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! 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Week 54: The Lord Has a Plan

This has been a super difficult week but I’m learning like crazy through the spirit, so I’m not worried.

Well let’s start out with the bad news for this week!  We had eight lessons that fell through.  They were some of the investigators that have the most potential to progress.  Of course, it’s super hard when a visit falls through after confirming it, because you did everything you could.  Just gotta keep moving along! 

Also with our investigator Angelica and her daughter Andrea, the investigators we met at the open house, are doing super good!  They’ve already attended church three times and for the whole three hours!  They are super happy and are loving this gospel!  I’m so happy for them!  We challenged them with a baptismal date for the 24th of September. They don’t feel ready yet and they want to understand more.  I was super disappointed that they didn’t accept the baptismal date, but I know I shouldn’t be.  I was only thinking of me, me, me.  I know the Lord has a plan for them but on the Lord’s time not mine.  I need to be more patient, and understand that our Heavenly Father has it in the palm of his hands.

There was a couple’s activity in the chapel this last Saturday while we were in the correlacion meeting, and they starting playing a few songs in English that I listened to before the mission.  I felt super weird but I honestly loved it haha.  It was a tender mercy for sure.  I’ve been forgetting ALL music and movies that I’ve ever seen.  It’s like my Spanish is replacing all the music and movies. Haha.  But that is a good thing.  It keeps me more focused on my mission! :)

Also, this week I had companion exchanges with.......... ELDER MOISÉS!!!!!! :) MY DAD! hahahaha It was a blast for sure to be reunited with him and work with him again.  He’s an amazing missionary and I always learn so much from him!

Anyways, I love you guys all like crazy!  Stay humble and have patience this week!

Que Dios les bendiga.  Sí señor.  Con mucho gusto. (Inside joke lol)

Your fav,

Elder Aaron Marsh

When lunch falls through and you're a master chef!
Spaghetti noofles, cheese sauce and salchichas (hotdogs).

Lorenzo misses his owner, John.  He moved to France for 2 years and asked us to play
with him twice a week. So we decided to give Lorenzo a piece of love from his owner :)

Monday, September 12, 2016

Week 53: The Year Mark!

One year down and I still feel like I don’t know what I’m doing here in the mission! Haha!  But that’s okay!  I’ve been following the spirit and letting the Lord guide me the whole way.

Thanks everyone that has been a support for me this time on my mission.  I’ve forever grateful for all the support you've had for me!  I am soo excited for the next year I have to be a missionary!

This week was super good!  We were able to find a bunch of new investigators.  And I’m excited to see where Angelica and Andrea, Henry and Tatiana, Manuel, Jemay, and Maria go in this amazing gospel.  I hope we can help them recognize the promptings of the spirit to be able to know that this church is true.

Sorry for the short email, but things are going good!

Les quiero a todos y que les vaya muy bien! (I love you all. Hope all is well!)

-Elder Marsh

side note: 
Apparently it is a fun and common practice for missionaries to burn one of their shirts to mark the 1st year they have served.  As a mom, I'm thinking.."but it's a perfectly good shirt!"  I can't help it, it's the frugal side of me! ;)  I guess that's the fun of it.  I'm so grateful he's had an amazing first year and is so happy to be serving.  At times I can't believe a WHOLE year has gone by.  On the other hand though, my heart aches for how much I love and miss my cute boy!  -Dianna  

Front of shirt says 1 Year
"Mi Equipo" (My Team) the 1st Year

The Aftermath...

Monday, September 5, 2016

Week 52: Reunions!

Helllloooooo brothers and sisters.

We had a super busy week this week!  To start off, on Tuesday, we had a training with the Mission President as well as another zone that came from tierra caliente, Villavicencio!   [side note: “tierra caliente” is a Colombian expression that refers to warmer places in Colombia below 1000 meters (3200 feet) above sea level.  Due to Colombia’s position within the Equator and in the Andes every town or city below 1000 meters above sea level is warm(ish) and therefore called “Tierra Caliente” by everyone living above that altitude. Bogota is about 2600 meters (8300 feet).  They have colder temperatures on average compared to the other regions in the country.  You can find “Tierra Caliente” about an hour away from the city].
It was a super spiritual meeting and of course learned a lot.  My companion and I had the chance to give a training to everyone based on the unity and trust in a companionship, to be able to work with the spirit.  And it went swell. Haha.  I was also able to catch up with one of my chillest comps, Elder Canales!  So that was super sweet!

We also found a bunch of new investigators this week! It’s the best when we work with the members, because we are able to find people that are actually wanting to get baptized!  So all of you at home, share the gospel! :) We were able to find Juan Camilo, Viviana, and Sofia!  A Family of 3!  Also Jorge and his wife (we havent taught her yet, but we will tonight).  Then another which was Jose Miguel! I’m super excited for this upcoming week to be able to work with them!

Friday in the morning with the zone leaders and district leaders we had a meeting to prepare us for the zone meeting on Saturday!  And both meetings went super well!  Saturday, we had our open house with the ward.  The whole presentation was super awesome, but the number of investigators that we were hoping would come, wasn’t what we were hoping for.  But we did get a reference of a lady named Angelica that is super awesome, and she ended up going to church on Sunday!  So we’re pumped to be able to teach her!

Thanks everyone for all the love and support!  Stay safe and read the scriptures!

Elder Marsh

Training Meetings!

Open House Villa Javier