Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Portage la Prairie

Hello familia and amigos. I am doing great. I have no idea as to what in the world I am doing, but otherwise great. This is such a roller coaster ride that I am having a hard time keeping up, but more on that later. I would like to apologize yet again to everyone for this week I forgot my camera cord to upload photos so yeah I`m a genius. Sigh I`ll figure all of this out. Maybe ;) So I was actually abandoned by my district on Tuesday. They all left to their missions a day early so I had to go be with another set of Elders till I left. It was really fun. I spent the day with Elder Ream and Elder Austin who are both going to the Canada Vancouver Mission (that`s why I went with them, well one reason). I actually had a substitute teacher for brother Deppermann`s class come who served in that mission at the same time as Spencer Rolfson! (btw Spencer if you read this Sister Thomson says hi) Ok there is one experience from the MTC that I want to tell you about before I get into everything else. Every Tuesday night we have a devotional from a general authority and not last week but the week before the General Relief Society President Sister Linda K. Burton came and and one thing that she spoke on is ``what do our missions mean to us now and what will they mean to us after our missions.`` Great question. She actually asked just any missionary from the assembled 900 or so of us to come up to the podium and answer. I did. I answered the latter question with something I truly believe. I have to paraphrase but I said something like my mission will teach me valuable lessons about things like how to use the Atonement of Jesus Christ that will set me up for the rest of my life. Really neat experience.

Ok on to my mission. My trainer or ``father`` here out in the mission field is Elder Moore who is amazing. Really great missionary. This is his second time training too so I am quite blessed there. He really knows his stuff and is here to succeed. Before meeting him though I flew up here with Elder Ouwerkerk (Over-kirk) who is from Calgary and a super nice Elder. I was up at about 1am on Wednesday and had to be at the MTC travel office by 2:30am so that was fun. I really wanted to sleep and did but our flights were short and I tried to share the gospel with the people I was sitting with. Only one person on the two flights I had. Both said no to a Book of Mormon but did accept a pass along card. In the customs line Elder Ouwerkerk and I talked to a lady a little about our church and we also gave her a pass along card. I was sooooooooooo tired. We went to the mission office and met President Craig who is such a great mission president you have no idea. He, Sister Craig, and a few other missionaries have really helped me love it here in the Can Win Mission (the Canada Winnipeg Mission is called the Can Win Mission. So great) When we got here we trio`d up with one of the zone leaders and he took my companion and me out teaching. We street contacted and taught a man named Leon for the first time. He at the time had only moved here from Zimbabwe 2 weeks ago and in that lesson we found he already truly believed in Jesus Christ and committed him to baptism. It was a really great lesson but I wasn`t really in it since I had a headache, nausea, and had been up for already for about 14 hours with only 2 hours sleep the night before so that was fun. Sister Craig made us such wonderful food though that I felt better after. She and President Craig really took great care of us. We got to go to bed at 8 which was a true tender mercy. For breakfast we have waffles and bacon so I was feeling really good.

The next day I met my trainer and we are serving in Portage la Prairie which is a town with about 10,000 and about 15-20 active members. We have a lot of investigators we are just right now having a hard time getting true commitment. Oh well. We had a lesson on Thursday teaching a man named Jagar. We taught him the Plan of Salvation. He was feeling the Spirit, but wasn`t opening up very much. He says he doesn`t really like to. He was feeling something though. He will come around. On Sunday we had a really wacky experience though. For maybe 15 minutes we sat in a room with a bunch of drunk people. We had come looking for someone we were hoping to teach or plan a time for a lesson and we were invited in. They were all pretty drunk. The guy I was sitting next to kept asking me the same question over and over. They were all asking us kinda useless questions and swearing here and there. We answered with simple statements and just the whole time I was looking around feeling pretty uncomfortable. Elder Moore though got an address for a less active we are looking for out of one of them which was correct so hey, as Elder Moore says, ``the Lord works through drunk people.`` My companion does a really great job at loving the people and is very knowledgeable in what we are doing so not having to worry about what to say or do next is a real blessing as I try to figure this all out. The days are so long and I have many many many times felt extremely incompetent. It is not a happy feeling and I truly have been having my faith tested. However, these feelings have not lasted. As I have held on to my Faith in Jesus Christ and endured these hardships I have felt the help and strength from God come. I have received comforting revelation to press forward in faith as I have read from the Book of Mormon. We have a challenge to read the whole thing in 2 transfers with specifically highlighting in a different copy than our own things specifically relating to Jesus Christ, faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. I hope that everyone can feel my conviction as I testify here that I know my Savior Lives. The Book of Mormon is truly the word of God and brings help, peace, comfort, direction, and revelation to all who read it with a sincere heart and having faith. This is such a real thing! It should be the iron rod in our lives as we strive to come unto God. I know this to be a real thing in my life and for any who wonder or question I challenge you to read it for yourself. As I struggle to come to God and have Him help me accomplish my goals as a missionary I am always able to keep going through prayer and reading the scriptures. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

Love you all. Keep being amazing!

Elder Kynan Sorochan

PS, we aren`t supposed to say ``cool, awesome, or sweet,`` so that has been fun. I say them a lot it turns out. Also, we are a Facebook mission, so I think I am allowed to have family and friends on my mission account so add ``Elder Kynan Sorochan`` if you wish. I don`t know if Reno is an internet mission so we will see. K bye!

MTC Pictures

Hey so here is some pics of my teacher and my district.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

A View From Winnipeg!

Editor's note: This arrived for us by email this morning with the above picture.

Dear Brother and Sister Sorochan,

Attached is a picture of your son’s arrival at the airport in Winnipeg pictured with President & Sister Craig. We are so excited to welcome him here. He will be brought to the office, fed lunch and fill out a few forms and taken to the Mission Home where he will be able to have a rest as he was up very early this morning.

Tomorrow he will be oriented and meet his new companion. The evening will be spent with the Departing Missionaries and he will enjoy a lovely meal at the Mission Home, a testimony meeting and Friday morning he will begin his missionary experience “in the field”.

We are so excited to have each new missionary arrive. Thank you for sharing your son with us prior to him taking off to his assigned field of labor in due course.

Warmest Regards,

Sister Meldrum

Mission Secretary

Friday, 13 May 2016

This work, it's good work


Hello to all the people out there! How ya doing? Thanks for all the letters and love. I've been really feeling it. Ok first before we get to this week we have some questions to take care of!

1. What's it like at the MTC? How is the food?

The MTC is great. The first week is over whelming and lasts for what feels like at the time an eternity. After that though it is so amazing. The schedule here is jam packed of learning, teaching, learning, teaching, a little studying, and in case I didn't mention it, teaching. Right from day one and almost everyday after you are practicing teaching. Sometimes our teachers act as investigators and it is a really cool intense role play. We prepare for them and give them commitments and they never break character. We even do it in a separate room. Lucy or Kellie whichever of you asked there are no tests but we do have people from the outside (aka the real world) come here and we teach them as real investigators. Some are members, some are not, but for us they are all investigators. The food here tastes pretty good but is carb-a-liscious. Yeah that's a word. Don't drink the orange juice. (I promise I didn't) I actually am slowly losing some weight just cuz I'm not as hungry. I just try not to eat too much.

2. What does a district leader do?

I am in charge of looking after those other missionaries in our district or group. 3 districts make up a zone and I look after our district. I also go get our mail twice a day and there are a few meetings that I have to lead and on Saturdays I interview all the Elders in the district to make sure they are ok and if there is anything they need some help with. It is cool.

Jessica and Brandon CONGRATULATIONS on the new baby! So excited for you.

Ok now for the week cuz we have some cool things to talk about. This week our two investigators are Josh Christenson from Seattle (hope his last name is right) and Samson Soli who is a huge Samoan. I'll start with Samson. Monday we taught him a bit of this and that but mostly got to know him. We gave him a restoration pamphlet and asked him to read it. He said he would and Tuesday when we met again we followed up and he had! He actually has a photographic memory and went over the general points in each section to us just from memory. WHAT?! It was so cool. We then taught him the restoration and since he is Catholic found out that the Catholics think that Peter gave the priesthood to someone named Linus. We kinda were like "ok cool never heard that" and kept going. The good thing was is he wasn't really sure what to believe so that's why he was meeting with us so that he could try and find the truth. His desire to know the truth was so strong that we knew that this priesthood topic wasn't going to be an issue because at least I could tell that if he reads the Book of Mormon and prays sincerely the Holy Ghost will teach Him the truth and that topic won't be a concern. We left him with a commitment to read the Book of Mormon and to pray about it and he said he would. On Wednesday when we came back to teach him we really didn't teach our lesson because it had turned out he had read the first 12 chapters of first Nephi that night! We talked about his experience with that and he told us about specific parts that as he had been reading he had really personally connected to and about how amazed he was that a book with a record that was written back in 600BC could connect and be applicable to him today. We then asked if he had prayed and he said he had and that he knew that is was true. It was such a real experience and you could just see that the Spirit had and was testifying to him of the truth. So awesome because he did most of the talking too. It's not us that converts, it's God. Love it. Our other investigator is a really friendly guy and I gave him my blog ULR so he can follow my mission but his interests are on just learning about Mormons not about coming unto Christ so our challenge right now is to find out how we can build his desire to change and have the Holy Ghost be able to teach him. One last crazy thing happened last night. So as our district sat in our room trying to study (trying being the key word :D ) These two people with MTC worker name tags came to our door. I thought I had seen one of them around in the cafeteria but when they came to our door they asked "hey would you be willing to teach us more about your church?" They aren't members. Braulio is from Peru and Ivette is from El Salvador and from working here at the MTC they see all the goodness and love that is going on and wanted to feel the love from God that we talk about. For about half an hour we taught them just this and that as the Spirit directed and with God's direction were able to build some faith in God being our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ being able to help us with anything, and that by praying sincerely we can feel that love that they have for us. They even at the end said a prayer with us. Braulio said it and you could see that both of them were really feeling the Spirit and knew and felt that God loved them more than they could know. I saw Braulio today and he still has a smile on his face. Love that man and he really loves the missionaries. They are actually having scheduled appointments now with the missionaries but they wanted to find more. They have such a great desire.

I love this work so much. The Atonement allows us to overcome any challenge! I invite all of you to pick some challenge and work to overcome it praying to God that He will help you. I promise that if your desire is sincere that He will help. Also read the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon. It with prayer will give you the strength you need. My stress and worry that I have experienced here aren't much of a problem anymore thanks to Jesus Christ. It is amazing what He can do for us. It is limitless.

Love you!

Elder Sorochan

PS this computer won't read my SD card either. It might be next week that I send pics. Also my visa isn't here yet so as of right now I am going to Winnipeg. The Lord will send me where He needs me and I will serve with all the love I can. Bye!

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Concerning Missionaries

Well Hello to the world!

The long awaited day has come and I can finally write to you. There is so much I want to say and I am not sure how to say it. To begin I would like say thanks to everyone who sent me letters. It is really nice to get them, though sometimes it takes me a few days to read them.

I am sorry to anything I forget but my mind is kinda freaking out right now just because there is so much to say and so little time to say it. And because for some reason the computer I am using doesn't want to read my SD card and so sorry I will send the pictures next week.

My companions (yes plural) are awesome. I am in a tri companionship with Elder Westover and Elder Billman. Elder Westover is from Washington State and is a runner. He is great. Elder Billman is from North Dakota and has trained with the Rangers and Marines and will be joining the Marines after his mission. He is really great at telling jokes. Both of them are teaching me a lot about love, patience, and trusting God. They are both going to the Florida Tallahassee mission. As for the rest of my district there is Elder Cook and Elder Parsons, both going to the Texas Fortworth mission(spelling???) We have two Sisters in our district Sister Cook and Sister Parsons [editor’s note: we’re not sure if this repeat in names is an error or not.] who do a very good job at leading and are also going to Tallahassee. We all love and respect each other and we Elders make sure that we show only that to the Sisters. Elder Cook and Elder Parsons have a temporary third companion Elder Hallam who is staying an extra week and is with us since his district has left. I was asked to be the District Leader which has brought both good and hard experiences.

Missionary work is so hard. I knew it would be, but I have found that I didn't really understand what this "hard" meant. It is so stressful and taxing and strenuous. You really can't do this yourself. Every day I am learning this and every day I have something significant to learn. What I really want to tell you all about this work though is that it is only possible if we turn to God. I do not have the capacity to do this, but when I look to Him and allow my faith in God to give me confidence and hope rather than my own abilities, good things start to happen. I'll share an experience from this last Friday. I had been feeling so inadequate that day that it was really getting to me. I was having such a hard time keeping tears out of my eyes and being happy because I just felt that I couldn't do this. That I would fail. At our 1:00 class I began to just break. I let the feelings just come and my sadness to fill me. What happened next was truly inspired. The day before we had in class a point of breaking that kind of started with me but most of us were feeling it and our teachers stepped in and helped. Friday was different. No one seemed to pay attention to the fact that I was crying and going through a rough time. Not the teachers or the other missionaries in the District. I was left to myself and the class went on. As I continued to have my doubts and difficulties circulate in my mind I had a great feeling come inside me that just filled me. It was the Spirit, and what He come to tell me was something opposite to what I had been feeling. The knowledge that this feeling brought was of a convincing message that God loves me and wants me to succeed. I had not come here to fail rather to come and see the success that the gospel has. Missionary work will not be stopped. It will happen and go forth even with our mistakes. These feelings of being overwhelmed and discouraged were not of God. Since that experience I have really been learning what it means to forget myself, to love, to be patient, and to accept that what God has in store me for me to learn is much different than what I thought. His ways are not my ways nor are His thoughts my thoughts. Thankfully, God knows best and will provide for me what is right. He has continuously taken care of me as I have learned to care for others. I could share so many experiences, but know that I go to bed happy and hopeful no matter what hard times I face in the day. I love the gospel and am learning to love in ways I have not before. Trust in Heavenly Father, have faith in Him and Jesus Christ, and listen to the Holy Ghost. He is with me always though never as that feeling from day 3. I love you Mom, Dad, and Anna and the rest of you my family and friends. Press forward in faith and thank you for your prayers. They are being answered.

Time is now up so good bye for now.

Love you so much,

Elder Sorochan