week sixty: “I wish I could massage people into the gospel”

Hello all! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!!! Ours was so awesome. I don’t have a ton of time but I’ll share a couple of miracles we had.

Tuesday we were at an apartment complex looking for a less active. We had an unfortunate experience when we met her, but decided to keep knocking around her anyways. The first door we knocked on after we met her opened and we met a man named George. We showed him Light the World and were able to set a return appointment with him to teach him the restoration. He has a one year old, so we really stressed how much the gospel blesses families, and I really believe it softened his heart.

Wednesday we had our Christmas devotional, where a little over half the mission met together to celebrate the birth of our Savior. It was sooo amazing. It was mostly all musical numbers, and I had the opportunity to sing a couple of times. I’m so grateful for all of the wonderful opportunities I’ve had to sing on my mission. I know that when we worship through song, Heavenly Father hears it!!

Thursday we had our first sit down talk with our investigator Rogeline. She was previously being taught in Santa Ana, but she moved here and wanted to continue meeting with missionaries. We got to know her and learned that she actually grew up in the church but was never baptized, and she wants to come back and be baptized. She’s so great!!

Friday morning after studies we had a couple of appointments, but all of them fell through. We were trying to figure out where to go when we drove past an apartment complex we had never been to. We decided to give it a try, and every single door we knocked on opened and listened. It was amazing. We were able to meet a few people with lots of potential. Such a miracle!

Christmas Eve and Christmas were jampacked days, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. We decided to make little treats and write cards for all of the ward members who have helped us out. So we spent both days delivering them. There was so much joy all around I loved it! Christmas Day itself was so great. We had a great sacrament meeting, and Rogeline was able to come! She loved it and wished it was longer. After church we FaceTimed our families, it was so lovely to see their faces and hear their voices!! But I got a little weirded out when I realized that the next time I’ll talk to them is on Mother’s Day, and I’ll be going home two days later. Time flies way too fast. At the end of the day we went caroling with our district. I love how open and willing people are to listening once you’ve sung them a Christmas carol. πŸ™‚ I’m so grateful to have been a missionary during Christmas twice. You truly get to help people understand the real meaning of Christmas. The gifts and material things are fun, but the best part is the fact that Jesus Christ was born and because of Him and the life that He lived, we can live with our Heavenly Father again.

Welll by the end of this week, I will have spent all of 2016 as a missionary. I am so beyond grateful for this opportunity. My "mission year" has been so amazing. The hardest, but hands down best year of my life. 2017 will be very different, but I’m anxious to continue serving the Lord each day of my mission and beyond.

Jesus Christ lives. Yesterday I finished the Book of Mormon again, and each day as I read I asked Heavenly Father to give me a confirmation that it is true. And I received a confirmation every single day. The Book of Mormon has brought me closer to Christ, more than any other book has. I would encourage everyone to read it, and strengthen your testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

I love you all. Talk to you next year! (I actually hate when people say that)

All my love,

Sister Martinez ✨

Christmas devotional!

Saying goodbye to some lovely people!

The Zone!

Fam πŸ’•πŸ’•

Christmas πŸŽ„ (our ward mission leader lives on a golf course)

Caroling lalala

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week fifty-nine: I won’t give up

{from last week}

Hi hi!!! Can you believe it’s Christmas this week?! Time flies. It was such an amazing week here in Placentia. Also it’s been high 50s and low 60s and I’ve been freezing, I don’t know how I’ll ever live anywhere else. Anyway, I have lots to share!

Tuesday we were at Cinnamon Tree and were doing some inspired knocking. We decided to knock on a door, and a man answered and said to come back another time because they were about to start dinner. But then his son, Andrew, who was probably 11 or 12 came to the door and said he wanted to see the video, so they both decided to watch it anyway. They loved it! We learned that Andrew had the desire to grow in his faith, and the dad Eleau is all about families. How perfect! We were able to talk briefly about the restoration and they are willing to listen. They will now be taught by the Spanish missionaries, but regardless, we found people who are interested and everyone needs the gospel.

Wednesday was a great day. We were able to meet Al, who has been taught by missionaries for years. We talked with him and found out that the main reason he has never progressed is because he’s never prayed to know if the gospel is true. !!!! But he has the desire to know….so yes, we are very excited to begin teaching him.

After we met Al we were knocking around his neighborhood when we realized we were about to knock on a member’s door. We decided to stop by anyway and ask them about their neighbors. They ended up giving us the lowdown on all their neighbors and gave us some referrals. It was awesome. Well, none of the referrals were available or interested, but we had not gone to this one house yet. We walk up and there’s a man standing outside. We showed him Light the World and got to talking with him. His name is Tom, and he basically told us that he would never settle in one church, but he also told us he wants to do whatever Christ wants him to do. And he’s open to learning more and coming to church. I know that this is what Christ wants him to do. After all, this is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and it’s not a coincidence that we met him that day. Well Tom actually lives in a different area and just happened to be visiting his friend that day, but he gave us his address and his local missionaries will be teaching him. πŸ™‚

That night, we had a lesson with Daniel. Daniel is an investigator who was previously taught by the elders and was actually on date for baptism. We were able to sit down with him and see where he is with the gospel right now. Well Daniel still wants to be baptized, and he now has a new baptismal date for January!! There’s a lot that needs to happen before that, but we are still so grateful to be teaching someone who has the faith necessary to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized.

Saturday was an amazing day. We went to go visit a potential in our areabook named Abraham. We had knocked a couple of times and waited and nobody came, but as soon as we walked away Abraham opened the door. We showed him Light the World and talked about the restoration of the gospel. He told us he had met missionaries before and set a return appointment, but they ended up not going back when he was expecting them (so sad). He practically asked if he could take the lessons and told us he was really interested, and we were able to set a return appointment with him. πŸ™‚ we were about to leave his apartment complex when we felt like there was someone else there. We knocked on one more door and a girl named Naomi answered. She told us that when her family moved here from Sri Lanka, her parents got baptized and she went to church with them. But since then they had fallen away, and Naomi told us she would be interested in learning more again. Such a miracle!

The best part of Saturday was when we went to help a woman named Kimberly move into our area. So Thursday we received her as a media referral from the Long Beach mission. They said that they had taught her the restoration and that she would be moving into our ward boundaries that weekend. So we called her and set up a time for us to go. It was super last minute, but we were able to have 5 members come and help out. And Kimberly is AMAZING. She literally told us she wants to learn everything we have to teach her. She’s so prepared, we are so excited to teach her! And with the help of the members we were able to unpack all of her stuff in under an hour. Wooo.

It was such a good week. I’m so grateful for the gospel, and for the Holy Ghost which guides my every step. I’m so grateful to be a missionary, especially during the best time of the year!

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Love,

Sister Martinez πŸŽ„

Service at stop hunger now!

Got to see Sister Paulson today!! ❀️

week fifty-eight: holler at your sisters

{this is from last week, I’ll send this week’s email next week! I’m super behind.}

Hi people!! It was such a good and crazy week, but I feel like I could say that about every week. I don’t have a ton of time so I’ll just get into the highlights of the week…

Last Monday night we weren’t having a ton of success, but then later on in the night before we went home, we were able to meet two different less active families and invite them to take the lessons. And they both accepted! Yayay. It’s so awesome to be able to teach the lessons to people who are already members and help them rekindle their testimonies.

Wednesday we went on exchanges with our Sister Training Leaders! It was super fun, Sister Webb came here with me and Sister Harrison went to Brea! Sunday we finally got the Elder’s areabook, which was awesome because now we actually know who was being taught on the new side of our area. So Sister Webb and I spent the whole day trying people on the west side. We weren’t meeting a whole lot of people, but during the day our ward mission leader texted us saying to come to his house that night for a surprise. We headed over after dinner still not knowing what was happening…but the theme of the day for Light the World was "Jesus Fed the Hungry and So Can You" so we were a little suspicious. We get in the car with him and his wife and basically what we did was go through a bunch of drive-thrus, buy something small, and then pay for the people behind us and get the person at the window to give them a light the world card. It was a blast!! We didn’t see anyone’s reactions, but I’m sure it really lit up their evening.

Saturday was so awesome. For the past thirteen years, the Placentia stake has put on a Nativity. It is a huge production, and they do 4 different showings of it. It was amazing!! And it was the perfect opportunity to invite investigators, and for members to invite their neighbors and friends. There were so many people and it was so fun to talk with everyone about our Savior. Christmas is the best.

This week we met soooo many new people who we were able to set return appointments with. So we didn’t teach a ton, but we found a lot of new people which is exciting πŸ™‚

I love this work. I’m so grateful to be a missionary and to be serving the Lord at this time. Being a missionary during the Christmas season is the best. Christ lives, I know this is His church. And nothing brings me more joy.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

All my love,

Sister Martinez

Downtown Disney for P day!

week fifty-seven: sister harry + sister marty

HELLO FRIENDS! It has been such an amazing week and I have so much to talk about. Being a missionary is just the best thing.

Tuesday was a very bittersweet day. Bright and early in the morning we went to the mission office to drop off Sister Paulson. It was really hard and sad to say goodbye, but I am grateful for the 6 weeks we were able to spend together, and I know her family is so happy to have her home. Well, later on that day, I went to the mission home to pick up my new friend!! My new companion is…Sister Harrison! She’s from Saratoga Springs, UT (my 6th companion from Utah hahah), she’s 22 and worked as a massage therapist for a year before coming out (yep I am truly blessed), and she is just a delight. I love her! She is a wonderful missionary and works hard. If you were wondering, training has been so awesome. I love it because I don’t really feel like I’m the teacher and she’s the student, but we are a team. We are both learning together and these next three months will be great.

So a couple of hours after picking up Sister Harrison, we dove straight into her first real lesson in the mission field. We had a lesson with Rosalba Flores and it went so well. We taught her the plan of salvation and she was really receptive. We brought up baptism again, and she said she wants to get baptized she just wants to feel like she knows more before she is…hopefully we can help her understand that she has all the time in the world to learn after she’s baptized as well. But she is awesome. She’s out of town for the next two weeks for work but things will resume when she comes back, and she’s planning on reading from the Book of Mormon while she’s gone. πŸ™‚

Wednesday we had the new missionary orientation meeting. I had so many flashbacks of my own orientation almost 13 months ago…crazy. But it was good. Later on we went to do service at a nursing home. It was so fun! We played games with the old ladies and they were hilarious. They couldn’t remember our names so they started calling us "Sister Harry" and "Sister Marty" hahaha. It work

Thursday was December 1st…aka the Worldwide Day of Service!!! I hope you were all able to light the world with different acts of service. Instead of having our normal district meeting that day, our district did a service project. We went to help out at an organization called "Miracles for Kids". They make blankets and different cozy things for sick children who spend lots of time in hospitals. We spent our time there stuffing teddy bears. Not only was it fun, but it was amazing to think of the comfort that one of those little bears could give to a child who is suffering.

Friday evening was wonderful. We were able to show so many people the Light the World video, and just as "A Savior is Born" did last year, it softened people’s hearts. It was dark while we were out but I really felt as though we were bringing light to the neighborhood we were in (cheesy). One experience we had in particular was amazing. We knocked on a door and two kids answered, we asked if their parents were home and right when we asked, their mom, Sarla, got home from work and walked up to the door. We asked her if we could show her a Christmas video and she invited us in to show her. We showed her and began talking about the restoration of the gospel. She was so open to listening and we were able to set a return appointment with her. As we prayed with her, she got emotional. Heavenly Father’s timing is so perfect. It’s not a coincidence that we knocked on her door right when she got home. Sarla needs our message, and she is prepared to hear it. We are so excited to go back and share more with her.

Saturday morning we had the sweet privilege of attending the baptism of Lauren and Simaiya, a mother and daughter who I taught in Anaheim. When I left Anaheim, we had completely lost contact with Lauren and thought we would never hear from her again. But the week after I left, the sisters randomly ran into her and started teaching her again. Yesterday, Lauren and her daughter entered the waters of baptism. It was a beautiful experience. After she was baptized, Lauren shared her testimony, and she said that she’s never felt more at home than she does in this church. I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to teach them and later see them make covenants with our Heavenly Father. I know that this gospel is the way we can live with Him again.

Later that day we went to the one and only Cinnamon Tree. As we were walking around trying to find people we had already met, nobody was answering or was home. It was a little frustrating, but while walking around we kept hearing people loudly singing and a man preaching. You could hear it all throughout the complex. I thought it was maybe a sermon being shown on TV, but we decided to go check it out and see and next thing we know we’re being welcomed into a church service taking place in someone’s apartment. A whole room of Filipino people with their pastor preaching to them. We sat and listened to his sermon. They are all members of a Christian church in LA and every year during December, their members gather together at different people’s homes to celebrate Christmas. We sang with them, prayed with them. It was one of the most interesting experiences I’ve had on my mission. The people there kept saying that we were angels sent from God and that it wasn’t a coincidence that we knocked on their door. I agree with them. These people love Jesus Christ so much and they were so welcoming and loving to us. After the sermon, we all prayed together, and they prayed for us. Then they fed us Filipino food (which was sooo good) and even gave us Christmas presents….it was amazing. We didn’t teach them a lesson or anything because that wouldn’t have been appropriate, but we invited them all to the live Nativity that our stake puts on every year. Hopefully they come πŸ™‚

I truly felt the love of God this week. It is a miracle to me that my body has been able to make it through this week. We have worked so hard, yet I’ve been able to push through any ache or pain that I’ve had. And I know it’s only because of my savior, Jesus Christ. Heavenly Father has definitely shown me my weaknesses this week…I am so imperfect. But through the Atonement of Jesus Christ I have been able to strengthen my weaknesses and become more "perfect in Christ". He is the light of the world. When He was crucified, the earth was completely dark for three days. But when He was resurrected, the light came back. And we have light in the world today because He lives. He is literally the light of the world. And we can be a light to the world as we share His love with others.

I hope you all have an amazing week and continue to #lighttheworld.

All my love,

Sister Martinez ✨

P.S. I literally just fell backwards off of a chair. ✌🏼️

I ❀️ Sister Paulson

Service project!

You can’t really tell, but the house next door says "ditto –>" hahaha same

Lauren and Simaiya πŸ’•

Our Christmas presents from the Filipino party!

These never ever get old.