Monday, February 27, 2017

There Is No Spiritual Power In The Doctrine Of Christ If It Becomes A Checklist


This week here was a pretty good one! We were staying really busy the first 4 days of the week then it kinda slowed down. Friday was of course weekly planning day and that always gets us out later. But we had that then Saturday we had a lesson with D--. The lesson went pretty good. He was pretty emotionally beat up. We read in 1 Nephi 8 about Lehi's dream. It was a really good lesson. We taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ with it. He had a hard time with the idea of repenting and dropping your desires to sin and to be strengthened. We bore a lot of testimony to him of how it really does work and committed him to repent by reading the Book of Mormon every day and praying with the promise that that will bring more joy to him. That is what happens when you keep the commandments. Right after that we ate, then met up with a member and headed down to Hermiston. Elder Bowers taught a lady down there last transfer that got baptized so we were able to go back. It was cool to go back to Hermiston! it weird how many memories come back and how you can just get around everywhere. We came straight back after then had correlation with our ward mission leader, Sharing about all the people we taught this week and what we taught them. Then we had dinner with them then went right to Prosser!  The Spanish elders in Prosser needed some baptismal interviews done. The Zone leaders dont speak Spanish and the only other Spanish leadership in the zone other then me is the person that taught the ones getting interviewed, so he couldn't do that. So i got to! it is always really cool to see how strong the soon to be converts testimony really can be. It is a great experience to be able to interview someone for baptism. There was 3 of them. 2 of them were in Spanish and the third was kinda Spanglish. We jumped back and for between the two. It was kinda fun. Then we came home and it was time to come in. Then Sunday is always weird. After church then studies it is pretty much dinner time and that doesn't leave to much time to proselyte. So the end of the week was weird. 

We had a few lessons with R-- and L-- this week. She looked us up on facebook and i think these letters go on there so now i can only say nice things about them!! they might see it! No i hope i always say good things about people in these. But they seem to be doing pretty good. They didnt come to church though. We hope they will though, as soon as they do that they are going to see how great it is and that it is one of the reasons people in the church are always happy. We are really excited for them. 

We are teaching a few more people. Some one else that we are working with that is progressing slowly. He has had some crazy experiences of people trying really hard to baptize him. They didnt even teach him anything! just tried to baptize him! So he is not so sure of the whole baptism thing. He is reading in the book of Mormon and we committed him to come to church. Getting people to come to church is for sure the hardest thing! It has been crazy for that here is Benton City. 

this next week there is another District council. i was studying for it and asking for revelation and what i need to share with them. I really felt like what i came up with was from the Spirit! it was so great! I for sure was directed. There was a quote from Elder Bednar in a missionary Broadcast a few months ago. He said " There is no spiritual power in the Doctrine of Chirst if it becomes a checklist."  In the mission we have been talking a lot about repentance and teaching repentance. The thoughts that came to me was how i can help the district not make it a checklist. There is some scriptures in Alma. Chapters 7 and 34 that talk about having faith unto repentance and being baptized unto repentance. Something that stood out to me was both sets of verses i found to teach how to not make it a checklist( 7:14-16, 34:15-18) both come after powerfully teaching and testifying about the Atonement of Christ. I learned for us to be able to keep the Doctrine of Christ from becoming a checklist we need to do what we can to understand the Atonement. IF you want a good study i would invite you to read at least those two chapters and ponder how to keep the Doctrine of Christ from being a checklist and how you can live it better. something else to remember, something else Elder Bednar said is a training he gave were something like " The most important things you will learn to day will not be spoken." the same goes for reading the scriptures. The most important things you will learn will not be read, but they will be given you by God and through the Spirit. 

I am excited for this next week! Thanks for the update for the week! I hope dad gets feeling better. It sounds like it isnt too bad, but i am sure that doesnt mean it isnt causing a lot of pain. I will for sure be praying for you dad! you have more people praying for you then you probably think. 1. in the ward and 2. people that we pray with often pray for our families and God will hear those and help you by their faith. I hope you all have a great week this week!! i love you all!!

Elder Mortensen

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

They Both Take Everything We Teach Them As Truth


This week was a pretty good one. It luckily got a lot warmer. There were a few days that it was in the 50s! There were also two days straight that it just rained. But luckily the few hours we had planned each day to go tracting it stopped! so that was a big blessing. But no more freezing rain. It is also staying lighter for a little longer, so that is nice. People are lots more receptive to answering their door when it is still light out side. We knocked a lot in the dark this week and we found a lot of people that werent so happy to see us. But only one of them tried to bash with us! So that was good. When it got warm we went out to the boonies to knock. We did meet a lot of nice people but some people are out there for a reason and that reason is because they dont want to see people. So when they get a knock on their door they arent always happy. But we had to get out of town. I have knocked almost every door in town i am pretty sure. There is for sure a ton of people that i havent talked to and houses that didnt answer and still a lot of people being prepared in town, but i really just had a great time taking a break from it. Its crazy almost every other day we find ourselves on the same street. The worst part about being in the middle of no where is there are always dogs and they arent tied up lots of the time. There was one that i thought i was going to have to kick. but we picked up a rock and and walked backwards where we came from, then the owner came out. The dogs ran away and they said they arent interested. But luckily i still had that rock in my pocket for later. At night we were walking down this dark road and these two big black dogs came running at us. Not going to lie, it was pretty scary. Elder Bowers was fumbling to find his light and get it out of his pocket and when he got it out and shined it on the dogs they didnt like that and didnt come too close. but that rock i had almost came to use. Haha it at least gave me some comfort. so it was worth having it in my pocket the whole day. well actually it is still in my pocket. 

This week, i dont know if i told you about A-- last week, But he dropped us. We were helping him live the Word of Wisdom and he was doing really good with it. He was for sure progressing and we were excited for him. But he texted us then called us and said that he doesnt want to stop drinking coffee and smoking and that we dont really need to come back. So that was too bad. We were on a search for a new investigator this week. We didnt find anyone new. But we did have some good lessons with our investigators. The best one was with R-- and L--. We finished teaching the Plan of Salvation and they just loved it. They both take everything we teach them as truth. They show true humility. Its super cool. They are doing pretty good. They havent been to church and that is the next thing we are really going to be working with them on. They want to but things keep coming up. Most of the time it is work and R-- cant do any thing about that. We are excited for them though. funny story. After a lesson with R-- and L-- we just got home we got a call from them and they told us that there was some cop cars looking for us. Where we parked on the side of the street by this house the people got scared and called the cops. Well we left just in time to miss them. You could hear R-- in the back ground saying that we were Benton Cities most wanted for about 10 minutes! It was probably true. They dont have much to do in a town this small.  

We also had a District council yesterday. It went super good. Everyone in the District feels comfortable to share so when i do ask a question they actually respond! and not just one of them, but often all of them!! It is so amazing!! Its been fun to be in this district here. I am excited for this next week and the rest of this transfer. It is going to be a good one. 

Its good to hear that you all had a great week. thanks for always letting me know what is happening. Its fun to hear about. I hope this week is also a super good one for you all! So have a good week! stay out of trouble! i love  you all!!

Elder Mortensen

Also i need a new journal. So if you could get me another one soon that would be very appreciated!! i have still wrote everything everyday!! i am a little proud of that!

Monday, February 13, 2017

He Said That Every Time He Talks About God It Just Makes Him Happy

Hey again!!  

Its good to hear from you this week!! It for sure looks like the week was a full one!! It seems like a good week. Can you believe how old dad is? I think he is getting older faster than the rest of us. But we love him anyway. The two that look the most different are Ali and Jaxsen though! i wont say more about that, if i did i am sure it would all be sarcastic. I will let them still think they are beautiful people.   No but it does sound like it was a fun week. I really liked the pictures from the Philippines! (Bri went back to the Philippines for a humanitarian trip with BYU) it looks like a fun place. All the other little things sound like it made for a great week!

This week here was a super good one! We probably taught more this week then i have in a week before. Not all of the lessons were like perfect super powerful lessons, But we were able to have good contact with a lot of our investigators. The whole time i have been here the area just seems to be getting better and better! Its really cool to see. We received a referral from the Sisters here in Benton. It was a guy named A--. We went and found him one day and he let us in. He has had a really hard life. He was homeless in Kennewick for a while and there is a program that helps people in that situation called the Union Gospel Mission. When i was in Pasco we did service there every week helping them out with the things they needed. But he got into that program. It gives them food and a building to sleep in. The great thing is for them to be able to stay there they have to get involved with a church. he said ever since then he started learning about God, he just wants to learn more and said that he will never turn his back on God. Just before his time there was done he found a trailer and a park to put it in. We taught him the Restoration and he loved it. He said that every time he talks about God it just makes him happy. We helped him know it is because of the Holy Ghost and helped him know how he can receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. So now he is on date for March 18th to be baptized. There are a lot of things he is going to have to overcome, some of them related to the Word of Wisdom, but we are super excited to teach him! We had a second lesson with him this week and it went good also. We taught R-- and L--again too! R-- has a crazy work schedule this week too. there were times he got called out super early morning, would work part of the day and when night time would come around he would have to head back to work. He said he had a 16 hour work day this week. the lesson went really good. they are just super awesome and prepared to receive us and our message. They slept through church though!! It was to bad. But they are doing really good though. For D--, we did have a lesson with him. It was good too. He is a Free Mason. Its another organization not really a religion, but it gets picked on and called a cult a lot also. So he was able to relate to us. he explained a bit of that to us.  But he was excited to get the Book of Mormon on his phone! He is busy but does have some travel time. so he said that he would listen to it as he drove around. Another miracle we saw this week was a guy named B-- M-- that we found. He is less active. Last week we asked our Elders quorum President if there was anyone that he would like us to try to go find. He told us B--M--. So one night we did. He lives in the middle of nowhere and it was dark and it has been warming up so it was super muddy, i thought i was going to lose my shoe or something. But we finally found a house that we thought might be his so we went and knocked it. And it was him!! He said he had been drinking a little bit and we started just getting to know him. then he asked us how he could get back into church. He wants to change his life and get back to church. We told him the time of church and that it is on Sunday and said it is that simple. We testified of the power in the Book of Mormon and how that, combined with prayer would give him the added strength that he would need to overcome his bad habits and get back to church. The next day on Sunday he wasnt there. We dont know what came up for sure. But he hasnt read the book of Mormon for a long time, long enough that he didnt know where it was so we gave him another one. But he said that he has been reading the Book of Mormon again and that it is great. So it was so great to find him. Its amazing, sometime people think that miracles dont happen anymore, but as to my experience as a missionary, that that is the only way missionary work happens. I believe miracle are how missionary work happens. Its amazing!! some are big some are small, but when anyone has a change of heart and wants the things that he have to offer, it is a miracle. This week was just a great one. 

The only not so great thing was the freezing rain. The sisters got hit from behind in their car. So that night was kinda taken over by helping them with everything. It was good for us to give that service for them. They were more shook up than hurt, but they didnt even want to drive the car off the road after that. So we drove them where they needed and gave them a blessing and shoveled ice and snow and did a bunch of other things and walked home after because we had to get their car to their house somehow. It was really good though. One thing that i have found out more while i have been on the mission is that i just love to serve people and i just have a great time doing that. Its a good thing that a mission is all service so i have a reason to always love and enjoy it.

But ya it was just a great week. I loved it. I hope all of you have a great next week too! i hope everything goes as planned or better!! I love you all!! bye bye!

Elder Mortensen

Friday, February 10, 2017

Surprise Text

We got a surprise text from Sister Cannon.  She helped in the delivery of a package for Josh.

Thanks for the package mom!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Her Best Friend Served A Mission And Made Her Promise That When Missionaries Came Over She Would Be Nice And Let Them In For A Little


This was a pretty good week. They first part of the week there was a lot of packing and cleaning the apartment and just after that it was unpacking and i guess it was normal for me just slow. Its always weird to get a new companion! maybe not weird but it is for sure a big change. My new companion is from Indiana! Well kinda. He grew up there and lived in Herriman for 3 years before he came on the mission. So i guess he is still kinda from Utah. This week has been really cool. We had a really good lesson with R-- and L--! They are still doing really good. They should have come to church yesterday but i guess R-- got home super late. We went over for a lesson Saturday at 8 and he just got called out again to work. He works on the railroads. L-- said if he only works a few hours that they would make it to church, but if he worked too long and got home too late it probably wouldnt work. But she said that R-- was really actually wanting to go to church. The spirit has touched both of them and they know they want it. We are having a lesson tonight. We are going to share the first part of the Plan of Salvation and share some of the Bible videos. L-- doesnt really know who Jesus Christ is and wants to learn. So that is why we are sharing the videos. They are doing really good. We went to a baptism! it was really cool. His name is A-- and i dont know if i said this last time, but when i was serving in prosser i taught him and his mom!! It was cool to interview him and also at the baptism Tuesday Elder Stevens and I shared the restoration when he was changing out of his wet clothes. It was a really good baptism. Two of his aunts that were there are now taking the lessons.

 After the baptism we went to find a guy named D--! I guess how it use to work before preach my Gospel was after the 4th discussion if they didnt commit to baptism they would stop teaching them. So that is what happened to him even though he still wanted to learn more. So we found him and he just wants to learn. He is a busy guy that was divorced and now lives alone, but he seems really ready. It was Elder Stevens last night there and he said that always happens that right before he leaves an area they find someone really cool. So we are excited to teach him too. 

R-- and A-- invited us over Saturday for a brunch! they cooked us breakfast and we went over and had a good time. We did teach a little but it was really hard. I think they all slept in to long because they were all irritable and kinda angry. It was just a bad day for them at that time i guess. But the visit was really good. 

On Sunday we pushed our studies during the super bowl. We figured that we wouldnt get in to many peoples houses, at least to teach. They would all want to have us watch the game probably. About 30 minutes before it started we knocked on this door and this kid came out and wasnt very nice and after a little sent us on our way. As we walked down the sidewalk the mom came out and called us back over. I wish this turned into a teaching appointment, that would be cool! but she said she knows how little money we live off of and wanted to give us some food. Her best friend served a mission and made her promise that when missionaries came over she would be nice and let them in for alittle. So she gave us a bowl and a lid and told us to fill it up with what we want. They had some really good food. It was all there Super Bowl food! Then i realized that it was a lady we talked to at the laundry mat one day! it was cool. We had a good discussion with her and two of her daughters.  It was really cool to see how much of an impact even friends in the church can be. They dont want to learn and are all atheist but they are great people. It was super awesome and the food was super good!

This was just a really good week. Elder Bowers is a  great missionary and there are lots of things that i feel i am going to learn from him. this transfer is going to be really good. We have some great people to teach and we are just going to go and find some more! Benton City in a nice little place. I feel like i have knocked almost every single door! but i am not there yet, just close. 

I love you all and hope  you all have a great week! Good luck with everything!!

Elder Mortensen

Elder Bowers and Elder Mortensen