Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Week 69

It was a good week. We found two chosen investigators that came to church so that was cool. They just aren't married but that's not a problem we can't solve. We found the wife, Luz, talking to Rosemary, a recent convert, in the srteet and told her all about the church and whatnot and she was hyped about going to church. 

To start out the week we had our district meeting and then we did exchanges with the assistants. Elder Inostroza, the brand new assistant came with me. He is from Argentina and plays basketball as well so that was pretty fun. We went to the stake center in La Molina where there is an actual indoor court and played 3 on 3 in the morning. He is actually really good. Hahahha lets just say I am so out of shape and have lost a lot of touch but I can still hold my ground. 

Wednesday was a normal busy day. Thursday we had the table with pamphlets activity thing in the morning in Monterrico and that was good. And then in the afternoon we went out looking for apartments where we could live because they are kicking us out of the house. We found one that is in a really good spot where we will probably go. We have until next prep day to find one. We are moving just in time to decorate our room with Christmas stuff as well, I hope Elder Fagg gets some Christmas decor in his package that his mom sent last week

Friday we did our weekly planning. It was rough because more than anything we had to plan for the zone because we are struggling right now. We will probably finish this month with 3 baptisms, which is trash. We had to rack our brains on what we could do better and I think we have come up with a better plan for this next month. I am excited to see how December turns out with the stake president's plan and our new plan. I think we should see a lot more success and then hit our stride in January. December will be a cool month. 

Saturday was a waste of a day. We went to Chaclacayo for an investigator's baptism. It took us like 2 hours to get there and then the quick little baptism and then we bounced because we had appointments and an interview with one of the district leader;s investigators that got baptized on Sunday. So we got on the bus and got about to Vitarte where I served a while ago and then we sat in the same spot for about an hour, the traffic was insane! Turns out there was some kind of a Catholic worship demonstration and they were blocking a lot of the main roads for it. So ya we left there at 5:20ish and didn't get home until 9:15, it was painful. We ended up having to call the other district leader to tell him to do the interview because it would have taken us another hour to get to their area. Lets just say Lima is one of the cities with the worst traffic, even without Catholic demonstrations in the streets! 

Sunday was a good day! We had a solid number of investigators come to church. The second counselor in the bishopric called us like 30 minutes before Sacrament Meeting and told us it was our turn to give talks. We were eating lunch with a family that was far away from our house so we finished and ran to our room and spent a quick 20 minutes preparing, then took a taxi to the chapel. I spoke on using technology to further the Lord´s work. I think it was a good talk. I shared Luke 8 on the "Parable of the Sower" and how we never know what ground we are sowing on and how we can reach so many people through social media who might be that one part of the field with good soil, that one person, who is ready. Anyway, a sister in our ward invited us to her house for Thanksgiving. They don't really celebrate it here, unfortunately, but she studied at  BYU and so she said she would try to put something together for us. After church that night, we went to the stake center for the Face2Face with Apostles Elder Oaks and Elder Ballard. It was for the young single adults and president said that all of the missionaries were invited too, so we went. It was pretty cool. They said that the Logan Institute had been invited and was present there so that was weird. I saw Thomas Lundburg and a ton of other people that I knew when they showed people from the audience haha. 

Today was chill, we went to Chili's. I bought the Fajitas just like old times. It seemed freaking expensive in Soles (Peruvian $) but for like 6 people it wasn't too bad. We spent a total of 450 Soles! It was just like being back at home though. 

I'm doing well just trying to make it to Christmas to be able to talk to you guys. I'm enjoying this transfer with Elder Fagg and I love you all. 

PS: We thought it was Thanksgiving so we dressed up like pilgrims and were eating apple pie while reading the Bible to reenact the first Thanksgiving, Not! 

Elder Mortenson
Week 68

So we had transfers on Tuesday. We got to our room around 12 and Elder Fagg unpacked his stuff while I pulled all of the old stuff out of the room and cleaned everything and we moved it all around so that everything would fit better.  That was cool until Thursday when the lady that lives in our house told us that her husband died and that he left the house in his kids`names and they are kicking us out so looks like we cleaned and did all of that for nothing. We wrote down like a million phone numbers of people that are renting out rooms so we gotta call them and be moved out by the end of the month. 

So pretty much all the rest of the week was normal. It's really fun to be with Elder Fagg, I can actually make jokes that he understands and he can make some that I understand unlike with the Latinos, so that is fun. He has some dope stories of stuff that he did. I'm trying to convert him into an Aggie. His brother graduated from USU and lives in Logan and his sister is there right now too. Unfortunately, they are BYU fans for some reason...but that can be changed. 

We had interviews on Friday with president. They were good, he talked to both of us about the zone and about how things were going and out take on things and whatnot it was pretty cool. We also had a meeting with the stake president and a couple of the members of the high council on Sunday to talk about a plan president Palhua has. He is the man! let me just say that. He is going to write a letter to every member over the age of 10 in the whole stake and invite them to pray, choose a friend or family or family member, fast for that person, and then set up like a Family Home Evening and invite the missionaries and whatnot. And then he's asking them to do 25 kind acts during the 25 days of Christmas! So we should have a lot of baptisms in January after so much faith being exercised like that. 

We are enjoying things here in Saint Patricia. We have a couple of baptisms set up for the 25, Joyci is gonna get baptized for sure and then we are still on the edge with Flor and Monica. But we are having tons of lessons and teaching a lot of good people. 

Today for prep day, we didn't do much of anything. I got a haircut and we went to the office because I am buying a new suit and there is a member that works in Gamarra and makes suits and sells them for real cheap so I got one, its blue. I hope it turns out well. Afterwards, we went to the stake center and just watched some movies and ate burgers. We asked for permission to go to the gym in the mornings because there is one super close by. We are also thinking about going running in the mornings and we are trying to eat healthier so that is cool. 

Everything is going well. Never thought I would have a white comp but turns out president put 5 companionships of zone leaders with another American comp so that is cool. Speaking English again is pretty weird. But ya until next week. And here is a pic of Elder Fagg and me planning. I got the hat in Gamarra and idk what he is wearing. 

Much Love,

Elder Mortenson

Friday, November 10, 2017

Week 67
My Companion, Elder Rojas went home. He cried so hard like everyday it was kind of sad tbh some days he was like super excited to go home and then other days he was like super sad to go home.  But I'm going to be companions with Elder Fagg, he is my homie, he is from Heber, UT. We will see how it goes, haha I'm hyped. 

So it was kind of a sad Halloween. As you know, it's my favorite holiday, but at least that's the last time I'll not be home for it. We bought some witch hats and went proselyting with them on hahaha! There was an activity in our ward that night that we went to. They brought food from all different parts of South America like Peru, Bolivia, Venezuela, and Columbia. It was pretty cool.

On Thursday we had our Leadership Council. It went well. President talked about how we are the "mission presidents" of our zones and that we have the power to do what we need to to help the zone, but we also have all of the responsibility if things don't work out, as well. He talked about how we need to help our district leaders understand the same principle so that they feel the weight and responsibility on their shoulders as well. My companion had his last interview with president after that meeting so that took a really long time....lets just say we didn't get a ton of things done this week. 

On Friday, my companion had lunch with president. I went and dropped him off and then went with Elder Whitby to a training that was going on and they gave us pollo a la brasa to eat, so that was good. We just kinda chilled while the outgoing missionaries were eating with president and we went to the office with Elder Hidalgo and talked.

On Saturday, my companion wanted to organize a breakfast with the zone, so we did that and ate breakfast hamburger-type deals. It was good, and then we did our weekly planning there in the chapel. Then my companion had bought these huge pictures of the zone and wanted everyone to sign each one of them and it took forever. Then we went and ate with Chacarilla´s pension so that he could say good-bye to her and that took forever too, but we ate good food at least. 

Sunday was pretty much a waste of a day as well, as far as missionary work goes. Elder Rojas packed all of his stuff in the morning and then we went and ate at like 12 and then went to church afterwards. We ended up leaving early because he still had a lot of stuff to finish.  We went back to the room and he finished packing and then wrote like a million cards to everyone with his picture and whatnot and then Monterrico came and got us at like 7:30 and we dropped him off at the assistant's room and then went back to Monterrico. 

Today was pretty chill. We had to go to the office this morning because Elder Rojas had forgotten the battery to his camera. So we had to go all the way back to our room and then all the way to the office again to leave it there so that he could get it. Then we went and ate Papa John´s, I am with Elder Beach and Elder Valle right now. Next, we went and cleaned up the room a bit because it was super dirty after Elder Rojas had packed everything up.

I am pretty excited for the new transfer with Elder Fagg, it should be fun. I never thought that I would have an American companion lol. I have a lot of new plans and ideas for what we can do this transfer and it should turn out well. But ya that's about it....until next week. 

Here's a pic from my birthday celebration:  

Much Love,

Elder Mortenson
Week 66

Nother good week, Just suffering away, I mean working so hard every day:)

To start out, on Tuesday we had another meeting with the stake president, he is a boss. He comes up with the weirdest analogies and stuff but we got our activity all planned out and it should be cool. We also planned a "White Night" for the 25th of November where we are going to have all of the zone baptisms in one stake center, all together, it should be super cool but it is gonna be rough on me following up with all of the missionaries to see who really progresses and will be able to be baptized that day.  The stake president told us that he is going to write a letter to each member of the stake inviting them to fast and pray for a family that they know that could possibly be baptized and then introduce the missionaries to the families. It should be a super cool thing because the fast really does work! I am excited because after talking to Pres. Amato he told me that I will probably be here for 2 more transfers and I'm fine with that because I will be here to see how everything turns out until at least January. 

Also on Tuesday, I got the package mom and dad sent! it was bomb! Thanks a ton for everything!!
On Wednesday we went to the office in the morning to pick-up some supplies for the activities of this last week. We talked to president about an investigator that we have whose mom does witchcraft and he told us not to teach in her house so that is pretty interesting. Lets just say that some weird stuff has happened in her house before...like a long time ago not while we were there. 
Thursday we threw up a table in ViƱa Alta here in our area and had a zone attack and it went really well. We got 50 references in about an hour! We did it right in front of a school when all of the parents were going to pick up their kids. We are going to be contacting them throughout this week. We also got to know Evert´s family this week. I don't know if I told you guys about him, but he got home about 2 weeks ago from his mission and only him, his dad, and his younger brother are LDS. So we went and talked to his mom and his two younger sisters and they are super cool. His parents aren't married because of some legal problems, but we are working on it. They will really need the help of the Atonement of Jesus Christ in their lives but as the stake president said..."that's a sealing opportunity right there!" It would be super cool to see their family be able to go to the holy temple and I would definitely have to find time to come back to Peru to see that take place. 

On Friday we got to go to the baptism of a little kid in our ward because his family asked us to be the witnesses which was cool.  I also started the English Class that night and lets just say it wasn't a complete failure but it wasn't really a success either. We handed out like a total of 100+ invitations throughout the week and we had it posted on Facebook and everything, and over 400 people had seen the invite, but only a mom and her 10 year old son and his two friends and one other girl came. It was kinda sad. But I am thinking about trying again in a couple of weeks. 

Saturday was a cool day as well. We went proselyting with the missionaries in training at the MTC all afternoon. You'll never guess who I met! I took 3 elders with me and all 3 were from Utah and 2 were coming to our mission. But the one was a Poly who is going to Trujillo. So naturally I started talking to the Poly and  I told him his last name sounded super familiar but I couldn't remember why.So like every other Poly he told me he had like 15 uncles and 37 cousins and started naming them off and turns out it was Simeon Matagi´s cousin!!! The football player from Bingham High that signed with USU as well. Idk if you remember him? But it was pretty cool, what a coincidence that i would go with him. I have a pic but will have to send it to you next week. But anyway, later that day we went to Manchay for 2 baptisms and it was such a cool experience because Eduardo´s mom was getting baptized and Francisco baptized her!!! It was really cool! They were hyped to see me and it was cool to see the whole ward again. My comp was hyped too because he was in that area a while ago as well. 
So today we got permission to go to Gamarra. It is like a huge outdoor mall type deal idk how to describe it tbh. It is like blocks and blocks of just stores where they sell everything.  We just bought some ties and I bought a hat, it was cool because one of the members took us in his car. And then my comp got his haircut because he is getting ready to go home next Monday. I will probably go back to Manchay this weekend because Elder Macias is finishing as well and I might just go be comps with his comp, Elder Whitby, that is serving there, so that would be really cool. So ya that is basically what has gone on. We are just getting ready for November and the activities we have planned! 
PS. Google translate doesn't have Tongan so I hope that dad knows some Samoan. 
Much Love,

Elder Mortenson

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Week 65

It was a good week. As always I'll start with day 1 and fill you all in on how busy things are here. 

So on Sunday night our pension (the woman who prepares our meals) told us that she could no longer give us food because her husband is really sick and went to the hospital, so we have just been kind of bouncing around. We ask members to make us food and buy food and whatnot and it has actually been kind of cool. We have gotten to know a lot more members, which is good. 

On Tuesday we went and visited a family in our ward whose son just got home from a mission in Ecuador. He is super cool and has gone out working with us almost every day. Another returned missionary from Iquitos gave us a total of 17 references because no one in his family is a member of the church, so we are working with one of his aunts right now that actually seems like she will end up progressing so I will let you know how that goes. Later that night we had a meeting with the stake president and we planned our activity called "Eat and Be Merry" it is gonna be super cool. We are going to have games in every room and all of the investigators are going to go play Play-Station and Poker and whatnot and then we are gonna shut-off all the lights suddenly and relate it all to how our life can end unexpectedly, while we are enjoying ourselves, and what if we're not prepared to meet our maker... it is gonna be boss. 
On Wednesday we went and did service in Chacarilla with the elders, I will send pics. And then we did exchanges with them afterwards and elder Chau came with me in my area. It went pretty well. 

Thursday we had another pamphlet table activity in Monterrico in the morning and that went really well, we found a lot of people and the elders there are teaching a couple of them now. They really needed help because they had no one to teach. That night we had to go to the stake center in La Molina to interview an investigator for baptism. I interviewed him, it was kinda weird because he didn't like to give straightforward answers, but it was all good. Oh, and we played basketball with a couple of guys that were there at the stake center.  Elder Hunt was on exchanges with one of the assistants there, so he and I played against the guys and schooled them, it was fun but I am rusty! 

On Friday, we had interviews in the morning and our district meeting. President and I talked for like 30 minutes even though the interviews should be 7 minutes. He first started talking to me about football and how the bishop in his ward is the head security guard for the CEO of Nike and how he is Tongan and how all of his sons are playing ball. Supposedly his son is at Utah State right now, his name is Ia Wolfgraham if you want to look him up. But anyway, afterward we talked about the English class I am gonna do and he gave me tons of ideas from the way that his ward did it in Brasil. It's gonna be super cool and I am gonna do two classes, one that starts on Friday and goes for like 5 weeks and then I am going to do another one that is much more organized for 8 weeks. It will be cool, he showed me pics of kids that were baptized from the class in his ward and then went on missions. I am excited! 

Saturday was a normal day and Sunday we did nothing. Haha we were literally stuck in the house all day due to the national census. We went to Monterrico to do some things because the elders there are having problems with their house. The members there made us lunch and made me a birthday cake and everything and it was awesome. I had helped the sisters move out of that house when I was in San Borja but the elders recently moved back because the house is super super rich.  The mom that lives there made me and Elder Beach talk to her children that are living in Provo to test out their English, so that was fun. 
The package you sent is gonna get here this week so that makes me excited and overall I had a good b-day. Even though they say that the census was a failure because only like half of the population did it because there were a total of like 50 questions, but oh well. 
Today we just chilled with the zone, I will send pics. Good week overall. This coming week we have leadership council so that will be fun. Thanks for the birthday wishes, love you guys. 

Much Love,

Elder Mortenson

Monday, October 16, 2017

Week 64

Let's just say that it was another busy week! I met 3 general authorities this week so that was cool. We started out the week good, on Wednesday we went to Chacarilla in the morning and ate lunch there because their pensionista owns a restaurant. She made Arroz con Mariscos which my comp asked her to make.  Honestly i have no idea what it is in English, it was like a flavored rice with sea critter things like shrimp and clams and scallops, it was fetching good! Then we went to San Borja and did service in a children's hospital there. It was for an organization called Operation Smile I think, we just moved boxes of stuff for them. We unloaded 2 whole moving trucks full of food and whatnot. It was 2 zones of elders because the sisters went on Thursday and they were actually in charge of making the children smile. I guess they didn't want a bunch of ugly guys playing with children and trying to help them have a good time, but its all good lol. 

Later that night we had such a sweet lesson with Aliana. She's 15 and has been investigating the church for like 2 years now, her best friend is a member. She had a lot of doubts about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and we have been trying to help her for a long time now. So we showed Jeffery R. Holland's testimony, where he talks about why it doesn't make sense that Joseph and Hyrum Smith would die for something that was false, and then I shared Hebrews 9, I believe it is, about where if someone gives a testimony it is in force even after they are dead. And then 2 Nephi 29 that talks about how the Book of Mormon confirms the truth of the Bible because it is the testimony of two nations. We asked her if she would complain about getting more cake, or more money, or why she has a problem with the Book of Mormon if it is actually a second witness of Jesus Christ? Let's just say it was a super spiritual lesson and her friend bore her testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon as well, it was awesome! Then we invited her to be baptized on the 27th and she said yes. But then she went home and got in a huge argument with her parents about it because she is only 15 and we need signed permission to baptize her, so we had to go talk to them with the first counselor in the ward and her dad said he would think about it but it doesn't seem very likely at this point. So we are going to try to do a fast with her and another investigator to try to help them. 

On Thursday we went to San Borja and set-up a table with pamphlets and invited people to take one.  We did get some references from that. We also scanned pages of the Book of Mormon with the "Questions of the Soul: Where did I come from?  Why am I here? Where am I going after this life?" written on the tops of them and gave them to people saying we were taking a survey and it was cool. Tons of people read from the Book of Mormon to find the answers to the questions and it turned out pretty well. 

On Friday we had a multizone conference with Elder Godoy from our area presidency. He told his whole story about how he was converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ when he was like 13 and how we never know how big of an impact we can have on someone. The sisters that taught him didn't know that he would go on a mission and later be a mission president and become a Seventy, etc... and help out hundreds of other people. It was really cool. We had a leadership meeting with him after lunch with all of the zone leaders which was cool as well. He put us into groups and had us come up with 3 things that we would do or 3 ways to better the mission if we were mission presidents and then we talked about them and I feel like because of what was said, this next leadership council is going to be crazy because we are gonna talk about a lot of things. 

Saturday we had a day full of appointments and all of them fell through so we contacted all day. That was fun. 

Sunday was stake conference. I don't remember his name but a seventy from Columbia was visiting and he wanted to talk to our investigators after the main meeting, so we were able to meet him. Afterwards, we went and ate with some Venezuelans(idk how to spell that) in our ward. They are really cool. There are tons and tons of them here in Peru because they are all fleeing their country because of the bad circumstances in Venezuela right now. Haha their accents are kind of hard to understand, but they were telling us all about Venezuela and how cool it was before everything went down. 

Then, we went to a meeting in La Molina with almost the whole mission and all of the ward leaders and Elder Calderon talked to us. I think the best part was just seeing everyone from my other areas. Zully, the pensionista from Vitarte almost started crying when she saw me. My companion loved seeing everyone too, because he is about to finish, so he was able to see a lot of his old friends. 

Today we went to Chosica. It is so far away, we left at 8:30 this morning and got there at like 11 to visit a family that my comp baptized who's son is leaving on his mission tomorrow. It was really cool. they made us Pachamanca which is BOMB and we just got back a little while ago. But ya, it was a good week. We have interviews this Friday. I hope we get a little less busy so that we can focus on our area a little more, but it is awesome! I finished Jesus the Christ finally and I started the Book of Mormon over again. I've been studying a lot about the 12 Tribes and the Kings of Judah and whatnot to try to be able to understand what was going on when Lehi and his family left Jerusalem. Let's just say I don't really understand yet, but I will. Can't wait to celebrate my birthday on Sunday with the countrywide census, should be cool. I wish everyone a great week. 
Much Love,

Elder Mortenson
Week 63

Wow, this week has been really busy. We literally haven't had time to work in our area which is really sad.  I would kinda like to just focus on proselyting in our area, but the whole zone and all of the activities is our responsibility.To start out, Tuesday and Wednesday were almost normal, we had to go to the office Wednesday afternoon to get all of these banners and whatnot for the "Open Chapel" activity that was on Sunday. The secretaries weren't in the office until like 3:30 so that was when we went and we had to haul all of this stuff back to our apartment and that took a really long time. 

Thursday we had our district meeting and did exchanges with Monterrico, I went with Elder Valle and that was fun. Peru soccer played against Argentina that night and that wasn't the best thing for us because almost all the businesses shut down and there were no buses nor people in the streets so we just kind of walked around trying to contact. The game ended up in a tie and so Peru plays again tomorrow at 6:30 against Uruguay, I believe, so that they can get into the World Tournament or whatever so ya that makes it hard. 

On Friday we did an activity in the morning in Chacarilla to help out the Elders there. We took a table to a park and put a ton of pamphlets and whatnot on it and went and contacted people around the area inviting them to choose a pamphlet. We ended up getting a good number of references for them so that was cool. We are going to do it again in San Borja this week because that area is really struggling. Then in the afternoon we went to the area building for our investigator's interview to get baptized. It was pretty cool because there were some other elders there from Los Portales in Vitarte where I had served, and they gave the full update on the converts there and that they are still active.  Then their investigator finished his interview and came and said hi to me and what do you know...it was a guy that I found with Elder Ponce. I was so happy I couldn't believe it! I told them that I never thought that he would get baptized because he was super super Catholic and I was going to leave him. But he was just baptized so that was cool! A big testimony to me that no effort is wasted in this work and that some sow and others reap. Then we had two more interviews that night for our other two investigators.

Saturday was super busy as well. We got up and went to the chapel to fill-up the baptismal font that morning and then went back later to get ready. After that we had to go and meet the sisters to get some baptismal clothing because we didn't have any. Later that afternoon, we went to Monterrico to interview their investigator and then returned for our own investigator's baptism. Wow, it was a super busy and stressful day, but my companion was able to baptize Liliana, her son George, and Angie. so that made it all worth it! We were also able to start our fast. 

Sunday we went to Ward Council in the morning and presented our idea about teaching English classes that I am going to start doing on the 27th and I think will turn out really well. We´ve been talking with President and he has given us a lot of tips and I think we will get a lot of people to come. Then we went proselyting and ate lunch and went to church at 2:00 PM, it was so weird having it so late in the afternoon. And then we left early to go take all of the materials and whatnot to the stake center for the "Open Chapel". It went pretty well, we kind of just brought people in from the street and showed them around... 

Anyway, today went well. Ate a nice hamburger and watched "Frozen". I created a plan to workout and it is going well. We have like a mini-gym in our house that I get to use and it is sweet. I am so out of shape though, I did some legs this morning and am sore. I'm really not the same as before. I'm taking my protein now as well and am determined! Um, leading a zone is rough and a lot of work but I am learning a lot of things! My companion is awesome. He is literally like Breygan Holbrook in Latino form. He loves to sing, which is cool. 
I am almost done with Jesus the Christ, it has taken me forever to read it. But all is well! Thanks for the support. 

Much Love,
Elder Mortenson