Monday, March 30, 2015

March 30, 2015

Mi Familia :)

Okay I just have to start out by saying I really have the greatest family in the world!!! You guys never cease to amaze me with your incredible testimonies and support. You are amazing examples to me! Thank you for the emails this week you guys are the best :) Oh and happy happy birthday to my wendy girl!! Can´t believe she is already two- love that little girl!

This week was so great you guys. I want to start with the devotional that we went to last night by Brad Wilcox. This guy is awesome. He started off his message asking who are we and what makes us different from everybody else? People answered, we are children of God! And he said, everyone is a child of God, what makes us different? Another said, we were saved for the last days! and he said, lots of people were saved for the last days. Why are we different? And he answered it with one word- Birthright.

He then went to explain the story of Jacob and his son and the 12 tribes of Israel. He said so many interesting things that I don´t have the time to explain, but it was awesome! He explained that when the first son gets the birthright, he gets double the amout of the portions, but also double the responsibility. He the related that to us.  We have been given double the knowledge that so many people in the world have received. For example, knowledge that there is a God and He loves us, his Plan of Salvation, The Restoration, and so forth. But with this extra knowledge comes extra responsibility. THAT is why I am here serving a mission! 

Then he made a super awesome note that blew my mind a little bit.  He said, missionaries- you are not here in Spain to baptize every single person you see. When Christ comes, there will be thousands running to the missionaries to hear the lessons (lucky missionaries ;)).  What you are doing right now is finding the leaders that are going to be in charge when he does come.  If he came today, would there be enough relief society presidents? Bishops? Stake Presidents? Primary Leaders? You are here today gathering Israel to prepare the world for the Savior´s coming by finding those leaders and teachers. Mind blown!!! If that doesn´t give you the motivation to work as hard as you can I don´t know what will! We are fired up and ready to go :) It really was such an incredible night, I was so glad to be there! 

Okay so that took up the majority of the letter, but it was really awesome and needed to be shared! The work here in Alcorcón is going great though. Ike continues to be progressing very well.  Yesterday in church we even saw him talking to some of the members in Spanish even though he doesn´t know hardly anything. The ward members here are so great! We still have a few more lessons to teach, but so far he is on track for the 11th of April :) 

Paulozky blessed the sacrament yesterday :) 

With Rolando just getting baptized, we are definitely in the finding process. It was fast Sunday yesterday and we decided to fast in hopes to find a few investigators that were prepared to hear the gospel.  And yesterday we received 3 member references. You guys- member references are like gold to missionaries and the fact that we got three? We are a tiny ward here in Alcorcón and it was nothing short of a miracle. I am so excited to see what comes from it over the next few weeks! 

Can I just say how excited I am for Conference?! It is my favorite time of the year and I no doubt will be bawling through half of it but I could not be happier :) How lucky are we to get to hear the words and councils of the general authorities that are exactly what we need today! Oh my heart it so full right now.  I absolutely love being a missionary. Thank you for everything- I hope you have a great week!

Os amo :)

hermana marsh 

I love these 2!! 
 We got stuck in the rain this week and only one of us was smart enought to bring an umbrella. 
And no it wasn´t the trainer or the senior companion ;) Go Hermana Berry! 

 So we made a box a cigarettes to help Carmen quit smoking. Tell me we are just the cutest hermanas ever;)

 Did I ever mention that trios are great? Not a day goes by that we don´t fail to have some fun :) 

 District pic in front of the temple :) Beautiful day and I love my district. These elders are great! 
 Welcome to Spain. You will find bread at EVERY MEAL
 The lovells!!! Oh I love these people so much :) 
 ELDER SALTZMAN from Murray!!! hahah mission life and home life mixed for a second it was the weirdest thing! 
 My mtc girls!!! I love these two so much. They will always have a special place in my heart! 

 My darling companions :) 

Monday, March 23, 2015

March 23, 2015

Hola Mi Familia! :)

I can´t believe we are already at Monday again. The weeks are flying! So fun to read all of your email this week! So glad to hear that everyone is doing well :) 

This week was insane!! Warning: The beginning of this letter is going to be a little depressing, but it is part of the miracle! I promise I am happy :) So Tuesday and Wednesday this week were honestly some of the two hardest days of my mission.  We got a call saying that Rolando had to work so we couldn´t have the baptism for another 3 weeks at least. Might I add that the transfer ends in 3 weeks, so there was a very high possibility that I wouldn´t be able to see it. Also one of our progressing investigators dropped us, a lot of our investigators were going through really difficult situations, all of our plans failed us, and we spent the majority of the two days out in the cold rain.

Rough right? Please forgive the complaining I promise I have a point! We were feeling pretty discouraged and decided it was time for a miracle.  We decided to fast and then went right back to work.  On Friday we broke our fast, and laid down to take a nap. After about 10 minutes Hermana Berry comes in with the phone with a text message from Rolando saying that his Dad´s work called and said he didn´t need him to come in until Monday and that he could get baptized tomorrow! It was the best text message I had every received!!!! We had less than 24 hours to get everything done AND we were on intercambios- but we pulled it off :) I hope I could slightly potray how big of a miracle this was over emailing.  Fasting and praying works!!!

The baptism was absolutely incredible.  Rolando has made such a change in these last few months and there was no greater feeling than hearing him share his testimony after he was baptized.  He received the Holy Ghost yesterday and is officially a member of the church :) We went and visited him yesterday and asked him if he had any questions and he asked how he can start getting ready for his mission.  This boy is amazing!!!! 

That was definitely the highlight this week. I need to tell you guys a little more about Ike though!  This week he came to his lesson with an envelope with tithing in it (we haven´t taught him that yet). He has a lot of history that I probably shouldn´t get into, but needless to say that fact that he brought tithing with a desire to pay it was nothing short of a miracle.  He said he was reading and felt like he needed to pay his tithing. We told him it wasn´t necessary until he was a member, but he insisted! We then had a super powerful lesson on tithing and he accepted the invitation to be baptized:) So excited to see his progression!

I think that is about it for this week! We have an awesome week ahead of us. Today is Hermana Finch´s birthday, we are going to the temple this week, Brad Wilcox is giving a fireside for the missionaries, and General Conference is next week! Spring Break for missionaries haha :) Thank you so much for all of the love and support you send my way. I love you guys so much and feel so blessed to have you!!

hermana marsh 

Rolando´s baptism!

 Making Pazookies with our investigator Gabriela :) 

 Listened to Grandfathers christmas present while getting ready today :) 


Monday, March 16, 2015

March 16, 2015

Hola Mi Familia :)

So fun to hear from you all this week! Everyone sounds like they are doing great.  So fun to read about my babies too! So excited to get another little girl in the family :) Thank you for all of the pictures and updates! 

This week was a really great one.  I know I say that every week, but it really was great! I am really happy to be serving in Alcorcón with Hermana Finch and Hermana Berry. So blessed to have them.  I forgot to tell you a few details about Hermana Berry.  She is exactly like steph in the regard that she does NOT like meat hahaha we get fed meat SO much and really don´t have a choice of eating it or not.  I keep telling her that steph has gotten so much better and then just giggle :) She is great though.  She loves cooking which is a huge plus for me! It´s been really fun to be in a trio and I have learned so much from training.  Very blessed sister missionary over here! 

Okay today I want to start to tell you guys a little bit about Ike. Ike is from Nigeria and speaks no Spanish.  We found him contacting and he is great! Every lesson he has so many great questions and he takes notes! What?! Who is this guy haha! He has come to church 3 weeks in a row now too :) The only problem about that is we are a Spanish branch so someone needs to translate for him... Scary haha! Hermana Finch and I switch off and it´s been a fun experience for me. He is great I am excited to see his progression!

Rolando had his baptismal interview this week and he is ready to go! I am just hoping that everything goes well with his Dad coming back in time.  He only has 2 days before he has to leave town again so it will be tight, but we can do it! I really love teaching Rolando he is a completely different person from when I met him.  So amazing to see this change in him and I can´t believe he is getting baptized this week! He always asks about missions too which makes my heart real happy :)

I know I talk about him a lot, but I just can´t say it enough how great I think Paulozky is.  Every time we have lessons he comes so prepared and ready to learn.  Every time he shares his testimony I can´t stop smiling.  I feel so blessed to get to teach him! The Lord really does prepare people. 

The Elders baptized a mother and a daughter a few months ago, but were having a hard time finding men to help them in lessons so they decided to have us start teaching them.  They are incredible!! We had an awesome lesson on temple work this week and she said that she wants us to start teaching her son :) I´m really excited about that! They really are so fun and so good to us- I love the people here.

We had intercambios this week and I was absolutely terrified.  Hermana Finch left and the girl that came is only in her second transfer meaning that I was the oldest... yikes haha! I was so nervous about spanish especially but I am happy to report that all went well :) We had some awesome lessons and it was so fun to get to know Hermana Welcker better.  

Miracle happened this week.  We were going to the chapel for Noche de Hogar (which was awesome by the way) and my companion looked in her bag and couldn´t find the keys anywhere. We went back to the piso, searched everywhere, and decided to put our words into practice and say a prayer.  It only took us 2 minutes to find it after that :) The Lord hears and answers our prayers!! 

One more story! We went to go visit Carmen this week (the menos activa that got in an accident and doesn´t remember anything) and when we got in she asked us the normal questions like how are you, how´s your family, how´s the work, etc.  After we answered she goes and how´s thomas? We were so confused haha who is Thomas?! And then she goes you know that guy on the video from last time! OH president monson hahaha!! He´s doing just great :) Then we talked about how general conference is coming up and how she can listen to thomas and she was estatic. She´s already talking about what she needs to wear and how to do her hair so she can look her best :) Hahaha her and Thomas are best friends.  So great! 

I think that is about it for this week! I am doing really well here in Spain :) The weather has been absolutely beautiful this week.  We started to go running in the morning and we lots of ice cream haha :) This letter has turned into a novel I am so sorry. If you made it to the end of this- go eat a treat. You deserve it! I love you all so much thank for all of the love and support you send my way :) I feel so blessed for the opportunity to be a missionary! Until next week!

hermana marsh 
Picking up Hermana Berry :) 

 Picnic day with my two best friends! 

 Some pics from Alcalá :) So fun to see Hermana Santiago again! 

 Here we are in front of the house of Don Quijote. We think we´re funny :)  

 Here we are in front of the castle! 

 This is Raquel. She may or may not be my new favorite member. She is absolutely incredible! She invited us over for american chocolate chip cookies, strawberry shakes, and a reference :) What more could a missionary want?! 
 I got the st. patty´s package!!! thank you so so so much it has all of my favorites :) My companions and I feel very blessed!! 
 So this one time I let my companion chop off all my hair... even though she has never cut hair before... don´t kill me allie! 
Short hair!!!! 
 I received the best letter of my whole life this week from my dear sister. Still laughing over it! It says...

I know that training is a bit of a thriller, but it doesn´t matter if your companion is black or white (or green) Just start with the man in the mirror. Take a look at yourself and make that change. Take the gospel and heal the world, make it a better place. Just beat it and hit em like a smooth criminal. If micheal doesn´t get you pumped up, I don´t know what will. Love you!

who is this girl?!?! hahahaha Love you steph you´re the best :)
 LOOK AT WHAT I ATE THIS WEEK!!! By far the grossest thing.  Eyeballs bones and all!! Ah the things I do for people to come to church haha! 

Monday, March 9, 2015

March 9, 2015

Hi my cute family!

Oh it was so fun to see all of the pictures at E and F´s baptism. They are absolutely darling I am dying over here! So happy to see those :) It sounds like everyone had an amazing week.  Things went really well here in Alcorcón I am excited to tell you all about it!

First off- I need to tell you all about my baby Hermana Berry :) She is DARLING! She is from St. George and I absolutely adore her.  Not going to lie training is a little stressful and I have definitely upped it in the treat department, but I am so grateful for this opportunity.  I´m really not that much older than her and it has been a really good experience for me to watch her go through her first 12 weeks.  I feel like I was just there! She is great though and we are learning lots. Working in a trio is different, but we are having lots of fun :)

Now on to the work this week.  First off Isabel and Laura. Oh I love these two girls! We also started teaching their little sister too so that has been fun :) They are continuing to progress and are really doing so great.  This last week isabel said, you know how when you hear and song and it is just perfect for the part of life you are in? That´s how I feel when I read the book of mormon. Oh I love this girl.  

There isn´t really much of an update with Rolando. He is still ready to go for the 21 of March! He really is so great I love their whole family.  Everytime I go over there I feel like I am at home!

I don´t know if you guys remember Maria, but we started teaching her again and she has become one of our main investigators.  She has such a desire to know if the church is true or not, but she has a hard time recognizing the Spirit.  She absolutely loves when we come over though and always says that she feels peace when we are there.  She is your typical spanish woman and I love her :) I am so excited to start working with her again! 

Really fast I just have to say how amazed I am every week with Paulozky.  This man is incredible! Everytime we have lessons he comes loaded with questions and information of all the things that he has studied that week and I am astounded.  He is incredible! He received the priesthood yesterday too :)

I think that is about it for this week! I am currently writing from Alcalá so that will be fun to do a little bit of sightseeing here today :) I love you guys so much thank you for all of the support you give me! I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be a missionary in Spain.  I am learning and growing closer to my Savior everyday and am so grateful for this blessing he has given me.  Until next week :)

Hermana Marsh 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A letter from the Europe Area Presidency

(Laurie speaking)  Today I checked my email and received this from the counselor in the Europe Area Presidency!  What a wonderful honor he paid to our Hermana Marsh.  He even sent pictures!  Thank you Elder Dyches!  We love you Hermana Madie!

 Dear Families, 
I was delighted to have had the opportunity to meet with several missionaries during our recent mission tour in the Spain Madrid Mission. This companionship is doing outstanding, exercising great faith and diligence in fulfilling their purpose each and every day. I thank you deeply for your personal faith and support of this great work, as you “press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men”. 

All the very Best, 
Elder Timothy J. Dyches 
Europe Area Presidency, Second Counselor 

Elder and Sister Dyches, Hermana Marsh, Hermana Finch
 President and Sister Jackson, Hermana Marsh, Hermana Finch

Monday, March 2, 2015

March 2, 2015

Hola mi familia!

Oh this week (and whole transfer really) has been such a great one and it absolutely flew.  I am excited to tell you all about it!! First things first though, I am staying here in Alcorcón and I am training!! What the devil haha I freaked out a little when they told me. But the good news is Hermana Finch is staying so I will have her help :) I am feeling a little overwhelmed, but really excited! It will be weird to be in a trio, but I am really excited for this next transfer. We will pick up our little chica tomorrow and I am so excited to meet her! 

We had some great success this week.  Alcorcón has changed so much in these last few months and it has been so fun to see the progress.  We are still a tiny branch don´t get me wrong, but our bajo is more full ever week.  The greatest feeling! 

First I want to tell you about Rolando.  We met with him this week to go over the bautismal questions and he rocked it- no problems at all! The only problem is his dad found out he has to go to Barcelona for work for two weeks.. Ah! So we´ll need a little until he gets back, but you guys he is so prepared!! Yesterday we went over for lunch (I made homemade pizza and sauce and it was to die for- I may not be the one serving in Italy but seriously it was so yummy!) and he taught us and his whole family lesson 2.  IT WAS AMAZING! He taught it with such clarity and didn´t even use the pamphlet! It was all in his own words and we all were so impressed.  He dad and mom just kept saying how surprised and excited they were.  We have a future missionary on our hands you guys!!! Ah it was so great.  Charly is doing just great too :) He shared his testimony in sacrament meeting about missionary work and he is the cutest little boy- So lucky to be a missionary! 

Isabel and Laura are doing so great! This week we started teaching their other sister too :) Whenever we finish a lesson they always ask us when we can come back haha it is the greatest feeling. We are going to go to seminary with them this week and I am super excited about that.  The young men and women in our rama are so cute and I´m excited for these girls to get to know them. Plus I get to go to seminary again wahoo! :)

We had a really cool experience this week.  After Paulozky´s baptism (who is doing just great by the way) and Rolando´s coming up, we are really looking for some news to teach.  So that´s what we fasted for! I was looking through some of my old planners and came across a number that I felt like we should call. We called her and said we could come over! Her name is Lordes and she has 2 kids.  We were talking to her and it turns out her sister in peru is a member and lots of her nephews have served missions.  She is catholic, but wants to know more about what her sister believes in.  Hey that´s our job! We shared lesson 1 and it was one of the most powerful times we have taught it.  We set up another apointment with her this week and I am excited to see her progress :) Fasting works!!

Okay this is getting a little long haha so i´ll try to wrap things up a little :) I did have a spiritual experience that I wanted to share.  We had andreas despedida this week and two sisters of the rama that served missions were the speakers.  One of them talked about how much love she felt for the Lord that despite her weaknesses and imperfections, she had the opportunity to represent him for 18 months.  That hit me real hard! Despite all of my faults and imperfections, I have the opportunity to represent the Lord and be apart of this incredible work. I feel so blessed for this opportunity!! Of course there are days that are hard, but I am having the most amazing experiences here and I feel so blessed that my Heavenly Father gave me this opportunity.

I love you all and I hope you have the best weeks! Les Quiero!

hermana marsh
We made a fort :)  Those are my feet not a dead person don´t worry. We have fun :)
 We had snow!!!! it was a only a little bit and it is actually warming up now but there ya go. 
 We went to go pick up a package in our pajamas just with our skirts on 
because it was medio dia and we weren´t changing;)
 Our Zone Leaders! 
 Best thing I ate this week- Ceviche :) No clue how to spell it sorry! But it is fish that isn´t cooked haha it sounds gross I know but it was delicious! And it came in a glass how can you not love that?! 

 Zone meeting! This picture is awful, but it´s the best self timer could do.
 Okay coolest thing I did this week.  We had a medio dia with nothing to do and there was a special to do those fish pedicure things. YOLO. 
Hahaha it was awesome!!!! Weirdest feeling ever but it seriously was so fun :) 

 Wahoo for investigators who have projects on America haha :)