Monday, March 28, 2011

Dear Family

Hey how has your week been going? It sounds like the priest’s Camp helaman was a lot of fun. Why wouldn’t anyone go on the zipline? I remember those trips were always a lot of fun. Everything has been going pretty good here. We have been staying very busy. We are trying to figure out how to best use our time between the two wards. We were in church for about 8 hours yesterday. Both of the wards meet in the same building. We have to be there at 7 30 for meetings before church for Benton, then as soon as we get done with Sunday school in the Benton ward, we go to the Little Rock ward for 3 more hours. Then we have another Correlation meeting after that for the Little rock ward. It was a lot of sitting. Between the 2 wards, we don’t have much down time anymore which is realy good. I like staying busy. Its just that now we don’t have to look for things to do. Now we have to plan out how to fit everything in. This next transfer, we should be having a few baptisms. I’m pretty excited. Transfers are coming up this next week. I’m really hoping Im going to be staying here my last transfer. I really love this area. It is probably my favorite area. Shawn Barber’s baptism went great on Saturday. It meant a lot to him. I think the confirmation meant more to him though. We went and talked to him about the priesthood last night and he was telling us about how he felt something very strong when he received the Holy Ghost. He felt that a lot of weight had been lifted off him. I love talking to recent converts about their experience when they get baptized and confirmed. I think we as lifelong members of the church take the gift of the Holy ghost for granted because we are so used to always having it with us. I love talking to new members because they can feel the difference before and after. Shawn told us he didn’t want to “sound corny or anything” but that he had actually felt some very strong impressions and emotions when he was getting confirmed. It meant a lot for him to tell us that because he isn’t very open with how he is feeling. He told us that he wants to get the priesthood and a calling now because he feels like he needs to contribute something back. He is such an awesome guy. I’m really grateful we were able to help him to get baptized. It was his father in law that baptized him. After the baptism, the mother in law came up and talked to me for a minute and told us that it was a huge step for him. That he had told her that he didn’t think he was ever going to be allowed to go to heaven because of the things that had happened in Iraq. She told me that it had surprised them a lot when he had called her husband and asked him to baptize him. Elder Kelly and I are very grateful we were able to be there to watch it all happen. There is a different feel in their house now from what it used to be. I remember the first time we went to meet them, it was a very serious meeting, and he told us that he had been through a few sets of missionaries, and that he was getting frustrated with us coming over because he didn’t feel like he was getting anything out of it anymore. There was a huge difference between that first meeting and the lesson we had last night after the confirmation. The whole family was there. Everyone was happy, and you could feel the spirit in the room. I know that the Gospel changes people’s lives. I’ve watched it happen. I didn’t really see the blessing of having the gospel in my life when I was back home, because I’ve always had it. But being able to come out here and help other people find the gospel has helped me see all the blessings that are there for us because of the gospel. I’m so grateful that I was able to come here. I can’t imagine what my life would be like now without this great experience. Thanks for the great example you have always set for me.

Love Elder Marshall

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