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