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, May 6, 2009

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

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