Monday, May 30, 2016

We Always Do A Lot of Work But There Is Always A Little More That You Can Do


how is it going!  This was a cool week! At the first of the week we had a goal to try to have a lesson everyday. We were really making sure that we put in all the work that was going to be needed to do that. We always do a lot of work but there is always a little more that you can do.  We for sure saw that as we expected the lessons to come and as we were willing to put work in, that we were able to get into more peoples houses and teach them. One thing that i have been helping Elder Tirado out with is being bold to just ask to come into peoples houses. Just talking for a little and asking if they would like you learn and if we can come in. Its been going good. As we were able to teach more this week it made me realize a lot more, how i need to become a better teacher!  As i was studying in Preach My Gospel, the teaching skills chapter is going to be my best friend this week. I have had a little time to read over a little. it was really helpful to let me know what we need to be doing to become better teachers. One thing that stood out most was how he says that a lot of their understanding relies on if we are worthy to share with the spirit. It has been more on my mind to make sure i am doing all i can to keep the spirit with me and gain more and more power as the days go on. It teaches us that all we do in missionary work is to help us become Christ-like teachers. That is for sure the next thing that i am working on this week. We were able to find a few new investigators and had good lessons just about everyday. It was awesome. 

It was to bad this week we weren't able to have any investigators come to church. M--'s wife L-- was in the hospital, for her appendix, so they didn't come this week.  It was a cool experience to be able to teach them what a blessing is and to give her one in the Hospital for her recovery. She is doing really good.  We had a dinner with them earlier in the week. They asked if we wanted the hearts with the rice or not. I was just like ya sure thats fine. I was expecting two or three of them. There was like 10 at least! it was just a big pile!  it was good, it just surprised me and was a little weird to eat so many. But i was full after the meal, so i cant complain to much.

Thanks for the letter there is always a lot to learn from reading them every week.  Thats cool that Jaxsen is going to do mountain biking. Jaxsen will for sure have to show me up and teach me a little when i come home.  It is weird to think that you are all out of school already! Also that it was a year ago that i finished. But its alright, summer is always the best! especially on the mission! I never thought how nicer people are at 9 because its still light. It was like 6 in the winter and people would yell at us and tell us it was too late, just because it was dark. So i will be having a great time also!

I hope and pray everything continues to go great back at home! it is exciting to thing that the wedding is this week!! that is so exciting. i hope it all goes great! Have a great week!! i love you all!

Elder Mortensen

A Surprise Picture from a Member in Walla Walla
(Thanks Sister Mullen)

Monday, May 23, 2016

We Were Able To Help Get A Few Less Actives We Are Working With Get To Church Again. It Was Awesome To See Them There!

hey everyone!!  

This was another great week! It was a really weird one though. We weren't able to get into very many lessons, so we spent a lot of time finding people. And when you do a lot of finding, that means a lot of little miracles, and even more weird experiences. Just thinking about it, of the funniest ones happened but i was so confused at the time.  We were walking around this Mexican looking trailer park. We were just walking around talking to everyone that was outside and knocking some doors. There was this Hispanic lady that i think finished smoking and was going inside when we stopped her. I was talking to her and she was kinda slowly going inside so i asked her if we could give her a card. She said "Si  ahorita" and the translation is pretty much "yes right now". so i was just kinda like ok, took a step and held out the card. and she said it again, then again. i was so confused! i just kinda looked back at Elder Tirado and he was just laughing. But i finally got the card to her. She said she didnt live here and she asked someone inside if they wanted to come talk. We could hear them say no they are Mormons and we are Catholics, tell them to go away. the lady looked at us and was like, They are busy right now. So we left and i finally figured out what "si ahorita" means! In mexico it is, ya wait just a little. so i was kinda forcing her to take it, is what it would have seemed like! so we got a good laugh of that after. But now i know! 

 We had a Exchanges with the Zone Leaders this last week. One of the focuses was to get out of the car and walk. When it is close enough, to always walk. We were able to see that work for us. sometimes we are to focused to get to where we had planned to be that we end up just passing people we could talk to.  It didn't get us a ton of new investigators or tons of lessons, but it help us talk to a lot more people and we were able to share a lot more then we would have if we were just driving past all of them. It was really cool. There was a lot of focus on talking to everyone this week. There were for sure days that were better than others. Days that we had more of a desire to talk to people and more of a faith to do it as well. but it did just get better and better and we are talking to more and more people. We had a lesson on exchanges with L-- again. It was a humbling time for me. I dont know if i was thinking that i could just do it by my self or if i didn't plan like i should have or wasn't concentrating to always having the spirit with me, or whatever else it might of been, but it just didn't work! The lesson was all over and at times it was hard to know what to teach about. we ended up reading in the Book of Mormon and she has a desire to really find out if the Book of Mormon is true. So that was awesome. But after that lesson just thinking back i was humbled. I know now more than before that if i dont receive the spirit, i wont teach. like it teaches in D&C. I didnt really want to have to gain that testimony in the way that i did. But i do have it now and that will help me to take better care of everyone that we will be teaching.

This week at church we weren't able to have any investigators come with us. M-- and his family were busy this week so we werent able to have a lesson and work kept them from church. But, we were able to help get a few less actives we are working with get to church again! it was awesome to see them there. They both brought their families also. One lady we are working with, E-- and her husband M--. she came to church. He said he would come if he didnt have to work. so when he wasnt there we were just like well thats to bad. Then when we were talking to E--, she was just like, ya he is at home. We have a lesson to day so we will have to give him a hard time. Well maybe we wont do that. we will have to see.  Hermana R-- also came with her whole family!! she is so awesome. It was good to see her at church. it was an awesome day. 

It sounds like things back at home are still going good and still always going to be crazy! its good to hear that soccer is still running strong in the family. it always will because it is the best sport. We actually got to play actually soccer at the park last preparation day! it was a ton of fun. One thing i learned is i am way out of shape!  well, everyone else there is too. It was like 20 minutes in and we already moved the tires in closer as the goals so we didnt have to run as much. It was a lot of fun. hopefully Ali got a good Grade on the Trebuchet that i made! when i did it it landed less then half of an inch off my mark, so if you messed it up, well good job. haha i hope you have a great week everyone!!  i love you all!

Elder Mortensen

PS it was really weird to see me at home. it threw me off. but i do have a picture!! just like you asked, a selfie, during study!

Josh at Home!!!!!  We had a life-size cut out 
made for his brothers wedding in two weeks!

Studying Selfie!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Christ Will Often Bring Us To The Edge Of Our Faith To See If We Will Continue To Make Steps In Faith Or If We Will Just Stop


This was a pretty cool week. We had Zone conference down in Hermiston so i got to go back and see a little. We had to wake up at 5 so we could get there on time for car inspections. The conference was so good! We had a big discussion about the Brother of Jared in Ether 3 and why he was able to have this amazing experience happen.  One thing that really stood out to me is how Christ will often bring us to the edge of our faith to see if we will continue to make steps in faith or if we will just stop. As i have thought back to times in my life especially on the mission i have seen that really is how it often works. This week it gave me a little more motivation while i was thinking of that. It made me try harder to talk to everyone, it made me work more diligent through the days, it made me pay closer attention to the spirit because i knew that it was going to take more work and more effort than i have given in the past to get those miracles we are looking for as missionaries. Especially that now we have this knowledge and know what more of what the Lord expects of us. We were able to see this happen this week. I think this week was kinda a test from God.  There wasn't much success this week. It seemed like we talked to everyone that wasn't interested and couldn't find those that were searching for the truth. It came down to the last hour of Sunday night. We went to try to find a few potential investigators. They said that Tuesdays and Thursdays work best and they should be home. We thought of their names and we knew that it wasn't a day they are usually home but we felt like we should go to visit them, so we did! They said they were eating dinner and said they were a little busy, but It was a little rainy, luckily, so that is what got us in the door. We went and sat down with them. The whole "eating dinner" part was either a really bad excuse or they are just my kind of people! Because they were just eating cookies!! so we go some cookies also.  We had a good lesson. As we were teaching the restoration, the spirit filled the room. We taught with more power then we have been able to in the past. We were able to teach more in unity, that is what helped us. They didn't accept to be baptized. They said that they are already baptized and they only believe in one baptism. We shared more about the priesthood and why it is necessary. they said they would but only if they really did know that it is true. They are two awesome new investigators! L-- and R--! Now we have to work to bring the spirit to them so they can have their hearts softened even more. It was really cool. 

We havent been able to meet M-- too much. He has been really busy working. So we dont know how he really is doing. He seems to be doing good but kinda cooled down. He's not as excited as we was at first, but still wants it. 

We are teaching a couple, C-- and A--. They really want to learn but are set in their ways in another church, but they read the Book of Mormon!! so it really does just come down to a little bit of time and if the are sincere about it. They are really cool. 

M-- and M-- came to church again!! L-- wasnt able to because her kids were being problems. But they are really liking to come to church. One time that we went over there just M-- was there so we got to talk to him a little. It is still really hard for him to have as much faith as he wants to always have. He says that it goes up and down. It has been pretty hard for him. but on Youtube he found General Conference and really liked those. We showed him where all those were on the Gospel Library app and he is also going to start to listen to the Book of Mormon. They are going good just are going to keep needed help. But that is why were are here! so thats good. 

I am glad you like my justification for getting fatter! It looks like you all have had a great time back at home! It seems Ali is still as weird as ever! just seeing that picture reminded me of it all! And Jaxsen always doing something new! mountain biking sounds fun though. it might put some meat on your bones too. its good to know that my family is just having a great time!! i love you all so much! have the best week!!

Elder Mortensen

PS  a picture!!  There was a bunch of us at Zone conference from the MTC district!! it was cool to see them all

Monday, May 9, 2016

There Is A Time Where You Have To Just Square Your Shoulders And Climb The Wall. There Is No Other Way Out


This was such a cool week! It started off not in the way i would have wanted, but it was really good. We had a tiny ding in the car door from someone in the church parking lot, and this week we had to go drop it off at the Auto Body shop. That was Tuesday morning. so we walked home the 2 miles and we started our studies. We live in the middle of a few main roads and not very close to the houses so we did a lot of walking. That first day we figured it was around 10 miles. one of the goals that we set during the last weekly planning was to make sure that we TALK TO EVERYONE!  so then when we hear that we would be walking it became even more important. If we are walking around and we are not talking to everyone, we are just walking around trying to be miserable. Especially this day! It got up to 95 degrees!! But there is a talk we were reading from that morning in our companionship study. It was talking about all of our struggles that we go through. It said there is a time where you have to just square your shoulders and climb the wall. There is no other way out. So we took that advice, kinda in a literal way. When we would see someone out side, after that first step of faith to turn, square your shoulders and just walk to them, that is when we were able to see the Lord give us the strength that we need to do these hard things. We didnt see a lot of miracles come directly from this, but you dont that often. The hidden miracle is that the spirit is promised to be with us. And you can feel it!! it feels good when we talk to everyone! because we know it is what we have been asked, by Christ, to do. We walked Wednesday also. It was a really nice day it was like 80 degrees with a breeze. So we knew that it HAD to change. You cant have good weather when you plan to be walking the whole day! it never works like that. We were in the middle of Walla Walla and saw a storm coming. It was a little past 8 when it hit. It came so fast!! it was good weather then it got super windy! we were walking and there were branches breaking off and flying everywhere! There was one in the road so i started to walk to it so i could pull it off, but it just blew off and when we were watching that a big branch came flying from across the street and landed just in front of us. Then it started raining. It was like 3 minutes and we were soaked! so we ran across the street and went into a store. the first two things that people said to us were wow, you look like you jumped into a lake! and the worker was like, you should have been listening to the radio, there was a storm warning since this morning. then he walked away. I was just like wow! really! thats what you decide to say to us. We knew it was coming but we couldnt do anything else. The guy that told us it looked like we jumped into a lake ended up giving us a ride home. We got in his car and it smelled like weed and his music was super loud. so that was fun! he luckily turned the music down and he really was a super nice guy. It was a great few days. well there is my story that got really long! but that is missionary work if you were wondering!

The week ended great. M--, L-- and M-- and their two kids all came to church and loved it. We went over to their house and taught the plan of salvation, well part of it, M-- talks a lot. They are so cool they did read a little in the Book of Mormon since last time so that was good. The best part was talking to my crazy family!! It was a lot of fun! It was great to hear how you were all doing and that you all like to make fun of me gaining weight. but dad like you say, it happens to the best of us! this is that scripture that i wanted to share but didnt have my bible. its is Proverbs 28:25.  it made me happy when i found it the first time. it says  He that is of a proud heart stirreth up stife: but he that putteth his trust in the Lord shall be made fat.  so at least i am doing this whole mission thing right!!  Thanks for making this week the best! i love you all so much! i hope you all have an amazing week!!

Elder Mortensen

PS sorry no pictures. hey but you took some picture yesterday of me so what more could you ask for?? ... probably just pictures still. i will be better in the future!! 

Monday, May 2, 2016

We Know That We Are Doing What The Lord Has Asked Us To Do And We Know That We Do Receive Those Blessings


this was for sure another great week. So this week we weren't able to see as much success as we have other weeks. When we were adding it all up yesterday and getting the numbers to the zone leaders, they ended up being about half of the weeks numbers in the past. But that is the thing about numbers, they dont show much of anything. This was a great week!  For zone council we talked about having the faith to talk with everyone. It is something that Elder Tirado and i have been working on and for sure getting better and better. Its one of those things that isnt going to really ever be easy but we just have to know its something that we have to do and have the faith to do it. for us it is for sure one of the things that tests our faith everyday if we are going to do it or not. We left that council with an extra desire to always to this. It is one of those things that you dont always see a lot of results from it, you for sure do at times, but for us it just makes the day go better as we do it. We know that we are doing what the Lord has asked us to do and we know that we do receive those blessings. We saw a lot of cool things from that. We found a lot of people who are willing to learn. There is also this other less active lady and her non member husband. They want to come to church but their work is super crazy and they havent been able to. They are so busy that its even really hard to find anyone at their home. so that was a miracle itself to be able to find them again. But they have been praying and reading the Scriptures everyday. They are soo cool and now that their work is figured out, they came come to church! M-- is so ready! 

M--, the guy on the porch, is awesome. He has had a really hard life because of some of the things he has done in the past. We taught the word of wisdom. There are like 5 things that we cant do, and those 5 things he has had hard things to overcome. He hasnt drank in over a month hasnt smoked weed for 3 weeks and said that it wont be a problem to stop the other things. He has such a desire to change. He is so awesome. He was busy so he wasnt able to make it to church though. 

M-- and his family have been really good. they are really trying to gain more faith. They say it is hard for them to always keep it. It was a good time to teach why we help them to always pray, read the Book of Mormon and come to church. They are still working on those things. They are so awesome. Miguel also got called in to work and wasnt able to make it to church. There are a lot of migrant workers here also. They work so much. the sisters are teaching someone that works 130 hours a week!! he sleeps for like 4 hours then works the rest of the day. They are super hard working people.

We cant play with members or anyone else just because it could cause problems or injuries or things like that. so we just get to do it with other missionaries. a funny experience this week... nothing to funny comes to mind this week. One was with  M--'s baby. whenever his parents werent watching he would stick his hands in their cups of water. he did it like 3 times before they caught him. Its just fun little things that happen all the time. like everyday. 

back at home sounds like a lot of fun!! tons of cool things happened this week. Brayden and Hillary having to much fun as always, soccer, mom does something spiritual and dad buys another toy! haha i dont know what the best one is!! maybe moving bri out?? i dont know! but it all sounds like a great week!

Thanks for the letter!! i love you all!! have a great week!

Elder Mortensen