Monday, October 27, 2014

Justin's Baptism

This week was awesome! So many blessings.

Rigby is Cold, the trees are yellow and red, and i'm still in love with this place! So many good people here. I can't wait for the river to be frozen over and snow piled on the streets! no snow yet but i definitely feel it coming!

This week was awesome! Last week was awesome too.... sorry i didn't email last week... we were so busy with all our responsibilities we only had time to email President. So this one should be good and there will be a ton of pictures!

Justin Neilson was baptized this past weekend!!!! It was awesome i absolutely love the Neilson family. Justin's baptism was great everything went well. After he came out of the water he was laughing his funny laugh it was hilarious! after his baptism they took us out to eat breakfast! such a good day! I am happy to have been able to help Justin make promises to the Lord. He is so happy. He read the whole "Book of Mormon Stories" book we gave him in 3 days! now we challenged him to read the first book of Nephi by next Monday, he said he could do it by Saturday! haha i love him. He's like my little brother.

We are in a finding stage now and there are so many people who are ready to be baptized the lord has blessed us here in Rigby i love it.

Last week we went to swan valley it was beautiful. There was a huge lake and it was so nice with the fall leaves. I'm grateful for all of God's creations. I'm thankful to be in such a beautiful place.

The work is good and i love my mission!!!!

I want to share with you something i learned this week that has helped me so much. I have been struggling with feeling disenfranchised because of the Numbers and Goals we are trying to achieve in the Zone. I started to teach the gospel, and looked at investigators differently because of it. Looking at them as just another number on the board and looking successful. As i have humbled myself and recognized my error i started to change my mindset. I was studying in the Gospel of John chapter 15 and found something that made a difference with the mindset i've been having. Verses 10-16 talk about Keeping the Commandments out of Love. But what caught my attention was in the 14th and 15th verses where it says "ye are my Friends, if ye do whatsoever i command you". Christ calls us Friends. The following verse, Christ explains what He means by this. When I thought about what "Friendship" means to me. Friendship to me is a relationship with one in whom you love and respect. Someone who you will do anything for out of Love, not because you have to, because you want to. You enjoy seeing them happy. As i have applied this with my Relationship with the Savior, my companion, those who i teach, i see them as friends. My motivation to DO comes from the heart. 

I miss you all so much and pray for you daily! i hope you are doing good!

till next week

Stoked to Serve 

Elder Soren

with Elder Fontes at Swan Valley

Swan Valley

Justin's Baptism

The Zone

Hawaiian Pumpkin aka Nainoa Fine Jewelry

Monday, October 13, 2014

Another Home Away From Home

This week has been a good one.  The Leaves are changing and the air is getting cooler.  Stoked for winter to come!!!  I love the Seasons, but time goes way to quick.  I have no concept of time anymore i forget about how long i have left, i think its when i reached my half way mark that i just say over a year and leave it at that.  It's so weird.  I'm stoked to be here, lifes good.

Transfers are this week Elder Fontes and i are staying together!!  So stoked he's the man!  Pretty much our whole zone is changing companions.  Elder Thomas my 7 foot giant companion from a couple transfers ago is coming to be one of our District Leaders, that's gonna be fun! 

Elder Fontes and I have a baptism coming up on the 25th.  His name is Justin, he's 11 years old.  One of the smartest 11 year olds ever.  He explained in detail about the whole story of Noah's Ark and talks about all these science facts. He's hilarious in lessons. He says the most random stuff.  We gotta be careful about what we say because he'll go off on all these crazy funny random tangents about science and mythology haha. We love His family. His mom is so sweet. and his younger sister is so cute. Last night we ate dinner at their house it was soooo goooodd. SO fun, a ton of laughs and craziness. 
I love being able to teach families again. I love this family and it's so awesome. 

I found 3 Families from Laie!!!  The Togiai's, Tofa's and Falevai's (Hope i spelt um right) We were at the grocery store and i saw a "Da Hui" sticker on a jeep and i freaked out haha.  They were definitely from Hawaii no mistake!  The sister got out of her car and i ran up to her and started talking to her.  She said her Husband is from Laie and went to Kahuku. NUTS. She invited us over for dinner and it was AWESOME!  TONS of Food and Tons of KIDS.  It felt like home. I was in heaven!!!  They were so nice and said whenever we need food or something to come over. They invited us to Thanksgiving and Christmas haha.  i love them!  So cool to find connections back to Laie everywhere i go!  Home is never far away. 

I love my mission and i'm so happy to be here serving the Lord. The changes that are happening from within are so amazing. I want to do everything i can to be more converted to this wonderful gospel and serve for the rest of my life.

Stoked to Serve
Elder Soren 

Hay,hay,hay, Elder Soren & Elder Fontes in the country!

The Zone in Rigby, Idaho

Dinner with the 
Togiai's, Tofa's, & Falevai's 

Monday, October 6, 2014

October 6, 2014 - a thought on something i learned during Conference

This week has flown by!  It was such a good week!!!!  One Tuesday we got to watch "Meet The Mormons."  It was sooooooo gooooood!!!!  It was so motivating and uplifting to see members of the church testifying of God and Jesus Christ not through words but with ACTIONS.  This Religion is supposed to be a Lived religion.  Not a spoken one.  And these amazing people are examples to me and how i want to pattern my life after.  God. Family.  Passion.  I have an important invitation to you.  Please take or invite everyone you can to see this movie.  The success of the first weekend it's in theaters determines how long it stays.  This movie will change the perspective those not of our faith, as well as those who are of our Faith who need to see what they are apart of.  They will see some of the TRUE examples of what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints believes in.


         After The movie we had a Zone Training meeting.  Elder Fontes and I did a good job at motivating the zone.  It could have been the effects of the movie haha but everyone was pumped and inspired to DO WORK!. The training we had was energized and filled with the spirit.  I love being able to learn speaking skills and teaching skills with this wonderful calling. 

          What a GREAT General Conference we had this weekend.  All my questions were answered!  Its so amazing to see how inspired these Men and Women are to be so in tune with the Spirit, to touch the lives of millions with their words. One day i hope to be that worthy of such a blessing.  I just want to share some of my thoughts on one talk from this weekend.

          Elder Robbins gave a bold talk.  His question got me thinking, "Which way do you face".  He mentioned courage, in a way i never thought of.  Courage to turn away from temptation, to turn towards God and be an example of things that are righteous.  Growing up this is something i've experienced.  When temptation comes it truly does take great courage to turn away.  There are many influences in life that pull us in every direction, being tossed to and fro, with EVERY wind of doctrine. 

       The book of James compliments and confirms some of the thoughts i had as i listened to Elder Robbins words. 

James 1:6 & 8

       V. 6 "But let him ask in faith nothing wavering.  For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed"

       V. 8 "A double minded man is unstable in all his ways."
Elder Robbins emphasized the principal of serving 2 masters, whether you serve God or Satan, plain and simple.  Nothing wavering.
What anchors us to the path that leads back to our Father?

Our Savior Jesus Christ... 

Plain and simple

As we do our best to strive to live like our Savior and make him the anchor in our lives we will never be carried by the waves of influence that surround us.

I am so grateful for a living Prophet and Apostles here on the earth today. 

I have a strong testimony that we can receive personal revelation and answers from God's servants... The Prophets.

I love missionary work.

all is well

Stoked to Serve 
Elder Soren

Friday, October 3, 2014

We Are Only Tools in the Hands of Our Lord

My Heart was filled with joy and the spirit this week.

Rigby is filled with miracles. I am so blessed to be able to be here in this special place. 

Elder Fontes and I have had amazing things happen this week. 

Karol got baptized and it was so sweet!  She's an older woman and all her friends came to support her.  The room was filled with sweet little old ladies. :)  Karol's uncle baptized her and Elder Fontes assisted them in the font. It was so wonderful to see Karol be baptized.  She had a tough life especially with the loss of her husband. She Denied missionaries for years and years till on rainy day she opened the door for the elders previously here. What changed were their glowing faces in the rain.  And now her life is changed for the better forever.  I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to teach her the rest of the lessons and to help make this a special day for her. 

Now for the real miracle and a testimony of the Lord's timing.  The Christiansen Family (all non members of the church) are a very very special family.  They are some of the nicest people i have met.  You can just feel the love they have for one another.  All 3 siblings get along with one another and are good kids to their parents.  Their dad is hilarious and treats us like his kids teases us and jokes around with us (they said that's how he shows love), their mom is such a sweet heart and is so humble and loving.  An exceptional family. They have had missionaries teaching them for 8 years taught all the lessons and have been to church dozens of times, but the time wasn't right.  Until the night we met Ashley after standards night.  Ashley is active in young women's and would sit outside the temple dreaming that one day she could enter.  All were prepared just waiting.  As i explained in my last letter we invited her to be baptized and she said this Saturday Sep. 27th would be perfect. But... we had to ask her mom.  Candy her mom said they wanted all 3 kids to be baptized and they will talk about it as a family.  We received a text Monday evening from Candy saying that all 3 kids will be baptized on that Saturday.  Elder Fontes and i were speechless.  We just met this family a week ago and they want to be baptized, they fulfilled all the requirements and everything.  We didn't need to teach them a single lesson.  Their testimonies were strong and they answered the Baptismal questions with ease. 

Following Karols baptism, 73 people showed up to support the Christiansen Family.  It was one of the most beautiful baptisms i have seen so far on my mission and i have seen a lot of amazing things.  Full support from the ward and those that became their friends through out the past 8 years.  Brian (20 yrs old) was baptized first, then Shane (15yrs) next, then Ashley (13yrs).  I had the opportunity to be a witness.  As i stood beside the font i could see the stairs going down into the font and Candy standing at the top watching her daughter be baptized. Sister Christiansen was at this moment in tears with the biggest smile on her face. I wish i could describe this sight better but i know that she probably felt the same way the Lord did looking down from heaven that day.  The baptism was focused on eternal families and tears all throughout the room.  You could just feel the love and the spirit so strong  It was so powerful. 

I love the Christiansen family. Only knowing them for a week and already when i think about them my heart is filled with joy.  I know it won't be long untill their parents join them and they become an Eternal Family.

This is an amazing work.

I learned that us missionaries are only tools in the hands of our Lord.  We are only here to represent the Lord and teach people "how" to be guided to the right place at the right time. 

But miracles only come from God and faith in our Savior.  Conversion comes through the Holy Ghost. 

This Family was finally ready, completely and 100% ready in their hearts and in their minds.  After 8 years, this was when they were ready to let the fullness of the gospel into their lives.  God knew it, and saw that they were ready.  That's why he sent us to the Church building that night.  All we had to do was listen. 

Missionaries are only there to help the process of conversion, to help with the technical side of learning how to receive an answer or to be his hands to set up baptisms.  We are nothing without the Spirit.  People are only converted by the power of God. 

I love my mission and know that God is great.  He is a God of miracles even today. 
"Mormon 9:19 And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles.

I love my mission. I love this marvelous work. i love Rigby. I love my companion.

Always will be Stoked to Serve

Elder Soren

Karol & her Uncle

The Christiansen Family

Elder Fontes & Elder Soren,
Sept. 2014