Monday, December 26, 2016

Week 68: And a Happy New Year!

Hey everyone! 

So this week was a super good one.  It was a very good Christmas!  I had a great time talking with my family.  I love them all so much!  There were also transfers and I’m staying here in Neiva with Elder Centurion!  Yes! Haha  Neiva is an awesome place and we also have a few people that are going to be getting ready for baptism this month!

Sad news, Bibiana wasn’t able to get baptized this last week :(  She had some things to do and wasn’t able to make it.  It’s all good though!  She’s more than likely going to get baptized this week.  She’ll be starting the year off just perfect, with a new clean slate!  Please pray for her so that everything goes well with her baptism and confirmation.

We were able to find two new investigators this week, Jessica and Yineth.  They were very receptive to our message.  They accepted a baptismal date for the 21st of January!  We're going to help them progress and do everything they need to do to be able to get to their baptismal date.

This week we did some service for a member.  His name is Alain.  We helped sand the gate to his house so that he could paint it all pretty!  We were there from 8:30 am until after lunch.  By the end we were really tired but it felt good to serve.  We had a great time!  Alain is the funniest guy ever! haha he makes me laugh so hard!

But anyways this week I’m going to be traveling up to Bogota for a meeting and we have some pretty good appointments set up.  I’m pretty excited for that! There may also be a baptism!  Please pray for my companion and me, that we may find those that are white and ready for the harvest! 

Doctrine & Covenants 4:4 

 For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo,
 he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same
 layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth 
 salvation to his soul;

Be safe and have a happy New Year!

Elder Aaron Marsh


Alain! hahaha!

Cool sombrero

The Fam!

Merry Christmas from the Missionaries in Las Granjas!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Week 67: Feliz Navidad de Colombia!

Wow hasn’t this month just flown by?!!  It felt like just yesterday that it was p-day. That’s just the magic of missionary work, to be able to just get lost in His work!

This week we were able to see an amazing blessing with an investigator that we found.  His name is Luis and he’s 18. We talked to him two weeks ago but just this last week we were able to teach him!  We talked to him about God and what he believed and he wasn’t sure.  He told us that his mom passed away a few years back.  We were able to testify to him that we know he can see his mom again.  It was a beautiful spiritual experience and it really grew my testimony of the plan of salvation.  I know that this plan is perfect and that our Heavenly Father made this plan so that we can be happy and have hope!  He accepted the 21st of January to be baptized!  He also went to church the whole three hours and he loved it! When we first met him, he told us that we were wasting our time in the mission and that it’d be better if we were studying.  But he is feeling the truth of the gospel in his life and he is changing day by day!  I’m super excited for him!

Also, an investigator that I haven’t mentioned a whole lot, Bibiana P, is going to get married this week and the 23rd is going to get baptized!!  I’m soo happy for her! Her husband Carlos and kids are less active members but have been coming back to church.  Carlos is a super awesome guy.  This week, we are going to give our Savior the best gift in the world, helping one of his children enter into the waters of baptism.  Que bendición!

I love this gospel and the Savior!  He is my best friend.  Have a very merry Christmas!  I love you all!

Elder Marsh

Conference with Presidente Baquerizo

My boy Alain! 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Week 66: Mission Christmas Activity

Hello Friends and Family!  

So there were emergency transfers here last week and my new comp is here!  His name is Elder Centurión and he’s from Argentina! Che!(an expression Argentine’s use.  It usually means “hey”) jajaja vos sabes!(you know!)  He has 20 months in the mission now, so he’s about to die here soon(means the end of his 2 year mission is coming soon)! haha  He’s a super awesome guy and we get along super well.  I’m pumped to be able to work with him and bring people to the gospel.

On Tuesday the whole zone went up to Bogota (there’s 20 of us).  On Wednesday we went to the temple with Presidente Baquerizo and his wife!  It was such a spiritual experience.  I loved every moment.  Then on Thursday, we got together as a mission!  We had a few activities that we were able to be a part of and it was sweet! haha Overall, the activity went really well and it was SO good to see everyone that I’ve made friends with!

We were able to have a lesson with the familia Gutierrez, but they asked us not to continue with the discussions.  This was hard for me.   I felt a sadness.  It was seriously such a sad moment for us as missionaries.  It explains it pretty well in Preach My Gospel.  If people don’t accept the gospel you will feel a sadness for them as children of God.  

Anyways! Have a great week everyone!

Con mucho amor,

Elder Marsh

Part of the Zone Neiva

Elder Damiano!

Sister missionary calling to let me know when to shut water pipe so water doesn't drain the baptismal font.

Che! Elder Centurión!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Week 65: Fe y Diligencia (Faith and Diligence)

Hello to everyone!

This week, we traveled to Bogotá for a leadership council meeting.  It went really well!  The focus was on finding new investigators.  Elder Amaya and I were able to find 10 new investigators this week!  It was great!  I’m so grateful for the faith and diligence we were able to put forward.  We saw many miracles!  It was seriously such a blessing to experience!

One thing that happened last night, is that my companion got emergency transferred! :(  He’s no longer a zone leader, but don’t worry he didn’t do anything wrong!  He is just getting close to the end of his mission and he’ll probably end up training instead until the end!  Sorry for another short email.  We haven’t had very much time lately but it’s the life of a missionary! haha

Love you all so much!

Elder Marsh

Monday, November 28, 2016

Week 64: Forgiveness, A Week of Lessons

Hello everyone!  

This week was a great week of work in Neiva!  We were able to find many new investigators like Adriana, Andres, Dimitrio, Bran, y Horacio!  They are all super receptive and willing to listen to the gospel!  We set up their baptismal date for the 17th of December but will need to postpone because they couldn’t attend church.  It's a requirement they attend church before they can be baptized.

One lesson that I learned this week was about forgiveness.  I got a haircut from our upstairs neighbor, which is a member, and she cut my hair SO short!  I felt so bald!  I was seriously so upset with how it came out!  You all know that my hair is one of the most important things I have to take care of! ;)  When I would look in the mirror, I’d feel so sad.  I felt like a baldie haha.  Anyway, this week we had stake conference and three of the talks that were given were about forgiveness.  I felt that they were all talking right to me!  After the third talk, I sat thinking that I needed to forgive and forget -the secret in life.  From then on I changed my attitude about it, and decided that it’s all good!  My hair will grow back and everything will be okay! haha.  It sounds pretty dumb, this whole story, but I learned that there’s no point in staying upset with something or someone.  Just forgive and forget, and move on.  The Lord taught us to forgive and so should I.  Besides there’s nothing I can do about it anyway. ;)

Sorry for the short email again!

Love Elder Marsh

This poor dog has a problem with its two back legs where the joints of the knees and ankles don’t bend.  It seriously looks SO funny especially when it walks!  I’ll try to get a video of it one of these days!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Week 63: Week 1 of Transfers!

Hey so this week was a little crazy with the transfers and everything but we have everything under control now.  It’s been an awesome week for the Neiva zone!

As a zone we were able to find a bunch of people, and not only that, but baptismal dates with them!  My comp and I are super proud of what they’ve done for sure!

Sorry for the short email this week.  Time is really an issue!  One sad thing that happened this week is that my bike got stolen!  We were at the church teaching Eliana and her kids for only 30 minutes.  When we came out my bike was gone. L My comp's was still there.  We thought someone was playing a joke on us so we looked all over the church property just in case.  As it turns out it was stolen.  That bike I sent a picture of last week was jacked!  I was super sad that day.  We had another appointment we needed to get to and I had to ride on the bar between the handle bars and the seat.  Wow, it was sooo uncomfortable.  It all turned out though.  I had an awesome tender mercy after we got to our appointment.  The family we were visiting is a less active family we are helping to activate.  We told them what had happened and they offered to let me use one of their bikes.  So I’ve been using that now!    

Thanks for everything and all you guys are doing!  

Have a good week!

Elder Marsh

The new district

Monday, November 14, 2016

Week 62: Cambios!

Hey everyone! 

So this week was a pretty good week here in Neiva!

We had a bunch of really good lessons this week especially two with my boy Isidro!  But I have some sad news… Isidro left for Villavicencio this last week and he’s gonna be there working for almost a month.  He asked if he could keep receiving the lessons in Villa-o and get baptized there.  So, we passed the reference over to the Elders there.   Now, he is out of our hands :(  He is such an amazing guy and has the greatest desire to just learn.  He was really just soaking everything up like a sponge.  He started to share the gospel with his brother!  So we’re super pumped to start teaching him the restored gospel!

The Gutierrez family nor Eliana and her kids were able to make it to church this week.  We’re still working hard with them and trying to prepare them even more! We had an awesome lesson with the Gutierrez family about marriage!  We were able to get two married couples to be able to testify about marriage and how it’s really going to bless them!  It was such a wonderful spiritual experience.  They committed to get married! So woohoo!  We are so happy for them.

Last week there were a group of college students dressed in scrubs that came to church.  One of them is a member of the church but less active.  They had a huge questionnaire for my comp and I.  It went really well!  At the end we asked if they wanted to listen to our message and they accepted!  So the following Saturday we passed by their place and taught them about the Restoration of the gospel.  We extended a baptismal date, which they accepted for the 10th!  They’re all super awesome and we’re excited to work with them!

Anyways, transfers came and Elder Amaya and I are staying here in Granjas, Neiva together!  It’ll be another great transfer of work!  I can’t wait!

Love you all!

Elder Marsh

The university guys! (Leidy, Andres, Maria Paula, Duvan, Elder Amaya y yo)

Biker Gang ;)

First DP I’ve had in 14 months

Monday, November 7, 2016

Week 61: Service and a Surprise Along with It!

Hey everyone!  

What a roller coaster of a week, with lots of ups and downs!

First off, we had a service project this week.  We helped dig holes and put old tires in them.  I know it sounds weird but that’s the best explanation I can give haha.  It was great serving which was the upside.  The downside was that there were a billion baby mosquitos and they seemed like they were starving or something because they just about had a feast on my legs, not my arms, ONLY my legs!  They were after the good meat or something, I don’t doubt it was due to my muscle-ly-ness ;) .  The next two days, I kept waking up in the middle of the night (around 2:30) with the worst sensation to just scratch my legs!  But don’t worry mom, I didn’t scratch.  I ONLY rubbed.  I tried just about every trick in the book to help them stop itching!  I rubbed on a mix of lemon water(Colombian trick, anything with lemon gets healed apparently), alcohol, lotion, I took a shower and rubbed my legs with soap, some powder, and anti-itch cream.  Yeah let’s just say I tried everything!  I was able to get some pills and some antibiotic cream to put on my legs.  They have been feeling better ever since!  So yeah I’m feeling great now :) 

My comp and I had one of the most amazing experiences happen to us this last week.  We were going to the chapel for a visit with Eliana and her kids.  They have their baptismal date for this upcoming week!  But when we got there, there was another guy there that just happened to show up on his own.  His name is Isidro P.  We started to teach him and Eliana at the same time about the plan of salvation.  After getting to our purpose here on the earth, we invited Isidro to be baptized and he accepted!  He then started telling us more personal things that have been happening in his life.  That he was separated from his wife and he hasn’t been seeing his daughter.  He said he’s been looking for an answer to all of it.  He started searching for God and one day he showed up at the church!  He then attended Sacrament this last Sunday.  I’ll never forget 2 things that he said to me.  One being after the sacrament was passed, he said it was the most beautiful experience he had ever experienced in any church.  It was the perfect time for the Spirit to talk to Isidro’s heart.  Second, towards the end of the meeting, he asks me, when’s my baptism? The 3rd of December? I responded yes.  He said okay, pulled out his phone and added the date on his phone calendar.  He told me he is excited! How amazing!  Our Heavenly Father prepares his children to receive the gospel.  I am so grateful for everything He has done for me.  And I’m so grateful for my mission!

Thank you all for the birthday wishes!  You’re all the best!


Elder Marsh

-Front and back of my legs from the bites!!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Week 60: I'm So Grateful!

Sorry for the short letter already, but this week was super busy! 

We started off traveling to Bogota (6 hours) for a leadership meeting and it was a long but short trip! haha Everything went well and it was so good to hear from President Baquerizo.  He’s seriously the best and I love participating in his trainings!

Also, SURPRISE!  More Baptisms! woohooo!!  All the kids were baptized this last Saturday and it was a great experience!  I’m so grateful for this gospel and the joy it brings to our lives.  It has helped me so much on my mission and it has given me a 180 degree turn.  I thank my Father in Heaven for everything He has done for me.

Read your scriptures daily and say your morning and nightly prayers and I promise you will constantly feel the spirit!

Love you all!

Elder Marsh

Just being his goofy self!  Oh how I love this kid!!!

Saturday Baptisms!  :)

Monday, October 24, 2016

Week 59: Iguanas and Crocodiles, OH MY!

Hey everyone!  This was a super slow and not so eventful week, but hey the mission life is the best life and I’m enjoying every second here in the hottest place ever! NEIVA! 

I had some exchanges with Elder Luizaga from Bolivia!  He just finished his training this past transfer.  He is a super cool guy!  At the end of the day we were giving feedback to see what we did well and also what we can improve.  I asked him what I could do better, and he sat there thinking for about a minute, and then he said, ´´you need to be more careful on your bike.  About 50% of the time I was freaked out thinking that you were gonna get hit by a car and I’m actually really surprised you didn’t.´´ hahaha  I started laughing but I promised I’d be more careful when riding my bike!  That’s what you get for being a stud bike rider hahahaha.

We couldn’t find our investigator Eliana for a week.  She doesn’t have a phone.  Then, one day she called us out of the blue from a minutes(track) phone and we were able to set up a visit with her!  It was for sure a sweet tender mercy!

Sorry for such the short news.  I’ll do better next week.  But here are some cool pics of iguanas and crocodiles for you guys!

Con bastante amor y agradecimiento hacia ustedes. (I’m so grateful for you. With much love..)

Elder Marsh

An iguana just strolling around town!

Crocodile near a neighborhood pond. What??!!?

Elder Marsh says he zoomed in and not to be worried.  Really??..NOT AT ALL possible! 

*Note from mom:  An uneventful week???  I think NOT!  He actually sent these pictures last week without any explanation whatsoever.  It wasn't until this pday that he told me more about the pictures.  I was on pins and needles all week.  I'm not really sure I felt any better afterwards though!  

Monday, October 17, 2016

Week 58: Two Surprise Baptisms!

Hello! Once again it was a super hectic but super fun week!! 

On Monday and Tuesday we had interviews and capacitaciones (meetings) with the president and the assistants.  It was a great capacitacion of course coming from our mission president which is such an awesome and inspired man!  After, we had intercambios (exchanges) with the assistants and I got to go with Elder Garong!  He’s half Philippine and half American and he’s from Utah!  So of course we had a blast together!

The last thing that happened this week is that we had a baptism!  It was of Rubi and her son William!  The have seriously for the past two weeks just been asking us WHEN they were going to get baptized!  It was super awesome and such a spiritual experience.  It was all like really last second because she had her interview at 5 and she was going to get baptized at 7!  So after the interview, we had to run and fill up the font, later bike to our house and grab our baptismal clothing, come back, teach a lesson to an awesome investigator, then get changed and get ready for the baptism.  It was all super hectic but super fun and a great experience!

I’ve been developing a lot of patience these days learning how to manage everything and not get all stressed out!  I was able to turn to my Father in Heaven in silent prayer and ask him for the comfort to get through everything.  I’m so grateful for his help, and everlasting love that he has shown to me.  I hope all of you can pray earnestly.

I hope you all have a great and blessed week!

Elder Marsh

Note from mom:  No pictures this week.  His new calling as zone leader has been keeping him extra busy.  He is loving every second of his service, challenges and all.  I'm so very proud of him.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Week 57: ¡Qué Semana Tan Chiflada!

Hello everyone!

This has been probably one of the craziest weeks I have ever experienced on my mission for sure!  Every day of the week, something extraordinary HAD to happen! haha but that’s what makes the mission fun right?!

So on Monday, I had to travel from Bogotá to Neiva which is about a 6 hour bus ride or so.  Then when we got to our house, but some sisters from the zone decided to change houses as well as areas without asking the mission president for permission.  So we had that bit of drama but they finally gave in and gave us our house.

On Tuesday, everything was going pretty decent, until we get a call from an Elder at about 8:30 at night.  He said his comp had just crashed his bike.  They threw him in a taxi and drove to the hospital.  He said he looked like he just about died. So we were in the hospital from about 8:45 until about 10 at night waiting to see what had happened.  He broke his clavicle.  I had to wait outside with Elder Chavez (the Elder that didn’t crash) while my comp went in to visit the injured Elder.  Elder Amaya (my comp) stayed with the injured elder until 2:30 in the morning.  Then he ended up taking a taxi to come home and sleep.  The next day, we were supposed to have a zone meeting but it was cancelled due to the broken Elders clavicle.  We went back to the hospital at 8 in the morning and we stay there until 11:30am, just waiting to pay for everything.  The Elder is now okay, but for a while we thought he would need surgery.  No worries!  He’s a tough guy! haha.

That Wednesday, I did a baptismal interview for a young girl.  She was super awesome.  At the end of the interview when I was asking her who she wanted to baptize her, she pointed at me.  I was a little surprised because I had just met her but that’s ok.  Well, she didn’t end up getting baptized because her boyfriend wouldn’t let her.  Maybe it’s just not her time yet. 

On Thursday, we did a service project in the morning.  It was pretty fun!  The whole day seemed to be going great, until we get a call from the assistants at about 9:50pm telling us there was an emergency transfer.  We had planned the zone meeting to be Friday morning, but once again we needed to cancel it!  So on Friday, we took the sister to the bus terminal to send to Bogota.  But later that day we were asked to pick her back up.  Not sure what happened.

Also, we met a lady that said she was supposed to get baptized the 8th or 10th.  So we set up her baptismal interview for Thursday but she didn’t show up.  That happens though.  We will help all that are willing.

Saturday we FINALLY had the zone meeting!  And it went super good!  It was my first meeting.  I thought it went well and things flowed smoothly…phew.  

Sunday, we had normal church.  We had a lady visit with her two kids.  They have been by before and have really liked it!  We taught them yesterday and they have accepted a baptismal date for the 5th of November!  We were pretty happy.  The Lord’s work is so exciting!  We are so happy for the work in this area!  It’s going really well!

Well, that’s about it for the hectic week!  All is good.  Love you all!  Thanks for your support! :)

Elder Marsh

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Week 56: A New Companion!

Hey everyone!

Sorry I wasn’t able to write yesterday we had transfers and I got transferred!  So I only have a little bit of time to write today.  :)

I am now in a zone called Neiva!  Which is one of the hottest zones here in the mission.  Neiva is EXTREMELY hot, and EXTREMELY dry! haha so it’s basically like Utah in the summer!  After being in Bogota for 4 months, where it’s freezing cold in the mornings and at night, it has been a huge change.  I’m for sure not used to it at all! Haha  It’s great though, it reminds me of home, playing football and baseball in the summers!  What a blessing :)  I was called to be Zone Leader. I am so excited for what's to come.  That will be super fun and an awesome blessing to be able to help all the other missionaries doing the Lord´s work!  My comps name is Elder Amaya and he is from Honduras.  He speaks perfect English because he moved to the US when he was 15 and was able to perfect his English. He’s a super awesome guy and super motivated to work.  I’m excited to get to work with him!

This last week was super awesome with conference and everything and it was seriously such an awesome 2 days of just pure revelation.  It’s seriously the best being able to listen to the voice of the prophet and the apostles, to really know what our Heavenly Father wants us to know.  I was able to make a list of personal questions that I wanted to have answered.  As I watched conference, I was able to receive an answer to all of the questions that I had written.  I don’t have my notebook with me now so I can’t share an example because I don’t remember them perfectly hahaha sorry.  But next week! 

Sorry for such a short letter, I don’t have a whole lot of time!  Thank you everyone for having been such a great support and for helping me along the way!

Yours truly,

Elder Marsh

Goodbye Elder Sotoski.

The Suarez family, but missing the youngest.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Week 55: I am so Blessed!

Hey everyone!

Things went really well this week.  We had some really cool experiences!

First of all, I had a companion exchange with Elder Trelles from Ecuador!  I went to his area in Bochica and we had a really good time.  He’s a really awesome Elder and a really hard worker!  We had a funny experience with a guy that looked like a skinny Santa Claus.  As we were looking for an address, he stopped us and asked, “Oh, the Mormons! Do you guys have a little bit of time right now?”  We told him ´´yeah of course!´´ So we started talking to him and he was bringing up some really strange topics about God.  The whole time I was just super confused!  He was saying that the bible had been changed so much to the point that it’s now only a story and not the word of God.  He also said that women only have 9 of the 10 original commandments.  Since I was still really confused at one point I said ´´whoa whoa whoa.  Wait a second.  I’m super confused.  What do you believe in?!?!´´ He started to laugh and continued talking.  We needed to head to an appointment so we told him we needed to go. He told us ´´none of you missionaries ever have time!´´ and then left all upset. I don’t know what to say except it was a super interesting experience.
On Thursday, we had a super awesome experience with the spirit.  As missionaries, we always come up with a lesson plan before a visit.  We went to visit Juan Camilo and his wife, Viviana.  We had planned to talk about the Doctrine of Christ and set a baptismal date.  During our meeting with them we had a FHE (family home evening) about eternal families.  As we started to talk more about the FHE, Juan told us, well I want to get sealed in the temple because I didn’t know I had to get sealed to my family if I want to see them again after this life.  And instead of continuing on with the lesson, we decided to talk about marriage.  They aren’t married and we were able to invite them to get married AND they accepted!  Juan and Viviana had tears running down their face.  Juan said that he first needed to ask for forgiveness from his wife for a few things, and I had the strong impression to talk about repentance and it fit so perfectly for them.  They were then able to accept a baptismal date for the 22 of Octubre!  It was such an amazing and spiritual lesson.  Elder Sotoski and I literally leaped for joy when we got home!  It was so special.

I really love the mission so much.  I am so grateful for ALL the blessings my Father in Heaven has poured upon me.  I have learned so much to be able to trust in the guide of the spirit and I have been soo blessed for doing so.  What an amazing experience it has been to be here in Colombia, exactly where I am supposed to be.

Thanks for all of your prayers!!  You’re all in mine.

With lots of love,

Elder Marsh

Way baby snake!

Juan Camilo, Viviana and their family

The hike up to Aguas Claras

I had to take pics to remind me of my chickens back home!

FINALLY, a tag picture!