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!

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