Monday, June 30, 2014

So 2 weeks ago I was thinking to myself that I have the best life ever. I was also thinking that we have so many good things happening in Cardston right now that nothing could possibly go wrong......oh boy was I wrong. Heavenly Father finally decided to give us a trial hahaha but really this was horrible. On P-day last week I started having super bad stomach pains and feeling super sick and then I just crashed Monday night and fell asleep by 9. I'll spare you all the details because no one really needs to know but I was sick on Tuesday, Wednesday and then Thursday it got superrrrr bad and then Friday I finally went to a doctors and then started feeling better Saturday. Yup worst week ever. So my trial finally came and now its over and I'm super excited to work super hard this week.

Ok so there was some good things that happened despite the fact that I thought my life was ending ha sorry I'm dramatic. Anyways on Tuesday we were able to go and teach 2 lessons and one was with our investigator who wants to be baptized. We taught tithing and fasting and she just loved it. She just surprises me with all the faith she has. Some of you might have heard there are some changes with how we teach our investigators, we're now required to teach Lesson 5 before baptism when usually we taught it after. Because of this new requirement we had to push some baptismal dates back to make sure we teach all the lessons. Its okay though because we want to make sure our investigators are as prepared as possible.

On Wednesday we went into Lethbridge for a specialized training. All the Zone Leaders, District Leaders and Sister Training Leaders were there from the Lethbridge Zones and the Cardston Zone. I always like getting extra training from President and the Assistants, it was a good meeting depite the fact I was sick and hadn't eaten anything since Monday morning. Ha I just wish you could have seen me, now that I'm all better its funny. After Lethbridge we went to Magrath to go to a district mtg there and then visited with the sisters there. We had a lesson later that day and it was the worst lesson I ever taught, from now on I just need to cancel lessons when I'm not feeling well. Hopefully the spirit just took over and the girl didn't even realize it was bad.

On Thursday we were in the house all day. It was a sad day. Now its over and I don't need to remember it anymore.

Friday was good! I went to the doctors and I was able to go to some lessons that night. We had a little miracle....actually huge miracle. So before serving in Cardston Sister Estrada was serving in the Crowsnest Pass and was teaching a really awesome guy who has an incredible story. He's super prepared for the gospel but just never got his answer to be baptized. He just moved to Cardston into one of our wards and when we called him up he said he finally got his answer to be baptized! We met with him Friday night and he's awesome!

Saturday was good. We had interviews with President Nicholas which I just love. He always motivates me so much. I've had the chance to reflect a lot on the last 16 months and I've seen so many blessings, in my life and others. I just hope the next 2 months don't go by as quickly as the others!

On Sunday we met with our investigator from the Pass and got him on date for July 12th :) I can't describe to you how ready he is to become a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I love being able to learn from my investigators. I've been so blessed to meet so many incredible people. Also funny story about remember how we go to like a thousand wards each Sunday. Well in almost all of them we stood up and sang "Oh Canada" for Canada day on the 1st but in one of our wards we sang "Star Spangled Banner" because its an international ward hahaha that sounds so cool when I say that but since one our wards goes into Montana we have Americans and Canadians. It was a happy moment.

And now I'm feeling almost all the way better so that's a good thing. We have a super busy week planned ahead, I'm just so grateful to be serving my mission!

I love you all and hope you have a great week as well!!

Sister M.

Sister Estrada and Sister Martin 

"This is the member we live with. Brother Terry. He should be on a Canada Day postcard, he's so cute! Happy Canada Day!"

Monday, June 23, 2014

rain rain rain.

I think I jinxed it last week by talking about flooding! Ooooops.....Cardston got some flooding but not bad. We were worried because we live in a basement but it was all good :) Now the weather is good again and we're just waiting for Waterton to clear up a little bit more so we can go again! So me and Sister Estrada went into Lethbridge on Wednesday for transfers it was good to see everyone. I don't remember if I told you but they combined the Fort Macleod zone with the Cardston zone so now our zone is HUGE. It covers from Cardston to Raymond to Crowsnest Pass by the border of BC up to Vulcan. None of those areas had sisters in it so we're not covering anymore sisters which is good. We're keeping so busy right now! I love it. That night we helped in the other stake with a missionary night. They had all these different booths up about missionary work and we got to help out with it. Its fun to see how all the members are getting excited about hastening the work. There are a lot of good things happening in Cardston right now.

On Thursday we did some weekly planning and then had a lesson with our investigator who is getting prepared for her baptism. The lesson went really well, she's super in tune with the spirit and hardly ever brings up concerns. Then we went over to our other investigator who's not been progressing as fast. Before her lesson we were trying to decide if we would drop her as an investigator and let her have some time but when we got to her house we both got a strong feeling that we need to keep teaching her. She has some family pressure which is really hard but when we asked her what it would do for her to find out that the Book of Mormon was true, she said it would bless her life. She knows its a good thing and really wants to know for herself, she just hasn't received her answer yet. Her husband is less-active and wants to make some changes as well. Hopefully as we help them they will be able to help each other. At the end of the night we had another lesson with our other investigator who has grown up in Cardston her whole life and even went to seminary. She wants us to teach her all the lessons and she said that she would pray about getting baptized as well! Soooooo coooool. LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. Her son also sat in all the lesson and said he wants to learn more so we got a new investigator who is 10. So cute! I haven't taught a lot of children on my mission....hardly any actually but its super fun to explain things to them.

On Friday we tried to meet with some YSA members but most of them were working, we've gotten really good at being super creepy and finding out where all of them work so we can just show up and find them hahahaha but really sometimes we're a little weird.
We had some good lessons with some less-active members and we're seeing some progression in them as well, which is super exciting to see. There is one YSA girl who came to us and told us that she wants to gain a testimony of the gospel because she doesn't really have one. I was super impressed with how open and humble she was to ask us for help. Its so much easier when they have a desire to change.

On Saturday it was finally nice weather!! We were finally able to walk around and see the sun :)  we worked at the Visitor Center in the afternoon and then stopped by and saw some of our investigators. Honestly things are so good right now. Obviously we still have some really really bad days and I still have lots of disappointments but I've really tried to apply having an attitude of gratitude in every circumstance. There are too many good things in life to be upset. Plus time is flying way tooooo fast. I have to enjoy things :)

Well I don't have much else to say. I love you all and hope you're doing good :)

Sister M.

 Cardston :)

 The Croatians in the ESL class.

Here is the little creek by their house that turned into a raging river!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Going to Go Build an Ark!

Well its raining again. A reminds me of last year so hopefully we don't have a repeat of the floods. Anyways rains always a good thing.

So its been a super good week! Last week my whole zone went to Waterton and we explored the little town and went hiking up Red Rock Canyon. Super pretty! I know I say this every week but I'm so so blessed to be serving in Cardston in the summer! Its the best!

On Tuesday we had Zone Training Mtg and that went really well. We got trained on teaching people not lessons which is one of my favorite things. We should never be robots but be real with the people we teach. After ZTM's we went on exchanges and I went to Raymond with Sister Barton. It was really good. I went on exhanges with Sister Barton 9 months ago when she was brand new and it was so fun to see the growth in her that's happened in the last couple of months. Raymond is a cute little LDS community. I had a lot of fun on exchanges and then the next day for our exercise in the morning we went and played Frisbee in the rain ha it was so fun! Then we exchanged back right before the visitor center at the temple. Then after we taught our investigator and she's doing so so good! oh my goodness she is just soaking up everything we're teaching. She said that she was praying and she kept picturing a bright white tree with a dark blue/black background and didn't know what it meant and then she asked us if we knew. The first thing we thought of was the vision of the tree of life! So we told her that our next lesson with her would be us reading it with her. Also that night our other investigator came to the relief society activity which was good as well.

On Thursday we went and visited some less-active members and let me tell ya....we are blessed. Some peoples lives are so hard! And they just need to rely on the atonement but they don't. I have a constant prayer of gratitude in my heart for all the good things in my life. I just love the gospel so much because it truly is a gospel of happiness. There is so much good in the gospel. That night we went and painted with a girl from YSA....I can't wait for you to see the painting I'm doing! Its going to be so so so so cool!

Friday was sweet! So we read 1 Nephi 8 with our investigator and she said this was exactly what she was picturing in her dream but she didn't know what it all meant after we explained it all to her, we asked what she'll take from it and she said that she needs to draw closer to Heavenly Father and that the only way she'll do that is through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, she also got a blessing to help her overcome some things and it made me love her even more to know and feel how much our Heavenly Father loves her. That night we went on exchanges with the Cardston West Sisters and I stayed in my area with Sister O'Dell. She's only been out for 3 months but is such an awesome missionary! Every single door we knocked on was not home because this is what happens on a Friday night in Cardston everyone leaves and goes to Lethbridge! And I don't blame them....I would do the same thing haha.

Haha Saturday was such a funny day. So the morning was good and then we decided to meet up with Sister Estrada and Sister Gonzalez and go sing at an assisted living place. We would just knock on some older ladies doors and ask if we could sing a song and share a message. Everything was going well up until we go and knock on a door and the old little lady asked us why we were at her door. We explained that we just wanted to sing a song and share a message and she asked what denomination we were from, we told here that we were missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and she just grumbled and said "okay come on in" So I just assumed she wasn't a member from how she was acting. So we started singing and it was good and then she went and invited more ladies to come in and listen to us. Well as we start singing they all try and sing with us and it didn't sound too good and it was just really funny so I started laughing..........bad idea. Sister Estrada starts laughing and so I pretend to start coughing......the old grumpy lady then pulls out a mint that's COVERED in lint. So gross. Anyways she tells me to put it in my mouth and I say no thanks and then she gets mad at me and tells me again to put it in my mouth. By this point she's getting super mad at me  so I stick that gross mint in my mouth and Sister Estrada is trying to not laugh and has tears running down her face. We end the song and leave and I start choking on the nasty lint mint. Anyways it was a really funny experience. Then me and Sister O'Dell drove out to Aetna but again no one was home. It was a good day though. We exchanged back and then me and Sister Estrada went out to one of our Bishops farm and had a lesson with him and some other members in the ward. It was all about hastening the work and it was super fun to spend more time with the members.

Sunday was just busy as usual. We did go on splits that night with our Branch President for our YSA branch and it was so fun! We met so many less-active ysa members that we really clicked with. I loved it!

Also we met with our investigator yesterday the one that had the cool dream about the tree and she said as she was praying she just knew she needed to get baptized. We have her on date for next Friday! Keep Jody in your prayers :)

So many miracles are happening. I'm happy to be staying in Cardston for at least another transfer! I love you all and hope you have a great week! Pray and read the scriptures and study from PMG every day! That's my challenge for ya!

Sister M.


Monday, June 9, 2014

Hola Como Estas! (that's from my Mexican companion)

Anyways hello from Cardston!

Have I mentioned lately how much I love being a missionary?? Well I do! Its the best thing in the world!

So last week we went to Waterton for P-day and hiked Bears Hump and it was so fun! We're going to Waterton again today.....I'm going to spend as much time as I can there :) We're going with our whole zone so it should be pretty fun. I'm just trying to be in the mountains as much as possible, it was nice living in a corn field for the last 9 months but change is a good thing.

So Tuesday was busy! We had our district mtg and then did some service for cute little family. After we had a lesson with one of our investigators and found out she came to stake conference! We had no idea since there were so many people there and she told us she wouldn't be able to make it but she ended up coming and really enjoying it. We taught about the Plan of Salvation and she loved the kingdoms of glory. Most people have a hard time comprehending that but she loved all of it! She's so open to wanting to find out for herself which is so important. Then we went and stopped by a YSA member. At first I thought YSA was the most awkward thing in the world but now I love it! I feel like you're just teaching your best friends. I feel like I can be so much more bold with them, actually I've noticed that I'm just more bold with everyone lately. I was super bad at being bold at the beginning of my mission but I can see how Heavenly Father has been blessing me as I've tried to continue to learn and become a better missionary through out my mission. Then we drove out to a cute little farm for dinner. That's another thing that's changed. I freaked out when I first started serving in smaller towns, now I love them. Serving in Calgary would probably give me an anxiety attack...just kidding Calgary is awesome as well but there's just something about these smaller towns. That night we went and had a really good lesson with a less-active YSA member and it was so good. I just feel so much love for the people of Cardston.

Wednesday was awesome!! I had the opportunity to go to the temple with a lady I taught when I was in Calgary. She was inactive and smoking when I met her and has made so so so many changes in the last year. She invited me to come to her endowment session and it was such a great experience. She was also sealed to her husband on Friday. The temple is amazing. The fact that we can be with our families forever is the best thing in the whole world. After the temple we got to go work in the Visitors Center which was great as well. There really is such a special spirit around the temple. We had a great lesson with our other investigator that night who's preparing to be baptized. We had a specific lesson we wanted to teach her but she came and had so many questions on the Book of Mormon. We gave her one chapter to read but she read so much! She comprehends all of it really well and said that she feels the sprit so strongly when she reads it which is the best! We drove out to Hillspring that night but the people we wanted to see weren't home so we just spent our evening meeting more members in Hillspring.

Thursday was sweeeet. We got in with some less-active members that we've been trying to meet for awhile. Had some really awesome lessons on the atonement. The atonement is the center of everything and I think when people can learn more about it and learn how to apply it other things will make sense for them. We also met this awesome lady in one of our wards who wants us to help her set up a tepee! How cool is that! She said we could come over and sleep in it with the other sisters....obviously she doesn't really know the mission rules which is okay but seriously that would be so cool! That night me and Sister Estrada went on splits with YSA and were able to meet so many more less-active YSA members it was awesome! Most of them are around my age and its cool to see how choices- big or small- make a huge difference on where we end up in the gospel. Its so important to become truly converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

On Friday we went to Calgary and had a really good MLC we discussed our new standards of excellence and how we can become better leaders in the mission. It was good to see Sister Doty, Sister McDade and Sister Blommaert. I just love those people so much! I got to talk with President and Sister Nicholas after for a little bit and its always so nice to get their advice on things. We ate dinner in Calgary and had Costa Vida...yup Costa Vida is in Canada....which might not seem like a big deal to you guys back home but I haven't had Costa Vida in over a year! So it was good :) On our way back from Calgary Sister Estrada made a wrong turn and we ended up getting home a long time after we planned. Its all good though we got to see a lot of Southern Alberta.....yup still pretty flat but so pretty.

On Saturday we went to some child of record baptisms and had another lesson with our investigator on the word of wisdom. She told us she would quit coffee and that she just knew that everything we were teaching her is true. She's so ready, I love it!
Sunday was so so so so so busy! This is how our day went

9:00 stop by and see if our investigator showed up to 7th ward
9:15 Branch Council
10:30 YSA
11:30 4th Ward Council
12:15 Kainai Branch
1:00 4th Ward
2:15 Kainai Potluck
2:50 6th ward
4:30 drive to acreage for dinner
6:00 help at mission Prep
7:30 appointment
8:30 see some cool people
9:00 plan

Ha it was so busy but good! I really do love it here in Cardston! Transfers are next week! Its gone by so fast! I love you all and hope you're having a good week as well. Pray for those missionary opportunities and then act!
Talk to you next week!

Sister M.

 Elder Hill, Sister Estrada, Sister Martin and Elder Lusk


 Hiking in Waterton!

Sarah at the temple with Barb

Monday, June 2, 2014

Patience is a Virtue

Hello dear family!

How are you? How is everything back home going? So you're remodeling the upstairs?? That should be fun :)

So this past week was awesome. So many prayers were answered. So last Monday we went and picked up the Sisters from Raymond since it was Sister Connors birthday. We drove out to Leavitt and were met by our whole zone who surprised her with a cake and a happy birthday song. My zone is the best! We all went hiking down to a creek and saw deer and Canadian geese and took lots of pretty pictures. I'm in the prettiest place in the world, I'm so lucky to be serving here in the summer when everything is getting so green.

Tuesday was a busy day with lots of good things. We had district mtg and that went well, I found lots of new scriptures that I haven't used before which helped me later when we were teaching a lady. All of the scriptures directly applied to her and her situation. She told us that all she wants is to be happy and if the gospel makes her happy then she'll do it. Best thing ever. We promised her that the gospel was indeed a gospel of happiness and that's what Heavenly Father wants for us. She told us that she was excited to read the Book of Mormon and we're teaching her again tomorrow! New investigator! Finally! We've been working so hard to find new investigators and this week was just the best thing everrrrr. We also got to go up to the Visitor Center by the temple and learn exactly what we get to do there. There are around 9,000-10,000 people that come through every summer and 30% of them are non-members. What a cool way to do missionary work for the whole world! Then we had some lessons with some members and quickly ate dinner and then went to institute with our YSA Branch. We studied the talk by Elder Holland that he just gave in conference and it's such a good talk! "The cost and blessings of discipleship" As we read the talk I realized that he mentions a lot more costs than blessings, being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is not easy in the world we live in but being a disciple of Christ is the best way we can live in this world. We are so blessed to have these apostles and prophets to hear from.

Wednesday was awesome because we got to work at the visitor center! I learned so many cool things about temples in just one day. When people aren't coming through the center we just get to study and learn awesome things! I love it! Its funny because my whole life I grew up around temples and then when I lived in Calgary and Lethbridge and Taber I never ever saw the temple. Now I get to see it everyday again and I appreciate it so much more. We are so blessed to have temples on the earth. Also fun fact! I get to go to the temple this Wednesday with a lady I taught up in Calgary. She's going through for the first time and I'm so so so happy that she invited me. I saw her a week ago and she said "Sister Martin thanks for helping get back on the path." That's the best thing you can hear as a missionary. That night we had to quickly clean are car for car inspections the next day. We also drove out to Aetna...feel free to google it. Its a super cute tiny place that we cover and I just feel like its a little gold mind for missionaries. Lots of part member families and less-actives live out there so we're hoping to start working out there more.   

Thursday was zone conference! We got to drive into Lethbridge and combined with the West Lethbridge zone and the Fort Macleod zone. So lots and lots of missionaries were there which means lots of my friends! I consider the people out here my family and I just love them SO much! The best thing about zone conference was President Nicholas did a whole training on the Abrahamic Covenant which was literally an answer to my prayers! Its something I've been studying lately but it just seemed too complicated for me. We talked about the 12 tribes of Israel and how it all applies to us in this day. I learned so much! It was overall just an awesome conference. Also we won the car inspection again and got extra thing ever......we'll be using them for Waterton today :) That night we did exchanges with the Magrath sisters. Sister Johnson came to Cardston with me and we had so much fun! She's been out one transfer longer than me and is a really good missionary. We accomplished a lot of good things on our exchange. We met lots of members and the next day we had a really good lesson with one of our investigators and then our whole district went and sang songs at an assisted living home...also lots of fun. That night me and Sister Estrada picked up a new investigator! We got permission from the temple president to have the lesson in the Visitors Center since it was closed and it was such a spiritual lesson! We invited her to be baptized and she said yes! So now we have lots of work on helping her prepare. She's awesome and has a sincere desire to change.

Saturday was good! We did some service for the lady who lives across the street from us. She's the best and might be headed down to Utah soon so she might be taking some things down for me. I'll let you know for sure though. We wrote our talks for Stake Conference.....yup talked in Stake Conference. It went really well. Both Sister Estrada and I spoke and we got so many referrals after conference it was awesome! The members here are starting to have a different mindset about conference and are getting super excited about missionary work.

On Sunday the Stake Conference was a broadcast and it was nation wide for all of Canada. Elder Holland spoke and President Eyring they said some really good things and one of our investigators came and really enjoyed it as well. After conference we were so so busy! Appointment after appointment we got another investigator as well and she's awesome! She's so ready for the gospel. We just went to her house and was super bold. I was like "Hey! the gospel is awesome and really blesses families. You should learn more." And she agreed. I LOVE IT WHEN THAT HAPPENS.

I know that Heavenly Father has been listening to my prayers and He answered them in so many ways this past week. So many miracles! The gospel is true! I love love love being a missionary and guess what?! You can all be missionaries too! Just be good examples and invite others to come unto Christ!

Sister Martin

 Sarah says this is the prettiest place in the world. :)

 All the Sisters in Sarah's Zone. Sister Estrada, Sister Martin, Sister Connor, Sister Barton, Sister O'Dell and Sister Gonzalez!

Sister Estrada and Sister Martin 

"This is my cute little District! Elder Madsen, Elder Gordon, Elder Call, Sister Estrada, Me, Sister Gonzalez, Sister O'Dell and Elder Clark"

 Sister Martin and Sister Johnson on exchanges!

Lethbridge Zone Conference