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!