Thursday, August 4, 2011

August 2, 2011


So alot has happened in this last week. I have named it,"The week from you-know-where". Elder Partner did something with his last companion that got him in enough trouble to bo transferred missions. So he's now serving in the Seattle Washington Mission. So that went down. I got put in another tripanionship with the Moorpark Elder's. So my new companions are Elder Marquez and Elder Jensen. Elder Marquez is from Maryland and Elder Jensen is from Pleasant Grove. Elder jensen and I know alot of the same people. So that's cool to talk about people.

Long story short, I've been covering 4 wards. It's been super tough trying to balance all the meetings. The Moorpark 1st ward and the T.O. 2nd ward meet at the same time(9 a.m.) in two different buildings. Then the Moorpark 2nd ward meets where the T.O. 2nd ward met and the T.O. 1st ward meets in a building 15 minutes away. And those two start at 12:30. So it's really hectic trying to get to all the meetings we have to be to plus balancing the dinner calendars and the other things. The good part is we have more work now. We don't have to focus on finding so much because out workloads got added together. So that's really nice.

We had a baptism last saturday and I had the oppotunity to baptize him. He's an ex-firefighter. He had an accident with a fire and went into a coma for 2 months. He had a frontal labotomy and woke up from the coma, but he came out a different person. So he's started his own company that took off way fast. So I got to baptized a multi-millionaire :) He's pretty cool. He's moving soon though. So we won't get to see him anymore.

That's been my crazy week.

Yeah, I was honest about you and dad. I've learned alot about how much you two have actually don't for me in the last few months. It's weird how much a mission opens your eyes to how things really are. It's quite an adjustment. I'm still working on adjusting to everything new. Its crazy. I have a lot to talk about when I get home. There's going to be some good conversations. Elder Perkins was amazing. I wish I would've understood how great he was when we were companions. I would've worked alot harder. He was everything a missionary should be. Bold but not overbearing. Full of charity. A great work ethic. Crazy. He taught me a lot.

I'm not sure what happened to Amanda Mayo's letter. The address is still the same. Elder Finkle wouldn't have sent it to A.G. He stops sending mail a few days before transfers. If she sends it again it should get to me. BUT... Our mission office is moving sometime soon. So my address is going to change. I'll let you know what it is when the move happens. I'm not entirely sure when it's happening.

What were Joe and Kaila doing in Arizona? Was it there family vacation or something? Andrew James is a pretty good name. Not like it matters what I think haha. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about sharing my bday. It would be cool. But at the same time not so much. I don't know. I guess I couldn't tell you till it actually happens. I'll bet that was hard for Joe to give  up Copper. And how does Copper feel about it?

Yeah Colton is kinda crazy. I hope he does well. Let me know how everything goes and all that jazz.

Yes Mrs Lyon is the one that I didn't get along with. She's the one who said I had a slight social issue.

Shelia Aardema's cousin is probably in his 50's or something. I'm not sure. But he's got a 20 something year old daughter and all that jazz. He lives here in Santa Rosa. Where do Skip and Tina live? I think the town name is Castaic. I don't know if that's technically in our mission. It would be cool to see them or something.

Welll, I'll let you know how things are next week. We're working hard and having fun. :) 6 companions in less than 6 months. I'm going to set a record or something. Leave it to me to do everything the hard way :)

Love you

Elder J. Garth Mortensen

July 25th, 2011

Howdy howdy howdy,

Things are awesome here. Just as good as ever. It was a tough week last week. We had a few trips to Ventura that couldn't be avoided so it was hard to get work done. Blah. Elder Partner knows the Book of Mormon almost as well as the Bible. He has a semiphotographic memory so he memorizes things really really fast. Its kinda crazy.

That stinks about the computer crashing. Hopefully it gets fixed soon.

I figured that you were in the Uintas when I didn't get an email. I knew it was about that time. It was weird missing it. I knew I was missing it but I didn't really miss it. I didn't really miss sleeping in the tent because the air here is just a clean as mountain air, and I've been sleeping on the floor alot because my back has been giving me problems. I didn't miss fishing because I can do that on P-day at the lake. And I definitely didn't miss the weather because its about the same here. So the only thing missing is dutch oven food (which I had last month from a member) and family. I was wondering when Jetta would start warming up to dogs. If I remember right she was terrified before I left. Is copper living at grandmas with them? Or is he still at home?

Girls camp sounded like a lot of fun. I've always wanted to go but for some reason I never could... I still haven't figured it out. I figured that you would have way more than enough food. It always happens :) I'm sure you just pulled out the camping bible and used that as a reference. That would make it easier I'm sure. And you better be careful mom... You could be IN that new presidency! haha.

200 miles. That's a long way. How many legs does he have? And how long are they? How many people are on the team? That's crazy. I've seen people out here with ragnar stickers. They always seem surprised when I know what ragnar is. It's fun surprising people. I love being a nerd because I can talk with people on almost any subject. It makes befriending people easier.

Speaking of meeting people out here.. Remember Sheila Aardema? However you spell it.. Well I met her cousin! Eric Yakey is his name. It was way cool to take about it and stuff. And guess who else I met our here?! Mrs. Lyon.... Of all the people I could have met in California it had to be Mrs. Lyon. She even reminded me of how good a student I was. "You were such a good student, you must be an outstanding missionary!" It was so hard not to laugh. I told Elder Partner all about our fun english classes together. I'm surprised she's still on this side of the veil.

That's wierd that school is starting up again. That's two years I've been out of school now. Weird. Coltons a senior and Calebs a freshman. Colton and I could overlap our missions depending on when he gets called. That would be weird too. His Bday was while you were camping too. Tell him happy bday for me.

The new area is tough because its filled with SUPER rich people. Disgustingly wealthy people. You can almost smell the pride in the air. But nevertheless Elder Partner and I have a baptism on saturday! We're stoked. And this week we're are going to ask one of our investigators to be baptized. This kid is 16 and he comes to church by himself. He's even been trying to get his family to come. Soooo he's pretty much a member. He even has his own scripture case and all that fun stuff. Hopefully he'll be baptized soon.

I totally forgot about President and Sister Murri's thing. Tell me how it goes. It will be interesting to hear what he talks about. Elder Perkins will probably be there. you'll meet alot of people that have kids in the mission.

It's good to be out here. I'm having fun and the time is flying! 6 months almost. It seems like yesterday I was in highschool. Crazy. It's only getting faster. Especially if I go to Bakersfield.

Anyway. I love you guys. Have fun and be safe and all that mushy stuff. When do you speak in sacrament meeting about me? The only reason I remember that is because some lady talked about her son yesterday in church.

Love you,

Elder J. Garth Mortensen

July 12th, 2011

Hey dad!

It was great to hear from you. Yeah.. I don't think mom will ever not stress about something like that. I'm sure she's having fun now that it's happening and all that jazz. I've been missing funeral potatoes like crazy though. No one makes them out here. It's wierd. I guess it really is just a "mormon thing."

That's pretty intense about the whole server thing. I think we've learned the same lesson over the last few days. There was a lady that we've been teaching and I had been thinking about her alot. I couldn't figure out what we should talk about next and I'd been stressing all week about it. (I know, me? stressed?.. wierd) Anyway.. I'd been stressing and the Spirit told me probably 50 times to just go see her then. I kept thinking that was a stupid idea because it was 8:30 and she and/or her housemates would be drunk. By the time I decided to listen she had left her house for the weekend. We had missed her by ten or so minutes. So who knows what Heavenly Father had in store for her and I missed it. Hopefully, someone else will take the initiative..

The tearfully thanking is something I've been striving for lately. In the scriptures it talks about the Prophets weeping for their people because they just won't listen. In the Bible Dictionary it says that we are all prophets in the sense that we have a testimony of Jesus Christ (BD prophet). The people in Pismo Beach just wouldn't listen to us. So I've been wondering how I get to the point of weeping for them. I've been thinking I have a lack of charity, but I'm still pondering.

Oh by the way... Transfers were today. I'm not in Pismo Beach anymore. I'm in Thousand Oaks. My companion is Elder Samuel Partner. He's way cool. He was raised southern baptist. He's got a brother that's Islamic, one that's Pagan, a sister that's Jehovah's Witness, a sister that's something I don't remember, and a brother that's atheist because he's gay. We've been getting along very well already. I'm going to love this transfer I think. Last transfer was kind of tough.,.

I also know that this church is true. I know that Joseph Smith was called of God to restore this gospel in this the last dispensation. If you haven't pondered the magnitude of what Brother Joseph did, I urge you to. I have a testimony of the power of the Book of Mormon. I know the blessings that it can and does bring into my life and the lifes of others. I know that I am here doing the Lord's work among his children in the California Ventura Mission. I know that my elder brother Jesus Christ is my Jesus. He is my Saviour and Redeemer. He is the Son of God. And I know that He lives.

I love you too dad. It's wierd how much I have come to appreciate how much you and mom have actually taught me. I've been very blessed to have you as parents. You are very special people. Thank you.


Elder J. Garth Mortensen 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Catch up, sorry I haven't been so great at this!

That's something Colton would do. They replaced in terribly in my opinion. It seemed like thinner metal. Oh well I guess.

Jenson will do great as soon as he gets into the routine. It's a bit weird at first but he'll get used to it quick.

That would be awesome if I had a friend to share my birthday with! I'm way stoked about that! haha. Yeah!

I believe flooding is one of the signs of the times. It must be getting closer. Our house is up on the hill to you'll be ok.

Well, the people in the Library are kicking us out so we have to leave.

So.. Sorry today's letter is so short. Maybe I'll write something and send it home.

I love you mom.

Elder J. Garth Mortensen 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

April 19, 2011


Things are pretty great here. It lightly rained here last night. That's about it weather wise. Its just sunny and hot. We have an opportunity to work in gardens around here. They grow brocolli here. Huge fields of it. Brocolli in large quantities smells exactly like crap. A lot of it.

Well good and bad news, the lady that was going to be baptized on Calebs birthday slipped on the Word of Wisdom so she has to be baptized this weekend. So she'll be baptized the same day Caleb becomes a teacher. She asked me to play the piano at her baptism and she asked me to confirm her. I'm super nervous. I've given blessings and things but never confirmed anyone, espescially in front of a sacrament meeting with over 300 people. There's going to be two baby blessings and a confirmation that day.

There's a ton of junk in my room. I don't even remember what it was all for. I guess it will be easier to chuck it when I'm unpacking it than trying to decide what to chuck while packing. Whatever value it had will probably be gone by the time I get home. It's crazy that I've been gone almost two and a half months. I'm officially not a greenie anymore. Transfers are today but I'm staying with Elder Perkins and Elder Mortenson. I get to kill two missionaries at once! (Send them home) It's awesome. Elder Perkins and Elder Mortenson were MTC companions so it's cool that they get to serve together in their last transfer. 

As for the package, could you send more milks? I gave mine away to some children we're teaching. And we've been having a lot of fun with those little baseball things. They make good prank things. Oh, could you send a USB card reader? That would be awesome! I could email you pictures that way. I've got some printed out that I'm going to send, but emailing will be cheaper because we have to print them out at Wal-Stupid or something. There were other things I thought of during the week. A tie hanger would be nice. My ties are currently... everywhere. I've acquired many ties here. The thrift stores are full of them. I can't remember the other things I thought of.

What time would be a good time for me to call on Mother's Day? They asked us to start making arrangments now. We have church from 9-12 and from 1-4. So the evening would work better for me. But we could arrange something else if we need to. If i remember right you are on the 9 schedule?

Missionary Month is awesome! I've got them beat though. I'm doing Missionary 2 years. So there. I know about sleep headaches though. All of our neighbors are partiers, Elder Mortenson likes to sleep with a fan on, Elder Perkins sleeps with the window open, and I'm in the middle of two snorers. I haven't been sleeping well either. The only thing I can tell Caleb is trust the Lord that it will work out. I've started sleeping with one of those eye cover things and with ear plugs in. One awesome thing to do is to read the scriptures by topic. Go to the Topical Guide and pick a subject you want to study. For example: I studied the Godhead this morning. I found some awesome scriptures that refute the Trinity concept. John 1:1 says In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God, and the Word was with God. But from 1 John 4:7 we learn that there are three how testify in the heavens. God, The Word (Christ), and the Holy Ghost. So John 1 is talking about Christ being a god(not being God) and being with God(the Father), not the whole Trinity junk. Then I read the Bible Dictionary under "God" which goes through the Godhead. Something awesome I learned is that God is only omnipresent through the Holy Ghost. So the question now is: How is God going to be omnipresent when the Holy Ghost is on earth receiving a body? One possible answer is that it will happen during the Millenium when Satan is bound and Christ is personally reigning on earth.

I really liked that chinese proverb quote. Thanks for supporting me as I'm out working in the field.

I love and miss you guys,

Elder J. Garth Mortensen

P.S. anyone who reads this can write me. I wouldn't mind getting letters at all. I promise that I'll get back to you eventually

P.P.S. Did caleb and josh get the birthday things I sent them?

April 12, 2011


I was jsut telling dad how it's 60 something degrees here. How people look at me like I'm crazy for wearing short sleeved shirts and stuff. I should've only brought 2 long sleeved. I have to wear a long sleeve on Sundays (unless its 80 degress then it comes off), and in meetings line district and zone meetings. I never have my jackets on. That's Crazy about the potential flooding and such. If it happens be sure to send me pictures.

Speaking of pictures, I can attach pictures in these emails, so if I get a USB card reader I can plug my camera card in and send you pictures. We've got several pictures to send and things. Nothing too special though. You'll see.

I'm glad to hear about Jenson and Gatlin. I think Jenson going will help with the family situation. I'm glad he's made the choice to go.

They made a good choice in asking you. All you have to do is pull out your camping bible and you're set. I'll bet it wasn't even that hard to plan. Those girls are lucky. I've actually had dutch oven apple cobler here. And we had taco salad for dinner last night. But they're not the same.

That's great to hear about that program! I know that if you stick to what Dr. Friden says, that the Lord will bless you for your efforts. Plus, you have to support of your friends and family. That's part of the covenants that we make. I know there's not much support I can give from here but if it helps, I'm eating your share of calories. I've gained 25 pounds since I left. I'm up to 185. My pants are starting to not fit.

Big Aaron is crazy. We're going over for family nights every monday night. We've been talking about conference and I think it's really starting to help. It's really weird to see myself become an answer to someones prayers. I think he's going to start coming back to church with his family. His wife is one tough cookie though. It might take her a little while to forgive herself and come back.

I need my back brace. I don't know where it's at. I would like a tape of family and friends talking. That would be really cool. Other than that I don't really know right now. I'll think about it a little during the week and let you know.

We went to a pentecostal church the other day. We witnessed people being "healed" from the preacher smacking there forheads and such. The preacher claimed he had seen Christ and all kinds of things. He claimed that once he started preaching he would become Christ. It was... interesting. Some random guy came up to Elder Mortenson the Elder and prophesying to him. Weird stuff about his mother and things. Then another lady came up to us to ask us who we were because we had light shining from our eyes. That she could see the love of Christ coming out of us. That was really humbling to hear. We're counting her as a new investigator and we're meeting with her soon.

I've got about 20 minutes still so you can email me if you're there.

I love you mom.
-Elder J. Garth Mortensen

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Things are great. Mother Nature here is really happy. It's been in the 80's all week. But the week before someone sinned because it was 5 days of dumpage. It rained like it does in the Uintas for 5 straight days. Other than that it's really warm here. We only have to wear our jackets on Sundays, but if it's over 80 we don't have to wear them.

Yeah, they were sitting in the foyer between church two sunday's ago and asked us where were from and stuff. They said they were heading back to utah and said they'd take anything I needed back. So I gave it to them. She was talking about the Elder before me. Elder Mecham is like 6'5". I'm still with Elder Perkins but transfers are next week. So we could be changing. I don't think we'll be changing because next transfer is his last transfer. And this is my first transfer. But you never know. President Murri is kind of a goof noggin.. (In a good way) Oh man he's funny though. He lives in Logan so you could go see him after he gets released. That would be kinda cool. I apparently keep getting AP points. Which is scary because I don't want to be AP.

I was thinking about how weird its going to be for you to have someone to go to dinner with and things. It's weird that Jetta's going to be 3 when I get home. Hopefully they have another one year old for me to play with. Go ahead and tell them that. Yeah President Monson was laying the spiritual smack down. He really is the Tongue of the Lord. President Uchtdorf is the Hammer of the Lord. Elder Chistofferson is the Law of the Lord. Elder Scott is the Eye of the Lord. President Eyring is the Love of the Lord. Elder Oaks is the Judge of the Lord. My favorite talk this Conference was Elder Oaks on desires. It touched me because my Patriarchal Blessing talks alot about my desires. So I've been working on that one.

There's a family here that's inactive that God sent me here for. The Terrasas family is so awesome. Big Aaron, the dad, is a master martial artist. And by master I mean he could easily fight with guys like Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan and do all those crazy things. But he goes way into the pschological stuff of it. He knows so much about how the body works and things. He showed us how to explode someone's kidney. Anyway.. He's one of the people that is inactive because people prejudge him and things. He's not afraid to speak his mind and people condemn him for it. He was in the bishopric and people would ask him for advice and he would say ask the Lord and then come ask me, or build your faith and you will get the answer. Things like that that people actually needed to hear. No one liked it or something. But he's pretty much insane. They have a weimeraner named Sinatra. She look's pretty much exactly like Copper. He was surprised I knew the breed and how to handle a weimer and things. Natalie his wife works at US bank and things. We're still figuring our her deal.  But we're seeing lots of  progress with them :) Hopefully they'll be to church soon :)

It's crazy here. My companion is going apostate haha. I've been driving him a little hard. Plus his girlfriend just got home from here mission a month ago and she hasn't written him since. He's taking it kinda hard.

Yep yep,
Elder Mortensen