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, October 11, 2010

August 23, 2010 Update


Well, this week was much better than last week. We went finding a lot and we were very blessed for our diligence, and our faith. We started off the week by not finding anyone, until Thursday when we counted 2 part members. Then on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday we found 12 new investigators. We worked really hard and we talked to as many people as we could, considering our restrictions. And we had 3 of our new investigators come to church. It’s always really good when people come their first week. All together we had 6 investigators at sacrament meeting. The three that weren’t new have been coming for about 2-3 months (Kavitha, Romya, and Giri Babu).

One new investigator family lives opposite to our branch president, but he thought it wouldn’t be good to introduce us, and the daughter is also the team manager at the McDonald’s we visit each week. Her name is Priya and she has been letting us come behind the counter, take orders, make burgers, and do just about everything we want to at McDonalds. Her family is Pentecostal, and don’t care about being baptized twice, because they have been! We met them last night and they liked the message and were excited to pray about the message of the restoration. Their biggest concern, which is HUGE in their eyes, is the fact that we don’t say "Praise the Lord" and stotrum when we pray and when we meet. We talked about how we praise God in our actions, and not words. They seemed to accept that and be quiet. But, if they end up hating our guts it could be really bad because we might get some spit in our burger...lol.

Today, since my companion is being transferred, we are going to go bowling at India’s largest mall. That sounds fun. I don’t really think it’s necessary, or a great idea, but he really wants to go. I hear they have a Taco Bell...with unlimited refills. It’s the small stuff in life, when you are in India.

Kavitha and Romya are doing well. We have been teaching them and their family members English once a week and they are loving it. When they learned that they would be staying here for this big Hindu festival they were excited that they would be able to come to church. They have both, for a second time, told us that they believe in Jesus Christ and that they should follow him. They are very nice, and want to be baptized, but their older sister is not allowing it. I think that’s dumb because she has no say in this anyways. We are trying to help them understand what it really means to become Christian, and now it will be a different culture than that of the Hindu society. Their family members, who are members, are being very helpful. I love the Ramakrishna family.

That’s about it for this week. Next week I will tell you about an Australian family that we are teaching...stay tuned...and on the edge of your seats. I love you all. Hugs and kisses from India!

Elder Sorensen

August 16, 2010 Update


Well, nothing much has happened since Wednesday...and the email guy is trying to kick me out. lol.

This week I have been praying for more ways to serve the people of India. I have seen that as I have done this, Heavenly Father has been putting people who need a helping hand in my path. Just the other day while we were walking a little girl crashed her cycle into a ditch...not like y’all think but a small 18 inch deep ditch. She busted up her elbows and shins, but was ok. When she saw me she stopped crying, maybe out of fear. I helped her pick up the cycle and she was off without a word, except "Thank you." Another little girl was trying to put up her kick stand, but the bike kept falling, and I know that she had to get groceries, so I held her bike for her. When she came out she said thank you, and was off. I saw her later that night and she gave me a chocolate. I didn’t eat it, because I cannot have milk, but I did thank her when I took it. I have loved being in the service of my fellow man (
Mosiah 2:17).

I have also been thinking a lot about Pres. Uchtdorf's talk
"You are My Hands" as member of His true Church we shouldn’t be spectators in showing love, we should be doing it. Just as did Jesus Christ when He lived on the earth. I am grateful for the Restored Gospel and the opportunity which I have to preach the Gospel. I love my Savior and my family. Have a great week.

Elder Sorensen

Thursday, October 7, 2010

August 4, 2010 Update

This is what Pavani SMS’d (txt'd) us on the morning after we had an amazing lesson with her family about temples and how are families can be together forever. Afterwards we all got on our knees and prayed to know if it’s true. Here it is:

"Hey Elders, I will be forever grateful to you for your example and for yesterday's experience. As I was pondering I had a deeper sense of gratitude for our Father in Heaven, temple, and for eternal life. Thank you! Thank you so much for everything. I am fortunate to have you both meet in this life. I wish my son grows up to be a grate missionary like you both, and my husband."

Now do you see why I love her so much?


Cool starting story this week. Last night we met with one of our members from Ivory Coast, Africa. He said that he had some referrals for us. I have never taught black people, so I was way excited. The lesson was ok, nothing special. But in the end we asked Apo to pray. He asked if he could do it in French, and we both said ok. It was interesting to think about. I have heard people pray in Hindi, Sanskrit, Arabic, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kanada, Talangana, Bengali, English, and now French. Not many missions can say that.

A few weeks ago President Funk and the assistants came to our branch for church, and they came to a class that I was teaching. I put everyone into groups and had them teach about the lesson. P. Funk was on the back row and I put him, and his assistants, with 3 other members and I called it the power row. When I noticed what I did everyone laughed. I realized that no one in this group spoke English. It was so funny when they tried to teach. The assistants were good sports about it. Another funny thing, we had an investigator who was so stuck on the Trinity, usually people just leave it, but he was trying to convince us. He gave the example, after he had been proven wrong about 15 times, and after much thought, his brain somehow managed to say, "God and Jesus are like and egg, but only an egg that has been scrambled." Sounds like someone ran outta truth and began to make up crazy nonsense. I wanted to say, "You're talking gibberish."

This Saturday is Ashwini's baptism, and she is so excited for it. We have been seeing her and her family almost every day. We have even been doing family home evenings with them on Sunday nights, b/c they keep bringing investigators for us to teach. Her son, Rishi, is 5 years old and said the opening prayer. He said something profound, and will stick with me while I am raising my kids, "Bless the Elders. Help me to go on mission. Bless my family. Help me to go to temple." Pavani and Suresh are doing a great job. Suresh is in the Branch Presidency, and said, at the last PEC meeting, "I speak for the branch when I say that we haven’t had Elders as good as these since I have been a member. We have never felt more love from the Elders, as a branch. Thank you for your service." Then, on Sunday, he called his wife up to the stand and bore his testimony with her about missionary work. She recited the 10 commandments to him, after we had our movie night this week (we watched The Prince of Egypt) and he was amazed. "Where did you learn that?" Her response, "The elders." She recited them on the stand and did the hand motions that we taught her. I love their family so much. They have been a great help as we have taught Ashwini.

Another wonderful family that we are working with is Suriyha Kantharaj and his family. His wife Rozy has cancer, and when she saw us walking down the road she chased us down. We met them once in passing. They came to church for a baby blessing, but we didn’t remember them until we saw Suriyha...he has a skin pigment problem. We have been teaching them for one week and they are doing awesome. Suriyha read 3 Nephi 11 and when we asked how he felt about it he said, "I know you are gonna ask about baptism. I will be baptized, just let me know that this is the right church." He is Catholic and his family convertered to Pentecostal. He has 2 sons, and both are intelligent. One son came to church this Sunday with Suriyha. When I asked where was everyone else he said, "Rozy is really sick from chemo, and my younger son took her to the hospital. We remembered our promise to come to church." Wow. He told the branch president that he wouldn’t miss a Sunday, and that all four of his family members will come next week. We are meeting them tonight and we will be setting them for September 4th.

I love you all. Thank you so much for your support and love. I hope everyone is doing well. Stay true to the faith. Hugs and kisses.

Elder Sorensen

July 28, 2010 Update


Last Monday and Tuesday were very uneventful, and I feared that the rest of our week would turn out to be less than what we thought, but after Wednesday the whole week was amazing. On Wednesday night we visited with Ashwini and taught her about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She was very in tune with the Spirit and is very excited about her baptism next week. We then visited her on Friday and taught about Baptism and Confirmation, meaning the promises that happen when we are baptized and confirmed, and it was a phenomenal lesson. We taught about how we are cleaned from our sins and how that is the only way to live with our families after this life. Kavitha lost her father a year back and is really interested that she can see him again. But Kavitha hasn’t prayed to know what she should do to see her father again, or if it is true. Right before we went home that night we stopped by and told them that we wanted to share another small message. All we did was have Pavani bear AMAZING testimony about temples; she and her husband are sealed. After that we all got on our knees and asked Heavenly Father is it was possible to live without families after we die. One by one we all said a prayer, and the Spirit continued to grow. It was a great testimony strengthener for me, and I am forever grateful for the experience we had that night. Kavitha said that she did feel like it was possible, and that she wants it.

On Saturday we all went out to the Pioneer Day activity and Ashwini made me chipathis and jam b/c she knew that the tiffin, or breakfast, provided would have milk in it. She is way too nice. On Monday we taught them about the Restoration, and how everything we do in life needs to have power and authority. Pavani was doing the translation and asked, "How do you say 'power and authority' in Telugu?" Now, she is from Hyderabad, so this was a huge compliment for me. I said, as I pumped my left fist, "SHAKTI" and as I pumped my right fist, "ADIKADUM.", they got a real kick out of it and I was happy that I could speak some Telugu still. At the end we asked Kavitha to be baptized. She said that she wants to stay Hindu, but her family members said they will fix that. Hopefully she will overcome whatever fear and join the fold of God. Her uncle served a mission and he promised us that he will get to the bottom of it.

Another great lesson this week was when we taught Dean and Beth. I dunno if I have told y'all about them, but they are a young married couple who just moved into our area. Dean is a comic book artist, and he is one of 4 people in a country of 1.2 billion people who can do what he does. When we shared about the Restoration last week they were so excited to come to church and learn more about what a prophet, "not some man who says he understands the scriptures" has to say. We brought Pavani over yesterday and she did amazing. She asked them if they needed to have someone show them the church. They said they would be there and would like to sit with her. Dean and Beth both said that they believe the Book of Mormon is true, and are excited to know more about it. Beth even said, "The BofM is better than the Bible b/c it helps us apply things to our lives." I have never had a Catholic tell me that. lol. Dean said, "It never made sense to me that the Bible stopped; it shouldn’t have. The religion didn’t, so why should scripture?" They are wonderful. Dean has some legal issues that he needs to get straightened out and then everything will be well for their baptism.

I love you guys. I am excited to be a missionary. Never have I enjoyed my life so much, than I have in these last 2 years. It has been a great blessing to serve in the Lord's vineyard. I know the Church is true, and that the Book of Mormon was translated by Joseph Smith. I am grateful for my Heavenly Father and His love for me. I love the Savior. Hugs and kisses!

Elder Sorensen

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

October 4, 2010 Update



Well, I am probably the only person who HASN’T seen conference yet, but that is ok because I can learn patience. The only thing I can think about is the Deville family. For being an inactive Bishop, Brad has some of the deepest and most wonderful things to say. The other night while we were at the dinner table Brad went to get the ice cream and I said, "YES! There's always room for ice cream!" and then he made a sweet analogy about a jar, big rocks, little rocks, and sand. You can fill the whole jar with sand, but then that’s all you have. You can fill most of the jar with small rocks, and some sand, but the best thing to do is fill it with big rocks, then smaller ones, and then sand. The analogy he made was the big rocks are the important things in your life; family, Church, etc. The small rocks are friends, sports, etc. "And the sand", he said, "Is stuff that you can really do without, like Americans." Josh really liked the analogy.

The other day we found out that Aaron and his buddies bought a car, without telling their parents. This has been a big topic of discussion amongst the Ex-Pats. After Josh's baptism the family had to change because all the other parents were getting together to decide the fate of this car. Well, Marian comes out in a nice outfit and Brad comes out in shorts and a "Highway to Hell" T-shirt. All we could do was laugh. He said, "Well, it seemed like a good idea this morning."

While I was speaking to Marian at the baptism she was just in AWE! She couldn’t help but smile. She mentioned that it has been different than any of her other kids' baptisms. I have been pushing her to stop drinking and prepare to get a temple recommend, that way she can take her boys to the temple at Christmas time. Aaron looked like a Stripling Warrior while he got in the water and baptized Josh. The experience was unlike any I have had on my mission. I cannot describe how happy I was. I hugged them both when they got out, even though my suit got wet.

I love y'all. Thank you for your support an encouragement. Hugs and kisses from India!

Elder Sorensen