Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Reuben's Baptism :)

Dear Family and Friends,
     It has been a wonderful week! So much has happened that I don't even know where to begin. Well first off Reuben got baptized this last saturday. What a beautiful day that was and it was such a great baptismal service. There was another guy named David that the elders worked with that was just baptized with Reuben as well. Reuben's family was all able to come as well. Both of Reuben's grandmothers came and they are both non-members so it was so great to have them there. This area is amazing and so much work is being done. Brother Baker (our ward mission leader) mentioned that the 4 elders serving in our ward are really struggling because they have never had so much work to do in their life and they are struggling with prioritizing their time to get everything done. We need to teach them a little bit about stress management. haha!
   So many miracles have happened this week that I think the best way to do it is to write them in bullet points.
 - Last monday night we had dinner with the Travers family and they invited a friend of theirs named Felicity. She is a 21 year old girl but is a single mum with a boy named Will who is 5 years old. We had a wonderful dinner with them and was able to teach Felicity. She is so keen to learn! We are so excited to be working with her. She actually just came to church on her own on Sunday and we were so happy to see her there. We feel like she is the next one to be baptized because of her great desire and we are praying that she will accept.
-This last week I went on trade offs with a sister named Sister Elliot. She came into my area and so I was taking her around. Sister Schwab left me with a lot of potentials to go try again. I felt the need to try this woman who lived in Belconnen. She didn't even know the name of the woman, she just thought it started with a "W." All we had was the address so we tried it. We walked up to the door and knocked on the door. Soon after someone came through the gate behind us and invited us in without even asking us who we were. So here I am not knowing who this is, no name, nothing and they just openly invite us in. And so we walk into this home and we sit down introducing ourselves and getting to know what their names were. They then asked us who we were and what denomination we were apart of. So then I realized that they didn't even know who we were but they are islanders so they are so welcoming and invite everyone in. So we begin to tell them more of who we are as missionaries. They said that they were from a little island in the pacific named Tuvalu. (Look it up because I had never heard of it). But they had said that they knew of many mormons. So we taught them some of our beliefs. They then invited us to eat dinner with them. We couldn't believe it! This was truly a miracle that we were sent to that family at that time and I know that they are ready to hear the gospel. I can't wait for them to hear more and for them to grow in their testimony of the Savior. We meet with them tonight so I will have to let you know how it goes.
-We had a great lesson with Erin Hurley this week. She is apart of that family that we met while tracting one day. She is so keen! That family is so ready to receive the gospel it is amazing! We can't wait to teach all 3 of them more and more. We will be hoping to set a baptismal date with Erin here in the next visit.
     There is so much more that is happening that I can't even begin to express. But miracles are happening each and every day. So many less-actives are coming back to church and so many are desiring to hear the gospel. It is truly amazing! I'm so grateful to be a missionary at this time. I've have gained such a great testimony lately of how important it is to talk to everyone. I have made it a point to make every opportunity a teaching opportunity because every single person we meet needs the gospel of Jesus Christ and we are the ones that need to share it. Remember that everyone on earth decided to follow God's plan they just have forgotten. We need to be the ones to remind them of who they really are. So I encourage everyone to reach out to EVERYONE that you know to share the gospel. Even if you think that they may not be interested give it a try anyways because they just don't know what they are missing out on. It is not until they get a little taste of the gospel of Jesus Christ that they will desire more. INVITE EVERYONE TO COME UNTO CHRIST.
   I love you all so much and am so grateful for each and everyone  of you in my life. I hope you have a wonderful week. My commitment for you all is to read Alma 5 this week. It helped me a lot to examine my life and if I truly have a relationship with my Savior. I hope to hear about what you have learned next week.
Love always,
    Sister Sorensen
Oh yeah and I forgot that we had Zone Conference this past week. This is the Canberra Zone. We have such a great zone!

For Sister Tito's B-day last week we went to lunch at this really good mexican restaurant. (In Australia Mexican food doesn't really exist so I love it when I can have some of it.) I never knew how much I loved mexican food until I came here and they don't really have much.

Reuben's big happy family. They don't really like pictures too much as you may notice. It is hilarious, they just describes they so well. haha

Reuben after his baptism. He was so happy!

This is my new best friend Shayla. She is such a cute little girl. She is the daughter of one of the less actives we are working with and I absolutely love this little one.

Yesterday we had a meeting but we had to join in via Skype because we have another meeting to go to on Saturday so they only wanted to have us drive once. It was such a long meeting but we enjoyed ourselves. This is Sister Tito and I and Elder Bryce and Elder Tingey (Zone Leaders).

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Working in the Vineyard of the Lord

Dear family and friends,
  Wow the weeks are flying by. This week has been another full on week of work as a missionary and I absolutely love it! This area is amazing and we have so much work to do here. It has been kind of a crazy week because now i'm in charge of the area because my new companion just got here so she doesn't know it. And i've only been here for just 6 weeks now so its been a little stressful but we are getting there. I'm sure learning a lot and its been a good challenge. But my companion, Sister Tito is amazing so I'm grateful that she is here.
   I'm just so glad that we have the ward the we do here in Belconnen. I have never seen a ward that is so heavily into missionary work. Every activitiy and everything that the ward does is some way or another connected to missionary work so it is great to be apart of it. The members sure keep us busy and help so much with fellowshipping. This last weekend we had a baptism in our ward and this next week we have 2 baptisms in our ward. One of those is the little boy that we've been teaching, his name is Reuben. He is 11 years old and he is so ready to be baptized. He has been so fun to teach and one great thing is that he loves soccer. So he has such a short attention span but when I give him a reward such as teaching him a new soccer move he sits and listens, its awesome! So Reuben and I are good friends and I'm excited for him to be able to enter the waters of baptism.
   I have seen the hand of the Lord in every single thing that we do each day. This week has been great! One miracle that I would like to share with you is with one of our investigators named Visnja. I might have mentioned her before but she was a former investigator and Sister Schwab and I actually started teaching her. In the past she has been a little hesitant and always has said that she doesn't have a lot of time. But this week we texted her to set up a time to go and see her and she happily set an appointment with us. When we went for the appointment I was almost thinking that she wouldn't remember or would be busy. But when we got there she was happy to see us. She opened up her door and let us in. She also looked a lot happier than I had seen her in the past. It was a miracle! Well of course we were happy to go inside and she was so excited to learn. We taught her of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and she loved every minute of it. She said it all just made sense and she really liked it. The spirit was so strong and I knew that the Lord was leading the lesson. We invited her to be baptized and she expressed some concerns but we were able to resolve them with the help of the spirit. She then said that she would once she learned more! We were so happy and now are striving to find a date that we can set for her. What a miracle!
    Another really cool miracle was with this man named Lance. He was a man that was Excommunicated about 25 years ago and has had a rough background. He has been through a lot and miraculously we were able to find him. Well Sister Schwab and Sister Fotuali'i did but we have continued to teach him. Well I don't know if I mentioned this last week but he came to Stake Conference last week for the first time in about 25 years. He has such a big heart and now has a desire to come back to church. He feels like it is his time. He may be one to move very slowly but this has been a testimony builder that the Lord leads and guides this work. He places people in our paths that are ready to hear the gospel. Even those that you may think will never come back will come back as you trust in the Lord.
    Lately I've been reading the story of Alma the priest of Noah who was converted by the words of Abinadi. He brought many unto Christ by his teachings. But in Mosiah chapter 23 and 24 it talks about how the Lamanites start to take over their land and threaten them if they pray that they will be killed. Well they pray in their hearts and the Lord hears their prayer. He tells them in verse 13 to "Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and i will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage." Going on to verse 14 it reads, "...I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs..." In verse 15 it tells us that the Lord didn't take their burdens away but gave them the strength to bear their burdens.
    I know that the Lord knows the burdens that we carry, he understands our pains and our sorrows. But we need not bear those burdens alone. He is there for us and will help us to strengthen us to make it through the hardships of life. So no matter what you may be facing right now know that you are not alone and that as you trust in the Lord and rely on Him, he shall lift you up.
I challenge all of you this week to read those two chapters in the Book of Mormon. Mosiah 23 and 24. Then let me know what your thoughts are next week. I'd love to learn from your insights and your thoughts.
I hope you all have a wonderful week! I love and appreciate you all very much!
Love always,
     Sister Heidi Sorensen

Sister Tito and I

Reuben and I had a arm wrestle. It was pretty funny, he was trying so hard!

This is Mini's grand-daughter that we were able to teach last week. She is such a sweetheart. And Mini is such a great little missionary and she doesn't even realize it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Transfer Week

Dear Family and Friends,
  Well another transfer has come and gone. Time has been flying by here on my mission, I just can't believe it. I have such a short time left and I'm surely going to continue to strive to give all my heart, might, mind, and strength to the Lord's work. It is an incredible experience being a full time missionary. I love it and I love seeing people change because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  This week has been a good week. Unfortunately my companion, Sister Schwab got transferred. She has become such a good friend of mine that I'm surely going to miss her. But I know that this is the Lord's work and he has called her to a different area of His vineyard to help save souls. I'm actually very jealous she is going to an area called Orange which is in the Bush. There are a lot of real Bogan's (Aussie's) that live in that area so that should be a fun adventure.
  I absolutely love my new companion as well though. Her name is Sister Tito. I actually lived with her in my first flat on my mission. She really helped me at that time and I have always loved her so I look forward to working with her. She is a great missionary and I'm so blessed to be able to have her. I'm ready to learn from her and continue to grow. That is what I love so much about a mission you are always learning something new from the people that you're working with or even your companions.
This week I went on exchanges with a Sister that just went home today. Her name is Sister Clegg and she actually is from Alpine, Utah. But she is so smart and I have always looked up to her so it was an absolute privilege to be able to go with her on her last week of her mission. She taught me so much and gave me lots of advice. She has also served as a Sister Training Leader for a while so she was able to help me in that aspect as well.
  Well first off when we were coming back to the flat for lunch we found 20 dollars in the bushes and we looked at each other and went, "Out to lunch?" haha it was a cool miracle. We went and got a little something for lunch and met a lot of potentials while we were there eating. The Lord works in mysterious ways!
   We got to see so many miracles that day it was amazing. That day we were trying to visit this investigator and they weren't home so we thought that we would knock on all of the neighbors doors. When we knocked on the door across the street there was this nice girl named Laura. She is 17 years old and she said she went to a Hill song church. We told her a little bit about who we were and we asked her, "how would you feel if you knew that there was living prophet upon the earth today?" She was really touched by that and she said, "that would be incredible!" We then testified that there was a living prophet today. We then asked her if we could come back and she said that she would love to have us come back.
     On the return appointment I went back with Sister Schwab to see Laura. Well she wasn't home but her mum and her sister were there. They were very nice and they said that Laura had mentioned that we were coming. They were asking us some questions and we told them a lot about who we were and what we believe in. They had a lot of those funny questions like, "do you really have multiple wives?" So it was good to clear up some of those little rumors that go around about us mormons. They were so interested and they invited us to come back and teach all 3 of them! So we now have 3 new investigators and we are so excited to teach them more. I will keep you updated on them.
     Another cool experience I actually forgot to share last time was an experience with Prayer. Mini (our recent convert) had lost her cords to her rice cooker and her other crock pot after the feed at her baptism. She had searched the kitchen several times and asked that we would look as well. Last sunday we were there and I had this strong impression to take Mini into the kitchen and pray with her and then look for her cords. So I acted upon that feeling. Mini was searching very worried and we just told her that we would say a prayer that we would find them. We said a simple prayer and then we all started looking. Not too long after that Mini found them. She was so happy! Sister Schwab and I then talked to her and pointed out that we had only found those because we had relied on the Lord and He had answered our prayer. I said a little prayer in my heart of gratitude. Then Mini went off to tell everyone that she had found it and that she did only after praying. So that was a cool experience with Mini.
Sorry this is super long but there is always so much that happens in a week. I know that this is the Lord's church. He is leading and guiding His work. There are hearts that are being softened and ready to receive the gospel. We just have to reach out to them and find them. I hope you all have a wonderful week!
Love always,
   Sister Sorensen

We went to the beautiful Botanical Gardens last p-day with one of our recent converts, Trish

We went to the Telstra Tower and it over looks all of Canberra, it is so beautiful!

Sister Schwab and I
Sister Clegg and I when we went to lunch after finding the 20 dollars.

all the Sisters that we are serving with in Canberra.