Monday, September 28, 2015

Careful...You Might Do The Cha Cha!

Hello to the BEST family in the world!!  

It's been a great week with my new companion, sister clerigo!  she is from bukidnon, Mindanao, so she is native cebuano speaker.  She's been on her mission since last october, so almost a year now.  I didn't know her much before, we've never been in the same zone or anything before :).   But she is so great!  it's been great working with her this week :).  i really miss sister geraldez though! ah. i really don't like transfers. but they're a blessing as well haha :)

we have biked much this past week, since it's been pretty rainy.  which is probably why there was no problems with them this week :) haha josh no worries, i'm sure you'll have your own crazy experiences as well :).  every day is different it seems haha.  and you're just as sarcastic as ever! :) but yep that's my favorite song as well, 'the hardest thing....' it's a good one. and so true :)   but yes take advantage of your companion that's a native speaker!  haha thats a huge blessing.  keep up the great work :)

funny story... a couple weeks ago after we visited O-- and his family, we were walking through this empty building that had mud and water on the ground and was slippery.  So i was... having a fun time, and twisting and sliding around in it.  haha :). sis geraldez thought i was gonna fall and kinda was making some noise trying to get me to stop.  and we walk out and look back.... and brother O-- and two of his kids were watching and smiling so big!!  haha.  whoops.  when we went back i asked how much they saw, and they laughed and said they saw me doing the chacha.  hahah!  so this past week, when we were leaving in had just rained and was wet again, brother O-- says, "careful, you might do the chacha." haha lesson more dancing on the mission :). 

This week one of the most exciting things is we were able to teach A--!  She is our one and only recent convert in our area right now, but she is also less active.  She has a little girl and is going to school as well right now, so is always pretty busy.  This is the first time we were able to visit her for about 2 months!  She lives close to the church, so we drop by her house pretty often, but only now we were able to teach her :).  We shared about our baptismal covenants and renewing them through taking the sacrament :).  She really does have the desire to come to church, but just feels that she does not have enough time.  But she said she'll try, even just for 1 hour, this sunday.  So i think we'll go by sunday morning and try to pick her up as well.  Hopefully we'll be able to continue to visit her as well :).

President Maurer said it is fine either way, for you to pick me up or us come back later.  So yeah i think it will be best to come back in May? that ok? also he said he will send a letter to you guys about it as well :).  also, what's the name of our airport? salt lake international?  haha i can't remember for sure :)

love you! i'm praying for you!  hope you have a fantastic week!  

sister mortensen

Sister Mortensen and Sister Clerigo

Monday, September 21, 2015

My Mission Is By Far The Hardest Thing I've Done, But It Is Also What Has Changed Me The Most In My Life

Hello Family,

Transfer day is tomorrow... and I will be staying, and sister geraldez transferring :(. we were expecting it, but i'm still gonna miss her!  transfer day is tomorrow, so i'm not sure who my new companion will be yet :).  

this week i got to go on transfers with sister Lunar!  This is my second time exchanging with her, and it was so fun :).  It is pretty amazing to see the changes in her over just a transfer even.  we worked in her area and were able to visit a couple recent converts and investigators of theirs.  

oh last week i asked President Maurer in my letter to him about you guys picking me up or coming back to visit...but then i apparently forgot to send it. haha. whoops. so i'll let you know about that next week.  But the temple trip is planned for may 25!

I wanted to tell you today about Brother O-- and his family.  I think i've told you about them before.  Brother O-- is an investigator, and the rest of the family was less active that returned (came 4 sundays in a row) but now have gone less active again :(.  They have had many trials come into their life since they've started coming back to church.  It's during the hard times like these that we really do grow the most though. Like with my mission. It is by far the hardest thing i've done, but is also what has changed me the most in my life. God allows us these hard times to make us stronger, if we let them. It reminds us of a scripture at the end of the book of Alma after years and years of wars.  (Alma 62:41). 

 But behold, because of the exceedingly great length of the war between the Nephites and the Lamanites many had become hardened, because of the exceedingly great length of the war; and many were softened because of their afflictionsinsomuch that they did humble themselves before God, even in the depth of humility.

It's our choice if the hard times will soften or harden us, turn us towards God or away from Him.  Brother O-- and his family seem to be starting to soften again :).  Brother has a hard time stopping his word of wisdom. And ever since he's been really trying to stop, lots of people have started bringing alcohol to his house to drink with him.. He said he wants to move to out in the ocean so nobody can tempt him :).  But he's almost there :).  He has a HUGE desire to stop.  and that's the first step.  So we know he'll make it some day :).  

Love you lots!  Talk to you next week!

Sister Mortensen

Sister Mortensen and Sister Geraldez

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

He Wants To Know How To Follow Christ More And To Understand What We Believe

hello family,

thank you for the wonderful letter!  sounds like you've had  a great week! and i love the pictures as well :).  sorry today is our p-day instead of monday, just for this week.  The bikes are working great now :).  we had a member fix the brakes... sadly he couldn't put a motor on though.  they're still as tiring as ever haha. haha i thought walking everywhere was tiring, but the bikes are even more so!  i'm sure we'll get used to it though :).  we rode them a couple days last week.  And it saves so much time!  it's great. well going uphill it's about the same time.... but downhill is very quick :).  most people here ride motors but some have bikes too.  they all think it's pretty funny that us sisters are riding bikes now :).  the skirt is kinda a struggle but it's just fine.    

We were about to teach R-- once this week!  I was actually on exchanges with sister Pui.  we were punted at some other lessons and decided to try him, and he was home!  and let us teach :).  he is so shy. but he really is interested in the church. we asked why only now he would let us visit him, when his family has been members for a while now.  he just said that he wants to know how to follow Christ more and to understand what we believe.  we shared about the restoration, and he seems to really have the desire to learn and to know for himself if it's true. he seems to have a lot of questions but is too shy to really ask them yet. i think it might just take a little time with him.  whenever we set another appointment with him, he isn't home.  we aren't sure if he's busy or just shy... but we are definitely going to keep trying with him :).

Haha yeah that was my first area we ate mostly just rice and hotdogs :).  now we have sister pui!  she and sis acama live in the apartment with us, and she loves to cook :).  and ALL her food is soooo good haha.  so now lots of different things.... fish, vegetables, chicken, soup.  and always rice :)

haha yep i got my haircut!  actually i cut it :).  haha.  maybe 8 inches? it was REALLY long before.

As for advice for josh.... love the people, love your companion, love the Lord :).  And also, you're set apart as missionary, just like me, just like everyone else.  You'll recieve just as much revelation and direction from the spirit as your companion or anyone else. there's no practice time, no warm up, but you're just a normal missionary :). like you said, just be confident, trust the spirit ALWAYS! the Lord knows what to do, even when we don't :).  Alma 26:11-12. love you!

time to go :) love you all SO MUCH..

Sister Mortensen

A branch party for M--.  She is now serving her mission in New Zealand.

Sister Mortensen and Sister Heraldez

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Facebook Post From Sister Maurer

Having a little bit of fun while stretching, learning about dental care and correct missionary haircuts....

Sister Hansen loves to encourage the missionaries to work on their flexibility.

 For many of our missionaries flossing is a new concept. We are blessed to have Elder Hansen with us who is a dentist by trade. He helps educate many of our missionaries on good dental hygiene practices.

Barbers and hairdressers here don't understand what a good missionary haircut is. They tend to cut to the latest fashion - short sides and long on the top. No matter what you tell them if you say 'more' then it usually comes off the sides, not the top. So we invited some local barbers to come in after zone training to fix up some of the missionary haircuts. True to form, it took up to 5 times of cutting and re-cutting for some missionaries to come out with an acceptable result. Even with a photo example in hand, my constant cry of "more off the top", and me cutting one missionaries hair as an example, they just couldn't get it. But eventually we had every missionary looking good at the end.

Monday, September 7, 2015

A Miracle Happened

Hello family!! 

thank you so much for you wonderful letter, these really are some of my favorites. you guys are hilarious haha :).  I'm glad you're enjoying the cabin!  and the cold too! haha it's weird to think about wanting to WARM up your bed :).  what a great weekend! I'm glad you guys are having fun :) and hillary, i'm glad you're enjoying the cabin, and keeping brayden awake on the four wheelers haha :). 

but yeah, that is crazy that josh is going to kennewick now!  holy moly.  he's gonna be great :).  

also, thank you SO MUCH for the package!  it was perfect :) all my favorites!    you guys are the best :)

Sister geraldez's foot is doing much better :).  not walking so much for a couple days while at mlc really helped it i think.  MLC was wonderful!  we have some amazing leaders here in the mission and i learned so much from them.  We talked about peter, how he overcame his weaknesses and became one of the most powerful missionaries ever.  We also discussed about giving bikes to some of the areas that have to walk the most.....and then picked two areas for a trial......and so now, we have BIKES!!!  It's been quite the experience!  The first day we got them, the tire had a hole, so we patched the hole (thanks dad! haha. i'm not sure how many other sisters have a dad that taught them how...). we rode them the next day, but the brakes were rubbing and it was HARD to pedal... and we didn't make it far. haha.  and then sis geraldez got sick :(.  so we just had to go home and rest :).  Today we're having someone fix the brakes, so hopefully it will be all good for tomorrow :).  but we're excited :)

yesterday, we went to visit the B-- family.  Nanay is active, and a couple of their kids and their families are active as well.  Tatay is less active though, and we've been visiting him and trying to help him return.  He wasn't there yesterday though, so we sat down to talk to nanay for a minute.  and a miracle happened!! One of their sons, R--, isn't a member and will NEVER talk to us even, let alone let us teach him or anything.  When ever the missionaries come, he stops whatever he's doing and stands up and leaves.  But yesterday, he walked in and saw us talking, and comes and SITS DOWN with us and starts talking to us!  It was crazy! we were so surprised haha. He was so friendly as well, and agreed to join a lesson gihapon with tatay on wednesday!!  We have no idea yet what changed his mind about the church, but hopefully on wednesday we'll be able to figure that out.  It was such a HUGE change, we were both sooo happy and are excited to teach him :).  The Lord really does have his timing for each of us.  I know He is preparing people all over the world for their time to recieve the gospel :).  how grateful am i to be a part of His work and to witness some of his miracles here in biliran :).

ah i wish i had more time to write to you!  but time to go :).  I love you!  talk to you next week!

Sis mortensen