Monday, September 19, 2016

Week 7

This first week has been overwhelming like none other! where the fetch am i? this place is fetching insane. sorry if i scared you guys with that first email i just have never seen anything like this before. we have like 8 progressing investigators and we made like 30 contacts this week all thanks to my trainer. he is master teacher but a really weird dude. he knows all of these strange sayings in english that he likes to say and it gets pretty annoying. he loves to sing and is terrible and we are late to absolutely everything. Latino time is 20 minutes late even to sacrament. so it can be frustrating but i will get used to it. he also thinks we are like best friends and he is just like that guy that you would never normally associate with because he tries to be so cool. he is kinda lazy too. 

we live on the third floor of the most ghetto apartment. i will send pics. but compared to some of the houses we have taught in, we are rich. one families house was literally separated into rooms with blankets and they lived on a dirt floor with no windows and a single bulb on the ceiling. the streets here are dirty with garbage and James (Laura's Husband) would love it because there are so many doggies here. They collect the garbage in piles and eat it --- weird. 

i forgot to take a pic of the streets so i will send one next week. I cant imagine what i look like to these people here. A lot of the teenage peruvian girls freak out and start yelling A Gringo when they see me and my comp told me they love gringos. especially because i am blonde and blue eyed and well dressed and clean haha. i think it has helped get into some houses too because people are so curious and they love how tall i am. people just stare in awe when we walk by. We were contacting and this ladies two sons kept yelling un gigante! and touching my hands because they were so huge lol. It pretty cold here most days. i have been wearing all of my sweaters lol. i sleep with like 3 blankets and it is nice and warm. my abs have come back lol. i think i have lost wieght but idk for sure. The workouts in the morning are pretty good. that pilates book DR. B gave me is bomb. 
I sure feel alone here though. there is a companionship that lives on the floor above us and we eat together and hang out but they are latino too. i am learning and beginning to understand but people here speak so fast. also i would've fit right in if i hadn't got my dental implants because everyone is missing teeth and that makes it even harder to understand. They all compliment me on how much spanish i do know though and how i dont have a gringo accent lol. 

the traffic here is absolutely unreal. the only they stop for is speed bumps and they only slow down and honk for people. We rode the buses and they are so short and if you didn't hold on you would fall out over the turns. There are literally no rules. They go as fast as they please and turn left whenever and cut cars off and whatnot. 

it has actually been pretty fun though. i am really trying to adjust and see the good. it is a new adventure here everyday haha. something weird happens everyday. 

we have a pentionist who lives just down the street that feeds us every meal. they eat tons of rice and chicken which is fine by me. Lots of fruit and veggies too. i think i will do alright. They drink a lot of weird fruit drinks and tons of Inka Cola, the golden drink, as well. We had fake coffee the other day too haha. 

church was super difficult. we had 8 investigators come and i didn't understand a word. it is pretty ghetto. our ward is Andahuaylas idk what more its called. we will probably have a couple baptisms next week. 
pdays are monday and we have an hour and a half to email and i think it is at 11 each week. there are 2 other gringo elders, the zone leaders, and 2 gringo hermanas in our zone. they are nice. i am just trying to get through this training and i think i will do alright. 

also, i wrote it down in my planner but i forgot it. on facebook if you search my missionary package or my missionary courier i think. there is a sister that travels to the US each month and will take packages and mail. If you don't find her phone number or email i will give it to you next week. 

We are allowed to listen to classical music too which is nice. or anything with hymn words or that invites the spirit. my comp thought it was only hymns but its too late for him because he leaves to home after this transfer. 

lol i faked sick this morning as well. my comp thinks he is an athlete and for some reason they wanted to play soccer this morning at 530 so i got up at 5 and told him i had diarrhea and went back to sleep lololol. We played volleyball the other morning at 530 as well and it wasn't fun being awake and it wasn't fun because i dominated. i want to learn to play soccer so i can have a challenge here.

this sure is better than the mtc though. at least we have real people to teach and i can actually learn spanish because i peaked in the mtc. it is nice to have real food as well. it will take some real getting used to but i think i can do it. its not that bad. we dont get out of the apartment until like 2 and most people are pretty receptive. i dont think i will lose any english because they want us to teach the latinos because they all are required to study english while they are in the field. 

Much Love,

Elder Mortenson

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Peru Day 1

hey guys so i made it! the flight was so fetching long and we got here at like 6:30 in the morning and got through customs and whatnot. it is the most bizarre experience of my life. we had meetings at the mission home all day about the rules and whatnot and then we got our trainers and got in taxis and left to our areas. my trainer is elder cruz pronounce cruss and he has been out in the field for 22 months now so he will leave after he trains me. he is from some city in peru but he has learned english on the mish so that is nice because we can actually talk. i havent even had time to unpack and move in to the apartment. today we set a goal and i have to contact 5 people. i am super nervous. the traffic here is unlike anything you could imagine, even worse than mexico city. our district is Andahuaylas and our zone is santa anita and it is pretty ghetto. i think ive already counted lke 4 dogs with rabies and we have seen like 20. it is super dirty here and i took a bunch of pics but i will have to send them next pday because we are in this weird internet cafe and idk how to hook up my camera. i met our pentionist and her family and they seem really nice. it was really sad leaving all of my ccm homies at the mission home. the mission president is almost as tall as me and is a really really nice guy. except he wants everyone here in the mish to be equal so to use my debit card i have to get it approved through the financial secretary. i am so terrified of this place haha after looking forward to getting here for so long. it so unlike anything i have ever seen. one of the other white elders told me that it took him almost a year to get used to things as they are here but hopefully i can adjust much faster than that. please pray for me. 
Much Love,
Elder Mortenson

Monday, September 12, 2016

Goodbye Mexico-- Hello Peru

whats up hoodwrats?
so i fly out in like 3 hours and it is such a nice feeling. i cant wait to go have some adventures lol. 

so we decided to play a joke on one of the elders in our district who is a really funny guy. i had dad send me a package with a note to me from the elder's asian girlfriend haha. We have been setting it up for like 2 weeks now. i started with asking him if he knew my mortenson cousins who lived in kaysville and whatnot and we just kept it going until today. the package came and dad had written "elder mortenson you are the creme of the crop. you make me go nuts!" with creme soda and pistachios in the box. i sold it so well saying that maybe i had hung out with her once when i visited our cousins and they have mutual friends. i kept it going by saying that we had stolen our cousins phone and snapchatted his girlfriend like all night one time but i hadnt talked to her since. he was so confused and looked like he was about to cry. i told him as well that i had no idea why she would send me a package and to email her. sadly we broke after like 30 minutes of this but only after he told us "if what you are telling me is true, then my whole life/relationship is a lie." hahaha we got him so good and luckily he laughed it off.

nothing else has really gone on. we have had had plenty of testimony meetings which are always nice and a lot of devotionals. on last nights devotional we saw AGruff himself in the audience. it is nice to see familiar faces and i am sad to be leaving some of them here at the ccm, you know who you are Elder Ty Eskelson. 

anyway i will email you probably again sometime tomorrow at the mission pres. house or whatever and let you what its like and everything. 
Much Love,

Elder Mortenson

Friday, September 9, 2016

Week 5

Yo yoo whats good at home? i cant wait to be blasting out of this place on monday. we got our flight info and i bounce monday night at 11:50 and it is a 6 hour flight to lima haha it is gonna be so bad. Idk what they are planning on having us doing all of tuesday just chilling at the mission home, i guess ill find out. We have been packing today because they make us weigh the luggage here because if we are a kilo over it is like $150 so hopefully i am alright. Monday afternoon we wont have any classes or anything so ill probably be online again sometime. we have to be on the buses at 8 P.M. and i am so pumped to leave this place haha.

anyway there isnt a ton to say anymore because we dont do anything different here. i have been trying to go solo espaƱol and it is difficult but i have done much better than i expected. not nearly well enough but its hard to continue learning when all i learn is from books and im surrounded by white people. i need to get out there. 

we had a devotional this week on some really cool things i thought that id share. We talked about questions of the soul vs questions of just knowledge. there is a full page on this in predicad me evangelio (Preach My Gospel) in the book of mormon section. it talks about how investigators are likely to ask us questions just because they are curious about things for example polygamy. but the questions of knowledge dont really matter because through the spirit all things can be brought unto our remembrance-such as things learned in the premortal existence. We had a long discussion about it and decided that the only thing that the investigator is having trouble with if he has a question like that is revelation. if they dont have a testimony that God really does reveal his truth for his own purposes often unknown to us, then they cant believe that it was wisdom in God and revelation through the prophet.

in another devotional we talked about specific prayers. as missionaries we pray like infinity times a day but are they specific? the mtc pres gave us an example of a missionary that was 23 months out in some part of mexico and who had left his backpack in a taxi on his way home. the backpack had every sim card from his whole mission  and tons of other important stuff in it. he prayed that if he sat outside by some 7 eleven for exactly one hour with signs that said "looking for backpack" and that the taxi driver would bring it back and he wouldnt have stolen anything. They sat outside the 7 eleven for 58 minutes until they were just about to give up when the driver pulled up and hung the backpack out the window and yelled "its ok im christian i didnt steal anything!" and the mtc pres told us how if we wanted answers to prayers they needed to be specific with times and everything. 

here in mexico they dont have cholula so that has been a sad ride because i love that stuff. 

it has been weird meeting dudes from utah here because they have cheered against me usually in both football and basketball and have layed eyes on me before and who wouldve known? its kinda cool though because literally everyone knows someone that you know from another school so it kinda keeps us all connected. 
something funny that happened last night at devotional night during the live broadcast of elder christopherson from provo a kid volunteered to answer a question and the camera turned on him and there sits Chad P. trying to hold back his laughs. all my guys here from CV thought it was funny. 

i have a couple more thoughts about like scriptures and whatnot- i heard a quote from elder bednar that said "if all you know is what you see with your natural eyes or what you hear with your natural ears, you wont know much."

during personal study the other day i was reading in alma 42 and i would encourage you all to really study that chapter about christ and mercy vs. justice. It is amazing that through Jesus, the mediator that the demands of both mercy and justice can be met on our part if we just try do our best. a quote that was in the McRazor´s last email said that "the celestial kingdom will be filled with imperfect people who know how to use the atonement perfectly." and that was cool. 

anyway i am still doing well just trying to get out of here!

Much Love,

Elder Mortenson
Week 4

Smelling the Roses
The days here are pretty much the same as all of the rest but i keep a list of stuff to say to actually keep you guys somewhat entertained. When we are struggling here we just think of the kid in Sky High the movie and how down he mustve felt when he thought he didnt have superpowers. we are all just waiting on our superpowers to kick in here lol. 

so i started reading the autobiography of parley p. pratt and that has been pretty cool. it has been very relatable because all he did was serve a mission his whole life, i cant imagine. it gives me a lot of hope in the power of god though. 

i encourage you all to find and watch a video called "finding your purpose in life: does faith matter? - His grace" that is just what it said when we watched it. it was really interesting. and i related it to Alma 10:27. Faith is so important and it is a gift from god when we are obedient. 

This week we had TRC which i dont know what it stands for but they bring in volunteers that can be members, nonmembers, or real investigators and we just get to go and talk to them. i had elder gardiner as my companion and it was rough because he speaks a very small amount of spanish and doesnt understand much more. but we met this like 22 year old girl named fernanda and she had a daughter and her bf had left her but she was a member and we just got to testify to her the power of prayer. we asked if she had any questions at the end and she asked us if we had any good ideas on how to get her atheist friend to pray. elder gardiner bore the simplest testimony in spanish and it was so powerful because he has friends who are the same. it was so cool to teach her and meet someone who wasnt stuck inside the ccm haha. 

in the ccm here i feel kinda like marshawn lynch in his one vine where he says "we was staying in a hotel next to a taco bell and i couldnt even get me no quesadilla!" because we are surrounded on the outside by legit mexican food and we have to eat yuck in here. Jake willmore says the food is good though in peru so im excited. We do so many companion swaps, elder nordfelt might as well be my companion.

it rains like you have never seen rain before. the streets here look like rivers afterwards its so cool. 

i shined my shoes for the first time ever this week. i think i found my new hobby. they arent the classy sic shoes i have at home but they will do and they look fresh afterward. 

i gave a talk in sacrament on sunday. they randomly call you up among your zone so you always have to have one prepared. it was pretty cool. couldnt tell you guys a thing i said but everyone said my spanish was amazing afterward ahahaha so that was cool. also, we are the oldest district in our zone now which is weird. we are gonna go from being the oldies to the noobs once we hit the field. 

i broke my glasses DABBING on some fools here (elder Bushman from SV lol) luckily they have super glue in the store so i am chill and you'd never even know. 

Hermana Scadlock in our district got really sick and could hardly talk or see and she asked elder hunt and i to give her a blessing. it was so cool. i only annointed her but the power of the priesthood was so evident. i was trembling afterward and literally within about an hour she was completely fine. the priesthood truly is the power of god on this earth and it is so important for the salvation of his children. i heard a quote that said "one day the only thing between the powers of satan and the family may be the head of the household and the melchizidek priesthood."

a quick S/O to the lil homie for keeping the #13 legacy alive on the field. Way to be a BOSS. wish i could be there but i will watch the highlights as they come. 

If you guys havent, go watch the video called The Testaments it is so important. the spirit here is so strong. i am living by the quote pay now play later. 

one last thing to lol at, i found a slick way to get some extra work in here, every time we kneel down to pray which is like 15 times a day, i do 5 pushups. 
Much Love,

Elder Mortenson