Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas Week

    This week was pretty fun, Christmas was relaxing and a good break but im excited to get back and work!
     For Christmas Eve we went to our Bishop's house for family dinner there were so many people it was fun! We ate and then they had a talent show, Elder Duano played a song on his guitar and I was the back up singer hahahahah. It was good to be around a big family made it feel like home. After the Christmas Party we slept over at our zone leaders for Christmas the next morning. It was fun to open gifts with them. After that we all went over to the Johnson's House across the street from our apt. and had breakfast and FACE TIMED the fam! I was so happy to see my family and talk to them they are doing awesome. Best Christmas present ever!
     This week was kinda hard because people had the Holidays as an excuse for canceling. But we were still able to reach our goal for 8 member present lessons. We were happy to get back to work after Christmas we felt less productive. There were some miracles with our investigators. One of the Investigators were teaching had a really hard time wanting to come to church but he expressed his desire to go this week when we saw him! Another Miracle is Fabians family! we have been able to go and teach his mom and sister even when he wasnt there. His mom is so open now and she is understanding more and more we are so happy for their family we hope that they will all be baptised and be sealed in the temple. There's nothing more that makes my heart full than seeing a family progress to baptism and to have a goal to go to the temple to be sealed for all of time and eternity.
    This week we got transfer calls.... Elder Duano is moving to Idaho Falls:(  I'm leading the  area now and my new companion is Elder Dunlap. Im gunna miss Elder Duano, he was such an awesome trainer. But I'm excited to lead and to learn. I know that as long as I work hard and go out and DO, the Lord will bless us in our lessons. I know that having the responsibility to lead will help me grow and learn to rely on the Lord every second. I am excited to learn and improve. I know that this experience will help me to be a better missionary and to help me reach my personal goals.
    Improving is one of the lessons and qualities that I've loved since I've been on a mission.  I love the whole idea of learning and growing.That through the Saviors atonement I am able to be better each week as I take the sacrament. I am grateful for His love that He gives me. That He made it possible for all of us to reach the potential our Heavenly Father knows we can and will achieve. I know my mission will strengthen my foundation in the gospel for the rest of my life. I am so excited to be able to live my life as a disciple of his son Jesus Christ in all that I do.
    I am honored and so privileged to be a servant of the Lord while I am in my youth. I know that the Lord didn't need me to be a missionary but he allowed me to. Because of Him I am worthy to receive all the personal blessings from serving a mission because He loves me. I know that what I am learning now will benefit my future family for Eternity. "Thank yous" will never show my gratitude for the Lord and all he has done for me. I know that all I can do now is work as hard as I can and be the best missionary I can be to show only a portion of thanks to my Father in Heaven.
Elder Soren

                                                             Ward Christmas Party

                                                      Shoveling snow with the district

                                                     The Gibsons Christmas EVE 

                                                                       the Johnsons


Christmas miracles

      I know my last couple emails have been pretty junk, not as positive, and me just telling my trials. But I have learned and grown so much from all those experiences. I am so blessed that the Lord put trials in my life so that I could learn from them and become a stronger servant of the Lord. There is Sunlight in the Set backs.
      We have been sharing a message about Jesus when he was a child in Luke 2 the last 12 verses of the chapter gives the only account in the whole Bible of Christ when he was a child. From these 12 verses, I myself have learned so much about the Savior and what kind of person he was and will always be. That He needed to grow and learn as all of us do. That even as a child He knew He was the son of our Heavenly Father. That he had to fulfill the Lords will he had for him. He had to learn step by step untill he was ready to perform his purpose as our Savior and Redeemer. He had to go through literally EVERYTHING we will go through in this life to be ready, to grow, and make the atoning sacrifice he did. We have to learn step by step, line upon line, precept upon precept, following his example that we may one day become like him.
       One of the things that I've learned is that improving ourselves is one of the reasons why He sacrificed himself for us. That through the Atonement we may overcome our weaknesses and stand a little taller each time we fall. That when we rely on him in the times we are in the dumps he will deliver us. When we have no where else to turn, when we fall to the ground in sorrow, he will take our hands, ever so gently pick us up, dust off our clothes, pat us on the back, smile and walk beside us on the straight and narrow to the Gates of Heaven. He is there, He will never leave our side.
        This is what I love most about Christmas time that there is a Holiday that is focused on our Savior. That His spirit fills the season as we celebrate His birth.
        We have had miracles this week. Christmas miracles. With my new focus on the work and my desire to more fully put ALL of my attention on the Lord and his will for me as a disciple of Christ, we have seen fruits of our labor. We had 14 member present lessons this week. We set 4 baptismal dates. We contacted 9 refferals (big deal in our area). We now have 9 investigators with baptismal dates.  Last week we were struggling to have lessons and everyone was canceling on us. This week we were able to go forward with faith, work hard, and we were blessed. The numbers don't really matter, its the people. Talk about meeting amazing people on your mission. The People we set on date, Families who are open to hearing about the gospel, living righteous lives, and wanting to be eternal families. My heart has nothing but love for them.
 I have a strong testimony that the Lord truly does bless families. That the gospel is centered around families. That it is the only way we are able to be receive exaltation. I know that the Lord really has people prepared to hear our testimonies and to hear the message of the restored gospel. I know that EVERY trial we have is for our benefit. That Christ is always by our side helping us through our trials. Helping us every STEP we take on the straight and narrow path. That He himself provided for us. That we may learn and grow from each setback. I know he Loves me. I know he Loves you. Always turn to him For he is the way.
Cant wait to Skype on Christmas!!!!

Love you, miss you, miss the waves, the aina, enjoy Christmas in paradise as I eat snow for breakfast, lunch and dinner ;)
Much Love
Elder Soren<3

                                Sister Ockey before she left to serve in Argentina

                               Sister Narwood at the christmas party! we love visiting her


Monday, December 16, 2013

Week 11

This week has been good! our area is starting to progress more and we have 6 people on date! there have been so many miracles with our investigators and the new investigators we have now. Like every week we have our struggles, people canceling appointments and our investigators are starting to have trials before their baptism so please pray for them! We need all the prayers we can get!
   There have been so many blessings that we have received and the work is picking up again! we are happy that we are able to have more lessons during the week. we have seen the fruits from our labors now and were glad we can have more work!thats the cool thing about the mission... You want WORK. Kinda funny thinking about young adults praying for work, usually we have to work, find jobs that we dont like, or are annoyed with. But the mission teachers us to work hard. Because we know the Eternal outcome of hard work we are motivated to find all the work we can get. Which will help us prepare for when we come home, knowing we need to start working, to one day to provide for a family. Our Eternal Families. haha I can't wait to come home and get 2 Jobs plus Soren Hawaii. Sounds crazy but right now thats all i wanna do, use my time wisely and be productive.
    I have had a trial this week that helped me re-establish my purpose as a missionary and whats important. I was on exchanges for my birthday last week. I was on exchanges this week for 2 days and missed our wards christmas parties. I was super bummed out all day. but then i thought about why i am on a mission. To go to christmas parties, have fun with members, and eat food? no im here to preach the gospel and fulfill the Lords work. I learned that there is one thing thats the most important priority on a mission. To bring others to baptism, and all that follows. I know that i need to work harder and that my focus is not on the other things of the mission but the most important. Only reason we are on a mission, to bring others unto Christ.
    I am so excited for this up comming week, to be able to go forward with my new focus and desire to work. I know, that even in the mission it takes time and trials to grow and to become a better person and a better missionary.
   I am so happy to be able to have the Lord by my side to help me with my trials. I am grateful for His atonement, how we are able to progress and improve each day to be more like him.

Elder Soren

our favorite pug dog named NELLIE 

Me and Sister Ockey! She leaves tomorrow to Argentina

At Zone Conference with Sister Gale and Sister Riding

the Elders in the district

Monday, December 9, 2013


This week has been so good! its only -3 degrees today nbd.... hahhaha. We have been getting so much work and were excited! the members are such a big help. They have been giving us more and more refferals since the Hastening of the work! Members and missionaries working together, missionaries helping with members with the members missionary work. its been so awesome! If you know the missionaries that serve in your ward they need your help! give um refferals ride, feed um, what ever! i love the members they are so supportive here and it really makes out lives a little easier. I know everyone seems to be so busy with their own needs but I know that when you help the missionaries you not only help them and their investigators, but the Lord will bless you and your families more than you know for assisting in his work. Try it!
   We had some wonderful lessons this week with Lisa.  She has a baptism date for Dec 27th  pray for her! She is the sweetest lady ever! We taught her the Plan of salvation this week.  Half way through the lesson, tears were rolling down her cheeks. Being a widow, knowing she can be sealed with her husband touched her heart and brought re-assurance to her soul. My heart was full. I know that we will all see our family once again and Im thankful to be able to share that message to those who have lost their loved ones. They comfort they feel is like no other. Only in this gospel can we be bound on earth and in heaven for all eternity. My testimony of the Plan of Salvation is so strong. I know it to be true.
  Friends always ask if i meet amazing people. I have, they are those not of great stature or popularity, but of humble and lowly hearts with the desire to grow closer to their Father in Heaven. Brother & Sister Chapel had us over for dinner.  It was one of the most heart warming dinners I've had. Sister Chapel is a Native American woman in a wheel chair with glaucoma and is swollen from head to toe. She ordered us pizza hut because she couldnt cook.  As we ate, she shared with us her situation having to go to dialisis 3 times a week and sleeping sitting up because of her condition. Although her situation was one of the most depressing things I've heard, her positivity and love for the savior was more than I have ever seen in someone, ever some of the most active members.  She knew the Lord would take care of her and bless their family.   As her  husband made us mashed potatoes she would yell "YOU GO JACK!" with a huge smile on her face as her "hero" as she calls him fixed us up some extras.  I was so humbled from this experience, I have truly met some amazing people on my mission and it has only been 2 1/2 months.
 Now for something not so depressing haha, MY BIRTHDAYYYY haha finnally 19 holy cow im so young. But I can't believe I'm already 19 and then 20 wowow i feel like its only been a few years since i dressed up tom the cat in my clothes.  When I was still watching dragon ball z on the weekends with liko and levi. Time really does fly but i hope my mission lasts forever. Sadly it wont but it doesn't have to stop when i get home:). We were on exchanges on my birthday it was so scary cuz I was leading the area for my first time but it was a wonderful learning experience.  We had a bbq with the elders in my district at grandmas it was so fun. the next day is when i got my packages from home, made me feel like i was in hawaii for a day, listening to Bradda IZ, listening to all the birthday wishes on the recording tape picturing all your smiling faces. made me feel like i was at aunty nikkis for a bday bbq hahaha loved it, thank you all so much! didnt feel any different than being back at home.

bday bbq - made me feel like i was at zippys with the teryaki spam and fried chicken! i miss zippys

 Although i missed everyone of you, missed my home,  I am now feeling like Idaho is home. I deffinantley could live here for the next 2 years. i love the people i love the wards. Best of all I LOVE THE SNOWWWWWWW. SOSOOSOSOSOOO fun snow everywhere! It's so beautiful i love walking in it and throwing it everywhere. i love the snow i hope it stays till summer!!!!
Elder Duano is the Pirate missionary he has pink eye and wears an eye patch hahahahaha

love you miss you
Elder Soren

                                                                      snow surfin!

Giving Thanks and the Book of Mormom

This week has been pretty good, kinda slow since the holidays but we had an awesome Thanks giving.  We ate at the Barelas house it was so fun, it reminded me of home because it wasn't a traditional sit down and eat everyone was every where and loud and fun. They always have us over for dinner and help us with missionary work. I am grateful for their family and for taking care of me and Elder Duano.  
This week has been wonderful, the holidays are here and the people are so friendly. Although everyone is busy with their families we still were able to fit some lessons in. We were able to set one of our investigators with a baptismal date.  He is so solid. the rest of his family are members his wife and 3 daughters. The lesson we had with him after they fed us dinner was so amazing, the spirit was so strong. He received it so well and his desire to know more is awesome.
 One thing that touched my heart was when we were giving the lesson they only had 1 Book of Mormon for the family and I had one so I gave it to one of his daughters to use. After the meeting finished she handed it back, but I told her to keep it. The look in her eyes was so heart warming. She was so happy. She said "Can i really keep this?" I said yes of course! She then followed with multiple sincere thank yous as we left. I was so happy to be able to simply give a 12 year old girl a Book of Mormon and to see how much joy came to her. Her eyes looked like she had received the present at the top of her Christmas list. It's not always the huge miracles like baptism or having a golden investigator that makes us happy. But the small and simple sweet moments that prick your heart and help you realize how wonderful this gospel is and how happy it makes someone.
I've been having a little bit of a hard time because idk for some reason I've been frustrated or discouraged. I think its the cold hahah. but I prayed to my Heavenly Father for guidance and comfort and He told me what I must do. To keep going forward with faith, trusting in the Lord and knowing he is with us and we remain obedient to our mission rules.
 I am so happy to be able to experience the lives of others. To see the joy in the eyes of those who accept the fullness of the gospel. I am so thankful for this opportunity to serve. I am thankful for our Heavenly Father. Im thankful for our Saviour and his continous atonement. I am thankful for my Family my friends and everyone that supports me on my mission.
We need your help, pray for our families and those we are working with. They need all the aloha from our little island.
I love you and miss you
Elder Soren

                              Brother Aki had us over for dinner he used to surf with my dad