Monday, April 28, 2014

So Much to Do


This week was pretty awesome.  We had some awesome miracles in our district.

We have an investigator named Debora who’s probably the most prepared and elect investigator that I’ve had on my mission.  She doesn’t break the Word or Wisdom and doesn’t have a problem with any of the commandments just because she wants to do what’s right. We have been teaching her since I got here in Lagoa, but she never had accepted a baptismal date.  This past week, we had interviews with President Fortunato.  He asked about our investigators and then gave us a little advice.  He told us, "Teach an Attribute of Christ, use inspired questions, listen, and then just invite her again."   We did just that. We prepared a lesson, brought a member, and asked the right questions.  The spirit was way strong when we invited her to be baptized on the 27th, and she accepted without hesitating.  The baptismal service went very well. She cried afterwards.  That afternoon she showed us her plan of action in the gospel.  "Be an example for my family so that I can bring them to the gospel and be with them forever." It went more detailed than that too.  I’m psyched for her and her family too.

Today I’m going to bake cookies for all of our investigators...pray that they’ll turn out.

Our district had 9 baptisms this past weekend!!  There are 3 companionships.  It was really exciting and a lot of hard work getting everyone ready for their baptisms.

We had a cool experience on Saturday too.  I got called to be district leader a couple weeks ago so that means I get to interview the investigators before they get baptized.  The sister missionaries in our district had 3 baptisms for this past weekend that I was supposed to interview in their chapel, but in the last minute one of the investigators got sick and couldn’t make the walk to the chapel.  Not a problem; if she can’t come to us, we'll go to her. We went to their house, and I started to interview the people.  While I was doing the interviews, Elder Queiroz saw that there was another daughter in the family who was not going to be interviewed.  He asked her why and she explained that she was a little nervous and stuff.  He convinced her to just have an interview. I talked to her and saw that she was ready to be baptized too, and at the end invited her to be baptized the next day with her family.  She accepted!  Everything happens for a reason in the gospel. If the one investigator hadn’t gotten sick, one person wouldn’t have been baptized.  That’s a miracle for sure.

I love the church and this work.

Love,

Elder Marsh

MOM.  Congrats at Boston! That sounded like a crazy race, but you pulled it off.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter in Brazil


April 21, 2014
I’m so grateful for the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for us.  I know he suffered for all of us, died, and then was resurrected to break the band of death.  I know He lives because I feel His presence every day.  I have no doubt that this is His true church, and I want everyone here to know that so they too can come unto Christ and feel His influence in their lives.

Easter Sunday was seriously great.  We had an awesome sacrament meeting.  The people who spoke talked about the Savior and His sacrifice and about how we can follow His example through diligence in our callings in church, temple attendance, and family life.

Miracles actually do happen, and the Lagoa ward is just full of miracles. First of all, Enilda, who had to go to the hospital after her baptism was confirmed yesterday!  She stayed in the hospital for four days and had surgery, but that didn’t stop her from wanting to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  She is one tough lady.  After church she gave us a giant chocolate Easter egg.  It’s full of coconut creme...my favorite.  Brazil makes some amazing treats.  She and her daughter are starting to do their family history work already so that they can begin sending names to the temple.

We only have a little time to write this week because today is a holiday and the internet cafes aren’t going to be open very long, but I hope all of you had an amazing Easter weekend .

Elder Marsh

Mom, GOOD LUCK TODAY!  I’m way excited for you.  I woke up today thinking about the Boston marathon and had a knot in my stomach so I have no idea how you feel.  Just think about the opportunity you have to run there!  So cool.

How is Tony and the family there?  Is Boston cool?

And what size shoes does the whole family wear? I want to send a present for you all

Monday, April 14, 2014

Lots of work=Lots of blessings


I've never had to work so hard in my life.  This week was so spiritually exhausting.  Rosalia and Enilda were all ready to be baptized on Saturday, but then the craziest train of events happened. In the beginning of the week, we found out that Rosalia's sister Jaqueline had been missing for over a week.  She had been baptized 2 months ago after fighting an addiction with Crack cocaine. Unfortunately she returned to her bad habits all over again.  When she disappeared, she took her whole paycheck and didn’t pay her families rent, leaving her three children without a place to live.  On Thursday we helped them move in with Rosalia and Enilda for three hours. Moving couches and big appliances is not easy when the house is at the end of beco(narrow alley where people live). Everything was fine Thursday night, but on Friday we got a text message that the fridge had fallen on Rosalias back and that she couldn’t walk.  It was the day of their baptismal interviews.  We gave Rosalia a blessing and within a few hours she was walking around the house.  They were interviewed and were ready for Saturday.  But then on Saturday Rosalia sent us a message two hours before baptism saying that she was too nervous and could not be baptized.  We got there as fast as we could and found out that she hadn’t eaten in the past 24 hours because she was so nervous. After another blessing and lots of encouragement we convinced her that Saturday was the day of her baptism.  They were baptized and were so happy afterwards.  When we got back to their house, Enilda began to feel pain in her chest and one of her arms.  We called a taxi and she went to the hospital. She had a stroke and spent the whole night in critical care. Today she had surgery and everything is looking better.  Please pray for Enilda so that she can be confirmed at church next Sunday.

I’m exhausted.  It was a battle every day for these two to be baptized, but it happened!  Totally worth it in the end.

Also, this week we had an emergency transfer and two more missionaries moved in with us-- Elder Eskelsen and Elder Miller.  They are both Americans.  Elder Miller and I were in the MTC the same time and we flew to the Pocatello mission together.  He got his visa about a week ago and finally made it to Brazil.  He’s only been here 6 days but he’s speaking super well. Because it was an emergency transfer, there aren’t beds for everyone or desks to study....it’s a mess but way fun.

I love you,
Elder Marsh

Wow I forgot about Boston!  Good luck mom.  That’s going to be so fun.  Do you have a goal time? or anyone to run with?  There are tons of Brazilians in Boston. Everyone in Brazil has a relative that lives there.  You could probably find some awesome food there.  

Monday, April 7, 2014

Conference


We had a really great week.  I loved conference.  I watched it all in Portuguese which was an entirely new experience.  The spirit was strong even if I couldn’t take in everything that the speakers were saying.

My favorite talk was by Bishop Gary E. Stevenson.  He gave the sports analogy of the skeleton and bob  sled.  He talked about how the athletes prepare their whole life to compete for only four minutes.  He said, and I quote, "This life is your four minutes. While you are here, your actions will determine whether you win the prize of eternal life." End quote.  Wow right?!  Can you feel the sense of urgency?  I started thinking about the mission and the importance of giving all that I have right now.  There are millions of people out there who don’t even realize what’s at stake right now.  It’s our job as missionaries and members to let them know of the prize of eternal life.  I’m excited and reenergized after general conference.

We have been super blessed this past week with our investigators. This week has really shown me the power of the Book of Mormon.

We have two investigators name Rosa├ília and Enilda (mother and daughter).  Ros├ília recently lost her husband and then had a baby boy a little time after.  Needless to say, her life has been kind of crazy these past few months.  We started teaching them and gave them a Book of Mormon to read. We asked her to read and pray to know if it was true. Later she told us about the chapter she had read and asked us if "joy" could be an answer to her prayer?  She now reads the Book of Mormon often to find peace and joy in her life.  It’s been awesome to see this family grow!  They are so excited to learn more, and their whole attitude has changed in the past couple weeks.  The plan of salvation brought new light into their lives and they are already asking about how to get to the temple.

We also had an awesome experience yesterday morning before conference started.  We decided to try to teach some people in the morning because conference doesn’t start here until 1 in the afternoon.  At  10 we contacted a church headquarters referral.  We taught the first lesson to her and asked her if she would be baptized on the 19th of April.  She said, "Yes, what time!?" Haha That’s a response that every Elder wants to hear.

I love you all and hope everything is great,
Elder Marsh