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

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