Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Familia y amigos-
Estoy AQUI!!!! Yessss. I love Spain. I just love it. The accent is different which is great, but the words they use... are just so different!!! They never use the word frijoles, cause they just don´t even exist. If anything is handsome, sweet, good, great, cool, pretty, awesome is all que quay. ALL THE TIME. Everything, que quay. Yeah my dog just got hit by a car, que guay. Then vale is like the okay, or esta bien or bueno equivalent. We never go to our casa, we only go to our piso. Every swear word possible in mexico is common language here. I met the Family Chinga the other day, so it´s fine. But the thing I probably miss the most is that nobody yells, ´´andale gorditas´´ when we are riding our bikes and walking on the street. I love it though, it just feels so right to be here.
It is so beautiful. The buildings, the streets, the history is amazing. Today we went sight seeing to some castles and stuff, and it was gorgeous because it was raining all day so it just makes everything look so much cleaner and so vibrant. I just love it!!
Man, so much has happened. Seriously, have I been here for 5 years yet, cause it feels like it. So the MTC experience was great. It´s smaller, and you get to leave when you need to and 3 times a week we hopped on the metro to Madrid´s contral park to do a little preaching and teaching. I loved my red headed comp Sister Coakwell, just a sweet little shy girl, but so hilarious! Every week we got to go to the beautiful Madrid temple and the language of the session was decided by majority of people that spoke what ever language. That was fun. I had some amazing experiences in the park and enjoyed myself a lot there. Then it came time for the REAL DEAL, like the REAL one this time.
There were 2 sisters and 8 elders from the MTC going to the Madrid mission. So at 8 am thursday morning President Watkins and his lovely wife came to the MTC to have a little orientation meeting with all of us. He told us what he expects of us and the standards for the mission. Then I got my new comp! My real mom. My real mission mom, no more of the babysitter business. Straight up native from Argentina!!! From some little pueblo Santa Elena. She and her family got baptized 3 years ago. Hermana Gabriela Farías. Such a stinking sweet heart and lucky for me she doesn´t speak a lick of english. She´s been in the mission for 11 months and is just great. I love her lots, just so funny and we really have a great time. We live with two other sisters who are serving in Barrio 1. Hermana Hernandez from Chiwwwaaawwwaaa, Mexico and the other Hermana Wilson from Califonia. We go to bed at 11 and up at 7 in the winter but in a few weeks we are changing to the summer schedule which is out till 1030, bed at 1130 and up at 730.... then sandals are also permitted in summer time.
We are white washing... meaning both are in an area we have never been before. Sisters haven´t been here for a while because there weren´t enough in the mission. We are in Barrio 5... HUGE AREA. We have 44 metro stops that we cover. Seriously, where do we even start?? It´s just been a wild experience trying to find out where people live. We have been working a lot trying to locate the less actives and majority of the time the apartment does not exist! The ward we are in covers a majority of the tourist locations so they tell us people are constantly moving in and out. We have about 25 english speakers in our ward some from the states but a lot from Scottland and England. Everything here is based off metro stops, then the street name (never a number), then the number of their apartments, then what floor they live on and what number it is. It´s nothing like finding a house in America. We never knock doors here, (which is the one thing I learned how to do in Rose Park). Because there are no doors to knock, the only way to possibly knock doors is to ring the doorbell speaker thing out of the street and have them let you in. Every living habitation in Spain is apartments... there are like 10,000,000 people here and a ward covers about 3,000,000 of them. We do a lot of street and metro contacting though, we also get all the referals we can!!! As a mission the goal is to contact 105 people a week, that´s not just talking to them, but telling them about the church, giving them something, and getting their information.
Most of our ward is south americans, tons of ecuadorians and peruvians. They are just the sweetest things in the world. Our first day here we got a call that some other missionaries had met this lady on the metro that lives in our area. So we decided to go visit her. Come to find out her husband was baptized when he was 8 but never went back to church after he was 12. They just moved here from Ecuador a couple years ago and only had enough money to bring their 8 year old daughter. Their 10 year old is living in Ecuador still with her grandmother. So we talked to them and found out that for a while he´s been wanting to come back to church. They came to church on sunday!! They got dressed up so nice, and THEY LOVED IT. Their little daughter loved primary and the dad said it was just like he remembered it.
We also found this family from Republic of Dominican. Their daughter was baptized almost a year ago. We went by and the mom told us she has been reading the book of mornon and has been living the word of wisdom. The daughter in law has been sitting in with us and really wants to learn more and they are both coming to church this sunday.
There have been 10 million other amazing and crazy experiences. Like when I was standing in the metro the other day and all the sudden I felt someone squeeze my arm super tight. I turned around and this tiny old man was just looking at me straight in the face and smelled horrible. He just asked us, where are you going? I think you are going the wrong way! I just asked him how many he had had to drink cause he was obviously the most drunk person I've ever smelled and seen in my life!!!  On our way to church the other day we came up out of the metro and there was a marathon going on. There was this black guy on the corner who has a huge box of wine and was cheering for every single person who ran by. When a black person ran by he was like RUN BLACK BROTHER RUN. Then when a blondie would run by he was like RUN BLONDIE RUN!!! On and on and on, cheering for every single person. He came over to us and said, I´m not drunk, I am a good person. Then when a little old lady tried to get mad at him he said, I promise I only have water in this little box of mine. I was super entertained.
I am so grateful to be here. Everytime I study the gospel it all just makes so much sense. It just works together so perfectly. I feel so privlaged to be sharing this message with the world. I just look into every face of everybody I see and think man, if only they knew how much God loved them.
I love you all so much. Thank you for your INSPIRING emails this week. I really needed them. You be good now. Remember that you are of great worth and I hope you each find the true joy living the gospel brings. Nothing is too hard if you always seek the guidance and counsel of Heavenly Father.
Much love from across the atlantic.
Hermana Marshall


I literally have no time to email this week. But I am going into the field at 8 am tomorrow morning. Seriously, it´s about time I start my mission!!!! Ahhh. Seen so many miracles this week when we went contacting in the park. I man just walked right up to me and said I want to know more about your church because I know the bible isn´t complete and we have to recieve the gift of the holy ghost by the laying on of hands. YESSSS!!!!!!
I love it. I love you all. Thanks for all your emails, I will hopefully have pday on monday.
Peace and love from spain.
Love, The Marshall Myster


Well, Madrid is marv. I´m loving it. We are STILL considered visa waiters while here in the MTC, so everybody in our district has already been in the field.... this means, we have LESS class and study time and we go out to this huge central park and go proselyting. I have had some very interesting experiences. You first walk in the park and everytime we´ve been there there is a huge gang of blacker than black africans who are drunk. So once we get past them and all their comments then we can start the real work. People here just aren´t as nice as those cute little latinos we all love. First real person I ever talked to in spain yelled at me... Well he was nice at first talking about his family and job. The moment I said anything about the church he just looks at me and basically yells "LEAVE IT ALONE, JUST LEAVE IT ALONE!" So... rejection. Then we went into the park the other day and this man in english just yells "Go home, GO HOME, we don´t need you here. Just go home!!" I just smiled. Then I was talking to this other lady on the metro and just looks at me and says, "I don´t want it."
But some people do listen!! Last saturday when we went to the park I had two russian companions. I taught them the basic phrases so they would say hi to people and ask them what their name was then just look at me. We found this sweet sweet 84 year old man with no teeth. His wife died 4 years ago and he started crying when talking about her. He was telling me how he has her ashes on his fire place at his house. So we taught him the plan of salvation and wants to hear more, so we got his info and the missionaries in his area will go visit him. Then we found this other man, Feliz, or Happy is his name, and he just feels like God is a jerk cause he let's all his children suffer ALL over the world. But him listened, answered a ton of his questions, and that was a really amazing experience. He started to see that maybe God really does love the world.. We talked to these super cute little 15 year olds, the girl is christian and the boy has never had a religion and doesn´t know if God exists. But we talked to them and everything we told them they just loved and said they´ve never got those kind of answers before in their church. Hmm.
Probably my favorite part of everything.... Remember how great it is when Chinese people speak english. You know like in New York when everyone is trying to sell you stuff... and in restaurants when all they want in hot water and noodles. Well, it´s so much BETTER when they try to speak spanish!!!! Best thing of my life. They still are here, selling sunglasses and purses and probably even hot water. Just so entertaining. They are children of God too.
But those Russian missionaries are SOLID. Their lives have literally been rough. The sister that was my companion joined the church then her mom died from cancer, her dad died and brother died from alcoholism all within 3 years. She is the only member in her family and her siblings don´t even know or care where she is right now. That isn´t even the start of all the things that have gone wrong in her life. I was just sitting there listening to her story just thinking in my head, gosh how lucky am I?  I literally never have any reason to whine about little things. Just listening to her testimony of the Savior and her reason for serving a mission, this Sister has LITERALLY suffered in her life, not the suffering like most of us suffer, I didn´t get that pair of shoes I wanted, or I don´t drive the car I want, or my homework is too hard, or I don´t like my body, or I have the flu, or I have a scratch on my arm... but she has fallen into the pits of life.
But who was there for her all along, the Savior himself. The person who loves us the most and understands us the best, who never forsakes us. Even many times she had NO idea He was there. She didn´t even really care that He was there. But His hand was and is always extended and His love always surrounds us. No matter how far we fall or for whatever reason. He understands exactly what it feels like, and what the hurt and pain is like, and what we need to get back up.  He suffered all these things so that we don´t have to, but we have to use our agency to gain access to His help. It´s always there but we have to desire it more than any other pleasure or good thing in the world. His gospel is the only thing that can fill our souls and heal or wounds.
Those dang russians always were tougher than we are. But I really learned a lot about the atonement just by a simple conversation with her.
Hope some of that made sense.... we only have 30 minutes to email here in the MTC. As soon as I find a post office be expecting some letters soon.
Be good. Do what´s right. Say your prayers.
Con mucho amor, Hermana Marshall
p.s. best thing about pday, we can go where ever we want!! Cam guess where I am going today, the real madrid soccer stadium!!! I´ll send you pictures don´t worry!


Well fam damily, I finally made it! I am here and as loopy as ever due to major lack of sleep, feel like I¨m going back to my night shift days. First time in my life I couldn´t sleep on a plane, probably cause the man next to me smelled SO horrible! It feels so surreal... When I was at the airport with 20 million missionaries I was just thinking to myself, wow, I´ve never really traveled outside of the country with other people except for one with my family. It´s always been just me! So that was weird, but we are here at the Spain MTC for 10-14 days while they do paper work. It´s super weird sitting in class again!! But it´s fine, the thing I¨m super stoked about is that we get an hour of gym time again and there is a huge track, soccer field, basketball courts, tennis courts and todo!!! I am so excited to lose the 45 pounds I gained in Rose Park.... FINALLY have a new companion, even though Sister Johnson is still here with me. I miss her already. Sister Cokewell, she will be serving in Madrid with me and also was a visa waiter in the SLC mission! I have a roommmate from Argentina and is going to Milan Italy... to be serving with the one and only Laurel Simkins. How cool is that!! Anyway, it was a pleasure talking with all of you today on the phone, maybe that was like 2 days ago, but seems like today. Got to get used to the 8 hour difference!! I am pooped and I just fall asleep standing up, even when people are talking to me. Basically sleeping and writing this email. My pday will be on thursday again while I¨m in the MTC, so if anything needs to be mailed just mail it to the Madrid mission office, seeing as I will be in the field shortly.
Favorite experience on the place, two blacker than black home boys from Georgia were behind me on the plane with an elder in between them. They were coming over here to watch their brother play basketball. The Elder started talking to them about being a missionary, the rules and everything. They were just to funny about it. They were like, "Whoa whoa whoa wait now, you can´t even twitter or tweet or nothing like that? And all yalls first name is Elder now? Why can´t you all be unique and have different first names, why do they have to give you a new one... cause now when I say hey Elder and they all gonna start lookin at me and none of ems gonna know who I was talkin to, heck I won´t even know who I was talkin to"  Then when the elder asked them what they knew about God they said, "Well, this is all I know... that there is God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and then MY MAMA... and that´s all this world needs." The elder brought up the book of mormon and read some of it to them, then they were like, "man, don´t give this book to my friend David who´s sitting right over there cause I know some how he´s gonna use it to try to pick up girls" But my favorite part was when the guy was like, "so, you are going to be here for 2 years but do you even talk spanish? Cause all I know is hola... heeeeeey..... como estas?" Just some excellente entertainment that I enjoyed on this flight of mine.
Love you! And you'll hear from me in a weeeeeeeeeeeek or so. The weather is so lovely here, and I just cannot wait for this awesome adventure!
Paz y amor,
Hermanita Gordita

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


This week was some kind of adventure!!! Yes sir. My favorite part of the week is when we were riding our bikes and some hispanol yelled, "ANDALE GORDITAS!!!" (meaning hurry up you little fatties!) I just felt right back at home in Mexico.
I was at the mission office last Wednesday for a training, and after a break I came back to sit in my seat and a very large statured man by the name of Elder Linder was standing beside my chair. He said, "Sister Marshall, do you want to get out of here?" I just said, "You know, don't tell anyone I said this but yes, I do." Then he said, "Well how do you feel about going to the Provo MTC this friday at 11 am?" I told him I would feel good about it, but then I asked him why I was going. He replied, "Just to go and pick up your visa so you can finally get out of here Wednesday morning." I just smerked and said, "I'll be there!"
My companion didn't asked me what he said for about 20 minutes, then she finally was like, "so what did Brother Linder want?" I just said, "To inform me that I was going to Spain." She almost screamed in the middle of the training.
So pretty sweet yeah, I'll be getting outta here wednesday. Something crazy though, a couple weeks back we were teaching this amazing man who wanted to get baptized on Feburary 25th. After this amazing lesson we had one night I came home and just kneeled down and asked that Heavenly Father would be so kind to let me at least stay until the 25th so I could be here for his baptism.... What do you know. This weekend we had the baptism of 23 year old Antonio Cruz and I got my visa. The Lord is so merciful.
A couple nights before his baptism we were teaching him about the plan of salvation, and at the end of the lesson he said the sweetest prayer. He just said, "thank you that the sisters could come again and teach me that my life could be so much better than I ever imagined." Saturday morning we had his baptism at 11 am. He came alone and had no support, his girlfriend is baptized but super antimormon because of her 4 roommates she lives with and are all horrible examples. She kept telling him not to get baptized, he has no family here, and all his roommates are super catholic and never say one word to us when we are there. But, luckily his girlfriends aunt is active in the church and in our ward. She came to be his support and you could tell he was so grateful! Our ward mission leader gave the talk and just mentioned the great privlage it is to make this promise with the Lord and to have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. Antonio just started crying, man crying though, you know, just like a tear here and there. Then we the missionaries did a special musical and he just looked so happy and so ready! He jumped right in the water and literally came out of the water glowing and glisening. Afterward we went to eat and he said the food on the prayer. He just said, "Heavenly Father, thank you so much for this opportunity to be this clean. I can't even describe it but I just feel so good and so happy." During the time we sat there eating dinner with him he told us how many bad example every single mormon friend has been to him, but then he said, you know what, it doesn't matter cause I make my own choices and this is the best choice I could ever make. It just made me so sad, because how many times are we bad examples? Which too often turns somebody away from the light and life and joy the gospel brings. Our example is everything, never be afriad to just be who you are, tell people you went to church on the weekend and how great it was and what you learned, just love being a follower of Christ and be an example of the believers. It's the least we could do for the Savior who did everything for us.
I am so grateful I was able to be here for his baptism. It was definitely one of the high-lights of my life. The other day I just mentioned to him so you going on a mission next? He just said, oh sister, step by step.... I have to start with baptism! But I seriously have no doubt he will go! I have it perfectly planned out that his farewell will be the week after my homecoming!
But this girl has got to go get packing some bags. Thanks so much for ALL your emails. I seriously am working hard on getting letters back to you... I am just seriously lacking on TIME!!! It's just slipping through my fingers.
Remember that time I served 2 1/2 months of my mission in Rose Park, Utah? BEST THING OF MY LIFE. I am so grateful for this opportunity that Lord so sneakily placed in my life. 73 visas came in for missionaries going to spain, and only 6 of them were already in the field. Meaning, those 67 other missionaries will not get this experience I had. My favorite part about it is that I can come visit them all the time after my mission! Those times in life when sometimes we can't ever see what good will come out of the experience we are having, just keep the faith and have patience, never doubt the goodness of the Lord. He so merciful and loving and every single thing he does is for our benefit and our growth.
Peace and love from SLC for the last time!
Love La Gordita Hermana Marshall


Snow. YES. Finally. We actually got a decent amount down here is the Park of Roses, so that was pretty neat. Geldmacher is engaged? WHOOP. That is wild. You finally saw my little Arkansassy? I love her so much, and miss her dearly. Her wedding is going to be magazine status, so it's fine.
BUT- this week in the mission was 7 days long and 24 hours wide each day. It was just dandy all the way through. A couple weeks ago we were knocking this apartment complex and found this lady who was inactive and hadn't been to church for a couple months, but she said she worked on sunday's so she couldn't go to church still. Then while we were there we just decided to keep knocking a couple doors. We met this 26 year old Nestor. He seemed a little sketch at first, but we just talked to him on the door and the spirit was like, give him bom, give him a bom.... and I was just like, oh no, my comp will do it, and before I knew it the door was shut and we were walking away, and I was like, great, I just made that guy lose his shot at eternal life! The whole way home I was just expecting a lighting bolt to knock me off my bike... everytime we went back he was never home! But the Lord is merciful, so a couple weeks later we finally find him home and we give him a BOM and he was like yeah, of course I'll read it, and we set up a time we could come back. We go back with a member so we can get in his house (cause you have to have 3 girls in the house to go in) and he just starts talking about his parents dying 4 years ago, so now he is the oldest of 6 and they all live with him in his little apartment building. He had a TON of questions about after death and so forth. We start teaching about the Plan of Salvation and he was like, you know that makes sense cause I've always felt like maybe I existed before this life maybe as like a soul or something... Then we talked about the life after and he was just SO ELATED to hear that his parents were okay and that there was a chance of him living with them FOREVER! He was just so comforted, then the next lesson we taught him about the restoration, and he was like yeah, yeah, it all sounds true! He is so willing to pray and read, at church yesterday we talked about our relationship with our Heavenly Father and it was just so cool watching his face while he listened, sounds a little creepy but it's not, cause it was just so incredible for someone to finally understand who he is and where he stands with God.
Then we have Mr. Carlos, he's 29 and he is Eduardo's roommmate. Everytime we teach Eduardo, Carlos comes in like midlesson and listens and we include him and he has tons of questions but he'll never ask them because he feels too dumb to. So we have been trying to just stop by him and he has a lot of questions but he has been so hard to reach. When ever I mention anything about having an open heart to get answers he just says, well, I don't want to open my heart because every time I have it just gets broken. BUT... last night we finally took our first little baby step with him. We just started talking about the BOM and he again had so many questions. He believes is God but just says he doesn't know Him very well, but there has been times in His life where he has just thought about God and asked Him, why am I doing these things in my life and why can't I be happy? We invited him to pray at the beginning of the lesson and he was like, no I can't, I need to practice before I pray to him so I don't sound dumb. But slowly as the lesson progressed, he started opening up little by little. Beverly (our recent convert) bore a LEGIT testimony about how the Book of Mormon has changed every aspect of her life. After trying and trying and trying to help him open up, it was her testimony that did it. He just looked down at the book and looked at us and said, "so you're telling me, that if I take this book a little more seriously, I will find answers to questions I've always had, and it will change my life and help me have a better life?" YES!!! That is exactly what we're saying. He was just like, okay then, of couse I'll read it. Then at the end of the lesson, I just looked at him and was like, so... since now you understand a little better HOW MUCH God wants to hear from you, are you ready to say a prayer? He just got on his knees and said, yeah, yeah I am. During that prayer I just couldn't stop thinking about how incredible it was to experience this son of God having his very first conversation with his Father. I could just imagine the happiness on God's face as his son asked him for help so that he could get closer to him and feel more of His love and change his life. The spirit was so strong and I just couldn't even imagine how the Heavens were rejoicing.
For some reason we make prayer too hard or seem like it's a hard task, but it's just talking and listening to the most loving, patient, kind, powerful creature in the universe who wants us to be completely happy just like He is. Why in the world wouldn't we talk to Him ALL DAY EVERYDAY???
Moral of the story, just say your prayers. There is a way good talk in the october conference ensign that called the Privalge of Pray. Read it. Pray more, and feel the power that comes into your life.
I love you fam damily! Be good and remember Jesus in all you do.
Paz y amor
Hermana Marshall
P.S. my new comp is asian


Monday, February 27, 2012


HELLO! Thank you all so much for the love and support, just wanted to say that. Happy St. Patrick's day tomorrow! Go luck of the Irish. (Try not to think about anything that has to do with love here on the mission ha...)
EXCEPT, for the LEGIT san valentine dance we had for the ward,  yeah, missionaries can't dance, but that doesn't mean I was so stinking entertained by watching all of these latinos dance. There is one brother in the ward from Mexico, THEY ARE GREAT!!! He is just as wide as he is tall (maybe 5 foot if that) he has a huge fro and was wiggling all over the dance floor. I felt like I was right back in mexico. It was probably the best thing of my life!!!
So today is going to be really short cause here we are doing emails and the place closes early today, so I only have like 5 minutes to write instead of an hour!!
But do you remember Eduardo? The cuban? We found in the rain while he was randomly fixing his blinker? He is so amazing. We were teaching him the commandments the other day, and usually when we teach commandment number 5 which is honor your father and mother everybody agrees and we move on. But it was a little bit different with him, when we were talking about it he was like, "hermanas, it is so important to honor your father and your mother, but one of the main reasons I want to get baptized is to let go of the bitterness I feel everytime I think about them. My parents left me an orphan when I was 5 years old. Years later I found my dad, but my step mom never wanted my around so she would hold my down and cut my legs with a knife. My dad wouldn't let my stay there, so I was on my own again. At a young age, I knew I had an eternal identy and that some how I was a son of God. There were so many times in life I have been alone, literally alone, abandoned, and unloved. But somewhere deep deep down inside my broken heart I knew that I had a perfect Father (as he pointed upward) that would never abandon me and loved me more than anybody else ever had." It was one of the most amazing stories. He told us that's why he appreciated our love so much, because he has no family, his only daughter lives in florida, but he has no wife or other family. We had an amazing conversation with him about the eternal and infinite love Heavenly Father has for him. It was just so amazing to me that after all he had been through, and after life was SO hard, for SO long, he never, never gave up and never lost hope that God loves him.
I hope this is something we never lose sight of. This week has been really hard to see how easy it is for people to forget this. We went over to visit a family who just joined the church before I got here, and the sister says to us when we walk in, how does one leave the church? She said, I just don't really see the blessings anymore, I knew it was true at one point but I always thought things would get better. But we still have money problems, and we even pay our tithing, my family and kids still aren't perfect. I just don't think God is really going to bless me for doing anything that's right. I know I haven't given my 100%, but even if I do, He still won't bless me because there are other people out there getting more blessings than me and they aren't even members of the church.... She went on and on and on. She kept telling us how if the church is really true then she wants a vision from God.
It was just incredible to me how one man, can suffer and suffer and suffer and still turn to God. Then, someone else can see small struggles as a sign that God doesn't even exist. It just reminded me of Nephi verse Laman and Lemuel. Nephi still suffered the same things as they did, yet they always managed to lose sight, cry about every little thing and chose not to follow God because of their afflictions. Then, there is Nephi, who whenever he struggles, he gets on his knees and asks for help cause he knows that God will provide a way to do what He has asked of us. I just pray that as each of us go through times of hardship, doubt, change, temptaion and even times of happiness we can ALWAYS remember the infinite love and compassion and patience our perfect Father in Heaven has for us. He is ALWAYS there. Yeah, maybe this life is full of learning experiences and a lot of times, learning them the hard way, but when we remember that is the reason we are here, and we knew that was the reason before we ever came here, then it makes things a little easier and more worth it. When we keep our eternal perspective with our daily prayers and scripture study, we will never doubt the heavenly help that is poured upon us daily. Remember, when life knocks you on your knees, you are in the perfect position to pray!
Peace and love from above!
Sista Marshall