Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Hey team! Holy cow this week has been incredible! Alturas, California
has a few downsides being as far south as mission boundaries go and
having to drive 1 hour and 45 minutes to get to zone conference
yesterday in Klamath Falls, Oregon. We also cover a branch down in
Cedarville that dips into part of Nevada. I am as far from the mission
home as possible in this mission. We are pretty isolated and cold but
I have loved it here! We had zone conference yesterday so today is P
day which is always weird having p day on any other day than monday.

Elder Willits is my companion and he is such a delight. He is always
super encouraging and loving as well as obedient and hard working. He
is super service oriented. Like today I was cleaning my desk and when
I got done I went to fold my laundry and found Elder Willits already
folding it for me. I took over and thanked him only to find that when
i got done he had made me a breakfast burrito. He is a way nice guy.

Holy cow we had some great miracles. We teach a lot of lessons for
such a small town. We are teaching a guy named Mark who has been
meeting with missionaries on and off for years and never made any
progress but since Elder Willits and his last companion followed the
spirit they have been able to put him on date for baptism and he is
making tremendous growth! We also tract a ton which has never been my
favorite thing to do but we have seen a lot of success from it this
week. We were tracting my first night here and we found a gal named
Laura who was super interested and had lived in Utah for a little
while. We also tracted into a member who said that he was "taking a
break from the church" but he told us his daughter saw us the other
day and she asked why he never has the missionaries come over. She is
10 and not baptized and they both came to church this week. Those are
just a couple of the cool things that have happened.

Zone Conference was awesome yesterday. We had a super spiritual
meeting with a ton of awesome insights. I have been loving the
Christmas season. Sharing #LIGHTtheWORLD has been so awesome. A ton of
people love watching it and we can just whip out our iPads and show it
at every door. I have been studying the life of Jesus Christ a ton and
have developed a greater love for him. I love my Savior and all that
He does for me. I know He is the Messiah and it has blessed me
tremendously to have his atonement in my life. Many times these past
few months when things get hard I can just feel His spirit all around
me filling me with peace and comfort that all will work out. I'm
coming up on 16 months in the mission field. I feel like I just
started this journey and there is still so much I don't know. But i
hope to always recognize Christ's love in my life and can come closer
to him everyday through my life.

Have a great week! I can't wait to talk to my family this Sunday!!!!!!
It will be so very special! I sure miss them but I know they are taken
care of.

~Elder S. Jackson Martin

Wednesday, December 14, 2016


Hey everyone it is transfer day and I am off to Alturas, CA. I'm super
pumped to go down there with some missionary who just got done with
training. He is the district leader down there and we are ISOLATED!
Nobody is even close to us. I will be in the Klamath Falls Zone even
though that is about 1 hour and 45 minutes away.

This last week in Eugene was fun. We had some good times. This week
President Lowary, one of the mission Presidency counselors, had some
heart surgery this week and we all prayed for him as a mission. He is
recovering and Elder Lance and I got to take the sacrament to his home
today since he is in our ward. It was a way spiritual experience. It
was great to do service for someone who has done so much for me.

We took some awesome pictures with Eugene First ward the other day
after ZTM and we call them our boy band pictures. Then Elder Swiderski
decided we would have to take a really dope one on the stairwell at
their apartment. They turned out pretty good. We also had a late lunch
with First ward at Buffalo Wild Wings. It was pretty fun.

Also while we were out contacting we found the trailhead to Spencer's
Butte so we stopped for some pictures there. Anyway it was a pretty
fun week. Hard to say goodbye to some people in this ward but I'm
excited to go serve in the Alturas Branch.

~Elder S. Jackson Martin

Monday, December 5, 2016

It has been a really good week here in Eugene. We have been having a
lot of fun! We found some awesome investigators!

The zone this week has been focusing a ton on baptismal invites and as
a zone we have invited 26 people to be baptized!! It's been awesome.
Not everyone is on date yet but it looks like Eugene is picking up. We
went on exchanges this week. I went with Elder Fowers who is easily
one of my favorite in the mission great great time working hard on our
exchange. He has been trying to convince me to go to BYU Hawaii with
him. I told him if he pays for it I sure will. Anyway we had a great
time on Campus talking with everyone we saw. We taught a guy named
Mason the Plan of Salvation. Correction, he taught us the Plan of
Salvation. He knew so much about our eternal happiness and it was
incredible to be with him.

We had a great district meeting this week. While that was going on we
had zone iPad checks and a lot of missionaries got iPads taken. It was
pretty hard to see a lot of people being disobedient with their iPads.
Most the Elders in my district got their iPads taken so they are
having to use paper for everything.

Church yesterday was awesome. Also the First Presidency devotional was
so inspiring! I love it so much. #Lighttheworld has been such a
delight to share with people! It's great to see so many people serving
each other.

We found a few new people this week! That was such a positive thing
since last week was a little tough. It's the last week of the transfer
so we are going to go hard and find some more people. Two of our new
investigators are Scott and Derry. They are some great guys who love
Lord. We got to talk with them a lot about the Book of Mormon and what
it means. Derry knew quite a bit about it which was neat. Great guys
to teach and we are seeing them again this week.

Anyway great week with a ton of great people. Last week of the
transfer and then we will see if I stay in Eugene! Till next time

~Elder S. Jackson Martin

Monday, November 21, 2016

Hey there everyone! It has been a pretty good week this week! W have
been working on contacting a lot of people which has been fun.
Basically same thing we usually do.

We had specialized training this week. It was pretty dang good.
President Russell shared a lot of really good stuff. After that
meeting Elder Lance and I were inspired so we went hard finding folks.
We found a super dope Black dude named Donte. That was pretty fun.
Manuel and Lydia dropped us this week. Well not really they just said
they needed some time. Luckily they have great fellowshippers who are
going to invite them to the Ward Christmas Party.

Besides all this not much exciting happened. Elder Lance had an
interview with President in the Mission Home last night so I just kind
of got to chill in the mission home. Anyway great week! Things are
good. Excited for the holidays! Have a great week!

~Elder S. Jackson Martin

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

No letter today because of transfers. Elder Martin is getting a new companion, Elder Lance.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

This week was pretty awesome we got a lot done this week! We started
teaching a couple with two young kids ages 5 and 3. It has been pretty
awesome. His name is Manuel and his wife is Lydia. They want to raise
their kids with religion and but he is a really heavy thinker and
doesn't understand spiritual things as much so it's been a little
tough. But it's a great opportunity to teach a family.

We were walking down the street another day and I randomly saw one of
my neighbors from back home! It was nuts to see someone from home! She
graduated then came out to live in Eugene with some friends but that
was her last day in Eugene if I hadn't bumped into her that day I
probably wouldn't have ever seen her. That was pretty cool.

Anyway besides all that not a ton is going down. We are working hard
and kicking butt. Transfers next week and it sounds like Elder Wheldon
might be leaving me. He's been a great companion and I hope he gets to

Thanks for all your prayers! Love you all!

~Elder S. Jackson Martin

Monday, October 17, 2016

We've had a pretty good week this week. The weather got a little bit crazy and we were supposed to have hurricane force winds but instead we just had a few ugly storms. The streets of Eugene were a bit flooded but we still went out and worked through it regardless. We were very blessed that the weather wasn't worse so we could still get work done. 

Things are still a bit slow in Eugene third but Elder Wheldon and I have been working super hard to build up a teaching pool. At the beginning of the week we went and replaced a radiator for this lady named Candy. She had gotten a refurbished one and we told her that we could take the old one out and put the new one in no problem at all. So with a really cheap tool kit we got to work and replaced it in no time at all. It was pretty fun to work on a car. Kind of made me thing I shouldn't have taken for granted all of the times that I had the opportunity to help fix cars at my dad's shop back home. 

Most of the week was spent contacting formers and potential investigators in our areabook. It was pretty intense and we just went hard at it all week. We met a guy name Chaka who was baptized a few years back. He is from Zimbabwe and loved getting baptized and even had pictures of his baptism in his home. He had been really busy lately and couldn't make it to church so we invited him and got him a ride. He came yesterday and everyone was so happy to see him. We could tell he was grateful that he came. 

After district meeting this week we went on exchanges with the Chinese Elders that serve on campus. I went with Elder Kung who is on his last transfer and is a hilarious guy. Elder Wheldon went with Elder Chiu who is super awesome but doesn't speak very good english. Elder Kung and I taught a few lessons that day... well actually he taught them. Haha it was so weird just sitting there being useless. I hadn't been in that situation since I went on a Spanish exchange like 8 months ago. In one lesson they were talking and I had an amazing experience where I couldn't understand them but there was a spirit that entered the room and I knew that they were talking about prayer. Elder Kung turned to me mid lesson and asked, "Do you feel that?" And when I said yes he told them that even though I didn't understand I still could understand the spirit and how it speaks. It was a neat experience. 

We also taught a less active who spoke pretty good english so Elder Kung kept trying to get her to speak english but she kept saying that she was too embarrassed because I would think her english was bad. It was pretty funny but after a bit she started speaking English and she was really good at it. We talked about the importance of church and scripture study and committed her to do those things. Then she asked us to help her with her English study for a bit haha so that was interesting. After the Lesson she told me that I was the whitest person she ever met so that made me feel great. That night one of the Chinese Recent Converts took us out to Buffalo Wild Wings and we ate a ton of food. Afterward Elder Kung and I went to the institute to do some more stuff and then walked through a crazy storm to get back to the apartment. Elder Kung for some reason had Harry Potter robes and a wand that he had gotten from an investigator for no reason so I lounged around in those all night. Elder Kung told me a bit about Hong Kong and tried to teach me how to play a little bit on the piano because they have a keyboard in their apartment. 

The next day for lunch a member took us to an Asian market and bought a bunch of stuff to make hot pot. Now if you don't know what hot pot is you must try it. Basically we boiled some broth and had it on the table and then you take your chop sticks and dip dumplings, beef, fish balls, pork, whatever it may be and it cooks it! It was crazy good! Y'all should look it up! 

We exchanged back and Elder Wheldon and I hit the streets again and tried to contact people. Elder Wheldon said it was neat because him and Elder Chiu had randomly run into some Chinese people and Elder Chiu talked to them about the Gospel. It was neat. Yesterday was great as well. Elder Wheldon and I felt prompted at one point to go visit an investigator so we went to see her and she wasn't home. We left a note on the door and got a text last night saying that she got the note and she thanked us for coming by and it made her night. That made us feel pretty good. 

Yep it's been a great week. Good times in the hood and they are getting better! We will keep working hard out here! Love y'all 

~Elder S. Jackson Martin

Saturday, October 8, 2016

This week has been absolutely wonderful! I am now in Eugene 3rd Ward
and I am loving it! There is a ton of great members here and I have a
great companion; Elder Wheldon. This area is very nice because we have
the Mission Office in our ward boundaries so if we ever need anything
we can just stop on by and they will let us know when our mail arrives
within the hour. It's a good deal. Also in our area is part of the U
of O campus. It is cool to see people our age but since there are YSA
Elders, anytime there is anyone between 18-31 years old that we find
then we have to give them over to them to teach.

My first day here we went and saw a less active member. He was a super
nice guy and it was good to meet him. It was interesting to hear his
story. He came from California when his wife had told him that she
didn't love him anymore and wanted a divorce. He came to Eugene with
almost nothing and felt betrayed. He still loves the Lord and the
Church but feels that without his family he doesn't know where he fits
in the Church. I couldn't help but cry with him when he told us about
his situation. We encouraged him to keep talking with the Lord and
read his scriptures. He said that he would but didn't feel ready to
return to church. We invited him to come out on a teaching visit with
us sometime and we were surprised when he said that in a couple months
he would be happy to. We hope we can help spark somethings in him and
help him feel the same joy in the gospel that he once experienced. He
said he would watch conference so I hope he did.

Besides that we just worked hard and found a few new people. It was
real fun. I loved conference. It felt so good to be so well fed
spiritually. Yep good stuff! This week will be grand! Love you all!

~Elder S. Jackson Martin

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

This week has been incredible! It's official, I'm getting transferred
out of Coos Bay. I'm headed to Eugene 3rd Ward to be the district
leader up there. I'm super pumped to be in Eugene it's an exciting
place to be. A lot of weirdos though. Missionaries say that Eugene is
tough while you're there but afterward you realize that they were some
of the funnest times of the mission. I'm excited and I'll be follow up
training another missionary. I'm pretty excited and pumped to work
hard. This last transfer has been my most obedient and hardest working
transfer and I definitely don't want to let it go to waste.

Our Ward mission leader Brother Hoffine shared a birthday with me so
we went and took him a cake and wished him a happy birthday. He was
super grateful, but not as grateful as we are for him! He is the best
Ward mission leader out there and I loved working with him.

This week we had a finding challenge in the mission which was exciting
but I figured it would just make missionaries want to fake numbers
just to look good but it ended up being awesome. It was a mission wide
thing and the Lord blessed us so much. Thanks to Him our area exploded
this week and we found a ton of new people to teach. Also this week
Melanie was baptized. Her husband even came and that was surprising.
While Melanie was changing after the baptism I got to get up and give
a talk about the restoration while we waited for her to get back. It
was awesome to be able to testify of the Restoration at the baptism of
a person who was so prepared. I wasn't able to get a picture with her
but the Zone Leaders took one so I'll send that one. It was a great

We also got an awesome opportunity to go down to SWOCC. (South western
Oregon community college) and helped out with Institute sign up. It
was fun and we just got to talk to a lot of people our age and got a
few to sign up which was fun. We went and grabbed some lunch and we
were just going to eat it back at our booth but then Elder Deppe said
"I feel like we should sit out on the lunch tables since the sisters
can cover the booth for the time being." So we sat at a table and a
woman came up to us and said, "Oh my word Elders! I'm from Utah and My
daughter is coming here on a track scholarship and I need information
about the Ward." So we told her about everything and then told her
that she could sign up her daughter for institute and told her about
FHE. She was super shocked and didn't know there was an institute. She
said that she never would have seen out booth if we hadn't been
sitting at the lunch table. It was awesome and it made her feel a lot
better about her daughter going there because she'd been nervous about
her going less active.

When we went to throw away our trays there was two girls that called
us over and they said they were looking for a church. They were super
sincere and we were able to talk to them a bit. We aren't allowed to
proselyte on campus but we were able to set up an appointment to teach
them which was exciting.

It was a bit tough to say goodbye to Elder Deppe and Elder
Kellerstrass today but I'll see them again. It's going to be weird not
being with two companions but I'm looking forward to it. I can't wait
to work hard in Eugene and know that as I do the Lord will bless the
people there. Can't wait!! Love you all!

~Elder S. Jackson Martin

Monday, September 12, 2016

We went to Primary and they sang to me!

(Letter from Sept 5, 2016)
This week has been super good with plenty of awesome things happening
everyday! We've been able to meet with a good number of people this
week and we are building up a teaching pool.  One of the awesome
things that happened this week is that this guy named Dillon who has
been visiting the North Bend ward for the summer left with his wife to
BYU Idaho this week but before he left he helped us get one of our new
investigators John. We got a call from him and he told us that John
was someone who had just started working with him and they started
talking and he just felt prompted to invite John to take the lessons
and John agreed. So we met at Mingus Park and had a super incredible
lesson. John grew up Jehovah's Witness and was super duper interested
in finding the right path. We shared the restoration with him and he
really felt it. He said that he had really been looking for some truth
and he was willing to read the Book of Mormon and pray. It was

Also this week we met with a guy named Chris who was a referral from
the Zone leaders. Chris was at a Piano Guy's concert in Portland and
he said that he felt the spirit super hard and felt inspired to check
out our church. He was an honest seeker of truth and it was a pleasure
to sit down with him. We all felt the spirit super strong and Elder
Deppe and I were super proud when our little greenie Elder
Kellerstrass bore a powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon. He
brought tears to all our eyes. It was a great lesson and he is anxious
to read and pray and to continue meeting. We found a few other people
while tracting who all seemed cool and it was great to find them.

Yeah I think that's about it. Just all around a fabulous week with
lots of miracles. It's super fun and I can't believe the transfer is
more than halfway done. I'm super excited to tackle this next week and
see the miracles that come. LOve you all!

~Elder S. Jackson Martin of The OEM 🌲

Monday, August 29, 2016

So this week has been pretty dang good. We have still been hitting the
streets pretty hard trying to find new investigators. It has been
pretty dang awesome. We have had a lot of meaningful conversations
this week and a few new investigators which is always awesome. Since
Elder Kellerstrass is still in training we have been working a ton on
his door approaches and finding techniques which has been good for

Other than a whole lot of tracting this Ward is super neat because
they have a night where a bunch of people get together and they all go
out to members and less active's homes and try to encourage everyone
to make a family mission plan. It's been a great way to get to know
people in the ward. I don't know if I have mentioned this before but
we do service at a place called the Crossroads Community Café which is
a neat little volunteer place. Haha all we do is wash dishes so my mom
will be pleased to know that I'm getting good at it. We meet a lot of
cool people there and it is a great opportunity to get out in the

Out here in Coos Bay we share a ward with the Sister missionaries,
Sister Leavit and Sister Sorensen. This week Sister Leavit got a call
from President Russell and it turns out that the first ever Spanish
Sister in the OEM was coming from Mexico and had just obtained her
visa and needed a trainer. So Sister Leavit was called to Klamath
Falls to train her and teach her English essentially. It was so crazy
so now Sister Sorensen is beating placed in a tripanionship with the
two Sister Training Leaders who will now be covering both Coos Bay and
North Bend. It's been super crazy. So we had a going away party for
Sister Leavit during lunch on Thursday which was a blast. While we
were doing that Sister Megan Allen who had just got done serving in
Coos Bay came and visited with her family so we got to see her too.
I'll send some pictures.

We had interviews with President which went really well. He's a great
Mission President.

We had a ward Barbecue this week that was put on by the Ward
Missionaries. We came and went around talking to people about making
family mission plans which was a great opportunity. Also the food was
very good.

Finally yesterday we had scheduled two lessons for the same time so we
grabbed a member and Elder Deppe and Elder Kellerstrass went to one
and I went to the other lesson with a Member. Basically the family we
were teaching the dad was a Asian dude who really isn't too into
religion and the mom is a baptist. They are both super nice but the
dad started to really bash with us. It wasn't good and before long he
was yelling. The member I had with me was a recent convert who had
recently been sealed to his wife and his testimony is still growing
and at the end of the lesson he was visibly shaken so I had the chance
to encourage him and let bear my testimony to him. It was pretty nuts.

Since I'm in coos bay I was able to have few hand off lessons with the
North Bend Elders and was able to see my investigators in North Bend.
It was awesome and Melanie and Janet are doing great. It was way
exciting to see them.

Anyway so this week was great and we are starting light a fire in Coos
Bay (Spiritually of course). It has been awesome!

~Elder S. Jackson Martin of The OEM 🌲