week sixteen: the emotion code

Hiiii everyone! Can we talk about how it’s already the last week of February?! Time is seriously flying. This week on Wednesday marked 3 months that I’ve been out in the field! Crazy stuff.

I’m gonna be honest, it’s been a pretty rough week. Rough, but still had good parts. I started feeling sick on Tuesday and I’ve been feeling super sick ever since then. Just a really bad cold. So it’s made it pretty hard to go out and do missionary work, because I’m trying to get myself better and healthier so that I can go out and….well, do missionary work. It’s kind of a hard balance. But we were still able to have some good experiences.

This was the first real week with the new Valley View Ward. So we finally figured out the dividing line of our area and the elder’s area. There’s a couple people we’ve been teaching who live in the elder’s area that we needed to pass off to them. So Tuesday morning we had a pass off lesson with the elders and a less active member who we’ve met with every week of my mission so far. He’s pretty attached to us and is used to having us over, and doesn’t really do well with change, so we were a little nervous when we first told him the elders would now be teaching him. But he was actually super excited and our lesson with him and the elders on Tuesday was great. That was such a blessing!

We had a couple of moments of difficulty this week where we tried to teach people and things fell through. It can be hard, but it’s completely out of our control sometimes. And there’s always next week, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

Thursday we had zone conference, already my second one which is crazy. The main focus of it was how to find people to teach. It was sooo good! I seriously learned so much. I got a lot out of it, but one of the main things I learned/realized was that I am in possession of one of the greatest gifts. I have the gospel in my life, and because I do, it’s my obligation to share it with others. One of the assistants to the president said, “the reality is– the gospel has blessed each of our lives. we should want to share that with others. the gospel is priceless, and we owe it to others to share it with them.” It’s crazy how you already know a lot of things, but sometimes you need to hear it in the right setting in order for it to really affect you. Sometimes I don’t even realize how big of a responsibility we truly have as missionaries, and as members of the church. We might be some people’s only chance, their only opportunity to hear about Jesus Christ. There are people out there who are lost, and they are our spirit siblings. We need to find them, and share with them this great gift of the gospel.

On Saturday we spent the majority of the day helping a member of the ward set up for their daughter’s sweet 16. The party was our “dinner appointment” for that night, and it was super fun. Plus it always makes me happy to see youth having good, clean fun. Hahaha. But really. To all the youth out there: please stay on god’s path, the other ones aren’t as cool (because they don’t lead to eternal life ๐Ÿ˜˜).

Sunday was the first day with the new ward. We only had sacrament meeting and then a potluck afterwards to get everyone better acquainted within the ward. That was the most full I’ve seen the chapel since I’ve been serving here. It was so crazy! Not one empty pew. It’s pretty exciting though. Having more members will help out with the missionary work in this area a lot.

Hopefully by the time I write next, I won’t be as sick, and I can report back on a better week. If I could leave you all with anything this week, it would be this. You have a Heavenly Father who loves you. He knows you by name, and He sent you here at this specific time for a specific reason. Talk with Him. Counsel with Him about all that you do. He wants to hear from you! I’m so grateful to be serving Him at this time, and to know that this is His church on the earth today.

I love you all! I hope you have an amazing week.

All my love,

Sister Martinez ๐Ÿ’—
My district!

Sister Moore and I featuring Elder Kuehne

Garden Grove missionaries ๐ŸŽ‰

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week fifteen: single on valentine’s day but that’s okay because I love jesus

Holaaaa everyone! Happy belated Valentine’s Day! If you haven’t noticed, the subjects of my emails are always a little weird and completely unrelated to the actual emails but they’re pretty much all inside jokes (sorry). So this week’s subject is a quote from a member in our ward, Brother Beserra, who we meet with weekly to read Book of Mormon stories. He said that while wearing a hat that says “I love God”. He’s awesome hahaha. Anyway, it’s been an interesting week! Interesting, but good. Let’s get right into it.

Monday was my last full day with Sister Burns! It was sad but I think I finally came to terms with getting a new companion and everything. Tuesday we went to the mission home to pick up the new missionary she would be training, and Sister Moore and her previous companion, Sister Newitt, came to pick up the new missionary that Sister Newitt would be training! Then we switched and off we went. Tuesday was such a crazy day, within a span of 3 hours I had moved all of Sister Burns stuff out of the apartment just to move all of Sister Moore’s stuff in! Long day. But exciting! A new chapter of my mission. I love Sister Moore!!! I was so nervous to get a new companion for no reason. She’s super awesome and we get along so well. A little bio on her: she’s from Bountiful, Utah, she went to Utah State for a year before her mission, she did cheer in high school, and she wants to be a nurse anesthetist. You’ll be hearing a lot more about her over the next six weeks!

This week wasn’t too eventful but Thursday evening we had some interesting tracting experiences. We had been tracting for awhile and had no luck, and then we knocked on the door of this woman named Mona. She was seriously one of the kindest people I’ve ever met! She’s already a Christian and we talked with her about having faith in Christ and how it blesses our lives. I don’t think she was interested but she was super sweet and actually listened to us and prayed with us. Before we left, she told us to keep doing what we are doing and gave us cold water bottles. She even asked if we needed a ride home hahah. It doesn’t sound like much but seriously do you know how many people we come across who are that nice?! It was such a tender mercy.

Later that evening we had a not so nice experience…hahah a couple houses after Mona we met this guy named Josh. He was pretty nice at first but he had a loooot of questions. Pretty sure he’s read a ton of anti-Mormon literature, because the questions he was asking made it seem like he was trying to stump us. But nope, we had answers for everything. ๐Ÿ™‚ hahaha he was trying so hard to prove us wrong. It was a pretty respectful conversation though so we just continued to answer his questions. Then his wife and kids pulled up in the driveway and his wife opened the door and said, “are those bibles?” and he laughed and said yes. Then she yelled at us and told us to leave. So we were saying goodbye to him and apparently we weren’t leaving fast enough because then she opened the door again and yelled,” get off my property, I want to take my children in the house and I’m not getting them out of this car until you leave my property!!” Hahaha….what? Are we a danger to your children or something? It was a little weird. It’s safe to say we’re not going back to see Josh anytime soon.

It’s kind of felt like a weird week because we haven’t taught that much. Wednesday we spent most of the day doing service at a blood drive, Thursday we had meetings and Sister Moore had a doctor’s appointment, and just all this random stuff. Also in the past couple of days, it’s seemed like everyone that we go try to visit or meet with isn’t home or is busy…or they just don’t answer the door. So we’ve done a lot of driving around trying to find people and then not being able to teach them! For this area, it’s been an iffy week. But Sister Moore came from Placentia, and she thinks it’s been a super good week and that we’ve been teaching a ton! I guess in Placentia it’s a little different. It’s all about perspective! I think something I’ve learned this week is that as long as we’re doing the best that we can to invite people to come unto Christ, we are fulfilling our purpose. It can be so hard when we’re trying to find people to teach or we’re trying to find people who we’ve already been teaching, and nobody is available. Sometimes it makes it seem like we aren’t doing enough or trying hard enough. That was super rambly but basically in short, I’ve realized that as long as we are inviting as much as we can and working as hard as we can, that is what we are called to do! Don’t be discouraged if you are trying to do missionary work and the message isn’t received well, at least you made the invitation!

Yesterday we had stake conference where they showed a satellite broadcast. It was so good!! Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, the General Young Women’s president gave an amazing talk. One thing she said that really stood out to me was, “if someone were to observe you for an hour or two, would they be able to recognize you as a disciple of Christ?” That really made me reevaluate my life for a second! Even though I am a representative of Jesus Christ and wear his name on my nametag, do I conduct myself in a way where people would recognize me as His disciple without the tag? This week I am definitely going to work on becoming a better and more recognizable disciple of Jesus Christ. I’m so grateful to be serving Him and to be sharing His gospel. I love this work so much!

Thank you so much for all the love and prayers. I say this every week but I know it helps me so much and I’m so grateful! I hope you all have an amazing week!!

All my love,

Sister Martinez ๐Ÿ’–

PS sorry no pics with Sister Moore yet…I’ll get on that!

week fourteen: new transfer, new me 2.0

Hiiii! How’s everyone doing?! I’m doing pretty well, thanks for asking. It was the last week of the transfer and also my last week of training, so it was pretty stressful, but still good. Here are the highlights!

Wednesday was a good day. We met a high school-aged boy while tracting named Michael. We got to teach him the majority of the restoration but he had to eat dinner and told us to come back. When we went back on Friday we met his sister, Maddie. She was soo nice too and we were able to teach her as well. She also told us that we could come back so we’re planning on coming back to teach both of them which is pretty cool! Finding new families to teach woooo.

Wednesday we also had another really good lesson with Evan.
Unfortunately no progress on a baptism for him yet but we’re working towards it. Last week I talked about how we had a great lesson with him and his dad, Scott. Last time we invited them to read Book of Mormon stories together as a family. When we followed up with Evan, he told us that they didn’t read it as a family, but that Evan had finished the entire Book of Mormon stories book in one week. He loved it! Hahaha we were so excited. Hopefully now that he knows the stories super well, he will be able to keep his commitments of reading the actual Book of Mormon. ๐Ÿ™‚

Saturday we spent most of our day at our stake’s mini MTC activity. Basically the youth in the stake got to spend a day and a half as “missionaries” just to see what it’s all about. All of the
missionaries in my zone were asked to help teach the youth about different aspects of missionary work. It was a really cool thing to be a part of. My district was assigned to teach about why we need the Spirit in missionary work, and honestly I think I might’ve learned more from it than the youth we were teaching did. But it was so amazing, and also kind of funny, when all of us missionaries realized how much we truly didn’t know before our missions. Like I thought I knew a lot about the gospel but I sooo didn’t. And now that I’m here I’ve learned and grown so much, and that will only continue!

Honestly the biggest thing that happened this week was transfer calls…Thursday night were leadership calls, which means the APs (assistants to the mission president) call anyone in the mission who is getting called to a leadership position. For example a trainer, district leader, or zone leader. All day on Thursday I had this feeling that we would be getting a phone call that night, I didn’t know who it would be for but I knew we were getting one. Then on our way home that night it came, and Sister Burns was called to train again. Aka 100% not staying together for another transfer. It was really hard honestly and it still is. I knew I was either leaving the area or I was staying and getting another companion who I would have to show around Garden Grove. When transfer calls came Saturday night, we found out that Sister Burns would be whitewashing (two missionaries going to an area together for the first time) Anaheim 1st ward with the new missionary, and I would be staying in the newly formed Valley View ward with a new companion, Sister Moore and that we will be splitting the ward with Elders! Sooo much change. New ward, new companion, and elders. So weird. But I’m pretty excited! We’ll see how everything goes.

Ode to Sister Burns: Sister Burns is the best first companion/trainer I could’ve ever asked for. I’ve learned SO much from her. She’s the most incredible missionary and I will seriously miss her dearly!! It’s crazy how you come out on a mission to serve the Lord, and end up making lifelong friends because of it. I know it’s going to be hard but I trust that she and also the Lord have prepared me enough to be able to do this without her!

Well that’s about all I have for this week, thank you for all of your prayers and support. It means so much to me! If I have any words of wisdom from this week…it would be that if you’ve ever even had a tiny thought of going on a mission, just do it. It’s never a bad idea to serve a mission, and never a bad idea to serve the Lord and His children. ๐Ÿ™‚ The blessings are unreal and the work that we do is so worth it.

I hope you all have an amazing week!!

Love,

Sister Martinez ๐Ÿ’–
My zone all together for one last time!

We’re a little crazy

week thirteen: really lds?

Hola! I can’t believe it’s already P day again. Seriously the weeks keep going by faster and faster. It’s crazy! And this is the last week of the transfer, aka the last week of training. I can’t believe I’ll no longer be “new” soon!

It was another good week (sorry if it’s annoying that I say that every week)!

This week was full of service, one of the service projects we did was called Food in the Afternoon. Basically, once a month our ward and 6th ward make a meal to serve to whoever has heard about it and is homeless. It was very humbling to see people who have next to nothing. I’m grateful that we were able to help out even if it was just one meal. The other service we did was for ward members who are going through hard times and need visits. Being a missionary is so awesome because almost everything we do is for others.

On Wednesday we were able to have another lesson with Evan. Evan is the 13 year old boy we’ve been teaching for a long time whose parents aren’t ready for him to be baptized. We meet with him every week and he and his dad, Scott, are very appreciative of our visits. This time we were actually able to teach him AND Scott! Which is soo awesome. Scott hasn’t sat in on a lesson since October, and we’ve really been trying hard to start teaching him again to help him get more comfortable with the idea of Evan being baptized. It was a super awesome lesson, and Scott expressed to us that he wants to read the scriptures with his sons (Evan has a younger brother, Kyle)…which is perfect because Evan struggles a lot with remembering to read the Book of Mormon. Scott told us that he would help Evan read everyday, and they also both committed to reading Book of Mormon Stories together as a family as often as they can. So awesome!!

Friday we had a super awesome lesson with this less active family who we are super close with. We meet with them almost every week. They have a really interesting story and have had a really tough time in this last year. Anyway, pretty much it’s a mom, twin 16 year old daughters, and a 12 year old daughter. They also have housemates right now, a dad, and his two teenage daughters. Things can be pretty crazy, and definitely super dramatic sometimes! But we love them. On Friday when we went over to share a message with them, we had been planning for awhile to share this message about how we need to go to church because as a congregation we make up the body of Christ and we need to “have a real ‘hands-on’ experience as we learn to ‘live together in love.'” It was a super good message and plan, but after being there for a few minutes we realized that one of the twins had had a really tough day at school. Just hard being-a-teenager stuff. As it got to be time to share the message, something (aka the Spirit) was telling me that it wasn’t the right message to share at this time and that I needed to share a talk called “Remember Who You Are!” By Elaine S. Dalton. So I pulled up the video and it was exactly what she needed to hear. And frankly, it was exactly what I’ve been needing to hear lately too. Nothing is more incredible than being directed by the Spirit to help someone come closer to Christ. There is seriously nothing like being a missionary.

Sunday was another amazing Sabbath day. Again, we had soo many less active members at church. And one woman who we’ve been working with for months came for her third Sunday in a row. Seriously made my week. This week was also a little crazy because all the ward boundaries in our stake are changing. The Garden Grove 7th ward boundaries have been the same for like 50 years! It’s a pretty big deal. Now, the boundaries are bigger and we will now be called the Valley View ward. We are gaining at least 100 new members. So if I stay for another transfer, things should be interesting! But also exciting.

Well that’s about it for this last week. So many miracles and tender mercies, so much progression, with myself and the people we are teaching. This is the Lord’s work and I am so grateful to be doing it. I hope you all have an incredible week!

All my love,

Sister Martinez ๐ŸŒป

week twelve: everybody’s gonna love today

Hellllo everyone! So once again I’m sending last week’s email a week late. I run out of time almost every single P day but I promise I will be better! Just a week behind no big deal.

It was an interesting week! It didn’t feel like there was a ton of work done because we had a lot of meetings and different events going on but still a good week, of course.

Tuesday we had interviews with the mission president, President Taggart. I love him! With each missionary he shared a talk from the most recent Worldwide devotional for Young Adults. The talk is called “Becoming True Millennials” by Russell M. Nelson, go find it its so good! Anyway, President Taggart was telling me about how in the talk Elder Nelson talks about how our generation is here at this time for a reason. It was so comforting to know and to be told that I am here for a reason, and God knew I needed to be here at this time. One of my favorite quotes from the talk is, “A True Millennial is a man or woman whom God trusted enough to send to earth during the most compelling dispensation in the history of this world. A True Millennial is a man or woman who lives now to help prepare the people of this world for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and His millennial reign. Make no mistake about it–you were born to be a True Millennial.” That is so amazing to think about! Seriously go read that talk. Sidenote, that devotional was at BYU Hawaii which made me a little sad, like really Elder Nelson had to go to my school when I’m not there?! Hahahaha come on

Anyway, the next day there was a Worldwide Missionary Broadcast. It’s the first one they’ve done in a decade and it kind of came out of nowhere so everyone was expecting there to be some big announcement or something but nope…just training. It was still super good though! And something that was really cool was Chris Waddell spoke, he’s the second counselor in the presiding bishopric, but more importantly he married my parents! Hahah I was super excited to hear him speak and see a familiar face.

Later that day we met this girl named Amanda while tracting. She has soo much potential! We taught her about the Book of Mormon and she was excited to read it. We were so excited! But also a little sad, because she’s 22, which means we will probably have to pass her off to the YSA missionaries ๐Ÿ˜ฆ still always exciting to find someone though.

Saturday we had a really cool experience. There’s a less active woman in our ward who we’ve been working with for awhile. We still don’t know why she doesn’t come to church, probably just because she’s out of the habit. But she loves having us over so we go by almost every week. Anyway, the message we shared with her this time was a video called “obedience to the Ten Commandments” by L. Tom Perry (super amazing go watch it). We’ve shared a lot of messages with her, but nothing has touched her like that video did. It really got to her, and the next day we saw her at church for the first time in months. ๐Ÿ™‚ as a missionary, I’m not sure if anything makes my heart happier than seeing less active members come to church.

Sunday was an amazing day. There were about 15 less active members at sacrament meeting!! Don’t get me wrong, having investigators at church is amazing, but I can honestly say that one of the best moments I’ve had on my mission so far is turning around in church and seeing these people that we’ve been working with for months finally at church. ๐Ÿ™‚ if hearts could sing, mine certainly was (so cheesy hahaha).

That night we got to see Gabby and Stefan again. It was so good! We finally taught them the restoration. At the beginning of the lesson, Gabby told us that she loves having us over because we bring a light into her home and it’s just nice to have us there because it helps her to look back on her past week and think of what she can do to become better (aka the Spirit, she just doesn’t know that yet). It makes me so happy to see her coming closer to Christ.

Gosh, I say this every week but I seriously love being a missionary. There’s hard times and I’m nowhere near perfect, but I’m striving to be like Christ everyday and it’s been so amazing. In my personal studies this week I’ve been studying Christ and His life a lot. I found this quote from Elder D. Todd Christofferson that says, โ€œPeople should be able to see in us something of Jesus Christ. The way we act, speak, look, and even think will reflect Him and His ways. โ€ฆ Although we were not present with Him in His ministry, as we search the scriptures, we see Jesus and what He said and did. And as we emulate that pattern, we bear witness of Him.” I love that so much. I want to act in a way where people can see something of Jesus Christ in me. I love being one of His representatives and I love His gospel. I know with my whole heart that it’s true. I hope this next week we can all try to be more like Him!

Have an amazing week everyone!

Love,

Sister Martinez โค๏ธ