Monday, June 29, 2015

June 29th - Monsoon Season has started!!

We've had a wet few past days and I couldn't be more excited! While my companion may not like getting wet I have a great time with it haha. Can't wait to see how the monsoons here compare to those up in Tucson. I'm just glad that I will still be getting them here!

So I must apologize. I read over my email that I sent you last week and it was kind of pretty much super lame and I forgot a lot of important things. So last Saturday we were called and asked to give talks the next morning in the Spanish branch. I've only given 2 talks on the mission so that was fun! I talked about the Holy Ghost and it went so well! I actually had to cut it short. Never thought that would happen. Also on the spot I was asked to play the piano because the person who comes in and does it didn't show up that week. My piano skills are coming in handy! I'll be doing a special musical number PROBABLY next week with the missionaries in the branch. I've got the song pretty much down now I believe.

Okay so this week we found 4 new investigators, one of which is beyond awesome. Her name is Melissa and her aunt is a member of the ward here. She is super sweet and is really interested in learning more! We'll be seeing her on Wednesday :) can't wait!

Mercedes came to church on Sunday! She looked so cute too. She is going to be baptized on July 18th. We are really excited for her :)  Her grandma came too and we'll be seeing them tonight. The work really is going great here. We're on fire! Even with losing Monday for the conference we still had 23 lessons and hit 6 "members present".   :) We took members out 11 times last week so we are really working hard!

We weeded a less active member's home this past week with the elders. Took nearly 3 hours and afterwards we said we'd treat them to Subway. Well, we went there and a member from the Prudence Ward in Tucson said, "Elders, I'll buy you lunch today." We turn around and the elders weren't even wearing their name tags. I asked her, "How did you know they were missionaries?" (We were still in our service clothes). She said, "Sisters! I didn't know they had sisters out here now!" Haha, but then she continued to say,"You can just tell. You don't need name tags for people to recognize you and who you stand for." It was a super special experience. She bought all of us Subway. She was so sweet :) I just wish I could remember her is killing me.

We played dominoes at the Nursing Home here with Emma (an 86-year old lady they visit). My first time playing dominoes for real haha. I won both games! Who knew I was a master domino player. She said, "Didn't you know you're supposed to let me win?" Haha :P I'll remember that for when we go back on Saturday.

Okay 10 points for me, I sent a much better email this week. You're welcome!
Love your guts! Talk to you very soon! Thanks for the picture of Laurel at the temple :)  Made my heart so happy! Wish I could have been there but in the end all that matters is that she is making that decision in her life. She is amazing! Can't wait for Hermana Martin the Second to start her adventure!  (For those who don't know, Sierra's sister Laurel just received her mission call to Alabama Birmingham mission, spanish-speaking.  She leaves 8 weeks before Sierra gets home).  

Hermana Martin the First

Doing some serious yard work!

Sierra's new investigator Melissa

Friday, June 26, 2015

June 23rd - Half Mission Conference with Elder Corbridge

Emailing a day later but it is SO worth it! Elder Corbridge and Sister Corbridge came down from Utah for a half mission conference. They are meeting with the other half of the mission up in Tucson right now actually! It was such an amazing experience. He talked about making sure all the lessons are centered around "The Most Important Thing". He didn't reveal until later on that the most important thing is the Atonement of Jesus Christ and its ability to cleanse us from sin so that we can receive power from on high. Yea, it was a super powerful meeting! 

They both sat with us during lunch and (mom you're going to hate me) but I was able to ask him to send along a message from me to President Monson. He promised me he would. He said, "I will tell President Monson that Hermana Martin from the Arizona Tucson Mission would like to serve 2 years instead of a year and a half." Yep! That is how bad I wish I could just serve 2 years like the elders. We'll see if anything comes of it ;)

Oh man, my week....we got 6 news and had 26 lessons! We worked hard. We are seriously giving it our all. I'm trying to be the hardest working missionary this area has ever seen.
We've spent a lot of this week doing service for different members! I think we hit nearly 9 hours. Tiffany Douglas is so cute and did my nails this past week (acrylic) and they are so adorable. All the service really took a beating on them though haha.

I love serving here and we are having a great time. We keep seeing miracles and are trying our best to be the best instruments for the Lord.

Thank you for all your support! Talk to you next week!   
Hermana Martin

The house Sierra is living in.

Her bedroom with the cool bunk beds.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

June 15th - First week in Willcox!

This has been the most crazy week that I've had in a very very long time! Coming here on Tuesday with only the keys to the truck and an address for where we live now was kind of daunting! We found the ward and branch directory but in the end that is all we had. So, we began at square one!

In my interview with President last month he told me how I need to make sure I trust more in Jesus Christ and not in my own ability to do missionary work. That advice has been ringing in my ear all week. I have been trying to give it 110% and because of that we have seen so many miracles! We have 5 new investigators (started with none) and we were able to have 19 lessons this past week even with no lessons having happened last Monday or Tuesday because we had just moved in. I am seriously so excited to see what the future holds! We received 13 referrals and are hoping to contact the rest this week! Because of constantly working we have 4 potential families that we are visiting this week!

One story I'd like to share! We decided to go and get a map so we could get a bigger picture of our area. We went to the information center to get a map and ended up looking at some postcards there. Side comment mentioned before: my companion Hermana Garcia is from El Salvador. She still doesn't speak very much English aka we are speaking in Spanish all the time. NOW I feel like I know Spanish after this week haha! Okay back to the story. We were talking for a while and when we were getting the maps the girl at the desk said that she is so amazed by my Spanish and wondered how I learned. I told her about being missionaries and that I was able to learn on the mission! Well her whole family is from Mexico and she also speaks Spanish! She agreed to let us come over tonight to teach her and her family! We are super excited!

Arandeny and Dimas were baptized up in Tucson this past Saturday. I kept thinking about them as 4 o'clock rolled around and I wasn't able to be there. I felt really sad but at the same time so beyond excited for them and the decision they made to be baptized :) I love those families so much and I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for them!

Laurel's mission call was such a surprise this past week :)  State-side Spanish. She is so beyond smart and I am so happy that she is going to get to use her amazing Spanish skills. It will probably be a bit different though because Laurel knows Mexican Spanish and there will be mostly Cubans and Puertoricans there in Alabama. Hermana Garcia and I sometimes have a hard time understanding each other because our Spanish is just so different. It has been fun though haha!

Oh man, what else. Things are great. I am trying to give my all and we have been able to see miracles because of it. The ward and branch seem very excited to have sister missionaries for the first time in nearly 20 years. We feel like celebrities haha. 

Love you! Miss you! Talk to you next week! And I'll try to take more pictures this week...sorry. I've been busy! Love you!

Hermana Martin

Burning a shirt for her one-year mark.

Sierra and her new companion, Hermana Garcia

Sierra's first time holding a frog.  
The sister she lives with sent this to me in an email.

Monday, June 15, 2015

June 9th - My crazy, awesome week!

Okay I only have 10 minutes so I will write basics! I will try to send a letter this week but I am not sure if that will be possible. I only have 30 minutes of emailing time today because of all the craziness and so I only have these few short moments to write.

I am here in Willcox. I am pink washing! Meaning elders were in this area as of yesterday and I now I am here with Hermana Garcia who is from San Salvador and just finished being trained! She is so great and is really wanted to learn English. I've been talking in Spanish all day so this is kind of hard to write in English right now haha. I am really not sure what to expect here. I really don't have anything here to work with. A completely blank planner, no appointments, investigators, or plan. I really REALLY hope that I can help this area to grow! Pretty please keep me in your prayers, I need it.

To quickly talk about my amazing week, I love El Rio! It is an amazing area and I know Hermana Adams and her new companion Hermana Budge will be able to bless the lives of SO many people there. Dimas and Arandeny are getting baptized on Saturday and tal vez (maybe) Ashley! I so wish I could be there. I was able to write them each a letter before I left and I will just expect pictures next week :)So proud of them and all the growth they've been able to make!

Quick miracle before I have to go! Diana Cruz went to go pick up Danna for church but there was a problem going on with a neighbor and her parents said they would take her to church a little later. Well one thing let to another and they decided to not take her. Danna sat on the couch and said a prayer that she would be able to get a ride to church somehow. As she said amen, there was a knock at the door. Hermana Munoz felt like she should stop by and see if Danna needed a ride. Yes!! And she was able to come to church and she went up with me and bore her testimony for the first time. I am SO grateful for my time in El Rio. It seriously was amazing and I could not be happier.

Ah! I have 1 minute. Okay I love you! Umm....I got your package and I absolutely loved it! I may eat all the Oreo's this week...yes I'm a stress eater haha. I seriously need all the prayers I can get this week.

Miss you!! Love you! Talk to you next week!

This is the only picture she sent this week - Zone T-shirts!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

June 1st - Tucson Summer Take #2

I forgot how hot it gets here!  I am getting flashbacks to last year and wondering how I survived haha! Over 100 every  day this week and it wasn't even June yet. We are in trouble!  BUT the blessings will be worth it! 

On Sunday morning we were told by a member of the passing of L. Tom Perry. He has been my favorite apostle for several years and that absolutely broke my heart but I am glad to hear that he is no longer in pain. I will always remember his happy attitude, big smile, and enthusiasm for whatever thing he may be teaching about. I want to share my favorite quote by him:

“One of the greatest weaknesses in most of us is our lack of faith in ourselves. One of our common failings is to depreciate our tremendous worth.”   L. Tom Perry

Jesus Peralta (our old Branch Mission Leader) was set apart on Tuesday night and left Wednesday morning.  As I hit a year this past week it really made me reflect on last year when at that same time I was going through the same thing. I am so grateful for this amazing past year that I've already been able to experience as a missionary! I have grown so much spiritually, emotionally, and even physically!! I took some before and after pictures and the difference is weird haha. I thought I was already pretty old when I left. I got even older. Oh! And I completed my goal to catch up on journaling before my year mark!! Success! I am so happy that I was able to do that! Now to hit that stack of letters. I may never get to those haha. Soon.....ish.

I don't have too much to say, it has been a really mellow week. Tucson just kinda dies when it gets really hot. A lot of people came to church again on Sunday! I feel like every week there is a whole new group of people haha. The work is growing so much and it is awesome!  Dimas got his interview done and he is good for his baptism on the 13th as is Arandeny! We are hoping to get Ashley's interview done either this week or the first part of next week. Melissa is still on track to also get baptized on the 20th :) so excited for all of them!

Yes, transfers are next week. I feel like I just got to El Rio, yet I've already been here for nearly 4 months. Crazy! We never know, but it is like 99% sure that I will be going. The Zone Leaders want to me stay in the zone and we are thinking I'll likely be going to Los Reales with Hermana Anderson which would be so much fun! She came out with Hermana Adams. We shall see! One of the members here, Eric Robles, works at a sign shop and made me a goodbye present!  See picture, it is so cool! (she wasn't able to get pictures to send - maybe next week)   I hope that it survives following me around the mission for the next while haha. I will likely leave it with the Medina family and then when we come by in December we can pick it up haha. 

We got our iPads this morning and I started doing my emailing on it but it is kind of difficult haha. I am not an apple person but we shall see! Just so you know I will be able to get emails throughout the week (aka - so for when certain large white envelopes (her sister's mission call) come in the mail I will be expecting a video) but I just cannot respond until Mondays. So that will be a big change! That way I can spend more time on Mondays responding than reading. So don't worry about long emails to me, they are approved! Haha!

What else...I don't really have that much to say. Oh! The Gastelum family let me burn a shirt at their house for my 1 Year Birthday on the mission. Normally it is halfway but in October they are going to change it so sisters can serve 2 years (yeah, she's still dreaming of that change!  Ha ha) so I'm just planning ahead. Yay!!! That would be fantastic.
Love you all! Talk to you next Tuesday, we'll see where I end up!

Hermana Martin

Since Sierra wasn't able to send any photos this week I grabbed a few random ones from the SD cards she sent home this week.

Looks like she found her street.

Hiking fun!

Having fun with superhero murals.

With Hermana Adams at the temple.