Friday, August 29, 2014

It Is A Sacred Privilege To Be A Part Of The Lords Work

Hello to my favorite people!!

It's so good to hear from you guys, it sounds like you guys have had a great week!  I know I have! I ran into Erika, and she left for Costa Rica on Monday! She is the sweetest, I've missed her and all my other wonderful roommates.  It's also soo fun to see Bekah every couple of days! And I also ran in to Kaylie Bartholomew and Mandy Estes on the way home from the temple today! It's been pretty fun to see a few people I know from home :).  This week we've been doing a lot of practice teaching and just speaking as much Cebuano as we can.  I said the prayer for a devotional on Tuesday and had to pray in English, and it was so weird! But I think it came out in normal English haha.  

Tuesdays devotionals was one of my favorites though, which is saying a lot, considering how much I love speaking in front of a whole bunch of people.   One thing that I remember was he talked about how Enoch was young and struggled with language (which sounds very familiar..), and the Lord told him to go forth and do as He had commanded.  I know that if we will work as hard as we can and be obedient, we will blessed with the spirit.  Which is SOOO important! We have no way to do this work without it!  

One of the things I've been thinking about a lot this week is something that came from our lesson in Relief Society.  She talked about how missionary work is about bring people home, bringing them back to God.  These people that we are going to teach have families and have people worrying about them.  And we need to do everything we possibly can to find them and to help them.  It reminds me of Pres. Monson's talk about continuing the rescue.  It's a sacred privilege to be a part of the Lord's work, and I hope I can do everything I can to bring people home.

It's so crazy to think that I will be in the Philippines a week from now.  I can't wait!  My favorite part of the mtc has been the spirit here.  I've learned so much in these past couple weeks, I can't even begin to tell you all of it.  I've also loved getting to know the missionaries here, they are the best.  Espescially my companions.  Goodness I'm going to miss them.  Mom remember how we were talking a while ago about how I was lucky to get such great roommates, and you said I was blessed?  That definitely happened again.  We got our flight plans last friday, after I had emailed you guys.  Both my district and the other district all are on the same flights to Manila.  Half of both districts are going to Tacloban, half of mine to Cebu, and half of the other to Cebu East.  Thursday the 4th we fly from SLC at 11:15am to tokyo narita and arrive at 4:55pm. I'm guessing we'll call at slc before we leave? I have no idea about tokyo, but (I think) it will be like 2 in the morning if I were to call.  So we'll see.  I'll send you a letter if we ever find out, haha sorry.  What phone do you want me to call?  I can't wait to talk to you all!! Then from tokyo to Manila! We'll stay there at the mtc for a couple days I think to get paperwork done and visa stuff.  At least that's what we've heard, we're not really sure what happens after that haha.  Hopefully I'll make it to Tacloban eventually :). 

Mom, it sounds like your birthday was great! I'm glad you like the bear!  That is so sweet of Sis Michaelis to do that.  And hopefully you got my letter by now, sorry it probably didn't get there by your birthday.  I had it all written and ready to go last friday, but forgot to stick it in the mail till the day before.  Your cake looks delicious!  I'm so glad you had a wonderful day :).

Oh dad, do you remember an Elder Griffin from your mission? Elder Griffin from my district's dad served in Tulsa the same time you did.  That would be pretty crazy if you know him!  Also, good luck with your competition!!

It's wornderful to hear that ali is finally back to playing soccer and has a little energy again!  Hopefully it keeps getting better:).  And that's awesome your learning road trip, thats my favorite!!  Jax, I can't wait to see that video when i get home!!  Kumusta, ako si Sister Mortensen (hello, I am Sister Mortensen).  Unsa ang imong ngalan? (What is your name?) 

Oh I almost forgot. Yep I did pick a scripture for my missionary plague (haha I typed plaque the first time.  Hopefully there are no missionary plaques any time soon).  D&C 100:5-8! And you can pick the treat for me, everything you guys make is delicious :). Thank you so much!! I don't think I need anything else.  I might possibly be sending a couple things home, we'll see as I start packing haha. 

Thank you so much for everything! I love all you guys soooo much, and pray for you all the time.  I can't wait to talk to you in a few days!!

Love, Sis Mortensen

My District

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Facebook Surprise!

Look at the picture I saw on Facebook!  Bri with one of her good friends Bekah.  Bekah works at the MTC.  Thanks Bekah for the picture!  It was the best birthday present ever!

Friday, August 22, 2014

I Know That I Am Doing Exactly What The Lord Wants Me To Do With My Life Right Now

Dear Family,

Thank you sooo much for the doughnuts!! I think my district loves you almost as much as I do right now! :) And the shirts are perfect, the large is just fine, and I probably won't need another one.  Thanks for getting those for me so quick!  And I have thought about a scripture for the mission plaque thing, but haven't been able to pick just one yet :). I'll try to for next week! I cant wait to see the family pictures!

Haha sorry dad that I'm not there to help you with math :). is a super great website :).

For the camera that would be super nice, but we're not really supposed to have anything that can connect to the internet.  But if you can just send pictures it might be ok?  And also I'm not sure if there's wifi to use in the philippines?  I don't know for sure. 

Sounds like life is going great for you guys!! That is super exciting that school is starting again.  I cant believe jaxsen is in jr high! And ali's in high school and josh is a senior.  Haha wow.  Ali, lunch gets better once they start doing flex and only half of you get to go to lunch early.  Haha it was packed when I was there, I can't imagine how bad it is now!  Thats good to here that ali is starting to feel a bit better.  Hopefully she can play soccer soon!  And brayden is down at school again! Good luck down there! Don't get married TOO quick :).

Thats so fun that dad and josh both have hiked timp.  I remember when the three of us went, that was soo fun.  And so pretty too, I loved it.  It sounds like dad's team is probably going to win the competition!

My week has been wonderful!  We started teaching each other (acting as investigators) this week, instead of our teachers.  It has gone pretty great! It actually seems a lot easier since you all know about the same amount of cebuano, so we can actually understand when they ask a question or something.  So I've really liked it :)  We also got to teach a member in the philippines over skype! It was amazing!  We taught about how we can recieve revelation through the book of mormon.  And we actually understood some of what she was saying!  Wow.  I love cebuano, even though it is a bit frustrating :). This week we learned how to sing head, shoulders, knees and toes in cebuano! Haha we play that or another game called andam, kits when we have a break from studying.  

Last sunday we had Jenny Oaks Baker, the daughter of Dallin H Oaks, speak to us for the devotional.  She also played the violin for us, and she is AMAZING.  It kinda makes me wish I had learned the viola better haha.  She spoke about all the lessons she had learned from music, since it has always been such a big part of her life.  One thing she said was that you know you're doing exactly what the Lord wants you to do with your life right.  And I do know that! Even though it did take me a long time to decide to serve, I KNOW this is what I'm supposed to do right now :).  I hope I can always say that I'm doing what the Lord wants! And then Sis Baker played "I'll go where you want me to go," and it was beautiful, of course haha :).

Well I better get going, but I'll send some pictures in a minute! I miss you and love you guys soo much!!  

Love, Sis Mortensen

My District

Friday, August 15, 2014

He Taught Almost Completely From The Scriptures, Which I Loved

Hello family!

Will you thank kathy michaelis for the package for me? That was so sweet of her!

Sounds like you are all staying busy with soccer, as always! I'm glad ali is starting to feel a little better! Hopefully she gets better quick so she can actually play soccer :). Thats cool she still gets to be a part of the team though, and gets to help coach. 

I do remember the members from north carolina, they were soo sweet!  They really are the nicest people.  That must have been a lot of fun to see them again.  Are they the ones that said they weren't going to visit any family or friends when they came out? If they were, I can understand why they visited you anyways, you guys are the best!!

It sounds like you all enjoyed youth conference a lot! Thats great!  I know I always loved those, especially the ward ones.  My favorite part is always the testimony meeting at the end.  I love hearing everyone's testimonies and just feeling the spirit.   

My week has flown by, again! I really love it here.  We haven't got to pick up missionaries from the curb yet.  But me and my companions are the sister training leaders (haha sorry I forgot to tell you last week I think) since we're the oldest, so we did give all the new missionaries in our zone a tour and stuff like that the night they got here.  So that was fun to meet them right as they got here and were still a bit overwhelmed by it all :).  They are doing great now though!  The new ones are going to different missions and are learning Ilongo.  

Cebuano is coming along alright.  Right now we are starting to get into some of the more complicated grammar stuff, so thats a bit challenging.  But its coming.  Our teacher says he feels like were are all progressing just fine to be ready to leave, so thats good.  We teach lessons at least every other day.  Honestly, that is what is helping the language the most.  It's easier to memorize words when you know you're actually going to be using them in the next day or two.  And then they stick in your mind better because you can kinda remember how the fit into the lesson you taught.  At least thats how it is for me haha.  

My favorite part of this week was the tuesday devotional.  Well I guess thats kinda my favorite of every week haha.  This week the speaker went over pretty much all of what you would want to know about repentance.  He taught almost completely from the scriptures, which I loved.  It was wonderful.  Then after, we have a district devotional review. (I don't know if I've told you about these, emails and writing in my journal kinda blends together haha.)  We meet for about an hour in our classroom after the devotional, and talk about what we learned, or questions, or anything like that.  One of the things the speaker asked during his talk was about how YOU were truly converted to the gospel, so that is what we all talked about.  These missionaries in my district are going to be AMAZING :).  

Well, I better get going, but THANK YOU for writing to me:).  I especially loved your quote from Elder Ballard, mom.  And the words of wisdom are wonderful, as always :).  I havent been writing any down yet from here, but I'll start!  One thing I do remember though.  The word for 'killed' in cebuano is 'patay', and 'died' is 'matay'.  Our very first lesson the friday we got here, one of the elders mixed up the words and said "Jesus Christ killed for us"! Apparently the teacher could barely keep from laughing haha.  And then like a week ago, Elder Kim did the same thing in another lesson!  I think we all remember that word by now though. Haha oops.

I love you guys and am praying for you all!  I hope you have a fabulous week!

Love, Sis Mortensen

Sister Mortensen, Sister Chu, Sister Piutau

Sister Malito (the solo sister), Sister Piutau, Sister Chu, Sister Mortensen

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Gift Of Tongues Is Very Real

Hello family!

I'm so sorry to hear about Sis Adams. The faith Bro Adams and Weston have is amazing.  I too am so glad to have the knowledge of the plan of salvation.  We were talking in a class last week about the plan, and someone said that even if you just invited the spirit and gave a simple, 2 minute overview of the plan and our purpose on earth, it could literally change their lives.  I am so grateful to know that He has a plan for each of us.

Well, time is definitely still flying here at the mtc. The old districts in our branch left this week, so my district and the other district that came in with us are the old "experienced" districts now.  We got three new districts though, so thats fun! It makes me realize how much I have learned of cebuano so far, and also how little time we have to be here.  I really want to make the most of the short time we have here to learn and do all I can! 

Thank you all SO MUCH for your letters, I have loved reading them! Sorry I haven't been great at replying yet. These will be a little scattered, since you guys rock at writing letters, and me, not so much :).

Yep I have seen Tanner, twice now I think! I haven't talked to him a whole lot though, just a little.  And I've talked to Sis Rush too.  There's actually quite a few kids here from lehi that I recognize.  It sounds like you've been very busy lately!  Was the competition just for the month of july? If so you probably won, 40,000 steps in one day is crazy!!  Thank you for the scriptures you sent me, I've enjoyed reading and thinking about them.  I've been trying to pick a scripture for my mission, but its kinda tough to pick just one haha.  

That is so fun you get to go to youth conference! I remember my first year of girls camp, and I was so glad to have you there! That will be a blast! The schedule here is busy, but really not that bad.  And I'm sleeping just fine :). Except on Wednesday night, I only got maybe 5 hours of sleep! I was up helping the departing sisters get everything ready and then taking them to the bus and all that. Haha so yesterday was a little rough, but today is much better :).  For clothes , could you send me one more of those half under shirt things? No rush, theres just one or two shirts that are more comfortable if I'm wearing one.  Other than that everything is great!  I feel like I have what I need. I am at the main campus, it's all the spanish missionaries at the west campus.  I am so glad you are feeling peace with me going to the philippines.  I have felt that peace since I got my call, and know it will all be fine :).

My first few days were pretty similar to yours is sounds like.  Lots of meetings and all that.  One of my favorite things is whenever theres a ton of missionaries singing hymns like Called to Serve and Army of Helaman.  Our teaching is getting better!  It helps a bunch when you can actually kinda understand them haha.  The last few lessons i've just taken a little flash card with a few cebuano words on it, and this last one was with no notes!  The gift of tongues is very real :). When do you move down to suu? Any jobs yet? Thats so fun that you got to spend some time with some Tabor City members again! Was it any of the people we met? I'm sure it was great to get to visit with them again.

In the gym theres a record board, and soccer juggles in a row is ONLY 6016.  So start practicing for when its your turn to be here :). Anyways, thanks for the quotes you sent be about the talk.  I too hope that I will always follow the spirit.  There is NO way I could do this on my own! I have felt that many times during my stay here.  How is soccer going?  Are you preparing for your mission!? I'm so excited for you. You won't regret anything you do now to prepare :).  I know I wish I had prepared more.  I know you're going to be great :). Do you get to go to youth conf or do you have soccer?
(Ali--sorry I don't have enough time, and I wrote you last week :).  Love you!)

Thank you so much for sharing your testimony.  I also know that the church is true, and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.  I really am having the best time ever!  That is cool you love diving so much! I think you said you were best at the squirrel dive! What is that?  Also what did you do to your back, and are you back to playing soccer yet? Hopefully.  You and ali would probably go crazy if you can't play for too long.  The food here is alright.  It makes me glad I had a kitchen at byu though! My favorite are the wraps, I have one probably 4 or 5 times a week haha.  What are you doing while they are all at youth conference?

Well, I love you all!  I wish I had more time to tell you everything, but there's too many things to do! I love you all, and hope you have a wonderful week!!

Love, Sis Mortensen

Friday, August 1, 2014

God Truly Does Answer Our Prayers, Even The Little Ones Like An Elder Getting A Short Letter From Home

Hello Family,

Haha ok, the words of wisdom are HILARIOUS.  I'm sitting here laughing in the laundry room and everyone probably thinks I'm crazy, but oh well! Those are the best!!

The MTC is just as awesome as ever! The last week has seriously flown by.  Everybody here says that the first few days are so slow then it picks up, but they really have flown by from the beginning.  It's great being so busy! And by the way dad, I have had NO problem with the sleeping schedule :). Cebuano is coming pretty well! And yes I can now remember how to say goodbye-- ayo-ayo! My companions are literally the best, I love them.  We kinda got another one too actually! Sister Malito is the only sister in her whole branch, so she lives with us and we walk her to her class and pick her up, and take her with us to meals and stuff like that.  She's from the same stake as sister Piutau in Austrailia, and is going to Fiji.  I think she is samoan haha, so more diversity!  Sister Piutau speaks english (thats what they speak in austrailia mom :) ) and understands a little tongan.  Sister Chu speaks mandarin chinese fluently and is really good at english too.  A couple times a day she'll ask what are word means is all.  She actually went to school in manila so she knows a tiny bit of tagolog too.  My district is us sisters then 3 companionship's of elders.  It is so much fun!! Haha we probably have to much fun together actually. There is an elder from austrailia and one from korea, and the rest are american.

P days we always get to go to the temple! That is always wonderful, I'm gonna miss it when i'm in the philippines.  We also do laundry and have a tiny bit of free time to write in journals or something.  Tonight we have a normal class, and study time, like always :).  The lessons have actually gone pretty well! And by pretty well I mean we THINK we understand most of what he says and can struggle through what we try to teach haha.  But it's getting much better :).  Teaching in another language really forces me to make the lessons as simple as possible, which was kinda hard for me when I taught "missionary" lessons before I left.  I think its a lot better for the investigators that way too.  We taught our first investigator (whos just a teacher here) five times this past week and will get one or two new investigators next week.  The best part here is definitely the spirit. I can really feel tons of help in learning the language and adjusting to the busy schedule and all that.  There's not really a worst part :) but the hardest part is definitely the language haha.  Of course :).

One miracle that happened today, was for some reason I got a dearelder letter for an Elder Brandon Mortensen.  This morning I had prayed almost as an after thought that I would find the elder to give it to him, and had it in my pocket.  Then at lunch, I definitely saw him!! But he was walking on the other side of the table, and didn't hear me call out after I got over the shock of seeing him haha.  But it was really cool.  God truly does answer our prayers, even the little ones like an elder getting a short letter from home.  Next time I see him I'll be SURE to get it to him.

Tuesday the devotional was by Brother Groberg, the one who wrote the other side of heaven! It was so good!  I loved how he said how everything you do should be part of your testimony.  How you act, who you are, what you say, how happy you are, and everything.  The gospel is a message of joy, and we need to be happy and excited when we share it! I can't wait to get out there and do that!

Thank you so much for letting me know about everyone.  I'll try to write you all back next week, but thank you SO MUCH for the letters! It was so fun to find them in my suitcase and get the dearelders! My family is the best :). I love you guys and miss you!

Sis Mortensen

Sister Piutau, Sister Chu, Sister Mortensen

Brianne's Study Notebook