Tuesday, September 25, 2007

By George, I think she's got it!

Dear Family and Friends,

Despite my worries last week, something finally clicked for Sister Mauga this last week and she's really coming along on her bike riding. We've been able to enjoy a little outdoor exercise the last several mornings, and I have to say it makes me so much more awake for personal study! Too bad we're heading into the rainy season and that might not be possible for too much longer!

We had an eventful week if not entirely as productive as we might have liked. We did have some really excellent lessons (particularly firsts), but our finding and OYMing was WAY down this week. It doesn't help when cool/rainy season corresponds with flu season + Sister Missionaries shaking a lot of people's hands and what not. So needless to say Sister Nielson had a rough time of it this week, never full on flu but treacherously close. We also learned this week that Sister Mauga has been having sinus headaches for 4.5 months without telling anyone or taking anything for them--so while we picked up so flu medicine for Sister Nielson we got her some sinus clearing stuff. Great descriptors, I know.

When we arrived home Friday night from a day's worth of proselyting (with Blizzards in hand, might I add, because we went to do some daily contact with one of our less actives, the husband of one of our strongest investigators) we realized that both Sister Mauga and Sister Nielson had locked their keys in the house. I stood there for a moment contemplating what a Sister Missionary with dripping ice cream is to do in this "emergency": call the Bishop--sometimes they have a spare key, and if that, then which one, does the District Leader have a copy? and my I was glad we had a cell phone. Sister Nielson turned to me and asked if we'd put the bar back into our sliding glass door after bike riding that morning. Hmmm, no because our patio door locks and was indeed locked at that time. So she decided to attempt climbing over the extremely ivy-covered (except that it is not ivy) fence and squeezing between it and the overhang to get in, while she was dizzy with flu symptoms and flu medicine. This upset Sister Mauga who was certain she would fall. Then Sister M realized that the screen on our Study Room's window was still bent from when she tried to wash the outside from the inside for our apartment checks. So she and the sock-footed Sister Nielson squeezed past the treacherously prickly bushes in the dark to investigate. It was about this time that Sister Nielson lost her sock to the bush. Sister N couldn't get the screen off so she decided to try and climb the fence on the other side, but thought it would be easier if she could turn her skirt into pants "King and I" style. Meanwhile Sister M worked away on the window, while I was still around front with everyone's ice cream wondering what was taking so long. Finally As Sister N was trying to scale the fence, Sister M got the screen off and tried to convince Sister N to climb onto her shoulders. Sister N, always seeing the opportunity to teach, instead instructed her on how to do a cheer leader toss and successfully made it through the window at last. So we finally made it in--though Sister N was still worried our neighbors would call the police on us as they have a bit of a "Rear Window" habit. The police never came, however, and on Saturday morning we found Sister Nielson's keys in the car where they had been sitting the whole time. Isn't life fun as a Sister missionary?

We decided to end the week with a baptism. After all something has to come at the end of this story.

Until our adventures next week,
Sister L. Sorensen

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

So Easy to Do, So Hard to Teach!

Dear Family and Friends,

There isn't too much to report this week. We worked hard, we got a lot done, but there is a lot still left to do. One thing we failed to do, is to teach Sister Mauga how to ride her bike. I've discovered that this is actually quite a hard thing to do. We tried, believe me. But I think it is kind of just something you need to figure out yourself. So I try to just be supportive and go sit outside with her in the mornings as she keeps trying--I don't feel that riding circles around her would do much for her morale. So yes, we just keep working hard.

It was rather a weird week schedule wise because we had interviews with our Mission President on Friday, so we had to do Friday Morning Planning on Thursday and some how that just throws me all off. But interviews were good, thus far my longest and most revealing interview (it was probably about 6 minutes instead of 2). Zone Meeting was really good too, very inspiring. I love this Zone, the work is just going along so well here. That said, this is your two week warning. The next transfer begins October 2, so please keep that in mind for any letters which will hopefully be coming my way (as in next week when you write me letters, because I know you all will, send them to the Mission Office and not to my Yuba address). I have very strong premonitions, shall we say, that I will not be here next transfer. That makes me sad, but it had to happen some time.

Sister L. Sorensen

Monday, September 10, 2007

Hello, Don Carlos!

Dear Friends and Family,

How has your week been going thus far? Hopefully not too bad as it is only Monday. Last week went really well for us. It started out a little stressful as we spent most of Monday pretty much deep cleaning the apartment (including experimenting with using a ward member's carpet cleaning machine), and trying to get the car spic and span. But it perked up after that.

We had a great district meeting: Sister Mauga fed us all Samoan food for reaching our District's finding goal. Then went out to do some more work! I'm so pleased that our companionship has been able to work so hard the last two weeks. Despite the fact that Sister Nielson and Sister Mauga were still fairly sick last week they were real troopers as we tried to OYM everyone possible. I've noticed that the Lord rewards our efforts; the more we try to OYM, the more people He puts in our way to OYM. Last week we had a goal of 50 and were just 2 shy, but still that is pretty good because we forgot to factor in that we would be at Zone Conference a big chunk of Thursday. We also found nearly twice as many new investigators than we had aimed for--thanks to the fact we were able to go on some good exchanges and have been opening our mouths more. We're still trying to even out our investigating pool between the two wards, but we just seem to find more solid people in Sutter Buttes (though we are finding a lot of people in Buttes Vista as well). We also got some great lessons in and it looks like the first baptism of my mission will be on September 23, which is very exciting. I am fast approaching my 9 month mark--doesn't that sound crazy?--and I was really hoping to see some baptisms before that point! Now I should have two, and we are all very excited about that. Other news? We won apartment inspections finally, so the carpet cleaning must have been worth it.

What else is there to report? We're healthy (mostly by this point), happy, and working hard. Today we're even going to have the chance to head over to the church parking lot and teach Sister Mauga how to ride her bike--in pants though, skirts come next, and then roadside (it is lucky that Yuba City is nice and flat). Oh, we did learn at Zone Conference last week that there are three more sister coming out next transfer, so there is a possibility that I will be training. Or I may be shotgunning again, but nobody really knows. In all events, it should be an exciting transfer call next time round.

Sister L. Sorensen

PS Elder Sorensen, I'm glad to hear you are doing better and that you got more miles. I hope you have a great week

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Goodbye, GusGus!

Dear Family and Friends,

I got an unsettling call late one night last week. And by late I mean 9:45. No, it was not about Elder Sorensen's mishap--for which I am sincerely sorry and I hope you are recuperating very well. Elder Blackard the older Elder who is in charge of the cars called to inform us that we needed to make sure our car was extra spiffy on Thursday for Zone Conference because, gulp, they're taking GusGus away and selling it. Now the bright side of this is that we get a brand new car; the down side? Byebye Mazda 3, hello Toyota Corolla. Not that Corolla are bad cars. I actually have no idea because I've never driven one, but there is something about having one of the Mazdas. Oh well, we will get over it. In fact we're already considering names for the new car. The forerunner right now is Don Carlos after Don Carlos Smith, but we'll see it probably depends on the color.

Not that we are totally obsessed with the car. We actually had a great week. I was feeling personally responsible for not quite meeting our goals the week before so I repented and rededicated myself. I am happy to report that we bettered ourselves in all the areas we hoped to. Particularly in reaching our Finding, OYM, and lessons with a member present goal. Hurrah! And all of this with all three of us having bad colds--not so hurrah. But the Lord is merciful and helped us because we really tried to push through and accomplish everything we could despite the heat and the illness. For instance last Friday while we were home doing Friday Morning Planning an old investigator who we had never met called us up and said he finally realized that Tithing--which had been his hold up--was not about the money but about having the faith to be obedient and wanted the lessons again so he could be baptized. It is not every day that happens so that was pretty cool. Then we had 4 families come on Chapel Tours (one even brought his less active sister and her non-member husband). Then Brother McPeters, the second counsellor in the Bishopric and one of people to bring his families on a chapel tour, bore his testimony on Sunday about how much he felt the spirit during the tour. That was also pretty cool, though we still don't have anyone coming for sure this weekend. Alas. But all in all a great week with another great week ahead!

What's coming up this week? Zone Conference, new car, cell phones (we're getting cell phones as a mission, so either DI is getting a lot of phones donated this month or the church is going to sell them or something), and a lot of lessons, finding and OYMing. It should be good folks. Plus I really think our baptism on the 30 will go through, we should be able to set another baptismal date this week, and things are generally looking up. Oh and we DEEP CLEANED the apartment yesterday (we even borrowed a shampooer from a member and did all our carpets) so hopefully we get higher than 3rd place this week on Apartment checks.

Elder Sorensen I hope you get feeling better!

Sister L. Sorensen