Hola everyone!! It was an amazing week. It’s so clear to me that this is Heavenly Father’s work and that He leads us and guides us through everything that we do.
This week we started the new member lessons with Angela, while simultaneously teaching her 8 year old son Austin the lessons so that he understands some things about the gospel before he gets baptized. He’s getting baptized October 8th and I’m SO excited. In a priesthood blessing that Angela received a week before she got baptized, it said something about how, as the head of her household and her family, she will act as a leader in the gospel for them. Clearly, this is already happening since her son is getting baptized. And hopefully one day her other kids will be interested too 🙂
Wednesday we had our last official lesson with Rebecca before her baptism. We literally reviewed EVERYTHING and went over the baptismal interview questions. It has been so incredible to see her progress and see how far she has come since we first started teaching her. At the beginning she really couldn’t remember anything that we taught, but as the Spirit guided us and gave us more ideas of how to better teach her, she now recollects things much easier. I am so grateful I’ve been able to witness her make this change.
Friday we were able to meet with Lauren and Simaiya again! The last time we met, it was at the park and things were a little crazy with her kids running around everywhere. So this time we met at the park again, but we brought chalk with us to keep her kids busy while we also were drawing out the plan of salvation on the sidewalk as we taught! It was so awesome. They are still on track to getting baptized next month. Lauren has really been seeing the blessings she’s received as she’s learned about the restored gospel. This week she was finally approved for a 3 bedroom brand new apartment to live in. Up until this point she has been living in a homeless shelter with her 4 children, but ever since she has started coming to church things have really looked up for her. I know that Heavenly Father is watching out for her and that this gospel really does bless families. The second principle we teach right after God is our loving Heavenly Father, is that the gospel blesses the lives of families and individuals. I think it’s one of the first things we teach, because it’s so true. Everyone that we teach receives so many blessings from living the gospel.
Saturday was the big day, Rebecca’s baptism!! Seriously, Satan tries to get in the way of every baptism. This week, Rebecca called us telling us that she had been kicked out of the house she was living in and that she now had nowhere to go. But, she had decided that this wouldn’t stop her from being baptized. After she told us that, her landlord gave her 30 more days to find a place to live. An immediate blessing from choosing to still be baptized. So it happened, Rebecca was baptized and confirmed a member of the church! She is so happy. And I am so happy. Being able to be a part of someone changing their life is very humbling. This was a huge change for Rebecca. She has been Jewish her whole life, and her family is very devout. They weren’t very happy with her being baptized, but she knew that Heavenly Father was happy with her decision and that is most important. Hopefully one day her family will come around and be okay with it.
That evening was the first session of General Conference, the Women’s Session! It was so incredible. One of my favorite quotes was from Sister Stephens’ talk. At the end she said, "He would do anything to take this from you, in fact, He already has." That really hit me. He has already given everything for us, He has felt everything we have felt. Sometimes I need a reminder of that.
After the conference, we had a really cool experience. We went to go find a referral, but she wasn’t available, so we figured we would knock down her street. We knocked on the house directly next door, and the door was open. We knocked and the man sitting on the couch inside said "not today". So we walked away, and a second later a man came outside saying, "I think they’re here for me!" His name is Anthony, he came out and talked with us for awhile. He told us he is searching for the truth, and that all of the churches he had ever been to didn’t make sense and taught conflicting things. We later found out he is the brother and son of two of our less active members who we used to meet with weekly but now attend another church. How crazy?! We set a return appointment and left him with a reading assignment in the Book of Mormon. He really wants to know if it’s true. I can’t help but wonder, is this the way to get to his sister? Is this why we got the referral for his next door neighbor? I’m not sure of the exact reason, but I do know that Heavenly Father has a plan for each of His children and this is a part of Anthony’s plan and possibly his sister’s.
Sorry I talked a lot but it really was a wonderful week. I know this work is special. I know the gospel is true. I know that because I have read the Book of Mormon, and prayed about it, and I have received a witness from the Holy Ghost that it is true. And I’m so excited for General Conference this weekend, when we will have the honor and privilege of hearing from the living prophet of God, President Thomas S. Monson, his apostles, and other church leaders. I would encourage you all to watch, listen, or read. Think of a question that you’ve had for awhile, and watch General Conference. I can promise you, that in some way that question will be answered. Heavenly Father is so mindful of us and through the Spirit, He will lead the speakers of this General Conference to tell us the exact things we need to hear right now.
I hope you all have a wonderful week! Thank you for the constant support and love.
Sister Martinez ❤️
Us with Rebecca, Pres. Christensen who baptized her, and Sister Schuster, the first person to introduce her to the gospel 🙂
All of the Anaheim sisters after the women’s session 🌻🌸