Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Spirit Was So Strong Even Though I Didn't Know What In The World They Were Saying


this week has been great. the best part of this week was today i went to the mexico city temple open house. it was a beautiful temple. i wish when i was back in utah that i took more advantage of the temples that were so close to me. we were talking in our district and some of them said their closest temple is like 3 hours away. its crazy to think that i had like 8 that close, or something like that. i loved being in the temple. it was the best thing. i just love temples, not much more to it. something cool about this temple is there are 5 temples in the world that the angle moroni is holding the plates and this is one of them. i dont know why it is like that, but there has to be some reason. 

thanks for that quote. (Note from mom.  Here is the quote:  "You'll never forget the feeling of satisfaction as you discover that through effort and determination you can do more than you thought possible."  it really did mean a lot to me. i always love hearing them. and i was just thinking that it is great practice in receiving revelation and an easy way to share your testimony. i know that the more you think about something and the more you pray about it, it means so much more to you and is a way to gain so much more strength. for me thats how spanish is, i dont understand much but when i hear it i feel so happy about it. today in the temple after watching the video in english we watched it in spanish and the spirit was so strong even though i didn't know what in the world they were saying.

ya soccer has been way fun. the missionaries from mexico were a little surprised because i am like the only american kid that can play soccer in this whole place. but we played volleyball with our district. it was funny, this kid was just messing around and trash talking but when we started playing i would keep hitting it to him. i spiked it at him and i hit him in the chest a couple of time. it was fun.

i think that it is actually really cool you hung out with my friends. it just made be happy when i read it and saw the pictures. dang!! school already started that so weird. i bet your pictures with all your new clothes on and backpack in front of the fake tree was fun. that was always the highlight for me. its so weird to think that ali is driving. i know you say she is a good driver but i dont know if i believe that one. she probably gets on and changes it before you send it. especially about the parking part.

ok so i have my own family funny. we were practicing teaching in spanish, i was a guy named frank with a drinking problem. the missionary who is teaching asked me how i was doing. i answered frank.  ya i felt a little stupid. i promise i am not that bad at spanish. is was just an off moment.

thanks for that quote. (Note from mom. This is the quote:  "Don’t give up, boy. Don’t you quit. … There is help and happiness ahead—a lot of it. … You keep your chin up. It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come.”  ---Elder Holland.  i will remember that. i wrote it down and have it all ready. i think it will be a lot of help for me. thanks for putting so much effort in finding something that can mean so much to me.

and mom!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! how old are you 24? i hope you have a good time back at home.

i love you tons

Elder Mortensen

Mexico City Temple
Elder Lauti and Elder Mortensen

Front Row:  Elders Stevens, Dinges, Freestone
Back Row:  Elders West, Mortensen, McGraw, Lauti, Owen
Elder Mortensen's District
I'm eating good.  A common question I get asked is: What is the weirdest food I
have eaten.  I have had some weird stuff.  I just can't tell you what it is.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

I Think Of The Missionaries In My District As Angels...Someone Sent From God To Help One Of His Children

Hello Family,

i still cant believe that i have been here for three weeks. i'm half way done of the mtc. its starting to really fly.but thanks for the prayers i have needed them. there was a really hard time this week, just not getting Spanish down as much as i wanted. i was just frustrated and down on my self i guess. i know prayers are answered, i really do. i prayed that i could be able to get help picking up my attitude and trying to just be more confident. i tried for my self just doing whatever i could do. then we all decided to pair up and help, then switch missionaries and they would help you study and memorize and learn the new grammar. that was an inspired thought that i felt was for me. it helped me not be down on my self. some of the missionaries, especially the sisters, just said things to me that really helped me out and is still helping me. i think of the missionaries in my district as angles. the bible dictionary says something like an angel is some one sent from god to help one of his children. i know that those angels and others are real. i love them all. ya i see all of my friends from home everyday. yesterday my district was out side of the store just sitting on the steps, then jordan and his companion came. his companion went into the store and i was able to talk to jordan for a while. its was great getting that time with one of my best friends. something else none of my friends back at home get, lucky me. but ya i don't know if i will ever call them elders at least right now, it doesn't work in my head. ya spanish is coming a long better. i know a lot more than i think. i just have to find some confidence. ya ping pong was way fun it was cool to win also. something about today is i got to just go shoot with a soccer ball for a little. i miss that. its just so awesome that i can still play some and hopefully through my mission. but something i learned is the missionaries from mexico like to stack the teams. because i was an american i was on the other team, but it was all good. i only hit a few people. but it was nice don't worry! they still flop even here though. ya and i know know for sure that even here missionaries from mexico don't know how to jump. i only hit one kid with my hip in the head though. so it was good. ya this is random but its ok, the hymns are just always really good here. especially when we sing god be with you til we meet again every sunday before the missionaries go to the field.

all that you have been up to sounds like a blast. its fun to see that you can actually have fun when i am not there. i didn't think that you could all do that. its probably not the same without your favorite child though. don't worry i will be back soon enough. it still scares me ali is driving. she is going to be one of those blondes that gets distracted by like a bird or something and just drive off the road. the guys haven't crashed but brianne did (note from Josh's mom...a deer ran into her :), so ali has to follow the pattern. but good luck with school and braydens marriage (another note from mom...Brayden isn't engaged!). thats one thing that i might be happy to miss. not that i don't like doing a ton of work and standing in the same place all day but its not the best. that last wedding i went to i think i went and found a dark room and took a nap on the floor.

but going with moms message. make sure you study a lot now. i still haven't had time to just study anything i want to. its always crazy and i have so much to study memorize and plan for. i also miss the temple. its weird not going. the last month i went to the temple at least once a week and now its just weird not going. but i do get to go to the open house of the mexico one here. that will be cool.

i was playing ultimate frizbee and this kid recognized my name. it ended up being tjs best friend. i don't know his first name but its elder smith, so that was pretty cool connection.

some thing that i learned is there is a quote that says "i say be one. if you are not, ye are not mine." the first thing i thought of was my family so make sure you are getting to be better friends and becoming one. " happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the lord jesus christ" so if i could tell you to do anything. do that. build on the lord and he will bless you in every way. i love you all have a great week and a great life.

Love, elder mortensen

Beautiful View

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Now I Know, All Is Well

Hey everyone!

this week has been great and super fast. this last week has honestly been faster then the first two days here. its so weird how time goes when you are here. ya my companion and I get a long really well. one of the biggest blessings for me is he is also super sarcastic. so that is good. i dont know how much our room mates like us though. But not really, they are part of our district and our district gets along better than like anyone else from what i can tell. we are always laughing and just having a great time. its cool we can have great times but then everyone can get serious and have an amazing spiritual time teaching, learning, studying or really any thing else we do. elder Hill's name is derin. i didn't know him super good but i hung out with him some talked to him a little. its just good to see a familiar face. i also saw skye mackentosh. for some reason i cant get it in my head that he changed his name to elder. i keep forgetting that with the people i know. 

yes the spanish... it is so hard but it has been really good for me. its the hardest thing i have ever done by far but i am learning to rely on the lord and do all that i can and all i am told. one of my teachers carlos told me that if i read the book of mormon in spanish next to the english one; and if i used the english one and the dictionary, that that would help me out. so i trusted him and had faith that it would help. ya i got through it super fast. i got through a whole 5 verses in first nephi only in thirty minutes!! it was so hard. it took so long. but after that studying and later that night as someone was praying in spanish, i found my self being able to understand better then i ever have. the first thought that came to my head was it was because of reading the spanish book of mormon and doing the best i could with all the effort i could.  it was a great blessing and i plan to keep doing that if i can ever find extra time. 

i cant thing of any more missionaries that are coming to mexico. i have recognized some sisters that graduated like last year. no I have not played soccer yet. i think i am today though. the food is pretty good. i guess i am lucky that i dont have a weak stomach because it is not doing so good inside alot of the elders, if you know what i mean. its a lot of mexican food with some mixed in american food. tuesdays on our p day ever dinner we get costco pizza. its the weirdest thing here. its great though. every lunch and dinner i have a salad, and every meal i have had a plate of fruit to go along with the main course.  i think there is like 800 missionaries or something here in the mtc. there was 200 that left the week before because of all the natives but this week there was like 60 missionaries that left.

thanks for the email about home. i lover hearing all about what is happening. i am jealous i didnt get to go to long lake again. that place was the best! my mission is starting to fly and it has been so great. oh ya p day we just do laundry them we have the rest of the day until dinner to do all we want. it is just messing around having a good break and having a great time. its been good for sure today. the ping pong championship that happened last week, i played the champion today and won!!! haha that made me so happy. it was funny how he pulled out his nice paddle and was all confident, then when i beat him he tossed it to his friend and went to play basketball. it was great​.

one cool thing that happened to me a few days ago was we were singing some hymns before a devotional and the song come come ye saints came up. when we were singing it i swear i could hear angles. it was the best singing i have heard the whole time i have been here. i am so glad that i am able to have such a strong testimony about all of that because of my church history trip. ya some times its a problem because i am a baby and i was crying like the whole song, but its all good. the last part of the song seemed to me that it was in english that said all is well all is well. that was an answer to all my prayers. i know that if i trust in the lord and do all i can to follow him, he will bless me and help me through everything. now i know, all is well. 

love Elder Mortensen

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Pay Special Attention To The Spirit That You Feel. Don't Forget That Feeling And Always Try To Live So It Can Always Be With You.

Hey mom!!!! 

oh ya and the rest of my family and i guess everyone kinda. i really do love you all. i didn't even have any idea of how much love i had for all of you until i had to leave at the airport. the next day was hard too. when i went to bed the only thing i could thing about is my family. it was great though. there isn't much better that i could have been thinking about. i am going to answer some of the questions. if there is any you want answered that i didn't just let me know.  but ya i walked through the security line and found myself comfortable to talk to strangers. i talked to one guy that was going to Denver for work with at and t. sorry i don't know really how to use this Mexican keyboard. but the lady i talked to served her mission in France and got home not to long ago. she was great to talk to because she told me she knew it was hard leaving and the mission will be hard, but it will be the best thing i have ever done. i am so excited to continue working hard on my mission. i walked through and waved to you all it was hard but i was just so excited. i waved and left. i got to my gate and there was like 30 elders and sisters there! it was so awesome. i went and introduced my self to them all and talked to a few of them. one that i talked to for a while ended up being in my districts being the district leader and he is already really good at Spanish. the best part is, he is my companion. his name is elder lauti from bountiful. that is a major blessing for me, especially with the Spanish. on the plane there was like 40 elders and 7 ish sisters. the seats were really close with most of the elders. i had a seat change to the 6th row not far behind first class.  i sat by my companion and 5 others from my district. there ended up being around 60 missionaries going in that day. crazy thing this week there is 200 leaving! this mtc is the second biggest in people, but by far the biggest in land. provo is 30 acres mexico is 90! its so awesome. this is a random spot to put it because i almost forgot it and am to lazy to find a good place but the first day was awesome. i had a little tour then went to lunch. i walk in and get in line. then elder Hill walked up and talked to me for a while. it was so great seeing a familiar face! then a little later elder Rowley showed up! it was so exciting to see him again. i see both of them almost everyday. especially elder Hill because he is in my branch.

the first day was the longest day i have ever had in my life! minutes would really feel like hours. there was tons of meeting and orientation. its been good though. all the elders said just make it to Sunday and you will be fine, the days after that fly. i didn't know how to believe them because the first days drug on and on. but it really did happen. Sunday was fast Sunday and that was an amazing experience. it was the best Sunday i have ever had. and testimony meeting with the branch was so awesome. if you don't stand up in the fist second after they are done speaking you wont be next. it truly is amazing. and of course i didnt have any problems knowing what to fast for. ever sense the first day i knew i needed help with Spanish. so thats what my fast was for and that was a great time. that day flew by between meeting devotionals and videos. i am going to send a picture of my journal that day so it doesn't take the whole letter.  but thanks for writing my i was so excited to see this. like it made my whole day and i have been beating everyone in volleyball and fusball and i love that. ping pong is great but there are some amazing kids that just kill me. 

one thing i was looking at is a quote from president Harold b lee. "the most important of the lords work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own home." this made me think about our names that i found in family search, but i want to write this to jaxsen. jaxsen i want you to go and get baptized for those names that i found.pay special attention to the spirit that you feel. dont forget that feeling and always try to live so it can always be with you. it is the most amazing thing that you can ever have.

and ali, sorry missed your birthday but i think i gave you the best present i could have, me leaving!! you are welcome. oh and you can have all those itunes gift card. you cant use them for crappy music! you will be fine though.

ok, mom and dad i have been thinking about both of you so much. i miss and love you both so much. in my setting apart blessing it says to look to my parents example when i have questions or don't know what so do. i have thought about you both lots and doing things as you would. like nephi, i have been of goodly parents. but lucky for me they are great. thanks for writing me. 

love Elder Mortensen

Elder Lauti and Elder Mortensen

Elder Mortensen and Elder Rowley

Elder Mortensen's District