Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Elder Sorenson - December 4, 2017

Hi Everyone!

It was quite a frustrating week for many things that happen. I know not everyone is perfect and we make mistakes, but this week was rough. We have an investigator, her name is Sandy, and she wants to be baptized. Honestly, we could fill  a baptismal font tomorrow. The rest of her family is baptize, so we are trying to complete the family to make all of them members. The only challenge that she has is that she isn’t married, just like about half of Ecuador. But she wants to get married and is super excited about it! For the past four or five weeks we’ve been trying to get her to go and get married with a member because she can’t go by herself. Every single time, the member will cancel on us and our investigator will get really sad that she can’t go! It should be the opposite! Obviously, everyone is busy and has things but when you make a commitment to someone, you have to follow through or let them know ahead of time that you can’t go. We have expressed our frustrations with the Bishop and I hope this week will be better, I mean, it’s a new week!

We also talked to our Mission President and he agreed to let us put together a Christmas choir that travels to all the stakes in the mission! We start our practice this week and I hope that we will find a lot more people to teach through this!

Also, my companion celebrated his 20th birthday this week and I am his companion so it was my birthday too! They feed you so much food here, it is in sane. My companion I had two breakfasts, three lunches, and then four dinners. I literally felt and looked like a giant balloon because of how much food I ate!

I really learned patience this week. A lot of patience, not only for other people but for myself too. I know the Lord tested me this week and I tried my best to pass! I love you all and hope that you’re doing good this holiday season!

Love Always,
Elder Sorenson


Saturday, December 2, 2017

Elder Sorenson - November 27, 2017

Hi Everyone!

Well, changes came this week and I am going to stay with my companion for another 6 weeks. I am super excited for it and it will be super fun because this sector is full of people to teach and baptize!

I hope everyone’s Thanksgiving was great and memorable! Mine sure was! I mean, I was at lunch with another gringo this year and we celebrated with a ton of coca-cola and some “papi-palls.” It is like fried chicken with fries, covered in ketchup! We worked the whole day and we were running to each appointment. I am grateful for all of the things that I have here and am super grateful for the support you have given me. I love the mission and I really don’t want to came back!
Also, my companion and I are both quite musically talented. We got asked to sing in a “Stake Choir.” If any of you have been to South America and have heard them sing, it isn’t too pretty. But I was really grateful to sing and help them out! All of the missionaries in Guayaquil went to the temple to do a session and it was amazing. I know that temple work is true and it helps families be forever. I have a firm testimony of this Gospel and know what I am doing is true. This is the Lord’s work and this is His church.

If any of you are wandering how my Spanish is doing, it is better to ask me how my English is because I sang in English yesterday and I literally was reading it like it was Spanish. It is amazing to me how one can learn a whole other language so fast and convert people to the Gospel using it!

I love you and Happy Thanksgiving! Be careful with Black Friday shopping!

Love Always,

Elder Sorenson

Elder Sorenson's Christmas packages arrived that his mom and sisters sent him! 

WHAT!?!??!? Elder Sorenson opened up all of his Christmas presents!!  It's true - you can't take the little boy out of man. LOL


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Elder Sorenson - November 20, 2017

Hi Everyone!

I can't believe that I have been in this country for a year now! It is crazy to think back and see how lost I was, how I couldn't talk to anyone, and how small my testimony was. Now, I am fine with my Spanish and I have a firm testimony, but I still get lost every once and awhile. Haha!

This week was quite crazy because of the baptism of Luis. Baptisms are a lot different here. The missionaries here have to do everything or else it won't get done. We set up decorations for the party, cleaned, filled the font, set up everything, brought everyone, and even bought the food.  It was quite a hassle getting everything ready, but with the help and patience of the Lord, we got it done!

My investigator who was baptized is such a special person and I love him to death. His name is Luis and he has such a strong testimony of the Gospel. He told me something that will help me and hopefully you get through this life with happiness and joy. He said, "You members have something amazing. You might not know what you have in this church but from the outside you have salvation and exaltation with every family!" I really know that what he said is true and that I am a Disciple of Christ sent to Ecuador to teach and inspire people to want to learn how to reach exaltation and better understand what salvation means for them.

I learned this week the importance of patience and that, I, as a missionary am responsible to find, teach, and baptize. If I am not doing one of those things, I need to rethink and realize that I am not here to waste the Lord's time. I am here to make Him proud and do all that I can do to help build up His kingdom and I need to start with myself.

I can promise all of you that I am converted to the Gospel and I know these things are true. I will never give up what I have and I will never deny that Christ lives and that He loves every single one of you!

Love Always,
Elder Sorenson

2Nephi 31:14 - You know what you have so don't fall away from it.
Preparing the wedding party for Elder Sorenson's investigator!

The wedding party of Elder Sorenson's investigator!

Elder Sorenson and his companions singing Happy Birthday to his mom back home in California! #bestbirthdaypresentever
Preparing the wedding party - silly face  
Elder Sorenson's investigator, Luis, cutting the cake!

Elder Sorenson's investigator, Luis, baptism!

Elder Sorenson's zone enjoyed lunch together on Monday, 11/20/17! Hamburgers, French Fries and Coke!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Elder Sorenson - November 13, 2017

Hi everyone!

These weeks are going by too fast! I discovered how out of shape I was playing basketball with the Zone. Neither my companion or I could walk for a few days. Ha ha! The mission really does change you!

A spiritual experience I had was with an investigator who is going to get baptized this next Saturday. His name is Luis, and he is so down to earth and loves the gospel. Speaking of him, I got to go to his wedding today which was awesome! Anyways we watched, “On the Lords Errand” with him and he loved it. Right after, he told us, “I 100% believe that Thomas S Monson is a true prophet of God. I just know it. “It is so amazing to hear an investigator say, “I Believe.” Sometimes it takes one lesson for someone to know that it is true and sometimes it takes months. It’s the Lord’s way and His time for people to know.

Earlier this week, we were teaching a sister named Sandy and she asked a powerful question, “How is the Book of Mormon the word of God? “With pleasure, my companion and I both testified of the book and promised the next lesson that we would go more into detail about it and invited her to pray. We visited her a few days later and started teaching what she had wanted when she stopped us mid week. She told us, “Elders, I know 100% that the Book of Mormon is true because I prayed yesterday and I got my answer.” My companion and I were just super happy and overwhelmed with joy that she knows the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.

I learned to recognize this week, the power of the Book of Mormon and also, the power of the prophets. I know 100%, as well, that what I teach is true and I have really developed a deep passion and love for this gospel of Jesus Christ. I love the church and I love all of you!

Love Always,
Elder Sorenson

2Nephi 25:26

Wedding of Elder Sorenson's investigator!

Wedding of Elder Sorenson's investigator!

After party of the investigator's wedding!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Elder Sorenson - November 6, 2017

Hi Everyone!

Well, it’s sad to know that the Dodgers lost in game seven, but there is always next year! 

My Halloween this year wasn’t like last year when I was in the MTC. My companion and I just bought a bag of candy and gave it out to the kids that were dressed up, which was like three people the whole night. It is crazy how different cultures are around the world. It is crazy to think that this with my last Halloween in my mission, wow! Time flies!

I had a fun week though, I taught a bit during the week, but nobody was home Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Those four days we just walked in circles not finding anyone home because it was their version of Spring Break for everyone. Nobody works and nobody has school, so they all go to the beach or some other place for the weekend.

A spiritual experience I had during the week was during a lesson with a girl named Genisis. The rest of her family is Mormon so we are working on getting her baptized. We talked about the Book of Mormon during our discussion and the Spirit immediately filled the room. We testified of the power and truthfulness of the Book. After we finished, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. So this week we are going to teach her more and have her prepare for baptism.

My testimony of the Gospel has grown for sure. Before my mission, I never read the Book of Mormon regularly neither did I pray earnestly. I didn’t do what I needed to do to know the truth. Now, being out in the Lord’s vineyard, there isn’t anything better. I know with a surety that this is the Lord’s church and that I am doing the right thing. He lives and He loves me and you; through Him, we can be with our loved ones forever. In His name I pray and I testify, Amen.

Love Always,
Elder Sorenson

2 Nephi 31:21   

A sweet sister in Ecuador FB Messaged Kim, Kyle's mom, these pictures! 

A sweet sister in Ecuador FB Messaged Kim, Kyle's mom, these pictures! 

A sweet sister in Ecuador FB Messaged Kim, Kyle's mom, these pictures! 

Monday, October 30, 2017

Elder Sorenson - October 30, 2017

Happy Halloween!

I hope your week was as busy and amazing as mine was! Please be careful tomorrow and eat a ton of candy for me, especially Reese's and Skittles!

To start off this week, we had a Seventy come and it was great! The choir my companion and I put together sounded great. I'm mad at myself because I forgot to record the quartet that we sang, but you will just have to take my word for it that it sounded great! In the meeting we had with the Seventy, we talked about a lot of things. The first question he asked us was, "What does the prophet hope of me?" Then he asked us, "What do your parents hope of me? "I really thought about those two questions and the importance of always doing my best to make my parents proud. I really believe that question can apply to anyone because we should always be doing the correct thing too make our parents proud.

After the training, my companion and I had the urge to work hard and find every single family we could and baptize them. We did exactly that, but the families all planned not to be home when we came. It frustrated my companion and I because we wanted to work, but every single appointment fell through. So we decided to knock on random doors and we found some great potential for this week! I also received a call to renew my visa! I can't believe it has already come to that! So I spent a good half of the day in North renewing my visa and it was fun to be with some of the elders I hadn't seen in a year!

We ended up having a companion exchange and I was with Elder Boltran for a day! So we work together and had a blast at the same time. We also drink 3 liters of Coke each but that's besides the point. I learned a lot about trust and the importance of teaching by the Spirit. If I don't teach with the spirit, I won't have converted investigators and whatever I say it won't affect or help them to change. 

So in my weekly letter, I want to leave you with a few questions to ask yourself, "What level am I reading the scriptures? "To what level am I in tune with the spirit? " "What level am I....?" Always have this question in your mind and make sure you are always living to your potential, because you are a son or daughter of God and He loves you. And I love you too! 

Love Always,

Elder Sorenson

John 4:7-9, 20–21
"Love One Another"

English Bulldog that we might buy for Christmas! HAHA! Just Kidding! 

My companion! 
The exchange night when him and I drank 3 liters of Coke each! 

The exchange night when him and I drank 3 liters of Coke each!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Elder Sorenson - October 23, 2017

Hi Everyone! 

I will be honest and say that this was quite a slow week, but we are working harder than ever in this new ward! What was awesome is that this week my companion and I had absolutely nothing to do (no investigators, no appointments, no knowledge of any members house, etc). It also was the week of the most sun and the hottest temperatures that Guayaquil has had in the last three years! Let's just say that I'm not a gringo anymore because I got a lot of sun this week!! Haha! 

Supposedly, this sector was dead and there wasn't anyone to teach but my companion and I have found some great potential and we are working super hard! My companions name is Elder Tarbet and he is from Thousand Oaks California! He is by far the hardest working missionary I have ever been with. He was in the mountains for seven months and there wasn't that much success there, but here in Guayaquil let's just say it is the "Promised Land". My companion and I are running around finding more and more people to teach. 

This past week I was reminded of the power and importance of working with members. In my other sectors, I worked with the members but not as much and they never really visited with me. This last week, we met with a member every single day of the week. There is a young man preparing to serve in Bolivia in January who was with us three of the days from 2PM - 9PM meeting in teaching with us. I could not believe his diligence and how much he was preparing to serve his mission in just a few months. He is my example. 

I'm so blessed to be in this ward. This ward is hungry to work and baptize people. We have been given so many referrals. We had a leadership meeting yesterday. I have never been in a ward where they are willing to do whatever it takes to help the missionaries out. My companion and I were overwhelmed with all of them. Each one asked us "When can I do visits with you?" So that being said, I am so grateful for the ward I have been placed in because they truly know the importance and the impact of the Lords work. 

I love you! 

Elder Sorenson 
Nephi 10:23