Wednesday, May 31, 2017

We can see out, but the world can't see in, unless they humble themselves and want to come closer to their Savior

I hope you all had a great ending to spring...?  June is right around the corner!  I am not ready for this increase in heat.  Good thing I'm not on a bike...right?

On Monday, we decided to take a little break from packing and cleaning, and we went to the little lookout to where you can see the ocean.  Unfortunately, it was too cloudy again.  Took some dope pictures though!  Came home and finished packing real quick, and the made some visits.

Tuesday was transfer day!  We drove up to Santa Clarita and dropped off all my stuff and my new/old apartment.  We went to the place where they hold transfers, and got to know the new zone.

Good bye, Elder Jensen

Elder Martin, Sister Farrimond, Elder Jensen

We dropped off a couple of bikes for people, and then we headed to knockout.  We were able to talk with a lot of people.  Right as we were about finished, there was a lady across the street that we went and talked to.  She was walking home from work, and we caught her right in time.  She asked if we could go talk in the shade, so we went to some benches and taught the Restoration.  It clicked for her. She really got it.  So we invited her to be baptized, and she accepted a soft batismal date.  She speaks Spanish as her first language, so we passed her off to the Spanish hermana's.  They've been able to meet with her a couple times, so that's good.  We had dinner with a family who has a YSA daughter, and the parents are in some calling that make them in the YSA ward.  There was a girl named Kora, who was baptized about 2 weeks ago, there too, and for the message, she taught everyone the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It was really cool, she is so converted already!

Wednesday we weekly planned for a little bit, before we had to go get some things done.  We decided to spend some time at the local college, College of the Canyons, to do some tracting.  The YSA missionaries have been doing this for some time now, and never got in trouble.  Then all of the sudden, today, security came and told us we couldn't do it.  We talked and taught a lot of people.  It was cool.  The security guard did tell us to go to the football stadium, where graduation was and talk to people there, haha.

Elder Horito, Elder Martin at the College of the Canyons

We had a lesson with Kora's sister on obedience and how obedience brings blessings  We also taught Kora's friend, Chantel.  We did that lesson at the church, and it was mutual night for the Saugus ward, so I was able to see some familiar faces, it was cool!  We met with our bishop to introduce me, then had to meet the assistants so they could give us a video to train on, at zone conference.

Thursday we had a lesson with a guy who we're teaching and making sure he is solid before we pass him to the family ward, because we don't want to pass a bad investigator on.  Then we hit up district meeting.  We got to train both districts again and we felt to train on "prayer of faith".  It went well, and in was received well.  We did a little knock out exchange with some Elders, and I was with Elder Turner, what a guy!  For dinner, we were eating with some guys who are here for the summer selling pest control.  We got there, and they said "Elders, what do you want to eat?"  We had even confirmed that day that we were eating with them.  Not good, hahaha.  I saw the scriptures of the other pest guy who wasn't home, and it said "Elder Caden Bailey", I thought, hmmm, that's weird, I know him.  So I asked one of the other guys who he is and he said "He served in my mission."  So I checked if he served in Georgia and sure enough, he did.  When the other pest guys got home, it was Caden Bailey, from my home ward.  It was pretty cool to see him, by surprise, and accident!  We got a couple of scary texts from Chantel, that made it seem like she was dropping us, but after we called, she said "I'm just so excited for baptism!!!" so that was really goo to hear!

Friday we spent some time to plan our training that we have to give at zone conference.  We talked with some people, and then we were able to knock on a door of a potential YSA, and teach him on the doorstep.  It was really cool.  We did another knockout exchange today, and I went with Elder Mekhaeil, my former companion.  It was a good knockout.  We had dinner with a family with a YSA kid, and brought Chantel along.  We were able to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and it went so well.  She asked a lot of really good questions and we were able to answer them with the pamphlet.  It was a good spiritual lesson.

Elder Martin and Elder Mekhaeil

Saturday we had correlation in the morning, and then we went through some former investigators to stop by today.  We are short on miles, and there are a lot of people out and about on Saturday's, so we decided to bike.  Yup, zone leaders, and in YSA, on bike.  That's not very common.  We were able to talk to a lot of people.  We picked up a new investigator for one of these family wards, and then another for the Spanish missionaries.  We hadn't eaten today, and one guy we talked to, Elder Horito straight up quoted Alma 8:19...look it up.  (***And as he entered the city he was an hungered, and he said to a man: Will ye give to an humble servant of God something to eat? ***)

Sunday we did all sorts of things to prepare for the day, considering we have 1 o'clock church.  We were able to go and invite some people to church.  We had ward council in the morning, too.  It was the most productive, spiritual ward I've ever been to.  It was so good!  At church, we had Chantel there.  We had a lesson planned with her for after, but couldn't do it, so we did it during second hour. Just pulled in some members to help teach.  After church, we had knockout, and were able to talk with a lot of people on the streets.  We talked to a guy who's obsessed with Jordan's, so of course I started talking.  We were able to teach the Restoration, and he invited us back.  He also accepted a soft baptismal invite.  Right as we were done talking with him, the Spanish sisters found us, and told us that they just picked up the most solid investigator ever, and he's YSA.  He was praying that God would show him that He loves him, and then the missionaries came.  Straight general conference status there.  I noticed, while in church, some sirens outside.  I thought how annoying it was, but then thought, we have the Gospel, and are worshiping now, but can still see/hear the outside world.  But those on the outside, see/hear the same thing we do OF the world, but they don't necessarily enjoy the blessings of the Gospel.  We can see out, but the world can't see in, unless they humble themselves, and want to come closer to their Savior.

Monday we were able to talk with a lot of people.  I went on another knockout with Elder Herring, this time.  He's got a solid 4 inches and 150 pounds on me.  He's a big boy.  We got invited in the first door.  It was people trying to mess with us, and tempt us, we invited them to hear the message of the Restoration and act on it, No intent was there, so we left.  The last door, we were able to teach another kid who is YSA aged, and got a return appointment.  We had a lesson with Chantel again, and then we had our zone leadership meeting.  It went really well.

I hope you all have a great week!  Happy Birthday to my brother, Parker!  Everyone wish him a happy birthday!

I love you all!

Elder Martin

"One man or woman, who is willing to testify when the world seems to be going in the opposite direction, can make a difference."  Elder Gregory Schwitzer

Monday, May 22, 2017

Temple trip to transfers

Hello everyone!  It was a very good week this last week.  From stressed temple trip, to transfers!

On Monday we went to go and help a referral move some stuff.  We set up the missionaries to help where they were moving to, to get their foot in the door to start teaching.  So we loaded the U Haul on our end, and they were going to unload it on their end.  Turns out, the other missionaries didn't want to, and they were busy with P-day.  So we used our P-day and went over and helped them unload this stuff, and got a return appointment for the other Elders, you're welcome Elders.  That was about it.  We made a couple visits later in the night.

Elders Moving Co.

Tuesday we had our weekly planning, and a lot of finding.  Eventually we had a lesson with Tabatha and talked about Temples and Families, and the blessings that come from the temple, and how blessed we are to have the priesthood restored to the Earth, that way these things, such as being sealed with our families, is able to be accomplished.  It was really good.  She is also praying for her own baptismal date, which is awesome!

Wednesday we did another apartment inspection in the morning, and also more finding in the morning.  Went and had physical therapy again at the brother's office in our ward, before heading to knockout.  We got a call from a member of ours to see if we could come give a blessing to a lady in the hospital. She knows of the missionaries- she's Catholic, and her family is Jewish, but still asked for a blessing.  It was cool, again with the priesthood, to see the comfort it brought to her family.  We're so blessed too, to know the Plan of Salvation, and that we can be with loved ones again.  As we were leaving the hospital, a lady with two little girls yelled out "Elders!"  and asked what we were doing there.  We told her, and she leaned down to the little girls and asked if "mommy would want a blessing" and they said, yes.  So we were able to give a blessing to their mother, who had just had twin girls, but had complications and was still in the hospital.  It really is amazing to see how God is in the details of all of our lives.  He puts us in the right places, at the right time.  We also went and helped some people 'move a couple boxes.'  But it never is JUST a couple boxes.  Oh well.

Giving blessings at the hospital

Thursday was Elder Jensen's birthday!  We had mail run in the morning, and the we hit up his birthday lunch.  We had district meeting after that, and got to train...yet again.  We had a good knockout today. We talked with a lot of people throughout, planted some seeds.  We had dinner with a real old couple. And then, like halfway through dinner, they both peaced out, and went to check on their pool in the backyard.  It was weird.

Dinner hosts ditched us?

Friday we were able to go to the temple for Elder Jensen's birthday.  We had Brother Devor from the ward take us down.  We were trying to make the 9:15 session, but we didn't leave until 8:00.  We were going to LA in LA traffic, on a Friday morning.  We were on the I-5, running late, and he still hadn't put on his shoes and socks, so he did that while I steered on the freeway, hahaha.

Turns out, we were on Santa Monica Blvd, right in front of the temple at a light,, at 9:08.  Brother Devor dropped us off and we ran in, and made the session, and so did he.  It was great.  After the temple, we had a lesson with Mary Anne, and her daughter Laura.  They made us lunch.  We had a good knockout again.

Running to the temple

Saturday we made a lot of morning visits, and a lot of morning knocking.  We eventually had to fill the font for a baptism in my last ward, West Hills.  And as we were leaving, (you can only be at the baptism if you found, or taught, or have an investigator there.) no suits, because we didn't expect to stay, there was a couple that pulled up and told us that a couple of years ago the missionaries helped them move and they wanted to check the church out.  It just happened that they showed up 15 minutes before the baptism, so we stayed for the baptism, then got them acquainted with their respective missionaries.  It was cool to see that missionaries good example and effort from years ago, paid off now.  Sometimes we can't see the fruits that will come from our efforts, but just know that they always will at some time-the Lords time.

Filling the font

The wonderful Jeffords family with many of the missionaries in the area, that they have had in their home.

We had dinner with a really cool family, and then had to do some errands for some missionaries.  We got home, and the much anticipated transfer calls came...Elder Jensen is staying, and I am leaving...sad day!

Sunday was your typical Sunday.  We had a really good Sacrament meeting.  Some members who are moving, spoke on missionary work, and it was very good!  During Sunday school, we met separately with one of our investigators and it took up part of third hour as well.  It was all good.  After church, our Bishop came up to us and said, "I've got a baptism for you, and teaching isn't needed."  It's crazy! There is a girl who has been coming to church by herself, every Sunday since she was 14, and has participated in everything.  She took seminary, she KNOWS the Gospel.  She finally turned 18 and made the choice on her own to be baptized.  Then we got a really cool referral after church, from a lady who had been going to church in Santa Monica, because she didn't now there was a closer church.  She told us that she had been close to baptism too.  How insane!  We work really hard, and the Lord blesses us, no matter how it comes, the way we expected it or not.  though we knock a lot, and don't see too much success from it, putting our faith forward, the Lord see's and blesses us nonetheless.  Went and said 'good bye' to the Devor family, before going to dinner at the Waldman's, one last time.  Didn't see Drakes house this time though, haha.  e had a really good lesson on the Plan of Salvation with a guy named Matt, who was a referral from some Ventura missionaries...weird, huh?  It's a long story.  It went really well though, so that's good.  Went to say goodbye to the Olsens, and then home for the night.

Brother and Sister Devor

Brother Olsen- ward mission leader

It's been a great run here in Hoodland Wills.  But, I found out that I'm going back up to Santa Clarita, this time I'm serving in YSA.  It happens that I cover part of Saugus, my old ward up there, so it will be cool to see some familiar faces.  I'm also companions with Elder Horito, who was one of my zone leaders in the past.

I love you all, have a wonderful week!

Elder Martin

Mini Cooper- emphasis on mini

"Serve Him by serving His people."  President Thomas S. Monson

Monday, May 15, 2017

"The highest and noblest work in this life is that of a mother."

Happy belated Mother's Day to all of you wonderful mother figures in our lives.  We love and appreciate all of you.  Russell M. Nelson said "The highest and noblest work in this life is that of a mother."  Isn't that so true?  I appreciate my mommy so very much!

Anyway this week went by real quick.  On Monday we went to the park to play some ultimate Frisbee, and not too many companionships showed up, so we ended up playing know how well me and soccer get along.  Had our meeting, and dinner with the Devor's, at McDonald's! Yeah buddy!

Tuesday we had to inspect some apartments in the morning, and talk with some missionaries, before coming back home and weekly planning.  We were able to set up a lot of appointments this week, and the weeks to come, which was cool.  We had a good knockout, and dinner with a family who is about to move to Virginia this week for work...FBI agent.  We had a really good lesson with Tabatha later on as well, and committed her to pray about a specific date for her baptism.

Wednesday we hit up some people in the morning, before having lunch, and exchanging with the West Hill's Elders.  I was with Elder Cardinal in Woodland Hills.  Knockout was a little tough.  We were in a very Jewish area.  Not too much interest there, hahaha.  We visited some investigators, and members to set up quick visits to share a message about missionary work.  We had dinner at California Chicken Cafe, which is like...a cafe, with mostly chicken products...hahaha.  They hadve some real good wraps.

On Thursday morning we ran to Van Nuys to collect mail for everyone, because that's something we gotta do.  We hustled back (I say hustle, but LA traffic is awful) and had a lesson with someone that a member referred to us awhile back, we finally had a set lesson.  We brought a member who used to be in the ward, but has since moved, and was visiting for the summer.  It's difficult to get male members to lessons at 11 am.  The lesson went real well.  We exchanged back, and then had district meeting, where we trained again.  We hit a couple people, then knockout, then dinner at In 'n' Out with a member, before heading to the stake center for a meeting with the Stake President and President Henrie.  It's always good to meet with them, and discuss missionary work in this area.

Friday we had a lesson in the morning, and then a supposed one after that fell through, but rescheduled.  We eventually exchanged with the YSA elders, which started at a physical therapy office for my stupid wrist...still.  Elder Bennett and I were in YSA work over the valley.  It was sick! They live right next to Cal State Northridge Univ (CSUN) so there were a lot of people to talk to.  We had a good knockout, a quick dinner, and then a member picked us up to go to a lesson with an investigator at the church.  We did a church tour, showed them around, and then did a lesson.  We read from the Book of Mormon, and bore testimony of it.  It went really well!

Exchanges with Elder Bennett

Saturday, got up, and balled.  The YSA elders happen to live out of the zone, because they cover the whole valley, and live with Elder Liddiard.  So I got to ball with him in the morning and catch up a bit, it was sick!  We had a lesson with someone on the other side of the valley, and on our way home, the car wouldn't go over 40 MPH, and the RPM's wouldn't drop below 4K...not good.  Plus, I had to get back to our area, which required going on 3 different freeways...I just pulled off, and we started knocking where we were until the car coordinator could come.  Turns out, this car had problems in the past too.  Eventually we exchanged back and had a good rest of the night.

Sunday we had church.  It was good.  We had 7 youth speakers talk about mothers.  Aren't mothers great?  After church we were able to Skype home.  It was such a blessing to be able to see my family. It's great to see everyone and hear everyone.  We eventually had dinner with our bishops family, and then made a couple visits before heading home for the night.

Be sure to show your mothers or mother figures appreciation everyday, not just one day of the year!  I love my mom!

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

Elder Martin

Yard work in dress clothes...# unplanned service

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"The choices you make here and now are forever important."  President Thomas S. Monson

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day!

So grateful to be able to see and hear Elder Martin today!  It was a wonderful Mother's Day gift.  He looked and sounded great, and happy.  I am so grateful for his obedience, his hard work, and his sweet spirit.  We LOVE him so much!

Be a little better than just a good example...

Hey Everyone!  One week in May down, plenty more to go!  It sure has been hot around here, I can only imagine the summer again...we had a lot of meetings this week, so proselyting time was down.

Last Monday we balled some more.  And won some more.  Chris is still yet to win when going against me.  (clearly the mission hasn't helped me with humility.)  We had our zone leadership meeting and then dinner with the Olsen's .  Brother Olsen is our ward mission leader, and does a great job!  His wife is a great cook and baker.  Dinners are always great there!  She baked some real good blueberry muffins, that we got to take home the extra.  We made some visits, and gave a blessing to a sister in the ward as well.

Tuesday was interview day.  We got to sit with Sister Henrie all day while President Henrie does all the interviews while missionaries come in and our throughout the day.  We went to lunch with them again, and we went to a place called "Dog Haus".  They had some pretty good dogs, but was a little pricey.  After interviews, we only had one emergency that's how we spent the rest of our night after some knocking.  We moved missionaries around.

Wednesday was Mission Leadership Council (MLC).  We hit Wendy's on the way up, and then were there, being trained and uplifted.  The church came out saying no more "zone trainings", which was usually in the place of the district meeting following MLC.  We no longer get to train the zone as a whole, but this info still needs to be passed to the missionaries, so instead, in our mission, the zone leaders bounce from from every district meeting, and give a 15-30 minute training.  And that will be every week.  So that's different, but it'll be good.  We didn't get back into our valley and area until 6:30, which was our dinner time with a member.  We hit California Pizza Kitchen, which has some dang good pizzas.  We visited some potentials, and knocked a little as well.

Thursday we had district meeting, we bounced between them, and did training's in them.  Hopefully it'll be for the good and work well in our areas.  Elder Jensen and I have such chemistry, that make teaching and training with one another super smooth, allowing for the SPirit to teach and not be choppy.  We had a lesson with Mary Anne, and just answered some final questions, and got her prepared for baptism.  We had knockout, and then dinner at the Waldman's, who are the ones that live by Drake.  So naturally we drove by again...the gate was open this time.  We bounced back and hit some investigators, and their neighbors on the way home.

Friday, since we hadn't yet this week, we did our weekly planning in the morning.  We had lunch with a member, rather than dinner, and then did a lot of finding, and knocking throughout the day.  When it came time for knockout, we were super tired.  We had no motivation, and it was difficult to go out and knock for 2 more hours.  BUT, we were prepared.  We had 5 Hour Energy, and that stuff changes lives.  We took it, and ended up knocking until 7, without even noticing we just went 3 hours.  It was great!  We hit up one more investigator before heading home for dinner and studying.

Saturday was the baptism day.  And as it turns out, the baptismal coordinator, booked 3 baptisms all within an hour and half of each other.  He said we gave him the wrong time for ours, but when we reminded him why we had the time we had, he remembered, and told us to figure something out with the other wards who were child on record baptisms.  Like 'nah bro, you figure it out, you messed it up.'  It was very stressful, but it ended up being good.  We were able to get it all situated, and make it a spiritual experience for Mary Anne.  She was baptized and confirmed this day.  A couple months ago, we took her to see a baptism of someone in the ward, and a video was shown.  She really liked it and asked us to show it at her baptism for the sake of her kids.  So we did.  Her kids really enjoyed it, and so did the Stake President.

We had some knocking to do, and then dinner with the Olsen's at Hook Burger.  Then we had Stake Conference.  Our Stake President brought up our baptism, and decided to talk about missionary work. He showed the video that we did at the baptism, and talked how all members need to work a little harder and spread the Gospel.  Being a little better than just a good example.  It was really good!

Sunday we had the second part of Stake Conference.  Mary Anne was there and really liked it.  There were some really good talks and specifically about missionary work and becoming reactivated after leaving for some years.  Two speakers from our ward talked about the power and promises in the scriptures to help everyone back to their feet!  The talks were great.  We had correlation, and Brother Olsen shared with us some stories from a book call "The Logan Temple; The first 100 years".  Some really cool, spiritual messages that can help assure/confirm the truthfulness of this Gospel.  It started raining, and knockout didn't seem too thrilling, so we took another 5 Hour Energy, and again it worked wonders.  On the first house we knocked, we met a lady who has a lot of potential.  She is so interested and said she has questions for us.  Eventually, dinner time!  We were fed by the Jones'.  They're really cool.  Brother Jones just got home from his mission in April of 2015, and Sister Jones, just before that.  They're really young and are here for the summer selling door to door.  But, they moved in last week, and already are willing and wanting to feed us and help with the missionary work.  His schedule only allows Saturday night and Sunday's free, and they both are willing to come to lessons those days.  What great people.  We should all be like the Jones'.

It was a great week!  I hope it was for you as well.  I would just like to share a couple of the scriptures that a sister shared that helped her , as well as some quotes.

Isaiah 41:10, 13
Jacob 3:1
D&C 6:20, 36
D&C 121:7-8
D&C 122:7

"If you feel the Lord has given us a long list of things to do, it's probably because you aren't doing them."  Stake President Grasteit

"Who is righteous?  Anyone repenting.  No matter how bad he has been, if he is repenting he is a righteous man.  There is hope for him.  And no matter how good he has been all his life, if he is not repenting, he is a wicked man.  The difference is which way you are facing.  The man on the top of the stairs facing down is much worse off that the man on the bottom step who is facing up.  The direction we are facing, that is repentance, and that is what determines whether we are good or bad." Hugh Nibley

One of the counselors in the Stake Presidency gave a little quiz.  I think it's called the Charlie Brown quiz, or the Charles Schulz people quiz.  It really puts this world into perspective, and shows who matters to us.  He followed with this quote:

"The most important people aren't those with the most credentials or achievements, but those who cared the most."  President Payne

It's so true!  I hope you all have a great week!

I love you all!
Elder Martin

"Fear thou not; for I am with thee; be not dismayed; for I am thy God:  I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee;yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."  Isaiah 41:10