Monday, July 27, 2015

But We're Not Going To Give Up On Him

Hello my dear family :)

I am so glad to hear you are doing well :).  Looks like you guys had a GREAT week!  jax you're almost as tall as ali! i'm glad you guys got to have some fun together :)  It is crazy to think that Josh leaves this week....and i am SO excited for you josh! :) you are going to be an amazing missionary and i am so excited to hear your experiences :).  mom be sure to forward me the emails! haha :) and yes of course, just write one to the both of us :).  you guys drop him off at the airport right?  and then how long does he stay at the mtc? do you know?  Ah i'm so excited for you josh! :).

haha yes we did make icecream, and it turned out alright! but we just stuck it in the freezer, so it was kinda frozen solid. but still delicious :).  haha and about climbing the coconut tree.....i'm not really sure!  it was just me and sister geraldez and nanay gabuya there.... and i wanted to try. haha. thats all. :)

as for what stl's do.... i'm still figureing that out for myself :).  Luckily my companion is SO WONDERFUL, so i just follow her example :).  We go on exchanges with the sisters and do whatever we can to help them :).  We also go to mission leadership council.  but this last week we went on exchanges with the biliran 2 sisters! and i got to work with sister acama :).  We live with them and so it was fun to be able to work with her and get to know her better :).  She is so maupay!  such a great missionary, and i really felt how much she enjoys the work.  All the people we taught love her as well :).  I learned SO much from working with her.  goodness i am so lucky to be surrounded by some WONDERFUL people :)

This week we had a little... set back with one of our IBDs. Brother O-- is an investigator who we have been working with here for a while.  His wife is a member, who returned from being less active last month!  Some of their kids are members, and there's one who we're hoping to help be ready to be baptized with her dad.  We've finished teaching him the lessons, and have just been reviewing and helping him to overcome his word of wisdom problems.  He has a HUGE desire to stop, but has had lots of temptations by friends and at work and such.  But this past week, everytime we go to visit, he wasn't home.  And when the kids went to go call him home, they wouldn't come back as well. Finally on Saturday, when we visited he was home. But, one of the kids came out and gave us a note from him, saying that he was giving up.  That he was sorry, but he can't continue anymore, and that we shouldn't come back to visit him. He said hello, but wouldn't come out to talk to us.  That was hard.... we were so sad for him.  When sister comes back home later today, we are hoping to go back and talk to them both and figure out what happen.  He was doing so well! And then this happened.  We aren't sure if he's just frustrated or feeling guilty or what. But we're not gonna give up on him :).  He knows it's true, and knows the WOW is a commandment.  And we know he can do it! Even though it is HARD.  I can only imagine how hard it must be.  But I was reading in 1 Nephi today about how Laman and Lemuel gave up and just wanted to return back to Jerusalem.  But Nephi doesn't let them, he teaches them and reminds them and does EVERYTHING he can to keep them there.  Because Nephi knows how important it is to follow the Lord, just like we do.  So that's what we're going to do for Brother O-- too.  Do everything we can to remind him and help him to have that hope :).  We're praying for Brother O-- allll the time now, and I know the Lord will help him and he'll be able to overcome this :).

The work is going good here in biliran :).  I'm learning over and over again that everything is in the timetable of the Lord.  He has a plan for all these wonderful people here in biliran, He has a plan for me, and He has a plan for you.  I'm so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who is patient with us and continues to guide and bless us, no matter what.  I'm so grateful for you all as well and for your love and support and your examples for me :).  I love you!!  And I know our Father loves you :).  

Talk to you next week!

LOVE, sister Mortensen

Sister Mortensen and Sister Geraldez

Happy one year!  These sisters are so sweet!

Nanay Gabuya, the lady that works with us almost every day, and her family working
in the  rice fields.  We did a service project and help them last week!  So fun  

One of our areas.  On our way to Villa Enage.  It is so beautiful!  I love it so much.

Vills Enage

Monday, July 20, 2015

I'm Going To Do What I Know I Need To Do And Then Watch For The Miracles To Come


Haha ok i'm gonna answer as many of your questions as I can  :)

Sister Geraldez is from cebu, so she speaks cebuano and is really good at waray now too :).  I LOVE her :)  she is my going home batch! so she goes home same time as me :)

Mason is coming to the philippines!!!!!!  I'm excited for him, he's gonna love it :).  good luck with the tagalog! :)

biliran is probably about the same or smaller as hinunangan.  very rural, and SO BEAUTIFUL :)

Brother O-- is the man preparing for his baptism! his daughter N-- will be baptized with him too :).   His wife is less active but recently returned!  I LOVE this family, they are so wonderful :).  Brother smoked once last week and is SO CLOSE to stopping completely!! he wants to stop soooo bad but there's lots of temptations from friends and work and such.  But he's gonna do it :)

my shoes are just fine, i'm still using the same pair :)

the water buffalos are used to plow the rice fields. they ride them home from the ricefields sometimes too. and to take pictures :)  

The food is all delicious!  the one thing that i haven't liked is..... durian!  We bought some last monday since we both wanted to try it....and it was pretty gross! haha dad, didn't you say you liked that...?  haha are you sure it was durian?

wow sounds like such a great week! I especially love all the pictures! everyone is getting so old!  Especially all the little ones!  sophie and olin and all them! holy moly!

and ali, LOVE the picture....haha! I think you guys have tooo much fun together :)

also, i think i forgot to tell you last week....we are the STLs! me and sister geraldez :)  and last tuesday and wednesday we got to go on exchanges! ! I got to work in Cabucgayan with Sister Lunar!  I was very excited but also pretty nervous, since it was my first time being the leader thats doing the exchanges!  Luckily, sister Lunar is SO great, and I learned SO much from her sweet example.  she's still in her training, this is her second cycle right now. Sister Geraldez says that last transfer she was very nervous about leading the area and also worried about her language.  She is learning waray, cebuano, and english all at once!  But she is doing a great job :).  She  led the area very well :).  Even when we got punted a couple times, she knew exactly where else we could go.  Her language is really good as well, but she's just not too confident with it yet.  She set some goals to help her improve, so hopefully that will help :).  I LOVE her, she is such a sweet sister and a wonderful missionary. so humble :)  I learned so much from her :).

I also wanted to tell you about our work with Sister Maurer last saturday!  It was SOO wonderful to work with her :).  We had to walk pretty far, but she was totally happy to do it!  we taught a group of ladies about tithing.  Three of them are older, in their 70s and 80s, and are active.  They walk to church every sunday!  and it is a FAR walk. And the other lady is a little younger and is less active.  We were teaching and they were all pretty talkative, and then at one point sister Maurer asked if she could share a little.  She began talking and we translated for her and the Spirit came into the room SO strong.  They all just sat and listened to her :).  She made a huge difference in the lesson and helped them to realize it all depended on their FAITH.  They all committed to pay their tithing, and they ALL came to church yesterday :).  After the lesson sister Maurer told us that at first she was having a really hard time getting inspiration about what she should share.  she knows very little waray so she just relys on the spirit :).  We had told her before that we were going to teach about repentance, but then we ended up teaching a different less active than we had planned on, so we switched to tithing. And i forgot to tell her, oops :).  So she says she was having a really hard time, but then realized that we were teaching about tithing. And THEN, the inspiration started coming, and she knew what she wanted to share.  The spirit really does lead us as we teach.  What she shared was PERFECT for the lesson, and we all could really feel the strength of her testimony.  We were so grateful for the opportunity to work with sister Maurer!  She says she only has gotten the chance to work with missionaries like this 5 or 6 times since she's been here, and one other time was with me too in hinunangan! How lucky am I :)

In our district meeting this week, we talked about being exactly obedient.....and i'm recommitting :).  I'm gonna stop those little disobedience's and just... be obedient!  DO what I know we need to :).  and then watch for the miracles to come!  we've already started seeing them, including working with sister maurer :).  So from now on, till the end of my mission and when i'm home as well, i'm just gonna do EVERYTHING i can to be EXACTLY obedient.  Being here on the mission, I've already seen myself and my desires and everything, change so much.  And i've seen it in others as well.  But I still have a LONG ways to go :).  But i'm gonna start now and just keep going :)

Love you all so so much :).  You're the best! :)  talk to you next week!!

Sister Mortensen

P.S.  Mom will you send me a recipe for icecream in a bag.  My companion and I both love icecream and want to make it.  thank you mom.

Climbing a coconut a dress!

Sister Mortensen and Sister Geraldez

Sister Geraldez with Nanay G overlooking their part of their area in Biliran.

Monday, July 13, 2015

It's Through Making and Keeping Our Covenants That We Receive The Power and Strength To Do All That We are Asked


Ah i love alll the pictures!  Looks like you've had a fun week!  wow mom, you guys hiked timp!  that's sooo great, it really is SOO beautiful :). And mom, you have to go at least ONE more time, when i'm home again :)

Haha mom i'm not that wise, and my english is definitely not that good.....that quote was from President Uchtdorf :).  haha! He's the wise one :)

I've been transferred to biliran!!  and my new companion is Sister Geraldez!  I LOVE her already, I am so excited for this transfer :).  Her last area was in tanauan... with sister culangan!  so i followed her :).  And also her last companion, who i replaced, is sister Kalua-santiago!! my nanay!!!  How funny is that :).  Biliran is SO BEAUTIFUL. It's all pretty rural and just a little area that's "city" where we live and where the church is.  Ah goodness I love it so much :) Our area is mostly waray with some cebuano. It's a branch and about 150 attended church yesterday :).  Everyone i have met so far is SO friendly.    This last week of work, we've visited many less actives and are helping a part member family prepare for Brother's baptism!  He's been struggling with following the word of wisdom, but he is so close!!  We are hoping this week he'll be able to follow :).

our area is big and we walk everywhere!  There is one place we go to about once a week called Hugpa that is about 5 km from our apartment. So we walk around 6 miles that day :). haha I have been TIRED every night this week!  But  and we live with another companionship of sisters who are also in our branch!  They are so great :).

The mission conference last week was SO wonderful :).  It's was great to see everyone in the mission and to get to catch up just a little bit with them!  It was especially great to see my nanay and my anak!  ah. I miss them... :).  My favorite part of the conference was a training about our covenants.  It's through making and keeping our covenants that we receive the power and strength to do all that we are asked.  I was grateful for the reminder that we don't have to rely on our own strength :).  We really cannot do it alone, but I KNOW He is with us through everything.

Love you!  amping!  pag hinay kamu dida :)

Sister Mortensen 

Riding a water buffalo with Nanay G--, a member here in Billiran, that works with
us most every day.  She is so funny and so kind.  I love their family!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Facebook Message From Sister Maurer

Well, it all happened so fast. But we feel it was so worth it to have our whole mission together. Some important things they learnt.     

1. PTM Vision - 'In the Tacloban Mission we enable Eternal Conversion thru our Faith and Good Works'

2. Faith + Good Works = Eternal Conversion (for our investigators, the less actives, and for ourselves)

3. Faith means we rely on the Lord - we hold on to the iron rod. Good works are the small acts we perform daily such as service, scripture reading, praying, attending church, and obedience - building our faith. Eternal Conversion is connected to our covenants - baptismal, sacramental, and temple covenants.

--Sister Maurer

Philippines Tacloban Missionaries

(Sister Mortensen is 3rd row from back, next to the "V" gap)

Monday, July 6, 2015

Facebook Message From Sister Maurer

Combined Zone Conference with all the Missionaries

Can you find Sister Mortensen?!?!?  (On the bottom left side corner in a blue shirt!))

How Grateful I Am To My Heavenly Father That In His Plan There Are No True Endings, Only Everlasting Beginnings

Hello Family,

Sorry this is gonna be a SHORT email :).  between loading pictures and copying my comps pictures and everything  :)

So yes... I am transferring!  We were expecting that Sister Culangan would be transferring, and I would stay, since she has been here three cycles now. But....the Lord has his own plans for us :).

I am SO GRATEFUL for the time I have had here to serve in Tanauan 1st ward.  I have learned so much from them and also from my companion Sister Culangan!  She is a dedicated missionary and works SO HARD. Even when she's not feeling good, she still is ready and excited to work.  She is great at getting to know people and helping them to understand and love the gospel like she does.  I am so grateful for the time I have had with her and everything I have learned from her :).

I have LOVED the ward and everyone we have gotten to know here as well!  There are some wonderful people here in Tanauan :). Most of our area is pretty far from the chapel, and many of the members have to make sacrifices to make it to church on sundays.  And they do :)  I have been so blessed to have some wonderful areas and companions throughout my mission, which I am so very grateful for :).  One of the hardest parts for me of my mission is transferring!  Saying goodbye to your companion and the members and everyone you met, and know knowing if or when you'll see them again.  But I find SO much comfort in the fact that even if we don't see each other in this life, there will be time in the eternities to catch up with everyone :).  One of my favorite quotes is this one from President Uchtdorf: "Endings are not our destiny. The more we learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ, the more we realize that endings here in mortality are not endings at all. They are merely interruptions—temporary pauses that one day will seem small compared to the eternal joy awaiting the faithful.  How grateful I am to my Heavenly Father that in His plan there are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings."

I try to think of transfers not as leaving an area you love, but moving on to another area that you're gonna love just as much.  It's just another opportunity to meet many more children of God, which I am so grateful for :).

I love you all so much!  sounds like you have had a GREAT week back home :).  Loved the pictures!  Keep being so wonderful :)  love you!!  take care :)

Sister Mortensen

Sister Mortensen and Sister Culangan

Trying to take a jumping picture!!!!!

Zone Activity

Zone Activity

Zone Activity

Roommates - Kabalays

Praying Roommates - Brianne is the far left one!

Sister Culangan with flowers she was given during an OYM

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Facebook Message

Facebook Message From Shinehah Olea
(Thanks Shinehah!)

Working with the full-time missionaries is "maupay hin duro."
Your example is the best teacher!

Sister Mortensen, Shinehah, Sister Culangan