The Sisters

The Sisters

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

Sarah Cate: I can't believe it's Monday again, again!

Dearest family and friends,

Well the Lord answers prayers. I have come to realize why the end of my mission has been such a battle. I think its a few things but first and fore most: The Lord answers my prayers. Ever since I left Barton Creek i have been praying that the Lord will help me become better and help me become the missionary that he wants me to be. I know we pray for that throughout our entire missions but my prayers have been a bit more fervent upon entering this area. The Lord has truly been answering my prayers. haha of course, it's not at all how I thought it would be but I am very grateful I am becoming better. I know I am because I can feel my inner strength coming back. After reaching quite a significant low a couple weeks ago, the Lord has been giving me strength to finish strong. Its all I want. I want so badly to stay out here forever and never stop. But that is not reality. The reality of it is that "To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven." - ecclesiastes 3:1   
It's not how I wanted it but its what I wanted. I am very thankful the Lord hears and answers my prayers. Second, I have had to make some very tough internal decisions this past few transfers. They are truly the last few things I had been holding on to from my life before my mission. I understand so much more so how important it is to "submit to the Lord cheerfully." Lets be honest, I have never been good at submitting to anything cheerfully. Its just sad. I am working on it though. 
I know the Lord sends comic relief when we are taking ourselves too seriously. For example: yesterday, upon walking into church, I turned to my companion and said "today is just one of those ugly days for me. I feel ugly. I still love myself but I feel ugly." My comp didn't say anything in response. I wasn't searching for compliments i just wanted to voice how I was feeling inside because COMMUNICATION IS KEY TO SOOOO MUCH HAPPINESS!!!!!!! -man I have a testimony of that. Anyways, about point two seconds later a man came up to me. This man's name is Charlie. Charlie came up to me when I first dyed my hair and told me how unnatural it looked and how he could it was unnatural. hahaha. It was really funny because everyone who heard him say that felt obligated to come up to me afterwords and tell me how good my hair looked. I told you that to provide a history for Charlie's and my interactions with one another. He is not all the way there. I stinkin love his honesty. He means it sincerely. He just doesn't understand when he is rude sometimes. So back to yesterday: Charlie comes up to me and says "you've cut your hair. Its no longer beautiful and long" hahaha I said "yup. I cut it Charlie." Charlie then says "well  it was a lot prettier when it was longer. it was a lot more attractive." hahahahahahahahaahah he then spends the next five minutes telling me why its ugly and why it was a bad choice that I made. I just loved it so much. Truly. There was a black man sitting very close by us that was providing commentary to the whole thing. IT was like i was on candid camera or something. I could not stop laughing. It was right about at this time when the Elders from Charlie's ward showed up. i couldn't talk to them because i was being informed about how Native Americans (that he was a decedent of) never married women with red hair because it meant that they were possessed with a Devil spirit. hahahahaha oh my goodness it was such an amazing conversation. Charlie came back up to me about 3 or 4 times to tell me more about Indians and my "ugly" hair and what not. Charlie then went in for a hug right then and there. Finally the comenting black man came up and interrupted our conversation and asked Charlie if he could speak to me. When I turned to talk to him, The black man smiled and waved and walked away! hahahahahahahaahahhaahahhaah What in the world?!  IT was sweet comic relief. Truly a tender mercy.
I want y'all to know that I am not trunky and I know it sounds like the opposite when I say that but its true. I have come to a very happy place with it all. I got the best comment yesterday from our ward mission leader. (everyone knows I am going home soon. I have no idea how but everyone does.) So he was asking me about it all and started to ask if I was trunky and then he stopped and said "no. You aren't the type of person to ever get trunky." Wow that made me feel good! BAngarang. I am in a happy place. Like I said before, a time and a season to all things. 
I really miss y'all a lot. IT was fun to see pictures of Libbers. I miss her so much. I truly do with all my heart. I just want to transfer down to Brazil. I could be a missionary there. Maybe another mission? Who knows. 

p.s. My comp and I met with Sister Jones and President this past week....lots of stuff going down....I love my President. He is inspired.  Just another tender mercy. 

p.s.s. if y'all wanted to call Billy that would be awesome and just tell her I love her. Maybe call anyone else and let them know I love them. Tell all my friends that have found eternal companions....gross. but good for them. :) NO just kidding. Tell them that I love them and am so happy for them. very very happy for them.  

Life is hard but good. Life is fun but real. Life is life and you just have to take it one day at a  time. If you can't take it a day, take it a moment. Break it down into manageable chunks. It's all about the moments anyways. One day I would love to have this mastered. 
Love y'all always.


Libbi: Yeah yeah...its Campo Grande here

Bom Dia!
OK....This week I celebrated 13 months and my companion celebrated 9 months. She now has passed the half way point and as is the tradition we took many funny photos of her fake pregnant belly Friday night. It was funny and the time continues to pass at the speed of Sarah Cate now has only 1 more month....whoa...weird. The fear continues to build of the impending reality of real life. For will stay as a dream.
 This week we had a good rhythm...we work and followed through with some of our new possibilities. We had three young girls that came to Church. Ana, Luana, and Franciele. They are cute but also teenagers so we will see what happens with them. Erick (who is the boyfriend of a member) accepted a BAPTISMAL DATE for this Saturday! We are beyond excited and we will work hard with him this week to be totally ready for the big day. We are reaping the blessings of your prayers. Thanks your for all of them! I also had the chance to play my violin in Church with a family that recently converted...they sang How Great Thou Art. I love that hymn. It will forever have a special meaning to me. We will push to find more people to teach this week. I love my comp. We are similar and yet very different. We compliment each other well and this allows the Spirit to flow and the work to continue.
 I continue to discover and learn in this work that is both part and yet not part of the world. (hope that made sense) I am in a strange mood today and feeling a lack of information to write. I am happy. I am doing well and the work continues. Keep on trekin´ my people! I love you are what makes me. Thanks for your examples and love constantly in my life.
 com amor,
Sister L. Sorensen
13 months on my mission...still lovin the Chaco tan!

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

Hello Y'all,
I am back. I am doing better this week. I was telling Libbi in her e-mail today that i am in survival mode. This area has been such a growing experience. I felt y'all's prayers though. Thank you. We had several people that have been golden that we have been teaching. Three of them have dates. One of them, Justice, we went by to visit and her family was moving. We helped them move and said good bye to her. I don't think i'll ever see her again. She has our number but she doesn't have a phone. She has been in and out of rehab a lot. She has done everything under the sun to get money and the poor girl is only 18. It was one of many good byes I had to say this week. 
Due to transfers, I had the opportunity to say good bye to some really amazing missionaries. It was really hard. As y'all know, I am terrible with good byes. I am truly awful. I feel a lot of pain when I know I have to say good bye. Well after we said good bye to Justice, we found out that our other two investigators with a date that are just amazing....they moved today also. We had to say good bye to one of them last night and then one this morning. They will progress onward in El Paso and also in Arizona. We will keep in contact it's just heart breaking. Oh what an interesting animal the mission is. 
This week it will be back to the basics. We have Nicole that we are still working with. She is awesome. She won't accept a date. I asked her to pray about a date and she just about freaked out and never talked to us again. Its cool. I have no regrets. 
I was blessed this past week to speak with some good friends I have made on my mission. I got to talk to Elder Nygaard this past week. I know God put him in my life this week. He gave me some advice and reminded me of some things that I needed to hear. It helped change my perspective on a lot. It was truly a tender mercy. I also talked to another Elder who is now an assistant. He has been a good influence on me through out my whole mission. He too gave me some sound advice that helped pull me out of the craziness that has been going down here. I know God uses other people to answer our prayers. Daddy, y'all's post cards helped me a lot. Thank you for Alma 26. I think that is my life in scripture right there. Mommy, your note meant a lot to me as well. I knew that if I could just have some advice from y'all, I would be better. 
I need to  make some long-term plans about moving back here. I love these people. It will be very different living here as a normal human but I'm down for it. 
Well y'all, I hope y'all have a good week and that y'all know i love you. Keep...doing something. It will eventually have purpose and meaning. Hope y'all have a good day. 

Hna. Texican.

Yes...we do eat in Texas!

Perhaps this frog is the one...


Libbi: I forgot cold till it hit me in the face..

Hey Family and friends,
 Well....I remember when I was going to Utah State and lived in Logan...I knew what cold was..I felt cold I lived in the cold. Hahaha that was real cold. Then I came to Brazil and completely forgot what cold was. I arrived in São Paulo during winter (which is summer in the states) a year ago and thought...oh cool I can use this light jacket that I packed ´just in case´ but I didn´t really think that was cold. Then I arrived in Cuiabá...I only stayed there for 1 day but I almost melted in the heat of ´winter´ haha then I came to Campo Grande (this was about a year ago now) There was a fresh breeze and I burned in the sun. There were a few days of rain and cold wind but I didn´t even remember it anymore because by mid September I was already in the blazing heat of spring. Then Then Cuiabá....hotter and now the winter of Campo Grande....real winter...ok well now below 65 degrees and I´m bundled up with tights and 3 sweater...what will happen to me when I come home and have to meet REAL cold again?! Just food for thought here.
 I´m glad to know everything is crazy busy at our guys NEVER stop! That´s awesome....keep it up. Don´t forget to take time to Thank the Lord and do the little things to invite inspiration from the Spirit. I love guys.
 Well, we started a new week, a new transfer and like always it feels like a new start. I am learning and working to find people to teach. We were able to find a few this week but the strange part is that none of them could come to church this week because of the temple dedication which was wonderful by the way. President Uchdorf gave the dedicatory prayer and he and Elder Cook were the presiding authorities. It was wonderful. want to hear a story about sacrifice...just take a look at the history of the church in Manaus. The people there really know what it means to ´sacrifice everything´ to go to the temple. To me, their stories really resemble the early pioneers and founders of the Church. I really miss the temple. Everyone reading this e-mail that is within 1 hour of the temple....go to the temple this week for me! Help those that have been waiting for such a long time to reap the blessings of this perfect and restored Gospel.
I know that the Temple is the house of the Lord. I felt that this week very strongly. President Uchdorf gave a talk with a theme that I just loved. It is a scripture but I don´t remember where in the old testament: ´walk among God with all your heart´ I challenge you guys to do that this week! Walk before Him with ALL Your Heart! I love that. I´m also trying to do that here. I love learning. I love that we get to pray...that God our loving Heavenly Father gave us this gift. I love talking with him...and I´m learning how to give my whole heart and soul to him!
 I love you all. Be good. CTR.
 com amor,
Sister Libbi Sorensen

ps. these pics were this week....saying goodbye to pres. and sister Oliviera and working in the cold....hahaha and by the way the cold has already passed by. We are enjoying 80 degree weather again! :)  So much for winter south of the equator...

 Hmmm...try to pick out Sister Sorensen in the crowd....hmmmmm
All bundled was a cold 65 degrees...

On the bus in Campo Grande

Libbi: On the road again...I can´t wait to get on the road again..

Here we go!!!!!
 I found out yesterday that I will be staying here in Jardim Imá for another transfer with my same comp. I am super excited!!! I love my comp. and we work really well together. She teaches me and we learn together. We have already experienced  a lot together. I was reflecting back on this last transfer and all that has happened and I really do feel like I have lived 3 years of life in this last 6 weeks. Crazy how you learn so much and have this experience overload in every moment in the mission field.
 I honestly don´t have a whole ton to report this week. We are working with a woman that out of the blue entered the church last Sunday and wanted to know more about the programs for music and English. I think I will be a good candidate to help her learn and become closer to Christ. I´m excited. Her name is Valmira and the first day that we planned to meet with her we ended up talking with her mom for more than an hour about her life and situation. She has some difficulties but she is completing her commitments with us and came to church yesterday. We are excited for the possibility of her baptism this next Sunday. We also received some references from the members who are helping us out here in the work. I´m excited to contact these people and continue preparing these people to accept the restored and true Gospel of Jesus Christ.
 This next Sunday will be a little different in our mission because we have the great opportunity to watch the dedication of the Manaus Temple. I´m way excited as a member of the church but it is harder for the missionary work part because we will not be having a normal sacrament meeting. We will be holding just a Sunday school class for the investigator because only members can attend the dedication. I´m however, extremely excited to watch the dedication of the 6th temple here in Brasil. It is wonderful.
 The work continues and I continue to learn. I love that. Way cool. Never gets old.
 I wish you all a great week and know you are in my prayers and good. CTR.
 com amor,
Sister L. Sorensen

Sarah Cate: Sorry about last week...

Hey all,
I am here again. Your prayers to help us find people helped  A TON! we received 7 referrals this past week. One of them is a girl named Cassidy. She is totally getting baptized. She is amazing. We also were able to meet Oscar. He is in town selling pest control. He is from El Paso but he is so awesome. He is getting baptized in July. Please pray for them. Please continue to pray for us. 
I got a blessing last week...finally I asked my district leader to give me one. It was truly inspired from the Lord.
I love my mission with my whole heart. I love meeting new people. I love the ward I am in. We got transfer calls last night and we are both staying together for the next 6 weeks. I am truly working on my deep feelings of envy right now. I realize that I envy a lot. A lot of people have the experiences that I want to have. I have a very hard time letting go of this feeling. Sister Aguilar and Sister Probert (my trainee) are opening up a new sister's area down on the boarder. I guess I am sad because I didn't get a chance to do it. I am sad because I feel like I would love a chance to learn Spanish. I am sad because I want those experiences and people on the mission look at those things as a "oh they are good missionaries" type thing. Don't worry, I read Elder Holland's talk like three times this morning from conference. It helped. I am working on understanding how to allow Christ to take things from me. I have the mindset a lot that I need to work them out myself. I just don't know what to do. I realize that I am just venting and there is nothing that anyone can do. I just needed to get this out.
I am working so hard. I can promise y'all that. I am just...............uuuuhhhhhgggggg.
I love y'all. 

Hna. Sorensen