Monday, March 30, 2015

She Always Prays That Hopefully She Will Be Able To Go To Church Always

Hellooooo everybody!

This week has been a very busy one!  we had exchanges with our stl's
in bato.  It is always so fun to spend time with them.  It's always a
little different to be in another area.  Which reminds me.  transfers
are next monday!  and....sadly.....I will probably be transferring.  I
am going to miss these people here in st. bernard SO MUCH.  I really
have loved that i got to be here this long. I have learned and grown
so much here, and am really going to miss everyone.  The one comfort
is that I know my next area will have more people to love as well :).

I-- is getting ready to be baptized right now!  She will be baptized
this saturday! ;)  she is 9 years old and is ADORABLE.  she is super
excited to be baptized too.  her prayers are so sweet--she always
prays that hopefully she will be able to go to church always, and that
she will be baptized.  After we taught her yesterday, she asked us to
write it down so she could study it and remember it :).  so excited :)

G-- and Y-- are doing great but...didn't come to church.  we
tried to visit them that evening as well, and they weren't home.  so
we're not sure why, but we'll visit them soon i'm sure :).  They are
still working on their papers to get married!  and are always excited
to learn more.  Some of their neighbors have started kinda persecuting
them, but they just feel sad that they don't understand.

Yeah there are some people that have those same challenges--no food if
you don't work that day.  It's pretty hard to see.  Yeah we take soooo 
much for granted. I thought I understood pretty well how blessed we 
are...but I had no idea.  It's been pretty humbling.

That relief society activity was last saturday!  We walked to a
members house in cabalian early in the morning, then cleaned up the
beach and had a little devotional.  It was great :) some people have 
internet in their homes, but most go to internet cafes like we do.

I am so excited for general conference as well!!  we didn't get to
watch general womens conference, but i can pull it up and print it
here :).  For general conference, we will probably be watching it the
week after you guys. and yes it will be in english. last time they
made dvds and distributed them to all the branches, so I'm guessing
that's what will happen this time too. I'm so excited!  Thats great
you'll get to watch it all as a family :).

I was planning to send pictures this week but...we stayed in st
bernard and it is veeery slow today.  so next week :)  until
then---love you all!!  talk to you next week :)

Sister Mortensen

(Thank you Nathalie and Facebook for the pictures of the Relief Society Activity!)

Monday, March 23, 2015

God Was Working Hard To Help Them, But Satan Is Working Even Harder On Them As Well

Hello Family,

Ah i'm glad you finally got the letter!  haha sorry it was a while after dad and braydens birthdays.  haha i'm glad you liked it!

G-- and Y-- are doing wonderfully :).  yep, my first whole family of investigators that have been really interested :).  The branch all loves them!  they were all planning to come to church yesterday, but weren't able to.  Saturday Y-- was driving his put-put (bike with a side cart haha) and one of his passengers paid him in rice! so they had food for sunday, and could come to church :).  They were so excited.  that's why they didn't come last week--no food if he didn't put-put.  So they were planning to come. But then, later that day when he was driving another passenger, he drove past the store he used to guard. He was asked to fill in on Sunday!  The usual guard had something urgent to do, so Y-- said he would fill in.  When we talked to him sunday night, he told us how God was working hard to help them, but Satan is working even harder on them as well.  He FINALLY read some of the Book of Mormon though!  Usually he is soo tired from working all day, but he found some time :). He and G-- are very anxious to be baptized and to be sealed in the temple as a family forever!  They need to get married before they get baptized, and are working on their papers right now :).  They are always so excited to learn more every time we see them.  They are definitely one of those families that have been prepared to hear the gospel.  It has been amazing to see :).  

B-- hasn't made it to church yet :(.  still having a hard time waking up early, and he didn't show up to our last lesson with him.  Hopefully this week will turn out better.  He would make such a great member.  We need more priesthood holders here.  

Yesterday we got to visit the T-- family!  They are soo nindot.  I love them.. They have a boy named A-- that is 13 and reminds me SO MUCH of jax :).  They haven't been to church for about 2 months now though :(.  right now they're living far up in the bukid/mountainy area (haha it was a LONG, super fun walk :) ) and so i think that's one of the biggest struggles.  They know how much of a difference church makes, they have shared that with us many times.  There just seems to be something keeping them from coming back.  I really hope something will help remind them how important this is :)  

Love you all.  So much!  Thank you always for your emails :)  talk to you next week!

Sister Mortensen :)

Sister Mortensen and Sister Laniton

Monday, March 16, 2015

She Feels Sorry For Them Because They Just Don't Understand

Hello family!!  

thank you mom for the email, i love hearing about everything at home.  Sounds like you guys are all staying busy!  

Our week has been busy too!  we had zone training and zone conference this week, so lots of traveling.  It was great to hear from our zl's and from President and Sister Maurer though.  

Sogod Zone Conference

G-- and her husband Y-- and their little baby F-- all came to the fhe!!! we showed the restoration video and talked about what it means for us, and it was SO GREAT.  They are such an awesome little family.  All the members love them too :).  G-- shared her testimony too! She talked about how excited she is, and how even though some of her neighbors ask questions and kinda persecute them about it, she just feels sorry for them because they just don't understand.  Y-- hasn't been to church yet since he's had to work, but finished yesterday.  so next sunday they hopefully all will be there :).  SOOO excited for this family :).  

B-- C-- missed church again yesterday :(.  He stays up lately watching a tv show every night, and so slept through church again... He really does want to change his life around, and understand the gospel and be baptized, but he just hasn't yet started making those changes in his life.  We have been teaching him about early to bed, early to rise.  haha dad, you should be proud! :)  hopefully this week when we visit him again we can help him.  

Sister B--'s leg is doing fine :).  it doesn't hurt or anything anymore, but is still healing so she keeps the bandage on to help keep it clean. I'm feeling great right now!  Haven't ever really been sick, I'm one of the lucky few :).  mosquitos have just started getting worse lately, but not too bad.  still have plenty of bug spray, and i can get more herre  :).  yep we have a filter to use at home for water.  Most people buy mineral water to drink so that hasn't been a problem when we're out working.  

sorry for the short one today :).  both sets of grandparents emailed!  so i emailed them back as well.  they are such great examples for me and all of us, I love them so much!  good luck with everything this week :)  take care!

Sister Mortensen

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Spirit Was So Powerful

Hello family!  

Wow! what a great week :)  Briar is sooo cute!!!  that is so fun :)

This has been a fantastic week! We met this man named B-- C--.  He is our branch president's nephew, and has been taught by the missionaries before, and came to church for a month or two.  but he eventually stopped coming and stopped talking to the missionaries....until this past week.  He's  a put-put driver, and he took us up to pick up another investigator.  On the way we were talking to him and he told us how he was president's nephew and had been taught before.  He was open to being taught again, so a couple days later we met and taught him about the restoration.  He remembered a little about it, and was excited to learn more about it again. He said that he was sorry that he had missed the opportunity to join the church last time, and didn't want to miss it again.  Then our next lesson with him, we were talking about our purpose here on earth.  He said he had a question, and asked how he can avoid making bad decisions.  He said he wasn't happy where his life was right now and wanted to renew his life.  We bore testimony that this gospel will literally change his life, and he will be happier and more blessed than ever before.  He just has to rely on the Lord, and follow Him.  The spirit was so powerful!  It was the kind of lesson that you try to have every time.  We are so excited for him.  He really does want to change, and has a goal to be baptized in april :).  It was amazing to see how prepared he is to hear the gospel again.  

Another investigator, G--, was just as prepared for the gospel!  We have been teaching her for a couple weeks now, and every time we go, the spirit is strong and she is so excited to learn.  Last night on splits, sis. laniton and some of the members taught her.  She had read the intro and testimony of joseph smith and the beginning of the book of mormon, and loved it!  She told them all about it, and understood how important it was.  She commited to be baptized this july!  She and her live in partner need to get marry first, and they are working on their papers for it now.  She and sis laniton and all the members were crying, the spirit was so strong :).  I wish I could have been there!  But I am mostly just soooo happy that she is feeling the spirit so strongly and knowing of the truth for herselft.  We are going to visit her tonight as well and hopefully bring her to an FHE with us at another members house :).

We are so blessed :).  We really are seeing miracles here in st. bernard, and it is amazing! I know this church is true and it will bless the lives of everyone who will come and see :).  I am so lucky to be a missionary :).  I love you all so much!  Don't forget how blessed we are to have the gospel in our lives !

Love, Sister Mortensen

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Baptism Was In The Ocean. So Cool!

Hello family!!  

How are you all?  Great?? me too!  Loving it here :). Transfer day was last week, which means I've been here in st. bernard two whole transfers now! Holy moly i can hardly believe.  time goes way too fast.  This past week has FLOWN by. It's already monday again!

M--'s baptism was soo great!  She was soo excited :).  It was rainy, so we started a little late, but it cleared up just long enough for the baptism :). The baptism was in the ocean!  So cool. When she came back to shore after, she looked so happy :).  It was so fun to see.  She got all dressed, and then shared her testimony with all of us!  Which is a big deal, since she's pretty shy. she has such a strong testimony and a strong desire to learn too.  I am so excited for her :).  And then yesterday in church, she was confirmed and given the gift of the holy ghost!  Afterwards, she told me that right after that, her hands and her heart felt warm.  

M--'s Baptism

M--'s Baptism

Also at church yesterday, our branch presidency was organized!  Before it was just the branch president, but now we have 2 counselors and 2 clerks.  Bro T-- used to be less active, but almost 2 months ago started coming to church every week and is working towards going to the temple with his wife.  Bro S-- was baptized a year ago, so up till now he has been a recent convert.  They are the counselors now.  I'm soo excited for them, since it will help the branch progress even more, but also will help them stay active in the church and give them the opportunity to serve.  

Also yesterday, G--, an investigator, came to church for the first time!  She and her little baby F--.  She walked to one of our members house so they could go to church together :).  We are also teaching her husband Y--, but he works all day every day for the rest of the month. So hopefully after that he can come too.  But she LOVED it.  We visited her after church with some members and she was so grateful.  She texted us later that night and said she wanted to be able to share her testimony like our members did that God had helped her with her trials.  They are such a great little family, and we are so excited for them :).

Ah i really wish i could tell you more!  But time is quick, so just know that i'm loving it, and staying busy!  Hope you have a WONDERFUL week :).

Love, Sister Mortensen