Letters Home

July 11th – to James and Nina Meals

Im in the obregon mission…serving in Jardines, obregon.
Paseo las palmas #390, col. Jardines Del valles
Obregon, Sonora 85198
Mexico
glad tyo hear you guys are taking a little break! well deserved and needed! I feel so bad for how i treated you both…before my misision..hw ungreatful i was…being in poverty has taught me alot now i realize what its like to live alone to live on your own doollars…the lucuries ive really had all my life that people here just dont have…please just know i truley from the depths oof my soul shrink at the thought of how nasty i was…how ungreatful…i am sorry. Sooo my week. We have been working with 3 inactive famlies…two went to church this week…one girls son was able to recive her baby blessing because they were there. Theres sooooooo much opposition from satan this week. It feels like sometimes the proogress we make he can just stamp on it. Raymond relapsed last night. After he went to church and was feeling great..his friend called him over and asked him to stay with him and drink. While he was remembered somehow how he felt in church and left…found us and really just poured his heart out. It´s scary to realize for somepeople im really in christs shoes they look to a 19yr old americian who cant speak thier language perfectly for support for guidance for protection for reassurance for love…to be a tool for healing in thier lives. Be that as it may…For a fact when i speak words of council guidance and reassurance to all…the spirt comes strong to me lifts a weak 21yr oold and gives power in what i do. This week I had a neat experiance. We have been trying to get ahold of a lady named consolo for quite some time. We were long past her house when i felt bad…I told my companion we need too go back and contact consolo. so we did. she was finally home…but the whole way to her house part of the time…i felt doubts or worried that it wasnt really the spirt directing me in that moment. But sure enough we have an appointment with her now and that is a blessing. I´m still having a bit of problems with the other elders. That is due I realize to my own faults..while i do try to be obedient…there is the other side of it of having a loving heart always. That is also a comandment. While in other good parts…maria is so happy and i cnfirmed her a member of the church sunday and gave her a blessing. The spirt spoke and some of the things I would not of normally been able too say i said. Felix went to church this week too! thats really exciting and amazing to me..he came late but came he did! Angela and Homberto didnt come this week and have stopped progressing we have great lessoons with them, i know they have testimonies both. but they havnt be keeping comitments we give them. I fear…That if they dont change we may have to let things be…and leave it for other missionaries later on, that maybe noow isnt the time for them. I´m not here to baptise people. im here to help and be a representative of christ! So for me i have a goal to only baptise people that are ready and that will remain strong and that i feel through the spirt are ready! It´s been good to have the spirit be my guide. Without it…theres no way to help, guide and invite others to coome to chirst. it makes all the diffrence. I hope everything stays good at home. With good and success though comes opposition. ALWAYS. Never can we let our gaurds down, never can we not be prepared and strong with the lord. There are moments for me where im not and thats when satan strikes me. He´s good at what he does, but thank godness for repentance and our desires. The make all the diffrence in our lives.
I love you both…enjoy your week away and thanks for everything i love youy both a toon!
E.M.

July 8th – to Mom
Happyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy Birthdayyyyy!!!!!! I love you mom…hearing from you all, made my day….I really do need the support and emails from everyone….My work is great! But like everyone I’m susceptable to a bad day now and again…the emails carry me through the week! It´s fun and funny to hear how everyone is! Makes me miss you all! I´m humbled and feel less then adequate for all these blessing you guys receive from my service…it builds me up knowing that people can grow and feel my spirit hundreds of miles away. Sooo my week. We have been working with 3 in active families…two went to church this week…one girl’s son was able to receive his baby blessing because they were there. There’s sooooooo much opposition from satan this week. It feels like sometimes the progress we make he can just stamp on it. Raymondo relapsed last night. After he went to church and was feeling great..his friend called him over and asked him to stay with him and drink. While he was remembered somehow how he felt in church and left…found us, and really just poured his heart out. It´s scary to realize for some people I’m really in Christ’s shoes. They look to a 19yr old American, who can’t speak their language perfectly for support, for guidance, for protection, for reassurance, for love…to be a tool for healing in their lives. Be that as it may…For a fact, when I speak words of council, guidance, and reassurance to all…the spirit comes strong to me, lifts a weak 21yr old, and gives power in what I do. This week I had a neat experience. We have been trying to get a hold of a lady named Consolo for quite some time. We were long past her house when I felt bad…I told my companion, we need too go back and contact Consolo, so we did. She was finally home…but the whole way to her house, part of the time…I felt doubts or worried that it wasn’t really the spirit directing me in that moment. But sure enough, we have an appointment with her now and that is a blessing. I´m still having a bit of problems with the other elders. That is due I realize to my own faults..while I do try to be obedient…there is the other side of it, of having a loving heart always. That is also a commandment. While in other good parts, Maria is so happy and I confirmed her a member of the church Sunday and gave her a blessing. The spirit spoke and some of the things I would not of normally been able too say I said. Felix went to church this week too! That’s really exciting and amazing to me. He came late but came he did! Angela and Homberto didn’t come this week and have stopped progressing. We have great lessons with them. I know they have testimonies, but they haven’t been keeping commitments we give them. I fear…That if they don’t change we may have to let things be…and leave it for other missionaries later on, that maybe now isn’t the time for them. I´m not here to baptize people. I’m here to help and be a representative of Christ! So for me, I have a goal to only baptize people that are ready and that will remain strong and that I feel through the spirit are ready! It´s been good to have the spirit be my guide. Without it…there’s no way to help, guide and invite others to come to Chirst. It makes all the difference. I hope everything stays good at home. With good and success though comes opposition. ALWAYS. Never can we let our guards down, never can we not be prepared and strong with the lord. There are moments for me where I’m not and that’s when satan strikes me. He´s good at what he does, but thank goodness for repentance and our desires. The make all the difference in our lives.
Love,
E.M.

July 1st – to Mom
So my week….It’s been great and bad…but then again all things that are bad pass over! Maria was baptized….so that cancels the other bad’s out totally! It was beautiful…Shes amazing…shes been paying her tithing every week…shes a member that will be a member for the rest of her life…faithful, reads the scriptures daily, prays, feels the spirit….Next Sunday…I get to give her the gift of the holy ghost…in Spanish…Need to start practicing…oh and I sang at Maria’s Baptism…Everyone said it was good so, I guess I did okay 🙂 One little funny side note…since I am human still…haha The sister who introduced us to Maria, her daughter was in town, and we locked her in the font and made her clean it…I have some nice funny pictures…She was pretty cool about it and afterwords I had her mentioned and thanked for her service to the baptism lol….umm lets see…oh yeah! Raymondo went to the baptism…he’s been progressing, still sober…and he talked with me after about his baptism..and mentioned I could be the one to baptize him! We are working with the bishop…he’s changed and is fired up! We went and visited less active part member families and hes giving us references and work to do…the work here has now tripled!!! Love that!!:) The coolest part was Sunday…he gave a talk about missionary work, complemented us, and basically said the ward needs to step it up and do their part! I’ve also made friends with some of the gangsters..not good friend,s but they let us pass by everyday, offer us beer and food…thank,s but no thanks! They like us missionaries! There’s only one part tha’ts a problem now…the new missionaries that are in our area. Their house hasn’t gotten any water at all…and so they have been staying with us…these two are DEAD elders…one is in his final transfer..not that that seems to be any different from the rest of his mission…they all stay up to 12 or later and keep waking me up…but for me I’ve been perfect for 3days now of 10:30 in bed, 6:30 out of bed. That’s progress…I have my new alarm now so that is not a problem anymore. They wake up when they wake up..no idea…but they have been dragging my companion down…Ive been officially put out of the friend circle cause I wanna be obedient. They even had me to the point of using the scriptures to try and justify that being too obedient is a bad thing…the whole lawyer side came out and that sure didn’t work…but I felt bad after cause I wasn’t being patient…or showing love! So I said sorry…and vowed to not argue with them anymore..they can do what they think is right…and I’ll just keep doing what the lord wants! I just feel sad that there’s nothing I can do, because I lost my temper and argued. There’s no way I can change them with my example now..anything I say is just stupid. But after I read more of king Benjamin’s address…it has a part about we are nothing…which with my ugly Spanish, I’m really not. But keeping the commandments is all God wants us to do. Oh yeah!!! Felix!! One more thing we met him and his wife…I bought him dinner…but uhh totally worth it!!! He’s got a real desire to know more about the church…he agreed to the first lesson which we taught, his wife didn’t wanna sit in…but she slowly moved in and helped with the lesson…gotta love that…they really opened up, have been reading the BOM and next week we are going to have them to church and get the plan of salvation down. Like I said, we have so many new investigators, in actives and everything I have no idea how we are going to manage it all now…our lessons went from 3 on average to 6 this week a day, some more, some less…next week even more…The lord has truely blessed me in spite of my infirmities…my weaknesses and my natural self. All I know is that I love this life, this work, these people, and my Savior! I can’t wait for p-day to be over so we can start the next week! So much to be done..so many people to help! My Spanish grows everyday…I understand almost everything these days…total of the lessons…All I can say is thanks every single day to my Heavenly Father…It’s not really me serving him…once again It’s him serving me…giving me the only way to be this happy!

June 24th – to Mom
Lets see, hmmm…Well raymondo went to church sunday so did maria. Next Sunday is her baptism. We talked to her two days ago, and its for sure now:) shes all about it! Raymondo 11days no drinks and he loved church. He hs really changed! He Said I love class, as i told him he would, he asked if he can come back every week, of course i told him he could;) So hes progressing! Sadly no homberto or angela at church:/ that means angela cant be baptised the day we had set, she will have to be a week later, she needs to go 2 more times!!! Its frustrating cause she knows its true and she wants to be baptized, just a matter of waking up in the morning!!! My comp. changed, I was supprised but hes working harder now and ready to change his way, whatever i said, the next day he felt really sad and asked for ablessing, then he just changed and went into work mode with me, so maybe i said the right things i dont know! I also had a nice old talk with the bishop….he flat out told me, i helped the missionaries, and gave them refrences, and they ended up ruining the opertunitys…I told him, that was the case, and there hasnt been a baptism in 10months, but i came here to work, to serve you and the people here, not be a burden, he was a bit taken back but said get me a list of things you need, and ill give you a directory of inactives, hes willing to help, i couldnt blme him…the other elders had killed that option, thats why theres been no support. so hopfully we can change that up! Lets see, i idk, it was a good week, everyone is pretty much progressing, we have a few new investagaitors. Alouis was sick for 4days this week, so i gave her a blessing in spanish, that was diffrent, she asked that i give it, so i said of course, incouraged her to have faith and be healed. That was neat to do in spanish! I havnt had a chance to talk to her, but im sure she was better the next day:) I’m just having to get used to the idea, that this isnt americia, the church the people the everything is diffrent here, but at the same time the one thing that doesnt change is my testimony and the gospel, the gospel is the one solid thing i got here, and knowing the blessings I’m giving sometimes when i see the people have joy, progress bear thier testimonies, almost has me on the verge of tears, and I kinda feel a little of what the savior gets to feel, to love some one you have only known a bit of time and want nothing more then for them to have joy and the blessings in thier life. You laugh, smile, and cheer on as they progress, and cry, feel sad and incourage when they have thier down moments. I only have a taste of it is the thing, the saviors love is far grander then mine, and just makes me feel that much happier and have comfort in that thought. I love you mom and if you have any other questions let me know!
love,
E.M.

June 19th – to Mom

Hey mom! No, I’m not sick lol, those probiotics work like a charm;) So that hasn’t been a problem! No things are good here I had to go the Hermosillo Monday that’s why I didn’t write but here I am! haha things sound fun at home, some days I honestly miss having fun, then again when we start teaching a lesson it goes right out the door! I’m glad the work I do writing that blog isn’t for nothing, I was wandering if people actually read it haha! It’s a lot of typing to do, but if its making difference I’m gonna just have to continue it! Yeah the heat here its been over a 100 every day and its only gonna get worse the next 3 months but my feet aren’t dieing anymore so its all good! and besides I have a great tan! This week, we started teaching a man whose been a drunk for 14yrs Raymondo, I met him through the offer of an English class, he and I are really close, and tonight I’m going to challenge him to baptism, he eats up the gospel and this makes 4 days sense not a drop of alcohol, and we’ve been teaching for 5days soo…hes progressing. Honestly, I’ve been able to use my experience with problems in my past to advise, bear testimony and help him. He feels kind of like my investigator a little bit. I’m so proud of him to go 4 days with no alcohol, when he drank all day everyday for 14yrs is a major feat to say the least. Maria has continued to progress and this makes the 10 day mark to her baptism. We challenged her to it, it was really cool, we challenged her on the 11th, and challenged her to the 29th…both are 11 in one way or another, and 11 has special meaning and significance to her, some would say coincidence, but I know better. We prayed for which day to pick, and that day was the moment to challenge her, so shes set to be baptized in 10 days. Then, we have Angela, who’s set for the 6th of July with her two kids set to be baptized on the13th . Homberto is still the 20th we hope to challenge Raymondo today for that. So, I’m hopeful that the spirit will be here today and that everyone can continue on. Pray for these good people please. Being a missionary is rewarding in every aspect, and I’ve been in the field a month!?!! How did that happen so quick yikes! Time as an elder is the quickest way to spend 2yrs let me tell you! This will make my 2month mark and I feel like yesterday I was going to the mtc, soon it will be a yr and then 2, and I’m headed home 😦 My Spanish is coming good I can say mostly what I want and I’m working on reading its not easy…but its getting there, soon enough I’ll be able to read decently. The one challenge I have still, is the people in my area, the ward, and the elders in my zone. It’s the disobedient mission. In my area there hasn’t been a baptism for 10months…that’s almost unheard of in Mexico. We are the lowest baptizing mission here. The missions obedience is not there, and its obvious. Talking to the Americian Elders, they just say it’s the culture and my area, and sense we are splitting missions in 2weeks the president sent a bunch of bad elders here. So, It’s gonna be rough to be the one to stand up for what is right and be the example, already I have too for my companion. He’s a great guy but I’m refireing him up. He doesn’t wanna work as hard as we can, and as much as it’d be nice to be lazy, I could do that at my house with my tv and computer. I didn’t give up all these things in my life not to be here 100% and serve with all my heart, might, mind and soul…so me, the usual rule breaker has to change totally and be even closer to perfect then ever before at following the rules. It’s a gift and a curse lol…But for support honestly most days I feel quite alone, I got the Lord and me, and when my companion wants to work hard my comp. He’s a great elder, don’t get me wrong, but we could do sooooooooo much more, and we will, of that I’m sure, because every elder can be bad in my mission and I’m going to stand up for the right things and not waste a minute of my lords time. If I miss one person heavenly father wanted me to teach, how could I live with myself? I couldn’t and so I wont let a minute go by where I’m not in tune with the spirit trying to serve my master, friend, brother and savior Christ. I love you mom, don’t worry about me:) I’m frustrated with the mission because we could be better, but if it takes me teaching the whole lesson I will. I’m already teaching half about, and I met the other 4 I came out with, they haven’t taught like any…so for me its been good to have maybe the less obedient area, that I for myself can grow into a good Elder.
Love
E. M.

Tuesday June 11th – to Mom

Hey there mom:) it was all in all a great rest the week, i gave brother lagoonies the priesthood, we had 4 investagaitors go to church and it was awesome to watch angela one of our investagaitors bear her testimony to the other members of the class. we taught gospel principles, and it was inactive members 2 strong members and investagaitors, and to feel the spirit in that room and watch them come unto christ was a huge motivator, because already there is bad days, but the good ones carry you on. and it was an awesome spiritual day. the temple was great on saturday, felt like a whole new experiance in spanish, probabally cause it was lol. i live right in the middle of obregon. not middle but part of the city. we have 3 areas one is a small little town 3minutes out of the city but we only go there once a week. the other two we cover take oh 1 or so hrs to walk from the far end to far end, possibly more but we walk fast lol. we do have a split im part of the new mission, so the souther half and it will be called the obregon mission. so im at the heart of things i guess. The address if you want to mail me is: bulevar CTM # 318 Fraccionamiento villas del sol, C.P 85198 City obregon sonora, Mexico
, the sister name is lorena cecilia yepiz lopez
not sure how to really do all the mailing here its diffrent so look it up!
im glad to hear about the family:) im jealous a bit i miss family gatherings and everyone! i dont have alot of time so love you
E. Marasso

Thursday June 6th – to Mom

hey…so i didnt get my full email time monday so we are here now…a quick update lagoonies is getting the melkezik priesthood sunday and he asked me to give it to him…me of all people…yikes! anyway maria is progressing…we finally taught one of the goood investagaitors…homberto my companion didnt wanna challange him to baptism…so i did lol and he said yes, in a month ill have my first baptism:)

Tuesday June 4th – to Mom

Hey there mom!! so got on here with 34 new emails…i think i made to many friends in the mtc!! lol but aside from that its been a great week we met alot of new investagaitos…but thiers two awesome people in my life espisally. Lagoonies and Maria Los angeles….Brother Lagoonies was inactive and on the verge of an afair when we visited, he knows a bit of english so me and him really clicked and hit it off…sunday he was at church again and for the first time ever blessed the sacerment. hes now preping for the temple and melkezik priesthood! My companion gets all the glory sense he does most the talking but that one lagoonies was my doing. already the lords using me even though i have terrible spanish. my spanish is growing i can understand most things and speak conversations. i translate a ton already and soon im starting english classes for the opertunity of new investagaitors. im just here to help…living conditions are okay…i made my companion clean for 5hrs today with me…from top to bottom…now its okay, its been majorly neglected…but the missions the time to prepare to be who i wanna be so i wanna be clean and i am. ive been eating good theres lots of meat and tortias and food the members take good care of the elders…my problem is saying no lol—i do the whole one plate rule so i can lose weight here and its working id say because we walk so much to the point of near bleeding feet…but thats okay. maria i almost forgot. she has one friend whos a member her best friend and she wanted a blessing so we gave maria one…she went to church we taught her the restoration and she really likes music so i made a deal if she goes to church the next 3 sundays she can hear me sing in sacerment! shes awesome…we showed her the restoation video and john tanner video…thats one thing i want you to send me…the doctrine and covenats videos in english simply for me to have. as for ami i sent her week 5…i have 34 emails to try and ansawer sooo…couldnt possibly do more…no worries ill chatch up in the next few weeks! anyway im here for awhile so respond if you want. love ya
E. Marasso

Wednesday May 29th – to Mom

hey just sense i have the opertunity im gonna email lol…im wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy tired and its super hot in mexico i could just about die….i withdrew 100$ from my account no worries i needed some supplies and stuff for my apartment its horrible but im gonna clean it deep and hopfully it will be nicer i also got some food haha ummmmm lets see i havnt gotten my missionary fund card yet because its lost in mexician mail so ill never have to buy out of my account hopfully again..ummm mexico is so much pooorer then the usa, its gonna take some major getting used to. but the one thing thats true is ill probabally have a mexicin wife;) haha just kidding but maybe i will! ummm my mission president and my companion dont speak a word of english…its alot of work to talk and i dont even wanna know how teachings going to go tomorrow but maybe after i sleep some my brain will remember more words then not i learn soooooooo much in one and a half days more then i have my entire time in the mtc…its nuts but after awhile it just is like beating me with a stick cause im having to work hard to say anything and interpret anything…im teaching my companion english to…its fun to work togeather and hes an awesome guy! im about to fall asleep right now but if i did it would probabally be toooooooooooo hot! the people here speak so fast and my first reaction is tune outtttttttttttt…but i really really try hard and stay active in the conversations when i can! well i love you mom im glad i got to talk to you all yesterday pass this on to dad and tell him i love him!
Love
E. Marasso

Thursday May 16th – to Ami

Hope you got my letter! i miss you both and totally am digging my random funny gifts always brighten my day! so tuesday you’ll never believe it but russel m neilson of the 12 was here!! it was sooooooooooooooo awesome! His and his wives lesson taught was somthing that hit me hard. i cant tell you how strong the spirt was when he was there it was absulutly amazing! He talked about the spirit of ellijah and the importance of using peoples ansestors to help future investagaitors. thier ansestors will support us and back us 100% and want nothing more then thier living desendents to join the one true church and get thier work done. somthing i honestly never would have focused on in my missionary work. he was a funny man, and one who when you look into his eyes, you cant help wander what all he sees with those eyes. he talked about just briefly how the 12 prays for us in the temple every thursday. thats the most powerful thought that those men who direct the lords work on the earth get to call upon the lord for us, thiers so much power behind us its amazing! my spanish is comming along supprisingly. im no where near learned but its amazing to me how much i have learned. the most we ever spend on lanuage a day is like 3 hrs and thats a rare day at best. lanuage studty is usually only like an hr to an hr an a half. just know i love you and miss you tons!
Love Elder Marasso

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