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

July 1, 2013 (Week 46)

July 1, 2013

Well.. I'm here. In Tierra Blanca, my comp is from Iowa and speaks with a heavy farmers accent, haha. He's good. Real obedient. But he's good. We live in a small house, but it has clima :) consuelo se llama [climate control] haha. We have a guard dog too. She's a German Shepherd. There are 8 elders in my district, we have a pretty big zone. Extends for miles, but we hardly ever go out there. Too far. We are all stationed in Tierra Blanca centro, but then we go out from there. I'll see if I can find a foto. It's pretty dang hot here. If I haven't mentioned that haha. I sleep in a glorified drawer. I have about a foot of space until Elder Bairs bed. I hit my head 3 times a night. Supposedly there is money coming for a new one... haven't seen it! haha.
Tierra Blanca grew big from the railroad, but the government privatized it, and that company got rid of everyone, so now, it's just left here. Not too much work. People travel to Veracruz and other states to work, and see their familias every other weekend or so. Pretty crazy what people have to do to feed their familia.
So I started doing entrevistas [interviews]. They are pretty cool. But sometimes a litttttle different. A woman I did an enterview with is a re baptism, lost her membership record, so they had to do it again, but she had a life off the straight and narrow, had to call president, took an hour and a half. But it's super cool The spirit is right there with you. Pretty interesting. Done a few enterviews now. Starting to get a little better.
As for the mission, it's cool. The stake president is pretty stupid and is one of those if-it's-not-my-idea,-it's-nobody's-idea type of guys. Pretty insane how things are down here. The only thing that's been going through my mind:
If common sense is so common, why is there so little of it?
Hasta allí. [as far as that]?? 
I feel like you, dad. Sometimes I just wanna get up in a meeting, throw over the table and walk out. They don't think much. Oh well. Like I said, there's always people that make it super dificil [difficult] to do anything and it sucks cause your main job is your investigators. The main purpose of the church is missionary work. People don't realize that too much.
Me and Elder Dean, other elder, went out to a pueblito [village] about 1.5 hours away for an enterview. This kid was 9 years old, and his family just moved here. They live in a tiny wood shack, dirt floors, and a bathroom of 4 sticks and a sheet. It's kind of crazy how much your eyes get opened... They are some of the most humble and nicest people I ever met. Really is true.
Well. I can't think of anything else. The Book of Mormon is true, Mexican people are freaking sick, and I love the mission. It's the best job you can have. Maybe that's what you need dad, just quit work and do a service mission with mom. Westhoff's parents are out on an Indian ranch in Arizona or something helping people. Maybe... hahaha. 
By the way, The first half of the Brazil vs.Spain soccer match was good :) You gotta love miembros [members] that are willing to listen to a scripture and give you water while they watch the game on their big screen TV in their shack. Look for the good parts and you'll forget the rest.
The mission is the best two years. You just gotta look for the best parts of the two years.
<3 Elder Mortensen.

June 24, 2013 (Week 45)

June 24, 2013

I love Gold Bond body powder. It's like a shower in a bottle. - Me.

Elder Bair laughed pretty hard about that and said it's the quote of the week. So allí esta. [that's it]
Whenever you just don't feel like showering, just cover yourself in Gold Bond. Its cooling, smooth, and makes you smell better! Wow. I sound like I should be in an ad, haha.
But yeah. Abisag, I've talked to Mendez, is still really sick. He told me he's gotta drop her. Freak. I'm pretty upset about that.
Here, it's gorgeous. I've sent home a few fotos. It's super green and beautiful. I can't wait to explore a little. But, the cool part about it all, is that I got to see Elder Westhoff. We had a conferencia de lideres [leaders conference] in Veracruz, so I got to take a 2 hour bus there, and back, and he stayed at my house that night. Pretty freaking fun to see him again. I think that's why the Lord thought it was convenient to send me to Tierra Blanca on cambios especiales [special transfer]. Pretty cool memories. Good conference. Good times.
Freak. Read D&C 133:26-34 and tell me what you can get out of those verses. Just think real hard. Its a prophecy... a real scary and REAL prophecy.
I'm in Tierra blanca, Veracruz. I'm here with Elder Bair, ANOTHER WHITE GUY. FREAK. My Spanish is suffering. I need a Latino. My area is Independencia. It's pretty freaking sick.
And as for that broadcast [worldwide LDS missionary work broadcast], I don't want to hear any complaints! We all watched and drooled remembering America. Freak. Your houses are so bloody nice!!! Ridiculous! Westhoff's bishop wasn't there, we have an encargado obispo, which means he is just a fill in. Like that tool on Lord of the Rings 3. Not a king, just a wannabe. ANDDDD.... our Ward Mission Leader was a slob and wasn't there. Neither was the only counselor we have. So we got more depressed than ever thinking about it... 
Haha im outta time. love you all. Cuidense [take care]. Adios!
Elder MURTONTIN.  That's how they say my name down here.