Monday, January 6, 2014

Calling Down the Powers of Heaven

This week has been mind blowing with miracles!
First of all, Sister Olsen and I have set goals and started applying having better prayers, and relying on the Spirit more. We are praying for fervently for missionary opportunities and for our members to have missionary opportunities.
Praying for Baptism
On exchanges, I was in Alamo with Sister Pena. We were trying a lot of potentials that weren't home, we weren't getting in anywhere, and finally I talked with Heavenly Father and said this isn't working. Help us be guided to those being prepared for baptism. We have changed our prayers to not just find someone, but find someone ready to be baptized. We felt prompted to go to a certain park. We pulled up in the parking lot and Sister Pena gets out first and says hi to the first lady we see right next to us in the car with her window cracked down. The lady is really nice, and SHE starts the conversation. She is from Thailand, and likes that we are missionaries, she wants to be one, she is looking at different churches. She then asks a golden question 'I've always wondered what the difference was between Mormons and other religions. Can you tell me?" We'd thought noone would ever ask haha. I asked her if she had a few minutes right then. She said yes of course and we got out, found a bench, and offered a prayer, taught the Restoration, and committed her to baptism. SHE SAID YES. To all those who read this, I want you to know that Heavenly Father is real, He knows us, He listens to us, and He answers us. This is His work, we need to help Him hasten it, but we need to ask and then seek. By the way this woman's name is Seeve, if you could keep her in your prayers, we are meeting with her again tonight.
Praying for Our Members
We have really been praying for our members to have missionary opportunities in almost every prayer we offer. We have been trying to visit members and help them pray for them too. One of our members gave us a referral, he arranged for us to have dinner with her, and she wasn't really taking the invitation to learn more from us, but when we said the prayer at the end of the night, the Spirit filled the room and she was softened. I bore my testimony to her and opened up to Alma 40 to talk about her husband that had passed. We asked her to finish the chapter, she accepted, and asked if we could call her to follow up and we got her number. Then we are working with a member of the stake presidency in our ward. He has been wanting to invite 2 families to meet with us. One is a part member family and the other is somewhat less active and needs the lessons. We finally went over there to see how it was going and he said he was going to send an email invite to them. We have been praying this would go well, we know he has really thought and prayed about this. This morning we got a text saying BOTH accepted his invitation to meet with us.

Praying for a Missionary Minded Sacrament
A lot of our ward is wonderful, but also very comfortable. They don't talk much about missionary work or simple doctrine and testimony in sacrament. We have been a little frustrated with the quality of our church meetings, and when we went to Mission Leadership Council this week, both Sister Olsen and I had the thought that we would love it if President Meredith could come fire up our ward. Turns out, yesterday was the second Sunday in a row we had a general authority come randomly! This week was Elder Packer, from the area 70, who is INCREDIBLE with missionary work and extremely motivating and inspiring. He takes his priesthood duty seriously and is on board with President Monson on hastening the work. He gave the last testimony. It was incredible. He had all the deacons/those who helped passed the sacrament, he called them out by name and said thank you to them in front of everyone, he said "No one else will bless and sanctify my soul this week. Thank you for changing my life this week." He was so full of fire and recognized my companion and I's testimony as well as the brother who bore his testimony on taking us to dinner with that referral. He talked about how the only problem this ward should have is that the building is too small to fit everyone!!! And said amen and sat down. A lot of the ward and the youth were inspired. No one knew why he was there, my companion and I almost couldn't believe how obviously answered we were.
Praying for East Bay
I have been thinking about the singles ward since I left. I ran into the missionaries from my old district and zone and asked how it was doing. They said they all are really praying to find for East Bay. I was so touched of the team effort, and decided I would really keep praying even harder for that ward to keep doing well. I got an incredible email from Sister Evans (who is tearing it up there! so proud) and she told me of numerous people we had taught and helped who are now passing sacrament, going through the temple, going out with the missionaries, becoming fully active, and receiving callings! There was even a story of a lady who I STILL REMEMBER contacting at night once in a trailer park. We invited her to church and she said not right now and just looked so sad. After really trying, we finally had to leave. In the car I remember Sister Evans and I both saying how odd that was, we felt really good about her. Even though she told us no, we felt she really wanted to say yes. We tried inviting her to an activity a month later, but no response. Then Sister Evans called me recently and said you will never guess. This lady (named Laura) CALLED THEM and said "does church still start at 1?" MIRACLES!
I know this church is true. We have revelation today. We have the priesthood which allows us to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. I know God answers our prayers. He loves us, and I love Him.
Sister Martin

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