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


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


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


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

Monday, September 12, 2016

He Has Seen So Many Prayers Be Answered And Knows That It Only Comes Because Of His Faith In Trying To Follow God


This was for sure another great week! There are a lot of miracles that have been happening here in this area. This last couple of weeks President White is really trying to get us all refocused on talking to everyone about baptism. Also to invite everyone on the first lesson to be baptized and when the spirit tells us even on the streets. The new focus on baptism has been great. We have received some great referrals from other missionaries that are also working on teaching towards baptism. We received two referrals that had baptismal dates extended and accepted. One of those referrals names is An--. She just moved in to one of the homes of a recent convert in the Zone Leaders area. She has had a really hard life. especially the last year or so. She has been between here and Seattle pretty much homeless and got caught up on some drugs. The recent convert, Ar--, she was baptized like 2 months ago, was super,excited and quickly had her talk to the Elders in her ward. She eventually came to us as a referral and is really prepared! she came to church this Sunday but left after Sacrament meeting. This week she tried to visit her mom that lives in Prosser but she keeps making excuses so she hasn't seen her in a really long time. So she was a little stressed so she went home. she said that she would really like to come next week again though. She was also really excited when we told her about FHE. Another referral was G--. The first time that we went to find him we talked to his grandpa and he told us to come by the next day. So we did. We found G-- outside and he invited us in. We ended up having like the whole family in with us. There was him, his mom, his grandma, his sister, his little brother, and even one of his friends! and to answer your question about spanish, this lesson was in spanish. All the members in the branch speak english but lots also speak Spanish. Most of them are second generation and they all learn english over here. but as we just started into the lesson, Elder Corral got a funny look on his face and looked out the window. We heard a knock, and the other missionaries walked in! G--'s mom was sent to them as a referral and were coming to look for her. so the 4 of us sat on this little couch and taught an awesome lesson. ( I dont know if you remember that this happened to us in Walla Walla with our Zone Leaders, But one of them was elder Young. this time he was the one that walked in on us! Him and his trainee! It was pretty funny)  G-- is also really prepared. He was searching on the internet to research churches and what he liked. he came across the Joseph Smith story. He loved it! he Taught us the lesson! we didnt even bring it up. His friend that was there he was also interested. His name is A--. they were planning on coming to church but weren't able to this week. We are going to go look for them tomorrow.   So miracles are just happening all the time.

One thing that was pretty cool for me was we were at a dinner, surprisingly we get fed most days by the members, but before one of the members asked if i could share a spiritual message. We usually dont share one at the end and just talk about missionary work during the dinner, but they asked so we did. The first scripture that came to my head was Moroni 10:32. telling us to come unto Christ and be perfected in him. It wasnt even anything that i thought about but as i was talking it came really clear to me. Of how we can become more like Christ. The goal of Christ is to bring everyone to live back with heavenly Father. He did everything in perfect love. I was able to understand and help them understand more of the importance of missionary work. how when we share any part of the gospel to anyone with love, we are becoming more like Christ and becoming more perfect. We wont be perfect in this life but we all have more chances to share our belief to someone that donst believe or needs some help strengthening the things that they believe. Its an easy way to know if we are really working to become more like Christ. I hope it makes sense. I think that it made sense when i shared it and i was able to feel the spirit very strong as it was happening. It was cool to see how the spirit really will give us the things to say in the very minute we need to say them.

One last thing!!  also M-- is doing so great!! He has seen so many prayers be answered and knows that it only comes because of his faith in trying to follow God. After church yesterday we had a lesson with him. We were finishing up some of the commandments that he needs to know before he is baptized. We felt the spirit guide us in our conversation and the things we taught about. We were able to teach those certain commandments and more of repentance and what it means to be baptized. We were very happy when he understood what being baptized means. He said that he has come a really long way and he is going to never go back. We can see the Atonement working in him.  In the short 3 weeks we have been here and around him, we can see a for sure difference in the person he is. A lot of his friends are noticing also and he has been talking to them that it is only because of the Mormon Church. He is excited to keep sharing it with his family and friends. He is doing great and still preparing to be baptized!!!

Thanks for the update on all that is going on down there!! its good to hear that there is a little bit of a routine in your lives again!! Thats one thing i have pretty well figured out, a routine! I hope that it was a great week and that this next week will be great also!! i love you all!!

Elder Mortensen