Tuesday, January 24, 2012

hey mom :)

Im sorry about not getting to all of your questions! Its that I get distracted sometimes in telling you about the things going on here and the other stuff escapes me. I am sad to report that the package hasnt made it to the mission office :( A few elders went last week to the mission home and they looked for me. They called me on the phone and there was nothing there :( But if you call DHL or whoever you sent the package with, you should be able to locate it. I will refer to the old motto of the family "Ask dad. He will know." :) But I still alive and the package will get here someday. Dont worry too much mom :) I know you still love me, a package from home doesnt need to say it.

Anyways, we started off this 6 week transfer with another baptism! Do you guys remember a while back we baptized a young woman named Cinthia? Well it turns out that all along her mom was an inactive member, so we pulled her records over and she now belongs to our ward. We have to work a lot with her to get her back to church, but the fact that she is a member helped us a ton in baptizing their little brother Fransisco! He entered the waters of baptism on the 21st of January, and wanted to jump in again because it was so cool :) he is 12 years old and will start passing the sacrament next sunday. He even wants to serve a mission! He steals our nametags on sunday and wears them around the chapel haha. That little blessing from the Lord helped us to gain a new focus and get started on another 6 weeks. There are people that we have been teaching for a while who need to get going on commitments, and there are new people we need to find as well. I feel good about the coming weeks and I think we will see even more success. This baptism helped me to see even more that "the field is white, ready to harvest," like it says in D and C section 4. Or in other words, there really are people waiting who are just weeks away from baptism. We still just havent met them :)

So it wasnt my turn to train this time around, but a new missionary arrived to the district. His name is Elder Herron from Mesa Arizona. In other words, he literally lives a busride aways from the mission! He got here with a pretty good feel for spanish, so we are happy about that. Oftentimes gringos get here not knowing much spanish and the close up and dont say much. But not this Elder. He is a cool guy and way excited to be here. And it is a little funny to see someone who is in the same place where I was a year ago. A lot of times we cant take notice of our own progress in the days that go by, but month after month, year after year, we can see that the Lord has ALWAYS blessed us. He has given everyone certain and unique gifts and talents. Something that the mission has done for me is help me, firstly, learn what those gifts are. and secondly, put them to work!! President Eyring said in his book To Draw Closer To God that as soon as we use our abilities and talents to help others, we will feel the love of God for those people, and his love for us while we are serving them. Learning what our talents are takes hard work, and uncertain steps. I know I have fallen a lot in my search to find those abilities, but know that I know a few, I can be a more effective and useful missionary.

I have seen that God has made me a happy person. I always try to smile and make other people feel good about themselves, no matter how sad they are. That gift has helped me have success in my mission. Also, the ability to search, find, and follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost is a gift that EVERYONE has. But it needs to be developed. But these two gifts, when used together and in the spirit of prayer, are what have really made the mission for me. I love it here!

I love you all som much and I hope everyone is fine. Sorry for writing so late! We had a get together yesterday for an Elder who had his birthday, and we coundnt write, because I was grilling the meat for the tacos :) But yeah mom, call for the package, because I am sure it is somewhere.

And I need a favor. If someone from the ward wants to send me some new socks, I would appreciate it :)

Love you all!

Elder Marsh :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Hello Family

Cambios came and no one got moved! Elder Islas and I are staying here in Mayo for another 6 weeks so that we can be more successful and keep things rolling.

So this past Sunday we had a special version of stake conference. Every few year, a special broadcast is sent out for the Area of mexico. Elder Oaks and a few other 70's talked to the northern part of the country and discussed some issues about what the country could do to be closer to God and to receive more blessings of the Lord. Above all the themes, they talked most about tithing, chastity, and the temple. They also talked a lot about love and obedience, which helped me to see things in better light about the mission. 

The thing is, when a missionary has been out for a while, things arent so new. Contacting is easy. Spanish isnt as hard. Teaching isnt as much of a challenge. So that missionary can start thinking about other things because his mind isnt that worried about what to say or to do. This can be a blessing or a struggle. With a mind more free, a missionary can worry more about a district or training a greenie. So now with a year in the mission, more in tune with the routine, I find myself in that position. But I quickly learned that I need to give ALL that I am. I need to give the best of me. In my relationship with my companion, in my way or working in the area, with the members. I need to keep better track of time and do things how the Lord has said. Obedience is KEY in the mission, not to be successful, because every missionary who works is going to baptize, obedient or not. But without obeying and really focusing on the work, you cant make good use of you time and you just dont progress as a child of God in this test of life.

The mission really is the best thing that has happened to me. I love it so much!  I forget sometimes to enjoy the little things. Like being in a foreign country, speaking another language, meeting cool people to teach. And above it all, giving the best of who I am so that the Lord and bless me. 

I read a cool scripture this week that helped me find more purpose to my mission. It is Ether 12:4 I really do hope for a better world, a better mission, a better area, a better companion. Not new areas and companions, but areas and companions who are better now than they were, before I met them.  Being obedient is an act of love and faith that gives us more hope. That hope is then turned into an impulse and we find that all along we are living exactly in accordance with the will of our Father.

I love you guys so much and we will see each other soon :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Time rolls by...

I´m closing in on 13 months and loving every minute! The mission is a roller coaster of emotions, events, learning, everything! We are entering the last week of the transfer, and there are a ton of things that can happen. Elder Islas and I started off 3 months ago with no one to teach and nothing to do. Two transfers and two converts later, there are a lot of people to teach and more to be found! Our teaching pool is really divers right now with people of all ages with VERY different problems. But only one solution. Come to Christ and be baptized :)

Four new people went to church which is a REALLY good number. Everyone found a friend and loved it a lot :) We are going to pray and seek guidance to set baptismal dates for those people this week. I love to see the area with such success after being left here with nothing. Hard work pays off. It really does. I feel great with what I have been able to do for the Lord and if he needs me somewhere else this transfer, I will trust that he knows what he is doing.


I am pretty excited this time to get the transfer call. 11 missionaries are going home and 17 are coming to the mission! I am hoping to be able to train this time around. It will probably be rough, but there are always people to baptize and lessons to learn.


Well I hope you guys are posting letter and pictures on time so everyone can read! I love my dear family so much and I am glad to be here with the great opportunity to serve the Lord.


With love, Elder Marsh



PS. The package hasnt come yet :( It should be in the mission home. It it is, I will have it next week.


PPS. I started typing in spanish about halfway through every sentence in this email :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012!!

Hola familia!!!


So 2011 drew to an end the heat started up again!! We spent the weekend comfortably in 80 degrees. IN DECEMBER. Oh how I love sonora :)


Well this year has really been something that I could not have expected. The mission is NEVER what you think it is going to be. And, while there are many things I wish I could change about how the mission is, (the missionaries, specifically,) there are so many blessings that I have seen. Other than picking up a strange accent and saying "carls jr" pretty funny, the mission has made me completely different.


We closed the year 2011 with a baptism and confirmation! Guadalupe´s sister, Selene was baptized and confirmed this past week. That was really something special to see after the trials and family pressure she faced to be able to enter the waters of baptism. But it really is a miracle when you can see that converts start to understand things by themselves. When they really do put their faith in God and take a blind step to see all the blessings and happiness that are waiting.


As for me, I am learning how important it is to do things the Lords way. He knows how to protect us and to keep us from causing harm. It can be a struggle sometimes, but being focused on serving the Lord with ALL you heart, might, mind, and strength means just that. I know that if a missionary is distracted, he cant work with the spirit. But I have also learned that when you complete with the Lord and do what is right, then the blessings always come. I know that the commandments keep us safe. Big ones, small ones, and even the ones that only apply for 2 years.


Something cool that I have seen in the mission is the importance of being grateful. Guadalupe asked me how someone can be happy all the time (because I always tell everyone to be happy and grateful with what God gives us) and the way that I have found to work is just giving thanks where thanks are due. God does SO much for us and when we start to look for his hands in our lives, we can really see that he is there. We feel less alone. We feel uplifted. We are simply filled with happiness, because that is a fruit of the spirit. Another thing is not getting down on yourself when you slip up. Everyone does. Even I do. Before the mission. On the mission. But when we start to get feel bad and we get stuck in that mode of thinking, we stop trusting in God. We forget that the Atonement covers all. I love the principle of repentance and how we show that we are changed because when we trust in God and fix our mistakes, he helps us out! He doesnt condemn us or make us suffer. So being grateful and trusting in God even when we fall are 2 ways to be more happy with our lives and to have the spirit closer :)


The holidays have passed. The people have stopped drinking. The left over menudo is almost gone, and we can finally get back to work. Then mission ROCKS. I love it :) But this end will come to and end soon as well. Before that happens, I need to keep serving the Lord so that I can be what he needs when I get home. I love you all so much. It made me so happy to talk to all of you on Christmas. I hope 2012 is even better than 2011 for the Marsh family and for everyone I love back at home :)


With love,

Elder Marsh