Tuesday, May 26, 2015

May 26th - Our Amazing Week of Miracles!!

I don't know if I have time to even write half of the amazing things that have happened this week. 

We've really seen the Lord's hand in all that we do here and are so grateful that we are serving here in El Rio. I'll be sad to (likely) leave in 2 weeks but I know that He will put me where I need to go!

We are teaching an amazing new family that the Zone Leaders passed off to us this past Tuesday. They have read the Book of Mormon and believe it is true! They are coming to a baptism with us on Thursday and I'm really excited for them to have that experience! They weren't able to make it to church on Sunday because one of the girls was sick but Melissa, Ashley, and Arely came to church! We were able to hit standards this past week which was really great! 

Oh wow, Sunday was just amazing!!! One family after another showed up at church on Sunday! Ixerida and her family (Arandeny, getting baptized on the 13th), Yeris and Ashley (13th too), Hermana and Eric Robles, Karlena Borbon and her whole family, the Munoz family, Hermano Villalobos, etc. It was too awesome! It was the best Sunday I've had here by far! We also had our investigator Francisco at church who we're passing off to the elders tonight. 

We went on exchanges this past week and I was in Sonora. I was able to see Hermana Quijada and Evelyn who have since moved from El Dorado. Really cool “coincidence” (no such thing) running into them while I was there on exchanges! They are both doing really well.  :)   Exchanges were fun and Hermana Adams did great her first time in the area for a whole day without me. She is going to do such amazing things here in El Rio :)   So excited for her!

The zoo was fun last week! While I don't believe it was quite worth  $9 we have a lot of fun memories from it. We have a super great zone here haha. I'll be sad to see so many of our awesome missionaries go home in 2 weeks. It will be crazy to see what happens at the end of this transfer. We're all just really unsure!

We are getting our iPads tomorrow before or after District Meeting. So next week I'll likely be emailing from my iPad. Weird!

We hiked a different hike up in Sabino Canyon yesterday and it was a lot of fun! Afterwards we had a carne asada luncheon a la casa de la familia Santacruz :) it was so much fun going up there with everyone! I am really sore though because after we still went to zone sports. I spent the first hour throwing around a lacrosse ball :D an elder had his parents send him his stick and then he bought another one! Oh it was so great!! I gave myself 2 blisters because I've lost my calluses but it was seriously so great! Want to send me my stick? Haha just kidding. That would be cool though.

Our Branch Missionary Leader leaves on his mission to Chicago tomorrow, Jesus Peralta. We're so excited for him! He is going to be such a great missionary! We went to Jesus' house on Saturday evening for his farewell party and guess who I saw, the Ortiz Family!! Hermana Peralta is his cousin!! I freaked out to say the least haha! They are such an amazing family :) I love seeing their desire to do missionary work and that they still remember me haha ;) yay!!!! I seriously love them and all the other members in El Dorado :)

We also dropped John this past week. It is a bummer but we know that right now he isn't ready. One day though :) for sure!

Okay that's all! Love you! Talk to you soon!

Hermana Martin

Last week's zoo trip

Sierra titled this one "Family Reunion"
(it took me a minute, but Hma. Adams is 6' 1" so the Elder is several inches taller than that - the rest of their "family" is in the background)

U-Swirl yogurt after the zoo

Sabino canyon hike yesterday (Memorial Day)

This is a picture in Sierra's manual for their new Ipads they are getting.  
She is convinced that it was taken in Daybreak somewhere
 and challenged us to find the location.  We will have to go looking!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

May 19th - Spider, Flat Tires, and iPads...OH MY!!

This has been a week of hard work, miracles, and just a bunch of random crazy stuff that has made this week an absolute rollercoaster!

I learned how to play Rugby last Monday I think that I will like it a lot more after the mission though once I can play it like it is supposed to be played haha! But it was a lot of fun! We saw Melissa that night with the Gastelums and then 2 more times during the week. She is doing so awesome! Her little sister also wants to take the lessons. She loved Mutual this past week :) she is awesome! She wasn't able to come to church on Sunday, but we are hoping this week :)

On Tuesday night I abandoned my companion for 4 1/2 hours! She had 4 lessons with Genevieve! Yea, they are both pretty much amazing! I went with Hermana Wright to see a referral from English. Guess what, we are teaching a gypsy! Yep! She is so awesome! We saw her again later last week and are hoping to go up again. She lives like 45 minutes north of us. It is hard having such a huge area honestly! We are always so busy.

Arandany and her family are so awesome! They are actually having us over for dinner tonight :) she loved church on Sunday and answered all the questions because it was about the Priesthood which was one of our lessons this past week! She is so excited to be baptized on the 5th! As are her cousins Ashley and Dimas :) their whole family also came on Sunday which was so amazing! It has been amazing to see these 2 families grow so much because of the example of their children!

Thursday night after Correlation, we came home and were called by our Zone Leaders who seemed very distraught. There was a 'huge brown recluse' on their car and they wanted help to get rid of it.  They needed a flashlight and they know that I 'always have everything.' I've been labeled as the mom haha!  Anyways, we go over and they are acting so weird and I seriously was expecting it to be a joke and that someone was hiding in the truck who was going to scare us. Elder Petrungero had the flashlight and then yelled when he found it!  All you could see were 3 HUGE legs sticking out of the side of the bed of the truck! Spread out that thing was as big as the palm of my hand easily. It then started running over the top of the truck (really fast I may add) and the elders freaked! I took off my sandal and chased it down and killed the sucker. It was so nasty. I left part of it on the car haha! So awesome. The next day they made us a treat to thank us. Pictures to come.....

The Los Reales elders got a flat tire this past week and we had to go help them because we were the closest missionaries with a Ford Fusion and they didn't have the equipment to fix it. Well, turns out our car was too new, so they had to call the El Dorado elders. They didn't have the equipment either! Which wasn't discovered until they were already out there. So they somehow made our equipment work and we finally got the tire off! Then a man showed up at the park who used to have a towing business and finished the job in like 3 minutes. How many missionaries does it take to fix a flat tire? The answer is 6 apparently.

Wow! This is already so long! And no one even reads this so I guess I better finish this up. Elder Evans from the Seventy and Brother Allen, the Executive Director from the Missionary Department came down from SLC yesterday and gave us training on how to be better missionaries and also how to be missionaries in the digital age. We will be given further training and our iPads either this week or next. I hope that these tools will make our mission stronger and not weaken it any more. They both called our mission out on being a disobedient mission....crazy.

We've been so well taken care of this week by many members! The dinner calendar was left at church and we didn't have dinners all week. Amazing members offered us dinner all week and we were able to survive! Haha but really, we are so well taken care of here. I absolutely love the branch and I'll be sad to leave here, probably very soon. Interviews with President were this past week and I am not hopeful of staying after this transfer.

Love you all! Talk to you soon!

Hermana Martin

Visiting people

Flat tire problems

Thank you cake Sierra got for killing the huge spider for the Elders.......
Girl Power!!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

May 11th

HI! It is crazy emailing right now after I just spoke to you all yesterday. It went by WAY too fast. I seriously could not even believe it. I do at times still wish that I could see your faces but I guess that will just make it even more special when I do see you all again. Even after hanging up I could not get over Bryant's voice. I can't believe I thought Dad was talking haha! I miss you all like crazy, BUT I have never been more determined at the same time :) I love this work and I am excited to give it my all! I love being able to take this time to give Him everything :) every day, good or bad, is worth it!

My week has been awesome! Busy but awesome :) Tuesday we went up to the Gila Valley Temple! The transfer van was a lot more calm than last August the last time I went with the zone because President Passey was driving the transfer van haha! And I, being me, called front seat. 5-6 hours of talking with President Passey = win! It was great getting to hear about his life while living in parts of Europe and different places in the United States. He truly is a man of many talents. He declined my extension request though...maybe if I make him cookies it will change his mind! We went out to lunch and this Hawaiian food place. Super good! We loved it a lot.

We have taken cookies to a good handful of sisters in the branch for mothers day :) We don't have our moms here but we are so grateful that these wonderful sisters have really taken us in. One sister that I just love here is Hermana Wright. She is the best! She is always ready and willing to come out with us, help us in time of need, gives amazing advice, and will suddenly take us out to a Chinese Buffet because she loves us! She has been so wonderful to me lately and to all the missionaries. Can't wait for you all to meet her.

The Mother's Day activity for the branch was really fun! It was cool to see how it brought so many people together! Members, non members, investigators, less actives, etc. We left a little early for an appointment but we had a great time!

So we were inspired this past week :D want to hear about it? We have several families that we work with and we try to have come to church. Well, many of these families have children who are in Primary. SO we went around and taught 7 of them, from 3 different families, the songs for Mother's Day that the Primary sings! One in English and the other in Spanish. We had them keep it a secret but to have them help their parents to come to church so that they could surprise them. All 3 families came! Power of children :D love them to death! One that came was la familia Villalobos! Arandeny is so excited to get baptized on the 5th :) she is such a cutie! And her sister Sherlene as well. She actually cried in a lesson this past week when her mom told her so had to wait til she was 8 to get baptized haha, she is adorable.

I'm still mad at you for killing Pikachu (we had to tell Sierra we can't get her car to start) poor baby. I knew she had been on my mind for a reason. I should have just brought her with me. Just kidding, but that would have been cool haha!

Well I'm calling that good! My fingers actually really are sore now haha. Love you! Talk to you soon!

Hermana Martin

The Aggie companions on their Saturday morning hike

Another trip to the Gila Valley Temple

Sierra's phone call home - the only way we get to see her face 
since we don't get to Skype.       :( 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

May 4th - I'm tired....

So you know how Preparation Day is supposed to be our 'mini day of rest'? Yea, not even. We usually run around crazy trying to finish everything up and in the end are more tired. Well today won't be any different! We went on an 8 (yep, you heard me) mile hike up Bear Canyon to see 7 Falls. It was a really pretty hike! The waterfall was nice. I guess I would call it decent for Arizona haha. The hike was really the great part. Pictures to come!

Okay!! My week.....Monday I went to El Dorado! I tried visiting a handful of people. I got to see Israel and the whole family! He's been going out with the missionaries, blesses the sacrament, and is just doing awesome! The whole family is! I have missed them a lot haha. I also saw Sonia!! She is adorable as ever! We went over to meet Hermana Hubert's new companion Hermana Evans. Sonia is doing good! We have a challenge together though! She is going to quit smoking and in exchange I'm giving up Oreos. Yep! You heard me! I already gave her what little stash of Oreos I had left! I have been going through withdrawals like crazy.... I am really sad without them. I will stay strong though!

The Medina family took us out to dinner :) it was awesome!! I have missed them SO MUCH! Their family is so amazing and I just love them to death. They went to California recently and brought me back 3 shirts! 2 are minion shirts! I wear them all the time! The 3rd is a California/Disney shirt that I wore to the Farmers Market this past week. It is absolutely amazing to how strong they still are and their faith is never wavering. I love them with all my heart! I hope I get to see them again soon.

Oh, I did actually see them a few days after that! My dear Sammy (Samantha was the Young Woman who got to serve for a week with Sierra when they were short a companion for her) got her mission call! Mexico City South Mission! Yea we were so excited! She doesn't leave until September 16th though! She probably missed the wave of high schoolers putting in their calls and the college students. Glad we get to keep her for a bit longer though :P she also got a letter from President Uchtdorf, whom she wrote the week prior. It was super cool!

We had Stake Conference this past weekend and it was amazing! Saturday evening was super powerful! Sister Passey talked about the preparation needed for the mission field. I'll be sending a write-up of my notes to Laurel haha. She talked about the transfer week though and changed my perspective completely. She talked about picking up the brand new missionaries and how they bear such sweet testimony on Monday night. Then Tuesday they are sent out and they gather the concluding missionaries and take them to the temple. Tuesday night, they also bear testimony before their travel home the next day. She said, "The difference between Monday night and Tuesday night is a miracle." That really hit me. I never thought about the difference that they get to see as our mission president and wife. I was the first missionary they met and I'll be their first missionary to send home (that they've seen start to finish). It was really amazing.
Aide (investigator) came to Stake Conference! We're seeing her tonight to see how she liked it. Also Hermana Munoz came and others! We've been seeing Hermana Victoria a lot still and we just love her! She is determined as ever to read in the Book of Mormon. She is a sweetheart. We are hoping to find something special to do for her for Mother's Day :)
I forgot to mention this, but Andrew (ward missionary) left back to Argentina last week! Yea! Really excited for him that he is back serving there!
So this week has been a first for trying some new food! Menudo was one!  Other missionaries are shocked I've been out almost a year and have now just tried it. I liked it minus the meat, which is cow intestines. The rest is really good! Just a little too chewy meat for me haha. At the Wright's home I got to try chicken feet and gizzard! I didn't mind gizzard but chicken feet was....something special haha! An experience I'll never forget. I would say that I am no longer a picky eater. The mission has definitely changed me in that perspective!

Love you!! That was long haha and now I don't have a lot of time to email the mission president. Fail. Love you! Talk to you on Sunday!!!!!!!

Hermana Martin

Sierra's dinner of chicken feet

Samantha's mission call opening

Seven Falls Hike