Monday, February 24, 2014

They Call Me Sister

My dearest Family (which includes my former companions reading this),
Some scattered thoughts....
Sunday my ward surprised me by not only announcing over the pulpit that I was returning to Danbury, TX, but they said a special tradition for their departing missionaries is that the whole congregation stand up and sing "God Be With You Til We Meet Again" after the closing prayer. So I had to go up front on the stand while the people of Alamo sang to me. What a moment! It was like a movie! They said they have only ever done that for their own children that leave, but never one of their own full-time missionaries. I felt so honored :).
Well I have spent my last few days teaching amazing families, knocking on doors(even at night), going on one last exchange to a Spanish area, and I just had a great last interview with my mission president. This last area was really hard (still prepared though!), but also helped me grow tremendously, and I love it. Many members have offered their home for us to come stay when we come back and visit!
I don't know what else to say, except I feel really weird, it has been a blur, I am sleeping horribly this week, my apartment is a mess with suitcases. HOWEVER I am of course really excited to see you all!!! It's one of those times you of course feel mixed feelings of reflecting back and looking forward.
This morning I happened to read in the Book of Mormon in the exact spot I remember getting stirrings in my heart as a teenager that it was true. I see my testimony and knowledge has grown stronger, my conversion deepened. Faith really really really really works. When we put forth more faith in Him, He blesses us. I have seen miracles, and I love my Savior and Heavenly Father even more.
Share the gospel.

I can not WAIT to talk all your ears off about my mission ;) GOD BE WITH YOU TIL WE MEET AGAIN....WHICH IS SOON!!!
Signing off with my official last letter to you as a full time missionary.


Sister Martin
CA Oakland/San Francisco Mission Sept 26, 2012- February 26, 2014

Monday, February 17, 2014


Dear Family,
This week was great. I had a great experience on exchanges here in Alamo with a sister missionary from French Polynesia. Whenever we would see people on the side of the road, we would pull over and talk to them. Once I was on a busy street, but saw a cute Asian family out gardening TOGETHER, the wife was even in a modest skirt and frilly cardigan, she LOOKED like a Mormon already. I felt prompted to turn the car around and talk to them. It started off awkward as the only place to pull up was right in the driveway next to them. They were really nice though and said we could come back to see them. Last night went to see them and they totally remembered me and that I was from Texas and everything. We took an Asian member and were able to add them as new investigators! They were saying how they had only been there a year, and wish they had more community, more friends. They had looked at other churches but couldn't decide. They also wish their 9 and 12 year old sons would do more than video games. We discussed the gospel blesses families and they want us to teach them! BLESSINGS AND MIRACLES! Finding a family at the end of my mission is a spiritually high feeling!
And for some reason, we have met a ton of people lately who have recently lost loved ones. I see the Lord humbling this area and preparing them to recieve us. I have been able to bear testimony, show love, and discuss my experience with them and then see the Spirit work through them.
Final Week
Our members all bombarded me on Sunday asking me how much time I had left, was this my last Sunday, etc. I even had a member give me a book titled "Major Decisions" haha. I can't read it now, but its supposed to help me with my life after this.
Well see you all in 10 days. I think I can email next week too, so if you have last minute testimonies or uplifting stories or advice for me, it is still totally welcome! I really appreciate all who took time to write to me and to send me packages. Also, I relaly appreciate all those who prayed for me. I truly felt it.
Quote from Elder Featherstone:“The Lord really loves returned missionaries. He really blesses missionaries. Just think—for two years they gave more than seventy hours a week proselyting and teaching, and they paid their own money to do it.”According to President Spencer W. Kimball, missionaries should have the understanding that their mission “is not a two-year mission; it is an eternal mission. It not only includes all their mortal lives, but their spiritual lives after their demise when they will continue to preach the gospel.”
I have loved my mission and will continue to work this last week to find, teach, and baptize! And then do it again when I return! Love you all.
Sister Martin

Monday, February 10, 2014


Dear Family,
WE GOT TO HEAR FROM AN APOSTLE THIS WEEK! I have been dying to say it, but we were not supposed to. We got a special visit from Elder Quentin L. Cook on Friday. He is actually from the Bay Area and used to be the stake president in the San Francisco stake. So I also got to go to San Francisco side for the day! And our entire mission was all together. It was pouring rain, all almost 300 of us packed into a chapel. The Spirit was so strong during the opening hymn, many were crying, including me.
He first took the time to shake every person's hand. Then we heard from the Meredith's, our area 70 Elder Packer, and the Elder and Sister Cook. Something interesting he shared was that from a study of a focus group, they asked converts and less actives what they remembered from the missionary's visits.90% could only remember 2 things: Joseph Smith's 1st Vision and the Plan of Salvation. That just goes to show it really is all about the Spirit! He also taught us there are 3 reasons missionaries get assigned to the specific mission they do. 1)you will be deeply influenced by the mission president. 2)you are there for the people 3)you will do something there in the future. And they are not afraid to change the assignment if it doesn't feel right. Then he also reminded us that we need to be more loving. We HAVE to love the people, we need to love and respect our companion, love the mission president and his wife and 4)of course, love the Lord. Now is the time to put away foolishness of pointing fingers, and learn from one another's differences. There is a reason a whole chapter is dedicated to Christlike Attributes in Preach My Gospel.
Then he left and testimony and blessing. The testimony was SO POWERFUL. He expressed that he has had experiences that have allowed him to hear the Savior's voice, and he feels comfortable saying he knows He lives. This is His church. He blessed us to open our mouth and we will feel love and warmth for the people.
We added some new investigators this week. One is from Mexico, but he also speaks Polish. He is studying to be a lawyer and is really open. He had read the pamphlet we left him, and had it marked with questions when we came to teach the first lesson. He thought terms like "evidence" was interesting when talking about the Book of Mormon, because he just studied that for the BAR exam. We are meeting him again tonight.
Another miracle this week was visiting a potential investigator (named Bonnie)some other missionaries had written down. I had tried her last transfer with Sister Olsen, but it was on a day she was emotionally distraught because her dad had just passed away 2 days before. We had tried to talk about the Plan of Salvation, but she was crying and so we just left our number. But we tried again this week. She said she remembered me from 5 weeks ago. We had a great discussion, and Sister Goddard was talking about service with her. We have been trying to share/teach from the Book of Mormon more, so I felt prompted to share Mosiah 2, where I had been reading anyways in personal study. I explained a little about the Book of Mormon, and about King Benjamin. She looked at me and said "wait, what? my dad's name was Benjamin!" Coincidence? NO way. Then after I read verse 17, she said "I like that." She is such a faithful woman, and ate up everything we shared! We said we wanted to give her the Book of Mormon, and she said "seriously? I will read this. No I am not even fooling you. I really will." She carefully took it from our hands and we will be back to follow up! The Spirit is the best :)
This week for Valentine's Day watch how God uses love to help us become who He envisions:
LOVE you all. Have a fantastic week!
Sister Martin

Monday, February 3, 2014

Scatter Sunshine!

Hi Family!
This past week we had an incredible experience in contacting less actives. We were so pumped from finding a pool of investigators last week, that we tried to work on the less actives next. We made like 6 stops one night, tracking down almost completely new names no one knew much about. Incredibly, we were either let it, taught at the doorstep, or got a return appointment in all of them! So amazing, and we reached our goal. Heavenly Father is truly pouring His blessings on us to help us teach here. We also are helping the Alamo 2nd elders with some of their teaching appointments. It's filling our week with more exciting things, and we are helping the work move along, and reporting to our ward and everyone is getting excited. 
Another project we started with our ward missionaries is moral authority emails. I think I have told you about Elder Packer, our area 70, having the stake presidents email him about their missionary experiences EVERY WEEK. And he can do this because he is working on having an experience every DAY. This is so the stake presidents can stand at the pulpit and not just tell the members to do work, but to say "look at what happened to me, this can happen for you". Then the stake presidents are doing it to their counselors as well. We do this as full time missionaries, by talking to more people every week, and then telling our members about our experiences to build their faith just whenever we are around them. So we thought we would start that in our ward mission. Now our ward missionaries email our ward mission leader every week about an experience. When we got into gospel principles this Sunday, that's all anyone was talking about! They were so excited, it has really been a hit so far. 

Then we got to speak to early morning Seminary students (the juniors and seniors) this morning. We shared our experiences and discussed the blessings of a mission. It was cool to see them all groggy and yet no one was sleeping! I know the school here has a lot of wealthy kids who get into really bad stuff because they have the money to. So amazing that these kids choose to study the scriptures with their time. Future missionaries coming your way in the next 2 years!
Speaking of the youth, One of our investigators is Ryan, he is 12. His mom is a member, and they have been doing so well coming to church! He wants to be baptized! His grandpa is going to fly all the way from Idaho to baptize him. I know this is something his family has really been wanting for a long time. 

I will send you 2 last pictures of me, just so you can see my new companion Sister Goddard. We have rode bikes a couple more times. It really gets better after the first time. Also, I ran into the coolest cat. He had a unique mustache, and I asked the owner what his name was, and its Mario :)
I LOVE YOU ALL!! Pray for and seek for an opportunity to share the gospel this week, and you will be blessed with the Spirit more in your life, and a smile on your face! Then email me about it, I would love to hear, even if it is a rejection.
Sister Martin
p.s. I picked the title of scatter sunshine, because we fasted in california for rain this week. Even muslims and other faiths did it, and this fast sunday morning, it was already raining! But yet we still sang sunshine songs at relief society haha.