Week 42--happy happy happy

So good news... and not surprising. sister dubon and I are staying together for the next transfer!! We are both so happy. She's the best. So many miracles have been happening lately! but for the sake of time, I will share with you the biggest one :)

So sister dubon and I have been contacting as many people as we can get our hands on. English and Spanish. we figured that if we talk with EVERYONE, the Lord will trust us enough to lead us to the latinos y los preparados. So last Tuesday, we were in Boonton. and we knocked on this house. and this lady came down and let us in (miracle) she was from Honduras and as we were talking to her getting to know her, her daughter came out! She is 18 and 6 months pregnant. she come here from Honduras just one month ago. we started talking and it was pretty obvious to us that the mother, J_____, was one of those people who lets whoever in her house and just loves the word of God. Those people are nice to find and stuff, but usually they don't progress because they listen, and then thats the end of it. After we cleared up that we weren't Jehovah's Witnesses, we started teaching the Restoration. The spirit was really strong. They were both really listening and participating. I felt like I wasn't teaching strangers, but like i was teaching 2 really good friends that i had know for years! They eagerly set a second appt. 
So fast forward to last Saturday. We go visit them with the Relief Society President. B______, the pregnant daughter, let us in. J_____ walks in and its obvious that she didn't look good at all. We follow up on the reading that we left them in the Book of Mormon and we had planned to move onto the next lesson but sister dubon and I both felt like we should really just focus on the Book of Mormon. So we talked and testified about how this book brings us such peace in our lives. J_____ totally just broke down and said, "from the moment I saw you two on Tuesday knocking at my door, something burned inside my soul. What I feel when you two teach is something I have never felt anywhere before. You are angels sent from God. B______ doesn't want me to say anything, but I feel like you are answers to prayers and that you can help. We have no food left. nothing. and B_____ needs to eat." Thank heavens the Relief Society president was there because she was able to get them the help they needed. The spirit was so strong and such an evidence to me of how God is so aware of us. They both committed to baptism on the 10th of May and they also committed to church on Sunday... and they came!!

So Sunday couldn't have been a more perfect day. The classes were sooo spot on for B_____ y J____. During like the second hour, during Relief Society, J___ got a really bad migrane from all the stress of the finances and everything, but she just looked at me and said, "I will not let satan win, I know I have to be here, I have found my place!" B_____ just kept looking at me during the church saying "gracias amiga, muchisimas gracias" I LOVE MY AMIGAS. 

So yeah, they are doing amazing. after church we came to their house to visit them and they said, " any activity, any meeting, any ANYTHING, we want to be there. There are no words to describe how grateful we are" and now they are reading scriptures and praying like they have been doing it for years. This is one of those miracles that you hear about and wonder if it will ever happen to you. I am just so grateful knowing that through fasting and praying for people like that, the Lord truly does hear us and answer. What an amazing blessing :)

Love you all!!
Hermana Mortensen

Week 41-General Conference and Refiners Fire

Well.... I cannot even BEGIN to express how much I loved conference. I'm not kidding, I was trying to take notes so fast that my hand would cramp up. How blessed are we to have living prophets and apostles here on the earth? More than once, the thought came to my mind, "yup, that right there was just for you"

I would have to say my favorites where oh course, Elder Holland. Tears came. That was so so soooo powerful. I can look back and see times in my life where the Lord truly was clinging on to me. Knowing that we have a Savior truly gives life a purpose!! Another one of my favorites was Elder Wilford W. Anderson. He came to our mission and I got to talk to him for a good little bit in spanish :) His talk was SO amazing. He basically put to rest that there is no such thing as "faking it till you make it" we truly must hear the music or rather, feel and see the joy the gospel brings us, in order to dance the steps naturally. AND Elder Michael T. Ringwood when he talked about Shiblon. HOW AWESOME? the wordly recognition comes and goes so fast. All that really matters is what the Lord thinks of us. Lemme tell ya. Those are just a few that are coming to mind now, I could go on and on. WAIT. one of my very very favorites was by Elder Dale G. Runlund, "Twas I, but tis not I" One of my favorite moments however happened between sessions on sunday. a recent convert was skyping his wife and son over in Honduras and he waved for me to come over and see his son on skype and then I saw two sister missionaries in the background! I said, "ahhh! amigas misioneras!" they came over and we talked to them for a little and wow I cant even tell you how full my heart was seeing them. They were two latina missionaries who are so very different from sister dubon and i, yet we are doing the exact same thing as them. what a blessing to be on the same winning team as them. 

So this week could be considered a little bit like the Refiners Fire. But I am so grateful for what it has taught me. So tuesday morning, during district meeting, P____ texts us saying that she can never see us again and dropped us pretty hard. Then sister Dubon looked at me and realized... oh my word, we really don't have any investigadores right now. We started having a cow a little bit. We felt really strongly that we just needed to "go vertical" (thats what president taggart says for basically pleading with the Lord). We went in earnest prayer and tried to think about what we needed to do because our area was really suffering, and we are suppose to have the example area!! I felt really confident that if we worked really hard that day, we would get at least 2 new investigadores. Then, we went on exchanges, I stayed in the area and sister dubon left. So sister larsen and I went out and executed all of our plans and let me tell you, I have not had that many doors slammed ever before! It was just one after another. Sister Larsen said it felt like a normal day for the english missionaries hahah anyways, I kept a smiling face the whole time because I was on the exchange and had to be "exemplary" and to top things off... IT STARTED SNOWING. so yeah, we were soaking wet. We got home and knelt down to pray and I couldn't help but be kind of frustrated with heavenly father, I was just like "cmon! I really felt that we were going to have success today but nothing happened! 0 lessons. absolutamente nada." we wrapped up nightly planning and then the phone rang. It was a number that wasnt saved. I said "hola habla la hermana mortensen" and then a very familiar voice said to me in spanish "have you already forgotten about me my beautiful missionary??" IT WAS MARTA FROM KEARNY! I hadn't been able to call her since I left so she got my number for the missionaries in kearny. She updated me on her progress and that she is reading the book of mormon and really progressing. She said that "I felt like I needed to tell you to keep being a disciple of Christ. There are people over there in morristown that specifically need you! thanks to you and your personality, I started learning and now I am so grateful" I almost just broke down crying!! what a blessing, that someone I taught was able to be an answer to my prayer. 

As a mission we have been focused a lot on Helaman 3:35 and it talks about the humble and obedient people in the church were being persecuted and it talks about how they reacted to the persecution. It says that they did fast and pray oft, and they did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in their faith of christ, and that they were purified and sanctified. So i decided to put it to the test. on Friday I fasted that we would be able to find at least 2 new investigadores. so we went out and I was feeling pretty confident. We went to a part of the area to a city called Boonton. I'm pretty sure the phrase "out in the boonies" originated from this place. Its so weird. you just feel like your in limbo, or some random run down latin american country. we were looking and contacting all day long and only saw white people! we had taught 3 white people and still zero investigadores. we were walking back to our car and I was just like "no way are we leaving here without finding someone, I felt so good about this place! as we were walking back I see out of the corner of my eye this hispanic guy who was going off to work. I lept up onto his porch which probably scared the living daylights out of him and we got to talking. he is from honduras and he grew up with a mormon family there. He said he remembers playing futbol at the church with his friends and he was so excited to see us because it was like a throw back to his home! He was leaving off to work and said that we could come back on Sunday. We went back and taught him, his wife and their two daughters ages 14 and 8. lemme tell ya, i have never ever see a family as prepared as they are. they even have Sundays off! We ended the week having 8 new investigadores. The Lord lets us hit rock bottom so that it will take honest seekers to their knees in prayer, pleading for His help. and he always delivers. 

Love you all! Happy late Easter :)
Hermana Mortensen


Week 40

Hello hello everyone!!
Well another emotional roller coaster has come and gone with an emergency transfer, investigador passing baptismal interview, and the mother sending away her 32 year old daughter to prevent her baptism the day off. Just a day in the life. Always gotta be buckled up.

Soooo, basically P_______ is nothing short of a miracle. I haven't written much about her. When we got doubled in, the first Sunday we were at church she basically walked in! A recent convert was talking to her at a train station and casually invited her to church and she came! We knew off the bat that something was a little off with her. We weren't sure what. She's Colombian and 32 years old. We kept meeting with her and she wasn't understanding things super fast, so we were just teaching little by little and frequent visits. The spirit was always remarkably strong in these appts. As time went on, she started to retain more and more and really astounded us with her answers. She became more and more herself, cracking jokes and all that. That's when we knew she was accountable. She was so excited for her baptism and kept saying she feels so much peace and calm when she is with us and when she prays and when she thinks about baptism. She's obesesed with and if we are one minute late to an appt she calls us and demands to know where we are :) I grew to love her more than just about anyone else I've come in contact with in my mission. She is someone quite special. She was all ready for her baptismal interview. That morning of the interview we reviewed the questions and she did wonderfully! She showed us pictures on her Facebook of her back in Colombia a few years ago and we hardly recognized her. She was sooo guapa and looked normal. We left so confused wondering what made such a change. 

When she was in her interview, Elder Lopez was talking to her and she asked him why he wears glasses. He explained the problem with his vision and then asked her why she wears glasses. She said that she contracted this rare diasease between the connection of her eyes and her brain which is why she blicks so hard and twitches sometimes. Basically it can shut off her brain at any moment. Sister Dubon and I were shocked. I felt the spirit so strongly knowing that this daughter of God is very special to Him because He wants her back real bad. She says that she used to be normal but the medication has basically made her mentally retarded. She knows it and she tries to fight it. I couldn't even imagine what she could possibly be going through, but I began to realize that this intensified degree of love I felt from her truly came from the Savior.

She was sooooo excited. Then satan always has to get in the way somehow. Sunday was already for her baptism. We called her and she wasn't answering, so then we kept calling her. Then her phone was turned off. We immediately knew that this was not good. We drove over to her appt and her step- dad answered saying that her mother took her away and they would be coming back in the tarde. P___ called later that night. she asked us to come over. as soon as i entered the house, I just wanted to run out the other way. She did not look good, she was twitching more than normal and she wasn't happy. Its was like mentally, she had taken 6 steps back. Her mother is an alcoholic and abusive and her step dad is a drug addict and was a rough environment. P____ wants to be baptized next Sunday and is so anxious to feel the spirit. so yeah. That's basically that so we are praying real hard that all goes well. Keep her in your prayers!!

We had a luau sister party today that the sister training leaders put on with Sister Taggart! It was such a hit!
Love you all!!
Hermana Mortensen

P____!! We love her :)

Emily Taggart and I having phone at photo booth

I am so lame!

My main girl

Me and all of my companions! except Sister Boudescoque... or should I say Hawkins?

Week 39

So we welcomed spring in with a nice snowfall... *eyetwitch* but hey its okay, the snow is almost all melted now. It was just a funny joke probably.

All is well here in Morristown! This week was SUCH a roller coaster. So basically there is a lot of work to be done here in this area. Its been really rough to get the members involved in the obra misional. We call and we call and we call for them to come out with us and they literally just ignore our calls or hang up on us. The only member that went out with us was our ward mission leader and branch president. So we basically threw down in our Branch council meeting and we were just like, “Okay. We have someone being baptized this next week (her name is Paula and she is awesome) and hardly anyone in the branch knows her. We have tried getting people to come out with us but there is only so much we can do. We aren't here to just baptize people who go inactive". (that is a huge trend here) We shared some ideas with the branch council on some ways that we can get members more involved. They were super open to the ideas and we are expecting to see major improvement. But yeah. It was rough. Hopefully the attitude of "this is the missonary's work" will go away and it will all become a team effort. I am so grateful the Lord trusts be enough to send me here and apply everything I learned in the Newark Ward to help strengthen this branch.

So we had ONE OF THE MOST SPIRITUAL LESSONS probably in my whole mission this week. We were teaching this investigador _____. I love her to death. we work out with her every morning and seriously she's so hilarious. She's from Bolivia, her husband as well. he is a doctor and her son is 7 and is obsessed with the church. He already has articles of faith memorized and is counting down the days to his baptism. So we went over to teach her and President Crane (the branch president) was there. We went over to talk about the Plan of Salvation because she was asking a lot of questions about WHY we do all the things we do. She always said that she's just not a church going type of person. Sister Dubon and l laughed saying that if we just went to church because we were born with this desire to go to church, we wouldn't be going either hahah so what better way to explain the why than the plan of salvation?

So we start off by saying, "Okay ______, today we want to explain to you the "why" behind everything we do, why we go to church, and why we invite you and your family to be baptized." she smiled and said, "Justo, today I was thinking about why you girls are doing all of this" she was all ears. The spirit was so strong the whole time. We were teaching the with folleto and she was all ears. we got to the end and talked about eternal life. We explained that eternal life is when we are in the presence of god with our families. I simply looked up at her and said, “_______. This is why!! I go to church and serve a mission and do all this things, because I cannot live without the promise of being with my family forever. I miss them a lot, but I'm not sad, because I have this promise." The spirit was so tangible in there. She started asking questions about temples and how she could get sealed to her family. it was so powerful because sister Dubon had been sealed to her family like one month before she left for her mission so she showed her a picture. Then ______ was saying how when she found out the two new missionaries were coming, she had decided that she was going to tell us that she wasn't interested anymore, and then she said that when she met us, she knew that we were specifically sent for her. She is progressing a ton now and the whole family came to church last Sunday :)

I know I say this every time but I couldn't be happier! Serving a mission is the absolute best. Love you all!
Hermana Mortensen