Monday, August 31, 2015

We Really Are Blessed As We Strive To Be EXACTLY Obedient


I'm glad you had a great birthday :).  and thank you dad for singing the song to mom!! haha glad you liked it.:).  

The L-- family have been busy this past week and we weren't able to teach them.  And only the kids came to church again.  but we're planning to go visit them later tonight!  And also, we are going to try to find a new investigator family this week!   

This week we got to go on exchanges with the Cabucgayan 2 sisters!  I stayed in my area and worked with Sister Farol.  This is her first transfer, so she's only been in the mission about 3 weeks now.  She is such a great missionary!   I especially loved how she always ties everything we do and say back into Jesus Christ and our families.   I really enjoyed talking to her as we walked to our appointments and got to know her better. 

One thing I've learned this week is that we really are blessed as we strive to be EXACTLY obedient. This week we are really working on starting all our studies on time and getting out to work early or right on time. We've been struggling a little with that the past while and get started a couple minutes late.  But we goaled to be not even a little late, but start right on time.  And last friday was one of the BEST days I've had in a long time! We started all our studies on time, and got out the door gihapon right on time.  That day President let us ride a boat to one of our areas and it saved SO much time!  And was a great rest for Sis Geraldez's foot, which is why he let us.  Her foot is much better, but hurts if we walk very far. which is most everyday... but she never complains :).  While we were there we did some laba (laundry) for a lady we met, and set up a time to come back and teach her next week :).  Later that day, we visited the G-- family, who recently graduated from RC and are now less active :(.  They had many many questions, but we were able to answer them through the scriptures and help them understand. It is so true that the spirit will give you in the very moment what you can share :).  If we just study and prepare and do everything we can, the spirit will bring to memory what we know so that we can share it.  This day we felt the spirit so strongly and it confirmed to us the importance of obedience.  I absolutely love being a missionary and feel so blessed to be here and be sharing the gospel :).

Tomorrow we have MLC! and i'm so excited :).  we just were sent a talk we'll be talking about, and it's about Peter!  he's one of my favorites. i've actually been studying a little about him the past couple days and I want to be like peter!  he's the kind of missionary i want to be. like him, i have weaknesses that i need to overcome before i can become that kind of missionary though.  i can't wait for tomorrow!  i'll let you know all about it next week :)  

love you!
take care!

Sister Mortensen 

Sister Mortensen and Sister Brereton

Sister Geraldez and Sister Mortensen

Missionaries from Sister Mortensen's MTC Batch

Monday, August 24, 2015

Strength From The Lord Is Not Only Spiritual But Physical Too

Hello Family,

Ah sounds like you've had a great week!  Thats crazy school is starting!  You two are getting so old!  And brayden, you're getting so...close! maybe? hmmm. let me know :).

This week......Tatay D-- RETURNED!  It was his 4th sunday in a row that he came to church, so he is active now :).  haha and yes tatay means dad, you use it for grandpa-age people :).  haha. sorry i hadn't explained that yet!) We weren't even able to visit him this week, but he came anyways.  How great is he :)

The people we found in hugpa weren't home when we visited last we'll have to see what happens this week :).  Hugpa is far, about an hour to walk there, so we only visit once a week.  This week was especially difficult because sis. geraldez slipped and hurt her foot. So it is pretty painful to walk. but she's a trooper and walks anyways, and never complains.  it is starting to feel a little better but definitely still hurts. especially walking so far :(.  Pray for her okay? :)  Many prayers have been answered with that... we pray all the time that her foot will not hurt her so she can walk.  Also we're praying all the time for the energy to walk far everyday :).  Haha we are so tired every night!  But every morning we are able to get up and do it again haha.  Strength from the Lord is not only spiritual but physical too :).  

Yes typhoon season is right now :).  there hasn't been anything here yet, just rain sometimes.  That you for the package!!  We will be going to tacloban next week i think so i'll pick it up then :).  

I also want to tell you about some investigators, the L-- family :).  They have been investigating for a while now.  The kids come to church every sunday, but the mom also says she'll try but doesn't make it to church.  Their father recently got back from working in Mindanao, and is pretty shy of us.  We have been doing everything we can think of with this family the past couple weeks to help them begin to progress!  We did a service project at their house and helped clean up some of their garden.  And we also had a FHE at their house!  We had two member families attend as well. Sister really loved the FHE, I think that more than anything will help her see just how much the gospel can bless their family.  It was a fun and spiritual night, and she said she enjoyed it and hoped we could have another one soon when her husband can attend as well.  At the same time though, it seems like there are always trials that come whenever someone starts to take a step on the right path.  We have seen that with quite a few people here that we've taught.  it's hard to see, because I know if they just CONTINUE, it will get better, like the quote you shared mom, but it can be a little frustrating and confusing along the way sometimes.  But there is a purpose for these trials as well. to strengthen our faith and to really make us rely on Him.  So in the long run, they will be better off, if they just continue :).  That's my hope for the L-- family and everyone else that is struggling, that they will just continue to do what is right and build their faith. The blessings will come :).  we just have to be patient :)

Ah goodness I love this gospel :). I love being here as a missionary and there is no where else i'd rather be :).  I know our Heavenly Father loves each of us and will take care of us and guide us as we just have FAITH and follow Him :). 

Love you!!

Sister Mortensen

PS  i was gonna send pictures, but forgot my memory card at home :(. sorry.

and can you send me the recipe for toffee? thats just cooked on the stove right? my companion wants to try some :)

Monday, August 17, 2015

I Know The Lord Has Prepared People Here In Biliran For The Gospel And Will Put Them In Our Paths

Hi Family,

Thanks for sending josh's letter :).  ahhh how great is he.  haha.  made me cry :).  we're both babies i guess :)

Two tatays we've been visiting came to church AGAIN!  Tatay D-- said thats he's just gonna keep coming to church straight, because i'ts easier that way.  If he sits at home on sundays he's tired and his knees are sore, but if he walks to church, which is pretty far, he feels much better :).   He's changed so much. when we first would visit him, he'd have SO many excuses and tell us how not coming to church is just a little sin, not a big deal, and he'll just ask forgiveness and be fine.  But now,  next sunday, he will be returned! active again :).  And Tatay P-- is doing great as well :).  He reads the book of mormon and understands really well, and explains to us everything that is happening in what he read.  so maupay :).  i love these tatays!

Haha i would love for you guys to visit here :).  I'm not sure yet if it would be better to pick me up or to come back after.... but either way would be great :). we missionaries probably won't get the opportunity to go to the temple :(.  Hopefully!  but the area presidency says that you need to be within 1.5 hours to go.  But we're hoping for an exception for our mission :). but i'm glad all of you guys get to go back home often! :) 

This week I wanted to share about our experiences with on the spot teaching!  We were in Hugpa, one of our far areas and were punted from all of our appointments :).  We had a nanay working with us and she stopped to talk to some of her relatives there.  We started talking with them as well and asked if we could share with them.  We taught them just a short lesson about how the gospel blesses families, and set up an appointment to come back.  They seemed to be very interested!  We were excited to go back to them.  Unfortunately when we went back later that week, everyone was at a meeting.  So we weren't able to teach them.  So, we went to visit another less active, but only her cousin was home. So, we OYM'd him and were able to share a message with him as well and set up another time to come back :).  We have been struggling to find new investigators in our area lately, so we were very excited to find these people this week :).  I know the Lord has prepared people here in Biliran for the gospel, and will put them in our paths.  It's our responsibility to recognize them, through the spirit, and help them to come unto Christ :).  It's such a privilege to be here and be a part of His work here.  We are so blessed :).  I don't know how I was lucky enough to be born in the family I was, but I was :).  I know the gospel is what has blessed us as a family so much and i just hope and pray that these families here as well can see that same happiness and blessings that we have.  I love you all! :)

Sister Mortensen

Monday, August 10, 2015

There Is A Huge Power And Strength That Comes From Our Temple Covenants

Hello family!  

Its great to hear from you!  and great to read josh's letter too!!! ah wow.  He's so great :).  I especially loved his birthday gift to ali...... haha!  things are going great here!  Transfers are today, but we are both staying! we are so glad :)

Tatay D-- came to church again!!! 2nd sunday now :). And his granddaughter R-- came with him as well :).  It's been amazing to see the changes in him.  And also, Tatay P came to church as well!!! Another (there are lots...) less active tatay.  They are both SO great though and so kind.  They know the gospel so well and have the right desires, its just that other things have gotten in the way and they forgot for a while.  But they're coming back :).  AH its so exciting :).  Brother O-- and his family are doing alright :).  They weren't able to come to church sunday since they all had sore eyes (its kinda like pink eye i think?). But we visited sister and the kids last night and they seem to be doing well.  It seems like it is just going to take some time.  I think we were rushing him a little, but he is still doing great and will be baptized one day :).

This week me and my companion have been talking about the temple :).  How we both miss going so much!  And how beautiful and wonderful it is.  So you guys take advantage of the temple okay? There are so many that are so close!  We are so blessed and so lucky back home.  Thats one of the many many things i took for granted back home.  But I am so grateful for temples and for the covenants we make there.  There is a huge power and strength that comes from our temple covenants.  I know it's through these covenants that we have the strength to endure and to be strong in the gospel!  I'm going to spend more time this week studying covenants as well :).  

Love you guys :).  I am SO GRATEFUL that we are sealed as a family and that we know that we can be together forever :)..  I miss you all, of course, but am sooo happy here, and know we'll have plennnnty of time later to be together.  Love you!! Can't wait to hear from you next week :)

Sister Mortensen 

Sister Mortensen with Missionaries from her Batch

Sister Mortensen and Sister Geraldez after Planting Rice with the Gabuya Family for a Service Project

Taking the Shortcut Home

Monday, August 3, 2015

I Know The Lord Will Continue To Help and Strengthen Them As They Continue To Have Faith In Him

ALI!!! happy birthday!  hope  you had a WONDERFUL day  :).  I was thinking and praying for you even more than usual :)  you're 16!  getting so old.  holy moly :). you're gonna be a junior this year diba? wow! and jax you'll be a freshman now!  ahhh that's so fun :).  Good luck with school this year, and enjoy the rest of your summer!

josh is in the mtc now! I can't wait to hear from him as well :) and now TWO kids only at home!  Wow :)

Yesterday Tatay D-- came to church for the FIRST TIME in SOOO long!!  He's less active, and we've been visiting him for a long time now.  At first when we started visiting him he gave all these excuses why he couldn't come to church.  He had to garden, no money for transportation, couldn't walk kay it's far and he have to stop and rest but he's too shy to, it's only a little sin to not go to church, you can just ask forgiveness. and others :). But he finally realized i guess how important it is to come to church!  he came with his granddaughter too who's also less active :). We visit quite a few older nanays and tatays, like him, that are in their 70's and 80's and I LOVE it SO much :).  they are SO wonderful! :)

So turns out i actually am learning a new language here.....sign language!  There's a less active man named R-- that we have visited a couple times now and he's deaf, so we teach him by sign language :).   And also his wife helps translate for us. 

Today i also wanted to give you an update on Brother O-- and his family. He's the IBD that told us last week to stop visiting him and his family because he was giving up. On friday, we saw sister and asked if we could come by that night... and she said that'd be fine :).   So we did, and brother was home as well :).  at first as we started sharing, he was very shy and wouldn't look up at us.... but as we continued, he started talking to us and was more comfortable :).  They said that they were just having SOO many trails and problems right now and had gotten a little frustrated. But they said that they know they can do it, kay the Lord will help them. they know this is the true church and they just need to continue :).  We shared from mosiah 24 about the people of alma. How they had trials too, so that they could stand as a witness of God and KNOW that He helps his people in times of need. And all of their problems are for their benefit as well :).  So Brother O-- and his family can KNOW without a doubt that the Lord will bless and strengthen them through any of their trials.  Brother O-- said he definitely wants us to continue to visit him, and he definitely wants to be baptized :).  I can't even begin to tell you how happy me and sister geraldez were after that lesson!  After the last time...we walked away crying. but this time was smiling and SO happy for them :).  I know the Lord will continue to help and strengthen them as they continue to have faith in Him!

Its been another wonderful week :).  Can you believe it's AUGUST already! that's crazy :).  Next is the ber months, which means it's christmas season here :).  Time flys!  Next monday is transfers.... but i'll probably stay, and we're hoping sister geraldez does too :).  I'll let you know! but until then, hope you have a great week and stay safe and happy always :)


Sister Mortensen

Eating Lunch after Branch Council Meeting

Walking to Bachao...the little town on the coast, the one on the right!

Sister Geraldez, Walking to Hugpa