Monday, February 24, 2014

Tiring Week

Ok so I still haven’t gotten my pants back yet but it’s because the guy has his interview on Friday this week.  I don’t think he'll be a problem...

This week was super tiring.  I just want to sleep today so bad! I’m struggling to keep my eyes open.  We worked a lot this week trying to find new investigators and bringing old investigators back to church. We started teaching an awesome family again. Arlen and Fabiana have 7 kids and their house is crazy but it’s super fun.  This is the 3rd time that Fabiana has talked with missionaries so she knows a lot about the church already.  The most difficult thing with them is getting them to read the Book of Mormon because of their crazy schedule.  This past Saturday we were answering all the questions that they had about the church and its doctrine and she asked us, "Why don’t you missionaries teach us anything new? You always just talk about the Book of Mormon and prophets.  I want something that will change my family and help us grow."  I was a little frustrated and asked, "Have you read any of the Book of Mormon yet?"  "No"  And then Elder Oliveira and I taught about the Book of Mormon again haha. We promised them that if they read they would feel the power and it would truly help their family.  Fabiana read a little and she and three of her kids went to church yesterday. She promised that she would come back and would bring all her kids next week! The Book of Mormon is so important.  Learn to love the scriptures and you’ll start to see miracles in your life.
Also, everyone in this area thinks I’m least until I open my mouth and say a few words.  My skin must be getting a lot darker in this sun. It’s not super-hot here but the sun feels like a fire on my face when we’re walking in the street all day.

Elder Marsh

Monday, February 17, 2014

Transfer Week

This week was transfer week.  Elder Clark got his house.  And I am staying here in Ribeirao das Neves. What luck! My new companion is Elder F. Oliveira.  He is a "gaucho" which means he is from Rio Grande do Sul. From what he tells me, his state is a lot different.  It’s the most southern state in Brazil and they actually get snow there which is pretty cool.  It is also the part of Brazil most settled by Europeans so there are a lot of German, Italian, Danish, Portuguese, and English decedents.  He tells me also that the houses there don’t have giant walls surrounding them which is super different
than the homes here.  He has made a ton of connections with the people in our ward already.  Bishop and his wife served in his home mission and the bishop’s wife passed through Elder Oliveira’s ward.  There are a couple of members that grew up within 30 minutes of his house and there
are two members that served with his brother in the Sao Paulo South mission. Small world am I right?

This week was kind of different because lots of things we had been working with for so long closed up last week.  We kind of had to start over and find some new people to start teaching.  We’ve been talking
with pretty much everyone we see about the church and have run into some really cool people that are showing interest in the church.

Here’s kind of a funny story.  We were teaching a less active member outside his house when his neighbor rode up on a motorcycle.  The guy on the bike looked super sketchy and was just waiting for us to finish our lesson.  Afterwards, he called me over and told me, "Hey, I have a job interview next week but I don’t have any dress pants or a white shirt...can I borrow yours?"  I thought for a little bit...I wanted to help him out, but I also didn’t want him to steal my clothes!  I ended up telling him that we have church every Sunday from nine until noon and if he went to church he could borrow the pants and shirt.  Guess who showed up to sacrament meeting on Sunday--this guy and his roommate.  Their names are Robson and Tiago.  We brought them the clothes after church and talked about the restoration.  We´ll see what happens!

Here are a few pictures from the past transfer:

The center of Belo Horizonte at the Praca de Liberdade.  That's a really pretty park with lots of historical buildings around it.

The wedding of Romareo and Lucimeire
Ygor who just was baptized
The Family of Anderson and Luzia.  They are awesome. They gave Elder Clark a going away dinner with Stroganaugh, guarana,ice-cream, mousse and just lots of yummy food.

Elder Clark, me and the young men in our ward. They are super cool.

Monday, February 10, 2014

3 baptisms

This past week was seriously so awesome!  Elder Clark is ending his
mission in one of the best ways I can imagine.  We had a super packed
schedule these past three or four days.  We have been running in between
appointments at least 2 or three times a day.  I’m exhausted!

On Wednesday we went to a wedding.  A couple that Elder Clark has
been working with since he got here got married! Their names are
Luzimeire and Romareo.  It’s very rare that you get to see your
investigators get married, because the whole process takes 3 to 4
months in Mina Gerais.  Romareo was baptized on Saturday along with
Luzimeire's 9 year old son João Victor.  The baptism was really cool.
Luzimeirie’s family is one of the oldest active families in our ward.
Her brother is the ward mission leader, and her sister has an awesome
family with really active kids.  There were musical numbers by the
family members, and Luzimeire and her dad bore some really great
testimonies!  The spirit was really strong the whole time there.  I
wish you could have seen how happy all the family members were at the

Ygor also got baptized at the same time! His cousin Lucas gave a short
talk that was way good.  Ygor is super pumped about getting the
priesthood and doing his duty in the ward.  Another cool thing is that
since we’ve started working with Ygor and passing by his house and
Lucas’s house a lot, Lucas's older brother Tiago started going back to
church and now holds the office of priest!

Yesterday we were heading to Ygor’s house to teach him a little and
congratulate him.  We found him with 3 other young men who were still
in their white shirts and ties at 6 o’clock in the afternoon!  They
said "Hey, guess what?! We’ve been doing our visits just like you guys!"
They are so awesome!

My time is up so I have to go but I love you all! Happy birthday to
Mason and Anna!!!

Elder Marsh

Sorry I can’t put any pictures on the email.  It won’t work for some reason...

Monday, February 3, 2014

New Foods

Pampulha Zone
More mission friends
We had a fun week.  Zone conference was on Thursday and that was awesome.  Our mission president is such an awesome person.  He’s got an amazing spirit and is super inspired about the missionary work in our mission. President Fortunato talked a lot about "teaching people, not lessons" which means getting genuinely concerned about the people we are talking to and not just about the numbers at the end of the day.  That may sound easy but it can be really difficult.  When we teach the same lesson at least three times a day, we just get into a rhythm of teaching the exact same thing and not thinking about what the people actually need and teaching them how the gospel can bless them personally.  What he taught us to do is ask "inspired questions" that will help us understand the investigator and help them understand more about the gospel.   He shared a few experiences where he asked just the right question and it made all the difference in the progression of the investigator.  I think that he may have Jedi powers.  Here’s one of his stories:

The whole zone
Practicing with Elder Clark and Elder Jacob our AP.
He was invited to teach an investigator who had been going to church for about 6 months straight but didn’t want to get baptized because he was also going to another church that he liked.  When president got to the investigator’s house, the man was just talking and talking about how many blessings he had been receiving from going to church and doing the right thing and blah blah blah...President butted in and just asked him "what blessings?" The man stopped and thought a second and said, "Well I’ve been waiting for a long time to get the deed to this house switched to my name and it finally switched to my name!”  President asked, "Why is it important that the house is in your name?” The man replied, "Well because the house is officially mine because my name’s on the papers." President then took off his name tag and held it up to the man and said, "This is the Church of Jesus Christ and it has his name on it." The man got baptized that weekend.
There’s a traditional food here called feijoada.  I’m not really sure how to spell it but it’s super yummy.  A lot of restaurants serve is for special occasions, so I always eat it when I get the chance,  but this week I found out what feijoada actually is.  What they do is they take black beans and throw those into a cauldron and then take bacon, sausage, ear of pig, nose of pig, and foot of pig and cook it altogether  to make this black "witches brew".  I had no idea what I was eating until a member told me on Friday.  Now I know and I’m a little freaked out, but hey its way good.  I also got to try cow tail this week.  I wasn’t super fond of that.  It’s like a super red meat with a lot of fat and bone joint jelly that they expect you to eat.

I love you all,

Elder Marsh