Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Lots of Stuff Running Through My Head Lately

Hey Dad! Well I am going to reply to both yours and Mom's emails this week :) 

So wow.,.. Did not know you guys were going out west! That is fun! Not going to lie I am a little jealous! That is so cool that you guys are getting to have so much fun and spending time with the Barnes family,... Actually I have been considering going out to school in Provo,  either at UVU or BYU. I would really like to go to BYU. I want to study Communications and also Religious teaching.... And I would maybe like to work at the MTC or something.. IDk . Lots of stuff running through my head recently. 

So the area is doing really good! We have a really big ward mission plan that we are working on right now, that involves the members a lot more than things that we have tried in the past. I love the area! I am really fond of Elder Fox. He is a great guy! Last night we received a call from President Morgan. I answered and he asked to talk to Elder Fox.. Turns out his Aunt and her daughter died last night in a car accident... he took it really well. I felt so bad for him though. :( Such a strong kid. I am really excited to take over this area with him! I can just see how things are going to sky rocket here! I would really like to spend at least 3 cycles here but we will see what happens. All of the members here are really nice! I cannot even begin to explain it... Seriously some of the nicest people in the world live here... A person could not help but love everyone here :) I already like this area more than I did the Bronx.  Stamford is so cool! Oh and Mom! Before I forget! I will be sending the memory card home hopefully this week :) So be expectiong that! 

So on the 11th of Augst we have a bap date for Gizzelle. She is a 9 year old girl. She is so excited! I feel the spirit so much each and every time we go over there to teach her. She is awesome! Her prayers... Wow she just makes me want to cry.. Such a sincere and humble little girl! I think I now understand what Christ meant when he said "Be as the little Children. For theirs is the Kindom of heaven! " 

We have a lot of really good potentials... We could easily have 5 baptisms in August! :) The people are ready! We are teaching these Brazillian sisters! Bruna and Amanda! they are really cool! Bruna has felt the Spirit. But we are now just waithing on her to be ready to be baptized.. Because she was baptized like 2 years ago in her dad's church and she felt like she was forced.. So we are making sure it is her decision. But she knows the things we say are true :) Their mom is a LA  Less Active  who is coming back to church :) 

So last week we had interviews with President Morgan :) He is such a great guy! He invited me over to make gumbo for them sometime! So mom resend me the recipe! :) We talked for quite a while! I really like him! He is just so humble. :) I really hope you guys get to meet him and President Smith at some point! :) 

So yeah.. Not a lot of time. As you guys can probably tell by now. The upstate emailing is a little more difficult :/ But I just want to let you guys know I am doing good! and I am hanging in there. Even with the whole Melissa thing. I have good roommates, 2 good companions, and my Heavenly Father :) So I am good :) Thank you both mom and Dad for your words of encouragement and comfort :) They mean a lot! :) Both of you are awesome parents :) I hope you guys are enjoying your vacation! Stinks that I can't be there with you! But I would rather not be anywhere else in the world :) I love it here! I love the people and what I am doing! It has changed my life :) The Gospel is everything to me. Christ is everything to me. And i am grateful that you brought me up in the church and always encouraged/ not forced, encouraged me to choose the right :) Thank you! I am forever in debt to both of you :) I hope one day I can be as good of a parent as the two of you are to me :)

I love you all! Tell my friends I say I for me if you see them! And tell the Barnes hello as well! :) 

Love you all! Love Marky Poo :) 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Strongest Lesson of my Mission

Dear Mommy and Daddy! 

I am doing good! :) Once again I am not going to have a lot of time because the internet is down at the Church and we are having to use the library again. so sorry in advance!

But everything is going good! I am loving the area. We are teaching a pretty promising family here. Well part member family. The Daughter will be getting baptized here soon. Her name is Gizel! So that is exciting! We also have a lot of other promising investigators. :) A lot! We have a pretty big teaching pool! so I will let you know about them as they progress! I would like to talk about each one individually but I really don't have time!~ 

I will tell you about one family though. This will probably take up the majority of my email.. And it just shows how much the Spirit has been impacting me in my life over the last couple weeks! My testimony has grown so much... So here is the story. we were teaching our investigators Oscar and Rosa, and we just had the most poweful/blunt lesson. The spirit was so strong. During the lesson I asked Rosa if she knew what the holy ghost was and if she knew what it felt like, and if she had felt it in the past. She said she had. and explained to us an experience she had in the past.. Well long story short,  Oscar tells us about all of his life problems. And Then we ask him and her if they want help, and they both just look at us and say yes. And we tell them that the Gospel and the church will be able to help them more than anything else. As we leave we say a prayer. Elder Fox begins saying it, and after he says "nuestro padre celestial." our Heavenly Father,  Oscar stops him and runs into the other room to grab his baby girl... one of the coolest and just most humble things I have seen in my life... Ah,,, I wish you could have all been there! Then Elder Fox says the prayer... and says amen.. and I just looked at Rosa and Oscar and asked them if they felt something different.. And they both said yes.. and I asked Rosa if it was the Spirit and she said yes. And we told them both it was.. And I looked at both of them and told them, that they need to follow that feeling, the Holy Ghost for the remainder of their lives and if they do that.. They will be happy. It serisouly was the strongest Lesson of my mission.. I wish I could explain it in better detail!  I hope and pray they get baptized... I pray so hard. I love them so much! They are 2 very very humble people! 

Then we had another Lesson this week, where Sister Vera shared her Testimony/conversion story with us and I just started crying.. Then she talked about Missionaries and how important they are, and about the blessings we will receive because of serving a mission. And at that moment that is exactly what I needed to hear! It was so good! Ask me in a seperate email next week mom and I will explain it to you.. Kind of personal. But such a great story and great testimony! Then she fed us some amazing food! :) 

So sounds like everything back home is good! Thank you for sending all the pictures! Granny and Pop Pop - happy aniversary!! :) Enjoy it! And Garrett happy late birthday! I hope you got my letter! :) and Todd be good and have fun at EFY! You will love it! Just as you did last year! And email me when you get back telling me all about it.. And listen to the Holy Ghost. Pray, It's a good time to do so. I love you bud! And you Thomas! All 3 of you are such great brothers! And I know Mom and Dad are happy to call you their sons.

My roommates are awesome! Elder Fox is such a great kid! And so is Elder Vazquez. Elder Vazques is from New Jersey. He is 27 years old! I look up to him a ton! Elder Fox is 19 from Lehi Utah. And the two of them have helped me turn into the best missionary i have been on my mission. I love them so much! And I love the Missionaries around me. Sister Major is in my District. From Utah. and SIster Alvarez is in the same district as me once again! They are both really funny! I love our District because I feel like we can all be 100% ourselves around each other. Elder Stevens, you guys already know a lot about him. I love that kid. And Elder Portillo. From Reno Nevada. Has become one of my very best friends in a short amount of time. He is a convert, and just has a huge heart. And we act so dumb around each other lol! Great guy. Well that is a little about what is going on here! Oh and Elder Kay is in my Zone! Today we all played Soccer for Pday! I stink! But it was fun! And... yeah... :) HOw are all you doing? I love you all so much! Sorry my emails are so scatter brained.. I just hate being rushed for time! Well I love you all so much! Thank you for all your support and love! I appreciate those of you who read my emails, because it shows me you care! :) So thank you! I hope you enjoy them! And get a little bit of a feeling of what a mission is like! 

Well love and miss you all! :)
Love Mark! :) 

Grandma you are in my prayers :)

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Mom it was nice to hear from you! :) You emailed me right as I got on! So I will say as much as I can in the small amount of time as I can. My comps are great! I love them both to death! They are both really humble people and are really willing to work hard. They have made this transition so much easier! Training Elder Fox has been fun! He is a great kid and has a great heart! I don't think I have ever seen someone more eager to do missionary work, and so ready to love other people for who they are. Driving is going good! Haha I was a little rusty at the beginning but it is all going better now. Kind of like riding a bike. Little things are coming back as I do so. We got these stupid Tiwi Boxes in our car that go off every time we speed or do anything slightly off color! So before I forget I got a card from Granny! tell her I say thank you and I love and miss her so much! Also that I will be writing them a letter this week :) And the 4th was fun! We played Bang and Soda pong! lol! The punishment was drinking nasty concoctions of drinks. I love my apartment. Elder Portillo has become one of my really good friends really fast. We just get along so naturally. haha I will send you some videos on my memory card soon! So President Morgan is awesome. We met him for the first time on Monday. Along with his family.. It is different having a mission president with kids.. I am not going to lie. A whole new Change. From the area, to training/follow up training, to a new mission president. It has all been fun and I am loving it! I really respect and love President Morgan! He is a great guy! And I can already tell he is going to be a great leader in the NY NY North Misson! So there is a lot going on in the area! We have taught a lot of cool people! :) I will explain more next week, due to the lack of time I have today! But I like it a lot! The Ward is cool and I really love the investigators. This is the upstate area that everyone covets lol! I am just trying my best not to get fat up here. So far I have lost 3 pounds so I think I am doing a pretty good I am good and I am loving life! :) Suprisingly despite everything that is going on I could not be happier! :) The Lord really does know how to lift us up in our hard times.. He knows us all too well. And he knows me and I am so grateful he is always there to help me :) I love you all so very much! and thank you for all that you do! Have a great week! and I will talk to you very soon! I love you! :) Love MArk! :)