Sunday, June 23, 2013

They are faithful and excited and obedient and awesome

We've had several people contact us about what a faithful, hardworking missionary Elder Eldredge is.  We even got a visit from the wife of one of the ward mission leaders that works closely with Sawyer.  She told us that she doesn't remember ever having such great missionaries in their ward.  Here's a letter from the family Sawyer ate dinner with Sunday night.  The father is the Bishop of one of the wards Sawyer serves in.  It truly is a blessing to know that Sawyer is such a diligent servant of our Savior, a true and faithful disciple of Christ.
Dear Eldredge Family,
Here comes the latest edition of Sunday dinner at the Sorensen table featuring Elder McCain, Elder Eldredge, and Elder Stephens. As usual, the missionaries were the perfect dinner guests, complimenting the cook and eating everything on their plates. We enjoyed pulled pork sandwiches, salad, watermelon, and cheesecake with toppings of their choice. Our conversation was very mission-focused this evening as they came to our house right after the worldwide leadership training meeting. Bishop Sorensen, myself, and our son Eli are going to commit to being more prayerful to help find people for these fine young men to teach. Elder Stephens favored us with some after dinner serenading. An enjoyable time was had by all.
We love these missionaries in our area. They are faithful and excited and obedient and awesome. Y'all have raised great sons.
Have a great week!

Sister Sorensen

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Learning To Live By The Spirit


Another Baptism!!!!!


Shayla Pierson was baptized on the 15th by Elder Stephens!!! It was amazing!!! Elder McCain gave the opening prayer and I was asked to give a quick talk on baptism. There were tons of little kids there and they all sang "I Like to Look for Rainbows." It made me think of my baptism and my family singing that song to me!


Shayla is an amazing girl. Her mother was able to make it to the baptism on Saturday and the confirmation on Sunday!  She has been scared to talk to us and we had a great conversation with her and were able to showed her we are just normal people! Shayla is so full of light and will be a great example to her family throughout the years. Please pray for her that she might stay strong being the only member in her family and only 8 years old! 


Happy Birthday Elder Stephens!!! Sister Newman was an angel and made this huge party for us when we got home :) She’s the greatest!! So something funny about Elder Stephens, he always carries a spoon and chopsticks with him wherever he goes. The chop sticks he had were just the cheap wood ones that you get at the restaurant so I got him a pair of really nice ones with little ninjas on them.  He also got a package from my family of three matching gold ties!!!! They are super awesome!!!! I love my new tie and we all look great in them!!! His family sent him ingredients to make buttermilk pancakes and a pie!  



That same day we ran into an excommunicated member. His name is Brother Goodwin and an amazing individual. You know how when you walk into a building or a home there is a spirit there, whether good or bad, but you can feel it. When we walked into Brother Goodwin's home there was a strong spirit of peace. Not something you would expect from an excommunicated member. He lives in this huge, beautiful home next to the Snake River. We sat in his living room and discuses his beliefs and tried to find how we can help him come to church.  He is amazing. You would have never guessed that he had left the church. I’m so grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost and the power of the Atonement. 


“But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”                                Galations 5:22-23


The Holy Ghost has become a huge tool in the work and in my life. Just the other day I was biking and was about to pass an RV when I had the thought, "I’d better pull away from the RV. It would really stink if someone opened the door from inside and took me out." As I moved over, someone did open the door and I was well out of the way and we passed without any harm. 


The thing I want to focus on in this story is the thought I had. It sounded like my voice in my head, no warm fuzzy feeling. The heavens didn't open up and command me to move over 3 feet to avoid getting hit.  It sounded just like my voice.  The spirit is very simple but takes eternity to fully understand. It is given to us to help, and protect; to tell us right from wrong. But the trick is knowing or recognizing when it’s speaking.


“For I say unto you that whatsoever is good cometh from God, and whatsoever is evil cometh from the devil.”                                                                         Alma 5:40.


EVERYTHING good comes from our Heavenly Father. That includes our thoughts. Whether it is us or the Holy Ghost, it comes from God. I’m so grateful to have this gift; this gift that helps me when I teach, helps me when I’m travailing, helps me when I don't want to breath anymore. The Holy Ghost can not dwell in unholy temples. We must protect our temple, our selves, and always invite the Spirit to always dwell with us. 


Yesterday I met the brother of "Elder Groberg," the guy from the movie "Other Side of Heaven." It was cool hearing how the movie was almost 100% accurate. The only parts they really "hollywoodised" was when he was taking a bath and all the little children came, and when he was on the hike with the family and the daughter "hurt her ankle."  That’s amazing!!!  "Kolipoki" is living in Bountiful with his wife and they give talks and devotionals all around.


 “What shall we then say to these things?  If God be for us, who can be against us?”

                                                                                                                         Romans 8:31

Your friend and Companion in Christ

Elder Eldredge


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Last Two Weeks

Monday, May 27th

We had a lesson with the Olson Family. It ended up we just talked with Sister Olson. She was having a really hard time with enduring to the end. She said Satan has been working on her and has tested every standard she has. She said she is just about ready to throw her hands in the air and say "Fine!! You win!! Just leave me alone!!!" But we talked with her about her first steps of faith she took. She must look back and see the blessings God has given her. We likend it to Peter walking on the water. He took who knows how many steps out on the water before he started to fall. Those steps of faith are valuable! We must never forget how far we have come or how blessed we really are. She was crying, we were crying... all in all it was amazing


Tue May 28

Had a GREAT lesson with Sloan and Karli. Plan of Salvation! By the end of it we were all crying as we all bore our testimony of the Great Plan and how it affects our lives. Knowing that I will see Madeline again makes it possible to get out of bed every morning. I did something I hadn’t done before. I challenged Karli to prepare to be baptized and she accepted!!! I asked her to pray to know when she should be baptized and she said she would!!! I’m so excited for her to grow in the gospel the way her brother has!!!


Wed May 29

Elder Don C. Clarke of the 70 toured our mission. He spoke in zone conference. I loved listening to his words of advice and it’s helping me become a better missionary. "Don’t just go through your mission, let the mission go through you." 


Thur May 30

Elder Stephen’s oldest brother came and took us out to lunch. We went to Olive Garden and ran into some other missionaries and their ward mission leaders. Elder Dalton, an elder that came out with me, was there. He and I got to sit and talk. He had just gone to the temple and we got to talk about how amazing it is and all the blessing that it brings.


Fri May 31

Ok, so crazy story. We burned a satanic bible. There is this kid, Alan, age 21, who we have been working with to come back to church. He up and left town and we hadn’t seen him in a long time. We ran into him walking down Sunnyside. We stopped and talked with him and it ended up he was running from his father who lives in the next city over. He had walked 12 miles to get to his mother’s home for some help. He needed to go back to his father’s house and get his stuff before his father came back from work. So Sister Newman gave us all a ride down there to get it. He started packing up when he grabbed an object wrapped in white linen. We asked him what it was and he showed us. Right there, plain as day, was a satanic bible.  He said he had already thrown away 3 other books but they keep showing up. We told him he needed to get rid of it today but he had no way of burning it so we took it and burned it in the wood burning stove at Sister Newman’s. so ya... it was crazy!


Sat June 1

Ashton and Tristen are baptised!!! Everybody was crying and it was awesome!!! People days later commented on how great it was!! I’m so happy for these kids and hope they appreciate all that their father has done to be able to baptize them!!!


Sun June 2

I got to stand in the circle and confirm Ashton and Tristen. What an awesome experience to be a part of someone’s conversion!! I love these boys and hope the best for them.


Mon June 3

We had an amazing lesson with Sloan and Karli. Their parents were not able to make it but we talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ: Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. We only made it half way through the lesson because the conversation and discussions were so great!!! I learned something while teaching. It’s amazing the things I learn while I’m talking!!!

There is a huge difference between worldly sorrow and Godly sorrow. Worldly sorry makes you beat up yourself and makes you hate and belittle your self-worth. Godly sorrow is feeling bad enough to change and never do it again. It’s a fine line between the two, but we must always remember we are Children of the Most High God. He loves us and never wants us to think we are any less!! We must stay in this mindset and hold on to it!!


Karli is so close to being baptized!! I’m so excited for her to take part in these wonderful blessings!!


Wed June 5

We have another companion!! Elder McClain, age 21, from Arizona!!! He’s a stellar Elder and full of the greenie fire!!! I love this guy! Today we took him around town and had him meet members and investigators. We stopped by the Olson’s to tell them that the confirmation was going to have to be on Sunday rather than on Friday when Sister Olson is scheduled to be baptized. Brother Olson didn’t like that at all and by the end of the half hour conversation he called it off. The three of us went home and cried... We did all we could to try to help him see why it was the way it was... but he wouldn’t listen.


Thu June 6

We fixed it! We went up the chain and got a lot of people to agree that the confirmation should be on Friday. President agreed and we called Brother Olson. The baptism was back on!!! Thank you, Heavenly Father, for all you do for us and answering our prayers!!!


Fri June 7

Lisa Olson was baptized by her husband Trent Olson. Then she was confirmed by her Uncle. It was a great baptismal service! I’m so excited for her to live her life with the Holy Ghost and for her and her husband to go to the temple in a year!!! I’ll still be out here so maybe I’ll go with them!!!


We got a call from Sister Strebble. (She has been working with Shaila, a little 8 year old, and bringing her to church and helping her build her testimony and helping her ask her mom if she could be baptized.) She said that Shaila's mom said yes!!! and that they want to move it up a week!! Shaila will be baptized on the 15th!!! We have had a baptism every weekend for the Month of June!!! We are so blessed to be out here and helping God’s work move forward!!!


Sun June 8

We had a lesson with Shaila today and all we did was get the program ready for her baptism!! She asked Elder Stephens to baptize her, Elder McCain to give the closing prayer, and I will be giving the talk on baptism :) I’m so excited and honored to have been able to teach this little child of God and to help her come closer to her Heavenly Father. I can’t wait!!!


Some things I learned this week:

2 Corinthians 7:10 - "For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of; but the sorrow of the world worketh death."  A great family home evening discussion!

"Today is always a better day to repent than any tomorrow." - President Eyring


Thank you so much for all you do for me and my family. I know God is watching over me and helping me through my mission. 


Elder Eldredge



Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Brothers Baptized, Companionship Change, A Fun Dinner, And Silly Ties

So this week Elder Eldredge sent us a voice recording instead of a letter.  Problem is, the recording was one one-hundreth of a second long!!  The email said he’d had a crazy week, so he was sending the recording instead of writing it all down.  Well, I guess more crazy things happened while he was sending the voice recording!! 

Luckily, we have a few other sources that gave us a little information about his week.  Sister Newman, the sister Elders Stephens and Eldredge live with, often posts on facebook about them.  This is from her:

Well, I'm now the mother of triplets!!!! President Brinkerhoff, the Mission President called the Elders today and told them that on Wednesday, another Elder would be living in my home! I said, "And Elders where is this new Elder going to sleep?" They said Elder and Sister Hammond, the missionary couple who have the task of finding housing for the missionaries will take care of that. These Elders are a real hoot!  They are already prepared for the new Elder.  They have changed their beds around and have taken the doors off the closet to, I guess, make more room.  I’m going to start a book about “My Life With the Elders.”  It will be make into a movie like “The Best Two Years” but I’m not sure whose best two years it will be about, the Elders or mine!  Stan, I need help!!!It’s all a good thing, right?

We found out that the third Elder is coming to Idaho because of visa problems.  He’ll be serving in the South Pacific once his visa is taken care of.

Another post from Sister Newman:

Today the Elders had a baptism. It was such a beautiful service. I don't think there was a dry eye in the room. I was so proud of my Elders! Elder Eldredge gave a very nice talk about Baptism and Elder Stephens gave and equally good talk about the Holy Ghost. I told them when we all were home how proud I was of them. They are the best looking Elders in the Idaho Pocatello Mission!! They stood so straight and tall and looked oh, so sharp!  I couldn’t be more proud of them if I were their mother.  They each have a wonderful spirit about them.  Wendy and Karen, know that your sons are wonderful missionaries.  They are well and happy even though I know Elder Eldredge has a heart ache that he lives with every day.  I’m sure Madie is so proud of him!!

Another Sister in one of the wards that Elder Eldredge serves in contacted me last week asking what Elder Eldredge’s favorite foods were.  She also contacted Elder Stephens’ mom to find out his favorites!  She made a special dinner for the two Elders with both their favorites complete with a dessert for each of them!!  Here’s a bit from her letter and a picture she sent me:

It was so much fun to see their faces and hear how excited they were to be served some family favorites from their own homes. Surprisingly enough, it wasn't even that weird that we had so many different food choices. Everyone was a good sport, and we didn't have many leftovers so I feel that is a good sign. There were smiles all around at the end of the meal.

Thanks for participating in our little surprise. It was a lot of fun.  We will continue to take good care of your elders. They both look great and are doing well.

And last of all, a picture of Elder Eldredge wearing a tie that Ashley Little sent him.  Elder Eldredge's dad and brothers have started wearing bow ties all the time, as did Elder Eldredge before leaving for Idaho.  Ashley sent him this tie so that he could still wear bow-ties while serving his mission.  LOVE IT!

Just for fun I added a couple of pictures from last October of the bow-tie-wearing-guys.
Dorky Dad & Brothers!  Life is good with these guys around.

This is Saturday night after general conference in October of 2012.  This was a day in the history of the Eldredge Family.  The leaders of our church announced that worthy young men could start serving their mission at age 18 and graduated from high school.  Worthy young women could serve missions starting at age 19.  I don't think I've seen a happier young man than when he realized he could leave earlier for his mission than expected.  We were literally running through the house yelling and screaming with excitement.  As soon as the session was over Sawyer was on the phone setting up the required appointment with his bishop.  This is him with our brand new bishop.  Bishop Dangerfield didn't know Sawyer until that day, litteraly hadn't even met him yet because Sawyer had been gone since he graduated working in the Dallas area.  He was very hesitant about Sawyer wanting to leave for a mission at 18, and wanted to be sure he was a young man that was really ready.  After meeting with Sawyer for about 30 minutes that night, he said to me, "We need to get this one on a mission.  He's definitely ready."