Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas in Australia!

Dear family and friends,
  This week has been a wonderful week! I hope that all of you have had a very Merry Christmas! I'm really liking this Oatlands area. There are so many wonderful people here! It has been a bit challenging getting around and getting to know everyone without a car. But the members have been very helpful. This week we've been going through a long list of unknown names and trying to figure out who they are. It is always a long process and hard when you don't see a lot of success in one day but I know that our efforts are never wasted. It has been good because we are finally just beginning to see the needs of this area and seeing who we have to work with. Even though we didn't get to see a lot of people this week we were able to talk to some people on the street and were able to find 3 new investigators this week! So I definitely know that the Lord is guiding and directing us.
    Even though it was a holiday this week we have many members willing to come out with us all throughout the week. That is true dedication right there! The members were also very kind in inviting us over for lunches and dinner to help us feel at home this Christmas season.
     For Christmas Eve we went over to a families house named the Mackie's. They are originally from Utah so it was good to have that common ground. We went out that night and delivered Cup cakes to people that were in need that night. It was great to see them smile big as they found a nice treat on their door step.
    On Christmas day we went to several different families houses in our ward. My favourite part of Christmas day was the evening. We had the opportunity to go over to the Laugery's house. They are a young couple in the ward, Racheal is the Relief Society President and her husband is the Elders Quorum President. They are so much fun! We had a wonderful typical Aussie Christmas dinner and we played some fun games! It was so much fun to finally get to play a game again and to feel a bit more like home this Christmas.
   There were so many more wonderful events that happened but I wish I had more time to share them. I know that this is the Lord's church. I learn so much each and everyday. I hope that all of you will take the spirit of Christmas with you all throughout the year. Because we are God's children and we need to reach out to those around us and help them to find the true joy and happiness that we all feel. May the Lord bless each one of you.
    Thanks so much for all the love and support you each give me!
Love always,
      Sister Sorensen

Dinner at the Laugery's

Skyping my family!


Dearest family and friends,

    My heart is so full of gratitude for everything that the Lord has blessed me with. This week has been a wonderful week, a bit of an adventure but it has been great! My new companion is awesome! Her name is Sister Koster and she is from Denmark. She is so great! I'm so blessed to have her as a companion. She is already pre-trained, literally so its been easy to transition. She has been serving in her own country for 3 months waiting for her VISA,then she went to the New Zealand MTC, and finally now made it to Australia. So she knows already a lot about how to be a missionary and now I just help her to know the ways of being a missionary in Australia. She has said that Australia is so different from Denmark so its been fun to help her and to know some of the differences. But she has so much desire to serve and so much energy I absolutely love it!
   Our first week in our area has been wonderful! We've gotten such a warm welcome from the Oatlands Ward it is unbelievable. They are so excited to have sisters back in the ward. They had taken out the sisters a little bit ago and now just put us in so everyone wants us over. So its great with the timing as well so that we can have a place for Christmas. I love the desire that these members have to do missionary work. There is so much work to be done here but I can see that as we all work together, it will be a great success as we strive to bring others unto Christ. I hope that each of you are striving to do all that you can to help assist the missionaries in your area because it makes it so much easier to do the Lord's work. So if you are doing missionary work, keep it up...if you aren't I encourage you to get involved. This is the greatest work that I've ever done. I thought I knew how to be a missionary but now I realized that I was probably the worst at doing missionary work before. This work is so important and so many people are searching for truth and without us they won't be able to find it. The Lord needs each and every one of us!

  This week I had the wonderful opportunity to go back to my old area for the baptism of Donelle and Leo Tuipulotu. It was a great opportunity to see them again and to witness their baptism. The spirit was so strong! I know that the Tuipulotu family is the reason for why Sister Parr and I were there. The Lord has perfect timing and that was the time that they were ready to receive the truth. Those boys will be such great examples to their family and friends. I can see so much potential in them! I love being able to see some of the fruits of our labors as others enter into the waters of baptism. It is the greatest feeling in the world!

   Just yesterday we were able to go into Mortdale to the Mission Office. The entire mission met together for a big Christmas conference. It was so much fun to see all my past companions and all the wonderful elders and sisters that I've served with throughout my mission. It was so weird that I knew the majority of them this time around. Last year I didn't know anyone and now I have so many wonderful friends. We had a wonderful and inspiring Christmas program, the spirit was so strong! I'm so grateful for this wonderful Christmas season and the opportunity we have to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. He is truly the greatest gift our Heavenly Father has given us. I hope that all of you can slow down a little bit this season and REMEMBER CHRIST... for he is the REASON FOR THE SEASON!

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas! I love and appreciate all of you.

Love always,
    Sister Sorensen

   My companion, Sister Koster and I...everyone thinks we're twins. and the other picture is with Donelle, Leo, and Nari. I love them!

This is all of my district from the MTC. We are all still here, it was fun to see them all again.

Re-united with one of my best friends, Sister Schwab. She is such a great blessing in my life. It was so great to see her!

Transfers...Shotgun Training!

Dear Family and friends,

     It has been a great week. So this weekend was transfers again. I can't believe how fast this transfer flew by. I found out on Saturday that I was being transferred again. I kind of saw it coming though. I'm going to miss so many of the investigators that we're teaching especially Nari and her boys. They have been the biggest miracle of this transfer. In fact this coming Saturday Donelle and Leo are going to be baptized! I've already got the approval to go and I can't wait for that day. Those boys are so excited and the Lord has definitely prepared them for this time to be ready for baptism.

   I've been transferred to a place called Oatlands. I've never heard of this area but I'm told it is near the temple in a place called Parramatta. I'm training a new sister! So for the next couple days I'm in limbo land with a few sisters who are also training. I haven't been to my new area yet but I look forward to go in the next couple days. My new companion arrives tomorrow! I'm so excited to meet her and to get to start in a new area again.

   I'm sorry my email is short this time. But I'm so grateful to be a missionary. I've learned so many things that I can't even begin to tell you. I'm excited for this next chapter on my mission and to meet some new people. Thank goodness that I have the Lord by my side and the spirit to guide me in this work or else I don't know if I could do it. I know that this is His work and He stands at the head of it.

Merry Christmas to you all. I love you heaps!

 Love always,
   Sister Sorensen

Pictures: the one by the sign is of Donelle and the boys and Moetahi. They are all going to be baptized soon.
The other pic is of my investigator Melelupe. I'm going to miss that girl. I used to teach her in Green Valley and so it was cool to teach her again.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

"Be not afraid, only believe." (Mark 5:36)‏

Dear family and friends,

   This week has been another great week here in Australia. I can't believe it's already December! Time is flying by but I'm loving it here so much. There are so many wonderful people here that we're working with. Here are some updates on some people. Nari and Donelle and the other boys are doing wonderful. We are still teaching them every week. We go over almost every single day to keep them going and to make sure everything is going good. They are starting to get more and more involved in the ward activities. The baptism for Donelle and Leo is still on for December 20th of this month and we can't wait for that day to come! We are so very blessed that God trusted us to be working with this wonderful family. We love them so much!
Here are some of the tender mercies that happened this week:
  • This week one of the recent new investigators that I met in the Green Valley area we were finally able to meet with him. I was a little unsure of how keen he was to learn. But it turned out to be a great lesson. Hamlet was so eager to learn! He read the Restoration pamphlet and we went through it with him. We gave him a Book of Mormon towards the end and he was already reading it. He was so happy to learn more and to see what it was all about. We look forward to working with him and hopefully he continues to have the fire and desire to learn more of restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • I went on exchanges with the Samoan sisters in this area. I had the opportunity to go with this new sister in the mission, her name is Sister Esau. She is amazing! She has only been here for about a month but she taught me so much and is a great missionary! Her area is actually the same area as Green Valley but they just cover the Samoan people so that whole day in their area I was trying to remember any Islander families that I knew of that could help these sisters find people to teach. I've never searched so much for islander, specifically Samoans in my life. I was on the lookout all day long! They don't have a car in that area so we were walking all day and so it was so great because we got to talk to heaps of different people. We had one cool experience...We were walking on our way to this less-actives home when we saw these islanders outside their house. We were so excited and started to talk to them. This one boy in particular was very interested in religion and had been searching for a while in all the religions. He was truly seeking truth and Heavenly Father had led us right to him. We taught him of the Restoration of the gospel and we testified of the Book of Mormon. He said that he would read the Book of Mormon and the Sisters have an appointment with him this coming week. It was such a blessing. I know that those sisters struggle with finding people to teach, especially Samoans so that was great to see the hand of the Lord in the work that day.
  • We had a great experience this week as we were going through the ward list. We're still trying to meet some new people and especially all the ward members. We tried many different houses and we went to one of them and no one was home. But as we were getting in the car a woman drove up. Her name was Priscilla. She said that the man that lived there was her x-partner but now she lives there with her daughter. She was the sweetest woman and we got talking about who we were. She was very interested in learning more and we were able to set up an appointment with her. That was such a tender mercy to meet her that day. The Lord is so good to us, it always happens that way. After a long day of no one home we were able to have a little tender mercy with Priscilla to help us know that he is there and that we are doing the right thing. What a blessing!
      I don't know if any of you have heard about the new initiative that has come out by the church. It is called "HE IS THE GIFT." It is a great program that is going and we are taking it on strong. We pass out so many of those cards each day and we are really seeing lots of success during this Christmas Season as we are striving to put Christ back into the Christmas season. If you haven't already seen this mormon message please do! Or have a look Invite EVERYONE that you know to take a look at this. It has been a great blessing in my life and has helped me to remember what Christmas is all about. 

   As I was doing my personal study one day this week I came across the scripture of Mark 5:36 which I entitiled this email. It was something that really stuck out to me. We've met so many people that are fearful of where the world is headed but as I got to thinking, we really have no need to fear. As we trust in the Lord and live a righteous life, we won't have to worry because we know that we are on the winning team. Are you on the winning team? Are you on the Lord's team? I encourage each of you to evaluate your life and see if you are doing all you can to do what the Lord has asked us to do. If not there is still time, the Lord is always there for us and can help us to get on the strait and narrow path towards our Heavenly Father.
  I know these things to be true! this is the Lord's church. I hope that you all have a wonderful week!

 Love always,
     Sister Sorensen

PS. the pictures are of Nari and Donelle. And then the other one is of Simi, Nari's little boy. He is so cute!