Monday, June 29, 2015

June 29, 2015 (Week 28)

June 29, 2015

Garrett looking at Bible from a collector
Well, this week has been pretty rough, but starting to look up. I feel like I should just have a template saved of that sentence, sounds like all my emails sound like that...

Monday was sending stuff off. They got to the apartment in good condition, although Koreans go crazy with the tape and zip ties... Took forever to get those suckers off. But after email we went and shopped for new pants, since Elder Yetter has ripped all of his pants, or doesn't fit into them due to a gain in his weight, haha. It was fun to give him crap about that. After that we got punked by a guy who has done that a couple times now 이현철.  He was a good guy, now he just cancels on us. We met with 이용훈 for my last time, and talked about more commandments and how he keeps bailing on church (not sure if he went this week). He says he is going to keep all of them, but the problem now is getting parent permission. I guess his parents don't like church, so hopefully Elders Yetter and Hansen can work some foreigner magic and get the ok for baptism.

Tuesday was not a whole lot going on.  Kinda weird to jundo, set appointments, then to realize that I wouldn't be there for that... We jundoed around for a couple hours then met up with a kid named Jason.  He is from Georgia, but is chillin' in Korea for a while.  His grandma is in Korea so he is visiting.  He is a Seventh Day Adventist, so we talked a little bit about that.  Nice guy.  We didn't push too hard to convert him, although he wasn't too firm in his beliefs.  Not sure if Elder Yetter will do anymore with him.  I can technically call back there and check up on stuff, but for the most part, I won't hear about what goes on there unless I run into the elder from there.  Maybe if they get a baptism out there I can go back, but other than that, not really.  I'm on the other side of Seoul, so we aren't even in neighboring zones.  Might see them on temple day.

Wednesday was transfers... Ran into some friends from the MTC, talked for a little bit, then headed off for Gireum. (that's the official spelling). 길음 is an interesting place.  Right now, it is pretty much the worst zone in the mission to go to.  Which is weird as they had 5 baptisms as a zone last month, but this place just kinda sucks.  Going to try and turn it around out here, but it will take some work. Gireum is hills, apartments, and department stores... not much else than that. The average age is probably around 50, I'd say.  The people here are a lot older, and a lot more rude that in Nokbeon. I took that place for granted.  The food is pretty good, pretty much the same as everywhere else though.  We have an Outback right down the street, so I'll probably end up going there soon!   Weather is still amazingly hot and humid, and the worst hasn't even come yet.  There is always a breeze going, which is nice.  Investigators don't exist here... Elder Roskelley (my new companion) came in and opened up this companionship area (there are 3 elder teams here), so the other teams picked up all the less-actives and investigators. His previous companion and him didn't really talk to a lot of people either, so they didn't have anybody.  Time to 고생 here now... There is just not a good word to describe 고생.   It translates to "have a hard time", but there is just no real accurate way to describe it.  The mission standard for contacts is 140 per week and they'd only been averaging about 80. The church here is built for the zombie apocalypse... It is set on a mini hill, where you have you open up a big gate and climb up steps to get there.  I hear the relationship between ward and missionaries is probably the worst out of the whole mission.  They just don't really care for us.  The ward mission leader doesn't help.  He is an old man who, unless we do exactly what he says, gets mad.  So now he just called it quits and sits on the side of the room... I got suckered into the choir too, haha. That is no fun... I can read notes, but I can't sing to save my life...  Elder Roskelley from West Point, Utah.  He is dying this transfer,  So I get another one-and-done with a companion.  Trying to get used to each other. It seems we are on different pages, but still trying to work together.

Not much happened this week too exciting, so I'll kinda just summarize it.  We jundoed... The end. Elder Roskelley and I have different styles of talking with people.  Elder Whitlock and Elder Yetter both had similar jundo styles so I kinda picked up my style from them.  It's weird how much I sound like Elder Yetter now when I jundo.  But nobody here is really willing to sit down, or listen to what we say, unless they are handicapped or super old.  Those seem to be Elder Roskelley's and Elder Herron's domain of expertise.  Elder Herron always had weird crazy old investigators, and sounds like Elder Roskelley is similar.  We saw and old man and Elder Roskelley said hi and he sat down and talked with us.  Except it was just like he was reading a biography of his life.  We couldn't say a word for about an hour, and never discussed religion one bit.  He talked about how he did this and he did that.   After an hour we left, and I felt like we just wasted an hour there.  He wouldn't even take our card cause he is old and too tired to do anything.... I felt kinda frustrated.

View from Gireum Apartment
Sunday we went to church.  The ward members wouldn't talk at all with me really, and don't seem to like missionaries.  They never really do stuff together, and aren't that close as a ward.  Different area, same result though. I had a hard time understand anything that was going on.  After we had lunch with them, and of course we sat at a table where nobody talks.

Well, yesterday and today I listened to some great talks by Elder Holland, back in like 1980 and 2009 at BYU.  They talked a lot about not looking back and moving forward, which I'm trying to do now, just push forward and make the best of this area.

Have fun,
-Elder Mortensen

Monday, June 22, 2015

June 22, 2015 (Week 27)

June 22, 2015

I'm moving!
Church Youth and Elder Mortensen

I'm going to 길음! (Gireum). It's still in Seoul, but I'm moving! I'm moving into a 2-man house (gulp...) with Elder Roskelly.  Elder Hansen from the MTC is with Elder Yetter now, haha.   I'm gonna miss this place, and I've loved being with Elder Yetter, but hey, change is good.

Alright, the 100-hour week is down..... so tired and hit my 6 month mark!

Monday after email we had a lesson with 이용훈, the senior in high school (do you want me to romanize all the names, or can you roll with their Korean version?)  We taught the Word of Wisdom and some other commandments, and he said he would quit all that stuff.  Sad when a senior in high school says he used to smoke and drink... smoking and drinking here is the highest in the world, by far. We see kids like age 12, to old, coughing, 90 year-old people smoking.  Even the doctors and patients at hospitals carry out their IV fluids and sit down and smoke. It's amazing... but the lesson went over well.  He accepted a baptismal date for 7/11, but I wont be here since I'm moving! I'll talk more on that later.  But yeah, he is doing pretty good, except he shows up to church right after it ends!  So frustrating.  We get a text as the last speaker ends that says he is here... Hopefully we can have a chat with him about that.  Later was more jundoing.  We did a lot of riding the subway and streetboarding. It's crazy, we would be walking around for 4 hours, be starving, and only see it was 10... such a long week.   That night we met with Kim Kang Ho.  He is the old gangster dude, that we shared the video with.  Nice guy, seems to want help, but doesn't recognize that he needs to do something about it, not just ask...

Tuesday we met a super cool guy.  He looked up our church a while ago, and liked it, but because his wife heard we are a cult, he didn't come.  Fast forward, and we talked with him, and he was super interested again!  Hopefully he will actually meet.  We have had so many people who say "every church except yours is corrupt... you have a good church... I like your church" and then never show up or meet...   but anyway... we hopped on the sub again, but I accidentally went a little too far haha. I was talking with him and he asked where I was going, and I said Eungam, and he said that was the stop he got on at... Oops.  Going around in circles on the sub can kinda drive you crazy. After more hours of jundo, and some 7-11 kimbop, we went and had English class. We talked about our hometowns, and it was sad, I couldn't even picture our South Jordan church, really.  I was sitting there wondering how it looked. It was weird.  So weird how it has only been 6 months since I've seen it, and I can't remember how parts of our neighborhood look, haha.

Wednesday was my 6 month mark!  Crazy how I've already been out that far! We did some sidewalk jundo.  Elder Herron did a sidewalk plan of salvation, so we tried jundoing with that. Except we were right by a subway, so nobody was too eager to listen to us. Plus, Elder Herron was loving it and literally ran from one place to the other, just to talk with some guys... Kinda funny.   Later during some more streetboarding, we met some more Sri Lankans. Apparently there are like 20 of them in the area, and we always just see them.  They are always super interested in the church, and say they will bring all their friends, but always bail.. I guess here is a popular place for Sri Lankans to go for cheap labor.  That night after a couple hours of jundo, we went to a member meal.  It was our house with Lee Key Jaw 이기자 and Kim Soon Ho 김순호.  Nice couple. We had some kimchi and curry. pretty simple meal, but it was super delicious.

Thursday we walked an hour down to Hong Jay 홍제.  There wasn't much going on, but at a pet store there were some hamsters, and I swear, they were on drugs or something.  One was trying to climb the water bottle, while a couple others trying to walk on two legs, then fall over... super funny to watch...   Later we did more... streetboarding and jundo!  Streetboarding is alright, except all the missionaries seem to sit around half the time.  So I kinda just jundoed around the crosswalk, instead of just dying of boredom and sleep deprivation.  Later we went up and talked with Hans.  He went and lived in Iowa for a year, so we sat there and talked with him in English.  We talked a lot about how much you learn on the mission, and how it is worth it.  So sad to see that there are only like 15 Koreans every month that go on missions.  That's all of Korea, not just our mission.  We had some good food there, some kimbop, sam gyup sar (super thick and delicious bacon) and duck meat.  Great meal.  The dad is a great guy.

Friday we had weekly planning and visitor center, so we got a nice break from walking around all day.   After visitor center we met 신명철 Shin Myung Chur.  Super cool kid.  He is 21 (Korean age) so 20 years in American... random side tangent, we figured out why Korean age is weird.  They start counting age the day the baby is conceived, and you gain a year at the new year.  So right now in Korean I'm 21 years old... Anyway, he is studying to try and get into Seoul University.  That's the best one in the country.  We met him, brought him to the church and had the first lesson all at once. super cool guy. He said he has been looking into religions.  Whenever we shared scriptures, or brought up the restoration, he connected with it, understood it, and loved it.  Great guy.

Elders Perry and Mortensen
Saturday was combined zone conference (Presidents farewell tour).  He gave a great talk on how jundoing around the streets all day is part of the mission, so enjoy it.  Man up, and just get the job done.  He got pretty fiery too.  He's not quite  Elder Holland level, but he was pretty powerful. he talked about the story of Nehemiah and how you don't stop working until it is done. I love president, I'm so sad he is leaving.  Hopefully the new president will be good. The new president comes in, and a couple hours later Pres. Christensen leaves.  He leaves on the 1st of July.  After that was pass off with Elder Perry. Elder Perry is famous for loving jundo, and does it harder than anybody we know. It was so sad to hear him talk about how he dies next week.  You can tell he loves it here.  I love that guy.  He is just a hardworking straight to the point.  Guy who loves being here.   But anyway, I am officially passed off! I had a great lesson of the Plan of Salvation.  Between this week and studying the Plan of Salvation, I feel like I've figured part of life out. It's all about perspective.  If you stress out, take a step back and look at the bigger picture.  There is always one. One transfer is just a short time in the mission, which is only 2 years in a short time of mortal existence.  So why stress about it? Take your vision to a higher plane and God will help you see better. I can't fully explain myself (story of my life) but I feel like this week was a game changer for me.  Now the struggle will be to remember this week and grow even more.  

Saturday night I got the transfer call! I'm going to Gireum 길음. It is still a part of Seoul, but that's where Elders Whitlock, Herron, Perry, and  Ee Jong Che all served.  I've heard a lot of good things about it.  Big ward, good members.  Elder Hansen from the MTC is coming to be with Elder Yetter, haha.  Funny how that works. Elder Cazier is staying.  As soon as I got the call I was happy, sad, and disappointed all at once.  I was happy to move, but sad to leave Elder Yetter and the area. It's been a good time overall serving in Nokbeon.  Especially after this week. We saw so many miracles and found so many cool people. It would be great to see how well it pans out, but I'm glad I can leave the area better than I found it though. Elders Yetter and Hansen will do great out here.  I'm going to be with Elder Roskelly, in a 2-man apartment on the 18th floor.  It should be interesting.  I guess Elder Roskelly dies in 2, so I'll probably "kill" him too...

Sunday we jundoed, went and had stake conference.  Shin Myung Chur  (the sweet 21 year old) came to church!  Super cool kid!   After that we jundoed for days until another member meal.  We had smoked salmon, curry and watermelon.   Super delicious.  They had some less-active over to the house, who sat there and argued with the husband the whole time, so none of us got to really talk. It was kinda lame.  Good food though.  That and packing ended our 100 week.

Today we just sent off my stuff.  The delivery service here sends stuff over the country in like 2 days, it's nuts.  So instead of lugging everything to transfers, people just send it for like 15 dollars. Later we are going to a bathhouse, so that should be fun.  I guess swimming is ok as a missionary if you are naked with a bunch of other guys in the middle of Korea... I guess President gets his hair cut in a bath house.  Kinda funny.  Hopefully the new president allows it still.

That's been my report. Doing good out here. Love you all.

My next email will not be from Nokbeon!

Love, Elder Mortensen

June 15, 2015 (Week 26)

June 15, 2015

This week was "eh".

#16 Elder Mortensen
Monday to Wednesday we were in a three-some while Elder Song was in military.  Koreans have to go back every so often for reserve military.  All we did for that was jundo jundo and jundo.  That's all we did this week really.  Tuesday we went to the temple, and to dong de moon market. That is the 3 dollar tie area. I picked a couple more ties, not too many though, and a soccer jersey. It's great here, they have like 50 stores, where you can get any customized jersey you want. team, color, name, number. I got mine for 23 dollars, and it was delivered on Thursday. Not the highest quality, but still pretty sweet. I'll probably get a couple more before I leave, haha.

This week we didn't meet with any investigators. They all cancelled or didn't show up, or something. We have just jundoed this whole freaking week. And the worst part is that nobody has been really nice or open. We find one or two guys, but they don't care about religion, or go on to no-show us, so right now both me and Elder Yetter are getting kinda frustrated. The Zone Leaders have 3-4 people come to church, other elders had a baptism, and we barely have some investigators... I really need to get out of this area before I just feel like shutting down. Three transfers, and no progress is really made in our area. We have one other investigator besides 방석규 and they have been weird lately. Our boy, the senior in high school, says he is coming to church, coming to our appointment, then shows up an hour late, and seems to be in a weird mood.    

Church was awful for me this week. Still hardly understood anything, and had 3 people bail on church, and was still in a bad mood from Saturday. That was a long time to be stuck in my head, with nowhere to just vent or relax.  More jundo followed that... shocker....

That's pretty much been my week, super slow and long.  This week is even worse.  For our 100 hours, we leave at 6:30 have only 30 minutes for study, and unless we are eating with a member or investigator, we have to grab something from the 7-11 and just eat on the road.  Today we rode the subway around for like an hour in a circle just to do something useful.  Our APs did it last week, and by the end, they were jundoing along a hiking path, just to not go crazy.  We are going to be walking around a lot in the sun this week. It's going to be brutal...

Yeah, that's my update.  Sorry it's not super in-depth.

Have fun, love you all,
-Elder Garrett Mortensen

"Mortensen" - 16

June 8, 2015 (Week 25)

June 8, 2015

Another week bites the dust...  

Elders Song and Mortensen
Tuesday was exchanges with Elder Herron.  First time in 3 transfers, since he has been in the other district. Being with him is interesting.  His Korean voice (everybody changes their voice when they switch, its hilarious sometimes, not sure how bad mine is though) sounds like a little kid, so when jundoing with him it's super funny to see him talk with people though. He is super nice, works hard, and is very friendly, his voice is just funny.  We went and confirmed that more less actives have moved out of their address.  The system here is crazy.  I'm not sure how they get baptized, give an address, and then just leave.  Super frustrating how we are trying to bring them back, when we can't even track them down. We did English class together, and that was interesting. I sat next to a lady who kept making up weird sentences. We were talking about school, and we were making sentences for a student named "Garrett" (courtesy of Elder 이) and she kept saying weird things, like smart and handsome, and he looks in the mirror and laughed... I was kinda weirded out.  Our message was alright. Elder Herron took it down a path, and it was hard for me to keep up.  I hate getting lost when they take detours in Korean that I can't follow very well.  Overall a pretty good day with him

Wednesday was pretty good.   For jundo, to try and shake it up, we took our DVD player out and showed people the "Hope of God's Light" video.  The first guy we ran into was a gangster dude that we got an appointment with.  Interesting dude, has some health issues due to smoking and drinking (welcome to Korea) (not sure if I explained hospitals here, they are interesting). We showed him the video and talked with him about it. Good lesson, really applied to his life.  We then had a lesson with 이현철. That was pretty good.  He asked a lot of questions, and seemed interested.  Good guy, we are meeting him on Wednesday.  We ran into a lot of other cool guys, one guy named Thomas who we met with later.  

Thursday we had zone conference.  Good lesson on becoming a whole disciple of Jesus, and following him all we can.  So I started trying to figure that out,  When we did pass off with Elder Perry.  It was going pretty good until I asked him a question and couldn't understand a word he said, so I got lost in the Korean and didn't know where to go. I get so focused on trying to understand his answer, that I lose my spot in the lesson, and I can't even respond to his answer.  Super frustrating. He then said stuff about how God gives us what we need, and what we need is all we ever really wanted.  So now I'm trying to figure out what the heck I need too.  So all these different thoughts started to pull at my mind, how to deal with people, the language, myself, the fact I'm almost at 6 months, and still feel like no progress has been made. 20+ things stretching my mind, and I'm trying to figure out how to juggle all of it.  On top of that I have to walk around for several hours a day getting rejected by people on the street.  So not the best week for that. That night we had a big FHE with the ward, where you bring investigators and some families come for food and a game.  Pretty good, except I can't sit there and just talk with our investigator. 이용훈 came and brought his friend, and I couldn't just sit down and talk with them, because he is so quiet and I can't understand him.

Friday was alright. We met with Thomas, but it was a super awkward lesson.  Elder Yetter would drop the lesson on me at really awkward points in the lesson, so I wasn't sure how to go with it, or I would start, and Thomas wouldn't understand a thing I said, so that kinda killed my motivation to help out in the lesson.  If the guy cant understand what I say, what good am I doing then?  So Elder Yetter kept trying to get me to take over and whatnot, but everytime I started, he couldn't understand me... nice guy though.  After that we had a dinner with a couple more youth. Elder Yetter loves to eat and hang out with the youth.  He is trying to get a good rapport with them to get referrals, or get them to help somehow, so he always talks with them. It's good to a point, but I feel like he is too focused on them sometimes.  Good meal for me though. I somewhat talked with the youth we were there with.

Saturday was a baptism for one of the other elders. That was fun. I got to play the piano for the musical number for missionaries, but it was weird. The bishop kept having private talks with the guy for a long time. The guy baptized didn't even get to share his testimony at the service. Kinda weird. good experience though. After we had watermelon in a sprite/cherry powder kind of punch drink. pretty good stuff. After that and some jundo we came back because one of the priests said he needed help.  Turns out that he was helping someone else with their homework of describing how America is different from Korea... kind of a waste of time.  English class that night was super awkward.  The other elders didn't prepare anything, so it was me and Elder Cazier winging it by ourselves in the basic class. We spent about 40 minutes just trying to get them to talk about how school is for them and whatnot.  Really awkward when we still had like 15 minutes left and nothing to talk about.  They shared a message about the Atonement, and I gave a pretty solid testimony during it. I felt the Spirit during that, it was definitely the highlight of my day.

Sunday kinda sucked for me. Elders quorum and Gospel Principles was a bunch of guys slurring their Korean and talking about marriage, so I couldn't really understand much. Testimony meeting I sat by the Zone Leaders investigator, since they had 3 come to church. So I sat by myself the whole time, while the investigator dozed off in testimony meeting. After that we dropped off Elder Song at Seoul Station, so he can go back and do military.  He has to go back for former military training. Everybody in Korea has to do that. It's weird.  So I'm in a 3-some until Thursday.

That's been my week.  Hopefully this week will be better.  Tomorrow we are going to the temple, so should be good to go there and relax.

Love you all, take care
-Elder Mortensen

Group pic, Companion Elder Yetter far left

Monday, June 1, 2015

June 1, 2015 (Week 24)

June 1, 2015

Fun in the sun
This week was kinda slow, and yet busy. Sorry if this seems short, we didn't do much, and I'm sick right now, so I probably won't write too much.

Monday was the picnic (my neck is starting to peel now) and that was the whole day.

Tuesday to celebrate Elder Pons B-Day we went to an American buffet called Ashley's. Not that good of food. It was all like lukewarm and Koreanized. Now I know how Chinese feel about Panda Express and American Chinese food like that, haha.  It was a good time though, the guys in our district are all pretty fun, in their own way.   After that, our appointment fell through (we had a lot do that this week) so we had a lot of jundo time.  So we went less active hunting/jundoing around for the whole time. We found like 6 houses, but the outer apartment doors were locked so we couldn't even get in to see if they even live there anymore. Jundo was alright. Elder Yetter did most of it, since I was looking at a tiny map to figure out where the heck we were/where the less-active lived.  Met a cool guy, set an appointment for today with him.  It was super hot, and our necks got fried at the picnic, so we were dying out there in the sun. I've got a pretty good tan-line from my white shirt/watch though, so that's cool haha.   English class followed that, so that just ended our night. English class in basic level is always interesting.  On Saturday they got into a discussion about sacrificial rites, and if that is idol worship, etc. Super weird...

Wednesday, the AP Elder Perry (super cool guy) was in town on exchanges so we played soccer with him.  He is pretty good, so it was super fun.  Soccer is fun anyway, but its better with people who can actually play and motivate me to try, haha.  Elder Yetter usually goes with my raquetball approach with kicking as hard as he can... usually everybody seems to go out hurting because of him, haha.   So we did that, then had 8 hours to jundo.  Some appointments cancelled, so we had literally nothing else to do.  We found like 11 less-actives houses, but once again nobody answered... Super frustrating. Maybe that is why I am scared to have 이용훈 baptized,  because I'm afraid he will just go less-active pretty quickly.  It's super hard going against the current of must-be-busy Korea.  People get so wrapped up with work, they can barely meet us, let alone come to church or read and pray...  That night, in order to build 정 (jung: good relationship/rapport) with the youth, we took out one of them to get some dinner.  We went to the kimchi chigay place, but it was packed so we couldn't really talk that much. He is a Jr. in high school, and just lives at the church.  Literally 95% of the time when we are at the church he is just chilling in the chapel, either with friends or by himself.  He is a funny kid though and is pretty cool guy to talk with.

Korean Funeral
 Thursday 김동언 (member, reads the Book of Mormon everyday with the missionaries) his dad died on Wednesday, so Thursday was the viewing funeral. So we cut out of studies a little bit early to go there.  We took a 30 minute bus ride to get to the place (out of our area). Korean funerals are interesting.  We got there and you go into a big like viewing room.  There is just a picture, some flowers, and some fruit sitting there.  You bow as a sign of respect then light up a piece of wire and put it in a pot. Not sure the symbolism there.  We did that, then ate there, and headed back home. I guess later that night, to make sure ward members showed up, the bishop had us go again that night for another service. In between sessions we had mcm.  That was funny.  Elder Cazier kept dozing off and half the district watched him.  His head would bob down slowly, trying to fight it, then give in.  A minute later he would wake up, look around and see we were watching him, then repeat the process... So funny.  Elder Yetter was dying.  He still gives him crap about that.  The night viewing, we went in there, sang some hymns, had the bishop and 김동언 speak, then sang some more hymns, and then ate some more.  After that, it was like 9:30, and we got a ride home from a member. I got the window seat, and man, I miss having the window down driving in a car.  So much fun, all my stress just went away.

Friday was a combined mission conference.  We went back down to the South Mission (2 times in one week) and got to hear from Elders Ringwood and Maynes.  Good talks.  Nothing too mind blowing though.  The best was seeing everybody from the mission.  I saw buddies from the South Mission, and even Elder Brantley who was clear out on the coast. Super fun to see people again. We hung around there for a while, then headed out for lunch.  We decided to head over to a meat buffet, just because it was a special day.  Such good food.  If only they were a thing in America.  That was pretty good, we were pretty stuffed.  We started doing weekly planning, then headed over to the visitor center for our shift.  There we ran in to the Zone Leaders and their investigator who bought dinner for all of us.  We had more chicken (had it like three times this week) we all were dying by the end of the meal.

Saturday we played more soccer, then I started feeling sick. I guess the meat didn't sit too well with me, still feeling sick today.  Elder Yetter did a lot of calls while I was dying, so that was most of our Saturday.  English class was interesting as ever.

Sunday was alright. Church was telling the members how to clean the church and some business guy telling us how the organization of the church in a ward works. Super boring... That night we did more calls, since I'm still dead, and I finally pulled off the Zone Leader pass off.  Glad to get that over with. Now onto AP on Thursday with Elder Perry.

Today we went into President's office for interviews.  Something happened in 원 주 right before Elder Yetter left, so he was worried about that and our investigators kinda dropping us. We haven't met them at all this week.  So we went in, and I talked with the president first.  He gave me advice for my sickness. Then we talked about pass-off's, and how it's been bugging me the whole time.  Super nice guy, I love him. It was a great interview. I'm sad I don't have him longer with him as my president.  Hopefully the new president is as cool.  Elder Yetter was in there for a while talking about life, and so that took a couple hours, and now we are emailing.

Life has been kinda down this week, but don't worry, I know it will get better. I know I'm hear for a reason, and that it will work out. So don't freak out (mom) if I sound down and sad. I know things will get better.

Love you all,
-Elder Mortensen