Thursday, November 13, 2008

Please Excuse my absence

I woke up this morning and I had six papers due Tuesday. It was all right, I had a plan. I had two papers done already, I had outlines for two more on my laptop, I had scheduled out when, how, where I would get all my other homework and testing (yes I also have a test Friday) done. I got up, I went to work, I got that much closer to finishing a paper. And then I went to class and now I have seven papers due Tuesday. Don't you just have to love the humanities?

So between my party weekend--who knew turning 23 was so eventful--last week and the academic craziness this week, I have very little to say. That is unless you want a treatise on: painterly vs. linear lighting in Franco Zeffirelli's Hamlet; whether nudity is art or pornography in Shakespearen contexts; whose conceptualization of masculinity in Hamlet best fits Renaissance gender ideals; moral proximity in relation to A Midsummer Night's Dream; something Art Historyish connecting Michelangelo's David, Vermere's Allegory of Painting, and Van Gogh's Starry Night; Michael Freid's lecture at BYU; or something we have talked about in my religion class. If you are keep me posted and I'll be happy to oblige. Actually that's a lie, I can't post anything related to my Shakespeare midterm until after Tuesday.

Happy Midterm Season!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I'm an Aunty

Serious props to my sisters for having perfectly corresponding families (I really want to say symmetrical, but it's really more the opposite of that. What's the word for that?). It makes it easier to remember how many nieces and nephews I have.

Something There

There's something sweet
And almost kind
But it was mean and it was coarse and unrefined
And now it's dear,
I'm so unsure,
I wonder why I didn't see it there before.

New and a bit alarming.
Who'd have ever thought that this could be?
True that there's no Prince Charming,
But there's something in it that I simply didn't see.

Granted, these lyrics are altered to suit my purposes, but they seem to aptly describe the phenomenon. The second grade, or about 1992 for those of you who don't judge your time according to my schooling, was a year that brought a lot of changes into my life. We moved to Fairfax, VA, I got to start walking to school (which was kind of cool at first), and the first time I had two teachers at school--they were experimenting new teaching methods on us. Also I made applesauce, hatched chicks, and kept crickets. But one of the most lasting changes from that year is that since that time I have been unable to eat vegetable pizza, jelly beans, and pumpkin pie. The vegetable pizza I can pin down to a specific, unfortunate, event that I was actually able to overcome some years ago. I still can't stand jelly beans, and to be honest I don't miss them at all. The pumpkin pie has caused me problems over the years, however. For one, my family, is a multiple pie family at Thanksgiving--the two most popular are banana cream and pumpkin. Since I don't like the latter, it is generally my philosophy that those who like both (pretty much everyone else in my family) should polish it off before they break into my favorite kind. But I'm seldom so lucky. Then last year I was genuinely concerned about offending whatever family I ended up spending Thanksgiving with by not eating their pumpkin pie. In fact, my companion, who was not even American was completely shocked that I didn't like this traditional holiday favorite. The puzzling thing for me has always been that I quite like other pumpkin desserts: pumpkin bread, pumpkin bars, and pumpkin cookies. But recently I've had several experiences with pumpkin pie that have begun to convert me. I'm still not entirely sure, but looks like I may be eating something this November 27 that I haven't done for 16 years.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A wise man once said . . .

"I do not create myself, I choose myself."
Soren Kierkegaard

How profoundly true when we understand moral agency.

Thanks to "President" Lee T. Perry for bringing this to my attention at the wonderful fireside he spoke at last night. I am still impressed that he was able to tie Kierkegaard to Napoleon Dynamite to Eternal Life.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I'm so disillusioned

I have long had a pet theory that Sir Ian McKellen, Dame Judi Dench, and Dame Maggie Smith were never young. Don't get me wrong, I understand that unless they are in some way biologically on the level of Confucius this is physically impossible; yet, no matter how old the movie is that I have hitherto seen, they are always already old. Perhaps some sort of transformation overtakes them/you when you're knighted and damed? But in the past week in doing my Shakespeare and Film homework I have found this not to be so. Last Friday there was the RSC Macbeth and this Friday Sir Laurence Olivier's Othello. I am so disillusioned.

Here's a thought on the Othellos I've watched thus far. Both the Welles and Olivier versions have these famous men acting in blackface. I guess its my youth, but this seems a little odd to me. Surely that would not fly so well today. If, say, Mel Gibson decided he wanted to do one of his crazy and intensive films of Othello where he produces, directs, and acts people would object, wouldn't they? Even Kenneth Branagh defered to playing Iago instead of "the Moor." But I do find many of Olivier's mannerisms quite interesting. This is a very different portrayal than his Hamlet. I liked Welles Othello better than his Macbeth, but I expect it may be because I had to fight so hard to stay awake during Macbeth (more indicative of the kind of week I'd had than the quality of his production). Derek Jacobi is in the Olivier Othello (I think I'm going to begin keeping a tally of which actors have cropped up in my various versions of Shakespeare movies this semester: Olivier 2, Welles 2, Jacobi 2, Branagh--and most of his cast--2, Dench 2) and does a good job, but has a horrible wig. I don't know who plays that Iago, but I thought he was most excellent.

Finally, it is still really weird for me to see Ian McKellen kissing Judi Dench (a lot), and Maggie Smith kissing Laurence Olivier. So, so wrong.

"Out, out damn'd spot"

And thus were my hands last Thursday. I had to walk around all day Friday and answer questions about them--Activities Committee, tie dye shirts, mixing the dyes (in case you were wondering). Luckily something started happening during the night Friday and before I knew it I was dye free. It certainly added a level of interest to reading and watching Macbeth.

Don't worry about the swearing, it's just Shakespeare.

PS did anyone else ever notice the Macbeth reference in Beauty and the Beast's "Mob Song"?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Thrice -cursed

Fie you Netflix! I had the perfect plan which meant 1) I wouldn't have to worry about looking all over town to find my Shakespeare films, 2) I would save money as the bother of looking for these movies has meant I've already purchased two Shakespeare movies I had not planned to, and 3) I could work more efficiently. Well I signed up for Netflix on Sunday and even though I only had one more version of Macbeth to watch, I ordered two so if I didn't like one of them I could switch to the other. Yesterday Netflix informed me that one of them wasn't available locally and so I would have to wait until Thursday or Friday to get it. "It's a good thing I ordered two," I thought because it meant I could still watch the second one on Wednesday. I had my whole schedule planned out so that I could go home between classes and work today and watch it during lunch and other errands. Well what did I find when I opened the sleeve? The extremely bloody, violent R-rated Roman Polanski Macbeth instead of the one with Greta Scacchi that I wanted to watch! This throws me completely off schedule Netflix! That's two strikes in three days, not a very good record.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

This made my day

God does not much mind bad grammar, but He does not take any particular pleasure in it.

I knew it.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Since When

I really should stop being surprised, but since I haven't I'll share. Kind of me, I know. The past three weeks my boss has thought to soften the blow of making us come in for 8:00 training meetings by promising us breakfast. Typically I would expect bagels and yogurt, maybe even muffins. But apparently not so. The first week we had homemade apple and cherry pie. That's odd I thought. The second week we store-bought apple and cherry pie. I was beginning to since a pattern. This past week we had peach and cherry pie. Who eats pie for breakfast? It's one thing if its left over pie, but who gets up and bakes pie for breakfast? Maybe I can begin using subliminal messages to get her to get quiche.

Here's another thing, since when did everyone forget elevator etiquette? I happen to be riding a lot of elevators this semester since it's generally more friendly on my left leg/ankle (plus its faster), and so I have noticed some rather appalling behavior. I was always taught that you should stand to the side of the elevator when waiting for it to come to your floor so that those who are getting off will have plenty of room. It also goes to follow that you should let those who are getting off actually get off before you push your way on. This is apparently not true anymore; people seem to contend with one another to see who can stand right in front of the doors and how quickly they can force themselves into the elevator when it arrives. Is there some sort of contest on campus nobody has told me about? I have noticed elevator rudeness most especially in the JFSB (is it a problem with humanities students?) where I have also noticed that there are a LOT of people on crutches or in wheelchairs who are using the elevators. If you're one of the pushy people, I halfway hope one of the automatic wheelchairs catches your toes one of these days.

Hmmm, when did I get so curmudgeonly?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Conference Buddies

Last Monday I had a brilliant idea: Meg and I should go visit the Thomasons for the Sunday sessions of General Conference. Luckily, the Thomasons were willing to oblige and so we had a great time. They provided us with fun Conference activities--if only I'd had my crayons so I could color in the ties! We had delicious cinnamon rolls and a great dinner. But best of all I got to spend a little time with family. Thanks for being my friend K (even if we weren't funny)!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Too much Shakespeare

Maybe I've been watching too many Shakespeare movies, but as I was taking in Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet in the lab this morning I couldn't help but think that Leonard Whiting and Zac Efron look a lot alike. Am I going crazy?

I'm sure Mr. Efron hopes his career lasts longer.

Also this movie was rated PG so I didn't feel bad about watching it while I was in the lab. That is until the Nightingale/Lark scene and then I fervently began to hope nobody was about to approach me to ask a question.

Friday, September 26, 2008


In the past two days I have watched three different versions of Hamlet--that's at least nine hours of this play on film. Moreover, I read Hamlet on Monday and Tuesday. As much as I love all things Danish, that is a great deal of the "dithering Dane." Here's the rub, I don't get Hamlet. That is to say, it is not that I cannot comprehend the story or pick out themes, but on the whole I find myself almost completely incapable of sympathizing with Hamlet.

One character who I do feel for is Ophelia, who seems surrounded by inconstant men. I cannot help but think if she could just converse with Beatrice she would not have gone insane. Which led me to wonder if this would have been Hero's fate if she had not had the Friar and Beatrice to advise her. It is an interesting thought.

All in all Horatio seems the only truly constant character--true in his relationships and fulfilling his duty--and so it seems fitting he's the one left alive.

In the end it seems the whole thing could have been circumvented if everyone had communicated better with one another. Maybe they should use this as an example in Mutual lessons and therapy sessions.

Now for my unanswered questions. Does Hamlet really go mad? Does it matter? How come nobody dislikes Claudius even though he's a murderer? Did Gertrude play a part in Hamlet's father's death? Does the ghost of Hamlet's father tell him not to blame Gertrude, Hamlet's mother? Because if he did, it seems like Hamlet ignores that injunction. Does Hamlet love Ophelia? If so, does he turn on her because she is easily swayed by her father, because she lies about where her father is in the nunnery scene, or because he really is disgusted by how immoral people really are? Is Hamlet in love with his mother? If he is in love with his mother is he also still in love with Ophelia? How many people does Hamlet kiss anyway? Ophelia, Gertrude, Yorrick, and I swear in one of the movies he kisses Claudius. Why does Horatio stick around when Hamlet is always ordering him to do this, that, and the other? Is it a rule that if you're making a Hamlet you need to use the most confusing castle you can find? Why are all Hamlet's in film versions blond? Should blond have an "e" at the end? Doesn't Branagh's Hamlet look kind of like a blond Luigi at the end with those gloves? Why does Branagh's Hamlet have green eyes in the middle of the movie? Was Fortinbras truly intending on invading Denmark anyway? What is Horatio going to do now? Write a book about his crazy vacation in Denmark? Didn't Olivier's Hamlet seem longer than Branagh's somehow?

The moral of the story? Don't talk about your problems in endless soliloquies and asides, talk to people; they can reason with you better. Murdering people is never a good idea. Oh, and it's just wrong to love your mother in that way.

And now the shocking part, I think I liked Mel Gibson's Hamlet the best.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bowling Stats

As you may or may not know, depending on how much I actually talk to you, I am taking a bowling class this semester. It's quite fun especially since I get to count it as fulfilling a GE requirement. But I have had my moments of doubt as to whether I could overcome my gimpdom. Particularly when my first class I only bowled like a 47. Ouch. In my defense, not only was I a gimp, but it was the first time I had been bowling in approximately 4-5 years. After a little more practice I was habitually scoring in the 80s with my "high" being 96. Now that's not all that stellar, but surely it was my, literal, handicap right? Well I went bowling on Friday with a new friend from my Art History class so I could get in some more practice; we split our games, both winning one, but I still didn't have very impressive scores. What I realized, however, was that I bowled better with an 11 pound ball.

Long story short (too late), yesterday I bowled a game of 134. I don't know where it came from, but I hope I can keep it going. The sad thing? Even the teacher was really surprised by that.

Side note, I noticed I walk better (ie less limping) in bowling shoes. Maybe I'll have to start a new trend.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Identity Crisis

All summer--as I was completing the process to return to BYU--I suffered a bit of an identity crisis. First BYU told me I was a non-student. I don't know exactly what that means, but it can't be good. Perhaps I am incapable of learning? Or maybe I simply refuse? If that's the case, shame on me. But BYU seemed to come around and recognized me as a Senior by allowing me to register on the first day of registration. Following that, however, it (the unknown entity who sends me emails) seems to have had a lapse in concentration. All summer long I received NSO emails (New Student Orientation) because apparently I was a freshman. I reconciled myself to being a Senior Freshman; indeed there have definitely been times this week that I felt that way. Today I received a very different email. Today BYU informed me that in fact I am a BYU alumnus--technically shouldn't I be an alumna?

Thursday, September 4, 2008


It's no secret that I've been feeling old the past few months. I mean between the cane, the brace, and the limp I often feel that I've aged several decades. Today I've felt especially decrepit (a case of moving offices and giving Meg extra rides meant I climbed at least 45 flights of stairs yesterday alone). But the real sign that I'm old is that on Tuesday five different people stopped me (letting everyone else go by) to ask for directions around campus. I think it's the limp; it must be a sign of sagacity.

It's True

I've gone to the dark side.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Woodshed, So to Speak

It has been some time since I realized that my life as a gimp reminded me of something--or someone. But it took some time for that realization to filter down to my subconscious so that I could recognize exactly who it was. And indeed, it was a bit of a surprise to me who.

Aunt Ada Doom:"I saw something nasty ... I saw something nasty."
Flora:"Aunt Ada--"
Aunt Ada Doom:"Something nasty in the woodshed. Go away girl."
Flora:"How long have you been in there, Aunt Ada."
Aunt Ada Doom:"Ever since my Judith married Amos."
Flora:"Isn't is lonely?"
Aunt Ada Doom:"Lonely? I saw something nasty in the woodshed. "
Flora:"Did you? What?"
Aunt Ada Doom:"I don't remember anymore. I was little. Something terrible."
Flora:"And it was in the woodshed? Are you sure?"
Aunt Ada Doom:"Course I'm sure . . . or maybe the potting shed. Or the bicycle shed."
Flora:"Or the tool shed? All these years: getting five good meals a day, running the farm, ruling the roost. Everyone doing exactly as you say and sacrificing their lives for yours. It's not bad is it. Just for seeing something nasty in the woodshed."

No, I am not an old and "distinguished" lady nor do I check all of our account books--or any of them for that matter. It is really the last bit that reminds me of my situation: the benefit of being waited on since the crutches make it difficult to carry things about myself. And while I don't quite get five meals a day, three meals more or less delivered to my side still makes me feel quite pampered. On top of that in the last few weeks I have been quite reclusive; staying more or less in the house for a variety of reasons (sickness, tiredness, fear of the top step in the garage ...). So if you begin receiving messages of a peculiar nature on your answering machines, now you know why. Personally I favor "There will always be Sorensens in Rochacha!"

On two partially related notes. There are absolutely no pictures of Aunt Ada Doom on the Internet. I looked high and low but was finally forced to take a picture of the movie on my computer screen. So I do apologize for the glare of the camera/screen clash. Secondly, I promised one of my friends that during my convalescence I would undertake a research project on Rufus Sewell's comparative eye droopiness and I have the results. I believe that it is a characterization method to show the relative evilness of his characters--and that's my final word. Thus in Cold Comfort Farm and Amazing Grace it is really not that noticeable as compared to A Knight's Tale, The Illusionist, or even The Holiday where it is much more noticeable. Incontrovertible proof if I do say so myself.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Friendly Family Bonding

I recently noticed a trend in how my family has spent time together this summer. Now I know we are supposed to hold a formal Family Home Evening regularly--but sadly I put paid to that in my Middle School years--and so instead we have another thing which brings us together. I know, it is shocking, this mystery activity is none other than seasonal reality television! Two years ago my brother and I involved the whole family in watching "Project Runway", but the trend seems to have continued and branched out.

On Mondays there is "Legally Blonde The Musical: The Search for Elle Woods." Truthfully three of us began watching this to humor one of the original viewers, but it is oddly compelling. I think it is because it takes me back to my "theatre roots" (whatever those may be). Plus the bonus is we get to laugh at the ridiculous, over the top, melodramatic responses of the theatrical contestants. All in all it is thoroughly amusing.

Then Wednesday and Thursday we come together for "So You Think You Can Dance." I am not a dancer and I am fairly well assured that I never will be; on top of that I have a deep seeded dislike of contemporary dance and I used to have a healthy skepticism for hip hop. That my friends has changed--well not the dislike for contemporary dance. I was genuinely surprised by how interested I became in this show. And while it does seem to affirm that white boys aren't the best dancers since they have all been voted off at this point, I will continue to watch and enjoy. Also I loved the Bollywood dance that they did this week. I would also just like to note that the host of this show, Kat Deeley, comes second in my favorite reality show hosts. The first is Hiedi Klum as the host of Project Runway; I honestly do find her delightful.

Now these are our only steady shows--I can only divide my loyalty so far. But I have also been enjoying reviewing some old favorites since I've been "laid up." My Mom, my younger sister and I have been watching "Joan of Arcadia." Amber Tamblyn does such a good job of making her protagonist true to life. I could just watch this show again and again and again, and I probably will. I have also been enjoying the delightful bantering of that mother daughter duo. I do so love good banter.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Casting About

It's pretty much official; I love my cast. This is not about a group of people with whom I have created a special bond, but rather a particular--if unexpected--affinity for the fiberglass currently encompassing my left leg. Truthfully, I would of course prefer to have my leg back to normal; seeing, however, that laws of time travel are greatly restricted, that is not possible. And so for several weeks I have been working with and around splints with varying degrees of artistic ace bandage wrappings. This was all well and good, but I never seemed to quite get the right fit between the cotton wraps and plaster mouldings it was either too tight or sloughed around and caused other problems. Oh and don't get me started on how the ace bandages held up to my shower cast protector. But what else makes me sing the praises of my cast? How do I love thee? Oh, let me count the ways. (Elizabeth Barrett Browning)

First, my cast is prettier. In a cool cobalt my cast is much more able to coordinate and add to any and all of my costume choices.

Second, my cast is slimmer and therefore gives my left leg a slightly svelter look.

Third, my cast slides much more slickly into and--even more importantly--out of my shower cast protector.

Fourth, my cast with all its slenderness allows me a greater variety in my apparel.

Fifth, my cast is lighter which makes it easier to hold aloft throughout the whole day.

Sixth, my cast allows greater ventilation.

Seventh, let's just face it, my cast is cooler. I not only get more comments, but admiring looks as well.

My cast is one of the better developments from last week, for sure. But there are some other oddities about my life at present. For one, every time I go to put things on or pick things up from the floor I can't but help to feel like a giraffe.

It is a bit disconcerting. Also it is not all that comfortable to sleep on my left side most because of where my cast/split hits. But it is a small price to pay to go about in style.

Over all things seem to be going great. I am assured by the doctors that all the screws now in my leg were indeed necessary (it seemed a bit like overkill to me when I saw the x-ray last week) and that my leg is healing beautifully. I might argue there as my view of my leg looked rather hairier, more swollen, and indeed more colorful than it ought. But then again, I am not a doctor. Did I ever mention my Orthopedic Surgeon is a Dr. Baumhauer which apparently means "tree chopper" in German? How appropriate. And, as this seems a popular question of late, I have practically no pain. This indeed has been a continued blessing only interrupted for a couple of days after the surgery. I like to think that it is perhaps an indication that I have a high pain threshold, but I have no conclusive evidence. If only my companion and I had both broken our ankles we could compare . . . but it was not to be. In the meantime I will continue to contemplate my cast's finer attributes and let you do the same.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Unexpected Turns, Literally

Dear Family and Friends,

Things were going well; a little too well. All was too quiet on the western front. Tuesday we had an appointment at 1:30 with a lady the other sisters had met tracting several weeks back. She'd asked to have 3 weeks to read the Book of Mormon and then she wanted to meet with us to talk about it. Since the appointment was close to our apartment we decided to take our bikes as I'd hinted at on Monday. We discovered when we arrived that our appointment had invited some of her friends to the "discussion." Her friends were former members who now attend one of the biggest bashing churches in the area. It is safe to say they weren't really interested in learning more, but we did have an interesting hour plus discussion about certain of our beliefs. And at the end when they gave us some time to testify I felt the spirit pretty strongly. Well from there we went to go check in on our recent convert and make some daily contact with her daughter, our newest investigator, before biking home. I was really enjoying the riding and felt pretty proud of myself after making it all the way up a "big" hill on Oak and so I cruised past Sister Pfau on my way down hill toward our place--my tires are bigger anyway. Then as our driveway came in sight I thought to myself, oh I can do this. So I went to turn left into our gravel driveway thinking that I should keep a little speed so I'd make it up all the gravel. Well the gravel and I disagreed about where my bike should go and before I knew it I was over and my bike and I feel directly on my left ankle.

I'll admit my initial thought was "I broke my ankle. I broke my ankle." On repeat. Meanwhile Sister Pfau and Sister Fultz finally caught up to find me sitting on the driveway beside my bike saying, "This isn't good," over and over again. So Sister Pfau went to get the member we live with because she couldn't figure out what else to do. But by this time I realized that I could in fact move my toes etc, so my ankle surely must not be broken. Sister Fultz helped me up and I walked back up the driveway and up the stairs into our apartment where I put my foot up on a chair with some ice on my ankle. But after twenty minutes or so (during which time I just kept thinking to myself "That was so stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.") The other Sisters decided I was in sufficient pain to call Sister Craner--the Mission office medical coordinator. She directed the other sisters to poke my very swollen leg/ankle in various places until they decided that I'd better go to a walk in clinic. I decided I wanted to wash my hands first though, because they were still dirty from falling in the driveway. Big mistake! After a few steps I realized it was far too painful to put any weight on my left leg and so had to resort to hopping the rest of the way to the bathroom. At this point my foot moved in some directions and ways I was really quite sure feet are not meant to move. Finally after much hobbling and hopping we made it to the walk in clinic. After two minutes and a little squeezing the doctor there told me he was quite sure I had broken it and he told me to go to the emergency room. The Craners, however, advised against it and called in an appointment to go to see a local church member who conveniently was also an orthopedic surgeon. But they did wrap my really ugly ankle, gave me the only crutches the office had--which were several inches too long at their shortest setting--and some ibuprofen. Elder Craner and the Assistants to the Mission President, who happened to be in the Mission Office at the time, also gave me a blessing. Long story at least marginally shorter, Sister Perry and I found out the next morning after X-rays at Dr. Hansen's office that I'd broken the skinny bone in my leg right down at my ankle and that I'd also torn all the ligaments on the other side of my ankle and so would need surgery. I just had to laugh. I admit I thought the whole accident and all the events following it rather ridiculous. But this was the funniest. I hadn't even been back a whole 6 weeks!

Well I spent the rest of Wednesday in the Mission Office. Though I did go out to a teaching appointment that night, which I am sure the Craners would not have approved of. Thursday my wonderful companions helped pack me up and we made all the arrangements to get my stuff home (or elsewhere) for good. Then Sister Perry called a last minute Sisters Testimony meeting so I could have a farewell dinner and devotional (something I'd missed since I always find myself leaving before the end of the transfer). I stayed the night in the Mission Home and by Friday morning I was on my way home. I even had to have wheelchairs take me through the airports because I'm a slow hobbler. And so now, my friends I am home for good. The last five weeks were a shorter end than I anticipated, but I worked hard and saw some great growth in the Sisters I was with. Now I just need to figure out what the Lord wants me to do in New York this summer!

Sister L. Sorensen

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Something in the Air

Dear Family and Friends,

It is kind of funny to hear about Elder Sorensen's cold--not that his being sick is funny--because I had a nasty, nasty cold last week too. I was fighting off some symptoms for a few days which I had attributed to "allergies" but Tuesday I crashed. It is kind of funny because I even had gotten a blessing that morning at District Meeting. But when I laid down at lunch I remember thinking that I never wanted to move again. I did have to get up, however, because my cough was getting bad enough that lying down made it really bad. But then I started to have serious chills and simply felt awful--even though all I kept telling my companions was "It's just a cold"-- so Sister Fultz and Sister Pfau (pronounced "Fow" rhymes with cow but actually means peacock) called around and got me a "babysitter." Then I gave in and called the mission nurse on Wednesday and she put me on Mucinex; so I plugged slowly along from there through the rest of the week. Sister Pfau was convinced I still had mono and anxious soul that she is even slyly asked me if I'd lied my way back into the mission. I assured her I had not. But all is on the mend at last, and I am feeling much, much better. So hopefully we'll be back on bikes a bit this week.

Other exciting news last week was that one of our investigators decided to get baptized and we managed to get all of the arrangements done for Friday at 5:00. She was really happy and so were the neighbors (members in a different ward) who had invited her to take the lessons in the first place. She got to the baptism late and she came late to church on Sunday (she'd been out of town Saturday, so we were definitely a little worried there) but all went well. We even are going to start teaching her daughter this week, so that will be great. Things seem to be going well here. Another investigator I'd picked up in Antelope in February is getting baptized on Saturday, but I won't be able to go. It's exciting though.

I hope you're all doing well!

Sister L. Sorensen

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I Love My Bike!

Dear Friends and Family,

This is going to be short because my companions are waiting. But the week has been going pretty well. We rode bikes half the day on Wednesday and I had a blast. I just love my bike! The big tires help me completely outstrip my companions AND climb hills easier and the swoop is great for riding in my skirts. It was definitely a very wise purchase. That said we also got more miles so we aren't riding our bikes as much--between the fact that they never increased the miles in this area when they picked up a second ward and that I am supposed to be taking naps at lunch (meaning we have to go home for lunch) it was necessary.

But things here are great. I have never served with these two sisters before so we're all still getting to know each other. It is definitely a different dynamic in a companionship than I've ever had before--I just can't figure out exactly why. I am also having to adjust back to 7 hours of church. I'll also admit yesterday I was pretty "homesick" for the Lincoln ward; my personality just clicked for that ward. But things are going well. We are even having a surprise baptism on Friday. It was more a surprise for us than our investigator, no worries.

Otherwise things are going well.

Sister L. Sorensen

Monday, May 19, 2008

Summer Has Arrived!

Dear Friends and Family,

How are all of you this week? Well Sister Curtis has officially survived her first four 100 + weather days. The only scary thing is that this is still mid-May and we didn't get over the hundred until July last year! It looks like this is going to be a warm summer. But, we all lived to tell about it. We wanted to ride our bikes out in the real heat--I finally got Sister Mauga and Sister Curtis to take out their bikes in our Pros on Wednesday night--but the member we lived with insisted that she's heard it was a horrible air quality day. To tell you the truth, I didn't notice any difference, but we did decide to ere on the safe side and took our car.

We had a pretty neat experience on Tuesday. We were pretty late getting out to the street we'd planned to tract, so we only had about 40 minutes to tract. Then it didn't seem like anyone was home. The first several houses we knocked didn't even have any noises to respond. But then Sister Curtis knocked on a door and an older Indian (or East Indian as everyone says out here) lady opened the door. At first it didn't seem like she understood us at all, but Sister Curtis cheerfully continued on. Then when we thought she was going to say "No," she told us she wasn't interested but she thought her daughter would be and invited us in to sit and wait. Her daughter came down and was actually really open and we taught a very simple first lesson from our pamphlet (only about 5 minutes) and set up a return appointment. It's been a long time since I've gotten into a tracting door to teach. The whole family has only been here for just under a year, and the lady we're going to be teaching has a pretty strong accent and it sounds as though she's been Hindu her whole life and the only Christian tradition is some brief familiarity with Catholicism. But she did say she knew Christ was the Son of God and had lived and she like to learn about all kinds of religions; in fact she even committed herself to come to church next week. This should be a good teaching experience for the Sisters. They'll have to teach very simply at first, but that is good practice too. The only problem would be that they both had a hard time understanding Pinky--I didn't and I believe I understand a little bit more of her religious background than they did. So we're looking for a good strong fellowshipper from the ward to help out.

Friday was our last Zone Conference with the Perry's. It was actually a very good conference, but I was so sad! I just love President and Sister Perry so much and I can't believe they are going to leave before me! I'll admit I even cried as they gave their farewell testimonies (they did too, however) much to the surprise of all my former companions. Sunday was Stake Conference and we had a visiting General Authority, Elder John C. Dalton of the Seventy. There were some stellar talks including one from an 11-year-old boy who was asked to talk about preparing for a the priesthood and a mission. I was really sad none of our investigators made it to such a great meeting!

And as for the last news I am packing up and moving down to Orangevale tomorrow. I expect to be there for the rest of this transfer at least. It sounds like I may be getting more experience on my bike, too! So that should be fun.

Sister L. Sorensen

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Introducing "House"

Dear Friends and Family,

I hope that you all have had a great and productive week. I have to say that we have. Last week we spent a little bit more time inside than we had planned. We had some serious work to do in tackling the Area Book here because the Sisters had let it slide for a little while. We also had several planned hours of service which fell through. Sadly nobody in Lincoln seems to need or want our help. I stronly suspect that the fact we are wearing skirts when we offer is to blame! Other notable events? We had 4 Chapel Tours and we picked up 2 investigators. Sorry to say the two aren't directly connected. We picked up the investigators through NNCs and Tracting. But we also have been working really hard on meeting the mission standards; for instance having 2 planned appointments for each evening, having a member at every lesson possible (by planning and making phone calls before 9:00 pm the night before), and backward planning. I think things are really working out well and I've been able to help smooth out some bumps from last transfer.

Sister Mauga continues to be a completely delightful companion. In fact, I learned last week that the first part of her first name, (gasp, first names) Fale, means "house" in Samoan and that she in fact has a pet pig at home named "House" because she thought it would be funny to give him an English name. Actually House was the first person/thing she asked about when she called home. By the way, Erin, Sister Mauga wants to see the picture of that pig we saw at the sheep shearing festival if you could email me a copy. We also had some very delightful visits with ward members last week. One family in particular, the Hargadons, let us drop in and introduce Sister Mauga. They are just one of the warmest, most open and inviting, group of individuals I have ever met! They are so great and missionary minded too! I am so glad they moved into our ward last January. Our Mothers Day went well even if we had gone to the trouble of setting 3 specific appointments and all were cancelled/or moved during the day. But all the necessary phone calls home were made and at least two of the three mothers cried. I am very happy, Mom, that you did not. It would have been especially silly considering I just saw you less than two weeks ago. Otherwise things continue to go well. I suspect I may be moving next week, but President Perry and I are going to decide for sure when I see him at Zone Conference on Friday. I just can't believe this is my last Zone Conference with President and Sister Perry! That is so sad.

Oh, and here is something else I forgot to mention last week. I received a letter last Monday with the return address of the First Presidency. It was a formal re-call to the Mission. I found it a little odd that they sent it to me after I was already in the mission (it was addressed to the mission office and everything). It is a good thing I came back to the right mission after all! But now I do have a call from each of the Prophets I have served under on my mission which is rather unique.

Sister L. Sorensen

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Something New

Dear Friends and Family,

Although compared to most weeks in the mission this was a short week, it was still pretty exciting. Nothing too eventful happened in flying back west--though because I was wearing my tag a member from the Amarillo 3rd ward stopped me in the Dallas Forth Worth airport and I also discovered that my flight to Sacramento was piloted by a member in the Loomis 3rd ward (which is in the Stake I'm currently serving in). My second plane was late, however, so Sister Perry couldn't pick me up after all, but the Biglers, one of the couples in the office, were kind enough to fill in. I quickly discovered exactly how serious they were about my travelling though. As the Biglers helped me put my luggage into the car they had to move a camping cot which they then told me was to be my bed for the next 12 weeks! Then we went to the Mission Office to pick up Sister Mauga's bike and a 72-hour-kit which also gets to travel with me. Then it was back to Lincoln! Sister Mauga and Sister Curtis seemed happy enough to get me back, and after I had bought some groceries and unpacked a little we sat down to brainstorm some finding ideas. I discovered that these sweet, industrious sisters have been tracting almost 4 hours every day! In fact they have nearly tracted out the whole area again. Tracting is all well and good, but there are other things we can do too. We didn't really get too much done Thursday because I was quite tired (I had to get up at 1:00 am California time) and so after unpacking, rearranging and setting up furniture, and picking my stuff up from the Evans family we just had time to plan and get to bed.

Friday was mostly missionary work as usual. We did our Friday Morning planning and then Sister Perry came and took us out to lunch. I think this was as my welcome back into the mission (President Perry was doing interviews in Redding so he couldn't come). Then we walked, tracted, and NNCed. You see while I was gone the mission did away with OYMs and replaced them with New Nonmember Contacts. It was interesting to meet with members from the ward again because some of them didn't even realize I'd been gone (or thought I was just new), some thought I'd only been gone a couple weeks, some thought I'd been transferred away, and then some were just completely surprised to see me back. Saturday was the first day of my mission that my companions and I walked the whole day just because we chose to. I have to say I was very impressed by how well my feet held up because usually the first few days of summer they give me problems. I could tell by the end of the day, however, that I definitely had spent 7 weeks at home!

What I was looking forward to the most was seeing what reactions I would get from all the different ward members on Sunday. I am happy to report that I received very warm greetings especially from the Ward Council. It was tricky to explain that I would only be here for a few weeks. I was very impressed, as well, when a ward member came up to us and told us that they had a non-member friend they wanted to bring on a Chapel tour; finally all my talk about chapel tours is paying off! We also had dinner last night with the Clark family who had fellowshipped Sister Kawasaki and my Miracle Investigator/Convert of last October. I was so happy to find out that they'd invited him to come. It was great to talk to him and know that he is still so excited about the church and is still doing very well. He gave his first talk and goes out with the Elders in his ward as a ward missionary almost every week.

As for my new "calling" as a Travelling Sister I'm still trying to work that out. I think it is especially hard for me here in Lincoln because I am so used to being the Senior Companion here (after all I was Senior Companion here for 6 months). It is also a little tricky since I have also been Senior to both of the Sisters I'm with here. So I try to bite my tongue and make sure I'm letting Sister Mauga lead out during planning, study, and the decisions we are making during the day. I am also trying to figure out how to help them in the work without making them feel like I am constantly analyzing and evaluating them. They have done some good work here even if they are both really quiet and neither of them have been sleeping well for the past 6 weeks! I am working with them on the quiet thing, but I don't know how to help them about not being able to sleep. That is probably another one of their big problems in being louder and more creative in their finding; they can't think clearly since they don't get enough sleep!

I also realized exactly how much the Spirit really does affect and help you with missionary work. Tuesday night I was lying in bed trying to remember the phone number here in Lincoln and it took me ages. But as soon as I got back here all of a sudden I could remember everyone's names--and their kids' names--and all the streets, and everything else a missionary needs to know about their area. Actually when I got back it really felt like I had never left (except of course that Sister Mauga was here now). I also discovered that I have this wonderful new ease in talking with everybody. My door approaches and NNCs are so much more natural and fluid than they ever were before I went home. It is amazing and I guess it is to help me in my new role here in the mission, but I certainly appreciate it!

I hope everything is going well with all of you!

Sister L. Sorensen

Monday, March 10, 2008

Proof Positive

Dear Friends and Family,

We have had an interesting week. Okay it was actually pretty slow numbers wise etc, but there were some fun things. Last Monday was super crazy with moving, doctor's appointments, teaching appointments and so on. But things slowed down from there--partly I'll admit because I slowed down. Tuesday night we went and taught the Achievement Night girls and had a very good lesson with them. They were surprisingly open to missionary work and in fact two of them had brought non-member friends with them to the activity. The funny thing is that we didn't have a dinner appointment that night and I was trying to remain obedient to the directive to take naps but when I woke up I was SO out of it. Oh my goodness, I wish I had a tape of it, it highly amused my companions.

We had an excellent Sister's Conference on Wednesday--this one was rather a surprise Conference as we only found out about it the week before. But it was very good because we have a LOT of "younger" sisters. Here's an interesting side note: every single sister I have served with until Sister Methot (who is my 10 companion) has been older than me. The next event of interest was Saturday night. We met a mother and daughter when we were out tracting (the one's Sister Methot and Sister Curtis had a 2 hour lesson with on Saturday). They told us they would only come to our church if we went to theirs so we got permission from the Assistants to the Mission President and we went to their church service on Saturday night. It is the first time on my mission that I've attended another church and the first non-denominational church I've gone to. While their Pastor was a very good orator (he would make an excellent youth fireside speaker), it was just too casual for me. The music was very pop and everyone was in jeans, but mostly it just didn't feel like church. Plus I have to say we all disagreed with the pastor about his interpretations of Proverbs. But it was interesting to go. One of the ladies who worked at the church was raised Mormon and was really surprised to see us there, but she seemed kind of excited about it and came over to talk to us during the "meet and greet" time and after the services. In fact we all kind of felt like an attraction because people kept coming up to us afterward to talk to us and ask us why we were there. Oh, and before the church services they usually show this testimonial from one of the church members or one of the people who works there and his testimonial highlighted moving to Gilbert, Arizona when he was about to enter highschool and how unwelcome he felt by "all the Mormons". The "former Mormon" wanted us to know after the service that the testimonial was not planned for our presence; I have to say the coincidence kind of made me laugh.

And of course the news you all have been waiting for. I did go to the doctor this morning and got my blood tests back. I did test positive for mono, but we aren't sure yet what exactly that means for me (in terms of coming home etc). So I'll let you know one way or another once I know.

Sister L. Sorensen

P.S. Editor's (Mom's) Note: I got a call that LIndsay will be coming home on Wednesday (March 12th) for a period of recuperation. Her plans are to return to her mission as soon as she receives the "all clear" from medical authorities.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Dear Friends and Family,

Well last week was pretty slow--especially in the teaching lessons with a member present area, or with members generally. But we did find two new investigators in Lincoln 2nd which was exciting. They may just be baptist bashers, I'm not sure because I wasn't at the return appointment. But apparently Sister Methot and Sister Curtis spent 2 hours talking to them on Saturday.

So what did we do last week if things were slow? We actually spent a lot of time splitting up and doing double visits. That is definitely one reason why I love being in threesomes because that is so much easier to do. We did have some good visits with members, just not nonmembers. Friday Sister Curtis and I had to drive up to Gridley for Trainer/Trainee while Sister Methot went to go work with the Sisters in Orangevale for the day. The meeting was pretty good, much smaller than the other ones I've been to because not as many missionaries came out in this group. It was kind of fun to have a more "intimate" group and training meeting with President and Sister Perry. In fact during lunch President Perry came to sit at our table and he fielded some of the Elders' doctrinal questions and that was interesting to sit in on too. President Perry also told me "not to get sick" so I'm working on that one.

The other big event of last week was that at Trainer/Trainee Sister Perry took one look at me and "grounded me" for Saturday. I have to admit I was pretty piqued to be told I could not go out; I think it's because it meant I had to be "babysat" ALL DAY by one of the 75 year old ladies in the Dry Creek ward who I really didn't know. I was pretty dubious when she gave me a cheese sandwich on cinammon, raisin, walnut bread. But you know, it was surprisingly good.

I also got to make my first mission trip to the Doctor's today (also per Sister Perry's request). It was kind of fun though, because the doctor's office is the one where lots and lots of missionaries go and so the nurse and doctor were fun and easy to talk to. I also learned that I have good blood pressure, that I've lost a little weight since I haven't really had an appetite (and thus haven't eaten much) for the last 3 weeks, and I am legitimately 5'5 tall--no rounding necessary. Then they took 4 tubes of blood out of me which was pretty interesting to watch as well. But I'll get all my blood tests back next week so we'll find out anything and everything then.

I hope you're all having a great week. Oh and to keep up with Elder Sorensen, I am currently on my 4th area (Antelope counts right?) and 10th companion. That's pretty good for a Sister.

Sister L. Sorensen

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Mono on the Brain

Dear Family and Friends,

Sister Methot, Sister Curtis, and I are having a blast together--rest assrued we are also working as hard as we can given the necessary travelling arrangements. But one of our favorite jokes this transfer, and yes this is slightly irreverant, is explaining away the silly, unexpected, dysfunctional, or random things I have done because I have mono brain. Well last week I was actually feeling very much like I had a little more than mono on the brain.

Okay, there is a factor of paranoia here, but Sister Perry sent me several articles on the symptoms of mononucleosis and I couldn't help but notice that indeed I had been experiencing many of the less common symptoms. But I was determined that I could and would push through whatever it was and I would NOT tell any of the mission nurses. But by Friday, which was Zone Conference and typically one of my favorite days of the transfer, I was really fighting hard. I will freely admit it is the most physically tired I'd ever felt as well as a combination of mental wear down (but perhaps I can blame some of this on trying to figure out how to balance two areas' finding, ward, and investigator needs). My left eye has been twitching in the most annoying way for 10 weeks now and I was particularly perturbed by that on Friday, after all that seemed something that I should be able to control. So after lunch at Zone Conference I went to ask Sister Perry about what she knew about eye twitches. She didn't really know much, but promised to look it up for me before I see her at the end of this week. What was less comforting, however, is that by the end of the conversation she turned to me and told me I did not look at all well and that I was "ordered" to take naps. Oh, that always makes you feel good!

But, before anyone gets too worried, here is the rest of the story. By Saturday night I was really feeling very, very tired and completely worn out and awful so kind Sister Methot called and asked the Zone Leaders to come and give me a blessing. I'll admit I kind of follow the philosophy of "I should get better on my own," but it was really a wonderful blessing. I'd had an absoltely killer headache which was making me extremely nauseous when the blessing started and it was completely gone by the time we finished. And as of today I'm still tired, but I am feeling so, so much better. It was a nice little faith promoting experience to feel such comfort from what Heavenly Father had to say to me.

So it is onward and upward. It looks like the three of us will be doing the balancing act of the two wards for the rest of the transfer. I'm actually all right with that because I love both of my companions and I didn't want to lose either one of them. I hope you are all doing well!

Sister L. Sorensen

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

To All Those Folks in Rio Linda!

Dear Family and Friends,

I guess Rush Limbaugh used to give shout outs to Rio Linda, I don't really know not having been a big Rush fan, but that's where I've been spending plenty of my time the past couple of weeks. So I'm still in a threesome and we are still travelling back and forth between our two areas. In one way this means that we are always very busy, but in another it means we sometimes spend an awful lot of time just driving back and forth in the car! Actually until today we were juggling between two cars switching off each day so we didn't put too many miles on either one, but today they took one back because some Elder broke his wrist this weekend and can't ride his bike in his cast. I admit this is somewhat a relief since I didn't want to have to clean two cars for car inspections this Friday; but it also means we won't have the satisfaction of at least trying to get both 1st and 2nd place in the car inspections.

Last weekend was a little stressful. We were checking on less actives, investigators, and potential investigators on Thursday and set up a lesson appointment with one potential investigator Sister Kawasaki and I met tracting way back on December 23rd for Friday at 1:00 in Lincoln. The problem being that we had an appointment on that same Friday at 4:00 and another at 5:00 in Elverta, and then another set of Lincoln appointments at 7:00 and 8:00 at night. Now from my Palo Cedro days it kills me to have to drive back and forth like that, but what am I going to do, turn down an appointment with an investigator? Surely not. I tried to get an exchange to just take me up to Lincoln, but that didn't work out. So in the end we drove up to Lincoln for Friday Morning Planning and the appointment (which he wasn't there for by the way), then back down to Elverta/Antelope where our 4:00 appointment also cancelled (after we'd spent an hour during planning making phonecalls to get a member to go with us), then as we were a little late heading in to our 5:00 appointment our 7:00 appointment called to reschedule. We still had to drive up to see the McKinney's however, and their appointment went very well. So 2/4 wasn't so bad.

Well then by Friday night we had to make arrangements to get rides because we forgot Saturday was our "no car" day. But rides to and from Lincoln as well as to a member's home where we were to teach our Lincoln lesson actually came surprisingly easy. But we still had to wake up at 5:30 to clean our apartment for an unexpected Saturday apartment check (usually they are on Mondays). I can tell you I was very glad when that day was finally over!

Okay, so this is kind of a "down" letter, but please just know that Sister Curtis, Sister Methot, and I are working hard. Even if I suspect that occassionally Sister Methot and I scare Sister Curtis--when you get two Easterners together, you had better watch out as to what will happen! I hope you are all enjoying this year's Skunk Mating Season--it is pungently underway in our neck of the woods!

Sister L. Sorensen

P.S. Notable facts about Rio Linda: one of its famous landmarks is a gas station with an extremely large cow on top, and it has a very large random arch at one of the central four-way stops. Yep, that's pretty much it!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Dear Family and Friends,

No, no, there is no need to worry. I am not getting trunky ("missionary" for mentally already have bags packed and are just thinking about home). No my friends this countdown is the countdown to see if Sister Sorensen gets Mononucleosis. So let's back up and see how this happened. And don't be disappointed, there was no kissing involved.

Last Tuesday, my last day with Sister Rollins, we headed back into Rocklin to go to the doctor for what we thought was an ordinary visit telling her she was getting better. But she came out with the doorprize of a positive diagnosis for Mono (nobody knows how she got it), lucky girl. She was told that she would need to spend a minimum of 2 weeks inside and that she couldn't go ANYWHERE. Well, I thought to myself, Sister Methot--her new companion--won't like that. Then we packed all of her massive amount of luggage into Sister Evans car and headed up to Yuba City where we were meeting Sister Methot and I was picking up my new companion. Her name, by the way, is Sister Curtis and she is from Pleasant Grove, UT.

Tuesday morning I got a call from Sister Craner the "head mission nurse." I guess Sister Perry got super nervous about Sister Rollins having Mono since it is very contagious and we were in very close contact for so long , so she asked Sister Craner to look into it. Well basically I have 4-6 weeks to see whether or not I will come down with it. Personally, I'm not worrying too much about it because there really isn't anything I can do! Either I got it and I'll come down with it sometime this transfer, or I didn't and I'll finish out my mission no problem. But it does make for fun jokes for at least the next 5 weeks. But, the story continues. President Perry called Salt Lake to talk about Sister Rollins's diagnosis and it turns out that it is church policy to send missionaries with Mono home IMMEDIATELY. So Sister Rollins flew home Thursday morning and I inherited a third companion and a second ward . . . in a second stake. So the three of us are currently serving in the Dry Creek ward in Antelope Stake as well as the Lincoln 2nd ward in Rocklin. The perks? The APs gave us unlimited miles since we have to drive back and forth between the two areas (it's a 40 minute commute). Plus I don't have to worry about the fact that I've almost entirely tracted out the Lincoln 2nd ward because now I have Antelope to tract too! Oh, and I get an awesome third companion. Sister Methot is very on top of things. This does mean, however, that we are living out of Antelope currently because our room at Mary's wasn't big enough. Plus, I think we might be moving out of Mary's house soon. So send all mail through the mission office. I repeat, SEND ALL MAIL THROUGH THE MISSION OFFICE.

I hope you all have a great week! Here's hoping I don't have mono and end my mission early!

Sister L. Sorensen

PS For those of you who are concerned about Sister Rollins, she does have an open call and can return to the mission when she gets better. I, however, will not have time to finish out my mission if I have to go home as my deferment from BYU ends in Fall 2008.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Dear Family and Friends,

Well, we have had a desperately less effective week. Though, actually, we had several really good lessons with less actives and one of them completely shocked us by coming to church! Sister Rollins has done a lot better on the antibiotics, though late last night I had a really good glimpse of exactly how giddy they could make her (their side effects were extreme nausea and giddiness, so at least you're happily uncomfortable)! But she kind of had a back-slide Thursday and we were in a bit more than we would have liked for the weekend. I did spend last Wednesday in Auburn though. I had forgotten that we were supposed to go on exchanges with the Auburn sisters this week. I had a really great time with Sister Fultz, the sister from Pennsylvania. We did some great tracting and three people stopped to talk to us about President Hinckley's passing.

Saturday was pretty busy, we had to drive down to Rocklin to the Stake Center to watch the broadcast of the funeral, then back up to Lincoln where we live to meet our ride to Orangevale (one of the people Sister Rollins taught was getting baptized and so we went to the baptism), then we were dropped back off at home for an hour before driving back down to Rocklin to the Park building (where we have church) to go to the "final" ward activity as a giant ward. It was good, but it was a little too taxing for Sister Rollins. Sunday was busy too, we had church--our early morning meeting was cancelled, but nobody told us that, then a dinner appoitnment, a lesson, and the ward boundary change meeting. Well the lesson ended up being cancelled, so we had to spend an extra hour and a half in Rocklin (trying to conserve miles). The boundary changes were pretty unexpected. We actually still do live in the 2nd ward, I thought there was no way of that happening. But we lost all of Sun City--so almost all our wonderful old people--and half of Lincoln Crossing. So we actually can't travel from one end of our ward to another without leaving and then re-entering ward boundaries. What I also realized late last night is that by about the beginning of March, maybe even sooner, I'll have tracted EVERY STREET in the Lincoln 2nd ward as it now is. I'm going to have to get creative or start over again.

That said I'll fill you all in on the exciting world of transfers. As predicted I am staying in the Lincoln 2nd ward (though actually they only decided which ward I would be covering about 10 minutes ago), but Sister Rollins will not. I feel bad because half of her time here she has been sick; that can't be remembered as a very fun area. I am going to be training again, so I don't know who my companion is until tomorrow. I hope you all can stand the anticipation. But I do get to hope back up to Yuba City for an hour or so, so I might look up some investigators/members.

I hope you all have a great week. You all have a wonderful reason to have gospel conversations with friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers this week with a new prophet and a new First Presidency so I hope you take that chance. Incidentally, I was happy to hear Elder Uchtdorf (I'm not entirely sure I spelled that correctly) had been called into the First Presidency.

Sister L. Sorensen

Thursday, January 31, 2008

"We Thank Thee, O God, For Our Prophet"

Dear Family and Friends,

Well in terms of proselyting our last few weeks have been slow, and sadly they will continue to be so. Sister Rollins was sick all last week and her rather nasty cough simply became nastier so we went in to the doctor again today for a new diagnosis: laryngitis and possibly a kidney infection as well. We also got to go and get some fun chest x-rays. So it looks like we will round the transfer out with another week inside. I have not been completely kept in, however, I have been able to arrange for exchanges to go and cover lessons. Sadly, however, only one of our investigators is really doing well right now and seems to actually want to meet with us--that always makes you feel good. But she is doing well and I am thankful for that.

The Lord also sent me a few other "tender mercies" last week (that reference is in 1 Nephi, one of the early chapters). Tuesday, after we went to the doctor, I called to try to cancel our dinner appointment, but the lady wouldn't let me because she had a surprise for me. This is a less active, part member family who I struck up a good relationship with because it turns out she is the aunt of one of my college roommates who was serving a mission at the same time (though she has since returned home). And the surprise, as I rather guessed it would be, was that she had invited Jamie, my old roommate, over for dinner because she had returned home from her mission just the Friday before. I admit it was very fun, but also a little strange to see her again. It was very handy, however, because when she found out my companion was sick she offered to come out and do some missionary work with me and so on Friday she came back down and we went out tracting and to a few lessons. Ah it was good to go tracting again; that was probably the thing I was the most scared of when I came out on my mission, but now it is honestly one of my favorite things to do. I also got out and had some great lessons with several other ladies from the ward, and Mary has been very good about coming home if at all possible to "babysit"-- I know that sounds mean, but Sister Rollins herself uses the term--my companion so that I can go out.

We also got a call Tuesday that we needed to bring our car down to the Roseville Stake Center on Wednesday--they transfered it to another area to balance out the miles put on it--and that we would get a new one. So I am now driving another brand new car--I am being very, very careful--but this time it is a Malibu so I have to figure out another set of car controls. We decided to name this new one Sophronia after Joseph Smith's sister since our last new car was Don Carlos. I like the way it drives, but it is much bigger than I am used to and hence it's turning radius is not what I sometimes would wish and the night vision on it is weird especially with our winter rains. But oh well, what am I going to do about that?

I was also able to find a sister in the ward who was staying home on Sunday with sick kids and was able to get the Relief Society President to come pick me up and take me to our early meeting on Sunday morning and actually go to church this week. I was particularly anxious to do so because a couple of our investigators were supposed to be there, though in the end none of them came and that was quite sad. I also admit it seemed very strange to be sitting there in the pew by myself (particularly since our investigator and her kids didn't show up). And then, on top of all this, we were all stunned by an announcement from the Stake that next Sunday they are realigning all of the wards in Lincoln and creating a 5th ward. Okay, yes, our ward was HUGE and it really does need to be split, but I was surprised by how very much attached I have become to this giant ward. I love all of the leaders and so, so many of the members. This does, however, alter my predictions for transfers and I believe that I probably will end up staying another transfer here in Lincoln as I think they will keep us over the Lincoln 2nd ward and probably they will have us cover the Lincoln 5th ward too. All of these changes on top of the fact that Sister Rollins has pretty much been out of commission for half the transfer most likely indicates that I will stay.

Then after reeling from this news, we likewise were surprised by the death of President Hinckley. I'll admit, my first few thoughts went something like the following: "Hmmm, that is unexpected. . . Well I guess now this means he'll be with his wife again and that will make him happy. . . . Wow, what a fantastic week this would be to tract. His death is sure to be in the news with Mitt Romney still running. Too bad I'm stuck inside again." This may be an indication that I've become missionary minded, or it may simply prove that I'm not very sensitive, as my companion has lovingly told me several times in the past week (don't get me wrong, I've been very nice to her and I have been serving her very well).

Well I hope this week finds you happy and healthy. While the news of President Hinckley's death is of course sad, please think of how I will not be tracting and take the opportunity to have some great gospel conversations with your friends, neighbors, and co-workers!

Sister L. Sorensen

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Day Six

Dear Family and Friends,

How has your week been? Well I hope it has been more productive than mine! I shouldn't complain. We had some very, very good lessons last week with great member participation. But, there is always a catch. Sister Rollins woke up Thursday feeling like she had recently "been hit by a semi in the face." While I'm not sure of the grammar there, that is a direct quote. So we stayed in "for the morning" to see if she'd be feeling better by the evening so we could go to our teaching appointment. By 4:00 it was very clear she was not going to be feeling better, so we had to call and cancel dinner and while I was in the middle of trying to make arrangements to go on exchanges so we could get to our lesson our investigator called to reschedule. Well that was good luck I thought, surely Sister Rollins will be feeling better by Saturday night. Friday night she was still out of sorts so I made some last minute calls and headed out for our appointments. Saturday we were inside all day again, but luckily Mary was able to stay home again with Sister Rollins and I went to our lesson. It was a good lesson too. We had to call and cancel our talks on Sunday because the nurse ordered us to stay home. And honestly by the end of the 4th day stuck inside I was feeling very, very unproductive. On top of all that, this week we found out that we had to hand over two of our progressing investigators who wanted to get baptized to our District Leader and his companion (the Spanish Elders) because, and this still just kind of irritates me, Sister Rollins is too pretty. Okay, so there are actually some legitimate concerns--with details I can't elaborate on--but it still just kind of kills me to have to just hand them over when I've been teaching them from the very beginning.

So what did we do Monday? Ah yes, we stayed home. I finished reading the New Testament from Hebrews-Revelation, wrote a few letters, took care of my companion, and then read 100 pages of Jesus the Christ. Well yesterday Sister Rollins actually felt a lot better, so we decided to try to go to District Meeting today after all she's been in the house for 5 straight days. In less than an hour she was feeling 10 times worse and we had to come home. At this point I made a Doctor's appointment for her myself because it was just getting too ridiculous. The verdict? She has some sort of virus and will most likely be sick for ANOTHER WEEK! So we'll see how much studying I get done, I can probably finish Jesus the Christ at this point. I really, really hope I can call around to our investigators and get some appointments set up. And exchanges.

As for the questions about transfers. This is week 5 for us, so Two weeks from today I might transfer. I don't know. But this puts me at 4 and a half months in Lincoln and I have previously transferred areas at this point. So we'll see if tradition holds or not. There are two new Sisters coming into the mission and 1 leaving, which means a threesome and we all know that out of the last 3 threesomes I've been in two of them. So that is a possibility, but they can't have one here because we have no space in our room.

Sister L. Sorensen

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Warming Up!

Dear Family and Friends,

Well Sister Rollins thinks it is absolutley freezing here (it has typically been in the 40s or 50s) but last week we only had to tract in the rain once! That made her at least a little happier, I try to be understanding but I honestly so much prefer it to the summer--nice farmer's tan aside--that I am not entirely sympathetic. But things last week were interesting. I was super sad because we had another 0 finding week and our OYMs were very, very low but we honestly almost always walk the long way just so that we can get OYMs that I can't hold myself too accountable for people not being out last week. But we did have some good lessons complete with some really great member participation. And, most excitingly, we actually took 4 families on chapel tours--and one family was a non-member family we just started teaching. She's a single mom who we met tracting and she and her boys came to church on Sunday and managed sitting through sacrament meeting very well despite her worries about bringing her "wild" boys (she was very comforted to note that the primary of 160 plus nearly 80 nursery kids made their presence heard). So it pays to have a loud ward! And our standing room only--we had 590 people at Sacrament last week--dipped down to 400 people or so which meant everyone had seats even if some of them were sitting on the stand. Oh well, I think it kind of makes Sacrament Meeting more interactive to have people sit up on the stand.

Last week we also had Zone Conference. It has been a very, very long time since our last one and it was so helpful. Sister Rollins and I came away with so many great ideas on how to help our investigators progress. Now, I am sad to say that we are really, really struggling to get someone ready to be baptized this month; but we will persevere and I am sure that the Lord will provide a way (1 Nephi 3:7). It just doesn't seem like it is going to be our fun Australian investigator as he is heavily involved in his training for being a global fighter or something or other--the airforce terminology loses me. But, I very much feel that he will be baptized, maybe next month . . . . Another very important event incident to Zone Conference is that Sister Rollins and I won 1st place in car inspections. The sad thing is I feel that our car was probably least deserving of it this week than at any other car inspection as we simply did not have enough time to give it the detailing I usually invest. But we won a nice bag of trail mix which Sister Rollins has very nearly finished (and we won it on Friday).

Anyway we continue to work hard and we hope to have great things happen this week!

Sister L. Sorensen

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

One Year Older and Wiser Too!

Dear Family and Friends,

This has been an interesting week. It was sadly less productive, but we had inclement weather conditions, power outages, and sicknesses which led to several cancelled appointments on top of just not being a great week to find because of the holidays. But it was fairly entertaining.

First, I don't recall if I mentioned, but Sister Rollins has several health conditions which rather limit what and when she can eat: she is lactose intolerant, she is allergic to white flour, she is hypoglycemic, and she cannot eat marinara sauce (the last one is a puzzle to all). It tends to make the members fairly anxious about what they can/should feed us, especially as she is still new to the area so it is a surprise each time we confirm with our dinner appointments. On top of all that, Sister Rollins own food preferences basically categorize her as an herbivore as she does not really care for meat. So on Tuesday we were eating with an older lady in our ward who is a fairly particular person in any case and she had been planning to feed us spaghetti and so when she got our message confirming dinner she got a little fidgetty, but told us on the phone that it was okay and she would just make Sister Rollins a nice little steak . . . . To make a long story, short (too late) Sister Rollins ended up cutting her meat into little pieces and slipping them into her salad bowl and I had to try and eat them out of her salad bowl without any of the old ladies at the table catching on, and the rest of her steak she slipped inconspicuously into her napkin and took it out in her bag to be placed in our next appointment's neighbor's trash can. This is going to be a complicated transfer in terms of dinner arrangements.

I also hit my year mark this past week. That is a very strange thought. But I've rededicated myself to working as hard as possible in the next six months and make my time count. It was fun though because our dinner appointment was tipped off by Sister Rollins and made me a cake for the occassion.

Lastly we had nasty rain and wind storms with the wind getting up to 60 miles an hour. Luckily we were in our weekly planning for most of the wind on Friday, but we got caught out in the rain several times tracting. I actually enjoyed it, but Sister Rollins is freezing her toes off--as she tells me frequently each time we are out tracting. But, we found an investigator out of if because they felt sorry for us being out in the rain. There is no bad weather for missionary work!

Sister L. Sorensen

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

. . .and a Happy New Year!

Dear Family and Friends,

I hope you all had lovely holidays and a great time was had by all. I have to say that we enjoyed ourselves pretty well. Our week was a little different but pretty good.

On Monday it was kind of a weird day for missionary work. We were asked to proselyte all afternoon and evening by appointment only--and I have to tell you it was hard to set up enough appointments. I understand that it is a busy day, but I would have thought more ward members would be willing to have us over for 45 minutes or so. But we did have some good visits in the end. We were able to spend time with two of our favorite families on Tuesday--as well as make our phone calls home which found all well. I also introduced Sister Kawasaki to "The Worth of Souls" video out of the church library and she got to see all of those movies, including Johnny Lingo, for the first time. I don't know what she thought of Johnny Lingo, but she quite liked "The Gift." Wednesday we got our transfer calls and I very much surprised Sister Kawasaki when I told her she was getting transfered. I tried to warn her that it was the most logical outcome, but she handled it pretty well. Thursday I got my new companion and we had a really great lesson with one of our newer investigators. He is the husband in a part member family and he really does think he wants to be baptized, but he wants to make sure that he is doing it for himself and not just for his family. Friday our lesson appointment cancelled at the door because he was not feeling well, but because he cancelled we happened to walk back up the street to our car and were able to stop and OYM a guy and ended up picking his son up as an investigator the next day. Apparently the son has taken some of the lessons in the past, so that seems pretty promising as well. It was a nice reminder that there is always a bright side to every cancelled appointment. We also met a man this weekend while we were tracting who told us as soon as he opened the door that Mormons are going to save the world, and then welcomed us to come back next weekend and talk with him a little more. So while we did have a slow lesson week--as many people were out of town--there are still good things going on in Lincoln.

Next week's adventures: How will we manage our appointments on Saturday without a car--especially when we need to get to the church for Chapel Tours and the church is several miles out of our area? I guess you'll find out in the next installment. I hope you all enjoy the first part of 2008 and is it really possible that I've hit my year mark? That is a truly scary thought.

Sister L. Sorensen