The Sisters

The Sisters

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sarah Cate: Big Texas Smiles

Where to begin with this past week. I am blessed to have family. I am blessed to have people who love me and support me in this world. Thanks y'all for so much. This past week was good. It was hard but good.
My birthday was awesome. Larry Lowrance from my last area CONTACTED ME AND SENT ME A TEXT ON MY BIRTHDAY! IT WAS THE BEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT EVER! I was so happy to see it. I got an update from him because he......TOOK US TO LUNCH! It was such a neat thing to see him and his wife again. He Got the priesthood this past Sunday! he is going to baptize his daughter Mandy and Mandy's best friend (that we taught but had to pass off to the elders because she lives outside of our area)!!!!!! they all want me to come back for it. Larry told me how much happier he was. He said he and his family miss me a lot. He is just fantastic. That was a huge tender mercy. I just love these people.
I am finally starting to click in this ward. Yesterday was interesting. In order to explain it properly I will back up to Saturday. On Saturday, we had Hector enter into the waters of baptism. I was so happy for him. Hector has an amazing past. He is a former gang member and spent some years in prison. He has a tear drop tattoo under his eye and all over his arms. He is a rough looking dude but has a heart of pure gold. He has made some mistakes in his life.  No...he has not killed anyone. I believe the Lord saved him from that when he sent him to prison. He is beautiful inside and out. He couldn't stop smiling at his baptism. The whole ward showed up to it so he felt very loved. It was awesome.
We have a great ward and now they are starting to get to know me and I have made some friends. I have a gift: whenever I come into the area, the dinner calendar fills. :) This is probably why I am huge. hahaha I love it though. It is a very Texas thing. Everyone eats for entertainment  around here. Well, Sunday rolls around and we receive a text from Hector saying that he won't be at church today because his family showed up on his front porch and wanted him to come to Easter with their family. (first time that he has celebrated anything with his family in 5 years) so it was kind of a big deal. He agreed, so he did not get confirmed. However, it was still a beautiful day.
My birthday was made  fantastic by Larry and others who took the time out of their day to wish me happy birthday. I LOVED GETTING THE POST  CARDS FROM BEN! THAT MADE MY DAY AND A HALF......AND YES IT MADE ME TRUNKY!!!! RRUUUUUDDEEEE!!!! hahaha I love my  brothers. I miss them a lot. I always miss y'all but if I am going to be 100% honest. I never want to come home. I'm sorry mom if that hurt you. I don't mean for it to be hurtful but I truly love it here so much. I love the people. I love what I do. I just love the feelings and I never want them to stop. I never want to lose sight of my progression but I know it happens in the real world and I don't want that. I don't want to regress! but I think its only natural when the mantle is taken from is the case with me. It will be taken because I do not willingly give it up! I will not go down without a fight!  hahaha....oh pray that my heart is ever ready to take that step of coming home. I'm tearing up just writing about it so I will stop.
Life is getting a lot better. I have an Elder who has taken it upon himself to be my "trunky trainer" because he says I need to be normal when I go home. hahahahahahahahahaha uuuhhh ooohhhhhh I'M WEIRD!!! oh well. I love it. I am trying so hard to be good...and I am. I really want to be so good forever. I love good people. I love talking about my religion.  I love helping solve peoples problems through religion and I LOVE CHILDREN! They are the coolest things ever in the world. They recognize us before their parents can even blink. They are pure. They love unconditionally. No wonder Jesus asks us to become like them.  Mom, you have been saying it for years. I often think back to our hundreds of firesides and I can hear your voice saying "the kids were of one heart" and I allow myself to daydream and think and ponder on that. It's a beautiful thing.

I have the smartest parents in the world. They are so cool. They taught me eternal truths without me even realizing it. I am so blessed. So many times on my mission, someone has come to me with an amazing new discovery and all I can think in my head is "my parents taught me that through the wagon train." or "my parents told me that all the time" or "I bet my dad has that book and can really help me understand that" I just have the coolest family ever. I love to talk about my brothers and my sisters. I LOVE IT! I love to tell people that we are not a perfect family.  That we all have had our ups and downs and that life is real and people are real and that it's OK! This gospel is for everyone. Y'all are pretty popular in Texas. Y'all will need your own special private jet to come here because y'all will be mobbed with fans.
Life is a constant progression. Thank goodness for patience with yourself and the patience others exercise with those around them. Thank goodness for the patience that God has for each and every one of us.
I love y'all forever. We went paintballing last week and I have some sweet bruises. I look like I got beat. I didn't though. I kicked trash! hahah because I am SARAH FREAKIN SORENSEN! YEEEEAAAAAHHH BOY.

OK I love y'all. forever and ever. Thanks to Sister Deleon for being SOOOOOO COOOL! I LOVE YOU TILL THE DAY I DIE. Please pray for her and her family. She is so special to me.  Thank you Lauren Keller for being a best friend for life. truly. I love you and your notes. They are a huge lift.
Life is short. Don't waste it. live it. Read conference talks. Go for hikes. LOVE EVERYONE, ALWAYS!

Libbi: Photos, cause I know you love em

A Visit to the "International Market" in Cuiaba

Some things never change.  Purchases at the Market...

Sarah Cate: Austin Calling

Hi family and friends,
I am doing well this week. Much better. Thank you for all y'alls prayers. I truly felt them and needed them a lot this past week. I am truly in awe at the power of prayer and the help that I know comes from a loving Heavenly Father.
So, last Monday we received a call from President informing us that we were going to be training at an upcoming leadership meeting. "Don't worry" he said, "you are going to be training on bringing people to church. It will be for 2 1/2  hours. Good luck. You need to leave them feeling inspired."  uuuuhhhhhh whaaaaaaat?!!! --and it was right before we went to bed. Needless to say, sleep was very restless. We were assigned to train with two other sisters so, in theory, it wasn't supposed to be that bad. So the next day we met with the sisters and  planned and had a normal missionary day. I was nervous because the other sisters were...well, timid about everything. I didn't want to overpower or take over everything. I just wanted everyone to be a participant and help us all be awesome. We were fine with our training because we had some good ideas and they were going to be stellar. Well, on Wednesday (we had 2 days of training and we were training on the 2nd day) we had some amazing trainings by President and the assistants and some zone leaders. It was all good except....THEY TRAINED ON  EVERYTHING WE WERE GOING TO SAY-- no joke, down to like the very same role plays and same Scriptures. It was like a punch to the gut but really awesome because we knew that the spirit was inspiring us to talk about these things since all of us came up with similar ideas. So after having some baby heart attacks, we decided to have an emergency meeting with each other the following morning to try to throw something together and use some of the old stuff but tweak it a little. Well, that night when we went out to work, we taught a lesson at a members house. Guess what is sooooo cool about working in a singles ward? Everyone (women included) are return missionaries (so it seems), so it was like having a house full of  missionaries. It was stellar! Well I shared with them that we had this training to give and that we needed ideas. A flood of ideas began to roll and all of a sudden I was suuuper pumped for the next day. We had so many good ideas that I truly believe carried me through the following 24 hours. The next morning, the sisters weren't at the ward. They didn't show till we only had about 20 minutes of planning. In a panic, we throw something together and honestly and truly we had no idea how it was all going to go down or come together. Luckily I have the sweetest and most stellar companion and I just told her that we were going to have to just wing it. I was hopeful because I knew we had the Lord on our side. We had done our part to prepare but due to outside circumstances, we could do little but what we had done. I prayed about every second of the training but guess what........IT WAS PERFECT. It was the most incredible training. We had all the leaders of the mission there and many of them were ....wait for it........CRYING! yeah. The Lord loves us so much. We were so blessed. It's a running inside joke (because of several events on my mission) that I like food...especially cake and donuts. Its was great. I made an analogy with cake that literally blew everyone out of the water! Blessings just flowed. I felt very loved. I got to see Elder Nygaard who was with me down in Del Rio. He is a special friend. He is just so good. Don't worry I am not in love with him. He is my brother. He knows that too.
General Conference changed my life as well. It could not have been better. I am blessed. We had a lesson with Hector. He is getting baptized this Saturday. he shared with us a touching story about his life. He is amazing and he truly wants to be a righteous priesthood holder. He sobbed. I couldn't believe it. He used to be in a gang and now just wants to live to be the best person he can. he wants to be a good father. he is just a changed person.
God is mindful of each and every one of us. He loves us as individuals. He will allow us to grow. He never leaves us during the growing process. He gives us what we need and sometimes what we want. God is love. Love everyone. Don't judge. Just remember that everyone
has a story. We can always improve.
I love y'all with todo mi corazon.
Hermana Sorensen

Libbi: YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the title of this e-mail is pretty unoriginal but is all I got today...this keyboard is driving me crazy!!! its really difficult to type...oh well...
 here it goes....
 This week was a week of work. We had the baptism of Alexandre the brother of our recent convert Angela. It was bitter sweet because Wellington put off again his date for baptism...I have faith that this week he will accept that he is ready and prepared for baptism.  We continue to search for new people to teach...I know that I have been in this area for a while because I pass daily people that I have already taught or contacted....I will have almost 6 months in this area this week.
We push on... conference was so awesome but unfortunately just before the last session (the session that all our investigators planned to go to) we had the biggest rain storm I have ever seen in my life! We had water backed up on the streets which look more like a city that people tried to build on a giant lake. Right before the storm hit I went to pick up an investigator by foot and Sister Nascimento and I got caught shelterless in the down pour. I have never felt so insignificant in the sense of natural disaster.  Then, completely wet we watched conference in the air-conditioned chapel...I have a fever and a horrible headache but I love this work. I love conference.
 Be good. CTR....apply conference in your life. That´s what it's for. I love you all!
 com amor,
Sister L. Sorensen