Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Turkeys, Rats and Winter Coats

Dear Friends and Family,

I have to admit I rather panicked today when I realized I have approximately 28 weeks left on my mission. I really need to buckle down and get to work. But in the meantime I'll give you an update of our week. Well I had my first Thanksgiving in the field with the firm expectation that I was not going to be able to eat anything. Even as I sat down with my plate of food I was completely nauseous, but then the miracle of tylenol kicked in and after eating I finally felt much better than I had all week! We also had the excellent fortune to be able to eat dinner with a family where the cook also did not care for pumpkin pie and so I avoided having to subject myself to being forcefed my 2nd least favorite pie (the first being mincemeat pie). Okay, so I doubt they would have forcefed me, but I have a hard time telling people no when they get so excited about foods they've taken the effort to make for us. Sister Kawasaki's thoughts on her first Thanksgiving experience: I ate too much.

Aside from Thanksgiving we had some other interesting exploits this week. We rode our bikes over to do service for a less active family whose landlord's surprise visit landed them in some hot water. What do people let Sisters do for service? Clean. So whilst Sister Kawasaki and I were taking Miracle Erasers to the walls and lysol wipes to the baseboards who should come out to inspect our job but their pet rat. While I admit I don't have any qualms about the rat, I even held it on our last visit, it was very much getting in the way of optimal cleaning. So I had to keep sliding it across the floor in the opposite direction from myself. But that did not satisfy the curious rat, and so I found myself with a curious climbing sensation along my back as I continued to work away at the pantry door, until I realized that I was now cleaning with the rat on my head. If only I had a picture. That actually didn't bother me, aside from the slight fear of him doing what rodents tend to do when you're holding them and making my progress a little slower. I did draw the line, however, when he started to climb up my pant leg!

We also had a distinct change in the weather this week. Several mornings I've actually been cold (Sister Kawasaki has been sleeping with 4 blankets on her bed for weeks now), and Sunday when we went to church it was in the upper 50s. I keep trying to convince Sister Kawasaki that this really isn't even winter weather yet--it was 62 today when she said "Oh, its winter!" but to little avail. This from the girl who didn't even bring a coat to the mission, was cold in Provo in September, and whose coat--when it did arrive--is really only a jacket. I forsee many cold days to come; for her at least.

Here are some pictures at last! One is of Sister Kawasaki, Sister Fultz, and I at the start of this transfer (we had a third companion for a day because Sister Fultz's companion was going home). The second is of Eric, who was our miracle baptism for October.

Sister L. Sorensen

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thanksgiving Already?

Dear Family and Friends,

I can hardly believe that it is time for Thanksgiving already! Well the work continued this week. Somehow or other I always feel slightly disappointed when things stay the same--no matter how much I like my companion. Where's the fun in that? Though I bet Elder Sorensen would kind of wish that he would have one companion for more than 6 weeks at a time--or maybe not. Anyway last week seemed pretty slow. We had very few lessons--I have been trying so hard to get our lesson numbers up for weeks now, but someone--or some two or three people--always fall through or cancel at the last minute! We also had another 0 finding week which is so sad! I know that there is potential out there, but it just has not been coming to fruition lately. It is a bit frustrating when I want so badly to be able to do what I know is possible--to reach finding and teaching numbers which I have reached in the past--and not have it happen. But we did have some good lessons last week, we are going to have a baptism this weekend, and we are looking at being able to have 4 next month (though at that point we are going to need to do some serious finding because that is pretty much our entire "reliable" teaching people--that is if you can count some fairly flaky people as reliable). But there is so much potential in this ward that there are definitely bright points.

Another bright point was a brief visit from the former Sister Howard yesterday morning (ie my third companion, the one who went home in August). She was in town for a wedding and popped in at Stake Conference. Her visit was just the thing to lift my spirits a bit and make me want to try harder and be better! So we'll see what this week will bring us!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Sister L. Sorensen

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Antis and Authorities

Dear Family and Friends,

Last week we received a sign that President Perry truly has been called of God (okay so this may verge on the blasphameous for which I apologize). Last week he declared that our "Suit Season"--during which all missionaries must wear their suit coats all the time (and Sisters must once more don their knee-his and nylons)--would be starting on the 8th with the first day of Half Mission Conference and having a General Authority, Elder Lund, in the mission. Until November 7th we were still experiencing weather in the upper 70s, but on November 8th it cooled enough that wearing a blazer was almost comfortable and the weather continued to cool from there. If I had known that was all it was going to take, I would have asked him to declare Suit Season earlier. In other news, a new transfer has begun and Sister Kawasaki and I are staying put--perhaps to her chagrin. I also learned that instead of what I had heard about having a 5 week and a 7 week transfer, this transfer is going to last until December 27th--just two days longer--so we are staying put until Christmas.

Last week the work was kind of slow even if our schedule was pretty full. In fact last Thursday I was feeling a little put out because we were two hours behind schedule and I was irked that I was not going to be doing that much missionary work on my birthday, so at the end of our weekly planning I slipped off into one of the classrooms to say a little prayer that I could get unruffled. And then we took off to go about our work. I had forgotten the paper that I'd written down the visits I wanted to make on exchanges that night at our house so we had to go back and get it--annoying I thought, and a waste of miles, but as we pulled into the "neighborhood" I felt prompted to tract one of those streets instead. We began to knock doors and proceeded to get anti-ed again and again (always at my doors too) and I just had to laugh because despite these people's best efforts I kept feeling the spirit and even figured out one of our investigators concerns. It just goes to show you that Heavenly Father works in mysterious ways. So I enjoyed myself and had some good missionary experiences on my birthday.

I hope everyone is doing well.

Sister L. Sorensen

PS between Mom, Anne, and my friend Julianne I definitely do not need any more candy/sweets anytime soon. Good thing that there are always some Elders not too far away who I can pawn off some of the extra sweets to. I do appreciate the thought, though!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

This canNOT be November!

Dear Family and Friends,

I keep trying to tell myself that this really is the month of November, the eleventh month of the year, but the consistent weather in the upper 70s and 80s is making that very difficult for my brain to grasp. That said this is going to be a short letter as today we have to: prepare for a lesson, move, shop, email, wash the car more thoroughly than it has ever been washed before, wax the car, travel to Roseville, have a song practice with the Sisters for Half Mission Conference, travel home from Roseville, eat dinner with a Part Member Family and convince the nonmember that all of his doctrinal questions really have been resolved, go to our lesson, come home, and finally set up our room. It's a little crazy.

As previously mentioned, however, today we are officially the first sisters in the mission to move into a member's house. We are living with a single, fairly recently reactivated lady who actually served her mission in the Rochester mission (and even served in Pittsford) some 20 years ago. It seems like it is going to be a good arrangement. I think Sister Kawasaki's favorite thing is that Sister Thompson has two dalmations--though she says she is going to miss the peacocks at our apartment.

As for this last week we did have some success finding, and had a great lesson with the family we are teaching. But our actual number of lessons was way down and I still can't figure out why. We stayed so busy! Oh well, I will continue to Pray Harder and Work Harder.

I hope you all have a great week. I am still trying to decide whether or not to tell the ward that it is my birthday this week. I don't think Sister Kawasaki is scheming anything, she is all too innocent and confused about most things. Oh, thank you to everyone who has written letters she gets very excited to receive them and I think she now officially thinks each one of you is the coolest people in the world.


Sister L. Sorensen

PS Here is my new address:

203 Hambledon Ct
Lincoln, CA 95648

That said, next Tuesday is transfers so please make sure that anything you send me will definitely arrive by Monday or send it through the Mission Office until you hear from me again. I highly suspect that we are both staying--but I've been wrong on transfer predictions many times before.