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 PaysandĂș 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 MarĂ­a 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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