Monday, November 24, 2014

Two Months!

   I hit 2 months yesterday! Holy cow how is that even possible. I can`t believe I`ve been out that long. It`s crazy to think that I only have 8 more of what I´ve done so far. Time FLIES in the field. Each week goes by so fast. Before I know it I`ll be home. Which is so scary. Time can go by fast now cause it`s hard and I can`t speak Spanish, haha, but I know that once I can speak Spanish I won`t want to leave.
   This week was so so great. By far the best week of my mission so far. Ive still been a little sick, but this week was awesome. And my Spanish has gotten infinitely better. So many members or just people that we`ve met with multiple times have commented on how much better my spanish has gotten. Such a blessing.
   On Friday all the new missionaries got to go to the mission home to have a little reunion with our CCM group. It was so great! It was so great to be able to talk to the missionaries that I grew so close to in the 6 weeks that we were in the CCM. And we got to talk to President and his assistants and got a ton of great advice. And we ate HAMBURGERS. Like good, fat, american style hamburgers. I had been craving a good burger for months. Haha. Anyway it was a great day and it was exactly what I needed to lift my spirits and cheer me up after having a rough week last week and being sick.
   This week we spent a lot of time with members of the ward which was great. We have such a great, strong ward. All the members are so kind and make me feel so loved and welcomed. And they`re super patient with me with my Spanish.
   And then 2 of our investigators came to Sacrament meeting this week! And 2 less actives! Hallelujah. And it was the Primary Program which was so cute. Here when they have the Primary Program the kids do the announcements and prayers for sacrament meeting and it was adorable.
   After church we went over to a member`s house for lunch with the other Hermanas (there are 4 sister missionaries in our ward because our ward boundaries are so huge, and we do a lot of stuff with them, they`re great) and the food was delicious. This is what Hermano Mercado put on my plate and I promise I`m not exaggerating:
A huge steak, 3 chicken breasts, a big fat sausage, a potato, a sweet potato, and salad (carrots and broccoli with a buttload of salt and lemon juice). I am so serious. It was a struggle. And we drank probably five 3 liters of Inca Kola (they drink more Inca here than water. It tastes like bubblegum cream soda). Anyway it was great.
Overall just a great week! I`m grateful and happy and loving the work!
Also if you want to send me a letter or your favorite General Conference talk or something you can ask Brooke or Barb for my mailing address. And I´ll love you forever.
Con Amor,
Hermana Marshall

Monday, November 17, 2014

Week 2 in the Field!

Another crazy week in the field! It´s crazy how fast time flies here!

   Honestly this week was rough. I´m having a hard time understanding these people and it´s really hard for my to communicate with them. In lessons it´s basically Hermana Lucano and the person having a conversation and me sitting there frustrated and upset because I can barely understand them and don´t know what to say or how to say it. Also I´ve been sick for the last 3 days so that hasn´t helped. It´s hard being sick away from home.
Also we´re struggling a lot in our area. We have no one progressing and no one who really wants to hear our message, which is rough. And our appointments almost always fall through. 
   It´s rough right now but I know that it will get better. And missionary work isn´t supposed to be easy. 
Okay no more negativity I promise. 
   These week we had FHE with 10 Second Tom (if you get my reference we´re friends) and I honestly had to fight laughter the whole time. It was with this suuuper sweet 81 year old lady with Alzheimers. We were there with the other missionaries from our ward (Hermana Quispe and Hermana Lopez) who are my bffs. It was hilarious. I swear every like 20 seconds she would ask the same question or say the same thing. And we would all just look at eachother and try so hard not to laugh. 
   Also we went to a members house one night and for like an hour her two little girls were trying to teach me Spanish. They could clearly tell that I can´t speak Castillano to save my life. Sofia is 4 and Andrea is 7. Sofia would say "Hermanita, say (insert random sentence like "the cup fell off the table") and then they would make me repeat it until I got it right. They were very impatient. And then once I finally said it right Sofia would say "Perfect. Good Job" and then we´d move on to a different sentence. Hahaha. 
Also I got a package of GOLD this week from my awesome family. You have no idea how much missionaries love packages and letters. Especially when they´re having a rough time. 
   One thing that I am so grateful for is the love that I have developed for scripture study. It´s my favorite part of the day and I feel like I could go on for hours and hours. I´m reading Jesus the Christ right now which I absolutely love. My sweet sister sent me some conference talks too which I am so grateful for. If you want Hermana Marshall to love you send her your favorite conference talk in the mail. It´s hard for me to get ahold of English Conference talks here.
   This week we visited a member from the ward and while we were there she pulled out her Book of Mormon and it was DUSTY. It seriously broke my heart. Please please please don´t let your Book of Mormon get dusty. Read it, study it, and pray and ponder about it every single day. 

Anyway I love you guys and as always am grateful for your love and support! 

Hermana M

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


   We arrived in Arequipa Tuesday morning. We drove to a stake center, had a short orientation, lunch, got paired with our companions, and then split up to got to our areas. It was crazy. It was super hard to say goodbye to my district, not gonna lie a couple of us cried. Haha. We grew so close in the 6 weeks that we spent together in the CCM.
My companion is Hermana Lucano. She is from Peru and doesn`t speak a word of English. Haha my luck. That was literally my biggest fear. But I know that I`m with her for a reason and that I will learn the language so much faster with her. She is super cute and tiny, she comes up to my shoulders. She`s so sweet and incredibly patient with me which I`m so grateful for.
   We`re in the Paucarpata district of Arequipa, in Casa Blanca. It`s pretty much exactly what I expected, but at the same time I´m shocked every single day by the way that people live here. I`ve definitely cried in lessons because I can`t believe how little these people have. Literally there are no words to describe it, I couldn`t even if I tried. One lady we teach lives in one room (most people do) with her husband and son. They have no furniture other than their bed and no light and no windows. We sit on her bed and teach her in the dark. On Friday she had asked for a blessing so the district leader and his comp came over and we all just sat there with her in the dark and they gave her a blessing. After, to thank us, we all shared a bottle of Inca Kola (the main drink here) and she put some crackers on a plate for us. It was really humbling. Everything I see here and the people I meet humble me so much.
   Our "cuarto" is a tiny little room with a bunk bed and 2 desks. We share a bathroom (tiny room with a toilet, a sink, and a showerhead) with everyone else that lives there. But we still live much more comfortably and have more than the majority of the people here.
   Honestly I am struggling with the language. In the MTC I felt fairly confident, but I am far from where I need to be. My companion doesn`t speak English so that`s a struggle too. Thankfully she speaks pretty slowly and enunciates all her words so that helps a lot. I can usually understand her. But everyone else mumbles and talks pretty fast. And it`s almost impossible for me to understand the people with no teeth, that`s my biggest struggle.
   It´s hard never being able to use english here. I acually miss it a lot which is weird. Mostly because I can`t fully express myself in Spanish. On my second day here Hermana Lucano asked me to offer the prayer in English and I almost cried because I was so grateful. I hadn`t spoken a word of english in 24 hours.
   I have developed a much stronger testimony of prayer on my mission. It is honestly my absolute favorite thing now. My personal prayers are so special and sacred to me and I feel like I could go on forever. On my mission, mostly in the last week, I`ve had to learn to totally rely on my Heavenly Father which has been a huge blessing. Because I`ve been having a hard time I`ve had no choice but to rely on Him and I`ve developed a much stronger relationship with Him.
   This is by far the hardest thing that I`ve ever done in my life. Honestly I`ve found myself feeling really inadequate and wondering what I`m doing here. But I need to remember why I`m here. I didn`t come because I thought it would be easy and the reason that I came doesn`t change just because it`s harder thatn I thought it would be. I know that this is where I need to be right now. These people need the gospel in their lives. They need the light, love, comfort, and joy that comes with the gospel of Christ. I know that even though it won`t be easy, it will be absolutely 100% worth it. I know that I will never ever regret these 18 months spent serving the Lord.
I`m too tall for the shower, which is obnoxious because I`m short. And when my head touches the shower head (which it does unless i`m squatting) I get a pleasant electric shock through my body.
My birthday was great. We had a zone meeting and they had a cake for me and sang to me. The tradition here is that the birthday person takes the first bite out of the cake (like with their mouth no utensils) and the tradition in our zone is that when you bite the cake they push your face into it. So that was fun. Haha they got me good.
I love you all and am so grateful for all of your love and support! It really does mean a lot.
Con Amor,
Hermana Marshall