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