Date

January 14, 2019

Area

Rapid Valley, SD

Companion

Sisters Walker and Tullis

JOY

Hey Mom,
Things here are going so well and I am loving every minute of it! I love my companions and I can't even tell you how many times we were rolling on the floor laughing this week! I am a little sad that transfers are next week because I'm pretty sure that a change in our companionship is in order and I really don't want it to happen. I love Sister Tullis and Sister Walker so much, we are definitely going to be friends when we all get home.

Some crazy things happened this week and I'm not even sure where to start! Last pday we went to the Badlands which is why I didn't have any time to email but it was way worth it! We stopped in Wall which is the home of Wall Drug. aka the BIGGEST gift shop I have ever seen in my entire life. It was crazy. You should look up the history of Wall/Wall Drug because it is so funny. I was so grateful to go hiking a little bit last week and it just makes me remember how grateful I am for all of Heavenly Father's creations and being out and just pondering about life. I will send you some pictures but I don't think any of them do the beauty of the Badlands justice. Also just fyi... I may have taken a little fall (in fact all three of us did at different times) and now I have the biggest bruise on my back haha :) it was a good time and I may or may not have been covered in mud after that :)

I went on exchanges with the Rapid City sisters this week and it was really interesting. We gave them the new assignment to look for service because we are piloting the new program and so they aren't proselyting at all. It taught me a lot of patience and that there are different ways of doing missionary work. I think Heavenly Father has been teaching me that a lot recently as we've received so many new directives but I am excited about all of it because it is giving me a lot of ideas for how to still be a missionary and share the gospel in natural and normal ways when I get home. Anyways, back to exchanges... we spent THREE HOURS at the library doing research for the outlying areas and I was again reminded that I really cannot do a desk job for the rest of my life because I might actually die :)

We were almost witnesses to a murder but we weren't so that was good. We were in a member lesson and were praying when there was a knock at the door. We checked and no one was there so we put on our shoes and went out to our car and as we looked down the street there was a man lying in the middle of the road... We didn't know what to do, but we started to go see if he needed help and the police shot around the corner so we decided not to get involved. But the member saw us looking and grabbed his shoes and ran down the road. He told us that he left shortly after he got there because the police were asking the guy where the knife was and he didn't stick around to find out more. But good news!! The man in the road is not dead and everything is A O.K.

Mandy reached out to me again this week and so I think we might start teaching her just over Facebook. I miss her a lot and know that one day she will receive all of the blessings of the gospel, it just might take a minute.

I love missionary work and I love the Lord! I am grateful everyday for the experiences that He gives me so that I can know true joy.

This week we were studying about Nephi and his family coming to the land Bountiful. After traveling in the wilderness for eight years they finally get to a place where there is fruit and beauty and they can finally rest from their labors! But... Nephi gets direction from the Lord that he needs to sail across the ocean. I mean can you imagine what that would be like? Finally reaching a good place with bounteous fruits and rest and then being asked to leave and go through another hard thing without knowing what is on the other side? Oh wait!! Sounds like life huh? Nephi proceeds to ask the Lord where he can find ore to make the tools to build the ship. He doesn't even ask for a boat to sail across the ocean! And when they finally get there after storms and trials, they discover there are fruits and animals of every kind and it is so much better than the land Bountiful. How often do we arrive at the land Bountiful and then get asked to leave? What is our response? Are we willing to go out and find the tools necessary to get us through our trial or do we just ask for it to end? I am so grateful that we have these opportunities to learn and grow. That we are able to get to the other side of the ocean and see that what the Lord has in store is WAY better than anything we can ever imagine. I know that the Lord is aware of our needs and how He can aid us in our journey as well. I love you so much!

Love,
Sister Mortensen




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