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.

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