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)

Libbi: one way...or another...I´m gonna find them I´m gonna baptize baptize baptize...

How´s everyone doing this week?! I hope you are all doing well...

This week was a good week in many ways. Thanks for your prayers to help me find people to teach because this week we had the wonderful idea to have an open house in our ward house and we invited everyone passing by on the street to enter and see how it all works inside. Through this zone activity we were able to find a bunch of new people to teach. Unfortunately, we are still weeding through the people that want to make commitments and who doesn´t. I am learning through the relationships in my life that I can´t be everything for I would like to be. But, I continue to try to do my best and I know the Lord will continue to qualify me for this work.
We were extremely excited about a couple that we found Tuesday night. Igrid and Wallece. The spirit was very strong during the lesson and we planned to meet with them the next day. The next morning Igrid called and said not to pass by and that she didn´t want us to visit them anymore. One of many experiences that breaks the heart of a missionary. But, I know that the Lord´s plan is perfect and he will help us to continue on to the people prepared to hear this wonderful message.
I was able to speak in Church this week. I spoke about the joy of service and the best service there is MISSIONARY SERVICE! I love this work. I love my purpose here. I can´t be lost because my purpose is so clear. I return to it when I feel I doubt. We push on with the possibilities that we have this upcoming week. I´m excited about a reference from a member. His name is Dionoton and we will be teaching him tomorrow. Pray for me that it will all go well.
Thanks for all you do and for who you are. be good this week and share your testimony with not only helps the Lord´s work here on the earth but strengthens you and fortifies your faith. I love you all very much....I celebrated 15 months on mission this week. the time flies by so fast.  CTR and follow the Spirit.
com amor,
Sister Sorensen

this photo was at the activity we threw for the ym and yw in our ward...

Libbi: and so it goes and so it goes...and your the only one who knows...

Family, Friends, Random people that came across this blog on the Internet...

I love you all! I feel you prayers and I don´t thank you enough for how much they help me and strengthen me! Thanks! You fortify my spirit and body to continue this fight against Satan. Wow...was it just a week that passed? This week was a week we like to call ´of opposition´ haha yeah it was tough. I don´t think I have ever taken such a emotional rollercoaster in my life....yeah I know I´m a girl. Ok, Sister Aires (my roommate and use to be companion) lost her Grandma to a stroke. This is now the 3rd member of her close family to pass away in the last 3 months. She found out Tuesday morning that she had suffered the stroke and was in a coma and Tuesday night she was told of her death. Her Grandpa died just 3 weeks ago and I think he couldn´t stand being alone so...she is with him now. I admire Sister Aires and her strength. I have opened another chamber of my heart to try and be an instrument in the hands of the Lord, and I feel as a result a greater capacity to Love and feel the sorrow of others. We mourned and weeped together and then got back up and kept going. I love Sister Aires. She is strong but pray for her as she passes through these difficulties long away from home.
 I am learning patience in all things. This is a good life lesson. I am now teaching Sister Souza and we are practicing the lesson in Preach My Gospel everyday. She is a quick learner and I know that we are going to have a lot of success in the next 3 weeks of this transfer. We taught Carmen this week who is a single-mom of 4 children. She already knew a little bit about the Church because of her siblings that are inactive members but we met her by chance searching for another person´s house. We taught about families and the plan of Salvation and she was way excited to come to church. However, we arranged a ride for her and everything but the cell number she gave us was wrong or something and the member that went to pick her up said that they called for her but she never came out of the house....that was a sad part of the week. But we will pass by this week to find out what happened. Alex got a job which is a good thing but he now works on Sunday, that´s that bad part and he didn´t come to church this week because of it. I hope that we can still keep him animated to continue to study and pray about the church. We will be teaching him tonight. We found a few new possibilities this week and we are going to do a whole ton of contacts also to keep finding new people. The work continues... Ailson also did now come to church this week.
 We push on trusting that the miracle is about to happen. I continue to learn a lot from the many situations we encounter everyday here on the mission. I am sending this later that usual because yesterday we participated in a health-awareness project for Dengue Fever. We are about to enter into spring which is the season of mosquito's and more cases of Dengue. All the missionaries of Campo Grande participated and it was fun to give out flyers and hear funny music that they changed the words to to teach about Dengue using popular music. We were also able to do contacts and pass out pamphlet and Livro de Mómons. It was fun. 
 The work continues to go forth among the children of men. I am blessed to be apart of it. I take comfort in 2 Nephi 2:11... and I know that through the trials we count our blessings. That in the dark we recognize the need for light. That when we are weighed down we praise and remember God when we are relieved of it. I feel the joy because I know the sorrow and I thank the Lord because I am so very blessed.
 be good. ctr and all that jazz.
 com amor,
Sister L. Sorensen

Monday, August 6, 2012

Libbi: Sister Cesenã..then Sister Morais and Sister Aires...and now Carini (Sister Souza)

Wow...this week I lost a 2 more, then another. Now I am with Sister Souza who is a member here that has offered to work and live with us as missionaries as a temporary sister for a month! I spent however majority of this week in trio with my two used-to-be comps. Sister Morais and Sister Aires. Now, as of yesterday we will be going back to the routine of it all. I will be more or less training her during this month because she has only helped the Elders a few times and has never taught as a missionary. It should be an adventure as is all things here on the mission.
This week we continued to work with Alex who came to church with his girlfriend Graciele. We are going to try to set his baptismal date for this Saturday but I feel really good about him. He is a great person and because his sister is already a member that only helps. Pray that he receives an answer this week for us! I am also going to try to hurry and teach Sister Souza how to teach the lessons so we can have a more balanced team. We also had another young man come to church this week his name is Ailson. I´m hopeful that he will also accept to be baptized this Sunday. The work continues...hahaha funny experience: we were teaching another man this week (brother of a member) and he accepted a date for baptism, at the same time we found out he smokes and drinks so we told him to stop and prepare to be baptized Saturday...we called him the next day and he was too drunk to speak with us on the phone...that just shows how the enemy works. He didn´t come to church but I know that true change is possible so I still have hope for him.
Yeah....that was the week of craziness. I am learning and growing and becoming. I had a lot of time this week to reflect on just how much I have learned and changed here. It is crazy. and what I am still discovering still also. I love the spirit of missionary work and the power it has to change people and help them turn their back on sin...the enemy of all. I am happy and excited to work with Sister Souza for this month. The work continues and I continue also. I love you all. be good. take care of yourselves and know that I pray for you daily. a good example.
com amor,
Sister Sorensen (libbi)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Libbi: Was it really just one week....

And so begins the first epistle of Sister Sorensen now the only Sister Sorensen (that is in my family)....

Wow...Sarah you are home? yeah weird. Sounds like a party everyday at home these days. I´m glad everyone's doing well. Wow, OK this week was quite a week transfers, new comp, comp arrived, comp struggled, comp went home, I´m in trio now, Sister Aires heard about the death of yet another member of her family. Her grandpa passed away from cancer that they found out about last month. She has really been put through the ringer with her bother´s deaths just 2 months ago. She amazes me with her resilience.
 And now I will explain,
 Sister Ceseña (my comp that went home today) had already been having struggles since she arrived on her mission. So, she had already decided to head home before she became my companion...a mission is a stressful thing. But, I was happy to work with her this week and get to know her for the awesome person that she is. I hope I was able to show her that a mission is wonderful and hopefully at least show how my mission has made me into what I am today....I love my mission...this week only fortified my love. I feel like I had a chance to really sell missionary service to a buyer....missions are REALLY AWESOME! If you're thinking about need to talk to your Heavenly Father...but just come. It will make you stronger, happier, deeper, everything, because a mission really is everything.  A mini-life all wrapped up into one huge concentrated spiritual experience. EVERYONE THAT CAN SHOULD! - doctrine of Sister Libbi Sorensen
 OK, we push on in our area. It will be a bit different because now we are working in 2 huge areas and teaching in 3 which makes it all a little different. I will adjust. Nothing that I can´t handle. But I am blessed. I feel your prayers..they help me not only physically but spiritually...with endurance.
 I love this work. I know it's worth it and changes people....while changing me too. The power of the spirit is amazing. I don´t have much more to say. Be good. Say your prayers, read your scriptures, do what you know is right and TRUST IN THE LORD! (with all your heart might mind and strength). He is the one that know! I trust Him. He is perfect and I´m not....I am so glad He is patient with me.
 I love you all, be good, ctr
 com, amor,
Sister Sorensen (the only) 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sarah Cate: I can't believe it's my final Monday!

Well family, friends, companions, AND FELLOW TEXICANS!!!

HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY BENNY!! I CAN NOT WAIT TO WISH YOU A HAPPY BIRTHDAY WHEN I SEE YOU! WE'LL HAVE TO HAVE CUPCAKES BECAUSE I LOVE THEM AND WE CAN HAVE SOME CARROT STICKS FOR YOU...because I don't know what you love but you are a healthy person so I figured carrot sticks might work? Whatevs. We'll sort it all out when I get back! I LOVE Y'ALL SOOOOO VERY MUCH! Y'ALL ROCK!  Happy birthday Uncle!!! hope it is just a lovely one! I will give y'all a big BIRTHDAY HUG!!! YAHHHHOOOOOOO HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY!
WE ARE ALL ENLISTED TILL THE CONFLICT IS OVER. HAPPY ARE WE. HAPPY ARE WE! Yes I want to sing this...and then I want to cry because its so true. Conflict is never over so I have nothing but happiness. I am right now in a public Library surrounded by several companionships of missionaries in my Zone. I can not believe how young we are. We are so young.....except for me. All the missionaries remind me that I'm old.  :P  But I don't care. I love being young. I love being able to explore and joke around and yet have perspective. I have realized the importance of perspective. Oh how the Lord makes personal adventures.
 I know I must go on and on I shall go but not without a tantrum or two! On my mission, I have become a firm believer in tantrums. Sometimes in life, we need to give ourselves a break and just throw ourselves on our beds or floors or on our friends and just cry and be frustrated. The act of tantruming is not bad, it's the wallowing in the tantrum that gets sticky. Everyone can have a good tantrum BUT they must be expected to pick themselves back up and move on. It gets too lonely and boring sitting on the ground after a while watching life pass you by. You need to allow the Lord to help you get back up on your feet. Man, I wish I took my own advice sometimes :) Just kidding. I am working on it.
 It's amazing the Perspective the Lord has allowed me to see while being on my mission. I literally see his hand doing what my Patriarchal Blessing says of "guiding me and directing" me. He knows how I work. He knows I'm going to throw a tantrum but he has promised us that he will not leave us comfortless. He will support us even in the loneliest of times. He is the master captain of our immortal souls. He will lead us to calmer waters...usually meaning that we may have to go through some storms and sketchy seas to get there.
 I wish y'all could have been in Texas with me through the last year and a half but there is grand design in this missionary work. We are all young pups when we go out and we think we know a thing or two and then  WHACK!!! you get hit upside the head real quick. Usually it's not God that does the hitting upside the head but our own stupidity that leads us straight on into a pole. Silly us. :) hahaha OH man, one of my current companions, Sister Humphries has a saying that has really struck me. She told me about how she was asking God to not allow herself to get in her own way. Well that is an elementary thought but I guess I've just been seeing it more and more as I've been thinking about it. God allows us to trip over ourselves several times but he is always there picking us back up. 
 This past week was another blessing. Some sisters called us from Encino Park and asked if we could do exchanges with them. I got to go along with one of my other companions, Sister Mattson to Encino Park and see Mama Billie and connect with some of the people that I haven't seen in a while. I was in shock because I could see the hand of the Lord in this work once again. There were several people that we were working with (less active and potential people). Though I did not baptize or bring back these people to activity, I saw the effect of my visits on their lives. One man was baptized because of these efforts. Another Less active family has come back into full activity. The father was a meth addict and the wife, a return missionary. They had a son that was never blessed. The husband and I immediately hit it off and we worked with them and the bishop. He is completely clean now and has the priesthood and next month, he is planning on blessing their son. God is so good. 
 My heart is so sad but it has been made light. I know it is because of y'all's prayers. I truly can't wait to see y'all. I AM GOING TO BE WEIRD OK! I AM ONE WEIRD DUCK BUT I LOVE MYSELF SO BE PLEASE PATIENT WITH ME. I am an awkward sister missionary. I only love the Gospel. I am working on loving things of a secular nature.....yeah right lets be honest I CAN'T WAIT TO HEAR MUSIC AGAIN!!!! My violin playing is terrible so please don't ask me to play a concert in the next week or so unless you want to hear a squeaky hymn. I am not perfect. I have learned a lot but please know that I love you even when I am weird....and maybe a little tubby. but just more of me to love. :) Don't worry, I have talked to God about it and he is going to help me. 
 Life is so good. I love y'all. oh so very much. I love y'all. God is a God of miracles. He will help us. Daddy, I love you. Don't go toward any bright lights till after I see you on Wednesday...OK? :) ....keep Bailey away from them too. Life after the mission....ready or not...HERE I COME!!! 
  Because this is my final e-mail as a missionary, I am going to go crazy with my personal insights and rants and whatever comes to my mind. Y'all enjoy it.
Sister Texican

Libbi: Creepers everywhere...

haha we go. (liked the title today? too.)
I decided that I´m tired of men staring at me on the street..this week I was getting on the bus and a man on the other side of the bus station was getting on another bus...sat by the window and then began to frantically wave at me until I saw him and he just smiled creepily right? NOT... OK this week...
 This week was tough as it always is at the end of the transfer...everyone was nervous about what would happen and where we would all end up....with more nerves the work becomes difficult and the focus is hard to maintain. I hear there are problems with literal nerves in my house and that also didn´t help my focus this week. I found myself reflecting a lot on my sister and what she is feeling. wow...I can´t even imagine but I know that a part of my heart leaves the mission this week also...just like when she left on her mission...weird that we are always doing the same thing at the same time and when we aren´t, I feel more alone than usual ahah but as you know I´m never really alone and I´m so very lucky for the time that I have.
 This week I celebrated 14 months on my mission. Wow...the time really does fly by...I´m blessed with 4 more months of life. The life that I love. I get a nervous ball in my stomach when I think of real life...but whatever. I trust the Lord.
 We were running behind all of our options and they all seem to be falling through. But with the transfer comes a new start. I will be companion to Sister Seseno (she is first American comp.) I will be helping to finish up her training because she just finished her first transfer on the mission. I will stay here in Jardim Imá. I  am living with Sister Morais and Sister Aires who are now companions and I´m really stoked for this transfer.
 This week we also had the best, most successful activity that I have every planned on my mission. Sad to say but it's true. It was an activity for the youth and we had a luau (is that how you spell it) that Hawaiian party thing. We played music after the spiritual thought and ate fruit outside.  It was cool....lots of the youth ACTUALLY CAME! YEAH! We are feeling more united with the ward and excited to keep working here.
 Yeah for now that´s all I have to report. I´m sure I will have a lot more next week. I will meet my companion tomorrow after her lovely 12 hour bus ride and then the routine begins again.
 I´m learning how to follow the spirit with more diligence. I am still learning is a process. But I reflected this week on the words of Elder Bednar when he came to our mission he said something like..if you have the desire to do something good...don´t stop to think if it is the spirit or yourself just do it and you will know after. We need to constantly do good things and we will receive the confirmation from the spirit that it is the will of the Lord.
 Be good...I pray for you. Know that I love you always for eternity. thanks for being part of my life.
 Com amor,
Sister Sorensen (not the one coming home this week.)

ps I read the book missionary it this week and loved it...I have had many similar experiences on the that the work is the same wherever you go and refines us in the way that we need. The Lord knows everything! Isn´t it great! 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sarah Cate: I am running out of Mondays...

Hello Family and Y'all,
 I don't really know what to write. Life has slowed down a bit. I am still in San Antonio, in the converse area. It's pointless to give y'all the address because I'll be home faster than..well than I would like to be. I am truly trying to keep things positive. I needed to be in this last area. I needed to be in the companionship I am in right now. I am truly blessed to have the best mission in the world. 
 I have found myself deep in thought a lot this past week and assume I will be in the next coming week. I have been asked to give a training all by my lonesome this week at a zone meeting. It's only a fifteen minute deal but I guess this is just one more prep for real life and being on my own. 
 I am glad y'all had a great 4th of July. I love July in Texas because everything is so much bigger than it needs to be. I do appreciate the pride people have for our country here. Particularly in this area. We are right by Ft. Sam Houston army base and so I think we get an added measure of patriotism. We have a very young history as a country but a very rich history. It's rich because it was directed by God. The Lord has been in on it from the very beginning. I am very excited to sit at my father's feet when I get home and learn all about the things I should have before my mission. I can not wait to read all of his books about history. It's impossible to know the future but you can understand a lot by knowing where you came from. Family history is very important and it is something that I am looking forward to getting into. Literally it is what ties us to our family. I want to know my family. I want to know our church history. I want to understand more history. 
 I have resolved to become an educator. I am going to teach. I have been telling people that I would love to open up a fine arts pre-school. Austin would love it. I want to, however, find a way to help our education system. I want to find a way to bridge the gap between learning in the classroom and learning at home. Parents need to become more involved and active in their kid's lives. I hope to help make that change. I don't know how yet but I feel very passionate about making a change.
 I have been in a dream like state. I keep thinking that President will allow me to stay. I have a very strong hope in my heart. There have been many times this past week where missionaries have called me, literally from around the mission, asking me for advice and comfort. It has been a blessing for me to know that I have helped in some way. I know that I may not have baptized a nation but I have helped the people I have met. I have made some of my very dearest friends here in Texas. I want so badly to continue on like this but I know and trust God. He knows what is best. He won't let me fall. I cannot forget that. 
 I love y'all so much. Please pray that I can sleep. Other than that, I am golden. I am so blessed. Thanks y'all for being my friends. Life is good. 

Hna. Sorensen 

Libbi: I like thinking that I´m in the middle...

Hi everyone... are an inspired woman and mother. I love you. What you wrote this week made me cry good tears...thanks for that. It was what I needed to hear.  I push on....
 This a lot happened this week. It seems like a tons in contrast to the normal routine where we do pretty much the same thing everyday. It started out with Zone Conference on Tuesday which was great. We met our new mission president. Pres. Reber and his wife. I already love them. They are great. I translated a little bit for Sister Reber and I remembered a lot about how I felt at my first zone conference when I heard her Portuguese and how she wanted so badly to get to know everyone but couldn´t quite get the words out and understand. But she will learn fast, she seems like a really determined person. I feel like I already have known them for a really long time. President talked about faith and how we can have more faith and practice our faith. He spoke about how his mission changed him and how almost everything that he has done in his life was based on his activity in the church thanks to his mission. I know that missions are powerful things that can really change people. I feel that I have already learned a lot with our new President.
 It was fun to speak in English a bit, and to feel equally comfortable in Portuguese. This is a sign of progress. That was Tuesday. Then wed. we helped out with a community project in the 4th grade class of a sister in our ward. I played my violin and answered tons of the fourth graders questions. It was very fun and made me think a lot about the pre-school and how my life prepared me for my mission and my mission continues to prepare me for life. That same day my comp. taught a class about make-up for the young women. We pushed to find new people to teach this week and Lidiane (was a reference from another Elder) came to Church this week. I´m excited for her progress. she says that she believes the Book of Mormon is true and really liked church. I hope that we will have more spiritual experiences with her this up-coming week. Last night we also were able to have a family night with our Bishop´s family as we work with one of his sons to come back to church.
 I had a great interview with my President Reber on Saturday and I loved chatting with Sister Reber. We talked about endurance and how to fortify our spirits. He is an inspired man. I received that testimony very strongly this week.
 I also was able to play my violin for ward conference and the other sisters (Sister Chatwin and Sister Morais) had a baptism yesterday of a girl named Stefani that I helped to teach. It was fun and I also got to play my violin for the baptism.
 I am blessed. I can´t complain. Sometimes its tough. but the truth stays the same.
Be good. know that I love you and keep fortifying the kingdom of God on the earth. That´s what I´m going to do this week :)
 com amor,
Sister Sorensen (the other one that´s not coming home in a few days)

My first zone conference with President and Sister Reber 
 at mutual this week my comp. gave tips about make-up and she did my make-up to show examples....this is the most make-up I have had on my face without preforming in a play
We went to an animal reserve and rescue last week on and and monkey :)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Sarah Cate: Her return home is almost here....

Hermana Sarah Cate Sorensen will return from her missionary service in the Texas, San Antonio Mission on Wednesday, July 18th.  She will give a report the following Sunday (July22nd) at our ward.  The chapel is located at 1005 South 2000 East, Salt Lake City, UT.  It is set to commence at 12:50pm.  Y'all come!

Sarah Cate: Off to Converse

Alright family and Y'all,
 I am going to try to type as fast as my little fingers will go because I have soooo much to tell y'all and zero time to do it. Alright so after I e-mailed y'all last week, I had a fantastic p-day with the zone. It all came to a screeching halt when President called with details on when Sister Heeder was going home. She was told that Wednesday she would be flying out. That was totally fine with me but then President wanted to talk to me. He told me that I have been a real trooper for going through everything with her and so HE ASKED ME WHERE I WANTED TO SERVE! He said "now I don't normally do this but I would hate for you to end your mission with such a difficult time." I was just blown away. My mind was racing and I just threw out any old place I could think of. Of course I told him I would love to speak Spanish again and he could send me to the boarder. I also told him that I would love to go back to one of my old areas. Well he said he wasn't sure what he was going to do but I needed to pack my bags and be all moved out by Wednesday as well. That shocked me.  I all of a sudden realized that I had to say good bye to everyone! I had to say good bye to everything I had just worked so stinkin hard for. I broke down. I just was done. For the next two days it was truly a blurr. It was so frustrating because we had no time and all I wanted to do was cry and sleep. I couldn't sleep at night time. It was a mess. I felt like I needed to tell President to send me to Sister Heeders' old area. I didn't know why but I told him that. He asked me why but the next thing I knew, I was being sent there. It's called Converse and its down in San Antonio. President told me that I would be here for a week and then I would probably go somewhere else. Well it's all in the Lord's hands because when I got to Converse, I was an answer to the sister's prayers. They have been having some rough times. I just love them so much. It's been crazy. A sister in the mission, her father passed away and I was going to replace her down in Uvalde which is by the boarder but she decided to not go to the funeral. So instead, President had us all go to the temple!!!!!!!!!! I got to go and do a session in the temple!!!! IT was amazing to say the least! One of my current companions trained the sister whose father passed away. It has been so crazy.
 So now I am in a new area and I am not sure if I am staying or going. This ward here is very dysfunctional. I would direct all of your letters and things to the mission office for now because I know not where I will be. I wish I could tell you more but I don't know more of the details.
  A huge tender mercy that I have been blessed with is that the Elder in my first area, Elder Nygaard (we were both trained together in Del Rio) is now my District leader. He has been so kind to me. I just really appreciate the lord sending me people who care.
 I guess this is just more prep for home because I have no home right now. Amazing things are happening right now in Mt. Bonnell and I am sad I am missing them but I know the Lord has his reasons for everything. I love my current companions. Sister Humphries and Sister Mattson. --Sister Deleon--I think of you all the time and I just laugh because I remember our exchange when you were comps with Sister Humphries. good times gooooood times! hahaha
 Well I love y'all tons. Just send it all to the mission home

404 E. Ramsey Rd. Ste. 105
San Antonio, TX. 78216

Love y'all


Libbi: Wow...the times they are a changin..

Well, the mission continues. We heard our last conference (via cell phone) of President Oliveira. Now starts the presidency of President Reber. I´m excited to meet him tomorrow in our Zone Conference. It Should be a great and spiritual meeting.
Before anything else...CONGRATS DAVID MATHEW ON YOUR MISSION CALL TO PARIS FRANCE!!!!!! I am beyond excited for you and everything. Don´t worry we will have a great little get together in 2014 when we see each other again! The time really will fly for you. It has flown for me here in the past year or so.
Thanks to Susu and Gus for you constant and faithful letter writing. I also got a letter from Aunt Marilee and I just want to thank everyone that prays for me. I feel you prayers. They help me everyday!
We continue to work in Jardim Imá with the members and non-member to fortify the Lord´s Kingdom in this part of the world. We found some new people that we are teaching this week. Roberta is a young girl that has relatives that are members of the church.  She is what we call an eternal investigator´ but we are working to prepare her to be baptized and to truly seek a response in prayer about the Restoration and decision to be baptized. Gerson and Erick are both having serious opposition in their lives that is keeping them from coming to church. Please pray for them. We continue the work here and this week we have a ton to look forward to. We will have zone conference tomorrow, I will play my violin at a cultural display for the community, Ward conference, and my comp is also going to help out with an activity for the young women about modeling. Should be a fun week.
I have observed lots of people deal with difficult trials in their lives this time that I have been in this ward. My companion, members, and investigators. They have lost family, suffered from sickness, watched loved ones make bad choices, and much much more. I am learning to `mourn with those that mourn, comfort those that stand in need of comfort...` I feel stronger for this and a new capacity to love and have compassion for others!
I am happy. I am healthy. I am serving the Lord and trying to with all my heart might mind and strength. It is a challenge at times. My flesh is weak. I trust in Him and know that only  though Him I can be made whole. I need him along with all of us.  Honor his sacrifice with all that you do. Be good. CTR. I love you all dearly.

com amor,
Sister Libbi Sorensen

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sarah Cate: Time is flying away...

Alright Dear family and y'all,
The Lord continues to pour out his blessings. That does not mean that this week was not full of amazing trials and hardship. We met with President Jones and Sister Jones this week. It was...well it was a very emotional week.
 Despite many emotional trials this week, we were blessed with so many opportunities this week. We set Toby with a baptismal date for July 14th! yahoooo! OH Toby is so awkward but lovely. I can't remember if i told y'all this story but here goes nothing: We were teaching him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and i had used the phrase "sketch dogs" referring to some of the crazy ways Satan try to tempt us and when we finished Toby turns to me and says, "I do have one question, What is a sketch dog?" hahaha it was fantastic. Toby now has saved us as "THE SKETCH DOGS" in his phone. I love it. Unfortunately, Toby did not show up to church. 
However, we DID have two people show up that we had never met before! They want to learn more. One is a catholic kid who asks amazing questions and the other is a kid from Nepal whom we talked to on the phone. (a member gave us his phone number because they had met him at a gas station). We invited him to church and he came! It was awesome. We are hoping to meet with both of them sometime this week. 
We are just plugging along.
Keep praying for miracles because I am going to need them this week. There are a lot questions that I just don't have the answers to. I love y'all a ton. I'll send pictures this week.
I love y'all. Thanks y'all for y'all's prayers. I have truly been supported and strengthened through them. God loves us. He knows what's best for us. It's what we need. And sometimes we need to grow and that hurts but God is always there to bandage us up and pick us up....I feel like I need to quote the Dark Knight: why do we fall Bruce? So we can pick ourselves back up. ....see,  Batman kind of had it right....except we can insert at the we can be reminded that we are not in control. 
God is great. I love y'all. See y'all sooner rather than later :) 

Hna. Sorensen 
At Texas Stadium in Austin...with a friend

Nuff said, y'all

"As Sisters in Austin..."

Yes we do eat here in Texas...  :)

Libbi: My mission...up until now.

Well, I love you all. Just so you know.
This week was a good week. I can´t complain because ERICK WAS BAPTIZED! He was baptized Saturday night and confirmed yesterday. He will receive the Aaronic Priesthood next week and he is doing great. But continue to pray for him because his girlfriend who is a member of the church is moving to São Paulo and he will enter the Army here in a little bit so he will need your prayers to stay strong and committed. Also, our recent-convert Gerson needs your prayers also...a bunch of his old friends came into town and he is having a hard time resisting his old life. Help him with your prayers please.
My companion was sick this week so unfortunately we didn´t have a regular working week. But she is better now and I´m excited to work hard to find new people to teach and keep pushing on in this area with my comp. We are going to work hard this upcoming week and have another miracle. The big news of the mission is that Pres. Riber and his Sister Riber arrive and will be coming here to the south of the mission. I´m really excited to get to know them. The part that makes me nervous is that Sister Riber doesn´t speak Portuguese and I might be the translator for her....ahhh I´m definitely not ready for that.. oh well...the Lord qualifies those He calls to work for Him. I will trust in him!
Get someone to translate or just search for the talk by Pres. Hinckley but this was in the letter from my President (the last letter from Pres. Oliveira) and sums up perfectly how I feel about my mission and what I have been through in this last 13 months.
 "Meus queridos jovens amigos, espero que todos vocês estejam almejando o serviço missionário. Não posso prometer que será divertido. Não posso prometer facilidade e conforto. Não posso prometer que não terão de passar por momentos de desânimo, temor ou mesmo angústia. Mas posso prometer que crescerão como nunca o fizeram em um período de tempo equivalente em toda a sua vida. Prometo-lhes uma felicidade que será ímpar, maravilhosa e duradoura. Posso prometer que vocês reavaliarão
sua vida, estabelecerão novas prioridades, viverão mais perto do Senhor, e que a oração se tornará uma experiência real e maravilhosa, que vocês andarão na fé proveniente das boas coisas que fizerem. (1998 Outubro General Conference, Para os Rapazes e para os Homens)
I love this work. I´m so glad I made the choice to come on a mission. If you are reading this and deciding if you will go on a mission or not. SAY A PRAYER! ASK GOD! He will answer you! He will tell you! This truly is a marvelous work that is coming forth in our day! How blessed are we to take part in it! I feel blessed!
I love you all, be good, ctr.
com amor,
Sister L. Sorensen
Preparation Day...ahhh

Great Blessings