Sunday, December 7, 2014

August 18, 2014 (Week 105)

August 18, 2014

And because death comes upon all men, to fulfill the merciful designs of the grand creator, its is also necessary that there needs be a power of ressureccion. 
Wherefore, its precise that there is an infinite atonement, unless there was an infinite atonement, this corruption never could be relived in incorruption. - 2 nefi 9.6-7
(translations are not exact)

All I can think about in this moment are scriptures about the resurección jajaja. I'll never die! Only, I'll be revived unto a greater life. The only thing I really think about is just how I've learned a whole lot out here in 2 years, and how I keep learning, but its kind of planed out, and God gave the commandment for 2 years because he knew that we could learn what we needed to in that time. But, to keep on progressing, we need other assignments and callings. that's the only way to keep learning...

I'm happy about my time, I've made mistakes, I haven't been perfect, but I've learned so much. I'm so glad they gave me that talk to talk about. It fits just about right. Inspiracion! haha. But yeah... I have no clue how to put 2 years of spiritual and incredible and life changing experiments in words. You just can't. It's impossible. The things I've learned have been incredible. I wouldn't give these 2 years up for anything. There is nothing that would make me give up this time. I'm so grateful for your support in everything. It was always nice to know that I'd have a few emails every Monday. I couldn't have done this without you.

Really, these are just words. The feelings I have right now I have no idea how to convey. Not a single clue. If anyone has ever been changed by their mission it's been me. Now I guess I just gotta live up to my words. I told everyone Sunday that we are missionaries for life. And I now have to fulfill. I can't stop, I just can't stop... I don't know how anyone could teach this gospel for so much time and NOT be converted unto the Lord... There are still people out there waiting. That much the Lord has made known to me.
One thing, I want to apologize to those of my immediate family. It's always been in my nature to be out doing something always, and that's a big reason why I wasn't always home with you all... but I hope that's all gonna change now. I hope to be a bigger part of the family now.
I know I've said a lot of things... I'm kind of lost for words right now... I hope everything comes out better on Wednesday, but I highly doubt that, jaja. I love you all...
I hope this somewhat made sense. I'm really kind of numb to everything right now. I'm sure I'll wake up when I'm in the airport though... That should help me realize things a little clearer. I'm sure a Mountain Dew will help :)

Quick story, so I was pretty disappointed that I wasn't going to have a baptism my last week, just like I'd given the last baptism to all my companions that were moving on, and I was sad that I wasn't going to. Sunday night at 9:30, other elders were gonna baptize before the the changes happened, and they say, they have 2 people. Cardenas, who is going home as well said one for me and one for Mortensen! Nah just kidding, and I say "well to be honest I always wanted to baptize my last Sunday..." "Well what are you waiting for? Go get your white pants and tie!!! Run!" "Alright!!!" I ran to the house, changed and threw on my white tie, and ran back to the church to the confused look of the people outside haha. asi que, Elder Mortensen was able to baptize and get that nametag wet one more time before he left :) And how good it felt to say "Having been commissioned by Jesus Christ..." one last time.
I hope you are ready mom. :)
Love you all, I'm so grateful for everything. I'll see you soon.
For the last time, (at least at this point in time, I hope for another chance later on!)


Sunday, August 17, 2014

August 11, 2014 (Week 104)

August 11, 2014

Stayin alive... Stayin alive... oh oh oh oh Stayin aliveeeeeeeeeeeeeeee..... - Elder Mortensen

Well now. This week has been something crazy. This Friday we got permission to put a stand in the main park here, and the other Elderes called us, they had to baptized that day because the hermana was about to give birth. For some reason Elder Winsor was chosen to baptize. That was funny. She actually ended up giving birth before the baptism. hahaha not true, but she was just about ready to pop. But, she got baptized. She's had a hard pregnancy though...

Our baptism was something of a miracle, after a serious trial of our faith that's for sure. Elvia really like coffee, and last week her boss told her to take a week off and go to her rancho, where they drink coffee more than water. we sent her off with a prayer, fasting, and with anything possible, cards with scriptures on it, a blessing, and articles from the liahona. We tried to do everything. She doesn't have a phone, so we didn't hear anything from her for more than a week. It was stressful to be honest. We were fasting and praying and hoping, and it really was blind faith because everything was just telling me, just give up. You know she has already dranked coffee (dranked drunked drakin haha no sé.) She was supposed to get home Saturday at like 3, She didn't get home. We went to the church for the activity - the activity failed horribly. The ward mission leader didn't do anything, and the ward didn't do anything, And really, thanks to the sweet blessings of God, only 2 investigators came. I wished that none would have come. It was a complete failure, but just then, at 7 o'clock, here comes Elvia running into the church though the gate. ELVIA!!! Woo! We talked for a bit, she didn't drink a single drop of coffee :) 
We had her interview, and she passed, but the only thing was, she was given a job where she had to work Sundays. Same family, other job. she was already committed to work Sunday, but could get an hour off, and she was gonna go talk to her boss. She promised she wouldn't work another Sunday if she got baptized. That's sweet. so, at 9:46 pm she was baptized so she could get confirmed on Sunday. Really a cool blessing. The only baptism I haven't been able to prepare the week before, haha. But she knew why she was gonna get baptized, and she wanted to do it right then. That type of faith was actually really cool. She has been really cool to teach, because we had to teach to her needs perfectly so the spirit would be there. It was a lot of listening really carefully, and a lot of teaching with examples and a lot of faith and patience.

We have basically everything ready to get Adelaida and Luis married and they are ready to get married, just that really sadly, she drank a small cup of coffee on Sunday. That basically means I'll be able to get them married, but I won't be here for their baptism. I'm pretty sad, but it's alright. I'm gonna do my part and get them married so they will be ready for their baptism in 3 weeks... It's been cool to see their faith grow as well. We have been selling pies and and cakes and stuff to earn them money for their wedding. It's alright, we will have more time to teach them really well now. To teach them and make sure they are converted. But the cool story about them is that Adelaida was sad that her wedding wasn't gonna be the wedding she wanted with her whole family and the white dress and everything. I had no clue what to say, but then the thought (spiritual impression) came to mind to pull out the foto of the familia guzman at the temple after their wedding and was able to tell her that the wedding this weekend isn't even really that important. The one they are going to have in a year will be important. She really liked that, and it was a cool spiritual moment. But nevertheless, for some reason, a dumb cup of coffee set them back 3 weeks more...

Oh well. I'm happy. Just hope we can get them married this weekend, and that's enough. I'll see their baptism foto in 3 weeks I suppose. Just hoping for one last baptism... 

Well. This is the last week. I can't believe already 104 weeks have gone by... I can't believe my mission is already over. But I'm really not too sad. All I need to stay happy is just having another calling. That's really what I need. I wish the members could figure that out. God's work is missionary work. If God is happy, what do we have to do to be happy? Serve Him. That's all he asks. I really am gonna miss the mission. It's really changed my life forever.. but I'l

l have time to tell all of this to you soon...

Love you all,

Elder Mortensen

August 4, 2014 (Week 103)

Well, first things first, FELICIDADES A LOS NUEVOS PADRES!!! Brad y Shay [Congratulations on new parents, Brad and Shay], I hope the best for you two, and hope and pray that little Bronson grows well and strong. So happy for you both.

On to the next business, this week has been rough. Not gonna lie. Every investigator that we seem to find stop progressing in 2 days. We put dates with people then her brother-in-law says, "oh, she's already a member! She just doesn't remember"... or "I'm moving far away", or "my sister got in a car wreck and is in a coma and I'm going to Veracruz".. stuff like that. Also, Aracely got in a fight with her lazy daughter and had to take off to a pueblito about 35 minutes away, and it's not in our area. I'm sad. but she´ll at least be able to cook over there... We also taught her 1 nefi 8, and she knows really well she's gotta endure to the end!

But, we also had success. We did manage to meet one new guy, a friend of Jose Luis (by the way, Jose Luis is bien poderoso! [mighty fine] Wow. We taught him 1 nefi 8 and 2 hours later calls with 3 references. haha.) But this guy is pretty insecure, but came to church and loved it. And members wonder why we need them to get involved in the missionary work... Let's see... Aracely, Jose Luis, Elvia... what a difference it makes when a member is present in the lessons. But on the scary side, Elvia was suddenly given a week of vacations, before she gets baptized this weekend, but the scary part is that she is gonna be in her house not for 2 days, but for 7, and they drink more coffee than water, but we sent her off good and prepared, and we are all fasting and praying she holds strong. She doesn't have a number, so we aren't gonna hear from her for a week. Talk about trial of your faith!!! Man, but just before she went she left saying she wants the member that has been helping her to baptize her. I love that familia. They are so cool. But she knows she's gonna get baptized and she knows she can't drink or we postpone the fecha [date]!!!

Another cool thing that has happened this week, Los padres de Kiany [The parents of Kiany] started to get excited to get baptized. But they aren't married, so we came up with a plan, instead of us paying for the wedding, we just got the ward to do a order of pies and cookies, (she knows how to make desserts) and he (Luis) is gonna do some extra jobs. So now they are both committed!!! And they have to work for their baptism! That's the best part. They say they don't have money to drink coffee or beer hahahaha, But I see in their eyes that they have seen the light, and have felt the spirit, and even though they haven't said anything, I know they have a testimony. Luis now refuses work on Sundays so he can take Kiani to church, and Adelaida is happy that her husband is more happy. It's been cool to see them. We also taught them 1 nefi 8, and asked, what group do you want to be in? 1,2, or 3. well 3 no? That's good. But you are in group 1 right now, and they didn't get saved haha. Oh so I gotta take hold of the iron rod? Exactly! They understood. That's always fun!

We are going to draw really big the plan of salvation on a huge sheet of paper and put it up in the park. It's about the best idea Elder Winsor's had in his life and I give him all the credit. I've had him go pray a few times to ask for help to be happy. Sometimes he gets dis-animated, but with this idea he's now seeing he has good ideas and can participate. He's grown a lot. He still freaks out a little when the Internet doesn't load fast enough though haha. This time doesn't count right?? right??? haha. It's cool. He loves his family. Mondays sure are his joy. It's been fun having him as a compañero. He told me about the 4 normal personality types, and how one has 2, and the other has the other 2 haha. It's been a fun few months though. We get along really well. I still ask him why he does things like where sweatpants and a shirt to bed when its hotter than Hades every once in a while hahah... He just pauses, looks at me, and says: "Well I don't know!" then proceeds to change into basketball shorts.. It's funny.

I've been studying and teaching 1 nefi 8 a lot. It's my second favorite chapter besides Alma 32, but then again, it's the same thing. They are talking about the same tree. I'll have to teach that one to you guys when I get back. I'll see if I can do it in English, haha.

Also, I was studying in Jacob 5. It talks about in 20 how God works long and hard so his trees give fruit. Makes me think, aren't we trees too? In Juan [John] 15 Jesus talks about how God will clean the fruit of the vine so it gives more... also in Mateo [Matthew] 24 it talks about the talents and how much God invests in us... the question is... Are we giving the fruit God has cleaned us to be? After all of his conversion, have we grown the way God wanted us to grow? or is he going to say: Why hasn't this tree given forth good fruit? After all I have done... 

I've started my libro de mormon [Book of Mormon] again, and I've now realized I've studied and got plenty enough for investigators, and I've started to apply it to myself. Man. There are some good scriptures and some great lessons from the prophets if we really try to apply them to ourselves. May we all do so, and may we always be found working in the vineyard of the Lord, so that when he comes, we will be found innocent and rejoice with our King.

Elder Mortensen

July 28, 2014 (Week 102)

Juily 28, 2014

Querida familia,
Como estan? les amo mucho, y me da muchisima flojera escribir ahora! nos vemos!
[Dear family, 
How are you? I love them a lot, and I'm too lazy to write very many now! see you!]

Querida familia,
no es cierto. pues, me da flojera, pero ya que. [
Dear Family, it's not true, I'm not lazy]

So this week went pretty well. Lots of stressing out and trying to process information like a computer haha. Organizing contacts, old investigadores, inactive members, and a whole bunch of other datos [data]. Woo. But, it turned out alright. We have had some success this week. Had a really really cool baptism with Jose Luis. He's been wanting to get baptized for like 6 years, but did some things in Cancun that didn't let him, but 6 years later, he was fully repented, and was able to get baptized. It was really cool, you could tell he just longed to be a member. He accepts everything and loves it. I'll be seeing him in the celestial kingdom. His friend, the same in the foto gave us the reference, and its been cool to get to know him too. Miguel Angel is his name. 

We had a few really cool nights with Heliberto and his unsure wife Marisol., noches de hogar [Family Home Evening], and everything. It was spiritual. Saturday night we passed by just to make sure they were gonna come, and standing outside by the tienda [store] they have, I bore testimony of the Book of Mormon, and told her my testimony was true, but then told her something I've never really said: That it's true or I've lied to them, to the world and blasphemed before God.the spirit was really strong. Unfortunately, Heliberto went to go repair a few machines Sunday morning and they didn't come. I was super sad. That's the thing about Mexico, they work 7 days a week. it's hard to find the people who will keep their commitments... Still love 'em, still hoping and praying and fasting that they will get a testimony. I could care less about 5 weeks. If they have a testimony they are going under el 17/8/2014 haha. Don't care one bit. I can see and discern WHEN someone has a testimony or not.

Aracely went to the temple. She loved it. She's seen a TON of blessings in her life after accepting the gospel. It's been really cool. I love seeing her happy.

Elvia is going strong without cafe. (coffee) They drink it like water in the little pueblitos. More than water actually. she's been fighting. Really shy girl but its been fun to teach her with the family next door. She's been coming to church and loves it. The 9th shes got a [baptismal] date! She's our last date we have that's set. People always say they are gonna come but they never do. Oh well, everyone is free to chose for themselves. Dan sent an email out about how in his mission they just go into houses and bless the house and family. Says it's working. We might give that a shot. I think they've kind of forgotten that down here. Everything is technique and how you do this and how you do that and short lessons and lots of em and ask for references and a whole bunch of stuff that we just forgot about blessing their lives... maybe if I get the chance to be a mission president I'll put that in play. It's a good strategy. We focus too much on other things we forget about the spirit and blessing the lives of people.

Elder Winsor is still frightened of contacting and stresses more than dad about money, but he's progressing. We have fun a lot. I'm glad to be his compañero. It's been a good time. Quite the last little mountain to climb, haha!

Love you all. Can't think of anything else, so I'm just gonna watch bible videos on Nos vemos [See you] haha

Elder Mortensen

Sunday, July 27, 2014

July 21, 2014 (Week 101)

July 21, 2014

Well... I officially got my flight plans. If that doesn't make life hard I don't know what will. But it's cool. I hardly think about home or dream about being lazy. Too busy here to think about that now. But the crappy part is, now I'm putting baptismal dates for the 24th. I'll be home. Oh well, They're not my converts, they are the Lords. Just gotta keep workin! Nice to say I had a small part in their conversion or at least I found them! That will still be a nice touch in heaven. "Hey! You found me! Thanks!" "Haha. De nada!" But I did walk through the soda aisle today in the grocery store and realized in 4 weeks Mountain Dew will be in that aisle... I almost cried. Hadn't thought about Mountain Dew for a bit. I was starting to become unaddicted! ni modos [it can't be helped].... haha.

this week we bat-proofed the (house) bat cave. It would have been cool, but he kept leaving half eaten fruit and other surprises. We had to kick him out. So now its just the cave. hahaha.

Also, we were able to help Kiany get to the waters of baptism. That was cool. Quite the struggle, but at the end, the family all came together and came to church. Lots of little problems, but the Lord fixed everything up real nice. Wayyyy better this Sunday than the last. Poor Aracely . It was one of the worst services. I really went hard on the ward mission leader this week, and we got everything ready fast and concise and it was a lot better! Boy does it feel good to be in the water. Baptisms are so powerful if they are done with the right attitude. There are too many people that just blow through the prayer and dunk the person and get dried off. Yo gotta be smooooth and tranquilo haha... But yeah, it was a pretty cool baptism. Well attended. 

This week, we have a miracle. He's Jose Luis, a friend of a member. He was gonna get baptized in Cancun, but was a little too rebellious, and needed some more repentance time. His 84 year old mother keeps him in check now... but she doesn't even know. She prohibits friendships with anyone that's not of the Catholic church. Pretty funny, a 55 year-old guy still scared of his mother hahaha. Riley, that's why you gotta move out... I'm seeing something similar in your future....  hahaha. He's there to take care of her though, so I guess it's not as bad. but still funny. I really hope he passes his interview this time. He's gold. He reads everything we give him and understands it. I've actually been able to use the scriptures with him! Man, some people if you read the whole verse they just zone out haha. Pretty funny how things change.

We did divisions with Elder Cerna this week. That was fun. He's a good missionary. Better than in Mendoza. It's cool to see him change in his teaching. He noticed I never use my triple. Just the simple Book of Mormon. I basically carried the triple in my hand in Mendoza. I told him of the sacrifice I made to be in Mendoza. Five months without tacos was a long time, haha, so we bought 20 and went home and ate. Man they are too good down here in Tuxtepec.

It's the famed Canicula (40 hottest days of the year). Not gonna lie, when I get home at night my black pants are white from so much sweat. It's pretty bad haha. I'm ready for the dry heat again! But we are workin hard.

We have had a few struggles with the families, at least with helping Heliberto get a testimony of the Libro de Mormon. He goes to a little church but wants to find the truth, and always prays to find the path... Just ask if the book is true!!! He came to church because I called him, He was about to go to his little church again. His pastor showed up early Sunday. Man. Satan can play chess just fine. Good thing God already knows what his moves are though haha. But man, that happens like 4 times a Sunday that someone shows up Sunday morning and says "YOU'RE not gonna go to church. I'm hungry, and  YOU'RE gonna make me food. or you're gonna go with them Mormons? I don't think so." But Heliberto came. My last hope for the mission is to baptize that family. I love them. They could get baptized the 17th... I'm hoping we can help them...

That's a funny story, and you might think that me saying I hope WE can help them would be focusing on my own strength, but really, it depends. I've been studying a lot on the Atonement and the way prophets have plead in the past for help. Just like it says in 2 nefi 2, there are things to act, and things to be acted upon. we have been given that ability to act. Why should we pray for God to act upon us? We should pray like Alma and Nefi, to be given the strength to ACT. Elder Bednar did a FANTASTIC job of teaching that principle in his talk in April. Man, I love that talk. So instead of praying relentlessly for God to change our situation, we should pray so he gives us the resources to act. God will very rarely do something for us we can do for ourselves, and that's what the atonement does, is it gives us the resources and strength and ability to act and change our circumstances. Really changes the way we pray...something to think about.

Well, I'll see you all the 20th. man. That's too close... 7:10. ay caray. 

See you all later.

Elder Mortensen.

Monday, July 14, 2014

July 14, 2014 (Week 100)

July 14, 2014

Week 100. Man. That ain't cool!

Time sure flies doesn't it? wow...

Well, not sure what to say. My mind is really busy right now, and I can't think of much, and it doesn't help I'll be seeing you guys soon haha. I'm only thinking, "why am I writing! I'll just tell them face to face here soon".. haha. but yeah. Highlights of the week, we found 2 familias! I'm sooo stoked. They didn't come Sunday but I have faith. I'd love to end the mission baptizing a family. or 2. or 3.... that'd be cool too :) anyways, we helped an inactive lady come back to church, by helping her move. Oh my goodness... her parents died 8 years ago and for 8 years she's collected everything. She's 24 and lives alone. No wonder she's inactive. She didn't even know where her scriptures were or have a place to kneel. The mission made me really appreciate a clean house and having few possessions. It's nicer that way. But yeah, she's a hoarder. It was bad. Lots of persuading haha. Thanks mom for teaching me so well :)

ARACELY GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!! She was sooooo happy. ay caray. I was so happy for her, to be completely honest. She's one of the best I've met or had the chance to teach. Sooo ready for the gospel, and immediately everyone noticed a huge change in her. She knew very well this was the only true church and even before she met us knew God had answered her prayers. May God bless her always. She's a miracle for me and an amazing example of endurance and faith. That's the thing. Usually the people I teach, teach me more than I teach them.... I'm so happy. We should start baptizing every week now. Finally got some seeds planted and growing! But even if I only baptized Aracely everything I've suffered or gone through would have been worth it. Man.... the joy you feel sometimes. I'm so stoked Garrrett is going out on the mission. You're not gonna regret it at all... everything just starts to make sense! We've been teaching and working, and I'm trying to help Elder Winsor to not stress out so much and just to be happy! There is a lot in life to be happy about. He's got fears of rejection, so now that we know the problem, I'm able to help. Thanks for all your advice, I really need it. It's like teaching a kid. Me and Elder Cerna were already a good compañerismo but I'm really actually training Elder Winsor. It's really like being a papa haha.

Oh yeah, Elder Cerna came down to Tuxtepec. He's now in my district. hahah. That's a cool blessing. I now have Jacob and Joseph, my two children born in the wilderness hahahaha or Nefi and Laman, Elder Winsor being Nefi and Elder Cerna being Laman, the cursed one with dark skin with a hatred for his brother hahahaha. Not true, but a funny way to look at it. We did divisions Sunday at night so I had my 2 kids with me. Pretty funny stuff!

Love you all. Working hard to come home honorably! And to be honest, if I can't finish this off good, why would God ever trust me again? I've gotta prove myself worthy of completing tasks to the 100% if I am to gain his trust. and after this life, the happiest people in the Spirit World are the ones who love to preach the gospel. Gotta develop that love a little bit more :) I see a few missions later on in my life, not sure why, but I just feel like I'll be blessed in that way.



Sunday, July 13, 2014

July 7, 2014 (Week 99)

July 7, 2014

If I had 4 pesos for each taco I've eaten, I'd be about even.

I'm actually losing weight. I don't know whats happening to me.. and I eat like 20 tacos every week. This last change of my life [transfer of my mission] I'm gonna be eating like 3 times a week hahaha. I love them. Ricky (a cool member from Tierra Blanca) is gonna bring me some of those Tacos Morin the next time he comes down. That'll be sweet haha.

This week, was pretty normal. The worst part about the mission now is that I'm just bored of it all. The zone classes, and the district classes, and the planning, It's all just monotone haha. but I'm still working really hard, don't get me wrong. Still waking up at 6:05 every morning, and running to the river and back, still studying, still walking fast, still eating tacos (real important rule, I'm 100% obedient to that one hahaha) at least 2x a week, and still going to bed at 10:30. woo. Working hard, Praying hard, and trying to endure to the end. Really sucks I just started my last change... That's hard not to think about, This last change flew by. wow.

We were gonna baptize, but her dad went out of town so she and her mom didn't come to church. ay caray. I don't know if we should baptize her. I don't know. That's the worst feeling. Her parents are supportive, but I don't think they are too keen to go to church. Oh well.. Aracely just barely started her 5 week mark, and is stoked for her baptism this Sunday. That's good. I'm happy for her. She smoked like 10 days ago, and everyone is freakin out, but I'm the only one who actually sees her. Her life is just bad. she's had a very hard life, and is just looking for something. She doesn't have an addiction, she needs the Holy Ghost. That's all. But nevertheless, we are making sure she's got that broken heart and contrite spirit. When she gets the chance to start over her life will completely change.

I'm not gonna lie, the mission is getting harder, not my mission, I'm talking about the mission work in general. Westhoff says the baptisms are down all over the world. President says that Satan is working 100% all day and all night with all of his demons as a team. All of them working for one goal, and that's why they are winning right now. We can't figure that one simple thing out. Working as a team. Members and missionaries all working in the work of salvation. It's frustrating sometimes. The members down here aren't too pumped to do missionary work. A small handful. But man, it's hard. Really fighting hard to get the ward moving. Something weird did happen yesterday... a scripture has been fulfilled in my life, but that's a story for the Book of Conner. (sorry dad, 6 weeks big guy) hahahaha.

Well, I'm not sure what else to write, I'm trying hard to help my companion. He freaks out over the money change here and doesn't buy or eat much. It's been kind of a brutal wake up call for him. Money, banks, shopping, laundry, writing. I don't think he got out much. I'm trying to help him little by little, but he is getting there. I hope he can start to get the hang of things. In my prayers I feel like I need to focus more on him, and less on the area. It makes sense, I'm supposed to be his trainer. It's actually really hard. But its a good trial for me to finish off the mission. I gotta be a better trainer and helping him to understand. He knows what's going on, but he is still lost. We will see how this goes this change! I've got a good feeling for it. The last is always the best right? Let's hope. 

Love you all,

Elder Mortensen