Week 38--Too busy for pictures.

This past week has been ANYTHING but tranquilo. Its been probably the craziest week of my mission, but I have a feeling that this will be the new normal pretty soon here. We had exchanges from Tues-wed, mission zone confon thurs, exchange Friday to Saturday and no rest in between! but that's how we like it... maybe I will unpack one of these days, that would be cool.

So sister dubon and I gave a training at zone meeting on the Basics of the Gospel. The spirit was so strong. At one point I literally had to say, "okay everyone, do you feel that?? the spirit is here!" Sometimes, we get so caught up on if someone isn't keeping the word of wisdom or going to church that we only scratch the surface by teaching about the commandments. The surest way to change behavior is by teaching the basics of the gospel. We really focused alot on applying the atonement and how we can do so in our everyday lives as missionaries of the Lord. Sister Dubon and I learned so much as we prepared for this training. We started by writing on the board a quote by one of the general authorities that says, "the greatest spiritual giants come from the those who were the greatest sinners or those who passed through the greatest trials" We talked a lot about why this is true. The connect here is obviously the Atonement. Its only the Savior that can take away the pains of sin or can give us power from heaven to overcome the fiery darts of the adversary. We both agree that we were so lucky to be given that topic of the training because we learned the most :)

So real quick on the exchanges. The first exchange was with a brand new missionary, Sister W and she came with me in my area. I was 100% relying on the Lord for this one because this area was so new to me and I wanted this girl to see major miracles on her first exchange. and oh boy did we. We were finding Hispanics left and right walking in the calles and set many appts that day. We were driving away and I saw this guy walking into his house and the spirit whispered clearly to me that we needed to turn around and talk to him. so we did, walked up and knocked on his door, has an awesome first lesson, and he accepted baptism! She's an English missionary so was kinda lost the whole time but we left and she said, "I have no idea what went down, but the spirit was SO there!" Later on in the exchange I asked her why she came out on her mission. She mentioned that her best friend/cousin unexpectedly took her own life when she was a senior in high school and it really had a big impact on her. She said it was so hard to cope with, but found such comfort in the plan of salvation, and wants others to feel that comfort as well. I felt prompted to ask a little bit more about her cousin. She showed me a purple wristband that she wears the says her cousins name and I was like wow that looks so familiar. she was talking about her more when I realized that my boyfriend in college wore that same wristband. I grabbed Sister W and was like OH MY WORD. this is not a coincidence. I told her that I dated someone who was very good friends with her cousin and took the lost of S (her cousin's name) very hard and how I visited her grave on the one-year mark of her death. Sister W teared up said that it was such an answered prayer that we made this connection because she really felt as if she needed someone to talk to about all of it. It was such a miracle to see how the Lord knows us so well and works in such mysterious ways.

I love you all! quote of the week from sister dubon and I: "we look so beat, but we are happier than we've ever been"


Week 37--My new area is Morristown!

Pueeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees I could not be more tired, yet excited and stoked all at the same time! Sooo my companion is Hermana Dubon which is SO FUN because we met a while back and were just instantly friends. Shes from Southern California (like Santa Clarita) and her parents are El Salvadorian but she learned her Spanish in the mission. We are gonna be going home together in November and this was sooo unexpected because first of all, this is both of our first transfer being Sister Training Leaders (nope there is no manual for this calling so how hard can it really be right?...) AND we got doubled in.... which is so classic because this is my third area, and third time being doubled in ha ha ha. I love it, but its a tooooon of work. Andamos perdidas. Which could be really stressful, but we just laugh. super hard. We are in the Morristown area! Its super beautiful here but also super weird because we are in like one of the biggest areas in the mission so its pretty overwhelming (we have like 12 cities in our area) pero the beauty of it all is that we are literally forced to rely wholly on the Lord... and our GPS.

So the first night we got in, we met with the branch mission leader who seems super solid. He told us right off the bat, okay so these members are not going to want to have you over and give you dinners just letting you know that right now... awesome. We could really feel it too, like when we met them there was kinda a stiff feeling so we just decided to love the living daylights outta them. and its working a little! We have to give it more time of course but asi es la vida. The majority of the people here are from Honduras (Ive never worked with people from there before) and from Colombia. 
I'm not gonna lie, I miss my Peruvians and all my people back in Newark, but its good to start anew and meet new people and grow a ton. 

We have seen more than a few miracles this week! One of the biggest blessings this week was that we literally had 2 investigadores walk into the branch this Sunday! We met with one of the recent converts during the week and commited him to invite a friend to church. Anywho, we get to church and he was waiting outside the gospel principles class and he said, "I brought a friend of mine today!! She's inside go sit by her!" That was so awesome! So we were talking with her and she was super interested! and then the same thing happened with another member, but appartantly her friend that she brought has come to church a ton of times and has never had the desire to meet with the missionaries, but we went up to met her and she was like, "hey, heres my number, come by and i'll give you food and we can talk about all this" WHAT? So that was super awesome.

It's crazy how much we have to do. We have quite a few sisters that we are over (or rather, that we have to go on exchanges with, so we basically are going on 2 a week starting this week up until the end of the transfer). and we have a few trainings that we will be giving this month as well. I think more than anything, the most pressure I feel is to make sure that we have an exemplary area. That means that we always have to make sure we are updating the area book, always having a clean apartment, teaching from preach my gospel and the fundamentals, the whole shabang. and just kick it into high gear. So yeah, we are bringing our A-game. 

Love you all! We need the prayers big time.
Hermana Mortensen

With sister Dubon after transfer conf.

This is an excerpt from Hermana Dubon. She writes more detailed than Mallory and maybe that is a good thing! Haha! 

Another Miracle that I am weary to share is that I didn't die TWICE in one night. We got locked out of our apartment, So we made the best use of time to call potentials while we waited to hear from the sisters what they do when they get locked out. Its happens more often then you think. First person on the list Moises says " I am in Morristown at the train station, waiting for my train" We say " We will be there in 20 minutes". We start to walk there holding a GPS luckily only a mile away in knee deep snow. The GPS takes us on a highway because it probably thinks we are in the car... Ahhh we are practically dodging cars. Soo scary ! We jump into a black mountain of snow holding on to each other so the oncoming traffic doesn't turn us into fresh road kill. Are we absolutely dumb or just from California?! Lets be real. We landed on the snow and we were doing high kneels clinging onto a barbed wire fence to avoid falling into traffic. We took a moment to really think about what we were stupidly doing. So we began to run !!! we called the sisters serving in English to pick us up. At this point I am sweating profusely, dazed and confused. We get to the train station right at the exact same time the train to pick up Moises comes. Literally the train wind almost toppled us over as it came into the station. We missed him by a second !! At this point I was woozy not sure if it was from the pioneer experience or my blood sugars. So i decide to take a moment to check my blood. It was 45 !! way too low to function. We see the sister car and we jump in. My companion is trying to keep me from passing out but her questions were awkward enough to make me want to pass out.  We get into the Sisters apartment, and I pounce on chocolate pudding. My companion told me I was acting like a 5 year old, and I was delusional...she started cry laughing. It was a bonding experience.. haha but we used some skillful tactics with a credit card to get back into our apartment. Yeah we feel safe. Not ! So God saved my life twice in one night. Miracles, blessed, I'm awesome.


Week 36--Plot Twist

Well... everything was pretty tranquilo until President called last night and called me to serve as a Sister Training Leader. Who saw that coming?? Not me. SO many mixed emotions. I am so humbled by the call to be able to serve not only the people in the new area that I was going to be in, but also, the sisters the will be placed under my care. but my HEART BREAKS just at the thought of having to leaving kearny and the newark ward. I flippin LOVE these people here and the ward. But I keep repeating in my head, "a donde me mandes ire Senor" 
This week was actually one of the most emotionally difficult weeks in the mission. It seemed as though everything that could possibly go wrong in the lives of the people that we were serving, did go wrong. I learned this week what it really means to mourn with those that mourn and to stand with those who stand in need of comfort. There were many points this week where someone would call us to come over because something happened, and we would go, and they would just break down in tears. I wouldn't know exactly what to say, so I would just go over and hug them and let them cry for a little bit and before I knew it, I was crying with them and it was almost like I could feel just a little bit of what they were going through. Thats when I learned what it really means to be a representative of Jesus Christ. I know that he cries with us when we are struggling and he lifts our hands that hang low. And then the greatest miracle of all happens that when the "mallory" inside me has NO IDEA what to do and is super nervous, the spirit takes over and I am able to open my mouth and it truly is filled! Experiences like this happened almost everyday this week. Yesterday, Sister Bentley and I left a lesson and she said "well, I can't really understand spanish, but everything you said in that lesson was perfect." I turned to her and said, "could you please tell me what just happened?" I wasn't me! The mantle that we carrying as ministers and representatives of the Lord is so real. It the greatest blessing to be able to be a part of it.
Now if everyone can just pray that I can get all packed and ready to go in a timely and organized matter, that would be much appreciated. (where's my mom when i need her?!)
Love you all!
Hermana Mortensen

Surprise snow storm needed to be documented

Saying good-bye to one of my favorite members, Pepe. (Best team up ever)

Spontaneous chopping off of the hair on exchange