Monday, June 30, 2014

June 21

Hello Family!
 I only have 2 weeks left!  Well, 2 weeks from Monday. The oldest district leaves on Monday and then the elders in my district become the Zone Leaders. And then, actually, I will be the District Leader of my district. When you don't have elders, that is how it works! So hopefully that will be the only time that I will be a district leader ;) sister training leader is a much better title.

 I am so excited to meet the Passeys on Monday (her mission president and his wife). OH I got a letter on Monday and they are coming into the MTC and I'm going up to main campus on Monday to meet them!  And I'm the only missionary here going to Tucson so...I just get to chill with them for an hour :) and I can see this being a very rewarding experience.

This past Sunday, we were privileged to hear from Sheri Dew. She was a wonderful speaker and she spoke about grace. And then on Tuesday, Elder M. Russell Ballard came. In my hand written letter I will send some of my thoughts from their talks.  I've been singing in the choir every week. Front row ;) like a boss. We did Consider the Lilies of the Field this week. We are doing Praise to the Man this week and the devotional is at a different time on Tuesday. With all the mission presidents coming in this week, we are fairly certain it is the prophet. I will never sing better in my whole life if he is here haha! I am very excited.

2 of my friends from Bingham who I graduated with, Marie Ward (played lacrosse together for a year and she worked at LifeTime Cafe for a while) and Krysten Tayler (played in orchestra together) came into the MTC this past week. It was so much fun seeing familiar faces! And faces of those who are over 20 ;) at 20 years old, I'm still the oldest in the district haha. Hopefully I get another oldie this week! So I was a New Missionary Host this week, just like when I was taken care of when you dropped me off!  When sisters came to West Campus, I helped them with luggage and getting them to their classroom. Believe it or not, out of the 4 girls I helped, I had a connection with 2 of them! One of them, Kayla Hansen, is from Idaho Falls and actually played basketball with Julie, Clark's sister! (Clark Hatch is Sierra's brother-in-law, Hayley's husband). And she knows the Hatch family. How crazy?! Now it gets even weirder.... I helped another young woman whose name was Hermana Tate. I asked her if she knew Brooke or Anne Tate and she said "Those are my cousins!!" and then I said "You wouldn't happen to know Johnathon Tate would you?" (The personal trainer from LifeTime) "That's my brother!!!" SMALL WORLD!!! So tell President Tate that she says hello :)

I've had a fun week of fulfilling my calling to be 'Mama Marti­n' haha. Sorry Mom, I actually do get called that here. One of the girls here was having a rough day and I got to just be a mom for her (I'll share the full story in a handwritten letter) and then I got to take a sister to the dentist because she 'needed her mom there' and I was 'a good replacement' :) It has been a very wonderful week. Remember the story I shared last week about Elder Olvera? He had yet to receive his mission visa and I was praying and then asked the Hermanas to join me. The morning he got it, I had told him at breakfast, "Hey, I've been praying for you and so have the Hermanas. I am feeling it today. Today is the day that you are going to get it." And he did! I've shared that already sorry, BUT on Sunday, during Priesthood meeting, they were sharing some of their best experiences from the past week with the Branch Presidency.  President Stewart said they were nice stories, and then Olvera just quickly shared that story, and then Olvera told me that President Stewart then began to cry. Not just a few tears, but full on crying. He then bore testimony to the elders about the power of sister missionaries. It came up in Zone Council as well, and it was just great :)

 Love you all so much! Keep me updated on your adventures! Dear Elders are fantastic!!!!!

Pray for you to be safe morning and night :) and my prayers come true so....don't screw it up ;) estoy bromeando.("I'm joking") Love you!                                         Hermana Marti­n
Sierra with the sisters in her District.

Sierra's preaching license - the pen is covering her return date!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

June 14th

We got 2 new districts this past week. 4 sisters and 5 elders. 1 elder didn't show up so there is a trio. Wahoo! The sisters are great and I've had a lot of fun being Momma Martin. Yes, that is my name haha. Feeling cool.
The packages this week were both so awesome! The Oreo thing has made my life. I've been eating Oreos every day since I got it haha.  MTC 15!!!  I hope not...I'll have to buy a whole new wardrobe. Meaning you would actually ;) so I'm being good.

Cool experiences this past week!!!  

Elder Olvera in my district leaves a week from Monday and he hasn't gotten his Visa yet. I asked him if he had prayed yet and he said no. So I have been praying and got my Hermana's to do it as well. So yesterday, at breakfast I told him, "Hey, I prayed for you this morning to get your Visa and I'm feeling good. My prayers always come true." Kinda joking, but you know me haha. And.....5 hours later, he comes running to me while I was outside studying, "IT CAME!!!!" Kind of awesome haha!

With the new elders coming in, I found out that 1 was from South Jordan. Elder Smart, graduated in 2013, knows Laurel. Anyways, he said when he first met me he recognized me...and then it hit him! He is BFFs with Matt Page and was at his farewell and went to our talk!  Haha so he was at my mission farewell. Small world!

I got another package the same day that I got the Oreo package. It was from Amazon. I opened it and it was a 24 package of Goldfish crackers. I was super confused. There was a note inside and it quoted the scripture from Matthew about being 'fishers of men' and a small note. It was from the Berube's. It made my life, I seriously just cried. I would love their address so I can write them :)

Your package that I got yesterday with the pictures just made my life. I was just showing off the pictures last night and again today. I love you so much!!!  I've been wanting more pictures and this was exactly what I wanted :) Love yer guts.

So after class this past week, we ran into 2 'investigators' from Guatemala who asked us all these super hard questions about the church. I tried to answer them the best I could and I was actually doing extremely well. It was our entire district, so there were 5 of us and we talked to them for 40 minutes. Lost our gym time, so sad.  At the end, he was asking about families. So again, fully in Spanish, I bore my testimony on eternal families and for the opportunity to be with Heavenly Father and those we love for the rest of eternity. It was amazing, I can't even tell you how it felt. He asked us if he (Jose) and his wife (Hely) could meet with us again. So we have an appointment on Monday.  Should be an awesome  experience :)

2 funny stories. So we went on a walk in the middle of class with our teacher and he walked around saying what things were in Spanish. He taught us pebble...I can't think of it now, starts with a 'p'...but later, he picked up a pebble and asked what it was, and Hermana Walker yelled at the top of her lungs 'Pedo!' to which Hermano Howard just lost it. He then said, "No, actually that means 'fart.' So....we had a kick out of that. So many Spanish mess ups, I'll tell more later.

 Playing volleyball this past week and there was this HUGE Tongan on the other team. We were playing and the ball was going to him and I got this strong impression to drop, before the ball was even near him. I've learned to listen, so I dropped to my knees, and right then the Elder spiked the ball and it barely missed the head (it blew my hair a bit) and knocked the Elder behind me down. Saved my face. Pretty good day.

Well....that was a lot haha!  I want to be better at emails so I made a list of things to tell you ;) you're welcome!

Hermana Martin

Sierra's District sisters showing where they are going. 

 Sierra with her next-door neighbor (aka "little" brother) Elder Matt Page at the MTC.

June 4th-7th

Dear Family,

It is 12:30 p.m., I can't believe a week ago I was sitting with you all at Denny's. Feels like a lifetime ago! Sometimes I can't believe I'm here! I actually woke up Monday morning super groggy and had a 10 second freak out as to my location. Bless my heart. Speaking of Denny's, turns out Hermana Atkin was there and tried to figure out if Hayley's scrubs was actually a dress of if I was the missionary! Now she know!

Officially 1 week down! 77 to go!!! So pretty much my package made my life last night! It gave each of us a much needed laugh! I love you so much!! I forgot about the cookies today, but I will take a tub to class tomorrow to share with the Elders! Loving treats that is for sure!!! Why are you so amazing? :)

I'm trying to be better with taking pictures. I will steal some from those with whom I'm serving for you haha. Quote of the day: I was doing Personal Study (as was everyone else) when we needed to do companion study. Well, I was on a scripture hunt and said, "One second, I'm on a mission." To which Hermana Atkin responded, "Literally." I think we are sleep deprived, because we laughed about that for so long!!! We are special.

Remember in "The Best 2 Years" when the mail drama is going on? Well, I am 'Elder Vanpelt' (spelling?) in our District. Today... Hermana Martin... Martin... Martin... Atkin... Martin... Martin... Walker... Martin... 6 letters! That is the new goal to beat hahaha. I was on cloud 9! But also sad that 9:30 (we can't open letters until then) couldn't come sooner!

I write in my journal (almost) every day. Most days I get home, shower, have 10 minutes, then rush to get to bed before 10:30. So it makes journal writing difficult. Typical day in the life of Sierra...

6:20 a.m. - Wake-up. Yay. I have actually not had a problem with this. Surprised?
7:00-7:25 a.m. - Breakfast. They come up with the weirdest stuff sometimes! This morning" on an English muffin, it had almost stuffing-like... stuff, and a poached egg with gravy. Not gonna lie, did not sit well after a few bites. Yay for Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
7:30-10:30 a.m. Class- which is always a combination of class (doctrinal) and Spanish lessons.
10:30-11:40 a.m. - Gym! Most days volleyball. We play basketball sometimes and are playing soccer tomorrow.
11:40-12:15 p.m. - Go get sack lunches. We can't be in the cafeteria without church clothes, so we just get sack lunches and then change.
12:45-4:30 p.m. - Class with Elder Hermano Howard. Great teacher. Lots of Spanish...
4:30-5:10 p.m. - Dinner. Usually very good. Tonight was chicken, mashed potatoes, carrots, salad, and I got chocolate milk (same for every meal).
5:15-6:15 p.m. - Personal Study- I usually spend it in the scriptures, reading PMG (Preach My Gospel), etc...
6:15-7:15 p.m. - Companion Study with mis compañeras :) we practice lessons to do with investigators.
7:15-9:15 p.m. - SPANISH! We have an online computer system called TALL that we do, study our vocab HW for the nigh, do old Spanish Spanish Spanish.
9:15-9:30 p.m. - Devotional with the whole Zone. We take turns giving the devotional. Then prayer.
Walk home.. get ready for bed...
10:15-10:30 p.m. - Quiet time- mostly journal writing, but also still getting ready for bed.
10:30 p.m. - Bedtime!! Or else... no benediciónes para me.

Well... You're welcome!! A day in the life of Hermana Martin. Sundays and Tuesdays we go up to main campus for Devotionals. There is a bus that takes us up. Also, during the day, a bus comes every 30 minutes because on P Day we go up to go to the temple.

So I freaked out my teacher tonight. AKA, I inspired him. So we are supposed to share a scripture with a partner from personal study. He was my partner. I did the 'flip your scriptures open' trick and ended up in 1 Corinthians 13. Charity chapter. Muy bueno. Pero, I remembered how the Book of Mormon used to not have chapters. Neither did the Bible. So... after 13 awesome verses on the necessity of Charity, 1 Corinthians 4:1... "Follow after charity, and spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy." So after all these scriptures on the greatness of Charity, plus the seeking of spiritual gifts - AKA seeking after attributes of God and becoming more like Him - it is all for the purpose of sharing it with other and THUS glorifying your Father in Heaven (Matthew 5:16). If you don't share it, you are nothing. If you don't have Charity, you are nothing. Stay awesome. Be valiant. Haha, but Hermano Howard wigged out, ran and got his scriptures, wrote notes in his journal and scriptures and we had like a 5 minutes discussion instead of quickly sharing. Pretty cool!

Love you all :) I'm so happy here! Can't wait to get out there!

Love, Sierra

Sunday, June 8, 2014

June 7th, 2014


I am still so sad to have missed Laurel's graduation :( Especially since I wouldn't have had to listen to Hicks speak. You should all continue to send me Dear Elders! I got 6 letters on one day this past week and now my entire district hates me. But I don't care haha! I'm trying to figure out how much to write....because I have a 5 page letter at home that I am sending out Monday morning and I don't want to just repeat it all haha.

I did a session at the temple this morning and, right before I went in, an elderly woman came up to me and asked if I was going to the 9:20 session. I said I was and she asked me to do a family name for her because she had 2. It was such a wonderful experience and I just absolutely loved it! She told me after that she (the sister I did the name for) will bless me in my life because I blessed her. I told her I was a missionary and she then said that she will likely be there with me :) a really cool experience for sure.

I have seen Elder Page!!!! We ran into each other on Sunday at the fireside and it was awesome!! He came up to me after and we kind of had a freak out haha, it was pretty much amazing ;) don't worry about it. Handshake only! It was hard not to hug the kid haha. 
I have so much to tell you!! But I already did, in the letter, which is going out next week.........bummer. Well! You are all so great :) keep sending me letters! I have yet to miss a day in the MTC where I didn't get mail (Sunday doesn't count). DearElders are coming the day after now. Finally haha. If you look at the rules online, if you send it after a certain time then they won't get sent the next day. I haven't sent Dear Elders since Colton was in the MTC so it has been a little bit haha.  I got my package and absolutely loved it!!!!!!! Haha as did my Hermanas y mi districto. The goodies have been used well ;) and it gave us a great laugh haha. Made my whole week :) thank you so so so much!!!! I love you :)

So on P Days, here is my normal schedule. Wake up at 5:30, do laundry before the service project at 6:15, move stuff to the dryer and do breakfast to catch the 8:35 bus to go do a session at the temple, do emails for about half the time after that, do lunch, come back to Wyview, hang out, use the rest of email time, gym time, dinner, and then class from 5:15 until 9:15. SO now you kind of have an idea as to what I do with Saturdays.

As mentioned previously, I have the world's best letter to send to you on Monday so you will get to hear from me then ;) it has all the cool stuff that I've been doing. I get a lot of emails actually haha. What I need to do is write a long, awesome letter to you, then copy and paste it in the others and add an extra little note to make it personal and then call it good ;) that may be my plan next week because I have 13 emails to respond to today. Popular much right?!  I got Laurel's letter today SO, except for Sundays, I have gotten a letter every single day!! Please keep writing so I can keep that record unbroken ;) Clark has been the greatest contributor so far with his awesome daily DearElders :)

I miss you all so so much!! I say that a lot....but I actually had a dream last night about the day that I get home from the airport. I then realized that once I'm it totally blew my mind haha. I miss you all so much! And I hope to keep hearing about yo done at the MTC, I'm not coming home...I am going to Arizona. And I was tired mind you, but I hope to keep hearing about your many adventures! I expect pictures from the vacation :) I'm still very sad to be missing it.

OH!!! I finished memorizing My Purpose as a Missionary and The First Vision in English and in Spanish. Wahoo!!!!!!!!!! Nos vemos!!!!!!!

Hermana Martin

 Sierra with her first package from home!

Arizona bound!

June 6th, 2014

¡Hola Familia! That's all. I've learned nothing more haha, only teasing! My trio with Hermana Walker y Hermana Atkins is just wonderful. Plus having only 3 of us in the apartment, to a bathroom as well, has been a sweet blessing haha. In here, for the song "We'll Bring the World His Truth", the chorus is changed to "...and we are now the Lord's missionaries to bring the world His truth." We sang that my first day here. That is when it finally hit me. I memorized My Purpose and The First Vision. I will do it in Spanish next week. I teach a 30 minute lesson in Spanish with my companions mañana. Slightly nervous haha! I will be praying for strength... along with the end of this horrible cold. Church is true! I will write again soon!

I have been in 8 1/2 hours of meetings today so i am mentally spent, but very well spiritually fed. We went up to the main campus tonight to have devotional and I saw Matt Page Elder Page there! He leaves in a little over a week. I also saw Elder Nelson on Saturday while visiting main campus. Things are still wonderful here :) I love you all and miss you much however...

Nehemiah 6:3 "...I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down; why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?"

I am at peace with my decision, and I will go and serve faithfully.

Hermana Martin

May 31, 2014

Hello hello! Just your favorite redhead here checking in. I am loving the MTC and I am really grateful that I have the opportunity to be here. I am over on the West Campus, AKA Wyview Apartments and I am at Raintree to study during the day. I am an apartment complex or two down from where Hayley used to live haha! Little did I know then that one day I would practically live there too right?!

Anyways, my companion actually never showed up so I am alone! Only kidding. I am in a trio companionship with Hermana Walker y Hermana Atkin. We have a lot of fun together. It is only the three of us in an apartment and I have my own room. All I can say is God loves me. I will enjoy this blessing while I have the chance.
The three of us and 2 elders, Elder Chun and Elder Condie are the only ones in our District. Smallest district ever! But we have a lot of fun :) 

I was called to be the Sister Training Leader for my District. I have to keep track of three of us. So difficult right? Haha but I can't complain. P-days are on Saturdays! I exercise every day for an hour. We do volleyball or basketball mostly. Cold is slowly getting better. the finger hurts but the blister has since popped. I can't send pictures unless I print them so I will try to do that next week. Food is okay. We went up to main campus today and the food was awesome! So we have better rooms but they have better food. Trade off!

Anyways...Only been here for 3 days so I don't have too much to say haha. I love you all so much!! I will send you a written letter in the next day or two. Been super busy trying to learn Spanish. We had to teach a lesson in Spanish only yesterday for 45 minutes. Not the easiest thing I've ever done!

Stay awesome!! I will talk to you later!!

Hermana Martin

PS Send me letters!!!
PPS It is not letting me upload pictures so I will send some later!!!