Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Inner City

Hello Family,
My week was interesting. I GOT TO DO EXCHANGES IN INNER CITY OAKLAND. Scary. President put one set of sisters there for this first time ever this transfer, and I had to be the Sister Trainer Leader for them. So I went twice. The elders there(who are the assistants to the president) need a lot of help, so they call the sisters a lot to go to their area (they try to give the sisters safer places, but still...) and we visited this miraculous less active wanting to come back to church. But she lives in a neighborhood where she has seen multiple shootings, morning, afternoon, and night.It was in a super ghetto house, and she told us she looked out her window once to see a man bleeding from his head, dead. So sad the world and crime and secret combinations. So my eyes continually are opened to the sheltered life I lived beofre. And this lady was in a mess. She was married to a guy who almost killed her, but now he is out of the country and she doesnt know how to get a hold of him so she can divorce him. She also has a child, a boyfriend, and broke her hand and when she went in to get it treated, got a pregnancy test that came back positive. But she cried to us in her living room when I asked her why she wanted to come back. She felt a prompting to go the visitor's center a week before. She has also thought a lot about her grandma who has passed recently. Just amazing stories of the spirit prompting her. Oakland is such fertile ground for prepared people. However, that means the ward has its own challenges. It's basically run by stake service members, the ward is full of a lot of poor, mostly single people with a lot of problems, no cars, etc. The sisters said there are not very many families at all.

In East Bay I was trying to to talk with everyone, and this girl even looked mid-single. We set a return appointment, and met her this week. As the lesson started she had some great questions about the Atonement and how we viewed Christ. But soon her friend showed up (they always bring a friend) with her bible and we knew exactly what was happening. It was really funny and sad at the same time, when she pulled out Revelations I said "we know what that says!!" Haha, they weren't sure what to do after that, and didn't even really try. I just gave the schpeel about we could actually give you a lot of answers for that, but really can only invite you to read the Book of Mormon and pray for yourself, ONLY if you are willing and sincere about learning more. They were not, but gave us material from themselves about what the real, or yet "a Christian's definition of gospel" is. Also, when they asked us about our view of heaven and hell, it was so funny to hear them try nicely to tell us that we were going to hell.
On a happier spiritual note, I gave a zone training this week on small and simple things, how they make us great missionaries (and people). It made me study the word "simple" in the scriptures. I really liked Doctrine and Covenants1:23 "That the fulness of my gospel might be proclaimed by the weak and the simple unto the ends of the world..." The Lord works through simple servants. I know this to be true, I have seen it!
I will send another email with pictures from Fenton's Creamery (in Oakland, the one they sit in at the end of the movie "Up". However I do not reccomend eating these things by yourself) and a cool street corner we found after some service in Oakland.
Sister Martin

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