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

Monday, June 26, 2017

Week 48

So ya where do I start with this week?  We had our last goodbye with Pres. Boswell this week at our multi-zone conference. It wasn't my last goodbye because we saw him yesterday in our ward and again today and we will see him Wednesday but the rest of the mission said their last goodbyes and everything. It was pretty sad. He gave the last prayer and everyone was crying after. He was such a great president, a great example to me and he gave me a ton of great council. 

Our new mission president, President Amato, got to the Missionary Training Center last week and will be here Friday. the office is doing tons of preparation stuff for him. Pres. Boswell is just burning everybody on everything so that the mission is the best that it can be when he gets here. It's pretty exciting. We will have multi-zone meetings with the new president after he gets here so I will let you guys know next week how he is after we get a feel. 

Well, I got bit by another dog this week. It was super dumb. One of the converts here has this huge savage dog that protects her house. it was her birthday and we were looking for her because we had bought a cake for her and anyway to make the story short we were walking around going to the school and her friend's houses wherever she might be. Anyway, her mom who is ancient, took the dog out and we were just sitting there below the hill in the street waiting for the bus and the dog came from behind and bit just below the right pocket on my pants. Haha it ripped my nice blue pants and it peeled away a little skin but nothing too bad. We are investigating to see if it has gotten its shots...nothing yet. I don't think it is anything to be worried about. 

So today we moved... Elder Garate and I had to go to the offices this morning and get the guarantee money and then we came back and had to pack up all of our stuff. The other elders had called a moving van. We were burning stuff in the back because other elders had left a ton of crap and we are responsible for cleaning out our "Cave" that is how it is known here in the mission because it's so dark, cold and damp. The moving truck came and we loaded everything in and it drove clear up the hill, pretty ghetto, and we unloaded everything in like a half hour, passing it through the window of the apartment on the second floor to be able to make it here to the internet cafe. Haha we haven't even eaten lunch but the move was pretty legendary, we literally moved everything in like an hour total. So ya we are hyped for the new apartment because the last one was trash. We still have to go clean it out and everything though. 

On Saturday we went out working with the Missionary Training Center elders who are training in our area. We went with some kid from South Carolina. It is pretty weird to see them and imagine that I was in their shoes way back when, not understanding anything. He was freaking out because it was so dusty and there were dogs in the streets and that we invited a lady to baptism and she accepted. I kinda miss being so excited about those things but its chill, I have new responsibilities to focus on right now that I am excited about. hahaha I got corrected by one of the teachers from the Training center. I had to welcome the new missionaries and tell them what we were gonna do, in English and it was super weird, but anyway I said "you guys" and their teacher had served a mission in SLC and thought he was the man and told me that they were "elders and sisters" and that the term "guys" is slang. I said sorry that I didn't know that since I am just a native English speaker and he told me that it was no excuse so I was pretty burned about that. haha

I did my first divisions this week with Elder Anderson. He is like my twin practically. He is from Twin Falls, he played ball and everything. It was fun to talk to him.  We stayed up late talking about life and whatnot. I've eaten hamburgers like 3 times this week because there is this place in our area that is super good and cheap. 
Anyway, I think that is about it. We should have at least one baptism this month. I am going to go to my first Council of the Twenty this Wednesday. My first and last with President Boswell. I am pretty excited, but that is all the news I have for you. Thanks for everything, hope you all are doing well. 

Much Love,

Elder Mortenson
Week 47

So this week was fetching dope. Manchay is the bomb, I love it here! So this place is literally like clear up in the hills above La Molina and it is straight dust like there is the main road that is paved and like a couple of others but the rest is dirt but it is sic. We live in like a cave. Our house is super trash and dark and cold so we are gonna find another. I sleep with a sweater and hat and sweats because we are so high up we are like in the clouds but it is cool so don't be worried. We live with Elder Peña from Cusco and Elder Farnsworth from my group from Boise. It is super fun in our room haha. My companion, Elder Garate, is honestly a boss. Like I said, he was the assistant to the President a couple of months ago and he has read every book of scripture we have and literally knows so much doctrine and whatnot. He is teaching me so much. 

The first night when I got here he took a dry-erase marker and wrote all over our window with things that i needed to learn. Lets just say that the window is covered with stuff. I am learning slowly, one thing a time but I will get there. It was super weird to go to the district meeting and be in charge and go to the leadership meeting before and talk with the district leaders and ask for the indicators for the first time but it was cool. Literally my comp has created our mission, he has come up with all the ideas that president uses and whatnot it is dope. And besides that he is super funny and we have a great time. 

We have some awesome investigators here. We found like 3 families this week. The only thing we are working on is getting some of our investigators married because marriage practically doesn't exist here in Peru which is unfortunate but it can be done. The ward here is pretty sic too. La Molina is in our zone as well so we can go down to the grocery stores and whatnot, like I ate Pizza Hut today which was awesome. We also played some ball with Elder Anderson who is the District Leader, he is also from my group and is from Idaho Falls and we watched the movie The Croods. 

I'd also like to give Dad a S/O for Fathers Day. Hope you had a great day. I thought about you yesterday. I would've got you something dope if I were at home... Thanks for being a great dad and helping me out in everything always and for keeping me out here. 

So anyway this week is gonna be a weird week. We have the Council of the Twenty on Thursday, otherwise known as leadership council with President. It will be my first with him and my last. And then we have a multi-zone conference on Friday where we will say goodbye to him and sister Boswell and then on the 30th Pres. Amato gets here. It will be cool and weird to have so many changes.

But anyway I am just here in the dust on the top of the mountain just trying to do my best and learn what I can. SkyBison out. 

Much Love,

Elder Mortenson

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Week 46

So this week has been quite eventful...I'll fill you in.

On Tuesday I went on divisions with Elder Iglesias, one of the assistants. He gave me a lot of good tips and whatnot on how I could do better in training and better in teaching and other stuff in general. It was pretty fun. My comp went with Elder Truman, the other assistant. He was kinda mad because he hates divisions but he seems to be learning a lot. 

On Wednesday we had our zone meeting. The doctrinal focus for this month is the Holy Ghost. We got some talks and one of them was by Elder Bednar, it was super cool. He talks about how we should learn, in addition to listening to the still small voice.  He says that we cannot be expected to have the Holy Ghost with us every second of every minute of every hour of every day because we live in a fallen world but we can strive to have it with us at least more than it is not with us. He also talks about the Liahona (a guiding tool described in The Book of Mormon) and how it is a shadow and a lesson for our day because it is a physical guide that operates under the same principles as the Holy Spirit. 

On Friday we had interviews with President, we were his last interviews before he leaves for his home in Arkansas in 3 weeks. It was a pretty cool interview. I have been feeling that I was lacking something in the mission and I asked my companion a couple of weeks ago and he kinda burned me and told me I didn't love the people. So I asked president how he thought I could develop that and he gave me some good tips. It was a really powerful interview, I won't give you all of the details but his wife taught us some other cool ways to study the scriptures that I think I will apply. 

Yesterday we had a zone attack in San Fransisco, one of the areas in our zone. We went early and the Zone Leaders made us pancakes and whatnot and it was super good. We also did a Mini-Mission-Meeting type deal for the ward where all of the people under 25 were invited and we talked about certain topics and the mish and all that. I got to teach about the law of chastity haha. 

There were a couple days this week that were pretty hard, we had full agendas but all of the appointments fell through so we ended up just contacting hardcore and no one wanted to let us in so we didn't find many new investigators either. I suppose we have to have some hard days to enjoy the easier ones. 

So yesterday we waited all day to hear about the transfers. When we got to dinner Elder Hunt told me that president called him and told him that he was going to be zone leader back in Santa Anita. I laughed so hard because neither of us were too fond of Santa Anita and the zone leaders area there is so small. But I suppose karma is a you know what, because as we waited for our District Leader to call us about transfers President texted me telling me to call him and he notified me that I'm going to be zone leader too. I'm gonna go to a place called Manchay in La Molina. It is literally just dust and I'm gonna be companions with the former Assistant, Elder Garate who is really cool and is gonna teach me so much. So you guys can imagine that I am pretty nervous! I haven't even been a district leader yet hahah. I suppose president thinks it will be my opportunity to learn charity and learn to love other missionaries by serving them. It is gonna be a huge responsibility but I suppose with a lot of faith, spirit, prayer and the help of The Lord I'll be able to do it. So please pray for me...
But anyway that is the news of the week. Ill let you know what the area, companion, and responsibility is like next week.

Much Love,

Elder Mortenson

Monday, June 5, 2017

Week 45

This week was the same as the other 40 that I've been through haha but I suppose I can still fill you guys in...

On Wednesday we had a Family Home Evening activity with one of the converts who lives up on the hill and we invited tons of people that live up there to go. We always do FHE´s in our pension's house on Monday nights but attendance has been lessening and its kinda far away so we decided to do it up the hill. Everyone said that they would come but then ended up bailing... We at least had one investigator come and two members so we taught the 10 commandments with different signs that you do with your hands to help you remember them and then we ate some refreshments, so it was pretty chill. 

I went on divisions with our District Leader on Thursday and that was fun. Divisions are always pretty weird but I went with a cool Elder from Chile. He lives right outside of Santiago. I always tell people that Laura, my sister, went to Santiago for study-abroad and they always ask what part of Santiago but I don't remember so help me out on that so I can at least have a connection with the Chileans. 

We had a zone attack in one of the sister´s areas on Saturday morning. Kinda boring but its cool to help out the other areas. If you don't know what that is, the whole zone gets together and hits up an area and just splits up and contacts as many people as possible to help them out. We found this ghetto little passageway in the middle of nowhere and found 2 new investigators so that was cool! 

Yesterday was Fast Sunday. I was especially hungry this fast because I hadn't felt very well just before. But ya so we ended our fast eating with the bishop and he is super cool. He served in New York in the same mission as Bart Leichty I'm pretty sure. He even speaks English!

We gave a blessing to this less active member family's grandma this week, it was really cool. The parents aren't members of the church because they aren't married but the grandma is and so is the grandpa and the kids. She is pretty much on her death bed and we found them and they asked us to give her a blessing and we blessed her that the Lord`s will would be upon her and that if it be the Lord`s will that she could go in peace because the family is really struggling having to take care of her and pay for her. There was a super strong spirit there. 

Transfers are this next week so i will fill you in on Monday if I'm going...i think I'm probably bouncing but we will see what happens. 

But anyway good week, I'm doing fine. Thanks for everything. 

Much Love,

Elder Mortenson