week sixty-five: 6 o’clock, jazzercise

Hi everyone! This week was incredible. I have so much to talk about so here we go!

Not a whole lot happened Monday and Tuesday. Just normal days where we talked with lots of people but didn’t teach a whole lot. But then came Wednesday…there was another worldwide missionary broadcast!! It was amazing, of course. And as I’m sure many have heard, there were changes to the missionary daily schedule. If you’ve never served a mission it might not seem like a big deal, but it’s a pretty big deal. Our schedule used to be that we would wake up at 6:30, exercise, get ready and eat breakfast, have personal study at 8:00 and companionship study at 9:00. Then go throughout our normal day, and when we got home at night around 9/9:30, we would plan for the next day. Well now, we still wake up at 6:30 and exercise, but we have from 7-8:30 to eat breakfast and get ready, then instead of planning at night we plan in the morning from 8:30-9, then have personal study until 10. Now we can be more flexible and choose when we would like to have companionship study, and we no longer plan at night when we come home. These changes might not sound like a big difference but just in the last 4 days of living this schedule I have truly seen the blessings that come from it.

Thursday, we were finally able to teach a woman named Becky. We’ve met her a couple times and she always said she was busy, so we kind of felt like she might not be interested, but this time we went and she invited us to sit down with her. It was a powerful lesson. She has two children who she loves so dearly and when we related her love for her kids to the love that Heavenly Father has for her she got emotional. She was open and willing to read from the Book of Mormon and pray to know if it’s true. It was so awesome. Later that day we were also able to meet and teach a young girl named Yessenia, who accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon and invited us to come back.

Now comes the best part of the week: Saturday. It was such an amazing day. We met and taught a woman named Myra and she invited us back. Then we went to go try a potential named Maria, who we had met a few weeks ago. When we met her she was sick but said we could come back in a few weeks. We had tried a few times but no one ever answered. This was going to be one of our last times trying her for awhile, and she was home and answered 🙂 she called over her daughter, Jessica, to listen as well and we were able to teach them the restoration. They both accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon and want to know if it is true. They invited us to come back and teach more. After teaching Maria and Jessica, we had a lesson with our investigator Rogelyn in a member’s home. It went really well. She is still working towards being baptized and is definitely strengthening her relationship with God.

After dinner we received a referral from the YSA elders for a teenage girl named Sandy. We went to contact her immediately and were able to teach her. It was a sweet experience. Sandy has never really believed in God or Jesus Christ, but she has the desire to know if they exist. We taught her how to pray and she said she would try to pray on her own that night. She also invited us back to teach more. Later that night we went to go contact another referral from the YSA elders, a guy named Danny. He answered the door and told us he had literally just gotten home from work and that we had caught him in his only free time. He felt like it was meant to be. We taught him the restoration, and he questioned every single principle we taught. But at the end of the lesson, he said something like, “you have convinced me. I can see the sincerity in your eyes and I know that you truly believe this. Now I want to find out for myself if the Book of Mormon is true.” It was such a miracle.

To summarize, we found 6 new investigators (people who we taught and set a return appointment with) from Thursday to Sunday, after we began the new schedule. I truly believe that the success we had has a direct correlation with the schedule changes. I know the changes are inspired, and they have brought so many blessings. Heavenly Father truly is aware of every single one of His children and He leads us to them when they are ready.

I am so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that the fullness of the gospel is on the earth today, and that because of it we can find true joy and peace in this life. If you sincerely want that, I would encourage you to read from the Book of Mormon and pray to know if it is true, with the intention of acting on the answer that you receive. See what happens. I promise the Holy Ghost will bear witness to you that it is true.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Love,

Sister Martinez 🌼
Our only pic of the week 🍔

Yep we’re weirdos

week sixty-four: dr.pepper brings blessings

Hello hello wonderful people! It was such a good week. It’s really hard not to always start out my letters the same way, because it’s always a good week when you’re serving the Lord. But luckily, the experiences and miracles are unique every time 🙂

At the end of our P-Day last week we stopped at 7-11 so I could get a Dr.Pepper…shocker. Well, we’re waiting in line to pay, and a familiar looking woman walks in. After a couple seconds we realized she was one of our investigators, Sarla, who we hadn’t seen since we met her in December!! We had an amazing experience where she got home right when we arrived, and got emotional when we shared the message of the restoration with her. We had kind of lost contact, but here she was at 7-11. We talked with her and she told us they had actually moved down the street (which explains why they never answered the door) and were going through some things. She said she would give us a call when she was ready for visitors. It was such a tender mercy to see her again. I know Heavenly Father places us in the right places at the right times. Also, Dr.Pepper clearly brings blessings.

Wednesday afternoon we had an awesome lesson with our new investigator Elizabeth. The Saturday before, we had an appointment fall through and decided to look for some potentials in the same apartment complex. We had written down the wrong address of someone who told us to come back, so we tried a couple of different options. In one of the options, we met Elizabeth, and she invited us back. She was so receptive to the message. She wants to know which of all the churches are true. She told us she would start reading the Book of Mormon and praying about it that night. Sister Harrison and I walked away from the lesson so giddy. It’s so exciting when you’re able to teach people who are prepared. We talk with dozens of people a day, but the best moment is when you find someone who is ready.

We had another miracle happen Friday night. In December, we had met a young family, Myra, Sergio, and their two little boys. We showed them Light the World and set up a return appointment. The appointment fell through, so ever since December we’ve been trying to make contact with them. We’ve called a few times, but every time we called someone would pick up and then hang up. We thought they were avoiding us. Well, this particular evening we went to go try them again. They were home and they welcomed us in!! Nobody does that so this was so exciting. We were able to teach them a brief restoration, and they committed to reading and praying about the Book of Mormon. Myra also said she would be baptized once she comes to know that these things are true. Ah! I know this gospel will bless their family so much. God is good.

Church was amazing this week. Well, church is always great, but sometimes certain meetings stick out more than others. We had a less-active member we’ve been working with come to Sacrament Meeting, which was so awesome. All of her friends at church were so happy to see her. And other than that we just had awesome Sunday School classes. Something that really stuck out to me was something our Stake President said. If you’ve been praying about something for a long time, waiting for a yes or no, but you haven’t been getting any contrary feelings…Heavenly Father is okay with your decision. You don’t always have to get a huge YES to know if you’re making the right choice. He wants us to make our own decisions, and He will let us know when something is not right. That was so relevant for me, and I felt prompted to share it so hopefully one of you needs to hear that as well.

Sunday night we had an appointment with this man named Daniel, who we met the week before. It has been raining A LOT here lately, but this particular night it was just a torrential downpour. We had to park far away from his apartment complex, so it wasn’t a super ideal situation. We were soaking wet from head to toe and so cold, and I was so sure that he probably wouldn’t be there, but I’m so glad we decided to go visit him anyway because we ended up teaching him. Daniel left his whole family in Nigeria to come get a Master’s Degree here. He has strong faith, and is so open and willing to know if what we teach is true. At the end of the lesson we found out he will be moving in a week, but I’m still so grateful that we were able to introduce him to the restored gospel.

I know this gospel is true. I’m so grateful to have a Savior who is so full of grace. Something else we talked about in church was grace. It was mentioned that grace is not the gap filler, but the help and strength given to us so that we can fill the gap on our own. There are plenty of things in this life that we simply cannot do on our own. But it is the grace of God which enables us to overcome personal weaknesses and do the things we cannot do without Heavenly help.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

All my love,

Sister Martinez 🌧

Sister Harrison’s areabook wasn’t working for almost 2 weeks and this week it finally started working!! Hallelujah

The calm…after the storm.

week sixty-three: mormon chicks

Hello all! Wow it was such a great week. We accomplished so much and saw so many miracles. I have so much to talk about!

Tuesday we just happened to be in the neighborhood of one of our investigators, Daniel. We hadn’t seen him in over a month so we decided to stop by. We finnnnally saw him. He opened his door and told us he was officially "ready to surrender". Aka come to church, be baptized, etc. He is going through a hard time and feels like this is God giving him a sign that he needs to strengthen his faith. He set a return appointment with us and told us to find him a ride for church on Sunday. We weren’t even planning on visiting him.

I got a little sick this week…and within one day I completely lost my voice. I’m a missionary, all I do is talk!! Hahah well on Wednesday, Sister Harrison had to do most of the teaching while I sat there and smiled. And tried to speak but could hardly make a sound. But it came back pretty quickly. 🙂

We had a lesson on Wednesday with our investigator Blanca. We met her in December and showed her Light the World, she loved it! At that time, she was pregnant and the baby was overdue! We thought we might not see her again. BUT! We saw her again a few weeks ago, newborn baby and all, and she set a return appointment with us. We were able to teach her the restoration and she was so receptive. There’s a little bit of a language barrier because she is a native Spanish speaker, but she got the gist of what we were saying, and this week we’re going back to teach her again with the Spanish elders!

Saturday was amazing. We talked with and met so many wonderful people. We were at an apartment complex trying to find a woman named Erica who told us to come back. We knocked on our door, and instead, her son Jeffrey answered. He was super open to having us come back. He doesn’t really have faith, but he said he wants to strengthen the faith he does have. Before we left, we asked if we could pray with him. He told us he didn’t know how to, so we taught him how to do it right there at the door. Afterwards he said he would try to do it that night on his own. I am so grateful to be able to share this joy with people who just have no idea.

Sunday night we went to go try a less active member. They weren’t home, and we had about 10 minutes left before we needed to go home. We didn’t really know what to do, but when we first got to her street, I had the feeling that we needed to try her next door neighbor. We decided to knock the three houses around her. The first two didn’t answer. Then we tried the last one, which was the one I had a feeling about….and we met Peggy. She was busy at that moment but told us she wanted us to come back and teach both her and her children. I know Heavenly Father leads us to the exact places we need to be in at the right times.

I feel like every week, there’s a different theme among all of the different people we meet and visit with. This week, we met a lot of people with questions. And by questions, I mean doubts. PEOPLEEEEEE. Please. Doubt your doubts before your faith. It is perfectly okay to have questions, everyone has questions. But do not doubt your faith. Hold onto your faith. Nourish it, and it will grow from a seed into a beautiful plant! Or flower. Or tree. Whatever you want it to be. In my case, it’s a cactus. But anyway. Faith is so important. Ask Heavenly Father any question you have, and I promise He will answer.

I hope you all have an amazing week!

Love,

Sister Martinez 🌵

Bright and early saying goodbye to Sister Burns 😭

The Powell family from our ward. They moved to Texas this week!

week sixty two: penelope is real

Hello wonderful people!!! Holy cow it has been such a good week. It feels like a month’s worth of activities were jam packed into one week, but it’s been great.

Tuesday was so exciting. We had 5 set appointments and we were so ready to conquer the day. As usual with missionary work though, almost all of the lessons fell through. BUT Heavenly Father led us to people who we would not have met if those lessons had not fallen through. It was awesome. So another fun thing: every Tuesday we go to a nursing home and call out bingo for some of the residents. It is soo fun. One of the men who plays bingo is named Duffy and he’s 97 and he’s just the most precious thing. When we ask him how he is he always says, "I’m still here!" We visit some of the sweetest people there. There’s a couple of members who live in the home, we stopped by one of them and we’re going to start reading the Book of Mormon with her every week. As we were leaving she said, "tell your families that you have a new scripture reading friend!!" So I’m doing as she says. On our way out we ran into another member. While we were talking with her she said, "I’m only 80, I still have 40 years left." Hahah I love these people so much.

We have been calling Wednesday, "the day on foot." We had to take our car to the shop for a minor repair so we walked alllll day. It was actually so amazing. We met and talked with so many awesome people. It was also a wonderful experience for us to bond with a few members who gave us rides to appointments. We had one set lesson that night which ended up falling through BUT the Lord always provides. We met a young man named Christian. He is a very devout Catholic but was super open to talking with us. It was such a good lesson and he accepted a Book of Mormon and said he would actually pray about it!

We were broken up with a couple of times this week. 😦 it’s sad when you get dropped but something I’ve realized on my mission is that Heavenly Father has a perfect and specific plan for every single one of His children. Every single one. And if that means that accepting the gospel/listening to us right now is not a part of the plan…that’s okay. I have faith that everything will work out for all of God’s children, because He loves each of us so much and I know that He wants us to return to live with Him again.

After this week, all I can say is GOD ANSWERS PRAYERS. Oh my gosh it is incredible. Each time I am reminded, I can’t help but just be amazed. Saturday night we had an experience that perfectly demonstrated this. We went to an apartment complex where a member lives to go knocking…as we approached the front of the complex we noticed a HUGE sign that said "No trespassing. No soliciting. No loitering." Normally these signs don’t bother me hahah but this one was just so in your face. We were a little bit leery about going in…but after contemplating for awhile we just decided to knock a couple of doors. While we were praying before going inside, I had the feeling that we needed to go to the second floor. We tried some on the first floor, then went to the second floor. I had so much faith that we would meet someone on that floor, but every door either wasn’t answering or wasn’t interested. Then we met Katurah. She just moved here from Seattle and is open to learning and coming to church to try it out. She’s a YSA, so we’ll be passing her off, but I know that Heavenly Father led us to meet her that night. And it was perfect timing because a few doors after her, we knocked on the apartment manager’s door and were told to leave. Oops.

This week I hit my 14 month mark….what. I’m so grateful for the gospel. I really don’t know where I would be without it….definitely not where I’m supposed to be. Which is here. I love being a missionary. It’s not easy and there’s something hard everyday but it’s so worth it. I’m grateful for this work, and for Jesus Christ who makes it all possible.

I hope you all have an amazing week!

Love,

Sister Martinez 💖

So much joy on "the day on foot"

It has rained more in the past month than it has my entire mission!!

A very serious zone

The district

Matching with Sister Harrison 🌸

Sister Burns leaves tomorrow…tear

Celestial skies

week sixty-one: lds or lsd?

Hello everyone!! HAPPY NEW YEAR! We rang in the new year at 9pm because we’re party animals. I hope everyone has a wonderful year filled with lots of joy!

It was a really awesome week in Placentia! One of the best parts of this week was that we were able to involve so many members in our teaching and finding. We really do serve in such an amazing ward, with so many members who are willing to help out and do missionary work.

Tuesday we had our first real lesson with our investigator Rogelyn. It was so great! We were able to have it in a member’s home which was awesome. Rogelyn was raised LDS but was never baptized, and she met missionaries randomly in Santa Ana and decided she wants to make some changes in her life and be baptized. It will be a long road with her, due to some lifestyle changes and whatnot, but we love her so much and are so grateful to be helping her. Please keep her in your prayers 🙂

Tuesday night we had a lesson with a less active/recent convert family. We have a Family Home Evening with them every week, and are trying to help them prepare to go to the temple. This week we taught them about keeping the sabbath day holy, and did an activity. So often we talk about the things that we can’t do on a Sunday, but there’s so many things that we CAN do! We did this activity with them: https://www.lds.org/blog/theres-really-no-such-thing-as-a-sabbath-cannot?lang=eng and it was so wonderful. They have three kids, ages 9 and under and they were so excited to use some of their ideas in the can on Sundays.

Wednesday night we had a lesson with our investigator Al. He has been taught by missionaries for almost 4 years and has never progressed. Our plan for this lesson was really to see why he was interested but doesn’t keep commitments, and see how we can help him. We were able to have a member there, which helped so much. It helped Al understand the importance of knowing if the gospel is true. We shared Alma 5:45-46 which really helped him realize that this is something he needs to pray about for himself. We were able to recommit him to read, pray, and come to church. We’re hoping that after 4 years, things will finally be able to move in the right direction.

This week we had so many awesome experiences with meeting people who are interested that live in other areas. I have such a strong testimony of finding people to teach for other areas or language programs. We have met so many wonderful people, and although we won’t be able to teach them ourselves, they will be taught about the gospel!! Its such a sweet experience to meet people for other missionaries. It’s like a gift exchange hahah.

Well it’s the last week of the transfer, which means Sister Harrison and I are halfway through training! I can’t believe it. Time is flying, but there is plenty of work to be done. I love being a missionary!! The gospel is true. Jesus Christ lives. I love you all.

Love,

Sister Martinez 💕

We had a "California snowball fight" last week for P-day!

It’s been raining sooo much here!