Monday, September 21, 2015

Last one...

Ho Its UNREAL that its my last day on the mission... it hasn't hit me yet that im actually leaving, it just feels like another day being a missionary. im sure it will come once i see my mama tomorrow! its wild to think about all the experiences ive had in the 2 years here that have had such an impact on my life and now its time to return home. So many wonderful people that ive met who have very special places in my heart, they are what ill miss the most. im so grateful for all the missionaries ive been able to meet as well, so many life long friends who ive been able to have such amazing spiritual experiences with. 

ive been thinking a lot about where i was at the beginning and even before my mission. ive realized so many beautiful truths that my Heavenly Father has blessed me with throughout my life. 

i left for my mission with nothing more than a personal testimony that the book of mormon is true, and that families are forever. i didnt know much about any other gospel principal or even basic doctrine or beliefs. But i knew those 2 things for sure and with a willing heart it was enough for God to shape me and teach me all that i needed to know to be a missionary. 

Now that i reflect on all the things that ive learned and experienced, i know with all my heart that this gospel is the perfect gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ. Restored in these days, so that we may have joy in knowing pure truth that our Father in Heaven has given us. 

i know that God loves me, He blessed me with this opportunity to live the principals of the gospel every day for 2 years and exercise faith in all of them. As i have done so, i have been able to gain a personal testimony of so many wonderful truths for my self. I have felt them, i heard them, i saw it happen in the lives of those that God loves. Every where. Ive been able to teach and testify of them along the way. 

My favorite part of being a missionary is teaching. i love learning environments and there's no greater joy than when something taught clicks and is understood especially when it has to do with divine principals. All are truly edified, when the spirit is the one truly teaching. 

We had an amazing lesson with a new family that we met. They told us of how the Lord has been working in their lives this past week and all the spiritual "coincidences". We helped them realize that it was God turning them towards him, now its time to progress and move forward. I mentioned that i felt the spirit there in their home and the wife said... "wait really? you can feel that? in our home?!? wow.." she was so excited to hear that the spirit was there. They haven’t had the best situation in the home so it surprised her. The Spirit truly brings happiness, peace, and serenity to a home especially when invited by righteous things. we were all edified by the spirit as we taught them. i love feeling the spirit as i teach. it really is my favorite thing. 

i know i could share 50 reasons why i am so thankful for my mission. and what it has taught me. But i know words will only be words unless my actions reflect all that ive learned. i know im not perfect but i will strive to live the way the Lord taught me to live. i invite you, if you want to know more of these truths and my experiences i would gladly take the time to call you or talk with you about them face to face. :)  

i am more in debt to my Heavenly Father for one of the greatest blessings i have ever been given. i thought i would give back to Him by serving Him for 2 years, but He has given me so much more. 

i will miss this place so much. The place where i came to know my Savior and what He did for me. That is the greatest truth that ive come to a knowledge of, that the Atonement is real and it really did happen, its for me and you and everyone of Gods children. 

i love my mission. 

i look forward to see you all.

forever will be 


Elder Soren

Monday, September 14, 2015

Dis Week

This week has been interesting. There is a lot of mixed emotions of course. But were still on our feet doin our thing! 

Elder Brooks is awesome. I’m always impressed at how well he is doing only being 2 months out. I know he will be such a great tool in the Lord’s hands as he continues to improve. We had an awesome comp inventory haha it’s always needed in all relationships. The Lord teaches us so many lessons that are necessary to life out here. 

Elder Brooks did such a great job this week we had to correlate with all of our bishops and he had some really good input. I definitely wasn’t as prepared when I came out. I look forward to hearing from him and seeing how much he will grow! He is very patient with me and I’m so grateful for that.

We had an opportunity to pump up the young men in one of our wards yesterday to prepare to go on a mission. I always love doing that because my mission has been THE greatest blessing by far, in my life. I told them how I never really lived the gospel principals before my mission. Heck I barley went to church! But My Heavenly Father loves me, so he gave me an opportunity to live the perfect gospel of Jesus Christ for 2 whole years. As I’ve lived it I’ve grown to love it and cherish it more that anything. I am so grateful for my Father in Heaven. He knows exactly what we need in order to be who he needs us to be. 

Someone who means so much to me gave me a Father’s Blessing before I go. Brother Dayton invited us over for dinner and it was just us and all his crazy boys. We had a wonderful discussion about charity. I know I was meant to meet Brother Dayton, even though we aren’t teaching his friend Trent we still come over and we have been able to develop a special relationship. He is such a great example to me and we’ve been able to serve each other the whole time I’ve served here. I gave him a blessing 2 weeks ago and ever since his countenance has be so much brighter. He has been having such a hard time with his struggles. :( But this last week as he gave me a blessing, I felt all the specific temptations I’ve been struggling with leave me one by one. As I left my heart got lighter and lighter. Heavenly Father told me through his blessing some very specific instructions on what I need to do to prepare for what’s up ahead. I love Brother Dayton. I know we knew that one day we would meet and support each other through life.  He said "you know Elder Soren, one day we will stand shoulder to shoulder and testify that Jesus is the Christ". I am so grateful for those who I have met on my mission that will be my friends forever.  

I love my mission, I know the Lord has taught me all I need to know to have a firm foundation for the rest of my life.

email ya next week!

Stoked 2 Serve 

Elder Soren

At the Dayton's

we also put gold fish in the sisters bath tub lol 
cuz they pranked our truck

Monday, September 7, 2015

Baptisms for the Dead

This week we had a pretty unique experience with the missionaries who are returning home. At the end of our missions we go with President, his Wife and the departing missionaries for one last Temple trip before we go. We met at the Rexburg Temple. I was there on time but the rest of the Elders were late. Due to the Idaho Falls Temple being closed Rexburg has been packed! Sister Hancock and all the sisters went in while I gave up my ticket to stay with the Elders. President Hancock said "well I guess you guys will have more baptisms today than you have had your whole mission" as we proceeded to the baptismal font downstairs.... First time ever in the IPM Temple departing trip history, we who arrived at the MTC together + Elder Fontes(cuz he’s da AP) did baptisms for the dead. 

This was such a spiritual experience. Elder Fontes and I were the First 2 in the font. I was so happy and just stoked that one of my best friends whom I’ve had some of the most spiritual experiences with got to baptize me for those who have not yet received the ordnance. What are the odds that he and I spent many experience in the Temples together. The day Ashley our recent convert passed away we were in the temple, when our dear friend Lynn Dee received her endowments, and now at the end of my mission, we were able to have this wonderful experience. I was so happy he was there.

After I was done with my names we switched and I got to baptize him. The thoughts came to me of all the happy souls who have been waiting many years to have this ordinance done for them. My heart was happy and I was smiling the whole time. It was so special. 

It brought a remembrance of the last time I did baptisms for the dead. And that was when I baptized my mom for her grandmother and then we were sealed for her and my mom’s granddad after the endowment session. I remember that day so clearly. It was one of the most precious experiences I’ve had with my mama. 

What a blessing we have to preform the ordinances for those that we love and those who did not have the chance. I know our Heavenly Father loves all of us equally.  I know he loves me.

Fun stuff tho! After the Temple trip we went and got Froyo with Casey our convert and her babies!!!! sooo fun, I missed those babies, they are super big now. Casey is fully active and goes to institute! I remember when Fontes and I were worried she wasn’t gonna stay active. But she’s on fire!

There’s a picture of David Nolan the one we teach and play Uno with. He’s a champ!

And we took a detour to see the St. Anthony sand dunes.

Keep on keepin on

Stoked to Serve

Elder Soren

Elder Haws, Elder Fontes, and Elder Soren
Elder Haws and Elder Fontes are Assistants to the President
and Elder Soren and Elder Haws are in the same Departing Missionary Group
Casey and Son's with
Elders Soren, Fontes & Brooks
with David Nolan, the Uno champ!
Elder Brooks and Elder Soren 
St. Anthony Sand Dunes

Idaho sand...