The Creamy-Way Bread Store (4/25/16)

A hop and a skip from our house, there is a Panaderia (bread store or Bakery) called Via Crema (way cream). It has really great bread. All types, freshly baked, everyday. It is a wonderful place. And it has an awesome name.ut even more awesome than that is this:

When I was in 3rd grade, my older brother Michael, (now with one month more in Lithuania on his mission) bought a bamboo plant at a dollar store. He brought it home, carefully placed it and watered it in our room, and together we solemnly named it “Marvin Delano Bamboo” after his favorite president at the time.

On tuesday, we were in a house teaching a teenage girl. She seemed really dejected, and didn´t seem to have any hope, even as we were teaching about the hope that comes from knowing Jesus Christ our savior. After we closed with a prayer, we chatted for a few minutes about her cat, who had a sweater on (poor thing). I felt like I should tell her about my family´s no-pet rule, and about our old beloved pet bamboo plant, Marvin D. Bamboo (may he ever rest in peace).

I have never been good at humor in Spanish, but as I shared this silly experience, she smiled. She laughed. For but a moment, she forgot all of her worries and laughed about the silly gringo who names his bamboo plants.

It was exactly what she needed. Just a smile was enough to let me know that our time was not wasted with her.

She probably won´t join the church right away, maybe not ever. But at least we brightened her day, which makes everything worth it.

And afterward, we enjoyed some ridiculously awesome bread from the Creamy Way Bread Store.

God is real. He loves you.

So smile.

-Elder Mortenson

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4/18/16

This week we have been focusing on finding new people to teach by searching the binders of old investigators, all of the people who took lessons from the missionaries in the last 5 years.

It has been a really interesting experience, calling, searching for, and visiting these people. Most of them still don´t want to listen, or don´t have the time, but I´ve seen miracles this week through our work.

A few days ago, we had searched for many old investigators, for hours, and we hadn´t had any success. As we walked back toward to the chapel to teach in a Family Home Evening, a young man called out to us.

“Elders!”

We promptly turned around. People are almost never excited to see us.

He proceded to tell us that he had investigated the church, and even attended a few times a few years ago, and that he wanted us to come and teach him again. We´ll start this week.

But the incredible thing was that he was nowhere to be found in our old records of investigators. But we were lead to him because we were being diligent.

God will help us when we act on our faith. If you are praying for a miracle, Go! Do something good for others! God will put the people you need in your path.

He will help us as we help His children. Each one of us is precious and individually known to Him.

-Élder Mortenson

¡Que poder! (4/11/16)

This week has been full of tough times and miracles.

This week, on Saturday, Elder Sanchez and I were walking to accompany one of our menos activos families to a ward talent show / celebration of Barranquilla. We walked past a house where an old man was sitting on the porch. About 5 steps after we walked past him, I received the impression that I needed to talk to him. It was undeniable. But, I ignored it, and kept following my companion, not wanting to be awkward.

The following hour, I couldn´t stop thinking about that man, and about the prompting I had received. I felt guilty that I had failed the trust that the Lord had placed in me, that I would act on the prompting I received. I prayed silently and fervently that somehow I would be able to make things right, or receive forgiveness, or do something to help that man. Miraculously, almost an hour later, we walked past the same house, and the same man was still there. This time I went without hesitation, and we talked to him for a few minutes. We learned that his wife passed away about a month ago, and that he feels lonely, and in need of direction in his life.

I felt the spirit so strongly, and I knew that the prompting was real, and from God, and that He had given me a second chance, that he had answered my prayer. It was so powerful and amazing. I am so glad to be here!

The mission is amazing. The Holy Ghost is real and powerful. Our Father in Heaven loves us, and wants to bless us by letting us bless others.

¡Que poder!
(what power!)

-Élder Mortenson

Spanish Chewbacca (4/5/16)

This week has been awesome, and full of small amazing miracles.

The most prominent of which is that I got the opportunity to watch General Conference (when the whole church listens to the prophets and apostles for 2 days) in an air-conditioned room in the Stake center….

…In ENGLISH!!!

I have nothing against Spanish of course. It is a lovely language that is slowly edging all of my English skills out of my brain. But it was great to listen to the voices those servants of God, in their own language, in their own poetic styles.

But experiencing a bilingual conference for the first time opened my eyes to some new truths. One of which is that, when Elder Uchtdorf made the joke about the Chewbacca costume, everyone in my little American classroom laughed. But when I talked to my companion later, apparently not a single soul got the joke enough to laugh. I guess some things get lost in translation.

But the truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ are true to Everyone, Always!

My favorite talk this weekend was by Elder Nelson in the Priesthood session Saturday night. I know that the atonement of Jesus Christ can heal the fractures in our heart even better than Elder Nelson, the world renowned heart surgeon, ever could. We just have to open our heart to our Saviour, and He will make us whole.

And we had our first rain this morning. Super exciting but pretty short. 🙂

-Élder Mortenson