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