Week 13

Okay you guys. So heres the sitch. I got a new companion. And you guys aren't even going to believe who it is. Okay so I was telling sister b that if I could people anyone to be my comp, I would pick Sister Detrinidad. She and I came into the mission field together and we just hit it off and were always joking about how we are totally going to be comps one day. So then we go to transfer conf and shes there with her comp! and we are like oh my gosh shes getting transfered out watch her get transfered to Princeton! And then everyone was like no way you two just got out of training. but I still secretly felt like we were going to be comps and then we are sitting in transfer conference any my stomach is just like hurting the whole time because the suspense is unreal. And then President Taggart said "10.7 Princeton will be... Sister Detrinidad" and then the rest is just a blur and I jumped up and the whole entire room was just like "what?!" because we both just got out of training! After the conference, President came up to us and was like, "its time for you two to just kill it up there okay? If you two can't, no one can" So we were just like okay its go time. Seriously I cannot even believe we are comps. We are having so much fun and working so hard! And I am learning SO MUCH from her. Her knowledge of the scriptures is unreal. She has such creative ways of teaching. We had an appt right after the conference with an investagador with a baptismal date and we were talking about the authority and why its important and he just wasnt understanding and then sister detrinidad pulls out here bible and uses the map in the back and example how jesus traveled very far, all the way to the river jordan to be baptized by juan the baptist even the the sea of galilee was closer. This shows the Jesus himself knew how important it was to be baptized by someone who holds the proper authority of god and not just by anyone in anyplace. I just sat listening mindblown the whole time. hahah so yeah shes awesome. She was born in Guatamala and lived there for like 12 years and then lived in Niceragua. We joked because the language barriers is so real sometimes. So we speak a lot of spanish and i am learning so much more conversational spanish. 
Also another fun fact. Last monday, sister b and I walked home from grocery shopping and I guess the people who live above us had a major flood because water was coming in through our ceiling. I have the WORST LUCK with housing arrangements. So now we have a giant whole in our ceiling and some carpet has been removed. So thats fun! 
Okay so we are teaching a family right now and we found this guy Omar, he's from Mexico, a while back and he texted us saying he wanted to meet with us. We had a really awesome lesson with him about our purpose and the plan of salvation. he invited us to come over to meet his wife and his kids. Okay PLOT TWIST: his wife is Korean. and oh my word their babies are so cute I cannot even handle it. So basically what i'm trying to say is that Koreans and Mexicans should date. anyways, they where telling us that they have been looking for a church for their family to raise their kids with good standards and the spirit was so strong in the lesson! Oh and the wife speaks spanish because her husband is more comfortable with spanish so yeah. Right now we have about 4 investagadores with baptismal dates! We are working hard and let me tell you, leading out an area is a little be exhausting hahah but its getting easier and easier the longer we are together. 
Okay and now for this weeks big miracle. So on Thursdays, we cannot drive our cars. So we had a member pick us up and help us out and then we had an appt at 7:30 and she had to go back home, so we decided that she could just drop us off and we could take the bus home. So we met this guy outside the Plainsboro library and we were talking to him and oh my word he was.. well we can just say interesting. And wouldn't stop talking and every time I would open the book of mormon to share something with him, he would be like "no i just wanna hear about your life story, don't use the book like a cheat sheet, just be real" like a super hippy Guatamalan. And sister detrinidad and I would like try not to laugh at times. anyways. During the lesson with him, i watched with my own eyes, the bus leave the bus stop and I was just like well there goes the bus! So we told me we had to leave and he kept offering us a ride home and in my mind I was like "wow it would be so nice if we could just let him drive us home" but we told him no like 10 times and started walking back. So our apartment in like 2.5 miles from the library and theres no side walk. its just kind of a highway and then corn fields on both sides and no street lights. So it was kinda freaky. And Sister D was like, how far away is the apartment, and I was just like.... ummm far. AND we had to make it back home before 9 and it was already like 8:20. So we stopped walking for a sec and I said a prayer that we would make it back home on time so that we could be obedient and be safe. So we are walking home and I felt really peaceful. Like not really scared at all. And then up in the distance we see two guys in white shirts and ties running towards us and oh my word I have never been so happy to see missionaries before. They were at a members home and he was dropping them off and they just happened to bring their daughter with them. If they hadn't brought their daughter, we wouldn't have been able to get in the car! And she spotted us in the dark and was like "are those two girls in skirts missionaries?" So they pulled over way up ahead and we didn't even see them and the missionaries ran out to us. The whole drive home i just kept thinking to myself oh when Jesus Christ is teaching the people in the Americas or in Doctrine in Convenants when he is counciing the missionaries that they should take no thought in what they should eat or drink because God already knows that we are in need of these things and the Lord will always provide for them. Things like this happen everyday, and I am so blessed to be an eyewitness to the miracle that happen to those who are in the service of the Lord. 

Sister Detrinidad and me at transfer Conf!!

sweet hole in the ceiling.

Week 12

SO MANY THINGS. I feel like my whole week just leaves my mind as soon as I sit in front of the computer. So this week caused a lot of reflection for me. I was just mentally preparing for a new companion (tomorrow is the day!) and also with my companion ending her mission in just two days, I have been thinking about the missionary I want to be right now so that I can leave feeling like I gave my everything to the Lord. I have learned so much about the power of prayer! Something that I have really learned and loved from my companion are how sincere her prayers are. As a companionship we pray together like maybe 45 times a day. Before lessons, after lessons, during lessons, to open study, close study, praying over food (even in public places... yes still getting use to that one hahah). something that I have learned is that she takes long pauses and really really thinks about what she is going to say to her Heavenly Father. Something that I have learned is that Heavenly Father already knows what we need! Better than WE do! It is up to us to really try and listen to the spirit to be able to know what things we must ask him. EVIDENCE OF THIS:  okay so I was praying and felt like I need to pray that we would have energy to cumplir (the word is escaping me right now) the will of God for that day. I felt like we were kinda trudging along and getting really tired way fast! So as I have been praying for this, we have really seen the blessing that have come! This week I felt like I had SO much energy. Just going and talking to everyone, and i felt really happy too! and then we would come home at the end of the day and be like.... woah no way did we actually teach 6 lessons today! and woah... 3 of those were member presents! and suddenly we were seeing how much we were able to get done without even being that exhausted!! Wow. Heavenly Father just loves us so much! I don't think I can think of anything specific right now. Just that I love my comp! So blessed to be trained by one of the best missionaries in the NJMM mission. The trainer really does have such an impact on the rest of the mission for the trainee. We have shared SO many spiritual experiences together and it will be so sad to say goodbye to her tomorrow! But I really am so excited and anxious for a new companion and to lead out the area! So we will see how that all goes. One of the less active members in the branch was saying goodbye to sister B yesterday and she first saw us she couldn't believe that we were missionaries because we were just jovenitas flacitas but that when we taught, she felt a giant mature spirit coming from us and how she has learned so much from us. That really was something we needed to hear! We teach and teach and sometimes its easy to feel like nothing is happening, like inactive members wont consistently come to church again, or baptisms aren't coming. And thats when it gets easy to feel like YOU must be doing something wrong. But when she said that, I really felt this peace and calm that we are doing our part the best that we can. We are trying our hardest to teach with the power of the Spirit and our purpose is to invite!! Something funny our ZL Elder Owens said at zone meeting was that "Agency kicks our trash sometimes" hahaha SO TRUE. But there are tender mercies everyday.
We are still teaching that cute lil Colombian girl Monica! We taught her this morning and talked about the Plan of Salvation and set her for a date to be baptized! the spirit was so strong! 
So I can relate to my brother right now! Anders is playing soccer with all these latinos and that is me!! we started playing soccer with this group of Latinos that come together at a park by our apartment to find more investagadores. They are all hispanics and people from Haiti. So we go over there to play, the ONLY girls... and I am the ONLY white person in the whole group. So they are all like calling us hermanas and I played back up in defense (felt like coming home :) hahah) and its so funny cause our stradegy is just to like get our bodies in the way cause they don't wanna hurt us and every time we touch the ball or do anything they get all excited for us! hahah such a surprise cause i definitely thought I was going to die. they play so rough with each other! last week some guy broke his nose so thats good. and its working! we found two new potentials! hahah so many experiences. I still cannot even believe I have already been out for 4 months! I love this time of my life right now.  

Week 11

okay so i don't really know what to say! I just have sooo many pictures I need to send hahaha okay so the work is going and going strong. MIRACLE. we have been trying to find this less active lady for the past two months and could not find her. and finally we went to trenton, knocked and knocked and waited and finally someone came and we asked to see Elizabeth and he took us to this building on the side of the house and there she was in this like make shift salon of hers! she was doing someones nails and did not want to talk to us and would not set with us so i was like okay here I go, "Bueno. Podria cortar mi cabello?" Sister B looked at me like no way ahahah I'm a little nervous and we are going over there today at 3 so send some prayers my way that my hair will make it out alright hahaha but hey at least we set an appt with her! 
Okay so i dont really remember exactly what i told you guys last week but I'm pretty sure I talked about Elio from Guatemala and how he is so awesome and humble and wanted to pay me after the lesson when we gave him a book of mormon hahah okay so when we met with him I felt impressed to invite him to read Alma 32 and looked at it and I didn't really take into account how long it was and he was like "well i cant really read very well" and So we committed him to read just a little every night until our next appt. we called or texted him everyday to remind him to do it. okay so we saw him this friday and he explained that whole chapter to us better than i could have! I couldn't believe it. I almost cried because someone actually kept a commitment! hahah seriously such a blessing when we have people that truly want to learn and what is even better is that I don't  feel like i did anything! he read for himself and learned and bore testimony of what he knows is true. that was all him and the spirit. I am just blessed to me about to witness it and grow. I'm so lucky to be a missionary!

Okay so sooo many pictures.
I will send them in a different email.

our investigador! he is the best. he is finally able to come to church

All of the sisters in my zone!

some of the young women in the branch. we were on our way back from a service project and contacing in hamiltion when the yw pres saw our car and invited us over. all the yw hid from us but by the end of the breakfast we were all friends hahaha

La familia Combas! hna combas knows dad from when he served in puerto rico! their house is BEAUTIFUL. like an art gallery in there

Labor day (P-day)  we went to this Grounds for Sculptures day and this was a giant labor day american pride sculpture!

teaching the sculpture guy about the book of mormon. during this picture this group of people were asking me about the book i was sharing with him because he (the sculpture) cant read. hollaaa so we talked to them about the book of mormon 
initial shock when the air vent went off
missionary version of marilyn?
we gained some weight
muggin with mona


Week 10

oh my goodness crazy crazy things are happening over here. Well first overall i think today has been one of the best days of my entire mission. Its just absolutely flown by and i love getting lost in the work. So we found this girl last wednesday and she was working at this restaurant where we were going to meet this less active. and she is this DARLING columbian girl. She came here a month ago and we got to talking with her and SHE asked US for our number! and then we left and were like wait a sec... lets go back there and get hers! so we went back like two days later and she gave us a big hug and SHE was asking US when we could get together again and everything and we invited her to church and was like, "digame, a donde, cuando" and I was just like oh my gosh the words couldn't even come out of my mouth I had never seen anyone want to know all these details so fast! unfortuantely, she has work like everyday. but we will work with that ;) anyways, we met with her again on Friday and told her about our purpose here as missionaries and she asked us why in the world we were serving. I told her that through a lot of prayers and studying in the scriptures, I recieved an answer through the Holy Spirit that I must serve a mission and teach others how we can return to live with God again. And she asked right then, "okay, well how can I live with him again" I'm pretty sure that shes the closest thing i have ever seen to a golden investagador. we talked to her about the steps of the gospel and how the book of mormon is the evidence of our message and taht by reading it, she will come to learn for herself that it is true. We gave her a book of mormon and she hug us so big! hahah i just love her can ya tell? like COME ON. Then we met with her this morning and she was telling us about how she had a really hard year and the religious part of her life took a backseat because of how lost and angry she was and she also knew something was missing but she just doesn't know what. we talked about in Alma 7 with Jesus Christ and how he suffered through EVERYTHING that we go through. everything. every pain, emotion, sickness. Just just our sins. she looked right at me and said, "well how does him suffering for me help me" I was like well shoot, thats a good question. She was just so sincere that I paused for a little bit to really think of what she would need. Sister B said, "because we must have faith in him. We cannot act, we cannot repent, we cannot make promises with and live with our Father in Heaven without first having faith in him" woah the spirit just washed in so strong. shes so awesome! and then we had an in zone exchange at 11 today (people think they are fun, and they are cause you get to meet new missionaries! but I think they are just stressful... espicailly when im the only one who knows spanish) but they put me in my area still with sister Kafu and shes awesome! she came in one transfer after me! the two new girls hahah anyways, then we had a meeting with this guy Elio and he is someone we street contacted. and hes awesome. came straight outta guatmala like 2 months ago and ever since the first day we contacted him would text us or call us like everyday just to ask us how we are doing or to say that us talking to him was such a blessing. (he is pretty lonely since he is here without family or anyone he knows) the spirit was so strong during the lesson and we committed him to read Alma 32 and he was so awesome and he was trying to give me a 20 dollar bill after the lesson for the book of mormon! hahaha that was a first! Sister Kafu is so cute. Shes said, "I have no idea what is going on so i just smile and nod" i laughed so hard i was like, "oh sister... thats how i learned" 
OH MY GOSH AND MILAGRO: ALFREDO (our investagador for the past like month now and husband of a member) CAME TO CHURCH THIS SUNDAY. he always works on sunday and we called him sunday morning and asked him if he we was coming to church like EVERY sunday and he was like "si claro!" (yes of course!) i almost fell out of my chair. UMM NOT CLARO YOU HAVENT COME YET. so yeah miracle. and in principios del evangelio, they asked for a volunteer to give a prayer and he raised his hand all cute and gave a prayer and all so cute. and so anyway, we saw him today and i invited him to be baptized and reset the baptisimal date to October. He looked and me and said that his life is changing for the better because I am here. Its times like that when being a missionary is really the best thing in the whole world. I would trade this for anything.
OTRO MILAGRO: one of our members knows dad from when he served a mission! not even kidding. okay we had dinner at this members house this last sunday and we had never been over there before because they have been in puerto rico this last month and so we went to their house and it was like this mansion house and the inside was BEAUTIFUL like an art gallery or something. and she was so awesome and they were talking about how they were from puerto rico and I was like oh my dad served there! and she looked at my name tag and said "I know him" and I was like no way. and she was like "do you have a picture" so I showed her and shes like yeah we know him! so how awesome is that! 
OTRO MILAGRO: I have been praying fervently that my silbings starting school would be able to adjust smoothly. I was killing me a little bit not to be there for them and I could ONLY imagine how scary and hard it is. (I remember changing schools in first grade and to this day it humbles me hahah) but to read their emails and see how many amazing friends they have made and how brave they are actually brought tears to my eyes. I know the Heavenly Father sent me to be the oldest so that I could learn from their examples! (i.e. Laban and Lemuel ;) )

Sorry this is almost painfully long haha ugh and i have so many pictures i wanted to send but i left my camera cord :( until next week! 

Week 9

Oh my goodness where to even begin. FIRST OF ALL, shoutout to my dear friend Tori who is married and sent me pictures. Wait in the world. If you think about it the mission is the weirdest thing because my life is kinda totally on pause right now and i forget that everyone elses is still going full speed. I love pictures. So weird but so awesome. 
Well last week was awesome. we taught a total of 28 lessons and were just busy busy all the time. And then this week was just really hard hahah but hey its okay. I feel like the weeks were are numbers are the lowest are the weeks when we are working the hardest. Something that grandpa sent me has really helped me and its something that he said to his missionaries when he was a mission president! I loved when he said, "Pray like it all depends on the Lord, but work like it all depends on you" I feel like sometimes its easy to say, oh well that person just juked us (again) so maybe it just wasnt meant to be! NO. that means we have to work even harder, find people who are willing to keep appts and commitments, and teaching a little better to have the spirit be strong enough to inspire people to repent. 
So heres a funny experience kinda. We were juked last night and we were in princeton. so theres just a lot of lil apartments and run down condos for sooo many streets. so we are walking around and decided to just contact and it was getting darker and there was think group of guys just hanging outside and talking and stuff and secretly i was worried that sister b was gonna be like (hey lets go talk to them) and i was kinda relieved when she didnt hahaha and I felt like "hey we need to go and talk to them" and then I was just like ugh how awkward we just walked by them and etc etc maybe their sketchy. but then i felt it again. so i was like okay lets go talk to them. so we made the walk of shame back and were talking to them and after the initial shock that i spoke spanish (you would think i would be used to it by now haha) we got to talking with this group of people and just asking them what they were up to and where they were from and talking about soccer and before we even said anything about being missionaries, one of them asking us, "why are you doing this? why are you sharing the word of god?" HOLLAAAA we're in. so since there was a big group of them i went over and talked to him more and he telling me how generations before him were always super strong in the catholic church but once he got older, he never really went to church. I asked him why, and he said he doesnt know but hes at a point in his life where we want to know if he should go to church and which one. I testified that I know God put us in his path so that we could simply be the guides to helping him find the answers to these questions for himself. We took down his number and are gonna meet with him soon. 
Sister B and i drove over to drop something off at the zone leaders and perfectly ran into president Taggart! he was on a split with the zone leaders. He is so stinkin inspiring. He was telling us about Elder Bednard's talk that he gave at BYU to use social media to sweep the earth like a flood. I later listened to it and wow chills. This is what we must do. I am seeing first hand that people simply do not have the time to meet with us but as they are telling us they are too busy, they are scrolling down their facebook feed. We must use this outlet to reach our people! What we have started doing with members is asking them to bring over their laptops after a dinner appt, and asking what is something that brings them the most happiness. They will say something like, oh my new baby or my family! and then we ask them if they have a picture of their baby or family or something and ask them to post something easy and simple like, "My family brings me the greatest happiness because I know because of temples, I can be with them forever." Slowly but surely, peoples hearts will become more and more open to this message. I'm pretty excited about it can ya tell? and its so easy! we should be getting ipads in october so that'll make it even easier to be a part of this!

me and sister maclay! we went on the exchange together last week but i forget to attach this pic... smiling a little too hard but thats love right?

Week 8

Oh my goodness. This week was a break through for me as a missionary that is for sure. So heres the thing. This week we had an exchange and I WAS THE ONE LEADING THE AREA. okay people. I dont get like super stressed or anything. but wow the couple days leading up to it I was getting pretty anxious. The main reason to was because my sister training leader that was going with me doesnt know any spanish. So yikes. I was praying SO HARD that I would be able to call and text all the people I needed too to set future appointments and drive everywhere and teach lessons and do all that. And guess what, the day came and I was forced to do all the spanish on my own and the Lord truly helped me. I was able to understand everything that was being said on the phone and I wasn't afraid to ask people to repeat what they were saying or anything AND I was able to find a member to come with us to our lesson and then they got lost and were asking me for directions and i was just like yeah right i dont even know how to help you in english let alone spanish so yeah stress but he finally made it and we went to go teach our investigador alfredo who has a baptismal date for september and his wife is a member. I felt so calm that whole lesson and really felt like I could communicate everything I wanted too. We talked about prayer and why we pray and how we should pray. He is so cute and he wrote down his prayer last time because he would always forget to start with "Padre Celestial" and end in the "nombre de Jesucristo" but now he kinda just repeats the same prayer over and over. The spirit was so strong when talking about how Heavenly Father is literally our father and he wants to hear the desires of our heart because he loves us and he was always answer our prayers. I asked him if he has prayed in this way to know if the book of mormon is true. He said he hadn't. I wanted to ask him to do it right then but hes pretty shy around other people, espicially with out member present and a new missionary. So he said he would do it that night. My sister training leader that was with me, Sister MacLay was so fun to have for the day! I got some good translating practice in too! She even said the the spirit was so strong even though she didn't understand what was going on! Just one more experience to strengthen my testimony that I know I am recieving divine help from the Lord everyday. I LOVE SPANISH. I used to be like, wow this is so hard, but now im just like WOW THIS IS SUCH A BLESSING. I love walking up to hispanic people and just going off in Spanish because they are always so surprised that I speak spanish and then I tell them im from Mexico and they almost always believe it hahaha so then Im like just kidding california, and they are like well there are a lot of mexicans there! and just laugh and think about how Irvine is like all asian. 
So our mission has this huge focus on service so we found this food pantry and its at this catholic church and its called Rafael's celestial angels so we are like oh yes lets do it. so we called them and told them we wanted to serve and it was such a great experience. They were all asking who we were and why we were serving mission. It was so great to just answer with a short testimony, "I am serving a mission because I know that God is our loving Heavenly Father and he wants all of us children to return to live with him again in our own families for eternity" or "because I know that the same church Christ established on the church has been restored again!" they were so nice and it was so great to work with them. And then as we were serving saturday morning at the food pantry, I would find all the hispanics and help them and talk to them in spanish and invite them to meet with the missionaries! (perks of speaking spanish and no one knows what im saying hahaha) 
Something I have come to learn and just accept is that questions to most hispanics like "could you please share an experience about when you recieved an answer to your prayer" is just not a good idea. because then 27 minutes later, they have finally finished their story about their 6 different cousins and how all of them have different problems and every life lesson their grandmother taught them. Yes I let my feet hover above the ground to stay awake as my eyelids start to feel super heavy. I'm trying to think of anything else happened.... so many things happen and the days feel like so long because of all of people we see and then before you know it im already sending an email! Oh okay one more thing. So our investagators just aren't really progressing. they dont want to come to church and getting juked starts to become pretty normal by the time the third lesson hits. I was feeling a little frustrated about it and then I remembered a lesson we got at the MTC and it was about specific prayers and how we can bind the Lord. We as a companionship coventented with the Lord to talk to everyone we see if hopes that he will place a family of 5 who has been prepared and is looking for the truth. Know its go time people. Stay tuned. It'll be good, the Lord always keeps up his end. 

Love Hermana Mortensen

It was Luis 22nd birthday (he's from guatamala and his mission papers are almost finished and he loves to come out with us he's the best) and this was after his face entered the cake.

We met with Cesar, he is a less active who works at this restaurant and hes trying really hard to get sundays off. we met with him at his restaurant and he bought us shin guards and soccer socks for soccer because we have so many bruises. COME ON HOW CUTE.

sister b and i have cantelope and ice cream after a hard day because why in the world not