Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Miracles from using the members in the work of Salvation‏

 Dear family and friends,
      Wow what a week! It has been a crazy week but so great at the same time. Since we are the only sister in the area now we have sooooooo much work to do. You should see our sheet with all of the teaching pool that we have and it continues to grow each day as we meet new people. We have seen miracles after miracles and we were able to reach far above all of our goals this week...thanks to our wonderful members.
Here are some of the tender mercies from the week:
  - We were able to meet Dorothy ( who was a former investigator) she is about 50 years old and her parents are members in England. But she never has joined but she came out and said that she believes that this is the only true church she just doesn't feel worthy enough to be apart of it. We assured her that she didn't have to be perfect to join the church but in fact it is for everyone. She was happy to hear that and we knew that we were in the right place at the right time. We look forward to helping her on her path towards our Heavenly Father.
  - On Wednesday after a long day of seeing people but not having any member presents we were praying that we would find someone that was available. That night Sister Whaite (member) texted us and said she was free and would love to come out with us if we could use her. That was an answer to our prayer! We went over to get her right away and were able to visit a few of our investigators. It was great to have her with us.
-On friday we had our district meeting which is always so good. We learned about the importance in using the Book of Mormon in every aspect of the work. During our training we watched a video that was showing how an investigator had decided that the "mormon stuff" wasn't for her. But the elders working with her went over anyways just to invite her to read the Book of mormon and find out for herself and then she can decide to stop learning or not. Well at that moment Sister Tito and I looked at eachother because we had just had a similar experience with one of our investigators. They had called up and said that they belived they had the truth and didn't really want us to come back. But we realized then that we had forgotten to even reply or do anything about it. We knew that was a prompting then to do something about it and not just leave them. We decided right after that we would go and see the Hurley family. I'll be honest we were a little bit afraid of what they might think but we trusted in the Lord that he would help us to know what to say. It was a powerful experience as we saw them and just testified of the Book of Mormon and invited them to read it themselves. They agreed that they would take a look and then let us know what they thought. We felt so much better afterwards and we were so glad that we were able to go.
-Friday night we had this appointment with this new investigator we had met on monday. He said that he lived in a place called Murrumbateman which is about 30 minutes outside of Canberra. Well we called the number that he gave us and it was to some random number. We realized he had given us the wrong number so we were trying to decide whether or not the address would be right. It was a hard toss up. We didn't want to not go and miss out on an opportunity to teach but we didn't want to waste our Kilometers by going out and not finding anyone. So we decided to pray for guidance. Sister Tito felt good about going. We weren't really sure at that time why it was good but we were going to follow the spirit and just go. We got one of our YSA members, Faith to come along with us for the ride.
         We found the address and it was in a country town so very few houses. They has this long drive way and so we drove up there. We could see the people in the house and since it was night time they saw us coming. When we stopped we said a quick prayer and when we opened our eyes there they all were with a Torch (flashlight) and all just wondering who we were. We got out of the car and introduced ourselves. We asked if Daniel was there. They said that that was there son but he had moved out several years ago. We figured as much that he wouldn't be there but since we had driven all that way Sister Tito and I were ready to just give everything we had. We knew the feeling that we had to go so there must have been some reason. It was a couple probably in their 60's. The man said that they were Catholic and were content with what they had. But the woman was more open and wanted to hear what we had to say. Soon the man walked inside and we started teaching Francis (his wife). She was such a sweet lady. While we were talking to her I had this strong spiritual confirmation that we were in the right place and that Francis was the reason why we had come. Sister Tito said she had felt it too. Well soon her husband called her in and she had to go but we left her a Book of Mormon and a Restoration pamphlet and also testified of the truthfulness of the gospel. It was such a cool experience!
-We were able to meet one of the other sisters investigators named Jennifer. She is a 14 year old girl from Kenya. She is so ready to hear the gospel. We had our first lesson with her and we invited her to be baptized. She said she would and we set a date for October 18th. She also came to church for the first time and LOVED it!
- We were also able to get Craig Baxter to come as well. He is so awesome and he enjoyed church so much. He wants to come every week now.

         We had so many other cool experiences but those were some of them that I wanted to share with all of you. The work of salvation continues to move forward. This wee was incredible when it comes to the help from the members. Half of the total lessons were member presents. So if you aren't helping the missionaries I would encourage you to do so. It helps so much to have members there to help investigators to come into the gospel of Jesus Christ.
  I know that this is the Lord's church and that he continues to lead and guide us today in every aspect. I couldn't do this work without him and the Holy ghost as my constant companion. My testimony is growing each and every day of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I've been studying that this whole month and it has been incredible all of the things that I've learned. The Restoration is the unique message that we have to the world. This is the restored church, the same church that Christ established. And His authority is here on the earth. How powerful is that? And we have prophets and apostles today to lead and guide us in these latter-days. I encourage all of you to share the message of the restoration with at least one person this week and I can promise you that it will change their life and they will come to know Christ more through that message.
 I hope that you are all doing well and that you have a wonderful week!
      Sister Sorensen

 This is Jennifer. She is such a sweetheart.

This is the Amosa family. And then Jordan's girlfriend Melanie (the other white girl) is one of our investigators. She is Croatian.

 the wonderful Whaite family. We love them!

this is Sister Hedley. She is so helpful and is always willing to help us out. We love her!

Sister Hedley is pretty darn fun as well. We loved being with her most of Saturday.

This is Achok and Awak they are some Sudanese girls that we just met yesterday. They are so cool and we are going to start working with all of their family

This is our district after district meeting.

This is the Dobson's they live in Murrumbateman. We were able to visit them when we went out there. They don't ever get visitors so they were happy to have us come.

Monday, September 22, 2014

"You always get what you want the most"‏

Dear family and friends,
   Wow this has been a wonderful week for Sister Tito and I. It's now the beginning of another transfer, wow time is flying! But Sister Tito and I are staying here in the Belconnen Ward in Canberra and I'm so excited for this transfer. Transfers is always a bitter sweet. Missionaries come and go but I love being able to start fresh again with new goals and new opportunities. I know that it is truly inspired that we as missionaries have transfers every 6 weeks. It helps to stay moving forward and continually strive to make improvements. Sister Tito and I are so excited for this transfer to come. As we were evaluating our last transfer I think we both realized just how much more we could do and how much more we want to do. We have felt like even though we were doing what we were supposed to be doing we were still in a rut a little bit and not knowing how to get out.  I have realized that is why we haven't been able to achieve some of the goals that we have set for ourselves. So Sister Tito and I are ready to redeem ourselves and make this transfer a great transfer. I'm so excited!
    I'm so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ that allows us to repent and be better each and every day. It is such a powerful gift that our Savior has given us. It is only because of his suffering that we don't have to suffer and we can become more like him and closer to entering into God's presence. I think that is one of the biggest lessons that I have learned on my mission is that the Atonement is for everyone, not just those that do serious sins. We all sin and need to repent in order to be with God again for eternity. I strive continually to apply the atonement into my daily life and recognize my weaknesses and those mistakes that I've made so that I can let go of those and reach to higher levels.
   This week has been full of so many miracles! We were able to reach most of the goals that we set for the week. Prayer and Fasting really does work! Like I was saying in my email last week we've been struggling to find some new people to teach and expand our teaching pool. Well this week we were able to find 5 new investigators! We were praying so hard that we might be able to find some and it was like Heavenly Father just placed them in our path. The Lord is very much apart of our lives and I'm so grateful for His guidance and direction in the work. This is truly his work. Also just this last transfer the other set of sisters in our ward and also in our flat were taken out and so its just us in the ward. So now we have double the amount of work we had before. So we have HEAPS to work with. Now it is just striving to figure out who to focus our efforts on and who needs us the most.
Here are a few of the tender mercies the happened this week:
    - We were able to catch Visnja at home after several weeks of her cancelling on her. We really felt like we needed to go there and at first she was a little hesitant but at the end of our visit she was so thankful that we came. She is starting to feel the difference of when we come and share the gospel with her and when we aren't there. We helped her to understand that all good things come from God and all bad or confusion feelings are from the adversary. We also helped her to understand that as she continues to learn of the gospel of Jesus Christ that she will face many challenges but that the teachings will help her through her trials. So now she said there are no excuses for me I want you to come every Saturday to see me.
   -We were finally able to get inside a less-actives home to meet her and to share a message with her. We are excited to work with her now and we can see that it is her time to come back to church and she's ready to listen again to the truth after many years of confusion.
   -Just before church on Sunday we decided we would try one last house in the area we were at. We knocked on this person's door and it was this girl named Emily and her dad David. The dad didn't seem very interested but we taught about the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and at the end Emily asked if we could come back. What a tender mercy!
     There are so many more that I could share but one thing that I have learned and has stuck with me lately is something that our ward mission leader, Brother Baker said. It is my title for this email and that is, "you always get what you want the most." That is so true. We will put all our effort into something that we really want so I encourage all of you to evaluate and think about what you truly want the most. What matters most to you in this life. I know for me I have come to a greater understanding of the importance of this gospel and what a difference we can make in the lives of others as we stand as witnesses of Him at all times.
  I hope that you all have a wonderful week and remember to always do the small and simple things in your life ( Alma 37) and I can promise you that great things will come to pass as you do so. Stay strong and know that God is always there for you. All you have to do is let Him in.
  Love always,
       Sister Sorensen

Sister Sunday's birthday. We threw a little party one night for her. We had so much fun!

 Birthday cupcakes for this Birthday girl!

the Campbell's (less-actives) have these cute little kittens.

These are all the sister in the zone. I'm going to miss those sisters that were transferred.

 Last p-day we went to this place called Floriade. They run it every year. It is where they have so many beautiful flowers and all kind of designs in the flowers.

 Rella (one of our less-actives) B-day. We heart attacked her, so much fun!

We went to the Baxter's home (investigators) for lunch. They are the funnest people. this is Lynette and her son Craig.

on day 17 we went on trade offs with these beautiful sisters. Sister Ilalio, Manutulila, and Finau.

This elderly couple that has been serving here for 18 months left for home. We are going to miss Elder and Sister Larkin!

Sister Tito's sister's birthday. Sorry that probably was confusing but we celebrated that for her. haha

 Just last night we went over to this member's home for Family Home Evening. We love this family!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Ups and Downs Of a Mission

Dear family and friends,
      This week has been an interesting week that is for sure. We just had an adventurous morning. We went on another hike this morning and we all forgot our keys for the flat. So we came back from hiking just to find out that we were locked out. We tried everything we possibly could to try and break into our flat. Our district leader came and couldn't do anything and our Zone Leaders came. We waited for about 3 1/2 hours and finally Elder Hay (looks over the flats) came with a key from the agent. Wow the adventurous of a mission! But lets just say that mistake won't ever happen again. haha But it was all for the memories of course. We went to a members house down the road and she fed us some breakfast. We are so grateful for wonderful members!
   I know for several weeks now I've been saying how great it is to have so many people to work with. This week has been kind of a down week as we found that several of our investigators aren't really ready at this time. We are struggling with finding people who are keen to hear the word. But I've seen this so many times throughout my mission and its always a learning experience. I know that everything is not going to always be going great, we have to face challenges and difficulties in life so that we can be strengthened. I have learned a lot about trusting in the Lord this week as we've been striving to build up our teaching pool again. I know that its not going to come all at once but I have faith that the Lord will provide a way. Just as it says in 1 Nephi 3:7 "...I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." He will always prepare a way for us to acheive what He would have us acheive.
   Despite all the challenges we still got to see several miracles this week that assured us that the Lord is still there for us. Here are a few of them...
    - We went to try an investigator's home the other day and they weren't home. But we knocked on the doors around her and we met this man named Bryan. He was such a nice man to us after a few doors slammed in our face. He is a strong Catholic and has taught religion in primary schools for about 20 years or more. But we had a good conversation with him and he invited us to come back. What a tender mercy!
    -We have this Chinese investigator named Rei. She has never been religious before and so it has been a big change for her to hear about Jesus Christ and about Heavenly Father. Well there was this baptism for a chinese girl and so we thought it would be a perfect opportunity for her to meet some more just like her. We were struggling with finding her a ride though. We were frantically calling everyone and trying to figure out a way she could get there. But as it approached the hour before the baptism was to start we got a message saying that she had found a ride with a friend and they were going to come on their own. That was a big shock to us and we couldn't believe it but what a blessing that was. They said that they really enjoyed the baptism and are willing to come to another one.
     - Just yesterday after church we had some plans to go to a families home for dinner. They are the family that just got sealed in the temple this last Saturday. That was also such a great blessing and it is so great to be apart of it. But they invited us over but the rule is now that only one companionship can go to a home for dinner now. And the elders were also planning on going over there. Well that messed up our plans but they asked if we wanted to join another family for dinner. They said that our investigator would be there. So of course we took that opportunity to teach our investigator. It ended up being so great and it was right where we needed to be. We have been struggling to meet with this particular investigator and were finally able to teach her. We believe that she is so ready to be baptized.
   There are so many other tender mercies I've seen in my daily life as a missionary. I'm so grateful for those tender mercies that keep me going and help me to know that i'm on the right path. I'm continually being humbled and learning so much about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It just makes sense and that is what I love about it so much. I know that this is the Lord's work and He stands at the head of ths church. I have gained such a strong testimony of the power of the Book of Mormon. It is truly the word of God. It always seems to answer my questions and helps me to come to know my Saviour Jesus Christ. I encourage each of you if you aren't already to consistantly read the Book of Mormon or the scriptures for that matter. Because as you read you will be strengthened and your burdens will be made light.
I hope you all have a wonderful week!
       Sister Sorensen

 Sister Ilalio and the Woden Sisters. We love them!

This is the Sione Family before they headed to Sydney to be sealed as a family. It was sweet to be there and to study with them before they went to the temple.

Tim Tam Slams are always the best with these Sisters! I love them!

Well day 13 was a failure. We totally forgot to take a picture that day for some reason but here is day 14- We had dinner with this family yesterday. Paige made us pavlova!

We went on a hike with the elders serving in our ward with us. They are great!

 I love these sisters. As you can see, we have a lot of fun together.

After trying to pick the lock of the door this morning forever we gave up for a little bit and just sat in the hallway at our flat waiting for the elders to come and try.

One attempt of us breaking in our flat was going onto the roof to get to our balcony to try the back door. Don't worry mom we didn't get hurt. haha

This is when the Zone Leaders made their attempt to break in and them planning their way up to the balcony. Oh what good times.

Breakfast at the Amosa's this morning while we were still locked out. We had some Coco Rice it is the best thing ever!

Sister Ilalio (Sister Levine's companion) came with us for a few days. We were at Mini's house and little Soli is the daughter of one of our new investigators that just moved in with Mini.

Our service this week for a less active brought me back to the good old days of cleaning houses. It was fun to do that again.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sister Levine is in the Lord's hands

Dear family and friends,
    Wow there has been so much that has happened this week. From my understanding I believe that many of you may have heard the news about Sister Levine that was in an accident and is in critical condition. She is one of the sisters that we cover and help here in Canberra. Just on Friday night we were in an appointment with an investigator and we got several calls from the zone leaders. We figured by the third one it was urgent. So we took the call just to find out that Sister Levine was just hit by a car. We couldn't believe it and quickly rushed to the Canberra Hospital where Sister Levine was taken by ambulance. Sister Tito and I couldn't believe the news that we had just received but all we could do was get to the hospital. We got there and found many of the missionaries in our zone there but none of them had news on Sister Levine. We stayed at the hospital till about midnight that night as the doctors came back and forth giving us some updates on how she was doing. But by the evening they were able to stabalize her and some elders were able to give her a blessing as soon as the doctors let visitors inside. It was amazing to see how fast the word spread as many bishops, the stake President, many members of her ward came to support and help. The waiting room was filled with missionaries and members. President and Sister Back got there later in the evening as they drove from Sydney.
  I don't know if many of you heard really what happened. But here is the story of what happened. Sister Levine and her companion Sister Ilalio were just coming out of an appointment and were parked off on the side of the road. It was a rainy day and there was this beautiful double rainbow. Sister Ilalio was all buckled in the passenger seat and Sister Levine was just finishing taking a picture of the rainbow. She was just about to get in the car when this car came around and lost control running into a tree, then proceeded to hit Sister Levine and then the car. The car was going about 40 to 60 Kilometer per hour as it hit Sister Levine. Sister Levine was found lying under the other car as Sister Ilalio jumped out of the now totaled car. Sister Ilalio said that the driver side of the car was all smashed in and the door of the car was ripped off from the impact of the car. They had to use a jack to jack up the car and get Sister Levine from under the car. She was then rushed to the local hospital.
     That is what I understand of the story and it is so crazy. They said that the driver of the car blanked out and then ran into Sister Levine and their car. If you were to see her though it is truly amazing! She is doing remarkably well under the circumstances. At the moment she still remains in a coma due to the trauma to her head and the doctors are just waiting for her to wake up. She is a huge miracle case. She has bruising to the head and to her lungs. But no fractures at all which is unbelievable! She has definitely been protected. I know that the Lord looks out for his missionaries. Just the other day I had the opportunity to go in and see her and stand by her bedside. The spirit is so strong, I could feel angels surrounding her and helping her. I know that the Lord is very much aware of her and aware of each one of us. I know that Sister Levine is going to be ok, she is in the Lord's hands now. But I know that it is not her time to go and I believe that she will be able to come out of her coma and be able to stand as a firm witness that miracles still happen today. This experience has been a testimony builder for me of how powerful God is. He is our Heavenly Father and can protect us as we do what is right. 
As for our work, the work continues to move forward and we are doing our best to keep going. We have so many people that we are working with still and we continue to find new people to teach.
      I had the great opportunity to speak in sacrament meeting yesterday. My topic was, "the blessing of a mission." I didn't even know where to begin with this topic because my mission has made all the difference in my life and I have received so many blessings from my mission. But there is one thing that I felt the need to focus on and I would like to share it with all of you. I know that not everyone can serve a mission and not everyone has a desire to serve a mission but like it says in Mosiah 2:17 .."When ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God." So my focus that I made was: As you serve our Savior, Jesus Christ and his children, you will come to know Him. As members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints we have covenanted with God that we would always remember him and as it says in Mosiah 18 "stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places..." We have promised that we would serve him and we all have a "mission" in this life. We all have a purpose now is our time to fulfill it and to come to know our Savior Jesus Christ. My mission has helped me so much in my life and learn and become closer to my Savior. I know I have a lot more to learn and many mistakes that I continue to make but I know that God is there for me. I know that I can be cleansed from sin and I can be perfected through Christ. My commitment to you is to Come to know your Savior Jesus Christ and in that you will come to know yourself as sons and daughters of God. I promise you that you will be able to gain eternal life and be able to withstand any whirlwinds (Helaman 5:12) that may come your way.
     I love each and everyone one of you. I thank you for all your love and support. I hope you all have a wonderful week. And I ask that you keep Sister Kendall Levine in your prayers as you go about your week.
Love always,
      Sister Sorensen