Monday, April 25, 2016

He Went And Turned On The Light Just Hoping That We Would Come Talk To Him


Its good to hear from you!!! This week was so cool!  One of the coolest miracles happened this week!  It was 8:50 pm and we didn't know what to do. All of our plans didn't work out and we were stuck. Elder Tirado just said, well we will walk up the road for a little. We ended up seeing a guy turn on the light on his porch and sit on a couch, so we decided to go talk to him. After talking to him a little more we found that he really wanted to change his life around and get on the right path. Earlier that day his mom told him he needs to be in a church. She said she doesnt care if its catholic just to find a church. He said that day he was just hoping someone would come and help him know what church. That night we found him, he was sitting on his porch in the dark and saw us walking down the other side of the road. He went and turned on the light just hoping that we would come talk to him. It was amazing to see how the Lord got us there at just the right moment. The Lord has a funny way of doing it and sometimes its hard to have the faith to know that success will come as we keep our faith, but it always works out in the end. We went back another day and had a great lesson with him. He had a lot of little questions like what do Mormons have to wear, and where do we have to work and about tattoos and things like that. A bunch of things that wouldn't matter if he wasn't wanting to be baptized. He has such a sincere desire to do this for himself and his 6 year old daughter. At the end of the lesson we asked him if he would pray. He told us no its alright you guys can. We taught him how to pray, bore testimony that it doesn't matter what is said in the prayer, God always wants to hear from him. He decided to pray and the spirit came sooo strong! After the prayer he just looked at us and couldn't stop smiling. He said that he was feeling something that just felt so good. It was good to bare testimony of the spirit and that he will continue to feel that, and for his baptism he will feel it even more. also that he should be excited for that day and he was! As we walked away it was one of those times where you just want to cheer!  He has a goal to be baptized on the May 21. It was the coolest thing!!

We did teach that family that come to church twice this week. His name is M-- and the wife's name is L-- and the mom is M--! They are so cool! They have a lot of good questions that made us have to really think. We have had some lessons with member that just go kinda crazy, and not a lot is taught. its just M-- and the member going back and forth. So we decided even though its better to be with members usually that we were going to go without one this time. We had a good lesson about the Restoration. They really are committed to start the Book of Mormon and try to find if it is true. They weren't able to make it to church this week though. 
One of the funniest things this week was during the branch party that we had Saturday. We ate and after the Branch played soccer with a big exercise ball in the gym. We couldn't play with the members as missionaries but it was so funny to watch. There aren't a lot of youth so it was all the adults playing. Up to a 60 year old lady and down to a 12 year old kid. was fun watching the ball take out the little kid. the old lady is the funniest old lady i have ever met. The President got into it and ended up accidentally, kinda, throwing the little kid to get the ball. The president lost his ring so we blamed in on karma and throwing P--, the kid, at the ball.
Ya me and elder Tirado Are getting along really good. We speak mostly in english but we are talking to a lot of people in spanish so for sure a lot of spanish through the days. The spanish is coming a lot better and better everyday. Its really hard to stay motivated on learning the language completely sometimes. Its one of the most mentally hard things i have ever done that is for sure. but its coming really good.
The week back at home sounded pretty full! it sounded like a lot of fun for the whole family though. Its good to hear that soccer is still being played at the house. to bad Lehi isnt doing to good. Thats sad. But it had its good years. Looks like a lot of parties! thats always fun though.  i hope that everything continues to go great for you all! i love you all and hope you have a great week!
Elder Mortensen
ps thanks for the quote i got the chills when i read it, it was awesome.
This was taken at church its not all of them but a lot, but its the Branch!! The white people are the president and me! 

Monday, April 18, 2016

The World Got A Lot Smaller This Week


yes this was a great week!! its weird to get moved but it is always a good thing. I am serving down in a small town called Walla Walla.  its a little bigger than any of the areas i have been in though. We cover Walla Walla and college place in spanish. The world got a lot smaller this week. I was talking to a lady in the mission office, they just got here. Their names are the Riries, i dont know if that is how you spell it. But they recognized the name. They said they are related somewhere back in our lines. At church there was an elder that i thought i knew and he played soccer for Lone peak, so i hope he dosent have any sour feelings about us beating them. There was also sister Ellis' niece that kinda knew me, and there was another lady. She was in joseph! she met Grandma and Grandpa and we are related somewhere back also. They had a picture of them all. it was a weird time at church. There is a lot of Hispanics but there are all kinda spread out everywhere. The branch has around 40 people coming to it. so its a little bigger than Prosser. There is farming around it but we are in mostly in the city. Because we are spanish missionaries we are in a car. The spanish areas are usually to big for walking. Also i dont think that there are even any bikes in the mission now. Being a district leader has been good. I kinda feel like the mom of the district. If anything happens in the district that is different or weird, they have to let me know and a lot of time get permission. Its different for me that is for sure. I also collect all their numbers and lead meetings. Its not a ton different but it is a lot more responsibility. It will be good for me. The area is doing good. There isn't too many investigators but just a lot of potentials. Our work is to go through those and see what ones are really interested.  There was a less active man that brought his nonmember family to church last week because they didnt like the one they were at and didnt feel it was where they should be. they opened the phone book and our church was there. They took that as a sign and they came to church!! we have been over there and had a few lessons. They are awesome!! they came to church again! They have a ton of potential!! the dad is going to be a really strong leader in them coming to this church. not a lot has happened here yet. One funny thing is the first day we were here Elder Tirado mowed and i tilled a garden in our slacks!! only as a missionary!! its great! Elder Tirado is from Tennessee! so his english is good. it gets a little confusing because we speaks a lot of spanish. we are going to get along really good and get a lot of work done here. 

Thanks for the update about lehi!! it sounds like everything has been a lot of fun! I hope that everything continues to go good. have fun with soccer and your new callings and lack of callings and everything else!!

I love you all!! 

Elder Mortensen

Elder Mortensen with the E-- Family

Elder Mortensen and Elder Harward with the Group Leader and His Family

Elder Mortensen and Elder Harward having their last dinner in Prosser with the
ward mission leaders family and T--, a recently baptized member.  

Four Missionaries Serving in Prosser
Elder Tirado (new companion) and Elder Mortensen

Monday, April 11, 2016

We Don't Have Too Many Investigators, Just A Few Awesome Ones!

Hello everyone!!  

The missionary work this week was great!! We weren't able to teach too many lessons because Spanish work is hard around this time of year, but we still do get the chance. We actually found a guy named N-- again. We found him at least a month ago. We had some pretty good lessons and he wanted us to come back, but he was so busy we could never find him home. But we found him again this week! We had another pretty good lesson with him. He still wants us to come back. Its hard with some to really know if they are interested in changing or if they like to hear it, or just count it as their church for the week so they dont have to go Sunday. But either way it was good to find him home again. We have taught the E--'s a few more times. It was really cool, the last lesson that we had all the kids were running around outside so it was a lesson with just us and the parents. We felt like we should share the Restoration Video with them. When we watch that it is always good. They loved that video!! We had a good conversation afterward with them. They wanted to keep the video so they could show their kids. We haven't been able to be back in between that, but it will be awesome! They are really doing good. We invited the O-- family, they are members, to go and visit them or just get to know them. So this Sunday they had them over for dinner! the Sister missionaries were there also and they said that it went really good. Hermana O-- was sharing her conversion and also her testimony about the gospel. It really could of not been much better for them. The Sister Missionaries said that their families really felt comfortable together so that will help them in both of their conversions. They are our main investigators that are working towards baptism. We dont have too many investigators, just a few awesome ones!

One thing that we did this week and whenever we do this it leaves a big impression on me. It really is just talking to everyone and trying to get to the point of sharing the gospel. Its still not an easy thing and i dont think it really ever will be. But it is something that we have to do. When ever we do it lots of the time they talk even if they arent interested in the message. It leaves a good image and people know that we are just nice normalish people! this week, yesterday actually, something just clicked. We were about to get into our car but there was a car across the street that someone was getting out of. We were about half way and said hey hows it going. Then he was just like, no, i am not interested and i dont want to talk about it. The thing i realized is how hard is it to do that. sometimes we are rejected so fast but you get use to it. but just how trying all the time shows our faith and when it dosnt work out, nothing is wasted. It took maybe like 5 extra seconds. It just one of those things that is pretty easy to not do, but as you do it, you just feel better and everything works out better some how.

This week we invited the E--'s to church and they said they would come. We only expected them for Sacrament meeting because of their First Communion commitments. We were standing in the front hall by the doors. We were both kinda shocked and super excited when we saw them walking in! They came to all three hours! and they all really liked it. All the kids went to primary and they were comfortable there so that was good. The sacrament meeting was the most full i have ever seen in that Spanish group. We couldnt have fit too many more people in there. It was full! We had The E--'s and the sisters had 4 investigators.  it was soo cool. It is a great last week here in Prosser!

Haha ya we havent got transfer calls but we have a little bit of an "in" on these. usually i would say we are lucky, but maybe not this time. President Ware calls in the morning to call people to leadership and training before anyone else knows what is going to happen. I was saying my prayer to start personal study when the phone in my pocket rang. I really was just like, oh crap. So when i answered and he asked for Elder Harward i was feeling good, until he asked for me. Elder harward is staying here to be the district leader getting a missionary that has been here for 3 months. I am moving down to Walla Walla with an elder that has been out 3 months who just finished getting trained and i got called as a district leader there...   So i dont ask for many things but please send some prayers down here for my new district to be able to put up with me! and that i will be able to accomplish all that i need to in this calling. it will be good but hard for sure. President Ware was just like, well you are going to be speaking like a native! and make sure you teach him English!  so i dont know how much my new companion speaks in english, but this will be an adventure!  Down to another corner of the mission. i have been in 3 of the 4 corners now.

I am glad spring break was great! i loved that hiking trip and all of that. It looks really fun! I hope you all will continue to do great and have a great week!!!

I love you all!

Elder Mortensen

Ps sorry no pictures this week but there will be next week for sure!!  sorry mom

Monday, April 4, 2016

There Were So Many Answers In So Many Talks


It was a great week!!  Conference was for sure the highlight of it. It was such an amazing experience. Its also nice because its one of the few rest days you get as a missionary. I went into conference with the question of how i can help others strengthen their faith to rely more on God. There were so many answers in so many different talks.  One of the biggest answers was in Elder Bednars talk. When he said it i was just like, wow. it was Exactly some of the things i was looking for. He was talking about being baptized, receiving the gift of the holy ghost, and partaking of the sacrament worthily. He taught that we will always be able to receive a remission of our sins. He said that this will strengthen our faith. He talked about King Benjamin and how the people felt as if they were nothing, seeing themselves of less worth then any part of the earth. As they received a remission of their sins, they had so much joy and only wanted to do good. It teaches that as the spirit comes, even after we know we arent much without the help of the lord, we can know that we are forgiven and the lord is there to help.  It was a answer to that prayer. One of my favorite talks was President Utchdorf's in the Priesthood session! He talked a lot about things that i was always thought of and even more while on a mission. He taught about charity and pride. He says that "the enemy of charity is pride. pride is the defining characteristic of sin, and charity is the pure love of Christ. Charity never faileth, and pride always faileth"  It was one of my favorite talks. I love the idea of charity. its hard to always have but it is something that we all need to always be working towards.  i also thought that Elder Hollands was really good too. Just how the spirit that we have felt can carry with us. There are many things we have learned that we want to do better. But just take it one at a time. It was funny. At dinner that night this family is crazy and we call them the Zoo, but they are funny. They showed us a meme of elder Holland. It was just a picture of him It said something like, I dont always give the best talk, oh wait, yes i do! we got a good laugh. i am sure you will see it eventually if you haven't.

We weren't able to have any of our investigators come to conference. The E-- family was going to come but the mom was sick. We have a lot of hope for them still. They are doing good still. They are even sharing what we have shared with them. They gave us a referral that wants us to come and talk with them too! so that was awesome to hear. We watched conference at the church. it was the missionaries and a high councilor at all the sessions other then the last one a family came. It was funny. in between  session Saturday the Sisters brought us pizza and salad and some other little things so we just ate there and had a good time. The next day we said we would feed them. so we got together all we could. We had chicken, salad and potatoes! it was great. some members also gave us doughnuts. We tried to find something to marinate the chicken with so after trying a few things we finally found something that tasted good. Between vinegar a bunch of random spices. The sisters even said that it was really good! so that was kinda lucky. It was a fun week.

We did teach the E--'s again. They are still reading and ask really good questions. We can tell they still want this. They are moving kinda slow, but thats how some people need to. other than that we didnt have to much going on this week. We do a lot of walking around and knocking doors, but the spanish work is still slow. But we do all we can so thats really all that matters. It was a good week. It makes it better to walk around when it is like 80.

everything back at home looks fun! especially April Fools day! We didnt do anything because, well we kinda forgot about it for half the day, thats just how it happens i guess. But it was still a good day! i hope you all loved conference and were able to learn a lot and will continue to learn a lot. i love you all!!

Elder Mortensen

This was us trying to fix up the chicken Saturday night. 

The best preparation day activity. There is at a members house. 
His yard is a 9 hole golf course!  Its a ton of fun!