Wednesday, April 23, 2014



So as you have probably already assumed, my p-day is now on Wednesday. Since we serve in the Visitors' Center, all the sisters can't have p-day on Monday because then there wouldn't be anyone to serve there. So that's why we're always switching around.

New transfer, new p-day, new COMPANION!! Her name is Sister Shoemaker!! It's been great having her - we are a lot alike. We like everything very clean and very organized. We are still in a trio with cute Sister Morales who also likes everything that way. You should see our neat apartment :)

But really, we have so much fun together. I just love them. This week as been a wonderful one - Sister Shoemaker, Morales and I have been learning a lot from each other. We have a new vision for the St. George area this transfer - we've talked a lot and made goals that will best help us strengthen our relationships with leaders and members and organize this part of the Lord's vineyard in a more...organized fashion!

For some of these goals we set we are already seeing immediate results! That being that we can feel the spirit a lot more and are more united in our companionship. We have been trying to excite a few of the bishops in our area about missionary work, but some of them are tough nuts to crack :) But I know that if we get the bishop excited, ward council will be more motivated, and then our ward mission leader will be more inspired. And we will then have more baptisms and re-activations!

 It's a great opportunity we have to work with these leaders; I'm grateful for the example a lot of them set for me. It makes me have a glimpse of the kind of missionary I want to be when I return home. And I'm so grateful for Bishop Ott and the motivated missionaries we had back home before I left! I remember they did a lot to get everyone excited about missionary work - now it's my turn!!

We did the training for our coordination meeting last night (with all our ward mission leaders and high council) and it went really well. We typed up a whole paper concerning the responsibilities of a ward mission leader (here's what you need to do - now do it. Not quite that harsh though) and talked about the way coordination meeting is to be held. Next week we are panning to go over President Hinckley's talk "Feed the Lambs, Find the Sheep." WONDERFUL talk! I strongly recommend all of you to read it. That will be the meat of our training. The responsibilities was just the milk ;)

Anyway, it's amazing how much my testimony is being strengthened every day. By the scriptures, words of the prophets, meetings, companions, and investigators. Our investigators strengthen me a lot. Their faith, courage, and diligence is truly inspiring.

Something else really inspiring are the visitors that come in to the VC. I know I talk about the VC all the time... but it's truly an amazing place to be serving.

A Mexican woman came in and wanted to listen to the message of the Chistus, so we played it for her. Instead of sitting and looking up to Christ's face, she placed her hands on His feet, bowed her head, and closed her eyes.

Not something you see every day. Quite different from our daily visitors who will be crawling all over the benches or talking and laughing loudly.

But here she was, humble and reverent.

You could tell she loved her Savior. Some of the sisters who were in the front with me just looked at her with admiration for the love and respect she had for Him. That experience called me to repentance.

I started to question myself of my reverence, love, respect, and humility while wearing His name on my tag serving in the Visitors' Center and serving in my area. And while taking the sacrament.

We, as human beings, forget things sometimes. Okay, a lot of times. That is why we hear the word "remember" so many time throughout the scriptures. That is why it is so important to go to the temple over and over again. That is why we take the sacrament every week to be reminded of our covenants.

I love this gospel with all of my heart, might, mind and strength! And ALL of YOU!!

And I would LOVE for you to share with me your insights throughout scripture reading and PREACH MY GOSPEL reading :) hehe!

Much love, Sister Martin

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Wash, rinse, repeat

TRANSFERS: A day where missionaries experience emotions ranging from apprehension to unbelief to confusion to excitement.

You would think it's always a full moon when transfers come along by the way all the missionaries start acting... Transfers always make things a little exciting and interesting!

Sister Pearson, Morales, and I all thought that this trio thing was just temporary and that we would be back in two's by this transfer. Welp, we were wrong! Sister Pearson got transferred to Washington (She'll still be in the VC) and Sister Morales and I inherited another sister! Sister Shoemaker. We'll get to meet her tomorrow. And she's Spanish speaking so Sister Morales was pretty happy :) This will be my THIRD trio in my THIRD transfer! (I was in one for about a week in my last area). Apparently I have been in all the first trios in our mission for the sisters so far! I guess President Center is starting to like this trio thing... And I am too! We have soo much fun :) And get a lot of work done too!

The other day in the VC we had the opportunity to take a grandmother and her daughter on a tour. They were from Las Vegas and were Southern Baptists. They were SUPER friendly! And came all the way to St. George JUST to come to he Visitors' Center. I guess they ran into some missionaries in LV who told them to come here! But anyway, we started at the Christus and played the message of the Christus for them. They loved it - and we got to talk a lot about Christ's role in our lives and theirs. We were asking them a few questions to hear their testimony of Him and of what His sacrifice means to them. It was so funny because the grandmother started asking us many questions as well like, "Now you believe Jesus is your Savior, now is that right? Mhmm, okay." Followed up by another 20 questions that were followed up by the same "Now is that right? Mhmm, okay" in their southern accent. Then they asked Sister Morales and I a question that really made us think... She said, "Now if you got up to the gates of Heaven and Heavenly Father was standin' there and asked you why He should let you into His kingdom, what would you say?" We sat there looking up at the Christus pondering on her inspired question. When we gave our answers, tears filled our eyes and I think we both realized we had a lot of work to do! I think that's a question we can all ask ourselves to prepare us for judgement day - to prepare us for that day where we can stand before our God with a clear conscious and confidently state the reasons why we should be let into HIS kingdom. 

Something I've been reflecting on lately is the Young Women's Theme - especially the part where we state, "We will stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places." I think it's ALWAYS important to uphold these standards, but especially when (as a missionary) we're only with other missionaries or just with our companions. It shows how dedicated and serious we are about missionary work - that being set-apart to be Christ's representative is not just some cloak that we put on when investigators or leaders are around and then take off when we are just with other missionaries. The other day I had to remind some sisters of whose name they were not only wearing but whose name they were representing. It wasn't exactly easy to do, but other sisters had come up to me afterwards and thanked me for saying something. Earlier that day we had another interesting experience. One of our WML's had given us a referral so we went out to go contact them. It was in a really rough part of St. George (And no, it wasn't rough compared to STL haha), but we have a few other investigators that live there so we thought it would be fine. When we got to the door they had this really dark netted screen on it, so we could barely see their faces. Long story short, there were not good angels in that home and they shouted some pretty cruel things at us. Don't get me wrong, we have cruel things shouted to us ALL the time, but this was a bit different. We made sure to walk/run away as fast as we could, and the whole time we were walking I had the beginning of the YW theme playing in my mind. "We are daughters of our Heavenly Father who loves us and we love Him." I was a little hurt and afraid, but that simple phrase gave me such comfort, peace, and hope. I have never been more grateful for the Young Women's program then I was that day when I was able to replay those words in my mind of the theme that have given me strength so many times before.Later that evening was the Woman's Conference where they once again stated the theme. Can you tell I just love Young Women's? :)

Speaking of conference, how did you all like conference?? I LOVED it! So fun watching it as a missionary; it gives everything a new perspective. Elder Hales once said, “The greatest blessings of general conference come to us after the conference is over. Remember the pattern recorded frequently in scripture: we gather to hear the words of the Lord, and we return to our homes to live them.” Isn't that the truth!! After instructing the people in the land of Bountiful, the Lord invited them by saying, “Go ye unto your homes, and ponder upon the things which I have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand, and prepare your minds for the morrow, and I come unto you again.” (3 Nephi 17:3)

It was no coincidence that multiple references were made during conference to the events of the Restoration of the Gospel and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. General Conference is a tangible blessing and a fruit of the Restoration, as we are blessed to be active witnesses of modern-day revelation through living prophets and apostles.  I am working on setting goals that I can do to improve myself spiritually this week, and follow-up with myself at sacrament meeting next week! And then, “wash, rinse, repeat” for every following week.

I would LOVE for you all to send me your favorite General Conference talk and explain why! I would love to hear about your missionary experiences you are having and things that you're learning out of Preach My Gospel (every member a missionary ;)

I love every one of you!! Thank you for your unfailing support and love!! :) It strengthens me each and every day!

Much Love, Sister Martin

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

If a picture paints a thousand words

Beautiful view from temple stairs on a morning run.
That's a stake center right across from the temple. 
Beautiful sunset after much walking and teaching.
One of my favorite MTC teachers, Brother Tiatia stopped by the VC! 

Giant tumbleweed!

One of the sisters in the VC bribed some ice cream guy
to bring all these wonderful beautiful ice cream bars in for us.
They were gone in one day... Whenever Elders come in to drop off desserts
for us or unwanted goodies, they make sure to say things like "Just remember, eat it slooowly" or
"you better eat some before the rest of the vultures attack it" or "make this last for at least a few hours" ...

Practicing our posture on a slow night in the VC :) 

This guy in our area has a bunny farm!! ahh so cute!!
We just went up to his house and said,
"We heard you have bunnies, can we see them?"

My old zone, STGWest. Now I am in the STG Central Zone, or the STG Celestial Zone.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Miracles in the Visitor's Center

So I heard about all this wind that everyone is experiencing in the Midwest!! Well guess what, we have been having our own windstorm here!! Last Sunday we were walking back from our chapel to the VC and we almost got blown away... literally. Dirt was blowing EVERYWHERE and branches were falling down and nature was getting stuck in our long hair... and it was raining to top it off. Perks of not having a car: You get to experience the elements. I actually thought a tornado was brewing by the looks of the sky and I started getting really nervous... but I realized I wasn't in Kansas anymore. I mean Missouri.

Dad asked me if I am learning any Spanish from Sister Morales, and I'm learning a little! But not enough... One night for dinner we went to this family's home who were Mexican (all the Mexicans are always inviting us since Sister Morales is from Puebla). We had some DELICIOUS pozole (like a soup...I had a few bowls and was completely full) and I started telling the family how much I had enjoyed it. They had daughters our age so it was also a lot of fun. The dad then said to me, "You know how you compliment someones meal in Spanish? You say 'TENGO HAMBRE!' " So I looked at them with a huge smile and threw up my hands and said "Tengo hambre!!" And they all started laughing and laughing. I guess it means I'm hungry... So yes, I'm slowly learning more Spanish. 

Every week we are experiencing miracles in the VC - it's amazing. I have a lot of neat stories of so many people who have come in recently that say coming into the VC that day changed their lives. Its fun to keep in contact with them via email and telephone in our Teaching Center (where we accept/make calls and emails all over the world and chat on and check on their progress!  But something the other day really stuck out to me! There was a little girl who came bouncing in and I welcomed her in. She told me in a very exciting voice that she had come to see her father. I said, "Oh, your dad's here?" And she replied, "Yes! Father is here!" Then her mom caught up with her and said in a sweet voice that she didn't have a real father who was around, but that she was talking about her Heavenly Father. And then the little girl kept skipping along and looked back to her mom and said, "Come on mamma! Let's go see Father!" And I just stood there with my eyes full of tears. 

How sweet is that!! Another experience we had was in a lesson with a less-active who just recently divorced from his wife, and he had custody of their new born baby. We were teaching the Plan of Salvation and when we were talking about Heavenly Father and our life before earth, this baby started, literally, jumping and leaping and shouting for joy! With the biggest little smile on his face! We then said, "I think this is all a little familiar to him!" Which it totally is! Now I feel I really understand why we are told to "become as little children," :) 

Sister Morales, Pearson and I and all of our investigators are SO excited for conference this weekend! In the message of the Christus in the VC, we always here the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants that says:" Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me." What a wonderful opportunity to abide by this scripture!! We can learn more of our Savior and how to be like him, listen to his words through our prophet and his apostles, and then walk in the meekness of his Spirit by ACTING on the things which they've said! 

Since our gospel, our message, and our lives are centered in and around Jesus Christ and His Atonement, this conference I have decided to find out how each and every talk is centered around the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Being a missionary provides a new perspective on listening to the words of the prophet - I thought I loved conference before but I REALLY  love it now!!! 

And I love all of you!!! :) 

Love, Sister Martin