temptations of the world and become more like our Savior, Jesus Christ. I encourage all of you to read 1 Nephi 8 this week. It has been a great strength to me and has really helped me this week.
   I've also been thinking a lot about conversion this week. I have reflected a lot about all of the many spiritual experiences that I have had throughout my life. It is amazing how much those experiences have been a source of strength for me while I've been serving my mission. Many times I have thought about experiences that have come to mind in a lesson and they have been a source of strength for all those that we are teaching. I'm so very blessed for the many things I have learned and continue to learn in my life. I think back to the story of the Ten Virgins and how 5 of them were prepared with oil in their lamps and 5 of them were not prepared. But they couldn't share their oil with others because if you apply it to our life today, that oil in their lamp came drop by drop through experiences that they had in their life.  It was their oil of conversion compiled by experiences that strengthened their testimony of the truthfulness of this restored gospel. We can't give away our experiences, they have to have their own experiences that help them to truly know for themselves of the truthfulness of the gospel. I would like all of you to reflect upon all those experiences in your life that have made you the person you are today. How have those experiences blessed your life and how have you obtained your personal testimony of this gospel?
  Sorry this is so long but I have learned so much this week and I wanted to share it with all of you. I would encourage all of you to read the talk entitled, "The Fourth Missionary" by President Lawrence E. Corbridge (June 22, 2002). It is an incredible talk that has really helped me and given me much strength. Let me know what you think about it.
I love you all and thanks for all your love and support. Have a wonderful week!
       Sister Heidi Sorensen

Teresa is a polish lady that we are helping. She is a recent convert and she is the sweetest lady. She calls us her grand-kids. We walked with her to the shopping center last week because she was afraid to go by herself.

 Stake Sports day. We had so much fun!

 Sister Saipele is the best. Her and her family are moving soon unfortunately. So no more sunday dinner with the Saipele's. I guess we will have to find another family to go to on sundays. We are going to miss them so much!
Lunch with the wonderful sisters in my zone

Monday, February 3, 2014

Ordinary People.....Extraordinary Message

Dear family and friends,
     This week has been such a great week. I continue to learn so much each and every day. It is amazing how much you continue to learn each day. During my personal study one day I had this thought..."We are ordinary people, here to spread an extraordinary message."After that thought came to mind it really hit me on just how important this gospel is. One of the 12 apostles said one time that this gospel is for imperfect people. We are all human and we all make so many mistakes each and every day, but that is why we needed a Savior. We needed Jesus Christ to show us the way and to provide a way back to our Heavenly Father. This week I have thought a lot about the Atonement and just how necessary it is for us. We are truly nothing without our Savior, He is the one that makes it all possible.
   This week we have had so many miracles. We have been pushing hard to strive to meet our goals that we have set for ourselves. I'm sure Sister Woodford hates me but I have been pushing her really hard to get some things done. And I can see that all that hard work has not been wasted. One miracle that we had was with one of our new investigators named Michelle. We met her a few weeks ago and she is such a sweet lady. She has been really busy lately and so we haven't been able to visit her much but just yesterday we felt the need to visit her. We were really discouraged at that time because we were going to go to a fireside and we were told we couldn't go unless we had an investigator to take with us. Well we didn't have anyone to take so we decided to just continue onward and go out and visit some other people. That is when we went to visit Michelle. She has such a sweet spirit and she really put a smile on our face. She invited us in and we got to talk with her and get to know her better. We were also able to share a message of the gospel with her and she asked us if we could teach her more. We were so excited! She also has 2 girls, one is 8 and one is 10 and so we are hoping to teach all of them. So I will keep you updated on Michelle. But that really taught me to never give up hope. As you put your trust in the Lord, He will provide a way and poor blessing upon you.
   There is so much more I could share with all of you but there is not enough time. But I want you all to know that I truly do have a testimony of this gospel. I know without a doubt that its true. I'm so grateful to be a missionary at this time and to spread the gospel with the people of Australia.
   Thanks so much for all your love and support. Have a wonderful week!
Sister Heidi Sorensen

Yesterday for P-day we went to a cool place called, "Lions Lookout." It was a beautiful place! That is one of my new favorite places to go because you can see everything. We could even see Sydney on the horizon.