Monday, December 26, 2011

Just a short note from Elder Marsh, the day after Christmas.

Hey well I was really glad to talk to everyone yestersday! We had a
good christmas here and things are going good with the work. e have a
baptism planned for this week. Guadalupe will baptize his sister :) I
know I need to send more photos of everything that is going on here.
Well I have to make this one short because of tie, but I love you guys
so much! And happy birthday to cassidy!

I will be hoping for the package soon too, and I will let you know
when it gets here. Bye, love you all!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Happy holidays from Sonora! Everyone has their big jackets, beanies, gloves, scarves, and it is a CHLLING 60 degrees f outside!

This week there are many things planned like ward parties, christmas dinner with members, service projects, and new people progressing! After Guadalupe's baptism, we started focusing our efforts on his sister, Selene. She is progressing just fine and loves coming to church every Sunday. That is fine with us because getting people to church is always the toughest commitment! We are planning for her to be baptized at the end of the month, but she doesnt want to set a date because she doesnt like a lot of pressure. It is really different teaching her than when we taught her brother because we could put a little more pressure with him and asked him really good questions. So now we are learning to adapt our lessons to a different style of learning.

This Christmas a family invited us over for dinner. But christmas in mexico is a little different! the 25th is a day of NOTHING. Everyone sleeps. Because from about 6 o clock on the 24th until around 6 am the 25, its a party! On the 24th, we eat dinner, the smash open a piñata. Everyone opens up presents after that, and (the non members) start drinking. The 25th will be the sabbath, so the time in between everything, we are going to go around to all the members and sing them christmas songs with santa hats and everything :)

Thinking back on the whole year that has almost passed brought a lot of things to mind. This time last year I was in a classroom with a bunch of other pale gringos, learning spanish. It was actually COLD with snow. We waited for every sunday and tuesday night be cause thats when the 70's and apostles came to talk to us. I remember I didnt like practicing my teaching skills at ALL because it was tough.

But now, I am in my area, with my companion. In charge of if the ward has progress as far as new members. The area can be rough, and the people dont always get that Joseph Smith was not the same thing a Mormon Pope! Now I long to teach, because it can be tough to get the chance to find someone new who really has the desire to follow Christ. And this year is the only year of my life that I was a missionary every single one of the 365 days. Next year, at this time, I will be in Hermosillo, waiting for the plane to take me home.

Oh, how I do NOT want to go back home! Sure the mission is rough and the challenges are like I havent ever had to face. But I would MUCH rather be here in the mission than back at home. I love you all, mom, dad, cass, and claud, but the mission is the best.

This past week, I studied a bit about the Priesthood and how critical it is for God's church. The put it in a few words, without the Priesthood, Our Father wouldnt be able to move the church. There would be no progress. Nothing would happen. God needs worthy, clean men to hold the priesthood to be able to benefit and usher the progress and growth. Then this sunday, Guadalupe was conferred the Aaronic Priesthood and will be prepared to baptize his own sister at the end of the month :) Next month, he will be conferred the Melchizedek Priesthood. But to be in the room as another man is changed into a tool in God's hands is a very unique experience that hasnt happened very many times in my mission. But I could share with him the experience I had when I baptized my own sister with the same priesthood power, and he wants to do the same.

There are miracles here! I didnt think I would be where I am after a year, but I kind of did know it all along. I didnt know what would happen, but I know I would be doing everything for the Savior. The best way to pay him back in a VERY small way for his sacrifice is serve the mission for 2 years. Everything is for him.

This christmas, lets do like the Wise men did and follow the Light as it leads us to Christ. (matthew chapter 2). Lets follow the spirit to and remember Christ, not getting TO caught up in the hustle of the season with sales, parties, dinners, presents. The Wise Men passed through the cities and even visited King Herod, but not even a King could differ the Wise Men from reaching their goal. Coming unto Christ. He is the center of all we do.

The church is true, and MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!!!!!

Elder Marsh

Monday, December 12, 2011

One year!

This week I complete ONE YEAR! The time has gone by way to fast and I cant believe this time last year we were buying stuff, packing, and giving farewell talks in sacrament. Road trip to Utah, snow, the Temple in Salt Lake, Papa and Beverly, dad spilling his Wendy´s ice cream in the car, all of it! Then Wednesday came and I entered the MTC. It all goes by too fast!

The ward asked us to speak this passed Sunday and it was great. I talked about the influence of the Holy Ghost and how when we follow him, God makes us into what we need to be. Thinking back on the years and how the mission has gone, I have learned so much, thanks to the spirit. The ward laughed when I said I used to have long hair, a beard, and played in a rock band. :) In my talked, I ended up sharing the scripture mastery scripture (whoo Seminary!) Mosiah 3:19 that talks about how anyone can become more like Christ by following the Holy Ghost.

The Holy Ghost is what moves everything! He is so important and critical in missionary work and in everyday life. This weekend, Guadalupe was baptized and received the Holy Ghost. It was by that same Spirit that we found him in his house, sitting at his table, doing homework. We knocked on his door and the Gospel changed his life. I learned a lot from teaching him. It was a great blessing from the Lord when he was baptized. He is super tall, and well, the water in the font didn't fill fast enough, so he had to kneel down to be baptized! But it was way cool.

The mission is great! I miss you guys and I hope you are enjoying the Christmas season. It really is the best and no one does Christmas like Sacramento Stake! Here in the ward, everyone is leaving for christmas. So they arent going to do much :( oh well.

Take care! I love you all.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The "cold" finally came!

So the weather has cooled down drastically and we even have to take out our sweaters now. But then at midday we put them back in the house because it is hot again haha. But Sonora continues being my favorite spot in the world right now.

Changes rolled around yesterday and EVERYONE got mixed around like crazy. But it is awesome because I have had 5 comps in the mission. 2 of them went home, but the 3 who are here still are all going to be in the same district! Elder Ticona and Elder Rosales are come to the same stake, same district. So I will be able to see some old friends again. As for me, I will be in Barrio Mayo until Christmas :) That is what I wanted in the end, so I am happy.

Speaking of Christmas! It is right around the corner!! In just a few short weeks it will be here. Elder Islas and I are planning on buying santa hats, Christmas ties, and a Christmas card and we are going to go sing to all of the people we know in the ward and in our teaching pool. I looking forward to it and whatever the members are going to have planned for us. We went to look for a little tree to put in the house, and we found a bunch of ornaments. We are going to buy lights too :)

As far as sending stuff in a box, I am happy with whatever! Ties. Lots of ties. You guys did great witht he birthday box and the california flag, so I trust in a good surprise this time too :) my companion wants a simple green hymn book in english if that could be possible. And maybe you could send, i dont know, candies or something small for the investigators. Whatever is fine :)

As far as the work is going, well, we are doing alright. Guadalupe is a guy that we found a few weeks ago who has gone to church a few times. His progress as far as book of Mormon and prayer is going more or less, but he really likes going to church and listening to the classes. After we taught him the plan of salvation, he started practising memorizing it. Then the next day he repeated it all back :) He is really cool and loves learning. But he likes to hang out a lot and invited us to go do stuff with him. He is a good friend and the simple fact that there is a good friendship between the missionaries and the investigators, he is interested in learning and growing more. I actually had a very spiritual moment with him last week when we were just chatting and he asked me "What does it feel like to be a missionary?" And I couldnt say anything. I didnt know what to say. Then I started thinking about why I am here, what it is I do, and the people that have been touched and changed by the simple love that God has for us. I concluded simply that if you like to see miracles, that is what it feels like to be a missionary. Every lesson, every investigator, even a simple contact can invite the spirit strongly and have an impact on the people, and on the missionary. Missionary work is seeing Miracles. And I only have one more year or seeing them! But Guadalupe is planned to be baptised this next weekend. But the thing is, that simple door contact led us to find more people. Guadalupe brought his sister to church, too, and she loved it! This really is the work of the Lord.

I know the work is true and I cant believe I am going to complete one year out. Time goesby WAY to fast! And I am looking forward to be able to call you guys too :)

I love you all! Go and watch the devotional from the first presidency from last night. It was awesome! It will help Mom not stress out for Christmas :)

Elder Marsh