week thirty-four: blessings on blessings on blessings

Hi everyone!! Wow it was an awesome week, despite my sickness we were still able to have some great experiences. I feel like I have so much to talk about!

So I was sick for most of the week, but I feel lots better now. Just a lingering cough and runny nose. But at the beginning of the week I was really struggling. I wanted to go out and work so badly, but I also needed to get better so that our work could be more effective. So not a ton really happened until Thursday.

Thursday started off with district meeting, always good. And then we went to lunch with our district afterwards, which was the usual. But this time, a member from a different stake happened to be in Wendy’s at the same time as us and offered to pay for our meal. She bought 6 missionaries lunch. It was soo kind. But we were missing a
companionship who were still driving over so we thought they were gonna miss out…but then this second member happened to also be there, and paid for that companionship’s meals! It was so incredible. I’m so grateful for those members, and their support. And then to top it all off, the second member who paid for that one companionship’s meals came to our table when we were done eating and gave us each a frosty. They had gotten us 8 frosties! Gosh people are so awesome.

After district meeting, we had planned that I would go home and rest and stay with one sister (I could only do a few hours at a time), while Sister Burgess went out and did some work with another sister. A little mini exchange. It was soo awesome! They got a bunch of stuff done that I know wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t stay and rest. They tried this one potential investigator who had been given a pamphlet in the past, and she wasn’t really interested but she still listened. They prayed with her, and then after the prayer, she asked, “would you be willing to talk to a 13 year old?” Obviously they said of course! So she invited them in to teach her daughter, Ginny. Ginny is very interested in church, God, Jesus Christ, and religious things. They taught Ginny the restoration and she loved it. She was dying to know more! They invited her to read the Book of Mormon and she said she wanted to read the whole thing that night. They also invited her to be baptized, and she said she would be, but they didn’t give her a date yet. Suuuch a miracle! I’m so grateful that we were able to go on that exchange, and I know it was so we could meet Ginny.

Then Thursday evening, we went to Book of Mormon class. It’s held by the missionaries who meet in our building every Thursday at the church, and it’s a great opportunity for less active members and investigators to attend. So we’re sitting in class, reading the Book of Mormon, and all of a sudden Angela walks in with her boyfriend who’s a member. What!!! Sister Burgess and I were exchanging looks like whaaat is happening! Angela has been coming to church for over two months and we haven’t been able to teach her. So her coming to Book of Mormon class was a big deal! And she really liked it, too. Progress!

Saturday we went on our official exchanges (we’ve been on so many random ones due to sickness lately). I went to the Orange Hills YSA ward with Sister Hathcock and Sister Burgess stayed in our area with Sister Burns. It was a super awesome day. There wasn’t a ton of normal missionary work but I’ll share about one really cool thing that we did. The Orange stake had their youth conference this weekend, and basically it was set up as a huge game of “Life”. They used the whole church building, and each part of the church had a different part of life in it. At the beginning they were paired in couples, and given an envelope with fake money, “fate” cards, and a map. Some of the things they could do were get a job, get married civilly, get married in the temple, shop, buy a car, go to college, go to the hospital, play carnival games, go to jail, buy food, electronics, and other material items, and serve a mission (which is where we came in). The whole point was that depending on the choices they made in the game, it determined where they would go in heaven (celestial, terrestrial, and telestial). It was a super awesome idea. So our role was “MTC instructors”. The kids would come and get their “mission papers”, and once they finished those they would come in and we would quickly teach them in about 5 minutes how to simply teach the restoration. When we finished, they had to go out and teach a random person in the church about the restoration, and give them a Book of Mormon, get them to sign it off, and then come back to be “released” from their missions. It was so amazing to be able to teach them in that setting. And when they came back from their “missions”, so many of them came back so excited to go out and share the gospel for real. Some even came back in tears because the experience really hit them. It was incredible to be able to show them that sharing the gospel can be simple, and that they are all capable of doing so, and especially capable of serving missions.

Sunday was such a happy day. We went to church, and of course Angela was there. For the 8th time. And guess what…after relief society she FINALLY set up an appointment with us!!!! Yayayay!! And she basically said that she wants to be baptized and she knows that in order to be baptized she needs to take the lessons. So so happy and excited for her. Things are finally moving along!

And finally, one more thing. We had a lesson with Ginny this morning! We taught her the plan of salvation and brought one of the young women’s counselors with us. She had read up to 1 Nephi chapter 4 in the BoM…so awesome. She loved everything we were saying, too. And we got her on date for baptism! Wooooohooo! Also, she’s going to girl’s camp with the young women in August. We are so excited. Things finally seem to be happening in this area!

To close, I wanted to share a scripture I read in my personal study this week. Mosiah 7:33: “But if ye will turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind, if ye do this, he will, according to his own will and pleasure, deliver you out of bondage.” Wow. I love this scripture. It’s so comforting to know that if we turn our hearts toward Christ, he will deliver us out of “bondage”. I pondered about this a lot. By definition, bondage means “the state of being a slave”. Often, we can be a slave to our sins. The chains of our hardships, and trials, can keep us in bondage. But christ will deliver us out of bondage if we follow him!! I am so grateful to know that, and for all the times that Christ has delivered me out of bondage. I would invite you all to turn to the Lord, and put your trust in him, serve him with all that you are. I know, and I can promise you, that he WILL deliver you out of bondage. He will free you from the chains of sin and hard times.

I love you all. Thank you for the constant support and love.

I hope you have an amazing week!

All my love,

Sister Martinez πŸ’•
Goodbye lunch for Elder Fauatea today!

Advertisements

week thirty-three: a high of 108 but we’re feelin’ great

Hello hello! How is everyone doing?! It’s blazing hot here but we’re just chugging along. It was a hard week, but as usual there were plenty of tender mercies. Here are the highlights:

Tuesday evening we met this woman named Debbie. We were actually trying to find her son, but met her instead. When she opened her door she started crying and told us that she had been praying for us to stop by. She and her family are going through a rough time and she told us she would like us to start teaching them. This came after a day of us trying to make things happen, and nothing really happening. It was such a miracle. She was so so grateful that we went to try her, and we were so close to not stopping by due to the lack of parking in her complex. To think that we almost didn’t meet her. Tender mercy!!

Wednesday we did service at a place called Mary’s Kitchen. It’s a place where a lot of people volunteer and cook a meal for all the people who know about it (homeless people, those who can’t afford a meal, etc.). It’s so awesome because as we’re serving the food to these people we get to talk with them for a little bit. They are so kind and so grateful, such humble people. I always love being able to give them a meal. A little goes a long way.

Wednesday morning we got a text from the relief society president in our ward. She told us about this woman named Theresa who could use a visit. That night we went to go see Theresa. She lives in a nursing home for people with mental illnesses, it’s a very run down place. Just very dull and sad. When we finally found her room, we were greeted by the sweetest girl. Theresa is in her 30s and she joined the church about 4 years ago. She has multiple mental illnesses that make it difficult for her to come to church. We sat down and visited with her, and got to know each other. She shared with us that she loves to sing, and that one of her favorite songs is, “I am a Child of God”. We sang it together. Her favorite part is “Lead me, guide me, walk beside me. Help me find the way. Teach me all that I must do to live with Him someday.” We asked her why this is her favorite and she told us that it comforts her a lot to know that Christ is always leading her, guiding her, and walking beside her. In the midst of trials, Theresa finds comfort from her savior, and her faith is an example to me. We are going to be visiting with her once a week, and I’m so excited to be able to spend this time with her. I’m grateful for all of these people that Heavenly Father has placed into my path, I know that I can learn something from each of them.

Friday night we went to go see a less active family who we try to see weekly. We weren’t really able to see them in the past few weeks so it was good to see them. I mentioned them awhile ago, but I don’t know if I explained them that well. They are a young couple who are recent converts, they were baptized about three years ago. They have two little kids, ages 1 and 2, seriously some of the cutest kids. Love them so much. They cry when we leave and it’s so sad. But I’m grateful that we have such a great bond with this family. They were very active when they first got baptized but since then they’ve moved around a lot and haven’t been able to settle anywhere. With all of the moving, they haven’t really been able to stay on track in the church and attending the different wards they’ve moved into. With all of that, they’ve kind of lost their foundation and all that they were taught when they originally joined the church. This night that we saw them, they expressed that they would like to take the lessons again, and kind of relearn everything about the gospel. This was something that we’ve actually been wanting to do with them, and before we could ask, they brought it up first. They want what we have to give them. I’m so excited to see the gospel change their lives again!

Saturday morning we got a call from our Sister Training Leaders, Sister Burns and Sister Hathcock. Sister Hathcock was not feeling well and they had a couple of set appointments so they wanted to exchange for a little while. So I went out with Sister Burns and Sister Burgess stayed with Sister Hathcock. It’s always good to be with Sister Burns (love her), and we were able to have some awesome lessons (love teaching with her). I love inviting people to come unto Christ and seeing their eyes light up when we teach them about His gospel.

I guess there must be something going around because I’m sick now too 😦 I started feeling a little sick Friday but it came in full swing on Sunday. It’s never fun to be sick but it’s definitely not fun to be sick as a missionary. And on top of being sick, it literally hit 114 degrees here today!! Hahaha so crazy. But maybe eventually it will cool down, and I won’t be so sick anymore. Still grateful to be here. Still grateful to be serving.

A little shoutout to my dad who spoke in sacrament meeting yesterday. I can definitely say that is one of the many miracles that have happened because of my mission. I’m grateful to be able to share the gospel not only with the people here, but with my family, and all who may read these emails/blog posts. I love this gospel and I’m so glad Heavenly Father trusted me enough to share it with others!

I hope you all have an amazing week!

Love,

Sister Martinez πŸ’•
Okay 😦

Pretty pretty

week thirty-two: toodle doo to trio life

Wellll hello! How’s everyone doing? Not too much has happened this week but it’s all good. All good things.

This week we had a ton of set appointments, and every single one of them fell through except for one. It was a little sad, but instead of getting discouraged we just kept going and kept trying to find people to teach.

Wednesday night we had an awesome finding opportunity. For the past few years our ward has put on an open house. Basically, there’s an elementary school across the street from the church that has a very small parking lot, so we share ours with them. Every year the school has an open house for all of the families of students at the school, so we conveniently have an open house with free food for all of those families to come to, for food and also to learn about the gospel if they so desire. This was an excellent opportunity for us to mingle with people. We were able to talk with lots of awesome people about the restoration of the gospel. It was so great! None of them live in our area, but we were still able to find people who are ready and I am so grateful for that.

Friday we had yet another lesson with Caroline. She is seriously so awesome. She’s basically a member without being baptized, so sometimes it just feels like we’re waiting for her to walk down those steps into the font. She’s so close. I know that the day she is baptized will be a special one.

Friday night there was a presentation called Christ in the Americas. It’s put on by a member of another stake who has a Ph.D. in theology and is very well versed in that subject. He basically provides historical evidence that backs up the Book of Mormon. It’s super awesome and is a great opportunity for investigators and recent converts to learn more. We invited 5 people, all of whom promised to come. And none of them ended up coming. It was a little discouraging, especially after the week of missed appointments that we had. Right now we are just praying really hard for all of the people we teach to progress in someway.

Saturday night was transfer calls. We found out that Sister Burgess and I will be staying together in the Anaheim 1st ward, and Sister Kieffer will be moving to another ward in our stake. The trio is no longer! I am grateful for the opportunity that I’ve had to have two companions at once. Trios are awesome, they have their challenges, but they are so much fun. The trio will be missed! But I am excited to move forward with this new transfer. I love that with each new transfer comes a fresh start. I love that because of Jesus Christ, we can have fresh starts. And it is only through Him that we can be cleansed and have the opportunity to improve and become who our Heavenly Father wants us to be. We each have the potential to become who we never thought we could. And it’s all because of Him.

I’m grateful for this gospel and for this opportunity that I have to serve a mission.

I hope you all have an amazing week!

Love,

Sister Martinez
Zone pic!

week thirty-one: bring it on

Hello people! How is everyone doing? (I haven’t asked that in awhile) things are just dandy over here. Just learning a lot and loving life.

Here are some highlights from this week:

We had an awesome lesson with our most progressing investigator as of right now. Her name is Caroline, I believe I’ve talked about her before. She is married to a less active member and wants to be baptized but is waiting to ask her parents for their approval in person. Anyway, she is soo awesome. She’s basically a member without actually being baptized. Every week we have a lesson with her and read from the Book of Mormon. This week we read 1 Nephi chapters 14 and 15. At the end, she told us she didn’t want to stop reading because every time she reads it makes her feel so happy. I am so grateful that she can feel the spirit so strongly when she reads the Book of Mormon. It is my favorite book, and I know it was written for our time.

This week in my personal study, I was reading in Words of Mormon. In verse 6 it says, “But behold, I shall take these plates, which contain these prophesyings and revelations, and put them with the remainder of my record, for they are choice unto me; and I know they will be choice unto my brethren.” The words that we read in the Book of Mormon are CHOICE. They were chosen for us and it is so amazing. I am so grateful to have it as a guide in my life. I would invite you all to read it, whether you have or haven’t before, there’s always something new to be found within it.

We had a ton of missed appointments this week which was kind of a bummer. But we also set a few new appointments for his upcoming week, so it kind of balances out. When set lessons cancel or fall through, we usually end up contacting potential investigators who haven’t been visited in awhile. Usually when we do this, we will contact one person from our area book and then knock around their house. A lot of times if the one specific person you’re looking for isn’t ready, someone around them is. So pretty much we tract a lot. One bad/kind of funny experience we had was we were walking up to a fence to open it so we could knock on the front door of the house and before we could even open the fence, a man opened the door and yelled, “STAY AWAY AND DON’T COME IN.” And proceeded to slam the door. Why are people like that?! They’ll understand eventually, I guess. One good experience we had was we met a couple young girls named Sochie and Yulissa. They were so sweet and really interested in our message, and invited us to come back to teach their whole family. We’re really hoping something will happen there!

Church on Sunday was awesome. Angela came yet again, even though she still hasn’t been taught. It is seriously so great, she comes and takes notes during all three hours and she just loves it. We taught Gospel Principles class during Sunday School and taught about the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Angela felt the Spirit so strongly that she cried. We’re hoping and praying that we’ll be able to teach her soon.

Something else that was so awesome on Sunday was a random guy showed up at church! His name is Anthony, and he came just because he was curious. He is so great! After Sacrament Meeting he said he really enjoyed it, so we invited him to stay for the next two hours and he was so excited about it. He came to our Gospel Principles class and looked so content during the class. He ended up staying the third hour as well. It was so amazing. Unfortunately we won’t be able to teach him because he lives in the elder’s area, but regardless we are so happy that he was able to find the gospel.

I’m so grateful for this gospel. I am so beyond grateful for the Atonement of my Savior Jesus Christ, and to know that I can be forgiven for every single mistake I make, regardless of how big or small it may be. The atonement is so real. Repentance is so real. It is one of the greatest and most beautiful gifts our Heavenly Father has given us. Accept that gift, use the atonement. Repent daily. It is so important. You will never have felt so free in your life. I know that’s true. Never doubt the Lord’s hand in your life. He is with you every step of the way. I hope you all have an amazing week πŸ™‚

All my love,

Sister Martinez 🌷
We run into some pretty interesting front yards in Anaheim.

We may or may not have chased down this truck just to get a picture.

Tool pic. A picture of me with a tool. Hahah.