Monday, September 29, 2014


Another week come and gone here in Ecuador. Sorry...I didnt get sick, didnt go to any epic waterfalls, just a pretty standard week. BUT, nonetheless another great one.

About 1.5 weeks ago it started raining, and rains for 2 out of every 3 days...but only from about 3-8pm...but dang does it rain! The other day we were in the middle of teaching George and his daughters when a MASSIVE rain storm came in, hail and all....and because they have a ghetto tin roof it was so loud we couldnt even teach any more. So we proceeded to help him shove socks in holes in the roof and put down tons of buckets and pots and pans where the roof was leaking. Oh Ecuador...haha classic.

Yesterday G and I made cupcakes that his girlfriend sent him...they were BOMB! Before that....our mamita served us Cow Udder. It was a bit slimy...but I actually really liked it. My companion HATES it listening to him tell them he liked it was a chuckle. We dont have a last week we made the plan to make the cupcakes after church/lunch...which ended up turning into another (late) birthday party for Elder G. Epic!

The work is going has been a little tough working through all the rain, it makes any contacting we do very rough, and running from visit to visit quite miserable. But I have gotten way good at drying my shoes with newspaper and our griddle.

Tomorrow we go into Quito for our mid-way through training meeting! I am so excited to see all my homies from the MTC! And President, for like the 5th time since I've been out here haha. Hes the homie...truly the man!

Really dont have too much to say, so I will answer a few questions I got this week!

So what's your typical schedule like? How much time do you spend finding, teaching members, teaching investigators, etc. on an average day?
We wake up at 6:30, workout and make breakfast and get ready for the 8am have companion study, 9am personal study, 10am comp study#2, 11am language study, and then we head out for the day. We typically try to have at least 1 lesson with a member each day, try to teach our investigators every other day at least, and then teach 1 lesson or so each day to a less active or recent convert...and probably spend 1-2 hours a day contacting. We have extra study time in the morning for my first 2 changes...which is cool, but honestly we have never had all 4 hours of study because we often have a cita in the morning with someone who cant meet at night. Busy, but great!

And does it feel like the Spanish is coming along well?
Spanish is coming a lot great. G and I have been speaking more when we are alone. From Lunch to 7 every day we go solomente espanol...which has helped a lot. All the member and latinos say I speak great for my first change, but I still feel a bit lost when it comes to talking outside the gospel. My goal is close to fluent by 6 months! Aka, 3 more months to learn A TON haha. Goals are good though. :)

Do they grow pineapple, mangos, or other tropical fruit there (in addition to their world-famous bananas)?
Claro pues!! (well of course!) Apparently October is the start of Mango I am very excited!! Literally every fruit and veggie they have out here...including like 25% more that dont exist in the states... Ill try to remember to take some pics of them soon!

Being at, or near, the equator, do you have seasons or does you weather stay pretty similar all year?
We still have seasons. Temp doesnt change too much. But because we are in the mountains the nights do get chilly. Theres a few months of rain, the rest is sunny. Though, like I said, temp is pretty constant.

Well, I love you all!

Elder Sorensen


Oh yeah, and we lost power from Sat at noon to Sunday morning...planning in the dark! epic!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Molinuco Cascada & a lil Sickness

Way short on time this week cause we had an EPIC zone activity--went to Molinuco Waterfall. It was awesome. Sweet to be out of church clothes and even cooler to be hiking through the rainforest.

Los Chillos Norte Zone! Love these people

Elder Going and I on our way to Molinuco

One of the many mini waterfalls we passed. Such an awesome hike into the BIG waterfall.

Anyways, turns out G just had a little virus, and yeah, turns out I got it as well. Monday night I had a pretty bad fever, fat headache, and stomach ache. It continued through Tuesday, Wednesday morning a bit, but by Wednesday night I was eating Pizza again and have felt since great since! Worked through it, which sucked...but I am all good- dont worry Mom!

Wednesday we had interviews with President Christensen down in Conocotto. It was great talking with him and chatting about my first few weeks out here. He always makes me feel wanted and proud to be a missionary out here in Ecuador. Definitely a man I have no problem working for/with for these next 2 years! Also, Hermana C made up all GIANT (like 8 inch) cocochip cookies. So amazing and american<3

Pinchos - one of our fav plates off the street! Basically a skewer of delish

Standard chicken lung and heart in our soup last week

Salchipapas (Fries, Hot Dog, Ketchup, Mayo, Aji, the BOMB). $1 for this fat plate!

Molinuco-- We took about a 1:15 ride and then another 1.5 hour hike in to see my first real Ecuadorian experience. The hike in was awesome. Straight up rainforest with tons of mini waterfalls and some sketch rope bridges. It was so fun hanging out with the Zone, and doing something EPIC. This country is beautiful. And so it goes.

Sketchy bridge over a sketchy amazonian river

Reppin my new country-- Estoy Viviendo primos!!

Investigator G and 2 of his 4 girls came to church yesterday. He is a single dad of 4 girls (9, 14, 17, 22) and his wife just died in December. He really likes the church and his girls really like everything about it as well. As of now we are preparing them for baptism in 3 weeks. I really hope they continue to progress and enjoy the church--because I know that this gospel is exactly what can help this awesome-genuine-humble single father out with raising his kids. He works through the night almost every night at a Panaderia (he makes bread). On Sunday during out lesson with them he made AMAZING banana orange cake, basically tasted like banana bread and FETCH WAS IT GOOD. Another highlight of out week--we visited 4 people/went to 4 houses on fed 4 times. The church is true.

G and 1 of his daughters. The 17 year old is already asking me all about BYU...epic!

Love you all! 
Elder Sorensen

Figured I should take a quick pic in my suit...we only wear them Sundays (thank goodness!)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Another week...what am I gonna write for the next 22 months?

It was another week. Great as always--long as always--tiring--but nothing toooo special!

We confirmed the Familia D (who got baptized last Saturday). That was awesome. I was really nervous because the confirmation is much longer than the 2 sentence Baptismal Prayer...but one again some how I made it through (it´s almost as if God is helping me out or something like that.... :)

Today we went to Quito to go to the Offices/Church store. I bought a sweet case for my scripts (holds Bible and Triple), that said Ecuador Quito Mission and has a sweet little world with Angel Moroni on top--and of course is hand crafted Ecuadorian patterns :) Unfortunately, while at the offices my companion asked the nurses about one of his teeth--so tomorrow we have to go back into Quito for him to get it filled. Hopefully Ecuadorian dentistry isnt too sketch!

We hit Mcdonalds in Quito today, First Burger since the states... its way similar. SO BOMB. Its like a nice place here though...haha

Also, the past 3 days Elder G has been pretty sick. Wasnt sure whats going on...just stomach pain, head aches, and shaking a bit (no biggie..right? haha). All the members and nurse thought it was a parasite or virus, but today he is feeling a lot hopefully it is passed! And hopefully I dont get way sick this week...only have a sliiiight head ache right now so I think I will be fine! We worked through most of his sickness--aside from a few naps he had to take to make it through the days. But I got extra personal study which is always relaxing (not that I wouldnt rather be out there working!) We still managed to have a really successful week. Found a family of 5 (a single dad with 4 girls ages 9-22, his wife died a few years ago so he is looking for support big time), a 23 year old hommie with a wife (we hope) and 2 babies, 3 single women aging between 35-60, all who have either a dead of a spouse or a rough divorce. Never realized how much work I would be doing aside from the gospel--just trying to help people out with their personal lives. Its great though..keeps me CRAZY grateful for all the unreal friends and family I have. Also, one other family of 2 kids whos parents are right now living separate--but they both want to take lessons so we will see how this turns out. Pray for us! I could use some help from Sir Kent...hes so seasoned and wise. (but not too seasoned...that perfect parmesan cheese). 

Pizza!! There is a bomb pizza place in the Sectorof the 2 elders who live with we go there here and there!

Speaking of Kent (my dad by the way...for those who dont know him, I only refer to him as Kent SOMETIMES because Dad just doesnt show enough respect for a man like him). Pretty sure half my friends only came over to see him... Duer, Mike, Manny (LOL the curb)! Anyways--heres some questions provided by my loving father!

Do they have different types of bananas? TONS, but 4 main. Verdes (massive 2 foot long green ones for cooking), Verdes Amarillo (verdes when they turn yellow lol), Platinos (regular like we have in the states), and Plantinos Chicitos (tiny, wayyyy sweet bananas.) Its like 20 bananas for a dollar here...I go hard on banana shakes (PB, vanilla yogurt....oatmeal...the works. GNC cant hang)
What do you drink at your mamita's -- soda or your own water?  Soda, juice, handmade juice. Whatever, they all know we cant drink the tap--so I think most of them dont. But all the drinks here are DELISH!
How many miles a day to you think you walk on average? NO IDEA. Tons. We take a bus if its more than like a 20 minute walk...but a good amount of hills to climb...majority of our roads here in Montzerrat are rock or dirt...yeah, I sleep well haha.
Do  you have any time to work out? Does the altitude effect either your walking or workout energy? Me and my comp started going hard again on Friday. Usually do abs/body lifts/my work out bands for about 20-35 minutes every morning. The altitude killed me first week...not toooo tough now. 
Do any missionaries have cars or bikes? None. Only President. Not even the Senior Couples or APs.
So, do I have it right that there are 6 Elders in your ward? Yes! 2 up top of the hill near our church, 2 down at the bottom of the hill, and us in between!

One of the many big catholic churches in the Quito area. Pretttty!

Love you all, thanks for the support and prayers.

Elder Sorensen

Monday, September 8, 2014



2 weeks in Ecuador--and 2 months out here on the mish! Times flies! And goes slow...still haven't made up my mind! 

Photos from President and Sister Christensen: 
Arriving Missionaries

With President and Sister Christensen

 Kevin and his trainer, Elder G

We had a great week! First and foremost--on Saturday we baptized 4 of the kids in the Familia D. They are an awesome family, and hopefully the parents will get baptized here soon once they can afford a legal marriage! (one of the biggest problems we face out here with parents of families). The service was awesome and they were all very happy! I got to baptize J, the youngest. I was kind of nervous cause I barely memorized the baptism prayer the day before--but of course everything went well. They are an awesome family and just in my 2 weeks here I have seen changes in their hearts and lives. 

It was Elder G's birthday on Thursday! So we had cookie dough (the oven didn't work) at our Zone meeting from the Hermanas...a DELICIOUS fruit/cream cake that Elder H brought to Zone meeting, mini cakes at one of our members houses, and hostess cupcakes at night from G's parents. Safe to say it was a sweet day. ;)

 Birthday Celebrations for Elder G

We have been teaching a lot of people, and have about 4 very solid investigators right now, but about 10 more who we have received from references from ward members who we need to meet with. Everyone's work schedules are so heavy here it is always tough to find a time when the whole family is home. But its all gonna work out. Because we are opening up this sector, we have done a lot of contacting and made a ton of appointments with people, but a good amount of the time when we go to meet with them they end up being off and work. Work work work. These people know how to do it well...I just wish they could get sundays off!! Because so many people cant make it to church cause of their schedules...Anywho, the work out here is great. We have usually 1 or 2 citas (appointments) with a member family each day--to get to know them better and see if they have any friends or family who would want to here our message! Our members are awesome and allllways feed us great.

I got like 3 questions about my We have a different Mamita every day (minus Monday, we eat on our own on Pday). Most of them are families in the ward, 1 of them is a single 23 year old. They all feed us super super good. And no, we don't pay them. In addition, we often get fed mini meals when we have citas with other members at night. Ill try to start taking some pics of food to show yall!

Today was another great P Day. We found a ward member who we have become really close with. She is a single parent, a 35 year old lawyer with 2 kids, who happens to be just the greatest...who loves to feed us and happens to have a washing machine. Which is WAY rare here. So we went over there today and hung out and did out laundry (not by hand for once..which is amazing). She is also the one who gave us mini cakes on G's birthday. Me and G never wanna leave this ward because everyone is so great haha.

Our Church building (up the hill from us in Villaflora)

 We make new friends every day (

Well, I am way short on time today cause I had been lacking on replying to everyone personally. Thanks to you all for the updates and love.

Elder H made G take the first bite...and then snuck up behind and shoved his face into it hahaha. 

One of the thousands of soccer fields(courts) out here. Beautiful day like always.

 Standard pig the size of a cow. We are starting to teach the family who lives here.

A few answers to ?s quickly!

Email: We email at cybers...which are internet cafes with comps and pay phones and copy machines. Costs 10 cents per 10 minutes. So 2 hours is 1.20. Cheeeap!

Packages/Letters: WE CAN GET THEM! I thought we couldn't...but my comp has gotten like 5 and never had a prob. Packages take between 4-8 weeks usually... and letters about 2 weeks. Here is the address to send to. The best way is just through US Mail. And some people duct tape the packages a ton or put Virgin Mary stickers on em to prevent tampering. 

Elder Kevin Sorensen
Calles Robles E4-151 y Av. Amazonas 
Casilla: 17-03-078
Quito, Pinchincha

Received my first package! From G's girlfriend...he has my approval!

Food probs: Nah. If you know me you know I eat everything and love it. Haven't gotten close to sick...all good 

 Pinchos at a small vendor near out house. Pinchos are a skewer with sausage, tater, banana, and other meats. BOMB!

Mean stories: No one is mean to us. Just the occasional drunk who tries talking English to us. We just reply in Spanish and act clueless. Classic.

 Charles Darwin was on to something...the greatest country in the World.

Most spiritual experience: Definitely the baptism. Its awesome seeing people with such rough backgrounds find God and make changes in their lives and immediately receive tons of blessings. Also, working with less actives and recent converts is great. Just getting to know people's stories is awesome.

Love MUCH,

Elder Kevin Charles


PSS--- (KT Rose should be posting tons of pics!)

 The awesome view of the valley we have every night

Monday, September 1, 2014

¡Los Chillos Norte!

First week (kinda) in Ecuador: DONE! I have so much to tell you all and not a ton of time or a large English Literature backround--so pardon the hecticness of this email. But here I go.

My companion is Elder G, from Idaho Falls, Idaho. He turns 20 on Thursday and has been out for 8.5 months. Hes a homie and has real good Spanish, especially for 8.5 months! We get along great and are connecting with the members and people in our area super bien!

We are opening a new sector in the Los Chillos Norte Zone. Basically the Ecuador Quito Mission is split into 12 Zones, spanning 250mi X 400mi. And with in those zones are districts, and within a district is a handful of sectors. My district is only 3 sectors, so 6 Elders. But there are about 22 Elders and 2 Hermanas in our Zone.

 Panoramic of Quito with the statue Panicio on the hill in the middle {click to make it larger!}

ANYWAYS, we are about a 45 minute bus ride outside of Quito, on the side of a mountain that seperates Quito from Conocoto. Our sector/where we live is a small area called Montzerrat. Our sector is super poor, but the people are super generous and freindly and a ton of people we meet are really open to hear the gospel. The members here are great too! We have a mamita (a women/fam who cooks us lunch) every day except Pday! Our ward is Vista Hermosa (about 120 members), and is at the top of this mountain that seperates us from Quito. 2 of the Elders in our Zone (A and T) are at the top, near the chapel. And then the other 2 elders (Cr and Caj), are below us. We see these 4 guys a ton (and live with Cr and Caj for now).

 View from our kitchen window

We live in a cool apartment with 2 other Elders. Elder Caj was just companions with Elder G before this, and he has 13 months and is from Lima, Peru. And Elder Cr has 8.5 months, and is from Paraguay, he speaks Spanish and Guaranese (an Indiginous language). He spent most of his mission in the Oriente (Jungle) before now. He has some sweet stories. They are both sick guys and force me to practice my Spanish all the time when we are with them. (Not that me and G dont usually speak spanish...its just nice to speak a lil English when we can haha). The 4 of us get along way well...our apartment and set up is dope.

The climate: The weather here is perfect. During the heat of the day it gets a bit hot because we are like 9500 feet closer to the Sun than in Davis...but its not bad at all. On a clear day we can see 4 Volcanoes from our Kitchen window.....its beautiful. Our casa/sector overlooks the valley that Conocoto and San Rafael. Just about half a mile from our house houses end and its just massive Ecuadorian mountain and trees. Every direction there is a dope view. All the Elders I have talked to said I am way lucky to be starting out here, everyone says Los Chillos is awesome--and so far I agree!!!

 Pano from out living room window

Food: Food here is bomb. We eat at our Mamitas house for lunch every day, and walk down to the Paneria / Frutaria most mornings to get some AMAZING pastries and fruit (for like 15 cents a piece of fresh bread and 5 cents a banana). We can't drink tap water so we buy big jugs of water (we have a little make shift stand with a open/close spot for a 5G water jug) and then we drink lots of juice and soda. We also eat cold oatmeal with milk and granola for breakfast...really whatever we want that is relatively cheap. The milk and yogurt comes in bags, and almost nothing here needs to be fridgerated which feels strange--but we keep all ours cold after buying. Dinner isn't a thing here...people eat breakfast and then lunch at 2 and maybe a little tiny meal or snack at night. So we don't eat until walking home or till we get home at 9, and usually are still full from the massive plates we eat during lunch. I really like everything I've had here.... Especially the bomb!

We walk a lot but also take a ton of busses. The bus system here is crazy big, and FAST. The rides are crazy...literally feel like were on the bus from Harry Potter most of the time. They barely stop for people to get on and off (unless its a small child or old person). No matter how far you bus its 25 cents. So we can take like a 40 minute bus ride into a town and it still be 25 cents...pretty nuts. Because we live right in our sector, its really not that much walking because its all relatively close. But there are some gnarly hills and other than right next to our appartment there arent a ton of nice roads. Most are dirt/rock. Some shortcuts we take feel like I'm straight up in Lord of The Rings cutting through these hills with houses scattered about. I love it...everything here is still so new everything seems exciting/interesting.

 Pano of the Valley of Conocoto/SanRafael from an investigator's house, about 5 minute walk from our house

There are TONS of wild homeless dogs. Like hundreds. One night at like 8:30 we were contacting and while chatting with a family at there door about 12 dogs were going crazy barking and all around us, so I manned the dogs as Elder G taught. All you have to do to keep a dog from coming after you is quickly reach down like you're picking up a rock...even if there isn't one....and they all jump back or stay away. Its so sad...they're honestly everywhere. The kids here aren't phased by them will be playing soccer at like 9 and dogs going crazy but they don't even notice haha. Different lifestyle out here for sure.

Well...thats all I have time for / mental capacity for right now. Make sure to check out my blog (that KT is running awesomely!) to see pics and stuff.

Love you all!
Elder Sorensen