Monday, January 26, 2015

I Know There's A Reason To Be There, Wherever We Go, We Just Have To Find It

Hellooo everyone!!  

The week has been so great, I've loved it!  This week we've been really focusing on OYMs--open your mouth!  So just talking to everyone and sharing a little about the gospel! And inviting them to learn more.  Not everyone was too interested, yet, of course, but we have seen some miracles come from it.  One man, R-- I--, I actually met a couple weeks ago with Sister Gaono and had given him a pamphlet.  He's a put-put driver, and we met him when were on the way to a lesson.  In MCM, we asked the members if anyone knew him and they all said he was a great man and very friendly.  We met him again this week, and he said he had read the pamplet and really liked it!  So on wednesday we went to teach him and his family.  We knew the general area of where he lived, and asked a bunch of people till we finally found it.  Haha.  He was so surprised to see us!  He let us come in though and was super friendly again.  Haha his wife wasn't so excited about it, and said to him "oh you have two religions now?".  haha. She listened though :).  We taught them the message of the restoration, and he was really interested!  He was taking notes and asking questions, and it was great :).  We're pretty excited about him.  Hopefully when we go back they'll all be more open to the gospel.  Pray for them :).  We definitely are!  This week, we were talking to another put-put driver.  We asked him what his name was and were surprised to find out that it was R--'s father!  He was just as friendly, and lives right next to R--.  We're going to try to visit him and his wife this week :).

Another family we met from OYMs is the A-- family.  We were trying to visit a less active family, the M-- family, but the mom wasn't home. again.  So we talked to their neighbors, and she was so interested!  She had seen the missionaries come visit the M--'s, but they had never talked too much to her about the gospel.  So we went back to teach her, and only the mom was home.  And now....she has a baptismal date!! The spirit was so strong in  the lesson, and she really wants her family to be blessed.  We are so excited about them!  Hopefully the whole family can be there next time.

Haha yes mom, being with a filipina companion has helped my language SO MUCH.  I love it!  It's still not quite there sometimes.  Haha for example.  "Hurot" means to finish.  "Turon" is a dessert.  I mixed them up and told her to "dessert the vegetables."  And now allll the time she says "turon!" and laughs.... haha!  We have fun :).

Funny story for the week! And also proof again that there is ALWAYS a reason you go somewhere, even if the people you planned to visit aren't there :).  The week before we had met a put-put driver last week, who's name was A-- B--.  He seemed really interested when we talked to him and was very friendly!  We went to find him and teach him last week.  It was dark, and we didn't know where he lived, so we were asking everyone.  And nobody knew him! We finally found someone who knew a R-- B--, so we figured maybe we had heard wrong and would go try him.  So after asking a bunch more people where he lived, we finally found his house and met him.  And it wasn't the right guy!  Turns out, A-- B-- is his father, who died like 10 years ago!  AHhh.. so the put-put driver probably wasn't too interested in being taught again haha, and gave us a wrong name.  Haha!  But, we started talking to R-- B--'s wife, and she was willing to listen to our message :).  So we sat down with her and taught her about the restoration.  That kind of thing, where we meet someone else we weren't planning to teach, and teach them instead, happened quite a few times this week. It's pretty amazing.  I know there's a reason to be there, where ever we go, we just have to find it!  I know the spirit guides us where we need to go, even if it's not what we're expecting :)

Okay time to go :(.  I'll talk to you next week!  I love you all SO MUCH.  Of course :).  Thanks for you're emails every week.  I love to hear whats going on in your lives, even if i don't always comment back about it.  There's just too much to tell you!  I hope you have a WONDERFUL week.  Keep being awesome :)! And be happy, always!

Love, Sister Mortensen

Sister Mortensen After Church with N--, E-- and Sister Laniton

Doing Laba (Laundry)

Sister Mortensen Teaching Sister Laniton How To Make Smores
St Bernard District, Plus Two Extras In The Back

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Meeting Sister Kalua-Santiago's Parents

On Sunday, we met Brianne's very first mission companion's parents, Summer and Von Santiago. They are from Hawaii.  They were flying into Salt Lake City to attend a friend's wedding.  They came to church with us and then came to our home to visit.  It was so wonderful to be able to meet them.  We had a great time talking about our girls and the experiences they had together.

The Lord Guides This Work. We are Just The Instruments In His Hands.

Hello family!

This thursday, I got my anak!  Sister Laniton!!  she was in the manila mtc for 2 weeks, and then came here! I am SO excited for this transfer, it is going to be GREAT. She is from Butuan, which is Cebuano speaking!  She is SUPER talkative, so thats great for me :).  I am SO excited to be companions with her!  She is amazing already.  Haha I'm pretty sure she came pre-trained.  I think I'll be learning more from her this transfer than she will from me!  The first day we got to our area, we went out and OYM'd a few people, and she just talked and talked to them!  Since she knows cebuano, people aren't as shy as they are around me, since she can REALLY understand them!  So that has been really great.  I do my best keep up!  I'm definitely going to know cebuano after being with her, she speaks cebuano (unless she is explaining something i don't understand haha) and it is GREAT. 

Sister Mortensen with her Anak, Sister Laniton

I am really grateful for the opportunity to train.  It is a bit overwhelming, but I find so much comfort knowing that the Lord guides this work, we are just the instruments in his hands.  We can't do it on our own, and we don't have to.  He leads us through the Spirit, and I have felt that more than ever these last few days.  I love this work!

T--'s baptism was AMAZING.  She was SO excited to be baptized, it was so fun to see :).  She has so much faith and KNOWS this church is true.  She is pretty shy, but came straight up to me when she got to the church and gave me a hug :).  I am so happy for her and her family.  Actually I'm glad I even got to go too, since we found out after that we actually weren't supposed to. Oops.  We got home fine though, so it was all good.  It was so cool being back in hinunangana and seeing everyone.  I've missed them!
T--'s Baptism

AHH.  I can't believe you got to meet sis ks's parents!!  They are so great I'm sure haha, from knowing her.  Yeah we definitely need to get together with them later :)

Ahh I gotta go.  Time flys, as always.  I love you all!  I love my new anak!  And I love being a missionary :)

Sister Mortensen

Sister Laniton and Sister Mortensen

Sister Mortensen with Lenny, Gina and Menchie, sisters who worked with the missionaries in Hinunangan.

Sister Mortensen with the T-- Family

Monday, January 12, 2015

I Know That The Temple Will Bring Even More Blessings And Power Into Their Lives

Hey family!  

How are you all?? I'm doing good, but i'm going to need TONS and TONS of prayers these next few weeks.....I'm training!!  Ahhhh!  I am soo excited!  And pretty darn nervous, but you know, it's all good.  I'm here in tacloban today till thursday.  Today was transfers for the sisters, but I'll get my anak (child) on wednesday, then we'll go back to st bernard on thursday!  And get to work!  

I have some exciting news from Hinunangan! T-- is getting baptized!!!  I am so happy for her :).  I think I've told you about her...  She was referred to us by the D--s, and lives on that road too----Mormon Road!  The elders finished teaching her, and she is gonna be baptized this saturday i think :).   

It definitely is the rainy season here! It rains all the time haha.  It's fine though.  It makes it cooler too, so that is great.  I haven't really seen much of a difference since ruby, since it didn't hit this area too bad.  Maybe in other areas though.  Barongan, the zone that was shut down after ruby, is starting to open back up.  Actually Sister Kalua-santiago and sister Chu are there now!  they are going back to sister chu's area from before.  I didn't get to see them though, they went straight there.  I heard they are doing great though :).

Most people are catholic.  Thats the biggest hold up for people actually, their religion.  Sometimes even grown adults with their own families won't get baptized or come to church, even if they are interested, because their parents won't let them.  It's kinda crazy.  

The language is getting better :).  I can understand MOST of the time, and can speak.....slowly. It's still rough sometimes. But most of the time, especially during lessons, even when I don/t understand every word, I can still get enough that I understand.  There are times during lessons where I'm kinda lost But it's definitely improving :). all the new sisters coming are flilpina, so that will definitely help my language, having a filipina companion! I am excited. Haha once i am finally comfortable with cebuano, I'll probably transfer to waray! Haha life is great :) I love it!

This past week, we have been really working some less active families in our branch.  We have been helping them set the goal to go to the temple to be sealed this year!  There are active families too that have not yet gone to the temple.  We are trying to help them get there as well :).  I know that the temple will bring even more blessings and power into their lives, and I really hope they continue towards their goal and make it this year!  We're going to continue to visit them and encourage them.  I am excited for them!

Ah gotta go.  Time flys, as always.  haha bye!  LOVE you!

Sister Mortensen

Sister Mortensen and Sister Gaono

The T-- Family

Sunday, January 4, 2015

We Had A Miracle Here In St. Bernard

Hello family :)

This week has been another wonderful one!  Haha you would think that every week would be pretty much the same on a mission.  We do mostly the same things every week.  But each week is new and different and wonderful in its own way.  Haha I love it :).  For our district christmas party, we went to lunch after district meeting :).  It was so fun! Its always fun to get together with other missionaries.  My district includes us, Hinunangan, and libagon.  So that's elder saluta, estrada, hepler (my batch!), and santillan.  The rest of our zone are sister brereton and samayla, and elder burton, tejada, junsay (my batch too!) and villaneuva.  Haha yes, i think i really am the only white girl in town, and have been called barbie. haha!

Last monday, it rained ALL day!  My companion didn't have an umbrella and hadn't found one she liked yet, so we were both without umbrellas :).  Which is fine, we don't mind getting wet haha. free shower :).  That evening we went to visit a less active family, the T--s.  They are my FAVORITE.  They are so great :).  They live pretty far out it the bukid, so they don't come to church usually if it rains.  And it rains a lot here, it's the philippines :).  We walked to their house and were soaked through by the time we got there.  Haha they were so surprised to see us, especially without umbrellas! They were all freezing, and they were dry with jackets on. They were shocked that we weren't cold.  I was talking to the kids and they were teaching me some cebuano, and they were cracking  up when I would get something confused or forget a word.  Their dad came over too and so we were teaching him some english too.  It was so fun!  Now I know most of the parts of the body in cebuano :)  Haha not sure if I will ever use those words...but it was fun either way!  For our lesson, we talked about how important it is to come to church, even if it does rain!  Haha and guess what? They came to church this sunday!  It was even a little rainy :).  

This Sunday, we had a miracle here in St. Bernard!  These past two Sundays our sacrament attendance has been 55 and 56.  This Sunday it was.....98!!  We all were pretty shocked haha.  We have been really focusing on less actives this past week, and a LOT of them came to church :).  On Saturday, we started this new thing we are calling Reactivation.  It was Sister Gaono's idea, she did it in her last area in Tacloban.  We meet Saturday afternoon at the church with as many members as will come, and then go and visit all the less actives that we can!  We invite them to church, and sometimes share a little message with them, sometimes just talk and get to know them better and help them feel welcome :).  And it has helped! Everyone we visited during reactivation came to church :). Also, I think since it is the beginning on the year, people are also just trying to be better and get to church :).  We are going to keep doing reactivation each Saturday, and try to help everyone keep coming back!

With the start of this new year, I've been thinking a lot about goals I want to set.  I've only nailed down one for you, but I'll let you know the others next week :).  This year, I am going to be exactly obedient and LOVE it, haha.  I've already committed to do that, and have been trying, but haven't quite lived up to that always yet.  But now I'm going to.  I've seen the help and the miracles that come from being obedient, and I need that to be able to serve these people here the best I can!  I honestly love these people here in St. Bernard, and love my companion :). I am so blessed!

Sounds like you are still enjoying your break!  I'm so glad! It's always fun when the wanlasses come over :).  Lyndi is in college!  Holy moly haha.  she's gonna love byu :).  And grandma and grandpa come home in march, thats crazy!  Yes, please send some of their experiences, and dad's parents too if they send an email or something.  I would love to read them :).  Oh also can you send me a big quick dry towel?  The one I brought, I left at the mtc in the dryer.  Haha oops.

I love you all :).  Being out here, I've realized more than ever the blessings that come from growing up in a strong, loving family.  So thank you to all of you!  It's because of you all that I'm out here serving.  I can definitely feel of your love, and hope you can feel mine too.  I'm still praying for you, always :).

Love, Sister Mortensen