Friday, September 5, 2014

Daily Schedule

Hola Madre!

I am emailing this morning because tomorrow for P-Day we will be going to the Market and touring the city a bit! I hope everything is going well at home! It's sad I couldn't warn you that I would be emailing you early. Oh well. 

This week I wanted to share my MTC schedule with you. :) You are probably wondering (I hope) what my days are like! I'm sure it's a little different than when Jameson was in the MTC in Provo. ;)

Every other week we receive a schedule which we use to plan our days every night. They are pretty much the same every week, with small changes. 

First, we wake up at 6:30 every morning (my alarm clock is set for 6:29 just in case) :) We then get ready for the day by saying our prayers, making our beds, brushing our teeth, and changing into missionary attire. The first part of the day is a little sad. Everyone is really tired and doesn't really say anything. It'd be a miracle if an Elder smiled at you in the hall, for example. Every once in a while someone grunts, "Buenos dias" to you as you brush your teeth. ;) 

Then, from 7:00-8:00 we have personal study! Lately I have been reading Jesus the Christ, Preach my Gospel, the Book of Mormon, and El Libro de Mormon. Jesus the Christ is such an amazing book. It has been amazing to learn more about Christ's important role in our lives. I generally study it half an hour every day. Also, one of my teachers said that President Gordon B. Hinckley promised that if we finish reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish we will be fluent in the language. I am working on it! Hopefully I can finish in three months. :) 

Despues personal study we have Language Study from 8:00 to 8:30. This is when we complete the grammar lessons for the day, memorize new verbs, words, and gospel phrases, and study anything we feel we can improve on in regards to the language. 

Breakfast is next! We have half an hour to eat, from 8:30-9:00. Breakfast is a great part of the day and is always delicious! :) Generally there are eggs, ham, refried beans, salsa, cereal, and lots of chocolate milk! There are a lot of different breakfasts though, including pancakes, waffles, sausage, etc. I am not sick of the food here yet, so that's good. ;)

After breakfast we have Tall, which is a language-learning software here on the computers. It is pretty much an extended Rosetta Stone, and there is tons to learn on Tall. So much so that sometimes it's difficult to decide what next to study. :)

From 9:30-10:30 we have more language study, and then sports! Every day for sports we play basketball! It is so much fun, besides it being about 80 degrees outside on a normal day. ;) One of the Elders from my district, Elder Newey, is so good at basketball! He is about 6'1 maybe but he has the hops! It's a miracle if I can make as many points as him, but every once in a while it happens. I am probably about 6'3 now and the second in my Branch (I am only shorter than Elder Mattson by probably a quarter of an inch). 

Anyways, after sports and showers we have lunch! Lunch is pretty great, especially since at lunch you can have an ice cream out of the freezer. The ice cream sandwiches, some of which are strawberry pumpkin, are soo good!

Companionship study is next, where we plan for the days lesson. Or if we have a lesson with our first teacher, we teach then. Our lessons should be 15-20 minutes, and we don't use notes or anything anymore. :) From then on we have grammar instruction, gospel lessons, dinner at 5:00, and more companionship study after dinner. 

Usually at night we teach one of the lessons from Preach my Gospel in Spanish, either with the Latinos or one of the districts from our branch. I am getting better and better at Spanish every day! :) Finally, we have snacks around 7:30, more grammar or gospel lessons, and then plan for our next day at 9:00-9:30. Then we get ready for bed and lights are out by 10:30. :)

It's awesome here, and I am so excited to get out into the field and start preaching! :)

I love you,

Your favorite younger son,

Elder Marriott

Thursday, August 28, 2014

So Pumped!

Hola Mom!

I'm a little surprised you guys are getting by without me! :) Kidding. But I guess your life wouldn't be complete if you weren't improving our home in some way. Haha! 

Last week I realized Devin had probably emailed me to my other email account, so I sent him an email last week. I will read his email in a few minutes and if I have time I'll tell you how he's doing. He probably already has 50 baptisms or so. ;)

This week was so great! It's so weird to think it has already been three weeks! Halfway there. Out of the MTC, I mean. Haha! I only have 99 weeks left total! ;) Pretty much I have been studying Spanish nonstop, learning the gospel, reading the scriptures, eating really good food, and drinking tons of chocolate milk! (They have unlimited chocolate milk here, and orange juice, lemonade, milk, etc.) :) 

My Spanish has improved so much. Yesterday I taught a Latino about "Revelation Through the Book of Mormon" and my words were really flowing together! It felt great. I also memorized the first five verses of D&C 4 yesterday in like half an hour. It takes a bit longer in a different language. :)

My highlight of the week was when President Cox, who has been having health problems and was being looked after in a Seattle hospital, came back and spoke to us in two devotionals. He is probably the most inspiring speaker in the world. I was so pumped after his devotional! His topic was "High Expectations." I am so much more inspired to work as hard as I can. I'm thinking I should be able to hit 100 baptisms or so a month. What do you think? Just kidding. Still, I am looking forward to the mission field so much now! 

This week the new Elders came in. It's nice to see some new faces and make new friends! We have some pretty cool new roommates, two "gringos" and three Latinos. Way cool! :) It's kind of weird to think I was in their shoes only three weeks ago. I had no clue what was going on. I tried to give them some good advice and help them feel welcome. 

I got a lot of emails today, I wish I could say more but I should probably check my other ones. :)

I hope everything is amazing back at home!

I love you,

Elder Marriott

Hey Tess!

I was gaping when Mom mentioned that you wanted to go on a mission in her email! That would be way cool! Is it official already, or are you still deciding? It has been the best experience for me so far, you should do it! 

No way! I can't wait to go. I got to visit the temple today and the celestial room at the Guatemala temple is so beautiful too! The Spirit is so strong. Tessa. Did you ACTUALLY drool [in the Ogden Temple open house]? Hahaha! Kidding. 

Hope you have a better week!

Love you back!

Elder Marriott

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Learning Quickly

Hola Mom!

I forgot to tell you! Right when we got here at the MTC they took our cameras away.. I will be sending pictures in a month and a half I guess.

Sounds like you haven't even stopped working on the house after I left! I'm a little surprised. ;) 

This week has been pretty awesome! Every day is better than the last. Elder Kimball and I can now teach lessons in Spanish without any notes! I even taught a ten minute lesson about the plan of salvation by myself in Spanish. Well, using an English pamphlet to help out a little. Last week, I used to dread teaching lessons to "investigators" (who are really teachers in disguise ;)). It is really stressful. But I'm actually starting to enjoy it, now that the language is a lot easier to speak. On Wednesday our teacher was sick and so we taught his T.A. It was hilarious! He said he was completely happy in his life because of his money, cars, clothes, etc. And that he didn't need the gospel. I still don't exactly know how to approach people like that. All I know is that EVERYONE needs the gospel and Church in their lives. It should be mandatory. Just kidding! :) What was even more humbling in that lesson was that he spoke so fast! He wasn't being easy on us like our teacher, so I had to ask, "Que?" like three times before I understand what he was saying. Hahaha. In yesterday's lesson I understand almost everything my teachers were saying in Spanish! It's exciting how quickly I have learned. I know the Holy Ghost has helped me so much. Without Him, I would be a hopeless case. 

Sunday was so amazing. After Sacrament meeting we ate lunch and learned about health, culture shock, Joseph Smith, and listened to a devotional given by M. Russell Ballard. It is so nice just to relax and feel the Spirit.

Our lecture on health was a little disturbing though. I am so scared that on my mission I will drink (somehow) a little contaminated water and get worms or something. They had pictures and everything in the lecture. So gross. One Elder had to have worms extracted from him that were more than four feet long. It's important that I drink clean water, eat healthy food, and avoid mosquitoes! Anyways.

Yesterday was sooo awesome too! The six-weekers celebrated before they left. We almost all crammed into one of our rooms and sang hymns. It was literally at least 110 degrees and the humidity was probably 100%. So hot. I was just standing there and singing and there was sweat running down
my legs and face! It was a little hard not to cry when we sang "God be With You 'Til we Meet Again." We sang the chorus so loudly! 

My district is so amazing. We are all really good friends and know each other pretty well. This week I told them I was homeschooled (which they found hard to believe) and since then they have been calling me "Elder Homeschool." It's pretty funny. 

Elder Kimball is way awesome too. I would rather be his companion than anyone else here. He's a great guy. On Sunday we taught a lesson about our commission to teach the gospel. We both had really good experiences and I felt the Spirit a lot as we taught. 

I love you,

Elder Marriott

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

First Letter from Guatemala!

Dear Family (Mom? :)),

Before I begin, I should mention that P-Day is on Tuesday for now. Later, I will probably switch to Wednesday. Don't worry, I'll write every week if I can. :)

Thanks for the picture! Sounds like you guys had a blast this weekend. That's awesome that you and Pap will be cub masters! It brings back memories of 11-year-old scouts at our house. Remember when we all prepared a trailmix for a little hike? It's funny I can still remember that. Anyways. 

That's so cool that Sister Allen, King, and Newlun can come over this weekend. You must be really excited. :) 

All I can say for Lizzy is, good luck with that. Just kidding! I hope she wins. :) [Miss Junior Beaver County Pageant]

This first week literally felt like a month, but at the same time it seems like I just got here. Yeah, that makes no sense...but it's true. I don't know where to start, so I'll summarize my story after passing through the security gate of the airport. 

When I got to the boarding gate, there were already four Elders and one Hermana. I thought I was the last missionary. In the next half an hour, at least twenty-five Elders joined the crew. I made so many friends on the first day! I think only the best missionaries get to go to the Guatemala MTC. The flight to L.A. was pretty good. It wasn't very long, but I was sitting next to two ladies who apparently didn't want to talk at all. I tried to start a conversation, and they like...shunned me. They were nice, but they were too absorbed in their books and cell phones. Oh well. ;) After waiting a couple hours at the L.A. airport, we left for Guatemala. The flight was sooo long, and I only got about two hours of sleep. We arrived at seven in the morning. From there we took a bus to the MTC. Traffic was crazy! Here, if you want to make a right turn you wait until there is a one second gap in the traffic and just push the pedal to the metal. It was exciting. ;) Once we got to the MTC the bus just backed out into the busy street. Everybody stopped their cars in front of it, and then we backed again into the MTC parking lot. 

Everyone here gave us warm welcomes and helped us with out bags. I was really surprised, because most of the missionaries here are Americans! There are many Latinos too, just not nearly as many. Kind of disappointing in a way. Haha. So, we were able to take a nap for a couple hours, went to lunch, and then our day actually began.

My new companion is Elder Kimball. He is a great companion! He's really "chill" but he works hard and follows the rules. He is pretty hilarious sometimes, and we're similar in some ways. I'm grateful  to have him as my companion.

The first day felt like a month. I'm not kidding. They pushed us so hard! Every day has been getting easier and easier though, so that's good. 

Our district is way awesome! There are ten of us. Towards the end of the week we really started opening up to each other. We have a lot of fun, but we are also really hard working. 

I have to tell you about one of my most spiritual experiences this week. During a devotional my Maestra, Hermana Garcia, talked about the Atonement of Christ. I felt the Spirit so strong there were tears rolling down my face (even I cry sometimes, Lizzy). My testimony of the Atonement is definitely stronger now. 

Every day we have personal study, companionship study, Language study, and classes where we learn Spanish and how to teach lessons. My Spanish has improved so much! I'm certain I can teach gospel lessons, give prayers, bear my testimony, and invite people to be baptized even better than Katie, if you can believe it. ;)

Today we got to the attend the Temple here! It is really small, but sooo beautiful. 

I wish I could write more, but I need to reply to my other emails. Hopefully I have a bit more time afterwards (we only have an hour to write emails).

Of course, I'm typing about 130 WPM so that helps. ;)

I love you,

Elder Marriott

Monday, August 4, 2014

Elder Marriott Version 2.0

Hey everyone!

I've been home for over six months now, and am no longer Elder Marriott. But, there's a new Elder Marriott on the block! My little brother Peter will be reporting to the MTC in Guatemala on 6-Aug to prepare for his mission in El Salvador. He will be set apart at 7:00am tomorrow morning! I've updated the contact info so that you can write him and we will start posting his letters to this blog. So, thank you all for your support to me on my mission and enjoy following Peter on his!


Jameson Marriott

Monday, January 20, 2014

Last Letter

I can't wait to get back into the swing of things at home. I have so much to figure out when I get there! But I'm exhausted because I hardly slept last night. 

Yesterday was a tender day for me. I cried all through Stake Conference, and again at our departing devotional. I had a hard time controlling my voice as I shared an experience and bore my testimony. President said some very nice things about me from the pulpit and everyone was very complementary afterwards as we talked. 

We didn't quite get our goal of 20 lessons, but we got 19. That's more than we've ever gotten and still something to be proud of. I needed something to work hard at for this final week. :-)

Today I will be picked up to go to the mission home at 4:15. After that I'll be there until I fly out at 10:45am from Ontario to Seatac tomorrow. 

Elder Walker is also getting transferred out of the area, and we're both sad about that. The Byrds won't like that at all... but I think that Elder Teisina and Elder Didrickson will be able to work well with them (they were over the north half of the ward and now they'll be covering the whole ward). The Byrds will soon love them too. :-)

Saturday I had tons of bike problems. So annoying! Especially to think that we might have reached our goal of 20 lessons if it wasn't for that. 

I didn't really do anything special for my birthday. A couple people out here remembered, which was nice. I was on exchanges in 4th ward for most of the day and we went to Rosa Maria's (a famous, San Bernardino version of Dicks, only Mexican food) for a free burrito and drink (horchata). 

Well, I will see you tomorrow! I can't wait! 

I love you!

-Elder Marriott

Monday, January 13, 2014

Life Is Good

lol. I'm speaking on the 26th in College Heights Ward and the 9th in Lincoln Ward, eh? lol. Well. That’s ok. I wanted to speak in 1st Ward yesterday, but they didn't invite me. I almost asked, but I didn't. I love the pulpit lately. The second speaker had canceled and they still didn't think of me... But yes, invite everyone! I plan on inviting Mr. Merdich, the Lincoln Hardware family, etc. 

Maybe I'll have to insure Big Blue when I get home so that I have something to drive around in. ;-) We can worry about that when I get there. :-)

I heard last week that Bro Russell died. I'm sad that I didn't get to meet him. Everything I have heard about him has been wonderful. I have even shared parts of his story out here. 

I should have an opportunity to email next week. I probably won't be picked up by the office until the evening. But I'll probably find all that out on Wednesday at our departing Temple trip. 

We're planning on having an amazing week this last week! We want to teach more lessons than we ever have together. It's already filling up rapidly. I think that it will pass very quickly. 

We had Victor Byrd's baptism on Saturday and I got to confirm him on Sunday! It was so great! The Byrds were amazed at how still Victor sat for his confirmation. They're doing very well. They were anxious to get my contact information so that they could contact me about their baptisms. Sister Byrd insists that I will have to come back. :-)

I lost my helmet this week. That was kind of annoying. It lasted almost two years. We left it on the trunk of the car by accident, and by the time we made it back the next day it was nowhere to be found. Oh well. I'm wearing a spare in the meantime. 

I'm starting to look forward quite a bit to coming home! Life is good. This will be a great week. We're planning on filling it with more lessons than ever and it's already filling up. It will pass quickly. 

Jess will be flying in on the 31st for her niece's baptism. I was invited to attend the service and spend some time with the family. It should be a great time! :-)

Gloria wants to have us over soon also. Maybe she's already contacted you. I can't wait to see them! :-)

I love you!

-Elder Marriott