Wednesday, June 26, 2013

So I've received a bunch of emails this week asking me if I'm ok with the flooding. Yes I'm doing great! My area has been very blessed....other areas not so much. Its been kind of crazy. But we'll get to that a little later.

I think overall I would label this week as just being crazy! But we've also been blessed so much! On Tuesday we had one of our investigators ask us to come over and help her with obviously we were super excited to jump on a service opportunity! We went over to her house and she asked us if we could help her son make some banana service opportunity ever!! She knows I love to bake and she was kind of having a crazy day watching her boys and her son wanted to make some banana bread so she called us to come help. I loved it. We then went and taught our other investigators Andy and Kenora....they don't have a wedding date ye but we're working on it. They're so sweet and I'm so excited for them! Then we had to rush home so we could go to dinner. We were getting a ride with a lady who had been invited over for dinner as well and as we were driving her van stopped in the middle of the highway in the middle of rush hour traffic. She started to panic and me and Sister B. were trying to stay calm but obviously we had to get out and push her car off the road. I swear I almost got hit by a car 5 times! I love the people here but they don't pay attention while driving.....after we weaved through traffic and construction cones we finally got her car off the road, we then called our dinner appointment and they came and picked us all up. 

On Wednesday we went and visited a family and their little girl wants to be baptized!! I love when things like that happen. She's 10 and is so cute! We're really excited to start teaching her and getting her ready for her baptism. That night we decided to go visit a lady in the ward that we've never met and it was hilarious! I would tell you everything she told us but it was a little inappropriate so you'll have to wait 15 more months for me to tell you this story...lets just say she was swearing up a storm and going off about different things and I couldn't help but laugh the whole time.Sometimes you just meet really interesting people on your mission and all you can do is just love them. Thursday we were walking to an appointment and got stuck in the surprise there. Its honestly been raining everyday for the last 3 weeks. Luckily a member saw us and offered us a ride. I love little tender mercies like that. We then had our lesson and they told us about the flooding. This was on Thursday and it was the first time we had heard anything. Being a missionary you stay really sheltered from everything that's happening in the world. The problem is we didn't realize how bad it was. So on Friday we had an appointment with some of our investigators and we had previously received permission to teach them in their store which is in south Calgary. Only problem the south part of Calgary was and still is under water and we had no idea! Luckily and thankfully Heavenly Father put tons of little blessings in our day to stop us from going to that appointment. There's really no way we could have gone anyways since the road got destroyed and is literally underwater. We then got filled in on all the news of what was going on and its devastating! So many people have lost their homes and belongings and its just crazy to think that its 20 minutes away from me. Immediately my ward got together and made over 1000 sandwiches for people who need food and its been so amazing to see everyone come together to help the city of Calgary. So like I said earlier my area is ok and I'm so grateful it is. Keep praying for everyone in Calgary. 

Anyways I LOVE you all so much! Again I'm sorry this email is short but the library I usually go to email has been effected by the flood and the internet is down. And so me and Sister B. found this sketchy internet cafe so we could email you all. But like I said its pretty sketchy and the keyboard I'm using doesn't work that well so sorry if this email doesn't make much sense and I don't have as much time as usual. Anyways just know I'm doing great and I love you all!!

Hope everyone is good back home! 

Sister M.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Its been so rainy here and its absolutely beautiful!
I wish you could all come up here and see how pretty my mission is. I love it! This week has been another week of miracles. We taught 2 new investigators last Tuesday and they want to be baptized! Only problem.....they need to get married first. But no big deal, we got Byron married before he got baptized so I'm sure we can get these two married. I should be a wedding planner after I get home from the mission. Anyways I'm so excited for them and hopefully we can continue teaching them and helping them make progress to getting baptized. I just want to emphasize real quick how much I love being on a mission. I LOVE IT. I'm so grateful Heavenly Father let me know I needed to be out here. I can't believe I never wanted to come on a mission before because it really is the best thing in the whole world. So we also taught an amazing lesson to Shauna about baptism/priesthood authority. Its been really hard for her to fully understand authority but I think our past lesson helped and she finally opened up and expressed her concern about being baptized.....her mom doesn't want her joining.......sad. She loves her mom and so I can see how hard it is for her to go against what her mom wants. But she also said "I would hate turning away from this and denying myself of needed blessings." She's so torn, so hopefully she can start to recognize the answers to her prayers that she needs to hear. I love Shauna so much. She also said "I really want to be baptized when Sister Martin is here so I hope I get my answer soon!" It was so cute.

This past week when me and Sister B. were walking around I was getting a little down one day. It was hot and there were thousands of mosquitoes and appointments were falling through and then I said a prayer to help me feel better about everything and right after a UPS truck drove by and the guy driving the truck yelled to us and asked if we were from Utah. So I told him that I was and he pulled over and stopped the truck. We walked up and started talking to him and he told us how he's been to Utah before and how its so pretty and then we went on to talk about how he felt a very special spirit in Utah. He then went forth to tell us how much he admires us for coming out and teaching people about Jesus Christ. He told us he's Jewish but he really admires the LDS faith. It put such a huge smile on my face to have such a nice conversation with such a nice person. He then told us to have a great day and he drove off. God answers prayers. We then taught 3 less-active families that night and all the lessons went so well. One of the lessons we decided to have a "testimony meeting" and we all bore our testimonies. The spirit was so strong and it was so good for the family to be able to bear their testimonies...which is probably something they haven't done in a very long time.

On Friday we helped a lady paint her kitchen and it was so fun! We painted it a bright yellow, it was also perfect because it was raining so hard on Friday and I was so grateful we weren't walking around in the rain. It then started hailing and I was even more grateful. We've been getting caught in the rain a lot lately and its not very fun.

On Saturday we had the amazing opportunity to go out to SikSika which is the indian reservation in our zone. We went out to show support at a baptism of a lady and her daughter. The funny thing is sister missionaries don't serve out on the reservations so this was the first time a lot of people ever saw sister missionaries and they treated us like celebrities. Everyone wanted pictures with us! Haha it was so funny. One little girl came up to me and said "I didn't know there were girl missionaries! You're the first girl missionary I've ever talked to." She then proceeded to tell me that she wants to serve a mission. It made me so happy when she told me that. There are some very special people out in SikSika.
Sorry this email is short but really this week has been so good. Me and Sister B. have been so blessed. I'm also humbled everyday to be training Sister B. she's such an incredible missionary and she should be the one training me! We have a lot of fun together. The best thing about missions are the people. And I get to be working with some of the best people in the world. I'm so grateful to be out here.
I love you all and hope you're doing well!
Sister M.

Out in the SikSika branch. 

"These Elders went to high school with a little Lone Peak reunion was necessary."

Water tower in the town of Gleichen.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sooooo its been another great week in the Canada Calgary Mission.

I met my cute new companion last Tuesday night and then picked her up Wednesday morning. Her name is Sister Blommaert and she is from Edmonton Alberta. So not far from home at all! She has a pretty good attitude about serving in Calgary even though she's 3 hours away from her family. She has tons of family in Calgary as well and all throughout Southern Alberta so its really funny because she has connections with everyone around here. She's great though and I have so much to learn from her. Lets just say I think I've been more stressed than she's been hahaha she's been so patient with me though and I'm so grateful for that.

So lets see, Wednesday we just got Sister B. all settled in and then went out and tried to contact a couple of potential investigators and no one was home. Literally all day no one answered any doors and the whole time I was freaking out thinking Sister B. would be all discouraged on her first day out in the mission field but she was loving very second...thank goodness!

Thursday we did our planning and then did some service for a lady in our ward. We also contacted one potential investigator....she's 11 and hasn't been baptized yet and her family is less-active, but she wants to be baptized so I'm hoping we can start teaching her and then hopefully reactivate her family as well! It would be perfect! So I'll keep ya updated on that when we figure more things out. We also had a lesson with a less-active/part member family that night and they mentioned they're thinking about coming back to church. Yay! So again we're going to keep working with them and then hopefully we can start teaching the husband.

Friday was a crazy day. We had a zone training meeting that morning which went really well. Our mission is on fire right now and everything is starting to pick up. Apparently we have more people on date for baptism in the mission then we've had for over a year, there are some amazing missionaries that are coming out and I think its making everyone more excited about missionary work in general. Then we went and did service for Sister Sonnenberg and she is just a gem. I'm always laughing so hard when I'm at her house and she printed out a huge picture of me and Sister Sagers and put it on her was sweet of her. Then we left her house and started walking back to the church....which is about a 30 minute walk. And all of a sudden it starts POURING RAIN. We have no umbrellas....nothing. I start laughing obviously because of course it would start raining when we're not prepared. So we just kept moving forward trying to make it back to the church. We made it to a parking lot and this man gets out of his car and see's us just drenched from the rain. He felt so bad for us that he told us to come into his restaurant around the corner. Apparently he was the owner of this restaurant and he was just arriving to open it, so we get inside and he immediately gets us some soda and tells his chef to make us some soup and bread. I was speechless. Next thing we know we're eating the best soup ever and some warm bread. So we enjoyed the next hour hiding from the rain eating the best lunch ever talking to this man about the gospel. He's actually Hindu but was super open about talking to us. Overall it was a huge tender mercy to get out of the rain and get a free lunch. I love nice people.  We then ended the day with teaching some less-active members and Byron, our recent convert.

On Saturday we found a new investigator!!! A less-active member brought him to a lesson and he was super nervous to meet with us but we had an amazing lesson on the restoration and we're meeting with him again this week! I was thrilled. Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers, never forget that. Saturday was just a really great day, filled with great people.

Sunday I felt sick all fun but still a great day. I gave a talk in church!! The bishopric wanted me to speak on missionary work....surprise surprise. They wanted me to try and get the ward more excited about doing missionary work so hopefully something I said stood out to them. We also contacted 2 former investigators that I've never met, they used to meet with the missionaries back in November and December and then dropped them. But we stopped by on Sunday and they were open to meeting with us again so we have a lesson with them tomorrow! Hopefully it goes well!!
So overall life is great. I'm stressed to be training Sister B. but we've been so blessed this past week. I know Heavenly Father is helping me. I love missionary work. Its so fun!! Even though some days are so hard there is always something to smile or laugh about.
I hope everything is going well with everyone back home. I love you all!
Have a great week!
Sister M.

 Sarah and Sister Sagers with their Stake President and his wife at their house for dinner!

Sarah and Sister Sagers and Sister Roda. Sister Roda is from the Philippines and is a super sweet lady in their ward. 

Sarah's zone of missionaries before transfers.

 Sarah and her cute new companion Sister Blommaert!

 Sarah's old companion and new companion.

Sarah and Elder Hogge. He was the one that taught Sarah all her mandarin skills, he went home this past transfer

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Greetings from Canada

Hey family, friends, random strangers that might be reading this email,
How are ya?? Hopefully everything is going well eh? Sam broke his arm?? Poor boy, tell him to take care of himself. He obviously needs to be drinking more milk. Maybe some fresh Canadian milk will do him some good. There's loooooots of cows around here so I'm sure I could go milk one for you and send you some milk. Let me know.

So what a crazy week! I feel like I've been going non-stop for the last 2 weeks! I don't even have time to eat lunch or breakfast anymore! But that's ok because people give us way too much food for dinner so it makes up for it. 

So on Tuesday it was a pretty typical day. District Meeting, appointments, running around like chickens with our heads cut off. It was great. We did have a meeting on Tuesday night though for the missionaries in my zone and their bishops and their ward mission leaders. Well we didn't have a ward mission leader at the time which was too bad because there was a lot of great things that were brought up about how to work with our ward mission leaders more effectively. Luckily on Sunday we got a new ward mission leader and he should be great! So I'm happy about it.

Wednesday we spent a lot of our day out in Langdon....we don't get out to Langdon as much as we would like because its so far out there, in the middle of no where. Anyways we did meet some more less-active members though who are super sweet so hopefully we can start meeting with them regularly. But as we were driving home we realized we missed a phone call from the Assistants. So we called them back and one of them actually went to my high school, so he starts making small talk with me about Lone Peak and I'm so confused why he's calling to talk about High School right? So we're about to hang up because the phone call is pretty pointless and then he says "Oh by the way Sister Martin you have been called to train." WHAT?? I literally freaked out for a second. I feel like I just got here, I feel like I still need to be trained and now I'm going to have to train a brand new missionary. Even though I'm nervous I'm kind of excited. Getting a new companion will be fun. And since the two of us will be fairly new it will make us rely on the Lord even more, which is how it should be. I'll meet my new companion tonight and then I'll pick her up tomorrow morning! So crazy! Good things are happening in my mission right now. As of right now 50% of the missionaries in the Canada Calgary mission have been out for less then 6 months. So we're going to be a fairly young mission.

Thursday we had a really good lesson with Shauna and invited her to come to church and she said that if she could find a ride that she would come! Well obviously we can arrange the ride for her, so we were excited about that!

On Friday we had exchanges so I got the opportunity to go up to Airdrie for the day, and I got to ride a bike!! I felt like a real life missionary hahaha. It had been raining all morning though so that wasn't too fun. So during the day we went to go do service at a thrift store and some pretty crazy things happened. This old lady came up to me and was being super nice and we were having a really nice conversation and then all of a sudden she saw my name tag and started screaming. Literally causing a huge scene in the middle of the thrift store. She was yelling to the lady working telling her to get me and my companion out of the store. She then started yelling "I WOULD RATHER OF THE DEVIL HERE WORKING THAN HAVE THESE TWO GIRLS HERE." I companion was super embarrassed and I was trying not to laugh. Finally they got the crazy lady out of the store and came up an apologized to us. The happy ending to this story is the owner of the store felt so bad that she came up and started talking to us for a bit and we ended up having a really great conversation about the gospel and I gave her a Book of Mormon and she said she was interested in reading it. So hopefully she does! I then got back to Calgary and me and Sister Sagers had 4 lessons in 3 hours so we were running around again. It was a really eventful day haha.

Saturday I had to go to a meeting for everyone that will be training and it was really good. It made me more excited to train my new companion.

Sunday......Shauna came to church!!! YAY!! And she liked it! DOUBLE YAY! Everyone was so good about coming up and talking to her and introducing themselves to her. And she wants to come again! She's so sweet and its been so fun teaching her, I'm really grateful to be staying in this area so I can continue teaching her.
So all in all it was a great week! I'm sure I'll have more exciting stories to share next week! I hope you're all doing well! I love you all and pray for you everyday!

Sister M.