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! :)