Monday, December 28, 2015

Second pday in Mission Field

Hey Mom!

I'm on now for about 1.5 hours. I'll be sending out my weekly update not too long from now. Going to do my weekly email to the mission president first.

Hello Everyone,

First I hope all of you all had a great Christmas. This past week was pretty great. Our mission got together for something they call Christmas Conference. So good to be with so many Elders and Sisters engaged in the same cause. We had a delicious lunch put on by some of the senior missionaries. Really good spirit there. This weeks update is a bit short due to some computer issues. I appreciate all the support from back home.


Friday, December 25, 2015

First Letter Home from Mission Field. First area

Mark Owen Vickers

Dec 21 (4 days ago)
Hey Everyone,

Sorry it's been awhile. We had just the one P-day in the MTC. This first area is great. My trainer's name is Elder Roper. I have so much to learn from him. 

When we arrived in the field my mission president and his wife took us to their home where we had some classic Texas BBQ. It was the best! That night we spent in a local missionary apartment. The missionaries living there seemed to have packed in a hurry. The next morning we had breakfast at the mission home, also delicious. We then were taken to the Houston temple to tour the grounds. It is by far one of the most gorgeous temples I have ever seen. The grounds must be card for by a master gardener. 

My first area is called Spring Creek here in Houston. We are on bikes which is great exercise and we get to meet more people. In fact we were able to "street contact" a man named Allen who seems genuinely interested in the Gospel. I have already learned so much from my trainer and am working to take full advantage of a program called "12 week" which is designed to help new missionaries learn as much in the first 12 weeks as possible. The pattern in the mission is grow a bit, think you've got it down, realize you don't and grow some more.

Last night we had another flat tire, our second in a number of days. I can't say bike repair is what I planned on doing on a mission. It easily could have foiled our efforts for the day, however we were able to repair the bike and go as planned to a dinner with a member family. Dinner was great and we shared a message with them about the true meaning of Christmas. From dinner we went tracting in the local neighborhood. First few houses nothing. The night previous nothing. Then something happened and we were able to share one of the Christmas videos onChristmas.Mormon.Org  From there it only got better. On one street we were able to find a number of new investigators. The Spirit was so strong as we shared our message with this neighborhood. 

I know this is where I am supposed to be. I know the Lord needs me here.         My First Companion, Elder Roper and I.  Sister Lynn Wright took this picture for mom.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Arrives in Houston

A great shout out thank you to Mark's (Elder Vickers), mission for the awesome pictures they took!!!  They mean so much to us mommas.

Arriving in Houston, Meet Mission President Mortensen!

Mark and President Mortensen getting luggage

First Mission Meal in the Field
Houston Temple!
Houston Temple with New Missionaries!
Houston Ward
First Companion in the Mission Field/

Missionaries arriving with Mark O on December 16 2015

First Meeting in the Field

Thank you to the   for these wonderful pictures!!!

From The Texas Houston Mission Blog


Monday, December 21, 2015

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the be a Missionary!

To the Great Texas Houston Mission,

What a wonderful privilege we have to be as the shepherds who not only receive the good tidings of great joy, but then "to make known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child." (Luke 2:17) Just as in days of old, many "wonder" at the things we share and have a desire to worship the Christ child. There is no greater privilege.

We look forward to seeing you this week as we celebrate Christmas together. Two reminders:

1. We are excited for each of you to be able to speak with your families this week. Please make sure you limit your calls to no more than 40 minutes and to your families only (Missionary Handbook p. 37). We recognize that some of your parents don't live together. We want for you to be able to speak to them both, but that doesn't mean two 40 minute calls. Do your best to limit the total call time to 40 minutes as the brethren have requested. We also recognize that some don't have immediate biological parents who you will be calling. We want you to call those who are closest to you and have an enjoyable time within the same parameters. You can use your iPads to Skype, but please do not use this application otherwise without permission.

2. Please remember to give out all the remaining "A Savior is Born" cards this week and make the most of every finding opportunities as hearts are turned to God now more than at any other time of the year. We don't want any of those cards left over. Please give them out during your finding this week.

3. Remember that the Gospel blesses families and families will be together over the next few weeks more regularly during the weekdays than perhaps at any other time during the year. Let's take advantage and find those the Lord has prepared!

We love you and are so proud of you for making this such a WHITE Christmas! So many lives have been blessed by virtue of your focused service. We are hoping to carry this focus and determination to find and invite into the new year.


President and Sister Mortensen

We had transfers last week. The following are pictures taken during those transfer days.


Friday, December 11, 2015

At the Missionary Training Center

Hello Everyone,

First I have to say the MTC is simply the best. The Spirit that resides here provides missionaries with so much strength. I feel as if I have grown more in this last week than the past several days. I "feel" more like a missionary which is good I think. I want to thank all of you for your great love and support. When I have felt discouraged and I am able to think of those back home it brings me the strength I need to continue.

I do have to say the first few days I had a bit of a rough go. My companion at the time was having feeling of inadequacy and felt the need to return home. This went on for several days meeting with Branch and District leaders to determine the best way forward. It was eventually decided that he would be transferred to a different Branch. He seems to be doing much better now which is great. I pray for him daily that he will be able to complete training at the MTC and Serve With Honor.

My new companion, Elder Villeda, is awesome. He brings so much humor and insight into our lessons. We are starting to really be in sync with our lessons. On that note they have you teaching in the MTC from day 1. It's a bit intimidating, however helps us missionaries grow that much faster. 

The food is good, can't complain, all you can eat. 'Nough said. 

I have made some really good friends here. I thought it might be hard to be 23 around 18 year old Elders and 19 year old Sisters, but it's been great. 

More to come. I think my next P-day(Preperation Day) is on the 21st but we'll see if that changes.

With Love,

-Elder Mark Vickers

Look who I ran into at the MTC :)
With Love,

Elder Mark Vickers

Spencer's friend Tyler Anderson in MTC same time as Mark!

Spencer's friend Tyler in MTC same time as Mark O!


      MTC Christmas 2015