Monday, March 25, 2013


Ok Family,
Everyone in our ward, that we meet, and you have all noticed that Sister Hewett and I have been together for an unusually long time. Well this week, we got transfer calls. And not only transfer calls, but trainer calls!
Tuesday morning we got a call from President Meredith. He said I have been assigned to train a new missionary in Walnut Creek. Sister Hewett has been assigned to train a new missionary in San Francisco 6th ward, spanish speaking. She is replacing where elders used to be.
I will probably serve at least half my mission in Walnut Creek, but really its the best place to be. There really is no place like it in the mission (according to our AP's), so it will be a dream place to train! I think Heavenly Father knew that I needed something I was familiar with while I am doing something not familiar like training. Also, there is a lot of work I need to be a part of! Almost all the missionaries that came out with me are training this transfer, including Sister Olsen (MTC comp). So all the 6 monthers--it will be great because they are all so great! It will be fun to see them all again at the new missionary meetings we have to go to. It was fun seeing them at the trainer meeting. At the trainer meeting, we learned that in the next 3 transfers, 29 more sisters are coming in than are going out of the mission (but elders are decreasing by 3). And 1/3 of the mission will all be in their first 3 transfers at the same time. Many who we train will probably be asked to train quickly. We will be getting 13 new areas!
Sis Hewett has been saying her goodbyes this week, and everyone is sad the "dynamic duo" is getting split up, but they all said they were not surprised at our both being asked to train. Augie and Zaya were devasted! They told us we were their special missionaries and when they gave us hugs, said to me "thankyou, staying!"
I am excited, this will be a great opportunity to grow and learn. We have some great new potentials coming up that will be fun to meet together with my new companion, and she will get to meet those we already love! And she might be one of the 19 year olds coming in, I don't know yet, I won't meet her until I pick her up Wednesday night. But please pray for me, and if any of you who have served missions and served as a trainer, please send me advice or encouragement or stories!
In other news, Priyali fasted this week to have the courage to talk to her family about meeting with the missionaries, and she did! It went well, they are just hesitant about baptism, so keep praying they work things out. Granted, she is 39 and her parents live in India, so she doesn't need permission, but she is looking for their blessing because Hinduism is very important to them AND her. But I have seen a lot of prayers answered this week, mine as well as others, so prayer is sooo important and I know He is listening! This is His work!
I love you all, and I do pray for you. I know as we do what is right, the restored gospel of Jesus Christ allows us to be together forever because of Jesus Christ's Atonement of mercy. Ally as well as other beloved ones are waiting for us, may we be so grateful for Easter and that we have the promise of death being conquered!
Sister Martin
P.S. Sister Hewett has really enjoyed my stories and thoughts I share about my family. You really are all great! I'm so blessed! She will have to meet you someday.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mongolian Miracles

Hello Family,
This week was Augie's baptism! She was so excited. She is one of the purest, most prepared souls I have ever met. Bishop said he saw when she got into the font that she took a moment to look up first. I thought that was touching, I couldnt see perfectly due to my seat being behind the witnesses. But she loved it and came out smiling and waved to everyone as she stepped out of the water. She has said she feels this is right in her heart and is always asking us how to fast, to get a Gospel Principles book in Mongolian for her, etc. She loves the gospel and sees it for its pure form and light. Even though she understands even less English than Zaya did, she believes, she prays, she marks her scriptures,etc. What a wonderful example. She always kept telling us she wanted to be a new woman, new "clean mind and body".
Zaya and Augie fed us Mongolian food, and it was sooo good. I will send pictures. Also,  I cut my hair!
We are holding a Mongolian Cultural Night on Tuesday! My comapnion and I made it up and invited the whole ward, plus the sister missionaries before us were from Mongolia and have left a ton of Mongolian stuff in our apartment, like slippers, flags, books, and a list of people in Zaya's complex that speak Mongolian! We went and visited these names, and found and invited THREE Mongolian families to our cultural night! Zaya is giving a cooking lesson, we will learn facts about Mongolia, and watch a short church video in Mongolian. We are trying to get creative with our finding ideas.
I love our investigators. All three of our progressing investogators came to the baptism. Priyali, one Indian investigator, even helps us fellowship the other investigators! They sit together and talk together in class, like a little club sometimes haha. She is so nice and always sits by someone new in Relief Society, even if its one of the 70  year old ladies.
We have a Mormon Helping Hands project coming up soon. Up by the temple, they are building a place to house 1000 children who need homes. I am excited to help with this!
Well family, how are you all doing? How are your jobs? Your kids? The weather? Your wards? What have you done lately?
We have a new email policy, we are allowed to email friends, church leaders, and recent converts now! So if any friends want to email me, its
Lots of love,
Sister Martin

Monday, March 11, 2013

Trolley Rides

Hello Family!
What a crazy week!
 Trolley Rides and Delicious Popcorn= best random Thursday ever!
Walnut Creek has a trolley/bus thing that is known as the 'Free Ride'. I have always wanted to ride a trolley in San Francisco, because I saw them there when I visited with friends two Christmases ago. Riding the trolley has also been a silly dream since Mom and I used to always watch "Meet Me in St. Louis". So this was the closest thing to riding a trolley right now. I really wanted to ride it, so I thought about using it to find new people to talk to. Sister Hewett and I loaded up on pass along cards and got on a free ride. I ended up talking to people from Russia, England, and all over the area here. (the free ride is meant to get people to go shopping downtown). I gave out different invitations, like visitors center,, and ordering a Book of Mormon. It was also good practice of just talking to people, I would be sitting by someone and I would just start a conversation. I started one by telling the English guy he spilled coffee foam on his pant leg (I have just learned to embrace the awkwardness of always talking to people no matter what). Then I heard he had an English accent and asked him about England. We talked about family and how he finds the ability to balance and find peace in his life with so much travel. It was so natural to testify of families and how the restored gospel blesses them. Sis H and I had so much fun! We got off after riding an hour, and were walking through downtown to get back to our car, when we passed a popcorn shop. We remembered a member telling us it was good, and I was really hungry, so Sis H asked if I wanted to go in. I said yes, and soon the cashier came around and started giving us samples. Then as she was looking down at the popcorn she asked "are you...." and I said "missionaries? YES!" Then she launched into a conversation with us about how she remembers her and her grandma learning from the missionaries at age 10 on their front lawn. Then she said life happened, parents got divorced, etc. and she never got baptized. Then she said her boss has been telling her she needs to go to church. I couldn't believe how awesome she was, we asked if she would like missionaries to come teach her again and she readily said yes! She gave us all her information, sadly she does not live in Walnut Creek so we won't teach her, but some other missionaries will!
Turnarounds from the Book of Mormon
This week we have really slowed down on plowing through lessons and thinking what our investigators really need to progress and build their faith. Then, so many miracles poured out! First, Madhukar had not come to church in weeks, and could only meet with us once a week instead of twice, and he stopped reading,etc. It was terrible, he had been so fired up and now was backing off. But we KNEW he was not done yet! Finally this last lesson he told us he started reading the BOM again, but this time with more meaning, he says he feels like he can get something out of almost every verse, and he wants to not just read it for general learning anymore, he recognizes there is meaning in it!!! Then he came to church again!
Then Priyali, our other Indian investigator, said that she tried the deeper prayers we talked about with her. We had talked about how important it was to pray for others not just ourself. We had also asked our ward missionaries to help with daily contact with our investigators. One of them had texted Priyali all week and through their conversation our ward missionary asked Priyali to pray for her and her husband because he really needs a better job. Priyali said she was touched, and this was when she started to really recognize others needed her to pray for them. She said her prayers were so much better, and THEN she said how it all really connected with what she had been reading in the BOM!! She said all the lessons about charity, etc had more meaning. Tears were streaming down her face at this point, and said she the BOM was so simple yet profound, it could not possibly have been written by man, and that her reading and praying have more meaning now!!! Sis H and I had also taken Norman ( our last baptism) and his wife Mandy to this lesson; we all walked out of there blown away and felt like we were the ones being taught. Norman joked that Priyali put him to shame (he was a lot more quiet in his lessons). I have been so impressed with our dear Indian friends, they are so smart and so humble, and they understand the scriptures so well. She is not ready for baptism yet, but it was such a turning point!! she said she recognized how we weren't just trying to get numbers for our ward, but to help "conversion from within" and she related it to Lehi's dream, how we are here to help her stay on the path! The great part is, is that she had read the dream in chapter 8, but had not read the interpretation in ch 11 yet! WOW!! Definitely a highlight of my mission.
Another investigator (and has been for a year now) had a turnaround this week too, because of the right member. I can not testify to you how much member missionary work matters. It makes absolutely the biggest difference.
Norman and Mandy have been called as ward missionaries!! WOOOOO!! Them, Ross (Lacie's husband), Bishop, our WML, and even Zaya spoke on Sunday! The Spirit was sooo strong and everyone came out of the sacrament saying it was the best one ever. Norman told his conversion story, and Mandy and Ross testified of the joy of having their spouses get baptized. Then we had helped Zaya write a simple testimony of how happy she was, and she did a great job with her English! Then to top it all off Bishop shared his experience of sharing the gospel that I really wanted to share with all of you.
He went to visit a recent convert who had recently been put in jail in San Francisco. He brought a BOM with him to give him something to read, and as he went to the visiting area, he passed a bail bondsmens' office. Bishop said he didn't know really what a bail bondsmen did, so he stopped and chatted with him for a bit. He had a strong impression to give the BOM to this man. He felt it twice, and said he walked out anyways. He felt terrible, and so he prayed to Heavnely Father that if that man was still there after his visit, he would give him the BOM. Turns out he couldn't bring a gift to a man jail, so he had to keep the BOM, so he went down to the bail bondsmen's office. He asked if he (his name was Tony) had ever read this book. Tony said yes actually, so Bishop asked if he had ever been to the Oakland temple/visitors center. He said no. Bishop said he and his family were going tomorrow night, and if he and his wife would like to join them. He said yes! After the temple visit, they met with missionaries. Bishop and his wife sat in on a lesson with Tony and his wife about eternal marriage. During the lesson Tony turned to his wife and said "Of course! Of course this is how it's supposed to be!" Bishop said he and his wife were sooo happy after that lesson they were practically skipping and said if every member felt the joy they did at that moment, we would have to split the ward there would be so many converts. Tony and his wife are now actice members in another ward, and have been sealed in the temple.
The gospel is real. It makes people happy, and everyone wants to be happy. The gospel blesses families, and sharing the gospel blesses families.
Sister Martin

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

March Missionary Madness

Hello Family,
This week was awesome. First, Sister Hewett and I were specially invited to Zone Council on Wednesday. Normally only zone leaders and sister trainers get to go, but two brothers from Salt Lake City Missionary Department were coming, and all the district leaders and a few select sisters got to go. Some sister comapnionships were even split up, only one go to come. Sister Hewett and I were lucky we both got invited. We asked out zone leaders why we were there, and they just shrugged and said President Meredith specially invited us. But for whatever the reason, we really appreciated it as we got some great training!
The two brethren discussed how we were a healthy mission, leading the area in member present lessons! They said that is a strength of ours, working with members. Our mission lately has had training stressed on finding, so that's what we expected to hear. But no, they took us back to the importance of planning and studying. They helped us see planning involves so much and that studying helps us get the revelation we need to be more powerful teachers to retain those that we are already teaching. As we focus on studying for our investigators and their needs, then the Spirit will give us what we need to know "and it shall be given you in the very hour"(D&C 84:85), and they related the scripture to not necessarily meaning the hour we are teaching the lesson, but the hour we are preparing for it.
Then we had a special ward fast this Sunday for our ward to grow through missionary work. The third hour was dedicated to us sisters missionaries (Sis Hewett and I, and the two sisters in Lafayette ward helped out to) giving training about Preach My Gospel and how the sisters in Relief Society can help us out better when they come out with us to lessons. The Lafayette Ward heard now asked us to come help out their RS/priesthood one week, and the YM/YW the next! Sister Hewett and I are telling our ward to call March, March Missionary Madness. The sisters in Lafayette are saying March is M&M's month, or Missionaries&Members, and they are supposed to wear green on Sundays to show they support the sisters. Then next Sunday we are having a special Sacrament meeting dedicated to missionary work and all our recent converts (and the spouses for the part member families) are going to speak, as well as Bishop and our Ward Mission Leader. Then the next week is Augie's baptism!!!  Meanwhile, us and all our ward missionaries are working hard this month to visit families in the ward, and not really do a "family mission plan" but a "family mission commitment" and the commitment is the same for everyone. They invite a friend or neighbor (preferably a family) over for dinner and a principle. It's simple, not a huge elaborate FHE, but something you tell your friend you just like to teach your kids good values once a week, would they like to come for that and dinner. Then when they come they feel the Spirit. Worse case scenario is you are a better friend, best case scenario is they are interested in the gospel.What a crazy month full of awesomeness!
Last night Sis Hewett, a member, and I visited a less active man. He is a cowboy in his 70's! He was awesome, and he told us a story of him running his horse as fast as he could at a coyote who was dragging away a house cat, with his leg in his mouth( I almost cried or threw up at this part of the story...) and he scared the coyote away and saved the cat! He wrapped him up in a blanket and rode with him away and eventually to the emergency vet. He now owns a three legged cat named Mama Kitty. I said I had to see this. So he showed me the cat in his garage, and it was curled up so I couldn't see the leg (he said he has a fake one now) and it hissed at me so I couldn't pet it. What a crazy story! Poor traumatized kitty! And cowboys exist in this kind of place! He said the more he talked to me, the more Texan he could see in me :).
I also had exchanges again this week, with the new sister trainer, Hermana Camarillo, who I made good friends with during our time at Christmas in the Visitor's Center! It was a really fun exchange, we got to do a lot of service, attend a baptism with Augie where we also helped with a special musical number, and we saw some amazing investigators. Things are looking great for this transfer so far, and its a short transfer (only 5 weeks). And did I mention, we are getting 19 new missionaries in the next transfer, and 11 are sisters?!  5 of which are full proslyting English, and 1 of which is my good friend Hermana Cash from EFY! She will be Spanish speaking and in the Visitor's Center.
1)a sign outside someone's door....seriously
2)what happens during lessons when someone has a cat
3)raining during transfers, most of us sisters in our rain gear
4)my other companion for a week, sister erdenebaatar, with our mongolian food, "ho-shore"
I will send more pictures, LOVE YOU ALL!!
Sister Martin

1)exchanges with Hermana Camarillo
2) Sis Hewett and I with our miracle story less active-now-going-active-and-on-fire sister. I will write about her in another email.
3)Zone Council with some other specially selected sisters, Sister Chan, and Hermana McLaws
4)more Zone Council and other sisters there (Hermana Garcia and Sister Taggart are the VC sister trainers)