Monday, December 21, 2015

Week Nineteen!

"I used to pray that God would feed the hungry, or do this or that, but now I pray that He will guide me to do whatever I´m supposed to do, what I can do. I used to pray for answers, but now I´m praying for strength. I used to believe that prayer changes things, but now I believe that prayer changes us and we change things¨-Mother Teresa

"I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy. I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and I saw that service is joy" -Kahlil Gibran

Quite a few of you have already heard this news, but I think it´s about time that I make it public. I have another cyst, the same problem that sent me home last time. I´ve been working with doctors (aka the top gynecologist in all of Uruguay I am well taken care of) for a few weeks now, trying to make it so I could stay here in Uruguay as a missionary for as long as possible, but it looks like my time is coming to a close this week. Honestly my mission has been the greatest miracle of my life, and I have seen miracles every day that I will never be able to deny. I feel so blessed for the time I have spent here, the people I have met, and the things I have learned. I could not have asked for an experience more perfect for me. 

This week I was talking to a sweet Hermana that I don´t know very well, and she told me that when things are completely out of our control, that´s when we can know for sure that God is controlling them. I know that my Heavenly Father has a plan for my life, and I´m just trying my best to live it. I´m really grateful for all of your help in this. I haven´t actually heard when I will be home yet, but it should be by the end of this week. We are going to the temple in Montevideo this Wednesday and Thursday, and I am supposed to bring all of my things to take home with me from there. 

 Now on a more normal note, I would just like to say that tomorrow is December and that is really weird because it is about a million degrees here. And also because I feel like it was October yesterday. 

Yesterday was the Primary Program. Basically what that is is all of the children in the church ages 3 to 11 sing songs and say lines that they (should) have memorized. I was informed (not asked) the day before that I was going to lead all of the songs for it hahahahaha. I think you can all imagine me trying to sing songs in Spanish and controlling little Uruguayos. Then the day of the pianist did not show up, of course, so I just winged it and asked someone to play the songs on their phone. I pretty much looked crazy trying to get the 5 kids excited and to sing louder, but it was an experience I will never forget. Overall I think it all went well and a lot of the people in the ward told me I did well, so I´m not too stressed. 

Not a whole lot more happened this week. We just worked hard and saw miracles. I made potatos on Thanksgiving but other than that it was a normal day. I will probably see you all in a few days!

Hermana Marsh

p.s. Healing blessings come in many ways, each suited to our individual needs, as known to Him who loves us best. Sometimes a "healing" cures our illness or lifts our burden, but sometimes we are "healed" by being given strength or understanding or patience to bear the burdens placed upon us." -Elder Dallin H. Oaks

Week 18!

I think on the mission I am constantly reminded of my weaknesses and imperfections. None of us are perfect. However, "we are infinitely more than our limitations and our afflictions" (Jeffrey R. Holland). We all have weaknesses, but we are not defined by them. Our Heavenly Father does not expect any of us to be perfect.In the Book of Mormon, we read that "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them" (Ether 12:27).

 He knows we have weakness. He knows we cannot do this on our own. But He has promised us that if we are humbled and have faith , he will turn our weakness into strength. We are enough as long as we are trying our hardest. I have been trying to give it my all every day, and have seen the hand of God making up the rest.

We have two investigators, Andres and Marinella, who are progressing really well. When we met them, they were homeless and she was pretty sick. They have a 4 year old son as well. Anyway everytime we have met with them (always in the chapel because they don´t have a real home), the only thing they have asked of us is that we pray for them. And we have been praying a lot. They also have been praying and really searching for the truth. This week Andres found a job and a house they can afford with his new salary!!! I was so happy. Marinella said that she knew it was Heavenly Father answering her prayers, and her testimony really touched me. He is involved in our lives, we just usually don´t see it. They have decided to be baptized. We still haven´t chosen a date for their baptism yet, because they need to get married first, but we are all really excited for it. 

Our sweet recent converts Lucia and Sofia absolutely love going to church, especially primary, but their mom started working on Sundays and can´t take them. We had a lesson with them this week where they both prayed to be able to go to church this week, and then asked us to pray for that as well. On Sunday morning they walked into church and I almost cried I was so happy. Their mom was able to take a few minutes just to walk them to church and then go back to work. They are my little angels. 

This week there was a soccer game between Uruguay and Chile. The streets literally go crazy. Like three people cancelled our appointments with them because of it as well. Also the next day someone slammed the door on us after they found out my companion was from Chile. Uruguayos take their fútbol seriously. 

Everything is going good here. We are working hard and seeing miracles every day. Everyone eat a lot on Thursday for me.
Hermana Marsh

Monday, November 16, 2015

Week Seventeen!

John 16:33 reads: "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."Sure we'll have hard times in the world. But Christ has overcome it. He has overcome it all. He has overcome every single tribulation and trial and pain and affliction and heartbreak and hard time and job loss and rude comment and rejection and softball sized cyst. The fact of the matter is that He has already overcome the world. As long as we're on His team, we already know that we're going to win. So why worry? Leave it in His hands, and He will take care of it. Actually, He already has. About 2000 years ago in a garden called Gethsemane and on a cross on a hill named Calvary. 

This week we did not get to work nearly as much as I would have liked because we had to spend a bit of time in Montevideo. I have gotten to know the bus station/ mall combination in Montevideo very well. It is seriously more like an airport than any bus station I have ever seen. 

Two of the people I have been working with since I arrived here in Uruguay in July were sealed in the temple this week with their children! The joy that they had is indescribable. I just want everyone to be able to feel that same way and to know that they can be with their families forever too. 

Okay so I have had some funny language slip ups this week. Mes means month and mesa means table, and I told someone that I had a table and a half in Uruguay instead of a month and a half. I also told my companion that my hot dog (pancho) instead of my stomach (pansa). Oops. We laughed it off both times. It´s bound to happen when you´re forced to speak Spanish 24/7. My companion knows about 10 words in English, and her favorite thing to say is "I don´t no sé."

Summer is quickly approaching and with it comes humidity like none other and a house filled with cucarachas. When they get big, they fall on their back and can´t move and then die like that. I still scream every time I see a dead upside-down giant bug. 

Really not very much happened this week because of all the travelling. We are excited to be able to start back up working hard this week and then I will have more updates. Love you all!

Hermana Kaylee Sarah Marsh

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Week Sixteen!

Mis Queridos,
This week was a little different than most, but still good! On Wednesday at 3:30 in the morning Hermana Dixon left, and my new companion arrived at around 10:30 am. I was just with a sweet member of our ward during that time so I didn´t have to be alone. Bless her heart she got so little sleep. Hermana Leiva is a really great companion for me! She is incredibly patient, especially with my Spanish. She´s a little quiet too, so I have been talking more this week than I have before in my mission. She has already had 13 companions and 7 areas, and still has 4 months left on her mission, so I think she is used to change. I know I am going to learn a lot from her and she will be able to help Mercedes a lot. 

This week I had my very first dream in Spanish! I know that probably sounds like not a big deal to all of you but I was so excited because it means my brain can think in Spanish while I am sleeping. I have spoken less than 10 words in English in the past week because Hermana Leiva speaks hardly any, so I am still constantly learning more Spanish. 

We had a change in our schedule this week. We now wake up at 7 and work until 10 at night, then go home and sleep at 11. It has taken some getting used to, but it´s good because it is starting to get darker later. I also officially finished my training this week, so I have another hour in the afternoons to work as well. Overall the afternoons just got a whole lot longer.

Yesterday I went to Montevideo to sign my visa papers, because right now I am technically just here as a tourist. We had to wake up early and spend 4 hours on a bus each way and a whole lot of hours waiting in a lawyer´s office, but it turned out my papers weren´t ready to be I will be returning to Montevideo soon to actually be a legal resident here. Because we spent the whole day doing that yesterday I am writing today. It was a little frustrating to not have a P-day, but we will live. I am going to get to know Montevideo pretty well by the end of this ordeal. 

Overall this week was pretty good. Different, but good. I am really grateful for the things in my life that I know will never change, because there are so many unsures. I am grateful for God´s love and the scriptures and that we have a living prophet. Those steadys are what keep us going through all the unsteadys of life.

I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Hermana Kaylee Marsh

Week Fifteen!

“Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don’t judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someone’s differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn’t handle something the way we might have hoped. Charity is refusing to take advantage of another’s weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us. Charity is expecting the best of each other.” -Marvin J. Ashton
This week I only have about 5 minutes to write because it is Hermana Dixon´s last day in Uruguay so we are going to party it up (missionary style). This week really went by so fast and was just filled with miracles. We have seen so many investigators progress, which is something that we had pretty much lost hope in before. 
We extended a baptism date to Ana Laura, who accepted and pretty much cried because she was so happy. She is only 32 and lives alone. She told us that she has always believed in God, but is the only one in her family. We are really excited because she just has so much desire to learn about the Gospel, and we see so much potential in her. Also she made a cake because Hermana Dixon is leaving so that was pretty much the cutest thing ever. 
Halloween is not celebrated as much here. It´s not too safe for little kids to go out alone at night, so basically a few walk around in the afternoon with little bags, and anyone can give them candy. No one really knocks on doors or anything like that. The cool thing about Halloween was that there was FOUR BAPTISMS. No one that I have been teaching, but four women in our ward that I have gotten to know at church. Seeing their joy just brought so much hope.
My new companion is Hermana Leiva and she is from Chile! I am so excited to meet her tomorrow morning. I just know I am going to love her so much, and I´m sure my Spanish will improve significantly because I don´t think she speaks any English. Bueno. 
Anyways sorry this was so scattered but I have got to go! I love Uruguay and being a missionary. And just because everyone always seems to be so worried (apparently having to have surgery in the middle of your mission causes that) I am feeling great and healthy! We walk probably about 6 miles a day and my legs are never even sore anymore.
Hermana Kaylee Marsh

Week Fourteen!

This week I was studying a lot in the New Testament. I love Luke 5. Simon Peter had been out fishing all night long, with nothing to show for it. No fish. Peter is a professional fisherman who knows the lake, the winds, the fishing patterns. All logical reason says there is no fish in that lake. For heaven's sake, he had been throwing his net out and bringing it back in all night and there was nothing. In verse 4, Jesus says to him "Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught." Now here is Christ, a carpenter, who had likely never fished in his life, giving direction on fishing to a man whose livelihood is fishing. Peter answers "Master we have tolled all night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net."  Now what was Simon Peter's reward for obeying the direction of the Savior, no matter how illogical it seemed to a mortal's mind? They "inclosed a great multitude of fishes" so much that they had to "beckon unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them." There were so many fish that they "filled both the ships, so that they began to sink." Simon Peter was so amazed that he "fell down at Jesus' knees." "He was astonished, and all that were with him." This miracle had such a faith-building impact on him that  when they got back to land, "they forsook all, and followed him."

 Either we can be like Simon Peter, or we can be like the world. We can do as the Savior asks, even if what he asks of us seems silly to us. We can be humbled and remember that he has much more knowledge than us. We can keep the commandments and follow Christ, or we can not. However, when we don't, we are keeping ourselves from receiving those blessings that He has prepared for us. If Simon Peter had not followed the direction of the Savior, he would never have seen those fish. His faith would be less. Because he did, even though it went against what he knew, he was blessed beyond belief. 

Those same blessings are waiting for us. To Simon Peter, a fisherman, two boatfulls of fish was probably the greatest thing he could imagine. Now to me, that just sounds smelly and gross. He has different things waiting for me, and different blessings prepared for each of you. The greatest things that you could ever imagine. Maybe that's two boatloads of fish, maybe it's that A in your hard class, maybe it's the promotion at work, maybe it's to have enough money to buy food for your family for the rest of the month. This real-life example shows us that truly if we do what the Savior asks, He will bless us with blessings we cannot imagine. We will be so filled with blessings, we won't even have room enough for them, just as the boats began to sink because they were so filled with the blessings.

Anyway not much happened this week. We went to Dolores (literally translated Pains) for a Choque Fuerza (Strong Crash), which just meant we contacted all day because the missionary work is struggling in that area. I left my jeans in the chapel that day, because we had been doing service in the morning, and they got stolen hahaha. So now I have no pants. Good thing 99% of the time I wear skirts anyways. 

Also this week I received a set of sheets in the mail and I have no idea why or from whom. We call them the mystery sheets. Also, a few of the members here have started calling me "Mi Gordita" or pretty much "my little fatty." But also some of them tell me I am too skinny and then feed me cake. I´m okay with it. 

This week will be my last week with Hermana Dixon because she is going home next Wednesday. I feel a little ripped off that I only get 5 weeks with her, because she is the best companion I could imagine. I just love her so much and she is an incredible missionary. Next week I will be writing on Tuesday instead of Monday because we will have changes, and then I will be able to tell you who my new companion is and if I had to leave Mercedes. 

The work here in Mercedes is progressing slowly but surely. We had to drop a  few investigators because they weren´t progressing, which was really hard for me. But I know that their time to accept the Gospel will come. We had an investigator come to church with us this week! Her name is Noelia and she is doing awesome. She hasn´t had an easy life, but has been able to find peace through the Gospel. We´re working harder than ever and are excited to see the progress in the future.

Love you all!
Hermana Kaylee Marsh

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Week Thirteen!

First off, I would just like to let everyone know that MY MOM`S BIRTHDAY IS THIS WEEK WOOHOO. I won`t be able to talk to her, so everyone should send her lots of love on the 23rd. I can`t believe she is already 29 again!

This week we have no internet in the chapel, so I am like a real Uruguayo and writing in a cyber! Which means I cannot send any photos and there is a pretty good chance this email will not actually send. We will see. 

We sure have been facing a lot of rejection here is Mercedes. Both Hermana Dixon and I feel like we are working harder than ever, but seeing so few results. We always ask people if we can help them, and lately we can`t even get to the word "help" in the question without them yelling at us that they don`t want to hear from us or they don`t have time. Okayyyy but we just want to help. It is so good though, because we have also seen so many tender mercies from the Lord. For example, a random text from a member saying how much she appreciates what we are doing. A hug and beso every time we pass by the house of two primary girls. Running into a member from Montevideo. A friend of a member who said she doesn`t want to listen to the charlas, but that we are welcome in her home and invtied to dinner anytime. A beautiful sunset. Homemade lemon bars. The tender mercies are everywhere, and are what get us through the days when all 4 of our night appointments fall through (which has happened 3 times this week). God is just so good to us.

The members here are preparing for a trip to Montevideo to go to the temple in Montevideo, but most of them cannot afford the bus ticket. The women in the ward have been making and selling tortas fritas every Friday to help those who cannot pay. It is so cute, and the ward unity is amazing. Also we buy tortas fritas every Friday now to support them, so I can`t complain. 

Two funny stories of the week:
1. We had a bus driver named Roberto, and he pointed out his sister`s house when we were on his bus. So obviously we decided to try and find her. We knocked on the street he had told us and just asked "Do you know anyone that lives here who has a brother named Roberto?" We only realized after how creepy that was. Always adventures here in Uruguay.
2. A member asked us to go to her house to sing to her eldery mother. She wasn`t going to be in her house all day, so she told us to just walk in. So we went and just walked in, but it turned out that her son was ditching school that day and yelled "What are you doing?? This is my house!" We couldn`t stop laughing haha it scared him so bad. 

I think that`s all for this week. A lot of walking and a lot of blessings.

Hermana Kaylee Marsh

Week Twelve!

Hola family and friends!
This week has been SO GOOD. Hermana Dixon is the perfect companion (no exageration). We have been talking a lot this week about praying to be strengthened in your circumstances, instead of praying for your circumstances to be changed. It comes from a talk by Elder Bednar called "In the Strength of the Lord" which I would highly reccommend. Even though life is hard, if we pray, God can strengthen us to do whatever He puts in front of us. We will learn and grow so much more if we are strengthen rather than removed from the hard things. 

Also I would invite every girl reading this right now to read Psalms 46:5 because it is beautiful.

My two favorite testimonies I heard this week:
1. We should wake up at 5am every Sunday to drink Mate before we go to church and if you do not then you are breaking a commandment
2. (from a 9 year old) I know that Jesus is always in my heart

We went to Paysandú this week for a zone conference, so I got to see a lot of my old friends from before! It was so sweet to see all of them and they were all glad to hear I was back and healthy again. I was especially grateful to see Hermana Tafur, the sweet Hermana from Peru that emailed me every week when I was home. 

I can easily say that I walked more this week than I ever have in my life. My legs are slowly getting srtonger and stronger and hopefully my blisters will heal this week. Our area is so large. Hermana Dixon and I decided that pretty much every night our feet and legs feel like we have been at Disneyland.

We work every day from 6:30 in the morning to 10:30 at night nonstop, as we should. We can see the payoff from our hard work. When I arrived here, we were pretty much starting out with no one to teach. Now we have 6 investigators! It is such a miracle and we feel so blessed to be working with the sweet people of Mercedes.

One classic rejection story of the week: we were contacting a woman on the street and asked if we could pass by her house some time to share more with her. She said sure, and then we asked for her phone number. She told us that she did not have a phone. The catch: she was texting on her cell phone as she said it. We laughed it off after haha. 

This morning we walked about 5 miles (2 hours there and back) with our district to go to a cute little zoo outside of town. It is a beautiful spring day here with lots of sun, so it was really nice. The animals were all cute and the Uruguay countryside is absolutely gorgeous. 

I just continue to feel so blessed to be here in this amazing country with my incredible companion Hermana Dixon and so many people at home supporting me. I love you all so much!

Hermana Kaylee Marsh
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Week Eleven!

Drive from Visalia to Bakersfield. Fly from Bakersfield to Phoenix. Fly from Phoenix to JFK. Fly from JFK to Santiago, Chile. Fly from Santiago to Montevideo, Uruguay. Bus from Montevideo to Mercedes. Walk from bus stop to my apartment. Over 36 hours of travel but definitely worth it because after 2 long months at home I finally made it back! As soon as we made it back to Mercedes, we dropped my suitcases off and started working! I was just a little bit tired.

Now for what you have all been waiting for: my new companion. Hermana Dixon!!!!! I knew Hermana Dixon at BYU because she lived in my apartment complex and was in my ward. I have been praying that she would be my companion, and here we are together! This is her last transfer in the mission, so we will only be together for about 4 more weeks. She is so obedient and such a hard worker. We have gotten along together SO WELL it is incredible. She is just one of the sweetest girls I have ever known and I just want to brag about her all day. She always is trying to find ways to serve me, like she makes me breakfast! I really hope one day I can be as good of a companion to someone as she is to me. 

We have been working harder than I ever have before here in Mercedes. We pretty much have no current investigators, so we have been doing a ton of walking and street contacting. What we do is try to teach the message of the Restoration, starting with God loves you, in less than 5 minutes. We have truly seen miracles with this. Yesterday we were searching for a house and walking down a street when we saw a woman, so we started talking to her. We gave her the Restoration and in the middle of it, after I talked about Christs purpose here on Earth, she stopped me and said "This message is so beautiful, can I go to church with you two ladies sometime? I have so much time." THINGS LIKE THAT NEVER HAPPEN IT WAS INCREDIBLE. 

This week was definitely stressful because I feel like my Spanish skills completely regressed back to what they were when I arrived to Uruguay the first time my first day here. But after that, I feel I picked up on everything really quickly. I can feel the Lord helping me every day, because I know it's as important to Him that I succeed as it is for me. 

The people here have all been so kind in welcoming me back. I've definitely been able to feel their love and support, which is always nice. I feel that when I email every week from you guys as well, but it is good to feel it from them throughout the week. They have all been offereing us so much food and giving besos all around.

General Conference was this weekend! Amazing right? It is always one of my favorite weeks of the year, and I am so excited to get November's Liahona magazine so I can go back over and read all of the talks again. I watched it all in Spanish, but could feel I could understand about 95% of it. 

Soo my birthday was yesterday, and I think I want to spend every birthday of my life as a missionary. Hermana Dixon did so many things for me throughout the day. We had pizza and alfajores and popcorn for lunch. I was sung happy birthday to in 3 different languages (like 20 times throughout the day haha). A cute little girl drew me a picture that said feliz cumple and I got cards from Hermana Dixon and Hermana Smith. We also saw a lot of miracles that day, so Hermana Dixon told me "Its God telling you happy birthday!" It was such a good day and I absolutely loved being able to watch conference for a lot of it. 

One funny story: in the mornings, we always jump out of bed at exactly 6:30 and shout "hoy es el dia." So Friday morning the alarm went off, so I did that and then started making my bed. After a minute or so, Hermana Dixon was like "Hermana Marsh, are you okay??" So I responded I was fine. She asked "what are you doing?" So I said just getting ready for the day. She was like "Hermana, its 2:30 in the morning, go back to sleep!" It turns out that alarm was just an accident, but she turned it off and didnt tell me. So I was just making my bed in the middle of the night for no reason hahaha she thought I was insane. 

Last night we had a lesson with Antonio and María Jose, the people I had my very last lesson with before I left. Antonio told me "It feels like everytime we are having problems, the Hermanas come knocking at my door. I havent seen you in 2 months, we are having some problems, and here you are." It was so cool so I told him that God sent us to them, and I really think they are going to progress. He has already committed to be baptized, and I think we are going to commit her to be baptized in the next lesson this week. They arent married and have a 6 year old son, so they will have to get married before they can be baptized, but Antonio told us that he knows its time to do what God is asking of him.

Overall this week was just incredible. I am so grateful to be back here in Uruguay with amazing people and an amazing companion and healthy and everything. I thought my first week in Uruguay before was the best week of my life, but this one has overthrown that title.

Hermana Marsh

p.s. we are supposed to tell everyone no matter what do not send packages through anything other than the public mail service of your country, so USPS for America. I would highly suggest not sending any packages though because they are way too expensive. If something gets sent through Fed Ex or UPS, I will not receive it.
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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Argentina MTC Tips (CCM)

Tips for the Argentina MTC:
1. Bring a water bottle. There are those big jugs of water and small cups, but you're sitting in a classroom for like 12 hours a day and get thirsty. 
2. Start fun traditions with your district. Our district created "milestones" and every time we accomplished one, we did a chant or celebration to mark it off the board. It helps break up the time a little bit. We also told a bed time story every night right after planning before we all had to go to bed. 
3. Set goals from the beginning. Have goals going in, and make more goals once you've been there. Make them realistic and then do everything in your power to achieve them. These can include writing in your journal every day, memorizing a certain number of words per day, etc.
4. Talk with the Latins. Especially your roommates. Even if you speak no Spanish, they want to help you learn! And it will help you improve your Spanish so much, no matter what level you're starting out at. Meal times, exercise time, and night time are great for this. 
5. Work hard, play hard. Work hard in the classroom all day, and then play hard during exercise time. It really does help relieve stress. I hated exercise going in, but after sitting in the same chair all day long I really just needed to get up and move to stay sane. 
6. Get to know the cooks. First of all because they are actually really cool people, and second because sometimes you really want that second pudding which is not allowed but they will give it to you if they like you. Also the good piece of meat or the big brownie etc. 
7. You're going to leave most of your stuff in a storage unit. Don't freak out when they tell you. Just be prepared going in knowing what exactly you want for the MTC and have that all in one suitcase to make unpacking easier. They give you a list of exactly what you need, but just go by what you want. Also you can always get into your suitcases in the storage unit if you need to by asking the President or his wife. 
8. You're going to teach a lesson in Spanish your second day there and go proselyting on the streets of Buenos Aires your second week. Don't freak out. This is just a time to learn and you're supposed to make mistakes. Hundreds of missionaries have done the exact same thing before and survived. 
9. Buy chocolate and coca cola while you're proselyting. It's worth it. You can exchange your US dollars to Argentine pesos in the US, at the airport, or the President (might) be willing to exchange some for you.
10. You'll be going to the temple every week, so if you have any family names, bring them!
11. You can buy things at the distribution center on P-day, but there's only really hymnals, scriptures, garments, and some other church related things. Not any snacks or anything like that. You can use US dollars there, though. 
12. Bring snacks! You'll want them. Had a bad lesson? A little chocolate will cheer you up.
13. The plastic forks will break at pretty much every meal. Just get two.
14. Your teachers have some of the best wisdom and advice for your mission. Respect them and listen to them. 
15. Take notes. They give you a little journal when you get there for this. 
16. The MTC provides you with Spanish scriptures, Preach My Gospel, True to the Faith, a Spanish/ English dictionary, and like 3 language study books. Pretty much all you need is your English scriptures and Preach My Gospel.
17. Remember everyone is going through the same thing as you, so if you're struggling, you can talk about it. There's a pretty good chance someone else can relate. You can also always talk to your teachers or the President if you are getting overwhelmed. The first week you pretty much feel like you're going to explode. It gets better after that.
18. You get to watch a movie every Sunday night (in English). It is the best time of the week probably.
19. We had a constant battle in our classroom between the Elders and Sisters on the room temperature. Not all of the rooms have AC, but ours did. The Elders wanted it literally freezing all the time. Suggestion to the Sisters: bring a sweater just in case.
20. Enjoy your time there! It will seem long at the end no doubt, but once you get to the field you will realize how easy the MTC was. You get fed 3 times a day, barely walk at all, and always have someone close that can understand you if you speak English. This is also the last time you have to study for yourself for the next 18 months/2 years because once you're in the field, you are constantly focusing your studies on your investigators. 

The Argentina MTC is called the CCM in Spanish. It is only one building, 3 stories tall. There are never more than 100 people there. First floor meeting rooms and offices. Second floor housing. Third floor half classrooms, half housing. 

Friday, July 31, 2015

Week Ten!

Dear family and friends,
"To me, every hour of the day and night is an unspeakably perfect miracle" -Walt Whitman.
       Last week, I traveled to Paysandú for a zone conference. This week, I went to Montevideo for training for all of the new missionaries for a day. This week, I will be going to Paysandú for divisions with other missionaries (when my companion goes with one hermana, and I go with that hermanas companion so we can all learn from each other). Every time I travel, I have to wake up at 3 to catch a bus. So much tired. 

       As for our investigators: they are struggling. Cirilia has been trying to quit smoking for over 6 months now and we have tried pretty much everything we can to help her. She lives with people that smoke so the temptation is always around her. Geraldin says she feels the spirit while she reads the Book of Mormon, but that is not a good enough answer for her that the church is true. It is a struggle. And as for Joaquin, our 8 year old, he decided he does not want to be baptized anymore. He is really scared so for now we are working with his mom and helping her progress, and she is helping him. I know the mothers influence is key. 

     I LOVE URUGUAY. The cutlure is different, the people are different, the food is different,  but I love it all so much. Our ward area is really large, so sometimes when we go to members houses to eat, we walk a lot. A lot. The picture attached is from the top of a hill (you cannot really tell) and as far as you can see is not even yet to our area. So I walked all of that plus some just to get back to my area. It was crazy. It is great though because I get so see so many beautiful and funny things as we walk. 

Love and miss you all!
Hermana Kaylee Marsh

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Week Nine!

"As surely as the sun rises in the morning, faith produces hope-the expectation of good things to come-and brings us the power of the Lord to sustain us" -Marcus B. Nash

This week I: gave a talk in Sacrament Meeting (I wrote it all by myself too). Gave the prayer and my testimony in Spanish at a multi-zone conference (there were about 100 missionaries there). Was offered a cigarette. Explained what "then again, maybe not" means to someone who only knows English phrases from his video games. Ran up to the stand during church to get a 3 year old who was about to play the piano and explained to him why we could not do that during church (some things are the same all over the world). Ate chicken milganesas (I do not know how to spell that) at all but 1 meal served to us. It has been a busy week. 

My daily schedule is roughly this: 6:30- wake up and literally jump out of bed and exercise
7:00 shower, eat, prepare for the day, pray
7:50 personal study
8:50 set daily goals, finalize plans
9:30 pray and leave to teach
12:30 eat lunch
1:30 language study
2:20 companion study
3:20 daily planning
3:50 training on how to teach
5:00 leave to teach
9:30 return home, eat dinner if desired, write in journal, get ready for bed
10:30 pray and sleep
Next day: rinse, repeat.

It is nice and cold here. And by nice and cold I mean quite literally freezing 0 degrees celcius. Luckily I was prepared for this with my two jackets and fleece lined leggings. Sadly, I apparently forgot all of my gloves and scarves. The mission did give us a pair of gloves, a scarf, and wool socks, so I am taken care of haha. 

One fun fact about Uruguay is that everyone drives a moto. Not an exagerration. Most people cannot afford cars, so every single person has a moto. You see babies and dogs riding on them all the time. 

The work here is moving along. We have been trying to include the members in our ward in working with the less active members. Some are very willing, others not so much. It has been great to witness how much Christ can change lives, and I have only been here for a short time. 

There have been no prime picture taking opportunities so I included an awkward selfie just so you can all see that I am still alive

Hermana Kaylee Marsh

Week Eight!

Okay, now for this week. We live in a cute little apartment on the third floor. We have all the basics: sink, oven, stove, microwave, and mini-fridge. There are actually 3 rooms and only 2 people, so each of us have our own walk in closet. Our ward is amazing with the best 4 and a half foot Bishop. We actually have over 1000 members on record for our ward, but only an average Sacrament Meeting attendance of 60. Needless to say, we do a lot of work with less active members. The people here are some of the most generous and kind people I have ever met. Almost everyone knows who the missionaries are, and we got told "hola Elderes" a lot haha, but even funnier is when we get told "Hola Elderas." 

The members feed us lunch here almost every day. The food is so good. Typically we have some sort of meat with pasta, no sauce. I have also drunk more soda in my two weeks here than I did in the previous 5 years before coming here. We cannot drink the water, so everyone gives us soda. The other day we were eating with a member and I looked down and there was a chicken at my feet. Never in my life have I been so happy to be eating beef. 

"Happiness doesnt come as a result of luck or accident. It most certainly doesnt come from having all of our wishes come true. Happiness doesnt come from external circumstances. It comes from the inside-regardless of what is happening around us." -Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Attached is my address for all that have asked for it. I love letters!

Hermana Marsh

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Weeks six and seven!

Hola everyone! I am a real missionary now teaching real people the real Gospel of Jesus Christ and it is real-ly amazing. The last days in the CCM were long full of a lot of field training which was less than ideal but now I am out and so happy! 

On our way to Uruguay we boarded the plane, sat on the ground for two hours, flew to Uruguay, circled the airport for 2 hours, then returned and landed in a different airport in Buenos Aires. I really have no idea why because they were speaking rather quickly in Spanish. So we got pushed through customs and I was going to go with all of the missionaries travelling with me to talk to the airline to find out if they had another flight for us when the worst thing ever happened. Every other North American travelling with me was stopped at customs and taken to a back room by the police. I still had 4 other missionaries with me but they all only spoke Spanish. I was freaking out a little because I had no idea why I made it through with no problems and the rest of the Americans did not. When we got out of the airport, the first person I saw was someone who worked for the CCM. It was nothing less than a miracle. He was able to get all of the Americans out of the room and got us new tickets from the airline. For a good 30 minutes there I was on the verge of tears because I had no idea what was going on but all ended well and we got on a new flight 2 hours later. It was a long day and I got 4 stamps on my passport in one day, 3 from Argentina, so that was cool. 

Now to Uruguay: it is the best country in the world!!! I love it here so much. I am in Mercedes, which is beautiful.It is a pretty classic South American town and everyone is soo nice. Much nicer than the people in Buenos Aires. My companion is Hermana Cabrera and she is from Mexico City and one of the nicest people you will ever meet. Her personality is much bigger than mine, but we have worked so well together so far. She knows a little English and obviously is fluent in Spanish, which is exactly what I wanted in my first companion. We mostly teach less-active members of the church, but also have quite a few investigators who I already love so much.

One of the investigators I am teaching is named Joaquin and he is 7, turning 8 next week. He is the cutest 7 year old I have ever met. We left his house at 9 a few days ago and he was sooo worried about us walking home alone it was adorable. Anyways I asked him to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized and HE SAID YES. Okay I wish I could describe it but I cannot. I almost cried I was so happy. And after we left my companion and I just hugged and screamed we were so joyous. It was the happiest moment of my life. He is from a part member/ less active family. Yesterday he and his mom (who up until yesterday was inactive) came to church and I almost cried I was so happy. I just know how much having the gospel is going to bless their lives. 

Things here in Uruguay are great. One classic moment is that we met a man with a met monkey. It feeds and dresses itself and is toilet trained. It also tickled my feet. I will try to attach a picture but I do not know how good the internet is. It was so cute. 

Yesterday in church I was asked to direct the the middle of church. With no notice. So I went up there to lead the music and it turns out the pianist nor the congregation really knew the hymn. The pianist stopped playing and every single person stopped singing. I had never sung the song before in Spanish, nor am I know for my amazing singing voice, but I stood up there and belted the song and directed trying to get everyone else to start again but it did not work. So I stopped too and the pianist tried again. The same thing happened. And then again. It was so awkward. The Bishop then stood up and changed the song. I was just laughing so hard. How many times in my life am I going to be standing in front of a group of people I do not know, leading a song I do not know in a language that I do not know, and have the pianist and congregation all go silent? It was great and definitely one for the books. After, my companion and I could not stop laughing. 

On Saturday we celebrated the 4th of July by making hamburgers with all of the Elders in my district. My companion is the only non-American. It was great and nice to have an hour to speak English haha. 

I love being a missionary. Everyone says the first week is the hardest and if that is true, these next 16 months are going to be the best months of my life by far. Everything here is so great and at night it takes me a few minutes just to stop smiling before I can go to sleep. The people and food and culture and just everything is better than I ever expected and better than I can explain. I hope all is well with all of you and you are all looking for miracles every day because they are there. 

Hermana Kaylee Marsh