Tuesday, December 11, 2012

To send a letter to Elder Marshall

Elder Marshall's address 
 802 West Daggett #16
Pecos Texas 79772

Catching up

November 5-December 6
We bought a washer and dryer for the area in Clovis. All the missionaries in the area pooled $60 together and we were able to buy them. It's nice. We don't have to worry about paying out the waa- zoo to wash our clothes, and future missionaries don't either. 

Things Austin will need on his mission...I would say he ought to bring are the shirt stays I sent home to him. They help a ton to keep his shirts tucked. He ought to bring out shoes he feels comfortable in. not just the work out shoes. Clothes that he likes to wear, not just plain clothes. I was going insane not having regular clothes. Bring a lot of ties, whether they are the best ties on the planet or not. He will want to trade ties in the MTC and on the field with people. If you can get him socks that will for sure last. They have CTR socks in one of the malls up there and there are several missionaries that bought them and they last through their whole mission. Make sure he brings him backpack to the MTC, cause I hated carrying around all of my junk between classes and meals. He should have some flash drives that he could send home probably just two 8 gigs or something. Make sure his camera has the cord. That will be important. Don't worry about tie clips ask Derrick Fish what a tie buddy is. those will be great. They keep your tie down and nobody ever knows. When he goes into the MTC they will give him a PmyG the first day. They are free that first day. Just have him get that one and not worry about bringing an older one unless he has notes in it he likes or needs. They also have like 3 quarter size. if he can get one of those they are nice to be able to carry around when he first get out. I can't think of anything else. 

Oh can you look up on line or something and figure out how to make a tie. I've been wanting to learn, but I don't have the time to search around online to find a pattern. If you do end up finding one I will need to learn how to hand stitch or have that miniature sewing machine sent out.

I am excited for Jessica! Tell her I love her! :)

Happy Thanksgiving! I know holidays are hard with everyone gone. I am sorry you are sad. I won't be gone for much longer though. 7 months left. I am glad dad helped for Christmas you decorate and get everything ready. You married a great man.

Thanksgiving was great for me. We had two homes that we went to for dinners. One was an investigator and the other was a member who moved from Michigan. I ended up eating 5 plates of food and then a bunch of deserts.. I was about to explode! The dinners were super great. The food was delicious.

That's neat that you were able to see the Thornton's  at Dylan's homecoming.  He must have been a great missionary to be able to talk for 20 minutes.  I have a hard time talking for 2 minutes. 

I heard it was really warm up there. I am headed more south so hopefully it will be warm down there. I'm pretty north right no, and it is DANG cold. But then again... 40 degrees is freezing to me. My new area is Pecos. It is a branch down in the very southern part of the mission. The area covered is  HUGE. I don't really know much more about the area than that. I am in another mob to kill a missionary who is going home early for Christmas.

I am a little disappointed that I am moving and getting a new companion. I finally started to get to become better friends with Elder Shurtleff and now we have to move.  I love working with him.

I am glad to hear that dad is cleaning out the garage. I bet you will both be able to park in the garage again! :) haha
Austin called me this morning! That was pretty exciting! My comp answered the phone and was super confused why a Utah number was calling. We all ended up talking to him for a pretty good amount of time and gave him some good advice.
Our Christmas conference is tomorrow Wednesday. We were super busy yesterday doing service for a member so we weren't able to get over and email. 
The area and the branch are great! We are always busy working. There are very few times we aren't busy. We are working with a couple people right now. There are quite a bit of solid potential people to be teaching we just need to buckle down and work with them. We are teaching a lot of younger guys pretty much from 15 to 20's. It is neat. We should be seeing a lot of success form them. 
The Branch is a decent size, about 40 or so on a really good day. Some of them are super Texan. "Marshall, That's a good name. A good ol' Merican name." Brother Sparkman.
The apartment we are living in is disgusting. The carpet is ripping up, there's mold, and hard water build up on everything that could ever get wet. The windows aren't sealed very well because they sweat so the paint around them is peeling up. There is a lot wrong with it, but I am working on cleaning it a little every night. Hopefully soon it will be clean. Some things never change.  I work better in a clean area.
Yes, there's a walmart in our area. It is a very small walmart... Like double the size of dads office. 
Oh thanks for the pictures. :) Elder Streeter opened up the mail box and got really excited for mail that wasn't his :) haha
That is pretty neat that Austin has 3 wards! It is hard to cover more than one ward. I have never had to do it, but that's because our ward boundaries size is just bigger than our stake.
We have exciting news!!! We are having for sure one baptism this weekend!!!! There is a recent convert here who brought her grand kids to church with her. We started teaching them Wednesday and the three of them want to get baptized! Two we found out may have to wait, but they want it so bad! It is neat to teach them and watch them want a knowledge of Christ and His teachings! They share their testimony with us all the time. The grandson Fr___ who will for sure be baptized this weekend always says he feels a warm feeling that he can't describe as we teach him! SO COOL!!!!
There are so many things we are being blessed with :) I am so grateful for all of the preparation God has done in this area!
Things are going very well and we are having lots of success
I hope you are doing well.  I love your guts.
Elder Marshall, number one ;)
I hope everything is going well with you.



Thursday, November 1, 2012

There is no substitute to member missionary work

Hello out there...Anyone listening?
I was glad to hear Grandma's funeral went off without a hitch....She would be glad too! I bet it was fun to see everyone.  Sorry I couldn't make it.  I am sure Grandma understood. 

That's great to hear about mom and Austin going to the Salt Lake.  Hope they got lots of winter things for him.  He is going to be COLD... But he will be a great missionary!

I am glad to hear Jon's talk went well. We all have tender mercies in our lives we just have to take a minute to see them.  I bet if we take the time to thank our Heavenly Father for them we will see more.

I heard Tyson and Brittany had their little girl. Brittany sent me a picture of Adyson via email. She is adorable. They will make a great family!

You have to have meat at Austin's farewell... Everyone would think he was crazy. Austin doesn't have to eat the meat. :) He is going to have to love meat where he is going.  I think it is funny that he only eats enough to stay alive.  I  LOVE MEAT!

I tried the letter thing for a long time, but I am terrible at it.  I think if I went on a mission 20 years ago you probably wouldn't even get letters. I seem to have this issue where I go to write, and then I don't, or I will never send the letter that I wrote, and eventually lose it. Email is just so much easier, and it is a set time where I am focused on nothing else except for writing. I push a button and it is gone!

This week has gone by pretty fast. We have 2 investigators right now. (We were told by the mission president that we had to give our investigators over to the south elders...) One live almost a 200 mile round trip away and the other barely has enough time to sleep in his schedule. We are doing our best to work with both of them as much as possible, but it is difficult. If it wasn't for cell phones we would have lost them. I like the south elders a lot, they are the new missionaries in our area, they are super. I really enjoy spending time with them.

We are working our hardest to find people along with working with our members to have them find people for us to work with. There is no substitute to member missionary work. With out the support of the members here the work is extremely difficult. This ward kind of gets shocked every time transfers happens and then we have to start almost from square one again. Things are starting to look up though. Please look around and find people for the missionaries to teach.  They are every where.  Not only should the missionaries help those in need but we all should. 

I am glad to hear all is well at home.
I love you,
Elder Marshall

Tell Evan I love him! I miss him so much.
Have a great Halloween and Nevada day.
OH! My comps and the surrounding missionaries made a movie for elder Pennington's death :) IT IS SUPERB!! I will hopefully send a copy of it home soon.
I love your stinkin' guts!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Staying in Clovis

October 15
Hello everyone,
That is great to hear about Austin going to the temple! I am happy things went well for him there. 

I will make sure to pray for grandma. It is so crazy to think that the veil is so thin right before we pass, I bet she is seeing many people and hopes she will be able to tell them we love and miss them. I know that we are really right here living with our kindred dead. It is something we really don't think about or realize until we are right there by someone who is ready to pass.

I can't think to much about what I remember about Grandma...I was always to enthralled with grandpa, and didn't pay much attention to her, except when I was watching her before I left. I know she had to be a wonderful woman because grandpa wouldn't want any less than the best. She was not always the easiest to be around, but I know she had a great heart and a strong testimony.  She always had the best intentions. She loved hanging out with her friends and laughing. I remember one time at the cabin we were watching conference and she fell asleep.  We thought it would be funny to change the change make her watch UFC fighting with us, and she was completely against it at first, and then a couple minutes later she was TOTALLY into it! BITE HIM! BITE HIM! KICK HIM! hahaha We all laughed and she cheered the whole way through. 

I am staying with Elder Pennington :) I am excited. We are getting a 3rd companion though.  We will work hard to make it work. The area is also splitting again. I am not happy about it because Elder Pennington and I have worked so hard to get referrals and gain trust with the members, and now everyone we are teaching may go to the new elders coming in the area.. We'll see how everything goes. We will be moving again. I will make sure to get you the address of our new place. We are thinking we are going to be moved in with a member. I am glad that Elder Pennington and I are staying together. He is definitely one of my favorite companion.

I haven't gotten the absentee ballot thing yet, but I should be getting it soon. I want to vote!

Things are going great in the area right now! We are receiving so many referrals. The members love to have us over. We are getting people to church, and have several people ready to get baptized. I am excited to have those we are teaching gain the blessings that we have as members. We have a couple people that we were working with ask us to come back and teach them. We can not wait to continue with them.

I love you,
Elder Marshall

Right after getting this letter Elder Marshall's grandma Marshall passed away in her sleep.  We were able to call and speak with him about her.  He remember more things about her and expressed his gratitude for having such wonderful grandparents.  He also bore his testimony of the plan of salvation. He knows he will see both of his grandparents again one day.  She will be missed.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Conference was superb

October 8
Hello to my family and friends---
This past week was a little difficult, but very inspiring. My companion was really really sick. We still went out every single day and worked as hard as we could. He didn't let it slow him down. We were able to receive referrals from members and see a lot of success with all of those we are working with. There is a guy we are working with who has done chewing tobacco since he was 11. We gave him a triple combo and he said he was reading through the D&C and he opened up to section 89, and realized right then that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that he needed to live the Word of Wisdom! HOW COOL IS THAT! I am super excited for him.

I want to go to a business college and own a business because I feel like I will do well in that area. I just don't know what business I would open. But where do I go to college. I may be far away from going home, but I am tired of small planning and unsure living. I want to have a game plan of what I am going to do with the rest of my life, and I don't know where to start or what to do. I like planning ahead.  I will stop thinking about it until it is time to come home but will you look into some colleges?  I am fine with going to school a semester down at CSN. It would help me get back onto my feet and get me back into the swing of things.

My allergies are fair. I am tired of worrying about them, and I do not want to really bother anyone about them.

Saturday we find out about transfers... I really hope that Elder Pennington and I stay together. We are finally getting the wards trust, and have had several members tell us that they will be extremely upset if they whitewash us out. I know that we aren't the most perfect set of missionaries, but we work extremely hard. Elder Pennington goes home half way through next transfer. He wants to be home for Thanksgiving. He will miss 3 if he goes home after the transfer.

In the picture our neighbor posted on facebook we were in our apartment complex deep frying. We use to have parties on a regular basis to get to know the people we live with and plant seeds. We didn't think much would happen through them, but a lot of people are open to talking to the missionaries now. :)

That is crazy that Jon comes home so soon. It does seem like only the other day we were selling his truck. 

This week was a bit difficult. Elder Pennington was extremely sick, but he didn't let it stop him from working. We still went out to every teaching appointment, and went out as much as we possibly could to visit part member families or our investigators. We are doing our best to push them towards baptism. We feel like they are all ready to get baptized. Hopefully soon we will see them get baptized.

Conference was superb. I really enjoyed it. This is the first time I have had a comp where we talk about it as it goes or between speakers.

Saturday we had a couple miracles. We got 2 referrals from the talk about "ask the missionaries". It was SO great. They are very genuine people and are extremely excited about learning about the church. We see them having great success.

Mom, it makes me really happy to see Robles and Simpson get excited about getting mail. Thanks for emailing and sending notes in the mail! Thanks to Jessica too!

My suits are both looking great. I am not to worried about them. The black on we bought before I came out is in pristine condition. I get it cleaned regularly and I really only wear it to meetings. Then I take it off. I have a small nick on the cuff of one of my legs, but I am going to get that fixed soon. I really can't think of much I want or need. I will keep in mind that Christmas is coming up and come up with something you could send :)  I don't know what I want. I am pretty content with what I have. I really don't need anything more. But gift cards are fun!

Elder Marshall

Monday, October 8, 2012

Miracles happen when you work

October 1
Hey there!

It is cooling off here. We are under 100 most days, and I am loving it. We are excited for the temp change.

Things are going great with Elder Pennington and I. Our investigators that we can keep in constant contact with are doing great!  We had a church tour with one this past week he loved the church. He is very excited to get baptized soon. We are working on getting him to church with his work schedule, but hopefully soon he will come. We are thinking about how we can get him to get enough sleep to be rested for church and safe enough to drive. He is a delivery guy. Probably the funniest one EVER! We laugh with him almost the whole time we are together.

We had a miracle last night. We were able to teach someone we thought would take months to get to meet. We have an eternigator here in the ward. She has been wanting to be a member of the church for years! She has to get married before she can get baptized. She and her Common law husband have been together for 10 years and have 2 kids. Really can't talk them into moving into separate homes... definitely not good for the kids... So we went over to have a lesson with her, and she wasn't home just yet, but her Husband was outside on the phone! We were in luck! So she showed up like  a minute later and invited us in. Usually the husband will get off the phone and go straight to the back of the house and not talk to us at all. So he came in a couple minutes later and sat down on the couch! That was our first time going together and he came in and talked to us! We hit it off really well telling jokes and having a good conversation. We talked to them about getting married and the blessings that come from being married. We told them that they would be more blessed by keeping the commandments. We talked to them about signing the papers so she could get baptized. Then we talked to him about taking the lessons, and he said he would be interested in meeting with us some more! We are excited for this family! They are the hardest to work with and we are making great leaps. We are very excited for them.

Well, That's about all that is going on.

Thank you for the updates on everything going on.

I bet Brittany is ready to give birth. hahaha Most of the women in our ward are prego, well use to be a lot of them gave birth recently. Babies everywhere

I can't believe how much the grocery bill has changed since Tyler and I left, over a hundred dollars! I know we ate a lot. I have had to change a lot on what I buy to make it through the month. It is not easy having the and other necessities we need on our budget. We have to really pay attn to what we buy. It will go down again soon when Austin leaves.

I love you. Tell Austin to really prepare himself to go to the temple. I know I was not totally ready to go. I know that if he starts to study the temple prep book and really get ready to go he will love his first time through.

Elder Marshall

Thursday, September 27, 2012

This is a Great Place to be Serving the Lord

My comp and I are doing great! We are working so hard lately. This is a great area to be serving the Lord!

This past week was a little rough.. We had a bunch of appointments cancel on us Thursday so we went to the park and played baseball to relieve the stress and bring our spirits up. We were hoping we would be able to talk to some people there too but no such luck. We have been having success all over the place. We are starting to teach less-actives and help them come back to church. We are also working with part-member families too. Our investigators are doing great. We are doing our best to keep daily contact with them.

Thanks for asking if I needed new shoes or clothes.  I know you are trying to get Austin ready so you are thinking about what I am wearing.  I don't need shoes and if i do I usually go to goodwill and start looking before my shoes completely fall apart.  I got some for free from a member who helped a neighbor do a garage sale and she gave us all of the husbands business attire. I am set for slacks and shirts. Lately I will pray about how I need some more shirts or slacks cause they're getting pretty thrashed and I move area's or check other apartments and there is whatever I need :)

Austin only needs ONE SUIT for his whole mission?!?!  Won't it be cold most of the year? Make sure the clothes he buys he really likes and feels comfortable in them. I know for me if I don't like what I have to wear I can't focus on what I'm doing because it bothers me what the other person is thinking about what I am wearing. Buy shoes that are comfortable not just the first ones you see. You may be a missionary, but you still care. Austin ought to get a pair of shoes from the missionary mall where everything is guaranteed for two years. That will be really nice for him. Also Decide whether he likes the loafers or to tie his shoes everyday. I have loafers because I like to slip them on.

You should have the missionaries over for dinner and ask them how the work is going, and ask them why they are on missions and ask them questions about people they've baptized and the area's they've had success. Basically get them focused on success. Then tell them stories about your mission. Successes you've had, things like that. Then ask them how you can help tell them you notice they are struggling and you want to help the work move along. Then on the days you have a little free time text them and say "hey I want to go out teaching today. I have some free time" or have Austin do it. Keep them working. Open the house to their investigators. It may help to have the ward mission leader text them every night and ask how their day went. (The ward mission leader (WML) should build a trust relationship first) He can ask them how many lessons they taught who they taught. He should basically be a district leader. Keeping their investigators on a list checking their progress and keeping them accountable for who they are teaching. I think that it helps to be accountable. The follow up with the WML doesn't have to be long, and it could even be a text every night. A lot of the success a missionary has in the ward is based on their WML what he is willing to do and their own desire to teach.

It is a good idea for members to pass out a card. They can also do pamphlets. Have them send out a calendar around elders quorum for the elders to come out teaching with them. Like sign up for a certain day at a certain time then they can have appointments set up for them, and even if they don't they can still go out and try by potentials with them or have a referral in mind to take them to. That have worked well with us.

That would be great to talk to Austin before he goes in to the MTC.  Maybe you could call the mission president and ask. I am thinking about saving the money right when I get home to fly up and see him, and take him out to lunch or dinner if his mission president will allow it.

I am being good.. As much as possible ;) I do live on a farm now. A dairy farm. It is great! It smells terrible everyday, and my allergies are worse. I have been taking so many different allergy medicines I am about to overdose on them.  My allergies are driving me CRAZY!!!! I want to see if the doctor can find something that will work before I do that though. I have thought about kenalog shot, but I don't think I could deal with migraines again. We'll see what happens. I will keep you informed though. I would like Terry to check when he has time.

What a great blessing the gospel is to all those who hold fast!

Love you,
Elder Marshall

Monday, September 17, 2012

We Have Tons of Work to Do!

I'm glad you and dad were able to get out of town and have fun. That's neat that you were able to go on that tour. You and dad will be great senior missionaries! 

We are so busy all of the time! I love it!!

Tell Lars happy birthday! I tried to send him an email but it sent it back to me saying it couldn't send anything. I have a card I need to mail out to him, but I need to find it...

Congrats to Scott and Bethany.  I am looking froward to meeting her when I get home.  I hear Amber S is engaged to, I am happy for her. I also hear Kyle is home.  Tell him hi and can't wait to talk to him, I bet he was a great missionary.

My comp and I just moved to a dairy farm that is owned by some members. Our address is the same we just moved locations with the Spanish elders, but we still check the mail up there. I would love some mail...HINT!

The work is going GREAT! We are receiving more referrals and are having a ton of work to do. It is so exciting! We are enjoying ourselves thoroughly :) We are constantly thinking about the same thing. We are so in-tune with each other. It is so great.

We are teaching about 5 people right now. We just got about 20 people from the bishop he asked us to work with in helping them come back to church. We couldn't be anymore busy! But I wouldn't want it any other way. The people we are teaching are doing so great. One of the guys we are teaching just got evicted and has till wed to get out. We taught him how to pray, and ever since his life has been full of miracles. He had no place to store his things and he was able to sell some things that cost a great amount of money and was able to pay for a storage unit. He was able to give up drinking over night. We challenged him to go to an Addiction recovery class and that next day he chucked all of his beer and said he was done drinking! Over one night! He is incredible. 

We are working with another young man who committed to be baptized  here in a couple weeks! He felt the spirit so strong as we taught him. 

Things are going so great, and I know it is because God is blessing our lives. I know we could not be having the success we are having if we did not keep the rules, have fun, and work hard.
Elder Pennington has been out 22 months, but we aren't talking about it ;)

There Are 3 companionships in our district. Elder Robles, Elder Southwick, Elder Pennington and I, and Sister Lao, and Sister Peterson.

Covering the ward is just Elder Pennington and I. It is great though! We are so busy it is ridiculous sometimes!

We got a car last week, and it is such a blessing. We drive almost 50 miles a day trying to get to all of our appointments and stay effective. It was impossible to cover the area we were covering before on bikes.

I love you!
Elder Marshall

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Faith Needs Action

Things are great! I love my new comp! We are having a ton of fun and working really hard. We are teaching a few people. Z and her two kids. They are great! They always have good questions and love listening to the lessons we have prepared for them. They have a date planned for their baptism right now. We may have to push it back a week because of church, but we are praying that she will be able to make it to church the next few weeks. Her kids are brilliant! Z says their shy ,but they talk just fine and don't mind coming out of their rooms when we come over.

We are also teaching C-------. He is super! He is reading like we ask him to and is learning fast :) He has come to church and loves it. He says it feels like everyone is family.

The ward is doing great and they are excited to have Elder Pennington here. This last Sunday was stake conference, a lot of the ward members sought us out and introduced themselves to him and expressed how happy they were to have us. Hopefully we will start having dinners again soon.

Elder Robles is in the Spanish branch in the area here. He just got his calling as senior companion, trainer and district leader. The mission calls it the trinity call. He is excited, and besides him having a little cold he is doing a great job. I am glad to be able to keep working with him. 

Jason should do a great job as ward mission leader. He was great as the Elder Quorum President so I'm sure things will get done with him. 

I'm excited to hear where Austin is going!!! I know he will be a great missionary

Happy Birthday Lars!!! I know it is next week.

There are some great people who live in my apartment complex.  We love spending time with them!  Most nights we are able to spend out in the courtyard with them after we plan and relax and joke around.

That is sad to hear about your cousin dying. I wish things turned out better for him. It is sad to see how controlling Lucifer is. He is so powerful! We all must be on our guard. His only desire is to destroy us. It is also sad about Dlyan's Grandma Graff.

I love what you had to say about faith being a verb, it requires action. It is neat to think that without faith we have absolutely no reason to act. Why would we go out to start our car if we didn't have faith it would work. Why would do so most things if we didn't have faith. It gives us reason to act. Reason to believe. It is the first principle we teach in the Gospel. There is a reason for that. If we did not have faith we could not repent, we would have no desire to be baptized, or endure to the end. I know that faith is one of the most important principles we should have. It gives us reason to have desire. I know how powerful faith is. There is a quote by Elder Baxter of the 70 who came here a while back he was asked "How do we gain more faith?" He replied, "If we are to gain more faith we are to act as if our faith is already to the magnitude in which we desire it to be." ...or fake it till you make it! :) i know that it is true. I have tried it. I started acting as if I had that faith, and I have started to receive so many blessings.

I love you! I miss you so much! I hope all is magnificent!
Elder Marshall

Thursday, September 6, 2012

New Companion Same Area

Hello everyone!

That is so sad to hear that the Weedman's son in law got hit on his motorcycle! I hope he gets better soon. I will remember him in my prayers.I am excited mom are able to be a sub seminary! She always do a great job :) 

I have a testimony of the importance of coordination meetings.  Coordination meeting is VITAL to missionary work. It keeps the ward on task and keeps the missionaries going and everyone of them accountable. If there is no ward mission leader or he is unwilling or unable to have the meeting the ward missionaries should hold meetings.  We often hold ours on Saturday so they can account for their whole week of work, and the WML or Ward Missionary can report the progress in PEC and Ward Council.  I have had some great ward mission leaders.  Makes me respect dad more for all he did while he was in the calling.  

I bet Austin loved the fireside with Brad Wilcox.  He is such a great speaker. I wish I could go to his fireside.  I enjoyed the one I went to before I left.  You are lucky to have speakers come to Henderson.  We would love to have someone come and speak to the youth.  It is a great motivation for getting people excited about the gospel.

So I have a new companion! Elder Pennington! He is way tight! He's from Washington. I am so excited to be serving with him! I am still in Clovis still the same address. We are covering all of Clovis and a few out lying towns. Also we are on bikes! We need a car so bad. We have a request to get one so hopefully it comes soon because it will be impossible to be productive in this area without one. Neither of us know much about part of our area so it will be exciting to work everything.
I'm glad Austin wrote me a letter and to hear that he had a ton of fun out there on his mini mission! Sounds like he was able to go to a lot of baptisms! That is way neat! The only baptisms we are able to go to is our own unless there is one near by and can get an investigator to go to.  I am looking forward to hearing where he is going on his mission! I will miss seeing him for almost 4 years.  Crazy!  Study and get to know the lessons really well!

I hope you are doing well!  Studying your scriptures and praying a lot, it makes things go better. 

I am thankful to be serving the Lord and thankful for all of the letters I get.  Thanks to everyone who remembers me in their prayers.

Love ya,
Elder Marshall

Monday, August 27, 2012

Super Cool Experience

Hey there everyone!

That's great to hear that you got a good rain this past week. The whole nation needs a good rain to bring them out of this drought. I think it's pretty ironic that two thirds of this planet is covered in water, but we don't have enough... hmm.. lol!

That's exciting that Austin could be on his mission soon! I bet he is loving going on his mini mission. Is he using those shirt stays I got him? and are they helping him out at all? like keeping his shirt in? (Not all untucked like a marshmallow) also I know he probably doesn't want to learn it, but have him learn how to sew. It will help. I always have to get Sister Lao to sew everything of mine. haha

HAWAII! That's exciting! I hope you two enjoy the heck out of it! Are you two going to visit Zed? I miss him. How is he and Tiara and their baby doing? 

So we had a super cool experience this past week! We were walking home Wednesday from the college library after our email to president. We had turned down a couple of rides because we had been praying about finding someone we can help. We both felt that we should walk all day until we found someone. So we walked up to the Central Baptist Church here in town. We have an investigator that works there and we told her we would go on a tour of the church. The church is set up very nice, and there are many great things in there. We left there and kept walking. It was about 5 o'clock and we were over by the mall. There was a Jeep that pulled over with an Air Force guy in it and he asks us if we want a ride. We had turned down a couple rides before hand from those we knew, but we looked at each other shrugged our shoulders and jumped in! We talked to him a little and found out that he is a less-active member. He has been less-active for 5 years! He told us that he had been praying and thinking about how he could get back into church, and there we were on the side of the road! An answer to his prayers! What a neat experience! As we talked on the drive home with him we are going to start teaching him. He committed to pick us up for church too. Yesterday morning there he was in the drive at our apartments! His first time to church in 5 years. I am sure his mother is over joyed! Ken is going to be a great active member when he gets back from training!  It is interesting to me how God had plans to answer both of our prayers at the same time.
I know that God loves each of us. I know that He always has our best interest in mind. He is there to guide us as long as we are willing to submit to His will and listen to the guidance the Spirit gives us.

Let Jessica know that I love her. I am grateful for the doodles she sends me! Also let her know that the reason I ask for others to get her doodles is a way of me bragging ;) Just kidding- seriously!  I love to see how happy it makes others to get things in the mail from her. It is a sight to see. I love how to watch them open up the mailbox see a letter sitting there and act like they just got free candy :) And hers are the best.

My finger is still attached :) I haven't had any accidents lately. I may be a klutz, but I have kept it under control as far as the harming myself anymore.

I am starting a quote book. Well I have been doing it for a while now. I have a book now that I keep in my pocket that is specifically for quotes. P-- and H----- know all about it. (their investigators that live in our complex) They end up getting quoted quite frequently. Usually funny things they say. One of the quotes I have in my book really stands out to me.
Continuous effort---not strength or intelligence--is the key to unlocking our potential.
-Winston Churchill
Endure to the end and rely on God.

I am happy to hear all is well with you! :) I love you!
Elder Marshall

I got the CD from the Walker's!  Thanks for it!
Happy Birthday GMA!
Love you!
Elder Marshall

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Two Weeks - Birthday, Zoo & BBQ

Hello to everyone! August 13

I wanted to call Austin the other day to see how he is doing and what is going on with his mission papers.  Tell him I am excited to hear where he is going!! He will be such an awesome missionary.  He has such a good attitude towards the work and serving other.

Before I go on I wanted to talk about my birthday tell you what happened and so forth. So in the morning I woke up and started to get ready to go, and My companion and I left the apartment to meet the sisters. We walk the park every morning. So we got out to the front of the complex and I called to see where they were. They lied and said they were to tired to walk so I headed back to the apartment, and they had snuck in and were decorating the apartment. Then they came over and made waffles on my waffle maker for breakfast. Sister Lao wrapped up all the presents I got from home- haha even though I had seen them already, oops I wasn't supposed to say that. Then at 11 after studies we all went and got lunch and had lunch at the park. It was nice.  After that my companion and I went to the zoo, which is terrible... lol it's the second largest zoo in NM but it is pretty sad, compared to some of the ones we have been to.... It was neat to see some of the animals though. I enjoyed it. After that we went home and the sisters had bought papa Murphy's Chicago pizza and we had that for dinner. It really meant a lot to me that they went out of their way to make the day special to me. I was really grateful for everything they did! Thank you Sister Loa and Peterson! You two are the best!

I did get the cards from you and dad. The came Monday, but that's okay :) Thank you so much. Tell Linda and Rebecca Thank you also! :)  I'll just buy a thank you card and send it to the office for everyone who thought of me. I loved opening cards for more than a week.

I got an email from Tyson, and then one from Brittany the other day. It was so good to hear form them. I miss them so much. I hope things start looking up for them. I love them both so much and I am so happy that they are happy. :)

The work is going good. I am thankful for all the people we are teaching! 

Thanks for everything you do! I love you so much.
Elder Marshall

August 20
Momma, I miss your face too!

This week was SO MUCH BETTER. We actually had things to do and almost the whole week.

Last night was FREAKIN BOSS! We had a BBQ out in the court yard of our apartment complex. I made a couple blueberry pies that were delicious. There was so much food that not all of it was eaten. There were about 12 people that showed up. We had a lot of fun we were able to get to know the people around us better. We are now teaching a young soon to be married couple that lives in our complex along with their friends. It was very successful, and I couldn't have asked for a better night.

There were a lot of people that brought things like chicken to bbq and so forth. we put it together and planned it all out and talked to a bunch of the residence in the complex and invited them to come and bring something if they wanted. It was nice to meet so many of our neighbors.

OH just throwin a shout out to my good friend Sister Hinton's little brother! She told me that he was reading my blog. Sister Hinton and I were in the MTC together. She is a super missionary and ultra funny. She is always doing goofy things to get everyone laughing.

We had Zone Conference this past week and we were able to go to Lubbock for it.  Elder Johnson of the 70 came and spoke to us. He did an excellent job. He opened it up to questions there at the end which was great to be able to communicate to him.

So I was thinking about the gospel a lot in church yesterday. Specifically how we become complacent in our beliefs. It is very easy to get into the habit and just do it just because we are expected to do it. Like going to church, reading our scriptures, or praying. Why do we do those things? Is it because we feel obligated to do them or we just do them because they are so engrained into our daily lives we just do them out of habit. We shouldn't be that way about the gospel. We should have a drive and a desire to do the things we are commanded because of the love we have for our Father in Heaven. Reading the scriptures just to do it won't be as effective or satisfying as when we pick up the scriptures with a determination to draw closer to God. The same goes with going to church. We will not get as much gain from it as we could if we are just going it to do it because we are expected to do it. I know that as we live the gospel standards with a drive to draw closer to our Father in Heaven our spiritual growth will drastically increase.

Oh for Austin to have a great object lesson to do I am going to try and record myself teaching a couple lessons one with a tea bag and the other with blocks. They have helped me out in teaching the doctrine that we are asked to teach. How is Austin doing with teaching the lessons? I hope he is loving being a missionary.  It can be so rewarding! That's great that they are living at a members home. Definitely send him his ipod. I would die out here without mine.

As we learn to love the gospel we have a desire to live it.  Living it bring the light of Christ into the world.

Transfers are in a TWO weeks--- in case anyone wants to mail me something.

Love YA
Elder Marshall

Monday, August 6, 2012

Two Weeks... Happy Birthday

Hello!!! (August 6)

I got TONS and TONS of cards every day leading up to my birthday.  I am terrible at writing people back, and I am SO SORRY! I am so thankful for all of the birthday wishes. Hearing from home made my birthday great!  I love getting mail!! All missionaries do.  It was so exciting everyday to go to the mailbox and find TONS of mail in most of it was for me!!  Thanks for the happiest of birthdays! BTW.... I didn't get the cologne, but it could have come today. I will let you know when I get it.

I am so excited for Scott. I hope they decide to use the timeshare because they will enjoy it EXTREMELY! The time shares are so nice to use. There are so many we have loved going to. 

 Tell Austin that it sucks to study. Lets be real. I don't enjoy getting up and studying, but to teach something I don't know is impossible. Pray before you study, ask God to help you learn how to love studying. Then as you are studying pray and ask for help to remember it, and then after you study pray and ask if what you have studied is true. IT IS POINTLESS TO STUDY AND THEN NOT ASK FOR GOD TO TESTIFY TO YOU OF WHAT YOU STUDY. I know when I read the Book of Mormon I read in my head as if I was narrating a play, and try to make it dramatic and exciting. As I do that I don't want to put the book down. Preach my Gospel section 2. read it over.

Sharing the gospel makes such a huge difference in lives. I've realized talking about the gospel, and growing in it together with someone; especially sharing your testimony, will make a friendships that is unbreakable. I've seen it in so many lives. Those that I have taught are so important to me. I would give anything for them.

Things are going well here. We have several investigators with many struggles. Some of the things we are not allowed to council with them about, and it makes it very difficult, but we are helping them to learn how to pray and receive revelation about their struggles. We are doing everything we know how to do to help them.

The other day we had about 20 minutes till 9 and we had gone in. When we got in we both felt that we needed to go knocking. Which is not easy to do late in the evening. So we decided that we would just knock the houses right by our apartment. We knocked 3 doors and nothing. The 4th door a woman in her late 20's answered the door.  She was very apprehensive at first. We talked to her and she knew some members of the church, and then we found out her husband is LDS and that his whole family is! She told us that missionaries have never talked to her in Clovis, but the missionaries in Utah had and they were very pushy. She said she didn't want to know anything about the church but would be willing to have us over for dinner. So Sunday evening we went over to her house with the sisters for dinner and had a good talk. She asked us questions about things and we just talked and talked and.. yeah.. talked some more. Then after dinner she texted us and told us she would like to hear more about the church!!! :D SO TIGHT!

Well that's all for now folks.
I love you!
Elder Marshall

Hey, (August 1)

Hope all is well with everyone!  New Mexico is hot and dry but I love the people here.

That's so great to hear that Austin is getting involved in so many things, church and sports. I hope he finds a friend, a solid best friend. I love knowing Tyler and Matt were always there for me and know that I am making great friends here that will be with me through my life.  I hope Austin gets his call soon.  The sooner he leaves the soon I will see him. 

I am going to miss Evan. I hope he remembers once a Marshall always a Marshall.

Building relationships as a family is so important.  Praying as a family. FHE may seem unnecessary when there are only two or if you have a young family, but it really will bless them. Taking time every night to talk to each other about their day things that are bugging them or things they love about each other. Praying together helps to building a relationship.  They could even go early in the morning and take a walk around the park. There are a lot of things that can be done to build a great relationship. Marriage is sacred.  What a great blessing the temple is too.  Attending often gives you a sense of peace.  I miss being so far away from the temple.

Things are going well. We are teaching a couple people that are great.  I have been fasting and praying more than I have in my entire life.  I am reading a lot in the Book of Mormon. I have been going through King Mosiah's speech. It is so great to be able to receive revelation through the scriptures. God loves us!

I love you. 
Elder Marshall  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

All in the Lord's Time

Elder Marshall's birthday is August 4.  
If you would like to send him a card his address is:
 2100 Mitchell apt 11 Clovis, 
New Mexico 88101 

Hey everyone-
So transfer rumor is I am staying in Clovis North with Elder Krizin. I have a feeling I will be with him until the end of his mission, 12 more weeks.  Sister Lao is staying and she is training, and Sister Sekona is leaving :( to Lubbock. Sister Lao is training Sister Peterson. Sister Lao is really stressed about it, but I know she'll do a great job. She is a great missionary

As far as the waiting for Austin's papers goes- Stop stressing about it. I know you are excited. And the longer it takes for his papers the longer before the whole family is together again but the Lord is in charge.  The other day I was talking to Sister Lao about how it took pretty much forever to get her papers in. Her stake president went on a vacation for like 2 months right before her papers got to him, and before that her bishop was taking forever to get them through. We talked about how it was frustrating for her to wait forever, but it seemed to be the right timing. If her papers had been in when she sent them in she may not have ever met the people she had, or even came to this mission. I know the Lord has it all planned out even when it takes forever for things to happen. It's in the Gods hands. Breathe! 

Oh I forgot Laura was doing the surrogate mother thing. That is so neat. I'm sure it is a blessing for them, and those who have always wanted their own children.

Happy birthday to Knox and Soleil! Last Tuesday....

My finger is doing well. It hurts when I bump it and to touch things with it is kinda weird. It hasn't popped off though. I don't know if Terry is still checking my finger. It seems to be healing well. I am a little nervous that the nail will become ingrown, but the dr said, "Let's just leave it the h... alone, and it should be fine."   ......ok.... 

The people we are teaching are well. We are working with a couple right now to help them get married. I feel bad we will go with them to a members house for dinner and then we'll start talking and then the member teaches the importance of marriage. it's been like 7 lessons in a row... It is insane. It is starting to get to the point to where I think they are thinking we are planning this to guilt them into getting married faster. But they are great!

We are working with a couple other people right now.  I am glad we are teaching.  I just hope they understand what we are teaching them.
What would an absentee vote do? Do they even count? or do they just disregard them? I don't really know who to vote for because I can't follow any politics. But, I 'd like a ballot.  I know it's important to voice our thoughts so we can complain if it doesn't go MY WAY!!!

I did get the most recent package. I opened it, then realized I probably shouldn't have... lol I didn't really look through it though.

A couple of thoughts
The other day I realized how some of us say things that are so repetitive in our prayers. We say good thing, but they just seem to stay affixed to something along the same lines. I was listening to one of the sisters investigators pray, and he was so humble when he prayed. He really talked about things that matter to him. He prayed about his wife, things he was struggling with. I know that man knows God. He has a relationship with him. The spirit was overwhelming after he closed the prayer. I know of the power of prayer. God listens. He wants to bless us, to talk to us, to love us. Some food for thought, If love is spelled t i m e, how much do we love God.

Sometimes companionships are hard!   WE are all children of God.  If the other or what he thinks of himself as normal, elders would just remember God has placed us there with that person. It is a commandment to endure to the end. We must endure happily. I know I struggle myself, but I just have to remind myself that I must humble myself as our Savior did in Gethsemane and do what God has planned for me. I may not want to, but it is what God has planned. Not my will, but His will. 

The district is much larger now.  Elder Brown is the DL. I don't know him, but I've heard he's cool. Less stress!

Thank you for everything you do for me. I love you so much. I miss you.
Elder Marshall 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

1 Million Steps


A couple good things have happened this past week. We went out and went tracting. We had pulled up in front of a house with a bunch of cars and my companion got a little upset with me because people sometimes freak out when someone parks in front of their house. Well, a man came out to smoke, and I got out and walked up to him. We started teaching and he put out his cigarette. Then he started asking questions and the lesson went well. We left him with a copy of the Book of Mormon and committed him to do a couple things. When we left we went and knocked on several neighbors doors after about 45 minutes we went back to the car, and he was still sitting there reading the Book of Mormon. While we were out knocking we saw another guy out working on his car. He was putting a new stereo in and couldn't quite get it figured out. I hopped in the car and set it all up while Elder Krizin talked to him. We went back a few days later and we were able to soft commit him and his wife to baptism.

I had leadership training this past week on Wednesday. It was pretty good.

My finger is healing pretty well. Still pink!

Don't worry about the cologne. I would love to have it, but it doesn't matter. I smell good anyway:) 

Oh one more thing I just hit 1 million steps. I'm sure I'm way over that because I don't keep it on all the time, but I just hit it today.

I love you. The church is true. I am grateful for the atonement.
Thank you for everything you do for me.

Elder Marshall

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Three Weeks

June 25

I got the package! Thank you for all of the 'hugs!" They were great to read :) Thanks for the early birthday gifts.  I will put them to good use.  Don't forget E Simpson's birthday is at the end of the month.  You should mail things before transfers on the 24th.  I think that is also his actual birthday.  My district really enjoyed the card games. We played phase 10 for a while the other day. That was a lot of fun. I can't remember how to play nerts... I am going to have to see if I can find some instructions for it or someone can send them to me.

Happy Birthday to the best dad in the world!

Thanks Jessica for the wonderful doodles... they make me smile.

I like my area. I am still getting use to it.  I hate white washing because neither of us know anything about the area, and neither of us know the investigators. Most of the time missionaries pride themselves in white washing an area, but I feel like we have too much interrupted service
, but the Lord put us both here for a reason, so we will work.

I'm in a ward. Elder Krizin and I cover basically everything north of 21st and a little bit more, and the sisters cover everything south of 21st. We cover the same ward. 

That's great to hear that Austins papers are in to the Bishop! I'm excited for him. Maybe He'll come to the TLM and I'll train him. :) 

Well I don't really have anything to say. I'm exhausted, and my mind is empty. I am grateful for the gospel. Life is better when the Lord is on your side.

I have a ton of stamps. I am not very good at writing people back. I love them and I want them to know I am grateful for the letters, but I really just suck at writing. If I had to write you once a week I would probably break my hand so I didn't have to hand write anymore... 

I love you,
Elder Marshall

July 2
Hello everyone-
I am sure by now all of you have seen the picture of me with a bandage on my finger.  If not, it is on facebook and thank you Jessica Swapp for taking care of that for mom.  Some things she is great at and others...well lets just say I love my momma. I thought y'all would enjoy the picture. The ward sure opened up to me on Sunday. Usually when someone gives them the "Bird" they close off, but they all loved it. I had so many pictures taken of me!

It is really hard to type.... I finally got good at using all of my fingers and now I can't use one. I am okay :) I am glad Sister 
Augustin  was able to call and let you know I am alright.  I do feel good at least the Sisters were at our door and could take us right away to the hospital. My Dr was great. She had me come back last night, Sunday, When she began her shift so she could look at it rather than hand me off to someone else. She said it should be fine and it will heal up well. The color was in the tip of my finger so it shouldn't fall off :)

I Don't know if Sister Augustin told you what happened or not. I was putting on my companions front bike tire, and it has disk brakes. (I would send a picture, but I forgot my cord.) We spun the tire to get it to true up, and then I was going to pinch it down to keep it in alignment.  When I pushed the lever down my finger got caught in the disk (there are holes in it)  and it cut me. I have a pretty good laceration and a fracture of the distal phalanx.

Happy Birthday DAN!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope he liked his stuffed shells.  Italian food is what he loves the most. Happy birthday to Uncle Steve and Ha Ora Hewlen, I can't believe he is one, not Uncle Steve!  And of course...Happy Happy Birthday Austin!!

We had a lot of fun this past week. We worked at the food bank a lot to help them get ready for the week they are having off. It is nice to be able to do service.
Sorry I would type more, but it's hard... I keep hitting my finger on the keyboard.

The church is true.  Everyone should hand out pass along card, feed missionary, have discussions in your home and pray for missionaries.
I love you,
elder Marshall

July 10

Hey, I don't have much I want to talk about. I'm kinda frustrated right now. I spent well over an hour in a drs office to talk to him for about 2 minutes. I understand they're busy, but it bugs me. I have never been good at hurry up and wait! My finger is healing well.

My finger is good. I have to keep the bandage off as much as possible. it is weird cause it looks gross, at least that's what everyone else says.

That's good to hear that Austin had a good birthday. The card I sent is pretty funny... Pirates always make me laugh.  I hope he enjoyed it.

I don't have anything super great that has been happening.  

Well. I wish I had something exciting to say... but I don't. I'm really just emailing so you know I'm alive.  

Jesus wants us for Sunbeams...share your light with someone this week.

I love you,
Elder Marshall

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Clovis, New Mexico

Hello everyone,

I am being transferred and have a ton of things to do so this will be really short!  I am serving with Elder Krizin in Clovis, New Mexico.  If you have heard that name before it is because we have served together already.  I am the district leader and we have 4 people in our district.  The two of us and a set of sisters.  I don't know much about the area but the address is 2100 Mitchell apt 11 Clovis, New Mexico 88101.  

I will really miss Midland and Elder Rose.  We were a great team and had a lot of fun with the members and those were taught. There are some wonderful people there!

It is so great to know that our Heavenly Father loves us enough to care for us as individuals!

Gotta run...Love to everyone,
Elder Marshall
Oh, the church is true!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

So Grateful For This Gospel


You asked if we can go I get to go to baptisms in my district.  If there is a baptism in the area we are allowed to go if we have an investigator.  I would like to go to them all especially those I interviewed.  There is such a great spirit that is at baptisms. 

Not to much has happened this week for us. We are out working, but it's been slow, and kinda hectic as you can tell I ended up having to email you on Thursday.

We are working with a few people who are wonderful!  

It breaks my heart to hear about people doing thing they know are wrong or breaking commandments, but I can't control anyone's agency, that was satan's plan. I know we teach and talk about what is right and wrong. It is agency, but to every choice their is a consequence or reaction. We will be judged for our actions especially those we are making when we KNOW what is right or wrong. It tears me up inside to know people I love are not living up to their potential... Thank goodness for the atonement.  We all can use it as often as we need it.

I am so grateful for this gospel. I am grateful for the Book of Mormon, and the rest of the canon of scripture we have. I know that Joseph Smith is a Prophet. It's either that or he is the greatest con-artist in the world. I know with out a doubt that the Prophet Joseph Smith was directed and lead by God. It is undeniable. God loves us. I know that. I know he wants the best for us even if it means we have to go through trials to learn. We are to become more like God. We can do that as we endure through our trials with a determination, and a joy knowing that we are becoming like God. I know that Thomas Spencer Monson is a prophet of God. Listening to him speak is so soothing. I know that he is directed by God. I am forever grateful for the doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ. It makes logic sense and you can feel the spirit as you study it. 

I love you,
Elder Marshall 

PS I am jealous you were all at the cabin, but I bet you are jealous I am serving a mission!  I can't wait to go to the cabin again. We have fun going with the Walker's. I love that game we play where we all act things out.  We all look silly but do it anyway because we all like to WIN!!! I guess next year Marissa and I will be back, and the year after Craig. You'll just have to wait till then to see who is on the winning team.  

I saw some of the photos of the office! It looks great!! Congrats Dad on all of your hard work. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

God Love Us

Hey Everyone;

This week was excellent!!  I was able to interview a couple people for baptism. I love interviewing for baptism. Usually it takes about 20 minutes, but we end up talking for over an hour. I love how strong the spirit is as we talk. One I did Sunday I was almost in tears, and it wasn't anything in particular she said. It was the power of her testimony and the spirit in the room. I love this church. I am so grateful for the divinity of the doctrine we have. I know everything we teach to be true. I know of the love God has for each and every single one of us. It is proven to us through everything we teach. We have a prophet, we have the opportunity to live with our families for eternity, Christ's church was restored, the priesthood is on the earth, we have truth through the Book of Mormon, the Prophet and other scriptures.  All of these things show us of how much God loves us. I can not express how wonderful this is to me. I am so grateful for this truth.

We had Zone Conference this past week. That went well. We were able to have some time as a Zone to play games and relax. It was pretty nice.

Oh we have a new mission office address right now.
The new address for the mission office is:

Texas Lubbock Mission
6310  114th Street
Lubbock, Texas  79424

I guess if you have anything to send around the time of transfers you can send it there. Transfers is the 12th & 13th that Tuesday and Wednesday.  We will find out next Saturday if we get moved, not this up coming one the 9th.

Oh I spoke to soon about the MICE. They're BACK. Well at least we got a couple more. We know right where the hole is so now we can shove some steel wool in there. I guess that prevents them from coming back in. I HOPE!!

Oh, my birthday is coming up... hint hint...I need razor foils, my razor is a remington. I need to find out what the model number is to the razor so you can get more foils. My foil now has a hole in it and it hurts like flippin crazy to shave, but I got a manual razor until I can get some new foils. Oh in the next package can you send me my cologne. the one million. the one that looks like a gold bar? Don't forget the gummy worms!

I can't really think of to much new that's going on.
I love you.
Elder Marshall