Tuesday, February 13, 2018

CPR- Church, Pray, Read

This week we had a couple of lessons with Andrea, who is getting baptized on March 3rd.  She is progressing really well and really fast.  She always texts us and asks for even more reading assignments-haha. It's funny because she already talks about her mission and things like that.  She was so prepared.  And she was found by the Book of Mormon experiment, where she read one random page of the Book of Mormon- she experienced it, and it touched her heart.  It's now changing her life and it can do the same for everyone.

Elder Johnson, Andrea, and Elder Martin

We had MLC on Wednesday, which is always good.  Afterwards, we had a lesson with another one of our investigators and so we met up with a member to go and pick up this investie and do a lesson at the church.  Lessons at the church are always so much better.  The Spirit is instantly there.

We had a lot of meetings this week.  Aside from MLC, we had district meeting and also a meeting with President Henrie and the Stake President of Canoga Park, so we could discuss the missionary efforts in the wards and stake.  It's so cool to be part of those meetings with those who have been called of God and have such big roles and responsibilities.  We had another lesson with a different investigator on Thursday evening and more on Friday.

Saturday was a good day of proselyting.  Got a lot of time to knock some doors and try and find people and get a hold of others.  We had some really good conversations with people.  On Sunday there were some really good talks in both Sacrament meetings we went to.  In Woodland Hills, one of the speakers was Mary Anne, who was baptized the last time I was in Woodland Hills.  It was super cool to see!  We had a lesson with a guy with some different perspectives, but it was good to learn from one another.  We had dinner in Hidden Hills...the community where all the celebrities live.  We saw The Weeknds house, Kim and Kanye's house and Drakes, as usual.  We saw two, all black Escalades, with blacked out windows, pull up and the gate open to Drakes, so we may have passed him...pretty sick.  Bout who cares, right?


The church is True.  The formula is simple.  We teach people about CPR.  CPR keeps you alive physically, right?  Spiritual CPR keeps your Spirit alive.  Church, Pray, and Read (Book of Mormon).  I promise if you do those things, your lives will be better.

I love you all!

Elder Colby Martin

California drivers...

Hanging with Luke

Elder Howell's birthday

"Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings and He will direct thee for good."  Alma 37:37

Monday, February 5, 2018

This Divine Book was Written for Our Day

Monday was crazy!  After we emailed we had to take a missionary, who was going home, up to where the other departing missionaries were, so that took a hefty part of our P-day.  Afterwards, we had dinner with a member, and then FHE with an investigator before we had to go home and pack, because we just found out then, that we were moving apartments. haha

On Tuesday, we had our transfers.  It was a bit different this time, we had a first time mission wide conference.  We had some good trainings as well as a big announcement. The Great California San Fernando Mission will be no longer, come July.  Our mission will have the boundaries change, and half the mission will go to the LA mission, and the other half to the Bakersfield mission.  It was a pretty busy day with transfers and everything with that.

Wednesday we had to get some things done that we didn't get to on Monday.  We had some other busy work as well and then a lesson with one of our investigators.  It went pretty well.

Thursday we had district meeting, which was really good.  It was on the doctrine of Christ and how we can make it more part of our teaching and lives as missionaries.  We were able to meet with another investigator of ours who is so solid.  She asks so many good questions and is really doing everything to seek after truth.

Friday and Saturday were both good days that we were able to have more lessons.  Elder Johnson and I have been able to teach a lot together and to find people as well.  We found a couple new investigators this week knocking, and have met with one of them again.

Sunday was really good as well!  We had ward council first thing in the Woodland Hills ward.  It's so great to be back there!  A lot of people remembered me and it was good to catch up a little bit and talk to some old friends.  The testimony meeting was great also!  We had to jet real quick after Sacrament to be able to drive and make it to our other ward.  We were able to have two of our investigators at church in the YSA ward, and one of them even got up and bore her testimony.  It was awesome because it was from the heart.  She shared her experiences with the Book of Mormon and the Spirit.  She's funny, she won the hearts of the people in the YSA, haha, they lover her already!  We had 'break the fast' afterwards, which is always good!

I had the chance to finish the Book of Mormon again this morning. It amazes me each time I read it, the things that I can get out of it.  This divine book has been written for our day.  I know that no matter what anyone of you is going through, you can find comfort and help within the Book of Mormon.  I cannot emphasize or encourage this enough, if you're not reading in the Book of Mormon, DO IT!  Don't take my word for it, just open it up yourself.

I love you all!

Elder Martin

P.S. Happy late birthday to my good friend Tyrell, and happy birthday to my other homie, Colin!

"The gospel of Jesus Christ opens the path to what we may become."  
D. Todd Christofferson

Monday, January 29, 2018

The Spirit of the Gospel is Optimistic

Hello everyone!  This week's email will be especially short!  We spent a couple days this last week doing the Book of Mormon Experiment on the CSUN campus.  It was really good.  We went through 538 pages which is insane!  The whole Book of Mormon was read.  There were some really good referrals sent in because of it and people we can teach also.

The Book of Mormon Experiment- CSUN campus

Elder Johnson, Luke, Elder Martin

On Wednesday, we had the chance to teach that part member family in our ward.  The lesson was perfect.  The lady, Marla, has read the whole Book of Mormon and has gained a witness of it's divinity and has felt and seen something different in her life.  It was amazing to be apart of it.  The Spirit was so strong!  She's on date to be baptized February 25th.  I know the church is true!

We had to take a missionary to the office and back, for his departing temple trip, since he's going home tomorrow, so we spent a lot of time in the car, unfortunately.  We had to fill the font for a baptism within our zone, as well, so as we sat through that, we counted all the Book of Mormon Experiment stuff, which was crazy!

The aftermath...538 pages read...1 by 1 and marked. (More than a whole Book of Mormon)

We got transfer calls as well.  I'm staying in the YSA ward, no longer training.  My companion is Elder Johnson, who is the other zone leader.  We've been 'split' for the last transfer, but we're actually companions now.  It'll be good.  Also, we're now covering my old area along with the YSA...
Woodland Hills!  I'm coming home!!!  Such a good place!

Lots of good things happening, lots of good things to come!  I love you all, thanks for all your support!

"The Spirit of the Gospel is optimistic.  It trusts in God and looks on the bright side of things.  The opposite, or pessimistic spirit drags men down and away from God, looks on the dark side, murmurs, complains, and is slow to yield to obedience."  Orson F. Whitney

Let's all emulate the Spirit of the Gospel!

Elder Martin


Korean BBQ



The view from the edge of Woodland Hills

"Despite the conditions of our day, we have many reasons to rejoice and be optimistic."  
Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson

Monday, January 22, 2018

"You're just too happy."

This was a quick week with P-day being last Tuesday, but it was a really good week, with a lot of really cool things happening!  On Thursday, Elder Johnson and I had the chance to train in the two district meetings on using short, simple statements of truth and did a pretty good role play with it.  After district meeting we went on exchanges and I went back to the good ol' Woody Hills!  I was with Elder Ybarguen, and we had a really good exchange.  Got the chance to talk to a lot of really cool people.  Especially one guy that says he's referred to as "Nasty Jack; Hillbilly Deluxe, or Whitetrash".  He was a pretty funny guy.

We also did some contacting in the park and found some guys named AJ and Ryan, and we challenged them to a game of basketball.  You know how that goes; if we win, we teach.  Surely we won.  By a large margin, but they were good sports and let us teach the whole Restoration.  One listened because he had to, the other took it seriously, and we're going to be following up with him this week, which was really cool.  Prepared people are everywhere!

On Friday, not too much happened up until evening.  Elder Johnson and I were together and were doing the Book of Mormon Experiment at Food truck Friday on a street here in the valley.  We had a ton of people do the experiment.  What was so cool?  We had two different people ask us, before mentioning the experiment, if we were Mormon's because they could "just tell".  Another guy mentioned that we were too happy.  I guess that's good being accused of that?  Also, side note, met Sean Smith's brother there. (NFL player who played at the U.)

Elder Johnson and Elder Martin after the Book of Mormon Experiment

We did everything we could this week as well to get all of our investigators to church.  We exhausted all efforts doing so, and had a couple people committed to come...well, that changes pretty quick.  Suddenly, we found ourselves in Sacrament with no one coming.  We had done everything we could and prayed a lot as well, that everything would work out for them to come, but nothing.  At the end of Sacrament, however, the in law, of someone in our ward approached us and said, "Elders, I'm ready to join the church."  We were shocked!  We literally didn't know what to say.  This mother in law, of someone in our ward has been coming for years but never took the lessons or anything, but now has the desire to be baptized.  It came because she has watched conference the last couple times, and took President Monson's counsel to read and ponder it every day.  She now loves the Book of Mormon.  Did I mention, she's been paying tithing since November?  What's cool is later on Sunday evening, the member of our ward calls us and talks to us about her and says to us, "Elders, you may feel this is coming out of nowhere, or you don't deserve it, but you've been working hard.  You must be doing something right.  The Lord is blessing you.  You are the Elders to do this."  It was really cool to hear that.

I know the Lord is in the details of our lives and is constantly blessing us.  Remember, the Lord's plan is always better than your own.  I learned that again this week.  I love you all.  The Lord loves you all.  Have a blessed week!

Elder Martin

Dinner with Kyle from the YSA ward

"One of life's great lessons is to learn that happiness come through obedience." 
 President Russell M. Nelson

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

A great week, and another ahead of us!

Hello everyone!  This is going to be a short one, and I apologize for that!  This was a real quick week!  On Tuesday we had interviews in our zone with President Henrie, which means lunch too.  We hit up Lucille's, which was way bomb!  It poured like crazy on Tuesday as well.

Lunch at Lucille's

On Wednesday we had a really good lesson with a part member family, on the power of the Book of Mormon.  As we walked out, we had some high school kids try to start a fight with us, and luckily I kept my temper down and walked off.  I don't think they realized how tall I was...reach is the most important thing in fights, right?  One kid tried coming at us, while the one who initiated it was then holding him back.  It was interesting.  We had some really good pupusas for dinner, as well.

Thursday we had district meeting, and then Elder Johnson and I were supposed to have a meeting, but it got cancelled, so we took the time to find places for the Book of Mormon Experiment.  (We're doing it again, and we're in charge of finding places.)  Hence, the picture in front of the movie theater, we're trying to do it outside the theater.

Friday and Saturday we had a couple lessons, with current investigators, that went really well.  They are progressing for now!  We've spent some time finding and knocking doors, as well.  Elder Johnson and I had some time to knock together too, it was great!

Sunday was a really good Sabbath!  Both blocks of church were really good!  Some really good talks were given.  We also had a random lady show up to church in the family ward, and she was accompanied by her friend who is a member, who happened to be from my last ward.  We were able to get the non member situated and the member shipped into the ward, which is great!

It's been a great week, and another great week ahead of us!  Looking forward to it!

I know the Gospel is true.  Pray and ask for yourself.  I love you all!

Elder Martin

Elder Johnson- doing the heavy lifting.

Gotta park close to do the door when it's raining.  

Gnawing on sugar cane

"The joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives."  President Russell M. Nelson

Monday, January 8, 2018

Reflecting on the life and ministry of President Monson

Hello everyone!  It sure was a quick week this last week having preparation day last Tuesday, but it was a good one as well!  We were able to put in a lot of work!

On Wednesday we were able to have a really good MLC.  It started off talking about the life and ministry of President Monson.  What a great guy.  He emulated the Saviors life so well with all of his one on one ministering.

Elder Hale and Elder Martin

Elder Silva and Elder Martin

On Thursday we were able to have a good district meeting on planning and how to be more effective planners.  Afterwards, we went on an exchange with Elder Pidcock and Elder Honda.  I went with Elder Pidcock in the spanish work.  In the first 20 minutes of our exchange, we were able to find 3 new people to teach, who were ready to meet with missionaries.  It was awesome!  It goes to show the need to talk with everyone we cross paths with.

On Friday when we got back together, Elder Howell and I were able to meet with someone that Elder Pidcock and I found and were able to invite him to be baptized, where he accepted.  We were able to meet with him 3 times in 3 days, which is good.  Daily contact!  We also met with a referral we got a while ago and set a time to come back for the next day, when we met with her again, were able to invite and put her on date to be baptized as well.  Also, we saw 4 cop cars within 30 seconds, all with lights on, and 10 cops in 3 minutes total.  Thought I'd throw that in there.  I love this place.

On Sunday we had a really good testimony meeting that seemed to have the theme of President Monson's life, and it was great!  The Spirit was so strong!  I know he truly is a prophet of God, and President Nelson will be just as much of a Prophet as he, Joseph Smith, or Moses was.  If you don't feel the same way, pray about it.

Reflecting on President Monson's life, my most recent memory is from his latest conference address.  In April of 2017 his talk on the Book of Mormon.  I invite all of you to read it, and pay attention to the promised blessings.  I've seen them in my own life, and you can too!

I love you all!
Elder Martin

"I maintain that a strong testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and of His gospel will help see us through to safety.  If you are not reading the Book of Mormon each day, please do so."  President Thomas S. Monson

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Happy New Year!

Elder Howell, Elder Martin, Elder Johnson, Elder Farrer

Hello everyone!  I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and a good New Year!

These last couple weeks have been a giant blur, but have been really good.  We've been able to find a lot of cool people to teach and get to church.  I haven't written since the new transfer started 2 weeks ago, but our apartment is awesome!  I have the chance to work with Elder Johnson a lot, as he's the other zone leader.  We're really similar, so the way we want things run, it's pretty easy to work together.

The work in the YSA ward is progressing really well!  We've been able to find a lot of people and meet with them often.  One specifically we've been working with for a while (we ran into him in the streets) came to church with us this week.  We couldn't give him a ride in our mission car, but he also didn't want to ride with a member by himself, so we met him at McDonald's and rode with him and the member.  Gotta do what we gotta do to get people to church- that's where the conversion takes place!

We've done a couple exchanges where we've been able to see some miracles.  There are always miracles to be had when we work hard and in faith.  We got a really cool call from a member in Northern California for his nephew, and referred us to him.  We were able to teach him and invite him to be baptized, which he accepted when he comes to know the truth of these things.

We were also able to find a lady who is going through a hard time.  It made teaching the "Plan of Salvation" more meaningful, as she just lost her mom.  It's neat to see how the Plan of Salvation truly does answer the questions of the soul.  We were able to answer all of her questions as well as show her scriptures in the Book of Mormon where she said she "knows those scriptures are true."  Such a cool experience!

Yesterday, being the new year, we spent some time proselyting in the park, and talked to those at the courts, as usual.  We found a couple of cool kids that are coming to play basketball with us today at the church too.  One particular kid, when I asked if he's talked to missionaries before said "Yeah, I've talked to you.  In fact, you dunked on my friend once in those same clothes!"  Hahaha, it was a good little laugh.

I love the Gospel so much.  I hope and pray that each of us can do what we can to come closer to our Father in Heaven each and every day.  I know the Book of Mormon is true.

I love you all!

Elder Martin

Gotta get the new study chair home somehow.

The best sunsets.

Elder Martin and Elder Visser

Christmas breakfast at McDonald's.

"The Book of Mormon in combination with the Spirit of the Lord is the greatest single tool God has given us to convert the world."  David A. Bednar