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

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