Friday, December 27, 2013

December 23, 2013 (Week 71)

December 23, 2013

[I told Conner about the family crepe eating contest...] Wow. Crepes. Man, I've been out here that long? Freak... and who is the hippy that ate 13? I saw Brad, Shay, Blake, Kristy, and Riley and some bum off the street [Garrett]. That's nice you let him eat. I guess he was pretty famished to eat so much.
This week we had the ward Christmas party. It was pretty chill. Nothing too exciting. We brought like 12 investigators to the party, none came to church. COOL.... That was a letdown, haha.
As for the gays [Utah's marriage law deemed unconstitutional]. Read the bible. I'll stay down here in Mexico until the Lord comes. Nobody even cares about getting married by the government, haha.
Well.... this week. Pretty tranquilo... not too much. My converts make up a fourth of the ward now. That was pretty funny to see at the ward party.
We have been working like dogs. My blood pressure is pretty unstable. High and low. Freaking headaches, haha. I wish you would all send me Mountain Dew. The withdrawals are so bad I cry in my dreams when I find a box, hahaha. Oh well. Still gotta work and work and work. That's the mission. I guess Jake is going home in less than 6 months. What's up with that? Me and Elder Boyd are pretty down to stick it out. I feel like I'll get all caught up in a week or so anyways.
Everyone loved the sunflower seeds at the activity today. The whole zone was asking me for 'em, haha.
Nothing much else. I love you all. See you Wednesday. Cool beans.
Adios Americanos. Que tengan una Feliz Navidad y prospero año 2014. 
De Ciudad Mendoza, Veracruz Mexico...

Elder Mortensen

Saturday, December 21, 2013

December 16, 2013 (Week 70)

December 16, 2013

I swear the Relief Society teamed up to give us vegetables and beef in hot water and chicken in slimy gravy every single day this month. It's destroying me! haha.
Anyways, Deynni se bautizó [was baptized]. That was pretty cool. Still doesn't top last week, but she sure was converted. It was cool to see her change. She never had a single question for us!! Pretty cool. I love the Plan of Salvation question I made up... Hermana... are you prepared to meet God in this very moment? 99/100 times they say no and the Spirit tells them they need baptism, and they always say baptism and repentance. Read the scriptures Garrett and Riley.  I doubt it will ever click WHY the Book of Mormon has the fullness of the gospel until the mission but it will! It's crazy. Just read and study. Alma 34. Read that as a family. I love it in Spanish.
As for the weekly apostasy, the Catholics are straight crazy. The 12th of Diciembre is the Dia de la Virgen de Guadalupe and boy are they nuts up here. From the 1st to the 12th, fireworks all night, parades, images, singing happy birthday to the virgin, motorcycles.. I've got nothin against the Catholics in the states but they sure are pretty crazy down here in Veracruz. As Maria (my convert) says: a whole bunch of fireworks and parades for the virgin and I bet not a single little firework for Jesus! haahaha. Man, it sure was difficult to sleep with parades at 2 in the morning outside of the house hahaha.
The time is going by so fast. Its 10:30 at night before we blink. I feel bad for Elder Cerna. He just started, haha. It's going by faster than I want it to. The days are over before we know it. Not a whole lot is happening. Just praying really hard and finding faith to keep working.
I love you all. Gotta go. nos vemos [see you later]!
Elder Mortensen

Friday, December 13, 2013

December 9, 2013 (Week 69)

December 9, 2013

Just read Alma 26 for me this week, and you'll be able to feel a small portion of what I'm feeling. Better yet, you'll read what I'm feeling.
David was a man that I contacted while waiting for a bus. I just knew by the way he looked at me I had to contact him. We did, he turned out to be gold. He is already in 2 nefi 20 in 3 weeks. He loves it. Giving us referencias every day of his family. Speaking of which, he brought his wife and two daughters to church, he says they got really excited about baptism and wanted to do it too. Called the President, he said yep, so.... he got baptized with his two daughters, Marisol, y Estrella Rubi.
Alicia is a woman de 25 años that works for a member. She had talked to misioneros before but was a strong catolica and said absolutely no to baptism, but we started up the lessons, taught her with the spirit, and now she's one of the stronger converts I have been blessed with. We are telling her she's going on a mission. She doesn't deny it, and brought 2 friends to church with her haha... She shared her testimony after baptism, and man was it strong.
Ruben, got baptized. I don't even know how to describe the feeling of being in the water... it's incredible.
Went to the temple and loved it. The new video is incredible. It makes me want to watch it in English though. the Spanish voices don't have the same attitude.

Everything is going really, really well down here. Elder Cerna is progressing fast, and loving the mission. I hope he's proud to call me his "papa" unlike my situation with my papa.... I've got news about Castañeda... just know I've had a weird mission, that's all. The Christmas devotional was great. I loved Nelson's talk. It was great. A 70 came to our stake and planched the members a good one for their lazy work. Us missionaries got off scott-free haha. He comes back in January to talk to the misioneros. I won't get too excited yet... haha.
I've got lots of stories for you all, just no time. Let's see how many I can get out on skype. Love you all.
Elder Mortensen

December 2, 2013 (Week 68)

December 2, 2013

Hola familia!

Well... we went on another hike today. Another 8 hours, haha. I'm not gonna tell you all what happened or send home fotos of the hole in my arm haha.... That's a story for when I get home hahaha. But it was superrrrr sweet. We went bounding off and I found me another river to wade in haha. Really beautiful country.
As for la obra misonal [missionary work], Maria and Rosalia are so converted they cry like mom every time the Spirit is present. It's amazing. I'm so happy for them, and they are really happy too. Ruben has never been better and his interview is Wednesday. David is going to get baptized too, and Alicia. WHAT A WEEKEND THIS SHALL BE!!! 
I can't wait to see you all this month. This weekend we are going to the temple so I'll let you all know how that goes.
I did get one package. It got "searched" for drugs, soooo... I already know what you guys gave me for Christmas. hahaha freaking tools opened all the gifts... hahah. Send a list of what is in the two packages... Gracias.
We got kicked out of the house by our crazy owner, but we moved to the next house, and it was super super small... so, we called the troops, said sorry for coming from Mexico City, but we don't want it. We are gonna get rid of our stuff and go back home... The owner repented and kept the rent normally like it is for another 6 months. freak... What a mess! Slept at 2 last night... tired as gale right now hahah....
Love you all, wish I had more time

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

November 25, 2013 (Week 67)

November 25, 2013

Well this week, has been yet another that has come and gone like a snap of a finger, and my friend Keyan already went home... He sent me a picture of his new girlfriend... his KTM 350 [dirt bike]... Oh man, I'd take her over a girl anyday... gee whiz! But anyways the point being, I can't believe he is already home... I'm getting on the countdown too. I don't really want it to end, but we are all talking about coming home a few weeks early. Mom I need you to get in touch with Hermana Smith to find out que in RAYOS [all the details] is goin on with college hahaha.
We baptized Avelina. My companion got his first baptism of the mission. That's pretty freakin' cool that all this is happening... it's cool that this time last year I had baptized my first,and we are getting ready to go to the temple. Just this time I'm DL and trainer... Funny how the Lord works. The bishop wasn't too happy we baptized her so fast but I wasn't gonna wait! I wanted her in and she wanted it more than me so we baptized her after stake conference. Ruben and Maria and Rosalia were all crying and Ruben gave me a hug after and told me it's time. It's time for his baptism. I've been working with him, practicing how to tell his friends and brain NO. JUST NO. I DO NOT WANT THAT BEER. I realllly reallllyy hope he gets baptized. I've been waiting for this moment for 11 weeks... just 2 more to go... pray hard for him please. I'm not supposed to ask you guys this but please fast for him (in part) this weekend. He needs the strength. He always falls and drinks in week 3 of his 21 day probation. It's all Satan but this week that's coming up will be week two going to three...
It's incredible. We will have 5 baptisms, maybe 6, in the next 2 weeks. This was an area that baptized 1 or 0 a change. man. SO BLESSED.
I feel so incredible right now. So humble and so ready to meet God... I just hope I have a good long life ahead of me... but a life without God isn't a life for me now... I feel loved here. Something I haven't felt too much in other areas. But real love. And I feel real love for this people.... I don't know what else to tell you all... Really I can't remember much... just be grateful for what we have. Life goes fast... man.
SHOUTOUT to my brother Brad, the biggest sports nut on the planet. Felicidades amigo. espero lo mejor para ti. Realmente me gustaría que tenga esta oportunidad... [Congratulations friend. I hope the best for you. I would really like to have this opportunity]

And hey, I hope Brad gets his gig on sports radio... We all know Brad has a face for radio... ;)
nah. Love you bro echale ganas. Les quiero mucho a todos,
[Brad was able to work some tickets to an event sponsored by a sports talk radio station and he and I were able to watch the BYU vs. Notre Dame game with former BYU stars John Beck and Jonny Harline and about 20 other people.  Brad was part of a segment on the radio and the hosts had a good time with it and are considering working with some internship at the station.  Pretty cool to even get invited for something like that!]
To the familia, love you lots. December is coming soon. And I think I have a super chill American couple to eat Thanksgiving with and his mom and dad are coming down to eat Thanksgiving dinner and they invited us. I hope turkey and stuffing... and hmm..... Mashed potatoes... Gravy... mmm... :)

Elder "el unico [the only]" Mortensen.

November 18, 2013 (Week 66)

November 18, 2013

Ey que onda familia! mucho tiempo sin vernos eh! [Hey Family, what's up? Long time no see!]
Well. This week was pretty uneventful. Working hard. Finally had a good normal interview with president, haha. I don't like it when we have interviews and there is a problem... haha. It doesn't go well for me. 
We were praying pretty hard for some newbies. The tanks were pretty dry. The Lord left us without hope Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, when a man looked at me funny while we were waiting for a bus. I felt like I should contact him, so did. He's straight escogido. (chosen). Loves the Book of Mormon, came to church, and has his baptism for the 8th of December. Wow. The next day we found a woman who just didn't get baptized cause she hurt herself and the elders left her, but now she's gonna get baptized this Sunday. That's pretty cool.
A girl that is 12 years of age all of a sudden wants to get baptized, but then the bishop told me Tuesday she's gonna get baptized Friday, she's already got the interview.. umm... what interview? WE have to do an interview. She's not a niña enscrita [child of record]! Sheesh. I've got a process to follow and I'm gonna teach her. Cancel the baptism. Nobody was happy but hey I don't want her sins over my head! Her dad is
a Pentecost preacher and doesn't like the Mormons at all because all of her children got baptized before 18 in secret. It's a pretty powerful familia here in Mendoza, and I'm pretty sure I angered them, but who cares. I fear God. haha, but she's gonna get baptized this Wednesday.  It counts for us. That's the cool part haha.
I talked this Sunday. We both did. I talked about being an ejemplo [example]. It's funny. It was my comps first time and he told me he noticed my slight loving planch. I told him, that's all discoursing is... planching the ward, with love haha. My lider misonal [ward mission leader] got up and copied my talk. What a tool, haha. The example of the Anti Nefi Lehitas. Cool story. Gotta really love El Libro de Mormon [the Book of Mormon]. Which I do love more than The Book of Mormon. English bores me now. I hate reading it. It's hard helping Elder Cerna read English when I can't even remember it well, haha. Wait... what word? Zarahemla? Who knows? Say it in Spanish. Same thing haha.
Well. I think that's it for now. Man it's almost Christmas.Sheesh. And [Grandpa Mortensen's birthday] 89!?!wow!!!! tell him felcidades [congratulations]! I miss them a lot.A few short months and I'll see all four of them again. That's for sure. I hope I'm there for the 90th.
Love you all. Que Dios les cuide. [May God watch over you]
Elder Mortensen.

Monday, November 11, 2013

November 11, 2013 (Week 65)

November 11, 2013

Welll... Las Lauras got baptized. :) It was pretty cool. In the middle of the week they were still doubting a bit, but we ended up talking a bunch about it and got to the point where they accepted. My comp didn't say much, not like he could. They don't teach this stuff in the MTC, haha. I thought it was pretty cool how much the Lord has progressed me in the mission. Cool experiences when you talk with the Spirit. Makes it allll worth it.
[I questioned Conner why he baptized Maria and not Elder Bixler...]
But as for Maria, nah she said she felt like I needed to do it. I'm super happy. It was the best baptism I've ever done or had. Besides Esperanza. She will always be special.
I took the bus with Elder Bixler (for transfers) and I ended up seeing  Elder Westhoff one last time. I told you I was his only comp he had for a full 2 changes? Prettyyyy crazy haha. We had a good laugh about that. But me and Elder Cerna are working here. Trying to find new people to teach. That's always the key. You can't teach someone unless you have someone, haha. [I gave Conner a bad time about his companion doing all the cleaning...] And hey I'm not a pig by any means! It just means he is more punctual in getting things clean, haha. Ruben is gonna get baptized this weekend. I kinda want Elder Cerna to do it. I can give Ruben a hug outside of the font. I'm gonna have him do it.. 
Other than that, not a whole lot happened. Time is going super fast. It's pretty crazy....
Well... I'm gonna get out of this place. Some guy is screaming and swearing at his FIFA 2013. Good luck in life buddy.
Adios haha

Elder Monsters Inc.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

November 4, 2012 (Week 64)

November 4, 2013

Well.... Red Sox did win. Man. Everyone was watchin it down here! Sheesh. Elder Bixler planched [got after] me a few times. "I'm only seeing the score calm down" haha.
I got me a newspaper from the day after. I'll save it for you guys to read. It's pretty cool.
Well.... Maria got baptized. And Hiossio. And Yetzabeth. And they got confirmed Sunday. I got to do the baptism of Maria and her confirmation. Wow. If THAT wasn't a neat experience... I promised her the blessing of a temple familia if she held strong. I felt impressed to say it. I want it to come true. I wish I could tell you all about it but its all just feelings. The only words are that they got baptized. It's just something that I feel. I can't describe it. But I know her and her familia will be active for the rest of their lives.
Laura y Laura should be getting baptized this weekend. Gonna fast I think. Man. I reallllly hope she does. She is kind of scared and indecisive. Only through el señor [the Lord]... only through Him...
As for Dia de Los muertos [Halloween], yeah they celebrate it. It's pretty pagan though. Literally. They put offerings up to their dead, and sometimes to statues and paintings of the Virgin Maria. It's a backwards pueblo down here... pretty nuts. They are all idol worshipers but won't accept it haha. It's sometimes dificil [difficult]. well.. all the time.
Not too much else happened this week. Training mi hijo [my Junior]. That's fun. The best part about him, he's patient, and a clean freak. My apartments have never looked so clean... hahaha. He's 25, from the state of Mexico. a town called Charco. He came out a little late because of work and saving money, but he's here and wants so bad to know everything. He always asks me to have patience with him. I tell him he's about the first I haven't had to have patience with haha.  He's gotta have patience with himself. He's a cool cat. Elder Cerna. I realized how crappy my Spanish had gotten. It's hard for my brain to hop back into 24/7 Spanish mode now...
Well. I have no clue what else to tell ya. Ruben drank, and he thought he was still on the same level as his famiila. I had to rebuke him for that. He doesn't get it yet. Oh well, we are planning a pretty hard lesson for him. The feel good stuff isn't working. As long as the Spirit is with me I can say what the Lord wants. Interesting experience with that.
Love you all. Que Big Papi Viva!

Adios. Elder Mortensen.

Monday, October 28, 2013

October 28, 2013 (Week 63)

October 28, 2013

Well... you can all call me "papa" now... I'm gonna have a "niño" ["kid"]!!!!
hahahaha I'm training!!!!
Maria.... man.... I can't tell you all haha... She's incredible.
Laura is progressing too. Her testimony is growing faster and faster now.
Mendoza [the city  Conner's in], is huge. I only have one ward, but it's like shoving a footlong subway in your mouth without chewing. It's sooo big and we are still branching out to Acultzingo and Maltrata.
That's cool Boston is 2-2. I walked into a house and they were watching it. I thought. "Hey. my familia is watching the same game right now." Felt pretty close to you all. Then we had to turn it off, haha. Hey, tell me what day game 6 and 7 are gonna be so I can check the paper down here and cut out an article about it to show you all when I get home. I already have a small one, but that'd be cool. EL SERIE MUNDIAL DEL BEISBOL MEDIAS ROJAS 4-2 GANARON!!! [RED SOX WIN WORLD SERIES GAME 4-2!!!]
So I haven't slept good since Thursday. Maria's husband came that day, and we also ended our fast that day. We didn't hear anything from her and she didn't come to church on Sunday. We were worried sick, but kept praying and praying and praying. We said "bye" to people, well, Elder Bixler did, and went to the Familia Huertas house to eat breakfast in the morning. Maria was there, HER HUSBAND FINALLY LEFT. That was a miracle. I couldn't eat. Nobody said anything about baptism. I made it about an hour and couldn't hold it in any longer. 
I blurted out: "How did it go???" 
"Well... we worked on the roof this weekend and fixed a few walls." 
"I don't understand what you want... Let's just read these balloons hung up outside. They all started with stuff like "adios Bixler", "Que Dios te bendiga" ["God Bless"], etc. At the end, the last balloon read: "Bixler, bautizame attn: Yetzabeth" (daughter). Maria and her son Yiossio want me to baptize them. Don't mind if I do!
We were in shock... The dad wanted to talk to his kids first to see why they wanted to get baptized, but he never opened his mouth. Maria took that as a sign, and now they are gonna get baptized tonight at 6!!!! AHHHHH!!!! Man. I've never been so blessed, but I've also never worked so hard or prayed so hard ... I feel like I finally understand what faith is. I think I asked you guys that at the beginning of my mission. I think I know now. But man. you're just gonna have to wait until I get home for the whole story. It's too long and too amazing for email... man.... I don't know. It's been quite the pday. We haven't done anything pdayish all day. Just working like tomorrow never comes. I guess that's what happens when you really lose yourself in the work. Man. It's crazy. I don't even remember what else happened. Seems pretty unimportant. 

I find out who my hijo [Junior] is Tuesday. Gonna be quite the ride... Elder Bixler is going to Villa Rica, close to my first area.
That's all for now. Les quiero mucho. Que les vaya bien. [I love you.  Be well]
Elder Mortensen.
Oh yeah, it's official. I'm Elder Westhoff's only comp that he'll have had for 3 months or 2 whole changes. WOO!! haha. He goes home in December. Crazy huh?...

Monday, October 21, 2013

October 21, 2013 (Week 62)

October 21, 2013

Well.. freak. We had zone conferences this week. Pretty cool. President talked, I played the piano, (such a blessing by the way, thanks mom. I've been able to play at funerals, conferences, and Sundays.) We had a small snack and sat down and the President tells us, "Elder Mortensen, come up here please"... umm... gulp. haha. "and your companion too". "Ok". He had us explain how our weekend went. We explained the situation and the baptisms, and he then congratulated us in front of 2 zones and said, "what they did is a perfect example of what hard work and faith does." We were shocked. It was so cool. I felt really undeserving of the attention. I didn't want it, but still it felt good to know that your president knows you and is proud of you. He's a good guy. He actually said "I was following this story pretty closely. Since about week one he had been following the family and progressing to baptism intently, which means a lot because he has 200 missionaries to take care of. All in all, a really cool moment.
As for the Familia Huerta y Maria, it's crazy cool with them. We had another family home evening in the house of the Huertas, and and I've never felt the spirit more than I did then in a wood shack, with 12 Mexicans around me. It's amazing what the mission will do to you. People always ask me if I miss home. I tell 'em "why do you ask me that? What's to miss?" I'm still here. It's a pretty cool change... This week has been one of the most spiritual weeks of my life. I have no clue why. For anyone that reads this, member or not, I hope these words get to you. I can't deny the spirit I've felt. I can't deny it nor would I want to. It's brought me to my knees at night. We teach el Evangelio de Jesucristo, and its all about the saving ordinances of the church. If I ever think of leaving the church, slap me with these words because right now I can't believe how people can be so blind. It's really cool to see peoples faces when they actually get it. When the lessons with people are guided by the spirit, you can tell. We have had miracles this week. People say miracles don't exist, I laugh. I've seen them. Maria is a miracle. Man, I wish I could write for 50 minutes about her conversion. I might save that for this next week. It's incredible the miracles that she has seen and felt. I know that this family is meant for the temple. The hand of God is SO visible in this woman's life. Man, I'll write it all next week. PRAY really hard that her husband lets her get baptized and that God shows his hand once more. I know he will, it's just gonna take one more miracle, haha! 
We are teaching the 1st counselor's sister. Se llama [named] Laura. Her daughter too. She was progressing really slowly, but now really fast. They come from a very TJ (testigos de JEHOVA) [Jehovah's Witnesses] background, and her mom still is, but she has a testimony of the Book of Mormon, and her daughter doesn't really yet, but trusts her mom and is gonna take the step of faith and get baptized with her mom 2 de Noviembre [November 2nd]. No me digas [don't tell me]. We have had some crazy experiences... I seriously feel like I passed the test of Tierra Blanca and endure these things well.. You'll be blessed. I feel like this is the blessing and I never want it to stop. If Ruben doesn't drink we are looking at 8 this change [transfer] and 2 to start off the next one.
Man, it's incredible...
Adios. Elder Mortensen
Oh, one good laugh. We got some directions this week that went something like this: "Soo... you're gonna take a left, go three blocks, take a right, and go straight until there is a little street. Pass it, and then go up the hill. Go straight, and to the right, you'll see a tree.
"Oh. I'll see a tree? That's unique."

Thursday, October 17, 2013

October 14, 2013 (Week 61)

October 14, 2013

Wellllllll........................ BAUTISMOS!!! 4. Karina, Rosalia, Yamilet, y Ruben. Coooool. It was a lot of fun to get in the water. Everyone always laughs after I baptize. I don't want a re-baptism so I just shove 'em under. Poor kids and one 300 lb woman.  They didn't even know what happened when they get baptized by me! hahaha.

It felt real good. We baptized the Familia Huerta on Thursday. We were fasting that Ruben wouldn't drink, but he actually showed up Thursday drunk. He had gum to cover up his breath. Yeah...that fooled me... Freaking Ruben. I think he just gave up. He drinks every two or three days now. Maybe in a month or two.Or a year or 5. Sheesh. He's just gotta find the power to quit. Keeps saying his wife doesn't help... 

We are working with a few more people. The ward is starting to change. They have never seen 4 baptisms. Never ever. Just gotta do some things with a smile on your face and people start to trust you and like you more. Hopefully we can get a few more baptisms this change. We have 2 more weekends. Maria and her 3 kids came. She is straight GOLD. She actually understands what she reads, has a strong testimony, and they are looking forward to their baptism in 2 weeks.We are just hoping her husband doesn't come back. Could complicate things. he is militar and only comes randomly, but when he comes it's time to work on the house and crap. But she finally gets the importance of church, which I hope will help her to make the decision to come every week. She is already teaching us. I'm so stoked. We are getting blessed now. I love it.

freak... Well, this week sure went a lot better. Oh yeah, I don't know if I ever told you.. but I wrote Abi a letter, the daughter of Jose Luis y Laura. She was being dumb when I left, so the night before transfers I wrote her a 4 page front and back letter. Scriptures and everything. It was like a 4 hour lesson on paper... took me 3.5 hours to write it... haha. But yeah, I gave it to her when I left. Turns out she got baptized. She wanted me to go and baptize her but it would have taken too long, but still pretty cool. Carcamo said the letter basically convinced her. I'm gonna write more letters hahah.... freak. I just remember being super focused and inspired to write the things I wrote and the scriptures to put in it. I'm glad the Lord finally put it in her heart to just stop playing around with us and the adventistas and just do what she knew. Pretty cool. I can't wait to see them all in the temple in Julio. Still missing one child. He will be a little harder to convince. His girlfriends parents are basically super high up in the Catholic church... cool. haha

Well.. I've never been more tired or ready for a nap, but it's time to work. The mission sure is hard, more mentally than anything. Sometimes it's just straight draining. But its crazy to feel angels around you. Seriously bearing you up as you testify and I feel more full of the espiritu. Sheesh. I'm straight blessed. I'm not even worthy of these blessings. (not sayin' i won't take 'em haha) Enjoy your time at home Garrett and Riley. Your turn is coming up. Stay prepared, worthy and stoked to serve. You won't be disappointed. I love you all, you are all in my prayers. Friends, if you read this, you might think I'm crazy, but I hope you can feel a little bit of what I feel when I am out here. The Gospel's true. It's the only chance for real happiness. It's not anywhere else.

ldr Mrtnsn

October 7, 2013 (Week 60)

Well, its been pretty interesting. A well loved member of the ward died. Heart attack, Sunday in the afternoon. Had to cancel the baptism. Man, I am getting so tired of this. It's been like 9 weeks of not baptizing. Satan is just doing EVERYTHING to stop me. I swear I just bring a curse. I don't know what its all about but the whole familia is going under this Saturday. Freak. I reallllly hope so. We should have Karina too. She wants to get baptized fast! I think that's pretty chill. Oh yeah, mama, that white shirt that you sent me...just took it out of the package, it could fit two of me in there hahaha. XL means FAT GUY. I know I'm fat, but really! Come on! haha I'll take it to a member and have them cut out and sew about 12 inches off each side ;) hahaha the collar is good :)

So General Conference, I saw Paul Nauta. Talk about WEIRD.I was like what in the gale?? I know him... Closest to home I've been haha!

And... Richard G. Scott STILL puts me to sleep. Even in Spanish haha. He translated and spoke in Spanish! and if you thought English was bad... hahaha. I just like READING his talks.

We had some good lessons with the neighbor of Ruben. Maria and her 3 kids, Alejandro, Guadelupe, y Iyam. Her husband has a sketchy job in D.F. (Mexico City) but.... she was like "Sooo.... when can we get baptized? I've got my answer, I've got permission from my husband, and... I finally found what I was looking for since my kids were born." SAWEEET. But... thanks, satan. She went to the Catholic church, pressure from her father in law. why don't you stay
awa,y satan? nobody likes you.. gonna go see her tonight!

We rode some bikes for about 5 minutes this week. They were small, but it was a lot of fun hahaha. Well, that's the world report for right now. I hope this week goes better for everyone! What about a group fast? That;d be cool. I say... Tuesday to Wednesday. We all need some help. It would be good to do a special one too. And then again on Sunday. I don't know what it is about the mission but we just fast a lot, even if we aren't fasting. Too lazy to make food in the night, and no food in the morning hahaha. I hope everything is better. Sometimes we just don't get what we want. It's flat out así [how it is?] sometimes. God just looked and said the Mortensen's need a few challenges! Lets see what happens!

Que Dios les cuide [May God take care of us]

Elder Mortensen.

September 30, 2013 (Week 59)

September 30, 2013

This week nothing super cool happened. We took a pday off from the mountains, only to go back (in normal clothes) the next week. As for the clothes, ZL Larsen: "Oh no, we will go as missionaries. It's pretty easy. All we have to do is go in a taxi..." yeah... hahaha.

We had some pretty decent success today. They had baptized 6 in this area in about 9 months, and we have a family of 4 this Sunday. Ruben, Rosa, Ruben hijo [Jr], y Yamilet. They are cool and always want us to eat with them hahaha. Super col experiences with him. Started off with draining his last beer to a prayer in the baptismal room. Now they have a date for domingo and a date at the temple in a year :) We are so stoked. It's been super cool to see the changes in them.

We had conferencia para lideres de la mision [Leader Conference], so I got to see everyone from the MTC group but Elder Bixler. He had to stay... That sucked. it was long. We woke up at 4, took a bus to Veracruz, listened from 10 to 630 to different people, ate L
ittle Ceasers, (that's right, they just put one here) haha crazy bread! 108 pesos for pizza and bread! and then took a bus home. Stupid thing didn't leave till 8:40, and we were on the bus thanks to the school teachers (blocking the highways) and watched Bear Grills on the TV and listened to the bus driver cuss and mutter under his breath as we took detour after detour. Got home at 1:30. That was sure a long day... cool to see everyone though! I was pretty stoked. Only missing Elder Bixler for the next one! 

Other than that, I shared some scriptures with a possible investigator, Kalima. By the end of the sacrament meeting she loved the scriptures so much she was telling everyone she's gonna get baptized and hugs all around. Not from us, of course. hahah. Pretty freaking chill haha. I was super stoked. We just gotta keep putting up dates for the next weeks or we are gonna be sad when the 2 weeks of success is over... haha.

Well, I think that's all folks,

nesnetroM redlE

Sunday, September 29, 2013

September 23, 2013 (Week 58)

September 23, 2013


Well... we just climbed a mountain Cercita a la Casa... oh my goodness. We took a taxi truck, basically you give this guy 10 pesos and he takes you up the the point, but we had to climb a insane uphill jungle type forest in mud, in church clothes to get to the most breathtaking view I've seen of Pico de Orizaba, and for that case, since Kings Peak. but the difference with Kings Peak is that it was suddenly that we made it to the top. it was incredible... I have fotos, I'll send 'em home! We dropped down into the other side of the mountain into a little village... they hardly speak Spanish it was soooo cool. The people speak Nahwalt or something. It's FREAKING AWESOME. but... we are thinking about preaching there. The only problem is, the last Testigos de Jehova [Jehovah's Witnesses] were taken captive, and tied down, and they were literally about to burn them... hahahaha Freaking TJs. They don't show any respect. We will think about it. It was one of the most breathtaking views of my life. Seeing the whoooole city Mendoza, and the pueblito... wow. We came down pretty bruised and cut up, the mountains here aren't like the Rockies. they shoot straight up. Needless to say, the muddy slippery downhill was somewhat of a joy on the way back down. We all slipped and slid, I fell on a branch and literally impaled myself, but a pretty cool miracle or something because it was sharp and didn't draw blood . I might have a broken rib ... pretty sharp pain in my side still haha.... but other than that, man it was amazing.
As for Mendoza, I'm literally in a small city in the middle of the mountains. its connected with two other cities, and its pretty small. one main road. Carlos A. Carrillo still tops it all in smallness haha. there are mountains on all sides, and I'm soooo stoked!!! its amazing. I got here, and we don't have much, but we are gonna start working hard. man. it is pretty hard here. People just ignore you if you contact them, or run in their house. but the ward is pretty strong, and I'm pretty stoked to start working here. as for that, man I have soooo many stories to tell you all. so many... 
We are working with a family of 4 right now. He wants to give up alcohol, so we had him pour out his only can of Indio Cerveza, and throw the can as far as he could. I gave them all a ctr ring that you gave me mom, and they loved em. I hope he can let go of the beer. It's a strong vice but he's gonna do it for his family. Hopefully we get to baptize!!! Straight converts to the gospel. So cool. Well, I gotta go. I have so much to tell you all, but its all mixed in my brain, so.. sorry. and sorry I wrote late, internet went out. but.... yeah... I love you all. Garrett, Riley, and whoever else reads this letter, go on a mission. you won't regret it. It's the hardest two years, but you will never ever see things like this any other time in your life. The chance to work with people so amazing and to see them change is crazy. I know this work is true. Go to the temple weekly, really READ your scriptures. 1 Nefi 15. They are a protection in this crazy world! Say good prayers. It makes ALLLLL the difference. And then, when God calls us, we will have no problems saying I'm here. Clean.
Love you all.
Elder Monsterson 

(they still have no clue how to pronounce my name haha)

September 16, 2013 (Week 57)

September 16, 2013

Well... looks like it will be the end of my days in Tierra Blanca. I guess the señor [the Lord] wants me elsewhere, or the president was tired of hearing Nelson whine every two or three minutes about every littttttttle thing. The good news is.... drumrolllllll... ORIZABA!!!! IM LIKE 20 MINUTES AWAYS FROM PICO DE ORIZABA!!!! COLD!!!!! PUEBLO!!!!! MONTAÑAS [MOUNTAINS]!!!!!! The only bad thing well, cool thing, is there is a hurricane that's gonna hit there this weeek.... :)
wow. I'm pretttttty freakin' stoked. I'm going with Elder Bixler.He's from my MTC district so that'll be fun. Doesn't speak a lick of Spanish either so that'll be fun. It was nice to speak Spanish for 6 weeks. Freak. I'm blowing through compañeros. I'm now on 7 and 5 have been for one change. Freak. I was hoping to FINALLY baptize and reap some of my crop, but... like usual, I'm headin' out! Still DL,so I guess presidente still trusts me, we had interviews and I guess Nelson spilled the beans on everythinggggg because I got in after him and had a whole list of things against me. I had the chance to throw dirt but I just said "well, I'm not perfect." We ended on that note. Told me it was apostate and punishable to go against leaders. I agreed and got myself out.
I'm so stoked about the Red Sox. Finally. Mayweather got another win, United States dominate, and everything is right in the sports world! haha. And as for my shoes, they have shoe repair shops every other corner. 20 pesos for a quick glue and stitch hahahaha. And as for rain, it's crazy. there is a lot of flooding. It's not usually like this here either.
Teachers are on strike, no classes, I guess the US is in another war, man I'm so out of it. People keep telling me Syria used chemical weapons and called Russia and the USA are testing bombs and who in the freak knows what. 
As for moving, it will be cool. We live in a freaking plague right now. I've killed, brutally murdered, or drowned 16 rats and mice. Cool right? The owners won't do anything. Oh well,. not gonna be any ones problem for a while.
Oh yeah, and Elder Carcamo doesn't speak English. I tried to help him but he got frustrated when I laughed when he said the word beach with a bad accent (use your imagination). hahaha. It's now our little joke. Every time we hear the word playa, = beach, we laugh. 
But... now its time for me to go away from Tierra blanca and Carcamo. I enjoyed my time with him a lot. Gonna be interesting...
Adios. Con amor,

Elder Mortensen

September 9, 2013 (Week 56)

September 9, 2013

[I told Conner about the salsa we made with jalapenos and Anaheim peppers...He wasn't impressed :) ]

Jalapeños?? para que? no hacen nada! [that's nothing!] Jalapeños are for wusses. Plant me some Jabanero y chilpaya and I'll make some salsa so good you'll want to cry. and after eating it, you will cry hahahaha.
The 5 weeks is for ALLLLL of Mexico [number of Church meetings an investigator must attend before baptism]. It's from the presidencia de area. It's game changing here in Mexico. GAME CHANGING. Better or worse, we will see hahaha. I think it's a prototype for the Latin world. They always try Mexico first to see. Who knows why.
But I don't know. Gotta be positive or you don't have anything. I've felt the down, stressed-out side and I felt like going home to sleep the whole day and forget life. Better to live stress free! jaja.
As for this week, Abi, daughter de Jose Luis y Laura is gonna get baptized, we just gotta find out a way to get her to tell Jonathan (boyfriend) that if he wants back in when he gets home from working, he's gotta get married so she can do it. Still waiting for that baptism. We have a few people that could get baptized, but thanks to 5 weeks we gotta wait. Oh well. it's not too bad to blank change in this time. Understandable with the new rule. Just keep walking, just keep walking... Freak, my shoes are on the downhill slide as well. I've been sewing and cutting rubber from all parts on em jajaja.
It's torment season... which means we have gotten SOAKED 5 times. We get to the house, hang up the clothes outside and plan real fast. It rains nightly for more than 4 or 5 hours. Pretty nuts! It sure feels good to be in the rain. Sheesh. Hotter than Africa. I bought jerseys by the way. And I've been buying and collecting old bills of money. Pretty freaking cool. I'm hoping to have a good collection.
I have no clue what else happened. Laid bricks, cut trees with machetes and filled holes in church clothes and ties. Just another day in paradise!
Much love for you all. Gotta bounce.

[Regarding the Mexico vs. USA soccer match, World Cup qualifier]:
VIVA AMERICA!! MEXICO CONTRA AMERICA!!!! WOOO!!!! VIVA LA COPA MUNDIAL! AMERICA VA POR CABEZA DE AREA!!!! VA PA´ ABAJO COSTA RICA Y MEXICO. (I've got a few little bets here and there on this game. I've been waiting for it forever.) 
Adios :)

Elder Mortensen

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

September 2, 2013 (Week 55)

September 2, 2013

 I'll never stop catching snakes.
Just like when I was 5... awww. So cute.

Well this week, we got some interesting news... We now have to bring people to church 5 times before baptism... That's gonna be fun. Oh well. Guess it makes for more converts. Still hard when the stake president won't move the hours from 8 to 10. It's still 8-11 and 12-3. its gonna be hard getting people, up to 20 if you count all the people we need to bring by semana [week] 5 to church. At 7 in the morning. Sheesh. We will see how this goes. 
And.... we left la canicula! I have no clue how to say that in English, but it's 40 days of the earth being the closest to the sun. So... it was hell. for 40 days. And here I am teaching people about "paradise" after this life... hahaha felt like the children of Israel wandering in a desert for 40 years. but I'm in Mexico. different, but same thing. hahah but it should start to rain more. It rains close to every night, and sometimes during the day. Nobody will have any problems with me calling them asking if I can go to the house until it stops raining. I'm the first one throwing my books in a plastic bag and ending the lesson and running out into the rain haha. loco gringo esta bien mojado! porque tiene sonrisa??? [crazy white man is very wet, why is he smiling???]
I've got a few scriptures... first.
Brad, Garrett, Riley, Blake, and whoever else is male, -or close to it- Open your bibles and imagine in my lovely voice Job 38:3. In essence, it says put on your pants like a man!!!
Gird up now thy loins like a man.
That's my spiritual message for you all today :)
Not really. I want you all to read 2 Nephi 4:16-35 and study it out. Everyone is always like "oh so chill what Nephi says". but if you study it with the Lord's prayer in Matthew... Man its pretty dang close to equal. Study those out and write in the margin different notes. l wrote stuff like "here he humbles himself, trusts in the lord, and finds the problem and presents it"... stuff like that. Should give you guys some insight to pray like Jesus did. but Nephi just gives us the perfect laid out example. That's what I love about him. Christ's baptism... Christ's prayer... all is explained with more detail in the Book of Mormon. Even charity. That's my homework for you all this week.
We are working with a few people. All of them are gold, it's just we have to be more direct with them and take out the whole tree or the problem instead of chopping branches. We will see how this goes! Wish us luck. We need to baptize. there's a bit of pressure. Oh well. Thanks for the Email dad. helps me understand that maybe I'm just meant to plant seeds my mission. If that's the case, so be it. 

Elder Mortensen

August 26, 2013 (Week 54)

August 26, 2013

Well... What happened... Not much. My mind is pretty dead.

Carcamo and me rode a train for about 3 miles, I jumped and ran, he jumped and crashed. Got pretty scratched up haha.
But other than that, it's been a pretty hard week, hard weeks for that matter. No matter how many people we find and baptismal dates we get, everyone seems to die after we put in allllll our work. We are still hoping that things start to pick up. It's pretty hard sometimes and I think this will be the first month I don't baptize. We have a sure one this Sunday, but that's in september. I feel pretty much like a failure if we go 3 weeks without a baptism, let alone 4. It's just the missions here... different culture. You should have a baptism every week, if you work. We must be missing a piece. We had a chance to work with an assistant, and he helped us realize and how to focus on the needs. Good day with him, even though he FREAKING put his FREAKING shoes allll over my hammock. It took EVERYTHING I had to not planch the assistant there... jaja. Nobody touches her like that. Carcamo saw my face and immediately started laughing but then looked away. Pure anger hahaha.
Hopefully things start to pick up. We found a gold nugget, but she can't come to church for a bit.
The family of 10 is slowly "dying", and I'm afraid we might have to "kill" them this week. I was so stoked. We are going to try to revive them, but can't waste too much time. But Gustavo, the 26 year old that we contacted is still pretty strong. We pray he goes under this week, and because he wanted to do it in a river... :) I'd like to get in the water again. That fresh white shirt is still in the package...
Maria de los Angeles is scared her mom won't let her, but we are gonna keep reading and stuff to see if she will progress. If not, Facebook friend and I'll pick that one up when i get home hahahahahahahaha
Maribel,,,, is still pressured by her church and isn't really doing her homework. SHE KNOWS ITS TRUE!!! agggghhh... So frustrating... I wish I could planch some people.
"I have family over... yeah. we are the family, we came from Veracruz, and we already have plans..."
Uhh... what about God? Where does HE fit in those plans?? sheesh.
Man. I hope I don't scare you all. I'm still me haha. phew. yeah. power planch over. :)
haha I love you all. Take care, and enjoy the snow when it comes . Lucky dogs. Although there is a hurricane and we have been getting substantial rain. I love it, Carcamo doesn't like being wet. haha. Crazy Gringos...

Anciano Mortensen.

August 19, 2013 (Week 53)

August 19, 2013

So, to start off, this week was pretty hard... not the year mark I was hoping for. It was pretty interesting...

Started off with pancakes with a member, I made my 1 out of pancake dough and that was cool. It all went pretty downhill from there...

I'm not one to be negative. I'll save it for later.

All in all, I bought a Spiderman piñata, and we set it on fire with a tie and my 1 year mark shirt. Pretty freaking cool. Good times with Jose Luis y Laura.

So this famiilia de 10 is actually doing pretty well. We are working really hard with them to get the goal of 1 septiembre. They quit drinking coffee and smoking, and 6 went to church! The grandma needs to get married and overcome her doubts of the Virgen Maria y Juqila y los Santos. We are gonna work hard. She makes good tamales. I'm pretty stoked for the 1st. Can't wait actually.

Well.. Really nothing much happened. Jorge died. that was super sad. Freaking Evangelicos. Negative buggers. Sad funeral.
Jose Luis is facing criminal charges for something he didn't do or know about and the are selling all their things..
Olimpia didn't get baptized, says she has no clue what the Book of Mormon is, which is a lie, she likes what it says and has read more than 5 chapters.

I don't know. It's been a very long week. I'm glad to get started again. Every week is an año [year] en la mision. Just need to keep going and the times will get better.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

August 12, 2013 (Week 52)

August 12, 2013

Well.. for this week..
Elder Carcamo is from Honduras. Pretty cool bro. It's been a pretty good week. He does a decent job of reminding me I have an accent sometimes... hahaha but I get along good with him. He says freak cuate [buddy] a lot haha. Freak cuate mira [look buddy] freakkkkk.. No manches cuate no me digas men. [no way, buddy! don't tell me! (??)]

Haha. He's a cool bro. Gonna enjoy the time with him. We are both wondering why the Lord wanted us together so bad. Guess we will know!

Well... we didn't have too much success this week, a lot of crappy investigators. Fasted Sunday, ended the fast and then killed everyone on the list. Everywhere we went it was like we were guided to contact that person. "Oh yeah, I wanted to get baptized, but the Elders left. Sooo... I never did." "Well, lets get you married and in the water" haha. We actually found a family of 7 on Saturday, and Sunday 5 more in that family. And they all love listening. I'm soooo stoked to get them all in the water. They are progressing really well.
The white girl, Maria de Los Angeles, is actually progressing. She does her homework and all that. Carcamo has a great time in the lesson. We left after the first one and was like: Freakkk cuate. no entendí NADA. (I didn't understand anything!) "Is that how you all feel when you get here?" "Yup." haha.
Maribel is seeing progress with her husband. We are hoping that he gets better soon. It's a rollercoaster, but she does want to go to church. Just can't at the moment with Jorge. Gotta be with him. Hopefully he gets over this soon... They are a cool family. She really likes it when we go over and pray.
As for church... I was playing for the sacrament hymn, but not a dang person knew it haha. I was playing, the chorister was trying her best, but the encargado got up and changed the hymn.. AWKWARD..... it was interesting. haha. But I now know, when someone doesn't like a hymn, they will not sing... hahah
So, as for the cool parts, if we have a Bautizona, we get to go to the temple the tuesday after. O sea, if everyone in the zone baptizes that weekend, in August, that zone goes to the temple. We sure are hoping. I wanna go to the temple.
BUTTTTTTT... here's the story of the week.
So, there is a bee, a wasp down here.. That's real big and painful: Campanera. They were building a hive at Marias house, and there were a bunch of kids around. Being me, not thinking, I grabbed the broom, put everyone inside, and got rid of the hive. I got bit one time and boy did that thing freaking KILL. I didn't think anything of it, until I woke up in the morning and my hand was still red and a little swollen. By the end of the day, the watch was on my belt and my hand and wrist were 3x the normal size... oops. Went to a crappy farmacy at 9 at night, the guy gave me a nice shot in the butt, and told me to come back tomorrow. That shot freaking killed too... so I went back the next night. An overweight, sick, "doctor" was there. He coughed on my syringe, put it in his mouth, and then gave me part 2/2 of my shot. Boy... only in Mexico... haha. Good thing the señor [the Lord] doesn't want me dead yet. But my hand has since de-swollen, although Monday, 6 days later, there are still a few spots... freaking Campanera... I'll try and get some fotos sent home soon. but freak. It sure left a hole on my hand....
So... creo que eso es todo...[I think that's all]
I don't know. Take care of yourselves wherever you are. Oh, by the way, I've got a garment tie tan line. The celestial smile is white and a nice tie collar line. Looks cool. When it gets super bad I'll send home a foto haha.

Pues... Hasta la proxima [well, until next time], Elder Mortensen

Sunday, August 11, 2013

August 5, 2013 (Week 51)

August 5, 2013

I hate toasters. I hate 'em. They are like a horrible jack in the box and I always get burnt. -- Elder Bair.

Dad... primero,[first] Proverbios [Proverbs] 10:1. more stuff for you to brag about at work ;)

hahaha Well.. not too much to say this week, less busy than the last, and all of our baptisms failed. The most probably because she had a woman problem. FREAK. That sucks. It's the worst thing to hear as a missionary, because there are no scriptures to overcome that doubt...
We started teaching a woman called Maribel, and her husband, Jorge. He has some serious problems in his liver because he is a straight drunk. He couldn't stop. The Evangelistas Pentecostes  "cured" him once already but they didn't want to go back, so we did. Gave him a blessing and he is still sick, yellow and can barely move, but better. We have given him 2 blessings and her 1. I gave her a blessing the other day and it was the coolest thing ever. I felt so inspired to say certain things I'd never thought about before, that it was overwhelming. So cool. One time in a lesson we were teaching the restauracion [restoration], and Elder Gomez (divisions), was bearing his testimony, pretty long one, and repeating himself, but I had the thought to ask her how she was feeling.. So I waited patiently for him to finish, and the moment he did, I asked her. She said: "on fire!" WHAT UP!!! It was so cool. She got baptized 6 months ago in the Pentecostes, and her mom reminded her, but in short words she said, "shut up mom, I'm gonna read the book." WOO!!! She'd be super cool. but yeah, I hope it all works out. 
We found a white girl from Kansas City whose mom dragged her down to Mexico. She's Mexican, but more white than brown and speaks English. It's so much fun teaching lessons. I hope she progresses. She's pretty cool, but she's cute too... Can't wait to see my comp try and say stuff in lessons hahaha
Speaking of which, cambios [transfers]. Elder Bair is leaving, and coming is Elder Carcamo. Which is really interesting, because I was supposed to be with him in Unidad until I got moved to Carlos A Carillo. I guess the Lord wants us together or something. Pretty cool. I'm excited to find out why...
That's about it for the week. and, the encargado [bishop/branch president?] and second counselor took the first presidency letter about short sweet testimonies wrong. They give people a piece of paper after 45 seconds... that doesn't help the spirit! But Elder Bair went up and stole the paper! hahahaha
Hasta la proxima, les quiero mucho. Adios! [Until next time, I love you. bye!]

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

July 29, 2013 (Week 50)

July 29, 2013

Man. Sundays are soooo hard. It's the end of each week and boy every tiny bit of work and sweat sure accumulates to Sunday in the afternoon. I need to get in the habit of buying Pepsis for Sunday haha. I get some baddd headaches haha.
I've got una guitarra haha :) a member lended it to me. I'll buy one when I head up to Veracruz again. But it's a good enough guitar to learn. Which I actually am learning. I go home, call the district and plan, then sit in my hammock and play the guitarra. fiching padre!
Aparte de eso [Other than that]... We got Carlos in the water. His dad died like 3 weeks ago remember? He never got baptized because he liked drinking. Barrio Torreon, the part where he lives, is pretty poor and they like to drink. But the death of his father kind of threw him for a loop, and he took the lessons again, paid attention, and stopped drinking, and he got baptized Sunday and got the Holy Ghost to help him out as well. Pretty freaking cool. Lucky to have a convert like him. I hope he stays strong. Pray that he does.
Well. I'm not sure what else happened... we are so insanely busy it's not even funny. The lord is blessing us extremely and boy I just crash every night. I feel the spirit so strong its incredible. freakkkk.... don't even know what to say.
But I love Mexico. It's so much better than anywhere else.
Oh, by the way, I achieved Limbo. Remember that show, Inception? Literally, I had a dream within a dream within a dream, within a dream. I woke up and realized in that dream I was telling Elder Bair what happened in the dream that I was dreaming in the dream that I had... Limbo: a crazy lady that's super cool that lives in a little pueblito that was speaking in a dialect and ringing a bell haha. but I was MINDBLOWN. So mindblown I really thought I was actually in reality...
Hammock naps right? sheesh. haha.
Elder Mortensen.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

July 22, 2013 (Week 49)

July 22, 2013

Boy, this week comes way too fast... well, to start off, it rained. superrrr hard. monsoon style! We were walking through streets of rivers up to the knees! haha wayyy too much fun.

Second, and basically the only thing I can think about, is we found a family, Mom Laura, and her husband Jose Luis. She got baptized 12 years ago, but got deported before she could get confirmed. missionaries have been working with them for years to get them baptized. The whole family is 6. people. pretty freaking sweet. She had a lot of doubts, but por fin [at last] got baptized. Freak! Took long enough! Super cool though.
I'll tell you what, hell combined against us Saturday. Jose Luis didn't want to get baptized, the font wasn't drained or cleaned, just lots of different things. But I had the thought to grab my sandals and towel just in case. He still said "no I wanna wait, I wanna wait..." But I could see he didn't. I told him to go try on this overall just to see if it fit. He said ok, went, I told him "grab my sandals!" So he did. Grabbed my towel, we grabbed some fotos, and he went under the water and came out soo happy. It was incredible. It's a super long story but a super good one. We are working with the rest of the family now :) Wish us luck! This area is starting to get better and better finally :)
As for Arlington [I told Conner we saw his old leaders from the National Boy Scout Jamboree and talked about their experience at Arlington National Cemetery] , I still get pretty emotional when I think about that memory too. It's something very special to me and I'll never forget it. I almost joined the marines it hit me so hard. But it doesn't compare to the love I feel from Christ on the mission. Man. It's so strong sometimes you just want to drop down to your knees. Super crazy.
A clown walked in to the church after everyone had left, drunk, and started kneeling and praying to the pulpit,. Pretty weird. He kept talking to us, then left, then started wailing. So funny. We had noooo clue what to do. Elder Bair just sat there and played the piano :) hahahahaha
Well, Temazcal was fun. it was nice to go out there finally. Pretty fun. lake is huge, not cold though. that sucked. haha. but my time is up. I love you all, take care.

Elder Mortensen.

July 15, 2013 (Week 48)

July 15, 2013

I shared your shut up and do your job quote [... silly office games people play.  Still amazes me how people "kiss-up" and try to act important.  I want to yell, "just do your job!"] with Elder Bair. He agrees. It's so frustrating. The stake president here wants everyone's misery and loves ruling over people. Not the best qualities for a leader if I say so... and our encargado [Ward mission leader??] just mimics him. So much brown nosing. But anyways, English class is going good. We get a few investigators. Pretty funny, I can't remember English. I can't speak it, read it, or spell it. It's pretty sad. I haven't used my English scriptures in weeks. I'm thinking about leaving them here in a box with a cool family until I go home. Dead weight at the moment! 
And sheesh, I know. We see people hacking at weed with machetes and we jump and scramble to help. Anything to work hard again is worth it. And plus, we gringos in white shirts in ties going ape in a field of weeds attracts some positive attention. It's nice to work hard. But boy, people ask if you fell in a lake after. Sopping wet from head to toe hahaha.
But like I was telling mom, it's a good thing someone sees a change. I'm still Conner. Just with a weird first name now hahahah.
But yeah, tacos are good. You white people have NO idea what salsa is. I'll just say that much. NO idea. You guys eat ketchup basically. Wait 12 months. FREAK. I'M ALMOST AT A YEAR. freaking 11 months today. Woo! Another month older! haha.
The Tonsil problem is back, and the Hna Treviño is still not helpful on the surgery. I went to a real doctor. I guess you could say he's real. He is from Cuba. Talks funny. haha. But I sat in a chair, he put on his headlamp, opened my mouth with a popsicle stick and went to town. I almost threw up and cried at the same time. He shoved my swollen tonsils sooo far into my throat. Freak. Hurt so bad. I couldn't talk right for a week. But he says it will probably come back in a few months. great.... woo.... I'll keep you updated on that.
Well, a man died this week. Recent convert. It's interesting, I've visited 2 sick people in 2 areas and 2 days after they die. I keep wondering if people are just waiting for that blessing or confirmation from God its time to go. I guess people on their death bed might really see messengers of Christ telling them its alright to let go now. Just a thought.
But we assisted at his funeral, because the ward is a DISGRACE. The Catholics are at least worried about visiting the widow and Hno. Jorges salvation. We had 3 people see the widow, 5 assist the at the service, and 8 at the burial. Over 50 Catholics. Disgusted with our ward... But the funeral was good. I want to get buried like a Mexican. The graves are simple and unkept, but the people are good. They build a cinderblock box in the ground and put the casket in it. Then the men throw in a handful of dirt and the women a flower or two. We helped get huge concrete slabs about a quarter mile away. they were about 130 lbs. and you carry them on your back up a hill. We grabbed 5 in total. Carried them up the hill, and then set them down. The father of the dead then cements the concrete box and then the men help him place the slabs over the casket. they then sealed the edges of the slabs, and then smeared concrete over the whole box so it was covered. Then the men threw the dirt over the slabs like usual, Then the women place flower arrangements over and around the grave. The men wear normal clothes, as do the women. There aren't any tuxes, any words said, just work to get it done and then over with. I thought it interesting that Mexicans don't get all dressed up for the occasion. They work to get that casket in there just like they work hard every day to scratch out a living. Everyone in silence then walked away. Real simple, but real beautiful la verdad [the truth]. Pretty interesting.
Well. My time is gone. I'll see you all for the next saga in the life of the Anciano (Elder). By the way, pastors and priests and ancianos de any religion don't stand a chance against our doctrine. It's interesting to know that God has enough trust in 20 year old boys to defend his truths against people way more studied than we are. Church is true, it's the only way to happiness. Eso si sè y testifico [I testify of that]. Amen.

Elder Mortensen.

Monday, July 8, 2013

July 8, 2013 (Week 47)

July 8, 2013

Free English Classes at the Church
Well this week has been interesting. I drank a Mountain Dew last night, (I have my sources :) ) and I ended up remembering home. Super crazyyyy. I dreamt I got home, and saw the pantry with Pop Tarts and cereal and good stuff and I fainted. Shay and Holly started screaming at me in Spanish and it was weird. hahaha. Mountain dew is fun :) Send me some more would ya?
This week was fun. It rained a lot. We got soakkeeeed. Had some fun in the rain. Running around at 9 at night jumping in puddles. People are like "those gringos are nuts. Freaking Mormons hahahaha." I'll try and get a picture sent home that I took of the storm. Boy, did it just come right in! pretty crazy. The streets become rivers.
As for the 4th of July, I'll send home a foto of Tierra York, and also of my tie and a street sign. What up.
We also baptized a woman named Elizabeth. She was freaking gold. We found her after a crappy door contact and she still let us in, dropped coffee, read everything, and got baptized, and now she's already praying for the well-being of the other people in the ward and for the assistance to increase. SWEEET. She's humble and powerful in ways.
Yeah. Interviews are cool, but boy I'll tell ya. Sometimes they get awkward. Especially when you have to call the president's wife on the persons phone because yours doesn't work and then Hna Treviño has to look for the president. Awkward silence...
Sacrament meetings are fun. I'll tell ya, playing the piano, and looking to the crowd to see if they are following just to see an Hna pull out her breast and feed her 1 year old kid will throw off the groove a little. Sheesh. They have no shame down here. Little kids run around naked like its nothing, hahaha.
Oh yeah. We ate tacos. It's interesting to see how much I've changed. You walk into McDonalds there and expect a clean table. We ate at a little shop with dirty tables, stools, and 3 peso tacos. My stomach hurt a little after but boy, it sure was nice to eat tacos in the ghettoist part of Mexico and not get sick hahaha. WOO! SOY MEXICANO! [I'm Mexican!]
haha. Well I'm out for the week. A ver si puedo mandar algunos fotos luego. Cuidense. [I'll see if I can send some photos later. take care of yourselves]
Elder Mortensen