Saturday, December 13, 2014

Snakes, scorpions, and PIGS FEET!

ELDER MARTIN is having quite the adventure down there in Apan. (or should I say up there since he is at 7900ft elevation?) So far they have rescued a snake from their neighbors house and got a teaching appointment out of it, found a scorpion on their hike, and in his words this past letter,  "I tried pigs feet last week. That was interesting. I did my best to graciously accept it from one of the branch members. It is pretty much just tendons and fat, but wasn't as bad as I thought it would be." All I can say is that he is a brave soul and I'm glad he isn't a picky eater! Other adventures he has reported to us about involve traveling to other towns and cities and p-day hikes. The couple serving in their area have a car so they don't always catch the bus or train. Here is the experience he relayed last week "After our meeting, our Cano's (the couple) took us along with our district leader and comp from a nearby town, Sahugun. So there were 6 of us in a little economy car, and our district leader is a hefty boy. We rode like this for 45 minutes. Right after we entered the town, the Mexican police pulled us over and tried to give us a ticket for having too many people in the car, but we went away ticketless! " Who knew they even cared in Mexico? Jajaja! 
Kade is doing better with the language but was a little disappointed when his trainer of only 5 weeks was transferred. He enjoyed Elder Cruz and his great work ethic. They had a lot of success together and baptized a few investigators. Here they are pictured with the couple (Cano's) and another set of missionaries. I don't know the sisters. This photo is from Sister Egberts awesome blog. pachucamexicoldsmission.blogspot

Anyhow, his new comp is an Spanish speaking Elder from Nicaragua. They are getting along fine. Kade loves the Cano's who cook and act like grandparents to the missionaries. The weekend after this last transfer, Kade and his comp had the mission President and his wife come visit their Sacrament Meeting. It made Elder Martin nervous because he didn't know everything like where everyone lived, etc, since he was now the missionary there for the longest period of time.  (many houses don't even have addresses!) Below you can see a picture of he and his companion in the building they meet for church "house of prayer" (in someone's garage),  blessing the Sacrament. There are apparently more members there, they are just sitting behind Sister Egbert as she takes the photo. Pretty humble conditions though! Kade and his companion really get to take an active role in the branch since there are so few members. President and sister Egbert posted that the missionaries in this area along with a dedicated branch President have almost doubled the size of the branch recently. Kade says most people have never even heard of the LDS church in this area. SO exciting and full of potential! Kade says they are very busy with appointments. His day consists of studying gospel and language in the morning and "pretending to exercise" (ME TOO!) Then at noon, they start appointments. Usually they eat a big meal with members at 2:00 in the afternoon. and work until 9:30. He then goes to bed and "treasures every ounce of sleep."

Here are photos from Elder Martin's hikes and his humble abode with a "stairway to heaven". He was without power a few weeks ago during a cold spell. He was happy when the awesome Sister Egbert showed up this Sunday with two brand new blankets. He sure enjoys his mission President and wife. Overall, Elder Martin seems to be adjusting and doing well. He did have a tinge of homesickness on Thanksgiving, but was so excited when an investigator brought the missionaries hot cinnamon milk and pastries. "we got to have a feast after all". Elder Martin does love and miss everyone from home and loves to hear from you. He has a very strong testimony regarding the importance of his work and the importance of us members stepping up to help and share the gospel ourselves. This Christmas, the church has a campaign going entitled "HE IS THE GIFT". Try this link Or, there is a you tube video "Angels we have heard on high" With David Archuleta and The piano guys that will take you there after their beautiful song. Kade closed his most recent letter with his testimony "I am so grateful for the atonement and for His teachings which allow us to overcome all trials and have happiness without end. I know that this is true; that Christ is our Mediator and our brother, was sent by our Heavenly Father to do what nobody else could do. I encourage everyone to watch and share this video and utilize the season to draw closer to Christ and share the knowledge they have of this grand gift we have been given. "HE IS THE GIFT!"
I too, am grateful for this gift and this time of year when we can focus our attention of the greatness of the Savior. I am really missing this boy but couldn't be prouder of his sacrifice so that others may find the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I cannot personally imagine my life without it! Kade sends his love and gratitude to all of you for your support and love. I want to end with a picture of the first baptism Kade got to perform even though he was quite sick that day. He said "It felt so good".

Ana and Sebastian (With Elders Martin and Cruz)

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Elder Martin made it to Mexico!

 Mike and I were thrilled to talk to Kade as he waited at the SLC airport preparing to fly to Mexico at 5:30 am on October 13.. He was anxious for his new adventure but sad to leave the MTC where he met lots of good "homies", enjoyed lots of good food, sang in the General Conference Priesthood Session, which was a pretty great experience for him, (see Kade's facebook page) and learned some basic Spanish. He traveled with 2 sister missionaries, and his companion, Elder Jeppesen. Kade's uncle Justin met him at the airport with some last minute essentials and  "tidings of great joy". He talked about a week long bout with the "Christensen bowels" and how he had to sit by the emergency exits and use them!   More funny details were provided, but we won't share them here. :)   He arrived late to the mission home after lots of turbulence and delays, and finally met President and Sister Egbert. A total of twenty missionaries arrived at the mission home that day. The other 16 came from the Mexico MTC. The picture below is Elder Martin's "awesome" district at the MTC.

Left: old comp Elder Jeppsen
Right: new comp Elder Cruz from Peru. Below: district missionaries

It was a long week before we heard from Elder Martin again. Sister Egbert did email us from Pachuca to let us know he made it safe,  where he had been assigned to, and that he was the only English speaker in his whole district! Yikes! (She keeps a great blog up and later posted pictures on Finally, on Monday we received an email! Here are some excerpts from that...." OK! I am here in Mexico. Things are crazy, but also exciting. It was sad to leave the MTC last Monday. I definately made some good homies while I was there. It was the best! Now, I'm in the real world. It has been an overwhelming experience adjusting to this change. He then told us about getting up early and his experience at the airport and what a miracle it was his luggage was under the 50 lb. limit. "I sat next to Elder Jeppsen, which was interesting (and kind of funny) because he got sick like ten minutes before we landed and started gagging. A bad first experience on the plane. To be fair, the was rough and we practically hydroplaned when we landed. It was crazy, but because of the bad weather, our flight was delayed and I got to eat at Panda Express, so it wasn't all bad. We landed in Mexico City, got through the hectic crowds and met up with the mission President and his wife, the Egberts. I haven't known them for long, but they are so awesome! We drove to the mission home, interviewed, ate, and slept at the assistants apartments for the the night. The next day we received our new assignments. Im in APAN, a small area near the edge of my mission with my new comp Elder Cruz from Cuzco Peru. He's awesome and hard working. Mexico is so different. Who knew? Haha. It's different adjusting to it. The people here are so friendly and even though I have been really busy everyday, it's rewarding to be here. The small branch already has plans to grow. I have laready had interesting experiences. The other day I went to the atm with my new mission ATM and I pressed cancel when I meant to press delete and it disappeared, never to be seen again! During our district meeting on Wednesday, I was asked to teach the native missionaries English...that will be interesting!
Every missionary in the world is encouraged to learn English since the church is headquartered in America. My Spanish is still suffering but improving a little. People talk so fast here and have like a million names. It's a little frustrating not being able to communicate well with others especially when I swear I have Whooping Cough. But, I mean it's better than having diarrhea."  Kade went on to say the climate was rainy and listed a few things he needed and let me know what music to send him. He ended his letter by saying he loved and missed everyone back home and encouraged us to pray every day and look for opportunities to share the gospel, because as saints who know the truth, it is our obligation to do so. What a relief it was to finally hear from him! I know he is tough and prepared and that gives me peace (most of the time). We sure love and miss this boy!

 Missionaries from the Pachuca, Mexico mission above, 2 photos above, Elder Martin practicing his teachings in Spanish.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Excited to sing in General Conference!

Over 3 weeks have passed since Elder Martin entered the MTC. He only has 2 weeks left and then he flies out October 13 to MEXICO! His past couple of letters continue to be full of enthusiasm for all he is experiencing. Here are a few paragraphs from his letters......
"It's Wednesday and things are great here at the MTC. I received your package. The single pair of dad's garment bottoms were probably unnecessary though. Just sayin'. (oops. I thought he left them) ...Tell Psarker thanks for the ties.(he sent Kade his favorite one) I needed them!..Our devotional last night was Elder Richard G. Scott who talked about the importance of communicating with God with real intent."...The following week Kade said "Our devotional speaker was Elder M. Russell Ballard. I was dead center, 6th row, No big deal or anything. He didn't even have a talk prepared, but it was incredible. He directly answered some of the questions that I had.
"There are a lot of cool things that happen at the MTC every day. My only complaint is that time is going by too fast. I just saw the new missionaries being dropped off today. It was sort of sad :( But, it's cool to see so many missionaries. Any missionaries going spanish speaking will come to the MTC west. There are about 200 people here. We have decided main campus is overrated, though the food is delicious. At MTC west ...(formerly know as RAINTREE apartments-THE apartments Mike and I met at)...we are outside more, have real apartments, and we have the Creamery and Brighams Landing....It is slowly shrinking though since the influx of missionaries is fluctuating down and they will close it soon."
"Oh and I was selected for sure to be in the General Conference choir as a baritone. Practices cut into class time, but it's worth it to get to sing in GC Priesthood session!!!!"    Kade had told us the week before that he thought he might get this opportunity. The missionaries also attended the dedication of the Ogden temple. It sounds like his Spanish is coming along a little better "Estoy aprendar muchos espanol."
"It's my last week as district leader. The cool older district in our zone left this week, and we get 6 new Elders to replace them today. I am going to the Mexican Consulate in Salt Lake City tomorrow morning to get my picture and thumbprints for my VISA. Hopefully everything works out. Some of the Argentine missionaries have been reassigned due to not receiving their VISAS."
Elder Martin ends his letters with a list of who wrote to him. Thank you all for your support. He really loves to hear from you! We sure miss him but are so happy he loves his mission so far. He made the comment that his life basically revolved around the gospel and food. It's no surprise he is loving it. Don't forget to watch for him singing during the Priesthood session. He said to tell you all Hi. and that the church is true! He also mentioned sending pictures soon. Can't wait!


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Worth waiting for!

Finally! Elder Martins first email came! And. it was well worth the wait. Elder Martin sounds good. He writes in such detail and with such humor, I am just going to quote some of his letter word for word.    
Hey, I'm alive! It's been a busy first week here but I made it! Also, Wednesdays are my p-days (the days he gets to check his email). Thanks for the package and the Dearelder letters. 
It's  a totally different environment here, I am still getting used to things. It's not as different as I thought it would be though. I got assigned to be companions with Elder Jeppsen from Tremonton/Garland! So far he is awesome. Im our first branch meeting, I got assigned to be district leader. That has added a little bit of pressure, but I am trying my best. THe Spanish missionaries are at the MTC west at Raintree and Wyview.  We were living at Wyview but then someone decided to get    *dramatic pause  *
BED BUGS! Elder M from UAE, from our distict broke out in a rash yesterday. Since he was from another country, he had arrived early and stayed somewhere else the first night, and got bitten by bedbugs. After going to the Dr., the verdict was we needed to  move out immediately, spray things down and wash all of our clothes. Long story short, we were moved into Raintree by 1 am this morning. We were treated like 
LEPERS, but hey at least I got free dry cleaning.
ok. so at the MTC they give you way too much food. It's pretty good too. But, oh man, I hope I leave this place at normal weight. Im learning lots of Spanish. Elder Meeks is my new teacher and he only speaks in Spanish. I guess it helps me learn faster but I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING. Right now we are teaching Gabby, and she only speaks to us in Spanish. It's crazy. I'm going on faith here, because honestly, who knows if I even make sense when I talk. 
I went to the temple today, and it was awesome. I'm so grateful for the gospel and the opportunity I have to serve the Lord. And, I have a great district! Hermanas Bunting, Stringfellow, and Anderson and Elders M, Lowry, Bragg, Haveron, Jeppsen and myself. I've only met two people going to Pachuca. It's awesome to see all the missionaries from different parts of the world. (buuuuttt a lot are from Utah)
Well, tell everyone at home I say hello! I miss you all and love you tons. The church is true!
                                                                                              Elder Kade Martin                                 

So glad he sounds so upbeat! Especially when he was probably itching all over just thinking he might get bedbugs........:) What a coincidence he is companions with Elder Jeppsen from Tremonton. We knew about him before Kade left. He graduated with Kooper, Kades cousin. They entered the MTC the same day and are both going to Pachuca the same time. What a blessing! 
 If you are wondering about the best way to write Kade, try They print the letters and deliver them within a day. Care packages too. The treats cost but the letters are free. The missionaries only have 30 minutes on p-day to read and respond to emails, so getting letters via dearelder or snail mail is actually preferred!
Thanks for your support! I'll try to post weekly. You are welcome to share too. :)

Saturday, September 6, 2014


Wednesday morning came quickly and early! Mike had given Kade a fathers blessing Tuesday night after he was set apart by President Hardy to be a full-time missionary. This helped us all be calm. Parker and Jackson said their goodbyes and we headed out the door. We met Erika and Jordan in Tremonton and headed south. Even though Kade said he wasn't hungry, we stopped at his favorite cheeseburger and vanilla shake place, IN-N-OUT.  He ate all of his food. 

We had a great opportunity on the way to Provo to speak with my cousin, Julie, who just happens to be very close friends with Kade's mission President and family. Brother and Sister Egbert grew up in Elko Nevada and normally live near St. George. Brother Egbert is a Captain for Southwest airlines, (who approved him to take a 3 year leave to serve his church and will allow him to continue his job when he returns) wow! Sister Egbert is....A NURSE! Yay! (IF Kade gets sick they can charter a plane and take care of him as they fly him back to the US)!  Haha. Only moms think up crazy scenarios like that! They have 3 daughters and are Mikes age (still young). This conversation was such a comfort to all of us! Kade was excited and will be in great hands. Thank you Julie for making time for us. 

 After we arrived in Provo, we drove Kade past the apartment complex Mike and I met at that was recently acquired by the MTC for additional housing. Of course he was excited about that...hahaha. Then we ended up at the Provo temple where we forced Kade to take some pictures and visited, and hugged. At 1:01,  (smile) Kade reminded us he wanted to be on time for arrival to the MTC and we drove across the street where we were instructed to unload and say goodbye in 2 1/2 minutes. 
Kade held his composure well though we could tell he was nervous. I looked around and marveled at the Elder and Sister missionaries who were also saying goodbyes to their families and met the nice missionary who would help Kade get settled inside. We all hugged Kade again, and Jordan thought to snap some pictures and really captured the emotion of the moment. 
Even though saying goodbye was hard, and we will miss him so much, we wouldn't want it any other way. Our hearts were full of gratitude for Kades courage and willingness to sacrifice many things to serve our Heavenly Father. We know for sure he has a strong testimony of the Savior and he made this choice to serve based on HIS testimony. We have watched him prepare for this day by studying the scriptures,  attending mission prep,  making good choices, and praying often. I have personally interrupted him on his knees many times. He is a great example to us and we know he will be a great missionary!
And then we got in the car and cried as we drove home. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Post number 1.

Kade is packing today. We are running around doing lots of last minute errands. Bacon spezzi, Kade's favorite dish is on the menu for supper. YAY! We leave tomorrow, Wednesday the 3rd at 7:30 for Provo. It is hard to believe it's finally that time.