week fifty-six: earth day

HELLO PEOPLE! This week has been crazy and wonderful and I have so much to talk about. So I’m still not feeling 100% but I feel much better….unfortunately they’re not really sure about what is wrong with me but things seem like they will get better eventually πŸ™‚

Well I have an announcement….*drumroll* transfers happened and I will be training a new missionary!! Ah! I am soooo excited. And nervous. But mostly excited. I don’t know who she is but I am picking her up tomorrow. I’m so grateful for this opportunity that I’ve been given. It’s a big responsibility but Heavenly Father has entrusted me with this, and if He believes I can do it then I must be able to.

Not a ton happened this week, a lot of our time was spent getting ready for "earth day". So back story: at the beginning of the transfer we wanted to come up with another name for Sister Paulson’s departure date other than "going home" and "departure", things like that. So she said, "how about we just call it my birthday?" But I thought she said earth day…so I was like, "oh, earth day! That’s perfect." And the rest was history. So all transfer we’ve been preparing for earth day, and this week was all of the final preparations. She had packing, her "earth day dinner", "earth day interview", "earth day temple trip", etc. it was crazy busy. But it was so good. I will miss Sister Paulson lots but she has so many amazing things ahead of her.

Thursday was Thanksgiving! It was a really good day. We had lunch with some members from Sister Paulson’s last ward in Brea, then had another late lunch with other members of our ward. I was soo stuffed. But I have absolutely loved this season of gratitude. We have met so many humble people who just live their lives in gratitude and it’s amazing. The quote we’ve been sharing as our dinner messages for the last month or so is one of my favorites:

"We can choose to be grateful, no matter what. This type of gratitude transcends whatever is happening around us. It surpasses disappointment, discouragement, and despair. It blooms just as beautifully in the icy landscape of winter as it does in the pleasant warmth of summer. When we are grateful to God in our circumstances, we can experience gentle peace in the midst of tribulation. In grief, we can still lift up our hearts in praise. In pain, we can glory in Christ’s Atonement. In the cold of bitter sorrow, we can experience the closeness and warmth of heaven’s embrace." -President Uchtdorf

Thursday night was when we had leadership calls and I found out I was training. Saturday was transfer calls and we found out I would be taking over the whole ward, this transfer we’ve been splitting the ward with a set of elders, but they were taken out and now it will just be my new companion and I. I am sooo excited.

Before I forget, the #LightTheWorld Christmas video came out on Friday. Everyone stop what you’re doing and go to www.mormon.org and watch the video. SO GOOD. The 25 days leading up to Christmas will be a 25 day advent calendar of service, and each day we can become more like Jesus Christ in some way. I would invite you all to participate, and see how much closer you are to Christ this Christmas πŸ™‚

It has been an amazing week. I’m so grateful for Jesus Christ. Without Him I would be nothing, and I would be nowhere. He walks side by side with me daily and it’s a blessing. I’m so excited for this Christmas season, to be able to focus on Him and share with people the wonderful message of His gospel.

I love you all. I hope your week is wonderful!

Love,

Sister Martinez πŸŽ„

My zone!

The district!

Candidz

Service at Mary’s Kitchen!

Before Sister Paulson’s departure dinner!

Awesome people

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week fifty-five: nobody nose

{this is from last week again, I have been sooo busy}

Hi friends! So not a whole lot happened this week. I’ve still been struggling with my health but Heavenly Father is giving me just enough strength to make it through. Hopefully things improve soon πŸ™‚

Tuesday we had a really intense lesson with a part member family. We had met them a couple weeks before and invited them to start taking the lessons. They have had some bad experiences with missionaries in the past, so it was super exciting that they accepted our invitation! Well, this lesson was the second one, the plan of salvation. It went really well, and then by the end, they basically told us they had no desire to know if anything that we teach is true. And the husband, who is a very less active member told us that he hasn’t been to church in 50 years and he doesn’t plan on ever going back. It’s so sad, because they don’t realize how much they’re missing out on. Even when people have a knowledge of the gospel, they still don’t realize how much joy they can receive from living it.

Wednesday was Zone Conference and it was wonderful. We got to see the church’s Christmas video for the first time and it is AMAZING. It’s called light the world, and the whole purpose is that this Christmas season we can become like Christ, who is the light of the world, and we can be the light of the world.

That evening, we had our first official lesson with the Flores family!!! YAY. We taught them the restoration, and their neighbors (the members who brought them to church) were there too. Hugo (the dad) didn’t join us, but Rosalba and their two kids, Victor and Javier joined us. They all loved it. At the end, we invited them to be baptized once they come to know that the Book of Mormon is true, and they all said they would be!!! Their younger son Javier even said he had tried praying on his own ever since we had first taught them how to pray! It was so amazing.

This week is the last week of transfers aka the last week of Sister Paulson’s mission. It’s going to be a crazy week with all of her ‘departure’ festivities and packing and all, but I’m so excited for her. It’s been a blessing to have her as my companion, and I’m grateful I had the privilege of being her last companion.

I know the gospel is true. It has never been more clear to me than it is right now. Jesus Christ truly does live. This is His church. He suffered for us so that we could change and become better. Nothing is more wonderful than knowing that!

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

All my love,

Sister Martinez πŸ’•

Always perfect sunsets.

Today we had lunch with one of my former companions, Sister Moore (who’s going home next week), and all of her companions who are still in the mission.

week fifty-four: sickly

Hiii people! Don’t have a ton to write about this week. I’ve been struggling a little bit with my health, but it’s getting better πŸ™‚ the Lord is watching over me. Although we didn’t do a whole lot of missionary work this week, as always, we saw miracles.

So by Thursday, not a ton had been happening yet that week. We taught a few less active members, which went well, but other than that nothing was really going on. Well Thursday night we felt prompted to go stop by the Flores’. So we did…and they welcomed us right in. Long story short, we invited them to take the lessons. Rosalba wants to so badly, as well as their kids, but the husband struggles a lot with his faith. We will find out in a couple of days if they want us to teach them…please keep them in your prayers!

Sunday evening we had an incredible experience. Last week we had lunch with a former named Esther who I talked about. Well we had our lesson with her and wow she is so much more prepared than we ever thought. She literally talks as if she’s already a member of the church. And she pretty much told us that the only reason she hasn’t been baptized is because she is nervous to find out if it’s true because she pretty much knows it’s true already. What the heck!! She said she’s willing to pray to know if the church is true so we’ll see…

I am totally out of time but I know the church is true. The windows of heaven have truly opened upon this area. Miracles are happening!! I am so grateful to be a missionary and to be serving the Lord and His children.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

All my love,

Sister Martinez

week fifty-three: one year older and wiser too

{I actually wrote this last week but didn’t have time to send it, sooo}

Hello hello everyone! It was an interesting week in Placentia. I wasn’t feeling too well so it feels like we didn’t do a whole lot, but there were still many miracles. Here are some highlights!

On Monday, like I explained last week, we were able to proselyte from 2-5pm. Those three hours were so incredible. Since we are both new to the area, we’ve been trying to meet as many members as we can. We met this member who ended up giving us 4 referrals, all their neighbors. It was so awesome. So we went to go contact them immediately, and 2 were interested and 2 weren’t. We contacted the first one, and we couldn’t teach her right then because she was busy, but we set a return appointment. Then we went to the next one a few houses down…and ended up talking with her for about 30 minutes. She is the most incredible woman, Ismet, who is from India but is visiting her daughter here. We are of different faiths, but the Spirit that we all felt while talking with each other was the same. It was so amazing. She was mesmerized when we told her about Christ coming to the Americas. We ended up leaving her with a Book of Mormon, and she said she would sincerely read it and pray about it. I love Ismet. I’m so grateful to be serving a mission, where I’ve met some of the kindest, just plain good people.

Tuesday we had lunch with a former investigator named Esther. She has been taught on and off for years. She was almost baptized awhile ago but she’s been going to her church for 30 years and they are like family to her, so she feels like she would be abandoning them if she joined the church. Anyway, at lunch she told us that she knows the Book of Mormon is the word of God and reads it often. We were like…whaaaa. Long story short, she is going to start taking the lessons again. Yay!!!

Thursday we met with another former investigator/part member family. They have had some bad experiences in the past with missionaries being insensitive towards them about the wife’s baptism in another Christian church. Anyway, we invited them to take the lessons and they said yes! Woooo. Then that same night, we invited another less active family to take the lessons and they also said yes. Yayay. Progress.

Friday was my one year mark in the mission. Suuuuch a weird feeling. Like I believe it because sometimes I feel like I’ve been here forever, but at the same time I still feel like I just got here. Super crazy. But I am so grateful to be here. Best thing I’ve ever done, hands down.

Sunday we had the biggest miracle. So remember the Flores family? They are the neighbors of these members in our ward who came to our ward Halloween party. Sooo basically, the members invited them to church and also told them about the lessons that we teach. Annnnd they came to church!!! Ahh it was so exciting and so overwhelming but they loved it. The husband, Hugo, is a little less open to it but the wife, Rosalba, and their kids Victor and Javier are super into it. Yayay!!

It was a hard week, mainly physically, but we still saw so many miracles. I know this is the Lord’s work. I’m so grateful to be doing it and to be finding those who are prepared to hear about the gospel. I know it is true!! And I know that Christ lives. I love him. And I love all of you, too. Thank you for the love and prayers ❀️

I hope you all have an amazing week!

Love,

Sister Martinez πŸ’•

The sweetest/funniest video my sister training leaders made for my year mark. The actually video is 5 minutes…but you get the idea hahah

week fifty-two: oh cinnamon tree, oh cinnamon tree

Hi everyone!! Okay, so remember how last week I said that we struggled? Well, this week was absolutely incredible. Heavenly Father has been SO good to us. Just when we thought there wouldn’t be anymore miracles, they just continued to come. I am so grateful for all that I was able to witness this week. I have a lot to talk about so bear with me…

Monday night is when it all started. There’s a huge apartment complex in our area called "Cinnamon Tree". We went to go try some potential investigators from our areabook. No luck…so we prayed and asked Heavenly Father to lead us to people who were prepared. We started walking and literally it felt like angels were leading us to the exact apartments we needed to knock on. We were about to leave, but had a feeling we needed to knock on this one door. So we did! And we met a girl named Ana. She kept saying she wasn’t super interested, but she still listened. And as she listened…her eyes sparkled. Something I’ve noticed on my mission is that when you teach people about the gospel, and they feel the Spirit, their eyes sparkle. I don’t think Ana is ready right now, but I know that we planted a seed with her.

After Ana we felt like there was someone else we needed to find. We walked to the building next to hers and knocked on all the doors. No one was interested, but then we got to the last one. A man, named Juan, answered. He came outside and talked with us. (fun little fact: people who come outside to talk to you, rather than just talking to you from the door are prepared. I just know it.) He was saying that he wasn’t super interested and he was pretty set in his faith…but we gave him a restoration pamphlet and he promised to read it and give us a call if he felt something while reading it. When we were about to leave we asked him if he knew anyone who might be interested in our message. He went through and told us about all his neighbors and who might be interested. He pointed back at the building we had just met Ana at and said, "the older woman who lives upstairs might talk with you." So we go to knock on the door and a man who only speaks Spanish answers. We talked with him for a bit, he said he already had a Book of Mormon in Spanish, that he had read it and believes it is true because it’s about God. He didn’t seem super interested in learning more though. Then as we were about to walk away, a woman named Esperanza came to the door and said with a thick accent, "Come inside. I need to talk with you." We were a little hesitant because that just never happens and we thought she might bash us…but we went in. She told us to sit down and brought us water. Then she said in broken English, "I heard you say that you are Mormons. I need you to pray for my family." I said a prayer. Afterwards she began to tell us in Spanish that her husband was a member of the church and she went to church with him…she knows a lot about the church but she never got baptized. We asked her why and she said, "I need you to come back with Spanish speaking missionaries." What!!! So we set an appointment for a couple days later and said goodbye. Miracle!!

So we leave Esperanza and Miguel’s apartment, and we come down the stairs to see Juan sitting on the stairs by his apartment. He was just sitting there…and when he saw us he asked us how it went. Literally waited for us to see how it went. We shared with him the miracle and how it was truly meant to be that we met him and he led us to Esperanza. He was so happy. From there we shared even more with him about the restoration and his eyes sparkled (I’m telling you it’s a thing!!). At the end we said a prayer, and afterwards he just sat there pondering. He said he felt something. And that we could come back πŸ™‚ miracle #2.

Wednesday came and it was time for the lesson with Esperanza and the Spanish elders!! We went and she happily answered the door. The elders taught an amazing restoration lesson in Spanish. The Spirit was SO strong. And we found out that the reason she had never gotten baptized, was because she had never prayed to know if the gospel was true. She said she now had the desire to pray about that. She said the closing prayer and it was so incredible. Something else that is so amazing to me is that the entire lesson was in Spanish and I understood every word. I know the Spirit helped me understand more than I normally would. That’s happened to me a lot on my mission and it’s been such a blessing!

Friday we went back to Cinnamon Tree….aka our new favorite place. We were trying to find some less active members and potentials but found no one. So we decided to do some more inspired tracting as we had earlier in the week. We were led to a building and knocked on a door. A man named Matthew, opened the door and came outside (hello prepared!!). We talked with him for almost 30 minutes. He at first told us he was very set in the Christian church that he currently attends…but he ended up asking us tons of questions about our personal testimonies. It was amazing. I know he felt the Spirit. By the end of it, he had gone from someone who seemed completely uninterested, to accepting a Book of Mormon and committing to read and pray about it. I think he sincerely wants to know if it’s true. Another miracle.

Later that night was our ward Halloween party. Oh my gosh it was amazing. Soo many people were there, and half of the people in attendance were non-member friends that members had invited. I love this ward so much!! So when we got there we decided to just sit at a random table with empty seats. And conveniently we sat with two non-member families who are the neighbors of a member we had already met. One of the families was the Flores family. The member they are the neighbors of told us about them the week before and told us to keep them in our prayers because they want to invite them to learn more about the gospel. So we had been praying for them all week, and then there we were sitting with them. We talked with them all night, and also talked about gospel topics. As we were speaking, the wife’s eyes were sparkling (once again, prepared). They told us they believe in God and Jesus Christ and that they don’t have a church to go to since they recently moved here. Ahh!! So anyway, it was good to establish a relationship with them. Then we had dinner with the members who invited them on Sunday and they told us that tonight they are planning on inviting the Flores family to take the lessons in their home!! Oh my gosh we are so excited. Praying it goes well. πŸ™‚

Honestly, we thought there had been so many miracles already this week…and then Sunday came. After church we went back to Cinnamon Tree. I think it should be renamed "gold mine" hahaha. So many people there who are prepared and willing to listen. So we got there and Sister Paulson had to go to the bathroom, we were about to head to the church but we had this feeling we should use the bathroom at the library across the street instead. While I was sitting outside, a man and his two kids walked past. I wanted to give them a card, but he walked away too quickly so I just said hi and told him his kids were cute. When we left the library, we started talking to this young boy named Ricardo. He seemed very receptive, accepted a Book of Mormon, and said we could come by next week to teach his family. So that was cool….well, we were walking to our car, and I saw that guy with his two kids again. It was clear to me that one of the main reasons we talked to Ricardo was so that we would fill enough time until this guy walked past. We raced over to give him a card…and ended up talking with him for probably 20 minutes. In a nutshell…his name is Erik, he’s a single dad of two little kids, and he’s been searching for the truth. He told us that he’s been going to different Christian churches his whole life, and he knows the messages are good, but he doesn’t think they are the "right" church. We taught him the restoration and he told us he doesn’t doubt the truthfulness of it. He accepted a Book of Mormon, and told us he really wants to read it and pray about it. We set a return appointment with him. Before we said goodbye, we bore our testimonies of how much God loves him. Erik started to cry. He told us it was meant to be that we had met him. Ahhh I just love being a missionary.

There were so many other miracles that happened this week and this email is already super long so I can’t share them all, but you get the idea.

Well, this Friday marks one year of being on my mission. I don’t even know how to feel. This has been one of the hardest but also the best year of my life, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. After this week (as well as since being on my mission), I know I have become more converted to the gospel. I know without a doubt that it is true. I think one of the reasons I was supposed to serve a mission is so that I could learn how to truly live the gospel. I LOVE it. I want to strive to be like Jesus Christ everyday of my life. I know that is the only way we can receive true joy and return to live with our Father in Heaven once again. The gospel makes me giddy. I love it so much. I would invite you all to share it with anyone you may come in contact with, there are people out there who have been waiting for it their whole lives without even truly knowing. And if you don’t know a lot about it, look into it. I promise it won’t do any harm. πŸ™‚

I hope you all have an incredible week!

Love,

Sister Martinez ❀️

We went on exchanges this week and forgot to take a picture so here is Sister Moon and I at district meeting!

Sister P πŸ’‹