The Sisters

The Sisters

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Libbi: There CAN be miracles when you Believe!!!!

Wow, this week flew by with all that we were doing but at the same time seems like a lifetime of stories and things to share. A mission is perfect because of is productive and the experiences change eternity for the children of our Father in Heaven. I LOVE THIS WORK! I feel an overwhelming sadness when I think that I have just 5 more weeks but then I thank my Heavenly Father because he gave me everything when he called me to serve. Life changer for sure.
This week Thais was baptized!!!!!!! Wow, it all started last Sunday when I saw her crying uncontrollably after conference. Background: she is Lucas´ friend who is the bishop´s son and she has been coming to church faithfully for almost 2 months but she was very difficult to find during the week and didn´t seem very interested in hearing and learning with the missionaries...Anyway, this was this situation and returning to her crying in the church. I thought it was because she was feeling the spirit and loved conference but it didn´t seem like a normal reaction. I went and sat by her....she explained the difficulties in her life and how it just seems like ´so many things are going wrong, I feel really alone´ she said....I told her of her great worth to God and everyone around her and how in these moments she needs to trust and talk with him through prayer. I said that he will help us when no one else can and will send comfort during our greatest trials. She felt better and thanked the same time she told me that she really wants to be baptized but she is worried about what her grandparents will think (she was raised by them and lives with them)...this was how the week started. So, then we had transfers and Sister de Oliveira came (who I love by the way, I already knew her because we lived in the same house in Cuiabá a few months ago she is way funny and loves to chat) and I was showing her the area and we were seeing the true possibilities of the people we had been teaching. Thias didn´t have time to meet with us until Thurs. but after we were able to teach her in her home with her grandma everything happened really fast. We taught the first lesson and responded some questions she had and lies she had heard about the Church. Then we invited her to pray and felt prompted to invite her to be baptize on Saturday. She was hesitant but said yes...we marked to meet her on Friday. Friday came with a surprise...the other elders moved the date and time of their baptism because the girl who was baptized would have to work on Saturday and so they moved it to Friday afternoon so she could still be confirmed on Sunday the exact same time that we marked to meet what did we do. We invited her to watch the baptism which she never had seem before. She loved it, we talk to her after and had a wonderful talk about baptism there int he baptismal room and she explained that she had asked God for a sign and us inviting her to come to the baptism was her response. We were thrilled but the only problem was her grandma that we weren´t sure would sign her baptismal slip. (she is only 17) We knelt and prayed for help from God and then went back to her house to talk to her Grandparents. We taught about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and then importance of baptism...we then turned it over to Thais who bore her testimony and expressed her desire to be baptized. We then invited them to come and they said they would!!!! Wow! It seemed almost easy because of the Spirit. Isn´t it amazing how the Spirit supports us and blesses us with the right words and touches the hearts of all! WAY COOL! They signed without a problem, actually they (her grandparents) were way interested and the next day of her baptism and yesterday after her confirmation we have been teaching them all together. Way cool!
Anyway, for sure highlight and miracle of the week. But on top of it all! I know is it possible that we were blessed anymore! Aline who is a cute little 12 year old of a less active member Carol also accepted to be baptized this next Saturday. Carol came to Church with natalha (aline´s little sister) and Aline spent the weekend with her dad or she also would have come. But they are really special and we are super excited for yet another baptism this Saturday. WE ARE BLESSED!!!!! Thank you for your prayers! They lead and bless this work! We also had a very special man named Leonardo come to church this Sunday. He is in the army and travels alot but he had been church in almost all of Brasil. He knows everything, reads the Liahona, and has a really strong testimony...he actually bore his testimony yesterday....whoa...but his wife is Buddhist and doesn´t agree with anything about the church..and for this he pacienciamente waits for her to join him in the Church. AHHHHHH! broke my heart...we challenged him to pray and fast and then bear his testimony to her. I believe in miracles and know anything is possible. His testimony and strength in this Gospel would really bless our ward and Campo Grande. We pray for him this week.
Well, I think I´ve said enough....I am ranting quite a bit...haha I hope you like the details. I LOVE this work! I love the Lord.
I know he blesses and watches over this work and he has really blessed me this week. I feel his love and praise his perfect plan. I am so grateful for everything I have, especially all of your and your wonderful examples of happiness on the true path to eternal life. I miss you but I know my time is short here. I will push to the end and know already that I will never forget this transfer with all that has already happened. I love you all. Be good this week. an example. I loved what you said mom about salt...its true...and we need to be the salt of the others to have more flavor, be strong, even if we feel weak and small. I love what Alma says about how it is through small and simple things that the Great work and miracles of God are executed. Let God use you as an instrument of righteousness this week! love you tons!!
com amor,
Sistinha Sorensen
Zone Conference, Campo Grande with Elder Claudio Costa

The Best of Times

Libbi: Some Random Pics

Only in Brazil...nice outfit

Remember when I was vegetarian? Yeah, Brazil is a carnivorous country...

Libbi: one of the last of the last of the last lasts...haha lame

Wow....well WASN´T CONFERENCE AWESOME!!!!!! I LOVED IT! EVERYONE CAN GO ON A MISSION NOW! YEAH GIRL POWER!!! ATTENTION ALL 19 YEAR OLD WOMEN: HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT A FULL-TIME MISSION?! BETTER GET ON THAT AND START PRAYING!!!! YEAH!!!!! JUST GO!!!!  I can´t deny that the first thing I said was ´not fair` but I know that it is perfectly timed and I came on my mission at the right moment in my life. I really believe that. The plan of God is perfect and that includes his timing. I´m so grateful for inspired leaders that lead and guide us! This announcement was especially perfect because my comp that has been with me for the last 10 weeks is 19 and just to give a little background...she never really thought about a mission until she served with me and started getting more involved in the work...but then she just became more stressed because her boyfriend who is serving in Ogden, Utah mission will come back right when she turns 21 and can go. She was trying to work it out for him to wait for her (they have been dating for 3 year....yeah way grown up) and said that she still had a ton of desire to serve but wanted to do according to the will of the Lord and said, `if I could go now I would go in a heart beat` (more or less what she said translated) and now...... SHE CAN! She is already going to start getting ready and she will just be a few months behind her boyfriend in coming home. Wow, the plan of the Lord is PERFECT! He hears the cries of everyone of his children and knows the righteous desires of our hearts!!! Cool right?!
 OK so forgive me for my many many faults these past few weeks... or even my whole mission. I am horrible with birthday...i remember the day of and then when I sit down in the computer chair my memory is lost and I just start ranting. Papa HAPPY 80TH BIRTHDAY!!!! I LOVE YOU SOOO MUCH! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO LISA ALSO! All the rest of the people that have or will have a birthday this year happy birthday! know that I love you and pray for you daily!
 I don´t know.. I have felt a little emotionally dead...lots happened.. I had many good friends that finished up there missions this last week (you can never really fully anticipate change), the work continues but we are working a lot in a part of our area that is really far away from our house and the Church...we walk 2 hours both ways and arrive at home tired and extremely burned by the sun.... and sometimes with little results. I´m not trying to justify myself but just to explain a little bit about what is going on with the details everyone wants! We have been searching for more people to teach that really want to make commitments with God. It is hard. As Elder Cook said less and less people what to make commitments and that even as members of the Church we have to work hard to continue to diligently fulfill our callings. Tais is a really special young lady and she has now been coming to church for almost 2 months. She wants to do what is right and has a desire to be baptized...but struggles with problems with her family and stress of being a teenager in a world that doesn´t have standards. I think she will be baptized this week or the next...but pray for her! She is really cool! For now she is the only real possibility we have. But as it all starts again with another transfer we will work hard (me and my new comp. Sister de Oliveira) to really get some good work in here at the finish.
 I love you all. I live for news from you all. I love my mission. I love what it has made me and how it has changed me. I am different. I hope that´s OK? I am excited for the happy reunion of one life with another but nervous about the possibility of something lost. For anyone that has ever wanted or thought about serving a mission or has a chance to do so, if you are preparing, waiting, praying, fasting or dreaming.....GO! serve the Lord! YOU WILL NEVER REGRET IT! for those of you who have served....NEVER FORGET IT! Let it change your life...let influence your choices and let yourself embrace the change of progress. This is GOD´s WORK! He his here! He know and watches every detail! He lives for our success!  HE LOVES US! That is why we have this plan, this life, these people around us, and everything we are going through. Now comes the part where we act and change according to what we have been taught. Go and Do what the Lord has commanded for he giveth no commandment unto the children of men, save ye shall prepare a way that they shall accomplish the thing which he hath commanded!  (nephi 3:7)
 Work to share your testimony with to gain a stronger Elder Bednar said we need more than a testimony...we need to be converted to fight the fiery darts of the anniversary. We have to be strong in this day and age. We have to be examples. We are the Light of the Word (mat. 5) let your light so shine before men, that they might see your good works and glorify your God which is in Heaven. Glorify your God through good works and shining light in this very dark world! I know you can do that! I love you and pray for you! CTR!!!!

com amor,
Sister Sorensen

Friday, October 5, 2012

Libbi: Firme forte :) with a little headache

Hey there family... yeah this week had its ups and downs like always....not too many downs because Luiz was baptized and confirmed a member of the church after he has already been coming to church for 4-5 months! We are excited and extremely blessed to see this baptism..he also received the Priesthood which will only help to fortify this ward and bless this wonderful people!
The downer was my head...I had a problem for the first time with migraines on the mission this week. I have had a constant headache for almost a week now....sometimes it is worse and better and I´m not really sure why. I know that the weather this week was weird....we had a HUGE thunder storm and maybe the change in air pressure messed with my head but I am feeling a little bit better...and today will be extremely low key so I´m think that this week we will work a little better to find new people to teach.
We need more people to teach but this is the constant battle. It is actually the focus of our whole mission this month because our mission has a very high percentage of baptism but a very low percentage of new people to teach and so the few people we teach normally get baptized but if we have more people to teach we will baptize more also! I know that is a huge part of our purpose here is to help people make covenants with Heavenly Father. It is REALLY that I´ve gotten your attention I will let you know how much I love you all. I feel your prayer and their carry the burden when its heavy. I am feel more and more everyday my time is scares me but I trust in the Lord and the next phase of my life. I love this work. I love my mission. Prayer is important and reading the scriptures makes the difference. Be good be true be you and share the joy of this life-changing message. We can´t be selfish about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and his restored Gospel. It is too important. Share it with someone! Today! This week! Search for people to invite!
I love you all very much and know you are up for this challenge!
com amor,
Sister Sorensen

I forgot to add that this week 2 of the cousins of Diane were baptized and the Elders continue to teach various members of her family. Through Diônatam already 4 people have been baptized. We are blessed to watch such wonderful growth and the union of a family in the Gospel. I LOVE THIS WORK!
Conferences are always Fantastic!!

Doin a little shoppin....

Libbi: Another week....another month...and its getting down to the last of the last...:(

Wow...OK this week was crazy rushed...haha like every single week here on the mission. But I feel productive and energized to push to the end of this wonderful journey that is my mission...:)

OK, this week we marked a date for baptism with Irmão Luis. He is about my parents age and he is married to a member of our ward that has been inactive for the last 5 years and they recently started coming to church together. He has been coming to church since June and when we first taught him he didn´t even want to hear the word baptism but we still invited him to pray about it and taught the first lesson. When we came back he was like a different person. He was already planning when he wanted to be baptized and what he needed to do to prepare. He is progressing rapidly and will be baptized and confirmed this week!!! We are blessed to see this baptism and it is an answer to all of our prayers! Thanks so much for you love and support.
We also had zone conference and interviews with our President. I have been blessed with the opportunity to become extremely close to President and Sister Reber. They are wonderful people and amazing examples to me! We had the chance to spend the day with them in conference and then we also had stake conference this week which they also attended. We ate lunch together yesterday after the conference and I am really getting this translating thing down. My comp. loves testing her English with Sister Reber and I am in the middle helping them both. It is a neat experience and I have been blessed with this ability to speak and understand Portuguese. I´m extremely grateful. I love this language, these people, and this place.
I know this is the work of God. I know that this Gospel is REALLY important. I am so blessed to be apart of it! I am blessed with inspired leaders and a wonderfully organized Church of Jesus Christ to help me and guide me in this life. WE ARE BLESSED! Be good this week! Share your testimony!
com amor,
Sister Sorensen

Brownies at Diane´s house :)  num num...

The mission tour with Pres. Costa (only in Brasil could I wear that dress...)

A service project against Dengue Fever

Libbi: Something´s in the air...

oh we are good to be with you! hahahaha in spirit....

well the transfer started with a BANG with a capital B!!!! BAPTISM!!!!!!! it was like we baptized two people this week because not only was Diônatam (official spelling of his name just took 3 or 4 weeks to learn) baptized but his friend Diane also was baptized yesterday, she lives in the boundaries of the other ward so the Elders were teaching her but we also participating in a few of the lessons and helped her while she was getting to know the church these past few weeks. Wow what a wonderful way to start a transfer! We were BLESSED THIS WEEK!!!! When I really think about all that happened it was a wonderfully productive week in the service of the Lord (thank you all for your prayers they were truly felt this week)...
OK so transfers came and went...our house is a little more empty but we are adjusting to living alone (just my comp and I). We also have a HUGE area and so there is TONS of work to be done. We started out this week saying goodbye to our roommates...Sister Morais went to the other side of town and Sister Aires went to Cuiabá and is literally baking as we speak hahaha. Alright, after Monday we began to work, Tuesday we began the adjusting (physical and spiritual) to get to know our WHOLE area....we walked a lot...but continued to find people to teach. This week we met up with Marta who was a reference and had a wonderful 1st lesson with her...she was a little closed off to begin with but with a little bit of small talk she opened right up...unfortunately she couldn't come to church this week but we are hoping she will next week....hahaha oh I forgot to mention that they are giving a piece of our area to the Elders because they are changing the boundaries of the ward...oh so Marta will now be their investigator haha along with a bunch of others. That´s great because we will work that much harder to find more people to teach. I feel excited and ready for the challenge. Anyway, Lurdes is another woman that I explained a little bit about last week, we met up with her 2 more times this week but we were sad when she didn´t come to church. She is a great person but we will also be passing her over to the Elders.
We had a way neat experience with Diônatam and Diane this week teaching with the Elders. Sometimes I feel like I just arrived on the mission when I watch other missionaries teach because I realize how much I have to learn and recognize how the Spirit works with every person differently. We were teaching about Joseph Smith because Diane was trying to understand better. She already had a testimony of the book of Mormon but she was trying to understand more about the history of the restoration. We watched the video of the 1st vision and then we began to bear testimony...everyone was feeling good but they both (Diane and Diônatam) had decided that it was all really early to be baptized. But as we began to testify and talk about the courage to act when we receive an answer.....Diane shared that she received an answer that week and Diônatam also shared that everything he read in the Book of Mormon talked about a nice way I have you picked up on the hint then?!!?! haha Elder Severo with all his wisdom was able to discern that Diane was ready to be baptized and that Diônatam was holding himself and in the process her also from being baptized (they decided they wanted to be baptized together) He (Elder Severo) shared his experience of conversion that was extremely powerful but expressed how he felt really frustrated because he still had to wait 2 years because his mom wouldn´t let him be baptized....he testified with power that we can´t interfere with the personal progress of others and true friends need to help one another be the best they can be. After was easy! we marked both their baptisms for Sunday and I thanked Heavenly Father for the many blessings I receive and what I have been taught through so many other people!
Then we had our Mission Tour with Pres. Costa this week also on Thursday. Wow, it was wonderful, I felt a little spiritually exhausted by the end but I loved what I heard and went away with a bunch of ideas and plans to be better these next 3 months and for like the rest of my life too right? haha It is a strange feeling to have so many new people here on our mission and so many of my friends that already went home that I felt like I was new too because I didn´t know very many missionaries in our conference...that´s when you know you are getting old on the mission....
We pushed to the end of the week and had our next miracle that was Luis. He is married to a member who recently returned to the church (Angela) and he has been going to church with her now for the last 4 months....almost the whole time I have been here in this área. Anyway, we had already tried to teach him another time but it seemed like he was just going to church to support Angela and didn´t really have many firm belief in the church. Actually, he had already had a bunch of bad experiences with members of the Church...but we taught the 1st lesson and asked him to pray about baptism and left it at that because he didn´t want more commitment. But then we ate lunch with Angela this week and she told us that Luis is really excited about the church and wants to get baptized. I was shocked but said we would pass by the next day to talk to him. Sure enough, he was there with a changed heart and an open mind. Wow, it was way cool to see him almost cry as we explained about family and the plan of salvation. He is excited and wants to be baptized!!! He will be taking a trip this month but we are visiting him tomorrow and we are going to mark is baptismal date. Wow, talk about change...that is only possible through prayer and desire to know!
every little detail counts! Every little lesson has an effect. Share your testimony because you don´t choose the consequences....but let the Spirit work with the heart of others. I love this work! I love the Lord! He has blessed me so much and continues every min. I know He loves me and cares for me and through this work has helped me to learn SO MUCH! I love you good, be examples, share your testimony everyday, share what makes you happy in life and what REALLY matter in this life! It will always invite the Spirit and you will be strengthened also! DO IT! I love you for it and for everything else you all do! Thanks for being my examples and my strength! CTR
com amor,
Sister Sorensen

We are all smiles!!!

Libbi: Happy Birthday to our Prophet!!!!!

I love you all a ton....I don´t tell you enough...but I really really do....don´t ever think otherwise. Don´t ever think that I don´t pray specifically for each and every one of you each day and don´t you dare think that I have forgotten about you. At this point, prayer is pretty much all I can do...and so I find joy in doing it. With this week comes a whole bunch of highs, lows, and in betweens. I love my mission because it is really get to have a taste of everything in life. that´s why we have this funny slang as missionaries about being born (when you arrive) dying (when you go home) who is your mom or dad (trainers) because a mission is a life....that´s why its hard to give it up. But, I trust that life continues after death, I just know that it will be different and that every moment is unique so, I´m taking advantage of these next 3 months...I´m soaking up and reflecting a lot on what my mission has made me and is giving me.  
 This week, as every week, we had miracles. We finally were able to meet up with this reference from a member of our ward. His name is Dionathan. He is 22 and has been studying the church on the Internet for the last month or so (I know what your thinking...oh minha nossa not the Internet) but he also is extremely spiritually based and has a friend (William) that just got back from a mission and gave him answers for all the lies that he found mixed in with the truth. He is really progressing and has a date for baptism this Sunday. I hope that all will go well this week and will work out for us to end this transfer with a baptism....the best way to end or start or continue anything...with baptism or people becoming closer to our Savior Jesus Christ. Pray for Dionathan that he will feel ready and be supported because his family is way against it and he is scared about that. I was also able to participate in a huge service project for ´mãoes que ajudam´ (Helping Hands) - the church humanitarian program here. They gave out more than 250 wheelchairs to people that really needed it. It was wonderful to help. I love the spirit of service in action. I want to always be a person that serves. The need was so great that many just left there old used wheelchairs at the church and left happy and excited with a new mobility and joy.
 We continue, I continue here and you continue there. Change is Progression and is part of His wonderful plan for us. I am learning how to constantly embrace change....mostly good change and love love love until you can´t love and the Savior makes up the rest. Sister Aires´ birthday is today. We had a fun little party for her this morning and will continue all day today because it is p-day. I had a wonderful experience at church this week. I was feeling stressed and down but when I entered the church...all my problems went away. I felt the spirit of comfort and joy and despite the drama of our ward and the difficulties of being a missionary the Savior loves me and allows me to renew my covenants with him every week. It is a weight off my shoulders. I love church.
 Be good this week. share you testimony with someone...think more about what you believe and how you are changing for the better. I love you all a lot. ctr

com amor,
Sister Sorensen (blond in Brasil)