Thursday, October 15, 2015

Week 5: Five More Days!!

Well, 5 more days and I’m out in the real world!  I could not be more excited!  I know I am going to have so much fun, because every time we go proselyting, I fall in love with the people! Haha.  For the most part they are so friendly and are so accepting.  There was this one person that my companion and I talked to.  He was the perfect investigator!  He was very accepting.  We gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon and he was so excited to read it!  I was really tempted to challenge him to be baptized right there because he was so amazing!  Anyways, I’ll have many more things to write about when I get out into the field.  More adventures, funny, and crazy stories! 

In reality, what I’m going to miss the most here in the CCM, are the teachers and the spirit.  The teachers are the most amazing people I know.  I had this one teacher named Hermano Castiblanco and he was like my best friend.  That’s how all of the teachers here are.  They’re all just so young and so much fun.  It will definitely be a weird experience when I get out into the field, not having these amazing teachers to help me along the way!  It's really a sad thing to think about but such an exciting thing at the same time!  

I can't wait to do the Lord's work and spread this amazing gospel.  If any of you are having trouble with your testimony or your faith in Christ, I would recommend you read Alma 32.  It describes faith perfectly.  I have been able to use it in my lessons with investigators and I know it touches their hearts.  

I love you all and plan to write more next week after being in the field!  Thanks for all of your support.  I cannot thank you enough!

-Elder Marsh

My whole district at Bogota Temple.

Elder Kendall and I wearing cool wool sweaters from the market.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Week 4: One Month Down!!

Wow I can’t even believe that i have been out here in Colombia for a month!  …like what the heck!  Sorry about my punctuation and everything, the computers here are weird and I don’t have a whole lot of time to find all the keys to them! But anyways these last 5 days have been amazing!  To start, I’d like to tell a funny story, at least I think its funny (hahaha)!

So on Friday we got to go proselyting, which is my favorite!  Me and my companion had a goal of getting 15 contacts.  I was determined to get that many people’s names and numbers.  So basically every person we pass we try and talk to them and there were these two ladies standing next to each other so I was like... “hey we’re going to talk to these two ladies!”  I was talking to them for a while and asking them if they believe in God and Jesus Christ and they were like oh yeah!   And they had these little pamphlets on prayer so I was like,  “Oh no way that’s awesome!  Jesus Christ is really important to us” and the lady said something about Jehovah and so I said, oh yeah that’s Jesus Christ’s other name and she got all serious and was like no!  That’s God’s name.  I wasn’t sure what she meant I thought it was a Spanish miscommunication or something so I just brushed it off and I asked them what religion they were and they said Testigos de Jehovah.  So I was super happy they believed in Christ (everyone here does) and I kept trying to get their contact information and they refused.  I wasn't sure why?  I kept asking them for it and they were like nope!  So we left them and my companion was like you know those were Jehovah Witnesses, right?!  And I busted up laughing!  I had no clue!  I heard about them before but I guess they don’t like Mormons very much! hahaha  Well anyways that was super fun!

Conference weekend was great!  It was the first time I watched all 5 sessions and took notes on it and it really made a huge difference!  It was sad when it was over because I enjoyed it so much!

Today we got to go on tour and it was BEAUTIFUL!  We went to the top of the mountain of Bogota and saw the entire city and it was seriously so cool!  hahaha  It made everything seem so real.  It was amazing!  I wish I could go back because I loved it so much!  After the mountain tour, there was a llama and we got to sit on the llama and take pictures it was so cool! haha 

It’s my last two weeks here in the CCM and I couldn't be more excited to serve my mission and spread the gospel to the amazing people of Colombia!  I love it here and I cannot wait to get going!  I love you all and I hope you are safe!

-Elder Marsh

Top of Bogota mountain

Elder Marsh riding a llama :)

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Week 3

I'm so glad that this week felt like it went by fast because that just means I'm so much closer to getting out into the field! It’s time to put these teaching and Spanish skills to the test even though they aren't very good haha.  Spanish is great and all, it’s just so frustrating when I can’t figure out verb tense to use!  There are so many different tenses and conjugations that I get them all mixed up.  So I just use the regular verb half the time hahaha.

This last Friday I was called district leader!  When Presidente asked me, I was kind of shocked because I'm not the leader type haha.  I'm not the kind that likes to talk in front of people and tell them what to do.  I'm the type that just keeps to himself and leads by example.  But it has gone really well!  Sometimes when we're new at something and it's out of our comfort zone, sure it's hard but we grow from these experiences.    

In the CCM (Centro de Capacitacion Misional) we are learning and studying all day.  It makes for a very long day.  It’s okay though, I'm getting close to being out in the field and out of my sheltered little bubble that I've been in all my life! haha  Just like usual we got to go to the temple today and it was great!  Tomorrow we get to go proselyting so I'm really excited to leave the CCM haha.  Things are going well.  I'm so grateful for all of your support!  Thank you so much!  Love you all!

-Elder Marsh

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Week 2


Things are going well!  The language is getting much better but it’s still so hard trying to talk with the Latinos!  It gets really frustrating at times but I just have to remember that the Lord will help me as long as I am doing my best. 

I had a cool experience this week.  I was able to give my companion a priesthood blessing.  It was my first blessing.  I was so nervous because I had to say the first part in Spanish and then the actual blessing in English.  I could feel the spirit so strong.  My companion was so thankful for that and I was really excited to get my first blessing out of the way! 

One of my favorite parts of the week was when we got to go outside the fence!! (the building is surrounded by a secure fence).  We went proselyting for about an hour the other day.  It made me want to get out in the mission field as soon as possible, except with perfect Spanish would be nice hahaha.  Every p-day (preparation day) we get to go to the temple which is really cool.  Today the session was in Spanish and I felt so lost.  I picked up a few words here and there but that was pretty much it.  Right after the temple everyone going to a Colombian mission had to go to immigration.  Boy is the city scary!  Everyone is so nice but sometimes when you make awkward eye contact with them they look like they're angry with you haha.  I try to let as many people know that my grandparents are from Colombia so that they don't think I'm just an average American (haha) and hopefully that makes them like me more ;).  Anyways, all of the classes the next four weeks will be in Spanish only, so wish me luck!  Have fun,  miss you all!

-Elder Marsh

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Week 1

Hola family and friends!

Wow this week has been extremely long and extremely great!  I feel like I have been here for over a month but it´s only been nine days haha.  The MTC here is called the CCM.  I´m not quite sure what it stands for I don´t really remember hahaha but it's not a very big building.  There are 75 missionaries total and they are all going to either Colombia, Ecuador, or Venezuela.  The food here isn´t as bad as I thought it would be!  I´m not a very picky eater but I enjoy the food!  The first 2 to 3 days here felt like weeks but now as the time goes on days are going by quick!

In front of Bogota Temple

Elder Marsh with CCM companions

Elder Marsh, 8th from the right, back row

On our way to CCM from airport

My companions name is Elder Kendall.  He is from Stansbury, Utah and he is a pretty cool guy!  We get along really well and we are coming from the same place so we have a lot to talk about.

Elder Kendall and Elder Marsh at the Temple grounds

I love the Latinos here!!!!  They are probably the nicest people I have ever met and they make me laugh even though I can barely understand them hahaha. They all talk sooooooo fast!!!!   I say "que?" like every five seconds and tell them to slow down because they talk too fast.  All of their words blend into one and I just stare at them and they know that I don't understand haha.  But they help me out with my Spanish so much and they are all so willing to teach me all that they can.  My Spanish isn't the best but it's getting better kind of!

I think it was on Monday or Tuesday, I asked one of the Latinos if they wanted to trade ties and the next thing you know there are 10 Latinos yelling and asking to trade ties haha.  I made sure to put all my not so good ties in one spot so that I didn't have to trade my good ones.  I know that sounds selfish but I had some ties I was not willing to trade!! hahaha

Gym is probably the fastest time of the day along with sleeping.  It seems like I blink my eyes and gym is over or I have to wake up. haha  The CCM really isn't as bad as everyone says it is.  I just feel like time slowed down as soon as I got here.

We finally got to leave the CCM this morning when we went to the temple.  It was such a good experience being in a different place.  But another cool thing was, we had someone of the Seventy in our session at the temple!  I didn't even know it until I got on the bus when someone told me.  His name is Elder Robbins I think.  The temple is about 20 minutes away from the CCM so we got to see the city and everything.  Let me just say, I have never seen anything more chaotic in my life!!  There are so many cars all over the place and they don't care about anything!  They never stop at stop signs and they do everything illegal that you can do haha.  But there are so many people that ride motorcycles, there is graffiti all over the place, in places I don't even know how they could get to but they are very artistic hahaha.  It was crazy just to see how different the world is outside the bubble Utah is.

Anyways I am doing great!  I already can't wait to get out in the field.  If you ever have a bad day just remember it takes a bad day to know a good one!  I know that when you are having a trial, it is so you can grow to become better than you were.  That's what is so great about this gospel, we have the opportunity to get better spiritually and as a person every day. 

I love and miss you all!  Have a good Week.

 -Elder Marsh 

*CCM stands for Centro de Capacitación Misional (Missionary Training Center or MTC)

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

First Letter Home!

Hola mi mama y papa.  I made it to the CCM last night safely and I received my name tags this morning, so it is official!  I am a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I am having a great time right now. These are my P-days that I will be able to write you.

Thursday 17 September 2015
Tuesday 22 September 2015
Thursday 01 October 2015
Tuesday 06 October 2015
Thursday 15 October 2015

Please, let everyone know that I will be able to write those days! ¡Mucho amor!

-Elder Marsh