Monday, May 22, 2017

Week 42

So this week was alright. I am not being transferred. This next transfer is just a quick 3 weeker in preparation for our new mission president so I am just gonna continue training Elder Ponce. Elder Hunt is staying as well in the room so that is cool. We will see what happens here in 3 weeks, I feel like I will probably leave the area then. 

We baptized Flor! That was pretty sweet. She was so excited to be baptized haha. The only problem we have is that we don't know when she will be confirmed. She didn't have time to be baptized on Saturday so we did it Sunday afternoon after church but next week is our Stake conference so we gotta talk to the bishop to see when she will be confirmed. She was probably my favorite baptism yet. I'd say she comes in close to the family in San Borja. 

I had 2 stand out experiences this week:  The first one happened when we were contacting and some like 80-year-old dude answered the door and asked if I was American and then started yelling like crazy and saying he couldn't talk to us because I was a spy and whatnot. I just had to swallow my pride on that one and walk away. Haha my companion, who is Peruvian, went again when they were on divisions to visit him and he told them that I took a pic of him and was calling people in to kill him so there is that...just call me James Bond. The second one happened we went to teach a new investigator that my companion had found when we were on divisions so I hadn't met him. His brother and grandpa decided to join us and his grandpa told us that he didn't know anything about anything. So anyway, we were teaching lesson 1 and I'm talking about the need for prophets and whatnot and the grandpa just starts going off. But to make it short, they were Adventists and he wanted to prove us wrong. I had to swallow my pride on that one too and try not to bible-bash but just explain calmly what it is that we believe in, supported with a lot of scriptures. After that I just bore my testimony that although I am 19 and the language we speak isn't my native tongue, I wouldn't be so far from home and my fam and all the other things that I could be doing if I didn't know that the things I was teaching were true. His grandsons reasoned with us and said that according to the scriptures and my testimony that we had a point! So maybe there was a seed planted there.

We got permission to baptize the daughter of some members but we want her dad to baptize her so we are holding off on that. Her dad has been inactive for a while because he works on Sundays and so he is going to go talk to the bishop about the situation. His daughter is in a wheelchair and was scared of the water but now she says she is ready so we just gotta figure out the situation there. 

My companion is now directing the area. I turned over the phone and the keys and whatnot to him so he is planning and teaching and everything now. It is super good for him, he will learn a lot! I feel like it's better that he learn now while I am still here in the area and can help him than if he were with a brand new companion that didn't know anything and couldn't help him. 

Today has been super chill. We just slept and had a member get us pizza from Pizza Hut so that was dope! We went to the grocery store and Ceres which is like the outdoor mall-type deal. It is super ghetto and very worldly...haha especially at night. Luckily we don't go there at night! 

But ya that is my week, pretty good! I am doing fine, just making my way toward the point of the mountain so I can be on the downhill climb. I'll talk to you guys next week. 
Much Love,

Elder Mortenson
Week 41

I pretty much told you on Mother's Day the cool stuff that happened this week but to occupy my internet time I will tell you again. 

I feel like we didn't get to do a ton of this stuff this week because of interviews and baptisms. We had the interview for baptism Friday and it took like all day, and then we had to go clean the baptismal font and fill it up and whatnot which took like 2 hours on Saturday, then we held the baptism and then talked to you on Sunday, so it was a pretty busy weekend. I'll send you the pictures of Frida at her baptism. It's her daughter in the pic and we don't really know what she is doing so just ignore her haha. Sorry if they are bad quality pics I still haven't even looked at them. I will send you better ones next week if they are blurry. 

Today we went to the temple in the morning. It is always so nice to go to the temple and walk away with the spirit of the temple and be reminded of the plan and where everything fits in to that plan. To help prepare myself to go the temple I read the pamphlet that they gave me to prepare to go to the temple for the first time which was given to us in the Missionary Training Center. The stuff I found in that was pretty interesting after having gone a couple times because before going I didn't pay attention to anything it said hahaha. I'd invite you guys to think about the last time you went to the temple and how you are doing with the covenants you made. When do you plan on going back? Elder Hunt and I were talking about some cool stats about the temple work and how many people actually do temple work out of all of the people living on the earth. It's just an assumption but out of like 16,000,000 members of the church 10,000,000 are active lets say and 5,000,000 are the age of being able to go to the temple. Of those 5,000,000 like 3,000,000 are worthy and of the 3,000,000 half of them go somewhat regularly; Just assumptions. But that comes out to like 2.14% of the population of the church which does temple work, which isn't very many.   Think how many people there are who have lived on the earth that need to have temple work performed for them, more than we can imagine. I see now why temple work is such a big push in the church right now.

Anyway, we should baptize Flor this Saturday so that is cool. On Thursday we are planning on going to the temple with all of our converts to do baptisms for the dead so that is cool. We will see how this week goes, I hope I can leave the area better than I found it because I feel like I will probably be transferred. I will let you guys know next Monday if I'm bouncing or not. 

But happy mother's day mom. I thought of a scripture for you, Alma 56:46-48. I didn't ever really appreciate you reading us like one verse of the Book of Mormon in the mornings while we rushed to school or sending us a spiritual text/thought during the day or asking me what I was learning in seminary because I didn't know at the time what you were trying to do. But, Like the stripling warriors, I don't doubt now that you knew. I appreciate the example that you set for Brock and me and I now know for myself that although we might be face to face with an army like Antipus´s army of thousands, and although the odds are against us, if we will not doubt and we will have faith, God will support us through our trials, afflictions, and enemies. Love you. 

Thanks to all of you. I can't imagine what it would be like to not have your support while out here. I sure am appreciative of your help. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to learn everyday. Haha Sometimes I think of the mission like the Hyperbolic Time chamber in Dragon Ball Z. Its like 10 years worth of experience and learning packed into 2 years. If you don't understand that analogy ask Brock or Brett. 

Much Love,

Elder Mortenson

Monday, May 8, 2017

Week 40

So this week was alright. We went and did service again for Frida up in the mountains. Hahahaha I can say from experience now that I literally know what it is like to move a rock at a time! she is literally having us pick away at solid rock. Its pretty fun I guess you could say, like a real life version of Minecraft!
We had our zone conference on Friday. This month's doctrinal focus is on the law of the harvest and enduring well. As well this month is chapter 6 of Preach My Gospel which is pretty cool. We studied a talk by Elder Uchtdorf (One of the Twelve Apostles) I don't actually remember the name of the talk but I remember listening to it when he gave it where he gives an example of a woman who sells seeds and gets complaints about how they aren't growing and whatnot and finishes with how we reap what we sow. We also related it to Christlike characteristics in Chapter 6 and how if we sow good characteristics we may also reap well. 

Yesterday was a good Fast Sunday. The only thing I don't like about fasting for 24 hrs. out here, especially when it is super duper hot is that I get a little dehydrated at times and then after I stuff myself it hurts haha. But I have also really gained a testimony of the fast and of its importance.

If things go well this week we should have 2 baptisms on Saturday but they both are still kind of up in the air and we might push them back. One of them is the daughter of some members and the other is Frida (the one who is building her house upon the rock, literally)!

I got the package you sent! Thanks a ton for all of it. I gotta give Brock props on that one for picking out the good stuff. Also, thanks for the razor, now my face isn't getting destroyed everyday. I guess you could say I am more manly in one aspect at least, I do get scruffy in only a day. Its not dark but if I didn't shave everyday it would get nasty. 

One thing that happened to us this week is that I have been trying out new methods of contacting to see what works the best. And so we met an Evangelical lady and I said to her "Did you know that Jesus Christ came the Americas?" well it turns out that wasn't the best idea for her because she started to argue and told us that we weren't going to trick her with our lies and whatnot. But on the bright side she told us to knock on the house next to hers and her neighbor actually accepted us and listened to our message, so that was an ironic reference. And just so you know, that method has worked before.

Oh ya happy cinco de mayo and May the 4th be with you! Sad I missed that holiday and the chance to wear a sweet Star Wars shirt to school but we celebrated in our own way here.  

But anyway,  I'll talk to you all on Sunday, Peace. 

P.S. I am now a cuber. I can solve a Rubik´s cube. #Legend
Much Love,

Elder Mortenson
Week 39

So this week was pretty good. The weather is really cooling down, it has rained a couple of times and has been cloudy most of the week so that is awesome. We've been really busy this week and really tired but such is life I suppose. We got on the internet kinda late because we couldn't find any that weren't full of people. It is their Labor Day today so tons of people are out and about. 

This week we did service for our investigator Frida. Hahahaha she is building a ¨house¨ in the hills. We walked like 20 minutes up into the mountains where she had us dig away pure rock on the top of the mountain so she can build her tiny little bedroom. Fetching crazy. Idk why they build houses clear up there but who am I to say anything? It was alright but super dusty. I have yet to get the pics from Elder Hunt so those will be coming soon enough. 
Nothing really cool has happened this week. Taught some lessons, walked a lot, pretty much it. For preparation day today Elder Hunt and I played some ball. It was pretty fun. I am gonna be so rusty when I get home hahaha. Idk what happened either but it like stretched my back out or something. I think my spine has just been super compressed because I am always walking and I never get to play. I think I stretched it back out so that is good. 

None of our investigators came to church so that was pretty disappointing. We went to pick them up and had people pass by and we called and set alarms and everything but no one came. We also left our golden investigator Edwin because he said he felt just fine in the Catholic Church so that was pretty sad as well. 

We had a ¨noche de patas¨ on Friday which was pretty fun. We did an iron rod activity with string all around the church and had all of the people walk through it while we ¨tempted them¨ and it was fun. A lot of the converts came so we got to teach them about the importance of enduring to the end and not letting go of the rod which will lead us back to God. 

We finally got one of our investigators to commit to baptism! Her name is Flor. We have been working with her for a long time now, she is 17 and had a lot of doubts but we took Andres with us to her house and he talked to her just as a friend telling her all of the experiences he has had in the church and whatnot and it really opened up the door for us to invite her. We explained the requirements to be baptized and asked if she kept the commandments and she said yes. So we asked her what was holding her back from following the Savior and being baptized like He was? And she said "nothing" so I think she should go through with it. She is really awesome, I am very excited! Thanks to Andres and the spirit. 

Ya that is pretty much it, doesn't seem like a lot. I hope you like hearing about the investigators we are teaching because that's pretty much my whole life rn...worrying about others´problems and trying to help them. Nothing much else happens. I am doing fine! 

Much Love,

Elder Mortenson