Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Week I Needed!

This was a week i have been needing for a while now. From my interview with a President Stapley a couple weeks ago i had asked him what i could do in the ward i am at. This ward was absolutely dead and wasnt sure what to do. More then 600 innactive members. He told me find new people. We have really started to just look for new people. This week we found 16 in total which is double the standard. Thursday i was actually pretty nervous because we were going to do divisions with our ward mission leader and the truth is we didnt have any set lesson for two hours. I decided to make some plans for old investigators and it was amazing. Earlier that day i found a sticky note with a ladies name and her address but nothing else. We passed by and it was great. We didnt get to teach her but we just talked with her for about 10 minutes outside and it went great!! We then found an elderly lady and her 40 year old son who showed up from work and listened to us. He turned out to really like it and decided to read the book of mormon. We then found a very catholic man has some type of leadership in the church. I started talking to him and it went very well up until my mission leader started to argue with him about the bible. I tried to shut him up and the guy agreed to come to the church this wednesday and watch a video with us. (Pray this lesson goes well) He is a very good man. After words we taught the cousin of a member family that we are baptizing soon and we brought his other cousin to listen to us. So yall have seen the movie August Rush right? I dont remember too much about the movie but a little. We found a family who has a son that is 11 years old. He has read the entire bible alone. He pulled out an acordian and guitar and started to play all sorts of farely difficult songs. He also plays the violin and piano and a couple other instruments. Its crazy teaching the kid. He understands things so quickly. He is super weird or different but he is such a cool talented kid. This week we also had a fireside with Elder De Giovanni and another day a meeting with him only as missionaries. It was really good but not what i was expecting. Last year Elder Aidukaitis dropped the cane on us and it turned out changing our entire mission. In the meeting this year, there was no sort of cane dropping and very short. This week turned out to help out alot. The best part is that we have 2 great baptisms this sunday coming up that should be GREAT!! The most amazing thing is that answers to prayers do come. Not exactly when we want but they do come. The mission really is a great experience. I never imagined how hard it would be and how lazy i could possibly feel at times but it is all worth it. I wouldnt trade it for a thing!! Love, Elder Martino p.s. Grandma and grandpa, yall are the best. Yall are the only letter writers i have and i really apreciate it!

Summer is Coming

It was a quick week but a definite difficult one. We have pretty much decided to drop almost all of our investigators we have and find new ones. We spent almost all day everyday looking up old investigators and clapping houses. We found some farely interested people but all of them need to get married... Thursday was specifically a really tough day. I have never before waken up in the morning here and literally not desired to be here at all. I honestly did not want to leave at all and above all i felt like crap and it was raining. I am proud to say we dragged ourselves out the door and went to work. No success and lots of contacts all day long. Comes to 7 oclock and we are looking for an old investigator. We finally find the house and they let us in. AMAZING. Mother and 2 kids. The mother is member from a long time ago and the moment we stopped by was perfect. They needed a change and both kids want to get baptized. They came with us to stake conference on Sunday which was great. I sat with them while my comp sat with another family. Wife is member aand husband no. He has heard from the missioanries for many years and recently with us put his own baptismal date for the 9 of december. He is progressing amazing. Saturday we went and did a service with them and afterwards went and did another service. Probobly not the best for my hands but definatley fun and worth it. This week we were gooing to have a couple meetings with Elder Arnold the president of south america south but we just found out he isnt coming but someone else is. This last week we had aa bunch of riots in the whole area. Everyhting shut down trying to prove something to the government. Bad news is we have to very careful in where we go. Goodnews of the week is my plumbing came in handy. The new sister missionaries finally moved into there new apartment with our help. (Goodness. I have no clue how the sisters get around with all the crap they had.) Their water heater was leaking and i was able to fix it. Woo! Love, Elder Martino

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

November Pictures

Oct. 29th

I honestly dont know what to say about last week. We had a service with an innactive member and we put in a new concrete floor for him which was fun work. He thought it would be easier to mix it all at once instead of parts at a time, so on a large piece of tin we had about 30 buckets of rocks, 40 of sand, 10 of cement, and water. I was tired afterwards. Im not sure if its because it was actually tough or that im just a baby since ive been here. On Saturday we went to go contact a reference we got of a man and 10 kids who want to listen. Bad news is we went on our bikes, about15 miles on a very skinny highway where people aim for you, and we wasnt there. The good news is we are going to go back one of these days. This last week we found some great people. Really amazing. The problem is its so sad sometimes to hear some of the trials people go through. I know my job is to teach them the truth that can bring them a new hope but its hard. The message i share I believe with all my heart, but sometimes I even wonder if some poeple can make it through these trials. I have wondered and am doing alot of that wondering right now about myself but thats just when he step back and let my faith take control. I love the people in this branch but while i am here there is alot of work to be done. I´m willing to do it except for the fact i just dont know what to do. We met one guy Miguel, turns out he was baptized when he was little, 50 years ago, but never been back. We leaves alone with his mom. We went the other day tohis house and he was completely different this time. At first he was a happy big man. We listened to him this time and he just looked like he was fighting with all he had with no affect. We cant leave his mom who is blind home alone or many things could and most likely would happen to her, but because of that he cant work. He is fighting between the love for his mom and the need to work to have money to live. He is a great guy and i really know something good will happen to him and he will be able to get out of this ditch. Everything is going well for me. Its getting nice and warm here, except for today. Last night it rained and everything is flooded so it cooled down quiet a bit. Well have a good week. Dangit, it just started pouring outside and i didnt bring my rain coat... Love, Elder Martino

22nd and Muddy

Exciting news, we got new bikes on Friday. Bad news, they dont work to well in the mud and i already got it super dirty. This week was a tough one. It flew by most of it and i didnt even feel like i was in my area at all. I spent one day on exchanges in Longchamps and another 2 days on splits with a youth in my ward working Brandsen. The good news is we have 8 baptismal dates out in Brandsen so at least the work out there is going alright. On saturday i had a wonderful surprise. Ruben, Jacqui, Hno. Berta, and Carlito (all members from Acevedo) showed up at our church building with a cake to celebrate my birthday! :) That was actually a nice surprise and they told me many people wanted to come but couldnt. Yesterday was a rough day and exhausted me. At church none of our investigators showed up which was rough. We left and ate lunch in the pinch that the hna. Nina gave to us. (she lives in front of us and is amazing). Speaking of her, i met her mom the other day who is 102 and still kicking. Well when it came time to leave and work it started pouring and we pushed through the fiaka and left. We went down a one-way dirt path about a mile and a half but when we turned around we couldnt get back... the rain made the mud so thick that the mud built up on the bikes and we couldnt ride back. well we finally got back (mud everywhere) and as we were biking to take the sacrament to an elderly woman we saw a guy in his car that slid into a ditch. Well, it was kind of fun and took a while but we got it out. When we showed up at the house to give the Hermana, who is 98, the sacrament they just laughed but felt bad because it was raining, cold, and we were covered in mud head to toe. Well i got the mud out of my hair and face the best i could and we gave her the santa cena. we got back and washed the bikes off a little and then i took a nice warm shower. It was definately and interesting day and im waiting for the blessings to come from this one.... Really we are working but this area has a lot of work to go. This is one of the challenges in the mission that you have to love. If you dont that just sucks because your still gonna be here. You might as well be optimistic and it will help everything. Love yall! Elder Martino

Thursday, October 18, 2012

First Week in Korn

Where i am at isnt only about 1 hour train ride but it is the last train stop that exists. Its all fields out here and the area is gigantic. Not only is the area gigantic, but we as Zone leaders just recently got assigned to take care of another area too. We are the closest ones to it (about 30 miles and thank goodness there is a bus). It is about an hour bus ride and right now we are only going out there once a week. Oh, its called Brandsen. Now let me tell you about my wonderful bike...First, is if you go to fast the chain comes off. Second, The seat is broken so instead of a soft cushon seat its a seat of two steel rods in an arrow shape. Let me tell you, i am super sore some days and am very excited to get new bikes this Friday. Oh, and im getting good practice for my trip from Alaska. As zone leader i dont have to do much except right now we are trying hard to reach our goal, animate the other elders, and do intercambios once a week. My comp is a great missionary and its really good to work with him. Im excited for this transfer and possible others to have some good success. We only have about 30 people in sacrament and many people have gotten offended with an elder that was here a little while before. Its going to be a difficult one but i am excited. We are going to help as much as we can. Well let me tell you about my welcoming party here. We entered into a house and 3 men came in from the other room. One with a revolver, the other a machete, and the other a knife the size of a machete. The didnt rob me or shoot me so we are all good :). This week i had lots of random thoughts, for lack of good english. In this area im not sure if i am going to baptize too much but with 700 members and 30 active, we have our work cut out for us. The other thing is im pretty sure i´ll be here til the end of my mission...which will be a long time. I really am excited about being here. Being a missionary has never been better and i wouldnt trade it for a thing. If I new the mission was going to be like this before-hand would I have still came? HECK YA! Im pretty sure i would have came out much quicker. Its hard, very hard. Heck, my bici kills me everyday and my thighs are super tired when we have to bike down the freeway against the wind for 5 miles. I wouldnt trade it for anything. Not a ferrari, not the super-model of my dreams(although if your reading this wait a couple months), and not anyhting else. Nothing in my life up to know matches up to it. Love, Elder Martino

I've moved to Korn!

Well I left! I got a call Saturday right before the second session of conference and im moving. Oh, and Dad no i wont be able to train a new 18 year old kid. I got moved as Zone leader to a smaller area called Alejandro Korn. Look it up on google. We have bikes and its all campo out here. It is by far the biggest area i have had yet. My companion is Elder Inostroza from Chile and it seems like a great missionary. I have a feeling that we are going to have lots of success together. Our mission baptized 137 last month. It was the most since 2005 and we are steadily growing in all of the areas! Im excited to be here in this area and even more excited in general to be in the mission. Last week i was almost positive i was going so we had lots of people that wanted to say goodbye to me, but we still got in some good work. It wasnt as sad to leave the area. I really feel i did some farely good work in helping that ward to grow and made some really good eternal friends. The good thing is i believe i will see everyone of them again. The most sad part of the week was i lent my camera to a little girl to take some photos for me and she deleted all of the photos i had from the MTC. I have got to start backing up my photos... Saturday we had everything set up perfect. It was a mission rule we couldnt go see conference this day if we didnt have an investigator with us. We had a family that wanted to go with us and when we showed up they couldnt go. We called everybody we know but nothing. The good thing is we were able to get half the family for the second session. Sunday morning i packed a little and then i had to hurry to the stake center to do an interview. It was rather interesting. Turns out we couldnt let him get baptized yet. Still had some things to clear up and im not sure he actually knew what he was doing. We watched the first session and right after between sessions had a baptism. A member, Hno Pedraza baptized the 12 year old girl for us, Marlen. She is a great young woman and is the first to get baptized in her whole family, and almost all of them came and they all want to get baptized. It was a great baptism and a great way to finish up in that area. I really grew to love the people and i hope they did too. I know tons of missionaries pass by over the years but i really try to make a lasting difference on as many people as i can. Interesting story. We had an innactive member of about 30 years that we went in and talked to. She started to blow up on me how i am libra and how bad of a person i will be...It wasnt to fun to hear but i kept trying to bare my testimony but she wouldnt stop. Well it kind of made me a little upset and later on that night she sent us several texts apologizing. She told me how bad she felt and how she felt the spirit but kept trying to over power it. I had only met with her 3 times over 6 months but said she was so happy to have been able to know me. Im not saying it was me because it wasnt. Im just saying one moment of showing someone what the spirit feels like can change someone entirely. Well i love yall and i hope all is well! Dont worry, i still havent left on my horse yet to escape from the mission but im getting ready!! Elder Martino

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Only Women in My Life

I want to start off by saying besides the emails, the only women i have in my life are my grandmothers. Not sad to say that i love them and they are the most faithful letter writers! Grandma y Jean son las capas! I love you two!! This morning in the bus station i had rocks thrown at me. I loved it though. I looked over at the man and he tried to look as if he didnt do anyhting and then I started to walk towards him and he started to run away. I think some people are crazy. They think im just trying to rob there money, women, or water but yet they still have lots of fear of us. Anyways, i felt as if i was being stoned as the prophets of old...sort of... This week wasnt too exciting. We broke a record with investigators in church! 12! We have a baptism this saturday and we are going to do it in the stake center between conference sessions! Her name is Marlen and she is a cool guy! One of our promising investigators had her baby saturday and tonight i get to go see them so i am pretty excited! We had a meeting this week for trainers and the new missionaries and in one week i finish training and am most likely leaving. Kind of sucks because Sunday i wont have anytime to say goodbye to many people but at the same time i am very excited for conference!!! “If you believe that you can then you are right and you can; if you don’t believe that you can then you are also right and you can’t.” That is a quote that President shared with us the other day. I wasnt til the mission that i realized how true it is. Everything starts with a desire. If you dont believe you can than you wont be able to, but if you believe you can and follow it with faith and works then you will be able to! Love, Elder Martino

Golden Couple

Lets start with tuesday. when we left it was clear sky and warm outside so we left in short sleeve. by 4 oclock it was pouring. It rained all day and got farely cold. That didnt help at all with being sick and we got fodged alot but the good thing was i kept my companion entertained with my sweet angelic voice singing to him the entire time in the street. It at least kept me happy. That night we also got to celebrate the Birthday of Ruben the husband Jacqui who we baptized a couple weeks ago. Wednesday not alot happened. Thursday was an alright day til night time. I dont know what hit me but i got a horrible headache and started to get really dizzy. In the middle of our dinner i just about blacked out but luckily i made it back to our pinch and just layed down on the floor for a couple minutes. The worst part is is that they made a very very yummy looking dinner but i couldnt eat much at all. Thursday i almost got hit by a car. MOM DONT READ! Ha, we were walking and all of the sudden word gunshots then a car came flying by a corner and almost hit me but luckily i still have cat like rflexes and i was able to dodge it. Then another car came chasing after it and then 2 seconds later there were tons of cops and ambulances. Sweet huh! Saturday morning we started at 8 oclock with a service and did 4 services in total finally finishing at 8 at night just in time for a lesson. We poured two floors, tour down walls on a second story and then cut down and burned a tree. We, i really do believe, saved our investigator and his sons life. The second story house thing was a house of wood with bricks layering the outside. Well three of the walls we could take of the bricks from the ouside but the last we couldnt because it had a house right underneath it on the other side. well we tied it off and when it was falling i was able to hold it off for a split second before it smooshed this guy and his son. It was one heavy wall! The highlight of the week is a couple we are teaching. They are golden!! As of earlier this week she didnt want to get married, but we left them with some homework and on Sunday when we talked she said we could go with her on wednesday to go get a date for marriage!! Woooo!!!!! Yesterday at church i had a member pull me aside. He is about 28 and single but an amazing guy. He is one of the best missionaries i know and he doesnt have any name badge to show it. Well the thing is is that he is going through a very very difficult time and the amazing thing was he came to me before anybody else. It is just nice to know the trust some people have in you just after serving them. Also amazing about this guy is his efforts to share the gospel. There is no such thing as an ex-missionary, just return missionary. That goes for all of us. Love, Elder Martino

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Single to the Glory!

Kind of a lower week this week. Yesterday was really upsetting. I have been trying so hard with certain families to come to church and they do once. Saturday we passed by all of the baptismal dates we had and called all of them that night an they all promised to go. well all but 2 didnt come. We lost 7 baptisms yesterday and im hoping we can regain a couple. It was really a frustrating day. The good news is we did have an awesome couple come with us and a less active girl who came for the first time in a long time. Her whole family is active so they are excited to have her back. This week had a lot of walking. It was a beautiful week but the majority of our citas failed on us. I will admit yesterday in church i was sitting in sacrament and i was really upset. I was thinking about how transfers are coming up soon and i could move on to a new area. Well heads up to future missionaries, you shouldnt ever have that attitude. You look on the bright side and keep working. The good days arent good without the bad days being super super crappy. Another thing that has caught my mind is the fact that i cant help everyone. I do my part but then it is up to them. I show them where to step but they are the ones that have to lift up there heavy foot and make the step. Last wednesday we are a meeting for all district leaders in the mission. It was really good at first. The point when the elders started to ask too many simple questions was when it went wrong. Thats th point when having no meeting at all is better then having one. Besides that part the meeting helped me think alot about what i can do better to help these missionaries. The problem is just finding out how to do it. The mission is going well. Its difficult right now with little success and sickness but we just keep moving forwardj with our eye SINGLE to the glory of god. You gotta love it!! Love, Elder Martino

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Experience of a Life Time!

Well im going to start out with the best part of the week, Wednesday. They called me monday asking if wednesday we would be willing to go to the temple and help clean it from the open house. My response was heck ya! We got there at 9 in the morning and were working with a guy named Drake Hill. He is the head architect and designer for over 80 temples now. It is amazing how he could remember EXACTLY where every little thing belonged. Well 8 of us spent the day being his little ducklings following him around everywhere he went. I got to hang paintings, put the furniture and set it all up in all of the sealing rooms, celestial room, and confirmation room. We got to walk upstairs and see EVERYTHING. It was really really cool. We spent almost the entire day with him til President came to pick us up. We even got President a couple little gifts...OH!! Best part! So i had the opportunity to, with permission, break vases from the temple anterior. I told Bro, Hill that in a year if he needed an assistant helper to just give me a call and id be more then willing to help him! Besides this day we had a good week. We had two service projects on saturday that kind of wore me out. Now this week we are preparing for this weekend. Friday we have a fireside With Elder Eyring, Elder Ballard, and Elder Christofferson. Saturday we have the temple culture activity and then on sunday we have the dedication. I have a feeling it is going to be a very good week. Have a good week!!!! Love, elder Martino

Monday, August 27, 2012

Wet and Amazing Week!

Well it was an ama
zing week!! We had an amazing baptism with alot of people there! Before the baptism I had to go over to another area to do an intrerview and fly back to get back ontime for the baptism and to get it all set up. There were some amazing talks and i wont lie, i almost manly cried when he baptized his wife and when she come up they gave eachother a big hug. Im a little sad becasue in a year when they can enter the temple it will be almost a month after i get home! Extension...? Still have plenty of time to think. We had one hot day this week and then it get real cold again and now its back to average. We found some great people this week and are really working hard. I do have bad news though...Transfers came....They were actually going to move me but decided to have me stay here for one more transfer which i am very happy for. I would like to stay here at least one more. Its amazing how every area eventually and quickly comes to be your home. Granted I know exactly every street in the area, but i love it here. Interesting enough but i have to go to the doctor this week because i have what i think is a ganglion cyst on my wrist. Bad news is its been there for at least 6 months and ive just blown it off so we will see what happens. Prettty much two options. One is to smash a book on my hand and have it blow up and the other is surgery, but before i do anything dumb im going to make sure i know exactly what it is. In two weeks i have the awesome opportunity to go to a fire side with President Eyring and participate in the cultural ceremony here. Woo!!! Love, Elder Martino

Monday, August 20, 2012

Wow it Smells!

First off its a holiday today, i dont know what but its another one. All of the computer places were closed but we finally found one after walkng to another city and let me tell you, IT SMELLS HORRIBLE IN HERE! Im pretty sure the nasty carpet here has a film of nasty poop on it. Anyways, this week went pretty good! It has rained every single day during the week and we have been soaked every day. Its cold when it rains, my shoes are broken so my feet get wet, and not too many people let us in, but im happy! Im not sure why but i feel happier when its raining outside. I did have a big answer to a prayer early this week. Monday I found myself loosing alot of patience with a member we visited that wouldnt shut up and the next couple days we didnt have much sucess. Oh and i was still sick and couldnt eat too much. I knelt down thursday morning and just begged that he could help us have some form of success or help me be happy either way. Well thursday we got calls from members with references they had for us and we found a couple new poeple. One guy we found is a super chill guy that has alot of questions and desire. He has dred locks he has been growing out for 6 years and believes in Rastafari. We will continue to see him and see how it goes. We got to go to the temple!! It was amazing. The ward had planned on one bus to take us there but they had to call another quickly. We completely filled 2 buses with 110 people. About 25 were investigators. We were told we could only go once so we made it count! President Staplet was there and i had him talk with a couple of our investigators and try and help them. We have a baptism this week and im so excited for it. Even though she is a little scared her husband is going to hold her under the water for a while she decided to have him do it which is exactly what i wanted. They also told me i better be here when they go through the temple for the first time and get sealed. Im going to do my best but it might be a little difficult. Well we got to take all the people through the entire temple and it was amazing. We have another investigator whose name is pocha. Her husband is member long time. They got married about 7 years ago after old marriages and since then she has liked the church. Well lets say she has been an investigator for 7 years and has smoked for 50. I have never seen her happy or anyhting although she is always nice to us. She always seemed jittery, nervous, sad, and beaten down. Well she went to the temple once last week with her old lady friends and didnt feel much. We invited her to come with us again this last saturday and she told us no. Well she showed up and she loved it. She even came to church yesterday and bore a quick testimony abou the temple. We went and saw them last night and we had a very good talk. She told us she has never felt the way she does now and the way she did in the temple. ¨After 7 years of listening and dealing with you kids, I finally know that it is time. I thought ciggarretts controlled me and ive tried quiting before but i always had an empty spot and couldnt let them go. Now that spot is filled so much i have to let them go.¨ Now she is getting baptized in 2 weeks!! The temple really was amazing! Im not sure if ill get to go back but it was amazing! In church people kept saying it was like touching a part of heaven with your hand and it really was. I hope one day to get the opportunity to enter in again, especially if i can do it with converts I have had in the mission. This area especially has been very good to me! I love the people here and im know for a fact that i will see them again later. In the scriptures it says that we will be judged by our own books. Well i really believe that we have a big part in constructing our celestial glory. My happiness wont be complete if i dont see them there with me. Sorry, but it smells horrible, i have got to get out of here. Love yall!!! Elder Martino

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Wet Week

Well it has rained alot this week. It started Thursday and its supposed to go just about all of this week. Friday morning all the street infront of our pinch was completely flooded and iwas getting way excited to get out and walk. Like 10 minutes before we left it looked like it was clearing up and wasnt going to rain again so i left in just my sweater to go work for the morning. Well our lunch that was on the farthest side of our area wasnt there, and it just started pouring. It was a good ol Texan rain too. well i put my stuff in bags and we started walking. I wont lie i was a littl frustrated at first but as we were walking i started to think about random things and just started to sing out loud random songs that came to mind. i figure everytime I have to walk soaked in the rain, that much hotter and beter my wife will be!! This week something very sad happened...My shoes...are breaking...in front and on bottom. I have a huge hole forming in the bottom of my shoe. Its ok though, im going to wear them til i look like a homeless man on the street! After many attempts we finally found an innactive member we have been looking for. It was a very interesting lesson. he kept saying his problem was worldly and not spiritual. It wasnt the leaders or that no one visits him or that he was offended.

Death Threat!

Well we had another baptism!! Ill send pictures a little later. Her name is Belen and it was definately interesting. Once again we didnt have too much support from the ward but we did it anyway. I have asked the bishop for keys to everything so i can do it when they dont come. It was a great baptism but definately goes on the list for one of the most interesting. Well when i put my hand out to walk down the stairs into the font she told me she didnt need help, well then she fell and screamed, ¨Ahhh ya me bautice!!!!¨ Well then when i lifted her up she stood there for a second then i guess lost her footing and was just fighting everything and screaming like crazy while i held her up. It was definately interesting. It was a very good baptism and we are staying with our goal to baptize every week! This week i had my third death threat taken out on me in my area.. lol. We had a mother and 3 children who were going to be baptized but everything took a very quick turn. She went to visit her husband in jail and she tried to kill her and threatened to kill us when he gets out. Apparently some neibhorhood kids called him and told him that two men were entering into the house. So as for now we lost those but we are going to see what we can do. Quick question for you mom and dad. I was told by yall that you sold Rosie and Grandma told me she died...Im a little confused on exactly what happened. lol This week was very good. We have had a couple up and downs but all in all alot of success. One night we were teaching a woman named jacqui. She is the spouse of a long time member we activated who just became young mens president. Well we were progressing so well with her and then tuesday we took 500 steps back. It was very hard to hear what she thought and i wont lie i teared up a little bit. We bore our testimony and left a challenge with her. I was very worried all week until Saturday when i saw her and it was SOOO much better. She decided to read the whole book of mormon and already almost finished first nephi. It was a very big help to me and i know the date is coming up soon. My zone in the last 2 years has had a maximum of 11 baptisms in a month. This month we put 15 as our goal and reached 16!!!!! There are 10 areas and we as a companionship were able to get 3 last month. Its hard sometimes to focus on numbers when your trying to help certain people but it is the only way for us to measure our success and it does tell alot. Love, Elder Martino

First Week

Well it was the first week with lots of meetings but a good week. My new companion is Elder Siler from Colorado. If youve seen the best two years there ya go. Really the kid speaks well for just getting here but he is very scared and uncomfortable. Im trying hard to help hiim but its going.. We had a great baptism! Her name is lily and she has been through a crazy life, not normal crazy. She has been so excited for her baptism and I had the opportunity to do it for her! I was nervous when at 6 when it started nobody was there, but 10 minutes later the people flooded in as well as 3 investigaotrs. This weekend we have another baptism as well as 8 more in the following month. Our area is doing amazing and im loving it. I had 2 big meetings this week. First one had to do with the leaders in the mission and our goals. It was 7 hours long so i hope i can remember all of it. The other had to focus on the temple! The month of august the temple here will be open for the public. The have given me 5 thousand invitacions as well as my ward recieved 5 thousand more. That i think will keep us busy. Think of a busy city and they want everybody within about 1.5 miles of the church to have an invitacion. On the 8 of september we are having a fireside with President Eyring and 2 other apostles then afterwards a cultural activity in one of the big soccer stadiums. The 600 missionaries in Buenos Aires will enter into the stadium singing ¨llamados a servir¨. Then on the 9 they are doing the dedication broadcasted to all stake centers!! IT is going to be awesome!!! Oh, Nicki, I met your ward mission leader. We will be sending me a picture but his name is elder Villalba. Grandma and grandpa, I just got 2 letters from yall. One from december and another more recent. I just got in the mail about 5 letters that were sent in december or february..sorry. One of my friends was robbed yesterday with a sword.. interesting. Well this week has 3 special days. 26 is the birthday of Tannon. 27 is one year in the mission WOOOOOO and BOOOOOOO. and the 28 we have an amazing baptism. Its kind of sad. The first year was so slow at first becasue i had to work so hard to understand and get used to everyting. At times i wanted to missiom to go by fast, but now no. Now i feel comfortable with the language and everything else. I feel like im learning to be a good missionary and truely help and teach others. The sad part is now everything is going to speed up. Its going faster and faster every week. Its definately good times though! I love it and i love having success! Oh, and last about my district. Its me and my new companion, Hermana Naumann who is training Hermana Kirk from Australia and they are white-washing the area, and the 2 assistants. Our district is going to tear it up!!!! Love, Elder Martino

Monday, July 16, 2012

Dun, dun, dunnnn............

Well this last week was the last week for Aquino in his mission. Although it is not fun being the companion when a missionary dies, we had a lot of success last week. Our numbers beat the assistents and the other companionship combined. The activity helped us out alot. This week we had lunch and dinner just about everyday. We found a couple new families and had success with other investigators we have. Interesting experience that once again i still dont like one bit. We had a couple drunk dudes approach us thursday night asking for everything, watch, money, jacket, etc. Well i told him no and he started to laugh. He proceeded to take a sip of his wine and say he liked it how we just didnt give away everything if someone asks to rob us. All was fine and dandy up to this point but then one of them with his pink scarf proceeded to slap my butt, give me a hug, and ask for a kiss....Well I pushed him off and walked away and hopped on the next bus that passed by there. Still not one of my favorite experiences, but nonetheless interesting. Saturday was an interesting day. I had to do intercambios because all the missionaries who were leaving got to do a tour in capital. Aquino left and i went with another kid. We then had to go to the stake center in my area to pick up 5 thousand invitacions for the temple open house coming up soon. I think that will be enough. Afterwards we met up with my district leader to interview our baptism for later on this day and turns out we needed an interview from President beforehand as well. It got too complicated and it got moved til this weekend coming up but she is still very excited. Well while i was talking to president he asked me if i would be a trainer this transfer. SWWEEEEEETT!!! I forgot to mention that last week i had the opportunity to speak in church about the temple. It seemed to me it went very well. I was able to focus on the importance of the temples and the time we spend there. It was interesting when i read a quote by Wilford Woodruff that said something to the fact of everything single activity, song, and lesson we give in the church should direct us toward the temple. Well this sunday Aquino spoke and gave a little farewell. Saturday we got the call for transfers and i thought i already knew everything that was happening. wrong. President calls me and says, ¨Elder Martino, I already asked you if you would be willing to be a trainer right?¨ ¨Correct¨.¨Good, well i have another question. Would you be willing to be a district leader?¨ ¨..................................................................................................................................are you sure...........? Well he proceeded to tell me what was going to happen. In my district we are 4 elders and the assistants. Well 1-Im training. 2-He is taking both elders out of the other area and putting in an hermana that will train also. 3- That area isnt one of the safest ones so it will be interesting. To say the least this transfer is going to be interesting but i am excited to see all that happens. Love, elder Martino

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Not Much Time

I dont have much time. We spent our pday in a ward activity that we had. Proud to say that i was the one who thought of the idea! Well we had over a hundred people show up and about 30 investigators. We cooked two big pots of locro, had a folklorico dance show, and played soccer. It was tons of fun. We had 3 people tell us they wanted to get baptized, one this coming saturday and we will see if we can. Well at one point kicked the soccer ball over the wall into the porch of an old lady. I climbed up the wall and asked her if we could come around for the ball. Well we went aroound and invited her over and she came!! It turned out to be a big success! A lot of other stuff happened this week but i apologize i dont have time. sorry. Love yall!!! Elder Martino

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Good News!

Start off with the good news. We had a baptism!!! It was interesting but we got it done. We passed by every day starting on sunday last week and the mom wasnt there or other problems. One day we werent there because a man in the villa broke a beer bottle and stabbed the 5 year old grandchild in the eye. As for now his eye is swollen shut and looks narly but i feel bad for the kid. We ended up teaching her but had help from a friend of the family, Victor, who is 22 and not a member. He helped us, came to the baptism, cooked cake afterwards, and came to my english class. We had the baptism and one member showed up...which was sad but oh well. This week I had a very fun time cutting down a tree with a chainsaw and machete! I felt like samurai Jack!! Besides that we had a very good week in numbers, We broke both of our mission records in with member lessons which was very good. My english class now has 11 people who come and it is steadily growing. It turned out to be a big success and im glad. I honestly dont know what else to write, Ill start taking little notes during the day of things i should write home about.. Love yall!! Love, Elder Martino

Monday, June 25, 2012

Happy Father's Day

First, I would like to tell grandpa and Russell that i love them. Second, dad, even though we have butted heads alot im glad your my dad and i love you. You and Mom have raised me correctly whether i chose to follow or not you were there. I thought i knew what bad parents were like and i thought i knew how to be a perfect dad. Im still far away to be there but i am a very lucky son and proud to call you my dad. Well, we still have the other 2 missionaries living with us on the floor. We have no clue how long it will be til they get back in the place but it is nice. Mom, i made homemade bread this week. It was actually really good which surprised me. lol. Monday was my comps birthday last week so we celebrated it with a couple members at there houses which was fun. I ate way too much which did not make a fun time but all in all it was good. Tuesday we had a good service project and found an innactive family which was very good. I was got yelled at by an old man which is always fun. I did learn something interesting. I few years ago in Argentina it was in pretty bad shape and some people in a helicopter tried to rob the angel moroni because they thought it was gold...Also, underneath the temple is the CIA. This week i think we gave more blessings then any other moment in my life. We found a new family through a member and the very first thing they wanted was a blessing for there 4 year old son who has some major health problems. They seem like an amazing family and im excited to see them progress. Something really hit me this week. We have an innactive family with a daughter who is 9 and not baptized. It is a large family all in all that lives just outside of the villa. We had a great lesson with them and i felt as if we really touched home with them. They all promised that if we came by to look for them they would come to church with us. Last week we passed by and no one came out. This week i sat at the door and clapped for about 5 minutes. Finally the little girl, Luana, came to the gate and told me she was almost ready. No one else wanted to wake up and come but she told us that she wanted to come withor without them. She had promised me she would do something and did it. As a 9 year old kid she wanted to keep her word to us while the others didnt care at all. It happens very common that people say they will do something and dont. I feel like i learned a little more this week about why Jesus always loved the children. They are much better then most every adult in this world.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Winter is coming!

It got cold this week. It warmed back up a bit but it definately dropped. We are just about ready for winter and it is going to be a very cold one. Its amazing how cold it can get and still not snow, although it did snow this last week in a bunch of areas where it never snows. We had a good first week of the transfer. It is Aquino´s last transfer in the mission and I'm trying to help him finish out strong. I have been with him longer then any other missionary in his mission but its been a good time. We actually had a very good week even though we had a bunch of interruptions. My new district consists of two elders in the other side of Banfield where i am and the assistants to the mission. The other two elders in Banfield on monday lost there electricity because of kids who cut the power lines and took them, so they moved inot our pinch for a time. Its a tight squeeze but it works. We on the spur of the moment did splits in our area and i got fodged by every one while my comp got to eat dinner. We also had a service project where my digging came in handy. I got to dig a big hole for a member here to put a column in for his house. Turns out lots of people here think that the americans are lazy and bad workers, not anymore!!! Friday was an awesome day because we had to once again plan double plans for the day because i had to take two new missionaries with me for the afternoon and Aquino took another one. We ended up finding an innactive member family of 8 and a daughter who wants to get baptized. It went very well and it helped lift my spirits again. That night my comp got the dinner again and i got a bunch af walking but at least i was able to do it with a fellow texan!!!! Saturday was my first day of english classes. We had 5 people show up and we taught the alphabet, pronounciation, and how to say a prayer in english. It went pretty well,but i hope i get better at teaching the poor people. lol. The next week we are expected to have many more people but we will see. Now yesterday, It happened again. Five minutes before church they tell me i have to speak so i hurry and prepare something. Not going to lie I have been excited and anxious to speak in my ward. Well my comp took all of my time so maybe i will get another chance. It seems we are really making a difference here. It is amazing just to look around the room and see all the people. Many of them would not have come if we had not just gone by and seen them. Speaking of that, interesting experience. Wednesday we were walking around(side note, i still dont know exactly how the spirit works or recognize it) and a name of a sister in our ward popped into my head. We decided to pass by and see how she was doing. Turns out she was in bed unnable to walk, eat, and let alone barely talk. I dont know what exaclty was wrong but she was in a lot of pain. We gave her a blessing and left, but it was nice to feel that this day, i was able to help someone. It is an amazing feeling to just think about how youcan be halping someone in there life. This time is flying by but I am enjoying it. Love, Elder Martino

Monday, June 4, 2012

This week flew by. much faster then i expected. It was the last week of transfers and i expected it to go a little slower. First, I would like to share a couple weird/funny experiences. Friday afternoon and saturday morning we did intercambios(cant remember in english) and i got some american time with the only other white missionary in my district. Well, i went to his area and we had a day with alot of walking and clapping houses. We did find an interesting guy. You ever seen the cartoons where a drunk guy cant stop hicupping? Well that was him. He looked exactly what i would picture as a drunk cartoon. We told us over and over they liked us and didnt want to rob us but wanted to make sure no one else robbed us. Another morning Aquino and I were contacting a house and no one came out. Across the street was an elderly lady mowing her yard so we crossed and offered to help. Turns out here name was Marcelo, she is not a she, and he/she/it likes our church but ya we left a pamphlet and continued. Last night, we also came across a big group of pibes in the corner. We pass them pretty often and they know us. One tries to speak english but is usually completely wasted. Well yesterday I was told that one of them liked me, not like a buddy. So for now on we are walking a different route.lol. Its normal for girls to say stuff here but a dude is something that kinda freaks you out. We had a awesome service. My comp cut the grass and i re-did the garden. Well we had many people pass and ask if we could come do there house too. Service for a lesson. She was very happy with our work and tells all of her neighbors. Now for the good part. We had a zone conference this wednesday and it was great, very long but great. Something that mainly hit me was first our word. If i say i will do something then i will do it. There is a quote and i cant remember exactly how it goes but something to the fact of if you put me in a super strong jail with walls 10 feet under ground, I could perhaps find a way out but if you draw a circle around me and tell me not to leave it and i agree, then i will die before i leave that circle. Something else we talked about was the anti-nephi-lehis and want the parents did and we did it ourselves. It seemed like a little kid thing but i wrote down that night the habits or things i wanted to get rid of and then do it. Since then i have felt much better. Many people think you have to let something go little by little. Whether it be tobacco, alcohol, pornography, anger, or impatience, you dont have to slowly let it go. It is much better to just drop it once. Yes, you might turn back and do it again once or twice but you cant give up on yourself or others. It seems right now we have a handful of poeple that cant give up certaine vices. They believe it is impossible but its a lie. You have to learn to over come or body. One of the hardest things in life is to learn that your spirit and body are together but seperate. You have to differentiate between the two and learn to control yourself. Its hard but it brings alot of peace. Love, Elder Martino I sent a picture of my new suit coat. lol. 50 pesos! 12 dollars.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Happy Now and Forever-After

The week ended!! Through all the trouble and wrestling we got the baptism. The baptism was definately the highlight of the week. We did it 8 at night after a birthday party and an elders quoram activity which even though was a hassle, it turned out to help. We ended up having alot of support of less-actives and even a couple investigators. The mom showed up from work and it went great! The bishop baptized him and it went better then I expected. The only thing that didnt work out was a certain leader who is always supposed to help us and didnt and then when the baptism came he claimed to have done it all himself, but hey, he can say it was him all he wants, every other person knows who it was that visited them. Tuesday we found an innactive member that was pretty interesting. She doesnt go because she cant walk or do anything basically. Cool little fact about her, she raised a puma. She had pictures with it as well as many missionaries. She raised it and had it in her house for 14 years. It never bit anybody but scared the pee out of lots of people. To say the least she never got robbed. I thought that was freakin awesome. I think i might have to raise a large cat in my house one day. The rest of the week was pretty normal. Saturday morning we had a service project. An interesting one we were asked to help with. They wanted to move an old car that had been in this spot for 7 years. The tires were half way stuck in mud and very hard to get out. My comp still cant do a whole lot of lifting so it was one of us...I am definately not that strong but with a 4 by 4 i could lift a corner of the car at a time so he could put something beneath. In the end once we lifted it we still couldnt move it. That will be for another day when we have more help. This is the last week of the transfer and we will see what happens. We also heard that we missionaries will get to participate in the re-dedication of the temple here on September 9. I am pretty excited for that along with the month prior the temple is open to all public and we have many people excited to go. Hopefully this can be a big tool for us. Something that came up a couple times this week i have been thinking about. Last night in the street a man stopped us. All of his friends were drunk and he was on his way. We started to talk to him and he asked us a question that hit me. ¨What do you have besides a white shirt a tie that I dont have? I have a son, house, car, and motorcycle. The only thing i dnt have is a woman. Is the problem me? What is it that you have that i dont?¨ i thought about it alot and really weird but I had a dream last night. It was nothing special except 2 sides of what my life could be like. On one side its alright, i have everything in the world i could want, and on the other side, I dont have everything material wise but i have a healthy family that has everything they need and we are happy, happy ever-after. The world paints happily ever-after as a dream for little kids, but we as latter-day saints should know that it is real and any person can have it. It takes work, determination, and putting off certain desires or wishes, but it brings much more joy. For me i think I already have happily for now and ever-after. Love, Elder Martino

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Interesting!

Well we definately started the week off interesting. Monday night I had the most uncomfortable lesson in my mission so far. The mom(not biological but since they were one or two years old) is innactive and the two daughters are 14 and 16 but also go to church. She is upset that they lie and disrespect her and her husband all the time. The husband was in the next room listening and the other room was 4 teenage boys playing videogames. Well she starts yelling and the 16 year old is crying(the mom was saying some really hurtful stuff) and the 14 year old is off in her own little world. The mom expected the daughters to be perfect because they went to church and if not they shouldnt go to church. Well we tried our best without hurting anybody to help them. I ended up hearing the Chaco version of the boy who cried wolf from my companion which was interesting...I also tried to let the mom know that her daughters were good girls. I ended up telling her that they are much better then what i was and it takes alot of patience from a parent to deal with that. Those years are hard but the parents always need to be there to back there kids up. Quick side note. I am teaching a new member family right now how to do family history work, while learning myself, and teaching english to him and his family. Well the intersting thing is trying to teach something i dont know much about and that the dude looks and acts exactly like Chris Rock.. Other then that we have had alot of rain and been doin some fun service projects and meeting lots of new people. This week we had alot of success which was great. Yesterday in church is the main thing that has hit me this week. In Elders Class we are studying the book of George Albert Smith and i want to share a story out of it. Prayer allows us to talk to our Heavenly Father as though He were present. It is a wonderful blessing that we enjoy in these times of stress and uncertainty to feel sure of divine guidance, to have absolute faith in a personal God who is interested in us and who hears and answers our prayers.4 A number of years ago … I heard of [a] nine-year-old boy, an orphan, who was hurried off to the hospital, where examination indicated that he had to be operated upon without delay. He had been living with friends who had given him a home. His father and mother, (when they were alive) had taught him to pray; thus, when he came to the hospital, the thing he wanted was to have the Lord help him. The doctors had decided to hold a consultation. When he was wheeled into the operating room, he looked around and saw the nurses and the doctors who had consulted on his case. He knew that it was serious, and he said to one of them, as they were preparing to give him the anesthetic: “Doctor, before you begin to operate, won’t you please pray for me?” The doctor, with seeming embarrassment, offered his excuses and said, “I can’t pray for you.” Then the boy asked the other doctors, with the same result. Finally, something very remarkable happened; this little fellow said, “If you can’t pray for me, will you please wait while I pray for myself?” They removed the sheet, and he knelt on the operating table, bowed his head and said, “Heavenly Father, I am only an orphan boy. I am awful sick. Won’t you please make me well? Bless these men who are going to operate that they will do it right. If you will make me well, I will try to grow up to be a good man. Thank you, Heavenly Father, for making me well.” When he got through praying, he lay down. The doctors’ and the nurses’ eyes were filled with tears. Then he said, “I am ready.” The operation was performed. The little fellow was taken back to his room, and in a few days they took him from the hospital, well on the way to complete recovery. Some days after that, a man who had heard of the incident went to the office of one of the surgeons and said, “Tell me about the operation you performed a few days ago—the operation on a little boy.” The surgeon said, “I have operated on several little boys.” The man added, “This little boy wanted someone to pray for him.” The doctor said very seriously, “There was such a case, but I don’t know but that it is too sacred a thing for me to talk about.” The man said, “Doctor, if you will tell me, I will treat it with respect; I would like to hear it.” Then the doctor told the story about as I have retold it here, and added: “I have operated on hundreds of people, men and women who thought they had faith to be healed; but never until I stood over that little boy have I felt the presence of God as I felt it then. That boy opened the windows of heaven and talked to his Heavenly Father as one would talk to another face to face. I want to say to you that I am a better man for having had this experience of standing and hearing a little boy talk to his Father in heaven as if he were present.”5 [See suggestion 2 on page 100.] Let us so live that every night when we kneel to pray and every morning when we bow before the Lord in thanksgiving, there will be in us the power to open the heavens so that God will hear and answer our prayers that we will know that we are approved of Him.6 If the faith of a nine year old boy without a family who is facing a serious surgery is that strong, why cant I and why cant you have this same unshakeable faith in our daily lives. Prayer is our only personal communication with our father. He wants to help us and listen to our problems and he will. The question is if we will let him and recognize wqhat he does for us. Love, Elder Martino

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Finally a Baptism!

This week flew by but it was good and we finally got a baptism. We had the opportunity to do exchanges with my district leader which was good and we found and taught some good people. On wednesday we found this old lady named Nancy who is great. She seems like a great woman that is excited to listen and learn. She did tell us how when she was 15 she had a vision. She had seen a giant brain that talked to her and told her many things about God. This got me thinking a little. She defiantely isnt the only person here who talks about having visions or dreams so its not too out of the normal, although a giant brain is new to me. We started to talk afterwards and i came to three conclusions. One, is that there is some crazy drugs in the water here. Two, is satan is known to appear great at times and teach twisted truths. If someone sees a vision they immediately think it is of god and Satan uses that to his advantage. We need to make sure that everything is absolute truths from God. The third is that anybody can recive a vision or see things and it can be from God. Going along with that story later that day we were clapping a house and a completely wasted man started to yell at us in broken english to come over to him. Before the woman could come to the door he had come over to us and kept her from leaving which made her stay inside. I did learn a couple things. First, he is one of the only billionaires in argentina and obama gave him and his wife a watch for that. Second is that he wants to have a kid in Miami so it can speak two languages. Never would have guessed he was so rich with a ciggarette in one hand and a box of wine in the other... the good news is saturday we had a great baptism that turned out different then i expected but we got her dunked which was good. Her name is Anna Maria and she is one of the sweetest old woman i know. She is mother of none but aunt to all. Everytime we met her she made me think of my two grandmothers that i still have living. Very special women with power to influence many people. She loves the church and loves feeling so loved by everyone. The beautiful thing is that that is our church. Our church is to strengthen one another so that we can as a group reach our goal to live in heaven with eachother and God. What would heaven be if we were alone? Very rarely in life can we find true happiness that solely involves ourselves. At least for me, true happiness comes at times and occasions that dont solely involve me. Life you always say dad, pleasure is much different than happiness. Pleasure is a lonely feeling of short term contentment that is followed by more loneliness. Happiness on the other hand is a feeling to be shared that brings true joy. Most always it is followed by a smile which spreads like wildfire to whoever is around you. Just this morning I was talking with the lady who manages our apartment. Many people here think that we in the states are a very cold hearted people that mind our own business. Sad to say but it is true for the most part, but it is true all around the world. Whats different is us. We ourselves, member of the church or not, are the ones that make differences. Every word we say or every action we do can change ours and someone elses life forever. The question is will it be for the better or will we tear people down. We'll pass people in the street with our heads down focusing on our own problems or will we look up with a smile on our face greeting people as we walk by. Every single one of us has the same goal whether we know it or not, and every single one of us has our own challenges, and every single one of us has the duty to help one another. Not one of us can reach heaven without helping others reach heaven. After all, what would heaven be without our friends and family. Sorry for the rambling but i was thinking about this topic alot this week. Love, Elder Martino

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Quick Week

Well it was a quick week. The cold is coming in and i love it. Every one here says that everyone gets fat in the winter so im getting ready. Just to make sure, if i come back a butterball are people still going to like me? We had a couple days this week when the work was very slow and the walking never ended. The good thing is we have gained the trust of many many members including the bishop(paso a paso). I had great success with less active members along with great food which helped! This week we get to go cook ├▒okis for a less active family who came to church for the first time in a while. This weekend coming up is exciting. So many things that are going to happen. We have a baptism on Saturday which of course is 5 de Mayo and of course we are going to celebrate mexican style! Sunday we have ward conference and the members are helping us to get many people there. We have over 600 members with about 100 active...Our goal is to have many more present. I have one member here who is known through the missionaries as never liking an elder. Well, the other day we wanted to study Jesus the Christ with us. Let me just say that when i read that book in English i feel like im reading in a different language. Spanish made it that much harder but almost easier to understand. Turns out that he likes me. I have no clue what i did but we sat and just studied part of a chapter and it went very well. Last night as well we had a noche de hogar with a couple. Turns out they had just had a fight and she wouldnt come out but whatever. We were reading and talking and the guy ended up saying that he feels as if I were his counselor in heaven before this life...Not sure what he meant by that but, cool. They always say in your mission you find people who knew you before this life... This week all in all was a struggle. I wont say why but in every prayer i said(including the many extra prayers) i was asking for the lord to give me patience. The days we were long and my comp and I just didnt agree on certain things. Turns out God just doesnt all of the sudden make me like Job. Once again it comes peace by peace and alot of work. I did alot of reading and studying as well. It is amazing what help it is when you just forget about yourself. Forget about what i want, what i think is a better idea, what i need, or what i would do. If i start to think how can i help this person, what does it hurt if we do this, what does this person need, or how can i make this person happier. If my goal is to make others happy, i will be happy myself. Love, Elder Martino

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Yup!

It was a good week! We had the doctor on Tuesday and got the ok to go out and work more. We rest a couple hours in the afternoon but work in the morning and late afternoon all night. We had to start almost all over but it went well. Many people we couldnt find again but we had alot of success of finding others. Well as you can see i got my haircut by a member in my ward. I figured what is the worst that can happen...Well it really made me think when he started to cry while cutting my hair..Oh, and it was all with scissors too... Well it didnt turn out too bad, a little short but im ok with it. Afterwards I got up on his roof and put new tin down and fixed the rest of it. Besides that not a whole lot happened. The cold has started to come in which i like. There is now light in all my area and everything is mostly back to normal. Oh, we did have transfers and president decided to keep us together which i think will be good. I did some reading the other day and find a scripture i really liked. D&C 6:29-31. In these it pretty much describes why we should have no fear to share the gospel. Usually we say the worst they can do is say no but the truth is the worst they can do is kill us. I doubt that will to ever to many of us but its a reassurance (sp) that as long as we share it we are blessed if they say yes or no. It was a little boost for me. I often didnt like clapping houses but where can i go wrong if im sharing what i should and how i should. Love, Elder Martino

Monday, April 16, 2012

Lots of Rest .....



Well, I have been in the pench almost all day everyday. We did go to
the doctor last Tuesday and find out his shoulder is completely broken
and not just fractured. Cool part was they sent us two and the three
assistants walking through the hospital which was fun to look at all
the faces but it got really old after waiting 4 hours for the doctor
then meeting with him for less then 5 minutes.

Well Wednesday we had a member who told me he would go out with me
while my comp stayed with a member. Well, we got to his house and he
wasn't feeling well..cool, back to the pench. Thursday a member did go
with me from 3 to 5 before we had to open up his store and it actually
went very well. Friday, no one could help us. Saturday I got to go out
again from 3-6 which was great. I went with Hermano Villalba, an
elderly man in my ward, who surprisingly walks a good pace and helped
alot. We had a couple interesting lessons, one more then the others.
Its another elderly man that we had a baptismal date for this coming
Saturday. I will say he pulled every surprise out of the book i could
think of. Turns out after telling us over and over he had quit
drinking that he hadn't. He said that he always likes to have a little
glass of wine when he eats...I'm not too sure it is only a little as
the man is swaying back and forth but hey. That was surprise one i
tried to confront and teach. Problem two was when his 40 year old son
stares at me from the hallway for a couple minutes then starts asking
me what i wanted because the dog wouldn't stop barking. Well, all i
want is to talk with your father and you also if your interested. He
didn't like that too much and asked again what i wanted because the dog
from outside wouldn't stop barking. Well i said, ¨I really don't want
anything more then to talk with your dad. The dog probably wont stop
barking because he wants to play with someone.¨ He then walked away
and left us to talk. Now for the best problem. One I have not come
across yet. The last time we talked to him was about baptism and he
really liked the idea of being baptized like Jesus so you know what he
did? He went to a different church and did don't get himself
baptized...That one threw me way off guard and we talked about it a
little but he started to cry about other stuff that was happening in
life so we left it for another time.

Sunday we had stake conference and my comp and I had dates! Sort of...
We picked up an elderly woman who we have been teaching that was
excited to come with us. Then we stopped by to pick up some inactive
young men who said they would go with us but they weren't there,
instead their grandma walked out and wanted to come with us. We had to
take a taxi and then a bus to get there but it went very well. Mom, I
don't think you will ever in your life want to take a taxi here.

It was a slower week but this week we should find out what will be
happening with my comp and I.

Love

Elder Martino

Monday, April 9, 2012

My Third Companion

We got completely worked over this week. The week was going well, very
well until Wednesday night. We were with an innactive family at about
730 and it started to rain/hail. At 8 we had an appointment with a
lady that i didnt want to miss. The rain stopped for a second and it
seemed it would be a good time to run to the next cita before it
started again. We didnt make it. When you are in the street and it
sounds louder then a stadium full of Boca or River fans coming
straight at you, its nevver good. We were running in the middle of the
street for the darkness and everything else til it got bad. Tin
roofing started to fly everywhere from peoples roofs. Flew int he air
and cut almost every power line with ease. At this point we are about
5 blocks from anyone we know. We are sprinting along side the houses.
Everything is flooded and at this point im not a big fan of walking in
the rain. Samye, you said I have a third companion. I dont think you
know how true it is. I didnt hear a voice or a thing. My comp is
running about 10 feet in front of me and my body stops. I dont know
how but i stopped. A spliot second later i hear a loud crack and a
large tree falls in front of me and breaks through a brick wall. My
comp looked back and couldnt see me so came around the tree and just
saw me dazed for a second. We keep running and a man lets us in his
store for a second. When it all passed we went outside. Every cable
line was cut and most of them were live. Tin roofing and trees are
everywhereand the streets are flooded in a foot of water. This was
definately an experience i wont forget and i definately feel someone,
my third companion, had saved me.

There is still no power in most of our area except acouple streets by
our pench. We made it back that night and were out helping people pull
trees off power lines and off there houses. A man lent us a hatchet
for the next day to use.

Thursday morning we leave in service clothes and walk the streets
looking for help. We fixed the roofing tiles of a member then moved
on. There is a big plaza in our area that we walked by. 75% of the
trees are down. We see a corner house with what seemed 5 grandmas
watching as an eleven year old kid is trying to cut this massive tree.
We offer our help and well long story short my comp fell saving
another dude from killing himself with a chainsaw and broke his
shoulder. The rest of the day was in the hospital which was full of
people. 7 people ended up dying in the storm. No one here has ever
seen a storm that strong.

Since then we have been in the apartment. Tommorow we have an
appointment in the hospital and most likely he will end up going home.
We has 3 months left and my guess is it will take at least 6 weeks to
heal. I might go into a triple, get a mini missionary, or work with
members. Im not a big fan of this past week but at least i am alive.

Apart from the the bad of this week a couple good or interesting
things happened. We found 2 great families, i saw and pet a 200lb
rotweiler(its not a lie either), and i have fixed about every little
thing in my pench i can find. Also funny story. So in Argentina there
are always trucks driving by with microphones selling fruits and
veggies. Well we are walking the other day and see a kid that is
drugged out of his mind. He is riding his bike and announcing fruits
and veggies through his athsma inhaler...Its sad but at the same time
hilarious.

Well its been a long but quick week. At nights there are riots in the
streets yelling. Still no electricity in half my area or water. Oh and
this is for you mom. My patience has gotten alot better i think. I
cook, clean, and do everything else for my comp now. I even have to
dress the kid.(except the garments).

Love, Elder Martino

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

End of the Week was good!




This week was filled with alot of walking, rejection, returning, more
rejection, and bad news. The work this week was a little more
difficult than usual. We did have alot of good service this week which
was good but that was about it. Mostly all of our lessons fell through
or if they did happen they weren't what I was hoping.

Monday we started off good. We had two good lessons one of which was
with our relief society president and second counselor in the ward and
there family. This lesson did have a positive outcome. They asked us
if we could help out with a couple things and we had feedback from
others it was a good noche de hogar. That is a good promising sign for
us that the members are gaining more trust in us.


Wednesday was interviews with President. It was early on in the
transfer but they went great. Its always good to talk to him and it
was good to thank him for a couple things. Afterwards we walked to the
other end of our area for lunch who had forgotten about us so we did
what any hungry man here would do, we bought choripan in the street.
Don't get me wrong, it was pretty yummy but we definitely wont be going
back to that guy. Made the rest of the day super great!! That night we
went to visit a member in the villa who wanted to visit with us. Turns
out we found out their oven and stove was leaking gas. First we fixed
that, then the freezer, then some electrical problems. Not the best to
walk through the villa at night but super cool part is the member gave
me one of his old sport coats that didn't fit him anymore! Pictures to
come another day.

Through out the rest of the week we lost alot of lessons but kept
going. A couple interesting family home evenings that didn't pan out
how i expected but that's how it goes. As we talked to a member Friday
something he said stood out to me. ¨Those who don't live to serve don't
serve to live.¨Kind of interesting no?

Conference was wonderful except for that fact that every person who
promised they would come, take a guess, did not come. Well this is
what i say. These two days were days for me and if they didn't want to
share it with me then tomatela! Sorry a little selfish and rude, but
this conference was something i was really looking forward to and it
was amazing. Turns out the church is allowed to sing one of my
favorite hymns again which was a nice surprise. Some of the talks that
really stood out to me where Paul E. Koelliker, Henry B. Eyring,
Jeffrey R. Holland (like always), Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Russell M Nelson
(¨Could an explosion in a print shop produce a dictionary?¨),
President Monson, M Russell Ballard, David F Evans, and Neil L
Anderson.

I would like everyone to look back at what David F Evans said.
Something to the fact of missionaries like getting letters. Tangible
letters that they can touch, read, and take with them. :)

I know i gave yall a challenge for conference and i hope you all did
it. I did do it but i apologize but it is not something i will share.
I did get an answer and i know you could have as well.

Little funny story for the week. I did a full house contact this week
with a parrot this week almost. I clapped and heard hola so i started
to talk. Turns out it was the parrot right there that i had invited to
listen to us. My companion was laughing pretty hard.

Love, Elder Martino

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Cooling Down!

The days are definately cooling down. Today is actually pretty chilly
and im already sick. This week defiantely flew by very quick. We had a
very good week this week as far as numbers went and a couple days.
Other days were rough and alot of rejection and walking.

Monday it rained all afternoon and night. It was kind of funny,
walking to a lesson we had this massive black cloud started coming our
way rumbling and lightning. My comp is actually really scared of
lightning when he is in the street. Well we had a couple good lessons
except one really bad one. Member family that is innactive. Father
used to be in the high council but due to all the `corruption` he saw,
he left the church. For the last year the missionaries have been
teaching the family to baptize their son. The father always said that
he was working things out to where he could baptize his son but it
never pulled through. Well we found out the reason that night. We
couldnt even say a prayer but we bore our testimonies and told them
whenever they need something to call us, but as for now we will let
time do its magic. Youd be amazed what time can do for some people.

Wednesday I also faced another question that actually got me in a
little trouble... Well we are with an innactive family and we watch a
boof of mormon dibujito about Nephi and building the ship. Afterwards
the dad pulls a question out of no where! How do we know God and Jesus
isnt black? I immediately started laughing which i dont think he liked
at that moment, but ya... Well he wanted an answer in the bible and he
wanted it then, so this is what i did. :) First I looked in the bible
which it doesnt say anywhere. Turns out it answers it in Moses but not
in the bible. Well i ended up asking him a couple questions. Do you
believe in this church? the book of mormon? ok, cool. So why cant the
answer be there? Really, i could care less if Jesus is white, black,
blue, or red but ya.

This week we found 6 new people that we have baptismal dates for which
should be very good. We got a man to give us his tobacco plant, I got
spit on, we built the roof of a house(half-way), we walked a whole
lot, and and some amazing lessons that made up for it all.

The most exciting thing is this week. Tuesday we have interviews with
president and Saturday and Sunday conference.

Challenge for each one of you. It is the same challenge I am making
with many people here. For the last couple years I have always thought
of a quesion I had in my life. The week before conference I constantly
think about it and study in the scriptures for it, then when
conference comes I take notes on everything, but i especially listen
for an answer. I have found every time I can find an answer to the
question. Whether its the answer i like or not i can find it.

Love, Elder Martino

Walking the Villa!

Let me tell you. I finally have a straight up villa in my area. The
hood in the states is like a gated community compared to this. Its
called the Ceibo. We cant be there past 6. We are always accompanied
by a member for safety. It is pretty sweet but interesting. Notice, I
have not been robbed yet. Maybe due to the fact because my companion.
Because my companion is only 5 ft everyone thinks im a lot bigger then
i am. Its rather helpful at times when pibes start walking up to us
yelling. First off my companion, Elder Aquino. I do regret something.
I started this transfer off with the wrong mindset. I thought this was
going to be a super hard transfer and difficult and id hate it. Wrong
attitude! Ya my comp is a 5ft butterball-fastwalking-argentine, but he
is great. The kid is 26 and has a real desire to be here. He works
hard and just needs guidance. I am going to learn alot this transfer
but it is going to be a good one. He is a good guy with his heart in
the right place.

Monday was a good but quick night. I got settled into our new pench
then we left to go see a couple people. It rained all night(i have
learned to love walking in the rain). Oh, ha best part. So we are
taking a bus back to our area and Aquino decides he wants an umbrella
for the rain so he buys one from a guy down there. We walk out and
opens it and it breaks in the wind. I was laughing pretty hard and got
him laughing too.

Now Tuesday. Today we went to Ceibo for a bit. I met an old couple who
have been members for 36 years. Really caught me off guard but the man
comes up to me and tells me to sit down in fron of him. He then sits
down on the ground and proceeds to shine my shoes for me. He says it
is what he does for his job and it is what he does for all the
missionaries to pay back a little bit for what they did for him. I
will say it was the best shine i have had ever. It truely that i was
definately going to get robbed after that and have to walk home
without shoes. We went through the villa looking for a couple members
and investigators and a guy stops us. We proceed to talk for a bit in
the middle of the whole place. He proceeds to tell us we are good kids
but doing the devils work. He tries for a while to get us to say a
prayer with him in the middle of the place where we hold hands and
repeat what he says...Well we got him to let us into his house and say
a prayer. We made a deal that we will repeat his prayer about us doing
the devils work if we can say a prayer first. Itwent well i guess...
Quick side note, the members i mentioned above have two dogs.
Interesting but these two dogs follow us everywhere we go inside the
villa. If we go inside a house they wait outside then continue with
us. They bark at anybody we dont know or any dog that tries to
approach us. Kind of cool.

The rest of the week passed by way quick. Everyday we somehow ended up
to come back to the pench with more food that we didnt buy. Im trying
hard not to get fat mom.

Saturday. Well we did 2 service projects that took all day. In the
morning we were building ahouse and in the afternoon we helped a
family move. It took forever!! Their old house was a small passage way
that passed 4 other houses all the way to their house in thevery back.
The passage is just barely wide enough to fit their kitchen table
through. That took a while but nothing compared to what happened next.
Aquino and I rode in the back of the moving truck in pitch dark
singing hymns for about 30 mins with everything bouncing all over the
place. We get to the new house and it is the same situation but
skinnier AND the neighbor had built a skaffelding(sp) to build up on
his house. The stories high and very very shaky. Its a good thing you
werent there mom cuz i started from the top standing on 4 by 12 pieces
of wood and lowering them down slowly. That took an hour to get down
so we could get everything in. In took two loads to get it all in and
we fixed their electricity and carried there kitchen table across the
roofs of all the neighbors houses. lol. It was a very long day.

Church was very good. We actually have priesthood now in the ward
which is nice but i learned something. Many members dont trust the
elders. I have no clue why but it looks like something we will be
changing here. Aquino and I plan to have lots of success and that wont
be happening without the members. Therefor this will change!

Quick funny story. Yesterday we were teaching a new investigator about
baptism and i learned something new. When Jesus floated down the river
and the pharohs wife found him, she had john the baptist come over and
dunk baby jesus 3 times in the water. Yes he said Jesus and not moses.
I have no clue where he learned this but it was intersting. We will
see what we can do next time.

To finish this up a little tidbit. The last week of my last transfer i
spent a lot of time thinking a couple days. I didnt want to leave my
area but i knew i needed a change. I had lost all desire to do
contacts. It sucks alot of the time. I remeber thinking to myself that
i need a companion that likes contacting so that i can rebuild the
desire to contact. Turns out another confirmation that God does know
our thoughts. I got the perfect companion for this. We contact alot
and we have found a few people through it which i think will help
alot. Once again God has blessed me in my life and i know he will do
the same for you if you just ask and believe.

Love,

Elder Martino

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Fast Week!

This week flew by way too fast. Every single day we were running from
appointment to appointment.

One funny little story. So we were in our meeting thursday night with
our mission leader in the church. We finished up talking about most
everything but i had a question about a member. Turns out i know what
happend. He died, right in the same room where we were. Thats always
fun when you have been trying to find this person forever and then you
find out they died right where you are sitting.

Well this very same day right before hand we were out in El Pato
teaching a couple lessons. Our baptism we had that lived out there,
the grandpa who is member told us ont worry about coming over to
finish up the last lesson because the 9 year old girl doestn want to
get baptized. Well he told us not to come over becasue that and what
not. So what did I decide we do? We went over there and talked to her
and the family. Well turns out we couldnt get her to change her mind
but we know it was the father who isnt member. super sweet huh.

Well we did lose a baptism but good thing is we had 2 others that went
very well. Saturday night we had our baptismal service and it was
great. It was the children of the women I baptized a month ago. Let me
tell you, She is golden. Since her baptism she has been in the church
i think almost everyday. Instiiute class, Relief Society, Cleaning,
Whatever other activity. She seems to be a baller at this whole church
thing and will make a great leader!! She even spoke at the baptism of
her kids. Oh, and yes i made brownies and everybody loved them.

Saturday night we got the call i wasnt expecting. It was my turn to be
transfered. Sunday was spent going around and seeing everyone and
saying my goodbyes. Im going to be honest with you. It was not too
hard to leave a single one of you back home to come on the mission. I
dont know why. I knew i would be leaving here sometime but i guess it
never clicked with me. I just thought of El Parque as my home. It was
a lot harder then i expected to say goodbye. One of my families here
made a DVD for me of my time in that area. It holds alot of good
memories. My biggest fear isnt to move on to a new place but it is
that i wont like my new place like El Parque.

My new area is Acevedo (I think thats how its spelled). It is right
close to Banfield. My new companion is Elder Aquino. He is from Chaco,
Argentina and 26. Everyone in the mission knows him...From what i
heard nothing was good. Im going to go with everything they said was
wrong. Hopefully this transfer will be great. Im excited to start in a
new area and get to know some more people.

Love Elder Martino