Thursday, December 22, 2011


Okay, seriously, for real this time, SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED. I hope my little fingers can go fast enough to tell you ALL the important things.
Tuesday morning, left the MTC 630 am, arrived in the mission about 710 am. Went to a church to meet the lovely mission president winn and his energetic and bubbly wife sister winn. I was just praying all morning for some confirmation that I knew I was supposed to be here. Anyway, President gets up, says this is the highest baptizing mission and we still have 230 more to go before the end of the year to reach our goal. We all got up, told about our self, a little testimony then he said the Lord would tell him who our companions were to be. So, my turn comes up, I got a new companion Sister Jennifer Picuasi from Ecuador. Our area is Rose Park... when he told me that I had no idea where it was but the girl next to me goes, "oh my, you will get shot, I have never been allowed to go there cause it's too dangerous. the is the ghetto" YESSS!!! That was my confirmation right there. The Lord just knows me too well, in the ghetto with a latino comp, okay, I can do this. We live with 2 other sister's, Sister Harris from San Diego and her companion just so happened to be my comp from the MTC, so me and hermana johnson still live together! Anyway, we live in the basement of a members house. She lives alone with her disabled grand daughter. She is really cute, and lots of times the grand daughter just shows up. We will say amen from a prayer and she will be standing right above us. Or just staring at us while we study or things like that haha. It's super funny, she's a sweetheart. The house is so ghetto as well. We have no kitchen, so we have a tiny fridge and microwave, do our dishes in the bathroom sink, all 4 of us sleep in the same room, all our beds are touching, and for my clothes I use a plastic bin. All the other sisters in the mission have cars, but we get bikes! Fun fun fun. And I am so glad the package got to me because we went tracking on Tuesday and I WAS FREEEEEZING. So I was super glad I have a jacket. I also wear my scarfs around my head and mouth like an islamic because my face gets super cold when riding. Anyway, that's my new life. And seriously, I have talked to 1 white person while knocking on doors. All else are African, Tongan, or Mexi. It's the best ever. But pretty dangerous. For example, while tracking the other day this black guy comes up to us and was like, "oh puhleasse don't tell me you dem jahoooova winesses peeeple." No we aren't we are from The church of jesus christ of latter day saints. "Ohhh, yeah, I knows all bout you. I bet dey neva teach you in sunnndi school dat dem black peeeeple cudn't have dat preeeshood. I go to church fuur lonng time and I neva cud pass dat bread stuff caaus I dint have dat preeeshood power. So you mormons can jus git away frum me now." Other stories, knocked on this guys door and he was super high on drugs, another lady shut the door on us in the middle of our prayer with her, this other black lady wasn't interested in our message oh boy, but she was more than happy to sing hymns with us. Man was she getting into it! So there is the good and the bad. But it's the best thing ever.
Some good things that have happened. While out knocking doors we were trying to get ahold of this reference we had get but he wasn't answering the door. While we were there out of the corner of my eye I saw this lady from the apartment below taking out the trash and immediately had the impressing, you need to talk to her. So a couple minutes later we went down there and luckily she was outside smoking. We talked to her for a while and her life is crazy. 34 and has 2 grandchildren. But I couldn't even explain it. I could just see in her eyes that she was out of hope. She couldn't even breath when we were telling her about Jesus Christ and the love He has for her. We sang with her I need thee every hour, and she started crying. So she is now reading the BOM and has a date to get baptized. She is sucha sweet lady, maria is her name. Such a miracle we found her and those are the prepared people the Lord has for us. Then we are teaching the Mota family. All were baptized 2 weeks ago except the husband, he was never open to it until he realized the difference it made in his whole family, so he decided to get baptized. Their family is REALLY struggling right now. He doesn't have a job, the mom is really sick. They have 5 kids in 1 apartment. They are so cute though. Every time we come over the kids just run up and hug us, it's the best thing ever. Anyway, the other day we were talking down the street and I randomly saw 20 bucks just laying on the grass in the middle of nowhere. Of course I was stoked to get 20 bucks, then had a thought, we should just put this on Joaquin's door (dad of the family) so on our way to the Christmas party we just stuck in on their door and left. We went to visit them sunday morning to make sure they were coming to church and the mom was crying and was like Joaquin just had to take Michael (their baby) to the hospital cause he woke up this morning and there was vomit and hershey squirts all over his bed and he couldn't move. They HAVE NO MONEY for a hospital bill. But she was telling us that when he went to the hospital since they didn't have insurance there was something that covered them but they still had to pay a little bit to get the medicine and stuff. She was just crying and said, "But it is a miracle because the other night some little angel put 20 dollars on our door and that was exactly the amount came to at the hospital. I was planning on using it to buy pampers for my kids, now I don't know how I will buy those, but I was just grateful for that little miracle God gave my family so we could take Michael to the hospital." So who ever would have though that 20 dollars could have saved the day, I sure didn't, but our loving Heavenly Father does. And He always has a way of some how making things come together. That doesn't mean it's easy, it just means He still has His hand in our lives and is kindly guiding us, even when things are hard.
We are teaching a few other families, Cruz family with a mom and three daughters, they are loving being taught. She even invited her friend to hear from the missionaries cause they say they have both been looking for the truth for a really long time, and she wanted to friend to know about it. So that's like a 2 in one. We found an inactive family with a 12  year old son that has never been baptized. He really wants to be and the family came to church on sunday and is really loving having the missionaries over.  We also found this other man whose wife is catholic but he is getting baptized. His son can't walk or talk so he really loves the plan of salvation and has had a testimony of the book of mormon ever since he opened it. His question to us yesterday was, if my wife doesn't get baptized how am I ever going to reach exaltation without her? Good thing God is a loving father, who definitely has a plan!! But there are so many miracle that happen, I am so grateful to be here. The Lord knows me so well and put me just where I needed to be, just with the Latino world, I seriously forget I am in Utah, the only that reminds me of it is the licence plates. Oh and the whole mission got together on saturday and Dallin H. Oaks came and  hung out with us for a day. He spoke to us, them joined us in our talent show, ate lunch with us. The whole deal,  he is a super goofy, jolley old man. His shoulder shake really hard when he laughs. I loved it. He also wakes up at 4 every morning, so I can't complain. We did it in the Holladay North Stake center building and all the members that made us christmas lunch have children on missions. So we sang Army of Helaman and Called to Serve for them. There was not one dry eye in the room. It was really powerful.
Christmas DAY!! Whoo. I'll be calling home 6ish. I have 30 minutes. So let's get in those I love you's!!!!
I hope and pray each of you realize the amazing blessing we have of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Maybe we can't convert everyone around us, but we are planting seeds. This gospel and knowledge of a loving Heavenly Father and a Savior is something the world is starving to know. Never be afraid to share with amazing blessing you have!!!
Peace and love from above. See you at temple square haha. Just kidding. I won't be there, thank goodness!!! Though I am sure the lights will be lovely. Merry christmas to all, and to all a good night. Behave yourself now.
With love, kisses and hugs,
La Hermana Marshall


Hey mom, here is an email from the new mission president in SLC!! Sorry the phone call was cut short, the pay phone cut me off a minute early so I didn't even get to say I LOVE YOU!!!!
Hope all is well. I have been meaning to tell you, my favorite christmas story is I BELEIVE IN SANTA. It's short, but relates santa to Jesus Christ. It only has a few words, but it's awesome! Or the one about the christmas dress and the little girl that didn't believe in christmas because her family was so poor. I know Madison has the first book. LOVE YOU!!! Good luck in your lesson. I know you are amazing and have such a great effect on the girls. I am also glad you are getting your life in balance. If life were a cookie I think working too much would be like swapping the amounts of the salt and sugar. A cookie is no good with 2 cups of salt and only 1 tbsp of sugar!
May God be with you. I'll update you on my new area. Tomorrow this time I will be there! Ahh, what should I wear haha!!!
Love, Hermana Marshall


Elders and Sisters,

During the first week in December we had 53 baptisms and 46 confirmations bringing our total for 2011 to 2436.  We have three big weeks in the pipeline with 75, 86, and 110 on date.  I don't have the results for this past week but we will let you know as soon as we have the results.  The Lord is very proud of your obedience, hard work and faith.  You are giving Him the best present you every could this Christmas.

As we prepare for our January zone conference I am taking a survey and would like your thoughts and comments.  I would like you to take a minute and think about what it is that a high baptizing missionary does versus a low baptizing missionary.  Not their characteristics, but what are the specific things that they do that result in baptizing every week.  Every missionary needs to be obedient, diligent, faithful, clean, charitable, etc.  But I am looking for the specific actions that you have seen that make for a high baptizing missionary.  Please let me know in your letter this week the 3-5 things that you think make for a missionary who baptizes every week.  Thanks for taking the time to do this.

I want to share with you an experience I had this week.  We were teaching a woman who has had many problems in her life.  You could say her life was a mess.  She expressed her experience in going to church this way, "I felt like I could breathe again."  What a wonderful way of describing something we all too often take for granted.

Keep up the great work.  You are all doing so well and we are so proud of you.  Everywhere we go the members tell us how great you are and how much they love having you in their homes.

We love you,  

President  & Sister Winn


 Hello dearest family.
WHERE TO START... I got my reassignment. Long story. I've been having some pretty dedicated conversations with my Heavenly Father about where I was going to get reassigned. I told him, that I probably shouldn't get reassigned to Utah... cause if I go to Temple Square or SLC I won't tell my family where I'm at, cause I don't want them to find me. I also told him these places won't be a very good idea. I told him I would be pretty upset, and I'm sure there are plenty of people in NY, Texas, California, Florida or even Arkansassy that could use me. I promised him I would work really hard.... So we talked about it for a couple of nights in a row. Then last night, I didn't have a change of heart, but we came to a compromise. I said, I know the Spain consulate is in SLC and it will be most practical for me to serve there, and I know the gospel is important everywhere. So I told him that if it be his will, and I did go to SLC, that I will go and I will serve under the condition that I didn't see anybody I knew. No family. No friends. Only people truly searching for the gospel. He agreed with my that this would be a good idea. So family and friends, for who knows how long I will be serving in the Salt Lake City Utah Mission.... dream come true. If you see me, walk the other way, please!!!! I leave Tuesday morning at 6 am for the 20 minute bus ride with 8 other Spain sisters to start a mini mission ha! Now thinking about it, it's pretty hilarious. But luckily for mission covers over to Wyoming and Nevada, it barely even covers around salt lake. Aunt Kimberly's house is even in my mission... so tell her to have the missionaries over for dinner haha. Anyway, that's the best news of my life as of today. Just gotta ride with the tide and go with the flow. But I will be calling home Sunday for 5 minutes.... so I will call in the morning sometime before you go to church since I don't get to call from the airport, yet.
I GOT TWO OF THE BEST PACKAGES OF MY LIFE THIS WEEK. 1. from the sweetheart Irene Hola who had all her kids so kindly write my letters and treats and a Christmas book. Irene, thank you dearly! 2. Some wise soul (brooke shoko foster) managed to sneak in TACO BELL to the mtc. BEST.MEAL.OF.MY.LIFE!!! Thank you so much miss cookie. You know how to feel my soul haha.
Also, Natalie Sargent got her mission call to serve in CHILE! That is super exciting. I cannot wait for her! Two of my roommates are having surgery this week. One is getting her gallbladder out and the other is getting her knee worked on cause her knee cap keep popping out of place. My challenges are nothing compared to theirs, they are so strong and such a good example to me. So pray for them and I may be wiping some bums this week if the patients need me!
We had an amazing workshop this week on the atonement. We talked a lot about the unconditional and conditional parts of the atonement. The atonement is unconditional to all mankind in overcoming death and the fall of Adam. Everybody will be resurrected. As missionaries it is our job to share and invite people to the conditional part of the atonement. The part that is made conditional on us, we are the determining factor of how much grace and mercy we receive. It is by our faith, our willingness to change and our turning our heart to him that we receive the fullness of the atonement. We were teaching this baptist guy and he asked the question, "in my church, I know I am saved. I just have to accept Christ and he takes care of the rest. But I would never want to join your church because I would never know how much I need to do to gain salvation." Such a legitimate question right. He's exactly right. Our church does require works, because faith without works is dead. We were stumped. Everything we were trying to say we were getting into a deeper hole. The teacher of the workshop taught us afterward, that if he's asking, how much do I have to do, he doesn't get it. He doesn't understand the atonement and the price that was paid for there to be an atonement. He doesn't understand it's healing effects and what joy it can bring. Because when we truly understand it, when we understand the sacrifice that was paid, and how much we can truly gain from it, then we no longer ask what more do I have to do... but instead, what more can I do for you, my Savior.
I am totally out of time and have to teach a lesson in 3 minutes! But he is getting baptized on Saturday!!! WHOO.. He finally overcome his addiction to pornography and the word of wisdom. The atonement is real. It can heal each of us and make us whole once again. Talk to you Sunday. Peace and love.
Love, Hermana Marshall


WOW! Thanksgiving sounds like a blast and a half!! Christian, how did you like the grand canyon? Pretty amazing yeah? One day I will hike it. And congrats on being accepted to LDS Business college! That is so exciting. Two of my MTC roommates went there before their missions, they are from Mexico and Equador. So if you don't find a pretty lady in Salt Lake and wait long enough maybe you can marry one of them, that will be fun! Ryan and Aleesha, how was thanksgiving with the Fife fam? Hope all is well. Weirdest thing happened, I saw this lady the other day with Fife lips... You and all your sisters have the same lips, and the best part of all, this lady looked like Michael Jackson so then I totally thought of your other sister that wears all black and big shades. Anyway. Hope all is well and hope you are loving California and recieved my letter with pictures I sent you! Sisters, how was the PHOTOSHOOT!!! Holy hannah, glad Ryanne waited until I was out of the picture yeah? I bet you all looked beautiful. Hair and makeup professionaly done? I can't even image how pretty you all looked. I really hope Cameron participated and was dressed up like our little sister (remember when we always fooled ryan's friends he was our little sister with make up and princess dresses) Sorry buddy. But Cam how was thanksgiving for you? Glad you had Christian to spend some time with so you didn't have to be the only boy the whole car ride down! I bet seeing Danny and David was so fun!! Sounds like over all is was a successful trip and holiday! Glad to hear everyone is doing good!
Mom- this quote is for you. This should be the scripture you always have with you! "Blessed are those who are flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape." It's a pretty good one, and oh boy, you are pretty flexible! That's what I love about you. I always brag to my friends how my mom always does cheers and kicks above the fridge haha.

There are a couple of stories I would like to begin with. One, remember how my companion let's them rip ALL THE TIME. They smell so bad and are always so loud. She has the worst gas of anybody I have ever met! So I found a whoopie cushion the other day in the give away box and decided to play a prank on her. So, we have 6 girls in our room. First night we started with Sister Smith, from Georgia. We gave her the tooting device and when my comp came back in the room she blew it up like 4 times and ripped them huge! My comp was rolling on the ground with laugher then she was like, OH GIRL I CAN DO BETTER THAN THAT. Then she says, MY GOSH IT SMELLS SO BAD IN HERE. (little does she know it has to be her that stinks). So over the past couple nights we have been passing it around the room and letting each sister take their turn fooling her. She thinks it is the funniest thing in the entire world. And she never fails to say, Oh my gosh girl... get the febreeeeeeze! It smells so bad..... haha! So I just find that pretty entertaining. Especially if she brings it up the next day and is like man, I was really could not breath last night from everybody smelling so bad. But one day to her suprise she may find out she is only punishing herself.
Then yesterday I had the great opportunity of being a host! That means I get to welcome and new missionaries and introduce them to the MTC, show them around, get them to their room and all that jazz. It was great! But who would have ever known that's how it happened, I guess you don't get the special treatment when you're late ha. It was actually harder to watch other people leave their families though. I guess when I was the one leaving I just had so many thoughts running through my head I didn't really notice the looks on everyones faces and if anyone got in the car crying. But it was so sad so see little brother hand his big brother his backpack and look down and start crying, while mom just can't get enough hugs from her son and dad is proud but is really going to miss him. It was really cool to experience it from the other side of things and not actually being in the picture. But the first girl I helped with an adorable sister from Cody, Wyoming. Just a cute little cowgirl that was going to New Mexico on her mission. She was so excited to her here and said she is the 6th out of 8 sisters to serve a mission. Her other sister returns home from her mission in 3 weeks! So I helped her around and taught her all the secrets! Then when we were rapping things up some girl just came out of no where and some elders were trying to help her then they yelled, 'um.... can we get someone that speaks spanish to help this sister.' So I went over and get her stuff and she just looked scared to death!! It was so sad. She is from Puerto Rico and doesn't speak a lick of english. She was such a sweetheart though! She was telling me how she is a convert of 4 years and converted with her 2 little sisters. She said how she really hopes her little sister who is 20 will go on a mission soon!! So I helped her through everything then took her to her class room and gave her a hug, she sat in her seat and just started sobbing. It was the saddest thing in the world. She was so overwhelmed and does not think she will be able to learn english. I was talking to her for a while, then her companion came in the room.... and it was the best thing ever. She was in the exact same boat. She was from puerto rico as well! They started talking and you could see it in her face that she had hope again! It just goes to show how merciful our loving Father in Heaven is and how well He knows us. He gave her exactly what she needed to help her get through. He is so kind like that.
Anyway... Thanksgiving was GREAT!!! We had a man by the name of Russel M. Nelson come and speak to us, anybody heard of him? His wife Wendy gave an amazing talk on how there will be times in life when what the Lord asks of us seems unlogical and we will not have a clue how to do it. You see this over and over again in the scriptures. But you also see that when we say "I will go and do because I know the Lord will provide a way" that the Lord always does provide away, a way that is better than we ever could have imagined. We should never seek to do things after the manner of men, but after the manner of God. We must always seek His guidance, for He will show us how to build a ship or a barge, and how to make tools or provide light, He will show us where to find food and how to build a bow when ours broke and our family is starving. He will show us how to win a battle when all odds are against us. When we seeks to do things His way, He always provides a way. We will always live the gospel when others are doubting, denying and saying this way is better and more fun, it's so much better. But why will we live the gospel, because we form our life after the pattern that God has drawn for us. Then, when the rains come, the storms are fierce, the temptation is strong and the battle is close, we will not be washed away or beated. We will stand strong.
Elder Nelson also tied his talk into this. He told us about how the church was first established in Russia. He and a member of the 70 went over there and were yelled at many people from the government saying, your church has no chance here. You will never meet any of the requirements, so just leave. But 4 years later, after ALL they could do, even though they didn't know how to do it, after being kicked out and rebuked, the Lord put His hand in and opened up the doors of Russia. He said, "You are on a mission. You don't know how to do it. But after you have done the best you can, after the manner of the Lord, not the manner of men... The Lord in His loving kindness puts His hand in the picture and makes up the rest."
Then we continued the day by making like 8,000 humanitarian packets to go to Sudan. That's what we did all day. They were medical/emergency kits. It was the best thing ever. We should start this tradition in our family.
My two favorite things I have learned this week. 1-the true meaning of "keep the commandments." Our branch president always refers back to the hebrew defenition of words. He said to keep means 'to build a protective wall'. Then the word commandment meants 'to establish the appointed pattern.' So KEEPING THE COMMANDMENTS means "to build a protection around the patterns which the Lord gives us." Commandments are only a pattern of living that the Lord gives us, he shows us the pattern that we may establish it in our lives and prevail again the devil, these patterns become a protection against evil. And you want to know the best part... Every pattern the Lord establishes brings blessings. Every pattern, chastity, honestly, tithings, attending church and the temple, partaking of the sacrament, reading scriptures, and praying brings blessings and a closeness to God. We gain strength, confidence before the Lord, confidence before your fellowman, trust in relationships, health in the navel, the windows of heaven are opened, you are clean and are able to obtain guidance and direction in every decision in life, and the best of all, we have the constant comfort and company of the Holy Ghost. We must trust the Lord's ability to bless us and we follow His patterns. Any weakness in a pattern we bring unto Him, He will make it a strength.
The next thing I learned was in a workshop we had yesterday. We read in the bible dictionary the definition of CONVERSION. Read it. Read the scriptures that go along with it. Conversion isn't a one step, boom, I know and I am converted for life. He (Christ) says, "It is a continued process of Christ blotting out our sins through the atonement, refreshing us in our daily struggles and trials, old things are passed away, old sins are forgotten and you can become a new creature in Christ. I have prayed for thee that thy faith faileth not, and when thou art converted, convert thy bretheren. AND I WILL HEAL THEM."
Conversion is changing and coming unto the Lord and being better than we were yesterday. We are continually converted as we overcome sins, trials and struggles in our life. It is a mighty change in our hearts and lives that brings about a new person. We can be healed and refreshed. We can become a new person in Christ, be closer to Him and more like Him than we were in the past. The best part of this activity was that I had to write down my own conversion story. Yeah, I was born in the church, but through out life I have had to be converted, to know Christ is my savior, that I can always rely on Him, that His ways are better than my way and most importantly, whenever I fall, no matter what mistake I make or how far down I am, the Lord can lift me and heal me. This process of conversion will continue through each of our lives, until and end of our lives! I love it though. It was portrayed in a way I have never imagined, and it's a beautful thing. Such an amazing gift the Lord has given us.
My lovely companion and I attended the temple this morning. I JUST LOVE THE LITTLE OLD COUPLES. They are so stinking adorable. And we found out a great secret... Temple food is WAY better than MTC food. So every p-day we eat breakfast, do the temple stuff, eat lunch. My soul and stomach are both filled by the time I leave. It's just so amazing the strength that comes from being in the temple. This is the best pattern we can develop in our lives, one the brings the richest blessing.
Millions of other things have happened this week, but my little fingers just can't quite type fast enough. Although we did talk to Jamie in the travel office at church headquarters... and she said Spain just sent her NEW APPLICATIONS to apply for visas, because they just went through elections and got a new government. So she is in the processes of reapplying all the visas! Come on spainards, get it together. So I will leave the MTC December 13th and who knows where I will end up for christmas or the next couple months. Who knows, maybe I'll just have to go visit spain after my mission! But one of the sisters on my floor was telling me when she did study abroad to spain the sister missionaries got arrested and taken to jail overnight for leaving a BOM at someones house. Secretly, I would love if that happened!! Don't tell them that. Crazy though huh!
Some good news, Natalie Sargent turned in her mission papers! I am waiting to see where she is going, but am SOOOO stinking stoked for her!!! Madison Beyers has a KILLER wedding dress and wedding plans. That will be a wedding not to miss, wedding of the year is the rumor I started about it. Brooke Shoko Foster is heading over to China/Africa/Thailand for the next couple months of her life. What fun things are happening!
Everyday I am just so amazed at how true the church it. It's all so simple, but for some reason we make it so difficult for ourselves. The Lord has provided this marvelous plan for us to be successful and happy... so take part in it! Soak it up cause it's the best thing in the world. I am so grateful for the personal relationship we can each have with Jesus Christ, and when we rely on Him, all things are possible. If you don't know this for yourself, you to know Him- you won't be dissapointed.
I love you all. Send a little more snow down this way to the provo area. The land is as dry as could be..... Hugs and kisses from the sister missionary.
Love, Hermana Marshmellow

Monday, November 28, 2011


So is it really thanksgiving again? Wow.
Since my Pday falls on the day of thanks I won't have a pday...
I am actually super stoked! We are putting humanitarian kits together ALL day, literally, and having a devotional from Russel M. Nelson? Rumor has it...
A few things for mom-
Yes. Would love another suit case. This is what I was thinking, just put my small bag in the big bag and carry it around my whole mission until it's time to come home and I'll pack all 3 bags and carry one on so I can bring everything home I may or may not aquire. Like some bull horns and a spainard probably. Not a live one of course.
Also... don't know if you have packed away all my stuff or not, but I am needed 4 or 5 pair or my dry lux garments. They were the ones in the while basket rolled together in pairs when I left. Also, my green nikes. This is basically all I need!
So BYU bookstore is free/same day delivery. You just have to drop it off there, Don't know if you guys have left for vegas yet or not but you could maybe drop it off there so you don't have to mail the stuff to me!!?? What do you think?
Sorry I don't have much time cause I am doing language study. TELL THE FAMILY I LOVE THEM. I hope you all stand in a big circle this year and tell what you are grateful for. This is what I would add to the list- I am grateful for my amazing parents who have lived faithful lived despite of difficulty and taught me how to live the gospel, I would say how grateful I am for my amazing sibilings... I wish I were making the 7 hour drive with you just so I could spend time with you. I am grateful for my amazing older brother and his sweet wife who have always been there for me and been such great example to me of hard work my whole life. I am grateful for all my cousins, aunts and uncles. I am grateful uncle bob will always be my boyfriend. I am glad my family is okay with depantsing each other. I am extra grateful for the sweet aunt connie and the amazing 80 year old she is. I am grateful my family is a family full of love... my whole family. I BRAG every single day about the amazing family I come from. Best aunts and uncles ever.
Anyway, I am out of time.... Send my love to everyone, with a huge hug and kiss.
Love love love love you all!! Drive safe.
Mom- took care of the power of whatever you needed today so let me know what you've done with my school stuff.
Love, Hermana Marshall


Seriously. I'm already PAST a month. only 17 more to go. I mean Courtney's last 17 years flew by, I can't even imagine how fast the next 17 months are going to fly by!! Whooooooo. Happy birthday Squat. So glad you had a girls party plus Tate!! That is so funny. Did he suprise you with a great present for your birthday? Tell me all the deets. Even the stuff you don't tell mom and dad! Like if he KISSED YOU!!!! I don't get enough drama from these sister missionaries... Okay I get WAY too much. I swear every sister dated someone the month before they came out on their mission ha. Oh girls.
Anyway, a lot happened this week. I got an awesome package from Irene! Tell her thank you so much, especially for the Christmas m&m's and the study journal! I started using the journal when I study and I LOVE IT! I had a dream the other night that Bishop called my back home to give a talk in church and everybody in our ward was black!! Then during my talk the little black kids started lighting the church on fire, so Alan Jackson pulls up in his suburban and helped me escape the scene. Then came over to our house and helped me and dad shovel the snow. So random haha. I guess I really miss black people and country music. Typical.
Anyway, we had a very interesting fireside this week. Elder Richard Heaten (MTC director) spoke to us on Sunday and his topic was very interesting I thought. It was about tithing, but we don't pay tithing as missionaries, so I was wondering why he was giving the talk. Then he said when he was in a meeting with Elder Bednar talking about how we can keep more recent converts active and lifetime members he said, the missionaries better need to teach the law of tithing. Bednar said, "If members can have the faith to faithfully pay their tithing they will have the faith to overcome anything." He then read the quote from Pres Hinkley that talks says how we don't pay tithing with money, we pay tithing with our hearts. It made so much sense! In all reality that is something that is very hard for people to let go, especially when already ends are barely meeting up. But the Lord always provides. It's interesting cause a person can't pay their tithing until they are baptized. So we have to teach it in a way that after they have entered that convenant, after the missionaries are gone, then after they get their next paycheck they will say- oh, and I want to pay my tithing for this. He really put emphasis how paying tithing is a privlage. That the Lord literally opens the windows of heaven. You have to be a member to pay tithing because you recieve so many blessing. The key is recognizing them. I remember when I got in that accident and had to pay that guy 500 dollars so he wouldn't report it to the insurance. I remember I literally had like $515 dollars to my name, but I still had to pay my tithing. I debated paying tithing for a week or so. Finally I decided to pray about it. I prayed hard. I knew the numbers wouldn't add up if I paid my tithing. I remember after I said amen a quote fell out of my scrpitures that I forgot I even had. It was from Pres Hinkley and said... Never doubt. For the Lord will not forsake us. HE WILL NOT FORSAKE HIS CHILDREN. I knew that if I paid my tithing things would work out. So I paid my tithing, then wrote a check for $500 for dad to put in the mail for this guy. The next day dad comes into my work with the check in hand and I was freaking out like Dad you didn't mail that yet? He's going to kill me!!! Then dad said, "Lu, you have to rewrite the check...." I was so worried cause I was like great this guy knew I didn't have enough money so he won't accept the check. Then dad said, "the guy called and said he was thinking about it and only wants $200 dollars for the damage and he'll just fix it himself." I seriously almost fell to the ground. At that moment, I realized the heavens had been open and the Lord did not forsake me. From then on I knew I would never be able to afford not to pay my tithing.
We were talking with the MTC president the other day at lunch and he was telling us how this year they were expecting 5,200 missionaries... but they got 5,600! 4,000 more than they have ever had! Right now the MTC has more missionaries than they have ever had. More elders, more sisters and more couples! He said this is the most sister missionaries the church has ever seen! I LOVE IT!!! SO there is tons of construction going on right now and they are adding on and preparing for the years to come. He was so cute, he chuckled and said, you know, we really love dealing with this problem.
So mom, the other day I heard a really cool story from my Branch President. Sweetest old man in the world. He was telling us about is african friend who was a convert and came to BYU after he joined the church. None of his family had ever heard the church before they died. One night in a vision his grandpa appeared to him and said, "I love your grandma dearly, but I cannot be with her. I feel as though she is a million miles away from me. Can you please do our temple work so we can finally be together?" I can bet you grandma and grandpa cook feel THE SAME WAY!! You know how much they loved sleeping on the air mattress on the kitchen floor together, but they can't do that on heavens floor until their temple work is done! So do it for sure! Let the kids do their baptisms, I think it will be a really special experience for them.
I met an Elder from Madrid the other day. I know everyone makes fun of the way they talk, but to hear a native was so pretty!!! Hopefully I'll be able to sound pretty when I do it!
Well.... basically I am out of time! BOOO! I always have so much to say. But I hope you all have a wonderful thanksgiving. Aunt Connie told me Aunt Vicky fell down and tore the ligaments in her leg. Tell her I am praying for her!!! Give everyone A HUGE HUG FOR ME AT THANKSGIVING. So sad I won't be there.
I love you all!!! And yes mom, still have the same companion and I haven't heard anything about my visa. 10 came in the other day from Spain, but all for people who had already been reassigned!! So, I have no idea when! Tell ashley I saw Elder Fowers.... Sure she will put together whose older brother it is :)
Love you all! Hugs and kisses.
Love Hermana Marshall


My dearest family,
THANK YOU FOR THE PACKAGE!!!! It was the best thing of my life. The pumpkin cookies rocked my world, everyones world on my floor and in my zone.... So thank you Squat for making them and finally not letting the family eat them. And everything else that was added, alarm clock, postage and stationary, my shirts! I was just dandy.
So a little about my week. It's been great! We had Willian Atkin come who is the churches general international attorney. He told us the coolest stories about how the Lord has opened the doors to so many countries, like the churches opportunity to get into many countries in Europe was a window of only a couple weeks to get missionaries in there and get the church registered. He talked to us about religious freedom through out the world, he said 32% of countries still don't have religious freedom, but that 32% of countries contains 70% of the worlds population! CRAZZZZY. We still have so much missionary work to do. No wonder why every conference we hear a call for missionaries and worthy able young men and women, and couples to rise to their duty and share the gospel. So that was really interesting.
Then we had a workshop on the importance of teaching the restoration to all our investigators. There was a quote by Jeffery R Holland that I LOVED, he said something to the effect of, "Light comes from God. There are many people and many religions which have this light, that are good and have truths. But the events that happened the spring of 1820 are the only thing that seperate us from all the other good religions. Because of the things that were restored through Joseph Smith the avalilability of the atonement and the fullness of the atonement have been restored." If you think about it this way it's totally true. Because Joseph Smith restored the preisthood we are able to take in full effect of the atonement by means of repentance, baptism, gift of the holy ghost, temple work, sealing families, the sacrament, setting apart with preisthood authority, modern day prophets and revelation which have brought forth the word of wisdom and other commandments. Without any of this the reality, cleansing power, strength and fullness of the atonement would not be completely avalible to any of us. He said, "There are other churches that have missionary work, health guidelines, believe the bible to be the word of God, that offer humanitarian care and are good people. But because of the prophet Joseph Smith, we have been set apart, and have a great responsibility to share this message and glad tidings and great joy to the world." I had never really considered that, so just thought I would share.
What else happened this week? Oh the first lady of Hondurus came to visit the MTC. And she came to our classroom! She just happened to come to our floor and was observing our learning process and what exactly we are doing here. It was funny wrote all these spanish words on the board and acted like we were super instensly learning... in really we weren't. But since this church is the biggest comsumers of visas to her country, like we are in most countries, and since we send missionaries there and this is where they are trained, she decided to come check us out. So that was neat. But we couldn't take pictures with her or anything and she had some HUGE body guard with her, so I didn't try to sneak some. We even hung up a Honduras flag in our room just for her, even though none of us are going there ha.
My favorite scripture of the week Isaiah 61:1-3  The aSpirit of the Lord bGod is upon me; because the Lord hath canointed me to dpreach egood tidings unto the fmeek; he hath sent me to gbind up the brokenhearted, to hproclaim iliberty to the jcaptives, and the opening of the kprison to them that are bound;
 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of avengeance of our God; to bcomfort all that cmourn;
 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them abeauty for ashes, the oil of bjoy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called ctrees of drighteousness, the eplanting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.
I love it because verse 1 & 2 is what I am doing here as a missionary. Preaching good tidings, binding the brokenhearted, proclaiming liberty to those captive in sin and sorrow, comforting those that mourn... But verse 3 is to the members of the church. Beauty for ashes means the Lord takes every crash and burn experience that we have and turns them into blessings. The 'oil' (think of the temple) of joy for mourning, that as we partake in the ordinances we will be filled with joy and as we wear the garment our heavy burdens will be made light through the spirit. That we may bear forth the righteous fruit from our branches...
Just a little something our branch president taught us this week.
Well that's about all the time I have this week! I typed pretty slow. But family, I love you dearly and hope you are all doing well in school and waking up on time to class. Ryan and Leesh, I am glad you finally found a dog beach for Calvin and just so you know I went to yoga class this morning in rememberance of you.... Dad, hope you're still not sleeping on the tramp cause it's getting a little too cold for that. Maybe mom will let you back in. Mom, the young women are so luck to have you as their leader!!! And I am so blessed to have to as my mother. Thanks for breastfeeding me. You are the best! I always think of that as I teach the gospel, milk before meat. You taught me and right way fromt he get go haha. Okay, I'm done.
The church is true. That's all I can ever say anymore.
Hermana Marshall

Thursday, November 17, 2011


FAMILY!!!! Okay... so much to day and so little time! Well SPAIN IS GREAT!! Last minute got my visa, didn't even have time to call my family from the airport! I will get to call you christmas though so that will be awesome.
And your trip up to the cabin sounded way fun!!!! Swimming in the river and fourwheeling! WHAT AN ADVENTURE. I bet the kids loved it and it was a great get away for the entire family. Perfect timing though, thanks for waiting until AFTER I leave. I also loved loved loved the halloween pictures. Everybody's costume was TOO LEGIT! They all looked so good, and mom I know your costume had to have been the best of all. Ashley, you are the cutest nerd I've ever seen. I wonder where you got those awesome suspenders? Haha. Squat, you are such a baller. You could have dunked that baby out of this world! But only with the help of the world's sexiest cheerleader, Cam the woMAN! I hope mom taught you some good cheers like C-A-N-D-Y, or I will cry!!! Hope you were cheering on the basketball team while the nerds were playing in the band ha!
And Mom, I should have told Elaine Dalton to say hello to you because she was just here on Sunday! I will elaborate more on this detail further on in the email. But it's ABOUT TIME you and Lisa were reverent. She is the most difficult person to sit next to in church, good thing her husband is bishop so she can't be kicked out... or maybe he is the only one that can make her be quiet by the 'laying on of hands' haha. I love Lisa. Send her my love, tell her to just come run on down to the mtc and take a dump in the trees like she does everywhere else in Logan. She'll know what I'm talking about. Tell Sam her halloween costume was awesome as well!
But I got you all. I am still in the provo mtc :) Got you all super stoked though. I thought it was a funny joke. So anyway, sorry my email last week was super short and random. I was really flustered when I was trying to email cause the stinking timer is RIGHT IN MY FACE! So first things first. MOM.... I loved the email you sent me last week about your friend. Everything you told me was so amazing. She is ready for the gospel. She has been prepared, and lucky for Heavenly Father he has YOU and DAD whom he could trust and place her in your path and know you would have an impact on her and have the courage to give her the Book of Mormon. That is so awesome that she called the missionaries for a blessing. It is really sad she is in the hospital and is struggling with her health. I don't wish that upon anybody. But if I've learned anything while I've been here in the MTC it's been that the Lord breaks down and breaks us apart ONLY SO HE CAN BUILD US HIGHER. And with him as our contracter we will never fall apart. Sometimes while we are stuggling and feeling like, "seriously God, where are you?" He is just allowing us to be humbled and realize that we truely need Him, that we are incredibly inadequate without Him, and that with Him and through Him we can do all things and over come all things.
Do you remember that story I told you guys at breakfast one morning. My friend told it to me, it happened while he was on his mission. He said a family got in a car accident and all the children were killed and the parents were both fine. 5 kids. Sad. At the funeral for all of them the stake president was giving a talk and he told a story. He said, there was a man walking along an old dusty path when he noticed a shephard carrying a baby lamb over his shoulders. He waited for the man to get closer and asked him what he was doing with the lamb. The shephard replied, well I broke this lambs legs so I now have to carry it until he is healed. WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?? The man asked. The shephard replied, this baby lamb doesn't know the dangers of everything that is out there. It doesn't realize that if it wonders off and gets lost he can fall on rocks and break his back and legs. Or he can wonder off and get eaten by wolves. He can just get left behind and not get the nourishment it needs. So instead of letting this baby lamb get lost and die I break it's legs and carry it until he is healed. This way the baby lamb knows his shephard and will never leave the flock again. Just as sometimes we feel as though the Lord is breaking our legs from under us. Though we may feel so alone and broken we often don't realize he is carrying us. He is healing our wounds and bruises that we may know our Shepard, that we may trust Him and never stray the flock to get left behind and spiritually destroyed by wolves. I was thinking about this story while you were telling me about your friend. Maybe during this hard time in her life, when she is feeling lost and confused about religion, the Lord is just allowing her to be humbled that He may heal her with his Atonement and bring her into the flock. Just a thought though!
As far as the MTC goes, I know you asked a little bit about my schedule mom. So basically wake up time is 6:30... but the sisters have a special work out at 6 am if they would like. We do like kickboxing. yoga, pilates and aerobics. So we usually get up at 6 and go to that. Then we eat breakfast, teach our progessing investigator Maria, who we just found out actually isn't married to her 'husband' and she is afraid to marry him because he abuses her, but she is also afraid to leave him. Then we have language instruction for an hour or so. Then doctrine classes where we learn how and what to teach somewhat. We do lunch at our designated hour. THEN REPEAT. We have another investigator Carlos who is from Ecuador, 30, single, illegally in the states and just looking for a job. He is really smart and understands everything we teach him. He prays everyday to have a purpose and job here in the states. Our challange with him is he doesn't beleive he can have a personal relationship with Christ. He was raised thinking only Preists and Prophets can commune with God and Christ. So we read 3 Nephi 11 with him and he was like, but Christ was with the sinners? And we were like EXACTLY. So he is slowing beginning and accept, embrace and soak in the fact that Christ is a personal savior. That He knows Carlos personally, and as a matter of fact is the one person in the world that care THE MOST about him, and proved this by dying for him. We try to show him how the Lord's hand is stretched out still, and just waiting for him to grab a hold and so He can lift Carlos up and help him overcome his challanges and sins. So after we teach him we have 3 more hours of classroom instruction, practicing teaching, learning the language and all. Spanish is good... all the Elders are jealous that we Sisters can talk so fast and fluent ha! Little do they know, it's NOT perfect. But the language is coming along nicely, and I am realizing everyday how fun it is to teach the gospel in spanish. The language makes it seem more colorful! Then we eat dinner, have a sceduled gym time that we go to. Have some personal study time in there. Plan lessons for our investigators.... Then bed time is 1030!!!! It actually happens sometimes... but not all the time. So I fall asleep a lot during class, don't tell anyone. But that is my daily schedule and I try to fit in some bathroom breaks in there.
So remember how I always tell you old parents of mine that Ashley will be 21, Cameron will be 19 and then my parents will have no more kids at home so you can all be serving missions at the same time! Today I met the sweetest senior couple going to Chile and their son is also in the MTC and he's going to mexico! They said their son tries to avoid them.... but lucky for him they are only here for 10 days haha. That will be you in the next 8 or so years! How cool would that be, if you are all on a mission at the same time I will just get a job at the MTC so I can see you everyday!
What else can I tell you. We have some amazing relief society teacher here. For example, last week was Elaine Dalton... Recognize the name? It was cool. She mentioned how we all felt like her daughters cause she was in the young womens presidency while we were all in young womens and now that we've grown up she is speaking to us in relief society! She told us a really good story. She said she loves running, but now with her husband because she is competitive and she always beats him! But on this one occasion they were running together and there was a huge hill in front of them. She got so excited, cause she was good at hills and her husband wasn't. She thought to herself, perfect! I can beat him!! So she started running up the hill and was wasting him! She was going as fast as she could, but surely... he passed her around the middle of the hill. Trying to catch up she just couldn't. She she just decided she was going to turn around cause she was so upset. She yells out to her husband, I'm done, I'm just going to go back to the car and wait for you. As she started running down the hill she felt him grab her hand. He turned her around and started leading her up the hill again. He said, "Elaine, don't you know you NEVER turn around when you are in the middle of a hill." She struggled to the top of the hill and made it. Then she told us of the amazing view she would have missed out on if she would have given up. She then brought up the point that to give up and run down the hill, once you are already in the middle, is just about the same distance to continue on and go up the hill. It even still takes effort to run back down the hill then you are back where you started. She counseled us TO NEVER GIVE UP WHEN YOU ARE ON A HILL. No matter if you have to slow you pace or even walk. Every step in the right direction gets you closer and closer to your goal. Even if you are feeling beat, like you don't want to be climbing any more or just plain mad that you aren't doing as good as you want, keep going!! Christ will guide us by the hand. Literally. Be on our right hand and on our left. I loved this story she gave cause it reminded me of when I ran cross country and we would run at mountain crest. I hated this course. It was rarely flat. Steep hills up and down. I remember there was one girl on my team and I always wanted to pass. She was my goal! We were climbing this hill and I was gaining on her. I was passing her. And I was excited... Then I realized she was really struggling. She was crying when I passed her and stopped running and just started walking. I just grabbed her hand and said let's do this together. I wouldn't let her stop. We talked every step through and finished the race together. At the moment I realized it's more important to help out team then to be selfish and finish the race for ourselves. I had forgotten about this race then like a year later the girl came up to me and just said, I really want to thank you for that one day you helped my climb that hill. You taught me a lot of things about myself. That is what I am doing here on a mission. It's hard not to be competitive and compare spanish, and how strong the spirit was in my lesson verse yours. But in all reality, we are on the same team. It is our mission to help our brothers and sisters climb this hill. As we climb we will recieve the help of our all loving coach that says don't you dare turn around, just make it to the top. Come see the view from here... You won't regret it. So... to anybody reading this, whatever hill you are on, if it is a hill downhill slope of sin turn around and climb the hill of repentance. If it is a hill of struggle KEEP climbing. Only when we climb can we be made stronger! Hannah Montana said it best!!! It's the climb. Haha.
Well TIME IS UP!!! That's my email for all you. I love you all. The church is true.
Love, Hermanita Marshmellow


Mother, Father and Family....
Hello again. Another week has come and gone!!! Whoo. I GOT MY TRAVEL PLANS.... but they said my visa hasn't arrived yet so I will be staying in the Provo MTC until it does or until December 13, then I will be reassigned. SOOOOO much to tell you this week. We will start with sunday. Sunday is a good day here in the MTC, we have sacrament at 8 am. All the missionaries have to write a talk (in spanish) and then when they are announcing who is going to be speaking they just randomly say two peoples name. Well lucky for me last sunday I wrote my talk, but didn't take it with me, so after the sacrament the branch president is like todays first speaker will be Hermana Marshall!!! Seriously? So I just started laughing to myself and my dear companion let me borrow her talk... So yes, I gave my companions talk on sunday ha. After that all the sisters in the MTC join together for relief society. This week we had an amazing woman speak to us, Sister Rogers, she is on the board of the general relief society. So told us when she served her mission she was the only sister in the entire LTM (what it was called back then) learning portugese. She was assigned a medical mission to Brazil, even though she begged her bishop not to put on her papers that she was a registered nurse, cause once she graduated she decided she hated the medical field. But that's what her call was. She continued to tell us how she was reassigned a couple of times waiting for her visa, to new york, connecticut and one other place. Every mission president told her she was the odd sister because nobody had a bed in their apartment where she could stay. That's why she kept being reassigned. Then when all was said and done she never got her visa and was informed the needed medical missionaries in the Phillipines. So much for learning portugese right? She finished her mission there and told us many stories of how difficult it was. Her stories were intense. But she bore testimony that what ever trial we go through, the Lord always makes up for it. She told us story after story how what she went through on her mission was applies in various ways as she went through out life. It was powerful. And I want to apply that to my family by saying, I know we've been through some hard times. Hard times learning to forgive, forget and repent. Hard times financially. This is a hard time with RPM and everything. But no matter the struggle, no matter the trial, we must endure. And we will be forever blessed as a family and individually. I didn't learn that on my mission, I learned that from my wonderful parents!!
THEN... sunday got even better. We have a fireside every sunday night, and this week the Missionary Director of the church came and gave a really good talk. But then during the closing prayer, for some reason I just didin't close my eyes, and suddenly one of the Elders in my district fell back right next to me and started having a seizure. His eyes were rolling in the back of his head and he was choking. Then it stopped, he sat up and was sweating like crazy and was so pale. He didn't remember what had happened. Nobody else knew what had happened. He had ended his epiosde right during the AMEN of the prayer. So I was just talking to him and telling the other Elders that he just had a seizure and to go get the medical guys. So they took him to the ER that night and have been doing brain wave tests on him and stuff. I feel bad for him, I can tell he's really struggling to figure out why this happened and so forth. He is such a good Elder though so I hope everything will be okay with him. Anyway, that was pretty exciting.
I have so much more to say but am running out of time, thanks for the letters. I loved them all. Camerons your asian picture was hilarious! Ashley.... keep chasing those boys :) Courtney, you best be giving your dad a hug everyday no matter how many hugs and kisses you are getting from Tate the Mate. Dad- thanks for the update on everybody. Mom- I will tell you all about my MTC schedule in my next email ha.
I need to tell you guys more of the great things that are happening here at the MTC. Every single day I am hit with what we truely have. We have the truth and the fullness of the gospel. Just the fact that we know who we are, who we truely are, that we are daughters and sons of God, that no matter what we do, the second we decide to let the Lord into our lives he is waiting for us saying, what took you so long to get home? So never be afriad so share the gospel... never be ashamed to share this great gift we have!!!
Dang it, time is up.....
I LOVE YOU ALL!!!! I will write you a letter and tell you the rest of the things I want to tell you.
One last thing, GO TO THE TEMPLE!!!! Courtney, Ashley you guys are old enough.... make it a goal to do baptisms every week!!! You will feel the Lord so much stronger in your lives. Parents, go to the temple together. Ryan and Aleesha.... go to the temple!!!!
Paz y amor! Hermana Marshall