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, January 20, 2010

January 20, 2010 Update


Apparently there was an Elder Sorensen who served in this very same branch about 12 years ago. This week at church a bunch of the members asked me if I was his brother or some sort of relation. He baptized about half of the branch at that time. There are a lot of old time members - people who have been members for about 12-20 years. It reminds me a lot of Hyderabad, except there isn’t as many faithful members here. A lot of them have been inactive for 10 of those 20 years. But, now they are all doing fine and Chennai is getting a building - something that Hyderabad and Rajahmundry have had for years. The longer I stay in Chennai the more I come to realize that my mission will end. I am kind of sad, but excited at the same time. I know it has to end, but I’m kind of at that point where I can see the finish line. It is still far away, but something about being here makes me think I will actually have to leave.

One thing that I noticed about my area in Chennai is that it has over 2 million people. This is now my fourth area - out of five - to have more than 2 million people living in it. President Nichols said, on our first day in India, “Some of you may have times when you will be in an area that has more than 1.5 million people. That is the average size of a mission in the States. Then, some of you will be put in areas that have more than 2 million people living in them. That is bigger than any area of any mission in the states.” That is pretty neat to think about. It's very hard, considering the restrictions that come from the Hindus and the lack of English, but Heavenly Father seems to always have people prepared. The ways are not always the same, but He does prepare people. President Nichols also reminded us a few zone conferences ago that “No one who lives in your area can truly come unto Jesus Christ and follow the gospel of Jesus Christ, except through you! If anyone wants to live in the kingdom of God, if anyone wants to live with God, if anyone wants to be with God, then it has to be through you.” He usually does this to drive home the point that we need to remember our purpose and work hard.

We set a new mission goal for 600 convert baptisms. President Nichols said this is because he has such great faith in such great elders. We haven’t had 600 baptisms in this mission since the time when Bangalore and Delhi split into 2 missions. We haven’t had any American missionaries come for about 9 months and we only have 6 Indian missionaries who have come since that time. Remember what President Monson asked us to do, “Pray for areas in which our missionary efforts are limited, or restricted.”

I love you all! I am very grateful to be serving the Lord. I know He is a part of it. I know HE loves His children in every part of the world. I love the Gospel, and I am so grateful for it. Thank you for you letters, and all you support, and thank you for making fun of my Indian accent.

Elder Sorensen

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