Tuesday, September 9, 2014

i heart Canada.

What a great week! Honestly I've seen miracles the past week and its been the best!
I just wanted to make sure I saw all the people that I love and that we just worked super hard and it was worth it. And again I left my planner at home and can't really remember anything in chronological order so hopefully I get it close enough!

On Monday we went into Lethbridge so we could get some things that Sister Armstrong needed and then we just kind of spoiled ourselves.

Tuesday morning we drove out to Glenwood for Zone Training Meeting, before we had a meeting for just the sisters in our zone and that went really well. For this month our mission is focusing on Revelation through prayer so me and Sister Armstrong helped with that training. I've learned a lot about prayer lately and its made me so grateful that we have this simple tool to communicate with our Heavenly Father. After we went on exchanges with the Raymond sisters and Sister Connor stayed in Cardston with me. MY LAST EXCHANGE! That felt nice, there have been a lot of exchanges that have just made my mission so great and I was super grateful that my last exchange got to be with Sister Connor, she has blessed my mission so much. We went and saw a less-active member and had a nice visit and then we went to an older lady's house who is inactive and it was hilarious! Me and Sister Connor always have a problem of just laughing at the wrong time and so the lady was talking about her dead cat and how she really misses the cat and then told us that she got it cremated and wanted us to hold the urn that it was in. People are so weird sometimes! I was just laughing and it was super awkward. Then we're leaving and she told us we can't leave until we sing. Of course that had to happen. One more moment of awkward singing for Sister Martin. Sister Connor started singing and I just started laughing again so she was just singing this awkward solo until I could control myself and join her. So funny. Then we went to one more lesson but he just wasn't in the mood to learn so I told him that we had to leave and to let us know when a better time would be to come back. People have to have a desire for this kind of stuff and when they're not having a desire to open their heart there's no reason to stay and waste time. We went and visited a member in the YSA after and that was super fun.

On Wednesday we worked at the visitors center and it was way cool. I love being there, we had some way cool people come in. 2 people came in from Saskatchewan and they were super interested in the gospel. He's been studying the church for a long time and was super educated. They had no idea that there was a temple in Saskatchewan or any other place in the world besides Cardston for that matter so it was way fun talking to them about the temples throughout the world. That night we went to the 6th wards cornbust....... Southern Alberta LOVES their corn. After we went and had a lesson with Craig and Lish and honestly we always leave their house feeling the spirit SO strongly and laughing all at the same time. We have so much fun with them and I'm going to miss them so much!

We got a lot of planning and organizing done on Thursday which was good and we saw more people. This little town of Cardston has blessed me so much. My whole mission has just blessed my life in more ways than I could ever expect. Thursday morning we got to go do some weeding at the temple for some service and that was way fun and then we went and did some more service for some members in our ward. It was beautiful outside. We later went and saw our investigator and guess what she told us??! She wants to be baptized!! I was SO SO SO happy to hear that. I've been praying for her everyday this whole summer and the gospel has just brought so much happiness into her life. I'm so grateful for the power of the Holy Ghost and what it can do for people. It was just the biggest blessing to have been able to still be here in Cardston and hear that.

I honestly don't really remember what we did on Friday. Just kidding I just remembered something hilarious happened! So I've been trying to teach Sister Armstrong how to play a hymn on the piano so while we were waiting for the Elders to show up to Chinook (the old folks place) she was practicing the piano and some old lady stands up and says "I'm not staying if I have to hear this horrible music on the piano." Then she got up and left and we had to go convince her that Sister Armstrong would not being playing the piano. Then the Elders got there and we all started singing and things were going fine until we started singing "Abide with me tis' eventide" and the old lady yells at us again and says "I'm not dead yet! Stop singing funeral songs!" We quickly changed to "There is sunshine in my soul today" hahahah so funny. We went and ate at the Klains who are the best of the best here in Cardston. Love them! Then we had a lesson after and things were just really great.

Saturday we were seeing more people. I ran into my favorite members from Taber by the temple so that was way fun. We ate lunch with the West Sisters and Sister Murphy allowed me to straighten her hair... now that's probably the biggest miracle I've seen on my mission! hahaha really though, I'll have to tell you more about that later. That night we drove out to Magrath for a YSA activity and they made us all steaks... so yummy! Again only in Southern Alberta would we be eating steaks and corn at a ysa activity. Then we went and saw our investigator after and had a way good visit with her and her husband.

Sunday was way good. it was a super spiritual day and it was nice to be able to see a lot of people one last time. I bore my testimony and told everyone thanks for all the help they've given us as missionaries. Seriously I couldn't have done it without the members. I ate dinner with some incredible people and said some goodbyes. Luckily Canada is not that far away and I know I'll be back up here soon. I've loved my mission. I've been so incredibly blessed and I will be forever grateful to my Heavenly Father for all the blessings I've seen and received.

I'll see you soon family! Love you all!!

Sister Martin

Sister Martin and Sister Clabaux 

 "The Kennard family! They are the best :)"

There is snow on the ground!!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

harvest time.


So last week just flew by! I'm kind of thinking that time will just never slow down. Last week after P-day we went and had dinner at one of our Bishops house and let me tell you, they are the sweetest people in the world!! I don't know how it happened but we just ended up having a way spiritual lesson on missionary work and it just made me grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost. We saw Lish after and taught ch. 6 from PMG which is on Christlike attributes, its one of my favorite chapters in all of PMG and I encourage everyone to study it. We'll never be able to check off a christlike attritibute and  say that we don't have to work on it anymore, they're all a life long process. I read a quote last week by Aristotle that said "All men by nature desire knowledge" Which is so true in the Bible Dictionary it says that knowledge is an attribute of God, I'm super grateful that I have the rest of forever and ever to learn because it really is the best!

On Tuesday we literally walked around everywhere.... I can't wait for you to see my poor shoes and poor Sister Armstrongs...the entire sole of her shoe came off when we were walking around town..... hahahhahaha so hilarious. We had some lunch with some members and then went to district mtg and talked a lot about the Book of Mormon then we did some street contacting after and then headed over for a lesson with one of the YSA members before she leaves for school. Sister Armstrong is freaking out because 99% of YSA just left for school and then I'm leaving. YSA has been the biggest blessing for me in the last part of my mission....seriously though, when I come home I'm going to be super awkward but if I didn't have YSA I think I would be even more socially awkward so lets just take a second to thank the Cardston YSA. THANK YOU. okay moving on we then had dinner with the sweetest members ever. When I get home I will be teaching you all how to become the best members ever so be prepared for that FHE lesson hahaha and then we went to institute and let me tell ya, we had the coolest lesson all about Isaiah chapters in the Book of Mormon. Isaiah is something that I've been studying on and off all summer so I really enjoyed the lesson that night.  Then we had correlation with our branch mission leader and that's always a party...kinda not really oh well.

GUESS WHAT HAPPENED ON WEDNESDAY??! I hit my 18 month mark! So now I have these awkward moments when people ask me how long I've been out and I say awhile and they say how long is that and then I say 18 months and then they ask me why I'm not home yet.... I'm glad I have an extra 2 weeks :) We had a lesson that morning that went really well and then we headed up to the temple to work in the visitors center. We had someone come in who was super interested and it was way cool, its the easiest form of missionary work when they just come to you. Also some of my favorite members from Taber came to see me!! The Andersons! I was SO SO SO happy to see them, oh my goodness they are the nicest people on the planet and it just made my day to see them! They didn't know my number and didn't know how to contact me so they just decided to go to the Visitor Center to see if they had the missionaries number but I was there that day so it just worked out perfectly! We then had a lesson later that day on the Law of Chastity, all my companions hate teaching that lesson but I think its one of my favorites :) you just have to be super bold and not beat around the bush. I think we were super clear and he accepted to live it so that's always a good thing:) Then we had dinner in the middle of no where in a log cabin pretty much no joke! haha I just love going out to the farms and enjoying how beautiful Southern Alberta is. That night we got invited to go harvest wheat and let me tell ya that the field is white already to harvest literally! We got to see the giant combines and hang out with Craig and Lish for a little bit which is always our favorite thing to do.

On Thursday they forced everyone that is going home to go to an employment seminar.... I think it just made me more stressed for life. Anyways it was in Lethbridge so we got to go eat at some yummy places and get Sister Armstrong some new shoes because the last ones needed to be done with. At the employment thing they gave me a book called "Moving on with life" or something like that....not cool. I'm thinking that mom and dad can just help me figure out my life when I get home because I just didn't and don't have time to figure that out right now.
We had a lesson with Jody when we got back and taught the gospel of Jesus Christ it was a way good lesson!

On Friday we woke up super early and headed up to Calgary! I love that place so much, its so busy with so many people! We had a way good Mission leadership Council and talked a lot about our Walk n Talk August we talked to TONS of people this past month and saw so many miracles. It was good to see everyone up there and to have training by President Nicholas, he really is so inspired and was meant to be in this mission and be my mission president. After MLC I had my departing interview with President Nicholas and let me tell you that it was just the most emotional thing of my life. Oh my goodness but so good at the same time. He's taught me a lot and I will be forever grateful for him.

Saturday we went by and saw our investigator in the morning and we haven't seen her forever!! Oh my goodness I have missed her, we've been out of Cardston or she's had family over so its been hard to find a time but I was just happy to see her. She told me that she's going to teach me how to quilt when I come back up :) she's an amazing quilter. We then went out to Hillspring so I could show Sister Armstrong around, its a pretty far drive out of town but its such a cute little village......literally a little village. We saw more people throughout the day and then did some service for a place in town. Then we had dinner with some awesome members again and it was so much fun! I seriously love the people here in Cardston so much. I've been blessed.

Lets see on Sunday the biggest highlight was Lish gave the opening prayer in church. She was super nervous but she did such a good job!! I was so proud of her, seriously she is so awesome and I just can't wait for you to meet her and Craig. I love them so much!! Well I really have nothing else to say except for the fact that I love you all so much! My family is one of my greatest blessings. I hope you have a great week!! Thanks for all you do! Love you!

Sister M.

Carriage ride in Cardston! 

Sister Martin, Lish and Sister Armstrong 

Harvest time!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

temple time.

Hey family!

How are things going back home?? Can you believe how fast this summer has gone?? Its been by far one of the best summers of my life, so many learning experiences that I'll never forget.
So another week has come and gone...I seriously can't believe it but oh well.

On Monday me and Sister Armstrong decided to completely just relax on P-day....something that I should have done every other p-day of my life hahaha but after emails we did our shopping and then we just went back to our house and hung out in the backyard. The Terry's (who we live with) has the most beautiful back yard in the world so we just took the best naps ever on their hammocks, ate some yummy bc cherries and then made some banana bread. I've never felt that relaxed on my mission it was the best! Then for FHE the YSA had a corn bust because guess what??!?! Its Taber corn season!! I'm only being a little sarcastic when I say I love Taber corn......I think I've eaten more corn in the last 18 months than my whole life put together. It was way fun though, a lot of the YSA will be leaving for school soon which makes me sad but then I remember I'm leaving too so I shouldn't be too upset about it. That night we went over to Lish's and let me tell you...she's going to change the world. Oh my goodness, I don't know how I got so blessed but the people that I've taught and seen come into the gospel here in Cardston are just soaking the gospel up like a giant sponge. Its the best. I will say it over and over again but I've been so incredibly blessed on my mission and through out my life. I'm so happy I decided to do this whole mission thing.

Tuesday was way good, we contacted some people in the morning and then had lunch with one of our favorite members....I shouldn't have favorites but I guess they're all my favorite....anyways then we had district mtg and that was way good as well. We had a lesson right after and let me tell you...this gospel is awesome!! There are no if's, and's or but's around the gospel of Jesus Christ, you just got to decide what team your on and go with it. I just love helping people understand their purpose and when people truly understand their divine identity and potential then the small or big "rules" or commandments don't seem like a big deal. I get so frustrated when people say that the church is not for them....I just wanna be like well sorry people you're one of Heavenly Fathers children so automatically the gospel is for you hahaha oh well someday they'll get it. But overall our lesson went really good....the people we're working with are definitely making steps in the right direction. After that lesson we went and had another lesson with my best friend ever (truly these people have become my best friends).  She's made so much progress over the last summer and our lesson was way spiritual, at the end we just talked about the changes in all of us because of the gospel of Jesus Christ and it was way sweet. I love the whole purpose behind repentance, we truly do have a loving Heavenly Father.
That night we went and helped out at the temple visitor center which was the best idea ever because President and Sister Nicholas were in town for zone conference and stopped by. I love being able to spend time with those two, they're the best. Before we left we decided to walk around the temple and it started pouring rain on us which was a blessing because some members I think felt bad for us and told us to meet them at Dairy Queen so they could buy us some ice cream. I'm telling you there are blessings for serving a mission....free blizzards at dairy queen is definitely up there on the blessing list. Just to let you know the best flavor is Turtles with skor pieces.... hmmmmm the best of the best right there.

We got to work at the visitor center again on Wednesday and it was awesome! Some way cool people came from Calgary who were super interested in the church and the purpose of temples it was sweet, the members that were with them are going to try and get missionaries to them up in Calgary so I'm way excited about that. Also all the Lethbridge zones were in the temple doing their zone conference so we got to see all of them when they came out. Which really means I got to see Sister Estrada! It was so good seeing her, she's doing awesome in Stirling, its a strange thought thinking the next time I see her will be when we're headed up to Calgary. We had a lesson with Jody later that day and she brought up some things that she was having a hard time with and we immediately went to the Book of Mormon and fixed all of those concerns. She just has so much faith and when I say "so much" I mean more than any other person I've ever met. She's a HUGE blessing to the Kainai Branch. That night we got to see our investigator and that was awesome, probably more awesome for me than him just because every time I leave one of his lessons I leave with a stronger testimony of the gospel.

THURSDAY WAS THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE. We got to have our zone conference on Thursday and we were combined with Med Hat and the BC zones. We all met in the chapel before heading over to the temple and got to hear from our Mission President, I just love learning from him. Then we all headed over to the temple where we got to learn from the Temple President. The whole day was focused on Sacrifice, Obedience and Covenants and everything I learned made me appreaciate the temple so much more. I just have a huge love for knowledge and learning things about the gospel so it was just a good day for me. It was also one of the more emotional days of my mission. As I looked around I saw tons of missionaries that have changed my life including President Nicholas and his wife Sister Nicholas. It finally hit me that I really don't have much longer on my mission. Lets just say their were a lot of tears.....a lot of them. I have such a love for the Canada Calgary Mission and whats its done for my life. Isn't it funny how against I was of serving a mission, and now I'm jealous of every new missionary coming into the field. I just got to do a lot of reflecting of the last year and a half of my life and it was really good.
That night we went on exchanges with the Magrath sisters. I went to Magrath with Sister Joseph and I was so happy I got to go on exchanges with her again! She's awesome!

The next day we did a lot of service in Magrath which I was okay with since it was super rainy and cold outside. We went to the old folks homes and did some service there and that was super nice. I've seen a big positive change in Sister Joseph over the last few weeks and she even mentioned to me that she's grateful for the exchanges we've been on to help her see the blessings of missionary work. That was super rewarding to hear:) I've loved being able to help the sisters that I've worked with and I hope they can see how amazing missionary work is. That night we ate dinner with the Terry's who I absolutely love, they've become my Canadian grandparents up here and I can't wait for you to meet them!

On Saturday, Sister Armstrong was feeling way sick so we spent the morning planning and getting things ready for the upcoming week. I think being sick or having your companion be sick on the mission is the worst thing ever but its also a good time to be able to study and learn more so that was nice. I really appreciate Sister Armstrong, I really couldn't have asked for a better companion for my last 6 weeks. She's an amazing person and has really helped me not freak out to much about going home hahaha because trust me I need that.

Sunday was super busy for us, we went to lots of church and then quickly went out to dinner on a farm...I really love this whole farm thing. Anyways then had to come back for a stake missionary meeting where they've decided to switch things up on us. For us sisters the main focus in the stake is the in town wards of the YSA, 4th, 6th, 7th and Aetna wards and the Elders focus on the Kainai Branch and the Hillspring and Glenwood wards. Well we will now be focusing on Hillspring and Glenwood and the Elders will be doing the in town wards. It will be a nice change but its also sad because I just love the wards that I've been covering. But its also good because if they're going to do this change they might as well do it right before transfers. I haven't been out to Glenwood as much but Hillspring has some really great people there so again it will be a good change. Last night we got together with a bunch of YSA before they all leave for school and life. It was way fun and made me happy with all the friends I have here in Cardston.

Anyways I need to get going but I love you all and hope you have a great week!! Talk to you soon!!
Pray for those missionary opportunities!

Sister M.

Elder Bluth, Sister Martin, Armstrong and Elder Smith 

"The 4 of us in the middle are going home this transfer :(" 

Sisters from BC, Cardston and Med Hat zones

Elder Browning, Sister Martin and Elder Engstrom.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

happy week!

Hey familia!!

How is it going?? Tell the whole family hello for me when you see them!

So this week was amazing, so many good things. So last Monday we just got together with the whole zone which was fun to see other missionaries, like Sister Connor and Gonzalez so fun. We taught Lish that night and taught her about following the prophet and service in the church. She's so awesome and the whole week I was just getting so excited about her baptism!

On Tuesday we had district mtg and then met up with the Raymond sisters for exchanges. I went to Raymond with Sister Connor and it was super good. Raymond is similar to Cardston, its a small LDS community and they've been doing really good there. That night we went and stopped by their investigators house and ended up having the most spiritual lesson I've had in a long long time. I have no idea, we just talked about the importance of the Book of Mormon and praying to our Heavenly Father but the room was just thick with the spirit and I knew that he could feel the power of the Holy Ghost. It was just another lesson that confirmed to me that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true.

The next day was awesome! We just walked around and talked to lots of people and contacted tons!! The night before we got 8 referrals which was awesome so we contacted some and got a lot of return appointments. They have so much potential in Raymond and a super good set of missionaries there. I love going on exchanges and helping other areas, even though I may never see the outcome its just so rewarding to do the Lords work. When Sister Armstrong and Sister Egbert were back in our area they found a new investigator for us which is awesome as well! Its been awhile since we've found a new investigator so I'm super excited about it. That night we got back into Cardston and went to a ward activity out in Aetna which was super fun. I really wish you could come and meet the amazing people I associate with every single day. I'm so blessed. That night we taught Lish about temples, eternal marriage and family history which is always super fun to teach. Baptisms are always fun but the end goal truly is the temple and I'm super excited for that day to come for Lish and her husband.

Thursday we went and street contacted a ton for our Walk n' Talk August. Our mission is doing super good about getting out and talking to more people and we're seeing lots of miracles come from it. We had a lesson with Jody that day as well and let me tell you that she is doing sooooooo good. Honestly the gospel was the best thing for her....well actually the gospel is the best thing for anyone but I love seeing how Jody is still progressing and still learning. She has such a strong testimony and I learn from her every time I see her.

On Friday we had Lish's baptismal interview in the morning and she did awesome, then we had the worst idea on the planet. We decided to ride bikes......which I'm all about bike riding and I think its great but you should come to Cardston and see how it was built on like 3 million hills. So we went and picked up some bikes and rode over to lunch with some members. After lunch we realized we had 4 minutes to get across town, up the biggest hill for singing at the old person home. So we started riding and I was just laughing my head off because I forgot to mention that Sister Armstrong was wearing a hockey helmet. So we're heading up the hill and its like 33 degrees outside which is way hot here in Canada and I thought I was literally going to die. Well we made it up and sang some songs and then had to leave for a lesson and when we got outside the biggest darkest clouds of my life decided to show up over Cardston and I realized that we were going to get poured on in like 1.8 minutes so we started peddling super fast and got to our investigators house and Sister Armstrong fell off the bike and I couldn't help but just laugh because it just starts pouring rain on us. Luckily we had a way good lesson on fasting and tithing and by the time we were done the rain had stopped. The only problem is we had to get back to our house which is on the steepest hill in Cardston so we just walked our bikes up hahahaha and then ate real quick and then headed all the way to the other side of town to retrieve our car......I'm just going to stick to walking.

The next day all of Cardston was at a pancake breakfast because that's what they do up here in Cardston hahahaha but for reals . They were having Mini Chuck Wagon Races on Saturday so it felt like the whole town shut down because apparently the races are a big deal. Well we were at the breakfast in the morning and got a call from our investigator who was getting baptized later that day and she was having a little melt down. Which is understandable, its a huge decision, but I just felt so much peace in knowing everything would be okay. So we quickly went over to her house and talked with her for awhile and then she got a priesthood blessing and everything got better. I have such a strong testimony of the priesthood and I'm so grateful for men who are worthy to use that priesthood power. Its sooooo cool!!! Her baptism was later that day and it was amazing!! So many people came we had to move it into the chapel and everything went so well. I spoke on the Holy Ghost and was super grateful for that opportunity.
Honestly after that baptism me and Sister Armstrong got in the car and I realized that I was perfectly happy with how my mission has gone. This whole time I've been super stressed about coming home and I just try and ignore that whole thought all together but after that baptism I felt so much peace in knowing I've done what Heavenly Father wanted me to do and that its going to be okay to come home and to keep living a super awesome life. I've seen and received so many blessings out here. After the baptism we went and celebrated our friends birthday who's in the YSA and that was way fun as well. Overall it was just the perfect day.

I think everything hit me on Sunday from the whole week before and I was so tired! Oh my goodness I knew it was going to be a long day when I looked at my watch and it was only 9:00am and I was already falling asleep. We went to ward council earlier that morning and then headed over to our ward with some of our investigators in it. Then we went to YSA branch council and our branch president wanted to have a little testimony meeting which I was very grateful for. Again it was a way spiritual moment for me as I reflected on how my testimony as grown over the last 17 months. I truly love this gospel and my Savior Jesus Christ. The rest of the day was good and I was so happy when I was sitting by Lish in church and realizing that she's just going to be such a great member for the rest of her life.

Well overall I'm super happy. I think overall I've been super happy my whole mission and I'm so grateful for it. This gospel is a gospel of happiness. Thanks mom and dad for raising me in such a good home, I'll be forever grateful for the both of you. I love you all and hope you have a great week!!

Sister M.

"We rode around in an ambulance! cross that off the bucket list!"

Lish's baptism! 

The gospel is for everyone :)

"Sometimes we decide to ride bikes and Sister Armstrong chose the hockey helmet... funniest day of my life!"

Monday, August 11, 2014

Heritage Days, Parade, Pancakes and 2000 people

Hola mi familia! (that's in remembrance of my Mexican companion) hahaha just kidding sometimes I think I'm so funny, even though I miss Estrada I'm just loving Armstrong as my new companion and this week was so good!!

 So last Monday our investigator took us up to Waterton and made us a little picnic, it was so fun!! We headed up Red Rock Canyon which is beautiful! It started raining and then Susan who was the one who took us was the only one with a jacket and she said "Aren't Mormons supposed to be prepared? I'm a better Mormon then all of you!" Hahha she's funny, but then we headed into the town and got some ice cream and did some shopping. It was a super fun day.

On Tuesday me and Sister Armstrong did a training at our Zone Training Mtg on our goal of talking to a million people for the month of August. We really tried to get everyone excited because really it all comes down to the individual faith of the missionaries in this mission to complete that goal. Its a big goal and its going to make us stretch but even if only one person came into the gospel because of it, its worth it. After Zone Mtg we just went and street contacted and talked to lots of people. I'm sure I've said this before but it amazes me how different of a missionary I am from the beginning of my mission.....I used to pray that people wouldn't open their doors because I was so nervous! And now it seems like all fear is gone, I love it! We went on exchanges later that night with the Cardston West Sisters. Sister Murphy came with me to my area and Sister Armstrong went with Sister O'Dell. Sister Murphy has been out since last October and is such a good missionary, probably one of the most diligent and obedient missionaries I've ever met. I probably learned way more from her than she learned from me. We had a lesson with one of our investigators that night and we taught the Law of Tithing and it was really the only concern they've had so far. As we focused on our Savior and faith instead of the money aspect of it all their hearts started to soften, it really is a commandment of faith and obedience and I just have the strongest testimony of tithing and of the blessings that come from it. Its paying into a "spiritual insurance" and we can have great confidence that the Lord will take care of us when we pay a full tithe. At the end of the lesson our investigators husband asked her when she was going to get baptized, which really surprised me that he brought it up! He then bore his testimony on following our savior and how she's ready to make that step in her life. She said she was still praying about it and we kind of just left it at that. We then headed to our next lesson with a boy from YSA and had a super spiritual lesson on faith and repentance and turning to our Savior.

So the next day we went to a pancake breakfast super early in the morning that the town was putting on and it was an awesome way to talk to tons of people. We're gaining some serious member trust right now and I LOVE it. As we were headed back home we got a phone call from our investigators husband saying that she has decided to be baptized on August 16th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! sorry for all of the exclamation points but I was SO SO SO SO happy to hear that! I've just super connected with these two and I knew it was going to happen eventually I just didn't know if it would happen when I was still here. I was just so happy all day after that. Sister Murphy and I got to work at the Visitor Center after and that was way cool and then we just walked and talked because that's what we do in the Canada Calgary Mission. We exchanged back and then went and helped the Kainai Branch make their float for the parade and then headed over to our next lesson. We were teaching the plan of salvation and it just wasn't clicking to the person that we were teaching, I was getting so frustrated, which isn't a good thing but I just love the Plan of Salvation and finally when we got up to the Judgment Day a light just went on and everything clicked. FINALLY! It was all worth it in the end, because he could see why having hope in the atonement is so essential. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY.

Thursday morning started out with more pancakes and talking to the whole town. I also say this like every week but I just love the little town of Cardston, there are some really really great people here. After that we finished our studies and then as a district we went and sang at the hospital, which made a lot of people happy. We also got to go help a girl who's in YSA write her talk for church and I was just so happy that she felt comfortable asking us to help her, we've been teaching her all summer and I absolutely love her. I've decided that I will write anyone's talks as long as I don't have to speak hahaha. After that we met with Jody our recent convert and she is still amazing me with how solid she is. She told us that the week before her baptism she was having a hard time and was doubting but she turned to 3 Nephi 27 and read that and she said she instantly knew that she needed to be baptized. She also said "I wish I could be baptized every week because I've never been so happy." She's just amazing and I'm so blessed to know her and to have been able to teach her.

Friday was good. It obviously started out with a Pancake breakfast because Cardston loves their pancakes....by this point I was kind of getting sick of pancakes but oh well whatever it takes to share the gospel hahahaha later we tried to contact some referrals and sang at the Chinook Lodge.......good thing the people are old and deaf because I don't think they would want us to come back and sing if they could hear us properly. We had a sweet lesson with Lish that night and she's the one getting baptized, she's so prepared for all of this and I'm so so so excited for her and her husband! I just am having too much fun being a missionary so don't  be alarmed if I just happen to not come home.......haha just kidding....kind of. That night me and Armstrong decided last minute to get all the missionaries in the parade the next day so we made 1000 pass along cards....let me repeat that 1000 PASS ALONG CARDS and put all of the missionaries numbers in Cardston on the back of them. Then we bought a bazillion pieces of candy and got a truck with some posters that we could ride in. Coolest sister missionaries ever. Besides all of the fun things I'm learning a lot right now and have really been focusing my studies on enduring to the end, I think that's one of my favorite parts of the gospel of Jesus Christ and most of us are in that boat of enduring to the end and I wouldn't be able to do it with out amazing family members. So shout out to the best family ever.

On Saturday we had our last and final pancake breakfast....thank goodness and then got everything ready for the Parade. It was just a cute small town parade but it was super awesome for everyone to see the missionaries and to know who we are. We talked to so many people and handed out all our pass along cards. I was so proud of me and Armstrong. After the parade we got a phone call from the Magrath Sisters who needed and wanted to go on an exchange so we quickly drove out to Magrath and I had Sister Joseph come with me to Cardston and Sister Armstrong stayed in Magrath with Sister Gonzalez. Sister Joseph has been out for 3 months and her first area was Chestermere! So I got a quick update on the area which I was happy about. Sister Joseph is from New Zealand and is such a cool person! It made me sad that I'm not a cool person from New Zealand with a sweet accent. We got invited to a couple of BBQ's which were fun and then had some lessons with a couple of less-active members. We had dinner at the Klains who are my favorite people here in Cardston....actually I have lots of favorites but they're definitely up there! I think it was good for Sister Joseph to come and get a little break because she's been having a hard time in Magrath, which I don't blame her because going from East Calgary to Magrath is like the biggest culture shock of life. She'll do really good in Magrath though.

Sunday was busy like always, we had church all day and got to teach in Primary which was super fun. We also taught Lish and her husband again and trying to get everything in before her baptism on Saturday. This whole week was just super good and I'm super grateful for the happiness that the gospel has brought me and to others. I love my Savior and I know that He lives. I honestly don't know how I've been so blessed but I'm grateful every single day. If you haven't noticed I think my theme over the last few months have been to have an increase of faith and gratitude and because of those things I've seen so many tender mercies. I love you all and hope you all have a great week!!

Sister Sarah Martin

"The Kainai float turned out so well!! This is Jody's daughter who is such a cutie!!"

#missionariesarethebest #IheartCardston

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

my life is oh so good!

Hey family!!! So how has your week been? Have you had any cool missionary opportunities?? Always be praying to share the gospel with those around you.

Well transfer week is always a little crazy, but we got Sister O'Dell and Sister Estrada's things all packed on Tuesday and then we just spent time with our zone on P-day. We didn't have a lot of changes in our zone this transfer which is nice. After P-day we went and had "bye bye blizzards" at dairy queen to tell Sister Estrada goodbye and then our branch mission leader in our YSA threw a little party for Sister Estrada as well. Cardston just treats us too well, I'm super happy about staying.

On Wednesday we drove into Lethbridge for transfers and I can't tell you how many people thought I was leaving this transfer! Oh my goodness everyone was telling me goodbye and I was like woahhhhh people still got one more, thank goodness! But it did made me realize how sad I'm going to be in 6 weeks...oh my I don't even want to think about it. Well I found out my new companion and her name is Sister Armstrong, she's from Riverton and is the cutest thing ever. She's been a member of the church for 3 years and I honestly couldn't have gotten a better companion for my last transfer, we've already had wayyyy too much fun this transfer and its only been 4 days. So I was happy about that. Sister Estrada got transferred to Stirling which is hilarious because that was her first area that she was in for 6 months. She was really happy about that. And Sister O'Dell is staying in Cardston she's just back in the west stake and I'm so happy I can still see her. We went and got some shopping done in Lethbridge because literally Cardston is the size of my pinky finger and sometimes I just need somethings that are not in a small town. Then we drove in the West Sisters (Sister O'Dell and Murphy) and dropped them off and quickly went to dinner and it was the funniest dinner of my life....just funny people doing funny things. I just think Sister Armstrong was freaking out because she's been in Calgary for the last year and Calgary and Cardston are on total opposite sides of the spectrum! Poor girl, she's going to love it though.

So just to let you all know, I forgot my planner today and my planner is what tells me what I've done the last week because honestly my memory is just gone so this email might be short so just apologizing now.

Anyways on Thursday we had the loooooooooongest weekly planning of my life. I'm trying to fill Sister Armstrong in on everything going on in the stake and plan of the upcoming week and figure out exchanges with our sisters and I thought I was going to die...not really but almost. Sister Armstrong is super nervous about being a Sister Training Leader but she's going to do SO good. I'm so excited for her. We then went over to the Cardston hospital and sang as a district. Right now we have Elder Call and Madsen, Me and Armstrong, Sister O'Dell and Murphy and Elder Gordon and Pauli in our district, super fun. So we sang and then went to a lesson and then guess where we went for dinner??! A pig farm! 4000 pigs, so we had a super yummy dinner and then got to go and see all the pigs. There are more pigs on that farm than people in Cardston.....my life is so cool. After that we headed back into town and had the COOLEST lesson with our investigators ever. So we're just having a sweet lesson and one of our investigator makes a comment and I've never had the spirit tell me to say something so quickly so I just shoot up from my seat and in the middle of everything I say "Do you believe that." Everything went silent and the spirit entered so strongly as he has tears in his eyes he says "yes I believe it all." It was sweet. Honestly everything in that lesson was so spirit driven I couldn't even handle it....like honestly I just want everyone to know how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE being a missionary. SO MUCH. 

On Friday we went up to Calgary for our Mission Leadership Conference and it was sweet! So guess what our mission is doing for the month of August?? We're calling it Walk n' Talk August or thanks to Elder Olsen we're calling it Walkie Talkie Augie and we've made a goal to talk to 1,000,000 people as a mission for the month of August. They've reduced everyone's kilometers from their cars by 75% so not only will I talk to the whole world but I'm going to get in super good shape right before I come home....its a win win situation. When we talk to non-members we have to bring up a gospel point and invite them to do something and when we talk to members we have to bring up a gospel point and then ask for a referral.... I just want you to all know how excited me and Sister Armstrong got about this that we're just going to talk to the whole town of Cardston over and over and over again. As a mission we decided that we're also going to read the Book of Mormon together over the next 3 months and look for "Miracles through Faith." This whole month is centered on the Book of Mormon in all our District meetings so it just works perfectly that we're all going to read the Book of Mormon together. I have such a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon, it is honestly where I gained a testimony of this church. I'm so glad I get to go to MLC every month and that I have one more before I leave, every time I'm there I just look around and see amazing missionaries that have changed my mission and my life for the better. After MLC some of the missionaries that I'm pretty close to went and had dinner at a little Mexican place and let me tell you as I was driving around in Calgary and it was so sketch I missed my little bubble of Cardston...didn't think I would ever say that.

On Saturday we walked lots and lots and shared with everyone our "scripture of the day" At one point Sister Armstrong ran down the street to chase someone down to share our scripture so that just explains to you how serious we are about talking to everyone it was hilarious! And we ran after them right after a district mtg so our whole district saw us chase down this poor kid but after that our whole district went and started talking to people and it was awesome to see. Even though we don't have lots of non-members in Cardston I think its really going to increase our trust with our members. We went and had a super good lesson on service with one of our investigators later that day and the thing that I love about Sister Armstrong is she has immediately fallen in love with this area and all our investigators she's awesome, even though its been an adjustment for her.  

Sunday was super long but 2 of our investigators came to church which always makes us super happy. That night we had another awesome lesson with our investigators on Faith, Repentance and keeping the Word of Wisdom and again I just felt the spirit so strongly. I felt like Ammon in the scriptures where it says "being filled with the Spirit of God, therefore he perceived the thoughts of the king." I honestly just knew what my investigators were thinking and what their concerns were, it was the coolest thing of my life. Spiritual gifts are the coolest things we can receive but we'll only be given them if we use them for the benefit of others. It was just a really cool experience.

I'm super excited for the upcoming weeks! I love this gospel and I know that it brings so much goodness and peace into our lives. Have a great week family and friends I love you all!!

Sister M.

"We were all together to finally take a picture! This is my "posterity" in the mission! Sister Blommaert, me, Sister Smith and Sister Bullock."

"Me and Sister Matangi, I was hoping to serve around her one last time but sadly she's gone to Med Hat." 

2 little piggies out of the 4000 of them on the farm :)

"Finally got a picture by the Calgary sign! Claimed this place as home for 6 months :)"

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Hey family!!!

What a week!! So first things first....I'm not getting transferred!! Cardston is my home for another 6 weeks :) Sister Estrada is leaving which is sad and it will be weird knowing my next companion is my companion for only 6 weeks but I'm ready for a the adventure!

So this week was super good, it had a lot of ups and downs but I guess that's just how things go on a mission. Last Monday we went up to Waterton and hiked Bertha Lake.....let me tell you about Bertha Lake......it was so hard!! 3 weeks ago we hiked Bertha Falls and it was a lovely little hike but the second half up to the lake is straight switch backs that wanted to kill us!! Oh my goodness...I don't suggest hiking when you previously just sprained your ankle and you can't breath out of your nose because of a stupid cold. We invited one of our friends from YSA and he probably regretted coming with us because we had to stop every 10 seconds hahahaha oh well. It was worth it because it was soooooooo pretty when we got to the top. Later that night I had an interesting experience that was kind of sad but I wanna fill you in on my life so I'm going to let ya know, I was talking to a friend of mine here in Cardston that's not a member and he brought up a ton of questions that I didn't know how to answer when usually I do and he pretty much told me to question everything that I've believed my whole life. I tried so hard to answer his questions and to bring the spirit back but it just wasn't working so we left. That night I honestly couldn't stop thinking about some of the things he said and it was just horrible! So I just said the most sincere prayer that I've said in a long time asking Heavenly Father to confirm to me that what I'm doing is right. The next day when we were getting ready in the morning Sister Estrada turned on a conference talk to listen to and immediately I felt the spirit listening to an apostles voice. I was filled with the spirit as I was reminded that I was called to serve this mission and that I was assigned by the prophet to do this mission. The church is true, it really really is. It was a good experience for me to strengthen the testimony I already have.

Nothing too extraordinary happened on Tuesday, I guess it was pretty normal. We had district mtg and then went and met with some potentials. We also had some good less-active lessons that night. We met with this one potential family who is awesome!! They have so many things that are preparing them for the gospel and they don't even realize it. It just makes me excited to see every stage of the work. People just starting to be prepared in small and simple ways, people starting to take the lessons, people preparing for baptism, people getting baptized and so forth. The hastening of the work is such a real thing and I honestly just get so excited thinking about it.

Wednesday was good, we went to the doctors and he said I have strep....crazy eh? (I don't really think I had strep but oh well) But I'm feeling better, the sad thing is I got Sister O'Dell sick.......that's what happens when we all live together. We had a good lesson later that day with a ysa girl that we've been teaching and she opened up to us and told us how much we've been helping her. She told us that she's felt the spirit as we've come over and taught and that's something she hasn't felt in a long time. She said that she's regaining that testimony that she once had. Hearing something like that makes everything worth it. Honestly I can have the worst week ever and hear something like that and feel so happy about life. Also we had a little miracle that night!! We got a referral and went over and got a new investigator! This lady is the sweetest girl ever!! She's been super hesitant about meeting with missionaries in the past but we just connected super quickly and connected with her husband as well. Later that night we went over to a part-member family and had a really good lesson as well. I just feel like we've been soooo blessed here in Cardston. We've created some really good relationships with the people here and are seeing so many miracles.

On Thursday there was a huge power outage for all of Cardston and it was the funniest thing ever because we were planning on having lunch and a lesson with a ysa member and as he was cooking us lunch the power went out so he went and built a fire and cooked the chicken over the fire and it was seriously the best lunch ever. And the best lesson ever, we talked a lot about courage and facing adversity. I'm just grateful I'm on a mission right now because being a young single adult is so hard in this world! I don't know how I would do it without the gospel. We taught Jody for the last time Thursday night and she passed her baptismal interview with flying colors. I'm so grateful to know Jody, she's made more changes than anyone I know for her to be ready for her baptism. The gospel has brought such a light to her life and its been so amazing to see.

On Friday we had a cleaning check and we tried to take care of Sister O'Dell.....remember how I'm the worst and got her sick??! So sad. But after we got her feeling better we had some really great lessons in the West Stake and then went and stopped by to see our investigator. We weren't planning on teaching anything because we were just stopping by quickly but than we started talking and she asked for a lesson! I loved hearing her say that, just knowing she wants to learn more. We taught about eternal families and temples. She's also been reading Joseph Smith History and was loving it! So I have a confession I've never even read all of Joseph Smith History and she read all of it! So that's my goal for the next week is to read it. We had another lesson with our new investigator that night and invited her to be baptized, she said she'll have to get a for sure answer but she's definitely thinking about it.

We got everything ready for Jody's baptism Saturday morning and then had her baptism. She was 40 minutes late hahahaha but we weren't stressin. She's always told us that she has the spirit of a turtle inside her hahaha. But honestly it was such a good baptism, I spoke on the Holy Ghost and that went good as well. I've never seen Jody so happy. Then we went to a YSA activity and then went by our investigators that night and saw some other potential people. I'm so blessed to be such good friends with all these people. They have changed my life for the better :) We had to drop some investigators this week which was sad but I knew it was going to happen eventually, they're just not ready right now and that okay.

Sunday was good :) 2 of our investigators came to church and I was so proud of them!! Jody was also confirmed a member of the church and received such a powerful blessing. I just love this gospel so much and I know its going to continue to go forth. I don't have a lot of time left so I'm sorry my sunday is not that detailed. But I love you all so much! You're the best family ever and I'm so blessed to have you in my life. I love being a missionary and I just want you all to know I'm going to work so hard the next 6 weeks. Have a great week!!

Sister M.

Hiking Buddies! 

Bertha Lake 

Jody's Baptism 

friends for life. Sister Estrada, Sister O'Dell, McKenna, and Sister Martin :)

Monday, July 21, 2014

I don't know about you, but I'm feeling 22!

Hey family and friends!!

I'm one year older! and hopefully one year wiser......anyways my birthday was awesome and we'll get to that later in the email.

So last week was super good:) like always. On Monday we didn't do much for p-day but it was nice and relaxing. We just hung out with people here in Cardston and got things done around our apartment. We did get to go out to Aetna and have a campfire with one of our friends for dinner. So fun! Then played some baseball with his little brother, it was such a fun family home evening. I just love the people here so much.

On Tuesday we got to go out to lunch with our YSA branch mission leader, he's also the best. Then had district meeting and after district meeting we helped our district leader out at a baptism they had. Sister Estrada, Sister O'Dell and I all taught a lesson on the restoration and I think it went really well. Our teaching is improving with the 3 of us, even though it was super hard to adjust at the beginning. Then we had a less-active lesson after the baptism on some of the commandments. The more I study and learn about the commandments the more I love them. They really are given to us out of love, they are for our protection and our happiness. Obedience is so important and I realize that more and more on my mission. Then after dinner we went out to Aetna again and had a little miracle. We stopped by a referral and when she answered the door she was so happy to see us! She asked us if we were from the church and then let us right in. Her daughter went to girls camp with her friends and had a super good time so now her mom has lots of questions about the church. She said she has lots of questions for us and was super happy we came by. We taught her a very brief lesson on the restoration and she said she wants us to come back and teach her family. SO COOOOOOL.  She's such a good Christian woman and just kept saying all she wants is to make it to heaven. Then we headed over to institute and had an awesome lesson on trials and then had correlation with our ward mission leaders. We had too many people we had to meet with so we had to go on splits. We're always so busy that we're never together anymore.

On Wednesday we worked at the visitor center and had some super good experiences again. Now that its warming up and its the middle of the summer the visitor center is getting more and more busy. Everyone just stops by because they're headed to Waterton and there's really no other places to see in Cardston hahaha. Its cool because a lot of the time the non-members that come in don't even realize that there are temples all around the world and a lot of the time there's a temple where they come from. So it makes them super excited to go see the temple that's by there home. Then we headed out to Mountain View to go visit our little family from Hungary.....the only problem is they don't understand missionary schedules and want us to stay all day. You can only imagine my anxiety of talking to this family and being super late for our next appointment. They told us that next time we come back they don't want us to have any appointments and just to stay for the whole day hahahaha too bad we don't have any empty days! We're trying to figure out when we can go over for dinner and then hopefully have a lesson with them. So after we left their house we had to hury back to Aetna for an appointment and I just hate being late so much but luckily the person was super understanding and we had a super good lesson. Then headed quickly to dinner and had to eat super quickly to make it to our next lesson. We had a lesson with Jody and she's doing so good!! She told us that she hadn't had any coffee for 6 days and I was so so so happy! She's so ready for her baptism. Then me and Sister O'Dell and Sister Estrada went on splits and had to be solo with some other members. Its good because we cover a lot more appointments but sometimes bad because the members get nervous and then I end up being the only one teaching, that's ok though because the members are doing super good here in Cardston.

Thrusday was good we did some weekly planning, had our district finding activity and then had a lesson with one of our investigators, her husband who is less-active sat in which was super helpful and really good for him as well. We taught lesson 3 which is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Her husband even mentioned how relearning all of this has really helped him remember why he joined the church in the first place. Hopefully both of them can help each other as they're trying to draw closer to Christ. Then that night we headed to Magrath for exchanges and I stayed in Magrath with Sister Gonzalez. She misses Cardston so much but is doing really good in Magrath.

The next day was so fun! Really I wish you could spend an hour with Sister Gonzalez she is hilarious! We also had some really good lessons. We taught their investigator who is from China and had such a good lesson with her. She told us how her biggest hope is that the people of China will someday be able to hear the gospel. It was the sweetest thing I've ever heard. Chinese people are so sweet and humble, I love them. We taught her about the temple and she just got so excited saying that she wants her family to be together forever. She really wants to be baptized but is trying to overcome some word of wisdom problems. When I was in Magrath Sister Estrada and Sister O'Dell and Sister Johnson had a good exchange as well and found a Muslim man who wants to learn more about Christianity so that will be fun teaching him, we have another appointment with him this week! So hopefully that goes well.

Saturday I was sick all day.  The End.

On Sunday I woke up feeling extremely better, still sick but better. I opened all my presents from my amazing family so thank you!! Thank you to Aunt Lyn, Grandma and Grandpa, Aunt Dorsa and my famfam. I love you all!! Me and Sister Estrada spoke in the Aetna ward and then went to YSA and then went and spoke in Kainai and both talks went well. Then we went to 6th ward and then met up with Sister O'Dell who was on splits over in the West Stake. We then had the best birthday dinner ever with my YSA friends. I'm serious when I say I've been so blessed my entire life to meet the best people in the world. They made a really yummy Ukrainian meal with perogies and borsche and potato pancakes so yummy!! And then the best chocolate cake in the world!! The best part was everyone went around the table and said something they liked about me. It was the sweetest thing in the world. I'm just so blessed! Also the assistants called that night and sang Happy Birthday:) Elder Engstrom and Elder Lloyd are the best assistants ever. I just felt so much love from everyone and it made up for the day before being so horrible. I saw lots of blessings the past week and it just makes me love missionary work more and more. It truly is the best!

Well I love you family!! I can't believe I'm 22!! So old......haha just kidding! Thanks for all that you do for me! I love you all so much!! Have a great week!

Love Sister M. 

Sister Martin and Katherine in Magrath! 

Birthday Dinner!