Monday, January 6, 2014

6 months have gone by and what a way to start a new year!

Today as I was reading your email and I saw the great pictures of dad asleep and of Logan. The realization really hit me that time is going by so fast and I am already a quarter done with my mission. Also the other thought came to me that time goes by so fast that I forget that things are also changing back at home and that people are also changing. I forget that all the time. This past six months has seemed to simply be a couple of weeks. My only hope is that people won’t change to much, especially my family. But that is something that I cannot control. I just got to keep doing what I am doing and I know that the Lord will make sure that everything is ok back at home. I know that He will do that as long as we follow the commandments and endure to the end.
I am sure that is not what the question on your mind is. I am more than sure that the question on your mind is am I staying or am I going. Well I won’t keep you waiting. I will be staying here in Augsburg for another transfer and I will be Elder Helbig’s last companion before he goes home. We are both super excited to really progress with all of our investigators and also keep building up the ward here in Augsburg.
We had great new years with some members of our ward and it will be one that I will never forget. We were at the same member that came with us to Oktoberfest. So Elder Helbig and I went in our lederhosen’s and the sisters went in our dirndl’s. When we arrived at the train station she was so happy and surprised that we wore them that the minute she got home she went and changed into her dirndl as well. It was so much fun to spend New Year’s with her family and also her grandkids. They are all in our ward and it was just a great time. We had amazing food and then played some games after. Then when it finally got to midnight all of a sudden every single church bell in Augsburg began to ring and fireworks began to light the sky. Every kind of firework is legal in Germany, so you had some big ones going off. They were going off all over the city. I will never forget this New Year’s, my first on my mission, in Germany. It was so cool.
Other than that, it was a pretty good week for us. We made some really good progress with our German friend who has committed to baptism. I do believe that he can be baptized next week. He is doing well and his faith is so strong that he just wants to follow his Heavenly Father. He will be interviewed this week and then baptized next week. I am so excited and a little nervous, but mostly excited.
Something else happened this week that was so cool that I am so blessed to have been able to be part of, and also to be the one that was able to teach him. We have a newly baptized member that was baptized about a week before I got to Augsburg. I have been teaching him and preparing him to get the priesthood ever since the first day I was in the field. Yesterday he was finally able to receive the Aaronic Priesthood. His a dear friend from Nigeria and he is one of the best people I have ever met in my life. To be able to see him grow and be able to receive the priesthood is amazing experience. The bishop set him apart, and Elder Helbig and I were able to join him in the circle. It was so amazing to see the smile on his face as we took our hands off his head and as he rose from the chair there. There was a total different light in him. It was one of the most memorable days so far on my mission.
The work is moving forward and I am excited to be able to spend another six weeks here in Augsburg. Keep staying strong and keep doing well, you and all the family are always with me. I love you all and until next week, Elder Martinez

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