Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Dear Family,

I’m glad to hear that you had a good week with Jason and then the band concert. Mrs. Kent really is a great woman. I’m glad you were able to see and visit with her. Good job on the horn solo Sis! I didn’t hear it, but I did teach mom how to pick out the horns and she said it was good so I’ll trust her. How is Will doing? Are you all enjoying the family togetherness?

Dad, I’d love to have those two names. The history here in Nebraska really is remarkable. Just today, one of the moms in the branch gave us a ride and said how her son did a school project all about the pioneers and loved it. He even invited his whole class to visit the Mormon Trail Center. Then last night, after dinner, we discussed letting our light shine with the Mannewitz family. They decided to focus on having good language this week so that when people at school or work notice they can talk about church and how it helps them and their family. They are such good little missionaries.

We had a great lesson with Michelle last week about the atonement. She has been meeting with the sisters for a while and last week was her first time coming to all three hours of church. She’s been praying about whether she should get baptized. Well, in our gospel principles class she got her answer. She said that she felt a rush of warmth and the thought came to her mind “You should get baptized.” We assured her that that was the spirit. Just like Doctrine and Covenants 8:2 says, the spirit speaks to our mind and our heart. We are so excited for her. We know what a huge blessing baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost will be. She is already seeing how meeting with us has helped her form better habits of prayer and scripture study and even giving up alcohol. Talking with Michelle really strengthened my testimony of attending church. When we go to church we place ourselves in a spiritual atmosphere where we are more receptive to spiritual promptings. Often, answers to my prayers have come at church, either through the words of a speaker, a teacher, or the scriptures. Heavenly Father truly blesses us for going to church.

Sister Bleazard and I have been learning a lot about how the spirit speaks to us. I think Michelle really helped me see that thoughts accompanied by good, warm feelings are spiritual promptings. Sister Gingrich always said “If it’s a good thought, do it.” I think I’m getting a lot better at that. Instead of hesitating when there is someone outside I just go talk to them. Now and then I’ll think things like, “I should put that in my backpack” or “we should knock one more time” and I think those are also spiritual promptings. It may seem silly or seem like nothing comes of it, but I’d rather follow those thoughts, trusting that they are inspired, than miss an opportunity that Heavenly Father gives me.

Thank you for sharing that talk Sister Dean gave on service. Service is another thing that Sister Bleazard and I are trying to focus on. I do remember telling you how selfish I felt at college. I was frustrated that my only purpose in life was me. And you said not to worry because we go through selfish and selfless phases in our lives and that my selfish phase wouldn’t last forever. Well, I’m glad that I get a break from that selfish phase as a missionary. We really are focused completely outward. Our purpose is to “invite others to come unto Christ” (PMG Ch.1). Everything we do is about serving those around us and helping them be happier. Our gospel principles lesson on Sunday was about charity and the teacher said “Charity is a never ending search for someone else’s happiness.” I thought that statement was very profound. It really does sum up charity.

I also want to share a service/charity related connection I made recently. In Mosiah 5:13 it says “how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served … and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?” That got me thinking, if “this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3) then we get to know God (have eternal life) by serving Him. Then I remembered Mosiah 2:17 which says, “when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.” That means that serving others is serving God and coming to know Him and having eternal life.

Serving others = serving God -> knowing God = eternal life

So serving others is HUGE. It is in serving others and loving them that we become more Christ-like, more like our Heavenly Father, more “at one” with them. And as we become like them, we know them, and we are prepared to inherit eternal life. Pretty cool, huh?

Well, thanks for keeping me updated on family life. It’s so good to hear from you. I love being a missionary, I love Gretna, and I love Sister Bleazard! We work hard and have fun at the same time!

Sister Bailey Mortensen

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