Monday, July 29, 2013

July 29,2013 Bikes!

Dear Mom Dad Chris Mason and Anna,
This week was pretty sweet. Some good news: We got bikes on Wednesday.  Bikes are the greatest invention ever. They are about 400% more efficient than walking which makes the travel time so much better. On the bike the wind is in my face which keeps me super cooled down, but then as soon as I stop to go to someone’s house I just start sweating like crazy. It's great though because then the members think we're working super hard.  Bad news:  Idaho has these thorn things called "goat’s heads."  The day after we got bikes, we were like 5 miles from our next appointment that started in 25 minutes, and I ran over seriously like a 100 goat’s heads and both my tires popped. We tied our bike to a telephone pole and just started booking it on foot.  We were just a little late because an old man offered us a ride.  That's one of the perks of serving in Idaho. People offer us rides all over town! We're getting the tubes replaced today though, so we should be mobile tomorrow!

We had a lesson with our first investigator on Tuesday.  He's getting baptized on the 24th of August. This is how it went, "Will you be baptized?", "Yes." "Next month?" "Yes!” ”On the 24th?" "YES!"  He was so excited!  Honestly, we could have asked him to be baptized that day in the apartments' pool and he would have said yes.  Apparently not every investigator is like that though, so I guess we just got lucky ha-ha.  We won't be teaching him the rest of the lessons or be doing the baptism because he's actually 32 years old so not a YSA anymore.

We are teaching a lot still.  Most of the lessons are to members though.  It's hard to find investigators right now especially since we work in the student wards that have weekly sacrament attendance of about 45 because most of the students are at home over the summer.  Once school starts though, that number should go up to about 145 and hopefully we get a lot of referrals with the new people!  We had a sweet experience on Saturday.  We had a lesson set up with a girl who we thought was just a less active member, but when we met with her she told us she was never baptized and wanted to learn more about the church!  So sick!  She is our only investigator right now, so hopefully things go well.

I love you guys!

Elder Marsh

Monday, July 22, 2013

July 22, 2013 Pocatello

Hey Mom and Dad!

 Ok, so on Tuesday I arrived in Pocatello with about 40 other new missionaries.  12 of them were visa waiters to either Brazil or Argentina. Crazy! And next transfer the mission is going to get about 40 more.  My mission president is President Brinkerhoff.  He and his wife are really really cool and super nice.  My new companion's name is Elder Vigil (pernounced v-hill).  He is from Kansas and is a really good trainer.  He's super outgoing which is good because I was pretty nervous just talking to people for the first couple days.  I'm working on that though.  We are assigned two Pocatello Young Single Adult wards.  It's so sweet.  We were white washed into this new area that was litterally created last Tuesday because of how many new missionaries came to Pocatello.  We opened the Area Book and there were no baptisms, progressing investigators, or even any potential investigators!  We had nothing, so we just headed out to our area to knock some doors to hopefully meet a few people.  Right now we don't have a house either so we are living in the basement of the APs house which is super nice except we are about 2 and a half miles from one ward and about 4 miles from the other and there's about 3 miles between those wards.  Oh and we don't have a car.  It's way fun though.  The first night we walked for a solid 4 hours.  We have been getting some serious miles in since then as well.  Last week since we didn't really have any food. Just a ton of cereal.  Between the two of us we have eaten 7 boxes of cereal in 5 days.  That much fiber in your system is not good.  Yesterday we had to make an emergency stop for Elder Vigil to use the bathroom at a members apartment.  If it's bad in Idaho, I don't know what it'll be like in Brazil. 

We have taught 3 lessons so far.  They have all been to members and less actives.  We have been working hard with the ward mission leaders and have been texting people like crazy trying to get appointments with them and their less active/non-member friends.  We already have 10 appointments set up for this week and we will set up lots more for sure.  Pocatello has a lot of less active work to be done.  In our steak there is about 3000 members and less than a 1000 are active.  There's usually about a 50% chance that any person you meet is member.  A couple days ago, Elder Vigil and I were meeting with Reese, the ward mission leader.  There were a couple people in his apartment watching tv while he was giving us names of less actives to visit.  He was just going down his list and got to a girl's name and he was like, "Kristen Hueser? Hueser? I don't know how to say her name but she's a good one to visit. She's pretty less active."  A girl on the couch says, "Um, Hey. That's me. I'm right here..."  I had my back turned to her and was laughing so so hard.  It was incredibly awkward and Reese couldn't say anything. 

We taught a less active member on Sunday.  He's had a hard life so far and is really just trying to get everything together.  His whole family was there and they are all strong members.  We taught about the atonement and his family all shared testimonies about the effect it had on their lives.  He said he would come to church next week.  Elder Vigil and I are the speaker for sacrement so hopefully it's a good experience and we can find some fellowshipppers. 

My address is the mission offices.

1246 Yellowstone Ave. F3
Pocatello, ID 83201

Letters would probably be just as good as dear elders and if you could send a side bag that'd be great because President Brinkerhoff is trying to phase those in asap.

I love you and I glad everyone is having such a fun summer.

Elder Marsh

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Arrival in the Pocatello Idaho Mission

President and Sister Brinkerhoff with Elder Marsh

Jordan arrived in Pocatello to wait out his Brazilian visa. 

He is anxious to serve and to teach. 


Friday, July 12, 2013

Last week in the MTC

Elder Lutz and Elder Marsh-last week together

 back row: Elders Merritt, Edwards, Marsh, Lutz, Wible, Beatty, Freeman, Thiery
 front row: Sisters Rose, Green, Lazelle, Flannery, Brothers Galvao, Tappen
Elders Tappen, Galvao, Lutz and I are going to Belo Horizonte and the rest of the district is going to Sao Palo South

 Friends from all over the US meet at BYU and leave to serve all around the world

Reassignment Week 5

Dear Mom and Dad,

So I got the packages this week.  They were seriously so awesome! Thanks so much for sending all that stuff.  I've being eating more candy the past few days than I probably ever have in my life.  I really glad you had fun at Yellowstone.  I can't believe you go to see a wolf pack take down some prey! Mom I'm very impressed that you just stared down that bear and took a few pictures...that's some risky photography.  I'm sad I missed out on everything!

I forgot to tell you. Last week, Elder Lutz and I got the calling to be Missionary Portal Trainers.  It's kind of sweet because all we do is talk with the new districts and teach them about the computer programs we use.  Ironically, my mission portal doesn't work so I haven't actually been able to do any of it myself.

Ok so I just go my reassignment.  I'm going to the Idaho Pocatello Mission!  WHAT??  I'm really excited.  I leave at 7:30 am on Tuesday the 16th.   My flight leaves at 11:00 and I get in a little before 12:00. I'm allowed to call you from the airport from a pay phone so I was thinking we could talk for a little before my flight.  Are you going to be available?

This is so awesome!  I get to finally teach actual people.  Yesterday was infield orientation.  It is just a really cool day where all the best teachers get everyone excited and ready to serve. 





Friday, July 5, 2013

Week 4

Dear Mom and Dad and Family,

I hope you're having an awesome time on vacation!  I may be wrong , but you are in Yellowstone this week right?  I hope it's a blast, and I'm bummed I'm missing a family reunion. Please tell me all about it. 

Hey guess what?  A week from today I'll be getting my reassignment/visa, and then in a couple more days I'll be off! I'm so excited.  Time has just flown by here.  I can vividly remember the first 3 days and today and yesterday, but I can't honestly telling tell you what happened any other day I was here without looking in my journal.  It's all just been a blur of intense training. 

Yesterday was the 4th of July. It was basically the same as any other day here except last night we got to watch 17 miracles, and then watch the stadium of fire fireworks for an hour!  It was pretty awesome.  We stayed up until like 11:30PM.  That's kind of a big deal.  On Wednesday, two of our roommates moved out to leave for there mission.  There were six of us in a room only meant for 4 people.  Because there were two bunks left open, Elder Lutz and I pushed the bunks together to make a king size bunk beds.  It's nice. 

This week, Elder Lutz and I committed our first "investigator" to baptism.  It was awesome even though it was just for pretend.  We could see the cahnge in their attitude towards life and the church.  This church is true.  I don't remember if I told you about this. A couple weeks ago we were doing something called TRC where you just share a message with a member, but in Portuguese.  One of the girls we could have taught was our Mission President's daughter who is up here at LDS Business college!  She said Belo Horizonte is awesome and that her mom will make us cookies.  I'm so excited.  Tomorrow, TRC is going to be via Skype, and we are teaching members that actually live in Brazil.  I'm kind of nervous.  One of the men we teach normally has only been in the states for a year so he speaks almost no English and understanding him is so hard.  He has an amazing memory though.  Every time we went to share a scripture with him, he already had it memorized and would recite it before we could turn to the page. 

I love you.

Elder Marsh