Friday, January 30, 2015

January 19, 2015

Long Tough week but I made it. It was different and quite frustrating i feel like im more of babysitting than i do as a missionary here with Elder Opiyo but he's trying hard to impove and so am i. Tuesday evening we call a call from a less active that she had a flat tire so we ran and got a member then went over to her house i asked where her husband was and she said he walked out so i was like flip thats alot of stuff going on plus she had a 5 hour drive in that car the next day to Jo-berg so i tried my best to do what i could as everyone else enjoyed the view or something but right as i Jacked the car a terrible rain storm hit and some of the loudest thunder i've ever heard was all around. So dressed in my missionary clothes i tried but the rain made it difficult so i assured her we'd be back first thing in the morning. after we left i had in my mind the story mom told us growing up about the missionary that had help her family so much when she was young and had lost her father. I knew that the Lord prepares us and gives us story from and through out our lives to prepare us when we have that opportunity. so for me this was a some chance i had to make a little difference. so that tuesday night i went and bought a small cake then 7 in the morning we headed back to her house, gave her the small cake, and then worked 3 hours to get this rust stuck tire off the car. After i took it got it fixed and put it back since the spare tire was bald and could never make the trip to Jo-berg. it was small in a service project but meant alot to me. Anyways the week progressed and only got tougher but we had a great opportunity to take a sister her mission call and with 2 other members supported her as she opened the call, She was call to Madagascar and leaves Feb. 5th. i dont think i have ever seen anyone so nervous. but the time passed and i began to get stressed and frustrated inside and tried to just keep me cool when then i found a quote in a house, it reads " God grant me the Serenity to accept the things i cannot change... Courage to change the things i can and Wisdom to know the difference. It was perfect and pricked my heart but still didnt seem to lift the burden i felt was upon my shoulders. We had so many appointments fall through this week but there was one bright lesson. We went to the Sefali family and as we discussed Moroni 10 with them the Mother admitted that as she read that chapter she felt somethings so strong. it was a great experience. Also one of the toughest less actives named George whose a RM but less active for 10 years and hasnt opened his scriptures in 8 years but this past week he opened them and asked some questions that i answered for him. it was nice and its nice having the knowledge and tools to answer him. The stress continued all the way to our last appointment and it was with this pastor guy we just met and he just wanted to argue and bible bash to try and prove him wrong but i shot it down quick and just threw so many scriptures from the bible about the Restoration back at him that he had no reply to. i probably shouldnt have done it but it relieved stress and i think its Holland that said " Dont bible bash but if you do WIN." so i'll take that as it was okay! but yeah this week will be better i'll make sure of it and change things if i need to.
I love you all and keep me posted.
Elder Sorenson

P.s. Why me? why tough assignments? my journal comforted me with this scripture.. D&C 124:113
Changing a tire for a less active, whose husband walked out on her the day before.

A member in the branch with her mission call we took to her.  She is going to Madagascar.

January 12, 2015

Another week down and its been a little crazy from sleeping on the couch, sleeping in the car, training again and all sorts of experiences. Sunday Jena left so i was with Elders Holman and Ochaya in their area which was very nice to be with those guys they are fun to be around. we had some neat experiences together including finding some new people for them to teach.Thursday the Ap's brought my new comp im training Thursday evening and now its time to go far and beyond the work efforts i have. im gonna do all i can to train this guy like the last one i trained so i have "no blood on my garments". Anyways my New comp is Elder Opiyo. His english is tough and his voice is deep. but if you wanna know exactly what he sounds like you'll need to watch a movie. He reminds me so so much of the the Easter Island Head from "The night of the Museum". for the first day or so i cracked up a few times when he talked because i had that in my mind. anyways he's a chill guy and i seem i'll enjoy time with him but it'll take just that.. TIME. The week went well though lots of experiences that have helped me grow and mature, which is nice cause Pres Z said today that im one of the missionaries that he trust and relies on. so its nice to have that trust and hopefully it'll help me out towards the end of the mission. I did a Baptismal interview this week for a guy and he confessed a few tough things and so i had to call Pres. Zackrison and talk to him about how to take it and he said " Ya know Elder Sorenson thats tough, but im going to leave it in your hands and for you to make the call on what to do." so it was some pressure to say if this guy was ready or not for baptism since it all layed in my hands but after another talk with him and a few prayers i felt it was right. lots more happened i know that but im kinda blank today and  not sure how to explain it but maybe one day with the help of my journals i'll remember. things are good so far here in 2015 and President Z. wrote us today concerning the new year and said "As Sister Zackrison teaches us, our future is always perfect and we never have to be sorry, unhappy or discouraged about our future -- it is always perfect, filled with hope and brightness." . So take that in to some thought and i hope we all can make some changes with ourselves this year instead of just say we're making them. i've seen some life that are just ruined when members of the church forget about the gospel or forsake the simple teaching of the gospel. anyways i love you all a ton.
Elder Sorenson

BBQ with some less actives in the other guys area last pday.  Weed plants in the background!

Some crazy thunderstorms that rolled in every night this week  and one of the houses that go damaged in the wind.

The whole roof ripped off and parts of it were hanging in the powerlines.

I gave the Zone leaders money to buy some McDonalds and bring it back from their transfer trip.  So, we had McDonalds in Lesotho, since there are none for 150 k.

Hand pump for water.  

THE UGANDAN OREO! My new comjp I am training s on the left.  His name is Elder Opiyo and then the little guy is Elder Ochayal, one of my favorite Ugandan missionariies!!

January 5, 2015

I don't know where to start this week was pretty crazy. Tuesday I gave my DDM lesson all from Alma 5 and the talk "Lord is it I?" by Pres. Uchtdorf. it went super well and I felt very inspired as I planned for it but all those details of how and why are in my journal. but Wed. night we had a good time watching Lesotho explode for New Years. This whole week though we have been preparing for This branch party that us missionaries are hosting for the branch with no fund or any support really so we had a lot of work to do. In the midst of all the prep for the party and teaching lesson and all that President Zackrison called Fridaymorning and had some news for us. So the last 2 or 3 weeks of the transfer the African elders going home that transfer go to the mission office and do a training course before they go home and so theres always a few elders to get switched around so for Jena he's going to replace one of the ones going home and for me I get a bigger assignment. Theres an Elder from Uganda that was suppose to enter our mission 4 weeks ago but had no visa so he was stuck in his own country but now he's got the visa and out of the 160 missionaries in m mission im the lucky one to train again.. Yay. Pres asked me if I was comfortable doing so and even though im not really having another East African elder (they're usually very tough) I told him that I'd do the best I can. so this coming Thursday the AP's are personally bringing me 26 year old Elder Olobo. The only thing I remember Pres saying was that he needed someone with Maturity to take this assignment on. so I guess its me, but as I thought about the past guys I've had and how tough its been but how much I learned Im grateful and Im guessing it the Lords way of answering my prayers on how I can become a better, more effective, and more obedient missionary. it'll be Great tho and im excited to see what happens. Saturday morning I woke up at 5:30 and made some muffins for the party happening that afternoon since we told everyone it'll be a Bring and Share. The Party then turned out very nice we played some nice music from some big speakers and had lots of food and even I got some balloons and made stuff out of them for the kids! everyone seemed to enjoy. Sundayfinally came around and we went to church and a family we are teaching finally came and they loved it and it was probably the best fast and testimony meeting I've been in for a while. 2 of my favorite guys got up and bore their testimonies and I loved a few things they said. Brother Michael Semantlane started pretty dang funny and said " ya know I didn't want to share my testimony with you all but I was sick of my kids being annoying" but he went one and shared something awesome. He said " If you read your scriptures once a month you send yourself to hell, once a week you go somewhere between heaven and hell and daily you go to heaven" he the stressed on the importance of daily reading and said "if you find the scriptures boring its cause you yourself are a boring person" this guy is legit and the best/ smartest member in the branch and is the Brother to George the super less active RM we've been seeing. After him though Brother Kaizer Mohobane got up and said something I really liked he said "Only through Missionary work can we see the Hand of God but only through Marriage can we see the Face of God." which was pretty profound but he's also a RM and a powerful member. Anyways just a few thoughts. long Email for the week so hope you enjoy all the pics as well. I love you all.
Elder Sorenson

New Years Fireworks!

Saturday soccer with the 4 sailors one last time.

Me showing my balloon talents - Branch Party

Branch Party

Saying bye to Jena.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

December 29, 2014

The Family,
It was a pretty crazy week and the work here is pretty slow during Christmas cause all the people that can speak english can afford to leave on vacation, but we are having a good time. i woke up today and cleaned for like 2 hours by myself while my comp slept but anyways things are going. It was so nice talking and skyping you all this week. Christmas day was so crazy. In the morning we woke up to a flat tire and so we jumped in with Elder Doane and Jase since they spent the night and we headed to our mission Christmas Breakfast, then after we went back home and i changed in to some crappy cloths and changed the tire as the others just watched. but probably the funniest thing up to that point of the day happened. i cranked the spare tire down and it was muddy and dirty so i asked elder doane to roll it over to the tap and wash it off and he started to but since our boarding is on a hill it was tough but he decided to push it off the cement slab that we parked on for a flat surface and as he did so it began to roll down the hill and out the gate, he chased it and caught up to it only to touch it with his finger tips as it crossed the road and rolled down a big hill 150 meters jumping a dried creek and bashing into a shack. we all died laughing and then about a min or two later a lady in a towel and a guy just wearing shorts walked out of the shack, which made it even funnier but we were surprised that the tire didnt whip out the peoples shack. then about 2 hours later we were driving and doane reended us on accident and bash our bumped and we just died laughing . we ended up all getting fed then i ended the day skyping till about 10:30 and then went and did some smores outside our boarding till about 1:30 am with some other Elders we enjoyed. But Mission is like a rose bush i guess we can either complain that its got alot of thorns or be happy and except the beauty of the few roses. not much longer and i'll be home from my mission and just looking back on memories but i'll always do my best after my mission to stand up with courage for my beliefs not matter what the circumstances are! but not much else to talk about!` it was so nice seeing you all for Christmas! hope you have a wonderful New Year and Hope you all have a good time celebrating Jordans Birthday! i love you all!
Elder Sorenson

Christmas lunches

December 2014 - Herrington's are going home

Dearest Elders,
    The sad and inevitable day has come - the mission family wall is coming down. We have looked at each face a thousand times, and will always remember your influence upon us as missionaries.  We are grateful for the laughs and crys, the stories and testimonies, the food, the fun, and mostly the great spirit that accompanies you. Because of Jesus Christ, we met. Because of Him, we strive. Because of Him, we love. Thank you thank you for the privilege of being His disciples together. A very happy and fruitful New Year to all of you.
Elder and Sister Herrington

December 2014 - Zone Conference Picture

                            Zone Conference Picture

December 22, 2014

This week went really fast. had a few days of work and then friday we drove to Bloemfontien for zone conference. it was a nice Zone Conference based around gaining more spirituality. It was nice being around about 50 missionaries and we all had a nice time. they got us a Hotel/ spa place since about 24 of us drove a long way and we were having our Christmas party the next day. it was a cool place to stay at they had like 30 peacocks just walking around the grounds and we all just enjoyed time playing soccer and chatting while we were there. but the next day we had a good time and a nice big meal. my district and i sand Silent Night and I am a Child of God in Sotho which was fun. President Z also showed us a few videos that i suggest you all watch before Christmas. One was "He is the Gift" which was a big deal for the church and then a few videos by The Piano Guys one was "angels we have heard on high" which they do with David Archeleta and the have the world record for the largest live nativity. that video gave me the chills. anyways not much to talk about this week. i did get one of the Christmas packages and it had all the letters from Katie which i love but i dont know if i'll open all of them by the time i get home haha. im Excited to skype with all of you Christmas Day at 8 to 10 pm my time. think of things to talk about or it might be short haha just kidding. Anyways i thought i'd share a quick quote in closing. "This Christmas, Mend a Quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss Suspicion and replace it with Trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grude. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demand on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love and the speak it again." - President Howard W. Hunter. Dont read these and say " Wow that would be perfect for so and so" but instead pick one or more and apply it to yourself so you can bless your own lives but also the lives around you. You will see more blessings if you apply one of those to yourself and act for someone else! Love you all a ton! MERRY CHRISTMAS! Remember we put Christ in Christmas when we give the gift of ourselves.
Elder Sorenson

Christmas Package

Katie's present to Alex (50 envelopes of presents)

December 15, 2014

Crazy week and not the greatest. anyways we had a nice first few days to the week then Thursday we went to the Mountains of Lesotho and dug a 200 meters pipe line down the side of this mountain for a service project for a member. it was pretty legit and we had a great time. They even feed us..(we'll come back to the food part). Friday morning Jena was sick for a few hours but was over it by 1 in the afternoon but the next day..Saturday was one of the worst days ever. Elder Holman and I were both sick so we stayed home and switched off in the bathroom throwing up but for Holman by 4 he was better but for me I didn't start feeling better till sunday night. we had gotten Salmonella poisoning from the food and water we had at the service project and wow was it miserable. the past 3 days I have only had two pieces of toast and a few Pay-Days that I got in my package that you guys sent Sep 16. but nothing else too special this week but I guess I will share one missionary experience. We have also visited George 3 times in the past 2 weeks and each time we have stayed for about an hour an he has opened up quite a bit. in one of the talks we had with him I felt inspired to ask him " do you believe Jesus Christ is your Savior?" and he went around the question but admitted that Christ was a great guy but to call him the savior was too much. we saw that he has no faith in Christ and only uses the knowledge of the bible to know Christ. I looked him straight in the eyes and told him "Because of the Book of Mormon I KNOW that Jesus Christ is your Savior and Redeemer." and for me at that moment I knew for sure of Christ and the Truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. George is a great guy but has a few issues deeper than expected. We don't prayer or read scriptures when we go out of respect for his concerns and we never try to enforce it, which is why I feel he continues to invite us back.Anyways pretty good week! I love you! only a week and a half till we Skype.

December 8, 2014

Another week has passed us by, it was one that just seemed to drag on and on. but we had some neat experiences this we. we found and were able to meet with a man named George who is a Less active R.M. and has been less active from 2003 when he cam back from his mission. This guys has hated young missionaries and never has let them come by. Our mission president has even visited him but that was a year ago but still had a big impacted on him. the first night we went there we all tried to discern eachother and i felt like i wasnt saying many things that were coming from me i got so many questions that came to my mind that i had never thought of. he had broken down a little about his mission and about how he is a product of the church and that the only way to raise he son right is in the church. i asked him a question that i was even shocked of its simplicity but amazed at its impact. i said " Out of everything you ever learned or taught on your mission what is the one thing that you;d want your son to know?" he said " i'd want him to know that i know the truth." we spent about 2 hours with him the first visit and 80% of the time he was the one talking. He invited us back a few days later and we again had a nice chat with him. We also had a nice time doing a "service activity" for a less active that stays in our compond. 6:30 Saturday morning about 10 min after i got down with Insanity Jena and i hiked 2 miles up this mountain behind our house to cut a few Christmas tree for the 2 families that live in our compound, ones a less active single mother and the other is a guy, whose a Harvard Buisness Grad, and his family who are renting while they build a bigger house near by. anyways after chopping down a few trees with our kitchen knife which was all we had, we hike the 2 miles back carrying these Trees on our shoulders. The most unique part was we were never tired and when we got back the single mother, Ma Lineo was in tears because we had done something like that for her. i know that the Lord did give us that extra strength and "renewed" us as we served a woman who was in depressed need of love and care. Anyways other than that nothing to special from the week. we got transfer news and nothing changed for us here in Lesotho and im still the district leader. but we are getting close to Christmas and to skyping. Lets all make sure that we have a smile when that time comes! love ya
Elder Alex Sorenson

December 8,2014 District Photo

                   DECEMBER   -   DISTRICT PHOTO

December 1, 2014

The Fam,
Another week has come and gone and i cant believe we are passed Thanksgiving. For the Elders and i here in Lesotho Mondaywe had our Zone Activity which was some paintball which was legit and im happy to say my team dominated and i only got shot once the entire time we played and it was after the game was over. anyways back to thanksgiving after we had paintball we changed then went over to the Chapel where the Parnells who are the senior couple cooked our Thanksgiving dinner! it was such nice food! Tuesday was just a normal day of working but Wed. we had interviews with President Z. and we had a nice time! president Z and i talked for a while and it was super cool. I expressed to him that i've had alot of success on my mission but still to me i havent seemed to find the purpose of me coming out or that one magic miracle everyone seems to have while they are missionaries. He told me about Joseph Smith and how the First vision we all know and love was actually the forth time he had written it and the first time he wrote it he didnt even mention 2 personages or anything he just remembered that his sins were forgiven him but it took him a while and as he continued to look back he began to remember more and more. anyways president went on to tell me that if im comfortable and happy with what i am as a missionary and what im doing then he said that the whole mission would be that experience that i need and as time goes on and as i look back on my mission in 5 or 10 years i'll remember things that really were miraculous. Meeting with President Zackrison is always a neat experience. ThursdayJena and i took some of presidents advice and tried to find where all the fathers were during the day since when we knock on houses we only find moms or maids. So we took a leap and decided to tract these Huges Chinese owned factories that are in our area. It was pretty legit we were meeting with these big time people trying to set a time to come and meet with the workers and staff. we got a few appointments for this coming week so we'll see how things go. We did get to see inside one Factory and it was just a big warehouse with thousands of african people working at their own little station sowing jeans. Jena was like "wow this is pretty much one giant sweat shop" i was trying so hard not to laugh. but i now have a theory that most things are made by Chinese owed factories in other countries, hence made in China. we went to maybe 10 factories and maybe 6 or 7 were making Levi Jeans haha but i would totally buy jeans that said made in Lesotho instead of made in China. Besides all that from the week, we had a weird yet funny moment this week we were teaching one of our Investigators name Puleng and while we were teaching her she had a little kid maybe 2 years old on her back in a blanket like a backpack but the kid began to struggle after about 15 min so she takes him off her back and he's got no pants on.. Nothing... so i was like okay nothing out of the ordinary from the experiences i have had out here in africa so we just continued teaching and this kid starts peeing on the floor and by then Jena and i Lost it and we cracked up and so did the Investigator, we ended up just rushing the rest of the lesson then headed out. crazy stuff. The week ended nice yesterday with Church and a few baptisms. One was a kid from our area that is an absolute genius named Lehlohonolo or Moses that missionaries have been teaching a while but we ended up starting to teach his mom and so she gave permission for him to be baptized and the other was the kid i interviewed named Tumelo. Great week but a few more weeks and we'll be able to chat for Christmas! Love you guys all a ton!
Elder Sorenson

              Paintballing in Lesotho for our Zone Activity.

Bloemfontain Chapel where we had interviews with President Z.

                     Chinese Factory Tracting

 Thanksgiving 2014 provided lovingly by the Parnells.