Monday, June 30, 2014

Lucimar did get baptized...

June 30, 2014

Another great week in Brazil…

Brazil is playing well and the people are happy. I haven’t watched a single game but all that people want to talk about is soccer, so it’s hard to not get caught up in the excitement of the World Cup.  

We had a great meeting this week with our mission president, President Fortunato, and our stake president, President Sales.  They talked about how they wanted the missionaries and the members to work together.  The church is very well organized in all that it does.  It’s interesting they think about the keys that the missionaries have: teach, baptized, and confirm.  The wards have the keys to the missionary work: find and rescue.  Both parts are essential for anyone to be baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ.  It’s important for us to learn our duty and then to act in all diligence so that the miracles can happen (D&C 107:99).  We are the instruments that Heavenly Father uses to do his work so we have to be ready and willing to serve in our obligations.

We have been finding lots of success recently working with families that are less active and incomplete.  It’s such a rewarding experience to help rekindle the desire that these people have to be part of the gospel.  Always we are rewarded with new members and lots of referrals.  Recently, we have started asking for less active families to visit at our dinners with members.  Whenever someone says the word "less active" we instantly think of someone we know who isn’t coming to church anymore.  We can go to the rescue though and bring them back.  You don’t have to be their home teachers to give them a visit and invite them to church.  This past week, we found a family of 4 who moved to the neighborhood a couple years ago and lost contact with the church because they were too nervous to go to a new ward alone for the first time.  They are now getting back into the habits of reading the scriptures, praying daily and the youngest son will be baptized soon.  It’s fun being a missionary.  

I love you,

Elder Marsh


Monday, June 23, 2014


June 22, 2014

I love it here.  It’s seriously the best being a missionary.  I was studying my notes from the mtc this week and remembered something I had written down about a year ago now.  "Miracle- the natural result of the correct application of true principles."  It’s true.  Everyday we're trying to find miracles in the mission.  Before we leave the apartment we pray for a miracle and then we work and search until we find one.

We found a good one this week.  Sunday night the other Elders here told me that they would have a baptism on Wednesday night...a strange day for a baptism, but I got excited about it!  Elder Aguiar and I decided that we would try to find someone to be baptized that same day, but when we woke up Wednesday morning we still didn’t have anyone.  We went crazy that day visiting old investigators and incomplete families searching for the one.  4 o’clock struck still without any luck.  We had our last chance with our investigator Lucimar who had never accepted a baptismal date in the past.  We went there and talked a little.  She had a little problem with coffee, but the day before she was making a pot and out of nowhere it exploded.  She took that as a sign that she needs to stop drinking coffee.  We then read Alma 7:15.  

"Yea, I say unto you come and fear not, and lay aside every sin, which easily doth beset you, which doth bind you down to destruction, yea, come and go forth, and show unto your God that ye are willing to repent of your sins and enter into a covenant with him to keep his commandments, and witness it unto him this day by going into the waters of baptism."

We invited her to be baptized and she accepted!!  It was so rad.  

I love you,

Elder Marsh



Monday, June 16, 2014

World Cup Madness

School is officially on break until July.  Why? THE WORLD CUP.  It’s madness in Brazil when the "Seleção Brasileiro" is playing… We don’t get to watch the games but we definitely know what’s going on.  Loud explosions and high pitched cheering means that Brazil made a goal, and curse words coming from our neighbors’ homes means that the other team scored. We have to stay inside when Brazil is playing because it’s basically impossible to get inside someone’s house during the game.  Soccer is life for many people in brazil.  It’s really cool to see the people get excited about the games.  The streets get painted blue, yellow and green and the people hang flags over the streets.

Crazy World Cup Madness
That’s enough about soccer though.  What really matters is the missionary work right? This week was awesome.  We had lots of people in sacrament meeting who are progressing well.  I’m excited about a new family that we're teaching.  The mom's name is Andrea and she has 4 kids.  We found them when we were knocking on doors Friday. When we walked into the house their daughter told her mom,  "Hey ask them if I can be baptized!"  That’s just something that every missionary wants to hear. Her daughter is six so the answer is no but they went to church on Sunday!  They are fun to teach because they have lots of questions about the doctrine of the church: baptism, worship, sacrament, etc. It’s a challenge, but I enjoy trying to answer all their questions.  It helps to have a way smart companion too.

I included a picture here of a boy that we baptized after reactivating his family.  His name is Adam and he loves Naruto, a Japanese cartoon. He is 12 so he'll get the Aaronic Priesthood in a little bit.  The young men in our ward helped us out a lot to integrate Adam into the church.  It’s not easy to join the church or to return to activity...its almost impossible without a friend to help stay strong.

I love you,
Elder Marsh
Baptism of Adam with Elder Aguiar

Monday, June 9, 2014

Elder Scott speaks Portuguese?

This past week was awesome.  We stake conference and the spirit there was very strong.  The area authorities spoke, and then Elder Scott and Elder Ballard gave talks for the Brazilians of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais.  Elder Scott Speaks Portuguese apparently! I had no idea.  The members here told me that he always records his general conference talks in Portuguese before he gives them live at conference and then plays that recording.  What was really cool was the reaction of a recent convert named Jaqueline.  She told us that she had loved it and that she felt the spirit very strongly. Before she had been a member of the church, Jaqueline always liked to study the Apostle Paul and had always had a desire to meet him.  She told us after, ”Today I heard an apostle of God speak.  I know he was called by Him, and I felt as if he spoke directly to me."  Elder Scott spoke about the gift of prayer and the importance of searching for divine direction.  He said something I really like.  "Heavenly Father didn’t send us to earth to weaken us but to strengthen us."  That’s so cool. He really does want to help us, but we have to ask in prayer.

The Saturday night session of conference went well also. The theme was missionary work!  The first talk was given by the 1st counselor in the stake presidency.  He asked 2 questions "What is missionary work?" and "Why do we serve?" Two things to think about.  He quoted the church manual, that says something like this: "Every member was SENT to earth for the work of the salvation of souls."  We have a divine purpose to help others return to the presence of our Heavenly Father!  Few things are more important than that.

We had a cool experience teaching a group of gypsies this week.  We pass by their tents every once in a while but we had never stopped to actually talk to them until now.  Their life style is different than you’d think.  For one thing, they have their own language called "Shibe" It’s not written, just spoken.  They do live in tents...but they enjoy all the normal luxuries of life: running water, electricity, hd tvs, washing machine, fridge, microwave, and even cars.  Apparently the palm reading and fortune telling businesses can bring in some money.  They dress traditionally in full length dresses and still ride horses to the super market.  Oh, and the older gypsies all have golden teeth.  I don’t think any of them really wanted to join the church but they are very nice people and received us very well.

I love you,

Elder Marsh

Monday, June 2, 2014

UPS and downs

We had a cool experience this week teaching a Haitian family.  They have made a lot of sacrifices just to come to Brazil to work a little for their family.  We taught a family of 3 brothers who are living together here in Belo Horizonte.  All three of them left their wives  and children behind in Haiti.  One of them speaks Portuguese but the other two just speak French Creole which makes teaching them a lot more difficult than usual.  We planned out our lesson the night before and decided to talk about how families can be eternal and we printed off a few copies of "A Proclamation to the World" in French so that everyone could actually understand the message.  There is a paragraph that is so awesome to teach to people.  It basically lays out the whole plan of salvation 20 seconds.

"In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally."

I love it. The Haitians were way into it too.  They are really missing their families right now and the chance to live with them forever and never be separated again really hit them!  The gospel is great. Everyone NEEDS it.

Ah, we had a disappointing Saturday though.  We had the baptism of 2 brothers, Gustavo and Daniel, planned for Saturday night.  They were interviewed and passed with flying colors!  Everything was perfect until about 30 minutes before the baptism when neither of them were home...We had to cancel the baptism. I still don't know what happened. It’s frustrating, but everything will be fine because the games not over yet.  There’s always next week!  A member of our ward said something I like.  "If things aren't well, don’t worry, it’s not the end.  In the end everything will be alright." We fight until the finish.

What am I eating here?  Lot of beans and rice.  Every day.  My favorite meal is stroganoff.  It’s different than the US.  They fry little pieces of chicken and then boil the chicken and then mix a ton or cream and milk together with onions and green olives and mustard and ketchup to make a super delicious cream.  MMMM It’s so good to put of rice.  Try to find a recipe, I’d recommend it.

I love you all,

Elder Marsh