week eighty: I grew up in California

Hi everyone! It was an amazing week. God is so so good.

On Tuesday we were in an apartment complex to go visit an investigator that we had an appointment with. Turns out he gave us the wrong address so we decided to go try a few other people in the same complex. Nobody that we tried was home, but then I remembered that a couple of months ago we were talking to a woman in that complex and we asked her if she knew anyone YSA aged. She said she did, but didn’t know the exact apartment number so kind of just made one up off the top of her head. We had never gone to try that “referral” but I remembered that I had written down the apartment number in my iPad. We had nothing to lose so we went to go try it. The person who answered was not who the woman described, but instead was a guy named Firas. He said he was part of the small percentage of Catholic people in the Middle East. He was born in Iraq and his native language is
Aramaic…how cool right?! Anyway, he said he hadn’t been to church in a long time, had recently moved in, and was open to new ideas and wanted to learn more. We were able to set a return appointment with him, it was so awesome! Heavenly Father truly leads us to those who are prepared.

A lot of this week was filled with different departure things. On Thursday morning, I was able to go to the Newport Beach temple for the last time on my mission with President and Sister Taggart. I love being in the house of the Lord. Friday night we had our departure dinner, and then Saturday morning I had my departure interview with President Taggart. They were all such sweet experiences that I’ll never forget.

This will be my last email. Tomorrow morning I fly home and finish my full-time mission. I cannot even begin to express my gratitute. My mission has been the hardest, but most incredible 18 months of my life so far. It has stretched me and helped me to grow in ways that nothing else could have. Honestly, I don’t really remember who I was or what I was like before my mission, but I know that I have changed and become the missionary who Heavenly Father has wanted me to become. It’s difficult to express in words just how much my mission means to me. I have truly come to know that Jesus Christ lives. I know it with all my heart. I know that Heavenly Father is so mindful of us, and has a specific and perfect plan for each of His children. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth through the prophet Joseph Smith. He truly saw God the Father and Jesus Christ, and was able to translate the Book of Mormon by the power of God. The Book of Mormon has brought me closer to Jesus Christ. I’m so grateful for my Savior. It is only through the strength He has given me that I have been able to serve. I owe it all to Him. “I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God. Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in [California], for which we will praise his name forever.” (Alma 26:11-12)

I love you all. Thank you so much for your love, prayers, and support throughout this journey. See you soon!


Sister Martinez ❤


One thought on “week eighty: I grew up in California

  1. Bridget Kenworthy says:

    Congratulations Alex; what a fabulous opportunity it has been for me to follow you on your mission these last 18 months! I’m so grateful for your optimism in the face of trials and the many miracles you saw and shared with your readers on a weekly basis. You have enriched my life and my testimony and I’m sad to see your mission end. Best wishes in adjusting to being a YSA yourself (after not leaving your companion’s side for 18 months, haha). I look forward to all the happiness your future holds. Love you!


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