Tuesday, April 28, 2015

April 28th - We're staying together! Transfer #3 in El Rio :)

Yay! For the first time since being trained by Hermana Ramos I'm going to have a companion for a full 2 transfers! It is a miracle really. I'm super excited. Not that I don't just love always switching companions, but being on my 11th within 8 transfers has been a little nuts. It is okay though! Also, Hermana Erickson AND Hermana Hubert are training this transfer SO.......I'm a grandma!!! Yea! Double grandma no less haha :D I am so happy for both of them. Hermana Erickson just hit her 8 month mark as well. Also Hermana Blackford and Hermana Sutherland go home tomorrow. I can't even believe it. Lots of things are changing.

Okay! So I am awesome and forgot my planner. I'm going to try and write all about the best stuff of this week without my little remember sheet.

Both sets of elders in our branch had a baptism this past Friday! It was so cool to get to help. I went into the back to help Alma after she was baptized. She was just glowing! I wrapped her in her towel and she just hugged me and couldn't stop crying. She said she has never been happier! Mario (who is actually blind) was also baptized. 

Saturday we went out to a baptism in El Dorado. It was someone I never taught, but we support each other with baptisms. The members there were not sure what to think when they saw me haha!! It was so cool!! I loved seeing them all again! It felt like going home really. El Dorado still has my heart haha. We are actually going out to El Dorado again today to have dinner with the Medina family :D I love them so much :) and then we'll go out again later when Sam gets her mission call. I can't get enough of that place. I just wanna move there after the mission.

I also went and saw Maria Garsia before she moved to Phoenix this past weekend. She told the hermanas there to call me and have me come to say goodbye to her. Love her so much and when we come down to visit we'll need to make a drop by to Phoenix to see her. I don't know if I told you this, but she has gone already to do baptisms and even had the work done for her husband :) I love her so much! She can't wait to go and get her endowments in December. 

What else what else....oh! Okay the miracle I was telling Hayley. So we had a great District Meeting this past week by Elder Ferguson. He was my District Leader when I first started the mission. We talked about listening to inspiration. Well after leaving an appointment I felt strongly that we should go see Danna. I figured she would still be in school but I listened. We showed up, not there. I got in the car kind of defeated. "Last time I try that!" I went to call someone and a young woman came out of her house waving her arms. She asked, "Are you Mormons?!" Why yes, yes we are! Turns out she lived in South Jordan with a family who adopts a lot of special needs kids. I got the name from her and wrote it down. See 2nd paragraph....I need to remember that darn planner. She lived here for 9 months and we just had a great conversation with her! Camille moved here 3 days prior to this and said she didn't know how to contact our church but she wanted to come back and had wanted to be baptized. Moral of the story, follow those small promptings! 

5 new investigators from this past week, 19 less active lessons, and Ixerida's daughter told us last night that she got her answer and she wants to get baptized. So many great things going on here! Could not be more excited!

Love you all so much! Miss you like crazy! Can't believe today marks 11 months since I've seen your cute faces. Love you all and I'll talk to you very soon!

Hermana Martin

Sierra with Maria Garsia

The college where Sierra e-mails home

Thursday, April 23, 2015

April 20th - Transfer calls are not this Saturday....

I'm in denial. What happened to this transfer?! Seriously I think this has felt like the fastest transfer I've had in the whole mission. I am so not okay with how fast time is flying here. I am sincerely praying that I'll get to stay with Hermana Adams. I don't think he'll move me, but you never know. Pray for me! And on that note, don't expect an email next Monday. Tuesday will be P Day.

Okay, this week. Where to begin.................
Andrew and Manny visited J. this past week and he is doing a lot better. We saw him too and he said the most sincere, amazing prayer that I've heard from him! He was going to come to a baptism on Saturday and church on Sunday but he has a nephew on suicide watch and he's been with him all weekend. We're hoping he can come to another baptism this Friday and then church on Sunday.

We did Personal Progress with J. and M. Lopez this past week. I don't know if I've mentioned this (probably) but a bunch of us are memorizing the Living Christ together for the Faith project. I still remember Angie Bennett doing it at New Beginnings and being so impressed. I've memorized over half of it. I'm going to finish it before I come home as a Christmas present for Him :)

We did exchanges this past week with Hermana Ellis and Hermana Lund. Hermana Lund came out with Hermana Adams. She already knew Spanish before the mission (7 years of it) so they didn't meet up in the CCM. She really loved volunteering at the Farmers Market!   I got some fresh oranges, asparagus and potatoes this past week. I love having fresh produce in the home that I saw get dropped off by people who picked them that morning. 
Eric R. invited us this past week to have lunch with him at the Fiesta Grande that they have here on the West side every year. It was so cool!!! You all are so coming back to check it out with me next year. We had these HUGE carne asada burros. SO beyond good. The fiesta was way cool! At one point Eric said, "Do you realize you two are the only white people here?" Sometimes I forget that I am a really tall white chick. Me and Hermana Adams did stand out pretty bad haha! It was pretty funny. So next year we're coming yes?

Later that afternoon, I got a call from Hermana Hubert in El Dorado.  She sounded really upset and I asked her if she was okay. She said, "Hermana Maciell" and my heart just dropped.  She is in the hospital and she is really sick is what she told me and that she looks different.  She told me I better come soon and see her.  She also said that Hermana Maciell asked for "Sierra" to come and see her. I went that evening and it was so great to spend time with her again. Love mi abuelita. I am hoping to find time again this week to go and see her. Keep her in your prayers. She said she is ready to go. When I started to cry a little ( I tried so hard not to!! ) she told me to stop it. I told her it was allergies (sound familiar?) and she told me that missionaries can't lie. I told her that I'm a really bad missionary then haha. She makes me smile.

We had 19 lessons this week with less actives and recent converts this week. We are staying busy! We want to spend more time finding this week though. We visit 26 less active families and sometimes it is hard to find the time to find new investigators. I want to make sure no one gets left behind! I love it here in El Rio :) couldn't be happier.

Sierra found her street!


Fiesta Grande

Saturday, April 18, 2015

April 13th - Trio power!

Yea, we had an awesome weekend as a trio with our missionary Genevieve R. :) she is a Laurel in our branch and wanted to see what life was like as a sister missionary! We picked her up on Friday after school and she was with us until last night. It was so fun having her with us! She said that we pray a lot haha! She really wants to serve a mission now :) me too! Haha it was fun to have that reminder of how awesome our work really is as misisonaries. Sometimes I feel like it is the norm but really...we're weird haha. But really awesome at the same time! 

We went to a baptism on Saturday for Omar  :) a cousin/nephew of the Q. family in our branch. We visit them on Sundays (the whole family). It was a beautiful baptism :) while waiting for the confirmation, they asked us to give a message. Well...their elders should have done it but they didn't show up. And I was with 2 missionaries who had never done it before. You know what? Best baptism message I've ever given! Genevieve started and did amazing! It was really powerful. At the end, Omar's mom hugged us and said that we had made her day. Love being a missionary!

Good news and bad news....good news! J. came to church! We went over and A. (lovingly yet boldly) told him that he needs to go to church. He was saying that he was too busy. It wasn't an invitation though, it was very direct that he needed to be at church. He came! Bad news....he hated it. He said he felt so peaceful but that he didn't belong there. We'll see what the future holds with him. 

I spent last P-Day making cookies! It was fun. We took them to a lot of people. I have about 6 cookies left in cookie dough form...saving them for a good ( bad ) day. Or when I'm craving cookie dough haha!

Ah! I had too many emails. Next time I start with this letter haha. Last thing, Diana gave her testimony at church yesterday! She told me yesterday morning that she was feeling nervous and didn't want to do it. She and I talked on the phone for a few minutes and she did do it. It was so powerful! She is amazing! I cannot wait to see all the people that she is going to touch :) love her to death. 

Talk to you all next week! Miss you!!

Hermana Martin

Sierra and Hma. Adams with their "mini-missionary" for the weekend

Sunday, April 12, 2015

April 6th - Loved Conference Weekend! Happy Easter!!

I have had a great weekend! General Conference always makes it a very special experience. We spent most of conference with the Christensen family (Andrew's family-ward missionary). It was so great being with a family for Conference. Reminded me of home a lot :) miss you all! John came over for the first session of conference. At the end all he could say was, "I need to see my kids." He wanted to see his girls so much. He is starting to see how he can change and become more than he is. We're seeing him again on Tuesday. He's great! He says the Lord keeps clearing his path and it is so true! I'll explain more after the mission!

Genevieve (young woman in our branch) will be staying with us this weekend to serve a mini mission! I cannot wait! She is really awesome :) I've loved keeping up on Personal Progress. I now have the whole first column of the Living Christ memorized. Great way to spend Easter reciting that! I want to finish it before the end of my mission :) early Christmas present.

We had Zone Conference this past week. Someone from the Fleet Department came down from SLC to install a Tiwi in every one of our cars. Let me tell you about our new "Big Brother". If we go over 5 mph over the speed limit, it says "Check your Speed" and if you don't go down within a few seconds it sends a report to SLC. There is a GPS to track you. If you take a turn or speed bump too hard, speed up to fast, etc. you get "Reckless Driving" and it sends it to SLC too. Also checks for buckling up and if we are out past or before curfew. Yep! We all feel like little children. It yelled at me the first day 4 times to slow down. 5 yesterday. Bah. Working on it.

Oh man running out of more! Melissa (investigator who we found at the member's home that night when I was told we needed to change our plans) is doing great! She said she was going to read the Book of Mormon this weekend and if she got an answer she would get baptized! Yea! She is super awesome :) Love her to death.

So much more...but no time :( I'll send a letter this week with more stuff haha! Love you! I will talk to you all soon!!

Hermana Martin

Easter dinner with the Elders

Easter package from home

Guinea pig hiding out in Sierra's hair