Sunday, March 30, 2014

Missionary Work is a Rollercoaster

Dear family and friends,
    Wow what a week. It truly has been such a rollercoaster of emotions this week. It is crazy how fast things can change. A couple weeks ago we had so much success and things were really soaring high for us. We had so many investigators we were working with as well as less-actives. But this week it seems like everything kind of fell apart on us. I guess we needed to be humbled again. I'm finding that we are always going through the refiners constantly.This week a lot of the investigators we've been working with have lost interest and we have had to drop them or at least put them aside for a little bit until they are ready. And also a lot of the less-actives we have been working with have been so hard to even catch anymore. We have found it hard to reach some of these people and they haven't been letting us come anymore. So that has been a challenge. So lets just say our teaching pool went way down in only one week.
   Regardless of all of those things that happened this week and all of the discouragement that we had we still saw many miracles. We had one whole day that we went from one house to the next and worked so hard but no one was home or no one had time to talk to us. We got no lessons that day and we were so discouraged. But I knew that the Lord would provide and help us. We got to a point that we just sat in the car for a minute just trying to think of what we could do next. Our zone leaders shared with us a miracle that they had with just going through their phone and calling all those people that they didn't know. We decided we didn't have anything to lose so we decided to try it. We went through our phone and started calling all the people we didn't know. It was incredible! We were able to talk to quite a few people and they were so nice to us. We were able to make 4 appointments with some less-actives that haven't seen missionaries in a long time. That really lifted our spirits and kept us going.
     The next day was incredible! We didn't even know how to act when we found almost everyone home and were able to meet so many new people. It was Saturday and we decided to get out right after studies and just go work hard to see some people after the long day before. We were able to see so many less-actives that we haven't seen in a long time and we had some good lessons with them. We were also able to get 2 new investigators just by going through our area book and trying some of the people on the ward list.
   One lesson that I have really learned this week is that the Lord will always provide a way, we just have to trust in Him. Things don't always go exactly how you plan or exactly how you would like things to go. This is the Lord's work and we are on His timing. He knows all of these people and He knows those that are prepared. We just have to rely on Him and he never ceases to provide a way for everything. This week I have been reading of the 2,000 stripling warriors and the great courage and faith that they had that the Lord would deliver them from their enemies. I think it is so ironic that I happened to be reading this part in the scriptures this week. Their strength that they had has given me strength this week to fully rely on the Lord. And as many of you know in the story of the Stripling Warriors none of them were killed. As it reads in Alma 57:25-27, "not one soul of them who did perish; yea, and neither was there one soul among them who had not received many wounds. And now, their preservation was astonishing to our whole army...and we do justly ascribe it to the miraculous power of God..."
       How incredible is that? I love this story and I can testify that they Lord is always there for us. Yes there will be times that we are discouraged and we feel that God is not there. But I can assure you that you ARE NEVER ALONE. The Lord knows who we are and knows what we are going through so he will never lead us astray or leave us to go through this life on our own. We just have to trust in Him (Proverbs 3:5-6). We just have to be patient and continue to do what the Lord would have us do and we will be blessed immensely.
I love you all heaps! I hope you all have a great week!
    Sister Heidi Sorensen
P.S. Oh and I also was able to be a little basketball coach this week. The 2nd counselor in our bishopric coaches his little girl and boy on a team but he says that he doesn't know what he is doing so he asked me to come help. I said I would gladly come and help, it was so much fun to help those little kids learn how to play a game I love! See you never know when your talents will come in handy.

We absolutely love the Manousso's. They took us out to dinner this last monday.

Tim Tam Slam competitions at the Manousso's house. Man I got to work on my Tim Tam Slams..I'm as slow as molasses!

We learned how to crochet from some members this week.

Last P-day we wanted to do something really fun. So we decided to go on a train ride. But because we have to stay in our area we were only allowed to go as far as Glenfield. Which is only 2 stops away so pretty much nothing. But it was a fun adventure. We even were able to teach this guy who was a was awesome! You just never know who you will meet on a train.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Miracles Upon Miracles!

 Dear family and friends,
      This week has been such a great week. We have seen so many great miracles this week it has been incredible! We had stake conference this weekend and it was so good. I learned so much about how important our decisions are. We have to decide for ourselves who we will become and the way we will live our life.
     The work in the Green Valley ward is really booming and there is so much work to be done here its crazy! It really keeps us busy each day. We have so many investigators that we are working with. But I would say only a few of them are really keen. But we continue to do our best to find more and more investigators that are really prepared to hear this wonderful gospel. We are still working with Michelle as much as we can. She is not really progressing like we would have hoped. But we are striving to push her and help her to keep her committments. But again it goes back to their own decisions. That is what makes it so hard. We can teach her so much and testify of the truth but really it comes down to her and what she wants to do. We just pray that she will progress and really come into the faith.
    We got a new investigator this week! Her name is Ester. Well actually we kind of added her whole family as new investigators. She has 9 brothers and sisters and non of them are members. They are seven day adventists. They are the nicest family ever! I can't even believe that they aren't members already. They live and act like mormon's already. They are the kind of family that invites all the missionaries in regardless of what religion they are and they feed you and help you with whatever you need. They are the most loving people ever. We are so excited to work with them and hopefully we will be able to help them to understand the importance of this gospel and how much it can bless them. I will keep you updated on their progress this next week.
   We saw so many miracles this week in working with our less-actives. My testimony of the Book of Mormon and the power behind it has grown so much this week. We have been challenging all of our less-actives to start to read the Book of Mormon again. We visited with a girl named Alyse and she said that she had started to read again. She already seemed so much happier and she said she was finally able to get a job and find an apartment. We testified to her of the power in putting the Lord first and how much he can bless her as He already has.
       We also met with this girl named Fono. She hasn't been to church in many years but we challenged her to read the Book of Mormon. We weren't really sure if she was going to keep her committment. But the following visit we were surprised to find that she had started to read. Her only concern was she didn't really understand it. So we decided to read with her. The spirit was so strong as we read together and explained to her the principles that were taught. As we were leaving she was asking when we could come back again so that we could read together. Wow we were so excited! There is so much power in that Book it is incredible!
   I challenge all of you if you aren't already to read the Book of Mormon. Ponder on its words and pray about it and you will be blessed. I love you all very much and I hope you all have a wonderful week!
     Sister Heidi Sorensen

Huge rain storm this week so we had some fun in the rain

 It was Sister Woodford's birthday this last saturday. We had a little party that night with sparklers and everything.  As you can see I bought us both some Aussie footie pj's.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Hastening of the Work

Dear family and friends,
    Wow this week has been a great week. The work in the Green Valley area is really picking up and I'm enjoying it so much. We have SO much work to do and I love it! The ward is really stepping up and doing there part as well to help us to do the missionary work more effectively. I have such a strong testimony in member missionary work. When Elder Nelson came to Australia he talked a lot about the importance of working with the ward council and working with the members. We are starting to really strive to include the members in the work and we are finding the work has been so much lighter than before. We are able to get so much more work done as well. So I encourage all of you to strive to help your missionaries in your area. Work side by side with them and you will see that many more will be able to come into the church. There is always work to be done.
   We are really starting to love the members and they are loving us as well. We are starting to have so many great ideas of how we can get to know them more and know them at a personal level. This past week we had our interviews with President Lew this week and he was impressed by how well we were working with the ward. We have started doing work outs in the morning with the relief society women. We take cookies around to ward members/ investigators to let them know we are thinking of them. And Sister Woodford and I have a competition as to how many stickers we can hand out to the kids...its pretty fun. Lets just say the kids love us and are always running up to get a sticker. We are really starting to gain the trust of the members. We get so many referrals that half the time we are struggling to contact all of them within the week. Which is a very good problem to have.
    I also have a strong testimony about the importance of attending to the needs of those that we are teaching. This past week we had an experience with our investigator, Michelle. We were thinking of doing a lesson on the Plan of Salvation and we were role playing it a lot for one particular day we were going to see her but she called last minute to cancel. A few days later we were able to make an appointment with her. At first we planned for the same lesson but things weren't going very smoothly. Our role plays weren't going well and we didn't feel right about that lesson for her. We took forever to figure out what exactly she needed personally. She hasn't been keeping her commitments and so we decided to do a lesson on faith and how important it is to act upon that faith. We can say all that we want to say but what it really comes down to is the investigator to do their part. The lesson went so well and the spirit was so strong! That taught me such a big lesson on making sure we aren't just doing a lesson to get it over with but to really figure out what that individual needs at that time.
    We were able to go to Michelle's daughter Taneisha's softball game. It was such a great experience. We were able to sit with her and talk to her and get to know her even more. I can see her heart softening little by little and that desire growing within her.
   Each and every day we are able to do our studies in the morning before we go out proselyting. I have found that to be my favorite part of the day. I learn so much during that time. For the first time in my life the scriptures are really starting to come alive. My testimony of the Book of Mormon has grown so much and I'm finding myself realy anxious to read more and more. I now start to read before I go to bed as well because I love it so much. I have a strong testimony that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. Whenever you are struggling I know that you can find great strength in reading it. That is truly how the Lord is able to speak to you. I have also been starting to study the Bible. I have always taught people that the Bible and the Book of Mormon go hand in hand but yet in the end I  haven't really even read the Bible. So my new challenge is to read the Bible and to be able to really know those stories in there as well so that I can really gain that personal testimony that they do go hand in hand.
   I encourage all of you to read the scriptures daily. They are so important and will help you so much in your daily life. I can promise you that you will find the answers to your questions as you read and prayfully ponder its words. I want to thank you all for all the love and support that you give me. I couldn't do my work here if it wasn't for all of you back home helping me along the way. Love you all!
     Sista Heidi Sorensen

Here in Australia they don't have mail man drive cars. Here they drive motorcyles! We laugh every single time we see them!

Our favorite place again. We fed the ducks...kinda lame I know but for us it was pretty fun!

The new Elders in our ward. As you can see this is always the picture place at our chapel. I have so many pics by this sign it is crazy!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

We are so blessed!

Dear family and friends,
     This has been a great week! But nothing can really beat last week and the amazing experience that I had with Elder Nelson but every day there are always incredible experiences and miracles that happen. I never know where to even start when I start my emails. I learn so much each and everyday. I guess I will start by saying how truly blessed we are to have this gospel in our lives today.
      My companion and I have had such a fun week. We are really starting to enjoy the work here and working with each other. We have so much fun together and it makes the work so much better when we are enjoying it along the way. This last week we reflected on the week and looked at all of our numbers for the week and realized wow, we did really well this week and we didn't even realize it. I love that because we were enjoying it so much that we didn't even realize all that we had accomplished along the way. The Green Valley ward is the best! I absolutely love the members in this ward. It is going to be so hard to leave this area. Not that I'm leaving the area but by the end of this transfer it will be about 6 months in this area so I will most likely be transferred to another area sometime soon. But I'm not thinking about that yet, I'm just enjoying this next 5 weeks that I know that I will be here.
     Many are wondering about some of our investigators and all those that we are working with. We have quite a few investigators but not many of them are very keen. But Michelle is one that we continue to work with each week. Oh one great thing is she has allowed her 2 girls to come to church. She is still not able to come to church because of work but its a work in progress. We just continue to fast and pray for her that she will be able to come. But we see her a couple times a week. This last week we went and played some soccer with her little girl Taniesha. It was great to pull out my old coaching skills again and bring out some fun drills I could teach her. It was so much fun to go play with her. I think it really helped Michelle to realize that we are normal people and we have a lot of fun besides just teaching. Michelle's heart is being softened little by little.
      The majority of the work has been with the less-actives though. We have so many less-actives that we are trying to encourage and help them to come back to church. Sometimes they can be a lot harder to work with then investigators because they already know what they should be doing they just haven't understood the importance behind the church and all that comes with it.
     In that mission conference with Elder Nelson there was also the area President for the Pacific area that spoke, Elder Hamula. He had a great talk on the grace of God. He talked about how "This power to be more than you are and to be better doesn't come all at once." He then shared one of my favorite scriptures, 2 Nephi 28:30 "line upon line, precept upon precept..."
     Lately I have been having such a hard time with this concept. I constantly ponder about how short my time is here and how the time is now for me to serve the Lord. I have such a strong desire to do what is right and to give it my all. Sometimes it overwhelms me because I know that I have so many weaknesses and I have so much that I could do better. But I loved this talk because it helped me to understand that as long as I'm doing my very best than God's grace will help me along the way. A member of our ward also talked on this principle and I liked what he said when he talked about how its not about the speed we are going in life, it is all about the direction we are heading. We are all going to fall at times but as long as we are heading in the right direction towards our Heavenly Father than everything else will fall into place. That really gave me so much strength to know that as long as I'm moving and striving to do what is right to the best of my ability than that is all that I can do. Of course I make mistakes. I make mistakes everyday but I'm striving to do better each day. I'm learning so much each and everyday, I absolutely love being a missionary!
  The commitment I leave with all of you is to read the talk given by Elder Russell M. Nelson in this last conference entitled, "Decisions for Eternity." It is a great talk and it really helped me to realize the importance of the decisions that we make each day. Read those scriptures, there is great power in the scriptures and they will help you to know what you need to do in your life. They will help you to become who God wants you to become. I know that the Book of Mormon is truly the word of God and all of the standard works. This is an incredible church and we are blessed to have the fulness of the gospel here upon the earth.
I love you all very much! I hope you all have a wonderful week! Pray for missionary opportunities and I know that you will find them.
     Sister Heidi Sorensen

We got some nerf guns. They are so much fun after a long day at work.

 We LOVE this mug cake. It is the only thing that gets us through weekly planning each week. We save them for each thursday when we do our planning.

These are the sisters I live with. We have so much fun together!