Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Mixed Week

JUST this today! Sorry guys :)

Hi Family,
So our P-day was switched this week due to us being allowed to go in the temple. Our temple day was today, Wednesday, so that became our P-day. So I just read some of your emails, and am obviously just now responding.
Since Monday was not a P-day, we had to work on Memorial Day. We found lots of service to do, including singing patriotic songs to some elderly at a nursing home. That was fun, and they loved it! They especially clapped their hands to Battle Hymn of the Republic. Thanks to all those I know who have served/are serving in the armed forces! You are amazing.
Our little Toyota Corolla we get to drive is one of the oldest in the mission. We had to get the battery replaced AND the stereo/radio system fixed, because in a few months they will sell it.Why would I tell you this? Because that means that the only spare car hanging around the mission home for us to use in the mean time, was actually a truck! The senior couple in charge of cars told President Meredith that I was from Texas and drove a truck in high school and he said that was ok, so my companion and I were so excited! We have LOVED driving that around this week. Reminded me of Texas. All of our district, especially the elders, were pretty jealous.
We received some referrals from a man in another ward who is dying of cancer. He called us and said he wanted everyone he knew and loved to know about the church. Amazing what being close to the veil makes you think about...
I absolutely loved the temple today. I haven't been since November, and it felt like home! It went by waaaay too fast and I felt like I couldn't drink it all in fast enough. I literally will have so, so many stresses before I go in, but when I am inside, I physically can not feel stressed about those things. Even though I think about them, my mind is extremely calm. Whoever reads this, do me a favor, and go to the temple this week! Also, a lady stopped me and the other sisters in the celestial room and hugged us and told us to tell our moms. Her 19 yr old daughter is on a mission and she said she hoped a mom was hugging her daughter.
Peter has a new baptismal date for June 15! He read the scriptures about Sabbath Day holy and asked if he needed to take off work. For a guy who works a million hours for his family, this was amazing he even asked! His faith is really growing. They were sure to come on time to sacrament too this week, which was a first in a while. Zaya is so excited she keeps asking again and again when they can go to the temple together to be sealed.
This Friday I get to go on exchanges...with Sister Hewett! Surprise reunion in Walnut Creek now that she is a sister trainer. We are both excited :)
Well my prayers will definitely go out to people in my home stake this week. I know how much the gospel blesses families, because it has blessed mine in so many ways. When trials came/will come upon us, we can rely on the Lord. When you feel there is nothing and no one else, He is there. When you feel life is out of your control, and there is nothing else you can do-- except pray. He literally is there to hold us and grieve with us- I have felt it. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and the link to me being with my family forever. It was in those particular moments of losing family/friends that it has become very real for me, and not only a testimony builder, but a conversion builder.
There is a story we were told in a talk by Elder Holland, that many years ago two missionaries tracted into a young mother's house in some European country (sorry I don't remember the details). She was very upset they were at the door, and said she had been offended by many priests who told her her son who had passed away was damned because he died young without baptism. She was about to slam the door, when one elder stuck his foot through the door and asked "ma'am, would you like us to tell you where your son is?" and she stopped. He opened up to Moroni 8. Verse 12 I like in particular "For little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world; if not so, God is a partial God, and also a changeable God, and a respecter to persons; for how many little children have died without baptism!"  The Book of Mormon answers questions of the soul. This lady's grief and anger was answered with words of Christ. How lucky we are to have His teachings and promises! He also shows us how much He loves children in 3 Nephi 17: 20-23 "...he said unto them:blessed are ye because of your faith. And now, behold my joy is full. And when he has said these words, he wept...and he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them. And when he had done this he wept again; and he spake unto the multitude, and said unto them: Behold your little ones."  The gospel is true, and if we choose to live it, we are blessed with such peace. Perhaps He is holding this dear sweet boy now. Perhaps Ally and he are teaching those very people we are doing work in the temple for. So once again, please go to the temple. It is such an important work. Then when you go, write me about your experience.
I sincerely love you all, each one of you.
Sister Martin

Nothing to report?

There has been no letter from Sister Martin this week. Pday fell on a holiday so we are figuring she either went to the temple (as mentioned a few letters ago) or is busy doing service projects and just couldn't get an email sent. Look forward to next week!

Monday, May 20, 2013


Hi Family,

Thanks for the Bday wishes, I seriously have the coolest family ever!

This week Priyali received the Holy Ghost. It was great, she loved it, said she felt Spirit. We taught her her first new member lesson this week and after talked about us sharing the Restoration with others, and she told us about her neighbors. We went straight there with her, and she knocked on the door, introduced herself, said we were her friends from church, and she wanted to talk to them about her church! Woah, bold recent convert! It actually was fine though, he said ok and nodded his head, I think he liked it that she was straight to the point. I took some time to testify to him about the gospel blesses families, especially because he said his wife was out of town taking care of their sick daughter. He seemed a little interested to hear more, so we are going back when his wife is in town! We have been really struggling with finding lately, and so we are hoping with these potentials we can help them progress in the gospel.

Then we had two other miracle phone calls receiving random referrals, some in our area, and some not. But both were just members going by the Spirit and sharing what they know to be true (espeically sharing the Book of Mormon and just ASKING people if they want missionaries) with others. 

This work is truly the Lord's!

Love you all!
Sister Martin

Monday, May 13, 2013


Hola Familia!

Well, it was fantastic talking to you all (and SEEING everyone)! It made me so happy that you all cared enough to see me :) The babies and cats were all still cute so that's good...;) Mom I hope you were treated right and had an enjoyable day! Love you!!

Well like you saw, I am training again. Sister Fiefia is from Tonga, the first sister in our mission actually from there (the other Tongans were from Utah). So it has been an adjustment not only teaching her missionary life, but also helping her live in America. When we went running the first morning, she grabbed my arm and said "Sister Martin! What is that?!" I look up to the power line and replied "That's a squirrel." Haha she was so scared of it! She calls me Sista Martini from Texasisi. She thinks all the cars are very nice and go very fast, and asks me things like why can't I just cut across to the other road, that turns out to be an opposite one way street with a meridian between us. So its been interesting having to explain all the little things. I'm sure I would have been the same way if I had gone to a foreign place. 

Priyali's baptism was great! I didnt mention yesterday that she was crying before she went into the font, and just beamed when she came out! After the baptism she went right to our other investigator, who is struggling to commit to a date, and told her she was next! She said she felt sooo different before and after going down into the water. You can tell she is ready to start this new life.

As for my birthday, I sent mom a list of some ideas, but really just a letter and/or maybe some spending cash would be awesome. Or cute summer sister missionary clothes, my current things are heavier. Or General Conference on DVD is nice to have in the apartment. We only can watch those, The District training videos, Finding Faith in Christ, and Restoration. But the only conference ones are from 2008. So the newer ones would be cool. There is a Texas BBQ place close by I think I want to try on my birthday to see if its real :) Also, it happens to be on a P-day, so we are going as a district to the Oakland Zoo! Then the next week is a temple trip and maybe Peter's baptism! Good birthday month! ;) 22, isn't that crazy?! You are all probably rolling your eyes...but it feels weird to me!

Well, just know that I REALLY LOVE YOU ALL! Read the Book of Mormon everyday!!
Sista Martini

Monday, May 6, 2013

News and Answered Prayers

Hello Family!
Big News this week: We got transfer calls. Usually when you train a new missionary, it is for 12 weeks. But there are so many sisters coming in, its causing a lot of changes. I will be training ANOTHER new missionary come Wednesday! Oh, and staying in Walnut Creek! (I will be here for at least half my mission when I am done training this sister).So Sister Goff is getting transferred after only 6 weeks of being out, with another missionary who has only been out 6 weeks, and they are "shotgunning" the area! Meaning they are both brand new, there is not a senior companion who is already there and knows the area. They are going out to Brentwood, with a ward who is finally getting their own set of missionaries and a brand new building. I am very excited for her, but also sad to see her leave. Her and her new companion are very nervous, our zone leaders mentioned to them "so you are 'the experiment'?" haha, so this has not really been done before in the mission. Also, Sister Goff will be driving and the senior companion! Sister Hewett got called as one of the new sister training leaders!
Prayers Answered: If you prayed for Peter this week (like I mentioned in the last letter), we had a great trip to the Visitor's Center, where we asked him if he wanted to be baptized, and he said yes! He picked a date of May22, which is a Wednesday haha, but we can change that. Also Priyali was praying that her parents would be ok with her getting baptized, and she talked to them Saturday night, and her mom was not only ok with it, she even told her if she is going to be committed to something, she needs to be committed 100%! Smart mother :) Priyali is getting baptized on Sunday! So lucky new sister is getting to see a baptism her first Sunday out in the field.
Mother's Day: I will be skyping from a members house around 4:00 pm my time, 6:00 Texas time. Hopefully I remember my log in information haha. I might give a brief phone call right before again to let you know to get on. Our call has been encouraged this time to last from 30-40 minutes. Bring the babies!
Love you!
Sister Martin

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Right Time, Right Place

*****Sorry I'm late this week guys, I've been uber sick and totally spaced posting Laurel's email, enjoy! Even if it's a few days late*****

Howdy Family

This week was incredible, full of tons of downs, which were quickly made up for with ups!

First, we had a lot of interesting first appointments with some people we had street contacted. The first was a young salesman who ended up just having a lot of questions about what we do for door approaches, what kind of training we had, etc. He basically was just curious about Mormons. When we shared scriptures from the Bible, he was ok with reading them to us out loud, but when we tried to get him to read a little bit in the introduction of the Book of Mormon,  he all the sudden said he didn't have his contacts in. So I should have seen it coming, but he had said he wasn't really interested after the lesson was over, so when I asked who he knew that we could share this message with he said "well I don't agree with the message"-ouch! It's like they are all fine and dandy talking to you about God and Jesus Christ, but as soon as you hit the points about prophets and joseph smith, they get into all kinds of crazy questions, and he pulled out all the crazy ones that no one ever wants to deal with. So we just invite him to pray and read the book of mormon, and he didn't want to, so I at least convinced him to keep it so he can get true answers and not stuff he finds online about it. He saw the reasoning behind that and said ok. He really was very nice during the whole thing, but not prepared at all. He mentioned something about his pastor, and I could only think about what my companion said about how back in Oklahoma, there are some churches that literally preach "don't read the book- that's how they get you!" hahahaha. Pretty sure that was what happened. Then we met with another Indian man, and as we talked he was so excited we were spreading the word about Jesus Christ. Then as we kept talking, it turns out he is a preacher of some sort, showed us his facebook page on his phone and everything. And he really got upset about prophets and Joseph Smith as well. He even said Sister Goff and I would be prophets too someday hahaha, we tried to explain that was not how it worked, but once again he was just really not prepared and wouldn't listen. So moral of the story here---give missionaries appointments with your friends! People who personally know a Mormon, not just what the world says.

This week we made some major progress with Priyali. She is reading the Book of Mormon like crazy, and loves it! We talked to her about baptism again, and this time she said she smiled and got excited, and said she wanted to say yes, but there was a little something holding her back. We talked to her about her family, and she is concerned about talking to them about joining the church. We even role-played with her what she would say to her family, and she bore powerful testimony on the importance of baptism as the first step in getting to the kingdom of God and being new and clean. It was amazing. I just told her to "say that!" 
We called Zaya this week to make sure she was coming to church on Sunday, and then all the sudden on the phone call, she said "Peter, wants baptism?" We had been planning and dropped our pens and said "wait, what?!" Then our ward mission leader stopped by at that moment and we opened our window and said out loud "so you are saying peter wants to be baptized?!" our ward mission leader freaked out and started whooping and jumping. Zaya was the first baptism I had here, and we have tried to teach her husband Peter, but he keeps saying do not push baptism, do not push baptism. So we have just tried teaching him about the priesthood and gospel blesses families. This was a plain miracle, that we had absolutely nothing to do with! We hadn't even seen him this past week, except to say a quick prayer with him before he went to work. But our bishop (one if the most inspired people I have ever met), had told us a few weeks before in ward council that for some reason, Peter had really been on his mind. Zaya told us not to say anything to him, he had to come to us and tell us he wants to be baptized, but that she was talking to him about her baptism and he had told her. So pray Peter will feel comfortable enough to tell us he wants to be baptized! 
Then we went to visit a focus family (a program our stake has for us to teach certain families the missionary lessons) that has been on my mind, and while we just made a stop by Sunday night, its turns out the grandma had moved in with them. As soon as we walked in, I kid you not, she said "I know you from somewhere. You look very familiar!" I joked with her and said it must be in the pre-earth life. Turns our she wasn't a member! Instead of teaching the whole family (most had to leave anyways to a scouting thing), we taught the grandma and the mom (the member) parts of the plan of salvation, because this grandma had been devasted by the loss of her daughter and grandson, and was unhappy about being out here in California. We read a lot from the Book of Mormon about how little children are alive in Christ, paradise, and enduring to the end. After the lesson, we asked if we could come back, they both said yes. We are going back tonight and are bringing a large print Book of Mormon with us! Her name name is Dorothy and she is 79 years old. I have hope though, because we have a man who was baptized at 74 in our ward.

The Lord truly shows us tender mercies. This is His work, He is preparing people, that's the hard part! So we must do our part to be a good example and then open our mouth so people can see what we are a good example of.

Lots of Love,
Sister Martin