Monday, November 30, 2015

Well Elder Sutton has left me and I'm now with Elder Kimber. He's been
out for 14 months and he's a nice Elder. This week was crazy!! Elder
Sutton went on his temple trip to Portland so I spent a day in
Melrose. Elder Kroll and I did a ton of service. When Elder Sutton got
back we had an awesome time going out and trying to find people. We
had so many good conversations! Some people almost let us in but then
got cold feet so that was a bummer. I went on exchanges with Elder
Provstgaard (from Salem Utah) from a different zone on a special
assignment to help me find since he was going to Winston to baptize a
lady. He gave me some good tips because he used to serve in Winston
and went on exchanges a lot in South Umpqua so he referred me to some
awesome people to go see so I need to get on that this week and find
them!!!!! Saturday was Cassie's baptism. I sent some pictures of it.
We love Cassie so much!!! Today was way emotional… it was so hectic
and then Elder Sutton left me for home. Man I'm going to miss him he
was awesome!!!

Well sorry this is so short. Transfer days are too busy. I'm way
behind on replying to letters so I will get those done soon! Love you

Elder S. Jackson Martin
Oregon Eugene Mission
South Umpqua Ward

Monday, November 23, 2015

Got the cops called on us this week and that was the highlight so I
figured I should lead with it. Besides that we found two potentials
but they keep flaking on us. This week I went on exchanges with Newton
creek elders and then the Zone Leaders the next day so I feel weird
about not seeing my companion much. During the exchanges we mostly
tracted and did things like that. I had some good conversations with
Elder Eckman from Newton Creek and some fun times with Elder Wells the
ZL but nothing too exciting. Though a cute girl answered a door and
Wells panicked hard and repeated himself a ton. Luckily she thought it
was cute and said we could come back but she's not very interested but
we shall see. Strangely Elder Sutton and I started drinking Pero which
is basically a coffee replacement and doesn't taste bad if you load it
with creamers. This email is all over the place and crazy because I'm
kind of tired.

So about the police being called on us we were tracting a neighborhood
and so I parked out by the road by someone's house. When we got all
done with the street some lady was by the car looking mad. We walked
over and she was like "this is private property!" I almost wanted to
argue because there was no way it was but I held my peace and we
apologized. So let me back up real quick, I have the car key with me
and the house key and church key in the car with all my cute key
chains and when we were walking back to the car I hit the unlock
button before we got close and saw the lady. Anyway but she yelled at
us and said some unkind words and then next thing I know she throws my
keys (which tells me she got them out of the car) at me and hits me
square in the soft spot and then she walked away and said "I called
the cops you're lucky you didn't towed. I was super mad but I just had
to think kind thoughts anyway.

Well besides all that we went on another cool hike today. We hope to
find an investigator this last week but we shall see. Elder Sutton has
his temple trip tomorrow so he's heading to Eugene tonight and I'll be
staying in Roseburg with Elder Kroll. Anyway things are awesome and
life is good. I'll sure miss Elder Sutton but I'm excited to see who
my next companion is. Love you all

Monday, November 16, 2015

So this week has been kind of fast so I'm having a hard time remembering everything so this may be short. Tuesday we went out home teaching with Brother Sherwood as part of our new strategy to get more referrals. It went really well and then the next day we followed up on the referrals we got and we went to one house and some members lived there turns out. The person we were looking for lived with them but they said he wouldn't be interested. We shared a message and they had a self playing grand piano so they showed us how it worked. It was pretty cool I will say. That same day we had a lesson with Maxine and we went over the baptismal interview questions and she had some problems with one of them. I won't say what it was but it took us by surprise but she seemed like it was in the past and so she felt that she had changed and things seemed okay. It's crazy how much Satan can work on people because on Saturday we met with her and she was super mad about us asking such a personal question. We were already going to have her talk to President about it so we gave him a call and he explained things to her while we left the room. After it was over she said it made more sense to her but she didn't want to continue lessons because she would be busy for the next couple months so she would not be baptized. This just broke our hearts and we felt really crushed the rest of the day so we just tried to work hard on tracting.

On a happier note Cassie had her Baptismal interview and is all ready to be baptized this Saturday! We really love teaching her! It's so great when people accept the Gospel and take these commitments to better their lives. We are really looking forward to that baptism. We were tracting and we tracted into a lady we work with at the food bank. It's always a good time when you tract into people you know. We had a long talk about religion which was really nice but she wasn't that interested. This was disappointing since we have been having like 0 success tracting. But I have faith that this week that's going to change so stay tuned ;)

Well besides all that Elder Sutton is getting pretty trunky so I have to keep him on the ball. We have a temple trip this week so WHOOP!! This only makes things worse for Elder Sutton because the next week he is going to the Portland Temple with President and Sister Russell so it's really counting down for him. We've worked so hard and I Would hate for us to let off the throttle now so we will keep at it. 

Well I Love you all! Stay tuned for next week.

Elder S. Jackson Martin
Oregon Eugene Mission

Monday, November 9, 2015

This week has definitely been the least successful week since Elder Sutton got here. We had been doing so good but this week almost every appointment we set up fell through and we had so many set backs that just wasted time. So last Monday we dropped off our beloved car to get a new battery and the guy at the dealership said that it should have been done by noon the next day because they had to get a battery from Eugene. So we bummed a ride back to Myrtle Creek after P day had ended and made arrangements to get a ride back to Roseburg to be back in time to pick up the car. We got done with all our studying the following morning and then set off for Roseburg. Our ride dropped us off at the dealer and we went in and to our surprise they said something dumb like "Uh oh yeah that wont't be here until 2:00 and we won't be able to get it in until about 4:00." Now Elder Sutton and I are stranded in Thugburg until 4:00 with no available rides. So we went and ate some Subway after moving all of our appointments to later. After we got done there we decided that since we had nothing better to do we would get some haircuts because we were both looking shaggy. After our haircuts it was about 1:00 so we decided to walk toward the Zone Leader's apartment to see if they were around and find out if they had something for us to do. The timing was perfect because the Roseburg Elders (who live right next to the ZLs) were just about to leave. So they gave us some Books of Mormon and Pamphlets and told us where we could tract. Elder Carter, an Elder who came out the same time I did, told us that if we needed the bathroom that the Zone Leaders side door was broken and wouldn't lock. We thanked them and went our separate ways. We knocked some doors and actually got a potential! If only it was in our area. After a while i felt like i needed to go to the bathroom so we started to the Zone Leaders' apartment. By the time we got there I had to go REALLY BAD. So we got in and I used the toilet and felt relieved. (Jackson goes into detail here about plugging up the toilet and the furious effort to fix it before the ZLs get home- edited by Dad)  About that time the Zone leaders walked in. HAHAHA you should have seen the looks on their faces! So they were pretty confused for a good long while and we told them the whole story. Luckily they're really cool guys so they were mostly chill about it but they were mad that Elder Carter had reveled the secret of the broken door. So that was kind of just a hilarious story. RIght after we left we got a call that the car was almost done so we hurried over and finally got home.

After Tuesday we had a lesson scheduled for maxine that fell through so we spent most of the day tracting and things. Most the rest of the week we tried contacting potentials and part member families but all of them were turning us away. After having all of these let downs we were really discouraged and really did not want to go out tracting. We went to a dinner appointment on Thursday and showed up early so we could tract around the neighborhood. As we got out of the car we both felt like we weren't in the right place so we went down the road and found a street that we felt good about. We started out on the street without much success but we felt prompted to start pushing the plan of salvation. The next house a lady answered the door and we saw a bunch of cute kids running around behind her. We introduced the message and could feel something different about that house than all the others. We were able to set up a return appointment for the following day and it seemed really golden so that was pretty awesome. Unfortunately the appointment fell through the next day but we haven't lost hope yet and feel that if we try again this week that something will happen. 

Saturday Elder Marcus B. Nash of the Seventy came to town and we had a big eight hour conference with all of the South OEM missionaries. I really enjoyed all of the things that were said by President Russell, Sister Russell, and sister Nash. After all of those great comments we got to hear from Elder Nash. The number one take away I got was that we need to teach more like the savior. He asked us the question "If Christ was doing the work in your area what would he do?" this statement helped me realize that I need to have more courage when going out and finding because the Lord is on my side. The next day Elder Nash spoke in Stake Conference and seemed to really push for strengthening families. I thought a lot about the Family Proclamation to the World and I had a feeling that something was going to happen where I would have to defend the principles of the family. We had dinner with the Wolfe's who are a way nice older couple. Elder Sutton and I were sitting and talking with Brother Wolfe when Sister Wolfe came in and started going on and on about how the church had a new and outrageous policy. We were unaware of the new policy at the time and questioned her about it. She was very heated about that the church needed to get with the times and that she felt that many people probably hated how oppressive the church was but were too afraid to speak out against them. I referred her to the proclamation and stressed that Marriage between a man and a women is essential for Gods plan and if she had any further concerns to contact the bishop or a Stake leader. I feel bad because we were so unprepared yesterday. Afterward we both thought of more we could have said, including a story of an Elder that just recently went home after an honorable 2 year mission who came from a polygamist background. He was unable to be baptized until he was 18 very similar to the current case. We decided to go to the church and do some research to be better prepared. We wrote down many quotes from D. Todd Christopherson (can't spell)  on the matter and were able to find some more details about it. This morning my mom shared an email with the conversion story of my Aunt Kimberly that gave me even more insights to the situation and helped me understand more of where the policy comes from. I plan next time this is brought up to have a lot more things to say and better ways to help people understand. I think it was a good week to memorize the Standard of truth which goes like this, "The standard of truth has been erected, no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing. Persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done." So that is that.

Today has been an incredible P day. Elder Sutton and I found an awesome hike to go on called Wolf Creek Falls which is a 3 mile easy hike with a gorgeous view. Oh boy I loved it. RIght after the Wests arranged for us to tour a lumber mill and it was awesome! Hopefully Marylyn will send pictures to the family. I'll attach some pictures of our hike later. Anyway it was way sad to hear about the struggles of the mill because of all of the restrictions put on it. They can no longer harvest locally so they have to reach out and burn far more full to get lumber rather than get it locally. But it was really cool to see how it was all done and how they try to survive and keep the economy going even though everyone in Eugene and Portland hate them for it.

We are going to work hard this week and try hard to resolve people's concerns. I love you all and thank you for your prayers and support!

Elder S. Jackson Martin
Oregon Eugene Mission

Monday, November 2, 2015

Hello again!! Another great week in the OEM! Elder Sutton and I have
been going really good lately! Last week we went and saw a lot of
referrals. Unfortunately none of them were very solid but now we are
getting a lot more referrals from members. Oh boy we've been having
great spiritual lessons with Maxine and Cassie. It's been great! Also
though when we were teaching Maxine last Wednesday she was asking some
way deep and hard questions that I really struggled to answer and
Elder Sutton wasn't helping me out much because he wanted me to get
the experience of handling people's concerns. At first I just confused
her but then I bore my testimony about the Book of Mormon and tied it
all back to that. The Book of Mormon is a way powerful tool in
conversion. Now Elder Sutton is having me teach a lesson every day and
he's going to help me out until I'm a quote "Master teacher" which
will be sweet. Our goal is to have me completely ready to take over as
District Leader in case President Russell asks me to for next

Oh boy we had quite the experience this week… we went and saw Fred and
Shelly at their house. They're the ones who need to get married so
Fred can get baptized, but oh boy I learned why we always taught them
at the church... the first thing I noticed was that it was a tiny
shack which I was expecting but when we went in the smell was like
terrible sweaty body mixed with cat pee and throw up… oh boy I almost
gagged several times but thank goodness the lord blessed me to keep
composed so I didn't hurt their feelings. I just tried not to look
around because it was gross anywhere you looked. So we kept it brief
and set up a return appointment but at the church this time.

Our cars battery is starting to die on us constantly. We keep having
to call our beloved Ward mission leader brother Sherwood to give us a
jumpstart. We just dropped it off in Roseburg and the ZLs dumped us
off at the church. I went on splits with Holman this week. He is so
fun and we always do some good work when he's around.

Saturday was Halloween so we had to be in by 5:00. Elder Sutton and I
played Magic and studied the scriptures while eating pizza which was
fun. Elder Sutton makes sure I work out and write in my journal
whenever I can so that's been fun as well. I hope I'm as fit as him
when the mission is over because this hot employee at Ross gave Elder
Sutton a 20% discount because she thought he was hot. I paid full

So down here we are working on the teaching pool. I see more and more
everyday how the Book of Mormon changes lives and brings people to
Christ. We've been having fun and have been working hard. We bore out
testimonies yesterday and Maxine actually came to church!! So she got
to hear it. I described how my feelings about my mission have changed
toward my mission and now everyone keeps saying "I'm glad you like us
Oregonians now." Elder Sutton was excited to give his last testimony
on Sunday in the mission. Sorry if I don't get back to some of you the
same day with the emailing but I will respond eventually! Love you

Elder S. Jackson Martin
Oregon Eugene Mission
South Umpqua Ward