Monday, February 29, 2016

We Were Truly Blessed To Have Found These People And Have Them To Teach.

Hello Everyone!! 

yes 7 months has gone by way to fast. Its still weird to think that it has been that long. It feels like missionaries never go home. You see so many come it but you dont really get to see them go home. but ive got years for that to happen! But ya a mission has been hard but its been so great and rewarding that to me the hard things really dont matter. Its been great and is going to continue to get better and better and i learn and grow more.  But YES! this transfer was crazy! Elder Harward and I are both together!! but we kinda got doubled in then doubled out. We are still here is prosser, same apartment and everything. Another set of elders were brought in to do all of the English work in the Prosser and Rattle Snake Mountain wards!! The lord wants the Spanish group to grow into a branch. It went from two companionships being there and doing some work, to two sets of missionaries to only the Spanish group! The new english elders are splitting time between both wards. The group is getting a lot of focus. To hear that Elder Harward and I are staying together was great but going to only Spanish work was a shock. It was sad to know that all but one of our investigators are getting passed off, but it made me think of how the lord really needs the Spanish work here to get going. We gave 2 Golden investigators to the new elders. T-- is all but taught and she has an interview set and a baptism planned for Saturday!! its cool that we are still around even though she isnt our investigator right now. M-- is the other. So the elders are teaching him. We are going to the next lesson with him tomorrow to help him get to know the new elders. Then he will be passed off to them. We did the same thing with T-- to finish teaching her all that she needed to know. It was at least good to leave the area better than we found it. We were talking about having the faith that there were people here that are ready to accept this gospel. We knew there was a family and we were praying for that. We were kinda joking but we were saying its going to be two parents two daughters and a son. Later that day while knocking doors we got let in and had a great lesson. The father was a less active that we didn't know about. He was married, had two daughters, and a son. We were so surprised that it happened that we found this family so fast. Later that night while contacting former investigators. This lady let us in the house. She sat us down with her family. There was her, her husband, two daughters, and a son! it was crazy. With all of the change to just Spanish. this week we were able to find four awesome investigators. Some how all in the same day! We were truly blessed to have found these people and have them to teach. I for sure know that this area change is inspired of God. We are already starting to see the effects of the change.

With this new area we are going to be doing a lot of speaking Spanish! This last week I have put a extra focus on sincerely praying for the gift of tongues to be with me. That day we found those two families, the Spanish was so clear in my head. I didnt have much of a problem understanding it. The hardest part has been to get the talking part to make sense. One thing i told myself i was going to do was just put all my faith into it and just talk. It went soooo well! both those families told both of us that we have really good Spanish.So its at least coming slowly!! That was a great day, especially for improving my Spanish. Actually today elder Harward asked me where i learned to use the word "haber". well i didnt know i ever used it. But he was like ya, you used it a few times in the lessons yesterday! i know more than ever that the gift of tongues is real! because some how they understood me.

One of the funniest things this week happened when we were knocking doors out a little more in the country. a old lady answered and said that she didnt really want to learn, she went to another church. So we asked her if we could help her with her weeding. She said she didnt want us to get dirty. But we said we would do it so we did that. there was a big pile where she had pruned part of her rose bushes. We asked if we could help her pick those up also. she said well we dont need to because she already feels guilty. but She was like ya that would be alright. i have 60 that i will have to cut another time. we picked lots of it up but we had to run to a lesson with T--. We told her that we would be right back after. Well we came back after and found about 10 more piles of rose bushes! she went and cut them all down when we were gone!! We came back, talked to her and she said ya i cut a few more down. all the roses hurt to pick up. It was funny because i dont know how guilty she felt! but it was good because it was something that she couldnt do herself. She said come back anytime! i dont want to talk about Christianity, but come back just to talk you are always welcome and sent us off with some canned fruit. Its funny to see we make friends with everyone, even the old ladies. Its was just a great week.

Its good to hear that everything back at home is going good. sorry i dont ever have much to say about it, but i really do like hearing it all. It is good to see that my fat head is still floating around the house! i hope that everything continues to go good for all of you. i love you and miss you all a bunch.

Elder Mortensen

PS that is a cool quote from brother Adams. I am doing good at writing in my journal but i just hope i dont have the times i have to go read it again. i am hoping i can just go back because i want to and still be happy. But both will work when i need them.

The new elders that came in to do all the English work are living with us just for a week or two. Our apartment is soo small. at least for the 4 of us. They sleep on air mattresses in the living room and study on the little kitchen table.  you kinda get a feel from the picture of how small it is. Elder Hutches has been home from the mission 3 times with sickness from Argentina but he is back and came to Prosser again training! He was here just before us. but its been great. But this is what happens when you all get along to well. Elder harward was tieing his shoe and go a little bit of a surprise! it was funny. we have a great time here.

Elder Harward (on bottom) and Elder Hutches (on top)

Monday, February 22, 2016

He Said That He Has Been Looking For This His Whole Life


Your favorite missionary is just doing great again!  This week not a ton of things really happened. We are working really hard to get the work here really moving along, but not much is happening apart from the awesome investigators we have already had. T-- is ELECT! I dont really know how she is so ready to accept this all into her life, but she has been looking for it for a long time and was ready for it all. One thing that i did lie about, well i didnt try but i kinda did. She didnt read the Book of Mormon in 20 days. It was really 5!!! she is crazy! it was over a 8 day period but she only read it 5 of them! When she was going into the military for the tests they told her that she has a completely photographic memory. She reads it and will never forget it. I dont know how, but she remembers all that she read in the Book of Mormon and agrees with it all. She wanted to learn more so now she finished The Gospel Principles book and has got a chunk of the Doctrine and Covenants done. We taught her the word of wisdom. She said that she drinks iced tea every day. She was joking and said well it says hot drinks so this has to be alright, right? but then she just said well ya i will do that, But McDonald's is going to miss me every morning. It was the easiest word of wisdom lesson ever! she committed herself to live it. She will be baptized on the 5th of March. We also got a referral for this guy named M--. We met with him, he is awesome! He is like T-- caliber! He said that he has been looking for this his whole life. He finally found a church that fits all that he believes. He has been to church multiple times with his LDS fiance. In the lesson after we got him to stop talking, hes a salesman, and started teaching. He said that i really am not doing this for anyone else, i want this for me. He said he would like to be baptized as soon as he can. We are planning on the 12 of march but have not committed it to him yet. He also is listening to the Book of Mormon on his 40 minute drive to work everyday. He said it is his time for him and God. He is so cool. Its a weird situation so we dont know if it is going to be us or the Sisters teaching him. so we will have to see later. A-- mom works terrible hours and they are random usually, so we were not able to meet with them this week. We wernt really able to talk to them as she was literally running to work. This area is so great! I love it. Transfers are this Wednesday and i am just praying that the lord wants me and Elder Harward here. Also S-- went on a vacation to Seattle and just got home so we will have to find him soon. He was gone the whole week.

We have been using Elder Renlands advice. There is a part in chapter 5 in Preach my Gospel that also teaches about how to respond to objections with the Book of Mormon. We have been trying to do that more. Just relating everything back to them having a testimony and knowing that Joseph Smith was a true prophet and if God and Jesus Christ really did restore their church and gospel through them to be back on the earth. Its really is the best way to go about teaching.

Its good to hear everything back in Lehi is going great! It sucks you finally decided to do angles landing when i am not there, but i guess its alright. It seems like you all are staying busy with something. Thats always fun. I have heard a lot about the Provo City temple. there is a few members that drove down to go to the open house and said it was an awesome temple. It seems like it. Especially with the history behind it. I hope that all goes well with all that is happening back at home. Good luck with it all. especially to Jaxsen shoveling the grass to play soccer!  Have a great week! i love you all!

Elder Mortensen

Elder Mortensen and Elder Harward eating Elder Mortensen's professional breakfast
of pumpkin spice pancakes with icecream and syrup.  Josh said it was good and good for us!

A text from M--

Monday, February 15, 2016

It Was One Of Those Lessons Where You Walk Out And Just Want To Cheer!


Happy late Valentines to you all also!  It was like half way done with Sunday when i even remembered that it was Valentines, but i guess it was a good day. We had a Regional Conference today. The biggest thing that stuck out to me was Elder Renlund was talking and he was telling how when he and his wife were on vacation and their tour guide wanted to take them to the best coffee shop in town. They said that would be alright but dont get offended if we dont drink any coffee. She asked why they dont drink coffee. He said that he was trying to think of something awesome to share with them. But then his wife said  This is the short answer. There was a young boy that went to a grove of trees. He said a prayer to God and God the father and Jesus Christ appeared to him. Later through revelation from God, we were told that we shouldnt drink coffee. the same thing happened later. They were asked when they were at Adam-ondi-aman (haha that has to be close, maybe) and some non-members asked what was special about this place because they just felt different and a lot of peace there. His wife answered the same way. He taught that as we answer questions the best way is to go the the Restoration. It is how they could feel the spirit and know that it is true. It wont lead to a argument or anything like that. That is one thing that we are going to try to use this week. When we are asked questions we relate it back to the restoration. We have seen it work. People feel like they have to listen to the answer because they asked. Its so great!

T-- is doing really good! She does have a date for baptism. It is the 5th of March. She said that she wanted to move it up a week if she didnt work! it was so awesome. We figure out if she works later today some time. She is doing really good. She already told her boss that she isn't working Sundays anymore because thats her day and she wants to go to church! That was awesome also. She has also read a bunch of the gospel principles book and some how understands it all and agrees with its all also. She is amazing.

We have for sure seen the Lord guide our actions. One thing this week was not as much actions but our words were being guided. It was with a lesson with T--. We have had some really good lessons with her and the spirit has been there, but not as strong as we would hope for. We were really praying that we could have a great lesson. The whole time we were there, just everything went so smooth. Not even really like it should have. We jumped around the restoration and the plan of salvation and the scriptures and the gospel principles book. But  because our words and our thought were all focused on following the spirit, that is what we were able to do. It was one of those lessons where you walk out and just want to cheer! but you cant always because they are still right there and we had members with us to so we could only be really happy. but we kinda cheered in the car..  That is the best when you are able to know you followed the spirit because that is when you have the most joy.

It sounds like all of being back at home was fun!  its always good to hear. it sounded like everyone was in the dating mood! i guess thats what Valentines day does for a normal person. Missionaries are normal enough. you will have to let me know how the next week went for you all. i love you all!!

Elder Mortensen

Ps yes mom!! pictures!

This weekend we got to go back down Hermiston for a baptism!!! D-- finally got baptized!! i knew she would she just had a hard time getting to church because of work. I dont know if you remember about her drunk cousin that we had a crazy night with at their house. but he got baptized the week before!! this gospel changes lives! for sure!!

Last Monday we went on a little hike because we didnt have enough miles to go to Richland and meet up with the Zone. but this is me and Elder Harward and Prosser!

In Prosser there is a big hill that the city sits under. we never knew what the other side looked like we just know its all the farms. there are three big families that farm a ton! cool fact about them is the produce 15% of the onions eaten in the USA. They live like 20 miles out of town i guess just in the middle of nothing. One side has a city and a river, the other is really nothing. i though it was funny so i decided i would sent a picture also.

Monday, February 8, 2016

As We Turn To God, Strength Always Comes


Thanks for wishing me a wonderful week because that is what it was!  For sure one of the biggest blessings and miracles really is T--! She is progressing everyday we have been able to talk to her. She got the Book of Mormon on the 13th and finished it on the 2nd!! She loved it! When she was younger she was in a bible school and she had to read the bible once a quarter. So she knows the bible super good. But after she read the Book of Mormon, she said she doesnt know how it could not be true. She really liked Moroni when he was talking about charity. Probably because it is one of the most important things you can have and Moroni teaches it really well. We asked if she had any questions or concerns. It kinda scared me when she said, well i do have one. she said that in church she heard about the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price and she was disappointed that it wasnt in the Book of Mormon that she has. thats an easy problem to fix. We told her that we could for sure get them one of those. She said that actually the day before she went online and bought one!! so she obviously wants it!! Its sad, she wanst able to come to church today because of the super bowl. A bunch of her coworkers skipped out on work because they were "busy" so she had to work. She was sad that she wasnt able to come. She actually wanted to sit in the front this time so she could concentrate more. She is so awesome.

We actually did find a few more investigators this week. We were blessed to find 6. It took a lot of work and looking everywhere we could. There is a young boy named A--. His mom is less active. A-- is 9 and he said that he wanted to get baptized! So we are now working on getting them both to hear the lessons and to get them both to church. They were going to come, but she also got called into work last minute. work sucks i figured out this week. also the recent convert we work with also had to work because of the Super Bowl! so that was lame also. He has a really bad back and no car so his working options are really small. He works at a bar and that was busy for the big game. We actually did go in and visit him in the bar this week. he worked a lot so we thought that we would go see how he is going. It was weird to go into the bar, but i guess its ok. One other investigator S--, is doing really awesome. We were suppose to meet up with him at dinner but he got sick and wanst able to come. We went over the next day to see if we could find him with a member. He was surprised to see us. He said sorry he was sick and he would have called but he didnt think we were going to show up anyway! so he thought it was cool that we came to find him. He is looking for a church that he agrees all the way with. He will do good with ours because its the true one. All the others are doing really well also.

Elder Harward and i are getting along really well.  I have learned a lot from him. really just how to be bold in talking to everyone. We are getting good at chasing people without trying to let them feel like they are getting chased. Because its not good to just follow them or something like that but we try to talk to everyone possible. We see a lot of blessings come from that because its something that we are commanded to do. He also teaches me a lot of Spanish. He knows it all really good and is really trying to help me be better. Its coming along slowly, and i will probably say that for the rest of my mission.

Its good to hear all that is going on at home and that it has been good and fun. I miss all the snow pictures! We didnt really get any snow at all. its starting to warm up.  about the Bishop youth discussion, that is so awesome because it dosnt matter who we are or where we are in life, the struggles always come. Its goes along perfectly with that i have been reading in the Book of Mormon. I am just finishing Mosiah. In this book there are a lot of stories of different groups of people going through hard or bad times and all of them have people change to become amazing people. There is kinda three ways people respond to it all. There is the people that as fast as they can, pray to God and look to him. then there are people that wait a little until it gets so hard and there is no choice. and then there are people like Alma the Younger, who waits until he is forced to change or be destroyed.  All of  the outcomes are the same, but the difference in the pain and struggling is so much different. The faster you turn to the lord, their pains were lifted so they could hardly feel them. for Alma it was a terrible time until the lord was able to hear him. For really all of us we are expecting the one outcome of getting over our struggles, and we have the choice of how hard it is going to be for us.  As we turn to God, strength always comes. The trial wont always go away but he can lift it from our shoulders and i know that to be 100% true. That is just a little thought i had as i was reading and heard about what you taught about.

Thanks for writing i hope you all have an amazing week!! love you all!

Elder Mortensen

Here is the emailing selfie you asked for mom. hope you love it!

Missionary Selfie!

Monday, February 1, 2016

This Week We Got Chased By A Princess!

WWWOOOOOOWWWWWW!!!!!! Brianne is home! That is so weird. I bet it has been a lot of fun. It always is when a missionary comes home. the biggest question is, is she as weird as Brayden was right when he came home? Well Brayden painted the Play house, maybe Brianne will just have the paint the actual house! I hope the cold has been fun, we dont really have much here. The first week was all cloudy and foggy and rainy and cold. but like right now, i am in a short sleeve shirt. its weird because it is the beginning of February.  But ya you will have to make sure i get all the stories that Brianne tells because i think that is the part that i am going to really miss. Well i also miss all my family. but You will all be there when i come back. its going to be weird with brianne not being a missionary though. Thanks for all the pictures It looks like i am even still the tallest. even though it was my fat head but it was well placed on a hill i guess. Haha ya and mom is the Shortest!! well close. little Jax will catch up eventually.

The new area is great. Dont even worry mom, the gangs arent dangerous for us. They all love Jesus people. Thats what lots of them say. There really hasnt been anytime that has been a little weird or scary, other than this one time! but that was because of this dog! We were walking around in Mabton and we heard this bark. I was just like oh no, thats not the German shepard thats usually tied up there. Then this big pit bull walked around the bush. that turned both of us around sooo fast! it kept following us. we picked up a rock but it didnt run away like it usually does. We walked faster, then it walked faster, then it started running. Elder Harward said dont run. Then at the same time we both took off. He turned around some cars but the dog followed me! but good thing there was this truck. somehow i hurdled into it and luckily landed on my feet. then stood there and elder Harward was standing past some cars and was just like, what are you standing on?? well a truck, duh. then he ran around and got in also. a car with 2 mexicans drove by and they had the biggest smiles. we just waved. then the house where the truck was parked in front of, opened the door and kinda laughed then said we could just stay there for a little. Then the owner came around and yelled for it. and it ran away. We said thanks to the people in the house and went on working. It was super scary actually. the worst part was the owner yelled the name princess to get the dog. So this week we got chased by a princess! But now i can call myself a real missionary because i have a dog story. We did talk to the guy with tattoos, his name is F--. He told us kinda his life story. mostly the story of evading cops for like 40 minutes. then ended up in him with 35 years in Jail. He shot 6 cops and now is home just hanging out in his house until march when he goes to jail, again.

We went to M--s house. She has no short term memory now. She remembers that we came over but nothing that we talked about. She felt really sad about this. Her husband J-- told us it wasnt going to work for us to be able to keep teaching her. He told us that he has been told that she will be baptized and will be married in the temple to her. He said he was just impatient and wanted it right now. He told us thanks and that he will track us down when that happens that we will have to be there. They are an awesome family. We still go over to just visit for just a little. We have taught T--! the last lesson was tuesday. she was just finishing Alma! she reads more then most members! The lesson was aweosme but she didnt want to say yes to baptism until she went to church and knew what it was really like, because she has had bad experiences at churches. She came to church and loved it! The ward was amazing to get to know her and make her feel like family. It was awesome. We have another lesson with her tomorrow and are going to invite her to baptism again! we are so excited for her. she is so awesome! That is the only like solid person we have right now. We also havent been able to teach this lady named M-- because she is so busy. but she came to church! so thats great for her and we are excited when we will get a time to teach her.

I dont have a favorite meal. but i do have a favorite place. its El Caporal!!! we have been there like 5 times now! its funny elder Harward is indecisive and keeps getting what i get. i make fun of him. the waitress at El Cap also made fun of him about it. We have been there enough they all know us.We talk to a lot of both english and spanish speakers. actually one day in Mabton, the day we got chased by the dog, we were there the whole day and only talked to one white guy. the rest were Hispanic! there is a reason they call it little Mexico!   ya i dont know if i am getting fat, but it is coming slowly. i dont want it to happen. and i usually say that right before i eat some Oreos. so i dont know how that is going to work. we will see. thanks for always letting me know what is happening back at home. I love you all!! Have a great week!

Elder Mortensen

Ps yes i did get the package with the Journal thanks also the other one too. sorry i didnt ever tell you.
PPS i like the fat head. he is the shortest also but he will grow up eventually.  i like my face in the back too
PPPS Thanks!!!

Our New Family Picture!