Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Transfer to New Rochelle, NY

Mommy! Ok this stinks but I have like no time! I am in New Rochelle with Elder Kropft. I will be killing him. Term meaning that he will be sending him home next transfer. This is his last cycle. I am also a ZL .now.  Zone Leader, similar to a district leader but works with a larger group of missionaries. I am certain he will explain his responsibilities in future emails.   But I am happy about the changes, it was hard at first but now I am really excited to be here :) this stupid computer at the library only gave me 15 mintues to email because the library is closing in a couple of minutes. and we were helping with Transfers all day.  But I am glad to hear Thomas is doing well! :) As you all are. :) Sorry that this will be the shortest email of my mission.
Well I love you all very much I promise I will say more next week! :) You are all the best!
Love Mark! :)

Some pictures from his last weekend in Stamford:

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Thank You to Everyone!

Dear Mom and Dad :) 

So Mom first off.. you didn't find any dermatologists in the area for me like I asked lol! I am only saying that so I don't forget to ask again. 

But anyway my birthday was really good! :) As you know I went to the Baltazars Monday night and they had a really interesting/fun party for me :) I appreciated it a lot! I also had 2 other parties that day. 1 with the Vera family and 1 that the Sisters planned haha! So by the end of the day my face was stuffed with cake! But it was a lot of fun! :) I enjoyed myself. 

And Mom thank you for all the cards and for the package! :) I appreciate it so much! I got a good number of cards, so I just want to say thank you to everyone who sent me something... haha I even got a letter from Tori! That was really surprising!.. I was confused when I saw the envelope because it was not the same last name that I was used to haha.! But I am going to write her back today.. :) Sounds like she is doing good with her Husband and her baby boy :)  

So the work is going really good :) We found this awesome kid named Christian this week who is a friend of Katherine Baltazar. He is legit. Such a humble perosn. He is 18, still in High School, but so open to the things we are teaching him. We left a Book of Mormon at his house Sunday night, then called him Tuesday to see if he got it, and he said "Yeah what part do you want me to read" And he sounded really excited to start reading so that was a really cool experience! :) 

Also we have taught Emmanuel again, as well we are now teaching his mom! :) He said he was going to pray about which Saturday in October will be the day he gets baptized! :) I am just so happy, because his Mom, Dora is so open! We had such a great lesson with them Sunday night :) 

So we have given like 15 blessings in the past week! It has been such a blessing for me to be able to see the power of the Priesthood work through us.. The one I gave to Hermano Alfaro was a really spiritual experience.. and it was given completely and utterly by the Spirit.. The Lord promised him some big blessings.... :) Priesthood blessings, especially ones for the Sick have really helped me understand the Atonement.. They really are such a powerful thing..

So I don't have too much time today, but I just want to let you all know that I love you and I am constantly thinking about you.

Well everyone thank you so much! :) You guys are all the best! :) I love each one of you! Thank you for all you do and for your support! I love what I am doing out here! There is no place I would rather be :) God Bless! :)

Love Marky Mark! 

Oh Mom could you please send a flash drive with all my mission picutres?? ASAP please :) just save them and put them on there and if you could have them out by this weekend it would mean the world to me :) Thank you Mucho!!!

Love Mark! :) 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Gospel Comparison to Halo?

Dear Mom... Thank you so much for sending that to me! :) Your conversion brought tears to my eyes and I felt a really strong special spirit at I read it. So thank you so much :)

Well other than that.. I really have no idea what is going to happen with Transfers. I know that Elder Vazquez is out of here. As well as Elder Stevens will probably be going to. Shoot there is even the potential that I could leave and Fox could take over the area. (Probably not) But it is still possible. But I will let you know when I know something. Maybe splitting the area?? That is possible as well becasue of all the Work we have from this plan! :) Our investigators are doing great! I love them all! Every  single one is an awesome person and I love them so much! Haha quick funny story!

So all those years of me playing Halo came in handy yesterday! We were teaching our investigator Emmanuel, he is 12, and he loves Halo! And he had some doubts about getting baptized because he feels like he would need to be perfect, or God would expect so much more of him after he would be baptized.. So I related the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Halo and the Master Chief ( the main character in
the game lol) Baptism was the beginning of the game. Afterwards he would die (or spiritually die in real life. SIN) but he would advance to Different Checkpoints (places where it saves the game and you don't have to restart.) And that is equivelent to Sacrament and Repentance. And New Levels are steps in the Gospel (Priesthood,Patriarchal Blessings, Callings, Temple, Etc.) And at the End you beat the game. (Resurrection) And throughout the whole game you have someone there to help you (Cortana, ask Greg I don't feel like explaining. It's a Hologram Master Chief has inside his helmet.) And I compared that to the Gift of the Holy Ghost and how that will help us finish the game and keep on going on and Fighting and killing the Covenent, as compared to enduring to the end..     It was completely led by the spirit. And at the end we asked him if he still had doubt and he said "no.. not really the Halo Analogy made everything pretty clear and helped a lot! 

so Mom all those years of me playing video games was actually a blessing :) it helped someone's elses life in their progression in the Gospel and coming unto Christ! :) :) Next time we go we are setting a bap date with him! That will be on Saturday! :) So we are excited! if you did not understand the analogy I made just ask Greg to explain it to you lol! 

Well we got to get going! But I just want you to know I love you and am thankful for all that you do! :) You are the best Mommy! :)

I love you all and you are all in my prayers! 

Love you! Love, Marky

Some answers to questions -

1. So yes we get fed very well! Somehow I am still managing to not gain weight.. like 3 or 4 weeks ago we had 4 dinners in 1 night lol! 

2. And it varies. Right now we have a really big teaching pool because of our recent Ward mission plan! It is going great! We try to teach 20 lessons a week, Including Members and less actives. But right now we are really focusing on getting With Member Lessons! :) 

3. We cover 2 cities Greenwich and Stamford (And yes I know they are both very rich) 

4. WE only cover 1 Ward. The Sister Missionaries cover Norwalk CT. 

5. We go to PEC the First Sunday of Every month. Other than that we go to Correlation every Sunday morning. In my other 2 wards we went to PEC each Sunday. 

6.Stamford is a lot different. A lot more houses and sane people. Most of the people here are from either Peru, Ecuador, or Guatemala. In the Bronx they were almost all Dominicans. We don't really work in the Rich part of our area. We stay really close to the actual city. 

7.Most are employed.. Stamford's nickname is the "City that Works" haha kind of lame. But they do landscaping.. Or surprisingly a ton of them work at McDonalds. Just depends. A lot work at Restaurants as well.

8. Well today we are just relaxing. Last week we went to the Mall.. And other than that we just play sports and hang out. I would like to go fishing or hiking one of these weeks though. That would be a lot of fun! :) 

9. So we are now allowed to go to the Statue of Liberty and Time Square and all of those places. Hopefully I will be back in the city at the end of my mission so I can do all that.

10. and yes I have been to the Natural History Museum. 2 times actually and 2 Times at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I have not finished looking through either 1 though. They are HUGE! Makes the Art Museum in STL look like a little turd. From what I remember though i think I like the Museum of Natural History in D.C more than the one here. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The BWW Blazing Wings Challenge Champ

Hello there! 

How is everyone doing this week? So life is going great! So to answer your question we are teaching  a lot of people right now! Monhita and her husband Mario are 2 of our most promising investigators! I see real potential in them! Mario seems to be holding his wife back though... :( But they are both solid! :) I think it will just take a little time! They are Guatemalan! And we are also teaching this 19 year old Mexican kid named Luis! He has a bap date for the 29th of this month! :) I have never seen someone so prepared to make changes in his life! We have not even taught about the Sabbath day and he is looking for a new job so he can come to church! He is a great kid! A little shy, but has such a great heart! Then there is Alex who is a friend of Marvin (member in the ward) Alex is 14.  He came to church last week and has committed to be baptized. The only thing as of right now that will hold him back would be his parents, who are pretty devout Evangelicals! But we have a lot of investigators, but those are more or less our most solid ones who are progressing right now! And we have a lot on the way! :) We have over 250 referrals that we are having to look up! We have been kind of stressed out! We have so many people we are in charge of bringing the gospel right now, it is hard to keep them all in mind all at once! I am growing so much as a missionary, and even more as a person because of all the things that are going on right now! The Lord has really blessed me! :) 

So this week has been good busy as usual! :) I bought some sunglasses today! Thank you so much mom and Dad! I also got some shoes that I need to send y'all money for! So expect that soon!  But other than that, idk I can't think of anything new lol! I have been writing in my journal every night so that is some good news! haha! 

Well it is so weird to think that Todd is driving. That blows my mind. I really can't even imagine it without laughing. Things are going to be different when I get home won't they? But I am excited to come home and be able to watch his hockey games again! And be able to go to some Blues games! We have a rink here in my area, and our members live right next to it, and I always see little sweaty kids walking out with their giant hockey bags and stick... Freak that makes me pretty trunky. I miss those days! 

Also I had a terrible dream last night.. I mean it really was not all that terrible it just made me really trunky when I first woke up. In my dream I was at my 5 year high school reunion... It made me realize how much I miss some people. So many people that I may never see again...I loved high school.. And I realized that the mission will probably be the same way :(.. .But that is why I love the Gospel, because we have the knowledge that we will see all of those people again once this life is over! :) And that is a comforting feeling! But in the mean time Mom get on my facebook and write Mark, Joel (unless he still does not have facebook) Bryan, Jake, Mike, Blake Gibbons, Conner Bodeman, Ryan Vesper, and Brandon Wyant and tell them that I love and miss them for me will ya? That would mean a lot to me! 

Other than that... Today is PDay we went to the mall in Danbury! And I ate Arbys for the first time in forever! haha I spent a little more money than I probably should have but it’s okay because I don’t know when I will get to go there again! Oh freak! I just remembered! I did the Buffalo Wild Wings Blazing wing Challenge yesterday! :) Which is to eat 12 of their Blazing wings in 6 minutes! I did it in 4! haha! I got a free headband, and 6 free wings on my next visit! Plus Bragging rights! haha! to be honest it really was not that bad. I guess eating all of the Hot Mexican food has prepared me! :) 

Well that is about it.. Other than the usual.. Talking to people, teaching, and playing Bang when we get home at night! :) haha! Well I love you all :) Take care and have a great week! Love Mark! :)