Monday, October 27, 2014

Elder Atunes

Missionary Slumber Party
We had a cool week with a mission tour on Wednesday.  The whole mission participated, so on Tuesday night our house had 8 missionaries who had traveled to Belo Horizonte for the tour. We only have 2 beds in our house so 6 missionaries had to sleep on the tile floor for a night.  haha I don’t think missionaries really mind. 

We learned about a new way of doing contacts with Elder Antunes.  It’s like this: "Hi, we're representatives of Jesus Christ and we are here searching for God's elect children.  We'd like to go to your home now to say a prayer and bless your family."  I like it…It’s simple and powerful.  What’s different is we don’t say anything about a church because that usually chases away people.  In Brazil there are 2 or 3 different churches on every street, so people get tired of hearing about churches, but everyone here loves God and prayer!  

Marcia was baptized on Saturday!  She’s the mom of the less active girls that a member brought back to church. She’s one of the most firm baptisms that I’ve had yet.  She could hardly wait to be baptized and was so happy afterwards.  When she got the gift of the Holy Ghost she said she felt a heat start from her feet and then rise up to her stuff.
Marcia's Baptism

The zone was super blessed too. Saturday morning our zone of 18 missionaries only had 1 baptism planned for the weekend, so Elder Bravo and I called every companionship and told them, "Red Alert!  There are God’s children waiting to be saved in our zone, and we just have to find them!"  We made a new rule for the day that every lesson and street contact had to have a baptismal invitation.  At 4 o’clock we got a call that the Elders had found a family of 4 who was just waiting to baptized.  They were baptized 3 hours later!  It’s so fun to watch the Lord’s work happen.  

I love the work.

Elder Marsh

PS That was such a funny analogy that Chris gave in his talk. Elder Bravo and I laughed a lot.  I love the story of Lori. Missionary work is so good.  

Elder Dunford and his Parents

Monday, October 20, 2014

Good Stuff

Things are heating up in Belo Horizonte.  There have been record highs this past week and we are in a pretty serious drought.  I figured out why God gave us eyebrows...they’re to keep the sweat on your forehead from dripping into your eyes. Yeah, I sweated a lot this week.

We had another miracle happen on Wednesday.  Every Sunday we get a list of less active members to visit.  We were trying to visit a family who had gone inactive a few years ago but no one knew why.  When we knocked on the door we were greeted by lots of little kids.  We went in and started talking to the father.  His wife was a firm member of the church, but died suddenly from some health problems she had. We could see that he was discouraged and a little run down.  Working and taking care of 5 little kids is not easy for him.  We talked for a while, the spirit was strong, and he decided that he would start taking his kids to church the way his wife always had. He needs the gospel so bad. His daughter was baptized yesterday and he was so proud and happy with the decision she made.  He should be baptized shortly as well. 

I'm so happy with the members here in Progresso.  Real growth in the church comes because of the members, not because of the missionaries.  Our ward is a little small but the members are firm in their callings and testimonies.  Last week the young woman’s president, Shirley, visited some less active girls and then brought them to church on Sunday.  We went to visit the family and found out that their mom and brother weren’t members.  The whole family went to church yesterday and now wants to be baptized as well!  All of this because Shirley wanted to fulfill her calling.  I love it. 

Today has already been awesome!  I met Elder Dunford’s parents! They came and said hello when we were studying.  I was so happy. I love Elder Dunford, and it was so good to meet his parents.  

I love you,

Elder Marsh


Monday, October 13, 2014

Sweet Week


Baptism of Yola with Elder Marsh, Bravo and Sisters Amado and Holmes

This week was so awesome--just full of miracles.  First, Elder Bravo and I had a way cool experience baptizing the Sisters' investigator in our zone.  Her name is Yola, and she's Daniel's (The awesome ward mission leader from my last area) grandmother.  We participated in her baptism because she is Bolivian and only speaks Spanish, so Elder Bravo taught her most of what she needed for her to be baptized.  It's interesting because since her daughter and Daniel where baptized, she had always been very against the church.  She was very Catholic for her whole life and didn’t want to accept a new religion.  But since she has been in a wheel chair and completely dependent on her daughter, she has been going to church.  Her heart was softened and she decided to be baptized!  She is 83 years old and doesn’t walk, so Elder Bravo and I baptized her together.  I held her above the water in my arms while Elder Bravo said the prayer, and then we lowered her into the water.  It was really a spiritual experience, and it was way fun to work together with other missionaries in our zone. The Sisters in the picture are Sister Amado and Sister Holmes.  Sister Amado finishes her mission this week, and it definitely ended on a good note. 

Baptism of Marcos

 We were super blessed in our area too.  On Wednesday night we were heading back home and passed Marcos' Barber Shop.  I had been told that he had already been to church a few times and had received all the lessons but wasn’t baptized.  After walking a few steps down the street, I felt the impression that we should go back and talk to Marcos.  He welcomed us in and we talked about the gospel.  At the end Elder Bravo invited him to be baptized Sunday, and he accepted saying, "It'll be so good to be clean."  Awesome!

I love you,

Elder Marsh

Monday, October 6, 2014


First a funny story. Converts to the church are so awesome.  They are so excited about the gospel even if they don’t understand it perfectly.  Our Elders Quorum President, Bras, has been a member for a little more than a year and is 83 years old.  Last week, Bishop asked him to bare his testimony about the importance of prophets and conference.  Bras went to the pulpit and said, “Prophets are really important.  I know that Thomas JOHNSON is a prophet of god."

Conference was way cool.  I loved the people giving talks in their native languages. I am a little biased, but Elder Godoy gave one of the best talks.  I liked the question he made, “If I continue living the way I am, will I receive my promised blessings?"  Sometimes we have to change to do something that is a little bit more difficult, but it’s totally worth the blessing that come after.  

One of the Districts in our Zone
Elder Bravo and I had a great week.  We had a Mission Leadership Counsel with president Fortunato on Thursday.  It’s always so fun to hear President speak.  The counsel was short and to the point.  "You need to be better."  The goal for our mission in the month of October is a high one.  We are going to have to work harder than ever but I’m excited to see a miracle happen.

This week we are going to have a sweet baptism.  Our investigator, Valdo, who WAS an alcoholic hasn’t drunken in 2 weeks and stopped smoking last week! I’m so stoked for him.  His family has been totally impressed with the changes he is making in his life and his baptism will only make things even better.  "Baptism is the end of a process and the start of a life."

I love it.

Elder Marsh
Leonardo Monteiro is the son of a family that Jordan got really close to in Brazil.  He leaves this week to serve a mission in Boston.

Jabuticaba fruit