Saturday, October 29, 2016

Elder Sorenson - October 29, 2016

Hi Everyone!

Wow.. This week flew by so fast and I can't believe I only have 2 1/2 more weeks until I am flying out to Ecuador.. I am leaving Monday, November 14th.. So technically, I am pretty much four weeks in! 

I hope everyone is doing okay with school, work and whatever you may be doing. Know that I am praying for you always (yes in Espanol) and hope all is well! This week was kind of the same as last week, we study, eat, study, eat, study, exercise study, eat and study. Oh!!!! I forgot the best part, when we get back to our rooms at around 9:30, we study!! Haha.. I love it, the Spanish is tough but I am actually very lucky. 

I met an Elder this week and he is from Boston and is learning Chinese..... Just imagine an 18 year old with a SUPER heavy Boston accent speaking Chinese... It is the funniest and greatest thing I have ever heard. But then again, if you listen to me try to speak Spanish, I bet a lot of people get a kick out of it. He has been here for 7 weeks, so him and I will both be leaving the same day! He has a 24 hour flight and I have a seven hour one!! 

Elder Elton is doing great! I see him all the time with his companion and he is loving the language! I had the opportunity to sit next to him one morning for Breakfast and he taught me how to say numbers in his language!! I love that kid to death! 

Anyways, on Sunday, my companion woke up sick again so we didn't really do anything all day.. We ended up going to the devotional at night and it was a pretty good devotional! 

On Monday, we just had class and learned Spanish. 

On Tuesday, we got to sing again and it is so fun to be able to sing! I love sharing my talents with everyone and singing loud! In my district, all of them argue on who sits by me because it helps them be able to match pitch.. Haha I love these Elders more than life itself! The devotional was very inspirational and has inspired me!! I want to invite all of you guys to get an index card and keep it on you at all times, to remember me of course.  But on the card, write these five words, " Be Not Afraid, Only Believe." It will help you and encourage you throughout your life. I promise. 

The next day, we had TRC which is each companionship gets to teach an actual investigator that doesn't know any English.  I was so nervous and scared but I believed I could do it. I went in the room and words and thoughts were just flying out of my head in spanish!! It was incredible.. I loved it and got to know him so well! 

On Thursday, we did splits because my companion and another Elder was sick. So I got to be with a different Elder all day!! Today, I also got a package from my Uncle Garrett and Aunt Kristen!! Thank you so much and I am so excited to use the Halloween stuff on Monday! I love you guys! Later that night, a different Elder on the same floor as me got sick. Thanks to my mom packing an entire hospital in my suitcase, I was able to help him and the next morning he was feeling a lot better!! The only reason I haven't been sick is because I have taken Vitamin C and a multi vitamin every single day, so I am glad that I am always able to be healthy here! Thanks Mom! 

Yesterday, I got a package from my family and the letters in there made me cry! It made my day so much better. That night, my favorite teacher, Hermano Horsely, who actually served with Parker Phelps which is a small world!! But anyways, he is hilarious, I love that guy. He told us stories that had me crying from laughing so hard but he always involves the Spirit which is crazy! I love him so much and we connect so much! Overall, it was a great week and fun to be my "family". 

I love you guys and can't wait to hear back on how all of you are doing! 

Te quiero mucho,

Elder Sorenson

Monday, October 24, 2016

Elder Sorenson - October 22, 2016

Hi Everyone!

This week seems like it flew by! I can't believe next Wednesday will be my half way point for my mission in the MTC, it is incredible. The work is incredibly tough and the Spanish gets harder and harder, but I will get there. This week was basically the same as the last few. We wake up, study, eat, study, eat, study, exercise, study, eat and study. I know it will be different as soon as I am out but the consistency is on point.

The only saving grace, at least for me, is singing in the choir. I got my entire district to do it with me and at first, they were very hesitant but after the first concert, they bother me and always make sure to remind me when choir is.. haha. My favorite Elder, Elder Hirschi, says he is tone deaf but he came and I don't think I have heard someone scream so loud while singing. The funniest part is that he actually is tone deaf so I can hardly sing because he makes me laugh so hard. 

On Sunday, my companion and I got asked to teach a lesson in Priesthood on Repentance. It went very well and our Mission President in our zone sat in our lesson and pulled me to the side and said that it was the best lesson and most interesting perspective he has ever heard. Later that day, we had a devotional by this huge Samoan guy and he was hilarious. He shared so many stories and kept us very interested, so it was great.

On Monday, it was another normal day where I just studied and ate.. haha but the brightside is that I got a package from my Mother! It made my whole day and I am slowly eating the snacks because they are very valuable to me haha!  Then that night, we just talked in the dorms and I met this hilarious guy that is going to Tahiti speaking French and Tahitian. He is here for 9 weeks. After talking to him, someone was singing Run To You, by Penatonix, in the hallway so I went out there and they needed a bass and so I got to sing with them!! They were so shocked that I could sing low and actually sound good haha.  It turns out that one of the kids I was singing with, ended up knowing me. He was in All State with me and his last name is Sorensen. His cousin is Joseph Sorensen, who was Section Leader and him and I were really close! So it was cool talking to him about choir! 

Tuesday was a normal day but I got to see Shirley and Paul! It was so great seeing them! Thank you for the Spanish Scriptures Grandpa! I can't wait until I can understand what it actually says hahahaha!

On Wednesday, it marked two weeks of me being on my mission. It was pretty great greeting all the new missionaries in Spanish and watching them freak out haha.. I would say, "Bienvenidos CCM!" which means "Welcome to the MTC!" They would just look at me so weird. haha

Yesterday was my favorite day because it was Friday and it was so nice to kind of relax, but the reason it was so great was that I went on and searched "Mormon Tabernacle Choir" and a bunch of songs came up! I loved it! There were also songs by the King Singers and a bunch of other choirs. I knew quite a bit of the songs and just sang to all of them. It was great!! 

Overall, it was a good week and I can't wait for what is to come!

Te quiero mucho!

    Elder Sorenson

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Elder Sorenson - October 15, 2016

Wow... It has already been a week, the days go by super slow but the weeks fly by it feels like. Missions are pretty tough, especially learning a language. I am trying my best and I know the Gift of Tongues will help me out a ton. So on Sunday, it was Fast Sunday and so things were a little different. We woke up and didn't eat anything, had sacrament and Priesthood and everything and so it was cool actually being in a class where they actually spoke English and you didn't need to guess what they are saying all the time. I made the entire district join the choir with me so I wasn't the only lame one, and it was great, we sang it for the devotional on TuesdayI have to teach the lesson tomorrow on Repentance, so it will be a good time! 

Monday, my companion woke up sick, so I was stuck in our room for 9 hours by myself. He slept until 4 pm and I was going crazy because I didn't have anything to do. I re-ironed all of my shirts, reorganized my closet and drawers, wrote my talk for Sunday in Spanish and then read scriptures for two hours. I was pretty ancy and wanted to get out of the house. He finally said he was feeling better, so we got dressed to go to dinner. That night, we were supposed to teach our investigator, but my companion was sick, so there was no way to prepare one. So we just did splits with other Elders in our district. 

I feel like I am really starting to get so close to the Elders in my district, we are all up laughing like hyenas at night and get yelled at by the room next to us sometimes, but hey, it is just quality banter and bonding. I am very open about myself to them, so they know me very well. 

Tueday was just a normal day, more class and sleep. But at night, we had a devotional and I wasn't thinking it was going to be amazing but guess who walked in the room and surprised all of us? DAVID A BEDNAR. Wow, what a cool guy.. He is hilarious and did you know that at General Conference, nobody gets assigned a topic? They literally speak on whatever they want and nobody knows what they are speaking on until they go up to the stand? I thought that was cool. 

Wednesday, FELIZ CUMPLEANOS MORGAN JEAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't believe you're so old, it makes me feel like a kid again. ;) Love you and hope you had a great birthday. This morning, we did service and we had the WONDERFUL opportunity to clean six bathrooms and they were disgusting, but hey, " When you're in the service of your fellow being, you're in the service of you God." I was killing it today in exercise. We play basketball every day, I may be white and a midgit, but when I play against people that have never dribbled a ball in their life, I am like Michael Jordan, except they don't let me show off all my skills because we aren't allowed to dunk. Today my best friend, Elder Hirschi was super upset on how both of our lessons went, we just wanted to cry, but something happened that made us crack up and I have never laughed so hard in my life. Yes, even more than the kayak incident in Hawaii. 

Thursday, I got sick from taking care of my companion, so I didn't do much. I just went to class that night and got reminded how bad I am in Spanish haha.. Yesterday, we had more class and in the night we were supposed to get a new teacher, but it ended up that our new teacher was the investigator that we have been teaching for the past week.. Thank goodness that guy was not an actual investigator because from how bad our lessons were, he would probably ask for us to never talk to us again.. Haha just kidding, but overall it was a good week and I have been working hard. Things are good here in the MTC, I just really want to go to Ecuador and serve. 

I also ran into Maddy Truman and Jack Elton! So it was really nice seeing them! Jack is doing good speaking Samoan and Maddy works at the MTC and she loves it! 

To close, I want to try to bear my testimony in Spanish. People that actually speak Spanish, I know I am a gringo, okay? Yo quisiera compartir mi testimonio. Estoy muy agradecido por mi madre que me ensenaron el evangelio. Estoy muy agradecido por la expiacion de Jesucristo y saber que Dios conteta mis oraciones y mi familia y su apoyo. Yo se que la iglesia es verdadera. Yo se que neustro Padre Celestial nos quiere a todos. Yo se que de don de lenguas es muy importante y verdadera. Te quiero mucho. Digo estas cosa en el nombre de Jesucristo, amen.

Elder Sorenson

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Elder Sorenson - October 8, 2016

Hi everyone!

The MTC is crazy already and they are throwing this language down our throats. It is very hard and we are all struggling, a few Elders are doing pretty well in it but it is very tough. 

When I walked into the MTC, it was an awesome feeling and there were so many people. All of the people that have been in the MTC for quite a while kept greeting us by saying, "Welcome to the MTC!" so it was cool knowing that I was welcomed there. After getting our books and everything, I went up to my room and dropped my stuff off. 
My escort then took me down to the classroom where I met my district. 

There are eight elders in my district and cuatro hermañas (four sisters). I instantly connected to two of the Elders, Elder Leich and Elder Knudson. I then met my companion and he is pretty shy and soft spoken, but if any of you guys know me, I can change that real quick! His name is Elder MC Adams, he is from Star Valley, Wyoming. He is a flipping giant though, he is 6 ft. 7... I mean, I am kind of short for my age but standing next to him makes me feel like one of the seven dwarfs from Snow White. 

My room has four elders in it and we are so good for each other because we all think one another is funny and it makes for a good time. The first night, we were all up until about 1AM talking about ourselves and our lives before our mission. They were all shocked that I worked at In N Out because they all worked at retail stores where they just messed around in the back, so I was kind of jealous of them haha.. It was a great time and I made memories already on the first night! 

The next day we went to our classes and learned more Spanish and we actually learned the Missionary Purpose which is to Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. Now I have to learn it in Spanish and I do not know what I am going to do because I am what Spanish people call, a gringo. After class, we went to lunch and the food was not as bad as I thought. I mean, partially because every day, I kind of lower my expectations just a little bit and I am like, "Oh! This is not bad at all!" 

After more class and studying, we had the opportunity to meet our Branch President and he is an awesome guy! Of course he looks at me and says, Elder Sorenson, "Can you bear your testimony for everyone in your district?" so that happened.

Yesterday was just full of stress and laughter. Elder McAdams and I had to prepare a lesson en español, and teach an investigator later that night, so I was organized and prepared my part of the lesson and introduction and thought I was ready. So all day, we were preparing to speak to him and going over the lines in Spanish, we met with him at around 6 and as soon as we walked in the room, my companion goes, "Oh shoot! I forgot the scriptures and my part of the lesson." So if that doesn't explain how the lesson went, I do not know what will. I tried improvising and saying stuff in Spanglish, but it was so hard and my companion was laughing the entire time. I was a bit frustrated but hey, its okay! So we then all went to our dorms and I wanted to get to know the elders in the other room, so I sat in their room with them and we talked and told each other about what we want our careers to be and that stuff. Our district struggles with calling each other, "Dude" a lot. I think it is because we have already made a huge bond with each other. But as Elders, we are not supposed to call each other that. So we made up a game where, if someone says the word dude in their sentence, they have to eat a Kit Kat. I know it does not sound like a punishment but after saying it 9 or 10 times, that is A LOT of Kit Kats! One elder, Elder Hirschi, struggles with this a lot and I kept a tally and in one night, he ended up eating 15 or 16 mini Kit Kat bars. At about one in the morning, I woke up to the sound of a liquid going in the trash can, so yes...he threw up last night. So the point of this story is, if you want to mail me something, please include a bag of Kit Kats for the sanctity of us becoming better Elders!!! 

I am having a lot of fun and learning so much every day. I found out when choir practices are and so I am going to do that and I got every single person in my district to join too, so I am happy that I have some sort of an impact on them. I hope I can touch each one of their lives and make them realize how great of people they are. Te amo mucho and I will see you guys soon!

Love Always, 

Elder Sorenson 

Saturday, October 1, 2016

I will go where He wants me to go! #provoMTC

In less than 72 hours I will leave for my 24 month LDS mission. When I received my call back in May, I was to report to the Mexico City MTC on Tuesday, October 4, 2016, scheduled to leave 6 weeks later for the Guayaquil South Mission in Ecuador. However, I just learned yesterday that myself and 49 other missionaries' Visa/Passport are hung up at the Equator Consulate in Washington DC so we get to report to the Provo, UT MTC on Wednesday, October 5, 2016. Like Nephi said when he had failed twice when trying to retrieve the plates from Laban and was commanded to go back into town to get the plates, "I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save He shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which He commandeth." I am so excited for the next 24 months of my life to unfold!