week sixty-nine: hop out of bed, put my tag on

Hellooo people of the world! It has been a different week for sure! Being in a YSA is a totally different dynamic than I’m used to but it’s been fun so far. Younger people are more open to the gospel which is awesome!

So our ward covers two stakes, and Sister Garcia and I work in the Irvine Stake. I love Irvine! It is so nice. Because we’re in a YSA, the things we do on a daily basis are a little different. We go to Institute like 3 times a week…mostly because that’s our dinner and lunch on those days but it’s fun. We also spend lots of time on one of the local college campuses just talking with people. Also when we go finding we’re always on the lookout for people who are YSA age. I feel a little out of my comfort zone, especially because I went from knowing my area like the back of my hand to now knowing nothing…but that just means there’s room to grow, right?! It’s good though, I have an awesome companion and we have some great people that we are teaching right now. 🙂

Yesterday, my first Sunday in the ward, we were both last minute asked to speak in sacrament meeting to fill in for someone who couldn’t. The life of a missionary hahah… I spoke about how we can change through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I’ve really come to understand the enabling power of the atonement on my mission. We are all imperfect and have the natural man in us…but it is a necessity for us to put off the natural man and to become a saint through the atonement of Jesus Christ. Sometimes we feel like we are so far gone that it is impossible for us to change. To believe that you cannot strengthen your weaknesses and change rejects the central message of the plan of salvation. It is through the atonement of Jesus Christ that everything and everyone can change. He lived and died because He knew that we would make mistakes.

We’ve been talking about repentance a lot in our mission recently. Someone said that, “changing the behavior without involving the Savior is not repentance. Repentance is change involving Christ. We can change on our own, but it is repentance that will heal us.”

The atonement of Jesus Christ has changed me. And I’m not done yet…I know that I have to continually allow it to change me. I would invite you all to repent daily. And don’t just do it because you should, but because you want to. I know that we can all become saints through the atonement if we allow ourselves to.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Love,

Sister Martinez 🤙🏼

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week sixty-eight: #operationsalvation

Hola!! Hope everyone is doing awesome! Today is transfer day so it’s super crazy, and I don’t have a ton to write about so I’ll fill you in on what’s new and share a couple miracles.

Well, my time in Placentia has come to a close! The past three transfers have been amazing. I have seen the ward and area grow so much since being here and I’m grateful for the time I’ve had to serve. As for now…I have been called as a Sister Training Leader and my new companion is Sister Garcia! She’s from Bothel, Washington and she’s super awesome. We are serving in the Orange Hills YSA (young single adult) Ward, covering the Irvine side. So our area is out of the mission boundaries which is kinda cool. Lots of change but I’m excited for what’s to come!

This week our investigator Rogelyn progressed so much. She is the perfect example of how the gospel can completely change your life. Rogelyn struggles with many addictions, and she’s been wanting to change for a long time. This week when we met with her, we found out that she’s been sober for two weeks!! And she told us that it’s all because she has prayed and asked for help. She now has a set baptismal date of March 11. I’m sad to leave her, but I’m grateful for all the progression I’ve been able to see in her over the last few months.

Awhile back we met and taught a girl named Elizabeth. She’s 20, and super open to the gospel. She really wants to know if the Book of Mormon is true. Well we haven’t been able to meet with her at all, but this week she texted us and asked if we would meet her at the gas station. I’m telling you, miracles always happen at the gas station. So we talked to her for a couple minutes and she let us know that her mom was not supportive of her looking into other religions but that she was still super interested. Kind of sad, but we know she’ll be taught again in the future. Here’s the miracle, so we had already eaten lunch but Sister Sainan wanted to get a snack from the mini mart at the gas station. This is not normal because Sister Sainan doesn’t really eat a lot. While we’re in there, this young guy approaches us and asks what church we’re from. His name is Joshua and we ended up talking to him for awhile. He is trying to change his life and come closer to God. He was super interested in learning more about the gospel. He gave us all of his information and said we could get the YSA missionaries in contact with him. I know we had to be at that gas station to meet Joshua.

This truly is the Lord’s work. I know that Jesus Christ lives and I’m so grateful for a Savior. The gospel is true, everyone.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Love,

Sister Martinez 🌿
Heart attacked people for Valentine’s Day on exchanges w/ Sister Hawkins 💝

Placentia Zone!

Trioooo

Said goodbye to so many awesome people!!

week sixty-seven: the struggle is real but so is God

Hello hello!! It was such a great week. Super busy but wonderful. I’ll quickly share some miracles.

Awhile back we met a girl named Natalie, we taught her and she invited us back. That was in December and we’ve tried to see her so many times since then. While trying to meet her we’ve met two of her adult sisters Miriam and Lety, both said we could come back. Well Tuesday night we tried Natalie, and she was busy, but Lety said, “you can talk to me instead!” And she invited us in. We were like what….we taught her the restoration and she was super receptive and invited us back. Such a tender mercy.

Thursday we had about 20 minutes to kill before dinner and we had already finished all of our plans….so we decided to go to dinner early, and walk around to try people nearby. We parked in the IHOP (our dinner) parking lot and look over, and see our investigator Danny who we hadn’t seen in a few weeks. He’s super hard to get ahold of, but there he was in the IHOP parking lot. We were able to set up an appointment with him. After seeing Danny we went to go try a potential, she wasn’t home, but on the way back we ran into another hard to find less active and set an appointment with her as well. Heavenly Father’s timing is so perfect.

Friday we had Zone Conference! It’s always so good. We talked about a lot of things, but one thing that stood out to me was about FOMO (fear of missing out). As missionaries, it can be easy to have
FOMO….weddings, big family events, new movies, new music, etc….but do we have a fear of missing out on living with God? The ultimate FOMO is missing out on the opportunity to live with Heavenly Father again. This really made me think. If we have a “fear” of missing out on the opportunity to live with Heavenly Father, we will be more motivated to be obedient and Christlike. It was a good reminder.

There were so many other lessons and people and miracles from this week that I could talk about, but I would go on forever. This work never ceases to amaze me. I am just so grateful to be a servant of the Lord. I know that Jesus Christ lives! How blessed are we to have a Savior who loves each of us so much. I hope you can all feel of that love!

Have a wonderful week!

All my love,

Sister Martinez ❤
Went to the Fullerton arboretum for a sister’s activity today!

I died in the desert 🌵💕

week sixty-six: where two or three are gathered

Hi people!! It was suuuuch a crazy but also amazing week. I feel like I always have so much to talk about!

To sum up the crazy from this week: I successfully finished a college application in 36 hours. It was due Wednesday and I didn’t find out until Monday because my mind has been on other things (aka missionary work). So that was interesting. Tuesday night we got a call that there would be an emergency transfer and we would be getting a new companion and also covering a 2nd area. !!!!what!!!! So Monday morning, two became three, and we welcomed Sister Sainan into our companionship. Sister Sainan is from Thailand (she’s teaching us Thai), has been on her mission for 10 months, and fun fact: we had the same first area (Valley View in Garden Grove). I love her so much!! So adjusting to a new companion has not been hard at all. BUT as I mentioned before, we are now covering both the Placentia and Yorba Linda areas for the next two weeks, until the transfer ends. A little bit stressful but Heavenly Father has been blessing us everyday.

Our goal everyday has been to try to spend an equal amount of time in each area. It’s been hard to spend a lot of time in the Yorba Linda area, but every time we’ve been able to go, we’ve taught someone unexpectedly. It’s been incredible to see how the Lord has provided a way for us to somehow keep both areas alive and thriving.

Thursday we had an incredible experience. We went to go try some potentials in Yorba Linda, and ended up meeting some of their family members instead. They immediately welcomed us in and offered us something to drink. They just moved here from Abu Dhabi! They are Muslim, but they were interested in understanding more about what we believe. It was amazing to be able to sit down with them and talk about the similarities we have. They were probably some of the kindest people I’ve ever met. The mom, Nihal, put the restoration pamphlet we gave her with her most holy books. It was just a really special experience. She wants us to come back and talk more with her and her children.

We had some interesting experiences on Friday and Saturday. We had two lessons that we thought would happen differently than they did. Friday we taught a woman named Karen, and Saturday we taught a man named Chris. They are both very kind people, but our visits were very stressful. They were both very interested in teaching us pretty much about how what we believe is wrong rather than letting us teach them what we know will bless their lives. It’s hard sometimes. People don’t understand that we are just seeking to bring them closer to Christ and that our message will bring them more joy and peace than they could ever understand. But honestly, meeting with them just strengthened my testimony even more.

I know that this is truly Jesus Christ’s church. The gospel means everything to me. I can’t even put it into words. I know that Heavenly Father knows and loves each of us and that he really does have a plan of happiness for us. The Book of Mormon and the Bible are both the word of God. I know this. I’m eternally grateful for my Savior who strengthens me everyday, and helps me do things that I know I could not do on my own.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Love,

Sister Martinez 🌺
Our new bedroom setup

The trio!

15 months, 3 months, 10 months ⏰