Thursday, March 10, 2016

Well this past week has been pretty dang good! Tuesday we had a great
lesson with our investigator Joe. Joe is a 70 year old guy who is such
a golden investigator. When we started lessons with Joe he didn't
understand why there was a need to be baptized and didn't want to come
to church because he was busy. The cool thing about Joe was that he
put forth his best effort to learn if it was true. He has really bad
eyesight and couldn't even read the Book of Mormon without a
magnifying glass. Eventually we got him a large print and continued to
teach him. Joe has kept all his reading commitments and we had out him
on date for baptism a few weeks back but he still struggled with
coming to church because he helps his son wash busses on Sunday's.
Finally this last Tuesday he said that no matter what he would make it
to church. Stake conference was this week and since it was all the way
up in Eugene he said he couldn't make it but he would make it the next
Sunday. He says that he will make it no matter what so hopefully he
keeps his promise. We also had a lesson with Shauna and Troy and
Shauna was super sick. But we sat down and had a good lesson and it
was good to finally sit down with them.

Wednesday Elder Johnson had a District Leader training so I was in
Springfield for most of the day with Elder Morris. We did service with
the Zone leaders and then went to lunch in this one store a member
owns. She fixed us awesome burritos, that was fun. Then we went and
taught a lesson to an inactive member who I guess had called them the
night before at midnight wanting them to come over. When we got there
we waited at the door and when it opened I had to strain my neck to
see the guy's face. He was 6'9" and about 290 pounds, he was huge!!!
We sat down and learned that he had been baptized when he was playing
college basketball and had fell away from the church but wanted to get
back into it. He had a wife and kids that he loved dearly and wanted
to be able to baptize his children. The whole time he had tears in his
eyes. It was crazy to see such a tough guy crying. It was super cool
to meet him and I hope everything goes okay for him.

The next day we had a lot of appointments fall through but went out
finding. We went to see Jodie and find out if she was ready to take
the lessons. She told us she wasn't ready yet but not to give up on
her. We started tracting around there and were able to get a couple
potentials. That night we went and saw George and made sure he was all
ready for baptism and found out he had fallen off his Log truck and
busted his ankle! He said that it meant he wasn't supposed to get
baptized and we both panicked momentarily until he said he was
kidding. They fed us some yummy dinner and we were able to sit down
and talk about the commitment he was making. It was a good time.

Friday we had ZTM (zone training meeting) which was pretty good. The
Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders had some great material to go
over. There's been a rumor going around the mission that we would lose
our iPads because they cause too many problems. The zone leaders
tricked us pretty good and told us all to hand in our iPads but it was
just a joke. They went on to say that we are very lucky to have iPads
so we need to be more responsible. The iPad is a wonderful tool and
I'm so grateful to have one but I've got mad respect for missionaries
who do without them. After ZTM we went and saw Joe again and had a
good lesson. Then had a dinner with Bill and Tina Allen. They are some
great members in the ward and Bill is the one that actually baptized
George since they're such good friends. After that we went and saw
Shauna and Troy again and taught a lesson. Shauna was getting so sick
that she asked for a blessing. I got to seal the anointing which is
such a special experience. Troy had tears in his eyes and told us he
wished he could've stood in for it. It would be so rough to be an
excommunicated member trying to make your way back.

Saturday!! We had the baptism!!! I attached some pictures, I wish I
would have gotten a picture of his whole family. He has the cutest
kids!  On our way to the baptism we were driving and there was an
annoying truck behind us going awfully fast. At the first opportunity
the truck passed us and we saw all of George's kids making faces at us
haha. We were glad he was so eager to get there. The baptism was great
and he had so much family there that we barley had enough space for
them all. I gave a talk on the Holy Ghost and it went pretty well.
After the baptism was over our branch mission leader took us to an all
you can eat Chinese buffet. There was some pretty good food there
especially the sushi. After we got done in Eugene we headed back to
Oakridge and taught Silvia a lesson. It was good to meet with Silvia
and see her progressing so well after baptism.

Yesterday was stake conference and President and Sister Russell spoke.
It's alway good to hear from the mission president himself! I sure do
love those two. Unfortunately none of our investigators made it but it
is a long drive to Eugene so we weren't too hard on them. When we got
back to Oakridge we went out tracting some more and had a couple
potentials but they didn't seem very solid but they might surprise us.
Then that night we tried to get in contact with some slippery
investigators. While we were walking a lady came out and was like, "I
know you're helpful young men, do you know anyone that could help get
my kitten out of a tree?" We called the first person we thought of
with a tall latter and he showed up within 3 minutes. We went to the
tree and he tried to get up there but his 24 foot latter was still 10
feet too short. How the kitten even got up the tree we have no idea.
We tried to coax it down a safe path but it seemed to scared to get
all the way down. Unfortunately we were not much of heroes because it
was still stuck but the lady thanked us anyway. She wasn't much
interested in the gospel but it was good to help people. We said a
prayer that the cat would find its way down and we got word this
morning that it all worked out okay and it got out of the tree.

Well we are looking forward to a great week. President is doing
interviews this week so that's exciting. Also next week for p day we
might be going to Springfield which is exciting since we will be able
to hang out with the other missionaries. On boy it's been a great 6
months so far and I'm looking forward to the next 18! It's so good to
be a missionary and to be on the Lord's errand. Love y'all!

Elder S. Jackson Martin
Oregon Eugene Mission
Oakridge Branch

Jackson trying to see how fast he is....

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