week eighteen: i’ll believe it when i see it

{this is from two weeks ago, and was meant to be sent Monday, March 7th}

Hello hello! How was everyone’s week?! It stormed last night here in “sunny California”. A little different. Grateful for the moisture though ya know. Anyway, it was such a good week!!

Tuesday we had a pretty amazing experience. We have a pretty long list of less active members we’ve never met/contacted especially since the ward boundaries changed. So we prayed about who we should visit on that list and a couple of people stood out. We first went to go visit a woman named Rita. We didn’t know what to expect, but when we knocked on her door she let us in. She was super nice and when we sat down with her she was telling us about how she had been away from the church for many years. She told us she hadn’t been active since before she and her first husband got divorced, and it didn’t sound like she was ever planning on coming back. But she did let us share a message with her. We showed her the “He Lives” video the church came out with awhile ago. During the video, I noticed she was tearing up. I wasn’t sure if she was getting emotional or if it was the reflection of the iPad screen…but then after the video she broke down. She told us that she had recently been diagnosed with Breast Cancer and she was going in for surgery a week from that day. She said that she’s been relying on Him to get through it. Is that not crazy?! The Spirit was so strong. I don’t think she’s planning on coming back to church anytime soon, especially with all of her treatments in the future. But I’m so glad that we were led to her when she was having a hard time.

Tuesday night was cool as well. There’s a family we’ve been working with since I got here. The whole family is active except the mom, so we meet with the whole family. The whole time I’ve been here we haven’t really known what we should do to help them be more unified as a family. Finally we decided to introduce Book of Mormon Stories to them, this was awhile back with Sister Burns but we hadn’t been back to follow up with them yet. So we went by this week, and found out they’ve been reading Book of Mormon stories together every Tuesday AND the actual Book of Mormon every Sunday!! How awesome! They did even more than we invited them to do. And we could tell they were already more connected spiritually, which then helps everything else come together. It was so great.

So we now have a new progressing investigator!! Woooo. Her name is Maddie. I think I might’ve written about her before, but to refresh your memory, Sister Burns and I met her brother, Michael at the door awhile ago. Everytime we went he was never there, but his sister Maddie always was. So we figured we would just teach her…teach when you find, find when you teach, ya know. Maddie is 13, plays softball, and is super sweet. When we saw her this week, we finally taught her the restoration in full. It was awesome. She understood all of it and really seems to have the desire to know more. She invited us to come back next week so we’ll see what happens there. 🙂

This week we were also able to see one of my favorite less active families in the ward. They have 4 daughters 13 and under so things can be a little crazy sometimes but the dad really wants us to come over weekly to help them be stronger in the gospel. So we went and introduced Book of Mormon stories to them and they committed to reading a story per week as a family! Woohooooo. I’m telling you, Book of Mormon Stories changes lives. Actually it’s just the Book of Mormon that does. Either way. Gospel is true.

I’m so grateful for the experiences I’ve had so far on my mission and I’m looking forward to so many more in the future. It’s so incredible to watch the gospel change people’s lives, and for people who already have the gospel in their lives to rediscover it. I know this is the Lord’s work!

I hope you all have an amazing week!

All my love,

Sister Martinez 🕊

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