Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas and Ashlee's Baptism

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

My email will be short but sweet.

This week was one of the best! 

Ashlee Andrews was baptized this Saturday and Confirmed yesterday. I had the Opportunity to baptize Ashlee. I wish to share my feelings in this experience. 
The program, started and brief talks were given. Before i knew it we were walking towards the font, at the top of the stairs and into the water we went. As i began the prayer i realized what i was doing. A lot of feelings and information came into my mind and heart within seconds. At that very moment i was filled with light and the Love of our Father. Everything looked a lot brighter. She went under the water but i saw her elbow pop up. So we did it again. The feelings were just as strong the second time i prayed as the first. It was a wonderful feeling. Indescribable. She was so happy. Her excitment reminded me of Jaque's enthusiasm when she was baptized.  The Spirit was so strong.
Elder Fontes and I after we got changed, along with her mom and uncle bore our testimonies.

I had the prompting to share with her what i felt as we were in the water, this is what i remember of what i said, "I felt that as a missionary we sometimes have the wonderful opportunity to perform the ordinance of baptism for those who we teach. I haven't had this opportunity since the beginning of my mission. I am so very grateful for this opportunity, because i felt like i was standing next to someone who was pure and full of love and light. I know Heavenly Father is smiling down upon you this day."  I concluded with my testimony of Christ. Every word was truth and my feelings i know with all my heart were from the Spirit. I got emotional as i told her. I don't get very emotional as i teach or testify but the Spirit was very overwhelming.  It was not easy to hold back watery eyes.

I love the Neilson Family with all my heart. Sarah the youngest is getting baptized in Feb. with the Stake baptisms. Their whole family will be in the Gospel and that makes my heart happier than anything. 

What a joy it is to be a missionary.

Christmas was too fun. We had a good time with the Zone. The Rigby Zone is the best. We are all unified in the work and are friends. It feels like a big family. 

Christmas Eve we spent with the Halls and Christmas morning with the Zone and the Benions, it was a lot of fun.

I am excited for the New Year and for new beginnings. 

I hope you all have a great Holiday Season and Blessings for the New Year! 

Mahalo's for all of your love and support and gifts both spiritual and temporal. :)

Sorry i have to be brief but i love you all so very much.

Always Stoked to Serve

Elder Soren  

Ashlee's Baptism

with Rudolph & Elder Thomas

The Elders

Rigby Zone!

the Sisters loved their flowers!
buried the Sisters car in snow lol

the Jones Ohana
                                         The Halls

Monday, December 22, 2014

& it just Keeps getting Better, Merry Christmas!

This week was BUSYYY. But Amazing!

Carlos Morales got baptized! There was a lot of family & support. Carlos told us the night before he invited his sister who is struggling to come to his baptism. He also invited her to be baptized too! He knew how much this decision would bless his family and he partook of the fruit and desired that his family may partake as well. Carlos is such a great example to his family and i have no doubt that his brothers and sister will join him because of his righteous example. When Carlos walked down the hall i felt as if i was greeting a Bishop. He looked so good in his suit and walked with a very respectful manner. He will probably be a Bishop one day garanteeeee. 

Yesterday i had the wonderful privilege of confirming Casey a member of the Church, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and giving her a blessing. I have never done it before so it was a very special moment. It was a weird feeling. I was completely disconnected from the world and forgot about everything around me so i was somewhat startled when i opened my eyes and saw the whole 7th ward looking at us, haha. I dont remember what i said but i know it was good because of the feeling in my heart. I am grateful for the opportunity to be a messenger and a tool in the Lords hands. This is His work and we are just the Physical means to represent Him here on earth. What a blessing.   

We got to meet Ashley! Justin Nielsen's older sister. We had a great first lesson with her. Her desire to be baptized is so wonderful. We talked about the Savior and his example and when we invited her to be baptized she cried and said "ive been waiting to hear that for sooo long." She was taught by the missionaries when she was 12 and then she moved and never saw missionaries till we came over. It's amazing that even through all those years she still had the desire to be baptized, she didn't give up. A lot of times, especially with such a long time in between with no contact with the church people tend to loose desire. But she didn't. 

So for those you know who you feel as if they have lost desire, don't give up on them. Help them know that they are a child of a Loving Father in Heaven. I promise that when you show them God's love for them their hearts will change. They will see the tree of life along the beaten & narrow path, and they will desire to partake of the fruit as well.

I have definitely seen that one of the most important things we could ever do for another human being is to Listen to them and show that you care. There have been recent experiences with the missionaries that have lost some desire to work and have completely turned around because someone was willing to listen.
I invite you to be that instrument to someone who you feel isn't heard. To turn outward and love the unloved. I promise you an inward and subtle reward of great joy within your heart because you've mourned with those who mourn and comforted those who stand in need of comfort. 

With this Christmas season I've seen so much good in the town of Rigby. Always an outward expression of giving this time of year. It's a good feeling. 

I leave you with my testimony of the Birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. I know that his humble beginnings brought life, love, peace and joy to the world. He is the Gift that our Father so freely has given us. GOD's LOVE IS HIS SON. That's what i've come to know that is true in my heart this Christmas. I know with every fiber of my being that God loves EVERY one of His children. He knew the price that His Son would pay. But he sent him anyway to redeem the rest of us from the sting of death and our sins. There was no other way. I know that the little baby born in Bethlehem is Jesus the Christ. He lives and loves us. Because of him there is a way. I know that when we discover and embrace this gift our lives will forever be filled with his light and love. I know when we come to Know Him, our very countenance can change and others will see His face in us. 

I invite you to share this Gift with all those who have forgotten or have no knowledge of it. Give those in need that knowledge & it will be a gift that will change their lives. It's priceless all it requires is love & courage. 

I love you all so very much and hope with all my heart that you will have a warmth in your heart this Christmas Season. That you may feel our Savior's love. 

Peace & Blessings

Melekalikimaka & Aloooooohhhaaa

Stoked to Serve 

Elder Soren

*Carlos and his family

*Some of my greatest examples at our Christmas Conference 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Miracles..... nuff said


CASEY WINFREE GOT BAPTIZED!!! The text she sent us on Saturday came true and we planned her baptism in 2 days and it turned out fantastic! She was sooooo happy! She said last Friday night she was painting her new apartment and she had this overwhelming feeling that she has been so blessed in her life and that she needed to be baptized. It was awesome. The night before her baptism we had a member send her a text to say congrats on her decision, right then Casey was doubting herself and wasn't sure if it was the right decision but when she saw the text she knew that it was what she was supposed to do and was comforted. We were so stoked! the baptism was sooo goood. we were so happy for Casey. 

We saw Carlos Morales this week as well, He is still getting Baptized this weekend. It's all planned out and he and especially his wife are so very happy. The Lord truly has his own timing we just have to be willing and worthy to be entrusted with such blessings.

Our Recent Convert Justin Nielsen's older sister flies in tomorrow so were gonna teach her all the lessons and she's going to be baptized on Dec 27th

These miracles have strengthened my testimony that this is God's work. We are only the way and means of helping His children make covenants with him. But the spirit and His love does the converting. We are just physical representatives of the Savior and guides to the Narrow Path.

I am content and very Happy that i have this opportunity to be one of those guides. And a tool in our Father's work.

This week we had our Christmas Conference with the Missionaries in the North part of our mission. Elder Fontes and i had the opportunity to conduct the meeting. I conducted the First half, i was pretty nervous at first because Elder Craig C. Christensen of the quarum of the 70 was sitting next to me. haha. He spoke in this last April conference. But after a few announcements i got comfortable on the mic and it went well.

For the Talent show at the Conference we had a Polynesian Performance it was pretty fun! I haven't done something like this in a while haha and it's kind of out of character but it was so fun. I enjoyed it a lot and stoked that we could share some of our Culture with the missionaries.

It was a good week. We are way too busy and it's good.   

Stoked to Serve

Elder Soren

President & Sister Brinkerhoff

Happy 20th Birthday Elder Soren!  What a great birthday present!!!
"awesome huh?!" 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Best Bday Everrr

This week was soooooooooo awesomeee. 

It stopped snowing but it's windy and cold! it's so crazy that the year is almost done. Time goes way to fast. I'm loving every second of it tho and soaking it all in.

We had Christmas Parties this week and a lot of our investigators came. It was tons of fun. The members here are so awesome. 

There was some thick fog out here it was crazy i've never experienced fog! it was awesome!

I wanna invite you all to go to this link and watch the "He is The Gift" video. I love it it! and i know you will too!  It helps remind us of the true meaning of Christmas!!  Please share it with those who come into your thoughts who might need to see it!

I had a sweet experience on splits with our ward mission leader. We taught 2 lessons and contacted a buncha people to come to the Christmas party that night. We knocked on this one door but they weren't home. I saw a woman and a guy (found out they're siblings) sitting on their front steps across the street smoking. Brother Lindsay and I went over to invite them. They were members not active tho. I asked if i could share a Christmas message with them and they invited us in. We talked about Christ and the true meaning of Christmas. The woman started to cry. She expressed how things have been hard lately. Her Brother told us how he just got back from the Hospital that morning. We asked if he would like a blessing and He accepted. We shared a little more and invited them to the Ward party. We ended up seeing them that night with big smiles on their faces. The Lord truly leads us to those who need his Love in their lives. 

On Saturday (Ma Dbday) i had the most awesome day ever. Sister Lindsay the member we live with made us breakfast! it was sooo goood. Then we went to a Polynesian practice in Rexburg for the mission talent show. It was a ton of fun. We're doing the haka, a sasa dance and a hula about the restoration. There are a ton of Poly's in the mission. They were all there. It's so awesome to be able to share the Aloha Spirit with the Idahoans. 

Then we went for lunch to "Big Juds" famous 1lb meat burger challenge. You gotta eat the Huge burger, basket of fries and a large drink in 30 min. Elder Thomas took the challenge and beat it hahaha he got his picture taken and a shirt it was awesome!

During Lunch we receiveed a miracle text. We've been trying to teach this family for months now but never got in because they got offended by past missionaries. We've tried and tried but no luck. In the text we got, their fellow shipper said, "Game on you can teach the Davis family"!!!!  We were sooo stoked!  They are an awesome family and I know they would make amazing members!

Half an hour later we received another text from Kasey who we've been teaching every week since i got here. She was never really sure about baptism but out of no where she said, 

"I want to be baptized"

"by you guys"

We freaked out!!! we couldn't believe it!
She has been super busy with moving so we still yet have to have a sit down and talk to her about it.  But it was an awesome birthday present that I'm sure all missionaries would love to read. 

I had such a great week and thanks to all of you for the birthday wishes it meant a lot!

I'm always gunna be Stoked to Serve

Peace and Blessings this Holiday Season, missin you more than ever right now!

Much love 
one love

Elder Soren

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Stoked! the Big 20...

What an amazing week! I am so stoked to be a missionary!!!!!!

Life's great, i've gotten to the point that this is the only thing i know haha. I'm just completely immersed in this work. All my thoughts (most of the time) are, who i can help or who needs our message. It's awesome!

Time is going by way to quick. It's so crazy to think i'm gunna be 20 in a few days. I still feel 17. haha its good tho. I've lost all track of where i'm at on my mission. I try my best not to do the math of how long i've been out, i just say "over a year." I love my mission and i'm so happy to be here.

We had an amazing Baptism this weekend! Mariah Winn was baptized on Saturday Nov 29th and Confirmed in sacrament meeting Nov 30th. There was about 70 people at her baptism Saturday morning. She was glowing and radiating with cheer, what a wonderful sight to see. I'm lucky that the Lord blessed us with this experience. We were also able to take her and her Family to the Temple Visitors Center. It was very spiritual and the feeling of Eternal Families was in the center. What a blessing it is to have a temple so close and to feel the special spirit it has. 

We got transfer calls! Elder Fontes and I are staying for the Holidays! it's gunna be a ton of fun! Our Zone's changing quite a bit, but some old friends from Poky will be joining us in the Zone so i'm excited!

We had a great ThanksGiving! We had 3 dinners and tons of Pie appointments! haha no worries, i neva gain any weight! It was a ton of fun! We had some great families that we spent the day with. I am so grateful for all the members who love and support us. Who share their Ohanas with us and make our day feel like home. 

We had a service project at a dairy farm. We were initiated to become true idahoans.... only once in a life time opportunity to help cows have babies ;) (See pic Below) hahahah CHEEEEE HEEEEE

Stoked for this week! 

Stoked out of my mind!

Love ya

Elder Soren!

Thanksgiving dinner with the Warner's