Monday, April 28, 2014

I am nothing without the Lord.

Dear family and friends,
   Well this week has been a pretty good week. We were finally able to move into our new flat this week and so we were pretty happy about that. We are now able to settle in a little bit and have our space to study and accomplish all the things we need to. We have a super nice flat! It is actually a pretty good size house in a very nice development in a suburb called Bonnyrigg. It kind of reminds me of Day Break in South Jordan a little bit. I will have to take some photos of it.
    This week was a little bit of a slow week when it comes to he work because we were moving and getting everything worked out with our new flat. But we are hoping now that we are a little more settled in that our week will go more smoothly.
   We had a miracle this week. There was this family that just moved into our ward, they are investigators in the church. Some of the sisters in the Liverpool 1st ward have been working with them and now we are going to take over the teaching and help them adjust to the Green Valley Ward and get to know the members. It is a single mother with her 3 kids. They are going to be baptized this next week so we are so excited for them! They are a great family and I know that our ward will be great for them.
      This week we were working so hard to get all of our investigators to church. Unfortunately we weren't able to get Michelle and Esther to church again. That is still a big stumbling block for them but we continue to work with them as much as we can. They are wonderful people and they still love us coming over and teaching them. They are so eager to learn and so we know that eventually they will make that next step of committing to baptism. We just have to be patient and trust in the Lord, which can be so hard sometimes!
    One day during my personal studies I found this scripture that I really liked. It is found in Alma 38:5 which reads, "...I would that ye should remember, that as much as ye shall put your trust in God even so much ye shall be delivered out of your trials, and your troubles, and your afflictions, and ye shall be lifted up at the last day." This is a great scripture that helps us to know that the Lord will deliver us out of our trials. We just have to continually put our trust in Him and show our faith. We all face challenges in our life and we have those low points, but we must never stop living the gospel of Jesus Christ. That is the only way that we can make it through the hard times in our life. I have seen countless times on my mission especially with less-actives that they believed in the church but as soon as challenges came their way they started to forget the Lord in the life and fell away thinking that no one was there for them. I can promise you that the Lord will always provide for each and every one of us. He is in the details of our lives. He knows us individually and will carry us through our hardships.
    The commitment that I leave with all of you is to keep up your CPR (church, prayer, read your scriptures). LIVE THE GOSPEL of Jesus Christ and the Lord will help you. One of my favourite scriptures is Timothy 4:12 which talks about us being an example of the believers in everything that we do. We are the Lord's servants here upon the earth, we are his children and He needs our help to bring others unto Him. He is the way!
I love you all very much and hope you all have a wonderful week!
Love always,
    Sister Heidi Sorensen

 This is the Phan family. They are such a cute family, those kids are so smart! We had a lot of fun with them this week.

This week we went with our investigator Jazmine and her Auntie to Costco! It reminded me so much of home. I have never been so excited to go to Costco in my entire life.

 By the way thanks so much for the package mom! That was the best, I'm so lucky to have such a great family.

This is Sister E'e. I forgot to send this one last week. She is the best! She was Nanny McPhee at the Primary activity to keep all the kids in line. She has two of her daughters out right now and she loves coming out with us so much and she treats us like her own daughters.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Right place, right time.

Dear family and friends,
       I hope you all had a Happy Easter! I hope you took the time to remember our Savior, Jesus Christ during this easter season because he is the one that makes it all possible. We are here upon the earth and able to experience mortality only through our loving Savior and His atonement. I'm so grateful for my brother Jesus Christ for making it possible for me to be here and to be cleansed from sin. In 1 John 1:7-8 it helps us to understand that we ALL sin and all fall short of the glory of God. But that is why the Atonement was necessary for us to be able to return with our Heavenly Father again. I have learned a lot of the enabling power of the atonement of Jesus Christ. He ENABLES us to do so much in this life that we wouldn't have otherwise. I just can't express enough how much love and gratitude I have for my Savior.
    This last week has been so fun of miracles I don't even know where to begin. Lately Sister Woodford and I have been praying to be in the right place at the right time. We have been striving to put aside the numbers but focusing on all the people that need help at this time. That has made all the difference in our work. We have been striving to really rely on the Holy Ghost to guide us to where we need to be. I can't tell you how many times this week my companion and I looked at eachother and said, "that was exactly where we needed to be." Many times we would plan for someone the night before but when we got to that time the day of we didn't feel like that was who we needed to see. But we prayed to know where we were needed and we would find someone that needed help at that time.
     For instance one experience happened just last night. It was late and the people that we had planned to see just weren't the ones we felt like seeing. But we immediately thought of a lady who is a member that we haven't seen in a while. We had a very good visit with her and really got to know her better. By the end Sister Espinosa said, "thanks so much for coming, I really needed it tonight." That was a moment that we knew God had sent us there for a reason, to uplift her and strengthen her. Something I have realized is that it is not only the non-members that need uplifting but it is often active members as well. We have been focusing on everyone in our area and striving to help everyone to be uplifted.
      Another experience that we had was this last tuesday. There was a less-active lady that we visit who was having surgery this week. And we had asked if she wanted a blessing before she went into surgery. Well that day we had totally forgotten until late that night Sister Woodford had remembered her. So we quickly called the Elders and took them to her house. When we got there Mary was so happy to see us. She had said that she was thinking that we had forgotten all about her and she didn't know what she was going to do. It was at the time she said that we had called and told her that we would come by. I knew that God was answering her prayers and promting us to go to her. It was a great experience. Mary had never had a priesthood blessing before and so that was so powerful. She was very nervous about everything and then after the blessing it was amazing how calm she was and ready to have that surgery.
    We had quite a fun easter here in Australia. My companion and I being the dorks we are went and got little bunny ears for easter. That day we went around to all of our investigators houses that were home and gave them a little treat an a message of easter. We even got the elders together and we went and sang some hymns to an old man who is a widower. He was so happy to see us and he said that it really made his day. We went and visited Michelle and her kids and they loved the little bunny ears that we had and we had such a good visit with them. Unfortunately she still wasn't able to come to church this last week because her daughter was in a softball tournament that she had to take her to. But we haven't given up hope on her. Little by little her heart is being softened. She said that she loves us to come over and enjoys our visits but still hasn't decided to take action on the messages that we share.
       But one thing that I have learned a lot about this week is that we can't force anyone to feel the spirit or have the desire to be baptized and come unto Christ. But all we can do is our very best to help them to feel the spirit and strive to plant that seed and then leave it up to the Lord and His timing. At times we get discouraged because someone is not progressing but the Lord knows when the perfect time is for these investigators, we just have to trust in Him and never give up trying to work with these individuals.
   Esther is doing well. Unfortunately she went on holidays for this weekend and we weren't able to see her and she wasn't able to come to church but miracles are happening with her. We just found out that one of her close cousins is a YSA girl in Minto (which is really close by) and we know her cousin from this mini MTC that we had here. So she is now in the picture and helping us a lot with the progress of Esther. I think that now Vickie is helping she will really have the desire to come to church because she has a friend to be there and she won't be alone. That is truly the key, everyone needs a friend so that they can progress and be comfortable to make changes in their life.
  We also got another investigator this last week. It was a referral from the mission office. I guess this boy named Harrison was looking online and found At that time we wanted missionaries to come because he was really curious as to what we believed in. He has a strong desire to learn and we are going to be working really closely with him. We are so excited! The work is really progressing in our area and we have so much work that needs to be done. I know that this is the Lord's work.
   I encourage you to help the missionaries and reach out to all of those less-actives and those that are not of our faith. Even if they don't have the desire now at least you can plant that seed and you never know when they will come unto Christ and remember that time that someone invited them to an activity. I love you all and I hope that you all have a wonderful week!
    Sister Heidi Sorensen
When the traveling Sister came to work with us a few weeks ago.

Our empty flat. :( We spend most of the day cleaning it out. Now we are still staying with some other sister temporarily until we get a new flat.

Our new investigator Jazmine is on the right side on the end. She is a 9 year old girl that has a strong desire to be baptized. Its now up to her mum to let her be baptized. But we enjoy working with her and all her little cousins. Those kids are so cute!

Last p-day we went to this fun park named "Lizard Log" it had such a beautiful view and we had a lot of fun there. They had a few flying fox's (which are zip lines). We loved it!

Our little easter bunny ears. Dorky but very memorable!

Yesterday we had our p-day and it was a zone p-day. We had a lot of fun at a park playing some ultimate frisbee and soccer and all kinds of fun games.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

General Conference is like Christmas for Missionaries!

Dear Family and Friends,
    I FINALLY had the opportunity to watch General Conference and the Women's Conference this past weekend. Wow I'm on such a spirtual high right now and so ready to go out there and make a difference. What a blessing it is to listen to the words of a living Prophet and his apostles and other leaders of the Church. I don't know about all of you but I was able to receive so many answers to my questions just by listening to the talks given by these wonderful leaders. I have been greatly strengthened by the words that were spoken.
   Some of the talks that really stuck out to me was the one by Elder Anderson on the whirlwinds of life. We all have different whirlwinds in our lives that come but it is so important for us to remain in the faith. One thing that I noticed was there were so many that mentioned the scripture Helaman 5:12. That goes to show just how important it is to build that foundation upon our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. So that when those whirlwinds come along we will not fall but be strengthened. One thing that we as missionaries do is encourage others to apply what we call CPR. Church, prayer, and reading the scriptures. I noticed that many of the speakers talked about the importance of those 3 things that is how we build our foundation upon the Lord. So I encourage all of you of continue or if you aren't already to start to apply those principles in your life. It has given me so much strength and I promise that it will give you strength as well.
   Another talk that I really was touched by was Elder Bednar's talk about how we all bear a load. I liked how he said that "Bearing load is necessary" for us to return with our Heavenly Father again. Many times we think that life will be better if that load was taken from us completely but it was taken away then we wouldn't be strengthened. That is something that has really hit me this week that we need those burdens and hardships to create "traction" to drag us out of those hard times. Then once we experience those times we will know what to do and have an added strength to experience other trials that may come our way.
   I would challenge all of you to read Elder Ballard's talk again and commit yourself to the commitments that he has left with all of us to read Preach my Gospel. I would love to have you share your insights with me from reading and studying. That is what gives me strength.
   Things are going so well and we have so many that we are working with. We have 4 progressing investigators and we are hoping that they will stay strong. We are just struggling with getting 2 of them to church. So pray that Ester and Michelle will be able to get to church this coming week.
I hope you all have a great week! Love you all!
      Sister Sorensen