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

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.