Monday, June 27, 2016

Week of June 27, 2016


Sunday, June 26, 2016

We are only seeing a glimpse...

To the Missionaries of the Great Texas Houston Mission,

We had the wonderful opportunity to be at the temple with many of our recent converts this past Friday night. As we were standing there in the temple watching these converts take names in hand into the baptistry we had the impression that each one of these converts were far more valuable than the way we normally view them. The first recent convert from the Spring stake brought two cards, one containing the name of his father, the other with his grandfathers name. Each convert literally held in their hands the eternal welfare of their families. Realizing this, we remembered the words of the Savior when He says, "The worth of souls is great in the sight of God" (D&C 18:10). Each of our converts really do represent generations in each direction.

What a remarkable thing it is to consider that Isaiah prophesied of this very reality and the Lord repeats this prophecy in 3 Ne 26:1 when He says: For behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven: and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root (ancestry) nor branch (posterity)."

Without the blessing of the gospel and the promised blessing of priesthood ordinances, people will be lost and alone forever. We hold the power of the message that will allow them to find fulfillment in the relationships that they love both in this life and eternally. Later in that same chapter, the Savior repeats the promise of that He will send Elijah the prophet so that families can be connected forever.

We hope that each of you will be focused on helping each new convert (whether they are converts you taught or not) find and take their own names to the temple within 30 days of their baptism or as soon as possible so they can find the joy and hope for eternal reunions with those they love!

We are so grateful for the blessings of the gospel and the great privilege it is to be able to share its message with our brothers and sisters here. We love you and are grateful for this time we have together!


President and Sister Mortensen

We held two English Leadership councils last week. They were very inspiring councils and we were grateful to be able to learn from each other and the Spirit.

Mark Owen Vickers

Attachments1:49 PM (2 hours ago)
to bcc: me


This has been a fantastic week. It's hard to know where to start. We
have been teaching a man named Mike who is really sincere in his
desire to know more, however has not quite been able to dedicate the
time necessary to learning for himself that the Gospel is true. He is
originally from Africa and is an engineer so his work schedule can be
somewhat demanding. We had a great lesson with him this week regarding
the story of Enos from the Book of Mormon and discussed what was
required for Enos to receive conversion. We had a kneeling prayer at
the end of the lesson and then stayed kneeling for almost a full 5
minutes while Mike seemed deep in thought. As he raised his head he
said that he really wants to involve his wife in the discussions. Such
a 'Lehi moment'; as soon as Lehi tasted of the fruit(the love of God)
in 1 Nephi 8 he immediately wanted his family to partake so they could
receive the same joy he had. I'll keep ya'll posted on Mike.

This last Saturday our investigator Samantha was baptized and
confirmed as a member of the Church. Such a powerful service. We had
great member support for her. I will include a group picture at the
end. :) she bore about the strongest testimony I have ever heard. It
really has been a privilege to help teach her this Gospel.

I told you there was so much to tell. We also had an interesting
lesson with a member from the Ward and her neighbor Larry. Larry does
not believe specifically in God but does acknowledge the possibility
of a higher power based on the complexity of the world and universe.
There is a great talk called "Tasting  the  Light" by Elder  Lynn  G.
Robbins  which takes a more logic based approach to faith and belief
that I think we'll be sharing with him. He is great but you can tell
his experiences in this life and the general state of the world we
live in have made it hard for him to believe.

We also had another 'Why I Believe' fireside last night(Sunday) where
we had a choir made up of around 40-50 missionaries, several recently
baptized members bear testimony of their conversion, and our mission
president and his wife spoke. I love these meetings! The Spirit is so
strong as the testimonies are shared and we listen to servants of the
Lord. Sister Ulloa, who Elder Roper and I had the opportunity to teach
and baptize spoke as one of the recent converts. So good to see her
and their family again! Several other families from my first area,
Spring Creek, were also there including the Singer, Norman families,
and Brother Peterson who was the Ward mission leader when I served
there. That Ward is doing great, they have had several other families
baptized in the last 3 months.

I would not trade the experiences, people, and friendships of these
last 6 months for anything.  I have gained such a testimony of my
Savior Jesus Christ and His ability to change us as we turn to Him. I
love you all, remember no effort to help those around you is wasted.

-Elder Mark Vickers

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

June 20, 2016

Mark Owen Vickers

AttachmentsJun 20 (2 days ago)
to bcc: me

Hey Everyone!

Sorry it's been sometime since I emailed all of you. My last area was
a bit spotty for access to a computer and the way our mission email
works I couldn't get access to all of my contacts from my iPad.
Hopefully that won't be an issue going forward. *Fingers crossed*

I am now in the Westfield Ward and loving it. This is actually the
same district of my first area. My companion is Elder Visser.....haha
Visser and Vickers and you got it, we both have red hair. Gotta love
it. Anyway he is one of the Zone leaders and he was also the Zone
leader when I first got into the mission. I am learning so much from
him. He will be finishing his mission at the end of this transfer.

This week we had the opportunity to serve in the peanut butter factory
which makes all the peanut butter used by the Church in all of it's
humanitarian efforts worldwide. They run the facility for around 50
hours straight and then shut down for 2 weeks to clean. In a 4 hour
shift roughly 6,000 jars are filled. The peanuts are grown here in
Texas on a Church owned farm, sold to an independent processor and
then bought back for production. I was working the roaster room with
my companion. Our job was to hook bags weighing in excess on 2000
pounds to a hydraulic lift, raise that in the air, push the bag about
5 feet to the side and then to untie the bottom which released the
peanuts into a food elevator. Once a bag had been hung out job was to
record the temperature readout a every 25 minutes and occasionally
rake the top of the elevator to ensure even distribution. The roaster
reaches temperatures in excess of 380 degrees while in operation.
Really neat experience. The Church partners with Houston food bank to
provide pb to those in need.

Our investigator Samantha is amazing! She was found by Elder Visser
and Russel shortly before I arrived in this area. She accepted an
invitation to church and came for 2 weeks in a row before we could
meet with her. We set a baptismal date in the first lesson and she has
been a rock from day one. Her baptism is set for this Saturday and she
will be an awesome addition to this Ward. We have 2 families we are
teaching as well who should have solid dates by the end of this week.
Keep ya posted on them.

I love the Lord. I happiness this Gospel brings into my life and those
I am able to teach. Thank you for all your prayers and for all that
you do to lift those around you.

Until Next week,

-Elder Mark Vickers

Tuesday, June 21, 2016



AttachmentsJun 12 (9 days ago)
to mark.vickersspencer.vickers
Hi guys,
So your "little" brother pre-sacrament meeting:).  Seriously it's kind of neat because he is only one of 7 Aaronic priesthood holders in this ward...  he has been asked to help with the sacrament!!!   Pretty cool !!!
Attachments area

Spencer Vickers

Jun 13 (8 days ago)
to me
Hahahahaha. Prime. :D How is the ward so small? Did they just split the boundaries or something? *Pssst!* Take a razor to that boy!


Jun 13 (8 days ago)
to Spencer
 Ha ha.  I actually did shave him and cut his hair yesterday and he did bless the sacrament.  Actually this new ward is just as big as Manilla 8 but it's mostly young couples:).   I think I told you Kule Whimpy is Lances new young men's president:)


Jun 13 (8 days ago)
to Mark
Yes:). And he blessed the sacrament.   He's really struggling with his testimony but he says he just really misses talking to you and Spence just as brothers:)

Mark Owen Vickers

Jun 13 (8 days ago)
to me
He's going through his own refiners fire right now. We're going to be new people when we return. :) in a good way. I have an idea. I'm going to record short videos and send them to him. :)

Sent from my iPad

Spencer Vickers

Jun 18 (3 days ago)
to me
Yes! I'm a hairy dude but unfortunately ladies aren't into beards most of the time. Most of the time they also don't look very good. ;)