Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The name tag never comes off!

All us Spanish missionaries for the Spanish ward

Hello my fellow missionaries and family. 

This is my final last two days as a missionary. 

I can't believe how much this gospel has changed me. I honestly cannot believe it. As I started my mission, I was stubborn once in a while, and it took me a while to learn certain things, But I now have become someone I never thought I could become. And it's all thanks to the plan that Heavenly Father created for me, the potential that he has given me to become like him. He will forever be what I like to call, is a word in Spanish that doesn't translate to English. "Amparo" Is usually used as a woman's name, but Amparo literally means shelter from the storm, or safe haven. He has protected me, kept me accountable to him, and has been there at every single moment during my mission, even when I couldn't admit it to myself, he has ALWAYS been there. 

Being a missionary, is hard, fun, exciting, stressful, and just every kind of feeling rolled into one. But one thing I know for sure, is that being a missionary is probably one of the best things you could do during your life time. Whether you are able to at this moment, after finishing high school, or if needs be, wait for a time, possibly until your married, but being a missionary is something I recommend to every member, because honestly, it's something that not everyone can comprehend. All you can do is just go for it; serve a mission, and find those people who are in need of the gospel. Because everyone needs it, not just members.

Our District
This part of the country has my heart. The people, this place, all have special places in my heart. Even when I am released, and I am asked to take it off, my name tag will be forever carved on my heart. 

I'll see you all in a few days. 

At the airport on August 16th, leaving her mission.  This was sent to Mom's email address from Sister Lewis this morning.  

Silly Elders

Monday, August 8, 2016

Last minute miracles are the BEST!

Hello everyone! 

So this past week we did AWESOME! We had some sweet member present lessons with some really sweet members, in particular, an RM in one of our English wards that just got home from his mission to El Salvador. Holy cow, let me say, he's a bold man! Jorden was so loving and bold with our house full of investigators, whom are named, Elizar, Benjamin, Ismael (who's brother referred the elders to this house full of gold) and Coset. They are all so ready to eat up the Gospel, mainly Elizar. He loves and eats up the Bible, and talks about it quite often. We had two sweet lessons with him this past week, first with Jorden (during this lesson with Jorden there, Elizar he would do his best to read at least 30 pages in the Book of Mormon... Pues, we'll follow up on that then! unfortunately not, he's still intrigued by the concept of The Great Apostasy) and then another RM, Stefano, who just returned from Mexico, but he and his family are originally from Ecuador (This family blows my mind, I love them so much) and it went super well with Elizar and Stefano, and then Elizar brought up the question about the Holy Ghost and how a person should receive it, and that lead the conversation to baptism, and this was all after we had an in depth conversation about the Great Apostasy.... So it definitely wasn't something we planned on, but we did however, set up another return appointment so that we could talk about baptism. Mind you, he's already accepted the challenge, but tonight we are going to put him on date! We have plans to stop by just about every day to go teach them, as well as reading the Book of Mormon and the Bible together, because he literally begs us to explain the comparison, but we aren't even complaining. We are just happy he's so willing and ready to listen, and understand more about the church.
The beautiful plants of WA. :) 

Thursday was quite a challenge.. Hermana Baird became sick during the night and couldn't sleep. She finally was able to go back to sleep.  When I realized first, how sick she really was, which was a small case of horrible food poisoning, and second, that we were to receive a mini missionary that same morning to come out with us while her original sisters had meetings in Yakima. So, she showed up anyway, and started language study with me, and then we had a few appointments, one being with this youth's Mom, which was so funny once we jumped in her Mom's car.. Oh goodness, that family, is related to the amazing RM Jorden.. They are such missionaries! We then were picked up for dinner, which Hermana Baird was able to eat a bit, then we returned to our house so she could rest, and then we headed out to correlation at the seminary building. We then met a couple who are members, who's daughter is heading to Brazil in September for her mission, and their family is the main fellowship for a Part Member Family we are trying to get a hold of, so luckily they will be coming with us this week sometime. 
We did a lot of walking again this past week, it was awesome! I'm finally getting more used to it, even though I come home in about a week, No big deal.

Then yesterday, we were street contacting when we met a young father in one of the near by parks and started talking with him, and he said something super profound that I wanted to share, and no, he's not a member.
"You know what missionaries? God doesn't have authority..." *oh shoot* "He has POWER! He gave his authority, which is to act in God's name, to his son, who is by the way, a completely different person, and then Christ gave his authority all down the line through the apostles. That's what makes sense to me, but I need to know what the Holy Ghost exactly is... Can you explain it to me?"
Holy Goodness sakes alive, we sure can Pedro! He basically set up his own appointment, and wants us to meet his wife, and even asked if we can kneel during the lessons we give him and his family. We have been sincerely blessed to find Pedro, and Elizar, a long with a few more people that we have appointments with this week, and I don't even think that happens very often. We have an appointment set up, at least 1 every day for this week. Woohoo!  I am so happy to take part of these last minute miracles, and to conquer out my last full week in the field.

On top of all of these miracles... 
We got 2 texts this week from Hermana Knight and her green child Hermana Hull.
"Trevor is getting baptized August 20th!"
The second one said this...
"Trevor is getting baptized August 13th, woo hoo!"

I literally can't believe it's happening... He's finally ready, I won't be able to attend the baptism, but I'm just happy it's happening! I'm literally on top of the world today, I am SO happy how much the gospel has helped me be an instrument in the Lord's hands, and how much more it will influence me for good as I finish strong this week. 
I know that God lives, and that he has a body of flesh and bone, and I know that his Son, The Only Begotten Jesus Christ, has suffered and died for every single pain, and unfair thing in this world, not only so that we wouldn't feel alone in our lives, but also so that we may repent and become clean again, through his atonement. I am so happy to be a missionary, I love this amazing job I have to carry out for the Lord. I LOVE being a missionary. 

Hermana Marble

A really wide door we found.. 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Punchy-ness adventures...

Hello everyone! Here is the video to explain my title for this week. :) 
This past week was definitely a struggle, but it has been a blast! 
It has been in the one hundred degrees this week for the temperature... and It's been crazy!

We were walking on Tuesday, when we walked a VERY long distance home from the seminary building, where we were helping the seminary teacher for the high school do some office work. It made me feel like I was in my Mom's office again! filing, cleaning, laminating, she even brought some fruit for us to eat. She's amazing! Not as amazing as my mother though. :) 

After we walked all the way home, we literally passed out on our apartment floor. It was SO hot, we may or may not have started laughing uncontrollably because of how hot it was. It was a blast though, we tried to find as many cold things to eat as we could, got cleaned up, and headed out walking.... again... It finally cooled off to the 90's towards the end of the week, and believe it or not, we felt it! 

We had an awesome lesson with our ward mission leader, who served his mission in Argentina. His Spanish is SPECTACULAR! He basically is still a missionary inside a members body, he ROCKS at teaching lessons with us. We taught the Word of Wisdom to one of our slowly progressing investigators, and he just jumped in whenever in the lesson as if we were in a tri-pan. (maybe a quad including the Holy Ghost, of course) We also got asked out by an older gentleman this past week right as we were walking home... He wanted to take us to shoot pool, and we said no.. He was disappointed.. we didn't know what else to say other than we are missionaries. Luckily, Hermana Baird took over that conversation. 

The fridge of a walking missionary...
We've been working great with the members! We've had quite a number of great member lessons with some of the members from the English wards we cover. Because we've been getting involved with them more, on accident (being given rides home by sweet members) and purposely set up member lessons, We've been receiving so many member referrals! We even attended one of the English wards with permission, and we had everybody on their toes about if they had actually gotten sisters! Unfortunately, not completely... Everyone in this certain ward has begged to feed us, they are so sweet! The elders in this ward are going to have to get used to sharing a ward... Because literally, all the sisters in the ward already want to feed us and help us since they can't quite help the elders with too much. #blessingsofbeingasister

We had a few interesting lessons with less actives by translating for them about tickets they've received, and having 3 different lessons all in the same house, at different times, each a few minutes after the other. We've been on a roll!

Someone asked me this morning, "What is one of the greatest lessons you've learned on your mission?" Well some things I've learned on my mission..

How much potential that each of us have as sons and daughters of Heavenly Father.
We are pieces of art... He has created us each very differently for MANY purposes.
Especially, relating to your mass email from today, that we are called to specific missions, areas, and companions, for MANY reasons. 
I have had to slowly accept that things are the way they are, because He made them that way.
We each have divine potential, for what he wants us to become; and if we are humble, submissive, patient, and urgent in listening to the spirit, we can conquer all that lies in our path. 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Members Galore!

​Buenas Dias mis amigos!

Entonces.. This week was pretty darn good. I can't really explain how this week went, it was successful, but as us missionaries say, it doesn't always show in our numbers of lessons. It was successful because we truly learned how to teach, and not just anyone, but the members! Ever since our recent ZTM we have turned our focus for this month on working with members on their missionary work and strengthening our relationship with them. For instance, we have done a lot of service this week! We even had a member's son chase us down the street last night to give us freshly made cookies! I'm pretty sure he ran at least a mile. #13yearoldathlete

We've had some awesome dinner appointments this week with these amazing members. We have had a blast working with them.
I don't have much more time or much more to share, but the least I can say, is that I love being a missionary. And I've got 3 more weeks to live it up! 

Love you all! Have a great week!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Mom Update...

Our Sarah arrives home on August 16th!  She will speak in the Providence Second Ward at 1:00 the following Sunday, the 21st.  If you were good friends with her before her mission and would like to attend, the address is 355 Canyon Road.  We will be having a meal after the block, so about 4:30 at our house.  Please please please RSVP to me if you are coming to eat, and to get the address at lindamarble@landez.com.  I won't publish our address here. 

We can't wait to see our beautiful girl again! 

Waainning in Wenatchee

Hello everyone!

This week was awesome! Our District Leader's greenie has been sick for a while now, and so because our last Pday was 7/11 we had a member take us to 7/11 so that we could go pick them up some slushies, and we took those by at the end of Pday... The poor sick elder is suffering from bad allergies/head cold.. It reminds me of my first few months here!
We met some really cool people this week and we had a young member come out with us on Tuesday for some lessons, and she ROCKED it. She and her family had me and my companions over for dinner multiple times at the beginning of my mission, and they are so sweet. On Wednesday, we had our Zone Training Meeting, which this month, we as a mission are focusing on Member missionary work. We've read and studied a story/talk about a sister missionary who goes above and beyond to get members involved with missionary work. If any of you are curious, look it up! (The Susan Fulcher case) We've been taking it above and beyond to involve our members in doing the missionary work. We have loved it!
We are currently working with a less active member to stop smoking and to come back to church. Luckily he doesn't have the money to buy much more right now, so he won't be tempted to buy it anymore... until his next pay check comes. So we made a calendar for him, and a to do list for every day for the next two months. Pay his tithing, pray, read his scriptures, and go to church every Sunday, that way he can check it off and be accountable to himself!

Unfortunately, our main investigators are not making the gospel a priority at the moment. So we won't be visiting as often, and only mainly working with the wife who has the most potential at this time. The husband on the other hand, has deliberately said he is not searching, and he is happy the way that he is.... So that's that! But, his wife is still on board for everything! She got attention on Sunday during Relief Society where we talked a lot about temple work and family history work. She wants to get started on Family History! And we'll be talking about the temple with her this week for our member home court lessons!
We also had some AWESOME exchanges with our Sister Leaders, where I was able to go with Hermana Tecuatl to their area which is... MY old area. So Luckily, they asked me to direct them about where certain people live, and which people to continue teaching, and to go find less actives. Some recognized me, which was pretty fun to catch up! I have really enjoyed serving wth Hna Tecuatl.
Over all this week has been great, and we are looking forward to a great new week! We are so pumped to keep working! We also had interviews with President and Sister Lewis, which was a blast!
Well, have a fantastic week mis amigos, y nos vemos pronto!

Monday, July 11, 2016

A walk down Memory Lane...

Making last minute visits in White Salmon with Hermana Knight before I left.
So this week has been quite the ride!

I said goodbye to a few people before Wednesday when I got transferred. That was a bit sad, but it was also not as bad as I expected it to be. 

On Wednesday, we got to the transfer site and received all the missionaries coming to our zone, and also we received Hermana Knight's greenie!  Hermana Hull is from Texas as well (coincidence, right?) and had some flight problems, so she didn't show up in the Yakima airport until just past midnight with her MTC companion, and then woke up bright and early before all the other missionaries to get ready to drive down to us. That poor Hermana... Hopefully she slept well!  

Then I jumped into the Assistants' Nissan Truck and drove up to Yakima. It's about a 2 hour drive, and I was the only Hermana getting transferred, let a lone, in either car.. so it was me, Elder Shugart, who was my second district leader during my mission, and another spontaneous elder we love to serve with. We three had a blast talking about the work happening in our areas, and telling stories of investigators. 

We arrived in Yakima and then, during another 4 hours, drove up to Wenatchee and arrived around 3:30. I was so exhausted from driving so much and moving luggage around and helping everyone get situated!  As we arrived in Wenatchee, I received the cute Hermanita Baird! She's adorable and so ready to work! She is from Missouri, and has been out on her mission just since March; she's still fresh in the field. :)  

As we gathered our stuff together, I slowly came to the realization as she and I talked about what would happen that day, that we are in a WALKING AREA!  Woo, I looove walking, yes I do!  We cover the boundaries of 2 wards on the west side of Wenatchee, and we have no car.  Which is definitely tough!  We do partially share a car with a set of sisters, but we only have it twice a week. But hey, a car is still a car even though we barely have it!  So we got situated in someone's car, dropped everything off, went to a Hispanic member's house for dinner, and then went out and worked!  We really can make it work without a car. I can probably say I'm bound to have blisters REAL soon, but I love walking! 

My ol' crib
 We have a small, tiny, little apartment, and our Sister Leaders live in my old house with the Bishop of another ward across the river. That was reminiscent on Sunday as we stopped by after correlation for lunch at their house before returning to go to Sunday school. The ward is pretty small, but during the winter, like most Spanish areas in our mission, it will get more busy since most members are working in the field. Being in a walking area is really fun. It's really easy to talk to people, use time more wisely and plan everything out to almost a "T".  
We have service opportunities pretty often during the week at a local Museum where we help prepare projects for the youth camps and activities they have during the summer. We have a sweet ward of members who remind me so much of my Hispanic families in Yakima; ALWAYS willing to feed us, give us rides, go out with us to lessons, and all that good stuff. 

I was able to see a lot of old faces in the Spanish ward, especially Wendy and her older sisters. We had some good time to catch up during our ward dinner together after Sacrament.  

Can I just say, I LOVE change? 

I was able to really feel the spirit yesterday during sacrament meeting. And I've been thinking hard lately about why Heavenly Father wants me in the Spanish ward again... and I had a warm fuzzy feeling come over me, almost in all the classes that this is where I need to be, and to be companions with Hermana Baird. I feel so at home here... Just like in Yakima in the Spanish Branch, It's literally the best feeling ever to be just working in  Spanish area again. I have really missed speaking this much Spanish, and just being a part of the Hispanic member culture. I truly missed it here, and I love the people we are working with right now!  We are currently teaching a few couples who are holding each other back from certain things, and particularly one named Lucy. Hermana Baird and her trainer met her right before transfers last week, and Lucy has literally lost everything.. her family, money, and nearly everything she owns. Her face lit up as we taught her the restoration, and said she wanted to come to church, and to find friends. I was a little skeptical at first to hear that she wanted friends, but she literally needs them... She has nobody close by; family, friends, relatives of some sort, None! She came to church once we found her a ride, and she LOVED church yesterday. The ward has already embraced her like family. The work is somewhat slow, but we are excited to get to work this week with our current investigators. I wish you all the best for this week!

Espero que tengan buen semana, y hasta luego!

In front of my old house with our Sister Leaders :) The short blonde one is Hermana Baird!