Tuesday, July 29, 2014

We need the members in missionary work!

Dear Family and friends,
    First off, good news! After being in Australia for a good 9 months I have finally seen a live Kangaroo! It was so funny we were driving to church and I was talking in the front and the sisters in the back of the car yelled at me to look out the window. And there were a big group of kangaroo's right off the side of the road. It was pretty cool to see. So Australia isn't really what everyone thinks its like, there aren't kangaroo's everywhere. It is possible to live here and never see one. I'm living proof of that one! haha
     Anyways this week has been a pretty good week. We still have so many people to work with and are striving to work hard every minute of every day. But unfortunately this week we didn't do so well at getting members at the lessons. As we were evaluating our week this week we noticed a decrease in numbers all the way down and realized it was because the decrease in member help or fellowship. That really was a testimony builder to me of how much of a positive influence the members have in the work. It really lightens the load and a lot more work is able to get done when the members and missionaries are working along side eachother. So I guess the goal we have for this next week is to get the members back into the work and excited about missionary work again. We should be wise and follow the council given by our loving prophet to work side by side with the members it really is the most effective way to do missionary work. I encourage all of you if you aren't already to get involved in the missionary work because you make all the difference! Full time missionaries aren't as effective if they don't have fellowship to help the investigators when the missionaries aren't there.
  We were still were able to have the baptism of my dear friend Mini Raine this week. Even though I've been here for only just a few weeks she has become someone that I dearly love and care for. I know that I was meant to meet such a wonderful woman. We call her mummy Mini because she is like a mother to Sister Schwab and I. She is constantly feeding us and making sure we're doing good. She always lightens the mood and helps lift us up. She was finally able to be baptized on Saturday and actually we had a double baptism in our ward. The sisters we live with, Sister Pea and Sister Sauaki had their investigator baptized on the same day. So it was a great day for all of us. Such an exciting time. There is no greater feeling then seeing someone change their life and desire to follow the example of our Savior Jesus Christ and be baptized. Mini even told us that she read the entire Book of Mormon and knows that its true. It was a goal of her's to read it all before the baptism. She is such an amazing lady and will always be one that is dear to my heart.
  The miracles never cease! Just these past couple weeks we've been working with a woman named Visnja. Sister Schwab has been working the whole time since she's been here in Canberra to find the address of this woman because she felt like she needed to meet this former investigator. Just a few weeks ago we were able to find her. And we have developed a good relationship with her. The first lesson was on her door step through her screen door. The next one was on the porch but with the door open and just a few days ago she finally let us come inside her home and sit down to teach her. She said that she now looks forward to having us come and has started to pray again. She even said that she would come to church. Unfortunately she wasn't feeling well that morning but still wanted us to come by. She even mentioned what a great blessing it was that we came into her life and that it was at the perfect moment. We assurred her that it wasn't our doing. It was the hand of the Lord that is leading us, and we are just His servants. I know that the Lord leads and guides this work today.
 Another tender mercy that we saw yesterday morning was with a less active named Lole. We originally had an appointment with this investigator named Lance but he cancelled on us and then we had a back up that also cancelled on us. Well unsure of where to go we prayed and though of this woman named Lole. We had such a great lesson with her and she said that we had come just at the perfect time. She was having a rough morning and was contemplating whether or not to go to church or not. But there we came and helped her to remember our Savior and she said that she would come to church. She expressed her gratitude for us coming and that was what she needed. That was such a humbling experience to me. Just more evidence that this is the Lord's work and that he will guide us to those that need it. Even if it take two cancellations, he will take us to those that need the gospel, we just have to have faith.
  Lately I have been studying more about my Savior, Jesus Christ and so that I can become more and more like him. Something that my companion shared with me that has always stuck with me was. If we want to know our Savior then we must walk in His footsteps. As we walk in His footsteps then we will eventually find Him. I myself am striving to walk in my Savior's footsteps as closely as I can. I know that I'm not perfect whatsoever but I know that as I strive to follow in His ways then I can be perfected in Him. For He is the mediator and has paved the way for us to make it to Our Loving Heavenly Father. I know that as we put our Trust in God and follow the path that the Lord has set for us that we will find that true and happiness. And I know that we come to know our Savior more as we serve our fellow men. There is a recent acronym that I learned from my lovely companion, J-Jesus O- Others Y- Yourself. This is the only equation of how we can find true happiness. Because as we put the Lord first in our lives (3 Nephi 13:33) then we can experience the fulness of Joy which is only found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that these things are true and I'm so grateful for this gospel in my life.
  The committment that I leave with all of you is to strive to come to know our Savior, Jesus Christ. Do all that you can to put the Lord first in your life and you will find that your life will be more joyful. I love you all so much and hope you have a wonderful week!
Love always,
    Sister Sorensen

 Sister Schwab and I got some fun Minion pj's they are that best!

Trade offs with Sister Finau. That was fun riding bikes again.

 Mini's baptism

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Philippians 4:13

Dear family and friends,
    Wow what an incredible week its been! I know I say that every week but its true. So much happens in one week that its crazy! Sister Schwab and I have been working so hard each and every day. We have been working till 9:30 every day this week just trying to get to all the people we need to get to. The Lord has definitely blessed us with so many people to work with. This week we received 4 new investigators it has been incredible. This Belconnen ward is on fire with missionary work. In fact at least half of our lessons each week are arranged by members of our ward which I've never seen before. I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve in this ward at this time. I have so much that happened I'm just going to do this in bullet points.
* First off Mini (Malasian) had a conflict with her baptismal date we set with her. We scrambled to figure out another time to do it. Through lots of prayer we were able to figure it out. She is now getting baptized on July 26 this coming saturday and we are so excited. She also just told us that she just finished the Book of Mormon! She has such a sweet spirit and is so ready to be baptized.
* I had the priviledge of going on trade offs with this wonderful sister named Sister Ketts. I feel like she taught me more than I could ever teach her. She is a great example to me. We had this great experience while we were together. We were going to try to contact this Asian man because Sister Ketts speaks chinese and we thought it would be a great opportunity. Unfortunately he wasn't there but we decided to knock on a few doors right next door. We knocked on this door and a man named Nathan was there. We talked to him a little bit about who we were and asked if he would be interested in learning more about what we share with others. He said yes! We then asked when we could return and he said, "How about tomorrow?" We were so excited and of course accepted that invitation.
   We went back the next day with a member and my companion. We taught him the Restoration. He was so keen to learn more and we are hoping that he will continue to progress. That helped me to know that so many are ready to receive this gospel. We just have to rely on the spirit to know where we need to be and what we need to say.
*Friday we went on a bus adventure for the day. We were put into an district that is about 30 minutes away rather than 10 minutes away. We don't have enough kilometers to make that trip by car so we took the bus. We had to leave pretty early to make sure we could get there on time. We had the bus route all planned out...or at least we thought we did. It was a great experience and we talked to so many people! We took one wrong bus and had to wait a little bit for another one to come. But on the next bus we met this young girl named Serah. She is a muslim girl but doesn't really believe in that. She asked so many questions and we had a full on lesson on the bus talking about the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She was so interested and keen to learn. We left her with a Book of Mormon and some pamphets. I think some of the other people on the bus were also listening in. It was such a cool experience. Since then we have been texting her and she said she has been reading what we left with her. I knew that there was a reason we got on the wrong bus.
   We may have been late for district meeting but we had talked to so many people that day. On the way home we also met another lady and had a full lesson with her as well. It was so cool and who knows what may come of all that we taught and who we met but I know that we were in the right place at the right time.
*That same Friday we had another tender mercy. This member of ours Brother Majcic invited his friend Rei over for dinner. When I met her she said that she had seen me before on the bus and really liked what I was teaching to the man. I didn't remember her at all but I remembered that last week on trade offs with Sister Sauaki we took the bus and I was teaching this man about the plan of Salvation. That was a great testimony builder that you never know who may be touched by the message or who may be listening. Rei came to church yesterday as well! That was a huge miracle. She has never belonged to a church before and doesn't really know about God but she likes the feeling she gets when she comes and that is a great start.
*Saturday I got my cast off FINALLY! We witnessed another miracle that day also. The nurse that removed my cast saw that we had name tags and was very curious to who we were. We told her who we were a
little bit and she asked if we pray for people. We said we did of course and then she asked, "will you pray for me? I'm going through a really hard time right now and could use some prayers." We of course replied and said we would. She then proceeded to tell us some of the trials that she was facing and that she felt very alone. That gave us a great opportunity to share with her a little bit about our Savior Jesus Christ and how we are never along. Neetha was her name and she said that she was christian. We taught her a little bit more and we found out that she lived really close to where we live. She agreed to have us over and to teach her more. She also said that she was about to not come to work that day but knew she had to come. I ended up being her first patient that day and she said that what we said helped her to feel better and to have hope. She was grateful we had come. That was such a great experience I will never forget.
   Even though that cast was a pain I think I've seen the most miracles due to that accident than ever before. I'm so grateful for what I had to go through so that I could witness so many miracles. It has humbled me and helped me so much.
I know this email is super long but it has been such an incredible week full of so many miracles. I know that the Lord is there for us and will help us to get through our trials, we just need to ask, we need to knock and that door and ask for help. The Lord will provide a way. I encourage all of you to pray and to seek for opportunities to share the gospel. You may not have a tag on but you know that truth and as you can see from some of my experiences there are so many that are searching for truth. We just have to open our mouths.
I hope you all have a wonderful week. Stay strong and never forget who you are, we are sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father.
Love always,
   Sister Heidi Sorensen

This was the day we got lost and our adventure on the bus.
Trade offs with Sister Ketts and Sister Elliot.
 Here is a little bit of what Canberra looks like, its so beautiful!
We went to the National Museum of Australia last p-day, pretty cool!

Mini invited us over for lunch on Saturday.

Monday, July 14, 2014

There is not enough time in the day....

Dear family and friends,
   This week has been another great week. There are so many things that happened that I don't even know where to begin. We had a crazy busy week full of so many appointments and meetings to go to. But as a missionary I would much rather be busy than not have much work to do. Sister Schwab and I are so blessed to have such a big teaching pool and so many people that want to hear the gospel in our area. This week we were stressing a little bit just trying to figure out how we were going to be able to see everyone we needed to see. But the Lord has a part in this and is definitely leading us and helping us along the way. The members of the Belconnen Ward are amazing and are also helping us out so much and are great fellowship for all the people that we're working with. I absolutely love this ward and this area! We were so blessed to have quite a few less-actives come to church yesterday and 1 of our investigators came. The great thing about is that we didn't have to worry too much about making sure they were ok. The members and their fellowship that they had were there to help them and show them around. It was a great example of the importance of using ward members and making sure that they take part in the work.
    Many have been asking about Nikki and how she went this week. Unfortunately this week she has been sick but we stopped by anyways to check up on her and to see if we could do anything for her or her family. She was still very kind to us and wanted us to come back again hopefully in the next few days. But Sister Schwab was telling me what a miracle that was and that the spirit has truly touched her heart, she had never been that nice in the past. So I know that this the the right time for Nikki to receive the gospel and we are going to follow up with her and continue to try to help her.
    This week there have been so many tender mercies that have helped me each day to keep going and to know that God is always there for me. I think sometimes after doing the same routine every day that you begin to loose that fire and motivation but thanks to a loving Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ I'm able to continue moving forward with faith. It those tender mercies that the Lord gives me that help me to keep going. I know with all my heart that we have a loving Heavenly Father who is always there for us, NO MATTER WHAT! He wants whats best for us. And yes the adversary is real and is always trying to bring us down I know that as we build our foundation upon the Lord Jesus Christ that we cannot fall. Those little things are the things that matter most in life, Keep doing those things that will bring you closer to our Father in Heaven.          
   Yesterday our ward mission leader gave a great lesson on spiritual gifts and how we each play an important role in the work of salvation. The Lord needs each and every one of His children to bring everyone back to Him. We each are so different and the Lord has given us different talents and abilities that others may not have. That is why the Lord needs us all. I hope you never feel like you have no worth and that you don't matter. I know that we each have a purpose in this life and that the Lord needs YOU, he needs all of us because we each have divine worth. We are His children and He is always there to guide us and direct us in our life. Don't ever hesitate to turn to Him. He wants to hear from us.
 I hope you all have a wonderful week and know that I love and appreciate each one of you. Thanks for being such a great example to me.
Love always,
   Sister Heidi Sorensen

These are the Sisters we live with. Sister Pea (from Tahiti) and Sister Sauaki (from Tonga). We love them and have so much fun with them.

 I went on trade offs with Sister Sauaki this week on Wednesday. She is great and I learned so much from her.

Mini our investigator who is getting baptized in a few weeks. She is wonderful! She is from Malasia.

We had to go in the sunbeams class for a few minutes to help the teachers. We gave them some stickers and sang some fun songs with them. they were so cute!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Lord watches over and protects us...

Dear family and friends,
    Wow what an incredible week its been. I have learned so much this week. I love it in Canberra! The Belconnen ward is such an amazing ward, I've never seen a more missionary minded ward. Everything that they do is focused on missionary work and involving investigators and less-actives to join. We have an incredible ward mission leader. He is so powerful I've already learned so much from him. He is Brother Baker from Vernal, Utah actually but he has lived here for the last 11 years and has been a great asset to the ward. Everything that he does is focused on his calling and putting the Lord first in his life. What a great example.
        I also am so grateful for my wonderful companion, Sister Schwab. She is such a great example to me and is so Christ-like. I'm so excited for this transfer and so many miracles have already come from this past week thats its been unbelievable. She has helped me to be a more concecrated missionary and I love the strong desire she has to serve the Lord.
   We had so many miracles happen this week. We went to this less-actives house named Noni. He is the only member of his family. He is married and the sisters have been working with them for a while. And today we felt like we needed to come by. So me not knowing too much about them we just went up and knocked on the door. The daughter answered the door an she said that they were busy and had no time and that her dad Noni was out of town. But while she was talking I had this strong feeling like we needed to just get inside there house. So acting on faith the only way that I thought to get inside was to use the toilet. So that is exactly what I did. I asked if I could use the toilet even though I didn't have to at all. But I followed the prompting. As we came in the mum was surprised her daughter had let us in and didn't look too happy about it. But I just proceeded to the bathroom and left my companion in to talk to them. What I later found out from my companion was that she was afraid of the mum (Nikki) and that when I left her alone that she was freaking out a little bit. But then she told me that she just started to have a little small talk with her and then she felt like she needed to talk about her grandpa who just recently passed away two weeks ago. So she did and while she was out there talking I was taking my time because I knew we had to be there. When I came out Nikki was in tears as she was talking about the death of her mother and how even though it was 11 years ago she was still having a really hard time. We then started to talk about the Plan of Salvation and how much comfort and peace it brings. That we can see our loved ones again that have passed on and that in fact our loved ones are still always there for us. That they are our angels that watch over and continue to help us in our life today. The spirit was so strong as we each shared experiences of loved ones passing. We gave her a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and she really wanted to read it and she even asked when we could come back. We set up a return appointment. We knew that God had guided us there for Nikki that day and that was what was going to soften her heart. When Sister Schwab and I got out in the car we were blown away by the experience we had just had. Sister Schwab then proceeded to tell me all the background story and how hard hearted Nikki has been ever since she's been here and she thought that she would never be interested in hearing the gospel. But God knew her heart and knew what would soften her heart so that she would listen and feel of the spirit. The lord knows our needs and continues to soften the hearts of men so that they can receive the gospel (Alma 13:24).
    We also had another incredible miracle that happened yesterday. So yesterday we had to travel to Sydney for the Leadership council meeting so that is like a 3 hour drive. The meeting was at 9 in the morning so lets just say we had to get up super early. But we were going to ride with the Elders to save on Kilometers on our car. We left a little after the time we wanted to leave and we had gotten about 20 minutes away from our flat and realized that we had forgotten our phone at the flat. We didn't know what to do because we were already late but we knew that might be important so that we could get a hold of the elders so that they would wait a little it for us. And also when we had put the address in the GPS we realized that it would be 90 kilometers away which was a lot farther than the elders had told us and it estimated that we would get there an hour after we were supposed to meet the elders. We were unsure of what we had to do so we said a prayer. We both felt like what we needed to do was just keep going and do our best to get there. I don't think that I've said more prayers in a row than at that very moment. I was praying the entire way there that the elders would wait and that we would get there on time and all would be ok. I prayed that all would work out and that we wouldn't have any problems. I had faith that all would be well and that the Lord would watch over us. We listened to conference talks on the way and just were silent the whole time. When we got there to meet the elders we looked at our clock and it said 6:50 and we had only left 5 minutes before 6 am. We both looked at eachother amazed at the miracle that we had just witnessed. It was undescribable but we knew that God had taken care of us and made it happen. I said a prayer of gratitude as I was still amazed at what had just happened. It was as if God had stopped time just a little bit so that we could make it and all would be well. This experience was one that I will never forget. It was sure a test of faith for both Sister Schwab and I. We got away from the technology and relying on that and just trusted in Him. I know that the Lord will watch over us and protect us. He is all knowing and will always provide a way. All we have to do is have faith in him and act upon our faith.
  On sunday we also had this woman that Sister Schwab has been teaching ever since she got here. She came up to us during church and said that she wants to be baptized. We were so happy! There are so many wonderful things happening in this area and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be here and experience it myself.
I've gained such a strong testimony of obedience this past week. I've been striving even more to be more exactly obedient and trusting in the Lord. I know that the Lord has blessed us for our efforts and putting Him first in our lives. I know that I'm not perfect at all but I know that through the enabling power of the Atonement that we can become better and come closer to our Saviour Jesus Christ. "He is the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6) Jesus Christ is the one that makes everything possible that we have today. I know that this is the Lords church and that He stands at the head. I know that as we align our will with His that we will be blessed and will have more joy and happiness than we can even imagine.
  I encourage all of you to apply the Atonement in your DAILY life. I know that we each make mistakes each and every day but as we repent daily we will be strengthened. We will be able to become whom the Lord knows we can become. Continue to reach out to all that you know to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. You are the Lord's instruments in HIs hands in bringing others unto Him. I hope you all have a wonderful week!
Love always,
     Sister Sorensen