A fun picture for the week...

A fun picture for the week...
A Satellite View of Elder Sorensen's Trailer in the Church Parking Lot in Many Farms, AZ

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Add this to the lol count

So Kaycee and I were discussing this last night. Logan was a little sad leaving his first area and first companion. He has a big heart that reaches out to people and he gets attached easily. Watch in his pictures how he ALWAYS has his arm around someone. So very Logan. He's in a foreign place with his own set of struggles but it's good to see it isn't changing him one bit. Well, except in good ways. Check out that highlighted Preach My Gospel.

The seventh week....

running "lol" count = 353

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The sixth week

Well I got my first transfer call this week...I'm going all the way to Hyderabad 1st branch. I will literally be living 20 minutes away from where I live now. lol.

I went on exchanges with Elder Sookhoo,the Zone Leader, Monday. We found a pretty sweet family - these 2 brothers who live together. Their parents are dead and they are both doing odd jobs. Elder Sookhoo and I taught the first lesson and they came with us to FHE and brought friends. We taught them again last night and they want to become members. They are coming to the Christmas Broadcast tomorrow, and they and the friends are coming to church on Sunday. So I picked a pretty good time to get transfered! lol. Other than that nothing new.

We had a Christmas party yesterday and I got a Cricket Jersey, Indian style. lol. Someone I don't like convinced someone to steal my companion's gift and sealed it, so I then stole his gift from him. He was angry and I really liked the gift so it was a double win.

Today I am wearing jeans!!! a first outside the flat. we are going to Snow World for P-day. i'm pretty excited about wearing jeans. lol. We have about 7 appointments for Christmas meals. Hopefully I will be able to walk by the 7th. Hopefully some pics will be coming soon. I miss everyone. I hope you're all doing well. I pray for everyone back home often. Keep safe.

Elder Sorensen


While it will be tough to leave the 2nd Branch, Logan is excited to transfer to the 1st Branch for all of the baptisms and teaching they have lined up.

My companion - I call him Elder "Dwight" Mehan. He's a district leader and I will be having 9 baptisms in the coming weeks and 12 investigators at Sacrament. It's pretty intense. The other branch has a ton of baptisms because the members - and they kinda work harder...or so they say. lol. I'm pretty excited. Maybe I can sweet talk one of them into letting me do the baptism.

Losing Weight
Logan decided to stop weighing himself all the time. He did say that the best thing about being a missionary was losing weight though. Why? He never explained. He said that he would probably continue to lose weight.

When I was losing weight it was because I didn't eat breakfast or lunch - and usually not dinner. So now and then I will eat some lunch, like p-days - or days I can't take it - but I am sitting around 220. I will check later this week the weight. I drink a lot - and I usually will grab a cheap bag of chips when we go back to the flat. I am making my budget stretch and I usually am not hungry.

Visiting the Farm
So the pictures of the water buffalo are from a farm they visited in their area. They went to visit a part member family and they live about 2 hours outside Hyderabad.

I don't remember all their names - but they said that we must hurry and leave the farm because the lions are coming.

Apparently, they had kimodo dragons and lions in the area, but we weren't able to clear that up completely.

We were on the farm Saturday or Friday. I can't remember - but they were there when we had to leave because that was around the time lions come. I didn't see any lions unfortunatly. I was scared just hearing about them. lol.

He also snapped the picture of the hen with her 15 chicks there.

That chicken might taste good with some rice - except those babies wouldn't have a momma.

For that cause I refrained from eating them. lol. The little ones were cute.

Letters from Home
Logan commented on how he had finally received a letter from home last week after email. He was excited to finally get something, as were we! It takes about a month for letters...so don't be discouraged if you have written but haven't received anything yet.

In the delay though, Logan was a little concerned about Mimi. While he was in the MTC, I wrote him a letter and told him Mimi had been in the hospital. He wrote back and asked if she was really ok because he had heard...Missionary Urban Myth...about how this missionary got home and found out his dad and brother had died in a house fire 8 months ago. I wrote him back right away to tell him she was home and doing alright, but he still hadn't received it.

How's Mimi? I think she is dead?

Kaycee wrote you a letter about Mimi. She is not dead. I promise. Although, Emilee did shoot her in the face with a Nerf dart last night. Not good. We had cupcakes with her yesterday for McKay's birthday.

Ok I believe you. Why would Emilee shoot her? lol. Kinda funny but kinda not. lol. That's good. I just figured she was since no one was answering any questions I had about her.

She was just playing with Mack's gun. We got him some new darts.

That's cool.

As you can see in the pics above, Logan was able to catch a couple pictures of the monkeys near the old flat. He finally sent them this week. Personally, I don't think they look like monkeys as much as Gremlins. Ugh!

I wish I could send you the video. There was a huge one, the size of Chance, walking right in front of us. I got afraid. lol.

Funny Story of the Week
I havent seen white people. I only met one. Tell Uncle Chris that I have taken a picture with every white person I have seen in India, besides missionaries, and I have sent them home. I met a white guy from Dallas last week. He was only there for a short while. He left before I could get a snap. I get a TON of stares!! lol.

If you don't understand this....then you're not alone. Mom was a bit confused too. He was just saying that he sent home pictures of all of the white people he's seen. We haven't received any pictures...therefore, he hasn't seen any! Apparently, he was trying to be clever. Clever doesn't work out so well with exhausted Mom at 1 a.m.

running "lol" count = 272

Friday, December 19, 2008


Mom wanted me to post this video she got from Pops.

Yes, this snow is in Louisiana - from last week on the 11th I think. We were supposed to get hit with a big winter storm, but we just got the cold without all the fun! Louisiana got the pretty!

More snow pictures and wonderful New Orleans Christmas music....

Snow in New Orleans

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The fifth week...

Elder Toleafoa, Don (Kennedy's brother), Elder Sorensen, Kennedy, some guy who jumped in the picture.

This is for the bloggers...

This week we almost got arrested. lol. There were a few terrorist attacks on a Hindu temple and this undercover cop kept asking us for our passports, but we are never supposed to show without seeing ID first, and finally he showed us, after he was way angered. He said "I almost threw you two away - for your own safety." Everyone is afraid to talk to white people because that is who they are attacking. lol.

While this was an interesting story to hear, I don't think it's the lol type...but we won't tell Logan that. Logan wrote a quick little story for the bloggers because I have been sending him the comments you leave. He says y'all can leave him a little "shout out" more often. He also said for Pete - that he has 2 ties that you gave him and he wears them all the time.

Losing Weight
Logan has lost a total of 14lbs as of this week. He said he is down 3 notches on his belt since leaving the MTC. Mom mentioned that he would probably just gain it right back when he came home to the States, but he said that he and Brian have a plan to make sure they keep it off. We'll see if that actually happens...

Elder T
Mom emailed Elder T this week. Apparently, he wrote an email that upset his family and his mom didn't email him this week. So, Momma S stepped in and sent him some encouraging words.

Hi Elder The Rock
So this is our first letter Elder Toleafoa. I am Elder Sorensen's mom. We call you Elder The Rock here. We think you look like him & you are bigger than our boy. We don't see that too much.

Thank you for taking such good care of him. He speaks highly of you. He says he loves you like a brother. That's saying a lot because he really loves his brothers and he is a very good brother.

I am glad he got you as his trainer. I have always prayed that he would have a great trainer that would teach him to work hard and appreciate the good man he is. My prayers have obviously been answered.

He said you didn't get an email from your mom this week so consider this your Mom email. I am sure she misses you just like I miss my missionary. Sometimes we just don't know how to express it.

So tell Elder Sorensen to share some of his Christmas treats with you and keep up the great work in India. I know it's hard but it will all be very worth it in the end.


Sister Sorensen
alias Momma S

Dear Sister Sorensen,
I really appreciate the note. Honestly I am the one who has been blessed with your son as my companion. I feel like we were brothers even before this world. You are right he definately is a wonderful man. I respect him and admire his great desires. We are having a lot of fun here and I have enjoyed my time serving with him. You and "Poppa Bear" have raised a wonderful family. Thank you for lifting my spirit. May the Lord continue to pour out His choicest blessings upon you and your family. Have a great week. Aloha!!
Much Love,
Elder Toleafoa

Kennedy has been coming with us a lot. We ate at Kennedy's a couple of nights. We had mutton biryani. It was really good. They gave us some beef that was pretty spicy but not too bad - and no serious sickness. I have been fine this week. I had a small cold one day. And it's gone now.

Yeah for fine!! Mommy worries about you being sick. What kind of beef? How is the smell at Kennedy's?
(He lives by the potty site)

Buffalo beef - it's all they got. It's not the same but I am way grateful for it. It's the only thing that looks the same. The smell went "away" - I got used to it. It's not a big deal any more. lol. I love Kennedy so much. He's amazing.

Rajini decided on a baptismal date - but not until 2010. Elder S was disappointed, but still optimistic because he is continuing to come to church.

The New Flat
Logan said he is enjoying the new flat - especially with the nice amenities they have.

This is the whitest my shirts have been in India. We have a washer now. It works pretty well. I am pleased.

Being a Missionary
Yesterday President Nichols told a story that explained exactly how I felt... I always wanted to see the Savior. I always hoped that I would be here for the 2nd coming and He would visit me - but we walked past this lady who we thought was dead and I felt really bad. President said that he had a missionary explain to him the same situation - but the elder prayed and said "Savior, visit these people first - they need you more." He felt the Spirit whisper "I did. I sent them you." How about that, huh?

Sometimes it's hard being a missionary. The last week was rough, so Mom wanted to make sure to send some encouraging words.

Are you happy Mancub being a missionary? The days are long but is it filling your soul? Do you feel closer to the Savior? Is your testimony growing? Can you feel it?

Sunday our lesson was from the Joseph Smith manual. The last line was about in the end we will know HIm. I thought of the times I have known Him. I have known Him through the cleansing power of repentance. I have known Him in times of joy but in the end I have known Him the best when I was at the saddest and couldn't do anymore on my own. At those times, I have gone to Him in prayer and said I can't do anymore and then I have known Him the best. He will carry you. I absolutely know He has the power and will use it to help you when you are down or discouraged. That is the beauty of the Atonement.

DON"T BE DISCOURAGED!!!! Work hard and rely on Him!!!

I am so happy - especially because of the wonderful support system I have. I haven’t hit rock bottom yet but I can already feel the Savior's love. It's amazing. I wrote this same email but really nice and our server crashed - so it's not as good - but I love the feeling I get while I am serving.

You don't have to hit rock bottom. You can just rely on the Lord and love your mission!! Everyday is one more day you can't get back - so love them all!!

And then Logan returns to his randomness....

So there is this Hindu temple backside of the church...it's about the size of the old tabernacle and half of the TC building. It reminds me of a Dr.Suess book. It is all colorful and there are wild pics of Hindu gods and all that everywhere. It's all pink, blue, green, red and all other cool colors. Thought you would like that - and so would the bloggers.

Letters from Home
We finally received some snail mail from India! It was so exciting to get his letters. It took about a month for our letters to get here and a letter I sent to him to get to him. He also received a letter from Kayla this week. He appreciates all the mail that is sent (even if he's not able to write you back right away, the letters are worth it)!

The only animals from this week were some parrots that he managed to snap some pics of. He couldn't get them to send though, so you'll just have to be patient until we get the CD with all the pics on it!

Deciphering Emails for the Blog...(just an idea of what I do to get the blog to the readers)
I am exicted that you got me a nativity!!!
its a lil smaller but its ok. u can tell its from india. except everyone is white. lol.
I got one pic. kennedy is pretty tall. i wouldn't mind dark people. you love them.
his brother Don is. kennedy is on my left, not smiling.
is he between you and T?
kennedy is on your right now smiling. he's not between t and i
there are 2 people on your right. he is the one not smiling right? i am not a blonde you do know this right? why did we get one pic?
ya. the other guy just jumped in. idk his name. kennedy is a little bigger. And he is on my immediate left. not between t and i.

Funny Story of the Week...
Elder S had the opportunity to go on exchange with Elder Siyyadri this week. They found a few people and went to a Districit choir activity. I couldn't resist posting his short description -

It was some choir thing where they sang Christmas songs and stuff like that. Well, they scream them because no one can sing.
running "lol" count = 226

Friday, December 12, 2008

King Tut

The family went to King Tut yesterday at the Dallas Museum of Art. Awesomeness!

Enjoy some pics...There aren't that many because you're not allowed to take pictures in the exhibit.

The fourth week....

Sorry, I didn't keep my promise...Tut, parties, Bethlehem, and a fast drop in temperature have kept my attention else where...

Here's the update from Elder Sorensen on his fourth week in Hyderabad. This was a rough week for him, or so it seems. I think the newness and excitement are wearing off. He could really use some mail if you have the time. He has only received one regular letter from home. Logan gave us his Flat address, but he might be transferred, so we'll wait to give that to y'all until we know for sure. If you'd like to send him something, you can always use the Mission Address (which is probably the safest anyway).


Elder T and Elder S met Anoj on Tuesday and set him for baptism on Thursday. He didn't make it to church Sunday though, so the baptism will have to one week later. Rajini is the only investigator that made it to church this week, so the other 5 possible baptisms aren't going to happen before Christmas/transfers. Apparently, they need to come to church for 3 weeks before baptism.

India news...

We asked Elder Sorensen what he knew about Mumbai and how that affected them. He was aware of the death toll, but mentioned that the Indian news reported different numbers than the international stations. He also reported that they probably won't be able to go to the Mariott for Christmas (like Thanksgiving) because there are still terrorists "at large" and the India AirForce is on high alert.

There was a shooting in his area last week that happened right after he and his companion had left. He didn't provide any more information than that.


Last week I asked Logan to start looking for a Nativity for Mom. She loves these things and one of her dreams is to have each of the boys bring a Nativity scene back from where they serve their missions. Logan has been looking and he's come across a couple, but he asked an interesting question...

Do you want one that portrays everyone in a sad way - like everything related to Christ is here - or, do you want a regular happy one?

Do you like the sad one? It's sad that Christ is depicted as a sad thing in India. I will trust you to pick it out. How will you ship it so it doesn't get stolen and makes it in one piece? Maybe you should bring one when you come home.

Well how soon do you want one? It actually makes me kind of angry, 'cause everyone here displays their religion with pride. The Hindus have their gods all over their doors and windows and things like that. The Christians all have their crosses and pics of Jesus up everywhere too. When I see the sad ones it angers me, but I am getting used to it. Like Sister Dew said, I am becoming accepting of it.

But Pres. Hinckley said that we tolerate all religions. He said to bring what you have and see if we can't add more to it. I think for the people there, their religion is centuries old. It's the traditions of their fathers. It's like the Lamanites they just don't know any better. You can help them to know Christ by the way you treat them. Be loving and kind. Remember they are each a child of God and all are born with the light of Christ. I can understand though how it would get to you when you have this amazing message that can change their lives but they aren't ready to hear it yet. The key word is yet. Remember too that by their fruits ye shall know them. The fruits of the gospel are new to India. The people in your branch are truly pioneers.

Ya I think of those things all the time. Some people here are really amazing. We are looking mostly for Hindus because they are most likely to become LDS. Christians think it's a sin to be baptized twice. lol. junk fellows.

Junk fellows?

Junk fellow is like calling someone a bum. It means you don't like them but it's not enough to get you jumped.

Logan sometimes forgets to install his "Mom filter" before emailing.

Do missionaries get jumped there?

It's nothing to worry about...so Elder Evans, his area has a lot of BJP people and we were totally safe. Some people tried to punk us but I shared a message with them and they left us alone. Pretty cool.

What are BJP people?

The BJP is just a group here.

A group of what kind of people?

Christian haters.


Elder T and Elder S finally moved into their new flat, closer to their area, in Scientist Colony, Habsiguda, Hyderabad. It took some time to get them in because they had to get some things taken care of...

The EQP has said so many times that he will send someone to fix the washer and geezer, so we spent a lot of time waiting for that, and when they are there they go super slow.

What is a geezer?

A geezer is a water heater that heats for about 5 minutes. It's horrible. I have had so many showers that make me lose weight from all the shivering.


What was your favorite food this week?

Someone made us this AMAZING sweet (dessert). It was some form of noodles - fried, then put into warm milk, which always contains...SUGAR!! So it was amazing. It was so good because the food was so spicy. lol. Nah, not really. I didn't even break a sweat.

Didn't want to die from hot food this week?

No...but Kennedy's family is from Chennai and they serve the HOTTEST food. We eat there this week...I am hoping I don't die. I've eaten a lot of mutton this week. Mutton is rubbery and not too good. We ate a ton of Doll and Buffalo from Kennedy. He's really awesome.

What kind of buffalo? Do you like dahl? I wanted to try and make some before you left.

The dahl was way good. Everything here has tons of tomatoes and peppers in it, so I "like" them now. We had water buffalo. Water buffaloes are plenty here and we drink that milk too, cause no one milks cows. Tomatoes are on the bottom of my list. I can tolerate them. Maybe I will like them before I leave. T can eat onions and tomatoes raw now. I will be able to do that too. We eat them in everything!!!

I am so proud of you for completely stepping out of your comfort zone and preferred taste zone too. I know the Lord will bless you your whole life through for serving and loving the people of India.

I'm seeing it already. I wouldn't like these things back home but here I do. That's just one small blessing.

Losing weight...

The water is keeping me a little sick. Monday T and I were fighting back the urge to upchunk. I felt better around 2...it took him till 5, but we are better now.

Have you lost anymore weight?

YA!! I lost another 2 kg - that's about 5 lbs - so I'm around 220 now. Everyone says I'm looking way different. I'm down 3 things on my belt since the MTC. My waist looks smaller.

Hey - tomatoes will do that for you or maybe it's the parasites...

I will put some back on later in life. We have to take this pill the size of my fist every six months to clean out our system for parasites.

Logan told us a little bit more about some of the people he often mentions from their Branch.

Is Rajini Hindu? What was Kennedy?

Rajini was Hindu, Christian now. Kennedy was Roman Catholic, so is the rest of his family still. We started teaching Kennedy's family and his mom is so ready for baptism. We just need to set her.

What is Kennedy's calling? How did he join the church? Do the members feed you often?

Kennedy is the Young Men's 2nd counselor...something like that and I don't know how he joined. His lil bro is in the Bangalore mission. He's in KGF. I already love the people here. I love how they feed us SO much. Some members really help, and some just say stupid stuff that actually hurts the investigator's testimony.

Funny Story of the week....
(more of Logan forgetting the Mom filter)
Gavin wants to know if your building has a baptismal font?

Tell Gav that everything about this building is better, the only reason it's not better is because the Indians treat it differently. You'll see what I mean. It's really nice but they don't treat it the best.

That's the exact opposite of what I thought they would be like in regards to the building. I thought they would really treasure it. Does it have regular potties?

Yeah - regular potties and sprayers. It's nice. They like the building but they just don't understand the respect it deserves. If a General Authority saw that in America some people would feel the wrath of God.

What are sprayers? (why did she even ask....)

For your booty when your done with your business...you spray and then clean with the left hand.

YUCK!! What about toilet paper? Do you have to use your left hand? Can i send you toilet paper?

Most stores here have TP. I always use it. I haven't used the hand yet. I'm waiting for the absolute last moment before I do. lol. I still don’t understand...because I think all your clothes would get wet, right? Instead of drippage in the front you'd have drippage in the back. No fun!!

Wow what an amazing experience you are having. Does it seem real yet?

Sometimes I forget I'm in India.

Letters from home...
Have u gotten any snail mail yet?

Nope no snail mail. Have you gotten any?

I've sent you so much snail mail. I figured you had to have it by now.
And, lol!!!! Yes!! I got my first after we emailed last week. I sent you a snail mail about it, but I'll tell you now...Skittles. She spent the majority of the letter telling me "It might make a good story, but don't get thrown in jail."

When do you write your snail mail?

Wednesdays. I am sending pics and videos soon. I miss my music and movies. How is that coming?

It's coming I suppose, maybe for Christmas.

Well how long? Because we can file a report if they "lost" it. T said his mom complained once and they haven't lost any more of his packages.

We are just trying to get your Christmas in the mail. I know Kaycee and Daddy have mailed letters as well as the Finneys.

I know and I love that. Tell everyone I said thank you. I am trying to get y'alls to you too. I found these really cool cards.

Did you get their letters then?

No. I only got the one from Skittles.

Have you read the Liahona?

I will certainly try to find one. Is it the Nov. or the Dec. issue? Where do you get a copy?

Oh man, you need to steal one or something. It was the best thing I have ever read. There were so many that reminded me of Christmas in N.O. There was one about "I Stand All Amazed" by Elder Holland - he's a G - and it made me cry so much during the middle of Sunday School. lol. Pres. Monson's was really good. And Elder Neil A. Maxwell wrote a really good one about "Consecrating Thy Performance". Check them out!

Short little explanation - the Liahona is one of the magazines published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in addition to the Ensign (for adults), New Era (for youth), and Friend (for children). The church magazines include articles by General Authorities, including latter-day prophets, and other materials that help to build faith. The Liahona is the international magazine and it is published in many languages. It often includes the same articles as the Ensign, New Era, and Friend, but also has original articles and local news included. You can order your own subscription for any of the magazines or read the articles online. Here are the links for the articles that Logan mentioned:


How goes the monkey trapping? Does the new flat have interesting animal life?

The only animals around the new flat are Pigeons. I hate pigeons!!!!! I'm so bummed.

You like dirty little monkeys though. lol. Hey remember the pigeons in D.C.? They were fun. You do seemed bummed. Don't be bummed.

lol. I loved those pigeons, but these are just different. No love. Today I got to watch two monkeys. I love monkeys and that lifted my spirits so much. I couldn’t even describe it. I want an elephant. I have seen people with elephantiasis and leprosy. I never knew but I have seen so many. Interesting huh?

Do you stare? Leprosy huh? Are you given instructions on how not to get leprosy? O.K. Mowgli. Do you want a Baloo and a Bagera too? Maybe some vultures to be your friends. Elephants good. Elephantiasis bad!!

I don't know how to get leprosy, therefore I don't know how not to get it. I have wondered about it tho. And I would love Baloo and Bagera.

Tell everyone I love them. I miss you.

Hugs and kisses from India.
Elder Logan Sorensen

running "lol" count = 184

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The third week....

Wow - Thanksgiving really put me behing schedule! This is the email from week 3 (ending 2 Dec 08). Week 4 will be up by Friday! Enjoy...and please comment. I am sending the comments to Elder Sorensen in email form so he knows what y'all have to say about his adventures.

New Key:
Elder Sorensen


Hey Everyone,
Well another week down. The Mumbai blasts still kinda have everyone on high alert but we have been told not to worry. The "kg count" is still on. I have lost 4kg since being in India. That's alomst 9 pounds. I'm sitting at about 222lbs. It's funny because I can tell all the locals that I'm going on a diet. They usually get a good laugh. Yesterday we met a really cool new investigator. He came to the other elders in the branch and told them "I've heard about your church. I was taught the lessons a while back. and I have a Mormon book. when can I be taught? I'm really loving your church and all the good things that come from it." We met him and kinda figured out what he knew about the Book of Mormon. He knew quite a bit. We explained to him that we worship Christ and Heavenly Father not Joseph Smith. He was like "that's what I thought." He's so prepared. We are hoping to set him before Christmas transfers. If all goes well we will have 6 people baptized around Christmas time. Tonight we are setting Rajini. He told me that I'm his favorite missionary. It was cool. He said that he would take baptism if I took baptism. I'm pretty sure I was baptized already. I told him that, he kinda pondered it for a while. We met with him Monday night and we are committing him tonight (Wednesday). He kinda mentioned that he wants me to baptize him. which would be freaking amazing. I'm so excited for him. Other than that nothing too big has happened. Peter and his family kinda dropped us so we haven't met with them in a while. We found another really good family. When we met the son didn't believe in God. T was talking to his friends. By the time I left he said that us finding him was a sign from God and he is meeting with us Sunday and his friend is meeting with us tonight. Well that's all. I am picking up some Teligu. I still sound like a gringo, but it's fun. I love y'all. Thanks for the prayers.
Elder Sorensen

CURRENT INVESTIGATORS: Rajini, Radjshakar, Anoj, Madhu, Sagar and Vanisha, Dilip and Laxomi, Monoj, Jesu Ratnum Family,and Nagaraj

A few explanations...The country is not necessarily on high alert, but "kinda nervous." Logan explained baptism a little more to Rajini by showing him his Priesthood Line of Authority. Peter is the father of the 8 member Roman Catholic family they met the first day.

Music and Rules...
Have you sent my Ipod yet? No one here has any good music.

What kind of music do they have?

Some places have American music - we just listened to Colbie Calliat - but mostly Teligu music. It's ok but I don't know what they are saying.

Why are you listening to American music? I thought you weren't supposed to. You did so well on the way to the MTC. How would you rate yourself on following the rules?

There have been maybe 3 days that I was late getting up, or late to studies and those days i knew it. The music is on at all the places Americans go. They know its what we like. It's all good. I'm not really listening. It's not really music i like anyways.

Your rating on following the rules???

Probably 9. I know there are some I don't know and I break my English because they can't understand if you don't.

Is breaking English a rule? like saying so big?

I think it means speaking English and Teligu together, but somethings could work in America and some wouldn't.

Logan has been sick off on and throughout the time that he has been in India. Part of the problem is adjusting to the food, but also the water. Logan doesn't drink it all the time, but when he does, he's getting sick. The usual is a stomach ache and fever, but he doesn't let that stop him from doing the Lord's work. He said that being sick is a pretty frequent thing, but staying home isn't. He had a sweet moment with Rajini when he was sick though...

On Saturday night I was sick so we slept for 30 minutes before meeting him. We met him 30 minutes after waking up. He noticed I didn't look well. "Brother, you're looking very dull." I tried to get him to not worry about it. Snday he brought me chocolates and some warm milk,which is actually really good. Go boil some milk and put a good amount of sugar in it.

Elder Sorensen talks about PMG all the time now. (PMG = Preach My Gospel) He is telling anyone and everyone who will or won't listen that studying PMG will help and it tells you how to be a great missionary. While in the MTC, I sent him a mini copy of PMG to use. He says that all the other Elders are jealous and that he likes having 2 copies to study from because he can pass one along to the next Elder Sorensen.

Elder T and Elder S have yet to move to the new flat. They did go shopping for a couple things for the flat though - a stove, fridge, washer, cups, and utensils. Logan doesn't mind that they haven't moved because he likes the other guys in the flat. Logan is excited for the new flat because it's nice or as he put it his current flat "on steroids."

Thanksgiving Dinner...
It was delicious, not the same, but not India. So I was super happy about that.

Logan explained that they're not allowed to purchase large meals like that, so they all gave their money to the senior couple who paid at the hotel. Interesting. We don't quite understand it, but he was excited to have some good food.


Have you gotten any snail mail yet? If so from who?

Nope. None yet. u? I sent some yesterday and last Monday.

Can we send stuff directly to your flat? Some wardies want to send you a package...

Send it through the mission office. The 6 packages thing is a bluff. I can get 6 for the rest of the year. It's year ending, not my mission year ending.


So tell me what it's like to teach. Do you usually follow the same pattern?

It is very intimidating. We hardly ever follow the same pattern. The only pattern we follow is the outline, but we always use different scriptures or teach different points in a principle. It's so much fun though. You feel so good afterwards.

I so wish I could be a fly on the wall to see how wonderful you are doing. It sounds like you are learning alot.

Lessons are a lot of explaining and re-explaining. We usually go over a few things and you can tell really fast if they understand or not. T does a lot of talking in most and I do about 40% in those. The others that I lead are more 50-50 and kinda random, but I'm getting there. Study PMG lesson one. I pretty much do that - thats what it's like.

No one we teach has more than one room. Most are about the size of the living room - the one with the tv - and we sit on the floor sometimes. Rajini has one room. It's the size of mine and the school room minus the closets and a few feet. His bed is a metal frame. He sleeps on newspaper and has a blanket for a pillow. That's what we see all the time. One family we visit has 2 rooms, and some have comfy beds, but only some.

Each week I feel less green. Our BP (Branch President) is amazing. He always says "Elder Sorson, what do you think? How is it done back home?" He helps me a lot and the EQP is actually trying to be better, so I try too. We had a nice conversation - he's a really smart guy. Church was good. Class was fun. Rajini was having fun. It was so funny. Rajini kept getting T and I to read and he loves to participate, so he just has fun.

A 14 year old boy or Sister Kasper plays the piano. This kid is pretty good too and they have an organ nicer than the one at home. The building is really new.

Are you thinking of making wild chicken and rice? I don't use as much curry as they do there in mine.

I want to make chicken. There are a million places here to buy chickens, but I want to catch one with razor sharp talons.

Some food advice:

  • Don't drink excessive caffeine - especially energy drinks. They cause osteoporosis and the dehydration. (Name the movie....Gator-ade)
  • Go for low cost items like an appetizer instead of an entree when eating at places like Friday's.
  • You can also go for the kids menu.
  • Share something with Elder T. If there's something you both want it makes it cheaper and you get to enjoy 2 things!
  • Don't order dessert - it's just sugar and sugar won't give you sustained energy..."no nutrients" (movie?).
  • Go and have a salad or something.

I don't have too much coke, and everything kinda comes out easier but not like runny. You know. I have some food at the flat. I found some Ramen thats from China, so it's not Indianized. It has no dosa or masala, which are weird and not delicious to the taste.


What is the potty situation like these days?

Yesterday I had to go so bad and our driver wouldn't stop and when I finally could go there were about of beggers asking me for money. I thought seeing me Pee would be enough.

Beggars ask you for money when you are peeing?

They ask for money whenever, especially when we pee because I can't run away. They pull and scratch and everything.

They pull and scratch while you are peeing? Do you really think peeing in public is modest? Can't you go somewhere private? i'm sorry you have to go in the street and beggars harass you. I would imagine that is very hard to see people so destitute.

Man I wish I could help them. It's horrible but there are no places to go. They have one public restroom in our area and it's at Kennedy's house - the "thing" behind his house.

Gavin's thoughts...
Daddy & I were watching a movie yesterday. It was about a football player that was 5 foot flat. He wanted to play for Notre Dame but everyone told him he couldn't. It's one of the best teams in the NCAA. It reminded me of how people said to you that is was going to be really hard to go to India. That you are wasting your time. It made me cry at the end of the day because I thought of you and how you were like that football player Rudy.
Love ya, Gavin (Impulse)

If anyone tells you that I'm wasting my time you ask them why? Then tell them it's for the Lord and we are sharing a message about how God loves everyone not just the [people] in America. It's ok buddy. Thank you tons.

Mission Plaque...
We asked Logan what scripture he wanted for his mission plaque...the response was greatness!

Romans 1:16. or the one about the Lamanites fighting like dragons - cause thats what we do here. If you can find that one use it.

Fighting like dragons? That doesn't sound very missionary like!

Yes it does. We fight for our lives, don't tell mom. We fight with the spirit - even though the dragon there means Satan.

How do you fight for your lives? Is there street fights? Fun!

Is this KC or mom? Then I'll tell. lol.

It's Kaycee. I type fast so we're tag teaming the email lines. Mom went to the bathroom.

Ok. There are people ALL around who try and get us outta the country. They are haters. They always tell us we aren't welcome and try and steal our passports and stuff like that. Sometimes they threaten us, but they never get away with it. Crossing the traffic here is insane.

So do you carry your passport on you? (It's your papers) Do you need something to wear under your shirt to keep stuff safe? I'm guessing that is part of the reason they don't send the scrawny Elders there.

I carry a copy, not the passport. That's bad. All my stuff is safe. It can't be stolen unless i'm beaten down. Don't worry. T and I are big boys. We are safe, but Pres told us if we do get into a confrontation, we need to be hit first, then we swing and run like crazy.


I didn't really take any new pics this week, but T and I are hoping to make Christmas cards today and send them out. We have been trying to get pics in front of the church forever!! We can't have our cameras while we prosy that's why you dont have too many pics, but I will find a way.


Is Elder T teaching you how to be a good trainer? Will you get new missionaries after Christmas? What are the names of the other missionaries in your flat? Were you able to meet with the Pres last week? What did y'all talk about?

kinda. yes, 6, not as big as our batch. Siyyadri-Tuscano,Ward-Evans.
Yes we met, and we didn't really get to talk much because he had meetings.

What does kinda mean? I'm guessing Elder Siyyadri is a native?

I'm just learning from example. Siyyadri is from Radj, the poorest place in the mission.

Does that mean Siyyadri is poor? How does he pay for his mission? Did he have to go the MTC in the States? How does he afford Friday's?

We usually pay for what he can't. He's good with his money. He had to pay 20,000/- before he came out. Natives have to finish their degree before they leave and they go to the Phillipines MTC. I think his family is a little better well off, so I think he has some money.

Uncle Chris Says...

He also said that it's amazing how cool and comfortable you look over there in India. He is way proud of you and glad that you're doing well and safe! That was his comment on the blog this week.

Sweet. Tell him thanks and I love him. I had a few letters with him and the fam at the MTC. Tell him I try to look natural even though I stick out like a sore thumb.

Do you stick out like a sore thumb because you're white or because you're "Fat?" How's Bob? Have you taught him any lessons this week?

Bob has been "too busy" and I stick out because I'm white and I'm tall. Very few people here are tall. There are a lot of people who look like Faruk. They have rice bellies.

Fun Stories of the week...
I'm getting way good at Table Tennis because we play a lot. We give church tours and they always want to play table tennis. If they get a point they can ask a question. If we get a point they have to do something, like committment or read, something like that. There's a pretty sweet table upstairs at the church and rajini loves to play, but he always tries to get us to. It's super fun and I'm way good now. Rajini likes it.

I found out last night that if 3 or more cars go the wrong way it's legal here. They all crossed over traffic last night and they were just going and our lane was just going around them. It is so weird here.

Something interesting I saw was a ritual. When a girl has her first menstual cycle they get all the people together and pour goats milk all over her. I saw it in passing...but it was still weird.

We saw a TON of monkeys the other day. T was a little nervous. I thought they were cute. We havent been bat watching because we have been working out at night too - trying to get "so much big" T actually is taller than me, but a little pudgier and "so much big" is Indian for bigger. It's just how they speak and I am getting that way. T had a bad experience (before with the monkeys). He lost some bananas and got chased. I tried to catch a monkey the other day. He ran to another bigger one so I stopped.

running "lol" count = 123

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The second week...

Wow! Can you believe it? Elder Sorensen was set apart as a missionary 7 weeks ago! He has been in Hyderabad for 3 weeks as of tomorrow.

This post is from the email conversation last week. Sorry for the delay....we were out of town and I wasn't able to edit on my cell phone. I figured I would get this posted before I had another jumbled conversation to sort out. Enjoy!

*Reminder!!!! Elder Sorensen's quotes look like this. Mom's look like this.

Getting to the area...
Logan had to fly to Hyderabad, as he will for most transfers according to the letter from the mission. We kidded with him before leaving that he would have a chicken on his lap, but he informed us that there was no chicken. They flew Jet Airways and he says it was pretty nice. There were 4 missionaries going to Hyderabad and his buddy from Mr.Mac and the MTC Elder Pacanos was headed to Visac.

Logan is feeling a little better, but he told us he hasn't been eating much since he doesn't have money for groceries until Monday. With the constant need to use autos, the cost is starting to hit him a little hard and he hasn't been able to buy as much food. He did tell us about eating buriyanni from Paradise - it's the best around and pretty cheap - and missing burgers. He has heard that you can get burgers in Chennai and Bangalore, but they're not the same.

ES: All we eat is curd and buriyanni. Buriyanni is just a weird rice with chicken or whatever you want in it. It's all ok. One food was so hot I thought I was gonna die, but I was ok. I say a prayer every time before I eat.

M: Too hot for a Cajun boy?? That's crazy!! Prayer before food is always best no matter what continent you are partaking it on.

ES: I lost my Cajun senses when I was brought to Texas unfortunatly. lol.

Logan told us last week that whenever he has a little of the water that it makes his stomach feel a little woozy. We asked why he was drinking the water if he had been told not to and he explained that he could drink the water only when he has to. Some people are too poor for even water bottles , so he takes what they offer.

ES: It's alright. If I get sick...I'll have to be tough.

The Elders got to enjoy some American food at the Marriott for Thanksgiving day. Logan was excited to have some mashed potatoes.

Turkey Bowl...
Elder T and Elder S planned a Turkey Bowl for all the Elders in the area (20). Logan was pumped! J-Wall had apparently given him a hard time about missing it, so Logan was thrilled to be able to continue the tradition.

ES: There's a big soccer field around here that we played on. We rented it out for 1000. There were 20 elders. It was really cute to see the natives running around doing what they thought was good. I scored a few times, but I was Qb a lot too. I threw to everyone about 3 or 4 times except my companion. He was letting everyone else do their stuff too. It was lots of fun. I scored a rushing, recieving, and throwing TD. I had a couple of both. and I didn't throw one pick. It was an amazing game.

M: Sounds like a fun way to met possible investigators. Sounds like you were being a good sport.

M: Talking this way is a huge blessing!! Do you miss snail mail letters? Or do you like these quick conversations?

ES: There have been 2 parcels so far and I haven't gotten anything. Whatever is best for y'all.

I think that means he would like to get some mail. If anyone wants to send him something, check out the mailing address on the top right on the blog homepage.

The other elders in the their flat have been sick. Logan said that it's been draining because they worry about them in addition to all the people in their area.

ES: Hyderabad is 13 million people. We have over 3 million.

Elder Sorensen has taught a few lessons, but he shared that it's pretty intimidating and that Elder T saves me when I freeze. It's all good. I'm doing 2000x better. He expressed that it is difficult to teach because it's hard to describe how the Spirit feels.

ES: It's kinda hard to describe it to them, especially when we know they have felt it. Any insights?

M: Erik says galatians 5:22-23. Seth says it's a warm fuzzy feeling. Ask them if they are feeling it. Stop and describe when you feel the spirit and how it feels to you. Just remember you don't have to be the only contact they ever have. You maybe just the first. Help them to recognize how they feel when you teach. Sounds like trying to describe salt to someone that has never tasted it.

ES: As the days go on and I know more about India the easier it is to apply it to their lives. It's pretty sweet. I'm loving it.

Also, there are many Anti-Mormon and Anit-Christian groups and the people will go speak with friends or pastors and then they never meet with the missionaries again. Elder Sorensen was positive though!

ES: I'm not too worried about it. Thanks for the prayers. We usually have about 8 or 9 new investigators a week. We teach all of them a lesson. We are spending a lot of time finding Hindus because they don't know much about Christ yet and they haven't been baptized, and they have no pastor to go to. lol. We teach about 3 lessons a day. We plan to have some baptisms before we leave.

Before leaving, Pops kidded with Logan about meeting "Bob" from Tech support. Last week, Logan met a Bob and they are teaching him. They met him after being bummed about Rajini telling them that he had changed his mind about being baptized.

ES: We were talking to someone...He saw our tags, stopped, got off his bike, and started talking to us. He told us to just call him Bob. He was pretty cool. We are teaching him again soon. AWESOME!! The Lord works in mysterious ways.

M: Keep teaching!! You will have baptisms. Remember Abinadi never knew he helped convert even one person - that was Alma and through Alma every other Nephite prophet. Sometimes we don't know the good we do in this life. It's so great that you get to teach that much!! That's lots of practice and experience with the scriptures.

ES: We tract a lot and we have about 2 or 3 study hours a day. I know that if these people are willing to talk to us now they will be in the next life and there they will be able to understand. It's cool. I'm not too worried. I know somehow I'm making a difference. The other elders and I get along so well. The members are so nice. They always ask how i'm adjusting.

The Roman Catholic family mentioned from last week stopped accepting them, but Elder T and Elder S see them every day. He mentioned that they hope to get in to see them again before the weeks' end.

Some Funny Anecdotes...
ES: Monday night I almost hit the BP (Branch President) in the face. He was riding by on his bike and he almost hit me, joking, so I almost swung. I saw his tie so I knew he wasn't too bad. And then Kennedy was behind him laughing so we were ok.

M: Kati and Seth wanna know have you named your new monkey friends and can you bring us home one? Erik wants to know if they throw stuff at you.

ES: I'm working on a fool proof monkey trap as we speak. lol. They don't throw anything yet. They usually scavenge and we keep our distance because T hates them. lol.

An interesting observation from Kaycee: Upon compiling these emails, I noticed the frequent usage of LOL by both Logan and Mom. LOL was used 29 times in this series of emails alone! I guess that's pretty appropriate seeing as we are a Laugh Out Loud type of family.

ES: I love y'all. This is my last transmission this week. I love y'all. Thanks for the encouragement.


I love you.