Monday, February 22, 2010

Steven's letter Feb 22

Dear family
Hey how has your week been going? Anything exciting going on? Everything has been pretty normal here. Its warmed up lately. I am still trying to learn Spanish. Elder Contreras is helping me a lot. He speaks English so we are doing pretty good together. So far I haven’t been able to do much helping in the lessons. I can’t understand much. This week I am going to start trying to add more into the lessons though. We don’t have a ward or a branch here. There is just a little group. We are trying to help it become a branch though. The stake president came last week and told us that hopefully soon it will be able to become a branch. The Memphis area has a branch, but most areas here are just little groups. They haven’t grown enough to become branches. I had to give a talk in church yesterday. The group leader called me and asked if I liked challenges. Then he asked me to give a talk in church. I think that was probably the hardest talk I have ever given. It was defiantly the hardest one for me to say yes to. I don’t think I did that great. I’m glad its over with now. I have been worrying about it all week. I found out that we play soccer and teach English classes every Tuesday night. Those are a lot of fun. We invite all of our investigators to it, and a lot of other people that we meet. A lot of the branch comes to it too. It’s a great activity. I never thought I would be playing soccer here on the mission. It’s a lot of fun. It’s a good way to fellowship the investigators and to find new people to teach. The members in the group sometimes bring friends and introduce them to us. Its great. O This week we got fed pig feet again. We got invited over for dinner on Thursday and the family had taken pig feet, dipped them in eggs and fried them.(like you would to French toast) Then they boiled them in tomato juice. That one was hard to eat. I never thought I would be eating anything like that on the mission either. Elder Contreras wouldn’t eat it though. I guess he doesn’t like any kind of pork. So he just wouldn’t eat anything. I don’t think the family was to happy with him. They just said “the American will eat it but you wont?” Well every thing else is going great. I’ll be doing a lot of Spanish study this week. Hopefully I’ll be able to start doing better with that. Well I hope you have a great week.
Love Elder Marshall
O and I haven’t been able to go to the temple at all in Memphis. I haven’t been able to go since I was in provo. About 8 months now. I won’t be able to unless I get moved back over into Memphis.
Quote of the week:
"We are commanded to 'pray always' (2 Nephi 32:9; D&C 10:5; 90:24)—'vocally as well as in [our] heart[s]; . . . before the world as well as in secret, in public as well as in private' (D&C 19:28). I testify that prayer becomes more meaningful as we counsel with the Lord in all of our doings, as we express heartfelt gratitude, and as we pray for others with real intent and a sincere heart. I witness Heavenly Father lives and that He hears and answers every earnest prayer." - David A. Bednar

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Steven's letter Feb 16

Dear family
Hey how is everyone’s week going? Its going pretty good here. I got transferred. Im in Little Rock now. And I got switched to Spanish speaking. There are 4 spanish elders in Little Rock, 16 in the mission. It’s a lot different than classroom Spanish was. My companion has only been out 6 weeks. His name is Elder Contreras. He came out with Elder Kelly. He is from mexico though so he is a native Spanish speaker. Its been a pretty crazy week for me. I cant understand a whole lot of what is being said. I’ve asked a few of the other missionaries how long it took them to get to where they could understand everything that is going on in the lessons. They said about a month. I hope it doesn’t take me that long. I can understand more when other missionaries are talking than I can when the investigators are talking. The missionaries talk slower. I’m excited to be learning Spanish though. It will be a huge blessing even after the mission. We are working with a few families that are very close to being baptized. There are a couple families who want to be baptized, but the parents aren’t married. They know they need to get married though and they want to be baptized. I think they will be baptized really soon. I am Loving serving in the Hispanic communities though. The people are very humble and easy to talk to. Hopefully pretty soon I will be able to help Elder Contreras teach. So far I have mostly been sitting and listening, saying prayers, and reading scriptures. Well thanks again for the package. I’m not sure what my address is, and neither is my companion. I’ll have to find that out. You can send anything to the mission office though and then they will forward it on to me. Its
905 Kierre Dr.
North Little Rock, AR 72116
I hope you have a great week
Love Elder Marshall

O so missionary story. So like I already said, I don’t understand a lot of what is being said during the lessons. Well its been really neat because even though I don’t understand, I can still feel the spirit really strong while we are talking to people. Like two days ago. We were talking to a guy named Jose Hernandez (there are a lot of Jose s :) I could tell they were talking about the gospel of Jesus Christ, about how we need to have faith in Jesus Christ, Repent, be baptized, receive the gift of the holy Ghost, and endure to the end. I kept on feeling like we needed to ask him to be baptized. Well at the end of the lesson Elder Contreras asked him to be baptized. He said yes. No hesitating or anything. It was Awesome. He is getting baptized on the 27th. We are both pretty excited.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Dear Family
Hey its been a great week here. It snowed about 4 or 5 inches last night. We woke up to a lot of white. Thanks so much for the package. Im getting transfered. i got the call today. I can't write much right now. I might be able to come back later hopefully. We are taking a missionary to the temple pretty soon. He is going home. O when the president called he told me to bring any spanish liturature that i have. So i think i'm getting switched to spanish speaking. Ill know for sure on Wednesday though. If i do get swithced could you take some money out of my accout and get me a set of spanish scriptures? hopefully ill let you know if i need them on Wednesday. Elder Kelly is getting moved too. Well I better go. I hope I'll be able to get on a little later and email more. If not Ill talk to you later.
Love Elder Marshall
Dear Family

Hey how has everyone been doing there this week. Did it rain again? I forgot the farm show was coming up. I bet that is going to be a lot of fun. Everything has been going great here. Elder Kelly and I are both pretty bummed to be getting moved. I thought for sure one of us would be staying here. O well. Life goes on right. It’s still storming outside. We woke up to snow. It’s raining/hailing right now. The news says there is supposed to be another Ice storm tomorrow. I had never seen those before. I guess what happens is its to humid for snow, so when it rains, as soon as the rain hits something it freezes. So the tree branches and leaves had about an inch of ice on top of them. When the tree limbs get to heavy, they break. There are still a lot of broken branches. We got to help a few people move branches out to the road We have been asking people about it and it sounds like this almost never happens here.
I have really come to love reading the scriptures. I wish i would have taken more time to study them while I was there at home or in Rexburg. There is so much to learn. So many things that we can apply to our own lives. Morning study is one of my favorite times of day now.
Love Elder Marshall
Quote of the week: This was one of my favorite scriptures before i came out It has helped me a lot of times when i didn't think i could do something by my self

"Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away.
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."