Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Beautiful Guatemala!

September 21, 2015 
My companion is such a server! She is always doing something for me! I love Hermana Miguel!  Almost every night I will be writing in my journal or something and she will bring me a cup of hot cocoa or a dinner. I love her so much!

Explain what your new area looks like and what it is like. Well it’s a lot like my first area: a lot more dusty roads, buildings, houses and such. l obviously am in Guatemala so I will always be seeing trees and green. But it’s not as earthy as some of my other areas unless we go to the far areas. The thing is  I’m in more of the central part of Coban, so it’s more cityish.. if you can call it that. But A LOT of hills. My calves are bigger than Hercules.

My favorite person in the ward is Hermano Trigerros. He is our Ward mission leader. Every meeting we have every week he makes us dinner (Have you noticed how I love the people who feed me....awkward) and he is always so happy and drops everything to help us. He reminds me of Santa Claus....

Just to tell you a bit about what we do each day, usually we try to leave early and do studies in the morning with one companionship of Hermanas, and then we do divisions with them for one day. This week I went to Tactic. (YAYYYYY!) with Hna. Christensen from Utah County (YAYYY!) I love that lady.  Also this week we are planning a sister conference.. it will be lovely... Also, I just want to say that I love praying! I think that is one of the things that I have grown to love most here in the mission. Praying. We should do it more I think. I’ve been thinking a lot about the importance of SPECIFIC prayers this week too mom! Example: we haven’t had investigators in church for a while but we always pray for them to progress... well, this week we prayed that they would come. BOOM SHAKALAKALAKA, they came... well, one came, but one is better than nonnnneee!

Right now we are visiting a man named Hna Feliciano. He is so great! He makes homemade chocolate balls out of this nut called kakau here... don’t fret, I WILL be bringing some home. They are SO good. But he is this 75 year old man with A LOT of questions and a big desire to follow the Savior. We are excited to see him progress and make more changes in  his life.  

My favorite thing that I learned this week is the importance of leaving everywhere better than you found it. I have been trying to put that in practice this week. It doesn’t matter if I’m in the grocery store, talking to a person on the street, or just eating in a fast food restaurant. Christ left every place he went better than he found it! I loved that little thought, so I encourage all of you lovely people to do it as well.

Have a good week and don’t forget to read the Book of Mormon every day!

Hermana Sorensen

Thursday, July 30, 2015

I Love Carmelitas!

This week was good, but very different.  I love the fresh weather in Coban, and I even wore long sleeve shirts a few days this week! It's so beautiful and green and I love seeing the culture cuz there is a lot more Q'eqchi here.   

However I had forgotten how hardhearted the people are here. In Peten you knock on the door and they welcome you with happy arms (usually) and kindly tell you they don't want anything to do with the church, but would love to give us some juice. Buena gente. In Coban they are a little a lot different. You offer them a folleto and they completely ignore you or hide. They are literally just very rude... grosera. (is there a word for that in English?) One lady we contacted just told us straight up she already had a church and that  we would be wasting our time with her. We explained to her that our message only talked about Christ and we knew would benefit her life. She just turned around in mid sentence and left us standing there. We kinda just started laughing as we walked away and she shouted at us that we needed to beware of false prophets. We visited an old investigator that the other sisters had left here and after singing a song she just kinda looked at us and then said, "You know what? I don't like you guys very much."  I literally was dying of laughter. Funny lady. I bought her bread after that for the next visit and I think we are slowly winning her over. Needless to say, I am basically making BFFs on every corner!

But I LOVE Carmelitas. The ward here is amazing and our ward mission leader is SUPER helpful.  He just returned from a mission in Peru about 2 or 3 years ago and he is always helping us and giving us good advice of how we can be better. Hermana Coello and I are learning the area fast and making a lot of plans to get some baptisms here because they haven't seen a baptism in our area in about 8 months. AKA we will be ECHANDO FUEGOOO PRONTOOO! Boomshakalaka I am very excited and motivated.

All in all I am so grateful to be here! I know that God is giving me a wonderful opportunity to develop a lot more Christlike attributes during my time here.  I know that here I will be running when I finish and that's all I want! 

I love the Hymn 'HOw Firm a Foundation' and I have been thinking a lot about these words this week:
1.      “Fear not, I am with thee, oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by My gracious, omnipotent hand."
I know that God is always with me and that through him my weaknesses can be made strengths. Life is good and I love Preachin' the good word!
Stay kewllll

Monday, July 13, 2015

. . .and the work goes on!

 . .and the work goes on!
Heyyooo motha!
Thank you for your 'happy person ideas.' I just wrote them in my agenda so I can start to put them in practice. I have been writing everyday in my gratitude journal from Grandma Bev. It's fun! I think of her every day when I do it and it kinda is part of my routine now.1. plan 2. area book. 3. pray together. 4. write what happened on my calendar we made. (I remember you telling me one of your friends did that or something?) I’ve been doing it my whole mission cuz sometimes im lazy with my journal. 5. I do the gratitude journal. But I also am a slacker with the service thing. I will do better at it too. But mom, I think you are good at that! I remember a lot of times you taking us when we were little to go and visit old people and widows in the ward. You are a champ.
Those questions are a little hard this week... however I will do my best to answer them.
Questions of the week;  Share your favorite thing you see as you walk down the street in the morning in Guatemala that you will never forget.  (Sight, smell, taste, touch. .  ) My favorite thing I see when I walk down the street in Guatemala is the Q'eqchi people (Or anybody... but it's cooler when they have their corte skirts...) walking down the street with a giant bucket of maiz on their head to go and make tortillas. I don't know if I have mentioned but the corn tortillas are life here. Every meal they eat them. So every corner sells them every day. They just stand around the little oven thingy and tortilla all. day. long. I have learned a few times but I'm not very good at it. But that is definitely the best. Their necks have gotta be so strong cuz' I would die. those things are heavy.
What was the most inspirational topic/item that you got from your personal study this week? Hmmm.... Well, this week I have been focusing my studies on the Priesthood. How we have it, the keys, what we can do with it... etc. I started studying and really I just have about 3 pages of MORE questions about the priesthood. ITS SO AMAZING! We literally have the power of God here on the Earth. It just hit me that we literally have the capacity to perform the same miracles that Christ performed.  
What has Hermana Gomez taught you? Let me tell you something about Hna. Gomez-she is like a walking Bible. Seriously she knows EVERYTHING about the gospel. The 3 pages I had of questions about the priesthood I thought would never be answered, but that lady just whips out her bible and I feel like I am in a personal study session with an apostle. But she really helps motivate me to not only learn and apply the gospel in my life, but really study it and know it.
 What has your mission president taught you?  President Curtiss is probably one of the most patient and loving people I have ever met. But something that I have been learning from him and Hna. Curtiss lately is the importance for us to never act tired. Just always be happy. Trust in the promise that God will give us the energy. It's hard to live the gospel and obviously we will be tired, but we don't need to show it! Christ never did. So these past couple of weeks when my feet don't want to walk more or the sun is attacking me and I just want five seconds to breathe before starting a lesson, I try not to show it.
What did you do this week that stands out and makes it different from the other parts of your mission? This week we did 3 divisions in 1 week. We stayed 2 days in Poptun and we slept on the floor. It was surprisingly comfortable. Also, on one of the divisions I was in we went to go visit a family for the first time. We were finishing up and the hermana I was with started to do the invitation to baptism. 'Seguiran el ejemplo de Jesucristo y.... Bleeeeee....' She puked right on their dirt floor. I did not quite know what to do with myself so I just awkwardly patted her back while everyone watched and our member almost joined her. Sooo... we put a return visit and she went home and slept. However, It was something that has never happened to me before!
 I have a question actually, There is this less active lady here who loves the heck out of me. She has been trying to sell this hammock that is GIGANTIC and SUPER cool and never been used. It is 1200 quetzales. But The other day we went there and she gave me a big hug and said her kids wanted to buy it for me cuz they were grateful we had found her. She said I would just have to pay 400 quetzales and then I called the mail people of the mission and they said they could mail it for probably 400 quetz also. So.... I donno if You guys could put money in my account for that or... how you feel about that like if its a good idea? I hate to go through the trouble but I feel like it would be mean to reject the gift and also ... it's really cool haha. Let me know
The church is true and the BOM is the best.


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Talking Loudly. . . a method of teaching?

This week went by super duper fast so I am jsut going to share some highlights with you.

This is Hno. Sebastian and his Family who speak Qeqchi 
Waterfight Activity this morning, P-day.

This week Hna. Gomez and I walked to one of the barrios farthest away in our area called the Granja. Most of our area is pretty cityish but the Granja is all just trees and jungle and tin roofs and dirt floors. It's about a 45 minute walk from our house there but since its been cooling down a bit and we have hardly worked there we made the journey. We were knocking doors and we found this little old couple. I cannot describe how hilarious they were. The husband was this short old Guatemalan with a t-shirt with corn on it, and he was basically deaf, His wife was this tall old lady and had something wrong with her mouth that made it difficult for her to speak. Both of them couldn't really understand my accent but we had a go at it anyways. We said a prayer and started to explain who we were, 'We are representatives of Jesus Christ and he sent us here to share a message with you.' The Hermano just stares at us, 'huh'
'We are representatives of Jesus Christ!'
'oh yes... yes... that's nice.'
I seriously could not contain myself, I was dying laughing. The whole lesson was basically like that us just talking as loud as permit until they understood a little......

Also this week we went to go and share with Hno Sebastian and Candelaria (The Family of Q'eqchi.) They are so stinkin' cute! They are praying to know if they should be baptized on the 18th of this month. When we were in their house they other day Hno. Sebastian taught us some things in Q'eqchi... like how are you? and what's your name (aka I'm basically fluent in the language now...) but is was so fun. I'm so grateful we can share with them.

I love you all a lot! Don't forget to read your book of Mormon this week cuz it's the best!

Dont worry about my Dangue. That's why I didn't tell you guys sooner cuz it really wasn't that big of a deal. Just a few days of lost work haha.  (Lex did not tell us, but she did tell her sister that it was boring being int he hospital.)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Laughter on the Bus. . and miracles!

Buenas Tardesssss!

How are you all doing! Sounds like a good week full of the priesthood! Good job Devin and Mckenzie for having a child and giving it a name.

This week was good! And it actually rained a lot! Which means a lot more humidity but less heat.... I'm still deciding if it is better or worse but I think I like it better than the super hot sun.

QOW's  Tell us about your daily schedule lately. This week was a little different because it was the first week of changes so we were helping hermanas who are new to their areas and we had a few reunions. But our daily schedule is always the same for your whole mission... unless you have meetings. This week we just didnt get to leave as much in the mornings because we went to San Benito to help the sisters get to know their area.

Tell us a funnnnny travel story. We went to San Andres this week to do divisions. San Andres is about 20 minutes from Sta Elena so it isnt a very long trip. This day wasnt very  different than any other, they piled about 17000 people in the van and we were off. But this time I was sitting smooshed up against this little Guatemalan man who doesn't have any legs. I had seen him a few times in the Market hobbling around with shoes on his hands and joking around with all the bus drivers. As soon as I got on the bus, he kept on trying to talk in English with me but really the only things that he knew how to say were swear words and 'I wuv you bebe' Being stuck on a bus with nowhere to turn I wasn't quite sure what to do with myself. All of the 1700 people were staring at us, and in an awkward situation like that, what do you do? Laugh your brains out, obviously! Then the bus driver put on music and he started to dance. Probably the most entertaining bus ride I have yet had In Guatemala.

What is the miracle of the week? This week we arrived at church a little sad because the couple we are teaching didn't show up. The meeting had started when we turned around and saw a whoooollle family that we had just visited for the first time last week. It was a big miracle for sure. Especially because only the dad speaks Spanish. The other members couldn't even understand the meeting since they only speak Queqchi!

What is the hardest thing about being a missionary? Hmmm... That's rough. I think It is different for everyone. The thing about the mission is, it's so specific for each person. We are literally here to make our 'Weaknesses become Strengths' so depends on who you are. But I think something that is pretty common as a difficulty is the rejection. Sometimes it's hard to get up the courage to do something when you know there is a chance of rejection.

What is your favorite thing about being a missionary?  Seeing people change! It is such a miracle to see people apply the gospel and literally see how there smile is bigger and they just seem to glow with happiness. Gah! I seriously can't even describe it. Also,  I LOVE  to hear the people pray correctly for the first time.

Best method of getting an inactive person interested in the gospel? Haha .. . .let me know when you find a cure. Everyone leaves for different reasons. But I usually try to help them focus on how they felt when they were baptized, why they did it, the difference in their lives when they were keeping the commandments and now.

Love you all a lot! Have a good week!

Hna. Lexi
Santa Elena!

Alberto!  Our recent convert!

Lunch with Elder and Sister Bake

Monday, June 8, 2015

Keep on Keepin' on!

Happyyyy Junnneeee!!! Holy hanna, May went by SO fast here in Peten! I can't believe that we have already started a new month. The time is really starting to fly,and to be honest, it scares me. But I am loving life here in Santa Elena! We had changes this week, but I will be staying here with Hna Gomez. Wahoo! I love it here! So I was happy to hear the good news.  I will now answer mom's questions of the week:

What was the best thing that happened with investigators this week?  BAPTISMMMM!
 On Saturday Alberto got baptized! It was probably one of the most spiritual baptisms I have had on my mission. He was so prepared to be baptized. He learned all the lessons in 3 weeks! The day before his baptismal interview we still had 2 lessons to teach him so we had to combine the 2. The Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity. When we told him about the Word of Wisdom and asked if he had any problems with any of those things he said, 'I used to always drink coffee but about a week ago I heard from a member that you guys don't drink Coffee or Tea so I haven't had it since I heard that. But it's good to know why!' I was seriously speechless. He will be a great leader in the church.

BAUTISMO de alberto! It was so special!

  Who is the most interesting person that you met this week? Yesterday we were contacting and we found a sister who was probably about 70 lying in her hammock. She said we could come in and share with her. She was SO funny. She assists (attends)  the evangelist Church and each time we would say something she would ask us a question then tell us how it was done in her church. (Which usually ended in a fun little evangelist song.) She LOVES to sing. But the whole lesson she was just singing and singing alabanzas. I left such a happy little soul!

  What did you learn from another missionary this week?  This week I did divisions with Hna Perez from Mexico. She has about 7 months in the mission and is a GREAT missionary. Something I learned from her is showing love to people but in quiet ways. She doesn't talk much and basically spent 90 percent of the day listening to me jabber on a million mile an hours. But the whole time she was so attentive and really listened to what I had to say. It made me feel so loved! I imagine that after a few hours of listening to me talk forever she was probably bored. She doesn't talk much but the whole day she was showing small acts of service to everyone we came in contact with. It helped me realize the importance to slow down and be quiet every once in a while, the spirit comes in a quiet whisper. It's harder to hear it when your running 1 million miles an hour and talking nonstop. I love Hna Perez!

What was the favorite lesson that you taught and how did you teach it?  We taught a cute couple this week about the plan of salvation.. I love to tell people that they can see people after this life.

Any cool Guatemala facts that you could share are always appreciated!  Hmmm..... One of my favorite parts of Guatemala is that no matter where you go, who it is, or what time of day it is, if you pass someone in the street you always say 'Buenos Dias! Buenas Tardes!' It is soooo cute! It makes you feel loved even if you do stop them after that and they don't want anything haha.

Do you have hot water, and what are you eating, and how is your health? We do not have hot water but once a month when we go to Coban I get hot water in the other STL's house. It's the best. Lately I have an obsession with fried platanos. Yum. My health is good!

Love you all! Keep on keepin' on!
Hna Sorensen

Dinner this week was fried platanos and green mango with salt. Yummmm

Zone Conference

Monday, June 1, 2015



Happy June to everyone! I am glad to hear that my dear little sister could make it through her journeys of high school and graduate as a Sky View Bobcat. What an honor. Also that Whitten is chubby and Mallory is basically a witch doctor. We love all those things in Guatemala.
This week was pretttttyyyy boring again but I will answer  your questions the best I can.
Questions of the week:  What was the miracle that you saw this week? Lately Hna. Gomez and I have been really focusing on finding new investigators. Elder Alonso promised us when he came that if we focused on this, we would see a huge change in the mission and we are already seeing that promised fulfilled. We had a few things happen this week where we weren’t able to work as much as we wanted to and on Friday we only had 2 new investigators.  Our goal was 10. So what do you do in a situation such as this? Pray your brains out obviously. We were definitely living with the promise of 'pray like it all depends onH, but work like it all depends on you.  Well, the night time came around on Friday anddddd, nothing. We still only had 2 new investigators for the week. All I can say is I know God hears and answers our prayers when we do our part. The last lesson of the day, we found a family of SIX! They were all so excited to listen! It was definitely a huge miracle from our Heavenly Father.
Tell me about your favorite investigator.My Favorite investigator is named Alberto. He will be getting baptized on Saturday (woot woot) I have never met someone like him before. He basically came to us in a reference with a list of questions and goes to church himself, reads, prays, listens, understands. He doesn’t depend on us at all! He just feels this gospel is true and acts accordingly.He is the greatest!
What experience allowed you to feel the spirit the most this week? This week I was reading a lot about Ammon and the sons of Mosiah. We always learn a lot about Ammon and how wonderful he was, and obviously he was as  missionary genius! But I was thinking a lot about the sons of Mosiah and the experiences they had. I can only imagine it was SO hard for them to go out to p´reach the gospel and get thrown in prison and beaten. They came to work, serve, and preach, I imagine it was so frustrating to be trapped in a jail cell not doing anything. But the scriptures say that they were always 'patient in their afflictions.' It was just another testimony builder of the importance for us to just trust in God and be patient with the plan that he has for us. Sometimes we are never going to understand why things happen but God does.
Favorite missionary moment? Favorite, and at the same time, least favorite missionary moment. When the  men try to greet you with a kiss and you just have to do a back-bend and push them off of you, and say 'I’m sorry, I’m a missionary' But really in your head you are thinking 'please dont touch me, sweaty fat man, I dont even know you.' It sucks in the moment but is always super funny to laugh about afterward!
I have been feeling a lot better! I was just tired cuz I think I was sick. Doing a lot better and drinking lots of gatorade and water like you told me mom.
Have a good week and may the odds be ever in your favor!

Hermana Sorensen