Monday, February 1, 2016

Paintballing

Hey Mom!

I was telling Pap, I can`t even imagine how cold it is out there in Beaver. How do you even manage it? I bet you have to wear two great fuzzy coats to stay warm. :) Here it reaches 95 degrees fahrenheit at about 3 in the afternoon. But the funny thing is, I am completely used to the heat now. In the morning, when it`s about 70 degrees, I`m freezing as I leave my "cold" shower. El Salvador, you`ve got to love it!

Guess what? This week I got an email from W. Leatherow, my trainer! He is doing great, and says that he is working hard and preparing to study later in the Fall. I miss that guy. We truly had a great three transfers together.

This morning was the best. President gave our zone permission to play paintball, and we just had a blast. I got pegged a few times by Elder H, and got Elder C pretty badly. It was tons of fun. I`m going to send you pictures!
Paintball!

It`s sad, this was Elder Perdomo`s last week. On Saturday we got invited over to dinner by Elder K and his companion. We held a pupusa-eating contest, and I beat everyone. I ate 12 pupusas!! Elder K finished with 10, and we were both a little sick afterwards. Well, maybe a little more than a little sick. But it was worth it!! ;D I just haven`t changed a bit, huh? ;) Kidding.

What am I grateful for?

I am grateful for my companion, Elder Perdomo. He`s taught me so much during these 8 weeks that we`ve been together! He`s a great teacher, and an amazing leader.

I am grateful for my bishop and the ward members that help us with the Lord`s work. On Sunday we had 6 investigators at church with the help of the members. They`re so great!

And...I`m thankful for the scriptures! I`ve learned so much this week during my personal study. One of our investigators had a question about Adam and Eve, and we studied the Pearl of Great Price in order to answer his question. I realized yet again just how perfect God`s plan is for us. He is merciful, and I`m truly thankful for Christ`s sacrifice for all of us. Isn`t it wonderful that we can be forgiven for the mistakes we`ve made? We just have to trust in the Lord and have faith in Him, and everything will work out fine.

I hope you have a great week!

Love you all!

Elder Marriott

Monday, January 25, 2016

Elder Cook & 600 Missionaries

Hey Mom!

Thanks a ton for your long email! I`m sorry that I barely have any time at all to write this week. So many people emailed me, I have no idea why! I feel like I`m at the MTC again. :) But it`s so great to hear for everyone!

On Saturday Elder Cook came and taught us at stake center by the temple of San Salvador. It was a Multi-Mission, so there were at least 600 missionaries there. I got to shake his hand! He taught us a lot about the importance of the members of our wards and branches. He said that as part of our calling as missionaries, we must be warm and friendly with all the members! Even the shy missionaries. :) He said that with the help of the members we can find a lot of new investigators and baptize them with the help of the missionaries. The majority of the baptisms I have had were references from members. The only thing I know, is that everything he taught us was inspired! I feel that all the Apostles have strong relationships with the Lord, and I am trying really hard to improve mine. I love my mission so much because I can keep progressing and learning new things, every day! The Lord has blessed me so much. :D

Characteristics that impress me. More than anything, I love to see confidence in people. I am impressed by those who can speak, comfortably and confidently in front of a large group of people. In my first few transfers in the mission, I was always very nervous to talk to lots of people all at once. But the Lord has blessed me with so many opportunities to develop my ability to teach. Now my heart doesn`t beat 1000 miles an hour when I give talks on Sunday. In fact, I love talking to people! It`s just what missionaries do. Other characteristics? I just love being around happy people! When you`re happy, your faith and hope shines! I want to help everyone around me be happy, all the time! It`s a great characteristic to develop. :D

Insects? Here, there are just tons of mosquitoes, everywhere! It`s always a good idea to use OFF. Other than that, every once in a while you`ll see a cockroach, but they`re not as common here in San Miguel. More so in Apopa!!

Great questions!!

I hope you have a wonderful week, Mom! Keep up the good work!!

Love you!

Elder Marriott

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Hottest Ever

Hey Mom!

Happy birthday!! I hope you eat lots of cake and enjoy this upcoming year! It`ll be amazing! :)

This week was awesome! We were busy all week, planning weddings, baptisms, activities, and traveling back forth. Some of the companionships in our zone have been having lots of problems, but we`re doing whatever we can to help them out! What I learned this week: if you want to be a fantastic missionary, you have to be humble and accept the Lord`s counsel, even when it comes from your leaders. Pride destroys you. It`s something the Book of Mormon illustrates really well. Anyways. All`s well that ends well. ;)

It`s crazy, my companion Elder Perdomo is leaving in two weeks! He`s not "baggy" or "trunky" but he does talk about going home at least once every day. He`ll say things like, "Wow, I only have three more P-days until I go home!" and last fast sunday, "Just think: today is my last fast sunday here in the mission!" He said the same about our zone conference this month. But the good part is, he is still really diligent and is working hard to baptize. I imagine it`s a little hard not to think about your family and home when you only have two weeks left in the mission. We`ll see. :D

What are the hairstyles you see? Mostly, everyone here has really "cool" hairstyles. Guys gel their hair up like waves. To get an idea, look up "Macklemore" on Google Images. High on top, short on the sides and back. Macklemore is a famous Seattle singer, and I think he made a difference everywhere. Women are a little behind the fashion, and usually put their hair in pony tails.

What games do the games play? Kids here play with marbles, toy cars, and "pogs" which are little plastic round discs that come in bags of chips here. You have to throw a "pog" down onto a second one and flip it around to gain points. It`s a simple fun game. The most popular game here is soccer. All the kids play soccer here! If you don`t play soccer at least one time during the week, you`re not normal. I`m pretty sure an 8 year-old child could beat me in a round of soccer. Haha! :D

The weather has been so hot lately! Yesterday was probably the hottest it has ever been. The sun just burns you up! To me it doesn`t feel as humid as it did when I came in December. Here, the sun is hotter, but in La Union (further East), it is a lot more humid! Over there you sweat more. The hottest month of the year is April, and it is very possible that I will be here still. I`m not super excited about that! ;)

I`m doing wonderful. I love my mission and can`t imagine being anywhere else. As Papi always says, I couldn`t be better! And I`m not being sarcastic when I say that. :D

Again, Happy birthday!!! Tell everyone you see that I said Hi!!

I love you!

Your favorite youngest son,

Elder Marriott



Tuesday, January 12, 2016

No Fear

New Year's Dinner
Hey Mom!  
This week has been so great! On Friday President held a multi-zona here in San Miguel! I learned a lot about my calling as a missionary and just how sacred it is. The assistants taught that our calling is to baptize and that this is the reason we are here. They then taught us how to teach the first lesson more efficiently, so that everyone understands our calling and purpose: to help others repent and be baptized.

Good questions this week:

"Who wants to live with God again? (Me!)" "What are you willing to do (or change) now to prepare to live with Him again?" (Will you stop drinking coffee?)
"When you receive a gift from a good friend, what do you do with it?" "Do you break it and throw it away, or take good care of it?" (Word of Wisdom)

Yum!
Like Tessa said, one of the most important questions I have asked is the invitation to be baptized. Again, when I first started my mission I was a little scared to invite everyone to be baptized (especially for people who were very active in their own Church). I told myself, "Everyone will just think that I`m here to bring them to our Church and change their beliefs." Which is exactly right. I invite people to come to Christ, and they can only find Him if they repent and are baptized in His Church by the proper authority. I love my calling! It is so perfect. I am never scared anymore to invite others to repent. It`s what I do, and I do it courageously and without fear and of people will think of me. Now I know what the scripture means that says, "Charity casteth out all fear."

Today we had an amazing double zone activity. We played Capture the Flag, which is probably the funnest group game ever. There were 32 missionaries here at the stake center playing outside. We bought a small ball for everyone, and we had to hit each other with them I`m going to send you pictures next week!! :D

Anyways, it was a great week and I learned a lot!

I hope you have an amazing week!

I love you!

Elder Marriott

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Years

Hey Mom!

This week was so great! Elder Perdomo and I have seen so many miracles! Yesterday we had twelve investigators at sacrament meeting, more than I have ever had in my entire mission! In the morning we did divisions with two other members. I went with our ward mission leader to one part of our area, and Elder Perdomo with another member in another part. Together, and with the help of members that we had talked to and offered to help, we brought 12 people to church. The Lord blessed us so, so much. On Saturday night I prayed so hard that He would soften the hearts of our investigators, because last week we only had two at church. Prayer works!!! :) Many of our investigators will be baptized this and next month. I`m so excited!

How do they celebrate the New Year here? Here, people are big into fireworks and firecrackers. As well as panes con pollo and tamales! We worked until dinner time, and then ate with some great members in our area. They oven-baked us our very own stuffed chicken (we cut it up like a turkey on Thanksgiving, and it was stuffed with pieces of carrot and beef), and offered us rice, bread, and a delicious salsa that we poured over it all. We were home at 8:30, planned, made our nightly calls, washed our clothes, and were in bed by 10:30. Beginning at 8:00 p.m. people in our neighborhood were setting off firecrackers, all night until 1:00 a.m. I was so tired that I didn`t even wake up at midnight. ;)

On the first day of January we had interchanges with one of the district leaders. I worked with his companion, Elder C. There was almost no one in the street! We contacted every man within our sight, but most of them were asleep or visiting fheir family members somewhere else. There weren`t even buses in the street, and only a few taxis. Like in Tessa`s area, almost no one works on the 1st of January. :D

Yesterday we taught one of our investigators. Sadly, he drank alcohol on the 31st (like the majority of the people here), but his new year`s resolution is to not drink alcohol or smoke for the whole year. We can only hope and pray. :) His goal is to be baptized on the 30th of January!

All in all, it was a wonderful week. I love my area and the members here, and my companion is awesome!

I hope you have a wonderful week and a happy new year!

Love you!

Elder Marriott

Monday, December 28, 2015

Close to the Savior

Hey Mom! 

I just sent you pictures from the Christmas activity we had. 

This week was so great! On Wednesday, after the activity, I had the opportunity to interview an investigator that some of the sister missionaries have taught in our ward. During the interview, she began crying uncontrollably when I asked her about repentance and how it has helped her in her life. She told me that she had made so many changes in her life, and that she could not have done it without the Lord`s help. She also testified by saying, "What I have come to understand since first learning about the restored gospel, is that God is perfect. He is perfect!" I`ve thought about her comment a lot this week, and I was so grateful to participate in her baptism on Saturday. The Spirit was so strong, and I know that the Lord was aware of her decision to be baptized into His Church. 

On Sunday in our Elders Quorum class, our teacher told us a story/analogy that I want to tell you. He said that there was a man once who was a member of the Church and died and went to paradise. There, he talked to the Savior. The Savior showed him a map of his journey through his life, and he saw with amazement that next to his footprints were another set of footprints. He asked the Savior, "Whose footprints are those next to mine?" The Lord responded, "They were mine, my son." But as he examined the map, he noticed that during the most difficult parts of his life, the Lord`s steps seemed to dissappear. Whenever he had passed through trials, challenges, and afflictions, there were only one set of footsteps. So he asked the Savior, "Why? Why did you not walk with me when I needed you there the most? Why were you not there for me when my parents died, and when I lost my job?" The Lord then looked him in the eyes, smiled, and said, "Those aren`t your footsteps. They are mine. I carried you all along the way. I was always there for you, always." 

I have never felt so close to the Savior as I have during this Christmas season. I know He is aware of everything we do, and He is willing to carry us in our times of need. We only need to search Him, every day of our lives. We just need to do the will of our Father in heaven, and everything will be fine, and we can live with Him someday. :) 

I was so happy to see you all on Christmas! I am so lucky to have the best family in the whole world!! I`m glad you liked my little Christmas package. ;) 

Have a wonderful week, and a happy new year!! 

Love you all! 

Elder Marriott

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas

December 21, 2015

Hey Mom!

Thanks a ton for the pictures you sent me! It`s so crazy how snowy it is out there. Most of the people here have never seen a snowflake in their lives, except on T.V. You will all definitely enjoy a "White Christmas" though. :) 

Here, they celebrate Christmas on the 24th. We`ll mostly just try to find people to teach in the early afternoon and then eat dinner with at least three members. I remember last year it was really, really hard to find people to teach on Christmas. Everyone is visiting their families and eating pan con pollo. :) So far at least 5 families have invited us over to eat on the 24th, so it will be a crazy evening.

On the 24th or the 25th I`m also going to wake up early and make myself a delicious breakfast of spam, eggs, and hot chocolate, just like old times. :D

Does your companion have any quirky habits?

Hmm. I can`t think of any quirky habits he has, but he 1) talks a lot, and dominates almost every conversation he ever has with anyone. :D 2) walks really, really fast. I didn`t think anyone with such short legs could move around so quickly. He never gets tired. It`s a good thing I ran before and know how to lengthen my strides to keep up with him. ;) 3) He loves using the word "maquina," which in English means machine. Whenever someone does something crazy, or says something funny, or anything, he says "maquina!" It´s an adjective, and I honestly don´t know why he says he so much. To me, it still doesn´t make sense. But it´s his favorite word. :D

Screen Shot on Christmas Morning
I´m already out of time because we had problems with the internet at the stake center and now we´re writing in a ciber. :)

I´m really excited to see you all on Christmas morning! It would be awesome if you could be all ready with Skype open at 7:30, and I´ll sign in and call you up!

Have a wonderful week!

Love you!

Elder Marriott