Monday, October 26, 2015

October 26th - Working hard in Willcox!

Hello! This is your Willcox Sister Missionary checking in! Well this has been a week. I felt so ready last week to just get to work and see so many miracles BUT it was actually a really slow week and I was feeling sort of frustrated at the end. Mind you we still had over 20 lessons and have a lot of potentials, but I just didn't feel like we were able to do all that I had wanted. Then I remembered that Sister Malm told us last year to enjoy even the bad days, "because one day it will be your last, and you will be praying for one day more." A good or a bad day.

We started this week with Melissa serving a mini mission with us. She had a good time! I think haha. I sure hope that we didn't scare her away from serving a mission ;)  She said it is a lot more stressful and crazy than she thought. I remember thinking the same exactly thing haha.

On Wednesday we celebrated Elder Driaza's birthday. I made stir fry and Hermana Evans and Melissa made cheesecake. Elder McWilliams bought a pinata. Needless to say, he had a pretty great birthday haha.
Let's see....Oh!! Yes, I am more than happy to have gotten rid of the boot. It was a relief to hear that all was well and that I would get to finish my mission. I had felt like such a failure when I heard that I might need to go home early to get a pin put in. BUT I am ready to keep going strong :)  Feeling super blessed!

So Mercedes is getting baptized on Saturday!! She had her interview on Sunday but then Lisa (her mom) called and said that they weren't coming and that Mercedes didn't want to get baptized anymore. Hermana Evans was on the phone and was just freaking out! She asked why and then Lisa said, "Because we are pulling in right now." Oh man it was SO funny. They got us good. Merc passed her interview with flying colors and is so excited for Saturday!

Side notes for some pictures, we carved pumpkins with the Miller family last night and had a great time! Junior wanted me to carve him a Jurassic World one and then he painted it. We had a lot of fun! Another picture is of the elders pranking us and spraying us down with super-soakers that Elder McWilliams' mom sent him. We have fun haha!

So to end, this morning I was able to finish "Jesus the Christ." I remember trying to finish reading that book on several occasions before the mission and always just feeling unable to understand it. I have learned so much about my Savior and have been able to better understand the New Testament. I wanted to share 2 things that I was able to apply and use from "Jesus the Christ":

This is part of an email that I sent to a friend of mine on her mission when she was going through a hard time: There are some days when you just want to call your mom, or better yet go and see her; I'll be honest, it never completely goes away. I was reading in Jesus the Christ and I found something that I just love which helped me. In Chapter 21, it talks about Jesus Christ sending his apostles out to teach the word of God. "The duties of their special ministry were to supersede the love for kindred; they must be willing to leave father, mother, son, or daughter, whatever the sacrifice..." I feel that that very much still applies to us today, We must be willing to give up those things for a greater cause. You are doing just that :) Keep it up! You're doing great!

Another part is in Chapter 33 when James E. Talmage talks about the Atonement of Jesus Christ: "Christ's agony in the garden is unfathomable by the finite mind, both as to intensity and cause. The thought that He suffered through fear of death is untenable. Death to Him was preliminary to resurrection and triumphal return to the Father from whom He had come, and to a state of glory even beyond what He had before possessed; and, moreover, it was within His power to lay down His life voluntarily. He struggled and groaned under a burden such as no other being who has lived on earth might even conceive as possible. It was not physical pain, nor mental anguish alone, that caused Him to suffer such torture as to produce an extrusion of blood from every pore; but a spiritual agony of soul such as only God was capable of experiencing. No other man, however great his powers of physical or mental endurance, could have suffered so; for his human organism would have succumbed, and syncope would have produced unconsciousness and welcome oblivion. In that hour of anguish Christ met and overcame all the horrors that Satan, the prince of this world could inflict."  This really brought into light a better understanding of what exactly my Savior went through for all of us, but specifically for me. It helped me to better understand how great and unfathomable the gift of repentance really is in our lives. I'm grateful that this book was able to help me to come to that knowledge and better understanding. I don't feel though that I will ever REALLY understand.
Alright I'm calling it there! That just made my email super long haha my bad. Love you all so much and I will talk to you soon!!

Hermana Martin

Super-soaker fight with the Elders

Melissa serving a mini-mission with the Hermanas

Elder Driaza's birthday (above and below)

Carving pumpkins with the Miller family (above and below)

Some humor from Sierra!

Monday, October 19, 2015

October 19th - Another exciting week in Willcox!!

We've had a busy week, especially with x-rays and cat scans on the foot. Yeah, that has been annoying. But we were still able to have 27 lessons!

This week was the ground breaking for the Tucson Arizona Temple. President Uchtdorf was there and President and Sister Passey were on the stand with them. I will try to find some pictures online. It was super cool though and they started construction today. I can't wait to see it when it is all done!

Mercedes is doing so great! She is being baptized on Halloween. That will be such a cool experience for her and it will be on a day that she can remember forever! She had a great time at church yesterday and will be participating in the Primary Program next week. She said she already has her part down :) Lisa has been such a great support and help for Mercedes. Lisa came with us last night to a FHE that we had with Justin and Jocelyn Allred. Josh (Senior) taught the lesson and did so great! He will be a great missionary next year. 
Shelby Davis also came to church this past Sunday and to Mutual on Wednesday. She has been progressing so much and it is all thanks to Emma McBride. She has really taken her under her wing and we can see such a difference in Shelby. 

I will end with one really cool experience from this past week! Hermana Evans and I both followed a prompting to go and see a family and were able to share a conference talk with them. It turned out to answer a trial that they were going through that very day with their kids and it was just the coolest experience ever! I am so happy that even though we are blind to the needs of the people here that Heavenly Father truly answers their prayers. Matthew 6:8

Melissa is going to serve a mini mission with us for a few days this week! The Bushman's were so sweet and bought her a set of scriptures so she will get to break them in this week as a missionary!! So excited for her!! It will be fun. 

I am so grateful for all the work that is going on here in Willcox. I hope that we will be able to continue to see miracles every day. Love you all so much, talk to you next week!!

Hermana Martin

Hermana Martin and Hermana Evans

The DeBaun family decorated Sierra's boot for her.   :)

Monday, October 12, 2015

October 12th - Another transfer in Willcox!!!

Hello my amazing family! And I guess the few people who also read this on my blog haha. Not sure anyone even looks here anymore! But if you are still reading, I salute you.

Well, I guess first things first. Yes I broke my foot again. It has almost been a year since the last time, so I was due haha. I broke it playing basketball but then helped a family move for nearly 6 hours and just went on my merry way. When we came home, Sister Bushman pointed out that I was limping. I was aware that it hurt, but wasn't going to do anything about it. Well she had Dr. Bushman check it out and he said it was broken. I had x-rays the next day and they told me it wasn't broken. Dr. Bushman asked for the x-rays and then pointed to my 4th metatarsal. Wow, the break was so obvious. So now I get the boot again. And apparently, according to another opinion, I should be on crutches. We shall see. I am not about to give up my mobility. I am still driving haha, left foot! I have gotten a lot of practice with driving this way. It is so natural.

Well, transfer calls were on Saturday morning and I get to stay here to finish my mission!!     I am so happy that I don't have to go and do a one transfer and done somewhere else, that I get to finish strong here. 3 areas :) 13 companions jaja, I did not want #14. Can't wait to see what this last transfer will hold!
We went to the temple this morning with the Spanish branch. It was so much fun! I got to see Hermanas Garcia and Hubert! And Elders Oviedo and Elton! They came from New Mexico for Spanish day at the temple. Hermana Nandino took us up, she is so sweet!

So one quick miracle for the week! I did not save a lot of time for this email. Again. Next week I just really need to write this thing first. Well, we found a member here by accident and were able to go and visit with her. She recently moved into town.  We went to her house and saw that she didn't have any furniture. They were sleeping on the floor and it absolutely broke my heart.  I couldn't sleep well that night. I just prayed that somehow we would be able to find at least a bed for her. The following morning, we received the heartbreaking news that one of the less active members that I have been working with since getting here passed away. Her daughter asked us to come and help her box up her house (see broken foot story). Well we were doing that forever with our amazing elders here who came to help. At the end she asked if there was a place that they could go and drop off all the furniture that they didn't want to take with them. Hey!! Can anyone say 'answer to prayers'?! So we were able to get them a kind size bed with all the bedding for it, couch, glass table and chairs, TV, TV stand, a lamp for the living room (doesn't have light), and other blankets. It was such an amazing miracle that I will never forget!

Well I am gonna leave it at that! Love you like crazy! Talk to you again next week!!

"The field is white already to harvest"
Sierra took this picture at the Gila Valley temple this morning.

Emailing in her boot today.

Hermana Evans and Hermana Martin

You always gotta love a good "Elf" reference!
Especially one as true as this right now - Ha ha!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

October 5th - Conference weekend!

Hello my wonderful family!!

It has been another great week here in Willcox! We had over 30 lessons again and we are nearly done with putting all the former investigator information in the iPads. That has been quite the challenge haha. But we are almost there! This is the last week of the transfers. I can't tell what will happen. I only have one more transfer and President Passey's email wasn't terribly comforting. If I get transferred out for my last, I do not know what I will do.

Maria and her family are all doing fantastic! They walked to the church for conference because their car had a flat tire. She did that with a 1 year old and an 8 and 9 year old. She is amazing and her faith is such an example to me. We do split lessons with her, where we have a Spanish member and one of us teach Maria and her mom while the other teaches the girls with an English member. It has been good for all of them! I watched Conference with them in Spanish while Evans watched it with a member in English. So fun!

Rex Allen Days was this past week which made it nearly impossible to find anyone. But it was fun! We went by the carnival between sessions. Hermana Evans and I got matching bracelets, foot long corn dogs, fries, and I also got a few things for you guys :) I need to bring you back something haha!! So that was good to find a few things. We met some members from Phoenix and had a great time talking with them. They were so inspiring and make me want to make these last few weeks in the mission my best!!!!

Conference was wonderful as usual! Minus the fact that the time for sisters to serve didn't change....I was honestly praying so bad for that. That was my last chance. I just knew that Elder Gary E. Stevenson would be called. He has always been one of my favorites and he was my only guess. I felt so inspired from conference and I am also excited to start "Ponderizing"!  My first one that I have chosen is Mosiah 16:9 He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death.   I am excited! Wish I had started this at the beginning of my mission.

So excited that Melissa wants to move up to Utah! That will make going home a little less difficult, I will just take her with me haha! But she is doing fantastic :) she will be a great missionary.

Great to hear from you! Miss you like crazy!!!!

Hermana Marti­n

Footlong corndogs at Rex Allen Days

Matching bracelets

Helping Virginia decorate

Cute companions!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

September 28th - Brother McBride fake arrested us at dinner last night

Hello my wonderful family!!

Well I just spoke to you all on Saturday so I don't have too much more to say haha. That was one of the best days of my life :)  seeing all of your wonderful faces and having the opportunity to share my love of missionary work with the soon to be Hermana Marti­n la segunda. I can't wait to begin to hear about all of her wonderful experiences on the mission. I will miss her but it is so worth it. 

We were able to watch Elder Scott's funeral this morning. I am glad that he is back with his wonderful wife. I can't imagine the pain of being separated from her for 20 years. One of my favorite Mormon Messages has always been "Expressions of Love" and it is even that much more special now.

Since my first week here I have been wanting so bad to hit over 30 lessons. FINALLY that was able to happen this past week with 34 lessons!! 18 of which were with investigators and we still had 10 hours of service! We found 4 new investigators, one of which is married to a member and she is fantastic. She keeps all of her commitments and we are just so excited for her!

Melissa has been coming out with us like crazy and we went with her to the Women's Conference down in Benson on Saturday. I am glad you got to meet her and Sister Evans on the Skype call :) it made it that much more special.

The Women's Conference was amazing! What made it super special was that I got to see so many people from my old area!! It was a big reunion! Hermana Mayberry, Loretta Howie, Sister Merrill, and so many others! It made me so happy. Loretta told me that not soon after I left, she was finally able to quit smoking after 50 years and thanks to the missionaries that was possible. She is so amazing :) I also got to see the Stirlings. Jeff was baptized 2 weeks after I left the area. St. David was a short part of my mission, but still very special.

Maria and her family are doing amazing!! They came to Women's Conference and loved it! They also came to all 3 hours of church. She kept participating during the classes. Because of the Primary Program we were combined with English so I translated the whole meeting for them. I can't remember the last time I was so tired haha! But that was good practice for me. We may move their date up a week if they keep progressing so well!

Last night, after our dinner appointment, we had Brother McBride arrest us. Sister Evans’ idea, don't ask me haha. I let Graham (4) put the handcuffs on me which was actually fun haha. Pictures to come!

Okay my fingers hurt. I am not a fan of emailing on the iPads but the computers at the library aren't working today. Love you all and miss you so much! Talk to you later!!

Hermana Mart­in 

Picture Sierra took while Skyping her family last Saturday.  She was given
special permission to Skype home to say goodbye to her sister Laurel who left for
her mission on Sep. 30.  They will not see each other for nearly 3 years!  :(

Sierra giving Laurel advice 
(while both are wearing their matching "Hermana Martin" nametags)

Sierra being "arrested"

Sierra and Hermana Evans in the police car

Visiting with old friends while attending the General Women's meeting: