Monday, January 22, 2018

Week 77
Yeet. So its been another good week here in Chicago Chico. Just lightin´ the place up with the gospel. 

So to start the week out, on Monday we went and ate buckets of chicken at KFC here in my area and then we watched Moana again but this time in English so that was cool. Hahah I got this random call while we were in the chapel watching it from this lady that spoke English. She told me that she had a package for a missionary in the Lima North Mission and that she couldn't get it to him and wanted to know if we could. I told her yes and so she told me that she was in Miraflores and could come find us so we gave her the direction to the chapel and she came with her husband. They were the Oakeson's from Sandy, UT and her husband said he had tons of family from Logan and Hyde Park which was cool. Anyway, she gave us the package and her husband gave us $21 and told us to go buy dinner. They took pics of us that mom should've got on her phone but anyway we went and bought Krispy Kreme with the money. 

On Tuesday we went and watched President Nelson´s message and press conference. That was cool... My favorite part was when that lady stood up and asked him about women in the church and why all the apostles were white men and Elder Oaks gave her a great answer. Haha We also had a lesson with the family that we are gonna baptize. We taught the Law of Chastity. One thing I have learned is that people don't understand what you are talking about or what they are doing wrong unless you are direct with them so I told them that they were fornicating and their 14 year old daughter ended up crying because she was laughing so hard at them, but ya they are definitely gonna get married now. 

On Wednesday we did exchanges. I went with Elder Halls to his area because they needed me to do 2 interviews but both of them fell through so we just ended up having a lesson with this one lady who wanted to be baptized but had problems forgiving her husband because he had pretty much abandoned her son when he had cancer and ended up dying. So we shared some good scriptures from Doctrine and Covenants about the Atonement and how Christ suffered not only for sins but also for sickness, pain, and every other type of suffering. And then we talked about how he did it for the people that he knew would never even accept him and then we talked about forgiveness and how her son would want this for her and she decided to be baptized after having been taught for like 5 transfers. I had to stay with Elder Halls all of Thursday practically as well (which I wasn't mad about) and then interview her and another lady.  Turns out that lady that we had talked to about forgiveness wanted me to baptize her, so on Saturday morning I went all the way back to their area and baptized her, so that was cool! Ill send pics. 

On Friday we had our Multi-zone conference. It was a good. They gave us pizza and talked about having the same vision. Sister Amato shared 1 Nephi 11 I believe and how Nephi desired to see the things which his father had seen and how we need to be able to desire to have to the same vision that our leaders have. That goes with the prophet, mission pres., bishop, etc... Then we can align our vision and work toward one single goal. It was a good message. I saw Elder Hunt there and all of my other homies. 

Saturday was the baptism and then Sunday was a funny day. So I really had to go to the bathroom so we were walking lightning fast through the streets to go to a member's house. And anyway like I said my area is pretty ghetto and all of the dudes are in the streets drinking all the time and sometimes fighting and whatnot. So we are walking and this dude yells ¨Whats up!? Where you from? ¨ and I'm like ¨Utah¨ and he is like ¨F"#"#$ you are a long way from  home!¨ and so I walked away and went and used the bathroom but then we went back to talk to him and he told me how he had lived in New Hampshire for 12 years and worked for Fidelity and how he always visited SLC and he had a friend that was Mormon and how his friend told him that when he went back to his country that he would see foreigners walking around in the streets that were called Elders and that he should talk to them in English and that they would be super hyped so he was just fulfilling his promise to his friend. But ya he told me all about the economic system of Peru and why the states are better and whatnot. And he had his homie there and at the end they were like ¨Yo, you ever get in trouble around here you tell them that you know Junco or Bayona and they'll leave you alone.¨ hahaha so ya lets just say that I got some hood-rat friends down here now so that is sic. 

But ya everything is going great! Today some dude is coming from Trujillo to talk to everyone that has less than 6 months left in the mission. He is like the most successful guy in Peru and is a returned missionary, so we are going to go listen to him. On Friday, I am going to an "Auto-sufficiency training" where they talk to us all about life after the mission and we set goals for work and studying and all that stuff so that will be cool. Anyway, SkyBi out.

Elder Mortenson

Friday, January 19, 2018

Week 76
So ya ´nother week down. To start the week out on Tuesday we went and bought the cake that I owed the family that we are teaching. I told the lady in the store to give me the type of cake that they like but she ended up giving me a tres leches and supposedly they don't like tres leches so the contract didn't really work out because my companion and I ended up eating the majority of the cake, but ya it was alright with me hahah. 

On Wednesday we received a message on our phone with a reference that lived in Miraflores, the super rich part of our area and it said that her husband was American so we went to look for the family. We ended up finding them and he came out to talk to us and it was a really interesting experience. He was from San Diego and was pretty cool and all but then I asked him what he did for a living and he went off on this whole thing. He told me that he had studied natureopathic medicine and so I asked him what that was and he explained to me that they study nutrition and all of this stuff and how doctors don't study nutrition, they only study how to treat a sickness and not how to cure it. He told me how they had found a cure for the AIDS virus through electrical pulses in the blood and how they can cure arthritis and diabetes and cancer and all of this stuff. He then continued telling me how I shouldn't eat wheat, barley, rye etc... because the protein chains that they contain are too complex for my body to breakdown and that gluten is dangerous, and how I should never cook things in oil because it is cancerous, and how I shouldn't eat corn because it is cancerous and all of this stuff.  My companion just sat there playing with a nearby bush because we were speaking English. But then he told me all about this company called Longevity and how I need to be on this 90 vitamin and mineral thing so that I can be healthier and all of this stuff. Just thought you M.D.'s at home would like to hear about that conversation. hahah 

On Friday we had interviews with president. They went really well. He talked to me a lot about going to play ball at USU and whatnot. He told me how I needed to be prepared to stay strong. I mentioned to him that the coaches wanted to call him and talk to him and he said that was fine and that he would be happy to work out that situation because he honestly loves ball.  He always talks about how in his ward at home, the new bishop is the Nike CEO´s bodyguard or something and how all of his kids play ball and he always shows me pics and videos on his phone so that is pretty cool. 

Sunday was a pretty good day. Haha we had a good attendance to church. The only thing is that Jorge, the dude we were gonna baptized this Saturday is going to Huancayo for his business all week so we gotta baptize him next week or in February now. But we were walking in the street and I saw this old dude working on an old Slug Bug so we went over and asked if we could help him out.  We ended up changing his mirrors and doing all of this stuff on the interior because he is fixing it to be able to sell it soon. We also helped this lady in the ward fix the electricity in her house. She burned a couple of cables and we went to one of the members that owns a tool store and got more and then went and changed them out, so that was fun. 

Outside of that nothing else really fun has happened. They changed some of the rules in the mission again and so now this is our new schedule to get on email. Its from 9-11 the morning here so I think that's 7-9 there. I like it because doing it in the afternoon kinda sucked. We also no longer have to wear suits to meeting and to church in the summer, which is awesome because sometimes we suffer! But ya that is about it. This week we are gonna watch and sustain the new prophet and then we have a multi-zone conference on Friday. Also the pope is gonna be coming here to Surco on Thursday. Idk what that day is gonna be like because everyone is gonna be in the street celebrating and wanting to see him so it could be dangerous. I saw in the street that they got their pope-mobile done and idk if I told you already that they are gonna spend like $40 mil on his visit alone so ya pretty interesting...

Elder Mortenson
Week 75

Yo waddup!?

So it was a normal week again. Just the same thing everyday but ya its chill! On Wednesday Elder Gozalvez did exchanges with me and it went pretty well. It was pretty weird being together again with the elder that trained me but it was pretty cool this time. He was in Surquillo, my area a long time ago and so he came back and showed me all of his old investigators and old references and whatnot that he had received when he was here. It went well. 

We ate lunch with the Llanos family and it was pretty sweet. They cooked a turkey they had saved from new year's so they gave us some. It was good. 

Last week I made a contract with some of our investigators. We are teaching a family that has never been to church. The aren't married and have 3 daughters, 2 of which are old enough to be baptized, but the elders have never been able to get them to church before which seemed weird to me. So I made a deal that if they went to stake conference by themselves, without our help, that I would buy them their favorite type of cake. But if they didn't go they had to make us some crazy food from the jungle that my companion loves. So anyway they went to stake conference and President Amato (the Mission President) spoke! In his talk, he invited everyone to get baptized, so it went really well that our investigators were there to hear that. Jorge, a dude that we are teaching, went as well and he is gonna get baptized pretty soon. Later, we introduced an "eternal investigator" to president and president invited him to get baptized, too... so ya its going pretty well. We should have some good baptisms for these upcoming months. 

Today was a good day though. We watched Moana, which was pretty cool and that's about it. I just hung out with Elder Brooksby and Halls all day. I had a dream last night that I got home with Elder Halls´ group so that was weird, not saying it was a sign.  I've been actually writing in my journal lately which is going really well. I'm trying to remember what happened in the last 8 months because that was the last time that I wrote hahhahhahah. Lets just say that being a Zone Leader for all of those months didn't leave me much time to write, but I am writing a lot of the past experiences I had so that I can at least have something to remember them with. 

But that is about it. I'm just enjoying my time here in Surquillo. 

Elder Mortenson
Week 74

It was good to talk to you guys on Christmas. Idk if anything has changed other than the fact Brett (Bryce's older brother) is now rocking the Thor look haha. 

So even though you guys are off from school the work continues onward. This week was actually normal. Now that I don't have so many responsibilities I don't have as many stories to tell you guys about either because it is 100% work in my area now. All is going well though as far as my companion and the area and everything. I found out that part of our area used to be called Chicago Chico because of how ghetto it is, so that is cool. I don't feel like it's that bad though...

So reflecting on my time as Zone Leader, I think the biggest thing that I learned was that you just gotta act like you know what you're doing and hope it will turn out fine. That was one of the biggest things Elder Garate taught me and so I'm applying it as a district leader now because when I give trainings I just act like I know what I'm doing, even though I've never been District Leader before. hahahha. 

I was just reading some things about Christ during these last couple of weeks and would like to share them with you guys. Christ had one single mission. The miracles he performed, the teaching he gave, nothing he did was of greater importance than the mission he had to fulfill. He understood why he had come to the earth when he testified of his mission before Pilate saying that unto that end had he been born. I was thinking about Amulek's teachings in Alma 34 about the atonement and what the words "infinite atonement" means. The atonement was infinite in every aspect; the being that performed it, the depth, the coverage, everything about it was infinite. That is why God could forgive sins before the atonement had even been performed, because he knew Christ would be faithful no matter what and would complete his mission. It doesn't matter where, when, or how we have done something, there is no gap in all of the universe that the atonement does not reach. Celebrating his birth, we celebrate his mission and what he did for each and every one of us. 

I would also like to share a couple of talks with you guys that really strengthened my faith. One talks about the book of Mormon and how it was translated and the other about the organization of the church. I will put the links in here. 

So all is well! It is now officially the last year of my mission. That is a kind of scary thing to think about. Weird to think that I didn't stand on American soil in all of 2017. But ya I hope that you guys really study the talks and that they can strengthen your faith as well. Sorry I don't have a ton of stuff to share in this email. 
12/23/17 (9 days ago)