Monday, March 2, 2015

The Greatest Life Lessons Learned in Just 18 Months

Dear family and friends,
  I can't believe how time has flown by. I never thought I would come to this day being the last week on my mission. I don't even know where to begin expressing all the things I've learned, experienced, people I've met, etc. My heart is full of gratitude for all that the Lord has given me. I know that the Lord has sent me here to Sydney Australia for a reason and I'm forever grateful for this opportunity that I've had being able to serve as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. What an honour it has been being able to wake up every morning and put on my name badge with my name "Sister Sorensen" and my Saviour Jesus Christ's name right by the side. I know that all things have been made possible through my Saviour, Jesus Christ.
   Many say that missions are training fields for the rest of your life and I definitely agree with that. I've learned so much more about people and about life in general. I've made a list of some of the main lessons that I've learned while I've been on my mission.
Here they are:
  •      As I trust in the Lord all things are made possible. I have gained a strong testimony of relying on the Lord in all things. Now when I don't know what to do in a situation the first thing I do is pray.
  •     I have learned how to recognize the promptings from the Holy Ghost. I have learned to be "quick to observe(Mormon 1:2)" just like Mormon was. I have come to understand more fully that all good things come from God and therefore all good thoughts are of God and I should act upon all good thoughts, that is how the spirit guides.
  •      I have come to have a great LOVE for the scriptures. I have come to understand just how helpful the scriptures can be in our everyday life. The scriptures have all the answers to life's greatest questions. It is through the scriptures that God is able to speak to us.
  •    We have a loving Heavenly Father who loves us unconditionally. Everything that we have in this life is because he's given it to us. Each and everyday I received another witness that God loves me as he showed me through the tender mercies in my life that I'm never alone.
  •      Fasting coupled with prayer is a powerful tool in being able to find answers to questions we have in life and to strive to gain self control and to grow spiritually.
  •     Another great thing that I have learned is the importance of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have developed a strong testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith. I know that he was truly called by God to do such a  "marvellous work and a wonder." Because of the restoration we have everything here on earth and are able to have the fullness of truth once again for us to partake of. What a great blessing is that?
  •     Every single person on this earth needs this message of the restored gospel. We are the ones that can bring it to them because we have the truth. That is something that we should not be afraid to share. This is something that everyone needs in their life.
  •      Another great lesson that I've learned is of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Now this is a subject that is so deep and hard to comprehend with our human mind but, I've began to gain a better understanding of it. I have realized that the atonement reaches farther than I ever imagined. The Saviour's arms are always outstretched towards us. He will never let us down. He knows us each individually and knows what we're going through and what we've been through before. I learned the importance of daily repentance. Repentance is a good thing, it allows us to become more like our Saviour, Jesus Christ. As we apply the atonement into our everyday lives, we will become stronger and stronger and become the children God has sent us to be.
  •     Another great thing that I have learned is the importance of goal setting and trusting in the Lord when you set goals. Goals are a great way to help you achieve all that you desire, it pushes you to take action and have motivation to do the work. I know that all things are made possible with the Lord by our side.
  •     The last thing that I wanted to share that I have learned is that Obedience=Liberty. I know through experience that obedience brings blessings, but EXACT obedience brings miracles. As we do all that is required of us and do our best, that is when the Lord blesses us even more. Commandments aren't to bind us but they are to free us and help us along this journey in mortal life. They often protect us from danger and help us to live according to the Lord's standards.
  I know that there are many more things that I have learned on my mission but here are just some of the main points that I wanted to share with all of you. I don't know where I would be now without serving my mission. I have learned so many things that I don't know I would have learned elsewhere. I encourage all of you that are debating of whether or not to serve a mission, I would say GO! It will be one of the greatest decisions in your life. Yes, a mission is hard and you won't understand until you are out in the field but it is so worth it. This is the most rewarding work I have ever done. It is because our Saviour is right by your side in the work and you are spreading forth His gospel. You can't fail with the Lord on your side.
   I would like to thank each of you that have supported me throughout my mission and gave me the encouragement and strength I needed to keep going. You would have no idea how many you have helped me. My commitment to each of you is to "stand as witnesses of God at all times, and in all things, and in all places.(Mosiah 18:9)" Stand up for what you believe in and help all those around you to be able to receive the gospel if they haven't already and also to LIVE IT!
    I want to leave my testimony with all of you that I know that I'm a daughter of my Heavenly Father. He loves me unconditionally and is always there for me. I know that my Saviour lives and loves me too. I know that because of my Saviour regardless of the many mistakes that I will make in this life that I can get past them and become more and more like Him. My favourite book is the Book of Mormon. It really has all the answers. I know that it is the word of God. That book can bring you nearer to God than any other book. I have witnessed that myself. The more I read and learn of Christ the easier it becomes to know what path I should take. I know that this is the Lord's true church upon the earth. This church has the fullness of truth and you can only know that as you turn to our Heavenly Father in prayer. He answers prayers! I know that he does each day.
  Thanks for all that you do. I love you all and will be seeing you all very soon.
   Love Always,
         Sister Sorensen
FHE with the Hailame's and Caspa and her boys.

Its been raining a lot so we have fun walking in the rain.

P-day with Whitney (one of our favorites in our ward)

Last district meeting!