Monday, December 30, 2013

A baptism schedule for January

Well mom its already been another week. I believe I have said that about five hundred times since the start of my mission, but it is so true. Weeks fly so fast that I can’t really remember all that happened. Let me tell you, right now that is not the case this week. I have alot to say.
To start off, when we departed from our skype we had dinner with our member family and had a really great time. I met Elder Helbig’s family and then when the time came we went ahead and left for home. We had several appointments throughout the week and most of them were eating appointments. They were all really fun. But I want to talk about one in particular. I told you about a man named Ralph when we skyped. I told you that we hoped to get a baptismal date with him pretty soon. Well, we invited him over to a members house for an eating appointment and he was more than happy to come. He offered to drive us there so we accepted. Right as we got into the car he told us that he prayed and that he wanted to get baptized on the 18th of January. We were so shocked we did not know what to say. All I could do was just smile and thank our Heavenly Father for the great blessing and miracle that happened. We had a great eating appointment and he was bearing his testimony the whole time. That day was amazing. Now fast forward to Sunday he came to church and we had a small lesson with him after church. We showed him the font and then told him how it was going to happen and also went through the baptismal questions with him. He answered all the questions with his heart and it was going so great. Then Elder Helbig told him that he could choose who baptized him. He looked at me and said I want Elder Martinez to do it because he was with me from the beginning and he said that it was my testimony that made him ponder and think about all that we said to him during the lessons. So mom and dad, I will be baptizing Ralph on the 18th of January. I am excited and a little nervous because I will performing the ordinance in German. I have to say and pronounce everything correct. I am so ready. I know that the Lords hand was with us this last week and I am so grateful for all that we have been given. I am so happy right now.
The rest of the week went by pretty awesome and we had a great Christmas. It has been the best so far in my life. We will also be spending New Years with members. I am also looking forward to it.
Mom, about having dads friends over for dinner, that is so cool. You do not know how happy it makes me feel when I hear my own family getting involved in the work of the Lord. But I have one suggestion: when you invite the family over for dinner, invite the missionaries over as well. the missionaries will not be intrusive about the gospel they will show that the gospel is for everybody. Don’t be scared, the Lords hand will be with you and guide you if you decide to do it. Please let me know how it goes whether you invite them or not.
I love you all and I hope that you all have a good week. We are going to be very busy but with the Lords help we do it. I love you all so much and until next week, your son,
Elder Martinez

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Our Merry Christmas Skype from Elder Martinez


My Elder, my Poo!

Elder Helbig and Elder Martinez
There always has to be a skype bomb
On Christmas, we got our skype from Elder Martinez. It was an awesome Christmas present. He is healthy and so happy. His German is totaly coming along and was able to share his testimony in both German and English. He keeps very busy doing the Lords work. We love him and are so thankful for what he is doing. So thankful for the members in Augsburg for their love and devotion to the well-being of the missionaries. Merry Christmas everyone!!! 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Saving it all for skype on Christmas

Elder Martinez and Elder Helbig have a love/hate companionship

Hello mom, you are the only person that I got emails from today. This will be a very fast email session today. Probably because I will be talking to all of you in a couple of days. Thats ok, that just means that I am not as rushed to try and write everybody back. But to start, I will answer your question that “no” I have not received your giant package yet. I didn’t know that you were sending one, but i will be sure to watch for it in the mail the next couple of days.
It is so good to hear that Jessi is doing a good job and that she is still living and doing well. That is really interesting to hear that the mission president did not call the parents or send out an email that they all got there safely. I know that each mission president is different but I am sure that they need to do that but, oh well. What can you do?
I am trying to keep most of this short and not to explicit because I am going to see you in just two days. Remember, there is no exact order that we will be going in but I can tell you that Ii won’t be first. I am very excited to see all of you and talk to you. I don’t know how much German I will speak because I know for a fact that you will not be able to understand me but, I will if you still want me too.
All is going well still in this part of the world and I am still alive and still moving this work forward in my little area of Augsburg. I have so much to tell you but I will wait to tell you in a couple of days. So you will have to wait in anticipation. Sorry, but I do not want to spoil it for you.
Mom I love you and I can’t wait to see you and gma and gpa and everybody else in a couple of days. Here are a couple of pictures that Elder Helbig and I took. I don’t know if I can last the holidays! Eating wise!

Monday, December 16, 2013

The German members know how to spoil the Missionaries

Hi mom, let me start by simply answering all of your questions about skyping and all of that good stuff. We will be skyping on the 25th of this month. and we will be doing it starting at about 9:00 in the morning your time. There will be four of us all at one computer so only one of us will be able to go at a time. so it could be at nine or maybe at 11:00. Just have it all ready and I will call you. The only thing that you need to do is send me your account so that I know who to call when it is my turn. I will be calling from Elder Helbig’s account and I will send you his account name next email, so that you can know what name to look for. It does not matter what computer you use, just as long as it has a camera on it which both the ipad and Jessi’s computer do. I hope that all of that made sense. The only thing I need for sure next week is your skype account name so that I can call you. Everything else should work just fine. If there are any problems we still have next week to try and figure it out. Also, I can skype with Jessi. Just her and I for twenty minutes. If you can send me her skype name as well so that I can do that with her as well.
That’s enough of that boring poop, on to more serious stuff, and more important stuff. Mom, my heart took a small little jump when I heard about you and that spot on your nose. I just have one question, is everything ok, and are you going to be ok? From the sounds of it you are going to be ok, but you don’t simply say it. So is everything ok? I am not wigging out about it, but I would like to know next week if everything is ok.
This week in Germany, simply put, was lots and lots of candy and lots and lots of eating appointments set up for the holidays. I won’t complain, it is a really good thing. The members really showed us there love this week and I am really looking forward to the Christmas week because we won’t have to buy any groceries. I am also able to really get a feel for the German Christmas tradition and for that I am very excited.
Many many miracles happened to me and Elder Helbig this week. To just tell you the biggest one that happened to me, because of time, is that we had an investigator come to church finally yesterday and he said that he wants to come back again next week, I know that the Lords hands are in this work and that him coming to church was nothing short of a miracle.
Well mom, I do have to go and I do want to end by saying that I love you and that I am sending you a small birthday package and I hope that it can get to you on time for your birthday. I love you so much and I can’t wait to see you in a couple of weeks. One last thing before I go, is there anything that I can do for you out here in Germany? Just let me know?
I love and miss you tons, you are with me always, till next week, your son, Elder Martinez

Monday, December 9, 2013

This week has been a very long week for me and Elder Helbig in more ways than one. I will get to all of that soon enough. Let me start from the beginning.
We started our week doing all of our proselyting before we have our p-day. We went by some potential and actually got some potentials that day. The reason why we did our proselyting time in the morning first is because it is harder to do it during the end of the day. Its getting darker faster and people are not as likely to talk when it’s dark. We did our time of proselyting and then from there we did our p-day. Last week we, along with the Sisters, went to the weinnachtsmarkt here in Germany. It was alot of fun; got some small things with the little bit of personal money I had left. But I won’t tell you more because I will show in an upcoming letter.
The rest of the week started and the week for us was a little slow. Most of our investigators were all out of town so we could not meet with them this week. Most of our time was spent finding more people that we could teach. We actually did a really good job on that front. Elder Helbig and I found 6 people this week that want to learn more. That was really good this week. We did not get to many lessons.
One of our investigators came back and we had an appointment set up with him for Saturday. But out of nowhere, Elder Helbig got really sick. I mean really sick. He threw up about 9 times the whole day and because he was so sick I could not leave the apartment. That was a little bit harder because we had to cancel our appointment. We did set another one for tomorrow. But then all of a sudden that night I got really sick. I threw up only twice. So I did not get it as bad as Elder Helbig, but I was still pretty darn sick. I was not going to let that stop me. We had appointments to go to and church to go to. So I kept going. Yesterday was a very long day because I was just so tired from the long night that I had. But we had a really good lesson and all went well. I am doing great right now. I am totally back to normal and all is moving forward.
I heard that Jessi is doing great in the MTC and that she is doing well there in her first week. She sent me an email as I am positive she did the same for you. I am so happy to hear that she is doing well. I can’t wait to see the pictures in the mail.
I do have to go. The district is going to the Munich Weinnachtsmarkt tonight and we only have an hour for emails
Till next week, Elder Martinez
Pday in the Augsburg Christmas Market

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanks, companion for making missionary work fun!

Hallo alle meine familie,
This email will not be as long, simply because I don’t have a lot of time to write really long emails anymore. But I will do all I can to tell you all about what happened this week.
I did get a new companion this week. A lot has changed and a lot has happened. I am now working with Elder Helbig. In just the short time that we have been together, I have learned how to make missionary work so much fun. He is just always making jokes and just being funny. It is so nice to finally laugh. A little bit about him is that, he only has about 3 months left and he does not want to go home. He is so committed to this work that he just can’t think of going back; which is nice because I was really scared that he was going to be hard to work with because he would be thinking of home all the time. But that is the last thing that he does. He is simply the funniest elder that I have been able to work with so far on my mission.
With all of that being said, I did have to take over all the area because Elder Helbig is new to Augsburg. With this week alone I have spoken more German and talked to more people then I did my whole first two transfers. Simply because I need to do most of the talking because Elder Helbig has not been here before. He speaks really good German, but he does not know the people and investigators so I have to talk and explain things to all of them. I can already see my German improving and my vocabulary getting better.
We got another baptism date this week. That means we have two for Dec 28. I was so excited when I got that date this week. I know the Lord’s hand is in all things, especially his work. We hope that in the coming weeks we can get another with a wonderful investigator we have been teaching.
The Elders and the Sisters did have a small dinner with a member. It was definitely not thanksgiving dinner, but it was still nice to sit down and relax for an hour. But then we had to get back to work because we had some people to go by and visit.
I am excited for this coming week, miracles happen every day, you just have to look for them. I love all of you and I know Jessi is going to do well on Wednesday, but I write to her personally. Mom I love you and you walk with me always.
Till next week, your son, Elder Martinez

Monday, November 25, 2013

More good things happen, and a change in companions

Let me start in response to all the events that happened to all of you this week:
Mom, your last email about the family, and all the events that happened, made me realize that things happen and I really don’t even notice it. I knew from last week’s email that Jessi was giving her farewell talk, and so was Hampton. I knew that all the family was getting together, but that was all that I knew and had remembered from what you told me. Yesterday I was in abendmahlsversammlung and the thought just came to me that Jessi is giving her farewell talk today. It was 10:30 in the morning and you were all still asleep, but at that moment, I said a little prayer and I knew that that day was going to be a good one for her and for all the family. Then my day and  the work went on. I had members to talk to investigators to set up appointments with for this coming week. Then reading all the emails from home this week, reminded all that happened. Where before, one of my biggest concerns was that, how in the world could I miss out on all the fun things that happen at home? All the family events and get togethers? It really made me scared. But this week reminded me that, though I do miss all of my family and I do care what happens at home. I have work to do here, and yesterday was a testimony to me, or even a little sign from my Heavenly Father, that I have my mind and heart in the right place. I had completely forgotten about Jessica’s farewell until that Sunday, and I prayed for her and  peace came to me and I knew that she would do great. Then with that peace, I didn’t need to think of it anymore. It was in the Lords hands and I had work that needed to get done. I know that the lord will always bring to remembrance what is needed to be said or done, only when we are doing what is needed to be done.
Your last email did make me really miss good old American Thanksgiving. All that great food. Oh man, America, how I miss you sometimes.
To give you a start on the great week that I had, I will start with the beginning…transfers. Let me tell you about what they are, I may have done that before but I will explain it again. Every six weeks we have what is called a transfer where, missionaries move from area to area all over the mission and other important changes take place. This is the start of my third transfer. Last time nothing changed because I was still being trained, but now that I am no longer being trained, Elder Evans and I were possibly in for a change. Drum roll please.................................................. I will be staying in Augsburg and Elder Evans will be transferred to Esslingen. I will be getting a new companion on Thursday. His name is Elder Helbig, and he only has two transfers left before he goes home. So Elder Helbig and I will be able to really get some work done. I am so excited for this next transfer. I will probably be in Augsburg for a little while longer, I am guessing another 12 weeks, but you really never know when it comes to transfers. You go where the president feels you need to be.
The same day we got our transfer calls, is the same day that the best thing of the week happened. I do mean the best thing of the week. We had an appointment with three investigators and they are all from Nigeria. I believe I told you about them last week. We had an appointment with them for Thursday and Elder Evans and I both felt that it would be a good time to extend a baptismal date for them. So the lesson went really well and the spirit, you could see, was working in their hearts. Ii extended the baptismal date to one of them, to prepare to be baptized by the proper authority on Dec. 28. and she told us that she will follow Jesus Christ and be baptized. it was so hard not to jump out of my seat for joy. The spirit was so strong and I know she knows that this gospel is true. When the appointment was over, the newly baptized friend of theirs who helped joint teach, simply said to us. "wow, man!" that’s all we could say to. “Wow, Man.  Elder Evans and I,  when we got back into Augsburg, had celebratory McDonalds  (my first time eating there since being on my mission) never before had McDonalds tasted so good.
This week we also had a baptism within our district. We had it in our church building because our church building is the only one in our district with a font. The rest usually do it in lakes or rivers. but the weather is too cold for that, so we did it in Augsburg. it was a small baptism, only about ten people there mostly missionaries, and the branch president from the area he was from. The amazing thing was what happened to a particular person that we invited to the baptism. We invited an investigator  to the baptism. He is a great investigator and we have been working with him for about three weeks now. Meeting with him about twice a week. he is progressing and doing great but he just can’t see how this gospel can work for him. He came and it was his first time coming to the church building. That’s another problem he has is coming to church. we gave him a tour and he seemed really happy. but then we got to the actual baptism. and the ordinance was done and I looked back and his face was one that I will never forget. I knew he knew that he had to be baptized. but to put a cherry on the top of this already awesome experience, the person who was baptized gave his great testimony. Our friend was just drawn into it. The spirit was so strong in that chapel. I looked at him and he had tears rolling down his cheeks. Mom, this man is the strongest German I have ever met, and he was crying. the Lord took his hard German heart and softened it down for him to know without a doubt that this is what he needed to do. We asked him after how he felt and if he wanted to talk, and he simply told us, that he needed to go, but he has something to tell us when we meet on Monday. Today. I am so excited to meet him and talk to him today.
Well, I have written alot and my fingers are actually getting tired from all of this typing. I love you so much and I can’t wait to hear about the day Jessi leaves for the MTC in a couple of weeks. I know the moment she puts on that Black Badge, she will change.
There is one thing that I need to ask from you, can you give me a list of all of the family birthdays. Everyone. From cousins to aunts and uncles. I want to make sure that I write them and don’t forget their birthdays even though I am out here in Germany.

I do have to go, I love you and until next week,
Elder Martinez

Monday, November 18, 2013

Setting goals:

This week it has been the most rewarding week of my mission so far. Let me start from the very beginning like I usually do and I will explain why this has been a very good week.
This week we had zone training meeting and there we get together with all the missionary’s in the München zone and we go over all kinds of important things. We go over new rules that have changed and or have been instated by the president and also go over several other things that help and benefit the missionary work.
This time something else was discussed that has not been discussed in a very long time. As a mission, we have a goal that we will baptize 290 people this year. As of right now we still have about 180 to go. I know, as a whole mission, if we prayed and had the faith and worked as hard as we could, we would reach our goal by the end of the year. We only have a month and half.

After Zone training meeting, Elder Evans and I had a different desire and looked at our goal for this year. We both felt that as long as we worked our hardest and did what we could in Augsburg to reach this goal that blessings would come and that miracles would happen. So we worked hard. We talked to more people. Worked harder with the members and the investigators that we had so that we could find more people to teach and to find more people who the Lord has prepared to receive the gospel.

On Thursday this week, we had a lesson with a newly baptized member. We have met with him several times, and we asked after every lesson if he had any friends that could use this message of the restored gospel in their lives. Everytime he would say no. We get to the lesson and before we had the chance to sit down, he tells us of three of his friends that he has invited to church this Sunday. We were shocked and ecstatic! Through talking with him, we were able to get him to introduce us to them this Saturday. He was more than willing to be there and introduce us to them. We got to the appointment on Saturday and never before had a lesson gone so well. They had all seen missionary’s where they were from and they had been looking for the same black badge they had seen back at home. At first they were a little confused because ours were not the same they had seen back at home. They had seen the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in English and they did not recognize it in German. When we explained it to them, they were all so excited and happy. We had a great first lesson, and they all came to church the next day. and they are all so happy and excited to learn more and to follow there Heavenly Father.

I know that miracles happen. When you work your hardest and you show your faith by doing and by walking in faith, the Lord will always provide for us. I know this to be true.
This week has been the busiest week of our mission. We have had more lessons with progressing investigators than ever before in our companionship. We also made so much progress with the investigators that we already had, and also with the members in our ward. We hope that by the end of this week, we can have four baptism dates. Never before have I worked so hard and tried to reach a goal so hard…ever in my life. But as I work hard, the more I feel the Lords love and hand in all things. I love my mission and my area, Augsburg is going to explode with people looking for this gospel.
On to answering your questions, all of our Russian investigators have hit stand stills and most have stopped investigating. All though we still have contact with them, but they just don’t want to investigate anymore. We always have to remember that all of Gods children have their agency and they have every right to use it. it’s hard for us as missionaries because we know this gospel will bless them but they, in the end, will choose.
My German is coming along, every week I understand more and more, it’s just that most of the time people talk so fast and I can’t get all the words that they say. Just like me with English, I just talk so fast that people that are new to the language will never understand. It’s the same with me and German. But people in the ward are starting to realize this and they are talking a little bit slower. They still talk really fast. Especially people that we contact on the street. They talk so fast. But I am getting better and I can understand more and more the more I study and practice by simply talking.
Christmas and skype, we won’t use face time because we don’t have any access to it. So we will be skyping, so you will need to get one. We will be spending Christmas Eve and Christmas day with members and that is when we will have the time to use skype. We will probably do it on Christmas Eve. I will give you more information the more that I know but for now just set up an account and get familiar with it. I will let you know how I will be reaching you that day.
Transfers are next week, but I will more than likely not be transferred. Still you never know. I will probably leave after Christmas. So don’t worry too much about my address changing, it will probably stay the same. I have everything that I need. I don’t need anything for a while. Just worry about Jessi. That’s all that you need to worry about right now.
Well mom, it’s another week and another email sent and done, keep telling Gma and Gpa that I love them and keep telling Maddox and all the family that I love them and that I miss them. I still haven’t heard from Mikey, so keep getting on him. Good luck this week with Jessi and her getting ready to leave. I will be thinking about her this Sunday.
I love you and miss you so much, but I have lots of work to do, till next week,
Elder Martinez


Monday, November 11, 2013

Neushwanstein Castle, lederhosen, and investigators - the beauties of Germany

Today we went to the Neuschwanstein. The castle that the Cinderella Castle in Disneyland was made after. It was sooo beautiful. There was just a little bit of snow on the ground and that was covering the castle and it made for one of the coolest things that I have seen in my entire life. Just the fact that I went there with all of my district it made for a really cool experience. I had alot of fun and I was so happy that I could experience all of this while being a missionary. I don’t think that I would have wanted it any other way. Expect I would have loved to have all of you there.
For business for the week, yes mom I did get your Halloween box. I loved the card it did make Elder Evans and I laugh pretty hard. Those are always nice to get. A little bit of America every once in a while is a nice reminder of home. I also did get Gmas pillow case. The minute that I got it, I put it on my pillow. Now everynight before I go to bed, I think and remember to pray for her and for gpa and all of my family. Thank you soo much! I will be sending a letter to you in this coming week to Gma and Gpa.
This week was a really good week for finding potentials and working with less actives in our ward. We had alot of lessons with less actives and that is always great to see them remember why they joined the church. Most of them I have high hopes that they will come back to church and become active again.
We have several progressing investigators and one that we hope that we can get him a baptism date and progress him to that point. We have several others that are progressing but are still a ways from having an actual date of baptism.
My email this week I know is relatively short. Because of going to the castle we just don’t have alot of time. I hope that all the pictures were cool and made you miss me so much. I hope they make you cry. haha no just kidding, even though they probably did.
For some ideas on what to tell the ward, please tell them to help and find there missionaries and help them with missionary work. We all have friends that are not members. Don’t be afraid to talk to them. Be a friend and talk to them about this church. Be a missionary and help with joint teaches with the missionaries. Investigators are so much more likely to progress when the testimony of a member in the ward is also there. We are all missionaries and we all have an obligation to build the kingdom of God. Pray for the opportunity’s to find people to spread the gospel to. Simply: miracles happen when you simply pray for them.
Give the ward all my love and respect. Tell them that I am doing great out here in the best mission in the world. Tell my ward friends hello for me, and tell them they are more than welcome to write me.
I love you mom, and keep doing well. Keep having fun with Jessi. Yes she will be gone before you know it. But she will be back even faster.

Till next week, your son forever,
Elder Martinez (Poo)



Monday, November 4, 2013

Lederhosen, pretzels, Linkin Park, and blessings in the simplest things


  

Pretzel and weiswurst
 
This picture tells the story

I learned this week that blessings come from the strangest places and people.....when you simply pray for them.
We have an investigator and he is quit a character. He is about 55 years old, he smokes like a chimney, he is a manic depressant, and he cannot see how this gospel can bless him. Needless to say he is a very hard investigator to work with. I first met him my third day in the field and I was so scared of him. Simply because of the way he looks and acts. He is a very sad person and you can see it just from looking at him. I know he does not sound very nice but he is the most gentle person that you will ever meet, and he can see that he needs this gospel, he just can’t figure out how the gospel applies to him. He does do one thing very well, he can see how this is the true gospel and how everyone needs to have it in his or her life. We get a referral from him about every week. Most of the time, they don’t go anywhere nor they don’t even meet with us. This week we got another from him and needless to say we went into the appointment that he set up for us a little skeptical. This man was so nice and ready for the gospel. Right there in that lesson he became a new investigator and his friend walked in and also wanted to hear the lesson as well. Blessings do come from the strangest places and people. You just need to pray for them and seek them. This event is really what we needed this week.
I was finally able to get my lederhosen this week and I love it so much. Elder evens has one and we wore them as we at pretzel and weiswurst. That drink that I am drinking in the picture is called Lift. The best drink in the world. It is carbonated apple juice and it is soooo good. I have it atleast once a week. It is my Mtndew of Dautchland. Except it has no caffeine in it.
To answer the questions of your last email we do have fast food, but all we have is McDonalds and Burger King, and lots of pizza but not your pizza hut, or other chains they are all homemade and so much better. We don’t have it too often but they are so good when we do.
This coming p-day we will be doing something so cool. There is a castle here in Germany called Neuschwanstein. Disney used it as there model for the Cinderella castle. I will have the opportunity to see it in my lederhosen. The whole district will go and all will be wearing there lederhosens and or drindles. It will be alot of fun.
The work keeps moving forward and the days keep flying by so fast, sometimes you lose track of what day it is and you have to take five minutes before you go to bed and just look back at what you have done. But not too long because there is more work to be done.
I love and miss you all, till next week, Elder Martinez
P.S. the picture of me next to the Linkin park poster is of me being sad because there new album is out and I can’t listen to it. Oh well, maybe in 20 months.
Lederhosen and Lift

Monday, October 28, 2013

Finding your own true happines

Hello all my family and especially mom. Elder Evans and I had alot of appointments in the middle of the day, so we decided to do our proselyting time in the middle of the day rather than the last three hours. Let me start from the beginning of the week.

Right after we got done with our emails last week, we went to a referral that we got from a member in the ward. The members themselves are very in active, but they simply say because they do not like the ward. Other than that, they love to get involved in missionary work and they give us many referrals a week. I do have to add that most do fall through, so we were a little skeptical going to the potential investigators house. We knocked on his door and he let us right in. We ended up having an hour lesson with him. About half way through the lesson a friend of his came in to his house and he sat in for the rest of the lesson. Before we knew it we had two new investigators and another appointment for next week. A surprise to both Elder Evans and I. Seeing that these two investigators were going to be different we decided to really pray and to be ready for them today. We met with them about three hours ago. So this is really recent. We were able to get a joint teach with the member that gave us the referral in the first place. We went and started our lesson. The friend was not there but the original potential was. He is from Greece, he is Greek orthodox and he came to us with a problem. The reason he asked for the missionaries is because he needed an answer to a question: how he could find happiness in his life. Let me tell you, when he told us that, Elder Evans and I could not help but smile. We knew that this was what was going to bring him happiness. Our second lesson started really well. We got to the point where we believed and felt that he was ready for a baptism date, and right when we started to talk about baptism he stopped us and told us that he didn’t need it because he had already been baptized. We had to spend the rest of our lesson explaining to him proper authority. But he could not get it. No matter how hard we tried, he simply wanted to go to both churches. At the end we were able to get him to feel the spirit and to simply ask his Father in Heaven what to do. That we as missionaries did our part, now it was time to let him find out that the church is true by asking his Father in heaven. The whole time that we had been meeting with him he did not understand why we prayed the way we do. Why we pray to God and Jesus Christ? Why we don’t symbol the cross when we do pray? We finally got him to pray to Heavenly Father and he said the most powerful prayer that I have ever heard in my life thus far. He simply thanked his Heavenly Father that we had met with him today, and that we were blessing his life. Then he simply asked God and I quote, (and this was in German, so the words or the exact translation is a little weird) "Heavenly father, please help me to know what church I must follow, I do not want to follow the bad church. Please help me to know which is your true church? Is it this church or the Greek orthodox church?" Never before have I ever seen someone ask God that direct before with such want to know. I hope and I will pray so hard this week that he will receive an answer by the next time that we meet with him on Friday.
We also had a auch-tauch this week, which I am sorry but I have no idea how to say that word in English, but it is when two missionaries change companions for 24 hours with other missionaries. I was on tauch with Elder Huff, he is about the same age as me and he has been out for about five transfers. We had a great time, we were able to learn from one another and we created a great friendship. I was somewhat sad when we had to tauch back.
We also did more dwarf finding days with the sisters this week, alot of fun but really no success, we must have dwarfed atleast fifty houses and not a single potential, those days are hard to swallow. But the sisters somehow always make it fun.
The rest of the week was pretty standard: lessons and more door knocking.
I am so happy to hear that your missionary mom’s dinner went well and that you had a great time, I hope that you will be able to stay in contact with all of these moms and keep learning from all of them. All Sister Hammock and I could do was just laugh because we knew that her mom and you would just simply have the time of your life while you were there. I am glad that you did. We had our own lunch that day, or more simply put, we had hot fudge sundaes at McDonalds before we had to go home for the night. It lasted about fifteen minutes. It’s all the time that we had.
I did get your package from the mission home, and I am still waiting on the package for Halloween. Thank you for all the food, I loved it all. I remember you saying before I left that I would miss peanut butter, but I don’t. What I miss is, kool-aid, and Kraft macaroni and cheese. Please in the next box send me mac and cheese. I miss it so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Sisters, Elder Evans and I visited another chapel today and they get more and more beautiful the more that I see. I can’t get enough of them.
I do have to go. I love my mission, and would not leave it for the world. The people of Augsburg need this gospel and that’s what I am here to do. Give them the message of happiness!
Remember you always walk with me, in my heart, mind and in spirit.
Elder Martinez
P.S don’t let Maddox forget who his favorite cousin is.




Conference, Conference, Conference...makes us stronger, stronger, stronger!

Hello mom, you are so right that I do owe you another, or maybe a longer, email for last week. You have no idea how bad I felt that I left you that little email and all that other junk. I really felt bad that I did not tell you more of what happened that week and what I was going to do the upcoming week. I vow to always inform you more and give as much information to you that let you know what I am up to and doing.
Right now I am sitting down and writing emails with elder Evans and both of the sisters, as I read your email and read the part of you going to lunch with all Alpine-German speaking moms and I started laughing out loud. Sister Hammock asked me what was so funny and I told her about the lunch. As she continued to read her email, her mom said the same thing.  That she is looking forward to the lunch and meeting all the different moms. So, say hi to sister Hammocks mom for me, and tell her that we are both doing good out here in Augsburg. Have fun at the lunch and make some good new friends. Maybe you can see what I do everyday, meet brand new people and get to hear great stories from all different walks of life. Just remember that everybody is different and you just have to find what makes them special.
This week, Elder Evans and I spent alot of time in München. Stake Conference was in our zone.  Transfers began, and I found myself doing the same thing that I did when I first arrived six weeks and two days ago. The only difference is that I was speaking German to most people. We arrived in München on Friday night and had our first session. We had 46 missionaries from all over the zone coming to München for this conference. It was so cool see old friends and make new ones. President and Sister Miles were there as well and met and talked with all of us. I spent the night in the same room and in the same bed I had one transfer before. Talk about dejavu. The only difference was that I was not scared about going to the new area and about speaking German. This time I was having fun with all the missionaries from all over the zone. We had the second session on Sunday and we actually had a good amount of members at this conference. There were so many, that we could not hold it in a church building. We had to do it in a conference hall. We had some really good talks from the stake patriarch and from several other speakers. It was really cool to be part of the rows of missionaries that sat at the front. Now the next part I don’t want you to cry over. During the conference, they wanted all the missionaries to do a musical number so we did two songs one in the beginning and another during the middle. We sang, "I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go" and "Called to Serve". After we sang our last song the next speaker came and gave a great talk on missionary work. He asked all the missionaries to stand. He told the congregation that these are the Lords angels on this earth, and they are the ones that help build the kingdom of God. Let us work with these angels to help build that kingdom. Talk about deep. I was excited to see many of our members at the conference. I hope that this will get them excited for missionary work. After the conference we had a long train ride back and more appointments at the end of the day. It was a very long day, but a good one at that.
We had several new changes to our district like I said last week. Tomorrow we will be going to München again for district meetings. We will be sitting down with our new districts. I met all of them at conference, but we will actually be talking and discussing missionary stuff tomorrow. It will be good day, it’s just we have to go to München all over again. Oh well.
Christmas is already beginning to pop up everywhere and its not even the end of October. I think Germans love their Christmas more than American’s do. I am looking for things for all of my family and a few other people like Mikey and Gma and Gpa. If you have anything particular you want let me know and I will try to find it. The leaves are changing here as well, and I think it is even better here than in Utah. The forests and fields of trees are all changing colors. I will try to get more pictures of all the scenery. 
We got some appointment that we need to get to and I have ten minutes to write to everybody else. I hope that this made up for last week and was a little bit more informative then last week. You all walk with me everyday and there is not a day that goes by that I do not think of all my family. I wish you could see and experience all that I do everyday as a missionary. Sometimes we amaze ourselves all that we can accomplish in a day.
Love and miss you all, till next week
Elder Martinez
P.S I will have pictures of me in my lederhosen for you all next week. haha!


Choir practicing for stake conference

Pizza night at mission home

Fall in Munich

Monday, October 14, 2013

A tough week

Well, all my friends and all my family, I can now finally say that I have been out for one whole transfer, which is 6 weeks long. Oh my goodness. I cannot believe that it has been one transfer already. It really does not feel like it has been that long at all, it really feels like I just barely got off the plane yesterday. Weeks just fly by and you don’t have time to stop and look, you are always going from appointment to appointment, or your looking up a less active member,or your helping out a member of the ward. The days just fly by. but yes it has officially been one whole transfer. Needless to say........ I still have long way to go.
This week was a little bit of a harder week, a lot of our appointments fell through and we lost a lot of investigators as well. That is the worst feeling in the world when you lose an investigator. You work so hard to try and teach them, to keep them in the right path. But in the end sometimes it is just what happens. It happened twice this week. you just have to swallow and keep them in your prayers and hope that someday they will continue to investigate and hopefully come to the true gospel of Jesus Christ.
We are losing some missionaries in the district and a lot are getting transferred to Austria. I am staying in Augsburg and am working here for another transfer.
I do have to go early because I spent too much time emailing other people, mom. I love you soooooo much and I can’t wait till next week when I can tell you a little bit more about my week.
Love and miss you,  till next week.
Elder Martinez

Monday, October 7, 2013

Being friends with the Russians, an hour at Oktoberfest!


On train to Oktoberfest
   
 



Hello again to mom and all of the family that reads all my emails every week!
Another week has gone by and I am already pushing my way to being out for three months. I really can’t believe that it has really gone by this fast and that it really does seem to have gone by in the blink of an eye. It happens when you don’t even think about time and you just work, when that happens time goes by faster than you want it to go by.
Last week I talked about all the Russian investigators we have found and about how hard it was to talk to them in German because they simply did not understand it. Well, let me just tell you that we have found even more of them and they seem to understand less and less German the more we find. Most of the time they are very interested in the message of the restored gospel, but they simply can’t understand what we tell them most of the time. When we get into the smaller ideas of a topic they usually just have a blank stare on their face and they have no idea what we are talking about. The member that we have that speaks in Russian has to work alot so he is not always there. When he is there it makes it so much easier to teach and for them to understand. Naturally. so we keep trying to do our best and I actually really do love teaching them because they are the nicest people in the world even if they can’t understand. All of them still need the gospel in their lives. They are children of our Heavenly Father.
We were able to enjoy two sessions of conference that were happening in real time, but all the others we had to watch on Sunday simply because we are 8 time zones ahead of Utah. While the morning session was just about to start, it was about six o’clock here in Germany and the day was coming to an end, so we watched conference on Sunday. Let me just say that we are blessed to have a latter-day prophet that teaches us and guides us in these latter-days so that we are never lead astray. and that we have the apostles, as well, that guide us and teach us. On the topic of M. Russell Ballard, yes I was one of the 3,000 missionaries that he met and was able to talk to. It was really to cool to hear him say that and to be able to be part of that 3,000.
Now to tell you all more about what I bet you want to hear more about. Our district did have the opportunity to go to Oktoberfest for one hour with a member because it was a cultural event and we were only allowed if we are in the München zone which I am. Right after we got done with emails and shopping, we went straight to the train station where we met up with all the other elders and we headed for München. It was only about an hour train ride, so we got there pretty quickly. We got off the train and there were so many people in this city, it was packed with people from all over the world for this one event. There were police at every corner. We got on the subway and we made our way to the festival. When we got there, let me just say, that it was huge! Not only did they have giant rides and games but they had actually constructed giant buildings that were made simply to hold all the people that wanted to drink. They had one rule at Oktoberfest and that was you cannot stand up with a beer in your hand. So the halls were massive and full of people sitting and drinking and having a jolly old time. Each major beer company had their very own hall and there was about ten different company’s there. It was so much fun to be there and to experience the culture that was there and all the different people that were there. I was able to get a couple souvenirs that I will be sending home to the family. I did not however get a lederhosen because they were outrageous with prices. Maybe I will later when the prices go down. I did get something for myself. There is a player on the München soccer team that has the last name Martinez so I was able to go to a fan store and get a jersey with the players name on the back. I was so happy that I was able to get one. We actually spent most of our time getting to the festival so by the time we had spent the hour we were allowed, we had to head back home and get back to work. But the experience that I had was a once in a lifetime!.
My time is up and I do have to go. I would love to hear from all of you and the family, so feel free to email me and let me know how things are going back home. Until next time,
Elder Martinez.

Monday, September 30, 2013

September 30, 2013 - 4th Week

Well, it’s been another week, and I can’t believe how fast it has gone. I really can’t. It seems like  right when you don’t think that you can fit anymore appointments or lessons, somehow you do. This week we met with a lot of Russian background potential investigators, we have already had one become an investigator and her name is Lyudmila. She is a great person. Elder Evans and I met with her and had great lesson with her. She had great questions that just opened up for knowledge and to know that this gospel is true, the only problem is that she spoke very little German and I mean very little. A lot of the time was spent in Russian to German dictionary’s trying to get our message across. We met with more potential from Russia and we set up appointments for all of them. The objective for this week and the coming week is Russian. I would have never have thought that I would have to speak Russian as well as German. Talk about brain over load. We did have a small miracle happen this week. We have a very less active member that speaks Russian and he is the only one in our whole ward that speaks Russian. So putting faith in the lord and with a little bit of luck, Elder Evans and I hoped that if we went by his home and asked him if he would joint teach with us, we could better teach all of our Russian investigators and maybe bring him back to activity. So we went by and we knocked on his door. He opened up and he was so happy to see us, so happy he forgot his German and spoke in very fast Russian. We extended to offer for him to come with us on a joint teach and he said yes before we could finish the sentence. He wants to help with all of our investigators that are Russian. Miracles happen all the time and you just have got to walk in faith and know that the Lord will watch over you and guide his missionaries.
I do have to cut this email short because we are going to Oktoberfest today and we need to get going. I love you all and until next time,
Elder Martinez

Monday, September 23, 2013

September 23, 2013 - 3rd week


I cannot believe that it has been another week and I am already at this computer and talking to you again. Well lets me first tell you that I still have no idea where Jessi is going on her mission. I have alot of emails about how cool it was and I have an MTC date where is she going? Ich Weiss ist Nicht? So if I could be told by somebody that would be cool.
All is well in Germany, and my little city of Augsburg. Meeting lots of people and talking and teaching alot. But it still amazes me that no day so far sense I have been on my mission has gone exactly to plan. Either we have met somebody new or we have had an unseen lesson given or we have had to deal with things within the ward. But all of this makes the days and weeks go by so fast. I can’t believe that tomorrow well be two months into my mission. Oh ya I am getting up there. But let me give a rundown of what I did this week.
Right after I got done with my emails and I sent out my letters me and Elder Evans and the sisters went to a very old cathedral, and when I say old I mean old. It has been there since 773. That’s pretty old. We went and walked around and it was georgous. I have pictures and will put them in another email. After that we went and got some food and got most of my winter clothes. All and all it was a great p-day.
The week started and we were teaching people and doing what we do best teaching the restored gospel. All of a sudden we get a call from a sister saying that we need to come to the church. We get there and we meet a man named Amedeo. He is from Italy and does he have a story. He came here on vacation and while he was here his wife divorced him and froze all his money and credit cards and he had no way to get back home. He was in complete and total distress and he could not speak a word of German. We as missionary’s tried to help him as best we can. But when Mark Anderson said that Italians loved to talk and they have no sense of personal space he was right. He loves to talk and very fast at that and he is right in your face when he does it. But he is a very nice guy and we are helping him get by. He is stuck here until Wednesday so we will meet and teach him until then.
The week kept going on and it came to Sunday and like I said, I had to give a 10 minute talk on faith all in German. I was so scared. Me and elder Evans spent all morning working on my pronunciation and everything. I felt ready. It came to the talk and as I looked out at our tiny 50 member ward all fear left and I just began to talk. As my talk came to the end I read a scripture. I read what I thought was Ether 12:7 but as I began to read I realized that I was reading Ether 11: 7. I will let you read and find out what I said but needless to say the scripture I read was not on faith. Oh well. Up to that point my talk was good. The whole ward after sacrament meeting was over came and congratulated me on the talk. I don’t think it mattered but still I was somewhat embarrassed. After that we had a member meal and we had to drive a whole hour in order to get to their house. Because we gave to give of a lesson after dinner, we got stuck in the dorf. We had to stay there another three hours because buses only run twice a day in the smaller dorfs. That’s ok we had more food.
As the weeks go on and as I keep going and teaching more people I grow and learn everyday that I am out here. I love my mission I could not have picked a better place to serve gods children. I got your letter and I loved it more than I can say those things brighten your day just a little more. I do have to go because me and elder Evans have a lesson to teach but I love you and I cannot wait to hear where she is going.
Love and miss you all but I have got more work to do so until we talk next week.
Elder Martinez
P.S Guess what I am doing next p-day? Me and the whole district are going to Octoberfeast. Can you say Lederhosen. hahah cant wait.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Augusburg, Germany, Week 2, PDay - 9/16/2013




I believe Elder Martinez is in the train station.

I wonder if he bought a pair of lederhosen. Maybe the dresses for his sisters?
Here is the same sight at night

This may be a tower that catches Elder Martinez' eyes as he looks out his window.


Apartment living as an Elder

Atleast he has a matching livingroom set.


I can honestly say that the weeks go by even faster in the field then they did in the MTC. It seems like just barley yesterday that I was here in this same internet Cafe and was writing about what was going on my first week in the field. Honestly the days just kind of seem to all roll together in one big jumble. So, I need to look at my daily planner and remember what I did this past week.
let’s see,  Monday, after I got done writing my emails to everybody about my week, we got a call from a member that is originally from China and has lived in Augsburg for a long time now. She called us and said that she had a friend that really wanted a lesson and to know more about the gospel. So we had to cut our P-day short and go talk to this man. We met at our great new church, and we met with this man. This man was also from China and his Name was Ding. He spoke absolutely no German only Chinese. So the Sister that gave the referral had to translate all that we told her in German into Chinese. Let’s just say that it did take us a little while to get all of our points and message across. But I did witness my first golden investigator. We taught him the first three lessons and he has already committed to be baptized. The sisters in our area are also meeting with him and teaching him as well. He could very well be my first baptism. He gets interviewed for baptism next week. I will let you know when his date for baptism is. All this is happening so fast that it really does not seem real. The only problem with all of this is that he lives in a different area not in the Augsburg area where we postulate and teach. So we cannot teach him as an investigator for our area. It kind of sucks that way, but none the less he travels three hours twice a week to meet with us and talk with us because the only person that can speak Chinese in our hole zone is the sister that referred him. I know blessings will come for his sacrifice for coming and learning more about the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Oh and I also gave away my first Chinese book of Mormon as well that day. Who would have thought I would have given a Chinese B.O.M in Germany? Not me that’s for sure.
Tuesday was my first district meeting and there we as a district just discussed things that are going on in our district this coming week. Mostly we get together and talk about stories and about other things. After that we spent the rest of the day finding and teaching people.
Wednesday, more of that finding and teaching people if we can.
Thursday, we spent most of the morning doing my visa requirements for Germany, really it was sitting in an office and giving them papers. Not that exciting but after we finished that we took our weekly ride out to Dillingen to teach John, Moses, and Godwin. We call them the brothers simply because they are always together. They are recent members and we are simply going over all the lessons again also teaching him lesson five.
Friday, we had our weekly fireside where we tell ward members to come to the church for a fireside and they are encouraged to bring their friends. It is a good time to talk to the members and to also get referrals for potential investigators. It’s a good time.
Saturday, was good day. We did a day long finding day in Ingolstadt, and there we did that for the elders in that area. All the district comes together to try and find potential investigators for the elders in that area. It was a good day and we talked to a lot of people. We did both dooring and street contacting, we were not able to find any solid investigators or get any contact information but we did have several good conversations. Most of them were with Roman Catholics and they simply just wanted to know what we believed. Not really investigators. Most people here are born catholic and will try to stay catholic.
Sundays are always one of our busiest days. A lot of talking to members, setting up dinner appointments for that week and also try to set up joint teachings for the week as well. Never before has a Sunday gone by as fast as this one has this week.

So that’s a quick rundown of the week that I have had and some of the things that I was able to do and the people I was able to teach. We are working with alot of potential investigators and hopefully, with all the lessons we have set up, they can become investigators and eventually become progressing. The only hard thing is that sometimes you work hard to talk to everybody and yet when you look at the numbers for that day alot of the times its zero all the way down, maybe you get one or two people that are interested but most of the time they aren’t. So the numbers don’t represent the work very well. But you just keep moving forward and eventually you will find that one person that needs the gospel.
Another thing that I learned this week is that the mission office does not send my mail to me from the mission office. It stays there until the next zone or training meeting, For us that is in about two more weeks. So more than likely, yes I have received your letters, but I do not have them. For that purpose here is my address of my apartment so the mail will come straight to me.
Kirche Jesu Christi HLT
Elder Martinez
Schwibbogenplatz 2F
D-86153 Augsburg
Germany
That is the address of my apartment; the mail will come to my mailbox. Well it’s another email session said and done, and until the next time, Elder Martinez.
P.S. Remember that you always walk with me, and you always will.