Tuesday, December 27, 2016

It's Cool To Be Able To See The Spirit Work Through You

Hello again!! 

it seems like it was just two days ago i just talked to you all! Its kinda weird to think that we skyped again! It was was super awesome to talk to the family again, it is always a great time. After Sunday I realized more that my family really are all my best friends. Its cool to feel so good with people you haven't talked to in a long time and after you just think back and think, Wow, that was great!  I love you all so much. 

Not much has happened since Sunday.  Sunday we ended up going to a family's house around 3 and we were there for most of the day. They really wanted us to stay and they had it figured out how to keep us. We got there and Dinner was running late. Then we ate and talked for a while then they opened some presents. They gave us Socks! best gift ever! haha it was cool though. then they told us to play some games until pie is done. so we did that and then ate pie then they wanted us to play some games again! so it was actually a ton of fun. There was lots of little kids to bug, so what else could you want! It kinda reminded me of Christmas back home going over to one of the grandparents house. So it was super fun. 

Yesterday we did a lot of finding. We didnt have to much luck with new people to find, but we did find a couple of people that might have some potential that we are going to try by again. We also taught two lessons with some less active members. We read in the Book of Mormon and explained the the story and the teachings. It was in spanish and some of the questions he asked about the exact meaning of the scripture verses and it threw my head in a loop a little bit. We were able to give him good answers though. Its always cool when you start answering and you dont have a super clear thought, but as you keep going you come up with a good answer and end up teaching them and yourself. Its cool to be able to see the spirit work though you. With the others, we watched some of the Bible Videos. He knows for sure he is coming back to church and were talking about getting his mom and daughter to church again. As we got up to leave we walked through the kitchen and i didnt see any food so i thought we were free. They almost always give us some food. Then one of the friends that were over there asked us if we wanted some tamales. then ran out side to get them before we left. so we for sure get taken care of for food everyday, even when its not planned or if we are already full, we seem to always get more somewhere. 

Today we have a lesson with R-- and A-. As of a few weeks ago there are new investigators. they are super awesome. They are the ones with the two young kids that are reading in the Book of Mormon and planning to come to church. We are super excited for that. We have some good lessons planned, a exchange and a District council. So this will for sure be a good week!

It was fun to see so many pictures of Christmas! i hope it was great for all of you. It sure looked like it was a fun one. I hope you all have a great rest of the Break from school and that you can still keep doing all those fun things that i am missing out on. It seems like when i was home we never did any of those kinds of things. But its cool to see you all the things i have to look forward to after the mission. Happy New Years!! i love you all!

Elder Mortensen

there is a few picture of opening Christmas, but here is one of them.


The other picture is us trying to weekly plan on Christmas eve. It kinda worked to plan.  

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Skype

On Christmas Day we were able to skype with Josh at  12:30 p.m.  This was definitely the best part of Christmas.  Josh was super happy.  We loved hearing updates about his missionary work and his plans for Christmas Day!  We ended our time with a family prayer.  It was a wonderful moment!



Monday, December 19, 2016

Surprise Text Message

I love surprise text messages!  This made my day!


Hello!  This is Sister Cannon from Benton City WA.  I was able to give these handsome young Elders haircuts today!  They are all awesome and working hard!  Thank you for sharing your son's with us.

Love, Sister Cannon



The Service Is What Makes Christmas As A Missionary So Great

Hello!! 

i dont really know what to write about this week. I am just sitting here and there are way to many thoughts going through my head about everything. But i guess i can start with the area. Its been really good for the first part of the transfer. Its been really good being here with Elder Stevens. It is the first time that i have been companions with someone that i knew when we got transfer calls. All the other ones i have never served around. So its been fun. He is a great Elder. He has a lot of charity and patience so i am sure this will be a great companionship. He is a little quiet and sometimes is fine not talking and letting me do most of it. So that is something we are going to have to work on. But its not going to be a problem at all. I am super excited! It is going to be a fun Christmas. We found C-- again. i think i told you about her. She is from Guatemala. We talked to her husband S-- and he is actually a member. He has been away from the church for a long time and doesn't know really anything about it. But they are both awesome. They were headed off to another church when we were talking so we didnt get much time to talk. But they are going to be reading the Book of Mormon and they want us to come back and teach them. So they have a lot of potential. We also got a good referral from the Sisters here. His name is T--. He is on date for baptism! so we are excited to go teach him. We are planning on finding him tonight.  The way we are working the area is treating it like we are getting doubled in. So both of us being new. The area has been worked kinda weird and we feel the area has a lot more potential then we are seeing right now. So we are kinda dropping everything and doing finding. There is for sure some people we are still visiting though. Its not the best time for finding, but it still works. This week we were walking around working and we got back in the car to warm up and drove around to a new area. When we got there it said it was 1 degree! so its been kinda a cold winter here. We got a little more snow but not to much.there is a member that gave me a pair of boots. so i have stayed pretty warm.  Its super funny when you knock on a door and they open up and say its too cold we need to go find a place to warm up, but are not willing to let us in. It makes me laugh every time it happens. 

We are excited for this Christmas. Especially Skype! The plan is we are going over to the Lloyds house at around 11. So that is pretty much the plan. i have the skype from last Christmas. its the user name of bradmorty and the account i am looking for is bradandlaurimortensen.   Then it should work from there. That is at least the instructions from last year. Wow that seems a lot longer than just a year ago. 

It sounds like it was a fun week. I have to agree, Dads sweater is the best! but the thing that surprised me the most is Jaxsen! he isnt so little anymore. Weird...   But i really liked the message dad shared at the ward party. Its been cool to also talk to the members about the things they have been doing. I think it is a great idea from the church and has for sure shared a lot of light! The service is what makes Christmas as a missionary so great, and now more people have been able to do more service and i am sure it has just been a great experience for everyone that has been able to do it. 

I hope you all have a great Christmas! Its exciting to hear about all the things that have been happening this Christmas season. I love how its not just a Christmas day and done. But that it is a season. Its even more of a reason to talk about and think of Christ more. Its makes it easier to keep our promise that we will remember him always. I hope you all can continue to remember Christ and share his spirit with those around you all with your example and words. i Love you all! i will be excited for the Sunday!!  Have a great week leading up to Christmas!!

Elder Mortensen!

Elder Stevens and Elder Mortensen

Monday, December 12, 2016

I Have Learned How To Accept Gods Will And Act Upon It

Hello!! 

This was a crazy week! The craziest thing probably is that transfers are already here! this transfer was only 5 weeks because they didnt want to have one right before Christmas. but i am still staying here! Elder Matalolo is going to Kennewick though. Its to bad, we really did have a good time here. But... Its going to be cool because i am with Elder Stevens! You probably dont remember him, but he was in my MTC district. We actually shared a room. He is from Alabama, so it is going to be a ton of fun. Also we have snow! there is like 4 inches. We were told that we cant drive to day yet until the roads clear up because there is already a crash in the mission. so we walked to the church. We got a lot of weird looks. Most people here have kinda shut down because of the snow. School is canceled today also. 

This week we went on another exchange. I was with an elder in Prosser! it was super cool we saw T--! she is the one that i baptized there! it was so awesome to see her again. She was excited too. It was weird to go there and see so many people that i knew. It was fun though. This week the coolest lesson was a lesson that in a way didnt end as we would hope, but it was a good one. We went to try to find a potential investigator, S--. We ended up finding him and his wife. We taught then the Restoration. Last week in Zone training meeting i gave a training of teaching the First Vision. Part of it was that as we share the first vision it should be memorized. We should try to use the words of Joseph Smith, then share our testimonies. As we were teaching it went pretty good. Spanish is for sure not easy for either of us but we were able to share all that we needed. Elder Matalolo is still working on learning and its been hard. But after i shared the first vision and bore my testimony he shared his. He struggled a little to share it but the spirit was so strong. to not worry about how you are going to say it and just speak and not worry about if it comes out perfect takes a lot of faith so it also invites the spirit very strongly.  As i was watching S-- you could for sure tell that he was feeling the Spirit. As we finished teaching they said that it doesn't really interest them to read the Book of Mormon that they dont really read the Bible either. But We know they felt the Spirit. We invited them to specifically pray about if Joseph Smith is a prophet. They said they will do that. So it didn't go perfectly in the end, but we really did do all that we could. it was cool to see the Spirit work with us and with them. 

Well that lesson kinda answers most of the questions. other then the one about the best thing that i have learned. That would probably be that i have learned how to accept Gods will and act upon it. its something that has been coming up a lot in my studies for some reason. It is something that isnt hard to learn, its just hard to live it. The way God helps us learn his will is his words, the scriptures, and probably more important, the spirit will tell us. As i have been in the Scriptures more and more everyday i have learned the things that i must do and as i go through out the days the spirit has told me what to do. As i listen to the spirit and act on promptings, the spirit either speaks more or i hear more of what he is trying to say. it is the most important thing i have learned and am still trying to do. the way i have been thinking about it is to move the Gospel into my Heart. To make sure that i dont just do what i need to do, but become who God needs me to become. 

So it was a great week! the funniest thing that happened was to see elder Matalolo in the snow! just think of a 6 foot 200 pound kid seeing snow and being in it really for the first time ever! its great! Haha he grabbing some snow then i started to run away because i knew he was going to throw it at me. I was coming up on the car and i unlocked it and was going to jump in. I looked back right as he lost his footing and fell flat on his back. haha then i threw some snow at him. it was super funny. It was right in the middle of the road. 

It cool to hear about all the things that are happening back at home. Its cool to hear about the Lower Lights concert! i have for sure listened to them. They have a CD that a few of the missionaries have. Its like the missionary pump up songs. They are fun to listen to. i hope you get more snow! Snow is the best! i hope you all have a great week! i love you all!

Elder Mortensen

PS: for christmas i am not sure what we will be doing probably Skype. our church starts at 9:30 so it will probably be some time soon after church. 

also i have thought some about college and that kind of stuff. In one of my areas there is a member that is a chiropractor and we talked about it a little. It interests me and has been something that has been coming to mind. I have also been thinking of SUU to start at. I dont know if that would be a good school to get started for that kind of thing or what not. But that is what i have been thinking. i would like to hear your opinion also. That  would be good help for this. 

 
District Council

Monday, December 5, 2016

One Thing That President White Has Counseled Us To Do Is Just One More.

Hello!! again!   

This was a pretty good week. It was kinda crazy. We had two different exchanges this week. One with the Zone leaders and the other I was with an elder in the district, Elder Yates. They were both really good exchanges. We were able to see great miracles in both of these exchanges. The exchange i had with Elder Torgersen was so cool. He is one of our Zone leaders, the other is Elder Van Wagoner, He is from Highland. He played soccer at Lone Peak. So it makes Soccer on preparation day even that much more fun. i get to beat someone from lone peak again! No, i mess with him a lot though. But the exchange! I was in there area. Which was Prosser! Not the same part of prosser that i covered when i was up there, but across the river. I will be back in Prosser in the same area i served in on exchanges this week though. We drove out to the country and stopped and prayed where we should go to do some finding. We felt we should go a little farther. So we went up farther into the country. The first door we knocked on opened right up and we had a good little conversation. He was actually pretty interested in learning. Then we walked up the street and talked to some other people. We didnt have much success. We got back in the car and felt we should go back down the road we were knocking on but the other way. So we knocked some doors up the road. It was time for lunch so we walked down to our car. As we were just getting in Elder Torgersen said lets knock one more. One thing that President White has counseled us to do is just one more. Just one more door, talk to one more person, invite one more person to be baptized, whatever it might be. So we walked across the street and knocked one more door. Then this older guy opened the door and told us to come in. He didnt really know what we did as missionaries but wanted to know. He had a stroke and had to relearn how to talk and then he found out that he has cancer, so he has a really hard life right now. We had a great conversation with him. He broke down a little and we were able to help him see how the gospel will help. We started to just talk about his family and he said his nephew is having a hard time to, just not getting put in to jail over and over again. Then before you know it that nephew and his mom came to visit. They walked in and the nephew M-- said, The Mormons! hey i am Mormon. He was baptized 15 years ago and just got pulled into some gang stuff. But long story shortish, J-- the old guy, and M-- his sister were both put on date for baptism on January 6th! They invited them over to dinner the next Friday. They said that they wanted to invite their whole family over and they taught all of them! and got Carne asada! It was so amazing to see that happen. M-- was so happy and had the biggest smile on his face when we started to talk about baptism. but the next day on exchange we didnt have much time in the morning we had a time to go help someone rake leaves. We prayed to know what door to knock on and we got out of the car and the first door opened up and we had a great conversation. her name is C--. They took the discussions somewhere in south America, i cant remember right now where. They want to learn! she invited us in but we couldnt because her husband wasnt home. But we are going back soon.  That night we finished working and we had to head back to the car to drive to Prosser to exchange back. We decided to knock just one more door. We walked past our car and knocked the house we were kinda parked by. Then D-- opened up! she is also super prepared to learn too! She lives part time in Idaho and the other part here. She said that he has been thinking of who God really is and she is curious about our religion. She has been around it and wants to learn more. Her Husband wasn't there but but she invited us back over tomorrow, Tuesday.  We are excited to go back and teach her! So it was a week of exchange miracles! it was super cool!  

We also taught J-- this week again. He is going through a divorce, i think i said that before, and its been really hard for him. Its just officially happening so he is really distracted. But he said that he feels satan is trying to make him lose his faith, but that he isnt going to loose his faith. The first time we came over he was wondering if God was really there, but now he says that he knows there is a god. He said he has been able to see him help him and his faith grow. Its been cool to see him be strengthened. We are going to keep visiting him and trying to help him. 

But yes we were able to watch the devotional with a less active guy named A-- B--. He is super cool. He is still ordained as a stake 70, from way back when they had those. i dont know what they were until he told us what they are. But it was really cool. It makes be happy to hear that you are doing the 25 days of service! We share that a lot! we have cards for it that we give to pretty much everyone! Its been cool. I really like the video and really like the ideas of service it has for it. 

It sounds like it was a great week for you all! Its so cool you were able to do the Live Nativity!! that is like my favorite thing! i hope that it went good and then no one froze! i am jealous that you got to sled on the roads!! and that you have snow!! we dont have any here. But speaking of here you did find the building i live in. Its the blueish one, The second one and its the top left room. 

real fast because this is super long already, but the funniest thing that happened was on exchanges. We went out to a dinner in the middle of nowhere. We couldnt find it exactly so we called the family but they wouldnt answer. It ended up that we had the home number and no one was home! Then we got a call form the sisters and they said they talked to this family we were eating with and they needed our number. so we got it and we called them. They said that we can break into their house and there is some lasagna in the oven. They were an hour out so we can just go eat. They told us to make ourselves at home and find and eat all we wanted. So, we did! it was so weird! it was funny though. We found some rolls and some cookies and milk! they got there right as were were finishing and we ate all they planned on us eating. So we didnt break into their secret stash or anything. Also i ate the weirdest food i ever have in my life! it was a Cow head. We walked into the kitchen and he had both hands in the eye trying to pull it out. So this meal we ate cow eyes, brain, jaw and tongue. So it was super weird, but it wasnt to bad. We both got it all down with out any problem. 

But i hope you have a great week! Sorry i dont have pictures but you do have a long letter. so i hope that makes up for it! i love you all!

Elder Mortensen

Ps i thought of something you could send in a package. my futsol shoes. i really dont know if i spelled that one right. my other ones ripped and i got some from Walmart that work good for everything except for sports. so i would appreciate that! that would be awesome. But for the other little gifts for members or what not, just whatever works really. I am not sure what it would be or anything. But thanks for doing that!

Monday, November 28, 2016

He Said Right When He Needed It The Missionaries Showed Up

Happy late Thanksgiving! 


I hope it was a eventful week! It looked like a ton of fun! I liked all the pictures! Its weird to think that that it was thanksgiving last week. It feels like it was for ever ago. Our day was good though. We went around before the meal at the church inviting more people to come. No one ended up coming that we invited that morning or the days before, but it was good. I dont know why people wouldnt want to come to have a free feast, but i guess they didnt. that is the only meal we had that day, other than little ones at our apartment, but it was good i only got really full instead of double that like last year. I dont really have any pictures from that but i know one of the members that took a picture of us as we were eating and had me write our your number, mom. so i hope it got to you! and if not maybe one day it will! There was about 40 of the members there. It is about what the expected so there was plenty of food. I couldnt say i had a favorite, it was all really good. but we did take some Cheesecake home! 


We had a few lessons this week, but not to many. One of the crazy ones was a lesson that we brought a member to. Elder Matalolo had taught him before and know that he really wanted the Book of Mormon proved to him, like Historically and everything would have to make sense. there is a member in the ward, Brother F--, that when he was baptized that is what he said he needed and wanted to know. So we brought him. we expected it to go kinda crazy but not how much it did! It was crazy! and super long. It wasnt arguing or anything there was just a lot of talking about so many different things and some of the things were really deep. It ended really good and the member really wants to help This guy, D--, so he is writing him a letter and he wanted his phone number so he could call him. The member is so excited, and is super cool!  We were talking to our ward mission leader and told him we brought Bro F-- and D-- is very similar to Bro F--. His response was, oh so you talked about how the weather cycles work on Kolob? so if that gives you a hint into who is Bro F--. He is a chemical engineer and a genius. But crazy. 

We are teaching this guy names J--, He is an MMA fighter, so its kinda cool. But he is going through a divorce and its been really hard and he said right when he needed it the missionaries showed up. He says that he never turns anyone down and he wanted to learn more about the Mormons and read the Book of Mormon. We had some good lessons with him. He is working at the school and training for his fights so he is really busy but God is something that he wasnts to have be a bigger part in his life, so thats why were are there i guess. We have a lot of hope for him. 

I hope you all have a great week!  i love you all! have a good rest of the time in school before Christmas break!! Bye Bye!!

Elder Mortensen

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Gift of Tongues Is Real! It Has Worked Miracles Here With Me!

Hi!!! Again! 

It is weird to be here in Benton City. It definitely is not the same as being in Pasco. Especially from being in Pasco YSA!  Haha. We had fast and testimony meeting this last week. The biggest difference is here the ward is full of old people! The meeting turned more into fast and testimony and story sharing meeting! It is weird being around so many old people. I am going to have to figure out how to do this kinda of work again. The area has a lot of people to teach, but not a lot of people that have been doing anything really. The last companionship kinda just kept teaching people even if they werent going to ever change. they just like to hear a message. So its a little different.I am not going to come in and change it super fast because my companion Elder Matalolo has been here for 3 months and it isnt right to just come and take control when i dont know how the area works. So we will have to see how it all works. The area book was not wrote out. i went through and cleaned that out. I had Elder Matalolo write the lessons that were taught to investigators and the things they have been taught. Also drop the people that have record but arent being taught and making record for the people that are being taught. So the area had a lot of work done in it, but it wasnt taken care of super well. We have some cool people to teach though. Benton is a little town and most of the neighborhoods are trailer parks. There is a lot of spanish and english work.  It has been really good for me especially for learning Spanish. I dont know why but before i have not really been good at speaking to people in Spanish, part of the reason is having companions that are fluent in Spanish so i never really need to carry a conversation, Just kinda be there and add things. But here we are both very much not fluent and i have have to carry the conversations. The gift of tongues is real! It has worked miracles here with me. It is the first time where i have not had to worry about not understanding and not worry about how to say it back. Spanish is just starting to work! it is great i still have a long way to go though. But i am so excited that it is getting better. 

Its been good being a district leader! i haven't had to do anything. I feel a lot more prepared again this time around. Just because i have done it before and i have only gotten better as a missionary. My companion is from St George. He is half Samoan and half Navajo. He is a really good missionary. Not much happened this week yet. we had a really good Zone Conference yesterday with Elder Zaballos of the 70. He taught alot about how to help our investigators. The biggest thing is doing the things to help them understand that they need to do certain things to gain a testimony. It was super good. But thats about all i have to write about today.

Its good to hear that things at home are still good. It was cool to hear the experience about ali and dads trip that didnt work out but at the same time worked how it needed to. That is really cool. I hope everything goes great this next week for all of you! i love you all!

Elder Mortensen. 

This is Elder Matalolo!!


Also Elder Laffiteau, my trainer is in my 
zone! This is his posterity. Mom if you 
don't know what i am talking about ask Brayden, he will know.

This is kinda cool. This is the Lehi clan that was at the Zone conference. Elder Tolman and Sister Daniels. I have been in school with Elder Tolman sense kindergarten. so its weird to see him. There are 7 missionaries total here from Lehi  It's weird. 

Last night in Pasco!


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

He Feels Like He Has A Family Now Here In The Church

Well Hello!! 

I dont even know what to say about this week. But it was awesome! M-- got baptized!! It was a great day!! it was super powerful!  We had a district council and right after we had to go and start filling up the font. The font looked pretty big and i was excited because M-- is a big guy. But of course it cant go perfect. when it was time for him to be baptized i walked into the water and then him. To my surprise, the water only went a few inches above my knees! the drain wasnt super tight and the water went down, but only a little, the font was just tiny! But it ended up working good. When he was under the water his knee came up, you cant blame him because the water was so shallow. So i somehow used my elbow to push it under. After i talked to the other missionaries and no one noticed that i did that! haha so it worked! After we changed and came it to the room, the spirit was so strong. Elder corral and a missionary that taught him before were teaching the restoration and sharing their testimonies. M-- was super excited after his baptism. He also said the closing prayer and thanked God for the chance that he had to be baptized. I cant even explain how awesome all this was.  This Sunday he turned and asked if he could go and bear his testimony. He was the second one up and shared the greatest testimony i have heard from a convert. He was still M--, he talked about how he loves to lift, but he shared that as he was growing up he never had a family really, he shared how he was taught how to live from being on the streets and in jail. He said that the only thing that got him to the point he is at right now is His father. From knowing him he was talking about God, he doenst know his Dad. He told everyone thanks for what they have done and that he feels like he has a family now here in the church. The spirit was amazing. Elder corral was almost in tears, i was almost in tears, M-- was almost in tears, and everyone we talked to after about it was almost in tears. It really softened the hearts of the members and they know that M-- really is there because he knows that it is true. I always knew M-- had made a lot of changes and he was prepared and has done everything he needs to be baptized, but after sacrament meeting i was able to see that he really has internalized the things that we have taught him. He also found a job and said it is all because of prayer and he was doing what god wants him to do. M-- is super awesome! that was the biggest thing that happened and not much more  happened. We did teach many people other then M-- this week. C-- had to work a ton and we didnt find him.

The other big part of news is Yes, transfers are this week. We finished nightly planning on Sunday and i was just like sweet, no calls that means no leadership for us this transfer. then as i was on my way out of the room i looked at the phone and saw we had a voicemail. It was President. So we called him back and well, we are both leaving this area! it sucks. I will be going over to Benton city. It is west of Richland near Prosser. I will actually be in the same Spanish group i was in when i was in Prosser! i will be in a Spanish and an English ward in Benton city. It is going to be super awesome. I will also be going back to be a District leader. So pray for my district, they are going to need it! Elder Corral is going down to Hermiston near where i started my mission. It is super exciting and weird that i am leaving. I am not excited to leave but i am excited for my new area.

it sounds like a great week end! I am jealous that you already had Thanksgiving! we already had plans to eat it with this super awesome family, but we will be gone, so that wont happen i guess. Its good to hear that Jaxsen did good in his race! that he didnt fall this time! It is so cool that Grandma and Grandpa are on another mission! They are great! i am excited for them.

thanks again for the Email! it is always a great time but also a very fast hour and a half. I will for sure have some new things to write about this week! i hope you all dong get to board of my letters!! but have a great week! i love you all!

Elder Mortensen

Elder Corral, M--, Elder Mortensen



He's looking like a Mormon!!


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

hello! 

It definitely sounds like it was a fun week! Haha the first thing that comes to mind is Jaxsen crashing in his race. I feel a little responsible for that. I might have jinxed  him from earlier. I told him not to crash! but i hope there was a GoPro on. Haha it makes me laugh that Brianne won all of the Shooting competitions! that is super awesome! For you dad, looking good. Its also kinda funny that Ali probably knows more of what she is going to do in college then me. I should probably put a little of effort into thinking about it. But good for her. 

this week here was awesome! definitely the greatest news i could tell you is we found M--! He is doing great! He is also getting baptized this week!! He is super excited. So are we. Its a little bit stressing though. Right now we are planning the baptism, and another interview with him, and the hardest part is finding him rides. He has to keep working so he can start to save up some money so he can get a car. So there is still a lot more work to do there. It has been really good to be able to see him progress to this point. If there is anything that i would ask for some extra prayers for it would be for that baptism to go good and especially for M--. Thanks for all the prayers that have been said for him already.  

C-- is also doing pretty good. We had a really good lesson with him on exchanges. He wanted more information and was trying to understand more about the gospel. We taught him the lesson of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He really liked it. It was a super good lesson. It was very different to teach with someone that has been on the mission for a while. My last two companions being newer and its just different. once you have been on the mission you start to think more a like. It probably is being more in tune to the spirit and receiving the same things more often. We still are focusing on baptism for him and helping him get ready for that point. 

For A--, she actually moved out to Spokane. So we aren't teaching her anymore. She needed a change in lifestyle. So she wanted to move somewhere different and get a new start.   That for the most part is the people that we are teaching. We are also working with this guy named J--. He is Less active. He is working a job that makes him not be able to go to church on Sundays. So he tells us we are his Church for now. he is also preparing for his Patriarchal blessing, so we are helping him keep learning and keep praying. He is doing good though. 

We did get a chance to do some service this week. We go every week to this place called Union Gospel Mission. We pack fruit and vegetables into boxes and they give them out some where. We have also been working with the City and working in their fields. That is ending here soon because of winter though. 

Well that is what i got for today! i might be more if this keyboard didnt suck. But is does, so sorry! I love you all!! Have a good week!

Elder Mortensen

Ps pictures!


This was on exchanges. Elder Somerville is from Lehi!
I recognized him but didn't know him.



I also carved a pumpkin!  I didnt have a light 
so I put a lamp in it. It actually worked!



Also getting read for the rain! Its been crazy! so it was 
time to pull out he massive jacket that makes me look funny.


We moved into our new apartment and there was a 
football on the roof right out side the window in front 
of my desk. It was to distracting for studies that we 
had no choice but to go get it. And I didnt fall!


Monday, October 24, 2016

She Looked At Him And Pretty Much Told Him That He Needs To Start Doing More And Then His Faith Will Be Enough And He Will Know It Is True

Hello! 

Well... this was another crazy week! It was a good one though. But yes you are right, that is the life of a missionary and you wouldn't want it any other way. Guess what, M-- came to FHE! the thing is we still dont really know what happened to him, but we did find him and get a chance to talk to him. Elder Corral was talking to him and asked him about baptism. He said he hasn't done anything wrong. So Its at least on his mind and he is trying to be ready in a way. We still haven't been able to  teach him or meet with him again, but he seems to be doing good. His life is just crazy. He actually for some reason got kicked out of where he was living so he is now in Richland. So we cant really just go look for him over there. But He is planning on coming to FHE again today. Its been a wild ride with him. I cant wait until he has a car. right now we are finding him rides to everything he wants to come to. So it is a lot of work. This is a big part of YSA work for some reason, finding people rides. 

We did get another chance to teach C-- again. He has a lot of questions. the big thing for him is he doesn't understand the need for the Book of Mormon. We have answered all his questions with our thoughts and scriptures and testimony and then we just told him that now it comes down to him reading and praying and getting an answer that its true. Then he will know why we need it. He is for sure sincere and is putting some work into finding out if it is true. It was a good lesson. At the end It was kinda an awkward time but i felt like i needed to share a scripture from the Book of Mormon about the Atonement and bear him my testimony. It was actually really cool. After the lesson Elder Corral said that it brought the spirit in really strong. That is something i realized that i want to do more of. Just as we are talking to people wherever i might be to share a scripture and a testimony with them so they can feel something. So if we come back or when other missionaries come back they can remember that they felt something. At the end of sharing with him, his friend asked if she could share a scripture. She shared a scripture in James about how we need works. She looked at him and pretty much told him that he needs to start doing more and then his faith will be enough and he will know it is true. It sounded a little nicer then that, but that was the message. It was super awesome!

the studying is still super cool. I am just going in logical order so probably not perfect chronological order but there is a lot of different things that stand out as i have read it this way. Mostly to see the little differences of the stories they tell of Christ. Also to see what stories and events are told by more then one person and sometimes just one person. putting it together in this way just helps it make a lot of sense. 

The YSA branch is great. They actually do feed us almost every night. Better then any other branch i have been in so far. it makes me realize how funny it is when a big family ward says its too hard to feed the missionaries everyday. They just need to look at this branch and see that its not to bad. Its good to get a chance to talk to the members more. It is an easy time to just get to know them and then get to the point we can encourage them to do more missionary work and ask to teach their friends. That is probably the best part of YSA work. It takes a true friendship before any work gets done. We have great friendships and are now ready for the work to take off! 

Lehi still sounds great!! it sounds like lots of things are still going on. I am a little jealous that you got to go to the Mountains! I haven't seen those is a long while! Whenever i see a picture of them i am just like, Dang, we dont have those here. But its all good i guess. Sounds like Jaxsen is still doing great with his biking. I hope he never crashes to bad, but if he does at least you have video of it on that GoPro! 

Thanks for the Email again! it was great!! i love you all!

Elder Mortensen

 PS Just to answer one on your questions, my favorite thing to eat is Breakfast foods!! i have pancakes or eggs for most of my lunchs. 

also we have pictures but we will have to send them next week, they are on E. Corrals camera and right now i am with E. Owen ( he was is my MTC District) because our companions are in the Choir and are at practice right now. They have a choir because the 70 that is coming next month requested one. SO that is where E Corral is!

Monday, October 17, 2016

He Also Saw Many Miracles And Said They Were From God. So He Knows. We Might Just Have To Help Him Realize It Again

Hello!! 

this was a crazy week. I dont really know why but for the last half of the week i felt like by brain was on overload! There was a ton going on in my mind and it was crazy! It was Probably the weirdest feeling headache that i have ever felt. But i guess it was a sign of working hard. The days and weeks just keep on flying. They have all been so good though.  This week we finally got in contact with M-- again! We had a few lessons planned that he said he was going to be able to make it to. But he didnt show up to either of the lessons that were planned.  It is great that we now have a little more contact with him, but we still dont know what happened or what is still happening. he did move up here to Pasco finally. we dont know exactly where. There is this big neighborhood behind Walmart that he said he lives in. so we might just have to go knock the whole thing to find him. Because of the people he lives with he would still rather meet at the institute building for the lessons. We hope that we are going to be able to find him this week and get a chance to talk to him. He will come around soon enough. He had a great time at church. Something that he wasnt able to have in the same way anywhere else. He also saw many miracles and said they were from God. So he knows. We might just have to help him realize it again. 

A super awesome miracle we saw this week was we received a referral from the Relief Society President in the Kennewick YSA. Her friend C-- lives over here in Pasco. We were able to have a good lesson with them both. He grew up Christian and dosent remember much but still believes in Christ. So it was kinda hard to teach him because he know a lot but there is a lot of holes in what he knows. but he accepted all that we had to share about the Restoration. He also accepted a baptismal date! He said that he would be baptized when he knows that these things are true and when we invited him to a date he first said that it seemed to early. We were able to help him understand the importance of putting a date as a goal to work toward and we were able to bare testimony to him.  He accepted a date for the 12th of November. We hope that we will be able to start working with him more and more this next week so he will feel ready for baptism. 

That is the big thing that President White is pushing, Baptism! He has told us a promise he was given from one of the Seventy, as he always focuses on baptism that the missionaries will follow and success will happen. As a mission we are trying to invite everyone to baptism. Of course every lesson as it was before and more and more as we are just talking to people on the streets and at their doors. It is going to be hard and probably awkward at times, but that just seems to be how missionary work is. 

My interview went really good with President White. the 20 minute interview went 10 minutes long but it was still one of the shortest ones. President was there for 10 hours doing interviews. One of the biggest changes from that interview is how i study. He invited me to study a little different than i have probably ever before. He was right. It is to read the 4 gospels in chronological order. To skip back and forth and as teaching or events come up in the Book of Mormon, to read them there too. He said it will help to bring the bible and the Book of Mormon together and i will understand them better. an example, i dont remember how many of the 4 Gospels has the birth of Christ, i think it is 3 of them. But than as i read those to go to the Book of Mormon to read of the prophecies and signs of his birth.  It has been really cool. It has been kinda hard, but it actually feels like a scripture Study, not just reading them. 

well that is for sure the big parts of my week. Another thing that just came to mind is after church we had a "linger longer". it is just a pot luck after church to get the members to stay and then have a good time together. It was great and we also got all the leftovers!! 

It sounds like there is still a lot of fun things that are going on back at home. i think that it is super cool the activity they did with the refugees. That would for sure be something you would always remember. I am sure it is something they will always remember too. Mountain biking still looks fun, even if its not a great as soccer. But its alright. I bet it has been fun for Jaxsen. Good luck with the ward. I hope you all have a great week! talk to you next week! well kinda. I Love yo u all!! 

Elder Mortensen


Ps: This wasnt staged! this is just another normal day as a missionary! ties, candy, cookies on the ironing board shaving and eating some good food. Its great being a missionary!



Also i wanted to let you know mom, that i dont just eat sandwiches anymore. I improved my cooking skills. 



Monday, October 10, 2016

It's Hard To See Someone Going Through So Much And Know We Have The Things That Will Help, But They Don't Know That And Wont Do Some Of The Things That Really Will Help Them

Hello!! 

This was a crazy week! It was for sure a weird one! well the biggest thing on my mind, its not to fun, M-- disappeared! After his interview last week he was all good and ready to be baptized. his date was 2 days ago. But we havent seen him and havent been able to get in contact with him. He lives in Kennewick still so we cant go and look at his house so we did the next best idea. There is this taco truck that he is at all the time. He kinda just hangs around there. So we ate a lot of tacos during a couple of different days, but we didnt find him. He did text back one of our members inviting him to an activity. He didnt end up going but the good thing is that he answered. He also loves Facebook so the members can help us out with that. There is a lot of things that work on investigators in a negative way when they are close to baptism. This, i am sure, is what is happening with him. It might take a little more time, he does love the church, so he will come back some time soon. its kinda been a little crappy because of that, but it was a good week still. A-- fell into some more bad habits and didnt really want to talk to us because she felt guilty. We talked to a recent convert that she lives with and she said that A-- is just having a hard time with life and everything about it right now. Its hard to see someone going through so much and know we have the things that will help, but they dont know that and wont do some of the things that really will help them. this week has obviously been super full of prayer, with our two main investigators falling off a little. 

We had exchanges this week and i went with our district leader in his area. Before the day started i told him that we are going to work in his area but find a YSA for our companionship to teach. We did! We were knocking around at 11 just before lunch. there was this guy named I--. We had a really good lesson with him. He is hard to explain. he is opened minded kinda. He told us that he dosent believe in God because he cant prove it. But he also cant prove that god isnt real so he believes there could be a god. So it is going to be interesting to teach him. He is reading the Book of Mormon and there is a lot of power in that, so there is a lot of hope for him. he is pretty cool. 

This next week is going to be good. We are going to do a lot more member work. We have been trying to get that going but it hasnt worked super good yet. We also have interviews with president. Those are always really good. They usually are a few hours behind at the end but this week we dont have to worry about it because we are the first two interviews. We also hope we will find M-- and help him with whatever he is going through so he can keep progressing in the gospel. We are excited.

Sounds like everything back home is going really good! thats good to hear! especially that Jaxsen did good in his Bike race! Thats awesome. i hope that everything keeps going great! I will be excited to hear back next week! have a great week! I love you all!

Elder Mortensen
 
Ps i do have a picture. Its with B--. He is one of the people we knew in Prosser. He was an investigator from the other elders. He got baptized! the first time we met him the other elders introduced us as Stumpy( Elder Harward) and Ugly(me). when he opened the door he said, i dont want to call you this but i dont know your name. so he just called me stumpys companion, Ugly. It was funny



Monday, October 3, 2016

We Need To Really See What Matters Most To Us, What Has More Value, Then Choose It

Hello! 

Wasn't this week just great! it is kinda weird that we were doing the same things for like 10 hours this week! that doesn't happen very often. The conference was great though. Something that stood out to me a lot is how often the gospel of Christ was talked about. If it was either repentance, grace, joy, or things like that. The Gospel of Christ kinda covers everything so its obvious that its talked about all the time. But i realized more of how it needs to be always a thought in our mind.  This was for sure on my mind a lot because the day before, on Friday, We had the Doctrine of Christ training. Its a training that you go to in your second transfer, or if its our companions second transfer. They taught about having a perfect brightness of hope as we are living this Doctrine. If we really trust God and his promises. We all have a lot of promises made to us, especially as missionaries. President White taught us that we need to do the things necessary for those blessings then ask for them and expect them to come. For me i do the things that i am suppose to, but dont always ask God to show me the blessings. It seemed kinda weird for me, to ask for something that i am already promised i will receive. But as i do this i either receive more or at least recognize more of the blessings that i receive. It makes counting my blessing a little easier for me. The thing i liked most about conference was the promise of Joy. I dont remember who it was exactly or exactly what he said, that is what notes are for i just dont have them with me, but i think it was Elder Stevenson Invited us to have more Joy in our lives. it kinda seems weird, making it sound like a choice to have joy. But it really is. I was reading in the Book of Mormon in the book of Mormon. In chapter 8 verse 38 it says.  Why do ye not think that greater is the value of an endless happiness than that misery which never dies-because of the praise of the world?  It helped me understand that it is a choice. We need to really see what matters most to us, what has more value. then choose it. We need to not be afraid of the praises of criticizing of the world and choose the things that will give us Joy. It was a great thing that was able to come clear into my mind. I hope it came out good when i typed it. The spirit works great with me in my head, but my fingers and words dont always work super great with the thoughts i was given. Conference was so great thought!!

The first two sessions we were at the institute building where we have church and watched it with the YSA. There was breakfast before, games and a barbecue in between and they gave us all the extra food after. So it was great! We watched the other sessions in the Stake Center. I worked out really good for us.

This week was like cut in half because all the meetings and conference. Not a ton of missionary work got done. But... M-- did have his interview with president and he is getting baptized!!  It made us so happy you have no idea. We dont now if it is going to be this week or the next we hope this week if we can get a hold of him. He is kinda hard to get a hold of. We are so excited for him. He is so great.

Its great to hear all the great things from this week. Its pretty cool that some friends from North Carolina come down! that i am sure was a ton of fun. I hope everyone got as much out of conference as mom did!! i will have to make sure i study a little bit more to catch up with her. and i hope that none of you gained as much weight over conference as i did! because if you did, i am sorry! But have another great week! i love you all a ton!!

Elder Mortensen.

Ps  Mom i just wanted to let you know that i definitely know that you have a really strong testimony and are converted to Christ, living like him to the best of your ability. There is nothing that has more impact on me than you and the example of Charity that you have shown during my whole life. You are a unfailing light that helps lead me in the way of joy that was talked about so much this last weekend. i love you very much for that and for everything else.
also pictures!  

There is nothing better then locking our trainees out side for a little. 
Elder corral also got a bunch of car oil dumped on him. He wasnt to happy about it. 
even more because i thought it was super funny
Its not my face to look at so sorry, but it is just as funny





Monday, September 26, 2016

Its Been Something I Have Known Before But Now I Can Say It Is a Solid Testimony Of Mine Because it Was Confirmed So Clear To Me By The Spirit

Hello!!

I have been great!! I'm loving it here in little Mexico! It still surprises me how many Hispanics are here. I dont know if i told you this, i told someone sometime. But down down there is a member family we were eating with. Down in the neighborhoods they are living in it is 97% Hispanic 2% Black and 1% White!!  I dont know how that happens, but it does!

Thanks for asking about M--! he is still doing pretty. But, he will no longer be baptized this week! It was sad to hear, his probation was suppose to end last week, but it got extended until January! He dosent really know why. He has an interview with President White this Wednesday (transfers day). So we will know what is going to happen then. He could still be baptized while on probation, but we just dont know yet if it is going to work earlier or have to put it off for a little.  We have taught a lot about repentance and how to do it. He feels that he has repented. That is part of the reason he is going to have an interview with President. He is in a better position to talk it through with him.

A-- is doing so much better! We stopped by one day and had a conversation with her on her porch. She has a super hard crazy life, more then i could really explain. She has 3 sets of Parents that have pretty much rejected her. Her real mom and dad, her step mom and dad and here street mom and street dad that helped her out when she was homeless. There have been many that have passed away and the others dont make time for her to visit them. She wants to help her street parents but has no way of doing it. There is a lot of things that she told us. She said that she wanted someone to tell everything to and she trusted us. She said she told us things that she has never told anyone else. She was pretty sad. We stopped by a few days latter. Someone else answered the door and we asked if A-- was there. Then she came running to the door and said hey its my missionaries! it made us super excited to hear that! She said that she feels so much better and lots more joy. The bad things that have been in her life are going away. you could just tell there has been a lot of change in her. it is awesome to see! She wanted to come to church but was in Vancouver for the weekend.

We didnt really find G-- this week. He had his moms phone so we called that. Pretty much the first thing she said was i want to cook a meal for you both. When do you want to come over.  So tomorrow at 7 we are going to go have second dinner!! and teach a lesson!! It is so great. Being a missionary has many blessing. Spiritual and definitely temporal also!

One of my favorite part of this week was during the sacrament. We had the opportunity to bless it this week. As i was saying the prayer, i felt a power in me super strong. i dont know how to say what i was feeling or even why but it was amazing. While Elder Corral was blessing the water there was somethings that came so clear into my mind. Just about the promises of having the spirit with me. How they change just a little. It brought comfort to me and after sitting in the congregation just listening to the talks, As i thought of it again i was just filled with joy. It was amazing to me to learn more of how i can remember Christ always. How we just need to live how he would live and do what he can to love like he does and we can always have the spirit and that direction in our lives. When we think of the water or his blood, or his Atonement, the promise it that we may have his spirit to be with us. To me it tells me that it is an unfailing way to invite the spirit into our hearts. So when the hard times come, when there is any time we feel alone or anytime we want to be lifted, the promise to receive all that is by thinking of his Atonement. Its been something i have known before but now i can say it is a solid testimony of mine because it was confirmed so clear to me by the spirit. This made for a great end to the week.

Its Great to see all the great things that are going on at home. Also i realized how i can give a talk better. I just need to tell Ali my topic and have her write it up for me. It sounded great!! its good to see the i am not the only success in the family ;) Its to bad to hear jaxsen didnt get a chance to redeem himself mountain biking! but his time will come! Thanks for always keeping me in all your prayers. It is for sure something that lifts me and helps me be able to do the things i am called to do. I love you all!! have a great week! again!

Elder Mortensen

Ps, oh i almost forgot! We are both staying here for at least one more transfer!! i was super glad to hear that!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

He Said A Prayer and When He Did The Spirit Came In Really Strong And Helped Him Know That He Really Is Ready And Going To Change

Hello!!!  

This week was a weird one. It was really good though. the best part is M-- came to church!! again! and he had his first baptismal interview! He is going to have to have another one because he is just getting off probation, so he needs to meet with President white. the district leader that interviewed him said that it went really good. He said that lots of people when they get out of jail say that they want to change but not long after they get put back in. he said that when M-- said that he was going to change his life and that he has, he said that it felt real. At the end he had M-- say the prayer and he said when he did that that the spirit came in really strong and helped him know that he really is ready and going to change. But... the only thing is M-- lives in Kennewick right now and so really he isnt even in our area, but his plans were to move back up to Pasco, but the apartment he was going to move into rejected him for some reason. So we dont know where he is going to be going. We dont know for sure what elders are going to be teaching him, but he is ready to be baptized and is going to happen eventually!! 

this week we didnt have a ton of lessons, just a few. An-- is going through a hard time in life and she is quiet and because of the things she is going through she doesnt want to talk to many people. so she didnt come to church this week and we didnt really have a lesson, but we did stop by and she was happy to see us. We had a good conversation and shared a scripture with her. We hope that it is something that will help her feel more peace. We had a lesson with G--. He is always out and about so its hard to find him home. But Sunday night we found him. He was in his garage watching TV. we sat down and he asked us, what was that guys name? the prophet or something like that.  we told him Joseph Smith. But he said no. He was thinking of Tomas S Monson.  We then went to youtube and watched some of his messages and talks. It was really cool. It gave us a chance to share about prophets and bare testimony of the importance of them. It was a really cool lesson. One like i have never taught before. It was also cool to see the first talk president monson gave when he was made an apostle. also something else weird. One night we were laying there in bed. i didnt really know what was happening bu i realized me and Elder corral were sitting in bed talking to each other. He said something to me and i was just, elder that didnt even make sense, you are crazy. then he told me to just go to bed. after that i rolled over and fell asleep. the next day i didnt now if it was a dream or not until he asked me if i remembered this. So we just had a great little sleep conversation! i remember trying to nightly plan but it didnt work because i couldnt understand him. So it was kinda weird for us. But it gave us a good laugh.

thanks for all the updates for what is happening back at home! that all sounds like a lot of fun. Ali going to a dance in a convertable car. Haha there is so many Hispanics here that have that car! it is so crazy. i see them everyday. Its cool that you, mom and dad got to get together with missionary parents and all have a great time. i am sure that was a good experience. thanks mom for the letter and sharing the experience you had while teaching. Its always really cool to hear! i hope that we all can continue to see the spirit work in our lives everyday. Because he does, every day! it is an amazing miracle for us just to be able to recognize it. i hope you all have a great week!! i love you all!!

Elder Mortensen

ps pictures!


hey i got the package! thanks! i was super excited to get the bible videos! and 
The other sock, even though now i dont know were the first one ended up.  
 

Haha we also locked elder Corral outside on the balcony. he was causing to much trouble. 


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

He Has Been Able To See Answers Come and Miracles Happen

HELLO!!!! 

Its great to hear from you all!  It looks like you all had a great week! a lot of crazy things happening! Its pretty cool to think that jaxsen is almost a professional Mountain bike rider! its too bad that his first race didnt go too great, but its super awesome what ended up happening! Its for sure a lot different than anything else i did when i was younger. But Good Job Jaxsen! the cabin always looks fun. And the trees changing colors! Its starting to get colder pretty fast this year. Like right now its 60 degrees and raining. it feels a lot better then it did before i guess. 

To answer the Book of questions i got in this email... no its actually not a problem. But, the week was of course great. We worked really hard. Luckily i am to the point that i am never very tired, just when i wake up. when i wake up sometimes its pretty tough. Elder Corral is working into it a little. I dont think he fell asleep in any studies this week. but yes this last week there was a lot less people in the branch. So its still hard to try to get to know everyone because everyone keeps changing. But we are working on it. FHE was great! we played dodge ball and it was so great i can still feel it in my shoulder! I think it is proof that i having done anything with it for a very long time other then carry a little blue book everywhere. I was sore for a few days and now it just feels weird. We didnt go yesterday though. it was in Kennewick and we dont get to go to those ones. But yes we only teach 18 to 30 year olds that arent married and dont have a child older then 5. So most people we talk to arent in those boundaries, so we get sent a lot of referrals. But we cover all of Pasco and 2 full Zones, so we also get a lot of referrals. But we did have a lesson with M--. He came to one of the baptisms of the sister missionaries and he loved it! he said that it wasnt how he expected it. after we had a lesson with one of the members there with us. M-- is a very calm easy going guy. This member is an accountant and not slow or to easy going, but one of the greatest tender mercies that i saw this week was from this lesson. As we taught we felt to just ask him some questions. i guess we asked the right ones. He opened up completely and we were able to see what he needs help with and also that he is praying and reading often. He has been able to see answers come and miracles happen. In just the little things that go good for him he has gained the faith that it is all from God and comes because he is trying to do what is right. One of the big things that he is worried about is finding a job. he was been out of work for a month. This member got super excited and sat up and was just like M--, i can fix up your resume and i can get you a job somewhere. He told M-- that he would come over to his house, today actually, and help him with all of that. It was so great to see how happy and relieved M-- was. we tried many different members and lots couldnt help. This member was able to and ended up being the exact kind of person that was needed for this lesson. It was so great!

This week we did a lot of finding. We are trying to do a lot of member work, its hard with so many of them leaving and coming, but it is the only way that this work will be effective, especially in YSA. There is this other girl named C--. She just got home from a vacation in Mexico. Before that she came to church many time and had a few lessons with the sisters before us. She had to work Sunday so she wasnt able to come this week. but we are excited to get to teach her. There is this other Girl also named L--! She is so cool too! she was taught by the same sisters for a little and she really likes it. She is a little crazy, just has a lot of energy so there is never a dull moment when we are talking to her. We werent able to get in contact with her by the phone this week and we were curious what was happening. We stopped by Sunday night to see if she was home. She was really excited to see us then got not excited. She thought it was her dad. he was bringing her some coke. She said " i am Mexican and i cant eat my tacos without some soda, sorry" She was still excited it was when she realized it was us. Her phone service got cut. She has to wait until she gets paid so she can pay her phone bill again. so we didnt have a lesson with her this week, but she really wants to learn. this week is just great! it has been another great week to be a missionary!

i love you all!!

Elder Mortensen