Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Habit Burger...or burger habit

Monday we played a little ball.  Chris Aubrey stopped in from work and played with us, it was some good fun.  When it was time for dinner, our dinner host didn't even show up to their own house, and the pizza delivery guy was there waiting.  It was awkward.  They finally came home, like 40 minutes late, so we ate real quick and had to get to a lesson.  This lesson was the surprise from last week. Elder Jensen and I got the crazy, cool opportunity to go BACK to Burbank for the night, and re-pick up our old investigator, Manet!  The one who was really prepared! We had a lesson with her and the Burbank elders, and passed her off to them.  We'll see how it goes, but we're praying it'll go the way it's supposed to.

Elder Martin, Manet, Elder Jensen- back in Burbank

Tuesday we had our normal weekly planning, and then a baptismal interview to go to.  Elder Jensen did the interview so I got to chill with the missionaries that taught the interviewee for a minute.  We also had a lesson with Mary Anne, and talked about missionary work and how she can do it herself, and she's been giving us referrals to send out to other missionaries throughout the country for her friends.  She'll be a great member!  We also had a great lesson with Tabatha, which was a review of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  She gets it, and thinks it's just like gears that turn one another.  It all clicks and make sense for her.

Wednesday wasn't too notable.  Nothing much came from today.  We did have Habit burger for dinner though, with a member.

Thursday was district meeting.  It was a really good meeting where we talked about accountability and using time better.  It was good.  There were some good things that we talked about and discussed. We had a pretty good knockout and found some solid potentials that we're going to follow up with.

Friday we felt inspired to call Mary Anne and ask if we could come and do some service for her.  She accepted and when we got there, she asked that we clean her car.  So we did.  (She's 80).

But she is so kind, and ended up making us lunch.  So we're eating outside, and her daughter comes out and eats with us, and we start talking and eventually, long story short, her daughter is a new investigator, and is really interested in learning more about the gospel.  It will be really good for the two of them.  The gospel brings families closer.  That's true.  I know it!  Because the family is ordained of God- it's so important that we live the gospel in our families, and we will be blessed greatly.  We were able to help Brother Blackstone out a little bit again too.  Again...a member took us to Habit burger.

Saturday we got to participate as a zone, in some community service project, and be able to help out a little in the community, and get people so see us Mormons aren't so weird after all.  We're normal people too.  It was pretty neat, we got to go and paint fire hydrants to make them more visible.

We knocked some, visited some, and found some.  Kinda.  There was a referral from a member that we were able to get in contact with and they want to sit down with us, so that's good.  Hopefully we'll see progress there.  We also had a member bring us Hook burger for dinner, which is basically identical to Habit burger...3/4 days...

Sunday was Sunday.  It was the week where the high council spoke in sacrament meeting, which was good.  They had some good talks that really helped understand a little more about the Book of Mormon, and how it helps and compares to today's world.  Had some good people we talked to through knockout, and found a potential family as well.  I also had the chance to interview someone else for baptism too.  It's always cool to see the faith of these people as they step forward in their new lives and prepare to make covenants with God.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!  #GoJazzGo

I love you all!

Elder Martin

Garden tour of Mary Anne's Iris

"Be found Doing the Work of the Lord."  President Thomas S. Monson

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Easter week

Hello everyone,  I hope you all had a wonderful Easter week!

Monday we went to the church and played a bit basketball.  I ended up having to take Elder Clark up to the other valley, that way he could get a quick training on the assistant life, so I would be by myself, so I had to take a missionary from a trio companionship to go with me.  I ended up having to sleep at a different apartment and all, but it's good.

Tuesday I got to help some other elders move all their stuff around and such before making our way up to transfers.  It was good fun.  Got reunited, if you will, with Elder Jensen.  We're going to kill it together in Woodland Hills.  It'll be a sick transfer together again.  We've already had some good times again since being together.  We had a good dinner, with a couple in their 80's.  We also had a good first knockout too.

Elder Mekhaeil and Elder Martin caught up at transfers

Wednesday we had our weekly planning session, before needing to go and help some other missionaries out with moving stuff from their last apartment, which is getting shut down.  Their old apartment smelled like cigarette smoke, weird, right?  Turns out a homeless guy has been breaking in, smoking and taking free showers in there, hahahah. Yes, the police were informed and such.  But isn't that funny?  We were able to have a lesson with Mary Anne as well.  It's really cool to see how much knowledge that she already has, and how much more she is gaining.  It's such a blessing to be a small part of someones progression towards the Savior.

Weekly planning session 

Thursday we had a good district meeting and knockout.  We had another one of the meetings with the mission president, as well as the stake president.  It's cool to see how much the care for those in their stewardship.  Such good examples.

Friday was pretty good.  We had lunch at a place called Claim Jumpers, with the one and only Chris Aubrey!  My second dad from Saugus.  He works here, so he took us to lunch.  It sure was good to catch up with him though.  We were able to visit quite a few people today as well, and had a really good knockout.  Yet to find anyone, but there will soon be some people!  For dinner, we got taken out again, by the older singles group.  We went to Applebee's this time, and then we went and met with some potential investigators, emphasis on potential.  We had a lesson following that, which was cool.

Lunch with the one and only, Chris Aubrey

Saturday we had a lot of open time to go and find the elect.  We decided to try this new thing where when we visit a potential, or a former investigator, or anyone really, we knock 5 doors in each direction.  Then if the person we were visiting isn't interested, we don't just waste the time.  It's been cool to see so far!  We were also able to help Brother Blackstone out a little bit with his plumbing stuff.  (Recently reactivated member who is set on the temple!)  We got to go under his house and talk about the Gospel there too.  He's so positive all the time, even going through some of the worst (or best, however you look at it.) trials I've seen someone go through.

Helping Brother Blackstone

Easter Sunday...one I'll probably never forget.  We had church.  It's always good to reflect and recommit ourselves to live better lives, and apply the Atonement of Jesus Christ in our lives more.  Hearing the primary kids sing in sacrament meeting was really cool as well.  They sang a song call "Gethsemane".  It reminded me, with the kids singing, how we need to become like a child; submissive, meek, humble, etc.  There was no knockout, with it being Easter.  So we made some good visits, and then dinner.  We ate with this couple, who the husband got off his mission in 2012, and they've only been married a couple months.  We had hamburgers, which we think weren't cooked thoroughly, with green tomatoes, and what we think was bad mushrooms.  I learned something from a returned missionary when I was in Burbank.  He told me how in his mission the food was nasty.  But to eat is all, because if he did, it was blessing the people, especially if it was all their food and was a sacrifice.  So we ate it.  It didn't take long before Elder Jensen asked to go to the bathroom, and threw up.  We did not feel well.  The mission nurse told us that if we could, make ourselves throw up...so we had an interesting night, to say the least, haha.  It was good, though.  We were still able to share a quick message with Brother Blackstone as well.

Today we've gotten haircuts so far, and are going to play basketball here shortly.  There's going to be a little surprise lesson tonight too, but I'll explain that and how it goes next week!

I love you all, I miss you all.  You're all wonderful people!

Elder Colby Martin

"The" car 

"Remember that this work is not yours and mine alone.  It is the Lord's work, and when we are on the Lord's errand,
 we are entitled to the Lord's help.  The Lord will shape the back to bear the burden placed upon it."  
Thomas S. Monson

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Summer is here! Right?

Hello everyone!  Summer is here! Right?  Sure feels like it.  I hope to hear that things are going good, wherever you are all at!  Let me tell you, the mission is so great!  Such a good experience!  Time sure does fly though!

Monday we played some soccer at the church and then we had two dinners.  One at StoneFire with a part member family and another with someone that Elder Clark taught in Sherman Oaks that was house watching in our area, so had us over and cooked us Korean food...it wasn't the best, I'm sorry.

Tuesday we were doing our weekly planning when we got a call to go and give a blessing to a ward member in the hospital.  It's so amazing to see the power of the Priesthood work and help this sister! It is so crazy, the things that can happen because of it! Such a good experience.  We went to visit some people that were potentials in the area, but had no luck.  We got to knockout and didn't have too much success.  Our lesson with Tabatha got cancelled, but she's still on track.

Wednesday we went to the leadership council with all the other zone leaders and sister training leaders, APs, and President and Sister Henrie.  It was really good.  It lasted 4-4 1/2 hours, but it was good.  We talked a lot about attitude, and finding investigators.  It was really cool.  We went over a talk from President Uchtdorf about the Wright brothers, and discussed it.  It's called "The wind Beneath your wings."  You should all read it!

Preparing for Mission Leadership conference...

We came back and had dinner at a members home, and then went home for a little to prepare our training to give the next day.

Thursday we got to finish out training preparation, and then give a training to the zone on the things we learned at the meeting from the day before. Afterwards, we went on exchanges with the West Hills elders.  I stayed in Woodland Hills, and Elder Mekhaeil came with me.  We had a good knockout and then a good dinner as well.  Eventually, we visited some people and were in for the night.

Elder Mekhaeil and Elder Martin together again

Friday we did some errands in the morning, as well as visiting some investigators.  We also did a back to back exchange.  So then I went with Elder Leishman, in Woodland HIlls! Elder Leishman and I knew each other before the mission, so it was pretty sick to work with him.  We knocked in the rich areas, since he never has, and talked to some very kind people, and picked up some potentials.  Usually, the rich areas are the most prideful and rude, but not this time.  We went to visit some investigators, but no one was home, so we resorted to knocking doors again.  Did that until 8, then hit In 'n' Out Burger.

Elder Martin and Elder Leishman

The 'rich' area

Saturday we went and set up the mall booth and did that for a little bit.  Soon we went to Mary Anne's to help with some service, and teach her about the organization of the church.  We exchanged back afterwards, and had knockout, then dinner.

Mall booth

We also got transfer calls...I am staying in Woodland Hills, however Elder Clark is being transferred.  It's a real bummer.  At the end of the night, to make up for it, we filled our 7-11 mugs with Slurpee- it eased some of the pain.

Sunday we had ward council in the morning, and then church.  Testimony meeting was good. Gospels principles, it was alright, and then priesthood was really good. Our teacher really put his time into it, and presented it really well. We went to a baptism for  that Elder Clark taught in Sherman Oaks.  I got to see Elder Kerr.  We also had dinner in Hidden Hills, which is the gated community that one of our members lives in.  In Hidden Hills is the home of Drake, Adele, Kanye, Kardashians, etc. So we got to see Drake and Adele's house, but no pictures.  We aren't allowed.  Dinner was good though.  We went to some members for Elder Clark to say goodbye to, and leave a message with them, when Elder Clark got the call to be an assistant!

So far today... we've done laundry and ran to the computer lab to see my new companion...I guess you can say it's not a new one, but a recycled one...I'M WITH ELDER JENSEN AGAIN!!! Somehow, some way!  I'm really looking forward to it!  It's going to be awesome.

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

Elder Martin

PS Happy Birthday to my favorite nephew, Carter, this Saturday.

"Human agency was purchased with the price of Christ's suffering.  The power of Christ's atonement overcomes the effect of sin on the condition of wholehearted repentance.  Through and by the Savior's universal and infinite Atonement, all have been redeemed from the Fall and have become free forever to act for themselves.  By learning to use the gift of agency to make right decisions you will increase your spiritual lift and altitude."  
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf  (The Wind Beneath Your Wings) 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The best decision ever, back to back exchanges, and conference

Hello everyone!  I hope you all had an enjoyable week and were able to watch conference!

On Tuesday we went and did some service for some potential investigators.  We kinda got our foot in the door.  We are going back to help them in a week or so again, and then they want to take us out to eat.  We went and played some baseball, but with a tennis ball and racket.  It was pretty fun for about one inning, until everyone quit.  It's chill though.  We had another lesson with Tabatha as well. Before baptism, she just wanted to run through the Plan of Salvation and Restoration again, so we did that, and had her teach us the Plan of Salvation after.

Wednesday we had weekly planning again.  We went and helped at the maternity home again as well. We had a good knockout, which is becoming a lot more enjoyable.  Minus the heat.  That's no bueno.

Thursday we had district meeting and we were able to sit in on Elder Cardinal's district.  He gets it!  He's such a solid missionary, and knows why he's here!  Elder Clark and I also made an investment, with as much soda as we buy...we got the mega mugs at 7-11.  Best decision ever.  I would highly recommend it.

We also did an exchange with some of the Spanish Elders.  I was with Elder Garner, working in Spanish work.  The quickest way to shut me up?  Spanish conversations.  Pretty much every door we knocked, minus two, and dinner as well, I had nothing to say except, "Gracias Hermana"...we had a pretty cool miracle as well, where we hadn't planned on stopping by an investigator, but felt the need to.  Turns out she was home and right as we got there, her husband pulled up (remember, as Elders we can't go inside unless an adult male is home).  Elder Garner taught her and he says it went really well.  All I caught was that she read from the Book of Mormon and prayed about it!  That's all one needs for conversion.

Elder Garner and...a fridge?

Friday we did typical morning things, before doing another exchange.  This time...with the assistants! Back to back exchanges.  I was able to go back up to the other valley for the day.  I got to work in Valencia with Elder Jensen! ; )  Just like the good ol' days!  During knockout we were able to find a new investigator, which was neat.  We taught about the Plan of Salvation, and testified of it.  Said a prayer withe her, and she started crying throughout it.  People are always being prepared!  Since we were in Valencia, we hit Cafe Rio for dinner, the closest thing to my favorite, Costa Vida.  We were also able to hit the mall booth for a little bit up there and talk with people.  Always fun!

A healthy, refreshing snack

Saturday we got up and went back to Canoga Park A$AP to watch conference.  Boy was it great! The talks were all so good!  It's crazy how much you get out of it when you don't actually sleep through it!  In between sessions, a guy in our ward offered to take us to lunch,  We told him he didn't need to, but he insisted.  He told us to invite a couple other missionaries as well.  We met at the restaurant, and to our surprise...the whole showed up...I felt so bad!  He insisted on buying for everyone.  Went back for the next session, again, it was great!

Elders Clark, Nielsen, Martin, and Jensen

We exchanged back and was then with Elder Clark again.  Priesthood session was good, and following that, we had a BBQ at the stake center for everyone that came, so we got dinner that night too!  We had about an hour left of the night and didn't know what to do, since we didn't have time to plan, so we went to the basketball courts at our complex.  It's interesting, there is this family, 3 brothers and their dad that are always there.  We've made the deal if we win, we teach, but it never really got rolling.  So we thought it'd be a good opportunity.  After we played, they bounced pretty quick, but there is another kid that's always there as well, and we never really tried introducing the Gospel to him.  So we did.  Turns out, he's at a point in his life where he is questioning if God's really there and loves him.  We were able to turn it into a lesson, read from the Book of Mormon with him, and pray with him.  His name is Justin, and we meet with him again on Tuesday!  The Lord knows what he's doing with His children.  Justin had been around all along, but we were so focused on these other 4 individuals, it never hit us, until now.

Sunday went to the church for conference.  Still really good.  In between sessions, a member invited us over for brunch.  It was a weird casserole...chicken and cheeze-it...It was kinda good, but odd. After the next session, we went out to work again.  Not much success, but it was all good.

I'll attach some of my favorite quotes from conference:

"Come as you are, but don't plan to stay as you are."  Elder Holland

"When we're complacent with our covenants, we're complicit to the consequences." ElderSabin

"Let go of the world, so we can hang on the Eternity."  Elder Sabin

"Overcoming the world is treasuring the greatest commandment."  Neil L. Anderson

"If we aren't kind to one another, we aren't honoring our priesthood."  President Thomas S. Monson

"Walk with Christ-THEN, notice how he walks with us."  President Henry B. Eyring

"Children are good imitators; give them something good to imitate."  Sister Joy B. Jones

"Trust that He knows the way, because He IS the way."  L. Whitney Clayton

"God can make of us, what we can't make of ourselves."  C. Scott Grow

If you aren't already, follow the guidance we received from the Prophet, Thomas S. Monson, and read the Book of Mormon daily.  It will bless your life greatly.  Start with a desire, and when it grows, you'll know it's good, and from God.

I would also add, listen to, or re-listen to Elder Weatherford T. Clayton's talk.

I love you all, and miss you!

Elder Martin

P.S. Happy Birthday to my favorite niece, Mia, tomorrow!

Mug shot

"I implore each of us to prayerfully study and ponder the Book of Mormon each day.  As we do so, 
we will be in a position to hear the voice of the Spirit, to resist temptation, overcome doubt and fear, 
and to receive Heavens help in our lives."  President Thomas S. Monson