Saturday, April 25, 2015

Buzzer Beater

Dear Mom,

We had super fun week!!!!

We went to Divinópolis to watch a zone meeting that was super spiritual. All the missionaries in the zone there made "covenants" like Captain Moroni and his soldiers did to live the most highest level of obedience and hard work so that the Lord could bless them with baptisms. On Tuesday when we got there, there was no one with a baptismal date, but until now, there have already been four baptisms in their zone! After the meeting, Elder Juergens and I spent the day in Divinópolis with the zone leaders. I stayed with Elder Galvão, who was in the MTC with me. I love him, and we had a good day of work together. Elder Juergen and I then got to stay in a hotel, which was also super nice because I got to get a good sleep. Side note: We live in an awesome apartment on the 18th floor of the building that is on the right hand side of that picture I attached. The only problem is that we have to sleep with the windows open to keep the room cool, and the noise from the city takes a toll on your sleep after a few months. I’ve gotten used to it though I think. The next day we went to Pará de Minas, which is an awesome area, but that was having troubles with having baptisms in the past few months. We had an awesome time working with the elders there, and there were two baptisms in Para de Minas today!

The Lord really does just bless us so much. This week while we spent most of the time away from our area, we were worried about how our investigators would do. Yesterday night though, we taught Helion who got back from a trip recently. He decided that he would be baptized today! He is the greatest. He is from Rio de Janeiro and moved here about a month ago. His roommate is a returned missionary so getting him integrated in the ward was very easy!

I love the gospel and missionary work. It’s the greatest!

Elder Marsh

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Que Bencao

We got some really awesome news this week! Do you remember Graça, who was baptized in the end of December, when I was here with Elder Bellini? Well, when we were in the process of teaching her, she had broken her shoulder, and the doctors had told her that she was going to need surgery to get it fixed. (Something about how the ligaments had stretched out, and because of her old age, they were no longer able to hold her arm into place.) She was very worried about this and told us that she only wanted to be baptized after her surgery. We felt impressed to tell her that if she was baptized, she would no longer need surgery and that she would be healed. So she took a leap of faith and was baptized. Now after a few months, she said to us this week, "Remember what you had promised me before I was baptized? Well I went to the doctor, and he gave a definite answer about the surgery. He said that I would no longer need it because the arm had healed itself sufficiently!" I am so grateful for the Lord keeping the promise that we had made.

The mission leadership council meeting was this week and it was one of the greatest we have had yet. President Fortunato had asked us to prepare our trainings about teaching techniques, and we had prepared them. But the morning of the council, President asked us to change and talk about focus and hard work, and to hear the missionaries as much as possible. He is an inspired man. The missionaries really opened up, and we had some spiritual experiences talking about how hard work really does make the difference. We made some awesome goals together, and we could just feel the power in the room. President said at one point, "Look Elders. Your calling starts when it begins and only ends when it's over!" Maybe that’s obvious, but it was a great reminder for us all to endure to the end in any calling or situation!

I love you so much, and the mission is just great. The elders that serve with us are amazing examples, and President and Sister Fortunato are truly inspired.I am ataching two pages that Izabel(baptized 2 weeks ago) wrote bearing her testamony. Its actually very touching. See if dad can translate it for you. If not, let me know and I can type it up in English.

Elder Marsh

Saturday, April 11, 2015

CRAZY week

Dear Mom,

I loved conference weekend. It always seems to come at the time that we need it most. My favorite talk was from President Monson in the Priesthood session. He said something very powerful: "Doing all I can, to the very best of my ability, has been my goal in any position I have ever held." Is that how one becomes a prophet? It sounds like it. The constant and consistent dedication for a lifetime of God's work must bring the spirituality he needs. 

This week was way good but also very very eventful. Presidente Fortunato was called to be an area 70! He is about to get even busier with his combined responsibilities! He was in Utah the whole week of general conference and came back to mission on Tuesday night. That same night we had to call the mission about transfers. That’s fun because we tell the missionaries when they'll be transferred at 9 o’clock pm and they have to be in the central bus station at 8 o’clock am...they get pretty anxious to know what will happen the next day.  This transfer we got 9 new missionaries and 19 went home! That was a lot of people and we had to go to and from the airport 5 times to get the new missionaries and send off the olds (that meant waking up at 4 am two days in a row so that they didn’t miss their flights and eating pizza for lunch and dinner for two days, because we didn’t have time to go to members homes). I love the mission! It’s crazy at times but always fun.

Elder Bunch left the office to become a zone leader on Wednesday. It was sad because we've gotten pretty close. We served for a transfer in Lagoa together and then served here in the office for 5 months! He's a great friend and an awesome example. He'll see miracles in his new area!

Izabel was baptized and is so stoked about it! She is telling all of her friends about the church and we'll be getting some referrals soon. Her baptism was such a miracle. I could hardly believe it when we entered into the font together. 

I love you so much.

Elder Marsh

We went to a Brazilian photography exhibition from the 1940s today.  Hope you don't mind but I spent some money buying some Brazilian things that are pretty cool.  Here are some pictures.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

General Conference

Dear Mom,

Thanks for the pictures! I love seeing the family together. It looks way fun! When does Ryan leave? And who is that next to Chris in the picture? If you start building a house, when would it be ready?!

This week was so awesome! So full of miracles! First of all, we got a new group of 9 missionaries on the mission! I love getting new missionaries because they are always so stoked to be here and their only desire is to help others come unto Christ through baptism!

Elder Juergen and I talked to our bishop this week and he asked us to start working more in the center of the city. It was kind of difficult at first because everyone is so busy so street contacts weren’t working out.   There really aren’t many members of the church who live here, so we changed our approach. The main problem is getting into the large buildings, but we can get into one...ours! and ours has 5 thousand people living in it! We started knocking on our neighbor’s doors and giving them pass along cards as an "Easter Present." Most of them love it! Our building is full of Brazilian hippies and foreigners.  We taught a guy from New Zealand named Steve who told us all about how his religion was playing cricket...? It was fun but he was not interested. But we actually ended up finding a super elect lady on our floor who will be baptized tomorrow! Her name is Izabel, and she told us that she has been waiting for missionaries to find her her whole life. It’s so awesome! She makes amazing summaries of the chapters of the Book of Mormon after she reads them 4 or 5 times so she can remember. I don’t know if I have ever taught someone who is so ready. I know that the Lord is at the front of this work and that he prepares his children. The work that we have to do is find those that are ready. 

Also, we started a mission Journal! I'll send you an attachment.

Lets get ready for conference! I love you mom,

Elder Marsh