Monday, June 29, 2015

I've Realized The Importance of Building A Relationship With The People You Teach

Hello Family,

I'm glad you got the letter!!  yes, transfers won't be till next week :).  we will be getting flu shots and having a combined zone conference with all the missionaries!!! I am soo excited to see everyone :).  can't wait!  i've been healthy mom, don't worry about me :).  There's this sickness going around here that they call sore eyes, and almost all of the people we teach have had it.  but we've been blessed and none of us have got it :). I did take one round of the antibiotics back in st bernard and it got rid of everything just fine :).  And i still have another round if it comes back again.  and yes you did send me the towel haha :)

32 days josh! holy moly!  keep preparing :).  and enjoy your time with the family! sounds like your cabin trip was so fun!  haha that's so cool! and i'm still waiting for your email! haha :).  Also.  I'm SO excited for you to go to the temple :).  I can't wait to go back :)

ali what a fun time!  That is so wonderful that you got to spend some time with grandma and grandpa :).  How long were you in joseph for?  

Bailey is home!!!  Ah and she is so beautiful!!  wow and brayden hamptons home too!  all these people my age are coming home now..... that is crazy!  but i still have a long time left here so don't worry :).

Haha I love the words of wisdom!  haha i write ours down when i remember to as well :).  In one lesson we were teaching J-- and E--, who i told you about last week i think.  They are 15 and 18, and best friends and are HILARIOUS.  E-- asked us, totally serious, how he would receive an answer that the book of mormon is true.  And sis culangan says that it probably won't be the same as joseph smith where they speak to you. And then J-- says "if they do speak to you, you are the next prophet.  prophet E--!"  hahaha!  i think it's funnier in waray.  but yeah :)  With these two and their friend J-- as well, I've realized over again the importance of building a relationship with the people you teach.  When we first started teaching them, they were soo shy and would hardly talk or ask questions or anything.  But know, as we've got to know them, they've become so much more comfortable with us and ask questions all the time. Last time we taught them too J-- shared what he had been reading in the book of mormon and what he had learned from it.  When we build these relationships with people, they can open up to us and we can better understand how they are feeling and what we can do to help them.

We experienced this another time yesterday with Sister C-- .  She was in the hospital last week from pneumonia  and is still recovering.  She is pretty old and this has been hard for her.  Her son died last year as well, and she's still struggling to cope with that as well.  Yesterday she shared that she is afraid to die, since she knows her kids and her husband need her here.  But at the same time she wants to be with her son again.  She doesn't seem to really have anyone to talk to about how she's feeling, so she's grateful we can come and talk to her.  We mostly just listen, and reassure her that God loves her and has a plan for her.  And that no matter what happens, it's His will for her.  We hope to get some other members to go visit her as well. She also asked for a blessing, so Bishop said he will go visit her again and give her a blessing :).   It's important not only for us to build relationships with the members, but also to help  the members build relationships among themselves!  Especially the recent converts.  We're still figuring out how to help them do this :).  

We are being blessed here in Tanauan :).  Thank you for your prayers!  We're praying for you all the time as well, and I know the Lord is watching over you all :)


Sister Mortensen

Sister Mortensen and Sister Culangan

Baptism of C--C--

Sister Mortensen and Sister Culangan with C-- C-- and Her Family

Baptism of J--

Tanauan Zone

Monday, June 22, 2015

One Way That's Been Working Well For Us Is Finding New Investigators Through Recent Converts

Hello Family,

first of all.......HAPPY FATHERS DAY!  to the best father in the world!  I love you so so much!  thank you always being there for me and being such a great example for me and all of us.  the quote mom shared reminds me of one i've heard before, something about how fathers are the example for their sons of how to be a father, and for their daughters in what to look for as a husband :).  We are the luckiest and most blessed kids in the world to have you and mom as our parents. :).  Love you!! and wish i got to call again... but there is some mail coming for you soon :).  

Josh!  i am so excited for you :).  you took spanish in high school diba?  did you want to learn a language? 5 weeks, thats so quick!  its gonna fly by!  i can't wait to hear from you about the tour :)  (Note from Bri's mom.  Josh got called to serve in the Washington Kennewick mission, spanish speaking, reporting to the Mexico MTC July 29th).

Ali you and ryah are just like i remember you!! haha love the picture :)

jaxsen congrats on your new calling. that is so exciting, you are going to be a wonderful leader :).  You were always great at watching out for everyone else.  I remember one day when you were really young, 1st grade ish, and were so upset and telling mom how there was some kids bullying another kid at school, and you stood up for him.  I know you're gonna be a great help for your quorum :).  plus you have some great brothers and father for examples!

brayden thats great you got to come up and spend some time with the family!! have you started your cna class?  and what kind of work are you hoping to get after that?  And what do you wanna do after college?  I think doctor diba..? haha sidenote.  i was looking at the pictures before i read mom's letter today and saw that it says right above "Brayden told us he is engaged."  haha! and i was confused  why that was the LAST thing she wrote....until i read the rest of the paragraph  :).  haha!  

The kayaks look like so much fun!!  Glad you're having a great time :). and love the hats!

C--'s baptism on saturday was so wonderful!!  Her husband got to baptize her, and then they both bore their testimonies after.  They are now starting to prepare for the temple :). They are such a cute little family and we are SO EXCITED for them!  It's not working to upload i'll try again next week :).  

Lately we have been finding some great new investigators!  one way thats been working well for us is finding new investigators through recent converts and gihapon other investigators!  A couple weeks ago, we were teaching J--, who was just baptized, and he said his friend E-- was interested too and wanted to join.  So the next day, we taught them both together, and E-- had so many great questions and was so interested!  After a couple lessons, we asked if we could meet his family, and started teaching at his house instead of J--'s.  His family wasn't too interested, but were very friendly and would listen in if they had time. E--'s cousin J-- also started joining all the lessons...and we started teaching at his house too.  His parents as well would listen in on the lessons as well :).  J-- and E-- have ANOTHER friend named J-- that we have taught a couple times, and just last night he invited us to his house to teach his family!!  It's been wonderful to see how people are being prepared to accept the gospel :).  E-- has been reading the BoM, attended two baptisms now, and is preparing to be baptized in two weeks!  J--, and J-- and his family are all progressing and were excited to keep teaching them :).  We are being blessed here in Tanauan!  I'm so grateful I've been assigned here for the past couple weeks and got to meet so many amazing people here :).  

I hope you all continue to enjoy your summer! I love you all so so much :)

LOVE, sister mortensen :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Christ Shouldn't Just Be A Part Of Our Lives, He Should Be The Center Of Our Lives

Wow mom and dad, you guys are growing up!  no kids at home.  haha!  what a strange week.  I loved hearing about the experiences of all the kids this week.  Jax sounds like scout camp was so fun!! and wow, sounds like you were GREAT at shooting :).  Haha I guess alll the times we've gone with the family have paid off!  great job! I'm so glad you had such a great time!  Brayden sounds like you're doing great as well!  that is exciting you'll start getting some good experience.  and i can't wait to hear your new songs! i've missed hearing you play and sing.  haha goodness you're talented :). Ali you went to AFY!  See i told you so!  They are very different, but i definitely liked it more than just efy. The faith walk was also my favorite.  And josh, what an amazing experience at the temple.  I'm so glad you're having a great time on the tour :)

Today I wanted to tell you about this WONDERFUL family we have been working with.  Brother J-- C-- has been a member since he was young, but went inactive as a teenager.  He met sister C-- and they started living together.  Eventually J-- said he realized that they needed to come to church. He and C-- started coming every Sunday and living the commandments.  Sister wanted to be baptized, but they weren't married yet.  They saved up and were finally married last March.  But C-- still wasn't baptized yet, even though she had been taught my many many missionaries and had a strong testimony.  Missionaries kept being transferred and leaving no teaching records, and they moved from Palo to here in Tanauan.  When we met sister C-- a couple weeks ago she said she was hoping this would be the last time she would be taught the lessons, so she could be baptized and go to the temple!  She has such a strong testimony and a STRONG desire to be sealed to her husband and two kids.  She is going to be baptized this Saturday! and says they are already saving up to be able to go to the temple :).  We are so excited for them and grateful for their desires to live the gospel.  They are going to be a great strength for the ward and a great example for all the youth and families to goal for the temple :).

This week I have been thinking about something related to you quote, mom.  How Christ shouldn’t just be a part of our lives, but He should be the CENTER of our lives. Everything we do and every decision we make should be influenced by Him :).  I'm so grateful to be here and learning from so many wonderful people how to do that.  I've been lucky enough to meet some of the most faithful, Christlike members, and am so grateful for them :).  I know that all our happiness and all our peace comes from following our Savior.  All we need to do is come unto Him :).

Thank you sooo much for the package!!!  It was perfect! Haha you guys definitely know my favorites.  Also thank you to the relief society for the birthday card they sent!  and also for Josh's graduation announcement!  He looks just like dad and grandpa :)  Also.  did josh take a language i high school? did he want to learn a language...?  I realize i should have asked these questions before guessing :).  also.  how many generations has our family been in the church?  a couple people have asked and I'm not sure.  sorry for the random questions :).  I LOVE you all so much and are so grateful for each one of you :).  can't wait to hear from you next week!  

Love, Sister Mortensen

Monday, June 8, 2015

I Have A Strong Testimony That There Is A Huge Power In The Book of Mormon


josh has his mission call!!! that is sooo exciting!  Even more exciting when we find out where he's going... :) .  But wow!  Can't wait :).  And also josh, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!  I'm sure it was a wonderful day :)

Wow!  Congrats to kayli, I am SOOOO excited for her!   and everyone else serving!!!  Wow! so many great kids :).  haha.  I've been meaning to ask you if anyone had gotten calls, so thank you for letting me know :).  And also LOVE the pictures mom, thanks :).  I can't see the one about josh's call though....

Today I wanted to tell you about some of my studies this week :).  These past couple days I've been studying in 3 nephi where Christ appears to the nephites and wow... I love it so much!  especially 3 nephi 11:14-17.  It's amazing to think what it would have been like to be there. To go up one by one and see His hands and feet and KNOW that it's Him.  But even though we haven't seen Him yet, we can still know of a surety that He lives! And one day, we too will have that opportunity to see Him. How amazing that is going to be!  I can't wait :).  We shared these verses with the C-- family yesterday, who are less active.  They really felt the spirit when reading these verses, and T--, the father, who hasn't read the Book of Mormon for quite a while now, sat and was reading through the rest of the chapter when we left :).  They seem to be SO CLOSE coming back to church.  Their faith and testimonies are strong... there just seems to be something keeping them from coming to church.  We're still working to figure out what :).  But I have a strong testimony that there is a HUGE power in the Book of Mormon! I LOVE studying it and sharing from it every day :). 

One investigator we are teaching is C-- C--!  Her husband is a member, and so she's been coming to church for a long time now with him, but hasn't been baptized.  But they are such a WONDERFUL little family :).  She has  a strong testimony, and wants to be baptized as soon as possible so they can be sealed in the temple :).  It's people like this family that are going to help build and strengthen the church here.  They don't have much, but are doing EVERYTHING they can to save up and prepare now so that they can go to the temple when the time comes :).  We are SO excited for them!!

Ah I wish I could tell you about some more people BUT it's time to go :).  I love you all so much!! Keep praying, keeping studying the bom, and keep being so wonderful :)  Talk to you soon!

Sister Mortensen

Monday, June 1, 2015

One Thing That I've Loved Lately About This Area Is That We've Been Able To Teach Quite A Few Families

Hello Family,

Ah love all the pictures!  I'm loading some now for you guys too :)

Ah thats too bad that josh's mission call didn't come yet.   My guess for josh is......south africa! or south dakota! haha ambut :).   good luck mom with waiting!  (Note from Bri's mom:  Josh left today for a 3 week Church History Tour.  His mission call should be here at the end of this week, but he won't be back in town til June 20th!  Yes...we will be patiently waiting for the 20th).  josh i am SO EXCITED FOR YOU!!!!   for your mission especially, and the church history tour gihap.  haha!   write lots in your journal ha :) 

J--'s baptism was great!!  his friend E-- who we just started teaching as well came :).  They were both so excited.  J-- is super shy BUT he shared his testimony!  It was so great :).  His family is kinda active. They are really busy they say.  We're still working on that :).  The C-- we were able to visit this week, and brother was there too!  They both have strong testimonies, but we haven't yet figured out why they aren't coming to church.  Their daughter did come to church yesterday though :).  The V--'s haven't been able to come to church lately, but still doing great with reading and praying.  The A--'s, we taught the rest of the message of the restoration, but they still don't quite understand it yet :).  We'll probably review that with them next this week again.  They weren't able to come to church since sister was sick... she is the only one that can work for the family so she has to be careful and just rest right now.  

We also found a new investigator family this week :). Some members oym'd their pedicab driver while they were going to visit some recent converts, and invited him to be taught by us.  We went to find him last saturday, and his wife and 2 daughters were home and waiting for us!  They were SUPER receptive and we are so excited for them :).  Bahh I love being a missionary :)

One thing that I've loved lately about this area is that we've been able to teach quite a few FAMILIES!  You guys are my proof of the HUGE blessing the gospel is for families :).  so thank you all so much!  I can't tell you how many times i share experiences of growing up in such a wonderful family :).  I'm so grateful for the knowledge that our families are forever!

I hope you all have a wonderful week :).  I love you all sooooo much!  take care! :)

Sis Mortensen