Tuesday, September 29, 2015

No one is safe when Elder Zilles has a camera!
 Cool spider we saw while tracting.

Hello everyone!
Well, we got our p day switched around for yesterday because we had interviews with the president. This week has been rough. Our investigators were all out of town or doing other things so we  didn't get very many lessons. But we were able to baptize Brittney! It was a beautiful baptism and we all felt the spirit. She is a foster child so her real mom came to the baptism and her and Brittney got pretty emotional. We really enjoyed our time with Brittney and we are so excited for her to move forward and do Wonderful things!

I went down on exchanges with our District Leader one of the Roseburg Elders of the Newton Creek ward by the name of Elder Crowell. I was able to learn so much from him and had a wonderful experience. Him and I did some prayerful tracting and were able to find 2 new investigators for him which was great for both of us since neither of us had had much success lately. This week on Friday we are doing another exchange with our Zone Leaders And I get to go out with Elder Myers who is one of the best missionaries in the whole OEM (Oregon Eugene Mission) I am excited to go out and see what I can learn from him. I sure love being able to experience new people and places. We went out and ate Pizza Saturday and I just glanced at the score of the Ducks vs Utah game and my heart sank. I was hoping the Ducks would win because if they don't everyone at church is in a bad mood. 

I love being out here and serving the Lord! Sorry I didn't write much! more next week I promise! Love you all! 

Elder S. Jackson Martin
Oregon Eugene Mission

Monday, September 21, 2015

Hey there everyone!! Thank your for all of your birthday wishes and
everything they really make me smile. I know some people sent me
letters and stuff but the mission office takes forever to forward them
and it's driving me nuts. But anyway I've had a good week. Everyone
around us is so incredible. Whenever we go tracting it's incredible
how much love I can feel for everyone even though they tell us they
aren't interested.

Last P day we went up to Roseburg to play basketball and stuff with
the zone but this week we are out of miles so we are staying here in
myrtle creek and emailing from our church. In our mission President
Russel allows us to play Magic the Gathering (which is a card game
that all the nerds are way into) as long as we only play it on P day.
Elder zilles plays it and managed to convince me to buy a deck
building kit and so now I'm a big nerd like all the other elders…

We had an incredible lesson with Brittnay, the girl who's getting
baptized next Monday, and now she's all ready for her baptismal
interview!!! We are so excited for her!! We have been teaching an
elderly lady named Sister Ledbetter who used to be active but fell
away. Her daughter is really wanting her to come back to church so we
have been trying go reactivate her. She is the sweetest old lady and
she is always so excited to see us but apparently she used to really
hate elder zilles and elder king when they came over. But her heart
has been softened and she is slowly wanting to come back. We had
another lesson with the Sorensens (the crazy ones) and even though we
had a hard time keeping it focused we all felt the spirit and now They
have more desire than ever for Brother Sorensen to be baptized.

The Wests recruited us to help do parking for a big event that the
local Presbyterian church was putting on. They were such nice people
and we were able to get all the cars parked. We love the Wests and the
opportunity they gave us to serve.

I am loving my mission more every day and love the people who are
around me. I am excited to serve the Lord more and more every day.
Love you all!!

Elder S. Jackson Martin
Oregon Eugene Mission
South Umpqua Ward

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Spiritually Minded ILife Eternal (smile)
Me and my companion Elder Zilles!
Spiritually Minded ILife Eternal (smile)
My bike


Elder Zilles and I


Elder S. Jackson Martin
Oregon Eugene Mission
South Umpqua Ward
Greetings from Myrtle Creek! I'm now part of the Roseburg Zone but my
area covers the South Umpqua Ward which consists of Myrtle Creek,
Riddle, and Canyonville. The people out here are way nice but also
weird. For the most part everyone I meet is old and or a redneck.
Before I was assigned we went through so much orientation and I
learned how to use this iPad which is sweet by the way. Then we were
all assigned a trainer and mine is Elder Zilles who has only been out
for six weeks! It's pretty crazy but he sure is a good trainer.

Out here we get to drive a car. But once we run out of miles we need
to ride bikes, which it's looking like we'll have to this month. The
first people we ate with were the Taylors, who were so kind to us and
made good food (with only a few hairs) and Brother Taylor went on and
on about his hunting trips and whatever else he could think of. He
gets pretty talkative and sister Taylor tries to keep him in line. The
Taylors also do our laundry which is so cool of them because we can
focus on other things.  They also sat in on a lesson we had wit two of
the most… interesting people I've ever met: the Sorensens. We could
barley get through the lesson because they would go off on the
weirdest stories and then Brother Taylor would join in. We got through
all of our points but it was exhausting trying to keep them focused.
Brother Sorensen wants to get baptized but him and Sister Sorensen
aren't technically married because she wants to get more money out of
her ex husband before she officially divorces him. So we'll be waiting
a while for baptism.

We ate breakfast with the Wests who are incredible people! They were
so friendly and fed us so good even though they aren't members. Haha
they let us go in the yard and feed the deer back there. Turns out
Sister West and I have the same birthday so she wants to invite us
over for dinner so we can celebrate. But that won't happen until the
21st because she's going to some place for her birthday. They are so
neat and if Brother West wasn't so stubborn they could be amazing

We get fed every night out here and it's awesome! We have a baptism
for a 13 year old girl coming up the 28th and she is so cool! Her name
is Brittany and she has so much faith and knowledge about the gospel.
We taught her last night and she is so good at picking up on things
and asking good questions. I can't wait to be a part of that.

Poor Elder Zilles is so torn up because he baptized a lady named Peggy
who had been so excited about the gospel but now she keeps finding an
excuse to not come to church to be confirmed. We are afraid someone
got to her and Elder Zilles is taking it hard.

Well it's p day and we gonna go to Roseburg and have some fun! Love
you all and talk to you next week! Hope everyone is doing good back

Elder S. Jackson Martin
Oregon Eugene Mission
South Umpqua Ward

Elder S. Jackson Martin
Oregon Eugene Mission
South Umpqua Ward

​My district. Left to right Elders Webb, me, Wright, Hicks, Clark, Soutas, Henrie, and Zollinger

​My Zone

Elder S. Jackson Martin
Oregon Eugene Mission
Well everyone I am a changed man who now weighs almost 140 pounds rather than 130. 
The MTC has been a great experience but I'm excited to hop on the plane tomorrow at 8:40 to Eugene. 
Elder Oaks came and gave a talk to all the missionaries last week and that was such a treat! He gave us all kinds of tips on how to better serve our Missions. Elder Webb has been good though he keeps misquoting Star Wars and The Dark Knight and I want to correct him but I have to stay focused on the work, though sometimes I tell him he's doing it wrong. 

I choked for my only time in the MTC last Thursday. It was scary for some of our district because they just heard my disgusting choking sounds and saw me grab Elder Webb and run off to the bathroom to take care of it. It took me nearly two hours to get it down and I was only able to do it because someone just so happened to have a can of Coke in the room next door. I gave my thanks to God because the Elder said he didn't know why he even bought it, he didn't even like Coke. 

Sleeping is really hard because Elder Webb bears his testimony in his sleep and it drives me crazy. Though I did fall asleep in the Temple, but it did come back to bite me later when I was falling asleep and they asked the sisters to raise their arms to the square and I did it with them. I was so embarrassed. It has been hard to say goodbye to the other Elders and Sisters in our Zone and District go to Denver and St. Louis, they were all so great and will change lives. Now it's just the Oregon Boys left: Webb, Wright, Hicks, and me. 

If any of you get bored or something you can always email me, I would love to hear from you. I'm so grateful for my MTC experience and now I get to go bless lives and be closer to God than ever before. We had our final lessons with Dreazo and Kai which both went very well. Well I love you all so much! good luck with your lives! I'll send pictures soon! Oh and turns out I'm the chosen one! Just check out page 123 of Preach My Gospel. Next time I email I'll be in Oregon!

Elder S. Jackson Martin
Oregon Eugene Mission
Hello everyone

So hopefully everyone got on the email list because this is for everyone. 

First week has been awesome! I got here at the MTC and it was way disorienting because I was getting sent in all directions right after they had taken me from my family. It was nice because everyone welcomed me if they ever  saw me because all of the newbies get an orange dot known as "the dork dot" to signify that they're new. Pretty soon I got sick of it and put it on the back of my tag so I didn't constantly hear, "Welcome to the MTC!" My companion is Elder Webb and he's a great guy. What he lacks in attention span and life experience he makes up for in punctuality and enthusiasm. I also share a room with Elder Hicks and Elder Wright who are awesome as well and were just called as zone leaders. Elder Webb got called as a district leader so when they all go on meetings I have to go on splits with the other Elders in my district Elders Zollinger, Clark, Sotaus, and Henrie. They are all great elders and I like being around them.

Second day in class we learned about the enabling power of the atonement and my mind was blown! They told us so many things that I had never realized before and I felt the spirit so strong. We got our first investigator, Ashley, who was actually our teacher Sister Wrubbell (Daughter of Greg Wrubbell) acting as an investigator she had on her mission who was super receptive to the spirit and was amazing but moved to Billings Montana before she was baptized. Apparently her husband was Jehova Witness and hated the missionaries. Any way she was great and our lessons with her were great. Then suddenly a couple days ago we got new teachers and now we have a new investigator named Dreazo who is so dope! We commited him to baptism the first lesson. He was portrayed by our new teacher Brother Whiting who is awesome. But before we ever taught him something really cool happened and Brother Whiting and I did a role play for an example and he was the missionary and he told me to be Dreazo even though I never met him. So I took what I knew which was that he had moved her after being in a gang because his gang friend Nephi (inactive member) had moved here to change his life and played for a ticket. I prayed to know the desires of his heart and to portray him correctly and as we went on there were thoughts that filled my head that I knew were not my own. I know the spirit can work through all of us and that was such a faith builder. afterward Whiting said that I had portrayed him in such a perfect way. In addition to Dreazo we have an investigator Kai who is a way cool guy and he seems like a real investigator even though I don't know for sure and they won't tell me for sure. 

We watched this talk by Elder Bednar that he gave a few years ago here. Unfortunately you can't find it outside the MTC or I would want you all to watch it because it is truly life altering. It's about the character of Christ and he says the most amazing things about it and it just made me want to do so much good. It definitely got me excited about serving others and helped me remember that it is not about me but those I teach. There is so many things to tell you about my experience here but I'm having a hard time thinking of what actually matters. I have basically mastered foursquare and can destroy anyone at it. Not really but I can pretend. We went to the temple today and it was an incredible experience. P day is so great to just unwind. We have appointments with Dreazo and Kai tomorrow and I can't wait. I also have an appointment with a doctor to check on my stitches so I hope they're healing okay. Just so nobody worries the stitches are from getting cysts removed which are annoying things I get on me. I don't feel as bad about them anymore because Elder Wright has a giant one on his thumb the size of a grape. I guess cool people get them. 

The food is good and the days are long. Wish I could say more about my experience but I'm short on time and Elder Webb is wandering away (he does that.) Thank you for all your support! The packages and letters never cease to make me smile. Hopefully I'll have more in my email next week. I miss home especially today because I haven't had much to do.  I love you all and wish you luck! I know my savior lives and have felt his love so much in my time here.  

Elder S. Jackson Martin
Oregon Eugene Mission