Monday, August 25, 2014

One Year in Brazil

This week is a memorable one. It’s been a year since I got to the great country of Brazil.  I’m loving it.  It’s seriously just an amazing place. I don’t know if I ever want to go home...

We had a good week and so good times. Yesterday was awesome for the Lagoa ward.  There were about 200 people in the sacrament meeting, and  26 were investigators! It’s super fun serving with 2 other companionships in the same ward because the work just explodes.  It's true what they say:  The field is white already to harvest.  

I love you,

Elder Marsh


Monday, August 18, 2014

All Star Week in Belo Horizonte

This week was so rad.  We had a few Regional and General Authorities visit our mission and stakes in Belo Horizonte.  Among them were: Elder Aidukaitis, First Quorum of the 70; Elder Maynes, Presidency of the 70; and Elder Holland, Apostle.  It was way fun, and I learned a lot.

On Saturday night we had a "mission tour" with Elder Maynes.  It was incredibly inspirational.  It was probably the best day of my mission until now.  He started out talking about how every good investigator is equal to Joseph Smith. They have a question.  They feel that there is something missing in their life.  They feel like there should be more to what they already know.  The difference is that when Joseph Smith went to "ask of God" there weren't any missionaries or members of The Church of Jesus Christ on Earth.  God and Jesus Christ had to personally answer his question, acting as the first missionary companionship in this dispensation. In that moment my eyes were opened to the greatness of our calling to invite others to come unto Christ.  If this work is so important that God the Father and Jesus Christ had to descend to start their work on this planet, our obligation to continue the work is pretty important as well. 

Elder Maynes also talked about the vastness of the works of God.  He has created worlds without number for his sons and daughters (Moses 1:31-39).  He has also created Kingdoms of glory and other kingdoms for after this life (Doctrine and Covenants 88:21-24).  Elder Maynes wanted us to think about "What connects worlds to kingdoms of Glory?" The answer is the doctrine of Christ.  If we invite others to come unto Christ, we are helping others to one day enter into one kingdom of glory.  If they are baptized, receive the Holy Ghost and endure to the end, they will inherit the celestial kingdom.

Sunday morning was stake conference with Elder Aidukaitis.  He is from Brazil, and he is so funny.  He's crazy in a good way.  He invited all the investigators in the conference to stand up and then invited all of them to be baptized.  It was so sick.  One of our investigators, who was on the front row, accepted the invitation.  She'll be baptized on Saturday!!  After he talked to every group in the congregation: young men about serving a mission, young women about marrying in the temple or serving a mission, adults about uniting their families more often.  It was way fun. 

We didn’t get to meet elder Holland, but I’m very content with the spiritual experiences that we had this past weekend. 

I love this work and my family.

Elder Marsh


Monday, August 11, 2014

Lots of Work

I'm loving it here.  

We had a really great week.  There were a few ups and downs but it ended with a big up.  Elder Dunford and I worked like animals this week finding and teaching as many people as we could.  We were blessed to find a few new families who seem excited to learn more about the restored church. It’s always fun to teach about the restoration and catch the interest of the people. This message is so unique and special.

Jeremias was the man who told us that he would be baptized 100 times if he needed to do it right. Well he was excited until Wednesday, but then all of a sudden he gave up on the idea of his baptism. It was a bummer but we kept teaching him and preparing him like he would be baptized anyways. (Missionaries rarely take "no" for an answer.)  Yesterday we had a special sacrament meeting about genealogy and the spirit of Elijah.  After the meeting, Jeremias came up to us with tears in his eyes and asked us, "Is it too late, or can I be baptized today?" Of course you can!  He went home during the middle hour and grabbed a towel. It was a great day.  Miracles happen so often.  Hopefully his wife and kids will follow his example now.

I love you,

Elder Marsh


Monday, August 4, 2014

Meeting With President

This week was way cool.  We had a meeting with president this week that was very inspirational.  I have no doubt that church leaders receive their callings by revelation.  

President talked a lot about how we can do better.  Everyone is capable of improvement.  He told us that we need to take care of what we can, and the Lord will take care of the rest.  I love it.  It’s so true.  In the mission we dent have any control over the people we teach because everyone has their free agency.  But we have control over what we do every day.  We need to be obedient and desire to serve.  We can show this desire and our faith by talking with everyone that we see in the street and inviting everyone to learn about the church and be baptized.  If we do what we can the lord will bless us with more than we can imagine.  I’ve seen it happen.  Sometimes we just need to leave our comfort zone and "try a little harder to be a little better."

He also talked a lot about the "miracle of baptism."  I’ve thought about this often these day and have been trying to understand this miracle.  When we look at a baptism objectively, the person enters into the water and then comes back up all wet.  If we look at it spiritually, it is so much more.  The person symbolically has died and has been born again, leaving all of their sins and impurities in the water.  How does that happen?  It really is a miracle!  It must be done with the proper authority of God or it counts for nothing. We have been teaching lots of people about this and their understanding has grown a lot.  Recently, we taught a man named Jeramias about this.  After, he told us, "That makes sense.  I'd be baptized 100 times if I needed to do it right." Hopefully, he'll be baptized on Saturday.

I love the mission.  It’s so fun and so rewarding.  I know that the Lord is in charge and does miracles every day.

Elder Marsh