Monday, June 27, 2011

Elder Marsh has learned that Mexico is hot, insects can be eaten, and many people have weird views of Mormons.

It is really hot here. At 6:30, I wake up. At 7 I am brushing my teeth. And I am already sweating. So Elder Rosales is a cool little guy! An inch or two shorter than me. That makes me feel good that 6 foot Elder Rea is gone and now I have a short friend :) Elder Rosales keeps telling everyone how humble I am and how he hasnt met many missionaries that are like me and how I am going to get changed after these 6 weeks to be a leader somewhere. That scares me because Elder Rea always said I am going to be a leader too.

The work continues! Fancisco after his baptism has continued to be a great man of faith and his family looks so much happier with a huge increase of love. I can really tell people now that I know the Gospel of Jesus Christ can change families.

We have been looking for a strong base to start working with, contacting, and trying to get any sort of a reference. We contacting a young lady at her house and 17 year old Daniela has been loving reading the Book of Mormon and chatting with us! She is the most promising investigator we have and is progressing towards baptism. She couldnt come to chrurch this past week, but she did come 5 minutes before we started to tell us that her aunt got sick and she wouldnt be able to stay. So we have to push her baptismal date back a bit, but we are still working with her. The fun part about teaching Daniela is correcting all the bad things her Aunt says about mormons. How we, supposedly, "dont eat pork" and "we can only drink orange soda, and NOT cocacola." Daniela asked is she got baptized if she would have to marry a mormon man, like her aunt told her. How funny are the worlds views of us :)

So Elder Rosales come all the way from the state of Mexico. DF. Federal District. However you call it. It is a big, dangerous city. And the people talk funny from there :) He tells me in his house, if the tacos are less than 3 pesos, the meat came from a dog. There are also grasshopper tacos. That isnt what I had in mind when I thought "Mexican Food"

So today, as we enter into the cyber cafe to email home, I notice a white lady walking out. I thought, "hmm. You dont see very many light skinned mexicans." Then a white man came out. I saw the license plate on the car that said New York, and they were speaking English. I then thought, "This is too good to be true!" I had in mind that I was going to teach and baptize a white family here in Mexico, in English! I asked where they were from and they said they were here in town for a Conference. Of Jehovahs Witness. My thoughts proceded in this manner: "Yup. Too good to be true." A bit downcast at the fact I would not be teaching them, we got to chatting and they said they came down to do Ministerial Work, but liked it so much, that they just decided to live here. They are up north by the coast in a city called Guymas and passed by Huatabampo on the way up. They have 5 years here in Sonora, and speak very little spanish. Hardly enough to get by, but it was still impressive the kind of understood my Companion, in pure spanish. So, I did feel a bit of pride (of which I should repent) when I told them I had 4 and a half months here, struggling to keep speaking in English because I kept reverting to Spanish! :)

Anyways, pray to have the Lord put missionary oopportunities in your way. Dont just pray for the missionaries, but go be one, and reference the people you find! Testify of Jesus Christ, and he will bless you.

I love you all!

Elder Marsh

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The end of one missionary, the start of another‏.

And that ends it for Elder Rea! He went of to his home in Merida Yucatan to get rained on by a huge hurracaine! But we parted on the best of terms. We baptized Francisco(more on that in a sec), cried a bit, and parted as great friends. I miss my companion already. We were both really sad to have to end, but happy with the opportunity to grow. Now that my mission "dad" left, it is time to start putting myself to work because I know it is right, not because my trainer is there with me.

Elder Rosales arrived today too! He is from the state of Mexico. The Federal District. Kind of like our Washington DC. And also one of the parts most dangerous of the country. I still dont know him to well, but he really wants to get to work here in Huatabampo and get people into the water! so we are going to see how things work out :) I am excited to work with someone new and find ways to improve my teaching skills.

So, summer time is roling around now back home? It has felt like summer for 4 months already. Mexico is a hot place :) Claud wrote me an email and she is very excited to go to the club and the fonsecas to swim around! Swimming is acutally something I miss a lot. Sometimes I think there would be nothing better than to just jump in so icy cold water when it is 104 under the sun! I am also to hear all the good things Claudia is doing for me back home, sharing with all of her friends whatI am doing. I love my little sister a TON! So mom, just tell her to reference the parents of all of her friends to the missionaries. They will love you ;)

Now, about Francisco! After a YEAR talking to the missionaries, he decided on baptism. Francisco is a very big man. Tall, and, I wont say fat, but VERY well fed. So Elder Rea and I baught him his own baptismal clothes that fit him, and he entered the waters of baptism :) I confirmed him the next day (me first confirmation!) And he recieved the Priesthood! So we are going to continue helping him grow in his very humble testimony and faith, because the branch wants to call him as second conselor ;)

Mom, I love you to death. But I dont want you to starve to death! So you dont need to feel that I wont have enough money for the mont. The church and the Lord help me! I want my little sisters to have food too ;) But either way, thank you for caring about me in all the waysa you can, being so far from me. I love you.

So that is about all I have! We are going to see how the week plays out with a new companion and a new 6 weeks to work!

Everyone take care. And read the scriptures!

Elder Marsh

PS. Shelley, how is the blog coming?;)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New Photo's!!!

Some pictures for the blog. I put some pictures of the money here. A picture of when we counted all of Elder Rea´s ties when he was packing. And these little desert scorpions that live here. They are called Aracran. They run super fast and live in the corners of the house. They do hae poison and can kill small children. Maybe even me, being the size of a small child ;)

Love, Elder Marsh

Monday, June 20, 2011

Elder Marsh is killing Elder Rea. ;-) For those that know mission lingo, you know what I mean!

Yup, this is the very last week of the 2 year service Elder Rea has given to the Lord! He already has flight plans and has begun to pack in the spare moments we find. We even caught ourselves recounting all the amazing things we have passed through the last FOUR MONTHS we have had together. Elder Rea and I started off (and of my account, continued) a little shakey at first. We had our differences and we did argue from time to time. But luckly enough, the Lord blessed me with a very pacient and helpful companion who just waited it out until I got over my new language, new country, new life phase. And now we have been able to work hard, follow the Spirit, and reach the hearts of certain people with a powerful unity that I can literally feel when we teach. Now just as I am REALLY loving to work with him, his mission is over! As district leader, he gave us his final capacitation, or lecture or whatever you call it in English when your district leader gives a lesson to the district. He touched on very spiritual moments we have shared and just about everyone was crying after he shared one of his final testimonies as a full time missionary.

Even with everything coming to and end for my companion, the past week has been a very spiritual one. Fast and Testimony Sunday was literally one of the best that I have ever been to. The branch here is very small and at times, it is difficult to sit through the meetingings! But this week was very different. Almost all 50 on the members that came bore their tiestimonies. The meeting lasted about 1 hour and 45 minutes. But every minute was full of the presence of the Spirit and an abslute blessing. Elder Rea and I wrapped up with our own testimonies and closed out one of the most spiritual sacrament meetings I have I attented. It was very refreshing to my own spirit.

Earlier in the week, we were visited by one of the Area 70´s, Elder Benjamín de Hoyos! To start off, I almost killed him. Completely on accident, I was walking out of the chapel when he came in. I tripped on the rug, and inadvertently shuffled the rug up, causing the 70 to trip! It was worse for him, with his arms full of books! But the meeting we had with him and his wife was SO amazing. I came to really understand WHY I even came on the mission. They focused very heavily on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. They said that if everyone really understood the Atonement, what Christ did for us, missionaries would never break rules. Or also, as members, we wouldnt ever break commandements. We learned that liteterally EVERYTHING we believe as members of the Church of JEsus Christ of Latter-day Saints is focused on the Atonement. The sacrament. The hymns. The FIRST principle of the Gosple, according to the objective of missionaries, is Faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ and his Atonement. That marvelous act really is EVERYTHING we believe. It is the central point of the plan of Slavation. We can not be resurrect, or much less, return to our Father in Heaven without the Atonement. We would be lost for ever! But thanks to our amazing God, who´s purpose is to bring us back, we have a way! It is through Christ and his incomparable act of love. And guess what. I get to teach every day about this stuff :)

That is when it hit me. I have an obligation to serve Christ in this form of a mission because of the importance to let everyone know that we have a way back Home! I am obliged to Christ, by way of his Atonement, to complete with what he has asked me to do. To teach the Children of God here in Sonora, Mexico :)

Speaking of the work here in the MMH (Misión México Hermosillo), we have a baptism planned in the Eleventh Hour of the mission of Elder Rea! We have known Francisco since just about the end of my first transfer here. He has been talking with the missionaries since about AUGUST of last year! His wife and children are members and have been waiting a very long time for Francisco to make the decision to be baptized. Now here we are in June. TEN MONTHS later! He really has been an eternal investigator. We met him in April when he came to the broadcast of General Conference. We talked with him a while and then we asked what he wanted us to do for him. He said "help me understand". He has been slow to progress. Reading, not so very often. Praying, but repetitivly. He has always told us he has no desire to change religion, but we have always felt the need to be with him. Last week, he finally saw that he has been learning all along when he could answer some simple questions in the lessones. Elder Rea realized that it has been Franciscos state of mind that has been stopping him. We had had a VERY powerful, faithful, and innocent prayer with him , in which he desperately asked to be shown the way. The next day, Elder Rea told him that Satan has been working against him because he has thought all along "im not going to be baptized." Then Elder Rea told him not to think that way, but to think it would be something good to do. He looked down in thought. A moment or two passed. He looked up at Elder Rea and asked when he was leaving. When Elder Rea told him in a week, Francisco asked "You want to baptize me, dont you?" Elder replied, "I do. And the Lord does, too." He thought another moment and said, jokingly, "give me a thousand pesos and Ill do it." Everyone started laughing and we set his baptismal date for this weekend. If we make it through this week ( the week before a baptism is ALWAYS stressfull) it will be the baptism that will give me the most satisfaction because of all we have done with Francisco. So, lets see how the week plays out ;)

That is all I have for you, folks! I know the gospel has been restored. I know that the Spirit REALLY does giude out steps and our words. More importantly, he touches peoples hearts and prepares them to take the first steps. Faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ and his Atonement.

The church is true, becuase it is God´s.

Elder Marsh

and mom, thanks for the money. We need to buy baptismal clothes very, VERY big for Francisco. He is a big guy :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Still teaching in Sonora!!!

How has everyone been this past week?? Did everyone enjoy Stake Conference? Or in my case, District Conference :) We had a HUGE number of asistance this past week for our tiny branch! Too bad it wasnt a regular weekend ;)

So. Updates on investigators. Again, we dropped about all of them. Alejandro was nearly impossible to find this week. He is living in a rented house and has problems with the other guys there and realy doesnt want to be in his situation. Like he prayed and as we have been praying for him, he found a job! But even after we taught him about recieving blessing and then completing with the Lord, he failed to show up to church again. So, the font remains dry. We DID find two other people though. We went to the house Alejandro used to live in and we found 2 women. A mom and her daughter. They shared that they had problems and we taught them part of the restaration and commited them to going to church! We show up sunday morning to bring them along, and the mom was showering. The daughter said they are getting ready to go to church. Well, the mom came out and THEN shared she had no intentions of asisting with us, but was going to keep attenting the catholic church. Easy come easy go! Elder Rea and I are still a bit stressed about having a dry baptismal font and a small teaching pool. Which is rough, so close to the end of Elder Rea´s mission! But we keep moving on.

In District Conference, one of the talk was based around service and the importance there of. The speaker shared, along with many prophets of old and of new, that the only way to TRULY be happy in this life is be serving others. Selflessly giving your time to help the ward, the stake, Zion, or your next door neighboor. I got to thinking about that and I realized that the best moments of my mission is when I am serving. When it is way to hot to be outside, but we still hit the doors and share our testimonies. If all I can do to serve is iron my companions shirt, I still feel good about helping others out. So everyone go do it! The talk meshes perfectly with the Mormon Helping Hands project a few weeks ago, but dont wait for someone to tell you to serve. Just go do it! It will make you more happier than Facebook or a sweet new iphone. Trust me, I dont have either of those things, but I really dont need them ;)

Much love from hot, dry, Sonora! I heard the weather is wet in Sacramento. How about sharing ;)

Elder Marsh

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Today, it's two letters for the price of one!

Time continues to FLY in Mexico! It isnt as hot here as it has been. It is getting cooler. Which worries me becuse it rains HARDCORE in Huatabampo. Sometimes to the point of flooding!

Elder Rea and I are still working! He has 4 weeks left and is really hard not to think of home for him! He told me he does NOT want to leave, but in the slow moments, his thoughts get stuck on home. He still has a good heart and continues to teach me in every aspect of the mission.

Im glad to hear my family is busy and happy! KEEP DOING STUFF TOGETHER! This is for every family, not just mine! A huge problem in Mexico is the concept of mom, dad, and kids all in the same home basically doesnt exist. So love your family. Hold them close. Read the scriptures, every day with them, no matter what. Having the spirit in the home outbeats soccer, work, Entertainment Tonight, AND the Bachelor everytime! I promise :)

Not too much is changing here! I continue to grow and understand the lessons the Lord has been trying to teach me all my life. The biggest thing right now is just humble myself and accept that I know next to nothing, but can always get better.

I love all of you at home who read this, thank you for the love and support!

Unfortunately, I am not going to share a ton of spiritual stuff this week, because it has been pretty sacred ;)

Elder Marsh

I know it's been a bit of a dry spell, but here's a letter!!

How is everyone at home?? We are doing GREAT here in Huatabampo! Elder Rea is drawing ever nearer to his death (mission wise, dont freak out ;)) and we found an AMAZING investigator! So one day, during studies I was thinking about how the Lord has said that the people I am serving are some of the most choice he has prepared. So with this though it mind, we left the house and started to work. This day was a Weekly Planning session, so we went right to ourt lunch appointment. We got the the place and the Husband, Brother Medina had a friend their with him! We were introduced and got to know Alejandro. We had lunch with him and got to talking about spiritual matters. When he dropped the question, "So what differences are there between your church and the Catholic church?" Elder Rea and I took a breath and thought of where to start. With the Restoration of course! We taught him, can back the next day, and commited him to be baptized :)

But thats all I have time for because the cyber cafe is closing! Prayers and love to you all and we will chat next week!

Elder Marsh