Tuesday, April 22, 2014

April 21, 2014 (Week 88)

April 21, 2014

"Can't wait to hear (as always) what you've been up to this week and what you have planned.  I hope the first place you didn't search out was the Chedraui to find a Mountain Dew, haha!" - Dad

- haha. it was.

Tacos al pastor y mnt dew en la noche!!! woo! [Tacos al Pastor and Mountain Dew on the same night!]

Well... this week has been fun! I'm not even sad I'm back in the port. The Lord blessed me more than I can imagine, I've seen all four corners of the mission, and He was way too good to me. I can't believe He did that for me to be honest. I'm completely fine here, and I actually missed being in the port. It was just difficult being sent back to my first area 3 minutes away that early in the mission, but you're not gonna hear a word of complaint. It's been a good week. The ward is wayyyy different than the branch in Los Tuxtlas. There is actually priesthood, and I'm realizing that this is gonna be my last area and I'm gonna do everything I can so I can reach my goals and bring as many people to the gospel as I can.Every time my body says sit down, I think, there is some one else waiting, and I walk faster. I don't even care how tired I get. It's too short the time I have left and I've gotta give it all I got.
Elder Shearer is dying [going home] this change. He's American, like usual, (oh yeah hahahah I asked presidente why I've had so many Americans and he wrote back, "as for the changes, I don't even know." hahaha.) and is from Idaho Falls, Idaho,The land of the papa. (potato) and is pretty stoked. He gets really excited when he speaks. It's pretty funny. He's a good comp and works hard, but boy, my Spanish is gonna suffer. But I'm pretty happy to be with him. It's gonna be a good change.
We have been working with a few people. The area here is divided in three parts, suburbia, (where we live) casas dias, (where the rich people live) and on the other side of the fence of the rich neighborhood is a huge patch of sand dunes with dogs and houses of cardboard and metal... It's quite the drastic change. Well, I'm back in the land of the Norte, or the huge wind that comes from the north and fills our house with dirt, haha. It sucks. We found a 17 year old that looks like he could be gold. He accepted a date for the 18 of May. We gotta work harder and smarter. I'm not frito [fried], but we gotta turn up the pace if I'm gonna baptize my goal. Time is running out. but I don't think about that. Time is nothing. Every day has gotta be a good day. I hope Garrett and Riley read this letter and go out to their mission with the same urgency I've got right now. They will baptize thousands. Well.
I'm so glad we are in the true church. There are churches that literally beat, whip, and crucify someone every year "to feel what Christ felt." It's such a mocking tradition. Easter week to the world is vacations, and drinking. Well, lots of vacation days are devoted to drinking down here haha. Mexicans love their cerveza[beer]! but I'm really grateful for the atonement. How in debt we are we will never know. But like dad said, it's really a comfort to know that Jesus will be at our side on judgement day, but like the scripture says, what will be the evidence that he presents? Will he be proud, or embarrassed of us?... Let's all try to be a little closer to Christ this year, and not go to church only Easter Sunday... 

I got the chance to bless the sacrament this Sunday... only now am I realizing what a blessing that was. Even though there was a lot of priesthood, the bishop asked us to bless. I can't believe what I felt. It was so beautiful to bless the sacrament on Easter Sunday, just like Christ. It was a moment I will never forget, and something I hope to get to do again... I really wish I would have known these things as a priest, when I just read the prayer and passed the bread. But how much that little bread and water means now doesn't even compare. Riley and Garrett, study the sacrament, and know what you do and WHO you represent when you pass that sacrament.... Christ gave so much so we could enjoy that moment. If we think about it, the sacrament is the atonement represented. We are participating of the fruit that Lehi talked about, its the bread and water of life. Let us never forget that. Christ lives. I too, like the prophets and apostles, am His representative. I know He lives and I know that He is my Savior, and my Redeemer. He suffered for us, bled for us, and died for us. I know He resurrected the third day. I know He lives and loves us. I know we are His children, born again in Him in his suffering and sacrifice. Let us strive to be the type of person Christ will be proud to present on judgement day. How great will be that day when God says to us, Come to me, blessed, for your works have been works of righteousness.. Alma 5:21? also Enos 1:27.  I know that one day through Him, I can reach perfection and life eternal with my family. How blessed we are to know this. While the world is off drinking on Easter, we have the huge blessing to really remember what Christ did for us. Let this be a year of change, and a greater devotion to the gospel, and especially to help others to come unto Christ and His church. I know we live in Utah, but there still are chances to preach. Pray for those opportunities, and I know God will give them to you. 

As we sat on the bus and we passed the temple. I said to the man next to me, isn't it beautiful? He said, yes. I told him there families will be forever, not just here waiting to be separated at death. He sat there and thought about it. It was a moment of peace.

Love you all. Que tengan una semana buenisima, y espero lo mejor apara cada uno! [Have a great week and I wish the best for everyone]


Oh yeah. We were studying Friday and I felt my head shake. I kept thinking what in the heck is going on... am I crazy or do I need a Mountain Dew? Is someone shaking my head? I didn't say anything, but then the misioneras called and asked if we felt the earthquake... I said ay. Thank goodness I'm not crazy hahaha. I guess there was an earthquake in Mexico City or nearby and got all the way out here. Pretty funny. Well. I'm ready to go back to work. I don't think anything else happened this week that I can remember... I'm gonna go enjoy the rest of the day sitting by the fridge... :) hahaha.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April 14, 2014 (Week 87)

April 14, 2014

En el mar, la vida es mas sabrosa,
en el mar, te quiero mucho mas,
con el sol, la luna y las estrellas,
En el mar, todo es felicidad, ey!
[Must be a song, somehow...

At sea, life is more flavorful,
in the sea, I love you more,
with the sun, moon and stars,
At sea, all is bliss, Hey! ]

I'm going back to Veracruz! I'm pretty happy about it. I'm sad to leave los Tuxtlas and the people we have progressing, and the changes surprised me, because me and Elder Parco were working good together. We had obtained the famed compañerismo divino! Even though we were super different in everything, we were still able to pull something out! I'm gonna be sad to leave. I'm kind of glad to leave Elder Gomez. We are good friends, but not the best companions. He started to get on my nerves a bit. I really don't like trios...
The best, and most interesting part, is that I'm going with Elder Shearer. Gringo 9/13. no. me. diga. [don't tell me] The next time I see the President I'm gonna ask him straight up where he is getting his revelation, hahaha. Elder Shearer just barely left my zone, he was our district leader until he went to Reforma to be ZL, and there I join him. I'm happy to still be ZL. It's super stressful, and more with 15 or 16 comps, (compared to the 8 we had here) but I learn a lot and being ZL makes you be super obedient and makes you really repent and strive to find out what you are doing wrong to better lead the zone. It's a constant process of re-evaluation. It's a fun, but tiring process.
We were able to get Blanca in the water, but her dumb husband wouldn't let her come to church this Sunday to get confirmed. That sucks. But Mirta and Alexis were baptized. It was really cool. Alexis had to stay at home for the interview, so he was pretty angry he didn't get to go play, so he stayed downstairs. While Mirta had her interview, I went down to try to talk to him. For about 20 minutes he wouldn't even look at me or anything. I went upstairs, then I came back down, 5 more minutes. Nothin. Went up then down, and said a prayer. He had gone into another room and shut the door. I then had the idea to start singing hymns. I sang (much to my surprise, in public, and alone,) a few children's hymns, Teach Me To Walk In The Light and I Am A Child Of God, etc. and little by little he started poking his head out and then started walking about the room... and little by little started lighting up his mood. He gave me his Book of Mormon, and I took the one I thought was mine upstairs. He then told me that I took his book. I said how do you know? It doesn't have the post it. ahhh.. ok, and then he started talking and laughing and had his interview. It was a miracle at least. Pretty cool stuff! He wanted me to baptize him. Mirta too, but I thought Elder Parco would want to join in the fun. Boy was the water cold, but it sure was a good feeling. Mirta had made some really big changes in her life, and it was all because she saw in the Gospel a better life. She separated from the dad of the kids about 2 years ago and lost a year drinking heavily, but she is trying to gain back that year by making her family stronger, and when we offered her the Gospel, she almost leaped into the font. Piercings out, coffee no, boyfriend adios. It was cool to see her change. I guess she just saw the simple sweet joy we feel through the gospel. She wanted the fruit that Lehi described.
I ate 6 habaneros. Not sure why, Elder Tirado asked me if I could, and I said yeah. My pride said just do it. I had a few battles that afternoon and the next morning, but I came out victorious! That's the important part. I did divisions with Elder Lopez, the assistant again in my area, and we left Elder Gomez with a 18 year old, and worked. It was a good day. He said I improved a lot in everything since the last time we did divisions about 6 weeks ago. That's good. Because I really worked hard to get better! But he said I've improved. We bought Tacos (well I bought tacos) al Pastor that night, and I ate them the next morning and night. Saturday I went to bed with a sour stomach and fought a few battles that night, and Sunday I almost joined the Spirit World in Sacrament Meeting haha, But I had to get to church. I left with Elder Gomez to the doctor. Stupid stomach infections. They gave me a bunch of pills, and I gotta take em cause i dont have time to get better the normal way, (o sea, sleeping) I feel a lot better today, but i feel betrayed. My beloved tacos al pastor made me sick! that made me sad. haha. ill still keep eatin em though. they are too good to leave alone.

The best part about changes, there is a store called Chedraui select near my area i think. Legend has it, that mountain dew can be found in that store. lets cross the fingers and pray!

Gabi y Luis, they had their interview, and Elder Tirado, LD, said if you dont feel ready, get baptized when you want! Ay que error... people WANT to get baptized in months or years, because they dont understand they will never be ready! its a trial of faith! if we KNEW for a CERTAINTY that these things are true, where is the FAITH?? but they prayed and came up with the date of the 20/4/2014. we also found out that they really arent married, which sucks, because they said they were. Maybe thats why they werent ready for the 13 but just didnt want to confess they are living in sin, they also had a fight saturday, im guessing its over marriage. They had already separated once, and i think there is still a little bit of mistrtust. man. im said i wont be here for when they get baptized, but i know i did everything in my power to help them, and i know that counts for my favor, and not agaisnt me. Kind of a bummer, but its alright. Fechas para Elder Parco!

Well, i think its time to wrap up this epistola, love you all. I hope you are reading your scriptures and praying hard every night and moring. If not, like Elde Johnson said, ¨there is a word that begins with R: Repentance.¨ hahahaha. but in spanish he said it about 20 times like this. Hay una palabra que empieza con A: Arrepentimiento! Arrepiéntanse! jaja. 

Let us all repent, and strive to be more like Christ. Ive learned these lst few weeks im not even close. We all have A LOT of work to do to even be close to who he is. im glad i had to pass through trials to realize that. its only deepend my faith and my desires to get better. But we all have a life of devoted service to give to the Lord. Mom and Dad, hurry and pay off the house and get out on a mision. i worked with the only senior couple here, los Holman. They are great people, and they are here for 2 years as full time missionaries, and they love what they do. Im sure gonna serve like 3 times haha. It looks like fun! Love you all, 

Mortensen, Elder Conner.

Monday, April 14, 2014

April 7, 2014 (Week 86)

April 7, 2014

well... I have no idea what to say for this week! I feel like I was just here... I loved conference. I think this was the most excited I had ever been, much less the saddest I've ever been when it was over. That was sure a bummer.
Other than that, we have been pretty busy with a few fechas [dates] we have. we might have 5 for this weekend... that would be great! Gabi and Luis are progressing, we saw a pretty cool miracle this week with them. They said well, it's just we want to get baptized with you guys, but our mothers want to baptize the niña en la catolica [baby in the Catholic church]. Huh. Well that's excellent you want to get baptized! Luis was able to make it to conference priesthood session, but his dang hand gives him problems just about every Sunday. Boy does that irritate me haha. Why couldn't you come?? His hand this morning swelled up and we had to go to emergencias! ay ay ay!! Mirta and her little son are doing good. She was living with another man, had a nose piercing, and drank coffee, but just gave it all up when we taught her. It's good to know there are still people like that! Man. She's progressing, that makes me happy. Blanca got super stressed out. I probably didn't help, but the past is the past, and shes gonna get baptized today. The only thing I'm gonna do is make sure NOW she gets converted and doesn't become just another Inactive. That always sucks. I'm gonna work on that. She doesn't like some of the members and gets stressed out when pressioned a little...
Well, I really have nothing else to say. I think I'll end with something I learned from conference. I'd been thinking for a long time who I was gonna be, what I was gonna be, and what I was gonna do when I got back. After Holland and Eyring, and Presidente Treviño being an Area 70, I just thought, I've gotta be a disciple. That's the only thing to do. I'm going to keep working for the Lord, and keep on going until he tells me its time. I can't put in words what I feel, but the mission is changing me. It's a conversion to the gospel that will never change, and something I will never give away. I love my Savior, I love his atonement. Like Benjamin says in Mosiah 2, we are FOREVER in debt of all that we have and are to the Lord. And even if we serve ALL our life, we will still be in debt and worthless servants. I think that about says it all. We have a whole life of devoted discipleship and service to give in the service of the Lord. It'll probably be a  little easier to bear my testimony over Skype or at home, but in mail, that's about all the words I can write. Really, words are only words, I now have to put those words in action.
I'm starting to ramble again, so I'm gonna end this little email. Study conference. They will be our guide for these next 6 and LONG months. And if all the warnings they gave us weren't enough, I think we are gonna face some really difficult times... Love you all. Have a great week,

Elder Mortensen