Monday, March 28, 2011

The Temple and checking out a Mexican tradition







Transportation in Mexico and Answered Prayers (for their tummies).

Elder Marsh versus the Cultural Shock

I'm in the same area still, with Elder Rea! I really didn't want to pack up and stuff and move again. Not so soon at least. So it's Huatabampo for at least another 6 weeks! Things are, not really going. We have one investigator who isn't doing much. She says she is reading and praying. Her prayers are fantastic. We all know she has recieved a witness. But she wont commit to a certain date. She has something bothering her that she wont tell us, so all 3 of us fasted to help her resolve her problem. She didnt show up to church, so we had to end the fast on our own, without her... I have noticed why at times I feel super fantastic and at others, not so much. When I am not out, knocking doors, teaching, on the bikes, doing something at least, I just feel average. Not like a missionary. It is a big motivatiom to go out and do more, but even that is difficult when you are junior companion... Anyways, all in all, I'm very happy. And excited to receive that package! Go ahead and send it, because I'm not going anywhere. And I can't BELIEVE my little sister is turning 7! Or is it 12? I forget ;) One of the families here has a daughter almost Cassidy's age, and another just about Claud's. Oh, that is is SO COOL that a member family is moving in across the street! But they might be a little weird, from Idaho ;) Give them my salutations!
Spencer is going to Sao Paulo?! That is so amazing! One of the members in my district in the MTC is from Brazil. But tell Spencer I'm mad because he upset the trend of Spanish speaking missions from our graduating class :) Give him my best, but dont wish him luck, because the Spirit will do just fine!
So about the money. We lived as pobresitos because the ofice elders put only about half a months worth of money on the mission card when I arrived. Dont know why. I dont need a whole bunch on my card from home. Just for cool stuff.
Now about some of these pictures. There is one of me sitting in what looks like the bed of a truck, traveling at a high speed. That is because I am in the bed of a truck, traveling at a high speed. When you need to travel, take a bus. Dont have money on you, hitch hike :) There is also a picture of people dressed up like Where The Wild Things Are. These are the Fariseos. Normally, they dont pose for pictures. This one just walked up while we were standing in front of the church, so we seized the oportunity. The other day, there was a group of them, going house to house with a man playing the flute and a lady carrying a veiled statute of the Savior on the cross, with tons of money attached to it. They go house to house, walking right on in. The people who live there put money on the statue, and the woman of the house carries it to the next. I REALLY need to study the bible because I dont remember this anywhere... Also, there is Little Ceasers!!! It is about an hour away in a city called Navojoa. We were there for a District Leader meeting because Elder Rea is dl.
So yeah, that is about as up to date as I can get you! The language is still coming. Hard to understand though. People mumble like crazy here. But I understand I need to study and pray if I expect to learn. I'm always so glad to hear from my family! I have been dying to email all day, so I could read about what is going on with my family. I love you all so much! Pray for us to find souls to teach, please. That is the best thing that could happen to us. Be safe. Remember you are Children of the true, living God.
Elder Marsh

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

¡Todo esta bien en Sion!

So I will start by apologizing for not writing last week! It wasnt
because I didnt want to, its because I couldnt!! I had to go up to
Hermosillo to get my green card. A trip to Hermosillo is a good 6
hours. So 12 hours total travel, plus the whole day I spent up there.
And they cant call us up for that on a day when we should be working,
so they called us all up on p day. So that is why you didnt get an
email. Not because I got bit by a dog, stabbed by a drunk, or deathly
ill from bad water. However, I did eat some nasty stuff called
chicharrones. That us just straight up, pure fried pigs fat. So I got
sick, puked in the middle of the night, and had a black tongue when I
woke up the next morning. There are many suprises on this work. Like
last minute calles to Hermosillo, bad food, and SUPRISE BAPTISMS! We
have been teaching a lady named Irene lately. She is one of the
investigators who is actually progressing that we havent dropped. The
work is kind of slow right now. Anyways, we were with Irene on friday.
She has had all the lessons, and we were running out of stuff to
teach. So we went with the plan of reading some of the Book of Mormon.
When we get there, she was triying to figure out hymns and stuff. So
we taught here about the hymn book. During this, Elder Rea said he
wanted to sing a song and play the guitar at her baptism for her. The
date was set for April 7th. But jokingly, Elder Rea asked, "its
tomorrow, right?" And Irene says, "Yeah, Ill get baptized tomorrow."
After a few seconds, we realized she was serious! So we prepped all
that day and Saturday, I baptized her! It was an amazing experiance.
The weight of what happened didnt occur to me until later. I was the
tool in the Lords hand in the passing of the key to the gate of Heaven
to this daughter of God. Basically. I am trying to put on pictures,
but the computer is all chafa. Which basically means lame. Oh, about
the packages and stuff. If you can, use something like DHL. Dad will
know more about that. And put the Virgin Mary on the box. The
superstition is real. With luck, Ill get the package only partially
looted. But yeah, dont go with regular us postal service. That will
get stolen big time. Companies like DHL are safer. And religious stuff
keeps the thieves away. Another thing, you can put US dollars on my
card and I can withdraw as pesos! I found that out today. After living
2 weeks without a centavo to my name. Literally, my companion and I
washed dishes with shampoo, and washed clothes with us in the shower.
We were poorer than poor! Hitch hiking to get anywhere. Then I found a
small fourtune worth of pesos on my b of a card :) So I bought lunch.
12 tacos, 3 sodas, all for about 10 bucks. Awesome. Love it here when
I have money! Mexico really isnt that dangerous. So dont worry, mom.
Even the Fariseos leave us alone. There are certain people here that
dress up as "pharasees" this month. It is an indigenous Catholic,
twisted crazy tradition that people here dont even understand. They
dress up in long robe things, wear bells on their feet, bang drums as
they run around the city, in masks covering their faces made of animal
fur. They look kind of scary. Oh, and they get together in groups of 2
to 30. And just run around. Some stories exists of beating people, and
parading crosses with bloody clothes in the streets. But I havent seen
that. Thank goodness. Pictures arent working right now, but I will
have a ton next week! Provided I dont get transfered. Because this is
the last week of the "cambio" as we call it. It is pretty hot here,
and getting hotter! Luckly, this is a cooler part of the mission. But
cooler here still translates to over 100. Que chafa. We went to a the
other area of our district to play soccer with another zone of
missionaries today. It was great! I love the elders in this mission.
Everyone is so cool. Even the lazy (frito as the missionary lingo
goes) ones can be pretty funny. I have little bracelets to send my
AWESOME SISTERS! Cheap little things with 3 mexico color beads. But I
think they are cool. The thing about send stuff here and there, is a
simple letter costs 20 pesos. Thats 2 bucks! So Im not sure when I
will send the bracelets. Perhaps when I have more to send. That is why
I havent hand written anything to you guys. Oh hey claud, thank you
for you awesome emails like always :) and way to break dads foot,
goober! And on that note, so typical of him to walk around on it for a
while. Just like YEARS ago when he broke it without knowing and
wonered why his ankle always felt sprained! Thats my family :) I love
and miss you all. I always pray to hear from you. So you can send that
package whenever you want. The office elders are great about getting
stuff out to people. Just make sure you send stuff safely. Like I
said, dad should know about that. So here is a funny story. I was
contacting in this plaza one night with Elder Rea. I was trying to get
over fear of just waltzing up to people blabbering in Spanish. So we
talked to this man selling hot dogs. Now hot dogs here are a story of
their own. First, the bun is huge and fried. 2 hotdogs in a bun. And
you cover it in cheese, slasa, tomatoes, guacamole, and tons of stuff
like that. AWFUL for you, but amazingly good. So we talked to thise
man. Rafael or something. I wanted to come up with a cool analogy of
why we need to keep Gods commandments. My companion stopped talking,
and looked at me. My cue to do stuff. So, I went with what my
imagination said. Looking at the dogs in the frying pan, I asked why
he cooks hot dogs. He said to make money and for work, all that stuff.
So I asked how is work would go if the hot dogs ran around all over
the place and didnt let Rafael cook them. He looked at me like I was
the craziest gringo he has ever met. And I probably am, because he did
NOT get where I was going with the run away hot dogs. So I scratched
that idea, testified of going to church, and we left. I asked Elder
Rea why the man didnt understand my analogy, and, well, Elder couldnt
tell me why because he didnt understand either! It was so embarrasing!
But absolutly hilarious at the same time. I learned to either have a
simple, well known analogy, or just none at all. It was ridiculous.
But now we have a funny memory to laugh at. Im jsut glad I wasnt at
the pulpit making a dumb analogy, losing the saints in the branch! Oh,
btw, I spoke last sunday. In the branch. In spanish. I was horrified.
But some members like it. The ones that showed and werent chasing
their kids around. So I am learning how important it is to have great
members. There is a lady we have being trying with to go to church.
After 3 weeks, she finally did! But told us she didnt like it because
the congregation kept messing up "Count You Blessings" BIG time. Off
tune, off time. So we dont know what to do with her now. But the
singing was so bad, the branch pianist stood up after sacrament and
CHEWED OUT the congregation! She has total reason though. Hymns are
prayers to God, and we arent just singing, but praying as well. So,
she told everyone to come back at 4 o clock to learn how to sing. And
everyone did. Oh, btw, this branch pianist is 15 years old. Rea and I
were astonished! Not because of her audacity, but her courage. Because
we both agreed with what she said. We fight about who is going to
return for her ;) One thing I am working on here. You all know how
talkative I am. How I ALWAYS got in trouble in school for my mouth, as
mom loves to say. Who would have guessed that I would be dead silent
most of the day? Me! of all people! I always have something to say,
but I worry about saying it wrong and looking dumb because the people
here dont really try to understand me. If I met someone who spoke
broken english, I would try my best to understand them and what they
are saying. Not so here. So I need to work on speaking up. Because I
can say stuff in Spanish. I just dont. I know what I need to work on.
The mission is about constantly bettering yourself in every aspect you
can. Recognizing what you lack, being humble, and do what you can to
recevie to Lords help. So, that is my life in a nutshell right now! Oh
btw, I ate a shark taco. SO. GOOD. I really dont know how, but tiburon
is bien rica. But it is about time to go now. I love you all so much.
Keep reading and praying as a family. And Individually. The Book of
Mormon is so crucial if we want to truely be Latter-Day Saints. There
is a verb in Spanish. Acercarse. It basically means "to make closer"
but doesnt have an exact english equivenlent. So, the Book of Mormon
is the MOST POWERFUL tool you can use as a family to "se acercan" to
Jesus Christ. So keep it up, mi familia querida. Send that package!
With American candy, like redvines :) Until next week! Vayan bien,
vayan con Dios!

Con amor, Elder Marsh

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The sights of Hermosillo, Mexico! Pt. 1

Welcome Elder Marsh! They all look so new!!




The Temple in Hermosillo.




Yes, Elder Rea, you are stuck with Elder Marsh.




Hungry?

The sights of Hermosillo, Mexico! Pt. 2


Leisure time in Mexico. I love the basketball/soccer field. That is using ones resources.


I feel a medical bill coming up.



Hungry? No!

¡Que onda, mi querida familia!‏

Well fine, don´t mail me :p Mexico is amazing! My President is the best! There is so much to say about this place. First, TACOS FROM THE STREET! I have a picture of the guy cooking something called tripa. It is cow intestine. Slapped it in a taco. Ate it. It wasn´t awful, but I wasnt trying to taste it either. The weirdest thing I have eaten is cow tongue. We, oh, my companion is Elder Rea. He is native from Mérida Yucatan and only knows the bad words that other missionaries have taught him in English. But he is a good guy. He has 20 months in the field. That is about what I have left to go! Crazy. For this, he is somewhat burning out. He says that you just get physically exhausted towards the end. We spend a lot of time with the ward mission leader. He is Manuel and got home from his mission 8 months ago. They both want to marry Cassidy. I am serving in an area called Huatabampo. Whahtahbahmpo for you mom ;) Anyways, back to the cow story. We were eating at an invstigators house. Meat, rice, beans, and tortillas. I noticed the meat tasted weird. And had a bunch of bumps. It wasnt bad, just weird. A while later, Elder Rea asked "Esta es lengua, herman, ¿verdad?" She said yes. That is when I kind of started to shoven it in as fast as I could because I REALLY didn´t want an animals tongue in my mouth. Asco. I like the to tripa more. So, about Huatabampo. Dry. No mountains. Hardly and trees. Half the streets are paved. And the houses are so sketchy, you might as well be camping. This is my life now. And I love it! Oh, mom, you are proabably worrying about my safety. You dont need to. I am far from the border, the water is to nasty tasting to drink (I tried it. But with that filter bottle), and there are dogs all over the place, but they are harmless. They just wander around. I am not afraid of them because a lot are injured, but most just sleep. What is scarier are the streets. Everyone kinda just rolls through intersections. Cars and missionaries. Oh, we are on bikes in this area. But yeah, no one really stops. You just go when it´s clear. People dont have much here. The houses are very tiny. And dirty. But I isnt really people faults. Its just a dirty place. The nicest building in the whole town is the chapel building :) I love it here. We only have a few investigators right now, but they are close to baptism. And we have only had less than a week to work. We are going to work a lot harder this week and find a ton of people. Or so I hope. Oh, I need to tell you about Hermosillo! That place is beautiful. For Sonora I mean. Elder Rea says it is ugly here. But Hermosillo is just as its name, beautiful. It has VERY nice houses up the hills in the north, But impovershed dirt roads to the south as well. But there is something about that city that I just love. I will definitly go visit there after my mission. And I hope to serve there a lot. Maybe I will go to that city to find a wife, because for some reason, the women up there are beautiful too. The other Gringo missionaries call it the Mexican Suprise. No one expects to get Lamanitis! Anyways, the only thing I really need here is a safer place to shower. A bathroom I´m not afraid of. And packages of love from my fans back at home! ask me stuff you want to know so I can tell you. Oh, a veces, I forget my english words. Which is really strange, because I dont know a lot of spanish words. So I get caught in this middle ground where I dont really know many words at all! But the Spanish is coming a long. I figured this much. I can speak enough to convey what I want. I can read the Book of Mormon just fine. But I cant understand what people are saying to save my life. I swear it iosnt even sppanish sometimes! People like to talk here. And tell elaborate stories. That is where I get lost. I only understand the simple stuff. Speaking of what I do and dont understand, sometimes my companion and the ward mission leader speak SUPER fast just to mess with me. So I say mean things in English so they cant understand either ;) English sounds SO WEIRD coming from my mouth! But that is ok, I dont need it. They say I have a weird accent. But not nearly as bad as the other gringos. The BEST thing I did in the MTC was decide to move up. I might not know a lot of what is going on, but I am not really afraid to speak. It just gets discouraging sometimes because people here dont try to understand. they just say ¿Mande? which is basically say it again. But EVERYONE says that to me! Because I have an accent here and I guess no one wants to try to understand me. They just look at me weird, look at my companion, and he says what I wanted to say. One thing that hit me hard. I thought people had to much freedom to choose to obey or not in the MTC. Then I got to the field. Here, yuo can sleep in til 1 in the afternoon, they jut sit around, maybe go wander around to waste time if you wanted, then come back home, and go to bed around 12. If I dont really want to work, I dont really have to. But that has shown me that I want to be hard working. Diligent. But still have fun, because Elder Rea doesnt really like when I want to follow all the rules exactly. Oh well. We still love each other. Go look on a map for Huatabampo! I am all the way at the bottem of Sonora. By the ocean. But I havent seen it. We cant go there. It is almost spring break and a lot of tourists come through this part of the state. I am going to throw some pictures on if I can. I love it here. I´m so glad to be a missionary. I am going to work way hard this week and hopefully report next week with good news! Love you all so much. Send me stuff! Oh, my companion wants a recommendation cover like mine. The one with Christ coming out of the tomb. My address is:
Calle García Conde No. 301
Col. Pitic, Hermosillo, Sonora, México
C.P. 83150
That is the mission home. Stuff cant get sent to us directly. So put that on the website, and give it to everyone! It´ll be my address for the next 2 years. Love you all! Hey dad, los tacos aquí en la calle estan bien rico ;)
¡Les amo un montón!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Mision Mexico Hermosillo!!!



Dear Marsh Family,

I hope that you are enjoying the blessing of our Heavenly Father. We too are enjoying the same enthusiasm here, as we are in the service of the lord.

Wednesday March 2nd we had the great pleasure to receive your son Elder Marsh, who will serve in this mission. We are very grateful to have your son in our mission. He has been assigned to work in the area Huatabampo with his Companion Elder Rea. We ask for all your support to encourage your son in his work, giving him ideas of how to find people to baptize every week. This is the goal of our mission, to baptize every week. We ask that in your letters and emails to him that you express great enthusiasm and great news from the family. Confide in the promises of the lord and your family shall receive the blessings that you need. In 1st Timothy 4:16 it says that those that serve save themselves, save those that listen, and we can also add, ‘’those that sent their sons to serve’’, this includes the family. Your family shall receive many blessings for the work of your missionary.

Without further moment to spare, if any information is needed, feel free to contact me.



President and Sister Velez

Misión México Hermosillo

Friday, March 4, 2011

Hola....Mexico!!!

Finally, as of March 2nd, our Elder Marsh is finally in Hermosillo, Mexico! I will have an address soon so you can write Jake. Missionaries love letters!