Week 35--Week of Milagros

Oh my word. this week was so crazy. I dont even know where to begin. We have been in finding mode, which always kinda feels like forever, and this week we began to see the fruits of our efforts. Seriously. We have been working a lot with members and we needed to get creative, so we have been helping members make a family mission plan. Wow. Why didnt I do this before? we have them write down names of people and their goal or acction that they want to do in order to help them learn about the gospel, and then we have them put a date that they have to complete the acction. its been so amazing so see people get pretty excited about it and get all their kids involved and bribe them to put a name down. It reminded me of my youth haha!

So on thursdays we do weekly planning and thats when we just buckled down and prayfully seek inspiration to know what it is that we need to teach and do to help the people we are teaching progress in the gospel to be baptized or go to the temple. pues, we were studying and a recent convert called us and told us that he was sharing his baptismal experience with his friend, when he friend said to him, I want that baptism. How can i get it? so as this recent convert was talking to us, he was like "oh my word, he just walked into my house right now! Can you come over?" and we were like ummm YES. so we grabbed a less active woman and brought her with us to teach. Oh my word, he was so accepting of everything. He’s on date for the 8th of march. 

We also picked up another investigador and I kinda adore her. like its never been so easy to love someone for me. Shes from el salvador, and shes gorgeous and has the cutest 2 year old. She was so accepting. I havent had a lesson like that in my whole mission. she had not a single question or doubt. BUT turns out shes not married. but hey, I'm pretty excited to plan a wedding. 

I really feel as though all these miracles are coming from how we plan. We have cut the fluff and gone right down to the fundamentals in preach my gospel. I love modern revelation and knowing that there are profetas in the earth today to lead and guide us. Keep the prayers coming. Yes. Its still freezing. No, I am not used to it and I dont think I every will be. 

Love you all
Hermanita Mortensen

Some Jersey sass for ya!

Week 34- #frio

Pues, its a nice 26 degrees today and I couldn't be more content. thats warm for this week folks. It was so cold on sunday that hardly anyone was at church! Hispanics and cold is the funniest thing. They think that if you are outside for even a second, you are going to get sick. Literally, every house we go to gets mad at us for going out side when its cold! We just laugh and say that the Lord doesn’t care what the weather is, salvation is worth it. 

This week had its ups and downs. I got food poising which wasn't fun. It wiped me out all night on wednesday, but luckily, we were still about to go out and go to work. I refuse sick days. 

So this week was awesome because we picked up a ton of new investigadores. we started teaching these 2 domincans this week, J—
- and R______. they are so awesome. so Domincans totally intimate me because they are super sassy and their accent is unreal, but these are the nights funniest people. They are also super prepared. R is the son of J and he’s about 29. He told us that the first time he saw us, he felt this feeling of peace, and that he knew that we transmitted the Holy Ghost. How awesome it that! J is the best and she basically told me that I can live in the DR with her. We connected on our love for the beach and our odio for the snow. 

Our baptism fell through with O :( but F____ his wife, came to church for the first time in years on sunday!! it was so amazing for her to be back. and her daughter separated from her boyfriend and is now living the law of chastity and O (the son who got baptized a little over a month ago) is teaching the YSA gospel principles class next Sunday and passed the sacrament for the first time!! Amazing progress in this family :)

Also, last night we had an amazing lesson with M. She told us that after every lesson we have together, she just lies awake at night thinking about how she just wants to know the truth, and how she feels like what we are teaching is true. She said last night the she has known for a long time, but can now finally admit, that the difference between us as missionaries and the message we bring compared to all of the other churches she has attended is that every time we speak, she feels the spirit. She said last night with tears in her eyes that if our message is important enough for us to go out and teach in the freezing cold and be away for our families and give up a lot of luxuries, then it must be true. a month ago, she could not have been more opposite. she didnt even want to have a book of mormon in her hands for longer than a few minutes, and now she is reading and studying it daily. instead of just having a ton a doubts, she now is looking for answers. When i see the spirit working in people like her, I feel like I'm doing my job here. I feel like I am completing my purpose and nothing brings me greater happiness :) 

I love you all! Keep the prayers coming. Also, if everyone in California could please lend some warmth over here that would be much appreciated 
Hermana Mortensen

mis amigitas misioneras at the specialized training for new missionares. let me tell ya. third time at that meeting and i can now quote quite a few district videos

Week 33- Half-way!!

I've been a missionary for an entire pregnancy!! ya know what that means? well in nine months from now... i will be on a plane to Texas... WHAT. I cannot believe I am already at the half way mark. And people keep telling me that it only goes faster. That just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I never would have a imagined when I opened up my mission call a year ago how much I would love my mission or how the Lord would use me in ways that I didnt even know where possible! I couldn't be more grateful. I was reading in D&C when I was studying for a lesson that we were going to have that day and found myself in seccion 88. hay un versiculo ahi que dice" teach ye diligently and my grace will attend you" That impacted me so much. I feel like without much required of me, I have felt my own baggage or like mistakes completely lifted/washed away. And it has been happening so gradually the past 9 months that looking back, I see someone much different and much spiritually weaker. Its so strange because I really feel like i dont even know her. But now I feel like I have been changed and sanctified and feel as though I have my own personal relationship with my savior and my heavenly father. I feel as though I have fully embraced the gospel and am not ashamed of it. I know that this will change the course of the rest of my life for the better and i owe it all to my mission! I am so so so so so grateful I made the decision to serve. 

Well this week my companion and I decided to get creative when we were thinking about how we were going to get our investigadores to church. We decided to do a church tour!! We took our investigador M______ through all the rooms telling her what happens there. She asked a lot of questions! Then we went into the room with the pila bautismal. I opened up the doors of the font so she could see it and the whole room lit up and the spirit came in so strongly. We talked about baptism and why its so important and she obviously felt the spirit. Right then and there, we were prompted to invite her to be baptized on March 8th and she accepted! we then went into the chapel and taught about the sacrament and how we renew our covenants everytime we take of the bread and water. and what do you know, SHE CAME TO CHURCH THIS SUNDAY! She said she loved it! such a miracle. 

This week we got to go to Ellis Island and it was Sister Bentley's first time. I feel like am i seasoned worker over there now hahah Also. Its freezing cold. but hey. what can ya do? nothing. oh and by the way, sister mortensen aka me takes a tumble due to the ice daily. at least my companion has some entertainment on a dreary day. 

hermana mortensen :)

went to this house for an appt and there is a giant icicle. they are everywhere!

At Ellis Island with Hermana Bentley


Week 32

Oh my goodness this week was like so crazy spiritual. In the words of President Taggart we drank out of a fire hydrant. Okay, so to start it off, I got invited to Mission Leader Council. President said he invited a few extras because the topics that were going to be discussed where going to be enforced by zone leaders and sister training leaders at least until May. (yikes. buckle up.) Anyway, it was such a blessing to be there. Brother Donaldson was there representing the General Missionary Board and he was the mission president of the San Diego CA mission when District 2 was filmed. So basically it was an 8 hour meeting and my poor little hand couldn't write all the things he said fast enough. Seriously, it was unreal. SO much revelation. Our mission is undergoing major changes and unfortunately, some leader weren't too happy about it and started raising concerns. Brother Donaldson at the end got up and said, "The Presidency and Apostles know this mission. They have major plans for this New Jersey Morristown Mission coming up in the near future. We are making these changes so that you can be ready for it" That silenced the whole place real fast. I love my mission.

I learned sooo many things during that training. He told a lot about how this is the Lord's work. He requires our mind. We need to get creative. Well my problem is I have enough time in the mission where I have kinda just gotten into the same mode. If everything falls through, well then we are going tracting, and we are gonna contact until my feet ache. he was just like GET CREATIVE. so he discussed new ways to go about the work of the Lord. So we were struggling getting really solid new investigadores. So I got back from the training, unloaded my 8 new pages of notes on my poor companion, and we basically did a 180. Three days later, we have 3 solid referrals from members, all with dates that we are going to go back and teach their friends either with them, or in their home. 

BIG NEWS. LIKE THE BEST BIGGEST NEW EVER. So we went over to teach the Guerreros and we taught about eternal families and they had a lot of questions about eternal marriage and saying how that is what they want. We talked about how it is possible as we simply live the gospel. Well Fabiola has been working on Sunday for YEARS now, and after the whole lesson she asks her husband oscar, "should I tell them?" and he was yes! She said that she got Sundays off!!. She said that starting in 2 weeks, she can come back to church. They were waiting for us to come over to tell us and it was a surprise for Oscar, their son, as well! I was just so excited! It was so cool too because a couple weeks back, he committed Oscar (the son who got baptized a month ago) to fast especially for that. It was so cool to see his reaction and for him to see the power of fasting. 
ALSO, at church last Sunday, we had 2 less active families that we are working with come back to church. seeing them walk into the church was like they were getting back home after a long vacation. You could just tell that it was back to the normal routine and they were so happy. I love this work. The love the gospel. Its such a source of happiness! Our Heavenly Father never asks us to do something we will regret! He just blesses us over and over. 
Hermana Mortensen

Week 31--SOS Weather!

Well you know its gonna be a good day when the zone leaders send a text saying to make sure to pack your 72 hour kits on the car and be ready to hightail it back home when the blizzard hits. yay snow! #pray4me

Well all is well here in Kearny, NJ. First and foremost, Oscar and Angel both received the priesthood yesterday!! It was so good to see them and this like extra light in their eyes after they received it. I have such a testimony of the reality of the priesthood power. It is literally the power of God given to man to act in His name. What a blessing to have access to that power here on the earth. And what a blessing to know where to access it. I become more and more grateful for the faith that a 14 year old boy had in 1820, to pray and ask God a simple question, which of all the churches were true. Its because of that faith, that through him, the priesthood power has been restored on the earth again.
MILAGRO. Flippin' Oscar's dad, Hermano Guerrero came to church.... AND FOR ALL 3 HOURS. that is such a miracle. He has not done that for like over a year. Its amazing to see how his son's spiritual progression has impacted him and now, he looks forward to his baptism, knowing that his son will be able to baptize him.
So we are in major finding mode. You know what that means, knocking on dem doors. That's how you break in those new missionaries ya feel? Sister Bentley cracks me up. If I say jump, she'll jump 50 times without question. We went out to the busiest street and I told her, "okay so we are going to contact every person we see on this street okay?" and so we are walking and there weren't many people outside at first due to weather conditions and so we are walking for a while and there is someone like 2 streets down at this intersection and she YELLS, "HELLO SIR! HOW ARE YOU??" I just smiled so big. Like what in the world? This girl has no fear.
I couldn't be happier!! I love this work. Keep the prayers coming... especially in this weather. I was just not cut out for the snow hahaha
Hermana Mortensen
me and sister bentley!!

Martha y diego (investigadores) and the birthday celebration they had for me :)

me with Guerrero family
me in my princeton sweater and cake that hna detrinidad made me