Monday, November 23, 2015

Echando Fuego!

Hey Mom!

This week was super awesome! Elder B and I have been "echando fuego," or working really hard. On Saturday we finally baptized A. Soriana, and found a lot of positive new investigators. Elder B is improving his Spanish every day and learning new things. He´s a really good guy. :D

I can´t believe Thanksgiving is on Thursday! Time flies so quickly. I remember last Thanksgiving when some the ward mission leader and his wife invited Elder Leatherow and I over for dinner. We ate crispy pupusas and juice. It was good, but not anything close to Thanksgiving dinner back home in the States. I´m lucky to have a family who knows how to make (and in my case, to eat) gourmet food! ;)

That´s great that Katie decided to study German! I´ve considered studying German after my mission too. I want to be trilengual. :D

Questions Time!

What is the weirdest thing I´ve eaten lately? The other day a member gave Elder B and I something weirdly delicious. I don´t remember what it´s called, but it was a plantain filled with a syrupy, sweet, sauce. To make it less sweet, she also offered us vanilla pudding to pour over it. I really enjoyed it, even though Elder B took a bite and dumped his onto my plate. I ate mine and his before she came back, so she didn´t notice. Elder B reminds me of Lizzy. Picky, picky! ;D

What type of music do you hear on the street? Honestly, generally I don´t like the music here in El Salvador. Normally on the bus they play music really loudly, and turn the bass up to 100 so the bus vibrates to the sound. If you pay attention to the words, you wish you hadn't--It´s a little disturbing. 
At the same time, some of the music is totally fine, and at least half the songs you hear on the bus are in English. People don´t understand the words, but they do love the rhythm and beat. :)

This week I have been studying the New Testament and Jesus the Christ, and I have never noticed so much how powerful his teachings really were. The Pharisees and Jews repeatedly asked him profound questions, tempting him. But he answered every time in such a way that they could not accuse Him of anything. One of my favorite parts in the New Testaments is when they ask, Who gives you authority to preach to this people?" and he answers with a question. He asks them, "By what authority did John baptize?" They could not answer, and he answered them, "Neither do I tell you by what authority do I do these things." What a powerful teacher!

The scriptures are so profound, and sometimes we miss hidden gems and wisdom that can only be found through dedicated study and daily practice of the principles learned. Line upon line, precept upon precept.

I hope you have a wonderful week!

I love you all!

Elder Marriott

P.S. My release date is on the 20th of July! I´m so sad, I have less than eight months left in the mission. :( I´m excited for the Hall reunion though. It´ll be great! :)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Mission Record

Hey Mom! 

Me and Elder B! (with one of my new white shirts!) 
First off, yesterday I got the two packages you sent me! Thanks a ton!! The shirts are so white and fresh they glow! :) And the other package was amazing as well, and I guessed what most of the presents are you gave me. I´m excited for a delicious Spam and egg breakfast on Christmas! I´m even going to drink hot chocolate too. :D 

I´m glad you like my pictures! I´m going to send you another couple today! (One is from today with one of my new white shirts). 

We had another great week! I love this area so much, and we continue finding and teaching great new investigators! Elder B (at my request) has been leading most of the lessons and daily-weekly planning sessions. We both hope he will be prepared to train by the end of this transfer. He is a great missionary and is obedient, diligent, and excited to perform the Lord´s work. We are just working a lot on his Spanish. :) 

Your questions are great this week! 
One of the greatest families of all time!!
What is furniture like? Just like Tessa said, the furniture is mostly just plastic. People mostly just have a couple plastic chairs (the ones you could buy at WalMart), and sometimes a table. Sometimes all people have is a couple chairs and a bed in their house. It´s kind of sad. We have it good out there in the Great States. :) 

How do people show affection? For us missionaries, people show us affection by giving us something to eat or drink. You know you´re loved when someone gives you juice and wafers or cookies to eat. Couples show affection by holding hands and sometimes kissing in public (yeah, it´s not the prettiest sight.) :D 

Guess what? Elder V, my companion in the office, is now Elder H´s companion and one of my zone leaders! :) It´s been so great to talk to him again! I forgot how much I missed his funny personality. We were the most hilarious companionship. :) Elder V only has three transfers left in the mission! He´s leaving in March. :P 

I set a mission record this week! Elder B and I, on Thursday, taught 10 lessons! I have never taught so many lessons in one day. Elder B told me later that night, "My head was spinning today...So many lessons!" The mission makes you feel so satisfied sometimes, I felt great. ;) 

I hope you have a wonderful week, and thanks again for the packages!! :D 

Les amo con todo! 

Elder Marriott

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

I Love Training!

Hey Mom!

This week was so great! Elder B has learned tons of Spanish, and has pretty much mastered the past-tense, present tense, and future tense! He´s a fast learner. In my first change I kept asking my trainer, "When will I ever understand these people?" After every lesson he would explain to me, step by step, what our investigators said. But Elder B isn´t like that at all. He is really optimistic and insists he understand "almost everything"! I´m proud of him. :D I love training more than anything else. I hope I can train again before the end of my mission! On Wednesday there will be another transfer meeting, but neither Elder B or I have transfers. We´ll be together at least until the 9th of December, or four weeks from now.

On Saturday they held a stake conference! Elder Cordon, of the Seventy, taught us about reverence, and how we can be both active in the Church and the restored gospel. Really, he taught us about a lot of commandments, including the law of the fast, scripture study, prayer, and the Sabbath day. He said that in the stake, more than fifty percent of the members do not keep the Sabbath day. Isn´t that sad? He also taught us a lot about how parents need to be good examples for their children. He said if parents don´t teach their children to fast, pay their tithing, and read the scriptures and pray every day, they should never ask, if their children fall away from the Church, "What did I do wrong?" He invited us to call him so he could sit down with us and tell us exactly what we did wrong. I love that! :) I want to be the best Dad ever, and I want my kids to be even better than I am. :D

What is something sad I have seen this week? Good question!

I have seen a lot (I mean a lot) of drunk men on the side of the street. They shout at us, "Hello, brother!" as we pass by. Most of them lived in the United States but were sent back for one reason or another (I can only guess why).

Another sad thing I saw. The other day Elder B and I taught a man, in our first lesson, about the doctrine of Christ and handed him a pamphlet about the Restoration of the gospel. I asked him if he would read it and he gave it back to me. He said he had already made a decision about which church he would attend. I asked him, "If Heavenly Father told you the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true Church on the earth, would you join it?" He reponded in the negative. He said that his heart was telling him something else. I asked him if the Holy Ghost had spoken to him, and he said, "No, but I know that God changes my heart."

I always remember the scripture in 2 Nephi 32 about how the evil spirit teaches a man not to pray. So many people make excuses when we ask them to pray! A less active member told us this week, "I can´t pray--I´m not dressed up for it." Heavenly Father always listens to our sincere prayers, it doesn´t matter if we´re in a suit and tie or pajamas. :)

I have learned so much this change, and I love my mission so, so much. The Lord has blessed me more than I ever thought possible, and my relationship with Him has grown a lot during these last few weeks. I feel His presence very strongly as I pray!

I know, without a doubt, that Heavenly Father loves and watches over us. I know His son, Jesus Christ, suffered, bled, and died for our sins so that we can repent and become more like Him every day. I know he was resurrected after three days, and that He lives! My greatest desire is to live with Him someday. The Church is true, and the gospel blesses us more than anything else!

I hope you all have a wonderful week, and make sure to keep smiling and letting your light shine!


Elder Marriott

P.S. Hermana Mami says Hi!

Friday, November 6, 2015


Hey Mom!

Sorry I did not write yesterday! I totally forgot to tell you last week that we were going to have our P-day on Tuesday instead of Monday.

I cannot believe that Katie is already 17. Like I told her, I feel like I turned 17 yesterday. Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana. (Remember how Katie loved this joke so much?) I hope you she has an amazing year!

For Halloween we went over to the cemetery and talked to people about family history work. We set up a table, a TV, pamphlets, and other proselyting material and talked to as many people as we could. It was pretty fun, but a lot of people did not want to give us their addresses so we can pass by. They assured us they would talk to the missionaries in their area because they frequently see them walk by. We can only hope. :)

I really like your questions for the week!

What animals did I see this week? Like I have said earlier, here in my area there are tons and tons of dogs. They trot down the streets, usually thin and patchy. A lot of the time you will see them in the large garbage bins, scrounging for food. It is a little sad, because obviously the majority of them don´t have owners. Elder B got really surprised when he saw twelve dogs in a row walking down the street (he counted). Sometimes I feel that they are part wolves, because they sometimes run around in packs. Haha!

Yesterday we saw a horse in the middle of one of the main streets. It was just standing there, picking at a few grass patches on the sidewalk. Here there are lot of cows too! In a part of our area there is a cow pasture, but sometimes they walk up a small path and into the street. I have been practicing my cow grunts and moos. :D

Also, here I see lots of chickens, cats, and turkeys. So, I guess in summary, it is a lot like Beaver, except there is a lot less of everything. :)

What did kids you have been around do and say? Kids love us here. Whenever Elder B and I walk past them they yell out things like, "Hello" and "How are you?" Sometimes they yell out other words too, which I won´t mention. :D The other day a kid said to me, as he pointed as his friend, "Look, he is your cousin. So white!" Here, when anyone has lighter skin they describe them as a "chele." Often kids will also run up to us and ask, "You speak Spanish?" I´m tempted to respond, slowly and deliberately, "No, we are only tourists." Probably not the greatest idea though. On the bus kids stare at us so much, usually right into our eyes. When they see us they quickly whisper to their moms or friends and keep staring, grinning. I love it! :)

Yesterday Elder B and I had our first lesson in English together. We taught Manuel (who is learning English) about the Book of Mormon. It was a little hard to express myself, but I thankfully succeeded! Elder B told me afterwards that it was his favorite lesson ever, and that he loves understanding everything that is said. Poor guy. I´m so thankful that the Lord has helped me learn Spanish. I remember how hard it was in my first few mission transfers. I´m excited to talk to you in Spanish after I get home. It will be awesome for both of us to keep practicing. ;)

I hope you have an amazing week! Tell the ward I said Hi and that I love them all!


Elder Marriott

Monday, October 26, 2015


Hey Mom !

Wow, I can´t believe Lizzy is already learning to make pumpkin pie! The other day Elder B and I were talking about all the delicious food we ate back in the States. Pies, cakes, pancakes, real spaghetti, homemade hamburgers, fresh smoothies, Sunday tacos, and chocolate chip pumpkin muffins were a few things that popped into my head. Lately we have been eating a lot of chicken and rice. I told Hermana Mami I would love hot sauce for my rice, and she bought me one. I never thought I would get sick of rice here. Trust me, the hot sauce helps out a lot. Haha

This week Elder B got really sick, and we only worked for two full days. His stomach hurt a lot, and the mission nurse told him to take anti-parasitic pills to kill whatever was inside his stomach. Thankfully, he is all better now, so we will have another great week

It was great to know Elder B better, and we had a lot of time to talk and get to know each other better. He has a rough past, unlike me. Over the course of his life he has only lived with his dad for a few months, and he has dedicated a lot of his time to his mom who has so many health problems.

The experiences he shared with me helped me understand that our happiness and joy comes mainly from our families. I cannot imagine growing up with only one parent, or without the gospel of Christ. I really want to help all our investigators truly understand that, just like you said in your email, God makes our lives fulfilling, if we put all our trust in Him. Only He can bring happiness to our homes, and peace to our hearts. Nothing else can do that for us. 

Okay, time for your questions!

To tell you the truth, I did not eat breakfast this morning. It is P-day, so I wanted to be ready for when we eat at Pizza Hut later today. Pizza is so much more delicious when you are hungry. Haha! I don´t know why, but usually I am not hungry in the morning. Sometimes I will eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or an orange. But we normally don't eat until lunchtime. 

Hmm, to answer your second question, I can´t think of anyone unusual we have met lately. The only person that pops into my head right now is the bishop in our ward, Obispo M. I think I talked a little bit about him before. He is the most hilarious bishop ever. On Sundays he teaches the Gospel Doctrine class, and he makes the lessons really exciting. For example, yesterday he asked a member, "Where would you be if you were not here at Church this morning?" He responded, "At my house, reading the Bible." Bishop then looked straight at me, grinned, and touched his nose and extended his hand out, an imitation of Pinocchio. So funny! He just can´t let a good joke pass him by. :D He loves talking to us Gringos in English, and the other day he started singing If I were a rich man, from the Fiddler on the Roof. Haha

Well, I´m just about out of time. Make sure to keep coming up with good questions to ask me. It helps a lot! ;D

Have a wonderful week!

Love you all!

Elder Marriott

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Direct and Confident

Hey Mom! 
Fearsome Elders ;D

Scary bridge to walk over - 40 feet above water

That is a wonderful question! I cannot believe we are already finishing up October. The longer I´m out here, the faster time seems to fly. I feel like I´m on a roller coaster, and it´s all downhill from here on out! I remember being one of the newest missionaries, but now I´m the oldest in my district. So sad! :)

My shoes are doing fine still, though part of the soles have come out over time. I switch pairs every day like you taught me, and that´s helped a lot. My shirts aren´t holding up as well. I have a lot, but for some reason the sleeves are beginning to wear and tear a little. It would just be awesome to have at least four new shirts just in case. ;)

Like in Tessa´s mission, it is against the rules to knock on doors here. Mostly we just talk to people on the street and shout, "Buenas!" whenever we see a door that is open. If anyone is home we will share a really short message outside and ask if they are interested to hear more. Obviously, we can only enter houses if there is a man present. That is the real problem.

Elder P and Elder B have both been really shy (because they don´t speak Spanish very well). So they will hurry over to an open door and shout, "Buenas!" When a man comes and answers them (sometimes they will be rude and just say, "Digame" (or "Talk to me," a literal translation), they will look at me as if to say, "Okay, it´s all on you now. Say something!" When I was a new missionary, I was also a little embarrassed talking to random strangers, but I´m totally used to it now. People here are almost always very kind and happy, and completely willing to listen to a message about the doctrine of Jesus Christ and His role in our lives. The worst they can do is say No. :) I think, like Tessa said, confidence is really important. I have found that people respect us much more when we are direct and confident during the lessons. We should never beat around the bush, because we all know Christ never did. :D

Lately it has been so, so hard writing these emails. English is so awkward to me, and I frequently rewrite a sentence three times before it is half-decent. I´m not looking foward to English class at BYU. I´ll have to start from scratch again. ;)

Well, I have to go now!

I hope you have a wonderful week!

I love you!

Elder Marriott

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

"Stuffed" Every Day

October 12, 2015

Hey Mom!

That`s so awesome that you could talk to Hermana Mami. Trust me, she definitely gives us enough to eat every day. I am "stuffed" after lunch every day. ;)

This week was super great, but on Saturday and Sunday I was really sick. I had a headache, a fever, and my whole body ached. All day I had to rest and take pills. I`m still not 100% better, but I`m getting there. :D

This week I told Elder Bruin one of Patrick McManus`s story. One day he left with his cousin Buck to find and hunt deer. Every time Pat saw "deer sign" he would tell Buck, "Look! Deer sign!" Buck would then, as a routine, reply, "You can`t eat sign." Well, one day Pat brought chocolate covered raisins with him, and ate them secretly on their way to the forest (he didn`t want to share). Anyways, as they were walking he dropped some chocolate covered raisins on the ground and pointed at them. "Deer sign!" he said. Buck replied, like always, "You can`t eat sign!" Pat then reached down, grabbed the chocolate covered raisins, and popped them into his mouth. His cousin froze, and he had to carry him back to the truck to revive. :)

As we walk, Elder B and I usually talk about our investigators: How they are doing, what we should teach them, and how we can help them understand the restoration of the Gospel. We still talk a lot about El Salvador and the culture here too. Like I said, he just asks me a lot of questions, all the time. :)

I`m not sure you knew, but here it is a requirement for us missionaries to sleep with a "mosquito net." It is a net that hangs down from the ceiling and is tucked into the sides of the bed so the mosquitos can`t bite us. Our beds are just like normal, though they aren`t quite as comfortable as the ones we used in the States. The mattresses aren`t as nice. :D

This week we had another Multi-Zona! He taught us about Priesthood ordinances, and that every member needs to regularly participate of the ordinances of the gospel in order to progress and repent. I was really happy yesterday because for a long time we have visited a less active family and the dad finally came to Church! He told us he needs to be a good example for his family and he is going to invite them all to go to Church again tonight in family home evening. Reactivating less active families is just as important as baptizing because every soul is precious and has the potential to return and live with our Heavenly Father again.

Sorry, I barely have any time this week. We had a few problems and started writing really late.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

I love you!

Elder Marriott