week eleven: a church sort of situation

Hi everyone!! So sorry about no email again…pretend I sent this last week! And stay tuned for this week’s email!

It was such an amazing week!! Here are some highlights:

The day after Shawn’s baptism, the young men had an activity the next night instead of the usual Wednesday night. They went over to their young men president’s house to watch the championship game, which was perfect because Shawn loves football. Later, Sister Burns and I found out that Lui, a teenage boy who’s in a less active family that we’ve been working with went to the activity. Coincidentally, Lui and Shawn played on the same football team and are friends. He had no idea Shawn was getting baptized and was so excited for him. The next Sunday at church when Shawn was getting confirmed, Lui was also asked to speak! It was so amazing to see our most recent convert helping someone else come to church again.

Wednesday, we had exchanges again! But this time, instead of going to another area, one of our sister training leaders, Sister Hathcock, came to our area and I stayed with her. This means I was “leading” the area for the first time…I was so scared! First of all it’s always scary to be away from Sister Burns, but to be alone in my own area!! It ended up going so well though. As nervous as I was, things went great. We had a full schedule and were able to find and teach a lot of people.

That night, we were able to finally teach Gabby and Stefan again! A little background, they are the family that we found on Thanksgiving who welcomed us into their home. We never thought we would actually end up teaching them but now we are! Last time they were taught was during the last exchanges, when sister Burns stayed in our area and I wasn’t there. We’ve seen them a bunch of times since then, but they haven’t been able to meet with us until…the next exchange! And it was such an amazing lesson. So basically, Stefan doesn’t believe in God. But from what we can tell, he definitely doesn’t oppose that God exists. When sister Burns and sister Belnap met with them they taught the plan of salvation. So when Sister Hathcock and I came, he had a lot of questions. But they were all good questions that were pointing us in the right direction of what his needs are. We spent most of the time talking about the nature of God and how the gospel blesses families. During the lesson, we found out that a couple weeks before, Gabby, Stefan, and their kids went to a nondenominational Christian church because Gabby and Stefan have only ever been to Catholic mass and lately (aka ever since we first met them on thanksgiving), Gabby has been trying to find a church for their family to go to. They told us that they didn’t think that was the right church for them. Stefan told us that the service they went to was a lot of discussion and not a lot of scripture…and then he proceeded to tell us he was “craving scripture”. WHAT. Craving scripture?! We are here and we have the scriptures for you Stefan! Hahah we were so excited. We told them about what our church is like and they seemed interested. At the end when we said the prayer, the Spirit was so strong. And I know they felt it too. Sister Hathcock and I left that lesson sooo happy and excited!

Later on in the week, we went to go visit a man named Roger who we had taught a couple weeks before. He took a Book of Mormon and said to come back. When we did, he seemed happy to see us and told us to come back another day when his wife was there. Before we left he jokingly said, “are you going to try to convert the both of us?” Sister Burns and I just laughed because…well, yeah we are. We didn’t teach him that day but it’s always cool to meet people who are open and willing to listen.

That’s about all that was super exciting from this week…everyday is just finding and teaching and finding and teaching. I love it so much though.

There’s this quote we’ve been sharing with a lot of people in the past couple of weeks, it’s from a talk President Uchtdorf gave last general conference. “Sometimes we feel discouraged because we are not “more” of something–more spiritual, respected, intelligent, healthy, rich, friendly, or capable. Naturally, there is nothing wrong with wanting to improve. God created us to grow and progress. But remember, our weaknesses can help us to be humble and turn us to Christ, who will “make weak things become strong.” Satan, on the other hand, uses our weaknesses to the point that we are discouraged from even trying. I learned in my life that we don’t need to be “more” of anything to start to become the person God intended us to become. God will take you as you are at this very moment and begin to work with you. All you need is a willing heart, a desire to believe, and trust in the Lord.” I LOVE this. It’s so crazy how the things that we share with people, are actually things that I need to hear too. Being a missionary is very rewarding. I love how he says, we don’t need to be more of anything to start to become the person God intended us to become. We have SO much potential. God thinks so highly of us and has the most incredible plan for us. And it doesn’t matter where we are….start where you are. All you need is a willing heart, a desire to believe, and trust in the Lord. Easier said than done, but if you sincerely ask in prayer for these things, they will come over time.

I’m so grateful to be serving the people in this area and to be spreading this incredible message of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I hope you all have an amazing week!

Love,

Sister Martinez 💗

PS didn’t take any pics this week…sorry!! I’ll definitely up my game.

Advertisements

week ten: fumigating

Hi everyone!! How’s it going?! Things are just grand here in garden grove. Seriously so good.

P day on a Tuesday…again. We got to go to the temple today! So our P day was changed. Unfortunately due to the terrible traffic this morning, sister burns and I arrived at the temple at 8:31…our session was starting at 8:30. It was a little sad for a couple minutes but we ended up just doing some other stuff not with the other missionaries..so it all worked out. It was still so nice to be at the temple even if we didn’t get to do a session. Then we went to Cafe Rio with our district afterwards…the only one in the mission 🎉 so delish. Then we drove through our district leader’s old area in Orange. It was so crazy different from where I am in garden grove. Mountains all over and such. And we went to a member’s house where they had a view of the ocean! Super pretty. Such a good P day!

Well I have a lot to talk about so let’s just get right into it!

Tuesday we switched designated drivers…so I am now the driver. I didn’t realize how bad I was at directions…hahah our area is so tiny but I can’t find anything. Thank goodness for sister burns and her GPS. Tuesday we also had our last real lesson with Shawn before his baptismal interview!! We taught him about tithing and we brought a recently returned missionary from the other ward with us and it was a super good lesson.

Then Wednesday was the next big step, Shawn’s interview! He passed with flying colors and he was so happy. You could definitely tell how ready he was. It was so awesome to see how much he had learned since we first starting meeting with him. When Sister Davis and Sister Burns first met with him, he didn’t even know who Jesus Christ was. And then we were watching him get ready to make covenants to follow Him. Such an incredible thing.

Saturday we were out trying to find some less active members, and we drove past some guys playing basketball in their driveway. So we pulled over and took the opportunity to share the gospel of course! I had high hopes that it would go well, but instead it turned into an hour long discussion with him interrogating us about what evidence there is that the Book of Mormon is true and asking about why we read the Book of Mormon more than the bible (not even true) and just all this stuff. It was super stressful and I was trying so hard not to lose my patience with him…hahaha it’s really hard to love the people sometimes not gonna lie. But we left him with a book of Mormon and maybe he will actually read it and ponder it. Sometimes the most you can do for people is just leave them with an invitation. So that’s what we did.

Sunday was the big day!! Shawn’s baptism!! This was such a special day. I invited Shawn to be baptized my second day in the field and it took a little longer than we expected but it finally happened. It was such a beautiful service. A ton of the ward came to support, another youth baptized him, sister burns and I sang, his mom gave the closing prayer. It was so good!! The Spirit was sooo strong. He was so ready and it finally happened. And he’s being confirmed on Sunday and we are so excited!

Seeing an investigator get baptized gives me hope that all the work and effort we put in really counts for something, and I know it does. This is the Lord’s work. And we are doing it. So grateful to be a representative of Jesus Christ and to be following Him. I love this gospel so much.

I hope you all have an amazing week!

All my love,

Sister Martinez ❤️
Shawn’s baptism!!

My district at the temple!

I love her!! 💕

week nine: like whaaaaaaat

(I wrote this last week and it never sent…so pretend this was a week ago)

Hola everyone!! Happy new year! I can’t believe it’s already Monday again, but I feel like I say that every week…so anyway. How was everyone’s week?! Any fun new year’s festivities? Sister Burns and I had an interesting time hahaha.

It was such a good week. Here are the highlights:

Tuesday we met with Evan, he’s one of our 13 year old investigators. Before I got here he was on date for baptism, but then his dad found out that both parents have to give permission. Evan’s parents are divorced and his mom wasn’t very keen on the idea of him getting baptized. Basically, his parents agreed that they would give Evan a year before he could get baptized, just to make sure it was really something he wants to do. But we still meet with him, and he still comes to church every week. Honestly, he’s so ready to be baptized and he wants to be baptized so badly. We had an amazing lesson with him and invited him to be baptized again. We also invited him to fast and pray with us on Sunday for his mom to be okay with him getting baptized. But when we told his dad that we brought up baptism again, he told us that we still had to wait a year. We’re hoping that our fast worked and that their hearts will be softened.

Also on Tuesday, we had a bunch of good experiences tracting, actually this whole week we did! But of course with the good experiences, come the funny/bad ones…I swear some people memorize things to say just in case we come to their door. We knocked on this one house and this man very quickly said, “Miss I know we’re in end’s time, but your church is not the answer.” Like he definitely practices that in front of the mirror…hahaha. But that same day we had a pretty cool experience. We knocked on the door of this elderly man who came to the door on his scooter, he is a WWII veteran and he landed on the shore in Normandy on D Day. He also fought in the battle of the bulge in Germany. And he’s 90 and still chugging along! He was so sweet and respectful about the church. He’s not really interested, but I think he enjoyed our company and liked talking about Christ. 🙂

Our New Year’s Eve was pretty uneventful to say the least…we had to be in our apartments by 8 (normal nights we are home by 9) which felt weird. But we went to go get some martinelli’s and some noisemakers to ring in the new year…and we were in bed waaay before 12. Happy new year! Hahaha. Holidays are so funny when you’re a missionary. Everyone always says, “So what are your plans for the holidays?” And we’re like…uh the same as everyday hahah. There’s work to be done everyday! All good things though. 🙂

So not a lot of super exciting stuff happened this week but the most exciting…Shawn is getting baptized on Sunday!! We are so so excited for him. It has been so incredible watching him progress and now it’s actually happening. And the ward is helping out so much which has been so good to see.

Well that’s about all…I wish I had more to talk about this week but that’s about all that happened that’s worth writing about! Missions are amazing. They are so hard but so so amazing. I left home two months ago today, and in some ways it feels like I’ve been gone for a year and other times it feels like a week. Honestly, it’s so hard. But I know this is the right thing. I know this gospel is true. There’s not a doubt in my mind that I am here sharing the restored gospel and bringing others closer to Christ because of it. If you haven’t read the Book of Mormon, I highly recommend it. 🙂 it is so true. And my love for it has grown so much in this short time since I’ve been gone. I love it so much and I’m so grateful for the sacred records which have been preserved and translated for our benefit.

I love you all, thank you so much for your love, support, and prayers.

All my love,

Sister Martinez 💗
martinelli’s is apparently found in the liquor aisle hahaha

If I had a dollar for everytime I saw one of these….