Monday, January 29, 2007

Where in the World is Palo Cedro?

January 29, 2007

Okay Folks,

This is going to be kind of short because I had to use part of my half an hour of writing time reading the emails I'd received. So if you want more news, send me letters, if you want less news, send me emails. Don't you feel powerful?

Email rules (for those of you who expressed wonder, if not feel free to skip): I can only email from, I cannot check any other websites. Which means that I cannot update my own missionblog. Sad for you. I can only spend 30 minutes total. You are supposed to email at a library or computer business but as Palo Cedro lacks any of the above, we are allowed to email from Members' businesses if they have computers and are willing to let us do so. Now to the real stuff. You can comment on my blog, but I wouldn't see the coments. Someone would have to send them to me. I am undecided about wanting Sorensen group mail, I might not have time to read it.

My first assignment is is Palo Cedro. I'm not going to lie it's pretty much the boonies. Which does have its positive points. For instance, we are in a car and not on bikes. The funny thing, is that we actually don't even live in our area, but we do live in one of the nicest apartments in the mission. It's about a half hour drive to where most of the people in our ward live, and we have investigators that live at least an hour away. So we have to be very clever with our planning not to exceed the number of miles we've been allotted. But Palo Cedro is quite pretty, so that is a bonus. And so far the people have been quite nice and nobody has brought their shotgun out while we've been tracting. We do not, however, tract at night for this very reason.

The first day was kind of crazy. I ended up waking up at about 2:00-2:30 because my room mate had to be down to the travel office by 3:00 and while she is a very nice person, she is not the quietest. I did survive the plan ride with 20 Elders, though at the start of the bus ride from the MTC into Salt Lake (with many more than 20 Elders) I feared that perhaps not all of the Elders on their way out were going to make it if they persisted on talking in Donald Duck voices at 5:30 when the rest of us were trying to sleep. We spent most of the day once we got to Sacramento driving to the Stake Center, getting orientated and interviewed, setting up email accounts, and filling out paper work. Then we drove to the mission home where we were fed finally, I didn't eat breakfast and it was about 2:00 by this time. Then once the mission President figured out where he was sending us all we drove an hour and a half to Yuba City to meet our trainers. On a side note, I quite liked the Perrys. Though for some reason or other Sister Perry rather reminds me of the mother from 7th Heaven.

My companion is Sister Rowlands and she is by all accounts an excellent trainer. She is very bold in talking to people out on the street (OYMs) which is good for me because she insists I take my turn as well. We didn't drive up to our area on Tuesday because it was nearly a 4 hour drive and we had to be back down in Roseville on Thursday morning for Sister's Conference. So we went on exchanges with the sisters in Auburn and I got to tract--for a good 3 hours--there and teach my first lesson (to a member and a recent convert). Then Thursday we had Sisters Conference where all 12 of the sisters here met together and gave little mini lessons. Yes there are 12 sisters out of 160 missionaries in our mission. Then Sister Perry drove us to Vacaville (I made up that spelling) which is incidentally not in our mission, to meet up with the Edwards who were driving us up to our area. Since then its been a lot of meeting members. I only remember who about 30 of the people I've met are. We try to tract for about an hour a day, and teaching little lessons to inactive and part member families (we have tons of these in our areas). I've only taught one real lesson, and it went really well. We definitely diverged from our lesson plan, but I felt really comfortable and I had lots of personal experiences I could use to make our points and I could really feel the spirit when I testified.

Sister Sorensen

4538 B Lynbrook Loop
Redding, CA 96003

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Too Cold for a Kiwi

January 20, 2007

Kiaora! (That's some of my Maori)

Well it has been cold lately, but not really much snow down here in Provo--much to Sister Thomas's relief. She gets pretty cold, but I've been trying to tough it out with just my sweater/blazer and scarf. I finally relented,however, and now I wear my raincoat in the morning and on the walk home at night. But it's not too bad. Congratulations to Emily and Odhiambo--I'm glad Peter finally has made an appearance. I hope that some day soon I will see pictures and learn his middle name. (ed. note: Peter Juma Odhiambo)

Things have been going well here. We've taught the thrid lesson in the TRC and then the first one again. The third lesson was a good experience because the volunteer actually acted like a real investigator and asked a lot of good questions which really made us think on our feet. Thursday's appointment was not as nice. We had prepared our lesson plan (teaching the opposite sections from the ones we taught the first time for Lesson 1) and questions for the people we were teaching in our scenario and got to the room to find two people. One guy decided himself that he would not be one of the people from our scenario but would be a member instead. He then proceeded to spend the entire time interrupting us and telling us what we needed to teach and what we didn't and completely rearranging our lesson. It was quite frustrating, but I think Sister Thomas and I rose to the occasion.

Mail here is funny. I seem to get three or four letters on one day and then nothing the rest of the week. It was rather funny because on Tuesday I got a note from Catherine about her adventures at the "Cowgirl" and she mentioned corndogs. And I thought that I would rather fancy a corndog. Then Amy wrote about the banana bread and I hadn't seen any here. But lo and behold that night the MTC cafeteria served both corndogs AND banana bread! It was much appreciated, so feel free to mention good food in all your letters.

I have had some interesting experiences in the RC (Referral Center). I've talked to a couple of African immigrants. Today a woman called and started off by asking me if I could answer some of her questions. We ended up talking for half an hour about tithing, about how wards can be families, I shared the Restoration and bore my testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. In fact, it was a pretty good day at the RC.

Sister Thomas is trying to teach me a Maori song. I'm an eager learner, but I'm afraid it is coming along slowly. I have a goal to get it all learned by Tuesday, and I hope it happens. But if it doesn't I guess that's one more reason to go visit her in New Zealand. Somehow or other I've become known as the Sister who sings in our district. I think its mostly because we always sing a capella in class and we start low because the Elders always start us off, plus I sing loud. I must have let their few comments go to my head, however, because I noticed I have not been singing all that well lately.

I suppose that is about it. I ship out bright and early Tuesday so please send future correspondence on to California. I don't know when I'll get to write again because I don't know when the P-day is out in the field.

Sister Sorensen

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Laundry Room Larks

January 13, 2007

Dear Family, Friends, and Whomever else might be interested,

Well, there really aren't any larks going on in the laundry room, sorry to get your hopes up. I'm simply doing laundry--I've been here since 6:30 a.m. I think outside of basketball, this may well be the most competitive plave here at the MTC. But that's okay, we're just waiting for Sister Thomas' last load to get out of the dryer and then we can go back to the room.

Things are going very well. Sister Thomas and I get on swimmingly. We're both quite laid back, both quiet and both studious and diligent. We've already taught both the 1st and 2nd lessons in the TRC (where volunteers pretend to be investigators) and will be teaching the 3rd on Monday. Tell Laura she ought to go to volunteer at the TRC, I bet she would be really good and it helps the missionaries to get someone who really interacts. The service missionary we taught last Monday was falling asleep the whole time which was really rather disconcerting when you are trying to teach. Classes are great! I really like Sister Heist, our morning teacher, and I really liked Brother Dawson who was our evening teacher for the first week. He make me teach our first lesson the first Thursday we were here. Almost every time he was teaching we could count on having to teach one of the other classes. But he was moved to a different room when BYU's new semester started and now we have Brother Updike. I like him fairly well, too, but he's pretty much the opposite of Brother Dawson so it's going to take some getting used to.

The food here isn't the best, I knew that coming in--but it's okay. I do feel bad for Sister Thomas thought because she doesn't like most of it. But since she is from New Zealand she always expresses her dislike in a very nice way. Sister Thomas and I joke that it is a good thing I am her companion because I can translate American terms for her and always understand what she is saying. I must admit, however, that Sister Thomas has a much better American accent than my attempts at a New Zealand accent. I have 10 more days to pracitce though. I will be very sorry to have to leave Sister Thomas! I leave the MTC at 5:00 a.m. on the 23rd, and she stays on another week to do Visitor Center Training before going to Temple Square for 3 months and then on the the Nauvoo Visitors Center. I have learned a lot from her and she really sets a good example of diligence for me--always way ahead on her lesson plans.

As for my district, I love them too. I expected to get frustrated with the Elders and always be quite aware that they are two years younger than me, but I find I almost always forget that. Four of the Elders are going to the Roseville Mission as well, including, Anux (ed. not--this was an indecipherable name), the Elder with the orange tie whom we saw at the Training Table. All in all there are 21 of us going to the Roseville Mission, and I believe I am the only sister. That's bound to be a fun plane ride!

I really do love it here, way more than I expected. I have had so many spiritual experiences and learned so much teaching, in class and at devotionals--we had one from Janice Kapp Perry andher husband and one from M. Russell Ballard and Richard G. Scott. Sister Thomas and I joined the choir and really enjoyed that, so we'll do it again this week. And I think that is pretty much it. I got 3 letters on Monday, one from mom, one from Anne, and all the little advice notes from the missionary shower from Emily. I sent word to let me know abything about the newest Odhiambo. I can only assume that by now she has had the baby and I want to see pictures and know names! Eric, I wrote you a four page letter last week and I have had narry a word in return!

I love you all and will send frequent reports as soon as I arrive in California.

Love, Sister Sorensen