MALLORY MORTENSEN

MALLORY MORTENSEN

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11.07.2015

Second to last email!!

So Monday was our departing trip and pictures will follow of that. It was super fun! President have given us permission to send a quick update.

So last Wednesday all the departing missionaries went to the temple. Oh how I love the temple. Before we went they told us that now we need to refocus our minds for a moment and think strictly about the future that awaits us. It was the first time I had gone to the temple seeking answers for my own life! and feeling rather heavy laden at that. As I sat in the celestial room, this feeling came over me and in my head I heard the following "you did what I sent you there to do" I just got so full of my Heavenly Father's love for me and my mind started to scan through all the people I have met and grown to love here. It was such a sweet experience. I left there feeling so happy. I felt that it was time. So I am no longer in denial or delusional about going home, but I have accepted that is approaching and can see that the future in bright.

As a mission we are focusing on the temple and our new bishopric is super awesome. The best part and my favorite part of being doubled in is sitting down with less actives and playing totally dumb, asking when the last time they went to the temple was and then just being like, "oh you haven't gone?? lets go!!" Last Sunday was so awesome because we had this darling inactive couple we have been working with surprise us and they both came to church and after the sacrament meeting they asked, "so where is the temple prep class?" I started jumping up and down and was like oh my goodness you didn't say anything!! We were so happy. the pure joy that I felt is just another witness of what really matters most. So excited for them. We also have been finding like crazy. I have just been pleading with the Lord that in my last week, I could find everyone that he sent me here to find. and wow. We have been entering and going places we have never been, and people have been so receptive. For example... yesterday we found THREE FAMILIES. like what?? I would get so excited about the return appt and envisioning their future and then Sister Kramer says, "dang it you won't be there!!" Talk about feeling like you got the wind knocked outta ya.

I had my departing interview with president and he gave me some really good advice. But I will tell you about it in more detail later.

That is so cool that you got to spend some time with Elder Whitney Clayton! Wow, talk about a pump up. that so awesome! Isn't it cool how its like as missionaries we can be 100% certain that we are exactly where the Lord would have us be? Such an awesome feeling.

Also A____ got baptized!! But the real success story here is his mother. I____ was fully active in the church in Guatemala, endowed and even sealed to A___s father. Then so super hard trials came and circumstances changed as well. But little by little I______ has felt the sweetness of the song of redeeming love as we have met with her and has realized that her testimony all this time has never left her. She still has a lot of changes to make, but she is happy. That is the first step. and cute little A____ is just the happiest camper now that he is baptized. On some occasions, I_____ was hestitant, but A____ would look at her and say "mom. You always told me that when I feel that something is right, I need to do it. Well I feel that is this what God wants me to do, so please let me do it" sweet moments like that are so wonderful to witness.

I love you mom and dad! Thank you for raising me in this great gospel.

love,
hermana mortensen.


I don't have any pics of us in front of the temple :( BUT after the temple we went through a walk around central park. it was pouring rain but SO BEAUTIFUL.







10.26.2015

I've lost track of what week we are on!

So, fun fact about West New York. During the month of October, they do these giant hispanic parades and people from all over represent their country by dancing. its so cool to seeing people from Bolivia to Colombia (personal fav. they can move it) to Mexico to the Dominican Republic dancing and representing their roots. Its super cool to see it. 

So definitely this week was full of the usual and the too be expected trials and tribulations. but it was great at the same time. lots of walking, lots of knocking, lots of contacting. I just kept telling Sister Kramer... welp. the Lord is testing us. hahaha but we had so much work this week in the evenings that we had to go on splits! It was awesome. On one of the days we had to do the split, I was left to teach the english class (because they really don't know like any english, so the one who stays has to understand what they are saying haha) and well anyways, it was crazy because that day we had 25 students! Such a full class. It was slightly stressful but its so great because when we start we always tell them, okay! we are going to start with a prayer! After the class a few people came up and said they felt so great there. Its so great to build relationships with them on a non threatening level and then it naturally turns into a teaching opportunity!  

 Most of all, a lot of people calling us in tears telling us they needed us in that moment. It's easy for the burdens and the shame that others carry to feel as though it is even weighing you down as well. But at the same time, it is such a blessing to feel what they feel it to a certain degree because it forces us to also rely on the Atonement and see first hand how it can relieve people and strengthen them while they are in their trails. 

Really good news is that we have a less active who is recently reactivated going to the temple to receive her own endowment this Saturday!! We also have another one who we have been working with that will be receiving hers as well on the 14th!! Such a blessing. As we explain the blessings of the temple, it makes me so grateful to be able to have entered there and made those sacred covenants, or promises, with God. 

Last but not least, we had an awesome church tour with B______. It was super short but very powerful. the spirit hits you like a brick when you enter the chapel with someone and look at it through the eyes of someone who is seeing it for the first time. As we were walking up to the church he said, "wow! I have seen churches built just like this in guatemala!" (that alone made me be like HELLO the church is so true) Then we went in and showed him around and explained the sacrament. and he kept saying " you really believe that I can be made clean??" every time the spirit hit with an undeniable yes! 

well folks. its true. and im loving it. 
con muchisimo amor,

la hermanita Mortensen

With Sister Taggart









Building a playground 

10.19.2015

Noche de Hispanidad!!

This week was SO awesome. like for real. The greatest blessing of the mantle I currently have upon me as a missionary is being filled with love for the people I have come to serve here in New Jersey. Its never gets old. Ever! This week we had an awesome activity called Noche de Hispanidad. Its like "hispanic night" in English. Wow it's so cool to see the members in their countries get up. Us missionaries were assigned an American table. We made hot dogs, cup cakes and of course... root beer floats (I'm sure you can guess whose idea that was. hehe!) It was a huge hit with the kids! It was so cool because the countries would get up to dance before they could eat and wow... the temptation though to get up off my seat and join in the salsa was TOO real. To make matters worse, the members know how much I love to dance and would say, hermanita!! Go join them!! hahaha I refrained. Barely. We had a ton of investigadors and less actives come. Also, the less actives who came to church for the first time last week in years.... came AGAIN! That is huge. Two in a row baby. We have two part member families that I absolutely ADORE. they are young cute families that I just love. One of them, the husband is not a member and the wife less active and the other is vice versa but check this out. The spirit revealed to us in weekly planning that these couples need to reactivate and fellowship each other! Then we find out on Sunday that the 7 year old daughters of the two families are FRIENDS AT SCHOOL. thats an "in" then we tell the bishop that the member wife and the member husband need callings. So the wife will be the new gospel principles teacher and the husband is going to be the teacher of the sacerdocio cada caurto domingo! Perfect. So we are stoked. Then we have found a bunch of people contacting and we found one guy named B________ who told us that we are literal angels because he has been praying for people to come into his life that will help him overcome his drinking problem and find purpose in his life.... welp. We are your people folks. He made a hilarious comments saying "in all the pictures of angles, they draw yellow hair! You both really are angels!!" ahhah I guess thats one way you can define an angel. But he shows a lot of potential. So humble. Well that's all for now. But the work is movin thats for sure. I love this area, comp, the people. everything. expect for the freezing cold wind. but thats okay too.
love you!!
hermana mortensen
picks from the noche de hispanidad






I am a qualified "East Coaster"

Quite the week this week!! Last Saturday was so awesome. So Maria and
Christian lopez (recent converts from Morristown) went to the temple
to do baptisms and sister Dubon and I went to do it with them!! So
president Taggart told us that we were so close to New York that we
should just figure out public transportation and meet them there. So
get this. The two Southern California girls figuring out the subway
system in New York. Doesn't sound promising, but getting there was so
smooth. Not even a problem at all. As if we were certified locals. We
got there for the session and it was wonderful! I loved seeing Maria
and Christian for the last time as their missionary :) then getting
back home was slightly more complicated. We get on the subway but the
wrong direction... By a lot. So we get on another one and then walk up
the stairs only to realize we are in the middle of Times Square. We
are like both kinda freaking out but trying to remain calm because we
don't want to look like ridiculous tourists. So we calmly walk, get
our bearing and get on a underground train that took us to Hoboken.
It's was quite the adventure. I am obsessed with Hoboken. I would LOVE
to live there one day. Turns out I have ancestors that lived in
Hoboken too back in the day!

So there was a lot of rain this week. So that was less fun. We also
had a few people drop us this week so we are in major finding mode. To
even switch up on the game is even more... President called for an
area book freeze which mean we aren't allowed to plan any backups or
put potentials in the area book as plans. We have to act like we are
opening a new area and just straight up contact. Not very settling but
hay que obedecer. It's been good. It's made us get creative that's for
sure. At church this Sunday we had quite a few less actives that at
church who haven't been in forever! Blessings.

Two things that really stick out to me. So there is the C______ family
who I absolutely love. Hna C______ told us when we were there that she
had some bad news for us. She had to go back to working on Sundays.
She began to explain all the reason as to why she couldn't leave her
job and so on and so forth. We opened of the 1 nefi 3:7. As she read
she began to cry. That verse is so well known and simple, yet I was
filled with us much of God's love that before I know it I too was
wiping away tears. It's amazing how much God really does love us. He
just wants us back which is why we promises that he will make the
commandments do-able.

Second thing: we have the coolest new investigator named F_______
from Guatemala. We met him in our English class. He's so humble and
funny. We were teaching him and he was like "hermanita, are you alone
here?" I said "no! I have my companion!" And then he said "no but do
you have family here?" And I was like "well, no but we are all
brothers and sisters" and he was like "no but like blood family, do
you have any here?" So I tell him no. Then he said "so you are alone"
and I was like " well then yeah I guess!" And he was like " NO! It was
a trap. You have God you are never alone!" Hahah hes a hoot. We plan
on inviting him to be baptized the 8th

Well love you all. Pray to send all this crazy rain to California please :)
Hna Mortensen


video

Sister Kramer introduced me to this. We had just come in from a hurricane and so it was a perfect time for hot chocolate. So then you take this like Austrailian chocolate cookie and drink the hot chocolate through it and then you have to like slam the whole cookie in your mouth before it dissolves and then that's it! It was so yummy!

Yo me llamo le Hermana Muerense

So first bit of comic relief that I keep forgetting to tell you all about. So in this area for some reason, people really struggle with my last name. So there is a family who calls me Hermana Muerense. Which is hilarious because that means that "they die" in Spanish. It just cracks me up every time because the hermano says its so funny that is sounds like a deaf person saying Mortensen. 

This week had so many miracles. The spirit was so strong in so many lessons and we were literally lead to places that left us wondering how we even had ended up there. 
I couldnt write last Monday because we had a Passaic day of service where the top three most north zone of our mission went and basically built a sick play ground in just a day! It was super fun but we are all still BEYOND sore. I met Matt Lauer from the Today show which is cool. 
Also, fun fact. we basically nearly had a hurricane hit last weekend. We woke up on the 1st of October and it was literally like gray outside all day and freezing. Out of no where. I was so worried that the freezing weather came in like 2 months early. Then it was pouring rain and the winds were so strong it was coming at us sideways. It lasted about three days and stopped. We would come in like soaking wet. Taxis would wave us over and offer us a ride for free cause they had such pity on the two gringas but we had to turn them down hahah. 

Conference was truly amazing. We watched them all at the church except for the Saturday afternoon. We watched that with I______ (the less active from gautemala) with her son Alan who is on date for the 25th now! It was so awesome to watch that, especially with a mother present as Elder Holland talked about how and mothers love for her child is a divine love. That was so powerful. Shout out to my mom. I am certain that no one loves me as much as she does :) 

President Monson scared the day lights out of me! I was feeling faint as I was watching him near the end there and grabbing sister kramer so tight. But it goes to show that while the flesh is weak, the power of God within him is so strong that it nearly over came him. You could see it when he said to the youth of the church "YOU ARE DIFFERENT than them." We are because we have this wonderful gospel! I love all the three new apostles. I got the chills each time they spoke. I loooooved the ponderizing talk. I am doing it :) Its crazy because the question that I was pondering as I went into the conference was "how can I align my will with Gods will as I prepare to go home?" and that got answered at least 6 times. Heavenly Father is trying to make his answer very clear :) 
We were able to get in many homes of long less actives this week and how the spirit was so powerful as each one commited to come back. and how in every lesson, the plan changed to be exactly what the spirit indicated for their needs. One example of this week. Saturday night we came home and we had 10 minutes left before we had to weekly plan. I don't remember how or why but I saw a name in the directory and told sister kramer that she should call her to see if the number was still correct and to practice her Spanish. So she called and a woman answers with very good english (lucky sister kramer) sounding very skeptical. When we tell her who we are she says "oh I literally just called the elders! (it was on old number that got cut months back) "I was calling because I finally have this Sunday off and I wanted to see what time church starts" We were elated. We told her about conference and she committed to be there. then she says "when will you be coming over?" We set an appt and met her at conference the next day! The spirit was so strong as we met with her and invited her to come back. She says she knows it must be her time and that god is so aware of her because she never answers numbers she doesn't recognize, but she felt that she had to answer. 
That's just one miracle! out of many this week. 
love you all! eat some pumpkin chocolate chip cookies for me :)

hermana mortensen

Spaaaarta!

So Sparta is unlike any place I think I will ever be. So much green, and so few people, and the people that are there are straight up hill billies. Its pretty fun to get a whole different feel. I feel like I go across the country when I'm over there, yet its only a hour and a half drive away. Jersey is so cool. we got a car last Tuesday to drive around Sparta with unlimited miles. Pretty intense.

Its a lot of driving and delivering packets, but get this, I know one of the reasons why we were sent to Sparta. So the great success at the fair lead to the formation of nearly 600 packets. When we got to the sisters apartment to start making calls, I randomly grabbed a packet from a pile of 200. I look at the name on the packet and see that its a Hispanic name. I thought to myself, wow how weird! Then I opened up the packet and saw the women's handwriting and then BOOM flashback to when sister Dubon and I worked the fair the first week of July! I helped her fill out her family history because she didn't speak English!! We called her, set an apt, visited and she's so awesome. She didn't even really care to talk about family history, she just wanted to talk to us and see what we were all about. It was so cool. It's amazing how aware Heavenly Father is of us.

While we are working away in Sparta trying to help out the missionaries over there, unfortunately our area is slowly but surely crumbling :( its nearly impossible to try to manage an area when you are gone 5 out of the 7 days in the week. I just keep repeating to myself that the Lord will help us and bless us for our efforts in Sparta. I just have to keep repeating to myself "a donde me mandes ire senor" all the live long day.

I had the amazing blessing of going to the temple last Saturday with recent converts N_____ and C______ :) it is so cool to see people progress in the gospel. the peace and calm that is in the temple is amazing. Espicially in the manhattan temple you can truly appreciate it because its so drastic compared to the noise and speed of Times square.

Last but not least, Elder Christofferson came to our stake conference! Can you believe that?? Such an amazing blessing for us here in New Jersey. We had stake conference in a huge symphony house in Newark. It is gorgeous there. I consider that place sacred for me because there I received one of my strongest spiritual confirmations a year ago at the Scotch Plains Stake conference when I was new in Kearny. Elder Christofferson spoke about how we receive answers from God and how we cannot dictate God. We must accept His timing of when we will receive the answers to our prayers. He left 7 very specific and prophetic blessing on the people of new Jersey that were so powerful.
  1. Power to resist temptations and the efforts of the adversary that are real. Resist His temptations.. Do it now.. Do not wait.
  2. A greater capacity to serve. I bless you with that desire. It will take some time but it will come. A blessing of new means and capacity.
  3. I think that you have a desire for greater Faith. I bless you with this. Faith is a gift given to the righteous and obedient. It comes through the spirit. Pray for it. It will change your present reality.
  4. A new vision in your life. You will see the Lord through new lenses and will have confidence. I bless you with this trust. He will preserve you when you are down and discouraged. 
  5. Food on your tables and more… enough to share with others always.
  6. Blessed marriages. Your relationship with your spouse will bring great satisfaction and the sisters will have confidence and support. Trust that the bond will become unbreakable.
  7. A blessing that the work will continue to grow here in New Jersey. It will blossom into great fruit. We are a part of this growth.
At stake conference I was able to see many people probably for the last time as a missionary in many of my past areas. there were some tearful reunions :) Its amazing the impact that we have had on each other. I am so grateful to my mission because of all the amazing people that I have been able to rub shoulder with and feel of their spirits and grow with. what a blessing.

Well love you all!
Hermana Mortensen



so this is S______ from Newark! she has recently moved into the ward from Ecuador when I was there. I was so excited to see a young ysa girl asked her if she would like to come out with us. she would come out with us and would also come to us crying because of her terrible living situation with her father that she has meant for the first time in 18 years. it was a terrible transition but she would come out with us to keep her strong in the faith. when she saw me she ran over and starting tearing up telling me that she completes her mission papers in a week and hopes to be serving in December. I was ELATED. such joy. I am praying she goes to Texas Houston.


BEAUTIFL lake by the miracle Peruvian family house in Sparta #nofilter

mah sista friend, Hermana Kramer. Its funny cause people will yell at us from across the street and say, "are you two sisters??" and we say "yes!" thinking that they are asking like sister missionaries. and then they say "oh really? who is older?'" classic.

tiny house we drove by on our way home on stuart little street


Hey!! Week 64

So this week quite the roller coaster. It was so great because we had a ton of meetings for the new missionaries and it's awesome to be a trainer and be on the receiving end on some awesome revelation. So there is a meeting for missionaries to go to when they are only three weeks in on the mish and its to kinda just check up on the emotional aspect of stuff and what not. Well anyway, President always give the same training and its so inspiring on understanding The Fall. well, its my third time hearing it so I got it on lock. It was weird to feel like one of those old missionaries who knows all the answers hahah but every time the spirit teaches something new to me. its crazy how many connections there are too because this week a few missionaries came up to me saying they know people in the Texas Houston Mission. The Mormon social circle is just so small.

So we had a heart break this week. B____ was already to go and be baptized this Sunday. On Thursday we were planning on moving back his baptismal date because we just didn't feel too good about it, but when we sat down he was like, give me the baptismal questions, I'm ready. So we did and he passed and the spirit was there and he was saying how when he makes his decision he will never fall away and all that jazz. Then we couldn't see him on Friday. On Saturday we go to see him and he just was acting super different. He started saying these crazy things that someone must have put in his head. but he was saying things like how he wasn't even sure if there was a God, that he is probably just an energy and all this craziness. Then he started saying that I have a truth, he has a truth and God has a truth and how they cannot be one. I just kinda looked at him all puzzled and was like... B____, there is one truth, and it is the same yesterday, today and forever. The truth of God is here in your hands, and it is the truth for all the world, it is up to us to accept it or reject it. he then said that he accepts the fact that he needs to be baptized, but he wont accept the fact that church is necessary, because he believes that all of them come from man. (even though the spirit has already testified to him otherwise) So then I asked him, "how can you be baptized without a church?" then he was stumped. We testified of the truthfulness of the prophet and church. We told him to call us when he was ready. That was definitely a bummer because you really come to love the people you teach, but agency will get ya good sometimes.

Something cool and random happened on Friday. so we had an apt at 6 oclock with a less active. We show up. No answer. We call, and said she will be there in 10 minutes. So we decide to go try a few potentials while we wait. We start walking down Broadway when a man yells "HEY!" outside his truck window. we turn around an immediately recognize him. We were teaching someone on their porch our first week there and this like 4 year old boy sees me and what can I say? It was love at first sight. He had his own cell phone (I know crazy) and was taking picture of me and selfies with me as we were teaching hahah it was so cute. He was pulling out his toy porsche and yelling at me "oiga! oiga! mire! mire!" and telling me to get in to with him. Well his grandpa thought it was hilarious too. After we taught the person, we went over and talked to the grandpa. he was super nice. A Cuban Jewish person (hard to come by) he nicely declined the offer to learn more but said we were cute girls and that was that! Well he called us over from his truck this Friday! We walked over and he was like "this is my daughter!" she was so sweet. She was the mom of my cute little "novio" she was gonna on and on about how her dad and her son haven't stopped talking about us for the past month now. she said something along the lines of "but now I know why. there is something so different about you two. You are literally glowing! I wish there were more women like you around here" I guess its something that you cannot see in yourself, but the light of Christ is a real thing! It brought a whole new meaning to being a light unto the world.

Also plot twist: we got a call last night from the assistants and lets just say it looks like I will have to be ordering an English name tag because sister Kramer and I are getting reassigned!! Yes folks, you read that right. President has chosen sister Kramer and I go to over to Sparta and teach. When I was in Morristown and last transfer, the Sparta area did this family history push and at the local summer fairs, we had booths that the missionaries ran and invited people to start their family history work. There was a huge reaction and by the end of it, there were about 200+ packets that needed to be delivered to people who had filled out info. All the packets have been delivered and over half of the people accepted a return apt for the missionaries to visit and teach them. It truly is an honor that the President called us and trusted us to go and teach these people! we have been reassigned and so has one companionship of elders to carry the load. We will be there from tomorrow till Friday night and do so for the next few weeks. So juggling two totally opposite areas will definitely be interesting, but we are down for the challenge. should be awesome.

I love being a missionary. seriously. its hard. but its so rewarding.
love,
Hermana Mortensen

pics:
 R____ before her baptism. 

R____ after her baptism. Isn't she just glowing after?!

G______s baptism

with Belyruth!

what the elders used to scare the living daylights out of me on the car ride to the meetings. I figured paige would enjoy the deer head

Elder Wildman, the cousin of the Texas Houston Mission Elder Wildman :)

ellis island with sister dubon. love her.

streets our area. don't you love those picket fences??


Happy Labor Day and I love Miracles!

Soooooooo basically I am the happiest camper every because yesterday I
got to go back to Elizabeth to see the baptism of TWO people I taught:
R____ and G_______. So I walked into the church and see R____ all in
white and I just felt so much joy wash over me. I've never taught
anyone who had to fight so hard and give up so much in order to make
this covenant with the Lord. The lesson where we walked out with all
her cigarettes was the most spiritual powerful lesson I think I will
have ever been apart of on the course of my mission. When she saw me
she hugged me so tight and just started crying. I kept whispering to
her "R____! You did it! You really did it!" Sister Ivie and I were just
giddy with happiness as we went into the bathroom with her when she
changed. It was just a glimpse of how great our joy truly will be save
it one soul into the kingdom of God. Same with G____s  baptism. It was
great it see his whole family there, supporting him.

Okay soooo qué más.... M_____ (the miracle investigator) is progressing
beautifully. She's amazing. I have such a testimony of taking members
out with us on lessons. We brought the primary teacher of her daughter
with us to the lesson and she just kept saying, I don't know how but I
have seen your daughter before, it's such a strong impression I had.
We were teaching the plan of salvation because of what she mentioned
about the death of her son. I had never felt this before, but it was
like I could feel the presence of her son there. I didn't mention it
until she said that she felt it too and that she feels like her son
guided us to her. So amazing. She will be entering the kingdom on the
27th. So exciting :)

Also B____ is getting baptized next Sunday!! He was dropped by the
elders right when we came in and we felt impressed to pick him up and
he had sooooo many doubts. But it's amazing how the spirit takes over
and gives us the exact words and questions to ask right when we need
them. It's amazing how many like light bulb going off moments he's
had. His sister kramers fav to teach because he's Mexican so it's a
Spanish that is way easier to understand.

Hmmm, what else. I don't even know. We spend our time finding all the
day long and we have seen tons of miracleS. What we do know if fill up
our bags with Books of Mormon and just go out with zero set appts and
within like 5 hours, we have four lessons taught, new invs and so on
and so forth.

Keep the prayers coming! West New York is getting turned around.
Mucho amor,

Hermana Mortensen

Happy Labor Day from West New York!

Week of las Moscas

So to start thing off on a rather comical note. So it was Tuesday night. coming home after a long hot day. We stumble in the house and start nightly planning halfway through, I hear these weird sounds coming from the kitchen. I open the door of our cool study room and glance above and there are 48 mutate sized flies buzzing around the ceiling. I start flipping lids. sister Kramer comes over and to see what the rucus is and immediately starts saying "I cant. I cant. I cannot even." she walked over to the kitchen blinds, gives them a shake, and at least 40 more fly out of their colonies hiding place. I have goosebumbs as I'm writing this. SO gross. So we calmly close all doors so they are trapped in the kitchen, run back into our room, finishing planning and decided to take matters into our own hands. We have no idea how they entered because all our windows are closed. We think they came in through a hole in the dry wall or something. So we went RAMBO and start killing them one by one with the back of our flip flops. It was gruesome. Then we whip out the vacum and start sucking them up through there. It was grizzly seeing them flying around in there. (don't worry folks... I recorded the whole thing) Then we whip out the hair spray and try to fumigate them. I don't think that did anything other than might it smell super bad. as the days went on, more would enter, but we got really good at killing them. so yeah. they are all dead now. just the occasional corpse is left behind. luchenos.

Anywho. onto more important things. this week definitely had its ups and down. the days are long but the weeks just flew by! So we talk to Dominicans and Cubans most of the time and its pretty funny because I will sometimes look over at sister Kramer and she just has the most confused look on her face. hahaha I console her that they a different language all on their own and that when you can understand them, then you know you know Spanish. its crazy because my brain just runs on Spanish mode todo el tiempo. sister Kramer asks me all the time "what does that mean" and its an ordeal to try to figure our the English equivalent. we feel like we are opening up a new area. we have no phone numbers of NO ONE. just the members, the few investigadors we were left with (which are mainly dropped) and yeah.. that's is. so I'm SO DONE walking all the way over to Africa to a potential that doesn't live there anymore or a fake address. so we are just gonna buckle down and knock and talk to everyone we can. I'm looking forward to seeing some awesome miracles next week.

Speaking of miracles! This week we had a HUGE ONE! so we were knocking and doing all that jazz and we get ot a door and its a woman who andswer and she looks super surprised to see us. Like speechless surprised. we tell her who we are and she says come in please! We enter and she immediately starts offering us everything. It turned into like a three course meal of juices, ice cream and sandwiches. she is from cuba and her two best friends live in florida and are members of the church and always talk to her about the church and said that she was waiting for us to come. WHAT? then she opens up to us a ton about the death of her son and after that, she was just super mad at God. but he knows that he loves her and is waiting for her to come unto him. she said that us coming shows her that now is her time. the spirit totally guided the discussion and the following Sunday, her and her cute 5 year old daughter came to church! She even asked if we could take a picture together in the church to send to her friends in Florida. she said she was so grateful we came and that she would have opened the door 1000 times over again. I love her. she will be on baptismal date next week!

well the church is true. I love you all. the theme of this week for me has being testifying that families can be together forever. we have met with so many part member families and it is just a constant reminder to me of how blessed I am to have been born into the covenant and have grown up with the knowledge that the Lord has shown me how I can have an eternal family. that is the good news of the gospel. there is no, "until death to you part".

paz.amor.bendeciones.

Hermana mortensen




Hey hey hey from West New York!

So miracles happen people. i am in a WALKING AREA. seriously. dream come true. I feel like I'm in a foreign mission or something. we are the first sisters to serve here. life is so good in a place where everything is in walking distance! and you know what that means... everyone is hispanic. I'm not kidding. like constant Spanish music in the streets. so yeah. I couldn't have pick a better place to die hard in the mission :) OKAY AND OH MY GOSH let me tell you about my hija. she is rad. we became friends so fast. so first of all, the new missionaries flew in on Monday (last week) and the APs called us to go up to Newark to welcome them and like break them in by contacting with them in Newark. well, this cute new missionary runs up to me and grabs me and says, "oh my gosh you're Mallory I totally have seen you before I am friends with Kristina Baker" and all that jazz. everyone was just like laughing inside because little did she know I would be her trainer! Her face was priceless when I walked in with the trainers at transfer Conf. its weird because we look so much alike. like straight up sisters. and the funniest part is that in our area, two white blonde girls stick out like sore thumbs. 
its funny because every time we leave the door to go out to work  I feel like I'm Daniel in the lions den. I'm not sure if its cause the evil of the world just hits ya in the face or for all the creepy people around here that look at us like we are carne hahah but I must say, there is nothing better than crawling in your bed at and your feet are throbbing and you're dead tired but so happy at the same time because you worked your hardest. 

Being doubled in is always really super overwhelming for the first 2 days but you just gotta grind it out and then miracles come. One of those were the two new investigadores. So Sister Kramer and I went to go meet with a long lost less active. As we were talking with her, we started teaching her 10 year old son who has not been baptized as well as her friend that she works with. Her friend, C____, told us that she had a dream where she saw three elders walking in the street (there was a trio here before we came in) and then she and her friend (the long lost less active) stopped them and told them to visit them. Later on she felt that the people that would come to teach her would be two women. the less active was like, no way. it will definitely be elders. But C___ insisted. and then we showed up! It's crazy how Heavenly Father works. She was so prepared. The lessons were totally led by the spirit. 

Another highlight was a less active that we met. She had been baptized a couple years ago, but after her baptism, never returned. We asked her why and she said it was because she is just so tired. I really love the hispanic people here in jersey and I cannot even imagine how much they have to do and work and especially this sister. You could just see in her eyes how tired she was. I felt impressed to have her read in Matt 11:28 when Christ says, "come unto all ye that labor and are heavy laden" as soon as she read that, the tears started to flow. The spirit touched her heart and she knew she needed to come back to truly find the rest that she so desired. For the first time in years, she was in church.

I had the sweet blessing to go back to Morristown for the baptism of two people that Sister Dubon and I taught. its so amazing to see the growth there. When I saw the L____ family, C______ and J______ wouldn't let go of me. They kept saying "no se vaya no se vaya otra vez" I love all these people. everyone kept saying "Morristown needed you" but I felt as though the spirit whispered to me "YOU needed Morristown" I was stretched and pulled and I feel every area does that to us to that we can become the people the Lord wants us to be. 

Love you all!!
hermana Mortensen 

i know. lame. no pics. camera cord has gone MIA in the transition of areas.  

Baby #3 on the Way!! I'm Training Again!

So many emotions folks. Well I am so sad because my six weeks in Elizabeth are the only six weeks I will have here. That's right folks. I've "one and done" it. I am so grateful for the people I have met here and for the many miracles that I was able to witness. I am especially grateful for the short time I had to serve along side sister Ivie. I learned so much from her and her sensitivity to the spirit. There's nothing quite like a friendship between companions. she has become one of my best friends in this short time. We quite enjoyed this summer together. so many laughs. we seriously are life twins and I cannot wait for us to keep hanging out up in Provo.

Sooo much has happened too, so I am sorry right of the bat because I know this will probably be obnoxiously long. So Monday, we taught a noche de hogar to over twently people. It was a super last minute thing, so the winging it was very real. There was like a ton of investigators there which was awesome (including belyruth and her family!) It was super well and I was really happy with how it went. We had an idea to play the game telephone when we got to the apostasy in the restoration. It was down right comical. Hispanics are crazy.

Tuesday- miraculous because on the way to district meeting, we spotted a brand new chick fil a. You better believe we husseled bunnies over there. First chickfila in 15 months and wow did it hit the spot. I cant quite remember anything else... obviously that was sufficiently distracting hahah its the little things.

Wednesday- COUSIN REUNION!! so I went to ellis island and guess who I met up with. TANNER! oops... I mean Elder Driggs. it was so good to see him. okay Borgquist family listen up: The guy definitely has facial paralysis thanks to bells palsy and in his tanner like fashion, shrugged off Lyme Disease like it was no big deal and laughed about the fact that everyone has been so worried because he says he is fine! he is always the last to stress out and the first to laugh at everyones stress hahaha I love it. He definitely its not just sitting around scowling (well... I mean not on purpose.) He is going to work and doing great. He's a happy obedient missionary (trust me, I asked his comp) He says its no big deal and that he will be fine and back to normal one day so he's not worried at all. It was good to talk with the primo :) later that day, we visited C____ who is awesome. he is the funniest Peruvian and everytime we see him he says something about machupichu. He is getting baptized next week!

So Thursday- walking day, transfer apartment cleaning day, and weekly planning day. locoisimo. I spent my time scrubbing dark black mold off the shower. I feel like our apartment is breaking many health codes. it was disgusting. scrubbing the walls so hard and with no success in our hot little humid underground apartment make me slightly naseaus and delusional. all I remember is rolling up in a ball on the floor and telling sister ivie that I just wanted my mom to call the Grout Doctor. later that day, a huge hunger came over us, so we walked over to Los Primos for dinner to eat tacos. a recent convert works there ands its like less than a block from our house. when we were about to pay for the tacos, a man named J___ told us he felt really lonely in this country. he hadn't see his family for 10 years. he felt like he couldn't feel Gods love. We helped change that the best we could :) we gave him a book of Mormon and read with him and the spirit was so strong. it was awesome. we plan on seeing him again. inspired taco runs are a real thing.

Friday- went to the mission home because president had called to night before to call me to train! turns out I am the only Spanish sister training this transfer and P.T. told me that the girl coming is from cottonwood. That's when I remembered that Kaye Baker and told me about Kristina's friend from Cottonwood coming to our mission... Well small world folks because I will be training her!! I am so excited. P.T. also kinda spilled the beans (he is good at that with me hahah) and told me that I'll be getting doubled in to an elders area and that theres a lot of work there waiting us. I am so pumped.

FIN DE LA SEMANA: okay so I went on an exchange with a sister that was really struggling spiritually. she really didn't have a testimony at all. we sat down and I felt impressed that we needed to read out of PMG chapter 3 lesson 3 on the gospel of jesus Christ and just talk about it together. she looked at me and said "why would people even want to follow jesus Christ?" I just got filled up with a lot of love for her. I told her that I wanted to her come to find that answer for herself. so we went to the scriptures. I can't tell you how many scriptures came to my mind. I had her write a list. I committed her to read the book of Mormon everyday during personal study for at least 20 minutes and just add to the list every morning of the blessings that come when we follow Christ. I promised her that if she does so faithfully, she will see the own blessings she writes down come to pass in her own life and she will know of its truthfulness for her self. she was so grateful and at so much more peace. I also made her promise not to step foot out of NJ until her time is up so that she can truly come to know her savior and grow in that testimony. I was a good last exchange for me to end my time as a Sister Training Leader.
Then we vistied tia R____. She hasn't been super successful with quitting smoking so we had the H______ family (the recent converts) come with us to have a little intervention.It was an incredible lesson. We talked about the Holy Ghost. We read Juan 14:26-27. We talked about how it can only dwell it pure vessels. We asked her what the savior the savior would
tell her to change if he was sitting next to her. The spirit was basically visible. C_____ started talking to her and it was all SO PERFECT. We told her she had to stop smoking right then and there. All at once. It was then or never and she knew it. She began to cry. She went around the room and cried on each of our shoulders. The love was powerful. She handed us every single pack of cigarettes she had. Every single cigar. She handed us her every-thirty-minutes-for-forty-years addiction and told us she was ready to do anything in order to follow Christ. Oh my heavens. It's going to be tough, but she has help from both sides of the veil, as do we all.. But I know that she is surrounded by countless concourses of angels at this very moment. Please keep sweet little R______ in your thoughts and prayers.
September 6th is when she will enter the kingdom!
I love my Jerseyites. I love being a missionary. 

fotitos:

-pic with tanner. windy and difficult. not the best picture, but considering he cant blink and he eye was red from being so dry I didn't have the heart to make him pose again hahah

 
-saying goodbye to familia Castillo grande. I love them

-with assistants. they are Buena gente

-familia guerrero surprised me on sunday. for real. I love them to pieces. Oscar is preparing for a mission and going to UVU in the fall!! (ps dad I may or may not of told fabiola and Oscar that they can get jobs as care takers up in Salus ;)

-marisel, one of my fav investigadores from urguay. cant wait for her baptism.
-looove this fam. little Giovanni is nine and getting baptized next sunday. I will miss these peeps.

Week 58!

Hey Heeeeey!

So this week has been rad. people are for real. prepared people are just coming out left and right. it really is a blessing because the Lord provides when your week is super full of exchanges and leadership councils and what not. I decided I know why I get head aches in those meetings. I am just thinking about all the time I would rather be spending in my area. But ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

So today I will tell you about someone super special. Her name is R____ and she is from Uruguay. Her ancestors come from Poland which is why she looks white but she only speaks Spanish. She is one of the people when as soon as you meet them you just absolutely love them. I told her that she looks like she could be my tia (aunt) because now im not the only blonde haired and blue eyes haha and she calls me sobrina (niece) now hahah

So she is a referral from N_____ and C_______ (the people that just got baptized) Wow R______ has had a super tough life. When people tell me what they have been through and the testimony of Jesus Christ they have gained through their trials, I feel privileged to have the opportunity to meet them. I feel like I am the student! I think the moments we teach R_____, the spirit is the absolute strongest. We taught her about the book of Mormon and did some setting expectations. She said she would read and then we visited like two days later to teach the restauracion and when we were talking to her about how Christ established his church she said, "oh just like he did in the Americas too when he gave his authority to nefi!" My mouth dropped. I was like "wow R_____ you really did read!" she said "well I felt so good when I read it that I read it 3 times, and then some more of the book" Sister Ivie and I just wanted to cry right there. She said she prayed to know if it was true and she said she felt for herself that it is. And so right there I just blurted out "so will you be baptized?" I don't remember a point in my mission where the spirit filled the room so strongly after inviting someone to be baptized. She looked square in the eye and said yes. also the woman is like the funniest person I know hahaha she was like "wow why did it take you girls so many years to come and find me! Ive been waiting for this. I don't wanna be locked out of the kingdom of God. Don't you even think about leaving me in the dust." hahah I love her. keep her in your prayers. but we fasted with her and she received a blessing of forteleza so we are hoping all will be good to go for the 16th. She's been to church twice already and she looooves it.

Sister Ivie and I are looooving the work. We for real have so much in common and its just too weird sometimes to think about how drastically different our life would have been if we hadn't served missions.

Have a blessed day folks

love

Hermana mortensen

With R____

7.24.2015

Week 55--I'm in Elizabeth!

Oh my word I feel like I died and went to heaven... IM IN ELIZABETH.
For real I love this place already. It's like the complete opposite of
Morristown. Elizabeth is like a fully functioning ward here. Just so
you get the idea of the demographic here, the English branch takes
people out of the Spanish ward for leadership callings. Coming from a
branch where 40 in attendance at sacrament meeting was a lot, sitting
in that ward I was just in shock. There were so many people. And get
this, people call US asking us when they can come out with us. Yes.
This is real.
I was shocked when president said sister mortensen to Elizabeth
because this is a STL area so this will be my fourth transfer as
sister training leader.1-2 exchanges weekly lives on haha. I loooove
my companion. For real I am getting so lucky I'm the comp department.
We already are great friends. Her name is Hermana Ivie and she's from
Alpine Utah. She's only been here one transfer before me and she left
a lot on the exchanges last transfer so we are feeling it out here
together.

There is a lot of work here but I would like to see us get more solid
progressing investigators. We are planning like an hour a day to just
straight contact. It's so nice because I haven't been able to do that
since Kearny! And even then we couldn't really because hardly anyone
was outside because of the snow. So this is awesome. This week was
kinda a blur because I've met so many new people and I'm trying to
keep them all straight.

I think something that has stuck out to me this week is how we truly
will never know the impact we leave or the good we do in the lives of
others when we are in the work of the Lord. When we were walking up to
go to church, a man was walking up at the same time and sister Ivie
said to me "ahh he's the best you're going to love him" I look at him
and said "I've met you before where have I met you before?" He said,
"oh my goodness! It's been so long! You were there with sister Childs
when I was taught by the missionaries for the first time!" Then it all
came back to me! I remember having taught him on an exchange to
Elizabeth back in January and that was one of the most powerful
lessons on the restauracion that I can remember. He told me that he
had been baptized three months ago and he was sitting up blessing the
sacrament at sacrament meeting. I couldn't believe it! I was filled
with so much happiness when he told me that. I got a glimpse of how
great our joy with be if we bring, save it be one soul into the
kingdom of God.

Something that I took away from this past week is how we as
missionaries are sometimes really good at leaving commitments, but
fail to help them keep their commitments. Our purpose is to invite
people to come unto Christ by HELPING them... There was a less active
family that hasn't been to church for sometime now and their daughter
had just turned at 8 years old. I wanted to meet them so we went on
Thursday and had a great lesson with them. The mother seems pretty
desanimada and like she really wants to go back, but everything just
kinda seemed hopeless. We invited her back to partake of the sacrament
and receive the blessings of Christ's atonement and she said we would
do her best. I testified to her that we truly do love her and want to
help her be there. I asked her how many people would come with her if
she went. I then told her that someone would come to pick her up at
8:45 and bring her to church. Her eyes kinds lit up and we was kinda
like "really?" I couldn't believe that no one had offered her that
option before! It's so simple and yet so effective because when we
came to church, that family was waiting for us and said "misioneras!
Les ganamos" (we beat you ) hahah that made me so happy to see them
there and looking so happy to be back. El enemigo doesn't want us to
receive help so he tricks us into thinking we are better off not
asking for it or we will just feel too embarrassed. That's where we,
as missionaries and all members of the church, need to come in. We
should never wait until someone asks for help. I have decided to take
out of my vocab "how can be help you?" And instead observe, seek the
gift of discernment and do all I can to offer specific help that is
inspired by the spirit according to their needs. Then we truly become
the Lords hands here on the earth.

Love you all!
Hermana mortensen

Selfie with my new companion Hermana Ivie. I love her!

First week in Elizabeth I met the former Hermana Ordonez who served with my parents in the Texas Houston Mission! I am serving in her ward. We went on an exchange and she is awesome.  I asked her what it was like having my dad as her Mission President and she said, "Hermana Mortensen, your dad for real changed my life" It almost brought tears to my eyes to think of the impact that my parents are having on people's lives. People I don't even know.