week forty-three: spiritual 911, what’s your emergency?

Hi hi! Wow it was such an amazing week. The work here is just moving forward so well. I’m so grateful for all of the miracles we witness daily. The majority of this week was spent preparing for Angela’s baptism, so I apologize if I talk about that a lot πŸ™‚ just so happy for her and love her tons.

Tuesday we taught Angela her last lesson before baptism. She is just so prepared. It’s so incredible that Heavenly Father begins to prepare these people and then prepares a way for us to find them. He just does everything so perfectly.

Thursday was her baptismal interview. It was awesome. Afterwards, President Taggart (he interviewed her), told us that she is wonderful and well-prepared. Honestly that helped so much. It was a confirmation to me that we really have worked hard with helping prepare Angela and sometimes you just need those little boosts to help you realize all that you are doing. Although, frankly, Angela was already very prepared, we just helped a little along the way. πŸ™‚

Friday we were able to have a pass off lesson with some elders who also meet in our building but a different ward. They have this woman, Lauren, who has been coming to their ward the past few weeks because she is dating a member of their ward. But she actually lives in our boundaries, so she is going to start coming to our ward. So we reviewed the restoration with her and the elders. She is SO awesome. She is a single mom of 4 kids and is going through a lot right now but she is seriously just so great. She loves the church and says she is ready to be baptized. And both she and her 9 year old daughter, Simaiya, want to be baptized. I swear, these people just pop up out of nowhere sometimes and it is so incredible. Truly blessings from heaven.

Saturday was the big day–Angela’s baptism! Oh my goodness it was so amazing. Her service was beautiful. And seeing her be baptized and knowing how ready she was, was just such a good feeling. All of her kids came, as well as the only member in her family, her cousin. Even her coworker who she invited came. It was so awesome. She is already an amazing member missionary. Take notes. Hahah

Sunday came and it was Angela’s confirmation. She just looked so light and happy afterwards. I’m so happy for her. Also…so we thought that our new investigator Lauren wouldn’t be coming to church because she was supposed to have a root canal the day before. But she ended up coming anyways and brought her kids. Yay!! Afterwards she told us that she loved this ward, too, and that the people are just as kind as in the other one. I am so excited to help her continue to progress toward baptism!!

So yet another miracle. After church, we got this text from Angela saying that her son, Austin would like to be baptized into the church. WHAT. We freaked out. He goes to primary every week and loves it, but we weren’t sure about baptism yet. She had him baptized in another church a year ago and so he didn’t really understand the difference. But now he does. And he wants us to start teaching him. So exciting!!

Sunday night, I kind of had this realization. On my mission I’ve struggled a lot with being able to see the good that I am doing…but after this week I really do believe that I am doing all the Lord has required of me. I know I am doing His will and accomplishing the things that I need to. I am so grateful I was able to receive that confirmation. I know that this is the most incredible thing I will ever do and I’m so happy to be here.

I hope you all have an amazing week!

Love,

Sister Martinez πŸ’•
Angela!!

Us with Angela, her kids, and her cousin.

A member had this in their backyard. I died

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week forty-two: hmmm exquisite

Well hello everyone! Hope you’re all well. It was an amazing week. Gosh I have so much to talk about I have no idea how I’m going to put it all into one email but I’ll do my best.

Two words I would use to describe this week are miracles and meetings.

This week we were able to teach Angela all of the commandments. It was awesome. She is willing to follow all of them, even though she knows it won’t be easy. All was well with her throughout the week.

Thursday we had zone conference. I love meetings so much. Before my mission, I looked at things like that as boring and kind of a waste of time..but now it’s so exciting and I’m always so happy to learn all these new things. This zone conference was centered on the Book of Mormon. It was so great, I LOVE THE BOM. Seriously. If you haven’t read it, read it!!! It’s a book that was literally written for our day. The things in it will lead you and guide you, because they were written for you! We are the choice generation. We are here right now, because Heavenly Father knew that we would be able to carry out His work. So get to it!

Nothing was really going on this week…and I was beginning to think we weren’t going to be able to teach anyone other than Angela and Caroline. Then we went to go try a referral, no luck. We were knocking on all the houses down the street the referral lived on and had no luck, then we got to the last house. A man named Henry opened the door. He wasn’t super interested at first, but as soon as we started talking about the Book of Mormon he opened up more, and set a return appointment with us. Yay! Just when you think nothing will happen, God works miracles.

Sunday we had the incredible opportunity of hearing Elder Oaks speak. He was in town for a stake conference and also wanted to talk to us missionaries while he was here. It was so incredible. When he first started speaking he was telling us about how he had absolutely no time to prepare for this, so he didn’t have any background info and he didn’t have any specific topics he wanted to speak about, so his talk was done totally by the Spirit. Everything he spoke about, was exactly what I needed to hear. And I’m sure what others in the mission needed to hear as well. It was just yet another confirmation to me that Heavenly Father is so mindful of His children. Elder Oaks doesn’t know anything about any of our specific situations, but with the Spirit he was able to give us the direction and guidance we needed at this time. It’s so cool how that works.

So everything was all hunky dory….then we get in the car after the meeting with Elder Oaks and we have a text from Angela saying that she needs to postpone her baptism and that she doesn’t have a date yet. Our hearts sunk. The whole car ride home we sat in silence having no idea of what to do. Eventually we found out that he reason is because her boyfriend (who is a member, he was planning on baptizing her) would no longer be able to baptize her, and that he would have to wait at least a month to be able to. Angela was so upset. She was so set on having him baptize her, so it was almost like she didn’t want to get baptized unless he did it. We called other missionaries for advice, and we were told we should pray about it to see if she really was supposed to be baptized on the 27th. We prayed about it, and afterwards just sat in silence. Then both Sister Benn and I pulled up the scriptures on our iPads. I went to 2 Nephi, she went to 3 Nephi. Wasn’t really ringing a bell for me. Then we both grabbed our hard copy scriptures….and without even talking about it we opened up to the same chapter. Alma 5. Clear answer to prayer or what? In that chapter it talks a lot about the sense of urgency there is with being baptized (it’s so good, read it). From that moment, we knew Angela was supposed to be baptized on the 27th. After this experience, we asked Angela if she would like a priesthood blessing, to give her peace and comfort. She said she did and to come over as soon as we could. So we brought the bishop over and he gave her a blessing. It was so amazing. She really felt the spirit. After the bishop left, we stayed with Angela and told her about the experience we had. We talked with her for awhile about how it’s not really about who baptizes you, but just the fact that you’re getting baptized by someone with priesthood authority. When we were done talking she said she would pray about it and get back to us. Better than nothing…but then, right before we were leaving, she told us to go ahead with the baptism and that she would have Brother Davis, our ward mission leader baptize her instead. Ahhh!!! What an emotional rollercoaster. But she is getting baptized this Saturday, and all is well in the world again. Such a miracle.

After this week, there is no doubt in my mind that Heavenly Father has a front row seat in this work. Actually, even closer than that. He’s like the head of the behind the scenes crew. He knows exactly what’s going on and He’s there to help us. This work is miraculous. And I’m so grateful to be doing it. I know this gospel is true, and I love it so much.

I hope you all have an amazing week!

All my love,

Sister Martinez πŸ’•
Blood drive this week!

Angela’s son, Austin, brought us milk and cookies during our lesson. So precious.

When you accidentally run into your boyfriend on your mission…

week forty-one: very sucks

Hi hi!! I hope everyone had a good week! I definitely did. Being a missionary is pretty much just the best thing ever. We saw so many miracles this week. Here are some highlights from this week!

Monday night we had another lesson with Angela. Things are finally moving along with her. We taught her the gospel of Jesus Christ. I LOVE that lesson. I love inviting people to repent. To repent means to change, for the better. And I love knowing that we are helping people change their lives. It’s only through the gospel of Jesus Christ that we can improve and change for the better. I would invite you all to find a way to come closer to Him this week.

Tuesday nothing was really happening…when all of a sudden we get a text from Ginny’s mom!! We hadn’t heard from them in over a month and we thought they were dropping us…but she texted us and said that they had been super busy and that they were now available to meet with us and come to church. Ahh!! Such a tender mercy! We ended up setting up an appointment with her and it went really well.

Wednesday we went and did service for a less active member. We’ve been helping her out every week for over a month now, and there has been so much improvement in her yard and garage. Yay! Also this day when we went over, her niece was there who is not a member but is super interested. We were able to share a message and we’re hoping that she will contact the missionaries where she lives.

Thursday afternoon we tried contacting at a farmer’s market again. This time we had better luck. A girl who runs one of the booths at the other farmer’s market, who we talked to last time, was there again! This time we had a 20 minute conversation with her about our purpose as missionaries and about the restoration. She was sooo nice. I don’t know if anything will come from it, but I’m grateful we were able to help her be more comfortable with missionaries, so one day if she meets more she will want to talk to them. It’s little things that prepare people all the time. It’s so awesome.

Friday we had our lesson with Ginny! Yay!! It went really well. We taught her the gospel of Jesus Christ. She is still super interested and loves everything we teach her. Hopefully we can get her on date for baptism again!

So funny story…Friday afternoon we were extremely exhausted from the heat. We pulled up next to the church to use the bathroom and ended up falling asleep in our car by accident. We woke up super confused and went on with our day. Then…Sunday after church we’re at the water fountain when a man from another ward says, “Hey are you sisters?” We said yes…then he proceeds to tell us that he saw us sleeping in our car the other day at the church. HAHAHA HOW EMBARRASSING. He said he wanted to wake us up but that we looked so peaceful…I can’t. He was really nice about it though. Hahaha life…

Saturday we went on exchanges with our Sister Training Leaders, Sister Webb and Sister Crowther. Sister Benn went with Sister Webb to their area in Fullerton, and Sister Crowther came here with me! It was such an awesome exchange. Also Sister Crowther spent 6 months in this area, so it was nice to get some of her insights about it.

So we started off the day with a finding activity with our district. We had a free car wash at the church! We held signs out on the street and tried to get people to come..then we would wash their car for free, and while they waited, they would take a tour of the church! We were mostly just experimenting, and weren’t sure how it would turn out, but we ended up washing almost 20 cars! We also gave multiple church tours, got some contact info, and gave out a few Books of Mormon. So awesome!! We’ll definitely be doing it again sometime.

Sunday evening we had dinner Angela. Always such a good time at her house. She and her kids are hilarious and just so awesome. After dinner, we planned her baptism and scheduled our next few lessons. Her baptism is actually happening and ahh we’re so excited!! I can’t believe it’s finally almost here.

I love the gospel. I’m so grateful for it and for the opportunity that I have to change and become better. The gospel is change…we are all given the opportunity to do so through the atonement of Jesus Christ. It is a gift for ALL of us, we just have to choose whether or not we will accept it. I hope you all will accept the gift, and use the atonement in your daily lives.

I hope you all have an amazing week!

All my love,

Sister Martinez
The OC

Joe’s obsession

Car wash!!

Sister Kieffer!!

Exchanges with Sister Crowther! ❀️

week forty: 9 months and no baby

Hello everyone!! How’s it going? Things are good here. Being a missionary rocks. I feel like I add too much fluff at the top so let’s get to the real stuff.

Tuesday we taught Angela again. It always goes so well. We moved her baptism date again, but this time it’s set in stone for August 27th. The only reason is so that we can finish teaching her the lessons in time. We are soo excited. She’s so ready!! Even though it feels like it’s taken awhile to get to this point, I know that she is becoming truly converted to the gospel because of it and it’s so awesome.

Wednesday night we went by to see a recent convert/part member family. We used to go over every week and read the Book of Mormon with them. But in the past couple of months we’ve been giving them a break. We finally went back a couple weeks ago, and the wife who is a member avoided us, but her husband who is not a member was all ears and let us teach him. It was so weird. Anyway so when we went by Wednesday night, she ignored us again. The husband told us to sit outside with him and said she was hiding from us. He was joking…but also kind of serious. So when it comes time to read, he has to go inside to get his Book of Mormon, he can’t find it so she brings it out to him. She says hi, so we invite her to read with us. She then proceeds to apologize to us and tell us that she is attending another church now. What the heck? Everything just switched. He wasn’t interested before, but she was. Now she’s not, and he is. It’s so weird and I don’t know what’s happening. But hopefully things will work out there eventually….

Funny story. There were so many this week! Friday night we decided to go to a farmer’s market in our area to go finding. There’s a trolley that takes you from the farmer’s market to our apartment, so we rode it home. We really wanted to give out a Book of Mormon…so we decided we were going to leave it on our seat on the trolley. We get off the trolley and start to quickly walk away when we hear multiple people yell from the trolley, “excuse me, you forgot your book”. Hahaha so embarrassing. We took the book back 😦 sad day. We tried.

Well I don’t have a ton to talk about this week so I’ll share a couple more funny stories…

So funny thing. Sometimes I’m awkward (all the time actually) and when I introduce myself to people I say that I’m from the “Arlington 1st Ward” instead of the “Anaheim 1st Ward” hahah it’s a struggle. You can take the girl out of A-town but you can’t take A-town out of the girl.

Last night when we were driving home a man biked past us while simultaneously holding a long fishing pole. It was the “reel” deal. Hahaha. I think I’m funnier than other people do but that’s ok

Welll…Thursday was my 9 month mark. Aka I’m halfway. It’s the weirdest feeling. I feel like I’ve been gone for a week but at the same time it feels like it’s been forever. So many mixed feelings. Part of me is so excited for the next 9 months, to learn and grow and accomplish so much more. But another part of me is so sad that I only have 9 months left 😦 sometimes I never want my mission to end, but it’s going to. So I’ve gotta make these last 9 months amazing. And I know they will be. What better thing to be doing than serving the Lord?

I’m so grateful for this gospel and for the knowledge and testimony I have of it that grows daily.

I hope you all have an amazing week!

Love,

Sister Martinez πŸ’•

Popsicles for 9 months!

Angela! I love her πŸ™‚

We went “golfing” for P-day. ⛳️

Sometimes you just need to share the gospel with a goose

week thirty-nine: testimony on fleek

Hey hey!! How’s everyone doing? It’s been a busy week here in Anaheim…but being busy is the best. I feel like I have so much to talk about so I’ll just get right to it.

First, like I mentioned last week, I have a new companion! Her name is Sister Benn, she’s from La Verkin, Utah (close to St. George), she went to Snow College before her mission, and she’s been out for 6 months. She’s a great missionary, it will be an awesome transfer!

Tuesday was an awesome day. We were walking into an apartment complex to try a potential, and as we were walking in, this guy, Carlos, saw our name tags and said “Jesus Christ?!” he seemed really excited. We quickly told him that we teach people more about Christ and gave him our card, since he seemed like he was in a rush. Well, we went to go try the potential and no one was home. So we crossed the street to another complex to try someone else. No answer. As we’re walking down the sidewalk, Carlos sees us and runs across the street to talk to us (usually people cross the street to get away from us….). He handed us a flyer for his church. We ended up talking more with him about the Book of Mormon and the restoration. He seemed so excited to be learning all these new things, and wants to learn more. We prayed with him right there on the sidewalk. Something I love about being a missionary is that we often pray on the sidewalk, at a doorstep, and with people we’ve never met, but no matter where we are, the Spirit is always so strong.

Wednesday we went to do service at Mary’s kitchen, where we serve lunch to those in need. I love coming here. The people we serve food to are always so grateful. And so many of them are so kind and so happy, despite the challenges they may be going through in life. They’re an example to me, of staying strong and smiling even when things are hard.

Thursday we had an awesome experience. The day before we had received a referral from some sisters in the Long Beach mission, for a guy named Phillip. They met his friend and asked if he knew anyone who had had a recent death in their family, he told them about Phillip. So we went to go visit him, and as we’re walking up to the house he’s outside playing his guitar. We started to talking to him about our purpose as missionaries, Jesus Christ, and the Book of Mormon. He seemed so excited about everything we were saying. He kept saying “righteous” to everything hahah I loved it. He wanted us to give him the Book of Mormon as well as other pamphlets, asked for the address of the church, and invited us to come back. It was so awesome. He told us that it has been a really hard year, he had lost some family members and was going through a lot of things. I know the Lord has been preparing him to hear about the gospel. πŸ™‚

Saturday was crazy. We were literally running to and from
appointments. It was all good though. We met with a bunch of recent converts and less actives, and then we had dinner with Caroline. Caroline is our investigator who’s married to a less active member and wants to be baptized, but she wants to wait until she can ask for her parent’s blessing. Well, she was supposed to be going to visit them last week and was going to ask them then, but her trip ended up not happening. So at dinner we kind of wanted to see where she was with her baptism. She told us that she still wants to be baptized, but since she won’t be seeing her parents until Christmas, it will probably happen then. It’s kind of hard because she’s so ready to be baptized right now, but we just have to trust in the Lord’s timing.

Trusting in the Lord’s timing has been something I’ve been working on a lot recently. It’s so easy to be selfish and to just want things to happen right now!! But that’s not how it works. Heavenly Father is in control…it’s all up to Him. And it’s up to us to decide if we are going to accept the plan He has for us. I know that we each have our own plan, and that Heavenly Father knows each of us individually. He loves us so much. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I am His daughter and he loves me and cares about me. I hope that you can all remember that, too.

Hope you all have a great week!

All my love,

Sister Martinez ❀️

People I love! ❀️

We did a scavenger hunt at downtown Disney today with a bunch of sisters!

Sister Benn and I!