Elder Eric P. Mortensen/Greece Athens Mission
Home City: Concord
Missionary's Birthday: 14 March 1989
Current Area: Aigaleo (S.W. of Athens)
Favorite Food Eaten:
I had my first gyro...... oh my word. I wish I could send one home, ssoooo good. They start with a hot pita, slightly crunchy on the outside, put in the gyro meat, which is usually marinated shaved chicken or pork (lamb is only used on holidays), then they pour over it tzatziki or sauce, then top it with lettuce, tomato, red onion, and fries, wrap it in a cone, and just eat it up. I'm craving one now. I've yet to try The Giga. It's a gyro that's about the size of your head. Missionaries love them.
Most missed food: Mom's Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner!
Favorite Scripture: Alma 7:11-12
"And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities."
"I was taught at EFY that the word succor means: to run to. That He may run to His people according to their infirmities. The savior understands us, all of our heart aches, all of our pains.
He understands us, because He paid the price and suffered an infinite atonement. I know from experience that He can lift our burdens and carry our sorrows if we just trust Him. He's what I'm most thankful for this Thanksgiving, and especially for the fact that I'm a missionary! Someone who gets to share what they know, a message of the ultimate hope and joy. That's what I have to offer people. Pretty neat, huh? I hope you are all enjoying Thanksgiving and are remembering that it's a lot more than just a meal."
Ya'sas apo Athina!
I arrived at the riotous city safe! The trip was long, and I didn't sleep very well, so I'm pretty tired. Luckily, they're going to let me rest a bit. Seeing Greece from the plane was amazing. It truly looks like an ancient land. The climate is pretty much exactly like that of Northern California. We didn't get to go to Mars Hill because it's near the center, which is where most of the danger is. It'll be an interesting next couple of days. The missionaries are to stay in the mission appartments until the riots die down. We did get to go to a greek restaurant though. I had a pork and chicken gyros with a greek salad. Poli kala! My mission president and his wife are great. They're really friendly and warm. The missionaries here are great. They really made me feel welcome. It was good to talk to everyone today. I'm glad I get another chance on Christmas! Well, I feel like I need a nap, bad. My new preparation day is on Monday, so look for my note then!
Have a great day!
Presvyteros Eric Mortensen
Another week full of 1000 awesome experiences! Monday is my new P-day by the way. Last monday, we went and played soccer with a lot of the missionaries in Athens. Fun but a little challenging seeing as how half the missionaries are from Europe."
P-Day means preparation day. The missionaries do their laundry,shopping, playing sports together, sight-seeing, getting their mail (the most exciting part of the day!), etc.
It was great to get to talk to everyone on Christmas! It sounds like everyone's doing really well, even Leroy! We've had some pretty awesome experiences since Christmas. The branch president of the branch in the north had us over for dinner with their family. He's American working for the embassy over here. We taught a Venezualan woman with the wife because she could speak spanish. She also translated for us, but one part she couldn't translate. I shared with her my testimony of the Book of Mormon including my camping experience. Comes in handy! After we left, our translator realized what the woman was saying. She had a nightmare one night. She woke up and said a prayer for comfort. She went back to sleep and had another dream. This time she was dressed in white standing in water with a missionary who was also dressed in white and was baptized. After I shared my experience she said " just like my dreams!" We didn't realize until after we left that my experience perfectly fit with hers. She's going to be baptized. No doubt in my mind.