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.