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
Week 62
This week has been very interesting. Haha I haven't even had time to unpack yet because I got here and we went to work. To start off, we did exchanges with the San Borja Elders on Wednesday because they are really struggling. It was cool to be able to go back to my old area. I was the one directing and leading my companion around! I showed him a lot of the former investigators that we were teaching when I was there and some of the good members that can help them out. We visited the members and even my converts and they all told me that I had grown taller! And that I speak Spanish way better than I used to. I hope I haven't grown, but I will have to measure and see how tall I am now. Another strange thing is being in the area where I used to come and do exchanges. A lot of the members and investigators recognize me from when I came like a whole 8 months or so ago. 

Our area is interesting. There is a poorer part, but I can't say that it is that poor compared  to Manchay, up on the hill where I just came from, and the rest is like super rich. I am excited for the challenge that the zone poses and to see what we are capable of doing. We spent the whole morning on Thursday just brainstorming, thinking about ideas and things that we could do to help everyone. We will see how we do. My companion is Elder Rojas from Trujillo, Peru. He is super cool, we have a lot of fun together. He is kind of like Elder Garate so I think this transfer will go well. 

On Friday we had the Leadership Council and that was good. President burned all of us. He gave a training on how to be a leader and what we needed to do... He focused especially on the way that a leader should correct another. Lets just say it was a firey meeting. 

Saturday was a really good day to watch all of the sessions of conference! I was able to go with Elder Beach and Elder Walsh from my zone to the chapel in La Molina that is just like right around the corner from our stake center and watch conference in English. We were there with all of the other elders from my last zone, La Molina, so that was fun. Afterwards we took out money and ate as a zone and went back and watched the Priesthood Session that night. Sunday was good as well watching conference all day. I have to rewatch and read the talks but the one I remember the most was Tad R. Callister´s talk on the Book of Mormon. Hahah he breathed fire from the pulpit like a dragon. 

Today we went to this park that is called the "Girlfriend´s Park". I don't really know, lets just say that they said it was cool and it had like trees shaped in hearts and whatnot...... my companion knows a guy from Vitarte that is a professional photographer and he came and took pics of us. If you would've asked me to do that before the mission I would have said no, but let's just say that my standards of what I call "fun" have dropped really low since being on a mission. We ate completos, which are huge sandwiches and played some games. 

On Sunday, the family that we ate with knew Elder Griffin from North Logan. They showed me pictures of him and his wife and I couldn't believe what I saw. He married Marquis!?! We graduated together so that was kinda surprising...

But everything is going great. This week should be another great week. We have 3 baptisms on Saturday and on Sunday we are going to have an "Open Chapel" activity in the stake center. Our sacrament meeting here starts at 2:00 in the afternoon...weird schedule they got. Thanks for supporting me out here. 

--
Much Love,

Elder Mortenson

Monday, September 25, 2017

Week 61


So to start out, let's just say that next week I will writing you from a different area because I am going back to Santa Patricia! Hahaha I'm going to be companions with Elder Rojas, he is my "homie" so I'm excited and he is going to finish his mission this next transfer! Our area is the richest zone in the whole mission so that will be a change. We have the temple too, in that area. Plus, I will be able to go back to San Borja to see the people I taught there, haha! So ya that's the news, I am excited and have lots of new ideas and stuff to try out in the new zone. 

This week was pretty normal. We did exchanges on Wednesday because I had to go interview our District leader's investigators. The sister I interviewed is super cool and we went to her baptism on Saturday, which was great, but the rest of the day turned out to be a challenge. We had everything planned to go to the temple with our converts and investigators and the whole zone but when we got there everything failed. Another zone was already there and the temple is always super full on Saturdays and especially since it was closing early because of the General Women`s Conference that night. So anyway, we had scheduled to go to the temple but something went wrong and they didn't have us down so we ended up squeezing a couple of investigators in with other groups here and there.  And we had a whole tour with explanations and sights planned but the other zone did as well, so we just jumped in with them and it didn't really turn out well. So the other missionaries were pretty upset with that. Then we went to the chapel after lunch to help the other elders fill the baptismal font and get things ready for their baptism at 4. I still needed to interview their investigator because she couldn't do it on Friday or in the morning on Saturday. And she was running late and then the power and the water went out in the chapel so we had to move the baptism to 5:30 to another chapel in a different area. So we ended up having 3 baptisms in Musa. One was the lady I interviewed, one was from Manchay, and one was from Huertos which is even further away! It was a pretty chaotic letting everyone know that it was going to have to be moved quite a distance away, but I guess that's how things go sometimes...

On Sunday, Elder Garate came with his older brother to our sacrament meeting to say goodbye to everyone. It was super cool to see him. He is gonna go to Utah in January so don't be surprised if he shows up at the door one day. Eduardo passed the sacrament on Sunday and Francisco received the Priesthood and will bless the sacrament after General Conference. It is super cool to see how much progress they have made spiritually in such a small amount of time. It is gonna be so sad to say goodbye to them tonight but that's how it has to be...

Speaking of General Conference, I am so excited to watch it and to hear the messages of the Prophet and Apostles. I hope you all are preparing yourselves to listen to them by praying and taking any questions you may have into the sessions so that they can be answered by these men called of God. 

One more update, Elias and Judith, the couple that was going to get married last week, had their baby. So funny story, we gave them the Liahona Magazine from General Conference last October to read because we have taught them all the lessons and they are just waiting to get married and then be baptized. But anyway, Elias was reading and found the page with pictures of all of the General Authorities; the First Presidency, the Twelve Apostles, the Seventies, The Presiding Bishopric, as well as the Sister Leaders on it. Well, they really liked the name of the General Primary President, I believe she is, Joy D. Jones, so they named their daughter Joy after her! I wish I could be here to continue teaching them and see them get married and baptized but I'm sure they will do fine! 

That is about it for this week. I will be off to my new area tomorrow and listening to conference along with you all this weekend! Thanks for the support! 

--
Much Love,
Elder Mortenson
Week 60
It was a good week this week. To start it off on Wednesday Elder Nelson and I went to Miraflores. It was super dope!! It took like 2 hours to get there and we were there at the foot doctor lady for a while. She was super funny and lived in such a rich part of the city. It was hard to believe it was Peru for real, because of what I am used to seeing. Afterward, we went to McDonald's and bought quadruple big macs which was pretty sweet. There were clean streets and fast food places and big apartment buildings and it was weird!  We ended up just doing exchanges that day and it was fun. We helped all of our converts out with family history and whatnot. 

Thursday was a hard day, all we did was contact all day. Literally all day. It was super cold and so there were few people in the streets and no one wanted to let us in! 

Nothing else really cool has happened but on Saturday we had to go to Cieneguilla which is the sister`s area and it's pretty far away to help them out. They are in a trio right now and having problems because one of them wants to go home.  We gave them blessings and talked about their issues and things seem to be going a little better. Let me just say that I do not understand women haha. 

Sunday was a super good day! We are teaching a family of 5. It's the mom, dad, 11 year old daughter, 10 year old son that is special needs, and a 1 year old daughter. The dad is a drunk and they have lots of family problems. I found them with Elder Ponce we we went on exchanges a couple of weeks ago by accident. We were looking for a guy that we had contacted and his address was super messed up so we just ended up knocking on their door and they said they had been waiting for us. Anyway, we have taken the bishop to their house clear up on a hill and he gave him a 12 steps book and whatnot. But then he disappeared for like 2 days because he was drinking and they didn't know where he was but he came back and went to church! When we visited him he was like crying saying how he wanted to change and all and we shared Alma the Younger's conversion story from the Book of Mormon and it was super powerful. We will see how it goes but he came to church with his daughter and his dog was with him the whole time as well hahahah and his dog is huge and was just chilling in the church and in the classes. 

Today we didn't do anything. We just slept-in in the morning and then went to Pizza Hut like always because there is nothing else to do. Something crazy that happened is that I received a package and I opened it up and it was some tennis shoes! A note inside from Sister Ă„mato said that someone had brought them from Mexico. Haha they are the shoes that Jake Stewart sent me a full year ago to the Mexico MTC!!!! hahahah they are pretty sweet I honestly don't know who brought them to me here in Peru. 

But ya that is my week. We will know about the transfers next week. Elias and his wife might get married this week...there are still some problems but we are working on it! I'm doing great, just dreading the summer. There have been like 11 small earthquakes in the last week idk why, kinda weird but we will be fine! Love you guys.

PS. here are the pics of Franciscos baptism and me with a white and a latino redhead. 
--
Much Love,

Elder Mortenson

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