Monday, July 23, 2007

Living in a "Harry"-less World

Dear Family and Friends,

Elder Sorensen's letters home have made me realize just how boring my own are. But I don't like to write too much about the people we are teaching because 1) I think it is kind of boring to read about people you don't know (for those of you who do not know the people involved) and 2) I don't know how they might feel if they were to discover themselves on the internet. But if you--as in you, my general readers--want to know let me know. We are teaching some people right now who probably really wouldn't care. So what did we do this week? We taught a lot of lessons--there are several people we are teaching in the Sutter Buttes ward who are progressing quite well--and went on a lot of exchanges (again mostly with the Sutter Buttes ward). We feel bad because it seems that a lot of our time and energy end up focused on that one ward, but that is where we can find the people who really are interested and willing to make commitments. Most of our finding is actually in the other ward, but we usually end up dropping a lot of those people because we either can't stay in touch or they really just aren't that interested. So we are still trying to figure out how to get the Buttes Vista ward excited about working with us and doing member missionary work.

The other big highlight of our week was Sister's Conference. All 13 of the Sister missionaries in the California Roseville Mission convened at the Stake Building here in Yuba and we taught little talk/lesson/workshops on different subjects. Okay so the 4 greenies didn't teach but everyone else did. The third day that I was "in the mission" (i.e. in California) we had a Sister's Conference, but at the time I was still really tired from the traveling schedule just a bit dazed. But this Sister's Conference was absolutely excellent. I was able to learn a lot, particularly on "Mighty Prayer" which is what I had been assigned to teach about. Most of my thoughts stemmed from an article in the December 2006 Ensign--it was called "Mighty Prayer"--and it was really exactly what I needed to be learning and focusing on as a missionary that week. The topics came from each companionship of Sisters; they suggested things which they wanted to learn about either because they have been struggling with them or would simply like to be able to do better them better. It was not only great to be able to see all the Sisters and catch up on the news and people from your old areas and companionships, but it was a powerful meeting. I think it was a needed pick-me-up and a great introduction for the new sisters. That and I also learned a little Hula from Sister Ah Puck who was in charge of introducing the Sisters and talked about magnifying our talents. But alas, I forgot my camera cords, Mom, but I WILL actually send you some pictures next week. I promise.

This week will be great though because we have some good appointments set up already not to mention Zone Conference. We also are singing in Sacrament Meeting on Sunday with the 15 year-old we are teaching and his best friend who will finally be able to get her less active mother to come to church. It also is a great excuse to tell the people we are teaching that they HAVE to come and support us. We aren't doing anything too fancy, just "Hark All Ye Nations" because our 5th Sunday topic is on Missionary work.

So I am not only jealous of all you who get to read Harry Potter, but I am debating whether I just want to get someone to explain the whole thing to me so I get a good explanation or risk it and see if I can actually go a whole year without someone ruining the ending for me. I guess time will tell. The hardest thing is seeing the book just sitting on counters at so many members' homes. I've had to keep Sister Nielson from reading the last page several times!

I hope you all have a great week. And by the way, Eric, if you sent that Spanish OYM to Palo Cedro with the French Book of Mormon, then I never got it and Erynn Scott was probably pretty confused about that. Could you send me another one to my mission address? Thank you.

Sister L. Sorensen

PS Mission Address:
Sister Lindsay Sorensen
California Roseville Mission
8331 Sierra College Blvd Ste 208
Roseville, CA 95661

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Yuba's Finest

Dear Family and Friends,

Apparently I forgot to give my new companion a fair introduction. Now in addition to Sister Howard and I, the Sutter Buttes and Buttes Vista wards are being served by Sister Nielson of Orangeville, Utah. She is the youngest of three kids, went to Snow College studying something in the fine arts, and does not like milk.

Well this past week we had a busy week. We were able to teach a lot of lessons and leave a lot of good commitments with the people we are teaching. We were not, however, able to get any of them to church except for the little girl who is moving to Kentucky next week, so we were sad. I guess that is life as a missionary. Before I came on my mission I always heard about how missionaries would get discouraged when people kept slamming doors, but thus far the door slams and the many, many "Not interested" responses we get don't discourage me at all. What gets me, more in wonderment really than depression, is when we teach really good lessons where I can feel the spirit strongly and then the person declines to have us back again. It is hard to believe that they don't want more peace, answers, and understanding in their life.

Other exciting things this week? We stopped by the Heritage Fair at the Yuba Sutter mall briefly on Saturday to see if we could help the members who were running the Church's booth and not only did I get good homemade bread (though I did not try the Jalapeno jam) but I also ended up with my picture in yesterday's paper. So, you never know what is going to happen. It has also been exciting to see how one of the people we are teaching, a 15-year-old whose father is in the Spanish Branch, really start to progress. He had a hard time getting along with some of the Elders but has really opened up to us. He is still praying to know for himself, but we have high hopes.

Sister L. Sorensen

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Two Funerals and Nearly a Baptism

Dear Friends and Family,

Transfers have come and gone and not only am I still in Yuba, but I am still with Sister Howard! I was a little worried there at the end that either we would get split up (in which case I was probably the one moving) or that nothing would happen and it would feel anti-climactic. So instead President Perry sent us a third sister so that the Sutter Buttes and Buttes Vista wards could have just one more sister to fawn over. Isn't that crazy? I don't know how many times in the last 6 weeks I've heard about how these wards have NEVER had sister missionaries before--now they will have three!

We had a pretty good week. Our talks in Sacrament meeting went quite well--we were even able to get two of our investigators to church (finally) and some of the less actives we have been working with as well. I have to say that our talks complimented each other nicely. We were also able to start teaching 5 new people even if our OYMs were pretty low. My "excuse" is that people are hiding from the 108 degree temperatures. The nice thing about tracting in that heat? People first tell us that it is too hot to be doing such work, and then they offer us water even when they are not at all interested. We participated in my most interesting finding effort to date, we helped a ward member prepare 78 copies of the Book of Mormon with his late mother's testimony in it to hand out at her funeral on Friday morning and then handed them out. We also almost had a baptism when a 12 year-old girl the Elders in Citrus Heights were teaching moved up here the day before her baptism was scheduled, but President Perry decided to postpone it and interview her today due to her special circumstances. The second funeral you ask? One of the people the Elders were teaching died yesterday morning. So we may be going to that funeral as well, I don't really know.

Our Fourth was pretty uneventful. There weren't any fireworks around here because there was an accident at the fireworks last year which resulted in some teenage girl having to get her leg amputated. So instead we met up with the Elders at the church in the afternoon and played Soccer Volleyball which was surprisingly hard to get a hang of. I am afraid I was in no means any good, but I tried not to be too much of a hindrance to the Elders on my team who were quite good.

Talk to you next week.

Sister L. Sorensen

Monday, July 2, 2007

Yuba Thus Far

Dear Family and Friends,

Well I forgot to mention to you last week, but transfers are next week. I know six weeks already? I am not exactly sure how that happened. I suspect I will stay here, but there is a chance that I'll be shipped off because we are getting 3 new Sisters and we are not entirely sure who will be training (Sister Howard has only trained one and then there are certain other factors so she might be training another. Though I told her that she could just consider herself as training me since I am learning a ton from her). So you are duly warned and I suggest any mail you send this week you send through the mission office just in case.

Before what I have learned, how about a little bit more about the area? I don't think I've really talked about it much. It is much smaller than Palo Cedro and rather more culturally diverse. We cover parts of Yuba--some apartments with interesting tenants, lots of new development, and then a little town called Sutter which apparently was at one point in running for becoming California's capital--although the Marysville natives (Marysville is just across Feather River from our Buttes Vista area) say that they were supposed to become the California State Capital. Anyway Sutter is pretty small but has a lot of members. It is our unofficial goal to tract every single street there before Sister Howard heads home at the end of next transfer. So far we have 3 streets down. We also have the Sutter Buttes in our area (if you've seen the mission logo, which most of you probably haven't it has Mount Shasta, the Sutter Buttes, a redwood tree, and a rose in it. So far I've seen Shasta, the Sutter Buttes, and technically been in Roseville so all I have to do is make a tour up to the Redwoods. Which is not very likely since they don't have Sisters in the Redding Zone.) Apparently Black Widows are pretty common over here; but thus far I've only seen the webs and not the spiders. Something which I do see with almost alarming regularity, however, are Chihuahuas. Everyone around here has Chihuahuas. I have yet to figure out why, but I will let you know when I do. And how about that Sister Howard? She is from Southern California, Brawley (sp? I don't know exatly where she went or I would ask her how to spell that) which is 30 minutes from Mexico in the Imperial Valley. She graduated from BYU-I in Business Marketing, and plans on working to go get a Masters or go into Cosmitology (with the goal of eventually opening her own school) when she goes home. Anything else you would like to know? She is a great missionary and keeps me on my toes, especially to make sure I am teaching well and OYMing like I should.

What I've learned? Well, now that I have no time to really write about that I'll just give you a taste. I have learned how to edge lawns and weed whack with some skill. So Dad if you need some help with that in a year I'll be glad to give you a hand.

Sister L. Sorensen

PS I have to give a talk on Repentance this coming Sunday so if you have any ideas/quotes/talks you'd like to send me that would be appreciated (but you'll have to send them rather soon for me to get them on time with the holiday this week, like today or tomorrow).