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