Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Week 59
So the highlight of this week was that we got to listen to Elder Oaks on Saturday that was pretty cool. We went at 8 in the morning and took some good pics as a mission and whatnot and then walked into the MTC. The South mission came as well. I saw Wes Anderson and got to talk to him along with Justin Brooksby so that was was kinda weird seeing familiar faces from high school haha. Zack and Jake both emailed me last week asking when I was going to go meet with Elder Oaks but sadly, I think they are going this week so I won't see them. But, Along with Elder Oaks came Lynn G. Robbins, whose talk on "Tasting the Light" I had just read a couple days earlier, as well as Elder Falabella our area seventy and Bishop Causse. They all spoke on some good stuff that 
I'm not gonna take the time to write. But Elder Oaks talked about the mantle that we have as missionaries and how a mantle exists for all callings in the church and it always starts out too big and we have to grow into it. Haha he made a really funny joke saying that he didn't know why missionaries were scared to lose their mantle at the end of their missions because at least there would be another one waiting for them, whereas for him, there would be a funeral! hahahaha He was super powerful and pretty much burned us all. But it was cool, we also got to shake all of their hands. 

On Tuesday we had interviews with president. They went well. He kinda burned me because I told him that I started reading the first 5 books of Moses and he said that I should start the Book of Mormon over again and never stop reading it so I guess we will see.... Speaking of how Elder Oaks was really funny, President mentioned to me about how each and every one of the Apostles are different. Elder Holland is the burner, Elder Eyring is more serious, Elder Uchtdorf is funny etc. yet they are all still leaders and talked to me about that. It helped because my companion is super different than I am and I asked him how I could be a better leader. He pretty much told me the same thing Pres. Boswell told me awhile ago about how we need to just use our individual strengths and talents to help others.  We went to his house afterward to talk again about the program thing and afterward his wife made us chips and salsa and it was like American Salsa and it was awesome! Elder Erickson looked at me and said "how weird is it to think that its 5 in the afternoon and we are in president's house, eating chips and salsa with his family!" It was pretty funny because they were kind of weird circumstances for us. 

On Thursday we had our multi-zone activity, it was good. My companion and I gave a training on how to think "outside of the box". haha It was pretty difficult because idk how someone can teach someone else to do that so we just kind of gave them some guidelines. It went well, everyone liked it...or at least they lied and said it was good. We got to eat tons of pizza that day. 

I already told you about Saturday. But right after the devotional with Elder Oaks Francisco got baptized. It was fun, I got to baptize him. He is super cool what else can I say about him?  He quit his job so that he could go to church and he goes to all of the activities. On Sunday we had stake conference and so it was hard to take investigators all the way to La Molina. We had to go interview an investigator of the Elders in the office later that day, so that was fun.  

Um today we went to the sister´s area and played some games in a park and whatnot and had a picnic with the whole zone. It kinda stinks planning the zone p-days, but it was fun. The park was super nice and we played a little basketball. They also had a turf soccer field which made me super trunky because I kept smelling that rubbery hot smell that comes off of it. So this week we really don't have anything going on...I am kind of getting an ingrown toenail so I think I am going to go to the doctor to get it fixed but ya that's about my week, thanks. 
Much Love,
Elder Mortenson
Week 58

 So ya I honestly don't know how to start each email so I just say "what's up? Another good week" because the weeks are all the same but maybe I will be more creative next week...

On Wednesday we went to the Council of the Twenty, pretty cool. It lasted until like 3 in the afternoon because president changed it so now every zone has to present a slideshow of what was achieved and how and the new goal and new plans. It was cool, I am probably going to borrow a lot of ideas. Our zone actually had the most baptisms of any other this month so that was cool.  E. Garate gave his last testimony there and that was cool. E. Peterson and I took a pic with him afterward and the plan is that we will take the same pic when we get home because he will be there in Provo and says that he is gonna go to the airport to receive us. 

Thursday we went to president's house and had a meeting with him that lasted from 3:30 until like 7 haha. He wasn't planning on taking so much time but he had to explain a lot of stuff about a new plan that he wants us to try out. It is pretty cool. Its about using the priesthood more and whatnot. He talked a lot about seeing miracles and people actually recognizing us as representatives of Christ, so we will see how it goes. He asked us if we wanted to get home and say that the mission was cool and we learned cool stuff or if we wanted to say that we really saw miracles happen in people's lives... Part of the plan involved us deep cleaning our apartment so we did that on Saturday. Haha We got back from exchanges at like 11 in the morning and started cleaning with the other companionship in our room and we went and ate lunch, bought supplies and then ended up finishing around 5 in the afternoon! But it was spotless and really invited the spirit. 

We had a baptism on Saturday! I got to baptize Eduardo! We invited E. Garate but Chaclacayo is way too far away so he didn't get permission and Eduardo was pretty sad about that but it was a good baptism nonetheless! He bore his testimony afterward about how he knew the church was true and how he had prayed about the Book of Mormon and whatnot and talked about his desires to serve a mission in a few years and share what he felt. It was super cool. 

Sunday was Fast Sunday and that was good. We ended up doing our weekly planning right after eating lunch because we hadn't done it yet. Then afterward we went to a couple of appointments and then went out with the bishop to visit this golden family that we found the other week. The husband was finally not drunk and the mom and her oldest daughter were excited to see us as always. The husband had been reading about Chastity and we talked about the role of families and whatnot and turned the time over to the bishop. He roasted the dude, but with a lot of love and gave him a 12 steps book and the guy, his name is Walter, told us that today at 8:00 he is going to propose to his wife and that they are going to get married on the 23rd in a massive marriage to be able to start their repentance. He is gonna need a lot of help but it was a super cool lesson and the wife and the daughter are super-hyped. I'll fill you guys in on how they are doing next week. 

But ya today was super chill. We watched "Inside Out" I think is what it's called in the morning and then went to the store after and then watched "Zootopia" with the whole district in the chapel. It was a pretty good preparation day. 

This week is gonna be a quick but stressful week. We have interviews with president tomorrow. On Wednesday we have to go to his house again to talk about the plan that we are doing and then we have to have our district meeting as well. Then on Thursday we have a Multi-zone and we have to give a training on how to think "outside of the box" so that will rough, idk how someone can teach that. Then on Saturday morning Elder Oaks is going to talk to us, so ya it will be cool. We scheduled exchanges with all of the elders in the zone everyday this week.... I'm excited. It is fun leading and helping others and just working in the Lord`s work. We were talking the other day about how much and how quickly the work is moving forward and how the end is nigh. Be sure to be preparing yourselves and helping others as well. Go to the temple, repent, do your home teaching etc. Those are my words of advice. 

Much Love,

Elder Mortenson

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Week 57
I'm starting to understand how dad feels being on-call and never able to catch up on sleep and always feeling tired. This week has been tiresome but it was a great week! Andrea was baptized on Saturday and that was cool! She was so chosen and so excited to be baptized, even though her mom goes to the Israelite Church...idk if that exists in the states. But we got one of the kids who is preparing for his mission to baptize her!  We took the Missionary Training elders out proselyting all afternoon on Saturday and arrived at like 5 to get ready for the baptism. We drained the font and began filling it and it got done at like 6:45 even though the baptism was at 6. Then we found out the ward doesn't have any baptismal clothes in stock, so one of the younger women in the ward had to loan her white dress that she uses to work in the temple, to Andrea for her baptism so that was pretty crazy. 

We went out from 1 until 4:30 with the MTC missionaries so that was super long just contacting. I went out with Elder Lamont and Elder Berges from South Jordan and Provo. hahaha it was so weird talking to them and hearing about all of the stuff that is and has been happening in the U.S. that I hadn't even heard about. They were cool, and super new! 

We did exchanges twice this week. Elder Nelson came with me one time and then Elder Ponce, my son, came with me. It was pretty fun they are cool and we were able to learn a lot of good stuff from one another. 

We finally got permission to baptize Eduardo, he is 13 and super dope. So he will be getting baptized on the 9th with Francisco a 21 year old. They are both super cool and will be great converts. Francisco recently quit his job to be able to come church and is making changes in his life, we are super excited for him and Eduardo has just been waiting for a long time now. We set the zone goal for September at 15 baptisms and things are looking pretty well. We have Leadership Council this week so we will be able to go and report on how well we did this month (which we were 13/14 baptisms) and our plans and goals for the next month. We are hoping not to see another drop-off because that is usually how it goes, one month has a lot of baptisms and the next just a few, and then that pattern just repeats over and over again. 

Today we went to the office and got some more money for Fondo A which is for like reimbursements (idk how to spell that) and whatnot and then went to Pizza Hut as always haha. Afterward, I got my hair cut because it grows so fast and the barber who is our "homie" let us watch Zootopia on his laptop while we were there. The barber uses this dope wax for my hair that smells like coconuts and he told me he could snag me some so I am gonna buy it off of him. I like the Old spice stuff that I use but it doesn't hold well enough. 

We are getting ready for our zone conferences next week and for Elder Oaks, of the Twelve, to come next Saturday. It should be super cool. Also, next week is Stake Conference so there are lots of things going on. 

The pics and the video I'm going to send are of me playing the drums. One is with my comp, the darker one, and the other is with Elder Yañez, the Chilean.  We went and had a family home evening with the Quilcas and their son has a drum set and whatnot so we got to play around on that. It was nothing like playing Rock Band that's for sure. 
 The Pope is coming to Peru in January to visit and they just finished this huge church here in my area so he will probably visit here, but I probs will be gone by then. It is a nice church and it is like right down the street from our church so that is cool. 

But ya that is about all that I have for this week. Lots of stuff to do and lots of people to take care of, but i know that the stress will pay off later. Love you guys.

Much Love,
Elder Mortenson

Monday, August 28, 2017

Week 56

Whats up? Nother week down haha. It was a good week, let me tell you about it. 

So to start out, on Tuesday we had transfers. I was stuck in the stake center all morning telling people when to get on the bus and waiting for people to get off so that was fun. After finally getting back to the house and dropping off bags, we got started immediately. My comp is Elder Macias, he is from Honduras. This is his second to last transfer. He is a good guy, loves to work and talk to everyone which I'm fine with. Haha he is just kind of socially inept in the sense that he doesn't really care about feelings, is super blunt, and does things in public that are a little weird but its nothing too bad.  I am learning a lot of good things from him and we should have a ton of baptisms coming up here in September. This Saturday Andrea is gonna get baptized she is super hyped for it. 

On Friday I went to the new leader's training with Elder Yañez and that was fun. I saw all my homies there like Elder Peterson so that was cool.  They literally never change any of the trainings though so it was the same exact thing as last time. President announced that he was going to start leaving elders in their areas for longer periods of time so that is new. Pres. Boswell transferred everyone like every 2 transfers but the way things are looking I will probably be moved after this transfer.

On Saturday we had a stake activity in the morning with like 100 of the youth and we split up with groups of them and showed them how missionary work is so that was cool. President talked to me about it and he wanted it to be a goal that each of the youth could give away a Book of Mormon so we got like 4 boxes from the office and handed them all out and I think it was a good experience for them. It was super long though and I was so tired after especially because in Musa, where we did it, the sun shines year round and so it was hot and I was kinda getting burned. It makes me super not excited for the summer to come again. But at least my area, Manchay, is clear up in the mountains so it is cloudy and cold a lot. 

We finally had Elias and his wife say that they were going to try to get all of their papers together to get married! Their witnesses in the ward, said that they are going on vacation in September and so they need to get married before that. So they are hurrying. It will probably be right after their brand new baby daughter is born too, so that will be cool! the ward is gonna pitch in and rent a suit and dress and whatnot so it should be cool! More information on that the next week. 

Today was a good day. We went and played "get to know you" games in the chapel with the zone and played volleyball and handball afterward. It was super fun but kind of unfair because wow some people are so uncoordinated holy fetch. Afterward we went to Papa John's because the stake young men's president is now like my best friend and so he bought the whole zone pizza which was pretty sick. He bought like 14 pizzas for 18 people because he thought there were more of us, so I ate my fill. 
Um nothing else has really happened this week. I'm just having fun, hanging on until Christmas. The mission sure has flown by and I'm just trying to enjoy it. 

Much Love,
Elder Mortenson

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