Monday, September 18, 2017

Elder Sorenson - September 18, 2017

Hi everyone!

Well, this week went great and my companion and I had a lot of fun! We had a baptism yesterday, but forgot to take pictures (sorry mom)!  It was such a beautiful service and my companion and I got to sing at it. I had my second meeting with all of the zone leaders and it went well. I learned a lot, especially how I can be the example to help people in my zone become better. Since I came back to Guayaquil, I have really grown and strengthened my testimony that this work is true. I love being able to serve as a leader in this mission!

I want to talk about the importance of the Book of Mormon. As a missionary, I have really learned to love this Book and it literally can be applied to any aspect of our lives. I know what it says is true. It is the key to our religion and another testament of Jesus Christ. I invite all of you to read this book and learn from it. In about two weeks, our beloved prophet will speak to us and in order to be able to learn and truly be edified from this Conference, we need to be spiritually ready and we can do that by reading the Book of Mormon and praying every day!

I love all of the letters and support that I receive from all of you! I pray for you every day. I know this is where I need to be. I hope the best for all of you and I really hope you can all find this true happiness that I have found here on my mission. This is all true and this is so important for the people of Ecuador to know.

Please listen to Jeffrey R. Holland's talk, "The Best Is Yet To Come" Watch It. Live It. Love it.
https://www.lds.org/ensign/2010/01/the-best-is-yet-to-be?lang=eng&cid=email-shared

Love Always,
Elder Sorenson

Ephesians 4:32


Kyle's companion made homemade soup!


Elder Sorenson and his missionary companions making Kyle's mom's homemade chocolate chip cookies They were delicious! A HUGE thank you to the sweet Ecuadorian sister who FB Messaged Kim the pictures! 


Elder Sorenson and his missionary companions making Kyle's mom's homemade chocolate chip cookies They were delicious! A HUGE thank you to the sweet Ecuadorian sister who FB Messaged Kim the pictures! 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Elder Sorenson - September 11, 2017

Hi everyone! 

This week was transfers for everyone so we were pretty busy because everyone in our zone had them and two of them were receiving brand new missionaries fresh out of the MTC! So my companion and I were running around looking for beds and desks for the new missionaries. I can't believe how fast time goes, do you remember my old companion Elder Cortez? Yeah, he is in his house and finished his mission this past week! Also my first companion, Elder Espinoza finished on Wednesday as well!

We got to do service this week in the middle of a community park and the people are so nice! A member had asked us to help them out and we ended up raking a bunch of leaves, but what was super cool is that two or three random people that lived there came up to us and bought us coke, crackers, and juice. They then expressed their appreciation for us and how much this little act of kindness meant to them! The service was simple, but you know how the quote goes, "How do we change the world? One random act of kindness at a time!" I know that service is a great way to help people to realize that we don't just teach. We serve in many different ways! Many people here are surprised that my companion and I don't care about getting dirty in our church clothes. Ha ha! My companion and I will just drop our backpacks and go to work...whether it be moving bricks, concrete, painting or whatever things we can do, we will do it in a heart beat! 

Oh, and I also gave a talk in sacrament yesterday and it went really well! I talked about the importance of the Book of Mormon and how we should study so that we can know for our self that it is true and that we are all able to receive revelation! I want to leave you with a quote I said during my talk (in Spanish of course), "When we take the term of the scripture and adapt it to conform to our circumstances, it will mean so much more! We should do it with integrity, taking the eternal principles and applying them to our own life to be able to receive the answers we need for eternal happiness."

Love Always,
Elder Sorenson

D&C 93:49
D&C 25:16
Everyone can receive revelation if we truly desire it! 
On 9/10/17, a sweet sister in Ecuador FB messaged this picture to Kyle's mom, Kim, letting her know that her mom had made this tie for him! 




Monday, September 4, 2017

Elder Sorenson - September 4, 2017

Hola! Como Le va? Estoy muy bien, solo un poquito cansado! My week once again flew by, but I enjoyed the time this week with my companion in my zone.

First, I have to tell you about a spiritual experience I had.  We have an investigator named Valeria. She is married with three kids and we have been trying to teach them all together, but her husband is always working. We had a lesson with her on Tuesday. She has always had a lot of doubts about the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith as a prophet, and that kind of stuff. So we have been trying to get her to read the Book of Mormon to know if it is true. At first, she wasn't reading and still had all of those doubts. We started our lesson this past week and the first thing she said was, "I read the book you gave me." My companion and I were kind of in shock and so we asked her, "So what do you think?" She told us that she loved it and believed everything it said. My mouth hit the floor and then she told us how she felt while reading it and that it impacted her a lot. The spirit instantly filled the room and tears came into her eyes and she asked, "When can I be baptized?"  This moment/experience showed me how powerful the Book of Mormon is and that it helps people (more than any words I can say) come unto Christ. I invite you to read this book to know for yourself and experience something that will change your life forever.

This week I was able to go to the temple which was just so amazing. It is such a privilege to be able to enter the Lord's house and make covenants with Him. I saw my dad (my first trainer) at the temple and he is ending his mission this Wednesday, along with Elder Cortez. So it is just crazy how fast time flies and how precious and important being diligent in the work is. 

I guess I would consider my fun for the week to be the activity that my companion and I were in charge of. We are both gringos, so we wanted to go all out on the activity. So we did an Ecuadorian style Minute To Win It and it was a huge success! We had seven or eight investigators there participating and enjoying the events. I was the person in charge of getting the audience involved and excited! So let's just say I lost my voice because of how much I was screaming. Ha ha! But overall it went well and we had a lot of fun. My companion and I spent hours creating the Minute To Win It challenges and making sure everything was OK and it definitely paid off! We must've done a good job because the Stake President wants us to plan and do another activity.

An elder in our town is finishing his mission so we were invited to a family home evening at family Artio's who are in my old sector.  Two of my converts were also there and they were super surprised to see me! Ha ha! I guess you could say that during this week I learned the power of the Book of Mormon and the importance of me enjoying the time I have to be on the Lord's errand because eventually it will come to an end. I love missionary work! I'm working on loving rice, but I don't know if I'll ever get to that point. Haha! 

I love all of you and thank you for the support and your prayers! I appreciate the emails every week and all that you have done for my family and I. Keep going strong and just know that I pray for you all every night and that I miss you, but will see you soon! 

Love Always, 
Elder Sorenson

John 10:4-18

My companion and I doing service for a family in the area. 

My companion and I doing service for a family in the area. 

My companion and I made 10 gallons of juice and drank it in a week.

My companion and I made 10 gallons of juice and drank it in a week.

Our matching Zone shirts! 

Our matching Zone shirts! 





                                                                     

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Elder Sorenson - August 28, 2017

Hi Everyone!

Those pictures I sent last week were taken when we went to an island and saw iguanas, alligators, and birds! It was fun to do something new and visit a new place in Guayaquil! 

This past week I got to do exchanges with an Elder in my old sector so we visited my converts. It was so great to see them still active in the church! I learned in the exchange the importance of enduring to the end. The Elder I was with is ending his mission in a week so I guess you could say he is a little "trunky" and I tried my best to get him to work his hardest this last week! Also, I learned the importance of investigators needing a testimony of the church before being able to teach them the rules or commandments we must obey. If they don't have a testimony or are unsure that the church is true, why would they obey the word of wisdom? I have really gotten to learn the importance of building my investigator's faith and their hope in the church then AFTER, teaching them the importance of not drinking alcohol or things like that. It is so much more easier to stop when you have a testimony. I promise. 

The zone I am in is really working hard and I am really proud of the work they have done in the past week! Honestly, we are so close and all of us get along great! What I love about the church and serving a mission is that the missionaries here may have different hobbies, my companion might like the Giants and I like the Dodgers and we might be from different countries, but all of those things don't matter because we all have two things in common, which is a testimony that this is the Lord's church and that we are dedicating 18 months to two years of our life to be able to share what we know with the people of Ecuador. 

I honestly thought two years was going to be a long time, but for me it is not enough. I love this church and the happiness it has brought me. I am so grateful for this opportunity I have been given to share my testimony every day! I love you all! 

Love always, Elder Sorenson 

John 4:34-36










Sunday, August 27, 2017

Elder Sorenson - August 21, 2017

Hi everyone!

I really can't believe how fast my mission is going by. I truly believe that when you are super busy day in and day out, time flies by!

My week was actually pretty crazy, but I learned quite a bit. On Tuesday, I had companion exchanges with the Assistants and it was super fun! I learned so much and I'm so excited to be able to apply what I learned from them. I think the biggest thing I learned this week is teaching with simplicity. In my lessons, I usually find myself talking really fast and loud, which, at times, is effective, but what my companion has taught me in these past four weeks is the importance of taking your time and speaking really simply. I forget that a lot of people I teach don't really have any knowledge of the words like gospel, revelation, prophets, and so what I learned is to always teach in a way that a five-year-old could understand me. This has helped me a lot!

I think the "out of the ordinary" thing that happened to me this week was on Saturday. There was a baptism in the morning, so we went and on our way home we walked past a '74 Thunderbird and I just about freaked out. We are in a pretty dangerous part of Guayaquil and this car was just parked outside. Haha! The owner came outside and let us take pictures in it. It was something I thought never would've happened in my mission. Haha!

As of right now, we have quite a bit of investigators and people that are 2/3 progressing. Our church here is at 3PM and it is so hard getting them to come to church because it is in the middle of the day!

There is so much potential in the area that I am in. I truly have a genuine love for the people I get to teach everyday. They read and pray, but they don't come to church! It is so frustrating because we have so much time in the morning to make sure they are going to church and they tell us yes, but then they end up not showing up. I know this is something that will be solved and improve next week! Other than that, my investigators are amazing and I can really see their faith building day by day!

Love Always,

Elder Sorenson

D&C 18:45





















Sunday, August 20, 2017

In-N-Out Ecuadorian Style!

A family in Ecuador FB Messaged Kim, Kyle's mom, on Monday, 8/14/17, the message and pictures below:  


Hello!!!

Nice too meet you.

My name is Diana.

Your son is in my stake, but not in my area. But he is the zone leader of the missionaries in the area and that is why we knew him. He is a very obedient missionary. Congratulations for the good son that has!!!! Your son was in my house this afternoon.

He cooked hamburguers and french fries.

It was wonderfull!!!

He is so servicial (sorry I don't have the word in english)

And I can see a great misionary in him. I have a child of 6 years old, I hope my son in the future can will like Elder Sorenson. He clean my kitchen after too cook... this was the best Lol😀

Thanks to share him with Ecuadorian People.

We are planning another meal on another day of preparation very soon.

Greetings from Ecuador

Diana



Elder Sorenson cooked In-n-Out burgers for a family in Ecuador!!

Elder Sorenson cooked In-n-Out burgers for a family in Ecuador!!
Elder Sorenson cooked In-n-Out burgers for a family in Ecuador!! 

Elder Sorenson cooked In-n-Out burgers for a family in Ecuador!! 

Elder Sorenson cooked In-n-Out burgers for a family in Ecuador!! 

Elder Sorenson - August 14, 2017

Hi Everyone!

Well, this week was the fastest of them all! So much happened in so little time so I hope next week will be a little more calm. My companion I have been in a trio for the past three or four days because an Elder went home for knee problems so we have been covering two areas to teach and it has just been crazy! The three of us got a ton of attention because it was three gringos walking in the streets side by side! One is part Asian, another is straight gringo, and then the basic gringo - ME! Haha! It was fun being busy and running to appointments because of the distance between them!

Last Saturday was a super fun day! There was an activity for like three or four stakes in Guayaquil. So what it was is all of the youth were able to go out with a missionary and see what teaching is like in the life of a missionary! My first companion, Elder Espinoza, and my first convert, Alex, who is preparing for a mission was there! The missionaries were told to take one of the youth and just go and contact random people and find references. So I got to take two youth and we went out in the streets! I think I found the hardest part of town to contact because I got rejected so many times! I felt really bad for the youth because they were really scared and wouldn't talk. Afterward, I asked them what they learn and they said, "That the mission in life is super hard!"  It made me realize how much I have grown, how I always try my best to find people to teach, and how blessed I have been to be in the parts of Ecuador where the majority of people have faith in Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. I am super grateful for the activity I participated in and this mission because I have learned so much from it and have grown to realize the real necessity of the gospel that I need in my life.

I am also super grateful for the zone that I am in and their hard work to save souls! I don't like to just look at the numbers, but the increase in people committed to being baptized has increased so much, it is literally a miracle! We went from 6 people to 23 people that have a baptism date!! It makes me super happy and really able to see the blessings I have received from being here!

I love you all and I know everyone is doing great. Keep enjoying the last bit of summer vacation and just now that I am ALWAYS praying for you!!

Love Always,

Elder Sorenson

PS. This week I cooked In-n-Out burgers for a family in my ward! They loved the hamburgers and sent pictures to my mom that she will add to this week's blog.