Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Week of April 25th Spiritual

My Zone Leaders in Tomball



Weekly update April 26, 2016

Mark Owen Vickers

1:23 PM (14 hours ago)
to bcc: me
Hey Ya'll!

Sorry it's been so long since my last weekly update. Things have been a bit crazy here in Texas l
ately. I'm not sure how many of you heard but we had severe flooding this last week that took the 
lives of 8 people from the greater Houston area. I cannot imagine what the families of these 
people must be feeling. I know that our Savior Jesus Christ knows perfectly what they are feeling 
at this time and hope they find hope and comfort through Him.

On a brighter note we have been teaching an awesome woman by the name of Sandy. 
She is so prepared for the Gospel and when we teach her she says things like "well duh everyone knows that good things come from God". She's the best and always tries to make us feel loved when we are there with her. 

Training a new missionary has been quite the experience. I have to say the responsibility seems like a lot sometimes but I know the Lord is the real teacher. 

I'll try to send some pictures of the Houston temple after the flooding and maybe some of my companion and I. :)

Love you all!


Monday, April 25, 2016

Invitations to Church

To the Missionaries of the Great Texas Houston Mission,

We are grateful for your continued faith in finding. We are teaching a great number of people as a consequence. In recent weeks the number of people attending church has dropped. This is obviously a concern because if we can't get people to church effectively, we will struggle to accomplish our purpose at the continued level where the Lord would have us be. With this in mind, we wanted to review some important principles,

1. A week ago, we role played "How to end teaching" during district meetings." One thing we noticed is that we talk about coming again without ever giving them a reason to want to have us back. So instead of ending by simply saying, "We are going to be back in the area on ________" which assumes that they want to see us again because of our charm and great looks :), we need to give them a reason to want us back. Instead we could say something like:

"You will find the Book of Mormon answers the questions of the soul like 'Where did we come from,' 'What is the purpose of life,' and 'What happens after we die?' Have you ever wondered these things? These questions are important questions the Lord would have all of His children understand. He has prepared a plan called the Plan of Salvation that we would like to share with you in another visit. How do you think knowing these answers would bless your life/lives? In preparation for that discussion, we would like to give you a reading assignment... We will be back in the area on ___________"

Now people have a desire to have us return because they know what they can look forward to. We need to come up with similar incentives at the end of other lessons. The chances of them reading and us having a follow up lesson will dramatically increase if we do this (We have modified the How to end teaching outline accordingly).

2. An invitation to church needs to be extended at the first lesson similar to the way we discussed it.

3. Members need to reach out and be the inviters to church. We should NEVER teach a second lesson without the RIGHT member present who can provide fellowship and follow up. This is KEY to getting people at church.

4. Teach the why of church on the Saturday before they come to firm up their commitment to come.

If we can do a better job of following these principles, we will see a greater number of progressing investigators and a greater number coming to church.

We love you and are grateful for your faith and efforts to build up His kingdom here!


President and Sister Mortensen

Monday, April 25, 2016

April 25, 2016

My District:)




Mark Owen Vickers

1:24 PM (14 hours ago)
to me
That little girl is growing up too fast! She looks right at home. :)

    Birthday Fun


So after we were done emailing yesterday I thought...   I forgot to say early happy birthday!!!   Well hopefully you will get your card and presents from the mission home before too long!

Jim and dad today on dad's birthday 🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂

Dad and Jim  Burns on dad's birthday:)

Mark Owen Vickers

1:02 PM (14 hours ago)
to me
That's fun that you'll be speaking on Mothers Day. I mean you are the best mom ever so.....makes sense to me. :)    I'm not sure exactly what time we'll be able to Skype on M-Day. We have church from 1pm-4pm CST. It may have to be like 6ish. I'll try to get a definite time this week. :)

Monday, April 18, 2016

April 18, 2016

Praying for Mark O, and all the people of the Houston area.  There was a 9 inch rain last night that shut down a lot of the area.  


The missionaries are all safe and are just staying inside!  

Mark O's emails today

Mark Owen Vickers

Thanks! Emails this week will be a bit crazy. The library is closed here due to heavy rain. We are staying safe:)

These were taken Saturday night after a Ward party/Luao. One of our
investigators, Sandy, came and had a blast.



(I love these pictures....love my boy!!!)


Monday, April 18, 2016

Every Companionship, Every Month

To the Missionaries of the Great Texas Houston Mission,

The first quarter of this year has been the best in decades in this mission. This last round of interviews was perhaps the best round we have had since we have been here. Their is great unity of faith and purpose in our mission. This is an important foundation for us to see continued miracles. To sustain the success we have enjoyed, the focus on our purpose needs to remain foremost in our minds. We will be talking more about that in our next zone meetings.

For now, please remember that if we are going to are going to rise to the next level of discipleship and see every companionship baptizing every month, our commitment to finding needs to define us. A commitment to find is really a commitment to believe that the Lord has prepared many of His children. He tell us that is the case in D&C 123 when He says:

12 For there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it—

13 Therefore, that we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness, wherein we know them;

We are inspired by some of the great miracles we are seeing because of your faith. This last week, despite having fewer missionaries that this mission has had in years, we found a record number of new investigators. We would like to give a specific shout outs to the following companionships and their remarkable success in finding last week:

Given the storms that have come, please be safe first and foremost. We need to limit unnecessary travel especially in the cars. Be aware of investigators needs and rally to help them and check on their welfare.   Let's use this opportunity to do a lot of good.

We love you are are inspired by your faithful efforts!


President and Sister Mortensen