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Photos from My Archives


Nate Mortenson, missioner-in-training, is excited to use his skills of photography to document the life experiences he and his wife Mary share here in D.C. and while on mission.

These are some photos from years ago: my family, places, and moments. I’ve been drawn to shooting black and white film photos for their nostalgic qualities and imperfections. I find myself looking back at these photos from time to time, and I’ve come to realize it shows me what to make of it all — the story of the road I took to end up here.

One of our favorite places on earth, Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
My sister Ruth and her kids looking out into the world through a tiny window.
An escalator tunnel taking us to places unknown.

Using a film camera, I think of the highly anticipated moment when you first see your photos after they’ve been developed. It’s always a surprise. Things turn out way better than you expected, or there’s some disappointment. Either way, it’s a variable learning process and you can be sure of the intention behind each of your photos whether they turned out or not.

Mary and Nate recently returned from two years of mission at the rural Carmen Pampa University in Bolivia.

Nate, the youngest son of nine, hails from La Cross, Wisconsin. Mary grew up picking strawberries in small-town Minnesota. The couple met at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, where Mary studied sociology and outdoor leadership and Nate studied Spanish and geology. They share a passion for food and bicycling, and a desire to set their marriage on a foundation of service, simplicity, and a deeper global understanding.