week twenty: when your family goes to cancun without you but it’s okay because you’re on a mission

{this is from last week! again! sorry I’ve been so behind!!}

Hey hey! How was everyone’s week? I always feel kind of awkward starting out these big group emails because it’s kind of a rhetorical “how is everyone” but at the same time I still love hearing back from all of you hahah. So I’ll just keep asking. Anyway, it was a pretty awesome week!

We started off the week “chalking” with the other sisters in our district, Sister Forsgren and Sister Logsdon. Chalking is basically just going to a park or any public place and drawing out the plan of salvation with sidewalk chalk. It was pretty awesome. The park we went to has been at the center of my area my whole mission and I haven’t even thought of going to try to find people there. But it’s better late than never I guess! So Sister Logsdon and Sister Moore chalked while Sister Forsgren and I went out to find people to talk to in the park. First, we saw this guy sitting alone at a picnic table. We went and sat with him. His name is Rooster and he was really nice and open to listening. He told us that he’s been living in his car for three years with his girlfriend and that things have been pretty tough. We started teaching him the restoration and he seemed pretty interested. The spirit was so strong during that lesson. We ended up leaving him with a Book of Mormon and he said he would start reading it. Then after we walked away, he talked to Sister Moore and Sister Logsdon, and said he would come to church and wanted to take a tour of the church too! Pretty awesome. Hopefully we can actually find him again since he doesn’t have an address and his phone is only on when it’s charged…but either way. I’m so grateful he was sitting at that picnic table in the park that day.

After our awesome lesson with Rooster we were pretty pumped up and went around to try to find other people to talk to. We met this girl named Kori. She actually doesn’t live in our area, she lives in Anaheim and was just in Garden Grove for her nannying job, so we wouldn’t be able to continue teaching her, but our lesson was awesome. She’s already Christian and when we showed her the #Hallelujah video she said it wasn’t anything she hadn’t hear before. So we went right into teaching the restoration, which is of course something she hasn’t heard before. It was so amazing, she was so open to listening and said she would read from the Book of Mormon and pray about it. It’s so cool how we just find these people randomly sometimes. I don’t know if I’ll ever see Kori again, but I hope that the missionaries we passed her off to will.

Wednesday was a really awesome day. We were finally able to teach Shawn again. It was like the third time since he’s been baptized. It’s so cool to see how far he’s come since we first started teaching him. He’s learned and grown so much. I love seeing the gospel change people’s lives! Then we went to have a lesson with Evan as we do every week. This time we decided we needed to watch the 20 minute
Restoration video. We’ve been meeting with Evan for so long and he really acts like he believes that the church is true and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, etc. but then he says that he doesn’t think he’s received an answer about it yet. It’s kind of confusing because he really does act like he believes it and he’s been pursuing it for so long, but he tells us he hasn’t recognized an answer yet. Honestly it can be kind of frustrating. So we showed him the video and it was really good for him to watch. He told us that he now
understands how God answers prayers, in His own time and His own way. Then we talked about what it feels like to feel the Holy Ghost, and he told us he feels the Holy Ghost when he goes to church and reads the Book of Mormon. We told him that is a confirmation that this church is true, and an answer to his prayers and he agreed. But then at the end of the lesson he still told us he hasn’t received an answer yet. At this point we’re just praying a lot for Evan and hoping that he will finally recognize that God has already answered his prayers.

Like I said, Wednesday was really awesome. We went to go see Maddie, the 13 year old girl we are teaching and ended up meeting her brother George. This was super exciting because Maddie had told us the week before that George was reading the Book of Mormon, and we hadn’t even met him yet! So we were so happy to meet him. We invited him to join us in our next lesson with Maddie and he said he wanted to. Yay! Wednesday night we went to go visit some less active members in our area book who has not been contacted yet. We knocked on one house and a woman answered the door. She immediately let us in, which is always really surprising. She was so nice. Then we got to really talking and she told us that she and her husband hadn’t been to church since before they were married because her husband had been deeply offended by other members as a teenager. This is one of the main reasons people stop going to church, and it’s so sad. The people in the church definitely aren’t perfect, but the gospel is. And people lose the gospel because of the imperfect people and it makes me really sad. Anyway. We were asking her if she was ever planning on coming back to church and she told us she hadn’t really thought about it, but she wouldn’t say no. Then she told us some of her concerns. She told us she feels unworthy and guilty going back to church because she hasn’t been in 20+ years, and she feels like a lost cause. We shared 2 Nephi 25:26 with her which reads: “And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.” She began to cry. We told her that everyone is welcome in church, there is no such thing as a lost cause, and Christ waits for everyone with open arms. Wow the Spirit was so strong. Honestly going into that lesson I wasn’t even expecting to be invited into her home, and we left with hope that she might come back to church one day.

Friday we were so excited because we had our lesson with Maddie and George. So we went…and a little preface: we’ve met with Maddie multiple times now and have met her dad multiple times too. Each time he is really nice and has told us before that he is personally not interested but he is okay with his kids making their own decisions about what they believe and gave us permission to teach them. So we weren’t sure what the story was with their mom, we had never met her before. Well…Friday afternoon we knock on their door and she answers. She was very confused about why her kids were meeting with us and why no one had told her. Then she said she was going to go get her kids and talk to them. She brought them out and basically had an intervention. It was the mom, us, and Maddie and George all standing around in their living room. She basically was asking why they were meeting with us, and why they hadn’t told us that they were
Catholic…then Maddie proceeded to say, “I didn’t know we were..” Awkward. Then their mom kept saying that she didn’t want them to waste our time since we are doing God’s work and there are other people out there who will be a better use of our time. Sister Moore interjected and asked Maddie how she feels during our lessons. Maddie said she feels good and likes the things we are teaching her and how we explain things (aka she feels the Spirit). She told them they could still have the lesson with us that day and decide if they still wanted to meet with us after that. It was honestly so uncomfortable. But we went ahead with the lesson and taught them the plan of salvation. At the end, we asked if they still wanted to keep meeting with us and they both said yes. The mom said she would be okay with that. Thank goodness! Wow there’s so many awkward things that happen as a missionary but I’m still so grateful for these experiences.

Holy wow. I was not expecting to write that much about this week! It’s crazy how during the week it doesn’t feel like you’re doing that much or accomplishing a lot, but by the end of the week you look back and see that a lot actually happened. The days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days! I’m so happy to be a missionary and to be serving the Lord. This week was also transfer calls and I found out I’m staying in Garden Grove for another 6 weeks with Sister Moore. I’m so happy to be staying here and to see the work progress in this area. I’m hoping for a lot of hard work and success in the next 6 weeks 🙂

I hope you all have an amazing week!

All my love,

Sister Martinez 💕
Sister Moore and I eat a lot of pho 🍜

I love these people!



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