Monday, November 24, 2014

We Taught How God Is Our Loving Heavenly Father And The Gospel Blesses Families

Hello family! 

Its great to hear from you! Thank you for writing to me as always :). I love to hear about everything that is going on!  Haha i loved the words of wisdom this week :).  Haha our family is the best.  And ali!! You're driving! careful :).  Jax, you're hilarious :). That's awesome youre getting snow!! Haha have fun skiing, you guys are all gonna be better than me by the end of the season :).  Sounds like evening in excellence was great :).  Of course dad did a great job :) Josh? What is going on? you lost a game??? Haha its ok, it happens to the best of us :) Sounds like the temple was a great experience, I'm glad dad and brayden had a great time.  I miss the temple :).

This past saturday and sunday, we had district conference!  All our branch members that could come all rode the bus to sogod together, and we got to ride with them.  It was so fun!!  Five of our investigators came as well!  T-- and her family :).  I think I told you about them before...but I may have called her C-- :) haha we found out this week her name is actually T--.  Haha oops :).They seemed to really enjoy conference though!  We are planning to give them a baptismal date this week!  They are awesome :).  Our members are great, they were sitting and talking with them and making sure they felt comfortable :).  That's exactly what you have done with Louise, mom, and that's exactly what she needs.  Even if she isn't coming to church right now, you are still blessing her life and helping her feel God's love.  Thank you :). Great members make a huge difference.  Especially during lessons.  Whenever we teach with a member, we wonder how we can ever do it without them. 

The two girls, L-- and L--, are about 14 and 6 I think.  They don't have electricity in their house, so its tough to teach them since they get home from school when its dark already.  We usually only get to teach them saturdays.  They are still doing great though!  We are excited to teach them :). 

We usually only go on splits once a transfer.  Saturday night after district conference though, we got to go on splits with the sogod sisters!  I actually got to go with Sister Samayla, who I was on splits with before :).  After our lesson, she said that my cebuano had really improved from last time!! Haha so i actually have learned a little bit in my last 2 months :).  Thats good to hear haha.  I actually do feel like I am starting to understand a lot more of what people are saying.  It's pretty exciting!

Here's the story of the picture with the little girls :).  We were in toptop, an area that's further inland from where we usually teach.  We only have 2 families, F-- and C--, who we teach there.  We had an appointment with them, but they weren't home, so we walked up the road to just talk to people :).  We stopped to help one lady weed, but she wouldn't let us (which is what usually happens :) haha).  we were talking to her and her husband, and they had us come and sit in the shade since it was SO hot. They were so friendly!  They offered to make some sweet potato for us, so while they were inside cooking, these girls came by and sat and talked with us.  They were so cute!  Haha they thought it was so cool that we spoke cebuano.  We haven't seen them again yet, but we might go look for them sometime :).  The family was willing to listen to us, but said they are catholic and always will be, so we probably won't end up teaching them. Probably just talk to them a little if we walk by again :). 

This week, we had a kinda crazy experience!  We were studying one morning, and heard someone calling at the door.  We went to answer, and it was two jehovah's witness missionaries!  Apparently one of our members referred them to us :).  they asked if they could share with us, so we grabbed a book of mormon and some pamphlets and sat down on our porch with them.  They taught us a little about how the devil is real, and we need to be careful because the world is becoming more and more wicked.  They gave us some of their pamphlets.  Then we asked if we could share a little, and taught our usually first lesson about how God is our loving Heavenly Father and the gospel blesses families.  A little bit of a difference than their message :).  We introduced the book of mormon, and they stood up to leave.  we tried to give them one of our pamphlets, but she would NOT take it.  So I snuck one of ours into the middle of theirs, and gave them back :).  Haha :).  We watched them out the window as they were walking away, and they stopped right outside our gate and found it!  Haha they didn't come back though :).   So hopefully one of them will read it! :)

Another favorite part of this week was the bus ride home from district conference.  I sat next to R--, a sister who has her mission call to SALT LAKE!!! How cool is that! She is gonna be an awesome missionary, and i am so excited for her.  She always wants to practice her english too, so that is fun :).  I told her I'm gonna come find her when I'm back in utah!

Sorry for the scattered email :).  Haha it really has been a great week!  Time is flying though, I can't even believe it.  I am honestly LOVING it though.  So much!  Being a missionary is the best  :).  Thank you all for your examples, keep it up!  Love you :)

Sister Mortensen

Monday, November 17, 2014

She Said Her Goal Was To Get Baptized. I think We Can Help Her With That One!

Hello family!!  

It's been another wonderful week!  This sunday was especially exciting.  We had 6 of our investigators come to church!!  Everyone is pretty shy so its REALLY hard to get them to start coming.  We usually only have one  or two that come.  But this time, nanay B-- came for the first time, after teaching her for about two months!!  She came with a neighbor, and we were SO excited when we saw them walking up :).  She was worried about feeling like an "alien" at our church, since she hasn't been before.  But when she got here, she found out her cousin is a member and some of her friends!  She said she didn't feel out of place at all :). It's the same way I felt my first time going to church here!  Felt right at home.  How cool is our church :).  

We also picked up two sisters that we just began teaching, L-- and L--.  They loved church!  We talked about goals in sunday school, and L-- said her goal was to get baptized!!  Haha I think we can help her with that one. :)  They are super sweet girls though.  We are teaching them and their mom.

This week, we had splits with our stl's!!  We were all in Bato, since it's 4 hours away and it takes up almost 2 whole days if we swap areas.  It was really cool to be back in Bato, since I went there for splits last transfer. I was with Sister Monilar!  She is a great missionary, I really learned a lot from her.  She is very humble! She goes home soon, but was telling me how she still has a lot she needs to work on before she goes home.  Bato seems to be a really tough area, but she is still so optimistic and working so hard!  She is a great example :). We worked in the same area as I did before. Last time, with Sister Samayla, we OYM'd a new family and taught them the beginning of the first lesson.  This time, we went back, and taught them about the plan of salvation!  It was really cool to see and teach them again :).  We also visited with some other people I met before, and it was fun to catch up with them a little bit.  I also got to see sister Kaun, who was in my zone before, but transfered to bato!  We've missed her too :)  

Next week we have district conference in Sogod!  Our branch rents out a bus and everyone travels together saturday morning, and come back together sunday afternoon.  THere is a member there with a big empty apartement close to the church where everyone sleeps.  So everything is free for the members, they just get to come :).  Some of our investigators will hopefully come with us too!  That would be so great.  Ah. I really hope they do! They can get to know the members better and meet the whole district!  I'll be praying all week that they can come!

That is crazy it's been so cold lately! Haha enjoy it for me :).  Mom thats awesome your'e walking still :).  And you get to talk to Jill too!  Thats so fun! Josh! That's awesome you improved your score!! Two points is a lot for the ACT!!  Cool!  Have fun with those applications :).  And I am SO EXCITED for you to go on the tour and then your mission..... holy moly you are getting old!! When do you start your papers?  Special needs mutual sounds like it was a great experience.  I had some friends that did that in high school, and loved it too.  Keep it up :). Jaxsen, do you still dress up every sunday in your scuba gear and knight costume and stuff like that?? I was telling my companion abou that, she thinks you are hilarious :). And also, I still have your picture in my scriptures!  It's in the book of Acts, because it sounds like Jax :).  

Well. .  I love hearing everything thats' going on in your lives!  Sounds like you're all keeping busy :).   I love you all so much!! I pray for you alllll the time.  Have a great week!!!

Love, Sister Mortensen

 Bri with Girls from Bato

Sister Monilar and Sister Mortensen - Going on Splits in Bato

Monday, November 10, 2014

I See Over And Over That The Lord Really Is Preparing People For Us


Ok yes, I love your idea about Christmas for the branch! I think ties is a great idea!! That would be so fun to give ties to our members to go with their new white shirts :). For sisters, if you could maybe find a couple skirts, that would be great :).  Sometimes people don't have church clothes, and are a little nervous about coming to church without a skirt.  Other than that, I can't think of anything right now that we could give sisters and kids, but I will think about it more this week.  Thank you so much!! That is a perfect idea!  I really don't need any more clothes, laba already takes me long enough :). haha thank you though :)  This transfer ends december 4th, and we are guessing that sister kalua-santiago is going to transfer :(. she will have been here 6 months by then.  I could go as well, actually.  They might switch Hinunangan to elders sometime soon.  I kinda wish we both could stay here for christmas though!! I'ts gonna be sad to leave.

Haha yes, my blonde hair definitely makes me stand out.  A lot!  one sunday in relief society my comp was sitting behind me talking to a lady who said she wanted to chop off my hair and make a wig :). Haha! They were cracking up! But usually, people just always are looking at us.  Which is great, since I LOVE being the center of attention, so much :).  Haha.  But it is good, that everyone will talk to us all the time.  And they remember us too.  A lot of the people we talk to say they've seen us around before.  I really look tan? I feel whiter than ever here! Huh :).   yeah I am starting to get used to the weather, kinda.  It's still hot!  But it's not nearly as bad as it was :).  apparently it takes some time, but eventually I'll start feelling COLD at night sometimes :).  Haha or atleast thats what all the missionaries say :).  But it hasn't happened yet haha :)  

I love the primary program!! We had ours here a couple weeks ago, and it was so fun:).  They sang that song too!  And I remember learning it when I was teaching primary back home too :).  wow, that feels like so long ago!  I miss them though, that was so fun! :) 

C-- is doing great still!  We can only teach her on weekends though, so that makes it a little tough.  She is still reading though, and feeling the spirit!  We were REALLY hoping that she would come to church yesterday, but not yet :(.  She is just shy I think.  Her friend F-- is super busy working, so we haven't been able to teach her for a while.  She still is very interested though, so we will find time to teach her!

The greatest miracle this week was the E-- Family!  There is this one road called Tangaad where we have been teaching a lot lately (we decided to rename it "mormon road!").  We walk up and down it most every day, and always say hello to everyone.  When we were walking home one time, a lady named R-- E-- stopped us and wanted to talk to us.  We talked for a while, and she said she wanted us to come and teach her family sometime!! So, of course, we said yes and set up an appointment with her.  The next day, we went to teach M--, an investigator, and R-- was there visiting her!  So we taught her the first lesson there with M-- :).  And M-- was so great during the lesson!  She remembered and helped R-- understand everything.  Which is great, since sometimes it's hard to tell if people are really understanding us.  Haha.  But M-- did, and now R-- does too!  Ah. The spirit was strong, it was great :). 

The next day, we went to teach R--'s family!  Only one of her daughters was there, L--, but she still wanted us to share :).  I'm excited to back and teach them again! They are a great little family.  M-- is awesome, too, I can't believe her!  She is still learning all the lessons, but comes to church every week, and is helping the E-- family, and brought another family we're teaching with her to church yesterday!  It's amazing to see the difference between people that are SO prepared, like M-- and the E-- family, and others who are not quite open to hearing the gospel yet.  I see over and over that the Lord really is preparing people for us.  It's true! This really is the Lord's work :).

This week we have splits, so I get to go to Bato again!  That will be fun :).  Both me and my comp are going there this time, since it takes so long to travel there.  I'm excited though!  We go there tomorrow after zone training, and then will come home wednesday.  Can't wait!

Well, I better go, but it was great to hear from you! Keep up the good stuff :) haha I love you all so much!!! 

Love, Sister Mortensen

ps. I love the words of wisdom and the pictures!!!! haha you guys are crazy :)
Also, I really hope these emails make sense! haha sometimes they're a little all over the place, haha sorry :)

Yeah!!!!  Bri sent pictures!

Sister Kalua-Santiago and Sister Mortensen

PEF Graduation. (Perpetual Education Fund graduation  exercises are held for carpenters who are building shelters following Typhoon Yolanda.  Graduates receive a government certification and a tool box from the LDS Church.)

PEF Graduation

PEF Graduation 

PEF Graduation

Riding on the bus in Hinunganan.  Everyone squishes on.  It is packed.  We had a seat though!

Cooking Dinner

Rambutans from the Delutas


Eating Jack Fruit

Christmas Trees and Smores in November?

Hinunangan Zone

Monday, November 3, 2014

She Said That When She Reads, She Feels The Spirit Every Time

Hey family! 

It's great to hear from you, of course!  Sounds like you had a great...spring break? Haha i'm guessing you meant fall break :). Thats great that brayden's was the same time too, so you could all hang out together.  And Jaxsen, you are gonna have an awesome scar it looks like! Haha! You should make up a cool story about it :).  Haha sounds like Brayden has got the beard thing figured out!  (But I would also like to contribute to the funds to buy him razors... haha!) Your pumpkins are awesome!!  I showed my zl, and he says ali has got some skills :).  They don't really celebrate Halloween here, but they have All Souls Day the day after, to remember their dead.  Kinda different. The ward has changed a bunch it sounds like!  Thats fun you're getting so many new families.  And mom!  You're definitely inspired!!  We randomly picked a talk to listen to yesterday, and it was the one you shared today.  That is a great talk.  Thank you :).

Haha, so sorry we write at a different time each week. We are in sogod this week again, at an internet cafe.  There is a couple of them here, we're at one of the better ones today, but its farther away.  A camera that can email pictures wouldn't work, no wifi here :).  It's all good.  I'll keep trying to send some!  As for a package.... I can't think of anything :) 

We were able to go back and see some of our new investigators this week!  A lot of them aren't really interested, they just wanted to talk before and are friendly I think :).  It's hard to tell sometimes if people are interested in learning from you, or they're just being nice :).  There is two families though that are WONDERFUL, F-- and C-- and their families.  They are neighbors, and we usually teach them together.  They are doing so well!  C-- reads the Book of Mormon, and said she WANTS reading assignments to help her know what to read.  She said that when she reads, she feels the spirit every time! And then we she stops, she doesn't feel it anymore.  Ah! They are so good to teach.  Another day we were teaching S--, a 76 year old lady who is very catholic, haha.  Our second lesson with her, she had a couple of her church friends there too so we talked to all of them.  And she's friends with F--, so she was there too!  This was after we had taught F-- the first lesson too :).  As we were teaching the first lesson, the church friends had a bunch of questions, and F-- and S-- were answering all of their questions!  This was after only one lesson with each of them!  Most of the time, the people we teach have a hard time remembering, but they remembered and were answering everyones questions!  Ah.  It's amazing.  And it is definitely the Lord's work.  The typhoon did help prepare a lot of people for the gospel, but not really in our area.  It didn't hit here very hard.  The people here are still pretty set in their ways and are ok with the church they have and don't really want to listen to us.  We do a lot of just talking to people and trying to find those who are ready to learn.  People like F-- and C-- :).  We are doing a lot of planting seeds here :).  It is getting easier to approach people and just talk.  The other day on a bus on the was home I had a pretty long conversation with the lady next to me in cebuano :).  Haha it went pretty well!  All until right at the end, when she was about to get off.  She was trying to ask me something, and I could NOT understand any of it.  Usually I can catch a word or two and know what they're asking, but nope! Not that time!  Haha she finally just smiled and I just laughed.  And then she got off the bus.  Haha so its getting better, not quite there yet though :).

Thank you so much for your prayers :).  I pray for you many times a day as well! And I know the Lord is answering our prayers!  Love you!!

Sister Mortensen

Thank you Sister Kaula-Santiago for the pictures!
FHE/Birthday Celebration in Hinunangan

PEF Graduation