Monday, July 25, 2016

Those Were The Miracles We Were Able To See...Our Ability To Work Through Hard Times

Hello to my favorite people!!!  

This week was great as well! it has been really hot, around 100 degrees also. So it made this week full of finding a sweaty one! that dosnt sound very fun. But it was great! teaching has slowed down, i wouldnt say that its discouraging though. The only way you can get discouraged is if you see it coming and let it into your thoughts. There has been the first thoughts of it, but instead of letting it in, it gets kicked out in no time! If i think about the hard work that we are putting in and that it is all for Christ and bringing people to him, it dosnt matter too much more past that. Yes there is great things we wish to see, but Gods plan is still perfect and always will be. His goal for us is perfection and his plan is for us to get there. He really does know what we need to go though or feel to get to a higher level in our lives and that is what this week was.  Part had to of been to learn humility. To know how to rely on Christ and then doing it. This week everyday we had close to one plan that might work for us to teach. sometimes more sometimes less. There was many days that we said ok for these first  hours we are going to walk around, knock doors and talk to everyone! It was really good. Most days it is a good accomplishment to get around 5 quality gospel conversations. There is obviously more people we talk to but not people willing to stop and actually talk. But there was some days we got more then 10! Those are the miracles that we were able to see,  our ability to work hard though hard times. . As i was looking through some old papers that i have there is a little talk from Elder Ballard, teaching what we have to do to have success. There were many things that stood out to me and all of those things are things that i am going to study more in to and make us have success. The thing that stood out the most is we have to be looking for success. everything that we do has to be with the mind set of i am going to teach this person. Then focusing on the way that we can bring the spirit to them them to agree with that. We cant have the focus to just talk to people, but to find new investigators. Talking to people will be a part of that, but is not all. This week we had interviews with President White. One things that we talked about was when the last baptism in the Branch was. It was 7 months ago. He said that will change. He said he wanted to give me a challenge. He told me to baptize by the end of the September transfer. He said share this with your companion and the other missionaries in the branch if and when you want, but baptize someone. This week we are going out to find new investigators so we will baptize by the end of September. President is a great guy. When he speaks it is with clarity and you know just what he is really telling you to do. then you do it. Also he remembered that Brother Bell knows us. So we talked abut that for a little and i heard from him that he is a Bishop. So he beat you to it!

Short story. Hermano Zavala came to us in church and asked us if we had a dinner today. he said he donst want to take the blessing from someone else but he told us to come over again. We went over last Sunday. He was planning to come out with us at 4 and eat at 5. He was just like lets eat before then i can be with you for the rest of the night. So we are at 4 and went out at 5. Every single one of our plans fell though! it was terrible! but we asked him if he has been thinking of anyone that he would like to visit. So we went to some of his long time friends. We had a great lesson!! and they told us to come back later and share again!! There was 4 of them. one of the ladies was trying to argue. But that didnt go anywhere with 3 people sharing the truth. She ended up leaving and the lesson got better from there. We are going back this week to see were this is going to go! it was a super cool night. 

It is great to hear that you are all having a great time and got rid of Ali too (she left on a 17 day humanitarian trip). Everyone seems to be having a great time and that for sure makes me happy. Its good to hear that there was some fun mixed in with times to strengthen your testimonies, because that is the thing that counts in the long run. i love you all very much and thanks you all for the prayers that are sent this way! have a great week! i will be looking forward to next week!

Elder Mortensen

These pictures are from the zone Conference this last week!

Walla Walla/Hermiston Zone Conference

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Lord Works In Mysterious Ways


It looks like you all had a great week!!  That is awesome! That is for sure a lot of things that i dont get to do out here (camping trip with extended family). ! i am fine not doing them now, but am so happy that they will continue to happen after! those are all things that i love very much. fun hikes, fun playing in the water, fun bike rides, and crazy a big crazy family! Its good to hear that everyone is doing good! good to hear everyone is having a great time doing all the different things that they are doing. ya! the perrys stopped in! It was a big surprise, that is for sure! It was really cool to see some people that i know! it was a great end to the day!

This week was strange. I would say like 10% of the plans that we made ended up working out. most of that was the plan of where we were going to go knocking doors! We werent able to have many lessons this week. It was full of going out and doing everything we could do to find new people to teach. The last week and this week we have had to drop investigators or we have not been able to get in contact with them. As we were finding we were able to talk to a lot of people. We are for sure doing better and better everyday to work together and to talk to everyone. like i have said before, The Lord works in mysterious ways! all the finding didn't end up with us teaching tons of lessons or for us to find anyone new that is prepared and ready to learn. But it did give us the spirit as we acted in faith and talked to everyone. we also got to go to a little town called touchet! Well that day was just a weird one. We went to a lesson at 10. it was a pass off lesson. The elders in College place were teaching a guy that they thought it wold be better if he went to the spanish branch. So us 4 Elders were there for the lesson. This guy named J--, decided to bring a friends. And this friend was crazy!! He is catholic and said he went on a mission also. I dont know how those missions go, but he didnt bring the spirit, at least of Christ. He came prepared to fight! the only things that were marked with his bible were scripture to argue! So this lesson wasnt much of a lesson. He kinda just told us why we are wrong and tried to use the bible to do it. All in all, its easy to be confused when you have a changed bible and only read half of a few verses. So we dont blame him. But he didnt want to learn. We also found a guy in touchet. it was a good conversation until i said that we can have our prayers answered by God. Elder Tirado thought they guy was going to hit me! it was so weird. But we got it back to a good conversation and he said that we wants to come see how our church is. Then! There was this big white guy that for some reason wasnt wearing a shirt. he was an Adventist and brought us in to his house and tried to fight with me about worshiping on the Sabbath! it was crazy!! three people in the same day! and they all seemed to want to pick a fight with me! but we just told him why we are suppose to worship on Sunday and if he really wants to know we are here to help him know. But he ended up not wanting to learn either. that is just how this work goes some times. now you know a little bit more what it is really like! i dont know where i was going with with this... but That is what happened this week! it was awesome!

Zone Conference was great! The Whites brought along 3 of their kids and they had a slide show and all of them introduced their family to us! they are a crazy family! they remind me a lot of our family! they mess around with each other a lot. It was really cool to be able to get to know them and how they really are and how their family is. I can really say that i love them now!! They are so cool!  one of the assistants,  Elder Bateman promised us in our zone conference that there is at least one that is prepared and ready to receive the Gospel. After Praying to confirm that promise in my mind and in my heart, i too know that there is at least one person here that as we find them will accept the Gospel. Now our job is to go out and find that one more!  I hope that you all have a great week!!  i love you a bunch!

Elder Mortensen

Temple Trip

Zone Conference

Surprise Visit From The Peery Family

Monday, July 11, 2016

The Lord Really Does Soften Peoples Hearts And Brings Us As Missionaries Around At The Right Time To Find Them When They Need It


It is a great day already! Getting this email is for sure always great! and we went shopping already so i am excited for food. so that makes it better also. but this was for sure a great week! We were able to teach more people and for sure see a lot of miracles! We did end up seeing F-- again. We went over to help him with his little business and we were able to talk a little after. So he is ending up going to the other church, but still wants us to come over and teach and eat his food. We can tell that this is something that he wants but doesnt have a testimony strong enough yet to drop everything and come with us. Its for sure a very hard thing for anyone to do, a member or not. We are going to still go over and help him and share with him to help get his testimony to that point. T-- has been sick like this whole week! we werent able to have a lesson just stop by a few times and she how she is doing. She dosnt have much money and she couldnt buy her medicine that she needs so without it she wasnt doing very good this week. She definitely has a very hard life. She seems to still be doing good. We hope to be able to teach her this week. We actually have not met President and Sister White. but we have a Zone Conference this Wednesday and we will be able to get to know them then! But as of now, there really isnt any changes that have happened. President is for sure strengthening all of us now and i am sure he has in his thought what is going to change, but nothing yet. who knows what will happen with iPads. i remember before last Christmas there was talk about how our mission was told we would have them by the end of the last year. So i dont even hope or wait for them any more, but we will see! they would be helpful.

 One of the greatest miracles we were able to see this week, was also one thing that helped my testimony for sure grow. We had felt like we should keep trying this man named E-- even though he has been really hard to find home and we havent had a lot of opportunities to teach. We were going about our day Sunday and felt that we should go and try to find him. We didnt find him, but we found his son, also E--. Before as we talked to him he really didnt have any interest in what we would share with his dad. Today was for sure different. One of his friends was shot the day before and was killed. He asked us where we go after this life. We shared with him a little of where and what happens. As we kept talking you could tell his heart was softened and really wanted to know these things. There was one point in the conversation that he asked if his parents were there what would be something we would share with them. So we got to teach the restoration. As we taught he had great questions and really wanted to know these things. he was super sincere about learning more and kept saying he thinks its time to change his life and become a better person, someone that his family can rely on. He asked us if we could keep coming back and if his parents arent home, if we could just talk to him. He asked for our number and when we would come back. It was amazing to see even more that the Lord really does soften peoples hearts and brings us as missionaries around at the right time to find them when they need it. Its for sure a sad thing that that friend was shot but it is bringing many people to the Gospel. The Hermanas found someone yesterday as well that know him and because of him was wanting to know and they had a same experience as we did. The lord definitely works in mysterious ways to bring people unto him.

There was another cool time. There was a day that we had like 30 minutes until dinner, it was actually Sunday also. We went to try to find one potential that we had. He said that he was moving into this apartment that he was fixing up. It kinda seemed like he was lying but we felt we should go back to find him. well it wasnt him but there was this other guy that was moving in. He just split from his Girl friend and his child and was moving in to the same apartment the other guy was "moving into" So we helped him move some of the bigger things in. We were in his house with him and we asked if we could sit down and share some things with him. As we were teaching, this was in english, i was thinking this will be a great referral to give! but then he asked if we could talk in spanish because its easy for him and he likes to talk about god in Spanish!! so that was awesome! He said that every time that something goes wrong in his life, missionaries like us seem to always show up! he said i think its like a sign or something. so we agreed and told him how we ended up getting to the other side of the city and ended up talking to him. it was a great miracle to see that day. This sunday was for sure full of miracles. This great week had an even better end!

The week sounds great! It for sure seemed like a busy week!! The GFR, 4th of July, and Trek!  trek was the best ever! i remember having a great time when i was there. i dont remember all the things that happened but i do remember the people it brought me closer to and the things that i felt. It was a great time! i hope that it was just as great as the last! Its lucky you, mom and dad, got the chance to go again! and probably the next time also! I hope the GFR was fun! that is always a great thing and its to bad that i missed it. i hope the last week was great and this next will be even better!! i love you all very much!

Elder Mortensen

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

This Work Is The Most Important Work That Will Ever Be done. I Am Glad That I Have Been Able To Come To Know That.


It looks like it was a great week!! it was up here also! like always. But that will never change because i am not going to let it! Where to start... This week was kinda crazy. It went up and down a lot. There weren't many people that we were able to get in to lessons with. We only had a few during the week. One thing that we keep track of in a day is the amount of Quality Gospel conversations.  There was even a day that none of those happened! We of course talked to a bunch of people. but there was no one that would take a little time to listen and to learn. But there was also some days that we had many great conversations! One day the first house we knocked on was a lady so so prepared to learn. She goes to the Adventist church and said that she knows that its not the right church. she told us that she was searching for the church that Christ put on earth when he was here. so that of course went well. She was english, so it got sent off to the sisters in the District. Its always great to find a great person to teach. Better when its yours, but it is also exciting to send it as a referral and see what happens later. But great for us 2 doors later there was also a lady, Speaking spanish, that wanted to learn and said that her husband was wondering why the missionaries never came back. So we are excited to find them again and hope they are sincerely wanting to learn. Saturday night we went over to ask T-- if she was going to be able to come to church, so we could find her a ride. She said she would be able to. so when that member showed up to church without her. It was like oh no! he forgot her! We went over after church later that night and she ended up falling asleep on top of her phone and couldnt hear the alarm. So that was too bad. But we had a great lesson with her earlier that week. She is a professional talker. But we were able to keep her mostly focused and teach. so that was for sure a mini success. F-- didnt come to church either. He is in debt to another church. they said that he wouldnt have to pay if he continued to come for a little longer. So that is where he was. He said the Pastor had him sit on the stand with him and told him that he would have to help look after the church for him when he was gone on a little vacation. Satan is working really hard on someone that he went back to the church. He has told us that he knows that this is the true church and that Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God. He has bore testimony to us and to many of his friends. He is for sure not gone but we are going to have to go over teaching with much more power in the spirit to help him know. He is still looking good, it is just going to take some work. Please pray for him!

This 4th of July was so weird! we had to be in by 6, but before that we went out to work. There didnt seem to be any one out side! no cars no people. It just felt weird and seemed almost like a Ghost town. So not a ton on work was done. We did talk to some awesome people. One of my favorite miracles of the week comes from that day! We were walking down the road. There was this girl down the road. she looked young so its always a little awkward to talk to them in that situation. But the spirit pulled through. The last moment it got us to open our mouths and teach her. She is english, but is very very prepared and wanting to learn. she was even humbled the night before to hear this message. her bike was stolen. She would also have been riding her bike to where she was going, so that is what made us able to talk to her. Some people might think that God doesnt work in mysterious ways, but i for sure do! The rest of the night was great. We waited for transfer calls, that came almost 2 hours late. But we dont blame the mission president, its his first one! But we are both staying here!! it is going to be great! in the district there is only one sister leaving. So it is good to not have that destroyed by the transfers. We made brownies and watched the testaments just as planned! we couldnt go anywhere but i did see two fireworks out of our back window! so that will have to be good for this year. It was a great week!!

Its awesome to hear all the things that have been happening back in utah this past week! its great to see you are all having a ton of fun! I do miss those things that are happening but its nothing that is going to stop me from doing this work. Nothing that will even distract me either. This work is the most important work that will ever be done! i am glad that i have been able to come to know that. I am glad that my love for God is strengthened and my desire to live the Gospel of Christ has grown. Its great to see examples of what i can do and also become as i study and ponder the scriptures. It makes me think of a scripture that i love in Joshua 3:5, i think. It says something like this " Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will to wonders among you." I have learned how to sanctify myself and look forward to and always see those wonders. I hope that you all will be able to do the same. I love you all!! and hope that you have the best week!

Elder Mortensen 

Ps, pictures!!  

Eating Taco Bell and KFC on the Fourth of July
Birthday Brownies!