Monday, May 26, 2014

The Nag

We had a very busy week.

One of the best feelings is be led by the spirit to the right place at the right time.  Nothing happens by accident on the mission.  The Lord is always in charge.

This week we were trying to visit some street contacts before one was home or could attend us at that time, so we decided to head in the direction of lunch and talk to some more people.  We passed an apartment complex that had an opening for rent, so we just clapped our hands (the Brazilian way to knock doors because every house has a gate or big wall in the front) to see about the apartment.  A 16 year old kid came out to see who was there.  We asked him about the apartments, and then asked him if we could share a message with his family.  He let us in to talk to him and his 22 year brother.  Their names are Daniel and Gustavo.  They are way cool and are keeping all the commitments so they can be baptized this Saturday!  At church they felt a difference and loved it.

As a missionary, I have learned to not take no for an answer. Seriously, sometimes you really have to fight for the salvation of the people you teach.  Yesterday morning, we had a marked with an investigator named Claudiene to go to church with us.  We told her we would pass by her house at 8:10 to walk together.  When we got there she wasn't home, but her neighbor told us she went to the bakery, so we followed her there.  We found her sitting on the sidewalk with a bag of bread drinking coffee.  "Claudiene, what are you doing?! We have to be in church in a little." 
"Oh Elder, you know what, I think I woke up sick." (Everyone says that when they don’t want to go to church for the first time.)
"Whatever… you’re up and walking!  Let’s get going."
"No, I'm sick."
"No you’re not."
"Yes I am."
"Well you’ll feel better once you get to church! We are going to pick you up in 30
minutes with a car ok?" 
"I don’t know..." 
"We’ll be at your door in thirty minutes even if you’re not ready." And then she went to church!!!! Sometimes I seriously feel so naggy. But I do it because I love these people.  It’s totally worth it to see
the change in their lives.

Elder Marsh

Monday, May 19, 2014


This week was really interesting.  It started off with an emergency transfer on Monday night.  Elder Queiroz left Lagoa, and I got a new companion, Elder Aguiar.  He is from São Paulo and is 4 months out on the mission.  I'm excited to have him as my companion.  He is a goofy guy and super forward with people.  I think he just enjoys calling everyone to repentance.

We had a funny experience this week.  We are teaching a great family who is liking the lessons and the Book of Mormon.  The dad, Marcelo, has a soccer "project" where he coaches about forty  18 year olds for free so that the can maybe go pro one day (Every Brazilian's Dream).  He invited us to come to his practice and give the message of the restoration to all the players.  I was getting pumped up all day to teach this huge group of guys about the gospel!  I kept imagining the apostle Paul teaching the multitudes.  When we got there, everyone looked at us wide eyed.  They started shaking our hands and introducing themselves to us.  I was thinking, "Wow, these guys are great...we're going to have about 30 investigators in church on Sunday!"  but then I realized..."they think we are soccer recruiters!" All the players were running around, kicking the ball like crazy to show off to us.  We just sat there and watched the show haha.  After, Marcelo introduced us to the team as the "pastors who are helping my family."  The players were a little disappointed but the lesson went well.  There will be a group of them going to visit our church next Sunday!

I hope you have a great week.  Missionary work is great.

Love, Elder Marsh

Monday, May 12, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

May 12, 2014
Mother’s Day was great.  I was so excited to see all you guys.  The time seriously passed so quickly.  But hey, Christmas is just around the corner!

Our week went super well.  We had a great zone conference that lasted all day on Thursday.  Our mission president is super spiritual.  When he talks, you pay attention.  He teaches with such ease and power.  I learned a lot about our attitude as missionaries.  He told us at the beginning, "When you accept your mission call, you lose you free agency.   You accepted to live a new life style with new rules If you don’t obey, then you are not a missionary.  You really don’t have a choice anymore!"  I liked that. Obedience is so key.  He told us that we need to change our mind set about the rules.  We can obey to just obey, or we can learn the principle behind the rules and obey to receive the blessings that come.  For example: We have a rule where we have to do at least 10 street contacts a day which means just talking to a random person in the street about the church.  The principle is that if we talk with people, then we'll have people to teach every day.  What I need to change is to not look at the number "10" as the goal, but make the goal "as many people as possible." With more contacts, come more lessons, and more investigators, and more baptisms in the end!

This week we had a really cool experience with the members.  We have an investigator, Valeska, who got baptized on Saturday because of her friends talking about the church with her.  This is cool. We have a member in our ward named Valeria who got baptized 12 years ago with her family.  She is super cool, a little crazy, and always talks about the church with people.  Two years ago she met her husband, Gilberto, and taught him about the church and he got baptized and they sealed in the  temple.  Gilberto's kids all have their own families now, and two months ago his daughter, Debora, and her family were baptized because Valeria and Gilberto invited her to an FHE.  And because of  Debora talking about the church, Valeska was baptized.  Things happen when we share the gospel!

Mom and Dad, I want you to know something......The Book of Mormon is true.

I love you,

Elder Marsh

Elder Queiroz and I getting ready to call mom
Elders Eskelson, Elder Marsh and Elder Miller who was in MTC and Pocatello
with Jordan, and he just arrived to Brazil.

FHE with Gloria and some other really fun members

Elder Leite de Souza and Elder F. Oliveira with Jake

Cleaning the font is hard and hot work.

Elders Marsh and Queiroz with Rosalia and her mom and daughters

Elder Marsh, eite de Souza and F. Oliveira hanging with the people

Mate with Elder Leite de Souza

Working hard in Brazil

Making homemade peanut butter with Ygor.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Funny Baptism

The week went really well again.  We had an interesting experience at our baptismal service on Saturday.  We have been teaching an awesome lady named Sueli.  She used to drink a lot.  Every day she would drink a bottle of "cachaça" which is basically the same thing as the ethanol that they put in cars here.  But a month ago her grandson was born, and she decided to stop drinking suddenly.  Since then we have been working with her to stop smoking and teaching her all about the gospel.  Actually, she had already been taught by missionaries before, but she was really drunk the whole time so she didn’t remember anything.  Saturday was her baptism, and she was very excited.  She told us before that she has a phobia of water and was a little worried, but we assured her that everything would be fine and that the water would be nice and warm and we would be there to help her the whole time.  On Saturday morning though, we found out that the gas tank that heats the water in the church building ran out.  The weather has been surprisingly cold, so the water for the baptism was super cold as well.  We decided that it would be better to not tell her about the problem and go through with the baptism as planned.  The service went really well until the part where she would be baptized.  First, Elder Queiroz got into the water and waited for Sueli to follow.  She put one foot in and said, "Oh no! Its icy cold! I won’t be baptized today in this water!" Elder Queiroz grabbed her arm and pulled her a little so that she would step down more,  ”Oh you boys (she calls us "boys" not elders) said it would be hot!" Elder Queiroz kept pulling her until the water was at her waist. She was screaming quietly the whole time, "Oh my! Mercy! Ah!"  Her sister, who is a member, told her to be quiet, but she responded quickly, "But the boys said the water would be nice!!"  Elder Queiroz explained to her that he would baptize her.  "Are you kidding? I have to lay down in this water? Queiroz please..." He said the prayer and baptized her as she let out a little scream going into the water.  There were a lot of members there.  Lots
of them just trying to hold back their giggles.  She was confirmed yesterday and now is very happy.  She said she feels so clean and pure.  It was totally worth the cold water.

I’m excited to talk with all of you this week!  It’ll be great to see everyone.  I’ll probably try to call you at 3 o’clock Brazil time.  I think that will be best for us here.  I hope you have a great week.

Elder Marsh