Thursday, January 28, 2016

Pictures From Sister Maurer

She's Coming Home!

Group of Missionaries Leaving

Sister Mortensen Talking to President Maurer

Monday, January 25, 2016

Last Missionary Email - I Know This Church Is True And Is Real and It Works For All of Us!

thank you thank you mom and dad both for your letters :).  ah you guys are the best and seem to know exactly what i'm feeling and exactly what i need to hear. haha.  i love you so much and am excited to see you all!  and.... i have no more time now to email :)  but i'll TALK to you soon IN PERSON!!  can't wait :).  i know this church is true and is REAL and it WORKS for all of us, for everything, if we'll just come unto HIM.  

love, sister mortensen!!

Monday, January 18, 2016

My Mission Has Been Far From Perfect, But I Can Say That I Did The Best I Was Able To Do At The Time

Hello everyone!!!

It's great to hear from all of you! dad we're closer than we've been in a long time!!  same time zone i think?  maybe? welcome to this side of the world :). (Brad is in Singapore on a business trip). but yes.  i can hardly believe another week has gone by.... and only one more to go!  oh goodness!  i will mostly likely be able to email next week, but it might just be quick.  not sure yet.  Sunday will be my last day in allen :(.  after church we will travel to allen, and then that night or early monday morning we will travel to tacloban!  and then over the next couple of days, we have interviews and meetings and i'm not sure what else :).  and then wednesday morning, fly out!  crazy crazy. mixed feelings for sure :)

thank you so so so much mom for the talk you sent:). as the end of my mission has been approaching, much faster than i expected, i kept feeling that there was so much more i wish i could have done, so much i wish i had learned faster or done better.  i kept thinking how if i could just stay 6 months longer, like the elders, i could maybe just do that much more.  but lately, as in just yesterday haha, i've been starting to feel that it really is time to go home. as much as i am going to miss it, more than i can describe, it's time na haha.  my mission has been far far from perfect, but i can say that i did the best i was able to do at the time. it reminds me of how parents (haha my parents..) are so proud of anything their kids do, not because it's amazing or anything haha but just because it's their kids.  i think that's maybe how our heavenly father feels about all of his children. i just wish i could have done more! i wish i had known then what i do now, and more than that, so that i could have been a more capable instrument in his hands.   but i know that it's being here and serving a mission that has made me who i am na.   now it's just another transfer to another area, and we still just continue to follow the Lord and serve Him and everyone the best we can.  more opportunities to learn and to grow and to overcome my weakness and just become a better disciple of Christ. and one day, serve a couple mission! :) maybe hopefully by then i'll be as strong and as amazing as the other couples that serve, especially my grandparents, and those couples i've met serving here in tacloban.  i am so so so beyond grateful that i was able to come and serve the people here, and can only pray that i have helped the people here anywhere near as much as it has helped me.  it reminds me of king benjamin's address, that however much we are able to serve and give back, we are still unprofitable servants. but we can keep trying :).  and the Lord is pleased if we do everything we can :). it's amazing how understanding and merciful our Father is for us!  how blessed are we :)

i love you so so much!  i hope you all know that :).  josh, it is going to be so weird to be back home, but you're gone now... but like mom always says, you're right where you need to be :).  And you're so lucky!  thank you for your example and your diligence.  i'm praying for you, and all the family, always :).  take care!


Sister Mortensen

Monday, January 11, 2016

It Was Amazing How Strong The Spirit Was And You Can See How The Lord Has Been Acting In Her Life To Help Her To Come Back To Church

Hi familly,

Thank you for the wonderful email and for all the pictures!  what a fun time :).  the snow is BEAUTIFUL!  wow.  josh i love reading your emails always, sounds like you are doing great and are so happy :).  You're 6 months now!  time really does fly, and it only gets faster haha.  enjoy it while you can :).  and don't worry, we'll get to share stories one day haha :)

This week i wanted to tell you a story about this WONDERFUL family :) we taught sister M-- and brother J-- for the first time this week!  She grew up a member but went less active a couple of years ago, but i'll have to save that story for another time :).  But after that, she wouldn't really talk to members or missionaries anymore.  she'd be nice but wouldn't have a real conversation with them ever.  She moved away to where her husband is from, san antonio, which is the island where there's no lds church.  then a couple weeks before me and sister russon got to allen, they moved back here to be with her mom who was sick and in the hospital.  We met her and would always talk to her, and at first she didn't really want to talk but would just leave us to talk with her other sister and her mom who are active.  then back on christmas eve, we were walking by, and she was selling balut!  and brother j-- was there as well.  and i told sis russon this is her chance to try balut, and she was kinda reluctant but is a brave soul and decided to do it :).  so we sat down and ate it and it's kinda weird to eat, especially for the first time, haha so they enjoyed watching us eat it :).  and we were all just talking and laughing and they just really seemed to finally relax and open up with us.  so since then we always stop by and talk to them, and finally set up a time where we could share with them, this past week.  and we sat down, and sister just completely opened up and shared everything, and said that she is ready now to come back to church!  she had everything ready and was planning to come on sunday :).  brother is a little reluctant since he is still catholic he says, but is so so friendly and he's interested.  it was amazing how strong the spirit was and you can see how the Lord has been acting in her life to help her to come back to church.  ah man i love this little family :).  they have a little boy that is so so cute! yesterday, sister and the little boy came to church :) i know the Lord is watching over this little family and guiding them back to His church. i feel so grateful to be here at this time where she is ready to come back and get to see and hear her testimony.  it's the things like this that make it worth it :).  am we are so blessed!  goodness i love being a missionary.  and as you guys have pointed out haha, that's gonna be over sooner that i imagined!  crazy stuff.  but i've been thinking about it, and even more than i love being a missionary, i love being a member of His true church and knowing that we have a loving Heavenly Father, and He has a plan for us to be happy and to live with Him and our families forever.  I love when we have opportunities to help others come to Him as well, not only as a full time missionary, but as family and friends and neighbors. we all just need to keep helping each other!  we're all in this together diba? haha.  i'm grateful for your help as i've been here and all growing up as well. you guys are the best, and I love you all so very much :)  hope you have a wonderful week!

Sister Mortensen

Monday, January 4, 2016

We Had A Branch Fast And People I Have Never Seen Before Came To Church. It Was A Miracle!


wow sounds like you guys have had a wonderful week!  i always loved the week after christmas where you just get to spend time with the family!  so fun :) thank you for the pictures too!  i'm sending a couple... finally. haha. 

this has been a wonderful week!  things are kinda sorta getting back to normal.  which is good :).  power and water are back to normal now, and it is wonderful :).   a lot of people are still busy from after the bagyo, but we have been able to start teaching more again. we have a lot of work to do in our area though and LOTS of FINDING to do!  as much as i love the holidays, its nice they're over now and we can have more time to just work :)  just yesterday one area of ours got power now!  so we can work there at night.  but a lot of it still is not yet.  so we can start working at night now again :).  this weekend again we had our branch fast and people that i have never seen before came to church!!  it was a miracle, and everyone was so excited, it was so fun to see :).  One family we taught right after church, and they can't remember the last time they came to church.  They live far away, about 7 km and it's only accessible by motorcycle, which we can't ride, or walking.  we said we would try to come visit them sometime, but they said not to, they want to come to church and will just see us here on sunday :).  haha perfect.  

but wow i can't believe you got my travel papers! yeah i have not got them yet, buts thats ok i'll just wait :).  Sis Hansen, a couple missionary who organizes all that, did call just earlier and asked if i wanted to go to the TEMPLE on the way home!!! yes, of course :).  i guess i'll arrive in manila in the afternoon and will stay in a hotel and fly out the next morning.  i'll be on my own :( but they'll drop me off at the temple :).  i am soooo excited :).  dad, thank you for the letter :).  it's fine to speak that sunday, thanks for the heads up :).  i'll start thinking. haha mom you just plan whatever to eat, i have no idea :).  and i'll just wait a little to get my haircut, it's fine :).  you really do think of everything! always :)

The new year came quicker than I expected and I haven't decided all of the goals I want to set, but I wanted to share a couple so far... Work harder than ever this last month! help my companion be ready and confident in leading the area. be simply obedient. going home, continue personal study and prayer every day. ask my parents and leaders OFTEN for advice. and follow it :). get a job and be ready to start school again in the fall. keep finding ways to apply what i'm learning here on the mission to life back home. magnify a new calling!  plus more to come soon :)

This week I got to work with Sister Pui on exchanges! It was fun to be back with her after living in the same apartment 3 cycles in Biliran. She is one of the best missionaries i know and has such a good understanding of how the gospel works in our lives. She has been through a LOT in her life, and has a lot of wisdom to share haha :). Its so fun to be able to catch up again with missionaries :)  and in a month i'll be catching up with all of you!  but till then, just know that i LOVE YOU!  and am praying for you always.  hope you have another wonderful week!!!

Sister Mortensen

Pictures from our District Activity

Sister Mortensen with her District.
Sister Russon and Sister Mortensen at the top overlooking Allen, with some
 random little kid who decided to hike the whole way with them!
Sister Mortensen and her family in the mission.  Her shirt represents her nanay.  She was there in spirit.
Riding home in the back of a truck.  We were lucky it came by and we didn't have to walk the 8 km back.
By the way Filipinos are CRAZY drivers and drive the same whether there's people in the back or not!
Some of my favorite people, the G-family.
Sister Mortensen with the G--family