Monday, July 17, 2017

I Feel Like I Did Here What I Was Sent Here To Do And That Is All I Could Hope For

Well Hello again!  

Its kinda weird to think that this is my last time emailing back home! Its weird to think that i am all packed up and ready to go to the mission home later today. When people ask what its like to go home and how i feel. I always tell them i am really excited but I am not ready. That I am going to be a terrible normal person. So i guess that we will see how it all goes. Earlier this week it really hit me that i am actually going home but right now it doesnt really feel too much. Its so close and i am packed but it doesnt really feel real.

This last week was a pretty good one. We didnt end up teaching M-- again. They were never home! the wife was there a few times and the older sons were. But i guess they went to Spokane so they will have to find them later. But yes Elder Winuea is staying in this area and he is going to be the district leader! He is not too excited but he is going to do really good. We had a last lesson with B-- and said bye. Her surgery got pushed back to this week so this week she said that she is going to have a lot of time to read in the Book of Mormon. She is really solid for baptism. She is on date for August 19 the same day as her mom who lives in Richland and they want to be baptized together. They are both working together now to to quit smoking! She is so awesome! M--'s mom has been in town and he doesnt get to see her much so we had a lesson or two with him but he wasnt able to come to church yesterday. He is still doing really good though. He still wants to be baptized. We found a new investigator J--! her kids were going crazy and she was super frustrated. It was one of the hardest lessons to teach. We just wrapped it up fast and we set a time to come back tomorrow after her kids are in bed! so it will be really good for them.  It is awesome to see how this area in the last transfer has changed so much. I am glad that we were able to work hard and get a lot done. I feel like i did here what i was sent here to do and that is all i could hope for.

Well I am super excited to see all of you here soon!! I am also excited to hear about all the fun things you guys have been doing and also to just have a great time with you. sorry if I am weird when i come back!

I love you all! It is going to be weird to be home but it is going to be good. sorry it is so short! but i guess i will just have to tell you more when i get back. So there isnt to much to complain about i guess!

See you all!!!

Elder Mortensen

Saturday we had a bunch of gift cards and went to dairy queen! 
We come back to our apartment and traded some ties then we celebrated! 
It was such a great transfer! i loved it here.

Kennewick District

 Service Project

Elders serving in Kennewick

Monday, July 10, 2017

It's Amazing to Think That A Guy While Growing Up His Parents Taught Him To Not Believe In God, Now Is Having All These Experiences And Know There Is A God

Hey again!

its crazy to think i am where i am with my mission. It has been really amazing these last few weeks and lots of good things have happened. Its weird to think how close it is to ending and its even weirder to feel it. I love my mission.

This last week we had another lesson with M--. It was a lot better than the first. The first time there was a ton of distractions but this time the only distraction was a car crash right in the middle of the lesson! we were out side and we couldnt see it but it was just around the corner. Its crazy to see how many times there is a distraction right before you talk about Joseph smith and the first vision! It seems like its almost every time! But it was a very good lesson. The spirit was for sure there. We invited him to be baptized and he said he would. We invited him to be baptized to a date but he said he would like to talk to his wife about it first. That he usually likes to talk to his wife about things like this. It was kinda funny. But we invited him to share the Restoration Pamphlet with his wife and he said he would. We had a time to come back and teach them both this last Sunday. We got out of dinner late, then we had to walk to their house. So its was later and they weren't home. So we are going by sometime this week to teach them. I am really excited for that. We had a great lesson with B--! We taught her the first half of the Plan of Salvation and she really liked that also. She did find her Book of Mormon! and she only read a little bit in it. We rode our bikes up to her house friday and went to invite her to church and read a little of the Book of Mormon with her. She was not doing very good. She has blocked arteries in her legs and she said that she has like no energy and she is short of breath. So we didnt teach her because she has just been spending time in bed. She has had a headache so she hasnt been reading. She said she was going in to the ER Tuesday if she doesn't feel better. So we are going to get in contact with her again today and she how she is doing. She is awesome just her health is not so great right now. M-- is doing awesome! So he was supposed to be baptized this week but he needed to get married first. Last week he was set on getting married and baptized. The last few weeks i have just been thinking i dont know how it is going to happen so fast. But he wants it so we will work with him towards it. He has been praying to know if he should get married right now then get baptized. But he felt he needs to wait. He is praying a lot and has been reading. He says whenever he reads and prays he feels something come into his heart then hears a voice. he said it makes him feel clean. he was praying if he needed to do this right now and he said he heard the words "wait my son, your time will come". he said it felt good but he still wanted to be baptized. He wanted our help to know if it was from God or Satan. We talked to him of how he felt and taught him how to recognize it as the spirit or not. He said it felt good and he was comfortable with that answer. It was really awesome to share that experience with him. The spirit was for sure their as we were talking about it. We talked about not pushing his baptism more and more. that it needs to happen and he understands that. He is just so solid! Its amazing to think a guy that growing up his parents taught him to not believe in God, now is having all these experiences and know there is a God.

So if your cant tell there is a ton of miracles happening and it was a super awesome week. Church was really awesome. In sacrament someone said one little thing and my thoughts just kept going. I was reading a talk this week called The answer is the Doctrine By Elder Bednar and it kinda blew my mind. During sacrament it just made sense and i understood it! i know there isnt lots of details in that, but for me it helps me know how we are cleansed by the spirit because we partake of the sacrament and how that allows the spirit to teach us more and more. how some things can only be learned b the spirit.

Well back home looks like there was a ton of fun stuff going on this last week! 4th of July we came in early at 6. We went and hungout with the other elders in our district and before you knew it stuff was flying everywhere. I guess they have some new nerf guns that shoot little balls so we had a major battle for the night. It was a good last holiday here!

I love you all!

Elder Mortensen

PS: thanks for always writing mom! you are the best. And yes you answered right for the indoor soccer! i will be a little rusty, but i guess thats alright.
I dont have any pictures of me, but here are some pretty cool pictures of the river!!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

I Have Learned What The Spirit Feels Like And Have Lived In A Way To Become More Sensitive To It

Hello again!  

This week was also an awesome one. We did meet with B-- and M-- again! They are both doing really awesome! B-- has a son that has mental disabilities and he went and put her Book of Mormon away for her. So now she hasnt been able to find it. She said she didnt look too hard though. She has been reading the gospel Principles book and has really liked the things in that. We for sure want her to read the Book of Mormon so we said we would give her another one but she wanted to look for hers first. So we are going back probably like tomorrow to see if she found it. We taught her the first half of the Plan of Salvation. She really likes how all we do is centered on families. She is just doing really good. She believes all the things that we have taught her and is really excited for it all. She didnt come to church because her step brother was getting his leg looked at to see if they were going to have to amputate it and her mom wanted her to be there with her. So i guess that is an alright excuse. M-- has been doing really good also. He has read a little bit and has been praying! He believes the things we have taught him are true and is learning how the holy ghost feels for him. He says he really likes the way it makes him feel. He had to work this Sunday so didnt come to church, but he wanted to. He is going to be able to come next week he said. He is just doing really good too. We found this guy named M-- this week. He was a former investigator and really likes the things we teach. It was a pretty good lesson there were just lots of distractions. We are going back this week and plan to teach him more after. It was a good week of a lot of finding. That is what we are needing to do more of and find new people to teach. Its been really good the last couple of weeks. the area has changed a lot and we have seen lots of miracles. 

An answer that answers all three of your questions kinda come to the same answer. The biggest change, the thing that has made the biggest impact on my life and also the thing that strengthens my testimony all come back to learning how the Spirit talks to me and following it. I think this is the most important thing that anyone could learn. If we want Gods influence in our lives, that is what we must do. If we want to learn what God wants us to learn, thats what we have to do. If we want to be a tool in Gods hand, that is what we must learn. I have learned what the spirit feels like and have lived in a way to become more sensitive to it. I have also learned to always follow the first prompting. Lots of the time its hard to know if what comes to mind is from the spirit or just your own thoughts. But it doesn't matter. If its good, it is of God! In Elder Rasbands last talk he quoted Joseph Smith. It says something like if we follow the first prompting we will be right 9 times out of 10. so i have learned just do what feels right and to try to do it as soon as possible. From trying to do this i now know more of how god loves me and wants to be present in my life. If there was anything that i would tell someone to best prepare them for a mission or really for life, it would be learn how the spirit speaks for you. also to learn how to receive revelation especially through the Book of Mormon. There are a lot of things that have impacted me, but that is one of the biggest things. 

It is awesome to see all the things that have been going on this last week! It really is awesome how great of a experience Ali had. I think that is super awesome all the things that she has learned and even more awesome the things she has felt. It will always be a great thing for her in her life. 

The plans you talked about sound great. It will be a good time to be up there with all of them. Also on Sunday, those sound great also. I wont have much time to prepare a talk, but no worries, I was planning of winging it anyways!!! haha no, that dosent worry me. It will be enough time. I am excited to see you all. It is going to be a big change and really weird, but it will be good. I dont know how i am going to be at not being a missionary and trying to be a normal person, but i guess we will see. 

Thanks for the email!! i love you all!! I hope you have a great week!

Elder Mortensen

Elder Mortensen and Elder Winuea

Kennewick District.  We have logs of fun!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

His Prayer Was So Simple And So Amazing


Its great to hear from you!!! Every time i get these pictures it reminds me of how much i love the mountains!! you have no idea how excited i am just to see mountains! Its crazy. But it looks like you all had a great week this last week. Its cool to hear of all the fun things that you all are doing. haha i like the picture with Dad and jaxsen. If dad gets his other bike fixed up and i was there and they tried to take that picture, i would probably be clear in the back rolling down the hill or something. I cant tell you how weird it is to get back on a bike. I never crashed but when i got here i was so bad at riding a bike! It was so weird. Its cool to hear a little about what ali is doing. She is in the same part of the world where Elder Winuea is from. I have heard a lot about that area of the world and it seems amazing.

This week was another week of miracles! I think the coolest thing that happened was when we found this lady named B--. So she called the mission office and was looking for some help with her yard. The mission office got a hold of some bishop in kennewick and he got a hold of us and said this lady needs some help with her yard and its even a chance to teach. So we rode our bikes to her house and talked to her. She showed us what she needs help with and we made a plan to go back monday to do it. We asked if we could share a message of Christ. She said she would love that. So we sat down outside and taught her. She is so awesome! She just took it all in. She said she was excited to read the book of Mormon. That she hasnt read her bible in the last few months and wanted to start reading it again so now she will start this. We Invited her to be baptized and she said yes! We invited her to be baptized on July 29th. It was a great lesson. We finished up and got on our way. We got a few blocks away down the hill and the thought came to me that we forgot to invite her to church. So i called to Elder Winuea and we decided we should go back. So we turned around and rode our bike back up the hill and invited her. She said she would love to come. She dosnt have a car so we said we would help her get a ride. So we got a ride and she came to all 3 hours of church and just had a great time! She said all the people were so nice. It was super awesome. It was a huge miracle how it all happened. 

We had a few lessons with M--. He is doing really good. The last lesson we had with him he took some huge steps. He was excited to show us what he read in the Book of Mormon and he found a journal and took notes! His prayer was so simple and so amazing. He said something along the lines of thanks for having the missionaries come back over to teach me. Thanks for the Book of Mormon. I will keep reading it and i will make you happy, Amen. When he finished the spirit just hit me and elder Winuea and we just kinda looked up and it took a second before we could say anything. It was an amazing lesson. He is also living the Word of Wisdom!! He said that he use to drink a lot. Then a few months ago he felt like he should read the bible one day so he did. Then he felt like he should stop drinking,  so he did. Right there. It is amazing to see how people are prepared little by little to receive our message.  It happens so much and its cool when we get to see just a little of how it works. 

we have been in contact with L--. She has had a few concerns come up. But she is still willing to meet with us and wants to learn.She is really hard to find home with all her treatments. Those keep her out of the house a lot. Then she never knows how she is going to feel after. 

Thank you for that quote. I really like it and really know that it is true. It is super awesome to be able to see in your life. I have been able to see it a lot this transfer and there is no way of explaining how amazing it is. 

I hope you all have a great week! I love you all!

elder Mortensen

sorry for no pictures this week. We are at the mission office because we had to talk to some of the office missionaries and try to get everything figured out for elder Winuea after his mission and there are lots of flash drives in the computer and i dont want to mess anything up. But next week! there will be some. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Did Jesus Send You?


Wow! what a letter!! thanks for the letters each week. It always is fun to get them. It sounds like you are all having a lot of fun down there in Utah!! and i guess Ali in Samoa. I am sure it would be awesome to be on that trip even just on the Island. If you want to see a weird looking island look at one called Tarawa.  It is where Elder Winuea is from! a member was looking it up on his phone so it was kinda cool to see pictures of it. All the cool camping trips/youth conference look like a ton of fun. Its kinda weird that summer has started and all that kinda of stuff is already happening. It looks like a lot of fun.

This week was awesome! We got a lot of time to work! M-- is doing pretty good. we had a lesson planned but he ended up having to work. He just got a new job. But we go over and talked with him here and there. We also saw him riding our bikes down the road and stopped to talk to him. So He is doing pretty good. He has read a little bit in the Book of Mormon. We saw him yesterday and he said he would read that night and also tonight when we have a lesson with him tomorrow. So we are pretty sure he will get a little more reading done. He is just really humble and will do what he says he will.

We had a super cool Miracle this week. We were out knocking doors and looking for some part member families. There was one on this certain road we felt like we should go find right now. So we went and it was a duplex and we didnt know what one it was so we just knocked the first one. after a little this lady walked up behind us and said,  Who sent you here? We were like oh no, what is she going to say. We told here who we are. then she said, Did Jesus send you? then she told us we needed to come in. So we came in and she sat down and we talked to her. Her name is L--. She told us about the things that are happening in her life. She has Kidney failure and her son has this bone disease where his bones are super weak. the first time he broke his back was at the doctors when they asked him to touch his toes. He right now has it broke in 2 places. She said that she just doesnt know what to do. we talked to her about how the Gospel can bring peace into her life and how God, as we follow what he tells us, can bless us more then we can imagine. We taught part of the restoration also. As we were talking the spirit was so strong. She started crying. She said she has been praying for a sign of what she should do and she takes us coming that night as a sign. We invited her to be baptized. At first she was a little hesitant. We talked about how what she is feeling is the spirit and its how God talks to us. We talked more about why it is important and she later accepted to be baptized. It was such an amazing experience. Just to see God was leading us even when we didnt know it. That we were right where we needed to be right when we needed to be there.

Also knocking doors we saw this lady walk out and before we said anything she just went off on the crazy things that have been happening to her in her life. She has had a crazy last couple of months. Long story short, Her husband went crazy and attacked her with a knife. Her son saved her life and now she is disabled and has like 11 rods in her back. It took like 40 minutes. After she just looked at us and was like, So who are you? We told her we are missionaries, Then we shared a message that will bring her peace and comfort. She said that she could really use that. She said that her mom and some of her friends she works with were talking about how they have been meting with missionaries lately. how she is actually really interested in what we share. We were headed to another lesson and were already late so we didnt get to teach her much but she seemed really sincere. It was cool to see what just listening can do. We are going back tomorrow or the next day to teach her.

This week has just been a week of miracles! Its amazing to see what happens when you put some faith and hard work together to see all the things that can come from it. I feel like i have already grown a lot from being here. I have seen more of how the Lord really does lead us when we go out and try to do what he would have us to. In the morning we have been praying and telling God we are ready to listen, to help us be willing to follow what we feel. And we have seen a lot of miracles because of it.

The ward here is really good. It is pretty small though. We dont really fill the chapel hardly. We didnt eat much with members this last week because the list didnt get passed around, but this next we have one for everyday. so it will be good. The Bishop here is awesome! He is for sure a business man. That is how like half the ward is. There is a lot of money in this area. It is actually kinda crazy.

Well i really do hope you all have a great week! I Love you all!!!

Elder Mortensen

One more thing.  The ward mission leader of the Elders we lived with in Hermiston is planning on going down to Lehi.  He was dropping off a package for Elder Goebel, another elder than lives in Lehi.  He said he could bring one down for me.  So The Teegardens should be calling or stopping by or something.  I gave them the address and your phone number.  I'm not sure when they will be going down but soon.  There are two boxes full of journals and books and cold weather stuff.  So be wataching for that!!  Thanks!!

Elder Taylor, Elder Mortensen and Elder Shumway. I dont know where Elder Goebel was.
We had a lot of fun in that apartment in Hermiston!

Missionaries getting transferred out of Hermiston!! 

Elder Mortensen, Elder Shumway and T--, an investigator we were teaching in Hermiston.
He wanted a picture he could remember us by. So we took a great one!

Haha!  Being in a walking area get you pretty tired!

The day before my birthday Elder Goebel made cookies and instead of celebrating turning 20 we celebrated the last day of being 19 because that was the candle we had and the day we had time!

Elder Anderson Came To Visit The Mission

Last week was so crazy i forgot to write about Elder Anderson coming to visit the mission! it was super awesome! Its cool to see an apostle in a different setting than General Conference because its less formal and you get to see more of who they really are. He is so awesome!! He is for sure an apostle and knew just what we needed to hear. He said he didnt really know what he was going to say but the morning of in his prayer he received all that he planned on saying. he talked a lot about finding. He said he is not worried on the way that we teach, he is more worried on the way we find. So right now that is a focus in the mission of how we can find more people to teach! he said right now it isnt going to be through the active members of the church. It will be through the part member families, the less active members and the youth. Also that we have to do more personal finding. So I am really excited for the focus on finding. We have been doing a lot of work with the part member families.

Washington Kennewick Mission in Front of the Columbia River Temple

Can you spot Elder Mortensen????  Third row from the back, third from the right!

Monday, June 12, 2017

It's Amazing To See What The Lord Can Do If There Are Just People That Are Willing To Put Some Faith In It And Go To Work

Well hello!! 

its good to hear from you again! Well the least i can say about this week is it was crazy! It is super weird getting moved into a new area. It was actually super overwhelming. But i have worked my way into it. For some reason with a big change like this i feel like i should be completely worked into it like the first or second day, i dont know why, i guess i am not super patient. So i had to remind myself that it was going to take a little time. But i feel like i know what i am doing now. But its still crazy. So here i am in a walking area, well i guess we have bikes to, so kinda a biking area. Its been weird. The first day we got here and i unpacked some of my clothes and we headed out. We were going to find our Elders quorum president. It was at the top of a big hill. our area is long and skinny North to South. The ward is the Southgate ward. For the Boemans, it covers most of canyon lakes Loop. We live in some apartments called the highlanders. The address is like 3030 4th ave i think. I am not to sure about that though. Then it goes a little more north than us. There is a super wealthy area then a normal area. Lots of the members are pretty well off so they live on the south end of town up the hill where it is hard to get to.

So we actually didnt get doubled in. They said we were but Elder Winuea was actually here last transfer too. he is super awesome and super humble. He is from a island called Kiribati, It is kinda a part of the Marshal islands but not really. He says its close to Fiji. He has been out for like 20 months. Him and his grandma are the only members of the church in his family and his mom and siblings are taking the lessons right now! They will probably get baptized he said. He had to learn English but knows it really good. So ya we are in English work.

The missionary that i took his place it was his last transfer and he really didnt want to work. he was ready to go home. So coming here there wasnt to much stuff going on. We set a goal as a companionship to baptize at least one this transfer. On Thursday we went looking for a new member family that just moved in to the ward. We found a man named M--. He is not a member. growing up his parents never wanted him to believe in God and never really went to church. We had a great lesson with him and invited him to baptism. He said that he is starting work this Sunday and thinks that he is going to have to work every Sunday. But that he would like to be baptized.  So we didnt put him on date yet. We invited him to church though. He came! Later that day we went back to his house to introduce the Book of Mormon and help him know how he can know its true and why that is important. It was a really good lesson. He is now on date to be baptized on July 15th. It was such a miracle! Its amazing to see what the Lord can do if there are just people that are willing to  put some faith in it and go to work. So the area is already doing better than it was. I am super excited about that. That was the best thing that happened this week.

The Birthday was great. I really liked the package you set. Thanks for that. I didnt do much celebrating other then getting out to work! I guess there really isnt anything better to do than go find people who need the gospel. so thats what i spent the day doing and the day before and the day before that and the day before that and tomorrow and the next day. So i guess everyday is great!

Its awesome to see all the fun things that you all are doing back at home! they all look exciting! Its crazy to hear everyone going on missions! especially Kyle going to China. Thats crazy!

Thanks for the quote. That is something i really love because its something i really rely on. Without the Holy Ghost being with me i really cant teach. It doesnt work well. One of the things that i have learned on my mission that will effect me the most is i have learned to recognize and follow the prompting of the Spirit. It helps me everyday and it is the only way really any effective missionary work gets done. Its super exciting. Well i hope you all have a great week this week! I love you all!!

Elder Mortensen

Sorry for not having pictures. I cant put my card into the computer like the last one and i didnt bring my cord. But i will next week!

Monday, June 5, 2017

At The End He Prayed And Asked God To Help Him Find An Answer If This Is All True

Hello family,

Wow! Its good to hear all about your last week!  Jaxsens Ragnar sounds like a ton of fun.  If i was in shape i would do one of those.  It looks like it is going to a hot one for all of you!  that is crazy. That is way too hot to do much in.  That is about what it is going to be here.This last couple of days were colder.  There was actually thunder and lightening! Usually the clouds for some reason go right around Hermiston, even the tri-cities too.  So that was pretty cool.  Alis St George trip sounded like it was pretty fun! I remember the senior trips i went on and they were a blast.  They were a little different.  We went up the mountains and played in the dirt.  its good to hear that Dad is feeling good enough to at least run a few miles, Even if he shouldn't! It sounded great. 

Well guess what!! I am getting moved! i cant even believe it. At first it threw me off and i wasnt too excited about it. Once the initial shock went away i am actually kinda excited, but still really dont want to leave. I am getting doubled in and i am SO excited about that one. i love doing that. I dont know how to spell my companions name but it is something like Winawaya. He is from some island that i cant remember. I only met him once. But i am no longer a Zone leader. Thats to bad it was really fun and kinda different, but president said that when Elder Winawaya goes home they will likely want to put him in leadership sometime in his life and wants me to teach him how to be a leader. So i will be a district leader. President said that when i go home that he might keep Elder W there and make him the District leader. So that will be cool to help him do that. 

This week was so great! that is part of the reason i dont want to leave. We found three awesome new investigators! Also had lots of other good lessons with people we have been teaching. C-- and C-- have been doing better. We had a lesson and helped them understand why they are reading the Book of Mormon. Also the importance of coming to church. That is going to be their big thing. C-- doesnt like organized religion. They are doing better and better though. G-- was in Portland. Her mom past away. So she was down there for a few days so our lesson had to get pushed back with her. We didnt teach T--. her life is crazy and she is running around a lot so that is going to be a hard thing, just catching her with time to teach her. For the last lesson we had at the end she said that that was the longest she has just sat in her living room for the last year. Her situation is really hard. She is doing good though. we found a new guy named A--. he is really cool. In the past he has read all of the Book of Mormon and he is just trying to figure out how he can know if Joseph Smith is a prophet.  So that is what they are going to be helping him with. He is awesome and super humble too. We taught T-- again too. He is doing good. We also explained why he is reading the Book of Mormon and how he is going to come to know it is true. At the end he prayed and asked God to help him find an answer if this is all true. It was really cool. 

So this week i will be headed off to Kennewick! i have never been there. So happy Birthday to me! i will be in a van headed up to the tri-cities! i am actually excited it is going to be awesome. I hope everything is great for all of you! have a great week! i love you all.

Elder Mortensen

Well there was a super awesome sunset a few days ago. Its always better in person though.

Haha also we were trying to take a picture of the lightning and a cop came and talked to us.
It was all good they just though we were broke down. Its a funny picture though. 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

As We Talked About How God Really Does Love Her And Is There To Help, Tears Came To Her Eyes


Well first things first, i am jealous you all went to the cabin! Even just seeing mountains in a picture is exciting. The mountains came up in our conversation last week because there are some youth that were going to go hike Badger Mountain (badger bump) and we were talking about how it isn't even a mountain at all.   We bet that when a plane flies to Utah and is full of missionaries that when they see mountains that everyone just starts to cheer! I wouldn't be too surprised if it really happened!   But it looks like it was a fun week! Its weird to think that school is already out! the school here goes for another two weeks! there was like 7 snow days they had to add on. It is crazy. Summer is here! it for sure feels like it! it was like 95 yesterday! It was soo hot. Someone was saying they think it is going to be a really hot summer and reach 120. So we will pray that doesn't happen. I really liked that analogy about keeping a testimony burning and always doing things to strengthen it. that is so true. One thing that i always think of for a testimony or conversion is its like rowing a boat up stream. It you arent working hard enough you wont go anywhere but if you arent working at all you will go backwards. The reason that living the gospel takes hard work is because that is faith! The first principle of the Gospel. Faith gets us to act, to do things that we otherwise might not do. To gain more faith you have to do something hard, you have to do something that requires faith. So if we want it to be easy we are to focused on ourselves and not focused on others, and for sure not focused on Christ. Being a missionary has been so amazing! i love it so much. We get to just go around and help everyone that will accept it. 

We did a lot of finding this week. Our focus was to be more diligent in working and we were able to do that. It was hot but we were able to get out there and work more than the weeks in the past. It helped that we didn't have to many meetings or anything. On the hottest day we found a bunch of potential investigators! Yesterday we went back and had a lesson with one named T--. She is in a really humble spot in her life. She was in a really bad relationship for 8 years. her oldest child was able to roll it off his shoulders but caused lots of problems for her middle child. also her youngest one has leukemia. It is just her and her three children. So its been hard. She doesn't have any religious background. She prayed with her aunt until she was about 5 then that was it.  So we first talked about Jesus Christ, then how God loves her and her family and that he will bless them. As we talked about how God really does love her and is there to help, tears come to her eyes. If i were to guess i would say that she hasn't felt that love from anyone for a long time. It was a really great experience to be able to help her feel that spirit. We then focused on prayer and taught her how to pray. We invited her to pray and ask if God loves her, also to pray and ask if he is there and if he will help her and her family. We are very excited to be able to go back and continue to help her grow in her faith and learn that God really is there for her. It was a really amazing experience. I was feeling the spirit really strong as we were there. 

G-- has been hard to find time to have a lesson with her. She is doing really good still. She reads the Book of Mormon everyday and prays everyday and she really does know that it is true, she just needs Sundays off so she can come to Church! She went on vacation this weekend which is good. She said she hasn't done that for like 4 years. She works too hard. But we do have a lesson with her this Wednesday at the old stake presidents house! it is going to be sweet!

Well that is kinda this week in a nut shell. Well i guess we also taught C-- and C-- this week. They are doing really good and accepted an invitation to be baptized! We are going back Wednesday again to teach them! This area is just doing really great. I have loved being here. 

I hope the First week of Summer goes great for you all! enjoy the sun! and Jaxsen, make sure you start shrinking. I love you all!!

Elder Mortensen

A picture from a District Council!

We, for some reason, had the idea to make a barricade so the Elders couldn't get in. It worked!! For a little. And it only took like 5 minutes! It was fun.

This was our District! one of the pictures at least.

Also you got to love being in the country!!

Monday, May 22, 2017

L--, The Seminary President Got Baptized!

Hey again! 

Well this week was a pretty good week! We had a few good lessons, we found two new investigators and we had a baptism! The new investigators that we found were a referral from some other elders. their names are C-- and C--. They said they wanted a Book of Mormon. So we went by and talked to them last week and gave them a Book of Mormon. This week we went to teach them. They talk a ton so the first time we didnt really teach to much. But they both read! C-- said that he had a hard time putting it down! He read into 2 Nephi and C-- read into 1 Nephi 8. His last wife was a member and he went to church with her for a while. She got offended and they didnt go back. Then later they split up. When C-- was young her family joined the church but she was a teenager and she wasnt very interested then. But now she is super interested and he is also. So it was really cool to teach them. They had a bunch of questions that had to do with the Plan of Salvation, so that was what we taught them! They liked it a lot.  They are awesome.  This Sunday we just had baptism for L--! It was super awesome! there were like 100 people there! It was the most people i have ever seen at a baptism! it was crazy! Like half were youth. He is the Seminary president so a bunch of the seminary students came. It was a super good baptism. G-- is doing pretty good. She has been sick so we didnt teach her. But she hasnt smoked any!!! i told her it has to be a blessing in disguise! And that she needs to take that as a start to not smoking any more. She is doing really good. We have a lesson with her tomorrow. 

So funny story. This happened like two weeks ago but i dont think i told you about it. So one night we were sitting in our room on the floor and Elder Shumway had a cup of milk and it was right next to the phone. I put the phone across the top of the cup and looked at him and told him dont do anything stupid. So he looked at the phone at tried to smack it off but hit it straight up and it dropped right into the milk! We both just kinda looked at it amazed that that just happened. then quickly grabbed it out of the milk and i ran out trying to figure out what to do with it. I didnt know if i should rinse it off or dry it or something. I was so confused. So we just threw it in a bowl of rice. Now when anyone asks why we need their number we have to tell them it fell into milk. So they get a laugh out of it. We called the lady at the mission home to get a new one and she said she expected that out of her 3 year old granddaughter, but not us! Oh also how do you like our new mission car? all the members always tell us how lucky we are! we have had it for like the last month. It is awesome. 

Well i hope the last week of school is fun! its not really school so i am sure it will be. I hope the summer will be a good one. I feel like it is going to be a hot one. It had been hitting 90 already. I dont know if i am ready for that. But its coming either way. Its good to hear dads neck is doing a lot better! Well i love you all! thanks for writing again!

Elder Mortensen

L--'s Baptism with Elder Shumway, L--, Elder Mortensen

We found a big bee hive or something like it and we of course threw rocks at it:)

Our new mission car.  Haha ya we are lucky. There are 2 in the mission, ours and the Assistants drive the other. It drives super nice. there are a bunch of dirt roads in our area and now we dont have to go super slow anymore! its great! 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Surprise Text

We got this surprise text and pictures from Sister Christensen:

"Having dinner with your missionary!"

Thanks Sister Christensen!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Surprise Facebook Post

I found a picture of Elder Mortensen posted on the Washington Kennewick Mission Page by Summer Schaefermeyer!

Service Assignment in Hermiston, OR.  Can you spot your hardworking missionary?

Monday, May 15, 2017

We Learned How To Guard The Flame of Faith

Hi again!! 

It was super awesome talking to you all yesterday! It was super fun. It was weird though. Its always kinda weird to take a break and just talk to your family. Its good to hear that you are all doing really good though.  Especially that dad got some help getting his head screwed on right and it is feeling better. Hopefully this whole not being able to exercise thing gets a little weight on you! I have to catch up some how! Its cool to hear about all the things that are happening back at home. It seems like it has been a lot of fun the last while. 

This last week i already told you mostly about. We also had Zone Conference. President White trained us on Guarding the flame of faith. How it has to be a constant thing or it will burn low or burn out. Its something that we have to do with ourselves. It is also something that we have to do to help our investigators. Lots of the time the best way we can help our investigators is getting a small chance everyday or every other day to get to talk with them. When Ginger was trying to stop smoking we stopped by everyday at her house or at work just to see how she was doing and give her a little more support. There were times that it was really hard for her and she said that if we didn't come she doesn't know if she would have been able to not smoke. So it was cool to see that we were brought over at just the right time. We also had some training on helping our investigators over come problems with the Word of Wisdom. In the last two months here in this Zone there were 16 people who fell off date to be baptized because of the word of wisdom. That is so much! so we have a little more focus on that and need to make sure we are teaching the doctrine behind it, because there is actually a lot of doctrine behind it. Its pretty cool. Well i dont know what more to say! sorry its short today, but at least we got to talk yesterday! i love you all! have a great week!

Elder Mortensen

Pictures from Zone Conference! 

The one is with Elder Corral and his sweet glasses! 

This one is a picture of all the missionaries that are from Lehi!! its crazy how many there are! And thats just two Zones! I dont know who there are so many from Lehi, but its pretty cool.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mothers Day

One of the best parts of the mothers day...face timing with Josh.  It was filled with lots of laughter, some tears, and lots of inspiring moments.  Brayden & Hillary weren't able to face time with us on Sunday, but were able to talk to Josh for a few minutes on Saturday night when he called to confirm the time.   I love my family. Can't wait to have us all together again. Only 2 more months.

Monday, May 8, 2017

It Is Amazing To See How The Work I Was Able To Do Or The Work Of Any Missionary Really, Just Spreads

Hi again!! 

This week was crazy!! It was super awesome! I dont even know where to start. I guess with the not so fun stuff. We had interviews. Those aren't bad, other than they ran almost 5 hours behind because the sister missionaries talk a ton. So good thing that we didnt have a dinner planned that night because that wouldn't have happened. We had MLC and that was super good. It for the most part was training on how to help people over come problems with the Word of Wisdom. In the last 2 months there was been 50 people in the mission that fell off date for baptism because of the word of wisdom. So it is by far the biggest thing that keeps people from being baptized in this mission. So after that we went to teach A--. We taught the Word of Wisdom. She is living it already!! After that the thoughts that went through my head were like, What now? i didnt think this ever happened. So we just went for it and started teaching other things with it. It was awesome. She is doing really good. She says that she is just ready for this.  Her boyfriend in the past really didnt like us and was causing some problems. But now he likes us!! he actually likes her meeting with us too. We are hoping that now he will meet with us. This last Saturday we also went to the Temple! There was a guy named B-- that went through for the first time. It was someone back in Prosser that Elder Shumway taught and baptized. It was a year ago. The really cool thing about it is It was a referral from T--. So in Prosser we found and taught T-- and she was baptized, that was amazing enough! But a little after her baptism she sent the missionaries to B-- to go and teach him and he was baptized not long after. Now B-- has helped others be baptized as a ward missionary. It is amazing to see how the work i was able to do or the work of any missionary really, just spreads. More and more people learn of the church and live the Gospel. Just to think how much more it will happen through the generations. This is an amazing church and it definitely contains the true Gospel. It is so amazing to be out here as a missionary. All the time i am just sitting there in the apartment in the mornings or nights and just thinking. Then it comes to me how much i love being a missionary. It is super amazing. There is nothing i want to do more then be here right now. This week i also had my testimony of prayer strengthened. I learned you need to be careful with prayer! So G-- was living the Word of Wisdom until her boy friend J-- came home. He caused her to stress a lot and she started smoking again. Because she was so stressed she had really bad migraines. Then we weren't able to find her for a while. She would be sick sleeping or at work. we thought she was embarrassed maybe for falling back into smoking or something. We really had no idea. She kinda just disappeared. So we decided it was time to teach her the law of chastity because that will help her stop smoking and it will all be much better after that. So we have been praying for the last week of how we can teach her that. She has been with him 10 years and we just dont know how to help her with this one. So we finally found her Yesterday. She hasnt been doing very good. J-- kinda went crazy and blew up.We were talking with her asking what we can do. We talked about reading and praying always. She has been doing both everyday!! thats awesome. We are going to fast with her wednesday. She said that J-- if for sure leaving she wont let him stay. When she said that my heart kinda leaped for joy. It was really sad but i couldn't help but think it was an answer to our prayers. Things with her will get better. Our prayers were answered this far and i have no worries that those blessing will stop coming. It is what you call a miracle in disguise! She will live the law of Chastity here soon! we are excited for her in that way. So that was the big part of the week! oh, also our dry Mormon/seminary president friend is finally getting baptized!! The weekend of the 20th there is no baseball for him and we have the green light! i am soo excited for that!  It was just a week of miracles. It was a great week!

I really hope dad gets feeling better! it kinda looks crazy. i will keep praying for you! Thanks for the update on everything. Sorry i dont have much more time. But i really do like hearing about all your week. I hope this next week is also a great one for you all. I love you all!

Elder Mortensen. 

We dont have a set time for Skype yet, but it will for sure happen. We are trying to find the best place to do it. We will for sure have a place though. we are thinking doing it sometime in the evening. I will also get to call for just a second on Saturday to set it all up 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Surprise Facebook Message

We got a surprise message from Sister Hartsteen:  "I fed your son breakfast for dinner tonight!"

Thanks for the picture Sister Hartsteen!

Monday, May 1, 2017

We Had A Lot of Finding Time and It Felt Really Good

Hello again! 

This week was awesome! It was kinda hard to find a time to teach some of our investigators but it was still really good. A-- is doing really good and is working again. This last week we had a lesson set up and she ended up not showing up! So we called her and she didnt answer. So we gave her a day or two and stopped by. She fell asleep!! for some reason she has been really tired and sleeping a lot, so that was why she didnt show up. But we have a lesson Wednesday and we really hope that it will work this time. Also we had one with G--. She ended up having to work late. She is a manager at Dominoes. Then we rescheduled and she got sick with the flu for a few days! Also last Monday we found 3 new investigators! well i guess Monday it was 2. A dad and his son. D-- and I--. It was a super good lesson. I-- was taught before by some missionaries and kinda just disappeared right before his baptism. but now his dad is back. He has some problems that he is trying to work out. But he is really cool. Then on exchanges Elder Shumway and a different elder went and taught them again and taught the mom, L--! and she is super awesome too! so that was awesome. Then we had another lesson set up. But that got canceled! A little before we came over for a lesson their drivers window got bashed in and their windshield cracked so they had to go file a police report. So we weren't able to have a lesson. Later that night we stopped by and they were playing soccer outside. so we talked to them for a little and kicked a ball around. They are super cool and we are going back tonight to teach them again. So this week was a weird one but a lot of good things happened. We went to visit G--. She is really sick right now and just isnt dong very good. So she needs a little more time before she can meet with us. She said she would be reading though. We also did some service for this old lady that was moving from one apartment to another. For some reason she looked familiar to both of us. We never figured out why. But we are going to go back because we think that we are going to be able to teach them. It was her and her grandson that is living with her. He is 10 and was super cool. He just followed us around the whole time kinda helping but just talking with us and messing around. There was also this other lady, we dont really know if she was related or not or just a friend. But she was super cool too. Her grandparents are members that live on the same street as us. So we are going to go find them this week and hopefully start teaching them.  Well that was kinda our week this week. We had a lot of finding time and it felt really good. sometimes there isnt to much of that with all the little things that we have to get done. 

It looks like it was a good week down there in Utah! Me and Elder Shumway got a kick out of the picture of Jaxsen and a bunch of kids with shovels in the middle of nowhere! I actually did guess what they were doing though. I am sure it was a lot of fun. sounds like prom was fun for Ali! sorry you had to go with a goober like him!! Haha the Curtis's are sweet! Well i hope that the week goes really great for all of you. For sure that dad can finally get his neck worked on. So good luck with that. I will be praying for you. I really love you all!

Elder Mortensen
Some times we get kinda bored in the apartment. I dont know how things like this happen, but they just seem to happen. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

This Week Was A Pretty Good One


That survey took forever!! (A survey for SUU).  it was crazy! So that is why this email is going to have to be short. But i did get it finished and it was super weird. But it was good i guess. I am jealous to see all those cool pictures! (From family vacation to Zions).  Not going to lie, the area around here isnt all that pretty to look at. It is cool right now. There is a little bit of green because of all the planting. But give it a few months and it will be yellow and brown. Its really cool to see all the fields though. I just prefer mountains and stuff like that. Ha, you should see the "mountains" around here. There arent any close. out a bit there is but not here. You can see the volcanoes that are like a 3 or 4 hour drive away. Its looks like it was a fun vacation. 

This week was a pretty good one. We had a church tour with J--. She really liked it. We went over Saturday to have a lesson. We didnt have a member with us because our member dropped out because they forgot it was their 53 anniversary that day. Then it was to late for anyone else to be able to come. But it was a good lesson. We invited J-- to be in the lesson and he liked it. We invited him to be baptized and he said he doesnt want to but he really respects our church and really likes our church. He didnt want to come to church either. But J-- said she would be baptized. We didnt put her on date though. It didnt feel right. She did come to church this week too! she is going really good. When she was in relief Society a bunch of the members thought she was a member! she fooled them all!

We had a few really good lessons. We had a few meetings. The picture is of the people from our MTC district that were at MLC this last week. 

Hey sorry i need to get headed but i love you all! I hope you all have a great week!!

Elder Mortensen

Oh ya we found a frog and were holding it in our apartment and it escaped! and like any good missionary, we took pictures! 

We also went bowling this last preparation day. what a great picture right? haha i beat everyone. i bowled 165