The Sisters

The Sisters

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sarah Cate: Texas-Size Hugs

Well my pretty family and friends,
...there are no words. For about the past two weeks I have been in another funk. Life just was kind of blah and I couldn't figure out why. I could see the hand of God in so many things I was doing. Well, we had Zone conference this past week and man....nothing like a good kick in the pants and rebuking by the Spirit to help you improve. It was kind of the lowest point I've been at in a while. I received several promptings by the Spirit of things I can change and in particular, a person I needed to follow up on....I made a note of it in my planner and then moved on. We have been crazy busy for a while now. We are working hard to try to find and teach and help others understand how important salvation is.
 Last week, we found out that Angela had a son...yes. Jewels has a brother. Well, I guess that Angela had re-connected with him a couple years ago. They were all very close. We found out this past week that Angela's son was hit by a car and killed on Valentines Day. Jewels doesn't know about it. I couldn't believe it. Satan is working so hard on this family. It's probably because they have so much potential.
 Our Valentine's celebration at the old folks home was incredible. Man, I just love those people. The dance consisted of us, dancing with people in wheelchairs. We got to spin them in circles and dance around them. There is one gentleman named Sam. Sam liked to dance. He liked to dance outside of his wheel chair and so as a result, he ended up holding onto your hands VERY  tight. haha he doesn't really speak English anymore but he does like to whistle. He got very big eyes and you could tell he knew the songs. The DJ was an English gentleman who did all of the music on vynal....(yeah I don't know how to spell that word.) It was so much fun. 
 I spoke to y'all about Zone conference...well, I made a resolve to change some things that I had been rebuked about. It was hard to articulate how I was feeling because I feel like I have been working so hard on being teachable and direct. It was hard to receive more things that I needed to work on and feel like the things you already were working on were not being recognized. But,  I guess this is the Lords plan and not mine. Like always, I want to control when and how things happen. Ok I'm sorry I'm ranting again. 
 We received several blessings. Truly. So many. So many miracles. Here it goes. We got to go see Julie B. Beck this weekend. Yes, she came to Austin. She was really awesome. She is amazing. I picture that's how Libbi will be in 20 years. She is just solid. She is the perfect balance of boldness with love. She spoke to all the women in Austin. It was neat. We ended up being able to take some of our investigators to the session for YW. It was really sweet. The most incredible miracle happened earlier on Saturday day. we missed a call from a number we didn't know and then all of a sudden we got a voice mail. WOW.  Who could that be? The message said "uhh hi my name is Eric. I am looking for Sister Sorensen. She gave me a Book of Mormon about..well a few months ago and uh yeah I just would like to come to y'all's church tomorrow...I think y'all have services on Sunday? Well anyways give me a call back. Thanks!" ...................................................................................................Uhhhhh WAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!        WHAT?!! 
yeah that was about my reaction. This man was none other than the name I had written down in my planner to check up on!!!!! bbbhhhaaaaaaa!! HOw cool is that? What a miracle. Back when I was companions with Sister Jones, I had just been assigned to Barton Creek and we received a stream of media referrals that were pranks. They were not real and the people I talked to were suuuuuper ugly towards me. I was extremely hesitant to contact the last one. Well, the last one didn't answer (this was Eric). We decided to contact him and drop off the Book of Mormon. We decided that if he was gonna say something ugly to us then he would have to have the guts to say it to our faces. :) Well, I talked to him and asked him if we could come in and explain the book that we were giving him and he said "uh no thanks." I tried several other things to try to teach him but no luck. ................. 3 months later!!!!!!!! how cool. God is in the details. Guess what, we had 6 people who were planning on coming to church with us yesterday. Not one showed but Eric. Yeah he is awesome. I asked him what made him call us and he said, "uh yeah I don't know. I just called" Thank you Heavenly Father and the Spirit for working on him  and me. Wow. No effort is wasted ever. You never know what can happen and who needs to be reached and when. We are having a family home evening with Eric this evening in a members home. He said he LOVED ALL THREE HOURS OF CHURCH AND IS COMING BACK NEXT WEEK. -------baptized!!!!!!!  
We also helped move Larry because in the last week, Larry Lowrance decided to move. yeah. What a bully. Well, actually its turned into another miracle. We were able to help Larry move and we got some members at his house to move all 23 of his pythons and critters. It was quite fun. He said he was going to come to church. He didn't show but I think he will. He is awesome. I really love Larry. I've invested a lot in him. He committed to March 16th to be baptized. I think he can do it. He is fantastic. Please pray for him and Pharol and Chloe and Asa and Eric. Please.
 OH man. Beautiful things are happening in Barton Creek. We are so blessed. What a beautiful place. I think I am going to die when I leave this area. President gave me a big compliment the other day when we had our interviews. He said, well, you still have time to fit in another area into your mission and I said...or I could stay here forever? and he said Uh no I don't think so Sister Sorensen. You've loved every area you've been in. I said yes i just got lucky to serve in all the best areas in the mission and he said well you would have said that regardless of where you were put. I need more missionaries like you. Wow. cool. Thanks president. He also told me that on my mission, is not the traditional go on a mission to baptize. My impact on the mission has been everyone that I've come into contact with. Wow. Thanks President. I am blessed. I have the coolest mission President in the world. I have the best mission and My life is the best. Thanks y'all for y'alls support. I truly couldn't do any of this and feel this and experience any of this happiness with out y'all. I miss y'all dearly.

Hmn. Sorensen

Libbi: A=Amor B=Batizmo C=Confirmação

Hey everyone,
 The time is just passing faster and faster everyday...we have officially begun the season of Carnival (for those of you who don´t know, it is pretty much a big party - but it's actually a religious holiday for the Catholic church before they give up all their sins for Lent (conveniently everyone is Catholic during this time of year) ...I would ask you to search it on the Internet but it's probably best you don´t.  Luckily, I´m not serving in Rio de Janeiro where they are not allowed to leave their apartment for 2 it's just a huge drinking fest so for the most part we don´t spend time walking the streets at night. Good stuff. Oh Brasil. It's funny because we had ´feriado` (holidays) for Christmas and new years that continues until Feb. (its difficult because no one is at home and everyone is drinking) and then when all the kids were suppose to go back to school, for some reason they didn´t and now its just after Carnival that they will begin `real life`again...Oh Brasil. But the work continues...
 This week all the teenagers went to youth conference (to save them from Carnival) and they also had a conference for the YSA and people traveling to visit family for Carnival... so yeah, our chapel was like a ghost town. We started to teach a woman this week her name is Tânia...(different Tania, this one doesn´t need to be married..she is single and lives with her brother! what a blessing). She is extremely interested and has already accepted to keep the commandments. Unfortunately, she had a family emergency yesterday and so she didn´t go to church..but I´m hopeful that she will accept a date for baptism this week and come to church this coming Sunday. We are continuing to purge from our lists the people that can´t overcome the is tough because I really love these people and want so badly for them to want to change and realize the goodness of the Gospel and the true joy it brings.
Little by little we chip away at this area and we push on seeking those who want to know the truth! This week I had the privilege to play my violin at the `new beginnings` of the ward Pedra 90. I had never been to that chapel and I didn´t know anyone except the Elders that serve there. It was a wonderful experience...My grandma Susu would be proud. I played and also taught the young woman how to lead music. It was neat to meet more people and serve in this way.
 This experience is making me into a different person...I love it. It's good, hard and I wouldn´t trade it for the world...I love life. I love the mercy of our Lord and his great love for all his children. I love being involved in this wonderful work that brings true and everlasting happiness and eternal joy! I love each and every one of you and I pray for all of you daily. Don´t forget what is important...what you put first shows your desire and priorities. Choose to put our Heavenly Father first and our Savior Jesus Christ. Remember them daily in prayer and scripture study. Love every second of life. Love the experiences good and bad because they all make you better according to your own desire to accept, change, and be better. I love this refining process that is happening in my life. I love this people, this language, this work. I love everyone of you! Have a great week!
 com amor,
Sister Libbi Sorensen

This is me with a member of our ward. 
Her name is Zilda her baby is Valentina...she is so cute :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sarah Cate: Happy Valentine's Day! I love you!

Alright. Here we go. We have a short e-mail this week. Life is good. OH MY GOODNESS IT'S SARAH'S BIRTHDAY TODAY!!!! I HOPE IT'S A BEAUTIFUL DAY AND IT'S JUST ALL YOU COULD HAVE HOPED AND DREAMED. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MEGGERS TOOO!!!!! I HOPE SHE HAS AN AWESOME "RESTFUL" DAY because it sounds like she has just been going a million miles an hour. Please don't allow her to be so programed. The poor thing probably needs some time to think about herself. She is going through lots of changes right now.
Life here is still just a constant work. I got annoyed with some Elders this week and ended up yelling at them and punching one of them in the face. Yeah pretty violent. He didn't tell President so its all good. JUST KIDDING!@ Yeah right like I would be capable of something
like that. Well for reals, this week was nice because we had an investigator set up his own appointments with us. It was a beautiful surprise. We are looking forward to Valentines day because for service this week we are volunteering at a Senior Care facility and they are having, wait for it.........A DANCE! --DJ AND ALL!!! Oh man I can not wait for this memory. I feel it will be a special one that I will want to re-create for years to come. Ooohhh the beauty in each moment. Don't worry I will take some pictures.
 I have gone through some interesting times with this companion. She is truly an amazing missionary. She gets discouraged easily. That makes me sad but we are working on it. In the last transfer I have been able to understand my previous companions so much more. I understand probably what Sister Deleon was feeling when she was training me. It was probably worse for her because I didn't know ANYTHING and I was such a punk. I do think I understand how she must of felt when I made her deal with all these problems and think about home and stuff. My comp. wants to talk about problems and frustrations and feelings a lot. It's really hard because I really don't like talking about REAL feelings. I have dealt with some things though that I haven't wanted to deal with for a while so it is beneficial.  It's just an interesting perspective. I really love her its just interesting. She is new. I feel old around her. I don't like that. I AM NOT OLD!!! haha I refuse! Anyways, I have talked a lot about me.
The weather here has been interesting. I guess a few days ago we had a day that we were colder than y'all!!! whaaaaaaa?!!! It  sleeted/snowed for about 3 seconds on Sunday. People left church meetings to see it. hahahahahaahahaha ooohhh the funniness of Texas. I guess this is the worst it gets and soon it will warm back up again. ooooohhh boy. here we go again :) 
 I am so happy I am on a mission. I love it so much. If anyone is worried about where they go on your mission, I want y'all to pick the place that you would never think to go and then when y'all get called there, realize that YOU WILL LOVE IT. Y'ALL WILL LOVE YOUR MISSION because IT IS YOURS! There are flowers regardless of the season. There are beautiful people regardless of the place. You choose if y'all want to see them or not. Y'all choose if life is happy or sad. Surround yourself with positive people. What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. Be happy. Choose it. It comes from within with that choice. People will be ugly to y'all no matter where you go. Y'all choose how y'all want to react. We ALL have Divine potential. Apply that to the bully at school. The impolite guy at work. The family member that wants to be hateful. God loves them just as much as he loves you. I really just needed that rant more than y'all. Sometimes people love to be ugly. Kill them with kindness. :)
 I really love y'all so very much. Keep Larry Lowrance and Pharol Wheeler and her family in y'alls prayers please. Thanks y'all for y'alls prayers already. Y'all are beautiful. Keep on keepin on.  Read y'alls scriptures. Pray. please pray. God helps. He is in the details. Don't forget that y'all have someone in Texas that really loves y'all!!!!!!!!!

hna. Sorensen

Libbi: 9 months and 9 to go!!!!

So, this week was like a new beginning. We are trying desperately to find more people to teach and especially people that want to know the truth and are ready to make the changes necessary to follow Jesus Christ. I like my new companion Sister Fereirra. She is from São Paulo and studied Education before the mission. She will celebrate 1 year on the mission this week! Its cool because this week I also celebrated 9 months! The middle of the mission! Whoa...time flies so fast. It feels like the mission is still really new to me because I´m constantly in a state of growth and learning here...but when I look back on the memories and people it feels like a lifetime I have had here in Brasil. I love it here. I love my mission. I love being able to bring this joyful message to the people here in Industraio. I am blessed to have this opportunity.

This week was a week of assessment. We had a wonderful training with our President and we talk about our purpose and why Baptism is the key point to our purpose; how it is a crucial point and the first step to return to our Heavenly Father. As always, I continue to learn more things that I can do better.  I continue to gain courage and strength to invite everyone I see to come unto Christ and receive the blessing of the Restored Gospel! WHAT AN AWESOME WORK THIS IS!!!! I love it. I love what I am because of it. There is nothing better I could be doing right now than telling about what makes me eternally happy!

I know it like I know my dad´s name is Stephen....It is real. It is happy. The Atonement of Jesus Christ has the power to heal and cure and gladden everyone that remembers our Savior and asks for forgiveness. I love this plan and I love all of you that have helped me to understand and grow as a person! have a wonderful week and remember what is really important always!
com amor,
Sister (Libbi) Sorensen
Sister Sorensen and her zone in Cuiaba

PS: I love you just know it and never forget it!   Happy Valentines

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sarah Cate: Hi y'all!

Wow what a week. Well, we have been taking this place by storm. We have seen so many miracles. It's not that we have seen mountains move but that God has humbled so many of his children. I have never had so many people tell me how much help they need and I have never felt so completely helpless. Much of it is financial help. Yes, even being in one of the richest places in the mission, you still find people who are struggling. Just goes to show that you can never judge the person on either side of you. Trials are not selective. They are for everyone. Luckily we have the gospel that is equally as universal. I had a grown man look in my eyes this week and start to cry because he was so tired. He was tired of working crazy hours and feeling alone in this world. He was tired of feeling separated from his family and from God. He just wanted a break and that was something I couldn't give him. All I could help him do was to pray. It was so humbling. I felt in him a reflection of myself. I felt a reflection of my family and I thought of how my parents must feel. I thought about how I will feel when I am in his shoes. I felt in that moment that so many of us are tired. So many people work all day and all night and still it doesn't seem to make ends meet. Still the money isn't enough. Still there are children that are hungry. Our dear sweet Pharol wants to resort to prostitution so that she will not lose her house. She is sick. Her kids are sick. It is so hard not being able to help in that way. I truly know that this message will help them with those things but its hard to help them see beyond the truly basic necessities.
 A woman told me last week that I have a blue aura. She said she didn't know what that meant but that wherever I go, the lights get brighter. That made me happy. Even though she is crazy, that made me happy.  well I don't have much time left but I do love y'all very much.

On Saturday, I watched as a girl of just 11 years of age decided to enter the waters of baptism. She is all alone in her family. No one else is doing it. She said to her mom this past week, " mom, you know that this is for real. You are gonna have to take me to church." She gets it. She understands the importance of it. We are to become as little children because children believe. They recognize. They have not suppressed their light of Christ so much that they can no longer recognize it. After she came out of the font and we were helping her, I gave her a hug and asked, "How do you feel jewels?"  and she said "AWESOME! THAT WAS SWEET!"  She would not stop smiling all day. Jewels has had horrific things happen to her in her life. She has had to grow up a lot in just a short time but that has not stopped her from recognizing the spirit. Angela, her mother, came to her baptism. She couldn't stop crying the whole time. She explained that Jewels is a completely changed person. Jewels used to be depressed and hated going around others but since she has been with us, she is happy. Angela after it all was over came up to us and told us that she had just found out Saturday morning that she has breast cancer for the second time. She told us that she has decided that she is tired and doesn't want to fight anymore. She has decided that she is not going to do anything. She said, "I want to go live with Jesus because I've heard so much about him and I want to know him" I couldn't help but give her a big hug. She broke down and sobbed and told us that she was so happy because she knew Jewels was taken care of. She knew that Jewels was going to be fine. She said she felt at peace. As we left the chapel she asked us to look after Jewels for her and to take care of her....
 Angela came to church the next day and loved it. She said she was coming next week. It is a miracle. I will choose to see the rose amongst the thorns. I will swim rather than sink. I will smile though my heart is aching. Smile even though it's breaking. God is great. Life is not fair but God is. He will make things right. Every day I can see that I am becoming a different person. I am so happy. I am happy because I have helped others and because I have worked hard and had faith in miracles. I am tired because I believe Christ. I think we need to be tired when we believe Christ. Because when we actually believe him, we will actually apply his teachings and be the disciples we know we should be. I have learned so much about myself and the way I deal with people and what kind of person I want to be. I just hope I never forget. I hope I never stop working to become better. I know I will never reach perfection in this life but that's OK because we are not supposed to be perfect. We need our imperfections to remind us to believe Christ. To truly believe Him when he tells us to follow him. To truly apply ourselves when he calls us. To achieve any sort of potential. 
 Wow well I just went off on y'all. Sorry. I just love to rant I guess. I love to think about the greatness and the grand scheme of things. The master planning that went into it all. I will be better by the time we talk next week. Miracles do happen. God is the same God of miracles. He will continue to bless us with them. If we have eyes to see and ears to hear. Keep choosing the right and keeping the commandments. Never forget the power of love. See people the way God sees them. Love the journey. Share your testimony with someone this week. Change a life - starting with a smile. 

Love y'all con todo mi corazon.

Hna. Sorensen
ps: I got some "interesting" information from Sisters DeLeon and Larsen...yeah right! (secret message)

Libbi: Its good hard.....

Well...hey fam and all...

We finished the transfer with what we thought would be a wonderful baptism. Sebastião would complete the family and help the less active wife and sons to return to church...we taught him all week long and then Saturday arrived. We planned the interview and cleaned the baptismal font. (we have a problem with the drain so we pull out all the water with buckets and wash and re-fill) But everything was prepared...well everything went wrong but in the end there was peace. The water ran out in the chapel but we used a pump and a hose to fill the font again. Everything ready, we made a cake and invited everyone... and then the hour arrived.....we waited and waited...we thought oh we will pass by and pick him up. We arrived at his house and he was just sitting there relaxed....oh no. He said, lets put it off for another day... apparently he had already said this to other missionaries. Broke my heart in two....we testified and conversed but he would not go. After all this...with blisters on my hands from the buckets upon buckets of water....he did not enter the door to enter the Kingdom of God. It was a bit tough....not because he rejected me but because he rejected Christ...and the wonderfully perfect plan our Father in Heaven has for us! He is afraid to change and live a healthier and happier life!
 That was the big push this week...and the big disappointment but we push on. We found out about transfers yesterday and I will be staying here. My new comp. is Sister Ferreira from Sao Paulo and I am excited and ready to continue working and pushing on in this area. I have learned so much with Sister Morais and love her so much...she will be opening another area for sisters on the other side of Cuiabá. I´m excited for her and the challenge she will undertake. I love to learn. I love my mission. I love Brasil. My heart is planted here with these people and this language and the beauty that God gives each of us everyday. WE ARE BLESSED! Don´t EVER forget it! I feel your prayers and thoughts and can´t thank you all enough! Have a wonderfully productive and happy week! I love you all!

com muito amor,
Sister Libbi Sorensen
Libbi and friends in Industriaria, Cuiaba, Brasil