Week 7

I dont know what it is about the first week of the transfer but I'm pretty sure that the best stuff happens then. This week has been so good and we have been so busy! At one point last night when we were adding up our numbers to send into our district leaders, sister boudesocque and I looked at each other and were like, "wait a second. how did we get 8 new investigators?" It just goes to show that when we get just go to work and not think about anything else, we arent focusing on numbers, we are focusing on souls, real people. Seriously good week. Okay so I dont really know where to start.... i should have thought out my email more before sitting here now typing aimlessly. The bruise count on my legs is definitely going up. I am forever grateful for shin guards. Soccer is brutal without them. but still so so so fun. So last sunday was fast sunday, and since sister boudescoque is almost done with her mission, she told me that she was going to do a 40 day fast. She explained to me that she was gonna pray and think about things that she could do better to become a fully more consecrated missionary and do or not do these things for the next 40 days. So I thought, well I might as well do it too! So we both prayed that sunday and when we came together, we found that almost all of our things were the same! And WOW what a difference I have seen in myself. I decided to give up saying "I'm tired" because, lets be real, did Jesus ever say he was tired when we was busy teaching the gospel? nope. he did not. I also decided that at every appt, I was going to knock on and walk up to two people around the house or something. During planning, we felt like we had to be at that place for a reason, so if the person isnt home, we might as well find out who is in that area that is prepared for us. Another thing is I took down a lot of my pictures. I would be easy for me to look of during my personal study and think, "I wonder what my friends or my family is doing right now!" (also my life before the mission all feels like a dream... like did I really go to BYU? I dont even know hahahah) Now, I just have a ton of these quotes or scriptures about missionary work that really motivate me and help me stay super focused. 
So something cool that happened this week was on tuesday night we went over to try and meet with this less active woman who lives in an apartment complex next to where we live! She has never answered or been home since we have been here. Before we left the car we prayed super hard that we could finally just meet her already! we were walking up the steps and we heard this girl say "Las misioneras!" Thats not a common reaction hahah she ran up the stairs and told us that she had been waiting for us! I thought for sure she was like 14 or 15 but nope she was 11. Reminded me of Paige! and she let us in the house and I just adore her and her little sister! They are so cute. They are dominican and their mom is the one who is inactive. It was so good to finally meet them and turns out they had been in the dominican republic for a month! Emely told me that she had been waiting for us to come! She said that she really wants to get baptized and that she had met with the missionaries before. So we are working with them now So amazing to see how the Lord puts us exactly where we need to be at the exact time. 
Oh my okay so fun fact about why I love sister boudescoque. So hispanics do not ask you how much food you would like on your plate. I think that they just assume that we are malnurished or something. So they feed us the equal amount of the men. actually sometimes more. Well that day, I just simply could not eat all of it. Like the more rice I ate, the sicker I felt. I looked over at sister b and was just like sister literamente no puedo. when they werent looking, she swapped our plates and finished mine for me. If thats not true love I dont know what is. 
Oh one other miracle that happened! So we take turns leading out planning and so this night was my night and I remember during planning having this little thought pop into my mind that we need to visit this less active lady over in princeton. I was like... ehhh she probably wont even be home but we wrote it down anyway. So we went over to her apartment and knocked and no answer so we tried a couple doors around there not knowing if they would even be hispanic or not. And then someone answered! and she was hispanic! We were talking to her and she invited us in right away! We were talking and she was so receptive and it was just so obvious that she is prepared for this message! She has 2 kids and a husband and they are from guatamala. We left her to read the intro of the book of mormon and when we went back this morning, she had the book right out on the table and said, "I read it and I loved it! My favorite part is when that man, jose smith, says that this is the most correct books of all books" Im sure i was smiling so big. She was like, "could you tell me more about him?" POR SUPUESTO (of course!!) It truly was one of the most powerful lessons we have ever taught (I probably feel that way about alot of the lessons but yeah its true hahah) 
Okay so one more thing! all these things are just popping into my mind so sorry if this makes like zero sense. Yesterday, in sunday school, the lesson was on the nature of god. So we were talking about how as children of good we have a responsibility to bring others to the knowledge of god because all of us are his children! Someone mentioned how they are super afraid to ever bring up God or anything because they dont wanna offend anyone are feel awkward. And then I raised my hand against my own will (I dont know how these things happen, ever since I was little I would subconsciously volunteer myself for commentary or answers hahah) I talked about how before my mission I would also be afraid to open my mouth and bring up religious topics in casual conversation but I just didnt now what it truly meant to be a child of god. In the Bible, in 1 John chapter 4, we learn the God is love. And perfect love casteth out all fear. I promised them that when we truly know who we are, we will never fear and will desire to call up our heavenly father to help us bring His children back. After I had said my 2 cents, the ward mission leader raised his hand and said, "I testify that what this misionera said is true and I know this because I have seen her grow in the language and teach with power" He said other things but I cant really remember because I just started tearing up and what not hahah I love our ward mision leader hermano pinto. For him to say that meant SO much to me. the language is coming and i love the mission. Until next week! 

Week 6

Okay so let me just start out by saying that I get asked out on more dates and a missionary than I have ever before in my life. I guess this is good because I'm getting really a lot better at saying no! Those who are friends of mine know how terrible I am with this hahaha sister boudesocque just laughs every time it happens. So heres one funny story. We were just finished up district meetings and then after that we have like an hour for lunch so we all went out to eat and this place near by. it was average. like an east coast cafe rio. so all us missionaries are heading out to the parking lot to leave and then this guy is walking over to me and he says "I dont wanna look stupid or anything but i have a question" and I was like "whats your question??" thinking that its like who in the world are you guys or why are you wearing nametags or the usual. But then he says, in front of my WHOLE zone, "will you go on a date with me?" I feel like the whole zone was just like waiting for me to respond and here I am the new greenie hahaha so I just said "aww thats so nice of you! but I am a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and I gave up all of that and left my family and school behind for 18 months to share the gospel" and then I quickly changed topics by asking him about his religion or something and he was like well I have a bible! and he pulled a bible out of his backpack thing. So then I was like "wow thats awesome! Youre half way there!!" I dont think he really appreciated that much. He wouldnt accept the book of mormon we offered him but hows that for a funny story. my zone just makes fun of me now hahaha. OH AND ONE MORE THING. So in all the mission cars there is this thing called a Tiwi and every time you go like 5 miles over the speed limit it says "CHECK YOUR SPEED" and lets just say thats its taking some time for me to adjust to having to drive 65 on the freeway. I'm having dreams that consist of the phrase "CHECK YOUR SPEED" 
So a couple things about this week! I have made an observation. The more I contact during the day, the happier I am and the more energy I have. So what we have been doing is trying to talk to everyone and then guess what happens, people have started coming up to us! I swear the majority of people in Princeton have english as a second language. We were teaching a less active outside of his home and this man and his two super cute daughters walked by and they were from Germany and had only been here for like a month! and then when on of our appointments juked us and we heard another language and we both thought it was spanish coming from the neighbors so we knocked on the door and they answered and they were Egyptians! The husband was wearing this giant like dress thing and it was like a mini party they were having cause he just got out of the hospital because of a heart attack and they invited us in and give us some coconut things and gave us thing mango drink and everything. This random things happen all the time. we asked to leave them with a prayer after talking to them for a little bit, and they asked if they could do their prayer. It was like this super intense chant and song thing in egyptian so that was definitely a new experience. 
Another thing that happened was when another appt juked us, (all too often people) so we tried the neighbors. Sister Boudesocque has taught me a few great clues to know if the house has spanish people are not. If the cable dish thing has 3 prongs and if there are a lot of plants just all over the place. This man opened and he was hispanic! so we were talking to him and asked him if we could share a message with him about jesus christ. he said of course and let us in! he was from Puerto Rico! I told him that my dad served his mission in Puerto Rico and he was like where are missionaries like you in other places? we replied yes!! we are just about everywhere!! He is sooo awesome and was so receptive. He was super interested in the Book of Mormon and kept saying, yes i'll read it I want to read it and kept asking us questions like, do you know what happens after this life. I just wanted to reach over and hug him. we told him that the evidence of the truthfulness of our message and the answer to all of our questions is right there in his hands! We set another appt with him and we asked him why he let us in in the first place. He said that we seemed really nice and that he felt like he really needed too. 
thats how you know people are prepared. When the spirit touches them, they follow the prompting and they let us in. 
One more cool thing. So we had exchanges this week with our sister training leaders! I was with sister Pack and she is so awesome! We had so many truly amazing experiences. I went up to her area with her which is an english area. I'm not gonna lie, I wondered for just a moment why in the world I was called to speak spanish! It was so nice to be able to understand every word they were saying and not thinking about little grammar things and stuff. But then one of the members found out I was with her and spoke spanish and referred us to one of her neighbors that only speaks spanish. So we went over there and I went solo folks. What a blessing it is to be able to learn another language. Everytime I wonder, wait a second... why was I, mallory mortensen, called to speak spanish, the thought always pops back into my mind, the Lord needs me the be able to speak spanish in the future. It is such a blessing to be doing this work. I love it people. LOVE IT.
one of our investagadores Ulises! ( we thought we was moving away but turns out hes not but we took a picture with him just in case)
Meeting with with our sister training leaders, Sister Pack and Sister Collins!

Transfer cleaning calls for some frozen pizzas and self timer pics feat. our colorful couch

for our zone activity today we went down to the Princeton stadium and played some ultimate frisbee. I think I missed my calling in life. I love Ultimate frisbee. Yes I am wearing basketball shorts. Yes this is just one of the many miracles that have occurred here on the mission


Week 5

SOME FUN THINGS: We played soccer on Saturday for a branch activity and oh my word it was so much fun. I love soccer. these people are so legit too. Its in the latin blood Im sure of it. Also I have maybe 14 mosquito bites on my legs. So my legs may or may not ever recover. Also I got to go to Vanessa's house and we talked with Vanessa and her mom (I call her mom) Karen!! I love those people. Seriously my second family. The spirit was so strong as we talked about the gospel. I wish that every missionary could have the opprotunity that I have to be able to have the responsibility to be a representative of Jesus Christ and share what we know now more than every to be true with their friends from before the mission. Its the best experience ever!! It also makes me wish so bad that I had been better with sharing my beliefs before my mission. 

Okay so wow. So picture this. Two people are jumping on a trampoline and they one of them gets launched due to timing of the bouncing. And then the person that gets launched gets launched SUPER high.(me) Okay then then someone comes along and takes the trampoline out from under them(satan) and whabam smack into humility. But then you just jump back on the trampoline again. This my friends is the life of a missionary at times. Emotional rollercoaster every single day. 
So our investagator that we were meeting (the mom) was all set to be baptized and then she finally told us that she actually wasnt divorced from her first husband that she was back together with her boyfriend and had no interest in marrying him. So yeah that ones gonna take sometime. So we told her to pray what she should do and the Lord will give her the strength she needs to make some changes that we understand are hard. Then we had a dinner with Branch President and his family planned for that Tuesday with our investagador and her daughters. Just hours before she calls us and told us that right now she doest have the money to pay for a divorce and just doesnt feel worthy to be in our presence or in the presence of the members. So yeah there a heartbreak for ya. What many people dont realize is the the church is a hopsital! we all have problems, that why we come to church! No one there is perfect! 
That day we tried really hard to put our trust in the Lord and remain super positive and not dwell on it. So we just kept working hard. And then Ulises called us! I dont know how much I have said about him but hes awesome. Hes from Mexico and we have been teaching him for a few weeks now. We pushed his baptismal date back in August to give him time to live the WoW and thatTuesday afternoon we taught about the 10 commandments and repentence. He would laugh occasionally about the commandments and we just couldnt understand why! So he called us like two hours later and told us that he was sorry for laughing but that he was just uncomfortable when he talked about adultery and not coveting and asking us for more council on how he can control his thoughts. We talked to him more on the phone and he expressed his desire to be completely obedient to these commandments. He then asked us why we pushed his baptismal date back. We explained that it was because we wanted to give him time to live the word of wisdom (not smoke or drink coffee). He told us that the night before he had a dream and a man (whose face he could not remember) came to him and kept telling him over and over that the book of mormon is true and the ulises needs to believe that the book of mormon is true over and over. His voice started to shake when he told us, "I know that the book of mormon is true. I want to be baptized any day." We told him to pray and ask God when he should be baptized so that he can recieve that confirmation and answer for himself and then call us after. About an hour and a half passed and we were walking out of the dinner appt that we had with the branch president and his family when Ulises called us! We told us that he had been praying for that whole time and as he was praying, everything bad that he had done that had caused feelings of shame and guilt came into his mind and he had repented of them and now all he wants is that remission of his sins through baptism. He just started crying when he said, "I want to be baptized this Sunday". I nearly passed out people. True story. We were so excited. 
So heres the thing: When people recieve this confirmation and want to be baptized, Satan works on them even harder because thats the last thing Satan wants is for us to make covenants that will lead us to everlasting happiness. Well a member who heard that Ulises was going to be baptized this Sundaycalled him on Friday and she told him that she thinks he needs to wait and take his time and not rush into baptism. This obviously caused him to be really nervous about baptism. When we met with him on Saturday we was really bummed and felt bad about canceling the baptism. My patience is definitely being worked on here. But in every prayer I pray that I will be able to accept the Lords timing before my timing. The important thing is that he will be baptized one day. 

Well we have dropped almost ALL of our investagators. so its back to the drawing board. I guess I didnt realize how tough this area was until a member told me that this area we are in hasnt had a baptism in almost a year. But Its a blessing for me to realize early on the i have to completely rely on the Lord to get anything done. I had my interview with president taggart and he made it very clear that proseltying is not working here. We have to do something else. So we committed us to serve. So go volunteer in hospitals, in soup kitchens, at food banks, the members, anywhere! He also committed us to focus on the members. Our branch really struggles with preisthood holders remaining active. So reactiviation and strenthening our branch is our main focus right now. We mowed a members lawn on saturday! My first time hollaaaa. And the grass was past my knees and it was a super super old lawn mower so that was an experience. 

My testimony grows more and more every time I share it. I am finding this council from my Savior to be more and more true, "He that loseth his life for my sake shall find it" (Matt 10:39). Its not about me or the numbers. It is about always being on the Lords errand and becoming more and more like him. One of the members gave a talk about preparing for a mission. When we came in he was really iffy about serving or not. he is 19 and his family are all members and they moved here from Guatamala 5 months ago. It was really hard for him to move from a place where everyone was mormon to here where we are few and far between. We have been working with him alot! He mentioned me in his talk about how I have been sent to a different place within my country but called to speak a different language and that we teach with power and authority. He said that it has caused him to think, well if they can do it, why cant i do it? He has started his mission papers! my eyes were welled up with tears that whole talk. My love for people have grown so much. so so much. I love this work. there is so much to do. and it is such a blessing to rely on my savior and redeemer. I love him. he is my best friend and he is with me always. I feel your prayers. Keep them coming!! The church is true. This gospel is perfect. 
okay so on pday last monday for a zone activity we went to washingtons crossing and i was like "oh how cute a nice little tranquil lake" then we left. and  then I was talking to one of the missionaries and he told me that GEORGE WASHINGTON ACUTALLY CROSSED THAT LAKE. thats a national monument people. I didnt even realize. Good thing I took a picture. 

Sister Stout!  i love her. Shes from bountiful like dad!

Elder Bell! hes awesome. Hes also from bountiful. and hes so tall and SO funny. hence the need to take a picture for height difference purposes. and leaves this transfer! 


momma dipersia!

eating at this little guatamalan place and its like so tiny and sometime i swear i am in another country. (rice on rice on rice i literally cannot with the rice)