Sunday, December 7, 2014

August 18, 2014 (Week 105)

August 18, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

ELDER MORTENSEN

Sunday, August 17, 2014

August 11, 2014 (Week 104)

August 11, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love you all,

Elder Mortensen

August 4, 2014 (Week 103)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elder Mortensen

July 28, 2014 (Week 102)

Juily 28, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elder Mortensen

Sunday, July 27, 2014

July 21, 2014 (Week 101)

July 21, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See you all later.

Elder Mortensen.

Monday, July 14, 2014

July 14, 2014 (Week 100)

July 14, 2014

Week 100. Man. That ain't cool!

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

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

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

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

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

Love, 

ELDER MORTENSEN

Sunday, July 13, 2014

July 7, 2014 (Week 99)

July 7, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love you all,

Elder Mortensen

June 30, 2014 (Week 98)

June 30, 2014

"Well... yeah.  I testify to the truthfulness of my companions words. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." Elder Winsor

Ok, well we are gonna keep talking about repentance, open your books to page..." - Me hahaha.

He always used to end every testimony in the name of Jesus Christ. It was funny. I didn't want to make him feel bad, so I told him just a few days ago. We all have our quirks when we start off, haha.

Well... I had one of the most interesting days of my mission Thursday. Can't give out all the details yet, but soon, The parts I can tell you is that we went to Veracruz to say bye to Presidente, That was weird. Adios Familia Treviño! I was gonna miss them until I found out that once he goes, he takes his rules with him. So Monday, before the new president puts out any rules, we are gonna play futbol and drink lots of coca cola, hahaha.

Another part was we saw the "death" videos of everyone going home in July. Man, I have like 2 friends left here.... everyone is leaving me! That's probably the worst part about dying. It kills me to write all my friends that have passed through to the other side of the veil haha...

I got a letter from Maria's family. Man. I was sooooo stoked. I got to call her on the sister misioneras phone for a few minutes :)

I saw Elder Cerna for the first time in 6 months. That was cool. Hijo Chamako Primogenito mio! [My firstborn kid] Ven pa aca! haha. My two hijos [Juniors]! Speaking of hijos, they met their grandfather, Elder Castañeda. He was at the temple working on it. That was interesting.... First time I've seen him in 18 months... I had to stay after for a while so I said bye to everyone and me and Elder Boyd and our two sons took off to Reforma. Boyd was in Laguna, the other side of Magisterio, so we went with converts to go eat. Naturally, I went with Aracely. Boy, was she surprised and happy to see me! That makes me feel good haha. We ate, and hung out for a little bit. Then she gave me a Mexico Jersey her husband bought for 60% or more off in the black market hahaha. that was soo cool of her, and Elder Winsor got to actually see what he only dreamed of seeing, but better than fotos. He got to go in to her house to take pictures [Huge Star Wars collection]. I really think that helped him a lot to get used to things here. Just a touch of normality was good for him. He loved it. I had fun haha. We took off and went to the Temple again to wait in the stake center to talk with a few people. Elder Castañeda ended work, and came over and we talked for quite a bit. That was interesting! but it was cool. He's pretty chill now.

We 8 went to the offices, me, Elder Boyd, and 2 other compañerismos to sleep the night. We had Little Caesers. Friday we woke up and finally got back to Tuxtepec at 12:30. 32 hour round trip. Man, long day. Got back worked, and worked, and worked some more. Ate tacos Saturday and drank a Mountain Dew to help get rid of the headache, but to no avail. Saturday night I didn't sleep much, and Sunday morning I woke up with the worst migraine of my life. I couldn't hardly move without it killing me. Got to church, stayed there for an hour, nothin. Got a shot, nothin. Even worse. I almost passed out actually... Pounding in my head... ay ay ay... after trying without success to sleep, I had to go to some clinic, another shot and a few pills. 5 hours later it took affect, and here I am, slight headache, taking pills, but here. They had to do a blood analysis, thought I might have typhoid or Salmonelosis. whew. quite the scare. I don't have anything but a nasty stomach infection. hmm. Cool beans. Sheesh. I know I have never been in prison like Paul or Peter, or never suffered like Aaron and his brothers, but that truth has not gone away. If you work hard, the Lord is gonna test you. So many trials and problems. I've never gotten so sick in all my life, and never so often... wow. Well, I'm a little better now. Just real grateful I don't have anything too bad.

Aracely is still going super strong! She's just waiting for her baptism. Man, that makes me happy :)

And Dad, I never did say anything for Fathers Day, I didn't even realize it was until people started telling me Monday and Tuesday they went to fiestas instead of church that I found out! Now it's a few weeks late, but still. Feliz Día del Padre! I've learned so much from you in these 21 years I've had, and I wouldn't trade your counsels or advice for anything, Even though everything helpful you've ever told me has always been "8 minutes later" I still appreciate it. You've been my model, and I'm happy to be a fraction of the man you are. Thank you for your example and for your time. I'm glad God gave me the chance to be born in your family.

Love, your son,

ELDER MORTENSEN

June 23, 2014 (Week 97)

June 23, 2014

Do chickens have large talons?...
Well, looks like i lost my checkbook, guess ill have to pay ya in change. - Napoleon Dynamite

Hahaha such a great classic. I felt like Napoleon Dynamite when I caught my chicken. They are gonna let me cut the head of one pretty soon here. Stay tuned for the foto hahaha. 

And I couldn't stop laughing at that quote from Shrek [Blue flower, red thorns. Blue flower, red thorns. Blue flower, red thorns. Man, this would be so much easier if I wasn't COLOR-BLIND! -- Donkey]. that show never gets old.

And the "salsa that bites" is great stuff. ay ay ay pica pica me pica! Poor guy. He's never tried Mexican salsa. He has no idea. By the way, I did the same thing Elder Castañeda did to me and Elder Boyd. Here, here's a chilpaya, they are small, y no pica [not hot] hahahaha. He ate it. Classic! I can't believe I got that chance haha. 

This week was pretty hard for us. We worked our butts off. Well, I'm working my gut off. Never really did have a butt to work off. But a gut sí. I'm relief society power walkin this little guy off little by little. You should try it dad!

But yeah. Nobody was home, or didn't WANT to be home. That sucked. We couldn't see like 4 families this week. Frustrating, and a lot of walking to try again at later hours. Time to pull out the bible stories of the hidden treasure and the pearl of great price. They need to focus on the important things, and not so much the worldly commitments and things they have goin on.

Aracely is still going super strong, even though her life and family is still a mess. Her kids don't want to go to church for the "rules" but she says, because we didn't FOLLOW the rules, We are where and how we are! I'm so glad she gets it. The bishop almost "killed" [made them disinterested] like 3 of our investigators. Man. Sharing long boring bible stories or warning people they need to change doesn't strike much motivation to go to church. Not gonna be workin with him much more... that's always frustrating...  Beside that we found a few others who are really great. One of the which I think the bishop warned too bluntly. "I KNOW you've got sins. They are these these and these, and you need to REPENT, I'm always in my office at 5. You can come talk." OH BOY THAT'S GREAT! We had 5 in church this week, a few people are really progressing. That makes me happy.

I don't know what else to say. Elder Winsor went through culture shock this week when he tried to buy with pesos. The internet and shopping threw him over. Man. I had to teach all the lessons until Friday when I told him that I need my compañero. The spirit isn't present when there is only one person talking. We are working together so he talks more in the lessons, because the load is too big for one. I don't like teaching by myself anyway. Doesn't leave me time to listen or process or listen to the spirit. But now he's still pretty quiet, but knows what I want when I look at him in the lessons haha. Before he looked at me and said in English. "Wait, you want me to speak?" haha. uhhh yeah. He's sharing his testimony now. He needs to know he speaks better than he thinks. He just took to heart all the comments on how he doesn't speak much and now he doesn't talk. Ay ay. It's actually hard training an Americano. 

Mexico is playin right now in el mundial (World Cup) nobody listens to us when the World Cup is on haha. Quite the frustration and temptation! Gotta keep workin'.

Love you all. not much else to say. Going to Veracruz to say bye to presidente this week. That's too bad. Gonna miss la familia Treviño...

Elder Mortensen

June 16, 2014 (Week 96)

June 16, 2014

Well, let's get things straight here. Presidente wants my new hijo [Junior] to be a leader in the future. He just barely got here from the states haha. And is my second hijo in the mission. He has 2 weeks in the mission. Fresh greenie. haha. Poor kid. He's so frustrated. hahahaha. (I'm dying of laughter because I keep hitting the ñ and not the n hahahaha.) He's a good kid. Still in Narnia, but a good little 19 year old with white shirts. His name is Elder Winsor and he's fresh from Arizona. He speaks alright for his short time here, but conversation wise its not too fluent haha. It's been difficult for me to communicate myself, because I can't speak English to him. Which makes it even funnier for me, because I understand whatever nonsense or Spanglish he says hahaha. 
Other than that, I said bye, and got packed, and got on yet another ADO bus to good ol' Tuxtepec. It's the stake center for the Estaca Tuxtepec, I came here when I was in Carlos A. Carrillo, so I was somewhat familiar with it. Doesn't mean that it hasn't required a lot of work to familiarize myself with the huge area haha, but it's been a great test for me. Get to an area with white wash and an hijo. It's been a challenge. I'm pretty happy. We got here, and went with every little "seed" that bonilla [previous Elder??] left. I say "seed" because he hardly focused on baptizing (seeing that this change he's on his way out) and just focused on seeding. Great. haha. So we went to work, started teaching real lessons and inviting everyone we could to get baptized and putting dates. It was a great week for us and I know the Lord is happy with me for my work. That's really the trick to being happy. Gordon B. Hinckley said it thousands of times. If we wanna be happy, we should serve the Lord. Man, these last few months have been the happiest because I have hardly ever worried about me. I've literally forgotten about myself, and been 100% obediente, and now, I'm seeing blessings. I'm not tired, I still have more energy than before, and I'm really magnifying my calling. Presidente put an analogy out there about pure bred horses who give their last breath in the end. And that's me. I'm givin it my all. The weeks are few, the days are short, but I've gotta keep on goin. I know the Lord put me here for a reason, and I know I'm gonna be able to help a lot of his children reach baptism before the Lord sends me home.
 
We were studying in preach my gospel about finding people to teach, and the underlying message of predicad [preach] is that there are people that the Lord has prepared, and He wants us to find them. He will guide us to them or them to us, but we have to be spiritually prepared to see them, and the spirit so that they can "see us", if that makes sense. They can see me as a missionary of the Lord, or they can hear and see the Lord through me. There is a BIG difference. 
But especially there is a little story about a taxista [cabbie] in chapter 9 about how two missionaries contacted him, and he got converted etc. (President is good friends with him actually and he recorded a small video for us to see his testimony. Pretty cool.) But anyways, we took off Saturday morning to go see a taxista we contacted. He wasn't there, but his mom was waiting for us and let us in very quickly. She then started to explain her story. The house they are living in is abandoned. She and her 2 kids and daughter in law live in one room of the house with rats, and they don't have anything to eat. Water one day, and a roll of bread the next. Etc. Wow. Ok. She explained she is at rock bottom, and there is a wall between her and God she just can't climb over. She looks and tries and goes to a Christian church, but she just can't find her way out of the darkness. If that wasn't the coolest chance I've EVER had to testify about the gospel and the light of the truth I've ever had... I don't know what would be. Because the spirit was so strong. Through her tears she just said I've given up. We told her to never give up, and that the truth had been restored and the gospel was once again over the earth and the light had come once again, and we invited her to church. She accepted to come, get baptized, and to serve the Lord all her life. That's all. If the lord gives her the chance to serve, she will take it. I read in Mosiah 18 about the covenant of baptism and she said yes I'll do it. WOW.
If that didn't perfect my faith in that the Lord has been preparing people for me to teach I don't know what will. Because like Alma 32 says, my knowledge is perfect.
 
She came to church. and when she saw the other elders taking fotos of the person to be baptized, she said: when I get baptized I want fotos too.
CLARO QUE SI!!! wow. (of course)
That was a really, really cool experience. And to share the fun, the second counselor had given me the assignment to speak on Sunday about the theme: Do we know what we have? After that experience my testimony was pretty dang strong. I was able to tell the congregation about the darkness of the world and how our brothers and sisters still have no clue how to find their way out of the darkness... it was a really good discourse. I enjoyed it.
 
Man. what else... Inviting everyone to be baptized, workin hard...
Oh yeah. I'm gonna buy a hammock here from the local murderers and robbers in the prison... hahaha. They have nothing else to do so they make hammocks, and sell 'em for dirt cheap, and they are huuuge. All you gotta do is knock the prison gate, say you're here for a hamaka, and the officers come out with all the ones they have hahaha. I love Mexico.
The tacos here are $2.50 pesos here. Dirt cheap too. Needless to say, I've been eating a few.
Love you all, time is short. Gotta go. Pray for me. Much love.
 
Elder Mortensen, el Oaxakeño. 
(I'm no longer jarocho...)

Oaxakeño (people that live in Oaxaca)
Jarocho (Veracruzanos. o sea, the people that live in Veracruz)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

June 9, 2014 (Week 95)

June 9, 2014

Well, I'm going to Oaxaca, Tuxtepec to die.

I got a call last night, my services are no longer needed as zone leader, I've got to now make a new kid into the next ZL or AP. The mission really needs leaders, and there aren't any, so Presidente trusts me to help this kid be a leader. I feel pretty honored really. It's cool to think that. Two elders are coming today to the mission, and like President said in my interview, it's probable that I train. Well, here's to the next Entrenador [Coach] Elder Mortensen. I'm sad, but at the same time happy. Now I can focus on my area, and my hijo [junior], and I don't have to worry about the entire zone. I think it'll be a great way to end the mission. Everyone in the zone was sad when I told them. I guess that's how you know if you were a good leader or not, if your zone is gonna miss you after. I still don't know who he is, I'm going in special changes to Tuxtepec with him tomorrow in the morning. Pretty stoked, but I'm going in white wash, which means I have no idea what's going on, and my comp (likely an American) will not have a clue. At least I can speak Spanish, haha. but it should be a lot of fun. And the ex-AP that got called to train baptized like 8 weeks straight. I'm hoping the Lord's got the same thing in mind for me, haha.
 
But, we might have blown that trust. the APs now are pretty angry all the time, and just called because we wanted to go out to eat some hamburgers like half the zone, and another elder "ratted" on us, and now the APs are angry because we didn't ask permission, and now we have to explain ourselves to presidente. Man. Garrett and Riley, don't be like them please! They make life miserable. I love the mission, but arrogant leaders are just too much sometimes... Just be obediente, but chill. Don't freak out over little things haha.
 
Well.... we didn't baptize. Fernando didn't have a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon, so we weren't going to baptize him. Not like he wanted to. They are gonna work hard with him to get that testimony. He is just missing a little bit of confidence that God has already answered him...
 
We got super super wet this Friday and Saturday. To be honest, it was crazy. I guess a cyclone hit Veracruz and boy did it rain for hours and hours and hours. Our feet still aren't dry! haha.
 
Well, I'm gonna bounce. Cuidense [Take care] eh! 

Elder Mortensen.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

June 2, 2014 (Week 94)

June 2, 2014

[Dad's B-day this week] I'd sing you the Happy Birthday song estilo mexicano [Mexican-style], but it's super dumb haha. it doesn't make sense. Basta con FELIZ CUMPLEAÑOS VIEJITO!!!! hahaha (happy birthday old man ;) )

That's crazy. you've already completed close to two años. [years] man.... me too. weird how time goes no?

Well apologies for last week's email/P-day. It was horrible. One weird member from Elder Shearers rama [area] in Los Tuxtlas showed up at 8:30 without a peso in his pocket and was excited to be with us ALLL day. I wasn't to say the least. I was looking forward to a chill last day with Elder Shearer, not being a third wheel. Also, the Internet where we were was filthy and the spirit left, which made me angry, without the spirit to keep me calm, and my camera chip broke, and I lost all my fotos, (Aracley took my camera to Centro, and bought me a new chip and backed everything up. So she saved 9 gigs of unbacked-up fotos... She's a saint. I love her.) and then I had to pay 150 pesos for this kids bus ticket to San Andres because he just HAD to see Elder Shearer one last time... a little desperate to see another man. Like shearer said,"it'd be cool if it was the love of his life, but it's just me. hahaha..." We ate with Aracely that day, and then in the night we got permission to go out to the Boulevard of Veracruz by the ocean with a rich member to eat the best Italian food in the nicest restaurant... man was that great food!! (by the way, he's in Utah right now, and brought a few things home for you guys. So when he calls or something, answer haha. He's got gifts! Santa from Mexico! Send me fotos next week and I'll tell you who it's for.)
 
Shearer left, and I stayed, Elder Gonzalez. He's a cool cat. We laugh a lot haha. We have been working hard, but to baptize we have got to keep pushing the limits and working harder and harder. Time is running out. We also had interviews with president (my last) and I asked him what he thought of me. He said, you've changed a lot Elder Mortensen. You've made big changes, you didn't start like this. I agreed and he told me for the changes I've made I am where I am, and the leadership I hold is because he trusts me. Those are great words to hear. He gave me a blessing at the end and gave me some pretty neat promises. That's something I'll never forget. 
 
This Sunday was super spiritual. I love playing the piano. Too bad I can't play it much. Man, funny how things like that slap ya in the face. But I played this Sunday. How great is the hymn "Where Can I Turn For Peace". If that doesn't bring the spirit, it's time to repent haha. Because it started off the whole day. Sacrament was good, then in Gospel Principles, when the ward mission leader asked various people how they knew the Book of Mormon was true they all looked at me and said because he came over and told me, and when he talks to me, I just feel something different. Man. if that doesn't make you feel good. Just to know that you are doing just one thing right in life. To know you are helping some of your brothers and sisters come towards the light... It was a great class. Then we did an activity in priesthood counting all the time used in the week, and after everything they could think of, the time of lazy hours was 21. Tithing? 2 hours. Then I shared the scripture, not everyone that tells me "Lord, Lord will enter into the kingdom of my father" and explained that we have to have that love for our brothers and God to give our tithing to find treasures in heaven. Then I had pure revelation and the spirit talked through me and told the priesthood. "You think those treasures are gold? No. Gold means nothing to God. Treasures in heaven are standing in front of the judgment seat of God with neighbors and friends. Clean from sin, and them looking at you and saying: 'thank you for your two hours'" It was super powerful. How much I treasure moments like it. It really is true. We all know people that don't have what we have. They could even be inactives. But their souls are precious to God. We are His treasures, and we can share in His wealth, but we have to "store up" those treasures, by working hard in His vineyard TODAY. 
It was a good Sunday. A great week. Lots of problems in the Zone, but we are faithful and full of hope and are going to work harder every day. Time really is running out. Gotta work harder. It's the last time the Lord will work in His vineyard...
 
ELDER MORTENSEN Loves you all. 

May 26, 2014 (Week 93)

May 26, 2014

Hey family.

Well. Aracely got baptized! That was really cool. She's a straight convert. We went to her wedding a ways a way, and we got there, she got married, and then Saturday she got baptized. It was a good weekend. This stupid computer doesn't work so I cant send home any fotos. well... That's about it.
 
Elder Gonzalez de la Republica Dominicana [from the Dominican Republic] is my next comp. He was with me in Los tuxtlas. He goes home in agosto [August] too. We will see if we end up dying together haha... 


Elder Mortensen

May 19, 2014 (Week 92)

May 19, 2014

27 years of the same compañero. [Mom & Dad's 27th Anniversary] You guys should talk to your Presidente de Mision about that. I'm not sure that's normal... normally its like 2 or 3 changes max... but 27 years!

Felicidades [Congratulations] eh! That's cool. I'm glad you guys have learned how to live together. You're an example for me. Well, mom, thanks for so much patience. I like having dad around hahaha.
 
La Princesita was super good. I'm ready for round 2. I guess only one other person has ever done it.... I'd like to just go back to eat it normally. That'd be fun. It really was a good hamburger... and you'd think I would have learned my lesson, but on divisions we passed by a taco place before going home, and bought a kilo of carne al pastor before catching the bus home hahaha. That's too good with a cold Mountain Dew..
Tacos al pastor + MTN DEW = un Elder Mortensen muyyyy feliz [one veryyyy happy Elder Mortensen]. Like the penguins say in Madagascar (instead of smile and wave, edicion español) = Gorditos y bonitos muchachos... gorditos y bonitos... [Thick and pretty, boys] that's how I felt haha.
 
This week we didn't baptize. Geez. That's a bummer. Oh well. Gotta keep havin faith. We have been workin with a few people. And oh yeah, I did a contact, the lady let us in, and turns out her daughter in law is the daughter of Jose Luis y Blanca of Los Tuxtlas!! She lives here with her husband. We had a good laugh, but I told her after the prayer: "You know, I was thinkin, God hasn't given up on your family. He wants you and your family baptized, and He's sent me here to remind you!" It was so cool. A few other people, and we have been teaching this guy on his bus haha. That's fun. A new experience.

This week was norte [Tropical Flow], and the pollen was just floating EVERYWHERE. And as it turns out, I'm allergic. I was almost dead, and then to make things better, we did 6 interviews with a family right next to a huge swamp of these plants. I'm not even sure they understood me between SNIFF SNIFF ACHOO SNIFF bautismo [baptism]? SNIFF listo[ready]? SNIFF. hahah. It was an experience.

We did have something cool happen this week. This lady with a camera on her door told us she was busy, and to leave something in the little mail box on the door. We left 5 pamphlets and an invitacion to our English class hahaha. She asked for it!

I was studying in Hebrews 10-13 yesterday and boy was my understanding lit up! My oh my! I studied for 5 hours 3 chapters. WHY we have to suffer, what's its purpose, what happens if we don't, and the point of suffering with our faith, hope, and charity. I invite you all to study it. But I'll tell you like the JST says, without afflictions, they couldn't have been made perfect... so, that's why Paul was so stoked to suffer! He welcomed suffering! Because he knew that if he suffered, he was made a little more perfect! And like the scripture says, with suffering, we receive a greater weight of glory in the heavens. Is that a cool subject to study or what!? I wish I could talk over Skype every week and give a class haha... But nope. But study it! It's great!

We had a great class in priesthood. A stake guy came and talked with energy about how Captain Moroni was a man of God, and how he became that man of God. He invited us to study all the attributes of Moroni that made him that man... and how that goes hand in hand with 3 nefi 13, and how God wants us to leave all. That's how you become that man. Not worrying about your own life!

It's been a great week, but its time to go, I'm still not too fat, after all, we didn't have time to buy food Monday cause I was too busy eating la Princesita, so we kinda suffered this week, oh well. More glory for me! hahaha a little more perfect! Wait, that's why the mission is the school of the Gods, because when you aren't thinkin about yourself, you start changing. Huh. The gospel is just a big ol' puzzle hahah. Everything is related. God is smart ... I can't wait to understand and learn from Him again. Love you all!

Elder Mortensen
 

Monday, May 12, 2014

May 12, 2014 (Week 91)

May 12, 2014

Man... I'm full. La princesita was soooo big hahah.

I think I ate about 1.3 out of 1.6 kilos. That's a good chunk of meat, bacon, cheese, and grease. hahaha. They wouldn't let me use water, and the burger was super hot. Man. That sucks. Everyone in the whole restaurant was watching. But boy, I sure gave it my best shot. They put on a few songs to cheer me on. Normally it was soft music, like a restaurant grill house, but then they put on:
 
Eye of the Tiger
Final Countdown
Rocky Theme Song.
 
Haha. It was so funny. I don't know if it was a sin to listen to the songs but they sure motivated me to finish as much as I could and not give up! The whole restaurant was laughing. Not too often you get a white guy eating a Princesita singing along to Eye of the Tiger while shoving bite after bite in his mouth. hahahahaha.
 
Anyway, yeah it was fun talking to you all. I was in a funk last night and this morning. It wasn't you guys, but man. home was the last thing I wanted to think about after 21 months. It's getting harder and harder, and going faster and faster, and this is the moment when you slow down or speed up. and seeing home just about put me over. It took a few hours to refocus. but, other than that, it was fun. I'm still focused. Not gonna die! I'm gonna get translated haha.
 
Well, just one spiritual thought, for 20 months here I've been kind of reluctant to admit I've been a member all my life, because I've always felt that they are just gonna say "you've never known anything else", "you're the same", "your parents brainwashed ya", etc. But when we were teaching an investigadora, Gladys, she's pretty poor and has 2 little kids. She asked me if I was member all my life, and I thought about it. The spirit told me something: "of course you have, and aren't you glad?" Your great great grandfather wasn't a member, and he joined the church (it was him right? I actually am not quite sure. I imagine it was him, but I could be wrong), and came over here, and thanks to one family member, I've now been born with all the blessings. Many generations have been and will be blessed for one man. It was like President Eyerings talk. But yeah. I told her to read the book so that she could find the truth, and bless her future generations and not listen to her mom, who wants her to stay in the Catholic faith...
 
But yeah, we haven't had a whole lot of time to work in the area. Lots of stuff to do, and now we gotta find a baptism for this weekend! bautizar cada semana [baptize every week]!
 
Love you all, have a great week, study charity. Report back to me! It's a great topic, and one of VERY high importance if we are to be saved...
 
Love, 
 
Elder Mortensen

May 5, 2014 (Week 90)

May 5, 2014

WELLLL...
 
This week sure went by fast. no me diga. [don't tell me]
 
We ended up going back with Arcelia and guess what? True to the blessing I pronounced, she left in exactly a week, and her doctor is stunned. We taught her the first lesson, God, prophets, Church of Jesus Christ and his ministry, the apostasy, and the restoration of the gospel, and with it, the authority and priesthood, up to the Book of Mormon. I bore testimony of Joseph Smith and how the priesthood has been restored and she whispered: "I do too." We paused and I said.. "How do you know?" and she realized what God had done and how he had done it. Talk about miracles. Wow. Her family is shocked. She couldn't come to church this week because they took out her staples Saturday, but she will be full ready to come with the family this weekend. YES. So happy.
 
We are also teaching a woman called Aracely. She has one kid of 3, and when we taught the restoration she got excited too and told us she was gonna come to church. She came and was super happy when she left the baptism. Her son loved playing around, and she really liked it. We just gotta get her married.
 
That's right, another miracle baptism. Belen, like I told you the last week, was a referral of another member, our Lider Misional [Ward Mission Leader]. She and her mom started having a lot of struggles, with her mom, (ex Mormon, now Jehovas Witness) who just jumped right into Satans hands to be a thorn and a stumbling stone, (it's funny how much people hate the church after they get baptized. The worst enemies of the church are ex-members, just goes to show the scriptures are true, but ay ay de aquellos [those], 2 nefi 31:14. Better for them to not have me known. or something like that.) But just as their faith was tried, they held on hoping and came to church. I had the privilege to baptize her. It was super cool. For being inactive for so many years and for never letting misioneros or members in her house, she sure let us in with arms wide open. I guess the Lord has his ways and his times, and this weekend was definitely hers. Another little blessing, her school got changed, precisely this week, from Saturday and Sunday, to Tuesday and Friday. She's gonna be able to go to church every week now. I don't think they are gonna go inactive any time soon. Wow. So amazing. felt great to get in the water again, I'll tell you that much. I might have 29 children, just to baptize 29 more times hahahahahaha.
Ana is a 12 year old girl, niece of a recent convert with cancer. He wasn't able to go for 2 weeks, so he didn't take her. We went Friday, and gave him another blessing, and he got miraculously cured of the stomach problems and what not he had going on extra that didn't let him go to church, and he brought Ana, and he said, we are tired of waiting for her dad to call, (waiting for about a month or two for him to call to give permission so she could get baptized, hes military and doesn't really care about her anyways. he hardly stays in contact) so they came and said, I'm gonna sign, she's getting baptized this weekend. WOOOO! Our prayers and fasts were answered. The assistants talked to her in church, so they thought they were gonna steal her from us, (they hardly work, I don't know for laziness or if they REALLY have sooo much to do in the offices) but we said.. "umm... no. She's our investigator. Find your own! tristes [sad] asistentes jaja.... but we are gonna have that happen this week. I'm so happy. We are starting to see that grace combined with the faith, really does make miracles. Just gotta stay humble or I wont have any access to his grace or help. I'm stoked. Ive got a goal for baptisms before i come home. I sure hope I reach it. I've gotta find those people waiting.
 
We have met a few people that just open up so easily. "I'm 29, I've got nothing to do with my life", "I can't finish school or stay in a job", "I've sinned", "Christ doesn't love me", "I'm scared of God", "I don't think I can be forgiven", "I started drinking", "I don't even know why", and yeah. Me and Elder Shearer were like... umm... Plan of Salvation I think would work for him.... haha.
 
It's been a great, but a busy week. I hardly have time to sit down. Even my dreams are about investigators and Paul and Peter in Acts and what not. My brain is straight fried but I love it.
 
Until next week, Captain America signs off.
 
Elder Mortensen

And mom, I sure do love you, I won't be there to make you breakfast, but know I love you and I can't wait to see you Sunday :)