Monday, November 24, 2014

Too Many Miracles

This week was great! It warmed up a bit and the snow is all melting. Just in time for football at the park with the kids for Thanksgiving. I'm stoked for the holidays and for all the blessings we've had lately. We have about 14 invites for Thanksgiving… it's gonna be an interesting week. haha.

We're preparing for Mariah Winn's baptism this coming Saturday! She is so awesome. Shes one of the most positive 9 year olds I've met. She loves the gospel and is so excited to be baptized. The Winn family is awesome, we have a lesson with them tonight its gonna be sweeeeet. 

We've been meeting a ton of new people and having some really great conversations with them. I love that about missionary work. You get to have good conversations, most of the time with complete strangers. But by the end of the conversation we're already best friends. 

We had an awesome experience driving home from a lesson one night. It was 9:30pm and we were exhausted! But we past a U-haul truck and figured those people just got there and now they have to unload it. We both had the feeling to turn around and help them so we did. We walked up and asked if we could help. They were surprised but happy to let us. We later found out that right as we walked up they had just arrived and opened the back and Her Book of Mormon (quad) fell out onto the street. She picked it up and there we were. We got antiquated and helped them move in. The Jackie family. A husband and wife with their 1 son who is 9. We chatted for a little after moving in and set up a time to come visit. 
The Second time we saw them we had a great conversation about the gospel and about life. They mentioned that they haven't been to church in a bit and felt that the other night was a sign. We were having a wonderful conversation i didn't want to leave. I'm happy the Lord led us to this family.

We met the Rigby Detective. We were riding on our bikes one day and he pulled us over. He greeted us with excitement "HEY ELDERS!" and he had the normal questionnaire about where we're from and how long we bin out. Then he offered to buy us dinner anytime we needed. So the other night we took him up on the offer at the local mexican restaurant. We talked forever with him! He served his mission in Scottland and told us all his crazy stories. We asked him a lot about the crime in Rigby haha there's more than we thought. He is a great example to us we asked questions about balancing police work with living the gospel and he taught us a lot of valuable things. It was a great dinner. 

It's a blessing to be able to meet new people and hear their stories and relate everything back to the Gospel and how much our Father in Heaven loves all of his children. I've gotten to a point where numbers don't matter as much to me, i do things more out of love and having the desire to help these people see the joy that comes from the gospel. I am very grateful for this blessing in my life, to serve a mission.

I am so thankful for my mission
I am thankful for the Gospel in my life
I am thankful for my family and friends
i am thankful for the experiences in my life both good and not so good
I am so thankful for a Father in Heaven who loves me and a Savior who sacrificed his life for me.

There are a lot more things to be grateful for but what good is it to keep these things to ourselves. I desire to share these things with all who are placed in my path and i invite you to do the same.

Hope you have a great week! Happy Thanksgiving! I miss da imu turkey laidat! 

Stoked to Serve 
Elder Soren

Monday, November 17, 2014

Snow Snow Snow

This week it Dumped Snow on us! It was bitter cold for 2 days at first with a little bit of snow. Then SNOW tons of SNOW. I LOVE IT! its not too cold not as bad as the first 2 days. We started playing Christmas music in the car already. Might as well take advantage of the snow during this time of year. It's my last winter here! Better make the most of it! 

We had a mission tour this week with Elder Martino from the 70. It was such an awesome day. He blew my mind. So many new ideas and ways to more effectively do missionary work. One of the most important things, we are making an emphasis on teaching in members homes. He shared with us the example of Alma and Amulek and how Amulek astonished all who heard him. We are finding our Amulek's who would be able to relate to our investigators and have them in their home. There are about 500 ideas that came to my mind about how i wanna start working more efficiently. Im so excited to use them! 

Elder Fontes and I have been seeing amazing things happen. 

One successful tracting story haha. We were driving to set up an appointment and i drove past their house on accident and turned around to go back. We got out and felt that we should knock this door. A lady answered and after she greeted us we could tell she was a member and introduced ourselves and talked a little. She told us she was coinsidently trying to get her 9 year old baptized... We were like uhhhh we can help with that haha. So we set up a lesson. Saturday night we went over and met the whole Family. The Winns. They are a sweet little family. Mariah the 9 year old is cute and so happy. We set a date for her baptism 2 weeks from Sat. Nov. 29 and they all were happy and excited. Brother Winn said "that's awesome because its our anniversary that day!" it was so cool. This was a miracle for us. We had no one who was ready to be baptized for this month and the Lord handed us this amazing blessing. The Spirit truly guides us to those who are ready! 

We also met another family, The Lunds. They are Raddd. Brother Lund is a member not really active and his wife isn't a member. They were so nice to us and we felt like family within the first 20min of being there. We talked for a while and shared a message. We asked them if we could come back and he said yep how does every Monday at 7pm work? uhhhh we were like, that's awesome lets do it! Usually we have to be the ones setting the appointments but Brother Lund is awesome. They even offered to feed us every monday. He wants to learn all the spam recipes i know hahah. So next Monday is Spam night. Imma make musibis and maybe fried rice! so stoked. Heavenly Father is really guiding us to help those who need the gospel.

We had another lesson with a lady named Lori and her daughter who is dating a RM. They never really let us in but since the daughter was there she let us come. Lori is evangelical and is very open about her love for Jesus. She heard a ton of things from members who have left the Church. So she had a ton of questions. We did our best to answer. But her daughter told us about when she died giving birth and her experience. It was so heart warming to hear what heaven is kinda like. it was so cool to see. One thing i loved that night was how open Lori is about her beliefs. I want to be that way to. I want to overcome that fear of being looked at weird because i love the Lord so much. Lori is so awesome!

I'm so excited to be a missionary. The Lord is really looking out for us and it's so awesome to see his hand in our lives. I definitely know anything and everything is possible. The Lord always provides a way to accomplish the task at hand when we trust him.

I love this Gospel and hope to share this love with everyone that is placed in my path.

untill next week, Love ya

Stoked to Serve
Elder Soren
*Elder Sitivi from Samoa
*more poly missionaries and our companions
Wood projects to heat our investigators house

our bonfire!

Monday, November 10, 2014

November 10 2014. need your help :)

This week was COLDDD, No snow yet but it's coming! Elder Fontes and I went fishing last monday it was fun. We didn't catch anything but it was beautiful! It was SOOOO cold tho!

 We had a great week, every week is great as a missionary. It's tough but at the end of the day it's all worth it. I love it. Missionary work is fun. I've noticed that once you let go of your will and give your whole soul to our Heavenly Father small things that seem like chores become enjoyable. Especially when we see the blessings that come from being obedient to ALL of Gods commandments. "It is your work to keep my commandments yea with all your heart, mind and strength." Our work is to keep the commandments. We will be blessed when we put those commandments first in our life.

       This week we had Zone Training, Elder Fontes and I killed it! The meeting was filled with the Spirit. I know this because i don't remember everything i said to them haha. The Spirit definitely filled my mouth that day. It was so awesome to feel the unity within the Zone. We are a team more than anything. The Zone is so unified in one purpose and the miracles we have been seeing are testimony builders that the Lord is laboring with us this last time. I love being able to serve such amazing missionaries here in Rigby.

       Elder Fontes and I have been working hard and are in the process of finding more people to teach. We've been Biking and Walking a lot. It's so good to get outta the car and do some real physical missionary work haha. I love it. We have fun as we go, which helps with some of the stress. I remember the words of Elder Bishop "Work time is work time, play time is play time, but fun time is all the time." Today we are going to play lazer tag then have a bonfire at one of the Members house in our ward. We definitely work hard and play hard. The missionaries here deserve it. they are so awesome!

       I've been thinking about something that elder fontes has taught me is about personal experiences and how they are so beneficial in lessons. When we apply the gospel to our lives those we teach understand and see how it can bless their lives. 

So i have something to ask of those who read and receive this letter.

I need your help,

 If you would send me some personal experiences or a story of how the Gospel has blessed your life recently, that would be awesome. If you haven't had any lately, i invite you to keep your eyes open and pray, to see the hand of the Lord more fully in your life to have such experiences. :)

I know that your stories and testimonies will be of great benefit to those who are in need of the wonderful truths that we have today.

Thank you for all of your Aloha and support.

I love this Gospel with all my heart and promise that you will see an abundance of love and blessings in your life as you turn outward and serve. I know this because i have seen it in my life.

I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Stoked to Serve 
Elder Soren

Beauty, Peace, Tranquility & NO FISH

Monday, November 3, 2014

A Very Spiritual Week For Me


The spirit was so strong this week. I wrote a ton in my journal and have a ton to tell.

An update on Rigby, our cars are frozen in the morning and the sweaters are on. Most of the leaves are gone and it's getting cold. Snow on the mountains but not on the ground. I forgot what 7 months of winter is like, but i'm stoked!!! i love the winter and snow it makes everything more adventurous here!  I will not lie this was the first week since the beginning of my mission that i was home sick!  Especially when i got MOCHI from my mama!!!  holy cow i thought i hated that stuff. I was wrong. The heart really does grow fonder in absence lol, but im good now, no trunkiness ;)  

Halloween was great we had Mission Leadership Council from 8am till 2pm very long but super motivating and spiritual. It's one of the most spiritual meetings here in the mission, i'm so grateful to be invited to it every first Friday of the month. We hooked up a projector for the Zone to watch movies during lock-in lol. We watched Frozen again... and Heaven is for real. It was pretty good. Definitely interesting! but good to see from another's perspective. We made waffles, pancakes, bacon and fried chicken lol. 

One of the new found spiritual experiences i've had this week was unexpected, unfamiliar and powerful. But i knew it was the spirit i just felt it in a different way than i have before. It was when we were showing one of our investigators the Family History Center. I was on my account and started looking up pictures to add to my family tree for fun to start off. Then as i found pictures i found stories and articles on Both sides of the family. The first was Tuhineeee. As i read about her in an article based off of my moms eulogy at her funeral. My heart swelled as i read about this righteous woman and her humble beginnings. Her life and her accomplishments. It was amazing to see how much influence she had in the community as a faithful servant of the Lord. Including her parents Pioneer history. i get overwhelmed even writing this now!

The second family member, a servant of the Lord called to preside over the New Zealand North mission, as the first Maori Mission President. Grandpa Pere. I found a clipping of the chruch news when he was called, with a brief description of his life. I loved to read that and to know that He had a great influence among the Kiwi's in that part of New Zealand. Being able to go to MLC and spend time with my Mission President i know the responsibility of these noble men. I honor them and i am so very grateful for their love for this work we embark on as full time missionaries. 

What a blessing it is to know that my roots run deep in the Church. To know that i come from an Eternal Family such as mine, a line of faithful, Noble, Humble and Loving servants of our Father in Heaven. 

Another Experience i had this week, was yesterday, i will keep in my heart forever.  Before our 7th ward sacrament meeting Elder Fontes and I were gathering the programs standing at the doors waiting to greet the ward members with a smile and an agenda of the day.  
Bishop Poulsen of this ward came up to me and mentioned that he knew more about me than i thought. I looked at him puzzled and come to find out he had a conversation with someone who knew me very well. The suspense killed me. I begged to know. A call from Hawaii he said... I immediately thought "oh no... " that same feeling when you get a call at home from school and your just preparing for your punishment. lol. I begged again to know. He said it was from my mother...... that feeling got 100 times worse hahahahha. OH NO WHAT DID I DO???? haha that's all i could think of.
My assumptions were wrong of course, it was so out of the blue what else would i think??? He was so happy to tell me about his conversation with my MOM that he said lasted about 3 hours HAHAHHA that made my day. I told him i could have warned him about that lol. But you could just feel the spirit so strong as he talked about the wonderful conversation he had with my mom :) He served his mission in New Zealand, the year President Pere was released. She knew the missionary who trained him. His countenance was glowing as he told me.
He then testified about this experience to the ward members, it being the first Sunday of the month. It isn't every fast Sunday your Bishop testifies of what great faith and love for the Gospel your mother has!  My heart was so full as he shared about my wonderful Mother and what strength she has. I was so proud. 
Usually and most of the time it's the Mother proud of the son. But yesterday i was a proud Son.

I love my Mom, and I know every word Bishop Poulsen said in his testimony is true, wish you could have been there. If it were not for her faith i would not be here serving the Lord as my ancestors once did, i would not be the person i am today. Thanks Mom <3

My Studies this morning confirmed and added a testimony of how the Lord has blessed me with righteous women in my life to teach me the ways of the Lord. 

I read an amazing talk by Elaine S. Dalton, called "Guardians of Virtue" I will include the link in my email. I invite ALL to read it and start making decisions now. So that when the time comes to exercise faith in the Lord your decision to choose the right will be easier for you. 
I pray with all my heart that my future wife will posses all the attributes and characteristics of these women spoken about in this talk. No pressure....  ;) lol im kidding

As i read this there is a story about the Young Women of a ward in Utah who walked from temple to temple i wanna say 22 miles. This story and the principal Sister Dalton shares made me think of my Sisters. I opened my scriptures to the picture of us 3 that was taken for mothers day a few years ago and fought the tears that followed. 

I then thought about all the righteous women in my life. Those who have passed, Those current. The future one, and those that taught me some of the most important lessons of life during my youth.  Those across seas. Those who are out serving the Lord.  Those who have opened their doors to me and gave me a home away from home.  Those who where there for me when i had no one else.  Those who i hold dear to my heart.  Those who spend a lot of time and elbow grease shaping me into who i am today.  My Love and Gratitude for these Virtuous Women i cannot express.  
Just know that no effort is wasted i will do my very best :)

I love this Gospel with all my heart. I love my Family. I love all of our Father's Angels he has sent me in my life. 

I will continue to put my shoulder to the wheel and serve the Lord.

Stoked to Serve 
Elder Soren

End of Fall 2014
 *Sarah (Justin's Sister) throwing leaves at me Super Cheeeezeee

*Casey one of our investigators and one of her cute twins!!!
*To add to my home sickness a member made me Kalua Pork….

                     *the sisters in my zone always reppin

*Some KANAKS everyone in the mission say i look like hahah

Elder Soren's multiculturalism
Hawaiian, Mochi, Lava Lava, Maori, and more…

Pres. and Sis. Pere, New Zealand North Mission 1973 - 1976
my Mom's parents