Monday, October 27, 2014

They Were So Prepared For Us. It Was Amazing!

Hello everyone!!

Wow, sacrament sounds like it was amazing, I am so glad :).  Dont worry about me! Jaxsen hopefully your hand heals quick!  ouch! Keep cooking though, you'll be all ready for your mission :).  And ali, keep playing the piano for me!! 

It's been an AMAZING week!  Seriously!  This tuesday, we had district meeting and were talking about our goals for the month.  As a district (us and 2 elders), we had goals to have 27 new investigators.  We only had 6, with one week left! We decided it would be tough but we would still try to get 21 new investigator that week!

After district meeting, we decided to go try to teach a lady named F--.  We had met her the week before and she had asked us to come teach her and her friend C-- some time.  She told us she lived in Toptop (we've never been there before), close to a certain store, but we basically had no idea how we would find her!  We caught a motor, and started driving to Toptop and talking to the driver.  He was from Toptop! What are the odds! We asked him if he knew F--, and turns out she was his COUSIN! He drove us straight to her house!  That was a huge miracle.  Her house was way back from the road, we never would have been able to find her without help!  And then, F-- and C-- and their kids were all home!  That hardly ever happens even when you have a lesson planned with them!  They were SO prepared for us, it was amazing.  After their lesson, we walked with a little girl named I-- and taught her family too!  AND THEN, walked just down the road, and taught another four ladies.  It was amazing.  We have never had a day anywhere near as successful as that!  We found 11 new investigators that day, more than we had the rest of the transfer!  And we were doing the same things as we always do, just walking around talking to everyone we can.  It wasn't us!  It's all the Lord, preparing people for us. I know i'ts true!  This is His work. :) I'm so blessed to be a part of it!  Even though we didn't quite make it to our goal, we got SO much closer than we thought we would!  There are so many miracles in this work!  

I need to go! I love you all so much and am praying for you :)

Sister Mortensen

A few more words from Brianne:

Bri, Here are some questions we would like answered!  

Josh:  Are you in one of the nicest parts of your mission?

Josh, we're in one of the most rural areas!  It's really spread out.  There is pretty much just one main road through town, and a few little side streets.  There's one nice ish store with food, and then some little stores with lots of fresh fruit and veggies and some other stuff.  It wasn't hit too hard by the storm though, so theres not a lot of that  kind of damage.  

Ali:  When you studies the scriptures, do you study in Cebuano or English?

Ali, I'll study in english usually, and then some cebuano for language study :).  Half the time in lessons i'll have out both while we teach!

Jax:  What is the craziest food you have eaten?

Jax, balut! It really wasn't that bad though :).  Also, we've had lechon a couple times now! Is a whole pig that they roast over a fire.  And then they just cut it up and eat it, skin and all!  It's SO good :)

Lauri:  Are you taking lots of pictures?  Remember your mission presidents wife advice?   Send home your favorite 2 pictures every week!!!!!!!!

Mom....kinda.... :) Not enough yet!  It's hard to send pictures every week, they take time to load, and not every internet place has usb ports! I will try my best though!

Brad:  What have you found to be the most effective way to bring the spirit into discussions?  Speaking a foreign language must be hard.

Dad,  we always sing a hymn at the beginning.  That helps a lot.  Also, we don't memorize and of the lesson, we just do our best with the language and try to follow the spirit.  And mix in a little english :). Most people understand english pretty well.  It is hard, but it's not too bad :)  And wow, that does sound like a busy day.  A great day too though! thank you for all the work and dedication you put into your calling. You are amazing! I love you too!  

Sunday, October 19, 2014

It Is So Cool To See The Spirit Helping The Branch Missionaries As Well

Hello family,

OH MY GOODNESS you guys are hilarious!! Haha i loved the letter so much! haha i just laughed for about 5 minutes straight reading it. That quote was great but i think its wrong...most families are like fudge, but ours is just a bag of nuts! :)

Today has been a wonderful day! we went to a farm and played capture the flag! It was so cool! there were ponds all over and little paths going all around, and surrounded by rice fields.  Ah. It was so pretty!  They made us lunch too, and it was SO good :). Thats one of the many many things i love about being a missionary, is getting to know other missionaries! They're all great:).  I am TIRED today though! But its all good, ill be ready for work tomorrow :).

this week has been great! we got to work with the branch missionaries again this week, and it is soo helpful.  the people we are teaching relate better to the people who live here with them.  Also, it is so cool to see the spirit helping the branch missionaries as well.  The ones we have been working with lately are younger and havent been on missions, so they don't really know the lessons or anything.  They are pretty nervous sometimes, but during the lessons, they are always SO good! They just always seem to know what to say and how to help the people we teach! I love it :).

I finally got to try balut!  And it was pretty good! haha i dont know why people make such a big deal about it. but mine was still pretty young, no feathers or bones haha, so that might make a difference... It pretty much just tasted like a normal egg though haha.  also i had jackfruit for the first time! it is HUGE and is really good!

Yesterday we got to talk in church again!  We speak every second sunday.  Since conference was last week we thought we wouldn't speak this month, but we did! and we found out when they announced it... ahh!! so we only had while they passed the sacrament to prepare, which is quick since the branch is small.  Haha. it was pretty scary, but it went alright!  I think they understood some of it :).  I spoke about the joys of missionary work and how they can be missionaries too.  This work is the best! :)

These people's lives over here are so much different than ours.  Life is hard over here. I have always know i've been very blessed in my life, but i definitely have not really just how blessed i really am. These people are still so happy though! they are amazing. i'm grateful to be living here among them.  count your blessings :)

Goodness I love you all :).  I'm glad you got to spend some time together at the cabin, it sounds like it was a lot of fun!  I can't wait to hear from you again next week!

Love, sister Mortensen 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

I Am So Grateful For The Gospel and For This Chance I Have To Give Back A Little

Hey family! 

It sounds like you're all doing great! Soccer sounds as busy as ever, i'm sure thats so fun!  And ali, it sounds like your pretty much recovered from mono! i'm so glad!!  And you got to hike timp finally too!  It really is beautiful up there, i love it.  We'll have to all hike it again when i get back! Jax, thats pretty awesome you finished a 50 mile bike ride, and even right after your soccer game!  Holy moly! How's school going for all of you? I'm sure you're all loving it SO much :). 

So, one of the best things this week was we got to watch conference!! Saturday morning our branch president texted us and said he had the dvds, and we were going to watch it that afternoon and the next day!  We had some lessons we had to reschedule which was kinda a bummer, but it's all good i think.  And we got to watch conference!!  Since it was such short notice, we didn't really get to invite any investigators to conference, so that was kinda a bummer.  We texted everyone we could, but only a couple made it.  It was such a great conference though!!  I think elder Bednar's talk about why we shared the gospel was my favorite.  I also loved Jorg's (haha i can't remember his last name) talk about how to be confident in the Lord's presence.  And also both of President Uchtdorf's talks.  Especially the "Lord, is it I?" one.  Wow.  Thats something I really needed.  I LOVE CONFERENCE haha.  It's the best.

Other than that, the rest of the week was pretty great as well! The b--'s are doing pretty well! They have been really busy so we only got to visit them once this week, on sunday.  They read a little but are still just really busy.  Just one verse a day is what we keep telling them!  We talked to them kinda about what elder bednar talked about in conference.  We talked about how the gospel had blessed our lives SO MUCH, and that we were there to give them some of that joy.  We just want to help them know for themselves! The spirit was strong, and i just hope they can recognize it and feel that it's true! 

The d--'s are as great as ever :).  We took some branch missionaries with us, g-- and m--, and taught about the atonement.  They know it's true, and have SO much faith.  It's amazing to see.  I love them!

We also went with g-- and m-- to see a new investigator we just found named c--.  One day when we were walking to teach the b--'s, it was POURING and we walked some kids home from school under our umbrellas.  One of them was C--'s son, and we stopped and talked to her and set a time to come back and teach! So this was our second time teaching her.  She is doing great!  She got along really well with g-- and m-- and was asking about coming to church with them!  Members are so important, especially for us since we have a hard time understanding sometimes.  The people we teach need friends in the church! Luckily our branch missionaries are pretty great at helping us :).

Mom I love that song! (I Will by Hillary Week).   I remember it from before, and it is so good  :). We can only listen to hymns, but it is a great one for sure :).  Sounds like it was a really great night!

 I am realizing now even more than ever how very blessed I am.  I am SO grateful for all the amazing people I have met in my life, and for the gospel, and for this chance I have to give back a little. I love you so much!

Sis Mortensen

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Holy Ghost Is Amazing! It Really Is The Universal Language.

Hello family! 

Of course it's been a fantastic week, I'm a missionary in the philippines :).  I loved reading your notes from general conference! And I cant wait to watch it! It will be in a few weeks for us, but that's alright. I'm glad you got to see the pictures on facebook! I was hoping she'd post them :). We took Sister Maurer to two of our lessons last week! And then they came to church on sunday with us.  She went to teach the B--'s, the family i told you about last week, and a recent convert family (the D--'s, who are THE BEST).  She doesn't speak any cebuano, but she shared her testimony in english and you could see that they felt the spirit.  The holy ghost is amazing!  It really is the universal language. Which is good, because I've been trying to learn that language all my life! Cebuano is still pretty new to me. It's getting better slowly though! 

Yesterday we had a lesson with the B--'s.  We had planned to start teaching the plan of salvation.  We got there and they had a bunch of questions about the Book of Mormon, so we ended up just explaining more about that.  The spirit was strong, and by the end they seemed excited to read and seemed like they REALLY wanted to understand it all! They are really busy and haven't really read much yet, so we challenged them to read just one verse a day.  Hopefully that will get them reading.  We're super excited to go back and talk to them again!!

One thing that was a bit frustrating this week was we kept getting punted!  There was a day or two when every single one of our teaching appointments fell through.  But we know the Lord is preparing people for us to teach.  we just have to keep talking to everyone we can and keep working! I think we are going to really improve our patience here :).  And there is always some little miracle that keeps us excited and motivates us to keep going.  I am so grateful for that! I know the Lord is blessing us :).

Ah. I love you guys.  I pray for you all the time! Hopefully you can feel my prayers too :).  thank you so much for your love and support :).  I know our Heavenly Father is watching over all of us and blessing us! I love you!!

Sis Mortensen

A few more words from Sister Mortensen:

Sorry its so late and that we email at random times.  We usually go to Sogod to email which is a 3 hour bus ride and when we come just depends on what else we need to do.  Today has been great! it's been rainy so it's been cooler today, so thats always nice :).  I'm feeling great!  I missed watching conference with all of you though! we don't get to watch it til maybe 3 weeks later...  Yeah the hot and humid weather takes some getting used to :).  But I don't feel sticky ALL the time anymore, so it's getting better!  there are some air conditioners, and the buses are all open so they're usually cool too.  in sogod we get lunch and buy groceries too.  I can get pretty much anything i need here in sogod, so i don't know what i'll want in the package! definitely the ensign though :)  my area wasn't really hit by the storm too bad, just strong winds and rain mostly.  The food is all really good!  nothing has been the worst yet, but I haven't tried balut yet, so maybe that :). yep the regular email is coming :) it'll be a bit short because of the pictures though. sorry.  washing clothes by hands just takes forever, but its fine haha. The water is in the house, and we have a filter so we can drink it.  But I do need to get going.  It's been great to talk to you though!!


Manila MTC

Manila MTC

Sister Kalua-Santiago & Sister Mortensen at Isang Lupi

Zone at Isang Lupi

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