Monday, November 30, 2015

I'm Grateful For My Wonderful Companion And Roommates But Mostly I'm Grateful For The Gospel And For My Wonderful Family

Hello my favorite family!  

I'm glad to hear you had  a wonderful thanksgiving!  glad to see nothing has changed TOO much and thanksgiving is still spending time with lots of family, skeet shooting, and soccer :).  that's fun ali you got to be goalie again! and those are some great pictures, looks like you had a great time. speaking of pictures.... i forgot my camera at the apartment.  hahaha sorry :)

this week we went to an ISLAND called San Antonio.  it is SO BEAUTIFUL there, white sand and the bluest water i've ever seen!  so beautiful. missionaries have been going there once a month for maybe about a year now and we're trying to introduce the gospel there :).  is a 30 minute boat ride away, so it would be kinda difficult for them to come to church, but the hope is to get a special sacrament started and a meeting house over there, and one day have missionaries assigned there.  the people there are sooo friendly and just welcoming and it was great to spend some time with them sharing the gospel.  we taught one sister whose family was SO religious and looking for the true church.  she and all her siblings had joined many different churches and were still looking :).  haha kinda reminded me of joseph smiths family was the first thing that came to mind.  But it's families and people like this that are PREPARED telaga to receive the gospel. sadly we wont be able to go back to this family any time soon but we left them some pamphlets and invited them to church, and maybe one day they'll remember and find the church.

That was actually on thanksgiving that we went to the island :).  we went in the morning so we could catch a boat home :) and then came back and did studies that evening, and made thanksgiving dinner!  My anak is a wonderful cook :).  we made mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, chicken, and apple cobbler!  Not quite the same as back home, but it was pretty american and pretty delicious considering we're in the philippines haha.  it was wonderful :).  haha i'm grateful for a little bit of america sometimes :)  i'm grateful for my wonderful companion and roommates!  but mostly, i'm grateful for the gospel and for my wonderful family!  I am so so SO very blessed :)

This week we had exchanges with our STL's!  And I was able to be companions with Sister Culangan again, my previous companion! Goodness she is such a wonderful missionaries, :).  She is so humble and she has become an even stronger than ever missionary since I've been with her.  It's pretty amazing how much the gospel will change us if we will strive to live it.  I've definitely seen that in my own mission, and that gives me hope for the rest of life as well, that I have a looong time to keep changing and improving.  I read a talk this morning during personal study by Elder Jefferey R. Holland called "None were with Him" and i LOVED it.  It's about how because Christ suffered the atonement alone and did it for us, we can have his help and support and never have to be alone through anything we do. Through Him we can change and become who we need to be. I also loved His example of perfect faith, that even though He felt alone and had to be while He suffered, He knew that the Father was close by and would never leave Him.  How thankful I am to have His perfect example and His support as we strive to follow Him and to become who we need to be.

haha MOM don't be trunky ha :)  nope i don't have my travel plans yet :) 

Here is what Pres. Maurer sent back about ideas for jax's project.......

There are people who always need items like clothing and shoes etc. Helping people get on missions always takes more resources than many have. White shirts, scriptures, PMG etc etc. Even the minimum of 2,400 pesos is very hard to get by so many. I am not sure if anything I have mentioned can be achievable in your brother's plans, but it may help
you to add to them!!! 

hopefully that can help :).  let me know if theres anything i can help with :).  i love you all!  can't wait to hear from you next week :)


Sister Mortensen

Monday, November 23, 2015

It Really Is Evidence That The Gospel Is For Everyone No Matter Of Age Or Education Or Where You're From. It's Simple, And It's Perfect, And It's For All Of Us

hello family,

wow i can't believe it's getting cold! and snowing!  yeah i think this is gonna be the coldest winter of my LIFE once I get home :).  haha sounds like ali and josh really have gotten along better, that its depressing for ali that he won't be home for a long time.  hahaha great job ali :)

Today i wanted to tell you about some of the recent convert kids in our area!  J-- and R-- are about 10 years old and were baptized in october.  Their families are both members, but only sometimes come to church.  but these two kids and some of their friends that are investigators ALWAYS come to church, on their own.  And it's pretty far, but they're always early even.  And they both have such a great understanding of the gospel. It really is evidence that the gospel is for everyone, no matter of age or education or where you're from. It's simple, and its perfect, and its for all of us :).  it really just depends on if we really do have the DESIRE to understand, and are willing to try. and these kids definitely are. also, sidenote, they are hilarious!  they ask us what some words are in english sometimes, and think it's so funny that we call it a belly button.  Also, apparently sis russon is so white she sparkles! hahaha.  love these kids :).

they don't really celebrate thanksgiving in the philippines, but we will be!  We are hopefully going to make a filipino version of thanksgiving dinner.  haha we'll see how it turns out :).  you can't find as many things food wise as you can in my past areas, but we're gonna go look today :).  but just know, that i am thankful for YOU!  and i've recognized it more than ever being away all this time now :).  enjoy your thanksgiving!!! eats lots for me :)

hahaha josh, i'm definitely jealous of your view :).  but sounds like you are having some awesome experiences with those you are teaching :).  thanks for sharing. I'm sure you know but WRITE IN YOUR JOURNAL!  everything you want to remember :) haha .

also, about the pictures, i only have one for today... we had planned to go to an island to proselyte which is apparently BEAUTIFUL, but we had to cancel and move it to (hopefully...) this week.  so just the one.  with sister culangan!!  a previous companion :).  i miss her!  she's our stl here and was on exchanges with the other sisters :).  

as for the package, thank you again!!!  sounds great haha :). also the general conference ensign if its out now :)

love you all!  hope you have a FABULOUS week and enjoy your thanksgiving and the cold and everything!  we are so blessed :)

love you!

Sister Mortensen

Sister Culangan, Sister Russon, Sister ?, Sister Mortensen

Monday, November 16, 2015

It's Amazing How Much She Understands And Treasures What She Is Learning

Hello Family,

This week has been great!  We are starting to get to know more people and visiting them!  We are doing lots of OYMing as well and looking for those prepared for the gospel.  We've been working with one lady named R--, who just recently began investigating the church, but already has such a strong testimony!  It is amazing how much she understands  and treasures what she is learning.  She seems to already understand, even before we have taught her, we're almost just reviewing what she already knows and believes.  It's pretty amazing :).  she is definitely one of those thats is prepared and ready to receive the gospel.  She has to wait 4 more years to be baptized, since she is living in with brother, and they have both been married before.  But she is okay with that and says the time will fly anyway, she'll just continue learning and preparing :). hopefully that will give brother the time as well There are more people out there too, that are just as prepared as she is, and we know the Lord will lead us to them :). We are being blessed :).

Mom thank you for the wonderful quote about being optimistic.  Ah i love president hinckley :)

This week for my ponderizing verse, this morning i chose alma 5:26.  my favorite part...."do you feel so now?" I chose this to help me remember to ALWAYS strive to have the spirit and that feeling to 'sing the song of redeeming love' with us.  We are so incredibly blessing and i need to be better at remembering that.  

Love you all so so much!  I'll talk to you next week!!

Love, Sister Mortensen

Sister Mortensen and Sister Russon at a Members Wedding Reception

Monday, November 9, 2015

It's A Great Reminder To Me Of The Difference Between Going Through The Motions of Reading And Going To Church And All That, And REALLY Doing Them For The Right Reasons

Hello family,

we're doing great here in ALLEN!  it's been kinda a busy couple days and we haven't had a whole lot of time to work in the area really yet, but we're excited to get to work this week :).  haha mom i love all the questions :) We live with 2 sisters who are in the same branch with us as well, Allen 2 branch.  and there are elders that cover ward 1.  my first area with so many missionaries, so that's fun :).  The language really isn't too different... just many of the h's change to s.  and then some words are different.  but a lot of people speak tagalog, especially with the other sisters, since they're tagalog, so thats a little rough.  I understand some but not nearly enough haha.  but yes, the gift of tongues is definitely real :).  many blessings :).  its a pretty big area but we're just gonna start at the closer areas and maybe eventually get out a little farther. we'll see.  but nothing like biliran :).  the apartment is great, we're on the 3rd floor and the view is SO PRETTY.  right on the ocean :).  haha mom the toilet and shower are fine :).  i don't think yolanda hit here very bad, but not sure yet.  our attendance yesterday was 81!  they are hoping to become a ward soon!!  we just need a couple more active melchizedek priesthood holders :).  so close! my new companion is sister Russon!  she is from kaysville and is so sweet :).  shes a trooper too and eats everything and says its fine... even though i'm guessing it's still kinda new and weird for her.  haha she's so sweet.  today i think we'll try to buy some more 'american' food to give her a break sometimes. i am so so so excited though to be with her these next couple months, we are gonna have so much fun :). just keep praying for her okay since i'm not sure the best way to help her always to adjust and to learn the language :)

Today i also wanted to tell you about one of our investigators we taught this week!  Her name is J--, and she is a single mom, with a little boy who's one named E--.  When she was younger she was going to church pretty regularly for a couple of years, but was never baptized.  When we visited her last saturday she told us that she had been going to church but not really there spiritually, that it never really entered her mind and heart what she was hearing.  She said she would read the Book of Mormon sometimes but never understood any of it.  But when she had her son it kinda woke her up and she kind of realized that she really wanted to know that is was true for herself and to be baptized!  she wants to raise her son in the church :).  She came to church on sunday and we are planning for her to be baptized around the beginning of the year!  It was a great reminder to me of the difference between going through the motions of reading and going to church and all that, and REALLY doing them for the right reasons :).  

ah love the pictures!  ali and mom, you both are so cute! ah. and wow brayden!  haha who knew you were so talented?? oh wait we all did.  great job :)  haha and love the one of jax and ali!  haha it's actually starting to fit him now :).  you're so tall!!!  dad, 20 years? haha dad your job is as old as i am.  perfect age :)

goodness i love you all :).  don't forget that ha?  talk to you next week!!

Love, Sister Mortensen

President Maurer, Sister Russon, Sister Mortensen, Sister Maurer

View From the Apartment

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

I Know That It Really Doesn't Matter If You Can't Really Speak And Understand The Language That Well...It Really Is Just The Spirit

Hi Family,

This has been a crazy week.....My nanay in the mission, sister kalua-santiago, went HOME today!  That is so crazy isn't it!  I'm gonna miss her... but i know we'll see each other plenty of times again and am SO excited for her as well :).  haha i can't even say how grateful i am for her :).  goodness how in the world did i luck out with such great companions? i am blessed :)

Ah my dear family, I love you all so so much :)  and i have a favor.......pray for me lots now okay? but mostly pray for my new ANAK because i'm training!  ...and transferring to allen up in catarman zone... which means i'll be learning a new version of waray and also tagalog i'm told!  So lots of prayers okay? :) i'm excited and surprisingly medyo calm about it.  If i stop and think about it too much, its scary haha, but then i know that it really doesn't matter if you can't really speak and understand the language that well...  it really is just the spirit, and new missionaries always have such STRONG faith and excitement for the work, so we'll be able to just figure it out together :)

we came to tacloban yesterday (tuesday) for transfer day and then today we met the new missionaries and went out OYMing with them!  and then had p day, and i got to go back to TANAUAN with SISTER GERALDEZ!!!  my previous area, and my previous companion :)  she was assigned there as well :).. how lucky are we?  we asked president and he said that would be great so... we went and visited some members :).  And goodness it was SO wonderful, i can't even say :).  Ah goodness i just really have felt so blessed this week :). haha.  i know God loves each and everyone one of us and will BLESS us if we just try to follow Him :).  don't worry, He's very patient with us and understands when we make mistakes... we just have to try.  so keep trying everyone!  I'm praying for you ALWAYS ;).  love you all!!  

pray for us :) haha

Sister Mortensen

Pictures from our zone activity last Monday.  We went to the zoo, which is really just 
someones house where they let you walk in and look around.  The lion was the coolest.