Thursday, August 25, 2011

Week #4

So i kind of lose track of time while i am here so half the time i have no clue what day it is. I think in this letter I'm going to write my letter starting from today and going back.
So like every P'day morning we wake up 30 mins early to wait in line in the laundromat. It is ridiculous how early guys wake up to get laundry done. It is always so crowded. Afterwards we worked out, cleaned, got new sheets, showered, and then ate breakfast. Today at the temple i decided to do sealings again with a guy in my district who hasnt done them before and it was super cool. We had this really old lady who was tiny, couldn't speak, and could barely hear. the thing that amazed me was how happy she was. She smiled literally the entire time. After a while i started to wonder if her face seriously stayed that way... When i was walking out i started talking to a temple worker that was moving clothes around. Turns out he was from Argentina. Surprised me but i could almost carry on a conversation with him for about 5 minutes. Scary..
Yesterday was a normal day of studying. Here is the schedule for you dad.
615 wake up and get ready.
study in class from 7-740.
breakst at 740
810-910 study time
910-1210 class time
1215 lunch
1-4 class time
415-515 personal language study
515 dinner
620-710 gym
710-750 shower and get dressed
8-9 Personal language study
9 planning
930 back in the room
1015 quiet time
1030 in bed
So that was a Wednesday. Every day varies a little but that's about how it is. I teach at least one lesson a day and even in all that study time, i rarely have time to study things i want to study.
Last night i got in a little trouble by one kid. My companion and i were singing in the shower and apparently its not ok to sing nearer my god to thee.. sorry but we still do.
Tuesday night the devotional was by Claudio D. Zivic and his wife. It was very good but what i loved even more was my district testimony meeting and the training meeting i had to attend afterwards. the First counselor in my branch presidency taught the training meeting taught us alot but the main thing that stood out to me was this. ``You are the elite. You are the elite missionaries going to your mission. I don't mean that the way it might first sound like but it is true.`` I thought about it the rest of that night. I am one of the worst at speaking Spanish in my class. Every missionary in my district is amazing. I know for a fact i am no more special then any of them except for one blessing I've been given. That is leadership. Not that im better or stronger, but that i am able to influence others and help others to become better. I hope that makes sense.
On Sunday we got a new branch president, president Tyler and he is one of the smartest men i have ever known. He teaches us and consistently pulls out different scriptures or quotes. He studies each individual word with its root, what it meant at the time, and what it means now. That's feasting on the scriptures if you ask me. For the last couple nights he has stopped in our class during planning and just teaches us something new, like where the hand shake came from. Sunday night, the fireside was given by Stephen b. Allen and was pretty much about not being stupid. ``I must obey, amen.`` My job for the next 2 years is to invite others to come unto Christ. leave everything behind.
Dad- Thank you for the letters. It is nice to hear your personal experiences and to see if i can learn from them.
Mom- Thank you also for the letter. may i ask one favor please? I could really use some thinner socks. the socks i have are like snowboarding socks and i feel like my feet are melting, and its not even that hot yet!! So maybe if you could have nicki send me some socks better for the heat i would be very happy. :) Thank you for everything and i love you!!
Samye and family- I'm still waiting for my pictures and letters! Every else has pictures and drawings from siblings or nieces and nephews! Just asking nicely if i can show off my family a little. :) You, the new one, and the rest of the family are in my prayers every night.
Nicki- Ive told a couple of my teachers here to see if they know you or if they can find you! None so far but I'm trying. Hope you had a good time visiting home and are excited to start another semester.
Alex- I'm going to try and write you back but I'm not sure if i will be able to yet. The bag idea sounds awesome! you will have to send me pictures! Also, yes i remember Megan i just wasn't sure if there was another one you were talking about. Ummm.......(Thats all I'm saying about the pug show.) and by the way, i know Oxford will help people in the hospital but I'm not sure if the help is helping them to live or helping them move onto the other side :) Good luck in school! sounds like you have a full schedule but make sure to use your time wisely and still spend time doing lots of things that truly make you happy.
I love you all. Quick little thoughts. total dedication is total success. Our actions, thoughts, and desires are a mirror image of our future. What we do now will decide our future. i know that if we give total dedication to all that matters, then we will be blessed and all will be well. What else could i be doing with my life right now? Alot. Plumbing, log cabins, school, married, or anything else. But, what could i be doing better with my life right now? Nothing. This is where i am supposed to be and I'm dong my best to be the best missionary possible.
Love, Elder Martino

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Week 3

Well its been another week and this one went by much quicker and it seems to be only speeding up from here. First off a couple questions. Could yall send me family pictures please? Everytime i go down to print off pictures for yall the line is a mile long but i will work on it soon.
On sunday we had a fireside from Richard I Heaton who is a head administrator here. It was really good and i enjoyed it alot. It was all about, "How do i define success?" It helped me realize that success is a gift. Although it is determined through others agency, it is influenced by my hard work, faith, and influence. It requires obedience, sacrifice, and a will for me to want to bring others unto Christ.
On Tuesday the devo was by David F. Evans of the 70. It was harder for me to pay attention for this one, but afterwards in our district meeting i decided to pose a question to everybody so they could answer it. It was because of the Devo i thought of it but i really wanted to know what everyone true desires were on why they were on a mission. The spirit was amazing and i loved hearing everybody's testimonies on why they want to be here.
We had an interesting experience that i had to deal with. We have one sister is my district who loves to make connections with people everywhere she can and sometimes might come off a little too friendly i think. But even because of that this was unnacceptable. There was another elder here in the mtc who ended up writing her a letter(even used a stamp to mail it...) Well the letter was confessing is love for her and how he "yearned to see her more often. Tis Strange, i have not known you long but feel as if we were destined before this life." The whole letter was written like shakespeare and needless to say he got in some trouble for it.
On a lighter note, a couple thoughts i had this week. There was a certain word that hit me one of the days here, PERHAPS. ITs an interesting word and if you look in the scriptures it is used quiet often. Perhaps, i will baptize people. Perhaps, I will touch hundreds of souls. Perhaps doesn't mean i will. It is up to God and up to the people i come across. I will do my best to be the best missionary possible and consistently following guidance. The number of baptisms or number of anything else will not define success on my mission. Another thought i had this week is the power of prayer and the power of a testimony. I haven't counted yet, but other missionaries in my district have and it turns out we pray an average of 25 times a day... i struggled with 2 before now and now i don't think i could even get close to getting by on only 2 prayers.
This morning i had the opportunity to go do some sealings in the temple. It is an amazing feeling. I want each person who reads this letter to know something. I LOVE BEING A MORMON! There is nothing like it. Seeing a family being tied together for eternity is indescribable. I also saw Hermana Martino in the temple and gave her a big hug.(I asked permission).
My companion, Elder Anderson, and I have been teaching an investigator for 2 weeks now. Even though it is our teacher acting, it stills brings the spirit and makes me so excited to talk to people wherever i will be. Teaching has become easier and easier and I'm enjoying it much more. We are also teaching random people from around the area who come in and want to be taught. They used to pretend to be an investigator but they just changed it last week. Now we teach them as members just as they are. It makes it much more challenging, But it is true. If you can teach a member then you can teach an investigator.
Thank you Mom and Nicki and whoever else for the packages! If you are reading this Robin, thank you so much for the package. I have treated everyone in my district with treats.(Except for the bread. That i am selfish about). I love getting letters from each of you. Its nice to come home at nights and lay in bed and see how everyone is doing. The more letters the better, to an extent. I will try to write each of you back individually but it kinda gets expensive...Mom or dad if you want to send stamps that would be amazing :)
I am finally getting over a sickness I have had. It was a cold but turned into asthma. I called DR. Evans office and had them call in a new inhaler for me and I'm feeling much better now. (this paragraph is going to be all jumbled). Early this morning we lost one of our sister missionaries. She left for the mtc in the Dominican Republic! Pretty exciting to see someone moving one. So everyday i gym time i go and play basketball. Some elders do work on me the entire time. For example Elder Monson who played for Utah. Or a kid who just got here who was an all-american football and basketball player and played for Stanfords football team last year. Besides that i love it. I wish it was longer then 50 mins though.
Not much else is new. I'm studying for 10 hours a day about..
Dad- Thank you for letters. I do enjoy getting letters from you and i enjoy the advice you have from your experiences here.
Mom- Thank you for everything as well. If someone will send me Nickis address, i wont have to send them home first. But thank you for everything.
Samye- First off, sweet deal on the camera. Second off you and my niece or nephew are in my prayers every night.
Dustin- Thank you for sending that to me! keep em coming!
Nicki- I'm not sure how you got that glass pickle jar through the mail but thank you! I love it!!
Alex- I love you and keep on being who you are!
P.S. Dad you told me the other day about the heat back home and i accidently said to everyone, " Man if it stays above a hundred degrees til Friday, it will break the world record in Texas for longest its been this hot."
So apparently in my mind Texas is all that matters in the world. Sometimes i need to think before i say something. I love you all!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I'm Doing My Best!

Thank you for all of the letters and the love. Just a heads up I have gotten all of the dear elders and i appreciate it alot. That is the easiest way for me to get mail. I only have 30 minutes on the computer so it takes longer to read and respond on here. Thank you everyone for the personal letters and ill do my best to write back as best as i can.
Im not going to lie. I did really good in my journal the first week but after that ive been off and on. Its been awesome here though. The whole MTC is having sickness passed around and this has got to be the wort place to be for a sickness. My district is doing great and im doing great on getting to know everyone. We have 4 other elders going to my mission with me and so is my old zone leader. I have been struggling alot with the language but almost everyone is. Every time i talk to other missionaries i know going to Cambodia, Russia, Or any other place i realize that spanish isn't so hard... I have one elder in my district who is a very mild mannered, patient, loving guy and his companion is the one elder we all struggle to get along with. But i asked this elder to help me give a blessing the other day and it was his first time. I let him do the anointing and i did the blessing. Then two days ago we had someone else get sick and i asked if he could do it and he did amazing. I pulled him aside afterwards to see how he felt and he said the same thing any worthy priesthood holder should say. "I honestly don't remember exactly what i said after stating the authority." It was a big help to me to see him so happy and to see him grow that much more.
Briefly, our sunday fireside was by Merrill J. Bateman. The main thing that he mentioned wasnt even part of his talk. It was his initial comment after a musical number."How can you better have harmony in your relationships right now on a mission?" I love my companion and we get along great. Our tuesday devotional was by Cecil O. Samuelson and his wife. They did an amazing job talking on missionary work. We had a district testimony meeting afterwards and the spirit was so strong. I would be lying if i didnt say my allergies started to act up. The main point that stood out in my talk was that your are always being watched. Not necessarily by god but by those around you. There is also one other person in heaven i know is helping me many times while i am here.
Just to follow up on the Japaneses elder. There is a district here from Japan that speaks no english. They are amazing though. Every single one has only been a member for a maximum of 2 years and their desire to be here is felt by all. But the first night here we had a big meeting with all the neew missionaries here and they had just flown in and had to listen through translation on headphones. I felt bad for the guy so i didn't wake him up.
I have taught about 10 lessons in spanish now and i love it. Right now we are teaching a girl named Gloria and i love it. Even though it is our teacher, you can feel the spirit guide you into asking certain questions and saying certain things. Im doing my best on setting goals for myself to learn more everyday.
I greatly appreciate the dear elders. I am allowed to read them every night but still need to wait til P-Day to reply. Its a great way to relieve stress to lay in bed and read a letter from each of you. If you have any other questions or want to know anything else let me know. Oh and Dustin, its kind of sad but every day in the gym we have about 100 guys playing basketball on 6 hoops, but ive been told im actually alright at basketball. I felt pretty good after i was told that until i guarded Elder Green. He started for BYU this last year. to say the least, i didnt do much of anything..
Im loving it here and i love all of you. My thought for the week is 2 Nephi chapter 4. I have read that a couple times and it inspires my everytime. I know im going to argentina for a reason. Maybe i wont baptize many or any at all but i know i will be able to complete my purpose as a missionary and help the faith of God in others grow.
Love, Elder Martino

Friday, August 5, 2011

Here is Drew's address while in the M.T.C:

Elder Drew Martino
MTC Mailbox 317
2005 N. 900 E.
Provo, Ut. 84604-1793

You can also write to him for free (while he's at the MTC) at and they will deliver it to him the next day.

When it asks for info all you need is: ARG-BAS and 0926

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Important mainly because of the words in the message

Drew has asked that we update this while he is gone- that way his friends have a way of hearing from him as he might get really busy! His first week sounds like fun, and sounds like he is working harder than ever. I will rarely edit anything from his letters so just pretend that it is Drew actually saying everything. 

Dear Family,
        Anyways this week has been awesome. The first couple days was crazy because i had no idea what was going on. I thought my immunizations would be good but nope, had to get 3 more shots and pay $166. My district is amazing. I am in the intermediate class which im not too sure about. Im feeling pretty dumb right about now when it comes to my spanish. My companion is Elder Anderson straight from Hawaii! 5 guys in my district are going to my mission while the others are going to either Dominican Republic or albequerque or San Antonio. I got called as DL which is pretty sweet and im trying to be the best example i can be for everyone. Its interesting though because its helping me more then anybody else.
     My first day we were in an orientation meeting and we were "teaching" an investigator who was japanese. We have a district of elders that are japanese and speak no english at all. During the meeting one of the japanese elders did the head bob and ended up falling asleep on my shoulder for a while, but hey i would to if i had to listen to a translator through headphones the whole time and didnt understand when everybody was laughing.
     My branch presidency is amazing. President Craig is one of the nicest guys. Every time he sees you, he gives you the biggest hug and tells you how much he loves you. Brother Jurgens, the first counselor, is usually the teacher in the meetings i go to and i love them! Brother Claybaugh, the seciond counselor, knows Uncle jim and told him hello for me.
     We had a fireside on sunday given by Robert P. Swenson all about love. We had a devotional on Tuesday by Gerald N. Lund, who by the way wrote the work and the glory. His talk was all about faith and how it works as a process.
      I know that i am here for a reason and i love it but the least the lord could do is not put cute, drop-dead gorgeous, girls here in the MTC. It is one of the only times i think ive ever fealt awkwrad talking to a girl. We as Elders have all learned just to look the other way, especially when the sister going to Hungary walks by.
     My classes though are super long. Thank you Nicki for all the tictacs. My teacher speaks only spanish, super quiet and super quick. It is really hard to understand anyhting he says. Everyday as a companionship we have to teach him the next lesson in spanish while he pretends to be "Hugo". Hugo is a drunk, family left him, catholic, quiet, and never says more then a one or two word answer. The first lesson was absolutely horrible... There is definately a language barrier going on here. I know what i want to say but i have no idea how. The entire time my companion is repeating "entonces, entonces, entonces" sweating bullets while looking at me and i have no idea how to say anyhting. The second lesson went much better though. We wrote down alot of what we wanted to say and did much better i thought.
     I have learned a lot since ive been here and not just language. I have talked in district meetings about the importance of prayer, worth of souls, power of testimony, the role of preach my gospel, and many other things. I pray for all 8 elders and 3 sisters in my district every night.
     I love all of you. Thank you for everything and i hope everything is well.
    Elder Martino