Monday, April 23, 2018

Elder Sorenson - April 23, 2018

Hi Everyone!

This week I was able to study Mosiah 2 and it was very interesting. All of the things I learned are so valuable and precious to me. At first, verse 17 in Mosiah 2 states that when I am in the service of my fellow beings, I am only in the service of my God. It is completely true, but there is another thing that is super important. We have to serve with our WHOLE SOUL, without this, it says we would be "unprofitable servants" which means, really, the work we give to others without putting our whole souls into it, goes undone and doesn't help us grow!

Where do I want to go with this? It says in verse 21, that we shouldn't do things according to our own will, or "withhold our whole soul in the service of God". Why? Verse 23. He gave us and granted us this life! We are "indebted unto Him!" We all have a loving Heavenly Father who gave us a life to prepare and progress in this Gospel. He loves each and every one of us. He sent His Son to pay and die for our sins. His Son gave His WHOLE SOUL, His WHOLE LIFE in the service of helping others. As it says in verse 24, "Ye are still indebted until Him, and ARE, and WILL BE, FOREVER AND EVER; therefore, of what have ye to boast?" We are nothing. We are life-long debtors for what the Lord has done and still does for us. I, for one, have lost myself in this work and I have realized, I am just His servant not only for these 2 years, but for the read of my life. I will forever be in debt with my loving Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. I love Them with all of my heart and soul.

I love all of you and this time on the mission is flying by and I do not want it to end. I invite all of you to lose yourself in the Lord's work, give all of your soul and remember to always be humble and remember the Light of Christ in your life.

***I was asked by my President to put together a choir for the District Conference, The song we sang was the Army of Helaman. Below are the lyrics to the song:

We have been born, as Nephi of old,
To goodly parents who love the Lord.
We have been taught, and we understand,
That we must do as the Lord commands.
 
We are as the army of Helaman.
We have been taught in our youth.
And we will be the Lord’s missionaries
To bring the world his truth.
 
We have been saved for these latter days
To build the kingdom in righteous ways.
We hear the words our prophet declares:
“Let each who’s worthy go forth and share.”
 
We are as the army of Helaman.
We have been taught in our youth.
And we will be the Lord’s missionaries
To bring the world his truth.
 
We know his plan, and we will prepare,
Increase our knowledge through study and prayer.
Daily we’ll learn until we are called
To take the gospel to all the world.
 
We are as the army of Helaman.
We have been taught in our youth.
And we will be the Lord’s missionaries
To bring the world his truth.
To bring the world his truth.

I included the words to the song we sang at the District Conference in this week's letter to remind all of us to always, "Bring the world His truth."

Love Always,

Elder Sorenson













 

Elder Sorenson - April 16, 2018

Hi Everyone!

"Learn of me, and listen to my words: walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me. " I hope that all of you have had a great week and have felt the presence of the Lord in your life. I wanted to share with you this week how much peace I have felt walking in the meekness of the Spirit these past 18 1/2 months. We can only have a feeling of peace if we follow His commandments. We will receive peace as a river and our righteousness as the waves of the sea. (1 Nephi 20:18).

Really, though, there hasn't been a moment during this mission where I haven't felt peace. Obviously, I have felt discouragement, sadness, and sometimes anger for reasons like the investigators not fulfilling their commitment, a non-supporting ward, or maybe even disobedience of other missionaries. But there is a very well-known song that helps me through it. "I get knocked down, but I get up again! You're never gonna bring me down!"

The reason I sing this verse is because it is 100% true! We need to be positive and pick ourselves up every single day. Every single hardship is for a reason and really, they are placed in our lives to grow and learn from them. I love this Gospel. I love, love, love, love, love, it! The Book of Mormon is the most perfect book here on earth. Russell M. Nelson is the Prophet of God and helps us feel the peace and love of our Savior in our own lives. The key ingredient to find peace in the world is faith. "Peace, peace be unto you, because of your faith in my well Beloved, who was from the foundation of the world."

So please have faith and find peace but always remember that there is PEACE IN CHRIST.  He gives us hope when hope is gone. He gives us strength when we can't go on. He gives us shelter in the storms of life. When there's no peace on earth, there is peace in Christ.

Love Always,

Elder Sorenson

When there is nobody to teach in the morning, there is always the Ecuadorian Ronald McDonald to teach while waiting for our Papi-pollo!!

My companion is Mexican, so that means taco nights once a week!

Outlook of the majority of Loja, the climb (subida - I forgot how to say that in English) killed me, but the pictures were worth it!


Outlook of the majority of Loja, the climb killed me, but the pictures were worth it!

Outlook of the majority of Loja, the climb killed me, but the pictures were worth it!

Outlook of the majority of Loja, the climb killed me, but the pictures were worth it!


Monday, April 9, 2018

Elder Sorenson - April 9, 2018

Hi Everyone!
I know in this mission I am able to witness miracles every single day if I am obedient and working hard. What has been hard for me to realize is that the miracles don’t just come to me, but also to my entire family. (D&C 118:3 - Let the residue continue to preach from that hour, and if they will do this in all lowliness of heart, in meekness and humility, and long-suffering, I, the Lord, give unto them a promise that I will provide for their families; and an effectual door shall be opened for them, from henceforth.)
I was able to witness (via Skype) the biggest miracle of all on Saturday. One of my best friends and biggest role models got baptized and I was able to Skype to watch the service! Even though I might been 2,000+ miles, I sure could feel the Holy Ghost (D&C 50: 13-14, 17-22) and I know that the heavens were celebrating big time! I know this is the true church, and really to be baptized, is the best decision a person can ever make! I also can’t express how much gratitude I have for those who have played a role in Eric’s life and the help you provided him in his conversion. 
I am doing great in this amazing city of Loja! We have a few investigators who are amazing and they are progressing in the gospel beautifully! There is a young women named Dominique and she is going to be baptized on the 21st of April! We are all so excited for her and it is just so amazing to see the progress of people when they get to know the church even more. The story of this investigator is super cool. She was invited to church and she went by herself but didn’t like it that much because everything was super new to her. She wasn’t planning on going back but the same friend invited her to the Mexican Night and she LOVED it! From then on, she became more committed to reading and attending church. The first visit, we left her with a Book of Mormon. We came back 2 days later and she has read all of 1st Nephi. We went back a few days later and she was done reading 2nd Nephi! Every single visit we have, she surprises us more and more. She reads every day, comes to church and this past week, she told us that she knows that the Book of Mormon is true and that Russell M. Neilsen is the Prophet on the earth! She was able to attend conference and witnessed the amazing Solemn Assembly that took place. I have been shocked by how much change she has done to be closer to her Heavenly Father and also the decision she has made to be baptized. This field is white and ready to harvest! 
I love all of you and just want you to know that MIRACLES EXIST AND THEY WILL NEVER STOP EXISTING! I love you Eric and I am so proud of the decision you made! 
Love Always, 
Elder Sorenson 

2 Nephi 31: 9, 17 

Elder Sorenson - April 2, 2018

Hi Everyone! 
 
What an wonderful week it has been with an absolutely spiritual general conference. I learned so much, especially about the power of revelation and living prophets. 
 
Here, in South America, they celebrated week long holiday called, “Holy Week” so there wasn’t really anyone to teach during the week but my companion and I seemed to be able to find our investigators for a quick minute and were able to chat with them! 
 
I am so excited for what the next few months have in store for me. The calls/transfer calls were made and I am staying here in Loja, in the cold climate! I love it here and although the people may be a lot harder to teach, I have learned and grown in so many ways. Especially of who I want to be like or what I want to do as a member when I get back! 
 
I hope that everyone was able to watch at least a part of General Conference and were edified by it. I know this church is true and I sustain the true and living prophet, President Russell M. Nielsen, as a sear and revelator. 
 
I love this restored gospel and the knowledge I have that families can be together forever! 
 
I LOVE YOU! 
 
Elder Sorenson 
 
Jacob 1:19

Read it. Live it. Love it. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Elder Sorenson - March 26, 2018

Hi Everyone!

This week I had a lot of fun and really loved the mission. I can’t express to you enough how amazing this experience has been. I have grown spiritually in a way I never thought possible and I have come to love my Heavenly Father more than I could possibly imagine.

I have laughed, learned, cried, gotten angry, and even gained weight, but today I want to talk about something that has helped me through these last 18 months. LEARNING TO LAUGH has been my way to become unstressed and really feel the presence and love of Christ!

The mission is not easy and there really are days when you’re sad and flustered with many things, but those things are temporary - how you react to a situation when you are stressed or disappointed shows your real character. A really famous quote comes to my mind, “Come what may and love it!” This quote has really helped me see the light of Christ and laugh in every moment! I really believe that life is too short to be sad and frustrated. This is the life of happiness and laughter. Just like my favorite movie says, “Life’s short, start it!” 

Anyway, I invite all of you to be happy and grateful for every moment God has given you to laugh and experience the joy in Christ. I love you so much and I really know this church is true! It is the only true church that is eternal and that can seal our families forever to live in everlasting happiness together. 

Please watch General Conference this Saturday and Sunday. I promise, as you listen, the words you hear will help you to find happiness in your life. Our prophet and apostles will help you grow because you will better understand the purpose of the trials and challenges that you are facing. 

Love,

Elder Sorenson

*Please listen to this Conference Talk*
“Come What May and Love It”
Joseph B. Wirthlin
October 2008 Session


https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2008/10/come-what-may-and-love-it?lang=eng





















Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Elder Sorenson - March 19, 2018

Hi Everyone!

I don’t know what is happening with time because I swear I just wrote you a letter like yesterday!

We started off with a powerful moment in my mission. One of the Hermana’s was chased by a dog and tripped and fell down a hill. We got a call to pick her up from the hospital and she had bruised and sprained her ankle super bad. She asked us to give her a priesthood blessing and as soon as we got done, she instantly became more calm. I feel so honored to be able to have this Authority to be able to effect ordinances and give blessings. Being able to say, “I am a worthy priesthood holder” is a blessing in and of itself.

We had an incredible activity last week. My companion is from Mexico, so we hosted a Mexican night! We had piƱatas, musical chairs, pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, and much more. The best part about it was that were over 100 people who showed up and there was no space in the church! We have an investigator named Dominique and last week she showed up to the church. During the week, we were able to talk to her once and she loved our message, but didn’t love going to church all too much. Here is where the miracle happened! She has a friend in the church and he brought her to this Mexican night and she absolutely loved it. Afterwards, her friend told us that if it weren’t for the activity, she wouldn’t have come back to church. 

This experience really strengthened my testimony of the power of activities and that everyone needs to know that we are normal people too. We aren’t always in a suit and tie, well I mean, other than missionaries! When we show love to others and how outgoing we are outside of Sundays, we really will have a ton more people who want to join our church.

I love this work and I really know this is the Lord’s church. I know that I hold the Priesthood of God and that I need to be worthy and obedient for the rest of my life so that I am able to be ready at a moments notice to give a blessing and help change lives.

Love Always,

Elder Sorenson








Elder Sorenson - March 12, 2018

Hi everyone!

Well this week, I started a new chapter in my life because after 17 months of being on this mission, I finally tried guinea pig! It is honestly not bad and it just “tastes like chicken.”

Here in the District we are trying to do something to help out all of the members. In Loja, the majority of the members are less active and it is really sad. Our district President gave us an analogy of collecting fruits. We, as missionaries, our collecting fruits and trying to find people to baptize. When you go and collect fruit, you place it in a basket. What happens if the basket is broken? We won’t want to put the fruit in there, right? It is the same with the church! If we aren’t helpful members, the missionary work won’t function! I can baptize 100 people, but if the members don’t take this convert in as their own, they too will most likely go inactive. The members are the basket, collecting the fruits.

Anyways, what we are now doing is sharing a really important message of Family History. I really love it! Before my mission, I didn’t appreciate it as much as I should have! But honestly, it teaches us so much about our history and where we came from. I invite all of you to start, or keep working on, your family history and make a goal of being able to take those names to the temple.

On Friday, we had an activity that went great. We called it “Candyland!” so of course, I made my mom‘s famous chocolate chip cookies! We tied the activity to the dream of Lehi and made the iron rod and all of that good stuff. But, it was so spiritual and made me really think if I was hanging onto the iron rod or not. The “iron rod” represents the word of God. So really, if I want to hold firm to the rod, I have to read and LIVE the word of God. It is the only way I know that I can receive eternal life and live with my loved ones forever. I love you all and invite you to hold fast to the rod and help your deceased loved ones find that rod to hold onto by doing your family history!

Love Always,

Elder Sorenson
1 Nephi 8 & 11