Monday, February 22, 2016

Hey team! It's been a pretty good week though I don't have a bunch to
say about it. We've had some good lessons this week. We got a good
fellowship per for our investigator George and they turned out to
already be good friends so they have a really good time whenever we go
teach him. George is finally overcoming all of his word of wisdom
problems and he even came to all three hours of church! We couldn't be
more happy for him! He's going to be baptized March 5 and we are
looking forward to it.

Wednesday we had like the longest Zone Conference ever! It went from
12:00-6:00 and then we had a neat little thing where our Ward mission
leaders and bishops/branch presidents came down and we all had
training from 6:00-8:00 since it takes a while to drive to Springfield
we didn't get back to our area until 10:00. We were all asked to
prepare a talk on the atonement so president could randomly choose
people to speak. I had a feeling I was going to be called on so I made
sure mine was good. He had us prepare 20 minute talks and then when he
called on us he asked that we only do 4 minutes of it! So I barley
scratched the surface of what I wanted to talk about. He called three
missionaries up to give talks and no surprise to me I got called on. I
talked briefly about the Enabling Power of the atonement and then got
to bear my testimony. It felt pretty awesome. If you ever get your
hands on a April 2012 Ensign be sure to read Elder Bednar's talk; The
Atonement and the Journey of Mortality. It's so good!

Besides all that not a ton happened. We've been having great lessons
and have been good at getting people on date. We have been trying to
do good finding but we didn't find any new investigators this week.
The 2nd Ward Sisters and Elders keep finding 15-20 new investigators a
week each! We need to step up our game so we don't look like the weak
link in our district. So yeah. Love you all!

Elder S. Jackson Martin
Oregon Eugene Mission
Oakridge Branch

Monday, February 15, 2016

Well hello team. Elder Johnson reminded me that I can dictate a email
with my voice so that is what I'm going to do. It's been a pretty slow
week, but we were able to baptize Sylvia which was awesome. Elder
Johnson perform the baptism and it was awesome he did a great job.

The rest of the week was pretty dry because a lot of lessons fell
through. We did however go on exchanges with Springfield 2nd Ward and
that was really fun. I exchanged with Elder Watson and he is a riot. I
absolutely love him! We came out together and it was good to rekindle
the old flame. The strangest thing happened while I was over in
Springfield. This guy showed up to their church building asking for
money. And the only people there were the relief society ladies so
they were freaking out. Naturally they called us and we showed up like
superheroes and assessed the situation. When we showed up this guy was
clearly very very high on drugs and he was wanting some money because
he had gambled away some money that he borrowed. So we tried our
hardest to figure out what the situation was and help him but he kind
of went off in all different direction and couldn't stay focused. In
the end we just told him it would give him a call if we could think of
anything and told him to talk to the bishop. We we then gave the guy
some soup and sent him on his way. It was a bizarre experience.

I met a lot of crazy people in Springfield. One lady who was a
hardcore feminist didn't want to talk about Joseph Smith because he
was a man and all men are evil, but then she went on to say that she
admired us because we were good men of God with the power of the
spirit. We were a bit confused. We also met a lady from Scotland who
was just the sweetest lady. Haha she had a little Pomeranian dog named
Simon and him and I became best friends right away and he sat on my
lap the whole time and wouldn't let me get up when it was time to
leave. I'll attach a picture. When it was time to exchange back with
Elder Johnson and Elder Lambert Elder Watson and I were talking so
much that we missed our exit and were practically halfway to Roseburg
before we realized that we were not going the right way. Haha Elder
Watson is so easily distracted.

Silvia's baptism was awesome! Elder Johnson almost dropped her because
instead of taking it back nice and easy she just went deadweight and
launched herself backward. When she came up she exclaimed "THAT FELT
GREAT!" It was pretty great. She will be confirmed this coming Sunday
since we had Regional Conference yesterday.

For regional conference we had a regional broadcast with Elder
Renlund. As we listened with the spirit we figured out some great
things to talk to our investigators about. His talk was directed at
the whole North West region of the world but I felt that it was so
directly pointed at missionary work. Last night we knocked on the door
of a man who was convinced that Christ had no need for a church on the
Earth despite the fact that we showed him through the bible where it
talks about him establishing his church. When it became clear that he
was unwilling to listen to us I used something Elder Renlund had said.
"I can see that we cannot agree and we respect your beliefs. All we
ask is that you extended us the same courtesy." He kind of paused on
that comment and then Elder Johnson and I bore our testimony that we
knew Christ had established his Church and that it had been restored
through the Prophet Joseph Smith and there was no amount of ridiculing
or arguing could change that. We left his home feeling like we had
done all we could and felt good about the testimony we bore.

I found that even though this week we had a lot of lessons fall
through we still had a lot of opportunities to bear our testimonies
and defend our faith. Along with that nice feminist lady who didn't
believe in Joseph Smith and the guy from last night, there was a
Jehovah's Witness earlier this week we met. I've found that there are
a lot of good people in any religion but the Jehovah's Witnesses no
matter how good they are sure love to argue. We contacted this guy in
his yard and he started telling us just how wrong we are and that we
had been deceived. We decided to be bold with him and told him that we
knew that the message we shared was true and offered him a Book of
Mormon, he refused so we said, "Then I suppose you have no business
telling us we are false teachers until you read this book and tell us
with all conviction that you do not believe it is true." He couldn't
really say anything to that so we wished him luck and continued on our

Sorry my emails are so scattered I always remember things to put in
last minute so I hope it all made sense. Besides all that good stuff I
also rode in a sweet Corvette owned by a member in springfield and
Silvia's step dad gave me a Darth Vader helmet for no reason. That was
awesome. I'm loving it out here! I miss y'all! Hope you have a great
week. Transfer calls this weekend! Elder Johnson thinks he's staying
here but I think he's going to go off and become a Zone Leader. We
shall see. Now since Silvia got baptized we are down to 5 people on
date for baptism. Well we are going to kick butt this week! Wish us

Elder S. Jackson Martin
Oregon Eugene Mission
Oakridge Branch

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Well everybody it's been a pretty good week! We've had some great
lessons! Oh boy Silvia had her baptismal interview and it went great.
Now that she's getting baptized here soon we need to get more people
on date because we have the most in the zone on date for baptism.
Oakridge is still super isolated but it's a nice place to be.

Well basically most this week has just been the same old work but
Friday I went on exchanges with Elder Arias who is one of the Zone
Leaders. He's a real cool guy! He is a Spanish speaking missionary
which is easy for him because he is from Mexico. We had a lot of fun
and whenever we talked to anyone Elder Arias would speak Spanish while
I would just smile and nod my head. Him and I had to do a few errands
over at the mission office and he and I stopped by the Duck's stadium
for a quick picture and that was way fun. After that we did some
Spanish tracting which consists of finding places that look Mexican
and knocking the door. I started to try to pick up on what they were
talking about and I could pick out like maybe 2 words so I just kept
smiling and nodding. That night we had a lesson with a couple that
spoke both Spanish and English! It was nice because I got to jump in a
bit more. We taught the Law of Chastity to them and helped them
understand why marriage is so huge. It was way great and they were
such pleasant people!

The next day Elder Arias and I studied and then ran some more errands
then exchanged back with our companions. Elder Johnson and I went ham
on the town and tried to get some new investigators but didn't get
any. Sunday was great and I loved testimony meeting. At 4:30 we had to
drive all the way to Springfield for Stake correlation so we got
special permission to stay the night with the zone leaders so we could
stay for P day and the zone activities. The highlight of the week we
that since the Book of Mormon Broadway play was going on in Eugene we
got to go and hand out copies of TheBook of  Mormon outside the
theater. It was good since the play creates a lot of misconceptions
about our beliefs. Not everybody accepted but it was fun to hand out
so many. We did 330 copies that night and 1842 total for the week. So

Today we did a hike and hung out with the zone. We got to go skating
as well and it was so fun! I love being a missionary! I love you all!
I'll talk to y'all next week!

Elder S. Jackson Martin
Oregon Eugene Mission
Oakridge Branch

Monday, February 1, 2016

  Jackson's Mormon Sith impression. (not sure if videos will work)....

Well this week has been a bit lame but really good all at once!! We
now have 6 INVESTIGATORS ON DATE FOR BAPTISM!!! We are so excited for
all of them! Monday we got a call from a member in the Branch saying
her husband George wanted to take the lessons and get baptized! We
were thrilled. We had seen him at church and started to wonder if he
was interested and boom there it was! He wants to have the opportunity
to baptize his daughter and we are so happy for him! We put him on
date in the first lesson and he's so solid.

Tuesday we had a bunch of lessons and got our investigator Donnie on
date for baptism. He seemed pretty excited to take that step but first
he has to quite smoking. We met with our other investigator Joe, who
is already on date, and he is excited to go forward in the gospel and
get baptized so we talked about a lot of the commandments and it looks
like he is clean as far as a lot of the commandments he just needs to
make time for church. A lot of our other Lessons fell through
including Shauna and Troy but we scheduled to have dinner and a lesson
with them the next day. Elder Johnson was a little discouraged because
some of our investigators dropped us so I had to remind him that
rejection is part of the job.

Wednesday was UGLY!!! We went out and tried to do some finding most of
the day and we stopped at DQ for lunch and a really nice man paid for
our lunch. We were so very grateful to him. The only bad thing is next
thing we knew we were sick as a couple of dogs. It was so lame I guess
we got some kind of food poisoning. We had to take a bit of a rest so
we didn't throw up or anything and that seemed to work great for us.
We went out and saw some people until it was time for dinner with
Shauna and Troy who made tasty BBQ chicken. We talked with them about
getting married so Shauna could get baptized and Troy could get re
baptized. We are so excited for them! When we got home I started
filling sick again and that whole night I couldn't even sleep a wink
because my bed is just the worst and I had a bad headache and felt
like throwing up. I finally got to sleep at 4:00 in the morning.

Thursday I was oober sick. I called the President's wife and she told
me to get some sleep. I didn't argue and took a nap. I started feeling
a bit better so we went out contacting. One house had the smell of
weed so strong in it that it took a lot for me to not throw up in
their house. The rest of the day I felt pretty miserable but we still
had a lesson with George and it went pretty well. That night we went
and saw our 15 year old investigator Silvia and got all her
arrangements for her baptism figured out for the 12th of this month.

Friday we had district meeting. And my voice was super scratchy but I
was feeling a lot better. Elder Johnson taught a pretty good district
meeting and then afterward he had district leader training so I hung
around with some other elders for a bit and we talked about life.
Finally they got done so Elder Johnson and I took of and stopped at
Walmart so we could get our groceries before we we banished once more
to Oakridge. I got a foam thing for my bed and a better pillow so I no
longer feel like I'm sleeping on a rock. We got back and taught some
great lessons and had dinner again with Shauna and Troy. They made a
killer lasagna! I've come to realize that nobody cooks as good as my
mom or grandmothers but Shauna might come close.

Saturday was good we had some good lessons and we met some awesome
guys named Marcus and Donavan who are way cool but have some
interesting views on Christianity. We set up to meet with them again
and they said that would be "the dopest dope they ever smoked" so we
might have to talk about that next time. Marcus has an awesome Afro
that he been growing out for 3 years. It's HUGE.

Sunday was awesome we had some good lessons and talks. We heard from
President Allen on Sabbath observance and he did a great job. After
church we went finding and taught a few lessons.

Well this has been the life of the fippin Mormon missionaries. I'm
loving it!! I love you all and hope you're doing great!!

Elder S. Jackson Martin
Oregon Eugene Mission
Oakridge Branch