Monday, December 28, 2015

As We Pray To Be Guided And What To Say, We Are Always Helped


this week was another awesome week! Its was for sure different than all of the other ones because of Christmas, but it was an awesome week. Christmas as a missionary is so different! its awesome to have all your focus on others and Christ and trying to bring Christ into the life of the people that dont know him how he really is. this week we haven't had a lot of finding. Elder Maynes promised our mission that as we do 4-5 hours of finding a day, that our success will go up so much. Not just our numbers but we will also become more of the missionary that the lord wants us to become. That is the kind of missionary that i want to be myself. i want what the lord wants and needs me to be to be able to help him in this part of the world with all of our brothers and sisters that are being prepared to have this gospel in their lives. I have been really strengthening my faith in every way. There is a quote that to have faith in the lord we have to have faith in his timing. Its is one thing to say that you have faith but another thing to really not slow down and work harder and harder and better and better even when you arent able to see anything come from it. As a companionship we are trying to really always find with faith. As we pray to be guided and what to say, we are always helped.

This Sunday we were trying to get D-- to come to the Sacrament in Umitilla. We were texting her and she said that she will try if she is able to get off work. We stopped and said a prayer for her and as we finished we got a text that said she just got of f work. Elder Laffiteau said that we need to promise her a blessing of coming to church. We promised her that as she came to church she will feel that spirit and it will help her out through the week. she said that she was coming! At that meeting there were two talks that were amazing and really just what she needed to hear about how the lord will always answer us and how she is going to be able to find an answer to her prayers. Its was an awesome day and a perfect meeting for her to come to. She is preparing to be baptized in just a few weeks!

Christmas eve and Christmas day were fun. we spent a lot of time cooking then giving out 70 cookies to our investigators and some members! it was awesome! We got fed also when we went to the members houses. lots of Mexican food and mostly tamales! Christmas night me and the other elders in our apartment watched a Christmas Movie made by the church and they slept on our floor just for good memories. i was good for it because i was still on a bed!!

Lehi looks like a lot of fun. i am glad that christmas was great. i am jealous of the snow and of the skiing but its alright i guess. it is snowing here! we have a solid 1" on the cars!

I love you all!! Merry late Christmas and happy New Years!!

and pictures!! 

first the week started out with a fun cold morning with 3 actual tires and a toy one.

This is the L-- and G-- family. they are awesome members. The L-- are on the right, he is the 
Spanish group leader and a convert of almost a year. the others are converts of 5 years and 
have a goal to become completely active and go to the temple!! We ate there as well.
This is me having a fun time in the bishops toy room waiting for elder laffiteau to finish his call on christmas day!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Skype

We were able to skype with Josh on Christmas Day! He was at the bishops house when we skyped with him. It was the best part of Christmas--and also talking to his sister Brianne in the Philippines.  Josh was so happy.  When we first saw his face on skype he was wearing the reindeer glass I sent him.  It was so great to talk to him.  Christmas Eve he spent with the three other missionaries in his apartment making cookies for investigators and less actives.  They passed them out on Christmas Day. Josh truly loves being a missionary and is having amazing experiences.  We ended our skype session with Brad saying a family prayer.  The spirit was super strong as we knelt--part of us in Lehi and Josh in Washington.

Christmas call with Josh's sister Brianne, who is serving a mission in the Philippines,

Monday, December 21, 2015

It Was An Amazing Experience To Follow The Spirit And Be Guided To Talk To So Many People And Find New Investigators


Thanks for eventually telling me what happened to Brianne. (She was in a Category 3 typhoon with winds from 130-160 mph while on her mission in the Philippines).  Its good that she is safe and doing good. that has to be such a awesome experience at least all the service to help those people that need it after wards. I dont think that i will have a time to do something like that which i guess might be a good thing. But ya Merry Christmas!! I am excited to Skype It will be awesome.

This week one of my favorite things that we have been doing was to pray when we get in the car to ask every time where we should go. If we should follow our plans or if we feel something else. This week one day started off great. we felt like we should go to a little trailer park in a little town. We were walking around and knocked a few doors, but didnt even talk to any one. we walked around a corner and there was someone out side. we talked to him and he was interested! we had a lesson about the Book of Mormon and the restoration. He told us to come back too!  we talked to a lot of people that day. It was about 7:30 and we were not knowing where to go for sure. we had a few plans though. we had Ma-- or the Mo- familys. we prayed and felt like to visit the Ma-- because he is an investigator and we need to take care of the people we do have before we we look for more. We went by and no one was home. At first the thought was why would we feel prompted to come here?? as we drove away the story came to my head from general conference. it was from a while ago, Its was about the father and a son that were driving down a long dirt road. they were running out of gas so they had to turn and go back. They came to a fork in the road that they didnt remember. they prayed and felt they should go to the right. they drove a little and the road ended. The son asked the dad why we would feel to go this way if it was wrong. so they went back and went left. They drove a little more and the father had the thought and told his son, that they were told to go left because if they went right they would have been driving for a long time with not knowing if it was right for sure. They were directed so they knew for sure. as i told Elder Laffiteau this story in the middle he pulled off the side of the road. at the end he didnt say anything just put it in drive and we were off to the Mo--s. We got there and no one was there also! we both had the faith that we were there for a reason. we parked there and went knocking doors. the first 5 doors we knocked we talked to and got to share a little about Christ. We were one the 4th door and a truck drove past two houses down.  we knocked on the next house but they didnt answer. as we walked to the next house the guy got out of his truck to smoke. He talked to us and was needing someone to talk to. we had an awesome lesson with him. His father died a few months ago and it was still hard for him. He said that he would Read and pray and really try to know if this is true. He said thanks and that we should come back. We finished and it was 9 and time to go home. It was an amazing experience to follow the spirit and be guided to talk to so many people and find new investigators. It was good to see miracles happen in the very first and the very last parts of the day.

One other good experience was something that i wasnt really wanting at first. Saturday night we got a call from the ward mission leader and said Brother Larsen is needing some help with speakers today... in the Umitilla group. that group is a little group that meets together sunday nights at 6 so the Hispanics that work can still make it to a sacrament. so it was in Spanish and of course we had to do it. They day was busy and it was 4:30 and we had to eat and prepare a talk. i prepared for like 5 minutes. i luckily dont get stressed so it was all good. I was a little nervous at first just because of spanish. It ended up being super good. i saw that as i put all my faith in the lord he made it no problem for my spanish. i talked about how this time of the year is especially important to remember the lord and why he came here, to establish his church. i talked about the restoration and why its important to gain a testimony and how we can. The spanish just worked in that night. It was a miracle!! it felt like 3 minutes though. but somehow it was more then 10!! i was happy after that. after we were putting up chairs this spanish guy came up to talk to me and the spanish was luckily still working. he said thanks for the talk and we talked for a while.

This was an awesome week. that is some of my favorite parts for sure. love you all so much!

Elder Mortensen

p.s. dont worry we are feeling the christmas spirit with like 6 boxes of lights everywhere in our house!!  it is brighter now with those lights than it was with the normal ones before.  We have lots of treats too and the usual never ending supply of chips.  also don't worry, that is not my mess.  one of the elders is not so clean though.  

Monday, December 14, 2015

As We Have Kept The Faith And The Expectation To Find, We Have Been Blessed


It sounds like you all have had a great week back at home. Good thing that Jaxsen is still smiling after getting beat by a girl in soccer, but i guess thats alright. I didnt realize Grandma and Grandpa were finishing their mission already! i guess it has been a while though. It is so awesome to know that in this family we serve missions. We have lots of good examples to look to. I haven't had to many of the traditional Christmas foods yet, but i am sure it will come. We already have some plans for Christmas! We are going to the Bishops house to Skype someone, i dont know who yet. I think that i get to choose. But they also said that we could have dinner with them and their inlaws. Its will be awesome. we dont get to do really much missionary work that day which is weird, but it will be good. so i will get to Skype that day. what time works best for you? i at least dont want to mess up with talking with Brianne. also my time to do it might be easier to change around. so just let me know next week i guess. also your skype name or what all i need to find you guys.

This week President Ware challenged us to find a new investigator everyday. That is a hard goal for everyone. This week we got the numbers back and with 69 companionship's we were able to find more than 230 new investigators. For us we found more than we have any other week. We were focusing on the faith to find people. I have found as i have tried to have more faith and prayed for help, the Lord has blessed me with faith and us becoming closer to our goals. We have had the faith to find new investigators and that has been so helpful. We didn't find everyday but it was so many more than usual. We realized it doesn't matter how hard you work if you don't go around with faith. It really all comes down to faith. We have also focused on every direction that we go it is not just routine but inspired by the spirit. Its amazing to see how many blessings and really miracles we have seen because of that. This week i think that most of the investigators we found were between 8:30 and going home at 9. as we have kept that faith and the expectation to find, we have been blessed.

K-- came to church again but had to leave after 1 hour. she is awesome and has been praying everyday and reading more and more. Its makes me think of how little i really did when i was young and how much they are doing. There is a reason that converts are awesome. This sunday morning we were in a meeting and we were told that the teacher in spanish gospel principals wasnt going to be there. Because we are missionaries and they expect we can do a good job, us and the sister missionaries were told to teach. we were a little nervous until we looked what the topic was and it was missionary work. That wasnt to hard to talk about. especially because we asked at the beginning of class who all in here is a convert to the church. everyone raised their hands except 2, only because they are investigators. It was so cool to see the amazing people that are the fruits of these missionaries in this mission. it was easy to teach because they all have a strong testimony's about missionary work because all of them have been involved. they are awesome to take with us to lessons also. they know how the investigators feel and know what they need to do to change.

it was a awesome week like always but it is going way to fast!! i do have some a picture. you are welcome. we also ate with the Wrathalls, that is who you got the picture from. They have a missionary gone right now also. they actually got a picture when we were there from a mom from his area. they looked at it and all freaked out that he was gaining weight. I hope that wasnt how it was for you all! i did get the 12 days of Christmas package. i will have to send a picture because today we are decorating our front room and it is crazy. this is my favorite picture. we parked in the dark and this sign was there! its pretty easy to find the Hispanics sometimes! the best part is we went back the next day when we could see, there isnt even a fence!! just a random gate. We laughed for a while. love you all thanks for the letter!
Elder Mortensen

Elder Mortensen's Favorite Picture From The Week!
(Note from Mom:  I told Josh that as much as I loved all of his very
random pictures, I would really love a picture with him in it!!!)

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Surprise Text

Sunday night we received a surprise text from a family in Josh's mission area.

The text said, "We have your son here for dinner.  He's doing great!  He says hi!

I love to get texts with pictures of my son's smiling face!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Like Your Experieces, I Know That The Priesthood Works And That People Really Are Watached Over From The Powers Of Heaven


you week sounds awesome. i was actually thinking about the live nativity this week. i always knew that dad would be a perfect fit for the wise guy. hes been playing it his whole life. but at the Seventh day Adventist church here in town they have the same kinda thing. One of the members said that they went through it and it was a cool experience but there wasnt much of a spirit there until a little at the end. I was thinking of the one the Larsen's do and how amazing that has been to go and help out with the last few years. its good to always have the real Christmas spirit around all of the commercialized crazy Christmas. That is one thing that is already making this Christmas different. Something that is really cool is President challenged all of us to read the 4 Gospels is Matteau (i don't think that is spelled right, i know how in Spanish but English is hard), Mark, Luke and John. It has been amazing to learn and read  more about the life of Jesus Christ. it has been something that i do as part of personal study everyday. i have also been reading the talks from General conference everyday since i got them. i have read like 20 of them and how great a blessing that is. Its been so amazing to find more help and comfort through those. We have also been able to teach lots of lessons and help answer questions by those talks. i know how inspired those are, they are so amazing.

This Week has been awesome. We got a area change so we have a big part of the Sisters area now as ours. they gave us some amazing people to start working with. We have been in that area 2 times now and have a lot of potentials that want us to come back. One awesome experience was we were coming into town a little early than our plans so we decided to just go tracting for like 10 minutes. We knocked on this door that we for sure were guided to, and a guy opened up and talked to us. he said that about 2 years ago he talked to missionaries and he even went to church a few times. He was glad to see us and wanted to keep learning about our church because he just said that it made him curious. We had an awesome lesson about the restoration. he just moved in 5 days ago. That was a awesome blessing for him and for us to find him so fast. we went to help him move a washer and dryer so that was awesome and i only smashed my finger a few times. He says that he sometime reads the Book of Mormon still! its always a blessing to find those people who are being prepared to have the gospel in their lives. Also This week we were talking to sister G-- and she said she has been sick and had a head ache for like 3 weeks. she says she thinks that it is because of stress because her oldest son might have lung cancer and is not doing well at all. we gave her a blessing of healing that she could be feeling better and that her loved ones would as well. the next day she told me that during the blessing she knew that she was going to be better because she had the faith that the blessing will work. later that day she told us to come over and she said that her sons results came back and he doesnt have cancer! also that now he is healthy and feeling great. He is now getting married in 2 weeks. She just told us thanks and said that this is the first day that she has felt good for a few weeks. Like your experiences i know that the priesthood works and that people really are watched over from the powers of heaven. That was the biggest blessing this week for sure.

This week was transfers and we meet at the church here in hermiston with all the people that were going up to the transfer site. it snowed that morning. It was to bad that the church parking lot didnt get its best use but it did provide for a big snowball fight. it was a lot of fun. He have a new elder in our house. his name is Elder Johnson. We all get along really well and its ben fun. we also got a new zone leader, our district leader and a new sister. its good to still be here in hermiston. I saw the best snow sculpture i have every seen! i didnt think it was real until 3 days later when it was half melted because it blew my mind. i did get a picture. good news we did get a Christmas tree from the other elders. they got us some awesome presents also. i already have been using them. I got my pen, my shoes, my pillow, and my planner. it has been a awesome Christmas already!

Thanks for writing again. i love you all!

Elder Mortensen

Monday, November 30, 2015

I Am Really Growing My Faith In The Promise That Our Words Will Be Given To Us In The Moment We Need Them


This week was awesome. If you want to feel how my week felt, go walk around and knock doors in the cold weather in pants that dont stop any of the wind. It was a lot of fun actually. It did end up snowing early this week and we had a little snowball fight. Not much happened because none of the other elders could through it far enough to hit us. they tried but it didn't really work. but we decided to just build a little snowman. It was the first snowman that elder Laffiteau has made, so that was cool.

The part i remember most about this week was maybe thanksgiving. That was a crazy day. Luckily President Ware limited us to only two meals with members or investigators because if he didn't it for sure would have been a lot worse. We got invited to go to a school and eat with a big extended family. The food was really good. we started eating at 4:30 and i on accident ate too much. We finished that and went to another at 5:30!! i ate so much food there to and could almost not finish. after we had our weekly planning so we came home and my stomach hurt so bad i just laid on the floor and fell asleep. then we finished planning and that gave us like 3 hours for nothing to do. so i slept again and watched church movies in Spanish. it was a really good day. i didn't know food could hurt you so bad. i woke up in the morning and could still feel it and didn't want to eat breakfast. but i did anyways. you asked what my favorite dish was and it was probably the first plate. It ended up all mixing together so i guess that works. it tasted the same as the others its just the only one that didn't hurt.

Finding investigators has been hard. we find a lot of potentials but its really hard to find them again because lots of them have rotating schedules for work. We talke to a lot of people. One thing that we have been working on is talking to everyone and that really has gotten so much better. Also to teach in unity. Its hard because i cant speak the best Spanish and he cant speak the best English so its weird either way. but its been good. we have done a lot more in Spanish. I am finally understanding lots of it and fill in the rest by context. its harder to speak but it is getting so much better. i am really growing my faith in the promise that our words will be given to us in the moment we need them. that is what i am trying to do. There are times that i don't know what i want to say but it some how comes out and actually makes sense. i know that that promise is defiantly true as well as the gift of tongues. they both aren't easy and make my faith grow so much, but it has been so helpful to me. i don't have a lot to say about this week other than it was amazing. lots of our plans fell through so we tracted a lot, but what better way to find investigators? well with members i guess but there is only one member referral that we have gotten.

thanksgiving and soccer all sound like so much fun. I miss all those things but at least they will be there when i come back because it doesnt look like they have changed. one of the things that might have been different was some one else won shotgun shooting! that was probably fun for them. 

I do have a picture!! its of the snow man that we made because why not. also i was getting desperate to find one with me in it, then today when we were doing laundry, the weirdest thing happened. i was taking my clothes out and i found a spoon!! i didn't think that thanksgiving got that crazy that i lost a spoon in my clothes but i guess maybe it did!! it worked as good as a dish washer though if you were wondering. also of our district and the zone leaders also

love you all a ton!!

Elder Mortensen

Elder Mortensen With His Left Over Spoon From Thanksgiving

Elder Mortensen's District with Zone Leaders

First Snowman

Monday, November 23, 2015

God Really Does Know Everything And He Will Do Those Little Things That Will Make Our Life Better


This neck of the woods is doing great. Its staying more normal then you deciding to say neck of the woods! but it really is great. I luckily did get the package because it has been getting pretty cold when we track at night. its only like 30 degrees but its cold to walk around in. And yes!! finally meals from members. Not as much as the elders we live with. they haven't bought food at all this transfer! They do ask for a lot but its still crazy. One good thing about not being fed is i think i am like a professional chef now! No one gets better than me at eggs and cereal!! but no i really do eat pretty good. never go hungry thats for sure. Right now we have at least 20 bags of chips in our house and 2 pies and 2 cakes. so i might be getting fatter but i am eating good. its crazy how much chips we have. there is a chip factory Cheares, something like that, and so many people work there and they all give a ton away. Also a lot of cheese and ice cream. the tillamok factory is over here.

We had exchanges this week. Elder Young the district leader came over here and we worked this area. we talked to a lot of people and had some good lessons. the greatest thing happened also. We went to talk to a potential investigator but they didnt answer so we just started working that area. We came to the last door in the complex and this lady answered. It just so happens that she has talked to missionaries before and reads the book of Mormon by opening to a random page when she is having a hard time in her life. we talked to her for 45 minutes and she said she wanted to be baptized! It was as golden as golden could get. we were way excited then we went back for the night. the only bad part was she was english!! so we had to give her to the other elders. it kinda sucked, but i am just glad that we got to find her for them. at least the work still is going. also something that made me look crazy. we knocked on a door and said we are the missionaries and a little more. she told us she didn't speak english, in english. so when this happens its usually a Hispanic that doesn't really want to talk to us. so before i really thought about it i said the same thing in spanish. as i was saying it i realized she didnt really look spanish. after i finished she was just like " sorry i don't speak english and i dont speak spanish" she just kinda closed the door after that. but ya i guess you cant speak spanish to an Asian lady for her to understand. in this exchange it was also funny to walk dogs and see small a 5'6" elder Young get walked around by a pit-bull!  I have learned one thing that you never get a pit-bull because after your hands are going to be hurting.

one of my favorite experiences this week was we were really praying for a new investigator to find to teach. it was right before we went in for the night, we went to knock on one more door. we knocked and found a young mom, her name is T--. We started talking to her and by the end she was just glad we came by. she said her son told her he wanted to start going to church. she said she didnt know what church. we shared the Book of Mormon and bore our testimonies about families and this church. She is reading the Book of Mormon and she said if she likes the book she will bring her family to church. she has a 7, 8 and 9 year old children. we are meeting with her next week with a lot of hope! it was awesome to see a prayer answered in such an amazing way.

One of my favorite experiences this week also was a testimony strengthening experience. it taught me that God really does know everything and he will do those little things that will make our life better. He will always help prepare us if we are looking for his help. Sunday morning we were asked to teach elders quorum. so that was a little not scary but just like oh no. we got the topic and we were to share about President Monsons General conference talk. i think it was called something like be a light and an example. that's not it but its closeish. the cool part was the day before i was trying to find inspiration to find a talk to study that morning i flipped open and it was that one. to our surprise that is what happened for elder Laffiteau also! It also went with my ponderizing scripture for the last 2 weeks. its D&C 88:67 dads get the glow scripture. also the day before i studied two talks that went perfect to have a good lesson. it went really well. the spirit was for sure there and i hope that it was guided by the spirit. it was good to see gods hand in our preparations.
 also that day K-- came to church with her mom Y-- so that was so cool.

life in Lehi sounds great. sorry i dont have much to say about it but thanks for letting me know all that. i really do like to hear it. also sorry i dont really have pictures to send. i do have one that explains the neck of the woods comment. it is the first picture that i have on the camera! i hope you like it and it better make it to the blog!!
I love you all!! thanks for the letters!

Elder Mortensen

This is the picture!  Not sure why it is on Josh's camera!

Monday, November 16, 2015

I Just Put All My Trust In The Lord To Guide Us

Hi family,

This was an amazing week. Early in the week we had zone council. The thing that i got out of it most was to get back to the basics! our purpose is to invite others to repent and be baptized. Its nothing complicated so we shouldnt make it like that. When i think of this i think of how i need to just keep the spirit with me because i wont know what to ask people to do or be able to teach anything with out it. This week as we were having a lesson with Y-- she had a question a few days before about speaking in tongues because her boyfriend in his church speak in tongues in the meeting. also he goes to a mens prayer and i guess he spoke in tongues. so she was confused what it was because it was just weird when she said it. It was hard to even study for. so going into this lesson we didn't know how it was going to work out. i just put all my trust in the lord to guide us. We read in Acts 2 and shared but it didnt feel right. i felt prompted to go to 1 Corinthians 14. We shared a few verses. then all of a sudden she started clapping and was so excited then started to cry. she told us that this is the answer she had been praying for. She prayed to know and to have it explained in the bible to her. After this we talked about her daughter K-- because she wants to be baptized but needs to find a testimony and come to church again. as we talked about some things that we would be able to do to help her, I felt prompted to share with her that earlier that day, we fasted for K--. that now is up her her and K-- to really search it out. We promised that they would receive their answer this week if they did. it was probably the most spiritual lesson we have had out here. 

A funny awkward moment was we went to try to find a less active family.  we walked through the fence and knocked on the door and no one answered. but then a car pulled up. The car couldnt see us because of the fence so we didn't know what to do other than just stand there for him to come to the door. he got out and was swearing because the one day that he comes home early his family isn't even home. He walked though the gate and the weirdest girly scream i have ever heard come out of a 30 year old guy came out of this Mexican. i kinda laughed but stopped because it was a weird moment because we were standing there in the dark, This was at like 7. I was just glad he knew who we were because he said to his friend on the phone, hey i got to go, i think i was cussing in front of some missionaries. it was so funny. This is the first time that we have meet this guy. We had am AMAZING lesson with him. he had a testimony long time ago and now he said he wants to come back to church and that he would read the Book of Mormon. he even prayed for us. the spirit was for sure there, it was so amazing.

We had a lesson with J-- and A-- and it was amazing. we talked about the restoration. They gave us hot chocolate and told us that we are friends now. they also made us Mexican food. Because i am trying to learn Spanish all the Hispanics tell me that i will learn by eating peppers. so i just about died i think. i don't know what peppers they were but my mouth was on fire. it was good though i guess. I don't know why but i kinda believe them and even at subway i got all the peppers they had. i guess anything i can do that might help, i might as well do it. 

to answer your questions, our biggest success was the lesson with Y--. Its hard to even explain how amazing it was. The biggest struggle is talking to everyone that we can see. Its one of those things that is so easy to just say hi and how are you and get on your way. its weird to walk into their garage and try to talk about the gospel. we did really good this week. That is one of our running goals is to always be getting better at that.  This week was awesome we actually got referrals! and one from a member!! we haven't contacted them all yet be we are excited.

We also had stake conference and that was amazing. Elder Call from the seventy came and did an amazing job i will have to write more about that in a letter or something because i don't have my notes but it was amazing.  He and President and sister Ware talked a lot about how member missionary work is so important to keep us with the lords quickened pace of this work. he taught that this is the most important thing that we will ever do, so might as well "Enjoy the Miracle"  That is what i am doing is just loving all of this. it is so amazing here. it is going so fast though it is so weird.

your week sounds fun. its weird that Ali is old enough to date. but sounds fun. to bad all the soccer didnt go the best but its better than my soccer this week. i dont play other than Mondays. Its weird i miss just messing around like that. thanks for the letter again i do have some pictures too! they are lame though but they are for you!! i figured out, with some help, how to do a rubix cube and got that down. also the tiwi in the cars that every missionary loves so much. last week Brianne sent a picture of her view. i thought i would do that too. its not as cool though.

Love, Elder Mortensen


Elder Mortensen's View From His Apartment
Brianne's View From Her Apartment in the Philippines.  Just a little bit prettier!

Monday, November 9, 2015

I Know That Your Personal Testimony Is Worth More Than Anything In This World


hey i didn't keep you waiting this week! But our transfers aren't the same. its like half way though or something like that. I think Preparation day will always be on Mondays unless we are going to the temple, then it is what ever day that is because it changes.

But this week i have been studying a lot about charity. I need a lot more i am realizing. one thing that is awesome to do and to see is when the scriptures are written so simple and easy. In Moroni 7 it taught me perfect on all i had to do to have more charity. The part that stands out to me is when Moroni tells us we need to pray to the father with all energy of heart. i thought that this was just praying and asking. but as i studied more and talked to my companion, i now know that all energy of heart is doing every little thing you can. Actually praying is just a part. i Have to always try to live with charity, i always need to be aware of if i am or if i am not acting in charity. in the bible it tells you that with out charity you are nothing and nothing you do will matter. this made me really refocus on charily. I have seen the blessings of more people to talk to everyday and them wanting to learn more because they can feel something different.

but yes Spanish! its getting a lot better but is still really hard. I can understand mostly everything and follow all the conversations, good enough at least. i am pretty sure that i have messed up Elder Laffiteau a lot when i say things that might not even have to do with what they are talking about. but that happens less which is good. I am able to teach a lot better in Spanish. Now the hardest part is to have thoughts come to me when someone is talking in Spanish because i have to concentrate so much. if i have a little bit of time to think for a little it works alright. The gift of tongues is amazing, if it came all at once that would be incredible. but it doesn't. i am just thankful for the Spanish that i am able to have this fast into the mission. I wish we had more to talk to in Spanish because that would be helpful. right now because we do a lot of tracting still and lots of the houses we knock on are English. so we talk a lot in English. i try to speak only in Spanish unless we are talking to someone that speaks English. That has helped me out a lot. its funny we get weird looks like today walking in walmart when the white kid is speaking Spanish and the brown kid is speaking English to each other. also with walmart. i always have sucked at finding everything in stores but they are making it so much harder to do here. they are redoing the inside in a lot of places so everything keeps moving around every week. it makes it really fun to shop.

We finally had a lesson with J-- and his family! we met him like a month a go and we talk to him every few days but he and his wife are so busy. we found them again one night. they brought us in and had hot chocolate and we had an awesome lesson. We talked about the restoration and why the book of Mormon is so important. i am just hoping that we can find more times to talk to them. the family from Guatemala is aweosme. The hispanics are all really busy but we have had times to talk to them. we have a lesson Friday. also Y-- came to church again! she and her family are in active. We are now teaching her sister and her husband L--. They are awesome. we had a really awesome lesson. they are praying as a family and on their own and reading also. we have a lesson today with them. also Y-- daughter K-- is ondate for baptism on the 28. we need to just help her have a testimony and she will be great. Y--s boyfriend tells her anti Mormon things so that makes it harder. its good she talks to her mom because she has an awesome testimony. That is a little about this week. its been a great week.

i cant help you out much from here but i can maybe help you all have a great experience. One thing that i love doing and have been doing a lot more is applying Moronis promise again and again. That is one thing you can always do to strengthen your testimony. i know that your personal testimony is worth more than anything in this world. i invite all you to keep doing that more often.

Also elder Laffiteau does get good support. he lived in Missouri for 8 months and his bishop helps him out a lot.
I love you all!

Elder Mortensen

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

What Lack I Yet?


hey sorry i didn't get to write Monday it wasn't preparation day! We had it today for Temple preparation day! every other transfer we get the awesome opportunity to go to the temple. the transfers that we don't we have interviews with President Ware. but it was such an awesome thing to be back in the temple. President Ware wants us studying a talk called the concentrated missionary. its an awesome talk that teaches you how to be the greatest instrument in the lords hands as you can be. I have been reading this talk like every week. One thing it talks about is to ask God, what lack i yet? like the talk from general conference that i have been studying also, i decided for that to be my purpose for the temple today. i was praying to find something that i needed to be doing to be the best missionary i can. I received some awesome answers. Some of it was to set a vision of my area and of me for the future. As i was thinking about my area i wasn't able to think about too many things. One thing that came to mind was what we have been doing the last week and a half. Its knocking on every door in our area. we have had some good progress, lots of referrals for the English elders. We found some awesome people for us as well. Some thing that came to my mind for me was to be exactly obedient like it talks about in the consecrated missionary talk. It has been something that i have seen so many blessings through. The temple was just an awesome time today.

This week we have been meeting Y-- D-- L-- F--, the less active we have been working with. She and her family are doing great and now we are working on getting her daughter, K-- baptized. She is the one we fasted with a little bit ago. We also found her sister and family. They are awesome as well. The husband, L-- really wants to know. L-- the wife has an awesome testimony and has seen some amazing blessings. what has been working for us is to help them remember those good times and resolve their doubts and help them grow their faith. Sadly we had to give H-- and J-- to the ward missionaries. Its good they have a way to keep them involved but because they weren't progressing anymore, we had to do that. That was really hard because we have been working a lot with them and i love both of them. I don't know if i wrote about J-- last week, i cant remember when we found him. But he was awesome and wanted to learn more. He was saying that he feels like there is more to what faith he already has.  we kinda just said you are right! then taught about the Book of Mormon with more parts of the restoration. he said he was going to read and He accepted baptism as well!!  i am excited for him. We have seen so many blessings from our hard work.

One cool thing is we were tracting and there was a older guy raking his leaves. He is the first person that actually let us help and serve him!! we raked leaves for like 45 minutes. i felt bad because elder Laffiteau was actually working hard but i was more following him around talking to him. He was doing the rake work, i was doing the missionary work. that is how i justified it. it was awesome. to bad he was white! i didn't think i would ever need to say that but its true. now we don't get to work with him. But its awesome his 18 year old son is a recent convert and is planning on a mission. he has gone to church for a few years but still, its so awesome he has the faith to just go on a mission even though he doesn't know that much. it gives me a lot of hope for me being out here.

This week has been just awesome. i love being out here in the mission. everything about it is the best. i am learning so much. To answer your question yes he is an awesome mission president! i love him. He lives in draper, so pretty close. Also i probably will want my coat here soon. so that would be nice. maybe about a sweater also. It would also be nice for some days.

Thanks for all the love and support. Sorry mom to have to make you worry you didn't get a letter. but love you all!!

Love, Josh

Elder Laffiteau and Elder Mortensen at the Kennewick Washington Temple

Monday, October 26, 2015

Just Roll Up Your Sleeves And Go To Work For Christ

Hello Everyone!!! 

Being on the mission is great. the time just Keeps getting faster and faster. it seems like weekly planning happens like every other day! its weird.  even though it is 5 hours of planning, even that goes by fast. everything else is expected to go fast, so that is all flying. But life back at home sounds really fun. I dont know what more to say about that other that just love it. Something i am starting to figure out even more, i tried always, but it is you might as well love all of everyday, because in some way it is for your best. God gives us life everyday and that is enough to be grateful. The best times for me are the times that i can see the lords hand the most helping me and pushing me to become more of what he needs of me and what we should want from ourselves. President Ware told us in his email that the lord wants you off balanced or uncomfortable because that is when you will learn to trust him. When i read that i was just like,  yep! thats me with Spanish! He gave us some awesome advice to help. he said  just roll up our sleeves and GO TO WORK FOR CHRIST! so that's what i have to do. If you are wondering what my week this week is going to be like, just know its all going to  be working for Christ. President Ware is an amazing guy. when he ends his mission you better go meet him. its like around the corner from our house.

But with the giant zucchini the other elders in our house brought it to some members and they are making bread for us! its going to be a lot so we plan on eating a bunch but bringing some to our investigators. at least for J-- thats the least we can do. there hasnt been one time that we have been able to leave his house with out him giving us something. J-- has been doing really good. He came to church again! that was awesome. he has been reading some in the Book of Mormon and said he will read more and pray everyday. he is an awesome investigator. He is like in his 50's so hes pretty old.

We did meet with G-- again and talked about the restoration. it was super spiritual and we know that he is feeling the spirit which is the best thing that could be happening in the lessons. He was going to come to church but he had to work. that is one of the big problems here. lots of the companies run 24/7 so hours for a lot of the Hispanics, its just crazy. its always crazy when you have to leave a lesson at 8 at night because they need to get to work. he is doing good and we have a lot of hope for him.

One awesome time when i saw the lords hand was finding a new investigator J--. We were out of plans of people to visit so we just went down the roads knocking doors. we knocked on a bunch before that just talking to people, but no one was wanting to talk to us. we drove to another place to do some more knocking. we always say a prayer before we leave to try to consecrate our efforts to the lord. the first house we knocked on this big white guy without a shirt answers the door. it was just like, oh no. but he invited us in. luckily he went and found a shirt. We talked about the Book of Mormon and some of the restoration. he seemed so interested and he really wanted to learn more. he was just one of those people that you want to have to be able to teach. But he was white so we were thinking we were going to just have to give him to the other elders. but he was telling us some stories and a trip to Mexico came up, so we were just like hoping his wife was Mexican. and it turns out she is!! and they both speak Spanish!! so that means that they are our investigators!! its was awesome. i am super excited to be able to teach them.see its the little things that matter.

Being on the mission you see the lords hand is so many things. even before the mission i saw it more that i realized. It is so amazing how much he really does for us. i know that every little happy moment is because of the lord. It is how i am able to have faith to keep doing all the work that i can. i really love this mission. I love you all as well. keep up all the good things you all have been doing and look for more to always do.  Love you all!!

Elder Mortensen

Monday, October 19, 2015

There Is No Growth In The Comfort Zone And No Comfort in the Growth Zone


wow it sounds like you all had a super busy week. Thats always good i guess.  California sounded fun though, thats one thing that i havent done for a while. The best part sounds like going to the two temples! that would be so cool. I miss the temple so much. i didnt realize how much i didnt take advantage of it until i was not about to go whenever i wanted. But i am Glad that we get to go every other transfer to the temple in Kennewick. Transfers are this week too! Good to know that i am safe staying here in Hermiston. but my district got destroyed. We have 4 companionship and we are the only one that is not changing. 3 of the 4 are training also. the Hermanas are getting split up as well the district leader and both of them are training. the Hermana that is leaving was in my MTC district and the District leader is going to be a zone leader. the only normal companionship are getting doubled out. So its all kinda weird. that will be this Wednesday.

This week has been awesome for me. We have been doing a lot of tracting, like always. its hard but its one of the things that i really like actually. you meet a lot of weird and funny people that you just walk away laughing. once we were talking to this older couple. they were working in there garden. they didnt let us help that was to bad. but they said that they wanted to learn more about the Book of Mormon! That was awesome, we got to explain a little bit about it. some how the old lady started telling us how she isnt very strong and yesterday she got stuck halfway up and down her outside stairs. (there is only  like 3) so she was there for like an hour. she also said that the day before she was walking up them and here foot slipped and she fell into the little pond. she couldnt get out and was there for like 2 hours. haha i was trying so hard not to laugh. she was funny about it so it was alright.  i feel like they liked us because we left there with 2 massive zucchinis! It was hard to tract after that, thats for sure.

We had a referral but he wasnt interested but his brother in-law that was living with him was. We taught some lessons with him about the plan on salvation. his mom and brother died not to long ago. i cant believe how that is. it would be so hard, especially not knowing anything about life after death. His name in G-- and has been really receptive.
We are still teaching J-- T--, our ondate, and that has been good. He came to a baptism and would just say that is beautiful. he is an amazing guy. The lessons have been going good and we never leave his house without something in hand. its kinda funny. the Hispanic people are like the Nicest people ever.  i just wish i could talk more with them. My spanish is getting so much better though. President ware teaches us that if we are conferrable we need to repent and do something different. there is no growth in the comfort zone and no comfort in the growth zone. even though thats not always fun for me, that is how i have been trying to work. it is the only we us missionaries will be able to keep up with the quickened pace of the lords work.

A cool experience is i dont know if you remember but we were teaching a little crazy kid J-- G-- but we gave him to the ward because he is 8. but he got baptized!! it was awesome! we went to his baptism and i was able to confirm him. that is an amazing experience to use the priesthood. it was awesome.

Well this is pretty much my week. thanks for writing the great letter. Remember you are all always in my prayers. Love ya all!

Elder Mortensen

Elder Mortensen, J-- G-- (newly baptized member), Elder Laffiteau

Monday, October 12, 2015

Obedience Is Important And Brings Miracle

Hey everyone!!

Life here is so great! It just keeps getting better and better. This week some of the coolest things were lessons with J-- and also the one with Y-- and K--. J-- is a referral we received from the zone leaders. The first time we went over there he was just really happy to see us. He brought us in to his tiny house. He works in the fields but he is like 50 so his body is really beat up. But he is the nicest guy. He pretty much tried to give us everything that he had in his fridge! but we only took water. we taught about the restoration and there was an awesome spirit there. We invited him to be baptized. He accepted! He is on date for the 7th of November, so we are working hard to help him be ready.  He came to church. After every meeting he would just say that that was beautiful. its amazing to see how prepared people came be. We were walking through the church and my companion was a little bit ahead of us and J-- stopped to look at the picture of Moroni hiding the plates. It was hard because he only speaks Spanish, but i was able to share a little with him of what it was and what was happening. it was awesome to have him come. we also went back to visit him that week and he had a friend, M--, over. We talked to them for a little. He was also really nice. we had a good lesson and he committed to baptism. We didn't get a date for him yet but we plan on the 7th also. With Y-- and K--. Y-- is a less active member and hasn't been to church for like 3 years. She would always have an excuse. we had a Awesome lesson, probably our best one yet, the spirit was so strong. We committed her to come to church and she came!! with her 9 year old daughter, K--. we have been teaching her with hopes of baptism. Her mom wants her to be older when she does but we think it is because of doubts that her mom has about the church. That is what the last lesson was about. All these people coming to church made the day amazing! it was good to finally see a little more results to our hard work.

We use hermano c-- some but not a lot. we need to get better at using him because it is so important to always have them. To let you know alittle about this mission the worst part is called a tiwi! it is in the cars and it moniters your driving. you have to make sure you dont go over the speed limit by very much or it will call you out. "check your speed" its so great. you have to sign in every morning and if you dont you get a no driver warning and it sends it to saltlake and the vehicle coordinator gets a email from them. its funny after that, then Elder laffiteau gets a nice voice mail getting chastised. haha its funny. we have to sign in and out every time we get in the car so that takes for ever. and ours is almost broken and takes forever. we will drive down the road because its not on then slam on the brakes so we dont get a no driver. not going to lie it makes it entertaining. one thing that is special to our mission i think is we cant wear any logos. it distracts us and pulls our minds from the work. so its funny to see all the missionaries on preparation day wearing thiee shirts inside out. we were joking how we might accidentally make it a new style up here. We also cant call preparation day Pday. i dont now why but obedience is important and brings miracles, and we need all that we can get. President ware says its good to see this mission doesnt need any big changes. we Just have to now modify all the small things to consecrate us as missionaries. all the missionaries are hoping this is preperation to soon receive ipads. i dont know but that would be so helpful.

Life in lehi sounds great though. soccer especially! that is awesome good job you two! even though it wasn't a busy week enjoy them while you have them. because they always seem to disappear. but ali's hike picture was awesome. it reminded me on a sun set yesterday. it was the coolest one i have ever seen! it covered like half the sky! it was the biggest i have ever seen. to bad we were tracting and didnt have a camera. i dont know why its always the girls in our family that get stranded in the dark and have to get saved. but thats a fun story for sure.

i dont think that it is fair you are all going the the Philippines though! its alright, you will take me somewhere cool when i get home. thanks!

with the coat i dont know if i need it. it might get cold but i have no idea. i have that one small one that i havnt needed yet. but just whatever you two think. I hope life back home and wherever you all are is always great. love you all!
Elder Mortensen

Monday, October 5, 2015

Because of Jesus Christ All Things Are Made Possible

Hey Everyone!

Time has gone by so fast i cant even believe that i have been gone for more than 2 months. its great but its just so weird. thanks for everything your always write. i always enjoy hearing about everything. life in lehi sounds like a ton of fun.  i didn't know you got a new car? did you sell the suburban? it looks nice. conference this week end was honestly SO amazing! i loved it so much. sadly none of our investigators were able to come but at least that meant that we got to watch it in English! i was pretty happy for that. my Spanish is getting lots better thats for sure.  i would have not got the same things out of the talks i dont think. i had so many of my prayers answered. i was praying about how i can teach more effectively and have more of a knowledge on what i would teach. the talk about ponderizing really stood out to me. As i thought about it more i decided that i was going to start doing this. My verse is 2 Nephi 33:6. it says "I glory in plainness; I glory in truth; I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul from hell" this answered both my questions. he taught that doing this we will learn about the scriptures and become better at knowing them. then as i look through my scriptures this scripture was another answer. i have been thinking about how to teach with more power and help more people. I learned that i need to teach with plainness and truth. I need to help others know that Jesus has suffered all things for them. because of Jesus Christ, all things are made possible. i loved this specific answer to my prayers. It strengthened my testimony in so many different ways.

my spanish. its getting better. when we are tracting we talk about half in spanish and half in english. i try to do everything in english and help with the spanish. That is helping me grow and get better. even in english it is not easy, but you see so many blessings from it. you find so many more people to teach and help. you also just feel better doing it because you know its the thing you need to do. when we are in the spanish lessons i can understand most of everything. there is always some words that i dont know. so that makes it kinda hard to follow it sometimes, but it is just getting better and better. i always pray in spanish and i think that is helping a lot. my companion says that every prayer i say they just get better and better so thats even more reason to pray continually and thats what i feel like it is. its so awesome.

this week we had an awesome lesson with H--. He is so amazing. we left him a chapter to read in the Book of Mormon about the doctrine of Christ. when we came back he read it and we really just talked about that. we had a member with us, Hermano C--, he is so amazing. he is willing to come out whenever he is home. He is permanently in a wheelchair but he doesnt let that stop him. he says he is thankful that his mental capacity is not effected. he has so much faith. that lesson went so well because of him. He said that he has already been baptized, but thats not a problem. we are talking about the priesthood next lesson.

a little bit more about conference is one thing that i dont think is fair at all. The first conference i am on a mission, Elder Holland talks about mothers! thats just not fair. i loved his talk though and i know it is so true. the closest love on this earth other then jesus is the love my mom has for me. thanks for always being so charitable. you set an amazing example for me. if i try to be anything like you i will turn out alright. going with that, my love that i have that is closest to charity is for you mom! i love you so  much. thanks for all the things you did to help me out all the way up until now. i know you still do so much for me. i love you for that and everything else.

Dad i love you to dont worry about that. i miss being with both of you guys all the time. One thing i thought was really cool is dad you are as smart as elder Bednar! at least in one thing. his talk was about the last words of prophets and how they are so amazing and powerful and important.  that is one thing i will never forget that you taught me about. thanks for always teaching me about everything especially this gospel. i look up to both of you for everything.

four amazing things this week were first the Hermiston harvests. i almost missed it but we still get to enjoy a little watermelon. it is so amazing here. second i was finally able to go to the dollar store and pay with a one dollar bill!! that was like a dream come true. it always bugged me how you needed more then a dollar. third is the first time this has ever worked in my life.  we were talking about investigators to go meet or referrals to contact, we were talking about these two guys named Juan. not even noticing we said "wait witch Juan" or which one". i died laughing because i would say that before but it never worked. it made me so happy yesterday!! fourth because my companion is still learning English he sometimes says things funny and this was the best thing said all week maybe. were were tracting on a cold night and he was like i dont like this. i was like what the cold and he said " ya it makes me have desires to have to go to the bathroom." ahh i dont know why it was so funny but i about died!!

this was just an amazing week. i love it out here. I love you all so much!!

Elder Mortensen

I loved the greenie package!  Thanks mom.

Just enjoying some watermelon!


Monday, September 28, 2015

I Work Because I Love The People And I Will Always Work Harder Because I Love the Savior

Hey everyone!!

If anyone was wondering my mission has been great!! i love it so much even though it is for sure the hardest thing that i have ever done in my life already. i am excited for it to come but i don't anticipate it to get any easier, but i am up for whatever this place has to throw at me.

But ya with the car, the only thing i get to do is back up my companion, so thats fun. he always drives. i dont know if its a rule but thats just how it is. but i am fine with it. it gives me a lot of time to mess with him. Not being mean but he is probably one of the worst at parking that i have seen. haha its funny, i always say its alright the parking spaces must be different here then they are in Honduras. so ya i guess that shows we are getting along well. it is working out to be a good companionship. we work really hard because the work here hasn't really picked up that much yet. its hard with Spanish missionaries here because the people all work like all day and we always find Americans that want to hear. we have had a lot of referrals for the other missionaries, more then we have had for ourselves. but what is really important is doing the work and helping the lord out. that is one way that i think of it to make it easier to work.

I do get time to workout every morning at 6:30 to 7. its kinda a hard time because you just want to sleep. but i have found ways to get my self out of bed and start to work out. i do a lot of push ups and ab stuff. i don't know what i want to do to stay thinner, because that is my goal, but we will see if it works. that's about all though, i haven't ran much. i only time i really run is on preparation day. we get together as a zone and play games. last week we played ultimate Frisbee, that was a lot of fun. especially because i am kinda new and i haven't gotten that much out of shape yet like the other missionaries. so that makes it even easier for me. i kinda just ran circles around them. someone also had the idea to go back to our little kid days and play tag. haha that was fun to, no one could catch me.  that really makes me feel like i am in 3rd grade when i say that. we Play some soccer. today we are playing chair soccer, and thats a ton on fun.

we haven't gotten any more meals. they are trying to be worked out with the zone leaders and the wards but i dont know what is up with those. its all good though. less time for me to get fat from actual food. the two meals that i have had, one was fresh caught fish from Mexico with the bishop. the other was pork chops with the young mens president. they were both really good. i am thankful for those kind of people that are so willing to do that for us.

so we work in the meadows and sandstone ward boundaries but all the spanish in the stake boundaries goes to hermiston ward. so all our investigators come to hermiston ward as well. we all just sit in the back and one of the missionaries translates through head sets. so that will be fun when i am the senior companion and i have to do that maybe. i hope i don't turn anyone from the church because of what i am saying. because i don't know if its always what i am actually trying. but at least i am trying.

the biggest challenge is talking to everyone. but its also where you see the blessings come from and find success. when you do this you talk to so many more people. i have faith that for the people that the lord is preparing, part of it is them being out side and us finding them. then it is just our job to talk to them. this week we found someone that is being prepared i feel. his name is H--. we found him in a small house. when we met him he hides his Book of Mormon because it is so important to him. when we meet with him you see so much love and charity in him. he takes care of a homeless guy and calls him his best friend and wants us to go try to help him and teach him. he has been an example to me of charity and how important it is. it is one thing i know everyone can always work on.

life in lehi sounds great! it sounds like there is just always a lot of good things going on and happening. i am glad to see you are all having a great time. i remember those good times.

i am so excited for general conference. i hope that i learn from it being in spanish and all that. it should be good though. i am excited to hear about the new apostles! its too bad three have to be called because we have lost three. but i am excited to hear about all the things that the lord need his people to hear and learn. this all really is a great time and an amazing privilege.

my favorite about this week is the Book of Mormon and reading it from a new perspective. i am reading it looking for humility. that is the thing that i have been trying to develop this week. i need to forget about my will and follow the lords will until my will is in line with the lords. its important to not just change behavior but to change your personality and how you think. if you change how you think you will change how you act and you will be a better disciple of the lord. i was reading at the beginning and i really liked how much humility nephi had. i never thought about how humble he really is until i concentrated on it. he does everything because it is what the lord wants him to do. he follows the lords will and because of that he receives so much power and sees so many miracles. that is what i hope to have. i need the power and authority of god to have any success in bringing his gospel to his children.

thanks for writing. i love all of you so much. i loved you all a ton before i left but being here i have found so much more love. i will never forget how to love because that is how i stay motivated. i work because i love the people and i will always work harder because i love the savior.

Elder Mortensen

sorry i dont have any other pictures of here yet. but these are my mtc teachers. they helped me so much. one is hermano sanchez and the shorter one is hermano caranza

Elder Mortensen and Hermano Caranza

Elder Mortensen and Hermano Sanchez

Monday, September 21, 2015

I Love The Book Of Mormon So Much And Hope To Love It Even More


wow before i read Briannes letters i think my life is crazy, but really, no its not at all. i don't get to drive a broken bike around or anything like that. i drive a 2014 Chevy Cruz, so its kinda like a upgrade. the down side to a car is i think that i am going to get fat while i am here. it hasn't started yet, i don't think at least, but i can feel it coming. But ya my area has a lot of English, we talk a lot in English. when we tract we bring English and Spanish Book of Mormons. when it is an English person i do mostly everything but when it is in Spanish my companion does more than me. because my Spanish is still struggling. its mostly driving around and looking for the Spanish communities.

if you didn't find the place my next hint was going to be we live under a smoker and next to a goat! but glad you found it though. me and my companion are getting along really good. i lucked out that he is a native spanish speaker. i think he might be getting sick of always helping me throughout the whole day, kinda being my walking dictionary. hey but it helps me! so i am happy for it. he is from a place called el progresso. i dont know where that is, i just know thats what it is. we have two dinners with the ward. because we are new and the bishops are still confused, we haven't been getting them, but we should a lot more starting this week. its all good if we dont because i make some pretty amazing food!! what i have everyonce in a while that i like a lot actually is, i make a sandwich with a few slices of ham, a few of turkey, some cheese and you cut two hot dogs the long way way in half, cook them and put them on the sandwich. its pretty good. i expect you to try it everyone! or at least Jaxsen.  i eat lots of sandwiches and eggs and cereal. i did have spaghetti today for lunch though, and that was good.

ya we have a walmart like right up the road so that is really nice and makes it super easy. so i don't ever struggle with having food to eat. i hope it will be like that always. even though these two weeks have flown so fast, i only have been here for two weeks so we will have to see how it works out.

but thats nice of you to send a package. you didnt beat the peerys though. but ya send it through the mission home and they will forward it to me.

the boundaries are weird i serve in the sandstone ward and the meadows ward, but us and all our hispanic investigators go to the hermiston ward so i guess i am in the hermiston ward. its pretty big we almost fill a normal sized chapel. they have a lot of really good members here that's for sure. i love them all. especially the Spanish members. i am convinced they are for sure the nicest people i have ever meet. its so awesome. maybe i will pick up on some of that. that would help me out.

my favorite thing was like the weirdest thing of the week. we were tracting and we knocked on this door and there was two kids, a brother and a sister. they were Hispanic but spoke english. but they were catholic like the rest of the people we talk to. its so crazy when someone says they arent catholic it really throws me off. but we talked to them for 2 hours on their door step!!! it was the longest thing and it was so cold. then she gave us a water bottle because she was worried that we needed some because we have been talking so much. i am thankful for nice people but, my hand i think just about fell off. and this had to be on like the only cold night of the whole week. but it was awesome. we talked about so many different things. i had time after time to answer their questions and testify what i knew to be true. at the end we said a prayer and the spirit was so strong. it was hard for them to accept it for sure but we are going back sometime later. i gave them a book of mormon and they are going to read and pray about it so that's a good start. another favorite part was we knocked on this door and a guy answered it. we were invited into his house. we learned that he  talked to a member like two years ago and he got a Book of Mormon. he was hoping that we would be able to show up again eventually. he never read the Book of Mormon but he said pointing to a locked up chest, thats where i keep everything that i have that is important to me. he hasn't even read it yet! and he knows it is so important. it made me think what i thought about the Book of Mormon. how much do i really cherish it? from this i know that when i read in this book i need to love it more then i do now, because it really is so so important. i love it so much and hope to love it even more.

this is all for today but thanks for writing i love you all so much.

Elder Mortensen

Sister Bartholomew and Elder Mortensen at the Mexico MTC

Elder Mortensen and Elder McIntosh at the Mexico MTC

Hermiston, OR

Monday, September 14, 2015

She Told Us That She Knows God Sent Us

hello family

wow! what a great letter!! those are a lot better to receive than to have to try to write. but thanks for that. its always fun to receive a throw-up letter, i guess you could call it that. The west mountain cabin sounds fun like always. you said that you don't know why the bear tracker stopped working, well i do!  it was missing its driver! i am over here in Oregon!!

but Thanks for that quote. (Note from mom.  Here is the quote:  "We are in a period of stress across the world. There are occasionally hard days for each of us. Do not despair. Do not give up. Look for the sunlight through the clouds."   --Gordan B Hinckley).  its kinda how being here has been. me and my companion Elder Laffiteau, from Hondurus, are opening up a new spanish area. so there was no work for us to start with. we had to go knocking, looking for for Hispanic people.  but the work has been a ton of fun.  one of the best things is talking to everyone. it doesn't really sound like me before the mission but i have learned to love it because its where you see the miracles. even though there have only been a few people that have wanted to hear more and most of them were english so we wont even teach them, but its fun. you always know that you are doing what you need to. the hard thing is trying to follow the spirit. a cool experience is we were stopped at a 4 way stop wondering where we should go next. my companion asked me what i was feeling and this one house kept standing out to me. i told him we should go over there so we did. we knocked once, nothing happened. so we knocked again and i was so excited because i was thinking that this is the person we are going to teach because its where the spirit told me to go and i was sure of it. so the guy opened the door and said through the screen door, oh no i have already tried you. i don't want it again, and shut the door. not going to lie i was a little disappointed. but we walked down the road and followed it around a corner. we came to this lady that was on her porch. we said hi to her and started talking to her. after we talked to her for a little, i bore my testimony and she told us that she knows god sent us. she said, how else would my new car have broken down, and i have to make a call so i am sitting here on the porch. i knew that that was the reason that i was told to go to the house that we got shut down at. it was to point us in the right way for this lady. her name was F--. she was less active and wanted to start getting into church again, and this is how she is going to she said. i gave her a Book of Mormon, my first one and that was a good feeling.  it helped me feel more confident and a few minutes later we talked to a 16 year old and he said his family talks to the missionaries some but he didn't pay attention. he said he would read the Book of Mormon after i gave him one and pay attention to the missionaries. i hope it all works out for them both. i learned that this work takes the spirit and confidence. with that it will all be okay.

my area is Hermiston Oregon. its a nice little place. because i know you stalk the missionaries here is some help. i live in a place called south gate village just off of first street. i am in the south east apartment on the bottom. in the corner of the u shaped apartment complex. you are welcome.

but ya i love it here. i hope you are all doing great. i pray for you all all the time. love you all

Elder Mortensen

PS i did get the doughnuts on Friday, thanks a ton they were amazing and i did see spencer a few times

Elder Mortensen and Elder Laffiteau