Monday, June 4, 2018

The End

Hello world!  This is it!  My last weekly email as a full time missionary!  It sure has been a blast to be able to share the Gospel!  I know that we are here to have JOY!  One of my favorite lines in "Preach My Gospel" (we study from, along with the scripture) is "As your understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ grows, your desire to share the Gospel will increase."  I have truly seen that- and as I have shared the Gospel, I have felt joy that I hadn't before.  From seeing someone connect with Heaven in prayer for the first time, to feeling the Spirit with them and seeing them enter the waters of baptism and work towards the temple, has been such a blessing and a joy.

On Friday I had the opportunity to go to the LA temple one last time before I head home!  It is always such a great experience going to the temple.

Departing Elders

President Henrie and Elder Martin

Elder Haws and Elder Martin

On Sunday in Sacrament meeting, it was a very good, spiritual testimony meeting!  To end the night, I went to visit a couple families that have had a big impact on my mission and my life for sure!

The Mai- Reynoza family- they joined the church in December 2016

I love this Gospel.  I know that it can change lives.  I have seen it so much.  I know the joy that comes from within the Gospel as we recognize our identity as children of a loving Father in Heaven and the plan that He has for each and every one of us.  I KNOW the Book of Mormon is true.  I know that Jesus is the Christ and that through Him, we can be saved from death- both physically and  spiritually.  I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, and was called of Him, to restore the Church of Jesus Christ back on the earth, with the Priesthood Authority to administer the ordinances necessary for salvation.  What a blessing it has been to share this good news with others, and gain a stronger testimony of it for myself.

I love all of you that have helped me and supported me along this path!

Elder Colby Martin

Eric Aubrey, Elder Martin and Elder Ybarguen

Elder Hale came to visit, forgot his church pants

No shoes, no shirt...on in California

Big Snake...and a puddle of blood.

"When the focus of our lives is on Jesus Christ and His Gospel, we can feel joy regardless of what is happening- or not happening- in our lives."  Russell M. Nelson

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

103 Down, 1 To Go

103 down, 1 to go.  That's the weeks of my mission- I have been so grateful for the opportunity that I've had to serve my mission.  My mission President has always said that a mission "isn't a gift to God, it's a gift from God."  That is truly the case.  I have learned so many eternal truths in the 2 years I've been in the Great San Fernando California mission.  The greatest of these truths is that God know each and every one of us and He loves us.  I have felt that love, and I have seen others feel and recognize His love in their lives too.

It was a great week, this week.  I was able to witness 3 people that I had the opportunity to teach, enter the waters of baptism.  What a joyful time!

We spent so much time knocking again.  On Tuesday morning, we got a call from President to get some elders together to help out an organization called "Family Promises" for the next day.  We weren't too sure what we'd be doing.  As we were knocking on Tuesday, the second to the last door we knocked, a guy told us they were moving the next day.  We offered to help, and he said "it's okay, we have help from an organization called Family Promises."  Sure enough, on Wednesday morning we were at his house again with this organization to help them move some stuff.  He opened up and asked some good questions and he was able to learn a little bit about the Restored Gospel.  We have been knocking a lot and talking to some really cool people.

On Friday, we did some knocking in the morning before it was time for us to head over and fill the font for the baptisms.  Elder Ybarguen baptized Priscilla, and I was asked to baptize Samira.  There was a ton of support from the ward, as well.  The program was very spiritual- the opening hymn was "When I Am Baptized" in the children's songbook, and the closing hymn was "I Know that My Redeemer Lives", which are two songs that instantly invite the Spirit. 

Elder Martin, Priscilla, Samira, Elder Ybarguen

Saturday morning we traveled down to Woodland Hills to witness Imelda's baptism as well.  She received a warm welcome to the ward and was overcome with the Spirit.  I love seeing people feel the Spirit and the joy that comes from the Gospel.  I have seen it change peoples lives, including my own. 

Imelda's baptsim

Sunday, Elder Ybarguen confirmed Priscilla, and I confirmed Samira.  They love the Gospel.  Samira loves Primary, and Priscilla has just been swarmed in Relief Society.  This ward is great with unfamiliar faces and making sure they're comfortable.  It has been a great ward to end my mission in.

On Memorial Day, we did what we could to find people to teach.  We went to parks to find families to teach, but apparently that's a thing of the past.  We had din-din with Sister Wallace again.  This is the older lady in our ward that has us over and puts way too much on our plate...I had vegetables and more vegetables.  She kept piling them on my plate, and so did Eric Aubrey, a hilarious kid that we bring with us.  The other older ladies that were there kept asking why I was getting any meat, I was asking myself the same thing,  But when I finished one plate of veggies, she loaded me up again.  I got full on veggies...that's enough for the next couple of weeks. 

Veggie overload

I hope everyone enjoys the last week of May and the first part of June!  I'm going to do the same!  Thank you all for the love and support you've given me over the last two years!  I'll hear from some of you next week, and SEE others of you next week!

I love you all!

Elder Martin

PS Happy Birthday Parker!

Ice cream...again.

"We come to know the Savior as we do our best to go where He wants us to go, as we strive to say what He wants us to say, and as we become what He wants us to become."  David A. Bednar

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Last Zone Interview and Lunch with President

Ice cream again.

Hey everyone!  I hope all of you have had a great week!  Time is flying by, May is almost done...😊 We had a lot of meetings this week, but still had plenty of time to proselyte!

Tuesday we got a call that we needed to go and help the housing coordinators shut down one of the apartments in our zone.  So we spent a couple of hours moving everything out of there, afterwards, we spent a good amount of time knocking, up until dinner time, and then we had a meeting with a member of the high council.

Wednesday was much the same.  We got an oil change and did weekly planning and knocked doors.  We had a really good knockout where we found a couple people and talked to a lot of nice folks.  We had a couple of lessons in the evening, as well.  One was a kid, that after going back, decided he doesn't want to meet anymore, and the other was another investigator we have that just wishes all his problems would just disappear.  "If all my problems just got taken away, I'd get baptized right away!"  If only that's how it worked, right?  In a trial of faith, Elder Neil L. Anderson, of the twelve, advises us to "do the very things that helped build our core of faith; you exercise faith in Christ, you pray, you ponder the scriptures, you repent, you keep the commandments (especially going to church and partaking of the sacrament, I might add) and you serve others."  We were able to share these things with our friend and share other personal experiences and testimony about them.  I know those things are crucial.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ doesn't just take our problems away, it allows us to face them with greater faith, peace, and hope.

Thursday was a day of meetings.  We had district meeting, after which we knocked, had dinner, and then a meeting with President Henrie, the Stake President, and a high councilor to discuss the missionary efforts in this stake.  Those are always such good meetings.  Sitting there with 3 huge spiritual giants- what a blessing.

Friday we had interviews with President Henrie.  It was our usual transfer interviews, but also my departing one.  It was weird to talk with my Mission President about home- goals and plans I have set, and the things I want to accomplish, but it was a good discussion where he gave me some good counsel.  With that being said, it was my last time going to lunch with him too.  We went to Chili's and I got some bomb chipotle chicken and waffles!  President liked them too!

We were able to have a good lesson with Priscilla and Samira as well, as they prepare for their baptisms!  They're doing so well!  While we were meeting with them, they put their small dog, Rosie, in the backyard.  Towards the end of the lesson, Rosie started making goat sounds in the backyard because she wanted to come back inside.  We started laughing because it was pretty funny and then Priscilla says "Everyone in this house is bilingual...including the dog!"  I was dying laughing!

Saturday we had a lot of lessons scheduled, but all but one fell through.  We did more knocking, around all of the fallen through lessons.  The lesson was with Samira and Priscilla, and they also had their baptism interviews that day.  As we were walking and talking throughout the day, I mentioned how it would be nice to have a small carry on bag for when I head off- literally minutes later we saw a 30 foot dumpster in front of someone's house, and it had a suitcase set in there.  It was a miracle! We had knocked this door the day previously, so it was about to get weird.  We knocked again, and the guy yelled to go away, I responded that I had a question.  He came and talked from behind the door.  I asked if it was trash in front of his house, and his obvious answer was 'yes'.  Then he opened the door, I asked for the carry on sized suitcase, he looked me right in the eyes, told me 'no' and slammed the door.  We just laughed.  It was pretty hilarious! 🤣

Sunday was really good!  Church was awesome- it was high council Sunday, so the speakers were good, and Samira and Priscilla came to church.  Both got swarmed with members and so we just let the members take over, it was great!  We were able to find some new investigators as well, so that was good.  We had a good knockout to finish the week.

PS Quick Birthday shout outs to Andrew Jensen on Friday, my brother Zac on Saturday, and my other nuther big brother Josh, today!

I love you all!  Have a great week and Memorial Day weekend!

Love Elder Martin

Hunting 'gators.  (Investigators, that is.)


This was our friend Patrick that we helped last week...I found him again.

"The gift of faith is a priceless spiritual endowment.  "This is life eternal," Jesus prayed, "that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ , whom thous has sent." Neil L. Andersen

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Small and Simple Things

Hello everyone, and happy Mother's Day to all the mothers and mother figure in my life!  We couldn't do it!

We have done all we can the last couple of weeks to find people to teach!  We have spent a lot of time being out and about with the people and knocking a lot of doors.  That's how most of Tuesday went, until later on we had dinner with a recent convert and her family, and then a meeting with the stake high councilor.

A super nice lady made us lemonade on a hot day.

Wednesday was much of the same as well.  In the evening, we had a lesson with one of our friends and we're helping him recognize and understand the Spirit in his life.  That is one of my favorite things to teach people and help people with.  I have loved the experiences I've had feeling the Spirit and the influence that it has been in my mission- it truly is one of the greatest gifts God has given us.

On Thursday we had mission conference.  A lot of it was on the use of smart phones and the safeguards using them and such, but President Henrie gave a bomb training on the little things and how they can make a huge difference.  We watched some clips of President Oak's talk from General Conference titled, "Small and Simple Things".  One thing that was emphasized is how lives can be changed by these small and seemingly insignificant choices.  President Oak's says "The only preparation for that one profound decision which can change a life, or even a nation, is those hundreds and thousands of half-conscious, self defining, seemingly insignificant decisions made in private."  I've seen how these small decisions can make big differences!  I also got to see some missionaries for the last time before hitting the pavement.  It was good to catch up a little bit with some old companions and mission friends.

Mission Conference

Car inspections

Elder Howell and Elder Martin  (Mijo #3)

Elder Kerr and Elder Martin  (Mijo #1)

Elder Maynes, Elder Martin, and Elder Hadley

Elder Leishman and Elder Martin

Elder Martin and Elder Mekhaeil

We were able to have a quick little lesson with Priscilla and Samira as well, and they're still on track for their baptisms!

On Friday we did some more morning and early afternoon knocking, before doing an exchange with the assistants.  I went with Elder Maynes in Stevenson Ranch and Castaic.  It was a good little exchange with him.  We had a good knockout and talked to some good people and picked up an investigator on the way.  It started to sprinkle a little bit as well which is weird.  This weather is as bipolar as Utah's.  We saw a guy broke down in a left turn lane, so we went to help him push, and he just asked us to give him a jump start start, so we did.  He told us since we were the only ones to stop and help, he was gonna come to the Mormon church.  We drove off, and thought the car he had might not make it, so we turned back around and found him broke down again at the next light.  We jumped him again, and he said "Next time you see me, I'll be a Mormon!"  Haha, it was hilarious. It was good to learn from Elder Maynes as well, he's a good Elder!

On exchanges with Elder Maynes

Saturday was yet another full day of knocking.  In the evening we had a really good lesson with Samira and Priscilla.  They asked a lot of questions which is good, because it shows their intent and seeking of truth!  We had dinner with good ol' Sister Wallace.  I can't even describe how...awesome it was.  She is an elderly lady who cooks all day for us.  She's so kind.  And then she takes food to her neighbors and when we offer to do anything, she won't let us because she doesn't want to inconvenience us.  She's so nice.  Apparently something happens every time the missionaries come over, and this time, her stove top was ticking and gas was coming out, she wouldn't let us help her, but she had us eating while she tried to fix it.  What a lady.

Sister Wallace, fixing her stove

Sunday was really good.  Church was awesome!  Unfortunately, none of our friends were able to make it to church.  The speakers were awesome and so was Sunday school.  In priesthood quorum, the talk by President Oak's was emphasized again.  It must be important to do the little, seemingly insignificant things.  Another favorite part of the talk is this: "Those seemingly insignificant private decisions include how we use our time, what we view on television and the internet, what we read, the art and music with which we surround ourselves at work and at home, what we seek for entertainment, and how we apply our commitment to be honest and truthful.  Another seemingly small and simple thing is being civil and cheerful in our personal interactions.  None of these desirable small and simple things will lift us to great things unless they are practiced consistently and continuously."

I know that as we do these things, we can make a big difference, as we do them consistently!

We had the time to Skype our moms as well, which was awesome to do!  It's always great seeing my momma, I sure do lover her!

I hope you all have a great week!  I love you all!

Elder Martin

"Our lives are made up of little, simple circumstances that amount to a great deal when they are brought together, and sum up the whole life of the man or woman." 
 President Brigham Young

Monday, May 7, 2018

I Know the Lord is in the Details of our Lives

Hey everyone!

Great week here in Santa Clarita!  Lots of good stuff happening and time is flying by!  Quicker that I would hope.  I have learned a lot here on my mission and from each and every companion.

We had MLC this week and it was really good.  We had some good discussions.  It was the last one for me in my mission.  I have loved those meetings and learning from one another.

Elder Martin with Elder Ybarguen

Elder Hadley and Elder Martin

Priscilla and Samira are still doing well!  They are both progressing so well, and are getting closer and more ready for their baptisms!  They came to church again this Sunday!  Which is awesome!  It was a really good, spiritual testimony meeting, and to end it, we sand hymn #136, "I know that my Redeemer lives".  If you want to feel the Spirit quickly, listen to that song.

We knocked a lot of doors this week.  We didn't do too much teaching, other than those lessons with Priscilla and Samira, and then that of everyone we talked to on their doorsteps and in the streets.  We spent a lot of time on the streets and talking with everyone and knocking a lot of doors.  We found a couple of really cool people this last week.

I know the Lord is in the details of our lives.  I've seen and RECOGNIZED the blessings of the Lord in my life, and am doing my best to REMEMBER  those blessings.  I know that from the things we do, and exercising our faith, we can be a blessing to those around us.

Mosiah 8:18 Thus God has provided a means that man, through faith, might work mighty miracles; therefore he becometh a great benefit to his fellow beings.

I love you all!

Elder Martin

The flowers are bloomin'

"I pray that we may make a continuing effort in faith to recognize, remember, and give thanks for what our Heavenly Father and our Savior have done and are doing to open the way home to Them."  Henry B. Eyring