Saturday, November 29, 2014

Crazy Week

We had a really, really busy week, starting with last Saturday Night. We have our p-days on Saturday which means we work from 6 to 9 Saturday nights.  A miracle happened in these three hours last week.  We visited an older member of the ward to ask for a glass of water and see if she had any referrals for us.  At first she said that she didn’t know anyone but told us about how she had been bringing her granddaughter, Geovana,  to church for the past year and was hoping that she could be baptized sometime soon.  Up until that point, Elder Bellini and I had thought that her granddaughter was already baptized, because she always was in sacrament meeting and participated in all the activities! We ran to Geovana's house and talked with her mom a little, who thought that it’d be a great thing for her daughter to be baptized!  We then invited Geovana to be baptized the next day, with Rafael, and she happily accepted!  We were so blessed. Geovana was already prepared by the primary organization and just needed a baptismal invitation!

We had transfers this week.  With these transfers, 13 new missionaries entered in our mission and 7 finished and went home.  We also had a Mission Leadership Council Meeting. There were a lot of things to do. We stayed really busy until Friday afternoon when we could finally return to our area to work a little. 

The tree looks great!  I love you,

#CompartilheOPresente  #ShareTheGift  
Elder Marsh

Geovana's Baptism

Rafael's baptism
 I bought you a Christmas Present today! Finally found a nativity set for you.  It's really Minas Gerais.  Our state's name means "General Mines" and the nativity set was made here out of right?!  

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Great Days

November 22, 2014

Dear Mom,

We had some really good experiences this week.  It started with the first rehearsal for our mission’s Christmas conference!  Sister Fortunato always puts together an amazing musical for the missionaries and then we have an event for the members and non-members a few days later.  This year I will be part of the choir…I will need a lot of practice.  It’s going to be a great conference this year.

We started teaching a boy named Rafael this week who is super cool!  He came to church last Sunday with his buddy and we taught him the Restoration right after.  He accepted the baptismal invitation really well!  The next day we went to follow up on the invitation and he had read and prayed about the Book of Mormon already.  We asked him how he had felt about it and he said, “I felt weird, I went to sleep and had a dream that really confused me.  I dreamed that I saw a golden man blowing a horn.”  Wait…doesn’t that sound like the angel Moroni on top of the temples?  We then showed him a picture of Moroni, and he got a little freaked out and said, “That’s the man from my dream.”  He got a powerful answer that this is the true church, so we moved his baptismal date for tomorrow.  He’s super pumped about it and so are we!  It’s cool that Moroni makes a promise at the end of the book of Mormon that anyone who asks with a sincere heart and real intent will receive an answer that the book of Mormon is true. It’s even cooler that the angel Moroni was the actual answer to Rafael’s prayer!

On Thursday we went on splits with missionaries in Riberão das Neves.  They had been having a hard time in the past few weeks finding new investigators and teaching people in general.  Because of that they had been getting a little discouraged, so Elder Bellini and I decided to go to their area and see if we could get them pumped up to work again!  We prayed a lot the day before.  The day went super well!  We split until 4 o’clock and in that time we found 4 people who had already gone to church multiple times and accepted to be baptized this month! It was a miracle!

I’m loving the work.  I love you,

Elder Marsh

Saturday, November 15, 2014

First group of new Missionaries

Dear Mom,
This week was way fun.  We had a group of 3 Americans get their visas and come to Brazil.  It was the first time that I got to help with the training of the new missionaries.  What was cool is that Elder Bellini and I got to be the ones to tell them "how it is" in their new mission.  I got so pumped up to tell them about loving the people, teaching the gospel in a foreign country and helping the children of God be baptized.  The key is obedience, worthiness, hard work, and desire. If we have those things the Spirit will always be with us, and we will see the Lord’s hand in the work.  Afterwards, we were so excited to teach and talk with everyone that I literally felt like I was flying.  It’s seriously so fun to be a missionary.

That night we taught a man named Geraldo. He's a great guy and we talked to him at the perfect time in his life.  He accepted way well the first lesson and the baptismal invitation and is now reading the Book of Mormon every night at his job.  Someone saw him the other day with the Book of Mormon and asked him if he was "switching religions."  He said, "I'm thinking that I will.  Maybe you should come with me." He's so cool!  Yesterday we taught him about the word of wisdom and we found out that he smokes and drinks coffee.  We invited him to stop it and told him that he could call us up any time he needed to ask for help if he was tempted to smoke.  Last night we got a call at 10:30--right before we were going to bed.  Hhe told us, "Hey guys I just want to let you know that I'm staying strong! It’s not easy but I’m toughing it out!"   

I love the mission, 
Elder Marsh

Central Belo Horizonte
Elder Hatch, Elder Belini, Elder Bunch and I playing soccer on Pday

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Lots to do

This week was really busy.  I had the opportunity to visit a few parts of the mission that I had never seen before.  Our mission is huge. It takes up almost all of the state of Minas Gerais, but I have never served anywhere longer that about 30 minutes by car from the mission office.  This week we went and spent a day working with Elders in Sete Lagoas, which is a city about an hour and a half from Belo Horizonte.  We were able to teach a few people, and then we helped put together a special Chapel open house event.  The Chapel sits on a lakeshore that has a boardwalk for runners and bikers.  The members decided that they would put up a water stand in front of the church for the people who are always passing by.  The missionaries handed out fliers about the church and offered to show the people inside.  It went really well, and lots of people were able to learn a little about the gospel.  

I love you,

Elder Marsh


This week was really kind of crazy but way fun.  President and Sister Fortunato were in São Paulo Monday thru Thursday at a seminar for mission presidents.  They couldn’t answer their phones which meant that Elder Bellini and I had to answer all the questions and help all the sick Elders and Sisters haha.  It was exciting on my first week.  We had a Mission Leadership Council on Friday when president got back.  I attached my training slides that I gave about baptizing and preparing our investigators to be baptized.  

8 months in the office is a long time.  Did you have much time to spend working in your area?  This week was interesting too because it’s the first time that I’ve actually worked in upper class neighborhoods. We have an investigator that lives in an apartment building that has an elevator for cars so that you can park your car on the floor of you apartment. It’s a little harder to promise blessings for people who seem like they have everything, but I am learning how everyone really does need the gospel in their lives.

I love you dad,

Elder Marsh


Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Office

It’s been kind of crazy these past few days.  On Wednesday night I was called to work as an Assistant to the President.  It’s been way different than I thought it would be.  My new companion is Elder Bellini.  He's from São Paulo and was my zone leader for most of the time that I was in Riberão das Neves and Lagoa.  It’s going to be really fun working with him.  

Since I got here, we've been pretty busy with transfers and taking missionaries to the airport.  Our schedule is a lot different than normal.  Wake up a little before 6 am to get to the office around 7, and then we study and talk with the Elders and Sister on the phone. Sometimes we meet with President for a few hours to plan things out.  Then we have to do some things on the computer, and I don’t even know how to explain what happens because it moves a little everyday haha.  Usually, we are working in our area by 5 pm.  

Our area is in the center of the city in the Santa Lucia ward.  There are lots of buildings and apartments now so we talk to a ton of people in the street.  It’s sweet.  

Love you,
Elder Marsh

Elder Bellini and Elder Marsh

Elder Marsh with Elder Hatch, the executive secretary

The Escritorio Staff