Monday, December 29, 2014

December 29, 2014

Mi Familia,

Wow seeing you guys was the best thing in the whole entire world! You all look and sound amazing.  I am so glad everything worked out and I was able to talk to everyone.  I love you all so much thank you for making it the best Christmas :) I´m excited to tell you all about the holidays here in Spain!

First off, David Archuletta came and had a concert for the missionaries and their investigators.  We brought Rolando and Charly and loved it! They are still singing campanas de belen every time we see them :) He is so talented and it was such an awesome experience to hear his voice and his testimony.  The spirit was strong and it was so great to have our investigators there.  Thank you David!

The next day we had a christmas devotional for the missionaries here in Madrid and it was absolutely incredible.  The topic was Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.  One perk of having a surgeon as a mission president is we got to watch the same surgery that Joseph Smith had when he was 7 on one of his patients WITH anesthesia.  Wow that was really cool to see! It made me very grateful for the life that Joseph Smith lived he really was incredible.

Then we had a special visitor- David was there! He sung for us and talked to every missionary it was seriously so nice.  Plus he gave me a package from home :) Thank you so much family you are the best!! I absolutely loved the devotional it really was awesome.

Christmas Eve- This day was so fun!! We spent the morning making cookies, then we delivered them to potential and current investigadors.  We sung some carols and had a really great day :) In the night we ate dinner at Rosa and Omars with their family and all the missionaries and oh my gosh it was so delicious!!! So much food but it really was so great.

Christmas- We started the day off opening our packages- my goodness you guys are incredible!!!  Thank you so so much I feel so blessed.  I most definitely cried when I opened the jewelry it makes me so happy :) Then we had breakfast at a members home and I made some cinnamon rolls that were sooo good.  We got to watch a movie, play some games, then I got to talk to my family!!! sorry I cried the whole time I swear I really was happy to see you guys :) Then we had dinner and a gift exchange- It was a very different, but amazing Christmas! It was a nice break, but I was ready to get back to work!

Because of the holidays, we weren´t able to meet with a ton of investigators this week, but we made a lot of progress with Rolando and Charly. They have a fecha for the 17 of january!!! I am so excited for them they are so ready.  The elders had a baptism this week and they came and I wish you could see their faces.  They make my heart so happy! I also got to play the piano at the baptism so that was really fun for me I missed it a lot.  

I think that is about it for this week! Sorry it is a novel I´ll try to be a little more brief in the next week.  I sure do love you guys! Thank you for all of the love and support.  Have a great week :)

Hermana Marsh
 pics from christmas eve with one of the cutest boys in the world! 

 more pictures from the christmas festivities!
 And this is why i´m gaining weight... dang it spain why is your bread and chocolate so dang great.
 Probably one of my favorite girls in the world.  I braided her hair and then she did mine :) 
 Ward Christmas Party :)

 I have a cute companion!!! :)
 After the David Archuletta concert with Rolando and Charly :)
Marjorie's friend, Kendra, plays the keyboard for David and took these pictures.  She sent them to Marjorie and then Marj sent them to me! 

David had this picture taken and sent it to Allie
 Our Christmas eve feast!
 We coordinated on Christmas Eve :)
Pictures from our family Google Hangout!  So GREAT!
I found this picture on  Madie asked me to find out about her new mission president coming in July.  His name is Kevin Pack and is from Mississippi.  He is on the left in this pictures and was in the church news in 2013 for helping with the cleanup efforts after a tornado while serving as stake president.  More to come on him.  For now, she has 6 more months with The Jacksons.  She LOVES them!

Monday, December 15, 2014

December 15, 2014

Mi Familia :)
Thank you so much for the emails this week you guys are the greatest! It sounds like everyone is doing great and enjoying the Christmas season. I can´t wait to see you all so soon! I love being a missionary at this time of the year.  All of our lessons are tied back to Christ and he perfect example.  I love my Savior so much! I love this Christmas season and the opportunity I have to be a representative of Him.
This week was so so great! We had the greatest experience that I want to share.  The nit picky details are what make it really cool so I´m going to try and explain it all, but I´m really sorry if it doesn´t make sense. Here we go! So if you remember Edwin, he is our investigator that works in the apartment office on Sundays.  He lives on the other side of Alcorcon, so we only really go there on Sundays.  We received a call from an unknown number (still have no clue who it was) that said there was someone who worked there who was named Edwin as well that was interested.  The call was a little sketchy, so we didn´t really think anything of it and went on with our day. A few days later we had a lesson with a woman we contacted in the street who lives pretty close to the office.  She failed us, so we decided to give it a try and see if this Edwin guy was really there.  Edwin wasn´t there, but Andres was.  He is 21 and a member of the church, but hasn´t been for about 10 years. Now here´s his side of the story... :)
About three months ago, one of his friends started talking to him about God and the after life.  After some time, he was left really confused and felt guilty about the life he had been living for the past 10 years.  He prayed to Heavenly Father to help him know what to do.  That week he was at work and saw Edwins Book of Mormon and then just a few days later we passed :) When we met with him and he told us that experience, he was almost in tears.  And this is a 21 year old man! He was so shocked that Heavenly Father not only answered his prayer, but so quickly! Our lesson about repentence is something I will never forget. After the lesson my companion and I were amazed at what the Lord had done! The fact that all of those pieces fell together was incredible.  I hope I was able to explain it okay because it really was a miracle.  We were instruments in the Lord´s hands and it was incredible :) I 
can´t wait to teach him more!
Our other investigators are doing really well! We had an awesome lesson with Edwin this week.  He is so ready for this he just works on Sundays! We are really hoping for a miracle with him.  His questions and prayers are so awesome I really love teaching him. 

We also got to meet with Rolando and Charly a few times this week. I don´t remember if I told you about them or not, but they are the kids of one of the members in the rama and they are awesome.  His dad is getting sealed to his wife this week and they are lost of questions about the temple- it was great! They are progressing and we are hoping to set a fecha soon, they are so ready! 
A highlight of this week was the missionaries hosted an FHE this week and it was a success! We had over 35 people come and there are only about 50 in the rama so it was such a great turn out I was so happy! We made Christmas themed bingo boards and played that with my Christmas candy.  Everyone loved it :)
I think that is about it for this week! We have David Archuletta this next coming week, a ward party, a mission party, lots of meal appointments, and then I get to talk to you wahoo! I love you all and am so thankful for you in my life :) Have an amazing week and i´ll see you on Christmas!!
hermana marsh :)

Monday, December 8, 2014

December 8, 2014

Hola Familia! 
I made it through transfer #1 wahoo! We received news that Hermana Costagliola and I will both be staying in Alcorcon and I could not be happier :) I absolutely love my companion and we get to be together for Christmas!! We work really well together and I am excited to see what we can do this transfer now that I know a little bit more about how to be a missionary.
This week was nuts! I look back on it and feel a little on the exhausted side, which is a great sign. We worked hard :) First off, we had an intercambio and Hermana Clements came to Alcorcon.  I was terrified!! I was so scared that we would get lost because alcorcon is a little confusing, but I am happy to report all went well. We didn´t get lost and we made a lot of progress.  Not to mention Hermana Clements is darling, we seriously had so much fun together!
We had a huge milagro this week I still have chills when I talk about it and it happened 5 days ago.  There is this family in our rama that was baptized a little less than a year ago.  They are the ones that feed us every week and they are literally the greatest people.  Anyway, they received news that Edison was going to be deported to Ecuador and had 24 hours to leave.  We went over to their house as soon as we heard and it was so heartbreaking to see their family saying goodbye to their daddy for who knows how long. The Elders have her a blessing and we prayed harder than we ever have.  The next day we were eating lunch at a members and they called and told us that he got cleared and was staying!! WHAT!! The Lord is the best!!!!! It was so amazing to see his hand when we are faithful and doing our very best. They are going to get sealed in february :) 
We are still spending the majority of our time finding, but I do have a few investigators that I want to tell you about.  The first is an update on Reni.  We taught her the plan of salvation this week and at the end she said, I love talking with you guys, I feel something inside when I´m with you. We then just started grinning and said that´s the spirit!!! We invited her to be baptized and she has a fecha wahoo :) She has a hard time coming to church though, so we´ll need to work on that.  We are excited to see her progress though, she really is so darling. 
The next people I want to tell you about are Rolando and Charly.  They are sons of a member here in Alcorcon and are 17 and 13.  They just moved from Bolivia and are so awesome!! They are so open to reading and listening to the Spirit it really is such a great experience to be teaching them.  They both came to church yesterday, and I am so excited to see their progression over the next couple weeks.  
Now I want to tell you about Edwin.  This man is so ready for the gospel!! He is from Colombia and we received his information from a member.  We have had a few lessons with him and he has been so engaged in every lesson and has kept all of the commitments we ask him to do.  His only problem is he works on Sundays, but he said he would pray this week and see if he could have some other options for work.  Our fingers are crossed!  We also have had members present in every lesson with him so far and the support he receives from the rama is so great.  If you can, go out and help the missionaries in lessons! Having a member present really makes a lesson it´s awesome.  
The last person I want to tell you about is Frederico.  He is 69 years old, and makes me laugh harder than anyone has in Alcorcon so far haha!! He is super in shape and this last time we went over he taught of self defense... you guys I was literally on the floor laughing the whole time he really is so great.  He wasn´t able to come to church this week because he went on an anniversary trip with his girlfriend (I know, girlfriend dang it), but he is very anxious to have us come back and teach him more so I am excited to see his progress.
I think that is about it for this week! It was a really great one and I am excited to see what this next transfer has in store.  We are working hard and are ready to bring others unto Christ! I am a happy missionary :) Thank you for all of the love and support- it means the world.  Have an amazing week!
hermana marsh
Here is my zone!
 We ate like queens this week! We had a meal appointment every day... and have appointments every day again this week ah! People are very generous the month of december.  Here is one of the meals we had this week, they are from ecuador :)
  Asaels birthday party! This little boy is my favorite one.  
                                        His parents are the ones that had the miracle this week!
 We love Christmas time! These Elders are seriously so funny.

Monday, December 1, 2014

December 1, 2014

Hola my incredible familia! Happy December!!! We are listening to Christmas music every day and have already started our advent calendar :) Tis the Season! This week was such a great one and I can´t wait to tell you all about it.  First off though- Shout out to D and O and my BABY GIRL!!! I literally started crying in this locultorio when I read that. I´m so excited for my little peanut :) And shout out to Steph being on mormon newsroom!! I have the coolest sister!! 

For thanksgiving, we had dinner at a members house and everyone loved the American things I brought. Thank you thank you mom! It was such a night- Holidays on the mission are the best. Speaking of food though real fast, I just need to take a moment to tell you how much we got fed this week... Literally every day sometimes twice a day.  And the food is so good!! I am going to be in trouble so fast haha! The really incredible part is that it is almost always all 6 missionaries.  The people are just so nice here! One investigator gave us a full chicken before we left... yes, a full uncooked chicken haha what?! I have no idea how to cook that but we´ll get creative :)

I have the greatest experience to share this week.  We had a lot of investiagators that weren´t progressing, so we deciding to spend less time teaching this week and more contacting in hopes that we would find people who are ready to receive the gospel. I was a little nervous about this because I wanted to make sure we reached our goals, but we went forward with faith and reached all of our goals this week! Contacting and teaching, that has never happened! And we found some really awesome people :) I am so excited to start teaching them this week!

Speaking of contacting, I have another funny and semi inappropriate story... I am really sorry, but this was too funny not to share! This week we were contacting and we introduced ourselves to a woman and her 5 or 6 year old and she said, I´m sorry I am in a hurry (what everyone says) and we asked her if we could write her number down and visit her another time and she said, no really I have to hurry he has to poo! HAHA what!! We both just started laughing so hard- not an excuse we have gotten before.  Oh the mission is more funny when you contact, you meet the funniest people.  Sorry about the innappropriate story, it had to be shared! 

Okay serious mode- I want to share an experience we had this week.  We dropped one of our investigators, and it was really hard for us.  After we got ourselves together, we starting contacting and we found Luis.  We asked if we could meet with him another time to explain our message, and he said. what about now? Perfect! We taught him the first lesson and he was so excited to know more about it that we set a time to teach him more only 2 days later.  We met with him and he was already in 1 Nephi 10! He had so many questions and it was one of the best lessons we´ve had.  He wasn´t able to come to church this week, but I am excited to see his progress.

Okay one more story then I swear i´m done! Sorry for the novel this week.  We decided to watch the long restoration video with one of our investigators and I can´t even describe how strong the Spirit was.  I came home and read the talk by Elder Anderson from this conference about Joseph Smith, and I really think he is the greatest. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God! I am so thankful for his sacrifice for the Book of Mormon and this Gospel.  And for the opportunity that I have to share it! I love you all so much and am so thankful for the support. Have an amazing week! I am praying for you!

hermana marsh
This is the girl that said she was in Stephs ward!
 Temple trip :) 

 Gosh dang it natural man... 
 Christmas time is here! :)

Monday, November 24, 2014

November 24, 2014

Hola Familia!
This week was a crazy one and I have so much to tell you! We had our big zone conference this week, I have some great news... David Archuletta is coming to Spain!!! We have a Christmas fireside the 21st and I could not be more excited. We also learned that we are getting ipads, but we don´t know when haha! We all got super excited for no reason, but that´s okay! One day it will be our turn :)  The Zone Conference was so awesome.  It was so fun to see all the missionaries, including Hermana Toone and Santiago! I also learned so much from the Jacksons.  My favorite line of the day was, I didn´t come here to lay up, I came here to go for it. Isn´t that the truth! It gave me the motivation I needed to do my very best.  Plus I had "ya neva lay up" stuck in my head the rest of the day ;)

We got to go to the temple this week too and that was such a great experience for me.  I understood lots more than I did in the CCM! Plus I had a really great experience there too.  My companion saw some of her friends from Italy and we went to go talk to them.  It turns out one of the girls is in Steph´s ward in Rome! I may or may not have freaked out a little bit :) It was so great to talk to her, she says Steph is an amazing missionary!
I also have a funny and slightly inappropriate story for this week, please don´t judge me.  We were at an investigators house and they have a cute little 9 year old.  I like talking to her the most because she doesn´t judge my spanish, but anyway! She came up to me this week ad said, "Hermana Marsh, ¿Que significa (insert swearword here)?" AHHH!!!! I just froze I didn´t know what to do! Meanwhile my companion is laughing her head off haha! It really was the best and worst moment all at the same time!

I want to tell you about one girl we found this week.  Here name is Renee and she is the cutest.  She is 19 years old and we found her while we were contacting.  When we went to go visit her, we noticed her aunt was interested too which is the best thing for a missionary.  Plus she has the cutest daughter on the planet! Anyway, we started teaching them and they have so many great questions about the gospel and I can´t wait to see where things go with them.
I want to take a minute to tell you all how thankful I am for each of you, since it´s thanksgiving and all :) I have always been obsessed with my family you all know that, but being on the mission has never made me appreciate you more.  I am so thankful for all of the love and support I receive each week, you really are amazing! I am so thankful for this gospel in my life and the happiness that it brings me.  I am thankful for the opportunity to serve a mission and help the people of Spain know that they have a Heavenly Father that loves them.  The gospel is true and I love it with all my heart! I love you guys and hope you have the best Thanksgiving whether it´s in Japan, Italy, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, or Arizona. Un Beso Grande!!
hermana marsh :)

Monday, November 17, 2014

November 17, 2014

Hola mi familia! 

I want to start out this week with a spiritual thought from a talk I read this week.  The talk is called His grace is sufficient by Brad Wilcox and it is such a great one.  One part I want to share is the analogy he gives with a mom paying for her child´s piano lessons.  When she pays the piano teacher, she doesn´t want the money back, she wants her child to have the skills of learning how to play the piano.  It is the exact same with Christ.  He has already paid the price for our sins, and he doesn´t want us to feel that pain as well, he wants us to apply this gift in our lives.  I never saw it that way before! He also shares that when a child makes a mistake on the piano, we never tell them to quit, but to try again.  When we make mistakes, we need to keep practicing :) That is what this life is all about! I am so grateful for a Savior that would pay the price for me, and for the opportunity I have to share it. 

This week was a great one! We were about to have lots of lessons and I want to tell you about a few.  The first one is Maria.  She is absolutely incredible! She has such a strong testimony and is progressing so well.  Last week we asked her if she would like to be baptized and she said yes! We have a date for next week, but she is having a hard time with smoking.  Please pray for her that she will have the strength she needs! She is so ready for baptism.  It´s going to happy I know it! 

The second person I want to tell you about it Miguel.  He is an older man and he is so great.  We gave the first lesson and he was so receptive to everything that we said! We talked to him about church, but he doesn´t have a phone so we were worried we wouldn´t see him again, but he showed up and stayed for 2 hours! So awesome! He has a little bit of a problem with the Palabra de Sabiduria, but I am excited to see what will come :)

I also want to tell you about Hafre, one investigator that we teach in ENGLISH! Ah! I can´t even tell you how much I love teaching him.  I can´t wait to feel the same way with Spanish! We gave him a Book of Mormon our first lesson and when we visited a few days later he was already to chapter 20.  He said he loved it and felt peace when he read it. He also said he was sorry he was so slow because he wants to really study it.  WHAT! so great.  I am so excited to see his progress!

The Jacksons came to our ward this week and oh my gosh you guys I have the best mission presidents ever.  I seriously love them! Seeing them and getting to talk to them was such a tender mercy.  

Spanish is still a struggle, but I am still sleep talking so no worries :) I can now say sentences instead of just words that don´t make any sense! Wahoo! My poor companion haha :) Alcorcon is stepping up their game too! When we first got here there were no churreria´s and I was so surprised, but they opened one this week! It is so cute I can´t wait to try it. 

That´s about it for this week! I love you guys thank you for all the love and support :) You are the best!

hermana marsh :) 

Cute Isael :) I love this little boy so much! His family feeds us once a week... amazing!

 I love my companion to ITALY and back :)
 Cooking for the ward Thanksgiving party! We made lasagna (which I surprisingly loved!), cornbread, 
 and cookies that did not work haha! It was a fun night :)
Eva, a member, fed us :) Yummiest ecuadorian dish!!!
 Eva is a member here and she is totally awesome I love her I feel like she is my sister.  This is at our ward party 

Monday, November 10, 2014

November 10, 2014

Hi cute family! It is so fun to get to hear from you guys every week.  Thank you for the emails you guys are the best and make me so so happy! I talk about you guys a little too much I think the other missionaries are going a little crazy, but hey it happens :) I really love you guys! I´m so excited to be with you forever! Happy Happy Birthday to my Lydie Loo and Dougie!!! I love you guys and hope you had/have a great day.  I am thinking of you!

It was a great week to be in Alcorcon. It is getting real real cold, I am very grateful for a warm shower, tights, boots, and people that let us have lessons in there houses because it gets pretty bad. I made a trip to Primark though and I am ready to go. Bring on the winter! Yes you read that right, there is a primark here. I´m going to be just fine the next 18 months :) 

We had a ton of lessons this week and that really is the best thing for a missionary.  I want to tell you guys about Angel.  Angel is about 70 years old and he is the cutest man. Seriously.  He was my first contact in the street and ever since we wrote his number down I have had a feeling about him. I want to share something with you that he said to us this week that makes me sound kind of dumb, don´t judge.  We were teaching his the first lesson and after I told him the first vision he said, I don´t understand all that you say Hermana Marsh, but I understood that.  AHH! So cool! He also said he had met with the missionaries before, but didn´t feel anything with them.  With us though, he can see the Spirit in our eyes.  I cried! And the best part is... he came to church!!! I don´t know what will come of him, but he makes being a missionary great.

Here´s the thing about my area.  The people are so nice.  For example, we met with this less active this week and without sounding too pessamistic, he really isn´t super interested, but he did the nicest thing.  He wanted to have our lesson at this cafe shop where he bought us manzania and chocolate cafe (what.) and he bought us groceries.  And he´s not even an active member! I could go on and on about the people here.  We get fed almost every day and I am totally going to gain weight haha! If you have any pointers send them my way please :)

Being a missionary is really hard at times, but I am trying my hardest to make the most of every moment because it really is incredible.  I get to opportunity to feel the spirit multiple times every day and see people become closer to their Heavenly Father.  What a better feeling! I feel really blessed to be a missionary in this area specifically.  My companion is the best she makes me laugh so hard.  I love her! Thank you so much for all the love and support you guys are the best.  If you are bored, send me pictures or quotes you like! I want to be a real sister missionary and have pictures and pinterest quotes everywhere :) I love you and hope you have a great week!

hermana marsh 

Monday, November 3, 2014

November 3, 2014 - Last pictures from the CCM and Starting in Alcorcón!

Hola my sweet familia! 

I´m so excited to be talking to you guys.  Hearing about your weeks is the best thing thank you so much! When we got to the mission home the asked me to play the piano which was way scary but I did it! Hermana Jackson made the yummiest food and we had the greatest devotional with President Jackson.  I love them! As you read from the Jacksons, my first area is a city called Alcorcon.  It is about 45 minutes south of Madrid and it is so great.  It is pretty small, but I appreciate it because we get to do a lot of walking rather than taking a bus or metro.  

My companion is Hermana Costagliola and she is absolutely incredible.  When I found out she was going to be mine I just started crying.  She is from Italy, speaks perfect English, and left the exact same day as Stephanie did.  The first thing we did when we got to Alcorcon was to go teach an Italian class.  What!  Oh I felt the love of the Lord so strong in that moment! She is absolutely great.  She is so hard working and very obedient which is exactly what I wanted.  We also have so much fun together she makes me laugh so hard! I feel so lucky to have her. 

We have a branch in Alcorcon and it is pretty small, this Sunday there were about 45 people there.  BUT there are 6 missionaries here and we are working hard so that number will grow soon :) The members are so so nice too.  I can´t even understand them and I love them already.  I have been fed Cuban, Ecuadorian, and one member even made me some American food- fried chicken and fries hahaha the sweetest! Heads up- I will gain weight on the mission and I am trying really hard to be okay with it haha! They get really offended if we don´t finish our meals or don´t take seconds, and the food is delicious so there ya have it ;) 

Timing here is great.  Our mission is from 7 to 11 and from 2 to 4 we have medio dia.  No one is out so we use that time to do whatever things we need to do to prepare for the day and it is so nice.  We usually are invited to eat dinner around 9 which will be a bit of an adjustment, but no worries! I really am amazed at how nice the people are here.  

The Spanish is coming! It´s super hard and I´m no where close, but even in just a week I have seen a change and I am excited to keep learning more.  I am doing really well! Everything was super new this week, so it was a little overwhelming, but things are starting to make sense now and I am excited to get to work.  We have been working a lot with progressing investigators and less actives and doing lots of contacting.  The work is growing! This morning I was reading in Mosiah about Alma the younger and his missionary work and it makes me so excited to be a missionary.  Thank you for all the love and support you guys are incredible.  I love you! Until next week :)

Hermana Marsh 

​Prostelyting with hermana santiago!
 Our last pday!

 Yummiest paella in plaza mayor! 
 I had to have my chocolate croissant :)
 At the Bank of Madrid! We got to go to the top and the view was amazing!

 Last park day! These cute sisters make me miss mine so much! 

 I loved the park.  I am going to miss it and these amazing missionaries so much!

 My teachers! 

 Last day at the CCM 

 Coolest mission president ever!
 Hermana Costagliola :) 
 Our treat for the ward halloween party :)
 We got caught in the rain- our investigators take great care of us :)