Monday, October 15, 2012

CONFERENCE!

Hey, so I TOTALLY had this really long email typed out, and I erased it :( Then I had to let my companion know how upset I was. And he just laughed.

well Conference was amazing and Im sure everyone is talking about the new age for missionaries!! I love seeing how the church changes and progresses to meet the Lords needs in his work. There will be new missions and a flood of new missionaries. It was a historical moment that marked a big step in the churches progress. It shows me that the work cant be stopped! and just like Joseph Smith said, it will keep moving until it has sounded in every ear, penetrated every heart, and flooded every continent. Or something like that, I dont remember it word for word ;)

Apart from that, there were some monumental talks given! And out ever loved Elder Holland gave the same talk that I heard from him in the MTC almost TWO years ago!! But this one was shorted and directed to a different audience. But I have grown to love the new testament because of his talks and my own study of the bible. Christs life is AMAZING and we should definitely not take for granted reading the Gospels. I really like Elder Bednars talk as well about the conversion. And there was a SWEET one about the book of mormon from elder Larry Echo Hawk on saturday. 

This weekend was a refreshing and renewing experience for me. Our chosen leaders of the church inspired changes in me and I feel new and clean again. Working out my own salvation, forgetting the past and mistakes, just like Peter, and moving forward, saving sheep. I feel rejuvenated. I know that the Lord wants us to forget what we didnt do, or what we did wrong, so that we can focus again on what lies in front of us. With kneeled prayer, the atonement, and mercy, everything can be cleaned and made new. That is what I learned this weekend from conference and my own experience. I know repentance is real. Now, I am going go help other people to do it and feel the same fresh air I feel :)

I love you all! I cant wait to see you guys. I really do miss you. But I need to finish up well here, then we can be together again. For a few weeks :) But then I can talk to you everyday on facebook, mom :)

Im alive, I have food, and clean clothes.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Birthday week!

Well I had a great time in Esperanza. It was great to see Obregon again and help out what I could in that little part of the mission. But now I came back to another familiar little village named Navojoa!!1 I was already here once, but for just a week. But now they sent me back! Im not in the same ward, but I have already seen a few familiar faces.My whole mission has been from one area, to the next, and back again jaja. But I think that I am going to finish up my mission here :) I have 2 transfers left which come out to about 3 more months!!! I want to make these the best last months that I have ever had in the mission. This time around I the step-dad (second companion) of Elder Sponseller. He is the classic gringo look. Tall. Blonde. And speaks little English jajaj. I put a picture of us on the email with the new camera :) Oh and I sent some other pictures too from the little dinner we had with the Bishop in Esperanza.I actually sent them directly from the camera jaja its way cool. I will have to talk more about my comp later, because we still havent chatted much. When I got here some members picked us up and we were chatting with them. But I think this is going to be cool because I am going to be able to teach him really well spanish. And he had a great trainer and so Im sure that he has learned a few things as well. Im actually pretty excited because I have never had a gringo companion. I always thought it would be cool to teach spanish and everything. I am pretty excited for these transfers! I am in a great ward, my companion is cool, and I think I will finish up here. I feel ready to crank out these few more months and baptize a lot of people here. The ward has grown a TON thanks to some of the last great elders in the mission (rest in peace, they are now at home). They are trying to split the ward! And we are going to help them out with that :) I feel really good. I feel like I needed this change and I feel like God answered a prayer. I had prayed to receive the change I needed to finish up really good the mission with baptisms and spiritual experiences. I think that things are going to go great. :) Navojoa is a cool little pueblo. its a lot quieter here, but there are still a lot of people to teach. And everything is a lot cheaper and closer, so I dont think I will spend too much money. Obregon was a lot more expensive. Bowling here only costs about 7 dollars :) When we went to eat dinner with the Bishop in Esperanza, he was telling us how much we helped out the ward.The members loved us a lot too. We baptized quite a few people and help a lot more to come to Christ. The Bishop said that we did a lot of things there that hadnt been done in a long time.He also said that we possess a lot of spiritual gifts. It was a great feeling being there and listening to the bishop, the member most important of the ward (apart from the sister who plans the dinners) telling us how much we helped out. I felt like we had really done our part. I love the mission, and I miss home, but I have one more ward and one more shot to do what the Lord needs from me here :) I love you all so much and I will think of you while I eat my birthday cake :) Elder Marsh

Monday, August 6, 2012

I'M STILL ALIVE!

IM STILL ALIVE! We are offcially at the true heat of the summer. this week at 110, and MORE heat in the coming weeks! I dont know if I am going to make it to december ;) And I am now comletely depressed knowing that I will only be in the mission for 3 MORE TRANSFERS! This month I turn 20 months old, and I feel the old age jaja. I am now one of the "old wolves" as we say here in the mission. But dont worry, I still get up on time and the baptisms are rolling in. :) This weekend was really something special. Elder Tovar and I got to do something that I havent done very much on my mission and that is fast with investigators. Our next long awaited baptism is Carlos. He has felt many changes in his life by living the gospel. his family always comments about the different things he does now that he has focused on reciving and answer from god and living worthily. His coworkers have even told how different he is, and that makes him happy to know that God really his changing his life. We have finished the lessons. He has prayed for WEEKS now. He understands the covenant made by being baptized. He is just afraid to get in the water. But this weekend we fasted with Carlos, and his whole family! even his 11 year old son joined in and kept asking the whole time when he could drink water jaja. It was a purifing experience that made me understand a lot more the scripture in helaman 3:35. We fasted so that Carlos could have strength and determination in being baptized THIS weekend. I really fee like he is going to follow through. But everyone pray at home so that Carlos can be baptized :) I have gained a strong testimony that when we humble ourselves, the Lord changes and molds us to what we need to be. When the proud kneel to pray or the weak fast, it is almost impossible to feel the spirit of the lord. Then we stand up, take a breath, and enjoy the happiness of living the gospel. I know God loves us. I know there are things he wants us to do that will make up happy. And I also know that he trusts in us to make our own decisions for our our happiness. I love you all so much at home! please dont count the time :) take care of yourselves, and I will try not to melt down here :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

The heat keeps rolling, and time does too!

So to start off, I hope these emails are getting to shelley so that she can keep putting them on that blog thing that you guy made! I have a lot of fans at home who need to know whats up with me :) So things keep rolling by here in Esperanza, Obregon! We havent found many new people to teach because we have focused a lot on the people who are already progressing. there are about 4 investigators who have been going to church and keeping commitments. One of them is ready for baptism and is scheduled to have his service this saturday!!! we have been teaching him almost since I got here to this area and he is finally ready. He just need to beat a little bit of fear he has and will be completely fine for this saturday. Pray for Carlos, please :) he can use the help. And his family too, from the wreck they had a few weeks ago. We have another investigator, Felipe, who is trying to quit smoking! His daughter is a recent convert and she helps him out a ton. She says that he is way stressed out and really angry because he hasnt smoked, but we are happy because he is making steps towards having the spirit in his life and feeling the love of christ, like he explained that he wanted. Well this week in my scripture study, I read an amiazing chapter of scripture that I hadnt taken into account before. I always thought it was just another bible story that as cool to listen to in sunday school, but really reading it and comparing it to the sermon on the mount, we can see amazing things that Christ taught the nephites in the 12th chapter of 3rd nephi. The Beatitudes are a description of spiritual progress and the separation between the law of moses and the Higher law that Christ teaches us. I was thinking about the topic of obedience and I realized something here. Of course we know that we need to obey gods laws and commandments in the latter days to have the spirit and make our covenants valid. But simply not drinking or respecting other in the dating world is the BASIC of what we need to do. I think that sometimes its just like the Farisees and the law of moses! We cant just do those things and hope that it is enough, because if I live the word of wisdom, but I dont forgive the offenses of my brother, I didnt take that big of a step towards the celestial kingdom. If im chaste, but I waste my time, I dont work, and I dont study, Im not treasuring up in heaven what I need. Now, I dont want to say that we can break the basic commandments, but forgive everyone and be a really good person. But we need to do both to really be obeying our father in heaven. Im am living it up in the sun of sonora and trying to working smart without dying jaja. this mission is for men! but right now, the heat us just about the same as in sacramento. but we are going to beat you guys next month at about 110 every day :) I love you guys so much and hope to hear from you next week!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Hola!

Hey I just read about dads familia and that is FANTASTIC!!! that made me so happy to know that the elders there did a good job and so many people have made changes to live in harmony with the gospel again. Sure, bryan and bella got baptized. 2 people. but for Heavenly Father, they were 4 baptisms if grandma vicky and sonya took the sacrament. that is amazing and Im so happy to hear it. I felt a few little tears here at the computer when i read that. I dont want to take credit and say that because I am here, they came back to the gospel. they are God´s children and he did it! I am glad those missionaries did their part. You said mom that the kids were talking with the elders, right? oh, that is so cool :) And I will be praying mucho for them! I want to be in the temple when they all go. next year ill be home and Iw will be able to go. Well as for things down here in sonora, we just had a baptism this weekend! An elderly man named martin who went to church with is member friend. he went one time and then didnt want to leave! He is a really noble guy. he accepted all of the commitments and he always told us that he already made the decision and he really wanted to be baptized. That was a HUGE blessing for us because the area has been rough. and the blessings keep coming because we have some cool investigators who we are going to see right now who will be baptized this weekend. I need to tell you all about my new comp! he is elder Tovar from the STATE of mexico. the federal district is a part inside of the state of mexico, but its practically the same thing. He is so crazy smart! He knows so much about the gospel and is the best teacher I have ever seen. he taught institute for 2 years and that helped him a ton. we get a long really well. I think he is one of the best companions I have had in the mission. we always stay up chatting about stuff. the investigators, the area, random things, its way cool. and he got here in the cool season in Esperanza Ward. Last transfer I worked like crazy with Ruiz to find all these people. And now they are finally going to be baptized! I am really enjoying my last 6 months in the mission. that last 6 is the best time to shine. to use all the experience from a year and a half, to have a blast, and have a lot of success. So give that little elder from yucatan a lot of love and feed him well. The best thing as a missionary is knowing that the members love us :) I LOVE YOU FAMILIA! you are always in my prayers. until next week :)

Monday, June 18, 2012

FELIZ DIA DE LOS PADRES!

HOLA!! Happy dia de los papas!!! Im glad to know that you guys had a lot of fun and that everyone went to the house to eat. What did you guys give dad?? I reallydont know of any new technology that has came out that he probably already bought for himself jajja. but happy fathers day dad, and I love you!! Thank you for all the lessons about working hard, but having fun, too. I think it was your love for your own mission that made me love mine so much. And learn so quickly the language :) It still isnt perfect but im working on everything I can. being good with my comp, and working hard in my area. Thank you dad for always being the example for me. So I am now a year and a half into the mission! I really cant believe im closing in on the last six months of my mission... things have turned out great. everything according to plan. but not my plans, of course jaja. I dont feel the difference. I dont feel experienced. I dont feel like so much time has passed. but I guess I will see that change and that progress after the mission. Sometimes I feel like I am exactly the same. and yes mom, exactly in the sense that I still talk a lot! I just think that now when I talk, I only talk about the gospel, and in some way I can help somebody out. but I stil talk a lot and Im still obnoxious :) I supose I just have good things to say now. something cool happened this week that I couldnt beleive it has taken me so long to realize. The bishop in this ward is SO cool! we always end up chatting with him about great stuff. he taught me a really valuble lesson this last week. He said that many times we get to the mission and we see the success of others. there are leaders, APs, trainers, good missionaries, bad missionaries, and a ton of other things that we start to use to compare ourselves. to think that one missionary has more or less success, so god thinks or helps differently that person. but the bishop said that once we get over that habit of judging and comparing ourselves, and jsut getting to work for the LORD, that is when we really have begun. with a ton of baptisms, or very few. everyone is individual. we cant compare oursleves. but we can take what is good from other people and apply it. jsut when we have in mind that that doesnt make us better or worse. as you all know, I love it here. EVERYONE should serve a mission! it is the best, and it doesnt even matter that we are already over 100 degrees! okay, that does matter a little bit and its one thing that I wont miss here jajaj :) I love you all so much! Im short on time but I will write more later. elder marsh

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Another week down!

I hope no one got hurt yesterday because I couldn't write! That was due to the zone meeting we had yesterday. the whole city of obregon and navojoa joined up to see president for the LAST TIME!!!! this is his last transfer and he will be leaving :( they are going on the 29th of this month. everyone is pretty sad... but changes are meant for us to grow. We will soon have a new president who his just coming with his wife! they are older and wont be coming with any kids. pres velez says that he has a lot of experience. it is kind of exciting, but sad at the same time. but we had the chance to hug sister velez as she said bye to everyone! that was really cool and something we didnt expect. I love her so much! she kept good care of me mom, and always got on to me for stuff, just like you would ;) but we might be going to the temple soon so we will probably see them again before they head out. ANYWAYS! the work continues. and the heat rolls in! we are at about 41 celcius which is about 195 f. I realy havent gotten the conversion down but above 40 c is about 100 f. well, we had a baptism this passed week and elder ruiz and I were very happy! he is one of the best companions I have had and we always have fun together. But the area has been rough... we felt really blessed this week to baptize, even more from the way we had to work for it. nothing like the good old fashion faith! :) I would like to share with you guys something that pres told us yesterday. he was talking about how in this like, we convert ourselves in many ways. from bad to good to better and to saints. we move from each one of the steps only by means of the atonement. its different for everyone, but an example is stop smoking moves us from bad to good. being baptized moves us from good to better. and a lifelong dedication to the church, missionary, AND temple work make us SAINTS. President told us that there are people who have attained so much in question of blessings and knowledge of the lord that they simple cant be touched by sin or transgresion. only if they let themselves, but with so much to lose, they would even think it. The prophet is an example. president said that if you want to go shake the prophets hand and you go looking for him, everyone is going to direct you to his own bishop! no one can just simple walk up to the prophet. the adversary cant so easily attack him either. if men like the prophet and his apostles are the leaders in missionary work and in guiding the church, how blessed are we to know that they can never lead us astray! we will ALWAYS be blessed by following the prophet. it is our task, too, to because saints, like in mosiah 3:19 so that satan cont move us either. imagine if every father was truly a saint. the priesthood really would be magnified. I think our dad has done a good job so far :) I love you all and hope this can help someone out. I will drink lots of water and I will put sunscreen on every day := until next week, elder Marsh