Monday, August 14, 2017

Week 55

So my comp is out (being transferred). He is headed to Chaclacayo with Elder Fagg from Heber City. I am staying here and will be comps with Elder Macias from Honduras. He was my Zone Leader in Vitarte when I just got here so that is kinda weird. Should be alright. Elder Farnsworth is out too and Elder Yañez is coming with Elder Peña in our room. He was in Vitarte as well and is a boss, I'm excited. I called Elder Hunt and he is staying in Santa Anita with his companion. We will see how the transfers go next time because I will probably leave this area and may have North American companion because there are several who will all have just one transfer in their areas, so that would be cool. There are 4 of us from the group that I came out with who are Zone Leaders and a couple from the group ahead of us. 

This week was pretty crazy! Lets just say that we got a call from the assistants to the president telling us to go check the room of some elders in the zone. Lets just say we didn't find what we were sent for but we found some other things like movies and headphones and whatnot and so they kinda got in trouble. And tons of problems came from it. I can't say everything that happened because of it, but it was crazy.  We had to "counsel" them about it, the good news is that my comp has a lot of experience in that area so he gave me tips. 

On Sunday we had a regional conference transmitted from SLC. It was all of the stakes in Bolivia and Peru and Elder Cook presided from the Conference Center in SLC. It was cool, all of the area presidency and live here in our stake so when we showed up Elder Gladoy and his counselors were there and they talked a little. Also Elder Uceda talked as well, the same one that spoke in General 
Conference a little while back.  That was cool to listen to him, he talked about going to the temple and like 50 times throughout the talk said that we should "wait for adversity in all things"so there is something to think about. 

Wednesday we went and did service with the sisters in their area. We helped paint the inside of a recent convert's house.  It was alright, I feel like we didn't help much because we forgot to mix the paint with water and I guess with that kind of paint she said it was going to like peel away or something so ya.... she was still nice to us and gave us food. 

Today we went to the office to deliver some stuff. We ate at KFC and bought some stuff. There isn't much else to do haha. We are gonna go back and clean the apartment and the elders who are being transferred are gonna pack and then we have a huge Family Home Evening activity tonight with the ward and some recent converts. Tomorrow we will be in the stake center all morning waiting for the transfers and then we have a busy week planned. I'll probably end up going to the new leader's training with Elder Yañez on Friday. But ya, I'm doing great, finished the Book of Mormon in Spanish and started the New Testament in Spanish and I'm studying it with the help of Talmage's book, Jesus the Christ so that should be pretty cool. 

Thanks for everything you do. Im just on my way to single digit months left....

--
Much Love,

Elder MortensonCar shop/museum 
Week 54

What's up?  I hope this week has gone well for all of you. As for me, it has been a busy week as always. To start the week out we met with the district leaders in our zone to share with them what are called "the greater plates" in English. They are just the notes that are taken during leadership council on the the trainings and whatnot. So we shared all of that with them and worked out what we were going to do for our district meeting, because we used to have zone meetings but they changed that a little while ago. Now its a district meeting but as Zone Leaders we share in part of the training as well as the Sister Leaders. 

On Wednesday we held the district meeting and it was kinda stressful having to worry about everything and if it would turn out okay and that everyone would be happy, kinda sucks. We also have to provide food for a break and make sure everyone else does what they are supposed to do, but it turned out well. We talked about the prophetic priority and how it applies to the mission as well and how what president does is our priority and we can't stray from that. Also, instead of having a doctrinal focus every month we are changing it to a Christlike characteristic each month and we have to set 3 personal/measurable goals for that and follow-up with all the elders and sisters. I think it is pretty cool and should help us develop ourselves even more. 

On Thursday our investigator had her interview with president. We got to interview her in his house and that was pretty cool. It has a different feeling than the house of President Boswell. It is more relaxed with all of his kids there and whatnot. Its not a bad different just different. She passed the interview and was able to be baptized on Saturday! It was super cool, she is a great convert! she was so happy to be confirmed a member and make her whole family complete. I'll send pics later, her son baptized and confirmed her. 

Saturday we filled up and cleaned the baptismal font, it took the whole morning because we were trying to open the door to the "bomb" is what they call it idk but its the thing that drains the water. Haha we were kicking the door and it wouldn't open so we finally called the bishop and he came down to help us because we thought maybe our key was bad. Turns out we were turning the key the wrong way and we were locking the door with the huge bolt...so that was embarrassing. But ya, the baptism and everything took up pretty much the whole day. 

Sunday was a crazy day. The district leader in Huertos was dying (completing his time as a missionary) and had dinner with president yesterday at 6:00.  Some of the sisters had baptismal interviews with their investigators at 5:00, so we had to be there for that. It was an older couple who are going to be baptized this Saturday. We had no idea how crazy it was gonna be when we went to it. We flipped a coin to decide who would interview who and I got to interview the husband. So to make the story short lets just say that it was my first Question 4 and that they have a lot of problems.  During my companion's interview, he said he felt like a bishop in his interview because the wife just cried and cried the whole time. Hahaha this thought came to me while in the interview "I'm single, 19 almost 20 years old and I am here to verify if this successful 55 year old man has a testimony and an understanding of right and wrong..and being asked to give some marriage counseling to improve his 30 year marriage...how does that work?!?" Crazy right?  I think things will turn out fine for them once they get baptized. 

Anyway, that is my week. Today we went to a car museum nearby and it was super cool! They restore tons of cars and whatnot and were explaining to us all of the stuff. I will send pics. My fave car was this Shelby GT 350 that they had there.  This little mini car reminded me of "Top Gear" when Jeremy drives it around and flips it over like 50 times. It was super cool, they said that they were restoring some car that would probably sell for 350 million dollars so that was cool.

Love you guys thanks for everything. 
-- 
Much Love,
Elder Mortenson

Monday, July 31, 2017

Week 53

This was a good week. We went to the temple on Tuesday and that was fun. It always is nice to feel the spirit of the temple and come out refreshed. Afterward we went to Papa Johns and bought a full pizza for each one of us, it was awesome. 

On Wednesday, we went to the council of the twenty meeting. It was pretty interesting with President Amato. The flow wasn't the same as with the last president and he didn't know exactly what was going on, but it was still really good. We set our goal of 14 baptisms for the month of August. We were at 18 but we hadn't achieved it so we dropped down a little. I think we are pretty set this month though so it should go well. There are transfers which always excites everyone and there are no holidays so people shouldn't be going on vacation at the last minute. 
                             (this is a pic of our                                                                          Zone with Pres.  Amato and his family)
Thursday we just had district meeting and whatnot.  Sunday was a good day at church. We had a lot of our investigators come and participate. Tbh I didn't really pay attention to the talks, I just read my Book of Mormon. I'm in 3 Nephi now and going strong and also I finished the New Testament. I'm gonna start it over again when I finish the Book of Mormon and I'm gonna read it along with Jesus the Christ this time. I thought about reading the first five books of Moses in the OT but I figure I can do it later. I don't think I'll ever get to the Doctrine & Covenants because I'll probably never use it here in the mission. But I am learning a ton of cool stuff. 

Today was pretty good. We went and took out money this morning and then we went to Tottus, the grocery store. I'd just like to give a shout-out to mom for teaching me how to be a smart shopper even though I probably wasn't the smartest shopper at home. I bought a ton of breakfast food for like 60 soles and ended up saving a ton. To give you guys an idea we get 90  soles of personal money which is like $30 and then 105 for breakfast which is like $35, so we live off of nothing, and it's supposed to be enough for the whole month. I'm pretty sure I used to spend that much going to Chic-fil-a for lunch in a week! But anyway afterward we went to Pizza Hut and got these pizza roll/sandwich type things and then got haircuts again. My hair grows so fetching fast. 

We found out the Elder Oaks is going to come talk to us on the 9th of September so that will be cool! He is gonna come with the Presiding Bishop, I believe, as well as our area Seventy. 

I'll forward you guys the pics of us from the temple. This week I hit an actual year out so that is pretty cool. Kinda crazy to think that I'll never live these dates over again in the mission. 

We saw a little kid that was almost bald and had a purple head so that was interesting and Elder Farnsworth dropped his agenda in a poopy water stream in the middle of the road so that was the funniest thing that happened this week. It took a day to dry and a ton of cologne to cover the smell, but it still reeks. We also found a hidden pueblo in our area. We walked over a hill and down in the valley there are a bunch of hidden houses we didn't know about, so we are going to go open up a new area of our area. Kinda crazy. 

Anyway, all is well. Thanks for everything. 

--
Much Love,

Elder Mortenson

Friday, July 28, 2017

Week 52

What up fam? We`ll see how much I can get into this letter this week. 

So we were working with Maura this week, our investigator that was gonna get baptized on Saturday and everything was going really well. We finished all the lessons and whatnot and our District Leader interviewed her.  She passed the interview but on Saturday morning we got a call from her son, who is the second counselor in the bishopric and he told us that she actually had some problems in the past and would need to be interviewed by President Amato. So we had to schedule that because she is going on vacation as well since this weekend is Independence Day here in Peru. But everything will turn out fine she is super excited to be baptized. 

Wednesday we had our zone conference with Pres. Amato. We were the first ones to be interviewed so we had to wake up at 5:30. But the interview was interesting, it was with him and his wife and they just asked get to know you questions. He is a really great guy and I already love him a ton. Turns out that they love football so that is cool! Haha he asked me what my plans for after the mission were and I told him I was gonna go play for the Aggies and he and his wife were super happy about that. We ate lunch with his family as well and got to know his kids. It went until like 4 in the  afternoon and we got back, taught a lesson, and had to return because we had two baptismal interviews there so it was a long day. 

We also found out this week that two of our other investigators, that are having problems getting married because of some debt, really actually owe nothing! A guy in the ward helped us out and looked up their information and turns out they owe like 80 soles instead of  2000 haha so we are super happy about that because they are excited to get married now and then be baptized. 

Today is our prep-day, we are heading to the temple at noon so that's why 
I am writing so early in the morning. I am super excited to be able to go to the temple today. I'm taking two questions with me...first, how can I be more charitable, and second, how to be a better leader. If you guys have any good insight or talks or anything I would be happy to read them. I don't really know what else we are going to do today, maybe go to Papa Johns because there is one close by but it will take up pretty much all of p-day! 

on Wednesday we have another council of the twenty. It will be interesting to be there with Pres Amato and see how he directs things and whatnot. the training he gave in our zone conference was super cool and super powerful so I am hoping it's just like that again. We are trying to set the goal for our zone for August. This months goal was 18 and we only pulled out like 12 because everyone went on vacation. August should go fairly well. 

But ya, I'm doing great. Learning a lot of good stuff about who I am and how to do things and whatnot. Pretty cool. This transfer is pretty long... But ya that's about all for this week, talk to you next week.
  
-- 
Much Love,
Elder Mortenson

Monday, July 17, 2017

Week 51

This week was super busy!! It was pretty cool though. We had two more baptismal interviews and wow they are so spiritually draining! I think I am understanding a little more about what the stake patriarch meant when he said he could only give like 1 or 2 blessings a week...I can't imagine! They are super cool and it is awesome to be able to get to know the investigators of the other elders and sisters. 

We have also been super busy planning for the zone conference on Wednesday with our new mission president, President Amato and his family. We were given a budget and we have to provide decorations and a lunch and whatnot so it has taken some time to plan all of that and delegate to different companionships on what they are in charge of but I hope everything turns out well because we want to give a good first impression. I was told that some of the zones who have already met with the new president had interviews until 7 at night so it looks like the interviews and messages and activities may take a really long time. I guess we will see. We are going to assemble tomorrow and practice and we are going to practice a song which we are going to sing in Portuguese because there is a sister in our zone from Brazil so that will be cool. 

So today for Preparation day we went to what is called the Chacra. It was SUPER cool! Like it wasn't super super cool but for having a full years worth of boring p-days it was cool. It is this place out in the middle of nowhere that is on the border of the Huancayo mission and it is super green and there are tons of farms. I felt like I was almost back at home! We saw some cows and a horse and corn and other crops. We hiked a mountain and took pics and then went back down and ate. And I ate CUY! which is guinea pig. Haha They told me that is wasn't actually a really good one and that they are way better tasting in Cusco but it was still good! I took tons of pics and some videos of our adventures so I will send those. 

We are going to have a baptism this Saturday and we are super excited for that! I will send you pics next week. We got to eat at her house on Sunday with her family and they are so cool and it was so good. When my companion was on divisions out of the area, I asked her to make his favorite meal from Arequipa because she is a cook and feeds a ton of people in her restaurant type business that she owns. So she made us Ricotto Relleno(stuffed peppers) and Pastel de papa(like funeral potatoes) and it was really good. My comp was so happy. 

We did divisions again this week with Huertos District. It was pretty fun. I stayed in my own area this time and my companion went to theirs. 

Oh ya and the awesome thing too is THAT I HIT A YEAR TODAY for my come home date!!! That is pretty cool. I don't feel much different, but it seems a little weird to think that I will never live a day over again here in the mission. I feel a little bit more pressure to make the most of everything until the end. We are gonna celebrate tonight, I don't know yet what I am going to do. 

And HAPPY BIRTHDAY to mom on Tuesday. I forgot to wish you one last week but I hope it was cool. I hope you guys all had fun in Powell without me. 

I don't really have much else to tell you. I finally made it past Alma in my Book of Mormon in Spanish so that is cool and I am almost done with the New Testament in English. I am learning new things each and every day. But that is the update for this week. See you guys in a year...
--
Much Love,

Elder Mortenson
Week 50

This week was pretty normal, no new stories I have to tell. There was a small earthquake. We were walking next to the road and it happened right as a huge bus passed and we thought that the bus was shaking the ground like we were walking on a bridge or something so that was pretty cool. 

I got my package on Wednesday! Thanks a ton for all the good stuff that you guys threw in. We hung the USA decorations up in our room and and I sold a couple of those nice pens to my companion and Elder Farnsworth`s comp because good pens don't exist here. 

I did my first baptismal interview this week, it was pretty cool. I interviewed a kid named Cafu who is 16. it was a super spiritual experience to say the least. He was baptized on Saturday. I would tell you more about it but I kinda can't tell you what happened. 

We took some cool pics on Tuesday at our district meeting with the American flag, I will send you the pics. Also it was Elder Peña`s birthday so we bought a cake and Inca Kola to celebrate. 

Today for Preparation day we went and helped the sisters in Cieneguilla move literally one floor down. We took a 30 minute bus ride clear through the mountains and spend like 30 minutes moving them and then came back. It was cool though, their area is super secluded and really rich and green. Then every companionship in the zone brought a type of food and a game to play. We ended up just playing volleyball though so that was fun. 

Yesterday we found the book "The Miracle of Forgiveness" in a member`s house and I was reading in it and found a cool quote. I will translate it but idk if its exactly how it is in English. it said "sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; and sow a character, reap an eternal destiny." So pretty much everything we do starts with our thoughts. Just a thought for today. And also to go along with it you should read, Alma 12:14. Seems like a pretty cool book but I hear that people don't want to read for the condemnation....

Yesterday was pretty cool. We had 10 investigators come to church, what a miracle! I couldn't get anyone to come to church in Vitarte, so that was amazing. 

I hope I have more stories for the next week and I hope you all are having a good time in Powell. 

--
Much Love,
Elder Mortenson

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Week 49
This week was pretty good, It has been busy as always.  On Wednesday I went to my first leadership council meeting with President Boswell. It was a pretty cool meeting. It was kind of weird to just talk about some of the problems in the mission and how to solve them and of ideas that we have for the mission. President gave his last testimony to us in the meeting and that was super powerful. I talked to him afterward to say goodbye and all he told me is that he would be looking for me after the mission and that I should try to be a sponge right now with my companion to be able to learn all that I can from him. 

On Friday we had district meeting and we were going to take out money afterward but the electricity on the whole block went out when we were in the process.  The ATM ate one of the sister's cards so that was pretty funny. We had to get all of that figured out and we took money out on Saturday. It is pretty weird to have to deal with all of the money and receipts and whatnot. My comp just left me to do it all alone because that's just how you learn. I felt a little scared being responsible for the money because if anything gets lost... As Zone Leaders we deal with a lot of administrative things and I haven't had to deal with any of that up to this point.  

We went to the multi-zone conference in the Peruvian Missionary Training Center on Saturday to welcome President Amato to the mission. It was super cool! He and his family walked in and were so excited to be there. We listened to them talk and introduce themselves. They have been living in Orlando, FL the last 5 years but they all speak Portuguese as their first language. He and his wife speak better Spanish than I expected but I suppose the languages are pretty similar. They all speak English as well. He seems like a really great guy and super excited to be here. I noticed that he was staring into all the missionaries eyes when he shook their hands. I will send you the pic with his family when 
I get it. But anyway he shook my hand and gave me a hug and asked me if he could trust me. I said absolutely and so he asked me what area I was in and how much time in the mission I had. Hahah I suppose that's the first thing I would do as a mission president as well, look for missionaries that I could trust in. 

Anyways, Fast Sunday went as it usually does. We went to Pizza Hut and Tottus(the grocery store) and got haircuts today. I talked to this drunk dude that was a translator for some over the phone company that talked like he was from the ghetto, that was super funny and interesting and then in the grocery store we met a woman from Tucson, AZ who was visiting her daughter here. She was actually LDS! My companion told me that they were signs that he needed to learn English. I think he has made up his mind to go to BYU. 

But that is all. Thanks a ton for the emails and for always keeping me in your prayers. Oh and HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MERICA TOMORROW! In remembrance of the independence of the greatest country on earth. The country that reaches from sea to shining sea, where the buffalo roam, and the eagles screech and fly free. Where you can here the sound of freedom ringing even in the deepest caves and where the colors Red, White, and Blue will forever be engraved on the hearts of American Citizens. The country that started from the bottom, that overcame slavery, that took a sucker punch to the gonads, then we dropped the world's first nuclear bomb to show everyone whats up and what our standard is. The country that brings Uncle Sam to a bomb fight. Long live the US of A. #Merica
(Do NOT edit that last part) 
--
Much Love,

Elder Mortenson