Saturday, December 15, 2012

December 10, 2012 (Week 17)

December 10, 2012

Interesting week, the temple and migracion and photos and just fun stuff. Lots of highs, lots of lows. It's been a pretty good week so far. Getting close to the four month mark. man. Mind just went blank.. The temple was great though. I think I failed the session thats for sure. And our president had all of the temple workers kick us out after a 3 minute prayer.. I was upset about that. We only get to go once a year and I got to spend 3 minutes with my Heavenly Father. The thing we did after made me even more upset that we couldn't stay longer. We went and ate pretty fast and then sat in the mission conference for 3.5 hours in a hot chapel with our suit coats with no break. During 6 speakers talking about who knows what. Everyone was a dissapointed in President Trevino for doing that to us when last year they were in the celestial room for 45 to an hour. During the mission conference I played the 3 hymns, that was a cool little deal. Got my name in the program. I screwed up an entire line of one of the hyms and we didn't have music, but I redeemed myself with the mission hymn, number 208 in the spanish. cool stuff. Took a picture in front of the temple before the mission presidency told us we had to leave and started ushering us away from the temple within 2 minutes. Felt like I was in jail. Sheesh. It felt like to me they focused too much on the wrong things. The area presidency said that in all of mexico the mission can't be together ever so that was a big dissapointment. Man. I love the mish, but I don't know what the leadership is doing. They come out with new rules every week. Like only baptize certain hours on Sundays, you can't eat with anyone except for your 2 o'clock appointment, and other rules they are just throwing out. It's the pharasees all over again. Focusing on the rule of the law instead of what's important about the law. Castaneñeda says that before president Trevino they baptized like crazy but with him every email in font size 72 says BAPTIZE CADA SEMANA!!! and then gets very upset when we don't have anyone for the weekend. Like we had Hector and Susi and Joshua, but Susi is still with her mom, so of course Hector won't get baptized cause he isn't married. Joshua and his dad want to wait for the others, and I feel like President Treviño would want us to tell them that they should be baptized this weekend just becuase he wants a bautizona or bautimission. I don't like it. We did go back the next day to take a picture with the whole mission in front of the temple, so I finally saw Elder Smith, but the nazis came back out and hurried everyone out and away within 2 mintues. I don't know. Oh well.

The holiday Virgin de Guadalupe is this week I think the 15, so everyone is cleaning these small houses with the Virgin inside to worship her. We even saw a procession of 13 old women walking down the street chanting things while the front lady held this huge virgin de Guadalupe... I thought it was interesting to think that the Catholics worship these virgins and statues and crusifixes when the 10 commandments say no idols... Guess that's just another reason why this church is the true church.. Los testigos de Jehova are everywhere and love to bible bash, but my comp knows the Bible in and out and shows me scriptures from the most used Bible in the world that completely destroy every phamphlet they give us... Weird religion too. They hate Christmas and they are pulling their kids out of the schools because they say the Mexican Anthem and have the flag. Sounds like America.But yeah. Hate birthdays, and Christmas, and they don't understand that Jehova is Jesus Christ... oh well haha.

Dad shoot Dave a text and tell him that I've been eating tacos al pastor like nobody's business and they are great. Look for a little taco stand that sells them. So good. Meat thats coated in a red sauce. Delicious.

Oh yeah. at a members house they were watching A Knights Tale in english. I almost died haha i even got to see my favorite line. Yeah, the Pope is French, but Jesus was English. You're on! so great.

Well, we had the ZL Elder Garcia over for a night on Friday and Saturday before he "dies" tomorrow and goes to his house. it was good, we were good friends, but then he lost it. He kept saying oh I don't care. I'm leaving. All the time, and kept demanding I sell my scripture cases to him.. he loves em, but I need em. He ordered an expensive pizza at 10:45 at night, and we didn't get to bed until 12:30. Turn off the lights nino! he said about 5 times while I cleaned up his mess. That night him and Elder Castañeda were goofing off and he was trying to get Garcia off his bunk bed, but then E. Castañeda came flying off and landed on my desk, smashing papers, shoes, and my stuff went everywhere. He smiled and said he was fine, it was how he got Elder Garcia to leave. I was upset when he laid there on my stuff groaning for 4 more minutes. Garcia knocked my camera off the table when he left and boy I just about lost it. He took my blanket and my shorts and slept on the couch. Woke up, he interrupted all of my studies with his talking and tapping, and stole both of the apples I washed. and then when it was time to leave, he took my nice shoe brush to polish the oil and tried to get the mud and dirt off his shoes. I said absolutely not and took it. Told him no, grabbed my money he tried to take out of my hands and he left. 5 minutes later, runs into my room and grabs my brush. I try and get it from him, but he grinds it on the floor, his shoes, and his hands before throwing it and leaving. He came back in and mocked me saying look how nice and shiny my shoes are. Instead of socking him right in the face, I held back my anger and words and just spit a nice loogie right on his shoe. He was stunned and tried to wipe them on my pants, but I pushed him away. He said it again about 5 minutes later look how shiny my shoes look look and I spat another one. I didn't even care one bit. He seriously acted like a 5 year old the whole day and night and I was tired of it. Very exhausted the whole day after. Learned I need to keep my stuff more protected and put away.. But yeah. E. Castañeda is "dying" fast even though he has 2 more months. He doesn't want to do anything. Oh well. Gotta go. Love you all, Love the Lord. and bueno suerte for one more week! Les amo, Elder Mortensen.

December 3, 2012 (Week 16)

December 3, 2012

I don't think you can baptize a bird
Well... the list today is long so pay attention!

As for the food this week, definately something to write about. Words you wont hear mentioned:

I had the most delicious meal at the Guazozon family this week for lunch. Empañadas. So good. There was one extra but I got greedy and left it so she would fill my plate with some more and then I'd throw the extra on.. She said want more? both said yes! She took my empañada, and brought out meat, and rice. I poked it and it was straight fat and skin and hair. I dont know if it beats hairy chicken, but does it count if the hair is still attached? I choked it down with tortillas and rice and really hot salsa, my comp played with it and fed it to the dogs. He told me in english that the sauce is really hot and bad for your stomach... Great. I also hate nothing more than animal fat and I want to throw up and gag when it is in my mouth. I literally was turning my head away, gagging and practically throwing up and crying. After, my comp told me what it was and the fact it was the most disgusting meal of his mission... Pig feet. Yup. Pig feet. With the hair and fat. Hna. Guazozon was so close to having the title of best meal of the mission until that error. hahah I also willingly ate a chicken foot. Pretty tasteless and bony things.

I ate at this rather large womans house that doesn't clean. She handed me a bowl and it had a maggot in it. I didnt say anything, but just scooped it out and threw in some chicken. 10 minutes later, 2 more maggots are in my bowl. (I've also had 3 mandarines infested during my time here. Comp, none) But yeah. comp told the hna who brought me a new bowl, but then said oh he is disgusted and doesn't want to eat. Not wanting to be a Nancy and throw a fit, I said noooo... I'm fine. And put in some more chicken even though I was full. That was gross.

Mexicans are tone deaf. Bad. I literally beg to play the piano in our miserable ward. But they take the cord every week because the kids play with it? I don't know. But I'm going to buy one I think to practice before District meeting.

While walking on the railroad tracks to the Guazozons, we came across a Horse head. Completely severed and laying there. That was interesting. Talked to a worker Comp knows and he said the horse got basically obliterated. There were too many people or I'd take a picture. Sorry mom. I know you wanted to see!

I think they give us ensigns here mom, so hold up on the sending more! I'm sure its a lot of money and I don't want you to spend a fortune! I'm fairly certain they get here, just a few weeks late :)

As for the letters, they help a lot. Keep them coming. Mom and Dad, thanks for the letters. Especially dad. Thank you. I'll have that letter the rest of my life. The white package made it safe too.
Mexicans still ramble on in sacrament, so I didn't escape that. But they can also talk for 2 hours even if you don't say a word. I might try sleeping during those sessions and see if they even notice jajajaja probably not. They say: Me intiendes? Which is understand me? And keep going without a break haha.
I want a turtle. They are about the size of a can of soda and they are 35 pesos hahaha just like dads rat. Really easy to take care of. They just sit in a bowl and swim around haha. Maybe I'll bring one home.

I hear about 3 to 4 crossing the border stories every day. That's a bit funny. They talk about the desert and how hard it is. I think about how funny it is to be on the other side of the border now...
Thats it I think.
Oh. pay attention to the word Nevertheless in the scriptures. Thats my favorite word. Its usually a problem, and then a blessing after. Like you might sin, but nevertheless, the arms of Christ are forever extended in mercy towards you. Fantastic palabra. (word) pay attention to that!

Future Missionary!
As for this week, its been a little hard. I haven't had too much energy because something always keeps us from getting to bed by 10:30 so I'm always tired and Sunday I think it got to me. I started thinking about the past life and for some reason the thought of you should go home wouldn't leave my mind. Constantly on my mind for 6 hours. It made me sick and no matter what I did it didn't leave. Until after church we passed an old lady moving dirt and offered to help. She accepted and told us another day because our clothes were going to get dirty. I said, doesn't matter! and started shoveling. I found that's why I love mindless heavy labor. I don't have to think. It's great. I just focused on where she wanted the dirt and how I was gonna get it there. Didn't think anymore about going home. After we talked to the family and got to know them, and just had a little fun. Had some more fun throwing rocks at bottles at Hno Carlos house with his nephew in laws or something. Picture of one of them that has my badge and backpack. But then this morning I finally opened the decoration letter and saw all of the little notes. Tell everyone that that was one of the greatest presents I've ever received. That helped so much and I'm very very grateful. Literally a highlight of the mission. So yeah. Tell everyone thanks for me!!
So we have been talking to this Jorge and Mary and her daughter Mari Cruz that we came across at a house that used to be the home of an inactive. He knew the BoM was true after reading the introduction and Mari took a little more work but they are both great people. Mari Cruz wants a husband for her 2 year old daughter so she is always off doing who knows what. Nice lady. Funny little daughter. Hanna. or hanita. They are both out of work and work at the little vet shop they have set up at their house. Not married, but thinking about getting married after we told them they needed it for baptism. Find out tonight. But yeah. Jorge was being a loser the last time and really childish. The questions we asked got answers like course. How not? come on Jorge. But Mari is really thinking about it. Really great people and I love watching the stupid boa not eat the rat they put in the cage. We spent 15 minutes before we knew it staring at the rat. hahaha. But yeah. Pictures to follow.

Not sure what else, Temple this week and some other conference. Not sure if its the whole mission. Going to be upset if me and Elder Boyd dont get to see Elder Smith. We saw Elder Merrill at the security conference where they told us what to do if we get robbed or kidnapped. Arms in the air screaming SOY MISIONERO SOY MISIONERO jajaja but yeah. Elder Smith is the only one missing so far. But temple will be cool. Man. Love you all. Getting close to skype time!!! Christmas is here finally.

Not sure what else there is... Oh yeah. Just ate at a buffet of Chinese food. 5 to 6 plates of panda express for 7 bucks. So worth it hahahaha.

Les Amo, De Elder Mortensen

November 26, 2012 (Week 15)

November 26, 2012

 Glad Thanksgiving was good for you all. I had thanksgiving too. It wasn't the thanksgiving I necessarily thought I wanted, but it sure was what I needed. The lunch was awful, so I was pretty bummed, but we went to the Guazozons house to teach that night at 8 in the poor part of town, and they live with a bunch of cousins and stuff that work with them to build the concrete houses. He said he has a job for me in 2 years :) but yeah, Hector and Susi are their in-laws or something but there were 14 of us with the old Abuelo and the family group and we had tacos and rice, and I realized how big of a blessing that was. I thanked the wife after for giving me a great thanksgiving! I had Thankgiving dinner with my adopted Mexican family I love so much. So that was good. Buen Fin, or Black Friday isn't as big here, just a big sale weekend. I didn't get to shop, since I'm dirt poor and don't want to use my American money too much haha. Need to do better with the Money this month! 1500 pesos isn't a whole lot when its 13 pesos for a dollar haha. Hector and Susy are going to get married this week, we are giving them about 200 pesos each to help and my comp and Elder Garcia (Mexicans) got to be witnesses. Joshua, the head honchos son is 9 and going to get baptized this Saturday by his Dad who just got cleared by the Bishop. I will probably get to baptize!! Joshua is going to be with Hector and Susi. H and S are amazing. They have a 3 year old daughter and a 1 month old, who loves to get breast fed every time we are there it seems like... Thats a little weird but I'm over it. Just keep on teaching and make eye contact with other people.. hahahaha. They only want a better life for their family, and now that we have reactivated the Guazozon family, they see the benefits of the Gospel and want in. They are what we call the Chosen people. It's amazing. I see a miracle with them, and I see miracles every day. It's incredible. Can't wait for Saturday!!! I'll get some pictures of them and send it home. Man. I love them. Even if it costs 16 pesos to get there and back everytime, I want to go. The lady of the house already has a Stake Calling and the other brother Enrique got a Ward Secretary already!

So me and the comp... are like best friends. I wish I could tell you what happened but I don't even know. One night we are joking about La roca! or brawlio the 9 year old with the dad that doesn't want to come back, the rock, because he is as dumb as one. Literally. Brawlio! Who is JesuCristo? Uh.... God. no... Joseph Smith translated the Gold Plates into the Libro de Mormon. Who translated the BoM? The gospel! No Brawlio... hahah but yeah. We joke about him, we joke about the lady that lived in a tin shack and told us she was ´busy´as she furiously picked her nose in front of us... haha not gonna see her again... but yeah. We laugh for a half hour every night. Transfers were this weekend and I was actually worried we were gonna get split up. I was praying for 3 days that wasn't going to be the case. Especially because I sent an email to the pres about our problems. I was so relieved when my prayers were answered and I wasn't the cause of a split. I was worried, but I have another transfer with him and I'm glad. We work hard, and I relaxed a little. The stress was getting to me, and I realized that I was a robot. I talked with some other guys who had problems with comps and it's the same. They were stressed and got mad when they woke up late, or got home late. But I asked what other disobedient missionaries do, and he said he has seen misisonarys not work for more than 3 hours, play xbox at their house, watch movies, and listen to world music and such. I relaxed a little on that because some days we get back late from appointments and dont get to bed by 10:30, but I realized its OK. as long as I'm trying. but yeah. We joke together and just have a good time, and work hard. We are having more success than a lot of people now and I don't even know what clicked! Something. But don't worry, I'm still going to be obedient to everything. Just not going to flip out when we sleep in on accident.

We baptized brawlio Sunday and it was good. He is still as dumb as a rock and his sister is too. Comp talked with the Dad, Carlos, on Friday and Saturday he said he was going to change and get the priesthood in 3 months to baptize his son. but then brawlio said.. no I dont want you to baptize me, I want E. Castaneda! Fuuuuuuuuudggee.... I felt really bad for the dad, but sunday, Carlos came to the church, but drove off saying he didn't want to go and had ´things to do´ don't feel bad that E. Castañeda baptized him anymore. He went to the Baptism though, and I hope it changes him.

As for other things, I love the Book of Mormon. It is my best friend and I hate when personal study is over. I can't believe I wasted so many nights without praying and reading at home. I think frequently about my life before and I am so glad I came on a mission. It was by far the best and most correct choice I ever made. I wasn't a bad person or anything, but I wasn't doing anything to get closer to my Father in Heaven and I wasn't happy. I was, but not the happy I wanted. I now have joy. And I love reading the Book of Mormon. I get so much revelation every day about the character of Christ and God, and revelation for my own life. It's incredible. Man. I love putting on this black tag that says Elder Mortensen. Because Conner Mortensen just isn't the person I wanted to be right now, and when I go back to being Conner I'm going to be a different Conner. Conner 2.0 you could say haha. Man. I want you and Mom and Brad and Shay to go to the Temple this weekend and just sit in the Celestial Room together for a while and just think. Can you four do that for me? Garrett and Ri, you guys drive separate and do baptisms. Just thing about things amiss in your life and I promise you will receive revelation. Garrett and Ri and Family, study the Book of Mormon. STUDY not just read. Personally, and Family. When you do personal, sit at your desk or the counter with pens and markers. I can't tell you the difference it makes sitting up at the table after saying a short prayer and reading the words and writing little sentences in the margin of revelation. Its incredible. ¿Salé? haha a saying here meaning Alright? Or another, Haz lo. means Do it. haha
Oh by the way, who sent the gummy bears? I love em. haha thanks :)

Gotta go! Love you all and youre always in my prayers! Good luck with everything.
Les amo! Mas que pueden ustedes imaginar. Pienso sobre ustedes cada día. Elder Mortensen.

November 19, 2012 (Week 14)

November 19, 2012

Bienvenido a esta semana correo! basically hi. and welcome to this weeks episode of: MISSION DRAMA

Halloween was pretty lame here. A few altars and a handful of trick or treaters. not much of a holiday. In the main city lots of visiting graves.

I handled a boa! that was fun. Pictures in the USB. the guy that owns it is a boxer, 30 years old and retired. Watched a short clip of him knocking a guy out haha they are inactive. Saw his wife at the store today, set up another date to visit them! that was good luck from Dios.


We had a dog follow us for a good 20 minutes, picture on the USB. my comp bought 7 hotdogs and gave them to the dog, but it sniffed them, and left em hahaha i laughed so hard and my comp muttered freaking dog... for the night.

they love tazos here. Google em. are they like pogs?

Think thats it. So we had a blancistrito this week. Blancizona too. well close. only one companionship baptized this week out of the zone. ZLs got GRILLED by the pres. I dont know why we dont baptize every week. Its a promise from the mission pres... Our investigators we had set for baptism this past sunday, well.. the 9 year old his dad sent him out of town for the weekend. convient... he doesnt trust god. Thinks that god told him not to go back to church by not answering his prayer. Oh well. Braulio next week! Daniel, 30 years old, played with dark magic, and lives with his mom and sister that hate us. He backed out the night before. I dont feel right about it he says.. We said, do it or dont. he mumbled for 4 minutes then my comp said, well, we will be at the church if you like to come back. every sunday waiting for you. We ran into him so many times and stood unknowingly at his house for 4 minutes trying to tract. i thought with that many run ins he was chosen by heavenly father to be in our path. Maybe i was supposed to learn another lesson. E. Boyd y Fuentes had a family not show up the day of and werent home. Bummer. I know why we arent having success though. My comp doesnt care to. for whatever reason, he still has 3 months and all he talks about it home. more on that later.

Wards, well ours is absolutely miserable. One family with a few investigators (relatives) that live with them literally increased our ward size of 24 to 32 when they showed up at few minutes late. They are progressing so well and i love em. Hector and Susi are wanting a better life for their family, but arent married. Thats a huge problem here. They either have to separate, wait a year, or get married, but it costs some good money. Thats always a hard thing. So if i start pulling off money, its so people can get married haha id love to spend it on that. The 2nd counselor is a great man. Him and Hna Julia do so much for us. Best unmarried couple youll find! haha alsways references for us. Oh yeah. mission rule: cant tract or contact people... solo referencias. freak...

Read Hebrews 13:1 hahahaha family!

My comp... He likes to throw lit matches at me while walking and he melted my tie but wont say sorry because he doesnt think he did anything wrong, He tells me what to study, and that i cant study D and C next, and i need to study the New Testament. He tells me he is thinking a lot about his house and tells me everyday what hes going to do and buy when he gets home. Doesnt want to train me, hes told that to a few members. He says, yeah he is my 5 kid and i didnt want to train anymore but i have him, but i dont want to train. He sprayed diesel gas in our apartment 3 hours before we had to leave and i about died from the fumes. He is so scared of the fleas its almost comical. But he is going way overboard on the chemicals. Im always wrong, and he loves to throw me under the bus when i am wrong too. I could go on, but thats not the point. The point is that i have 6 more weeks and i want to be in another area with a companion that wants to work. I got mad and we started fighting when i told him no more cheerios at the study table and especially not during my prayer. So loud. He got pissed and started explainging the electrical bill. He finally said we are going to be obedient and i said i finally have a trainer. Low blow but it got what i wanted finally. Its already starting to wear off. Freaking roller coaster with this guy. THe mexicans dont care what us gringos have to say. The missionary mexicans. I love the people. No clue waht to do. But dont worry about me. Im doing fine, i get humbled everyday by some of these people and all i want to say is enjoy what you have. I wish everyone could see this. Showers, carpet, yards, everything. Just enjoy it for me! :)

We activated the family Uscanga. Let me know how many pictures you get each week so i know if i can delete them! Love you all. Stay strong and know i cant wait for christmas to talk to you all!!! Love, Elder Mortensen.