Monday, July 28, 2014

Living it up in Washington, Utah

The other day when Sister Pearson and I were driving around Washington on our way to a lesson, we passed about 5 trailer parks (they're all over Washington). I turned to her and said, "Now it makes sense why everyone always calls this 'dog town'".  She was a bit confused... I don't think they have that term in northern England.. because she looked around and said, "Yeah I've seen a few dogs out this week!" But then of course she says some phrases at times too that I'm absolutely clueless on. 

A lot of the trailers don't have AC in them.. so it's a wee bit toasty at times. But now that I live in the area and not in the temple apartments I really feel like Washington is my home! I feel like I really belong here. I love it here. I really do. 

We live in the basement of a members home. It was previously housing elders... so you can imagine the condition of the place. Our light in the bedroom is held on by masking tape and the AC doesn't work very well. So to turn our fan on at night we have to twist the light bulb a little so the light goes off but the fan stays on. And there's a few other weird quirks throughout it... The apartment is totally sufficient for our needs though -  I love it :) And the family upstairs has 4 kids ranging from age 2 to 11. So I seriously feel just at home when I hear little feet running around at 6 am, the soft noise of cartoons on Saturday mornings, and kids wrestling with one another and then someone starts crying and I hear "MOM!!"  Oh it's the best. Sister Pearson and I have some great laughs from everything that goes on. And then of course they wait for us to leave every morning and run our and say "Bye Sisters!!" and when we get home at night they are there to great us as well. The parents will come down and give us vegetables out of their garden and invite us to dinner at times too. I feel just at home :) 

There was a really neat story that happened last transfer with Sister Shoemaker and I in the St. George stake that I forgot to tell you guys too. 

One day we went to contact some less actives referred to us by our ward mission leader. We stopped by one of the families and the dad clearly look like he was active as well as the setting of the home - the pictures and other things they had hanging up. We asked him how church was going for him and his family and he gave us a positive response. So then we left. So first thought was, "okay - they're active! Next!" 


I then had the worst guilt trip of my life! My conscious felt like it was going loco crazy and I just felt sick to my stomach that I didn't even bother to set up a family home evening with this family. So it was quite apparent that we needed to go back. 

Well, needless to say, the Holy Ghost was whispering to me something fierce because I was determined to go back, teach,  and set up another appointment. 

We went over a few times but no answered. We went over once more and finally someone answered the door. We had a positive conversation with the mom and one of the boys about the church and we set a family home evening appointment with them so we could meet her other 5 kids and husband again. 

When we returned, we sat in the family room with the parents wondering where the rest of the family was. Sure enough right then, four very tall, sweaty and shirtless boys came walking in the door. Awkward. 

I was a little nervous at first because I was afraid that all these boys wouldn't be very receptive to the message that we had prepared for them. lack of faith on my part. We had an amazing lesson with all of them. Each brother had something to contribute to the lesson - each one bore testimony of a principle we taught about - from service to Joseph Smith to experiences with the priesthood. The spirit was so strong. 

The mom and dad were both pretty emotional throughout the lesson. The mom played volleyball for BYU Hawaii and the dad played basketball for BYU Provo and all the sons played basketball... so they were a pretty tough looking family at first - but extremely soft hearted. 

When we left the home the mom followed us out with tears streaming down her cheeks. She told us that when we stopped by her house last time she was in the middle of pleading with the Lord in prayer that something could help the contention and arguing in her home - that she would know what to do to solve the problems arising in the home and how to bring the family back together again. And it was right then that we showed up to her door. She thought at the moment that she wasn't in the place to get up and answer the door - but she felt prompted to do so. And when she opened it, there we were. 

This whole family has gone through some extreme trials in their life - they are amazing to have come so far. They all gave talks in sacrament meeting before I left. The spirit was so strong there. To see each one of those boys and the parents get up and bear testimony of what they know is true and how the gospel has changed their lives was truly amazing. They were many tears throughout the entire congregation. And the mother shared the miraculous story over the pulpit. And what's even better is that we had a few investigators there and that sacrament meeting helped them along their process of conversion so much.

This has taught me the importance of prayer as well as worthiness to be sensitive to the promptings of the spirit. 

I know that we must do all we can to remain worthy of the Holy Ghost. I know that faith and obedience is vital to our happiness.  I know this is a gospel of miracles.

I love you all.

Love, Sister Martin

Here are some pictures of 2 absolutely adorable girls we baptized last transfer. They grew up in an extremely tough home environment, but recently started going to church with their grandma - who is awesome. These two cute girls knew more about the gospel than I did when I was 12! I love them - they are just wonderful. 

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