Monday, April 25, 2016

Not a whole ton happened this week so this email might be short. We
taught 11 lessons this week which wasn't too bad at all. Our
investigators and Recent converts are all doing really well! We've
been able to meet with the them often. We didn't get anymore people on
date for baptism which was a bummer so this week we sure will. It
doesn't look like we'll be getting a baptism this month which kind of
stinks. My goal was to have 1 a month and I've not come too close to
reaching that goal. I'm 8 months out now and have had 4 baptisms so
that's not bad at all.

This week we went out to Westfir to kind of get to know the area over
there since it is in our area but we don't go out there much. We found
this cool covered bridge which was really neat. Westfir is a tiny
little town just outside of Oakridge and its way spread out. We also
had a really good district meeting this week once again by Elder
Kroll. He's a way good district leader and an awesome teacher. It's
always good when you have good leadership in the zone because things
run so much better. Elder Davis is continuing to be a great Companion.
We are really low on miles on the car and it looks like we might go
over this month on miles. Two days ago we had a movie night and we
invited a ton of people but nobody showed up! Not really we had a few
people come and we got to watch Meet The Mormons  at the church.
Church was also great. Some Laurels from the 4th Ward came and spoke
to us so we had a good sacrament meeting. In Oakridge the stake sends
a lot of guest speakers since we have so few people.  We got to sit in
on Primary second hour and help teach the lesson which was way fun.
The children were really rowdy so I told them if they were really
quiet and reverent they could have the Missionary Award. Of course
that got them quieted down right away and we had a good lesson then I
haD to think of something to give them which ended up being a fist
bump from the missionaries which they really liked. Then we taught the
young men third hour and talked about serving missions. They had a lot
of questions about it all and it was good to talk to some kids getting
ready to serve. It was a pretty dang good week.

Still loving the mission. I feel like I grow more everyday. Love you
all! And I love hearing from you.

Elder S. Jackson Martin
Oregon Eugene Mission
Oakridge Branch

Monday, April 18, 2016

Hey everyone! It's Elder Martin way out in the land of no sales tax
and where slaves pump your gas for you! Yep things are still the same
old same old in Oregon. Me and Elder Davis are kicking butt and taking
names no doubt about it! I'm coming up quick on my 8 month mark which
means I'm almost 1/3 of the way through my mission. It's going way too
fast. Monday we got done in Eugene hanging out at the institute
building then drove back here to Oakridge and had a lesson with
George. It was way good and a great way to show Elder Davis the people
of Oakridge.

The next day we went to a little store named Cascade General and a
lady in there saw us and said she was passing through and she really
needed a blessing of comfort. We gave her a quick blessing since the
store was empty and learned she was an inactive member who was having
a tough time. It was kind of cool that we were there at that time. I
mostly introduced Elder Davis to all the key people that day like the
Branch Mission leader and Branch President and stuff. Then we went and
tried to contact some people and had a little success. We then went
and saw Shauna and Troy and they were doing really well.

Wednesday morning we were walking around town and a lady named Ruth
came up to us and said that her daughter was a member in the branch
and that she really wanted to be baptized. We were both so stunned! It
was so wild! That like never happens. We scheduled an appointment for
Saturday and then walked away from that way happy.  She ended up
having something come up on Saturday but she seems really solid. We
walked around town some more trying to contact more people and Talking
to people as we went. We got some things scheduled and some potentials
found. We are really low on miles so we walk and bike all around town
but Elder Davis's bike broke so now we are just on foot until we fix
it. It's so lame with no car. That night we contacted Donna a lady who
had met with us previously but had been dodging us really bad. She
said she's pretty stressed out because of all the stuff going on and
she's trying to quit doing drugs and told us it was just too hard. We
told her that the best way to overcome it was probably to not avoid us
but to listen to our message. She agreed with that but was still a bit

Thursday we went and saw Joe and talked with him for a while. And he
was doing good but still was insisting that The church wasn't for him.
In the end we were able to leave on good terms with him but totally
heartbroken for him. Luckily we convinced him to keep the Book of
Mormon and he even said he wanted to finish it so that was cool. We
also had a lesson with Tanya a recent convert and talked about the
restoration. She really enjoyed it. That night we went and saw Silvia
and her family and had a good lesson. She's still doing great  and
progressing in the gospel. Next lesson we are going to invite Dan to
be baptized and we are excited because he's so ready but every time we
invite he always puts it off. This time we'll get him.

Friday was District meeting and my old friend from Roseburg; Elder
Kroll is my district leader. It was so good to see him again and learn
from him. I love Fridays since we get to spend time with the zone and
we don't have miles to get down for P day. Besides that nothing too
exciting happened Friday.

Saturday we did a lot of finding thanks to all the appointments
falling through. But did get to meet with our investigator Aaron. We
taught the word of wisdom and learned that he was having some word of
wisdom problems and so we talked about how he could overcome that. It
was a good lesson and he shed a few tears. He said he'd probably make
it to church next week so we are counting on that.

Yesterday Elder Davis was shocked to see that 5 minutes before church
there was only 15 people there at sacrament meeting. Luckily we were
running on Mormon standard time and a lot more people walked in.
Sister Fine brought her Grandkids and o the chapel looked pretty full
even though we probably only had like25 people there. We had a few
meetings and Since Sister Fine's sons were in town she fed us dinner.
That was our first member dinner in a week so that felt good.

This week was pretty dang good! We are still going strong and hoping
to baptize before the transfer ends! Well that's it more next week!!

Elder S. Jackson Martin
Oregon Eugene Mission
Oakridge Branch

Thursday, April 14, 2016

So not much happened this week and it's transfers today. Elder Johnson
is going to Klamath Falls to be a zone leader. And I'm getting Elder
Davis over in Oakridge. He's a super cool missionary who's been out 21
months. I'm really looking forward to it. Really bad news Joe dropped
us so he didn't get baptized. That really stunk but he said that "the
Mormon wasn't for him." We hope he didn't get anti material or
something. So we are meeting with him one last time this week and
hopefully we can save it all but we don't know. It will be interesting
to have Elder Davis there to try to resolve his concerns. We are in
Eugene for P day hanging out in the Institute with the Eugene zone.
There's a bunch of YSA people here so it's pretty chill. So yeah sorry
this is short but it's transfer day and I don't have much time. Love
you all!!

Elder S. Jackson Martin
Oregon Eugene Mission
Oakridge Branch
We live in this forest.

Monday, April 11, 2016

So it's been a pretty short while since I emailed last. First of all
on our way home from the temple a rock came out of nowhere and hit our
windshield and made a crack. We called the Vehicle coordinator right
away and we are going to have to get it replaced. The crack keeps
spreading so that's awkward. The next day we had our weekly planning
session like we do every Thursday and then went out and saw some
people. We were able to get a new investigator from it who had dropped
us earlier last transfer. It was good to get a new investigators from
it all and we were very much excited. Friday we went out and tried to
contact some potentials and the first one we went to named Alice had
just lost her husband the week before to cancer. We were able to
answer a ton of questions and teach her little bit about the Plan of
Salvation. It's crazy how the Lord prepares people but we definitely
felt bad for her loss. We also saw Joe and got a baptismal interview
set up for him for next week so he can be baptized on the 9th. We are
super excited. As it is there have been more baptisms this year than
there have been in the past 5 years. We feel blessed to serve the Lord
and are grateful for the miracles we've seen! Other than that we have
just been teaching and finding.

Yesterday was an amazing Easter Sunday! It was also Fast Sunday due to
General Conference so we had a super powerful time in sacrament
meeting with the spirit. Elder Johnson and I bore our Testimonies and
I was bawling like all sacrament meeting as I pondered the words
"death has no sting and the grave no victory" it was great. After that
we had stake correlation in Eugene so we had to drive down there.
While Elder Johnson and the other district leader; Elder Hallam were
in with the Stake President and the Zone leaders, Elder Morris and I
went out to his area to do some work. We knocked on the door of one of
their potentials who was a black guy in wheelchair from Seattle. He
was a straight thug and was a bit hung over because he'd quote, "Been
out with his home girl." We talked with him about what we believe and
he was way interested. He said he stopped going to his church because
they were all loud and rambunctious so we told him he'd like our
church a lot. He was super blown away that we were away from our
family for two years to teach the gospel. He then said, "Well I'm
still super fuzzy so I'm gonna straight up eat my cup of noodles.
Don't be surprised if you see me rolling up into your church here
pretty soon one of these days. You're the freshest church boys I ever
met." So we closed with a prayer and when we got done he was way
impressed. He said you know when someone believes what they do because
you can feel it in their prayers. We set up a return appointment then
Took off. Don't know if he was really interested or just way hung over
but I guess we'll see.

After all that Elder Johnson and I set off once more for Oakridge and
this time instead of a rock hitting our windshield something worse
happened! Our Easter dinner cancelled! We were so distraught! We
didn't know what to do! Haha but it was all good because then I
remembered my angelic mother had previously sent me the stuff to make
Taco soup so I fixed us some of that and it was delicious! Then some
awesome members in the ward called us up and said that the Easter
Bunny had left something for us at their house so we went over and
they had us search their house to find Easter Baskets that they hid
for us. We thought that was so thoughtful of them. In the end it was a
wonderful Easter!

Things are great out here! This transfer is winding down and since
it's an extra week long it ends on April 11. President Russell keeps
saying stuff in his emails to me like "your next test is coming" and
"will you be ready?" He's already told Elder Johnson that he will be
leaving so I don't know what this all means! Maybe I'll train. Finally
have a son which would be fun. But we shall see. Well I sure love you
all! You're all amazing!

Elder S. Jackson Martin
Oregon Eugene Mission
Oakridge Branch
So pretty good week this last week. First of all we got to go to a
Mexican restaurant with Sister Fine. That was pretty awesome I ate
some habanero hot sauce and just about burn my face off which kind of
stunk. For the most part we've just been doing the same old thing
trying to have appointments having appointment cancel on us we didn't
have very many lessons this week like seven total. Something pretty
scary happened though. We went to Joe's house and we sat down with him
and like the first thing he says is you know what I decided that
instead of having you guys baptize me I would just have my pasture
friend come and sprinkle me. Yeah... that's awkward and suddenly we
realized we probably didn't explain priesthood authority nearly as
good as we should've even though we talked about it like five times
already but whatever. After a lot of explaining we were finally able
to persuade him to go forward with the baptism. His only real problem
was that he didn't want to have to drive all the way to Springfield
just to be baptized.We pointed out to him that Jesus walked a very
long way to go be baptized by John the Baptist I don't  know what he
got out of that but I thought it was good. By the time we left I think
he really understood the need for priesthood authority. Then we had
his interview for baptism and he passed. We are super excited for his

We went and saw Shauna and Troy as well and they're doing pretty good.
They gave us a chair which was pretty exciting. Now we have a nice
place to sit. General conference was really good we watched one
session with Shauna and Troy and another session with Bill and Tina
Allen who are some members in the ward, super awesome. Bill is the one
who baptized George. Yeah we loved the Saturday session it was awesome
and the priesthood was Flippin awesome you know that the church is
true when Dieter F. Uchtdorf makes a Star Wars reference. Sunday was
really awesome too we had a lot of fun and General conference was just
me being. Unfortunately we went to Joe's house and he was not able to
get the general conference station which made me want to cry. I think
the Sunday afternoon session was my favorite. As always Jeffrey R
Holland is the bomb.

Anyway it's been a pretty good week. I really enjoyed it. Yeah pretty
great so far. The mission is going good I'm enjoying myself as always.
Can't wait for Joe's baptism it'll be awesome. Transfers are next week
and Elder Johnson will be leaving me. This is a real bummer. Elder
Johnson I have come pretty close in our 12 weeks of party time. I look
forward to seeing what will happen next.,!? Thanks for all your
support I love you all! Sorry this was so short

Elder S. Jackson Martin
Oregon Eugene Mission
Oakridge Branch