Monday, February 17, 2014

Priviledged to have more time....

Well mom, its another transfer complete and Elder Helbig is going home. He has been a great companion! He is a very hard worker, and he is going hard until the end. He has been a great example to me on how to work hard your whole mission. But he has to leave and I have to get a new companion.  I will be in Augsburg for yet another transfer and I will be getting a new companion. His name is Elder Sponseller and he will be coming to work with me here in Augsburg. I am very excited to get to stay one more transfer in Augsburg because finally all the hard work that I have been doing in Augsburg is begining to pay off.

first, I just need to say that Iand my companions have worked so hard in Augsburg. We have worked to build the kingdom of God in this little ward in Augsburg, Germany. So many people have come and we have taught them, and many have gotten so close to being baptized like "R" or several others but all just could not make that commitment of baptism. As the transfers began to keep getting closer, I began to be really worried that I would not get at least one baptism here in the city of Augsburg. So, as these transfer calls came closer and closer, I began to be really nervous. I was not ready to leave Augsburg. I just needed one last transfer and I knew that I could get work done so long as I continued to work hard and have faith in the Lords time.

Last week I did not know here I would be going or if I would be staying, but regardless I was going to work as if it was my last week in Augsburg. I worked so hard on getting our two main investigators to a baptismal date. We met with "H", and we had a great lesson on baptism and also about confirmation. and at the end we committed him to baptism on the 15th of March and he accepted. I was so excited for him and that he was able to have that faith to do this. He has come to church every week and he has made so much progress. He is so ready for baptism.

Next we met with "J" again, and we have been working with him for weeks to help him understand the gospel of Jesus Christ, as well as about the atonement. Every appointment he began to be more and more receptive about the church, but more importantly he began to be more receptive to the spirit. This week I was in tears this lesson because I was pouring out all of my testimony to him and telling him with all the power that I had to tell him that he could be cleansed by the power of the atonement. I began to see tears roll down his cheeks. Then he said the best words that Elder Helbig and I could ever hear: "I must be baptized" he committed to be baptized on the 29th of March. I was so happy and was so thankful to my Heavenly Father this week for all of the blessings that Elder Helbig and I had received. I did not care if I left or stayed in Augsburg I was just thankful that I could see the progression in these two amazing people.

The call came on Saturday and I was told that I was staying in Augsburg. I was, and still am, very excited to stay one more transfer in Augsburg. There is still so much work to be done and I am happy to be apart of it here in Augsburg. 

I have learned so many things so far on my mission, and with Elder Helbig leaving it has shown me that the time flies faster than one would hope. It has shown me that I need to really keep staying focused on my work here in Augsburg and through out my mission. I have learned to love all of Gods children and to really know of Gods hand in all things. He is a God of miracles. Just when things get hard, every door has been slammed in your face, investigators have dropped you and nothing can seem to go right, He picks you up and tells you that through the Holy Ghost all will be fine. He tells you that this His work and He will not let you fail. Ever since I have left the MTC, I have come to believe in tender mercies. The Lord will give you spiritual and  uplifting moments to keep you going and to tell you that He is there for you. I know that I have not written about alot of hard moments on my mission to you, but there have been so many days were I wish I could go home and just go back to the comfort of my family and my friends. But then the Lord shows me His love for me and He helps me rise above it and overcome them. Sometimes with these tendermercies.

Mom, I can tell you with all of my heart that the Lord will answer your prayers as long as you stop to listen. We have to be willing to follow those answers. Please continue to pray to our Father in heaven and keep doing good. As long as you do this, good things will come to pass. Keep being strong and I will do the same. Everyday I am doing what the Lord will have me do, and working as hard as I can. I am just trying to do the best I can and I know that the lord has blessed me and our family because of it.

Keep going and keep working hard. I love you so much. More than words can describe. I will continue to be obedient as the Lord would expect nothing less from all of his missionaries. Until next week,
Your son, Elder Martinez

Monday, February 10, 2014

Shouting out to the World! A humbling reminder.

Shouting it out to the world!
I need to apologize for the two really short emails that I have written the last two weeks. As I sat in my bed that Monday night, I thought to myself how hard it is to wait a whole week and then just hear that I am still alive and that I can only write you a small email. I will try my very best to really tell you as much as I can about my week and all that happened and all that I did 
(as long as i can remember it). So let me tell you about my week:

On Monday I had one of the best p-days on my mission so far. a member came to us the Sunday before and asked us if we would like to go see a mountain and a waterfall. We had nothing planned so we accepted the invitation. On the way, we found out what mountain we were going to and that it was the tallest in Germany. Its called Sugspitze, and mom it was so much funand and was soooooo pretty. We took a cable car all the way to the top and we were on the top of Germany and you could see all of the pretty mountains. it was one of the best p-days that i have ever had. I will send you as many pictures as I can, but I will send more in the coming weeks. The whole time the member was just telling us that she was having so much fun and the sisters and Elder Helbig and I all look back on that day as one of the best P-days so far on our mission.

The next day we had to go to Munich for our zone training and we had a great time. A great time to learn from the zone leaders and also to learn from others and see how you can improve your work in your area. After, we met with another of our investigators and talked to him about the atonement and how it can apply to him. His name is "J" and he is from Nigeria. He wants to be baptized but he believes that he has to be completely perfect before and after in order to be baptized. We told him that no one is perfect. A person can not attain perfection in this life. It is impossible. We will make mistakes and continue to make mistakes everyday. We told him that through the atonement of Jesus Christ, and if you continue to follow your Heavenly Father with faith, and endure to the end you can live with him again. We had a great J/T and we told him that nobody is perfect and that so long as we repent daily and try to do better each day, we can feel the holy ghost in our life and be happy. It was a great appointment and he is making progress every time we meet and we hope that he can accept a baptismal date pretty soon.

On Thursday we had a zone conference. That is a conference that we have with President Miles and Sister Miles the AP´s and the whole zone. It lasts all day and we heard from President Miles and his wife, the AP´s, and this time we even had the Munich stake president. I had a great time and learned so much. The spirit was in such great abundance. We made an appointment for "R" to meet with President Miles after the conference. I have written alot about "R", and he is so close to reaching baptism. The last thing that he needed to do was talk to President Miles. He came to us and asked us if he could be baptized on the 18th of February and he promised us that he would be there on Thursday to meet with the president. Ralph talked to the president on the phone himself and set up the time. The zone conference ended and we waited and waited and he never came. As president apologized and told us that he could not wait any longer, I found that I had tears rolling down my cheek and I was so heart broken. He was so close, and yet he did not show up. President Miles patted me on the shoulder and simply said: "Don't worry Elder, we will get him". That night was a hard night for Elder Helbig and I, who also had tears. As we were on the train back to Augsburg, we both new that one day, maybe not with us, but one day Ralph will become a member.  With that knowledge, Elder Helbig and I was able to feel comfort and move on with the rest of the week. We have several investigators who are close to baptism. We are so thankful for all the He has given us, and also for the trials that we have in our work from time to time.

This Sunday, we got a new bishop and the old bishop was released after serving for about 7 years. The whole ward was wondering if they were going to call a new bishop, and if they did, who it was going to be. As they released the old bishop and announced the new one, everyone was excited and ready and accepted the change. It was funny to see all of it happen. It reminded me of our ward when we get a new bishop. The whole ward wonders and has their opinions. Its always someone that you don't expect, yet they seem perfect for the position. Sunday was alot of fun.

Yes mom, I did receive your awesome package and all of the valentine gifts and hearts that were in it. I loved it so much. As we sat there doing our studies in the morning, someone buzzed our apartment and my heart jumped. I was so happy to see a package from my family and all of my loved ones. I also got the package with the calendar in it. Thank you so much for the info on the calendar. It helps so much.

This week, just like every week, was a week of ups and downs. As we read in the 31st chapter of 2 Nephi, in the 20th and 21st verses:
"Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal Life.
And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen."

Mom and Dad, I know that all of us will have weeks that we will be tried and pushed to our limits and we feel that things may be too hard to handle. But when we have a steadfastness on the Lord, and keep moving forward and adapt and overcome, we shall have everlasting life. I love you so much and I hope that you all have a great week. Yes, we will be participating the regional broadcast for all of Eurpoe. Till next week,

Your Son, Elder Martinez

Monday, February 3, 2014

Germany is Full of Big Mountains

Well mom, this is going to be another week of a shorter email because a member is taking us to the biggest mountain in Germany. I don't have too much time to write a long email. I promise that next we are not doing anything on Pday, so I will have lots of time to write a long email and send pictures.

This week we were finally able to get in contact with our friend from Germany and he finally came to church. He told us that the reason why he was not answering our calls or coming to church was because he was trying to decide between our church and two other churches and he told us that every night he was praying to his Father in heaven and trying to get an answer. Then we got a ahold of him and he came to church yesterday. We met with him and he told us that he had received the answer that this was Gods church and that he needed to be baptized on the 18th of February. We are excited for him and we hope that he can correct a few things before that date so that he can become baptized. Miracles do happen and we are so excited for him and for the great faith he has and the will that he has to follow his Father in heaven.

We are also making progress with our other investigator that wants to be baptized. He does not see the importance of church but he finally came yesterday and he is slowly making progress. We hope that he can keep going and progress towards baptism as well.

Last week in Munich was very fun. Elder Helbig and I have become very good friends and my favorite companion. It will be very sad to tell him goodbye and send him home. I will send pictures of all of our adventures next week and let you know in more detail how everything went.

Mom, I love you so much and you are with me every step of the way. Till next week, Elder Martinez