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, October 7, 2009

The forty-seventh week...

I had a good birthday. We had some cake and 5 baptisms in our district! Red Cherry Bakery made me the cake. lol. I was going to buy it but my companion did...he is a great companion. He kinda reminds me of KC. He shows love by buying me things. Sister Nichols, the office couple and Elder Mehan all called me on my birthday!! It was cool. Elder Mehan was staying in hyderabad at the time, it brought back some memories. Swathi, the first girl I baptized in Gajuwaka, told EVERYONE at church that it was my birthday. She dragged them to me and made sure every member shook my hand and wished me a happy birthday. It was sweet. One of our auto drivers Naidu brought me 3 apples and a rose for my birthday. He even took us to Church for free.

The sickness is there...and it's having a blast dancing around in my stomach. The meds don't make anything go away...they are supposed to make the pain less - which I think they are doing. I am very skinny - I am walking on sticks. (his legs are skinny - get it?)

Is chicken the meat you would have gotten all the little bones lodged in your throat? Everyone is having a hard time figuring that one out.

It probably was chicken. At the time I hadn't had beef in a while, and I hadn' had fish in a while... or mutton...so probably chicken.

The Work in India
We still have no one set...but we are doing really well at challenging people. We are going to a few homes to set people tomorrow and Friday. The week was good - nothing too exciting.
We are going to this new place called Steel Plant. It is far away and it is a jungle. We are meeting lots of new people and working on getting them to church. The Branch President lives out there, and he is helping us out a lot.

I was thinking the other day, when you leave Visak where do you think you will go?

I predict the last year of my missoin will be spent in Bangalore and Chennai. Those are the 2 biggest cities left for me. Ii need to stay somewhere I can get my meds I need - and if neccessary treatment. Coimbatoire doesn't offer those things. Bangalore has less restrictions now..I don't know what they are, but they had the most baptisms last month.

You wanna know something cool about the church here in India? Out of all the requests for new buildings this year, in the asia area only 5 were approved - 4 were in our mission!! Sri Lanka, Visak (we are getting a chapel!!!!!) Chennai, and Bangalore. That's sweet! All of them are going to be stake center size. It is way cool. This Sunday, before we watch Conference, President Nichols is going to announce the organization of 3 new districts in our misssion - Visak, Chennai, and Coimbatiore - adding to the Hyderabad and Bangalore districts. The members all over India are pioneers. It's difficult, and sometimes all we can do is watch, but I love being a part of it.

I was sitting in Sacrament meeting this week, looking at all of our members, and I thought, "The 2 year service that we do is nothing compared to what these people have to sacrifice." They leave family, friends, jobs, education, eveything (sometimes) because they know of the Restored Gospel. It feels really great to be a part of these people's lives and help strengthen them and help them progress towards the Celestial kingdom. I have been reading a lot about MY PURPOSE in Preach My Gospel this week, and I like a quote by Elder Oaks - "We don't baptize or proclaim the gospel to increase church numbers or build bigger buldings. We do it so that others can have the promised eternal life which we know is possible."

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The forty-sixth week...

Zone Conference
Interviews were the bomb. I talked to President about a few things. I felt so good. I was so pleased with our interview. He is very pleased with me. He said, "I have interviewed many of your leaders and everyone who has served with you and gone on exchanges speaks higher of you than almost any other missionary."

Since email me last week, it has NOT stopped raining. I think only 3 hours I have seen the sun this week. I have been soaked. I am working hard to keep my shoes dry. They are doing their job!

No one is even set for baptism. We are having a hard time progressing people. We have lots of investigators, but not much progressing. We are gonna set some people this week.

Birthday - October 4th
My companion bought me new fitted shirts. The difference in the shirts I had and the ones I have now...is amazing - night and day. I have no big birthday plans. Maybe we will eat some beef curry. I haven't thought about what we may do. We have been busy. I am excited to see my packages!! I will buy new pants with my birthday money...but my suit is way too big. I am constantly told I need to get a new one...but I don't wanna spend $60 on a suit. (just $60?!!?!)

Letter standings (Mom's really in the lead though because she emails at 1am every week!)
1. Kiki- 25
2. Larky- 16
3.Dad-15 (was tied for #2 until the upset this week, lol.)
4. Smayla- 12
5 Gavin-11
6. Mom- 10
7. Burke- 5
8. SKittles-4
9. Chance- 3

If you want to join the running for most letters - write Elder Sorensen a letter!

Elder Reid Logan Sorensen
India Bangalore Mission
Anjali Plaza, 2nd Floor
493 C.M.H Road, Indirangar
Bangalore 560 038

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The forty-fourth week...

The forty-third week...

Logan got a new companion this week - Elder Cunningham. He's also from Texas and played football too!

The forty-second week...

Hi Everyone!

I want to start by saying “Thanks!” I am very thankful for your prayers and support of my family. My health is continuing to improve – as much as it can! I’m still working hard through it all! Our mission baptized 72 people this month! I enjoyed hearing all about the progress of the work at zone conference in Hyderabad . President Nichols said that we haven’t even peaked. The picture from this week is one of my favorites – 9 people dressed in white! I got to baptize the little girl Pryanka – she’s the one waving.

I really admire people here for being pioneers. It would be impossible for me to leave my comfortable church and go to one that only uses my second language. Often, people have to travel for 3 hours to go to church. It’s amazing! People literally have to leave all their family and friends to join the church. It’s a great strength to my testimony, but it makes me wonder why people won’t travel an extra 2 minutes to church. No problem - being a pioneer is hard. We have had people kicked out of their homes when their parents find out that they are baptized, and then the branch really helps and supports them. I will miss it when I come home.

I have a way strong testimony that missionaries will be more effective when they receive referrals. I challenge you to open your mouth more to people and give the missionaries referrals. Do you accept? If you do I promise tons of blessings. One week last month, we found 23 investigators and 17 were referrals. It’s the fast and effective way to do missionary work. Try and share a message with...someone... there are so many people all around. Look for people, keep praying, and talk to everyone! People may have had a recent death in the family, or a recent birth - these are all excellent opportunities to share the Plan of Salvation. Maybe you will be talking to someone and you may feel prompted to ask them if they know where they came from, where they are going, and why they are here. Just some ideas. It takes time to get used to and it takes a lot of FAITH!!! My best advice is keep praying for opportunities to share and courage to act when they come (that’s what Elder Bednar said) and most important - don’t let fear sneak in.

Elder Sorensen

The forty-first week...

The fortieth week...

The thirty-ninth week

Sorry folks! It's been a long time since we've posted anything. Life has been a little crazy round here! I figured since I couldn't sleep this morning that I would post some pictures from the past month. When I have some more time this week, I will post the emails and updates that accompany the pics.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Ode to Big Brother

Gavin had to write a 5 line poem about a family member today for a writing assignment. Thought you all would enjoy it.

Loveable Logan
His mouth that moves
Speaking the words of the Lord
My brother

There are times where being a homeschool Mom and the Mom of a missionary make me want to do the Happy Dance. For at least five lines of school, today was one of those times!!

Hugs to all,

P.S. Gavin is off to the Jeopardy Audition on Oct. 3rd!! We'll keep you posted. It's Kaycee's dream to be on Jeopardy. I guess all those times watching it with her are paying off for him, lol

Monday, August 17, 2009

Update on the Boys Health

Sorry it's taken so long to update everyone on Logan's health. It's hard to get a real grasp on how he is doing when we only get a few lines of email once a week. It's even more difficult when you consider he's still a 19 year boy.

So this is what we know. To quote him, "American missionaries deal with doors being slammed in their faces everyday. Indian missionaries deal with being sick their whole missions. No biggie." True Logan. Gotta love him. He probably will be sick his whole mission and beyond. But he is doing better. He says he's no longer worried about having to leave India. The mission president spoke with him last week. Neither he nor Logan seem to think he'll be coming home early at this point. This is excellent news.

We of course know this is because of the continuous prayers of friends and family that love him. I received an email from a Senior couple serving in his area. I have reread it several times. It's wonderful to hear even a few words from someone confirming what I have felt in my heart. I thought I'd share them with you all as they give a sense of how he is doing. (the reference to funds is because his bank was bought out, even in India he's affected by the banking crisis)

Dear Sister Sorensen,

We are Elder and Sister Nielsen serving in Vishakhapatnam where your great son, Elder Sorensen, also serves. He called us this morning asking us to help with a problem he is experiencing getting funds. He asked us to write and ask you for the 10-digit number. He cannot get it here.....he needs to get it from the USA.

Elder Sorensen tells us that he is feeling much better as of late. He attributes his improved health to his medication and to the fasting and prayers from family and friends back home. He is a great Elder to work with. He is doing a wonderful job as a missionary. He is always upbeat and good to be around. When he does English class he has the students in the palm of his hand and they learn so much. You can be proud of him! We are too.

Elder and Sister Nielsen

Logan has been put on a regement of different medications and been given some strict dietary restrictions which include no dairy (it's killing him), no spicy food ( he says that's impossible in India so he tells the members he has holes in his stomach so he can't eat their food ) and not to drink any unfiltered water (which he says is impossible because it's at least 107 degrees with 100 percent humidity at ALL times). Howard says his diagnosis will include life long flare ups but he will figure out how to manage it.

Words can not express how grateful our family is for each word of prayer and the fasting that occurs on his behalf. Howard & I have felt that power as it has brought us much peace about his welfare and as these fine missionaries confirm he's still plugging along. He still has 14 months to complete his mission. So keep praying and if it is the Lord's will, Logan will keep serving.

Love to all,

Monday, July 27, 2009

The thirty-sixth week...

The branch had a missionary leave this week. He is going to be serving in the India Bangalore Mission. That is the majority of the pictures from the this week.

All the native elders we have are from the India Bangalore mission. They just can't serve in their home city.

Illness and Special Fast
We all told Logan about the special fast we were planning to participate in. As y'all know he has been sick.

I heard about the fast. It's really cool. I was very excited.

His thoughts on the illness:
If you know what movie this is from I will be very impressed -

"Hang in there, Tommy."
"Oh, I'm hangin'. I'm hanging"

Power Rangers - the end scene when Adam, not Tommy sorry, is biting the big Ivan Ooze on the tail and being flung around like a rag doll. I am always random - but I do love me some Power Rangers.

We have been a bit side tracked because of the sickness, and finding has been rough, but we have some investigators. The biggest thing is that we have 5 people preparing for baptism on August 2nd.

Swathi is having some family problems, but she is rock solid - and she loves church. Her testimony is coming along strong. Another 3 - David, Rahul, and Dilip - need to give up their tea. Vinesh is ready - he is really faithful and wants to change.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The thirty-second week...

I had a great week. We had lots of success. We have 0 baptisms...but no problem - we are working hard and will be rewarded. Just like Aunt Amee said...I leave my mark. I missed sending out my letters a couple of weeks - but i havent gotten anything in a while. Hopefully some will come today! The best thing this week was our power going out last night at 8 pm! Then it came on when I was saying my night prayers! I was very happy. hen it went off again at 9ish - but no problem. My favorite thing about Gajuwaka is the size and the heat - both are HIGH!!! We found 16 new investigators this week. I was way excited. 3 of them are about 300 lbs - which will be interesting if they are baptized. lol. We met some really good christians the other day. They all have bible names, and they all love our message. Better part-they have a calander of Hilary Duff in their home. It does make it hard to teach, but I will be fine. The funniest thing this week was this exchange we had last night. We got bunked a few times. We took the member to this crazy family and found out that they are strong investigators. The daughter is flirty, but they are calling themselves and their children Sorensen and Sakamaki! lol. Their names are Sunitha, Sujatha, David, Rahul, and Dilip. They will be set with a date next week. The Magi family is getting baptized on the 5th! I am going to see them today. We are also going to buy beef! I am learning how to make curry. I am pretty good.

Other investigators
Vijay - he is a stud, but has college on Sundays. Joshua is having some rough times with his Pastor. David Wesley is reading the Book of Mormon and we plan to set him soon. Another family is Indira, Keyshore, Rutnam, Kiran, and Sonia- they have read, not prayed, and not received an answer. We want to set them but they are still confused about our message and about their church. That's about all that are progressing.

How are you and your companion getting along? Is he a hard worker?

We are doing well together. We enjoy our time together. We are talking a lot more. We never had pillow talk, but now we do. He is a hard worker. He is pretty tolerant wth me. Usually I don't like to talk too much, but he doesn't like to talk at all - so it's kinda hard. He is open to me now. I think it's all good.

Logan mentioned a medical procedure last week in an email to dad, but didn't explain or elaborate. Needless to say, Mom and Dad were concerned and bothered! He finally cleared a few things up this week.

They found a few ulcers. They don't know what caused it. I don't think it's the spice - it's been a constant in India. I am taking a few meds right now. The anesthesia doctor was a female and I accidentally made her think I wanted to make out. lol. She even held my hand! lol. I am still kinda losing weight - slowly now! My weight is about 195. I feel bad most all the time - but no worries. I have clean water all around me - in my flat, inside shops, in some homes. I am fine. Don't worry. The area is a desert, very rural, food is the same, and water is a little cleaner - it's less polluted here.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The thirty-first week...

I am a transfer pro. I shifted on Thursday - the new flat is brand new but it's crap. It's my least favorite. My new companion is Elder Sakamaki. He is from America but he is full Japanese. He likes cars, has no girlfriend, he got to the misson at the same time as my last comp, and he likes to teach the whole lesson. I like my new companion. He doesn't like my music, but no problem I will slowly desensitize him. I listened to "Everything" this morning. I got 0 letters this week. (I guess that's his way of saying he'd like to get more mail)

Naturally I am feeling better. I am doing a better job at not drinking unfiltered water. I am taking a TON of pills...only 3...but no problem. My new area reminds me of Htown. It's big and has no boundaries. . It's about 45 minutes travel time and it's not too slumsy. Everyone speaks English. We have a lot of rich people in our area... I mean it's huge! We had an appointment last night at 6 pm. The thermometer inside the house said 102! That's stupid! I am in a desert area now - it's very dusty and very sunny. We don't have the big city pollution to protect us from the sun, so I have been sweating challa! We are about 1 hour out from the Bay of Bengal. It's really funny - we have MOUNTAINS in our area. It's pretty bad. A lot of people live on the mountains - making it a nice sweaty hike to get there. I have hit the pillow hard every night in Gajuwaka! The branch is small. The girls here are way flirty and touchy...enough said.

What do you do about the flirty touchy girls?

I flirty touchy them back. lol.

(notice how Mom just ignores this...)

How many in the branch?

This week was amazing...we had to actually get more chairs and we had people standing - but still only about 50 people! lol. We are building a new sacrament hall upstairs. I don't really touch the girls back. I just giggle and smile. (Thanks for clarifying!)

I just found out that the Magi family, the 4 who were set when I left my last area, are reset for a different date. I was worried about handing them over. I didn't really have faith in the ZL to be able to handle them. Oh well.

Funny Story from this week

We were walking down the road the other day and this kid was chanting some telugu, then all of the sudden he starts singing, "My humps my humps my humps my humps. my lovely lady lumps check it out." I was laughing so hard I almost tinkled my pants!

The thirtieth week...


I am transfering to Gajuwaka, 3rd branch, and I will be leaving behind a name and a fame which cannot be slain. I was loved my my people, and those whom I served. no problem, IT'S ALL GOOD! President gave me permission to come back to 1st branch for the baptisms of Sailu, Veena, Girish, and Lavanya. I talked to the district leader and he said I will for sure be doing the baptisms. I am way excited. When we told them that I too was leaving they began to cry very much. They said they would cry if Castagno left, but they thought I would stay. They said they would come to 3rd branch, but I told them to stay in 1st. They almost brought me to tears. We are going to visit them tonight and teach them about living prophets. I find that people who learn about prophets early in their conversion will stay stronger. I love the people in my area, I will miss them, but I will do my best.

As you can see we had a baptism this week. It was the first in Visak 1st since March 15, 2009. Ravi Prakash and Saraswathi are amazing. They were so excited for their baptism. We went to their home and we found that she would have to have surgery on Sunday morning. Uh oh! We talked to them and they moved it back. It was cool - she wouldn't be baptized for another month if she had the surgery. Currently she is actually being operated on. During the interview they both said, "I want Elder Sorensen to baptize me." It was cool - but our district leader felt that my companion should be able to baptize one of them, even tho its not what they want. Saraswathi was baptized once - by me! It was a trademark Elder Sorensen baptism; she was under the water for 1/2 a second and she was out (she was even lifted off the ground a little bit-its happened in all my baptisms!). Ravi Prakash, however, didn't really seem to be comfortable with Elder Castagno...it took 6 tries! It was Castagno's first time. He almost dropped him all 6 times. Ravi just didn't wanna get his hair wet. It was awesome. After we went to their house, that night, and we had dinner. There we broke the news that both of us would be gone. It was a very sad night. They were my favorite family in Visak 1st branch.

I went to see my new area. The Elder who is there will be taking my area. We have just been showing each other investigators and sweet members - but lemme tell ya, I thought the Visak city was hot, NO CHANCE! Gajuwaka is so much hotter. There is no ocean breeze, there is less pollution to block the sun, and it's more of a desert. It was bad - but I am excited for the new area - I saw the church - it's small - but I will do my best, and I WILL leave the area better than I found it. While we were there we met with 2 potential investigators. They soon became investigators as we shared about the Plan of Salvation. They are Hindu, and life after death really intrigued them. I am very hopeful about these two - they will be able to strengthen each other and help each other develop in the gospel. The only thing that I found to be negative about my new area is the lack of places to eat. I will surely miss the food in 1st branch - hopefully I can rely on the members a little more out there.

I love y'all! I miss you chawla! You are way sweet! I will send you some more pics also!

~Elder Sorensen

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The twenty-ninth week...


One more week down and so many new adventures to report on. This was another good week here in the V-shack. We set Girish, Veena, Sailu, and Lavanya for baptism on June 21st. I am very excited. We had a way spiritual lesson with them and we committed them and they all are ready. The son, Girish, is usually called Lucifer in his home. This is b/c he will never pray or go to church. But in the 7 weeks we have known them he has prayed 3 times and he has been to church 5 times. We told the family his new name is “Michael”. Then, we had to have a lesson about how Lucifer was defeated, and how Michael is a way cool angel. Now, they think that they have to change their “Indian” names to “Christian” names. That is a whole different lesson. Their family is doing well. We were finally able to take a family over there, 6 weeks after we met them. We brought over the YW 1st and 2nd counselors, they just happen to be mother/daughter. They were excellent fellowship; they invited the mother to church - something that we have been unsuccessful in doing. They also were really good teachers and helped us out a lot. To get their family excited about reading the Book of Mormon we told them, “whoever is farthest when we come back will get a big chocolate.” We called them last night and I could hear Lavanya yelling, in the background, “Brother, Veena and Amma are hogging the 2 Telugu copies. It’s not fair.” Even if it’s only for candy, I am happy they are reading.

Sunday night we went to Ravi Prakash’s home. He and Saroswathi are rocking the house. Ravi has a bit of a hard time reading, so Saroswathi reads to him while he listens. It was sweet. They really love each other. I even found out that they thought they had to buy their own baptism clothing, so Saroswathi, a major shopper, bought Ravi a bright white shirt and a shirt to wear afterwards. She is making him buy the white pants though, lol. While we were there we went over the baptism interview questions and they were having a blast. She thought she wasn’t going to be ready, but she is on fire. She knew all the questions, and she even read them from my planner. Ravi wants to serve a mission when he is older. They said that they want a branch in Narciputnam, which is Saroswathi’s village. We have been teaching her nephews and nieces that are in town, and I had a dream that Ravi and Saroswathi would baptize their family and bring them to the gospel and a branch would be formed. It was way cool. Ravi said he had the same dream - out of the mouth of 2 witnesses. They are so prepared to make a difference in their life and the life of the members here in Visakhapatnam. We still have to do all of their paper work and their interview in the 2 days we have with them when we get back from Hyderabad.

Nothing else is too exciting. I had a 13 hour train ride to Hyderabad. It was way fun. I took lots of pics. I will send most of them home. I love Hyderabad. I feel like I am home, and it's always good to see all the people whose lives were changed for the better. I miss them, but I am excited that we will be able to see each other on the other side of the veil.

Thanks for all of the support and love, both to me and for my family. Keep the letters coming.


The twenty-eighth week...


This week I determined that when I return to the U.S. I will not be able to speak English. I had a dream that someone caught Rainbow Trout in a puddle at Wal-Mart. I was starving and he was selling them 3 for 300/-. I tried to bargain with him - it’s a very common thing to do here - but it didn’t work. Now I am afraid when I return I will be bargaining for everything. Plus, I already know I don’t use the same words, phrases, or pronunciation - everyone will think I am a loon. My words are different and my accent would throw people off. Hopefully when I come home I can lose the Indian in me, but still keep that relaxed feeling that comes from being in India.

One thing that I found in my studies this week that made me laugh was 2 Thessalonians 3:1. Churches just misread it. They thought the apostles were saying “Pay” for me, when really they were saying “Pray” for me. That’s been my new head of attack this week. “Does you pastor ask you to pay for his car?”

Santosh was supposed to be baptized this week…notice I say supposed to. He passed his interview, which is good, considering he has investigated the church for 1 year. Elder Nixon came out and said he passed, but then Santosh asked,”Brother is the church in Vijewada?” Apparently he is going to college in 3 months and if he does he won’t be able to attend church. So we are holding off on the baptism until we can get him into a college somewhere that has the true church.

We met with this wonderful family of 10, the father’s name is Keyshore and the mother’s name is Susheela. Both speak amazing English and are very posh. We were teaching their family about the Book of Mormon and they loved it. We came back another time and they told us that something came up and they will be gone for a few months. They loved our message!!!! I was bummed. But, the wife will be coming back and she wants to learn more. So we will have to find a way to teach her while her husband is gone.

Ravi Prakash and Saroswathi are preparing for their baptism. They are very excited. We had a very spiritual lesson with them this week. We reviewed about Word of Wisdom and we also talked about temples. They lost a daughter 17 years ago. They really are excited about being with her again, and I am way excited for them. But that is all for this week. Nothing too exciting, except its getting very hot! I love you all. Thanks for the letter!

Elder Sorensen

The twenty-seventh week...


So this week is going to be short! I found a really cool buffet this week! It’s called the Grand Bay Hotel. It’s the richest place in Vizac and it’s delicious. I was 197 lbs, and in the last 3 days I went up to 204. No problem. I am going to have to cut back - it’s expensive and it’s too fattening. I can’t have my dad beat me in the weight program.

We took over a new area called KGH this week, no one was using it, so we decided to enjoy it. It's full of slums, but we also have a lot of wealth. It's really sweet. We are teaching a neurosurgeon and his wife, who is going to be some kind of surgeon. I don't know what kind. We are having a baptism this week. The brother’s name is Santosh, which means happy, and he has been investigating the church for 1 year. He is a really nice, very smiley brother. He is only 17 and his Hindu father doesn’t want him to “take the baptism,” but we got permission from our mission president to go ahead and baptize him.

We had our movie night/missionary fireside. It was AWESOME! We watched the Prince of Egypt. I missed movies, a little bit, but I gained a stronger testimony of how prophets are just men, especially the ones like Moses who had no predecessor. I also like the burning bush part, when Jehovah scolds Moses. But, quickly right after He reproves him with such an amazing amount of love. I really felt the Spirit a lot. Like the parting of the Red Sea. But, the underlying question in the district has been, “after the parting of the sea…how did they build a calf?!!!!”

That’s about it from my life. I forgot my planner that has all my doings in it. I love you all and thanks for your help and letters! Hugs and kisses from India!

The twenty-sixth week....

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Jamming in Jelly

While watching "100 Greatest Songs of the 80s" today, I was enticed by an advertisement for the new Chicken Burrito at Taco Bell. I convinced my brothers to make a run to the border with me (really it wasn't THAT hard...). When we went out the car Gavin said "There's no where for me to sit!" (Mom had been couponing this morning and stocked up on some cereal....)

We quickly emptied a spot and set off in Grape Jelly (that's the name of my car) to get some cheap Mexican goodness. Upon our return, Mom asked the monkeys to unload the back seat and put all of the cereal in the garage. About 30 minutes later, Mom asked me where the boys were. I looked out the front door to see where they went, only to find them Jamming in Jelly. They had the radio blasting (the windows were up and I could hear it across the street!) and were lip synching along to a couple of our favorite songs. Later on this evening I discovered that not only were they being cute, they were also being silly and had recorded their jam sessions. The results had to be shared with the world. And so without further ado.....the world premier of the first 2 episodes of "Jamming in Jelly" starring B & G......pure Sorensen greatness....

and yes we do have TV in Texas!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The twenty-fifth week...


How was the week? Well, mine was really good. These last few days have been the first in Visak that I have gone to bed thinking, “I enjoyed being a missionary today.” I have been on exchange with Elder Nixon and he has really been able to help me in my companionship. So I think I am excited again.

I am down to 91.2 KGs, which equals to 200.7 lbs. which is good, but if I get any smaller I am going to worry.

A quick summary of our Skype call...

Gavin that was probably the best I have ever heard Viva La Vida. It rocked! Burke I was way happy when I heard your song. Ask everyone I started dancing. But due to circumstances here in India I wasn’t able to hear all of it but I enjoyed it a lot. Hair Bear I really liked seeing you, I have contemplated writing your family a few times, maybe this week. KC I miss ya so! It was good to see ya. I really thought the stories about the old people were the best. Mom where were u? I thought u were sleeping or something. Lol. It was good to see you too. I like how u tried to keep it serious, and thanks for the small hint. Dad I could barely see you. You are disappearing. I’m going to come home and you won’t be there. It was really good to see all of you. Everyone is looking really good. I love you all. Sorry that this one wasn’t more for everyone. I love yall. I cant wait to speak to you again…soon!

Elder Sorensen! On a webcam? Yes - it's our "test call" for Mother's Day. We just thought a few screen shots might be fun.

The twenty-fourth week..

Long story short...I was on fire this week.

The Week That Was,
It was a good week here in V-shack. I think I complained about the weather a little too soon. Let’s just say it’s hotter than it was 2 weeks ago when I began to say it was hot, and it’s only getting hotter. That may have been the reason my companion and I were “on fire” missionaries.

The week began with a wonderful Wednesday night. We went to a member’s home and they prepared what seemed like the best beef curry I have ever had. It was so soft and tender. I ate so much, it came back to hurt me though - I had to waddle home - but I have no regrets. They saw how much I liked it and they are having us over again next week. I am way excited.

This week my companion and I found 3 new families that we are working with. All of them have potential to become members of the church. The best family is Sister Diyamoni. We were finding in the hottest part of the day - our appointments for that time cancelled. We were having 0 success. We found a narrow alley that we felt we should go check. Much to our dismay all we could see were Hindu marked doors. One aunty was nice enough to give us some water, even though I don’t think it was a wise choice to drink. She then told us of a few Christians in the area. We went to the said house to find 4 wonderful Christians - a mother Diyamoni, a son Girish, and 2 daughters Vina and Lavanya. After they showed us how wonderful Lavanya was - she is an international classical dancer - we were finally able to share a message about the Restoration. They have already been taught by the missionaries about 1 year back, but they never went to church. So my companion and I have been wondering how we can get them to church, and help them progress. We went last night and we found out that there are 2 more sisters Raja Laxmi and Siylu. Only 3 have been taught by the missionaries and the other 3 are very interested in American men sharing about religion. We committed them all to church, and we are going over again on Saturday for Lavanya’s birthday. They seemed really excited about church that is once we told them we had communion and we also have Teligu. The son will be the hardest - he has no motivation. On Saturday I intend to take his Billa CD and tell him he can have it back on Sunday when he comes to church.

This last transfer I have put more emphasis on my study of the Book of Mormon. Recently I have been in the war chapters, and I love it. I have been finding weird new ways to compare the battles the Nephites faced to the same that I am facing here. This week I was reading in Alma 60. This is when Moroni rips Pahoran for being a traitor. Moroni then tell Pahoran, in verse 16, where it all began. It started when the king-men wanted to fight against the government. I thought about it a lot and the problems that my companion and I have been facing, and then I thought about how I could apply it to the rest of my life. It's pretty much the same concept. The Nephites were at the hardest part of their war, and they needed help, but the government wasn’t able to send it. The same is with us. If we expect the Lord to send us help we must first fix the inward problems. Just like Moroni and Pahoran did. If we are struggling with our family, our ward, or our companion we must first cleanse the inward vessel. It really helped me to see why my companion and I haven’t had any success since we have been together.

A funny thing that happened this week; we were at an investigator’s house and we were introducing the Book of Mormon. I had a Teligu copy I planned to give them. We were with the branch president and everything was going as planned. I gave them Moroni 10:4-5. As she read I listened for the words I knew, but I couldn’t hear them. No problem I thought. Then the branch president’s wife stopped her and flipped the pages and told me that she was reading Ether 10:4-5. My bad. Lol.

That was my week. It's getting time to go. I love you all. I hope you have a good week.

Elder Sorensen

The twenty-third week...

All I can say, this week, is, “Thank heaven for Gold Bond.” Enough said.

Anyways, the week was good. There have been a lot of new things between our companionship. We have tried this new approach we like to call “bus finding.” We have been having less success knocking on doors so we decided that it would be fun to take a bus from one end of our area to the other. We also did this because it’s been 42 degrees Celsius, or 107 Fahrenheit, and we wanted to stop walking, but also do missionary work. So as we sat we chatted with people, gave them pamphlets and our number. So far we haven’t ran into any bad bus conductors - if we did it would be detrimental to our finding efforts. We get a lot of referrals for other missionaries, and we get a lot for ourselves. About 1 out of 6 ppl we talk to actually give us appointments that go through. It’s been a lot of fun.

Another new thing that we have done this transfer is start working in an area called Kancharapalem, or as I call it “The Konch”. When I got here it was the worst area - the Elders say they have been there forever and never found English. My first night we went back there and met a family of 6! Wonderful! Since then we have had the most success finding and teaching there. There is very little English and there is even less desire, but the Lord has truly blessed us. We now have about 8 investigators that we are working with back there, and a few more that have since been dropped. One we are working with is named Das Kumar. Das is the cousin of another investigator named Prem. Das probably had the most inspired OYM (Open Your Mouth) I have ever seen. Elder Castagno asked, “Brother, how many Jesus Christs are there?” The brother answered correctly - one. And then my companion followed it perfectly, “Then why do we see so many churches?” After we spent some time with Das we found out why this was inspired. He has been asking everyone which church was true. He said he would ask his father when he was younger and his father would tell him, “Satan makes those thoughts. All churches bring you to heaven.” If only it were that easy. Das was so excited to learn about the gospel. He had some doubts about how Joseph Smith could have seen God. He also had doubts about authority. He had a small concern with the Book of Mormon. We resolved those pretty quickly. He saw that many people saw God, and that a bible school doesn’t give someone authority from God. Last night we set him with a date for May 10, 2009. So I will see a baptism, and get to call home! His wife, Pushpa Vatti, speaks no English. We are trying to teach her.

I am a firm believer that there are people we knew before this life. I found another one here in V-shack. His name is John Cena. All Indians love wrestling, and their favourite is John Cena. This little kid ran up to me and said, “Hey, John Cena.” Since then we have been best friends. I was very flattered he chose me as his favourite wrestler. I usually reply to him, “John Cena, Namaste!” their family loves it. I want to take them to lunch one day before I go. I love them. One day I was having a really bad day and he came up and called me John Cena. And I got him to call me Batista. It was amazing. He is one little kid that knows how to make my day better.

This week I have been looking through my conference notes a lot. Someone said, I am not sure who said it, “Build upon your foundation.” That is really good. I have thought about it a lot because the church here is so young. Every member here and now is the foundation. Everyone everywhere has to start their own foundation. Once we have a foundation we cannot stop and be happy with where we are. If we continue to build then we continue to discourage Satan and we protect ourselves from him. It’s really cool to think about. I don't know why this is in the update, but it could be nice for someone. I think its more for my younger audience. Everyone will be a much better missionary if they have a foundation, and they continue to build it. When you know Joseph Smith is a prophet, then you must learn what he taught. Then, you must learn what his predecessors have taught. The gospel, and conversion, is a lifelong thing. It doesn’t come from one prayer, it doesn’t come from one scripture, and it certainly doesn’t come from one experience. I am grateful for my testimony, and all the people who have helped it to be as strong as it is. Thank you for all the support and prayers. I love you all!

Elder Sorensen

The twenty-second week....

Salam alacum~
That is Muslim for “Peace be upon you” and the return is Wallum alacum for “The same peace unto you.” I wish Americans had something cool like the Muslims, not just simply “HI!” Anyway, I figured it was time that I told y’all who my investigators are and not just about them. Sounds good?

Kumar- He is a member referral from a less-active sister his age. He is coming from Hindu background. He is very intelligent and I think he has a crush on the sister who referred him to us. His family is paca Hindus, meaning they are actually Hindus not just by mouth but by actions. He wants to have more faith in Christ, but he isn’t sure how to get it - good thing we are here. He has come to church the last 4 weeks, 2 with Surisha, and 2 without her. He is very committed. He has some family concerns, but we can hopefully resolve those.

Satya Raju and Sarhila- they are a recently married couple who just moved to Visak. They are a member- referral from Ghandi family. They have a small son named Jeffy - he’s the cutest in India and he loves to smile at me and not so much at my companion. They have concerns about rebaptism and why we need the Book Of Mormon. We are working on both right now - we think rebaptism is a cover up for a bigger problem. They have wonderful English and wonderful fellowship at church.

Rama Laxomi- Part member. She is wonderful. She is working really hard on her English, with little or no support from the husband. She reads English perfectly, about like I do, and she understands it, but it gets all lost somewhere in speaking. She loves to make us warm milk - I love it.

That’s about all that I can remember, we have a few more but none are set with baptismal dates. Oh well. This week was a lot of fun. My companion and I are getting along now, my worms are gone, and I only got hit by one motorcycle this week. I love you all and I miss you.

Elder Sorensen

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The twenty-first week...

This will be known as the week of a few losses. First, we had an exchange on Friday, when we went to English class and I met with my companion I saw that none of our investigators were there. James Lowmanth and his wife, Venkat Rutnam, told Elder Castagno that they will only be going to the Allipurum Baptist Church from now on. It's because of the lack of English they know. Oh well. We went over there and they told us again that they don’t want an English church…it hurt. So the Abominable Church of V-Shack won round 3.

On Saturday morning we went to an investigator’s home. Her name is Gayatri - she has been investigating for 4 months - and her mother would not allow her to join the church though. Her mother has been on dialysis and has been a huge road block. But, on Saturday morning we went over and there was a big tent up with people around it. That’s nothing unusual for India - it happens all the time. This time her mother was lying on a bed in the street with flowers covering her body from head to toe. She dies 10 hours before we got there. She didn’t really feel all that different. I think she was prepared for it, and that it hadn’t quite hit her yet.

The next morning we went to pick up Rama Laxmi for church. We got there and she was crying - her uncle had died in the night. She didn’t go to Hyderabad with her brother because she would miss her baptismal date. I was very sad for that one. After church we went over the Plan of Salvation.

Enough sadness, some funny things about the week. We were chased for 10 minutes by a beggar. That’s not too unusual, but this time the guy was quacking and waddling like a penguin. We tried to hide in stores and everything, but he kept following us. He almost got ran over by a bus when I ran in front of it. He was funny. Then, we went to a new investigators home, he is a 7th day preacher…enough said. He brought us into his home and within 5 minutes - 30 aunties and kids were there asking for a prayer - everyone in India asks for a prayer. After 10 minutes of telling him we wouldn’t do an apostate prayer, my companion gave in. It was really weird, because in India everyone chants in the middle of prayers. Some words are in Hindi and some are in Teligu - but they are all saying the same thing, praise. After I lost my patience I just told the man, “Brother, we need to go. We will try and visit you all again.”

I also found out this week why I have been sick for the last 2…I don’t have malaria; I have something better…little friends living inside stomach, eating my chicken biryani. Lol. No problem. I actually think it’s quite funny, even though my mom probably doesn’t. Have you ever had one of those hot days where you think, “It doesn’t matter how much hotter it gets, because once it’s over 100 its all the same?” Well - that’s the kind of week I have been having. It’s so hot here, but I love it.

It’s time to go. I hope everyone is doing well. I miss Texas, but the V-Shack is starting to rock.

Dad- Philmont=Wilmont
Mom- What are you doing at Kroger?
KC- shift bus driver, shift!
Burke- did u want pearls too?
Gavin- send me pics of dad “playing” softball
Chance- can u beat burke @ rock band yet? Its not too hard.
Boudreaux-keep doing you thing man

Monday, March 23, 2009

The eighteenth week...

To Pops:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Eat cake with your hands and have NANA shove some in your mouth then rub it in your face...thats how they do it here!!

nenu premistu nanu!

Well, I found out that I am finally leaving Hyderabad. It was a sad night. It turns out that I was a casualty of the “incident” last weekend. They are removing 2 elders from Hyderabad for safety. Oh well. I am going to Visakhapatnam, the Miami of India. Everyone says it is really beautiful and an amazingly hot place. They also have a beach! But it’s poopy, like all water in India. I really look forward to meeting new friends and making new memories in another wonderful place of the world I would never otherwise have seen. With sweet “hellos” come sorrowful “good byes”. We have been visiting families this week, saying good byes, getting addresses and that whole gig. Abraham family was the hardest to let go. Abraham said he will come to Visac so I can baptize him -funny guy. They took about 8 pages in my journal, all of which were funny and sad. On Sunday night, our regular night at their home, Susheela made us mutton, as you white people call it-goat. Usually Indians only cook the meat. This time was different. I got to eat liver, kidneys, and lungs. They were actually kinda good. I wouldn’t throw them away if I was given that dish again. The kicker was this big clump of yellow stuff on my plate. (Just so everyone is on the same page I never asked what it was, and I never ask what weird looking food is, my companion ALWAYS asks). The yellow was actually intestines. Yummy! I couldn’t eat it all, but then again I did have about 7 feet of goat, you know what, on my plate. I was eating it REALLY slowly. When I ran out of rice I said, “Finished.” Susheela approved and lemme leave. Thank goodness. The next night, my last with them, was a different story. She made awesome Papu, or Dahl, and her daughter made the most amazing chicken curry - besides my mom anyways. When we left they all followed me out…it was sad. Susheela waved good bye and cried as she did so. It’s weird, I met these people 3 months back and now one is my Indian mother and it’s weird to think I am leaving. But the Lord needs me in Visac. I also said goodbye to Undru Suresh, my first convert. He was ok with it. His good bye was, “All the best, safe journeys.” I think he will be in Visac soon so I will see him then.

Last night I got outta the bed to go wash my hands and I turned on the light and I saw a spider the size of my hand. I squealed like a little girl. My companion got the mop so I could kill it from a distance. Sucka. We also caught a nice size gecko and threw it out the door. Why am I telling u about these random animals? On Elder T’s last night in the other flat they caught a bat! They locked the door and left the brand new elder in the room. They got a really cool video. They knocked it down with a towel and grabbed it. It was way cool, I LOVE India! Well the weight is still going down, I am at 203 lbs, yes! Well, that’s about all I can remember. Thanks for everything, from everyone. I love you all. Keep the faith.

Hugs and kisses from Hyderabad.
Elder Sorensen

Another week on lockdown, but not stir crazy yet!

We have been out at the church doing career workshops, and all that. We have been really busy. The time i was in the flat i spent studying, reading letters, and going through former investigators to see who we could use to help the church to progress.

Well it finally happened...I had something you wouldn't even touch. It has to do with goats and eating every single thing in it...I had intestines, liver, lungs, and kidneys...YUMMY!!! Susheela, my new Indian mommy, made it for us - the inards tasted different. I didn't know what it was, and I still haven't asked what anything was if I didn't know what it was, just to stay safe. But Mehan asked....AH!!! It was really stringy and rubbery. I couldn't eat all the intestines so Abraham finished them. The lungs, liver and kidneys were ok. She made up for it when I said good-bye on Monday night. She made awesome papu - dahl. Mamatha made me chicken curry. Wonderful.

Some members of Abraham's family call me Baby Elephant - and Susheela called me a balloon. They still think I am large though - . this week they did tell me I am starting to look skinny. I have lost another 2 pounds.

I have been transfered to Visakhapatnam!!!! Cisac is still in Andrah Pradesh. It's on the east coast - kinda north of H-town. I will only be on the flight for about an hour. I know Visac has really pretty women, beaches, greenery, and missionary work. lol. They have Mako Sharks - those are the 3rd most dangerous. I will actually be flying the most prestigious airline in India. It's called Kingfisher....all of their airline attendants are models, and they treat everyone really nice. My new companion will be Elder Castono. He is from the O.C. Elder Mehan will be made the Zone Leader. I was a casualty of what happened last week. They are taking a companionship out of Hyderabad First.

Elder Toleafoa had his final transfer this week - HOME!

I was sad but we didn't shed tears. We hugged for a while and I didn't look back. I felt it was best. He wrote in my journal. So did Abraham's family and Elder Mehan - all full of tears. I called them the night I got the call...and Susheela said "Why is you going Visac? Come home...stay." I talked to her for a while...I thought she was crying on the phone. The next day at church they all told me that they couldn't go to sleep till 2am because they missed me so much already. Susheela did cry - and she cried when I left for good. She told me, "Papu, eat slowly. Stay long time. EAT!!"

Interesting Fact:
Did you know that Hyderabad is the Pearl City? I didn't know it - but it has the most, natural, and largest selection of pearls anywhere.

The seventeenth week...

Well this week was a lot of fun. We found a way sweet family in Police Colony this week. We found them totally by accident. I was on an exchange and the guards were giving me problems because they didn’t believe me. So I finally got in, due to my friends and my sneaky skills. We were walking to find some new baptism sets and this guy on his bike stops and says “I hear you are looking for Boscar. I’m Boscar.” I didn’t really wanna see Boscar. He is the father of an investigator who hates the missionaries. He was a different Boscar though - lucky for us. He brought us to his home and fed us tons of biscuits - cookies in Indian terms - and gave us a lot of soda. We taught him again this Sunday using my Calvin and Hobbes diagram my sister sent me. Thank Kiki! His wife is way sweet and his family loves us. We don’t plan on setting them for baptism for a while. We need to see how they do with reading the Book Of Mormon.

This week we did have a baptism. Susheela, Madhura, and Mounika Meti (the Abraham family) were all baptized this week. I baptized Susheela and Elder Mehan got the other 2. It was wonderful. I love that family so much. Afterwards we went to their house to celebrate Mounika’s birthday. It was krunk. Krunk is the new word that I am trying to institute in India. It hasn’t really been working. Some little kids say it, but that’s about it. I am working on Susheela. She says it every now and then but doesn’t know the real context to use it.

This week has been pretty eventful. A couple of elders got beaten up by some anti-Christian group. No one was thrown in jail and no one was badly injured. It was more a political thing. Elections are coming up, and the RSS is looking for ways to make Christians look bad. The charges were dropped and everything is ok. Not being able to find will kill the zone. Our zone, Hyderabad, is the most successful in the mission. So we will see how this affects the mission. We were also told that we will have to shift (move) for safety reasons - but the work is still moving on. We had 4 baptisms this week in our district and about 10-15 in the zone. Thank you for all of your prayers…and letters.

I love y’all.
Elder Sorensen

Elder Sorensen had an interesting week to say the least.... a few items of note:
  • 4 people were baptized on Sunday - including Rajini and Madhura, Mounika, Susheela Meti(3 members of the Abraham family)! Elder Sorensen was able to perform the baptism of the Mom - Susheela. Elder Mehan baptized Madhura and Mounika. Elder Toleafoa, Logan's first companion and trainer, was able to baptize Rajini.

It's good that T did Rajini. It's his last Sunday in the mission. He will be home by next thursday.

  • He finally received his Valentine's package the first week of March (just in time for St. Patty's Day!)

I am way happy I got it!! My favorite thing was the tuna. I ate some yesterday. lol. It was yummy. The doritos are hard not to eat all at once. lol. I have gone through all my chips in the flat thinking about them - but nothing compares. Everything was there. I was really happy I opened the Crystal Light thing before I went to church. I thought it was actually Crystal Light - nice packing skills. (The Crystal Light containers were filled with individual packets of mayo and relish to make tuna!)Drink packets were there yes. They were nice. lol Thank you. I have worn all but 2 of the ties, but I have only been able to wear them for short times because of the new rules. Oh well. I like them. (Thanks Pops and Nana!)

  • The majority of the week was spent in lockdown in the flat due to violence in the area.

Well about the heat - it's only March and it's 109. How un-fun! We actually are on lock down because of some anti-Christian people beating up Elders about 5 minutes from my area. Hopefully my mom doesnt read this. They beat one and the other got away - so no worries. We were actually supposed to be with them that day but changed our minds. Now we are wearing color shirts, not wearing ties, not wearing tags, and we are not finding - so it sounds like a normal mission right? lol. It's been all fun. The last 4 days I have been stuck inside.

They are allowed to choose if they want to wear white or colored shirts - The color makes us seem more like students and not Christian. I like the color...I feel safer especially since we are staying away from certain areas for a while.

Mom asked about the one Elder who "got away" and if he would get in trouble for leaving his companion since they are supposed to stay together.

When you are getting attacked like that it's better for one to stay and get beat while the other gets help. You never leave your companion but he won't be going home early for this one. Even though he ran to the closest members home...which happens to be all older women. Everything is changed for us. We cannot find for 2 weeks - and it's 2 weeks at minimum. President is still thinking about extending it. All I keep thinking is "No unhallowed hand can stop the work." It helps to know that.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The sixteenth week...

I had my first baptism (in the mission) this week!!!! (he baptized Gavin and Hanna when he was a Priest). I didn't really see it coming.

Logan and his companion found Suresh their second week together.

He actually found us. He is the best we have ever taught at keeping commitments - and he is way cool.

Suresh asked Logan to perform the ordinance.

The font was cold - and he was way happy and so was I.

In other news...

I am also baptizing Rajini this week. I kept him a secret also. I am also baptizing some of the Abraham Family.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The fourteenth week...


Well it’s been another exciting week on Mosque lane - nothing too exciting. We have 8 baptisms lined up for the first 3 weeks of March. We set Dinesh and Rajesh last night, I got to do the honours. They were my first successful set, so I feel really god about them. We had to push back the Abraham family. He couldn’t give up tea, or make it to church, but the daughters and mother are still coming and have a date for the 8th. The last 2 days have been spent building our finding pool. Last week we had an all time low of 6 new investigators for the week. So we are busting our hump, check it out, to get some solid people baptized. We walked for about 8 hours in the last 2 days with no avail. We are finding more and more anti-Christ’s, but less people who want to know about Jesus. It’s kinda frustrating when people yell at you to go to hell. But I am sure everyone gets that on their mission. No worries.

We also set Simon, Yohan’s brother, for baptism on March 8th. We dropped him a few weeks back thinking he was just a punk, but it turns out he really had no time. He likes us and he has said that he knows the Book of Mormon is true. Abel
(our actor friend from last week) was off at some “rich people meeting with Parliament” this week so we didn’t get to see him - but we are planning for him tomorrow. He said he will get us something really nice to eat. I trust his judgment.

On Sunday I was told that I should marry a Tamilian woman. We had mother Stella feed us this week and it was da bomb. The next day she said “Marry a Tamilian woman.” Lol. So we also made plans to go back this week. My companion is hurrying me. I love you all. Thanks for all the supoort. Sorry this update is short.

I look forward to hearing from y’all.
Elder Sorensen

The thirteenth week

Holla Party People!

Well as Elder Mehan and I always say, “Another one bites the dust!” This week is gone and more wonderful experiences were there. Elder Mehan had it rough the beginning of this week. He got some really bad motions and our Monday and Tuesday mornings were both shot till about noon. But we still have 5 new, solid, investigators already. One brother we met last week lives in Jubilee Hills. It’s a part of our area that we just started to develop. It’s the Beverly Hills of Hyderabad. We actually got lost and saw HUGE houses. So we went that way. People gave us weird looks but hey, we are Americans in India. I pointed out his start, indicating that he’s Christian and has a higher likelihood of talking to us instead of killing us, and we went up to his door. His servant ran and got permission to let us in. When we went in, his entourage was playing UNO on the downstairs table. He had 2 other floors and another house backside. We went to the 3rd floor in house number one to teach him. When we went upstairs he was chillin’ with his public relations guy. We taught him the first lesson. He pretty much has the Bible memorized. He accepted the Book of Mormon, but when we went back he was sick and didn’t read. I was bummed. He gave us another ride though. He has a huge SUV with leather seats and A/C. It’s the small things in life that I miss about the good ole U.S. of A.

We have been walking a lot this week. The first morning Dwight got sick he was leaning back in his chair, and when he came down he landed on his camera. Not good. So we have been trying to save his money for a camera. It has been going good so far. The more we walk the more we find. The other night some Muslim guy started bombarding me with questions about my perception of Jesus. I bore testimony that Jesus is the Christ and that he came down to be the Savior of the world. This guy, the first Muslim I have ever really talked to, listened then started quoting the Bible and how things in the Bible say there is no Christ and that I am going to hell because Jesus was a Muslim. Lol. All I really wanted was a Qu-ran. So when he didn’t have one I bore testimony again and left. I learned some interesting things from him though. Their view of Allah is very different from our view of God; I thought they were the same. They say Allah has no children…so we are all randomly here but will somehow live with him again.

Anyways Michael Jackson is still weird - other than that nothing too exciting. Abraham and Cucila will probably be baptized in mid-March - neither can seem to give up tea fully, but the daughters and their one son will still be taking on February 22, 2009; which is very good. Well all is well in India. It’s time to go. I hope everyone is having a good Valentine’s week. They love it here in India. Thanks for all the support to me and my family.

Much appreciated,
Elder Sorensen

The twelfth week

Dear Adoring Fans,

Another good week in Hyderabad - nothing too exciting. This week I became really grateful that we have the FULNESS of the gospel. When I go out, I always see - on Hindu cars - this symbol “L” except it looks exactly like the one we have. It's not really an L, but they all have it so it's kinda weird. And it’s weird when Muslims see our garment line and they ask what it is…and they say, “Oh yeah? We wear garments too.” Interesting, huh?

We taught a family this week that had a poster on their wall. Nothing out of the ordinary for India, except it took the whole wall. It was a picture of Jesus on the cross. He was wiping away the tears of the other thief. The thief was bound by a serpent that took up the whole poster, and it came out of an apple tree near to the thief. As Jesus’ blood dripped the serpent was cut and the thief was relieved. Interesting, huh? The title was “The love will free you.” Some reverend saw a revelation and he turned it into that poster. That family is amazing. They sang an amazing Teligu song after we sang "Families Can Be Together Forever." They really helped to invite the Spirit. This family has 5 daughters. The father, after our lesson, said “I have 5 daughters, and I have always prayed for a son. Today God sent me 2. Thank you so much.” The great thing about this is the mother is the head of the house - something you will never see in India. She’s the pastoress of their church - so she pretty much wears the pants and brings home the mutton - but she loves us too and invited us back. It’ll take them a long time to accept the gospel though. Some people you can just tell. No one else is really wonderful, or life changing, but we will get there.

The excitement to Abraham’s family being baptized is almost too much. Their whole family is so excited. One of their children, the only boy, said, “I like your new haircut. You look like a hero (Indian for actor). You’re my favourite hero. You look like James Bond.” You wanna know who was smiling really big after that? Lol, Me! They fed us copious amounts of food - as Elder Dansie likes to put it. Like they always do - they love to talk and learn. So it was a wonderful week.

Nothing too exciting has happened. I got hit by another guy on a bike - but this time he fell off. So I helped him up and told him to be more careful. Someone laughed and said something about a big American. So I can only assume they were making fun of their friend for running into the wrong American. Lol.

Well…thanks for all the support. I love y’all. Keep up the good work. Support the missionaries.

Elder Sorensen

Monday, February 9, 2009

Comments Anyone??

In talking to friends and family this weekend, I realize not everyone knows that Logan get to read the comments on the blog. Each week Kaycee copies the comments into an email that Logan can read. As you can imagine he LOVES ANY word from home.

So comment away!!!

Getting mail to India can be tricky.Of course getting mail from India is crazy too. It seems to be hit or miss. We got 4 weeks worth of letters from him in one week. He is doing a fantastic job writing home each week. I am grateful Pres. Roberts gave him that counsel.This Mom loves ANY WORD from her boy. It's funny though because he often tells the boys,"Now don't tell Mom this BUT...". It's usually followed by some gross boy talk of the details of just how sick he was or he saw a rat or someone fed him rice a mouse was just eating in the corner or we were locked in the flat all day because some Muslims bombed a Hindu temple around the corner. Stuff like that.

The thing about all the don't tell Moms is I appreciate his protecting me. It's sweet, afterall. But the more I read about his experiences, how much he LOVES India, how much he LOVES missionary work and can sense through the Spirit how much his testimony is growing the more I don't mind the don't tell Mom events. My testimony of him being exactly where he needs to be in strengthened every week. Don't get me wrong. I still miss him more than words can express. It's just a wonderful tender mercy of the Lord that I fully recognize he's in the Lord's hands even with all the "don't tell moms".

As a side note, I thought you might like to hear about our very normal weekend:

The boys cleaned the church Saturday morning with Howard. Then they had a Primary activity.

We got to attend Bryce's baptism. That was a sweet memory to watch him walk to the font and realize he may not have red hair but he walks just like his Dad. Faren's talk was sweet and personal. I liked it. It made me look forward to grandchildren.

Brayden gave me lots of hugs. I love that redheaded boy. He's funny.

I got to visit with Christy and hold Parker. He too is an excellent snuggler. I LOVE his fat rolls but boy is he solid. Reid & Jewel were here too.Our visit wasn't long enough with either.

KC and Chance ran to Chloe's baptism where KC played the piano.The rest of us missed it. We were still at Bryce's.

Adee sat on my lap in Sacrament meeting. She was burning up with fever so Kaycee came and took her home. McKay gave Howard & I a really cute smile.

I bumbled the piano accompaniment at the baptism and in Primary (like I said a normal weekend).

Howard and I had church meetings Sunday. Burke and Gavin were goofing off in Sacrament meeting.

I went coupon shopping and got FREE food. Gotta love FREE food.

Howard took me to buy DMC floss at Hobby Lobby. (There's actually NOTHING normal about that. He HATES craft stores) But he was REALLY cute standing in the aisle holding all my floss and standing in line. Gotta LOVE a man that tolerates my hobbies!!! Oh and he went to the grocery store with me. Double score. He should get an extra kiss for that!!

I studied for a Seminary lesson.

Howard, Kaycee,Burke & Gavin went to see Taken with Bryan and Adam. Burke and Gavin sure LOVE spending time with Bryan and Adam especially when Bryan drives.They sort of follow them around like puppies. Which is great in my opinion. I appreciate every good example they have in their lives. Plus they really miss Logan. I think their time with B&A helps.

We got to visit with Cindy & Faren last night. Poor Cindy is in 2 boots, a broken ankle and foot. That stinks.

We ate on the run and didn't see KC at all on Sunday.

Just a normal weekend or running here and there filled with family, church and life.Notice there wasn't any mention of house work. Now you know what's on tap for today, Monday.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The eleventh week...

Return to Excellence

Holla all my people. Hello to all my friends in the ward serving in God's Army. I'd like to extend a special welcome to the newest member Elder B. Wilson. OK, on to the amazing stuff. This was the week to end all weeks. It was amazing.

This week I truly fell in love with missionary work. The family in the pic below is the Abraham family.
They have 8 members. We set 6 of them for baptism February 22, 2009. Awesome! We have been teaching them this whole transfer, 6 weeks. Their English is less, and they have been begging us for baptism. We decided that it would be a good idea to give them a date and it was amazing!

We went to their house for Republic Day - that's why a grown man is feeding me cake. It's a weird Indian tradition - but I love it. The cake was amazing too. The family asked that Dwight and I would do the baptisms. So of course I accepted.

Saturday we found an atheist. He was amazing. His father was there. And Peter, that father, is a body guard for the CMs of India. He is personally over Rajasekhar Reddy, the CM for Andhra Pradesh, the state which I am currently in. Suren, the son, wasn't believing in God. He said that something was telling his soul if it was right or wrong, but he didn't know what it was. He hadn't come to church before, and he had never prayed. After we taught the Restoration, we asked Suren to pray. He gave an awesome prayer. Then on Sunday he came to church for all 3 hours and stayed for a baptism. It was wonderful. Since Saturday he has shown us 4 or 5 wonderful families. Sunday we have a baptism for Suresh which we think we may push back so we can give him more time. He's ready; we just don't want to push it.

The kg count is down; 96KG (210 lbs). That's how big I was starting my freshman year. But it's all good. I love this weight. We also have a few other families we are working with. Malar family-they just moved here from Tamil Nadu and stay next to a recent convert. The mother and grandmother are the "only ones liking Jesus" in the family. The son is only 7 and the father is always ledu - not there - and the grandfather is also atheist. The missionary work is fun here in India. Thank you for all your encouragement and support. Like Jensen always says "More letters are much appreciated." I love y'all!

Elder Sorensen