Jugodor (5/30/16)

Jugodor is not a word in Spanish.

Jugador means (soccer) player. Jugo means juice.

We have a recent convert that has been having a lot of doubts lately about his own testimony of the Church, of the Book of Mormon, and of Joseph Smith. As we sat down with him to talk earlier this week, he told us that he hasn´t been reading the Book of Mormon, and he hasn´t been to church in a few months, but that he likes his new job working making juice at a local restaurant.

So that makes him a jugodor right? And thus was born my first succesful pun joke in Spanish.

But we commited him to start coming back to church and reading the Book of Mormon. So he can become a testimoniodor as well.

Also, I´m getting a lot better at making juice. So that makes me a jugodor as well. And a misionerodor.

Ok thats all for me.

Read the book of Mormon. Go to church. There is not much more important in life than that.

A Dios!

-Daniel

En el tiempo del Señor (5/16/16)

So this week was a good one! I learned a lot about faith and persistence. Something awesome happened and I get to stay with my trainer for another transfer! Which is great because I´ll be able to see a lot of our investigators get baptized and we are already in a rhythm.

I´ve learned that the Lord often lets us try to figure things out on our own at first, lets us try our best, before He steps in and helps us out. Sometimes he just lets us pray for a while, to prove to ourselves that we have enough faith before he lets us see the blessings that he has been pouring out on us all along.

We had record Investigator attendance this week! 7 in Sacrament meeting! Which was wonderful to see. I know that the Lord is touching their hearts and preparing them to receive the blessings of Baptism.

Sometimes we see the fruit of our labor, sometimes we don´t, but I testify that every trial is hand crafted specifically for us to learn and grow and overcome. He will never leave us alone, and is always there to help us. In His time he will make us into Men and Women of God, but only if we let him.

So let him. Pray without ceasing, and He will ever attend you.

Con amor,

-Elder Mortenson

And the rains came down… (5/9/16)

So it started to rain for real this week. Just about everyday. Which has been super exciting and wet. Although really it´s not very much wetter than usual. The rain is more refreshing than the sweat.

Tomorrow we have Transfers! I´ll almost certainly receive a new companion, and I won´t be in training anymore! Hooray!

Also, Peruvian food is pretty good. I tried ceviche today, which is like lemon juice sushi salad.

The power of prayer is real. I urge you all to tell God about everything that is going on in your day to day life everynight, and to ask for forgiveness and strength to be better. He loves to listen. And he loves to bless us. I have experienced this more strongly than ever before this week. We are never alone.

Tenga una semana perfecta!

-Elder Mortenson

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

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

Crescent (3/28/16)

This week was super awesome!

We had Hermana J`s baptism scheduled for saturday night, so on saturday morning we went to fill the baptismal font with water. Only to find that the door to the font was locked and the key to it didn`t work!

So, after a few hours of trying to figure out what to do (baptism doesn`t work without a LOT of water), the ingenious 2nd counselor in our ward managed to dismantle the lock on the door and take it off.

Which means that the door is always open to be baptized! We will be working super hard this week to find more people who are ready to hear the message.

As for how I`m doing, I`ve overcome my health issues of the first month and a half, and am starting to be accustomed to life down here.

It is still super hard to understand lots of the people here, but my spanish is improving little by little.

3 months has passed remarkably quickly here in the mission. And it`s been great! And I hope it gets even better over the next 21 months!

I am but a crescent moon now, with so much growing to do before I am full. But I am growing. And one day I will be whole.

 

con amor,

-Elder Mortenson

Sin Lluvia, con Bendiciones (3/21/16)

So it´s been another rainless week here on the northern coast of Colombia. They promised me it would rain. It hasn´t so far. After 6 whole weeks here. Nothing.

But, much more importantly and excitingly, we have a baptism set this week for Friday! I guess that kind of water is really what I should be waiting for!

This week I studied la Expiación (the atonement) of Jesus Christ. It is incredible.

He knows exactly how you feel. Exactly the combinations of pains and worries and sorrows that you have in your life. And He will help you, but he cannot bless you with all of the blessings of His sacrifice unless we ask him. Let him help you. Pray. Read the scriptures. He will strengthen you, comfort you, and bless you with a hope for a better world.

Remember him this holy week. He is risen so that all may rise again.

 

A dios,

-Élder Mortenson

¡ARREPIÉNTASE! (3/14/16)

It`s been another great week on the coast!

Elder Sanchez and I are working really hard to get the work going faster here in our area. We`re contacting a lot, and have found a lot of new investigators to teach!

We would have had a baptism this coming saturday, but Hermana J didn`t attend church yesterday! Que triste! But with another week or two hopefully she`ll make it.

My spanish is improving for sure, and I`ve discovered that I really love to teach English. I have a class every wednesday at 7:30!

Elder Sanchez is helping me understand how to be more direct (but with kindness) with our investigators. After all, we are to “preach nothing but repentance to this generation”.

But, the wonderful thing is that Repentance is such a joyful thing! It`s hard, and hurts a little, but it is such a blessing to be clean before our Father in Heaven. My challenge this week is to feel this joy by repenting of all your errors of the day, every night through sincere prayer to Him.

I testify that our father in Heaven wants to bless us with forgiveness, with cleansing, with peace and happiness. But he cannot without our permission.

Entonces,

¡ARREPIÉNTASE!

Con Amor,

-Èlder Mortenson