week thirty-eight: the adventures of snorky + sista

Hello everyone! Holy cow it’s been such a crazy week but it’s been filled with miracles and tender mercies.

It was another week filled with service, but the difference between this week and last was that we found a better balance of doing service, while still being able to do regular missionary work.

We did service Monday night, Tuesday, Wednesday, and twice on Thursday. Most of it was for the same member who is moving, and this week she left. For the past two weeks we have helped her a lot, with cleaning out her things and packing them up for her to move. She lives under difficult circumstances, she is her husband’s caretaker and also has health problems of her own. She was so grateful for the help that we gave her, and I’m so grateful that we were able to help her.

Like I said, we did a lot of service but also had some super awesome experiences in the mix. Tuesday evening we went to go try a part member family. The wife, and her mom are recent converts of a little over a year and aren’t very active, and her husband isn’t a member. We used to meet with them every week and read the Book of Mormon, but in the past month and a half or so we haven’t been able to make contact with them. At first we were just giving them a little bit of a break, but then they wouldn’t text us back, or they would tell us not to come over, we couldn’t ever find them home, etc. Tuesday night we finally saw them. We had a really long talk with the husband and had a very spiritual conversation with him. He wants to learn about the gospel so badly, he wants to accept it. He just doesn’t know how. So we told him that if he is ready, we’re here to help him learn and take those steps. It was so awesome. Hopefully things will start to move forward with him!

Wednesday evening we were able to witness a miracle. The Sister Training Leaders in our zone, Sister Paulson and Sister Carey-Fuson, were on exchanges with some other sisters last week and met this woman and her son, Josie and David, in the park. They felt very prompted to go talk to them, and ended up teaching them the restoration in full and committing them to baptism. It turns out Josie and David actually live in our area, so we went to go have a pass off lesson with them. When we first stopped by the house, Josie wasn’t home yet from work so we decided to come back in 45 minutes. We split off and did other things and then came back. When we came back, she was so happy to see all of us and we were able to sit down and talk with her. We were talking about how our boundaries work and why we were there and she starts to say, “I have to be honest with you…” We thought that she was about to drop us. But then she goes on to say that she wanted to be taught by Spanish speaking missionaries because her husband only speaks Spanish and she wants her whole family to be taught and baptized. It was so powerful. And she is soo ready. I’m so excited for the Spanish missionaries to teach her and her family.

Thursday night was super productive. We met and taught a few people. We were knocking in the neighborhood of a referral we had received, and this man named Ramone was outside of his house. We went to go talk to him, and he was super interested. He spoke pretty good English but said he would prefer Spanish missionaries. We taught him the restoration, and he seemed excited about reading the Book of Mormon, and about learning more. So that was awesome. We kept going down the street, and we got to the last house on the street. A man opened the door and you could hear a house full of kids in the background. He came outside to talk to us, and ended up only speaking Spanish. Normally I can get by in conversation, explain who we are and why we’re there, and ask if we can send Spanish missionaries to them…but this time I was able to share more. I explained that the message we share about Jesus Christ is important and that he and his family needed to hear it from Spanish missionaries. He agreed that we could send them, and gave us a time for them to come visit him. I know that at that moment, the Spirit gave to me the words that I said. Sometimes I surprise myself with the things that I am able to say in a language I don’t practice very often. I know that Antonio is prepared and I am excited for the Spanish missionaries to go visit him and teach his family.

Also, random, but every time I meet a Spanish speaker they always boost my self esteem and tell me I speak very good Spanish even though I know they are just being nice hahah. Antonio said my Spanish was “limpia” y “no tiene acento”. So there’s that. I wasn’t called Spanish speaking, but in Anaheim I am Spanglish-speaking. πŸ™‚

Friday night we had another miracle. Nothing had really happened yet that day, we weren’t finding any success. We were walking to try a potential investigator who we’ve already tried multiple times, so this was our last time. As we’re walking, we walk past this man. He was a little far away but I still made the effort to say hi and ask how he was. He was a little too far away to give a card to though. So we knock on the potential’s house, and no one answers. As we’re walking back, to my surprise, the man I said hi to before was still outside and this time he was sitting and was closer to the sidewalk. Sister Burgess walked up and gave him a card. We ended up sharing with him about the restoration and gave him a Book of Mormon. He seemed excited about it, and set up a return appointment with us. When we were going to pray with him at the end, he told us that he had recently had a death in his family. I really believe that that was something preparing him to hear about the gospel. And I know that Heavenly Father sends us to specific places to meet people we often aren’t expecting to. I know that we went to go try that potential so that we could meet Rafael. And as we drove away, he was already reading from the Book of Mormon. πŸ™‚

Well, today is the beginning of a new transfer! Sister Burgess will be leaving me for her last six weeks, and I am getting a new companion, Sister Benn. Transfers are always so hard because change is hard, but I know that it is necessary so that we can grow and progress. I’m excited to see what this transfer will bring. Areas change, companions change, but one thing always stays the same…our purpose. To invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel. I am grateful for the gospel and I know with all my heart that it is true.

Until next week!

Love,

Sister Martinez ❀️
Accidental matching at service!

Zone pic ✌🏼️

My district this last transfer!

Surprise! Look who came to the mish this week. Don’t worry, I didn’t seem them, but President and Sister Taggart did. 😊

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week thirty-seven: back in business

Hi hi! How was everyone’s week? I hope wonderful. Just melting a little bit in the heat here but all is well πŸ™‚ This was one of those weeks where we did a TON of service and then had little bits of regular missionary work here and there. It was good though.

Wednesday we helped someone pack up and move, and then later went to help a less active member with some yard work. It was so hot outside but at both of those service opportunities, the people were so grateful for the help.

Thursday and Friday we went and helped a less active member of our ward pack up to move. She is a hoarder, and we’ve helped her clean out her house before. But now she has decided she is going to move with two weeks notice. So she enlisted us to help her pack up her whole house and then pack up the trailer once it comes. Honestly, it’s really hard to help her and to do that service, it’s hard to breathe in her house and everyone knows how terrified I am of bugs. But I know that she is so grateful for it and that she really needs the help, so that makes it easier.

In between all the service we had some cool experiences. While walking to visit a less active, we were stopped by these two guys working on a car. At first we thought they were kind of creepy and were hitting on us, but they were asking us what we had to share, and they wanted to read the Book of Mormon. We’re not really sure what will come out of it, but it’s always heartwarming to be able to give someone the Book of Mormon, and know that they have the desire to actually read it.

Saturday was a busy day, it was so great though. We were finally able to meet with some recent converts who we haven’t seen in awhile. They invited us over for lunch and we shared one of my absolute favorite videos “A Shower of Heavenly Blessings” with them. They are going through a hard time right now, and the video hit the husband so hard that he cried. I know that we were supposed to share that video with them that day and I’m so grateful for the guidance we receive from the Spirit daily.

Saturday afternoon, Anthony was baptized!! It was such a beautiful baptism. He was so giddy the whole time. And after he was baptized, he bore his testimony. It was such a sweet testimony. You can really tell that he loves the gospel and is so grateful to have found it. One thing that he said was, “I am so jittery and excited to actually be a member of the church.” 😭 I’m so happy for him. He was confirmed yesterday and it was also so awesome. He’s just great. And his friend, Moises, is being baptized this coming Saturday! Yayay.

Some other baptism updates: first the sad news, we haven’t been able to contact Ginny in over a week. They don’t respond to our texts or calls like they used to and we’ve knocked on the door a couple times and no answer….so we’re trying to figure out what’s going on there. Second, Angela is still super excited for her baptism. But we moved her date to August 13th because that works better for everyone and it gives us time to finish teaching her the lessons. We are so excited!! She is seriously so golden. And yesterday in relief society we had a lesson about temples and she told us she’s so excited to be sealed one day. ❀️ makes my heart sing!

Last night we also had dinner with Angela and her family. It was so awesome to be able to get to know her kids and spend time with them. I’m not sure if they’re ready to be taught yet, but I know that the more contact they have with us, it will help them warm up to the idea.

I am filled with so much gratitude after this week. Yesterday in sacrament meeting I spoke about service, and it just made me realize that although I’m serving a mission, and I’ve been called to serve the people here…they are serving me more than I am serving them. The amount of love that I feel from the members and the investigators is incredible. And most of the time when we are fed, it is by those who have next to no money who I wish I could help so much more than I can, and here they are giving me food. I’m just so grateful for the amount of service and love I have received. Sometimes I feel like my mission has done just as much for me and my family, as it has for the people I have taught and served.

So grateful to be here and to be serving.

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

Love,

Sister Martinez
Classic Joe’s pic 🍧

week thirty-six: welcome to anaheim

Hello hello everyone! Just a warning, this may be one of the shortest weekly emails I ever send…mostly because it feels like P day just happened. It’s so weird having our P days change because everything just feels so off…all good things though.

I don’t have a lot to specifically write about this week so we’ll see where this goes.

Friday we had a lesson with Caroline. It’s hard because she wants to be baptized, but she also feels like she needs to have permission from her parents (in person) to get baptized, even though she has kids of her own. She was supposed to be going on a trip to visit them next week but no tickets have been bought yet. They are struggling financially right now and so they aren’t sure if they are still going on the trip. This makes things difficult regarding her baptism, because if she can’t go see them, then she can’t ask them for permission, and therefore probably won’t be baptized any time soon. She’s so ready for baptism it’s not even funny. Obviously Heavenly Father is trying to teach us some patience right now. Love her so much though.

Actually, I think most of this week we were being taught about patience. We weren’t able to meet with either of our people on date for baptism this week, Ginny nor Angela, which means their dates will probably have to be pushed back. Which is okay. It’s just so hard when you know people are ready, they just aren’t fully committed yet. Angela is super ready for baptism. I don’t know why she doesn’t meet with us consistently and I might not ever understand, but I’m sure there’s something we need to learn from this. Ginny is not quite ready. Ginny is so awesome and super prepared, it’s just her parents holding her back right now. They are okay with her being baptized, but they want to make sure she makes the right decision, which makes sense. Just hoping that they will both eventually be able to be baptized and make covenants with our Heavenly Father.

Some exciting news– Anthony and Moises are getting baptized this weekend πŸ™‚ a little background: about a month ago, Anthony randomly showed up at church and was interested. He loved it. Then at the open house our ward had, he brought his friend, Moises, with him. They ended up living on the elder’s side, so the elders have been teaching both of them. And this weekend they will be getting baptized! We’re so excited and happy for them.

Something we’ve been talking about a lot in our district meetings is miracles. I’ve realized that everyday there is a miracle. It doesn’t matter how much we got done, or did, there is always a miracle. It’s so incredible. On Friday, we were walking to go see a recent convert, when this guy, named Mitch, randomly asked if we were Mormons. He continued to ask us some more questions, like if we drink soda, etc. He was super nice, and we got his number, and he told us to call him about church. It felt like nothing was really going on these past couple of days, so meeting Mitch really was a miracle.

I’m grateful for the gospel. I’m grateful for my mission. Missions are really hard. Everyday is a struggle. But everyday is also a blessing. I know that the hard things come so that we can grow and progress, and come closer to our Heavenly Father. I know that through Christ, every hard thing can become a blessing in some way.

I hope you all have an amazing week!

All my love,

Sister Martinez πŸ’˜
There are so many hidden gems in anaheim. I love it.

Birthday fun for Sister Gregory!

Polly the trolley πŸ™‚

week thirty-five: I like being mormon

Greetings everyone! How is life? Mine’s pretty good. Missions are hard but everyday I am reminded of how important and special this work that I am doing is. It’s been a super long week! Our P-Day is today because the 4th of July was a normal proselyting day and today our zone went to the temple. Unfortunately we didn’t make it to our session today, but luckily there will be many more temple trips in the future! Here’s what happened this week!

Tuesday was so awesome. We were finally able to have our first real lesson with Angela. After coming to church for two months, we finally got to teach her!! It felt kind of funny teaching her the restoration because I feel like she already knows so much about it, but I love seeing people’s eyes light up when they learn about the gospel. And hers definitely did. We invited her to be baptized and she’s now on date for July 23rd! Suuuuper exciting. We’ve been waiting for this for so long. We will most likely have to push it back just because she’s so busy, but either way, she’s finally beginning to progress πŸ™‚ I’m so excited for Angela to take this step and to make covenants with our Heavenly Father.

Wednesday we had a lesson with the funniest woman, Sister Rivers. We meet with her weekly. It’s harder for her to come to church because she has a lot of health problems, but she loves meeting with us. Seriously after every lesson with her I write down different quotes that she said because she’s so hilarious. One from this week: “when you get hungry, love goes out the window.” hahahah love her.

Friday was super productive. We were able to have a lesson with Ginny and also with Caroline. We finished teaching Ginny the Plan of Salvation. It went really well. She loves everything that she’s learning. She’s also doing really well with her Book of Mormon reading which is super awesome. It is so great to have investigators who are actually progressing and keeping their commitments. It’s been awhile since we’ve had that here! For our lesson with Caroline, we had this whole thing planned out. Basically we were going to get her on date for baptism and everything. But when we got there, it just didn’t feel right. If we had brought up baptism that day, it might not have gone so well. I’m so grateful for the promptings of the Spirit which lead us and guide us. Our Heavenly Father truly knows what’s best for our investigators and I’m grateful for the revelation that He gives us so we can know as well.

Saturday was the big day! It was the 50th Anniversary of the California Anaheim Mission. We had a big celebration that we’ve been practicing and planning for for what seems like forever. And it finally happened! It was awesome. There were multiple musical numbers, one of which was Sister Burns, two other elders, and I singing a song that was written by Sister Hathcock specifically for this, and composed by Elder Beddes (my district leader). It was so fun to sing. There was also a mission choir, cultural dances (done by the different language programs), and talks given by past mission presidents. It was so great and so fun. It’s crazy to think that 50 years ago this mission was the “California South Mission”. And now our mission is so tiny and covers not even half of Orange County. The gospel truly is being spread to every nation, kindred, and tongue and I am so grateful.

Like I mentioned earlier, the fourth of July was a normal proselyting day for us, with the exception of a parade that we were a part of and that we had to be in our apartments by 7pm. 100 of us missionaries had the opportunity to carry the flag in a Fourth of July parade in Anaheim Hills. It was so fun. We looked like an army….not like the military but an “army of Christian soldiers”. Hahah it was awesome. I’m so grateful for America and the freedom that we have to worship as we please.

I hope everyone has an amazing week. Never forget your worth in the sight of God. The potential that we have is infinite, we can’t even comprehend it. So keep going, do the best that you can. He is always cheering us on from above. I know that it’s only through Christ that we can reach our potential. So follow him. Reach your potential. Keep doing your best! That’s my little spiel for the week.

Sending love from Anaheim,

Sister Martinez 🍊
Sister Rivers ❀️

We’re addicted to Joe’s.

Minion balloons for Sister Burns’ birthday #22 πŸŽ‰

Always just so many pics with Sister Burns #forevercompanions

Yay america!!

I’ve never seen so many fireworks in my life. #welcometoanaheim πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ