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 :)

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